Posts Tagged ‘Joy’

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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My wife just made a jar of highly delectable cookies. I had more (with a revelation) than just filling my tummy. 😛

My magical place

Dear Lord Jesus, my hope is in You and You are my God of hope. I find hope in Your Word, in Your Spirit that is in me and in Your love. I pray that You would so fill me with Your hope, joy, peace, and faith that I become strong and unwavering, even in the midst of the greatest storm. Help me not to be shaken or become weak but to depend solely on You, my refuge and my stronghold. No matter how negative the people around me are, no matter how dim the situation seems; help me to remain in strongly in hope, joy, peace, and faith; Your Word and Your promises. I know You raise and hold me up by the power of Your Spirit. Help me to overflow with Your love toward others every day, that they may know You.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (VOICE)

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

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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.

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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?

 

 

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.

alas negras

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. ’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. (‭Luke‬ ‭15‬:‭20-24‬ NLT)

In my most beloved Parable of the Lost Son, much is said about the rebellious and riotous son. He came crawling back home after wasting his father’s inheritance for him on wild living; and we are not talking about making a wildlife documentary. Many fathers would have given up on this son, cutting all ties. But not this father. He waited and waited for his son to come home. And when the father saw the son, he was still filled with love and compassion, missing and loving the wayward child.

I was one of those wayward child.

And I believed many of us too had wavered in faith before. But our Father in heaven did not give up; He did not cut all ties with us and wish us dead; but instead longing for our return one day. I was just sharing with some old friends that even when we left God, the Father never did leave us. The Holy Spirit is always there to lift us up when we fall; Yes, He was grieved at my riotous living, but still He never did leave! The Lord said in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God didn’t lie.

Never once did the father reproach the son, and never once did the father mourn for the losses and waste of his inheritance. Not even once.

From the perspective of the son, He was restored with all the privileges, honour and authority as if he had never left. He was willowing in the pig-pen, in much a worse state than even his servants at home but his father restored him to be the master again. It was very unfortunate that the son left, for whatsoever reason – probably stupidity is one of them. But because of the enormous love of the father, the son is fully restored, and even celebrated.

Like the father in the parable, our heavenly Father is waiting for your return. He is so eager to shower His love on you. Never mind, the mistakes you have made. It was unfortunate, unnecessary and even stupid. But rather than to mourn for the losses- the waste, rolling in the pits in misery over the past mistakes; just come back home to the loving embrace of the Father. And with great urgency and pleasure, the Father will restore to you what you have lost, and more. God does not care about the losses or waste; He only cares about you; and that’s all that matters to Him.

And the Father will restore even more than what you rightly deserved.

Just like what He did for me.