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Shepherding according to God

Hello Fellow Crazy Lovers of Jesus! 😀

I hope that in my long absence from this blog, you have all been endeavoring to enjoy Christ more as your portion!

This week in our morning devotional, we covered the subject of shepherding people by cherishing and nourishing them according to the pattern of the Lord Jesus and of the apostle Paul. There is so much to say about this, but here are three top take-aways:

  1. The origin of shepherding is the Lord Himself as the unique Shepherd. In John 10:11, the Lord is the good Shepherd who lays down His soul-life for the sheep. In Luke 15:4-7, the Lord is the Shepherd who leaves the 99 to seek the one lost sheep. It is the Lord who loves fallen, sinful man, and it is the Lord who is seeking man.
  2. The Lord shepherds according to love and not based upon our condition. In John 21, the Lord drew His back-slidden disciples back to Himself not by rebuking and condemning them, but by cherishing and nourishing them so that their love for Him would be restored. On the one hand, He cherished them by first feeding them breakfast. He then nourished Peter by restoring Peter’s love with the three-fold question of “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”
  3. The Lord desires us to participate in His shepherding today. In John 21, the Lord, as He was re-establishing Peter’s love, charged Peter to take care of His sheep. This word affected Peter so much that he wrote about it in his first epistle when speaking with the elders. Although 1 Peter 5:2-4 speaks to the elders specifically, the burden is that all the believers would have a shepherding heart for one another and for all of mankind.

The Lord today is shepherding us with a view to gaining our love. As a result of our loving Him, we become one with Him in His desire to shepherd man, and we are empowered to reach man in every kind of circumstance. This reaching of man matches God’s own heart for man, which is a heart that does not judge or condemn, but loves man to the uttermost. The issue of this kind of shepherding is a group of believers who are enjoying the love of God in a subjective way and are one with Him to shepherd man according to God.

Until next time, enjoy this new Hymn that I learned. Grace be with you all! 🙂

Lyrics:

1. Above the waste and emptiness
Broods the spirit of God
Bringing forth God’s speaking in us
Hey! Let there be light!

* And the light shines in the darkness
And the darkness did not overcome
In Him was life and the life was the light of men

2. Nights decreasing, day increasing
Every day His Word we’re speaking
Don’t be discouraged, spirit releasing!
We are the children of God

The Endeavoring Continues: Prayer

Hello Fellow Crazy Lovers of Jesus! 😀
If you’ve read any of my post, you can probably guess what I’m about to say next: I know, I know, it’s been a LONG time since I last wrote about anything. Yet, be assured that I have been enjoying our precious Lord Jesus Christ, He is who is God manifested in the flesh (John 1:14), and who has come into us to be our very life (Colossians 3:4). Therefore, it is only fitting that I share some of it with a view to the building up of the Body of Christ by means of speaking forth my enjoyment to those who read! 🙂

Recently, I have been considering the matter of prayer quite a bit. Why is it that we pray, and why should we pray? Of course, prayer is a very big topic with many aspects, of which it is impossible for me to exhaust here, but I would like to draw attention to one aspect that I was moved by inwardly this morning.
“I desire therefore that men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and reasoning” (1 Timothy 2:8)
It’s very interesting how the apostle Paul desires that men pray in every place, meaning at all times, as is his charge in Ephesians 6:18 and First Thessalonians 5:17, after his mentioning of how God desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth in the same chapter (v.3-4). The significance of this is that our prayer, when it is governed according to the view of God’s desire, is directly related to the salvation of others. Consider this: if it were not the case, there would be no need for us to pray for this or for any other matter that we are charged to pray for in the Bible because the Lord would just do it Himself. Yet, here we see that our Savior God is desiring something, but He will not act without the adequate prayer. It is not that He is unable, for we know that our God is without limit in what He can do, yet from this, we can see that our prayers really matter in God’s eyes! Again, it is not that He is unable, but rather that He doesn’t want to move forward without His people. Therefore, we should not faint in our prayers regarding the ones whom we are praying for because the Lord is the faithful One! Let us all be encouraged that our Lord will eventually move when there are the prayers that match His heart for the salvation of others!

Interestingly enough, though I’ve written a lot already concerning this matter, this is actually not my main burden! My main burden lies in the second part of 1 Timothy 2:8 regarding the holy hands. Through some exposition, I was helped to see that hands symbolize our doings, hence, holy hands signify a holy living, a living that is pious and that belongs to God. Of course, we can all agree that such a holy life strengthens our prayer life, which also means that if our living is not holy, we will have no supporting strength to pray for what is on God’s heart specifically. I think we can all attest to the validity of such a statement through the experiences of our everyday Christian walk. We find that when we are not beholding the Lord, loving the Lord, speaking to the Lord, but are distracted with many other fountains (Jeremiah 2:13), we find that we have no strength to pray for the Lord’s desire, let alone His desire for the salvation of others. Furthermore, I was impressed to see that actually these two things go together in a marvelous way: if we are those who are contacting the Lord through prayer, we will be sustained to live such a holy life, which will be the very strength to keep us in fellowship with the One that we love! Therefore, our prayer is both the key to bringing us into the desire of God’s heart and also the very power by which we remain in fellowship with Him! How wonderful that we, the believers, can pray ourselves into the desire of our God’s heart in order to pray prayers that allow Him to gain what He desires! Let us cooperate with Him more today!

