Monthly Archives: October 2010

30th October 2010 – Entering into His rest

Hebrews 4:10, 11 He who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

What a wonderful rest in Him the Lord has given! It is the same rest by which Moses spoke and told the Israelites before they cross the Red Sea to ‘Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord’ (Exodus 14:13). Although Moses stood still in the Lord (with some prayer and cries to the Lord), the Lord then told him to raise the rod which symbolize the anointing of God upon his life (Exodus 14:16). Thus we have the combination of standing still and being diligent. How does one rest and yet be diligent? The key is to rest upon the grace and anointing which God has already imparted for the situation in hand. The parting of the Red Sea was God’s work but the raising of the rod was Moses’ part. The rod by itself meant nothing but since the call of God upon Moses, the rod that he had used during his herdsman days became the symbol and the activating of the power of God in his life. The Lord expects us to tap upon the grace of God that He has already imparted into our lives as we rest in Him and see His victory and triumph in our lives.

The apostle Paul declared that it was not him but the grace of God in him (1 Corinthians 15:10). The secret of the Christian life is the combination of God in us and we yielding to Him to let Him do the works through us. Indeed, it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives through us (Galatians 2:20). Easier said than done because it is so easy to want to do things in our own strength and react in the flesh in all circumstances of life. Thus the Rest of God is to choose not to react in the flesh but rather to choose to react in the Spirit and allow only the works of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit to show forth in our lives. Ceasing from our own works in Hebrews 4:10 would mean the ceasation of the works of the flesh and being diligent to enter the rest is to continue in the works of the Spirit. For when something is truly of the Spirit, it is the Spirit of God within us doing it and not us.

The word ‘enter’ in Hebrews 4:11 is ‘eiserchomai’ whose roots are from ‘erchomai’ (with ‘eis’ meaning ‘into’) and it has several meanings and definitions as given below:

  • to come
    1. of persons
      1. to come from one place to another, and used both of persons arriving
      2. to appear, make one’s appearance, come before the public
  • metaph.
    1. to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence
    2. be established, become known, to come (fall) into or unto
  • to go, to follow one
  • Its roots speak of a coming forth, a showing forth, becoming known, established, a growing into, etc. Thus being diligent to enter the rest also contains the meaning of a growth, an establishment, a showing forth of the Spirit within us. The common usage of ‘erchomai’ is in the sense of ‘coming and going.’ This entering into the rest is that of learning to rest upon the Spirit of God within us, learning to allow the Spirit of God within us to do the works and not using our own strength – the coming and flowing of the Spirit within us.

    The victory and the triumph of God is assured to all who walk in the Spirit. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirt (Romans 8:1). Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and walk and pray in the Spirit, and all things will always work for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

    15th October 2010 – The Father heart of God

    One of the most beautiful revelations of God that Jesus came to bring in the New Covenant is that God is our Father. It is in the New Covenant that we call God our Heavenly Father, even though in the Old Testament there are clues pointing to this. At the close of His ministry before He went to the cross, Jesus said to His disciples that He and the Father are one, knowing Him means knowing the Father (John 14:7-11). This was also the key to the greater works of Jesus (John 14:10-12). We are told that when we were born again, our spirit cries out ‘Abba Father’ (Romans 8:15). The immediate effect is that fear is replaced by the comfort of knowing the Father is finally here. In a sense, no matter how old we are in this life (Yes, you may be 120 years), we are all children. We all have an innate need of someone stronger, someone mightier, someone loving, someone bigger and more knowledgeable than us in every way like the way we use to look up to our earthly fathers or mothers when we were young infants. Jesus specifically said that He will not leave us as orphans but send the Holy Spirit to us as another Comforter (John 14:18).

    It takes a while for many people to see God as truly Abba, Papa God. We have revered God so much that some times, we forgot that our reverence should lead us towards Him and not keep us at a distance from Him. We must, of course, retain our reverence but we must lose our inhibitions, our stiffness, our religiousity, our protocols, etc. and just run into the arms of our Papa God each day, each hour and each time we pray and spend time with Him. This childlikeness is the key to greatness with God and liberty access to God. Imagine, in Jesus’ time when many of His disciples were making people observe protocol and keeping the little children from Him. After watching how His own disciples were rebuking people who brought children to Him for some time, Jesus said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:13-14). The vast majority of Christians have forgotten what childlikeness means. In the fear of being childish, they forsake childlikeness. Childlikeness can be very discomforting to people as one seems naive, simplistic, innocent, unafraid, uncomplicated. Childlikeness is not perfection nor being all grown-up. It is a quality of inquisitiveness, innocence, explorative, boldness, etc. in its approach to God and people. The promise of God is that childlikeness is the only condition to know the mysteries of God (Matthew 11:25)

    Childlikeness is being humble (Matthew 18:3-4; Luke 9:46-48). Childlikeness is the key to true wisdom and knowledge (Matthew 11:25:Luke 10:21). Childlikeness is the key to true worship and praise (Matthew 21:16). To truly know the Father the heart of the Father, we must come to God in childlikeness, like little babes. The Lord bless you.

