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Intro to GOD AS KING

Originally posted by lunadanipog at Intro to GOD AS KING

   For as there is a ruler in each country/organization/company/union, so does the whole world and the universe.

  In my previous blogs, the character of God as Creator is discussed.  The whole creation belongs to Him, including us as just part of His masterpiece.  And it would be most reasonable that He shall rule over us all.  If there would be the most appropriate being to take charge, to lead, and to rule over the world, it's Him, not me, not you.  If there would be someone who is rightful to make the laws, it is Him who rules.

  I think this truth pesters every man (at least those who do not yet fully understand the truth that God is our Creator), because man usually doesn't want someone to meddle in his life or dictate him what he should do.  Man, today, wants to rule himself.  He is more likely to apply the quote "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul".  But sorry, because this is not in line with the Design.  Just like how I started with my "God as creator" blogs, I would repeat it, "It's not about us".

  There is a King in this Kingdom - a King who is Supreme, Eternal, and Law Maker.  We'll share thoughts and verses on these 3 characters of God as King.

Psalm 103:19-22                

 19 The Lord placed his

throne in heaven; 

      he
is king over all.

 20 Praise the Lord, you
strong and mighty angels, 

      who
obey his commands, 

      who
listen to what he says.

 21 Praise the Lord, all you
heavenly powers, 

      you
servants of his, who do his will!

 22 Praise the Lord, all his
creatures 

      in
all the places he rules. 

   Praise
the Lord, my soul!

-----------------------------

Soli Deo Gloria!!!
God bless everyone! =)

GOD AS CREATOR: GRACIOUS SUSTAINER

Originally posted by lunadanipog at GOD AS CREATOR: GRACIOUS SUSTAINER

I have been dealing with the topic God as Creator in my previous posts.  I started with GOD AS CREATOR: a truth often taken for granted.  The article simply says that we should always go back to the truth that all we see with our naked eyes belong to God and are from from God (even we, ourselves).  Next is GOD AS CREATOR: Isaiah Amused by the Creator King.  Here we saw how Isaiah praised the God of Israel and how he emphasized how imporabale their God is (our God is)...how He sustains His creation.  No one is like our God.  I posted a song entitled "My Creator King" at the end of the article.
Today, we'll see another amazing character of God as the Creator of all.  Since He created all the things in heaven and on earth, He also graciously sustains everything.  Let us look at some verses which support this.
Again, from the book of Isaiah, it says in chapter 51:12-13, 15-16


12     The Lord says, "I am the one who strengthens you.  Why should you fear mortals, who are no more enduring than grass?
13      Have you forgotten the Lord who made you, who stretched out the heavens and laid the earth's foundations?  Why should you live in constant fear of the fury of those who oppress you, of those who are ready to destroy you?  Their fury can no longer touch you.


15    "I am the Lord you God; I stir up the sea and make its waves roar.  My name is the Lord Almighty!
16    I stretched out the heavens and laid the earth's foundations; I say to Jerusalem, 'You are my people! I have given you my teaching,
and I protect you with my hand'"


This is how God cares for His creation.  As for his concern for humans (to those whom He has chosen together with the Israel), He won't let any fury touch them.  His very own hands will protect them.


Let us see what the New Testament has to say with this.  It is said in Acts 14:17



"But He has always given evidence of His existence by the good things he does: he gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times; he gives you food and fills your hearts with happiness."


God purposely sustains his creation to show His glory, His existence.  It's for his glory!  You can also see in this verse that He does and designs things to happen in order.  He knows when to pour out rain, so the crops may be for harvest 'at the right times' (He knows their time).  He gives us food (I believe this is not only for our physical bodies but for spiritual also).
Also in Matthew 6:25-34 (the famous passage about Worrying), Jesus (himself) testifies how God sustains everything - from the flowers, to wild grasses, to the birds,..and to us humans.


I would like to include here Psalm 104 because the whole chapter explains it all.  How God put His creations in order, how they are interdependent with one another and how He sustains all of them.





Psalm 104 "In Praise of the Creator"


  O Lord, my God, how great you are! 
   You are clothed with majesty and glory;
    2 you cover yourself with light. 
   You have spread out the heavens like a tent
    3 and built your home on the waters above.[a] 
   You use the clouds as your chariot 
      and ride on the wings of the wind.
 4 You use the winds as your messengers 
      and flashes of lightning as your servants.


 5 You have set the earth firmly on its foundations, 
      and it will never be moved.
 6 You placed the ocean over it like a robe, 
      and the water covered the mountains.
 7 When you rebuked the waters, they fled; 
      they rushed away when they heard your shout of command.
 8 They flowed over the mountains and into the valleys, 
      to the place you had made for them.
 9 You set a boundary they can never pass, 
      to keep them from covering the earth again.


 10 You make springs flow in the valleys, 
      and rivers run between the hills.
 11 They provide water for the wild animals; 
      there the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
 12 In the trees near by, 
      the birds make their nests and sing.


 13 From the sky you send rain on the hills, 
      and the earth is filled with your blessings.
 14 You make grass grow for the cattle 
      and plants for us to use, 
   so that we can grow our crops
    15 and produce wine to make us happy, 
      olive oil to make us cheerful, 
      and bread to give us strength.


 16 The cedars of Lebanon get plenty of rain— 
      the Lord's own trees, which he planted.
 17 There the birds build their nests; 
      the storks nest in the fir trees.
 18 The wild goats live in the high mountains, 
      and the rock badgers hide in the cliffs.


 19 You created the moon to mark the months; 
      the sun knows the time to set.
 20 You made the night, and in the darkness 
      all the wild animals come out.
 21 The young lions roar while they hunt, 
      looking for the food that God provides.
 22 When the sun rises, they go back 
      and lie down in their dens.
 23 Then people go out to do their work 
      and keep working until evening.



 24 Lord, you have made so many things! 
      How wisely you made them all! 
      The earth is filled with your creatures.

