Visiting India and Nepal

Today we are leaving Norway to visit India and Nepal. We are only going for a short trip of two weeks this time. We love visiting our longstanding friends in these two wonderful Nations.

My love for India and Nepal was kindled during my first visit in 1971 and during the years I have found many friends there. Seeing our friends always bring great joy to my Dear wife and myself.

Overwhelmed by love and prayers

Since I shared the bad news from my eye doctor that my left eye has been attacked by the eye disease AMD, I have had many encouraging messages from my friends all over the world. The love and care of covenant friends are overwhelming. To know that so many people are praying for healing and restoration of my eye sight really touches me and fills me with thanksgiving. God is good all the time and his people are just like him, loving and caring! I am so grateful to the Lord to belong to the covenant community. I am not alone with my struggles and challenges. I am part of an extended family. Hallelujah!

The elders of the church anointed me with oil and the entire congregation gathered around me to join in prayer for my eyesight. I am so thankful to God for friends all over the world praying for me in these days. Each time someone tells me that they are praying for me, I am touched and my heart is warmed. God is good all the time, and his people are like him, showing me love and care.

I am trusting God to have mercy on me and allow me to see and serve him in many more years to come. I do not know what the eye doctors at the hospital can do for me at the moment, but I know I am safe in the hands of God. When my right eye was damaged by the AMD a few years ago, the medical treatment at the hospital did not help me at all. I know that with God nothing is possible and I trust him even to give the doctors wisdom to treat my left eye the best way possible. 

Overwhelmed by love and prayers

Since I shared the bad news I had concerning my only working eye, I have been overwhelmed by the love and care of my friends from all over the world. So many people are telling me that that pray for my eyesight to be preserved and not damaged by the AMD which is now also attacking my left eye. I feel very safe in the hands of God and trust him to have mercy on me and heal me from all eye diseases.

The elders in the church has anointed me with oil and prayed for full healing and restoration of my eyesight. The entire church family gathered around me in prayer and encouraging words. I appreciate the prayers of friends very much. It warms my heart when people tell me that they are praying for me. The tremendous power of God is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer. 

I trust God to enable me to serve him in many more years and joyfully I continue to commit myself into the strong and safe hands of God. 

I can still see!

This week I had my annual examination of my eyes. This have been going on since my right eye was damaged by AMD - Age-related Macula Degeneration about six years ago. Then I lost the ability to see sharply on that eye. Everything I focus on, I can only see a black cloud, but I still have some side sight on the right eye. I cannot read a singel letter on my right eye! My left eye has been perfectly well until now, and I am very grateful to the Lord for the blessing of eyesight!

I can still see! Ever since I had the examination and the following message that my left eye also has been affected by the AMD, I tell my wife every morning: I can still see you! When I discovered that my right eye was affected by AMD, it only took 3-4 months before that eye was damaged beyond repair, humanly speaking. Therefore it really hit hard me when I was told that now my left eye was affected by the same wet AMD as the right eye. Many negative thoughts went through my mind. The worst scenarium is that within six months I will not be able to drive my car, nor will I be able to read or write any more.

Continue reading "I can still see!" »

When discouraged and heavy thoughts creep into our soul.

Psalm 119,50 It is my comfort in my sufferings that your word gives me life.

Once again, we see how truthful David is when he talks about life. It's one of the things I like most when I read the Psalms. David and the other psalmists are so brutally real and honest in what they say. They do not hide their disappointments and difficulties. They depict bitter and bad feelings. They put words to dark and heavy thoughts. But they take us along to the jubilant high points in life when they celebrate God's salvation.

In this verse, David is in trouble and is having a hard time. From the context we understand that this misfortune is something his enemies have inflicted on him. His opponents have made life miserable for him. Problems pile up and he sees no visible solution. Everything is dark around him and he feels alone. He is in great distress. It is in such moments that discouragement and heavy thoughts creep into our souls. Then we need God's comfort, as David did.

David found comfort in God's word. The Word created faith and life. The Word gave him hope and refreshed him. I have experienced the same many times. When the pain has been great and the heavy thoughts have been painful to fight with, I have time and again found comfort and new courage in the Word. I do not live by bread alone, but every word from the mouth of God gives me life. God's Word is a source of life. In the middle of the darkness and the bad news, I find comfort in the fact that what he has promised has enabled me to live through the bad and come out on the other side, - alive in God's power and grace.


