On the way to the land of Canaan, Moses sent the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel to spy out the land of Canaan. Seeing the people living there were burly, strong, big, and strapping, except Joshua and Caleb, the other ten were very scared…
Editor’s Notes: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). The Lord Jesus taught us to be people who are pure of heart, because only such people can recognize God’s voice and follow God’s work. From the examples of a blind man and the Pharisees recorded in the Bible, Jack, a Christian, has deeply felt that being pure of heart is more important than being sighted! Jack, who had just returned from evangelizing London, arrived at the door of a coffee shop around the corner at 2 p.m. as usual. Perhaps because the owner of this coffee shop was a Christian, there were free copies of the Bible there for every Christian friend to read. For Jack, this place was of course his first choice, because the quiet environment there enabled him to have more closeness with the Lord. As soon as Jack walked in, a skillful barista saw him. This barista had known Jack for a long time, therefore he knew Jack’s habits—an espresso and a Bible would be quite enough. Jack walked to his usual table next to shelves of copies of the Bible. He gently took one from a shelf, then opened it, and began to read in earnest. He saw these verses, “And it came to pass, that as He was come near to Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passes by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, You Son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, You Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought to Him: and when he was come near, He asked him, Saying, What will you that I shall do to you? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said to him, Receive your sight: your faith has saved you. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God” (Luke 18:35–43). Jack carefully pray-read these verses, and thought to himself, “In order to make people confess and repent, the Lord Jesus did many miracles, such as curing the blind man who begged Him to do so. Before performing this miracle, the Lord said, ‘Your faith has saved you.’ The Lord Jesus observed the depths of people’s hearts, and could look upon anyone’s deeds and thoughts. Because of the blind man’s faith in the Lord Jesus and also because of the Lord’s great power, the blind man could see.” “Sir, it’s your espresso. Please enjoy it.” A waiter’s words interrupted Jack’s thoughts. Jack politely nodded his thanks. Then, lifting his coffee cup, he once again fell into deep thought: The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Yes! Only people who are pure of heart are able to recognize God’s voice, follow God, and gain God’s salvation. Though the blind man couldn’t see, his heart was not blind. Instead, he had a clear heart and believed in the Lord Jesus, so he gained the Lord’s mercy and grace. Jack took a sip of his coffee, tasting its bitter flavor. Then, he read another verse, “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He has Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casts He out devils” (Mark 3:22). After reading it, he remembered that when the Lord Jesus came to work, He healed lepers, made the crippled walk, used five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five thousand people, and even raised the dead; moreover, His preaching had authority and power, and many people followed Him. However, though the religious leaders, Pharisees, chief priests, scribes of the time saw all of this, they didn’t accept the fact that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah; they simply did not seek or investigate whether what the Lord Jesus expressed was the truth, the way and the life, whether His expression was beneficial to them, or whether the Lord Jesus came from God. On the contrary, they stubbornly clung to their own conceptions, condemned the Lord Jesus, blasphemed against Him and said that He relied on Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons, to cast out demons. They tempted the Lord Jesus whenever they could, and even incited the Jewish people to reject Him. In the end, they conspired with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus, committing the most heinous of sins. Jack realized this, “Though these people’s eyes could see, their hearts were blind. They didn’t recognize that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah or that the Lord Jesus’ authority to perform miracles came from God. Their eyes were worse than the blind man’s eyes, because they resisted God though being