 25 There is the ocean, large and wide, 
      where countless creatures live, 
      large and small alike.
 26 The ships sail on it, and in it plays Leviathan, 
      that sea monster which you made.[b]



 27 All of them depend on you 
      to give them food when they need it.
 28 You give it to them, and they eat it; 
      you provide food, and they are satisfied.
 29 When you turn away, they are afraid; 
      when you take away your breath, they die 
      and go back to the dust from which they came.
 30 But when you give them breath,[c] they are created; 
      you give new life to the earth.


 31 May the glory of the Lord last forever! 
      May the Lord be happy with what he has made!

 32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles; 
      he touches the mountains, and they pour out smoke.



 33 I will sing to the Lord all my life; 
      as long as I live I will sing praises to my God.
 34 May he be pleased with my song, 
      for my gladness comes from him.
 35 May sinners be destroyed from the earth; 
      may the wicked be no more.


   Praise the Lord, my soul! 
   Praise the Lord!





Verses 27-31 are very powerful.  The psalmist gave emphasis on the total dependence of the whole creation to the great Creator.  Our lives come from HIm.  If He withhold his sustaining grace, WE'RE LOST! We die!


And in response to this, our sould shall forever praise His name! (verses 33-35).


Let me quote again Isaiah 40:26.  I really love it how Isaiah put it in astronomical language:








Soli Deo Gloria!

Originally posted by lunadanipog at GOD AS CREATOR: Isaiah amused by the Creator King (Isaiah 40:12-31)
I'd like to share this passage from the book of Isaiah.  Isaiah 40:12-31 "Israel's Incomparable God".  This is my devotion for this day and it's related to my latest post GOD AS CREATOR: a truth often taken for granted.  In this passage, Isaiah tells Israel how great their God is.  He even gave emphasis to how God sustains His creation.  It really amazes me.



  
Israel's Incomparable God
 12 Can anyone measure the ocean by handfuls 
      or measure the sky with his hands? 
   Can anyone hold the soil of the earth in a cup 
      or weigh the mountains and hills on scales?
 13 Can anyone tell the Lord what to do? 
      Who can teach him or give him advice?
 14 With whom does God consult 
      in order to know and understand 
      and to learn how things should be done?


 15 To the Lord the nations are nothing, 
      no more than a drop of water; 
      the distant islands are as light as dust.
 16 All the animals in the forests of Lebanon 
      are not enough for a sacrifice to our God, 
      and its trees are too few to kindle the fire.
 17 The nations are nothing at all to him.


 18 To whom can God be compared? 
      How can you describe what he is like?
 19 He is not like an idol that workers make, 
      that metalworkers cover with gold 
      and set in a base of silver.
 20 Anyone who cannot afford silver or gold[a] 
      chooses wood that will not rot. 
   He finds a skillful worker 
      to make an image that won't fall down.


 21 Do you not know? 
      Were you not told long ago? 
      Have you not heard how the world began?
 22 It was made by the one who sits on his throne 
      above the earth and beyond the sky; 
      the people below look as tiny as ants. 
   He stretched out the sky like a curtain, 
      like a tent in which to live.


 23 He brings down powerful rulers 
      and reduces them to nothing.
 24 They are like young plants, 
      just set out and barely rooted. 
   When the Lord sends a wind, 
      they dry up and blow away like straw.


 25 To whom can the holy God be compared? 
      Is there anyone else like him?
 26 Look up at the sky! 
   Who created the stars you see? 
      The one who leads them out like an army, 
      he knows how many there are 
      and calls each one by name! 
   His power is so great— 
      not one of them is ever missing!


 27 Israel, why then do you complain 
      that the Lord doesn't know your troubles 
      or care if you suffer injustice?
 28 Don't you know? Haven't you heard? 
   The Lord is the everlasting God; 
      he created all the world. 
   He never grows tired or weary. 
      No one understands his thoughts.
 29 He strengthens those who are weak and tired.
 30 Even those who are young grow weak; 
      young people can fall exhausted.
 31 But those who trust in the Lord for help 
      will find their strength renewed. 
   They will rise on wings like eagles; 
      they will run and not get weary; 
      they will walk and not grow weak.
(Good News Translation)

Originally posted by lunadanipog at GOD AS CREATOR: a truth often taken for granted
Originally posted by lunadanipog at GOD AS CREATOR: a truth often taken for granted

My first official post here in LiveJournal says that It's Not About Us. I ended it with the introduction of 'God as our Creator'.

The book of Genesis clearly says that everything in this world comes from God. He is the author of it all, things in heaven and on earth. (Pls see Genesis 1&2). The universe is His, not only the 'known universe' or what is usually taught to us in our science classes, but all of "God's universe". Even scientists admit that they have not yet discovered the entirety of universe. Well simply because it's limitless...it's a limitless masterpiece of a limitless Creator.

Look, this is very basic but we often take this truth for granted. Living in a material world tempts people to think that they can do anything they want to do even without God. Or even deceive them that what they see with their naked eyes are but creations of man. There are so many gifts which we should be thankful for but we tend to love the gift more than the Giver.

On every day of God's creation, it is written always that "...God was pleased with what He saw..." Maybe we forget that this is what we are made for after all - "to please God". The creation is for His own glory, not ours. Let us give back to God the praises that He deserves.

In Psalm 24:1 it says, "The world and ALL that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and ALL who live on it are His." The use of "ALL" in this verse is clear. There is no doubt that we have a great Author of life. We are His.
And in response, it says in Psalm 103:22 "Praise the Lord ALL His creatures in ALL the places He rules. Praise the Lord my soul!"
The psalmist acknowledged his Creator and gave Him praises. May we also have the same attitude and heart of David (the psalmist). Let us remember our God as our great Creator.

GOD IS LIGHT AND IN HIM IS NO DARKNESS

 

1 JOHN 1:5 “THIS IS THE MESSAGE WHICH WE HAVE HEARD FROM HIM AND DECLARE TO YOU, THAT GOD IS LIGHT AND IN HIM IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL”

 

Today’s passage is taken from 1 John 1:5 “That God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” What an amazing scripture and passage.

