Tag Archive | cross

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

 

What a Friend We Have In Jesus

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS -Karina's Thought

 

My post this time was inspired by a hymn song that I heard when I on my way from the church to my home this morning.  “What a friend we have in Jesus” A beautiful well-known hymn song composed by Joseph M. Scriven. Do you have many friends? I am very sure yes you have so many friends. So do I. I have so many friends, even friends from different country. I love make a friendship with everyone.  Friends could make my life more colorful, cheerful, and excited. But the question is how many true friend we have? I am pretty sure we don’t have much.  When I was teen my mother once said that, “It is so easy to find friends, but isn’t easy to find and have a true friends.  There is a difference between ordinary friends with true friends. An ordinary friend could easily come and go but the true friend is someone who always is there in any of our condition. The true friend is someone who could give us encouragement and motivation when we are weak. Could make us feel safe because we know that we are not alone, could be a good listener, strengthen, help, and comfort us when we are in grief. With a best friend we can laugh together, cry, arguing, even quarrelling, but will not leaving each other.”

“What a friend we have in Jesus” remind us that even though we have very best friend, there is a friend above of all. Jesus is an extraordinary true friend that we can find. We may have a very best friend but they are still human being who has weakness. There is a time they could disappoint us but not with The Lord Jesus. He will never disappoint us.  Jesus longs to be our true friend and He himself reached out His hand offers a true friendship with us. If to build a true friendship with humans already provide a lot of advantages and benefits, much less if the friendship that intertwined between us and Jesus. He said:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.

(John 15:15a NIV)

When I ponder this verse, I felt that I have a very big privilege. “I no longer call you servant” This is the first big privilege. Jesus not places us under Him. Jesus didn’t make a boundary between servant and master. He places us align with Him and made us a His friend. What are other privileges that we can get through making a friendship with Jesus? Let’s have a look together.

Love

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. (Proverb 17:17 NIV)

The Jesus’ love is always shed for us, whatever our condition, because He remains faithful. Jesus understands what became our struggle because He had suffered on this earth and bear all the sins of mankind sins. Jesus is always there for us, although as though He feels away, He is always there in our hearts. And He always listen our complaint and prayers. Anytime we want to confide, He always await us.

Sacrifice

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13 NIV)

Jesus’ sacrifice cannot be doubted. His greatest love has been proven by His death on the cross. He willingly laid down His life to redeem all of our sins. Jesus is a true friend who really loves. We may have best friends but we may not have best friends who willing to sacrifice their lives for our sins. His redemptive work is cleans every sins that we confess before Him. His blood cleanses us and brings up to standard to be able to come into His presence with courage (Hebrews 10:19 NIV)

Closeness

… But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24b NIV)

When Job experience of suffering, all the family and friends left him, and even forget him. But there is one person who never left and forgotten Job, He is the Father in heaven. In our daily lives maybe we once experienced that our brethren left us in misery and at the time a companion even accompany us faithfully. So it is with Jesus. He will never leave and forget us. He always closes to us.

Receptiveness

 I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15b NIV)

 Friendships very close with receptiveness. There is no secret story to a true friend. Likewise, Jesus will reveal all the secrets of heaven to us His people. We shall know God’s heart, His messages, advises, and His reprimand because Jesus himself who will tell us. His extraordinary grace will be poured out for us, when we build a friendship with Jesus. He will guide us and show His bright ways to our lives. He will provide the way out for every of our problems.

Trust

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. (James 2:23 NIV)

Friendship contains a bond of trust. When we believe in Jesus, we become His friend and we become people who can be trusted by Him. Trust will lead to the provision of greater responsibility. We see that the Lord gives a remarkable promise to Abraham, and the promise was fulfilled.

Is it difficult to be Jesus’ friend?  Let’s see what the Bible say to answer this question. First, have a look to this verse:

The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. (Psalm 25:14 NLT)

Fear Him. This first condition that He wants from us to become His friend. What is next?

