Monthly Archives: October 2021

Why The Cross?

Scriptural Readings: Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 2:22-23; II Peter 2:22; Mark 8:34; Mark 10:21; Luke 14:27; II Thessalonians 2:13-15.

Genesis 3:19

King James Version

V.19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat4 bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.

New Living Translation

V.19 By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust, you will return.”

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

King James Version

V.22 For what hath man of all his labor, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath labored under the sun?

V.23 For all his days [are] sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest1 in the night. This is also vanity.

New Living Translation

V.22 So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety?

V.23 Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night, their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.

Have we become comfortable with our struggles in our lives? Have we developed callouses for them? Otherwise, we are still having a list of complaints. Another question that we might think of is how to handle it without easily giving up. True enough, we will have success and failure. And they will come from various levels of challenges, and we have to work on them fast.

II Peter 2:22

King James Version

V.22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her, wallowing in the mire.

New Living Translation

V.22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.”[g] And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

Of the many things that we have to do, the first is to question ourselves more often than we think. Why? One would ask. It is of extreme importance that we should always be on guard regarding our emotions. Our emotions are like a Global positioning system. Once we take a wrong turn, we are going to be lost totally. Reactions are an embedded part of us. Our minds and hearts continue to work together, and if they do not conform to each other, confusion will intervene. We will fall back to where we were once before.

Mark 8:34

King James Version

V.34 And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

New Living Translation

V.34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 

Mark 10:21

King James Version

V.21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

New Living Translation

V.21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Luke 14:27

King James Version

V.27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

New Living Translation

V.27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

For example, as Christians, are we commanded to choose between our possession and the cross? Is it necessary to decide between our properties and the cross? What happened to our volition?

Deciding, just like struggles, is a part of our everyday lives. Our Father in heaven will not take away this capacity to choose. Muchmore, He is always giving us the right decisions and directions, making it unmistakable for us.

The cross will force us to focus on only one thing while controlling our possessions divides our attention. It points much of our awareness to many things causing distractions leading to destructions. Thus, causing more harm than wellness. The cross has only one purpose, and that is putting ourselves into what our heavenly Father wants us to accomplish, His will. Our Lord and Savior Jesus carried the cross, died on it for our salvation. It is God’s will, and the best part is the cross opened a lot of what has God promised us. For some, looking at the cross depicts difficulties. It does not. For most of us, we use our finite abilities to see and interpret the cross as things that make it difficult for us to live. What is meaningful is the spiritual essence of the cross.  

We continually end up in the wrong places, constantly looking for a way out, leaving us with either unavoidable from light worries to unspeakable sorrow. Altogether, we continuously run out of the right cause and answers, arriving from the miseries that God never wanted us to have. The only way to have grace and mercy is to look at the cross. We can only approach the throne of grace if we acknowledge the message of the cross, of what Jesus did in that place, making Him our intercessor to the Father.

It is now the cross that makes the difference. We might end up again in the wrong places, but this time, God, through Jesus Christ (the way), will provide us with the road out, supplying us with the right reasons and with the conclusive answers to our questions in life. The cross is the place where our Father sees us and brings us to His throne of grace, living a righteous life only available through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

II Thessalonians 2:13-15

King James Version

V.13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

V.14  Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

V.15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

New Living Translation

V.13 As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first[d] to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.

V.14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

V.15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.

It is now clear that the cross is the only place that we have to go. The only acceptable place where God can meet us, and once we accept, will guarantee us of His love. We have now resolved the argument of why the cross. Alleluia!

Temporary

Scriptural Readings: Matthew 13:49; 24:3,14; Genesis 3:3; Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1.

Matthew 13:49

King James Version

V.49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

New Living Translation

V.49 That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous,

King James Version

Matthew 24:3

V.3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

New Living Translation

V.3 Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?

King James Version

V.14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

New Living Translation

V.14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world so that all nations[c] will hear it; and then the end will come.

Is everything temporary? If so, have we ever given serious thought to what happens when the impermanent is over? How sure are we not having the same dilemma again? What lies ahead? Are we going to love it? But what if it is not, and what we are right now is what we are? Then we are going to wish for the better, Right?

God has a plan. We live in a world that will end, and humanity has to go through with it. Everything must come to pass. If there are going to be rumors of war, there will be rumors of war. If there will be a war, then there will be a war. It will not change. It is going to be final.

What is new?

When we accept what Jesus did on the cross, it precedes salvation. There is no other way of salvation but to receive the cross for redemption, the gospel of Jesus Christ! What God wants us to understand is that salvation is at hand. While we worry a lot, we never give a critical thought to what salvation is all about.

Salvation is more than our name written in the Lamb’s book of life. Sometimes we think that salvation is just salvation. Salvation is the start of a new spiritual life. Being saved, God linked to us things that we needed to live a different life. An appealing life that will define what Christianity is all about. A new journey entirely different from what we had before. A new life with God-given power, wisdom, sense, and filled with purpose living until the end.

King James Version

Genesis3:3

V.3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said,1 Ye shall not eat4 of it, neither shall ye touch4 it, lest ye die.4

New Living Translation

V.3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

The tree

In the bible, the tree helps us to realize and appreciate a lot of things. If Adam and Eve chose the tree of life instead of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then it’s a different scenario today. What is miserable is that we continue to fight to preserve the consciousness of what is good, but we comfortably submit to what evil provides. This tree continues to grow in our hearts. If this is not true then, we will not have conflicts with each other. With the manner we live our lives, we always choose hatred rather than forgiveness. Instead of seeking the kingdom of God, some people today attempt to disprove God’s existence. We cannot seek the kingdom of God if hatred is a way of living. It will be impossible for our Father to add all the things He promised us. Simply impossible. Living in a world full of deception, hostilities, and many other things that pull us down, we have to be empowered by God’s wisdom.

King James Version

Luke 6:44

V.44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

New Living Translation

Luke 6:44

V.44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes.

The fruit

What is in the plan is when Jesus saved us, the Father guaranteed us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit transformed us from our old selves, making us a new creation in Christ. How are we going to know this? By the fruit. How are we going to identify a tree? Of course, by its fruits! In the same method, we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit as we go through sanctification because the Holy Spirit lives in us. And as we permanently listen for His instructions, the fruit becomes true in us. These are distinguishing hallmarks sealed to us Christians, making us disciples of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 65:17

King James Version

V.17 For, behold, I create6 new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered,11 nor come4 into mind.

New Living Translation

V.17 “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.

Isaiah 66:22

King James Version

V.22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make,6 shall remain6 before me, saith7 the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.4

New Living Translation

V.22 “As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain,

so will you always be my people,

with a name that will never disappear,”

says the Lord.

II Peter 3:13

King James Version

V.13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

New Living Translation

V.13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.

Revelation 21:1

King James Version

V.1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

New Living Translation

V.1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.

Yes, all of us live in a temporary world. As Christians, we are looking forward to what is everlasting, including our spiritual lives. Let us not go blind by the ongoing gloomy circumstances happening today that presently lie, convincing us to believe in desperation. For some of us, living in the darkest moment in our lives imprisoned in hopelessness, anguishing the unendurable agony going through the day, there is hope. We indeed undergo these things, but we are heading to a place where happiness and joy are exceptional in our expectations, which no words can ever describe. Alleluia!