Friday, February 02, 2007

I shall not fear

"But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep." (Mark 4: 38)

Can God be asleep?

"God will not allow your foot to slip; your guardian does not sleep. Truly, the guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps." (Psalm 121: 3-4)

"So we shall not be afraid though the earth be in turmoil, though mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, and its waters roar and seethe, and the mountains totter as it heaves." (Psalm 46: 2 -3)

Why must we not be afraid? Because …

"Yahweh Sabaoth is with us, our citadel, the God of Jacob." (Psalm 46: 3)

"Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?" (Mark 11: 40). If you know who is with you, you should not fear. My grace is always with you, no matter what.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Please come quickly

"Only a little while now, a very little while, for come he certainly will before too long." (Hebrews 10: 37)

Marana tha! Come Lord Jesus! Please come quickly. This was the constant prayer of the early Church. They desired intensely to see the kingdom of heaven realized as soon as possible. What they heard about being pilgrims in this world with a superior homeland in heaven, they believed with all their heart. To drive the lesson home were the constant persecutions, tribulations and sufferings they face on daily base. No wonder they hungered for a release from their current situation. While material prosperity is desirable, it may not be good for everybody. Who can doubt the fact that material prosperity deadens the senses to the spiritual? There is a tight correlation between the desire for heaven and detachment from this world. The more attached we are to this world, the more we feel that heaven is desirable but only in the far distant future.

"Only a little while now, a very little while, for come he certainly will before too long." (Hebrews 10: 37)

Come Lord Jesus. Please come quickly!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Be fearless

"Do not lose your fearlessness now, then, since the reward is so great. You will need perseverance if you are to do God's will and gain what he has promised." (Hebrews 10: 35 – 36)

It is the Holy Spirit who makes us bold and fearlessness. Biblical characters chosen by God for specific mission were all bold and fearless. David and the prophets in the Old Testament were bold and fearless. After the Pentecost, all the apostles became bold and fearless. Paul who had a natural boldness to his character acquired a supernatural boldness after he received the Holy Spirit. The above scripture from Hebrews indicate that it is possible to lose our fearlessness. We lose it if we succumb to sin and remain in sin. We lose it if we fellowship too much with the world. The world has boldness in worldly matters but very timid when it comes to the things of God.

We are encouraged by the above scripture to be constant and steadfast because the reward is very great. Dear Holy Spirit, give us the grace of boldness and perseverance so that we can serve Jesus Christ as he deserves to be served.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

By Faith

“Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Matthew 8: 17)

How did Christ take away our infirmities and bore our diseases when we can see so many infirmities and disease in the body of Christ, not to mention the world at large? The answer is in Hebrews 11: 1-2, 8-19.

“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he sojourned in the Promised Land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God. By faith he received power to generate, even though he was passed the normal age – and Sarah herself was sterile – for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy. So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the shore.

All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth, for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had the opportunity to return. But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer the only son, of whom it was said, Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name. He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and received Isaac back as a symbol.”
(Hebrews 11: 1-2, 8-19)

How did Christ take away our infirmities and bore our diseases when we can see so many infirmities and disease in the body of Christ, not to mention the world at large? The answer is by faith. By faith in the word and action of Christ, we appropriate the promised blessing. Once we do that, although the physical condition of disease and infirmities may still be present, they lose completely their sting. The conditions remain in order to sharpen in us the desire for the fullness of the promise, which is everlasting life. It is through faith that we appropriate God’s promises of:
· Peace
· Provision
· Protection
· Power
· Purpose
· Pardon
Lord Jesus, increase our faith.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sufferings and Humiliations After Conversion

“Remember the great challenge of the sufferings that you had to meet after you received the light, in earlier days; sometimes by being yourselves publicly exposed to humiliations and violence, and sometimes as associates of others who were treated in the same way.”
(Hebrews 10: 32 – 33)

When we respond to the grace of Jesus Christ and embrace him and his way, the world does not stand up and say: “Hurray! Congratulations!” in fact, conversion could bring about great challenges and sufferings. The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews was fully aware of this. Every saint who has walked this path knows that this is true.

What did I expect on that fateful day in 1995 when I signed my name in my bible and promised to Jesus: “From this day till I die, I will follow you, love you and serve you?’ I expected that Jesus would be very happy that at long last, I have got the message. But I also expected many other things. At that time, I was broken in health, my finances were broken and I had no job. Life was indeed very grim to put it mildly. I genuinely expected all these problems to be fixed if not in days in a few weeks. What did I get? It took almost two years for me to recover my health. I did not get any job till five years after my conversion. After I got a job and almost 8 years later, the Lord provided just the money I needed. But that is ok for me since I have never desired or prayed to be a millionaire.

Today’s scripture describes the same condition that I have personally experienced and can attest to. But what is not mentioned is the joy, the consolation and peace that come with a genuine conversion experience. I can attest to this too. I often wonder what my life would have been if I have had a similar conversion experience 20 years earlier. Knowing Jesus brought a fresh spring time in my life. I have never been happier and fulfilled as I am today. Thank you Jesus.