Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 February BRD

1st February 2016

Esther 9:22 Feast of Purim
Remembered to this day!
Esther sets a gold standard for obedience, courage, sacrifice, trust in God

Romans 4:5
 However, to a man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith was credited as righteousness.
Don't hope to work your way to heaven
You are not good enough.
I am not good enough.
But God will credit my faith as righteousness.

Job 1: 20-21
Job mourned and worshiped God.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised"

In the midst of this Job had an implicit and explicit trust in God

Romans 5:11with 
We have now reconciliation.

Concept of reconciliation
Once together then torn asunder by sin, betrayal, anger, warfare.
Reconciliation : brought together again, made whole by Grace.
We now have been reconciled with God.
And we are called into a ministry of reconciliation, to bring others out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Job 2:13 Job's friends came and sat with him for 7 days and night , not saying a word.

This is true friendship
In times of grief when there are no words 
that can bring comfort, suffice just to sit silently and share the grief.

Romans 6:23
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

We have been set free, yayyyy!
We are now slaved to God.... oh!
Yet look at the benefits and results
Job 3:20 “Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul"
Job pours out his heart to God
God wants us to communicate with him, pain and sorrow, joy and laughter.

Romans 7:21 "So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me"

True for Paul
True for you and me.
We are sinners yet saints, work in progress.
The more we trust ourselves the more trouble we run into.
We need to focus on God
Trust God
Depend on God

Job 4: 3-4  Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands.  Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees. …

Eliphaz  encourages Job by recalling his good deeds, helpfulness, charity.
After waiting silently for 7 days and night, words of assurance start to flow

Romans 8:1 THEREFORE there is no condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

There are many times (like now) when I feel depressed, downcast, burdened with shame and condemnation from my sinful nature.

What a bright light of hope this verse is.

There is NO condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus.

no condemnation
Not even a little bit
All I need to do is remain in Christ
I.e. Confess my sins, receive the forgiveness
Rest in his everlasting arms'

Linoprint, view from 30th floor of Landmark Hotel (Cordis) Hong Kong

Job 5:17
Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
Discipline is not comfortable to receive
But it helps us maintain our boundaries.

Romans 9:17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth .”
Even evil forces are under God's control;
they may be allowed to rise up for a season
But they are only there  to display God's power

Job 7:17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention"

Job the created, recognizes the majesty and power and might of the Creator, and stands in awe that God would pay so much attention to him.
We too should!

Romans 11:36
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen

the present continuous tense reminds us that God is in all things

Linocut print of Red Guards

Job 8:20
“Surely God does not reject one who is blameless or strengthen the hands of evildoers."
When viewed in perspective of Eternity, YES!

Romans 12:21
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Normal human tendency is to strike back
But God says to repay evil with good
Revolutionary concept by world standards
Be a revolutionary! 

Linoprint of Lion Dance

Job 9:10
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted

How awesome is our God.

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

How wonderful this debt of love
Love others, that may continue to love others!

Job 10:10-12 
Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese,  clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews?  You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. …

Job admires how God has knit him together into a being, forming a solid body out of the formative juices. And the wholistic view of body and spirit. 

Romans 14:19
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification

Peace, shalom
Build each other up
(not tear down)

Job 11:7-9
Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?  They are higher than the heavens above---what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below---what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. …

Finite man can not fathom the depths of God's love.
Don't try to put God in a box
He is bigger than that.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Overflow with hope!

Job 12:10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

God holds all in his hands
And he cares for each and every one of us
Ants, birds, bees, elephants, whales, butterflies
and people, red and yellow, black and white

Romans 16: 25-27 Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,  but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith - to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

What a wonderful benediction 

Job 13:5
If only you would be altogether silent!
    For you, that would be wisdom.

Sometimes we need to know when to shut up
Instead of blabbering on trying to bring comfort,
just sit and be together.

1 Cor 1:17

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

So our core purpose is to share the good news
In simple words and deeds
by the power of Holy Spirit

Job 14:15
You will call and I will answer you;
    you will long for the creature your hands have made.

Job recognises the relationship between Creator and Created.
Not only did God make us, but he wants to have maintain conversation with us
You (God) will call and I will answer
You (God) will long for me, my presence
That is amazing.
Do I hear God calling me?
Am I ready to answer?
Do I long for God's presence as much as he longs for my presence?

