Returning to our First Love in the Lord

Revelation 2:4 (KJV) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

This is one of the major problems of the Church today. Churches spend so much energy and time and resources, but their love for God (and for people) has been running dry.

This first love is actually an experience. It is this experience that characterizes a very hot Christian:

A Christian who is willing to give hours of quality time with God in prayer and Bible reading.

A Christian who is willing to deny himself of all the pleasures or dreams or comforts for the sake of drawing near to God and yielding to His will.

A Christian who is able to pray for others in heartfelt groaning and tears.

A Christian who is humble enough not to take credit for any good works he has done but rather give all the glory back to God.

A Christian who is willing to listen to what Jesus wants to say, taking aside all the worries of life (and the ministry).

The last one is what God has told us recently. Many Christians are acting like Martha, being busy for the Lord but not taking time to commune with Him in intimacy and listening. Thus, she ended up being bossy, being boastful, and being self-centered.

Luke 10:38-42 (KJV) Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Let us all return to God in our first love.

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Does Satan Work for God?

Does the Devil work for God? Short Answer: No. Long Answer that will require explanation: Yes.

The Devil does not work for God in the sense that the Devil hates to do so; he sees God as an enemy so his plans and actions are motivated to destroy or thwart or at least delay God’s plans and purposes.

However, because God is in control and accomplishes His purposes and that includes overruling the Devil’s actions, indirectly the Devil serves or works for God. To be a little more technically accurate, the Devil is a tool that is being used by God to accomplish His purposes.

Let us take the greatest ‘murder’ in all of human history as an example. (I put quotation marks for murder because it was not a murder after all, for Jesus voluntarily gave His life – John 10:11–15). And that is the Death of Jesus.

Who killed Jesus? The Jews? Pontius Pilate? Satan? The Pharisees? Well, they all had their part in killing Jesus, so partially they all did kill Jesus, they contributed to His physical earthly death.

However, it was God Himself who killed Jesus. It all started when God spoke of it in the Garden of Eden:

Genesis 3:15 (KJV) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

That Scripture tells us that it was God who dictated what will surely happen in the future at the Cross: The Messiah would physically die as an Offering to God for man’s salvation, and thru that death Satan would be permanently defeated. That’s it. God ordained the death of His Son and the Son agrees to the plan of the Father:

John 10:11, 15, 17-18 (KJV) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Those Scriptures tell us plainly that it was not Satan who took away Jesus’s life – but it was the plan of the Father and the Son for the Messiah to be killed. It might seem brutal to us, but it was the Father who killed the Son. Again, another Scripture:

Acts 2:23-24 (KJV) Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

So, in that incident, it was God’s plan to offer the Messiah as the perfect Lamb who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and the Jewish leaders and the unbelieving Jews and Satan took their respective parts in fulfilling it. So indirectly, the Devil did work for God.

Another example is the popular suffering of Job. Satan wanted to destroy the faith and devotion of Job to God, yet God wanted to strengthen Job’s faith and to show to Satan that Job loves God above all else, not because He is blessing Job. So again Satan was just a tool.

The more the Devil rebel against God, the more of God’s Justice and Holy Wrath will be magnified; the more people sin, the more God’s Grace of Forgiveness and God’s Righteous Judgement will be glorified.

Everything has been directed by God, and in the End everything and everyone will have their respective places as determined by God as revealed in the Bible.

My Family Hates me for my New Faith: How to Lessen the Hatred

My family has been raised as firm Roman Catholics, though I could not say that they belong to those very devout ones who attend Mass everyday. It was my decision to serve God wholly that brought hostility to my family, and not really my change of faith.

Religion is a serious commitment or choice to many families. As much as possible, many families prefer (mostly the parents) to have a one religion or faith for the entire family.

I myself as a converted Born-Again (Evangelical and Full Gospel) Christian from Roman Catholicism, I could say that conversion will almost always arouse dispute in the family. I mean ranging from small disputes to big family divisions in some few but true cases. When I was converted to Christianity, my family almost didn’t mind it. But when I decided to serve God fully, forsaking opportunities for good jobs and education, that started the fire in our home.

Family quarrels are inevitable when you are called by God. It will sometimes destroy peace.

