Why do charismatic members have high turnover in church generally?And what can we do?

This is a question of whether charismatic members have high turnover in church in the typical scenario. Having a conversation discussion with my professor today, the question was asked do we give consideration to the signs and wonders of the charismatics for evangelism’s apologetics etc? The answer is charismatics typically have high turnover of membership though leadership stay stable over the years. And because of the high turnover of membership there’s a concern for this type of church.

The reason for this high turnover of membership, is that there is a lack of sufficiency in the depth of the teaching of doctrinal truths. Because of that membership swing from one church to the other in search of the one that would truly satisfy them. This really got me thinking. I’m intrigued on the accuracy and the reality of that observation statement. I do see and agree that there is a general lack of the depth of the teaching of the word of God or doctrinal truths but I didn’t know there is a high turnover of the membership. So this is a real concern for charismatic churches while they have this great exuberant expression of worship with high energy for the Lord, the foundation of it all is the doctrinal truth or the teaching of the word of God.

I’m reminded of the book called Creedal Imperatives by Carl Trueman, having not read myself, however I have read some of the recommendations for this book. Essentially creed is a set of teachings that have been passed down for generations from our spiritual forefathers in the past. Creedal imperatives is urging churches to really look to the creed that has been established for us, so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheels so to speak. The call to affirm foundational truth of the doctrinal revelation from the Canon, that has been established since the early day fathers, like Athanasius, Augustine Calvin etc. the great spiritual giants who have gone before us, fought a good fight, defeated the heretical factions, and triumphed over them. They rose up to the occasion like the defense of the trinitarian God by Athanasius was just outstanding. Augustinians exposition of the Trinitarian God is amazing. Augustine’s teaching on the city of God exposes the weakness, vulnerability and selfishness of the city of man, the cause of downfall at that time the city of Rome. But the city of God coming will be the one that gives us hope that drives us to the ideal theocratic eternal joyful Kingdom of God that is coming. A lot of which is to be studied.

A church without creed is standing on flimsy ground, exposed to whims and fancies of leadership at the time in the church. Creed established the foundational truth that we follow. I feel a lot more secured if a church has the foundational creed established not from the leadership in the church but rather from 1500 years ago or 1700 or 1800 years ago. Creeds are great, like the Apostles creed, like the Nicene creed that established the Trinitarian God which is absolutely important and hugely profound as we defeated the Arians, with Augustinian help as well.

Moving forward to solve the problem of high turnover of our of membership we need to establish some good creedal teaching in the church. We need to go back to the creed to enlighten our people, into nourishing them and to feeding them. Like Jesus said ‘feed my sheep.’ The reason people float around churches having high turnover is simply they are not satisfied with the spirit of truth with the truth of God being preached. Basically they’re hungry spiritually. For people to grow healthily they should be rooted in one community, where they can receive nourishment to continue to grow and not just some imperatives telling them to do ministry all the time. The motivations to serve must be the Lord. God is the first causation of all. People are exhausted. People needs their creedal truth anchored in the person of Christ.

 A great example of the creed is the Westminster’s Confession which is thoroughly insightful foundational anchoring giving the truth like the inerrancy of the word of God, the simplicity of God, the first causation of God  etc. etc. All these have been established, and would require no more effort for us to dig into them. All we need to do is to capture this teaching and teach it to our folks so that they are anchored in the House of God.

I strongly urge many charismatics to embrace and look into creedal teachings and foundations. To look into Reformed Theology that shook the Vatican in Germany when Luther proclaimed that “I won’t recant, for my conscience is upon the Word of God, and to do otherwise will be wrong”. That challenged the Pope and birthed the Reformation movement. When John Calvin wrote the Institute of the Religion he broke new ground ,he brought it amazing insight systematic theology that revels the teachings of God’s word and function as  the anchors for our souls.

We should go for the best in God and not just the leftovers. The Lord bless you. Amen.

