BE PREPARE (Guest Post)

BE PREPAREThursday, July 7, 2016 was the fourth day of our vacation in The Bali Island. When the three us of stay in a hotel room, in the morning when I am still asleep vaguely I heard long ringing mingled with my mother’s voice that tried to wake me up. She asked me, “What was that sound? Quite been long time they sounding? Moreover, why at the out of the room very crowded.” I opened my eyes and within seconds, I woke up and gasped. It was the fire alarm!

The alarm continually shrilled. I opened the door and saw some of guests’ hotel still wearing night robe together with their children running down to the emergency stairs while carrying their bags. Incidentally, the emergency stairs was very close with our room.

I immediately yelled to my husband who apparently has been in the bathroom before the alarm rang. It turns out he could not heard the alarm sound and he did not know what was going on.

Instantly we were panic, especially to me. I did not wear contact lens and had no time again to take my eyeglasses that still stored in my suitcase. I could not see anything clearly where my slippers, bags, and so on. Meanwhile, my husband rushed to checking the presence of his parents who stay in the other room on the same floor.

Without fully dressed and just wearing nightshirt, the three of us runs out of the room carrying a handbag containing some of important things. It was a truly unimaginable situation yet now we experienced it.

Outside of the room, my husband saw a few the rests of hotel guests overrun a hotel security that was pounding on the one of the room door that not too far from us. Evidently the smoke from that room triggered the fire alarm. Although the hotel management already made a bans to not smoking in the hotel room but the guest of the room did not conform the bans. The fire did not occurs but the irresponsible action have caused many people panic.

The thrilling event was end but to be honest we still had misgivings. Therefore, we decided to bring some important stuff when we went to breakfast. Usually we always put our bags and other stuff in the hotel room. Maybe because we were still tense, we were thinking that it was a good idea we are be on the alert and be ready so that if anytime there is a fire we could run out very soon. A calamity will not waiting. It is us who have to scurry no matter how and whatever the situation.

At the time, I remembered Jesus’ word:

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew 24: 37-39 NKJV)

The verses above are Jesus’ teaching about the end of the time and advice to keep watch for the Lord Jesus will come in the unpredictable time. However, right now I am not talking specifically talking about the second coming and the rapture. I just wanted to remind that by the same way, the same “sudden situation”, we would confront to the last second of our lives. We cannot know exactly when the time comes, where, and how. The important thing we have to know is ready or not, everyone should and certainly deal with it!

 

THE GOD’S GOODNESS

In the days of Noah, God patiently waiting when Noah was preparing the ark before the flood hit (1Peter 3:20). God patiently awaits the people repent. Surely there is enough time for everyone to repent at the time, but they wasted it until they should to perish.

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4 NKJV)

As long the earth still there, God still gives a chance for people to get salvation. Everybody has a lifetime to repent. In the time span, the Lord speaks and expresses His great love through His church and His messengers (Prophets, apostles, preachers, friends, relatives, business mate, etc.)  Also through the many events that happened in human lives.

So how about us, who have received the grace of salvation? We have to prepare ourselves to meet Him face to face. We have a duty responsibility that is continue to live in repentance, being faithful servant, and become an executor of His Great Commission.

 

KEEP LIVING IN REPENTANCE

The Lord Jesus has redeemed us from the old life of sin. We have moved from eternal death to eternal life. If earlier we are living under the curse of sin, now we live in grace and become a new creation in Christ.

We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. (2 Corinthians 6:1 NKJV)

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. (Romans 6:11-12 NKJV)

So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. (Colossians 3:5-6 NET)

We must be consistent to continue to live in repentance and not return to our old life. We are still able to fall into sin, but we should not continue to live in sin! As David immediately repented of his mistake when rebuked by the prophet Nathan, so we must to repent every time we fall into sin. We must continue to live in holiness so that we do not squander the God’s grace.

 

BEING A FAITHFUL SERVANT

In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 and minas in Luke 19:12-27, God gives an overview to us that He is the Lord who entrusted His property to His servants, and someday He will hold their responsibility.

For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them. (Matthew 25:14 NET)

Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ (Luke 19:12-13 NKJV)

We will never being a faithful servant if we aren’t willing to humble ourselves because arrogant people will not be willing to be a servant. A minister manner will be born only from lowliness.

To serve God doesn’t talk about activities but rather to the heart that have willingness to obey and faithful to every of His will and command. If we are faithful servant so our priority is no longer “ourselves” but God.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24 NKJV)

Everything named “I am” i.e. my dignity, my behalf, my benefit, my happiness, my will, and the other “I am” must not rule over us again. We must deny ourselves so that God totally become our Lord. Thus, we can devote our whole lives to be a faithful servant who can be trusted by the Lord.

Whatever the form, and regardless of the amount, the Lord has entrusted His possessions to each of us, His servant. It can be a wealth of expertise, intelligence, skill, and so forth. Our job is to manage and develop assets that already entrusted by God.

If today you are a leader of a cell group with members of a few people, do the job faithfully and wholeheartedly. Make sure they grow well in your grazing. They are a treasure entrusted by God to you.

If you have a marketing ability, then use it properly to bless the company where you work. Be an example to your peers.