Matthew 10:34-36 (KJV) Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

However, it is necessary to pursue a good relationship with God, at all costs. God calls men to full service very rarely, but He does. It is likely more possible that God is calling a person into a deep relationship with Him (first), rather than to a full service. In any case, when God pulls you out from your old religion into a living relationship with Him, you must yield to Him.

Matthew 10:37-39 (KJV) He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

What can I do then to lessen the hatred and opposition from your family members?

Though opposition is almost always inevitable, there are certain ways where we can minimize it. After all, we love our family and we would like them to be saved also, and not to turn out as our lifelong enemies.

  1. Pray, pray, and pray. When God tells you to do faith conversion, pray first then act. Always say in your prayers that this will let your family feel the love of God.
  2. Show that you are positively being changed by God. If you spend all your time in the Church and do not help in the household chores and do not speak anymore with your family, you are not helping your situation. You only worsen it by destroying your testimony in your home.
  3. Do them favors that come from your heart. They must feel it, that you love them more now than ever. Serve them. Of course don’t do them favors that will compromise your new found faith
  4. When you speak to them about your faith, whether you defend it or promote it, always do so using the hamburger message. That means the two breads contains positive content while the ham contains the hard message. The positive content may contain positive feedback about your family. That way, you somewhat makes the hard message more swallow-able without compromising it.

Personally, it took me ten years of praying and serving my family to make them accept my faith and my full service to God as a pastor. But now, Praise God, they are my first line of supporters!

Proverbs 27:5 (KJV) Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Matthew 5:13-16 (KJV) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Why we need the New Testament

Why the New Testament is relevant and needed today is a very good thought to ponder. The New Testament in invaluable to the Bible as a whole, and to the Christians. Without the New Testament, God’s Revelation to man will not be complete, and without it, the saints will not fully understand nor realised God’s purposes.

Why the New Testament is needed:

The New Testament is God’s Revelation about the New Convenant which is superior to the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant highlights the Law which God gave to Moses as a means of appeasing God’s anger and coming back to God. However, history reveals that it is never sufficient, for man could not and could never fulfill his obligations. The New Convenant is the superior one, highlighting the sacrifice of Jesus as God’s Lamb as a way of bringing man to God.

The New Testament brings God’s Redemptive Plan to man in completion. Having the Old Testament alone is not complete. Genesis 3:15, the seed of God’s Redemptive Plan will never be realised or understood without the New Testament. New Testament brings this to light and confusion is removed.

The New Testament fulfilled the expected Messiah from the Old Testament. The prophets prophesied more than 300 prophecies about the Messiah. All of Israel was waiting for His Coming. In the Gospels from the New Testament, the waiting has come to an end and almost all the prophecies were fulfilled, and the remaining few will be realised on His Second Coming.

The New Testament gives the final information on how God will put the end to evil, and bring Glory to His Kingdom and to His saints. On earth, Christians are sojourners, as citizens of heaven. The New Testament, especially the Gospels and some Pauline Epistles and Revelation give the details on how God will put an end to all the sufferings of His Children, how He will put an end to Satan once and for all, and gives us the glimpses of the future Glory to come reserved to God alone and His children. And this is our present hope, as we ensure in this broken world.

The Church is so blessed today to hold in her hands the complete 66 books of the Bible. The Early Church has only access to the Old Testament and some of the Pauline and General Epistles. God’s Word is under attack and under fire today as many scholars and critics try to challenge the authenticity and authority of those 66 books. Some on the other hand try to include other books to the Bible.

Let us then all pray and use our Bibles for personal growth and for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. In Faith we believe that the 66 books of the Bible were given to us to glorify God.


