Friday, December 24, 2010

Love Your Enemies


Matthew 5: 43-48

Story & Lessons

The Jews had narrowed down the meaning of ‘neighbor’ to those whom they loved.

But Jesus said, "Love your enemies" (44).

This is one of the most difficult commands to keep.

Satan has spoiled their lives and we must overcome their evil with good.

Remember that they are enslaved by Satan, lost and bound for hell.

Love has won many a hostile sinners to Christ.

Our attitude to others must not be determined by what they do to us.

"Love your enemies, etc… that you may be sons of your Father in heaven" (44-45).

We must be like our heavenly Father who shows His love every day to his enemies.

If we only love those who love us, we are no different to the ungodly.

Reflection...

How are we to love our enemies?
- In our words : "Bless those who curse you."
- In our actions : "Do good to those who hate you."
- By praying for them : "Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you".

We must aim for perfection; we must not be satisfied with anything that falls short of it.

We are children of our father in heaven and we must reflect his love in our own lives.

Let us also remember that the Lord Jesus prayed for his enemies who nailed him to the cross.

The demand that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (20) is far reaching.

What is your attitude to your enemies? When did you last pray for those who have hurt you?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love Is The Fulfillment Of The Law


Matthew 5: 38-42

Story & Lessons

“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” was given to ensure that the punishment was appropriate to the crime.

But Jesus warns us that we must not seek personal revenge when we are wronged.

This does not mean that when we are the victims of crime, we should not press charges against the criminal.

Evil-doers must be punished in the civil courts. When criminals are not adequately punished, law and order breaks down and criminals are left free to inflict their evil deeds on more victims.

To be slapped on the cheek was a great insult which could be punished by a very heavy fine.

But Jesus is not telling us to invite further suffering, but to respond to insults by being gracious.

Jesus said that we should not insist on our rights – “let him take your cloak also”.

The Jews hated the Roman practice which compelled them to carry a soldier’s load for a mile.

Jesus said that his followers should go the second mile with the load.

Reflection...

There is much talk today of standing on our rights.

Jesus calls us to self-denial in our reaction to those who have wronged us.

Did you turn the other cheek the last time you were wronged?

The Lord Jesus goes on to tell us to give to him who asks us and to freely lend our possessions.

This does not mean that we should encourage those who are lazy but that we must help those in genuine need.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Speak The Truth


Matthew 5:33-37

Story & Lessons

The scribes and Pharisees developed a perverse theology of oath taking.

They taught that certain oaths were solemn and binding; others were not binding.

They would swear by heaven, by earth, by Jerusalem, by the head, by the temple, etc.

This was an escape clause to allow lies and deception.

But Jesus forbade this evil practice.

*******

There is an epidemic of lies among us.

Young children resort to lies without shame or a blush.

Employees take paid sick leave when really they are quite able to work.

Many leading politicians are liars and deceivers.

Reflection...

Christians must be different!

Jesus said, "Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’"

We must always be truthful, honest and reliable.

We must never make promises that we know we cannot keep.

God sees us and hears us!

If you are deceiving others by duplicity, lies or half-truths, shame on you!

Repent of your sin and seek cleansing and forgiveness through the blood of Christ.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Divorce


Matthew 5:31-32

Story & Lessons

God hates divorce but he saves those who have been divorced and remarried. We must not treat them as if they had committed the unpardonable sin; rather we must welcome them into our church.

Moses allowed a man who found some uncleanness in his wife to divorce her. This was a solemn measure to protect the rejected wife and to prevent unlawful divorce. The man was not allowed to remarry the rejected wife if she was later widowed or divorced from the second marriage. Moses permitted divorce in such cases because of the hardness of their hearts, "but from the beginning it was not so" (19:8).

This concession was misused in New Testament times to allow for unlawful divorce and the Lord Jesus teaches here that divorce is only permitted when the spouse was unfaithful.

When adulterers were put to death under Jewish law the marriage was obviously terminated and the surviving partner was free to marry again. But the death penalty for adultery was not permitted under the Roman occupation of Palestine.

Jesus indicated that the wronged partner would be allowed to remarry just as if the guilty one was dead.

Marriage is a covenant in which solemn promises are made before God, including the promise to remain faithful until parted by death.

Whoever divorces his wife. . . (31).

Reflection...

The wicked influences of the world have crept into the church and divorce among professing Christians is becoming common.

What kind of spiritual state are we in if we can so lightly break these sacred promises and disregard God’s word?

Let us seek God’s grace each day to be faithful to his word and to the one to whom we have committed ourselves in marriage.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Adultery


Matthew 5:27-30

Story & Lessons

We must be most careful not to allow physical attraction to become the occasion of sinful desire.

It is not enough to avoid falling into adulterous relationships.

We must recognize that adultery begins in the heart and is set in motion through the eyes.

"Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (28).

Reflection...

Sex is a wonderful gift, but it is only permitted within marriage!

Adultery breaks the 7th commandment, the 8th (stealing another person’s spouse) and the 10th (coveting someone else’s wife/husband).

The sin of adultery no longer shocks the majority of people today.

Television programs, films, video, books and magazines which encourage us to sexual lust and adulterous thoughts are produced by the million.

Christians are not immune from this sin!

Sexual relations have become the door through which many professing Christians walk to their destruction.

"If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell” (29).

The Lord Jesus does not mean us to take this literally! We could still sin with the left eye, even if deprived of the right. What he means is that if we are having problems with sin, we must take urgent and drastic action.

We must avoid anything that will play havoc with our mind, encouraging adulterous thoughts and desires.

If we have books or magazines that do this, burn them!

Cancel the newspaper that thrives on sordid and salacious stories, destroy those doubtful videos, and get rid of our television if we cannot control the programs we watch!

The way of adultery leads to misery and hell but the way of purity leads to heaven and to seeing God.

Be sure to keep yourself on the path of righteousness.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Be Reconciled To Your Brother


Matthew 5:21-26

Story & Lessons

The Lord Jesus went beyond the letter of the Law to the spirit of the Law.

Those who murder are worthy of death, but murder and other sins begin in the heart.

Murder in the heart may show itself in sinful anger against another person and it often leads to murder with the tongue (character assassination).

If we speak of others with hatred and contempt in our hearts, we have all the seeds of murder within and we are in danger of hell-fire.

We must control our temper and our tongue!

Jesus then gave 2 illustrations to show that our relationship with others is most important.

If we have offended a brother or sister, our worship and offerings are not acceptable to God until we have put matters right.

He then spoke of two men going to court to settle a dispute that they had between them.

It was far better to settle the matter before they reached the court; if they did not, one of them might be imprisoned until he paid the last penny that the judge had ordered him to pay.

Reflection...

Animosity is a time bomb; we do not know when it will go off.

We must deal with it quickly, before the consequences of our bitterness get completely out of control.

Are we nursing hatred in our heart?

Are we refusing to be reconciled to someone in our church until they have made the first move?

Oh, beware! Our Christian life will be blighted if we continue in such a state. — “First be reconciled to your brother.”

Friday, November 12, 2010

Leading A Truly Righteous Life


Matthew 5:17-20

Story & Lessons

The teaching of the Law and the Prophets was essential to the Jewish religion.

But the scribes and Pharisees had wrongly interpreted the Old Testament Scriptures.

They opposed Christ and thought that He was trying to destroy the Law or the Prophets.

But Jesus made it clear that He came to fulfill the Law.

He did this by His perfect life.

And the words of the prophets were fulfilled by His death and resurrection for sinners.

He solemnly declared that the Law must be fulfilled to the very jot and tittle.

He stressed the importance of all the commandments.

Reflection...

When we follow Christ we are not free to indulge in sin.

But we are free from the power of sin so that we are able to obey God.

The Lord Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (20).

Their religion was very shallow.

It was only concerned for outward show.

It may have impressed men, but it did not impress God.

They glorified themselves and undermined God’s word with their man-made traditions.

The scribes and Pharisees were proud and self-righteous but we must never be like that.

Christian righteousness comes from a transformed heart through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit.

It leads to humility and it glorifies God.

The remainder of the Sermon on the Mount shows just how different our righteousness must be to that of hypocrites or followers of false religion.

Do we belong to the kingdom of heaven?

If we do, we will be concerned to lead the righteous life that Jesus taught us to live!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Salt And Light Of The World


Matthew 5:13-16

Story & Lessons

The Lord Jesus Christ used the emblems of salt and light to describe the influence that believers should have on the world.

