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In the quiet of a day, the wind blew through the mountains, leaving a trail of howling sounds behind the valleys…
As the water flows down the little cliff, sashing sound is heard around the corner…
Up in the sky, the scene below is so peaceful yet magnificent. There is nothing distinctive heard, but the air around feels just so light…

I have much wonders, about how the spot there feels like, how the corner there sounds like, how the area there looks like … and how is the atmosphere there really like.

I can’t tell, because I haven’t been to all of the places yet. But this I know, that they’re there. They’re all here on this earth we all share.

Is there a distinction between which red on a rainbow mountain is redder than the red underneath the sea on a coral? Is there a howling wind that is louder than the other side of the mountain? Is there an ocean too deep, deeper than the other square feet next to it?

May be. May be not.

Images

Well, where are the images from? Are they real? Were they free?

Well, you may not know, I’ve just made a slip (mistake) and had actually broken one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) – Thou shall not steal. And yes, I did.

But why is the nature freely present, but the image isn’t?

As a matter of fact, it was once upon a time. I saved the images from the net, and be literally just mesmerized and in awe of the beauty of the nature. I don’t know if I still have any undeclared items now. I’ve checked as thoroughly as I could. I also don’t know how many times have I done it or for long have I kept the images.

But who taught me that slip? I guess, either by my naiveness to the complexity of the world, or just being unaware that I could sin.

A complicated world to be in. A person can be boxed into an everyday rushing and struggling to survive and at the same time, to meet the various demands from all angles.

Or otherwise, be attracted to the glittering stuffs and get hammered for reasons unknown yet. To a point where one can merely differentiate: What is a need? Which is a want?

Time

What is the value of time? Who makes that call on the different values on timing and schedules?

The billing of an hour can be too much or too little, depending on who is or are paying, and who is getting paid. What then is time? Every relationship is “valued”, in a sense that it is pre-valued before being made. How valuable are relationships? Is the more valuable it is, the more frequent the get-togethers are? But close yet distant?

What is “value” in essence?

I was once asked that question when I was in college, sitting in a theater hall as a college “kid”. There was a row of guest professionals who were sharing their success stories, while I was sitting in the hall with my friends listening in the workshop. One of the guests posed a question to the crowd, “If someone were to ask you what is your value today? What do you think?” Well, naively, I shot up my hand but I have no idea why exactly I did that. I was hesitating because I sensed something was out of sync in the air. “Honor, considerate, trustworthy …” were the values popped into my head, for real.

Shortly, perceiving that I was hesitating, he followed up explaining that it is important to know how much one’s worth for a job position.

Life

Who gave me life? Did I seek for permission to be living?

When I was growing, I grew with a dialect. And soon, more languages were learned. As for now, I don’t even know which is my daily language. I speak one in the day, and the other the other hour, depending on which is more comfortable with the person across. The more changes I adjusted myself to, the more adjusted I am to being a foreigner in this world. As I briefly reflect, where did the words come from? Most of them make sense, and some of them shouldn’t belong there. The good, the bad, the ugly… Some were lost to time, some were newly invented. What is language, by the way? It is so connected to one’s conscience. Anyway, I don’t know the exact trails and mazes of languages.

Gift

Why is nature vividly present somewhere on this earth? But I have not seen before. How is the outer space so wide but this earth is so naturally delicate? Where are the places that the nature is so orderly alive and the complexity of this world has not yet tainted?

How did it even exist in the first place? I am seriously posing this question. Not a rhetoric.

If there is a Creator, not just an intelligent one, but a relatable, orderly, magnificent yet personal One, where is He? The bible describes of the One who is transcendent yet imminent. He made the heavens and the earth, the stars and planets, the plants and vegetations, the animals and living creatures, and ultimately a man and a woman. It seems like it is pointless with an expanse as wide as the universe, and as deep as the core of the earth were mankind not made in the first place, according to the bible. Or suppose mankind was just formed lingering here and there across the distances on the earth, finding something to fill up life?

Who is God? An intelligent designer? I think He is more than I can describe, but is  personal and relatable that man were made in his image, and in man’s own image in the first place.

