Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, That there may be food in my house. Put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, And see if I do not open the floodgates of heaven for you, and pour down upon you blessing without measure!" (Malachi 3: 10)

God owns everything. 
“Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation.  Through your goodness I have this gift to offer, the fruit of the earth and the work of my hands.  let it become for me like the bread of life.”  This is a paraphrase of the Offertory prayer.  It teaches us that the gifts we bring to the altar come from God.  God gives the inspiration and the power to act.  We can never outdo God in generosity.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Even if the fig tree does not blossom

"For though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit appears on the vine, Though the yield of the olive fails and the terraces produce no nourishment, Though the flocks disappear from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the LORD and exult in my saving God. GOD, my Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet swift as those of deer and enables me to tread upon the heights" (Habakkuk 3: 17 - 19)

When I came across the above scripture 16 years ago, I understood immediately what it means.  I was awe-struck by the lofty thought.  Often our relationship with God is predicated by what God provides.  But here is a man who says that whether God provides or not, he will always worship and love Him.  O how I wish this attitude is mine.  I still find myself elated when things go well and anxious when they don’t.

I found similar scriptures to Habakkuk 3: 17 – 19 and had even blogged on it as shown below:

“If our God, the one we serve, is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, Your Majesty, he will save us; and even if  he does not, then you must know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have set up.”  (Daniel 3:17 – 18)
A good paraphrase of the above scripture which I like is this:  “If we live, we live; if we perish, we perish.”

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”  (Matthew 26: 39)  Again, we can paraphrase Christ’s sentiments thus:  “If I live, I live; if I die, I die.”

“For though the fig tree blossom not | nor fruit be on the vines, |Though the yield of the olive fail| and the terraces produce no nourishment, | Though the flock disappear from the fold | and there be no heard in the stalls, | Yet will I rejoice in the Lord |and exult in my saving God. (Habakkuk 3: 17 – 18)  Prophet Habakkuk’s word can me summarized with - “If we live, we live; if we perish, we perish.”

“If you make my word your home |you will indeed be my disciples; | you will come to know the truth, | and the truth will make you free.”  (John 8: 31 – 32) 

When we are faithful to the teachings of Jesus, we will have the faith and courage to appropriate the above scriptures.  We will know that God is faithful come what may.

“For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.”  (Romans 14:8)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I know well the plans I have in mind for you

"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope." (Jeremiah 29: 11)

In the early years of the return of the Prodigal, the above scripture meant so much to me.  I read and reread this promise.  I devoured all the commentaries I could find on it.  It was as if these words were spoken personally to me.  After 15 years of living these plans, I am more sober when I reflect on the meaning of this promise for my life.  For one thing I discovered that the accomplishment of this plan is not like a quick surgical operation.   Did you note that Jeremiah speaks of “Plans” and not “Plan.”  That’s right.  God has rolling plans for our lives.  A series of interconnected plans spanning from childhood to old age.  When we deviate from this plan, there is a correction.  Very much like the GPS that helps you to get from one point to another and corrects you if you make a wrong turn. 

God’s plans for my welfare are complete.  They encompass the following:  Pardon, Peace, Power, Purpose, Protection and Provision.  I call these the 6 P’s of God’s promises.  How do we enter into these promises?  God prepares for every individual a grand strategy.  I call mine the 7-Way plan made up of these items:  Prayer, Word of God, Eucharist, Penance, Examen, Ministry and Spiritual Reading.  By employing these strategies, not only are we able to enjoy the 6 P’s but we grow at the same time in the 7 fruits of: Faith, Patience, Wisdom, Humility, Courage, Peace and Contentment.  With all these going for us, we feel adequate to fight and win our daily spiritual warfare in these war zones:  Health, Family, Money, Job, Tools, Food and Future.

Perhaps the best way to see these plans at work is to observe them one day at a time.  David in the Psalms say, “In the morning, I pray and then I wait.”  Early in the morning, David prays for God’s favor for the entire day.  Then he watches to see how his prayer is answered.  One day at a time, he observes how faithful God is.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Continual Guidance3

"Then the LORD will guide you always and satisfy your thirst in parched places, will give strength to your bones And you shall be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never fail" (Isaiah 58: 11)

Every day I yearn and pray for continual guidance.  Yet, this is already promised in the PL scriptures as seen from Isaiah 58: 11.  Why don’t I believe this?   I focus on circumstances and not on the word of God.  As I walk on the water, all is well as far as there is no turbulence in the sea and as I focus on Jesus.   Once the sea gets furious, I tend to glance about me and when I do so, I take my eyes off Jesus.  I become panicky and start to sink. 

The Enterprise is a journey to the PL.  It is also a journey through the desert where there are many parched places.  The bones would be weary.  Isaiah 58: 11 promises that the Lord will provide continual guidance, protection and provision. 

Lord I believe.  Help my unbelief!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Seekfirstweb-Podcast: Cyrus

Seekfirstweb-Podcast: Cyrus: "Thus says the LORD to his anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I grasp, Subduing nations before him, stripping kings of their strength, Openi...