2008-12-27

Corrective vs Preventive Theology

A highly recommended book is "David - A Man of Passion and Destiny" by C Swindoll. It was a gift from a friend. The greatest benefit from reading the book is the many lessons that we can apply it to our lives.

In chapter 18, Swindoll discussed "Corrective vs Preventive" Theology citing Gal 6:6-8. It is a key message for the "Grace-Doctrine" hearers. It clarify some of the misconceptions that "Grace Doctrine" hearers may have.

We have emphasized too much on confession and repentance of sins - the corrective effort (1 John 1:9) but very little on the preventive effort - Rom 6.

The whole purpose of God's grace to us is not just the forgiveness of sins but the empowerment to live beyond the passive demands of the laws in victory and doing God glorifying works (Eph 2:10).

Rom 6 tells us we are set free from sin and become slaves to righteousness (Rom 6:22) ; spent much time arguing against using grace as license to sin.
Rom 7 speaks of struggle with the flesh , 7:19 but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing but ended with the secret to victoriy - Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Rom 8 gives us the encouragement that God is for us and will lead us through and to victory all the ways. The secret is "Grace Power - Christ in Us".

Gal preached against justification by laws and stressed that salvation come only through faith in Christ. Yet it reminded all that God's laws shall not be mocked - we reap whatever we sow. There is forgiveness for sin but not saving from the consequences of our sin. God's grace enables us to learn and walk through the consequences.

Let's us follow after the Holy Spirit and be empowered grace inside to lead a God glorify life. We do not have to waste time committing and then repenting from sins. Preventing is not trying not to sin but to pursue righteousness leaving us no time to sin.

2008-12-24

Obedience Brings Freedom

In John 8:31-34 we have the flow of concepts ....

31 If you abide in my word
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
34 everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.

The word 'know' is the original 'ginosko' meaning "to know (by experience, or effort)".

Hence, freedom comes from learning about the Truth (taught by Jesus) and then obeying them by putting them into practice, and then taste the real experience of freedom. ... Know-Do-Have-KnowMore-cycles to greater and greater freedom.

So we have this interesting truth of "Obedience brings Freedom". Freedom comes not by doing whatever you like but only by following the Truths. Sins and bondage come from disobedience of the truth. If we are trapped in bondage, being forced to do things then we must know that we are following a lie. Discover the truth to reveal the lie and then follow after the truth and you can break free.

This is not difficult to understand. We are built, like machine as an example, to work in a certain way. If we operate not according to our instruction manual, we will malfunction. Only when we follow our operating manual will we find the effectiveness, joy and fulfillment of life. To be free, learn and obey our operating manual - the Bible and receive the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus the reason for this Christmas season.

2008-12-22

KP#19 Strategy - Plan to Succeed

All project begins with a plan - either in the mind or best layout on paper (or soft copy in computer).
There is the old saying that “a failure to plan is a plan to fail. This is emphasized twice by Jesus in the Parables of "Building a tower" and "Waging a War" in Luke 14:28–33.

The Steps are:
  1. sit down - spend the effort
  2. count the cost
    a. for the total project
    b. make sure it is enough to complete and to overcome the obstacles- Luke 14:28, 31
  3. If not, Come out with alternatives to complete the project - Luke 14:32
  4. Commit all your resources in fulfilling your plan (eg Calling by God) - Luke 14:33
    Half-hearted commitment is not able to bring success.
Never start any new thing without counting the costs for completion. The most basic is the total commitment of heart to learn, to think , to source, and to overcome any obstacle in the way. Apply the Kingdom Principles to your business.

Next:Focus & Priority

2008-12-18

Advanced Doctrine - Covenant of Grace

In the posting Laying of Hands, we covered the 6 basic doctrines. The 6 doctrines only take 2 verses to cover. What is the advanced doctrine that Paul wanted to cover and spend the entire book of 13 chapters of Hebrew to do it? (There are dispute about who the author of Hebrew was. Most believe it was Paul.)

I think it is the "Doctrine of Grace" or "The New Covenant of Grace". The 6 basic doctrines are actually covered in the Old Testament. The new, more excellence Covenant, the once for all and eternal, the desires and aims of the OT, is accomplished and brought about, by Jesus Christ, the true Great High Priest.

We need to spend lot more time understanding and living out this new covenant of grace. Paul went through great extent explaining the why and how for our benefits that we may focus on Christ, empowered by Christ, put our faith in Christ, run and complete the race before us, following our leaders, encouraging and loving one another, doing God glorifying works to testify the goodness and love of God, and enter into the rest and rewards that Christ has gone before us to obtain for us.

The details are in the mind map Growing Up in Grace.

A comparison of the old and new is shown below:


Old

New

mediator

High Priest

Christ

with

Animal Blood

His Blood

frequency

Every Year

Once for all

effect

cannot perfect the conscience Heb 9:9

purify our conscience Heb 9:14

result

dead work

God glorifying work

justification

obey the Laws

By faith in Christ's work

purpose

payment for sins

payment + new life

power

no power

Grace Empowerment CIU

effort

manual - follow the laws

Laws within Heart & Mind

2008-12-15

Be-Do-Have Repeat and Grow

In "Be-Do-Have" of Grace Based Doctrine I wrote about the grace based doctrine of be-do-have and the conventional performance based doctrine of have-do-be.

In this post, I want to bring up the reinforcing effect of doing and have-ing on the be. By doing, we get to understand our identify better. Having strengthens our faith and give us confidence of our 'be-ing" that was there originally. This is growth. Big accomplishment is achieved through the repeated small steps of progress.

If we do and we don't have the success of "have" then we need to check on the method and process of our do. Did we have the right motive, did we hear God correctly, did we have the right methods and very often, did we give time for the effects to be seen. The seeds that germinate inside the earth, growing it roots is not seen until the stem and leave sprout out of the earth. Being persistent and patience is a quality of maturity especially towards people. On the other hand, we must be alert and flexible to adopt a new strategy if situation has changed. Life has such interesting variation that makes for real joy and challenge in living.



2008-12-01

Reconciliation- A Better Term for Salvation

In an earlier posting, Salvation Re-visited - Relational View we said that salvation is actually about bring people back to God. A shorter term for the rebuilding of relationship between two parties is 'Reconciliation'.