Before talking about “God is light” I like to highlight something else first. Notice how John starts his letter. After saying in verse 4 that John is writing this letter to show us how to receive joy. In verse 5 John immediately starts his letter with God. Again nothing about himself but only God. Teaching us that our starting point to receive joy must be to always put God first. Look at John nothing of his opinion. He declares only what Jesus said. His focus is not John but Jesus only…

This brings to my mind an interesting concept. During 1850 until now our society became very much influenced by humanistic thinking. Humanistic thinking leads people to think that human beings are the center of the universe instead of God being the center of universe. Man started putting himself in the center of all thinking. Man has become the center of the universe. Man has placed himself on the throne and God has to be put in terms of man. Man has set himself as an authority. It is man and his ideas that count. It is always about man and his needs, condition and feelings that seems to be the starting point. This is very humanistic thinking.

To just notice how much humanistic thinking has influenced our behavior and our society let me ask you some questions. Ask yourself why are you a Christian and for what reason did you become a Christian? If your reason is the following it is very much humanistic – What has God to say to me and what has God to give to me? What can I get out of this Christian faith? Is there something in this faith that is going to ease my pain and take care of my problems? Is this faith going to help me?

Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. According to the bible that is the whole root of all problems – self. We need to put God always first. Just like John we need to forget self and think about what God wants. Our starting point must always be God and not ourselves, our needs, our desires and our happiness. That is very much humanistic thinking when we start with ourselves, instead our focus should be upon God and His Kingdom.

Let us discuss the second principle to experiencing lasting joy. John says that God is light and in HIM is no darkness at all. This is an awesome verse. The bible is so full of life. If you can grasp this passage it will change your life. First notice that there is no darkness in God, not even a little bit. NOTHING! ZERO! This means that God’s character is one of purity. There is no evil in God. God can’t even think evil nor do anything evil. It doesn’t even come into HIS mind. It is not a problem for human beings to be evil, but God can’t even think evil. Everything God does is done with pure and good motives. WOW!

A second characteristic of light is that it takes away all darkness. Darkness can’t be where there is light. WOW! This means the more we abide in the presence of God and the closer we draw to HIM the more darkness will be driven out of us and more of HIS light will be in us.

Third lesson we can learn from God is light – during the same time as humanistic thinking came into being that Christians started preaching a message of “God is love”, although this is true it is not how John starts his message to the church. He starts with saying God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. John is pointing out God’s holiness, His righteousness and His justice.

In verse 4 John talks about the reason for writing this letter was so we Christians could experience joy and immediately the first thing John talks about is God’s holiness. Not God’s love. Although John is also known as the apostle of love, why doesn’t John talk first about God is love and than later about God’s holiness? When we talk to people we should not immediately talk about the greatness of God, the knowledge of God, the mercy of God or His love but rather about HIS holiness. Unless we start with God’s holiness our concept of God will be totally wrong. Let me explain this with some examples.

Example: If we would preach God is love and there is a war or people face difficulties what will happen with those that are saved? Most likely they will get offended and walk away, because they are not focused on God’s holiness but rather His love and they would say how can a God, who is love, allow such a thing.


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1 JOHN 1:1-4 - FELLOWSHIP

FELLOWSHIP

 

1 JOHN 1:1-4 1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—2the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—3that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

 

 

In today’s teaching I would like to focus on these powerful words stated by John – “… that you also may have fellowship with us…” In generally we all will agree that John is saying that John is writing from his own experience and letting us know that we can have the same experience. Let us look a little closer to these awesome words and learn some awesome truths through this passage.

 

FIRST LESSON: We have seen in 1 John 5:19 that every Christian can know without a doubt that they are saved and will go to heaven. Again John is sharing the same message. Salvation is a definite thing and a certain experience. Christians are aware what they have and possess. Christians don’t have to be in doubt about their salvation. We see the same theme being repeated in the bible. Looking at 2 Timothy 1:12 notice the words from the apostle Paul that he “knows” his God. This leads us to ask ourselves some questions like do we know for sure that we are saved? Do we have a living relationship with God or is it just tradition and a set of rules? Is God real for us affecting our daily life? If not we better invite Jesus into our lives so we can be sure of our salvation. Also having this assurance of salvation is essential to having this joy that we talked about in 1 John 1:4.

 

SECOND LESSON: The second lesson we can learn from these few words is that through these words John is saying that we can experience the same as he does. This shows us that every Christian experience in the life of a believer is always the same. If our experience is against God’s word it is not correct, it is from the devil. If nobody experienced it or is experiencing it at the moment we better test the spirit, maybe it is not from God but from the devil. The Christian experience is one which is possible for all and not just a few chosen ones.

Every Christian can experience the same as his brothers and sisters. This also means that we can have the same experience as the early church… signs, wonders, miracles, etc. It is available for all Disciples of Christ. Isn’t that awesome? All we have to do is believe it and desire it….

 

THIRD LESSON: Notice the word “us”, Christianity is not something you can do on your own. It is very important to have regular fellowship with other Christians so you can have prayer and bible study. In Hebrew 10:25 the apostle Paul says the same thing, encouraging Christians to meet up together on a regular basis. Be aware that having fellowship is not just socializing, although it can be part but it should be the smallest part of fellowship. Fellowship is studying and interacting about the things of God, spending time with other Christians in studying the word of God and prayer.

It happens so quick today that people leave a certain fellowship and just stay at home or don’t settle in a church but go from one place to another place. All these Christians are in great danger of falling away. Satan is like a lion that tries to separate their prey and when they are all alone and vulnerable the lion will attack to devour. Once a Christian leaves their church and don’t have regular fellowship anymore it will not be long before that person will fall away and no longer follow our LORD and Savior. Therefore John encourages every Christian to have fellowship so every Christian can be encouraged and strengthened in their walk with the LORD.  

