Archive by Author | Karina Lam

New Year Reflection

Hello my beloved reader! It’s me again. I’m grateful to God Almighty at the beginning of this new year I could post my first post in 2021. In the first day of this new year, I love to take all us take a time for a moment to reflect all that happened in 2020

The year 2020 will be a long history throughout this century. even the same history anywhere in the world. in 2020, only about 60 days we live our life normally. After that everything changed very drastically. We have to live this life with strict rules especially with regard to our health. We must live our lives using health protocols which we inevitably, like it or not, we must comply with. Must use mask, take a social distancing, and many more.

Suddenly, the whole process of life changes. Suddenly we have the same habits, suddenly we have the same worries. Suddenly, the whole nations in this world even no matter what the religion have the same prayer. We bowed down, crying, begging, and hoping that everything will be back as before. Without mask, without social distancing, and without any strict health protocol.

We feel tired and bored with all kinds of that rules and protocols. Hard to close our eyes though the night was very late. There’s deep longing can only be expressed by words only. We long to hug those we love very much as we usually do without fear and worry. Beside grumbling, there’s only one question in our minds, “When it all will be over?”

My beloved friends, in this New Year moment I would love to let all of us know that when we all gasp because suddenly the world became so silent and everyone in this world has the same fear, we are afraid for something invisible yet dangerous and deadly, let us know and trust that God Almighty has a plan and God’s plan is always wonderful. God said:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Everything that is happening in our lives today is not a coincidence. If God has properly started His work for us, then He will continue His good work until the end. Philippians said:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

We also have to trust that,

I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Jobs 42:2)

If we ask why God allows all this to happen, we have to remember that,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Personally, everything that happened in 2020 and still goes on made me learn to be patient and surrender more and more to God. Also reminds me that we are all weak human beings even powerless to face something very very small and invisible.

My dear friends, about 10 months we keep trying to survive and let us keep survive. Keep trust and relying on God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 God always gives a rainbow in every rain, calm in every storm, laughter in every tear, answers to every prayer and blessings in every trial. God never gives trials to thwart our strength.

No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Maybe we will never understand all that is happening at this time. But, please remember that the trials we experience will not exceed our strength. We should never be afraid because God will never leave us alone, will always help us, and He will carry us because He has made us.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many spar rows. (Mathew 10:30-31)

I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4 NIV)

Let us live this new year in with full of hope in God.

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

Happy New year, my beloved readers. God Bless all of us!

Karina – Living by faith

image source:googleimages

Merry Christmas!

Hello, my dear readers! How are you all? I hope and pray in this difficult time we are all doing well. I’m so sorry been very long time I not post my own post to the blog. It’s just because I’m on pursuing my doctoral program target. In a few days we will celebrate Christmas day. This time I just stopping by to wishing a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all beloved readers and my blog followers. Also, in this wonderful Christmas season I’m asking for prayer support from all of you because right now God blesses us a second child. Now I am 2 months pregnant. Please pray for us that everything will run smoothly until the time I give birth.  Thank you very much, dear readers!

This time I just want to share a true wonderful and heart touching Christmas story that happened in December 1997 in Wisconsin, USA. Here goes the story

A little girl named Sarah had leukemia and was not expected to live to see Christmas. Her brother and grandmother went to the mall to ask Mark Leonard who was a professional Santa Claus to visit the hospital to give Sarah the gift of hope through encouragement and prayer.

A year later Sarah surprised Santa by showing up at the mall where he worked. Here goes the story.

A little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at The Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on santa’s lap, holding a picture of a little girl.

“Who is this?” – asked Santa, smiling. “Your friend? Your sister?”

“Yes, Santa.” – he replied.

“My sister, Sarah, who is very sick.” – he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

“She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!” – the child exclaimed.

“She misses you.” – he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy’s face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

“What is it?” – Santa asked warmly.

“Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you, Santa, but ..” – the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

“The girl in the photograph… my granddaughter well, you see … she has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays.” – she said through tear-filled eyes.

“Is there anyway, Santa, any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That’s all she’s asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa.”

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do. Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do.

“What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying?” – he thought with a sinking heart, “This is the least I can do.”

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked Rick, the assistant location manager how to get to Children’s Hospital.

“Why?” – Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah’s grandmother earlier that day.

“Common….I’ll take you there.” – Rick said softly. Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed.

The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the grandmother and the girl’s brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off her forehead.

And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with a weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, “Ho, ho, ho!”

“Santa!” – shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son — 9 years old — gazed up at him with wonder and excitement.

Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears.

Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah’s face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room

As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa’s shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering “Thank you” as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes.

Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she’d been a very good girl that year.

As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl’s mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah’s bed, holding hands.

Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels, “Oh, yes, Santa… I do!” – she exclaimed.

“Well, I’m going to ask that angels watch over you.” – he said.

Laying one hand on the child’s head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease.

 

He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing, softly, “Silent Night, Holy Night…. all is calm, all is bright…”

The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.

When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah’s frail, small hands in his own.

“Now, Sarah,” – he said authoritatively, “you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!”

He knew it was risky proclaiming that to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he ‘had’ to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could — not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of HOPE.

“Yes, Santa!” – Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright. He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.

Out in the hall, the minute Santa’s eyes met Rick’s, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.

Sarah’s mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa’s side to thank him.

