Today 2022年9月26日 - 2022年9月30日


Abhor It

Rom 12:9
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. NKJV
If you want to live a prosperous life there are many things you have to do. You have to be just, work hard, and work smart. Spending time in His presence will be a key to getting those “God ideas”. But there are some other areas that we have to be thinking about.
Prov 4:23
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. NKJV
Proverbs tell us we have to protect, or guard, our hearts. The entrances to the human heart are the five senses, but especially what you see and hear. As believers we need to be careful what we expose ourselves to. The insights of wisdom continue in Proverbs.
Prov 22:5
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them. NKJV
Remember your soul (that you must guard) is your mind, will, and emotions. If we want to be successful followers of Jesus and the Way, we must guard our hearts daily.
In University, I learned that what I watch and listen to can change the way I think. I turned to Jesus in primary school in Oregon. But at University, I noticed my strong knowledge of Him and His ways faded a bit because I got a little too much into watching films. I allowed the morals portrayed in the films to shape the way I think. One day I had to slap myself because I went from knowing that sex is something between a husband and wife to slipping and starting to believe “Oh, maybe it is okay outside of marriage”. Well, I was on track to be deceived because I wasn’t guarding my heart. Praise Him I got quickly back on the highway to heaven! If I wouldn’t have noticed my thinking slip, I could be in big trouble today. What you think, is what you become. I have heard others say, “You are what you think.” What are you thinking? It doesn’t matter what Dad, Mom, or your spouse thinks. It is what YOU are thinking.
Prov 23:19
19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way. NKJV
You have got to hate what is evil. Rom 12:9 says to “Abhor what is evil”. Abhorring something is to hate something with passion. When you hate something with passion, you act immediately and don’t want to be anywhere near it.
I was on a flight from Tokyo to Sydney with my daughter. Usually, the airplane movies are edited, but as I was sitting next to my daughter I was shocked. This asian airline didn’t edit anything. A somewhat historical-themed movie played before me, it wasn’t the magical fantasy themes that got me, but when they began to show the dirty sexual things I knew it was time to shut it off. And that is exactly what I did. I hate evil, and I refuse to give it place in my life. We have to learn to hate or abhor what is evil, and love what is good.
I later heard an evangelist in the United States talking about this ‘great’ movie. I turned him off and stopped watching him. Within 6 months, he had left his wife and children and gone to live with another woman. Although the signs and wonders performed in his ministry were valid, he had clearly not protected his heart and his family paid the price for it. Sin separates, and sin divides. Love unites.
So what are we, followers of Jesus to be thinking about? I love Phil 4:8
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. NKJV
What great advice for us to be thinking about, meditating...and acting on.
Today’s Reading-
Proverbs 14


So What Was That Thorn?
2 Cor 12:7-8
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. NKJV
I have heard some people debate on what exactly this ‘thorn in the flesh’ was that Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians. Some people say, “It was sickness or disease”, others talk about eye problems, suffering from the beatings he took, or even a guilt complex from his past life when Saul/Paul persecuted believers. There are many other guesses as to what the thorn in the flesh was. I even once saw a person talk about “The Blessing Of The Thorn In The Flesh”. I have to say, even if I weren’t a committed follower of Jesus the Messiah, that is sick! How can suffering be a blessing? Does God want us to suffer? Absolutely not! Do you want your children to suffer and be in pain?
I certainly don’t. If the Father wanted His children to suffer to learn something and He were on the earth, He would be arrested for child abuse. God is good! He is not evil, there is not even a speck of darkness in Him. We do have to realize that there may be some suffering while we are in this world. In my Bible-schooling I learned there are two types of suffering.
- Suffering for my sake
- Suffering for His sake (for preaching the Gospel)
Mostly, I think I have suffered for just doing ignorant things more than for the Gospel’s sake. My goal is to be so Spirit-led that I know exactly who to share Jesus with. I never want to suffer for my own sake (or ignorance). What’s the point of that? Most persecution comes from people who turn against their nature that knows there’s a God that loves them and lash out at anything or anyone that represents The Way on the earth around them. We’ve seen many times dictators trying to eliminate the Word (the Bible) through public Bible burnings throughout history. But you can never eliminate the Word of God.
So, what was the thorn in the flesh? I’ve heard a farmer in Arkansas say, “The BIble is so easy to understand, it takes someone to teach you how to misunderstand it”. So true! It is so clear what the thorn was. Doesn’t the Word say, ‘a messenger of satan’? What personalities are associated with the enemy? Demons. That’s right. Paul was under demonic attack. The enemy doesn’t like you or I when we are committed spirit-filled believers because we thwart their plans to deceive, kill, steal, and destroy.
It is very clear that we are talking demonic attack. The Word of God is consistent, because God is consistent. When the Word talks about thorns in the flesh, it is talking about personalities. You can see a similar reference in Numbers 33:55-56
...then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. NKJV
The unbelievers would be like thorns in the sides of the children of Abraham if they did not obey God. Sound familiar? That’s right. Paul was under demonic attack. It doesn’t matter how they attacked him. It was evil, and could have been sickness, depression and all sorts of various things. The fact is, it was demonic.
Years ago some religious person in a meeting in the UK told Smith Wigglesworth that she had a thorn in her flesh as God was teaching her something. He responded in a loud voice “Who do you think you are?” Did she think she was some person holier than others or something? No, it is just an excuse for defeat. Don’t let the enemy hold you back.
Our God is the god of Victory! Hallelujah!


