Unwise Servant

IMG_1505Another came, saying ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ Luke 19:20-21

I don’t want to make the graveyard wealthy by not utilizing my gifts. I may feel inadequate sometimes, I may feel like I don’t have gifts or talents at all but I believe God has given me enough to share. It may not be as spectaculars as others. I don’t want to bury it out of fear and insecurity just like the unwise servant.

Father my prayer today is, may you show me the skills, gifts or talents you’ve given me. I may need to develop them or need to be invested in order for them to mature. May you open doors or opportunities for me to use, develop or invest them. I want to utilize anything that you’ve given me to glorify your name.  Amen

Missing the Main Point of our Faith

IMG_1484
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

IMG_1506

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”

Feeling Spiritually Dry

IMG_1800

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.

IMG_0992

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.

IMG_1355

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.

 

When The Lord is Silent

IMG_0458However] when they had rowed three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and approaching the boat. And they were afraid (terrified). (John 6:19 AMP)

It isn’t fun to ride a boat when the waves are high, it’s uncomfortable, scary and even if you want to rest and sleep, you couldn’t. This probably what the disciples were going through. Their boat was beaten and tossed by the waves. It was a long and tiring day for them, exhausted from the emotions of the day and they just wanted to rest. But how can they rest with that situation. They were probably anxious and worried. And the worst thing Jesus wasn’t there, maybe if Jesus was there, somehow they can rest because they witnessed how Jesus calmed the storm in the past. Maybe Thomas was saying them, “ah where is our teacher when we needed him most.” Peter and Andrew were probably trying everything for them to stay alive, they’re fishermen.

IMG_0504However when they almost lost their hope, they saw someone walking, the master was coming. But wait, he didn’t calm the storm yet. “Oh Lord” shouted the other disciples “please calm the storm!” Jesus said, “hey, I’m here, don’t be afraid”

Jesus came, He was with them on the waves, in the storm, he came when they least expected it. And he only calmed the wind when he got on the boat.

From time to time we experience storms of life, sometimes Jesus calms the storm when we asked, sometimes He chose not to and allow us to be beaten and tossed by the waves for some time not because he abandoned us, he has a reason though. It’s just temporary he will surely calm the storm.

He comes on the waves, in the storm of life He is with us. He comes in our weakest state, maybe not the time that we would expect him to, but He comes still. He had not forgotten us. Maybe we feel like he is silent, yes maybe He is, but that doesn’t mean that He has left us. He is there the whole time, he gives us hope, he is eager to meet us in the storm and bring peace in the waves. In His time He will surely calm our storm.

His love is Amazing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NASB)

Your love is beyond comprehension.
It surpasses knowledge.
Your love is radical.
It’s crazy.
Your love is abundant
It is inexhaustible.
Indeed Your love is amazing.

Oh Lord how great is that love, the love that took You to the cross for me. I praise and thank You, my Lord, my Savior.

God’s Love and Forgiveness are Free

IMG_0650

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)

ReThinking John 3:16 and 17

IMG_0641

“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.