We had look at the purpose of Jesus performing miracles in the previous post. We have looked at the glory of God that is manifested in that miracle.

Now let us consider another  question that some of us may be wondering about the First Miracle Performed by Jesus in Canna

What can we learn from this miracle >

Let us consider the dialog between the Lord and Mary

Mary:  “They have no wine.”
Jesus : “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?
                My hour has not yet come.”
Mary: “Whatever he says to you, do it”

Running Out Of Wine

This is important for one day, our own wine will deplete as well

We know that wine is an important drink during wedding feast, I am sure that the master must have prepare a lot of wine, but yet there were so many guest. As the result, they finish up all the wine that was prepared. Most of us will find it disappointing

The same thing can happen to our lives as well. There are times where we enjoy peace and joy, and accidents occur. We tried very hard to prevent the problem from happen, but our ability is limited. So the wine we prepare may be used up.

That is when we need Jesus to be with us, to help us with our limitation. We need Jesus to be with us in our home, so that even if our wine ran out, Jesus will be there to help us.

Luckily, the couple invited Jesus to their house for the feast, if not they would have been helpless when the wine had run out. This is a problem that cannot be resolved even with money. There are no 24 hour convenient stores and supermarkets  during the time of Christ and they cannot buy wine even if they had the money.

But because Jesus is with them, he can turn water into wine. That is why we need Jesus in our lives and to allow him to rule over us and our house, we  need to rely on him in time of difficulties and mishaps.

Being Willing To Ask God For Help

Whenever we encounter situation when our wine is used up,  we need to tell our problems to Jesus just like Mary coming to Jesus with the problem.  God is always willing to help us through our difficulties

Sometimes the storms in life can distress us and make us anxious. But we need to rely on God and we need to tell him our suffering and our troubles. But often we choose to share them with friends instead of trusting Jesus.

Indeed friends can sometimes offer us help and advices, but there are many times they can only helplessly watch us in our problems. Perhaps they can make wine, but such processes require time, for no one can turn water into wine like Jesus

But often we find it hard to do so for we often hear comments like “Yes I trust him, but he ignored me in my prayers”

But let us notice what Jesus said to Mary 

“Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? 
  My hour has not yet come.”- Jesus (Jn 2:4)

Jesus did not immediately say “Alright, lets turn some water into wine” but he rejected saying “my hour has not come”. Sometimes we wonder why God does not grant our request now, and when is this “Good time” coming,

It appears as if Jesus did not listen and our problems are still left unsolved .

The Importance Of Following Instructions From The Lord

“Whatever he says to you, do it” –Mary (Jn 2:5)

This is the most important part of the solution is written here. For Mary did not know how or when the Lord will solve the problem, but she believe that God had his time to help. She is willing to believe and wait until Jesus tells them what to do.

So now we hear the instruction so of Jesus

1. Fill the water pots with water
2. Draw some out, bring it to the master of the feast

Step 1 can be followed without consequences, but the second instruction sounds dangerous. Even though others may not know that this was water, but the servants knew. So if we are the servants, can we follow the command of Jesus?

But these servants followed the command and this require both courage and faith. Instead of just putting our focus on the wine, let us look at the faith of these workers. They follow the instructions fully, and the result was that everyone can enjoy the wine.

We all believe in Jesus, but how many of us will be willing to obey his command?  We need to believe in Jesus so that we can receive eternal life, but will we follow all his instructions?

Obedience And Salvation

Jesus once warned us

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
  shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he
  who does the will of My Father in heaven.

   Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord,
  have we not prophesied in Your name, cast
   out demons in Your name, and done many
  wonders in Your name?’

  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew
  you; depart from Me, you who practice 
  lawlessness!’” – Jesus (Matt 7:21-23)

The instruction of Jesus are given according to the commands of the father. These command concern salvation, and how can we disobey them if we believe in Jesus and calls him Lord?

Today many Christians called Jesus Lord, but yet the many things they chose to do is not according to his instruction. Some people mock at us wondering why we place so much emphasis in how to perform sacraments such as baptism and holy communion. They accuse us of being legalistic and just following blindly. They often say that as long as we understand the significance and the teaching behind it , it would have been sufficient.

We tell ourselves that because we are under the grace of God, we do not need to adhere to Gods standards in the 10 commandments and man only need to keep coming to Jesus for forgiveness. We unknowing turn the grace of God into a license to disobey him without consequences.

We say that the grace of God is with us, and there are still miracles where demons are being cast out and people healed and that means God is please with us everything is fine.

But the disciple of Jesus did not do that, they believed and followed all the teachings of the Lord. The told people to be baptised for the forgiveness of their sin and told them to follow God.

Today many Christians feel that these do not matter, but  is that what Jesus says?

Jesus mentioned it one more time in Luke saying

Conclusion

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?  Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:  He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” – Jesus (Lk 6:47-49)

When the day of judgement comes, the faith that we build will be flooded. That is the time we can test if our faith could withstand the flood.  At that time, those who choose to follow their own ways will find that their faith collapsing in face of the flood of Gods judgement

From the miracle at Cana we learn that it is important to follow the instruction of Jesus. Perhaps we may think that we have unlimited wine and we do not need the help of Jesus. But we know that even if our wine is unlimited, our life is definitely limited.  All man , be it a king or a beggar, will use up his life

If we run out of wine, Jesus can turn water into wine, and if we run out of life, Jesus can give us everlasting life.

John recorded this miracles so that you would believe that Jesus is the Christ, by believing in him, we can receive everlasting life.

Let us keep this message deep within our lives.

Introduction

We have covered the first lesson that Christians ought to know in life, in the previous blog post, we understand that Christians ought to learn to fear God first and foremost.

Let us continue with the second lesson.

Lesson 2: To Learn Righteousness

Prophet Isaiah once said

“With my soul I have desired You in the night,
  Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;
  For when Your judgments are in the earth,
  The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
   Let grace be shown to the wicked,
  Yet he will not learn righteousness;
   In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly,
  And will not behold the majesty of the Lord.” – Isaiah (Is 26:9-10)

God executes judgment so that people will see and learn righteousness. In fact God is watching over all that we do. So we must all be mindful that God is watching. God is not watching us like a cosmic policeman ready to give you a citation whenever you make a mistake. But he watches like a father to ensure that his children does not sin and loses their salvation.

