First Light – Supernova Remnant
“Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these,
The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26)
“And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30). It’s verses like these that continue to take me to the mat.
As I was updating myself on the latest progress concerning the mirror alignment for the James Webb Telescope, I ran across the photo above, Cassiopeia A. By the way, if you want to see something pretty cool, click on this link: jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html and scroll down and click on the box labeled “Webb in 3d Solar System” (see image on left) You can then click and hold your mouse on the Webb Telescope and move it around and see tons of cool stuff.
Like many of you, I had seen the above photo before, but never read up on it. A couple facts: It’s about 11,000 light-years from Earth. Crazy to think about…… if you could travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles/second), it would still take you 11,000 years to reach it. Cassiopeia A resulted from a massive star that ran out of fuel, collapsed, then blew up as a supernova. The “FIRST LIGHT” reached us about 300 years ago. The ejected material is about 10 light-years across (only 58.8 trillion miles 😊)
There are moments when I am reflecting on these amazing objects in our universe….. and it becomes more than reverential awe of the One that not only created all these stars, but controls them. God in His unlimited power holds their very atoms together. As I reflect on this, at times I have genuine “fear” (Gk: phobos) of the Lord.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror (Gk: phobos) of the Lord, we persuade men…….” (2 Cor 5:10-11)
Broken & Dependent,
Two messages that go down like a “garlic milkshake”
Fear – Part One & Part Two – Red Book Day 72/73
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
STRIVING FOR OBSCURITY
“He (Jesus) will accept nothing except that which is done for Him and Him alone.”
Men: This is a classic. If you haven’t read it, please take a moment. Then pass it to a few friends (see attached PDF)
My Heart Christ’s Home
By Robert Boys Munger
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith….” (Eph 3:16-17)
Time Capsule – 5 Years Ago This Week
I’ve Been Fired Again! by Lee Yih
Men: With all the Biblical slippage going on, I thought it might be good to revisit one of Lee Yih’s letters he sent (5) years ago. As many of you know, Lee Yih was the first teacher for the Zion Boot Camp back in 2009. Great News: Lee will be joining us again at Zion in December 2022…. Yay!
A very brief background on Lee Yih:
- This video will give you a glimpse of the first 3rd of Lee’s life: IamSecond.com/Seconds/Lee-Yih
- Lee served in the United States Army during Vietnam
- He graduated from UC-Berkeley and received a Masters from Stanford Univ.
- Lee worked for Morgan Stanley & Lehman Bros. in Hong Kong – broker for 17 years (his lay ministry)
- Received his Master’s in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and met Walt Henrichsen at his graduation
- Plenary speaker at the Lausanne Conference in Manila 1989 – wrote the paper “Of Frogs & Lizards” (see attached)
- He and his wife Miltinnie lived in Cambridge and poured their lives into the Chinese Scholars from MIT and Harvard
- Moved from Cambridge to the Bay Area, to again pour their lives into many, including the Chinese Scholars from Stanford.
- Recently moved to So. California. We look forward to see how God will use Lee & Miltinnie in this new location.
- They have a network of committed believers throughout China and Hong Kong that they continue to disciple
I thought it was important to give you a glimpse of who Lee is, before you read the letter he wrote (5) years ago regarding his teaching on “Discipleship.” Here is Lee’s email:
From: Lee Yih
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2017 10:48 AM
Subject: I’ve been fired again
I just heard this morning that my 2nd teaching on “Discipleship” for the leaders of Park Street Church’s International Student Fellowship got cancelled because they do not want me to continue after hearing my first talk. I asked the reason and they said that my theology clearly goes against the theology of Park Street Church, the largest and most conservative church in the Boston Metropolitan area. When I asked what specifically was wrong with my theology they cited the following:
1) Too much emphasis on “Obedience”
2) Improper use of Reward Theology for motivation
3) A heretical belief that we should fear God
The problem with too much emphasis on “Obedience” is that it represented legalism, or the doctrine that one earns or merits his salvation through good works. This opposed the key tenet of the church that our salvation comes from Grace and it is not of works lest we boast.
The problem with my teaching of Reward Theology is that it was the wrong motivation for “Discipleship” in that it sounded, self serving. Instead, our motivation should be from our response to the love for God and what He has done for us through His son.
The teaching that we should fear God was their biggest problem with my presentation because they said it was counter to reform theology which stresses loving God. They feared that teaching people to fear God was damaging to the church’s efforts to relate to God through love.
The call came from (–omitted–), the leader of PSIF (Park Street International Fellowship), and also a member of my Bible Study for more than two years. He sounded quite distraught when he called beginning with the words, “Lee, I am afraid I have some bad news for you”. At first I was worried that the bad news meant a health problem or a crisis in his marriage. But this piece of bad news is more “par” than “pain”. In fact it turned out that this event became a wonderful opportunity to talk to him at length one on one.
We both recalled a similar experience that happened to me in Taiwan in August when I was abruptly cancelled (after my first talk) as the speaker of a Fall Retreat at Morrison Academy. We also talked about why discipleship does not happen in the church. When I asked him if a person could become a disciple without being obedient to God, or be motivated by eternal rewards or have a healthy fear of God, it dawned on him that this was the problem of why discipleship was not happening in his church. But at least they were listening to my first talk! Now he was experiencing the American Church heresy and he was emotionally involved. Even in our own current Bible Study in the Book of Ephesians, famous for the well know verse 8 in Chapter two, we had been discussing that the ten admonitions found in the second half of the book do not happen automatically as a result of regeneration.
I recounted to him my discussions with Walter Henrichsen when I was his age and the roles were reversed. We are in a fierce Spiritual battle and we have clearly lost it. As long as the church is convinced that their pernicious non-biblical theology is correct, there is no hope. The church has joined the Kosmos instead of taken a stand against it. Plain and simply, the free wills of mankind has allowed God and everyone to see who belongs to God and who belongs to God’s enemy. Were this not portending the beginning of the end times, indeed the lack of hope would be too much to bear.
We also discussed the importance of Walt’s teaching that one cannot be certain he is saved. A person who is certain no longer walks by faith and without faith it is impossible to please God. Furthermore, the theology of assurance of salvation is not relevant to those who are already certain they are going to heaven. Anyone already certain does not need assurance. From our reading of Scripture, much of the Bible teaches us how to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith (II Cor 13:5) and great portions of the Bible, such as I John, are written so that we can have assurance that we truly have come to know Him. The best biblical basis for assurance is obedience to the commands of God. In fact in many verses, the Bible reminds us that if we love God, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15,21; I John 2:3,4.). I see these verses as designed to give us assurance of our salvation, not one that outlines the legalistic necessity to earn our salvation by works.
Finally, we talked about our need to turn to China, or any other place on this earth where the Gospel is encountering fresh, virgin ears. The eschatological chapter 24 of the Gospel of Matthew says: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.”
Let us strive to be found faithfully doing the Master’s bidding in case the “end” is coming sooner than we expect.
Yours for the sake of His coming Kingdom,
Remember men, this was 5 years ago. How much additional slippage has occurred since then?
The Importance of Our Minds, Part 2
The entire Bible spends a lot of time on the management, health, and nourishment of our mind. We spend a lot of time on conditioning and preparing our body. How is your discipline and development of your mind going? In the spiritual, it means changing the worldly man to a “new person”