Imitate

In our physical life, we are easy to be influenced by the people around us(parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, relatives and etc.) and we may imitate how they talk, how they do things or even how they think. We may become similar type of persons as they are.

Our spiritual life is similar. We grow spiritually by imitating the good examples in Christ or we continue our worldly living as before.

God commanded the Israelites not to follow the detestable ways of the nations around them. But Israelites failed and they sinned against God.  2 Kings 17:15   They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”

Apostle Paul urged the Corinthians church to imitate him. 1 Corinthians 4:15-17 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

Paul also urged the Thessalonians church to imitate him. 2 Thessalonians 3:9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.
Hebrews author did the same. Hebrews 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 13:7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
Apostle John said the similar thing in 3 John. 3 John 1:11Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

Yes. Let’s imitate what is good.  Study of the word of God is good because the word of God is eternal (Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away). Let’s study the word of God like children.

Lillian&Joshua Lillian&Joshua2 Lillian&Joshua3 Lillian&Joshua4

 

 

 

 

Matthew 22

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNGN5VRyeyU

The wedding banquet
If the King prepares a wedding banquet for His son and invites you, will you miss it? Jesus here illustrates the old nature of man through people’s response. They take the invitation casually and excuse themselves from coming. It is the King’s command to come. He gets angry after inviting the people few times. When mercy is great, the corresponding wrath is great. The Lord is our King. For us, we should not occupy with own life and miss out the Lord’s calling. Is it about deserving to be invited? Nobody really deserves. It is the King’s grace to invite. We show we are worthy by accepting the invitation. Is everyone invited welcomed by the King? Many are invited but few are chosen. You need to respect the host and his rules. He provided the wedding garment. You need obey to put on and wear it in the banquet. For us to go in the Kingdom of heaven, we need to accept Jesus Christ and wear this salvation garment to go in.

Pay tax to Caesar
When focusing on a particular physical topic, it confuses. But if focus on what belongs to God and what belongs to the world, the answer is clear. Not mix the physical with the spiritual. Give what belongs to Caesar to Caesar. Give what belongs to God to God. In physical life, submit to the authority and live a life of suffering. In spiritual life, surrender all to the Lord and obey His kingship.

Marriage at the resurrection
Sadducees didn’t believe resurrection. And Christ answered them according to what they read in the old testaments. We should read the scripture in light of God’s power. He is beyond our limitations. Get to know the scripture, not to prove it wrong. Get to know God’s power, not with human limited mind.

The greatest command
Since Pharisees try to obey the law, Christ tell them the perfect law. They are so focus on the details of written commands, and fail to see what the Law leads them which is Christ. Get to know the heart of the law so we can be ready when the Lord is back.

Whose son is Christ?
The group read scripture according to their own limitations. They cannot answer this question. The logical reasoning may miss out the power of God. We shall experience the word through love not through logical understandings.

The very issue the group of people focus on blind them from focusing on Christ. May you be able to answer who is Christ and know Him and His coming.

Book of Job

We have spent half a year in studying the book of Job, from October 2013 until March 2014. Praise God that we had the chance to go through the books of bible one by one, and we never skipped any book, no matter how difficult it seems. It is again a demonstration of Spirit’s power, which has given William the ability to teach and us to understand, so that our faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power (2 Corinthians 2:4) . It is great encouragement for me to see how the word of God becomes true in our life. Therefore, I am eager to share what I have learned from this book. There is so much more that has been taught. Here I only summarized the parts that touched me the most. I believe I will receive more as I continue growing in Christ, as what God promised: Seek, you will find. Ask, you will be given. Knock, the door will be opened for you (Matthew 7:7).

The book of Job is about righteousness people suffering for God’s glory. It is because Job has been blameless that God wants to bring him to a higher level of faith, the tested faith, pure as gold. Just as Christ learning obedience through suffering, Job also knows God deeper after his suffering. It is his glory to be used and lifted up afterwards. It is justice that we suffer temporarily here on this earth, show faith in any situation, and later receive the glory He planned for us in the very beginning — to become sons of God.

Chapter 1-10:

Job is blameless
– A man is blameless when he fears God and shuns evil, not about being perfect or sinless.
– Job offers sacrifice for each child regularly just in case that they sin against God.
– It is because of his faithfulness to God that God wants to test him and brings him to another level of faith (2 Chronicles 6:9)
– Satan has his own plan and motive, but God uses Satan to serve His own purpose.

Chapter 11-14

What matters is the relationship with God
– The relationship with God gives true understanding and the proper application of the word of God. “He has made us competent as ministers of a new convenent, — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (Corinthians 3:6)”.
– Job’s friends can quote scriptures and use doctrins, but they don’t have the real relationship with God, so they limit God in their own thinking. But Job knows what’s going on although he does not know the whole plan. He knows God is away from him, but he does not know why. He is so sure of his righteousness because he has a pure heart. He stood firm on the truth he knows, the relationship he has, not being moved by his situations, or his friends. The same truth is in Ephesians when paul urges them to stand firm on what the truth that has been revealed to them (Ephesians 6:14).
– His friends can’t imagine it is possible to be blameless because how people see things is a reflection of whom they are. Being blameless means a pure heart towards God: to fear God and shun evil.

Make the right judgement
– Job’s friends judge him by his appearence and his situation. They used to come to him for help and encouragement, but now they show contempt towards him and force him to admit what he has not done. We have to be careful not to judge according to people’s situation, but their reaction in the situation, whether they show peace, joy and faith in God (John 7:24).

Chapter 15-24

Who can argue with God?
– Only those with relationship can come before God and want to state his case in front of God. Job realized that he has been struck by God, and he does not know when it will end. So he cries out to God who can change the situation. Only God has the ability and right to turn things around in any situation. Job also realizes that God does whatever He pleases (Romans 8). So he is terrified.
– In his great suffering and persecution from his friends, he starts to cry out a need for Christ, a advocate and a redeemer. All the people who have faith in God long for the coming of Christ even though the plan has not revealed to them before (1 Peter 10-12).
– Job asks God to give him the pledge God demands. We can also ask God for what He requires from us and have faith that He will give us everything we need to please Him. In fact we can only please Him through Him.

Chapter 26-28

God’s power and wisdom
– It is the Lord’s power and wisdom through us that can help people. If we haven’t experienced God and obeyed His word, we will have no insight to help anyone because insight has to do with experience. We get no where to love people using physcial love in our own way. Our comfort will be powerless to those who are suffering for God. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power (1 Corinthians 4:20). What can be greater love than standing firm in the truth, devoting to the word of God and his church, being the good example for others?

Because Job has been seeking God and has relationship with God, the Spirit reveals many truths to him. Even through nature we should see God (Romans 1:20). God can reveal so much to us. The only limitation is ourselves, who don’t pursue or have enough faith to take it. How else could Job possibly know that the earth is round when at that time people still thought earth is flat?

What we know about God is just a tiny bit of who He is. How can we even be prideful about whatever God chose to reveal to us? His greatness is just too hard to imagine. How can Job’s friends limit God to a certain way according to their own thinking? “These are but the outer fringe of his works. How faint the whisper we hear of him!”

Job’s good example
– How shall we remain righteousness? Our righteousness is in Christ. So we just have to remain in faith and continue to trust him no matter what situation. We will call upon God all the time and we will always have hope.
– When we are certain of our salvation, anyone who is against us or does not listen to us is then our enemy, at least at that moment.

Seeking Lord’s wisdom
– Seeking the truth is like mining the precious stones. How much time and energy are you willing to spend?

Chapter 29-31

What Job longs for is the time when God was with him
– When God watched over him and led him, he was blessed in every way, and he responded with reverent fear and righteousness of doing good. He helped those who had no ability to help him back and made justice to be done.
– Job expected a simple physical life, but God had a greater plan for him to suffer for God and glorify Him. He did not totally understand God’s doing or expect it, so he cried out. But in his suffering, he still believed in God and kept his integrity. We may also want something small, like a good wife, children, a job, but God has a better plan for us. May we let His will to be done, not ours.
– Job recognized it was God who did this to him. It is Him who did this to me. So why complain about the situation, a person, this job?

Similarity between Job and Christ:
– They helped the needy.
– They were scorned and attacked by those who were helped by them in the time of suffering.
– They learned obedience through suffering.
– They cried out in their suffering, but they still trusted God and let His will be done.

It is evil to push people down to life yourself up, or to look better.

What is your security? (compare with Philippians 1: what is your joy)
– Job said money is not his security. Can you also say that? Test your heart and repent now so that you can put your security only on God.

Chapter 35-37

God’s love for Job
– Is it love to make Job suffer? The same love God shows to Jesus is to make him learn obedience through suffering, to glorify the Father, to lift him up after the suffering.
– It is love to let Job experience this and know God better. Nothing we do can affect or benefit God in one sense, but we also see God is pleased when we do good and He is grieved when we do evil.

God’s people are special
– We are chosen by God, so we are different from most of the people who never turn back to God even in hopeless situation. Just as David found faith when he lost everything in Zikleg, and desired to build God’s house when he was established, we also turn back to God in difficulty and in blessing.
– It is love that God binds evil hoping them to repent. But godless in heart harbor resentment.

God in mighty does not despise men
– God is all mighty, all wisdom, all strength, and knows all, so He can make the right judgement and will not despise men. Only because men are limited, we despise others who have the same weaknesses because we are sensitive to those weaknesses. On the other hand, when we have the same weakness, we have difficulty to judge and help others. We need to learn to lose self and let the word of God judge. The word of God is good enough for teaching, rebuking and correcting (2 Timothy 3:16).

Chapter 38-40

God is God. Who are we to question His doing in our life?
– God did not answer Job’s question directly, but in the way did answer him. He is God, so He can choose to do anything according to His will.
– Science is not a reason for pride because we can only observe the nature law, but through nature we should already be amazed by the creator and humble enough to realize there is so much we don’t know.
– It is God who created everything and controls everything. We should just surrender to the role that God gives to us, men and women, to obey and do. As wild ox can not be used to do work, we also can only be used by God when we obey.

Chapter 41-42

God can only be just. He has the right to do whatever He chooses to do, and it is justice because He is the creator.
– God is the master of all. Even animals are better than us in the way that they submit to the role God gives to them. The best way to glorify God is to be who we are, the sons of God, and let His will and plan be done
in our life.
– Job is blameless, but he has to realize that he is not alone and it is the power of God who enables him to keep the law. He almost denied God’s justice because of his self righteousness and doing. It is never our doing that saves us.
– God is proud of His creation, including Job. He wants be to glorified by Job. It is our honor and privilege to glorify Him and serve His purpose.
– We will never totally understand God. Even the part that we do understand is what He reveals to us. So how can we be prideful? No matter what level we have achieved in knowing Him, there is still so much more to know. It should always makes us humble and at any time, we can repent, either from sin, or from not doing more that we could.

God is in trial, not just Job.
– Who Satan truly challenges is God. Can God keep Job? God can and will keep us the same way.
– It is a spiritual battle.