Tag Archive | shepherd

Meaningful Life Under the Heavens (part 2) : WAITING FOR GOD CALLING (guest post)

In recent times, God has led me and my husband in experience and ministries related to life and death.  Among the many things that happened, there were two moments that really touched our hearts.

First Moment

That afternoon we went to the hospital to pray for a grandmother.  She is more than 90 years old.  Her extremely thin body lay weak with her eyes closed. The doctor can’t do much to help her.  Not only because the disease is very malignant and hasn’t been cured medically resolved, but also because her old body is unable to receive proper therapy and treatment for the disease.  After praying for her, we sang a simple song that talked about the love of Jesus. We sing softly over and over again. We believe that even though her eyes are closed, even if in a coma, her inner man can certainly hear our voices even though her physical body seems to not respond.  After a while, we saw tears flowing from the corner of her eye.  Her eyes still remained closed and between conscious and not, but the flowing tears showed that her heart responded.  We continued to sing and sing, until then the grandmother began to open her eyes and sing.  At first her voice was soft and sometimes the pronunciation wasn’t clear, but while we continued to sing the simple song over and over again, the longer her voice was louder. We knew, at that time God was working touching her heart and giving new strength.  Then we prayed once more, leading her to not be afraid and doubtful of surrendering to Jesus, guiding her to make a confession that Jesus is Lord and Savior.  After being prayed for, she could sleep well and no longer be delirious about frightening things that were invisible as she had always seen the previous nights.  We believe that God gave her peace that transcends all understanding, beyond fear about everything she would leave behind or she would face in life after death.  The peace from God is a guarantee and an inward witness that she is safe in the Father’s hands.  A few days later we heard the news that the grandmother had calmly returned to the Father’s house.  Indeed, whatever we have been achieved in this life, ultimately the most important thing is the certainty of salvation in eternal life.

Second Moment

Near midnight a few days ago, we were shocked by the news.  One friend who has served with us for almost 30 years has suddenly been called home by God.  He was still around 55 years old.  He was sitting and chatting with his family when suddenly he bowed and left forever.  Many people could hardly believe because only two or three days earlier he had served with us at a big event.  Our hearts were moved, as if God were waiting for him to finish his task until the event was finished and then called him home.  What a sweet impression.

But … reality isn’t always like that right?  In fact, there are people even God’s servants who are called home by God when they are actively working on God’s vision and mission.  In the view of humans as if their task isn’t finished, but we are uncertain.  God has His own judgment and that is perfect. Whatever it is, death is always unpredictable, incomprehensible.  The measure isn’t t age, health, ministry, not even a person’s good or evil. What, why and how, only God knows.

ACCOMPLISHING TASKS

Indeed, each of us is waiting for the time to be called by God.  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2 clearly says that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die (Meaningful Life under the Heavens – click here).  Every one of us has a period we don’t know when it will end. Each of us has a deadline that we don’t know when.  God can call us anytime, anywhere, in any way.  Now … as people waiting to be called by God, there are important questions that each of us must reflect on and answer it.

Are we ready whenever our lifespan runs out?  Are we sure of our eternal destination in life after death? Have we received eternal salvation from God?  Have we been living our lives according to God’s will?  How much time do we use to do God’s work, and how much time do we waste in vain?  What should we do while we wait for God to call us??  The preacher advises us:

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV)

The word “to do” comes from the Hebrew word “asah” which means accomplish that is “to finish something successfully or to achieve something”.  So, God asks us not only to do it but to accomplish it and to achieve what is supposed to be achieved.

The word “your might” comes from the Hebrew word “koach” which means “ability” which is “the mental or physical power or skill needed to do something”.  So, the word “your might” here is not doing on our own and carelessly, but works with the physical, mental, and certain skills needed to accomplish the task.