We all have experience being a child. Sometimes children takes pleasure in disobeying their parents. They start by disobeying subtlety, intently observing the reaction of the parents.  They begin by being disobedient in small things, eventually their disobedience will grow greater. 

Sin works in the same way, we will not want others to know when we sin in the beginning. That is because we feel ashamed by it,  therefore we take our time and sin quietly at the background. But once we notice that there are no retribution, our actions get bolder and bolder 
 

The Case For Delayed Judgment

Sometimes we feel that God choose not to take action because he loves us.  But we only understand the pain and fear when God judges us later on for the sin.

In fact, our God is not one that will repay evil for evil immediately . God often show patient to sinners and treat evil with good. Sadly, modern man did not see it as a chance given by God for man to repent. Worst still when there are some who view this mercy and grace as God being afraid of them. As the result they continue to sin and they lose that chance for repentance

It is ironic that when God decided to execute his judgement, man then  accused God of cruelty. We often fail to consider if the punishment a result of Gods cruelty or mans disobedience

That is why Christians ought to know the righteousness of God as well as his love. for man For God will judge us according to his righteousness eventually . 

How do we learn the righteousness God? This is a very broad topic and could lead to many blog posts. So let us look at some of the points raise by Jesus to scale down the discussion.  
 

Lesson No 1 : To Let Your ‘Yes’ Be ‘Yes’ and Your ‘No’, ‘No’

“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’
  For whatever is more than these is from the
  evil one.” – Jesus (Matt 5:37)

Jesus wanted his disciples to be righteous, and he wanted righteousness to begin at their speech. A righteous man is one who could discern between right and wrong. It is true that many of us can discern between right and wrong, it is just that we refrain from judging often.

Judging here is not about being mean and rude to the offender. It does not require us to hurt or bring bodily harm to anyone. It requires us to be open to about the fact that the action committed is sin. Our purpose is not to condemn people to hell but to turn them from their wrong. 

Courage is needed to judge for no one likes to be called a sinner. Indeed no man would want to hear messages that point out their sin and wrong doing. People who had the courage to judge are often faced with threats and accusation of things that they did not do. 

It is these thoughts of repercussion which tend to silence us. It make us ask ourselves “Why should I be bothered to speak out against this ? The person sinning is not my child or my brother, I should look out for my own interest instead.”

As the result we hide behind the banner of  “Not being judgmental” , “Not showing partiality” and “being a man of peace”. So we choose not to bring up the matter of sin and we push that responsibility to God.  We believe that by not being judgemental we bring harmony to the house of God.

That may be good in the eyes of men, But have we understood what it really meant to be a peacemaker? 

What is a True Peacemaker?

Being a peacemaker is not about  being a “Goody two shoes” before man. Peace can only be found within the church when the church is able to discern between right and wrong, sin and righteousness. The work of a peace maker is to lead people so that they can be reconciled with God.

It is necessary for him to point out the areas in which one needs to repent.  A peacemakers must do this not in a self righteous “holier than thou” attitude  but in a humble, sincere way. His purpose is to lead the person back to God and his job is to point out where sin is lurking so that one could repent before God.

True peace arrives when God forgives the sins of the sinner.

A peacemaker is not one who sweep sins under the carpet. Even if the sin is hidden from the eyes, the stench can never be hidden. Others will smell the stench and look under the carpet. 

A peacemaker is one who teaches right and wrong and leads people to repent and be renewed in their lives. He is one who discern good and evil.  That will mean that he cannot remain a “Mr Nice Guy” forever.

There is a popular quote that we often hear 

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph
  is for good men to do nothing” – Lee Tolstoy / Edmund Burke

It will be hard for one to learn righteousness if everyone choose to remain silent about sins.

To Speak Responsibly Without Idle Words

Even though it is a Christian duty to be open  about sin and to preach righteousness. Jesus also gave us a word of caution

“But I say to you that for every idle word
  men may speak, they will give account
  of it in the day of judgment.  For by your
  words you will be justified, and by your
  words you will be condemned.”- Jesus (Matt 12:36-37)

There are times we speak idle words without thinking of its consequences. We think that our words will disappear once it leaves our mouth. But we need to account for everything we speak. God place emphasis on it as words can either make or break a person.

Let us remember the time when the Israelites left Egypt, during that time not all who followed are the people of God. 

“A mixed multitude went up with them also,
  and flocks and herds—a great deal of livestock” – Moses (Ex 12:38)

Among them are people who knows nothing of the promises of God. They did not seem to care for they only wanted to fulfil their lust and to gain benefits. As Israel journeyed in the wilderness they started many troubles among the people, they crave for meat and were sick of manna, they incited the people of God and influenced them to follow their craving, they speak idle words and in the end they were faced with the judgment of God.

Let us learn righteousness and the words of God, let us learn righteousness from the words of God. Let us be able to discern between right and wrong and to lead a simple life before God.

Lesson No 2 : To Be Fair and Not Show Partiality

Paul reminded masters to be fair to workers

“Masters, give your bondservants what is
  just and fair, knowing that you also have
  a Master in heaven.” – Paul (Col 4:1)

In those days, only the rich have servants. But today  many families have domestic maids who help in the house . Sometimes we tend to neglect these people, we are good to everyone else accept our maids and workers who work for us. We think that it is alright  since we are paying them for the work. We felt that it is only fair.

We fail to consider that they are also human beings, they are created by God just like you an I. They too have one master which is God. Sometimes we forget and we ill treat our subordinates and workers. As the result, we bring shame onto the name of God.

Elder James once rebuked the church leaders for showing partiality to the rich man and mistreating the poorer members in the church by telling them to sit at their feet. He claim that such partiality is evil before God and is sin.

But the question is, do we still regard this as sin?

Many Christians will declare that partiality is a bad thing, but they will not dare to call it a sin. But is that what the bible teaches?

“but if you show partiality, you commit sin,
  and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” – James (Jas 2:9)

The Truth About Partiality Within Men

Therefore let us learn to treat others fairly, and to show no partiality. For that is important in the eyes of God.Just as Moses who once instructed the judges of Israel

“Then I commanded your judges at that time,
  saying, ‘Hear the cases between your brethren,
  and judge righteously between a man and his
  brother or the stranger who is with him.
  
