Tag Archive | Time

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

MEANINGFUL LIFE UNDER THE HEAVENS (guest post)

Centuries ago, a wise teacher conveyed his reflection on the meaning of life.  In his writings classified as wisdom literature, the Teacher said, “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…” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2 NIV)  Yes, the time for birth is the beginning of a human being under the sky. But this isn’t an endless journey.  There is a time limit that no one can reject, namely the time to die.  Among these two phases, humans live a life full of color and dynamics.  Humans work, study, have fun, work, enjoy happiness, partying, prosperity, success, but in it there is also pain, loneliness, pain, poverty, destruction, and experiencing injustice.  All can come at any time, to anyone, whether they deserve it or not.  About all of that, the Teacher who was rich, powerful, and had the potential and opportunity to enjoy everything available in the world, gave his skeptical views: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.  “Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1: 2 NIV)  Then, about the various things that humans do throughout their lives under heavens, the Teacher concluded pessimistically that all these things are “chasing after the wind.”  What does that mean?

 

HEBEL, HEBEL, HEBEL

Hebel, a Hebrew word which in some copies translates as vanity, meaningless, futility, is a word that is repeated 37-38 times in Ecclesiastes.  Hebel, a word that means “through the breath, a breeze, a smoke, water vapor” is a very appropriate word to describe how short human life is.  Whether living for 30, 50, 60, 70, 90, or 100 years, all is like a single breath compared to limitless time, namely eternity, where every human being will go.

Hebel is the same word that is also used in Psalm 39: 4-6.  “Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.  Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.  Selah.  Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they [b]busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches,  And does not know who will gather them.” (NKJV)

As with the Teacher, the Psalmist also viewed human life as “hebel”.  Very short, as a flash of shadow passed.  Contemplate … how briefly it can be finally be truly in vain if man only seeks satisfaction and the meaning of his life from what is transitory and temporary!  Then, what is the benefit of grandeur and pride under heaven, if in the end all things that are painstakingly pursued and maintained must be abandoned, and not contribute anything to eternity.  Up to this point, it is perfectly appropriate for the Teacher to describe it as vanity and chasing after the wind.  Then, how should humans go through life so that they aren’t trapped in a vortex of futility and a chasing after the wind?

 

CHRIST BE THE CENTER OF LIFE

The teacher doesn’t mean to say that human life is meaningless and useless, but that is what will happen if humans live their lives in their own way and do good things according to their own thoughts, without really seeking God.  Therefore, let’s return to the Teacher’s statement about the time for humans under heaven: “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.”  This statement shows that God has full power and sovereignty over everything, including determining the time of birth and death of everyone, without humans being able to choose for themselves.  However, between birth and death there is a period of time in which humans live their lives and in this life humans are given free will to determine their own choices, including those relating to relationships with God.

Praise God the Father, if at one moment we have made the decision to receive salvation in Jesus Christ.  It is grace that has transformed our status into a child of God and made a significant difference to our entire life.  When we accept Jesus Christ, at that time there is also a displacement of purpose in eternity, namely from death to life, from curse to blessing, from vanity to the divine vocation.  Faith in Christ is a step that immediately puts us on the path of grace which provides unlimited power and opens opportunities for us to do noble things that are eternal, according to God’s time and determination.

The power has been given by God, His help is available, but how the outcome depends on how we live our lives, whether we really make Christ the center of our lives or not.  Making Christ the center of our lives means making Christ the only foundation, source, goal and motivation, which controls all our thoughts, actions and attitudes in all aspects of life.  The sincerity of making Christ the center of our lives will be reflected in every choice of our response to everything that God has permitted to happen throughout our lives.  Whether we obey the desires of the flesh or the will of the Holy Spirit, obey our feelings or obey to do the word of God, continue to believe or be disappointed with God, and remain faithful to the end or leave God.  In the end, the choice for choice will determine the life we ​​live in, in vain or produce fruit for the Kingdom of Heaven.  Later, we must give accountability before God.

 

ENJOY LIFE IN THE FEAR OF GOD

” Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14 NIV)

Actually, this whole life journey is a preparation for an inevitable responsibility, which must be faced by each person, personally.  Later, there is no reason and defense for every sin and mistake, because God has given us a lifetime opportunity to repent, be changed and shaped by God.  Therefore we must truly live right before God, because all of our responses to God when we are still alive today greatly determine how and where we will be in eternity.  God has bestowed salvation, given the Holy Spirit as Helper and Comforter, and has given the word that becomes the guide and contains the promises we need.  We just have to always live in fear of God.  Not fear of His judgment, but fear of God because we love and respect God.  So, we will be able to see and respond to this life properly so that we can receive and enjoy what God has provided in our lives with satisfaction and gratitude.  Thus, our focus isn’t on the pleasures of this world, but on God who gives everything.  As the Teacher’s advice: “This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” (Ecclesiastes 5: 18-19 NIV) 

Life isn’t easy, maybe we have done wrong and failed many times, but as long as we wholeheartedly want to surrender ourselves to God, then God will help us rise again and again.  His love always forgives and His power certainly strengthens and enables us to live according to His purpose and plan, so that our lives and labors aren’t in vain.  Then later … when we stand face to face with God to account for our every act, we will look at the face of Jesus Christ without feeling accused, but with relief and gratitude because God has made our lives meaningful.  Amen.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

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

He is Never too Late

He is never too late

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

 “I don’t how long I must waiting for the God’s answer. I think God is too long to respond or perhaps even He did not respond to my prayer. I am getting impatient” This remark came out from my friend who was having problems in her work. Few days ago she came to my office to ask an advice. This is a problem that often occurs in many Christians including me sometimes.

