Friday, July 31, 2009

BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

This piece of armour has two sides, one at the back and one at the front. It protects the heart and internal organs. It protects from sword, spear and arrows. Without this piece of armour, the body of the soldier is unprotected and his heart may be in danger. Once his heart fails, everything gives way. Remember this: THE DEVIL WILL AIM YOUR HEART!

The Bible calls this armour, Breatplate of Righteousness. When the Bible talks about Righteousness, there may be two meanings.


First, it is your position in Christ, you are righteous because of the Blood of Jesus. God took your sins and placed them upon Jesus when you accepted the Lord into your life. God accepts you now as a child of God. You must be sure of this! If not, maybe you have not heard the complete gospel. Maybe you have not fully known the power of the cross. But when you do know this truth, then you are ready to advance! You are ready for anything Satan throws at you! Your heart, the 'central organ' is protected!

Secondly, the Breastplate of Righteousness also means the righteous acts that flow out from that position. Do what is right in the eyes of God. Putting on this armour means you are willing to follow the orders of our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ! A soldier must follow orders. The letter of James says it plainly, Faith without works is dead!


(1 John 3:18-22)


Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.


Therefore, first things first, get right with God if you want victory. If you want to influence people for Jesus! In the thick of battle, the more you need the Breastplate! The more you need the confidence that God is pleased with your walk with Him. The conscience that is free! How many Christian became unfruitful because their consciense pricked them. Their past and present guilt rendered them ineffective.


Charles Spurgeon said, "Lose all rather than lose your integrity, and when all else is gone, still hold fast a clear conscience as the rarest jewel which can adorn the bosom of a mortal. A rarest jewel indeed!"


So, guard yourself against sins especially those addictive ones like pornography, drugs, alcohol and gambling, lying etc. If you are addicted to a habitual sin, then find someone more spiritual to help. Admit your sins and your need for help! You cannot win the war with Satan if you walk out of the will of God. The sin we commit will slowly and surely hurt us and eventually kill our faith if we do not deal with it. Little by little, it will grow into destruction of our faith. Final aim of our number one enemy is to destroy our faith! And thus stop your influence of the Gospel.


The devil knows our weaknesses and will do his best to make us sin against God. How then can we address sin or counsel people or share Christ with others when we ourselves are involved in habitual sin. Therefore, put on the breastplate of righteousness! If you want to advance into the devil's territories and win the battle! Deal seriously with sin before it becomes a habitual sin. The earlier you talk it out with someone, the better you deal with it. I am not talking about perfection but living a commited Christian life!


Always refer to your position in Christ! That's the first meaning of the Breastplate of Righteousness mentioned above! That the blood of Jesus cleanses you from all sins! When you know you are all clear, then you are ready to fight!!


(1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.


Note: Full Armoured Christians fight from the position of victory. With God's power and under the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, we just have to evict demonic powers out of the lives of people in Jesus' Name! And the gospel will reach the hearts of people and save them. That may include our loved ones who have not received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.


Next Part of Armour - Feet fitted with readiness. Don't miss it!
http://psbible.blogspot.com/2009/08/feet-fitted-with-gospel-of-peace.html

ARMOUR OF GOD SERIES: THE BELT OF TRUTH


In this age of great moral confusion, Christians must brace themselves for the onslaught of a worldly system and its values being hammered onto us. In view of this barrage of ungodly 'poisons' by the evil one to fail Christians, PS Bible Ministry will take a closer and fresher look at the Armour of God. We have to know that these powerful, the six plus one-piece Armour that God wants us to PUT ON as we go and share the good news of God's love! This Armour provided by God for us is in view of mankind's number one enemy, Satan, who will do whatever he can to stop us advancing the the kingdom of God with the Gospel of Christ.


First of all, we must understand that only Christians who are prepared to do God's work need this Armour. A “soldier” who has quit the army does not need his uniform and his weapons. Anyway, the devil, our enemy, will leave these nominal Christians alone as they pose no threat to him.


Secondly, if we are serious with God, then we have to PUT ON the armour! In a war zone, it is unthinkable for a soldier to be in a fight without all the necessary gears and weapons! So many Christians are living defeated lives because they are ignorant of the spiritual Armour that is made available for them by God. They may gain victory at first but when the battle drags on, they lose their zeal and give up.


