Become The best Wine

BECOME THE BEST WINE-Karina's Thought

 

Though my family no longer officially celebrates a Chinese New Year, we have an old tradition to have a dinner together with some of our relatives. Before we take a dinner, one of my uncles gave me a bottle of wine. He said the wine was bought when he took a holiday in France a few years ago and it become a quite old wine.  He also said that the wine is one of the best wines. However, this time I will not discuss about that wine but I want to talk another thing that related to the wine.

I was reminded one of the famous story in the Bible, Marriage at Cana.  I have learned so many implications from this story. Today I specifically want to focus on the miracles when Jesus changed water into wine. At the time, the biggest problem that occurred is, the wine was run out. Let’s we take a look briefly to the situation there:

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons (John 2:6 NIV)

Twenty or thirty gallons means approximately hundred liters water can be stored to the jars. It is very much. Then what happens next?

Jesus said to the servants “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” (John 2:7-8NIV)

And the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside  and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” (John 2:9-10 NIV)

Now let’s look further, what was given through the Jesus’ miracle was not just an ordinary wine, but said as the best wine. Then its best wine enjoyed by the guests and to be a blessing to many people there. The situation might be so different if which is served plain water only. My beloved friends, from this story we can take important lessons: Like what actually we are today? Are we still like plain water, or water that is in the process to be wine, or has become the best wine? Just as Jesus could change water into wine, He can change us to be a best wine that can bless and brings joy to many people. Or we have become a wine but not to be a best wine instead becomes a sour wine?

I am reminded of the allegory about the vineyard in the book of Isaiah 5:1-7.

I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. (Isaiah 5:1-2 NIV)

This was an allegory about God the owner of vineyard and His children were described as vines. If we read all verses, this passage specifically spoke about repentance that yields fruit. When we repent and accept Jesus, we supposed become a new creation that continues to grow and bear fruit with excellent quality. But in our daily lives, very sad and ironic I still found many Christians who repent and accepted Christ as personal savior does not growing and fruitful very well. As a grape that looks very good from the outside but it turned have a bad taste.  There are many Christians who falling back into the sin and still doing old bad habits or even fall into a new sin. Wearing “clothes of Christianity in order to looks good but in fact has an opposite personal life to the true Christian life. Finally, we become a stumbling block and make God disappointed.

What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? (Isaiah 5:4 NIV)

Was not we would feel the same way if we had tried to care for and nurture a tree, but the result is bad? All the work we do just in vain. We will be sad and disappointed. Then what happens to the bad fruit? Let’s see to the following verses:

Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”(Isaiah 5:5-6 NIV)

This is the very bad consequence which must be accepted by a vine that did not bear fruit well. Is described more in Matthew 3:10:

The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Also in Revelation 14:18b -19:

“Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.

God was angry and disappointed! Is it reasonable? Yes of course! He has given all the best for us; even he was willing to sacrifice his only Son for our salvation. But we still prefer to follow the pleasures of the world. He has shown all His ways through the Bible, but we do not want to read it. God has bestowed the Holy Spirit to guide us, but we continue to pollute ourselves so that the Holy Spirit does not like to dwell in it.

My dear readers, what about us? Like what we are today? Like the best wine or the bad wine? Have we become good wine that brings joys and blessing to many people? Or we’ve become the grapes that looks from the outside so good but in reality we are just sour grapes that have been disappointing God and finally will get very bad consequence as described in the verses above? Whether we are Christians who really bears the Christian’s “clothes” that could become a light send out the light of Christ’s love? This evening, I ask you once again, let’s evaluate ourselves these things. How our spiritual life quality today? God expects our lives yield sweet fruits and become a blessing to many others. We should to be a sweet vine. Not to be a vine that does not yield anything. We have to make sure could produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8 NIV)

How we can remain to grow and bear high quality fruit? Now let’s back to the story of Marriage at Cana.  Another important lesson that we can take from it is, initially Jesus Himself told to the servants to fill the jars with water.  Crossed in my mind, if only Jesus did not tell to the servants to fill water into the jars, so the wine would not be available.  What is the important thing that we could learn from this part? This section refers to how important we always fill ourselves regularly with the God’s living word in order to become the best wine. God’s word is the most important thing in our life.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

(Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

And before the jars are filled with water, there is important message from Jesus’ mother to the servants:

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5 NIV)

Here we can learn that obedience to Jesus is an important factor as well. So in short we can see that if we humans are in the Jesus’ hand, obedient to Him and  always fill ourselves with the God’s word, then we can be changed to become wine (blessing) for others.