Salt acts secretly on combat decay and was rubbed into meat to preserve it.

The world is corrupt through sin.

But the influence of godly men and women restrains the moral and spiritual decay.

Salt is useless if mixed with other minerals.

We must keep ourselves from being tainted by the world if we are to lead people to the Lord.

We must also not react against worldliness by withdrawing from the world.

The world will be changed for the better by Christians living in it!

Jesus is the Light of the world.

His people possess His light and are themselves lights of the world.

Light does not act in secret like salt but worked openly as it shines.

Light is an emblem of the knowledge of God and its bring goodness, righteousness and truth, joy and gladness.

Darkness is a symbol of ignorance, depravity and despair.

Reflection...

Are we salt and light in our home and in our place of work?

Seek, with God’s help, to live so that our light will shine in this dark world.

Our light is desperately needed!

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (16).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted For Righteousness’ Sake


Matthew 5:10-12

Story & Lessons

A righteous Christian life often leads to conflict.

Jesus points out in the last Beatitude – "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake"(10).

Suffering and persecution is not necessarily an indication of God’s displeasure.

Jesus warned His disciples to expect persecution: "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you" (11-12).

Jesus warned that the world will hate us - All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Reflection...

We must expect to suffer for Christ.

Persecution can come in different forms – some Christians are imprisoned or killed; others are reproached and slandered.

As Christians we can rejoice when we suffer for Christ — our suffering is a proof that we belong to Christ.

The Christian’s suffering is not for ever and we know that we will have a great reward in heaven.

Have we been complaining about God’s dealing with us? Are we passing through a time of trial?

Then we must start counting our blessings and think about all the benefits that are ours in Christ.

We will soon find ourselves rejoicing in God and praising Him!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blessed Are The Merciful, The Pure In Heart, and The Peacemakers


Matthew 5:7-9

Story & Lessons

We were once without hope because we were alienated from God.

When we come to faith in Christ, we rejoice in the mercy of God.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (7).

*******

The word ‘heart’ has to do with our whole being.

It includes our affections, emotions, mind and will.

The human heart is a cesspit of iniquity.

But the godly are poor in spirit and mourn over their sin.

The gospel is about Christ dying on the cross and rising from the dead so that we could be cleansed from our sin.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (8).

*******

Christians enjoy peace with God through Jesus Christ.

The gospel message is about the Prince of Peace.

And our God is the God of peace.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (9).

Reflection...

God delights in mercy and so should we!

Let us seek always to be kind, sympathetic, merciful and forgiving.

If we are lacking in compassion and if we are not ready to forgive those who have wronged us, we are not right with God!

*******

To be pure in heart is to keep ourselves from sin and hypocrisy.

It makes us love our fellow Christians.

The pure in heart shall see the Lord Jesus in heaven.

Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

*******

A peacemaker is not a coward who opts for peace at any price.

We must seek to turn those who do wrong from the error of their ways.

We must go out of our way to live at peace with others, but never at the expense of the truth or of compromise with sin.

If we are to be peacemakers, we must always keep our tongues from gossip.

And we will always endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

If our hearts are not pure, if we are not right with God, we will not be channels of Christ’s peace.

Are we a peacemaker or a troublemaker?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Blessed Are Those Who Hunger And Thirst For Righteousness"


Matthew 5:5-6

Story & Lessons

To be ‘meek’ (5) means having a gentle and submissive disposition which accepts God’s dealings with us as good, without murmuring or resisting.

It is being submissive when we are provoked, being willing to suffer wrong rather than to inflict it.

*******

Many search after happiness, security and peace in our troubled and uncertain world, but not many seek for righteousness!

Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" (6).

Righteousness is being right with God and leading a holy life which is pleasing to Him.

Reflection...

Meekness is not weakness!

Moses was very meek, but he was not weak!

The Lord Jesus is meek, but he is also ‘the Lion of the tribe of Judah’.

Christians must be meek and commit themselves to the righteous Judge when they are wronged.

*******

The words ‘hunger and thirst’ indicate desperation.

Do we have an intense desire to be holy?

If we have, it will show in our life!

We will love the secret place of prayer and we will delight in the word of God – reading it, hearing it preached, and obeying it.

We will be eager to worship with God’s people and we will shun everything that would hinder our walk with God.

The pathway of blessing according to Jesus is not to be found in chasing after sensational spiritual experiences, but in hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

Those who thirst for the things of God will be filled!

How are we doing?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blessed are the poor in Spirit


Matthew 5:1-12

Story & Lessons

The Beatitudes describe the blessedness of those who belong to God’s kingdom.

The world says, "Blessed are the rich."

But the Lord Jesus declares, "Blessed are the poor in spirit".

This blessing has nothing to do with material wealth but with the recognition of our spiritual poverty.

Those who are ‘poor in spirit’ are very much aware of their need as sinners.

They cry, "God be merciful to me a sinner!".

Their pride has been broken and they have a humble and contrite spirit.

They realize their own utter helplessness, expect nothing from self, everything from God.

God’s kingdom is for ‘the poor in spirit!’

The mourning in the second Beatitude is not that of bereavement.

It is the mourning and grieving over sin of those who have recognized and felt their spiritual poverty.

It is the godly sorrow produced by repentance.

It also involves grief because the name of God whom we love is dishonored by wicked men.

Those who mourn over sin are blessed because they know the precious comfort of God.

Reflection...

Are we poor in spirit?

Do we mourn over our sins?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Follow Me, And I Will Make You Fishers Of Men


Matthew 4:12-25

Story & Lessons

A year had passed since the temptation of Jesus.

Herod Antipas had imprisoned John the Baptist but the Lord Jesus was now preaching the same message of repentance to far greater crowds.

His ministry was attested by many different kinds of miracles demonstrating his power over sickness and demons.

He left Nazareth to live in Capernaum and he preached in Galilee as prophesied by Isaiah.

Andrew had been a disciple of John the Baptist before following Christ.

Both he and Peter had followed Christ before John’s imprisonment.

Jesus now called them to leave their fishing business and to devote all of their time to his work.

He promised them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men".

They obeyed the Lord’s call; together with James and John, they responded immediately.

Reflection...

Millions of people still sit in spiritual darkness.

Their minds are blinded by Satan, the god of this world, so that they cannot see nor understand the glorious gospel of Christ.

We must be deeply concerned at the plight of those who are lost, who have no hope unless they turn to our precious Savior.

We must long to win souls to Christ.

Do we feel inadequate in our attempts to witness to others?

Take heart from the words of the Lord Jesus, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

Follow Jesus as a disciple and submit to his will as it is revealed in the Bible.

Seek to lead a godly life and he will prepare you and use you in his service!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If You Will Worship Me


Matthew 4:1-11

Story & Lessons

Adam and Eve were in a garden in paradise when they fell and Adam, as representative of the human race, brought ruin to all creation.

The Holy Spirit led Christ into a wilderness to be tempted by Satan.

He overcame temptation when hungry and weak after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.

He is the last Adam who represents all who are saved.

He overcame the temptation to avoid the path of suffering and the cross.

God the Father had said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased", but the devil cast doubt on the word of God asking, "If you are the Son of God...?".

In Eden, he did the same — "Has God indeed said...?" (Genesis 3:1).

He appealed to the appetite of Adam and Eve by dangling the forbidden fruit before them.

He suggested that Jesus turn the stones into bread.

Satan also tempted Christ to sinfully presume on God the Father in taking it for granted that he would be rescued by angels if he leaped from the top of the temple.

Adam and Eve presumed that they would be able to eat the fruit and not die.

Satan told Adam and Eve that they would be like God if only they would take the forbidden fruit.

He promised Christ all the kingdoms of the world, "All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me".

The Lord Jesus knew that he had to go the way of the cross to conquer and to take possession of these things.

Reflection...

Satan still attacks God’s word and tempts us to doubt it.

He will lead us into careless presumption if we do not take care and he will offer us the world to turn us away from Christ!

He will misuse the word of God, as he did to Jesus.

How did Jesus respond to the enemy?

He used the word of God, quoting from Deuteronomy on each occasion.

If we build ourselves up in the word of God, we will be stronger in the face of temptation.

We do not have to give in to temptation!

We do not have to sin!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This Is My Beloved Son


Matthew 3:13-17

Story & Lessons

John baptized people who had repented of their sin.