Hebrews 4:12 (KJV) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Psalms 12:6 (KJV) The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Isaiah 40:8 (KJV) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

My Favorite Books of the Bible

Needless to say, the Bible is the most wonderful book I have ever read. I really like many books in the Bible for several reasons:

  1. Genesis: Tells tha start of everything, of the universe and creation, of sin and God’s Redemptive Plan. I love how God interacted with man, sometimes taking the form of man to talk with His most-loved creation. For many times, the stories of the Patriarchs made me cry. So dramatic and full of life! Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac and Joseph reconciling with his brothers are just a few samples.
  2. Deuteronomy: Basically Moses’ farewell speech. You can see here the heart of a man whom God so highly esteemed. And the tragic lesson on how even a devout man could miss God’s perfect plan.
  3. 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings: The stories of the Kings. How Israel rejected God (and Samuel), David’s rise and fall and redemption, Hezekiah’s dependence on God, etc. Here God’s intervention in the daily life of His chosen people were very evident.
  4. Psalms: I could relate well with the emotions and circumstances of the Psalmists.
  5. Nehemiah: The great man of vision, action and prayer. His life was endangered but wisdom saved him.
  6. Daniel: The highly-favored man of God. Gifted and prayerful.
  7. Joel: The great message of Repentance.
  8. Jonah: How a servant of God could be so stubborn, and how God could show mercy to His repentant enemies.
  9. Gospels: The living story of the Messiah. His perfect model for the Ministry, His humility and Authority, His humanity and divinity, His teachings and miracles, and His time with His disciples.
  10. Acts: The Early Church, the Standard of how the Church today should walk, think, and talk.
  11. The Epistles, Pauline and General: The writings of Jesus’s followers who witnessed Him and experienced to pour out their lives selflessly for Him.
  12. Revelation: Christ’s triumphant return, God’s victory, the wedding between Christ and His Church, Heaven the home of believers, and hell the torment of Satan and the unsaved.

This is just a partial list. Surely I have missed others like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ecclesiastes, and the others.

Nonetheless, the more you read the Bible the more you will love it from Start (Genesis) to finish (Revelation).

Christians seem to not receive God’s unconditional love after Salvation

I have been asked in Quora if Christians are not receiving God’s unconditional love. For him, it just seems so.

Well, from the Bible attested by personal experiences, here’s what I could say.

First, straight from the Bible, Christians or the children of God are receivers of God’s unconditional love. This is evident from Ephesians 1, Romans 5:8, and many others.

However, to say that they seem to not receive that is purely based on observable experience that is misinterpreted or not correctly understood according to the Scriptures.

  1. We misinterpret the nature of God’s Love. God’s love includes giving pain in many forms. It could be from a hard lesson, a test of faith, rebuke or discipline. If you are loved dearly by God, expect dearly that time to time God will intentionally hurt you, but not to destroy you (like what Satan does) but to build you up, mold your character, and bring Glory to His Name.
  2. We do not understand God’s long-term purposes. We humans are basically narrow-minded and short-sighted creations. We do not see as God sees. When Jesus was about to undergo pain and was in pain, many of His followers could not understand it. The Father hurting His Son? In Acts it is said that it was the Father’s will to hurt Him and to kill Him (not of Satan’s). But in the end, it was necessary to exalt both the Father and the Son (Philippians 2:5–10).

One Day When We Get to Heaven

One Day, a song from Matt Redman is one of my favourite Christian songs. It speaks of God’s Transcendence and Immanence, His Sovereignty and Intimacy, and our Fulfilment and Perfection in His presence. These things are only realized in their highest fulfilment on heaven when we get to heaven and see Jesus. But right now, what we can do is to wait and hope for the best things that have been prepared for us.

Waiting is often painful, and so is hoping for the things that are seem impossible to get. Well, praise God, we know that God’s promises are true, and God’s holy character puts us in the deepest assurance that whatever He has promised He will fulfill. Then comes the greatest object we are waiting and hoping for – Jesus Himself – our Redeemer, our Salvation. This is indeed the greatest of all waiting and all hoping because the Object is simply beyond known human perfections and aspirations.

Sometimes though, our trust in the Grandest Object becomes dim because of our environments. We desire truly to hope, but the strings of our trust are often cut off during the worst of times. We believe, but our belief becomes lukewarm. We strive hard to remain faithful, but our strength fails us sooner than we think.

But one day all of these will change. One day all troubles and sources of doubt will be swept away. One day all hope will be realised, felt, and seen. Indeed that day will be the full fulfilment of Jesus’ prayer. The prayer was beautifully recorded in John 17, and let us again read some most glorious parts of the said prayer.

20“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (John 17)