Death is not cessation of life but disconnection from God. Man rejection of God resulted in amity between God and man. It takes Jesus' substitutional death on cross to remove this amity. However, while Jesus makes possible the way back to God, it is still up to man to choose to be reconciled to God. It is a free will decision.

2008-11-28

The Main Secret of Success - God's Part & Man's Part

The main secret of success is given in Joshua 1:1-9. It started with God taking the initiative again - this time is with Joshua after the death of Moses. It also shows God's plan for mankind does not end with the death of a person. His plan continue with election of new person to take over. It is easy for God to speak to Joshua as Joshua had been with Moses most of the time when God talked to Moses. Joshua has a relationship and a heart for God. (Exo 33:11, Deu 31:14).

Step#1 Have a Relationship with God through Jesus Christ
The 1st step is to get connected with God. God has taken the initiative of sending His Son Jesus Christ to come to this earth and died for us that we may get connected back to God the Creator and the Source of Life. It is God who seek after us to have a relationship with Him.

Step#2 Receive Your Calling from God
God told Joshua about his mission in life - lead His people to inherit the promised land Jos 1:6. Each of us have our calling from God - to impact the world around us for His glory. God may also call us out to another area of influence. But whatever it is, God promised you the support to achieve the mission He has given you. His mission for us is for good success - Jos 1:7,8.

Step#3 Be Assured of God's Support & Promise
God said he would be with us whenerve we go Jos 1:9; He will not fail us for He is ABLE and He will forsake us for He is WILLING. We are given assurance in John 14:16 - forever with us and Heb 13:5 and 13:6.

Step#4 Arise & Go - Start
The key words used are "NOW", "ARISE", "GO", "POSSESS the LAND".... simply "JUST DO IT".
God has done His part- calling, empowerment, commission, accompaniment, assurance and the detailed instructions in the Bible.

Step#5 Follow the Bible
The detailed instructions are given in the BOOK - the BIBLE. Joshua was taught how to read the Bible too
  1. Not depart from the Mouth - i.e. speak the word, confess the word.
  2. Meditate on it Day and Night. - hiding His Word in our heart all the time.
  3. Follow it Exactly - Take is as the Standards for Livng. Not to turn to right or left ; Not try to be smarter than the Word. Not try to take short cut. Don't be corrupt by the world teaching. Stick to the Word and act on it accordingly no matter what even looking foolish to the world.
Step#6 Stayed Connected.
This is implied in meditating on the Word of God day and night. Read, Study, Talk over the Word with the Holy Spirit as teacher with the attitude of willingness to obey and execute the Rhema Words received.

The secret of success is simply Know God and Follow Him. God has taken the 1st step for reaching out and telling us how. It is up to us to put it into action and realise the success that God has intended for us.

2008-11-25

KP#18 Customers Services & More

The Golden Rule of Customer Service is "Empathy" - Seeing things from Customer's view point and treating them as they would like to be treated. This is the famous Luke 6:31 Do as you wish others would do to you. There are criticisms against this verse - citing it as too self-centered ( I think empathy is implied in the verse) and propose other versions. Here are the summary:
  1. The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would others do unto you.
  2. The Platinum Rule: Do Unto Others as They Would Have You Do Unto Them.
    (Do they know what is best for themselves?)
  3. The Rhodium Rule: Do unto others as Jesus would have us do unto them.
    (Love as Jesus; for their benefits from God's viewpoint. e.g. an alcoholic would like to have more alcohol and that is not good for them).
The Extra-Mile Service
How is a person delighted and thrilled by your service ? By going beyond his expectation. This is the teaching of Mat 5:38-48. When customers complained, don't fight back. Listen to his grievances and see things from his view poins. Could you do more to help solve his problems. Go the extra mile and seize back the initiative. If you think this is the best, let me share with you that you are only reacting to his demand.

The Higher Level Pro-active Service
A higher level of service is able to foresee his needs and when he realize his needs and it was already taken off, he will be trule impressed --- "they think of everything for me!" Mat 6:8 Be not therefore like them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him.

Caveat
If you are not making money to serve the extra-mile customers, then drop them ... you are not designed to serve them. This could be due to inappropriate Business Model (pricing, service model ). e.g. Budget Airlines does not compete with SIA on service. Othere reasons are: processes wrong, jobs spec wrong, staff's competence wrong and staff's motivation wrong.

Go For Non-Customers
We tend to fall into myopic's trap - only seeing our present customers and trying to keep them happy and emotionally engaged with us. Another part of our business should be reaching out to people that are not our customers yet. How can we reachout to this larger pool of non-customers ? The Parable of the Wedding Feast Mat 22:1-14, Luke 14:16-24, tell us to look for those with needs that we can fulfill and at a profit. If you think it can't be done, look at Google's model, micro-loans, village phone services. Ask God for wisdom where you can have a breakthrough business and not a compromised business.... Charity at a Profit!

Next: Plan to Succeed

2008-11-21

KP#17 Purpose of Significance - Giving to Life & Harmony

What makes for 'Significance'?
I think it is life - making alive, vitalized living. Gen 2:7 ... God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. Life is fulfilled by having relationship - with God and others. Relationship is built up by Giving and Sharing of love, care, joy, and things.



Significance is therefore related to Giving and Supporting Life and Relationship. It also involves in creating and preserving the environment for sustaining life and living. Generosity is key attribute of Significance. God set the example in the parable of 'laborers in the vineyard' Mat 20:1-16. It can also be named "God's Pay System".

The mindmap below gives the details:



The value of Generosity, the Principle of True Giving, unconditionally and expecting no reward, is illustrated in the Parable of the Host in Luke 14:11-15 and illustrated negatively by the Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:16-21. See the mind map below:



Corporation of today measure the 'Triple Bottom Lines' of
  1. Profit to Grow the Business
  2. Environmental Sustainability
  3. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of being responsible for and giving back the community.
If you do these, you will get the objective of the High Performance Organization ( HPO ) objectives of becoming the choice of customers, employees and investors and I want to add a fourth, the model and envy of your competitors.

