Friday, October 30, 2009

Black Hole

Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. (Revelation 9:1-2 NAS)

Black Hole According to astronomers, a black hole is a region of space in which the gravitational pull is so powerful that nothing can escape from it, not even light. It absorbs all the light that hits it and reflects nothing in its space, covering all within it with infinite darkness into which objects can fall in, but nothing can come out. A black hole is believed to be created in the collapse of a very massive star at its death. It is shielded from the outside world by what is called an event horizon. This is a sphere around the black hole where light can no longer escape and everything that crosses the event horizon is gone forever.

Despite the invisible interior of a black hole, it can reveal its presence through interaction with other matter. One of the ways to detect the presence of a black hole is by observing the inward spiraling of gas heating up to very high temperatures and emitting large amounts of radiation from earthbound and earth-orbiting telescopes. Such observations, according to information from the Wikipedia, have resulted in scientific consensus that black holes exist in our universe.

Like the gravitational pull of a black hole, the draw and attraction of this world can also be very powerful and enticing. If we are not careful, we can be absorbed deep into the entanglements of this world to a point of no return (Mark 3:22-30; Matthew 12:31-32; 22:11-13; 24:48-51; 25:11-13; Revelation 2:14-16, 20-23). Beyond this point, if we continue to persist in hardening our hearts to hold back the Light of God from penetrating, we will no longer be able to escape or come out of it, and will be lost forever once we cross ‘the event horizon of the black hole.’ So strong will be the pull from the forces of darkness that we will not be able to find our way back.

Before going too deep into darkness, therefore, let us all examine ourselves to observe what is ‘inwardly spiraling’ within us of our motives and cause when we make decisions. Have we given thought to how our decisions can affect others and our walk with God? Unless we look within our hearts and examine ourselves to see if we harbor ill intent in our plans and decisions, we can be in danger of becoming instrumental to the ‘heating up of very high temperatures and emitting radiation’ of smoke from the great furnace of the bottomless pit that shrouds the sun and air (Revelation 9:1-2).

We should therefore decisively purpose in our hearts to stay clear from the absorbing darkness of this world which can prevent the light of God from coming through. When that happens, there will be no return, and darkness will prevail to lay its claim, where all who do not receive Jesus as Lord and Savior or who turn away from Him will perish and suffer the agonizing fire of the abyss and hell forever (Revelation 20:12-15).

Lead us O Lord to walk in Your ways all the days of our lives, never to be drawn away into the enticement of this world. Help us examine our hearts Lord when we make decisions, to always consider whether we are taking a step forward or away from You. Keep us safe from the clutches of darkness Lord that we may not fall prey into the schemes of the devil and his allies to draw closer into the black hole of the bottomless pit. Do not let Your light diminish from shining through us Lord that we may not be shrouded into infinite darkness, but be spared from the burning furnace of eternal death.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3 NAS)

Feeling the Blues When I was a young Christian, I was taught to use colors to highlight verses in my Bible to help me easily find different aspects of Bible truths. Blue was the color designated for representing blessings from God poured down from heaven in the sky of blue. This positive representation of blue however is unusual because in the secular world blue is usually represented with negativity. Colloquial expressions such as 'Monday blues' and 'feeling the blues' are examples of negative representations seen from the perspective of life on earth as drudgery.

Monday blues and feeling the blues are often associated with connotations of being mundane or meaningless, in low spirits, reluctance, dejection, depression, despondence, wasting of efforts, melancholy, apart from it being a joy killer. Such negative connotations and emotions are frequently expressed by people around the world, even among Christians. These emotions and feelings of negativity are clear indications of moods and attitudes build on the insinuations of the devil to cause us to lose hope and to indulge in depression rather than to live our lives to the fullest.

We probably have experienced blues in our lives at one time or another. Some of us may feel blue when things are not going as smoothly as we hope. Others may feel blue because of the start of a new week doing mundane or meaningless work. Yet there are also others who genuinely have good reasons to be in low spirits, maybe as a result of some misfortune, mishap, misadventure, or suffering. All these reasons or excuses, however, are not good enough reasons for us to be disheartened or dispirited.

As believers and representatives of the true and Living God, we should be filled with joy overflowing at all times, even while in affliction (2 Corinthians 7:4; Acts 13:52). This is because God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Maintaining a joyful spirit when doing our work is therefore crucial, even if it is not at all interesting or the ideal job we are seeking (1 Peter 2:18), for in whatever we do, we must do it heartily as for the Lord rather than for men (Colossians 3:23). We should therefore give of ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord, knowing with certainty in our hearts that God will not hesitate to open up the windows of heaven to pour out His blessings on us until it overflows (Malachi 3:10; Romans 12:1-2).

