Posts Tagged ‘Creation’

God's Flowers

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.   Matthew 6:30-34

Bita in the yard

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. […] Then the God of peace will be with you.   Philippians 4:8-9

We are coming to the end of the year and it is the time where we are feeling festive and blissful. We put down the bad and the ugly behind,  looking forward to a new beginning. And that’s really good. The bible says, fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable, what is right and what is pure and lovely. What is admirable and things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

little big friendsYou see, we are being constantly ‘bombarded’ by terrors, uncertainty, diseases/viruses, and so many other negative things, that if we dont have a counter, we will then go on a slow spiral down into depression and sickness. Your mind will be trouble, your spirit will be down and finally sickness appears for a final countdown.

Happy thoughts!

That’s what the world can offer at best, keeping fixing on whatever happy thoughts you can gather and keep replaying in your mind. But dear brother and sisters, we have something even more power and everlasting. What is more true and right and pure and lovely and admirable and excellent and worthy of praise?

It is this: That God, Christ Jesus, Himself, left and gave up His own majesty and divinity to come into this world. Willing suffered at the hands of the very creation He wanted to save. To redeem us from our sin by taking our sin on Himself and suffered its consequences. After exhausting all the judgement and punishments on our behalf, Christ Jesus died a sorrowful death.

By His death – we are given life, by His strips – we are healed, by his sorrows – we rejoice. Out of love, to save you and I from eternal damnation. Think of such thoughts:

  • That you are so preciously loved that Christ Jesus so willing to die in your place.
  • That God will redeem you out of whatever bad situation you are in because He had redeemed you from the worst.
  • That God Himself will restore what you have lost and will be above what you have originally lost.
  • That Christ has done all that needs to be done, we are rest fully in His perfect work.
  • That you are not caringly nurtured, truly blessed,  and highly favored because you are children of the Almighty God.
  • That you are forever, saved and redeemed for eternity in heaven, a place Christ personally are preparing for you.
  • That we have such an awesome and wonderful God that is so worthy of praise.

Such are the happy (excellent) thoughts!

Have a blessed Christmas full of revelation of Christ Jesus!

Hidden Kingdoms

I have recently watched a fantastic BBC Earth documentary titled Hidden Kingdoms. It’s about a cast of miniature creatures, facing huge adversities and gigantic odds against them. For them, everyday is an epic adventure just to stay alive. But yet despite their huge challenges, the little heroes faced life with great perseverance and enthusiasm.

Hidden Kingdoms - Grasshopper MouseOne particular character stands out for me, and that’s the Grasshopper Mouse, cute little fellow. Chased by flooding waters, hawks, and rattlesnakes; but yet battling scorpions, fainting due to the venom, but recovered to feast on its prize.

Compared to these little guys, we humans have much to learn; or unlearn.

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.   Luke 12:22-26, 32

Hidden Kingdoms - Grasshopper Mouse

Sometimes, we need be still and reflect. Well, whatever we are facing, it is probably tiny compared to what these little guys encounter with their existence on the line daily. If the humble “rodents” can live under such unforgiving conditions yet live everyday with such fervour and zeal, then are we as human beings embarrassing our Creator by worrying and anxious over trivial stuffs, not living our lives abundantly? Are we not a lot more valuable than these mere creatures?

For me, it took the hidden kingdoms to remind us that our Father in heaven has already given us the Kingdom. So don’t be afraid, little flock.

On The Sixth Day God Made You - His Family

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.     Genesis 1:26-27

In creation, we know God made everything from the heaven to the earth. He made everything in 5 days and on the 6th day, he made all sorts of animals on land and finally for His crown jewel; He made us, humans – in the likeness of God’s very own image and the only creature that carries the breadth of God. We are destined to reign over all other creatures.

God, our Father made us, to be like Him. We are the only one that carry His breath. He made us as His own; His family.

In all the 5 days, our Father declared His creation was good. But on the 6th day, after creating us, our Father said it was very good and rested on the 7th day, when all creation was completed.  And our Father blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. He probably use His rest day to enjoy His creation; to enjoy the company of His family – us.

Everyone of us is very precious. This is because each one of us carries the very image our Father. If you are feeling all alone and feeling defeated; when you think you are facing an adversity all by yourself. Know this -> You are not alone. You are destined to reign victorious. You are part of God the Father’s very own; you are part of a very powerful family. As God the Father rested to enjoy our company; we too should enjoy His company and be at rest.

