I Will Anoint You With Oil So Your Cup Overflows

Psalm 23:5 (WEB)
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over.

In today’s Scripture reference, King David declares that the Lord not only prepares a banquet for him in the presence of his enemies, but God also anoints his head with oil so his cup overflows. What a picture of abundance. Right in the midst of his enemies, David says that there are overflowing blessings.

I believe that the anointing that God wants to pour out over our lives today will cause us to live a life of fullness, where others will be able to benefit from the spillover of the anointing of God in our lives. In many Christian circles, the focus is on what we can do for God. How hard we can work, how we can demonstrate our love for Him.

While all these things can be good in themselves, if we do them to somehow earn His love, we are missing the point. In 1 John 1:19, the Apostle Johns says, “We love because He first loved us”. God initiates, we receive. I believe that the key to living a life from a full cup is coming to the place where we learn to be good receivers from God.

The more love we can receive from Him, the more love will overflow in our lives. The more anointing that He pours in us, the more it can be spilled over to others. My prayer today is that we would all learn to become better receivers of the goodness and graciousness of our God and Father so that we might live our lives from a full cup that is continually overflowing.

Dead To Sin

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him 1 Peter 2:24

‘Dead to sin” in 1 Peter 2:24 harmonises with ”dead to sin” in Romans 6.

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Jesus ”’bearing our sin” (1Pe 2:24) is clearly associated with the individual being ”dead to sin,” hence the context is a new fresh start, not retributive, governmental or public justice as is taught under substitution (debt paid) theology..

Salvation MUST be approached in the context and attitude of entering into a covenant with God ”once and for all” with a repentance not to be repeated. This is why the trust and receive message is so dangerous wherein the implication in reality is a mere confession of being sinful and then waiting for some magic to occur, a doctrine whereby the service of sin NEVER actually ceases.

The true Gospel message preached by Jesus of Nazareth and the early apostles wrought a radical and total transformation within those whom truly believed (ie. active application as opposed to mere mental assent). The result being…

1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1Jn 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
1Jn 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1Jn 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
1Jn 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Mind Our Thoughts

“When I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night. “
Psalms 63:6

What is most difficult to control is our thought; we think about many things:- they are either good or bad thought, thought which is either helpful and beneficial or evil and harmful. As a result, it is essential for us to guard our thoughts as well as diligently rid our mind of garbages.

Nowadays, we can install application in our smart phone to remind us of any application which is outdated, not being used and is using up unnecessary memory. If we do not clean up, it is going to make our phone work very slowly. Similarly, our mind may be storing up thoughts which are useless and unproductive to the extent our mind is blocked from absorbing new and useful thoughts. Metaphorically, our thought is like a parasite that feeds on drops of water and if we do not take well care of the plant and get rid of such a parasite, the plant will be deprived of nutrients and eventually withers.

Before we go to bed, it is good to ponder and cleanse our mind from all unhealthy thoughts and when we wake up, sow the seeds of good thoughts to start the day; thought which is going to unleash our full potential as a person, thought which is positive and full of vigor. We can think one thing at a time, so if we think bad, what is good will take a backseat, vice versa.

David before going to bed, left behind all his troubles and had his mind focused on God. He left everything in the hands of God and meditated upon His word, reminding himself of God’s grace, mercy and love. He trusted God would refresh and grant him strength to face a new day. The choice is with us to put what kind of thought in our mind. Christians should choose what represents good thought, thought which is constructive and think about God before a good night’s rest. Let us begin the day with God as our focus and ends the day with our mind occupied with the thought of God.

Christian Living – Love

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:36-39

In perspective, a Christian who lives a purposeful life is motivated by “love” rather than being driven by a set of rules and regulations. Jesus Christ summarized that our Christian living is three-dimensional, all of which center on love.

Firstly, love God. Our relationship with God is bound by love rather than fear. We worship, serve and get involved in missions because of our love for God that springs from within. God does not intend that we do it because we fear Him and look upon worship or involvement in religious affairs such as offering simply as a duty or do it because we harbor certain ulterior motive. We do it because of love.

Secondly, love our neighbors and our fellow human beings. Human beings are from the same origin in Adam and Eve, the first couple created by God. Our society and the world at large will be peaceful and in harmony if we love each other. With love there will be forbearance, mercy, compassion and unity. People will be helpful, be forgiving and patient with each other. By loving one another, there will be joy and happiness in the family; with a strong institution in family, our community will be a safe place to live in.

Thirdly, love ourselves. Does it sound conflicting if we mention that Christians should learn to love their own selves? Should Christians not be denying themselves and also crucifying themselves like Christ? The word “self” takes a different meaning from the physical body and is not the way of life as controlled by the lowly self. The word “self” is noble, is about human value, self-respect and dignity. The word human connotes one who is kind hearted and virtuous. As a result, we should not hate, inflict injury or even belittling ourselves. Instead, we should have self-respect and be proud of ourselves. Through self-respect, we learn to respect others and see the value in human race.

Let love be the focus of our relationship with God, our neighbors, even with our own selves. Pray that God will bestow unto us patience as regards our love for one another. Indeed, in love, we make His world a better place.

In Christ, I Die Everyday!

“I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:31

In our some of our previous reading, we spoke about habit, that our fate is decided by our habit; we are either going to fail or be successful depends on our conduct, behavior and habit.
In this competitive world that we live in, many are focusing on self development which emphasizes increase in knowledge and skill set.

That said, if any effort in self development does not include building character, training in acquiring good and healthy habit, then it is indeed a lop-sided, imperfect development. We can envisage these kind of people although can be very smart, they probably have questionable character. More often than not, we hear of such people using their intelligence for personal gain and becoming swindlers.

We do not wish to be one-sided:- Being smart but having lousy character or being a very good person but unfortunately not very intelligent. In perspective, it is better to be a good, not so intelligent person. A good person lands on his feet, and conscience and thoughtfulness are essential for building character. Humans are born to be virtuous and failing to be good is synonymous with failing to uphold human dignity. Apart from being conscientious to becoming a good person, we have to be resolute in getting rid of bad habit.

As Christians, we crucify our old self; we die to our old habit just like Christ who died when He was crucified on the cross. Through the resurrection of Christ, we inherit a new life. The old has passed and the new has come; we rid ourselves of old habit and behavior such as covetousness, worldliness, self-centeredness and are able to defeat our lowly self. In place of which is the fruit of the spirit and the love of God; in God’s love, we will love our neighbors as ourselves.

Character building takes time and there is no shortcut. But if we have the determination, we shall succeed. The new habit will eventually take control of us as we endeavor to achieve Christlikeness. Hopefully, on that day when judgement arrives, we shall all be able to claim, “I am now complete in Christ!” instead of feeling sorry for having done nothing . In Christ, we go through the process of being made anew, to replace the old self.