We live in a corrupted society, where humanity is going more and more apart from God. In the last article, we spoke about our creation and its purpose. Also, we saw about how we were tempted and about the fall. So, prepare yourself to discover the size of the disaster caused in our inner part! Continue reading “A DISCONNECTED LIVING FROM GOD”
Dear brother and sister, this text is about the importance of mankind to God. We will see what the Lord went through to save us and how we should act regarding his work. Initially, the human condition will be addressed; and then what is the gospel and its power. The text ends talking about the need of maturing in our spiritual life. Continue reading “Mankind’s Miserable Condition and the Power of the Gospel”
“Economy of God” is an expression that relates to God’s eternal plan and comprehends all that He has done, all that He is doing and all that is to be done for men since its creation, fall, eternal salvation and until its destiny. In this text, we present a different angle for the economy of God, comparing it to a restaurant. We hope you enjoy your reading! Continue reading “God’s Restaurant: The Applied Economy of God”
Young ones, I hope you are enjoying our texts and that these treasures may be transforming you as the diamond is cut until it acquires its highest value.
Today we are going to talk about man’s temptation. We are going to approach some problems that God’s enemy caused just after God had finished His beautiful creation! Continue reading “Human Intoxication”
It’s inevitable, a new year has barely begun and we’re already making promises and plans that we will never fully accomplish. If you’ve made a list for 2016, that’s okay, but I hope you can read this article objectively and understand what is indeed worthwhile.
What does this mean? First, we have to ask ourselves what the word “saved” means. What most people know about salvation in the Bible is that the salvation from from hell to go to heaven. Or they might think being saved from sin to live a holy life. If you think the same, you should know: You’re wrong! When we read the Bible, we realise that salvation is much more than that. Every gift that God gives us is opposed to an specific evil. Look: He gives us justification because of the condemnation; He gives us eternal life because what we deserve is death for our sins; He offers us forgiveness because of sins. But why does He gives us salvation?
Salvation is related to kosmos, the world. What we describe as kosmos has always been opposed to God as Father and originator. Satan intervened in God’s plan: usurped the creation to make it something self-centered and reflecting its own image. As we have seen so far, the world where we live in is being ruled by him, Satan. We are confronted by two worlds, two realms of authority. The question today is in these two worlds, and whether we belong to an order of things where Christ is the sovereign Lord or an order that has Satan as a leader.
Salvation is not so much a matter of forgiven sins or of avoiding the hell. Salvation is about our way out of a system, the world organized by Satan. It means escaping kosmos, placing the heart in what God’s heart is and walking, free, towards His kingdom.
“Who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:20-21)
These verses show us the baptism and salvation together. To understand it better we need to go back to it’s source: Genesis 6 and 8. In the days of Noah, we can see a totally corrupt world, in which only eight people left, Noah and his family. These eight people escaped, through the Ark, of a world under judgment with water. This is the essence of salvation: the way out of a condemned system, which belongs to Satan. When the believers are baptized, they pass, symbolically, by water, as happened to Noah in the ark through the waters of the flood. Through baptism we declare: “Lord, I leave the world behind. Your cross separates me from it forever.”
For us this world is submerged, sunk, put to death in the death of Christ, and will never be revived. The same water that positions you and I on the firm foundation of salvation in Christ also bury a complete system of things belonging to Satan. It’s a death and burial from which nothing rises. It’s the end of it all. We entered in the world of the first man, Adam, by being born in the race of Adam. We left, obviously, through the death. Thus, the way for us to enter in the sphere of Christ is being born.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Romans 6:5). Death puts an end to our relationship with the old world, the kosmos. The resurrection brings us into a living contact with the new world, the Kingdom of God. We should never have no lower concept regarding the baptism.
You may also ask whether it is relevant or not to be baptized. The only answer is: it was the Lord himself who commanded the baptism (Matthew 28:19) and was a step that Himself insisted on giving, refusing John the Baptist’s dissuasion (Matthew 3: 13-15). Peter describes baptism as a testimony of a good conscience towards God. A testimony is a public statement. Through this act, you declare your position. You declare to the entire universe that you left the world behind and entered in a totally new place. This is salvation! It is a public declaration that God put you in Christ. Entering the water I am simply acting out the whole process, publicly stating that the judgment of this world became real to me, since the day that the “raised” Son of Man drew me near to Himself.
