Category: Bible Reflection & Challenge

Man’s Opinions vs. God’s

Man’s Opinions vs. God’s

It is human nature to seek approval from those people around us; especially those people we value the most. Why? Why do you care about what other people think? Why do we base our value on what others’ opinions are?

Bible Verse: John 1:11-12 (NKJV)

“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

Reflection and Challenge

When Jesus came into the world, why did the world reject Him? Because they didn’t recognize Him. It sounds strange that when God came to the world He created and to the creatures made in His image, the world did not know Him.

That is because they were spiritually ignorant. Jesus is the “true light” (John 1:9) – the original of which every other light is a copy – but the Jews were content with the copies. They were taught that because they had Moses and the Law, the Temple, and the sacrifices, they had all they need.

They did not comprehend that all these were just shadows of the coming fulfillment and completion of the Old Testament religion. Sadly, their ignorance arose from their refusal to value and listen to God’s revelation of Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.

Man’s Opinion vs. God’s

Some might say, “I don’t need to prove anything to you.” But the fact remains that people generally value man’s opinions over God’s. We care more about what other people think and say.

There are different terms for this definition, but what does God call it? God calls it the “fear of man.” It is human nature that we are far more interested in what other people think that what God thinks about a matter.

Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Trusting Jesus is also the same as fearing God. When you seek God by trusting Him and valuing what He has to say through His revealed word, that is Godly fear.

Man's opinions vs. God's

Ecclesiastes 12:13 implies that it does not matter what anyone says about you if you are doing God’s will. If those people around you cannot value you based on God’s criteria, you don’t need them.

Some “spiritual-sounding” Christians might say that we have no value because we are dirty, rotten sinners that don’t deserve anything good. Well, that’s true. But that is not the whole picture. It does not take into account that every person was created by God and Jesus came to earth to save them.

If God did not value you, He would not have done that.

Always base your Value on the Truth    

After watching the new movie, “Captain Marvel,” I was reminded that every person bases their life on lies. But if we ever base our value on the truth, we will be set free and nobody can take that away from us.

This is what John 1:11-12 is all about. Since the Jews wanted to believe the lies rather than Jesus, those that believe and live according to the truth found in Jesus, God gave the Holy Spirit and they become heirs of God.

It does not matter what anyone says about you if you are right with God. If you are born again, your Dad owns it all. You are an heir to all the wealth, power, health, a perfect body, etc. Maybe we don’t have those things now, but the Holy Spirit is the down payment of all the blessings to come in the future.

Man's opinions vs. God's

I must admit that life is not at all easy. We all face trials and when that happens, it gets easy for us to get distended off of Jesus and our eternal home with God. When we get distracted by the shallow opinions of others, we are selling ourselves short for a temporary friend.

Jesus should be our best friend. He will always be there for us, to encourage or challenge us depending on the circumstances.

Closing Words

Let me just say that you and you alone are responsible to Jesus for your actions. So live up to your full potential by living according to His words.

Instead of caring more about what other people think, tell them about God’s wonderful gift of salvation. Are you loving people in general? Are you being patient with others? Are you encouraging other believers to use their spiritual gifts? Are you learning more from God’s word?

If we are living according to God’s word, we won’t have time to concern ourselves with the opinion of others.

God bless!

When Christians Play With Fire

When Christians Play With Fire

We all know that when we play with fire we can get burned; we might even die as a result. But why is it that there are Christians who play with fire?

Bible Verse: James 1:15 (NKJV)

“Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

Reflection and Challenge

Disobedience gives birth to death, not life. For a sin to mature may take years; however, when it does, the result will be death. This progression to death is an inevitable result that the enemy (Satan) always tries to hide from us, but we should never be deceived about.

If we would only believe in God’s Word and envision this final tragedy, we would not yield to temptation.

The world is burning. Anyone with half a brain can see that evil is rampant throughout the world and it is totally consuming the world. That is to be expected since the world enjoys their sin. They don’t realize they are hurting themselves and will end up in hell if they don’t repent.

When Christians Play with Fire

But that is not the real problem. The real problem is lightless and saltless Christians. You’re probably thinking those are not even words. You would be right.

Well, Paul made up words in the New Testament too. So I am in good company. That is why I use them; use them for emphasis. Lightless, saltless Christians are oxymorons. They should not exist. There are too many so-called Christians that live oxymoronic lives.