All the “investment” which God has planted in our lives is to equip us so that we can complete all the tasks and calls. Continue to live in it with full responsibility and faithful. If we remain faithful, the Lord will take us to the higher position and entrust us the greater responsibility. And the biggest wage of the servants is when their lord said: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ (Matthew 25:23 NKJV)

 

IMPLEMENTING THE GREAT COMMISSION

BIGGEST TREASURE God entrusted to us is the secret of the Kingdom of God that already revealed through the death and resurrection of Jesus, which GOSPEL SALVATION. We have a noble mission to preach the gospel in all the nations according to the GREAT COMMISSION.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)

The Great Commission is not just the task of evangelists and pastors, but the duty of everyone who had been saved. If we are Disciples of Christ, we must actively move to reach others. We can do many things such as sharing tracts, testify directly, praying for the others salvation, as well as being light and witness to Christ in every area of our lives.

 

Let us always check and recheck our hearts and lives. Do not be fooled by the religious activities that we do. Make sure that we remain on the right track while doing all our duties in faithfulness. Do not shy away from God’s presence because we cannot do anything when we apart of Him. Always maintain our relationship with God, knowing Him and understanding His will in our lives.  Ask the Holy Spirit certainly help us, shape us, strengthen us, so that we later found ready to meet with our Savior, face to face.

 

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Image Source: Google Images (edit with Pixlr App)

 

They Could Find No Charge

THEY COULD FINE NO CHARGE -Karina's thought

 

Hello my dear readers, it’s me again with “The Man of faith” series and this post will be the last series. This time I choose Daniel as the last figure. I choose Daniel because coincided with the problem I faced recently. Briefly, please allow me share to all of you.  My problem begins when some time ago, one of our companies won the tender of government’s project. (I am sorry couldn’t mention the country). Turned out this success made envy one of our business competitor then they tried to spoil my reputation by propagates a rumor that in order to win the tender; I gave bribery (In the business world more commonly known as gratification) to some of VIP government officers. To be honest, I am shocked!  Though I really know that the business world sometime is so cruel, I’m still shocked. In my whole life, there’s no one slandering me even in the business world. Since for the first time I get into the business world, I always try hard to not do things that contrary with God’s command and against the law, as well as my parents’ advice. Within a short time, it became a hot topic among the entrepreneurs and as the result I must face some authorities department of government to make a clarification. Many of friends who really know me didn’t believe it but many other believe and start to pout and cornered me. Even worse, they started to stigmatize me as a hypocrite Christian. It was really disturbing my heart and mind.  When I discussed this problem with my husband, with a gentle smile he just said, “Please remember to Daniel’s story. I do believe you surely know what should to do…”

My mind instantly drifted to figure of Daniel. Daniel was a successful man. He was said to be ten times better than all the magicians throughout his kingdom (Daniel 1:20) Daniel also well-known as an intelligence man that exceed 120 satraps of the king and two other governors. (Daniel 6:2 – 4) Above of all, Daniel was used to praying and praising God three times a day no matter he was busy or not. (Daniel 6:10)

Daniel’s successful made the administrators and satraps envy and they tried to find some charge against Daniel. But the Bible mentioned:

… But they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. (Daniel 6:4)

But because they’re too spiteful and were determined to destroy Daniel’s career, they’re working hard to find fault and trapping Daniel. Finally they found the way and then said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (Daniel 6: 5) The next plot was, they establish a royal statute and a firm decree with the content is: “whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except to the king, shall be cast into the den of lions.” (Daniel 6: 7) Then they immediately went to the king to ask him to sign the decree and finally the decree signed!

When Daniel heard about the new decree, was he afraid?  Was he stopping to pray? Not at all! Daniel didn’t flinch, didn’t worry! Daniel made no attempt to escape or pretend to not praying. Daniel didn’t pray furtively. What Daniel did was describing a remarkable step of faith.

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (Daniel 6:10)

Even when he cast down into the lion’s den, by strong faith he said:

My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.” (Daniel 6: 22)

What was said by Daniel was right. It was proven when the king gave command to cast those who had accused Daniel into the den. Them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den. (Daniel 6:24)

Daniel survived because of his faith. In all respects, including when he was having problems, He didn’t rely on his own strength to overcome it. He didn’t choose to flee, or seek misguided completion alternatives. When the trouble comes, Daniel came to God. He remained calm, and prayed to God. When he was about being harmed, he remained believe with firm faith in God, even he gave a remarkable testimony on an awesome and amazing God’s power.