“My only child is the same age as Sarah.” – he explained quietly. “This is the least I could do.”

They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

“Hi, Santa! Remember me?!”

“Of course, I do.” – Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a ‘good’ Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the ‘only’ child in the world at that moment.

“You came to see me in the hospital last year!”

Santa’s jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest.

“Sarah!” – he exclaimed. He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy — much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before.

He looked over and saw Sarah’s mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus.

He had witnessed –and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about — this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank you, Father. ‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!”

 

A true story by Susan Morton Leonard, Santa’s wife

Santa’s name: Mark Leonard or Santa Mark

 

Renewed Strength (Guest Post)

Who is never tired and weak?  Who has never weary and felt helpless?  All of us have experienced it.  Is it normal?  Of course, because we are human.  We live in an endless stream of times, regardless of what our circumstances are.  There are times when we feel relieved because one problem is resolved, but a new problem is waiting.  Life continues to force us to walk, whether we are strong or not. Sometimes we want time to pause so we can put all the heavy burdens down, but that’s not possible.  Indeed, there are times when our lives are peaceful and everything is fine.  We are relieved and hope that there is no more pressure.  But that calm is only temporary, because something bad, which we never imagined and we don’t want, can happen suddenly.  When we are depressed, we cry out to God, hoping for a miracle.  But the situation didn’t change, sometimes it even got worse.  Maybe we wonder, does God not hear our prayers?  Does He not know what we are going through, or does He deliberately ignore it?  In the midst of that situation, we are still trying to survive and try not to fall, but some of us may become tired, even want to give up.

If you are weary and weak, tired due to the burdens and pressures of life, let’s read what the prophet Isaiah wrote:

Why do you complain, Jacob?  Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

(Isaiah 40: 27-28 NIV)

These verses are part of a prophecy from God written by the prophet Isaiah in his last years, to give hope and comfort to God’s people during their captivity in Babylon, 150 years after Isaiah’s time.  God’s people were rebuked for their unbelief and discouragement in the face of suffering, which they thought was so heavy and sad, as if it was hopeless.  The rebuke was also followed by God’s statement about Himself, that He is eternal God, Creator of all things, Ruler of all things.  He does not weary and he does not become weak.  His understanding is unfathomable.  There is no problem so great that He cannot solve and He is able to punish Israel’s oppressors, even though Israel’s years of captivity seem to give the opposite impression.

The same thing God says to us today.  Although sometimes God seems to allow injustice or bad things to happen in our lives, God actually cares about us.  He does not run out of ideas and ways to help us.  He has wisdom to save.  His understanding is unexpected.  He is extraordinary at arranging things to accomplish His purposes and plans, but He has His own path and timing. God’s wisdom in managing human affairs is beyond our understanding.  That’s why we need strength from God in order to live life in this world full of problems.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

(Isaiah 40: 29 NIV)

“He gives strength to the weary” in this verse is very similar to Jesus’ statement, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” in Matthew 11: 28-30.  This is an invitation to draw close to God and live by His standards, in order to obtain the strength He promises.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40: 30-31 NIV)

Anyone can be weary, weak, tired and utterly fall.  But only those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  Those who hope in God will surely wait on God. Waiting on God is not waiting passively or doing nothing.  Waiting on God is an attitude of waiting with hope, joy, patience, diligence, while still doing what has to be done, like a farmer waiting for the harvest time.  Waiting on God is an active attitude.  We can see this attitude in the parable taught by the Lord Jesus in Luke 18: 1-8 about the unjust judge and a widow who constantly urged the judge for help.  “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (verse 1)  So, the important thing we have to do during this waiting period is pray without giving up.

God promises that those who wait on Him and hope in Him will receive new strength, a divine power that renews our human strength.  A divine power that makes us energized and refreshed, in the midst of fatigue in living a life full of struggles.  With this renewed strength, we will be able to overcome the problems of this world, even enter into the sanctuary of God, like an eagle flying high into the sky on the strength of its wings.

Waiting on God to give us the ability to run spiritually and be able to move forward without feeling weary and tired, including when God suspends His help.  When we hope fully in Him, we will be able to carry out God’s commandments with joy, perseverance and persistence, because we know our waiting is not in vain.  We are human but we have a super and extraordinary God. Life is not easy, yes, but we have an eternal and powerful God, whose wisdom is unfathomable and incomparable.  It is okay if you are feeling tired, weak and helpless right now.  The most important thing is to immediately come closer to the Lord Jesus and wait for Him.  God will renew the strength of those who hope in Him, so that we will not only be able to overcome problems, but also continue to progress and our spirituality will grow even more.  Lord Jesus loves you.

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images ( wallpaperscraft.com ) edited with pixlr apps

INVITATION FROM JESUS (guest post)

These days are hard times for almost everyone in the world.  We face uncertainty about tomorrow, there is an illness that seems to be lurking at the door, as well as changes in lifestyle and habits in many areas of life that also have an impact on the family economy.  All of that can be a source of stress that can lead to new problems.  A reflection for us… In the midst of this difficult situation, is our faith getting stronger and more faithful in practicing God’s word, or do we just feel spiritually inadequate and tired.  Praise the Lord!  We have a Savior who invites us with all His love:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28, NIV)

What a comforting and encouraging invitation and promise!  However, we must not stop at verse 28 alone, because Jesus’ words continue until verses 29 and 30.  The unique thing is that “the invitation to come and the promise to be given rest” is followed by the command to take up His yoke and learn from Him:

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 29-30, NIV)

People who are weary and burdened are asked to bear the yoke and learn!  Wouldn’t the burden get heavier and tiring?!  What truth can we get from this passage?