Lord, in all my trials and difficulties I find great comfort in your promises, because they keep me alive!

We build our hope on what God has promised.

The main theme of that section (Ps 119:49-56), which now takes up the Hebrew letter ZAYIN, is the comfort the psalmist finds in God's word when the culture he lives in mocks and persecutes those who believe in God's truths. He has full confidence that God will save him, because he rests in the Lord's law.

Psalm 119.49 Remember your word to your servant. Through it you have given me hope.

This section does not start unexpectedly with a prayer to the Lord. David has learned to pray. He knows that the Lord hears when he prays. In this stanza he reminds God of the promises he has received from the Lord: Remember the Word you have given your servant! Don't forget to do what you said! This is a very important lesson to learn.
Firstly, we must learn to absorb the Word so that it becomes personal to us. Or put another way, we must learn to hear God's voice when we read and base our thoughts on the words of the Bible. It is possible to read the Bible without hearing God's voice, without the Word speaking to us. We must avoid that at all costs.
I am completely convinced that the Bible is the word of God. Nevertheless, it can happen that I read my daily chapters without something coming alive for me, without something speaking to me. Then I have to stop. Then I must humbly ask the Lord for help to get hold of what he wants to tell me in what I have read. Then I read once more while praying that I notice something I can learn from what I read. As a rule, God hears that prayer and I see things I didn't notice the first time I read.
Many good promises in God's word have become my personal words from God. But of course I get words from the Lord in other ways also. It is the same how God's word comes to us, when we have received a promise from God, we must constantly remind God of what he has promised.
Note the next stanza: Through it you have given me hope! When God speaks to us, we gain hope. Through the Word we get something to hope for, something to look forward to. The promises of God create light in the dark. Words from God drive the dark and heavy thoughts away, because they create hope.
The good thing is that God is a faithful God. He keeps what he promises and does what he says he will do. It doesn't matter how difficult life can be, God will never leave us or let us go. When we remind God of what he has said, it also helps us. It helps us hold fast to the promises and to the hope. It helps us to fix our eyes on the faithful God who keeps what he promises. We build our hope on what God has promised.
Lord, don't forget the promises you have given me, because they are my hope and courage!

Mission completed

We are on the ferry again, this time towards home after a wonderful time at Gullbotn with our covenant friends. Some of us have been working together for the King and his Kingdom for more than 40 years. My loving wife and I have been married for nearly 59 years. Covenant and faithfulness are two sides of the same coin! God is good

image from

It takes faithfulness to complete a mission, and it is a great joy to complete it together with faithful people. The mission might be great and very important, or it might be seemingly small and insignificant. The important thing is that we complete the mission. The mission we just completed was not very glorious or  significant, but the main thing is that it was completed. There is joy and greatness in completing the mission assigned to us

On the cross Jesus Christ cried out these powerful words: It is completed! He completed the greatest mission ever. He came to destroy the works of the evil one. He came to save mankind from sin and shame. He came to give himself as a ransom to redeem humanity. He completed the mission. Salvation is now available to everyone who believe in him.

On the second ferry today!

We are now on tve way to Bergen and Nordhordland to visit friends and end up at Solveig’s Dear sister! We are going from son and grandson to a sister. Family is very precious and wonderful gift from God intended to be enjoyed

image from

Family is a growing love relationship which is dynamic and expanding in exciting ways.

Sendt fra min iPhone

On the ferry again

We are on the way to Haugesund to celebrate our grandson Jonathan. He has just completed 22 years. Grandchildren are a source of great joy and Jonathan is no excemption. It is always a great joy and plessure to travel with my Dear wife.

image from

Sendt fra min iPhone

The woman behind

Yesterday I wrote an entry about the well-known Bjørn Olav Hansen – a giant of faith and prayer. Today I like to share with you a little bit about the woman behind the man. This woman is a great woman of God and a giant in the Kingdom of God. There is a popular saying going like this: Behind every successful there is a surprised woman. I like to change this sentence to a better version: Behind every man of God there is a praying wife or woman! The praying woman behind a man of God is more important than we normally understand. The humble woman behind is often not appreciated nor honoured in the way she deserves.

image from

May Sissel Hansen is such an important woman behind the man of God that I want to honour her. Whenever I see her, she is a big smile, but I believe that behind there are many burdens and tears shed in the secret place of prayer. Her husband has a big name among believers in Norway, he is well-known, but what about his precious wife? Is she appreciated for her selfless service, her humble assistance of her husband?