    11th October 2010 – Walking in love

    One of the most beautiful stories in the Bible is the story of the woman who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears and hair (Luke 7:36-50). In the end the measure of this life that we live is not so much whether we have become famous, rich or powerful but it is whether we have grown to love God more and also learned to love people more. Our final destiny is to be like Jesus (Romans 8:29). The greatest is always the love of God (1 Corinthians 13:13). Most people do not realize it but the pathway to growing in love is not made up of smooth stone paths easy to walk. The pathway to growing in love is through tribulations (Romans 5:3-5).

    The woman who washed Jesus’s feet was misunderstood, written off by society and yet she pursued in her love for Jesus. How easy it is to be misunderstood in this world by people who take situations, words, actions out of context. Thankfully, God knows what is in everyone’s heart and judges righteously unlike humans who judged through the lenses of their own lives and belief system. The essence of this story is that this woman knows that the only person who loved her and understood her was Jesus. Have you ever felt like the only one who love you and understands you is God and God alone? Well, this woman felt like that and knew that Jesus was the only one who can forgave all her sins and bring her to the place where she can be with God. Jesus said that to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little (Luke 7:47). In the sight of God, this woman loved God and Jesus more than Simon or any of the people and Pharisees present in that house on that day. If everyone had died on the spot that day, this woman would have ascended to the highest realms of heaven as progress in heaven is measured by our love and not by any other human measurement system. Many of us cry to want to love God more and God answers the prayers by allowing situations where we seem unlovable to people and confront hate and despise from others. It is the same way God answers prayers for patience by allowing situations that cause us to need the exercise of patience. For it is when we seem to be unlovable to others that we naturally receive the most hatred, malign and evil speaking from people. Note that the greatest extreme persecution is when people hate you, exclude you, revile you and cast your name as evil (Luke 6:22), that you receive the greatest reward from God. It is in such situations that our only response must be to focus on loving God and loving people. Never ever respond hate with hate, evil with evil, revile with revile but rather choose to give love back when people pour hatred and rejection at you. This is the way of the cross.

    At the end of the day, it is not how perfect or imperfect our lives have been, nor how much we have accomplish or accumulate on this earth but how transformed are we to the love of God. When we respond only with God’s unconditional love to all, we truly are transformed into the character and image of Christ. And loving people and loving God unconditionally is not an easy thing to the flesh, for if it is so everyone would be doing it. It takes the spiritual life of Christ within us to arise and give forth love and to respond with love to all situations. When you pray the prayer for more love and more growth in God’s love, God will create and allow situations where we have the opportunity to love others unconditionally and supernaturally. Love can only grow through tribulations. When it is tough to love, that is when love needs to grow and expand within us. And we all have the potential to do so for we are all born with the life of God within us and the love of God has already been shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5). Focus on living in forgiveness, forgive everyone whether they deserve it or not, and receive God’s unmerited forgiveness for yourself through His unconditional love. For to grow in forgiveness, both receiving it from God and also giving it to all, is the key to growing in love. When we have greatly forgiven, then we have greatly loved. And the greatest is love. Amen.

    6th October 2010 – Tares and wheat

    I have always been fascinated by the parable of the wheat and the tares told by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 13:13-31 especially as it pertains to the endtimes. The greatest intrigue of the parable is that the wheat and the tares could not be separated until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is indeed a frightening thought to know that there are tares amongst us. Paul also spoke of wolves coming in after he has departed Ephesus (Acts 20:29). Of course, church history is filled with both sides of the religious divide accusing one another as being the tare or the antiChrist. Martin Luther was identified as the antiChrist by the Catholic church and he himself in turn identified them as the antiChrist; both calculating their representative names to be 666. And modern church history is filled with accusations hurled by opposing church people as fanatics or antiChrist. History and the passage of time has proven that Martin Luther was on the right side and the once maligned Pentecostal and Charismatic movement has now become the largest group in modern Christianity. The Bible has also shown that the Pharisees were in the wrong and Jesus was in the right. Today many of the Pharisees are rotting in hell while Jesus is in heaven with His disciples. The big question is whether it is possible to have some clues as to the behaviour of the tares and the wheat while they exist side by side within Christendom?

    We used to think that every one who prays the sinners’ prayer and attends church is automatically one of the Lord’s disciples. Through the years I have begun to see that many whom we qualify as wheat are actually tares and what many discard to be tares are actually wheat. How do we know this? Let us look at the Bible examples. The Pharisees who claim to be the model of perfection and religiousity have turned out to be the tares and the sinners, publicans and common folk who are still imperfect in many ways have turned up to be the citizens of heaven, the true wheat! The strongest rebuke from Jesus was against the Pharisees whom He said “make others twice the sons of hell like themselves” (Matthew 23:15). The Pharisees were literally like the devil, they steal, they kill and they destroy (John 10:10; Matthew 23). The basic fact is that the Pharisees do not know God nor know the mercy and the love of God! By this we can know the wheat from the tares, the wheat walk in God’s love but the tares do not walk in God the Father’s love because they do not know God; for those who know God will love like God does. Outwardly, the tares might seem perfect like the Pharisees but true perfection is not perfection of life, rather it is the perfection of love for no one is righteous or perfect by themselves. In their religious zeal and self righteousness, the Pharisees condemn more people than God Himself would. Thinking they are perfect, they condemn those who are not perfect. The sinners, the publicans and the prostitutes might not be perfect and unblemished but they did love Jesus and followed Jesus. From amongst them came the best followers of Jesus and the truest devotion and love. Who in the Bible was the examplary person of love towards God? It was a woman who formerly was a prostitute who knew how to love Jesus beyond what anyone else in Jesus’ time (Luke 7:36-50).