You shall not show partiality in judgment; you
  shall hear the small as well as the great; you
  shall not be afraid in any man’s presence, for
  the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard
  for you, bring to me, and I will hear it.’” –Moses (Deut 1:16-17)

As human beings, we tend to refrain from rebuking a the rich and powerful. But when we see the poor committing the same wrong, we tend to openly persecute him. What is worst is that we claim to be judging base on righteousness.

Perhaps we can fool the eyes of man, but there will be some who will think otherwise.

We may not be guilty for great misdeeds, but sometimes we show favouritism in the little things that we do.

For example some parents show favouritism to the child that could perform well in school. We allow them to go scot free when they make a mistake, but we reprimand the other children when they commit the same mistake.

We are often guilty of making judgment base on appearance. Let take a look at one more example

When we find two children in the fight, and one of them crying, we will assume that the child who is crying is the victim and the one that is not crying is the aggressor. But we need to be fair and realize that the one that is crying may not necessary be the victim.  

 In Conclusion

We have discussed two aspect of learning righteousness. We have discussed 2 aspect of learning righteousness

1. Let our yes be yes and our no , no 
      a. To be a peacemaker between man and God requires us to discern good from evil. 
      b. We have to speak responsibly and not with idle words
2. We have to learn not to show partiality  
      a. To be fair to everyone
      b. Not to allow appearance to determine our judgment

Let us learn to practice them in our daily lives

Introduction

“And truly Jesus did many other signs
  in the presence of His disciples, which
  are not written in this book;  but these
  are written that you may believe that
  Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
  that believing you may have life
  in His name.”- John (Jn 20:30-31)

There were about 35 miracles recorded within the gospel, 8 of these miracles are recorded in the gospel of John. Out of the 8, 7 were performed when Jesus is alive and 1 was performed after his resurrection.

But John gave 2 reasons for recording the miracles.

Firstly He hope that by reading them the audience will believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God. Jesus is the king that was promised by God in the Old Testament, he came so that those who believe in him can enter into the kingdom of God

For Isaiah once prophesied

“For unto us a Child is born,
  Unto us a Son is given;
  And the government will be upon His shoulder.
  And His name will be called
  Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
   Of the increase of His government and peace
  There will be no end,
  Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
  To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
  From that time forward, even forever.
  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”- Isaiah (Is 9:6-7)

God will come in the form of flesh to establish this kingdom of God, and Jesus is that child, the true God in the flesh.

Secondly, John hope that by reading it we too can believe in him and receive eternal life through his name.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.”-Jesus (Jn 5:24-25)

The Importance Of Knowing Christ

We know that it is appointed for man to die once and after to face judgement (Heb 9:27). Everyone who sins will be judged and be sentence to everlasting death. Those who had their sin forgiven can enter into the kingdom of God. To Christians,  Eternal life is about staying forever with the Lord and to be at peace with him.

For we have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23-27). Even though a man can choose to stop sinning , he can choose to do good and be charitable in all that he does, he cannot atone for the sins he had already committed  For his past mistakes cannot  be wipe off just because he is now good and charitable.

Perhaps he may be rewarded for the good that he had done, but he still need to pay for the sins he had committed.

That is why sin can only be forgiven through Jesus, God chose to come in the form of flesh to suffer and be punished for our sin. That is why Jesus need to sacrifice so that those who believe can be forgiven and not come to judgement.

But the question is “How do we know that Jesus is indeed that God who came in the flesh, how can we be sure that he is the Christ?”

That is why John decided to share these miracles, proving that Jesus is indeed Christ.

The First Miracle At Cana


  
An Example Of A Stone Jug Used During The Jesus Time

The first miracle of Jesus is performed in Cana, it is recorded in Jn 2:7-11. In this miracle, Jesus turn water into wine. And John shared the effect that this miracle had on the disciples

“This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee,
  and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed
  in Him “- John (Jn 2:11)

I wonder what reaction we would have upon hearing this. For most marketing department will tell us that first impression last forever. That is why many would expect that the first miracle must be important, special and great.

But strangely, we regard changing water into wine as something insignificant and there is nothing special about it. We tend to see this as small comparing to healing the lame, the blind or raising the dead.

Even though a marriage feast that ran out of wine is a spoiler . But we have read that the guest had already drank much wine and it appears that the first miracle is pointless, insignificant and unnecessary. Yet we wonder, why did Jesus use his great power to deal with such a small issue.

But the answer to this lies in the question “Do we truly understand why are miracles performed in the first place?”

Why Is Miracles Performed In the First place?

John understood the purpose of Jesus turning water into wine, he said that Jesus “manifested His glory”. The purpose of Jesus performing miracles is not for the purpose of bringing benefits to man. Even though benefits did come alongside with the miracle.

The real purpose of Jesus miracles is that through the power demonstrated from the miracle one can know God. It is so that others will know that Jesus is indeed sent by God. God uses miracles as a channel for someone to know God and receive eternal life. 

But sadly, man often wanted to see miracles as a way to get benefits from God. They hope to reap physical benefit through miracles. They downgraded God to a miracle healer that provides mere physical benefits.

These people became uninterested in knowing Jesus nor do they want to worship him. Eternal life has no value to them, and the immediate benefits outweighs the need for eternal life.

Jesus once corrected the attitude of the Jews who followed him

“Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw
  the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

   Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which
   endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you,
   because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”- Jesus (Jn 6:26-27)

These people followed Jesus after he fed 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes. These people even wanted to make Jesus king. For a king that can produce food will be useful. For his kingdom will never have to worry about famine, economy collapse.  Everyone will have food to eat for he can just create them out of thin air.

But Jesus simply said that he is not hear to make bread for everyone to eat, he wanted to give them eternal life.

So did we follow Christ so that we can reap physical benefits? Jesus wanted us to reconsider for he had eternal life that he wanted to give us

The Glory Of God In The Miracle At Cana

We recall the effect of that miracle on the disciple of Je sus

“This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee,
  and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed
  in Him “- John (Jn 2:11)

We know that the disciples believe that Jesus is the Christ through the glory of Christ manifested in the miracle. So what is that Glory?

