Archive | May 2014

Someone Behind

SCREEN

Few days ago my husband and I watched again a Christian music concert which was held by Rose of Sharon Church in which one of the singers is my blog friend, Sella Irene. I was really impressed, amazed, and so blessed by their performances. They have a very beautiful voice and incredible musicians as well. I said to my husband, “They are all really impressive!” My Husband replied, “Yes, they are! But please do not forget to those people who are behind them on the stage. I think they also have a very important role in that concert. They have an amazing stage director, very skilled sound engineer, and there are many more people who are very supportive of their performances. Without them all, I guess they could not perform very well. My husband’s answer makes me thinking. Yes, I forget that there are a lot of people behind them who very influential for the success of their performances. In reality, they often miss from our attention. We more focused to those people on the stage.
I remembered one of Jesus’ disciples. Andrew. Andrew was the first Jesus’ disciple. Although he was one of the disciples of the Lord Jesus, but his name is not as famous as Peter, James, Paul, or John, who were said to be the people who are in the inner circle of Jesus’ closest disciples. If I liken Paul, John, and Simon Peter is the main actor in a movie, then Andrew is like a supporting actor which not too stands out and not gives a big impact. However, it does not mean Andrew is not important. Many things have been done that we do not realize because he was a lot of work behind the screens. Let’s dig up what the important things that he did.

 

The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). (John 1: 41-42)

 
Let’s pay attention to the word “And he brought him to Jesus.” It was Andrew’s first response when he met Jesus. Andrew was the first person who tells to Peter. At that time, without Andrew’s presence, Simon probably would not meet Jesus. Without the role of Andrew, Probably there is no Simon’s name in the list of disciples of Jesus. We all know that the later Simon Peter became a great apostle. But the important thing is, it all would not have happened if Andrew not brought Peter to Jesus. The interesting thing is, even though he is not as famous as his brother, he did not even include three closest disciples of Jesus, Andrew really did not concerned it at all. With joy and humbly he continued his task.
Another important thing that Andrew did is, when Jesus fed 5000 people. At that time Jesus gave preaching to the thousands people. Then Jesus said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”(John 6:5) then “Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little” (John 6:7). Let’s see Andrew’s reaction at that time.

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:8-9)

See? Once again Andrew bring someone came to Jesus. I am sure, at that time Andrew also knows that the food brought by the boy would not be enough to feed about 5000 people. But he still brought that child to Jesus. What happens next? Through the child, a miracle happens. Jesus fed 5000 people only from five loaves and two fishes. This story shows that Andrew is a very caring person. He brought the children to Jesus to be used in the service of the Lord Jesus and the food problem finished. That is Andrew. An apostle was not famous who work behind the screens. Almost never come forth like Paul, John or his brother Simon Peter. But in fact he is a caring person who brought many people to God.

 
There was a Sunday school teacher named Edward Kimball. Who is he? He is just an ordinary Sunday school teacher. But through Edward there was a boy who believed and accepted God as his savior and later on this boy became a very famous and great preacher and evangelist. The boy is. Dwight L.Moody. Through his ministry Moody can make a lot of people in England and America repented. And through Moody’s sermon, a young pastor named Frederic Brotherton Meyer changing his ministry and decided to become an evangelist like Moody. “If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?” This was what Meyer said in his preaching, and these words make J. Wilbur Chapman responded God’s call in his life. Later on Chapman become one of the most effective evangelists. Billy Sunday a baseball player, a volunteer in Chapman Ministry eventually took over Chapman’s ministry and become one of the most dynamic evangelists of this century. Billy Sunday’s preaching brought thousands to Christ. Then this evangelism chain finally up on the great name: Billy Graham. Through Billy Graham million people in the world repented and accept God as their savior. If we look carefully to this chronology, it all begins from someone named Edward Kimball. An ordinary Sunday school teacher but through him many people brought to God and make many great names in the evangelism world.