The letter of Ephesians was written by the apostle Paul in prison. All the time, there would be two Roman soldiers guarding him and since Paul had nowhere to go at that time, he could have watched carefully the Armour that the guards were wearing. Paul knew that the Christians’ fight for the sake of the gospel must go on to greater heights and to advance to greater territories. Satan is angry with Christians who bend on reaching the lost and he would do anything to stop the flow. The devil would battle with all his might to stop the advancement of the gospel at all cost.


(Ephesians 6:10-12)


Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.


In these three verses, Paul wants Christians to be strong in the Lord! Why do they need to be strong? Simple. Because this Gospel of grace will go on stronger and the light of Christ shine brighter! Then he goes on to say that we need to fight!! We need to do battles! Battles with who? The terrorists? The Romans? NO!! But with the number one enemy, the devil!! And his plan to stop the gospel!! Therefore, we should STOP fighting people but do battle with Satan and his demons!! How?


We will discuss the first part of the full armour in this article.


Verse 14:- Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist...
What is the belt according to Paul? A Roman soldier obviously has a robe he wears and this garment flows down to his ankle. And he uses the first armour that is the belt to tie the robe to the waist from being loose and flowing about. Without the belt, it will be crazy to fight his enemy. Have you seen any soldier who holds on to his uniform and fights in a war?

The belt is not only to tie his flowing robes but also to hold the sword. It is the central piece of the armour. Without it, the soldier loses his stability so to speak. He will not only be ineffective, eventually be defeated. He will become easy prey for the enemy. How can he fight when everything falls apart?


The Bible calls this the Belt of truth.


This piece of weapon talks generally about God’s truth. But for the Word of God to be effective, it must be personalised in our lives. Many Christians today are having the belt but they do not put it on. Most of us have heard countless sermons and read God’s Word as a strict duty. We know what God said in the Word. We know about God, how mighty He is and How powerful He is. It would not help us much in our battle with Satan if they are just stored up in our head. The devil is not disturbed with that, mere head knowledge thing. But if it’s sliding down to the heart, you are ready for war.


What is God saying to you personally? Do you experience God’s Word in a special way? Does the truth of God bring joy in your soul? There are a whole lot of treasures in the Word. Therefore, PUT ON the BELT of TRUTH! The more God’s Word be within you, the more steady you are. The more you get that Word into your heart, the tighter the belt. You then are able to stand firm and be in position! When the day of evil comes, you are ready. You are ready to gain ground in your fight for the Gospel to be advanced. God's work will be accomplished in your life!

Next: The Breastplate of Righteousness!

JOSEPH, A MAN OF SUCCESS


Finally, Joseph’s heart was finally healed! The success of seeing his family in one piece, especially his dad and his own flesh and blood brother, Benjamin, was the most satisfying thus far. He would have rated this as far more successful than his rise to premiership in Egypt. When his brothers bowed at his presence not knowing he was their long-lost brother, Joseph remembered his God-given dream. “God, you are so absolutely awesome!” he praised His Saviour from the heart while shaking his head in disbelief.



The brothers thought that this lord of Egypt was upset with them again. They had to depend solely on this one man or else Israel’s vision of greatness may just evaporate in the sands of Egypt.



“Everyone, please leave this room, except for these foreigners!” Joseph demanded. The brothers were stunned. They were expecting harsh words from this “tyrant” and patience was their only hope.



Joseph took down his turban and folded up his hair for them to see who he really was. "I am Joseph! Is my father still living?" he spoke, wanting reassurance from them.

"No! This can't be!" Reuben, the eldest brother cried. Judah knelt cupping his face with his palms and wept. No one dared to look directly at him except Benjamin. He stood up, staggered in disbelief, and touched his own brother, Joseph. "Tell me that this is not a dream," he hugged Joseph, who was weeping loudly.



“I am Joseph. I am your brother!” He cried while hugging Benjamin. His eyes then turned towards the brothers, "The one you sold into Egypt." The evil they did had come back to haunt them.



Joseph’s brothers wept while hitting their fists furiously onto the ground. Sensing their intense grief and brokenness, the Hebrew 'Egyptian' master stopped them and said, “Don’t! Don’t be angry at yourselves or be dismayed. I know now why I am here. It is to save lives that God put me here.”



While the brothers stood silent, Joseph added, "There has been a great famine in the land for two years and for another five, the drought will continue. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth. And God will save your lives by a great deliverance." 