He was surprised and hesitant when the Lord Jesus asked to be baptized.

Baptism speaks of the Lord Jesus' identification with sinners.

The sinless Lord Jesus took human flesh to identify himself with sinful mankind, being born under the law.

The law of God curses and condemns the sinner.

Our sin was laid upon Jesus who has redeemed us from the curse of the law through his death at Calvary.

God the Father punished him for our sin.

Baptism also speaks of the Lord Jesus' suffering and death to take away our sin.

Reflection...

The whole Trinity was involved in the baptism of Jesus.

As the Son came up from the water, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon him and the Father spoke from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”.

The Father loves the Son but did not spare Him as He died on the cross for sinners.

The Father accepted His perfect sacrifice so that we could be accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6).

Let us rejoice and give thanks for our wonderful salvation!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bear Fruits Worthy Of Repentance


Matthew 3:1-12

Story & Lessons

Jesus was probably born towards the end of 5 BC. It was probably AD 26 when he began his public ministry at the age of about 30.

John the Baptist’s ministry of preparing the way of Jesus was prophesied in the Old Testament.

John was a rugged figure who lived on a very simple diet.

His preaching attracted great crowds of people whom he baptized after they repented and confessed their sins.

The Pharisees who prided themselves in their religious zeal and the Sadducees who denied the resurrection of the dead came to see what was happening.

John did not mince his words when addressing them!

They were a "brood of vipers".

He warned them not to rely on their religious pedigree for salvation.

They needed to "bear fruits worthy of repentance".

John also warned them of God’s judgment and wrath.

Reflection...

‘Repentance’ is a radical change of mind and heart which completely changes the direction of our lives.

Our repentance is not real if it does not bear fruit.

'Fruits worthy of repentance' include forsaking sin and leading a life of obedience to God’s holy word.

Have we truly repented of our sins?

Does it show in our lives by "fruits worthy of repentance"?

John declared that there was One coming who was mightier than himself.

Jesus would baptize 'with the Holy Spirit and fire'.

Everyone who repents of their sin and trusts in Christ is baptized in the Spirit.

The disciples waited for ‘the promise of the Father’ which was given at Pentecost but we do not need to tarry or agonize for the coming of the Holy Spirit nor seek for ‘a second blessing!’

Every believer has the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6).

Let us live as those whose bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He Shall Be Called A Nazarene


Matthew 2:13-23

Story & Lessons

The visit of the wise men was a great encouragement to Joseph and Mary, confirming the wonderful things spoken of Jesus by the angel.

The Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream warning him to escape to Egypt because of Herod’s wicked plot.

God spoke to Joseph in the same manner after Herod’s death, telling him to return to Israel.

The prophet Hosea had likened Israel to a beloved son, called out of Egypt from the tyranny of Pharaoh. The Lord Jesus, who was also threatened by a tyrant king, was called out of Egypt to fulfil this prophecy.

The weeping over the slaughtered infants is also a fulfillment of a prophecy.

The Lord Jesus came to give us a living hope and to wipe away all our tears!

Jesus was "called a Nazarene". This was a term of contempt which refers to his rejection.

Reflection...

Jesus suffered shame and rejection to save us from our sins.

Surely, we cannot be ashamed of such a wonderful Friend who loves us so much?

Can we be ashamed to share our good news of Jesus with others?

Let us boldly confess him and proclaim his greatness!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

King of the Jews


Matthew 2:1-18

Story & Lessons

The wise men traveled many miles to see the Messiah.

But the chief priests and scribes who knew the Scriptures which promised his coming, showed little interest in his birth.

The Lord Jesus came as the "King of the Jews".

But He is also to be worshipped by Gentiles (e.g. the wise men).

Herod the Great, who was king at the time of the birth of Jesus, had been given the title "King of the Jews" by the Romans.

He was alarmed to hear the question, "Where is he who is born the King of the Jews?".

Herod was a power-crazed tyrant who ruthlessly ruled Palestine for 40 years; anyone who posed a threat to him was exterminated. He did not act out of character in his plot to kill the Lord Jesus.

Herod’s plot was thwarted when God warned the wise men in a dream that they should not return to him.

Reflection...

The Lord Jesus came into the world to die for sinners.

But it was not in God’s purpose for Him to be killed before the time that He had appointed.

Herod saw Jesus as a threat and his fear turned to murderous hatred.

Some 33 years later, the Son of God was rejected by his own nation and Pontius Pilate had the title, “the King of the Jews” put on the cross (John 19:17-22).

Are we like Herod who rejected Jesus?

Or are we wise like those who sought Jesus, found him, and worshipped him?

They Fell Down And Worshipped Him


Matthew 2:1-12

Story & Lessons

The wise men came to Jerusalem during the reign of Herod the Great who died late March/early April in the year 4 BC.

This means that the Lord Jesus was born in 5 BC or at the beginning of 4 BC.

The wise men came from the East, probably Persia or Chaldea (Iraq).

It is obvious that they knew of the Old Testament prophecies that a great King would be born among the Jews.

The wise men traveled far and were diligent in their search to find the Lord Jesus.

They knew that he was far greater than they were and far more wise.

The Lord Jesus was no ordinary man: they had come to worship him (2).

God helped them by providing the star which ultimately led them to their destination.

Reflection...

If you are not a Christian and if you are really eager to find the Lord, he will not send a star to guide you.

But he will bring people into your life and order your circumstances so that you will be led to him.

Keep reading your Bible which is God’s holy word.

When you have questions about the Christian faith, ask those who are mature Christians to help you.

The Lord Jesus promises, "Seek, and you will find" (7:7).

The Lord Jesus was no longer in the stable, but in a house.

When the wise men found him, they fell down and worshiped him (11).

Jesus is God and he is worthy of our worship.

Monday, October 11, 2010

He Will Save His People From Their Sins


Matthew 1:18-25

Story & Lessons

Betrothal in Bible times was far more binding than engagement.

Vows were made in the presence of witnesses but the couple did not live together as man and wife until after the wedding feast.

It was during this interval that Joseph discovered that Mary was pregnant.

Joseph did not want to have Mary punished for immorality and he planned a quiet divorce (19).

His attitude changed when the angel appeared to him in a dream and told him that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit (20).

He exercised great faith and obedience in taking Mary into his home as commanded by the angel (24-25).

Both Mary and himself would have to face the reproach of being branded as immoral people (John 8:41).

The angel told Joseph that Mary would bear a son, saying, "You shall call his name JESUS, for he will save his people from their sins" (21).

The Lord Jesus is also called "Immanuel – God with us" (23).

He came to save poor sinners so that God would be with us and for us instead of being against us. How wonderful!

Reflection...

Though the Lord Jesus is the ‘Savior of the world’, not everyone will be saved.

He did not come to save everyone but he came to save his people (his elect)!

The Good Shepherd gave his life for his sheep (John 10:11, 15).

Everyone for whom Christ died will be saved!

Theologians call his doctrine ‘Particular Redemption’ or ‘Limited Atonement.’

Jesus died for us because he loved us in particular before he made the world!

This should excite us to love him, to worship him and to obey him.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

She was found with child of the Holy Spirit


Matthew 1:1-20

Story & Lessons

Matthew begins his gospel by tracing the human descent of the Lord Jesus from Abraham and through David.

The genealogy contains 42 generations which are divided into three groups of 14.

There are some significant names in this family tree.

It contains the names of three Gentile women – Tamar, Rahab and Ruth.

Christ came to save Gentiles as well as Jews!

Some in the list were begotten through adulterous relationship – Perez and Solomon.

The sinless Lord Jesus was identified with sinful men!

The family tree begins and ends with a supernatural birth.

God enabled barren Sarah to conceive Isaac in her ninetieth year.

The word ‘begot’ comes to a halt in verse 16 because the Lord Jesus was not begotten by Joseph.

Mary conceived the Lord Jesus through a supernatural work of God – She was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Remember...

The virgin birth of Christ was prophesied in the Old Testament.

The Lord Jesus Christ has always existed!

He is the eternal Son of God who was with God in the beginning, became a Man to save sinners (John 1:1-2, 14).

God was manifested in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).

In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

God's Love Is Forever


2 Samuel 22:50-52

The Story

As David closed his song of songs, he sang finally of the God Who secures.