We all need to be glorified by God in our Weakness & Groaning

Romans 8:26 says in the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness where we didn’t know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans and he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 26           In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words;

That groaning cannot happen unless you really going through a time of soul searching. And soul searching will not happen without a time of challenges of hardship. And that’s why there is tremendous power in the time of hardship. If we let that experience slip by, we will miss a tremendous opportunity of God doing some deep work in our lives. Example the word of God talks about God who loved us and predestined and called us according to his purpose so that God will conform us to the image of his son. And then it goes on to say those he predestined, he called, he also justified, and he also glorified.

V28-30 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

You see how beautiful this is? That is the process how God makes someone beautiful and glorious. The process starts from predestination and then the effectual call of God and then the justification of God and finally the glorification of us. All these point towards glorification. The goal is we become more and more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and when that happens ,it will be the most beautiful, glorified person.

That glorification can never happen without predestination, justification and calling. But even with all this, no one can experience that process until that groaning happens. That groaning by the Holy Spirit in prayer is what we need to go through in our weakness. Romans 8:26 says the Spirit helps us in our weakness. Without weakness no one can experience God. Only through weakness in our crying out to God, the Spirit will come in and help us in our weakness. How does this help us? The Spirit prays with groanings too deep for us to understand.

That groanings I wanted to take it to a step further and connect that with our weakness. No one can groan without a weakness. They go hand in hand. It’s almost like weakness is the design of God for him to put in him the new craft of God.

Look at Moses, he was full of himself as the Prince of Egypt. He thought he was the savior of the Jewish people in Egypt in the time of slavery. He never experienced the weakness he needed, but when God came into his life, God threw him into the wilderness to expose him to humble him and to transform him in the wilderness. By going through that process, Moses truly existentially went through a time of real weakness in his life. It is at that low point of life, he encountered God. He saw the burning bush and his life is never the same anymore but he would not have come to that without a long process of humbling and weaknesses. That’s the way how God works.

The thing is when we are doing well somehow we just not that close to God. The maturity in God is when we are doing well and yet we even press in to be closer to God. That’s where we should aim for!

Jesus says “feed my sheep”. God’s people need to be taught and trained the scriptures of the word of God so that they be edified, encouraged and strengthened. That can happen when people of God is transformed when the preacher or the pastor is transformed and glorified. And non-glorified preacher will not produce a glorified congregation. We all need the process to be glorified by God. Amen.

Only the Trinitarian God can love us even before He created Us

Genesis 1:26–27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”           27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

God said, “Let us make man in our image”. God didn’t say “Let me create man in my image”. Interesting! Isn’t it? This is the first revelation of God as the Trinity God, meaning 3 persons one God. One of the most mysterious doctrine of Christianity. It has enormous implications which I will describe below. No religion in the world has 3 persons in One God. One God religion is Monotheism. That will includer Islam etc., but only Christianity has 3 persons in one God. But that precisely stumbles a lot of people.

John 1: 1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Did you see that? In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God! This is saying God was with God, linguistically speaking. But in reality, it’s the Son was with the Father, and they are God. Trinitarian God doctrine is immense. In fact without a Trinitarian God, there could be no love in this world. Because God the creator of this world had no one to love and be loved, as its just him. A very lonely God indeed! But Christianity shows us the God of Christianity has 3 persons loving one another from all eternity, and when he created the world, he simply shared his love with us. Or they shared their love with us. They didn’t have to learn how to love because God is love. But you can’t say that for any other religions.

The other concept is diversity and unity. How a monotheism one person God will not appreciate that as he all alone before human’s creation. So only in Christianity our God has that diversity and with true unity. And we as his creations are called to reflect his image, as we are created in his image, that diversity and unity is just part of us. And today that concept is actually from the God of Christianity. And same goes for Love, as we learnt love from our God, who had loved one another from all eternity.

