Set Apart – be a remnant

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“Then I heard another voice from heaven say: Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.” –  Revelation 18:4 

Dear friends, may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus be with you all. Despite the fact I wasn’t able to post a blog last month, the lesson I have been learning is carrying on until this month, so all is not lost. This lesson is a very important lesson for all of us Christians living in this 21st century of modernism and globalisation. This lesson always reminds us of the litmus test we are to apply in our daily lives, whether we are living our names ‘Christians’. This lesson is also very timely because it comes in such a time as lent, where we don’t just give up something we like, but more importantly use this time to test our lives and  intentions in light of God’s Word and aim to correct any crooked ways.

Brothers and sisters, I want to remind you that we live in the last days now, its not time to sleep and be carefree about what we see. Its time to examine ALL that we see, hear and receive, “…because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish…” (Ephesians.5:16-17). We all see the evil that surrounds us, how the devil has controlled the world at his fist, whilst many don’t realise it. Much hatred, fighting, killing, drugs, abuse, politics…. Yet these are the obvious that everyone sees. Even those who don’t know God understand these evil works. There is something more that shocked and saddened me – when the Church opened its doors for the enemy, not just to enter, but to control all its activities, making it look no different to the world outside! And he has succeeded in a number of churches globally. 

The Bible says: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans.12:2) This means we are not follow its ever changing dress code, holiday celebration, way of speech, conduct, manner and its ever compromising morals. Some follow this pattern to try and show the world how ‘friendly’ the church is. The church is not friendly, it is loving and caring, not defiling itself with a single streak from the abomination of the world. We do not need to imitate the world to draw people to Christ. Christ is most beautiful and attractive enough to those with eyes to see. We do not need to sandwich  His teaching with worldly materials to make it more appetising and palatable. King David once said, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm.119:103)  

This lent, let us not merely follow the crowd, let us separate ourselves, from all that defile us and lets run after our Holy God and be holy. Let us take courage and cut out the dead pieces that don’t honour God from our lives and churches, even if they “have a form of godliness.” (2 Tim.3:5) 

May His Holy Spirit lead us into all truth, giving us discernment as we earnestly seek to glorify Him in our lives, Amen! 

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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

Wisdom

Wisdom is such a deep word, when you think about it. Knowing what to do in every situation is a great gift to have, and Solomon made the absolutely correct choice when God gave him the chance to choose anything he wanted. This really pleased God, because Solomon asked it out of a humble heart.

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’

Solomon answered God, ‘You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, LordGod, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?’

11 God said to Solomon, ‘Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honour, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honour, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.’”  – 2Chronicles.1:7-12

“God resists the proud, but shows favour to the humble.” – 1Peter.5:5

Everyday we are surrounded by many situations where we have to make decisions and its not easy to know what to do or what to say. When God’s word is in our hearts then often we can be reminded of what we read and thus be able to know what God’s will for us in those situations is. I also believe that if we ask the Father t ogive us wisdom, to help us see things from His view, I’m sure we would see way different things.