Missing the Main Point of our Faith

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There are so many things that vie for our attention that we lose sight of God. I’m not talking about the cares of this life, I’m speaking of the spiritual things. We talk too much about doctrines, church multiplication, God’s mission, giving, gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are too busy with the things of God, unknowingly we are losing Christ.

We talk about church multiplication, but never mention Jesus Christ. We preach holiness but failed to present Christ as our holiness. We preach righteousness but failed to mention Christ as our righteousness. We talk about blessing but failed to remind the Church that Christ Himself is our great blessing. We are passionately pursuing the things of God, without realizing we are putting other things on the throne (religious, spiritual things) and let Christ sit on the floor. And we wonder why we couldn’t see Christ move in the Church

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This reminds me of the story of Zaccheus and the young rich guy who questioned Jesus Christ on how to be saved. He failed to see Jesus as Savior. He wanted salvation but never seek the Savior. He wanted an answer but not the teacher.

Zaccheus however, did everything just to gaze at Jesus Christ. He risk whatever he had to see Jesus Christ and the Lord rewarded him. Jesus Christ dined with him, conversed with him and revealed Himself to him.

We maybe rewarded with knowledge when we pursue the things of God, there is more than knowledge though, Christ, He wants to reveal Himself to us. May we not miss the main point of our faith which is Christ alone by pursuing the spiritual things.

Hebrew 11:6b “he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him”

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Feeling Spiritually Dry

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Before, I thought that a season of dry spell in our Christian walk is not from God. I thought when we feel dry in our spiritual life  it is either  the attack of the enemy or we are not spending enough time with The Lord.

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Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, there is an appointed time for everything. If the Lord authors wet seasons, He also plans dry spells.

Dry season is the time when your spiritual life is so dull, you feel like you are just going to the motions. There is no excitement, the joy you once experienced seems hard to find. When you read your Bible, the pages seem blank. The songs that you loved to sing no longer touch your heart. Prayer becomes boring. Fellowship no longer excites you.

This is the time when you’re not satisfied with just reading your bible, you want more, you want fresh revelations. This is the time when you don’t know what to pray anymore , you want your prayer to be more than asking. This is the time when you question yourself, what if there will be no band playing in the church, what if there will be no choir, what if no one is leading the praise and worship. What if we just let the Holy Spirit leads the church. What would possibly happen? Will I still cry when I sing, can I still dance or raise my hands. This is the time when you want a genuine community, that meeting once or twice a week isn’t enough for you, you want more than just chatting during Sundays, you want a real community who cares for each other, who cares for the needs of each member. A community who treats each other like family.

IMG_1185I’ve been a Christian for more than 20 years and been into so many dry spells. However it was during this time that I felt so broken and needed The Lord most. It was during this time that I learned things I never learned during wet seasons. It was during this season that I became deep spiritually and I grew tremendously during dry spells. God breathed new life on the things that were dead. It was during this time that the Lord birthed new things in me.

Dry spell is God’s way of saying to us. I am with you during good times. I am also with you during dry times. This is also a time when our loyalty to The Lord is being tested. “Do  we only want Him during wet seasons, when the river runs dry, do we still want the Giver? When the blessings are running out, do we still find ourselves loyal to  the God of blessing? This is the time when The Lord wants to put to death things so that He can resurrect them in the way He wants.

This might be a time to die,

A time to uproot,

A time to tear down,

A time to weep,

time to mourn,

time to embrace or shun embracing,

time to search or time to give up,

time to throw away,

time to tear apart,

time to be silent.

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What do we do during this season? Embrace it, walk through it, it will come to pass, The Lord brings them, he eventually removes them. Patience, perseverance, that’s what you need. Don’t harden your heart. He is with you.

 

Please Hear and Forgive

O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You fulfill you promises and show unfailing love and grace to those who seek You. Whatever promise you made, You will indeed fulfill it.

You have been so good to me and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Forgive me when I follow my own desires and not Yours, just as I have many times before.

Forgive me when I get destructed from Your purposes, forgetting Your hopes and plans for me and unknowingly put my attention into something that is destructive and dishonor You.

Forgive me when I am doing things on my own wisdom without even considering Yours.
Please know that deep down in my heart all I want is to follow and please You.
That even in my worst moment when it may seem that I have given my affection into something or someone other than You, Please know that my allegiance is always be to You.

When the cares of this world is blinding me from trusting You, when materialism may seem so huge that I become so proud and greedy. When I become so full of myself and I forgetting about others. When I come to my senses and will turn back from them and plead for your mercy and forgiveness. Please hear and forgive.