My dear friends, after I ponder again the Daniel’s story, I felt enlightened and make me even know how I should behave. First, I have to believe and keep rely on God. In the life and death situation, Daniel’s faith didn’t waver at all. Daniel still believes that God will save him. King Darius have seen even his great faith before he cast to the lion’s den. The king said: “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” (Daniel 6:17) Although I had a similiar problem with Daniel, we had a different situation. I will not get capital punishment like Daniel. So I think there’s no reason for me to be overly afraid and worry about the accusation and slander on me. My husband reconfirms,like a beautiful gem, though they being in the dirty mud hole they remains a beautiful gem. People may try to defame and ruin your reputation, but it is okay if you did nothing wrong. The truth is always being a winner. Daniel didn’t afraid because he believe God always be with him and he did nothing wrong”

The next important thing that I should to do is remain faithful. Daniel’s faith and believing in God shown by still pray and worship God faithfully. When he knew there was a new decree that hinder him to worship and pray to God, the first thing he did was went home and knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God. The last important thing I should to do is I shouldn’t grudge and returning evil for evil. Some of my friends suggested me to not just make a clarification but should to hit them back because they had arbitrarily tarnished my reputation. But once again my husband said,” Hit them back isn’t a wise act and not solve the problem instead will cause other problem. God’s word said: “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. (Romans 12:17) Vengeance is God’s authority. Even actually God said that we must love our enemies and pray for them.”

My beloved friends, the problem that happened to me could possibly occur to all of us. The question is when it happens, what should we do? Where should we go? Today, please allow me to encourage all of us to learn from Daniel. At least we could learn three valuable things from Daniel. First, through Daniel we can learn about the power of prayer. When because of the envy people try to malign, defame, or find fault on us, there’s no other better way than take it into prayer.  James 5:16 said:

“…. Effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

 Let us cry out to God through prayer. David said:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry entered His ears.” (2 Samuel 22:7)

The second, we must trust that the God’s power will help us. Daniel truly believes in God’s power, the king Darius saw God’s power by his own eyes, and miracles happened to save Daniel. Eventually, the king Darius honors God and made a decree that in every dominion of his kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. (Daniel 6:26) My problem hasn’t finish but I must remain lean to God, not lean not on my own understanding.  By faith, I strongly believe God will help me to reveal the truth. I know I will be in a very difficult situation and those who slandered me will not cease to looking for my fault, but once again, I don’t have to worry because:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

For God nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37)

With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverb 3:5)

The last, this’s about faithfulness. When Daniel knew that there was a new decree from the king, Daniel’s faithfulness didn’t shaky at all. He still faithful worship and pray three times a day as he usually did. In our daily lives, our faithfulness being tested when we face problems and tribulation severely. Are we remain faithful walk in the God’s way and not be tempted by worldly offers? Let Daniel’s faithfulness become a great example for us to be always faithful to God. God’s word said:

Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)

My dear friends, God can deliver us from anything, even the most impossible thing according to human logic. Our God is fearfully and wonderfully God. When faced with the problems, slander, and being framed by the people who controlled by envy, don’t be afraid and worry. Let’s come to the Lord and pray. Ask for wisdom. God will always hear His children that pray earnestly. God will give us strength to overcome our problems.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Cast our anxiety on Him because He cares us for us. (1 Peter 5:7)

Although we are slandered and harmed, we should not grudge and revenge, instead, as the Lord has commanded:

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 16:27-28)

Therefore, God’s love and greatness will be shows wherever we are and we could be the light that shine and bless many people even our enemies. Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: Ids.org

 

AGREED (Guest Post)

AGREED

By infinity love God came down to the world to save humans. From the outset His hand reached out waiting for us to accept Him. His great plan has been prepared for each people who willing to surrender to Him. There is no one that “simply” salvaged but each people are given the honor to work with God on this earth.

His plan is not ordinary plan, yet a terrific plan which is not affordable by the hand and human existence, EXCEPT when we willing to walk with Him! Not just to walk together, but hand in hand and AGREED with Him.

Like one yoke on the two oxen’s shoulder… Without a deal, two people cannot walk together and achieve the goal, because it will tug of war between the two interests.

“Can two walk together, unless they are AGREED?” (Amos 3:3 NKJV)

“Do two people walk hand in hand if they aren’t GOING TO THE SAME PLACE?” (Amos 3:3 MSG)

Amos, the Prophet speaks of the God of Israel. That verse is not just about the relationship of man with man, but the image of God and man walk together.

We will never be able to walk with God if we do not agree with him. Agreed with His mind, agreed with His heart, agreed with His ways, and agree with His objectives. That means we have agreed with the whole His word.

Agree with God means always say yes and no arguing (contend) with His word. When we do not do His word, that’s when we do not agree with him. When we act out of His word, that’s when we’re arguing (contend) with Him.

Agreed with God means always be obey to Him no matter the conditions! Indeed it is not easy for people have full of limitations and weaknesses. But there is ONE INFINITUDE WAY WITH GOD… THAT IS FAITH!

 

FAITH

If we want a life above average, let’s walk with Jesus. But, often His way is not the same as our way. Often our brain cannot understand His ways. His truth is always contrary with the world concept, but we must continue to be in it without compromise! That’s why we must have faith..

Without faith, there would be no meeting point between God and us. Without faith, no one is able to walk with Him. His plan is too magical. His ways is fathomless. His mind is immeasurable.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!” (Romans 11:33 NET)

“O Lord, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this.” (Psalms 92:5-6 NKJV)

“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 MSG)

Walk with God means live by faith. If we want to walk with Him, let’s prepared to believe and trust to His guidance. Not easy, but not too difficult, because God never leaves us to fend for themselves. He is with us, in us. Our part is to be always agrees with His word.

Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the prophets, apostles and followers of Christ are faithful to the end, are the ones who agrees with God. They catch the vision of God and totally give themselves to live in it. They walk with the Lord faithfully though the world often opposed. Their faith is proven by obedience in their every action.

Faith is not just a “sense of trust”, but faith is always accompanied by concrete actions, because our works are evidence of our faith.

How can they catch the vision of God and are fully confident to stay in it until the end?? Because they do not simply have knowledge about God, but they live in intimate fellowship with God in their daily life.

 

LIVING IN HABITUAL FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

Our relationship with God is a very personal relationship. Jesus several times describes His people as the bride, and Christ is the bridegroom. And with the revelation of God, Isaiah, the prophet was uttered very beautiful prophetic about the relationship of God and His people:

For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:5 NKJV)

That’s supposed to be as close and as intimate our relationship with God. But our intimacy with God will be not established if we do not accustom and train ourselves to interact closely with God.

Enoch is a man who walked with God and continues to build intimacy with God in all of his life until God lifted him. “Enoch WALKED STEADILY WITH GOD. And then one day he was simply gone: God took him.” (Genesis 5:24 MSG)

As well as Noah

“These are the records of the generations (family history) of Noah. Noah was a righteous man [one who was just and had right standing with God], blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked (LIVED) [IN HABITUAL FELLOWSHIP] with God.” (Genesis 6:9 AMP)

They both were very thirsty for fellowship with God more than his contemporaries and God responded by use their life in unexpected ways.

God wants much closer to us compared to we want to know Him. When we seek God wholeheartedly and says “yes, I do” to Him, God will impart His power and change us until we have the capacity to be the doer of the divine plan of God.

“…..but the people who [are spiritually mature and] know their God will display strength and take action [to resist].” (Daniel 11:32b AMP)

“….. the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” (Daniel 11:32b NKJV)

Only people who know God that can be His co-worker because to walk together with Him need agreement and unity in all things. If we don’t know God so we will not know His “language”. Without the same “language” we will impossible to understand each other. If not understanding each other will be impossible to agree each other. What is God’s “language”? How God speaks with us? The answer is through His word.

 

IN HIS WORD

“Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.” (John 8:43 NKJV)

God never acts contrary to His word. Because it is very important for us to diligently read, contemplate, and do His word. When we faithfully abide in the God’s word, then our sensitivity to the Lord’s voice will be more refined, our minds will be renewed, and our hearts will be more aligned with God. Thus, the easier it is for God to direct us according to His will!

 

CONTINUOUSLY WILLINGNESS

Our agreement with God begins when by God’s grace we open our hearts to receive Jesus as Lord and one and only savior. That’s the first step of our faith with the seed of faith that comes from God alone. Surely we are being welcomed His outstretched hand. It is our first step of walk with the Lord and begins to enter to His plan. Keep moving, don’t stop, don’t turn, and don’t turn back!

“Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:38 NKJV)

The first step is the beginning of everything, but we cannot stop and be satisfied until there. If we want to continue to grow in God, so we must have the continuously willingness as when we have opened our heart to invite the Lord Jesus come into our heart. Continuously willingness to leave all of ego, seeking personal satisfaction, sin and worldly pleasures. Also willingness to always obey and formed by God until we will in the image of God.

We cannot continue to be the spiritual baby. We must grow to be adult, puberty, and is ready to become the bride of Christ. Only people who have grown that can be trusted well by God.

Continue to agree with God by constantly obedient to His every word. Many people want to know God’s will, but did not want to obey. Many people want to hear the voice of God, but do not regularly read God’s word. CAN NOT!

As the two persons who continue to closely communicate intensely, the longer they “language” will be the same, their thoughts and perspectives more aligned, and then they are more able to reach an agreement. So it is between us and God. If we understand “His language”, then we will be understand His heart, easily capture His vision, and easier to understand of His every instruction.

God does not force us. God is looking who are willing. Obey and do all of God’s will in willingness, then every our step of obedience will bring us to achieve the fulfillment of His plan for our lives.

May the strength and wisdom of the Holy Spirit will sustain us, so that we remain firm and able to remain faithful to all calls and tasks assigned to us resolved definitively, according to His will. Amen.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Image source: Google Images (edit with pixlr app)

Speak To The Rock! (Man of Faith, Moses)

SPEAK TO THE ROCK -Karina's Thought

 

Hello dear readers! I am grateful to God could come back again with “Man of Faith” series. This time I’m not writing alone but I wrote this post with my dearest blog friend, Lauren Heiligenthal. Now I chose Moses as the 3rd figure. Like Abraham and Noah, Moses also mentioned many times in the Old and New Testament. After took study of Moses’ story, I conclude that Moses had two contradictory life sides i.e. side of successful and failure. Let’s have a look to the first side.

GET OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE

Moses was a great prophet with a winding life. He was born when Egypt felt threatened by the very high soaring population growth of Israelite and the threat made Pharaoh scared and issued an order to the all midwife to kill all of baby boy. (Exodus 1:16)  Because Moses’ mother think she no longer hid Moses, then she decided to took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. (Exodus 2:3) In short, the daughter of Pharaoh saw the baby and eventually took him as his son and called his name Moses. (Exodus 2: 5-8) Then Moses lived in luxury in the palace. But what happened? Turned out Moses didn’t forget his origin. Seeing his nation lived in oppression, his conscience revolted. He also acted and opting out of his enjoyment. He decided to get out of his comfort zone in the palace. Moses chose to fulfill God’s calling to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.

Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)

Although Moses had some doubts and fears (Exodus 4:1), eventually he chose to trust and obey to God, leaving his comfort and willing to suffer just for God’s calling. This was Moses’ great faith step. He moved from the comfort zone to the faith zone. Was written in Hebrews 11:24-25:

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Moses used by God amazingly to bring the Israelite to the Promise Land though he had to suffer in the wilderness for 40 years together with the people who never grew up, never stop complaining, never be grateful, and never satisfied. By faith, Moses successfully made it out of the comfort zone that he fully realized it all came from sin.

In our daily lives, there are times we must be willing to leave our comfort zone. We have to decide to leave all the pleasures and choose God’s calling to bear the cross to follow Jesus. We would probably suffer. But in the bigger “frame”, it would be much more beneficial for our future later. God never reneged on his promises. God will never abandon us. Though In distress and difficulty God remains with us, guided us who obedient to bear His cross. Life is full of choices and we have full of authority to decide it. But God said:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Moses was choosing to leave his comfort zone to obey God’s voice and cling to Him to live in the Promise Land. What about us? Whether we’ve been dare to come out of our comfort zone? If we dare to pay the price to leave all of worldly pleasant things that will bring us into the sin? Do we believe though there may be suffering and there’s something must be sacrificed but at the end we will receive all of God’s promise? The world offer temporary comfort and pleasure but God promises the “Eternal Land”. Today let’s learn from Moses who dares to leave worldly pleasure follow God’s call to get into the Promise Land.

MOSES’ ERROR

Now we come to the second side of Moses, a contradict with his first side. Why I say contradict? Let’s take look. This time Moses did some fatal errors and made him got a very bitter consequence. Has been nearly 40 years Moses led a big, complicated and obstinate nation to keep on the right path. Turned out the Israelite attitude made Moses frustrated and affects his emotional state. Moses’ frustration and emotional peaks occurred when the Israelite angered and complained about the lack of water when they came into the wilderness of Zin and stayed in Kadesh. (Numbers 20:1-13) After he faced the Israelite’s anger then he spoke to God in the door of tabernacle of meeting and God said to Moses:

 ““Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” (Numbers 20:8)

At this point Moses couldn’t hold back his emotion, he cannot control his temper and made some fatal errors! Let’s have a look what Moses said in the front of Israelites:

“Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. (Number 20:10-11)

Let’s pay attention to the word “Must we…”  This was the first fatal mistake carried out by Moses. He didn’t suppose said “we…” Moses was supposed to say “God…” This showed that in his annoyance to the Israelites he spoke rashly. Was written in Psalm 106:3,

For they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips.

 Beside his rash word, Moses had wrong motive, stolen God’s holiness and glory by Mentioned “We…”  Make a miracle is God’s work but Moses took credit of miracle himself, instead of attributing to God.

The second error of Moses was his disobedience. This is what I mean about contradictive side of Moses. When for the first time he decided to leave Egypt, he totally trust and obey to God’s calling but this time Moses stumbled and slipped disobeyed to God’s command. God clearly commanded to speak to the rock but Moses struck the rock twice. This was disobedience form of Moses and even worse, Moses showed his disobedience before the Israelites. His has done intolerant thing by as if disparaged God in the front of Israelites. (Numbers 27:14) God not pleased and then He punished Moses:

“Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:12)

My dear friends, what we could take as a lesson from Moses’ errors? The first important thing we could learn from is, if a great prophet like Moses even called as very humble man more than all men on the earth (Numbers 12:3) can be stumbled and slipped into the sin, what about us? Moses’ error is a warning for all of us that anytime what happened with Moses could be happen anytime to us as well.

The second is about self-control. Because of frustrated and temper, then Moses loss of his self-control and it made him fall into the sin. It’s very important for Christians especially for  Christian leaders. Self-control is a part of fruits of Spirit and wraps the other fruits. Without self-control then the other fruits will be in vain and we will be fall into the sin. It’s written in Proverbs 16:32: Better a patient person than a warrior,   one with self-control than one who takes a city. And: Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28)  As a great leader Moses stumbled not hallows God caused of his lack of self-control. This should be an important lesson for many Christian leaders though have full authority but must take control ourselves, control each statement and command that come out from our mouth so that always uphold God’s holiness above of all and reflect His glory to others.

The last, we have to trust and obey to every God’s given tasks and have the right motivation behind our actions. Trust that God will always provide the way to complete the task though the task seems impossible to do and we doubt with our own ability. Obey to every God’s command because God never gives wrong command. Although it may give the same outcome, don’t do anything other than God’s command because it would make God not pleased and we will get the bad consequence.

