Positive Thinking

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

If anyone is to doubt whether the Bible is truly a positive thinking book, the above verse should have made it clear. Being a Christian is not about going through rituals as practiced by religious churches. It is about changing the way we think, speak and response to the situations that are around us. In short, a Christian life is a life of positive thinking, positive speaking and positive responding at all times even if we are in a really bad situation.

If you bother to read through the Bible, you will be able to read stories on how godly people got into deep trouble that seemed to be impossible to get out. Yet, they chose to be positive and trust in the Lord as their deliverer. In the end, they managed to get out of the troubles with greater prosperity in their lives.

This is the second purpose of the Bible.

There are 2 functions of the Bible:
1. Show us how to secure our place in heaven.
2. Show us how to prosper in every area of our lives.

The first one is simple. All you have to do is to accept Jesus as your savior as specified in the First Layer Gospel and your future in heaven is secure.

Even religious churches like to use this as a marketing ploy to lure unsuspecting public to join their church.

(The difference between religious churches and true churches is the religious churches change their “gospel” the moment the non-believer becomes a believer. For example, they will tell the non-believers that the moment they believe in Jesus they will be able to go to heaven. After they believed, they will be taught to do many things to preserve their heaven membership. Should they fail in any of them, they will go to hell. )

Overall, the first function is very simple to deal with, simply because it cannot be proven. Who can provide any proof that the First Layer Gospel is false? So, you can preach about it without having to worry over anyone coming out with some counter proofs.

However, the second function is more difficult because it can be proven. This may be one of the reasons why most preachers are afraid to preach about it. They must be afraid of being proven wrong by hard evidence. Unfortunately, such cowardice has denied many Christians from the prosperity that God wants them to enjoy while they are still on earth.

This is the reason why I will not waste time in attending those counterfeit churches. As far as I am concern, I am already saved based on the authority of the First Layer Gospel. So, I do not need resaving. My interest is in the second function of the Bible. I want to have abundance of prosperity in every area of my life. This is why I only listen to real Bible based preachers.

Let us get back to the above verse. As you can see, the writer wanted his audience to think thoughts that are good. What can we learn from here? I can see 2 points:
1. Positive thinking is a regular practice.
2. Positive thinking is independent from any external circumstances.

The above verse seems to imply that the act of thinking positive requires effort. Not thinking negative does not count. If you really want to receive good things your life, you cannot afford to slack in this area. You need to be disciplined and set up specific time to think positive.

Second, the above verse does not place any conditions for that instruction. It does not tell us to think positive only when the external circumstances are positive. If you want to have good things in your life, your positive thinking routine must be continuous even if you are going through some rough passage in your life right now.

In fact, positive thinking is more crucial when we are physically in a bad situation.

Let me give you an example. Certain routines like drinking lots of water and having enough rest are good for our health. We should do it daily. However, if you are sick, these things are even more important to you. You need to do them more.

Likewise for our thought lives. I can never over-state the importance of maintaining a healthy thought life for it is the key to all the prosperity we ever desire. The choice is yours. Will you obey or disobey?

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The Law Of Sowing And Reaping

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:7-10 (NIV)

This must be among the most repeated law in the Bible. I call this the natural law because it works at all times and for all people regardless of personal beliefs, race, culture and environment. This law is commonly known as The Law Of Sowing And Reaping.

The following are the characteristics of natural law:
1. It always works on you regardless of your faith in it.
2. It is neutral because it does not know the difference between good or evil.

So, if you use it for good, it will bring good into your life. If you use it for evil, it will bring evil into your life. The difference between those who believe in it and those who don’t is in their applications.

Those who believe in the existence of this law will tend to use it for their good. They will constantly sow the things the desire like health, wealth and success. As a result, they will reap the harvest of health, wealth and success in their lives.

In contrast, those who do not believe in this law will not bother to watch what they sow. Whenever they were influenced by the world around them, they will sow seeds of poverty, sickness and failures into their lives. As a result, they receive the harvest in kind.

This law is no longer a speculation. We can see its effect all around us.

Verse 7 begins by telling us not to be deceived because God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. This means anyone who denies the Law Of Sowing And Reaping is effectively mocking God. This is what the Bible says. Looks like God places a very heavy emphasis on this law. Logically, one will expect many churches to preach it.