As David examined all the years that had passed in his life, he saw the hand of God leading him, keeping him and blessing him. His past had been a time of absolute security.

As David looked around, he saw the hand of God still working in his life. David knew that regardless of what today might bring, God would keep him safe and secure.

As David looked ahead into the future, he saw God working in his life out into eternity. David knew that God would secure his future.

Lessons

As we look back to where we were when God found us, we can see how He had saved us and changed our life. We remember His security in days gone and we praise his name.

As we look around, we can be rest assured that God will secure us in the present. Whatever comes our way is part of His plan and is a product of His love and blessing upon our lives.

As we look ahead into our future, we have the same hope; God is working in our future and we are secure forever.

Remember...

The saints of God are secure in their relationship to the Lord God.

No matter what comes our way, we are in a permanent arrangement with the God of glory!

Praise the Lord!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thank God For Strengthening


2 Samuel 22:31-49

The Story

David's life was filled with warfare and conflict.

David declared that it was the Lord God who was his strength and his source of power. God had guarded him well and enabled him to flee from danger.

David declared that it was the Lord God who was his instructor of the art of war. God had taught him well and enabled him to stand firm.

David declared that it was the Lord God who had promoted him far above all his opponents. God had placed all his enemies under his feet and enabled him to walk in absolute victory.

Lessons

The same God who had strengthened David is the same God who will strengthen us.

God will protect us; He will guard us and enable us to flee from danger.

God will prepare us; He will teach us the art of war and enable us to stand firm.

God will promote us; He will give us the victories over all our enemies.

Remember...

Regardless of what we face, God will strengthen us and lead us toward victory in our life.

And we will sing the same song of praise to the Lord God.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Praising The Savior


2 Samuel 22:2-20

The Story

David sang of his personal relationship with God (2-3). He knew God personally and he held God close to his heart. He always looked at God with full assurance of faith.

David sang of his powerful relationship with God (2-7). He knew God as his Savior, his Sanctuary, his Security, his Shield, his Safety, and his Supply. He knew that God was all he needed in times of trouble.

David sang of a profound relationship with God (8-20). He talked about how God had blessed him, defended him and sustained him.

Lessons

It is not enough just to know about God; we are to know Him personally!

It is not enough just to believe in Him; we are to trust Him in everything!

It is not enough just to trust in Him; we are to talk of how He has blesses us, defended us, and sustained us!

Remember...

We are not to take for granted the goodness of God.

We are to know Him personally.

We are to trust Him for our need.

We are to praise Him and enjoy Him.

He is to be our Song of Songs!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Song Of Songs


2 Samuel 22:1-51

The Story

As we examine the journey of David's life, we discover that he had been a shepherd, a soldier, a sovereign, a singer and a sinner.

But now David is nearing the end of his life.

2 Samuel 21:15-17 tells us that David went out to battle and was almost killed by a Philistine giant. He was saved by his nephew and was forbidden to battle anymore.

The days of battle for David were over.

And the long days in the palace made David reflect back on his life.

As David remembered all that the Lord God had done for him, he took his pen and began to write the words of 2 Samuel 22.

Some said this was the last song written by David.

It is the song of his old age.

It is a song of joy, victory, and praise at the close of a race.

Lessons

David had written about his own walk with the Lord God.

Will we be found doing the same, praising God and worshiping Him in our old age?

Remember...

Many Christians had finished their race.

And many are nearing the end of their pilgrimage.

The apostle said "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Will we be found doing the same before we are called home?

Will we be found singing the song of songs?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How will we meet the King?


2 Samuel 20:1

The Story

When king David returned to his throne in Jerusalem, some were pleased and welcomed him, but other were not that glad.

Sheba was a rebel and a wicked man. He wanted to overthrow the king; he wanted David ousted from the throne.

He hated David and tried to lead Israel in rebelling against him.

In response, David's general went after him and he was finally killed (2 Samuel 20:22).

Lessons

Everyone who is not in a personal relationship with Jesus is the enemy of God (Romans 8:7).

When King Jesus returns, they will find themselves in the same position as Sheba.

They will rebel against Him and they will find themselves on the outside of salvation, on the outside of Heaven, on the outside of hope, and on the outside of grace and mercy of God.

Remember...

Many people will be enemies of God.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Jesus went to a cross and gave His life in our place.

If we will receive Him as the sacrifice for our sins, then God will save our soul and take us to Heaven when we leave this world.

When Jesus comes again, we will be ready.

The King is coming.

How will we meet the King?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Will You Be Found Working For Him?


2 Samuel 19:31-40

The Story

King David returned to his throne in Jerusalem.

Some were pleased and ready to receive him; others were not that glad.

Barzillai was 80 year old.

He came down to welcome the king home with great joy and happiness.

When king David was away in exile, he was instrumental in seeing that the king's needs were met (2 Samuel 17:27-29).

He was still serving the king when he returned.

Barzillai was old yet he kept living, giving, and working for the king.

Lessons

Will we be found working for Him when He returns?

Do we continue to serve the Lord God with faithfulness?

Will we be found living, giving, and working for the King when we are old?

Remember...

Some Christians will be found living, giving, and working for the Lord God when He returns.

And the Lord God will bless their faithfulness to Him.

Stand our ground for Jesus and keep fighting for the glory of the Lord.

And we will receive our victory crown.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Are You Waiting?


2 Samuel 19:24-30

The Story

King David returned to his throne in Jerusalem.

Some were pleased and ready to receive him; others were not that glad.

Mephibosheth was waiting for his return and he came out to meet the king.

This was the man who had been misrepresented by his servant Ziba.

Mephibosheth hadn't washed or shaved since the day David left Jerusalem.

He had spent his time in mourning over the king's absence.

He was waiting for his return.

Lessons

Not every Christian will be worried when Jesus returns.

There are some who has spent their entire life waiting for Jesus to return.

Some of them are looking for Him right now.

One day their hearts' cry will be answered.

The Lord Jesus will do as He said; He will return in power and glory and take His people to be with Him in Heaven (1 Thes. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52).

Remember...

Many Christians will be waiting for His return.

Will we be found waiting when He returns?

Or, will we be caught looking at the world and all its treasures?

The King is coming.

Let's keep watching and waiting for His return.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Are You Ready?


2 Samuel 19:17

The Story

King David returned to his throne in Jerusalem.

The people of Israel were at odd with his return. Some were pleased and ready to receive him; others were not that glad.

Ziba was worried when he saw the king coming.

When David left Jerusalem, Ziba came and brought him food and other necessities (1 Samuel 16:1-4).

In the process, Ziba took the time to slander the name of Mephibosheth; by doing so, he obtained all the property of Mephibosheth under false pretenses.

Ziba proved to be a hypocrite!

And so he was worried as he saw the king returned.

Lessons

Many have professed love and allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ.

They have expressed their desire and commitment to live for the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:16; 2 Corinthians 6:17).

But they prove to be unfaithful to Him, to His Church, and His work.

They are hypocrites!

And they will be worried at the King's return.

Remember...

Many will be caught off guard when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.

They will be worried!

The Lord Jesus Christ has warned us to be ready (Matthew 24:44); we are to be prepared for His return.

If we are lost, we are to come to the Lord Jesus Christ today and be saved.

If we are saved, we are to live our lives in such a way that we will not be ashamed at His appearing.

Are we ready?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

How Will You Meet The King?


2 Samuel 19:15 - 20:1

The Story

King David returned to his throne in Jerusalem.

The people of Israel were at odd with his return. Some were pleased and ready to receive him; others were not that glad.

The passage presented us with 4 different kinds of people:
  • Some were worried about his return (2 Samuel 19:17).
  • Some were waiting for his return (2 Samuel 19:24-30).
  • Some were working and getting ready for his return (2 Samuel 19:31-40).
  • Some were against his return (2 Samuel 20:1)
Lessons

The LORD Jesus Christ will return one day.

Not everyone will meet Him the same way when He returns.

Some will be excited and happy.

Some will be caught off guard.

Some will be found lost and undone.

How will you meet the King?

Remember...

"Seek the Lord while he may be found, call Him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6).

Today is the day of salvation: share Jesus before it's too late.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Forgive And Forget


2 Samuel 19:21-23

The Story

Shimei fell at David's feet in humility. He confessed his sins in his attack on David. He hoped David would forgive him.

David's nephew, Abisai, sought to kill Shimei, but David prevented him.

