Are You Struggling With Isolation?

There are so many people out there who—even in the midst of the crowd they still—feel so alone. Are you one of them?

For so many times, I have met elderly people who are so vibrant in their golden years. In fact, some of them became very successful and influential when they retired from their jobs.

However, it saddens me also to see that despite the successes, many are struggling with loneliness and fear. Again, are you one of them?

Here’s my short but encouraging message for you.

1. Find Comfort in Knowing You Are Not Alone.

The fact is there are so many people out there who are also lonely. They feel isolated, abandoned, and separated. But this is not the time to live with grudges and regrets.

In times like these, we need hope. What I fully mean to say, “You are not alone,” is not to draw yourself to those who are secluded and hopeless. Instead, it I want you to find comfort from God.

God’s says, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

God is with you and He will never abandon you. Wherever you go, whatever you’ve done, whoever you’ve become, whatever you have—as long as you refocus your eyes or heart on God, you will find peace.

The truth is God is always here and there even if you did not think or feel His presence. You were and are and willnever be alone if God is with you.

When you recognize this truth in your heart and mind, you will be able to live and rest with great comfort that God cares for you and he is always with you to eternity.

2. Feel the Love of Those Who Care for You.

I really don’t know your story in life. And there is no one who can better tell your story but you. But do you see that in your lifetime, there were people who loved you?

This is not the time for regret because you cannot change the past—no matter what. The past is behind us. The opportunities missed do not define who we are for in the end our life is defined by our personal relationships.

First—and foremost—is with God who loves and cares for us. That God loves you and me is undisputable truth demonstrated in history when Jesus died on the cross for our sins.

Second is with our families and friends. Despite the breakdown and shortcomings of families in many societies, still the family is an integral source for unconditional love for many. Those who have significant loved ones would be happier.

Third is with those who care for you. The truth is there are many people around you who sincerely love you and voluntarily express God’s love in very practical ways.

Your families, friends, and fellow people could be God’s extensions of His feet to go where you are with eyes to see your needs, ears to listen, and hands to serve.

3. Focus on God’s Promise of Abiding Presence.

The truth is, there is no amount of successes, achievements, or money that can fill the vacuum of loneliness. The world is filled with highly successful people who are miserably lonely and depressed.

But there is hope! For those who are afraid and feel isolated, God assures “fear not, for I am with you.

For the discouraged and depressed, God says, “Be not dismayed, for I am your God.”

For those who have grown weary and weak, God promises this: “I will strengthen you, I will help you.

For those who are afraid of the future, God says, “I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Will you trust God’s righteousness to sustain you to eternity?

If so, then, I encourage you to fix your faith on Jesus Christ. In the depths of your heart and mind, I want you to know that God did not abandon you on your own.

God sent His beloved Son to that you and I could spend eternity with God—and not to be eternally isolated from Him.

Glenn Plastina © 2017

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How To Use the Power of Declaration?

Are you facing an impossible situation?

Do you want to make the impossible possible?

If you want to turn the impossible to possible, it takes more than removing the “im.”

Jesus said to his disciples, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

But what does this mean and how can we apply it in our lives?

1Declare with Faith.

The background of what Jesus said was a demon-possessed boy. His father brought him to the disciples, but they could not heal him. As such the father brought his son to Jesus still expecting supernatural healing.

One root cause of the disciples’ major failure was related to the power of declaration.

When Jesus said, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,’” He is actually affirming the veracity of his words as spoken in truth and certainty.

The Greek word to “say” (Greek “ereu”) to the mountain means to “utter” or “ask.” It simply means to “speak” with authority in the midst of impossibilities. It’s usually related to verbal proclamation, prophecy, and prediction.

In the line of this, to utter something means to speak with pure faith—even with a tiny but true faith. It’s complete confidence in God and downright declarations.

The power of biblical declaration is the concept of spoken words (logos) based upon a faith in the authority of God as revealed in the Bible. Such statements must have solid basis and authority from God and His Word.

2. Define Clearly What You Want to Happen.

To make a verbal pronouncement, one must be clear to see results.

Imagine making a gibberish verbal command for others to follow—how much more to an inanimate mountain! It’s likely you’ll get nothing in return.

In fact, Jesus emphasized the lack of faith of his disciples and the twisted mindsets of the curiosity seekers. He rebuked the demon and it departed from the boy’s body, healing him instantly.