We weren’t created by accident.  Conscious or not, we are created with a purpose.  In our hands is being entrusted with a special mission, a life that doesn’t follow where the flow brings, but is in a plan to do God’s work for His Kingdom.  Therefore don’t ignore things that seem to come to our lives naturally or even coincidentally, that is, all the forms that the preacher calls as working, planning, knowledge and wisdom.  Whatever forms these things have in our lives, our task is to accomplish it.  For this reason, God has provided the equipment we need, namely mental, physical, and skill.  But mental readiness, physical strength, and skill aren’t things that fall from the sky.  God gave it for free, yes that’s true because God is the source, but we also have to study, train, and develop it.  This isn’t for the sake of our careers will increase so that our future will be better or that we be rewarded as smart people who are multi-talented, but to achieve and accomplish what is God’s purpose in our lives.

This life is a sure wait for God’s call to eternity.  We must be ready whenever the time comes.  Let us not be complacent with all the hustle and bustle of our busy life, but focus on what is God’s will in our lives.  As long as we continue to be faithful and diligent in doing everything that God allows in our lives by using every power provided by God, our lives aren’t in vain.  We will have a meaningful life.  At least we have tried earnestly to do God’s will.  Most importantly, make sure that we have believe in Jesus as our only Lord and Savior.  Make sure that we always make God as our Shepherd.  Only He is the Helper, Guardian, Leader and Guide who can guarantee us to arrive at the house of the eternal Father and stay with the Father forever.

“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],  I shall not want. . . . Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.” (Psalm 23 AMP)

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

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

He Will Make Us Able

He will Make Us Able -Karina's Thought

If we read the Bible we will find so many great Bible figure such as Moses, David, Abraham, Paul and many other great names who has been known very well. But beside those great names, there is a Bible figure that makes me interested and I have learned something from him. He is Shamgar. Shamgar is not as popular as David and other great name. Shamgar’s name just mentioned two times in the Bible. First in Judges 3:31 and the second are in Judges 5:6. What is the interesting thing from this figure? Let’s take a look at this verse:

After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel. (Judges 3:31)

Shamgar be able to defeat six hundreds Philistines only by using an ox goad. This was unbelievable! I remembered one Hollywood action movie titled “Rambo” A hero who could strike down hundreds enemies alone. But what I saw in that movie is only fictional. Not a true story. Shamgar’s story is the real one. True story!

Actually, who is Shamgar? Unfortunately we could not dig up much about the background of the Shamgar. Shamgar is Anath’s son. He lived in the era after Ehud successfully defeated the Moabites and make Israel safely along 80 years. But after that Israel should face the Philistines and at that time, Shamgar appeared to resolve the situation, dispel, and killed six hundreds Philistines.The Question is, what does makes Shamgar be able to beat them all just by using an ox goad? When I ponder it, I found the answer. I do believe that it all happened just because God’s help! Shamgar believe that God will be with. He is ready to go beat his enemies and amazingly he won the battle against the Philistines. He has saved the Israelites from destruction.

 
My dear friends, whether we realize that in our lives we also striving and battling every day? Not against the human but against the Satan! Satan is never sleep and silent. He keeps trying to mislead and destroy us. We also never stop strive facing any kind of problems, difficulties, and challenges. Oftentimes we felt that our lives are so hard and we are thinking that we face something impossible to overcome. We are also felt that we don’t have power and ability to conquer all of the problems. But as Christians, there is something that we should always remember that before God the words of: Amazing, astonishing or miraculous are not something new anymore. There are so many stories in the Bible that show us God did many unbelievable things through His chosen people. He shows us that He can bowl over human logic with His miracle series. Jesus said:

“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

There is nothing impossible before God. Though six hundreds problems and obstacles trying to hit us, we will defeat it all as long as we trust and totally rely on God’s power. Though we feel weak and don’t have ability, God will use and enable us to overcome all problems and we will win in the life’s battle. I was remembering when I was promoted to replace my father position in the company. Some people doubted my ability as a new leader. Even someone cynically said,” Karina is a young spoiled girl who just saw the sun yesterday. She by no means has experience in running a company. She doesn’t even know how cruel and hard the business world. She doesn’t know how to make money in business, but she does know every well how to spend the money”. At that time, I was just thinking that the promotion is not only a part of my parent’s plan but I even do believe that is a part of God’s plan for my life. If so, firmly I also do believe that God will enable me to replace my father position and be able to run their company as long I trust to God and not counting on my own strength. I was remembering Jeremiah’s story when God call him. These verses greatly strengthen me and convince me not to be afraid and discouraged:

“Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 1:6-8)

If we dig deeper to the Holly Bible, many times God show us that there is nothing impossible and can be to do miraculous things through those people who chosen by God. Let’s see who is chosen to beat Goliath. A mighty warlord? No! God chose a young David (1Samuel 17:42). Another example, let’s take a look to the story of Gideon (Judges 7). How God commanded Gideon to summon up three hundreds troops only to face the Midianites and Amalekites which described like grasshoppers for multitude and their camel as the sand by the sea side for multitude. (Judges 7:12). There are so many miraculous story in the Bible that could underlie us to be able perform as a winner in overcome various problems and challenges even which seemingly impossible.

 
My lovely readers, we may not a super hero, we may just unknown ordinary person, maybe we are too young among the elderly, and they are look down and dubious to our ability. I would like to say something: Please don’t be discourage or feeling useless. Because God can use and turn us become an extraordinary person and be able doing miracle things. Shamgar is not a famous figure but God use him amazingly to do unbelievable thing. David just a young shepherd but he successfully beat goliath only by using stones and a slingshot. The point is, trust and totally rely on God’s strength. We have to trust that God knows and pleased to His children who love and trust in Him. Through us God will use various miracle things to declare His existence. God can use anyone to show His mightiness and sovereignty. Even God can use the weak and foolish people if He pleases.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)

Besides from many other great Bible figure, this evening I encourage you to also learn from Shamgar’s story. We learn how God’s power works on ordinary people to be able to do miracle things. Through His chosen people God can turn impossible thing to be possible. God can turn illogical thing become logical. We learn to always put our faith on God’s strength rather than on ingenuity and human logic.

so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. (1Corinthians 2:5)

This time if we are struggling so hard to face so many trials and challenges, don’t worry and don’t feel discouraged. Once again Trust Him! Leaning and relying on God mightiness. Ask Him through prayer so that we are enabled and given the strength. He will make us able. Amen.

Karina – Living by Faith
Photo credit: Google Images

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd -Karina's Thought

A few days ago I went to make a visit of condolence the wife of my manager who suddenly passed away. According of his story, it all happened so fast, his wife only complained of headaches and breathless, and a few hours later she passed away. I know this is a very hard for him and his children. Losing someone they love is a very sad thing, especially when occur abruptly.

There is one thing that makes me so touched and amazed. He did not show a deeply sadness. He remained strong, calm and smile to each person who attended the mourning service. Even when he gave a speech, he cites a Bible verse of Psalm:The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not lack.”(Psalm 23:1)

This verse spoke directly to my heart and makes me ponder. How far we apply this verse in our daily lives? How far we are able to believing it when we experience pain or suffering? David expresses it short but concise, and very clear. He said that whatever happens, he will never lack. Is it because of his strength, his prowess, ability and endurance? Not at all!  David knew that his strength as a human being is very limited. At certain situations, as good as the human ability will no longer be able to do anything. David could say that he will not be lack because realizing the existence of God as a good shepherd of his life. No more and no less.

Let’s dive deeper to the next verses in Psalm 23. We can see and will feel the greatness of God in His role as the Good Shepherd in our lives, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:2-3) This verse feels so comfort and comforting us. These verses came from David who has so many problems in his life. Many times he faced threats, being chased and eliminated from his own people, many times he faced a life-threatening situation, but he could put his entire life and entrusted to the God’s care. David said it all when he is not in having fun, but his faith is enough to give a sense of calm for believing in God as a good shepherd for him. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Verse 4)  Beside believe that God always with him, David has strongly faith that God also prepare everything that he need. Not only has enough but overflowed.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Verse 5)

Both in quiet and difficult times, David realized that God will always be with him, so that he could say: “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Verse 6) Very marvelous! It might be easy for us to say these things when we’re in good condition, but how far we can still believing it when the problems are being repeatedly hit us? Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)  Such was the figure of the Shepherd who always protects us as His sheep.  Trouble could come over our lives, but God promises us to still have a life. Not only life but living in all its fullness. Not lack yet in fullness? Yes, right! Although the problems are present in our lives, God promises that His providence could give strength, give relief, protection, give hope, and that’s all He provides not only sufficient but abundantly.