We know that man can make wine from grapes, and Chinese could make wine from rice, but we are all aware that the process takes time and cannot occur instantly. This goes to show that this is supernatural power and one need to have the power to create in order for this to be done.

Man is a result of Gods creation (Gen 2:7) and God created man out of dust. Dust and human being are 2 different things with unique characteristic. So How can dust be made into a man?

In the eyes of man it is impossible, but with God everything is possible. For God has the power to create and he can make man out from dust. The idea of God making man out of dust seems crazy , and most man find it hard to believe, that is why many chose to believe that they evolved from apes and monkeys. Which they feel is more reasonable and possible.

But if we bring this idea into this miracle, we will find a lot of similarity . Water and wine is just as different as dust and man. Man had the power to make wine, but no one can turn water into wine immediately. For humans power of innovation and invention is limited by what God has already created.

Assuming that one day, man also claim that he had the ability to create man out from dust, they are still unable to create dust from nothing. Human beings are only capable to invent and modify things that God had already created, and they are not able to create something out of nothing.

This is why the first miracle manifested the glory of God. It allow the disciples to see the ability of Jesus to create things out of nothing. That is the glory of God, i tis the power of the creator and the power of God.

This is why the disciple saw this miracle and they believe   

Today as we read of this miracle in Cana let us choose to look beyond the wine that is created, let us open our eyes to the ability of Jesus to create things, for Jesus had the power to turn water into wine.

Jesus perform this miracle  to manifest his glory, Let us believe that he is God.

My wife showed me a very interesting song, which is known as “Hello Vietnam”. It was a song well liked by Vietnamese community. It was sang by a Vietnamese Belgian Singer known as Quynh Anh Pham.

I understand that Quynh Anh was a Ethnic Vietnamese born in Europe, and the song was written for her by French-hit singer Marc Lavoine  who was touch by the feeling of a small girl who had never seen her homeland.

Some interesting facts that I would like to share
1. The Movie by Coppola mentioned in the Lyrics is “Apocalypse Now” (1979)

Interestingly my first impression of Vietnam was taken ironically from the musical “Miss Saigon”. Later on in my life i discovered  that it was really accurate and stereotypical in its depiction of Vietnam 
 
When I visited Saigon in 2013, I tried hard to find the old American Embassy (where the infamous helicopter scene was based on) only to realise that it was demolished. The closest I got to the scene was the rooftop of the Independence Palace.  I used to think that Vietnam was full of floating markets..and ladies wearing Ao Dai (most likely due to much travel shows that depicted that). 

Later on I realised that the real Saigon is so much different from what I expected.

This song can be sang in 3 languages, English, French and Vietnamese. I have always been interested to find song that could be sang in more than 1 language. Therefore I would like to present this dedicated to everyone who is far away from home.

Personally i think the lyrics is very well written. I guess the song is best felt by people who live away from their home. I have decided not to try to link the lyrics and the translation as French and Vietnamese are all not my language of expertise.

 

Title : Bonjour Vietnam  /Xin Chào Việt Nam/ Hello Vietnam
Singer  :Quynh Anh Pham
Music :Marc Lavoine 
Lyrics: Lavoine and Yvan Coriat

French Version:

Raconte moi ce nom étrange et difficile à prononcer
Que je porte depuis que je suis née.
Raconte moi le vieil empire et le trait de mes yeux bridés,
Qui disent mieux que moi ce que tu n’oses dire.

e ne sais de toi que des images de la guerre,
Un film de Coppola, [et] des hélicoptères en colère …
Un jour, j’irai là bas, un jour dire bonjour à ton âme.
Un jour, j’irai là bas [pour] te dire bonjour, Vietnam.

Raconte moi ma couleur, mes cheveux et mes petits pieds,
Qui me portent depuis que je suis née.
Raconte moi ta maison, ta rue, raconte moi cet inconnu,
Les marchés flottants et les sampans de bois.

e ne sais de toi que des images de la guerre,
Un film de Coppola, [et] des hélicoptères en colère …
Un jour, j’irai là bas, un jour dire bonjour à ton âme.
Un jour, j’irai là bas [pour] te dire bonjour, Vietnam.

Les temples et les Boudhas de pierre pour mes pères,
Les femmes courbées dans les rizières pour mes mères,
Dans la prière, dans la lumière, revoir mes frères,
Toucher mon âme, mes racines, ma terre…

Un jour, j’irai là bas, un jour dire bonjour à mon âme.
Un jour, j’irai là bas [pour] te dire bonjour, Vietnam (2 fois)

Vietnamese Version :

Bạn hãy nói cho tôi biết chăng, về họ tên mà tôi đã mang,
Về miền quê mà tôi ngày đêm luôn nhớ mong.
Lòng tôi mong biết đất nước tôi, đất nước đã có bao đời,
Được nhìn bằng đôi mắt của mình được trở về cội nguồn của tôi

Và qua phim Coppola,lòng thấy xót thương quê hương.
Bầy trực thăng bay trên cao, tàn phá xóm thôn nhỏ bé.
Ước mong về thăm chốn thiêng,Mong sao quê hương dang tay đón tôi.
Mong ước đến ngày trở về,
Lòng tôi yêu mến, Việt Nam.

Bạn hãy nói tới mái tóc đen, tới đôi chân nhỏ bé,
Và màu da đã ngày đêm cùng tôi lớn lên
Và mong sao đôi chân sẽ bước lên,Từ những nơi tôi chưa từng đến.
Để được nghe bài dân ca êm dịu lướt trên sông.

Và tôi mới biết, về đất nước tôi qua phim.
Người dân quê hương tôi cày cấy, vui trong lời hát.
Ước mong về thăm đất nước tôi.Quê hương bao năm tôi đã cách xa.
Mong ước đến ngày trở về,Lòng tôi yêu mến Việt Nam.

Tôi sẽ theo cha về thăm làng quê, tổ tiên.
Theo những giấc mơ bay trên mênh mông đồng lúa.
Tôi thấy bao thân thương nơi đây quê tôi.
Như cây có gốc, tôi yêu,vđất nước tôi !

Ước mong về thăm đất nước tôi,
Mong sao quê hương dang tay đón tôi.