Next: Customers

2008-11-18

Should We Attend Church Now with Availability of Internet

In today digital or internet world, we can gain immediate access to the messages of the best preachers. We can read the scriptures with lots of aids and commentaries. We can communicate with each other through email, live chat, myspace and many others. We can even get connected wirelessly anywhere and anytime. Is there still a need to attend the Sunday Worship services, or in normal terms, attend church on Sunday?

Purpose vs Activities
To answer this question, we need to back to the basic definition of Church. What makes a Church ? What is its purpose ? What are the activities ? We need to differentiate the activities from the purpose. Purpose does not change with time and situations but activities do. How do we make use of the better technology to do church-activities and thereby fulfill the Purpose of the Church more effectively.

Definition of Church
Church is an assembly of Believers in Jesus Christ for the purpose of representing Christ on earth and therefore to the building each other up in maturity to conform to the image of Christ. Christ is the head of the Church his Body on earth Col 1:18, Eph 1:22. Church is made up of people and not things or activities. The purpose is Christ on earth - behaving and showing Christ on earth. But we don't get to maturity in Christ immediately. So we are to organized ourselves together where such caring and building-up can take place.

Church is NOT Christ & Me only
We can immediately see that Church is not made up of One-Person. It is not Christ the head and Me the body. It is Christ the Head and We the believers the Body. We cannot do church alone and we must be linked to a community of believers.

The Organisation of Church
Eph 4 gives the purpose and the 5 fold ministries in a church. Any healthy church should have the 5 roles staffed and played out. See the mind-map for the details. Rom 12 and 1 Cor 12 added additional gifts and roles. It is possible, as some people proposed, that the gifts are related to the ministry. e.g. Gifts of Exhorting, Showing Mercy are for Pastors. Miracle workers are related to Evangelist and Apostles.

The Activities
Act 2 tells us that the early Church met in Temples, Public Places, and in Homes day by day (Not just Sunday! Church is not Sunday at a location but Church is wherever and whenever we are.). They attend to the Apostles' teaching (i.e. Bible Truth), fellowship, breaking of bread, prayers, giving thanks and praising God. They were glad and generous hearted people. Consequently, they have favors with all the people and God added to their number day by day.

They met at public places to receive teachings and to share the Gospel (Act 4:4). They met at their home for fellowship ( which might include the application of teaching in every life; the corrections and learning in practice), sharing of joy and sorrows. There were centralised activties and there were home group activities.
There were people in different leadership roles (e.g. 5 fold ministries) and there were the larger group of people who lived out the truth in their market places - work of faith, labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ 1Th 1:3.

What About Technology
Technology is related to the activities. Technology helps us to carry out the activities with greater effectiveness and ease. We should therefore make good and better use of them. We should change our activities to make better use of techology to accomplish the purpose of the Church. Teaching and Fellowship are all aided by internet technology. Use them. It allows us to more effective. There is only caution. Easy and Wide availablility also means easy and wide access to garbage and wrong doctrines. Need to know how to filter out and choose those that are good.

Do We Attend Church?
What are the activities that enables us to accomplish reflecting Christ on earth better ? How do we grow up into maturity conforming to the image of Christ? How can we organize ourselves better so that we can have a greater impact on our society for Christ? The basic things for believers are:

a. get connected with a Group of Believers
b. where others can help you grow and be accountable
c. and where you can help others grow and be accoutable
d. and living out the Christ in us through connecting with God, studying and obeying His will for you.

If you have such a group where Christ is the head and all are members accountable to one another and living out Christ daily, then you have a Church. Attending Sunday Worship at a Church building may be or not be one of the activity that the Church has to do.

Follow the mind-map below for more details.

2008-11-17

KP#16 Singleness of Purpose or Mission

In Luke 16:13, we are taught that we could not serve two masters - we cannot serve God and money. Our purpose must be single - we must always make one choice - which or who is the highest priority of our life. Once that is fixed, there are three principles we need to follow:
  1. we can use the things of lower priorities to serve the highest priority.
    e.g. using money to serve God.
  2. we cascade the objective downward
    e.g. we show love of God through loving others that God loves.
    we show love of God by obeying His commandments
  3. we maintain a list of priorities and ensure a balanced life.
    e.g. devotion to God is 1st and highest priority but we cannot just spend our time totally with God and neglect caring for our wife and children, job and ministry.
The lack of single-mindedness will result in James 4:8 - Double-Minded -> indecision -> delay or inconsistent decision making and creating confusion.

Loving God is not specific enough for each person. Each person is created uniquely by God to fulfill a specific calling and role in the grand design of God for human. Each of us may need to seek God to discover our calling. We will cover what are "Significance" in life created by God in the next posting. Phi 4:8 may be a start or a check list for us. The mind map below summarized this posting:

2008-11-06

KP#15 Realities of Life - Same Input but Different Outcomes

Sometimes we tried very hard and yet the outcome did not seem to commensurate with our effort put in. At other times, the outcomes were beyond our expectation - we put in so little and yet the result was wonderful. The parents tried their very best, prayer, teaching, love and care and yet their children were not responding according. The managements tried all ways to encourage their staff and yet there weren't any corresponding actions from staff. In those depressive time, we blame ourselves for not trying harder and we even blame God for not helping us.

The Parable of the Sower

It give us a good explanation and an important teaching. The seeds sowed were all of the same high quality of God's Words. Yet the outcomes, some eaten, some dried up, some choked up, some 30 folds, 60-folds and 10o-folds return. The reasons are:

Internal Self-Responsible Factor

  1. The Soil of the Hearts.
  2. The path-way,
  3. the rocky,
  4. the thorny and good-soils.
External Factors
  1. The birds (devils),
  2. the sun of tribulation and persecution (pressure, push),
  3. the temptations and distractions of the world(the lures and the pull) and
The Success Factor
  1. the hearing & understanding and put-into-practice of the Word.
The Greek for "Understanding" is G4862 to put together, that is, (mentally) to comprehend; by implication to act piously. Hebrew's knowing and learning, unlike the Greeks, is more than just 'playing in the mind' but to know intimately with experience by practicing it. The outcome depends on how much we learn from the Word and putting the learning into practice. In John 15:1-5, we find the need to prune for more fruits which is the secret from getting the 30 fold into the 100 fold.