What Does God Hate?

Matt 12:34
Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. NKJV
What does God really hate? What do you think about when you think about hate and God? I think about the ‘fear of the Lord’ which is to hate evil and love God with everything you’ve got. When I think about God, He is pure love, pure light, pure power, pure goodness, pure perfection... but hate is a word I don’t really associate too much with God.
So what about God, what does He hate? Well, we know God hates divorce. That is clear from Malachi 2:16 (as well as Mark 10:11-12). If we look in Proverbs we know six more things that God hates. Proverbs 6:16-19 says,
16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren. NKJV
From Proverbs as well as Malachi, we see what God hates. Do you see the common thread about what God hates? As I studied the Word here, I began to see. God hates what that hurts people, His loving creation. Divorce hurts couples and children, lying hurts others, wicked plans are going to hurt others, rushing to steal or do other things hurts other people. God, as our example of the perfect Father, hates to see people hurt.
It is interesting in Matthew 12:34, how our God, King Jesus who is one with the Father and the Spirit, shows the exact same thing. (The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit are three but yet one. Elohim in the Hebrew is one). God hates to see people hurt. One of the biggest things in the world that hurts people is false religion; people who preach and say one thing, but do something else. They have no spiritual power, so they try to get followers to control and wrap them up in the traditions and bondages that they preach.
King Jesus didn’t speak strong against government officials, however, you will notice, when the Messiah spoke to religious people He was very direct. He called them, “You whitewashed tombstones”, “You hypocrites” and was not very consoling. He knew the hearts of those religious folks as they weren’t acting in their positions to usher people in the presence of God when they could have. They just wanted to ‘use’ people. They were there manipulating people and looking at ways to get more money (or in this case resources). They took the Biblical standard of the tithe from giving one tenth of your income to the church, to even tithing one tenth of the food (even spices!) in your kitchen. Crazy.
Religious people live by rules but don’t know how to live by love because they don’t know the creator of love itself, Yahweh. As you share what King Jesus has done in your life, you will find that the religious people are resistant and can be a waste of time to share with. (I ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom when I perceive I have met one). You’ll discover, the people that are far from God can be more open as they know in their hearts that they are empty, lost, and missing something. They know they need God and are not blocking with closed minds. These people with closed minds and spirits be found out for their wrongs.
In Matthew 10:26 it says,
Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. NKJV
No matter what sneaking around people do. There is no evil or trick that we can do that will not be found out. If you want to know what people are thinking just listen to what they say for awhile. What is inside them is going to eventually come out. Are you loving God for what He has done for you, or are you just in some religious tradition?