Wine is the result of fermentation process of the grapes. The best wine comes from the high quality grapes. Very expensive wine is a wine that has been through the process of fermentation for many years. It also applies to us. To become the best wine we need long process and the process oftentimes not always pleasant. There are times we have to experience severe things, painful, and so hard in facing the world temptations and challenges that could destabilize our faith. But through it all we can be changed into the high quality wine that can be a blessing to others. Therefore, I encourage all of us to always fill our “Jars” with the God’s word that will arm us to face any kind of temptations that could make us falling into the sins. God’s word is complete arms to face spiritual warfare. After we fill up with God’s word, we have to remain obey to His command

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11 NIV)

“We must obey God rather than human beings! (Acts 5:29 NIV)

We also have to diligent in prayer and petition as the Bible said,

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36 NIV)

My beloved friends, let’s together encourage each other in prayer in order we always willing to be formed and changed, remain strong to go through all processes, and continue to grow in God’s providence so we will bear much and the best fruit and become not just an ordinary wine but the best wine so the God’s sweet love and glory can shine through us and we can be a blessing to many people. Amen.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NIV)

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: 1zoom.net

 

 

A Living Letter of Christ

A LIVING LETTER OF CHRIST2-Karina's Thought

 

Last week I got a surprise! My father in Hong Kong sent me a letter. I felt a bit strange. Not as usually he wrote a letter. Beside talk several things, it is written at the end of his letter, “I am so sure you will have a question why I sent you a letter. My dear, may this letter become a reminder.  I strongly believe  you still remember  one thing  that related  with the letter “

My mind immediately drifted away to many years ago when I was teen. Yes of course I always remember about a letter. At the time, I just had a problem with my parents and starting to moving forward and letting go my bad past.  My parents gave me words that later on will totally change my life. “ You are a letter of Christ” still strong remembered in my mind what he said, “World can be knows  about God through how we live our life.  We are are a letter or book of Christ who represent God’s character and His righteousness. If our way of life is right, then the truth of God will shine from us. Otherwise if we claim to be followers of Christ but our lives contrary to what God wants, then we just become a stumbling block and scorn before others. We are an open letter of Christ who could be so obvious seen and read by people around us. Therefore, we have to be a testimony that can reflects a figure of Christ through our attitude and deeds”

As a God’s child we actually are a letter that fraught of Christ’s writing, not written by an ink but with the God’s spirit, and written directly in our heart. As Paul wrote epistles to the Corinthians,

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

(2 Corinthians 3:3)

A letter written by God’s spirit

I once read an article said that in 1991, nine pieces letters of Mark Twain the author of Tom Sawyer to his daughter sold for US$ 33.000. A piece of his daily letter could be sold for US$ 1,200 to 1,500. We may not have Mark Twain’s letter but in fact we have a set of priceless letters than Mark Twain’s letter and we are the letter itself that written not by an ink but with the Holy Spirit and also not written on the ordinary papers but direct on our heart. We are not just a daily letter; we are the special and priceless letter that contains magnificent stories about Jesus Christ.

A letter that brings the light

Besides reflecting a figure of Christ, as a letter of Christ, we are also a letter that can bring the light to the world as just Christ is the light of the world. As follower of Christ, we are called to be a light that brightens the “hidden corner” and brings many people to enter into the God’s glory.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.(Matthew 5:14 -16 NIV)

A letter that be a witnesses

We are also should to be witnesses of Christ to the whole world as it says in the book of Acts,

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)

This is Jesus’ last message before He ascended to the Heaven. He describes in detail the steps that we have to do to be a witness. The initial step is in Jerusalem first, that refers to the environment or the city where we live. Then from there we move to the larger scope that is the whole of Judea, talk about the nation or state, and Samaria, describing other nations outside of Christian from there finally we reach the final stage, namely to the ends of the earth.