1 Cor 2:16b
But we have the mind of Christ.

awesome to realise
We have the mind of Christ
so why do we so often revert to using our own human mind?

Job 15:1-2 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied: 
“Would a wise person answer with empty notions
    or fill their belly with the hot east wind?
Eliphaz reasons that hot air and empty notions are not wise responses.

1 Cor 3:9
For we are God's fellow workers: you are God’s field, God’s building.

Amazing that you and I are co-workers with God

Job 16:5 But my mouth would encourage you;
    comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

Job know that at the right time, right words can bring comfort
contrariwise, wrong words or wrong time dos not!
He goes on in Job 16:6 to say he speaks his anguish is not relieved for still does not understand what is going on.

Do we have a right to understand what is going on.
Can our human mind understand the infinite mind of God?
Rather we need to learn to trust God despite our non-understanding of what is going on.

1 Cor 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
Its not just human talk talk talk
But the very power of the holy spirit
RE “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

Job 18:3 Why are we regarded as cattle and considered stupid in your sight?
Bildad takes offence at Job
Anger at bad advice rejected!

1 Cor 5:7b
Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

We are reminded that the sacrifice of Jesus is likened to that of the Passover Lamb

Job 19:25
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
What a statement of faith

1 Cor 6:11
And that is what some of you were. (sinners)
 But you were washed,
 you were sanctified, 
you were justified
 in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
 and by the Spirit of our God.

Washed, sanctified, justified!

Job 20:12
"Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue,
Description of a sinner
Does evil hide in my mouth?

1 Cor 7:23
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.

Jesus died to set me free
why do I want to allow myself to become slaves to man?

Job 21:22 "Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest?

The supreme wisdom of God
You can't beat it

1 Cor 8:13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

So knowing the "rules" or "law" is not good enough
It is how you apply them,
And wisdom when not to exert your "right"

Job 22:12
"Is not God in the heights of heaven? And see how lofty are the highest stars!

Again and again Job testifies to the supremacy of God

1 Cor 9:16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

May I feel as compelled as Paul to preach

Job 23:10
But he knows the way that I take;

when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

Such is the relationship between Job and God that Job trusts God will find him pure as God after the crucible and the furnace 

1 Cor 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

The single aim, the gold standard is: does this bring God glory?

Job 24;23
He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways.

A reminder that God is always watching
There is no corner you can hide in
There is no misery or difficult situation that He does not know about.

1 Cor 11: 11-12 In the Lord, however woman ist not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as a woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.

In this passage I see how man and woman are equal in God's sight

Job 25:2
"Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven.
God is greatest

1 Cor 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Awesome to be part of Christ.
Great to know that all are included.
Each one with different roles.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Coordinated strategy for missions

The combined experiences of three consecutive mission trips to Davao, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh caused me to ponder, 
"How can we Wesley Methodist Church Singapore purposely engage with a target community for long term sustainable community development through repeated mission trips?"

A local partner is needed for our occasional visits to make any lasting impact. The local partner is the agency that effects the capacity building of communities for wholistic development. 

In Davao we have Care Channels that is spearheading the experimental farm in Davao and Esperanza.
They are anchoring various livelihood projects such as pig project, goat project, food cart projects.
In Cambodia we have TWRCambodia that broadcasts 5 tracks of evangelical programmers and makes regular follow up visits to listener groups which they impact with capacity building community development lessons.

A good question to ask is "How can we help you do what you need to do?"
Rather than: "Will you help us do what we want to do?"

The Davao team, when offered help, suggested
Medical manpower for mission trips with their mobile ambulance
Teaching methodologies for Sunday school teachers

The Cambodia team has suggested
Joining in Christmas outreach programmes
Supporting community development work in 
Functional English Centre Siem Reap
And others

How can we take it from here?
Missions com FDC organized a meeting to share with small groups

Juliana outlined Indonesia Batam Medan status and opportunities

Cindy covered Camodia, Sri Lanka  and Myanmar

Breakout session reviewed what does missions mean to me.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 January BRD

We launch into the Bible reading plan:( adapted from Robert Murray M'Cheyne's)
OT, NT one or two chapters day
with accountability partner

January 1:
To me the most moving phrase in Ezra1 comes in verse1 
Ezra 1:1 NIV
[1] In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:

To note: God moves the hearts of kings and other important decision makers!