Application to Business - Types of Staff

Next: Singleness of Purpose - Mission

2008-10-29

KP#14 Realities of Life - Fit

The parable of the Wineskin - New Wine should be put in New Wineskin in Luke 5:33-39, Mk 2:22,Mt 9:17 teaches us a key secret of success, namely, "FIT". What you do must fit the occasion. Jesus' disciples are not to fast & pray then but they should after Jesus has left. Jesus emphasized twice, using the illustrations of in v36 not a piece of new garment on old garment and in v38 new wine must be put in fresh wineskin.

The purpose, of mending the old garment, or container to hold the wine, did not change. It is the method that must change to meet the new situations.

Fit is doing the right things for the occasions and/or the purpose.

It is quite natural for most of us to hold on to the old ways that helped us to be successful and be blind to the need for change when the situation has changed. We tend to fight the need to say the change is only temporary and they will go away. Such things happened for the horse carriages and the typewriters companies when new disruptive innovation comes. (See Clay Christensen's Books).

On the other hand, let me emphasize that principles don't change and it is the methods that change. The dot-com boom of the late 90s and the big crash in the 2000 showed that unsound business and financial practices don't last.

The Principle of Fit
The other words for Fit are Co-operate, Synchronize, Optimize, Smooth out the clinks and edges, remove conflicts, seek peace.

Fit implies that there are two or more parties involved:
  • The occasion and the right protocol.
  • The new wine and the right container.
  • The Staff and the Company.
  • The Business Offering and the Customers etc.
Fit must have also a purpose such that it is Fit for the accomplishment of the purpose. The steps for achieving Fit are:
  1. Step 1 Define or discover the Purpose

  2. Step 2 Face the Realities

    a. beyond influence - Ride on Them - e.g the trends (assuming not conflict with Bible), the common constraints

    b. influenceable - Change Them - e.g. wishes, conflicts, traditions, obstacles, assumptions, only ifs

  3. Step 3 Find the Strengths of Each party

  4. Step 4 Assign the tasks accordingly to Achieve the Purpose

  5. Step 5 Review and Adjust the Fitness for maximum synchronization.
Fit is a very important operator that I will include it in my BVITS (Business Value Innovative Thinking Symbols) for generating break-through ideas.

In v39, Jesus gave a very practical application of Fit - Give them something better and they will forgo the old thing or old ways. i.e. if you want to take-away something from someone (e.g. smoking, drug, idol worship), you must give them something better. Taking something away without a better replacement will end up in fights. Remember - Give good to Take-away bad.

2008-10-28

KP#13 Realities of Life - Good & Bad Co-Exist

The parable of the Wheat & Tares Mat 13:24-30,36-43 tells us the co-existence of Good and Bad in this world. They will only be separated and settled at the Judgment Day at end-time. Here are some important points to learn from the parable.

  1. You can't differentiate the Good and the Bad initially. They all look alike.
  2. You can only tell them, after some time, from the fruit they produce.
  3. The final differentiation will only occur at the Judgment day where the Bad will be taken out and be burned whereas the Good will shine like sun in His Kingdom on earth.
Here are some applications for us:
  1. Don't complain about the world that is not-fair, about the evils that are done. e.g. the present Financial and Economic Crisis caused by greeds, criminal acts, negligence, blind faith etc.
  2. We do our part in righting the wrongs as led by God.
  3. So be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Mat 10:16
  4. Don't be disappointed or angry about the apparent and temporal successes of the wicked. Read Ps 37 and Habakkuk. Very often, we witnessed the downfall of the wicked in his lifetime rather than at Judgment time.
  5. Don't take revenge into your own hand. Let the Justice System and God handle them. We are called to love our enemy. Mat 5:44, Rom 12:20

2008-10-13

Forgetting is not about Forgetting

This Sunday, 12 Oct 2008, my church, Petra Church, started its Services at the new place in Toa Payoh. Messages and Song shared by many, Pastors, Elders, member were about God would be doing new things and about forgetting the past. This trigger the meditation about what is forgetting. For the most part, the Bible is about remembering - the laws, the goodness of God, the testimonies, etc. Artifacts were created to help people to remember the past. What then is forgettting? What and How to forget ?

The surest way not to forget something is to tell you to forget that thing. Forgetting is then not about forgetting but something deeper - it is about learning from and remembering the past.

The effective way to forget something is to do the following two things together:
  1. Bring Closure to the past hurts and even victories
  2. Look Forward
Life is about moving forward. We can't undo the past but we can influence the outcome of the future by taking action now. Paul's teaching in Php 3:13-14 is not about merely about forgetting the past, but about not letting the past stopping us from going forward.

Php 3:13-14 ... but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark ....

A better translation of the verse is from God's Word :

This is what I do: I don't look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal

The meaning of 'forgetting the past' is about 'not looking back' or ' not to continue to live in the past' and is not about forgetting the past which is not possible anyway.

There are two ways that kept us living the the past
  1. Past hurts or failure:
    Causing us to live in self-pity mode, to be pessimistic, to keep to oneself, to withdraw from life and progress.
  2. Past Success:
    Causing us to want to relive the good old days, complaining about the present, and unable to make changes for future.
The solution then is to bring closure to the past events and the accompanied experience of hurts or joy. Closure comes about by
  1. facing and admitting the hurts
  2. figuring out the lessons to learned - about people, methods used, wrong beliefs, ourselves etc.
  3. forgiving oneself or others
  4. storing the knowledge learn into our memory banks
  5. look forward
The key to remove the regrets and only-ifs. In the context of Php 3:13, we can see that Paul bring closure to his past accomplishments - circumcised, pure Jewish blood, Pharisee, blameless before the laws, and failure - persecution of the church. He was able to bring closure his so-called victories because he compare them with the knowledge of Christ - his victories were superficial - He counted them as dung. He did not got stuck in self-pity mode - the worst sinner because of his persecution of the church - He is not worthy to be a Christian at all. His breakthrough in understanding comes in "Php 3:9 and to have a relationship with him. This means that I didn't receive God's approval by obeying his laws. The opposite is true! I have God's approval through faith in Christ. This is the approval that comes from God and is based on faith."