David realized it was a day of grace from God in his own life; God had forgiven him and brought back his throne to him.

David had sinned against Uriah, Bathsheba, the nation of Israel, and the God of Heaven. He had bowed before the LORD and confessed his sins, and God had freely forgiven him. Now he extended that same grace to Shimei who had wronged him greatly.

Nevertheless, David's forgiveness wasn't perfect. His last request to Solomon before he died was for Shimei to pay for the evil that he had done. David might have forgiven Shimei, but he never forgot what Shimei had done.

Lessons

We have all sinned against God and fellow human beings. And we have been forgiven many times.

We have a responsibility to forgive others who have wronged us. And We must be quick to forgive.

Remember...

God does not forgive like men do. When God forgives, He also forgets.

It is not easy. It takes all we have to forgive and forget the sins of others.

Like the disciples of the LORD Jesus Christ, we must asked the LORD to increase our faith (Luke 17:5).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Confess Our Sins Before God


2 Samuel 19:16-20

The Story

The rebellion of Absalom was quashed many months later.

David was returning home with his men.

As they crossed the Jordan, old Shimei and his men came to him.

Shimei fell at David's feet in humility.

He made a full and complete confession of his wrong in his attack on David.

And he hoped that David would forgive him.

Lessons

We have all sinned against others.

And we are to do exactly what Shimei did.

We are to go to the person we have offended and confess our sins and seek forgiveness.

Remember...

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).

Would you come to God and confess your sins against Him?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Committing Our Cause To God


2 Samuel 16:5-23

The Story

David's reaction to Shimei and his attack is worth noticing.

David's nephew offered to kill Shimei.

But David just said, "Let him alone. Maybe the LORD has told him to do it. Maybe he is right! If he is, so be it. But if he is wrong, the LORD will deal with him."

David might have been at one of the lowest points in his life, but his answer showed a high standard of self-control.

Lessons

What are we supposed to do when we are attacked? Are we supposed to get even?

No, like David we are to place the matter in the hands of the LORD and leave it with Him.

Remember...

At the very moment of offense, we are to learn to be like the LORD Jesus, with a tender heart ready to forgive.

Offense can grow into resentment. Resentment can lead to hatred. Hatred can produce bitterness. Bitterness will find a way to seek revenge.

It is wise to learn to place our hurts in the hands of the LORD and walk away from them.

The LORD can handle the matter far better than we can.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Withstanding The Enemy's Attacks


2 Samuel 16:5-23

The Story

David was attacked by Shimei several month earlier as he was fleeing the city of Jerusalem during the rebellion of Absalom.

Shimei had come toward him and cursed him continuously. He called him "a bloodthirsty man" and "you rogue".

Shimei also threw rocks at him.

Shimei also told 3 blatant lies about him (2 Samuel 16:8).

David was at the lowest point of his life. His kingdom and his family were in shambles. He was an outcast and was on the run from his own son.

Yet Shimei came to attack him.

The words of Shimei must have cut the heart of David like a knife.

Lessons

Have you ever been kicked when you were down?

Have you been attacked at your vulnerable moment?

It hurts. Isn't it?

Have you ever met with people who are trying to put you "in the wrong" when you are not in the wrong?

Remember...

The Lord Jesus Christ was attacked.

He was cursed continuously.

He was falsely accused.

He was stoned.

He was crucified.

It hurts. Isn't it?

But...

He forgives all our debts.

He forgives all our sins.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Develop A Forgiving Heart


2 Samuel 19:16-23

The Story

David was returning to Jerusalem after the rebellion and death of his son Absalom.

As he neared the city , he met Shimei.

Shimei had wronged David.

But David did not react in anger or malice.

David reached out to Shimei with compassion and forgiveness.

Lessons

David's reaction gives us a portrait of a forgiving heart.

And we desperately need to learn this lesson.

Remember...

The Lord Jesus Christ has a Forgiving Heart.

He forgives all our offenses.

He forgives all our failures.

He forgives all our trespasses.

He forgives all our debts.

He forgives all our sins.

He forgives us for everything.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

True Friend Tells Us The Truth


2 Samuel 19:1-8

The Story

Joab was David's nephew.

And he was the commander of king David's army.

During the battle to retake Jerusalem and to bring David back to the throne, David's son, Absalom was trapped in a tree by his hair (2 Samuel 18:9-17).

Joab found him hanging there.

He and his armor-bearers killed Absalom.

When David heard the news, he was devastated and went off by himself to mourn (2 Samuel 18:23-33).

David was overcome with grief and guilt. He couldn't comprehend that the kingdom had been returned to him.

When Joab heard how David was acting, he went to David and rebuked him for not praising the people for bringing him back to the throne.

He reminded David that there were larger issues at stake.

David was still king and as king, he had a responsibility to the people.

David saw his error and went out to meet he people.

Joab would not stand by and watch his friend make a mistake that he would regret later.

Joab was a true friend who told David the truth.

Lessons

True friends will tell us the truth about our life and our decisions.

They do so to help us avoid the pain that may come from foolish errors.

If we have a friend who loves us enough to tell us the truth, then we are a blessed individual.

Remember...

The Lord Jesus Christ is The True Friend.

He tells us that we are sinners in need of a Savior.

He warns us to avoid the fires of Hell.

He confronted us about the way we live our lives.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the True Friend who tell us the Truth!

Monday, June 14, 2010

True Friends Came In When We Had No Hope


2 Samuel 17:27-28

The Story

Shobi was an Ammonite. David had fought against his people. But he did not allow the past to cloud his love for David. He became an ally of David.

Machir was a man from Lo-debar who gave shelter to Mephibosheth. He had a tender heart and wanted to reach out to help others. He never forgot what David had done for Mephibosheth. And he gave more to Mephibosheth because he was David's friend.

Barzillai was an old man with plenty of money (2 Samuel 19:32). He was David's friend and he provided David's need.

These three men revealed the true nature of friendship.

They gave without being asked, and they asked for nothing in return.

They gave out of unselfish love.

And they did what they could for their friends.

Lessons

True friends will help us when we are in need.

They will give without being asked, and they will ask for nothing in return.

They will give out of pure and unselfish love.

They will do what they can do for their friends.

Remember...

Sinners have such a Friend in the Lord Jesus!

The Lord Jesus came in when we had no hope.

He gave us what we needed when we needed it.

He did the work of a Savior in our lives.

He gave His all and never stopped to consider the cost or to ask for repayment.

What A Friend we have in Jesus!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

True Friends Get You Through


2 Samuel 15:30-37

The Story

Hushai came to David as David was leaving the city of Jerusalem.

He was broken hearted over what was happening to his king and his friend.

But David sent him back into the city. David wanted him to feign allegiance with Absalom. He wanted him to counter the counsel of old Ahithophel.

Ahithophel was David's counselor, but he was also Bathsheba's grandfather. He saw the rebellion of Absalom as an opportunity to get even with David for what he had done to Bathsheba and Uriah.

Hushai did what David asked and he saved David's life (2 Samuel 17:15-22).

Hushai served as David's eyes and ears in the throne room, and he laid his life on the line of his friend. he could easily be a dead man!

But he made up his mind to save David's life.

Lessons

Very few friends will help us in our time of need.

But if we have precious friends like Hushai, we are really blessed.

Remember...

Sinners have such a Friend in the Lord Jesus!

The Lord Jesus puts everything on the line for us.

He places us ahead of Himself.

And He died for us.

What a Friend we have in Jesus.

Monday, May 31, 2010

True Friends Get Hurt


2 Samuel 15:23-28

The Story

Zadok and Abiathar were the priests of God in Jerusalem.

When David fled from his son Absalom, they followed him, bringing along the Ark of the Covenant.

But David decided to send them back to Jerusalem.

Instead of relying on the Ark, David placed his trust in the power of God to deliver him.

David wanted their help to act as spies for him in the city of Jerusalem.

The two priests complied, turned around, and carried the Ark back into the city.

By doing so, they took a great risk, and put their lives in danger.

Lessons

True friends love you and accept you.

They desire to accompany you when you are in danger.

But if you decide otherwise, they will comply with your decision, though sometimes they don't understand you and may not agree with you.

And they stand by your decision, regardless of the risks involved, and in the process of doing so they may get hurt.

Remember...

Sinners have a true Friend in Jesus.

The Lord Jesus died on the cross to save their souls, even when they were His enemies.

