Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Quick Thoughts

If we were to treat God as a person, and not an object or label; our paths would be less treacherous to walk.

We talk to our friends about God only when they are visibly ready to listen. If not, we say nothing about God for fear of hurting their feelings. But are we not fearful of hurting God's feeling by abandoning the Great Commission?

As shepherds, we rebuke others' indulgence in sin only when they are visibly ready to listen. If not, we say nothing about it for fear of hurting their feelings. But are we not fearful of hurting God's feeling by abandoning our role as shepherds?

The Sad Story of God and his People

"You have rejected me," declares the Lord.
"You keep on backsliding.
So I will lay hands on you and destroy you;
I can no longer shown compassion." (Jer 15:6)

"My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes." (Jer 16:17)

"Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, 'This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.' But they will reply, 'It's no use. We will continue with our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart.'" (Jer 18:11-12)

I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in anger and fury and great wrath. (Jer 21:5)

I warned you when you felt secure,
but you said, 'I will not listen!'
This has been your way from your youth;
you have not obeyed me. (Jer 22:21)

Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the Lord.
Do I not fill heaven and earth?" declares the Lord. (Jer 23:24)
I have been captivated by the love story of God in the book of Jeremiah for the past few weeks.

I felt so sad. God's heart is absolutely shattered in pieces.

Through his servant Jeremiah, he pursued his ever-sinning covenant people relentlessly, desiring them to return to his embrace to enjoy him. Yet time and time again, they chose lifeless idols over him, stubbornly choosing to live a sin-bounded life than to live within the boundaries of a blessed life. God used Jeremiah to persuade them to repent, even to the extent of warning them of the imminent destruction if they do not repent. Yet, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts, deceiving themselves that nothing will happen to them. They lived sinfully, as if God could not see their wicked ways. Eventually, grace period was over. The most dreadful thing that could happen happened: God himself fought against his people, bringing death and destruction to these arrogant people who think that they could escape the fury judgment of God!

The same applies exactly to us today. Even if we have already become the adopted children of God, many times we still choose temporary pleasures over him, stubbornly choosing to live under the bondage of sin than to live under the freedom of Christ. We deceive ourselves that God will not take action against us, because he will forgive us the moment we confess our sins. This is true, but by doing so again and again, we are abusing God's grace. We lived sinfully, and even if the whole world does not know it, God knows it.

The book of Jeremiah is a stark reminder to us that God is holy and just, and if we think that we can keep abusing the grace that is given to us through the death and resurrection of Christ, we are either too naive or we are trying to deceive ourselves. I would not want to wait until God's wrath reaches the level that he decides to wage his war against me. I do not think anyone will want to end up there either!

Stop deceiving ourselves, pretending that it is OK to keep sinning and confessing. Quit our habit and addiction to sin and return to God!

Choose God over sin.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

This Season's Lesson: 'Be HER'

After much prayer and observation, I gathered that the Lord has three lessons that he specifically wants me to learn during this season of my life. I named this season as 'Be HER' season. (I know, it sounds feminine)

The Lord wants me to learn to be:

H for humble

Key verse: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matt 11:29)

Comment: My fragile emotions are easily affected by the perception of others. A word of praise can make my day, but a word of criticism can cause me to feel wounded, angry and discouraged for some time. I need to take pride down from its throne, and learn to be humble at heart. Like Jesus, I need to say "It's OK!" when others perceive me negatively, because at the end of the day, what matters most is to please God and gain his favour! Nothing else matters.

E for evangelistic

Key verse: "But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."(Jer 20:9)

Comment: I tend to fear man more than God. The fear of rejection and mockery from others often rob me of the courage to proclaim God's love and salvation to them. Recently, thank God that he has been doing many amazing work in me. He has given me the passion for the salvation of others that compelled me to share the Gospel to people around me. As a result, I had the privilege of being used by God to lead many into his kingdom. Hey, it is not as difficult as I thought in the first place! The more I do, the easier it becomes, the more confident I become! I still fear man occasionally, but I am improving. Just like Jeremiah, I pray that God's Word will be in my heart like a fire...and I will be weary of holding it in! What am I still waiting for? Spread the seeds of the Gospel NOW!

R for relaxed

Key verse: Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matt 6:27)

Comment: I must admit, perfectionism runs in my blood, although the degree of it varies in various seasons. When there is something that I need to do, I must do it NOW. I will feel restless until I have completed the task. And when I do that something, I must do it to the best I can, if not, I will feel bad about it. Even when I was young, I already had it in me. For example, when I was in primary school, when I was given a stack of weekend homework for me to do during the weekends, I would start doing it the moment I entered house after school, and I will finish it before I have my dinner. Homework that was supposed to be spread out nicely for the weekend, but I gobbled it up in a few hours time. Now that I have become a pastor, you can see the imminent danger that is lurking around all the time. As a pastor, there is always work to do, needs to attend to, things in church and ministry you want to improve on. Thus, if I am not careful, I can always remain in a state of stress and intensity. If this goes on, my health will deteriorate fast. Thus, in this season, God is teaching me to learn to relax. It is OK to leave the work and need aside and enjoy time with my loved ones, enjoy time even with myself. I need to learn not to worry, as I always tell others, "Worry is an insult to God."

May God help me as I embark on mastering these three things: Humble, Evangelistic and Relaxed! Remember me in your prayers! :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Reminder of the Sender

Yesterday, we experienced a rare rainy day. A much anticipated one amidst long seasons of hot and dry days. Thank God for sending down rain from above.

Let rain be a sign to remind us of the Sender of rain and the absolute hope we can put in this awesome Sender.

Jeremiah 14:22
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No, it is you, O Lord our God.
Therefore our hope is in you,
for you are the one who does all this.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Only What God Thinks Matters

It's not about what I can do for God, it's about what God wants me to do.

It's not about who I can be for God, it's about who God wants me to be.

Only what God thinks matters, not what others think, not even what I think.

Be still before him. Wait upon him. Don't rush into being a hero or saviour of this world.

Remember His Faithfulness

Psalm 77:7-15
"Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"

Then I thought, "To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High."
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

Whenever you feel that God seems to be turning his face away from you, ignoring you and remaining in silence even as you plea and beg with him in times of trouble, think about how faithful he has been all this while in loving and caring for you.

Don't even for one second listen to the thought of doubt and deception that the devil is trying to plant in you.

God is near, and he will help you, simply because he can, simply because he care! Amen!

God is awesome. Indeed, "What god is as great as our God?" How can we even doubt him? Trust in him at all times.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Most Dangerous Thing - My Answer


What is the most dangerous thing for a driver to do when he is driving?

What is your answer?

My Answer:
You cannot stop your eyes from closing when you sneeze. What do you think?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Link: Killed All the Day Long

Read this thought-provoking post. Makes you wonder how you will respond in times of religious persecution.

Dan Edelen writes, "We love this life too much because it’s the only thing that seems real to us." How true it is. We are still very used to live by sight, and not by faith. Worse still, we are satisfied to live that way.


Monday, April 20, 2009

The Most Dangerous Thing

What is the most dangerous thing for a driver to do when he is driving?

What is your answer?