sighted. No wonder the Lord Jesus said, ‘And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which said, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive’ (Matthew 13:14).” After understanding this, Jack sighed with emotion, and thought, “Being pure of heart is really more important than being sighted! A blind man can be cured by the Lord, but if one’s heart is blind, then he can’t be cured. Seeking the true way does not depend on eyes, but rather hearts. Only when the eyes of our hearts are open and we have a sober and clear mind can we recognize God’s voice and know God’s work.” At the thought of this, Jack remembered what it says in the Bible, “Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). The Pharisees were blind and ignorant, and their…
God’s intention in creating man is not to simply let mankind live on the earth and manage all things, but to hope that we mankind can be His companion……
Today’s Gospel As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. – John 15:9 Reflection In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus came among man to do the work of redemption. During that time, He healed the sick and cast out demons, performed many signs and wonders, and gave man grace in abundance. In the end, He was nailed to the cross as a sin offering to redeem mankind from sin. So that we have the opportunity to come before God and enjoy His grace and blessings. This is God’s boundless love for us. Just as God says, “Jesus was the God who saved man. What He had and was was grace, love, compassion, forbearance, patience, humility, care, and tolerance, and so much of the work that He did was the redemption of man. As for His disposition, it was one of compassion and love, and because He was compassionate and loving, He had to be nailed to the cross for man, in order to show that God loved man as Himself, so much so that He offered up Himself in His entirety. Satan said, ‘Since You love man, You must then love him to the ultimate extreme: You must be nailed to the cross, to deliver man from the cross, from sin, and You shall offer up Yourself in exchange for all of mankind.’ Satan made the following wager: ‘Since You are a loving and compassionate God, You must love man to the ultimate extreme: You should then offer Yourself up to the cross.’ Jesus replied, ‘As long as it is for mankind, I am willing to lay down My all.’ And then He went up onto the cross without the slightest self-regard, and redeemed the whole of mankind.” » Read more on our The Gospel of Jesus Christ page about Knowing Jesus Christ, or click on the related articles below: • What’s the Significance of the Lord Becoming Man’s Sin Offering? • Good Friday Message: God Is Almighty, but Why Did Jesus Redeem Us by Crucifixion? • Why Did the Resurrected Jesus Christ Appear to His Disciples Many Times?
To be an overcomer is the hope of every believer in the Lord. But how exactly can we become overcomers? What does the Bible say about being an overcomer?
Today’s Gospel I am the vine, you are the branches: He that stays in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing. – John 15:5 Reflection The Lord compared us to the branches and compared Himself to the vine. Our relationship with the Lord is like the relationship between the vine branches and the vine. Away from the vine, the branches will lose the supply of life and then wither and die. From this we can see that the Lord is the source of our life and that it is very important to maintain a proper relationship with God. Only by constantly living before God to have a normal relationship with God can we gain the supply of God’s life and bear the fruit of life. Conversely, if we often stray far from God, cling to the world, and live in the enjoyment of the flesh and material benefits, but seldom read God’s words or pray to Him, then we will have no proper relationship with Him, nor will we have the work of the Holy Spirit. Our life will wither. This is equivalent to the branches withering after being away from the vine. So, how can we establish a proper relationship with God? I read two passages from a spiritual book, “People believe in God, love God, and satisfy God by touching the Spirit of God with their heart, thereby obtaining His satisfaction; when engaging with God’s words with their heart, they are therefore moved by the Spirit of God. If you wish to achieve a proper spiritual life and establish a proper relationship with God, you must first give your heart to Him, and quiet your heart before Him. Only after you have poured your whole heart into God can you gradually develop a proper spiritual life. “If you want to have a proper relationship