Feb 23, 2010

Heavenly Minded

A Real Place for Real People

But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:16

The Bible has much to say about what heaven is like. First, heaven is an actual place. Jesus told His disciples, "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). Heaven is a real place for real people, and when we get there, it will be amazing and fantastic.

The Bible uses a number of words to describe heaven, including "Paradise." Jesus said to the thief on the cross who came to his senses, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). The Paradise Jesus was speaking of, literally translated, is a word that would have been used in the first century to describe the garden of a king. It is hard for us to imagine how luxurious and splendid this would appear to someone living in this time. If you were a relatively impoverished person and were given the privilege of going into the walled garden of a king, you would be overwhelmed by the fragrance and beauty of it all. So "paradise" was a point of reference for people. Although limited, it gives us a sense of how heaven will overwhelm our senses.

The apostle Paul died, went to heaven, and came back to earth. In describing his experience, he said he was "caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2 Corinthians 12:4). Heaven will be better than anything we could imagine, and Scripture gives us descriptions and hints of what it will be like.

So what does it mean for us today? If we are heavenly minded, then it will affect the way we are living on earth. And if it doesn't affect the way we are living on earth, then how heavenly minded could we really be?
I quoted this from Pastor Greg Laurie's daily devotion which I receive.

I don't know if this happens to you.
But, stupidly, I get caught up with the things of this world so often.
Somewhat, the joy this world offers becomes attractive to me suddenly.
And the bitterness, anger, jealousy, all those kinds of sin I commit.
What I found is that when that happens, there is no room for Jesus in my heart.

I need to fixated on Jesus more.
I need to be more heavenly minded.
So that God can lead me and fill me with His joy.

Feb 16, 2010

Power Of The Gospel

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
1Corinthians 1:18

This last Sunday, Valentine's Day, we had outreachous (which means evangelistic, I made it up) service.
So, I, being single and having no duty to plan something for the day, invited two of my friends to the service. Well, I invited four and two of them showed up!!
I was praying whole week strongly that somewhat God will reach to them.
Because this phrase was stuck in my mind..

"Prayer is more powerful than preaching. It is prayer that gives preaching all it's power." Robert Murray McCheyne

Pastor Chizuo did really excellent job, delivering message of the gospel.
At the end, he asked congregation if there is any one who wants to accept Jesus into his heart.
I was in the back of the room, cheatingly looking around if there is any one raising hands, especially my friends whom I invited.
I only found one lady raising. I was happy to see that.
After while, he said "So I'll now pray for those four people who raised their hands."
I was like "Wow, four!?". I was again made happy.

After the service I was chatting with my friends and getting ready for the potluck.
During the time, Pastor Chizuo came to us and asked if he can pray for one of the two who reaised his hand.
I was like "dude!!! you Did raised your hand!? I was watching whole time and didn't see you doing!!" but sure did he raised his hand, because he nodded to him.
I was totally blown away what God did at the time!!!

Ofcourse I was expecting God's work, so I was not literal "surprise". But it is always wondrous and marvelous that God drawing His people to His feet.

John Charles Ryle said
"I am fully persuaded that there is no system so lifegiving, so calculated to awaken the sleeping, the lead on the inquiring, and build up the saints, as that system which is called the evangelical system of Christianity. Wherever it is faithfully preached, and efficiently carried out, and consistently adorned by the lives of its professors, it is the power of God..... We have the truth, and we need not be afraid to say so."

To God be the Glory

Feb 15, 2010

Fanny Crosby

Some body might noticed that I haven't posted a post from my reading through "50 People every Christian should know" by Warren Wiersbe.
Well, I'm still reading it, step by step, taking chunk of time though hehe

It was interesting that I met Fanny Crosby this time. Because in the last worship meeting, our pastor introduced some of the story from Fanny Crosby's life.
So it is definitely God who is bringing this encounter.