My dear friends, last but not least, although Moses stumbled and got the consequence, yet he stayed faithful until the end. Accompanied by formidable signs and miracles he remains led the Israelites get into the Promise Land. His failure didn’t diminish the greatness of his name. Moses still known as a great prophet throughout the ages and he still received the honor of “entry” into the Promise Land when he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and talk with Jesus. (Matthew 17:3) Let’s learn from Moses’ life both about his faith also his failure. Life is always full of choices and because God really loves us, He gives us a chance to make a choice freely. But we’ve to realize that there’s always a consequence of what we choose. As clearly written in Deuteronomy 30:19, God gives us some option but He wants us to choose life and we will have live. Let’s keep our heart diligently, keep learning to control ourselves, trust and obey to God’s voice and always cling to Him so we aren’t easily stumbling and slip into the sin. God said: Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23) Amen

Karina – Lauren Heiligenthal

My great honor to Lauren Heiligenthal who willing to be co – writer on this post.

Image source: howgodprovides.com

Trust and Obey

“What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’”

Trust and obey. Two simple words but has deep meaning and oftentimes quite difficult to do. When we confronted by so many problems and challenges, when we got bumped by doubt and fear, when the “what if” fills our mind and it makes us more hesitant about our own ability to fulfill the task? To whom we must lean back? To whom we should trust? To whom we should ask for strength?

My dear friend, Lauren, gives wonderful testimony about her problem in trust and obeys. And her post becomes an introduction of my next “Man of faith” series which talk about Moses. Please allow me to encourage all of you read her post and if you have not follow her blog, visit and follow her great blog. Thank you very much and God Bless.

Karina – Living by faith

Aletheia_Word

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

(From the hymn “Trust and Obey,” written by John H. Sammis, 1887)

