FAITHFUL in February

Dear readers, here’s a great lesson I have been learning through this month amongst many other things. If there’s one character of God that really means a lot to me, it’s His faithfulness! I always said, “God is faithful”, but never understood the extent of what it actually really meant in my life. So now God showed me a glimpse of it, I pray He does the same for you through His words.

Bible verses on faithfulness

“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” – 1 Cor.1:9

“The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” – 1 Thess.5:24

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” – 2 Tim.2:13

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” – 1 Cor.4:2

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” – Heb.10:23

“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them – He remains faithful forever.” – Psalm.146:6

“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” – 2 Thess.3:3

Faithfulness defined

“He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” – Deut.32:4

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Faithful implies: Long continued and steadfast fidelity to whatever one is bound to by pledge, duty or obligation.

God is all these things because, He is Love! His love compels Him to be faithful and His faithfulness compels Him to love.

 

  1. Constant

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans.12:12

God’s faithfulness does not change by circumstances, because His faithfulness makes Him constant, unchanging and unswerving.

Faithfulness requires remaining true to who you are and what you’ve promised. Thus, God’s faithfulness makes Him dependable and trustworthy, because you can be sure that no matter what happens, He remains the same.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James.1:17

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” – Heb.13:8

 

1.1 Time

Constancy has an element of time and change as part of its equation. Yet this element (constancy) stays the same despite those two variables. Being constant requires time. If time didn’t move on, how can you say that something has changed or not changed?

Indeed time reveals many things in life. And being faithful means: even if time is passing, even if all circumstances change, you remain true and firm in your original word/promise/belief.

This means faithfulness requires patience. Because we don’t know what the future holds and we are almost certain that time and circumstances move/push against our constancy, faithfulness becomes a difficult battle.

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  1. Hope

“Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?” – Prov.20:6anchor.png

Hope is the anchor on which faith is attached to. The stronger the anchor, the more secure the faith. It’s also amazing that an anchor is in the shape of a cross. It reminds us that the cross is our greatest source of hope. Because the cross tells us that we are now God’s children and our Heavenly Father wants the best for us. And because our Father is faithful, we find the courage and strength to be faithful.

 

2.1 Vision

anchor2Vision is the ground on which faith is planted on. This vision is God’s word and promise. Vision is where hope faces towards. Unless you have an end goal or destination, you are dropping your anchor on shallow grounds.

 

 

2.2 The wind and storms

The wind and storms are the forces mentioned earlier (such as time and circumstances) that try to move faithfulness from its rooted ground. With passing time, patience’s thread can weaken and with intensifying wind of circumstances, the anchor (hope) can be shaken.

Yet there’s one good news even in all this. The ground beneath on which the anchor holds on to, is constant and undisturbed by the wind and storms. This constant and unchanging faithfulness of our God is what makes a Christian smile and still able to say, “I’m good, by God’s grace.” This strong foundation is what enables a Christian to be faithful despite changing times and circumstances. And because of this, many of our fathers considered it pure joy to partake in His suffering.

 

  1. The reward

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” – Matt.25:23

Being faithful does not depend on the size or type of matter we are entrusted with. What really matters is how we have dealt with it; whether we have been faithful or wicked or lazy.

Christ is the perfect image of faithfulness. He remained faithful to His calling until the end, even when it cost Him His life. And as His followers, we ought to be faithful just as He is, whether in small or great tasks, whether in the storms or relative peace.

May we find great comfort in knowing that He is faithful to us at all times and may that spur us on to imitate and reflect our loving Father! Amen!

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep His commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” – Rev.14:12

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True…” – Rev.19:11

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The potter’s love

we-are-the-clay-karinas-thoughtSo I was watching a programme a few days ago about a young potter. It showed the whole process of clay work. First she travelled miles to a river bank in a far away village to get the clay she needed for her work. Carrying it back home, she went through the whole process of cleaning it (separating the bad from the good). Through out, it required much energy and hard work, kneading it and preparing it before making it into a shape. 

It was not easy at all and it required much determination, hard work and getting her hands dirty. Once she started shaping her clay into different structures and pots, you can see the joy in her eyes. The sculptures were then put in an oven to bake them and allow them to dry and hold their shape. When they cooled down, she painted them and allowed them to dry. 

This made me think of how much God loves us. He left the comfort of heaven to come and save us. And continues to be so patient towards us even though we are hard work in the way we walk with Him. He never tires or gives up on us. He smiles and rejoices over us when we walk in His will and makes us vessels for glory to display His beauty. Now let us look back from where we came from… from the side of some river bank that nobody really cared about. Now fast forward to the present… we are precious treasure that Somebody really cares about! 

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. – Isaiah.64:8

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us. – 2 Corinthians.4:6-7

 

The crossroads

Everything has a beginning and an end, at least so it seems. One thing starts and once you took forever to adapt, it’s finally time to move on. Another thing starts, with its own highs and lows, but then again that comes to an end as well. Life seems to be a cycle of many events that start and end. And through this process, you meet various kinds of people and learn a lot of things that may help you deal with the next cycle better. I realised that these many cycles are not mutually exclusive, but actually a narrative of one event that is unique just for you. The narrator is God. I have also realised that there is one Strand that connects as these ‘circles’; He is Jesus. I am reminded of this verse in Hebrews.13:8 (the first English Bible verse I learnt by heart as a child): “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

So as I approach the end of one chapter in my life and look with hope and faith in my Father for the future, I find rest and “peace that passes all understanding”. Because, wherever I am, there He will also be, blessed be His name. Amen! 