New understanding of God's Truth set us free from the bondage of our past - failures or successes. Let our past failures and hurts be healed with understanding and by God. Let our past true successes cause us to be grateful and to encourage us to have greater faith in a loving God to move forward.

Jesus in Rev 2:5 tell us to "Remember how far you have fallen. Return to me and change the way you think and act, and do what you did at first".

This does not conflict with Paul's Php 3:13 because it was about facing our failure and learning from it that enables not to look back and to look forward.

Joseph brought closure to his past betrayers by his brothers, Potiphar, Cup Bearer etc. He said they meant evil but God meant it for good.

The 2nd step of looking forward also help us in bringing closure to the past. Painting a better vision for the future will encourange us to put the past aside, especially when you see how the past events help you create and build a better future. 2 Cor 1:4-5 our sufferings allow God's comfort and our ability to comfort others. Many new businesses were started because the ideas of the founders were rejected by their employers. Failures are the stepping stones to success.

Forgetting is not about forgetting but about admiting, learning, forgiving & healing and moving forward.

2008-10-06

KP#12 Attitude & Mindset

After we address the 10 laws of the Kingdom with clear cause and effect relationships, we now discuss the principles or mindset of the Kingdom. Zig Ziglar said "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. ".

The battle is for our mind first - the thinking and then our will - the decision making. Our present life is the result of the decisions (choices) made in the past. To change our life, we must start making different choices and that begins with a new mind-set. 2 Cor 10:3-5 tells us our battle is in the mind and we need to control our thoughts to ensure that they conform to Christ's. Rom 12:2 tells us our mind is to be renewed. The consequence is life and peace Rom 8:6 i.e. true success!

The posting Changing Behaviour (1) Mine gives a better understanding of our thinking and decision making process.

Kingdom minded believers begin with a right mindset of self-worth (identity) and maintenance of positive attitudes(Phil 1:3-6, 4, 6-7). (Please also see the Satan's Lie and Performance-Trap in the posting Connecting to the Singapore's Dream. to understand your self-worth better) This is shown in the mind-map using the BVITS thinking method below:



Next: Good and Bad co-exist

2008-09-20

KP#11 Law of Humility

Glory and Honor and Blessings go to those who are humble. This is stated in Mat 5:5. There are other words, from different translations, that use meek, gentle, considerate for the word 'humble' in Mat 5:5.

(It is interesting to note that in the Chinese Classic YiJing - Book of Change, of the 64 Hexagram, 謙 qiān Humility is the only with all good blessings - no warning. Good Blessing is defined as agreeing with or following God's will i.e. on target, right or righteousness. See also Humility is Forceful too )

Some keys concepts about humility are:
  1. Respecting Others. Counting others more significant.
  2. Ever learning no matter who.
  3. Ever serving - as long as there is a need, there is nothing too lowly for him to serve or do.
  4. Considerate.
  5. Co-operating
  6. Gentleness and of Good manners.
  7. Child-likeness - a sense of wonder, discovery and respect for the people, nature and God.
Humility is a great sponge, it absorbs knowledge and empowerment from God and others and use them to serve others. It is no wonder that it gets glory and blessings.


We have covered the 10 laws of Kingdom Economy. There are other Kingdom Principles to come. Appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Next: Attitudes & Mindset

KP#10 Law of Amplification

This law states that "unless there is character transformation, greater responsibility will show forth the original weakness more clearly". There are many people who claim they will do better when given greater resources. I will tithe when my income is $10K per month. If you can't tithe with present income of say only $1K per month, you will not tithe even when your income exceeds $10K. So here are additional collaries:
  1. people's bad habit will not get better after marriage or after having children; in fact they get worse.
  2. excellence is taking care of the details see BJ#11a Attention to Details - 6 Sigma Life
  3. promotion goes to those who are faithful in the little things now.
This is also the Law of Fidelity or Honesty. Honesty is shown in the little things and not the big things of life.

A related law is the Law of Promotion. Promotion goes those faithful stewards of entrusted wealth. A faithful employees in little things will be promoted and one day will own his own businesses.

Next: Law of Humility

KP#9 Law of Reciprocation

In physics, we learn the Newton's law of Action and Reaction are equal but opposite. However, in the Kingdom's Economy, the Reaction is a multiple of the Action. You get back, good for good and evil for evil, a greater amount than the amount you give.

But treating your staff well, your staff will treat your customers well and your customers will treat you well - by buying more, staying with you, and recommending others to you.

The details are seen in the mind-map below:

Law of Harvest talks about giving of things. Law of Reciprocation talks about how you interact and treat others. It is about relationship building. A better term and a corollary from this,  could be Empathy.  Changing others begins with changing the way we interact with others first.
See Kingdom Principles Discussion 08 Law of Reciprocation

Index of Kingdom Principles at Kingdom Laws & Principles

2008-09-18

KP#8 Law of Execution

This is a simple rule - we must act on what we know is right. No execution means no result and is the same as not knowing. In reality, this rule is very difficult to practice.

There are two types of errors:
  1. Not knowing the Right Thing to Do. We are to follow Jesus' teaching.
  2. Not doing the things we know is right.
    This is emphasized in this parable. Not doing what is known is same, in effect, as not knowing. It is the execution that delivers the result and impact.
Why we don't do what we know is right?
To understand the issue better, we need to see that we are tripartite - spirit, soul and body or in common terms, heart, head and hands&feet.

We may have head knowledge of what is good. But we lack the motivation of the heart to do it. Or our body objects to the labors of pains. So we must be fully persuaded in our hearts to overcome the body of resistance to execute what in our head know that we should.
Paul in Roman 7 wrote about such a struggle. The solution is the change of heart - new creation - Christ in You followed by 'Render yourself death to body and alive in Christ'.

The Confusion Today
However, in today "Grace-Base" teachings, there are some 'spiritual' ones who see work as work of the flesh and expect God to do all.

The only difference between work of the flesh and of the spirit is the source of the motivation not of the work itself. If it is God's calling, initiated by the Holy Spirit, then all the work of the body is spiritual work. If it is of our own gratification, then the work is of the flesh. Otherwise, Paul is most fleshly because he out-did all the other apostles.