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me”

In Jewish idea, a yoke means “a heavy burden”, comparable to the yokes resting on the bullocks’ necks.  That heavy yoke is a law that must be obeyed, which is the Mosaic Law.  The Law consists of hundreds of laws which are full of various rituals and are accepted as legalistic tradition.  The Pharisees and the scribes demanded the Jews to obey the laws, while the Pharisees and the scribes themselves didn’t do it.  We can find it in Matthew 23: 4, Luke 11:46, and Acts 15:10.  Thus, in this context Jesus invites people who are weary and burdened by religious laws and rituals that provide no peace.

As a substitute for that heavy yoke, Jesus Christ offers His yoke which is easy to bear and His burden which is light, that is the first and greatest commandment: “’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.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40). 

The Lord Jesus not only puts the yoke on our shoulders, but it’s His own yoke, which means He carry it together with us.  That’s why the yoke becomes easy and the burden becomes light.  Now, the same invitation is also addressed to us.  The Lord Jesus promises to give us rest, but we must be willing to bear His yoke.  In other words, we must live in His first and greatest commandment, that is love God and love neighbor as written in Matthew 22: 37-40.  Why? Because if we do God’s word only as laws that must be obeyed, then we will be tired of the various rules, “Don’t do this, you have to do that, and if you don’t do it you will receive the consequences.”  We will lose our joy in practicing God’s word.  Conversely, if we do everything out of love, then obedience will not be heavy because love will lighten all burdens (1 John 5: 3). There is no power greater than love, especially God’s love!

If we are full of God’s love, then we will be able to love God and others.  Love makes us treat other people in different ways.  Love makes us live our life in a new way, which is from God’s perspective.  We become stronger and calmer in facing struggles because it becomes easier for us to trust God.  For that, we must continue to walk with Jesus and learn from Him, to be His disciples.  Being a disciple of Jesus means being willing to be disciplined, willing to continue to be taught and trained, so that we become like Him, a person who is gentle and humble in heart.

“for I am gentle and humble in heart”

Many people have the concept of gentle and humble that only emphasizes action.  People who speak softly and not show anger will be considered as a gentle person, and people who deny their greatness in front of others are considered as humble.  In fact, it could be that a person who seems gentle and humble is actually rebelling in his heart or is deliberately controlling himself because he wants to be praised and considered good by others.  The biblical concept of gentle (meekness) and humble (lowliness) is not like that.  In the Greek text, the word “praus” (meek) and “tapeinos” (low) are followed by the word “tē kardia” (in the heart).  So, meekness and lowliness are attitudes that come from the heart, not only measured by visible actions.

Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness.

Lowliness describing the person who depends on the Lord rather than self.

Let’s learn from Jesus and become like Him.  Jesus has authority and power, but He always submits to the Father and does everything according to the Father’s will.  Jesus also showed His boldness and anger when He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves in the Temple.  But He is also full of mercy on those who are weak and doesn’t reject those who are despicable.  Jesus always full of love and forgiveness towards sinners, including those who tortured and crucified Him.

If we build a relationship and learn from Jesus who is gentle and humble in heart, then we will get rest for our souls, because we know that we are fully accepted and loved.

And if we have meekness and lowliness, we will be calmer and peace in living this life.

Gentleness and lowliness will be reflected in the attitude in living everyday life.  A gentle person will give himself to be controlled by God, not by ego and emotions.  He can be assertive, even angry, but in the right and necessary portions.  A humble person will submit to God and rely on God, not boasting about himself and not looking down on others, because he knows that everything in him comes from God.  If we continue to develop gentleness and lowliness, we will be more able to understand and accept others, more forgiving, less hardened when we are reprimanded and not ashamed to admit mistakes.  We will become easier to control and lead by the Holy Spirit. And we know that we really need the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all things, especially in tough situations like these days.

God’s people who are weary and burdened… Let us accept the invitation from Jesus.

Come to Jesus, take up His yoke and be His disciple, for He is gentle and humble in heart.

His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  Not because being a disciple of Jesus is without process and carelessly, but because of Jesus Himself bore the yoke with us.

His love enables us to do His commandments with joy.

Come, accept His invitation and His promise, for only in Him do we find peace and rest for our souls, in the midst of whatever we are going through.

Amen.

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images ( wallpapersafari.com ) edited with pixlr apps

Dwells in The Shelter of The Lord

 

 

Hello my beloved readers! I’m grateful to God during this very difficult time I could get a quite time to write a short post. I also thanks to God in this global pandemic situation I and my family are in good condition. I hope and pray all of you also in good condition too.

I was inspired to write this post because some time ago when Paris lockdown in order to prevent and reduce the spread of corona virus, my neighbor called me and said that he would stop his children from going out of the bedroom. All children’s activities must be done in the bedroom, and must use protective gloves and masks. He also urged me to do the same thing to my son.

Well, doesn’t mean I’m not afraid and underestimate this harmful corona virus, I really know covid-19 is very dangerous, everyone can be infected no matter who they are, not only that, this pandemic also gives very bad impact to some sectors, for example, in the business world. The business world as if totally down due to the spread of this virus. But, I think what my neighbor did to her children is exaggerated.  Looking down children in their bedroom wasn’t a good idea and will give bad impact to the children.

