The Best Time of Your Life - Now, Any time, Every time and All the time.

Was reviewing and preparing Kingdom Discussion 07 Law of Seasons - Growth & Timing, and have some fresh insights (from my point of view).

Eccl 3:1-11 tells us that everything in life is a cycle. I-Ching, the wisdom of the Chinese, say the same thing too (See I-Ching in One Minute). However, v11 sheds new light:
Ecclesiastes 3:11 New International Version (NIV) 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
The most beautiful time, the best time of your life, is not your past student days, wedding days, promotion etc.
It is now, any time, and every time! 
Because God makes everything beautiful in its time. The cycle of life tell us that there is a right thing to do at the the right time. We must understand the time, the present situation and stage of our life and know and live out the best way we can. The best time for student days are to learn, socialize with friends, enjoy the freedom and the less responsibilities. Unless one has rich parents that provides for us, student life while not great luxuries, are great time of discovery and learning. Similarly, work lives, marriage lives, babes, children, teen ages, grow-ups and retirement times have all the ingredients that make for a great satisfaction and achievements. Even in time of departures, bereavements, separations, disappointments, failures and many such undesirable situations, they help us to feel and know better about ourselves and others. Cherish every moment of your life. If you are not happy and feel depress about your present stage of life, find out what is the right thing to do for this stage of life and then do it and live out the best.

Here are additional words of wisdom to help you:

Ecc 12:13  The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Within the above context, live life to the fullest:

Ecc 9:7  Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Ecc 9:9  Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.

Live life with an understanding heart. Be gentle rather than too forceful will help.

See also The Greatest Moment is ...


Kingdom Principles Discussion 06 Law of Harvest - Sow to Reap

Previous: Kingdom Principles Discussion 05 Execution - Walk the Talk
This is the very basic principle of life - we must first sow the seeds and then we can reap a big harvests. In the farming days, this is obvious. But in this present time, the instant mindset and the money centric world have cause some to loose sight of this farming principle. One more thing - we cannot eat our seeds otherwise there will be no future corps. This is probably the cause of so much debts in the world as well.
This week discussion in on the Law of Harvest. It is about sowing and reaping. It is also about dying to new fruitful life. It is also known as the Law of Proportional Returns.  A famous quote is "You can count the number of seeds in an apple but you can't count the number of apples from the seed."

The is the updated mind-map on the Law of Harvest:
Please study it carefully to gain the benefits.

Questions for Discussion:

Next: Kingdom Principles Discussion 07 Law of Seasons - Cycle & Kairos Time

Index Page: Kingdom Laws & Principles

Lim Liat (c) 22 Oct 2011


Similar Verses in Bible and Chinese Classics 12 Creation & Love from LaoZi

Knowing the Loving Creator from Lao Zi. The Creator creates with love, feeds and protects with love, and yet letting the creation decides for themselves. Love does not insist on its way but will always take you back when you wander away.
I have said elsewhere that the study of Ancient Chinese Classics helps one to understand our, the true and living God Jesus Christ better. The translation of the Bible and the commentaries on it are done mostly from the western mindset of either-or thinking framework resulting in dichotomy struggle to understand God.

Whereas Chinese thinking starts with God. God creates one and one becomes two and so forth. Chinese thinking begins with the integrative oneness.  Ancient Chinese believes in 无极生太极,太极生两仪,两仪生四象,四象生八卦 (I-Ching). The no-beginning or no ending (literally no termination) creates the great-beginning, the great-beginning creates two dimensions (Yin-Yang), two gives rise to four dimensions, and four gives rise to eight octagram. LaoZi DaoDeJing chapter 42 says 道 生 一 , 一 生 二 , 二 生 三 , 三 生 万 物 。 The Dao/Word creates one (universe), one creates two, two give birth to three, and the combinations give rise to all things.

Compare with Joh 1:1-3
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Isa 57:15  For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:

Heb 7:3  He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.