Be obedient, act on the knowledge and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

The mind map below gives the details:
For a discussion on this post see Kingdom Principles Discussion 05 Execution - Walk ...

Next: Law of Reciprocation

2008-09-17

KP#7 Law of Perseverance

As you execute the plans to achieve your vision, he will face with unforeseen events that will attempt to derail you. You need to adapt your plan to overcome or by-pass the obstacles. Don't give up because of rejections or get de-toured because of temptations. The key is faith - faith in God. Jesus had 3 parables to encourage us to have faith and not to give up.
  1. The Importunate Widow (Lk 18:1-8) tells us not to loose heart but to continue with prayer - communicate with God about the vision He has for you - grasp the vision, continue to work out the details with God. If an unrighteous judge could even give in, how much more your Heavenly Father will give to you. He has given, so don't loose heart. Have you been listening and communicating with Him?
  2. The Friend at Night (Lk 11:5-8) Even a friend will give you not because of friendship but because of your persistence, how much more your loving Father want to give to you.
  3. The Master & Servant (Lk 17:6-10). The purpose of this parable is told to answer v6 -if you have the right kind of faith (mustard seed), not the size of faith, you get want you command. Think of FAITH as a SERVANT that will faithfully execute your command. But note that there is timing involved.
What are we to do then in the meantime ?
See the mindmap below for the answer ....

Next: Law of Execution - Walk the Talk

2008-09-06

KP#6 Law of Greatness - Servant Leadership

We usually want to be served. This happens because the focus is self. If the focus is on others, or a significant mission and vision and moral values, then serving others to realize the common vision become automatic.

Law of Greatest tells us that greatness comes not from dominating, forcing and demanding others to serve us. Greatness is measured by the impact or influence we make in others. That influence comes from us serving others to help them be and become better.

Serving must be put in the context of knowing the mission, vision and values first. Serving others is the means and the process to others accomplish the overall and individual visions God given.

Our values of love prevent us from exploiting others to fulfill our own selfish dream. We see our roles as part of the God greater design.

In this Kingdom of God, with clear mission, vision and values, then the path to greatest is through serving.

God, the Creator Himself, is the best example. He love and serve the most.

See the mind map below for the biblical references and additional details:

Next: Law of Perseverance

2008-09-02

KP#5 Law of Parallel Universes

This natural or physical universe we are living in is a manifestation of a spiritual universe. The real universe or world is the spiritual one - where God is. Or to put it in another way, there are two worlds, the natural and the spiritual with the spiritual world influencing the natural world. Spiritual world is invisible to the natural eyes. Invisibility does not be non-existence. It is the limitation of our physical senses. We don't see the electromagnetic waves all around us, yet they exist and through them we receive TV, Radio, mobile phones signals.

God created the present universe out of nothing with His Word. Things, products and enterprises, first existed in the mind before they are realized in the physical world.

Before Christ, things on earth are influenced by beings & things in the spiritual world. We should then not be too angry with the attacks and betrayals of 'friends' as they could be under the influence of the devils in the spiritual world. e.g. Mat 16:23 Jesus identified the evil force- Satan behind the speech by Peter asking Jesus not to go to the cross. The thought did not come from Peter himself but from Satan.

However, after Christ, Mat 16:19, Mat 18:18-19, we are given the power to influence spiritual world from earth!

We must use the authority and power given to us by Jesus to influence the happenings in the Spiritual World that the natural world will move according to the Word of God. God's will be done on earth through us commanding in the Spiritual world.

The mind map below gives the details:
For an in-depth discussion, see Kingdom Principles Discussion 04 The Dual Worlds

Next: Law of Greatness -Servant Leadership

2008-08-30

KP#4 Law of Seasons - Growth & Timing

This Law of Seasons is about God providing the growth and setting the timings. Man just need to follow of the laws of nature, the seasons & timings, established by God, to achieve success. The reference is from Mark 4:26-29 and supported by Ecc 3:1-8.

It teaches me about how to be agile - being ready and to act immediately anytime and all the time, without needing to worry. It is God who will give the growth (when we do the right things at the right time) and it is He who set the timings.

Being Agile needs the following 5 steps:
  1. Watch the Season - Trends
  2. Initiate Action - Plant the Seed
    - Don't wait & analyze forever
    - Success comes from doing
  3. Wait - Be Patient
    - Trust God & Give Time for Growth
    - Worry Not
  4. Monitor the Stages of Growth
    - Identify the Stages
    - Do the Right Things according the the stages
  5. Act when Ripe - Delay Not
The meditations from the verses can be seen in the mind-map below:

More details on Kingdom Principles Discussion 07 Law of Seasons .
Index is on Kingdom Laws & Principles

2008-08-27

KP#3 Law of Harvest or Sowing & Reaping

This is also known as Law of Proportional Returns: "the more you give the more you get"
  1. You get a multiplied return
  2. You get the same type of what you sow
  3. It begins with a seed. Must sow the seed.
  4. Sow willingly and cheerfully.... exercise of faith
  5. You sow from what you have, not what you don't have
  6. You sow the seed according to your need.
  7. To whom do you sow?
  • as the Lord directed
  • tithes & offering to the Lord
  • people in needs
  • the business that produce the profits like the farmer keeping the seeds for next harvest. Don't eat your seeds,
See the mind-map for details.


See also Wisdom of Proverbs - Cause and Effect

2008-08-26

KP#2 The Golden Law for Success

We discussed this rule before in BJ#1 The Golden Rule for Business Success . It is the foundation and applicable to life in general. All other laws and principles stand on this. God must come 1st in our life. We must obey His commands. We are created by God to work as He created us for. Here are some additional thoughts:



See also: 

(Updated 3 April 2012)
In a message given by Andy Stanley, "A Chinese social scientist who studied the west (Europe & America) to find out what caused it’s success and pre-eminence in the world said they thought it was because of better weapons, or better government, or better economics, but over the 20 years they researched it they discovered the heart of that culture was Christianity. Christian subcultures in China are far better off (morally & economically) than the rest of China." (From http://nickblevins.com/blog/2011/04/27/orange-conference-session-1-andy-stanley-orange11/)


KP#0 Kingdom Laws & Principles

This is a table of content of God's Kingdom Laws and Principles.
For a quick summary, please read 10 Kingdom Principles for Business Success.

