Friday, June 15, 2018

Luke 8: 26-39 (Daily Bread of 15/6/2018)

AN IMPURE SPIRIT SEIZED HIM

Key verse 8: 29

A child came across a cemetery one night.  Suddenly, he saw a demon approaching and he became afraid.  However, when he remembered what his pastor had said, "when you see the devil, sing loud and clear and he will flee. "At first he was paralysed with fear and did not know what to sing. Nevertheless, when he started singing, the demon finally ran away.  You have to know that the devil also has something he's afraid of.  The Word tells us that he is afraid of Jesus and, death.

1.  What do you want from me, Jesus?  (26-30)

When Jesus arrived on the other side of the sea, a man possessed by a demon ran to him and kept howling at him.  He was demon possessed, not by one demon, but by thousands of demons.  He lived among the graves.  He was an urban libertine and his mind was tormented and divided.  Therefore on the one hand he recognized Jesus and wanted to worship him.  However,
on the other hand, he rejected him and was afraid of him and fled. Jesus Almighty God mastered their unhealthy power on this man and drove them out of him.  They were impure spirits who wanted to corrupt souls.  Jesus asked the demon possessed man his name.  He had no name, so, he replied legion, the Roman army.  He had tons of demons.  Recognizing the name of my demons is necessary, after which when we pray Jesus comes to help us.     
     
2.  They asked him to leave (31-39)



The demons were afraid of Jesus' name. They were also afraid of death.  So they begged Jesus not to destroy them. They begged Jesus to allow them to go into the pigs.  More than 2000 swine that these demons' hos rushed from the escarpment into the water, and all drowned.  The witnesses to this event came to see what had happened.  What was their reaction?  The demoniac was urban, but these people were urbanized by materialism.  They asked Jesus to leave them.  They had no eyes to see the importance of a life saved.  Thus, they were deprived of access to divine grace.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Luke 8: 1-15 (Daily Bread of 12/6/2018)

THE SOWER WENT OUT TO SOW
Key verse 8: 4

When spring comes, the earth gives itself vigour and the grass grows and grows.  In the agricultural atmosphere of his time, Jesus said this famous parable, so that everyone might have access to the kingdom of God through it, should they accept it thirstly.

1.  Sacrificial women (1-3)

Jesus' company was very poor and his disciples were always hungry and worried about what to eat the next day. Nevertheless there were some sacrificial women following them.  Among them, there was Mary Magdalene from whom 7 demons came out.  Her life was very painful because of her previous demon possessed state. From an early age, she was tormented by these evil spirits who came into her one by one.  Jesus came and delivered her completely.  Now she wanted to give her life for Jesus who became her true husband.  The same was true of the other women whose class seemed to us to be easy and noble.  Sacrificial women are truly beautiful in the eyes of God and are precious instruments of God.

2.  The parable of the sower (4-15)



Jesus gave the parable of sower, to give more to those who have and take more away from those who do not.  The 4 lands receive the seed, but each of them produces differently.  The sower is God and the seed is the Word.  God scatters the Word, and many people hear it, but the bearing of fruit depends on how each one of them receives the Word.  The earth refers to the disposition of heart.  Along the way the Word is trampled by human feet, hard humanism,  and thus it cannot can penetrate the heart. Instead, Satan picks it and removes it.  The stony earth refers to the superficial heart.  This one is carried away by sentimentalism.  A little bit of persecution is enough to wither the grass.  The earth amongst thorns refers to the anxious, envious and coveteous heart.  The grass is smothered by thorns and unable to grow.  The character being too weak, it has the limit to bear fruit.  The good soil is the heart that receives the Word with goodness and honesty and bears fruit a hundredfold.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Luke 7:1-10 (Daily Bread of 8/6/2018)

