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…
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?
Usually, we only see the grace and material blessings the Lord Jesus bestows on us as His love. Actually, between the lines of the Lord Jesus’ words there is also His selfless love for us mankind.
The Lord Jesus was tempted by Satan three times as recorded in Matthew 4:1–11. Do you know the meaning of the Lord Jesus being tempted? What lessons should we learn?
Today’s Gospel And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. – Matthew 28:9 Reflection This verse record the facts of the Lord Jesus’ resurrection three days after His crucifixion. The Lord Jesus’ resurrection to mankind is undoubtedly important. How could we not be excited about it? In joy and excitement, let us calm down and think about these two questions: What deeper meanings does the Lord Jesus’ resurrection have? What are the Lord’s intentions when He taught His disciples after His resurrection and appearance? When I was studying related materials, I saw these words in a spiritual book: “The scripture contains the following line describing the Lord Jesus after the resurrection: ‘then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you.’ It’s very clear that the Lord Jesus at that time was no longer a flesh, but a spiritual body. This was because He had transcended the limitations of the flesh, and when the door was closed He could still come into the midst of the people and allow them to see Him. This is the greatest difference between the Lord Jesus after the resurrection and the Lord Jesus living in the flesh before the resurrection. Even though there was no difference between the appearance of the spiritual body of that moment and the appearance of the Lord Jesus from before, Jesus in that moment had become a Jesus that felt like a stranger to the people, because He had become a spiritual body after being resurrected from the dead, and compared to His previous flesh, this spiritual body was more puzzling and confusing for people. It also created more distance between the Lord Jesus and the people, and people felt in their hearts that the Lord Jesus in that moment had become more mysterious. … the first thing that the Lord Jesus did after His resurrection was to allow everyone to see Him, to confirm that He exists, and to confirm the fact of His resurrection. In addition, it restored His relationship with the people to the relationship He had with them when He was working in the flesh, and He was the Christ they could see and touch. This way, one outcome is that the people had no doubt that the Lord Jesus had been resurrected from death after being nailed to the cross, and there was no doubt in the Lord Jesus’ work to redeem mankind. And another outcome is that the fact of the Lord Jesus appearing to people after His resurrection and allowing people to see and touch Him firmly secured mankind in the Age of Grace. From this time on, people could not return to the previous age, the Age of Law, because of the Lord Jesus’ ‘disappearance’ or ‘desertion,’ but they would continue forward, following the Lord Jesus’ teachings and the work He had done. Thus, a new phase in the work in the Age of Grace was formally opened up, and the people who had been under the law formally came out from the law from then on, and entered into a new era, with a new beginning. These are the manifold meanings of the Lord Jesus’ appearance to mankind after the resurrection.” After reading these words, I had gained some understanding. Before the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He was in the flesh. After the resurrection, He appeared to man in a spiritual body with the image of the flesh. At that time, the Lord Jesus had transcended the limitations of the flesh, and could come among His disciples and appear to them when the door was closed. Although His outward image didn’t change, He had become a spiritual body. Facing the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus, the disciples felt that it was mysterious, and there was also confusion and distance growing inside them. The Lord Jesus was clear about man’s mentality and need. So, after the resurrection, He appeared to man for forty days, and ate bread and fish and explained the scriptures to His disciples. So that man could see that He was still the same Lord Jesus, tangible with flesh and bones, and would no longer think that the resurrected Lord Jesus was a spiritual body that they couldn’t touch or approach. In addition, they could see His existence and recognize Him, with no more doubt but confirmation of His resurrection. In this way, the relationship between man and God would be restored to their relationship before the crucifixion. They would say, “The Lord has risen from dead! He is the same as before. He loves us the same way He used to. He cares about us, He doesn’t leave us, and He is still with us, still on earth.” Besides, through His resurrection and appearance to man, the Lord Jesus opened up a phase of the work in the Age of Grace, and led man to come out from the law and enter into the new age. All the followers of Him knew that He is Christ, the incarnated God, and God Himself, and their faith was thus strengthened. Later, His disciples took His resurrection as the greatest vision, and began to testify about Him, telling people the facts of His work, and to preach the gospel, which has been spread across the world today. So, the meanings of the Lord Jesus’ resurrection can be seen from above. » You may be interested in reading more: • 3 Truths About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ We Should Know • Why Did the Resurrected Jesus Christ Appear to His Disciples Many Times? • The Lord Jesus’ Words to His Disciples After His Resurrection
