Tag Archive | blessing

THE NEW SEASON (Guest Post)

Hello, dear readers. Now I am just stopping by to give a short note to this guest post. This time, with all of my respect, I would like to thank you for all of your prayers to me and my father. Though my father hasn’t totally recovered, we are grateful to God almighty his health condition is getting better. And for me personally, Right now I get into a new season of life. My father’s doctor team had given serious warning and ultimatum that starting from now, my father should resign and totally quit from all of his business activities. It means me (as his single daughter) and my mom should take over all of my father’s activities. This will be a hard season of my life. There will be a huge burden on my shoulder should to bear. But, as Sister Sella said in this post that there is too much proof of God’s promises when we are in the midst of hard season. I strongly believe God will not let me walk alone. His loving hand will always hold me tight to go through this season.

Dear readers, Thank you for your prayer and support. I am so sorry still couldn’t active visit and read your awesome posts. I do promise will be come back again. God bless you All.

(Karina Lam)

 

Life is a journey of time to go through season after season.

Every season is a new season because we don’t know what will happen in the future.

Kids are living in a child season. When they are growing up, they will enter the seasons that are no longer dominated by “their world” itself, but began to be burdened with different needs and responsibilities.

For the newlyweds, it will certainly have different season when in the later they have child, son-in-law, and grandchild. All was going along with the journey of human cycle.

THE UNPREDICTABLE SEASON

All of the seasons we have talked above are the common season and almost experienced by everyone. We even could make a prediction when the season will come up. We are able to make approximate calculation and prepare ourselves as best as we can do. We could make physically and mentally preparing, and even make financial planning. But how perfectly our preparations and planning, we still don’t know what will be happen in the upcoming season.

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)

A shocking thing could be happen! The unpredictable season could suddenly come up and we are forced to change the plan, and even deflecting our lives direction. It would be so nice if it’s a beautiful season but often it’s unpleasant, hard to bear, and we definitely cannot run away from the reality. There’s no other choice! We have to go through until the new season comes again!

But don’t be terrified and discouraged, because we have the holy promise from God:

“Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:4 NKJV)

That is God’s promise to His children. People who really put trust in God will not allow walking alone. When “tough season” is coming, His presence is always MORE THAN ENOUGH for us.

GOD ALWAYS BE THERE

The Holy Bible has recorded the proofs of God’s involvement among His chosen people!

The Israelites was passing through the various seasons. At the first time they enjoyed the privileges in Egypt during the Joseph’s reign. All they needs was guaranteed very well until the situation changed drastically. The new season was coming, and brought Israelites into the slavery.

In the midst of suffering was coming a glimmer of hope for freedom. They stepped out of Egypt to the Promise Land. But apparently to heading there they had to experience “The desert season” for the long enough period of time, which is 40 years. And when the Promise Land was emblazoned in the front of their eyes, they weren’t immediately being able to live comfortably. They had to snatch it through one war to another war.

All seasons that they must experience was hard and requires a sacrifice. BUT SEE, THE PRESENT OF GOD IS ALWAYS REAL IN EVERY SEASON!!!

  • The existence of Joseph in Egypt is the proof that God is the Omniscient God who has prepared everything to preserve His people from the famine, long before it happened. (source: Genesis 50:20 ; Psalms 105:16-17)
  • The ten plagues on Pharaoh and on Egypt are the manifestation of God’s power to deliver His people. (source: Exodus 7:1-5)
  • The land of Goshen in which the Israelites dwelled has been spared from the plagues is a proof that God is the defender and protector of His people. (source: Exodus 8:22)
  • The pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire are the manifestation of the existence of God in the desert. (source: Exodus 13:22)
  • Manna from the heaven and water that came out from the rock are a proof that God always take care of the life of His people. (source: Exodus 16:35 ; Exodus 17:6)
  • The collapse of the walls of Jericho and the victory of Israel in any war are a proof of God’s help and defense. (source: Joshua 6 ; Hebrews 11:32-34)
  • Untill this day God is always there and reveal Himself through prophets, apostles, pastors, and through miracles.

Too much proofs of God’s presence in the midst of the hard season that we must go through. All of that are proof that God is always be there and real in the life of His children from era to era, from season to season until the end of time!

