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Showing posts from December, 2021

Acts 7:44 – 53

In these verses, Stephen was preaching to the Jewish leaders the history of Israel, from Abraham to Isaac, to Joseph, to Moses and so on. He kept emphasizing the fact that Israel always seemed to reject God's true witness. Stephen mentioned in v51 that they “always resist the Holy Spirit”. They did not allow God to cut away the carnality of their inner being. They would not allow God to speak to them through His messengers. They were self-righteous and self-sufficient.  Today, we can resist the Holy Spirit by rejecting what He has revealed, ignoring what He has said, and disobeying His commands. We are resisting Him when we close our ears to what He has to say because we find it offensive. Everything the Holy Spirit reveals to us is true. We must approach God's Word with a heart that submits to its authority, a heart that wants to know "the mind of the Spirit," and a heart that wants to conform to what the Spirit says. Let us not be people who are stiffnecked and woul

Isaiah 9:2 - 7

May the light of Christ fill your heart and mind as you celebrate His birth today. Blessed Christmas! Isaiah says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” While Isaiah is announcing good news, did you notice that he is also admitting the reality of the darkness? Darkness can be real, powerful and painful and it’s not something that’ll easily go away. The worst thing about the darkness is that the evil one behind it has a list of ways to keep you in the dark. Hurts and aches cast a shadow on the lives of many. Halls aren’t decked with boughs of holly when families go through pain and sorrow. And there’s not a lot of Fa la la’s when finances are tight and the bills aren’t paid. Another of Satan’s greatest weapons for keeping us in the dark is sin; which permeates all of our lives especially when we try to rationalize them. The darkness can seem unrelenting and unending, but the truth is, the

Search Me, O God (Psalm 139:23 - 24)

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Stephen Covey stated that “We judge ourselves by our intentions. And others by their actions.” I have thought much about it and realized that this is quite true. Covey was implying that we ought to be aware of our hypocrisy when we make our judgments on others based on our own good, but often flawed, intentions. Hypocrisy is a real problem! In Matthew 23:27-28, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law of their hypocrisies. They seemed righteous on the outside but were wicked on the inside. In Isaiah, we will find God confronting His people of their hypocritical worship for they worshipped him with their lips but their hearts were far away, for they do not fear Him (Isaiah 29:13-14). What do you suppose God will find in your heart? Will He find a true worshipper or a hypocrite? Will He find a heart that delights in Him or des

Zephaniah 3

God created us to be worshipers of him. If we do not worship God, we will worship something or someone else, and worship of anything but God is self-destructive. If we worship God alone, however, he fulfills us. This is seen in Zephaniah’s prophecy as he describes the city of Jerusalem in two very different conditions – in a state of rebellion and distance from God, and then in a state of restoration and fellowship with God. At the heart of the contrast is misdirected worship stemming from the disease of pride. Pride shuts down the flow of worship, is toxic in our lives, and fools us into serving false gods. Humility is the medicine – when we turn and humbly seek God, a life of joy and righteousness results. God gives us “pure speech” and transforms us into true worshipers as we accept his grace and yield to his lordship over all things (Zeph. 3:9). As both our Judge and Redeemer, God is “the mighty one who will save” us from ourselves (v.17). God’s redemption was ultimately fulfilled


Briefly, in the book of Hosea, for the first part (Hosea 1 – 3), is about the family life of Hosea. His marriage to an adulterous woman, Gomer, is symbolic of the relationship between God and the Israelites. When you read from Hosea 1, you will note that it was the Lord who ordered Hosea to marry Gomer “because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery” (Hosea 1:2). Their sins have broken the relationship with God, but yet God continued to love them and longed to take them back. In Hosea 3, it started by God asking Hosea to love his wife again even though she has been unfaithful to him and left him for other men. He obeyed and paid 15 shekels of silver plus barley to bring her back as it was evident that she has become a slave thus need to be bought. Then in verse 4, it states that Israel would go through many days “without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol.” This indicates the fallen state of Israel. After that (verse 5), then they will return a