As such, when Jesus said his disciples must make pronouncements, they have to be deliberate and definite. “‘Move from here to there, and it will move,” Jesus accentuated.

Take for example. If a person does not know what he wants, will he get anything? But if you know exactly what you desire, where to get and where to go, as well as how to get it, are you better off with someone who doesn’t?

Is it possible that the reason why most people do not get what they want is that they do not really know what they desire, where to start and end, as well as how to get it?

Try this. Can you fully describe what you want by verbally speaking it out in just three minutes? How about 30 seconds?

If so, do you really believe what you have just spoken?

3. Depend on God’s Mastery Over Possibilities.

There are natural principles at work in the universe. These God-established laws govern the order of the world. Beyond the natural processes and orders, these are usually considered supernatural.

But what is humanly possible is not so with God. The thing with God is that He is the Master of Impossibilities (not Mr. Tom Cruise). If the natural processes control God, then He is no God at all.

This is where faith comes in. If one verbally declares with faith—not because of faith itself but because of the God as the authority for that faith—it shall come to reality “and nothing will be impossible for you.”

For this, I encourage you to be careful in whom you put your trust when you declare something.

This is not self-help, metaphysics, or New Age. This is not about trusting in the power of the self-mind, or some impersonal force, or worse, some strange spiritual entities.

The power of declaration must be properly guided by God’s Word—nothing less, nothing more.

As Jesus said, “speak” and not whisper to the mountain. And it shall be done.

Glenn Plastina © 2017

 

 

 

How Are Your Words Affecting Your Life? 

What you habitually say, you become. This is universal wisdom.

The wise King Solomon once said, “From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward.”

If out of your mouth something would happen, what then would you do?

1. Read Your Lips.

There is a direct connection between your words and what happens with your life.

It is not a mere decision that shapes what you become; it’s also about what you constantly say who you would be, as well as what do and have.

The Bible clearly supports the idea that our words do have the power to change things. This is not metaphysical. It’s simply the profoundness of God’s gift of words among humans.

That human lips bear fruit is nothing new. Words do change things. People even acquire things through their words.

But why do people are not “filled with the good things” in life?

2. Receive the Results.

Good or bad, your life is filled with things through the very words that come out from your lips. It’s not because of your parents, environment, circumstances, luck, or anything else.

But there is no need to blame anyone. What we become has a direct relationship with our personal decisions to think the way we think and say the things we say. We simply get the results.

We get what we have as a result of what we decided to think, say, and do. Thus, we become.

From our words, we get “the fruit of our lips.” From our deeds, we “bring…rewards.” It’s not the other way around.

The words and works come first before the result and rewards.

3. Reshape Your Tongue.

What comes out from our tongue came from our thoughts.

The question is this. Is the life you have right now the kind of life you want?

No matter what, it’s either you want to change your life or desire it better. If you want your life to be “filled with good things” you need to change your words from bad to good or better to best.

If your tongue is sharp to speak negativity, don’t expect your life to become positive. But if your lips love to tell the good, the better, and the best, you are in the process of receiving the greater rewards that life could bring.

If you don’t like what you got, change your words.

Or if you already got what you want, go and get another one—something bigger and greater.

But here’s the most important thing. Are you willing to work out what you have been saying and get the rewards you deserve?

Can you hear what my mouth is talking?

Now, can you read your own lips?

Glenn Plastina (c) 2017

My Top 10 Wisdom on Money from the Bible

Do you want your family to financially succeed? It’s actually not rocket science. It’s ancient but timeless wisdom from God’s Word.

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” (Prov. 24:3-4)

If you want guidance from above on financial freedom, here are my top 10 picks.

1. Begin with Preparation and Planning.

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” (Prov 24:27)

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Prov. 16:3)

2. Buy Wisdom.

Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” (Prov. 23:23)

3. Believe God Can Fulfill His Promises.

You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth.” (Deut. 8:28)

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” (Prov. 3:9-10)

4. Be at the Center of God’s Will.

And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity…in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands.” (Deut. 28:11-12)

5. Build Business or Work Smart.

A nobleman went into a far country…Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.”” (Luke 19:12-13)

In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” (Deut. 28:11)

You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” (1 Tim 5:18)

6. Break Free from Debt.

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” (Prov. 22:7)

7. Bring the Tithes and Offerings.

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse…put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” (Mal. 3:10)

8. Bless Others Generously.

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Prov. 11:25)

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. (Prov. 11:24)

9. Balance Your Savings and Investments on the Front End.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it” (Prov. 13:11)

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” (Ecc. 11:6)

10 Become a Total Steward.

Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” (1 Cor. 4:2)

I have always believed that financial freedom is both a gift from God and a product of intentional living and accountability. I’m an adherent to simplicity in life, to live within your means, and level-up those means.