Rev_1:8  "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

The Word and Its Virtue of Love are ONE
The more interesting part, which is the purpose of this post, is to see that Way 道 and its Virtue 德 are one. It also gives us a good definition of virtue which I shall translate it as love since we proclaim that God is Love.

We shall look at LaoZi's DaoDeJing Chapter 51

A. The Creation 
道 生 之 , 德 畜 之 , 物 形 之 , 势 成 之 。
是 以 万 物 莫 不 尊 道 而 贵 德 。

The Way/Word creates everything.
The Virtue/Love feeds them.
The physical matters give form to them.
The environment completes them.

Genesis 1 tells us that God not only just create the universe. God created the universe with love that living things can flourish in it. God is the God of creation and of love in one. You cannot separate it. God cannot create evil because evil does not belong or come from the God that is of love. 

B The Reasons for the Greatness of Love - Love give birth and doesn't Control
道 之 尊 , 德 之 贵 , 夫 莫 之 命 而 常 自 然 。
故 道 生 之 , 德 畜 之 ﹔
长 之 育 之 ﹔ 成 之 熟 之 ﹔ 养 之 覆 之 。
生 而 不 有 , 为 而 不 恃 ,
长 而 不 宰 。 是 谓 玄 德 。

The honor of the Way/Word, the value of Virtue/Love, is not enforcing his commands but always letting them to decide willingly and naturally.
Hence, it is the Way that give birth to them; the Virtue that nourishes them.

Give them growth(life) and feed them;
Bring them up and mature them; (helping them to succeed in life)
Care for them and cover them.

Give them life and yet don't own them.
Helping them and yet don't insist.
Grow them and yet not rule over them.
This is the great mysterious Virtue/Love.

It is best summarized that "Love give and bring-up life and yet insist not its own".

The Steps of Love:
  1. Love is not just giving birth to life and ignore it. 
  2. Love has the responsibility to bring up the life so that it mature and succeed in life.
  3. Love does not insist or control the life under its care. This is the vulnerability of love. Yet is it love. Any other way will make it non-love. 
  4. Welcoming back the Prodigal Son if ever!
    God created man in love and provided for man. Yet God let man decides to betray Him. And yet, in this betrayal, God provides His very own Son Jesus Christ to die for man and make a way for man to get back to Him.
  5. Love wins!
Let's recap Paul's definition of Love:

1Co 13:4-8  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  5  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  6  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  7  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  8  Love never ends. ...

Let's see Jesus' response to the world that rejected Him:
  • He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.  Joh 1:10
  • He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.  Joh 1:11
  • But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,  Joh 1:12
  • who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  Joh 1:13
The Creator God takes full love responsibility for His creations. The created with love, nourishes with love, discipline with love,  and open the ways to welcome back those that betrayed and rebelled against Him. Will you receive and go back to Him?

For more ... See Chinese Classics & The Bible

Lim Liat (c) 21 Oct 2011


The Seven Steps to Joy

We have a good Mandarin Service today. Pastor John Huang preached a message on "Seven Steps to Happiness" and God's healing power flow freely through him with many people getting healed, comforted, and blessed. It is good for me to capture the essence of his message and share it with others letting the joy of the Lord spreads. Below is my summary with my reflections on his message.

Bible Reference: Phil 4:4-13.