“… I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the  close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).” (Matthew 28:20b AMP)

Let’s us holding on to the God’s promises and learning to put our trust in the Lord to anything that He allows happen to us, although we don’t understand His decision.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 NKJV)

By the depth of His wisdom, God establishes and governs every season of our lives. Every season is a process that we must go through. We cannot choose or reject it, because God has a purpose in every process. All of that is to shape us to be more like Him to do His will according His grand design. We must obey and surrender to all God’s guidance. We must be willing to shaped and to transformed by God.

Each season has its own peculiarities. We cannot live in a new season in a way that we use in the season has passed. We must be willing to change everything that needs to be changed: habits, mindsets, perspectives, and ways of working, the pattern of relations, financial management, and so on.

When we go through every season in obedience and trust in the Lord, and do our part by diligently and grateful, then at the end of the season we will reap the results of the “exercise” we have been through. Namely the “muscles of faith” becomes stronger, the purity of heart, more to be holy, the way of our thinking be renewed, increasing in the knowledge of God, and spiritual maturity. And the most important is we will have an intimate and strong relationship with the Holy Spirit more than before, so that we are ready to entering a new season, whatever it is! Ecclesiastes wrote profound reflection on it.

“The end of a thing is better than its beginning” (Ecclesiastes 7:8a NKJV)

BEAUTIFUL IN ITS TIME

There is no easy process for the flesh. But the end of the result is the God’s glory will more shine on our lives. We will reap the fruit of the seed that we have sowed along the season.

  • After a long trip and full of struggle in the wilderness, finally Israel obtained the Promised Land. (source: Acts 13:17-19)
  • After sold as a slave and put into the prison, finally Joseph became governor over Egypt and even be a blessing to the nations. (source: Acts 7:9-10)
  • After losing all his children and all his wealth, finally Job got the double blessing from God. (source: Job 42:10)
  • Abraham, David, Noah, and people of faith, finally completing the God’s calling in their lives because they walked with the Lord in every season of their lives. (source: Hebrews 11)

So it is with you and me. If we always walk with the Holy Spirit in every season of our lives, then at the end the great grand design of God to us will revealed. Indeed, we do not know how the end of this season or how the next season to come. But God will not let us walk alone. Be patient and persevere in prayer. Everything must be beautiful in its time.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV)

“Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.” (Psalms 27:14 AMP)

AMEN

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images

Note: Dear readers, just because of Karina still focus on her daddy’s health, so by Karina’s permission this post uploaded be myself (Sella Irene). And for this time comment and like are disabled. Thank you 🙂

 

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THE TITHE (guest post)

the-tithe

Every believer will surely want to please God and live in His entire promise fulfillment. Some of us are praying, fasting, and serving God with hope will be blessed. It’s not wrong because God promise and longs to bless His children. But on the other hand there are certain things that we “should do first” before all of God’s promises fully fulfilled in our lives. One is to “give” tithes.

 

RECOGNIZING GOD GREATNESS AND WORKS

In a battle in Genesis 14, Sodom and some of its allies conquered by king Chedorlaomer. They took all the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah, including Lot and all his possessions. Hearing brother was taken captive, then Abraham and his men were trained to chase and finally defeated them. Abraham took home back Lot and various possessions booty.

After Abraham returned with triumphant from the battle, Melchizedek meet Abraham and bringing the bread and wine. Then Melchizedek blessed Him. After that was written in verse 20“And he gave him a tithe of all…”

Abraham, the father of all who believe, the owner promises “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed…..” (Genesis 22:18), gave tithes to Melchizedek after Melchizedek blessed him!

Who was Melchizedek so Abraham gave tithes to him?

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God….first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” (Hebrews 7:1-2)

Now observe and consider how great  this was to whom even Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth  of the spoils. And it is true that those descendants of Levi who are charged with the priestly office are commanded in the Law to take tithes from the people–which means, from their brethren–though these have descended from Abraham. But this person who has not their Levitical ancestry received tithes from Abraham  and blessed him who possessed the promises . Yet it is beyond all contradiction that it is the lesser person who is blessed by the greater one.(Hebrews 7:4-7 AMP)

Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek because he admitted that Melchizedek is greater and higher than himself!