The reason that we many times do not see or feel the Lord presence is that we are not waiting for the lord. We are still on our own timetable and we are still running madly ahead of God and hoping He will catch up to our plans. But that is not how God works. He doesn’t change just because we are fickle and He does not hurry just because we are impatient.

I asked my friend to open a passage of the Bible from John 11. This is a story about the death of Lazarus. When he was sick, her sisters Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus. At that time there is an impression that Jesus was playing for time to come. Even when at last Lazarus dead Jesus still had not come. But previously Jesus was convinced that the disease will not take Lazarus to the death even through his illness the name of the Lord will be glorified.When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”(John 11:4)

Jesus was coming when Lazarus had been buried four days. Knowing that Jesus came, Mary and Martha said to Him: Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (John 11:21). Why did Jesus do this? There is a reason! Jesus wants many people to believe (Verse 15). If Jesus came when Lazarus was sick, then there will only be a few people who believe. But Jesus makes everything right on time and eventually many people believed in Him. “Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him” (John 11:45)

My dear lovely friends, sometimes we act like Mary and Martha. Also like my friend.  When we are being pressed by so many problems we asked God to come very soon to help us. Even as time goes by, we feel God too long to respond or even we assume God does not answer our prayers. I said to my friend that our time is not His time and what will the future bring? just wait for the Lord. When our problem will end? Just wait for the Lord.  God wants us waiting patiently so that His glory can be expressed in our lives. For God nothing is impossible and He is never too late.

I said again that our problem may not go away tomorrow, but God has promise to always give us strength to overcome our problems. The pain may not diminish, but his grace neither will diminish. Just be patient, ask to God through prayer so that god gives us strength to be patient. Always put our eyes upon God’s promise, wrap our mind around this word: When we wait for the Lord courageously, He will strengthen our hearts. He is never too late and never insufficient. Not live with our own thoughts and own way because Isaiah said: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8) Amen.

Karina – He is never too late

Photo credit: scottygraham.blogspot.com

I am Always With You

I am with you always 2

Let us think and contemplate how many times we do this to our Lord. This is a beautiful reminder to all of us that God longs and wants to be part of our lives.

Good morning,

As you got up I watched and hoped you would talk to me. Just a few words, such as thanking me for something good in your life yesterday or last week, would do.

But I noticed you were busy selecting the right clothes for work. I waited again to hear from you. When you ran around the house collecting papers, I knew there would be a few minutes to stop and say hello, but you never slowed down.

I wanted to tell you that I could help you accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible
if you would just spend some of each day with me. At one point you waited fifteen minutes in a chair with nothing to do. I waited to hear from you.

Then I saw you spring to your feet; I thought you wanted to talk to me, but you ran to the
phone and called a friend. I watched as off to work you went and waited patiently all day
long to hear from you. With all your activities you were too busy to talk with me.

I noticed at lunch you looked around; maybe you just felt embarrassed to talk to me. You glanced three tables over and noticed some of your friends talking to me before they ate, but you wouldn’t.

There was still more time left, and I hoped that we would talk. You went home and had many things to do. After they were done, you turned on the TV; just about anything goes there and you spend many hours watching. I waited as you continued watching TV and ate your meal but again you wouldn’t talk to me.

At bedtime you were totally tired. After you said good night to your family you plopped into bed and fell asleep. I had so much wanted to be part of your day. We could have had so much fun and accomplished so much together.

I love you so much that I wait everyday for a thought, prayer or thanks. Well, maybe tomorrow! I’ll be waiting. And please always remember what I said:

”Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”(John 15:4-7)

“Behold, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ( Matthew 28:20)

Your Friend,

God

The original text is unknown. Bible verses added by Karina

Photo credit: pics22.com

 

The Parable of the Butterfly

Butterfly

My dear friends,  you probably already have or even often read this story. But it is ok, I just share it again to remind us about the meaning of struggle in life.

A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly, he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.

But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
I asked for Strength……. And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom…….. And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity……. And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage…….. And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love…….. And God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors…….. And God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted ……. And everything I needed!

Watch the video version of “The Parable of Butterly”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=u9_TPUzUk3o#at=48

Photo credit: Knowing-Jesus.com

 

Do You Have Time?

God will get our attention one way or another.