 

FOURTH LESSON: Christians not only know what they have, but they are also very anxious for all others to have it and experience it too. Notice how eager John is to share his testimony about what God has done in his life. Ask yourself are you anxious to share about everything God is doing in your life or has done in your life?

Notice that John is not using difficult words or theology to describe his experience. No he is using simple language and talking about his own experience what God has shown him and what God has done in his life. Being afraid to share the gospel because we don’t know enough of the bible is an excuse. Notice that according to John we don’t need to know the bible inside out to share the gospel. All we have to do is share our testimony and all Christians have a testimony otherwise we haven’t really been saved. Share your testimony with others what God has done and is doing in your life?

What is your attitude toward people around you? Compassion? Really all Christians should have a missionary spirit; this desire to share what they experience. Look and learn from John.

 

Summary of today’s teaching. John is challenging us as Christians that every believer can know without a doubt that he will be going to heaven. Also that Christianity is not just for some people but for everyone that is willing and open to receive from our Lord Jesus Christ. Also every Christian need to have regular bible study and prayer with other Christians so they can be encouraged and strengthened in their walk and never fall away or backslide. Finally all Christians should have a missionary spirit and share with the people around them how God has changed them and set them free from bondage.

 

 

 

STUDY GUIDE FOR SMALL GROUPS

·        Start with 1 or 2 Icebreaker(s) if necessary

o       What do you do when you feel lonely?

o       Which rule in your parents’ house do you appreciate the most? Why?

1.            Who remembers last weeks teaching? (Last weeks message was about the importance of declaring the word of God and also that we need to have confidence and need to know the God we serve.)

2.      1 JOHN 1:1-4 – please read this passage and meditate on the passage in 1 JOHN 1:3 “…that you also may have fellowship with us.” After meditating on this passage for a few minutes share your thoughts in the group…

3.      In today’s teaching I want to discuss this passage and see what we can learn from these powerful words that John is sharing with us. In your own words what does this passage mean to you? (Do we all agree that John is writing to us from his experience and saying we can share in his experience?)

4.      FIRST LESSON: As said before looking at 1 John 5:19 we saw that Christians are people who know what they have. Salvation is a definite and a certain experience. Christians are aware what they possess. They are not in doubt what have happened to them. Ask yourself do you have this assurance of salvation as John says we Christians should have? Do you know God and that who you are following is not a set of rules but a living person?

5.      2 TIM. 1:12 – When you look at this passage do you notice that the apostle Paul says that he “knows”, what does and who does he know? (He knows His God. There is no doubt that the God HE serves is worthy to be served.)

6.      Can you say the same as John and Paul? Do you know God? Open up for discussion if the LORD leads…(Having his assurance of salvation is essential to having this joy that we talked about in 1 John 1:4.)

7.      SECOND LESSON: John says we can experience with him this means that a Christian experience in the life of all believers is always the same. If our experience is against God’s word it is not correct, it is from the devil. If nobody experienced it before and nobody is experiencing it at the moment test the spirit, maybe it is not from God but from the devil. The Christian experience is one which is possible for ALL.  We can experience exactly the same as the first disciples and apostles during the time of Jesus. The experience is not for certain personalities – it is for ALL. Do you believe this truth? Would you like to experience what John experienced? Please share… (It is available all we have to do is believe it.)

8.      THIRD LESSON: Notice the word “us”, Christianity is not something you can do on your own. It is very important to have fellowship with other Christians. If you don’t have regular fellowship, prayer and bible study together with other brothers and sisters you will very quickly fall away and eventually even loose salvation. Share your thoughts…..

9.      HEBREW 10:25 – What is the apostle Paul encouraging us to do as Christians? (Encouraging Christians to meet up together on a regular basis.)

10.        Why do you think it is so important for us as Christians to meet up together? Think about what a wolf or lion does before he attacks his pray. (The lion will go for the weakest and will wait until his pray is separated from the flock so that he is vulnerable and weak, so that he can be attacked and devoured. Satan does exactly the same. Satan will try to discourage every Christian or if he can’t discourage him, he will try to get them too busy to have regular fellowship. What will the automatic result be? The Christians faith weakens and not long later Satan will attack the person and get the person to totally give up on following Christ.)

11.        Do you recognize this pattern in your life? What should we as Christians be very careful of and what should be our priority in life? (Be sure to have regular fellowship and bible study. Belong to a church community where you grow and receive teaching. No matter what happens be sure to never withdraw from a fellowship, so you will never be on your own.)

12.        FOURTH LESSON: Christians not only know what they have, but they are also very anxious for all others to have it and experience it too. Notice how eager John is to share his testimony about what God has done in his life. Ask yourself are you anxious to share about everything God is doing in your life or has done in your life? Please share….

13.        Notice that John is not using difficult words or theology to describe his experience. No he is using simple language and talking about his own experience what God has shown him and what God has done in his life. Ask yourself are you afraid to share the gospel because you don’t know enough of the bible? Notice that according to John we don’t need to know the bible inside out to share the gospel. All we have to do is share our testimony and we all have a testimony otherwise we haven’t really been saved. Share your testimony what God has done in your life?

14.        MATTHEW 9:36 – when we have this experience of salvation love and compassion should grow in our hearts for those who are lost and don’t have a shepherd. Ask yourself are you sorry for people in the world around you who lack this Christian experience and are under the power of satan? Are you angry with satan how is deceiving all these people and keeping them away from experiencing eternal life? Share your thoughts….

15.        What is your attitude toward people around you? Compassion? Really all Christians should have a missionary spirit; this desire to share what they experience. Share your thoughts…

16. Please share in your own words how you feel about the whole teaching and what blessed you and strengthened you most?

Open up for ministry time if necessary…..