As believers, giving a tithe to God means recognizing the greatness of God and recognizes that all blessings we receive are from God. Tithing means to believe that God, Jehovah Jireh, is able to maintain and meet all our needs.

 

BELONGS TO GOD

“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, BELONGS TO THE LORD; it is holy to the Lord.” (Leviticus 27:30 NIV)

Indeed, when bringing tithes to the house of the Lord, we are not “give” offerings but “bringing back” what actually belongs to God. But I still use the word “give” because God is not going to rob us. Although it is a must to do, but God wants us to do it not because of coercion, but with joy and love Him.

Tithe is belongs to God, God’s rights. It is not “if we can or “if we want or “if we are able”, but “WE MUST”! No matter in abundance or shortage, we must bring tithe to God.

 

TITHE IS A TITHE

You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.” (Deuteronomy 14:22 NKJV)

Tithe is not a freewill offerings as we like. Tithe is a tithe, should not be reduced. God doesn’t look big or small of the nominal we give but God rather look to the amount is actually one-tenth of our income or not.

Some Christians that living in abundance think that the number of one-tenth of their income is too big, then they cut a certain number and assume that it is okay because after reducing the amount still very big. Otherwise, that who living in shortage assumes that it doesn’t matter if they not give tithe.

God’s word speaks strictly about those who do not give tithe properly:

Will a man rob or defraud God? Yet you rob and defraud Me. But you say, In what way do we rob or defraud You?  tithes and offerings. (Malachi 3:8 AMP) 

People who do not do or do not fully bringing back the tithe called the fraudsters and robbers who take what belongs to God.

 

TWO PROMISES

“I have a small income and not enough. If I still have to set aside for tithing, how can I meet all of my needs?”  Some of God’s child who have financial problem will think like that. Mathematically is true and logical but we don’t live based on the world standard. We actually lives in the law of Kingdom of God that supernaturally far beyond of human logic.

We believe that God is not selfish God who demands us to do His command without caring about our situation. God isn’t an extortionist and not a beggar. God is the owner of the entire universe and everything in it, including the breath of our lives. God doesn’t need our money. Then for what God asks us to give tithe?

 

TITHE OPEN THE DOOR OF BLESSING

Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10 AMP)

There is power in obedience. When we move to do God’s word, then the power of the word will work wonders and make the promise of God becomes real in our lives.

By Malachi 3:10, when we bring the tithes to the house of God, then God will open the windows of heaven and pour His blessings to us abundantly.

When you have very wealthy, God is able to bless you more. And if you are still in a state of a mediocre or even the needy, do not worry about your finances will worsen when you set aside a tenth of all your income.

We will not become richer by “reducing the amount of our tithe” and we will not become poorer because of “we cut our rations to bring tithe to God

I love to give a short testimony to you. Compared with people who have a lot of possessions, I am not a rich people. My life isn’t luxurious based on the world size. There are certain situations I also have to be thrifty. But no matter how much I get I always give tithes with joy and gratitude to God. I don’t delay it, do not bid, but even prioritize it. After tithing then I start to use the rest for other needs.

Until today I proved that I never lack because (Please forgive me should use the following words) I must cut ten percent of my budget for tithe. In fact, by faith I dare to say that I am rich in Christ. My life is happy. God has always helped me in all situations. God always provides all of my needs with His way and always on time. I enjoy His cares and loves. Also I am grateful to His way by using me to be a blessing. God’s promise is “Yes” and “Amen”

 

SEED PROTECTION

“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”  (Genesis 8:22 NKJV)

 “…..for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7b NKJV)

The Word of God depicts very clearly that this life is to sow and reap. A student must sow through studying diligently to achieve graduation with good grades. A marketing must sow through friendliness, product presentations, proposals, etc. to reap consumer confidence. An athlete must sow through exercise discipline and unyielding to victory in the match. Every aspect of life is about sowing and reaping. It is the same in the terms of finance and tithing.

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness (2 Corinthians 9:10 NKJV)

Our job is to sow the seeds that have been provided by God. But there is time to wait between sowing and reaping. It is a crucial time span that will determine the outcome of our harvest because there is the devourer can eat the seed we sow and destroy the fruit so that eventually run out and do not give any results. But God gave His promise:

Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house….. And I will rebuke the devourer  for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop its fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:10-11 AMP)

When we obey bring our tithes, God promised give protection of our seed we sow in the land of our life so that it can grow and produce fruit.