Ironically, they don’t. Most churches would rather be deceived by the lies of theology than to believe in the truth of the Bible. The minority of churches who dare preach on this law are persecuted with labels like “prosperity gospel” as though it is not a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In fact, this is my way of screening out true churches. When I evaluate whether a certain church is a true church or a counterfeit, I always ask this question, “Has this church been accused of preaching the prosperity gospel?”

If the answer is “yes”, then there is a probability that this is a true church because it dares to please God despite the persecution. If the answer is “no”, then I can be sure that this is just another counterfeit that seek to please men rather than God. I will not waste time going there.

Verse 8 tells us that this law works both for the flesh and the Spirit. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. It does not tell us whether we should sow to please the flesh or the Spirit because God assumes that we have enough common sense to choose eternal life, not destruction.

You can see similar patterns in the Bible. In many verses, God does not tell us what to do. He only gives us the result of certain actions. For example, he tells us that if we are greedy we will be poor but if we are generous, we will be rich. He does not tell us to be generous and not greedy. Why is that so? It must be in God’s personal opinion that we have the common sense to choose only the good things in life. He knows we will definitely choose to be rich and not poor. Since we want to be rich, we will want to be generous and not be greedy.

Therefore in Verse 8, God is appealing to our common sense to sow to please the Spirit because the benefits are great.

Verse 9 in an exhortation to us on not giving up. Read the verse again:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

It begins by telling us not become weary in doing good. Why did he say that? The only logical reason is, not all our good works will produce good results immediately. If you have been living in the real world long enough, you must have realize that you can’t always see the desired results of doing good works. There were even times when we receive bad results from doing good works.

This is the problem Verse 9 is addressing. It basically says that we should not give up doing good just because we cannot see the desired results at this moment. Why? The second part of this verse says, “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

The harvest will come at its proper time if we do not give up. Just because we cannot see our harvests, it does not mean that they don’t exist. God is working behind the scenes right now to prepare our harvests. Our roles as the recipients are to believe in his faithfulness, keep sowing our seeds and don’t give up. As long as we can hold our grounds, God guarantees us our harvests.

Once, we are convinced of this, we should do as Verse 10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Look for opportunities to do good because when we do good, we are sowing good seeds. We will reap good harvests. Someone may ask, “What is good and what is not?” The answer is simple. You decide. What are the things that you consider as good that you want?

 Do you think having a lot of money is good? If you do, start by sowing seeds of money by giving money to those in need.

 Do you think having good health is good? If you do, start by sowing seeds of health by helping the sick people to gain health.

What are the other good things that you want to have? Sow in kind by giving to others. God guarantees that you will reap harvests in kind.

This is what I like about the God of the Bible after I have discovered his true nature. God is not a ruthless dictator who blackmails us into behaving like mindless drones who will obey all his instructions without question, as propagated by the theology infested churches. That is theology, a lie from the pit of hell.

The truth is, the God of the Bible values our individual freedom. He gives up the choice to choose what we want. He only provides the tools for us to get what we want. The Law Of Sowing And Reaping is just a tool for us to use. He hopes that we can use it wisely.

There Is Always A Way Out

13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

The above verse is on how we can face the challenges in our daily lives on earth. The theme is “temptation”. What is that? It refers to external factors that force us to do things that we will regret later. I prefer to call it “trouble”. It sounds more natural. In this article, I shall use the term “trouble” instead of “temptation” but the meaning is the same.

If you have been living in the real world long enough, you would have realized that nothing always works according to plan. Things will invariably get wrong. You can get into trouble by your own mistakes or somebody else’s mistakes. Do you think this is unfair to suffer for somebody else’s mistakes? Let me give you some comfort. Somebody else can also suffer from your mistakes.

Based on my experience from the troubles I have been through, I did not always have a positive mindset when I went through them. I used to think I was the most unfortunate person on earth. I wished I were somebody else. (I suspect many had also thought the same.)

The first part of the above verse seems to have read my mind. If you are to think logically, you should have realized that no matter what trouble you are in right now, you cannot be the only one suffering from it. Many others throughout the world and at all times have the same experience. You are not that special after all. So, stop that self pity routine.