For me, the enriching life is that of total growth spiritually, emotionally, relationally, intellectually, physically, professionally, socially, and financially. They all go together.

How about you?

Glenn Plastina © 2017

Why Generosity Leads to Thanksgiving? 

This is my first Thanksgiving Day in the US with my family. Honestly, I’m very grateful for the generosity of the people around me and my family.

I love the way our spiritual family loves their workers and leaders.

My whole family testifies to the goodness of God through the generosity of the people who loved us abundantly.

Here’s what I learned that could inspire us to be thankful always.

1. Be Grateful for the Provisions of Your Needs.

Begin with your basic needs in mind. When was the last time you ever thank God for the provisions of your basic needs?

The truth is when we receive gifts of love from people who saw our needs, we have to be grateful for them. It is not about the amount that they give but the value of it when they allow themselves to be channels of God’s blessings for you.

Indeed, giving is serving. As the Bible says, “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

The first time my family arrived and moved into a new place to live, we were overwhelmed by the overflowing support of the people who, not only prayed for us but, generously supplied our needs–and even more!

This thing I learned: a grateful heart will draw more blessings.

2. Become Generous In Every Way.

When you see the need of others and allow yourselves to be God’s channel of His blessings, remember that it is not about how people would thank you but how they would be grateful to God.

In Apostle Paul’s words, “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.”

Have you observed that when we give something to others or to meet a simple need, it feels good within us? This is so especially if we do it not out of duty but of personal volition and desire.

But what if you can give–not just finances or goods to meet an immediate and temporary need to anyone but–a necessity that would last for eternity?

It is good to be generous in many ways, but the most powerful expression of our generosity is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with acts of kindness.

The greatest gift we can give to others is sharing the love of Jesus Christ in a very practical way.

3. Bless the Lord for His Indescribable Grace.

If there’s one main reason why we should be thankful, it’s God. We must be thankful for who God is and what He has done for us.

The person who really understands the grace of God could not help but be generous. That’s what the apostle Paul has seen to the followers of Jesus:

And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

The truth is this. When you realize how much God has done for you, your only recourse is to be open-heartedly generous in every way.

Words are not enough to describe the fullness of God’s grace to humanity. How much more to those who have received by faith the totality of God’s grace in Jesus Christ!

There are even more than 10,000 reasons for it!

But even if you can’t name or recall every detail, counting your blessings every day and be thankful for it does enrich your heart and soul.

Can you name at least ten major reasons why you are thankful to God today?

Glenn Plastina (c) 2017

Why Not All “Christians” Are Jesus-Followers?

Are you aware?

Being conditioned to be a Christian does not necessarily mean the person is a converted one.

In fact, through centuries, Christianity is plagued with “unconverted Christians” (I’m borrowing the phrase from David Platt).

When people think of Christians, they think of being a member or going to church, reading the Bible, giving generously, living a good life, etc.

Although these things above are good practices for spiritual growth, they do not actually mean being a converted Christian.

So what really makes a person Christian?

1. Die to Yourself.

Human nature is basically selfish–as such, self-centered, self-righteous, and sinful. Against this background, the invitation of Jesus to die to one’s self and live for Him was given.

The truth is being a Christian is not about living and feeling good about yourself, but dying to it and living for Jesus Christ. That’s why the person is called “Christ-ian.”

In fact, the term “Christian” was originally a derogative description of those who denied themselves and followed Jesus.

Anyone can claim to be a Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Baptist, Presbyterian, Mormon, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Independent, and others—anyone can be one of these, except being a Christian.

In fact, being Americans, Filipinos, or South Koreans, do not make people Christians, regardless of how dominant Christian religion is in their home countries.

By dying to self, regardless of race and religion, being a Christian is having the life lived in Christ and becoming like Him–even to peacefully die for Him.