*Related Article: Death Penalty for Sin, Eternal Life in Christ

Nominal and Carnal Christians

Are there such nominal and carnal Christians? It is true that all Christians are still sinners and they will struggle with sin, but I am referring to the completely ineffective “so-called’ Christians that claim God but don’t live the way they should.

People call me judgmental for questioning whether these type of individuals are even born again because the Bible says there will be evidence of salvation (Matthew 7:15-20). As a born again Christian, we are going to live like it. We don’t get to claim to be a follower of God while enjoying our sin.

When Christians Play with Fire

God saved us to change us into His image. Holier, sinless, righteous and exhibiting a changed life. As much as sin is consuming this world, it will also burn weak Christians. Sin is a choice. We choose to play with fire.

This is a personal matter between you and God though. God does not teach a church or pastor to give us a laundry list of standards. Your personal standard of holiness, that is going to change over time is just that PERSONAL.

Pastors have no business telling you how to live. The Holy Spirit is our only perfect, unbiased guide. All people are biased toward their personal standards. That means we need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit when most aren’t.

Final Thoughts

Satan’s strategy in temptation is to convince believers that the pursuit of their corrupt desires will somehow produce life and goodness for them. So in order to effectively resist the deceptions of temptation, we must always remember that Satan only comes to kill, steal and to destroy (John 10:10).

We all struggle with sin. We all need this reminder occasionally. We all need to talk to God about it. Why not talk to Him now?


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Why Not Just Friends?

Why Not Just Friends?

Over the last few years, I have come to realize the phrase “just friends” is a lie. In the modern vernacular it actually means “just acquaintances.” Most of the time for me, after getting put in the “friend” zone, I never hear from or talk to them again. That is not a friend. That borders on an enemy.

Bible Verse: Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Reflection and Challenge

While it’s usually true that “a multitude of counselors” assures a wise decision, at the same time, we must avoid running from friend to friend asking for advice. This may indicate that we’re trying to find somebody who will tell us what we want to hear!

We need more than friends; we must have a friend who will stand by us and “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). We can tell a “real friend” by how close he or she is in adversity.

My Story

I am a Christian millennial, but I do not understand why we are putting off marriage or even just friendship. If my assessment is accurate, Christian singles classes always have two cliques: the boy clique and the girl clique. If I didn’t know any better, the Red Sea has been parted.

In my previous post, I shared about my failed relationship with Jo Ann and how I ended up brokenhearted. So now that I have reentered the single category again, my dad gave me some wisdom. “Start as friends.” He heard that from Christian counselors.

They are not talking about the “just friend” category though. You wonder why the homosexual and lesbian population is exploding, all of our friends are of the same sex and we have forgotten how to have relationships with the opposite sex.

One aspect of this problem is we have forgotten how to be friendly towards the opposite sex. Isn’t it interesting how friendly and friends have the same root word?

That is where Proverbs 18:24 comes in. Jesus is the perfect example. If you are a born again Christian, Jesus is supposed to be your best, best friend even if you are a woman. Jesus knows everything about you. Do you have any opposite-sex friends that know everything about you? Doubt it.

Why Not Just Friends

This is why I try to be an open book to everyone. The problem I come across is so few people want to read me. That would mean they would have to be friendly to get to know me. I am not talking about chit chat or small talk either. Nobody gets to know anyone with those.

Another example would be the numerous times that my sister and I have been mistaken for being husband and wife because we spend a lot of time together. Whatever happened to a male and female spending quality time together without assuming a serious relationship?

Honestly, I believe women are way better at conversations than men. That is why I have way more female friends than male friends. You cannot have a good friendship without in-depth conversations.

As I said before without in-depth conversations, we end up judging a book by its cover, because we have no idea what their pages say.

We all have a story to tell. If you listen to theirs, they might listen to yours.


*Create a Free Website with SiteRubix and share your story to the world!

Lessons from the Broken Hearted

Lessons from the Broken Hearted

All relationships take work. The only way relationships can work is if two people have unconditional love for each other. I have learned several lessons from the life of a brokenhearted man like Samson, the last several weeks during and after my broken relationship.

Bible Verse: 1 John 4:18-19 (NKJV)

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”

Reflection and Challenge

If you want to get to know someone, get to know their heart as Matthew 7:16-20 says. Not only can you see whether they are saved or lost, but also how carnal or godly a Christian they truly are.

That does not tell us how we should respond to those that don’t love us back though. I truly believe Samson loved and trusted Delilah and was not afraid of the consequences of that trust.