A letter that brings love and hope

For God loves us, every aspect and side of our lives it is proper to be a paper that used by God’s pen strokes to proclaim His greatest love to this world. So that people will read and know how great God’s love to us until He willing to gave His only son poured His blood on the cross.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Today, there are so many people around us lost their hope.  As a letter of Christ we have to show that if we life in God, there is always hope no matter how difficult our lives today. As written in The Holy Bible,

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5 NIV)

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, (Hebrews 6:19 NIV)

A letter that reflect the glory of Christ

Our lives should reflect the glory of God and we shall be transformed into the same with His image. When Moses came down from Mount of Sinai after he spoke with God, his face was shone reflects God’s glory.

…, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was. (2 Corinthians 3:7 NIV)

Paul said that we can get great glory if we have a very close relationship with Christ and we will be like Christ because we are transformed by the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

(2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

Now our problem is in our daily lives, have we become a true letter of Christ that always shows the figure of Christ, brings the light to the world, being a letter that tells the story of God’s love and hope, and reflect the glory of Christ? Or just the opposite, our lives only become a stumbling block, mockery, or even we are like a Christians who become a hindrance to people who wants to know more about Christ just for the trivia reasons? Mahatma Gandhi once had a rather hurts experience when he rejected to get into the church just because the differences of skin tone (Racial differences). He once said: “Suppose Christianity just like a sermon on the mount, and then I already become a Christians. But because the live of Christians I do not want to be a Christian” Friedrich Nietzsche who really hate Christianity said, “I will believe in their (Christian people) salvation if they are a little more looks as Christians who have been saved

My dear friends, what about us now?  Whether every single deeds and word  that came out from our lips has been reflect a letter of Christ? Or even without we realized we already disgrace the holiness of the letter that written by Holy spirit? Today, let’s we look back to ourselve and ponder again how our spiritual life quality. Just be a realsistic. In this difficult era it is not so easy to remain become a trully letter of Christ. In everyday  lives we always face so many problems, challenges, and also the world temptations that could weaken our faith and make us fall into the sin. Therefore, it is very important to us to always guard our heart in order not to conflict with Christ personality.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverb 4:23 NIV)

This verse firmly and clearly describes that everything radiated form us is came from our heart. And what was written in our heart will surely determine what people will read through our attitude and deeds. By always guard our heart then we will reach a level that God wants that is become a perfect.

Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 NIV)

Let’s together guard our heart by always fill our heart with God’s word and do His commands because His words is a light as  a compass that direct us to the right path so we will not lost in the darkness.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105 NIV)

We should to always hear and learn about God’s word because it is a practical foundation to us as a Christians. If we remain seriously learn about God’s word  we will more fear to God for we will know and understanding more about His will.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)

We also have to remains maintaining the intimacy of our relationship with God through prayer and  always living in His spirit so there is no gap at all for Satan to come in and ruin our lives.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8a NIV)

My beloved readers, God’s Spirit does not leave meaningless rough streaks in our heart but He actually scraping His pen with beautiful writings that describes His mightiness and His wonderful love the world. We are not just  an ordinary letter. We are the open living letters  that in each pages represent God’s character who live in us. A beautiful and meaningful poem written by my sister Sue Nash will end this post. Let’s read and ponder together. Amen.

God’s Living Letters

Our hearts were cold, consumed with pride; 

Tablets of stone,no hope in sight.

Our lives were marred; death’s curse did chide,

Until our script, God did rewrite.

***

No changes wrought, with how we tried, 

By striving hard, His laws to keep. 

So God engraved His Word inside, 

That from our hearts, His truth would speak.

***

Lost souls then stained, with sin’s dark dross, 

In need of help, deliverance.

Christ’s blood poured out, upon the Cross;

Our wrongs were purged, in one instance. 

***

God’s light now shines, His love does flow,

When as we yield and let Him lead. 

God’s hope we bring, His truth we sow,

For all of those who choose to read.

***

Our lives like scrolls for all to see,

God’s very own, parchments complete. 

No more of self, we’ve been set free,

To follow Christ, bow at His feet.

***

Amazed, how love loosed sin’s tethers;

That hearts like ours, God freely chose

Now born anew, like living letters,

Our lives emit salvation’s prose.

By Sue Nash/2015

Special thank you to Sister Sue for her beautiful poem.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: maeclair.net

Convinced Beyond Sight!

