Do not sit on stolen idols

teraphim“When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods.” – Genesis.31:19

Genesis 31 tells the story of how Jacob fled Laban’s house (the place where he served for decades). During this flight, Rachel decides to steal her father’s household idols without telling anyone. Later in the chapter when Laban finds out they had fled and that his idols were stolen, he follows them. Although he didn’t harm them as he was warned by God, he searched everywhere for his precious idols. “Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them. ” (verse 34) Scripture does not explain why Rachel stole those idols, but we can see she was not willing to give them up.

As children of God we are called to leave all our idols and trust wholly in our heavenly Father. Yet, how many times do we peak into those stolen idols when we think God is not looking. We know that anything we put trust above God has become our idol (how many idols have we collected like this), ones that give false sense of security. How long until we get up from our seat, take those idols and throw them off our tents and lives? God is all we need, He is our sufficiency and who makes us complete. Those stolen idols were never ours, we are children of the light, so lets not covet the things and ways of the world.

zero without JESUS

As I begin a new chapter of entering the world of work, this is a subject that the Holy Spirit has been constantly reminding me these past couple of weeks. Whatever I have, whatever I achieved is all from God. As Job once said, empty we come from our mother’s womb and we return to the earth empty; nothing that we have gained through our lifetime on this world will stick with us for the after life. The writer of the Ecclesiastes understood this and called it vanity. All is vanity without Christ!

Paul said, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” – (2 Corinthians.3:5) Whatever was gain to him, he counted as loss, because he realised that all these are a gift from God and he has nothing that he can boast about.

So what is it that we think we have? What gifts have we received from the Lord? Knowledge, wealth, energy… lets put Jesus before them and confess our nothingness. Then, only then can we utilise those gifts properly and save ourselves from vanity.

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

This video explains it perfectly:

Is faith blind?

 spectaclesNow faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrew.11:1

This is the first verse that comes to our minds when we think of faith. The chapter goes on to list all the fathers of faith who did awesome things simply by having faith in God. Verse 6 explains how faith works: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” This little faith they had moved mountains, endured hardships, split the Red Sea, obtained promises, concurred lands and became victorious in battle. 

Was this faith blind? Was it just a pure day dream and simple hope on luck? No; this faith is confident and assured that what God has promised, that He will do. Yes, we do not see it yet, just as an athlete doesn’t see the finish line at the beginning of the race, but he hopes and believes that there is a finish line and runs towards it. If faith was blind, it would fall at every pitfall it comes across its path, but the Holy Spirit guides its steps and faith leaps over the pitfalls and stumbling blocks stood on its way. Faith doesn’t stop at every cross road, to determine whether that was really the finish line, it knows fully well what it should look like and sees the distractions along her path long ahead to leap over them. So faith is not blind, in contrast faith is where we have the clarity of vision! Faith is the ability to see clearly that which is not seen by physical eyes. 

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians.4:18

If faith is that spectacle that clarifies our vision, why shouldn’t we get it?

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.” – Matthew.17:20. How faithless are we when we doubt God? If only we had that ONE mustard seed! May God help us believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, Amen. 

 

Sing over me

6358748036944186621892622963_musicMusic is powerful; the words that hang with the sweet or strong melodies could have a life saving or life destroying effect. David used songs to praise, worship and plead with God; the psalms are true testaments of how important songs were to David (Psalm.1-150). God can use various methods to speak to His children. One of the many ways for me is through songs. God uses specific songs for each season and occasion of my life that is so relevant either to encourage, uplift, teach me or just to praise and worship Him. Thus, I have many songs that I associate with a certain time in my life and how God has been so faithful to me through those.

Songs are used for various reasons these days and it’s worrying to see that the world is using it as a main tool to clear the path to hell for many vulnerable people, particularly children and youngsters.  Music has a power to affect our emotions and how we feel about the words spoken within the songs. Whether we are just loving it because it has nice beats or just for mere enjoyment, the words will stick to our minds and some how affect our way of thinking on the subject being sang about. 

As one preacher said, “GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out”, whatever we fill our minds that is what we will produce. You cannot grow what you haven’t sown. Let us allow God to fill us with His praise, allow Him to use songs to comfort us in times of need and to fill our hearts with shouts of praise in times of joy. 