When there is a clear cause and effect relationship, I call it the a law. e.g. Law of Sowing and Reaping - you reap at a multiples of what you sold. When the effect is general, I called it a principle. e.g. Principle of Accountability - we must be accountable for the work we do to God who will be our judge.

Jesus' Parables reveal much about the working of the Kingdom of God and will be the main basis for the discovery of the Kingdom's Laws and Principles. The details are:

Working of the Kingdom Principles
For a discussion on this topic, see Kingdom Principles Discussion 01.

We are encouraged to understand the above laws and principles to put them to work. Please read KP#1 Kingdom Principles - Work Them.

Laws & Principles

  1. Universal Laws
    1. The Golden Rule for Business Mat 6:33
    2. Law of Parallel Universes
    3. Law of Execution - Walk the Talk
    4. Law of Harvests- Sowing and Reaping
    5. Law of Seasons - Growth & Timing
    6. Law of Reciprocation
    7. Law of Greatness -Servant Leadership
    8. Law of Perseverance
    9. Law of Amplification
    10. Law of Humility
  2. Attitudes & Mindset
  3. Realities of Life
    1. Good and Bad co-exist
    2. Fit
    3. Same Input but Different Outcomes
  4. Purpose of Significance
    1. Singleness of Purpose - Mission
    2. Significance-Giving to Life & Harmony
  5. Customers
    1. Golden Rule for Service
    2. Platinum Rule of Service
    3. Go for Non-Consumers
  6. Planning & Strategies
    1. Plan to Succeed
    2. Focus & Priority
    3. Watch and Ride the Trend
    4. Seize the Opportunity
    5. Create the Trend
    6. Going Back is a Good Option
  7. Resources
    1. Principle of Potential & The Power of Kingdom Influence
    2. Principle of Stewardship - Optimization of One's Gifts & Resources
    3. Less is More
    4. Recycle - No waste - Lean Methodology
  8. Leadership & Management
    1. Principle of Accountability
    2. Principle of Excellence - Zero Defect
    3. Principle of HR Development
    4. Principle of Continuity
    5. Principle of Unity and Harmony
  9. Learning from Others: 
    1. Entrepreneur Leadership - Kingdom Principles in Business
From Old Testament:
  1. Performance Management According to the Ten Commandments
  2. Principles & Insights from the Ten Commandments

    2008-08-21

    True Love For Successful Marriage

    A couple that invited me to solemnize for their marriage asked me to preach on 1 John 4:9-20 on their wedding day. It is quite different from the standard Eph 5 passage about husband and wife that we usually hear in weddings or from 1 Cor 13 on the meaning of love.

    On meditating on the verses, using different versions, I have the following to share about True Love. The New Living Translation uses the term "Real Love". If you are short on time, then read 1 John 4:9-13.

    True Love
    True Love is benefiting others unconditionally at one own expense all the time.

    1. True Love takes the initiative … love 1st … do 1st… apologize 1st
    2. Unconditionally. It enables Covenantal Relationship – 100% relationship vs 50%-50% not you do your part than I do my part.
    3. At our expense, sacrifice, NOT at our convenience. Going out of the way to do something nice for the other. Love will inconvenience you. Love costs you but the love is more valuable than the costs.
    4. In Action not in Speech alone. … God sent His Son, to take away….
    5. True Love comes from God.

    How to have True Love

    1. Know that you have God's love in you. v13 God has given us His Spirit & v8 God is love.
    2. Know and Taste the Love of God 1st so that we can love others.
      v10a "since" God loved us that much so we ought to love each other
    3. We love each other because He loved us first. 1Jn 4:19

    Love increases with Loving

    v12 If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Other versions uses make complete, becomes complete, find full expression.... His love in us is fulfilled only when we love other - extending God's love to others. On another sense, as we love, we experience the effect of God's love and gain better understanding and passion of His love.

    Perfect love cast out fear v18

    The greatest stress for many people is Fear - Fear of loss of love, health, wealth, friendship, and worth.
    The only way to cast out such fear is the unconditional and therefore unchanging True Love. You're loved not because of your performance but because of the Love of your Lover for you. In contrast, the world only know conditional love - the Counterfeit Love.

    Counterfiet Love
    It is love with Conditions – I love you because … you are pretty, rich, nice to me, capable, make others admire me etc. This love is self-centered and not other centered.
    If it is conditional,then it is temporary. When you are not what I love you for; when you fail to live to my standards (which is changing with time), I don’t love you anymore!

    Conclusions
    Have True-Love from spending time with God. Love
    (1)the other, (2) proactively, (3) unconditionally, (4) at your inconvenience and (5) all the time. Practice it. Be the Right One for the other (this is not option but a command).

    When one of you asked the other 5 years from now, “Do you love me as much as at our wedding ?”, the answer should be - "No! ..... But much more." True Love increases with Time through loving…. May both of you truly love one another with the True-Love of God and build up an increasing loving and binding relationship with each other.



