Monday, January 24, 2011

A Life of Grace

 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” – Matt 18:32-35

As Christians, do we truly understand the price that was paid for our sins? Everything that we’ve done, either by word or deed, against God’s divine majesty was not only repulsive to God, but it broke the very heart of God. Understand that when God through His grace gave His only Son to pay the price for our wrongdoings, it was as though we giving up our own children or love ones to pay the price for Hitler’s (or some other very evil person’s) crimes.
While we now live this life of redemption, do our actions and speech reflect that grace? Or are we still judgmental to the people around us, where there prevails in us a sense of superiority that we are better than everyone else? Do we feel that our sins are ‘lesser’ than others, or instead, do we understand that in the eyes of God, even the best of our good works are like filthy rags (Isa 64:6)?
Instead, we’re called to live a life of grace. This grace should emanate from every aspect of our lives at every single moment to everyone around us. This would mean that regardless of whether we’re dealing with difficult people, or people that have hurt us before, our love for them should be that of the love of God for us. Do take time to pray and ask God to reveal our hearts in this area, and may He capture your heart again with His grace.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Dangers of False Worship

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”– 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Casual readers of the bible will tend to associate the verse above with the description of a non-believer. Truth be told, Paul was actually describing what the church itself will look like in the end times. In the last days, there will be a surge of people that will come into the church, but instead of giving up their old selves and surrendering their sins, they see church as a means to achieve some personal agenda, may it be for wealth, health, or status. Paul warned Timothy that people will be lovers of themselves instead of God and His will. Sadly, this is already happening, not just here, but all over the world.
When we worship God to songs such as “I surrender all” or “You’re all I need”, is that a true declaration of our hearts? We tread dangerous waters when we offer up half true words to God. Ananias in Acts 5 paid a high price when he wanted to be perceived for something he is not. My hope is that if our hearts are not truly surrendered to God, let us not mock God with such words. May we put an emphasis to get our hearts right so that we can offer up true worship (John 4:24) to Him.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Knowing The Voice of God

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” – John 10:27-28

We live in the world today where it seems that just about everybody has a good idea, a great tip, or the best advice. From magazines to TV shows, from the radio to your next door neighbor, and from the Internet to your friends and families, one thing you can be sure is that these sources will have a solution to your problem. While not every advice given is bad, it’s not the best either. Also while we can make use of advices to help us get things done faster or easier, we need to be careful with advice that impacts us eternally.
Jesus said that His followers know His voice. When we’re making decisions that impacts our futures; decisions such as which course to study, which career to pursue, which person to marry and so on, how much of these decisions are surrendered to God for His will? Often, our habit it to make the decision first and then pray to get God’s approval.
I pray that our desire in 2011 will be to really know the voice of God in our lives. God promises us that as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. Also, as we look for Him, He will reveal Himself to us. Let us change the way we pray of telling God what to do, and have a humbled heart that stoops before His presence, and say “Lord, what’s Your will for my life?”
May you experience this great privilege and enjoyment as you bask in His presence.

Monday, January 03, 2011

2011 Aspirations

2010 came and went in a flash. Just like that. And today, I stand at the dawn of a new year. Will this year pass just as quickly? I guess that's not the point. More importantly is whether I can capitalize on the time given in this year, not just to do more, but to 'be' more.
So here's hoping and praying by faith that as God being my guide, He will lead into the things that He has planned for me. My prayer is that the desires within me to fulfill my own selfish needs will decrease, as His desires to bring His Kingdom's reign and rule through me will increase. I pray that I can faithfully live out the life as Paul said "To live is Christ, and to die gain."
Am I fearful? Yes. In fact, I'm trembling as I write this. But with God on my side, who or what can be against me?

So, what are your aspirations for 2011?