But if man is made in the image of God, how may languages does God know? If God speaks only certain languages, how can He be a transcendent yet imminent God in the light of this entire universe? Should God change, like that of a man who changes his mind? Should God deceive man, so as to keep man from being restored to what is true, for God himself is the Truth and the Light? Or that man listens but does not hear, or looks but does not see while God is ever present and available to be sought for and called upon?

The bible speaks of YHWH, referring to the One and Only who says, “I AM”. He is The LORD God who is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. He is self-existing and eternal on His own. In Him, there is no end, for He pre-exists and is everlasting. I think the universe would only make sense when it reflects this very attribute of God.

If God is relatable and personal, how so? I guess John 1 describes…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…

…The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh, full of grace and truth, and dwelt among man two thousand years ago. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. And His name is, Jesus Christ. (1)

Gift of Life

But why did he even come to this world? How is he even relatable and personal? (pause)

If you were a parent, what is your feeling or connection towards your children? If you were even a grandparent, how deeper more, is your ties towards your grandchildren?

Imagine God, who knew since the beginning of creation that man could by choice, turn his back against Him, and yet still made man into being.

Even man were disconnected from Him, He still acted to restore the gap. In fact, by His disdain for sin and nature of Holiness, He could have scraped off creation, (including spirits, but not in our topic today). Should we think that He needs creation to accompany or exalt Him? He is not lonely at all, but is all self-sufficient and glorious as He is, the Trinity. As a matter of fact, it is His will that He extends His communion to mankind through the act of creation.

Well, what exactly was God doing?

In creation, God extended the expanse of the universe and made all the great and small things on earth. At the same time, He had also meticulously and wonderfully woven every human being even in his mother’s womb.

Even before one was born, his life has been written in His book of life, waiting for one to step up to his destiny and purposes. But because of the Fall into sin in the Garden of Eden, the first man — Adam had separated himself from God, and passed on the root of sin down through the generations. The Fall was misaligned with the order of God, or to be exact, in reality. However, the disorder was not obvious. Only through the giving of the Law – Ten Commandments would one’s transgression stand out to the person. Hence, the Law was not given to entitle a person as righteous, or the right to judge others, but to discern and recognize one’s need for forgiveness and redemption.

Imagine God again, as a spouse, or a parent, or a grandparent who would take upon himself whatever that is harming His loved one(s). Now, would you not also take the place in shielding your loved one(s) from harms too, because you foresee and you entrust the good future to them? Or do you suppose God is more interested in the lowly’s worshipping Him? Even so, He deserves to be praised and exalted! Because He had gone lowlier than man in Sheol after death on the Cross. As a matter of fact, God is not self-seeking nor proud at all.

Jesus Christ who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to cling to, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross. (2)

Speaking of when I saved the copyrighted images without permission, I had already sinned. What more, the law of the universe is what it is, the price of sin is death. And no one is sinless and pure enough to die in man’s place, but only God himself. That’s why the Son, Jesus stepped in in our place, so that we can be reconciled with God the Father through him. It was that separation of the Son with the Father (triune communion), and the resurrection as carried out by the Holy Spirit that reconciled man back into the communion with God as it was in the Garden of Eden.

It is a free gift; a promise at God’s expense. Just as the nature was freely given, Jesus by his nature also gave himself up freely for man to be reconciled with God.

One day, soon, the restoration of the order of creation will take place. And it is one’s choice to respond to one’s destiny. Imagine one’s report-to-person has planned his assignments for the appointed schedule, and it is in his position to accomplish them. Or imagine a relationship between spouses, or parent-child, or grandparent-children. That is the intended growing relationship that God has in store for all of His children. It is still as it is. Jesus loves you!

