By Wang Ting Can I Enter the Kingdom of Heaven Only by Working Hard but Not Being Purified? Entering the kingdom of heaven is the goal I will pursue all my life. To this end, I often read Bible, preach the gospel and work hard for the Lord. It pays to pay more price because I can enter God’s kingdom to enjoy wonderful blessings together with the Lord. However, I find that I still often commit sins: I cannot help but judge others if what they did does not conform to my will; I hate my son when I can’t handle him. Gradually, I feel a little bit confused: Can I enter the kingdom of heaven by working hard but not pursuing to be purified? How can I enter the kingdom of heaven? For this, I often examined the scripture. Finally, I found a way to enter the kingdom of heaven according to one word of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesussaid, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). “Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come to me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Only following God’s will and becoming as little children, can man enter the kingdom of heaven. But, another question has arisen: I shouldn’t take “as little children” literally, then what does it mean? I had searched the answer for a long time. I didn’t find it in a book until very recently. It says, “those who are pure; those who are open; those who are honest; those who are not controlled by any person, thing, or matter; those who are childlike in appearance though they are mature in life, these ones are My beloved, the objects of My blessing” (“The Sixty-ninth Utterance”). “you ought to know that God likes an honest man. God has the substance of faithfulness, and so His word can always be trusted. Furthermore, His actions are faultless and unquestionable. This is why God likes those who are absolutely honest with Him. Honesty means to give your heart to God; to never play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never cover the truth; to never do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and to never do that which is done merely to ingratiate yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man” (Three Admonitions). I got to know after reading these words, “as little children” in the kingdom of heaven refers to the honest. God’s substance is faithful, so He requires us to be honest. Whether saying or doing, we should act in harmony with God’s will and be an honest person who satisfies Him. Comparing these words with myself in real life, I displayed many behaviors that are dishonest. God has been wholeheartedly devoted to us mankind and requires us to love Him with sincerity. Thinking back on my years spent following God, I realize that all my sacrifices were paid for blessings and entering the kingdom of heaven, not for carrying out the responsibilities of a created being. Believing in God with making deals with Him is dishonest. Besides, when I get along with others, I also have lots of dishonest behaviors. Seeing that my co-workers are whispering, I guess whether they’re talking about me or have any opinions of me. In the church, I’m usually afraid of giving offense to others. Whenever the pastors and elders say something that doesn’t accord with the Lord’s teachings, I dare not come forward with what I see. Whenever brothers and sisters don’t follow the Lord’s way or live in sins, I won’t point it out but turn a blind eye to them. Even though I speak, I say half of it, and hold on to the rest, monitoring their expressions and then speaking accordingly. When I volunteer for the church, I’m doing it for show. I always have a chip on my shoulder about not having been known by others. All of the above should not be treated as honest actions. Even in my prayers, I don’t speak to God from the heart but promise Him the moon. Isn’t this tantamount to deceiving God? Not purified, how can I enter the kingdom of heaven? Because God is holy, and He doesn’t allow those who are impure to enter His kingdom. I realize that we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven if our sins are not purified. What Is the Way to Be Honest? One day, I chatted online with a friend in Christ. We talked about this topic. I got some enlightenment through her fellowship. At that moment, she read me a paragraph of words, “All that you do, every action, every intent, and every reaction must be brought before God. Even your daily spiritual life—your prayers, your closeness with God, eating and drinking of God’s words, fellowship with your brothers and sisters, living the life of the church, and your service in partnership—must be brought before God and observed by Him. It is such practice that will help you mature in life. The process of accepting God’s observation is the process of purification. The more you accept God’s observation, the more you are purified, and the more you are in accord with God’s will, so that you will not hear the call of debauchery and dissipation, and your heart will live in His presence. The more you accept His observation, the more ashamed Satan is and the more you are able to forsake the flesh. So, the acceptance of God’s observation is a path people must practice. No matter what you do, even during fellowship with your brothers and sisters, if you bring your acts before God and seek His observation, and if your…
Today’s Gospel And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him. – Matthew 4:22 Reflection Mentioned in the verse, “left”, we know that at that time Peter was fishing but got nothing. When the Lord Jesus asked them to fish again, they saw miraculous signs and got a good catch. At the same time the Lord Jesus called them to follow Him to be his disciples. Then they dropped the fishing boat, left their nets and leave their father and followed the Lord Jesus. It reminds me a sentence in the Bible, “whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). The Lord Jesus asks us to love Him more than the worldly pursuits, so what should we do to become people who love God? Should we treat God’s commission as the most important? God’s words say, “Are you aware of the burden you shoulder, your commission, and your responsibility? Where is your historic sense of mission? How will you serve as a good master for the next age? Do you have a great sense of masterhood? How would you explain the master of all things? Is it really the master of all living creatures and all substance in the world? What plans do you have for the progress of the next step of work? How many people are waiting for you to be their shepherd? Is your task a heavy one? They are poor, pitiable, blind, and at a loss, wailing in the darkness, ‘Where is the way?’