The One Who Will Never Let Us Down

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The Christian has this one great assurance from God — an assurance for victory — an assurance that is, unfortunately, often under-estimated and taken for granted. And that is because, let’s face it, he is God, and he is “supposed to be” perfect — any good thing that he does, or any good thing about him, are all a given.

However, to the one who has experienced rejections and betrayals in the hands of people, even the Church — to the one who knows what it means to be alone, helpless, and hopeless — this assurance is precious. Priceless. Worth fighting for. Worth sacrificing for. Definitely worth our lives and loyalty.

As Moses said to the Israelites as they were preparing to conquer the Promised Land, “Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid or scared of them, for Yahweh your God himself is who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 WEB).

My friends, I’m talking about the faithfulness of God.

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The Christian life is hard, no question. We are called to holiness and to share in the suffering of our Lord. And yet, God’s promises of blessing also abound. This assurance of God’s faithfulness is for anyone who wants to follow Christ and to make something of their lives serving him — to come out of this desert of thirst and want, and to conquer the Promised Land that Christ has for each of his followers.

But make no mistakes in your assumptions, my friends. The truth is, there will be much fighting. And many battles. Spiritual battles. You will be marked by the devil, and he will try to destroy you. And yet this assurance will stand. God is faithful. Christ is faithful. And he cares for you. Because unlike any other bosses you might have had, God will never betray the trust you’ve given him for the sake of his bottom line. To him, to the Great Shepherd, every soul matters.

ASIDE: This is something I need to study in-depth someday, but some Christians believe that this “Promised Land” — or the abundant life that Jesus promises in John 10:10 — is mostly just in the spiritual realm. That is, one cannot (and shouldn’t) expect to be materially rich following Christ. In fact, some even expect to receive only “enough” to get by. Personally, I don’t believe this. I think that this is just an extreme response to the prosperity gospel. After all, if God never changes, and if he had at times blessed Israel, his chosen people, with material abundance during the ancient times, why couldn’t he do the same thing now to his faithful people in the Church — when his grace is abounding even more because of Christ? Indeed. I ask you, Why limit God at all? As long as our hearts are in the right places (that is, we don’t worship money, power, or anything like that), why couldn’t we have the faith to ask God for more — much more?

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Short of the Cross itself, one of God’s greatest act of faithfulness is this angelic declaration recorded in the first chapter of Luke:

The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and shall name him ‘Jesus.’ He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.”

Luke 1:30-33 WEB

It is the fulfillment of the long-awaited promise of the Jewish Messiah, a promise made by God to the people of Israel centuries before. And it showed that Israel, the chosen nation — Israel, the adulterous nation — had not been forgotten by their faithful God. (The fact that Israel’s Messianic expectation was that of an earthly and powerful king, and not the spiritual kingdom that Jesus brought forth, is another story.)

A fulfillment of a long-ago promise. And yet, this promise was much more than just about the Jewish Messiah, and its roots went much farther back — into the Garden of Eden itself, right after the Fall — when God promised the Redeemer of mankind, the Seed of the woman who would defeat the devil once and for all (Genesis 3:15). Yes, the Seed of the woman. The awaited Messiah and King. The Second Person of the Trinity incarnated. The Perfect Lamb that was killed and sacrificed for our sins. The God-Man Jesus Christ. Betrayed. Crucified. Resurrected. Ascended. And coming back again in great glory. For his people. And to judge the world.

Can you even begin to imagine all of this? The scope of its vast history? The breadth and depth of everything that is involved? And the mind and heart of the God behind it all, who made such a glorious and gracious promise that would be fulfilled thousands of years later? No, I cannot begin to imagine it. And my mind sure cannot comprehend the totality of the faithfulness involved in it.

But one thing I’m sure of: This is the God I have faith in! The God who keeps his Word and remembers his promises. The God who values his people. The very God who had sent his angel to Mary to say, “I am fulfilling the promise I have made to Israel, and to mankind, so long ago.”

Words and promises. In the world today, they may mean and weigh so little, but they matter much to God. Psalm 105 summarizes his faithful dealings with Israel, and verses 8-11 say,

He has remembered his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which he made with Abraham, his oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute; to Israel for an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance,”

Psalms 105:8-11 WEB

Yes, this is the God I believe in. A God who remembers and keeps his Word. A faithful God.