Tethered with that is the social slogan of “tolerance” today which is proclaimed all over the world. You really can’t have tolerance when you are screaming for it, and in the process of it, shutting down those who differ from your opinion. In the process of doing that, you are not tolerant yourself. Calling others not being embracing and tolerant, is actually being intolerant. That’s not the case with the Trinitarian God, who has in a worshipful, joyful, delightful, loving and enjoying one another’s presence from all eternity. They don’t even need to proclaim tolerance, or intolerance, they merely go by who they are by themselves, which is what we called the simplicity of God, which means God never changes, h what he says is what he does. There is no hiccup per se. No changes. His words are eternal. The whole idea of tolerance can only be achieved within the framework of the righteousness of God. When we meet his righteousness, there is no such thing as intolerant. Racism will be thrown out of the window because that will not be the righteousness of God, so tolerance or not, doesn’t even arise. God will not tolerate sins, so shall we not. We love one another to build one another up. Rebuke in love, for the glory of God. With God in the center of our lives, marriage, career, jobs, relationship, we will always be strong and be held by stead hands from above.


The Danger of Doing God’s Will without deeply Knowing God

Rationalism considered itself sure of God’s existence and attached but little value to knowledge of his being. It is as if people had lost all sense of the majesty and grandeur of God. Disregarding all called metaphysical questions, people rushed on to do the will of God in order to do to know and to do it.—(Herman Bavinck Reformed Dogmatics, Vol 2, p 41)

Rationalism give little value to God’s being, they only want God’s will and ethics. That is the downfall of religions without God. The downfall of all pantheism, atheism, liberal theology, because you get to know the will of God, the ethics, but not knowing the God himself. Denying the transcendent God in all these, we will find ourselves floating in an ocean of lostness, and total despair.

This is incredibly similar to why many evangelical Christians preachers’ pastors dived right into the applications of doing the will of God, without understanding first the metaphysical questions of who God is, and what He does, and His calling for us.

Jesus says, no one can come to me except those whom my father called him or her. He also said that our greatest command is to love the Lord with all our hearts and minds.

Mark 12: 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

How can we rush into doing something for God, without knowing him better first? How can we love him if we don’t know him enough? We can only love him to the extent we know him. And yet, we are inundated with sermons calling us straight to serve God, be bold, have faith in God, etc. etc., without going deep into God first and foremost.

Paul says I pray that you may know him and the love of Christ:

Eph 3: 14 For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [m]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner [n]self, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [o]saints what is the width and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.

Paul prayed with his knees bent, asking that God may grant us strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit that we may be rooted in Christ’s love, and be able to comprehend the width, length, and height and depth of the love of Christ for us!! Which surpasses all understandings.

Paul wants us to know Christ, the love of Christ!

Knowing precedes doing. I believe that! Charismatics church upbringings in me, has caused me to be exposed to all these, but never the depth of the ontology and being of the Trinitarian God, until I am exposed to great reformed preaching’s and now in the seminary. I feel many are short-changed. They rushed into applications of sermons, without knowing the reasons of that application, the motivations. Example: We should go to church planting. Why? Because of Matt 28 the Great Commission. But why the Great commission? Because of whom Jesus is, and what he has done for us. All these…

It’s like we jumped into engineering without understanding the physics of it all.

Don’t park Jesus in the suburb in your marriage

I liked this term so much when I heard it preached by Tim Keller in his sermon on marriage. I have not heard such metaphoric illustration on marriage of a Christian married a non Christian or someone by name Christian. But it won’t apply if you yourself is a nominal Christian, as that would require a separate conversation.

What does that mean exactly? 

Not Good for Man to be Alone 
This is from God. God created Adam and let him rule over all the creations and name them all. 

