Category Archives: Life’s Journey

God’s Faith, Hope, and Love

Faith is about beliefs that have a strong element of assumptions. Man’s knowledge and resources are limited. Much about life is accepted-assumed as true, unchallenged as a given on this basis of faith-belief or assumptions. 

Faith is operative primarily in and for the moment or the present. The Bible says faith brings the intangible hope of something in the future into the present (Heb11:1). 

This process, between faith and hope, makes an intangible hope into something more tangible (still intangible) to satisfy the present.

Hope is about a future goal. It represents man’s purpose, something, someone, or an outcome valued and worth pursuing. It presents man’s values.

There are many ways to express what love is all about. I am by no means competent in this department of love.

To support love’s connection to faith and hope, this post frames love being a decision drawing its strength from the resolve of the faith in the relationship and affection (emotional attachment) with the hope of a desired future arising from that relationship. 

The above describes faith, hope, and love in general terms. 

What is God’s focus or definition concerning these 3 pillars of the Christian faith (1Co13:13)?

Below is an attempt to support clarity in answering this question-

1. FAITH is about belief in the promise of the resurrection (1Pet1:3), the promise of His return (Heb10:37, 1Pet1:7), and the promise of the eternal rewards (Mat16:27, 1Co3:14, Heb10:35).

2. HOPE is about the hope in the resurrection (1Per1:3) realized by FAITH that does not put the believer to shame (Rom5:5).

3. LOVE is about loving the unseen Christ (1Pet1:8) realized by FAITH with joy unspeakable while enduring tribulations (1Pet1:6-7).

Spiritual Warfare

Eph6:12 – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The unseen realm is where the war over our soul-mind (Rom12:2, 2Co10:3-5, Phil4:7) takes place. 

God wants the believer to be strong in the power of His might to fight this spiritual war, according to Eph6:10. 

What is this might of Eph6:10? It is found in the armor but are there practical truths about Eph6’s armour of God and the Word of God as a sword in Eph6:17 to support, clarify, access, or empower this might? 

Eph6:13-17 presents the whole armor of God. The actions of “stand” and “take” of the armor of God are employed to fight this spiritual battle.

Apart from Eph6’s strategy, one can flee (2Tim2:22) and watch and pray to be aware of the weakness of the flesh although the spirit is willing (Mat26:41).

This post is my noob reflections, taking baby steps in spiritual warfare, where  the focus is on the battle and leaving the outcome to God.

When I say focus on the battle, I do not mean that we are directly waging the battle in the unseen realm, not directly anyway. 

This focus invites and empowers the divine beings to come to our aid. They are the one’s doing the battle while we offer them the weapons of our faith in the Word.

This post explores what about the Word this faith needs to focus on for the spiritual battle.

The Focus

The Bible is overflowing with the consistent theme of God’s love (grace, mercies, and forgiveness) and God’s justice (righteousness, dominion, power, restoration) in His word and life circumstances

Rom10:9-10 Is the core salvation verse. To confess Jesus is Lord is about remission of sins thru His blood, Christ crucified. It is about God’s love.

And to believe in the heart, He was raised on the 3rd day, is about God’s justice, for He was raised for man’s justification (Rom4:15-Rom5:1). 

God’s love is manifested in Christ crucified and His shed blood for the remission of sins and foundation for justification (Rom5:9). 

God’s justice is manifested by the power that raised Jesus from the dead and the promise of His return, the coming of His dominion (His Kingdom come and His Will is done).

The above are the tools or weapons for the spiritual warfare that speaks of the double-edged sword of the Spirit of His Word in Eph6:17.

Drawing from Eph3:20 -” Now unto him, that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”

The “think” is to perceive; visualize, and imagine. I imagine the love of God (faith in the love of Christ crucified and faith in His sanctifying blood) represents the shield (of faith) and is the defensive spiritual weapon for the divine beings (angles and NOT me) to reclaim and make holy the battleground.

This defensive shield, a spiritual weapon, creates a safe space, a clam in the storm offering respite for the weary and troubled soul from the spiritual attacks.

I imagine the justice of God (faith in the power that raised Jesus and faith-hope in His coming dominion) is the offensive spiritual weapon for the divine beings to overcome the forces of darkness (naming the spirits takes place).