Oh Lord this is the truest desire of my life. That when my thoughts are not clouded, there is nothing I want more than to know You, to be transformed by You and to follow You. There will be times when I will fail to show that, please remind me to humble myself and come back to You with a saddened and repentant heart. And when I do I pray please hear and forgive.

I want You to know that no matter what happens, whatever life may bring, in failings and successes, in poverty and in prosperity, in sicknesses and in health, I am resolved to keep coming back to you.

Amen!

 

God’s Love and Forgiveness are Free

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Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” ] (John 8:10, 11 NASB)

What an amazing and liberating words “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

I’m thankful that He didn’t say to the woman, you have to clean up first, put your acts together, stop committing adultery, do what the law says…..

This verse reminds me of my true identity.

No one can condemn me.
I am forgiven.
I am loved.
I don’t need to perform to earn his love and forgiveness. They are free.

From now on sin no more”

It is His job to transform me and I don’t need to force myself and struggle everyday to be like Him. I can not change myself on my own effort,  for apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15:5) He is working in me, giving me the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (Philippians 2:13)

I praise you Lord Jesus for this. You died, raised to life and sitting at the Father’s right hand, pleading for me and because of that no one can condemn me. I’m chosen and God himself gave me right standing with himself ( Romans 8:33-34)

My Lent Devotion, Isaiah 53 says it all

IMG_0648The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.

We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.

But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him— our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.

We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins,
everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him.

He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.

They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn’t true.

Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.

And God ’s plan will deeply prosper through him.
Out of that terrible travail of soul,
he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.

Through what he experienced, my righteous one,
my servant, will make many “righteous ones,”
as he himself carries the burden of their sins.

Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
because he embraced the company of the lowest.

He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

(Isaiah 53:2-12 MSG)

Steps

IMG_0644For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB)

Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalms 37:4, 5 NASB)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NASB)

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. (Psalms 16:11 NASB)

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. (Psalms 37:7 NASB)

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. (Psalms 37:23 NASB)

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:5,7 NASB)

ReThinking John 3:16 and 17

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“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. (John 3:16-17MSG)

WOW, Jesus didn’t come to judge to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on, He came to save the world. Jesus didn’t but…….

I sometimes judge people based on their religion or denominational affiliation.
I sometimes judge people based on their ethnicity.
I sometimes judge people based on their political affiliation.
I sometimes judge people based on their on their opinion.
I sometimes judge people based on their beliefs.
I sometimes judge people based on their sexuality.

God loves everyone and I think the best way to share the gospel is by loving others. That seems easy but …… It’s hard to do.

Oh Lord forgive my indifference. May you break my heart and love the people the way You love them.

Grateful…yes I am

Thankful for allowing me to be in this situation, I have learned to appreciate the things I took for granted in the past. You’ve taught me to enjoy and appreciate every season of  life, i wish I’ve realized that before.

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Thank you for allowing me to accept our current situation.

Thank you for the healthy, fresh and abundant food we are eating everyday.

Thank you for letting me lose some pounds.

Thank you for we are all well.

Thank you for letting my two year old daughter sang God is good all the time and you are my hiding place, during the times that I felt low. The songs reminded me of your goodness and faithfulness, no matter what we are into, the fact remains, you are good and faithful.

Thank for paying our expenses.

Thank you for giving my husband the wisdom on how to handle money. I don’t need to tell everything but you know what I meant.

Thank you for the book I’m reading, the book speaks to me and I know it’s you who’s speaking you’re just using the book.

Thank you for letting me feel hopeful today.

Have I told you before how much I’m thankful for the house we are staying, I thought it’s not your will for us to stay in this house, I realized it was also part of your plan, what if we are renting while Albert has no job we would be spending a lot without any income, thank you so much

Thank you for helping me not to desire clothes, shoes and other material things. I’m really thankful that you are meeting our needs. Right now I’m no longer asking for the things we don’t need.

Thank you for teaching me to live simply, and teaching me to set aside my wants.

Thank you for teaching me to appreciate even the smallest things, like the toothpaste, brush, floss, soap, etc.

Thank you for we can still use internet.

Thank you for teaching me through my children. They are happy because their needs are being met. They don’t need new clothes to be happy, they don’t new toys to be happy. As long as we are here with them, as long as they have enough food. You know, we’re able to meet their needs. You are teaching me to be like them, as long as you are with me I should be happy, and as long as you’re with me my needs are being met.

Thank you for teaching me that you alone is the true source of joy.

Thank you for reminding me everyday that I’m a work in progress and i don’t need to be stressed. I’m still messing up, I shout at my kids, my husband and I argue from time to time.

But most of all thank you for your mercy, grace and love, they are new every morning