The Transforming Power of Love

As did Samson believe the love of God would transform Delilah, I believed God’s love would transform Jo Ann, the woman I loved. Between the entire book of 1 John, Romans 12, and 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 you cannot get a clearer picture of what unconditional love looks like in real life. These verses imply all brethren, not just Baptists. Jo Ann is a Mennonite.

God is pleased that Emily Myer’s testimony is being broadcast across the world on the 700 Club platforms. The 700 Club is a Charismatic organization. Some Baptists have absolute disdain for them for the doctrinal differences.

As Proverbs 10:12 says “Love covers all sin.” Can love cover everything else like differences, quirks, doctrinal differences, and practical differences???? God did not have any expectations when we got saved. Why do we have compatibility lists, which are just expectations for our significant other, friends, and family?

Romans 5:8

I will tell you why. It’s pride! When we say we can’t love someone too different or too opposite, we are actually saying we won’t, because can’t means won’t. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says that is comparing them to you, which is not wise. By the way, I have compared myself to others for years.

We lose the blessing of showing unconditional love and being blessed in the process. I know I have been blessed these last several months. I’ve told a few people that I knew Jo Ann did not love me, but I did not care. I love her anyway because in my heart God would change her heart eventually.

Isn’t that what Jesus did for us according to Romans 5:8? He was willing to wait till we got saved. That takes a lot of humility.

Loving Others Unconditionally

Love is never about us. I think it is interesting that God wants us to love all the brethren like this as well. Marital love is about selfless, sacrificial love given to somebody of the opposite sex that you will never fully understand for the rest of your life.

In our own strength, that should not scare us, it just humbles us. As 1 John 4:19 says, only God can enable us to love. We as people can’t love unconditionally.

As in the case of Samson, I handed my heart to Jo Ann, then she stabbed it with a knife. God handed His heart to us, in His Son, but we stab it every time we sin. We need to consider that.

I have no doubt Samson believed his love and trust for Delilah would lead to her conversion. Most would say that was foolish. (I know I have been called a fool too.) Then why is he in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. God used him in a mighty way in spite of his “lack of wisdom” as some might say.

Ultimately God used Samson to destroy the Philistine nation. He would not have had the opportunity to kill so many if He attacked the city because everyone would have fled. God used him to push down the house. Why did the Philistines keep him alive? Because God was not done with him yet.

In Closing

Let me just sat that this breakup has been one of the most painful things I have experienced but it has taught me a lot. We tend to focus on others’ weaknesses and faults. But that does not mean God can’t use their faults. We all have our faults. Why not use them to make you humble.

I have learned all of these lessons in the last few months during and after my relationship. I hope you can learn something from the broken hearted like Samson and I.

God bless you!

 

What About The Unbelieving?

What About The Unbelieving?

God has promised His people a new heaven and a new earth. The old creation must make way for the new creation, if God is to be glorified. Jesus said this event will occur when “the world is made new” (Isaiah 65:17). By then, God’s eternal purpose in Jesus would have been accomplished and so as Ephesians 1:10.

The overcomers shall inherit the Kingdom of God: the new heaven and the new earth and will enjoy a special relationship with God. What about the rest of the unbelieving world? What will happen to them? They shall not inherit God’s Kingdom!

Bible Verse: Revelation 21:8 (NKJV)

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Reflection and Challenge

Is cowardice enough to send a person to hell? L. Morris says John here isn’t speaking of natural timidity, but of that cowardice which makes a person to ultimately choose himself and his safety over Christ.

Many Christians today say that they believe the Bible, but don’t live the way they should. If we truly understand the seriousness of our sin and the cost for Jesus to pay for our salvation, you would understand the consequence of being an unrepentant sinner. That is true for yourself and everyone else. Do you truly believe it?

Ephesians 1:10

The book of Revelation tells us what will happen in the end: God wins! And those who thirst for Him will be given freely from the fountain of life. This will all happen when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven (Revelation 21:2). That should be very encouraging for all Christians, but also very humbling. The most important fact about the city is that God lives there with His people.

On the other hand, those who reject Jesus and become apostates are specifically prohibited from entering the New Jerusalem. All of those unrepentant family members, friends, coworkers, and everyone else that did not accept Jesus as their Savior will have to face God and pay for their sin in the Lake of Fire for eternity. Once in, you can’t get out.