# But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved. — Romans 10

paid_omniallinfinitude.jpg

# Lifetime lessons in giving and in love. Relationships worth the work!


References:
1. John 1
2. Philippians 2

Photo Credit:
1. 15 Greatest Natural Wonders of the Earth (c)The Viral Network (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yxhI4Aos0M).
2. Rainbow Mountains Sandstone Minerals Colored Wallpaper (c)Odette Baudouin (http://wpnature.com/rainbow-mountains-sandstone-minerals-colored-wallpaper-free/).
3. Aurora Borealis, Iceland, Kirkjufell, Northern Light (c)Wallpapers4screen (http://wallpapers4screen.com/landscapes/aurora-borealis-iceland-kirkjufell-northern-lights-8248).
4. Aldabra (c)Relatively Interesting (http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/12-natural-wonders-of-the-world/).
5. Jesus Paid in Full-Crown of Thorns (c)Omniallinfinitude (http://www.omniallinfinitude.com/journey7/2013/02/13/bright-white-and-right-10-journal-7-5-the-back-story/jesus-paid-in-full-crown-of-thorns/).

# What is “Time”: Revelation 1…

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New Life

Reborn Life on Earth

Upon receiving both the baptism of water and the Holy Spirit, a new man in the line of Jesus Christ as the firstborn is made. However, the present body and soul still has its bug, which is the flesh that can cause aging and problems and corruption with sin. In summary, we all have a body, soul, and spirit.

The body has the physical structures and physiological processes, like bones, joints, marrows, brain, heart, nervous systems, chemicals, etc. It has also the corrupting flesh since Adam’s time. The degeneration and aging and illness can be traced to the flesh.

The spirit was breathed into us, or given to us by God. It is a life-giving spirit who gives birth to meaning, purpose, and love. It also makes our heart pumps, and keeps our physical body functioning. However, the spirit inside man is dead without the indwelling/regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

The soul is formed as the spirit is attached to the body. It holds all of our freewill, conscience, emotions, personality, memory, cognition, etc. collectively known as the Personhood. The essence of our lifetime on earth is to have our souls saved unto Jesus Christ and be purified into the likeness of Christ.

Daily Walk with the Spirit

When Jesus was crucified on the Cross, he brought to death with him the flesh and its affections and lusts. He did not however remove the mind that still knows sin and can choose sin. Yet, God knows that we can stumble over sin and thus have the blood that Jesus shed to cover our sin. By the stripes Jesus bore on his body, there is healing which can be applied unto our bodies too.

The new life after both baptisms is not perfect yet. It is only a beginning on this earth which leads to a journey of perseverance, in order to purify our soul in a process called the sanctification. In this journey, we will sin lesser and lesser as we come to know where to correct and be made right with God through the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit living inside us. Over time, we should bear an image of Jesus Christ clearer and clearer, that is from glory to glory which comes from God the Holy Spirit. It will be a daily walk that crucifies or denies the fleshy desires, and a willful choice to obey the Holy Spirit inside us. And over time, we will be more sensitive to the voice of God the Holy Spirit and be led by Him.

Spiritual Gifts

Through One Spirit, that is the Holy Spirit, we have all the spiritual gifts accessible for the building of the church. We are the church and Jesus’ body on earth. There is no withheld gift in the Spirit in which one can lay hands for healing and and not be able to utter wisdom. As certain gifts are exercised more, such as teaching, the gifts will be more developed upon use. But there is no limit as to which can be exercised and which cannot be exercised. One person can learn from another person on the gifts being exercised. The only limit is the practical knowledge of the gifts, followed by discipleship. If discipleship is not practiced, one person will only watch and not be able to exercise the gifts.

Evangelism

Everyone born again bears the responsibility of the truth, which is to make disciples of Christ by preaching repentance and the Kingdom of God, as accompanied by the power of healing and deliverance.

Body of Christ

The church is interconnected. As one member suffers, the whole body suffers; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. As an encouragement, let’s address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.

What’s the Story about?

Chess Match

In a garden, two guys are playing chess. The first guy, Jack makes the first move, moving the pawn forward. The guy in the opposite, Aaron follows with a blocking pawn. Now, it is Jack’s turn and he uses the queen’s pawn forward.

When Aaron has made his move, Jack knew that he has to do something better in winning the situation over. But by rule, he cannot undo or make multiple moves at one go.

Why is it so?

In the beginning, God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden. Everything was perfect and man walked with God. It was like an open heaven in which God and man can speak directly to each other.

