Friday, January 27, 2012

Eternal Commitment

Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:5 NAS)

Job CommitmentAccording to, one of the most common questions asked by employers when considering hiring a staff is “How long do you plan on staying with us?” This question is reasonable because when a corporation decides to hire a person, it has to make a financial commitment. Besides paying a salary, if an employee leaves, the employer needs to find someone else to replace the job as well, and that costs time, money, and efficiency.

An advice given on what not to say in answer to the question is “I plan on staying until I retire.” The reason is because unless we are in our 60s, this statement cannot be true. While we need to sound like we are planning on committing to the role, we can never know what the future holds. A more appropriate answer would therefore be something like, “I plan to stay until there is nothing left for me to contribute to the company’s future success.”

Commitment to the job is expected of employees, but much is left to be said of the same expectation from employers. During times of bad economy or slow economic growth, employers seldom remember the commitment they made to their employees and are often quick to lay off their staff, sometimes even without appropriate compensation.

Thankfully, our God is not like an employer that He should fail to keep His end of the bargain. He is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent (Numbers 23:19). Has He said and will He not do it? Has He spoken and will He not make it good?

Unlike the commitment made between employers and employees, we can be sure our commitment to God our Savior is never in vain. He will never abandon or forsake us in times of our trouble or need, for the LORD our God is a compassionate God; He will not fail us or forget His promises (Deuteronomy 4:31).

Let us therefore commit our ways to the Lord and put our complete trust in Him that our works and our plans will be established (Psalm 37:5; Proverbs 16:3). Hold fast to the word of life that in the day of Christ we will have reason to glory because we did not run nor toil in vain (Philippians 2:16).

Today, if our Lord is to ask us how long do we plan to stay with Him, what will our answer be? Will we say until we retire, until there is nothing left for us to contribute to His kingdom, or as long as we shall live, all the days of our lives through eternity? What if He calls us to a particular ministry? Will we say we will try it out for a year first before we decide, or will we willingly obey? May it be found in our hearts to desire to serve the Lord and to be with Him forever and ever. Amen.

Dear Lord, our hearts yearn to be with You forever and ever. We desire Lord to commit our whole being and all aspects of our lives to You. Be our King and our Lord to reign supreme in our lives, for we do not want to be half-hearted in serving You ever again. You O Lord are a compassionate God, and You never fail to fulfill what You promise us. In You we will put our complete trust, for You know our needs and never leave us without help in times of our troubles. Thank You Lord for always being with us when we need You. We worship and praise You O God, because You alone are worthy of our absolute commitment.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Waiting Calmly Amid Storm

I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1 NLT)

Psalm 40:1-2 (NLT)Lately, I have been spending much time in the woods enjoying the peace and quiet—something I have always wanted to do on a regular basis, but couldn't find the time the past many years. The woods is where I find solace and tranquility before God my Creator as I commune with Him. My heart is at peace as I listen to the chirping sounds, watch the squirrels playfully running about, and breathe in the freshness of the air. This much needed break is made possible by God’s grace amid a time of waiting for a door to open to grant me the means to keep my family's livelihood going.

In such a circumstance, few of us would be able to keep calm, unless we have the peace of God in us. Without God’s peace, we would likely be feeling unease, worried, afraid or even crumble under much stress, just as Jesus’ disciples did in the face of the storm (Matthew 8:23-27). But like our Lord who was able to rest amid the storm, God has given me a peace that surpasses all understanding to guard my heart and mind in Him (Matthew 8:24; Philippians 4:7).

Whenever we are in a spirit of turmoil or facing surmounting stress, therefore, let us stay calm in the Lord and be like King David who said in Psalm 40 (NLT):

Psalm 40:1-2
I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.

Psalm 40:4-5
Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,
who have no confidence in the proud
or in those who worship idols.
O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.

Psalm 40:8
I take joy in doing your will, my God,
for your instructions are written on my heart.

Psalm 40:13
Please, LORD, rescue me!
Come quickly, LORD, and help me.

The LORD is our shepherd; we shall not be in want. He lets us rest in green pastures, and leads us beside peaceful waters. He renews our strength and guides us along right paths, bringing honor to His own name (Psalm 23:1-3).

Let us therefore not be afraid even if we are to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, for God is with us. His rod and staff protect and comfort us. He prepares a feast for us in the presence of our enemies, and honors us by anointing our heads with oil. Our cup overflows with blessings. Surely our God’s goodness and unfailing love will lead us all the days of our lives, and we will live in the house of the LORD forever (Psalm 23:4-6).

Do not fret therefore in times of difficulties. Instead, look to God with expectancy, for what we do while waiting is important. If walking in the surroundings of nature or doing a certain thing we like helps us draw closer to or commune with God, let us make time to do this. All of us can experience the renewing of the spirit and receive peace beyond comprehension if like me we take time to come away and walk with God.

