18 February 2012
Jesus healed a leper- Extracted from Mark, Chapter 1:
40 A man suffering from a virulent skin-disease (a leper) came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees saying, 'If you are willing, you can cleanse me.'
41 Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said to him, 'I am willing. Be cleansed.'
42 And at once the skin-disease left him and he was cleansed.
43 And at once Jesus sternly sent him away and said to him,
44 'Mind you tell no one anything, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your cleansing prescribed by Moses as evidence to them.'
45 The man went away, but then started freely proclaiming and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but stayed outside in deserted places. Even so, people from all around kept coming to him.
A leper in the past had always been ostracized by his own people and lived apart, see the Book of Leviticus, Chapter 13.
However, there are something we can learn from this leper: Although he knew that Jesus could heal him, he humbled himself (kneeling) and left to Jesus’ discretion whether he should be healed; knowing that Jesus who is the loving God would do what would be best for him under his then pathetic situation… and Jesus healed him. There was total trust and surrender of his human will to this loving God- Jesus told us - ‘your Father knows what you need before you ask him’ (see Matthew 6:7-15, Encouragements-26), ‘Set your hearts on his Kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well’ (see Matthew 6: 33, Encouragements-2).
This tells us something very important: If we pray & want to receive graces from God, there should first be humility because God should not be demanded. A proud and conceited person could never receive any goodies from God (no matter what’s his religion), because he has made himself detestable like the devil… If he remains un-repented, he would then share the same fate as the devil…
You say how is it possible? Don’t you know that Lucifer, who was one of the most beautiful and talented angels created by God became the ugliest devil because he became proud and wanted to play god... Human pride itself is always a grave wrong because all of us are created by God and our human bodies would eventually die with our souls living forever, either to enjoy bliss or suffer damnation for eternity. There is nothing to boast about since we are not even our own creations and all our talents, possessions are actually gifts from God, which He wants us to share with others to build a better world. It would be a great consolation for a person if he can say to himself in his final days that “the world is a better place because I am in it”... And finally be embraced by his Creator when he closes his eyes...
A proud and conceited person would always play god and be oppressive to those around him, he is careless about the lives of others and death inflicting to them… Don’t we smell a stench of hell around the proud which makes us feel sick? And worst of all, eventually he is going to share the same fate as Lucifer, that’s tragic… 8-(
18 February 2012
25 February 2012
A Warning Not to be Proud and Forget God in Prosperity
– Extracted from the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8:
Moses convened all Israel and said to them:
1 'You must keep and put into practice all the commandments which I enjoin on you today, so that you may survive and increase in numbers and enter the country which Yahweh promised on oath to your ancestors, and make it your own.
2 Remember the long road by which Yahweh your God led you for forty (40) years in the desert, to humble you, to test you and know your inmost heart - whether you would keep his commandments or not.
3 He humbled you, he made you feel hunger, he fed you with manna which neither you nor your ancestors had ever known, to make you understand that human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of Yahweh.
4 The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet were not swollen, all those forty (40) years.
5 'Learn from this that Yahweh your God was training you as a man trains his child,
6 and keep the commandments of Yahweh your God, and so follow his ways and fear him.
7 'But Yahweh your God is bringing you into a fine country, a land of streams and springs, of waters that well up from the deep in valleys and hills,
8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines, of figs, of pomegranates, a land of olives, of oil, of honey,
9 a land where you will eat bread without stint, where you will want nothing, a land where the stones are iron and where the hills may be quarried for copper.
10 You will eat and have all you want and you will bless Yahweh your God in the fine country which he has given you.
11 'Be careful not to forget Yahweh your God, by neglecting his commandments, customs and laws which I am laying down for you today.
12 When you have eaten all you want, when you have built fine houses to live in,
13 when you have seen your flocks and herds increase, your silver and gold abound and all your possessions grow great,
14 do not become proud of heart. Do not then forget Yahweh your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the place of slave-labour,
15 who guided you through this vast and dreadful desert, a land of fiery snakes, scorpions, thirst;
16 who in this waterless place brought you water out of the flinty rock; who in this desert fed you with manna unknown to your ancestors, to humble you and test you and so make your future the happier.
17 'Beware of thinking to yourself, "My own strength and the might of my own hand have given me the power to act like this."
18 Remember Yahweh your God; he was the one who gave you the strength to act effectively like this, thus keeping then, as today, the covenant which he swore to your ancestors.
19 Be sure: if you forget Yahweh your God, if you follow other gods, if you serve them and bow down to them - I testify to you today - you will perish.
20 Like the nations Yahweh is to destroy before you, so you yourselves will perish, for not having listened to the voice of Yahweh your God.'
A Proud & Wicked ruler would be overthrown and be destroyed
-Extracted from the Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 28:
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
2 'Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, "The Lord Yahweh says this: Because your heart has grown proud, you thought: I am a god; I am divinely enthroned far out to sea. Though you are human, not divine, you have allowed yourself to think like God.
3 So, you are wiser than Daniel; no sage as wise as you!
4 By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made yourself a fortune, you have put gold and silver into your treasuries.
5 Such is your skill in trading, your fortune has continued to increase, and your fortune has made your heart grow prouder.
6 "And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since you have allowed yourself to think like God,
7 very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most barbarous of the nations. They will draw sword against your fine wisdom, they will desecrate your splendour,
8 they will throw you down into the grave and you will die a violent death far out to sea.
9 Will you still think: I am a god, when your slaughterers confront you? But you will be human, not divine, in the clutches of the ones who strike you down!
10 You will die like the uncircumcised at the hand of foreigners. "For I have spoken - declares the Lord Yahweh." '
11 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
12 'Son of man, raise a lament for the king of Tyre. Say to him, "The Lord Yahweh says this: You used to be a model of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty;
13 you were in Eden, in the garden of God. All kinds of gem formed your mantle: sard, topaz, diamond, chrysolite, onyx, jasper, sapphire, garnet, emerald, and your ear-pendants and spangles were made of gold; all was ready on the day you were created.
14 I made you a living creature with outstretched wings, as guardian, you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked amid red-hot coals.
15 Your behaviour was exemplary from the day you were created until guilt first appeared in you,
16 because your busy trading has filled you with violence and sin. I have thrown you down from the mountain of God and destroyed you, guardian winged creature, amid the coals.
17 Your heart has grown proud because of your beauty, your wisdom has been corrupted by your splendour. I have thrown you to the ground; I have made you a spectacle for kings.
18 By the immense number of your crimes, by the dishonesty of your trading, you have defiled your sanctuary. So I have brought fire out of you to devour you; I have reduced you to ashes on the ground before the eyes of all who saw you.
19 Of the nations, all who know you are stunned at your fate. You are an object of terror; gone for ever." '
20 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
21 'Son of man, turn towards Sidon and prophesy against her.
22 Say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I am against you, Sidon, I will show my glory in you! They will know I am Yahweh, once I execute sentence on her and display my holiness in her.
23 For I shall send her the plague, and there will be blood in her streets, and in her the dead will fall under the sword raised against her from all sides, and they will know that I am Yahweh.
24 "No more, for the House of Israel, shall any of the hostile nations surrounding them be a thorn that wounds or a briar that tears; and they will know that I am Yahweh.
25 "The Lord Yahweh says this: When I gather the House of Israel back from the peoples where they are dispersed, I shall display my glory in them for the nations to see. They will live on the soil which I gave to my servant Jacob.
26 They will live there in confidence, build houses, plant vineyards. They will live in safety, once I inflict punishments on all the hostile nations surrounding them, and they will know that I am Yahweh their God." '
25 February 2012