September 19, 2021

Slave of God

 Romans 6:22

 As Christians, we want to serve God. We can serve God wherever we as long as we do our work with the intention of doing our best for the glory of God. It is not to say that our jobs define us. In fact, the Bible describes us in many ways. We are sometimes called children of God, brides of Christ and even slaves of God.

 

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Romans 6:22 ESV

 

In our world, no one wants to be a slave, yet we are called to be slaves of God. To be a slave is a very humble thing, and humility is a quality that God respects whereas pride is an attribute which God despises. We see this through out the Bible. For example, King Saul was a great king chosen by God, but when Saul tried to be the high priest also, God removed him from the throne. King David was humble and admitted his mistakes and understood everything has been given to him by God. Paul was also humble and understood that he was saved by grace.

 

All things we have achieved is from the grace of God. We may work hard, but it is God who makes the way and allows for us to be promoted and prosperous. It is God who protects us and gives us grace. Paul was the most educated and most decorated apostle, but he understood his position in God's kingdom and the price he could never pay back for his salvation. If Paul had never encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, he would have been lost and a hindrance to the spread of the Gospel.

 

Another man who understood humility was Albert Schweitzer. He was a missionary who practiced humility and not just talk about it. Once he was traveling by train and sat in the lowest section. When asked why he sat there, he answered that there was not a lower section to sit in. While some people doing God’s work demand some sort of immediate reward such as sitting in first class on a train, there are others who are slaves of God and live it truthfully to their Lord.

 

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luke 6:46 ESV

 

We often pray to God and call him Lord, but then make selfish requests. If we really treated God as Lord, our prayers would be asking God what He wants from us. We should seek out what God wants us to do and not request or demand what we want to do for God

 

If we want God to be our Lord, we have to be His servant. We must try to live good lives. We cannot just wait for Jesus to come back and live without a care for those around us or the coming of God’s kingdom. We are at war with the principalities of this world. We are in an army who seeks peace. If an army is made up of obedient soldiers, that army will be successful

 

Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:2 ESV

 

As slaves of God, we need to be obedient and faithful. Jesus humbled himself to do the task that was put to Him. Jesus accepted that God knew better than Him. We need to also accept that. We face many moments that we must make decisions. In those moments, we must seek God, be humble, be obedient and be faithful. This is done by living our lives for the glory for God. We should pray and think about the best way to serve and glorify God. We have to live in the reality of this world, but we can still live in a way that pleases God through our humble obedience.




September 12, 2021

Why Are We Sinners?


Matthew 18:23-34

 

In Matthew 18 Jesus tells the parable about a man in serious debt who is pardoned by his master Later the man who had his debts cancelled by his master insists that another man pay him back a debt that was much smaller. The master hears about this and throws the man who had serious debt into prison. The message is that we must forgive everyone because God has forgiven us.

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Matthew 6:12 ESV

 

In the Lord's prayer, we pray that God would forgive us like those whom we have forgiven. This forgiveness means to cancel a dept. The person who has wronged us now owes us nothing if we forgive them. Much We do not require anything from them because the debt has been removed. Much the same, when God forgives us, we are not required to pay or do anything because the debt is cancelled. Yet, some people do not see themselves in debt.

 

Because of Original Sin, we are all born under sin and are sinners. This is an important concept in Christianity and sometimes, this concept is lost in modern times. Many people these days do not see themselves as sinners and often see different sins as much more serious than others. Because they do not commit more serious sins or crimes, they do not believe they are sinners in need of forgiveness. They are good people who have earned their place in the world and all that belongs to them. Through their own merit, they owe nothing. 

 

Meritocracy is a system in which we are promoted on our merits and nothing else. The truth is that life is not fair. The people with good skills tend to have unfair advantages over others. People who have money will tend to make more money. The people who are educated usually come from homes or places with good education readily available. People born with long term health problems or are more susceptible to illness may be at an unfair advantage to those born healthy and strong. Although there are cases of people who rise above their circumstances, most of us are where we are because of hard work, a lot of luck and other people’s sacrifices.