It’s evident that I can go on and on concerning this matter, probably because I haven’t been faithful in sharing bit by bit for a large part of this semester. In any case, praise be to the living Lord who today dwells in us! May He grant me the grace to be a little more diligent in this regard for the summer and may your summer be filled with the enjoyment of the unsearchable riches of Christ! (Ephesians 3:8)

Grace be with you from Christians on Campus at UC Berkeley! 😀

(And because you have read this far, enjoy the very late pictures from my spring break trip to Colorado this past March)

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I Love Being in Berkeley!

Hello Fellow Crazy Lovers of Jesus!

I just got back from an awesome conference concerning how to be a normal Christian in this day and age: it was miraculously normal! I enjoyed particularly how as Christians, we must be ones who live a proper and normal human life that is also altogether divine. In Exodus, we have the boards that hold up the Tabernacle, which was the dwelling place of God on the earth at that time. These boards were composed of two things so take a minute and guess what you think those two materials are……Okay! If you guessed silver and ivory you’re absolutely WRONG, but it’s okay because with Christ we always have a second chance 🙂 The two materials, in fact, are acacia wood and gold. It was explained to me that the gold represents God’s own uncreated, divine nature and acacia wood signifies the uplifted humanity of our dear Lord Jesus Christ! Thus, what you have as the support in God’s dwelling place on earth is humanity, but the expression (because the gold overlays the wood) is the expression of all that God is in His divinity. The point is, as Christians, we need to enjoy the Lord at every moment so that we can live normal human lives on the earth who work, go to school, and take care of our finances. Yet, at the same time, we should be different because the source, expression, and the goal of our human lives should be one that declares all that God is. Such a living will be a duplication of Christ’s living on the earth and will give God the way to build up His dwelling place in man! Hallelujah that there can be such an expression of divinity mingled, blended, with humanity on the earth today!!

There was sooooooo much more that helped me a lot, like how we should give the Lord our topmost everything. Practically, this means the topmost in finances (of course), time (morning revival every morning before our day starts), and energy (this was a new one for me and it refers to giving the Lord the time when we are most energetic in the day). I would say more, but I want you to have more time to enjoy Christ as your portion. So instead, I will leave you with pictures of various things for your enjoyment!

As always, Grace be with you from Christians on Campus at UC Berkeley 😀

The Warrior Bride

Hello Fellow Crazy Lovers of Jesus!

I had a fresh enjoyment of the Lord regarding the church as both His bride and His army who comes with Him to deal with Antichrist at the close of the church age. In Ephesians 5, we see that the in order to give the believers a clear view concerning how a husband should love his wife, the apostle Paul speaks of Christ’s love for the  His bride, the church!

‘Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…That He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish (v. 25, 27)

This indicates that our love towards the Lord should not be religious, but it should be personal and affectionate! It is a marvelous thing to both realize that He is the Bridegroom (John 3:29) and to then call the Lord your bridegroom since He has been calling the believers  His wife/bride since the Old Testament (Isiah 54:5). In any case, I appreciated seeing that the Lord’s love for us surpasses the relationship of Creator and creation, and even Father and sons, to bride and Bridegroom. In fact, in the last book of the Bible, Revelation, we see this same idea:

“Let us rejoice and exult, and let us give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.  And it was given to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints.” (19: 7-8)

As a believer, you may have already seen this aspect of the church, but have you also seen her in the light of being His army? Consider this verse in Revelation 19 in light of Revelation 17:14:

“And the armies which are in heaven followed Him on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean.” (19:14)

This army comprises the very believers as the overcomers (Revelation 2 and 3) who have just married the Lamb and are now spending their “honeymoon” with the Bridegroom to deal with Antichrist on the earth! How amazing that lovers have now become the fighters! Thus, today, if we want to be those who fight for the Lord, we must first be those who love Him to the uttermost and give Him the first place in our hearts, in all matters!

Grace be with you from Christians on Campus at UC Berkeley 😀

Daily Enjoyment of Christ

Hello Fellow Crazy Lovers of Jesus!

Just here to share a little enjoyment from my morning time with the Lord from the book of Hosea, which was quite wonderful.

“And I will betroth you to Myself forever; indeed I will betroth you to Myself in righteousness and justice and in lovingkindness and compassions; indeed I will betroth you to Myself in faithfulness, and you will know Jehovah” (2:19-20)

When people come to the minor prophets, they typically see them as books of how God wants to judge everyone and destroy them, but here we see something different, something sweeter. When we come to this verse in Hosea, we can see that God’s true intention is to have an organic union with His chosen people, like the union of Adam with Eve! His desire has always been one of having a counterpart who matches Him, which is why there are also utterances like “Christ and the church” paralleled with a husband and wife in Ephesians chapter 5 and “the Spirit and the bride” in Revelation chapter 22. It is for this reason, for the sake of having a bride that is one with Him, that God has cleansed the believers with Christ’s blood and has given them His own life and nature (John 1:12-13; 2 Peter 1:4).