May gospel be preached to all creation!
This excerpt is based on the book “Love not the world”, Watchman Nee.
Translation of the article Um mundo sob a água – Série “Não ameis o mundo” (3) (Blog Eu vos escrevi).
The word of God is a weapon against whatever the enemy’s hurls at us. So we need to know God’s word and not only take people’s word of what they say about the Bible. Here’s why:
Right after the Lord Jesus was baptized he went to the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days. It was there that the Bible says he was tempted by the enemy in many aspects.
The first temptation was hunger; the second one was power; and the last temptation was testing God.
“If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” (Matt. 4:6) Satan quoted Psalm 91:11.
But “Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” (Matt. 4:7)
Satan used the word of God itself to tempt the Lord. The enemy knows the Word and uses it in order to attack us. But the Lord with boldness of spirit, rebuked the enemy using God’s word!
This why it matters to know God’s word. Beside from having a good arsenal of scripture to use to preach, we’ll have a good arsenal to defend ourselves from the enemy!
I read the entire Bible for the first time when I was 13 years old. I didn’t believe I could do it because it looked like it’d be difficult and only something those with some grey on their heads could accomplish.
But I set the goal of reading ten chapters a day. I’d do that starting from Genesis and all the way to Revelations. It didn’t matter if it was a holiday, or a weekend. I woke up early every day to read the Bible and there was no exception.
Sometimes I read five chapters in the morning and five at night and sometimes I read ten chapters right in the morning. It was easier in the beginning because I was excited to fulfill my goal, however, after a while, the task felt harder to finish. I got weaker with each passing day and there were days in which I didn’t even read it.
But the Lord compelled me in my Spirit to know His word. I couldn’t have a lukewarm approach. I had to be fervent in the Lord.
I wanted to have more intimacy with the Lord and that meant I had to know Him better. So I sought to enjoy of His word everyday and call upon His name all the time. If I didn’t read the Bible on Wednesday, for example, because I was exhausted, I remembered the hymn 208: “O Jesus, Jesus, dearest Lord! Forgive me if I say, for very love, Thy sacred name a thousand times a day.” The message of the hymn is that it isn’t enough to call upon the Lord’s name a thousand times over a day! Even that isn’t enough. This pushed me so if I missed the ten chapters on Thursday then I didn’t read twenty chapters to compensate the ones I haven’t read on the day before. I read ten chapters so I wouldn’t be discouraged again.
Doing so, I managed to read the whole Bible for the first time! I was very happy because the Lord helped me in every step!
But simply reading the Bible consistently doesn’t mean you’re enjoy Christ. Sometimes we read His word in a careless way to the point we can hardly remember what we read an hour prior. So we need to empty ourselves first. And does this happen?
O Lord Jesus! We need to pray and ask for the blood of Jesus before we read His word, so we are clean to go to God and be in His presence.
When we read the Bible, we need to read His word with prayer. Stop and pray every time you come across a verse that touches you! I can’t begin to describe how much this will satisfy and fill you with life!
I read the Bible three times in this way (ten chapters a day), and in the fourth time I did it differently. I decided to follow the daily reading table that we all can find at a Bookafe or in some annotated Bibles.
The experience was rich! On this fourth reading, I read less than ten chapters a day and this gave me the opportunity to dwell more God’s word and it was easier to fulfill my goal, because I didn’t have the strict regiment of reading ten chapters a day, of keeping track of your reading and making up for missed days.
In the fourth reading of Bible, where I took the time to ruminate and dwell on shorter amount of passages, the Lord gave me exactly what I needed each day!
All this being said, there isn’t a right way to read the Bible, but is should do it. I encourage every one to take this initiative and to be armed with of the holy word of God every day!
We won’t know the Word from overnight, but the Lord will fill us with His word little by little, day by day, reading after reading.
“I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.” (Psalms 119:147-148)
Author: Isabela Scheicher
“And Hannah prayed, she said, My heart rejoices in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD” (1 Sam 2:1a). The Word of God is full of tiny mysteries. But how does He reveal them? When we read the Word of God with prayer we are granted with the spirit of wisdom and revelation. And the mysteries are unraveled through such a healthy reading. The book, Hannah’s Prayer, touches on this topic using the Old Testament example of Hanna, the formally barren mother of the prophet Samuel.