The pastor started his sermon by mentioning that 80% of sickness comes from stress. A happy person is also a healthy person. The "7 Steps to Happiness" are:
  1. Rejoice in the Lord always 4:4. Joy comes from the Lord and from our dependence and trust in the Lord. Consider the uncertainties of the world - the floods, the earthquakes, the weather, and the pandemic, etc, who and what can we trust?
  2. Be humble and giving way to others. 4:5. The English translation is "reasonableness" (ESV), "moderation"(KJV), gentle behavior (BBE), forbearance (CJB). The Chinese translation is the more powerful words "谦让的心" which I translated as the heart of humility and giving ways to others. We are told often to fight for our rights. It is often better to give ways even though we have the right of way!
  3. Don't Worry. There is nothing for us to worry about because our God loves us and hear and answer our requests. 4:6-7. If we have any worries, we must first bring our worries to God. Present our concerns, ask for solutions, and give thanks for the answer. God's answer can be Yes, No, or Wait. Whatever, we thank God for the His answer. We are not to insist God answers us according to our wish. Imagine a kid insisting that God gives him a mustache so that he can be like his father.  When we give thanks for God's answer, meaning we accept God's answer even if it goes against our wish, God's peace will guard our hearts and keep our minds in Christ - the source and power of life and peace.
  4. Think about the Good Things 4:8. We become what we think (Prov 23:7). Pastor shared the story of a great bible scholar whose house was broken into. He gave thanks to God for four things:
    1. It was the 1st break-in in such a long time.
    2. Only little things were stolen. He can buy them again.
    3. It happened when he was not in the house. He was not harmed or frightened.
    4. The thief committed a sin. He did not commit any sin.
  5. Practice, Follow the Words 4:9. Bad things happen because we don't follow the Words of God (the Bible) or the commands given by God when we pray. We focus on the circumstances instead of Jesus' assurance and we blame God for not giving us peace! We must change our talk and our walk to conform to what God says about us.
  6. Being Loved is a Great feeling. 4:10. Paul was grateful that the Philippians had given him much help and concern.
  7. Being Contented is a great joy. 4:11-12. Paul concluded with great joy in v13 that because of Christ, he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. See also Similar Verses in Bible and Chinese Classics 11 Contentment in Whatever Situations.
To understand contentment does mean laziness or not seeking progress, see
The Principles for Greatness: #3 Contented Yet Be Better.

The Book of Philippians is the Book of Joy. A key summary message is about "How to Have Joy Despite the Persecution" . Here is a mind-map summary of the teaching. Hope you understand your calling, find the meaning and purpose of life, and know how to live it joyfully.

The pastor ended with "有主万事足, 无罪一身轻".
Having Christ is contentment in everything.
A Sin free life is a lightness for the body.

See also Joy - Biblical View
and Take a Different View - Getting Rid of Grudges

Lim Liat (C) 16 Oct 2011


Wisdom of Proverbs - Cause and Effect

Bible and the Chinese culture teach us that the law of cause and effect works. You reap what you sow. Melons for melon and beans for bean. But some ultra-grace believers think that God's grace remove the consequences from your bad actions. God does not violate his own words. Removing the consequences only produce spoiled brats and socially unfit weirdos. Let the consequences be the teachers. The best you can do is foretell and may be minimize the impact with your support to help through the consequences.
In Christianity Rediscovered: A Taxonomy for Proverbs, I try to categorize the wisdom of Proverbs so that we can retrieve it quickly and to study it with greater scope and depth.

I have done once with Righteousness in The Righteous - Wisdom from Proverbs.

Here is one study on Cause and Effect, or the Law of Harvests- Sowing and Reaping.

Just in case some Christians think that Proverbs is OT and not NT and hence is not relevant to them, I include the NT references on the same subject.

Here is the mind-map:

God Ensures It works!
There is no running away from this --- the consequences will our actions will catch up with us, because God is the one making sure it will happen. Gal 6:7. Some people think that they can get away with it. Some people mocked that God has fallen asleep since so far they have gotten away with it. They are to read 2Pet 3:8-9. God has all the time to do it and He is kind and just waiting for us to repent. 

You Get What you Sow in Multiplied Effect
Chinese saying "好心有好报, 恶心有恶报", Good heart is rewarded with good and evil heart is rewarded with evil, matches well with the teaching from Proverbs.
Chinese have another related saying on Sowing and Reaping, "种瓜得瓜,种豆得豆", Sow melon reap melon, sow beans reap beans. You don't reap beans by sowing melon and vice versa. 