Prince of Peace

Jesus is often referred to as the Prince of Peace. This name comes from Isaiah 9:6, a passage often quoted during the Christmas season. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 THE BRINGER OF PEACE This title, “The Prince of Peace,” implies that Jesus is the one who can and will bring peace. He is the peace giver, and is the ruler of peace. Jesus said this of Himself in  John 14:27:  “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” THREE LEVELS OF PEACE The peace that Jesus brings has three different levels. First and most significant is that we have peace with God. Through Jesus Christ, we are redeemed, forgiven, and reconciled to God forever. Though we were dead in our sins living as enemies of God, Jes

How To Be A Good Father And Husband : An Example From The Nativity Story (Matthew 1:18‭-‬25)

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate t

When the church needed to learn to treat all the widows fairly (Acts 6:1 - 8)

6 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a] among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests beca

Who do you obey? (Acts 5:22 - 32)

The background of today’s passage is that the apostles were arrested for the second time. They were just freed from prison by an angel of the Lord and the apostle went back out to Jerusalem to preach the Gospel. Again, the Jewish leaders threaten the apostles to stop teaching about Jesus, salvation and resurrection (v.28). Incredibly, Peter and the other apostles defied their warning and replied “We must obey God rather than man”. Obedience to God. In the face of real persecution and arrest, Peter and the apostles essentially told the Jewish leaders, we will not listen to you. We will not stop preaching about Christ. When human values conflict with biblical values, it is clear, biblical values and God’s commands must prevail. In today’s culture, there are many opposing human values that threatens biblical values and people might find themselves confuse or under pressure to accept what the world says. So much so that, it is unfortunate to read in the news that some churches have succu

Acts 5:12 - 21

This passage describes the difficulties the apostles faced in preaching the Gospel and carrying out God's will. The early church experienced the Lord’s power through many miracles performed by the apostles (5:12,15,16). Jesus had told the apostles that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them to be His witnesses (1:8). Sometimes obeying God will put us in a place of danger and harm. But as soldiers of the cross, we must be ready and willing to obey our Commander without hesitation or complaint. The apostles were performing miracles of healing and deliverance, and then got put into prison. The Lord sent an angel to deliver them, and in doing so, they were commanded to “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life” (5:20). That command will surely put them into trouble again. They did not question the command and went to the temple courts at daybreak (5:21).  Because of their obedience to God, they feared the Lord’s holiness and know

TO MYSELF AND TO GOD (Acts 4:32 to 5:11)

Today’s passage starts like this: Vs 32 “All the believers were one in heart and mind”, they sold their possessions and brought the money to the apostles, leaving it to them to administer the funds. They were so committed to God and to one another that they were willing to “have all things in common.”. One of those who sold a field and gave the proceeds to the church was a man named Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas. (Verse 36) A question for us to think about this morning is “What made those early Christians sell their property and give to the poor through the church? It’s in verse 33 that Luke reveals the source of this amazing community’s unity and generosity. While only the apostles were endowed with “great power” to testify to Christ’s resurrection, the entire church receives “great grace”. Grace enabled these early Christians to transcend the fascination with self and replace it with concern for the whole community as the highest priority. So along

Been With Jesus (Acts 4:12-22)

What keeps you for being special as a Christian? We have different reasons, example, lack of education, not much gifting, don't know any VIP and so forth. Seriously, what is your reason? Whatever it may be, consider this verse, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled". Peter and John were merely fishermen, no chance of going school, not to mention graduate with a degree, yet they were special. The religious leaders were marveled by them! Something extraordinary about them. What were their conclusion of the disciples' 'special-ness'? Here it is, "And they realized that they had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13) Simply "they had been with Jesus." Have you been with Jesus? No one can remain the same when "they had been with Jesus." Habitual negative thinking and emotion lose control over our lives. We have power to overcome sins and temptations. We kn