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Psalm 23

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series A Psalm of David

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The LORD is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk
through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You welcome me as a guest,
anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.


THERE’S PEACE IN THE VALLEY (PSALM 23:4)

Joseph Addison was one of the finest English essayists of the eighteenth century. He dabbled in politics but because he was shy and embarrassingly clumsy, he never went any farther than being a cabinet member. Once he tried to speak before Parliament, but he stuttered, stammered, blushed, coughed, apologized, sat down, and never tried it again.

F.S. Boreham notes that there were two things Addison was passionately fond of. He loved the fields and streams of his home county, and he loved Psalm 23. In fact, Addison wrote paraphrases of both Psalm 23 and Psalm 19, which were published in the Spectator Magazine in 1712.

Addison had learned Psalm 23 at his mother’s knee. As a writer he always treasured its exquisite writing, and as a Christian he revered its message. Lord Thomas Macauley eulogized Addison in this way: “He loved the psalm which represents the Ruler of all things under the endearing image of a shepherd, whose crook guides the flock through gloomy and desolate glens to meadows well watered and rich in herbage.”

As Addison lay dying at the age of forty-seven, he clung to the promise of Psalm 23:4: “I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” Knowing his death was imminent, he sent for his son-in-law, the earl of Warwick, who was a sheep gone astray. When the earl arrived, Addison said, “See in what peace a Christian can die.”

Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bower’s bloom,
By waters still, o’er troubled sea,
Still ‘tis his hand that leadeth me.
JOSEPH H. GILMORE

 

Reference:

Petersen, William and Petersen, Randy. One Year Book of Psalms. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 1999.

 

 

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I Have Another Blog Guys

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Yes, you read it right. I have another blog and I’m so excited to share it with all of you. I won’t be revealing much, just check it out by clicking here. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for everything. Here’s to all of us. MWAH!!

 

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What is Faith?

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What is faith? Faith is often heard in churches and in conversations among Christians. But do we really know what faith means?

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11: 1 and 3).

Faith is based on the person of Jesus Christ, the source of Truth. For Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

God has given everyone a measure of faith. That means that the level of each person’s faith is different from that of another person. You may have little faith while the other might have more faith than you do. But whatever the case, whatever measure you’ve been given, we each have to nurture it for God’s glory and for our own benefit.

A story depicts this example.

A boy was demon possessed and the disciples couldn’t drive him out. When the boy’s father came to Jesus for healing, Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him and was healed at that moment. Then the disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” Then Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:14-20).

A mustard seed is the smallest seed of all and Jesus said that if we have faith as small as the seed, we can move the mountain from its place. This doesn’t mean the actual mountain, though God can do that but this could be referred to sickness, habit, attitude or anything that holds you back. If you put your faith towards your healing, change in habit or attitude and you ask it in Jesus name with faith that He will do it without any doubt in your heart, then He will do it. Your faith should not be on yourselves but on the Lord who will do the work on your behalf.

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Why should we have our faith in God alone?

Let us examine God’s attributes who is the object of our devotion:


1. Omniscient
– God is all-knowing. He knows the end from the beginning. The psalmist said that God’s understanding has no limit. (Psalm 147:5). The riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God is so deep. His judgments are unsearchable and his paths are beyond tracing out. (Romans 11:33).

2. Omnipotent – God is all-powerful. Nothing is impossible for Him. Job 42:2 says God can do all things; no purpose of His can be thwarted. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. (Genesis 18:14).

3. Omnipresent – God is everywhere. He is not contained in one location. Proverbs 15:3 says that the eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. God is both far and near. No one can hide in secret places that the Lord can’t see them. He fills both heaven and earth.

4. Immutable– The Lord changes not. He is God from everlasting to everlasting. He existed before the mountains were brought forth and even before the earth and the whole world was formed. (Psalms 90:2).

5. Holy – There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. (I Samuel 2:2). When God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush God told Him, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:5-6).