With that, the brothers’ eyes widened, sensing the God that they and their fathers, Jacob, Isaac and Abraham worshipped was indeed a faithful God. Nothing escaped His eyes. No plan of His could be thwarted. Their evil deeds were turned into His favour. The famine was turned into His opportunity. His will would be done on earth as it was in heaven. The vision of blessings for the world carried by their father Israel was revived, when his long lost son, Joseph, who was not only kept alive but catapulted to great heights.



Pharoah and his officials were pleased that Joseph’s brothers had come. That was the extent how Joseph had been to his earthly master. The emperor invited Joseph and family to stay in the best land in Egypt and eat the best produce. With God, blessings knew no bounds. Even in famine! Flowers blooming in the desert land, was how God described to those who trusted Him. How true that was to Joseph. He was sold to slavery, yet succeeded in Portiphar’s house. Dragged to prison, yet succeeded in winning friends in high places. He was languishing in obscurity but succeeded to become a household name in emperor’s palace. And almost a forgotten guy to become the master of a great nation!



And in Egypt they settled until Israel passed on. Joseph held no grudge at all at his brothers’ evil intention towards him, knowing full well that it was God’s intention of saving lives!



So the family grew to become a community in the best part of the land which God placed them for few hundred years.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

JACOB, A CHANGED MAN

“Let me go!” the man spoke firmly, even when he was held tightly by Jacob. “I won’t. I won’t let you go until you blessed me!” Jacob hung on. This would be the fight of his life, knowing very well that his opponent was some sort of a God-sent man from heaven.

Jacob had lived a colourful life, a chameleonic character that is. It had consumed a great toll on him. Even in his tender young age, he was fighting for prominence, egged on by his mother, Rebekah. His brother Esau was an easy victim of his cheats. He had to carry this "cheater" title for a long time (Jacob means cheater). When he tricked Esau of his inherited birthright, he left hurriedly to a world where he eventually met his match. Laban, his uncle, was waiting, to show him what was like to be cheated instead.



But even before he met Laban, God already unleashed the first zap into his soul. That dream in Bethel while travelling was a wake-up call that he was no ordinary man. Jacob, the cheater, was the carrier of the promise for the world, passed on from Abraham to Isaac and to him. As he journeyed on in his life, God had broken him again and again, until he finally succumbed to a true life that the Almighty intended him to have. A changed life with a new identity and a new purpose.


When he left Laban after many years, God had blessed him with a large family, including many livestocks and servants. When Jacob looked at all his blessings when they stood to rest, tears rolled down his dusty cheeks. That dream of God in Bethel he had was no fluke, so was the promise he inherited from his father, Isaac. His faith strengthened. He looked up to the sky and uttered, “God, thank you!”


He knew he had one more thing to settle, Esau. He fervently sought forgiveness from his brother but most of all, God’s forgiveness. Jacob. the cheater must repent and must repent totally!


When he was alone, he crossed path with a strange man and in his heart, he had the same kind of zapping feeling oozing from within him when he got that first dream. He knew God had come to finalise what he had begun. This time he wouldn’t want to let opportunity slip at all cost. Jacob leapt onto the man with such force that the man stumbled a little but firmly kept his ground.


Sensing Jacob’s determination to hang on, the man touched his hip and dislocated it. A sharp pain gripped Jacob’s body but did not deter his heart. Although weakened by the dislocation, he intended to hold on till the end. Finally the man asked, “What is your name?” “Jacob!” he declared his shame of the name without missing a beat. That name needed to be changed. That name needed a new wineskin to contain a new radical thing God was doing in him.


“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel!” the man shouted! There and then, Jacob overcame the bad label of his name! Jacob was a son of earthly things and earthly prominence. From Jacob to Israel, a nation belonging to God would be born. A nation that would carry the promise of a Messiah for the world! Israel was forever to be known as a “struggle with God” but more importantly, a victorious overcomer! Yes, Israel still lived in an imperfect world, but with God's help, it would ultimately be the nation filled with the glory of God!


Jacob walked away from the fight satisfied! He managed a smile even though he was in pain. From now on, he would walk with a limp. This dislocated hip would always remind him that this Jacob had died and that Israel was born.

Friday, July 24, 2009

WILL THE THIRD JEWISH TEMPLE BE BUILT?