NEVER BEFORE HAVE I SEEN SUCH GREAT FAITH Key verse 7: 9b The episode of the centurion's servant or rather of the centurion tells us much about what faith is and what true love is. May God give you faith and love so that you may be good shepherds of our deviated times. 1. The centurion (1-4)
Firstly, a centurion appeared before Jesus. This passage took place et the headquarters of Jesus' work in Capernaum. This was also a regional headquarters of the Roman army. Jesus based his Ministry around this city, so that after a long journey of evangelization, he used to go down there to rest a little. One day a Roman centurion came. He was a good man, so much so that his fame was great among the people of Israel. He was a man of respect and a wisdom, so at he first sent a delegation of Jews to Jesus to beg Jesus to heal his sick servant. The servant, being considered at the time as possession, was not worth more than a piece of scum to be thrown away. However, this centurion was full of humanity, so he did all in his power to heal him. Even if we have faith that moves mountains and allows us to speak the language of angels, what good is it if we do not have love?. Though pagan, the love that this centurion showed towards his servant touched the hearts of the colonized people. 2. I have never seen so much faith in my life (6-10) After this event Jesus made an acclamation of his faith. Jesus was simply amazed by the faith of this pagan. First of all, his salutation was humble enough to touch Jesus' heart (6b). Jesus said that no one in Israel, until that day, had such faith. According to his experience in his military career, the centurion knew the power of authority. He thought that order in hierarchy would make the military affair work, however inextricable it might be. In the same way he believed that for spiritual matters this could also apply. From what he had heard he believed that Jesus was God himself. Thanks to his faith, his servant was healed in the end.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Luke 6: 27-36 (Daily Bread of 5/6/2018)

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES Key verse 6: 27 The first part of this sermon dealt with the relationship between the disciples and God, whereas this second part speaks of their relationship with man. It's hard for ordinary people to accept and obey this part. In the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus said that the disciples had to be superior to religious leaders in moral standards (Mt 5:20). Today's Word speaks about that. 1. Love your enemies (27-31) Jesus said that they had to love their enemies and bless those who hate them. The enemies in question are especially those who persecuted the disciples. Two brief examples of this love are cited: refraining from retaliation when a blow is given, and then being prepared to give the gatherer more than he demands. The disciples must be ready to give up their possessions liberally and their behaviour is summarized in what is called the "golden rule" of Christianity in verse 31. 2. Be merciful (20-26) Now, this kind of loving behaviour of enemies would be revolutionary, insofar as most people in the world will be willing and well disposed to do good to those who helped them, or from whom they expect some profit in return. However, if sinners can do so, the disciples must adopt another paradigm of life by going further and renouncing this rule of reciprocity; their love must not simply respond to equivalent love, or expect anything in return. There may be no recognition or reward here on earth (here note the sentence repeated three times "what would you like?") The disciples must know that there will be an invisible reward in heaven, and that they will be considered true sons of God who unfolds His mercy on those who do not deserve it. Our God is the one who makes the sun rise and the rain fall on the good as well as on the bad. The disciples are those who incessantly imitate the noblest virtue of the Lord, which is mercy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Luke 5:1-12 (Daily Bread of 29/5/2018)

YOU WILL BE A FISHER OF MEN

Key verse 5: 10

Youth is the most important time for one's lifetime.  Often when we make bad commitments in our youth, this leads to an unfortunate outcome.  There is nothing more precious than the path according to the call.  Today, Jesus calls some disciples near the lake. 
 
1.  Advance into deep water and throw your nets.  (1-5)

The crowd rushed to the lake to hear the good news of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus taught them the word at length.  There are many things to enjoy in the world.  However, there is nothing more valiant than the kingdom of God. Jesus even once said that violence should be used to gain this country.  Given the enthusiasm of the crowd Jesus invested much time to teach them.  Yet Jesus had his goal clearly in his head: to raise up disciples.  Therefore, he quickly took Peter's boat and he built a relationship with him through his fishery though it seemed trivial, material and down to earth.  Jesus told Peter to go further into deep water.  Of course this is a necessary gesture when fishing, but it is also comparable to obeying the Word, and by obeying, we can always move forward.  Moreover just as they had a miraculous catch, there is also  abundant grace that can be experienced through obedience by faith.