And guess what? Good news! God has given us his Word, the Bible, so that we can know the things he say and the promises he make. And by his very faithfulness, we are assured that we can believe them, hold on to them, and know that they will stand.



And now my questions to you, friend, are… Do you want to be saved? Do you want to know how YOU can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ? Do you want to be sure that you can spend eternity with him? Then please read this: God’s Plan of Salvation

Hey there. I need your help if I am to continue serving God (and you!) through writing and blogging. Your donation will go a long way to ensure that :-)
Support me:   Ko-fiPayPalLiberapay

For news about this ministry, for more of my writings, and for some resources you can study, especially audiobooks, please visit Swordsman Network.

Also available is my website Free Online Bibles — a simple, fast, and personal way to read the WEB, ASV, and KJV.


#bible, #christian, #christianity, #covenant, #faith, #faithfulness, #faithfulness-of-god, #god, #jesus, #messiah, #religion, #salvation, #suffering, #victory

*Founding Documents Republished

Hello friends. Since my blog for Swordsman of the Word is temporarily unavailable, I’ve republished here in Swordsman Beginnings the ministry’s New Founding Documents. You can find the links below. (Note that there is a last essay I haven’t written yet.)

Running this Blogging Race Once Again (Dec. 27, 2019) — Despite all the energy, time, and tears I’ve already spent on this blog, I’ve still waited on God — for him to prove to me that he really wants me to spend a significant part of my life blogging for him.

A God-Centered, People-Oriented Blogging (Feb. 8, 2020) — I’ve been redefining the ministry in the light of who and what I am now as a Christian… and also in the light of my experiences and the results of my efforts since I started this blog….

*Adopting TGC’s Confession and the Creeds (Jul. 2, 2020) — Before I resume writing for this blog, I would like to settle first one necessary foundation, and that is a clear declaration of my theological position and convictions.

A Hard-Won Triumph of My Faith (Aug. 9, 2020) — I never thought that the next two years would turn out to be such a struggle getting this ministry off the ground, and that they would bring me — in addition to the blessings — much pain, hardships, and regrets.

A Vocation That Is Like No Other (Sep. 30, 2020) — God has ordained it that I, Arjay, would not stand among them — other believers — but to stand a bit separated from them. On the boundaries. At the gates. I am a Swordsman of the Word, and I stand at the gates.

#bible, #blogging, #christian, #christianity, #church, #faith, #god, #holy-spirit, #jesus, #ministry, #perseverance, #religion, #suffering, #writing

Too good to be true? Or just plain unbelief?

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We Christians often speak about how BIG our God is — how powerful, how awesome, and how mighty he is. And because he is that, we can dream about doing great things for him, and we are assured that no matter what kind of troubles we might find ourselves in, he is able to defeat our enemies for us. We proudly speak that with him, with our powerful God, nothing is impossible if we believe.

All of these are true, of course, with this one caveat that anything is possible with God only if it is according to his will. (Because God is not our personal genie.)  And yet… how many of us Christians truly live our lives in the light of this magnificence and almightiness of God? How many of us do attempt to accomplish seemingly impossible things? Not many I would say. Because here is the catch: For God to be powerful in your own life, you have got to have faith in him. In his perfect character. In his sovereignty. In his very nature as God. The faith to follow him in his difficult ways, and to obey his Word. The faith to risk everything in exchange for his blessings.

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The irony is, we boast so much of our God, and yet we expect so little from him. And we risk so little. We pray to him about our needs and desires, and yet we dare not ask too much lest we be disappointed if he said no. And we keep a tight grip on our comforts, fighting for the status quo — fearing change, suffering, hardships, and the slander of others — and yet we still have the audacity to call ourselves people of faith.

And the sad thing is, when God’s wonderful answer to our prayers does come — beyond anything we could have ever imagined, we say — we often doubt it, thinking it’s too good to be true (or not what it’s supposed to be at all). We doubt, we second-guess, we waver, so that in the end we forfeit the blessing — failing to give back what God demands in return. To believe it. And to do something about it.

Zacharias’s blunder is the prime example of these things I’m talking about, and it shows that being in the ministry, and even long years of service, are not guarantees that we will have the necessary faith when it matters the most.