 

The reality is that what we have is undeserved. It is by God's grace that we are here. We live because God gave us life. Our mothers had to endure much to birth us and later raise us when we could not take care of ourselves. If it were not our mothers raising us, then it was someone else who had to take care of us. Not one of us can say that they have no debts.

 

In fact, the world live in is a blessing to us. We take from the world and cannot truly pay back what we have taken. Currently the world is suffering because we have taken so much. This world was given to us by God. Our friends, family, country, history, and culture are all gifts we do not deserve but it was still given to us.

 

When non-Christians ask us why we are so concerned with sins, we can tell them that our debts have been paid. Our debts with God are something we cannot pay back. It is only through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that we can live debt free. This is why we need to be just as forgiving as Jesus was to us.



 


 

September 5, 2021

Offerings

 2 Corinthians 8:12-13

Christians are familiar with putting money in the offering box. We say that we are giving this money to God, but the reality is that God does not need our money or resources. If anyone who needs money, it is us. It is hard to live without money in our world.

God created all things and money is par of that creation. Although God may not have created money directly, through us, money was created. We were created in God’s image to carry on His purposes and to continue to create. Like all things created, money is not bad.

'This is the written account of Adam’s family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. '

Genesis 5:1

 Like all things in our world, money in itself is not bad but can be used in wrong ways. There are many accounts of evil people who donated their money to causes that have helped save the lives of many. Money coming from a good person or bad person also does not make money evil. So, we all need money and use money, but how do we make an offering to God? Paul talks about offerings suing three different words.

 I. Koinonia

Koinonia is one word Paul uses. There is no direct translation of this word into English but looking at three different English translations may give us some better understanding of the word’s meaning. The NLT version from Romans 15:26 reads, “offering for the poor among the believers,” whereas the NIV version is “make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people,” and the NSVR uses, “share their resources with the poor among the saints.” These different translations show us that the offering is not always money, but it can include resources. Koinonia also is about making a relationship with others in an intimate bond of support.

 'For you see, the believers in Macedonia and Achaia have eagerly taken up an offering for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. 'Romans 15:26 NLT

 ‘For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. ' Romans 15:26 NIV

 'for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. ' Romans 15:26 NSVR

 II. Diakoneo

 Another Greek word Paul uses is diakoneo. This is the practice of serving one another. It is to show our willingness or eagerness to do God’s work and glorify God. These offerings or donations are to serve others while glorifying God.

 'What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. '  2 Corinthians 8:19-20 NIV

 'He was appointed by the churches to accompany us as we take the offering to Jerusalem —a service that glorifies the Lord and shows our eagerness to help. We are traveling together to guard against any criticism for the way we are handling this generous gift. ' 2 Corinthians 8:19-20 NLT

 'and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this generous undertaking for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our goodwill. We intend that no one should blame us about this generous gift that we are administering, ' 2 Corinthians 8:19-20 NSVR

 This service is not charity. Charity is when we have more or are in a better position to help others less fortunate than us. Also, the expectation of charity is to be rewarded. Serving is the practice of helping others because we must as our duty. We are not expecting a reward, but rather we do this because we know this is what is required of us. Jesus addresses in Matthew.

 ' “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. ' Matthew 6:2 NIV

 III. Charites

 The third word Pal uses is charites which means privilege or in some versions grace. Paul shows us that offering is a privilege or grace that we can show other people who are God is.

 'they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. '  

2 Corinthians 8:4 NIV

 Whenever we give an offering to the church, it goes to one of other brothers or sisters in Christ. The money in the offering box is just money, but when it is used to serve God be supporting one of our brothers or sisters, it then becomes an offering. The people who respond to the grace of God and are willing to give make an offering otherwise it is just money going into a box or envelope.

 'For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. '

 2 Corinthians 8:12-13 NIV

The willingness needs grace and an understanding that we are sinners who have been saved through Jesus’ sacrifice. Our gifts are acceptable by what one has and not what is beyond our means. It is not about the amount, but what our situation allows. Some give as much as they can because they expect to get some gain, but this is wrong thinking. We should give to create equality. We need to remember that we are all brothers and sisters, and we all need to support one another. We also need to accept help from one another.