May Sissel is always serving. She has the heart of a true servant of God. She is looking for opportunities to serve and to bless people. She has the gift of showing hospitality and are blessing the many visitors they have in extraordinary ways. Solveig and I had the privilege of enjoying a wonderful meal at their home quite recently. We really enjoyed the food but even more we enjoyed the company, the blessed fellowship of being together.

Whenever I see Bjørn Olav speaking at a conference, I observe that May Sissel is in the background. He is in the front, he is visible, but she is always the important person behind. Often, she is not seen at all, but she is always there behind the scene ready to assist. She has an eye for what he needs at any time, and she is always there to help and to serve. She is really a hero! She is the woman behind the man of God.

I am sure May Sissel have had the same experience many times that Solveig and I had recently. I had been invited to preach in the Sunday morning service in a church. At the beginning of the meeting, I was warmly welcomed to the by the leader from the front when the service started. Solveig was not mentioned at all. We were sitting together, but she was totally overlooked or ignored. I felt bad but choose to keep quiet. The precious woman behind the man of God was not appreciated. What a shame. It was not the first time she was overlooked; I am afraid it happens to often to the important women behind the man.

Whenever I am asked to preach, I spend time in prayer and preparation of the message. Behind me there is a prayerful wife who is travailing more in prayer for me than I do myself. Sometimes she brings me words or visions from God that helps me in my preparations and enables me to bring the Word of the Lord to the churches.

May Sissel is having a similar function towards her husband. She is a prayerful lady. I do not know exactly the many ways May Sissel is praying for Bjørn Olav, or how her prayer and spiritual insights helps him in his ministry. But I know that she is behind him and share a vital role in his fruitful ministry. Without her he would not have been the man of God that he by the grace of God is.

I like to honour May Sissel for her humble and prayerful ministry to the Lord. She is an example of godliness and holy devotion to God for everyone, whether we are men or women.

Dear reader, thank you for taking time to read what I write. As I have been hacked and blocked from my social media, I ask you to share posts from my blog on your social media. You may just click on the logo of Facebook and Twitter under this entry to share it with your friends. and followers. Thank you for spreading the message!

Text: Erling Thu

A giant of faith and prayer

On our way to the mountain area for a few days of vacation and picking cloud berries we visited a man of God: Bjørn Olav Hansen. He is our longstanding friend, but more important he is a praying saint, a giant of prayer. He. is one of my heroes of faith.

image from

We have co-authored the book we are holding in our hand: The Big Family Prayer Book. It is a collection of prayers covering the entire life span, from birth to death.  Some of these prayers have been prayed by the people of God for hundreds or thousands of years as some are taken from the Bible and some from throughout the entire church history. Several of the prayers are written by the two authors behind the book.

Bjørn Olav Hansen was a journalist for several years before he became a Baptist Pastor. He is one of the founders and leaders of the Norwegian Prayer Council. He has been very important in the prayer movement in our nation.  Constantly he is ministering in all kind of churches helping the people of God into a fruitful prayer life in the power of the Holy Spirit. That he is still doing this, is a miracle to me. For many years he has been suffering from the Parkinson desease as well as many other serious sicknesses. He is no longer able to stand while he is preaching and teaching, often we see him in a wheelchair, but he is never quitting! By faith he overcomes many obstacles.

He is also an excellent writer and have authored many books. But through his blog,  he is reaching many more people than through his books. What he is writing on his blog he also publish on Facebook and his writings are a great encouragement to thousands of people. I admire him that he in spite of his many health challenges every day share his insight and wisdom with us through social media. He is also very transparent and makes himself vulnerable by sharing with us his struggles. This adds weight to everything he writes and publish as we understand this is real stuff not theories.

I want to encourage all my friends to keep Bjørn Olav in prayers, that God may strengthen him and enable him to continue in his important ministry!

