Restoring a broken family, Jesus’ way Jesus’ method

(Malachi 1:1-3)

“The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.

I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob,

And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”

We read our Bible and we know the story of Jacob and Esau.

But they were both direct descendants of Abraham and Isaac.

It was a story of a broken family, wasn’t it?

What went wrong?

In the same context of Malachi, the Lord gave His reason for rejecting Esau –

(Malachi 1:4-5)

“Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places;

thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them,

The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation forever.

And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel.”

Wickedness

The Lord hated wickedness.

But God’s displeasure did not stop there; the rest of the complaints written in Malachi went on about the descendants of Jacob, the priests and Levites called to serve the Lord.

What was at stake?

What makes the Lord displeased?

broken covenant relationship with God Almighty.

(Malachi 4:4-5)

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

God through His laws and commandments preserved protects and provided for those who are in covenant relationship with Him.

It is through the laws and commandments of God we learned truth, righteousness, justice and judgement.

It is important for us to be well-informed about the plan and purpose of God.

But was Malachi written only for Jacob?

In the Old Testament God choose the descendants of Jacob as witness to the world of His truth and righteousness that the world may know the true living God.

In the beginning when God created humanity, there was no race no color no nationality. God created man and women to be part of His family.

When Jesus appeared in history, He came to restore God’s decrees and laws to all of us under a new covenant –

 

(Hebrews 10:16-19)

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

 

This new covenant relationship between God and Man is for both Jews and Gentiles and everyone who will receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.

This new covenant is made possible because Jesus had been appointed priest of God Almighty –

 

(Hebrews 7:16-17)

one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

 

(Hebrews 7:20-22)

And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

 

Jesus offered His life and blood sacrifice for us to seal this covenant relationship between God and Man.

Jesus was crucified and died, but God raised Him from the dead and He is now serving both as priest and king forever in the kingdom of God.

For this reason, Jesus is of a better covenant.

From that day Adam and Eve walked out of Eden, mankind has been part of this broken family. Now Jesus serving both as priest and king of God Almighty will want to restore us back to our Father in heaven through this new covenant established by His own blood. And this can only happen through observation of God’s will and commandments revealed through Jesus.

 

(John 14:6)

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

 

We need to follow the ways of Jesus to reach our full and complete restoration.

Our first areas of observations –

  1. BELIEVE Jesus is God’s salvation plan for mankind
  2. ACCEPT the blood sacrifice of Jesus is complete and enough to redeem us
  3. RECEIVE Jesus as our Lord and Savior, Master and Shepherd of our soul to eternity

From then on, we embark on our journey of faith, from believer to disciple.

Our good Lord and Savior who redeemed us from sin and death will not leave us where He found us. Through discipleship we will undergo transformation, renewal and regeneration of the Holy Spirit to become mature sons and daughters of God.

We are disciples of Jesus, followers of His way, walking towards Christ-likeness.

We are living witness and testimony of God’s commandments and judgement.

We are to reflect the truth of God’s word revealed through Jesus.

In our journey of faith, God’s provision to restore is within His covenant relationship.

 

(1 John 1:6-9)

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

 

In-His-Service

David Z

Our God is a talking God

Something wonderful about the one true living God we serve …

He talks …

He speaks…

He is alive …

In history there were people who heard the audible voice of God Almighty.

Moses was at Mount Sinai and had his conversation with God.

When Jesus was water baptized by John the Baptist, God spoke from heaven.

But for us in our generation, how does God speaks to us?

Three of the most common channels God speak to us …

1) Text messages

Now that should be easy to understand.

We are living in our times of digital communications, and we send out text messages a lot to communicate with people.

Emails, FaceBook, WordPress, Blogs, Newsprints ….

So where are the text messages of God?

We have the recorded text messages of God in the Old Testament, and we have the recorded text messages of Jesus in the New Testament. Therefore it is important, especially for believers and disciples of Jesus to read our Bible every day.

People read news every day because they want to know what is happening in the world today. But God’s text messages covers the whole of human history from past to present to future.