2. Decide to Follow Jesus Christ.

Come and follow me,” Jesus repeatedly preached. Those who did obey followed Him until the end.

Of course, it would be nonsense for Jesus to invite people to follow Him if they do not have the ability to do it. God himself must provide the capability for a person to take such action. And it begins with a God-enabled faith and decision.

However, being a Christian is more than saying “The Sinner’s Prayer” to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Interestingly, such practice is actually absent in the Bible history of the Christian Faith. (Nonetheless, God could use such simple act of prayer when done wholeheartedly in faith.)

The same is true for having a denomination, sect or organized religion. Though insufficient on its own, God could use exposures to any religious environments for people to seek God’s truth and find Christ. Remember, Jewish people in Jesus’ time were also religious.

The truth is being a Christian is not to be religious. It is being converted to Christ, not any church or creed. It’s not about confessing a magical prayer but about being changed in conformity to Christ’s image.

3. Disciple People to Be Like Christ.

A true Christian is actually a disciple of Christ–nothing less, nothing more.

If you look at the life and leadership of Jesus Christ, it’s basically about discipleship—the lifelong process of becoming like Christ and helping others to be like Him.

The early Christians were able to turn the world upside-down because they were unashamed in proclaiming their faith in Jesus and making discipleship as their essential mission in life.

I’m inclined to believe that the strongest proofs that a person is truly a Christian are having a transformed life and making disciples. Both can’t be divorced.

It is where a person puts his faith in Jesus Christ and become His follower by making others into followers of Jesus also.

Becoming Christlike is not mere possession of an information about Jesus or of Christian doctrines, but the transformation of the student-disciple into the likeness of the master, the Lord Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, there is also that commitment to transfer such Christlike life unto others.

As such, intentional discipleship in obedience to Christ’s command to “make disciples” is an essential hallmark of a true Christian. It’s not a fad, but of faith and obedience.

Jesus gave this warning before, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Remember, it’s not that one can be saved by deeds—as most world religions believebut the only proof that you truly know what you believe is by doing it.

Likewise, being a Christian only makes sense by demonstrating your faith in Christ Jesus through your lifestyle and actions.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2017

What’s the Relationship Between Atheism and Delusion?

The Bible points out there is a relationship between Atheism and delusion.

When Ray Comfort did interviews on college students in his documentary The Atheist Delusion, it is interesting how self-confessed atheists changed their views when asked about the obvious evidence of God as the Intelligent Designer (ID).

But there is, indeed, an evident relationship between atheism and delusion. The apostle Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians captures it right.

1. Discern Atheism’s Deceptions.

Obviously, Richard Dawkins and his The God Delusion is very popular making him a multimillionaire as a bonus for his famous argument that everything could come out from nothing (Don’t laugh, because for him that’s very scientific.).

And yet, manifold people swallow the pill of atheism without thinking about its deceptive nature. It claims to know the science of DNA as “the books of life,” and yet denies the Designer of such books (Accordingly, it is really scientifically possible that a book could be made without an author, writer, and publisher).

As Apostle Paul aptly says, “and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.”

What could be so deceptive when the creation obviously demonstrates the truth of the First Cause, the Creator of the universe?

And yet atheism remains “reasonable” in the midst of its unreasonableness. (Have you observed when so-called experts say something in British high-sounding accent, people listen even if it is stupid and senseless?)

2. Disclose Atheism’s Denial.

It is interesting to note that people who succumbed to the deception of atheism are leading themselves into the slaughterhouse of denial.

Isn’t it interesting also that atheism accuses those who believe in God as unreasonable and emotional? (This is not to mention that atheists rant in anger against their non-existent God and the simpleminded.) But why are atheists angry at God of whom they believe as non-existent?

But why do people keep falling (not growing) in love with the seduction of atheism?

In Paul’s words, “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

Atheists love claiming to be open-minded, and yet when confronted with the undeniable truth of where did morality or the sense of good came from, any reasons are acceptable except the explanation of God. Why?

The idea that there is God is a dreadful possibility for atheism.

If there is God, there is an absolute Creator whose laws were violated, the judgment for sins is fair, and the punishment for hell is sure. But atheism can’t accept such undeniable truth.

As such, the truth for atheism is relative and the need for salvation is tentative. The most convenient way is to deny such existence of infinite Being and live without moral accountability.