Imagination- Pulling Down Strongholds
2 Cor 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, NKJV
Praise God! It is so wonderful to be alive. We live on such a beautiful planet and are so blessed when we seek Him, spirit, soul, and body. As you are moving through the day filled with the Holy Spirit there’s no drug or any other substance that can take you higher than the presence and power of God in your life.
When I first came to Japan, it was so lonely for me. I was a newly wed with a native wife. I was in a country with different food, culture, and even the way of thinking was sometimes strange to me. For example, my parents taught me to eat with one hand on my lap and one on the table as those were proper table manners in America. In Japan, I was told to eat with both hands on the table as it was rude to have one hand on my lap under the table. (Maybe they thought I was going to pull out a stashed Samurai sword?). There was so much to learn.
Getting myself plugged into a good church was really important. I became good friends with a guy from the same state as me. He loved Jesus and we began talking on the phone for quite a bit. He had a passion for Jesus and was always telling people about Jesus. He shared with me almost daily about whom he had met, who he told about Jesus, and how they responded. It was so cool. I began to do a similar thing. I began telling people about Jesus and watching the Holy Spirit begin to work in my daily life. There is nothing like telling someone about Jesus and seeing them repent and turn to Him. Telling people about what Jesus was doing in my life took my Bible reading and prayer time to the next level. It is awesome as our God is awesome!
With time, you realize that not everyone is excited about Jesus as we who love Him are. Although we want to tell as many people about Jesus as we can, not everyone is with us. There is evil resistance. You know from our Faith Builders that there are fallen angels on the earth that are condemned to eternal separation in hell at the end of this age. For now, they are trying to manipulate mankind while we are on the earth. Their goal is the opposite of yours. They are working to make sure that as many humans, while they are alive, will not repent and turn to God through the work of King Jesus. If people don’t repent and follow The Way while they are alive and able to chose, there is no chance that they can enter God’s Kingdom when their spirit leaves their body and they die. They are eternally separated.
The enemy will do whatever they can to distract, deceive, and disconnect people from the life-changing message of the Gospel. Here in Corinthians, it says, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” . This is one place I like the old 1611 translation of the Bible called the King James Bible (KJV). It translates the Greek to “casting down imaginations” here. See, demons are spirits, and they work in the spirit realm. When they attack it is not necessarily a physical attack (although, they will try to control humans to do their bidding), but it is usually a spiritual attack. They mostly attack your mind, your imagination, your thoughts. They try to get you thinking the wrong things.
Every crime started as a thought. That evangelist who tangled with the prostitute and fell, it wasn’t just a “I think I’ll throw my ministry out the window and do this”. It started as a thought and started months before he sinned. It probably started when he was looking at those women saying one thing, but allowing himself to think something different. The church leader who started stealing money from the tithes and offerings didn’t just start out of the blue, it was a thought, an imagination that the person acted on. Judas is the perfect example of following a thought, an imagination, an argument or way of thinking, that you know is wrong and being totally lost because of it.
Clearly, Jesus had resources as people gave to them. Judas was stealing out of the group money box and no one noticed. They must have had a lot of income if no one noticed. Surely, early on, that explosive Peter would have beat him up if he knew what was going on. It started as a thought with Judas and it is the same for you and I. When the wrong thought comes, we must cast it down. Whether it is a demon influencing us or just our imaginations running wild (or a combination of both), we need to be careful what we think. Not sure what to do about it? The Word tells us what we should be thinking about in Philippians 4:8 saying,
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. NKJV
Father God, I come humbly to you. I am so imperfect but you may me perfect through Jesus the Messiah. I ask your forgiveness for the wrong thoughts and imaginations I have had to this day. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, I tear down those thoughts and I refuse give them root in my life. I pull them out of my life. I break them and the enemy’s assignment to destroy me through those thoughts in the Name of Jesus right now. I give them to you.
Holy Spirit, I ask you to quicken me, guide me, direct me, and help me to get my thought-life in line with your word. Help my daily thoughts to be your thoughts. In the Name of Jesus, I thank you for forgiveness, and praise you that today is a new day. My old life is gone, and my life is new. I am clean by the blood of Jesus. In Jesus‘ Name. AMEN!
Put your thoughts in line with God’s Word. Jesus said, nothing is impossible to those who believe.


Discovering How To Stay Youthful
2 Cor 4:16
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. NKJV
“You’re getting older”, is a striking comment a 40 year old person is probably not too excited to hear. A toddler or even a teenager may smirk when they get a comment from an aunt or uncle they’ve not seen for a long time. The fact of the matter is, from the day you were born with your mama and papa in that delivery room at the maternity section of the hospital, you have been getting old. Getting older is a something every one of us is doing whether we like it or not.
According to legend, in the 1500s, a famous Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, discovered Florida while searching for the ‘Fountain of Youth’. We don’t know the level of accuracy of this legend as the Spanish empire he represented was probably very interested in gold and expanding their empire. However, this fountain he was apparently hoping to find was thought to be a well of water that if you drank, kept you from aging. Think about that! No more dying, no more gray hairs, no more saggy skin or winkles, no more lost hair. Worldwide, people spend millions maybe even billions of dollars each year on creams, ointments, tonics and hair loss treatments to keep their appearance young. Others have surgeries to tighten up wrinkling skin. Everyone wants to be vibrant and youthful. However, even now, 500 years later no one has found this legendary fountain. Does it exist? As a believer what do you do with a story like this? Do you travel around the world looking for it?
Well, if Mr. de Leon was really searching for this fountain and knew the Word of God, he would have probably called off the search. The Word of God was there for him just as it is there for you and I. If you read 2 Corinthians 4:16, you can see that our outward body is perishing. It is getting older. It was something that was set in motion with the fall of Adam and Eve when they committed the first sin.
Has anyone discovered this fountain of youth? I have discovered the fountain of youth. Well, if you know Jesus you can too! Yes, my hair may still turn gray, but youthfulness is not an external thing, it is an internal thing. If you have ever seen a beauty queen, just remember in 10 or 20 years, they are not going to be so good looking. (Of course, my wife married me for my good looks, riches, and my fame... which actually I had none of). Youth is not an external thing, it is an internal thing and there is only one way to stay young. It is through Jesus our Messiah! Through Him, we live and move and have our being. He said John 7:38
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." NKJV


