Friday, June 29, 2018

Psalm 64: 2-11 (Daily Bread of 29/6/2018)


Key verse 64: 11

The French often say, "Listen here." It's to get people's attention. In the Bible God frequently says to the Israelites: "listen to me" to say that we must not forget His works.  The psalmist uses this expression to beg God not to forget the voice of the just.

1.  O God, listen to my voice.  (2-7)

The faithful in Israel believed in the power of God.  At the same time, they knew that God was had a merciful heart towards His people.  The psalmist used the word "listen" (Schema) to beg Him to save him from the present danger.  He knew that God would save him from his inextricable craze.  Now the situation that the psalmist was in had become very critical.  The thought of the plot already sprung up fear in him.  His fear was even greater given that he knew his enemies awaited to lay an unannounced attack on him
  Moreover, they hid their intention and  appeared to be friendly and intimate. This made the situation more perilous.  Their weapon of destruction was their sharp tongue.  It is the venom of murderous aspic.      
2.  The righteous rejoice in the Lord (8-11)

When the psalmist prayed to God, God answered him.  He knew that God would save him from all dangers lying in front of him by making the enemies's own arrows fall on their heads.  Our God is just, He makes justice reign by His own defensive means.  However, here, God is going to retaliate in exactly the same way that the wicked did through unannounced attacks.  When they are defenseless and nothing is planned, God will suddenly attack and defeat them.  Their own words will come against them.  Then all men will bear witness to these works by saying that they came from God, before fleeing.  Then God will restore joy to the righteous, for they become sad when they see injustice dominate.  They will rejoice to see righteousness return to mankind.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Psalm 61: 2-9 (Daily bread of 26/6/2018)


Key verse 60: 5

David was in front of the enemy.  In the abatement that visits us, this psalm teaches us how we can overcome it.  He began by praying.    
1.  I dwell in the temple under His wings.  (2-6)

David was a king, a warrior, and a musician, but above all he was a man of prayer.  His prayerful attitude had not change since he was the shepherd of his father's sheep.  He knew that he was a weak man who could not stand without God's help.  His heart was shot down both by his enemies and his relatives who raised their heels against him.  In a state of disappointment, he would have preferred to leave the world and climb up and up.  That way he could forget everything and rest in peace.  However, he realized that the best place is the temple, the tabernacle of God.  When he entered he felt God's sweet presence and joy and ineffable happiness returned to him.  It did him so well that he wanted to stay there forever, far from the cruel world.  There he communed with God, his rock, his refuge and he reassured himself of the heritage reserved for the God-fearing people.  In His church, we can have the same experience (1P1:3,4).

2.  David decided (7-9)

David prayed in the temple, so God visited him personally.  God never abandons those who pray to Him and fear Him.  He listens carefully to our requests and answers us.  After receiving God's answer, David forgot the overwhelming situation.  From his inner self emerged the assurance of victory.  He thanked God, then gave him his heart's decision.  First, he decided to rule the country according to God's law, for as many days that God would have him live.  He therefore prayed for life longevity in order to be a good instrument of God for his people and for his country.  For this he prayed that truth and kindness be revealed to him.  Then he also decided to sing the glorious name of God during his life.  This is the purpose of one redeemed by God.  Finally, he decided to fulfill his vows day after day.  God listens to the vow, but man makes them.

Luke 9: 43b-50 (Daily bread of 22/6/2018)


Key verse 9: 44b

There are three lessons taught here.  First, the Way of the Cross, then humility, and finally universalism. These subjects are important in the path of the disciples.    
1.  He will be delivered into the hands of men.  (43b-45)

The healing of a demoniac was a great feat. Everyone admired Jesus and wanted him to establish the Messianic Kingdom with that power. However, at that moment he taught them once more about the life of Christ. He did the same thing when Peter told him that he was the Christ. Are you able to do what Jesus did and see your misery inspite of your whooping success?
This is basic knowledge for the disciples as the World lauds one day but loathes the next.
2.  True greatness (46-47)

Everyone wanted to have the first place in God's Kingdom.  The 9 other disciples already gnashed their teeth when the first 3 had gone up to the mountain with Jesus.  It wasn't very fair, they thought.  Jesus taught what their problem was and what true greatness is.  They were all too adult-like with too much knowledge, which was not indispensable to them and to God.  They had to humiliate themselves like children.  From there flows the power of the disciples.  The demon child would have been cured. 
3.  Universalism.  (48-50)

The disciples had very petty minds, like the Lion's Club or Freemasons.  It was not God's spirit.  The Holy Spirit is always open to others. John did not need to stop he who was working in Jesus' name, although he was not directly connected to them. They are still the servants of God and we must recognize them, even if they do not belong to us.

Luke 9: 18-27 ( Daily Bread of 19/6/2018)


Key verse 9: 20

We have reached the mid-term of the formation of Jesus' disciples.  On the mountain Jesus received the confession of the disciples, as the answer to their midterm examination.  It was also an important time for Jesus, for he now had to teach the cross.  
1.  But,you, who do you say I am (18-22)

The subject matter to be taught now was therefore very serious.  Jesus gave the disciples the opportunity to learn about the cross for the first time. He had to repeat it so that they could accept it. It was a scary subject. However, Jesus wanted to teach it to them and he therefore asked them to tell him who they thought he was. This question was aimed at helping them have a clear sense of faith in him. First, they had to tell what the others thought, and that was rather easy.  Then they had to tell him what they themselves thought of him, and that was a bit more difficult.  Peter answered, "You are the Christ." He confessed that he is the King anointed by God.  He is the Sovereign Lord.  He is also the Saviour of the world.  Jesus then began to teach them that the Christ was to be rejected and put to death.  Without the cross there is no the crown.  Jesus wanted the disciples to accept this fact.  Nevertheless, they were reluctant to use those words.   
   2. If you want to come to me

Jesus explained what the Christ's life was like and what the disciple's life was like also. Their life is just an imitating the path of their master's.  Jesus followed the way of the cross; he preached the Word, healed the sick, casted out demons and finally died on the cross.  The disciples must follow this rough path.  To give up oneself means overcoming ones pride and to take up ones cross is to carry out ones mission in one's life.  To follow is to humbly learn the master's merit and character and manner.  Jesus says that the disciples have a very different value system than men.  Men seek what can become the immediate gain.  However, the disciples must seek the value that would last forever.  This is the most expensive treasure.  They must aspire to it throughout their life and publish it without shame.

Friday, June 15, 2018

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


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)

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.