To be honest, during this pandemic, my family didn’t apply very specific things at home. Beside obeying the advice to keep clean, go out of house for important purposes only, do the social distancing, and some other advices, we hold one of God’s promise that written in the verses of Psalm 91. Let’s take a look together…

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. Psalm 91: 7 & 10

My dear readers, these verses are very great promises from God. Soothing, and comforting us in this very bad situation. Not only that, God also promised,

Surely, he will save you from the Fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91: 3 – 4

By under wings, shield, and rampart, we don’t need to be afraid of pestilence and plaque at night and day. God promises

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. Psalm 91: 5 – 6

God will deliver us from the deadly pestilence, therefore we shall not be afraid. Not from the deadly viruses, not from the terror, not from the evil plots and slanders of the wicked, not from anything. In the bad and difficult situation right now, we really need to holdfast this promises. At the time God’s promises was written, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t technology that can destroy thousands or even tens of thousands of people at once. But this modern era, it’s very possible. Corona virus has spread throughout the world and thousands of people have been infected.

However, my beloved friends, there is condition for us to be able accept God’s promises in that verses. The beginning verses of the Psalm are conditions that must be fulfilled in order can receive God’s promises. Let’s take a look.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most high will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91; 1-2

Those verses very clear said that only people who dwells in the God’s shelter and people who always life in God who will receive God’s promises.

in the middle of the global pandemic, in the middle of hard time because of covid-19 that don’t know when it will be over, allow me to ask all of us. Have we remained dwell in the shelter of God Almighty? Have we made God as our refuge and fortress? It’s very important during this pandemic we protect ourselves by taking shelter at home, it’s very important to do social distancing, it’s very important to keep obey advices to prevent and break the chain of virus spreading, but besides all, the most very important we to do is, keep dwelling in the God’s shelter, make God as our refuge, totally trust Him, and also put hope and confidence to God alone.

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. Jeremiah 17:7

My dear friends, we really don’t know when this global pandemic will be over.  We really don’t know how many more people will be infected covid-19, we also don’t know when the antivirus to ward off this virus will be invented. But this time allow me to encourage all of us that beside make physical protection by doing some things that has been advised, let’s us keep dwell in God’s shelter so that we can get God’s promises. There will be no viruses can penetrate God’s wing, God’s refuge and fortress.  Doesn’t mean then we are complacent and underestimate this problem. We must remain vigilant and watchful! But let it not frighten us and make us do extreme action like my neighbor.

Keep calm and believe in God and His faithful love. Live and walk with God will keep us safe from any danger. Allow God to rule in our lives, let’s life according to the truth of His word and according to His will, then God will be present where we are, He will spread His protection wings and shielding us from anything that will harm us. Trust that God can do anything and He never failed

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)

Keep dwell in the Lord, keep safe, keep healthy, stay home. Amen

 

Karina Lam

Living by faith

Image source: living grace church

 

Entrust the Uncertainty of Future into the Father’s Will (Guest Post)

Life is a gift from God that must be lived with responsibility.  Making good planning is part of carrying out that responsibility.  If so, why did James rebuke Christians who make plans?  Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  (James 4: 13)

The Letter of James was addressed to Jews who have become Christians and live outside the land of Israel.  Some of them work as traders who usually go from one city to another and live there for some time to do business.  These cities might have been Antioch, Damascus, or Alexandria, which at the time were large cities visited by trade.  So there is nothing wrong when they say: “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Then, what is the reason James rebuked them?  Verse 14 tells us:  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 

James told about two facts of humans, namely humans don’t know what will happen tomorrow and describe human life like mist.  Mist expresses uncertainty, mortal, futile, brief, momentary.  Mist, fog, smoke, or whatever they are called, only appear for a moment and then disappear into the wind.  That is human life in this world.  Now we know that the planners in verse 13 have ignored two things.  The first is human limitations which automatically limits their knowledge of tomorrow.  The second is the uncertainty in a short life in this world.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE

Friday afternoon in mid-January, my husband and I were going to get ready for church service when my cell phone rang.  I felt strange because the phone call came from my mother who was sleeping in her room on the 2nd floor of our house. Why did mom call me while she knew that we were at home with her?

I answered the call, then my mother’s voice was heard, “Help me, I’m sick.”  We immediately went upstairs and found my mother was already pale and sweating, groaning in pain while touching her chest.  Apparently my mother had called out our name but we didn’t hear.  Thank God there was a cellphone nearby so she could call us.

We immediately took her to the emergency room at a hospital and the doctor immediately ordered my mother to be treated at the ICCU (Intensive Chest Care Unit).  Then the hospital staff asked my husband and I to go to a corridor and asked us to knock on one of the doors there, while my mother was pushed on a hospital bed through another door.  Then we knocked on the door that was intended and was met by a cardiologist.  For about 10 minutes the doctor explained to us about my mother’s condition.  After that the doctor asked us to get out of the room then after that the door was closed.  I don’t have the chance to see my mom again and I don’t have the chance to say anything to each other!  We were really surprised and could hardly believe that the situation was changing so fast.  I remember this afternoon my mother walked around in the mall, cheerful, and looked healthy.  But this night she lay in pain and weak at ICCU.