The second part of the verse tells us that God he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. Can you bear the troubles that you are facing right now? If you cannot do it, God would have made sure that this trouble would not have come to you in the first place. However, if you are in it right now, it must mean one thing: In God’s personal opinion, you have what it takes to overcome it.

In other words, God has given you all the power you need to overcome the problems you are facing right now. So, if you choose to give up, you are basically making a declaration saying that God is incapable of doing his job. I don’t think he will feel very honored by that.

However, should you choose to fight on and refuse to give up, you are effectively making a declaration to the whole world that your God is the true God who is faithful, a person of integrity and fully capable of doing his job. Do I have to convince you that you will get more blessings this way?

The last part of the above verse tells us what happen when we are already tempted, meaning we are already deep in trouble. It gives us the assurance that God will provide a way out. If you are with God, you will never be in any situation where there is no way out. There is always a way out no matter how impossible it appears to be. Why? God guarantees it? I choose to trust in him.

Unfortunately, here is some bad news. The last portion says, “so that you can endure it”. Why do we have to endure anything? The only answer is, the the way out will not appear immediately the moment we need it. There will be some waiting time between the time we get into trouble and the time we get out of it. This is the period we have to endure.

How do we endure? The above verse tells us that when we truly believes our God will provide a way out from our troubles, we will have the strength to endure it. Enduring does not mean giving up and surrendering to the present situation. Just because you are poor now, it does not mean you have to be poor forever. Just because you are sick now, it does not mean you must be sick forever. Just because you have failed now, it does not mean you must be failing forever. Just because you are in sin now, it does not mean you must be in sin forever.

God has promised you a way out. Can you believe him? If you can, you will be able to live through the present troubles with joy in your spirit and hope in your heart. You will live with confident expectation that you will see your dreams coming true even if the present situation tells you the opposite. You choose to believe in God rather than circumstances.

This is the true meaning of endurance. This is the life of faith.

Grumbling And Arguing

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)

The above verses are about making it big in life. If you are employed, you can use it to get promoted and higher salary. If you are in your own business, you can use it to increase your customer base and generate more profits. If you are still looking for a job, use this to get the job you want.

Verse 14 tells us to do everything without grumbling or arguing. I am sure that if you have been living in the real world long enough you will find grumbling and arguing at work is very common. Everybody does it including Christians.

What do people grumble and argue about? There are lots of topics to choose from. I suspect the most popular are not enough salary, too much work, other co-workers who do not fit into one’s “perfect” standards and others. What do the grumblers and arguers get out of from these activities? Absolutely, nothing.

The only result in such activities is the reinforcement of negative thoughts in the minds of those who did them. When you grumble and talk bad about somebody, that person is not harmed. You are the one getting harmed by your negative talk. So, the wiser choice is not to do it.

What will happen when we refuse to join in the grumbling and arguing at work? Verse 15 tells us that when we do that, we may blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then we will shine among them like stars in the sky.

I don’t think the above words are too difficult to understand. When everybody is talking negative and adopt negative attitude but you alone talk and act positive, you will stand out like the only start in the dark sky. You will become very attractive. Your employers, customers, clients, co-workers and associates will be attracted to you. Positive attitude is very attractive.

As a result, you will be in a better position to receive a higher pay rise, higher bonus, more and better customers. You will end up richer than those who are negative. All things being equal, the positive person will outperform the negative person in all areas and at all times.

How to be positive? It always began from the inside. Think positive thoughts. Use your imagination to visualize the environment that you desire. Speak positive words. In the event you find yourself unable to think positive, the least you can do is to keep your mouth shut. Do not make negative confessions like grumbling and arguing. This is the message of the above passage.

Verse 16 tells us it is the writer’s desire for the recipients of this letter to have a positive attitude. The display of positive attitude is the proof that the person is indeed holding on firmly to the word of life. No one who has truly read, understand and hold on to the teachings of the Bible can be negative because the Bible, (which is the Word of God) is a very positive book.

The last part of Verse 16 shows the writer was getting personal in the achievement of positive attitude among his audience. If they fail to achieve it, he considered it as his waster effort. If they succeed, he would boast on it.

This tells us that God himself places a high premium on the value of being positive. If you want to please him, you should be positive at all times.

