“The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.”
“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”
“How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.”
“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in loving kindness to all who call upon You.”
“For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.”
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
“Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.”
“They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.”
“The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.”
1 Chronicles 16:34
“O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His loving kindness is everlasting.”
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
“Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.”
Is there a Bible references that will answer this question?
James 2:23, “And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.”
Exodus 33:11The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
John 15:13-15Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
It is so interesting to know this great truth from the Scripture that it is possible to have intimacy with God. Believers are privileged to enjoy friendship with God.
When God called Abraham, He is God -Yahweh the Great I am but He is also the Friend of Abraham. In Genesis 18 we can see a scenario that Abraham had experienced the intimacy with God by revealing to Abraham the Judgement day for Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham pleaded to God for the lives of the righteous men and for his nephew Lot and His family. No one found righteous in both cities and for Abraham sake God saved Lot and his daughters. His wife turned into salt because she cannot leave the sinfulness in Sodom and Gomorrah.
Moses experienced also intimacy with God. He was able to speak to God face to face as one speaks to a friend. No one can stand before the holiness of God but the Scripture told us that Moses was able to speak unto God intimately and rescued Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
Jesus offered the same intimacy to those who will obey His command. The disciples received the command of Jesus to continue the work that He did to preach the Kingdom of God by the power of the Holy Spirit and so the disciples walked intimately with the Holy Spirit and spread the goodnews.
What require us to be intimate with God ?
Intimacy with God will start after reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. This is one among the many blessings of salvation that you will enjoy by faith.
To be intimate with God, this may require your life to surrender in His hands and your precious time to make yourself available doing the will of the Father. It is impossible to say that you have surrendered your life and have no time to obey God.
To be intimate with God, this may require your money. The Lord will bless your life for a purpose that you will become a channel of His blessings to other people where the Lord will take you to bless them.
To be intimate with God, this may require your gifts, talents and skills.
The Lord will empower you with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to minister to the needy by exercising these gifts for the Glory of God and so the people will know that there is God who loved them and that they need to know and serve God the same way as you serve Him.
Salvation is a free gift from God by the grace of God and must be received by faith. This saving grace of God will bring us to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our life. You will only understand the Lordship of Jesus when you grow intimately with your relationship with Him.
When the disciples introduced themselves to the people, they will say that they are servants of Jesus Christ. We can see that at the beginning of the epistles they wrote. They emphasized their servanthood to magnify the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives and at the same time, it is a pronouncement of intimacy with Jesus to the people of God to respect them as receivers of the revelations of God like the prophets of the Old Testament.
The believers grew in numbers as they continued in the teachings and revelations of the disciples of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:42-47)
Let me go back to the question I raised earlier. Is God your best friend?
How deep is your relationship with Jesus?
Can you introduce yourself as the servant of Jesus Christ like the disciples?
Lord Jesus, allow us to grow deeper with our relationship with you by knowing you intimately day by day that we may offer unto you the best offering of worship that you wanted to receive from us and that we may serve you with our whole being. Amen.
Fear is a lie of the devil. He will suggest more fears in your mind every time he has chance to do it. Do not be caught unaware, because it will affect you in making a sound decision. You have to recognize the voice of the devil and the voice of the Holy Spirit.
The voice of the Spirit of God will lead you to trust God. He is constantly reminding you the promises of God in the Scripture.
Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17. Jesus rebuked the devil by the Word of God, In Matthew 4:4..Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Encourage yourself with the written Word of God and when you speak it with faith you can rebuke the lies of the devil.
Here are some verses that can help you to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Luke 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Psalm 112: 1, 7-8 Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord. They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord. Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
James 1:5, NASB: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
God’s wisdom is better to acquire more than wealth and material possessions. The word wisdom (חכם) chokmah is mentioned 222 times in the Hebrew Bible. It is Sophia in the Greek Word.
According to King Solomon that if you want to acquire godly wisdom, fear God for it is the beginning of wisdom. In many cultures of the world, wisdom is an important virtue, if a person is full of wisdom that person is prudent and wise and can handle the different challenges in life.