Now let’s together see our lives. If there are certain things that we try the best but always failed or didn’t give the outcome as they should be, there may be a devourer destroys our seed and fruit. Are we doing disobedience especially about tithing? Let us pray and allow the Holy Spirit shows it to us and immediately repent

From the two points above, we know that the tithe is not to meet God’s needs but for the sake of ourselves.

 

ALL MUST

God gives the right to the sons of Levi to receive the tithe from the people as it is written in Numbers 18:21. But God’s Word also says that the Levites had to give tithe.

Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak (Hebrews 7:9 NKJV)

If Abraham, the father of faith, offered a tithe, then there is no single reason for us to not give tithe as well. No matter who we are and not matter what is our profession (church full-timer, evangelist, employee, entrepreneurs, etc.) ALL MUST bring tithe to God.

 

OBEDIENCE AND PURE HEART

Not bring the tithe it is the same with shut the door of blessing and opening the door of devourer to damage the fruit and foil our harvest.

God promises a blessing and protection for those who obey to bring tithe. Believe and put hope on that promise. God is pleased when we understand His word and then waiting for Him to fulfill it. But do not give tithe is only a motivation to pursuit His blessing. Scripture does not say “Wait for His blessing” but “Wait on the Lord”.

When we give tithe simply to waiting for God’s blessing then we will be people who always make calculation with God. We will miss love and purity of our faith.

This time let me remind you of something that I am sure we are all already know, that the tithe belongs to the Lord and we have to bring it completely to God.

There are two teaching about  to whom we should to bring our tithe.  Some churches teach the tithe should be given to the church,  some other allow tithe give directly to the needy. We don’t have to debate this thing.  Let us obey our church leader in which we attend,  embedded and grow: “Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them , for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account . (Hebrews 13:17a AMP). The Holy Spirit will lead us to the whole truth.

Dear readers, please allow me once again in the love of Christ to remind you:

All that we have received is not merely our efforts. All is a blessing and a gift from Heaven. Therefore bring our tithe faithfully. Don’t reduce the amount because the tithe is belongs to God, but do it all with gratitude and full of joy for our loves and obedience to God Father. His promise is sure to be evident to anyone who obeys Him.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER. (2 Corinthians 9:7 NKJV)

 

AMEN

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo credit: Google images (edit with pixlr app)

NOTE:

Dear readers, thank you so much for your precious time to read this post. Karina still on vacation in Japan. All comments will reply by Karina when she come back next month. Once again thank you and God bless you all. (Warm regards from Karina)

CHRIST IS ENOUGH (Guest Post)

CHRIST IS ENOUGH

This world will never free from a crisis such as the economic crisis, social, politic, energy, and so on. Some part, the impact directly felt in the society particularly related with the economic issues. When the world got crisis, cannot deny that many God’s child got the impact as well. Whatever the professions they are also experiencing the price escalation in the market. The Christian employer would experience lost of job, the Christian entrepreneur could get turnover derivation, or even bankrupted and lost their asset. As long as living in this world, there is no one will invulnerable with the problems. But whatever happened we do believe Jesus is God who in control over the world. There is nothing happens without His consent, as well as our life.

 

BITTER OR SWEET

There will be two reactions came out when God’s children got the crisis. Disappointed to God or not, complaining or be grateful, be apathetic or continue to believe and put hope in God, away from God or even love God more, spiritless to serve God because they felt that serving God was useless or even more viable, as well as a variety reactions that reflect two contrary heart condition: BITTER or SWEET.

In the normal situation, moreover when living in abundance and everything was going okay, it is so easy to be grateful and praising the Lord: “God, You are so good. Thank you. I really love you. You are amazing for me. I believe in You.” However, if in the opposite condition our heart really being tested! Whether the reaction that came out will be still sweet or our heart changed to be bitter. Thing like this is cannot be made up. Bitter or sweet are responses that came out from the deepest of our heart and refined by sorrow.