From Acts1 it is the pre-eminence of the Holy Spirit that strikes me: The Gift that Jesus promises , empowering us for the Great Commission

January 2
(Got to work in weekly schedule for Esther!)
Ezra 2
Many names specifically recorded in detail
God know each of us in detail
God knows me by name
And in 68/69 They gave freewill offering, according to their ability...
So to our offering to God is freewill, not by force
and only according to our ability
(Not to forget the widows mite)
Last days (vs 17)
my Spirit (vs 17)
old men will dream dreams (vs 17)
both men and women prophesy (vs18)
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (vs21)
  In summary the passage to me is an urgent call to spread the good news
and to do in guided and powered by God the Holy Spirit

Diary issued by church
Space too crammed to annotate full response but can capture key points.
Ezra 3: Loud shouts of joy, songs of praise and loud weeping in response as the foundation of the temple are laid.
Tension: same event but polar opposite response.
Some people very joyful some people very sad.

Sometimes we have the same tension at one event: happy and sad.
I can think of the passing  of a loved one: sad at early passing, happy for their immortal transition.
I think of the tension as I stand before God
Fearful, a worm such as I
Joyous, a child of God....

Acts 3
I see foundations NOT for health and wealth gospel
This is not a promise of instant physical healing for all
TURN to God....
Until the time comes for God to restore everything.
The DAY of the LORD will come.

This is part of the core of the good news.

Ezra et alia are working to do God's will: to rebuild the temple.
Others seek to destroy!

When a person/ team is in the right track, doing God's work, others may seek to oppose directly and indirectly.

What about me?
Do I seek to support and edifying?
Or do I seek to destroy?

Acts4 vs33
With great power they continued to testify
And much grace was upon them....

Where did that great power come from? 
From Holy Spirit.
And what is grace?

Grace and mercy are sisters.
Mercy is not being punished for the sins
Grace is unmerited favor.

With power of Holy Spirit and with Grace I am to testify ...

A slight digression as to my way of blogging this
I find the page on my daily reading plan
I read the relevant chapters
I pencil the key words on the calanders
I add a photo of that page to this blog
Then I expand on my pencilled key words.

So far I have managed to keep pace.
I imagine for busy days I will fall far behind (as I did for MJC and A2C)
So I will attempt to advance a few days to create a buffer.....

For 5 January: Ezra5
My eyes are caught on the word BUT?
More often than not a crucial word in bible text.
Phrase A..... BUT...Phrase B....
Phrase A refers to the opposition to building the temple and the cessation of building by royal decree and force of arms (Ezra4). Yet Zerubbabel et alia restarted rebuilding.
 Tattenai the governor of the Trans Euphrates challenges them, "By what authority....."

Then we see the BUT
But the eye of their God was watching over the elders of the Jews and they were not stopped until a report could go to Darous and his written reply recieved.

God is watching over you.
He knows every step you take. 
And when you face opposition when doing God's work,
 surrender that opposition to God.
He may allow opposition,
 he may block the opposition,
 or He may allow opposition to redirect your path.

Is a very scary reading for me today.
"You have not lied to men but to God"

Sometime I try to kid myself,
White lie does not matter.
it is only a small lie.
Or only a traffic "irregularity"
Euphamisms replace SIN, LIES, CHEATING.
But God knows.

Need to clean my heart and mouth.
learn to speak the truth in love.

"You have not lied to men but to God"
This is the word of God
Thanks be to God

Old records dug out and deeds done before are recalled.
Reminds me of what happened in Esther 6:1
Reminds me that what I do God knows 
Reminds me that I will get a stone with a name written on it. A new name..
The proposal allowed the spread of the word.
The proposal was delegation of work.
Do not try to do every thing your self
Do not attempt to be the saviour of the world.
In order to do "the best", you must say "No" to doing "the good".
Co-workers are there to help.
Maximize their potential.
We are the body of Christ.
If in a senario you are called to be the "bum"- backside, gluteus minimus, do so with grace!