 
My dear friends, what about us in our daily lives? Wherever we are, in the office, church or else, whether we also pay attention to those people who work behind the screens? Are we appreciate and honor them same as those who always come forth on “the stage”? Through this post I would like to ask you to change our mindset to not always focus on who we see on “the stage” Lets always remember that behind their successful there are so many people behind them. If we look and hear a touching and powerful preaching in the church, do not just look to the pastor but please remember that there are people behind them. It may be husband/wife and their children who always give a big support to their ministry. Their roles are really important as well. Let’s always remember that God can use anyone for His Kingdom works even they are not always come forth and unknown to many people. Do not belittle to those people who work behind the screens because sometimes actually we have to learn a lot from them. They are the God’s invisible tools, but so worthwhile. Do not underestimate to those people who work around us which is seem trivial.
And otherwise, for us who always work behind the screens wherever we are, we might not do many great things, and maybe people do not see our work at all, maybe even people underestimate our work, this time I encourage to not be desperate and discouraged. We could learn from Andrew story. We May not do something great but please believe, what we are doing it may be the beginning of great things that will be happen later. I encourage you to always believe and trust that God can use any little thing to declare His power and glory. Probably Simon Peter will not be a great apostle without Andrew. We may not know D.L. Moody without Edward Kimball’s role. Whatever we do, do it with wholeheartedly, faithful, full of diligence, and is only intended for the glory of God. Amen.

 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (Colossians 3:23)

Karina-Living by Faith
Image credit: Google Images

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BEAUTIFUL IN ITS TIME

When we talk about God’s time, we talk about a mystery and secret of the Divine. We don’t have ability to unveil it.

Beautiful Words

I ever wrote about wedding at Cana was titled TWO MESSAGES FROM CANA (click here). But my friend wrote about wedding at Cana from the other point of view. This proves that The Word of God is the source which never runs out and always up to date. Happy reading and bless 🙂 

BEAUTIFUL IN ITS TIME

By : KL – Living By Faith (click here)

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On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”  “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:1-5)

Marriage in Cana. As Christians, we all already know this story…

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A Cup of Tea for God

A CUP OF TEA FOR GOD - Karina's Thought

 

My father once said that one of the happiest things is when his little daughter ran to greet him when he came home after work. Still strongly remembered in my mind when I was 6, every day I ran excitedly with happily shouting, “Daddy…!” to my father. With cheerful face he opened his arms to hug me tightly, kissed me and I kissed him back. After that, with my Mom’s help, usually I made him a cup of hot tea and then I sat beside him. I also still remember, within his tiredness, my dad’s face radiated a tremendous happiness. At that time, I was excited because I could make him happy and wipe his tiredness after work all day long.
As a child, make our mom and dad pleased and happy is become our responsibility. Well, How about God our Father in Heaven? Whether we always make Him pleased and happy too? If I always make a cup of tea as a way to make him happy, what we can do so can make God pleased? We cannot run to greet God, and then God will hug and kiss us like my daddy did to me. We even cannot make a cup of tea for God. We are not physically near with God. So what we can do? Here, as an example, I chose one of the great Bible figures that said as a righteous man, blameless among the people and walked with God. He is Noah! Noah’s life is always pleasing God and we can learn from him how to make God pleased. At least there are five things that we could get from Noah so that we can please God.
Love God above of all
Noah always loves God more than anything even when there is nobody loves God. Love God means to have a very close relationship with Him.