 God has given us a great gift and we can respond to that great gift through grace and give offerings for God to help his people, who are our brothers and sisters, as needed.





August 29, 2021

Freedoms

Romans 13:1-5

We all want freedom, but we don’t usually understand what that means. The freedoms that we desire may put us into bondage. Many young people will complain about not having enough freedom, but when they become adults and are no longer under the constant supervision of teachers and parents, they may start to miss the authority they were under. This is because the freedom they are pursuing is not aligned with God’s authority and ultimately leads to regret and bondage. It can be hard to exercise your freedom to follow God if you have never been given the chance, but true freedom come to submitting to God’s rule. 

Most people do not understand true freedom and bondage and try to gain freedom through some selfish practices. True freedom does not mean we can do whatever we want whenever we want. It is not about making ourselves the most important thing our lives. True freedom is not resisting the call of submitting to authority except your own. Also, it is not found in writing your own moral code. Finally, it is not the result of getting your own way. Attempting to gain freedom through those methods will eventually lead to bondage. 

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 

Romans 13:1

God puts people in authority, and we need to acknowledge this. There is an order in this world, and some are in authority, and we all must behave in a manner that God has ordained. When we do not behave in this manner, we go into bondage, and no one will see freedom. Just like a bird in a cage, or a dog kept on a short leash, no one will look at a caged bird or tied up dog and say they have freedom. Both the bird and the dog are not living in the way God had created them to live.

In Romans 13, Paul addresses this very problem of true freedom and in verse two, Paul tells us what happens when we do not submit.

Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 

Romans 13:2

Although Paul is talking about the rulers and governments of this world, he is also talking about submitting to God and the kingdom of God. Our submission is not just in this world, it goes to heaven. By submitting to the authorities of this world which God has established, we are submitting to God. God is the creator of this world and expects us to be under his laws. Judgement will come on us in the physical world as well as with spiritual grief.  

Freedom and authority are not our enemies. If we try to come out from authority, this is not freedom. When we try to achieve freedom from, money, relationships, or fame, we will go into bondage. 

When we find ourselves going into bondage, we need to go back under God’ authority. The church is the gift of God that will help us to live as good Christians. We cannot do things on our own outside of the church. We need to encourage each other and support each other to do good works and stay in authority under God. The church is also to remind us of the importance of grace. It is only by grace that we are saved.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Romans 6:22

Freedom does not come from coming out of authority. If we want to experience true freedom, we need to submit to God’s authority like slaves of righteousness.




August 8, 2021

Given


Judges 1:1-7

 

As the leader of the Israelites, Moses appointed Joshua to be his successor after they crossed the River Jordan.  Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness for 40 years, but Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land and could only see it beyond the River Jordan.

 

Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”

Deuteronomy 34:4

 

Moses was not allowed to enter, and Joshua led the children of Israel into the promised land instead. This was not because Moses was less of a leader than Joshua. We know Moses as very special to God and the greatest prophet.

 

'Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, ' 

Deuteronomy 34:10

 

 Joshua was Moses’ successor so that the work God had started with Moses would be continued through Joshua in the way God wanted it to be done.  Both Moses and Joshua led the children of Israel to serve and love God.

 

'For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. '

Deuteronomy 30:16

 

Although Moses and the children of Israel had failed God, God never abandoned them. Moses learned through his mistakes that he had to serve God completely.  Moses learned that his role was to led the people to God's love. This is what a leader is in the biblical sense. Moses started off his leadership with excuses on why he should not be the leader. For God it did not matter that Moses was slow to speak or eloquent. God wanted Moses to lead them to know and love who God was.

 

Joshua was able to lead the Israelites into success and conquered enemies, but this was not because Joshua was a good leader. Joshua understood that victories came from God. Joshua won battles because he asked God for the victories and God gave them.

 

These days Christians feel that adults must be responsible for their lives. A responsible adult has the resources and strength to work at their success. Yet, Jesus tells something very different.

 

'Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. '

Matthew 18:3-4

 

The adult in this case is not a physically grown person, but that person who is arrogant and does not see a need for God. Jesus clearly tells us that a person who does not believe they need God is someone who cannot enter the heaven. The people who will enter heaven are the people like children who constantly seek God and ask what they should do or ask for His gifts.