“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.” (Proverb 27:19 NKJV)

Such as a foundation sturdiness of a building tested by shocks, as well as a human heart. When all the form of pleasure, position, luxuries, amenities, pride, and everything that gives comfort to the body and soul suddenly shaken or permitted by God to be taken from our lives, in fact would be appear on what foundation we build our lives. If the foundation is in Christ we will remain firm but if we put the sense of secure and happiness on the comfort of living, then when the economic crisis hit us and  everything didn’t go as good as usual our faith will shaken.

 

CHRIST ALONE OR CHRIST PLUS

Let’s have a look to the Israelites’ journey. With His mightiness God took the Israelites out from Egypt. Because of God, they that were originally had status as slaves, came out from Egypt with richness. “And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed…….” (Exodus 3: 21-22 NKJV)

Not only equip with possessions, God also always maintain that they do not hunger and thirst even in the desert. Their food is always fresh every day and the water came out from the rock of Horeb (Exodus 17:6).

God provides everything the Israelites’ needs. “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.” (Deuteronomy 29:5 NKJV)  God protect and preserve them perfectly.

Not only act as a God who provided for their needs, the Lord himself who accompanies them along the way. “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.” (Exodus 13:21 NKJV)

It turns out this wasn’t enough for the Israelites. They were always reacting bitterly when every time faced inconvenience. Angry and complain. This was a daily thing that faced by Moses since the first step he leads Israelites out from Egypt.

When Moses took Israelites out of Egypt, the Israelites voluntarily followed Moses because they knew that they will go to the Promise Land which is abound with milk and honey, the place where they will live as free men and living in abundance. But, when in the journey they facing the difficulties they began to fall. Several times they fell into the idolatry and rebellion against God.

Their views were not focused on the Promise land but rather to the Egypt pleasures that has been left by them. They were complaining and got angry with God for the things about the comforts of life:  …“Who will give us meat to eat?  We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;  but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” (Number 11: 4-6 NKJV)

They just saw all the hardships that they go through on the way without remembering and are grateful of the deeds and goodness of God. In fact, they did not honor the God who has been with them, as if the Lord’s presence alone is not enough!

What about the humans today?  The modern humans may not make statues and worship it but many people adore luxuries, position, fame, and so on. Even many Christians lost their faith when they lose their wealth or anything they think is worth.

A friend of mine had left the Lord just because a mate who requested never comes. Other brethren in Christ didn’t want to worship God because his wife who prayed not healed but instead called by God to return to the Father’s house. Another person still attended the church but his faith is not pure anymore because he had gone to particular idolatry place to get the wealth. It was so sad to hear all of it.

Actually what we are looking for in this world? What is most precious to us?

Is CHRIST ALONE enough for us or the CHRIST PLUS: Christ plus His blessing, Christ plus His miracles, etc? What if that there is no “PLUS”?

Is our faith will remain firm as Habakkuk?

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18

I know that writing about this thing is much easier than live it. Currently I am facing the problems and waiting for the Father’s help. I really do not even know when exactly the help will come. I have to be patient and still rejoice in the Lord. It is so easy to say but not so easy to run it. But I am really sure the help will surely come. I can only pray and trying to live more earnestly and persevere in hope while do my part faithfully.

Christ is promising everything for us: to be the head and not the tail, keep going up and not going down, blessed abundantly, etc as written on Deuteronomy 28:13 (click here). But, what if for a moment we are allowed got decreasing like Joseph? What if for a moment our treasures are allowed retrieved like Job? What if we already fully alive to the Gospel but have to suffer like Paul who often suffers from hunger, shipwreck, jailed, etc.? (2 Corinthians 11:23-29)

Whether the Christ that we have is more than enough?

Or we have the heart to trade Him with the pleasures we desire?

Is the love of Christ is more than enough compared with everything so that we can say like the Apostle Paul:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 35, 38-39 NKJV)

 

ETERNAL INHERITANCE

Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25-26 NKJV)

The world is not our last port. Our true destination is Heaven. Our true goal is Heaven. Life in this world is only a journey that must be traversed before reaching the eternity. Our focus is supposed to the Heaven but often our energy and attention taken up only to take care of the entire dynamic in this journey. It is so sad much faith of God’s children fall when encountering the problems in the journey then decided to leave God.

Maybe this time you are in trouble too. Let’s together strengthen our faith and hope in God. God’s promises are “Yes and Amen”. God will surely help us and His help even more intense and powerful than we expected. I strongly believe that it will be happens to you too! Just believe! Don’t allow the problems in this mortal world rob our eternal inheritance.

