Posts Tagged ‘Love’

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

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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…

 

Nebelstimmung

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.   1 John 3:1-10 (NLT)

UntitledVery often, we are taught or understood concepts the wrong way up. We put the cart before the horse, and wonder why are we not experiencing a victorious Christian life that we should? You see, there are many lessons we have grossly misunderstood, contrary to what the Bible says in 1 John 3:1-10 (NLT), written by a disciple “whom Jesus loved”.

Firstly, we must have the knowledge that we, the children of God, are dearly loved by the Father. We are not orphans fending for ourselves or fighting and sacrificing ourselves to gain the God’s acceptance. We already have the Father’s favour! We already gained the Father’s love. Only children who knows they are loved are empowered to venture into life without always looking behind their backs.

Secondly, we are born into sin because of Adam’s fall, and are sinners because we are in sin. But because Jesus Christ came to redeem us from sin, we are no longer in sinners. This is solely by the blood of Christ that washed our sin away (past, present and future), we are no longer sinners, EVEN if we sin. However, we are not to live sinful since we have nothing more to do with sin, instead to new a life. Romans 6:1-4

However, if we are stagnant in sin, without guilt, without intention of getting out or even enjoying in a sinful lifestyle over long periods of time, then we have no revelation of who the Father really is or how much Christ had done for us.

A pig who loves the mud pool, even though if it is cleaned, will jump back into the mud pool the first opportunity it gets. But a sheep will never want to go near a mud pool, even if it is filthy. If it fell into a mud pool, the sheep will be miserable and will want to get out of the mud the first chance it gets. It is about who you are and knowing who you are; Christ has changed us from a pig to a sheep; so don’t behave still like a pig, you sheep!

Take a walk on the wild side

So the very key of this message is “Do you want a victories Christian Life? Do you really know the Father’s heart and do you really know Jesus Christ’s love for you?”

Let’s pray: Our Father in heaven, we know you love us and gave Your very best- Jesus Christ your only Son to sacrifice on the cross for us. Christ suffered and died for us so that we can live a victorious and abundant life. Help us to see more of Your love, demonstrated by Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit guide and open our hearts to know more from the Bible and resources that reveal the grace and love of the Father and the Son. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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?

 

 

Malawi, kids at the beach of Lake Malawi

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.

More Love in My Life

 

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to understand and sense more of the depth of Your love for me. Fill me with Your love today so that it overflows to others. I know that Your love is greater than even the strength of faith and hope. Let the fullness of Your love in my life bring healing and wholeness to the all parts of me. Where I have felt unloved, I pray You would fill and heal that wound with Your love. Free me to love others the way that You do, and I know the mark of love will last for all eternality. We love because You first loved us. Thank you, Lord.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13