Tôi sẽ thăm những dòng sông,
Đồng quê xanh mát Việt Nam.

Ước mong về thăm chốn thiêng,
Mong sao quê hương dang tay đón tôi.
Mong ước đến ngày trở về.
Lòng tôi yêu mến Việt Nam.
Lòng tôi vang tiếng Việt Nam.
Lòng tôi xin chào Việt Nam.

English Version:

Tell me all about this name, that is difficult to say.
It was given me the day I was born.

Want to know about the stories of the empire of old.
My eyes say more of me than what you dare to say.

(Chorus)
All I know of you is all the sights of war.
A film by Coppola, the helicopter’s roar.
One day I’ll touch your soil.
One day I’ll finally know your soul.
One day I’ll come to you.
To say hello… Vietnam.

Tell me all about my colour, my hair and my little feet
That have carried me every mile of the way.

Want to see your house, your streets. Show me all I do not know.
Wooden sampans, floating markets, light of gold.

(Repeat Chorus)

And Buddha’s made of stone watch over me
My dreams they lead me through the fields of rice
In prayer, in the light…I see my kin
I touch my tree, my roots,my begin

One day I’ll touch your soil.
One day I’ll finally know my soul.
One day I’ll come to you.
To say hello… Vietnam.
One day I’ll walk your soil
One day I’ll finally know my soul
One day I’ll come to you
To say hello…Vietnam
To say hello…Vietnam
To say xin chào (Hello In Vietnamese) … Vietnam

 

French Version

Vietnamese Version

English Version

Introduction

Jesus once said

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the
  gate and broad is the way that leads to
  destruction, and there are many who go
  in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and
  difficult is the way which leads to life,
  and there are few who find it.” – Jesus (Matt 7:13-14)

Verse 13 talks about the way of the world. It is a way that leads to destruction. It is broad,wide and easy to tread on. That is a way that is sensual where one can do whatever his heart desires.

We have taken a look at that path  last week. Let us take a look at the way of the Lord.

The Way Of The Lord

Let us take a closer a look at the words of Christ

“Because narrow is the gate and
  difficult is the way which leads to life,
  and there are few who find it.”

That is the way that God wants,  it is a small and difficult path that leads to life. So how does one enter this path. Let us take a look at what Jesus said.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the
  door of the sheep….. I am the door.
  If anyone enters by Me, he will be
  saved, and will go in and out and find
  pasture….I have come that they may
   have life, and that they may have it
  more abundantly.” – Jesus (Jn 10:7.9.10)

Jesus is a good shepherd and the the sheep is his church. Jesus is the door of the sheep. In order to walk on this path, you must seek Jesus in order to enter it. Only by going through the door can you find salvation within the Lord.

God once spoke through prophet Isaiah

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
  Nor are your ways My ways,
  For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
  So are My ways higher than your ways,
  And My thoughts than your thoughts.”- YHWH (Is 55:8-9)

That is the thought and the ways of God. Gods thought and ways are different from us. When we encounter problems in life and we pray to him for help. but sometimes Gods answer may be different, for ways and thoughts are different from us.

Let us consider the characteristic of Gods way?

The Path Of God Need Not Be Straight

Most people tend to think that if their choices are smooth and it met with no opposition that must be the way of God. But let us consider the words of King Solomon.

“Consider the work of God;
  For who can make straight
  what He has made crooked?

  In the day of prosperity be joyful,
  But in the day of adversity consider:
  Surely God has appointed the one as
  well as the other,So that man can
  find out nothing that will come after
  him.” – Solomon (Eccl 7:13-14)

Solomon was talking about the encounters in life. It reminds us that we need to mediate on the words of God.We need to find out of the way God prepared. This verse reminds us that when we encounter suffering, we need to consider. Sometimes the path of the Lord may be curved, at that time, we should not try to go against the will of God.  Perhaps God meant it to be difficult

The Way Of The Philistines Vs The Way Of The Wilderness

Sometimes God may not lead us  on a the straight path . This can be seen in the book of exodus.

 So God led the people around by way
  of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And
  the children of Israel went up in
  orderly ranks out of the land
  of Egypt.” – Moses (Ex 13:18)

Here it talks about how God led Israel. I have found an article that featured a map for your reference

 

When God led Israel out of Egypt, it was through the way of the wilderness. The wilderness journey is hard.. Israel took 40 years to travel the wilderness. Israel spent about 2 years travelling to Kadesh. However just before they enter the land, they lost their faith and have to travel another 38 years in the wilderness. (CF: Deut 2:14)

The truth is that if one takes the way of the Philistines, it only takes 3 month to reach the promise land. In the eyes of man it is unwise and inefficient to travel like this. However, in the eyes of God it is a wise move.

The Wisdom Behinds God’s Choice

Sometimes we wonder why did God choose to lead Israel through the troublesome wilderness . God gave a reason behind his choice

“Lest perhaps the people
  change their minds when
  they see war, and return
  to Egypt.”-YHWH (Ex 13:17)

The way of the Philistines is known as the Via Maris (the way of the sea) and it is a well known trade route. The route is heavily fortified by the Egyptians. There are also the Philistines which are a fierce tribe.

The Israelites  are slaves who just left Egypt, although God has plans that they would fight the Canaanites in the future, but right now the faith of the Israelites are still weak. When Israelites were travelling in the wilderness, they were without food and water. God helped them them by providing manna and water from the rock. When the Israelites faced the Amalekites in the battle of Rephidim, they learnt to fight with God.

God train them to rely on him by giving them miracles and helping them in battle. The result of Gods wisdom can clearly be seen when Joshua led Israel  and started his campaign to conquer Canaan .

Learning From The Experience Of Joseph

That is how the will of God works. In our lives of faith we may encounter difficulties and it is actually the wisdom of God. Sadly many of the Israelites cant understand this as the result many of them fell in the wilderness.

Sometimes we wonder why is it that we encounter no success, why we fall sick and was not healed. Sometimes we study hard and yet we fail in our examinations. We need to understand how God works and why we encounter such problems.

Now let us consider the example of Joseph.