2.  You will be a fisher of men (6-11)



Peter's eyes opened when he saw the impossibly large quantity of fish that appeared in spite of the situation.  First, he saw his spiritual condition  was an unforgivable sinner.  However, Jesus reassured him and said, "Fear not."  Then Jesus called him to follow him.  Jesus sent him on a mission to evangelize those who were dying because of sin.  The world of sin is truly like a pond of death.  Jesus sent Peter and his fellows to save these men from this lake of sin and death.  When Peter and his friends obeyed, all their fear departed from them.  They left their nets and followed Jesus.  Young people who follow God's call are like God's heralds.  Their act of faith will be blessed.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Luke 4:1-13 (Daily Bread of 27/5/2018)

JESUS WAS TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL

Verse Key 4: 2

At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was led into the desert and tempted by the devil.  He was baptized by John, and after this he was tempted as a symbol of the starting of his ministry. 
 
1.  Man will not live by bread alone (1-4)

After his baptism, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit.  It came down like a dove.  It was totally peaceful. The Holy Spirit also comes to put the power of God on him. John says that he is the consoler, but he is also God's powerful weapon who works with the Word of truth. God knew that He had to doubly strengthen John so that he could inaugurate his mission which is God's fight.  Jesus came to save sinful mankind from the hand of Satan who had tried in the beginning all the earth, stirring man's heart to rebellion and disobedience.  Then the devil tempted Jesus through the problem of bread.  Man is very weak before this first material need. Jesus clearly said the truth and this is that man cannot live by bread alone, but by the word of God that comes out of His mouth.

2.  You shall not tempt your God (5-13)



The second temptation is glory and wealth.  If Jesus bowed down and worshipped him, he would have given him all this. Jesus rejected it with these words: "It is written.  It is easy for us to fight the enemy Satan with our own intelligence, but if we fight him with our own strength, we are doomed to failure.  Like Jesus, let us use our words in battle.  The third temptation is the human desire to tempt God.  Man justifies his sin under the pretext of God's protection.  It's a very dangerous thing for a spiritual life.  We have to give it up. Jesus won over his temptation and gives anyone who confides in him victory over demons. Jesus defeated 2000 demons at a time to heal a man possessed by
demons.  Jesus casted out 7 demons that were in Mary Magdalene.  Call at him, he will give you the power to cast out demons within you and others


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Psalm 56 (DB of 23/5/2018)


WHAT CAN MEN DO TO ME?
Verse Key 56: 5
The psalmist groans night and day because of his stalking enemies (1Sa 21:11-15). The Gathians waged war without cause, blaming him. However, at that time he placed his trust in the Lord and he praised the Word of God. It was his only refuge and valid remedy.

1. Give me a break. (1-7) David called for God's mercy (2). His enemy's throbbing weapon was their tongue. It was like a poison, a viper. They were unscrupulous by blaming the innocent. They were plotting to kill David. Nevertheless, he framed the confession of fear, which gradually gave way to trust (v.4-5). Human beings, weak both physically and morally, find help in God who is strong, has life and eternity. The psalmist made a perfect act of faith in the Word of God. His Word deserves praise (v. 5a). What's this "Word": it is the promise made by God to protect and defend his faithful, as Ps 119:41 recalls: "Let your graces come to me, O Lord, your salvation, according to your words". And 119:65: "You have done good to your servant, O LORD, according to your word. Deep in his anguish, the psalmist discovered that he who trusts in God has nothing to fear from human actions.

2. O God, I want to fulfill my vows (8-14) The psalmist cried, "O God. He really wanted to fulfill his vows before God (13). Help was needed for this (v.8-9), because the situation was really hostile. The psalmist expressed "his tears" as his human fragility, knowing that his misfortunes were taken into account. Since God's goodness was manifested in favour of the needy whom he certainly delivered, the psalmist would praise the divine word of salvation. The trials and sufferings had led the psalmist to the certainty of faith engendered his trust and led him to entrust himself entirely to God. In the face of danger and harassment by his enemies, the psalmist appealed to God, implored him, and being strengthened by the Word, he surrendered himself to the LORD. The petitioner glimpsed a prospect of victory and the collapse of evil, here called "the peoples" (v. 8b), then "death" (v. 14a) and pledged gratitude to God (v. 13b).