Dear reader, thank you for taking time to read what I write. As I have been hacked and blocked from my social media, I ask you to share posts from my blog on your social media. You may just click on the logo of Facebook and Twitter under this entry to share it with your friends. and followers. Thank you for spreading the message!

Text: Erling Thu

Excellent dinner


image from

We are having a wonderful time in the mountain of Vegglifjell. My Dear wife prepared a delicious chilly salmon dish today! I am very blessed by God through this beautiful and kind wife he has given me.
Sendt fra min iPhone

Crossing the mountains

We have had a wonderful journey from the West to the East crossing many mountains driving through beautiful valleys and arriving safely at Drammen where Josef and Elisabeth had prepared a most delicious meal for us. God is good!

image from

image from

Sendt fra min iPhone

Hacked - no access to Facebook

Nearly two weeks ago someone hacked, phished or otherwise compromised my Facebook account. I have been deleted from all my sosial media groups.
My Facebook account has been taken over by a person called Kien Con Cac. I have no longer access to Facebook, Messenger or Instagram. It is not a nice experience. I feel cheated, exploited and stupid. I have reported everything to Facebook but have had no help. The links they have sent me does not solve my problem and Facebook seems to be unable to help in this matter. I find this very strange.

Before Facebook I was an eager blogger. After Facebook came on the scene it has taken over and I have only been using my Typepad platform for blogging occationally. I now plan to take up blogging again.

I may have no access to my Facebook account, but I have full access to all the heavenly blessings in Christ. I am a child of God and I can enter the presence of the Almighty God. I may be blocked from using Messenger, but I no one can block me from using the door of prayer. I may be shut out from sosial media, but I am still part of the holy community of the covenant people of God. What I have lost is not really very important. The real values in life no one can take away from me. I have free access to the Throne of Grace. No one can steal my identity as a child of God. My heavenly profile or account can not be compromised. Therefore I rejoice in the Lord. God is good. I am safe in his hands!


Today my Dear wife made me an Excellent Salmon dinner and a most delicious desert. I am trying out publishing from my phone as I have no longer access to my Facebook account. God is good at all times and I will be returning to blogging!

image from

Sendt fra min iPhone

Bible Week

Our Bible Week - Lys og Salt - was a wonderful experience of the presence of God among his people. I am so grateful to the Lord for all he did among us this time.

image from

Sendt fra min iPhone

Savika’s mission trip

Sunday, 23rd October 2022, early in the morning we woke up because we had a long way to travel. Right at 6 am we all got out of the house and rode the vehicle which was taking us up to Manari Bazaar.

The cold breeze was softly blowing through the windows of the vehicle, while we were warm inside. As we travelled, we also saw the sun rise and the mountains reflecting the light of the sun. The sight was beautiful. We travelled through highways to bumpy and rocky roads to nice roads. We finally reached Manari around 11 am.

We got out and unloaded all the bags from the vehicle. Then we went to a hotel to have lunch. We ate warm rice, lentils, meat, and pickles. After we had eaten, we waited a while till the vehicle to Aambari came to pick us up. The vehicle finally came but only one vehicle came and there were 14 of us. The vehicle only could fit half of us but was insisting it could take all of us but only 10 of us were going there.

Funny thing is that Devendra uncle was not happy that it was taking a lot of people and it would be uncomfortable, but his bag was the first to be put on the vehicle’s top and he was shouting “ay ayy tyo mero bag” which means ay ayy that’s my bag. After a while he had cooled down and also, we had just stopped laughing but just then a bag fell down from the top of the vehicle and it was none other than Devendra uncle’s bag and we burst into laughter.

Continue reading "Savika’s mission trip" »

On Death and Resurrection in Christ


Yesterday I was crucified with Him; today I am glorified with Him.

Yesterday I died with Him; today I am made alive with Him.

Yesterday I was crucified with Him; today I am glorified with Him.

Yesterday I died with Him; today I am made alive with Him.

Yesterday I was buried with Him; today I am raised up with Him.

Let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us . . . ourselves, the possession most precious to God and most proper.

Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us.

Let us become Divine for His sake, since for us He became Man.

He assumed the worse that He might give us the better.