The Lord Jesus called them His friends, even when they always act like His enemies.

The Lord Jesus love them, even when they are so unlovable, and often act foolishly toward Him.

The Lord Jesus stands by them, and gets hurt for them!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

True Friends Offer Help


2 Samuel 15:18-22

The Story

Absalom had risen up in rebellion against his father and had driven him from the palace and from the city of Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 15 finds David on the run for his life from his own son, Absalom.

David really needed friends who could help him. And 2 Samuel 15-19 tells us about some friends who came to his aid.

One of them was Ittai.

Ittai was a commander of a group of 600 men that came to Israel from Gath in Philistia to follow David.

Ittai stepped up and demonstrated the depths of his love for the exiled king.

He pledged his absolute allegiance to him, even if it meant death for him.

Ittai was a true friend.

Lessons

As we walk through this life, there are few people who will be true friends.

Thank God for our true friends who love us when we are on top and when we hit the bottom.

Many people will only be our friends who everything is well in our lives and when they can benefit from us.

A true friend is one who loves us when we have absolutely nothing left to give.

Remember...

Jesus is a true Friend.

He is a Friend who sticks closer than brother.

He is the One who has said He would never walk out of us (Hebrews 13:5).

He is the One who has told us that He loves us regardless of our current condition (Jeremiah 31:3).

He is a Friend who cares for us when we are up and runs to our side when we are down.

Remember, Jesus is the true Friend!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Good Lord Had Brought Him Through


2 Samuel 12:9-14

The Story

David faced the dreadful consequences of his sin.

Many sad scenes and incidents happened in his life.

But he learned to place his fate in the hands of the Lord God.

David faced his sin like a man.

And God gave him grace to make it through.

David finally came out of the dark days with a changed heart.

He was humbled to the ground.

And God restored him to the throne again.

The good Lord had brought him through.

Lessons

God will never desert His people (Hebrews 13:5).

He will go with them even when they are facing the consequences of their sins.

And He will give them grace to get through the pain and the heartache of their sins (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Remember...

The Christian life is never smooth sailing.

But when we do fail, God will help us through the processes of confession, repentance, and restoration.

And the good Lord will keep us through the dreadful consequences sin has brought into our lives.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Sin Affects Us And Others


2 Samuel 12:9-14

The Story

David had sinned with Bathsheba.

He had covered that sin by having Uriah murdered.

But God found him out.

David had to endure the pain and tragedy in his own life and in his family.

His newborn son was struck ill and died.

His eldest son Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar.

His son Absalom grew to hate Amnon and conspired to have him killed. And he fled and ran from his father for some 5 years.

His son Absalom led a public rebellion against him. Absalom publicly disgraced his father by committed adultery with his concubines.

And his son Absalom was murdered by his nephew Joab..........................

After everything was over, David had 4 dead sons, a kingdom in shambles, disgraced wives, a tarnished reputation, a disgraced daughter, and a trusted counselor dead by suicide.

David's sin affected himself and others, and it caused him constant grief and heartache.

Lessons

Don't ever think that our sin only affects ourselves.

We never know who may be destroyed because of our sin.

Remember...

Many people are paying a high price for their sins today.

They are bearing in their body the horror of sins.

And their children continue to live in sin though they have found salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, we never know how sin affects us and others.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We Reap What We Sow


2 Samuel 12:9-14

The Story

David had sinned with Bathsheba.

We have seen how it was conceived.

We have seen how it was committed.

We have seen how it was confronted and confessed.

We have seen how David bore the scars and the terrible consequences of his sins.

David finally discovered the truth:
  • God always instantly and completely forgives sin when there is confession and genuine repentance.
  • But God does not remove the consequences of sins.
Lessons

We will reap exactly what we sow.

In fact, we will reap more than we sow.

And we will reap what we sow in this life!

The idea that if we confess our sins, we will not be punished is not true.

Remember...

Confession and repentance do not stop the consequences of sin.

We will definitely reap what we sow.

But God is gracious to us:
  • We don't have to die for our sins.
  • We have His help to face the consequences of sin.
  • God will continue his plan for our lives.
Remember, we reap what we sow!

And it is always true.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bearing The Consequences Of Our Sin


2 Samuel 12:10-15

The Story

When sin was forgiven and cleansed, it didn't mean that it was over.

David still had to pay dearly for his sin.

Because David had wanted Uriah to be killed with violence, violence would never depart from his family. David would later lose three of his sons in a violent manner: Amnon (2 Samuel 13:28-29), Absalom (2 Samuel 18:14-15) and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:24-25).

Because David had treated with contempt the wife of Uriah, his own son, Absalom, would later go in to his father's wives in public view (2 Samuel 16:21-22).

Sins affected everyone and everything, and not just David alone!

What David had done in secret, the Lord would reveal it in the open for everyone to see.

And as part of David's punishment, God had allowed the baby born of David's adulterous affair to become sick and die. How it must have broken his heart watching his son died!

David paid a terrible price for his sin!

Lessons

When sin is forgiven and cleansed, it doesn't mean that it is over.

We still have to pay dearly for our sins.

We may think that what we have done affect no one but ourselves.

We are wrong.

When we sin, it affects everyone and everything.

And what we have done in secret, God will reveal it in the open for everyone to see.

We will pay a terrible price for our sin!

Remember...

God will forgive our sins if we repent.

And God will wash away all our sins.

But we still have to bear the consequences of our sins.

And there will be scars, to remind us of our sins.

Remember, it dishonors the name of God among the unbelievers when we sin.

And we can expect nothing less than His chastisement.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

When Sin Is Confessed


2 Samuel 12:13

The Story

When David heard the charges, his mind suddenly became clear. For the first time in many months, he could see the situation as it was. And he made a full and honest confession.

As soon as David confessed, he was told that his sins had been forgiven and he would not be put to death as the Law demanded (Lev. 20:10). God had taken David's sins away from him. Instead of justice, David had received mercy and grace. He had been forgiven and pardoned!

The time of alienation from God was over. David was restored.

Lessons

This is how God always operates. When sin is confessed openly and honestly, it is forgiven by the Lord God. And God removed its stain from our lives (1 John 1:9).

Remember...

We must deal with our sins in open and honest confession. Only then will God forgive and restore us.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

When Sin Is Exposed


2 Samuel 12:1-9

The Story

God confronted David. He did it at the right time to secure the right response.

God sent Nathan the Prophet, a man David respected, to confront his sin.

Nathan came. He talked about a rich man with many sheep who took the only lamb belonging to a poor neighbor to feed a passer-by.

After David heard it, he was furious. He demanded the rich man to restore the poor man four-fold, and he ordered the rich man to be executed!

Then David heard Nathan said, "You are the man."

David was exposed. He was found out! It's time to pay!

And David was exposed by a dear friend! Oh! How David broke Nathan's heart!

David was reminded of all that the Lord had done for him, how He had chosen him, saved him, blessed him and elevated him to the throne of Israel.

And David was made to see how he had repaid God for his grace and kindness with his evil deeds!

How could you, David? How could you to this?

How could you break God's heart?

Lessons

God is working behind the scene. He will confront us for our sins when the time is ripe!

Sin can never be successfully hidden away forever. God will confront the hidden sin and expose it to the light!

It will be a very shocking day when that happens.

And that is why we need to repent immediately after we sin!

It will be a very sad day when it is our loved one who exposes us!

How we must have broken his or her heart!

It will be a very shameful day when we are made to see how we have repaid our gracious God with evil deeds!

How it must have broken God's heart!

Remember...

There is the right time for everything.

And sin can never be successfully hidden forever.

When sin is exposed, it hurts everyone.

It hurts us.

It hurts our loved ones.

And it hurts the Lord God!

It will be a shocking day.

It will be a sad day.

And it will be a shameful day.

Oh! What have I done?

How can I do this? How can I?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Silent Moment Kills


2 Samuel 11:27

The Story

2 Samuel 11 talks about the darkest moment in king David's life.

He had fallen into deep and disgusting sin.

He had committed adultery with a married woman.

He had got her pregnant.

He had her husband put to death.

But God did not punish him immediately for his sins.

In fact, it was nearly a year later that God exposed him!

But those 12 months were a terrible time for king David.

It was a silence moment of sin!

The king knew what he had done and so did Bathsheba.

Every time when their eyes met, guilt flashed back and forth between them.

