God loves you, and He wants everyone to wholeheartedly love and obey Him (Deuteronomy 6:4-6). Do not imitate what is evil but what is good and holy (Psalm 34:14). God’s marvelous grace and love is not our license to live immoral and sinful lives (Jude 1:4). Anyone who does what is good is from God (3 John 1:11). Whoever does continual evil does not know God (1 John 3:6, 9-10). So, let everyone humble themselves, pray and seek God and turn from their wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14). As we turn from our sins and trust in Jesus, God will faithfully hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and bring complete restoration (salvation) (Romans 10:9-13).
Who Is God?
God is love (1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16). The Lord God is good and His faithful love endures from generation to generation (Psalm 100:5; 2 Chronicles 7:3; Jeremiah 33:11). Since the creation of the world, God’s love and faithfulness are seen all around us. Reading the Holy Bible gives everyone a vibrant picture of a loving and holy God (Exodus 34:6-7; Leviticus 19:2; and Jeremiah 32:47). Writers such as King David, the Apostle Paul and Jesus’ disciples give readers a remarkable and personal description of God and His features (Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:16-20; and 1 John 4:8-10).
God created the universe and all living things (Genesis 1-3).
God is powerful and strong (Exodus 14:10-31).
God is ALL loving (John 3:16).
So, who is God? The Lord God is “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever” (1 Timothy 1:17, NIV). God is omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (everywhere), and omniscient (all knowing) (Psalm 147:5; Proverbs 15:3; Genesis 1:1). For the Lord God is “compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished . . .” (Exodus 34:6-7, NIV).
Who Is Jesus?
JESUS! The Holy Scriptures call Him many names—the Anointed One, Messiah, Christ, Redeemer, Teacher, and Prophet. The Scripture writers reveal Jesus as a humbled Servant of God, who suffered for the sins of the entire world, and will return from Glory. The Apostle Paul of the New Testament called Jesus “the Lord.” The Book of Hebrews describes Jesus as God’s great and final High Priest, who makes the final sacrifice and is the Sacrifice of God for human sins. Most important, Jesus Christ is the Word of God, God in the flesh, and the Son of the living God (Mark 1:1; John 20:30-31). He is best known as the Savior of the World (Matthew 1:21).
Jesus is part of the Trinity. God is Creator and Ruler of the universe who exists externally as a Trinity of three persons—the God the Father, the God the Son (Jesus Christ), and the God the Holy Spirit. God the Father is the first person of the Trinity, who controls all things according to His will and perfect purpose. The Holy Spirit gives the power and guidance for right living, convicting humankind of sins and their need for Jesus Christ. The Trinity is a picture of the unique relationship of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and is one of the most important ideas of the Christian faith. The Holy Scriptures affirm the existence of the Trinity, including Jesus Christ’s final words in Matthew 28:19 (see also, e.g., Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:22; Isaiah 6:8).
The Scripture writers reveal and prove that Jesus is both fully human and fully God, who has existed before the creation of the world. The Holy Scriptures reveal that Jesus came down from God the Father, emptied Himself, and became like a human to save all people from their sins. He was with God in the beginning as Creator and Sustainer of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1). The New Testament writers Matthew and Luke established Jesus as a descendant to King David, to Moses, to Abraham, and to Adam (Matthew 1:1-17; Matthew 2:1-6; Luke 3:34, 38).
Yet, Jesus’ earthly ministry began humbly with His birth in Bethlehem, the “city of David.” Two Gospels, Matthew and Luke, tell of His mother Mary’s miraculous, virgin conception through power of God’s Holy Spirit. Angels announced Jesus’ coming. Shepherds heard, came, and wondered, and Magi (Wise Men) came later to bring gifts. Seldom, if ever, did Jesus call Himself the customary terms “Messiah” or “Son of God.”
Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:11-16) “who went about doing good” while on earth (Acts 10:38). He continues to do good to people that trust in Him as Savior and Lord. Jesus is filled with love, gentleness, encouragement, justice, and truth (Isaiah 42:1-4; Matthew 12:18-21). During His earthly ministry, He healed all kinds of people, raised some from the dead, cast out evil spirits, and calmed a raging storm. He kept company with sinners, prostitutes, and tax collectors (Mark 2:17). Jesus’ humility, suffering, and mercy on the Cross at Calvary revealed His strength and power.
Even more, Jesus taught on the importance of the absolute obedience, faithfulness, and love for God. He taught all people to live on earth by His teachings on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and by love for God and our neighbors (Matthew 22:34-40; John 13:34-35). Most important, Jesus lived a sinless and pure life, and He willingly gave His life as a sacrifice for human sin by dying selflessly on the Cross at Calvary. On the Cross, Jesus carried our sins, weaknesses, sickness, disease, and sorrows. He was pierced, crushed, beaten, and whipped so that people can be whole and healthy in all aspects of life (see also Isaiah 57:18). The Apostle Paul connected Jesus’ death to the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, people offered animals as sacrifices for their sins to obtain forgiveness. Jesus Christ became humankind’s final Sacrifice as the sinless and spotless Lamb to eliminate sins of all people for those who believe (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:29; Revelation 5:6-14). He welcomes all people with open arms of love (John 3:16)!
When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some think He is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets." He pressed them, "And how about you? Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:13-16 (MSG)
The entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God without error and the authority on which we base our faith, our life and doctrine.
Jesus died on the cross, shed His blood for our sins and became the complete and final sacrifice for human sins according to the Scriptures. Jesus Christ arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High. Jesus is now our High Priest and Advocate. The blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrections provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe.