Karina Susanto:

God loves enough to keep giving us chance after chance to get it right. Miss a beat when influenced by Satan, and you may never get another chance to receive God’s forgiveness. Yes, I’m convinced beyond anything I know or see–no evil or wickedness in high places–The White House, the court house, or any other place, shall ever separate us from the Love of God! Our God Reigns victoriously and when we endure, standing firm on our faith in Him, we will see the victory! Amen! A Great post of my new blog friend Maryhallrayford. Worth to read and ponder.

Originally posted on maryhallrayford:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39 NIV)

How convinced are we of the truth of God’s Word? When I look at the things going in our society today, where it appears that Satan’s reign is winning against God, I begin to understand what Paul is saying.

I understand that our faith in God’s Word is not based upon what we see, but on what He says–no matter how things look.

It looks like those living in opposition to God’s Word are negating the rights of those who live according to The Word.

It looks like there are judges who do not understand their…

View original 366 more words

Don’t Look Back… Moving FORWARD

DO NOT LOOK BACK-Karina's Thought

I was inspired to write this post when my husband watched a sprint race on a TV sport program. I interested saw the sprinters who always on focus straight forward without being affected by their rivals on left or right side and even on the back. They kept focus get up to the finish line as fast as they can. I wondered what if during they ran, they always look to the back. Could they keep run fast? No. They could not. Looking back while running will slow down their running speed and can even make them fall. Eventually they failed to reach a victory.

I am thinking about our life. I found some people who always failed in their life. Has much praying and prayed by many people but still failed and difficult to rise back. Their life is static in all the limitations, even in shortage. They were life in God’s way, faithful and obedient to the God’s word. Does God does not bless them? Whether the God’s promises and blessings only apply to the some people or only for the chosen people? I am very sure not like that, because God’s promise and blessing applies to all people who believe and live in Him. Then the question is what the cause is? I remembered a story of lot’s wife when the Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by God. From this story we could know what the cause is.

Actually, Lot’s wife is in God’s saving plan. It turns out she stopped walking and looked back. Then what happened? She turned into a pillar of salt.

But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26)

Let’s focus on looked back. What is meant with looked back is controlled by the past, haunted by traumatic things, failure or pile of sins in the past and difficult to get out from the shackles of the past that continues to haunt them. In fact there are many people who are shackled with their past. There are also so hard to release bad habits in the past. As a result, they are constantly interrupted with the past and difficult keep on moving and grow in achieving successes. Their faith also becomes difficult to grow. Salvation that has been promised by God will be gone in vain because they still look back and haunted by a dark past. Through two angels sent by God, God said,

“Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (Genesis 19:17 NIV)

Lot’s wife still difficult to forget everything he had in the Sodom city. She still wants her old life, her property and so on. She broke the God’s message. Once again, actually Lot’s wife is in God’s saving plan but she was ambiguous between wanted to survive but on the other hand it is hard to leave all comforts of her wealth in the back. Due to continue hesitated; she could not stand to not looked back, at least for the last time. This was a very fatal choice and finally she was accepting the consequence.

If we look at the story deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, we can find a similar thing. We can see how the people of Israel at that time repeatedly protested to Moses because they felt lose situation which they consider easier and comfortable, even though they only had a status as a slave in Egypt. Let’s see what they said,

The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (Exodus 16:3 NIV)

They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” (Exodus 17:3 NIV)

They kept grumbling, complaining, nagging and strong protest against the rescue of God. They prefer to look back rather than directing foresight toward a promised land that full of God’s abundant blessings. We know the consequence that none of the early generation which made it into the Promised Land except Joshua and Caleb who have a different heart attitude.

In the New Testament, there was a story about those who wanted to follow Jesus but they chose to linger over and one of them said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” (Luke 9:61 NIV) Then what is Jesus’ answer? Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”(Luke 9:62 NIV) So obvious that People who are willing to go with Christ must be absolutely ready to leave their old life. Stop looking back. Or if not, then they are not worth before God. God desires each of us to go forward. He longs to pour out His blessings, but the shadow of the past often makes us always looking back, and thereby failed to receive the God’s promises.