Closing Statements

I am a lay Christian. The above are personal thoughts with some scriptural basis.

I embarked on the above after listening to Pt1 and Pt2 of Derek Prince’s video on this subject of spiritual warfare. There are 4 parts to this series.

Part 1 – https://youtu.be/r3q3GgIIONs

Part 2 – https://youtu.be/o348jdFeFOI

Paidon, Teknon and Huois

It takes confidence in God and the relationship one has with Him to uphold His justice and live in His gift of loving forgiveness.

The latter is a comfort zone of “Teknon,” child (not mature) of God, and the former is for matured sons, Huios.

Teknon of Rom8:16 is how the believer relate to God in His gifts, love, and mercies. Come to Him as little children (Mat18:3, the word little children is Paidon in Greek, means infant, little children, which is one stage of life before Teknon) to experience His loving kindness.

In the life of Teknon or Paidon of the Christian, there is abundant God’s love, forgiveness, and restoration.

However, the mature sons of God, Huois, are led by the Spirit (righteous living, heavenward focus) and not after the flesh (carnal living, earthbound) after Rom8:14 and Rom8:9. In the life of Huois, there is discipline, stewardship, calling and rewards.

The complete Christian is a composite of both Teknon-Paidon and Huois. They are manifestations of God’s love and God’s justice. As sons, we emulate and take after our Abba in heaven, the embodiment of love and justice.

There are NO winners, except the evil realm, to marginalize either His love or His justice. Embrace both and live out both.

Discipleship and Spiritual Apathy (Part2 of 3)

This post is partially extracted from the video link – https://youtu.be/lpiQdRd9DSc and blended with personal insights. The video is about Getting into Word to produce disciples of Christ, Part 1.

The video draws upon the parable of the Sower to expand on the nature and issues of spiritual apathy that is poison to the goal of being the discipleship of the Lord Jesus.

Mat13 – 1-15 Parable of the Sower is in the category of a Kingdom Parable is a foundational parable to understand all other parables. This parable draws attention to the heart condition of the believer in His Kingdom. Many view the parable of the Sower as relevant to the unbelieving world- but why would this parable of the Kingdom, where only believers can qualify to be Kingdom citizens, be directed to non-citizens unbelievers?

I am not saying there is no application for unbelievers, but the context of Mat13 appears to indicate its relevance for believers.

The parable in a nutshell-

  1. The Setting of the parable – About the Kingdom of God
  2. The Story – A Sower sowing the same seed in 4 types of ground (heart condition)- impenetrably hard by the wayside, the shallow rocky soil, the soil where thorns grow, and the good soil.
  3. The Significance – To teach the truth about the heart condition as foundational to spiritual growth and maturity.

 

Three existential reality shapes the heart dictating one’s response to the word of God. They are the deceived, discouraged and distracted hearts.

  1. The reality of one’s life pursuits- beware of the fallacy of pride that can hijack the life pursuit. This represents the hardness of the unconverted heart (along the hardened wayside), hardening in unbelief, and hardening in stubborn pride. This heart is deceived.
  1. The reality of one’s pain, a discouraged heart bearing the scars of trauma, represents the shallow rocky soil. The pain is expressed as the scorching sun of tribulation and persecution (Mat13:9).

The pain of life makes one forget about God as the root is shallow (not inclined to depend on God) and resorts to other means to solve the pain. God and His revelational truths become the emergency panic button of last resort to solve the pain. This heart is discouraged.

The heart’s shallowness is likely due to being traumatized by life’s pain to protect itself. But this same coping mechanism also results in a superficial relationship with God.

  1. The reality of one’s desire for pleasure, where the distractions and pleasures of life enchant the heart. This heart is represented by thorns, the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of wealth. This person desires blessing over the God who is the source of blessing. Such a person forsakes their eternal values for earthly pleasures. This heart is distracted.

In the next post, the cost of discipleship covers the solutions to these heart conditions that impede the authentic discipleship of Christ.

Que Sera Sera- What Will Be, Will Be – Despair or Hope

This post comes on the heels of the recent post, Truth about Faith.

Once a friend made this statement – “Whatever must come will come”

This statement echoed the song Que Sera Sera. This post captures my thoughts about the wisdom of this mantra.