with God, your heart must turn to God…. When one does not give his heart to God, his spirit becomes obtuse, it becomes numb and unconscious. This kind of person will never understand God’s words and will never have a proper relationship with God; this kind of person will never change their disposition. … When you are able to give your heart to God, you will be able to perceive every subtle moving within your spirit, and you will know every enlightenment and illumination received from God. Hold onto this, and you will gradually enter into the path of being perfected by the Holy Spirit. The quieter your heart can be before God, the more sensitive and delicate your spirit will be, and the more your spirit will be able to perceive the moving of the Holy Spirit, and then your relationship with God will become more and more proper.” From these words we can see: If we want to establish a proper relationship with God, we must give our hearts to Him and often quiet our hearts before Him. Of our whole beings, it is our heart that God places great stock in. Just as the Bible says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). God is a Spirit. Only with our hearts can we connect with His Spirit and establish a proper relationship with Him. If we want to give our hearts to God, first we should often come before God and have real prayer with God: speaking our hearts’ words to Him, truly entrusting our difficulties to God, and asking for His guidance and arrangements, instead of making prayers that are not sincere or prayers of a religious ritual. This is what it means to have a normal relationship with God. » You may be interested in reading more on our The Parables of Jesus page, or in the articles below: • Why Did Jesus Use Parables When He Did His Work? • The Profound Meaning Behind the Parable of the Vineyard • Establishing a Proper Relationship With God Is Very Important
Today’s Gospel Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27 Reflection In the last supper, Jesus exhorted His disciples: He won’t abandon them and the Holy Spirit will be with them. With Jesus’ presence, they don’t need to be troubled or afraid. Jesus’ words matter to us Christians nowadays. Maybe your family is not wealthy; maybe you don’t have the power; or maybe you are a labor in a small fast food restaurant … However, when we have a heart of fearing God and live in front of Him, He will be with us. Even though we are not wealthy, God bestows His peace upon us that makes us live in joy. Just as God’s words say, “No matter what issues we encounter, we’re not afraid; we have something to lean on and we have motivation. We’re not like non-believers—they are helpless, they’re constantly running around, and they’re constantly afraid of what might happen. They don’t want to get into a car accident, they don’t want to provoke a lawsuit or a quarrel, they don’t want to offend their boss, colleagues, relatives, or people who are useful to them, they don’t want to run into any disasters…. They are wound up tightly in their hearts every day, fearing that these things might happen. They don’t have God in their hearts, so they seem pathetic, helpless, and with nothing to lean on. We’re different. We don’t need to fear those things; God is supreme, He is our Lord, we can lean on Him, He is our Rock. God has already told us the principles of what we should practice when we encounter an issue. We live our lives in the light, in peace.” We often pursue rich material and the enjoyments of the flesh, but these are not what God bestows upon us. After reading this passage of God’s words, we understand that what God bestows on us are not about the material needs, but more about sureness and peace. Maybe we have taken daily life for granted, and don’t regard the peace we have owned as God’s protection, but God still silently does everything for us. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you,” God’s promise to us will never be unfulfilled. Let’s offer a prayer of praise to God for His bestowing peace and joy upon us, so that we can keep away from worries and fear. Amen! » You may be interested in reading more on our Testimonies page about God’s Protection, or in the articles below: • A Testimony of Faith: God Accompanied Me Through Those Dark Days • God’s Healing Power: After Her Husband Lost Consciousness • Understanding the grace of God: Accompanied by God’s Love, I Was No Longer Worried About My Children’s Illness
The Bible prophesies that when the Lord comes again, there will be the sound of the trumpet in heaven and hearing it means meeting the Lord. But what does “the sound of the trumpet” in the biblical prophecy refer to?