    2008-08-20

    Preparing for Christ 2nd Coming

    In my post onThe Meaning & Power of Holy Communion we cover 4 points about Holy Communion - 1 Unity in Christ, 2 Healing, 3 New Covenant Life and 4 Getting Ready to Receive Christ.
    I want to cover a few points on getting ready. My daughter recommends a very good speaker to me. He is Don Carson. Please follow the link to Don Carson's messages for more of his good exposition on the Bible, Revelations, and other topics. He provided a balanced and yet very in depth view of things. Here are 4 main points of the preparation that I learned. This explained how we can be occupied till He comes.
    1. Expect Jesus to come back anytime and be ready, all the time, to receive him. Mat 24:43 & 1 Th 5:2 He comes like a thief in the night and Luk 12:40 when we think not!
      • I am not talking about confessing sins all the time. Our sins, past, present and future are forgiven by Christ's death on the cross 2K years ago. I am talking about maintaining an intimate and dynamic relationship with Jesus all the time. Know His thought, His feeling and His will for us. Enjoy conversation with Him. Get comfort, assurance, and strength from Him. If he so tells us certain wrongs and bad habits that we need to correct, then face the reality; acknowledge them; ask for grace and wisdom to overcome them.
    2. Prepare for a Long Haul as if His return would be delayed.
      • There is not a contradiction with point one - expecting His sudden return. If we are faithful, we go about our work diligently whether our bosses or Master watch us or not. We make plans and behave he would not come immediately. Mat 25:13 no one know the day or the hour of His 2nd coming.
      • The moral of the 10 virgin parable is about getting ready if the Groom delays His arrival. It is not the parable to support Partial Rapture Theory or other interesting but distorted interpretations. It is just simply we must be prepared for the long-haul and not just think short-term.
    3. Be Accountable
      • The parable of the Talents, immediately after the Virgins parable, are about preparation for His coming ( the long time in coming). When He comes, we have to give accounts. There is the bema seat of Judgement for rewards. 2Co 5:10, 1 Co 3:12
    4. Increase the Assets of the Master.
      • The objective that of our life on earth, as His purchased slave/friend is to optimize and increase His asset base. We are to apply the talents given to us and to return more to Him. But be not worry, it is Him who give us the ability to do the things He has called us to do. We just need to be connected to Him and follow Him.
        • Col 2:10 we are complete in Him.
        • 2 Ti 1:12 for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
        • Php 2:12-13 12 ...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
          13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
    See also
    1. Preparing for Christ 2nd Coming - Part 2  
    2. Bible Study 2 Peter 3 Living in End-Times

      2008-08-09

      Spiritual Truths and the Elephant

      If we believe that the universe is created by God and the creation is reflective of the nature of God, then we can say the natural world is filled with spiritual truths. Some famous preacher used stronger words that the nature is impregnated with Spiritual Truths.
      • Heb 11:3 and Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made
      It is therefore not at all surprising that all religions and philosophies of the world, including Science, could have some spiritual truths in them. The only error, howbeit a very major one, is that each religion or philosophy think that its discovered truth is the ONLY Truth and nothing but THE Truth.

      This is like the blind men trying to paint the elephant each coming to his own conclusion of 'truth' wall(body), spear(tusk), tree(leg), snake(tail), fan(ear).

      What has that got to do with us Christian ?

      Firstly, we see that there are nuggets of truth in all religions and philosophies. We cannot just condemn them as wrong. We need to connect the discovered truth and lead them forward to discover the ultimate truth - Jesus Christ.

      Seemingly conflicts can only be resolved at the higher level of truth. We can understand this better with the famous illustrations of the Flatland. The conflicts that Flatland people see are easily resolved by us in the Spaceland world.

      Appreciate and discover the truth of other religions and philosophies and bring them to the higher truth of Jesus Christ. Spend time on the connection first. Confusianism teach people how to live the good life based on love and moderation. Jesus Christ gives us the new life to live as we should. Lao Tze, Tao De Jing, discovered the Way of the universe. Jesus Christ tells us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The universe is not passive but active with love of God. Buddhism understand the danger of evil desires. Jesus Christ nailed the evil desires unto the cross and gives us the right desires. There are tremendous similarities in the teachings about living a right kind of lives on earth. Let all of us be empowered by Christ( in You) to lead this good life on earth.

      2008-07-31

      The Meaning & Power of Holy Communion

      While partaking the Holy Communion, almost daily (Act 2:46), as a form of worship and for my own healing needs, I discovered another truth - getting ourselves ready to receive Christ. Let me go back to what I have been taught and learned about the meaning and power of the Holy Communion.

      The typical Bible references for Holy Communion are 1Cor11:23-27, Mat 26:26-28, Mar_14:22-24. There is another reference in
      • 1Co 10:16-17 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
      The 4 Meanings and Applications
      1. WE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST. 1 Co 10:16-17.
        1. I am loved by Jesus. I love others with Jesus’ love and are loved by others.
        2. We are to see ourselves as members of the same body with Jesus Christ as our head.
          Christ’s Body is complete when we each play our part and then we are complete
        3. We are to appreciate the differences and talents that each member brings, not wanting them to be same as us, but letting them and helping them to discover their calling and to fulfill their callings by God.
        4. We are to forgive and encourage one another to good work as are led by Christ, our Head
      2. HIS BODY WAS BROKEN SO THAT OUR BODY CAN BE WHOLE
        1. Isa 53:5, 1 Pet 2:24 with his stripes we are healed.
        2. Hence, when we partake the Holy Communion, we also receive our healing for our complete being of Spirit, Soul and Body.
      3. HIS BLOOD SEALED THE COVENANT OF OUR NEW IDENTITY
        1. The Covenant between God and Man is sealed between God and Jesus representing man with the shedding of His blood. This covenant cannot be broken.
        2. Because of the New Covenant, we are therefore
          1. A New Creation 2 Cor 5:17. We are new reborn children of God.
          2. Our sins not just forgiven but eliminated with the Rebirth.
          3. We have Jesus' righteousness, authority, inheritances and blessings.
          4. See yourself in your new Christ-like identity. 1 John 4:17, As He is so are we in this world.
      4. WE PREPARE TO RECEIVE CHRIST 2ND COMING NOW
        1. This is the new revelation to me. We are to be reminded daily to prepare, get ready, to receive our King Jesus Christ.
          Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice... for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;
        2. Eph 5:25-27 Christ is preparing His bride in splendor and without blemish. Christ is coming for a glorious church; not a church in weaknesses and sins and poverty etc...
        3. This is not waiting in idle, but getting busy in preparation for the reception.
          Luke 19:13 Occupy till I come; or in some other translation, do business till I come.
      Be reminded daily then, by partaking the Holy Communion, of our new identity in Christ by His blood, of wholeness provided by His once broken-body on the cross, of our oneness in Him, and get busy in reclaiming the families, the marketplace, and the nations as dowries to welcome our Bridegroom.

      Update 4 Feb 2012 The Spiritual Meaning & Practice of Eating and Drinking
      In partaking the Holy Communion, we do the physical eating of the bread and drinking of wine/grape juice. Jesus first mentioned it in John 6:35-58. See Bible Study John 6b Bread of Life & How to Eat it.In particular, Joh 6:56 He who eats & drink me lives in me, and I in him. The spiritual meaning of the eating and drinking is to abide in Jesus - reading, feeding and doing His Words and drawing strength from His Life in us.