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Archive for May, 2016

Today’s passage is Jeremiah 15:10-21.  Jeremiah pleaded with God to spare him, because he had been faithful to God.  He pleaded with God to save him, as he was being put to persecution for preaching God’s words.

In verse 18 Jeremiah accused God of abandoning him, as he experienced endless pain.  It was then God chimed in, in verse 19, God promised to bring him back on his feet again (but not without Jeremiah’s repentence). 

Verses 20 and 21 were what spoke to me – suffering and persecution doesn’t equate to “punishment” for faithlessness.  God said to Jeremiah, “I will save you; I will strengthen you, I will deliver you and redeem you.  Why?  Because you’ll face persecution and wickedness; but that’s ok, you won’t be overcome by them, for I’ll be with you.”

This is so encouraging – if we do what’s righteous (verse 19b), we don’t necessary get rewarded with peace and justice and understanding.  Our reward is not here from the people, but in eternity with God.

God, thank you for your promise to Jeremiah, it helped me see your true passion in us believers being salt and light to non-believers; though we may face obstacles of different sorts, we’re at peace with you, because we’re doing your will.  Help me see that my reward in heaven is more precious than what I could gain here on earth.  Amen.

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It started a couple of months back, I began to include this in my nightly prayer, “Lord, may your spirit of truth, peace, love, wisdom and joy live here in this household.  May it envelop each one under this roof, and anyone who comes thru the door.”

There was peace in the household.  Amen, thank you Lord!

My first observation was I had missed it for a couple of nights, and hell broke loose.  It was scary as, hostility and fights instead of friendly conversations.  I went back to praying the same words.

Peace returned, thank you Lord.

Again, I let loose this week.  Another night of upheaval.  Disaster.  Hurt souls.  Damaged relationship.

Tonight I want to confess my first personal experience of spiritual warfare.  Satan is set on destruction, ever so easy when I let my guard down.  Thinking that it’s just a plain prayer and not giving it the credit it deserves is suicidal.  I learnt it the hard way and boy am I going back to the prayer fast!

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Sitting in the plane, thousands of thoughts rolling in my head – how do I get work done, who should I use in that task, is my manager going to ask for the impossible – questions without answers.  Panic raising its ugly head.

You see, I returned to work yesterday after extended leave.  It had been a hectic year and taken a lot out of me, so much so that I needed a break.  While I had learnt a lot about God and myself during that time, the revelation and experience had completely drained me.

Not entirely thrilled about going back to work.  I tried being thankful, “at least I have a job!”  I also tried a Godly prayer, “Lord, you had put me here for a reason, on your mission.  Let me do and complete my tasks as I would serve you.  Let me serve in your strength, not my ability.  Lord, I want to be your salt and light, help me be just that.”  Not much help, the minute I sat at me work desk, worries and panics began to set in; like the good-‘ol-days.

Suddenly this came to me: I’m sitting here concerned about completing work, worried about deadlines, stressed over manager’s unreasonable demands.  But this is all make-believe, they don’t matter in eternity!  Would I be as concerned/worried/stressed over unsaved soul?  Honest to God, no, I won’t be – I’m still possessed over earthly things; could be my promotion, other’s perception of me or job satisfaction!

God, help me achieve a balance in my work life.  Help me see the spiritual need at my workplace.  Help me manage with your eyes and wisdom.  Amen.

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Went around town looking for autumn leaves and caught a glimpse of this fiery one.  No way anyone would miss this outstanding red from the crowd; so eye-catching, beautiful and stunning.  I wonder if trees surrounding it are envious of its colour, “I wish I had that on me…..”

Also reminds me of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5.  Believers are called to be light of the world, we gotta live out Christ in us so as to drown out the darkness around us, so that others can see God’s goodness thru us.

Let us not be afraid to shine wherever we may be; like this stunning tree proudly putting its colour in display; and bring glory to our heavenly father.  Amen.

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Today I read from 2 Chronicles 33:10-19.  It says that the Lord God spoke to Judah and Manasseh, the king in reign of Judah, but no one took heed and continued in their sinful ways.  The Lord God had no choice but to give them over to the Assyrians.  It was no ordinary capture, the king was bound in hooks and chains when taken away to Babylon, what humiliation!

Like you and I, at the end of our wits and landed in deep dooh-dooh, Manasseh pleaded with God and humbled himself greatly before Him (verses 12 and 13). 

Look, this is Manasseh who would enquire of mediums, perform child sacrifices (of his own children!) and worship foreign gods that were previously removed by his father; evil-est of the evils!  If I were God, I would have ignored his plea, “serve you right!” would have been my sneer at that point.

Lucky for Manasseh, and the rest of us, our God is forever gracious.  He was moved by Manasseh’s plea and heard him, so much so that God restored the kingdom to Manasseh.

What a beautiful story of repentance, forgiveness and redemption!  Just like parable of the prodigal son, the unruly one is not turned back for his past sins, but welcomed home (and restored to glory!) as he humbly ask to be forgiven. 
It also reminds me of Psalm 34, taste and see the Lord is good (verse 8).  I’d say Manasseh would use this psalm to praise God’s goodness – he rejected God in his earlier life but once he’s tasted God’s redemption, he’s hooked and couldn’t help but serve the Lord the rest of his life.

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