Fulfilling The Law

14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galations 5:14 (NIV)

How do you know you are in a religious church? The most obvious sign is, the preacher constantly remind the church members to obey God’s law, especially the 10 Commandments. There are still people who think the Christian life is centered on the 10 Commandments. This is obviously a heresy. If the 10 Commandments can save us, Christ died for nothing.

If you bother to refer to my previous postings, you can read a lot of my articles showing that the Law of Moses is no longer valid for Christians today. We do not have to try not to murder anyone if we do not have this intention in the first place.

The above verse tells us that as long as we love our neighbor as ourselves, we don’t have to bother about the Law. It is fulfilled in our lifestyle. We do not fulfill the entire law by keeping the entire law. We fulfill the entire law by keeping just one command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Is this good or bad? The answer depends on what does the phrase “love your neighbor as yourself” mean.

What do you think of when you see the phrase? Are you looking for a list of things to do in order to qualify for it? Who are you going to ask for the list? Are you going to ask a church? Unfortunately, the Christian churches are so fragmented today that 100 churches will have 100 different lists on how to love our neighbors as ourselves.

In this article, I will give you a clear answer on what to do and it does not involve any to do list from somebody else. In fact, you are the one with the right to decide on the right actions to qualify. Let us begin.

The phrase, “love your neighbor as yourself” only has 2 principles:
1. You must love yourself.
2. Use this love as a measure to love others.

This first principle tells us that we must have a healthy respect for ourselves. God loves you so much that he gave his only begotten Son to redeem you. What right do you have to despise yourself or treat yourself with contempt? Always remember that if you hate yourself, you are insulting God. If you have been doing that, you should repent. Repentance means stop doing the bad things and move on to the good things. Stop hating and start loving yourself.

If you have been living a good and honorable life, that should not be too difficult. However, there are any people with a bad past. If you happen to be one of them, are you still able to love yourself regardless of the bad things you have done? Some people will find this an impossible task.

Let me make it simple for you. When Jesus died at the Cross, he took all our sins with him: past, present and future. As for the bad things you have done in the past, you have to tell yourself that you didn’t do them. Jesus did all those things and he was punished for it. God will never re-punish you for the sins that he had punished Jesus at the Cross. In the eyes of God, you are whiter than snow. You can face God as though you have never committed a single sin in your life.

Once, you are convinced of the above truth, you will have the freedom to love yourself. When that happens, you will find God’s blessings flowing freely into your life with increasing quality and quantity.

As a result, you will able to fulfill the second principle. Your love for yourself will be the foundation for loving others. Your love will be genuine. You will love others like Jesus loves you. This is what Jesus meant by doing to others what you want others to do to you.

How should you treat others? It depends on how do you want to be treated.

 Do you want others to help you when you are down? Start helping others when they are down.

 Do you want to receive a lot of money? Start giving others money.

 Do you want to live in your dream house? Start helping others to get their dream houses.

In short, whatever you want in your life, help others to get them. This is what Jesus mean by loving your neighbor as yourself. You write your own list. This is Christian living.

The Way Of Love 5

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 5:8-10 (NIV)

The above verses further confirm the context I set in this series I wrote on Ephesians 5. In the earlier installments, I have shown you verses that are frequently abused by theology infested religious preachers to blackmail their church members. They tell their church members that if they do not obey God, God will be angry with them. There is no limit on the type of perverted things God can do to them when he is angry.

What is obeying God? It means doing everything the preachers tell you to do. Your role as an obedient Christian is to behave like the mindless drone who will obey everything the preacher say. If the preacher tells you to go witnessing to get more victims to become church members, you must do it. If he asks for money, you must give him money. This is how religious preachers survive.

I have shown you the true meanings of those verses. Those verses are not instructions, nor threats to us but confirmations on our special positions in Christ. The above passage reinforces the confirmations I wrote in the earlier articles.

Let us look at Verse 8:

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light”

1. It started by stating the past : “For you were once darkness”

2. Follows by stating the present: “but now you are light in the Lord”

3. The result of the present status: “Live as children of light”

Can you see the flow? We live as children of light not because we are afraid of God sending us to hell or doing perverted things to us if we don’t. We live as children of light because we are light in the Lord. The phase “light in the Lord” is a state. “Live as children of light” is an act.

