Saturday, July 08, 2006

You will not always have me

You will not always have me.

“Leave her alone!  Why are you bothering her?  She has done a fine and beautiful thing for me.  You will always have the poor people with you, and anytime you want to, you can help them.  But you will not always have me.  She did what she could; she poured perfume on my body to prepare it ahead of time for burial.  Now, I assure that wherever the gospel is preached all over the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”  (Mark 14: 6 – 9)

This woman did “a fine and beautiful thing” for Jesus.  Jesus praised her initiative.  But men blamed her.  The people who blamed the woman appeared on the surface charitable but in fact their motive was suspect.  I see in this incident the conflict between the word of God and the word of man.  The word of God searches the inner motives of men while men tend to look at the appearances.

Man can never outdo God in generosity.  God owns everything and deserves the very best.

What can I do for Jesus today to merit the words:  “You have done a fine and beautiful thing for me.”  Yes, the poor people are always around me.  Lord Jesus, teach me to recognize you this day in the poor.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Pains of Labor

The Pains of Labor

“When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.” (John 16: 21)

To be victorious implies a struggle.  

When you are able to withstand the pains of the negative cycle in your life, you become mentally and spiritually stronger.  Your convictions are more solid.  You have overcome by faith and your faith is strengthened.  You know that God is reliable and that you can trust him.

What are the pains of the negative cycles or seasons of life?   I call them the pains of the 6 war zones:  family, health, money, job, food and tools.
  1. Family:  No peace; no trust; no happiness.

  2. Health:  Physical pain, discomfort,; no sleep; plenty of anxiety.

  3. Money:  Feeling of lack; inadequacy, humiliation, deprivation, unhappiness.

  4. Job:  no work, feeling of helplessness; feeling of inadequacy, rejection, insufficiency and helplessness.

  5. Food:  No food; pangs of hunger; discomfort.

  6. Tools:  No car, no TV, computer, telephone, etc.

Health and lack of food cause physical pain and discomfort.  Family, money, job and tool problems cause emotional pain, anxiety and unhappiness.  All the war zones produce unhappiness and  disequilibrium in one’s life.

Have I developed effective scripts on the 6 war zones?  Have I fully understood God’s point of view for me in each of the war zones?

In some season, some of the war zones will be more active than others.  On other occasions, there will be peace in all my borders.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Sufficiency of God's Provision

The Sufficiency of God’s Provision

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.”  (Psalm 23:1)

What I have today is exactly what I need.    The money I have now is sufficient.  The tools I have today are the tools I need.    With regard to money, God tells me:  “Be satisfied with what you have.” (Hebrews 13: 5)

The understanding of the truth of the sufficiency of God’s provision is the foundation of my contentment.  That God is truly providing everything I need moment by moment is a staggering truth that appears to good to be true.  But it is.  To believe this and to submit to God’s most loving and powerful providence is to live in boundless joy, peace and contentment.
The Lord renews my youth as an eagle. (Psalm 103:5)

“He guides me in the right paths, as he promised.”  Today, I am in desperate need for guidance.  What is the next step in the Enterprise?  The Lord has promised me guidance and surely he is leading me step by step.    This is sufficient for me.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In everything you do, acknowledge him and he will direct all your paths.” (Proverbs 3: 5)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

When will it happen?

When will it happen?

“No one knows, however, when that day or hour will come – neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son; only the Father knows.  Be on watch, be alert, for you do not know when the hour will come!  …..If it comes suddenly, he must not find you asleep.  What I say to you, I say to all.  Watch.”  (Mark 13: 32 – 37)

In the above passage, Jesus answers one of the most critical questions we ask God:  Exactly when will it happen?  At what moment will I receive the answer to my prayer?  What is the precise minute of my death?

Answer:   The WHEN is God’s secret.  It is part of his divine arrangement, his government of the world.  The lesson that emerges from the discussion of times and seasons is very clear.  If God has said that something will happen, it must happen.  We are advised to be sober, alert and watchful and not to worry about the precise time.  We prepare for God’s intervention in our lives through prayer, the study of the word of God and through communion with Jesus in the sacraments.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Signs of the Times

Signs of the Times

“Let the fig-tree teach you a lesson.  When its branches become green and tender and it starts putting out leaves, you know that summer is near.  In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that the time is near, ready to begin ….. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”  (Mark 13: 28 – 31)

I am invited to reflect on the signs of the times in  my life.  Are the branches of the fig-tree turning green and tender or are they becoming dry and withering?  About 11 years ago, I experienced the braches of my fig-tree becoming dry and withering.  What were the signs?  Every vital area of my life was getting dry and withering:  family, health, money, tools, job and food.  I thank God that I read correctly the signs of the times and was inspired on what to do.  I sought the Lord and his mercies intensely and he heard my prayer.   Then out of the blues came the idea of the Enterprise.   Then the branches started turning green and tender and putting out leaves.   I saw the new signs and knew that summer was near.

Lord, teach me to read the signs of the times.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Test

The Test

“Pray to God that those things will not happen in the winter!  For the trouble of those days will be far worse than any the world has ever known from the beginning when God created the world until the present time ….  But the Lord has reduced the number of those days; if he had not, nobody would survive.  For the sake of his chosen people, however, he has reduced those days.”  (Mark 13: 18 – 20)

“Because you have kept my command to endure, I will also keep you safe from the time of trouble which is coming upon the world to test all the people of the earth.”  (Revelation 3: 10)

“The Devil will put you to the test by having some of you thrown into prison, and your troubles will last 10 days.  Be faithful to me even if it means death, and I will give you life as your prize of victory.”  (Revelation 2: 10)

  • Severe test may be coming in the future.

  • No one will be spared.

  • For the chosen, the test will last for a short time.

  • Trust in Jesus Christ and remain faithful.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Words to Remember

Words to Remember

“Be on guard, and don’t let anyone deceive you.  Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will deceive many people ….. you yourself must be on guard.  You will be arrested and taken to court.  You will be beaten in the synagogues.; you will stand before rulers and kings for my sake to tell them of the Good News ….. And when you are arrested and taken to court, do not worry beforehand what you are going to say; when the time comes, say whatever is then given to you.  For the words you speak will not be yours; they will come from the Holy Spirit …….. Everyone will hate you because of me.  But whoever holds on to the end will be saved.” (Mark 13: 3 – 13)

The message seems clear:
  • Be vigilant, be sober and do not allow anyone to deceive you.  People will want to steer you form the path God has chosen for you.

  • You will be persecuted because of me.  I have warned you.  Be prepared for it must come.

  • In any emergency, do not panic.  The Holy Spirit will be there to tell you what to do.

  • Enduring patience and perseverance will win the crown.

Lord, thank you for your word.