There are actually four temples spoken of in the Bible.

FIRST TEMPLE

Solomon’s temple – Built by King Solomon, the son of David.

When Moses delivered the Israelites out from Egypt as a new community, he built a tabernacle so that God can be worshipped and revered in one place. Since they were travelling from one place to another, the tabernacle could be dismantled and also set up. Later Joshua, Moses’ assistant led the Israelites into Canaan land, defeating the natives there and formed a nation as God instructed him to do. And in the days of Judges, when they sinned and rebelled, the nation was disunited and in chaos. The furnitures in the tabernacle were taken and transported from place to place!

When King Solomon took over the nation after a superb rule by King David, he built the temple for God as instructed by Him. It was built in 972BC and stood 210 feet high.

The primary reason is that temple in Jerusalem signifies to the world that Yahweh is the God of Israel and there is none other.

The secondary reason for this temple is to unite the nation of Israel to worship Yahweh, the one true God.

The temple was destroyed 586BC by the Babylonians! The Israelites were shaken to the core because they thought there were other gods who could be more powerful than Yahweh. But God had shown to them that He was not just the God of Israel but the God who controls the whole world! He does not confine Himself in the temple, of course!

SECOND TEMPLE
Zerubabbel’s Temple – Built by Zerubabbel, an exile in Babylon who was allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. It was built in 516BC and was 100 feet high, half the size of Solomon’s temple. When the Romans became a superpower, King Herod refurbished and embellished the temple and it became a very famous icon. At this time, where the temple stood, Jesus was born!



THIRD TEMPLE

Tribulation Temple – Still in the minds of some at this time of writing.

The second temple, Zerubabbel’s or Herod’s temple, was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, just as predicted by Jesus Himself. When Jesus died, the veil that separated the holy place from the holy of holies was torn into two from top to bottom. This is to signify that the time has come to enable everyone to come before God without fear. Instead of only the high priest could enter, that is only once a year, now everyone can go before the presence of God but through Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb, dying for the sins of the world.

Will this third temple be built?

Definitely it will be built because it was written clearly in the Bible. Since everything in the first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, second temple by the Romans, this temple will be built without those original articles, perhaps some replica ones. When the New Testament was written, there was no Israel as a nation since they fell to the Babylonians. Since then, the Jews were dominated by Persian, Greeks, and the Romans and after the destruction of AD70, they were dispersed all over the world.

But the Word of God had said there would be a rebuilding of a temple in Israel (2 Thess. 2:4; Daniel 9:27; Rev. 11:1-2; see also, Matthew 24). And in 1948, miraculously, Israel became a nation and thus the Word of God was proven right yet again.

There is this group who called themselves Temple Mount Faithful where they already prepared the foundation stone for the building (or rebuilding) of the temple of Solomon. The garments for priests and furnitures are all ready for service once the temple is built. There is also an increasing attempt to produce a red heifer (currently there is a farm in America doing that) to initiate back the animal sacrifices. Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute claimed to be ready for the temple to be built and that the Red Heifer has now been qualified for temple sacrifice. (Whew! How close we are to the rapture? A time where God would snatch away believers from His wrath in what is known as The Great Tribulation) There are many religious nationalistic Jews in Israel today who are all for the rebuilding of the temple but there are also many secular Jews who don’t bother about it.

The only major obstacle to the building of the temple is that the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic architecture and a mosque in the vicinity that stand in the way. The Dome is in an area called the Temple Mount where the original Solomon’s temple once stood. That particular area of the Temple Mount is controlled by a Muslim Trust (Jordanians) named the Wakf. This control was handed to them by Israelis themselves after they annexed Jerusalem from the Arabs in 1967! Although the overall security is still under the jurisdiction of the Jews, that place itself has become a hyper sensitive issue for both the Jews and the Palestinians.

Recently, some people had suggested building the Temple Mount side by side with the Dome of the Rock. One young scholar of Jewish law, Frankel, spearheaded the thought. Dome of the Rock could be the outer courts for non-Jews. Since most of the world is weary of the wars between the Jews and Palestinians, so there could be a possibility that Jerusalem to become an international city for all. This could lead to the temple being built. However, there are oppositions all round by Muslims as well as Jewish people who wanted to do away with the Dome of the Rock.