Dear Lord, help us to keep our calm in times of turmoil and storm. Teach us to patiently wait for Your help. Lift us out of despair Lord, and grant us Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Renew our minds and spirit, and set our feet on solid ground as we walk along. Come quickly O God and rescue us in our need. We put our complete trust in You O Lord, for we take joy in doing Your will.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Spiritual Infection

Take the impurities out of silver, and a vessel is ready for the silversmith to mold. (Proverbs 25:4 GWT)

Virus InfectionSome years ago, my computer was hijacked by a spyware called Ezula. According to Symantec, “Ezula alters Web pages viewed in Internet Explorer and can add extra links to certain keywords that advertisers target.”

That was exactly what happened. I started seeing links at my web site which I did not place, apparently created by the malicious program that had hijacked my Web browser. What I immediately did then was to install an anti-virus cum anti-spyware program to clean up my computer. Over 300 parameters containing malicious advertising software codes were detected, and as if that was not trouble enough, the operating system crashed while I was attempting to prevent further damage. Restoring the computer to its normal state of health was a real pain. I had to work through re-setting up my operating system, reinstall all my software applications, and redo a multitude of other things.

Much like a computer virus infection or spyware intrusion, our Christian lives are also vulnerable to spiritual attacks and ungodly influence, often creeping in unnoticed. By the time we discover our wayward behavior or un-Christian mannerisms, we are often left with little we can do on our own to repair or make amends for the colossal damage done. This is why it is very important that we are firmly founded in the word of God to understand God’s precepts and His ways (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:15-16).

Just as an anti-virus and anti-spyware program is necessary to prevent and repair infected computers, so it is with us that we need God’s word and His Holy Spirit in us to protect us from spiritual attacks. We may fall prey to the devil’s tricks or his insinuations at times, but we must not despair. Instead, we ought to return to the Lord and seek restoration (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

Let us therefore be of sober spirit and stay alert always, for our adversary, the devil, is constantly prowling around, seeking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Resist the devil, and stand firm in our faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by our brethren around the world (1 Peter 5:9). Allow God to restore to us the joy of His salvation, and sustain us with a willing spirit (Psalm 51:12). If there be a need for us to go through a period of deep cleansing to remove impurities during restoration, let us not resist, but accept God’s molding willingly (Proverbs 25:4).

Dear Lord, thank You for always watching over us. Forgive us Lord for sometimes falling into bad behavior under the influence of the ungodly. Keep us firmly standing on our ground O Lord, deeply rooted in Your word to know Your precepts. Protect us Lord from the attacks of the evil one as we resist him with the full armor of God put on. Restore to us the joy of Your salvation O God, and sustain us with a willing spirit of obedience.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Once an Answered Prayer

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:21b)

Time for PrayerWhen I wrote on the status of my Facebook® profile last Thanksgiving Day that “a new chapter in my life is about to begin,” it was not for a cause to celebrate, but the beginning of difficult times ahead. A door had just closed on me, and I am back to where I was six and the half years ago, seeking, praying, and waiting upon the Lord for a new door to open.

Looking back, I am absolutely sure that my last job was God-given, because it fitted to a T a very specific prayer request. Why is it then that God now takes it away from me? Is this how He answers prayers—to give but for a little while, and then take it back later? Is there no way to keep an answered prayer for as long as we live?

The answer is quite clear. There is nothing of permanence on earth. The things we see presently will not last, but the things we cannot see will last forever (2 Corinthians 4:18). This is why the word of God advises us not to store up for ourselves treasures on earth, but to store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20).

When it comes to material goods and possessions, therefore, our attitudes should be like Job. Despite losing much, Job blessed the name of the Lord (Job 1:21b). He said, “For as long as life is in me, and the breath of God is in my nostrils, my lips certainly will not speak unjustly, nor will my tongue mutter deceit” (Job 27:3-4 NAS). Can we, like Job, thank and bless God amid difficult times? When things change or affect our livelihood, how do we respond?

Instead of questioning why, let us seek and ask God for direction whether to stay on and go through the difficult times or to move on. If God indicates we should move on, let us not hang on to what is past or make a fuss, even if it means the road ahead is more difficult than before. God knows the plans He has for us; plans for our welfare and not for calamity, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Rather than sulk or complain, let us trust in the LORD with all our hearts, and do not lean on our own understanding. In all our ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Dear Lord, forgive us for frequently questioning You as to why things do not happen the way we expect them to be. You O God knows us better than we know ourselves, and You have made plans for our welfare to give us a future and a hope. Help us therefore not doubt, but to trust You completely, even if the road ahead is going to be more difficult. We know Lord there is no permanence in things on earth, and we will therefore not expect prayers that are answered to remain unchanged or last forever. All that we have O Lord belongs to You, and we readily let them go to fulfill Your purpose and will.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blessed New Year 2012

Wishing All of You a Blessed and ...

Have a Blessed New Year!
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former things will not be remembered
or come to mind.
~ Isaiah 65:17 (NAS) ~

Happy New Year