Back to the Basics: To Love is to Rest

Love is the rest and satisfaction of the soul.


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It’s a new year and is a good time to reflect on to the past years’ mistakes and lessons learnt.  It’s also a transition opportune time to obey God.  Literally getting up, making things right and actually doing the obvious thing to do because we love God.   Looking at the 10 commandments will be a good start, yet looking at the sum and substance of all of God’s commandments and precepts will be better starting point.

Let us look at Matthew 22:36-40:

36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

This is what Jesus’ answer to the young student of law when he asked Jesus ‘which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ Basically, we can’t separate the two to each other, we can’t say that we love God and hate our neighbor… neither the other way.  According to Jesus the second commandment is just like the first one.

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law – Romans 13:10.

Matthew Henry Commentary says that: All the law is fulfilled in one word, and that is, love. See Rom. 13:10. All obedience begins in the affections, and nothing in religion is done right, that is not done there first. Love is the leading affection, which gives law, and gives ground, to the rest; and therefore that, as the main fort, is to be first secured and garrisoned for God. Man is a creature cut out for love; thus therefore is the law written in the heart, that it is a law of love. Love is a short and sweet word; and, if that be the fulfilling of the law, surely the yoke of the command is very easy. Love is the rest and satisfaction of the soul; if we walk in this good old way, we shall find rest.

Do we claim that we love God and yet hate our neighbor?  If so we are being disobedient. (not according to me, that’s according to Jesus himself)  We have no excuse not to love our neighbor and or our enemies, because while we were yet still sinners Christ died for us, He loves us even before… even when  we were yet His enemy.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8.

Blessings and a joyous new year!

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To Live Is Christ Means ‘To Live Is Christ’

We do not live only for our biological family but also for the family of God and to those who are not yet part of the family of God for them to be part of it. We remain in flesh and we must be fruitful, like the church of Philippi and that fruitfulness is through obedience and is crucial in bringing people into God’s family, into His kingdom.

In short, to live is Christ! to proclaim to those who are already redeemed that they are now to be reclaimed in Christ.

To proclaim the gospel is worth living and dying for above any other cause!

And Out Came This Calf

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Image by Phillip Medhurst Bible Illustrations http://bit.ly/1kN1ObD

All sins separate us from God. May it be “small” sins or “big” sins they are all the same, yet in one sense they are different to each other. There is no such small or big sins, all sins separate us from the Most Holy God. It is said in James 2:10 that “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” That means that lying is as same as murdering and lusting is as same as stealing. So what is the point of giving the law then if we can’t measure up anyway? The point of the law God has given to us is to point out that we can’t measure up to His holiness and we need someone to stand in the gap which is Jesus to save us and to intercede for us so we will become Holy in Him; believe in Him and have eternal life (John 3:16).

In what sense sins are different from each other? I am not saying that sins do have degrees of which separates us far or more farther or just a little bit far from God, what is clear is that all of sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2). Sins do differ in ramifications. For example if I lie I am not going to be put into jail, however if I murder someone I will be arrested and tried and put to jail, both sins will separate me from the Holy God yet each do have different ramification or consequence. Every sin do have a direct ramifications and indirect repercussions. There will be surely consequences of everything we do, every plan and every action, every sin that we commit.

We can look at King David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheeba as an example of consequences of sin in 2 Samuel 11. Before David committed adultery, he is winning all battles for his Kingdom which started when he was young when he defeated Goliath because Goliath mocked the name of the Lord. Then later in David’s life during his kingship and winning battles after battles, he committed a sin against the Lord by planning to have Bathsheeba who was Uriah’s wife. Uriah was one of David’s most loyal adviser and warrior. David perhaps didn’t think about the repercussion or consequences of his sin that he is trying to commit at that time, yet David’s disobedience brought a very serious impact. Repercussions were defeat after defeat in battles; Uriah one of his loyal warrior died along with other innocent warriors; the baby born out of adultery died; the sword would not depart David’s descendants; his wives and concubine was raped in public by his own son Absalom. ‘A one-night affair harms no one’ that is what the world is saying but that isn’t true… there will be repercussions if not direct ramifications. David should know better, because God gave and entrusted him much and much was expected of him. Does it mean that God does not forgive? God does forgive but that doesn’t mean David will not reap the consequence of his sin.

We believers are not different from David, much is given to us, much will be expected of us (Luke 12:48). It is a great sin that despite that we’ve witnessed God’s grace and goodness and we knew better sometimes we don’t act like it, as if we don’t know or as if we haven’t told that God hates sin. Sometimes we don’t think of what the consequences will be if we commit this sin or that sin. Why is it great sin? David knew that adultery is a sin against the Lord, yet he planned for it with precision despite his knowledge of the law. This is true with all sins not just adultery, and we can’t say to God that “Oh I didn’t know” or “Oh and suddenly a golden calf appeared” (Exodus 32).