3. Differentiate Atheism’s Delusion.

Have you observed how recent atheists argue that the idea of God is compared to primitive myths, fairy tales, and unscientific world-views that deceived people?

It’s startling how God’s Word was twisted in relation to such deception and denial. “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Such powerful delusion that the complexities of the living organisms, like humans, animals, plants, and other species, are believed to have been “miraculously” developed without design.

Or that these delusions hold that accident and a natural anomaly on earth are firmly maintained by speculations and idiosyncratic belief in their own theories, rather than the revelation of God’s truth.

If the Ultimate Cause is denied, what could be the aftereffect?

Well, in these atheistic arguments of realities, such delusion has direct impacts. First is the continuing belief in lies and more lies. There is no place for the God of truth in atheism.

Second is the personal delight in the life of sin and wickedness. Since there is no God, live as you wish (at least, scientifically wishful). Fulfill your animal instinct and lust.

Atheism fancy in the idea of no moral and ethical restraint. After all, living right with God is pointless for there is no God in whom the bright mankind would be judged accordingly.

But such preference of atheistic belief is already self-condemning. Denial of the obvious is a self-inflicted deception. That alone is hypocrisy and idolatrous. And delusion has its own repercussion: the absolute judgment of God.

On that day, atheists will stand before God and I doubt if they can taunt, blame or make any judgment whether God is really who He says He is. That would be too late.

But for those who are really open to evidence, this is the witness: That God has given us His Son, Jesus Christ, as our hope for forgiveness and salvation. Read the Bible, God’s manual for life, and see for yourself.

Glenn Plastina (c) 2017

Who Will Get What You Have Prepared For Yourself?

“You know what?” a teener matter-of-factly told his young friend, “I’m excited for ______________ (referring to his parent’s rich friend) to die so that I can get his cars and money.”

The young friend who heard it was stunned in unbelief. He told his dad about the disgusting remark. The father told his son to quickly stay away from that boy.

The friend’s father thought. Who in his right mind would teach a teenager like that? From whom did that teenager learned to get an inheritance from someone rich but not blood-related?

What that teenager did not realize was that he is already the second one who said those words to the family of that wealthy guy.

1. Guard Your Heart Towards Riches.

There will always be someone out there who has vested interest in someone’s wealth. If you know these persons, run away. For even if you won’t, they’ll find a way to remove you from the equation.

Even Jesus met someone like this who asked Him to “divide the inheritance” with him. Jesus was a bit disgusted and said this, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.

Wealth is not inherently evil or wrong. It is the heart that’s a problem. It’s not the gold, but the greed.

Wall Street may teach people the philosophy that “Greed is good.” But from a Christian view, teaching anyone, especially a child, to be greedy is a moral and mental sickness.

2. Get It Straight: Life Is Not All About Wealth Creation.

Without apologies, Jesus got to the point. “Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” It means your personality is not defined by your possession.

He then illustrated this truth by sharing a short story about a certain rich man. Since his storage was already full after an abundant harvest, he pondered. “What shall I do?

The rich man decided to tear down his barns and built larger ones to house his surplus of goods. For his success, he self-talked with his popular mantra, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

Does this sound familiar to you? Is this self-motivating tune ringing in your ears? Or have you met someone who keeps telling himself of this until it becomes their personal truth of life?

3. Get the Whole Truth. 

The truth is, Jesus is not anti-rich. In fact, He has some friends who are really wealthy—even today. A lot of people in the Bible are considered righteousrich. But He also knows the deceptive nature of the heart.

Despite the fact that everyone will eventually leave behind everything, including wealth, people can be in truth denial. That’s reality, not an illusion.

If you make wealth creation as your mission in life, it is not just materialistic, it is moronic. Either one has faith to act or just be a fool to assume.

This is what God strongly said, “You fool (from the Greek word moron)! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?

Like an endless cycle, riches acquired are transferred to children and family, sometimes, the government or an institution. Even the wealth of nations moves from one to another.

It would be presumptuous to have a vested interest to get the wealth of someone who has a spouse, relative or blood relations. How much more when the person is still alive and someone would wish them to die soon! Is that a sign of a mentally or morally sick person?

Only a fool would think that he can keep what he cannot.

And God’s description to the rich guy and who had materialistic interest for an inheritance is quite a strong word.

But in the final analysis, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

The truth is, there is such a thing as being rich towards God, storing treasures in eternity.