This mantra has been operating as a reality check, a filter of sorts, for appreciating the current and forecasted events, many of them promoting fearful uncertainty.

Whether mainstream or alternative, the news is rife with flavors of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This daily inundation of fear and uncertainty poisons the soul.

The mantra of “What will be, will be” or “Whatever must come will come” is not a fatalistic attitude given to despair. Instead, it underpins how I do not drown in earthly preparations (which I still make plans within my means) in light of the foreseeable future. It breaks the vicious cycle of the constant flow of bad news that would otherwise overwhelm me with despair and paralysis. My soul stays afloat amidst the stormy sea of negativity because my HOPE is in God’s faithfulness of His eternal promises.

His promise of my resurrection and His return are the source of HOPE, which motivates me to gradually (day by day) let go of this earthly life, weakening its stranglehold that stems from the demands and expectations of the various roles one has in this life.

This letting go involves the weaning of the fear of events, fear of man, and fear of death. Hope fills the gaping void created by the absence of these fears.

It is a balancing act of sorts, having a heavenward mindset while living in the earthly moment, searching and seeking to experience meaning trying to connect to the heavenward mindset. This process requires the spiritual awakening of the soul.

While each person’s life journey is unique, where comparison is meaningless, the journeys share the common experience expressed in these words – enduring patience.

Truth about Faith

Faith is not limited to religious persuasions but is universally embraced by man. However, faith’s purpose, meaning, and significance are not universal. This post explores the purpose, meaning, and significance of the Christian faith; The truth about faith.

Imagine the following two private conversations-

“Have faith,” my best friend offers me these consoling words, with a lump forming in her throat while gently brushing my hand at my husband’s funeral.

“Have faith,” the father smiles with encouragement while his eyes convey worry, comforting the family as his wife undergoes a major operation.

These scenes are repeated worldwide, albeit in different ways but centralized on the issue of faith. Regardless of which religion, this kind of faith is directed at something or someone that transcends the earthly realm.

The Bible, especially the New Testament (NT), reveals many nuances concerning the Christian faith. This post will explore the truth about faith to determine if this truth supports the above two imaginary conversations.

Hope, faith, and love are the pillars of Christianity (1Co13:13). Love has greater clarity and a defined focus. 1Co13 is a whole chapter dedicated to what love means to God.

Moreover, the NT’s only Law is to fulfill the commandment of love (Rom13:10), also known as the Law of Christ in Gal6:2.

The Christian faith and hope in the two conversations have an earthly focus. Does the NT truth about faith and hope support an earthly focus?

Spoiler alert – As this post examines the scriptures for the truth about faith, the truth about hope will also be revealed.

Let’s start with two relatively well-known scriptures concerning faith and two lesser-known ones.

  1. 2Co5:7 – “We walk by faith and not by sight.”
  1. Heb11:6 –“But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
  1. Rom14:23 – “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
  1. 1Pet1:7 –“ That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

Without going into the context (the context will be explored later), the 4 verses above describe faith as a walk (conduct, living the Christian life) that is absolutely essential to please God. Else it amounts to sin. Furthermore, when this faith is tested, its eternal values increase for the Day of the Lord.

To avoid this post becoming an overwhelming Bible study experience, these 4 verses, contextually (meaning when one read the whole chapter), all share one contextual thing in common. They all share the context that this faith is about the belief in the resurrection of Christ and the believer’s resurrection.

The central focus of the resurrection common to all 4 verses is returning to the roots of Christian salvation, which is found in Rom10:9-10 –

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

The belief or faith that saves is meant to have the singular focus on the resurrection of Christ. These 4 verses reinforce the paramount importance of this faith of the resurrection in the Christian walk on the earth that has eternal significance.

As if God is concerned that the importance of the resurrection escapes the Christian awareness, Paul said this in 2Co13:5, where he urged the believer to self-examine whether one is in faith, living by the power of God as displayed in the resurrection of Christ (2Co13:4). Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then says this in 2Co13:8 –

“For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.”

What truth is Paul alluding to? This truth is the truth of the resurrection mentioned a few verses earlier. In other words, paraphrasing 2Co13:8 – to live by the faith in the power of the resurrection is God’s truth concerning the Christian faith.