Today’s Gospel Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.– Matthew 26:41 Reflection This is the Lord’s exhortation for man. He wants to tell us that Satan often uses money, fame and fortune, lustful desires, and so on, to tempt us in this dark, evil generation. So we cannot leave God but watch and pray so Satan will have no opportunity to exploit. Or else, when Satan’s temptations come upon us, even if we are willing to satisfy God and act according to God’s words, we cannot forsake our flesh but are tempted by Satan, thus being plunged amid Satan’s temptation. In the Lord’s words, we can understand that the power of prayer is the weapon that will help us defeat Satan. If we often watch and pray, then we can keep a normal relationship with God, gain His care and protection, and overcome Satan’s various temptations. God says, “Prayer is one of the ways in which man cooperates with God, it is a means by which man calls upon God, and it is the process by which man is touched by God’s Spirit. It can be said that those who are without prayer are dead ones without spirit, proof that they lack the faculties to be touched by God. Without prayer, they are unable to attain a normal spiritual life, much less are they able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit; without prayer, they sever their relationship with God, and are incapable of receiving God’s approval. Being someone who believes in God, the more you pray, the more you are touched by God. Such people have greater resolution and are more able to receive the latest enlightenment from God; as a result, only people like this can be made perfect as soon as possible by the Holy Spirit.” After understanding the importance of prayer, we should quiet our hearts before God and offer true prayers to Him. May God look after us and protect us, so that our hearts won’t leave Him. » Read more on our Sermons on Prayer page, or click on the related articles below: • 3 Principles of Prayer Help You Obtain the Lord’s Response Easily • How to Draw Near to the Lord in a Hectic Work Life • What to Do When You’re Losing Faith in God in Setbacks
Today’s Gospel And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will. – Matthew 26:39 Reflection On seeing this verse, I cannot help thinking of a passage I read online a few days ago: “Look at the prayer of Jesus (mentioning the prayer of Jesus is not to make people take the same angle and position as Him), He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane: ‘If it be possible….’ That is, ‘if it is possible.’ It happens through consultation and not through saying ‘I ask You.’ He was keeping a submissive heart in His prayer, and in His submissive state, He prayed: ‘If it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.’ He still prayed like this the second time, and the third time He prayed: ‘May Your will be done.’ He grasped the will of God the Father, saying: ‘May Your will be done.’ He was able to completely submit without choosing Himself in the slightest degree. He said, ‘If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.’ What does that mean? It is because of the thought of bleeding on the cross to His last dying breath and the great pain. This involved death and was said under the premise that He had still not completely grasped the will of God the Father. He was very submissive since He was able to pray that way despite the thought of the pain of being crucified. His prayer was normal, He didn’t pray to strike bargains nor to say it had to be removed, but rather it was to seek God’s intentions in a situation that He didn’t understand.” Although the Lord Jesus didn’t understand the will of heavenly Father and knew that He should endure the pain of death, He didn’t pray to make demands or strike bargains, but held a submissive and seeking attitude. The Lord Jesus’ prayer has shown me the path to entering into true prayer. In my prayer, I always say, “Oh God, I don’t know how to do it. May You give me wisdom.” and I even say, “Oh God, this man always finds fault with me, may You move this situation away, and I don’t want to experience that.” After reading these words, I understood that many times my prayer is not after God’s heart, for in my prayer there are full of demands and extravagant desires of God, and I have no sense that one of God’s creations should possess. Thank God for His guidance, so that I understood how to pray to be after the Lord’s heart later. Amen! » You may be interested in reading more: • 3 Principles of Prayer Help You Obtain the Lord’s Response Easily • 4 Keys to Help Our Prayers Be Accepted by God » Most people also watch Christian Music Videos: Come Before God Often
Today’s Gospel And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. – Matthew 25:15 Reflection From the words of the Lord Jesus, we can see that God created everyone and gave them different missions, different talents and calibers, all of them have appropriate positions. God’s words say, “The functions are not the same. There is one body. Each does his duty, each in his place and doing his very best, every spark of enthusiasm a flash of light, seeking maturity in life, thus will I be satisfied.” Everyone has their own strengths and advantages. As long as we are able to obey the Creator’s sovereignty and arrangements, and do not blindly envy or belittle others, and view ourselves correctly, then we can all play our roles and strengths in the right place, to fulfill the duties of a created being, and live out a meaningful life. » You may be interested in reading more: • Best Way to Resolve Inferiority • 4 Tips for Christians to Get Along With People and Build a Good Relationship • Three Principles for Serving God Harmoniously
Today’s Gospel And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. – Matthew 25:6 Reflection There are many prophecies in the Bible about the second coming of Jesus Christ. Presently, public morals are degenerating with each passing day. The human race is become increasingly evil and depraved. Disasters are occurring frequently around the world. Rarely seen astronomical phenomena are also appearing. The Bible’s prophecies regarding the return of the Lord have basically been fulfilled already. Many pious Christians have premonitions that the Lord has already returned … Now that the Lord has returned, how should we welcome Him? Speaking of the matter of welcoming the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus once said something really important: “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). That shows that there are people preaching and bearing witness to the second coming of Jesus Christ when He comes again. Through men, the returned Lord makes His voice known to everyone who is waiting for His appearance. God wants us to be like the wise virgins who can humbly seek and listen to His voice. Now that we have understood Jesus’ will, if we hear someone bearing witness to Jesus’ second coming, we should carefully listen to God’s voice as the wise virgins did and measure whether what they preach is the utterances of God; we can also go to find the preachers who spread the gospel of second coming of Jesus and judge whether that is the appearance of God. Only in this way can we have the hope to receive the second coming of Jesus Christ. Just as one passage of God’s words said, “Since we are searching for the footprints of God, we must search for God’s will, for the words of God, for the utterances of God—for where there are the new words of God, there is the voice of God, and where there are the footsteps of God, there are the deeds of God. Where there is the expression of God, there is the appearance of God, and where there is the appearance of God, there exists the truth, the way, and the life.” » You may be interested in reading more: • The Lord Jesus Is Standing at the Door and How Can We Welcome Him? • How to Welcome the Lord’s Return to Be After God’s Will • Key Principles of Welcoming the Lord’s Return