In that garden, there were two trees, one the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the other the tree of life. God forbade man, Adam from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, lest he will die. However, he made the wrong move and ate of that tree, and found himself naked. He was created without the knowledge of evil, but by eating of the fruit he now knew both good and evil. Hence, for the very first time in history, man has then sinned against God by rebelling against God.

God saw that it was a bad move, but the rule is that He cannot undo or make multiple moves to save man, even though He really wants to save man. At this point, God was saying, “what if man eats of the tree of life and has to live forever in sin, that will be really bad.” So, God drove man out of the garden, and even put angels in guarding the tree of life.

The Hidden Problem

Following that, man’s children have the problem of sin. You can name it, lying, raping, stealing, and so on. And they killed each other. Down the line, the whole world was chaotic/corrupted. At that point, God regretted making man on earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So, he decided to wipe man from the face of the land, except for Noah whom he found to be the only righteous man in his generation.

However, after the great flood that wiped the rest of mankind of the earth, the children of Noah had the same problem of sin again. It is because the same old man with sin still lives on. To correct the problem, Jesus was sent into the world. But, before speaking of Jesus, we have to recognize what is sin.

Sin is not obvious. We talk like one, and we live like one. As we look around and compare ourselves, we feel comfortable doing just the same. However, the problem is everyone has sinned.

Scene A: Drive by the Left/Right?

In some countries like the UK or certain commonwealth countries, driving by the left is the rule of law. However, in the others, driving by the right is the rule. Supposed a person is in the US where the right lane is the rule, he cannot keep to the left where he is used to be. Because it is “right” to stay right (pun intended).

If he insists on staying left and gets caught by a police, he cannot defend himself against the law by claiming that that is the way in his previous country of residence.

Moving further, the punishment for breaking the law is proportional to whom it is wronged against. For instance, if an adult lies to a child, the child is unable to punish the adult. If an adult lies to another adult, the other adult can backfire against him. If an adult lies to the judge, the judge can throw the person into a prison. What if a person lies to God, who is so great and in and beyond the universe, what would be the consequence?

Scene B: Public Profile

Supposed here is an identity chip or photo camera which can take a snap shot of you and display all of your life history, covering every single detail both publicly and privately. That info is then put up to the whole world.

Nevertheless, one day we will all appear before God. Naked we came into this world, naked will we leave. And nakedly we stand in front of the Holy God. All of our life history will be put up publicly, including things that were done secretly behind closed doors and/or in the dark.

Taking a step back, at a judicial court, the accused is brought in not for the good things that he had done, but for the wrongs that he had done. On the Day of Judgment, man is not going to appear before God because of the good things, but for the wrongdoings.

Disregard what standard we adhere to, God is going to judge by His law on the universe He created. According to the law, if anyone hates another person, he has already committed murder. Should a person lusts after a woman in his heart, he has already committed adultery. By breaking one law, a person has then broken all of it. The list includes stealing, worshipping idols, and so on (as set out in the Ten Commandments). The penalty of sin is death.

Scene C: Conscience & Gravity

For a few months old baby, he can run around naked without any shame. For a 5-year-old child, he will tell you to leave him alone while he is naked because his conscience is already activated.

For a first-time thief, he would walk out of the store feeling deeply guilty and in shame that he had stolen something. However, for a habitual thief, he would not feel sorry for his crime. Because his conscience has already been seared and silenced, it is no longer sharp.

In the case of gravity, things fall to the ground when dropped because the law of gravity is in effect. Even if a person does not believe in the law of gravity, gravity is still in effect and things still fall to the ground. For a person who does not believe that he has sinned, he still sins under the effect of God’s law.

Free Gift of Forgiveness

However, that is not the end. Because of the problem of sin, God sent His only Son, Jesus to come into this world in the form of man. He knew no sin and lived sinlessly throughout his lifetime on earth, and then died on the Cross to pay for the penalty of our sin. It is because he is sinless, so justice can be done by carrying out death punishment unto him, so that all of our sin can be counted unto him at the Cross. Three days later, He rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of God in Heaven. His work at the Cross has then given all of us the free gift of forgiveness.