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs

The man Adam had all the power to name animals etc but there was not a helper suitable for him. Suitable. Do you think this is what we call compatible relationship? When a Christian looks for a girlfriend/ boyfriend, does that suitable word come to mind? What you think as suitable must be scrutinized by the holy scriptures of God. Adam looks around and found no one suitable . He feels lonely. And God knows it. He said it’s not good for the man to be alone. He needs a helper. So God did this amazing miraculous work by putting Adam to sleep then miraculously pulled out a rib bone to create a woman. It’s to be noted that God created a man initially this way: Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the livestock and over all the earth, and over every crawling thing that crawls on the earth.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

It says here God created man and woman. That’s a big brush but the details comes in chapter two when God pulled out a rib from Adam and created Eve. So when God created Adam, 

Genesis 2 V18 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “At last this is bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called ‘woman,’ Because she was taken out of man.”

Woman was made out of a man. Adam said Eve is flesh of his flesh, and then God said the man shall leave his parents and become one flesh. That’s exactly what they were to begin with . Man and woman were one flesh. One flesh is the will of God the will of Gods creation. The beautiful creation of God is one flesh . 

We must get back to one flesh on a marriage. When God brought Eve to Adam, that is the first marriage in the universe. 

One Flesh

Genesis 2: 23-24Then the man said, “At last this is bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;She shall be called ‘woman,’Because she was taken out of man.”
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

This one flesh must be initiated by God. And it’s between the opposite sex. God’s original plan is a man and a woman. Different genders.

Finally you can’t be one flesh if you have a spouse who doesn’t believe in Christ or Christian by name. Then you would end up putting Jesus in the suburb when you live in the city. One flesh means you share everything in life permanently and legally. Thats really the vow a couple takes in marriage, the old vow. But its powerful. Thats really the meaning of One Flesh, sharing all of your life, being vulnerable and open and helping to sanctify one another.

Ephesians 26 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. 

As Christ sanctifies the church as the bridegroom, husband is to sanctify the wife and cleanse her with the word of God, so that she would be holy and blameless. This is a high call for the husband. But who can speak right into husband’s life or wife’s life apart from his/her spouse? That’s why sanctification can happen in the right marriage dynamics like nothing else.
All these can only happen, if we have Jesus’ right in our marriage, i.e. Jesus must be with us and not put in the suburb when live in the city, or the other way round.


The Compassion & Love for the Downtrodden—the Baghdad Boys Life Story

I heard from CBN and also The Gospel Coalition recently that one of the fastest growing churches in the world is found, in all places, the country of Iran! Nothing displays more the grace and glory of Christ than the contrast in this! While in America, we enjoy seven or more Bible translations at our fingertips and the power bible software like Logos, we have plenty of churches to choose from (though hard too), we struggle to see the growth of Christian population anywhere. Why?

To start with: I posted this video from Baghdad, Iraq about two brothers abandoned by their father, experienced and witnessed the cruelty and grossness of their society even within their own family, the story of which moved me to tears. How they from a Muslim upbringings, where shame reigns supreme in their society, found Christ and gave their lives to Jesus.

The apologetics that we need. The moving shattering lives of Baghdad and the power of kindness and love 💕 because of Jesus. Musika found Jesus.

The moving story of two Muslim young men, Ahmed & Mohr, from their shattered lives in Baghdad found Christ as they were almost killed by their own family and society. How they were begging for food bare footed on a boiling hot day, were met by amazingly, General Petraeus, one day on the street of Baghdad. His compassion moved him to get drinks and food for them; met their mum, and helped the devastated shattered mum running away from her husband and society, he offered her a job in the US army work. From there, they were nourished and recovered physically, mentally. Up to a point when the Iraqi society were threatening to kill the mum because she was working for the US army. She was then told by US army that she can’t work there anymore because of the threats coming in. But the General kindly again offered to help her refugee status to US, and of course, they took it, and were flown to the US. In the US, they looked for Arabic community, and these people brought them to church without pushing the gospel, but just showed them kindness.