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”   Exodus 33:14 (NIV)

 

Welcome home…

 

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Facebook just introduced dozens of options for users to identify their “custom” genders – at least 58 so far, see here.

In the Bible, there are only 2; male and female, created and blessed by God. No more, no less; period.

When God created human beings, he made them to be like himself. He created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them “human.” Genesis 5:1-2

I guess some of the most important questions anyone can ask themselves in their lifetime is: “What do I believe and why did I believe?”  Well, for every Christian believer who came to faith, believing in Jesus Christ, probably came through with different reasons and by different experiences. Even though we are all unique individuals with diverse cultures, backgrounds and personalities, but accordingly, God came and touched us individually and personally. How sweet is that!

So, have you ever asked yourself why did you believe? It’s always beautiful to reminisce back to the moment when you were first awoken to the love of Christ. And along the way, you know there is simply no way Christ can be refuted in your life. I’ve came up with 12 of my personal reasons why I believe in God – in Jesus Christ, just to share and here goes:

1.     I may not be a genius and sometimes I do silly things. But come on, that doesn’t mean I have evolved from apes or monkeys. We, humans, are carefully and wonderfully made; and His workmanship is marvellous (Ps 139:14). God’s own hands made and formed us (Ps 119:73).

We don’t have to be medical doctors to know that human bodies are so amazingly intricate and complex that it cannot be all accidental; a million years don’t change a thing. Darwin had a theory, and was conveniently accepted, but that doesn’t mean it is the truth. We are created in the very image of God Himself, we are God’s master piece (Ephesians 2:10), and not sprouted through a “monkey” theory (pun intended).  Also see my light musing post on God’s Intelligent Design.

2.     The entire universe is running so orderly and logically, covered with God’s fingerprints. It is irrational to believe that it all comes about from nothingness. It takes more “faith” to believe there is no God where everything was left to chance, than to believe there is One who made everything happening precisely as it is. Coincidences is a tiny word to fill a gigantic idea of Godless-ness. A miniscule difference and the entire earth goes into chaos; and we are facing a small extend of that with global warming.

Well then, if everything is so finely tuned; it definitely points to a higher order; a master Creator. “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”- The World as I See It, Albert Einstein. The big bang theory came about because God Spoke And Bang! It Happened!   Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.   Romans 1:20

3.     Life is empty and meaningless if there is no God. Everything ‘under the sun’ is ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Nothing made sense because what is the point of pleasure, work, and living – the meaning and significance in life? The struggles of life, the sufferings, the fears and worries, are simply not worth it. Everything is futile (Ecclesiastes 1), like chasing the wind. What is the point to gain the whole world but only to lose everything at the end in death?

Every human knows deep inside us, we have a sense that life is more than this earthly reality; a void that only eternity can fill.  Life will take on a different perspective when you acknowledge God, a God that is the Beginning and the End of your existence (Revelation 22:13). Even a small flower that blossom for a day will give glory to God. Life becomes a fresh, bubbling spring (John 4:14); Jesus came to give a rich, satisfying – abundant life; a life that is free and led on good-favoured pastures (John 10:9-10). A life that is finally worth living, and this is only the prequel!

4.     When we give our life to Jesus Christ, we are a new creation, the old life is gone and our new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17) [the exclamation mark came from the bible]   The real life transforming power found in a relationship with Jesus Christ, has always been improving people’s lives; giving them forgiveness, freedom and wholeness. Life transformations are taking place found nowhere else; bondages set free, diseases cured, fear expelled, dead raised, wounds healed, relationships restored, life prospered and countless more; experienced personally and from testimonies of others. A testimony is a good report of how much God has done touching one’s life. There is surely no short supply of such from a loving and powerful God.  “… tell them everything God has done for you.” Luke 8:39

5.     I know this is a cliché, but this is really a relationship, not a religion.  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends…  John 15:15   Which deity calls you a friend? Probably even your own political leaders wouldn’t. Jesus came personally in flesh into the world as a Saviour; how much more personal and intimate can you get? You probably can go through all the religious rituals, do all the right religious works but it will not be a relationship if the higher power would not come down to your level, it will be just empty rigors of religion – a unilateral “rain dance”.

Christianity is not a set of rules and regulations, rewards and punishments, doctrines and principles, performances and duties, the state of mind or way of life.  At it’s very core, it is a daily (or constant) personal encounter and communion with God, through the person of Jesus Christ.