Fanny Crosby, Frances Jane Crosby was one of the greatest and beloved composer of gospel songs. God used her to pen over eight thousand songs .
"It seemed intended by the blessed Providence of God that I should be blind all my life."
She was only six weeks old when she became blind for doctor's poor treatment on minor eye inflammation. Though she was blind, she was thankful for that. She claimed she would rather remain blind even if she could have her sight restored.
Her gift of writing songs were outstanding.
She wrote her first poem at the age of eight years old, it goes..

Oh, what a happy child I am,
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be

How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't!
So weep or sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot, or I won't

She kept writing songs until she went to be with the Lord and see everything clearly.
"I believe myself still really in the prime of life!!", she said at the age of eighty-tree. She lived twelve more years.

So what did I learn from her life?
I think it is the fact that God gives every single person His gift, which is exclusively unique to the person. When I use the gift for God, He will definitely blesses it as long as I do, as much as I do!!

So think of something that is unique to you, maybe even things that doesn't look life specifically unique but God blessed you with.
Let us use them for the One who gave us.
Because ultimately nothing belongs to us.

Feb 11, 2010

Kill Sin!!! 「罪」を殺せ!

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Romans 8:13
As a human, I cannot live without any sins and temptation of sins.
And I know my weakness to them. I give in often.
So how do I need to deal with this problem?
The answer is to "Mortify Sins", in other words "Kill sins".

There are two possibilities of mistakes that we might fall into in light of dealing with sins.
Here is my thoughts on it...

First, we do nothing.
The attitude like, "You know what, I just give it to God. I do nothing. well, just wait on the Lord"
Sounds hilarious, but it really happens.
We are told to mortify. The word, mortify, is an active word!!
We need to take a action!!! Get off your butt!!

Second, we compromise.
God has given us His Spirit Who teaches us what is right and wrong.
Often we do things which in our hearts we know it is not pleasing to God. So what we do?
We make excuses and rationalize it. We Compromise with sins!!

So what Do we ought to do??
First,We need "Will Power"!!!
We are to have will-power to overcome the temptations.
But it comes only from God.
Remember it is "through the Spirit" that mortifies sins.
Second, We need to literally "Kill Sins",
As long as we live on the earth, we have temptations.
We cannot put them in one box and lock to never come out.
My Pastor reminded me of this fact the other day that I need to nail those sinful thoughts on the cross. He told me to imagine the picture Christ nail on the cross, suffering.
He took the cross for our sins. He died because I sinned.
My sins were punished on the Cross!!

He will give us not only willpower but also power to do those things.
Let's pray and seek for "Will Power"!!

Feb 1, 2010

Eternity? Trinity? Can't Get it!? 永遠?1+1+1=1?

Last week, I was able to share the Scriptures, John 1:1-5, with some of my non-Christian friends at dorm. Gospel of John is a awesome book!!! It is very simple but so profound!

In the Study, I made three points
1. Jesus is eternity
2. Jesus is God
3. Jesus offers the Best (which is eternal life with Him)

J. Vernon McGee said "So when you read, "In the beginning," go as far as your little brain can go into eternity past, put down your peg- and Jesus Christ comes out of eternity to meet you."
It is so impossible to fathom this character of "eternity".

The word, God, in Greek is "Elohim" ,which is specifically plural form.
"The Lord is One"(Deu. 6:4) The word "one" is, in Hebrew, "echad" which is also plural.
I was completely overwhelmed during that study!!!
I wish I could share more though, it will be too long if I do that.

Lastly, all things are made through Jesus.(Col. 1) If God created me, He knows everything about me. When something is wrong in my life, He know where and how to fix it.
Do you believe that? or You believe you are the result of "random chances" of evolution process?
He created us to have fellowship with Him, to glorify Him!!
God is the source, the strength and the reason of our lives!!

この前の木曜の夜は寮でバイブルスタディをやって、新しいシリーズ”Believe 879”が始まりました。