These are simple words, but the truth behind them is powerful. As Christians we have made the decision to follow God wherever He may lead. This requires our utmost obedience and trust in the Father who knows the perfect path for us—a path that leads to true joy which the world cannot begin to offer. But sometimes following this path means facing our fears.

~~~

Do you know where God is leading you, but you’re having a hard time trusting Him? Is the path one that scares you? Do you doubt your ability to fulfill the task? If this is you, you are certainly not alone.  Not only are there other brothers and sisters out there who feel the same…

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So He Did (Noah, Man of Faith)

 

 

SO HE DID -Karina's thought

 

Hello my beloved readers, I am grateful to God could continue the second post of “Man of Faith” series. In my previous post we have learned from “The Father of Faith”, Abraham. Now I love to choose Noah as the 2nd figure of “Main of faith”

“Obedience” This is the similarity between Abraham and Noah.  Both of them had great faith and obedience to God. The difference is about what happened and what they did at the time. Now let’s take a look deeper to the Noah’s story.

In his old age, one day, Noah got commandment from God to do something very strange. Why it was very strange? God commanded him to build a super big ark that can contain the entire of his family and also pair of specific animal.

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. (Genesis 6: 14 -16)

 Dear readers, after I read this story carefully I found some unreasonable things related with Noah’s assignment. First, he never sees the rain and before the floodwaters God irrigate the earth from the land. The second, put together the whole (Without in the water animals), manage them all into the ark weren’t an easy job.  And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. (Genesis 6: 19-20)

The last, Noah wasn’t a ship maker. He didn’t have any experience at all in making a ship. Based on those facts, it is normal if we think that Noah’s assignment was very strange and I think it is very normal as well if at the time Noah refused the task that has been commanded by God. Noah wasn’t able to imagine how the shape of the ark. Noah didn’t have any references at all about how to build an ark because there wasn’t an ark ever made before.  He just had the detail of dimension, interior design and the used material. My dear readers, in order to get an idea how difficult Noah made the ark at that time, I spent time for awhile to discuss with one of my Father’s friend who accidentally works as a ship architect. He said, “Noah’s ark was unbelievable “masterpiece” of the ship in his generation.  It is not a difficult thing to build a ship that even maybe two times bigger than Noah’s ark in this super modern technology. Though just floating, but it was still totally so difficult to built super big ark with “a primitive” technology, without any knowledge at all in building the ship, and the all of the ark construction just made by wood.  The ark had a perfect ratio between length, width, and Height. It was the great God’s work through Noah”

Then what Noah did? At the time his faith begins to work. Was written in Hebrews 11:7:

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

 Without many questions and complaining Noah obediently did the God’s command. He did every single detail of the ark in accordance with God’s command. Noah believed that something hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it will never happen. Noah chose to obey. Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. (Genesis 6:22) After completed, God said to Noah:

“Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. (Genesis 7:1)

 We all know what comes next and the end of Noah’s story.  And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. (Genesis 7:12)   Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. (Genesis 7:23)

Why God only saved Noah and his family? Whether Noah was a good man? Bible didn’t record it but the Bible notes that: Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (Genesis 6: 8 -9)

Noah lived in the corrupt, wicked and full of evil era. But he was able to remain faithfully lived in the Holiness and walked with God. He remains loves and pleases God more than anything and he had great faith to God. Throughout the long delay of the coming judgment, Noah continues to faithfully obey to God and even he preached to the people to repent before God destroy the earth. Another evidence that Noah always walk with God and pleases God was, after the flood, he built an altar and offered sacrifices to God (Genesis 8:20). Worship to God was a central part of his life. That’s why he saved by God from the flood.

My dear friends, I end this post with some questions to ponder. How our lives today?  Have we live not only as good person but as the righteous before God? Can we remain steadfast to hold God’s promise although maybe this time we haven’t seen the answer of what we ask for? Shall we continue to believe in God and continue to be grateful despite the difficulties continues hit our lives? Shall we, by faith, remain obey to do God’s command although we think it’s so strange and impossible? Whether we will continue to uphold our faith when we are in the situation that isn’t only difficult but even may be very wicked?

Like all of us right now, Noah was living in a sin nature but he has proved was able to remain lived in faith and obedience. Let us learn from Noah who have firm faith, let us learn to continue to believe even when we haven’t seen anything.  Noah didn’t need to test God before he built the ark. God commanded, he obeyed and he did it.  Noah remained faithful, trust, and upholds his faith to God even though he had to wait for 120 years before God fulfilled His word. Noah made faith as a believing. He didn’t know when God will fulfill His word, but he really believed it will happen.

Faith isn’t a feeling but it’s a choice to trust God even when our way ahead seems uncertain. Faith will make us able to see things before they happen and make us have foundation of all that we hope. Let’s face all of problems, trials, and challenges with faith. Let is open our eyes of faith and put it as strong foundation as written in Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

 By strong faith we wouldn’t worry about everything happen in our future. And we will see the fulfillment of God’s promises. We just need to have faith as small as mustard seed like Jesus said in Matthew 17:20:

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

We also need to maintain our faith getting bigger and stronger.  Faith is like a baby who always needs the best nutrition to keep growing. The best nutrition for the growth of our faith is God’s words. Let us continue feed our faith to grow by reading and comprehend God’s word every day and implementing it by works. God’s word said:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Roman 10:17)

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17)

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22)

Noah not only had a great faith but his faith worked together with action. By faith he did very well God’s commandment. If Noah was using the very strong gopher wood as the the material, let’s build our spiritual “ark” by using the very strong and unwavering faitt, with one door which is mean only The Lord Jesus Christ is one and only way for our salvation and the door into Heaven.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

 Also a door that we can knock to hand over all of our problems, fear, anxiety, and everything we ask for.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

 Our spiritual ‘ark” just have one window above which is mean we have to always focus to look up only to God not look down or to the world around us and have three decks: Faith, Hope, and Love.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Learn to have faith like Noah’s faith by more strengthens our relationship with God through prayer, Involving God in every step of our lives, ask for the strength and wisdom, and let His Holy Spirit anoint our lives so ultimately we will have faith as a mustard seed and we will be able sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.* Amen

Karina – Living by faith

*Faith quotes by Corrie Ten Boom

Image source: christianitymalaysia.com

 

EXPERIENCE GOD PERSONALLY (guest post)

Hello my dear readers, my  guest post this time that written by Sella Irene still talk about “The man of faith”, Abraham. She wrote not just focused to Abraham, but he focus to Abraham’s faithful servant, Eliezer. There is a faith quality comparison between Eliezer with his master, Abraham.  I hope and pray that this guest post will become a blessing to all us.

 EXPERIENCE GOD PERSONALLY