There are various ways we can acquire wisdom, we can get nuggets of wisdom from our parents, from day to day experiences, from different training schools etc. But the most important wisdom we can get is the wisdom from God. This is the encouragement of apostle James from this verse that we should ask God for wisdom and it shall be given to us by God of no hesitation to those who asked in faith.
In the difficult days and in many challenges in life. The guiding wisdom of God will be our strength to face our Goliath like David who was filled with the wisdom and knowledge of God to lead the people of Israel to worship and serve the true God.
Pour out your Spirit oh Lord upon our lives, because the Holy Spirit will be our Teacher to know your wisdom and truth and He will guide us to take the path of righteousness while overcoming our challenges along the road to success and in many issues of life
21“Submit to God and be at peace with him, in this way prosperity will come to you.
22 Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent.
Submission is the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person. (Oxford Dictionary)
Submission is an act that is expressed mutually and voluntarily. Being submissive helps us to be less self-centered and allows us to consider the desires of others. Submission has nothing to do with being weak, but allows us to be strong enough to open our hearts to others.
Leadership Authorities are God ordained to put orderliness, peace and harmony and rulership in righteousness . We are subjected to honour, respect and submit to these authorities.
Submission to the Supreme God the highest authority (present in every culture) Genesis 1; 26-28
The Creator God of heaven and earth – Angels (heaven) and Men (earth) must worship Him.
From model 1 we can see here that God se up a Theocratic rulership here over the heaven and earth. Angelic host submitting themselves unto God and declaring His glory in all heaven.
And over the earth is extended His rulership over His creation.
He ordained Adam to submit himself unto God and He gave man the authority over all the creations of God to protect and take care of them.
Issue : Submission vs rebellion/disobedience
The first rebellion was led by Lucifer and became Satan the enemy of God. Ezekiel 28/ Isaiah 14
Submission to the husband of the woman in the context of marriage
Adam the ruler of the earth – Eve the helper of Adam
Genesis 1: 26-28
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Adam received the cultural mandate – the authority to rule over the earth.
Issue: Submission vs disobedience
Adam disobeyed God.
Why Adam not Eve?
Clue: Genesis 2:15-25
Submission to the head of the family of the children as cultural norms in every culture.
Father the head of the family – mother and children
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.’ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Issue: Submission vs obedience
Why there are rebellious children?
Why the fathers are highlighted in this verse?
Submission to the rulership of men and governing authorities
Daniel 2:21 KJV And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Kings – over the people groups and nations
Ex. Pharaoh- Egypt
King Nebuchadnezzar- Babylon
Issue: Submission vs corruption
The first King of Israel was Saul by public acclamation.
Saul, Hebrew Shaʾul, (flourished 11th century bc, Israel), first king of Israel (c. 1021–1000 bc). According to the biblical account found mainly in I Samuel, Saul was chosen king both by the judge Samuel and by public acclamation. (www.britanica.com)
King David as the appointed of God for the righteousness of God is in him.
Main Point: God uses people who have a heart that trusts in Him.
Key Verse: Man looks at how someone appears on the outside. But I look at what is in the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7b
How the Lord chose His leaders?
Compare the leadership of Saul and David
Enumerate what pleases the Lord in the life of David?
(Reflection for everyone review the life of David)
Modern Day Leadership
Democratic countries -President and the Prime Minister
Monarchy – Sultan of Brunei, King or Queen- Great Britain, King of Thailand, Shah of Iran
Submission of the body of Christ to Jesus Christ as the head of the Church
Our God is a God of order
Christ as the head followed by :
Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers – Evangelical
Pope and the Catholic Religious orders – Catholics
Imams – Muslims
Monks and Nuns – Buddhism
Brahman and hindu priests
Same issue . Submission vs corruption
We have wars and other socio-political issues because of the evils of corruption.
Purposes in submission to authorities set by God
Rule in the Righteousness of God
A more civilised nations implemented laws in their constitution to achieve these purposes. Even in any religious orders or in corporate entities we have by laws and house rules to do what is good and to promote what is good that would benefit humanity and socio-economic systems.
