Last week, April 27, 2021 we celebrated our seven years wedding anniversary! We praise the Lord for His gift of love and marriage. We thank the Lord God for bringing us to serve Him together in reaching others with the love of Jesus through personal ministry and with Far East Broadcasting Company, (FEBC). Here are some highlights from our ministry and personal trips the past years.
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Key verse: “And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.’” (v.36)
Mark 14: 36
Abba, means “Father.” Jesus called God His Father, meaning He has a personal and close relationship with God. Jesus knew He could call on His Father anytime, especially in times of trouble and distress. “Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.’” (v.34)
Jesus knew His Father, the Lord God, is all-powerful and all-knowing. “And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You…’” (v.36). Jesus knew His Father could do anything. God created the heavens and the earth. He had all the power and resources. He could command His legions of angels to stop and intervene in His Son’s situation if He desired to.
Jesus knew well that His Father is gracious and merciful. “Take this cup away from Me.”
Jesus knew His Father loved Him very much, and He could spare Him from suffering if He wished to do so. However, in all these circumstances, Jesus still submitted to the Father’s plan and will.
“…nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Jesus was humble and submissive to His Father’s will because He knew His Father’s plan of salvation for us all. Jesus was willing to suffer because He knew His Father’s heart was to save everyone from sin and hell. Jesus knew His Father loved Him, but God the Father also loved every person in the world, so He was willing to sacrifice His only Son.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Because of God’s great love for you and me, Jesus gave His life on the cross. Jesus submitted Himself to the will of the Father for the forgiveness of our sins and salvation of our souls, to give us eternal life.
See: Philippians 2:5-11
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it [b]robbery to be equal with God, 7 but [c]made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Dear Lord Jesus thank you for your willingness to submit to the will of the Father. Holy Spirit please help me be willing to submit also to my Lord’s will and plan. Amen.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Jesus Christ – John 8:32
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, – by Paul, I Corinthians 15:3-4
So, then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.” Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!”
Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.”
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away. –
But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”
8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. -Mark 16: 6-8
But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.- John20
The Apostles Commissioned
Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
So, Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
From the Gospel of John Chapter 19, 20
Other References: Matthew 27 & 28, Mark 15, &16, Luke 23 & 24
Parable of the Persistent Widow and the Unjust Judge
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8 (NKJV)
This is a parable of contrast not comparison!
Our heavenly Father is not like the unjust judge.
Parable of the Persistent Friend
And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. Luke 11:5-8 (NKJV)
This is another parable of contrast not comparison!
Our Heavenly Father is never reluctant to meet the needs of His children.
Jesus’ Admonition to Ask, Seek, and Knock
So, I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened. Luke 11:9-10 (AMP)
The Father’s Desire to Give Good Gifts to His Children:
Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will [instead] give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will [instead] give him a snake? If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him. Matthew 7:9-11 (AMP) (This is the parallel passage to Luke 11:11-13)
* ASK AND KEEP ON ASKING! * SEEK AND KEEP ON SEEKING! * KNOCK AND KEEP ON KNOCKING!
What amazing answers to prayer have you seen due to persistence?
What seemingly “impossible” prayer requests can we bring to the Father today?
“…With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 9:26
“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
Bible passages from Amplified Version and New King James Version
O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear?
The global pandemic, upheaval and turmoil in the nations, people suffering for their faith, religious persecution, violence against innocent people, unrighteousness, godlessness, injustice, and other wicked deeds remind me of the prayer of a man in the Bible named Habakkuk.
How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted Habakkuk 1:1-4 (NIV)
Habakkuk was a man who lived during the kingdoms of Judah and Israel around 600 BCE. He wrote his prophecies before the Babylon invasion. God used Habakkuk to warn the people of Judah (Jews) to repent and turned from their sinful ways.
Habakkuk grappled with God’s economy of justice. “He finds it inconceivable that God could use and evil pagan nation to judge His people. However, God uses a vision to convince Habakkuk that His ways are right” 
I felt the burden of Habakkuk to have justice in the midst of wickedness.
Habakkuk was not the only one in the Bible who had struggles with God’s justice. In the book of Psalms, the writer expressed his heart:
How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting. They crush your people, Lord; they oppress your inheritance. They slay the widow and the foreigner; they murder the fatherless. They say, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob takes no notice.” Psalm 94:3-7
Then God replied to Habakkuk in Chapter 2:2-3
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”
Then God spoke to Habakkuk about sure judgments to the wicked:
“Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house… Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establish a city by iniquity…Habakkuk 2:9-15
And other woes, and judgments…
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the water covers the sea.”Habakkuk 2:14
“But the Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him.”Habakkuk 2:20
Then, Habakkuk responded to the Lord in Chapter 3: 2
O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy.
God assured Habakkuk that He would surely bring justice. Just as Habakkuk realized that justice needs to be tempered by mercy, I also need to pray for God’s mercy for those who are involved in wickedness, corruption, deceit, and unrighteousness – for God to have mercy on their souls. Surely God will bring justice to the wicked, but He is also merciful, waiting for them to repent.
Back in Psalm 94 it says,
Take notice, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise?Does he who fashioned the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see?Does he who formed the eye not see? He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct? Psalm 94: 8-10
When Habakkuk heard the response of the Lord God, he was at peace trusting that God will do what He was supposed to do – to bring judgment and justice to the wicked.
“Though the fig tree may not blossom Nor fruit be on the vines… Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
A couple of weeks ago, we experienced a severe thunderstorm in our area. There was lots of heavy rain, very loud thundering, and the fiercest lightning I have ever experienced in my life! I was trembling in fear and realized the awesome power of God. It reminded me of the experience of the people of Israel in the Old Testament when they received the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone.
“Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Exodus 20:18
The sharp, loud thunder and fierce lightning were for me a demonstration of the awesome power of God! I felt as if God was saying, He is still sovereign and in control, and has the power to do whatever is right for Him to do. I felt like a worm, and was reminded that I am not the judge, and should not fret about the wickedness and injustice I see in the world. The Lord God in heaven has all the power and might to bring about justice and righteousness in His own way and in His right time.
Sovereign Lord God, You are awesome and powerful! We praise and thank You for Your mercy and grace. Help us wait upon your right timing to bring your righteousness and justice in the earth.
Key Verse: v4 – “who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”
Title: Not fair!
“It’s not fair!” cried my heart when we received the results of a virus test. “Why not me Lord, my husband does not deserve this. He is a good man, he prays a lot for sick people, for those who are grieving and for many who are in need.” I thought my husband did not deserve this illness that has wreaked havoc in many countries of the world. Many have suffered, lost their jobs, their livelihood, and their loved ones. As I lamented and complained to the Lord that morning, my Bible reading happened to be in Hebrews.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. (Hebrews 5:7 NIV)
After reading these verses, I realized that, yes, my husband did not deserve to suffer from this illness, but neither did Jesus deserved the punishment of death on the cross. Jesus was a perfect man, but He still suffered humiliation, affliction, and death on the cross. It was not fair either. We may feel that we do not deserve bad things in life, but Jesus reminded us that,
“No one is good—except God alone. (Luke 18:19 NIV)
With the unwanted diagnosis, the next few days were difficult for my husband and me. However, we saw the hand of God at work, getting us through each day. We are grateful that in our case, the symptoms were mild, and that God saw us through.
Later on, when we heard of other friends who have experienced the same illness, we were able to pray for them and encourage them. We saw God has a purpose in every situation, whether good or bad, to cause all things to work together for good. (See Romans 8:28).
Reflection: Trust God when things in life seem not fair. God has His purpose and reason in every situation.