“But as for you, you meant evil against me;
  but God meant it for good, in order to bring
  it about as it is this day, to save many people
  alive.” – Joseph (Gen 50:20)

Those are the words of Joseph at old age. God trained Joseph throughout his life, God allowed Joseph to encounter so many difficulties. Joseph had a tribulation life

This verse tells us how God trained Joseph. God allowed Joseph to encounter a lot of tribulation. He lead a difficult life from 17 , he worked as a slave in the house of Potiphar. When things started to go smoothly for him, the wife of Potiphar seduced him and for doing the right thing, he was thrown into the prison.

He did not murmur against God for he know that it was the will of God behind it. Even though life was full of difficulties and he had face them willingly. He must have question why at times, but eventually he overcome the world.

Even though sometimes we do not understand why we are suffering, but often we will only see after the end of the journey. Sometimes it is only through the rough edges of life can one learn and discern with wisdom.

Learning From The Experience Of Moses

“When Pharaoh heard of this matter,
  he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled
  from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in
  the land of Midian; and he sat down by
  a well.” – Moses (Ex 2:15)

This is a record of the time where Pharaoh heard the of Moses killing the Egyptian. He wanted to kill Moses and Moses had to flee to Midian. This is an example of a difficult path given by God.

When Moses was a child, he was almost killed by Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh ordered to kill every male Israelite child. But God preserved his life and he arranged for Moses to be rescued by the Pharaoh’s daughter. The bible records that Moses is learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptian.

Moses thought of visiting his brethren for he knows that God wanted him to save the Israelites. But then he was young and quick tempered, when he saw an Egyptian bullying a Israelites, he fought and killed the Egyptian. As the result, he had to flee to the wilderness.

Eventually God approached Moses saying to him

“I will certainly be with you. And this shall
  be
a sign to you that I have sent you:
  When you have brought the people out of
  Egypt, you shall serve God on this
  mountain.”- YHWH (Ex 3:12)

Even though Exodus 3 is only one chapter away, But the timeframe is very far. Moses stayed 40 years in the wilderness of Midian (CF Acts 7:22-23,30) . He was 40 when he killed the Egyptian, and when God appeared to him in Exodus 3 he was 80 years old.

When Moses first learnt the knowledge of the Egyptian, he was confident that he had the advantage over others. But in the end he killed a Egyptian and he had to go to Midian to bury himself away. He led a lonely and simple life. This training destroyed his pride and temper.

The Moses at the age of 40 is like a prickly durian, the 40 years in the wilderness allowed God to remove all his spikes and self confidence. When God approached Moses at the age of 80, Moses was a changed man. He felt that he had no power and he is not strong enough.

Moses once said in his Psalm

“The days of our lives are seventy years;
  And if by reason of strength they are
  eighty years,” – Moses (Ps 90:10)

It seems that Moses had given up on himself at 80, he felt that his life was maxed out. He changed from a good and simple life to rock bottom. He became a commoner, and he feels that it is impossible to do the will of God. Moses feel that he cannot do it because he is slow of speech and tongues. From here we can see that he had lost his pride and Gods training for him in Midian and it had developed him spiritually. It turn Moses into the most humble man on earth.

The result of this training is seen in the book of Numbers

“(Now the man Moses was very humble,
  more than all men who were on the face
  of the earth.)” – Num 12:3)

This was Gods comment about his 40 years in the wilderness. If we make a comparison of Moses between Ex 2 and Num 12)  In Ex 2 he killed a Egyptian in his anger and now he is the most humble man on earth. This difference is a result of God’s training.

Without that training, he will not be able to handle 3-4 million people travelling in the wilderness. They often complain to him about having no food and water, he had to endure the heat of the day and the cold at night. He had to hear their problems and solve them  .

I believe if Moses was the leader of the Israelites at 40, perhaps many Israelites would have been executed for causing trouble.

Conclusion

From here we can see that God had different way for different people. Some Christians are put in the palace while some had to endure the heat and cold in the wilderness.

So when we encounter troubles in life, do we see it as God torturing us or do we see it as God will?

We need to know that Gods way is not necessary all smooth sailing, we must consider the work of God and that all things works for the good of those who love God. For Jesus tell us that the way to heaven is narrow and difficult. That is the way of God.

Today i have heard an interesting sharing regarding the two ways that every man must take. We would examine one of the two ways today.

Introduction

Our lives on earth is just like living in a wilderness, the wilderness is a vast place and it is hard to see a direction. Sometimes as we tread on it. Sometimes we wonder which is the right way to take. If we choose wrongly, it will take our lives into darkness.

But the bible tells us that if we follow God, our future will be bright.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide
  is the gate and broad is the way that
  leads to destruction, and there are
  many who go in by it.   Because narrow
  is the gate and difficult is the way
  which leads to life, and there are few
  who find it”- Jesus (Matt 7:13-14)

Matthew Chapter 5-7 contains the famous sermon on the mount by Jesus. They contains many teachings about Christian living. Here it mentioned that there are 2 pathways a man can take. That idea of that inspires us, reminding us that there are only 2 path a man can take.

Though the eyes of man it appears as if life had many choices and possibilities. But in the eyes of God there are only 2 outcome for he life of men. One path leads to destruction, and one leads to everlasting life.

Today we will focus on the path of destruction. It is also known as the path of the world.

What Is The Path Like?

It is a path that leads to hell and destruction.  Jesus describes the path that its gates are wide and the road is broad. It is very easy for one to walk and enter. Jesus said that many will go in by it. For it is the ways of the people of the world. Paul describes that path further.

“in which you once walked according
  to the course of this world, according 
  to the prince of the power of the air,
  the spirit who now works in the sons
  of disobedience,  among whom also
  we all once conducted ourselves in the
  lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires
  of the flesh and of the mind, and were
  by nature children of wrath, just as
  the others.”- Paul (Eph 2:2-3)

That was the path that we once took. It is currently the way our world operates. It is according to the prince of the power of the air. The path is easy for it allow us to follow our desires, we can do whatever we like. The modern world describes that life as freedom. But Jesus calls it the wide and broad way that leads to destruction.

