Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not just Knowing but Loving Jesus!! (Part 2)

The other example I would like to bring up is in John 20 which talks about His resurrection. Starting at John 20:1-2 on the day of His resurrection, Mary wakes up early in the morning to go find Jesus, but doesn't find Him, so she has to go wake up the Lord's disciples up to tell them that He is gone. By John 20:8-10, the disciples see the tomb and believed, and went back home... Probably to go back to sleep... However, Mary was still not satisfied, she wanted to see Him!! Even angels appeared to her while she was weeping (John 20:13), but that still was not enough! (I probably would have been convinced by then if two angels appeared to me, but not Mary.) In John 20:14, Jesus appears finally appears to her. When she realizes that it is Jesus, she probably jumped up with joy and was probably about to go hug Him, BUT Jesus tell her in John 20:17, "Do not touch Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father."
Okay, so here is the CRAZY part. In John 20:27-28, Thomas actually touched Jesus. This means that He had already ascended to the Father! But wait, in Acts 1:9-11, Christ ascends in front of everyone. What does this mean!? This means that the day that Christ resurrected, He had a secret ascension to the Father, If it were not for Mary's love for Him, He probably would have ascended to the Father without any of us knowing!! Is this not crazy!? Just consider this for a little bit! Because of Mary's love for Jesus, as Jesus was ascending to the Father, He had to take a little detour before He ascended and revealed Himself to her!
So to rap everything up, here are a couple of verses talking about loving the Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 it says, "But it is written, 'Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man's heart; things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'" Wow! What an awesome verse! Also, Ephesians, 1:17-18, "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him,/ The eyes of your heart having been enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling." Where are these eyes ? and what are these eyes for? Think about it.

Not just Knowing but Loving Jesus!! (Part 1)

This past Tuesday, some Christian friends and I were gathered at an UT alumni family's house. As we were diving into the Word, we got into the matter of knowing and loving Jesus. So I would like to present a question, Throughout the whole Bible, what is the main subject, the one topic, of the Book? It is just our Lord Jesus Christ. In Colossians 1:17, it says that all things hold together in Him. That means that He is the center of all the things in the world! No doubt there are many topics in the Bible, but they all just concern one person, Jesus Christ! In John 5:39, we see that Jews were searching the Scriptures for eternal life, but they completely missed the One right in front of them which is what the whole Bible is about!
So it is great knowing about this person, but how is this wonderful Person revealed to us? First, I would like to point out two stories in the Bible. Matthew 2 is the story of the magi and Herod the king. So in Matthew 2:4, Herod gathered all the chief priests and scribes to identify where would be born, and even in Matthew 2:6-7, they were able to accurately determine when and where Jesus would be born. However, their intentions and their hearts were not in the right place. In fact, later on we see that Herod had an ulterior motive. However, in Matthew 2:10, when the magi saw the star, they rejoiced. Because the magi did not just have the mere knowledge of doctrine but rather they were seeking Jesus, they were able to see Him.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why read the Bible: The practical application (Part 3)

I would like to briefly mention why Jesus specifically said eating instead of any other word. In 2 Corinthians 3:6 and 1 Corinthians 8:1, we see that the knowledge of the Word is no good. If you think about some people that are not Christian know the Bible but that has no effect on the person. The word eating implies you taking the substance in, assimilating it, and it becoming part of you. Also, another example is lets say you never had a Oreo before, but you know everything about it such as it is creaming on the inside, but crunchy on the outside, it's sweet, etc. But not until you have actually tasted and eaten it, can you actually experience the sweetness, richness of the Oreo. In the same way, God wants us not to just know about Him, but actually enjoy Him in a sweet and rich way. Some verses in the Bible that talk about the word being rich and sweet to us are Deuteronomy 8:3 (not by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Jehovah), Psalms 119:103 (how sweet are your words to my taste), Jeremiah 15:16 (the words becoming the gladness and joy of our heart), Ezekiel 3:1 (eat, go, and speak), Collosians 3:16 (let the word of Christ dwell in you richly), 1 Pet 2:2-3 (tasted the milk of the word), and Hebrews 6:5 (tasted the good word of God). Going back to Ezekiel 3:1 and the example about the Oreo, if you don't eat the Oreo, it is really hard to remember all the facts about the texture, taste, and feeling of an Oreo. However, if you have tasted and eaten an Oreo before it is so easy to tell someone about that Oreo because you have tasted it yourself. In the same principle, in Ezekiel 3:1, it says first to eat the scroll, and then go and speak. If we eat the word of God daily, we don't need to try and think about all the facts and details about the Bible and our God, but it just comes out spontaneously since we have experienced and enjoyed this wonderful Person.