Water baptism by immersion soon after accepting Jesus Christ one’s personal Lord and Savior as a testimony of the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ and a symbol to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a curious passage in the Talmud (the body of Jewish civil and religious law) which says that Moses gave six hundred laws to the ancient Israelites. As these laws or commands proved too numerous to commit to memory, King David brought these laws or commands down to eleven in Psalm 15. The prophet Isaiah reduced these eleven laws or commands to six at Isaiah 33:15. The prophet Micah further reduced the commands to three at Micah 6:8. The prophet Isaiah once more brought them down to two at Isaiah 56:1. These two command the prophet Amos reduced to one (Amos 5:4). However, lest it might be supposed from this that God could be found only in the fulfillment of the Law, the prophet Habakkuk said, “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). William H. Saulez, The Romance of the Hebrew Language (Classic Reprint), originally published 1913 and reprinted 2012.
In the New Testament at Matthew 22:34-40, a religious leader asked Jesus which are the most important commandments in the Law of Moses. Jesus replied:“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire Law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40, NLT).
An ancient writer Jerome (A.D. 374-419) tells of the frail and old apostle John telling his congregation, “Love one another.” When asked why he talked of nothing else, the apostle John replied, “Because it is the Lord’s command, and if this only done, it is enough” (see John 13:34-35).
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 (NIV). I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are My followers if you love each other. John 13:34-35 (NCV).
For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 (NLT).
What is love? "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. . . . So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 (ESV)
1 So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to Him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to Him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship. 2 Do not change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect. Romans 12:1-2 (NCV)
God wants everyone to love and obey Him and live righteous lives filled with goodness and kindness towards others (see Matthew 6:33; 2 Peter 1:5-9).
In the regular taking of the Lord’s Supper as a memorial service of what the Lord Jesus did for us on the Cross at Calvary.
18 Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations [all people, all races, and all tribes – Jews, Gentiles, white, black, Muslin, heterosexuals, homosexuals, young, old, rich, poor, etc.], baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)
24God is strong and can help you not to fall. He can bring you before His glory without any wrong in you and can give you great joy. 25 He is the only God, the One who saves us. To Him be glory, greatness, power, and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord for all time past, now, and forever. AMEN. Jude 1:24-25 (NCV)
Day of the Lord January 14, 2017
Revelation 16 is God’s third and final judgment against sinful and disobedient humanity. The end has come! On this day, the sovereign God repays evildoers and the unrighteous for their sins and injustices (Revelation 16:5-7; see also Isaiah 49:26; Galatians 6:7). God has given everyone an opportunity to repent and turn to Him with the seal judgments (Revelation 6) and then with the trumpet judgment (Revelation 8-9). Sadly, some people decided to accept the mark of the beast and worship the evil forces of this world (see Revelation 13:16-18).
Revelation 16 reveals that the Lord God Almighty is clearly in control and will take His vengeance upon evil! Similar to the trumpet judgments, the final bowl judgments draw heavily for their symbolism on the ten Egyptian plagues from the Old Testament. God’s judgments are neither vengeful nor impulsive, but an expression of His righteous and holy nature (see Psalm 119:137). God will bring judgment upon individuals and nations that violate His moral commands (e.g., see Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
Revelation chapter 16 opens with John, the human author, hearing a mighty voice from the Temple to seven angels saying, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God” (Revelation 16:1, ESV). So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores or ulcers came upon everyone people who had the mark of the beast and worshipped his image (Revelation 16:2; see also Exodus 9:9-11; Deuteronomy 28:27, 35; Revelation 13:16). The first bowl judgment is God’s justice against those who give allegiance and worship to sinfulness and evil (Revelation 16:2; see also Revelation 14:9-10). Then, the second angel poured out his bowl upon the oceans, and the oceans became like the watery blood of a dead man. Everything in all the oceans died (Revelation 16:3 see also Exodus 7:19-21). Afterwards, the third angel poured out his bowl upon the rivers and springs and they became blood (Revelation 16:4 see also Psalm 78:44).
Then, John heard the angel of the waters proclaiming:
“Holy One, You are the One who is and who was. You are right to decide to punish these evil people. They have poured out the blood of Your holy people and Your prophets. So now You have given them blood to drink as they deserve. . . . Yes, Lord God Almighty, the way You punish evil people is right and fair.” Revelation 16:5-7 (NCV)
16 “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him (Jesus). But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18 (NLT)
When you believe in God’s Son, God freely saves you by His grace and adopts you into His family (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:8-9). Even more, God graciously gives you His Holy Spirit to live inside your hearts as proof of salvation and empower you to live like His Son, Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:22). Everyone who confesses that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God (1 John 4:15). God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. In Jesus, everyone finds the fullness of God, eternal life, and God’s endless love (Romans 5:1-5; Colossians 2:9-10).
If you need a salvation, come to God’s only begotten Son, Jesus! Simply say this prayer from your heart: “Lord Jesus, I believe that You died for my sins, that You was buried (really dead), and that You rose again from complete death with all power and authority. I repent of my sins and turn to You as my Lord and Savior.” The Holy Scriptures teach:
9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in Him (Jesus) will never be disgraced.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on Him.13 For “Everyone who calls on the Name of the LORD will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13 (NLT)
In one God, Creator of all nature and history, existing and reigning in three distinct Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Every believer should through the ministry of the Holy Spirit glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, obey God’s Holy Word and be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. As people of God, our eternal hope, joy and answers to life’s problems come through a daily personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God who came to this earth incarnate as Savior of the world and was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.