No comfort by the graveside

lazarusSaul was once a man of God. He obeyed God and banned any idol worship and witchcraft. Yet, when he realised the Lord wasn’t with him, he thought of no other way than to turn to his old self and things that he once despised to find answers and comfort (1st Samuel.28). He awakened Samuel’s spirit, only to receive his curse and the worst things that lay ahead. 

We, like Saul were once children of darkness, waking in ways we thought best before our eyes. But, when Jesus came and gave us light, we died and were raised to a new life. Our oldself buried in Golgotha, while we walk in the freedom of the new Jerusalem. 

“For if we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be raised to life as He was. We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans.6:5-6)

So why is it from time to time we visit the grave of our old-person, hoping to find comfort? Is there peace or ease in death? I once heard a lady in church give a testimony. She said, “Although I’ve been a Christian for a long time, I find myself putting back on and dragging the chains Christ had already broken and removed from my life.”  It sounds strange to wish for the worst and harmful, when we have already seen their devastating and captivating effects. Yet, that’s what sin does…it waits close by and in your moment of weakness, it drags you from your home of grace back to the grave of your old-self. 

“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis.4:7)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1Peter.5:8)

The Christian life is a war, a battle of the mind and heart. Evil intentions of the past against the righteousness of the new spirit. To win, we must train hard (pray), know our battle strategies (the Word of God) and above all learn the voice of our Commander. So that in the midst of the chaotic battle, we may learn to understand His guide. 

“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (Galatians.5:17)

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death. Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans.7:21-25a)

********* “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians.5:1) **********

***Rest***

Not who you are, but Who you have!

11297Dear readers, I know I’m writing my new year’s post a little late. Nevertheless, this thought has been marinating on my mind, since before the new year…

First of all, I pray this year will bring you many blessings and much joy, as you get to know and experience the Lord even deeper! 

Below I have pasted a small paragraph from Exodus 33 where God was having a conversation with Moses, as He often did – ever since the burning bush. Please read it prayerfully…

“12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” – Exodus.33:12-18  

I wonder how often Moses must have felt helpless to lead such a nation for the God of the universe. It’s quite a mission for an 80 odd years old man! Yet one of the beautiful characters of Moses is that he was always honest with God. Moses knew that neither his age nor strength will take this people any further and admitted his need for help. He asked, “whom will You send with me?” The answer was awesome! “My Presence will go with you…” What can be better than God Himself leading you!

Moses then reaffirms his faith by declaring that unless God’s presence go with them, there was no point in where they were going. Moses understood that God is the source of all good and purpose in life, and if He was absent from that story, the people were sure to perish in the desert.

“For who is God besides the Lord?
 And who is the Rock except our God?
 It is God who arms me with strength
 and keeps my way secure.”  – Psalm.18:31-32

It’s because God was with this nation that they crossed the red sea, escaped Egypt and survived the hot desert as though they were walking through a cool forest. And as a result, all nations trembled, they wouldn’t dare play with fire, upsetting the God of Israel. He, Himself was their Chief Commander. 

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. – Exodus.13:21

Then God agrees with Moses, saying “I will go with you” and He adds a reason, “because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”  Here, Immanuel knew His people, not as some distant commander who just knows their names, but as a close friend and as one who really knows them from the heart. (John.10:14)

So dear readers, this new year we can make lots of resolutions and plans, but if God is not there, ask yourself ‘what is the point? and how far can I go, before I collapse in the desert’. We need His presence of cloud to shield us from the scorching sun of the enemy’s terror, His flame of fire to warm and comfort us from the chills of swayed politics and dislocated ethics of these days. Above all, we need His presence to guide us, navigating through the desert of a broken and difficult world to reach safely on Canaan’s land. 

