Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Matthew 5:1-12 The Beatitudes (Part 1) by Dr. Thomas Chung dated 26.7.15

The Beatitudes are linked to the Ten Commands.  We are to obey the Ten Commands, and in the Beatitudes Jesus showed us how we are to obey the Ten commands in the new covenant Jesus preached.
Matthew 5:17-19 spoke about Jesus who said He was here not to abolish the Law but to fulfil the Law.  Therefore, Matthew 5:17-19 are linked to Matthew 5:1-12.
The Beatitudes seem to be impossible to comply and they seem to contradict what we are being told now a days. 
What is Jesus saying in the Beatitudes?
These are spiritual characters of the kingdom of heaven.  According to Dr. Chung, the Beatitudes are the living out of the Ten Commands in the New Covenants of Jesus Christ.  If we want to fellow Jesus we must obey the Law.
Dr. Chung said, “The Ten Commands is like going the first mile, and the Beatitudes are going the second mile”.
The Word of God are like our compass, we are guided by God’s Words.
The word “Blessed” in Greek is “Makarios”. According to Dr.Chung the land of Greece is very blessed because they have the most fertile land in the world.  “Blessed” is everything good, also means fertile, and what desired for us.  It is from God and not of us.  A blessed person is a person whose life is in God.
In Luke 11:28 Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it”.
The blessings of God are to be enjoyed.
Matthew chapter 5: 1-12
V.3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The “poor” here does not refer to just economic disadvantage.  It also refers to spiritual deficiency.  People who are poor and have nothing they depended on God.  Dr. Chung quoted Mother Teresa who said, “you will never know Jesus is who you need, until Jesus is all you have”. ( paraphrase ).
John 15:5 is about abiding in Jesus
Luke 12:32 do not be afraid God is pleased to give us His Kingdom
V.4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
According to Dr. Chung “mourn” means a) mourn during hard times, like family members who died b) mourn with deep sorrow due to wickedness and evil.
Those who mourn are blessed, and there is the spiritual side.  Because as they mourned, they will be comforted.  This comfort is from God, and is not from us.  God knows how to comfort us in our time of sorrows.
V.5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

“Meek” refers to gentleness.  Also means humility towards God and others.  It is not weakness.  A meek person is blessed and happy.  It is not about ourselves but meekness is about God’s given grace.
V.6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
a) Those who are in need materially      
b) Those craving for God – spiritual appetite.  
      V.7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”   
      Micah 6:8  
      a)      To act justly 
      b)      To love mercy 
      c)       To walk humbly with God
V.8 “Blessed are the pure in heart as they will see God”
Don’t look at God will a squint eyes, where the images are distorted. Look at Him for who He is in reality.  Praise Him too.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Deuteronomy 11: Standing on the Promises of God by Song Ting Kee dated 19.7.15

Based on Deuteronomy chapter 11 “Love and obey the Lord”.  Bro. Song started by explaining the meaning of Deuteronomy.  He said the following:
Meaning of Deuteronomy
Repetition of the Law
The Jews called Deuteronomy as these are the words or this Book of the Law
The Bahasa translation of Deuteronomy is “ulangan” repetition
According to a commentary on the Holy Bible Deuteronomy was written at the close of the wandering in the wilderness and the crossing of the Jordan.
Moses and Deuteronomy
Moses reviewed the events and experiences of the past 40 years and gave repeated exhortations to gratitude, obedience, and loyalty to Jehovah.
The Jews selected Deu 6:4-9 for daily recitation as their creed, finding in these words the highest expression of the unity and spirituality of God and of the whole duty of man to his maker, preserver and redeemer.
Moses plead with the Israelites to obey God:
1.      Be grateful to God because God had brought them out of Egypt.
2.      Be obedient to God because obedience is better than sacrifice said the Lord
3.      Loyalty to Jehovah, the One and True God, Creator of heavens and earth.
Jesus quoted the most from Deuteronomy.  He quoted about ten times from Deuteronomy.
Some examples:
1.      Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 … does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
2.      When Jesus was tempted by the Satan at the high place, He quoted Deu 6:16…Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah
3.      Fearing the Lord, He quoted Deu 6:13.. Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.
Promises of God
God promised the Israelites that He will bring them to the Promised Land, but not after the death of the older generations who were led out of Egypt had died in the desert.  The new generations were to enter this Promised Land.  This Promised Land was different from Egypt, it was literally a land “flowing with milk and honey”.
Meantime, Bro. Song shared a story from the prison that he and others are ministering to.  He said listening to the Words of God is important.  He shared that once, he and his colleagues wanted to share the Words with the prisoners, but inmates of other faiths including from the majority faith. He asked permission from the Prison Director, and to his surprise he agreed to let the others listen to the Words of God preached there.
At another time, a young prisoner believer was sharing about the miracles that he experienced everyday but those non believers questioned him whether he had experienced miracles that were mentioned in the Bible.  This young man asked them, why don’t you try just stop breathing for a few minutes and see what happen to you!  Our very breath is from God!  Indeed, those who obeyed and follow God’s command will witness miracles daily.
Mt. Gerazim and Mt. Ebal
Mt. Gerazim is where blessings were uttered, and Mt. Ebal was where curses were uttered.
Blessings are like fertile land, bountiful harvest, divine prosperity.
Curses are idolatry, not obeying parents, sexual immorality.