Luke 3: 1-14 (Thursday, May 24th 2018)

BEAR FRUIT OF REPENTANCE

key verse: 8

Thirty years after Jesus' birth, God began his work through John the Baptist. It was a dark time, but God's work is always begun by a forerunner. Let us each become one.

1. Baptism and repentance for the forgiveness of sins (1-6)

Under the cruel hand of Tiberius in Rome, Pontius Pilate in Judea, Herod in Galilee and others, the people suffered. Yet, for God it was the most favorable moment to begin his work. He sent John the Baptist, son of Zachariah. Isaiah describes him as the voice calling in the desert. Instrumental in the people's salvation, he was a humble and self-sacrificial man. In terms of repentance, there were none like him. He cried aloud, "Repent and be forgiven". It's not that he enjoyed speaking harshly. There was simply no other way for man to be saved. The Word works powerfully and twisted hearts become straight. If we obey and preach the message of repentance, God's powerful work will always be there. This is how we overcome our timidity. 

2. Bear fruit of repentance (7-14)

John's message was very heavy with the premonition of judgement. Its contents were about bearing the fruit of life for fear of the falling ax. When John baptised with water, many came to him in spite of his severe words. They each had a serious problem, but to each, John gave the best counsel, and he spoke to all on the problem of selfishness. It's the greatest evil among mortels. John's focus on repentance is invaluable. Repentance is expressed not only by the mouth but also by the results of one's life. Evil is born and grows in a man. The forerunner's role is difficult and delicate because he must attack the seeding and the harvesting of evil. If we do this labor, bad fruit transforms into good fruit for the glory of God.

Monday, May 21, 2018

1 Samuel 5: 1-12 (Daily Bread of 19/5/2018)

THE ARK OF ETERNAL BECAME THE SOURCE OF GREAT EVIL Key verse 5: 11b The Philistines took the Lord's ark . The Lord's ark was a symbol of power and protection. However, it was no longer powerful or protective, when God's people's fait became superstitious. He did not save them. This morning's Word describes how the ark became the source of great evil for man. 1. The Philistines (1-9) The Philistines were extremely idolatrous people. Their god was Dagon. It guaranteed the fertility of the earth. They rejected the God of Israel, even though they knew He was powerful enough to punish the Egyptians. Deliberate rejecting God is a great sin. For those who reject the God of Israel, and in the New Testament era, those who reject the Lordship of Jesus, judgment will come according to the condemnation of the Law. The presence of the Lord's ark is frightening, and it can bear a frightening prejudice to those who, like the closeness between God and Dagon in this passage, do not believe in spite of the knowledge they have of God's name. Many listening to God's name reject it. Their end will be dreadful. The Asdodians, then the Gathians, then the Ekronians suffered damage. God caused diseases provoqued by hemorrhoids. They shouted for the removal of the Lord's ark of the source of all their woes. 2. God's hand weighted heavily on them (10-12) The Ekronites were afraid, for the presence of the Lord's had already caused many deaths in Gath. They wanted to refuse it. The dilemma was that as long as the ark was there, someone or some tribe had to suffer the damage anyway. Hence their strong request to return the ark. They, who were strongly idolaters, interpreted that it happened to them because of the anger of a foreign god, because they had changed the place of his dwelling without his permission, hence his discontent. They demanded the ark be returned to where it was. The God of Israel will then leave them alone.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Deuteronomy 20:1-21 (Daily Bread of 28/4/2018)