Truth & Error

John 14:16-17
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. NKJV
As an unbeliever, repenting and turning to God is the first step. I have heard unbelievers say, “When I die, I will decide whether this “God-thing” was right or not”. Well, you are not telling people about what Jesus has done for you for some no reason. You are telling them because when they die it is going to be too late. When their spirit/soul departs their body they will be eternally separated from God. That is their choice, but it is our obligation to tell them. Spiritually, if we don’t decide on Jesus, then they are choosing eternal separation from the presence of God (which is hell).
For those who chose Jesus, repenting and turning to Him is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Icebergs are large floating pieces of ice in the arctic areas of the earth. The top of the iceberg is above the ocean water line, but the majority is below the surface of the water. Like an iceberg, repenting is the first step but we’ve got to go deeper. The second step is receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit. This is received by the laying on of hands by leaders at your church who are filled with the Holy Spirit. If you are not filled with the Spirit yet (the denomination I grew up in said, you can tell the infilling when you receive the gift of tongues as it seems to go hand in hand). Then find the pastor at your church whom you see the power and presence of God on. If you are in a place with no believing churches, find yourself a believer whose got the infilling to pray for you.
Once you’ve received the prayer for infilling, just thank the Father for it and receive the gift. The gift of the Holy Spirit is so important for every believer. He will teach you, He will empower you, He will guide you, He will encourage you... His presence is very important in your life. He will even give you the words to say when you normally wouldn’t know how to respond. John 16:13 says,
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. NKJV
The Father is God, the Son (Jesus) is God, the Holy Spirit is God. I don’t think we completely comprehend God. He is so deep, so beautiful, so magnificent. He is one, but yet He is three. He is three, but yet He is one. Jesus is equal with the Father, the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. They are one. King Jesus taught us that when He left the earth, the Holy Spirit would be our teacher. We need the Holy Spirit as He is God.
There was a book that came out when I was in high school called “Good Morning, Holy Spirit”. What a great title! Even if you don’t read the book, you can get the idea. When you wake up, when you go to bed, when you go to work, when you go to school, when you go to an interview, wherever you are, speak to God the Spirit. Let Him guide you by your new spirit and renewed mind. He’ll show you the truth from the error, the lies from the light. Check out 1 John 4:6 which says,
6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. NKJV
Speak it out: Thank you Holy Spirit, for leading, teaching, revealing the truth and directing me today.


Enduring Mercy & The Vapor Of Life

Ps 100:4-5
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations. NKJV
The man was brilliant. He spoke with fluency and seemed to know everything and anything about Japan and the countries of Asia. He was an elderly gentleman but still seemed spunky and knew his material as he spoke to the gathering of business people. He had authorized 4 books and was one CEOs of various companies came to for advice. Following the meeting I talked to him and was very impressed with his wisdom. Little did I know it was the first and last time I would talk to him.
Four years later, I sent him an email. The mail bounced back saying his ‘mailbox was full’. I looked him up and after a brief investigation found that he passed away four years previous. He had passed away and I had not even noticed. How sad! It reminded me, that our lives here are so brief. They are a vapor. We are here for a time, but then we are gone. We are with our Creator because we turned from Jesus, or eternally separated from Him because we ignored His call. But Yahweh God, He is different. Let me repeat what the Psalmist said,
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations. NKJV
His mercy is everlasting. That means if we subscribe to it, His mercy, then we will be with Him. And his truth endures to all generations. I think Mary said it well when she said,
Luke 1:50
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation. NKJV
Although, we might only be here for a short time, His mercy lasts for ever and ever and ever for those who grab a hold of it. What made Mary different from the other young women of Galilee? Mary believed God, she knew His Word, and it showed. Whatever is in you, is going to come out of you when you are excited. Whether you are upset or rejoicing, what is in you in going to come out. I believe Mary was the young woman God chose because she chose to serve Him before that. He is so gracious and merciful! Let’s shout it every day of our lives.
Ps 89:1
I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;
With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations. NKJV
When you leave your body, make sure that it was proclaiming His goodness. If you do, you won’t pass away unnoticed. He will be glorified and so will you with Him!
Decide today saying to yourself and the world, “As for me and my house, I will live long, and I will live strong.”
Today’s Reading-
Micah 6, 7 
Revelation 12
Proverbs 22
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