Matthew

So you think you know the time of Jesus’ arrival


The second coming of Christ is imminent. It is not a myth as some people think. We know this as fact from a conversation Jesus had with His disciples. After braking the news to His disciples that He must leave them and go to His father, their countenance changed. “Do not let your hearts be troubled”. He said. “Trust in God. Trust in me also. There are many rooms in my father house. If this were not true, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. If I go and do that, I will come back, and I will take you with me. Then you will also be where I am” (John 14:1-3).

However, the time of arrival of Jesus’ is not known. He said so himself. “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating, and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and devoured them. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at a hand-mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. Nevertheless, you should bear this in mind: If the owner of the house had known at what time during night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and deny the thief access. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:36-44).

Likewise, if the five foolish virgins had known what time the bridegroom comes they would have stayed put instead of going out to buy oil for their lamps. Still, it should not matter whether Christ returns today or tomorrow. The main thing is to get our acts together and live in readiness and anticipation of His impending return

A love song to Jesus


I chose to dedicate this song to Jesus because the lyrics explain exactly how I feel. I do not know about anybody else, but I honestly do not feel this way every day. Some days I get overwhelmed with daily activities that I have to dig deep to come up with a “praise”. However, over the past three weeks I have this renewed vigor and vitality for Jesus, and I am not ashamed to express it

This new thing that has come over me is hard to put into words. It reminds me of a famous quote from a famous song: “When I think of the goodness of Jesus and what He has done for me, my soul cries out hallelujah thank God for saving me”. It is like an Epiphany. It brings joy, peace and happiness to my soul.

Folks this man Jesus is real. This is not a joke. When we surrender all to Him, exciting things will happen in our lives. In the book of Matthew chapter 11:29-30 Jesus entreat us: “Take my Yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. Yes! My Yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. Knowing what we know about Jesus, how can anyone continue to resist such an offer.

I dare anyone to do what I did. I shed the cares and burdens of this world and took the Yoke of Jesus upon myself. Today, I can see and feel the results. “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man who trust in him” (Psalm 107:1).

How Genuine are you? Do You Make empty Promises?


Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
and they love him who speaks what is right., (Proverbs 16:13).

The politician promised so many wonderful things. His constituents wanted to put their faith in him. They kept hoping someone would come along who cared about their plight. Every time new promises had been made, the hopes of the people soared. Each time, though, their hopes were dashed to the ground, and the great talk dissolved into the wind. This time they hoped it would be different. They had to hold onto something. Promises were the best they could find. If even half the talk resulted in action, they would be a great deal better off than they were now.

Talk without action can be destructive. If we make a promise, we must be committed to following through. Jesus told the people of his day that they should not swear, because when they did not do what they said, it was a sin.

But I tell you, do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one (Matthew 5:34-37).

It is good for us to commit ourselves to helping other people, but when we make empty promises, we are being cruel and unloving. It is through actions, not mere words that we show how much we care. Actions speak louder than words, and action done in love speak the truth of Christ in our lives. Besides, it has been said that one of the highest accolades is the comment, “if he says so, you can take it to the bank.”

Let us always strive to follow the example of Christ, saving our words until we are ready to act.

The Tomb Is Empty, Jesus Is Risen!


Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene

Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John 20:1-29

New International Version (NIV)

The Empty Tomb

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.  He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.  Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen laying there,  as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb, first, also went inside. He saw and believed.  (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)  Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb  and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”  At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (Which means “Teacher”)?

Jesus said “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace is with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.


Cover of "Chosen Generation"

Cover of Chosen Generation

Why do some very capable and talented men and women, consistently find doors of opportunity and acceptance closed to them; while others with equal or less ability have seemingly unlimited opportunities and success in every area of their lives? It doesn’t seem fair, you might say.

But timing has a lot to do with it. God has a time for everything; and He works in us what needs to be done to prepare us for what lies ahead. Having a sense of God’s timing brings the peace to wait on the Lord for direction. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

However, whatever a man thinks of himself; could partly or ultimately decide his success or failure. If he has poor self-image, he will have doubts about his value, and that could creep into everything he does–even into his relationships. People who are uncomfortable with his insecurity may avoid him, and this will in turn affects how he relates to his family, friends, coworkers; and strangers. If he expect to fail–he will.

As followers of Christ–we have to understand who we are, and what is our purpose here on earth. God says our first steps are to be toward Him: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33). When we line up with Him, He leads the way and all we have to do is follow. As we look to Him, the glory of His image gets imprinted upon us. When our self-image gets so wrapped up in God that we lose ourselves in the process–we are free and confident.

Confidence in Christ will allow us to think highly of ourselves and claim our legacy of royal priesthood: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”

God Cannot Lie, His Word is Truth


portrait of Matthew Evangelist and the first p...

Image via Wikipedia

There is much talk and false prediction about when our Lord and Savior shall return for His people. But as Matthew 24:36 tells us, no man knows the hour. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24:36). God cannot lie. Therefore, those who pretend to know the hour the Son of Man shall appear are, in essence, challenging the validity of Scripture. “And The Lord said to me: The prophets are prophesying lies in My Name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds” (Jeremiah 14:14 RSV).

The Word of God consistently explains itself. Let us turn to Matthew 7 : 15-23 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you evildoers.” (Matthew 7:15-23 RSV)

How do you know a false prophet? Anyone who twist, alter or distort the Word of God. For example, a couple of months ago, some professing prophet was on TV predicting the end of the world. That in itself is sacrilegious, and should have raised doubt in any true believer’s mind, because God cannot lie. He tells us in his Word that no man knows the hour when He shall return. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up’ (2 peter 3 : 10).

Strengthen Your Faith In God, Not Things


Faith Happens

Image via Wikipedia

I always laugh when someone tells me he or she has no faith, because I know it’s probably not true. Everyone lives by faith to a certain extent. When you go to the doctor, you need faith to trust his diagnosis. When the pharmacy fills your prescription, you have faith that you will receive the proper medicine. when you eat at a restaurant, you trust that the people who serve you have not contaminated or poison the food. (Some restaurants need more faith than others.) Everyday is a walk of faith on some level. Everyone believes in something. “God has dealt to each one a measure of faith”” (Romans 12:3).

We choose what we will believe in. Some people choose to believe in themselves, some in government, some in evil, some in science, some in newspapers, some in hard work, some in other people, and some in God. faith is something we cannot live without.

Faith is something we cannot die without either. Our faith determines what happens to us after we leave this world. If you have faith in Jesus, you know that your external future is secure. That’s because “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead…will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). In others words, if the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the  dead dwells in you, He will raise you up as well.

Having certainty about what happens to us when we die will affect greatly how we live today. Confidence in our external future gives us a perspective on living in the present that is laced with confidence as well.

Here is a scary thought! when healing some blind men Jesus said, “According to your faith let it be to you” (Matthew 9:29). Doesn’t that make you want to reevaluate your trust in God? The good news is that this means we have a certain amount of control over our lives and can, to some extent, decide how things are going to turn out for us. Our lives do not have to left up to chance, or allowed to go flopping in the breeze according to whatever wind is blowing at the moment. Our faith will help decide our outcome.

We all have times of doubt. Even Jesus wondered why God had forsaken Him. It wasn’t that he doubted God’s existence or ability to come to His rescue , He just didn’t expect to feel forsaken. Sometimes we do not doubt God”s existence, or whether He can help us, we just doubt His desire to have any immediate impact on our lives. Surly He is too busy for my problems, we think, But the truth is, He is not.