My manager was able to experience how God gave him strength in his difficult times, and he realized that there is no reason for him to be disappointed to God and blame Him. He certainly sad and loses but he also realized though he lost his beloved wife, he believes God still preserve his life and did not show a conclusion that God is not fair. He realized and believes that his wife had gone into the peaceful kingdom which full of joy, where there is no crying and no more suffering again as often we experience in this world. His wife has been in the eternal God’s providence in heaven.

My lovely friends, when we have a situation full of suffering, could we continue to believe that we will never lack the strength? Can we believe that God’s presence will always give reassurance and relief in a heavy burden? When there are events that occur beyond our control, could we rely on unlimited God’s power or we are still busy hanging on our own strength or another human being who have limitation? In any difficult situation, remember that God never leaves us. He will never lose by anything. He said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15)  These verses show us what a close and beautiful relationship between God as the shepherd and us as His sheep. If we truly comprehend the meaning of these verses and put in the bottom of our heart and minds, why do we have to worry with all the trials and suffering that might happen in our lives?

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) There are no problems that He could not overcome. Believe that God will not remain silent when we really need his touch. Therefore, do not be discouraged, but always be thankful. Make our relationship with God still close and closer day by day, experience God’s presence and providence personally, until at the some point we can say with full confidence as David said, “THE LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not lack.”  Amen.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Karina

Related Article

Psalm 23 by http://secretangelps911.wordpress.com

Photo Credit: justonemore.info

What Christ Is to Us?

jesuschrist

The Shield from every dart;
The Balm for every smart;
The Sharer of each load;
Companion on the road.

The Door into the fold;
The Anchor that will hold;
The Shepherd of the sheep;
The Guardian of our sleep.

The Friend with Whom we talk;
The Way by which we walk;
The Light to show the way;
The Strength for every day.

The Source of my delight;
The Song to cheer the night;
The Thought that fills my mind;
The Best of All to find—is Jesus Christ!

Photo Credit: godsbreathpublications.com

I Know the Shepherd

ShepherdThere was once a Shakespearean actor who was known everywhere for his one-man shows of readings and recitations from the classics. He would always end his performance with a dramatic reading of Psalm 23.

 Each night, without exception, as the actor began his recitation – “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”…The crowd would listen attentively. And then, at the conclusion of the Psalm, they would rise in thunderous applause in appreciation of the actor’s incredible ability to bring the verse to life.

 But one night, just before the actor was to offer his customary recital of Psalm 23, a young man from the audience spoke up. “Sir, do you mind if tonight I recite Psalm 23?” The actor was quite taken back by this unusual request, but he allowed the young man to come forward and stand front and center on the stage to recite the Psalm, knowing that the ability of this unskilled youth would be no match for his own talent.

With a soft voice, the young man began to recite the words of the Psalm. When he was finished, there was no applause. There was no standing ovation as on other nights. All that could be heard was the sound of weeping. The audience had been so moved by the young man’s recitation that every eye was full of tears.

 Amazed by what he had heard, the actor said to the youth, “I don’t understand. I have been performing Psalm 23 for years. I have a lifetime of experience and training – but I have never been able to move an audience as you have tonight. Tell me, what is your secret?” The young man quietly replied, “Well sir, you know the Psalm… I know the Shepherd.”

My mom told this old story when I was a teen. She is not given me an explanation about the message or moral of this story. She said: “My dear princess, I want you to think and ponder.  If you only knew about the Psalm and you only get something big that makes you proud or you know the Shepherd and you give something bigger and valuable to others than you received and makes others moved and knowing how great our shepherd is.

How about you my dear friends?  It’s all your choice.

Karina

Photo sources : commons.wikimedia.org