Apostle Paul seemed to realize that humans have a tendency to always be in under the shadow of the past. So he needs to remind those who shackled in traumatic or bad things in the past.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)

Paul gave an example, that although he had served God, he still had to focus to forget all the past, bad as anything, and focus on the goals to be achieved in the future.

We all have a past, whatever it is. The problem is how we treat our past especially when we have had a dark past. Whether we immediately forget it and keep moving forward? Or we just shackled and continue to allow ourselves to be haunted by our dark past so we difficult to move forward and eventually we will hard to accept the beautiful God’s promises? My dear readers, this evening allow me to once again to remind all of us that we cannot move forward if our life always haunted by our past. We need to truly understand that God loves us. He does not want us to live bound in sin, problems of life and traumatic thing of the past. Honestly, personally I once had a dark past.  And I always remember what my father said at the time, “it does not matter you have a dark past. Everyone has.  But there are two things you have to do.  Make your dark past as a valuable lesson, learn it so that henceforth you will not do over it again, and once you have learned and get something from your dark past, immediately remove it all from your mind, let it go and never look back again. The past will not destroy your future unless you let it. Your life is not just for the past. God already provides a bright future that filled with His Blessings. God provides a new hope to us who live in Christ. Let the past remains as the past. Do not make it all as a hindrance to undergo your future”

My dear readers, what about us now? Whether we are still in the shadows of the past that make us so hard to move forward? Or probably we know that a bright future awaits us, but our eyes and minds covered by the fog of the past so that it is hard to move achieve a beautiful future and hope which has been promised by God? Like whom we want to be? We want to be like a sprinter who always focuses forward, never looking back and will reach victory? Or we want to be like Lot’s wife who unwilling to let go her past, broke God’s message, choose a fatal choice, and brought her to perish? This time, allow me to encourage you to quickly get out from the shadow of our past and close the door of our past. Bury in deeply our past that may be dark and bitterly and start to look and move forward. Living in the shadow of the past will not give any benefits instead will lead us to the bitterness. We will lose of joy and new hope that has been provided by God. Stop looking back and reach beautiful God’s plan which full of peace and prosperous, living in abundance God’s blessings. Our lives probably not be better than our past, but let us remember that,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

It’s time to let all your past go. Let’s stop looking back to the past, let’s move forward. God provides a new hope to us who live in Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

(2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

We could learn from our past, take some positive things from there but after that, we have to let our past go far away from our mind. Do not let our past haunt our life and become an obstacle so we difficult to move forward for the better future. I will end this post with questions to ponder together. Where we stand now?  Are we already on the future side and ready to open the door of bright opportunity to reach beautiful God’s promises? Or we still on the past side let its door remain open haunt our minds continually and we could not get anything there? Which one we will choose? The choice is yours. Amen.

 

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: writechangegrow.com

NOT JUST (A poetry for someone special)

Karina Susanto:

I am not just a candle on a beautiful chandelier, not just a beautiful fragrant white flowers, nor a beautiful words of wisdom. But I am definitely a daughter of our Father in Heaven who blessed by Him amazingly. I am just an ordinary God’s child but with an extraordinary blessings from Him. Thank you to God You gave me one more year to live this life with Your blessings, grace, compassion, and wisdom. Thank you for Your unconditional love.
On my Birthday today, I Got a special gift from my beloved sister in Christ Sella Irene. She wrote a beautiful poem as my birthday gift. Big thanks to sister Sella. May God bless you abundantly and always used by God to spread fragrance of God’s word through your awesome blog. To all my dear reader, please allow me again to encourage you to visit, follow and read her beautiful posts. Many blessings to all of you. I love you all.

Originally posted on BeautifulWords:

NOT JUST A poetry for someone special (1)

If like a candle… 

You are not just an aroma candle for ornament the royal banquet table for the kings

that radiate a light on  a grand silver chandelier.

 

But you also willing to light upon the wooden table in a modest hovel,

where your light is so meaningful there.

Willing to melt just for the sake of accompany a fatherless and motherless children  who are learning to reach their future.

If like a flower… 

You are not just an epitome of gracefulness and elegance.

 

But you are a clump of blooming white roses,

that grows in the garden of the each human heart who need love.

Spreading fragrance down to the hidden corner and brings tranquility in her tenderness.

 

If like a word… 

Your are not just the words of wisdom that engraved on the gold placard.

