Love Is… Prophecy Is…

Audio version

Hi everyone,
I hope your week started off great! Today I want to share again a vision I had about a year ago, which I am reminded of repeatedly these days; and add something else beneath it. The following four lines are what I shared back then:

Jesus was one of the guests in the vision and I wondered where the host was and all the other guests! He did not say a word while cleaning up. He did not do it reluctantly, expecting to be acknowledged for what He was doing – you could see it on His face that He was doing it gladly! He did it silently, all by Himself, and I realized that this is just how God is! When you look at Romans 12, you can see that it is a privilege and gift from God towards us when we have smaller or bigger opportunities to serve in everyday life:

“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8 ESV)

Now some may think: ‘I don’t have the gift of service, so this vision doesn’t apply to me,’ and the former may be true. However, remember that we are all commanded to serve:

“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen.” (John 13:12-18 ESV)

Is this not amazing? “BLESSED ARE YOU IF YOU WASH ONE ANOTHER’S FEET.” This is the blessing which lies upon a Jesus-centered community. He is speaking to His chosen ones; you know you ought to serve others when you believe that you are chosen by Him.

Another significant revelation I received from Him, which I want to add – which I am sure I will keep sharing with others, by God’s grace, till the end of my life – is His answer when I asked Him what prophecy is. I have the gift of prophecy, I love to prophesy; but something was bugging me about my heart. Guess which Scripture He gave me? John 13, the passage I just shared! I was in awe when I checked the passage and I heard the Holy Spirit say: “My daughter, prophecy is washing someone else’s feet.” Think about it; you should always have the servant heart of Jesus when you are SERVING someone with prophecy from heaven, and do it in proportion to your faith (if we go back to the first bible passage I shared, it says in Romans 12 that those who have the gift of prophecy should prophesy in proportion to our faith). I really want us to remember this when we are prophesying, and remember Jesus, our Teacher and Lord, when we are serving others. I want to remember it when no one sees me and says “thank you”, that God is acknowledging me and affirming me. The records of my actions (of faith) remain in heaven for eternity, and this is the Lord’s story through me!

I was very self-centered once, and obsessed with my pain above others’. At one point, I cried out for deliverance because I wanted to change and live selflessly. God shifted my focus away from my pain and the Holy Spirit helped me to serve others silently. He keeps reminding me that I am choosing the better path towards healing if I obey and to what He did first, by giving us an example. I know whose I am, so I follow His ways; my sweet and amazing Lord Jesus’. HE IS THE WAY TO THE FATHER.

I hope this word blesses you.

In Jesus’ name,

K.Y.E.O.J. – VI. the narrow gate

Welcome to part 6! We are approaching the end of Lent and I have one last post coming up next week to wrap up this series. Hallelujah! Thank God for Jesus! We shall be left with nothing more than Jesus, that is my prayer in Jesus’ name.

Today we want to sit with Luke 13:23-27:

Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 

When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 

then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 

But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 

I oftentimes sense pride in people who say “only a few will be saved”. The way they say it implies that they are a part of the “few” and that the people they are secretly thinking of as they say it, are not. Most probably, they are looking around for approval while saying it, too. It can sound so very righteous, right?

I love the way Jesus answers: “strive to enter through the narrow gate.” He is telling the man that he himself must strive to be saved. The narrow gate is Jesus, he must believe in Jesus and Jesus only. Belonging to a group does not give you salvation. Doing all the good works does not give you salvation – that would be trying to enter through a different gate but Jesus. No, you need to believe in Christ yourself and you need a real, personal relationship with Him. The fruits of that relationship will show.

“Strive even to an agony; or as they did for the garland in the Olympic games, to which the word agonizomai, here used, seemeth to allude.” (Trapp) … It is necessary to strive to enter because there are many obstacles in the way. The world is an obstacle. The devil is an obstacle. Probably the worst obstacle is our own flesh.”