 

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (Genesis 6:9)

Through this verse, we knew that Noah has a very close relationship with God. This is also what God wants from us. God longs we have very close relationship with Him, love Him wholeheartedly, and what He desired is our mercy. Hosea 6:6 said:

 

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)

In this verse we know that our mercy can make God pleased. Give big offerings to the church or those people in need doesn’t mean we automatically have been pleases God. God also would be pleased if we have unstoppable yearning to be closer to Him and to know of his personal more deeply. Still strong, not easily waver because of the worldly temptations. In the New Testament, Jesus said:

 

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)

What about us now? How deep is our love to God? Do we have very close relationship with God? Whether we have been doing the Lord’s command as written in the verse above?
Fully trust to God
Noah fully trust what God told him when He warned about something that has not happened and unseen and when God commanded him to do unreasonable thing. Actually, there are three things that can make Noah did not believe what had God said to him. First, He never sees the rain and before the floodwaters God irrigate the earth from the land. Second, Noah lived far from the sea. How could he bring the ark into the sea? Third, put together the whole animals are not an easy job. But what Noah does? He does not complain and prefer trust to God and have faith that he knows what the best is. God pleased that Noah totally trusts Him. In everyday lives, how deep we trust in God? Do we still trust in God when our lives so hard and there are so many difficult things should to overcome? Do we still firmly trust to God when we should to do unreasonable things? Like Noah, indeed God will be very pleased if in any circumstances we still faithfully trust Him. We should to remain trust that whatever God commanded is the best for us.
Fully obey to God
At the time, when God commanded Noah to make an ark, God does not say, “Noah, Make it a regular boat as whatever you want” But God gave the details of the ark that should to be made. (Genesis 6:14 -16) Then, what Noah did? Beside he fully trust to God, Noah is fully obey to God’s command. He did every single detail as prescribed by God precisely.

 

Noah did everything just as God commanded him. (Genesis 6:22)

What about us? What if God commanded us to do something according His will? Do we will obey to doing everything what God wants? Or we would have many questions, raise an objection or we even unwilling to do it all? God will pleased if we remain obey to do all of His word. God will be very pleased if we live our lives with obedience. Have we?
Praising the Lord and be grateful
Praising the Lord is one form of way to pleasing God. God will be pleased if we have lifestyle that is always praise and worship Him in the midst of our happiness and even sadness, and we do it with wholeheartedly. The first act of Noah after survived from the floodwaters is expressing his thankfulness to God by offering burnt sacrifices.

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (Genesis 8:20)

We must know and understand, God is very pleased and love His children if we always Glorify, Praise and be grateful for what God has given to us. This means that God’s will be happy and pleased when we appreciate everything that God has done for us. Are we ready to have lifestyle that always praise and worship Him whatever our situation and condition? Can we always be grateful not only in our happiness but even in affliction?

Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.(Psalm 147:7)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Using our ability

When God gave the command to Noah to make an ark, Noah did it by using all his ability. And Noah believes that God will enable him to make an ark according to God’s command. After the flood, God gave Noah another command:

“Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything” (Genesis 9:1-3)

This is the time of Noah to use his ability to continue life. Doing the things that has become God’s plan and provision for mankind. Have a children and offspring, found a family, farming and breeding. So it is with us now, God also wants us to use the abilities that God has given us to do the God’s will and to please Him. There is no reason for us to not be able to do God’s will, because we are not going to bring the glory of God and we are not going to be a blessing if we shame and do not use our ability for the God’s glory. God gives us different abilities beside used for our benefit, God also wants through our abilities always please Him.

My dear readers, I will end this post by asking you to ponder these five things: If we have longing to loves God more than anything and make Him as a top priority? Have we truly lean on and completely trust to God? How deep is our obedience to do all His commands? If we already have a lifestyle that is always be grateful and praise God in all circumstances? How we use our ability, if only for worldly pleasure or all we do is just for pleases and glory of God alone? Physically, we cannot make a cup of tea for God, could not run greet, hug and kiss Him. But spiritually we can come to God, living in His providence, feel His warm loving kindness and blessings. And we can make “A cup” of mercy for God filled with full of love, trust, obedience, praise and gratefulness. We make it with full of our ability to pleases God. Are we willing to? Amen.

Further reading: https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/what-does-it-mean-to-thine-own-self-be-true/

Thank you very much to Sister Anne for your further article.

Karina – Living by Faith
Image source: Google Images