6. Righteous – The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. (Psalm 145:17).

7. Sovereign – God’s sovereignty represents his holy will and will do whatever he pleases. This is the attribute by which He rules his entire creation being all-knowing and all-powerful.  In His Word, God declares: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me … I say: ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'” (Isaiah 46: 9-10). The sovereignty of God is infinite and the use of His power is defined by His other attributes. Characteristics such as truthfulness, goodness, faithfulness, righteousness, and love define God’s every action. While we are given a free will and are able to make choices and decisions that shape our lives, we can surrender our hearts, souls, minds to ways that are consistent with His holy will. In this way, we honor the Creator and Sustainer of all things, recognizing that  God is truly sovereign.

8. Love – God is love. This is exemplified at the cross in Calvary. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13). We only have a glimpse of His love but can’t fully comprehend the depth and height of God’s love for us.

9. Merciful – It is through God’s mercy that we are not consumed. God did not give us what we deserved as sinners but offered a way of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:4-5).

10. Trinity – God manifests Himself in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All three are a hundred percent fully God. Romans 1:7 speaks of the Father, Hebrews 1:8 refers to the Son, Jesus Christ. And the verses the speak about the Holy Spirit are Acts 1:8, Galatians 5:22 and John 14:26.
With these incredibly wonderful God’s attributes, it sure makes sense to put our trust in God alone.

If you still have some doubt about it, let Romans 10:17 speak to you which says, Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Knowing the Lord through His Word every day is the proven way to improve your faith. So gear up and dig deep and enjoy the journey.

 

References:

Peach, David. (2012, February 29). Re: 10 Awesome Attributes of God. Retrieved from http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-awesome-attributes-of-god

Attributes of God.(n.d) Retrieved from http://www.allaboutgod.com/attributes-of-god.htm

 

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The Way

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There are so many religions these days like Scientology, New Age Religion, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Baptist and the list goes on and on. It’s easy to be overwhelmed and confused who is right and who is worthy to be followed. Let me make things clearer and easier for you.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
(John 14:6). When you read a sentence and you have the word, the, it simply denotes something/someone as definite. In other words, Jesus is saying that He is the Only way to the Father and no one else. He is It.

Let us take a closer look at the words of  Jesus:

The Way – this means that Jesus is the only Way to the Father. No other religious person can save you no matter how pious he is. Salvation is found in Him alone. Your religion, righteousness or good works can’t save you either. If it can, God would not have sent His Son to die on the cross for the sins of all mankind.
Romans 3:23  says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  This is the reason why Jesus came, to serve as the bridge between us and a perfect God. Without Him, we wouldn’t have any direct access to the Father.

The Truth – Jesus is the Truth. He is perfect and therefore cannot lie. Everything that he says is the truth. His Word is the source of truth. If you trust your truth elsewhere, then you are misled. I know that people nowadays have different beliefs of the truth. Whatever you believe in doesn’t negate the truth of the Bible, and you are not exempted in whatever shape or form on the coming judgment because you believed in a certain kind of  truth.

Don’t be contented with Sunday worship service and hand-me down information by preachers, though that is good, but do your own diligent personal Bible study and find out the truth for yourself. You will grow faster and the Lord will reveal Himself more and strong in your life as you seek Him through His Word.

The Life – Jesus is Life. If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, then you have eternal life. You are sealed with the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. Even if you die, you will be resurrected just like how God the Father raised Jesus from the dead on the third day.

To help you start on your journey, I’ve listed below the following verses for your study.

Romans 10: 9-10
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 2: 8-10
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Romans 10:13
for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

John 3:5
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.

John 1:12
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

So the next question is, how do you get saved? I’m glad you asked.

You say this prayer (you can say it in your own words but the context is the same)
Note: You have to say this sincerely in your heart not just intellectually.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know that You are Lord and the Son of God. I’m a sinner and you came to die for my sins and was raised on the third day. Forgive me of my sins and I accept you as my personal Savior. Come into my heart and lead my life from now on. Jesus thank you for saving me. Amen.

Once you’ve said this prayer, I urge you to be a part of a Christian church and ask the minister to baptize you.

Once these 2 things are done, I congratulate and give you a warm welcome to the family of God.

I would love to interact with you and if you have questions about this post, make a comment or use my contact form.

‘Till here and see you next time.

 

 

 

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The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

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When I read the book of Matthew especially on Jesus genealogy, I find it hard to know whose father and child is such and such because of how it was written. So for better understanding, I’ve decided to graph it in a family tree to have a better visualization of it.