Enduring Word commentary on Luke 13

In the essence, it is a fight of faith. Look at other bible verses which use the word “agonizomai (strive)”:

  • “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” (1. Co 9:25)
  • “To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” (Col 1:29)
  • “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Col 4:12)
  • Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1. Ti 6:12)
  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2. Ti 4:7)

Is it not an honor to strive for such a price? We do it with the power, love, and self-discipline of the Holy Spirit! Only with the help of the Holy Spirit will we be able to do it! Seek it, ask for it, and fight well the good fight of faith until only the name of Jesus remains in your heart! Until only Jesus sits on the throne of your heart! Do it again and again, go deeper and deeper with Him – know Him with the faith that you are known by Him. Let us strive to enter through the narrow gate until we finish the race.

Oh Jesus, thank you for believing in someone like me. Equip us for good works and train us! I choose to fight fiercely for my faith even today; to know you deeper, to have you as my only One in my heart. Your name be lifted high, Jesus. In Your name I pray for everyone who reads this. Amen.

K.Y.E.O.J. – V. honoring Jesus

Hello everyone! We are at part 5 of this Lent series Keep Your Eyes On Jesus already, praise God! Here are the links to the last four:

Part 1. wheat & tares
Part 2. mustard seed
Part 3. the joy of relationship
Part 4. to be loved the same

Today, I want to talk about the parable of the wicked vinedressers from Luke 20:9-19 (NKJV):

Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.

“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.”

And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”

Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone’?

Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.

What comes to your mind when you read this Scripture? Maybe you get the feeling that it is Jesus vs. the bad guys (aka. “pharisees”) and this Word does not apply to you? I am smirking here because the Holy Spirit led me to this parable and I know the Lord wants to speak to me about honoring Jesus.

Let us look at the vinedressers first! We know that the owner of the vineyard is God, the Father, and that His Son is Jesus. The vinedressers are those He entrusted His Word with, the people of God. The servants are the prophets whom God kept sending to His people who were mistreated and murdered by the same. Jesus is warning here that the Israelites will reject Jesus and crucify Him, and that the vineyard will be given over to His believers who receive and honor Him, no matter if they are Jew or Gentile.

See, His Word is active and alive and we serve a living God. This Word still applies to us, His vinedressers! You, if you are a follower of Christ, have been entrusted by God with the Holy Spirit (His own very presence in you) to bear fruits which please Him. You have been given certain gifts of the Spirit to serve the Body of Christ (please check out this list and pray over it, asking the Lord what your gifts are). Jesus is coming back and even before that, all throughout your life, the owner of the vineyard will come and check how you are doing and if you are producing any good fruit. And if you are, He will make sure you get all the nourishment you need to keep growing (John 15:2).

How do you feel about this? Uncomfortable? Are you in this competitive, all-about-success mindset of this current generation again and feel like shutting down? Believe me, I have been there. God had to renew my mind completely in my twenties to get me out of the bondage of fear of never being enough. If this is the case for you, please go ahead and read the parable of the barren fig tree in Luke 13:6-9, it is just four verses. Choose whatever version you like and sit with it before the Lord until you feel safe in His presence. He loves you and adores you! He cherishes you and takes good care of you! He is your good shepherd, and He will not give up on you – ever. Sit there with Him until you have received His love by faith and then come back.

So, assuming you have done that, I want you to focus on where you might be rejecting Jesus right now and refusing to render to God what He rightfully deserves. Where does that “shrinking back, away from God” (Hebrews 10:39) come from? Hebrews tells us it is due to a lack of faith; and we cannot believe what we have not heard. Let me ask you this: do you actually know Jesus? He is the Word, the entire Bible.

For those of you who want to dive in more into Scripture right now, I encourage you to go to 1. Peter 1 and read the whole chapter out loud. The power of the knowledge that Peter had of Jesus (out of revelation from Heaven) was to a measure that it changed the entire world! It was never the same again. So it is with your life. The revelation that Jesus is the Son of God delivers and heals. There is no other name by which your life can be changed! 1. Peter tells us that when we truly know Him, we rest assured in the living hope of Jesus and live holy lives, just as He is holy. I rest assured that whatever unbelief is holding me back right now from bearing more fruits, it will be cast down in the mighty name of Jesus as I receive Him and honor Him as He is. I pray that as you read this, the Holy Spirit will reveal the Son of God to you and cast down your unbelief with the might of angel armies, driving out the darkness in you with the light of Jesus Christ. Oh come, Holy Spirit! We shall be holy as He is holy! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