MAY THE COWARDS RETURN HOME!
 Key verse 20:5
This text talks about exemption from military service. However, it is not the dispensation of service by illness. God also explains how to carry out a siege.
1. Let the cowards go back home! (1-9)
God says that when we enter the country and fight the enemy, we should not fear tthem. When the battle time is near, the priest gives the people inspiration saying," The Lord will walk with you and fight with you. Do not weaken, do not fear, do not be afraid, do not be frightened. As the President of the republic said in the American Congress, "fear does not build, it weakens and paralyzes." That's right, we have to overcome fear before we fight. The officers will speak and say, "all those who are fearful, all those who have family concerns go home." (5,6,7). They'll also say, "All those who are afraid and lack courage, go away!"
2. You will siege the far cities (10-21)
   
God gives very concrete instructions regarding combat. There will be a distinction between near and far nations. It will be necessary to ban the near nations, for they  commit horrible practices before God and God decided to judge and destroy them. This act is needed so that they will not teach Israeltheir horror. As for distant nations, a distinction will be made between submissive nations and rebellious nations. The latter will be destroyed, while the former will be subjected to tribute. The Israelites will spare the women, children and the fruit trees in the destroyed cities -  what sin would they have committed they, when they will be rather useful to men - but on the other hand, they will kill all the men. They will cut down the other trees so that they can be used as building materials for the entrenchments.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Deuteronomy 17:1-20 (Daily bread of 24/4/2018)

IDOLATERS WILL BE PUNISHED
Key verse 17:5
God talks about how to deal with idolatry in Israel. Israel will have to follow the servants in legal matter and the King is supervised.     
1. You will extirpate idolatry from the land (1-7)
Moses told the people not to offer malformed animals to God. It is strange that he should mention it in the midst of idolatry. Perhaps because idolatry is similar to a malformed animal. God wants the people created by Him to be faithful to Him. God is a perfect God, so one cannot bring him something imperfect, even though he is not at fault for himself. Human idolaters are different. They are not distorted in appearance, but they are internally twisted beings. God hates them. They don't do their creator any credit. They must be punished by the people. The investigation must be serious and we need two witnesses, because man's heart is not trustworthy. The man and woman who rally with the idols must be stoned first by the witness and then by all the people. The evil is eradicated.
2. Judgments and Royalty (8-20)
   
If the cause of judgment is too complicated, the people have to go up to the temple of Jerusalem and ask the Levite priests who reside there for advice. When someone brings the case before them, his heart needs to be emptied of all prejudices. He must be ready to listen to the servant's opinion, whatsoever it may be. He must not give up in the middle because of his preference. It is necessary to follow the  teachings which are given to him until the end . God foresees that the people would claim royalty when they enter the country. Samuel said what good would it do, but he hearkened to the voice of the people, and crowned them King. The King's status will not be special nor above the people, he is one of the citizens. It is especially necessary for him to move remove any objects which would distance him from God, such as many horses, gold, women etc.. He has to make a copy of the law and keep it on his bedside table and read it every day. Thus he will not depart from God and will assume the role of King to rule the people.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Deuteronomy 6:1-25 (DB of 12/4/2018)

Key verse: 5

YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART

Moses exhorted his people to love God with all of the heart, soul and might. This is the fundamental base for a believer, and this love is expressed through the commandments. 

1. That you may do them (1-19)

God gave his people the commandments so that they would observe them and in doing them be happy. To observe means to fear the Lord. Love for the Lord also means to fear him, for he is our Creator God. When man maintains this attitude, he is blessed and his life on earth prolonged. Not only that, God also multiplies his fruit. Israel had to listen to God because God is one. Our God is the tri-une God, existing as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but he is one. He was incarnated in Jesus Christ to save man, but he is the God of eternity. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We must love God with all our heart, soul and might. The people would experience great blessing in the new land, but at this moment, man's heart was ready to fall. We must well remember God's grace and thank him, lest we turn to idols and be vainquished by the enemy. 

2. You shall teach them to your children (20-25)

Moses pointed out the importance of religious education, since man is quite forgetful. We must therefore teach children so that they obey the commandments with joy. The young generation has no understanding of history. But they must be told who they were and how a loving God delivered their ancestors from the hand of enemies through miracles. They must know that this loving God had given them these commandments based on love. So, we must not perceive God as too demanding or legalistic, for his fundamental motive is love. It is so that his people enjoy a long and fulfilling life. We must believe in his love. Moses says that obediance is righteousness for the people. 


