2019-06-09

The Four Secrets of an Overcoming Life - Isa 30:15

Suffering and pains come from bondage to bad habits or circumstances. We need to know how to break free and stay free. Isaiah 30:15
Isaiah 30:15 New International Version (NIV)

15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
    “In repentance and rest is your salvation,
        in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.

The four secrets of breaking free and staying free are given above. And the only thing that holds us in bondage is given in the last part of the verse.

The Four Secrets:

Salvation begins with:

1.   Repentance

Repentance is about making a change, a U-turn. It begins with a realization that I am in bondage and wanting to break free. It is like the Prodigal Son coming to his senses and going back to his father house despite possible shaming that he may get (which he did not get at all because of his father's love).  However, repentance is just the first step, we need help from someone who is able to help us. If we could, we could have broken free long ago. So, get up and find the right person, the right source, for help. The Gospel, the good news, is that someone is all ready to help you at your bidding. Go and ask Jesus for help. He had paid the price for our deliverance.
2.   Rest

Rest is not just not doing anything. It is about putting your weight on something solid such as resting on the chair or on the bed. Let the chair support you rather than just standing on your tired feet. So, put your full weight on Jesus and follow what He tells us to do. 1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you. Our rest is to take the medicine that the Doctor prescribed for our sickness; to do what Jesus tells us to do.

Strength comes from:

3.   Quietness

A person in panic mode could not think and could not sit still. He needs to calm down first so that we can observe the situations clearly and then figure the way out. So we know Paul gives us the key to gaining the composure in Phil 4:6-8 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

As we begin our lives with Jesus, the devil will try all sorts of ways to steal away our joy and peace. He will create troubles to cause us to panic and doubts our salvation, the love of Jesus for us and His willingness or ability to help us. He will try to make us feel that Jesus does not love us anymore especially when we return to our past sins. Then, we need to back to fundamental, of trusting God's Words and His promises for us. Ask Jesus to get peace and read His promises to stir up our confidence in Him as in Phil 4:8 above and then Trust His abilities to work out all things for us.
4.   Trust

Trusting someone enables us to gain our peace and to follow his instructions. Hebrew 11 gives us many testimonies of how faith, or trust, enables them to do the seemingly impossible. Any startup begins with the founders' trust that they could succeed and bring value to the world. We have the love and the promise of God and hence we can trust God to venture out. We can tithe our income trusting God to provide for us. We can share the gospels trusting that people will be saved through it. We can boldly go because we can trust God at His words.

Takeaway:

Living in bondage and pains? 

Awake and see the light. Begin a change by asking Jesus to help. Follow Him to gain peace and trust Him to receive the strengths to break free for a new life in Him. Let's not make the mistake stated in the last part of the verse "but you would have none of it." That was the very reason that causes all the troubles for us. So make a change now.


Lim Liat (c) 9 Jun 2019

2019-06-07

Bible Study Method: Fill in the Blank- Matthew 25:29

A good way to study the Bible is to fill the blank. 

Let's take an example:

"For to everyone who has _____, more ____ will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away." - Matthew 25:29
The blanks are not in the original text. But without knowing them, we don't really understand the verse. Jesus used it as a summary and a principle for us to learn.

We can figure out what the blanks are by studying the context. It is the parable of the talents.  

Why were the first two servants rewarded? They make good use of the talents that their master had given to them. They are faithful and good stewards of the entrusted resources. The rewards from the master are:
  • His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ - Matthew 25:21
So we can fill in the blanks as:

"For to everyone who has [faithfulness/stewardship], more [money/power/rulership + joy of Lord/relationship] will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away." - Matthew 25:29

Luke 19:11-27 has a similar parable, the parable of the pound, where rulership over cities is given.

The most shocking part is this:
    Mat 25:28  Therefore take the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents.

The shock was expressed by the servant in the parable of the pound,

   Luk 19:25  And they said to him, Lord, he has ten minas. 

Is it fair, you may ask?

If you want to invest your money, which investment will you choose?
You will invest in the one that guarantees to give you the most returns.

Are we good stewards of the talents and pounds that the Lord has given to us.
What are we doing with the time, talents, money, relationships, spouse, children, etc that we have now?
What are we pursuing with such resources?
Are we investing in the treasures in Heaven?

Lim Liat (c) 7 Jun 2019