K.Y.E.O.J. – IV. to be loved the same

Shalom, my friends! This is part 4 of “Keep Your Eyes On Jesus”, a series on the parables of Jesus in memory of Lent. We have less than three weeks to go until Good Friday! Today, we want to look at the parable of the lost son. Here we go:

To further illustrate the point, he told them this story: “A man had two sons. When the younger told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die!’ his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there wasted all his money on parties and prostitutes. About the time his money was gone a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the swine looked good to him. And no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired men have food enough and to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming, and was filled with loving pity and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

“His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and you, and am not worthy of being called your son—’

“But his father said to the slaves, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. And a jeweled ring for his finger; and shoes! And kill the calf we have in the fattening pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has returned to life. He was lost and is found.’ So the party began.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working; when he returned home, he heard dance music coming from the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on.

“‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the calf we were fattening and has prepared a great feast to celebrate his coming home again unharmed.’

“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve worked hard for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to; and in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after spending your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the finest calf we have on the place.’

“‘Look, dear son,’ his father said to him, ‘you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours. But it is right to celebrate. For he is your brother; and he was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!’”

Luke 15:11-32 TLB

What point was Jesus making? The reason why Jesus started telling the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and this parable in the first place, was to respond to the Jewish religious leaders grumbling about Him associating, even eating, with the unrighteous. They expected Jesus to treat them differently – they expected Him to want to spend more time with them rather than “those people”. Jesus is telling them that the Father loves His children the same, meeting their needs differently. For the problem of the elder son was not that He was afraid the father would not accept him (that was the concern of the younger son); why would he if he is doing everything right, living a faithful, obedient life? No, he was angry at his father for treating his younger sibling, who did not deserve anything he received, in such a kind, loving way! It was pride, a sense of entitlement coming from self-righteousness, that demanded the father to love him more than his “sinning” brother. Don’t we get this feeling, too, when we see God extending His love, grace and mercy to a brother or sister in Christ who does not even know how to appreciate it and keeps grieving the Father’s heart? Just imagine the time this older son had to spend watching his father look out the window day and night for this mischievous brother! All the while he was faithful and did everything right. It is no wonder he thinks it is unfair. But that is how the Father in heaven loves us all!

“Look, dear son, you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours.”

To all you older sons in the parable, this is the Father’s response to you! The Father and everything He has is your reward. The intimacy you have with Him is your reward! When you believe, you can enter the party thrown for your prodigal sibling with joy and laughter, arm in arm with the father. Yes, you can even wait together with him, looking out the window, and running out to meet your lost brother with open arms when he returns home. Don’t you want the truth to set you free like this? You will be able to love so much more!

Now, another point I want to make in this post is about the lost son. Pay attention to his hunger, that he got so hungry that he even wanted what was given to pigs but he wasn’t given anything. I was talking to a friend yesterday, how there are times when God leaves you hungry for a reason. You are so hungry on the inside, but there is nothing that can fill this void in your heart; no other person in this world. You keep striving for intimacy, maybe you are waiting for “the one”, your lover, but somehow even that kind of relationship does not satisfy. My friend, if this is you, maybe, just maybe this is your Father in heaven inviting you to come home to Him! Because He is waiting there for you – and He would run towards you even before you get there, seeing you from afar, recognizing you; giving you a robe and a ring to tell everybody that you are His child. Do you hear me? Do you hear the Father calling?

“His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and you, and am not worthy of being called your son—’
But his father said to the slaves, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. And a jeweled ring for his finger; and shoes! And kill the calf we have in the fattening pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has returned to life. He was lost and is found.’

Look at Him. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

God bless you!

K.Y.E.O.J. – II. mustard seed

Welcome to part 2! Here is an introductory post to this series and here is part 1.

Today, we are going to look at another beautiful parable from Jesus. It is the parable of the mustard seed:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,
which a man took and sowed in his field, 
which indeed is the least of all the seeds;
but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs
and becomes a tree,
so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
(Matthew 13:31-32 NKJV)

Profound, isn’t it? Simple but powerful! The least of all seeds growing into a sheltering tree – the carpenter’s son from Nazareth, born in a manger, now sitting at the right hand of God! Oh, what a sight!