Ezra7:1-5 Fourteen generation list between Aaron and Ezra: Averaging 30 years between each generation= 420 years
Matt 1:17 Genealogy of Jesus divided into three tranches of 14 generations.
Importance of lineage and family history.
Managed to visit tomb of Mr Tan Kin Hui, the first Tan  to get to Xiamen area from ZhangZhou  750 years ago. 17 generations between Tan Kin Hui and Tan Tock Seng: 6 generations on, Lim Su Min.
23 generations between Tan Kin Hui and Lim Su Min!

Acts 7:2-50 Good summary Abram-Abraham- Moses. We should know our bible history well enough to be able to tell spell binding accounts of God's love story to those who have not yet heard. Bible was crafted in the days where oral tradition was used to transmit culture and values. Gather people around you and chat, talk, tell stories. Sing songs...
I love to tell the story...

Preparation for journey
Praying for journey mercies
Something to be taken seriously
Before every journey 

Acts 8:31
"How can I unless someone explains it to me"
Be willing to be part of this chain
Ask if you do not know
Be available, askable to those around you

Ez9:5 Fell on my knees with my arms outstretched to the Lord
Posture of prayer
Have you ever beren moved to pray like this?
Why not?
What posture would you adopt for joyous praise?
What posture would you use for abject apology?

Saul is addressed in name by the Resurrected Christ
What about what about you?
Have you encountered the Risen Christ!
What is your response?

Ez10:2 We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign wives....
what way have we been unfaithful?
What wife, hobby, vice is causing us to be unfaithful?

Acts 10:1-2 Centurian
Family man, devout, God fearing, gave generously, prayed regularly.
Cornelius What a good role model

N1 Stimulus and response
Stimulus: Bad news
Response: Sit, weep, mourn, fast, 
Pray: adoration praise confession intercession: recall God's promise
Plan to take action.

How do you/ I respond to bad news?

A 11- 10,11
And this happened three times
Three men appeared

Note carefully when THREE appears in bible
I think of Holy Holy Holy
I think of Three Magi...
Three synoptic gospels
Three crosses....

N2:13-14 Nehemiah surveys the work to be done
When setting about a task examine the extent of work that needs to be done
Evaluate the human and physical resources required.

Acts 12:7
..the chains fell off...

My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

What a joy to be liberated from sin, from addictions, from darkness
From depression.

And what do we do with this new freedom?
Share with others the Good News
Jesus comes to save
Amazing love.

Wall, gates, beams, bars, doors, bolts
meticulous, precision, detailed repair

By priests, men, goldsmiths, Levites
All sectors of the community

A13:15 Brothers, if you have amessage of encouragements for the people, please speak...

We are called to build up, not to tear down.
To encourage, not to discourage.
Seek to speak a word of encouragement today...

Day 14 Two weeks completed!

N14 But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
Trumpets are important.
in military use they sound the alarm or rally the soldiers, send instructions.
What is your trumpet call.
If there is just one message you would shout, what would it be?
Shout it loud
Shout it clear

Acts 14:23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church.

It is not enough to to lead people to new believers prayer
Need to encouragement to develop a cell group that multiples
A church planting movement based on power of Holy Spirit and biblical truths

Day 15: N5:15b 
But out of reverence for God I did not act like that (Lording over them)

Two takeaways
1) The action
2) The reason
Action: not lord over
Not act high and mighty
Not act like big boss
(Humility vs pride)
Earlier governors had, but Nehemiah did not.

The why:
Out of fear of the Lord.

out of fear of the Lord
We must not abuse our position of authority 
Eg as employer of domestic maid...

Acts 15:11
No we believe it is through the grace of our Lord we have been saved.

What works must we do to be saved?
None at all
No one can win salvation through works
But expression of love of God is by works.

Wall completed in 52 days
They realized this work had been done with the help of God.

Too often we assume that a mighty accomplishment of ours was done purely by human strength and ability. We forget or ignore that God has an integral part.

In every success and ends our we need to identify the central role of God.

Acts 16:4 Come over to Macedonia to help us....
What an honor it is to respond to the Macaedonean call.
If you are called to the mission field will you not respond?
Contrariwise, if you have not understood God's plan for you in the field and you are charging away in your own strength, is it not time to stop and ask God " why am I here?"

N7:1 After the wall had been rebuilt and I set the doors in place, the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed.