The Lake of Fire

Hell or “the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:15) is a witness to the righteous character of God. He must judge sin. Hell is also a witness to human responsibility, the fact that people are not robots or helpless victims but creatures able to make choices.

God does not send people to hell; they send themselves by rejecting the Savior (Matthew 25:41; John 3:16-21). Hell is also witness to the awfulness of sin. If we once saw sin as God sees it, we would understand why a place such as hell exists. So to think that people I know could spend eternity there is heart-breaking.

Just seeing how the entire world is falling apart makes me wonder if the end of the world is drawing near. Nobody knows when they will die. Are you prepared to meet God?

If we truly believe that people you know could spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, won’t it affect how you relate to all the people around you?

Have you given them the Gospel? Do you pray for them? It is worth thinking about since every person will spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. How does that affect how you live?

Letting Go And Letting God

Letting Go And Letting God

Romans 1:17 says, “the just shall live by faith.” It does not say the just will only get saved by faith. Genesis 24 is a great example of Old Testament saints living by faith even though they did not have the Holy Spirit. That should convict us, just for the fact that we have the Holy Spirit. Do we live by faith? Are we letting go and letting God take control?

Bible Verse: Genesis 24:14 (NKJV)

Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, “Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,” and she says, “Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink” – let her be the one You have appointed for thy servant Isaac. And by this, I will know that You have shown kindness unto my master.”

Reflection and Challenge

It is amazing how many individuals in this narrative had radical faith in spite of being only people. Isaac had to trust God, Abraham, and the servant to find him a suitable wife. Abraham had to trust God and the servant to do the same. The servant had to trust God to direct him to the right woman and that Rebekah would be willing to move. Rebekah had to trust God that Isaac would love her. Not to mention, the parents letting her go.

I think it is funny that whenever you must trust God, you end up needing to trust another person (s) as well. How well do we trust others?

I am not saying that I have this type of faith but these people in Genesis 24 are definitely inspiring and we can learn a valuable lesson from them. Technically, the passage deals with the marriage relationship, but radical faith can be applied to every other type of decision in our lives.

Faith is the opposite of fear. In spite of this decision being one of the most important in their life, they let go of control and let God. That is a good definition of radical faith, “Letting go and letting God.”

Faith - Opposite of Fear

As Christians, we say that we get saved by faith, but never live by faith as Romans 1:17 says. WHY? Is it possible we don’t trust God enough to take care of us in our everyday life? He saved our soul. Is He not able to take care of our body as well? That is called fear.

I have heard that the Bible says, “Fear not!” 365 times. That’s one for everyday of the year. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” God will never lead you using fear.

*Read here: The Importance of Faith

Faith is a choice. God shows up when His people trust Him as He did at the end of the servant’s prayer. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God answers when we trust Him. Why don’t we do it more?

This principle is applicable to every area of life, not just the marriage relationship. God leads us to decisions or crossroads, just to see what we will do. The best decision is to choose to trust Him. He will come through. How well do we trust Him in our lives?

God In A Pillar of Cloud

God In A Pillar of Cloud

When traveling through clouds or fog, we have to exercise caution, because hidden dangers are enveloped in mist and obscured. But that is also why the cloud was a perfect cloak for God. It allowed Him to journey with His people, the Israelites, yet remained hidden. The “pillar of fire,” too, revealed and concealed God’s presence (Exodus 13:21-22).

Bible Verse: Exodus 14:19-20 (NIV)

“Then the Angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.”

Reflection and Challenge

Knowing that the enemy was in pursuit, and hearing the wind blowing all night, the Israelites must have wondered what was going to happen and why God was taking so long. But God always knows what’s best for His people and He is always on time.

We may not always understand God’s ways because His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9), but His way is always the right way. So let us be reminded that God knows what He’s doing; He isn’t in a hurry, and as long as we follow Him, we are safe and in the place of His blessing.

Going back to the verse, when God led His people out of Egyptian slavery in a pillar of cloud, He did not only make sure that they knew He was near, but also that they could not exploit His presence nor control His movements.

“The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud” (1 Kings 8:12). But what does the cloud teach us about God? Why did God wrap Himself in a pillar of cloud while leading the nation of Israel out of Egypt into the Promised Land? The cloud indicates that partial vision is our normal experience of God (1 Corinthians 13:12) and that we know infinitely less than what there is to know.

Do you sometimes feel that despite your best efforts, you are not able to draw close to God? Why does our attention constantly slip away from Him in prayer? Perhaps, you might say, “It’s because I’m exhausted from work and all that my body wants to do is rest.”