… Have you ever thought how grieved and anxious God’s heart is? How can He bear to see the innocent mankind He created with His own hands suffering such torment? After all, mankind are the unfortunates that have been poisoned. Though they have survived to this day, who would have thought that they have long been poisoned by the evil one? Have you forgotten that you are one of the victims? Out of your love for God, are you not willing to strive to save those who have survived? Are you not willing to use all your effort to repay the God who loves mankind like His own flesh and blood? How do you interpret being used by God to live your extraordinary life? Do you really have the resolution and confidence to live out a meaningful life of a pious, God-serving person?” From this we can see God’s eager desire to save mankind. God’s work needs people’s cooperation. When God’s calling comes upon us, we’ll be faced with choices. If we choose to put our own interests first, then who will spread God’s gospel? This is worth our consideration. » You may be interested in reading more: • Are You Truly Follow Jesus Christ? • During a Spiritual Battle, I Relied on God to Overcome My Family’s Interference • A Young Christian’s Experience of Spreading the Gospel of the Lord’s Return to His Father • Blessed Are Those Who Truly Believe in and Follow God—Reflection on John 20:29
Today’s Gospel Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. – Matthew 5:6 Reflection The teaching of the Lord Jesus reminded me of the prophecy mentioned in Revelation that “I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely.” All those who seek the truth, hunger and thirst for righteousness will receive the provision of living water of life and be sated in their spirit when they come before God. It’s necessary for man to have an active seeking heart. Just as God’s words say, “God directs His word to all people. If you are willing to read it, He will enlighten you, but if you are not, He will not. God enlightens those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and those who seek Him. … God has spoken much, so you should do your utmost to eat and drink of His word. Without realizing it, you will come to understand and the Holy Spirit will enlighten you. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man, it is often without man’s awareness. He enlightens and guides you when you thirst and seek. The principle by which the Holy Spirit works is centered on the word of God of which you eat and drink.” “If someone always feels like he can’t eat or drink enough of God’s word, if he always seeks it and hungers and thirsts for it, the Holy Spirit will always do work upon him. The more someone yearns, the more practical things can come out of his fellowship. The more intensely someone seeks the truth, the more quickly his life grows, giving him rich experience and making him a wealthy man in the house of God.” From God’s words we can see, God treasures and enlightens those who long for and seek the truth. Meanwhile, this is a must practice for us seeking the appearance of God. For example, during the age when the Lord Jesus did His work, the scribes and Pharisees who abided by the Bible and were unwilling to seek the work and words of the Lord Jesus missed the chance to accept the provision of the Lord Jesus’ words. While those who thirsted for the work and words of the Lord Jesus received the provision of the living water of life and obtained the guidance of the work of the Holy Spirit. This is a huge practical example. In the Bible God prophesied many times that the Lord Jesus has words for us during His second coming in the last days. And whether we could gain these words or not needs our active seeking, for the Lord Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Though many people are afraid of being deceived by false Christs and antichrists in the last days, God will surely lead us to find His work and words if we are willing to seek. » You may be interested in reading more on our Christian Testimonies page about Return to God, or in the articles below: • My Lord, I’ve Finally Found You • A Catholic’s Testimony of Returning to God: Once I Was in the Wilderness, Now I Bathe in the Spring of Life • Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen and yet Believe – Reflection on John 20:29 » Recommended: Church Skit “The Lord Is Knocking”: Welcome the Return of the Lord
Today’s Gospel Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. -Matthew 5:11 Reflection Instances of Christians being persecuted were and still are very common. The Lord Jesus said, “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.” When the Lord Jesus came to work, the Pharisees resisted and condemned Him on the basis of His appearance and work that didn’t conform to their notions. Even though they knew that the Lord Jesus’ words had truth and authority, they refused to accept them for they were not in line with the words of the Bible, and they tempted Him and tried to find fault with Him. Meanwhile, to protect their positions and livelihoods, they not only restricted believers from following the Lord Jesus, but wantonly maligned and slandered the Lord Jesus. In the end, they nailed Him to the cross. This exposed their truth-hating and God-hating nature and substance. Just because of this, they also hated those pursuing the truth and seeking the light, thus many apostles and missionaries who followed the Lord Jesus were persecuted. What’s even worse, Christians suffered even greater persecution in China, where the atheistic party is in power and has been seriously persecuting religious belief. However, God’s wisdom is exercised based upon Satan’s schemes; He uses these environments to perfect us. God’s words say, “Perhaps you all remember these words: ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ In the past, you have all heard this saying, yet none understood the true meaning of the words. Today, you know well the real significance they hold. These words are what God will accomplish in the last days. And they will be accomplished upon those cruelly afflicted by the great red dragon in the land where it lies. The great red dragon persecutes God and is the enemy of God, so in this land, those who believe in God are subjected to humiliation and persecution. That is why these words will become reality in you group of people. As the work is carried out in a land that opposes God, all of His work is met with inordinate hindrance, and many of His words cannot be accomplished in good time; hence, people are refined because of the words of God. This too is an element of suffering. It is greatly arduous for God to carry out His work in the land of the great red dragon, but it is through such difficulty that God does a stage of His work to make manifest His wisdom and wondrous deeds. God takes this opportunity to make this group of people complete.” From God’s words we can see that the suffering we have undergone because of believing in God is commemorated by God. Through these environments, He tempers our faith, allowing us to gain the truth as our life, stand witness for Him, and overcome Satan’s temptation and attack, so as to be qualified for His promises and blessings. » Read more on our Persecution Testimonies page, or click on the related articles below: • When Forced by the CCP Police to Choose Between Her Belief in God and Her Son’s Future … • A Young Christian’s Story: How I Grew Under Persecution and Tribulations » Most people also watch Christian Movie: “Faith in God 2 – After the Church Falls” – The True Story of Chinese Christians