The Bible is like a large treasure hunt map. Treasures of life are buried in each written word in His book! Paul compared the written word as life itself! (Eph. 1:16-17).
After the Israelites had escaped slavery in Egypt, crossed the Red Sea and began wandering in the harsh, wasteland wilderness of the Middle East, God would leave food for them every morning. They would have to go out of their tents to find it. They called it manna.
As we read the Bible today, we similarly can find the “manna” God has left us.
In the Old Testament, manna was used by God to foreshadow Christ – our true heavenly food. That same “manna” is present today in God’s Word (John 6:31-35). As we read His Word we find two types of manna: the “visible manna”, which is the written Word of God, and the “hidden manna.” Do you remember that at the beginning we talked about discovering the mysteries of God’s Word? These mysteries are the hidden manna, we need to have a true fellowship with the Lord in order to eat this manna. It’s a special portion of His word (Rev. 2:17). And of course, both are necessary to supply our lives! That’s what the book Hannah’s prayer will walk you through to do. We’ll learn how to to eat, to chew and to transform His living Word in our prayer.
As we pray, we’ll realize that our prayer becomes richer, full of spiritual meanings and reaching deeply the heart of our Lord! His life will be increased in us day by day and we will learn to have joy in the Lord in every situation. And this is done through prayer! As human beings we rejoice when we get things, or when we get complimented, or when we listen to a good song. There’s nothing wrong with these things on the surface, I mean, they gladden our heart, but all those things are fleeting. And that joy is also fleeting.
In this book we’ll learn how to rejoice in who is TRUE, EVERLASTING and is ALWAYS NEW! We’ll rejoice not in what He gives us, but in who our beloved Lord Jesus is for us!
When trying to speak to God we just have to open our hearts to Him. Exactly like Hannah did it! Hanna wanted a son but she was barren. She was told she’d never have children. But she’d pray at the temple nearly constantly. She gave God all of her pain and her anguished heart to God, crying for help. She allowed herself to be vulnerable with God. God already knows how she felt. But He wants and needs to hear us call on Him. We have to tell everything to the Lord without fear or reservations! When Hannah told everything to God, she got to know the Lord better and gain an intimacy with Him that she couldn’t if her heart was guarded (Ps. 25:14).
Hannah saw the need of God. Hannah had such an intimate fellowship with the Lord that she touched God’s heart. Her first prayer presenting her desire for God. It was simple . She presented her deepest sadness of not being able to give birth to a child when she wanted one so badly. So, she began to pray, letting herself be led by the Spirit that guided her, and she realized the need that the family had to have a descendant to preserve the heritage. And as the Spirit guided her, she found out she wasn’t the only one who wanted something, but God wanted something too. God would need a king to rule his people and it would be through Hannah’s future son, Samuel, that that king would be appointed. Hannah asked for a son because she knew that God would also need him to fulfill His plan, then, she consecrated her son to the Lord. She wanted her son to be for the Lord and made a vow deciding not pass razor on the boy’s head. Prayer answered! Her prayer that had began with what Hannah wanted but that expanded to the family and reached the need of God. An intimate prayer lead to both Hannah and the Lord being supplied!
Young one, at this moment you may feel overloaded by things the world offers. Perhaps you are not being able to go deep into the wonders of God and the biggest difficulty is in separating out time to talk to Him. So, we propose you a challenge. How about going to the “mount”, a place where you can be alone and pray, cry for help, as did Hannah, presenting everything to God?
Pray with the belief that everything has already been accomplished (Mark 11:24). Persevere! Do not give up, because God will speak to you when you cast off your guardedness. He always answers us. Once the need of God is reached in our prayers, our prayers are answered. Allow yourself to deeply know God. The book Hannah’s Prayer will change the way you pray and read the God’s Word and you will taste the greatness of the riches that Christ has to give you! Will you miss out this opportunity? Jesus is the Lord!
Title: The Hannah’s Prayer
Publisher: Editora Árvore da Vida
First Edition: May / 1999
Messages given by Brother Dong Yu Lan in March 1994 in the city of Cuiabá, MT.