There was no joy, no peace, and no anticipation over the birth of the baby.

It was only pain and guilt between them.

The king knew that his general Joab and some of the servants knew it too.

But worst of all, he knew that God knew!

The king knew that he couldn't hide his sins in silence.

The truth will be revealed!

It was the silent moment of sorrow!

King David wrote Psalm 32 and Psalm 51 during this time.

They were written after he had confessed his sin, been forgiven by God and been restored to fellowship........

....... The months following David's sin with Bathsheba were days of suffering for David.

....... And David was broken by the weight of his sin.

David was suffering under the chastisement of God and he knew it!

Silent moment kills........

Lessons

When we sin against God, we can be sure of His chastisement.

It may not be immediate, but it will come.

Constant guilt, loss of joy and peace, and the sense of God's displeasure will be there for those who walk away from God and refuse to deal with their sins.

Silent moment kills

Remember...

The price for sin is death.

And those silent moments of separation from God because of our hidden sins is a terrible moment!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Devastating Effects Of Sin


2 Samuel 11: 5-27

The Story

David tried every means to cover his sins.

He tried to get Uriah to sleep with his wife, Bathsheba again.

But Uriah was a man of integrity (2 Samuel 11: 11).

David should have confessed his sins to God and dealt with the consequences.

But David decided to hide his sins.

Sins had led him down the path of deception.

David's deception did not work.

So David devised a plan to remove Uriah altogether.

David wanted to get Uriah killed on the battlefield.

Joab was given the order.

Sin had led him deeper down the path, farther away from God.

Uriah finally died.

David took Bathsheba as his wife.

David did not show any remorse for what he had done.

Sin had led him further down the devastating path.

Lessons

And that is what sinner does!

They will always try to keep their sin covered and hidden.

And that is how sin works!

It will never be satisfied until sinners are totally destroyed.

And that is what sin does!

It sears the conscience until the entire life of the person is devastated.

And it dulls the person's sensitivity to the Lord and His voice.

Remember...

We are no greater than David!

We are as prone to fail as he was.

The giant of our life is within us!

And if we are not careful, it will destroy us totally.

If we have been beaten already, we must be honest with the lord.

We must tell Him the whole truth.

And we must lean upon Him to fight the spiritual battle.

Remember.....

The devastating effects of sin!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Losing Battle To Spiritual Giant


2 Samuel 11: 2-4

The Story

David arose from his bed one evening.

He took a walk on the rooftop patio.

He then saw a woman bathing.

Bathsheba was a very beautiful woman to look upon.

When David saw her, the giant of lust that dwelt within his heart roared to life!

David's mind was full of Bathsheba.

He wanted to know who she was and everything about her.

The giant had ensnared his mind!

He wanted her and he wanted to take her.

David was told that she was the wife of a loyal soldier, and the granddaughter of a trusted adviser.

But he refused to stop his course of action.

The giant had erased his reasoning!

David brought Bathsheba into his bed and he committed adultery with her.

He dishonored her and her husband.

Most of all, he dishonored God.

The giant had eclipsed his God!

Lessons

A thought develops into a desire within our mind and demands to be fulfilled!

The mind is the first battlefield with the giant of sin.

Never let the giant of sin ensnare our mind!

The mind is to be guarded at all times (Phil. 4:6-9, 2 Cor. 10:3-5).

Never let the giant of sin erase our reasoning!

When we are in the grip of our giant, we will lose our senses and become intoxicated with gratifying our fleshly desires. When lust is conceived, sin is always the result (James 1:15).

Never let the giant of sin eclipse our God!

When we give in to our giant, we will forget God and do things that we never think possible.

When the giant of sin rises up in our heart, he will block our view of the Father!

Remember...

We must defeat our giants of sin when they first appear in their attacks against our mind.

If we stop them there, they cannot control our life like they desire to.

Let us nip them in the bud before it's too late.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Battle Against The Spiritual Giant From Within


2 Samuel 11: 1

The Story

God had blessed king David and had established his kingdom.

David could and had recognized the hand of God at work in his life.

But David indulged his appetite for women by taking to himself many wives and concubines. (2 Samuel 5:13).

It was written in Deut. 17:14-17 that the king was forbidden to accumulate three things: (1)horses (2)wives (3) gold and silver.

David had disabled the horses taken in battle. (2 Samuel 8:4)

He had also dedicated the gold and silver taken as spoil in battle to the Lord. (2 Samuel 8:7-12)

But David had accumulated wives!

David had problems with a spiritual giant named "Lust".

He had allowed the spiritual giant to attack and destroy his life - He had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

There were many factors for the defeat of the mighty king David:

He had neglected his duty to lead his men into battle. He had stayed at home while they were out there fighting and dying.

He was lying idly in bed, allowing his mind to wander freely.

He had developed a feeling of invincibility because of his absolute success and victory over all his enemies.

He had become lifted up in pride because he knew that God was with him.

He had become arrogant and did not stay humble before the Lord.

He was also guilty of neglecting his spiritual health.

David could have prevented what had happened had he taken the proper steps.

Instead, he had allowed the giant of his life to thrive in him.

He was feeding his giant until it became so powerful that it destroyed his life and testimony.

Lessons

Every child of God must beware of the spiritual giants lurking in their lives.

We are to identify them.

We are not to allow the spiritual spirits to thrive in our lives.

We are not to feed them until they become so powerful and overwhelm us. When this happens, they will not stop until they have nearly destroy our lives and our testimony.

Remember...

David succumbed to the spiritual giant of "Lust".

And we can be too, to many spiritual giants.

Our spiritual giants comes from within (James 1:13-14).

We are to battle against the spiritual giants from within.

Remember, we must strengthen the inner man to battle with the spiritual giants that is lurking within our own hearts.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Abundant Grace Of God


2 Samuel 9: 9-13

The Story

Mephibosheth finally came to king David. He was truly overwhelmed by the grace and favor of the king. He had received more blessings than he could imagine.

He then recalled the past when he had difficulties meeting all his needs.... He had no hope for the future.

But that day, when he was called to meet the king, everything changed.

Grace had given him everything he needed; his future was then secured.

Grace had put him into the family of the king. He could then lived and had his being in the house of the king.

And he could enjoy the company of the king's family and friends!

Truly he had received amazing grace!

Lessons

The same applies when the grace of God is embraced by lost sinners. Everything has changed!

Now the lost sinners have everything they need and their future is secured.

Grace has also put them into the family of God!

They will now sit at the Lord's table with the rest of God's precious saints.

And that is really amazing grace!

Remember...

Mephibosheth came in fear at the feet of king David. But the king restored him and blessed him abundantly. His future was secured. The poor and crippled man was then considered as a member of the king's family.

The same is true to lost sinners when they come in fear to God. God speaks peace to them and bless them abundantly. Their future is secured. And they are given all the rights and privileges to sit at God's table with the other saints.

That is truly amazing grace!

Will we come when God calls?

Will we thank Him for His abundant grace?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Embracing The Grace Of God


2 Samuel 9: 6-8

The Story

Mephibosheth was one of the few remaining members of the house of Saul.

His father was killed in battle.

When the news came, his nurse tried to flee with him, still a child, and he was dropped and his legs were permanently damaged.

He was crippled from then on.

He was a poor man. he did not have access to the wealth or the lands of his family.

He was probably living each day in fear for his life; he might be afraid that king David would come one day and took his life away.

But that day had come! The soldiers arrived from Jerusalem. He was to leave with them to see the one man he never wanted to see.

Mephibosheth was carried into the king's presence.

He humbled himself in the presence of king David. He knew that as a descendant of Saul, he deserved nothing but judgment from the king.

He heard king David call his name and speak to his heart.

He heard the king as he promised him restoration of all the wealth and glory that once belonged to his family.

King David even promised to give Mephibosheth a place at his table.

Mephibosheth was overwhelmed by the grace of king David.

He embraced it with a happy heart.

And He acknowledged that he was undeserving of such love and mercy.

Lessons

We are the descendants of Adam.

We have sinned and rebelled against God.

We have run away from God and we fell deeper into our sins.

We don't enjoy our past glory anymore; sin has taken all away.

Spiritually we are poor and needy. And we are living in fear of God because of our many sins.

But then one day God calls us and we respond.

We are brought by the Spirit of God into the presence of God.

We fall down in humility, reverence, and worship.