For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the Lord, who has mercy on you. (Isaiah 54:10)

We have been called and chosen by Him. Is not that special?! Don’t waste it. Come my brother and sister in Christ, we may not see each other in this world. But if we are remains faithful to the end, we will meet in our eternal home, in Heaven, along with an eternal inheritance of our glorious Christ. Amen.

 

Christ is enough for me, Christ is enough for me.

Everything I need is in You, everything I need.

I have decided to follow Jesus.

No turning back… No turning back!!!

The Cross before me, the world behind me

No turning back… No turning back!!!

Hillsong Live – Christ Is Enough – Live Acoustic (click here)

 

Note: Thank you very much for reading this article. All comments will be replied immediately by Karina after she goes back from her vacation. Jesus blesses you.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

https://sellairene.wordpress.com

 

THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD (Guest Post)

THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD

Hello my beloved readers, this evening gladly I am tell all of you that starting from now, every week of fourth I will feature a guest writer in my blog. Why I am doing this? I simply want there is a different color and writing style on my post and open the chance widely to those who have longing to share their thought, devotional, poems, or everything that could encourage and make our spiritual growing more. This time I am so honored my sister in Christ, Sella Irene at sellairene.wordpress.com become my first guest writer. She discuss about an important thing in Christian lives, listening God’s voice.  Really great to ponder which voice we will listen. Whether we tend more often just listen our voice than His voice? And how far we remain obey do anything that has spoken by Him? My dear friends please enjoy reading this.

 

THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD

 

The Lord thundered in the heavens.

The Most High uttered His voice.

 

He sends out His word, and melts the hoarfrost.

He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.

He sends out His commandment, and His word runs very swiftly.

 

Watch it…!

He sounds off His mighty voice…!

 

 The Lord roars from Zion.

He utters His voice from Jerusalem;

Then the pastures dried up, the top of Carmel withers, the heavens and earth quake.

 

The Lord’s voice is powerful and splendor.

The Lord’s voice whirls the oaks.

Makes Lebanon dance like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

 

The Lord’s voice flashes forth flames of fire.

The Lord’s voice rends the desert; the desert of Kadesh!

He makes the wilderness tremble, and the hinds to calve.

 

When The Almighty lift up His voice,

All creation bow down worship Him.

 

Hi flock….

Listen to and follow the voice of the Shepherd!

 

“GIVE IT ALL !”

God hath spoken once, Twice have I heard this, That power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth lovingkindness; For thou renderest to every man according to his work. (Psalms 62:11-12 ASV)

 

More than six years ago, I didn’t know exactly when it start and what causes it, I had temperature difference allergies. When my body got room temperature changes, for example, moved from hot outside air into the air-conditioned room or vice versa, then my skin would itch. It did not always, but often enough. And it was very disturbing. Even the itch can arise simply because something trivial, for example when I woke up in the middle of the night to urinate which requires remove the blanket and went out of bed to go to the toilet. Such temperature changes can make my allergy relapsed. Eventually almost every day I was taking anti-allergy medication. Over the years I took the medicine, and it seems became a main needed that should always available in my bag wherever and whenever I go.

One day, a friend of mine who may had been wrong eat something, suddenly her body and face itched and got small bumps. Then I offered her my anti-allergy medication. The itch was reduced after she drank it. Because she knew I still had it, then she asked for another pill for drunk later. Of course I did not mind. I immediately opened the bag and pulled out the drug.

But just as I was about to cut the package to take one pill that I will give her, heard very clearly a straightforward and firmly words in my heart: “GIVE IT ALL !”  I was stunned. Instantly my hands stopped while holding the scissors. My Spirit was chatching that it was God’s voice spoke to my heart. I was thinking fast, “What if I give half of the number of pills? Or may I leave one or two pills only for myself? Not a matter of price, but the medicine my needs. What if tonight I am itching and cannot sleep?” Like lightning, flashed one more words in my heart: “YOU TRUST ME ?!”  All conversation lasted only a few seconds. With two sentences as clear as that, it would be foolish if I denied. I did not hear audibly, but my heart and Spirit caught it very clear. Without thinking again, soon I gave all the medicine to my friend.