So here goes the genealogy of Jesus:

ABRAHAM

ISAAC

JACOB

JUDAH & HIS BROTHERS

PEREZ & ZERAH
(Parents: Judah & Tamar)

HEZRON
(Father: Perez)

RAM

AMMINADAB

NAHSHON

SALMON

BOAZ
(Parents: Salmon & Rahab)

OBED
(Parents: Boaz & Ruth)

JESSE

KING DAVID

SOLOMON
(Parents: King David & Bathsheba)

REHOBOAM

ABIJAH

ASA

JEHOSHAPHAT

JEHORAM

UZZIAH

JOTHAM

AHAZ

HEZEKIAH

MANASSEH

AMON

JOSIAH

JECONIAH & HIS BROTHERS
(Father: Josiah at the time of the exile to Babylon)

SHEALTIEL
(Father: Jeconiah after the exile to Babylon)

ZERUBBABEL

ABIHUD

ELIAKIM

AZOR

ZADOK

AKIM

ELIHUD

ELEAZAR

MATTHAN

JACOB

JOSEPH – Husband of Mary

JESUS (Who is called the Messiah)

I hope this would help you too as you continue reading God’s Word and in memorizing the names and their stories and how it can be applied in your own life as you go along in your study.

 

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How to Study the Bible

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Reading the Bible is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Just imagine being able to commune with God, know his heart and mind and most importantly, know what his plans are for your life. Can you think of any other book that is alive that speaks to you whatever your situation is and gives you relief and peace after reading it?

The Bible is more than a book. It is Christ himself for John said, ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.’ (John 1:1).

Reading a book for leisure or for knowledge information is good but reading for transformation is something else. The Bible is the only qualified book to transform a person inside and out. It is a living and powerful book that is sharper than the sharpest double-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Hebrews 4:12). It is not only a book that you read but one that actually reads you. It’s like a mirror that can send back a reflection of you and how you measure up according to God’s standard. Don’t worry the Bible is not there to judge you but to inform you of how much you’re dearly loved by your heavenly Father even though you don’t feel the same way he does. He loves you anyways, nonetheless.

There is no certain right way of studying the Bible but there are some basics that you can follow to make the most out of your study.

First, set a preferred location in your house as your private space for quiet Bible study where you’re relaxed and comfortable. Be it in the morning or evening is a good start.

Second, getting a Bible in a translation that speaks to you is the most important thing. There are many translations in the market and what I personally use is the New Living Translation (NLT). I’ve found this easy to understand for the words are somewhat in our modern english just like in our day-to-day conversation but any translation is fine.

Third, getting a concordance to find out what the words mean in the context and where they’re found is also an asset. This could be purchased at a later time though.

Fourth, you can start reading from beginning to end starting from Genesis to Revelation or you can read any book in the Bible that is to your preference. To have a good grasp of God’s Word, you can also try reading Genesis first followed by Deuteronomy, John, Acts then Romans. You can also do the 1 year reading plan.  Again, there are no set rules just some suggestions. The bottom line is to get you started then build momentum as you go along.

Bible reading is like an exercise where you build spiritual muscles as time goes along. There will be times when you don’the feel like reading just like with exercise, but don’t give up for this is one activity that will give you tremendous rewards and dividends later on.

If you encounter difficult subjects or verses in your study, don’t stop.  Just keep on reading and studying for these verses will come to light with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Having a journal to write down truths that you have learned is another way of remembering verses and putting to mind what the Lord has revealed at that particular time.

Fifth, listening to Christian TV stations and reading Christian books is also a big help to your study. Jack Kelley is the site that I subscribe to that gives good and comprehensive information about different topics in the Bible. I highly recommend looking into this.

And finally, make it a habit to pray first and ask for God’s guidance and wisdom as you read His Word and to reveal what he wants to say to you. Have an open mind and receptive heart to whatever He wants for nothing is more noble, and worthy than following the Master who has our best interest at heart. Letting Him lead our lives daily bring blessings more than you can possibly imagine. Always remember that.

P.S.

Dr. Charles Stanley is giving a free one year Bible reading plan. If you want to order, go here.

 

 

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