He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

God Answers "Why"

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Hebrews 11:24-28 (NIV)

24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

Hebrews 11:24-28 (KJV)

Hebrews 11:24-28 (King James Version)
24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
28Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
There’s no record in the Bible of Moses having had a supernatural encounter with Christ. Instead, it’s the other way around, Jesus was transfigured in the presence of Moses and Elijah. So, the writer of Hebrews here is writing from his own perspective, not necessarily Moses’. All Moses knew is that God will raise up another prophet like him, among his people, to guide the people of Israel when he is gone. He only had the vaguest idea of Christ though he did have an idea of Him. But this knowledge he only had after they had already crossed the desert into the Promised Land.

As for Israel, the Lord had referred to her as His “first born.” Thus, his word to Pharaoh was, “Let my first born go.” It is also interesting to know that in the New Testament Jesus is referred to as the first born of all believers. Thus, when God looked at the nation of Israel, He actually saw His own Son in that nation because it was through that Nation that Jesus, the Son of God, would come in the flesh. And so, the sole purpose of Israel, it seems, was to bear for the world, the Messiah, the Christ.
This ties up with Revelation 12

Revelation 12
The Woman and the Dragon
1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
7And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
11They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
12Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short."
13When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. 15Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

No wonder Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall down from Heaven”
(Luke 10:17-19 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."
He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.)
and “the prince of this world is coming.”

(John 14:30,31 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.)

A fierce battle actually occurred between Satan and the Lord of Hosts. Whether Jesus seeing Satan falling to earth was a phenomenon He saw in the beginning of time or He was referring to a vision which would still happen, such as the one describing Satan's being hurled to the earth in Revelation 12 above, I do not know.  All I know is that Satan lost the battle and lost his place in Heaven. Then he was hurled to the earth. Apparently, Satan and his activities were quite hidden before Jesus came. It looks like only the anointing of the Messiah could expose his cohorts and their activities. Probably why demons seem to have surfaced only when Jesus started ministering in the New Testament. Whether there is another major hurling down to earth of Satan in the future when we are right at the End of Days to fulfill Revelation 12 is something that remains to be yet seen. There’s actually no record of people having demons in the Old Testament. There sure was demonic activity, but not demons in people. Well, there was a spirit that tormented Saul… but that's about all.

And now the devil, the dragon, is at war with the offspring of the woman Israel. Now we know that the offspring of Israel is the church- “those who obey the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” For the Church came from the nation of Israel. The chief cornerstone of the Church, Christ, is a Jew. And his 12 apostles and the Old Testament prophets, the foundations of the Church, were Jews.

(Ephesians 2:19-21 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
Rev 21:14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.)

Now at least I understand these parts of Scripture. The others remain vague, but now, God has spoken:… “but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” (John 14:31) For now, that answers all my questions of ‘Why?” It’s all for the testimony of Jesus.

Moses knew he was just a thread in the fabric of God’s plans. We are all like Moses. And like Moses, we only get to see a vague image of the whole picture of God’s plan. And by faith, we work along with Him to finish that fabric, all for the testimony of Jesus, the glory of God.

Embroidery image from
www.threadartist.com




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Dated 14 Feb 2009

First Love


Here's a beautiful song on first love, movie theme of "Zapped" starring Scott Baio released in 1982. Got to Believe in Magic
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Happy Valentine's and enjoy!

Baio's photo from http://www.fortheretarded.com/?p=304
 
 



Friday, February 6, 2009

The Thorny Life




Luke 8

14And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.


Most often we are content with just being Christians - believers. We live a mediocre life without realizing it. We never realize the potential that God intended for us. Only one in every 4 persons who hear the true Gospel message actually bears fruit a hundred-fold. So many of us persist for a long time as believers but somewhere in mid-life we get bogged down by the pleasures of life, its cares and its riches. When God has blessed us with so much it’s so easy to just live like the rest of the world does. But it is a deliberate act of faith to actually strip our life down to bare simplicity, if we are to persist in bringing forth fruit with patience. And it takes a long time, probably a life-time. That’s why the important ingredient called patience is added in.

Sometimes my faith is really tested. Should I carry on? Am I not stretching myself? Didn’t Jesus say I should love my neighbor as I love myself? That means I should take care of myself first. And when I stretch myself physically, how much faith do I have to trust that God will take care of me?

The questions are never easy and sometimes we just have to experiment with life to find the answers. It is not so easy to hear the voice of God especially with the hurried pace of life that we have in this generation. But when we keep asking God, in time, He will give the answers. I know He will, because He has done that before with my other questions.

Photo by my older daughter

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About Me

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D