Here was a matured man of God, and a priest no less, performing the sacred duties in the temple. Childless and already old, he had been praying for a child for years, and when God’s answer finally come, and in the most wondrous of ways — a message delivered by an angel! — and the promised child, what a great man he would become! — what did Zacharias do? He doubted it. He asked for signs, so he could believe.

Zacharias said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. Behold, you will be silent and not able to speak until the day that these things will happen, because you didn’t believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”

Luke 1:18-20 WEB

Fortunately, God dealt graciously with Zacharias, and did not take back the blessing of the promised child. Still, he had to face the consequences of his unbelief.

Here is an important lesson to learn: Let’s not be conceited, my friends, just because we are an elder or a pastor in a church, or something. Faith in God has no direct correlation to our achievements or status.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Is asking for signs from God wrong? No, not by itself. After all, God does give signs to guide us in his will, and the Christian is told to be discerning in all things, and to find the will of God in his life. And so, when does asking for signs become wrong? When does it become a sin? It is when our faith in these signs replaces our faith in God. That is, it is when these signs become our idol.

Remember what Jesus called the people who were asking for signs from him when he was already among them, the Son of God made flesh, and performing miracles after miracles? An evil and adulterous generation.

As I see it, the root cause of all these “signs problems” is that, as human beings, we tend to believe more in the things we can see with our own eyes and have physical evidences for, than in things we cannot see and only have faith in — in this case, the nature and character of God.

When Zacharias asked for signs from the angel, how did the angel respond? By giving his credentials. “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news” (v.19). In other words, Gabriel was saying to Zacharias that he should have believed him by virtue of who and what he is. The personal messenger of God Almighty.

In the same way, when we receive word from God — a command, an answered prayer, an encouragement, a piece of wisdom — we should believe it by virtue of who and what God is, and not because of any outward confirming signs. Appearances, after all, are sometimes deceiving, and God sees much more of people and of circumstances than we ever could.

And how do we know that the word we got really comes from God? Well, angels are a rare sight, but we do have God’s Word and godly people to guide us in our way. We also have our prayers, where we not only speak but also listen. There are no formulas, no set procedures, only guidelines (and woe to those who try to confine God and how he works on a set of rules!), but there comes a time when we do have to make a choice: to believe and to act, or to doubt and to keep on asking for signs.

To believe by virtue of God’s character and nature alone. This is the highest pinnacle of faith. Of course, new believers who are still getting to know God personally are not expected to display this kind of faith. And that is because they simply don’t have yet that foundational knowledge of God. Matured Christians, however, especially those who are in the ministry, and especially those who are deeply intimate with their Lord, are expected to act better. Much, much better. In fact, they are expected to glorify God by their steadfast, conquering, and amazing faith. For there is just no excuse to believe more in outward appearances than in what God says, when you already know personally how good, how faithful, and how mighty he is.

Now, on a personal note:

I’ve always wanted to write for God, and for many years I’ve waited and prepared for that. When God finally gave me his answer — calling me to full-time ministry and work for him as a blogger — I was overjoyed. Thus, my blogging ministry, Swordsman of the Word, was born. It was and will always be my dream job. To serve God and to work for my livelihood doing what I do and love best.

Unlike Zacharias, and despite the unlikeliness of that calling — because I didn’t have the resources, nor the contacts, nor the training and the experience — I didn’t doubt God. I believed, I acted, and I fought for it.

Yes, I didn’t doubt. Not God. And not the works I was called to do. The problem was, the people around me did. And still do.



And now my questions to you, friend, are… Do you want to be saved? Do you want to know how YOU can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ? Do you want to be sure that you can spend eternity with him? Then please read this: God’s Plan of Salvation

Hey there. I need your help if I am to continue serving God (and you!) through writing and blogging. Your donation will go a long way to ensure that :-)
Support me:   Ko-fiPayPalLiberapay

For news about this ministry, for more of my writings, and for some resources you can study, especially audiobooks, please visit Swordsman Network.

Also available is my website Free Online Bibles — a simple, fast, and personal way to read the WEB, ASV, and KJV.