*Related Article: When God Seems Far Away

Or maybe you are deeply thinking of something else that concerns your family; your job or you’re already planning in advance what you can do tomorrow to make things less tiring and stressful. But then again, maybe it is because God wraps Himself in a pillar of cloud.

When we are trying to pray but it seems our hearts and minds are lost in a fog, we are to move through it by faith. Regardless of how we feel at the moment, we need to make a firm decision to trust that God is present though hidden. When we do, we will be at peace with the dark cloud and then God’s light is revealed.


*Recommended Resource:

Finding Jesus in the Exodus: Christ in Israel’s Journey from Slavery to the Promised Land
By Nicholas Perrin

If you want to understand who Christ is, you have to begin by understanding what Jesus meant when He said in Luke 24:27, “And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.”

In Finding Jesus in the Exodus, biblical scholar Nicholas Perrin shows that the Bible’s story of the Exodus from beginning to end is filled with prophetic foretellings of the person and work of Christ:

  • Moses as a great deliver and prophet
  • The voice in the burning bush
  • The Passover Lamb of God
  • The unleavened bread
  • The rock and pillar of cloud
  • The red sea crossing
  • The manna from heaven

You will see all of these and more as examples of Christ in the story of the Exodus.

Warning: God Will Humble You!

Warning: God Will Humble You!

It is human nature to claim credit for all the great things that happen in our lives. Like we accomplished them in our own strength. Especially in America, God has blessed us immensely. But as James 1:17 says, “Every good . . . and perfect gift is from above.” So be warned; God can and will humble you. Because God does not allow for pride in the lives of His children. 

Bible Verse: Daniel 4:37 (NLT)

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All His acts are just and true and He is able to humble the proud.”

Reflection and Challenge

The grand lesson God wanted King Nebuchadnezzar to learn – and that we must learn today – is that God alone is sovereign and will not permit mortals to usurp His throne or take credit for His works. We are but creatures, and God is the Creator; we are only subjects, but He is the King of kings.

When men and women, created in God’s image, refuse to submit themselves to Him, they are in grave danger of descending to the level of animals. “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule,” warned King David, who was guilty of acting like both (Psalm 32:9). Like the impulsive horse, David rushed into sin when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then like the stubborn mule, he had delayed confessing his sins and repenting (2 Samuel 11; 12).

This is what happened in the life of Nebuchadnezzar. After years of conquest and growth of the Babylonian empire, he was filled with pride. Even though Daniel was his number 2 man, he was still filled with pride. That is also true in our lives as well. After all the things God has done in our lives in the past, why do we still try to take the credit? Why don’t we give it to God, who truly deserves it?

God Does Not Delay

God is patient with sinners, but when the time comes for Him to act, He does not delay. As we read in Daniel 4:31-33, a solemn voice from heaven interrupted King Nebuchadnezzar’s egotistical meditations and announced that the time of probation had ended and judgment was about to fall.

The words were still on the king’s lips when everything began to change. His mind became like that of an animal (Daniel 4:16) and he was driven from the royal palace to live in fields with the beasts. Since he was beastly at heart, God allowed King Nebuchadnezzar’s brutish nature to be revealed openly.

As Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way, God does not like the credit going to others. God humbled Nebuchadnezzar for his pride. Eventually, he learned the lesson that God wanted him to learn through his difficult experience (Daniel 4:17, 25, 32), and that is, to acknowledge the sovereignty of God.

Warning God Will Humble You

God can and will humble you as well. As Christians become more and more proud, we better turn back to God and realize He deserves all the credit. He will humble us if we don’t. The Bible teaches both divine sovereignty and human responsibility, and when we accept both, we find no contradiction or conflict. No person is freer than the believer who surrenders to the sovereign will of God.

The first thing King Nebuchadnezzar did after his ordeal had passed was to praise the Lord (Daniel 4:34-35). What an exciting expression of worship! When was the last time you praised God for everything He has done in your life?


*Recommended Resource: 

Determined to Believe: The Sovereignty of God, Freedom, Faith and Human Responsibility
By John C. Lennox

A fresh look at the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human freedom. Challenging widely held assumptions about theological determinism, Lennox explores the different types of predestination and the problems they pose; investigates what the Gospels and Paul’s Letter to the Romans say about responsibility; and tackles the issue of Christian assurance. 