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1 JOHN 1:1-4 WE DECLARE


WE DECLARE

 

1 JOHN 1:1-4 1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—2the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—3that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

 

 

In the first 4 verses John immediately starts with introducing Jesus and letting us know in verse 4 why he is writing this letter – to reveal to us the secrets of having remaining joy. In today’s lesson I like to focus on 2 words mentioned in verse 2 and repeated in verse 3. The two words are: “we declare.”

John’s letter is very different from any other letter. Notice the way John starts his letter. No introduction of himself. He jumps into the letter without introducing himself. Instead the first thing John introduces is Jesus Christ.
Next to this notice the words “we declare.” The word declare has the meaning of pronouncing, announcing and proclaiming something. John is telling us without any excuses the message of Jesus Christ.

Just think about it, the way John is proclaiming the message without even introducing himself makes me feel like he is speaking with authority. There doesn’t seem to be any doubt in his heart that what he is saying is correct. John is so convinced that what he has to share is the truth that can set people free. Of course this leads me to ask the following question, how confident are we as Christians in sharing the things of God? How confident are we at all about the message of Jesus Christ? How are Christians presenting the gospel toward the world? With fear and trembling or full with confident?

Also notice that John is not sharing his opinions but only the message of Jesus Christ, nothing of himself, but only Jesus Christ. It is all about Jesus and nothing of himself. Now as we look at scripture this is really the way it should be. According to 2 Corinthians 5:20 and Ephesians 6:20 Christians are called to be Christ ambassadors, now what is the function of an ambassador? To proclaim his opinions and thoughts, no an ambassador is there to represent his country. It is not about him but the country he is representing. The same should apply for Christians; we are not here to share our opinions or what we think about the gospel. No we are here to represent the Kingdom of God.

 

Often time people are so afraid to share the word because they believe the lie that we need to have a certain bible degree before we can represent the Kingdom of God. When you look at John’s letter the first thing you will notice is the simplicity of words being used. The apostle John said the same in 1 Corinthians 2:1 that he didn’t come with words of wisdom, but instead he came with power and anointing. You see it is not so much the intellect behind the words, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

The church in today’s society has become a place of entertainment instead of representing the Kingdom of God. Today when a pastor presents his message it has to be full of jokes, stories, hermeneutics, etc to keep the attention of the congregation. The church has become uncertain about the gospel, therefore we try to do it in our strength believing that what Christ did wasn’t enough.  Instead our dependence should not be in our strength but in the Spirit of the Lord. Look at the way John is sharing the word, without introduction, jokes, etc but instead John declares Jesus and Jesus alone. 

   

In closing look at verse 1-3 and notice how many times John says and repeats the words seen it, heard it and handled it. In those few verse John seems to be repeating the same kind of words again and again. This shows us that John experienced and knows what he is talking about. He is not sharing just some kind of head knowledge but instead he knows what he is talking about. He wrestled with it and overcame. Applying this to our own life how convinced are we Christians about the word of God? Are we sharing and declaring the things of Christ how HE changed our lives. Can people see the power of the gospel in our lives? Are we speaking with full confidence about the things of God or do we speak with doubts and uncertainty?

The word of God is so powerful and full of life. Notice how just a few words can teach us so many things. Let us never doubt the word of God and instead declare boldly the things of God. Not putting ourselves before Christ, but instead remembering that we are His ambassadors. We are here to represent the Kingdom of God and not what we think or our opinions.

Be blessed always…

 

 

 

STUDY GUIDE FOR SMALL GROUPS

·        Start with 1 or 2 Icebreaker(s) if necessary

o       What kind of person are you? Introvert or extrovert?

o       Have you ever been robbed? Tell us more about it?

1.       Who remembers last weeks teaching? (Last weeks message was about that every Christian can experience joy that remains with us to the fullest no matter our circumstances.)

2.       Is there anyone here who would like to share with us how the teaching helped you this week?

3.       1 JOHN 1:1-4 – what is John basically doing in the first 4 verses? (Introducing Jesus and letting us know why he wrote this awesome letter.)

4.       John says in verse 2 and verse 3 “we declare”, I want to take some time and meditate just on those 2 words. Let us take a time of meditation and share afterwards what the LORD has shown you about those 2 words….

5.       John’s letter is very different from many other letters. Why? Notice that John doesn’t introduce himself he jumps into the letter without introduction. What does the word “declare” mean? (pronounce, announce, proclaim)

6.       John is proclaiming his message without even introducing himself. It makes me feel like John is speaking with authority. How does it make you feel? The same? (John is speaking with authority. There is no doubt in his heart about the message being true. John is convinced that what he is talking is the truth.)

7.       Ask yourself how confident are you about the bible? How do we Christians deliver the gospel towards the world? In confidence or full with doubt? Do we bring in our opinions or truly only share the word of God? Please share your thoughts….

8.       2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20 – what are Christians called to be for Christ? (Ambassadors!)

9.       What is the task of an ambassador? Share their opinion or represent their country? (As an ambassador we do not share our opinion. We are here to represent our country. The same applies for Christians. It is not about us or what we think but about the Kingdom of God.)

10.   How does this make you feel?

11.   1 Corinthians 2:1 – how did Paul share the word of God? (In a simple way and not with intelligent words but with power and anointing.)

12.   How do we try to share the word in the church today? Are we afraid to share the gospel because we think we don’t have enough knowledge? (Today the focus in churches has become to bring a message that is full with jokes, stories, hermeneutics, etc. Today’s church has become uncertain of message and therefore we try to do it in our strength believing that what Christ did is not enough. Notice that John hasn’t got the same problem. He proclaims and declares the word of God.)

13.   Read verse 1-3 again and notice how many times John says the words – seen it, heard it, handled it… what does this show you? (It shows that John experienced and knows what he is talking about. He is not sharing just something with us. He knows what he is talking about. He wrestled with it and overcame.)

14.   How convinced are you about the word of God? Look at your life are you declaring and showing the people how Christ changed your life? Has your life changed that people see that Jesus is really powerful? Are you speaking and full of confidence about how Jesus changed your life and what HE did on the cross? Please share your thoughts… 

15.   Please share in your own words how you feel about teaching….

Open up for ministry time if necessary…..