So to wrap everything up, remember John 17:3 (the second paragraph)? Let's then go to John 6:47-48. Here Jesus says that whoever believes has eternal life and He again reminds them again, just in case they didn't get it, that He is the bread of life! So believe into Him and eat Him!! and we get eternal life, which is just this wonderful, awesome Person, Jesus Christ! How do we practically get sanctified, washed, and cleansed? It is through His word by eating the Word!

Why read the Bible?: What Jesus says about the Word (Part 2)

Now that we know the word has this function is to sanctify us by washing us and cleansing us, How do we actually apply the verses in Ephesians 5:25-27? Alright, let's go back to John 17. In John 17:17 it says "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." Here we see that the truth sanctifies, and the word of Jesus is the truth. Alright so what does Jesus say about His own words? John 6:32-33, 35 says "Jesus therefore said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses has not given you the bread out of heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread out of heaven./ For the bread of God is He who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world../Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger, and he who believes into Me shall by no means ever thirst." Here Jesus just directly tells them that He is the real manna coming out of heaven from God, the bread of life!! In John 6:54-55, Jesus continues on to say " He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day./ For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink." Surely, Jesus was not a cannibal say eat my flesh and drink my blood. So what does he mean by this? In John 6:57, He even says "As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me." WHAT!?!? Alright, so this is where it all comes together. John 6:63, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." So everything that Jesus said was in reference to this verse. Since the Spirit gives life and the flesh is basically no good, what Jesus want is to actually eat His word, not His actually flesh at the given time He was talking to the people.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why read the Bible? (Part 1)

Recently, in a Bible study with Christian Students on Campus at UT, we were going over a normal Christian life in 1 Peter. One thing I really appreciated was the matter of reading the Word. First I would like to propose a question: Why do we need to read the Bible?? (This is kind of long so prepare yourself)

But before we go down that road I would like to propose another question: What is life? Or rather more specifically, What is eternal life?  Is it a thing? A place? Is it living forever? According to the Bible in John 17:3, it says "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Him who you have sent, Jesus Christ." WOW! Alright, for now I just want you to remember this. I will bring it back together at the end.

So going back to the question, Why do we need to read the Bible? Let's go to Ephesians 5:25-27. Here it shows us one aspect of the function and purpose of the Word. "Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her/ That He might sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word,/ That He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish" So here the word cleans the church by the washing of the water in the word and we know that the church is just us, the Christians (Romans 12:5, Ephesians 1:22-23). The word  sanctifies us by washing and cleansing all the spots and wrinkles within our being!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Eat! Go! Speak!

Ezekiel 3:1
Then He said to me, Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.

As a Christian, I always feel like I need to go out and speak. When I actually try and go and speak to people about Jesus, I usually choke or just don't say anything and at times feel discouraged. However, according to this verse, we need to eat the Word! We need to read the Bible! When we read the Word, we are energized and supplied by God's word. Therefore, we can go out and speak out the virtues of Christ to others (1 Pet. 2:9)! I am so glad that I don't need to be nervous and prepare a speech to talk to someone about God, but rather I am given to speak by God what I read that day in His Word (Matt. 10:19).