Your Bethel Moment With God

Your Bethel Moment With God

Do you still remember your Bethel moment or first encounter with God? Do you know that God enjoyed that moment as much as you did? Our Bible Reflection and Challenge today has its entire context in Genesis chapters 34 and 35.

Bible Verse: Genesis 35:1

Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.”

Reflection and Challenge

In Genesis 34, Jacob’s daughter Dinah was violated by a young man from a nearby city. As soon as Dinah’s brothers, Simeon and Levi, learned of it, they staged a fierce and bloody counter-attack. Strangely enough, God is silent through this whole ordeal. There was no indication of His approval or disapproval.

But as we enter the 35th chapter, after the heartache and crimes had passed, God spoke to Jacob. God called him from the scene of tragedy to revisit the sacred site where they had first met – Bethel. Do you notice how God seems to be as present in chapter 35 as He seems to be absent in chapter 34?

It is worth noting that more than 20 years earlier, Jacob had given Bethel its name, “House of God.” It is in that place where he experienced his first encounter with Yahweh and was awakened to a vivid awareness of His presence (Genesis 28:16-17).


The Encounter [Streaming Video Purchase]
By David A.R. White

Stranded in the middle of nowhere, five strangers take refuge in a deserted roadside diner. An arrogant businessman, a lonely woman, an estranged couple, and a teen runaway, they appear to have nothing in common. But the Christlike proprietor seems strangely all-knowing and offers more than temporal nourishment.

The Encounter 2: Paradise Lost [Streaming Video Purchase]

The follow-up to the Pure Flix hit movie, “The Encounter” increases the intensity and action as a group of damaged individuals face the life-changing decision of accepting Christ – invited by a man claiming to be Jesus Christ himself.

A retiring drug smuggler, his drug-addicted wife and his ruthless bodyguard find themselves trapped by a suspended DEA Special Agent at a Thai resort owned by a troubled former Wall Street investment banker and his wife, who mourn the loss of their only son in a devastating tsunami.

It is an explosive mix of personalities. Violence looms, but a mysterious guest, claiming to be Jesus Christ, arrives to offer each of them one final chance at redemption in this inspiring, thought-provoking thriller.

Special Features:

  • Making of Paradise Lost
  • Commentary with David A.R. White and Bruce Marchiano
  • English and Spanish Subtitles

When God spoke to Jacob again, after many years of trying to outmaneuver his father-in-law, He identified Himself as “the God of Bethel” (Genesis 31:13). Now God is calling Jacob back to the place of encounter. Why? What’s with Bethel that God is choosing it over any other location to be His meeting place with Jacob?

Indeed, God’s choices in these matters are as mysterious as His decision to allow events to run their course or intervene. But no matter what we think and believe, God’s sovereignty is evident. This means that God will always accomplish His purpose for He said, “My counsel shall stand” (Isaiah 46:10 ESV).

Can you recall a Bethel moment with God? Life-changing encounters with Him? And does it surprise you to learn that God enjoyed the closeness you shared as much as you enjoyed it? Perhaps you would do well to revisit that place because God uses these special encounters to reveal Himself to your true self, redeemed and remade in Him.

Please do share your Bethel moment with God in the comment section below.

Waiting Upon the Lord’s Promised Return

Waiting Upon the Lord’s Promised Return

Bible Verse: 2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

Reflection and Challenge

In context, this verse is talking about the day of the Lord or what we call His second coming. In Revelation 16:15, it is written that “He will come like a thief in the night.” And as nobody knows when the thief is coming, so is the Son of God will come at a time that nobody knows precisely about. Yes, not even the angels nor the Son Himself knows when exactly He is coming back, but the Father only (Matthew 24:36).

As Christians, we are anxiously waiting for this great day when we get the chance to be finally home with our heavenly Father. The meaning of this verse can be taken by heart not only as we wait upon the Lord’s promise to return but in all His promises.

Truly, God is eternal; He has no beginning and no end. He goes beyond and over the limits of time. His time zone is different from ours and from anyone and anywhere else’s. His timing is always perfect. He is not slow but patient in answering us, in His own perfect timing. After all, He knows what is best for us all when and wherever we need it!

So, the next time you feel weary and tired waiting for answers, why not think about how unworthy we truly are, how undeserving we truly are for His love and providence. Yet, He loved us even when we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). He answers our prayers at the right time when He finds us ready to receive.

Looking forward to the joy that is prepared for you, can you wait as long as it takes?