The People Of The World Today

The bible describes the people on that path as the sons of disobedience and these people who walk on the path will eventually be judged for their disobedience to God. Paul continue to talk about these people

“having their understanding darkened,
  being alienated from the life of God,
  because of the ignorance that is in them,
  because of the blindness of their heart;
 
who, being past feeling, have given
  themselves over to lewdness, to work all
  uncleanness with greediness” – Paul (Eph 4:18-19)

Paul said that those who took this easy ways do not know God. They did not believe in him out of ignorance, that is why they do not fear him and they had no fear of judgement

That is why our world today is so complicated. There is always a thick grey line between right and wrong. Sometimes we wonder why is everyone so corrupt and evil, and that question lead to us doubting the existence of God as well as judgement.

At times, we wonder why is our world in such a mess. It is because of the fact that human beings have departed from the true source of life. They think that he doesn’t exist because they cannot see him.

But yet there was an old Chinese saying that says “头顶三尺有神明,不畏人知畏己知"

It means that “There are deities three feet above your head , even if others are not aware , yet you should know” It appears that all cultures acknowledge that even if you cant see God doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist.

The societies of the past are more aware of this than our modern world. But today we often asked “Why Is It That We Cannot See God?”

The Earthworm At Kremlin

During the 1960s during the cold war sparked a space race between the communist Russia and the America , at the initial part of the race, it was the Russian who were the first to send an cosmonaut into space.

During a speech made by the Russian Premiere Nikita Khrushchev he said “"Gagarin flew into space, but didn’t see any god there."

A week later, there was a comic strip that appeared in the US, in that strip there was a Earth worm who managed to go through the ground, and he pop his head up at the Kremlin in Russia. He looked around and he returned back to the ground. He told his friends that  Khrushchev doesn’t exist. For he had been to the Kremlin and could not see him.

The strip is drawn to poke fun at the Russian Premiere for he is just like an earth on the earth. Just because you did not see him doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist.

The  same goes for God. For God is spirit, even if you were to enter into space, you will not be able to find him. But sadly, man in his ignorance was not able to see that. As the result their heart is blind and they lose direction in their life. They became unafraid of judgement and they just do whatever their heart desires.

This is the reason why many on earth dare to do evil. They did it out of a ignorance, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

They claimed that religion was an invention of the weak to protect themselves.

The Generation Of Noah

This situation we see today reminds us of the time of Noah. During that time, God destroyed the world for they do not know him and their mind were evil continually. During that time, God saw the violence that is happening and saw that the ways of men were corrupt.

That is why he told Noah to build an ark, and through the ark, 8 people were saved.

In the past, there are many Countries that base their standard using the words of God. But today, they no longer believe in God. There are many in the western world that are atheist and they no longer had any concept of God. It seems that many had put aside their bible, and yet God was blamed for every problem that comes after that.

There was once a pastor when confronted with the question why had God left us and why did the 9-11 incident happened gave a very interesting answer. It is we who had drove God away from us. We have expelled God away from us. Even though there are many countries who are called “Christian country”, but the truth is that they had took out the 10 commandments and took away the rights of many who wanted to worship God.

They stand under the guise of multi-culturism and that there are some who are atheist and out of respect for them there should be no religion in schools.  The result of those policy steer people to think that they are the greatest.

Freedom without the knowledge of God.

This becomes the way of the world., where one can choose to believe if God exist or not.

People who subscribe to that belief, will eventually focus only on enjoyment in the flesh. For they feel that they have the freedom to do whatever they like regardless of each other.

Freedom devoid of the knowledge of God is mere indulgence. Since there is no one who dare to say that adultery and stealing are evil, one would slowly become ignorant of God. That is the reason why many expelled Jesus from their heart and would rather devote our time doing anything else except to pray to him.

We spend all our times on the internet, doing the other things we enjoy, putting God in the side lines.

What Is a Life Without God Be Like?

The book of Genesis gave us some insight into the generation before the flood. “

“And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain,
  an instructor of every craftsman in bronze
  and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

   Then Lamech said to his wives:

  “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
    Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech!
    For I have killed a man for wounding me,
   Even a young man for hurting me.””-Moses (Gen 4:22-23)

Over here talks about a Lamech and his wife Zillah, Zillah gave birth to Tubal Cain who is able to work with Iron and Bronze. After Cain left the presence of God, his descendent knew how to work with bronze and iron. In the song of Lamech, he talks about how he killed a man for wounding him.

It is likely that the world in the pre-flood era had already entered the Iron age and Lamech knew how to use bronze and iron to make weapons. These weapons are used to defend as well as to kill others.

It is like the law of the jungle where the winners takes it all.

This is similar to the world we live in today, sometimes people kill without thinking and we wonder why is humanity so cruel now. It looks as if violence is just growing all over the world. We see fanaticism happening and the society is moving towards two extremes

One side is gearing towards over conservatism where certain groups of people cannot tolerate the existence of others, if you do not follow his ideology or belief, he will kill you without any hesitation.

Yet we also see the other side where one ignores all belief and just focus on a indulgent life.  In the verse we read earlier, Lamech had 2 wives , the descendent that came from Cain changed the Gods  original institution of marriage.  God intended for one man and one wife, but Lamech here took 2 wives

The Time Of Noah And Our Time

God once said that the time of his second coming is just like the time of Noah. It is a time where mankind will follow their own way and they will not put God as the centre of their lives. The society that they create is one that is full of themselves where their enjoyment comes before anything else.

Even though we are  in  a country monogamy is practiced,where is illegal to practice bigamy. We can still see many couples not being able to stay together, they had affairs outside marriage and the worst part is that many Christian group choose to go against the command of God. (CF Mk 10:1-2)

In order the please the crowd, they allow Christians to divorce and when they remarry, they can be blessed by the pastor once again.

The result of that action allow many to lose faith in the institution of marriage. Couples would rather co-habit than to be legally married, any unwanted children created in the process is given away for adoption. Sometimes allowing children to grow up in strange families and it affect their own perspective of life.

Such action leads to the destruction in the morals of the next generation of children.