You are my friends if you do what I command. (John 15:14 NIV)

What kind of God’s command that we should to do? Let’s have a look at verse 12:

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

We will get privilege as Jesus’ friend we love each other as He loves us. Then, what other thing we have to do?

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

(James 4:4 NIV)

This verse clearly says that if we are friends with the world, we will become the enemy of God. This means that we should not be double-minded. We must choose to love God and to be His friend or loved the world and death as the consequences. (Romans 8:6-7 NIV)

I strongly believe that we all want and longing to make Jesus as a true friend and actually it is not difficult to be that way. It all is only depends on us. Whether we want to do all what is commanded by Him? Whether in our daily lives we have already fear Him? Have we loved each other as He loves us? Whether we are still friends of the world and love the worldliness things?

There was an inspiring story about friendship. There were two boys named Zac and Vincent. They were friends. When Zac was 6, he had the acute lymphoblastic leukemia and should take chemotherapy. Vincent as Zac’s best friend realized that the medical treatment for Zac was costly. Then he took the initiative to raise funds to help Zac’s medical treatment. He sold 20 scarves and was able to donate $200 to Zac’s family.  Vincent did not stop there, his sense of friendship also shown by coming to school with a shaved head. He said he did not want Zac feel weird having to bald alone, so he too shave his head.

If we make comparison between Vincent in that story with Jesus, Both of them did something for their friend. But Jesus not shaves His hair for us. Jesus did something greater and important than shaving hair. He willing to suffer endured terrible pain because tortured for many hours. He let His body covered in blood beaten and caned, and in His powerlessness He still had bear the cross. His Head wounded punctured with crown of the thorn. And finally He nailed and dead on the cross. For whom Jesus did all of that? For all of us! For what Jesus did it all? For redeem all of our sins! He paid it all of our sins that hinder our way to salvation by sacrificing Himself. Is there a friend like Jesus? If we have friends who are willing to suffer and sacrificing his own life for the sake of our salvation like Jesus did for us? I am afraid in this today world we cannot find a friend like Jesus.

My beloved readers, in His resurrection day, I ask all of us to ponder again where we place Jesus in our life? Whether we have been placed Jesus as our true friend? Or whether our heart are still ambiguous, even choose make a friend with the world? With all that Jesus has done for us, whether we are still hesitating to make Jesus as our true friend? In this Easter day, allow me to encourage all of us to always remember that God always longing and always reached out His hand to be our true friend. Human being still has weakness and limitations but neither to Jesus the Lord. There is a time human could let us down but neither to Jesus. Jesus has proven His perfect love to us through the great redemption work on the Cross. Jesus fulfilled all that was prophesied. In this Easter day let’s again examine ourselves. Have we become a true friend to Jesus? And if we have made Jesus as a true friend, whether we have done all His command? Let’s make this Passover to be a momentum to rebuild and renew our relationship with the Lord Jesus and truly make the Lord Jesus as a true friend. What a friend we have in Jesus. Amen

My dear friends, I, my husband Kevin, and our little precious Andrew says, wishing your Easter is decorated with love, peace, and joy of spring and the season’s blessings! HAPPY EASTER.

For more detailed story about Zac and Vincent please click here:

http://www.today.com/health/little-boy-shaves-head-comfort-best-friend-fighting-cancer-2D11975522

Karina – Living by faith

This post also can read in my other blog at http://karinalam.godinterest.org

Image source: http://www.theendlesslife.org

 

 

“Do You Truly LOVE ME?”

One day, I woke early in the morning to watch the sunrise. Ah, the beauty of God’s creation is beyond description. As I watched, I praised God for His beautiful work.  As I sat there, I felt the Lord’s presence with me.

He asked me, “Do you love me?”

I answered, “Of course, God! You are my Lord and Savior!”

Then He asked, “If you were physically handicapped, would you still love Me?”

I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs, and the rest of my body and wondered how many things I wouldn’t be able to do, the things that I took for granted.

