subway stories

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You that You have made me to be of the fragrance of Christ to God the Father and to other people around. Help me to bring the aroma and refreshing of Your Spirit to those who are don’t know You. To bring Your goodness and salvation to those yet to be saved by You. In their lack of knowledge and understanding of You, give me the chance that they can see You in me. Thank You that You are a God who can be known, and You share who You are with me because You love me. I love, serve, and worship You because You first loved and serve us. Help me to share all of You that You have put in me with others, that they too see Your amazing love.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.Floating Along the Edge of Dawn

 

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.   To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.   And who is sufficient for these things?   For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:15-17

Cool

Everyone who received Jesus Christ into their life always does it with such great joy. If you remember your first love encounter with the Lord, it is always so sweet. However, for some of us along the Christian journey, we lost some of that joy. Along the way, we were told that since we gained salvation freely by the grace of our Lord, we need to now work towards our own holiness.

Well, so what is holiness? Much has been said and written, but let’s see if we can also glean something from the Temptation of Christ; as Jesus is the very role model for our quest for holiness. In Matthew 4:1-11, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

1.   Turning stone to bread – Jesus had fasted for 40 days and nights; obviously very hungry.  Even with the tempting of the devil to turn a stone into bread, Jesus did not giving in to the demands of the flesh, although the desire or urge was legitimate. We are not talking about willpower or mind over matter but Jesus knew well that God-the Father is the ultimate Provider.

If we see God as our personal Provider and trust fully in his provision, then there is nothing we need to covet, yearn or to be envious about, even it is within our power to get it. All our needs will be fully met in due time, and often beyond our expectations. Suppose you know you have a royal buffet coming, would you steal a piece of old-stale bread? No, you will not even bother, right? You will even roll-eyes in the face of that temptation!

We will not be tempted by the flesh if we fully trust that the Lord will fully and overly provide all our physical needs. And that’s holiness #1 – See the Father God as the Provider.   And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:19

Untitled

2.   Jumping off the cliff – Thereafter, the devil used the promise in the bible about God’s protection, urging Jesus to test it out by jumping off the cliff. But Jesus having such a close and intimate relationship with Father God obviously wouldn’t want to test God.

You see, if we are so close and fully assured of God’s protection, would you test God? If you know your parents loved you so much, would you run out a busy street just to test if they would come for you. Obviously not.

It is during difficult times when we experience doubts on the love of God. During such times, the devil has the chance to tempt us to question or even test God on His protection and promises in the bible. To prevent that, that we need to build ourselves in the love of God beforehand, by knowing Him through the Word, through prayer, through worship, through testimonies of others and through revelation of the Holy Spirit that assures us that we have a really good loving God, who would not leave or forsake us no matter what happens. And so, when temptations come that go against the promises of the Word of God, we will not waiver. We will not be tempted of the mind if we fully trust that the Lord will surely protect us even without testing. And that’s holiness #2 – See the Father God as the Protector.

He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.   Psalms 91:2-7

Broken Chain

3. Worship the devil for all the kingdoms of the world – Finally, the mask were off the devil, with his ultimate motive revealed; he wanted to be worship like a god, that he isn’t. What the devil wanted is just to peel believers off God, and instead to worship him. Ironically, the devil offered in exchange for the kingdom of the world that was cheated off Adam and Eve, of which the ownership were given to them by God in the first place. So like a highly-skilled con-man, the devil uses what isn’t his to cheat what is yours!

The kingdom of the world represents the riches, authority and power this side of heaven can offer, although all of it came from God. The root of all evil is not money itself, it is the love of money. People who long to be rich with no regards where the source is always ended up foolishly mining it from the world instead of God, plunging themselves into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

So finally, for holiness #3 – See the Father God as the source of Power and Prosperity.

Paris from the Eiffel Tower
In the wall of text above, if you have learned nothing (or you have just simply scrolled right down); it’s fine. But do read the very key here: In the previous chapter just before the temptation of Christ, Jesus was baptised in the river. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”   (Matthew 3:16-17)

But when the devil tempted Jesus, he said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”. Noticed the difference?  -> he missed out the “whom I love”.

You see, we need to know we are not simply just a believer in the Almighty. We must know intensively that we are a child of God.  But even more than that, one that God dearly love. We are in a position that no other creation ever had. Jesus Christ never lose faith in God, more importantly, He never lose the sense of the Father’s love for him. He never doubt the divine goodness and love.

after the rain

Holiness is not a set of cold rules. It is not a series of self-prowess to remain flawless. It is the faith you have to see God as a Provider, Protector and the Source of Power and Prosperity. Holiness is a fruit gotten through with the knowledge of the love of God. And we know God the Father loves us so deeply because He gave His most beloved – His Son, Jesus Christ, for our sake.