There is also this political guy called Moshe Feiglin who harbours the ambition to become the next Prime Minister and rebuild the temple by all means. He said the temple is the essence of the Jewish state.

No one knows how the temple will be built but according to the Bible, God already did away with the temple of God as Jesus had set everyone free from animal sacrifices and rituals. These are but shadows of things to come! So the tribulation temple is not what God intended it to be yet I believe God still views it as important because it would cause Jews to come together for the worship of the true God. It will be trampled by the Gentiles in the last days as they attack Jerusalem again. The temple will be destroyed but to what extend no one knows.

Many Christians believe that when the temple is built, rapture will take place and when Jerusalem is being attacked, led by the Anti-Christ, Jesus would return. He would defeat the enemies and rule for 1,000 years. During those days, a millennium temple (fourth temple) will be built in which we now turn.

FOURTH TEMPLE



Millenium Temple – Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 40 – 47; Rev. 7:14-15)

There are some differences in the Ezekiel’s temple as compared to the others. The outer court mentioned there in Ezekiel did not speak of Gentiles at all. During that time, God receives everyone who wants Him. No articles of the temple, no high priest or a change in order of priests, no ceremonies or rituals except the animal sacrifices. Why do animal sacrifices still needed during the time of Christ’s physical reign on earth?


Animal sacrifices in the Millenium Temple could be used as a illustration of a Greater Sacrifice of Christ in Israel during that time, just like we do communion in the church. It is like a remembrance that Christ has become the ultimate Sacrifice for sins. Anyway, animal sacrifices before Jesus died on the cross could not forgive sins, just a covering of sins, in wait for the death of Christ on the cross (Hebrews 10:4, 11)


The articles and rituals exclusion I believe are reminders that Christ is the center of worship!


There are still entrances and gates which are also reminders of God’s holiness and to keep out unholy things. As far as Jerusalem is concerned, the city has become the ultimate worship center in the millennium reign of Christ (Isaiah 4:2; 62:1-3)


After 1,000 years are over, there will be a new Jerusalem coming from heaven (Rev. 3:12; 21:2) and note this, without a temple! (Rev. 21:22)







Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ISAAC, THE GENTLEMAN


Isaac, advanced in age and blind, sat on his bed, but fully awoke. He guessed it is time for him to bless his first-born son, Esau, before he'd become completely senile.


Rebekah, his lovely wife, stood outside his room, knowing his time was near. She remembered how their love and marriage were heaven-matched and tears dropped down her once smooth cheek. Although the marriage was far from perfect, she always referred him as the gentleman. He was a godly, down to earth and peace-loving man. He never complained about anything, always trusting the God of his father Abraham. When the Lord revealed to him that he would carry the dream of his father in his life time, he fully obeyed. Many times, he was willing to let go of his worldly possession, thus avoided quarrelling with others. Quick to make peace with many people. More tears flowed as Rebekah reminded of his husband’s great deeds.


Esau, my son, prepare my favourite food and I will give you my blessing before I die, Isaac called as he heard Esau, his first-born son approaching.
Rebekah was stunned. When the twin, Esau and Jacob were born to the couple, there was a small tussle in the family just like it was even in Rebekah’s womb. Isaac loved Esau because he was the first-born, a natural carrier of his father’s dream. When Esau married outside of their clan, to a Hittite woman, Rebekah was hurt. She preferred Jacob, the younger son, to be the blessed one. Although Isaac was grieved in Esau’s marriage, he chose him because Isaac was always the gentleman.

No way, my love! Not this time!? Rebekah whispered to herself as she hid, listening to the conversation. I must stop Esau from wasting away the blessing, she looked up to heaven. Rebekah knew about how Esau even sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup, detesting the importance of God’s dream to Abraham and his own father, Isaac. She decided to make a pact with Jacob to cheat Isaac from blessing Esau. Jacob, at the insistence of his mother, pretended to be Esau and approached his father. Taking advantage of Isaac’s blindness, they succeeded in tricking him. So, Isaac blessed Jacob, thinking that it was Esau, thus the blessing flowed towards the younger son.

The God-given dream of Abraham and of Isaac, now was Jacob to carry. Happy and scared at the same time, Jacob went out, and he encountered Esau on the way in. When Esau asked for the blessing, his father was stunned. Although Isaac was blind, he could see that what was spoken by him would remain. He must remain a gentleman. More importantly, he knew nothing could stop God from carrying out His plan. It was anyway His dream in the first place. So, Esau got nothing from being the first-born although he cried bitterly. The first small tussle between Esau and Jacob in the womb of Rebekah became an all-out war.