For several weeks since that night, all our plans were in disarray because we had to stay in hospital all day. All our service schedules in the church must be canceled, a lot of work must be postponed, and the rhythm of our lives totally changed. A few days later we were told by the cardiologist that that night they were racing against time. The doctor said that one of the things that helped my mother’s life was that we immediately took her to the hospital in no more than 3 hours after a heart attack. The doctor said that if more than 3 hours the risk of death will be greater.

When we roll back the incident, we are grateful for several things: we were at home when the heart attack occurred, the road to the hospital at that time wasn’t jammed even though usually always jammed, also the emergency room didn’t have many patients (usually there were very many patients) so we didn’t need to queue and my mother could be treated immediately. On reflection, I realize that all the things we are grateful for are things that are beyond human control and knowledge.

That experience reminds us of 3 things. First, humans have no power over time. Second, humans do not have power over everything outside themselves. Third, humans do not have power over themselves, especially over their lives. If so, what is the reason for humans to boast and feel confident that they can manage their future without God ?? There is no!!!

So, it is really appropriate that in verse 14 James writes “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.”  The word “you” that used in this sentence in the original language has a qualitative meaning: “creatures like you” or “human being like you.”  In other words, James was conveying, “How can mortal beings and not knowing the meaning of life like you dare to feel confident that you can manage the future ?!”  So, in this context the mistake isn’t about making a plan, but the heart attitude of the plan makers.

Then what should be the attitude of our hearts?

SURRENDER TO THE FATHER’S WILL

James advises in verse 15: Actually you have to say: Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  This statement has the meaning “if my plan is in accordance with God’s plan” or “if what I want is the same as what God wants” or “if it is in accordance with God’s will.”

Jesus Christ set an example for us when He struggled in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion.  Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  (Matt. 26:39).  Jesus’ will is the cup of suffering taken away from Him, but He submitted His will to the will of the Father.  Jesus also taught us a prayer: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6: 9-13)  A heart that surrenders to the the Father’s will like Jesus which we must have when we make plans for our future.

Surrender to the Father’s will doesn’t mean we are only passive and do not make any plans.

Surrender to the Father’s will means allowing Him to intervene in our plans and realize His will in our lives, even if it means changing our own original plan.

A correct understanding that God’s will alone is sovereign over us, will help us not to be trapped in an attitude of confidence in ourselves in looking at the future. Unfortunately the planners in verse 13 didn’t realize this. They rely more on their own strength and wisdom in making their plans, as James wrote in verse 16, “As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.”  In the original language, “evil” is a word that in other parts of the Bible can mean Satan.  Therefore we must learn to humble before God and acknowledge His sovereignty over our lives.  If we boast, we will find it difficult to bow down to God’s will, because we will assume that our plans are the best and will definitely succeed.  This is dangerous for ourselves, because actually we know nothing about our future.

DO THE FATHER’S WILL

Human life always has a mystery, which is the future. The future isn’t always far from us, but it can only be one second after our breath now.

Look at the rich man in the parable told by the Lord Jesus in Luke 12: 16-21.  It is told about a rich person who feels his life is safe and secure for years to come.  Maybe he had made various plans to enjoy his wealth, but he didn’t know that God would take his life that night. One of the aspects of humanity presented in this parable is that human life is limited by time and no one knows for sure when that time will end.  That’s the uncertainty of life.  So, how we must always surrender to the will of our Father, God and Creator, the only fully sovereign God of the breath of every human life.

As humans who are given intelligence and conscience by God, we can indeed make a good plan.  We can develop a calculated plan with our education, experience, skills, knowledge, connections and wealth.  However, a plan that is self-reliant and not submitted under the perfection of God’s will will only be an uncertainty because we have no idea about tomorrow.  We might be able to predict and exert all our energy to realize the things we want, but there is no guarantee what the reality will be.  Our own plans may work, but only plans from God can bring us to the true meaning of life in Christ.

Now let’s return to the rhetorical question of James in verse 14, “What is your life?”   The word “life” used in verse 14 is derived from the word “zoe”.  Life that uses the word “zoe” is the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God. to live in all the maximum capacity according to God’s blueprint for those who put trust in Christ.  Conversely, if we rely on ourselves, we will lose the main essence of life and only live the futility of a short life like mist in this world.

A question for us to think about: Do we want to live our lives in the fullness of Christ or are we just like mist?!

At this time . . .   every one of us must have plans for our future.  If we long to live the fullness of life in Christ, then allow the Omnipotent and Omniscient Father to intervene in each of our plans to be aligned with His perfect will.  Let’s entrust the uncertainty of our future into the hands of the Father, because He is the only definite assurance for our lives.  Amen

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images ( pxhere.com ) edited with pixlr apps

White Christmas

Hello my dear readers!! It’s me again. I’m grateful to God in this Christmas season I could write a short post to my blog and this post is the closing post for this year. I would like to thank to all faithful readers and follower who always give big support to my blog through like or comment on my posts. I really, really appreciate it. I hope and pray this blog will continue to sharing God’s blessing through God’s word.

Every time before Christmas comes, besides decorating Christmas tree and the whole house with various beautiful Christmas decorations, my parents also took out their collection of Christmas song vinyl records. One of their favorite Christmas song is “White Christmas” They said, though White Christmas isn’t a hymn Christmas song, the legendary “White Christmas” song could successfully bring Christmas atmosphere especially when the snow has come. All is white! Tree, house, land, and other will covered with white color and white is always used as a symbol of cleanliness and even holiness.