The message is to stand on the promises of God.  We are to be grateful to God, obey Him and be loyal to Him.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Deuteronomy 10: What Does The Lord Require of You? By Ho King Swee dated 12.7.15

V.12 "And now, Israel,
What does the LORD your God require of you,
but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways,
to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
V.13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I command you this day for your good?
V.20 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I command you this day for your good?

1. The LORD's mercy (10:1 - 11)
  1.1 Spare Israel (v.1-9)
a) Remake the tablets of Ten Commandments (v.1-5)
The LORD God is merciful and gracious to the Israelites not because of the righteousness of the people but because of His everlasting steadfast love and faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham.
b) Tribe of Levi to carry the ark and serve Him (v.6-9)
The Lord is more gracious to us now
Not only we are chosen to serve Him
God Himself dwells in us!
What inheritance do we have on earth?
Do we want God or earthly inheritance?
  1.2 Moses‘ successful forty-day intercession (v.10-11)
Exo 32:30 to 33
Deu_9:18  , Deu_9:25 

2. The LORD's requirement (10:12 – 22)
   2.1  Fear and love the LORD your God
Before Joshua died:
Jos 24:14 
1Sa 12:14 
     (b) The LORD loves you above all (v14-15)
v.14-15  to God belong all heaven……and all in it
Yet He loves only you!
Do people deserve to be so specially and deeply loved?  This is God’s grace.
     (i) Circumcise your heart and (v.16)
Be purified and set apart for God alone
      (ii) be no longer stubborn (v.16)
                - Humble ourselves
     (c) for the LORD is awesome, almighty, just and impartial (v.17-22)
Mat 19:16  to 22.
Psa_111:10  , Pro_9:10  , Pro 8:13, Psa 85:9, Psa 33:18, 147:11
1 Jn.4:8
Are we not afraid of God's justice and punishment?   Is our love perfect?
Growing in Fear of punishment/judgment
Fear of displeasing God- love righteousness and hate evil
Profound fear/awe for God’s infinite holiness, majesty and transcendent glory
The fear of God is the personal attitude towards God that comes from our hearts adoration, love, reverence and honor.
It focuses not upon the wrath of God but upon His majesty, holiness and transcendent glory
We shall and should grow to fear God not because of the fear of punishment by God
(1) to fear God for His infinite holiness, beauty and transcendent glory
(2) to love God with a deep appreciation of His  infinite mercy, grace and sacrificial love for us
The fear of God is also the
all-pervasive sense of our dependence upon God and responsibility or obligation to Him
2Co 7:1  Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion (perfecting holiness) in the fear of God.
How much we appreciate God’s love is conditioned by how deeply we fear Him.
God is most reverenced when He is most loved.
The deeper our perception of God’s love to us, the more profound is our fear of Him.
The fear of God and the love of God are like two sides of a coin and are inseparable.
The fear of God and the love of God will lead us to trust, obey and know God more and more intimately.

Set apart & Devote to Fear and love God above all
Deu 4:7 to 10.  Deu 17:18, 19, Deu 31:10-13, Prov 2:1-5, Matt 22:37-40, Luke 14:26, Deu 10:12-13,
Are we able to grow in love or be perfected in love that we grow out of fear of punishment ?
or dread of God's presence?
Heb 12:18-21, Rev 1:10-18, Heb 5:7,
Because of His perfect fear or reverence and love for God the Father Jesus was probably the only person who was not fearful of punishment nor dread the full glorious presence of God the Father