For questions email: teachingthenations@yahoo.com

Teaching provided by:

PRAISE SHOP - www.yourpraiseshop.com

HOPE BOOK SHOP - www.hopebookshop.com






1 JOHN 1:4 - INTRODUCTION PART 2

GOD WANTS US TO HAVE JOY REMAINING UNTIL THE FULLEST

 

1 John 1:4 “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”

 

 

What is the whole purpose of John writing this letter? John is very clear about that. The purpose of writing first John is to teach Christians how to experience joy to the fullest.

 

Let us first look at the Greek… when you study the Greek the word “full” means to be filled to the brim and without limit. Another way of translating the sentence “be full” is “to be full all the time”. So what is John really saying, he is saying that he is writing this letter so that we might experience joy to the fullest, joy that will overflow and always remain in us no matter the situation around us.

This is just awesome news. John says that the reason he is writing this letter is to teach us about being able to have joy to the fullest no matter what is happening in our lives. As I think about this passage I can imagine this older man sitting with a big smile on his face teaching us the basic principles of Christianity, sharing from his experience how to have remaining joy.

Wow I don’t know about you but I know I would like to experience this joy… You?

 

Very interesting when you think about it, how many Christians are really walking in this joy that is set aside for everyone? Probably if I am honest I don’t see many Christians walking in this remaining joy. Just imagine what a witness this would be if all Christians would truly walk in joy to the fullest while they are facing difficulties, accidents and problems. I sometimes understand why nobody wants to become a Christian. There is no difference between those who are Christian and those who are unbelievers. Don’t you think that people would become more interested in Christianity when they could see that Christians are truly different? It doesn’t matter what happens in their life they will have joy to the fullest.

 

The bible is full of passages that talks about joy. Check out John 15:11 where Jesus says that “these things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” Doesn’t that sound the same as John is saying?

 

Listen to Paul in Philippines 4:4 “Rejoice in the LORD always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Now remember when Paul was writing this to the Philippians he was in a dark and depressing prison cell, possibly with some stripes on his back. Cockroaches and rats crawling over the floor …. You get the picture. While suffering for Christ he says to the church to rejoice. He doesn’t only say it one time but repeats the same message over and over again. Read Philippians for yourself… just awesome. Now this is the joy that John is talking about. No matter what happens we can experience this remaining joy to the fullest or overflowing… wow.

 

So what can we learn from this passage. Christ wants all Christians to experience joy that is not dependent on our situation. We can experience joy that is overflowing from the inside to the outside. Christians are people meant to be full of joy.

 

Before closing I like to point out something. Why do Jesus, John and Paul want us to experience this joy overflowing? What is the reason that so many Christians give up their walk with the LORD while they should have victory in their lives?

The answer is maybe very simple. Nehemiah 8:10 says that “… the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Christians will receive strength to face the world and to overcome our enemy the devil. Once we have this joy of the LORD we will be ready to face any enemy. Joy is something very deep and profound; something that affects the whole and entire personality.

 

As we study the first book of John we will be looking and learning from the apostle John as he teaches us how to experience and keep joy to the fullest. We will be looking at how we can have this joy and what can take away our joy.

 

 

 

STUDY GUIDE FOR SMALL GROUPS

·        Start with 1 or 2 Icebreaker(s) if necessary

o       When times are very difficult for you, how do you deal with them?

o       A famous person you admire is coming to dine with you tomorrow. What would you do to get ready?

 

1.       These coming few months we will be studying the book of 1 John together. Believing that it can and will transform your life if you are willing to accept the life changing teaching of the apostle John. Who remembers last week’s teachings? (That every Christian knows they are going to heaven and that the world belongs to Satan.)

2.       1 John 1:4 – What is the reason for John to write this letter? (So that we may experience joy.)

3.       When you study the greek in this verse the work full means – to be filled to the brim, without limit, that your joy may be full. Also the word be full is better translated with the meaning of to remain full or to be full all the time… so John is really saying that he is writing this letter so that we might experience joy to the fullest that will overflow and always remain in us. How does this make you feel? What are you thinking right now?

4.       If we accept what John is saying we can also conclude the following, I do not have to have joy of the LORD if it depends on circumstances, accidents and things that happen to me. John is really saying that we can have joy all the time. Our joy that is remaining is not dependant on what is happening around us and in our life. How does this make you feel?

5.       If Christian could have this joy always in our life look around you and look at your life, how are you witnessing the gospel? When people are looking at you do you always have this joy or do you complain a lot and get worried about worldly things? When people look at you would they be interested to become a Christian or not? (Just imagine all Christians walking in this joy overflowing how we would impact the world.)

6.       Look up some other scriptures about joy – John 16:22, John 15:11 – does the bible want us to have joy everlasting?

7.       Phil. 4:4 – what does the apostle Paul tells us to have always? (joy, just explain in what kind of situation the apostle was writing this letter that he was in prison most likely just beaten up and he says to rejoice.)

8.       So what can we learn from this? (That our joy is not dependant on our situation. We can experience joy that is overflowing from inside to the outside. Christians are people meant to be full of joy.)

9.       Nehemiah 8:10 – what do we see that will happen when we have joy of the LORD? (We will have strength to face the world and to overcome our enemy. Once we have the joy of the LORD we will be ready to face any enemy. Joy is something very deep and profound, something that affects the whole and entire personality. There is only 1 thing that can give true joy – JESUS CHRIST. He satisfies mind, emotions, desires and will. Joy is a response of our soul to Jesus. These coming weeks we will be studying together as John tells us through his own experience how we can have this joy and what can take away our joy.)

10.   Please share in your own words how you feel about teaching….

Open up for ministry time if necessary…..