For those interested in a deeper dive to support the above claim, below explores the supporting context.

  1. 2Co5:1-6 shows the context of the walk of faith in 2Co5:7 is an eternal heavenward’s focus of the resurrection vs. the temporary earthly body (2Co5:1-6).
  1. Heb11:16 shows the context of faith that pleased God in Heb11:6 is the faith in the hope of a better heavenly country (Heb11:16) vs. being a stranger and pilgrim on the earth (Heb11:13). Moreover, the reward mentioned in Heb11:6 would likely be referring to the eternal rewards of the out-resurrection of Phil3:10-11 and 1Co3, derived from the good works of gold, silver, and precious stones.
  1. Rom14:8-9 talks about whether the believers live or die, it is done unto Christ who died and rose again. As the believers are not eyewitnesses to the Lord’s death and resurrection, the believers require faith in this regard for the Lord’s death and resurrection to be real for them.

Therefore, Rom14:23’s “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” has contextual support. This faith is the faith in the death and resurrection of Christ that He loved us. Thus when the lesser faith about eating certain foods is disputed, know that FAITH of the Lord’s death and resurrection compels one to respond in love.

  1. 1Pet1:3-5 talks about the faith in the living hope of the resurrection. 1Pet1:6 discusses how suffering can be experienced in unspeakable joy because of this hope. Therefore, it stands to reason that the context of the faith tested in 1Pet1:7 is the testing of the faith in the living hope of the resurrection on the Day of the Lord.

It should be more apparent now that Christian hope is the hope of the resurrection and not an earthly hope.

Conclusion

The above narrative offers compelling evidence that the Christian faith in God is not about hoping to be healed, to get a better job, or for a soul mate, any earthly needs-wants.

While these are legitimate earthly need-want, this faith that pleases God of the Christian walk focuses on the heavenward goals, especially the resurrection, and not on earthly need-want.

Discipleship – The Need for Spiritual Maturity (Part1 of 3)

This post is partially extracted from the video link – https://youtu.be/lpiQdRd9DSc and blended with personal insights.

The video is about Getting into Word to produce disciples of Christ, Part 1.

The video draws attention to the traits of a disciple of Christ, where their focus is on the divine alignment and divine assignment.

The topic of discipleship is close to my heart for a few reasons. Firstly, making disciples is the great commission of Mat28. 

Mat28:19 does not say to convert the unbeliever by saying the sinner’s prayer of Rom10:9-10 but to make disciples that observe the Lord’s commandments (Mat28:20).

This post is the 1st post of 3 posts.

To support this focus, the video posed the question – what is the critical issue facing the body of Christ (BoC)?

Spiritual maturity is the critical issue and need facing the BoC for the spiritual health of Christ-likeness. Spiritual maturity is not predicated on the age as a Christian or status in the 5-fold ministry.

The opposite of spiritual maturity is spiritual indifference or apathy. Spiritual apathy produces non-disciples believers and pseudo-disciple believers.

A non-disciple is indifferent and avoids the matters of God. Such a person calls on God and avoids the call of God. The pseudo-disciple lacks an adequate spiritual compass.

Spiritual maturity is not-

1.      Spiritual knowledge is not spiritual maturity. A person can have much spiritual knowledge but lead a carnal life.

2.      Spiritual zeal is not spiritual maturity.

3.      Spiritual activism that leads to spiritual titles or valued positions is not spiritual maturity.

4.      Spiritual giftedness is not spiritual maturity.

Spiritual maturity is about divine alignment and divine assignment as measured by the Word of God.

1.      Divine alignment – About submission and obedience to God’s will by valuing the truth in His Word through revelations and spiritual awakening.

This alignment will take the view as created spiritual beings and not only physical beings.

2.      Divine assignment – About living a life of repentance, meekness, and having a servant’s heart. By taking this view, we are carrying out earthly assignments with eternal value.

To expand on the challenges of spiritual apathy, the video draws from the Parable of the Sower expounded  in post 2 out of 3, titled Discipleship and Spiritual Apathy.

My Solution to Insulin Resistance

I had symptoms of insulin resistance, feeling fatigued after a carbohydrate-heavy meal. My BMI was about 26.

Lifestyle changes to diet, reducing the amount consumed and meal frequency to two meals a day over 6 months solved the problem.

