Facing Sufferings (1) - 2016 December (Date), Christian Life (Topic)
How should we, the Children of God, face sufferings? Some sufferings may be due to our sins, which have to be dealt with accordingly. God is so merciful to forgive our sins. He not only forgives our sins but also forgets them. “But the Lord disciplines those He loves and chastens everyone He accepts as His Son.”
Suffering as such is not the issue. After going through the sufferings, what kind of person I become is the matter. Do I remain the same even after that? Or have I changed?
Our Lord knows our hearts and thoughts even though we do not know them completely, thoroughly and adequately. He wants to transform us. Sufferings or testing is for our transformation. God uses every loss, hurt, wound, even things which seem to be evil for our transformation.
We can be at peace and ease because we are in His sovereign government.
“And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Purpose of God becoming a Man - 2016 December (Date), God (Topic)
Why would God become a man? What was the purpose of His incarnation? What did He want to accomplish by coming as a man? Was it to bestow all the earthly blessings on those who believe Him and after their death take them to heaven? A firm, no.
1. God’s purpose was to reveal, express and manifest Himself in a person, Jesus Christ. Other than Him, nothing else, however good it may be, would reveal Him adequately, completely, fully. Though the law could express Him to some extent, it is limited. Even a high quality map cannot reveal the landscape fully. God has left traces in the world for man to know Him in all ages and in all places. At least somehow, by groping men may find God. Jesus Christ is the full expression of God. Jesus is the only medium in which to reveal God. He is the complete and full revelation of God.
2. Man must know God experientially. With this purpose, Jesus Christ came into this world, lived, died, and rose from the dead. If Jesus Christ had not come into the world, man would have no chance to know God. Knowing Him is not mental knowledge, but experiential knowledge.
3. One must suffer to know God. We cannot bypass the cross and know Him experientially. If we are not willing to pay the price to take up the cross and follow Him, we will not know His worth and preciousness. Today Christians want a Christ-less cross and a cross-less Christ. This is the 'other Christ' that Paul talks about.
4. Those who believe in the Lord, and know Him experientially will be transformed to the image of Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have received Him as the Lord, who know Him through the cross, will be a true manifestation of God, as Jesus Christ Himself revealed, expressed and manifested God. All the circumstances we are in, the persons around us, the situations we go through, and the events taking place in and around us are designed and arranged by God Himself for our transformation. God is at work to form Himself in His people. God knows us thoroughly. We need the humility and the wisdom to accept that we do not know ourselves. People, events, circumstances are just the mirror to bring out what is fully in our heart.
Christ is the center of our faith (life) - 2016 December (Date) - Christ (Topic)
This message was spoken in October 2014.
There is only one person who is worth of our love, trust, faith, and consecration. That is our Lord Jesus Christ. If this person is not worthy, I don't think any other man in the history of mankind is ever worthy of our devotion. To know this Jesus Christ
1. We should have not merely a created life but an uncreated life
2. We should not merely know the creation but the Creator and
3, We should not merely live by the created resources but by uncreated resources
All that Christ is, all that Christ has, all that Christ has accomplished God has called us to participate, to partake.
Separate the profane from the holy - 2016 December (Date), Gospel (Topic)
1. Beware of "IDOLS." Remove 'your' shrines, smash 'your' sacred pillars, cut down 'your' groves and burn 'your' Nehustans. If we are not on the alert, idols may enter into our lives, at any time, unknowlingly as it happened in the history of Israelites.
2. Christianity is not other than the Person of Jesus Christ. Our faith must be in the Person of Jesus Christ. The Person and His work on the cross is sufficient for our salvation. Not Jesus plus.
3. Yes, we will have problems, face sufferings, incur loss, and go through trials. But that is not the end. For, our Lord Jesus Christ is our Resurrection and Life.
Work of the Holy Spirit - 2016 November (Date). Holy Spirit (Topic)
1. The Holy Spirit is indwelling in us to make known Christ subjectively. That is His primary work.
2. The Holy Spirit is working not only within us but also without in our circumstances and in people around us for our transformation.
3. Our relationship is important in our transformation. We must balance our relationship according to Christ.