Just ONE Advice for Success - Psalm 1 Live Righteously

There are many advice for you to be successful. Some of them are even conflicting. There is one that will ensure your success, and you must always stick to it no matter what. It is 'Live Righteously' and there is an Almighty God that will make sure you have the blessings in due seasons. 
The book of Psalms begins with 'live rightly and be blessed' in Ps 1and ends with 'praise the Lord' in Ps 150. There are many voices in the world that teach you to do or that to be successful in life. There is only one that you should listen and stick to no matter what. This is explained in Psalm 1 with the promised blessings for the righteous and the warning against the wicked. Here is the min-map:

1. Begins with Knowing and Internalising the Laws of Lord 
Only when our mind and heart are filled with the Laws of the Lord that we could stay away from evil and obey the leading of the Lord. It requires us to read the Bible and to meditate on it throughout our day and night. When there are choices to be made, we will need to check with the Lord. Someone suggested asking "What will Jesus do in this situation?".

2. Avoid and Stay Away from Evil Company
No one will tell you that he is up to doing evil or nasty thing. They will give you good reasons for doing such and such. It is usually how much benefits you will be getting or how much you will loose if you don't . You will be so silly to miss such great opportunity. Others are doing it and enjoying the 'blessing' so it is OK. Furthermore, you will be caught if ever. Under such tempting pressures and lures, how would you decide unless you have the mindset of Christ internalised. Remember to stick to the Bible teaching even though it sounds like you would be missing 'great' things.
3. Repent if Yielded to Sin
Even when we fall for it, remember to repent and get out of it quickly. Don't get stuck in sin. The arms of God is like the Prodigal Son's Father, forever opened to welcome back repentant sinners.

4. Fruits in Due Seasons
The blessings for doing the right things will come in due seasons. Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. The key word is season. The tree does not bear fruit all the time, but according to the seasons. There is a right time for the right thing. Be not worry or panicky, stay  on the righteous course and the good blessings will surely come. Note the assurance of 'he prospers in everything that he does!".

5. You are Healthy and Strong in the mean time.
While waiting for the fruit, the tree is blossoming with green leaves of vitality and life. The secret for such vitality is in the roots that draw water from the streams, the Word and the Holy Spirit. The greatest danger is to sneer at the Words or God. Always revere God and abide in His words and the blessings are ensured. May the grace of God keeps you in Him and be His wonderful testimonies to all.

As a bonus, here is Psalm 91 Protection for those who abide in Him:

Lim Liat (c) 16 Aug 2013


The Sequel to the Banquet Parable - Romans 11 The Last becomes First

In Romans 11, Paul emphasized that God has never forgotten nor rejected his fellow Jews. Salvation is based solely on faith and not on work, no matter Jews or Gentiles. The salvation of the Gentiles will awake the Jews. Christ will come again and will unit all people unto Him. In the Parable of the Banquet, the original invited guests did not come, and the invitations went to the others. In this sequel, the original guests was given another invitation, and they show up. The first becomes last and the last become first. It is not by work but by faith in the grace of God. 
Many successful and famous people have said that success is a poor teacher. It does not teach us much. It even leads us to have a distorted view of reality causing us to think so highly of ourselves and wrong attributed the gifts and contributions of others as our own ability. In the Bible record, God first revealed Himself to Abraham and later to Moses, God gave his Laws. The Jews were the first choice of God to show His love to others and to attract the Gentiles to come to know Him through them. But given so much revelations, they, as typical of all man, of Adam, think that they could achieve justification by themselves. They said to Moses, "Just tell us God's laws and we will obey them". Such confidence has led them reject God's grace. On the other hand, to those, the Gentiles, that have not heard of God Laws, gladly received the grace of salvation of Jesus Christ. It is so ironical that the first became last and the last become first. This was illustrated with the Parable of the Banquet and the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 20:16 and 19:30.

In the final analysis, it is not whether first or last, but rather, just be saved. God will not forget his covenant with the Jews but His basis of salvation changes not, by faith, no matter what races. Paul has addressed this at the start of Romans 2:29  "But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. " and in Col 2:11 to the Gentiles: " In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, "

Here is the summary of Romans 11 in mind-map form:

Lim Liat (c) 12 Aug 2013


Salvation is by Faith not Performance - Romans 10 Call Upon Jesus

Paul highlighted that his fellow Jews missed the mark by wanting to justify themselves through the performance of good work by Moses' Laws. The Laws were meant to lead them the need for a Savior through knowing that they were unable to fulfill the requirement of the Laws. Paul repeated three times in verses 9 to 11 that 'whosoever calls upon Jesus shall be saved".  There is the need to preach the Gospel and the encouragement put down our pride to receive Jesus when we hear it.
Chapters 9 to 11 of Romans relate to the salvation of the Jews or more precisely the lack of because they, being given the Laws through Moses, want to attain it by observing the them. Such a desire to perform and to achieve justification, though impossible in actual practice, is just the work of pride and self-confidence. Refusal to admit one's lack and rejection of help are just pride. Self-determination of right and wrong is precisely the sin of Adam.  See Knowledge Tree of Good and Evil,

Another key teaching of this chapter 10 is "whoever calls upon Jesus shall be saved". It was emphasized many times in 10:8-11.

Since salvation is so important and yet so simple, Paul encouraged all to preach it.

To the hearer of the gospel, Paul pleaded with them that they should response immediately. This is an echo of

"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." Heb 3:15, 4:7.    
Here is the mind-map that summarizes the chapter:
Lim Liat (c) 6 Aug 2013