Today’s Gospel Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes. – Matthew 24:44 Reflection Two thousand years ago, the Lord Jesus said, “And, behold, I come quickly” (Rev 3:11). All those who truly believe in the Lord obsessively hope that they can be raptured into the kingdom of heaven when He comes again. Everyone firmly believes that the Lord will come again in the last days, but how will He come and how will He appear to us? Many people haven’t pondered the Lord’s will from His words “… for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (Mat 24:44). Since He said that we cannot imagine when He comes again, then how should we welcome His return? As a matter of fact, the Bible verses have shown us the path, such as, “Behold, I come as a thief” (Rev 16:15), “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Mat 25:6), “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). All of these verses show us that the Lord will come as a thief in the last days and express His words to knock on the door of our heart in secret. Wise virgins who are watching and waiting have followed the footsteps of God and attended the wedding feast of the Lamb since they heard the voice of God and saw the appearance of Him and recognized the returned Lord Jesus. Share a passage of God’s words, “Since we are searching for the footprints of God, we must search for God’s will, for the words of God, for the utterances of God—for where there are the new words of God, there is the voice of God, and where there are the footsteps of God, there are the deeds of God. Where there is the expression of God, there is the appearance of God, and where there is the appearance of God, there exists the truth, the way, and the life.” » You may be interested in reading more on our The Gospel of Jesus Christ about Second Coming of Jesus Christ, or by clicking on the articles below: • I’ve Learned How to Recognize the Returned Lord • Two Kinds of Prophecies of Lord Jesus’ Second Coming • The Lord Jesus Is Standing at the Door and How Can We Welcome Him?
Today’s Gospel Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. – Matthew 24:40-41 Reflection As we all know, many people believe in the Lord, some of them are true believers and some are false. Therefore, when the Lord comes again, some people will be raptured into the kingdom of heaven, some will be abandoned and eliminated and go to hell. The Lord Jesus asks us to be ready for His second coming at any time so that we won’t be abandoned by Him. Now the last days have arrived, and the day of the Lord is soon coming. None of us want to be forsaken by the Lord. Then what kind of people can enter the kingdom of heaven? What kind of people will be forsaken and punished? How should we welcome the Lord to avoid being forsaken? In fact, the Lord Jesus has already told us the answer. The Lord Jesus said, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). From these verses, we can see that when the Lord Jesus comes again, He will utter words and knock at the door of those who thirst for God’s appearance. Those who can hear the returned Lord Jesus’ voice and seek and accept Him are the wise virgins who have been caught up before God and attended the marriage feast of the Lamb; while those who do not humbly seek the appearance and work of God and cannot recognize God’s voice are the foolish virgins who will be forsaken by the Lord, fall into disasters, crying and gnashing their teeth. So, in the face of the second coming of Jesus, we should humbly seek and carefully listen to the voice of God as wise virgins did. Thus, we won’t be forsaken by the Lord. Just as God says, “Since we are searching for the footprints of God, we must search for God’s will, for the words of God, for the utterances of God—for where there are the new words of God, there is the voice of God, and where there are the footsteps of God, there are the deeds of God. Where there is the expression of God, there is the appearance of God, and where there is the appearance of God, there exists the truth, the way, and the life.” » You may be interested in reading more: • Hearing God’s Voice: How to Be a Wise Virgin to Welcome the Lord’s Coming • 4 Principles for Wise Virgins to Recognize the Voice of God » Most people also watch Gospel Video Clips: “From the Throne Flows the Water of Life” Clip: How to Look for the Footsteps of God’s Work
Today’s Gospel Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. – Matthew 24:35 Reflection This verse allows me to feel that the authority of God’s words is immeasurable. No created beings can change God’s words. Just as when God made a covenant with Noah, He said “set my bow in the cloud.” Then the rainbow continues to exist and never changes for thousands, tens of thousands of years until now. The covenant the Creator made and the words God speaks cannot be changed or exceeded by any created or non-created beings. When to change is determined by God. God’s words say, “Heaven and earth may undergo great upheavals, but the authority of the Creator will not change; all things may vanish, but the authority of the Creator will never disappear. This is the substance of the Creator’s immutable and unoffendable authority, and this is the very uniqueness of the Creator!” From God’s words, we saw that no one can change the Creator’s authority. Since He had made a covenant and said the words, then that won’t change and can never be changed by anything. Only the Creator has such unique authority and ability. This proves the practical side of “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” » You may be interested in reading more: • Only God, Who Has the Identity of the Creator, Possesses the Unique Authority • Under the Authority of the Creator, All Things Are Perfect » Most people also watch Christian Movie: “The One Who Holds Sovereignty Over Everything”