As I grow in my walk with the Lord, I learn to thank Him for things that I used to complain about, also for things I used to fear from. He is the Creator and Savior; therefore, He knows everything and everyone. Surely His wisdom greatly exceeds my understanding, and His love would overcome my fears.
The Christian love is shaped by the biblical principle of sacrifice. God the Father showed us His love in the incarnational and sacrificial work of His Son (Jn 3:16). Moreover, love is given to Christians by the dwelling of His Spirit in them when they believed (Rom 5:5). Therefore, true Christian love is not about satisfying the self, nor it is like the hypocritical political correctness of the world. In short, biblical Christians should not conform to the world’s perception of love, because they disagree with the world on the meaning, source, and end of love.
There is an undeniable connection between the dwelling place of the LORD and the presence of holiness, between God’s reign and submission to His commandments. God forgives sin when its proper price is paid, by the shed of innocent blood as a sacrifice; by the death of Christ the Savior. Nonetheless, sin is never tolerated by our Holy LORD, regardless of what the world thinks. The reign of the LORD is a rule of holiness.
Victory is not mainly determined by your preparation for it, nor by your strength to accomplish it, but it is mainly determined by the One who can lead you to the rock of your salvation.
This is the mighty God who is stronger than both: you, and your enemies. If He is with you, then yours is the victory; He is your one and true victory in this life.
In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.
Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O Lord, God of truth.
I hate those who regard vain idols,
But I trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness,
Because You have seen my affliction;
You have known the troubles of my soul,
And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a large place.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And my body has wasted away.
Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
For I have heard the slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.
Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, for I call upon You;
Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.
Let the lying lips be mute,
Which speak arrogantly against the righteous
With pride and contempt.
How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!
You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man;
You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.
As for me, I said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried to You.
O love the Lord, all you His godly ones!
The Lord preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord.
I love Timothy so much, he may look like me, and he reminds me of his grandfather. He is smart and kind, yet strong willing (which is not an easy thing to deal with while raising your kid). I hope the Lord grants him a better life than I live, and I pray that he never go back through the way I came from. More importantly, I pray that one day the Holy Spirit will touch his heart, and change him for the Lord’s glory.
I enjoyed my summer New Testament class, learned a great deal specifically about the importance of the “Kingdom of God” concept. Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels came proclaiming the Kingdom to his hearers. What is the relation of this concept with Jesus ministry, death, and Resurrection? Does the kingdom implies two elements, or rather more than one eschatology? What is the relation between the Kingdom and God’s plan of salvation (esp. in Luke)? George E.Ladd’s Book: A Theology of The New Testament, was a very helpful source for understanding the Kingdom’s concept during the course.