Let’s look at what Moses’ brother Aaron excuse when he was confronted by Moses in Exodus 32. The Israelites just freshly came out of Egypt and Moses went up to mount Sinai to receive God’s commandments. While Moses was up on the mountain, simultaneously the Israelites were committing a ‘great sin’ (Exodus 32:21). The Israelites grew tired of waiting for Moses and they asked Aaron to create gods to go before them and that is what Aaron did. Aaron asked the Israelites to ‘throw their golds’ and out of these golds Aaron made an image of a golden calf as their god. This ‘great sinning’ happened just after the Israelite witnessed how God’s power delivered them from Egypt and how God’s mighty hands departed the red sea to save them. This ‘great sinning’ happened while the cloud of glory was still before their eyes covering and protecting them and while they were at the foot of mount Sinai, the holy ground. Why is this a ‘great sin’ because the Israelites knew better, Aaron knew better… for the golden calf to be created it has to be fashioned and planned with precision, it doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. That’s makes it ‘great sin’ on the Israelites because despite of their knowledge and experience of God’s goodness, the Israelites blatantly planned to forsake the Lord and and worship the golden calf instead. What did Aaron replied to Moses in Exodus 32:24?

“So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”

Moses could have replied, ‘yeah right a golden calf just happened to come out of the fire by itself’. No! It was planned and fashioned while God’s goodness was before their eyes. What was the repercussions? Moses asked the Israelites “who is on the Lord’s side?” Those who gathered around Moses lived and those who didn’t fell from the sword, that’s the direct ramification for their sin, and later on in Exodus 32:25 God sent a plague to the Israelites as a consequence of their great sin, those who remain because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.

All sins separate us from God and every sin has consequences, directly and indirectly. The bible compare sin to yeast that causes bread to rise, just like cancer that needs be dealt quickly before it spreads.

The good news is that Our God is a forgiving God, He is faithful and just to forgive us. In fact If we confess our sins, He will remember them no more.

‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ – 1 John 1:9

“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” – Isaiah 43:25

This is God’s grace to us… ‘remembering our sins no more.’ Praise be to the most gracious God! We also have to remember that we must never make God’s forgiving nature a license to do sin. For us believers to say ‘Oh God loves me so much, he will understand and will forgive me, so I will do this sin anyway’… that’s what David and Aaron did, sinning when they knew better. In fact Paul said in Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” and in the following verse Paul said “by no means”.

WHOEVER HAS EARS, LET THEM HEAR!

Peace and Blessings to you all!

To Live Is Christ

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21

The believer did not always live to Christ. He began to do so when God the Holy Spirit convinced him of sin, and when grace he was brought to see the dying Savior making a propitiation for his guilt.  From the moment of the new and celestial birth the man begins to live to Christ.  Jesus is to believers the one pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have.  He has so completely won our heart, that it beats alone for him; to his glory we would live, and in defense of his gospel w would die; he is the pattern of our life, ad the model after which we would sculpture our character.  Paul’s words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ — nay, his life itself was Jesus.  In the words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep eternal life.  Jesus was his very breath, the sould of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life.  Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ?  Your business — are you doing it for Christ?  Is it not done for self-aggrandizement and for family advantage?  Do you ask, “Is that a mean reason?”  For the Christian it is.  He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another out this principle in some measure; but who is there that dare say that he hath lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did?  Yet, this alone is the true life of a Christian — its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word — Christ Jesus.


Excerpt from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning

Alone With God

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Happy new year and welcome to 2014.  Considering that I have not written much really last year, this year one of the resolutions I will have is to write more and eventually give some design freebies (photos and wallpapers) and of course lot of encouragements to you guys.

It is time for the annual reflection. As I look back to my walk with God, I am in awe of how God has been ever so faithful and that He never failed to give love and comfort throughout the year.  I thank God for He is faithful and loving always.

I find these verses (below) as a personal conversation with Him and I am sure it will encourage you as well.  HIS WORD is STRENGTH in our weaknesses.

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him,for He shields Him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rest between His shoulders.  Because you loved me says the Lord, I will rescue you; I will protect you for you acknowledge my name.  You will call upon me, and I will answer you; I will be with you in trouble; I will rescue you and honor you.  With a long life I will satisfy you and show you my salvation.

But I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation.  Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters.   Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.  Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.

But now, this is what the Lord says— He who created you, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; For I am the Lord your God your Savior, Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.  For I am he who will sustain you.  I will carry you and I will rescue you.  Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all of his splendor was dressed like one of these.   If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you— So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For  your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and he will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. And the God of peace will be with you.  Put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. So do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

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Verses compiled from Alone With God (I Will Be With You) by Bill McCartney
http://amzn.to/1hknKtf
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Matthew 11:28-30; Deuteronomy 33:12; Psalms 91:13-16; Psalms 69:13-17; Isaiah 43:1-3; Psalm 50:15; Isaiah 46:4; Isaiah 54:10; John 16:33; Matthew 6:25-34; Psalms 34:19; Psalms 23:1-6; Psalms 37:3-6; Isaiah 26; Philippians 4:8-9; Psalms 130:7; Psalms 55:22; Philippians 4:6-7; Romans 15:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:16