Growing up in the streets of Baghdad abandoned by their abusing father, these boys began to fund God as their father, the love of the community shown to them. They saw the joy and peace among these people in the church, and they said “whatever that’s in them, I want” ! Before long, they gave their lives to Jesus. A truly movingly powerful testimony life story, that speaks volume to us.

The power of compassion and love for the downtrodden, bringing justice and help and love for those victimized, is a powerful story that many would be glad to embrace the God of such. The compassion story by Christians is really driven by the compassion and love of Christ for us, and our story is not humanistic, it is absolutely divine. There is nothing more powerful and sustaining and refreshing and hope giving than the story of the love and faithfulness and truth in Jesus Christ.

Jesus said in Luke 10:

30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he encountered robbers, and they stripped him and [q]beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 And by coincidence a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan who was on a journey came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, 34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 On the next day he took out two [r]denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’ 36 Which of these three do you think [s]proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” 37 And he said, “The one who showed compassion to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do [t]the same.”

This is the powerful Apologetics that we need to see more.

When You are Driven to Achieve in the Lord, Something Happens

The last few days have been crazy, as I just experienced a rather traumatic flight boarding and how the Lord saw me through. Then today I had another rather mind boggling experience, less traumatic, but more impactful in the long haul for me.

Not only has the Lord opened the door for me to regain my preaching to the flock, but I am also nearing the end of my Seminary for MA Biblical Studies. As most who knows about seminary or Bible school in some countries, we do MDiv for preparation for full time pastoral ministry. And in RTS it will take 106 credit hours to complete that, on top of that you would need to 400 hours of ministry in church certified, and answer verbatim 3×15 questions from Westminster Confession. And that also requires Greek Language & Exegesis, and Hebrew Language & Exegesis. Many seminaries in the US have dropped these biblical languages, but we wanted to have them for academic competency and biblical research and exegesis. I have to say, the two hardest classes are Greek & Hebrew. It’s pretty much hard core memory. But I love writing research papers. I have really loved writing since I get acquainted with writing for academic papers, and started blogging.

Where MABS is only 66 hours, MDiv requires 106 hours. You can see that it almost doubled. What’s mostly added to the MA degree is really the Applied Theology and the Pastoral Theology: like Discipleship & Leadership, Devotion, Worship, Church Polity, Communication, Preaching, Counseling, most of the good stuff that get to be used immediately in church. As a matter of fact, if you want to be ordained in America, generally you would need a MDiv, not just an MA degree.

So I started applying for a hybrid MDiv degree from RTS Orlando, transferring my almost finished MABS from RTS NYC. However, the tricky part of it is that they require 32 residential hours. Just to give you a sense of these “hours” or “credit hours”, a class of 3 credit hours will take 3 months of weekly class of 2 hours a week, and hence 4 hours self-work from home per week for 3 months. And that’s only for 3 hours! Or even 2 hours. Because I have done like 56 hours MABS, I have done most of the core subjects in the MDiv, and what’s left are really the Applied theology and pastoral theology. But by paper, they would still require me to attend 32 hours of residential in campus in Orlando. For that I will need to fly from NYC to Orlando, book hotel for 2 weeks a year. And because I have done most of the residential hour’s subjects, I would find myself sitting there taking like 2 hours in a one week intensive hybrid week, which normally would cover 9 credit hours. So I bailed out and dropped the ball and suggest they accept the hours we have already done in other RTS seminary campuses.

Then I got an email from the professor in charge, who told me that will accept me taking 20 hours in campus in view of the fact that I have completed most core subjects! Bingo! I am fired up and I am back on MDiv program.

I just want to conclude here that, the Lord watches over us, coming in and going out. I have been pondering over Proverb’s in asking the Lord for prudence and insight in life. So much wisdom in that. I know that I will some major decisions to decide and the Lord is making all these happen now. I am also invited by two churches to preach regularly now and the Lord is good. Amen!