To put it in another words, we have to believe that we are completely holy in order to live holy lives. You cannot live holy life if you see yourself as a sinner. This is another hypocrisy of religious churches. They label their members as sinners and demand them to live holy lives. This is like demanding a cat to bark. No wonder they fail.

Ask yourself right now on your status. Are you a sinner or a saint? If you are a sinner, you should sin. Sinning is your nature. It is unjust to force a sinner into not sinning. However, if you are a saint, holiness is natural to you. Sinning is unnatural to you as barking is unnatural to a cat. If you happen to sin, dust it off and move on. Your status as saint is not affected.

Here is an analogy. Pigs love mud. They like to wallow themselves into mud to keep cool. Sheep don’t do that. They stay away from mud. If a sheep happens to fall into a mud-pool, it will struggle to get out. It will be filled with mud. When the shepherd sees it, he must do his job to clean up the sheep.

Throughout the scenario, its species does not change. It remained a sheep regardless of its cleanliness. A sheep will not turn into a pig when it touches mud.

Likewise for the saints. No amount of sins can change your status. If you find yourself covered in sin, just let the Shepherd do his job to clean you up. Sit back and enjoy life.

Verse 9 and 10 tells us the natural result of our present status.

9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 5:9-10 (NIV)

Our fruits are all goodness, righteousness and truth. As believers, we don’t have to try to obtain all goodness, righteousness and truth because these things are our fruits. They are our natural characteristics. We already have them.

Verse 10 tells us to find out what pleases the Lord. The question here is how to find out? Who should we ask? For those who have been reading this blog long enough, I hope you have enough common sense not to ask any theologians. Theologians are nothing more than messengers from the demons in hell.

Who to ask? The answer is yourself. The moment we believed in Jesus, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. From that moment onwards, the Father and you are one. If you want to know what pleases God, all you have to do is to find out what pleases you. As long as you are happy, God is happy. This is how a Christian life should be. Do not let anyone rob you of this joy.

This is how we please the Lord.

The Way Of Love 4

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
Ephesians 5:6-7 (NIV)

This is another installment in the series of Ephesians 5. Verse 6 looks the same as Verse 5, which I am sure is among the most abused verses in the Bible. When you read this verse alone without the whole context in mind, you will feel very threatened. Religious preachers will love to use this verse to threaten their church members.

Read it again. Isn’t it scary? The religious preacher will undoubtedly like to stress on the phrase, “God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient” to get their drones to be obedient to God. In case, anyone wonders on the meaning of “obedient to God”, the answer is simple. In a religious church, obedient to God means obeying everything the preacher tells you to do. If the preacher tells you to go for missions, you must go for missions. If the preacher wants your money, you must give him your money If not, God’s wrath is on you.

I have mentioned the need to read the verse in its proper context. So, what is the context here we should use to neutralize what seems like a threat in Verse 6?

There are 2 ways to deal with this.

The first is to go back to the original contract as I have explained in the previous article. You chose to become a Christian because you want the benefits of having a secured place in heaven. Jesus has died for all your sins. He took all the punishments that you deserve and gave you all the blessings that you don’t deserve.

Therefore, Jesus must also have taken the penalty of God’s wrath with him at the Cross. If you happen to be worried of being at the receiving end of God’s wrath, remember Jesus. Pass that wrath to him and you will be fine.

The second way is look into the context set in Ephesians 5:1-7. The entire passage speaks of our position in God. We are holy people of God who are his dearly beloved children. We are not idolaters who are immoral, impure or greedy. These characteristics are not suitable for us in our present status.

However, there are still many people in the world who practise those characteristics. God’s wrath is meant for them, not us. The first part of Verse 6 that says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words” refers to idolaters who tried to get us to follow their ways. The advice here is, don’t follow them.

Therefore, Verse 6 is not blackmail to us.

Verse 7 gives us further confirmation to this context. We should not be partners to people who are immoral, impure or greedy. Please note that is does not say, we should not be friends with them. What is the difference? We can be friends without doing the same thing. However, if we are partners in a certain venture, this means we are both a part of it. So, do not be a partner of those who are immoral, impure or greedy.

This is what the above verses mean.