As Christians or as a church our role in the society is to make the family a strong unit that promotes the righteousness of God so that we can produce more righteous leaders and communities of the believers that follow the path of righteousness. While we are subjecting ourselves in the transformation process of God, we promote the gospel of salvation and restoration of Jesus Christ because our faith is rested in the work of Christ that in the appointed time we shall be like Him who have sent us to the world. God bless you.
Look to the plants and flowers in the field or in your garden. They are waiting to cheer you up. They send messages of love from God.
Seat under the tree, you can feel the cooling fresh air you breathe, they are functioning to boost your immune system to make you healthy.
Play with the innocent children. Their laughters are contagious.
Eat your comfort food with friends. It’s good to give yourself a treat you deserved for a hard work.
Count your blessings, if you have reached one you have one reason to rejoice with God. If you have reached three you have three reasons to trust Him, if have reached seven, you have seven reasons to be grateful to God. If you have reached ten, you have all the reasons to give the true worship He deserved.
Call your friends or family members, and give encouragement and as you encourage them, you are encouraged as well with your own words.
The most important thing you should not forget is to seek God in prayer. His Presence will give you tremendous joy, for the joy of the Lord is your spiritual strength.
Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Affection, gentleness, warmth, concern, and care are words that are associated with kindness. While kindness has a connotation of meaning someone is naive or weak, that is not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength. Kindness is an interpersonal skill.
Kindness has many benefits including increased happiness and a healthy heart. It slows down the ageing process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health.
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” — Mark Twain
But what is kindness in the life of the believers in Christianity?
Galatians 5:22-26 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, when you live and walk by the Holy Spirit you shall have the fruit of the Spirit, it will manifest in your flesh.
People are looking for friends because they want to experience kindness. A true friend expressed kindness and generosity most especially in times of adversity. Can we find a friend such like this? Yes, in the person of the Almighty God.
Is the Almighty God a true friend?
Absolutely yes, The Bible says that God is love. He is our loving Father who cares so much with us. His lovingkindness never ceases, they are new every morning, great is the faithfulness of God. We can depend on Him, for He is a very present help in times of trouble.
A lyrics in song said that lean on me when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend, i’ll help you to carry on… well this song talked about a friend offering a good friendship.
The Sovereign God is offering us a friendship that will last forever. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob experienced this awesome friendship with God. David and the rest of the great men in the Bible tasted also the goodness and kindness of God. Likewise Jesus expressed an offering of friendship to His disciples and to His own “Church” that through Him we shall obtain grace and mercy from His Father in heaven.
I believed that the reason why there are kind friends is because they have been experienced the friendship from God. They have tasted and seen the goodness of our God and gratitude is pushing them to pay it forward to others. This is the teaching of Jesus in the golden rule – do unto others what your want others do unto you.
The kindness of God towards us must be reciprocated by doing it to our neighbors because God is a Spirit. The idea of friendship is originated from God. God taught us his own way of friendship with us by sharing his attributes of love, grace and mercy.
Christians are commanded to love one another and must share kindness towards one another. You cannot give what you do not have. If you say you have Jesus Christ in you and walking in the leading of the Spirit, the fruit of love will be overflowing and it will lead you to care and share kindness to others.
What an amazing loving Father God we have. His motive of friendship is to share His Love to mankind and so therefore mankind must spread the wings of love God gave us to the unloved and to the undeserving like us.
The correct spelling of “Christianity” is love one another and the synonym is to share the kindness of God to others. Christians will you say amen?
Most Filipinos can sing well. When we want to celebrate life we gather friends and sing together with karaoke. Even when someone died and at the funeral service, singing is part of our program to remember the good memories of the person who died. In other words, we attached our experiences with the songs of the time.
In many cultures of the world its the same, that in so many occasions and festivities music is the expression of man’s emotions such as sadness, loneliness, brokenness, love, happiness and joy in thanksgiving and worship to God.
Music is a gift from God. The heavenly host are singing the glory of the Almighty God in the heaven but on earth who will do that? Well, here on earth all creations are declaring the glory of God including Adam and the entire human race.