God’s text messages are of eternal values and this is one important reason for us to read and be informed what God have spoken to us.

 

(Hebrews 1:1-2)

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.”

 

God have spoken to us through His son Jesus, the same Jesus who was crucified for our sins and is alive forevermore because He was raised from the dead by the power and authority of God Almighty.

We are living in our time when the Bible has been translated into ethnic languages, and we even have free digital access, what more can we ask for?

We just need to read it more than ever!

 

2) Convictions of the Holy Spirit

Man and woman were created spiritual beings with an outer body, not the other way round!

(Genesis 2:7)

“then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”

God was preparing a body suit to contain a new spiritual being He will create within us!

If God simply transfer His spirit into us then we would not be us, we would be God Himself. But we have our personality and being alive, because God created a new person within our body.

Therefore God can speak to our hearts through the convictions of the Holy Spirit.

But how do we know if we’ve got the right convictions?

(John 16:12-15)

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

The convictions of the Holy Spirit will not go against what God had spoken in the Old Testament, and what Jesus have said and taught to His disciples in the New Testament.

I believe born-again Christians are Spirit filled.

You will soon realize your understanding of the Bible changed after receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior. Remember before we become Christian, we had so much doubt and difficulties in understanding Bible message because that “yet to believe” condition hindered us from seeing the truth of the Gospel.

But after receiving Jesus, we had better understanding because the Holy Spirit is helping us by putting the words of Jesus straight into our hearts and minds, and our sense of convictions awakens.

(Hebrews 4:12)

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

After receiving Jesus and having the Holy Spirit in us, we feel the words of God are alive within us, we realize faith have awakens within us.

 

3) Proclamations of the Gospel

(Romans 10:14-15)

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

That’s right; God does speak to us through the proclamations of the Gospel message.

In our times of digital communications, I would say “how wonderful are the fingers of those who blog and post good news of the Gospel”.

The message is more important than the messenger.

After Jesus ascended back to heaven, the apostles continued preaching the Gospel. The Early Christians were persecuted but the words of Jesus continue to spread. And after 2000 years, the Gospel message continues to be preached across the world by faithful messengers most of us have no clues their names, but God knows.

You as an individual, every time you share the Gospel message, you did your duty as faithful messenger for the Gospel. Praise Jesus for that!

Of course we cannot expect everyone who listens will response positively, because people have free choice, and people need to decide for themselves where they want to go with Jesus.

 

Finally, here is the prized question…. why would God want to talk to us?

 

If God is Almighty, does He not have better things to do then talk to us?

(Jeremiah 29:11-13)

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Humanity has long quested for the future.

But our problem is that our own future is unknown to us.

People have relied on all sorts of prediction and forecast to prepare for the future.

But nothing will prepare us for our own future better than the words of God for us.

When God talks to us, it is different from giving orders. Of course God does have the power and authority to give orders, but there are times He wants to have a meaningful normal conversation with us.

God communicates with us via the above three main ways so that we may learn to choose, believe and obey His plans and purpose.

 

And lastly how do we communicate back with God?

 

When we received emails, we reply emails.

But when God speaks to our hearts and mind, how do we response?

Through prayers, confession of our lips, and change of plans … yes that’s right change of plans. We thought we had everything planned out but after seeing the truth of God’s words and realized Jesus have a better future for us, we have a change of plan.

Some of the simplest and shortest replies

Thank you Jesus …

Hallelu…Yah

 

My favorite prayers, from the prophet Jonah

(Jonah 2:9)

“But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

Yes indeed

Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

There is none other who can save us, except Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God.

The same Jesus who was nailed and crucified on that cross, and His side were pierced, blood and water flowing out, His body taken down and given to Joseph of Arimathea who buried Him in his own tomb.

On the third day, Jesus was resurrected, alive forever more, and of course He don’t stay in that tomb anymore. His legacy remains among us in His recorded messages.

Men and women most basic of basic necessity is to be well-informed what God is speaking to us, and we need to know how to response.

His kingdom come, His will be done!

 

In-His-Service

David Z