Friday, December 25, 2020

Blessed Christmas 2020

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas 
  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

Friday, May 22, 2020

In Christ Alone

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NKJ)

In Christ Alone
When we say, “With God’s help, we can …” we often think of ourselves doing the work and God supporting us. The truth is, without God, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

The Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The emphasis here is on Christ, not us. Unless Christ enables us, we cannot, and unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain (Psalm 127:1).

Before we even begin to do anything, therefore, should we not first come to the Lord to ask for His direction and enablement?

Grant us, dear Lord, a calm spirit to rest in You and to listen to the prompting of Your Spirit as to what next steps to take, so that in Your strength we may walk and fulfill Your purpose for us. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Give Wisely

And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. (Luke 15:16 NKJ)

Give Wisely
Can we imagine how it would be like if we, out of the goodness of our hearts, helped the prodigal son and provided him with food, lodging and perhaps clothes? Very likely, he would have continued to live his life on charity for a time before he would think of returning to his father.

The Bible teaches us to give as we have purposed in our hearts, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). Nevertheless, when we give, we need to verify and know whether our giving is for the right cause or meeting the needs of the people whom the Spirit has placed in our hearts to reach out.

I know of a church that had been regularly giving financial help to an overseas mission ministry. Later, however, that ministry decided to embrace atheism in place of Christianity, and the church discontinued its contribution to redirect its sponsorship to another Christian mission organization. Nevertheless, there are still individual Christian contributors who continued to sponsor the mission organization that turned atheist, unaware of the change. When we give, perhaps, we should consider doing it through the church as it is more in touch of what's happening on the ground.

Lord, we thank You for giving us hearts that desire to meet the needs of others. Yet sometimes, our good intent may do more harm than help another. Lead us, therefore, by Your Spirit to know the right thing we should do when helping others and grant us an attentive heart to hear You and know Your will and direction.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Rest in His Favor

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJ)

Livelihood is a concern for many, especially for those who are struggling to make ends meet. Whether we have enough to eat, drink or wear are matters of genuine concern. Even if we know life is more than just food and clothing, we cannot help but to sometimes worry about our next meal or how we can have enough to feed ourselves and the people under our care.

Some years ago, I was met with the situation of hitting rock bottom, unable to provide for myself and my dependents. When I cried out to the Lord, He heard me and answered my prayer. Amid seeking and waiting for a job, He led me to opportunities for freelancing, which sufficiently tied me and my family through for a period before I finally landed on a God-given job. God-given because it met every aspect of my request in prayer—a perfect fit.

This is why in Matthew 6:25-33, Jesus said to us not to be worried about our life; what we will eat, drink or wear. The birds do not plant or harvest or store food in barns, yet our heavenly Father feeds them. Are we not far more valuable to Him than them? Which of us by worrying can add a cubit to our stature? If God cares even for wildflowers, will He not care for us much more?

Even when we hear bad news suggesting a year or two of downturn, we need not have to worry, because as children of God, we are favored by Him, and need not walk according to the world’s economy. Because of Jesus’ finished work at the cross, we are now qualified to receive His unmerited favor of blessings. Rather than worry extensively or do many things to try and remedy the situation, let us rest in the Lord, because when we rest, God works; when we work and attempt to solve our own problems by our own effort, God rests.

Therefore, do not worry because God knows our needs. He cares for us and will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Friday, May 1, 2020

Self-Doubt

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJ)

For many years, my work at a corporation had been highly valued. After the team of people I worked with was absorbed into another department, however, things became seemingly difficult with the change in culture under a new boss and a new supervisor. It took me several months ironing out conflicts and differences adjusting from a team working environment to top-down management. Before long, I became greatly distressed and began questioning my own self-worth and values. I failed to realize then that it was God’s plan leading me to something better.

Questioning our own worth when we feel inadequate or when in self-doubt is not uncommon. Moses, when he was called by God to deliver His people out of Egypt, said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11) Solomon, when he was crowned king, prayed, “Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.” (1 Kings 3:7) When told to deliver Israel from the hands of the Midianites, Gideon said, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:15)

Thankfully for all of them, they eventually became overcomers, not because of their abilities, but because they came to realize their lack and weakness. That qualified them for God’s unmerited favor.  It is when we come to realize we cannot but God can, that God says to us, His grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Rather than measuring our worth based on the words of people or on the things of this world, let’s lay for ourselves a sure foundation on the Lord’s unchanging love for us. Even if for our entire life we have not had anyone affirmed our value, we need not feel insecure because in the eyes of God, we are worth more than we can ever imagine for Him to sacrifice the life of His Son to save us.


Friday, April 24, 2020

God Gives and Does Not Take Back

… The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21 NKJ)

God had given to me the best things in life in the past, but now He has taken it back because I have not been faithful walking with Him.

My job was God-given, but now He has taken it away, perhaps, because I have disobeyed or failed Him in some areas of my life.

My friend, if you believe that God is the One who gives (good things) and takes back, you believe wrongly!

Job was mistaken in believing his misfortune came from God. In reality, it was Satan who took away Job’s loved ones, property and health (Job 1:8-2:7). God was the One who blessed Job’s latter days with much more (Job 42:12-17).

Whether we are facing problems with our health, finances, career or grieving over the loss of someone, know that God understands what we are going through and He cares for us. He loves us so much He gave His Son to die on the cross so that through Jesus’ finished work, we can have all the blessings He died to give us.

Help us, dear Lord, to change our misconception of Your love for us to think that it is conditional. Remind us when we are in doubt that You loved us so much, You bore all our wrongdoings and died on the cross to save us, so that today we can cry out, "Abba Father, thank You for loving us, and for giving us Your Son.

Friday, April 17, 2020

A Testimony of God’s Grace

A Testimony of God's Grace

I used to attend a church that emphasizes works beyond grace, and a salvation that requires maintaining till the end to be saved (Matthew 24:13). Such teachings frequently led to guilt and condemnation, especially when I fail to meet up to my own, God’s and others’ expectations.

After joining a grace-based church that preaches God’s unmerited favor without attempting to balance or mix with the law, I have come to understand more in-depth how much Jesus loves me, and the completeness of His finished work at the cross. When storms come blowing on my door and things around me get crazy, I know I can rest in Him. In my weakness, He is my strength, and what I can’t, I know God can. To me, the Christian life is not about what I can do (for God), but what God had done (for me). Edmond Ng

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)