Nuggets – The Lord and King Cyrus

“That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” (Isaiah 44:28)

This is a remarkable prophecy, one of the main stumbling blocks of liberals who use it as an excuse for their completely wrong notion of a “second Isaiah.” Long before Jerusalem was invaded and its temple destroyed by the armies of Babylon, Isaiah was already prophesying its rebuilding!

Furthermore, the great Persian emperor Cyrus (whose nation would eventually conquer Babylon) was here named by God about 150 years before he was born and 175 years before he would fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy by giving Ezra authority to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:1-2).

Since liberal scholars do not want to believe in miracles and fulfilled prophecy, they have decided that this prophecy could not have been written by the original Isaiah but by some later writer living after Cyrus. The truth is, however, that God controls the future and can reveal it if He chooses, using this very fact as proof that He will keep His other promises. “Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus…I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou has not known me” (Isaiah 45:1, 4).

God had also named King Josiah before he was born (1 Kings 13:22 Kings 23:15-16), with the specific prophecy concerning him waiting to be fulfilled for over 300 years after it was first spoken.

It may take a long time, but God will surely do all He has said. “I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10). HMM

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 69

NOTE IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS Just key in “ptl2010.com”

Small incentives

Thank you Lord for this beautiful pair of shoes or tie, or this cup of ice-cream or tea or coffee. Routines sometimes bore or tire me so that my productivitiy falls. It is OK for me to incentivise myself with some incentives sometimes. Even just a short break away from my job like a walk out from the house or office to enjoy a breath of fresh air. It could be just a time out for a talk with Jesus. It could be just a phone call or sending a text message or a chat message away from the routine work. Pause, remembering a Scripture verse that is motivational.

I mus however, not be addicted to these incentives to motivate to good performance and service. I must do my best and whatsoever my hands find to do, I must do with all my strength, heart, my mind and soul.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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The Blessing – Part Six

The Lord … give you peace … Numbers 6:26

Though yet to be accomplished at the time these words were written, this blessing of peace heralded the coming end of hostilities between God and humanity.  The rift and animosity that sin caused so long ago in Garden would be repaired through the sacrifice of the life of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  Once we enter into a relationship with Him through faith, the anxious war in our souls can be replaced with His perfect sense of well-being… an inner stability that isn’t dependent on circumstances.

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Adding to the Son’s Faith that Has Become Our Faith

Immortality Road

As we dig deep and lay our house upon the Rock, we have uncovered a vein of gold. We are adding to the Son’s faith inside of us. Part of the Son’s belief system is this new commandment found in Christ’s words: “He that has seen Me has seen the Father…It is the Father that dwells in Me that does the miracles…Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me…He that believes in Me [that the Father dwells within Him] will do the same miracles that I do and greater works…” (John 14:9-12).  The words “believe” and “faith” are translated from the same Greek word.

Clues to Performing Miracles

Christ is promising us that we will do greater works than what He had done! His promise is with this stipulation: “Believe that the Father is in Him.” In the very next breath…

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The Light of The Word

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

As the sun provides physical light for the world, so Jesus Christ is spiritually “the light of the world” (John 8:12). However, we clearly can see His light only through the light holder, the lamp, as it were, of His written Word. The Word, therefore, is a lamp and, since it contains and reveals the light, is also a light in its own right. Without the Holy Scriptures, this world would lie in the deepest darkness, but “the entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the living Word, and “without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:3-5). Although He “was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9), when He Himself came into the world, those who were made by Him refused to receive Him. “Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

Just so, although the written Word has come into the world, the world does not receive it, either. The lamp and the light of the written Word have been in the world (in complete and final form) for 1,900 years, but people still reject and ridicule it, and the world still lies in darkness. Nevertheless, for those who receive it, there is wonderful light. “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light” (John 12:35-36).

God’s Word always brings light. His first spoken Word was “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), and wherever He speaks, God sees the light, and it is good! HMM

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 68

NOTE IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS Just key in “ptl2010.com”

Jig- saws

Many people relax with jig-saw puzzles where they join jig-saw pieces into one big picture or artwork. However, life’s daily puzzles are not so relaxing. In fact when I do not see the full picture of God’s plan for my life but only jig-saw pieces not inter-linked it is very stressful especially when I do not know fully what, why and when to do what I need to do. Sometimes I need to wait for the right timing for certain situations to prevail before jig-saw pieces are inter-locked. Sometimes I need to wait for some people to come along so my inter-locking jig-saws are possible. Meantime I must trust and wait upon the Lord.

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

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Nuggets – The Truth

“And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:4)

This is the last of 11 occurrences of “the truth” in Paul’s two letters to Timothy. He was not writing about the importance of being truthful in general but about a specific body of factual information concerning Jesus Christ and its vital importance. Thus, “the truth” was a very important theme in both of Paul’s letters to this young pastor—and, by implication, to all God-called pastors.