However, my main point (:D) is actually the Lord’s speaking in Hosea concerning us! Often times, we have many spiritual failures in a single day. This includes losing our temper or our patience, or failing to share the gospel with someone when we know that the Lord is moving within us to say something. After so many we just want to give up, yet the divine utterance in the Bible is always an encouragement to us. Notice the three-fold statement “I will betroth you to Myself” and notice the two-fold “indeed”! God is set on making us one with Him in every way and He is the one who will carry out. Thus, we should get our eyes off of ourselves and put them back on our lovely Bridegroom! He will work on us and in us until we become His satisfaction and delight in full!

By the way, if the thought of eating this whole thing scares you, welcome to the club! Yesterday, I ate crab just like this…that’s right, just like this. Let me just confess that there’s a lot more things inside of a crab than I really wanted to know, but with a little melted butter and a whole lot of closing of the eyes I survived! But I realized something: if I was in the jungle and I needed to hunt to survive, I would die, end of story. Praise the Lord I live in the city 😛

Grace be with you from Christians on Campus at UC Berkeley 😀

A Morning Time with the Lord

Hello Fellow Crazy Lovers of Jesus,

This morning was an awesome time with the Lord!! It started off with some reading of the Word in 2 Samuel chapter 7 when David speaks about his desire to build a house for Jehovah. From the whole chapter, three verses stuck out to me:

v. 12-14: “…I will raise up your seed after you, which will come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. It is he who will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he will be My son…”

As I was prayerfully reading through some of the study notes in my Bible, I came to look at something that I had glossed over the first time. In v. 12 the Lord says that a seed will come out of David’s body, but in v. 14 Jehovah declares that He would be a Father to this seed. This “seed” then must be a reference to the coming Christ who in His humanity was the seed of David according to the flesh, but in resurrection became the Son of God according to His humanity, like in Romans 1: 3-4. This in itself is marvelous, that a man in the flesh (who was already God according to His divinity) could become the Son of God through death and resurrection! Now He has two statuses: He’s the Son of God according to His divinity as well as the Son of God according to His humanity!

However, this is only the beginning of the good news for Romans 8:29 speaks about predestinating the believers to be conformed to the image of God’s son, Jesus Christ, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers! This means that our destiny is to be brought into the divine sonship in the very same way that our “elder brother” was in His humanity: our very flesh will also be designated to make us genuine sons of God!

There’s a lot more here obviously, but my point is on the matter of having the time to spend with the Lord in the Word so that He can have the opportunity to impress us with the hidden gems that are located there. Our morning times should be morning “feastings” which prepare us to spend the whole day with Him! Praise the Lord for the riches concerning Himself in the Word!

                                (Until the next post, keep eating the Lord in His Word)

 

Grace be with you from Christians on Campus at UC Berkeley 😀

How to Keep the Law according to the New Testament

Hello Fellow Lovers of Jesus!

This morning (though I realize that it’s 10pm at night lol) I really enjoyed musing over Romans 8:4 “That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.”

There is so much to say about this verse, but what I appreciated from reading it and praying over it is realizing that the law is just a testimony of God Himself. Everything that a person may write or say automatically conveys who that person is in their being. Thus, what a person speaks or writes about themselves is very much related to who they are. With this in view, the law is just a testimony of all that God is in His person. As we all know, God is perfect in every way, but we are His creatures that were created in His image (Genesis 1:26) but were damaged by Adam’s eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This means that if we want to keep the law, the only way is if God Himself, from within us, keeps the law for us.

We’ve all experienced trying to keep the law in ourselves right? Let’s be honest, when you try, you fail. This is exactly what the apostle Paul discovered in Romans chapter 7; that no matter how much he tried not to covet, he found that this sinful flesh worked out coveting of every kind. However, this is not my main point. What I say this morning was that to keep the law is very much related to allowing Christ, who is the living testimony of God (John 14:9) and who is now indwelling us (Colossians 3:4), to be lived out of us. So, whenever we come to the law, or even to the Bible itself, we must come seeking Christ, who is embodied in the Word.

What I’ve found is that if I come to the Bible not seeking just doctrinal knowledge (John 5:39), but rather seeking a sweet and intimate time with my King in His Word, I get life itself. This life then enables me to walk according to the spirit, which produces a living that spontaneously fulfills the law. Why? Simply because Christ Himself is the reality of the law, and apart from coming to Him, beholding Him, and loving Him, there’s no way that the law can be fulfilled in us. Hallelujah for such an enjoyable way to express God!

Grace be with you from Christians on Campus at UC Berkeley!

 

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