The beauty of being rich toward God is that it’s not just about physical wealth, it is also about spiritual, emotional, mental, and relational riches. That intimate and personal relationship with God alone is unfathomable wealth beyond measure.

Whatever people think, God has always the final say. If you have God, you have everything. Whatever the best this world could offer are simply bonuses from Him through your particular plans and actions.

Just guard your heart against the temptations of blessings and be grateful to the Blesser. Will you?

Glenn Plastina (c) 2017

Why Is the Missing Second Commandment Essential?

In the US Constitution, the 2nd Amendment matters. But for the 10 Commandments, the 2nd command matters much.

In Exodus 20, God says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image.

Here’s what you can do.

1. Observe the Second Command.

It’s not a suggestion but a prohibition. It’s a divine mandate that demands obedience.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Obviously, it means “do not make idols.” Period. Such idols (Hebrew pe.sel) are objects of worship, love, affection or offering.

Repeatedly, making idols were forbidden in the whole Bible. Such “likeness” indicates form, image, representation, or semblance. However, these carved images are not referring to temple object or household figurines for arts and decorations.

Of the 30 references of “idol” in the Old Testament, the “carved image” is first mentioned here. This is where we get the word “idolatry” or extreme admiration or reverence for someone or something.

2. Obey the Giver of the Command.

Many would say, “We don’t actually worship the image, we just respect it, like we respect our father, mother or loved ones.”

Have you begin to observe that there are offered prayers involved and not just love, affection, and respect?

But God’s commands in making or having carved images for reverence or worship are evidently prohibited. The second commandment goes, “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”

Why would God prohibit the act of bowing or paying service of homage to carved images?

It’s because God’s nature forbids it. He is a jealous God. So whether these carved images represent someone other than God, be it a revered person or any objects, God feels suspicious.

3. Obtain theExact Results.

Arguing the thin difference between respect and reverence regarding carved images is like a tightrope walk for an ordinary person. But even if one would succeed in walking across the game, the risk is given.

Disobedience to the second commandment is still spiritually catastrophic. Due to idolatry, God clearly warns of “visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Elsewhere in Deuteronomy, there is a spiritual curse for idolatry. God made the solemn utterance to inflict harm and punish, not just “the sins of the fathers” but of the children and great grandchildren.

Ignorance of this law is not an exemption. As such, the consequences and curses are trans-generational.

Have you noticed that idolatrous nations suffered serious consequences for thier collective actions?

But for our obedience to the second Commandment, there are blessings. God also invokes His commitment to bless and express his unwavering love to those who obey—from the parents and from one generation to another.

Have you ever thought of the results of your obedience to your posterities?

Until now, I believe, God asks this question, “O Ephraim [or Israel], what have I to do with idols?

And for the church, “What agreement has the temple of God with idols?

The answer is now upon you.

As for me, the answer is straight—nothing.

Glenn Plastina © 2017

Why The 10 Commandments You Never Knew Matter?

Is the Ten Commandments you thought you knew is real? Or rigged?

In Exodus 20:1-17, as well as Deuteronomy 5:6-21, the Ten Commandments were clearly reiterated. (Compare it also with all reliable translations and versions of the Bible.)

Like in most ancient documents, the source is being identified. In the case of the Ten Commandments, God is the source, not Moses. “And God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.’”

When God speaks, let all mortal people listen. And here are the Ten Commandments.

1. You shall have no other gods before me.”

2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

6. You shall not murder.”

7. “You shall not commit adultery.

8. “You shall not steal.”

9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

Does the second Commandment disturb you? Why would God emphasize his character as a “jealous God”?

How many generations will be affected to suffer because of the sin of disobeying the second commandment?

Take a walk around your neighborhood and find a 10 Commandment monument. Isn’t it interesting why the second Commandment is often deleted? (And to patch up, the 10th Commandment was divided into two commandments to make it ten?)

Moses pointed out the major purposes why the Ten Commandments were given. When all the people were so afraid for their lives as they stood far from God’s holy presence, they spoke to Moses to speak for them.

Do not fear,” Moses replied, “for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.”

Here’s a test: If your tradition or what you believe in goes against the very Word of God, what would you do?

Would you stick with God or your gut?

It’s not what you know that destroys. It’s what you don’t know and do.

Glenn Plastina © 2017