 

But your are HIS overt…

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God’s Promises Assurance

God's Promises Assurance -Karina's Thought -Sue Nash

 

 

Hello my dear readers, I am so happy and grateful to God could come back again in this New Year. Happy New Year!  We are wishing you a year of health, wealth, happiness, success, warmth, and loads of love of your dear ones. I hope this New Year showers you with full of Joy and blessings. This is my first post in this brand new year.

Has become our familiarity every early year our company held a general meeting. We discussed everything about the company growth in the previous years; we evaluate and make plans and targets to be achieved during a year ahead. In the meeting, there was one interesting thing and it made me ponder. One of our director said, “This New Year will be similar with the previous, we will be in uncertainty situation. We could make the best plans, but still, we don’t even know what will be happen next. Everything could be change in a matter of minutes”

I heard sound of pessimistic and skepticism! Questions arose in my heart. Should not we enter the New Year with a new vigor? Should we move in this New Year with shadowed by uncertainty? Then whether we have losing the joy in our lives in this New Year just because we think that we will face uncertain situation? Then without sounding of preaching and giving a lesson, carefully I am trying to say something, “Yes indeed if we look at the current situation and the conditions in which the world is filled with a variety of problems, it is natural we would be so easy to doubt and pessimist. But on the one hand we should not forget that we have God who always be with us. Because of Him we could calm. As written in Psalm:”

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. (Psalm 62:1 NIV)

My beloved readers, for me personally, this verse is very encouraging and able to give peace. Actually true tranquility comes from God, not from the world circumstances where we are, instead from an abundance of money, status, employment levels and so on, nor from others. The condition may be uncertain or unclear and this time, It may be that there are among of us who in the lowest point of crisis. But by realize that the presence of God will always be with us should be able to keep us calm. Our salvation is in His hands, help on any difficult thing was upon him, guarantee of future day will be provided by God. If we continue on the next verse, an affirmation will feel getting stronger.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:2 NIV)

Then, we will find a similar verse in the verse 6:

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5 NIV)

The world may be full of uncertainties like our director said. Maybe many people predict that this year is not better than the previous year but we have rock and unshakable fortress that could be a place to hold. We can remain calm focus to provide or perform the best if we realize that God is always close to us.

I was remembering story of Micah. Micah is a prophet from the remote village whose ministry is in the range of the reign of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Situation and condition the world today seems similar as in the time of Micah. Chapter 7 the book of Micah describe the moral depravity and a very difficult situation at the time. Famine, Crop failure (Verse 1), moral degradation, loss of godly and honest people, trepan each other, deceived each other, even destroy each other (Verse 2) Has been so accustomed to do evil,   corrupt officials and judges and accepting bribes, the leader imposes his will, the law perverted (Verse 3) Even the best people in the world likened as useless and stabs thorn hedge, nothing else can be trusted, broken homes, hostility among family members (Verse 4-6) Micah said that all this as a incurable and infectious wound.

“…. Plague is incurable; it has spread to Judah. It has reached the very gate of my people, even to Jerusalem itself” (Micah 1: 9 NIV)

Is not what we are facing today is roughly equal to the situation that Micah faced at that time? But let’s take a look what Micah did at the time?

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me (Micah 7:7 NIV)

What we could learn from the story of Micah? Micah has one big spirit. Yes, spirit of surrender to God. The verse above describe fully surrender to God. Look, after we saw how the moral depravity expressed so obvious in the previous verses, then Micah expressed his attitude was in such conditions: Micah chose to hold on to God with the full of hope. Micah believes God’s inclusion in any circumstances, Micah has full of trust to God’s power that will always save and listen to the prayers of His children

If God is able to save His children in the past, if we have repeatedly seen that God is able to perform miracles through magical ways, if formerly He can, even now God is still able! Because,

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)

Walking with God does not mean that we will always be one hundred percent live without problems. Problems will always be there. But Jesus said,

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34 NIV)

This verse comes preceded by a verse which also already known very well:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

Let’s try to combine these two verses. The result is, we will know and understand that even in the hardship that can be comes tomorrow God will still be there. Tomorrow will have worry about itself. Fear that muddying our thoughts today about tomorrow will not change anything. No results could be obtained with fears; instead we will add a new problem. Want to restless or anxious as any, tomorrow will remain come with the trouble itself. But if we truly believe that God is always present and be with us, why we should be worry? Tomorrow will be comes with its own difficulties but do not forget that not only problems and difficulties. God’s word said that,

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)

All of that would be more than enough to strengthen us through the difficult days and can make us live with joy that is not from the world but from God.