Man can lie and cheat to get the blessing, but God always has the final say. And that’s what Isaac, the gentleman knew all along.

Monday, July 20, 2009

ABRAHAM, THE FAITH MAN


Our next "actor" is Abram or more famously known as Abraham.
Abram whistled as he sat on the rocking chair at his farm’s rest house after a hard day’s work. Sarai came with a teapot with their favorite tea and they sat down, enjoying the sunset. Abram always wanted to see beyond what’s behind those hills and mountains. Maybe one day, destiny will call. He thought to himself. As they cuddled close in each other’s arms, Terah walked by. "Hi! Dad!" Abram and Sarai spoke, almost simultaneously. It was Terah, the well-respected man, who initiated the journey from Ur to Canaan for business.


"How was your day?" The dark, burly man queried. "Same old, same old, Dad," the bored Abram replied .
"Why not invoke our various gods for some excitement and see what you hear," Terah suggested, as he raised his hands to heavens. He closed his eyes and worshipped.

Many years later...

"Abram! Abram!" The only true and living God said. 

"Yes! Yes!? Abram replied.
"It’s time to leave Haran."

"Awesome! Where?"
"To the land I will show you later."

"Land? Okaay."
"I will make you into a great nation and then, the whole earth will be blessed."

"The whole world? Okaay."
"Starting with you."
"Me? One man?"
"Yes. One man. One faith man."

Abram, Sarai and nephew Lot set out to the Land, wherever that is. Following popular routes and livable places, they went from one place to another. As they travelled, Abram and Sarai’s vision of God became clearer and clearer. They began to be totally committed to the cause of God. They knew this was a journey of no return. A journey filled with a great vision for the entire world.

Abram and Sarai encountered many adventurous moments, some bad ones, some dangerous ones. As Lot, his nephew chose gold rather than God, they parted way. When Abram was 99 years old, many events had come and gone....

"Abram! Abram!" God said.
"Yes! Yes!?" Abram replied.
I am God Almighty.
Yes. And I worship You alone.

I will establish a covenant with you.
Awesome!
Your name will now be called Abraham, the father of many nations.
Nice name. Thanks!
Sarai will be Sarah, mother of nations.
Sarah. Okaay. Mother er.. She is ninety years old.

She will bear you a child.
Child? I am almost 100 years old. Maybe Ishmael, ok?

No. Sarah will bear you a son. You shall name him Isaac.
You're the BOSS!

Don’t worry. Your son, Ishmael, I will bless him too.
Awesome! Thanks.
I will establish my covenant with you, to be carried on by Isaac.

Okaay, Issac. When Isaac?
Next Year.


When Sarah overheard a conversation of she bearing a child next year and she laughed. Isaac? (Isaac means laughter) Oh, what a joke! The heavenly visitors that came to see Abraham kept their cool and said, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Sarah was convinced that it could all be possible, noticing the seriousness of the faces of the visitors and her husband, Abraham.

Isaac (Laughter) did fill Abraham’s household as promised. From then on, they would not laugh at any of God’s promises ever again. Instead, they would laugh at circumstances and testings in their lives. At one point, even the test concerning sacrificing Isaac at the altar was carried out by Abraham without question. He believed God to the max. Even if he did kill Isaac in obedience, Abraham believed God would raise him back to life!


"Sarah, I’m so very glad that I obeyed God in Haran," Abraham whispered as they cuddled each other at the farm’s rest house over tea. "Praise God that He chose us to carry His vision for the whole world", Sarah answered with wisdom. Abraham said, "Let’s toast that Isaac will carry on the torch." Abraham held up his cup. Sarah laughed and there they toasted. Together they shouted, "From Abraham and Sarah to Isaac and blessings throughout the whole world. Cheers!"

The story is taken from Genesis 12-22.

Next: Isaac, The Gentleman
http://psbible.blogspot.com/2009/07/isaac-gentleman.html


Friday, July 17, 2009

NOAH, THE BEST MAN


Our second Bible "actor"...Noah! 