Now, it is our turn as in chess, to receive the gift of forgiveness. No matter how desperately God wants to save us, He had done all that He could at His end. At our end, if we would turn away from our sin and believe in Jesus, we will be forgiven for all of our sin in the past. At that point, our heart of stone will be replaced with a heart of flesh.

Symbolically, given a new heart, the old body with sin is still living. Hence, in a water baptism, down into the water we lie, and up from the water we rise. Such an act is a decision that we will bury the old flesh with sin in the likeness of the burial of Jesus, and resurrect the body with a new conscience towards God. The new body shall then be fully filled with the Holy Spirit to do the good works of God in the face of the earth.

New Life

As Jesus had walked among man, filled with the Holy Spirit, went healing the sick and preaching the Kingdom of God, those who now has a new life can do the same. Because the same Holy Spirit who was in Jesus is now in those who has a new life. There can be no lesser or more of the Holy Spirit. He is either in you or not. He is a full Person who resides in those living a new life.

New Heaven & Earth

One day, God will separate those who are living a new life with the Holy Spirit from those are not. By God’s heart, He wouldn’t want anyone unsaved but that He would wait and wait and wait until the last person turns back to Him. However, there will still be ones who do not want to accept Him and choose to be separated from Him. When this world passes away and is no more, there will be no place for them but the lake of fire. But for His, He will place them in a New Heaven & Earth where He will forever be their King. There the tree of life is planted, and people will live eternally in the perfect glory of God.

Continue: Reborn Life on Earth


Reference:
1. The Last Reformation

Living Faith

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. — Matthew 16:24

To debate on the head knowledge is easy, but to obey and live it out is self-challenging. The victorious future in God is sure, but we’re also left in the “meantime”. Jesus knew that the victory over death/sin was sure, but He’d to obey the Father and walked up to the Cross during the “meantime”. If we are called to imitate Christ while following him, we must also obey what He has told us to do.

For the present suffering and being uncomfortable are only a growing pain in the light of seeing souls joining in into the love, freedom, glory, and life flowing unendingly in God. This world will never cease to feed individual complacency and self-sufficiency in itself. The moral values are promoted, but always apart from God. In the name of religion, peace is felt generally, but not the surpassing flow of joy that gushes forth from within the conscience that at once recognizes that it is God himself through Jesus Christ.

Whatever accomplishments and possessions are but, external to the person. Abraham had great possessions, cattle, servants, riches, reputation and so on, but in his heart he understood that he owned nothing. He understood in obedience as he was about to lay his hand on his son. Yet, he also worked on what has been entrusted to him, blessings and not curse as by mismanagement. In the “meantime”, he was faithful to multiplying what God has entrusted to him, while knowing that they are also temporary in this passing world. Only what God sustains is eternal.

There is nothing beyond God’s knowledge. No matter what mistakes, detours, frustrations, and struggles. What is God’s, God will take care, given that the entire universe was created within His unlimited capacity. Such is a great God we serve, and by His Holy Spirit living within us shall we live. It is still in the “meantime” where we live. So, let all that we do be done as unto the glory of God. Make everyday count as for the day of visitation, the Glorious Day which the saints of old and generations to generations have proclaimed. Let’s start praying without cease and be led by the Spirit to engage the world.

Keywords: Radiator, filter, peacemaker, connector, fellow neighbor/worker, priest, disciple

Sustenance

A lamp drops dangling from the ceiling, and lights the room with its light energy. As the lamp hangs downward from the ceiling, gravity is doing its job pulling the lamp towards the core of the earth.

What then, sustains the earth in its solar system, and let it hanging there in the bigger universe? As a matter of fact, there is no coincidence, nor natural law itself that provides the sustenance. Everything that has power in this universe is a derivative from God. God speaks forth, and His word accomplishes His will. When He spoke in Genesis‘ creation, the world came into existence. He is still the same God, and His word sustains the universe.

Created beings like us might think that we can do what we desire, because we can. In fact, we are only operating under the power entrusted to us, for a definite time and within a designated domain, by our free will. Such is a humbling aspect, for any abuse and misuse of the power brings harm. Yet, that is still within the permissive will of God. It is humbling because the greater the knowledge of God and His majestic work in His creation, the more we question our use of power. Is it just? Is it fair?