He became poor that by His poverty we might become rich.

He accepted the form of a servant that we might win back our freedom.

He came down that we might be lifted up.

He was tempted that through Him we might conquer.

He was dishonored that He might glorify us.

He died that He might save us.

He ascended that He might draw to Himself us, who were thrown down through the fall of sin.

Let us give all, offer all, to Him who gave Himself a Ransom and Reconciliation for us.

We needed an incarnate God, a God put to death, that we might live.

We were put to death together with Him that we might be cleansed.

We rose again with Him because we were put to death with Him.

We were glorified with Him because we rose again with Him.

A few drops of Blood recreate the whole of creation!

—St Gregory the Theologian, Easter Orations

Blessed be the Lord!


Blessed be the Lord, Jesus Christ!

He is the creative force in all artists.

He is the mainstay of all music.

He is the strength of all workers.

He is the justice of all good people.

He is the care of all health care workers.

He is the wisdom of righteous solutions.

He is the colour of all painting.

He is the life of every sculpture.

He is the web of life in all societies.

He is the way of life of all that is good.

He is the life of all that exists.

He is who he is.

He is the self-existent I AM.

Blessed be the Lord!

To be somebody is not to worry about anything

To be somebody is to be worry-free
Not worrying for eating or drinking
Not worrying for housing or clothing
Not worrying for the day tomorrow
Not worrying for my good name
Not worrying for my acceptance in society
Not worrying for my appearance
Not worrying for my beauty
Not worrying for my professional career
Not worrying for my funeral
Not worrying for my car
Nor worrying for my possessions
Nor worrying for my children
Not worrying for accidents while travelling
Not worrying for terrorists
Not worrying for the persecutors
Not worrying for ridicule
Not worrying for rejection

I am really somebody
When I live worry-free
In the middle of difficulties
In the face of challenges

I am really somebody
When I generously give away everything
To follow in the footsteps
Of him who had no pillow to rest his head on

Humble praying

To be somebody is to humbly pray

For wisdom and insight for righteous living

To ask for blessing on your friends

And pronounce blessing on those who oppose you

As you humbly yourself

Asking for daily grace and abundant mercy

I want to lay hold on the word!

Psalm 119.48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

It may be a little unclear as to David's intention to raise his hands towards God's commandments, but I think it's about raising his hands to grasp the word of God. He says he loves God and wants to reflect on God's precepts. That is why he wants to raise his hands to lay hold on the word of God and not let it go. He loves God and will meditate on the word to understand God's plan and will.

Continue reading "I want to lay hold on the word!" »

Passion and delight in the Word of God

Psalm 119.47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love. 

I am so excited by the joy David finds in God's commandments. "I delight in your commandments." He finds joy and delight in God's law. In fact, it can be translated with: "I am entertaining me in your commands!" When many hear words like commandments, laws, rules, they respond negatively. Very many want to cast it in the sea and get rid of them, because they want to be free to follow their own sinful heart.

Continue reading "Passion and delight in the Word of God" »

I will not be ashamed of the word of God or His good arrangements!

Psalm 119.46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, 

It is a bold David we meet in this words. But it is not wishful thinking he expresses. Before he was king, he was both bold and preached the word of God to King Ashish and Saul. After becoming king, he continued to speak to kings about God's testimony and law. He did not hide what he believed in and whom had his loyalty.

Continue reading "I will not be ashamed of the word of God or His good arrangements!" »

I want to live in complete freedom!

Psalm 119.45 and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.

When David has stated that he will always, at every moment, follow the law of God, he continues in this verse with a prayer to walk in an open landscape. I was born and raised in Jæren, at the south western coast of Norway, and I love open landscapes. At Jæren I can breathe freely. I am not created for trong fjords or valleys or deep forests. I have to have a view, preferably see water, to thrive. Tronge landscape depress me because I feel I'm trapped. For this reason, I have asked many times to get out into a wide and open place so that I can live and breathe freely.

Continue reading "I want to live in complete freedom!" »

I will keep your law continually

Psalm 119.44 I will keep your law continually, forever and ever, 

In trusting that God answers and shows his faithful love, David comes with a bold promise. "I will always keep your law!" These are strong words, but it is a attitude that the Lord reewards. David will forever live in accordance with the law of the Lord.