It is Much Much Better to Sow Goodness than Badness
In the end, Goodness is better than evil.

Growth comes from Disciplined Conflicts or Managed Tensions
I shall end this "Cause and Effect" from the typical discussion of "good and evil" as above with a positive note. It is in Pro 27:27 As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other. In other words, growth comes from disciplined conflicts among people, or as Andy Stanley taught in Managing Tensions. Peace is not lack of action but a dynamic balance of forces. It is a bird singing next to a waterfall. Peace is not everyone the same but a harmonious appreciation of differences. Differences worked out make for growth and better relationship. Differences ignored or covered up will just result in superficial peace on the outside and stress inside, waiting for the 'last straw' to explode. 

God's Forgiving Mercy does not Remove the Consequences.
Many believers think that God's forgiving grace (more accurately, mercy. See "Grace is Unmerited Favor" - This Common Definition is Wrong), removes the consequences from one's actions when one repented. They said that Jesus has fully paid for the penalty of our sins and hence we shall not suffer the penalty for our sins. That is true in the spiritual sense. We have our eternal life through Jesus that we could not by our own effort obtain it. However, we still have this physical life here on earth where we could do something, no matter how little, about our actions. The murderer may receive Jesus Christ as savior but he suffered the penalty of his act, some with death penalty and some with long term imprisonment. They are saved in Christ but they bear the consequence of their act. King David, while repented and forgiven, suffered the consequences of his sinful acts, death of baby, rebellion of his sons, sinful acts of his children etc. 

The Book of Hebrew tells us that a loving Father discipline his children. If parents just remove the consequences of the actions of his children, the children will grow up to be abnormal and ill-adapted to the society. If you find spoiled braids, you will know that their parents had under the misguided understanding of love, remove the consequences of their actions.

God's love does not violate His own Words to us, otherwise, He become unfaithful and untrustworthy! 2Ti_2:13  if we are faithless, he remains faithful-- for he cannot deny himself

Please don't be kinder than God.

God's love accepts us as we are but God's love also could allow us to be as we are and God gives us the grace to grow up to become what we should be.

Lim Liat (c) 13 Oct 2011.


Kingdom Principles Discussion 05 Execution - Walk the Talk

Steve Jobs' success comes not from just dreaming but in passionately executing his dream and even sweating out the details for excellence. In this discussion, we learn from the best, Jesus Christ, what he said about execution. We also cover the reasons for not doing the knowing. We also add in the advices from Chinese Classics, and famous management books on this 'Know Do Gap'.
Continued from Kingdom Principles Discussion 04 The Dual Worlds, our discussion this week is on "The Law of Execution". It about "walking the talking" or "doing the knowing".

The mind-map summarized the discussion:

Learning = Knowing 学 + Doing  习 According to Chinese
The teaching of Chinese Classic (in particular Confucius) is that true learning is the combination of knowing and practicing and it is a joy to do that. It supports Jesus' teaching of doing the known is building a strong foundation and it is the doing that counts (not the talking).

The mind-map above also try to explain the reasons for not doing what we know. We can recall Paul's teaching on Rom 7 that not doing what we know is right is the sin in us. But now that believers are saved and transformed by Jesus, we can't use that as an excuse for not doing. There are other practical reasons and obstacles that stop us from doing what we know.

Our Singapore Problems
We shared that the secret of learning is learning and doing and joy.

Singapore had somewhat kill the joy in the learning process.

Besides, we need to learn how to build relationship network and also to know how to observe, diagnose the problems, ask the right questions and then find the right answers which is not just the 1st one we come out with. We need to see the answers from multiple points of view.For leaning, please look up Learning about Learning from Ancient Chinese

What the Management Gurus Say?
We can also look at the common management books on this topic of "Know and Do". There are two good ones and my subjective summaries with my comments are shown in the mind-maps below. (Please to back to the books for the original content).

The "Know Can Do" Book:

The "Know Do Gap" Book:

You can see that they reflected the teachings of the Bible.