God’s eyes “googled” all over the world for the best amongst the sinful humans to carry on His dreams. The appalling fallen state of mankind since Adam’s death bite had made God angry. Some said time could heal but time deteriorated the minds and hearts of those unrepentant souls created in God’s image. The worst of time during those days was an understatement. No one even looked up to the heavens and asked, Is there a God?? Not a single one!! Was there anyone?? Alright, there was one, at least. The spotlight fell on Noah and his family. One man can make the difference. One righteous man.

"Noah! Noah!"
"Yes! Yes!?" 
"I will wipe out all inhabitants from the earth!"

"Huh? Okaay!"
"Make me a big ark."
"Huh?...Ark? A Big one. Okaay!"
"When the time comes, bring you, your family and two of all living creatures, male and female into the ark."
"Me, Check! Wife, Check! Sons, Daughters in laws, Check! Animals?? Okaay...got to go check! Any others?"
"No.You guys are the only humans."
"Oh!"
"I will send rain to wipe them out."
"Rain? Hmmm Okaay! But must rain a lot?"

"Forty days and forty nights."
"Woaaa..That’s a lot."
"That’s right. They deserve a lot."


Noah obeyed God to the very dot. The family got right on with the building of the boat to float while everyone stood their ground on earth. They carried on with their wicked schemes and violent ways. Initially, people would gather around to listen to Noah and his oft repeated story of the sin of Adam and the need to repent. After a hundred years, they began to jeer and taunt. Noah felt exactly how God felt. They deserved a lot! A lot of rain.

Rain it came! Every house built deep into the earth began to wilt. Every success story on earth washed away. Gold and silver swept away like wood and hay. The wicked and violent human race came to a halt, all inhabitants had one question in mind, I should have entered the boat! Death is no respecter of person, rich and poor, kings and farmers, lions and ants. Wickedness had always resulted in deadly consequences. The example of Adam was long forgotten by these people. Obeying God was a last thing on their mind. Noah and family were considered people from another planet.

As the water receded and the ark came to a stand still, Noah came out and he stretched. Hello! Anybody out there??? He shouted, just in case. He heard someone shouted back on the other side. Those exact same words. Straightaway he knew they were the only ones on the face of the earth. He felt like Adam. The whole new world! To themselves! And God, of course. They all bowed and worshipped!

After many years, Noah and his family continued to worship and serve God faithfully, offering animal sacrifices for their sins.

And...


"Noah, Noah."
"Yes! Yes!" 
"I love you. Take care of the earth for me."
"The whole earth? Okaay!"
"Be fruitful and multiply."
"Huh? Lord, no guarantee the next generation behave!"
"I will never destroy the earth like this again."
"Thanks. Which means no more ark."
"But I will make each one accountable for their own sins."
"You are a just God!"
"One more thing. I make a covenant with you right now."
"Covenant? Okaay!"

"I will never destroy the earth again through flood."
"Lord, I trust You."

"Anyway, I still want to show you a sign, lest your descendants forget."
"Wow! But I will worship You regardless of signs or not."
"Yes. I know you. Now, look up!"

A marvellous rainbow appeared right above Noah’s head. The whole family quickly lied down on the field to watch the spectacular sight. That was the most joyous occasion since Noah was born.
Today, all the heartaches we went through serving God, it’s all worth it! Noah exclaimed. As he laid there close with his wife, he whispered to her, God said, be fruitful and multiply!

The story above is taken from Genesis 5-9.

Next: Abraham, The Faith Man
http://psbible.blogspot.com/2009/07/abraham-faith-man.html


Thursday, July 16, 2009

ADAM, THE FIRST MAN

The first "actor" of the Bible is ...A.D.A.M! He was the first man, handsome like no other! Many eyes surrounding him widened with awe, but they were speechless. Anyway, they could not talk if they wanted to because they were animals! God, the Creator, was extremely pleased with His masterpiece although it was effortless to Him. "Adam, I love you more than all the entire world I have created," God often said to him.


Adam led out a loud shout of praise without fear of disturbing anyone, while he sat on a tree, gulping down a sweet juicy fruit. As the soft cool wind blew, the leaves of the trees "clapped their hands in delight". "I feel good..so good!" he would sing over and over again.

Some time passed, maybe about a thousand years, (maybe more or maybe not), Adam felt humanly lonely. The lions and the cows looked sad too. "Can we help?" they must be thinking but couldn’t utter a single word. All they could do was 'smile' at him. Adam would pat them and managed a smile in return. God looked down and said, "It’s time!"

