2 October 2014
Circumstances can rob us of our joy and circumstances can also bring us joy. God does not want us to be dependent on circumstances to find joy but to learn as the Apostle Paul wrote:
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13
Lord God, may i learn to be like Paul. May i be content with where i am now and my circumstances. I know that i can go through all things with You as my strength and Rock. Thank you Lord.
1 October 2014
When we feel that God is slow in fulfilling our prayers and needs, it is usually because we want something to happen which we believe would be in our best interest. And when waiting takes too long and our patience is tested, it can feel like God isn’t paying attention and neglecting our needs.
Yet it can’t be true that God would do that. He is not limited by anything and it is true that He is always interested and looking out for us. The cross is both a reminder of His mercy, His love and His amazing grace. That He would not only withhold due punishment, but that He would pour out blessings instead of curses onto us.
His Kingdom first before our interest is a way of life, an attitude of the heart and a discipline that strengthens the integrity of our life. It’s not that God delights in seeing sacrifice for His Kingdom at our expense – His Kingdom in a way, is us! We are the pinnacle of His creation, the delight of His heart, the bride of the Most High King. Are we not the centre of His love? Does not the husband love his wife more dearly than himself? IF that is who God is to us, then is not His interest, our interest? He asks us to seek His kingdom, ultimately because that is where we will find the treasure of all treasures, the spring of living water to satisfy every need and desire of our heart? Isn’t it when there is this fullness in Christ, that there can be no room for the enemy to penetrate with his lies?
Lord God, my King, my Holy Creator, my Comforter, my Wonderful Counsellor, my Bridegroom, how can i doubt your love and care for me? How could i believe the lies the enemy speaks into my mind and heart that you do not care and that you are a harsh God? How could i translate waiting into a lack of attention and love from You? How could i doubt Your love for me? I shall not doubt, for You are for me, You are with me, You love me with an everlasting love. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
30 September 2014
There is nothing that can really satisfy our hearts permanently. New gadgets, bigger homes, better jobs, higher pay, power and social status, give temporary elation. But i realise i am quickly looking onto the next thing to achieve or have. I do not stay satisfied with where i am and what i have for long enough to enjoy them fully. And before i know it, i am thinking and planning for the next thing. This is such an irritating thing about human nature. But because there is always something better than what we have, we will always be drawn to the possibility of getting somewhere better. It is both our strongest and most reliable source of motivation, and our Achilles heel at the same time.
Even though i know that God is the only unchanging and perfect goodness i should seek to satisfy the desires of my heart, my heart easily crawls off the altar toward other idols. I recognize this agonizing tendency and i can only ask for the one and only true God to replace this heart of idolism with a heart of worship.
Lord, may your will be done, may your Kingdom be established so deeply and strongly in my heart that no idol can rest inside my heart. May i not keep idols or seek after what is temporary. Help me Lord to look to You for help in my weakness and to look to You for hope. Keep me grounded in You and unshakable. Your goodness surpasses everything else, You alone are God.
29 September 2014
In the places of spiritual victory, there can also be an opportunity for failure if we are complacent. Our spiritual battles never end but are on-going. A victory today does not mean a victory tomorrow. What appears easy at first, can become insurmountable later if we are not careful.
In scripture, Jesus warned us, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.
At times it can also be our own self-doing, our arrogance and lack of humility that brings us from victory to defeat. At all times, especially in times of spiritual victory or personal accomplishment, we must be even more on alert to the adversary and guard against an arrogant or complacent spirit.
Lord God, help me always to pay attention to the condition of my heart. Good things can sometimes make me soft, victories or achievements can sometimes make me proud and complacent. Forgive me and teach me Lord to be vigilant and work hard to walk righteously before You. Help me Lord and be my guiding voice.
28 September 2014
When we think of holidays, many of us may think of pampering ourselves. We want to be served, to be treated like kings and queens, and often, that’s also how we approach life. I am just the same. If Jesus came to serve and no to be served, how does that look for me? I can only fight my natural desire to be served with the authority and charge that Jesus has given me – to serve others and do as what Jesus told us.
Jesus said, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28.
Can we really live so counter-culturally? Can i really derive the greatest joy in serving rather than in being served? Jesus also said, “it is more blessed to give, than to receive”.
Lord Jesus, help me not just recall your words, but to put it into my heart. Let these truths set into my heart so deeply that it will never be plucked away by time or the schemes of the evil one. Help me put this into practice and serve with this heartfelt joy. May Your hand and the Holy Spirit lead my thoughts and my actions.