For questions email: teachingthenations@yahoo.com

Teaching provided by:

PRAISE SHOP - www.yourpraiseshop.com

HOPE BOOK SHOP - www.hopebookshop.com



Introduction to 1 John

CHRISTIANS HAVE NO DOUBT ABOUT SALVATION

 

The first epistle of John was written around 85AD. It could be 5 years earlier or later but let us say around 85AD. John is also known as the apostle John, not to be confused with John the Baptist. John was one of the youngest disciples of Jesus, known as the beloved one that was leaning on the bosom of Jesus; it was John that was the only disciple who witnessed Jesus crucifixion.

John is the author of several books in the New Testament. He not only wrote 1 John but also the Gospel of John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation.

It is interesting that John was the only disciple of the twelve that died a natural death. All the other disciples were martyred for their faith. There is a tradition going around that people tried to kill the apostle John but were not able to because of God’s protection on his life. People tried to burn him in a pot with oil, but John didn’t suffer anything…

 

 Before we study 1 John in detail I need to give some brief outlines on this awesome and powerful book that can change your life forever. When you read through 1 John there are 2 main verses – 1:4 & 5:19.

 

John starts of in 1:4 with stating “and these things we write to you hat your joy may be full.” The main reason for John to write this letter is to instruct us as Christians how to experience the fullness of life. John wants us to experience the joy that is available for all who follow Jesus. However to experience this joy that John is talking about we have to understand to whom John is writing this letter.

 

1 John 5:19 “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”

 

As you look at this verse notice that every Christian is called to be different. It is not possible to be a Christian and still be part of the worldly system. Christians need to be in the world but not part of the world. Be aware that John is not saying that we have to become monks or nuns. John is not saying that we have to leave the world, but that we should not be part of the world.

There is an amazing revelation in this verse. Notice that those who are Christians know their God. Christians don’t have to be in doubt about their salvation. Christians know they will be going to heaven. When people doubt about their salvation that is because they are not saved yet or lost their salvation. This shows us also that John wrote First John to believers and not to unbelievers. As he was writing he was expecting the people to be saved who were reading it.

 

Besides the Christian knowing their God and that they will be going to heaven there is another truth that Christians know and that is that the world is under the power of Satan. This explains why the world is as it is with it recessions, poverty, wars, drugs, sickness, etc., however, the good news is that those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior are no longer under the power of Satan. We are part of the Kingdom of Heaven. Satan has no longer a grip upon us. We don’t have to be part of recessions, poverty, wars, sickness, etc. We are set free through Jesus Christ. However, this principle only applies to those who know their God and know without a doubt that they are saved. Ask yourself if you would die today would you know 100% for sure you will be going to heaven to be with Jesus? If not don’t waste any time, repent and turn away from all wickedness and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior in your life and start following and obeying HIM in all things.

 

 

 

SMALL GROUP STUDY GUIDE

·        Start with 1 or 2 Icebreaker(s) if necessary

o       What is your favorite T.V. program? How does it influence you?

o       What examples would you like others to follow about you?

1.       1 JOHN 1-5 These coming few months we will be studying the book of 1 John together. Believing that it can and will transform your life if you are willing to accept the life changing teaching of the apostle John.

2.       Who is John? (John was one of Jesus disciples. He was the youngest but called the beloved. He was the one that leaned on the bosom of Jesus. He was the only disciple that witnessed Jesus crucifixion.)

3.       What books did he write? (Gospel of John, 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation)

4.       When was 1 John written? (Most likely around 85AD. This means that John was an old man full of experience how to live out the Christian life. This letter is written to his children in the LORD.)

5.       What was the purpose for John to write this letter – 1 John 1:4? (That we as Christians might experience the joy of the LORD in a difficult and corrupt world.)

6.       There are 2 main passages in this book. Starting in 1 John 1:4 and ending with 1 John 5:19. Before we are going to go through the book verse by verse I like to highlight these passages so we can have a better understanding of the whole book. Let us go to 1 John 5:19 and read that passage several times in as much as possible different versions as possible and share with each other what the passage is saying to you….

7.       1 JOHN 5:19 – while looking at the passage try to answer the following questions: what is the first thing you notice about Christians and the world? (We are called to be different.)

8.       Ask yourself what is your position in the world? What is the difference between you and the world? Is there any difference?

9.       What is your attitude toward the things in the world? Are you pursuing the things of the world or the things of HIS kingdom?

10.   Since we are in the world and not part of the world, how should we behave ourselves in the world?

11.   Ask yourself when you face difficulties, what do you do? Response in a worldly way or Godly way? Panic? Rejoice? Worry? Pray?

12.   Before we continue what was the reason for John writing this letter – 1 John 1:4? (That our joy may be full.)

13.   Do you notice that 1 John 5:19 says “We know that we are of God”, what does this mean. When we know, it shows that we are not in darkness or doubt about belonging to the Kingdom of God. Christians are people who are certain. Christians are people that know without a doubt, 100% that they are saved and will go to heaven. Ask yourself do you know that you go to heaven? Or do you sometimes doubt? If you doubt you can be sure you are not going to heaven. Every Christian can know for 100% that they are going to heaven. If you have any doubt you are definitely not going to heaven. Do you know you are saved and belong to God? Open up for discussion….

14.   Another thing we know is that the world is under the power of Satan. Sometimes I find it funny how Christians get upset about everything that is happening in the world. Of course everything that is happening in the world is bad and it will only get worse. What can you expect, Satan is in control. Satan has nothing good in store…However the good news is that those who accept Jesus are set free and no longer live under the bondage of Satan. Look at John 10:10… open up for discussion….

15.   So what is John trying to teach us? Does John suggest we should change the world? Does John suggest we should turn our back to the world? Withdraw from it? Neither of these, the Christians need to make sure that they know who they belong too and not be influenced by the world but still be in the world. Though we are in the world we should be free of the world. We are made to be more than conquerors and given the opportunity to live a life of joy, peace, kindness, etc…. Our lives should reflect that of Kingdom principles and not that of worldly principles. Share your thoughts on today’s teaching…

Open up for ministry time if necessary…..

