Posts Tagged ‘Life’

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20

We often hear voices in our heads that we have so little faith; that we don’t have enough faith for it to matter. Because if we have even a little faith like a mustard seed, we can literally move mountains. So we therefore judged and concluded that, if we cannot move mountains, then we don’t even have that little mustard seed of faith!

Do you think God really meant that?

NO! We have been duped by the enemy for so long. In Luke 17:5-6, Lord Jesus used the same parable but in a different context; the disciples asked to be increased in faith:

The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”   The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you! Luke 17:5-6

We have been hoodwinked with the wrong focus. You see, we are not to judge how much faith we have to determine how much we can do but rather to know that with faith, however small will one day, move mountains and uproots trees! We should stop seeing ourselves as believers without faith, weak and helpless. We are to see ourselves as mountain-movers and tree-uprooters, since it take only a mustard seed of faith to do those things.

In Hebrew 11, we see all the giant characters of faith, yet in the concluding verse: All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. Hebrews 11:38-40.

So what is the secret promise that is even better and perfect than these amazing faith feats?

It is in the following verses in Chapter 12:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrew 12:1-2

In the post-cross perspective, our Lord Jesus Christ is the Champion who is the Initiator and Perfector of our faith. In Amplified Bible, it reads: Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity]. Great as their faith may be, even the faith giants mentioned in the Old Testament couldn’t have received all the portions God has promised; the perfection of faith from the risen Lord!

So in conclusion, it’s not really about how much faith we think we have, but to just keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, and HE will be the One who will bring us to move mountains and uproots trees.

 

 

 

 

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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?

 

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

The WAY

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” John 14:6-7

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…

 

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

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.