This is how our world has become closer and closer  to the time of Noah and Cain. The bible remain silent about the descendent of Cain after Genesis Chapter 4. There are some who feels that the daughters of man in Gen 6:2 refers to the descendent of Cain

But during that period of time, the sin of man had reach onto heaven and God commanded Noah to build the ark. After the flood, the descendent of Cain were destroyed and they cease to exist in the world

Conclusion

As Christians had been talking about this for 2000 years, there are many who scoff and laugh at the message. Elder Peter once said this

knowing this first: that scoffers will come in t
  he last days, walking according to their own lusts,

   and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? 
   For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue
   as they were from the beginning of creation” “-Peter (2 Pet 3:3-4)

In fact their scoffing is not new. For even at the time of Peter everyone had been talking about the second coming of Christ.  Truth is that Jesus was gone for 2000 years and many wonder when will he come again.

Elder Peter continues

“For this they willfully forget: that by
  the word of God the heavens were of old,
  and the earth standing out of water and
   in the water, by which the world that
  then existed perished, being flooded
  with water.  But the heavens and the
  earth which are now preserved by the
  same word, are reserved for fire until
  the day of judgment and perdition of
  ungodly men.”- Peter (2 Pet 3:5-7)

If we take a close look at our world, and we find our way to be the same as the wide way that leads to destruction. If we find our path easy to go to, and easy to walk. Let us consider if we are on the right way.

For during the time of Noah, many walk on that way and were destroyed by the flood

Let us ponder over the path we are taking and the direction we ought to be heading to.

We learnt about the first weapon of Apostle Peter, he was armed with mind to suffer for Christ. Now lets take a look at his second weapon

Weapon No 2: A Strong Faith To Resist The Devil

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary
  the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking
  whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the
  faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by
  your brotherhood in the world.” – Peter (1 Pet 5:8-9)

A roaring lion may appear to be majestic looking. However, the devil is also a roaring lion, and the thought of that frightened us. How can we resist him? Peter here tells us that a steadfast faith could resist the devil.

Indeed, even though the devil may be frightening, always lurking around us, even though his roars frightened us. A Christian could resist him with a steadfast faith. It is a type of faith that is strong.

We all have some degree of faith, that is why we come to church. But the question is, is our faith steadfast and strong? Sometimes our faith may appear strong and steadfast, it is just like Peter when he said that he is willing to die with Jesus.

I am sure Peter was sincere and was not telling a lie, but the problem is that his faith is not as strong as he think. Sometimes faith can be shaken in face of calamity. That is when we find our faith melting like wax, as the fire burns at us. 

Sometimes we find our faith like clay, it becomes hard and strong through the fire, a good potter knows that by burning wet clay, he could produce a good piece of pottery. We are all clay, for we are made of dust. God prepare us in this life by testing us with fire. As the result we eventually become good and strong vessels, fit for the use of God.

Peter is a fine example of that testing. That is why we need a steadfast faith. God is ever willing to help us, but we must use our faith to resist the devil. We need to endure to the end as well.

Enduring To the End

Sometimes when trouble comes knocking on our door, we may be able to deal with it initially. But as months and years goes by, are we still able to endure it?  Often we find a short trial easier to bear compared to a trial that goes on for years.

That is why many Christians give up their faith in face of long suffering. The devil eventually overcame them. That is why elder James remind us that we need to have long suffering in order to be victorious.

For if we do not endure to the end, we will lose this battle of faith. 

Being steadfast in the midst of a changing world 

Jesus once prophesized about the last days, he said

“as lawlessness increase, love will go cold”

There are many things that stumble the faith of a Christian. We need to ask ourselves are we able to hold on to our zeal and faith as this is happening? 

We see some giving up saying they do not want to believe in Christ anymore, but yet there are many will continue to fight on. For they remembered the words of Jesus

“he who endures to the end will be saved” – Jesus

Throughout our walk of faith, we have come across  many zealous Christians. They were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they serve the church all the time. But some of them ended up leaving the faith. That is because they are unable to endure and they fall from faith one after the other.

At the same time we witness common believers who do not perform great works. But yet they remain faithful they kept their faith all the way to their deathbed. Perhaps all they could do is to pray to God, and they remain faithful to the end. These Christian are indeed victorious.

Strengthening Our Faith

Perhaps we were once believers full of zeal and now we are cold in our faith. Perhaps we may be lukewarm believers who are neither hot nor cold. No matter what,we all need God  strengthen our own faith.

I am sure we all know that ancient formula to pray and to ask God for help. But is there something else we can do besides that?

Paul once taught us saying

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus
  the Lord, so walk in Him,  rooted and built up
  in Him and established in the faith, as you have
  been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Paul (Col 2:6-7)

He talks about 2 points on how to strength our faith.

Be Rooted In Jesus

He teaches us to have our faith rooted in Jesus and we need to build up our faith with the right roots.

Many of us come to church due to various reasons, perhaps we felt the love among brethren’s, and perhaps we are moved by certain actions by the church. But we need to recognized the fact that one day, the person we respect may fall from faith and leave the church.  

We need to root  our faith in the right foundation. For if we build our foundation upon the people we respect, our faith will waver when these people grow weary and have a change of heart. But if we build our faith on Jesus, he will never change and we will never be moved.

At the same time we need to consider, where will our foundation of faith be? 

A house build on sand cannot withstand the winds and waves. When they start hitting the house, it will collapse. Similarly if we come to church because of others, or we come to church purely because we wanted peace. Our faith can waver if those things are taken away from us. 

Those who listen to the words of God are people who have built upon the rock. It is unmoved by wind and waves, for he remain anchored onto the rock.

A faith can be strong only if it is built upon Christ. Such faith cannot be moved by others easily.

The reason behind the failure in faith for many Christians is because they had allowed themselves to be moved by deceitful words.  They follow blindly and does not discern between the teaching of God and the commandments of man.  

One who is established in Christ will do according to what Jesus commanded. He will ignore the words that are not in accordance to the teaching of Jesus.

Be  Established In the Words of God 

That is why Paul reminds us to be vigilant so that others will not deceive us with empty philosophy and the traditions of man.  It serves to remind us that a strong and steadfast faith can only be established upon the words of God.

We need to build our faith needs upon Christ and the words of God. We need to use the bible as our standard, and we need to compare what we hear with the words of the bible.

We need to be sure that what we believe is according to the teaching of Christ

A faith that discerns is a steadfast faith. Only a steadfast faith can allow us to overcome the devil and fight a good fight.

Let us learn from the weapons of Peter and used them in our lives

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