Archive | April 2016

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

 

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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)

 

 

 

 

Man of Faith, ABRAHAM

Abraham Man of Faith -Karina's Thought

 

Hello my dear friends, sometimes ago I have wrote a series of “Woman of faith” Few days ago my husband said that seems incomplete if I don’t write about “The Man of faith” So this post and the following posts will talk about some bible figures who known as “Man of faith” Anyway, all of you have to know that this post isn’t a bible commentary, bible study or something.  It is just my thought based on what I have learned. So, if you find some wrong perception or misinterpretation, I am so honor you give me critics or suggestion.

When we talk about faith, I strongly believe our mind will directed to one of great bible figure named Abraham. As we all know Abraham called “The father of faith” I knew and learned this great figure when I was teen. At the first time, I was so curious how Abraham could be called as “The Father of faith” If his faith not experienced ups and downs at all throughout his life? After I read and learn seriously about His life, although the Bible explains that there were times Abraham experienced faith struggling like us, at least I found two big things happened along his life so he deserved to be called as “Father of faith” I prefer to call these big things as two big test of Abraham’s faith. Now I would love to take all of us to look at the first test. God said to Abraham:

‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:1-2)

When I read these verses, my mind focused to the word “That I will show you” God didn’t says, “That I showed you before” This means that Abraham totally didn’t know where he will go. There was no certainty and Abraham hasn’t received any further explanation from God. It also means that Abraham had to wait. Dear friends, I imagine one day my father give me an order to go to a place that I never know before and my father don’t tell me any description and direction about that place. Well, I will definitely refuse and I don’t have big courage to go. But what was Abraham do? The author of Hebrews tells us:

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

At that time Abraham certainly didn’t know what will be happen but he remained obey to follow God’s command and set out according to God’s command. Abraham did it because he looked by the eyes of faith. Abraham trusted and believed that God will guide him into the uncharted territory. There was no questioning and no wavering! He still went and dwelt in the foreign land that God promised to him.

By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; (Hebrews 11:9)

What a great and profound example of faith! What underlies Abraham‘s faith? What is the vision that he saw through his faith? Let us take a look to the following verse:

For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

(Hebrews 11:10)

It turned out, Abraham had a vision about the future, something that he hadn’t seen in real but he had a proof through his faith. Others may not see it but Abraham was able to saw it with his eyes of faith.

Now we come to the hardest test of Abraham’s faith (In my opinion).  I remembered one of my friends who were really disappointed and angry to God because God called home her one and only daughter. Thing that made him upset and angry was, she had wait for 7 years to have her daughter and the doctor have stated that she will very difficult to have a child again and not recommended for some reasons. She once said to me, “I have been waiting for 7 years to get the answer of my prayer to have a child. God gave but God himself took my daughter back. What is actually God wants from me? It would be better He didn’t give me a child at all if eventually He took my daughter back!”  My dear friends, now let’s compare my friend’s story and Abraham’s story.

We all know that God promised Abraham to have a child at the impossible time because they had become grandparents. The story wasn’t ended up there, evidently there was another thing. Turned out, Abraham needs time for 25 years to get the fulfillment of God’s promise. But again Abraham was using his eyes of faith. He truly believed that God will fulfill His promise though seems impossible. Then was born Isaac. Was it the happy ending? Not really. One day, God commanded Abraham: “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering…” (Genesis 22:2) What was Abraham reaction? If he complained, disappointed, and angry to God like my friend? Yes maybe! Although not mentioned in the bible, I do believe as a human Abraham could feel sad, disappointed, and even angry to God like my friend. But the fact was, he remain obey and he did what has commanded by God. I found one important thing that shows how great Abraham’s faith at the time. Let’s pay attention to this verse:

And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” (Genesis 22:5)

I outlined to the word “We will come back to you” Wasn’t Abraham should have come back alone because Isaac will be offered as a burnt offering? This is what I mean how great Abraham’s faith. He knew that God was faithful, God can make miracles. Abraham believed so strongly in God, even though at the time he hadn’t seen what will happen in the next. Seeing or not, Abraham believed and obeyed God wholeheartedly, without protest, without complaining, without a doubt. Was written in Hebrews 11:19:

Concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Abraham believed that God had a very good reason for asking him to sacrifice Isaac, and that somehow Isaac would have to be raised from the dead to fulfill the promises God had made concerning him.

My beloved readers, what about us now? How far we put our faith as a substance of our lives, how far can we believe in something that not seen as written in Hebrews 11:1:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

How far we are able to obey to do the God’s command though we haven’t seen the results? How far we are willing to do all of God’s will though seem unreasonable? If we say we have faith, whether our faith has been accompanied by deed? Because:

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17)

This evening I encourage all of us to learn from Abraham’s life as “Father of faith” Abraham chose to obey when God commanded him to go out from his country and when God asked him to handed his one and only son as a burnt offering. Abraham chose to believe when God promised him a child in his very old age. Abraham can did all of that because he put his faith as a substance. Let’s do the same thing like Abraham. By having unwavering faith then we will be able to obey without any doubt, and questions. By having a strong faith we will be able to believe the fulfillment of God’s promises. Maybe this time we are waiting for God’s answer, let us wait it with the strong faith. Maybe right now God commanded us to do something impossible, let us do it faithfully because all things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:23) and for with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1:37)

Maybe right now we are in the very hard time. We are hit by so many hard troubles and challenges and we are in the uncertain situation. Once again allow me to encourage all of us face it all by strong and unwavering faith. Let’s learn to have great faith, faithful, and obey like Abraham. By faith let us completely believe that God already has beautiful plan for all us.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

And by strong faith let us totally believe that God will never leave us as He said:

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Let’s keep hold God’s promises with the unwavering faith. By great faith Abraham received all the God’s blessing right in His time.

Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. (Genesis 22:17) Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: jamespoitras.com