#bible, #blessing, #blogging, #christian, #christianity, #doubt, #faith, #fear, #god, #hypocrisy, #idolatry, #jesus, #ministry, #religion

Rising Up Again From the Pain

Matthew 11:28-30 WEB

To live our lives so that we don’t regret anything — this is what some people believe in. And yet, regret is not just that feeling of sorrow or despair over something that we should have or shouldn’t have done. It is also that pain over some wrongs that have been done to us.

I had a few regrets of my own over things I’d done these past several years; however, these were regrets I easily made peace with. And that was because I’ve done my best in following God, and I’ve done my best in keeping my faith, and so whatever mistakes I’d made, I was able to forgive myself.

But what of the other kind of regret? Well, I do have plenty of that, and I’m still limping even now, and I still sometimes bleed because of wounds that are taking a long time to heal.

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For these past several years I’ve been fighting spiritual battles on different fronts. And even though many things had not turned out as I’d hoped, I’ve been steadfast in my faith nonetheless, and so I have no regrets in that regard. After all, God has different standards for success, and despite my outward situation, I know that I have not failed him. However, whether or not I’m victorious, the consequences of those battles — in my soul and in my life — still remain.

No, I will not talk about those things anymore. I may look bad now in other people’s eyes, and ugly things may be said about me, but God knows everything, and on his justice alone I hope.

Suffice it to say that instead of my life being finally settled after these many years of want and of waiting on God, it’s still in a great state of flux….

And that instead of being an active and a respected member of a local church ministry, I am once again churchless….

And that instead of earning my livelihood by doing what I’m good at and what I love best — serving God through blogging and writing — I’ve been judged, rejected, and betrayed (and by the very people whom I trusted with my life!), so that building Swordsman of the Word has been such a struggle for me, and then, in the end, I’ve been forced to suspend all my works.

Yes, I have a lot to regret about! The years of my life that were lost the greatest of them! And if not because of the fact that God is perfectly just, and that he’s the one who’s in control of my life — even in the midst of my troubles; and if not because of his promise of rest and comfort in the midst of my pains, I would have already drowned in my regrets. And I would probably have also despaired beyond hope.

JESUS: Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30 WEB

Some have the notion that following Christ is easy, painless, and stress-free. Some even subscribe to the dangerous and insidious teaching that there are no struggles and sufferings if we are in God’s “perfect will” (and so, if our way is filled with hardships and pains, we couldn’t be truly following God!) But nothing could be farther from the truth.

This invitation from Jesus to come to him and take up his yoke — that is, to surrender our lives to him, and to live for him — does not mean a life that is free of pains and troubles. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Other parts of the Scriptures make it clear that the Christian’s life very much involves suffering — from self-denial, to rejection, to persecution, and sometimes even to death. Taking up our own cross, is what Jesus called it.

And so, why then Christ tells us that his yoke is easy, and that his burden is light? The answer is simple. It’s because HE IS WITH US, with the believer, to share that yoke and to share that burden. So that, even in the depths of our greatest pains, we are comforted, strengthened, and we experience his sweet love, unreasonable joy, and priceless peace. Truly, to the one who knows this first hand, the yoke of Christ is much more preferable to the yokes of the world and of the self.

I was incapacitated from my battles, bleeding from multiple heart wounds, and floundering in my regrets. But my Lord has taken me up: bound up my wounds, dried my tears, and gave me justice and hope.

I’m still limping, yes, and sometimes I still bleed, but I can stand up straight, and now I can fight again. And for sure, I am no longer the man I was before. I’ve become older, wiser, and definitely stronger.

The war goes on.



And now my questions to you, friend, are… Do you want to be saved? Do you want to know how YOU can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ? Do you want to be sure that you can spend eternity with him? Then please read this: God’s Plan of Salvation

Hey there. I need your help if I am to continue serving God (and you!) through writing and blogging. Your donation will go a long way to ensure that :-)
Support me:   Ko-fiPayPalLiberapay

For news about this ministry, for more of my writings, and for some resources you can study, especially audiobooks, please visit Swordsman Network.

Also available is my website Free Online Bibles — a simple, fast, and personal way to read the WEB, ASV, and KJV.


#bible, #christian, #christianity, #comfort, #courage, #faith, #god, #hope, #jesus, #justice, #pain, #peace, #religion, #suffering

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