My dear beloved friends, what about us now? Are there any of us who are afraid to face uncertainty in entering this New Year? Whether in undergoing this New Year we are full of fear and doubt? If there are, let’s come closer to God, and get the serenity and strength. Do not let doubt fulfill our mind. Point our thoughts and views focus on God alone. Truly trust in Him! Express our fear and doubt we have in Him.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:8 NIV)

Praise Him and give thanks to God because He promised that,

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. (Psalm 46:2-8 NIV)

God has promised something that should be comforting and calming us, something that should not make us has to lose the joy. Therefore we do not need to fear to enter the New Year which is predicted by human logic to be a full with uncertainty or hopeless.

At the beginning of this New Year please allow me to encourage all of you that we do not need to worry because we have a God who is very concerned.  Close to God will always be able to make us calm. His sturdiness will be able to make us not easily shaken.  It is okay World continue to offer the uncertainty, but there is assurance in God. Tomorrow will come with its own problems. But we still must remember that the grace of God, which never end will also present and greet us when we wake up in the morning. We do not need to be afraid to face tomorrow and the next days because I know and I believe that God always be with us and he will goes before us as He promised:

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

 God has given so many promises as written in the verses above, so why should we be afraid? Let’s enter the New Year with joy, let’s fill this year with the best thing we can do, and let us give praise and thanksgiving to God who has promised to be with us from the beginning to the end of the year. God’s promises are yes and Amen!  His promises are never failed.

Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. (Joshua 21:45 NIV)

 Let us use this year as a moment to increase our relationship with God, exercise our faith in order to continue to grow better and increase our capacity to receive the outpouring of wine from Heaven. Tribulation may be present tomorrow, but as sunrise that certainly presents every morning, likewise the God’s promise will certainly present in our life. Amen

Karina – Living by faith

Photo by Sue Nash https://heavenlyraindrops.wordpress.com/

A Gift for Jesus

 

A GIFT FOR JESUS -Karina's Thought

 

Yesterday was our 1st wedding anniversary.  In accordance with our agreement, we were not celebrated with a romantic candle light dinner or something, yet we have decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary at the orphanage and held a Christmas celebration together with the orphans. Why we had an idea like that?  Because we just want to celebrate our wedding anniversary with a slightly different way and coincides with Christmas day. We just want to share blessings and happiness to those who in need. For both of us, had a lunch with the orphans, played around and sang together with them was the most romantic moment. However, here I don’t want to talk about our celebration but I want to talk about something important that I got from it.

When the orphans made Christmas decoration contest, I found something that made me moved. I saw a little girl put a manger under her Christmas tree. The interesting thing is there were two babies doll in that manger. Why there were two babies? I wondered.  “Why you put two babies in your manger?” I asked. Then she replied with innocent voice, “Ma’am, I do not have anybody but I have Jesus. I do not have anything as a gift because I’m poor. Therefore, I want to give myself as a gift to Him. Both babies it was me and Jesus. I thought I could accompany him and give a little warmth to Jesus. That’s all I can give.”  To be honest, that little girl answer was jerking my heart and made me not able to hold my tears. What a very touching and heartwarming answer. I was thinking that God said the same words like that liitle girl: ”  I want to give myself as a give to you. Both babies- It was you and Me. I thought I could accompany you and give you a little warmth” Then My husband said. “Today we have got precious lesson from this little girl”

When Christmas comes, we are always busy with preparations to celebrate Christmas. We are busy thinking about Christmas gifts for our friends and families. The question arises in my mind. If we have prepared the best Christmas gift to those whom we love, what about to the figure that actually we celebrate? Jesus! Whether we have prepared a gift for Jesus? And what kind of gifts that is pleasing Him? Before we answer those questions, I ask you to once again reflect on the true essence of Christmas.