Our Prayers for You

We pray that you may firstly read and understand the Bible and God's calling for your life and then execute on what you have known, learning more along the way, and fulfill God's purpose for your life. May God bless you richly in this journey.

Next: Kingdom Principles Discussion 06 Law of Harvest - Sow to Reap

Index Page: Kingdom Laws & Principles

Lim Liat copyrighted 8 Oct 2011


Knowing and Doing - Mind and Heart - Gloom to Glory

We tend to be stuck in this struggle that Paul pointed out in Rom 7:19  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Or may be in the lesser degree of just doing nothing - knowing the good and should and do not.

But God has kindly provided us, way back in the old times, the Proverbs and the Psalms to help us.

Proverbs for Wisdom - for the Mind
If we don't know what to do, lacking wisdom, then we should read Proverb. Just read any one will do. Best of course, is to do an indepth study and organizing of the knowledge of wisdom in Proverbs to something that you can refer easily for wisdom. e.g. A Taxonomy for Proverbs or The Righteous - Wisdom from Proverbs.

Psalms for Strength - for the Heart
However, as we say at the start, we may know what to do but we are just not motivated enough to do it. We may be depressed. We can't the energy or strength to do. We are worry whether we can do it. We are fearful to start. It may be due to external events - lost sales or internal thing feeling - no mood. For such emotional and motivational issue, Psalm provides a good medicine.

Let reads Ps 60 as an example. We go though the 4 steps.
  1. Initial Stage of Doom and Gloom. v1-v3. 
  2. Shift Focus - Banner of Salvation
    Looking Upon God v4-v5. We must shift focus from looking at ourselves and the situation to look at God's banner of salvation.
  3. Hear His Answer - Go
    v6-v9 shows forth God's promise of conquest. Proclaim God's right and answers over the needs. Proclaim the victory that God has given the promised land to us. Hear God's challenge - Who shall go ?
  4. Go with Boldness in the Lord
    v10 is our doubt that we bring up again. Doubt is not a bad thing. It brings out our concern. It just needs to be answered. Go to Setp 2 and 3 and hear God's promises.
    v11 tells us that men cannot be trusted. We can repeat our request for God's help.
    v12 shows us our faith in God grows and we boldly move out. It is not by our strength that we go forth. It is God's strength that is with us as we move forward. It is God who will give us the victory and tread down our foes, obstacles, objections. 
  5. Be encouraged. Be joyful. It is God who is with us. By His strength, we shall conquer.
With God, we shall move forth valiantly.


The Great Role of Women in Sharing the Good News

In one of my lunch meeting, Marketplace Pastor James Lee shared on Ps 68:11, pointing out the great role the large number of women are playing in His Kingdom business. He said that the word women is missing in the popular English translation but only appear in the Chinese Translation. So we checked it out during the lunch and found it true enough --- it is not in the KJV version but it is there in the Chinese CUV using the Bible in our phones - Andriod and iPhone etc. Now that I am home with access to my PC loaded with eSword with many translations of the Bible, here is what I found.

The Translations without Women are:

(KJV)  The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.
(ERV)  My Lord gave the command, and many people went to tell the good news:

and [LITV], [MJKV], [NLT], [Wesbter]

The Translations with Women mentioned in Ps 68:11 are:

(CUV-S)   主发命令,传好信息的妇女成了大群。
(ASV)  The Lord giveth the word: The women that publish the tidings are a great host.
(BBE)  The Lord gives the word; great is the number of the women who make it public.
(CEV)  You gave the command, and a chorus of women told what had happened:
(CJB)  Adonai gives the command; the women with the good news are a mighty army.
(ESV)  The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host:
(GNB)  The Lord gave the command, and many women carried the news:
(NASB)  The Lord gives the command; The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host: 
(RV)  The Lord giveth the word: the women that publish the tidings are a great host.
(YLT)  The Lord doth give the saying, The female proclaimers are a numerous host.