May God’s presence never depart from you this year! 

http://worshiptogether.com/songs/we-will-not-go/

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:

360 degree Christian

Entering the working world has taught me how easy it is to fall into a trap of compartmentalised life, while putting God aside in one corner.We make plans each day, we decide. Work is this block of time that’s not movable and what you do with the rest of your little time left is another matter. I discovered that as a student I had flexible time, but now it’s all set and I need to fit/ shift/ change everything. Where does God come in here? With every turn I take, may He be there so that I can be a 360 degrees Christian. Because “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more”,

It also taught me how difficult it is to settle in, as your values and life style are different from those around you. I realised that I couldn’t fit in/ blend. But… how can light mix with darkness? I was made to shine, to reflect God’s glory everywhere I go. So I will rejoice in my uniqueness, allow this treasure that’s kept in this jar of clay to radiate, until it is transformed into a full glory when it’s Lord comes back.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” – 2Corinthians.4:7 

The 21st Century Book of Acts

If there was a book to be written 

Of the plight, pain and persecution 

That my brothers and sisters are facing

Who has the gut to read from start to end

Who would reward them the crown of a saint?

 

They seem so ordinary or even less

Despised by all declared as fools

Why pay such a high price

Why waste your only life?

 

Tortured, beaten and crushed

Orphaned, despised and chained

With years of hard labour and ultimately death

 

It may be hard to imagine

From the comfort of our homes

But we are one body of Christ

Joint and knit together, we have a bond

 

If all their stories were to be told

And all their plight in detail

The fearful dark nights

The tears of losing loved ones

And the unity and love the Spirit provides

Would you read that book??

“There was once a fiddler who played so beautifully that everybody danced. A deaf man who could not hear the music considered them all insane. Those who are with Jesus in suffering hear this music to which other men are deaf. They dance and do not care if they are considered insane.” – Richard Wurmbrand, Victorious Faith 

NB- Richard Wurmbrand suffered severe persecution under the communist regime and once released started organisations to help Christians facing persecution around the world. 

For more information, visit: www.releaseinternational.org 

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. 

I will rise

1CORINTHIANS.15:51-58

“51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Salt!

This morning while I was waking up, this picture came in my head… Salt sprinkled on food. Its amazing how just a tiny bit of salt makes such a difference to a massive cooked meal. The food in itself may taste awful or just tasteless on its own, but when we add salt, it brings out the real flavor of the food. One can argue that its the salt that’s nice and another may say well its the food that’s nice, but actually they both work in complementary. See they both don’t taste that good on their own, but when you combine them, then you get something really nice!

In the same way, in the sea of problems in life, remembering and meditating on God’s goodness brings out the real taste of life to us. Problems on their own are not great; and when all is going so well, our mind calls for a challenge. Don’t resent the problems of life, just simply sprinkle it with the salt of meditating on God’s goodness and it won’t knock you down. I remember one preacher talking about the flower Rose. “How it has beautiful petals and thorny stem, yet we don’t hate it because of the thorns, but still adore it as the queen of all flowers!” 

Also a friend of mine shared the story below on her Facebook status recently and it really spoke to me…

Me: God, can I ask You a question?
God: Sure
Me: Promise You won’t get mad
God: I promise
Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?
God: What do u mean?
Me: Well, I woke up late
God: Yes
Me: My car took forever to start
God: Okay
Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait
God: Huummm
Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call
God: All rightMe: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?
God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through thatMe (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay

God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m Sorry God

God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…

Photo: Me: God, can I ask You a question?<br />God: Sure<br />Me: Promise You won't get mad<br />God: I promise<br />Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?<br />God: What do u mean?<br />Me: Well, I woke up late<br />God: Yes<br />Me: My car took forever to start<br />God: Okay<br />Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait<br />God: Huummm<br />Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call<br />God: All right</p><p>Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn't work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?<br />God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one<br />of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that</p><p>Me (humbled): OH</p><p>GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.</p><p>Me: (ashamed)</p><p>God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work.</p><p>Me (embarrassed):Okay</p><p>God: Your phone went dead bcuz the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered.</p><p>Me (softly): I see God</p><p>God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.</p><p>Me: I'm Sorry God</p><p>God: Don't be sorry, just learn to Trust Me.... in All things , the Good & the bad.</p><p>Me: I will trust You.</p><p>God: And don't doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.</p><p>Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.</p><p>God: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children...</p><p>REPOST if you Believe in HIM ♥<br />Worth posting.
What a great God we have! So today don’t believe in bitterness of your problems but bring the flavor out of them by sprinkling goodness in to them. The Bible says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ~Romans.8:28~
Have a blessed day! 🙂