The Master called my name one day because He needed someone to go:

I said “Lord, in my spare time, between school, spending time with my husband, working from 8 to 6, and trying to coordinate a program for my community to help our children do better, I will help you look. See, I know I can’t go right now because I have so much to do.”

He said, “Well, where shall I find such a person? I thought I saw your name on my list of available people.”

“Well Lord that was the prayer that I prayed last year, but since then, things have changed.”

He said, “Like what?”

“Well I’m working on my Ph.D. and I’m needed by so many people and my husband is always wanting something done, and on top of that my community expects me to help and give to them so…”

“Well, seeing that you’re busy, I’ll let you go, but we will talk again, if You have some time.”

I went on through the days, and the weeks, and the months completing my task as always. One evening, while studying for my comp exams, I received a call from the hospital concerning my husband. He had been in a terrible accident and was in critical condition. I dropped everything and ran to the hospital where I found my husband hanging on for dear life.

I immediately begin to pray “Lord, don’t take him now, I can’t bare it.” But my prayer echoed off the wall and returned into mine own ear. That next morning I left the hospital tired and weary, and walked in the door of my classroom just in time to begin my comps. As the professors begin asking me questions, I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out.

In my mind, I begin praying, praying hard, but my prayer echoed again and I found myself upset at God because he was nowhere to be found. I could not explain to them what was happening.

After leaving from my exams, I called into work because I was so distraught at all that was going on. I explained to my supervisor what had happened and she demanded that I take some time off.

After visiting my husband in the hospital that evening, I went home and fell into a sunken state crying and despairing. Just then I heard someone calling my name.

“Lord, is that You?”

“Well yes it is. Do you have some time? I wanted to see if I could just talk ….. ”

Instead of waiting to hear His questions, I lashed out in anger and resentment. “How is it that when I needed You today, You couldn’t be found and last night I cried and cried but all I heard were echoes from the walls. My husband is dying, I’m flunking out of school, I may not have a job and You can just sit and say You want to talk?”

The Lord interrupted me in my foolish speaking. “My child, I was busy, out looking for someone to go and tell others about Me when you cried. By the time I came to answer, you had moved on to something else. So, I decided to let your husband rest, and keep you home for a few days. That way maybe you would get in touch with Me, if you had some time. For you see, before your husband, your school, or your job needs you, I need you! And if all these things take you away from Me, I have to almost take them away from you, in order to get a moment. ”

I calmed down and began to cry. For I remembered my prayer of wanting to go and do for the Lord.

He said “I just wanted to recheck with you to see if you knew of anyone that I could send to be a witness for Me and tell others about Me.  … Any one at all….?”

With tears in my eyes and feeling so unworthy I said “Lord, send me, I’ll go.”

God should never have to ask us if we have some time. When He died on the cross He put aside everything to insure us eternal life. We should be more than grateful to do service for the Lord, to witness, and to tell anyone we can about Jesus. Don’t let your “things”, whatever they may be, get you so tied up that God has to become a meeting time in your yearly planner. He had more than enough time for us. The least we could do is have time for Him.

Author unknown

 

Near To God

Flipping through a magazine these days makes me think of how our lives were like a magazine. There are so many “columns” or “rubric” in our lives, where the pieces united into a whole as well as the binding of a magazine. A question comes to my mind, where were the “column” of my relationship with God? Is located on the main page, the editorial headline, fills in each page, just being in a small column, or maybe even located in the last page?

I am contemplating, there are many of us as believers, just put God only on the back page. We only pray when we have free time or having troubles. We prioritize to our work, hectic schedules, deadlines are piling up, prioritize another activities, and then use our remaining time to the Lord. Even worse, Spiritual life for some people is only valid on Sundays only, for approximately two hours. Afterwards, they went back into their world, where God is no longer on their list.

Meanwhile, when praying we are always wants God to always be present with His cares any time in our lives. How many times we said: “God, please always be with me in every step that I take” or “Dear God, please be with me in my works” See?  We always asked God’s time for us. Let us think this; what would be happen if God cares for us just two hours a week? Will not that be terrible? There is no one people who would like it. How unfair we are if not want to be treated by God like that but we could to do so to the God.

How close our relationship with God?  Just on Sunday for 2 hours only? Or only in the morning when we wake up and start our activities, or at night when we are going to sleep? If life is like a magazine, it is important for us to pay attention to where and how to position our relationship with God in it. Has God fills every single page of our life, or His position is still very limited even be in the back page?

God is always waiting for us to want to build a close relationship with Him. Psalm said: “The friendshipof the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.” (Psalm 25:14). God longs for really near to us; it is now our turn to answer the longing of God. “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;   I will tell of all your deeds.” (Psalm 73:28)

Have closeness with God is not only meant to have a close relationship through a prayer. More than that, we should have pleasing and holy life to the Lord. It is good if we are regularly in Sunday worship, would be preferable if we had taken our time to pray, especially discipline in the daily devotional, but let us continue to improve the quality of our relationship with God, so that we can come to a stage that is no longer limited by time.

“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”(1 Peter 1:15-16)

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

Karina