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans.12:1-2

Wandering child

running20away20-20little20girlShe is but a curious child, adopted from a painful past to a glorious present. Although most kids have a vague memory of their childhood, she vividly remembers every detail of the stench from which she was rescued. Yes she was born into the lowliest and most horrible place called sin. This shanty town offered her the momentary comfort of shelter in the shack she called home. It offered her friendship in the secrecy of gossips that turned to bite her with their stings and bad habits that were norm in its streets. She was hurt but it was the only place she knew.

Across the river she gazed every morning to the skyscraping towers and sparkling streets of the city, yet she never understood what happened or even how to get there. One beautiful morning as she gazed towards that city as usual, her mother summoned her in. There she found an old rich man with a wide smile upon her entrance. This girl suffered slavery in her own home, her mum was willing to essentially sell her. As she looked between the eyes of this old man and her mum for clues as to what’s happening, she could but only see silence. Finally, the old man opened his mouth and with a surprisingly gentle voice that she never heard before all her life he said, “my child, you will come to stay with me. I have paid the full price.” As he uttered these words, she looked at her mum who was holding the bag of money and refusing to look back to this child or say a word. This child never understood what was happening but she knew well enough in her heart that going with this old man was the best decision she would ever make in her entire life. She stood and as he stretched out his hand, she lifted hers to hold them. 

Now many years have passed and the morning view has changed. Now she woke up every morning and as she looked across the river to where she came from, she was grateful for this kind old man. Yet one warm afternoon, she missed her past, she missed the momentary happiness and what seemed freedom that  her town called sin offered her. She wandered off from the gates of mercy and paths of grace and righteousness towards the isle of temptation that lead to her past. The sky was getting dark, the path grew more ugly, when she suddenly had a flash back of the day when she was rescued from that town called sin and the kindness of the old man who loved her as his own. How he must be weeping over her disappearance? Has he withheld any good thing from her? Has she lacked anything? None. She was just curious child dipping her feet to the fire of her past. 

It didn’t take long for this wandering child to realise that she better get back home. She didn’t stop to think whether her father will let her in, she knew his kindness and love well enough. She run back, back to her place of safety and peace. 

“For my feet were close to slipping….
You spoke to my heart in time….
You have promised, and I do believe….
You won’t forget this wandering child….” – Bethany Dillon (So Close) 

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” – 1 Corinthians.10:12

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” – Romans.6:11

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” – Colossians.3:3

“Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules” – Colossians.2:20

Possible is not impossible

 

impossible-just-wordI once read a phrase 

Something that a word uttered

“I’m possible”, said the Impossible

The first part made it difficult

“I am”, signified my ability

When I saw matters

Through the eyes of probability

0 in 1 was the chance

A place where hope can’t be found

 

I had to drop the ‘I am’

It only revealed my weakness and shame

Making my impossible possible

Chaining all my hope in its jail

 

But where can I find this ‘possible’

If looking inside me has made me crumble?

 

I gazed up to the heavens

And faced towards Him

“With man it may be impossible” He said,

“But with God, all things are possible”

 

For Him,

No distance is too wide

No mountain is too high

No burden is too heavy

Nothing can make Him weary

 

For He is,

Strong, powerful and mighty

Sovereign, kind and holy

Awesome loving and wonderful

Just and faithful

That is my King!

 

So it’s no longer ‘I am’ but ‘Him’

For with my God all things are possible!

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

 

 

Rejoice with Habakkuk

 53627-dance-in-the-rainBe joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans.12:12

Consider your bad days, what do they consist of? The shower goes cold, the kettle doesn’t boil, you miss the bus or your car breaks down, you’ve made some silly mistakes at work (unintentionally), customers are not happy with you, it starts to rain and you haven’t got a coat… your life seems nothing but a mess! Sometimes right from the start till the end you may experience things that annoy you, upset or stress you.

Yet despite all this, we are asked to be joyful, patient and prayerful? How can you be joyful and your day is all gloomy and nothing seems to go right?  How can you be patient when all you are experiencing is bad thing after another?

The prophet with a funny name, Habakkuk once said:

“17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.” – Habakkuk.3:17-19

I often asked myself the question why do such things happen and there could be a lot of reasons. But it seems that Habakkuk knew a secret that allowed him to ‘dance in the rain’ of misery as it were. Despite all the discouraging problems that he described, he said he “will rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in God my Saviour”. Why? There is nothing to be joyful about losing your crops and your animals! He answers it in the following verse; Habakkuk knew who God was to him. God was His strength that enabled him to tread on the heights, so he can see past the gloomy present situation.