And I answered, “It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You.”

Then the Lord said, “If you were blind, would you still love my creation?”

How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God and His creation.

So I answered, “It’s hard to think of it, but I would still love You.”

The Lord then asked me, “If you were deaf, would you still listen to My Word?”

How could I listen to anything being deaf? Then I understood. Listening to God’s Word is not merely using our ears, but our hearts.

I answered, “It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your Word.”

The Lord then asked, “If you were mute, would you still praise My Name?”

How could I praise without a voice? Then it occurred to me: God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul. It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not always with a song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise with our words of thanks.

So I answered, “Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise Your Name.”

And the Lord asked, “Do you really love Me?”

With courage and a strong conviction, I answered boldly, “Yes Lord! I love You because You are the one and true God!” I thought I had answered well, but . . .

God asked, “Then why do you sin?”

I answered, “Because I am only human. I am not perfect.”

“Then why in times of peace do you stray the furthest? Why only in times of trouble do you pray the earnest?”

No answers. Only tears.

The Lord continued: “Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask things so unfaithfully?”

The tears continued to roll down my cheeks.

“Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading the Good News? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to serve in My Name?”

I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give.

“You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I have blessed you with talents to serve Me, but you continue to turn away. I have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have spoken to you, but your ears were closed. I have shown My blessings to you, but your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants, but you sat idlely by as they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all.”

“DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME?”

I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrassed beyond belief. I had no excuse. What could I say to this?  When my heart had cried out and the tears had flowed, I said, “Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child.”  The Lord answered, “That is My Grace, My child.”

I asked, “Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do you love me so?”

The Lord answered, “Because you are My creation. You are My child. I will never abandon you. When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you. When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you. When you are down, I will encourage you. When you fall, I will raise you up. When you are tired, I will carry you. I will be with you till the end of days, and I will love you forever.”

Never had I cried so hard before. How could I have been so cold? How could I have hurt God as I had done? I asked God, “How much do You love me?”

The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced hands. I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Savior. And for the first time, I truly prayed.

— author unknown

 

Your Name Written on the Cross

Carrying the crossWhen I took my breakfast with my parents this morning, my daddy suddenly asked me a question;

“My dear, do you remember a story about carrying a cross that I told when you start to replacing my position in the company?”

My mind immediately  recalled it story;

The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. “Lord, I can’t go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.” The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your Cross inside this room. Then open another door and pick any Cross you wish. There are so many Cross with the name of their owners.” The young man was filled with relief. “Thank you, Lord,” he sighed, and did as he was told. As he looked around the room he saw many different Crosses; some so large the tops were not visible. Then he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. “I’d like that one, Lord,” he whispered. And the Lord replied, “My son, that’s the Cross you brought in with your name written on it.”

“Yes, daddy “I replied. He smile at me

Then he asked me again; “Are you ready to carrying the cross that God gave to you?”

I am speechless. Thinking

“Are you? “

 I look his eyes and said: “Yes dad. I am ready to carrying the God’s cross. No matter how big the cross that I should have to bear. God has designed the cross which according to my ability and He trust me to know that I can carry it with His help.”

“Good. And then prove it, my dear princess “He said as he stroked my hair.

The conclusion of the story rang in my ears as my daddy explained it’s moral.God gives us a Cross to bear and he knows we be able to handle it. Each Cross was designed for us, and we will be the one that becomes a better person because of it. Like coal under intense pressure, it will become a diamond. There isn’t another cross more perfect for us, and no one else’s cross can replace it.

So since then, when I am challenged and am feeling weak, I remember this story, and I know that I need to give it to God. He knows I can handle it, and if I get tired He is the one that will help me continue on. And in the end, it’s not about the burden at all; what’s important is how you bear your cross and what you learn from the journey.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Mathew 16: 24

Too often we think our burdens are the heaviest until we see the burdens that others carry.

Karina

Photo sources: footage.shutterstock.com