And God is able to make all grace (every favour and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].   2 Corinthians 9:8

Skyhole - Sun is up in Punta Cana, DR (On Explorer 7/14/2015)

Our Lord is such a good God. 

In the world, the principle to get good blessings is for people to do good deeds. But if they did something wrong, then all hell demands pay back and punishments. Most people simply hoped that their “good works” is slightly more than their bad; so just enough for them to get away with it or to hopefully squeeze through the cracks at the pearly gates. 

However, that’s just not the way to live…

Instead, the Lord took our weaknesses, our sorrows and our pains. He took our punishment for our sins and rebellion against the righteous God, the Father. Jesus Christ, the Son took all our wrongdoings at the cross exposing Himself to death, so that we can be counted righteous and able to reconcile eternally with the Father.

And as if like that is not enough, God still generously provide all earthly grace; on top of the divine grace of salvation at the cross. We are not only living a life that is not guilty of any sins, wrongdoings or even inadequate right-doings; we are living a life that is fully provided and taken care for! 

And because we are so blessed and are prospering where we are placed, we are to be a blessing to the less fortunate ones and also to share the Good News that this kind of life (in God’s grace) exist and avaliable through this Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Untitled

God is ready to overwhelm you with more blessings than you could ever imagine so that you’ll always be taken care of in every way and you’ll have more than enough to share. Do you want it? Do you want to share it?

 

 

The farmer's daughter

We read the account in Mark 5:1-20 of Jesus healing a demon-possessed man. While the account is rather straight forward and dear, what entreats me is the love of Christ, that is not-so-obvious.

You see, if you read the previous chapter, Jesus and the disciples were at the other side of lake, speaking to a crowd on the parables (Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed, Parable of the Lamp, Parable of the Growing Seed and Parable of the Mustard Seed). Jesus was probably tired after the long sermon but still, He saw a purpose to cross over the lake to the other side, just solely for that one demon-possessed person. And while He rested on the boat, He still needed to calm the mega-storm, averting panicking disciples who were facing sure-death by drowning, nevertheless.

All the “trouble” just for one crazy chap.

When on shore on the other side, Jesus allowed the legion of demons into the herd of pigs nearby. The entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. The herdsman probably saw the waste in their animals being destroyed in such a way. But can you see Christ’s love not for the pigs but for the demon-possessed man.

Hill Tribe Home

I was recently convicted by the Lord on this. We spend more money on our pets than needy people. We spend more money on pet food than putting food on the table for real underprivileged people. This is something I am repenting (changing of mind) on.

You see, God love His creation, but He love people more because we are made in His own image. The world reduced each person to a number or a statistic. But each and everyone, every soul matters to Christ. And we should very much do likewise.


“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves.

Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.

This is my command: Love each other.

(‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭9-17‬ NLT)

  
Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it? I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. (‭Galatians‬ ‭3‬:‭2-5‬ NLT)  

 
We all like things to be perfect; to have our purchases in perfect conditions, our environment to be perfect, hoping the people around us are perfect, and even want ourselves to be perfect. 
But we all know it’s not possible, even if we tried our best. Nevertheless, people still have this lofty idea of achieveing personal perfection and enlightenment. 

You see, the way of the law of Moses is personified by 2 stone cold tablets but the way of grace and perfection is personified by the warm pumping heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. One that was heart-broken and bled at the cross. 

There is only a way to perfection. By the power of the Holy Spirit through the Christ. 

 
The way of the cross.

Gonna See Me Some Drones At Pinkpop

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?”

Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”  

Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see the day when the Son of Man returns, but you won’t see it. People will tell you, ‘Look, there is the Son of Man,’ or ‘Here he is,’ but don’t go out and follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes.   Luke 17:20-25 (NLT)

With so many tragedies and mayhem going on around the world now, many would ask where is God in all this? Everyone knows, in one way or another, the world is going to be a very bleak place. But God doesn’t want you to be conscious of the perilous nature of the circumstances. He wants you to live in a state according to His Kingdom.

So what is that Kingdom, you may ask?

Well, as long as you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord, that is where you have already inherited the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ, the very Son of God is that Kingdom, is the very representation of the God the Father Himself. A kingdom is the very realm or sphere in which ONE is dominant, ruled by a sovereign. And in this case, He is the eternal spiritual sovereignty of Jesus Christ.

This means that this Kingdom of God is not some physical place. The Kingdom is Christ, who is within you. So if you want to experience abundance in your life, be conscious first of the abundance inside you. And when Christ the very Life is in you, then you will not fear all the deaths all around you. There will be much chaos in the world, but you will be in peace in the Kingdom.

Heaven sent

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

Let’s not live our lives bobbing from one adversity to another. Let us live according to the Kingdom of God, one that is of faith, hope and love; an experience of God’s peace which is so good that we cannot even understand.