Today’s Gospel Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our stayed with him. – John 14:23 Reflection Jesus Christ said those who love Him will keep His words, and that only those who follow God’s way can be brought by Him into His kingdom. Then what exactly is following God’s way? Many people think it means reading the scriptures and praying every day, or laboring and spreading Jesus Christ’s gospel. However, the Bible said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). Why did Jesus Christ say He never knew those who preached and worked wonders in His name? It can be seen that if we labor and preach in exchange for the blessings of the kingdom of heaven, it is not following God’s way. Then what is truly following God’s way? Until one day, I read a passage, “In every age, God bestows some words upon man when He works in the world, telling man of some truths. These truths serve as the way to be adhered to by man, the way that is to be walked in by man, the way that enables man to fear God and shun evil, and the way that people should put into practice and adhere to in their lives and over the course of their life journeys. It’s for these reasons that God bestows these words on man. These words that come from God should be adhered to by man, and to adhere to them is to receive life. If a person does not adhere to them, does not put them into practice, and does not live out God’s words in their lives, then this person is not putting truth into practice. And if they’re not putting truth into practice, then they’re not fearing God and shunning evil, nor can they satisfy God. If someone can’t satisfy God, then they cannot receive God’s praise; this kind of person has no outcome.” This passage made me understand that following God’s way is to practice God’s current words and requirements. This is the most basic principle. Those who follow God’s way can obey and follow, practice according to His current requirements, accept His trust and bear witness to Him regardless of what He says or does. Those people, the ones that no longer rebel against God or resist Him, are the ones that He praises. Take Abraham, for example, he was able to follow God’s words. He dutifully gave his beloved only child to God. God rewarded Abraham for his loyal servitude. He blessed one of Abraham’s other children, allowing him to eventually become a great nation. Another example is Job; He revered God and stayed away from evil things. During his trials, when his wealth and children were stripped away, he cursed himself instead of blaming God; he continued to bless the holy name of Jehovah. Therefore, he was a perfect man in God’s eyes. Peter is yet another example. When he realized that Jesus Christ’s word and work have authority and are the way of life, he gave up everything and followed Jesus Christ all his life, longing to pursue the truth. After accepting Jesus Christ’s trust, he shepherded the church, in strict accordance with God’s requirements. Eventually he was able to serve God until death and love Him above everything else. All of these people obeyed and revered God. People like this are the ones who truly follow God’s way. If you say that laboring for Jesus Christ means you are following God’s way, then why, after the Pharisees traveled to the ends of the earth to spread the gospel and work for Jesus Christ, were they eventually condemned and cursed by Jesus Christ? That’s because they believed in God but did not follow God’s way. When Jesus Christ came to do His works, not only did the Pharisees not accept it, they lead the entire Jewish faith in fanatically condemning and resisting Jesus Christ. They even bore false witness to Him in an attempt to hurt Jesus Christ. Everything they did was a betrayal of Jesus Christ’s path; they took Jesus Christ as their enemy. Although these people looked as if they were enduring much suffering and laboring hard for Jesus Christ, we cannot say they were following God’s way as long as they didn’t obey God’s current words and work. Therefore, if we want to follow God’s way, we should seek and accept God’s current words and work, accept His trust, practice His words. Only in this way can we have the opportunity to be commended by God and to be brought by Him into His kingdom. » You may be interested in reading more: • Can People Be Saved Into the Heavenly Kingdom Through Baptism? • Does Working Hard Mean Following the Will of the Heavenly Father? » Recommended: Christian Movie “Stinging Memories” Clip: Do Good Behaviors Mean Obeying the Heavenly Father’s Will?
Today’s Gospel If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. – John 14:14 Reflection God is faithful. He is the only true God who presides over and administers all things. There is nothing that God finds difficult to do. When we often pray to Him about our deficiencies with a true heart, as long as our prayers are in accordance with His will, He will surely listen to us and help us. This is God’s promise to us. Then how can we enter into true prayer? God says, “Whilst praying, your heart must be at peace before God, and it must be sincere. You are truly communing and praying with God; you must not deceive God using nice-sounding words. Prayer is centered around that which God wishes to complete today. Ask God to bring you greater enlightenment and illumination, and bring your actual state and troubles before God to pray, and make resolution before God. Prayer is not the following of procedure, but the seeking of God using your true heart. Ask that God protect your heart, making it able to often be at peace before God, making you able to know yourself, and despise yourself, and forsake yourself in the environment that God has set for you, thus allowing you to have a normal relationship with God and making