ByBy Li Zhong, Italy “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). What does it mean to be the pure in heart? Why should we be the pure in heart? What should we do to be counted as people who are pure in heart? These questions are all very important to us, because only by being the pure in heart can we welcome the Lord’s return, see Him and hear His voice in the last days, and thus have the opportunity to be saved by Him. Today, let’s study the Bible together, and see during the period of the Lord Jesus’ work, which people accepted the Lord Jesus with a pure heart and which people lost the salvation of the Lord because they didn’t have a pure heart. At that time, the Lord Jesus preached in all places to spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and performed a lot of miracles. However, the Pharisees could not comprehend what the Lord Jesus had done, nor did they think that was God’s deeds. They believed that the Lord Jesus couldn’t possibly be the Messiah because, be it the Lord Jesus’ name, His appearance, His parentage or what He had done, none of them conformed to the record about the Messiah in the Old Testament. They not only didn’t accept the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus, but also deceived the Jewish people into judging and blaspheming the Lord Jesus together with them. However, there were two kinds of people who treated the coming of the Lord Jesus differently when they heard the rumors and slanders. First of all, let’s take a look at the first kind of people. In John 10, it is said that on the Sabbath day the Lord Jesus cured a blind person in the temple and testified that He Himself was the good Shepherd, the Son of God, and that His authority came from God. But because of listening to the rumors from the Pharisees, some Jewish people stoned the Lord Jesus and said: “He has a devil, and is mad; why hear you him?” (John 10:20). “These are not the words of him that has a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” (John 10:21). “For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 10:33). Here we can see that the Jewish people did not take the Lord’s words and work seriously. They did not ponder whether there was truth in the Lord Jesus’ preaching, whether His preaching was beneficial and edifying to them, or whether His authority of performing miracles came from God. On the contrary, they followed the Pharisees blindly, condemning, judging, and blaspheming the Lord Jesus, and even stoning Him. Finally, the Jewish people followed the religious leaders in nailing the Messiah, whom they had been bitterly waiting for, to the cross. What they had done gravely offended God’s righteous disposition, which led to Israel being subjected to destruction and losing the opportunity of following the Lord forever. This is the lamentable end of those who did not carefully investigate the work and words of the Lord Jesus with a pure heart. Then let’s see the second kind of people, who possessed a pure heart. Take Peter and John as examples. While the Lord Jesus preached and did His work, they heard the slanders and blasphemies from the religious leaders and Pharisees, and saw their attacks and temptations to the Lord Jesus. Yet they didn’t follow them or condemn the Lord Jesus blindly. Rather, they practically investigated the Lord’s work through listening to His preaching and watching the miracles performed by Him. After following the Lord Jesus for a period of time, they came to have some true knowledge of the Lord Jesus and then firmly believed that what the Lord Jesus had said and done was indeed from God, and couldn’t be achieved by any man. Therefore, even though the religious leaders and Pharisees resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus, they weren’t deceived by the rumors from them, but still persisted in following the Lord with pure hearts, for they only followed and listened to God while believing in God. One of the Lord Jesus’ disciples Simon Peter said: “Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69). From this we can see that Peter had a sober and clear mind, so through the Lord Jesus’ actions and behaviors, he recognized that His identity was God Himself, and that He is the truth, the way and the life, and is the Messiah, whom they had been waiting for a long time. Finally, Peter was praised and blessed by the Lord Jesus. From these two different results caused by different choices, we can see that those without pure hearts will suffer misfortune while those with pure hearts will be blessed. So having a pure heart is really very important for us to welcome the return of God. Having a pure heart means that we can discriminate between right and wrong among different views, and don’t listen to or obey others foolishly; we don’t randomly measure God’s work and words, but can personally investigate God’s work. Only in this way can we avoid making the great fault of forsaking the Messiah while waiting for Him, and have the opportunity to see God and hear God’s voice. 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). It has been already more than two thousand years since the Pharisees deceived the believers into nailing the Lord to the cross. The record of this fact in the Bible gives us an admonishment: In dealing with the return…
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?
Do you know the significance of the Lord Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18:12–14? How did God show His love through His words? As I read these words of the Lord and pondered the parable He spoke, I deeply appreciated God’s sincerity in saving 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