Fill us dear Lord with Your joy and pour out Your blessings on us. Open our eyes Lord to see life in the correct perspectives that we may not indulge in depressive moods, but be renewed in our spirits with joy overflowing. Remove from us Lord the spirit of negativity that we may live our lives meaningfully and victoriously, each day with great expectancy as we face every situation with You in supremacy. Blessed be Your name O Lord for You are worthy to receive all praise and all glory!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Red Cross

"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18 NAS)

Henry Dunant When Henry Dunant, a Swiss banker traveling on business in northern Italy, witnessed the bloody aftermath of the Battle of Solferino between 300,000 soldiers from Imperial Austria and the Franco-Sardinian Alliance in 1859, he resolved to form relief societies with the objective to have the wounded cared for by devoted volunteers fully qualified for the task. In October 1863, therefore, under the leadership of Henry Dunant, along with Gustave Moynier, General Guillaume-Henri Dufour, Dr Louis Appia and Dr Theodore Maunoir, the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded was set up in Geneva, which today is the International Committee of the Red Cross. The symbol of the Red Cross has since become a universal representation of hope and assistance.

Just as the Red Cross symbolizes hope and assistance to many, the Cross which was shed in red with the blood of Christ symbolizes hope and salvation to the world. Since the fall of man, God has witnessed time and again the bloody aftermath of death resulting from the sinful nature of man, beginning with the bloody murder of Abel (Genesis 4). Since the days of Adam, therefore, God has resolved to have the 'wounded' cared for, not only by devoted volunteers such as the judges, kings and prophets, but also by all of us who believe in the Son of God. As Christians and believers saved by God through the shedding of blood by our Lord Jesus Christ and death on the Cross (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2), we are all therefore qualified for the task to be God’s witnesses. For though our sins were as scarlet and red like crimson, we have been cleansed as white as snow like wool (Isaiah 1:18).

As Christians, therefore, we ought not to hesitate to provide relief to the wounded, especially those who are in hurt and facing the agony of sin and death. We need not wait till we are spiritually mature to be qualified to do the work of God and to help provide relief to people in need, for God has already qualified us for His task when we acknowledged Him as our Lord and King. We also need not feel inadequate, because God has completely whitewashed us from our sinful past with His blood.

Thank you dear Lord for cleansing us from sin and saving us from death through the shedding of Your blood on the Cross. Place in our hearts Lord the desire to help people in need, especially those who are wounded, hurt, in agony and in need of your salvation. Help us Lord not to hesitate to do the task you have for us in providing physical and spiritual relief to the world.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Price of Obedience

Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams." (1 Samuel 15:22 NAS)

Obey God's Word One of the first lessons I learnt as a new Christian was 'to obey is better than sacrifice'. At the age of 15, I was faced with the dilemma to obey God or man concerning water baptism. I knew if I decide to obey God and be baptized, I would have to disobey my parents who are ardent followers of 'buddhism' (taoism). If I have asked for permission, my parents would have objected to the proposition, and if they know the date of the baptism, they would lock me up and barred me from ever getting involved with Christianity again. I am after all just a youth under their governance, legally underage to make such a serious decision.

Troubled over this matter, I sought help from my pastor who counseled me and advised me 'to obey is better than sacrifice' (1 Samuel 15:22). What he meant then was if obedience to God is such a great sacrifice to me, then I should not go ahead with water baptism until I am ready to willingly give myself to God. I chose then to skip my first opportunity to obey God in water baptism.

My disobedience to God pricked me over the next few months because my heart was yearning to serve God in the student ministry, but without obedience in water baptism, it is impossible for me to serve Him whole-heartedly. It then came clear to me that although salvation is received the moment I trust in Christ, water baptism is still a necessary step for the outward expression of my obedience as a witness to self and to the public, without which the world will not recognize me as a Christian. So I pondered and read the Scriptures to find out what it has to say about obedience to parents.


Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (Ephesians 6:1-3 NAS)

If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son, that will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and, though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; (Deuteronomy 21:18-19 NAS)

The verses quoted above are clear. Obedience to parents is God's command, and if a son disobeys, he is as a stubborn and rebellious son deserving chastening. Does this therefore mean I should obey my parents and forget about water baptism? May it never be! What Ephesians 6:1 means is to obey your parents IN THE LORD, by first obeying God.

So when the next baptism came, I chose to disobey my parents and went ahead with water baptism in obedience to my heavenly Father. The aftermath was not smooth sailing when I finally told my parents and persecution breaks out which lasted several years before they accept me for what I believe.

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10 NAS)

The route of obedience to God is not easy. Whether as a youth or an adult, there is often a price to pay when you choose to obey God. Honor God and God will give you honor (1 Samuel 2:30; John 12:26). If you seek first His kingdom, He will bless you and provide you with all your needs (Matthew 6:33).

... choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah. (Joshua 24:15 NAS)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Consultative Management

Consultative Management All of us know the many different styles of managing a country or a company or even our subordinates. We sometimes use authoritarian style, at other times liberal style, and occasionally consultative style.

The Bible records one of the ways King David manages his team of warriors in making decisions, through the use of consultative management.

1 Chronicles 13:1-4 (NAS)

Then David consulted with the captains of the thousands and the hundreds, even with every leader.

David said to all the assembly of Israel, "If it seems good to you, and if it is from the LORD our God, let us send everywhere to our kinsmen who remain in all the land of Israel, also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their cities with pasture lands, that they may meet with us; and let us bring back the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul."

Then all the assembly said that they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.

If you are a good leader, a CEO, a director, a manager, or a supervisor, here is something you can learn from king David in the ways he manages his team. Learn to listen to the people at times. Use consultative management, but ALWAYS make decisions with God in your plan! Be sensitive to your staff, colleagues, and subordinates.