6.     Salvation is astonishingly simple. We didn’t need to climb Mount Everest to receive our salvation in Jesus Christ. Our only pilgrimage is to go into our bedrooms (Matthew 6:6). We don’t need to accomplish any 4 laws, 5 pillars, 8 rules or even 10 commandments of must-do tasks. In fact, the instructions are barely 3 lines: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 10:9-10

I believe, contrary to most writings out there; God’s salvation cost us nothing, it is free. God made it easy for us to accept the precious gift (Matthew 11:28-30). Instead, it cost God dearly – everything, His only begotten Son.

7.    Eternal salvation cannot be earned by mere human efforts, it’s purely by God’s grace. To think we can earn our way to heaven is nothing but worthless humanistic pride. Frankly, nothing expressed better than the Scriptures: We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6  I totally agree, our best human efforts nothing but rags, offensive filth to God. I have been there – done that!

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9    So now, I just rest completely in the finished work of Christ! Woohoo!

8.     God, the Holy Spirit is with us always. He is the seal of our standing with Christ, He is the very proof that they we are his people. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. Ephesians 1:13-14

And the Holy Spirit is not passive, He is the very blessing and power of God working in us (Acts 1:8). You see, we don’t even have to plead, summon or invoke the Holy Spirit; He is already in us – we have the very power of God in us. We are His royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), as kings and priests under the new covenant, we have a double portion of power in our speech, in our prayers and in our declarations.

Also think about it, a holy divine Spirit of God Himself indwelling within our earthly being; He left His 7-star heavenly dwelling to reside in our erm… “still-in-constructions”. We know we don’t have all our acts together, but hey, even so, He would not leave or abandon us! (Hebrews 13:5)

9.     Jesus Christ came down as one distinctly human and lived in our midst. He became flesh (John 1:14). He got hungry and was tempted like we are (Luke 4:1-13). He walked, He wept, He did what you and I do everyday. More importantly, He truly enjoyed the relationship with fellow human beings; His disciples, His followers – both Jews and Gentiles, and even little children (Matthew 19:13-14).  Jesus didn’t just issue lightning and thunderbolts of orders from an ivory throne tower in heaven. He didn’t get the angels to do all the dirty work for Him. How can any deity sympathise and relate with human beings or what we have to go through? “Easy for you to say, you aren’t human!”

But, Jesus was birthed as a human and died as a human and resurrected as a human. Having resurrected, He shows his hands and feet, let Himself be touched and eats with His disciples, all to show that he is not a ghost (Luke 24:36-43). And Jesus is still human today. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33  Jesus accomplished something no one else can, by a God but as a human.

10.     Jesus Christ declared His divine status (John 8:58 / John 10:30-33 / John 14:10-11 / Revelation 1:8). Who else on earth have done so? Who dared to proclaim to be God? Either he is a lunatic or He meant who He say He is. Jesus had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself… Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. Philippians 2:5-8 

And Jesus did not stay dead, 3 days later, He conquered death and resurrected to life. We did not have a dead god, we serve a living God where even death is defeated.  But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

11.     Jesus Christ is the very face of God. He is not a messenger, He is not a prophet. The gospel message is not send through a third party, it is directly from God Himself. I know the Jesus I will meet in person in heaven is the one written in the Gospel, there will be no surprises.

Jesus reveals God, as the Father (John 17:25-26). He reveals Himself directly as; the living bread from heaven (John 6:51), the light of the world (John 8:12), the saving gate (John 10:7-10), the good shepherd (John 10:11-15), the Son of God (John 10:36), the resurrection and the life (John 11:25-26), the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6), the true vine (John 15:1-7). The God Jesus revealed is not a stern faced, indifferent and condescending God. Jesus came and revealed Himself as a passionate, lively, loving, kind and graceful, self-sacrificing, nurturing God.

My eternal salvation in heaven is guaranteed, not just a maybe or even probably; there are no mysticism, vague statements or subjective speculations.  There are no other claims of a definite assurance of  eternal salvation such as this redemption, through Jesus Christ. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-3

12.     Most of all, it is God who first love and pursued us. We could never know a higher power unless He came to our level and let us know Him. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. John 15:16   God is always the One who first initiated the relationship. It is Jesus who is standing at the door of our hearts knocking and calling out, waiting to come in and commune with us (Revelations 3:20). We just have to respond and open our door to Him. I will not know how to love unless He’s first love me and taught me to love.  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:10  I will not live on for eternity in heaven if He did not first come down from heaven and lay down His life on the cross on earth for mine.

