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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Life in the basket

In today's daily bread it reads "godliness holds promises both for the present life and the life to come."

The words "holds primises" correspond with the concept that "your life is hidden in Jesus'"' for in the yesterday daily bread it is said "true godliness springs from the mystery namely Jesus Christ".

You do not earn salvation for you cannot, and you do not gain godliness just as you are unable to save yourself. It springs from Him. That is why the Apostle says "train yourself to be godly setting  An example in ... faith..., watch your doctrine" and so on.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Understanding the un-understandable

* Contents of the mystery

- Usage of the word in the Bible: The word mystery is used in the Bible 25 times. Daniel uses 6 times, the rest in the New Testament Scriptures (the Apostle John uses 4 times in Revelation, all the rest used by Paul in Romans, 1Co, Ephesians, and Colossians). 

- Meaning:
something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain.
Ex. "the mysteries of outer space" (google definition)

- Contents: as used by the Apostle Paul, the mystery of God is Jesus Christ.

* Fruit the mystery

- Spring Fountain of the True Godliness: Jesus Christ is the source from which true godliness springs (into the lives of the members of the church, namely believer.)

- Operation: In 1 Timothy 3:14-16 the Apostle Paul explains the unexplainable stating Jesus (who is God himself) became flesh vindicated (or justified) in the Spirit, seen by the angels, preached onto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and rose again/received/taken up in glory.

 Matthew Henry's commentary says it well: 

The church is the house of God; he dwells there. The church holds forth the Scripture and the doctrine of Christ, as a pillar holds forth a proclamation. When a church ceases to be the pillar and ground of truth, we may and ought to forsake her; for our regard to truth should be first and greatest. The mystery of godliness is Christ. He is God, who was made flesh, and was manifest in the flesh. God was pleased to manifest himself to man, by his own Son taking the nature of man. Though reproached as a sinner, and put to death as a malefactor, Christ was raised again by the Spirit, and so was justified from all the false charges with which he was loaded. Angels ministered to him, for he is the Lord of angels. The Gentiles welcomed the gospel which the Jews rejected. Let us remember that God was manifest in the flesh, to take away our sins, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These doctrines must be shown forth by the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

- Oneness: the net effect of the work of the mystery is (as Paul states) to form one new creation out of two (that is Jews and Gentiles). 

- All in all: The outcome/end purpose of the operation through the mystery is that the God the Father be all in all (creations, man, animals, nature). 

- Present operation: as Jesus said before his suffering, that is, "from now on you (the high priest sitting in the bench) will see me seated at the right hand of the mighty God and come on the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:62), presently Jesus who is the head of the church works to fulfill the will of God, that is, to save all through the gospel of Jesus, the mystery of God. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A beautiful thing

Mark 14:1-21

"Leave her alone; she has done a beautiful thing to me." 6

* Discussion

* Contents of value

  In the account of the events that took place at the house of the Simon the Leper in Jerusalem, Mark presents a rather dramatic action of a woman: offering to Jesus a very 'expensive' perfume - all and every drop of it in the alabaster jar!

  In so doing we see the words like 'expensive' or 'money'. We also see Jesus using the word 'beautiful', which in Greek has the meaning of value (valuable, honorable, etc.)

  The contents of the value are Jesus himself (as is seen in the statement, 'she has done a beautiful thing to "me"') going to the cross to suffer and die as the Passover Lamb.

  In what respect is this (the Lamb) valuable (or beautiful)? The answer is obvious: it is to restore the broken relationship between God the Father and the fallen men back. Put on man's side, it is to restore God the Father back to our life.

  Likewise Jesus said, "Spirit gives life to men; flesh counts for nothing"; "God is spirit".

* Confusion in value

  Mark presents two differing views of value: the woman seeing Jesus' sacrifice as the most valuable, with one of his disciples seeing the other way around, that is, seeing money as more valuable than Jesus going for the cross, so he ended up selling Jesus for a few coins.

* Cause of confusion

  Why is there such confusion on value? Why does one go for that which is not valuable, selling what is valuable for what is not?

  Matthew indicates in the account of Judas Iscariot's death (Chapter 27) that Judas was deceived by the evil one.

  Likewise in the Garden of Eden Eve was also 'deceived' into believing that which is not valuable as valuable, so in exchange for that which has eternal value (the relationship with God the Father - His Word) she went ahead and ate the forbidden fruit.

  Deception is commonplace. Today's edition of the Record Searchlight reports (quoting Detroit Free Press) a teenage boy (11) hanged himself in his room after seeing social media posts indicating that his girlfriend had committed suicide. The posts turned out to be a prank. Click here for the full story.

* Consequences of falling for the deception

  At the Passover Table, Jesus said of Judas Iscariot, "It would have been better if he had not been  born." This indicates that the consequence of falling for the deception on value in regard to Jesus is suffering for eternal loss (in addition to losing the eternal life in the Lord).

* Prayer:

 "Oh, Lord, give your servant a discerning heart to know what is valuable, in exchange for what is not." (cf. 1 King 3:9)

* Hymn song to sing: The Old Rugged Cross

The Old Rugged Cross
On a hill far away, stood an old rugged Cross
The emblem of suffering and shame

And I love that old Cross where the dearest and best

For a world of lost sinners was slain
So I'll cherish the old rugged Cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
I will cling to the old rugged Cross
And exchange it some day for a crown
Oh, that old rugged Cross so despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me
For the dear Lamb of God, left his Glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary
So I'll cherish the old rugged Cross
Till my trophies at last I lay down
I will cling to the old rugged Cross
And exchange it some day for a crown
In the old rugged Cross, stain'd with blood so divine
A wondrous beauty I see
For the dear Lamb of God, left his Glory above
To pardon

** Cheer me up Lord!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The top three major issues of our nation?

The local news paper in Redding entitled "Record Searchlight" carried in the Opinion section an article entitled "Voices of Faith" ( Saturday, April 8, 2017 P. 9A) where a question was asked to community leaders, "What do you think are the top three major issues of our nation?".

The newspaper included opinions of the 5 leaders: The Rev. Helen Cummings, Buddhist Shasta Abby, Mount Shasta; Jim White, lay leader, Weaverville Church of the Nazarene; Jan Lopez Shasta County Baha'i Community, Igo; The Rev. Lynn E. Fritz Centers for Spiritual Living, Redding; and Rev. Gene Crow, pastor Redding Reformed Fellowship.

* Greed, Anger, Delusion (Helen Cummings)

* Sharing the Gospel of Jesus to a declining Christian nation, getting God back into our public school system, and protecting the Church from the attempted undermining of our faith and beliefs by government intervention and the values of the secular world (Jim White)

* A narrow and brutal nationalism, the concept of self-determination, failure of people (into whose hands the immediate destinies of peoples and nations have been committed) to adjust their system of their political and economic institutions to the imperative needs of a rapidly evolving age (Jan Lopez)

* disconnection, disregard, and disparity (Lynn)

* godlessness, godlessness, and godlessness (Gene)

I endorse Jim White.

Click here for the view of Jim White

In this "rapidly evolving age", You-tube offers a useful tool to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus, for there you can find free video programs like The Gospel of John.

'Tonight Aleeza (2 years young) along with her siblings watched John's gospel movie (covering first six chapters) on You-tube and then sang a song entitled "Jesus loves me this I know."