30 June 2014

One of the most challenging things i find is to work purposefully. A majority of the working class work for the pay, and so do i. But money alone cannot motivate a person to work well and to work with his or her heart. It even says in the bible that we should not serve money. Although receiving pay for work is not necessarily serving money, the large proportion of the working world does to a certain extent.

How do we as Christians avoid falling into the same temptation and sin? It is ever so subtle and difficult to balance who we serve. Today’s tech-savvy world encourages many start-ups and young people to pursue their dreams and creative ideas. There is a buzz and a passion and an entrepreneurial spirit.

For those of us who haven’t found ourselves in that fortunate position of being able to work passionately and be grateful for every working day, i believe we are not alone. Whilst not everyone will have the opportunity to explore new ideas immediately, we can certainly pray for breakthroughs in our perspectives on the work we are doing now. God is after all, a creative God – and the One who calls the impossible, possible, and the things that are not yet as if they already are.

Father God, help me embrace my work passionately and with zeal as i want to work for the Lord and not for man. Let this not just be empty words but let this be lived our powerfully and meaningfully in my life. Grant me breakthroughs and fresh perspectives at work. May i honor you in all i do.

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Heart of the matter

29 June 2014

Paul said “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13

Love is the center of all that is true and all that is meaningful. Without love, Paul is saying that everything else falls apart and is utterly worthless.

What is love? Love is many things, but today i saw love as a relationship with God. Love was the amount of time i spent speaking and thinking with God, dreaming with God and walking with God. Without having a relationship with God that is strong, i could not have a love which is strong.

I led a bible study today eloquently and well – maybe i was even moving with the Spirit as i led the class and did a good job. But i know that my heart was not as grounded in my relationship with God recently as it may have been in the past. Yet, eloquence and powerful speech does not necessarily depend on my relationship with God. I can have a poor relationship with God at the moment but may be able to pull off a powerful and inspiring session or piece of writing. But my heart is not in the right place. And only God knows that. In the end, it’s my relationship with Him that matters and that is the heart of the matter.

Paul was warning us about allowing works and talent to mask our true worth. Our true worth is not in works or the amount of talent, wisdom or power we have going with us, but is rather based on our love. Love sometimes boils down to simply our relationship with God and others. The greatest command in the bible is to love our God with all our heart, mind and soul and then to love others as ourselves. It is not possible to love God without having a relationship with God.

Lord Jesus, i know i’ve backtracked away from you recently and i yearn to come closer to a strong and steadfast relationship with you again. I need to walk with you and to know you are near. Come Lord Jesus and hold my hand and let us walk together toward the journey ahead.

Not my good luck charm

28 June 2014

God is not my good luck charm. God is God. Many times i do find myself subconsciously wishing and hoping for God to do something great for me. But He does not conform to our will. But rather asks that we conform to His will.

It’s not easy conforming to His will because in part, we do not know what exactly His will is for us. Although the bible provides scripture, that alone does not direct the details of our lives and much of the rest of life’s choices and moments are not written in black and white.

My idea of good may not be God’s good and my idea of a being fortunate may be not be God’s plan for me in the long run. A good luck charm is always a short term solution of what we can see before us or what we desire right now. But God is not a good luck charm. God plans ahead and His plans may mean short term failure and withholding certain things from us for now until the time is right.

Lord Jesus, help me to trust in you and be patient in the waiting. Help me not to see you as my good luck charm, but to trust you as my good God. I trust You Lord.

Higher than all

27 June 2014

There are also those who would give anything for a piece of bread or a bowl of rice. And there are some who save up especially just to treat themselves to an expensive meal – and the experience they have when they do is magical. They soak up every moment and can’t even imagine a better meal than that. Then there are those who can afford an expensive meal everyday and a treat for them would be to dine in the most exclusive and private restaurant. Each experience differs and each can be surpassed by a higher experience.

The same can apply to many other circumstances in life. Whether it is in terms of our relationships, jobs or health.

But what i believe is the most important point to take from this thought is love. Love takes many forms and can come in varying degrees. The love experienced between high school sweethearts is different from the love experienced between a couple about to be married. A woman may think on her wedding day that she can love no one more than her husband. But at the point of having her first child, she may develop a love she never knew could exist.A love perhaps even higher than the love she has for her husband.

And so I believe also that the love of God for each of us is more than we could ever imagine. Based on those thoughts above, perhaps there is reason to believe and reason to trust, and reason to take comfort, that God’s love for each of us is higher than all.

Loving Father and Wonderful Counselor, thank you for loving me with an everlasting love. Thank you for throwing your arms around me when i need you the most. Thank you for reminding me that your love secures my future and that your love has broken and will conquer everything that stands in the way of me and you.

No one better to ask

26 June 2014

There are a lot of things we are able to achieve and decide on our own. Many of us may have had the privilege of getting a higher education or if not, have done well otherwise. As the years go by, we’ve also accumulated experience which has translated into wisdom and independence.

But even the wisest person will soon meet a day when his or her wisdom alone is not enough. There will come choices and situations that will be beyond our ability to manage or control, and it will be at this time when we realise that we need someone to help us.

There is no one more qualified or more perfect to help us than our Lord and Saviour. Whilst there could be many people we know who are smarter and wiser than us, there is no one who we could trust the advice of more than God.

The Lord is our greatest and most trusted adviser and i shall not forget to ask for his advice and wisdom in everything i do.

Lord God, thank you that you are wholly and completely trustworthy and faithful. There is no one else who could give me better advice and direction than You. In You alone do i trust and truly in You only can i put my life toward. Lead me Lord, counsel me Lord and show me how i should walk.

A long time to do something fast

25 June 2014

I believe that God sometimes takes a long time to do something big suddenly. It may sound like an oxymoron to say that but i’ve experienced it. Sometimes just as we about to give up hope from bitter disappointment, God is just preparing something else around the corner.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.Romans 5:4

Although this passage is mainly speaking about the hope of salvation we ultimately have in Jesus, it also sheds light into ordinary circumstances that happen in life. Disappointment is part of life – but Jesus is saying to us – that Hope is also part of the new life He has bought for us from His death on the cross. The curse of Adam has been lifted and we now reign with Christ.

“So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:21

Lord Jesus, i know your message has always been to derive trust and peace in the hope you have bought for me. Regardless of how this new hope is translated into life here on earth, i pray that i always return my heart and thoughts to the ultimate anchor of hope which is strengthened by drawing nearer to you each day. Thank you Lord.

Disappointment

24 June 2014

Disappointment i know is part of life but no one ever meets disappointment with a smile. We’ve learned to keep our expectations low and to expect the least, but when even that falls through, we are left with bitter disappointment.

In times like these it is easy to be angry at God. After all, He is the One who is Sovereign and in control – He knew and therefore He is also responsible. But if i were to believe that, then i would never believe there is a God because nothing in the world works out fairly. It is an illusion and a myth – and the writer of Ecclesiastes recognized this very well.

Rather in the midst of this struggle with disappointment, my faith in God is tested. My trust in Him is tested. My choice is whether to put my hope in Him and to let go of the disappointment – or to cling on to it and become more and more bitter.

Lord Jesus, I shall cast my bitterness and disappointment to you – only you are able to take on the anger and bitterness that follows disappointment and only You are able to restore me and re-establish me. Keep me rooted in you no matter what.