Dear readers, what were my parents said reminds me to the great Bible figure, David. Davis was known as a figure who was very close with God. But at one time he fell so deep into the sin by doing a series of despicable acts. He committed adultery with Bathsheba, lied, and the killed Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah. The series of actions that David made in a row suddenly turned him into a very cruel figure and he was unaware that his actions were dominated by lust. He was ruled by sin. Bible said that what he did was considered evil in God’s eyes. Then God sent Nathan to warn David. When confronted with his transgressions, fortunately David didn’t dodge to defend himself. Bravely David admitted, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Samuel 12:13a) and Nathan said to David, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.” (2 Samuel 12:13) although there were still consequences of what David did, God gave a guarantee of forgiveness to David.

From what happened, David wrote Psalm 51. He wrote very deep series of poem of sin confession, repentance, and pleading for God’s forgiveness. One of them said:

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

(Psalm 51:7)

My beloved readers, Christmas is a moment we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ to the world as the greatest gift and grace from God to atone our sins and bring us out of the death to enter the eternal life. In this Christmas moment, allow me to encourage all of us to celebrate Christmas day not only by a party, give a Christmas gift to our loved ones, or take a Christmas holiday but let’s make Christmas as a moment to sanctify us, confess all of our sins, and ask God to forgive and cleanse our hearts. God said to us,

Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. (Isaiah 1:16)

And when we do that, 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)

God is always ready to give us forgiveness, even to restore joy when we turn from evil ways to His ways. God will whiten a very red sin as white as snow. Pure white snow is very beautiful in welcoming Christmas, but please remember, it’s not about white snow, but the most important in this Christmas day is our heart and soul as white and as clean as snow. And our lives will still in holiness because God said to us, “Be holy, because I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:16) Let’s have a white Christmas.

On behalf of our family, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New year 2020

Make the season bright with holiness, peace, joy, love, and hope in God. Amen

Karina Lam

Living by faith.

Image source: google images

I am Thanking you, God

 

Hello my beloved readers, I just want to say “Happy Thanksgiving” to all of my faithful readers and follower.  Allow me to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with a poem. I hope and pray this poem can be a reminder for us to always giving thanks to our beloved God.

Dear God:

I want to thank you for what you have already done

I am not going to wait until I see results, or receive rewards;

I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better;

I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me;

I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears;

I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves;

I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet;

I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job;

I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief;

I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed;

I am thanking you right now.

I am thanking you because I am alive

I am thanking you because I made it through the day’s difficulties.

I am tanking you because I have walked around the obstacles.

I am thanking you because I have the ability and the opportunity to more and do better.

I am thanking you because FATHER, YOU haven’t given up on me.

1 Chronicles 16:34: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 28:7: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”

Psalm 69:30: “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.”

 

Karina  Lam – Living by faith

Crossmap

Image source: Bible study tools

A God’s Message in a Flower (Guest Post)

On the edge of the road in front of my house, there is a tree.  In certain seasons, the blooming flowers are scattered on the ground and also on the hood of our car that we park under the tree. For years, I had never really paid attention to the flower, until one morning I casually picked it up and watched it closely.

The flower is very small.  The size is only as big as the nail of my thumb.  The shape is similar to orchids but in a mini version. The flower has 4 soft greenish-white petals and 3 bright yellow corolla that decorated with the reddish orange graffiti that twists beautifully, like the ink strokes of a reliable painter.  At the center, there are pistils and green stamens, the tip is round brownish red.  Mini flower appearance is so beautiful.  Regrettably, such beautiful flowers must be scattered on the ground, trampled by people passing by and run over by the wheels of passing vehicles.

This beautiful flower isn’t the kind of expensive flower that people hunt for collections, it isn’t the type of flower that the bride and groom buy to decorate the wedding hall, and not the type of flower arranged in a vase to beautify the banquet table.  Its name isn’t as popular as roses, jasmine, orchids, or other flowers known to many people.  Its size is small, so its beautiful appearance will not be exposed if we don’t carefully.  It’s just a tiny flower that grows, blooms, then falls to the ground, and maybe not many are interested in admiring its beauty or knowing its usefulness.  Then, for what does God dress the flowers in such detail and beauty ?!

Stay Loved even though We don’t Deserve to be Loved

God’s detailed and beautiful work on the small flower shows that God pays attention and expresses His creativity to all of His creations.  There is no creation that is worthless. There are no useless creations.  There is no creation that is created only for vanity, even more so humans for whom Jesus was even willing to sacrifice His life.

While we were still helpless [powerless to provide for our salvation], at the right time Christ died [as a substitute] for the ungodly.   Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to willingly give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a good man [one who is noble and selfless and worthy] someone might even dare to die.  But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5: 6-8  AMP)

Jesus died for us not because we are godly, righteous people, obeying God’s laws, and have good qualities and good character.  On the contrary, we were people who did not respect God, opposed God, did not even believe in God and were full of evil.  In such an unworthy situation, Jesus loves us.  In fact, God immediately revealed His redemptive plan only shortly after the first man fell into sin: “And I will put enmity (open hostility) between you and the woman, And between your seed (offspring) and her [e]Seed; He shall [fatally] bruise your head, And you shall [only] bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3: 15 AMP)

It was the protevangelium, the first gospel message in the history of mankind, when the Lord gave His promise about the Savior.  At the time the word was spoken, we didn’t yet exist in this world.  There is no guarantee from ourselves, that we will be a good people and appreciate His sacrifice.  In fact, from centuries to centuries many people actually rejected and mocked Him.  God has known all of that from the beginning.  But, God still loves humans and is willing to die for humans.  How great is God’s love for humans, for us.