On the way home, I told to my husband. I am grateful to have a husband who have loyal heart to God and support me. He encouraged me to believe that God going to perform a miracle and heal me. We also agreed to trust God, and went home without buying the medicine again.

The event occurred about two and a half years ago. Since that day, somehow, my allergy never came again until now! I am free. I know the Father in Heaven has healed me. God has initiated healed me by asking me to did a faith act, which gave the whole of my medicine. And as the answer of my obedience, God lifted my illness. Lord decreed, the Lord also responsible to solve it.

Thankfully when I heard and recognized His voice, I soon learn to obey and trust Him. If that day I did not listen and did not recognize the voice of my Great Shepherd, or if I heard and recognized the voice but did not obey, I would lose the opportunity to receive a miracle.

 

LISTEN AND DO IT

 

“OBEDIENCE MEANS IMMEDIATELY DOING IN AGREEMENT WITH GOD AND DO NOT ARGUES WITH HIM.”

 

The Bible records the various miracles and wonders that God has done. Many of which occur instantaneously without the role of the recipient miracle. At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. (Luke 4:40)

But not the least that should be preceded by acts of obedience:

Ten lepers healed because obeying Jesus’s command to show themselves to the priests. Along the way, a miracle happened! When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. (Luke17:14)

Naaman, a commander of the king of Syria who suffers from leprosy, came to Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” (2 Kings 5:10) Although previously he was offended and angry because but eventually Naaman did it. So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. (2Kings 5:14)

Simon has worked hard all night catching fish, but did not get results. As he returned to the shore, Jesus went up the boat, sat down and began teaching the crowds who overrun Him. Done with the teaching, Jesus told Simon to shove off into the deep and let down his nets. Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. (Luke 5:5-6) Since then Simon followed Jesus and became His disciples, and then Jesus gave him the name of Peter.

Keep the heart remain in the holiness is the main key to listen the GOD's voiceThere are so many examples in the Bible of people who receive a miracle by doing God’s command. Therefore, it is very important to have a sense of hearing God’s voice. God has many ways to speak to us. Through the text in the Bible we read every day, by prophecy, preaching God’s servant, dreams, specific events, and even through the simple daily things, and others. The limit is very clear: God certainly will not give orders that are contrary to His word.

In the tussle and prayer, sometimes we waited for an answer that might actually has been available in front of us, but we do not respond to anything. Maybe we do not hear when God speaks, because we are too busy thinking and lamented. Also we may in fact hear the God’s voice, but we do not recognize the voice. We did not know whether it was the voice of God or our own voice. Or, we may also know that the Lord has said, but we are indecisive and too scared to move.

 

BUILD A RELATIONSHIP 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1)

For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice,(Psalm 95:7)

 

God is the good Shepherd. Wherever our Shepherd takes us, merely is to provide the best provision and protection. When we read the entire Psalm 23, it is clearly written that the Shepherd always maintaining and guiding to a quiet place. Our Shepherd always protected so that we will be safe even in the valley of the shadow of death. Not only that, our Shepherd will also bring us safely to the Father’s home.

To be able to follow His leading, we must be sensitive and recognize the voice of the Shepherd. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27) How can we hear and recognize the voice of our Shepherd? Through build a relationship with Him. Just like building a relationship with someone, the more we closely with that person then we will get to know his personality. We know the habits, characteristics, and manner of speech. We recognize his voice when he called or calling. Even if the more intense make interaction, then only with certain expressions and without saying a word, we can capture his heart.  It is similar with building a relationship with God. If we continue to worship, pray, read, contemplate, and do His word, the more we mature in spiritually and know God. That means that it is easier for us to hear and recognize the voice of our Shepherd and obey.

“WITHOUT RELATIONSHIP, THERE IS NO TRUST. WITHOUT TRUST,

 THERE IS NO OBEDIENCE.”

 

Build a relationship always requires commitment and time. Jesus also has the commitment and time to have fellowship with the Father in heaven every day. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.(Mark 1:35) If Jesus felt that fellowship with the Father is very important, especially for us. We need it most!

Today… No matter our circumstances, and whatever answers of the prayer are we waiting, if we hear the voice of the Great Shepherd, immediately follow His mighty voice. Let us obedient and do what has been spoken. Then the power of God’s word it will work in us and change our lives. The miracle certainly happened!

Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. (Psalm 103:20)

 

AMEN

 

By Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

www.sellairene.wordpress.com

 

Become The best Wine

BECOME THE BEST WINE-Karina's Thought

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also in Revelation 14:18b -19:

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

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

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

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

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

(Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: 1zoom.net

 

 

The Stars was not Enough

The Stars Was not Enough-Karina's Thought

Hello dear reader! Now I am back. It is such a great blessing that I could come back to the blog after I have been absent for around 2 months. I have missed so many great and wonderful posts of you and I will try to visit the blog who followed me and read any posts of you. Here’s my first post this year. Hopefully this post will bring so many blessings to you.

The idea of this post was inspired when my husband and I spent the evening sitting on the balcony of our house. We saw the sky filled with so many beautiful stars. Seeing so many beautiful stars make up my mind drifted to the God’s blessings. There are so many blessings that we have received in our lives. Then I said to my husband, “There are so many stars there. It is the same with so many blessings that God has given to us. “My husband smiled and replied,” I do not think so, princess. The number of the stars was not enough to represent God’s blessing. Not enough! ”

Once again, my mind drifted away. Trying to look back and remember how much of a great blessing from God. And ultimately, I agree with my husband’s comment. Yes, the number of stars are not comparable with how great God’s goodness and blessing.

I am very grateful and feel how lucky I am as His child. God blessed me abundantly even when I got so many problems and difficult situation I still felt God’s blessing poured to me. Through many problems and trials God strengthen me amazingly and for me this is a great blessing. But just me? No! I am truly believed everyone had received and felt the blessing of God in many ways.  But unfortunately, not many people realize and remember God’s goodness and blessing. Even worse, many people who experience distress and suffering could easily accuse God is not fair and partiality. Well, that’s not true! God is not like that. Each of us is blessed and got the same portion. God loves all His children. But the problem is many people often judge God’s blessing only in few aspects: longevity, wealth, position and honor. Outside of it is not regarded as a blessing.

Whereas, if we want to contemplate for a moment, there are so many God’s blessing present in our lives. Even right now there are many blessing poured out as a form of His mercy to us. If we are still able to breathe, to have a complete eye to see everything, if our minds are still functioning normally, we can walk, work and can do many other things, it all is a blessing from God. This means that God still blesses us in many ways all the time.

In Psalm 145: 9 David expressed God’s grace so beautiful. Without doubt David said:

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Throughout the Chapter 145 is praise of David on God’s goodness and mercy not only for himself but for all human beings who believe in God. Let’s take a look to other verses of Psalm 145:

14. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

These verses are just a few examples.  Actually the Bible speaks very much about God’s goodness.  Even David many times mentioning a famous verse:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Psalm 106:1, 118:1,118:29, 136:1)

This verses clearly shows that David really understand how the God’s goodness and mercy always be with throughout his life. Although he had a very difficult time, full of suffering and struggle, he can still looking back to see how God’s presence in his life.

My dear lovely friends, how about us?  Whether we always realize that how beautiful and lucky we are having Father who is so good and His love is so great and faithfulness? Do we realize that no matter how big and small, abound or just slightly all we have is a blessing from God which must always be grateful? Whether we realize that God is always fair and not partiality, He blesses everyone without limitation?  Jesus said,

” that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

God not only bless the good and the righteous people but even He still pays attention to the evil and the unrighteous as well. God still maintains and miss them to repent. If God alone still pay attention to the evil and the righteous how could God do not pay attention to us as His children? Do we still doubt His love and faithfulness? Are we still judging God is not fair?

So my beloved readers, this evening I would like to ask you to spend a bit of our time to remember and reflect God’s goodness and blessing that we have ever received in our lives. Count one by one and I do believe if we compare with stars in the sky, finally we will have a conclusion that the stars wasn’t enough to represent God’s blessing. The number of the stars is not comparable with God’s goodness and blessings. And one thing that we should to always remember is God’s love is never fail! Lamentation 3:22-23:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;   great is your faithfulness.

Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. Amen. (Count Your Blessings –Johnson Oatman, Jr. 1897)

Karina – Living by Faith

Image source: Google Images