Continue reading "I will keep your law continually" »

Courage to Say What God Says

Psalm 119:43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.

Here, David begs God not to take the word of truth out of his mouth. The Word of Truth is about God's faithful love and saving grace. If the Lord had not saved him, it would have meant that this word had been ripped out from his mouth, because it would no longer be true. The good thing is that God saves in accordance with His good and true word which is the gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Continue reading "Courage to Say What God Says" »

I always want an answer to those who mock me!

Psalm 119,42 Then I can answer the scoffers, for I trust in your word.

This prayer is a close follow-up to what he asked for in the previous verse. There, David prayed that God's faithful love and his good salvation should come to him, as God had promised him. Now he tells God what he will do when he experiences God's mercy and works of grace.

Continue reading "I always want an answer to those who mock me!" »

May your gentle and faithful love overwhelm me

Waw is the Hebrew letter that the next eight verses start with. Very few Hebrew words start with this letter, but it is often used as a conjunction as "and". The theme of this section is trust in God.


Psalm 119.41Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; 

Again David prays to Jehovah, the Lord, the Eternal I Am. He prays for two things, mercy and salvation. They are in some ways synonymous words in this context, because they are all about the same. When God shows mercy, we share in His salvation.

Continue reading "May your gentle and faithful love overwhelm me" »

I long for your commandments!


Psalm 119,40 Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

David has just talked about the scorn and disgrace he gets because he stuck to God's word. With that in mind, I think what he says is very strong: "I long for your precepts!" That is a powerful statement that we need to look more closely at.

Continue reading "I long for your commandments!" »

Defend me against ridiculous and negative criticism!

Psalm 119.39 Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.

David prays for grace to be spared from the mockery and shame that comes from sticking to God's good laws. He is like us and obviously doesn't like to be looked down upon. He wants, as we all do, to be respected for who he is and for what he believes in. Unfortunately, he knows from bitter experience, that he is not always respected when he speaks the word of God.

Continue reading "Defend me against ridiculous and negative criticism!" »

Confirm your promises to me!

Psalm 119,38 Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.

This prayer shows us that David had learned to recdeive the Word of God. There was no longer any talk of commandments, laws or regulations. He has received the word to him into his heart. He has heard God through the Scriptures. He has read and meditated on God's Word in such a way that he has heard God's voice through what he has read and meditated on. We see that from what he says: "Your promise to your servant." God's word has become personal to him. This is one of the most important lessons we can learn, learning to hear from God as we read the Bible.

Continue reading "Confirm your promises to me!" »

Turn my eyes away!

Psalm 119,37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. 

Our eyes are important. Our eyes are the door to the soul. What we see creates thoughts and can awaken all kinds of desires within us. We are strongly influenced by what we see. Unfortunately, we are not always as aware of this and look at things we should not have looked at. In our culture, we are bombarded with pictures of young and old that we could benefit being spared from. We are exposed to nudity and worse in many media. Pornography is easily accessible and captures many in its devastating web.

Continue reading "Turn my eyes away!" »

God, make me willing to obey!

Psalm 119.36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!

Again, David's prayer shows great insight into human nature. He knows himself so well that he asks for God's help. He knows that hearts and minds are a battle ground where strong forces fight for power. Therefore, he prays that God will stir the heart and bend it towards the word of God, that he may enjoy and delight to live after the testimonies of God. He prays, "God, make me willing to obey what you say! Make me want to stick to your law! ”

Continue reading "God, make me willing to obey!" »

Lead me in the path of your commandments

Psalm 119,35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.

In the previous verses, David prayed for insight and understanding. Now he asks for guidance. The words he uses in this prayer includes the meaning that God must guide him by bending his will. He prays that God must awaken his inner soul power to choose to do what God wants. This is somewhat similar to what Paul says: “For God will continually revitalise you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him” (Phil. 2:13). We need to understand both the word of God and how to do what God wants. In order to do that, we depend on God working in us.

Continue reading "Lead me in the path of your commandments" »

Understanding to observe the law

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.

I like the burning zeal David has to learn from God what man could not teach him. God has given all human beings a measure of intellectual capacity to think and learn, but here David teaches us that we can ask God to give us grace to use that ability to understand what tends to our peace. He asks to know how to keep God's law. He prays that the Lord must enlighten his mind to understand God's will.