Two passages struck me in humility:

For in Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.Colossians 1:16

Jesus Christ who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to cling to, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross. — Philippians 2:6-8

God (Jesus Christ), who is all powerful, who created the heavens and the earth, and everything that is within, had humbled himself to come down from heaven, in order to sacrifice himself at the Cross for the redemption of man from the price of sin, which is death. He even obeyed his own law as if he were a mere creature, and in the attitude of a servant during his lifetime on earth (Keathley, III, 2004). 

The answer to such a display of power, is the power of love.

Featured Passage – The Way of Love:
1 Corinthians 13


References:

  1. Keathley, III, J. H. 2004. Satanology.
    Retrieved from: https://bible.org/article/satanology
  2. Keathley, III, J. H. 2004. Angelology: The doctrine of angels.
    Retrieved from: https://bible.org/article/angelology-doctrine-angels

Disappointment says I’m in Charge Today! (Smiley face)

It was a long hard-pressed season, and a lead was pursued given the remaining time, energy, and cornered situations. There is no best or worst decision, after all the contemplation and perspectives available around. You just have to live with it. But as upbeat as you stood by, and as unfavorable as the reality is, the outcome is just as the same as the season was. The only difference at the moment is, your heart is smashed. Ironically, it was a double or triple shots of disappointments. All sorts of commotions check in & out, burst of retaliation, self-reassuring, reflection, recovery, repeats, underpinning, distraction, repeats, confusion, disturbance, and helplessness over some time. You picked up yesterday with a standing spirit, and today you woke up with a discouraged heart and memories still. The situation has to be dealt with for a resolution at some point of time. 

Matter of the Heart

You remember that what, whom, how, …all the w’s you commit your heart to will determine your walk in life. And to maintain your heart from getting stranded in an emotional turmoil and hence interferes sanity, you have to keep your heart deposited with God. Because He would take care of you and restore you from your heartache. That’s the saying.

So, now is the moment. You resorted to question your worth and qualifications. You have come to a current resolution that you are worth and qualified as where you are right now. The people suggested so. The feedbacks, replies and signals delivered through the electronics and systems suggested so. Your papers and assets and records suggested so. Maybe, that’s why you doubt yourself so?

Yet, an equal and standing truth that sustains you is you are not defined by those bars. God saw your form even before you existed. He molded you in your mother’s womb, and had never lost sight of you up until this day. He even knows the number of your hairs. (Ps. 139:13-18; Matt 10:30) Consider this:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?

And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

— Matt 6:25-30

After all the bars the world has set up in front of you today, God says you are already loved and accepted, before you have done anything in order to meet the bars. The very disappointments brought to your attention were only classroom assignments, that are yet to be worked through for the missing puzzle piece. When you take a look at the picture coming together, you will find that you have actually accumulated some skills and backgrounds that are particularly useful for some point of time. Along the road, growth continues with learning and giving.

At some point, you might just realize, that it’s not about who you are, but for what God had done in your life and, not about what you have done, but for who God is in your life.

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(Playlist) Matter of the Heart

You become who you Look Up to

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… — Hebrews 12:2

In a world passing with digital data collected and utilized, calendar running with schedules arranged, and decisions made to the best of knowledge, no one is fully aware and in control of all the happenings in the world. This fact remains despite one rises to be the most powerful or wealthiest man in the face of the earth. Not to mention bearing this ambition as a life goal.

Nevertheless, there is an even more challenging quest that some will encounter. The difference is, this quest rewards security amid worrisome uncertainties, and the pursuer does not need to be controlling in order to gain it.

Walked on Water (Literally!)

In Matthew 14:28-31, Peter asked Jesus to allow him to “walk on water” (WOW! What an absurd request!). There he was, asking God to allow him to get out of his comfort zone — the boat, to do the impossible or the unconventional. Why did he ask, in the first place? (suspense for the moment) Continuing on, the passage says, that God was right there. So, when he came to encounter God, he knew he could ask for the impossible, and do it himself (well of course, by God’s power).