When Adam awoke the next day, there stood the most stunning "another" (he couldn’t make up what "it" was) staring at him. "Hi! How’s things around here?" That "thing" spoke in the most beautiful of voices and very different from the moos, the roars, the meows and the woofs. And then God whispered, "Hey, it’s your kind and it’s a she. Go, prepare to be hitched."


"Yes! Oh Yes! Y.E.S.!" Adam screamed and danced like a mad man, kissing every animal which could not escape his moment of madness. "Wooo man! It’s so womanderful!" He showed her the whole garden for about twenty years or so. All those years, they talked and talked, all kinds of topics ranging from trees to animals and animals to trees. Of course, they never stopped worshipping God, their Creator. And after dating for a couple hundred of years, they fell deeper and deeper in love! And God looked down and said, "It’s time! Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and dominate it."


That’s the story of our first “actor” before that bad, bad move....

God told them, "Eat from any tree, I repeat, any tree in the garden but not that one, because it is bad for you. If you disobeyed me, you shall surely die." One day, Adam’s wife was hungry and she chanced upon that tree which God said not to eat. The fruits were looking astonishingly fresh and juicy. Her eyes were stuck to one particular awesome looking fruit. As she was mesmerised to try that fruit, a voice from that tree spoke, "Try me. I am different. You will gain special insight into your very life." Then she realised it was the snake who spoke, thinking that God had also created animals with speech. The devil had found the perfect opportunity.


The slimy creature shouldn’t be dangling on that forbidden tree for crying out loud. It was so tempting that she soon forgot the very command of God and the consequences of her disobedience. She took that forbidden fruit. It was such an awesome feeling! "My husband must try it!" Adam saw her running from far away, all excited to tell and share. Faces showed a thousand stories and he was convinced too of the power of the fruit.


Our man took a bite and it shook the entire garden. The heavens vibrated in disapproval. The consequences of that very act of disobedience were heavier than two of them could ever know.

From then on, Adam always had to look regretfully from outside the garden. The pure relationship between God and man was broken. The intimacy between husband and wife disintegrated. The future of Adam’s children and his children’s children were wrecked. All for just one bite! Oh! The bite of death!

This story was inspired from the book of Genesis 1-3. The far reaching consequences of humans’ disobedience continue, even snowballed, all over the world. From a beautiful story of creation and from such magnificent garden, it has become so heart wrenching for the Creator. Even then, God’s great love for Adam and the whole world didn't stop. He had a plan to save the world.

Next: Noah, The Best Man http://psbible.blogspot.com/2009/07/noah-best-man.html


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WELCOME TO MY BIBLE WORLD!


The Bible is preserved by God for thousands of years, survived every heresy, challenge, mass burning and etc etc! It is ironic that some people in certain countries may get imprisoned or even killed if they be found reading the Bible while millions have two or three Bibles on the dust-filled shelf! Many read the Bible and fall asleep (some even read to sleep) while some just open their Bibles on Sunday at church. In some western countries, Bible reading becomes irrelevant to young people and people attending churches are dwindling in alarming numbers.


I believe it is time to rekindle the fire in reading God's Word albiet making it plain and simple (thus the Blog Title, PS, above). The more I read the Bible, the more I am fascinated by it! Its treasures and precious jewels are constantly exploding out to serious readers. As I have been serving God for many years as a pastor, I discover that people still are fascinated with the Bible if it touches them in a plain and simple manner! All it takes is its relevancy. Today, the world is just crazy about popular social network sites like Facebook and Twitter, jamming people the world over with short-reading flavour! If our Bible messages are long and jargonized, it will continue to drive people away from the Word of God! Truth be told, the Holy Bible is the only ancient Scripture that speaks of God rescuing mankind from damnation! And its importance is of gargantuan proportion, in terms of heaven or hell!


I love simplicity and my Bible world is filled with simple yet profound wisdom from God's Word! Every chapter and every paragraph of the Bible is like fresh bread, delivered out from the oven of heaven!


This blog will contain Bible messages with stories and some 'godly' spins from my own God-given understanding. However, I would not in any way change or alter any doctrines of this great Book! I will also try to answer difficult questions from the Bible if any reader wants to ask them.