We need wisdom and understanding to keep God's law. Therefore, we also find in the New Testament that the apostle Paul often prays that the Holy Spirit must give the believers enlightened eyes to understand and take possession of  our inheritance. He calls the Spirit the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. The Apostle John says: we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 5:20).

In this Psalm, David does not ask just for understanding to keep the word. He also prays for grace to observe God's law wholeheartedly. In Hebrew thinking, understanding and knowledge are not anything theoretical and intellectual, but are always linked to life. We only understand God's Word when we live it. If we do not live by the word of God, we have not understood it. If we truly understand who God is and what He says we should do, we would not dare or want to do something other than obey. When we have come to know God through Jesus Christ, we also have the urge to do His will.

There are some translations where this last sentence is not a prayer, but a promise: Truly, I shall observe it with my whole heart! There is no contradiction between its two ways of translating this sentence. Whenever we give a promise to God, we do it in prayer for grace to fulfil it. Whenever we commit ourselves to something for God, we do so in the belief that God will help us. Our prayer and promise go in the same direction. Both are turned to God. It is him we want to learn from. It is His will that we will do, and it is His grace that will help us. We pray wholeheartedly, and will gladly keep and observe His law of our whole heart.

"Give me an understanding heart, that I with burning zeal can know and obey your truth!"

Show me the meaning of your way

Psalm 119.33 marks a new section. All the next eight verses start with the Hebrew letter He. In these verses we find many prayers to understand God's path. These are prayers that God's people need to pray in our day.

Psalm 119.33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. 

"Lord, teach me!" This is how a disciple prays. Whoever is an apprentice says this to his master. "Teach me the profession. Teach me how to do it. Teach me to become a master who knows his subject, just like you! ” When David says, Lord teach me, it becomes too weak to compare it with the student asking his teacher for instruction. He had both priests, prophets, and wise counselors he could get help from, but he asked to be guided by God's counsel. For who is a teacher like him? (Job 36:22)

Continue reading "Show me the meaning of your way" »

You make my heart great

Psalm 119, 32 I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart! 

With these words, David shows us his great zeal for the Lord. He is eager and full of fire. He has a burning desire to live according to God's commandments. "I hasten to obey your laws!" "I want to run in the way your commandments."

That's a fantastic attitude David is expressing here. May we all have the same willingness of heart and mind towards the Lord's commandments.

There is a wonderful reason for this prayer: "For you make my heart great!" Some thinks that this  it is about gaining more understanding in the word of God: "for you help me to understand the commandments right." If there is narrowness in our hearts and if we are restricted in our minds, we will not understand the word of God the right way. If we are one-sided and petty, the understanding of the Word will also be so. Then we become prisoners of the letter that kills and brings condemnation. Then we become legalistic and judgmental. Then we hang up in all sorts of details and small things, and tend to hit others in the head with strong opinions.

Continue reading "You make my heart great" »

A tribute to Tony Ling

To be somebody is to be like Tony Ling

Being truly, uniquely, one of a kind,

  • The eloquent prince of preachers
  • A visionary man with a message
  • A prophetic father,
  • An outstanding hero,
  • The best example, a true legend,
  • A covenant friend

Being an awesome man of God,

having humility and inspired wisdom.

Being an amazing man of the Word,

sowing seeds of truth that liberates people.

Being a container of revelation,

opening up the Word of God,

helping people to find Jesus on each page of the Bible.

Being warmhearted and devoted to Jesus,

expressing passion and zeal for his Master.

Being unforgettable funny,

having a deep sense of humour,

making people laugh, creating so much laughter.

Being an incredible man of God,

making everyone feeling welcome and special

Being humble and brimming with the word,

always imparting revelation of Jesus

Being an incredible giant of faith,

leaving an immeasurable legacy

that will continue to enlighten

the people of God in generations to come.

Being a remarkable prophetic man,

changing people’s lives through his prophetic words,

envisioning and empowering them

to fulfil their calling in life.

Text: Erling Thu, May 6, 2020

Let your whole life be firm and anchored in the word of God.

Psalm 119,31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord; let me not be put to shame! 