Paul first speaks of “the knowledge of the truth” required for salvation (1 Timothy 2:4), then of his own teaching as “the truth in Christ” (1 Timothy 2:7), then of “the church of the living God” as “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15), and of Christians as those who “believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:3). He stresses the importance of studying the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), and also that true repentance requires “the acknowledging of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25).

Paul also warns of false and covetous teachers who are “destitute of the truth” (1 Timothy 6:5) and who therefore “concerning the truth have erred” (2 Timothy 2:18). There will even be false prophets who “resist the truth” and are “reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Timothy 3:8).

As a result of the teachings of these false teachers, there will be many so-called seekers of truth who are “ever learning” yet who seem “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). The reason they never find the truth is because they “turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:4).

The fact is that Jesus said: “I am…the truth” and also that “thy word is truth” (John 14:6; 17:17). For any who would say with Pilate “What is truth?” (John 18:38), there is the definitive answer! HMM

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 67

NOTE IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS Just key in “ptl2010.com”

Cobwebs and cleanout

It is the practice in many homes to have periodic cleanouts of cobwebs and accumulation of junk. These cleanouts are necessary for cleanliness and release space occupied by the junk for replacement with new and more useful things. Junk could hinder us from securing new necessities. Likewise I need to clear and clean my heart of spiritual cobwebs i.e. doubts and fears and hindrances like compromising relationships and wrong beliefs. I need to have a right relationship which is often marred by doubts and fears and wrong teaching.

Help me Lord, I ask for your mercy, foregiveness and cleansing. I repent of all my faults, distrust and not letting You be in control of my total life. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

Psalm 139:23-24 Search meO God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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Nuggets – O My Soul

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psalm 42:5)

This expression (“O my soul”) is not used here by the psalmist as a trite exclamation but as a plea of heart-searching introspection, concerned over the dark depression that was about to settle over him because of the oppressions of his enemies (Psalm 43:2). The question in our text is asked three times by him in these two short psalms (Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5), and each time he answers himself: “Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him.”

Yet, God continued to withhold His answer. His enemies were taunting him about it (Psalm 42:3, 10), and the psalmist, in spite of himself, found himself crying out “Why?” no less than 10 times. Nevertheless, his faith in God never failed, and it thus becomes a great testimony to us today for he asked his “why?” questions in submission to God’s will. When we are tempted to “go…mourning because of the oppression of the enemy” (42:9; 43:2) and still God seems to have “forgotten,” then is the very time we must continue to affirm: “I shall yet praise him!” He is “the God of my life,” and “in the night his song shall be with me” (42:8).

It may not be God’s will to set us free from the “noise of thy waterspouts” (42:7) or “the deceitful and unjust man” (43:1), but His light and truth will still lead, and we can yet praise Him, despite the circumstances.

In our text, the psalmist praises God for “the help of his countenance.” In the verses that echo this verse (42:11; 43:5), his testimony is slightly—yet significantly—changed. “I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance.”

Therefore, even in a dark night of “O my soul,” we can see Him by faith, with countenances full of joy. HMM

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 66

NOTE IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS Just key in “ptl2010.com”

Through the fire

God covers me with His protection during times of attacks, so that I will not be burned or scorched. It is these times of trials and tribulations that I must look to my faith, which directs me to walk by the unseen (that which I know to be God’s Truth), and not by what I see or feel with my natural eyes and my flesh (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Hebrew word for “burned” is kavah (pr. kaw-vaw), meaning “prick, penetrate, blister, and “scorch” is baar (pr. baw-raw), and is “consume by fire or eating.”

If we look at the origin of “flame,” it comes from the Hebrew term lahebeth (pr. lah-eh-beth) which is “a flame, head of a spear.” The Farflex Dictionary defines the head of a spear as “any person or entity that leads or initiates an attack.” Have I been on the receiving end of an unwarranted and unfair verbal attack ? Have I been falsely accused, with some ugly things said about me? I have two choices: I can either let these allegations or circumstances eat me alive, or I can trust God to be my defense, and protect me by not allowing these words to penetrate and blister my soul; thus having no affect on me. Whether they are false and hurtful words spoken, or circumstances such as a job loss, foreclosure, eviction, loss of a loved one, or any other event brought on by the world or the enemy, it doesn’t have to eat me alive; in truth, it only will if I let it by letting go of God.

Remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, chose to trust God completely to deliver them. Daniel Chapter 3 tells us that when these young men were pulled out of the fire (which was made seven times hotter just to be sure they would be consumed); not only were they alive and well, but furthermore “They [king and guards] saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them” (Daniel 3:27b). Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords who promises that He is with me always (Matthew 28:20).

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