 

We see the Israelites being humble like Children and asking God for His guidance and blessings.

 

'After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?” '

Judges 1:1

 

Today, we still need to seek God's direction and love. We cannot do things in our own strength; we need to rely on God like children and put God first in our decisions. However, we do need to be responsible.

 

'The Lord answered, “Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands.” '

Judges 1:2

 

Although God gives Israel the victory, Judah still needs to go and claim that victory through battle. Yes, we God to God in all things, but we still need to act and be responsible for the church. This responsibility is not selfish or self glorifying, but it is the responsibility of looking out for others, our love for God and building up the church.

 

Because of God's love, Moses could relinquish his responsibilities to Joshua and allow someone else to complete God's work. The Israelites were able to cross the Jordan because of God's love and mercy and not because of anything they had done. We do have work to do, but it is God who allows us to do the work and it is God who completes the work.

 

'Then Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off have picked up scraps under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them.” They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there. '

Judges 1:7

 

We read here, that God punished Adoni-Bezek for his arrogance. This was a mighty king who had defeated seventy other kings, and God wanted to teach the children of Israel that God was in charge and it was God who defeated this might king.

 

In our lives, we must ask God for direction. God wants us to have a genuine relationship with Him. Asking for trivial things will probably not result in great prayers, revelations or answers, but God does want to be in control of our lives. The truth is that we can make great plans, but it is God who will allow these plans to manifest or give us different direction all together.






August 1, 2021

Blindness

John 9: 1-11

In John 9, we read about a man who was blind from birth. The disciples ask Jesus who was responsible for the man's blindness. People like the disciples believed at that time that blindness was the result of a direct sin. It would be bad enough being blind and never being able to see, but even worse to have everyone look down on you because they believed you were being punished for some sin.

His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

John 9: 2

Jesus gives an answer that surprises everyone and angered a few.

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

 John 9: 3

Jesus tells the disciples that God has chosen this person to reveal his glory and that his blindness was not a result of someone's sin, but an opportunity to show God's healing power. Jesus then makes mud with his own saliva and applies it to the blind man's eyes. Jesus then tells the blind man to wash in the pool of Siloam which the blind man does and his sight is restored. 

The blind man's closed eyes were open, and Jesus wants to open our closed eyes as well. Our closed eyes are our spiritual eyes, and being blind spiritually is much worse than physical blindness. Being blind means being lost in the darkness and never being able to see the dangers that are in front of us. A physically blind person or someone with poor vision can use tools or operations to improve our sight. Satan blinds our spiritual eyes so that we cannot see the dangers of sin.

Mount Sinai is a place where pilgrims will go to experience what Moses felt when he met God. The pilgrims go up the mountain in the dark with lanterns and flashlights and when they reach the top it is still dark. Finally the sun comes up and the light reveals all the beauty and majesty that was hidden in the darkness.

While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

 John 9: 3

Jesus is the light that takes away the darkness. We later read that the blind man confesses that he believes in Jesus. The Pharisees question the blind man and accept that Jesus healed the blind man but then start to criticize Jesus had healed on the sabbath. The Pharisees miss the main point of the man being healed and argue why Jesus could not be sent from God. They fail to realize that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath and is above those laws.

For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.

Matthew 12:8

Jesus did not need to obey the Laws from Moses whereas people need to obey Jesus. We often act like the Pharisees do. We feel we are above God's laws and criticize the laws .

“For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

John 9:39

The people who could open their eyes were the ones who understood they were blind and need Jesus to open their eyes and be their savior. The Pharisees did not accept that they were spiritually blind. In fact, they believed they were seeing things in the true light. They remained in spiritual darkness. They could accept that they might be blind. Many people insist that because they have attended church for a long time or know the scriptures they cannot be blind.


Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

John 9: 40-41

God wants us to live a life with open spiritual eyes that sees the truth. It is only then we can see the work that God wants us to do and see His working power. Our physical eyes may see beauty in things that are not beautiful to God. We must realize that we cannot do anything without Jesus to please God. We cannot see the truth without Jesus' light. As the world becomes darker we must humbly rely on Jesus to be our light. 