At the beginning of this year, the Holy Spirit led me to the life and teachings of Isabella Lilias Trotter (1853-1928). She was a single missionary and artist who served in Algeria for over 38 years (you can find out more about her at Little was known about her until a pastor’s wife decided to find out more about her life after having been comforted by her writings. I am certain that especially Lilias did not know her life would touch a young woman in South Korea about a hundred years after her death, but God knew! I am sharing because I really hear God speaking to me that it is all about surrender, and that He will do the multiplying. Follow me on this one. I want to share a part of her book called “Parables of the Cross“:

This dandelion has long ago surrendered its golden petals, and has reached its crowning stage of dying–the delicate seed-globe must break up now–it gives and gives till it has nothing left.

What a revolution would come over the world–the world of starving bodies at home–the world of starving souls abroad, if something like this were the standard of giving; if God’s people ventured on “making themselves poor” as Jesus did, for the sake of the need around; if the “I”–“me”–“mine” were practically delivered up, no longer to be recognised when they clash with those needs.

The hour of this new dying is clearly defined to the dandelion globe: it is marked by detachment. There is no sense of wrenching: it stands ready, holding up its little life, not knowing when or where or how the wind that bloweth where it listeth may carry it away. It holds itself no longer for its own keeping, only as something to be given: a breath does the rest, turning the “readiness to will” into the “performance.” (2 Cor. 8. 11.) And to a soul that through “deaths oft” has been brought to this point, even acts that look as if they must involve an effort, become something natural, spontaneous, full of a “heavenly involuntariness,” so simply are they the outcome of the indwelling love of Christ.

Shall we not ask God to convict us, as to where lies the hindrance to this self-emptying? It is not alone mere selfishness, in its ordinary sense, that prevents it; long after this has been cleansed away by the Precious Blood there may remain, unrecognised, the self-life in more subtle forms. It may co-exist with much that looks like sacrifice; there may be much of usefulness and of outward self-denial, and yet below the surface may remain a clinging to our own judgment, a confidence in our own resources, an unconscious taking of our own way, even in God’s service. And these things hold down, hold in our souls, and frustrate the Spirit in His working. The latent self-life needs to be brought down into the place of death before His breath can carry us hither and thither as the wind wafts the seeds. Are we ready for this last surrender?

Do you ask “Does God really mean the emptying to reach so far as this?” Study the inner life of Jesus. “I speak not of Myself” He says. “I can of Mine own self do nothing.” “I seek not Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” His human self-life, sinless though it was, was laid down that He might live by the Father, and our self-life, defiled and worthless, shall we not lay it down that we may live by Him?

But how? Again not by struggling and wrestling, but by dying to it in Jesus. “I am crucified with Christ”–I myself in the very essence of my being, I let myself go to that death, and by the mysterious power with which God meets faith, I find that He has made it true: the bonds are loosed and He can have His way with me.

See in these wild iris-pods how the last tiny threads must be broken, and with that loosing, all that they have is free for God’s use in His world around. All reluctance, all calculating, all holding in is gone; the husks are opened wide, the seeds can shed themselves unhindered. Again and again has a breaking come:–the seed broke to let go the shoot–the leaf-bud broke to let go the leaf, and the flower-bud to let go the flower–but all to no practical avail, if there is a holding back now. “Love is the fulfilling of the law,” and sacrifice is the very life-breath of love. May God shew us every withholding thread of self that needs breaking still, and may His own touch shrivel it into death.

There are times when I am appalled by my own inability to love and I would self-destruct if I did not believe that Christ lives in me now, not I! What a relief that I can love now, that it is easy and not burdensome because the Holy Spirit is my Helper. It can be so arduous when I try to do it on my own. Look at how nature worships God by doing what Jesus commands us to do: die to abound. Only when the tiny mustard seed dies, can it turn into a giving tree for many. And when even the least of all seeds can turn into such a sheltering tree, how much more the others! The sovereignty of God is all over the parable! The vastness of His glory evident in the way He designed the kingdom of heaven. It is the art of dying to oneself, so that God can be glorified.

Keep your eyes on Jesus! Imitate His faith. You have no idea how God can use you, you just don’t. God’s thoughts are so much higher, transcending time and space. You may not see it now, but His kingdom is growing. You are growing!