For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. — 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (NIV)
Jesus has promised to come back sometime in the future, and as a matter of fact, he is coming back at this moment. The Bible tells us when he comes back, the whole world will be restored from the control of Satan. There will be no more sins, no more aguish, no more sadness, no more tears… Moreover, the dead in Christ shall be raised up as well.
When the scripture says, ‘the dead in Christ will rise first’, it means what it says. God has raised Jesus from the dead three days after the crucification. He was given a spiritual body which allows him to eat and drink, and walking through the walls at the same time. He lived with his disciples for 40 days and appeared to the public before he was taken up to heaven.
The resurrection of Jesus occupies a significant place in Christian belief. One of the reasons is that it gives us hope even after death. God has raised our Saviour and he also has promised to do the same to the people who believe his son. So the Bible refers to the people who have passed away as ‘the people fallen asleep’. The dead will come to live again just as simple as you and me wake up every morning after hours of sleep. One day you and I will be given a spiritual body and live with Jesus in his kingdom for eternity.
That’s the hope we have.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.— Romans 8:19
During the time between the first coming of Jesus and his second coming (the last day), Paul teaches that the whole creation is eagerly longing for Jesus’ return, groaning like a woman in labour pains. Phillips translates this, “The whole creation is standing on tiptoe, eagerly awaiting the revelation of the sons of God.” Could you picture it? The world is craning the neck, looking on with a visible sense of anticipation that something is about to happen. It is eagerly awaiting this remarkable event (the sons of God to be revealed), toward which the world is hastening, and has been hastening, since the beginning of time. Amazing!
19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
That day, we will hear Jesus say, “Behold, I make all things NEW!”
No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. — John 16:27
In today verse, Jesus draws a close to his farewell before his crucifixion. He tells his disciples and us that the Father will give us whatever we ask because he himself loves us, because we have believed and love Jesus, his only son.
Here is an amazing video about the love of God, it’s a must see. I’m not going to say a lot today for a change, please just enjoy the movie:
God loves you!
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me — John 14:6 (NIV)
Who is Jesus? This is a fundamental question of christian belief. Jesus has many titles in the New Testament such as ‘The bread of Life’, ‘Light of the World’, ‘the Gate’, ‘the Resurrection and the Life’.
The night before Jesus was crucified, he told his disciples that he is going to leave them. The disciples were deeply stressed. Jesus comforted them by saying he is going to prepare a place for them in his father’s house and he told them they already knew the Way to that place. But the one of the disciples said, ” I don’t know the Way.” Then Jesus answered, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the father except through me.”
For those who don’t know much about Christianity, they may ask, “the Way to where?”, “the Truth of what?”, or “what does it mean by the Life?” Jesus came down from heaven to earth to tell them that he alone is the Way to the Father, the Truth about the Father, and the Life that the Father wants to bring to the world. Notice that Jesus doesn’t say “a Way”, or “a Truth”, he says ” the Way” and “the Truth, which means the Only Way and the Only truth.
There is never a time when human being stops reaching Gods since the very beginning. We have invented so many ways, known as Religions to approach our self-created Gods. Some say if you keep certain laws and regulations, then you can go to heaven after death; some say you should never stop doing good deeds; some even say you pay me some money and I’ll open a way for you. But how can we figure out the Way since nobody actually came from there?
There is only one person ever exists on earth that has been to the heaven. He is Jesus. He is the Way because he is sent by the Father in heaven. He knows his father’s house, a beautiful mason, there are rooms for all of us. It is known as heaven. The only way to go there is through believing Jesus.
God loves you and he has invited you to his house in heaven through his son! Would you like to go?
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. — John 10:10 (NKJV)
The night before, I was left alone in my house. I have to admit it was a pretty big house for one person and I was a bit scared. (You know… I’m a girl/woman). Then the worst happened, it was about 3:45am deep in the night that the burglar alarm outside my window went off. At first, I thought I was dreaming, but I discovered the noise was too loud to be imaginary. “What should I do?! I don’t know the code to unset the alarm… What if there were burglars breaking in the house? What should I do?!…” I was really frightened for a short while… but … no worries … in the end everything was all right.