Now, he got out of the boat while looking to Jesus. In the next second, he was looking to the left and looking to the right. Guess what? Natural laws decided to work on him, and so he started sinking. (I wonder what was the sinking rate. Whether immediately, or sinking slowly — eg. first the ankles, then the limbs, knees, waist, …….) Anyway, as a matter of fact, walking on water was itself challenging and uncommon. But, it’s also natural for any human being to look to the left and to the right, to test the waters and see if there is a slightest support or affirmation or backup positions. In reality, from the time Peter entered the water zone, and acted against natural laws, it was God’s power that made the exception to the miracle. If Peter had acted before asking God, it would have been a foolish act. What more during a windy night.

Fix your Eyes on Jesus

However, God had indeed allowed Peter to do the impossible, and had taken care of him throughout the miraculous event. Peter was sinking, but Jesus held him out of the water and walked with him into the boat where the other disciples were.

Hence, there is one practice that needs to be honed in when doing God’s assignment, that is to focus on Jesus, and act by His power and providence. Relationships with people are vital to a healthy life, but they are not life sources. Looking to the left, and looking to the right, would not provide any useful support during stage time. Only God is the source of life, and He will certainly provide the nourishment and necessities to enrich those relationships with people.

The next time when doubt strikes, be still and know that God is in the midst!

Reference:
Psalm 139

When the Spirit of God is at Work in your Life

When the Spirit of God initiates a work in a person’s heart, that work could be so personal to the person initially. The prompting or inspiration is not immediately or directly shared by another.

At a glimpse on an insight formed from a multicultural experience (some relate to third-culture), or two back-to-back dreams received only by Joseph (Genesis 37:1-11), such a divine work is hardly agreeable by common understanding. It is also disputable if such unseen vision or inspiration originates from a person’s pride or selfish intention, or is truly from an invisible God.

No one can tell, except He who causes the inspiration originally. If He did, time and events will orchestrate His will and work.

And, these three ways will confirm it:

Wait and Seek

Sometimes, the people to be engaged with the inspired event are not there yet. It would be premature to have them engaged. For instance, a surprise birthday party is supposedly prepared outside the knowledge of the birthday bee. Or else, the party would lose its surprise element. Similar account can be traced to Abraham (Genesis 17) about God’s long-dated yet timely promise of a son, since when Abraham was initially 75 years old until he was 100 years old. And, he sought after God again to be aligned with God’s timeline and promise.

Ask for Confirmation

If the inspiration is from God, and not a request from our side, God will give the confirmation in His time. When we dial a number on a mobile phone, the screen will show up the number inserted, or it would give the dial tone for every number inserted. Similarly, when Gideon (Judges 6:36-40) asked for two back-to-back confirmations about God’s prompting of him on a rescue plan, which is to deliver his people from an enemy’s plundering and killing, God gave him both of the confirmations.

His Ways Prevail, Nevertheless

No matter what we do, or how we mess it up naively, what He has determined will come to pass perfectly in His timing and by His appointment. When a tax return filing is due, the due is still effective despite we filed it or not, or what “reasons” we submit for non-compliance. Similarly, Jesus’ crucifixion was determined since his birth into this world, for the good of mankind, despite what opposing events could have prevented that. (And no, time machine/traveling is not practically possible, and so on & so forth to undo the event)

God is Holy, and so are His Ways

In Genesis 50:20, it highlights the climax of Joseph’s story (we mentioned him at the beginning) about his decades-long expat journey caused by a betrayal of 10 of his brothers into slavery in Egypt (a foreign country). Decades later, Joseph rose to power in Egypt and finally reunited with his brothers and parents. This very statement by Joseph to his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” highlights the very act of God that demonstrates His just nature. Amid the messy events due to man’s sinful nature, God’s intervention injected and manifested the beauty and blessings from His side, for the good of mankind.

The next time when your integrity is in question, or when being subjected to judgmental or skeptical eyes, stay calm and know that God is at work, and hearts are being transformed. Enjoy the co-op with God!

Highlights of D.L. Moody Quotes

“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.” (1)

“The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it” …(1) (Read more)


Reference:
1. SermonIndex.net. (n.d.). Text sermons : D.L. Moody : D.L. Moody quotes. Retrieved from  http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=33025