The Lord gave & great number of women responded - Where are the men?
To answer this, we need to read the Ps in context. It is about the restoration (or some say about the possession of the promised land). It is about the Lord executing the justice and blessings - blessing the righteous and deprived and removing the evil doers. It is about the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth. Beside v11, v12 is also related. So let show them together:

Taking from GW translation:
Psa 68:11  The Lord gives instructions. The women who announce the good news are a large army.
Psa 68:12  They say, "The kings of the armies flee; they run away. The women who remained at home will divide the goods.

Here are the key learning points:
  1. The starting point of any work or project must be from the Lord. (The Lord gives the command/instruction/word).
  2. The women responded in great number. 
  3. They proclaim the good news - defeat of the enemy, victory of God's people.
  4. They who remained at home divide the spoils. 
  5. Who did the chasing? I can only say it is likely to be the men. The women could and probably have joined in the chase as well.
  6. Those whose stay and those who go shares in the blessings - divided goods. (See 1Sa 30:24  ... Certainly, the share of those who go into battle must be like the share of those who stay with the supplies. They will all share alike." )
We see the women taking the lead, and in great number, in proclaiming the His Kingdom on earth. They shall be greatly bless. We would likewise wish to encourage the men to respond to the Lord in great number too.

Lim Liat copyrighted 4 Oct 2011


Similar Verses in Bible and Chinese Classics 11 Contentment in Whatever Situations

Consider the following taken from Chapter 14 of the Book of the Doctrine of the Mean 中庸:

The wise man acts according to the position and situation he is in; he does not desire to go beyond this (by crossing boundaries into others territories). In wealth and honor, he does what is right in the position of wealth and honor. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position. Among barbarians, he does what is right among barbarous tribes. In sorrow and difficulty, he does what is right in the state of sorrow and difficulty.
The wise man will be contented with whatever the situation he finds himself in.
In a high position, he does not ill treat his inferiors. In a low position, he does not carry the favor of his superiors. He corrects himself, and does not expect others to give favors to him, so that he has no complains. He does not blame Heaven above, nor men below.
Thus the wise man is at peace listening and waiting for the appointments of Heaven, while the mean man walks in dangerous paths, looking for lucky breaks.
Compare the the following from Paul's writing:
Php_4:11  Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 

2Co_12:10  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

1Co 9:19  For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21  To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.  22  To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23  I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
There are few key lessons for us:
  1. We are to be contented in whatever situations we find ourselves in. The least is not to complain nor to blame others for our situations. Complaining and blaming others are common reactions from people but we are different. We are citizens of Heaven and live differently from others.
  2. We are to stay at peace and be calm to listen to and to discover God's will in this situation for us.
  3. Paul tells us to bring God's strength and grace to the situation, especially when it is a bad and difficult situation. Paul says when he is weak than he can be strong because God can work through him. We brings God into any situation we face even when we are rich so that we can use the influence for good.
  4. The right behavior for the Situation. We are in a particular situation to bring God's grace into the situation. In riches and honors to reach out to the rich. In low and poor to reach out to them. Sent to the barbarians to reach-out to them. Find out what God you to do in your present situation.
  5. Don't try to take risks to break out of the situation. Just do well in your present position. When you have accomplished your mission there, God will promote you.
  6. It takes some reflection on our behavior too. Is there any errors that I need to correct? Is there any area where I need to improve? We can ask for help but don't blame and don't demand others to help you. Let others help you willingly. God will give you wisdom and God will send the right ones to help you. Must most important of all, it begins with ourselves. Are we wiling to learn and change?
  7. Have the patience. Do whatever is best in your present situations. Trust that God will promote you. The time will come. We are content to be whatever situation we are in and we are always ready to grow up and go into another situation that God has planned for us.
For more like these see Chinese Classics & The Bible
and also The Principles for Greatness: #3 Contented Yet Be Better

Lim Liat copyrighted 1 Oct 2011