Introduction to 1 John

CHRISTIANS HAVE NO DOUBT ABOUT SALVATION

 

The first epistle of John was written around 85AD. It could be 5 years earlier or later but let us say around 85AD. John is also known as the apostle John, not to be confused with John the Baptist. John was one of the youngest disciples of Jesus, known as the beloved one that was leaning on the bosom of Jesus; it was John that was the only disciple who witnessed Jesus crucifixion.

John is the author of several books in the New Testament. He not only wrote 1 John but also the Gospel of John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation.

It is interesting that John was the only disciple of the twelve that died a natural death. All the other disciples were martyred for their faith. There is a tradition going around that people tried to kill the apostle John but were not able to because of God’s protection on his life. People tried to burn him in a pot with oil, but John didn’t suffer anything…

 

 Before we study 1 John in detail I need to give some brief outlines on this awesome and powerful book that can change your life forever. When you read through 1 John there are 2 main verses – 1:4 & 5:19.

 

John starts of in 1:4 with stating “and these things we write to you hat your joy may be full.” The main reason for John to write this letter is to instruct us as Christians how to experience the fullness of life. John wants us to experience the joy that is available for all who follow Jesus. However to experience this joy that John is talking about we have to understand to whom John is writing this letter.

 

1 John 5:19 “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”

 

As you look at this verse notice that every Christian is called to be different. It is not possible to be a Christian and still be part of the worldly system. Christians need to be in the world but not part of the world. Be aware that John is not saying that we have to become monks or nuns. John is not saying that we have to leave the world, but that we should not be part of the world.

There is an amazing revelation in this verse. Notice that those who are Christians know their God. Christians don’t have to be in doubt about their salvation. Christians know they will be going to heaven. When people doubt about their salvation that is because they are not saved yet or lost their salvation. This shows us also that John wrote First John to believers and not to unbelievers. As he was writing he was expecting the people to be saved who were reading it.

 

Besides the Christian knowing their God and that they will be going to heaven there is another truth that Christians know and that is that the world is under the power of Satan. This explains why the world is as it is with it recessions, poverty, wars, drugs, sickness, etc., however, the good news is that those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior are no longer under the power of Satan. We are part of the Kingdom of Heaven. Satan has no longer a grip upon us. We don’t have to be part of recessions, poverty, wars, sickness, etc. We are set free through Jesus Christ. However, this principle only applies to those who know their God and know without a doubt that they are saved. Ask yourself if you would die today would you know 100% for sure you will be going to heaven to be with Jesus? If not don’t waste any time, repent and turn away from all wickedness and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior in your life and start following and obeying HIM in all things.

 

 

 

SMALL GROUP STUDY GUIDE

·        Start with 1 or 2 Icebreaker(s) if necessary

o       What is your favorite T.V. program? How does it influence you?

o       What examples would you like others to follow about you?

1.       1 JOHN 1-5 These coming few months we will be studying the book of 1 John together. Believing that it can and will transform your life if you are willing to accept the life changing teaching of the apostle John.

2.       Who is John? (John was one of Jesus disciples. He was the youngest but called the beloved. He was the one that leaned on the bosom of Jesus. He was the only disciple that witnessed Jesus crucifixion.)

3.       What books did he write? (Gospel of John, 1, 2, 3 John and Revelation)

4.       When was 1 John written? (Most likely around 85AD. This means that John was an old man full of experience how to live out the Christian life. This letter is written to his children in the LORD.)

5.       What was the purpose for John to write this letter – 1 John 1:4? (That we as Christians might experience the joy of the LORD in a difficult and corrupt world.)

6.       There are 2 main passages in this book. Starting in 1 John 1:4 and ending with 1 John 5:19. Before we are going to go through the book verse by verse I like to highlight these passages so we can have a better understanding of the whole book. Let us go to 1 John 5:19 and read that passage several times in as much as possible different versions as possible and share with each other what the passage is saying to you….

7.       1 JOHN 5:19 – while looking at the passage try to answer the following questions: what is the first thing you notice about Christians and the world? (We are called to be different.)

8.       Ask yourself what is your position in the world? What is the difference between you and the world? Is there any difference?

9.       What is your attitude toward the things in the world? Are you pursuing the things of the world or the things of HIS kingdom?

10.   Since we are in the world and not part of the world, how should we behave ourselves in the world?

11.   Ask yourself when you face difficulties, what do you do? Response in a worldly way or Godly way? Panic? Rejoice? Worry? Pray?

12.   Before we continue what was the reason for John writing this letter – 1 John 1:4? (That our joy may be full.)

13.   Do you notice that 1 John 5:19 says “We know that we are of God”, what does this mean. When we know, it shows that we are not in darkness or doubt about belonging to the Kingdom of God. Christians are people who are certain. Christians are people that know without a doubt, 100% that they are saved and will go to heaven. Ask yourself do you know that you go to heaven? Or do you sometimes doubt? If you doubt you can be sure you are not going to heaven. Every Christian can know for 100% that they are going to heaven. If you have any doubt you are definitely not going to heaven. Do you know you are saved and belong to God? Open up for discussion….

14.   Another thing we know is that the world is under the power of Satan. Sometimes I find it funny how Christians get upset about everything that is happening in the world. Of course everything that is happening in the world is bad and it will only get worse. What can you expect, Satan is in control. Satan has nothing good in store…However the good news is that those who accept Jesus are set free and no longer live under the bondage of Satan. Look at John 10:10… open up for discussion….

15.   So what is John trying to teach us? Does John suggest we should change the world? Does John suggest we should turn our back to the world? Withdraw from it? Neither of these, the Christians need to make sure that they know who they belong too and not be influenced by the world but still be in the world. Though we are in the world we should be free of the world. We are made to be more than conquerors and given the opportunity to live a life of joy, peace, kindness, etc…. Our lives should reflect that of Kingdom principles and not that of worldly principles. Share your thoughts on today’s teaching…

Open up for ministry time if necessary…..