In the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-24), the Father was waiting everyday for the wayward son to come home. A long way off, when the Father saw him coming, filled with compassion and love, He ran toward the son. The Father ran; not the wayward son. God the Father ran!  Filled with love and compassion to embrace you and me. The Almighty, Most High, Most Holy, The Creator –God ran!

There is nothing more God can do to prove His existence conclusively for now. There is nothing more God can do to further show His love; He had already given His all – His Son, Jesus Christ. Certainly, everyone at some points in their life, will have to decide for themselves if they want to follow this loving Saviour… I really hope you came to a good personal conclusion.

For those who like to come home to the Father, through Jesus Christ, please see A Prayer To Accept Jesus Christ.

For those who took the leap of faith and following the Way-Truth-Life, will know subsequently that it was He who first gave us the faith to believe in Him (Hebrews 12:2) and the overwhelmingly blessings and joy that comes with the choice (1 Peter 1:8).

Please feel free to share yours…

I haven’t been writing much lately. Partly, it has been a difficult time for my family and I. Our beloved pet who had been faithfully with us for the last 10 years fell very sick and passed away recently. And with his passing, being a close part of the family, I asked God if I will ever see my good buddy again. Initially, I was unsure, as no theology is very clear on this. I am certain of my eternal salvation in Christ and that of my loved ones, but I am hesitant and unsettled about ever seeing my dog again.

Then one day, a small still voice inside me assured me…

This little fellow will be waiting for me in my mansion in heaven when I eventually get there

I am not in the mood for fairy tales or romantic myths. So, what does the Bible have to say?

In John 3:16; For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son… God, the Father, so loved the world, the whole world, and this is including all His creation. Suppose, if God send His Son just for humans, John 3:16 would probably read: For God so loved mankind! that He sent His Son… Granted that the later part, …whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life; is meant for human beings who have the mind to accept and believe in Christ, also because we are the only creation able to make moral decisions; But what we established here is the Father’s love, that so loved His own creation to send His Son for redemption, for the world and beyond just people.

God loves and saves animals too; if not, Noah’s ark would hold only Noah’s human family members and not all the other animals. Noah’s Ark, a picture of Jesus Christ, is the salvation that saves and covers us from the judgement that rained down. The coverings from judgement and death were not only for humans but extended to animals too. “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.” Luke 12:6

In the future Kingdom of God, life flourish!

In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord. Isaiah 11:6-8

One critical knowledge we know from the Bible is that there will be animals in heaven. Animals still exist when Christ reign on the throne and it’s not wishful thinking. We will not be simply idling about on clouds playing harps for eternality; we will be leading animals and interacting with each other and with animals as we like. We will be celebrating life, victory, joy and the very presence of God! Without this knowledge, this entire post will be utterly useless.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32   Yes, God is more concern with saving His best creation, the crown jewel – us! But that doesn’t limit Him to redeem the rest of His creation. The possibility in heaven is much bigger than we can conceive; and then bigger still that birds come. And then bigger still that birds nests in it. Our tiny minds cannot fathom what is being installed for us in heaven.   But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:21-22;   Even creation eagerly awaits their redemption and freedom from death and decay; Yes, your pets know and eagerly await their redemption and freedom from death! See my previous post, Animal Instincts On Redemption.

He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:3-5

But ultimately, what comforts and assures me most is the fact my God is far bigger than what I think He is. He loves me far more than what I can fancy, (Ephesians 3:19). My joy will be far more complete than what I can comprehend. My expectation will be far exceeded. He will wipe every tear from our eyes and if we cry because we missed our pets, what make you think He cannot restore what we have lost? If we people know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him?! (Matthew 7:9).  If God will restore the entire heaven and entire earth, and if Jesus can bring Lazarus back to life, can He not restore your little pets?!?!!

For nothing is impossible with God. ” Luke 1:37 Come on, our God is bigger! Our God is greater!!

Some may call this conclusion ignorant, naïve or even wishful thinking. But I call this FAITH.

PS: Just one more question, will you be in heaven? It will be pointless to ponder whether your pet goes to heaven if you not going to be there yourself. The only way is to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour and have the full assurance that you will go to heaven and receive eternal life. As for your pets being in heaven, go there and find out (the joy) yourself.

Heavenly Dog, TONG TONG

In Loving Memory
Tong Tong
(02 Jan 2003 – 02 Sept 2013)