    The keys to tell who are wheat and who are tares is in the area of the practice of God’s love. Imperfect wheat will beat outwardly perfect tares in the love of God any time, any place and any where. The tares will always steal, kill and destroy; they have no idea how to sacrifice, give life and build up in love. Think about this, if you think you are better than someone else, should you destroy them or build them up? Build up, of course! And if we realize that someone else is better than us, should we destroy them or build them up? Build up and learn from them, of course! And if you think that you are equal to someone else, would you destroy them or build them up? Build them up, of course, and work along side to help one another. In all three counts, you build and help not tear down or destroy. There is never any point in any human relationship or Christian relationship where you have permission to kill and destroy another person. Only tares destroy, not the wheat. Some people even dare to claim the permission of God to do such things. Such people are no different from the Pharisees who claim the position of religious and spiritual authority to destroy another. Watch and see, in time the tares will attract hell fire around themselves and finally end up in hell themselves like the Pharisees. To them are reserved the greatest condemnation like that which Jesus spoke in the gospels.

    The closer one walks with God, the more loving one becomes for God is love and those who truly know God know His love for God and for others. Those who do not love do not truly know God our Father, our Papa God. To do the Will of God is to walk in His love for this is the commandment of God. By this shall all men know that we are the disciples and followers of Christ. Tares are scattered in all the echeleons of Christiandom, Yes right up to the top, with many of them calling themselves prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers and leaders but who do not walk in love nor know the true love of God our Father. They are all false prophets, false apostles, false teachers, false pastors and false leaders. Behind their religious masks and spirituality and self proclaimed authority is the devil spirit of the Pharisees. They breathe destruction and condemnation, spewing up judgments and destroying others. The way to know a good tree is by its fruit (Matthew 7:20). And the greatest fruit is the love of God (1 Corinthians 13:13). Show me any Christian, no matter how imperfect, who lived the sacrificial loving life of Jesus in loving others and there we can see a true wheat (1 John 3:16). Show me any Christian, no matter how outwardly perfect, who does not live the sacrificial loving life of Jesus but rather dispensing killing and destruction and we can truly identify them as tares who are still living and growing amongst us.

    Now we do realize that Christians are growing in love and are not perfect in love yet. It is better to love and learn to love, no matter how imperfectly, than to walk in hate, anger and self righteousness. By this shall all men know that we are the disciples of Jesus, by obeying His commandment to love as Jesus loved (John 13:34-35).

    3rd October 2010 – Knowing God

    It has been sometime since the last blog but I will try to make it more regular next year when more work is organized and delegated out. The heart of Christianity is to know God and most people, especially religious ones, who claim to know God do not actually manifest the attributes of the God whom they know. God is love, light and life. The Bible is explicitly clear that those who know God will walk in love:

    1. It is the COMMANDMENT of Jesus to love one another as He loved us (John 12:34)
    2. Love is the ONLY way by which we manifest ourselves as disciples of Jesus (John 12:35)
    3. Those who TRULY are born of God will walk in love (1 John 4:7)
    4. Only those who ABIDE in love abide in God (1 John 4:16)
    5. Only those who love TRULY know God, those who do not love DO NOT know God (1 John 4:7-8).
    6. Our ability to love is not limited by our own ability but rather in our own experience of God’s love for us (1 John 4:21)
    7. Those who walk in hate DO NOT KNOW God (1 John 4:20)
    8. Those who DO NOT LOVE abide in death (1 John 3:14)
    9. Those who DO NOT LOVE do not have eternal life abiding in them (1 John 3:14-15)
    10. The true sign of eternal life in us is the ABILITY to love like God and Jesus does (1 John 3:14)
    Those who crucified Jesus were not sinners and publicans, they were the religious folks who claimed to know God but who did not walk in love nor know the mercy of God. If they had truly known God, they would have manifested the attributes and the love of God and of Jesus. We are also commanded to walk one step higher in Jesus, Jesus commands that we respond with love even to our enemies (Matthew 5:44). This is the essence of true New Testament Christianity. If we love only those who love us, what difference are we from the Old Covenant or from those of the world? The love of God is unconditional, unmerited and based upon God’s love for us and not on our own perceptions, our own ability or limitation. That is why the ability to love is not dependent on us but on the fact that we have been born again with eternal life within us. This eternal life is the same life of God our Father and of our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit and it beats daily with the heartbeat of God’s love for all His creation.

    Let our every heart beat be a heart beat of unconditional love to each and every one around us. Love one another, love those who love you and love those who hate you and love those who are indifferent. It is the greatest and only commandment that Jesus has given us to prove that we are truly His disciples. Amen.