Why are they mentioned in this order?
I believe the gatekeepers were of practical importance.
Militarily, for safety and security.
Gatekeepers important.
Levites, priesthood also very important.
And before the Levites are mentioned, the singers are singled out.
It is amazing to me
The very high level of importance of singers as referenced by this order of mentioning.
Singers important
And I sing in the choir!

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character
Recieved the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures...

Message for me/us
Recieve the message with great eagerness.
With anticipation
With excitement
Expect God to be telling you something
Even in your daily reading
And from the pulpit message on Sunday.
Look forwards to it.
And check out what you hear
Is it congruent with the word of God....

N8 Ezra reads aloud from daybreak to noon.
 People all stood up.
Listened attentively.
Lifted hands
and said Amen Amen.
Levites instructed the people making it clear.

The reading went on for 6 hours
The people stood in respect of God's word.
They listened attentively
They responded "so be it " , "amen"
And the elders explained the readings 

Good examples to follow

A18:11 So Paul stayed for a year and a half (in Corinth)
Mission word, transformation of community is not hit and run
It takes serious commitment and time.

Specific confession of sins, yet,
But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate slow to anger and abounding in love

When we come to God's throne of grace
We do confess our sins
And remember God's graciousness 

Acts 19:5,6
They were baptized in the name of the LORD Jesus.
When Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Water baptism
An external act to reflect an inner decision
And accompanied by a spiritual Indwelling 

N10:29 Bind with curse/oath to follow Law of God
obey carefully all commands and regulations and decrees

Such was the passion to follow God's rules.
Alas we are frail and none of us can be righteous in our own strength.
We need to surrender control of our lives to God and submit to Holy Spirit.

Acts 20:9
Eutychus: sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on

We need to be mindful of or listeners/participants and not over tax their concentration.
Command their attention creatively.

N11:1 Leaders settled in Jerusalem, rest of the people cast lots.
Community development, with equitable plan for population distribution.

Acts 21:19 Reported in detail what God has done amongst the Gentiles through his ministry.

In ministry work, remember it is God's doing!
And don't forget to tell others abut what God is doing.

N12:27 Dedication of the wall
significant marker point of corporate life deserve celebration, thanksgiving, consecration

A22:25"Is it legal for you to flog a Roman Citizen who hasn't even been found guilty"
1) know the law of the land
2) what are your rights as a child of God?

Balsam and his talking donkey
Cf Numbers 22:28

Acts 23:6
I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.
Know your doctrine!

Esther, as we review in church and small groups over the next three months...
E1:19 Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes
We are not told
But King had absolute power in those days...

What about the King of Kings: how much of your life does he rule?

Acts 24Felix & Tertullas
Flattery versus Respect.

E2 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah: Myrtle tree: pleasing, fragrant, righteous, sweet smelling, bitter taste
Esther: hiddenness

Felix, Festus, Agrippa
Passing the buck

Do we take responsibity when others turn to us, or do we try to pass the buck? 

E5:3, in the King's courtyard
“What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”

E5:7 at Esther's first banquet 
the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted .”

E7:2 Repeated motif
and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted .”

Oral tradition
Good story telling
Main themes
Repeated motifs

A28: 16-30 
Paul preaches for two years in Rome
Imprisoned, on trial, awaiting death, yet continues to preach
1 Cor 9:16

E6:1 book of chronicles of the kingdom read. Mordecai exposes assassins Bigthana and Teresh.
What should be done to the man that the king delights  to honour.
Haman thinks he is the recipient but is instructed to honour Mordecai
All the more he hates Mirdecai.
Vengeance sought!

R1:34 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but....

BUT what about us!

Esther 7:2-4 NIV
[… “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted .”  Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life---this is my petition. And spare my people---this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to …

Esther has gained Kings attention: offered anything up to half his kingdoms request merely that he attends her banquet: and at that first banquet she asks that he attend her second banquet:
Now at the second banquet she poses her request: That her people be saved.

R2:7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory  honour and immorality he will give eternal life;
Judged by works but not saved by works
Salvation is by faith alone.

E8:2 The king took off his signet ring which he had reclaimed from Haman and presented it to Mordecai.
Esther exhaled from slave girl to Queen
Mordecai exalted from slave to Prime Minister.

R3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

ALL have sinned
not "many have sinned"
not "most have sinned"
not "nearly all have sinned"
But ALL. Including me.