We know that we deserve nothing but the judgment from God.

Then the Lord God speaks and reveals to us that He has taken His wrath away from us.

He has offered to restore to us everything that sin took away.

And He has promised to give us a place at His table.

We are overwhelmed by God's grace.

And we embrace it with a happy heart.

And we acknowledge that we are undeserving of such love and mercy.

Remember...

Mephibosheth came in fear but king David restored him and blessed him.

The lost sinners come in fear to the Lord God and He speaks peace to them and bless them.

Let's think back and remember the day when we were brought by the Spirit of God into the presence of God. Remember, we came with nothing and deserved nothing, but the Lord God richly blessed us and promised to be with us forever.

And that is God's grace. It is truly amazing! And we must embrace it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

God's Grace Is Amazing


2 Samuel 9: 1-5

The Story

David wanted to show kindness for Jonathan's sake. He desired to extend his grace to the members of Saul's family.

This is amazing because normally when a new king comes to power, he will destroy every member of the former king's household, to prevent any rebellion from them.

David did this because of his relationship with His best friend Jonathan, and his promises to Jonathan and Saul that he would not totally destroy their offspring (1 Sam. 20:13-17, 1 Sam.24:20-22).

David extended his grace without limits. He was going to seek out anyone that was left of the house of Saul.

David later discovered that one of Jonathan's sons was still alive. He was told that the man was crippled. But his immediate response was "Where is he?" And he sent his servants to fetch him.

Lessons

God extends His grace to the members of Adam's family.

They do not deserve His grace, His love and His mercy.

In fact, they only deserve judgment, damnation and Hell.

But God extends His amazing grace to them because of His beloved Son.

He reach out to these fallen and depraved sinners because He loves His Son, and because His Son has died for their sins on the cross.

And His grace knows no boundaries! It extends to everyone of them regardless of their past, their race, their social standing, or their deeds. God extends His grace to all of them who will come!

And His grace is amazing! He does not not concern Himself with their crippled spiritual condition. His immediate response is to draw them to Himself!

Remember...

David wanted to show kindness to the remaining members of Saul's family. He did it because of His best friend, Jonathan and his promises to him and his father. He looked out for them and eventually fetched a crippled son of Jonathan.

God wants to show His grace to the members of Adam's family. He does it because of His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and His promises to His Son and Adam's family. He looks out for them and fetch those who will come to Him, however bad their spiritual condition may be.

God's grace is truly amazing!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Total Submission Is The Key To Our Dream Comes True


2 Samuel 7: 18-29

The Story

When God said "No" to David's dream, he continued to be utterly devoted to Him.

David continued to humble himself before the Lord God. He praised God for His blessings, grace, and wonderful love for His children. And he acknowledged that he was unworthy of His goodness to him.

David accepted God's plan for his life. He continued to praise the Lord God because he trusted Him for his life.

David acknowledged God's ability to bring His promises to pass. He rested upon the Lord and was satisfied.

Lessons

When God said "No" to our dreams, we must still be totally submitted to Him.

We must humble ourselves before His presence. We must remember we are who we are and we have what we have because of God's pure and perfect grace. We must remember He is the Potter and we are the clay.

We must trust God to do that which is best for our lives. We may not reach our dreams. But our goal in life is to see God carries out His perfect will in our lives.

We rested in God for we know that there is no greater honor than being used by the Lord God to bring glory to His Name.

Remember...

David was not allowed to build the Lord's Temple. But He was allowed to make preparations for the fulfillment of his dream. David ultimately could still see his dream came true.

When we accept God's plan for our lives, we will see our dreams come true nonetheless.

Total submission to the Lord God is the key to our dream comes true.

Friday, February 19, 2010

God Knows How To Love His Children Perfectly


2 Samuel 7:1-29

The Story

David desired to build God a permanent dwelling place.

But God said "No" to David.

But God didn't leave David broken-hearted.

Instead, He soothed the heart of David with many precious promises:
  • God reminded David that He would make him great! — David would become a partaker of God's rest, God's peace, God's victory, God's power........
  • God promised David that He would give him a son who would walk with Him and be treated as His son. And God promised to establish his son's kingdom and chasten him when necessary. God also told David that it was this son who would build a house for Him.
  • In truth, God promised to establish David's throne forever.
Lessons

Every Christian has their dreams and plans to serve the Lord God.

But sometimes, God says "No" to our dreams and plans.

When He does, it is not to defeat us or discourage us.

In fact, God has far better plans for our future.

Sometimes, we witness the death of our dreams and we are broken-hearted.

But as we look through our life, we realize that God has a far better plan.

We have helped in raising up preachers, leaders, missionaries, teachers.........

We have helped in building up many families of God's people.......

We have helped in training children to be godly people.......

We have become partakers of God's kingdom, His rest, His peace, His power, His victory,.......

And God has blessed us with godly family.......

And God has established us and made us ever fruitful.......

And God has pardoned all our sins, clothed us with Christ's divine righteousness, and given us the power of the Holy Spirit to live a life of victory.

Remember...

When God said "No" to David's dream, He didn't leave him with a broken heart.

Instead, God soothed his heart with many precious words of how He was going to bless him.

God never leaves His children broken-hearted for long.

God knows how to love His children perfectly.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Greatest Desire To Serve The Lord God


2 Samuel 7:1-29

The Story

David desired to build God a permanent dwelling place.

This was a good desire and God praised him for having this dream.

This was a glorious desire because he desired not to receive from God; he just wanted to give something back to God Who had given him everything.

This was a godly desire because he had no ulterior motives in building God a house; he just wanted the Lord God glorified and honored.

Lessons

Every Christian must have the desire to build up the Church.

Every Christian must have the desire to take good care of the Church.

Every Christian must testify to the lost world that he or she is serving a God Who is worthy of the best he or she can give Him.

Every Christian must have the desire to serve God, and not just to receive favors from God.

We can never possibly repay the Lord God for all that He has done to us.

But we must have the desire within us to always see Him honored and glorified, at all cost.

And we must seek to build up the Church with no ulterior motives.

Our greatest desire is to see God's name glorified among all peoples.

Remember...

David desired to build God a permanent dwelling place, but God said "No"!

But David's desire was good, glorious and godly.

The Lord God praised him for this.

What about us?

What is our greatest desire to serve the Lord God?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

That Is Not My Plan For Your Life


2 Samuel 7:1-29

The Story

David was the King of Israel.

The nation of Israel was united and at peace.

David was enjoying a time of rest.

David spent time to meditate and reflect on the blessings and the grace of God.

A dream was born in his heart : he wanted to build God a permanent dwelling place.

Ever since the time of Moses, God's presence had dwelt in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle.

David wanted to give God a proper, permanent place to manifest His glorious presence.

But God said "No".

Lessons

David's reaction to God's "No" is something that we should all take to heart.

Many of us have dreamed to serve God in a greater and meaningful way.

We pray about it, telling God in great details what we will do.

But our dream never works out......

It is as if God has said to us,"That is not My plan for your life."

What do we do?

Remember...

David had desired to build God a permanent dwelling place, but God said "No"!

Look at what David did!

Many of us also have desired to serve God in a better or unique way, but God also says "No"!

What do we do?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Let God's Way be The Way


2 Samuel 6:11-19

The Story

A man named Obed-Edom was glad to have the Ark in his house...

For the LORD God had blessed him and his family abundantly!!!

When David heard of the blessings upon the house of Obed-Edom, he was very eager to bring the Ark home.

During the three months that passed after the death of Uzzah, David must have learned how the Ark was to be moved...... and he was ready and careful to do God's work God's way!

So he went to the house of Obed-Edom and got the Ark home the right way.

David's heart had been transformed.......

And he was getting what he went after.

He went after God and he was returning with the presence and power of God!

Lessons

So do believers who go after the LORD God with a heart to know Him, and who seek His face according to His revealed will.

They will receive what they are after.

When they stop trying to use fleshly means and worldly shortcuts to go after the LORD God.......

When they start going after the LORD God by honoring His Word and respecting His holiness.....

Then the LORD God will bless them with His presence and His power for His glory!

It is when we learn to line up with the LORD God.....

and go after Him with all our hearts....

....... That we will have Him and His blessings.

Remember...

It's when David started doing things God's way, that God blessed him!

It's when David started going after God, that he had His presence and His power!

David got the Ark home God's way.

Let God's way be the way.