We need more Compassion and Empathy in Our World-A Testimony how the Lord answered my prayers

Was on my way back from Maine in Bangor Airport two days ago to New York city. I was late to the airport due to returning our rental car, and waiting for shuttle to bring me to airport. And that’s after I dropped my wife at airport first and then went to pump gas before returning the car. Guess what? By the time I got to airport, it was 12 noon, and the flight departs at 12:18 pm, literally 18 min to rush. However, as I went through the security system, even with my TSA pass, I was expedited until they detected my coffee powder in the bag, and I was detained until they thoroughly ‘scanned’ the coffee powder. By then I had like 12 min left, and the door of plane to close 10 min before departure. Finally I got through the system, and ran with all my might to gate 53 and by the time I got there, I was greeted by a few lady officers there telling me that the door to the plane had closed. I looked outside the plane was sitting right there and I looked with frustration and sadness. I appealed to them, saying the plane is still here, and my wife is in the plane. They won’t budge because it’s the captain’s call. I pleaded with them to just open the door, and in 2 minutes I will be in the plane, and they would get a happy passenger, and news of their service will spread. But they refused to budge. They did call the captain, who said and also told my wife in the plane that it’s the  procedure they follow.

I prayed to the Lord for help, and if I don’t board then, I will have to spend overnight in hotel waiting for the next available flight at  6 am the next day. The extra dollars and anguish is just crazy. Then I decided to wave my both hands at the plane by the huge glass panel overlooking at the plane, hoping the captain will see me.

Then all of a sudden, the phone at the counter rang, and they told me that captain has opened the door to let me in. I thanked them and ran with all my might towards the plane. When I got in the plane, some passengers clapped for me. It was so encouraging, and then I blurted out how they refused to open the door and argued with me for more than 5 minutes when I could have been in and taken off . One woman kindly reminded me to cover my face with mask.

After I sat down, I asked Doreen, my wife, how did it happen? She told me that, the captain made an announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, I see that there is a passenger staring at me from the airport. I see that we are still early, and I decided to open the door to let him in.” That’s the story.

As we all disembarked after landing in NYC, on the way out, I met the captain who’s saying goodbye to all, I told him, “You saved my day! You are the one who had compassion and empathy when all doors closed per procedure. We need more people like you, and thank you!” He responded “Absolutely!”. We need courage to break the procedure even a little bit, because we have common sense, and  more importantly, we have empathy.

I loved how the Lord moved for me. You should see the women even warning me that by reopening the door again, the pilot risk losing his parking spot in JFK airport. Here I was so annoyed and upset, that even a 2 minute delay will cause a plane landing to lose its spot?

Regardless, I flew, and I got home safely and promptly. After a great vacation in Maine, the Lord is good. Amen.

Confidence in the Lord grows after you seen him working in Your Life

This is true wherever you go. God would never demand your faith in him merely or mainly through intellectual arguments. Though excellent and profound, it is not enough. You really need both to experience him personally and understand the intellectual teachings. However you can’t expect people to cook up their faith when nothing is happening even in the background. Of course, sometimes God takes a long time to respond. However He will respond, and looking at the world how broken it is today, politically economically or spiritually, we cry out to the Lord. He knows.

I spoke on a short video on God will give you a basis for you to build your faith. https://youtu.be/gWdPBnJGfy8

When Jesus walked on water in the dark hours in a stormy evening , the disciples’ boat was about to sink. They saw Jesus’ walking towards them and they were afraid thinking it was a ghost. But Jesus called on them and assured them and Peter even asked to walk on water too and he did! The first and ever man walking on water in history till today! No one has attempted that feat! When Jesus stepped into the boat, immediately the storm died down, and the disciples looked in amazement and awe and even asked “ Who is this man that even the storm obeyed him?” Ha-ha! That’s faith building right there . I bet the discipleship’s faith jumped a hundred fold that night! What’s Jesus doing to them? Do you think he was just being late and decided to walk on water? That storm was no accident. Jesus wanted to send a message to them that He is above the storm! He is above the natural forces! You and I can be assured he will come through for us! Jesus will never let us down.