Jesus came to this world with an important purpose. He came to save and redeem our sins. Based on the great God’s love, He came to rub out the world’s sins and paved the way to us into the salvation. This is not trivial. Let’s ponder who we are so that we are so precious in the sight of God to be saved? David once questioned this thing when he was mesmerized in awe as he looked at the beautiful sky.

What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

(Psalm 8:4, NIV)

Have we made a big contribution so that God be indebted to us and should to pay us? Are we so holy flawless so that God feels guilty if He does not save us? No! Indeed, we are human beings who often doing sinful things, we still often disappoint God with all our behavior which not pleasing before God. Even so, in fact God still love us. Even though God created this universe so beautiful, we are the mankind still the most precious creations that created in His image itself. As written in Genesis 1:26 (NIV):

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

And we also crowned with glory and honor,

You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:5 NIV)

Therefore, our salvation was become an important God’s agenda and was based on His Greatest love to us, and He granted upon the humans.  Grace is not a grace when given based on logrolling. It is precisely because we are not worthy but God still gave. That is called a grace. The Holy Bible describes this thing so beautiful and touching,

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:16 NIV)

What a greatest love of God which is able to move His heart for sacrificing of Christ to replace all of our sins on the cross, pay in full  our sins, and deliver us from the curse and bring salvation that supposed not be worthy for us to have. All of it is merely based on His Great love to us. Imagine how our lives today if Jesus did not come into this world and redeem our sins, break the shackles of sin and the curse, replacing us on the Cross and saved us from the death. How horrible our lives!

With very long and tiring journey the Magi from the east came to Jerusalem to worship the Baby Jesus. But their tiredness was gone and turned into the joy when they saw the star. (Matthew 2:2, 10 NIV) If we look at the previous chapter we can see what the angel said to Joseph through a dream,

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us) (Matthew 1:21-23 NIV)

Let’s ponder to the meaning of Immanuel. The birth of Jesus to this world brought very big impact to our life journey and salvation. And that’s supposed to be the source of our joy in welcoming the Christmas day. If God gave a tremendous gift to us, what can we give to Him? Let’s to be honest how often we forget this. We often ask to God to fulfill all our wishes, but how often do we think about what we can give to God as the most beautiful gift and pleasing to God?

Now back to the previous question. Whether we have prepared a gift for Jesus? And what kind of gifts that is pleasing Him? In fact most beautiful gift we have to prepare and give to Jesus is our heart. That is a gift that can please God. God wants our open hearts, gentle, willing to be formed, trust in Him, and always truly love and worship Him. We may not like a little girl in the orphanage who did not have anything. We may be able to give very expensive gifts, but once again we have to remember that God does not want any of it. A heart that the fear to God, clean, ready to receive Christ to dwell in it, and also a heart  that full of love for our fellow human beings, just as Christ loved us. This is actually God wants from us.

One day a scribe said, “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mark 12:33) Then what Jesus’ response?

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”(Mark 12:34 NIV) So it is so clear through these verses we can see what the real gift we can give to Jesus. Heart that loves God and others, that’s a very beautiful gift to give to us in celebrating the birth of Jesus in the world. Furthermore Jesus also said:

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’(Matthew 25:40 NIV)

The Lord Jesus does not require worldly gifts in the form of goods, jewelry, materials and or something like that. What will please Him is the love to God (love in vertically) and to each other (horizontally). Loves come from the heart. So heart that fully leads to Him and centered to His will, will become a very beautiful gift to Jesus.

My dear readers, Christmas is a moment in which we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ to the world as the  form of greatest gift from the Father to redeem for our sins and bring we out of death to enter the eternal life. Let we sanctify ourselves, admit our sins, and ask God to forgive and cleanse our hearts. As God commanded,

Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.

(Isaiah 1:16 NIV)

God is always ready to give forgiveness, even restoring joy when we turn from the way of evil and return to His ways. As God said,

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

Let us have a sacred heart as clean and white as a snow and eventually will be worth as a beautiful Christmas gift to Jesus our Lord. Amen.

My beloved readers, this post will be my last post this year. I will come back next year. I, my husband, and our little Andrew say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” to all of you. You all so precious for us and we are so blessed to have you all. God bless you.

Karina – Living by Faith

Photo credit: wallpaperup.com

 Thank you very much to Paulfg at http://justmebeingcurious.com/ for wonderful expression on my post.