you someone who truly loves God.” God’s words clearly show us it is most important to pray with a sincere heart, and speak the words within our hearts to Him. We must not speak nice-sounding words to please God without practice as we pray. That is deceiving God and such prayer cannot be approved by Him. So we should pray with an obedient heart as creatures according to God’s requirements, and pray for seeking to love and satisfy God. Only then will God listen to our prayers and perfect us according to our prayers. » Read more testimony articles of how Christians saw the power of God by praying: • Receiving Healing From God, I Am Able to See the Light Again • That Night When My Everything Was in the Danger of Being Burned Out • Understanding the grace of God: Accompanied by God’s Love, I Was No Longer Worried About My Children’s Illness » Recommended: Christian Prayer Song – Call Out to God to Gain His Presence
Today’s Gospel Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake. – John 14:11 Reflection The Lord Jesus witnessed that He is the incarnate God Himself in this verse. In the Bible, He said more than once “I am in the Father, and the Father in me,” and He also said, “I and my Father are one” (Jhn 10:30). Obviously, He is the incarnate Spirit of God, is the appearance of God Himself, and the unique God Himself. Christ’s external appearance seems ordinary and normal, but He is the embodiment of the Spirit of God. He expresses the truth, carries out the work of God Himself to redeem and save mankind. Human beings have never conceived that the supreme God is incarnated to be a man. The Lord Jesus also told us that if we wish to know the incarnate God, we should know Him from His deeds and His work. Just as God says, “The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself….” “He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the substance of God, and He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He must do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon man, and show man the way. Flesh that does not contain the substance of God is surely not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance. If man sees only His external appearance, and overlooks His substance, then that shows the ignorance and naivety of man.” » Recommended for You: God is the Trinity, can such saying stand? The Lord Jesus said, “… he that has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jhn 14:9), “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (Jhn 14 :10 ), and “I and My Father are one” (Jhn 10:30 ). How should we understand these words? Please focus on this film clip. “Exploration of the ‘Trinity’” Clip: The Father and the Son Are One?
Today’s Gospel By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another. – John 13:35 Reflection Jesus’ this sentence reveals to us that we can manifest God and glorify Him if we can love one another. We often say “love one another”, however, we do not live it out in real life. There was a time when I had contact with older brothers and sisters. One of them was an old brother, in his 60s or 70s, who newly bought a laptop intending to read God’s words online. When he asked me about how to create a file, how to set the font and what that button was for, I would teach him patiently. However, when he still could not remember something even though I had taught him many times, I was fed up with him. My tone of voice became harsh. As a result, the old brother dared not ask me anything else. I knew that I was wrong behaving that way, but I couldn’t overcome the sin within. When I saw the old brother some time later, I found he was able to use the laptop. It took him 2 hours to type a short passage before, but now he only needed less than half an hour. I felt happy for him, and meanwhile, I noticed that a young brother had been teaching him. When I saw it, I felt guilty in my heart and regretted that I had not continually helped him. Later, I read a passage of God’s words, “Regardless of whether you are a younger or an older brother or sister, you know the function you ought to perform. Those in their youth are not arrogant; those who are older are not passive and do not regress. And they are able to use each other’s strengths to make up for their weak points, and they are able to serve one another without any prejudice. A friendship bridge is built between younger and older brothers and sisters. Because of God’s love you are able to better understand one another. Younger brothers and sisters do not look down on older brothers and sisters, and the older brothers and sisters are not self-righteous. Is this not a harmonious partnership? If you all have this resolve, then the will of God will certainly be accomplished in your generation.” God’s words pierced my heart like a two-edged sword. I was brash and arrogant, had no love or true help for the old brother. Other people couldn’t see God’s glory in me. God hopes that we can use each other’s strengths to make up for our weak points, love one another, and live as a human being. Then I repented and confessed before God, and may God change me through His work. Not long after, the old brother had difficulty in using his laptop so he asked me for help. I realized that God had heard my prayer, so I taught him carefully. When he was still unable to learn it, I quieted myself before God and repeatedly taught him. Gradually he learned it. When I saw his smiling face, I felt very happy. Glory be to God! In the following days, I focused on doing things according to God’s words, and my relationships with brothers and sisters became more and more harmonious. In my experience, I tasted that only if we act according to God’s words can we manifest God and glorify Him. Thanks be to the Lord! » Read more in these articles: