Fear Not – what does that mean?


Grammy Award winning singer, Chris Tomlin beautifully expressed this motif, that if God is with us, then there is nothing or no one that we need to be afraid of, in his song, Whom Shall I fear? (The God of Angel Armies). Now hold that thought.

Genesis 26:24 gives the account of the Lord appearing to Isaac, on the very same night, that he had moved up to Beersheba and the Lord first identifies himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac’s father. Then the Lord says that he will bless and multiply Isaac, for the sake of Abraham, but before this reassurance is given, the Lord starts out by telling Isaac to Fear Not. Why? Because the Lord says that he was with Isaac.

Isaac was in a foreign land. His servants had just been in contention with the servants of the king Abimelech of Gerar. And while these events could have given him the sense that he was alone in battling the circumstances and life issues, the Lord comes through with the assurance that he was with Isaac and so Isaac had no reason to fear. There was nothing Isaac had to be afraid of because God was with him.

Points to ponder:
When fear seems to grip your heart and you feel that you are all alone, battling the issues of life, you can call on to the Lord and when he is with you, you have nothing to fear. No matter what the situation is and how dire things seem, when you have the God of angel armies with you, fear not.

Jesus’ name was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah and proclaimed by the angel Gabriel to Mary that he shall be called “Emmanuel” meaning God with us (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). And Jesus promised that he is with those who love him and obey his commands, following him, always, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).

The question that remains is “Are you afraid?”. In other words, that can be translated into “Is the Lord with you?” Now take note, if the God of angel armies, the Lord is not with you – then that is a dreadful thing!

Genesis 26:24 (KJV)
24 And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.

Go forth – A family affair


When the earth was dried, and all who were in the ark were saved, from God’s inundating judgment, God told Noah to leave the ark. The King James Version renders it as “Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” (Genesis 8:16). In this one verse are two hidden treasures that we must not miss. First it is the command of God to “Go forth.” Second, God includes Noah’s family (his wife, his son and their wives) to be part of this commission.

God wants us, who are saved by being in Jesus Christ – The Ark of our salvation, to Go forth. Jesus himself said, “Go ye (forth) therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever that he has commanded us” and yes, he promised to be with us, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20). And this commission is not just for an individual, but for the family as well. Noah was to lead his family safely to the new world, just as it is expected of each of us, who are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus to lead our families safely into the new world, God has provisioned for us.

Points to ponder:
The Triune God in one, introspects, “Who will go for us? Whom shall I send?” (Isaiah 6:8). Are you and I willing to say “Here I am Lord, send me” (as did prophet Isaiah – Isaiah 6:8) and are we willing to “Go forth (of the ark i.e., with the Salvation of Jesus Christ) and is our family also part of this journey?” God wants us to “Go forth (of the ark), as a family!” and we can be assured that Jesus will go with us, even unto the end of the world.

Genesis 8:16 (KJV)
16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

According – to faith, to commandment


When Paul introduces himself in his letter to Titus, he introduces himself as an servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, not based on his own works, but according to the faith of God’s elect (Titus 1:1) and according to commandment of God his Savior (Titus 1:3). Unfortunately, today we see many who claim to be “called” to serve God, but in their modus operandi reflect little to no faith, in word or action, or any obedience to God as a response to his commandment to be his ambassadors of reconciliation (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

Points to ponder:
When we function as servants of God and apostles of Jesus Christ, let us make sure that it is not motivated because of some personal emotion or on our works, but let it be according to faith, in God, which makes God our Savior and let it be according to the commandment of commission that we receive from God and God alone. It is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6) and obedience to be commandment.

Titus 1:1-3 (KJV)
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

Discipleship Series :: The Commission


The commission that is given by Jesus for his disciples is to go and teach and baptize in the name of God the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). The word “teach” here is used in the context of “making disciples”. In fact, many versions of the Bible render this commission as “Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” In other words, the commission of a disciple is to make disciples.

Apostle Paul taught for a year, the teachings of Jesus in Antioch and the people there came to be known as disciples of Christ Jesus (Acts 11:26). Paul was commissioned to make disciples and that is what he did. The same is true for all of us, who believe in Jesus. We are disciples of Jesus and our commission is to make other disciples of Jesus. This means that we teach with our lips and our lives, that there is only one Master and Lord, who is to be followed and that Lord and Master is Jesus.

Point(s) to ponder:
The question is not, “Are you/I a disciple of Jesus Christ?”, but “Are you/I a disciple of Jesus Christ, that makes disciples of Jesus Christ?”

Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)
19
Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Trinity of God :: In the Commission


The question that is asked in heaven is “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8). Notice, how the word “I” and “us” are used. This establishes both the Oneness of God (“I”) and the Trinity of  God (“us”). It further demonstrates the fact that the commission that is given to mankind is by the Trinity of God; by God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus affirmed this when he gave the great commission by commanding, “go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18-19).

Points to ponder:
If you hear the voice of God asking you today, “Whom shall I send, who will go for us?”, what is your response going to be? Will it be, “Here I am God, Send me!”

Isaiah 6:8 (KJV)
8
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Matthew 28:18-19 (KJV)
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Christian Acronym :: Y.M.C.A


Many are familiar that the acronym YMCA stands for Young Men’s Christian Association, which was founded in 1844 by twenty-two year old George Williams and 11 other friends as a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking escape from the hazards of life on the streets. Sadly today the far reaching objective of the founding fathers, has been replaced by one that is myopic to help people and communities to learn, grow and thrive, with no reference published in their objective to the Bible as the original fathers intended. Social responsibility over soul responsibility seems to be the focus.

As a Christian acronym, what could Y.M.C.A stand for? To be inclusive of the elderly and the non-male gender, Y.M.C.A as a Christian acronym could stand for YHWH’s Missionary Christian Association (Y.M.C.A). First, we are YHWH (pronounced Yahweh’s) i.e., we belong to the Almighty Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God (Exodus 20:3). Second, we are all Missionaries on a mission, both men and women, young and old (Matthew 28:19-20). Third, we are Christians. To be a Christian is to belong to Christ i.e., Christ-Ones (1 Corinthians 3:23). And Finally, we are an Association. We are to be grafted (associated) with Christ first (John 15:1-8) and second with all others who are believers, united in one accord (1 Corinthians 1:10).

Are you and I in YHWH’s Missionary Christian Association?

Matthew 28:20 (KJV)
19
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

1 Corinthians 3:23 (KJV)
23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s [YHWH’s].

1 Corinthians 1:10 (KJV)
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Urbi et orbi – Mission Field


The Latin phrase, ‘Urbi et orbi‘ literally means ‘to the city and to the globe’. Essentially, this phrase can be used to describe the mission field of a Christian. The commandment commission was given for all who believe in Jesus Christ, to be his witnesses and to go and teach all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe ALL the commandments of God (Matthew 28:19-20). But how do we go to all nations? Acts 1:8 gives us the pattern. It states, 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. This describes the mission field of a disciple of Jesus Christ. It starts with the city (Jerusalem), then the region (Judaea), then cross-cultural geographies (Samaria) and finally the globe (uttermost part of the earth). In other words, all nations can be reached by reaching locally, regionally, cross-culturally and globally, i.e., Urbi et orbi is our mission field.

Are you/I on the mission as commanded? We can start with our city! To the city and to the globe; Urbi et orbi.