Sometimes the answer to prayer has taken a long time, but it’s coming. Though it may not look like what we have asked but God knows better. You just have to trust him for that.

Similarly it will be unrealistic and unreasonable for the Lord to demand our faith when we don’t see anything happening. There are times like that we are going through, and we just have to wait upon the Lord.

Isaiah 40:28–31 (NASB95)

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

God gives strength to the weary. Are you weary? Hang in there with the Lord, He will give you strength.

Those who wait for the Lord, will soar or mount up with wings like eagles!! Waiting upon the Lord purifies us, purifies our motives.

If you are weary, and we do from time to time, you should wait upon the Lord. Waiting means hoping in the Lord. Without hope, no one can wait. It’s hope of the result from God’s help, that keeps us going. Wait for him!

I want to say that, once you have seen the Lord working in your lives, your heart will begin to settle down in peace. Without seeing the Lord’s working in your lives despite your many prayers and years of waiting, you will get restless. Restlessness due to prayers request not answered, can wear down a person. We need to see God working in some ways. From the testimonies of millions of Christians, God will come through. Look at David, the Lord is my strength, my shield.

Ps 5:11-12. 11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad,Let them ever sing for joy;
And may You shelter them,
That those who love Your name may exult in You.
12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD,
You surround him with favor as with a shield.

May God shelter us, so that we may sing for joy, let all who take refuge in God be glad! Once people feel how the Lord shelters them, they will love His Name and will exult in him as a result. Exult means with loud celebration and shouts of triumph! Exult–feel or show triumphant elation or jubilation.

How do you exult in God if you don’t experience Him?? Experience of God must come before us shouting in praise unto the Lord. The reason many Christians feel dry because they hardly experience the Lord’s goodness. Experiential theology is completely valid and embedded in the whole book of Psalms, championed by the greatest King of all times of Israel—David.

Come let us taste that the Lord is good.

Psalm 34:8–10 (NASB95)

O taste and see that the LORD is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the LORD, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.

Have you tasted that the Lord is GOOD?

The Suffering Messiah

The suffering messiah
It took me a while to realize the emphasis of the Gospel in Romans 1, it says it’s about the suffering Mesaiah. People usually connect with messiah with someone with power and might and not someone with suffering. It’s amazing that God used that theme to define the gospel. There are others that define gospel like grace, redemption , etc, but it’s the suffering messiah .

This is counter culture and counter initiative. That’s how God wins the world , not by what he used to do in the OT where he would send an angel and slain 200,000 Assyrian soldiers over night, or slain all the forst born of Egypt over night on Passover. That mighty power of God in the physical sense is gone, but the way God saves the world now as the messiah is through suffering.

The story of God Man suffering is well known for Christ died on the cross and resurrected after 3 days. That’s how he redeemed the world or whoever believes in him.

So why why did God do that? It’s a very dehumanizing and demeaning humiliating and painful suffering Kesus went though. The question should rather be how much does God love us for doing that.

It’s shocking that the path to glory , the path to redemption is suffering. There is really no choice because that’s the law of God that those who sin against him must die and forgiveness is only found in the shedding of blood as life is in the blood. That should hopefully wake us up from the laze affair laid back Christinaity where comfort and goodness and blessings reign supreme. This is be hard to sell as it’s so contrary to the path our Lord and Savior took. Therefore I would suggest we look at the call of God for discipleship in Christ.

If Christians today grasp the concept of sufferings to glory as led by the Lord Jesus, there will be a huge turn around from the lethargic indifference by so many nominal Christians. Or the materialistic Christians who look rather for material comfort blessings of God like in Deut 28, hence we lack the fire of God. What the early church folks went through was electrifying and that’s what we can learn. We need electrifying power of God that will help us rise above our lethargy and material seeking so to seek the Kingdom of God first.