In today’s verse, Jesus talks about “ The thief comes only to steal and to kill, and to destroy.” I can totally understand how horrible it feels now, after my experience of the burglar alarm night. Here, the thief represents the devil, who steals everything that gives a person life and we are left with: poverty, disaster, slavery, violence, disease, despair, death …
However, Jesus says that he has come that we may have life. These words are the greatest comfort when you are lost and in despair, when you are frightened and hopeless. Just as the movie scene: the super hero jumps up and confronts the bad guy when you are in trouble. Moreover, Jesus announces that he is not only going to give us life, but also life to the full. It is an abundant life that satisfies the deepest needs of the human soul, a life that no worldly, material comforts can deliver. How marvellous is that! The one thing that he requires us to do is to accept it through believing. God loves you!
The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord. the god of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. — 1 Kings 11:9
Today’s verse reveals a critical moment in Israel’s history – Solomon’s heart has turned away from God, and God, the father was upset. Solomon has fallen for the three main idols: 1. POWER 2. SEX 3. MONEY. It was sad because God himself has appeared solomon to TWICE. The divine punishment for Solomon’s sin is that there will be a tearing of his kingdom, as you can seen from God’s words in verse 11 – 13. And this is exactly what happens in the history.
11 So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”
For more about this, you can listen to the video below:
From today’s verse, here are a few understandings:
1) Solomon didn’t turned away from God all at once or in a brief moment. His spiritual coldness started with a minor departure from God’s commands. Over the years, that little sin grew until it resulted in Solomon’s downfall. A little sin can be the first step in turning away from God. Watch out for small sins we excuse.
2) A few days ago, we went through the story that King Solomon asked for Wisdom when God promised to give whatever he asked. Reading today’s verse, however, it makes me think whether wisdom is the best thing that King Solomon could have asked? What do you think? (Maybe, if I were Solomon, I would asked to be closed to God always – intimate relationship with God – This means to be under his mercy, goodness, guidance, protection, blessings … everything good that you could possibly receive …
3) Three major things caused Solomon’s downfall are 1. POWER 2. SEX 3. MONEY, I believe many agreed that these are also the main reasons cause many people to stumble today. How could we win this battle against these big big temptations even though the wisest king in the history, Solomon, has failed? Yes, we can win the battle! because the difference is:
” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ” — John 3:16
Jesus has come and died for our sins, he promised to live within us if we are willing to receive him.That means we are not fighting this battle on our own, Jesus is on our side:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” — Romans 8:37
Be encouraged, God is fighting our battle and Jesus has won!
I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over my house and my kingdom for ever; his throne will be established for ever. — 1 Chronicles 17:13-14 (NIV)
That’s what the Lord has promised David when he asked the Lord to bless his son Solomon who would succeed to the throne. David is a faithful servant of God and God walked with him all through his kingship. David wasn’t a sinless saint, he had sometimes done what is evil in the eyes of God, but everytime he repented and took the punishment. God forgave him and even calls David as the ‘man after his heart’ because of his faithfulness. David knew that all he had came from God.He knew the kingdom of Israel cannot live without the blessing of God. So when he was about to die, what he concerned for the most was God’s promise of being the father of his son solomon. There wasn’t anything more important than knowing Solomon would be taken care of as the son of the Lord. And God gave him the promise.
But here God doesn’t just talk about King Solomon, he is talking about the other son of David—Jesus. “A Messiah will be born in the line of David”, that’s the prophecy of the birth of Jesus. In the beginning of the book of Matthew, it records a genealogy of Jesus the Messiah. There is 28 generations from David to the Messiah. The kingdom of Israel no longer exists, but that doesn’t mean God has broken his promise. The throne of his one and only son Jesus has been established for ever.