Happy birthday Jesus

As we enter this season of joy and gladness, the happiness Christmas brings with it is just something we all look forward to. Nevertheless, in most cases that joy doesn’t even last past boxing day. Now Christmas is more commonly associated with materialism; the new iphone, ipad, new kitchen cabinet or jewellery etc. Real joy however, passes the stuff boxed in pretty wrapping papers, the nicely cooked turkey and of course Christmas pudding. That joy sees us through the hurdles and struggles, the joys and laughters of each day and the hope that one day we will see Him again. That joy, is the joy of our Saviour’s birth, the Divine’s love to lay aside His majesty to dwell in the midst of His people. The Joy of CHRIST’s birth 🙂 

10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” – Luke.2:10-12

Called into Royalty

I had been thinking about the story of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and how she came into royalty. 

Although she is not of royal decent, because she was loved by Prince William, she became worthy to join the royal family. Now she has a special place in Prince William’s heart, because she is his wife. To him, who many people long to even get a glimpse of, she gained the privilege to spend all her life time with. 

Why? Did she earn her way to make him love her? Did she ask others to speak to him on her behalf? No it was as simple as, love. Love broke the barriers between the lay woman and royalty. 

And now that she belongs to him, she can speak to him all her concerns and feelings with out fear. It would be very strange if she started to ask him for something she needed using the queen or any of the royal officials. 

And in our Christian walk, it is exactly the same thing. Many so called Christians forget that they have this wonderful relationship with Christ and spend their lifetime seeking Him and asking for mercy via saints and angels. Yet the Bible says that “the angels long to look into these things” (1Peter.1:12). We have a wonderful privilege that we try and reject with “humility” that we are not worthy to come before this great King, but that is grace (Hebrew.4:14-16).

Grace

Grace and mercyShe was bathed in the stench of ungodliness, she can hardly stand herself. She wondered where things went wrong, but she couldn’t trace their roots. Yet it was there all along creeping and growing with every inch of height she gained.

He saw her first cry, so beautiful and tender in her mother’s arms. Yes, He was the type of King who engaged with His people; from the poor old woman down the road to the rich business man on the high street. From the day she was born, He saw the troubles this girl would face, so He made a plan, for His land was governed by truth and justice. His only Son to take her punishment that she may be freed from those heavy chains she carried around.

Soon she was invited for a visit to the King’s court and was told to come through the front door and that there will be One who will lead her on. She didn’t feel good enough or worthy to enter that way, clearly that’s only for those who are up there, princes and princesses not for a muddy, poor criminal like her. She wasn’t even sure why she should be there, it was not where she belongs. Thus she decided to enter through a lesser gate and asked the guard there if she could go in. He replied, “Sorry Miss but this is not the way to see the King, go through the front door, He is expecting you there.” The girl stepped her foot on the door step and started marching across the shiny, whistle clean aisle. She approached the King on the throne, with the One who loved her by her side. The King couldn’t help but look at her with compassion and mercy. If His Son thought she was worth dying for, she was precious indeed (though at the moment she may not look like it). He rebuked her for insulting Him, as she attempted to evade the invitation by trying to enter through the side door. She thought she was not worth the honour and the truth is- she wasn’t, but there is something called Grace! What mercy? What love?!

“14 Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrew.4:14-16

 

Christ’s love

I often find myself singing

How I love You my King

How much You mean to me

How wonderful You are

 

Yet when I think and ponder

What love means to You

And what You have done for me

Lord my fallible words melt to nothing

 

It was You who showed me

Unconditional love

Marred to give me beauty

Died, so I can live eternally

 

What then?

Should I stop singing?

No! But I will sing of Your love

Of how You saved my life

Not how much I love You

Or what I do for You

Because its incomparable God. 

Waiting…

waiting…

This morning I came across this powerful meditation, written by a lady called Pam Freeman. It has really encouraged me, particularly the first section of the meditation. At times I find it hard to keep on waiting for God, I feel like He has forgotten my case, as I have a few BIG things I want God to answer my prayer on and at least one of them I’m sure is His will, but not the right time yet.

I was meditating on this last night and asked God, “Father, why are You keeping me waiting?”, His answer was “It’s because I love you. Think about your parents, they wouldn’t give you money to buy things for yourself when you were young, because at that moment you didn’t understand the value of money and would have probably spent it all on sweets. As a result you would never understand how to use your money properly and effectively for something useful. In the same way, if I give you what you ask before the time you are mature enough to understand its value, it will not help you but spoil & hurt you. Also you would not value it much because what you get instantly is usually not as precious as what you get after a long wait. If your parents love you so much to discipline you, how much more should I not discipline you too?”

“because the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.” – Proverbs.3:12 

A MEDITATION contributed by Pam Freeman

Leader : You keep us waiting,

You,
The God of all time
Want us to wait
For the right time in which
To discover who we are,
Where we must go,
Who will be with us,
And what we must do…..

All : So, thank you for the waiting time.

Leader : You keep us looking,
You,
The God of all space,
Want us to look
In the right and wrong places
For signs of hope,
For people who are hopeless,
For visions of a better world
Which will appear
Among the disappointments
Of the world we know…

All : So, thank you for the looking time

Leader : You keep us loving,
You,
The God whose name is love,
Want us to be like you…
To love the loveless and the unlovely and the unlovable,
To love those near us without jealousy or design or threat,
And,
Most difficult of all,
To love ourselves….

All : So, thank you for the loving time.

Leader: And in all this
You keep us.
Through hard questions with no easy answers,
Through failing where we hoped to succeed
And making an impact when we felt we were useless.
Through the patience and the dreams and the love of others,
And through Jesus Christ and His Spirit,
You,
Keep us….

All : So, thank you for the keeping time
and for now and for ever AMEN

http://www.pastoral.org.uk/Features/Spiritual/Meditations/You.Keep.Us.Waiting.htm