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mark 15:1-20 (DB of 29/3/2018)

key verse: 2

YOU HAVE SAID SO

Mark tells of the morning assembly of the Jewish Council, the interogation in the praetorium and the exchange between Pilate and the crowd. Pilate finally gave Jesus over to be crucified, while Jesus himself kept silent.

1. Jesus kept silent (1-5)

Wrongdoers rise early to conspire against an innocent man. They were not tired from the previous night's trial and rose early. They bound Jesus and sent him to Pilate, since his permission was needed to put a man to death. Thus, Jesus stood before Pilate. When he asked if he was the King of the Jews, Jesus replied in four words, "You have said so". It was a dangerous answer to give the Roman governor because it could be interpreted politically. Yet, Jesus identified himself as the King of the Jews. Spiritually, it was the title of the promised Messiah. He is our Savior and Redeemer. Pilate pressed Jesus to defend himself in face of several accusations. But Jesus no longer answered. Before his accusers, he kept absolutely silent. Pilate was astonished, since whoever is on truth's side has no need to defend himself. Pilate was someone with an ethic of circumstance.

2. Crucify him (6-20)

During the Passover, a custom of national amnesty was observed. Perhaps the Jews had imposed this rule on the governor to commemorate God's delivery of Israel from captivity in Egypt. Thus, people asked him to release one person. Pilate thought the crowd would ask for Jesus the King of the Jews, since he knew that it was out of envy that the chief priests had asked for the death of Jesus. Yet he was mistaken because the leaders had already stirred up the people to ask for Jesus' death. Pilate was stuck, even more so because he hadn't formed his own opinion. "What evil has he done?" It was his desperate cry in face of the injustice that he would have to uphold in spite of himself. He finally gave in and sent an innocent Jesus to be crucified. The soldiers treated him arbitrarily with all kinds of physical and moral violence. Jesus was struck and mocked more than he had been by the religious leaders. He was treated that way in order to save sinful men like you and I. Thank you, Lord. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mark 14:1-11 (DB of 22/3/2018)

A WOMAN WITH A FLASK OF OINTMENT

key verse: 8

Today's account tells how Jesus received annointing from a woman. Jesus gave this memorable moment meaning. Judas was a traitor who betrayed Jesus for a few pieces of silver.

1. The woman poured the ointment over Jesus (1-7)

The cunning Jews were looking for a way to kill Jesus. They always used plots in order to eliminate their enemy without trace or proof. As hypocrites, they were instruments of Satan, and they were themselves devils. Jesus entered the home of Simon, whose purpose was surely tied to this tentative. Then a woman appeared from nowhere, with a flask on her shoulder. She was so determined that they could say nothing. She approached Jesus, broke the flask and poured all the contents over his head. His clothes were covered in mucous and he could have been very annoyed. This nard-filled alabaster flask represented the woman's dream of marriage. Yet, she broke it without sparing in order to bless Jesus who had saved her from all her sins. The others complained about the price of the ointment, going so far as to criticize her. Yet, Jesus saw things differently and praised the woman. This woman was full of devotion and engagement. Above all, she knew how to reciprocate grace received from God.

2. Truly, wherever the gospel is proclaimed. . . (8-11)

Seeing her actions, Jesus honored the woman through the spread of the gospel. In a word, she was a protagonist of Jesus' redemptive work. She simply responded to his grace, and God, who knew her humble and sacrificial heart, wanted to raise her to the level of protagonist in his story. If we bring our sacrificial offerings, God never neglects them, but honors them in his redemptive work. Sometimes the offerings are poor, but God knows the heart and lifts up every action for him in memory of the gospel. Our preaching on the campuses and one-to-one Bible studies are our offerings of great value in God's eyes. Judas did not understand this sacrificial life for God. His philosophy was "every man for himself" and he followed Jesus to improve his status and achieve his own dream of a messianic kingdom in Israel. He finally turned his back and became an enemy of God.