Not only was the fatigue significantly reduced even with a carbohydrate heavier meal, but the BMI dropped from 26 to 21.

It takes an exploratory approach and be sensitive to one’s body’s response to the different types of food.

Increase the intake of natural foods with higher satiety, such as avocado and macadamia nuts.

My noon meal cost about USD5 comprises 3 fried large-sized eggs using olive oil, garlic, soya sauce, and squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 large size avocado, a handful of baked unsalted nuts about 7-10 pieces of each nut type (macadamia, almonds, and cashew), 2-3 roasted chestnuts, one 250gram raw Japanese cucumber, some blue cheese to enhance the flavor further of the fried egg, and a handful of frozen blueberries. The beverage is made of raw honey (2 teaspoons) and 1/3 of a whole lemon.

This noon meal contains about 900 calories.

My 6 pm meal is rice with leafy vegetables (200grams) and meat (130grams), costing about USD8 and containing about 600 calories.

Self-care of the body is a form of self-love. God commanded to love your neighbor as you love yourself in Luke10:27. The basis of loving others is built on the foundations of healthy self-love.

Treating the body properly is an essential part of healthy self-love.

Freedom from Slavery- Yes, and No

https://www.theberean.org/index.cfm/main/default/id/3692/ver/NKJV/2-timothy-3-1-5.htm

This article that expounds on 2Tim3:1-5 ended on this note-

“The idea of “servant” becomes clearer when we understand it as “slave.” Slavery is another metaphor for what self-satisfaction produces. Sin puts us in bondage to the cruelest taskmaster in the universe, Satan, the one who generates this host of self-centered attitudes. 

We are completely unable to break free from this bondage without supernatural help, (as said in) Hebrews 2:14-15.”

It is a little appreciated truth that the new man in Christ is still enslaved. 

God describes this freedom from bondage in Jhn8:36 to mean being set free from the old man’s slavery, but the new man remains a slave to righteousness (Rom6:16,22).

The shift of the slave realm of the old man (Rom6:6) subject to the law of sin and death (Rom8:2) to the new man subject to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom8:2) is a clear sign that this new slave relationship with God is not a relationship where anything goes.

For this reason, God says He is not mocked in Gal6:7, for any man that sows to not bear the burdens (moral faults) of others of Gal6:2 and to not bear his own burdens of Gal6:5 (this burden is God’s will for the individual manifested in life circumstances) such shall reap what they sow. (paraphrase of Gal6:7).

It goes back to the article’s focus that man is enslaved by their obsessive entitled sense of “Self Satisfaction.”

The new man operating under the new law of enslavement is the solution for this old disease.

Self-Examination or To Examine

Self-examination or prove (KJV) is related to the Greek word dokimazo.

It means to test, examine, and scrutinize to recognize as genuine and deemed worthy.

Dokimazo is used in the NT in various contexts. 

Inward (self) Proving

 1. 2Co13:5, self-examination focuses on examining whether one is in faith, living by the power of God as displayed in the resurrection of Christ (2Co13:4).

This faith of 2Co13:5 is the belief in the hope of this resurrection, our resurrection, especially the 1st resurrection of Rev20:6 that needs to be earned according to Paul in Phil3:10-11.

Paul goes on to frame this faith in the resurrection as the truth in 2Co13:8.

The other inward proving is related to taking the holy communion found in 1Co11:28.

Outward Proving

2. The other forms of examining in the NT are no longer, about an inward examination but an outward examination

2.1 Rom12:2,  Rom2:18, andv 1Th5:21- Prove what is good to discover and align with God’s will.

2.2 2Co8:8 and Phil1:10 are about proving love and excellence for sincerity, Gal6:4 proving one’s own work (of bearing burdens to fulfill the Law of Christ), 1Jhn4:1 is about proving every spirit relating to false prophets.

In-Summary

Personally, I practice self-examination using a clear and pure conscience to guide me in areas of sincerity, bearing the burdens of Gal6:2 and testing and validating God’s will.

I talk, think and dream about the resurrection daily, so the encouragement to examine one’s faith in the resurrection is moot for me but needful for the body of Christ.

Other forms of self-examination or examinations would be outside the wise counsel of the NT scriptures.