July 31, 2021

Online Church Services from August 1 to August 8

For the next two Sundays at 2:00 pm we will have our Sunday English service online through Zoom. A Zoom ink has been posted in our KakaoTalk group chatroom for the Sunday service. There is no password to enter, but we will use a waiting room. 

We will also have small groups through Zoom after the service at 3:00 pm. Your small group leaders will share the Zoom link for the small group sessions. 

Hopefully the COVID-19 situation in Daejeon will improve and we can meet again face to face in Vision Hall.

Remember to continue to pray for one another.


July 25, 2021

Mission

 Acts 16:19-34

 We are all called to be missionaries although this does not mean we have to quit our current jobs and leave our homes to parts unknown. Having said that, we are still required to be the salt and the light to the world to show them the message of Christ. It is in our daily lives now that we are missionaries.

 

Paul was one missionary from the Bible that spread the Word of God and is an example for us to study when we talk about mission work. Paul preached in many places and suffered because of his preaching. He was put in prison for his preaching of the Gospel. In this age, most of us will not face the same persecution as Paul, but we will still face difficulties.

 

God calls us to mission and the holy spirit works through us. This means we must follow where the spirit leads us. Paul and Silas wanted to go to Asia, but Jesus wanted Paul and Silas to go to Macedonia. Eventually, Paul and Silas ended up in Philippi where they meet Lydia and are later arrested to healing a demon possessed fortune teller.

 

In prison, we do not have the freedom to do what we want. It is not a place you would want to go. While many people would have lamented their unfortunate circumstances being in prison, Paul and Silas prayed and praised God. They found joy and purpose despite their hard circumstances. We do not read that God heard their prayers, but we do read that the prisoners heard these praises and prayers. God used Paul and Silas mightily in the most unlikely place.

 

John Wesley understood that we must preach the Gospel to everyone in every possible place that God wants us to preach. At one time the Anglican Church only wanted John Wesley to preach to the congregation and in church, but Wesley preached everywhere he could. Even though the Anglican church tried to restrict where he could preach, he continued to reach out to lost souls at every chance he could.

 

If God has sent you somewhere, it is because there is a mission there and this is our mission field. God led Paul and Silas to prison, and, despite the horrible circumstances, they stay after the miraculous earthquake which open all the doors and loosed all the chains.

 

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.

Acts 16:25-26 ESV

 

Paul did not see this as a sign to escape from the prison. Paul knew he could escape, yet Paul stayed behind to do God’s work and save more people. Paul also knew that the guard would be executed if the prisoners had escaped, so he stayed behind to save the guard’s life. Paul understood that his mission was at the prison.

 

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.

Acts 16:31-33 ESV

 

Today, many missions have been closed because of COVID-19. Our environment is not good to go out and meet new people.  Mission work does not have to stop. We must follow the way of Jesus and bear our cross. We must have a good relationship with God, and this is done by praying and praising God. Our worship will help us to complete our mission which God has given us.





July 11, 2021

Daughter

 Mark 5:25-34

Jesus was on his way to see Jairus' house to heal his twelve-year-old daughter. A crowd had surrounded Jesus and as people were pressing around him a sick women touched Jesus' clothes with the intention of being healed. What happens next is a miracle. The woman is healed, and Jesus knows that His healing power has left him. The healing is amazing, but more amazing is that Jesus was able to determine that someone had touched him to be healed. After the woman confess what had happened, Jesus gives a strong and pertinent message to all Christians regardless of their status or gender.

 

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Mark 5:34 ESV

 

The sick women had lost everything and suffered trying to be healed over many years. No doubt her hope had been dashed many times and may have even been conned by people offering promises they knew they could not keep or worse, sincere people trying to heal her but failing in their attempts and further crushing her spirit.

 

And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.

Mark 5:25-26 ESV

 

Obviously, the women had heard that Jesus was a healer and wanted to be cured by him. Jesus was her last hope, but how could a woman, and a sick one at that, get an audience with Jesus. She believed so much in Jesus that she convinced herself that just by touching Jesus' clothes she could be healed.