There were some names of Eliezer in the Bible. The one was Eliezer from Damascus,  Abraham’s servant, the elder of his house and entrusted to rule over all that he had (Genesis 24:2). Just because Abraham didn’t have a child then he intended to take Eliezer as his heir, until finally God gave Isaac the biological son of Abraham, who later became a great nation in accordance with God’s plan (Genesis 15:2-5) But Eliezer was a good servant. Though he knew that he no longer become of Abraham’s heir, he was remaining comply and totally devoted to Abraham, his master.

One day Abraham asked Eliezer to finding a wife for Isaac. The story begin when Abraham asked Eliezer to swear: “…….Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, AMONG WHOM I DWELL; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” (Genesis 24:2-4 NKJV)

Eliezer hold firm his vow and run his task with full of responsibility. He came back with Rebekah, a wife for Isaac. No doubt Eliezer was a faithful servant and trusted servant. But let’s take a look to the other side of him, while looking at ourselves as well.

The detail of Eliezer trip to find a wife for Isaac was written in Genesis 24. We will take a look two things in this passage. The 1st thing is about heart attitude of Eliezer before God. The 2nd thing is about the difference between Abraham and Eliezer in looking to the Promise Land, Canaan.

Let’s have a look to the 1st thing:

BELIEVE BUT DON’T BELIEVE

Eliezer was starting his duty with a prayer for help and special sign from God:  “O LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, please give me success this day……. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.” (Genesis 24:12-14 NKJV)

After God granted his request, this was what he did: Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. And he said, “Blessed be THE LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master……”(Genesis 24:26-27 NKJV)

Notice that in every of his prayer Eliezer always said: ”LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM.” Happened the same thing when with full of grateful he told his trip to Rebekah’s family in verse 42: “And this day I came to the well and said, ‘O LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, if You will now prosper the way in which I go”  Also in verse 48: “And I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed THE LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, who had led me…….”

Whether Eliezer worshiped God? YES! Is he also recognizes The God’s greatness? YES! But he didn’t really made God as his God personally.

Eliezer lived with Abraham for many years. He saw Abraham didn’t have anything until blessed by God. He also saw how God did many miracles in Abraham’s life: “The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great…..And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old…..” (Genesis 24: 35-36). But every God’s work that he saw didn’t make him recognize God as his own God. Otherwise, (allow me to talk a bit about Ruth) Ruth saw Naomi’s family since they rich until have nothing, but Ruth indeed wholehearted recognized Naomi’s God as her own God: “…..Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16).

Did Eliezer trust to God? YES! Did he trust that the God of Abraham is the mighty God? YES! That is why he prayed. He believed God because he saw how God made miracles in Abraham life. But this time he prayed by himself, not Abraham.

Let’s take a look what Eliezer did after he pray: “And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey PROSPEROUS OR NOT.” (Genesis 24:21 NKJV)  He wasn’t totally believed that God will answer his own prayer. This was an act that wasn’t being in accordance with Faith principles: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24 NKJV)

Like Eliezer, many people follow Jesus but they aren’t earnestly place Jesus as God and they don’t have strong relationship with God. They know God from what others said and from others experiences. They praise the God’s greatness when they hear what God did in others lives. They pray and hope to God when they facing the problems, but they aren’t sure that God surely listening their prayer.

Trusting God’s greatness because of the miracle that has been done to others, isn’t same with when ourselves experiencing God’s miracle personally. Sometimes when we heard or seen the others’ testimony, we become strong and vibrant, but when are facing the problems, we begin to doubt whether God will help us. Why is that? Because we don’t feel the pain, struggles, pressure, and all the emotions that these people feel upon passing the problems. We just heard a victorious end result, without feel the process.

Currently, if there are among us who are experiencing the struggles and are under hard pressure, remember that God is good to all His children. If God is willing and able to help our brothers, believe that God also MUST be willing and able to help us. Still put hope and wait patiently for the Lord

Now let’s have a look to the 2nd thing:

DIDN’T HAVE FAITH LIKE ABRAHAM

Back to Genesis 24:2-4 especially verse 3. Abraham delegated Eliezer with words: “…..that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, AMONG WHOM I DWELL….. But Eliezer said to Rebekah’s family: “…..You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, IN WHOSE LAND I DWELL.” (Genesis 24:37 NKJV)

There was a fundamental difference between words of Abraham and Eliezer. Abraham never said that his living land was the Canaanites’s land. He just said that he dwelled among the Canaanites. Abraham had faith that the Canaan land was his land in accordance with God’s promise: “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8 NKJV). But Eliezer quoted Abraham’s word with his own comprehension. “… The Canaan, IN WHOSE LAND I DWELL.” In the other words, Eliezer considered that the residence of Abraham is the country of Canaanites. In fact it was true. In the real terms the land of Canaan was still owned by the Canaanites. But by faith Abraham believed that the land of Canaan was his because the Lord had spoken to him.

Eliezer already saw how great Abraham’s faith in God so Abraham faithfully did what has commanded by God. Eliezer also saw that God indeed can be trusted and never embarrass those who hope in Him. But all of that didn’t make him had faith like Abraham.

Faith is not built based on the reality, but FAITH IS BUILT BASED ON GOD’S WORD. The fact it is often contrary to our faith. If we put faith the reality, we will be easy to hesitate and falter. Let me share my experience about this.

I once had very bad financial problems. We were worse. Logically, we really didn’t even know how to get out from the problem. We just cried out and asked God for help. We were always strengthened when we heard the sermon. And our hope raised up when we received the God’s promise. But the reality didn’t change at all even there were times our condition getting worst. I admit that sometimes we doubt and worry. But there is no other way beside put hope and trust to God. To whom we hope except to God? Day after day we strengthen our trust to God and learn to hold firm God’s promises to us, while continue knowing God and His ways. Till now, have been many years we went through it all. Right now, I dare to say that God will never disappointing and embarrass those who put hope and trust to God. By His own way God help us. It is not as we imagine, but we believe God’s way is totally perfect. Already proved that until today God always take care, deliver, and help us.

Now, if there are among us who are in the trouble and already praying, serving God, and learn to be faithful… But the God’s answer doesn’t come true and the reality doesn’t change, be patients… Strengthen our heart, and keep trust. Like Abraham, we must direct the eyes of our faith in the God’s word, because the Lord who promised is faithful and trusted. “By faith, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was too old, he received the ability to procreate, because he regarded the one who had given the promise to be trustworthy.” (Hebrews 11:11 NET)

Why Abraham truly believe to God, even when everything seems impossible? Because he really knows who is God that he worshiped. We will not know God if we aren’t build a personal fellowship with God. And if we don’t know God, then we will not totally trust Him.

WALKING WITH GOD

It is good become the serve servant, but built an intimacy with God is much better. That is way make Jesus as the one and only God and walk with Him. We have to experience it personally. For that we must live in obedience and willingness to do God’s will, and allows God to be fully involved in every aspect of our lives. Entrusting ourselves to the guidance and God’s decision to choose the ways for us according to His will. Through the experience after experience walk with the Lord, God’s word becomes real and alive in our lives. Let us diligent in prayer and reading God’s word every day so that we know God more and our faith muscles will be stronger. AMEN.

 

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Background images: Google Images (edit with pixlr app)