We don’t need to prove that we are worthy and deserve to be loved.

We have been loved by God from the beginning.

We have been valuable to God from the beginning.

God’s love for us isn’t based on reasons that comes from within us.  God’s love for us comes from God himself.  So, the reason why God loves us is because He loves us!

The problem is that we often judge ourselves based on the values that others attach to us.  We measure ourselves and others based on certain measurements that we or others consider as important things.  These measures can be physical appearance, branded stuff, type of car, position, intelligence, luxury of the house, the amount of balance in the bank, the number of followers on social media, and various other things that invite admiration from others.  We feel superior when we have something we think is higher than someone else’s, and feel inferior when we feel that what we have is lower than someone else’s.  Finally, we try hard so as not to be looked down on by others.  In fact, when we think like that, actually we are looking down on ourselves.

Even worse, we unconsciously apply the same perspective to God.  We think God will love us more if we are more active in ministry, make more offerings, read God’s words more often, pray longer, try to be more obedient and do things that we think will please God.

Yes, of course . . . Serving God, giving offerings, reading God’s word, praying, trying to obey, and doing things that we think will please God are very good.  But, please don’t do all that with a reverse understanding, which is to be loved by God.  Why?  Because on the cross God has poured out all His love, completely.  His love for us is eternal and perfect.  Again, His eternal and perfect love is given to us when we are still sinful and unworthy to be loved!

There is no Reason to Feel Worthless and Unloved

Now, let’s return for a moment to a beautiful little flower that falls scattered on the ground, which I have told at the beginning of this article.  The flower is flower of the Tamarind tree.  The Tamarind Flower is not the main focus of the Tamarind tree.  This is really different from the Rose, Jasmine, Orchid, Lilly, or other types of flowers that are deliberately planted and cultivated to get the flowers.  What people are looking for from the Tamarind tree is the Tamarind fruit, not the flower.  In fact, in my place, Tamarind leaves are more needed by people than Tamarind flowers.  In addition, the size of the Tamarind flower is extremely small compared the natural height of the Tamarind tree can reach 30 meters, so that the flower is barely exposed, not prominent, and even tends to be ignored.  However, God dressed the little flower with detail and beauty.  It is as if God conveyed His message through the flower, that God cares for and loves all of His creation, and each part has been designed with the best design, not carelessly.

The God who created and dressed the small flower is God who said “it was very good” after He finished creating humans in His own image.  That is what God says about us. Therefore . . . however our face looks, our body shape, our weight, our height, no matter how bad our past is, whatever our educational background, no matter how low our social or economic status. . . Don’t be inferior and feel worthless.  Instead, let us not be arrogant because we feel more beautiful, richer, more educated, more respectable, and so on, because we are all the same!!!

We all have THE SAME PAST, a SINNER!

We are REDEEMED by THE SAME BLOOD, the BLOOD OF JESUS.

We accept THE SAME LOVE, that is the LOVE OF THE FATHER who was willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son.

We all DON’T DESERVE to be INSECURE or ARROGANT!

All we have to do is be GRATEFUL.

We should not do good to others to be more blessed by God, but let’s do it because we are grateful for the goodness of God that has been given to us and we long to be His witnesses and glorify His name.  Let us not worship and serve God’s work with the aim of being loved more by God, but let’s do it because we love God who first loved us.

The God who created the whole universe is our Father.  He is a good, planned, and responsible Father.  He works in us in detail and perfect. We aren’t a mass product.  Each of us is created unique, beautiful, special.  So, there is no reason for us to feel worthless and unloved!

The Lord is good to all,

And His tender mercies are over all His works [the entirety of things created].

All Your works shall give thanks to You and praise You, O Lord,

And Your godly ones will bless You.

(Psalm 145: 9-10 AMP)

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images ( unsplash.com ) edited with pixlr apps

A SAFE FEELING IN THE FATHER’S LOVE (guest post)

Today, the awareness of believers to be active in ministry is growing up.  In fact, some positions in ministry become something that is desired and proud of.  Whether we realize it or not, all activities in serving God has taken up a lot of time and energy, and is sometimes seen as more important than God himself.  As a result, many servants of God actually lose something more important and valuable. . . something from which the ministry comes out, that is a personal relationship with the God being served!

How important and valuable something is to us is reflected in how we treat it.

The Lord Jesus illustrated this through three parables in Luke chapter 15.  Jesus gave a parable about sheep, drachma and sons, which was important and valuable in the lives of the Jews at that time.  The number of sheep has indicates the amount of wealth and social rank, the drachma is the wage for one day, and the son is the successor to the descendants who continue the family inheritance.  When these things are gone, the owner will try to find it with all his efforts and will rejoice when he finds it back.

In the parable of the son in Luke 15: 11-32, the Lord Jesus tells the story of the father with his two sons, the younger and the older.  The younger asked for his inheritance, sold it all, then left and squandered his money to waste.  When he fell into poverty and hunger, he remembered his father and decided to go home.  His father, who had been waiting for him, immediately received him back and restored his position unconditionally, even holding a party to celebrate him.  The older was angry because he felt he had spent years to serve his father, work hard and tried to obey every command of his father, but was not heeded.  While his younger brother who acted poorly was welcomed in a special way.

Looking at verses 1 and 2, there are two groups of listeners in this parable.  The first group are tax collectors and sinners who usually come to hear Jesus’ teachings.  The second group are the Pharisees and the scribes.  The Younger is a depiction of tax collectors and sinners, while the older is a description of the scribes and Pharisees, those who feel they have done many things for God, feel they have done the right thing.

These two groups have in common, that is, they are not related to the father.  Naturally, if the younger loses relations with his father.  But what about the older?  How can a person who always stays in his father’s house, obeys orders and works hard in his father’s years, lose intimacy with his father?  It was seen from his reaction when he saw what his father had done to welcome his brother’s return.

“The older brother became ANGRY and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.  But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.  Yet you never gave me even A YOUNG GOAT so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when THIS SON OF YOURS who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill THE FATTENED CALF for him!’  (Luke 15: 28-30 NIV)

His first reaction was ANGRY.  He didn’t rejoice together with his father, even calling the younger as ‘THIS SON OF YOURS’, not ‘my brother’.  And, pay attention to the comparison of the words he uses, namely ‘THE FATTENED CALF’, which the father slaughtered for his younger brother, compared to ‘A YOUNG GOAT’ which according to him has never been given by his father to him, even though he has worked hard.  Implied envy and disappointment in his sentences.

Today, the older are people who know many of God’s words, are strict with various religious rules, and may be someone who is active in the ministry in the church, but unconsciously they have lost their personal relationship with the Father.  When we are easily triggered by anger, easily disappointed with God, disappointed with friends in the ministry, jealous of the blessings received by others, begin to measure what the Father should be given by what we have done in ministries, and lose love for others… maybe without us knowing we have lost our personal relationship with Heavenly Father.  Maybe we are the older who lost in the Father’s house.  Now is the time to return the position of our hearts to their proper place, which is in the presence of the Heavenly Father.

A ministry should come from the relationship between the child and Heavenly Father and be filled with the love of Christ.

A service that isn’t sourced from a relationship with Heavenly Father will only be an activity and busyness that will increasingly dry our spirituality.  When this happens, we will begin to calculate our efforts in God’s field and become disappointed when God doesn’t give us what we want.

THE PERFECT LOVE

Back to the parable of the prodigal son.  Does the Father love the younger more than the older, so the Father has a party to celebrate the return of the younger?  Or does the Father love the older because he is an obedient son who serves faithfully in the Father’s field?  The answer to both questions is NO.  The Father’s love is perfect love, not because of what we do or what we don’t, but because He loves us, as we are, even when we are sinners, so that He is willing to give His most precious possession, His Only Son, Jesus Christ.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5: 8 NIV) 

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8: 32 NIV)

We are people who are loved by the Father.  Have “a safe feeling” in the Father’s love.  We must not think that we must “do this and not do that” so that we are more loved by the Father or that the Father will grant our prayers.  Instead, we should not assume that if our prayers are answered, it is because we have served, fasted, did good, and so on.  If the Father blesses or if our prayers are answered, it is because the Father loves us.  And… If the Father doesn’t fulfill our prayers, it’s also because the Father loves us.

Look at the younger.  When the younger back home, the father immediately restores his rights and status as sons and heirs, without the younger having to prove to the father by his actions in advance that he has repented.  There is no guarantee that he will no longer do shameful things to his father.  That is the love of the Father, that is the perfect love, the unconditional love.

A REFLECTION OF LIFE

The younger and the older are both losing relations and intimacy with the Father.  The younger who is a depiction of sinners who have not been saved, or it can also be people who have received salvation but choose to leave God for the sake of the world.  The older who is a depiction of God’s children who actively works in God’s fields and knows many of God’s words, but loses fellowship with the Father and does not know the character of the Father.  What does it mean all the toil in ministry when losing intimacy with the Heavenly Father!

Enthusiastic and active in the ministry is good, but it is really a shame if the busyness in serving God’s work makes us not have enough time to build a personal relationship with God.  We must view building a relationship with Heavenly Father as far more valuable than serving His work, because ministry should come out of intimacy with the Father and come from the love of the Father.

The Father has shown us how valuable and serious the restoration of relationship between Himself and humans is, so that the Father is willing to give Jesus to atone for sins, so that human can fellowship with Him.  Let us respond to the seriousness of the Father with the same attitude of heart, which is to place a personal relationship with Him above all else.  Let’s look at the relationship with the Heavenly Father as something valuable, something that we look forward to, we look for, we maintain, and become our joy.

When we are confronted with all kinds of problems and conditions in this world, let us always remember the high price paid by the Father to restore His relationship with us.  When we want to make a decision in life, let the main factor in our consideration be whether that decision will result in the deterioration of our personal relationship with our Father.  Let’s be Christians and servants of Christ who have a deep personal relationship with the Heavenly Father, know Him, and always feel ‘safe’ in the Father’s love that has been proven in the work of Christ, so that by His grace and by His strength, we can say:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

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.

(Roma 8: 35, 38-39)

 

AMEN

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images ( unsplash.com ) edited with pixlr apps