Praise or thankfulness has a way of lifting us up to the higher grounds to see things beyond the momentary mess, because it reveals to us the greatness of our God and who we are in Him. Only then can we find the joy that Habakkuk described, the kind of joy that makes you dance in the rain. Praise is also a massive declaration of faith in God’s sovereignty.

God’s beautiful art work

Our life is a blank canvas upon which God can pnew_flowers_small_daisies_copy_wmaint a picture as only He sees fit. 14 years ago today, I accepted Jesus in to my heart and not a day has passed where I regretted that decision. That day, I received the most beautiful gift I could ever have and joy unspeakable filled my heart.

Today, as I pondered upon the Lord’s work in my life, it was orchestrated in such a way that only He could have done it. I noticed God’s hand at work in every step of my life. Before I was born and even before the world begun, He called me by my name and said that His Son should die for me that I may find this beautiful life that’s found in Him. When it was finally time for me to enter the world, God rejoiced over my birth and was so patient to wait for me until the day when I said, “YES!” (by the grace of the Holy Spirit) to His calling of salvation. Yes there were some dark shades on that picture and at the time, but God used those to beautify and brighten up even more the lovely  flowers that He was painting. He is the greatest Artist, giving beauty for ashes and a faithful God.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.  ~ Psalm.139:16-18

Now an artist requires the canvas to remain still so he can paint the picture properly. There were times when this canvas of my life moved about and shook, distorting the painting that He’d started, yet God being the patient Artist that He is, He made sure these little smudges were turned into little leaves that support the beautiful petals. He has a way for everything and He is faithful.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~ Psalm.46:10

This little art work is not yet complete but seeing what’s been painted so far, makes me want to see what it will look like in the end, but I have to remain still. Yet, I know God is faithful and He will finish this beautiful thing He has started.  

 

Still i will praise You

my eyes may grow dim

Gazing on the sky

Watching and waiting

For clouds that may never appear 

 

Still i will praise You

Your faithfulness is true

i know You will come through

 

The fig tree may fail to bud

And no grapes be found on the vines

When the earth is all dry

And fail to produce the crop

While the stalls and pen give away

Their sheep and cattle

As it’s all left barren

For everything is broken

 

Still i will praise You

Your faithfulness is true

i know You will come through

 

The Father of lights shines through

To mend every broken heart

To straighten every crooked path

To breathe new life

To the cold and empty land

 

Still i will praise You

Your faithfulness is true

i knew You would come through

 

If You hadn’t risen

i would be most pitied

But now i live to tell

The glorious splendour

Of Your majesty and grace

 

Again i will praise You

Your faithfulness is sure

i knew You would come through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOVE

During one of the many days that we discussed deep life matters with a friend, she asked me to define ‘love’. In this modern world, love has taken so many faces and meanings, often associated with romantic love. I replied to my friend with a Bible verse, quoting Paul from 1st Corinthians.13

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Yet  today, I thought more about the origin and life of love and here is what I have meditated on:

Love was born in the lowliest cot

When Love deserved a king’s court

Love came not to be served

From birth Love was servant hearted

 

Love was obedient to lay down the crown

To step aside from the throne, for the sake of man

Love didn’t argue, Love was full of trust

Love was very much aware of the Father’s heart

 

Love grew, in grace and height

Love learnt to speak, read and write

Love’s language was a beautiful sight

 

Love was humble and meek

Cared for the poor on the street

Hugged the outcast and destitute

 

Love didn’t have a home

Love dwelled in the hearts of the congregation

Love faced hardship and rejection

But never gave up, love had strong conviction

 

Love was not afraid

Love confronted the evil and wicked

Yet love was full of compassion

Love renewed the broken hearted

 

Love was betrayed and denied

As the Father turned His face aside

Love was alone for the first time

 

Love cried for alternative plan

But knew the deal only Love could suffice

Love chose in the Father’s arms to abide

 

Love took the lashes

Love faced the shame

Love was rejected

Love had to pay the ultimate price

 

Love didn’t see the bleed in His hands

Love was still chasing your lost heart

As the thorns pierced through His skull

Love called you by name and said “it is done!”