Again, David confess his choice of life: "I cling to your testimonies!" He has bound himself to the word of God. In fact, he says he has been glued to God's commands. His entire life is firm and rooted in the Word of God. He has made a lifelong decision to hold on to the Word as his most valuable treasure. He hide it in his heart and lives after it.

Continue reading "Let your whole life be firm and anchored in the word of God." »

A choice for life helps us in adversity

Psalm 119,30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.

In this verse, David says something very important. He says with great conviction and zeal: "I have chosen!" He has made a decision. He has taken an unshakeable stand. He has decided what he wants to do, how he wants to live, what goals he wants to achieve. He has made a choice for life. Such choices of life are vital to us and will save us from turmoil and confusion. I thank God that at a young age I had the grace to make a choice to serve the Lord all of my life. This choice has helped me many times of adversity and temptation. It has helped me to guide my life through many challenges and trials.

Continue reading "A choice for life helps us in adversity" »

Keep me far away from false ways

Psalm 119.29 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! 

When life is heavy and difficult, it is easy to listen to our soul enemy. He pumps our head full of lies that are easy to believe: That there is nothing you can do. That there is no hope for you. That you might as well give up. That everything is meaningless. That you are hopeless and without a future. That you have said no and turned away from God, so there is no more forgiveness for you. That you are not good enough and never will be.Only give up. Or maybe he says, you are good enough the way you are, and can live the way you want to after your own desires, without it having any negative consequences for you.

Continue reading "Keep me far away from false ways" »

To be somebody is not a matter of right or wrong

To be somebody
is not a matter of right or wrong
it is not a matter of having the political correct opinions
or the classical orthodox doctrine

To be somebody
is a matter of being kind
- of caring for others
- of loving in words and deeds
To be somebody
is all about forgiving
- those who persecute you
and being generous
- towards those who are different

To be somebody
is not a matter of theology
it is all about living a good life
- trusting the Son of man
who set aside the privileges of deity
and became one of us to bring us to God
ministering life to us by dying our death

When you do a favour
to those who don't deserve it
then you are really somebody

Drowned in tears of pain

Psalm 119.28 My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! 

Again, David tells how he is. Life is difficult. He cries with sorrow. He uses strong expressions to put words into the situation he is in. "It's as if my soul is melting away in those running tears." In fact, he says that the sorrow was about to kill him. In one version he says he has drowned in tears of pain (SPCL). He carries in his heart a painful grief that is heavy to bear. Grief overwhelms him. Sorrow eats him up. He is suffocated by the painful grief.

Continue reading "Drowned in tears of pain" »

"Make me understand!"

Psalm 119.27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. 

When meeting the many challenges in life, David prays a prayer that we need to pray over and over again: "Make me understand!" He asked to be able understand in both verses 12 and 18. We encounter things in life that we do not understand. The situation is not always the way we expected. Maybe our dreams were too big or unrealistic? Or maybe the challenges we face are part of the training to help us fulfill our dreams?

Continue reading ""Make me understand!"" »

To be somebody is drinking deeply of the Spirit

To be somebody is drinking deeply of the Spirit

being immersed in the Life-giving One

being soaked in the new wine

being taken by the Holy Wind

to rise up with soaring wings like eagles

and carried away from the self-centred life

To be somebody

Is to be taken out of oneself

Becoming part of something greater

Living for a higher cause

Relating to other persons

Interacting with kindred spirits

Through the Spirit of Life

Whom you are constantly drinking of

Acknowledging our sin brings inner health

Psalm 119.26 When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes! 

I told you about my path. I acknowledged my sin for you. Openly, I confessed to you everything I did. I told you all my ways. And you answered me!

An open confession is good for the soul. Acknowledging our sins brings inner health. It is not good to keep quiet and only struggle with our own thoughts. When we keep it all inside; our dishonesty devastate our inner lives. Then we are filled with frustration, irrepressible anguish, and misery. When we ponder and strive with heavy thoughts about something stupid we have said or done, we waste away. Then we become paralyzed. Then we lose our energy and courage. When we loudly and clearly confess our sin to God and do not cover our iniquity, then God answers and that changes everything.

Continue reading "Acknowledging our sin brings inner health" »