 

She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”

Mark 5:27-28 ESV

 

Miracles do happen and science cannot explain everything. Often modern medicine cannot fix all our health problems, and it often cannot heal them completely at every level. In this case, the woman not only was healed physically, but she had received salvation from Jesus.

 

But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.

Mark 5:33 ESV

 

The woman told Jesus the whole truth. She left nothing out but spoke to Jesus about what Jesus had done for physically but also spiritually. The woman confesses that Jesus is the truth and the way to eternal life.

 

If we do not embrace the truth completely that God gives through His son, Jesus, our lives will be full of confusion, pain, and doubt. We cannot just hear the word; we must experience the word. Jesus’ response is simple and for all sons and daughters of God.

 

 

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Mark 5:34 ESV

 

It is our faith that allows the power of God to work in our lives.

 

For some Christians, they come to church on Sundays to get an eternal insurance; however, these Christians will not experience the power of God because they do not put in the effort that is needed to do their job.

 

Jesus also tells her to go in peace. Before encountering Jesus, she did not have peace in her life. Her life before was suffering and loss, but now she has Jesus with her. What more could she want? What more could anyone want. People who have heard about Jesus will not have this peace. The woman had heard about Jesus, but it was not until she touched Jesus that her life was restored. It is the people who have experienced Jesus who will have peace.

 

Sons and daughters of God have the privilege to have the peace of God and not practice sin. Jesus gives us the ability not to live in sin and be free of its grip. Let us  practice that privilege while doing the good works set before us by God.





July 4, 2021

Prosperous Life

Genesis 39: 19-23

There are many ways to classify people, and one way to do this is by how prosperous a person is in the kingdom of God. We can further put them into one of three types of people of prosperous people.

 

1.       There are people who live in opposition to God. They cause much harm to others and themselves and although at times they may prosper, it is for a short time.

2.       There are people who live their lives without meaning. Their lives are self-centered, and their prosperity is for them only and short lived.

3.       There are people who live to please God. They bring blessings to everyone. Whatever they do, they do it for the glory of God and, consequently, God blesses their work and those around them also get to enjoy God’s blessings. However, they may go through rough times when their prosperity is not apparent, but in the end they and others are blessed richly.

Joseph was like the third kind of prosperous person. Joseph was a person who brought prosperity to everyone whom he encountered. He provided blessings to all even to those who had wished him harm and did not deserve to be blessed. Joseph endured many hardships but remained faithful to God and His commandments.

The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master.

Genesis 39:2 ESV

 From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

Genesis 39:5-6 ESV

Joseph was a sincere man. He was genuine to God and because of his sincerity with God, Joseph could accept all the difficulties in his life that came to him. Now, it was not easy for Joseph, he had to work at his sincerity. As a slave, he was honest and prospered, yet he was put into prison because of false accusations.

 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.

Genesis 39:19-20 ESV

 Faith is not a gamble. We know that the outcome will be good when we act faithfully. True faith is doing our work for God. We can be sure that God will use our good works for His kingdom, and we will be successful. That success may take time and involve sacrifices, but it is only when we act faithfully that we are truly successful. Joseph knew that turning away from God and His rules is a sin and it is better to be faithful to God.

 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”

Genesis 39:8-9 ESV

 Joseph feared God more than the pleasure of sin. In fact, he fled the temptation as if his life depended on it. Joseph did the right thing; however, he still went to prison even though he was innocent.

 Joseph’s story is like Jesus’ story. Jesus was executed for crimes he did not commit. He was hated by many and punished for doing what is right. Yet, Jesus always acted faithfully to God and did not compromise. He knew that God would do good things through His faithfulness and even change the punishment into some beneficial not just for Him, but for many others.

 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

Romans 1:1 ESV

 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.

Genesis 45:5 ESV

 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Genesis 50:20 ESV

 Those who believe in God do not complain because they know that God is in control and God is using the painful circumstances to bring us and others closer to God. God’s plan is usually not apparent to us, but if we have the knowledge and accept that God’s plans are for good, we can overcome the difficulties.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 ESV

We need to be victorious through the One who died on the cross. We need to live a purposeful life that renounces sin and strives to do the God's work if we want to be successful.