Monday, February 25, 2008

Christ-consciousness vs self-consciousness

Gen 1: 26-28
In the garden before the fall, man was NOT self-conscious but once Adam and Eve sinned, self-conscious came in (bringing fear, self-doubt, insecurity, embarrassment and shame)
We need NOT be self-conscious now as through the Cross, Jesus has defeated sin and set us free to be Christ-conscious.

Only 3 things necessary for us to be conscious of everyday:
1. Conscious of our relationship with God
2. Conscious of our relationship with others
3. Conscious of our purpose and function
(our purpose is to be fruitful and multiply – ie to win others and disciple them) –Purpose is common to all of us
(our function is different and temporal – each of us have different functions in the Kingdom of God – our jobs and ministries will differ so as the Body of Christ will be built up as each function is working in harmony)

How to be Christ-conscious and not self-conscious
1. Remember we are in Christ – our identity (who we are) is because of who Christ is. We need not feel inferior or act superior as we are what we are in Christ and in Christ alone.
2. Use the Word of God – know it, confess it and share it
3. Meet with God daily – in the garden, God met with Adam twice a day – in the cool of the day (morning and evening) – praise and pray

We are set free from the lie, deceit and bondage of self-consciousness to a life of liberty in Christ-consciousness. Let us press on and not listen to the enemy but claim and proclaim this truth daily.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The 10 Expressions of God's Name in Psalm 23

YHWH - Yahweh – “I am” = The LORD -- Jehovah

PS 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

PS 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

PS 23:3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

PS 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

PS 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

PS 23:6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

(KJV) The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

1. Jehovah Ra’ah (the Lord my Shepherd) v1 – action: FOLLOW HIM

The shepherd is concerned for the sheep and cares for them.

a. Sheep needs to eat grass themselves – the shepherd does not feed them!

b. Sheep needs to follow and keep in the path of the shepherd (staff – to keep in line, rod – to protect)

(difference between goats and sheep – goats are driven but sheep are led)

c. Sheep needs to submit – for shearing and for sacrifice

d. Sheep begets sheep

2. Jehovah Jireh (the Lord my Provider) v2a – action: TRUST HIM

the shepherd knows where the best pasture is and where there are poisonous weeds

3. Jehovah Shalom (the Lord my Peace) v2b – action: REST IN HIM

we have peace with God through Christ and now daily we can have peace of God

4. Jehovah Rapha (the Lord my Healer) v3a – action: ASK HIM IN FAITH

disease starts from dis-ease in our soul(mind, emotions) – healing comes from the Holy Spirit through our spirits to our souls and bodies

5. Jehovah Tsidkenu (the Lord my Righteousness) v3b – action: WALK WITH HIM

We have nothing good in ourselves (beware of self-righteous attitude). Let us live in His righteousness (our position in Christ) and live by His righteousness (our practical outworking of our position)

6. Jehovah Shammah (the Lord my Present Help) v4 – action: BE BOLD IN HIM

Do not fear, His Presence is near! Let us practise living in the present in His presence.

(talk to him wherever, whenever; praise him often; keep short a/cs with God)

7. Jehovah Nissi (the Lord my Banner) v5a – action: ENJOY HIM

I feast with God as the enemy looks on. His Banner over me is LOVE.

8. Jehovah Meqadashkem (the Lord my Sanctifier) v5b– action: BE HOLY LIKE HIM

To anoint one’s head and pour wine in a cup are signs of hospitality and friendship.

the oil and wine speaks of the Holy Spirit given to us to have overflowing joy, setting us apart for holy living. We are sanctified to serve.

9. Jehovah Cha’nan (kawnan=favours) (the Lord my Grace) v6a – action: LIVE IN HIS GRACE

Goodness = getting from God what we do not deserve – LIFE

Mercy = NOT getting from God what we do deserve – DEATH

will follow me = we are saved by grace through faith and we live by grace through faith

10. Jehovah Adonai (the LORD my Lord) v6b – action: SURRENDER TO HIM

He is the Master of the house and I will serve Him as a servant (bond slave – willingly having my ear pierced (Ex 21:6) to be a servant for life)

He is also my Father and I willingly serve Him as a son out of love and gratitude (cf. the prodigal son’s elder brother)

What is our response to all these 10 expressions of God’s character?