Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

Finding The Lost Pokémon

If the latest craze has hit your country, you probably would have known it by now. The Pokémon Go game that has swept the world over with such a phenomenal effect never before seen. For the uninitiated (including myself, and I researched. And I watched friends go “child-like” with the game too), in very simple terms, it is a location-based augmented reality game on mobile devices, with the objective of finding and locating Pokémon creatures. And upon finding them, you are suppose to catch, and then look after and train them, developing into champions. Many players have gone through great distances and troubles to find these Pokémon creatures, some rare and precious. Huge sacrifices of time and effort were made to find them. Unfortunately, some at the expense of their personal safety.

However, I did see something very familiar and very dear.

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’   Luke 15:3-6

There is One who first went through great distances (crossing heaven to earth), with great effort and difficulty, even fatally bruising His own body, and finally sacrificing ultimately Himself-His own life on the cross in exchange, just to seek and keep this very rare and precious creature that He loves. And all He wish for is to look after and develop that creature to be a champion.

And that creature is, YOU!

 

… And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. (Luke 15:5)

 

 

Pika.. Pika.. Pikachu, anyone?

 

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“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:43-46‬ ‭NLT

 

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The past week has been the most eventful; no, I’m not talking about the Euro-Cup. 🙂

There is a great ongoing shaking in the world now. An established first-world, democratic nation has turned his back on his fellows; closing the front door permanently. Probably fueled by fear and flesh, xenophobia and even racism; reversing introspectively and with self-occupation. World leaders are scratching their heads, not knowing what to do. Rumors of predicted famines and economic tumblings abounds. Even one of the best from the human race, with it’s proud heritage, establishments and achievements, has again demonstrated that mankind are unpredictable.

At the opposite end of the world as well as spectrum, I have the honor and privilege to witness shaking of another, a spiritual shaking. In a third-world country, without even modern toilet facilities at some areas, large multitudes who opened their doors (philosophically because their huts have no doors) and hearts welcoming the Kingdom of Heaven. The King of kings and Lord of lords, Himself, came with His blessings and offerings of salvation and eternal life!

Through humble and grace-filled servers who are heavenward-looking and selfless; from different ages, different nations, different genders, different cultures and backgrounds, coming together as one people-one body; spreading the gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ; and carried with them an outpouring of grace and love to anyone who is willing to accept.

The harvest is so plentiful and so ready!

To me, the contrast is stark and sobering. You see, the Kingdom of God will come down to anyone who is willing to open his door of his heart; tumbling down walls of obstacles and hearts of stone. Even in the worst living conditions, people who received Jesus Christ into their hearts can still be filled with such heavenly glory.

Which side do you belong to?

Someone forwarded me this; I really liked it and have built on it. You see, many heroes from the bible have these defining moments in time where, what they spoken or declared in a statement of faith, raised them up, setting them apart in exalting the Lord. It expresses their relationship with God, their faith and their perspective that we all would like to model from.

More importantly, it shows us what a God we have and, really, what a God!
Be yourself
What would you tell yourself every morning as you start the day or whenever you faced a challenge ahead?

Abel would say, “The best portions is for the Lord.”

Noah would say, “I will do exactly what the Lord has commanded.”

Enoch would say, “I will not see death as I’m walking in close fellowship with God.”

Abraham said, “The Lord will provide.”

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter.”

Isaac said, “Where is the Lamb?”

Jacob said, “I won’t let go of You unless You bless me.”

Joseph said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.”

Moses said, “Lord, if You don’t go with us or before us, we are not going anywhere.”

Rehab said, “The Lord is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.”

Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Gideon said, “Get up! For the Lord has given you victory.”

Samson prayed, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time.”

Ruth said, “Wherever you go, I will go.”

Samuel said, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.”

Nehemiah said, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

David said, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need.”

Solomon said, “Give me an understanding heart.”

Isaiah said, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

Jeremiah said, “The Lord has plans to prosper me and not to harm or fail me.”

Jabez said, “Oh, that you may bless me and enlarge my territory.”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said, “We will not bow down to any image but will serve the Lord.”

Ezekiel said, “Any dry bones in my life, live again.”

Peter said, “I will cast my cares upon the Lord for He cares.”

John said, “I am the disciple whom Jesus loves.”

Paul said, “The Lord will supply all my needs and I can do all things through Christ.”

 

*Choose your daily statement of faith. Meditate on it! Speak it!*

I can dream

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!

Closing

Recently, I haven’t had much time to write, ponder or reflect. I probably have been too caught up by the world too. But the Lord is so good that I have is this wonderfully nudging about “Through Christ”, that I just cannot not ignore.

God, the Father is holy beyond reach of us mere sinful humans; the Holy Spirit is invisible and silent. That is, why Jesus Christ came and He is the very visible image or representation of the invisible God (Col :15). There is just no way for lowly human beings to reach out to a high holy God. A simple bible search of “through Christ” yields 70 very powerful passages:

John 1:17

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

[ Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome ] First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,

and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

[ Peace and Hope ] Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord JesusChrist, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

[ Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ ] Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Line of Reflection

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

[ Life Through the Spirit ] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

[ Paul’s Anguish Over Israel ] I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—

by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.

to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

 Morning Frost

The entire victorious Christian living; in fact, the key to the gospel is found within these 70 Scriptures. Christianity is not designed to be difficult. The Lord did not put His gift of eternal heavenly salvation as a trophy high on the podium, only for ‘champions’ who can manage to attain. This is not only impossible, but a ultimate lie.

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. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10

But Jesus Christ came, and deliver that trophy personally. Through His bloodied hands…

 

For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’   Matthew 25:35-36

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I had the privilege of paying a visit to a dear missionary in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Visiting their work in the field was an experience that still have me pondering with my own life’s priorities and soul-searching on my life’s journey. It was a sudden awakening from a (first world) bubble wrap into the sad reality of the real (third) world. Much of what we have taken for granted as basic and a necessity is “godsend” in some parts of the world.

It is quite unimaginable for young children to grow up literally on piles of rubbish and playing in dirt. These children have no clean water to drink or enough food to eat, most are scruffy and dirty. Birthed into impoverished families, they have no school and at a young age, they are forced to help provide for their families by scavenging through rubbish or work as child-labour.

On the contrary, we are so blessed but yet materialistically clamouring for more. For me, it took a rubbish dump site (where families lived), some simple food for feeding and the children’s laughter to provoke me into repentance. You see, we just cannot turn a blind eye to the abject poverty in our (prosperous) midst; the elephant in the room. We cannot deny what God, and the Holy Spirit who is in us, wants to do; to help out in whatever way we can. We just cannot bask in the glory of the Lord, overflowing with love and grace we have received through Christ, and yet do nothing at all. This is because Christ’s compassion for the needy is also bursting from within.

Our Lord Jesus fed the 5,000 in the gospels because he had compassion on them. More importantly, He fed the people through His disciples (Matthew 14:13-21). Similarly, we are His current disciples here on earth. Dear God’s beloveds, it is now up to you and me… to spread the Lord’s goodness through us. 

 

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