How beautiful it is in the eyes of God, the worship of those whom He called and responded to belong in His kingdom through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible described the worship of the believers of Jesus Christ or the Church of the Living God- the body of Christ is like a sweet aroma of worship and very much pleasing to God. When there is an acceptable worship rendered to God, the Gracious Father is becoming soft and moved in love in answering the prayers of His people.
When uncertainty is so confusing and beyond your control. The best thing to do is to face God and simply express reverence and submission. With or without the music, let your heart worship the Lord your God.
Satan will hinder us to worship Yahweh, he offers so many things to men such as fame, wealth and power to become your idols as substitute to worship the true God.
Do not accept the offer, the spirit of worldliness and idolatry will captivate you and turn away your heart from God. Men who were captivated on this should repent on their sins against God.
But the children of God must worship the Lord and declare His glorious kingdom on earth to let His kingdom rulership prevails on earth as it is in heaven. When we bend our knees in prayer and worship Yahweh, the devil and his evil cohorsts tremble and bow down and leave the Presence of the Lord in us for we become a holy ground before the Lord.
This will result to pouring out of the peace that passes all understand and unspeakable joy of the Lord as our rewards.
This is the great truth about worshipping God, we are involving ourselves in a warfare that we are the sure victors because of the Presence of the Lord.
We are inviting the powerful and magnificent Presence of God in our genuine worship, this will lead to confuse and scatter the enemies of God. He is forever a defeated foe, he was cast out from heaven and at the appointed time he will be judged to be thrown out to the lake of fire.
Let the heaven and earth be filled with the glory of God. Let the people of God arise to worship the Lord. Let our God reign and make His enemies be scattered and fall and release the suffering souls in bondage. The Almighthy God is our Great Deliverer !
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” Psalms 20:7, KJV
“And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.” 2 Samuel 22:2-3, KJV
“The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Psalms 18:2, KJV
“But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.” Psalms 40:17, KJV
“But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O LORD, make no tarrying.”Psalms 70:5, KJV
When you are experiencing pain and sorrow brought by lost of love one, enduring hardship from sickness for a long time, I am pretty sure that you are needing comfort.
Where can we find true comfort and unspeakable joy?
Comfort and joy is one gift from God. When the Holy Spirit of God is giving you comfort you will also receive joy and then peace.
When Jesus came to the world to save us, there was sweet comfort among the witnesses on the silent night in the little town of Bethlehem, the shepherds saw Jesus in the manger and angels were singing their hallelujahs declaring joy to the world because the Messiah has come. They have declared peace on earth and goodwill to all men.
No wonder that even up to now this is spirit that we feel every Christmas season reminding us that Jesus the Messiah came and saved us. There is so much comfort and joy while we hear the Christmas songs and we are so inspired to share the love of God in this season of giving.
After Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent another comforter to be with us to help us and that is the Holy Spirit of God who dwells in the hearts of the believers of Jesus Christ.
Acts. 1.  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
These are scriptural references that the Holy Spirit was evidently came. In the New Testament, the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples of Jesus was in the day of Pentecost, it is called Shavuot in Greek , the spring harvest festival of the Israelites, which was going on when the Holy Spirit came.
From that day the disciples became bolder and empowered to share the gospel with signs and wonders and until this present day the Holy Spirit is actively involved in the lives of the believers in bringing comfort and joy to those who received the gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you want to let the Holy Spirit lead your life and walk by the Spirit, it’s a conscious choice you need to make each and every day. Pray that the Lord will fill you with His Spirit. Pray that you would walk by the Spirit. Then throughout your day, watch and listen for opportunities to obey the Spirit’s promptings.
He will guide and teach you in all truths and by understanding the mind of the Spirit you will be enlightened and comforted with His revelation. The revelation of God is what transform the believers into the likeness of Christ. The Word of the Lord is powerful and amazing. Receive it by faith and you will never be the same again.
It is very true to declare that “Immanuel” or God is with us because He is truly with us through the Holy Spirit working within us. The comfort we received from Him is the comfort we need to share to change the unbelieving world.
Let the God of comfort and joy shine upon you.
1″Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.