Thursday, March 25, 2010

"And without faith it is impossible to please to God."

Up until recently, I had a different and rather incomplete perspective of what faith is. What does it really mean to have/exercise faith?
Well, I thought faith was mainly believing something or finding a way to convince yourself of something, though there isn't necessarily full evidence of it. I also figured that having great faith included something like 'speaking things into being'.
So if I simply say, "I will be successful", is that having faith?
I guess we can agree that simply saying it will not suffice but we must also believe...right?
Okay so how about "Lord, surely I believe that You will allow me to become... or to receive..."
Sounds better right?
But does it stop there? Does faith -in its truest sense- stop at belief?
Am I really exercising faith by solely thinking or saying that "I believe" ?

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

-When we believe that it is going to rain, we bring an umbrella.
-When we expect a financial crisis in the future, we save more now.
-When we believe that the temperature will decrease significantly,we carry a coat.
There is no guarantee that any of these will happen, but because we are conviced, we take action.
When we believe, expect, or are convinced... WE GET READY; WE ACT.
And so similarly, when God tells us that He is going to do something or we say that we believe, WE SHOULD PREPARE ourselves and then wait expectantly with outstretched palms as opposed to tapping our fingers and aimlessly looking around...

"Faith without works is dead."

My favourite example of extreme faith in the Bible is the story of Abraham and Isaac.

" By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, 'It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.' Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death."

It amazes me still! The willingness of Abraham lines up with his faith. He must have been confused for a moment. "...but God I thought You said..."
-God is really the only one with the last say. [Amen]
-God's promises always come true. [Thank God!]
-God is not a God of confusion. [Praise God]
Abraham was so sure that God wasn't trying to punish him. He was so sure that some way, somehow God's promises would still stand.
He was man of GREAT faith.

~* Lord,if I can be like Abraham, then that is my desire. I know it will require enduring difficult tests and trials that result in confusion, but I pray dear God that the journey I am currently on, will lead me to a place where my faith will be increased tremendously. For I now understand that without faith, it is impossible to please You. *~

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Simply, truly...Love

Teach me to love.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." [1Corinthians 13:13]

Teach me how to love in spite of.
For if I know how to love sincerely...
then I can say that I sincerely know You.

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." [1John4:8]

I fail to love when I unwillingly give or assist.
I fail to love when I stereotype in a judgemental way.
I fail to love when I put myself first.
I fail to love when I fail to serve.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." [1John3:24]

Is that then the greatest manifestation of love?

"For God so loved the world that He gave His ONLY..." [John3:16]

Over and over again mention is made of Christ's death as God's greatest sign of love.
What can we then give to You Oh Lord? How can we profess our love to a holy & perfect God?

1. Obedience
" If you love me, you will obey my commands."
"This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world."

WoW. I've said that I love You on many occasions, but have I really been obeying You?
Teach me obedience Lord, for it speaks louder than words.

2. Love one another
" If anyone says, 'I love God' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." [1John4:20]

"Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." [John13:34,35]

So I've been gathering over the past few days that in order to truly love God, I must first learn to love sincerely, from a pure heart. My actions, words and even thoughts must be saturated with love.
If the love of God is in me, I MUST love EVERYONE...EVERYDAY.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting to know me

So this isn't my regular type of post...but I decided to do it anyway.

1. I have to humble myself before God everyday…it’s the only way that I can be anything near Christ-like.

2. I’m spoilt with love. I ‘m used to be treated well. I’m not spoilt in the sense that I always get what I want though.

3. I like painting for two reasons: it gives me a sense of accomplishment and it presents an opportunity to replicate something that’s beautiful in its own way.

4. I think I shortchange myself.

5. Ok so I definitely shortchange myself :|

6. I really like the idea of being healthy and fit but actualizing that desire requires so much work and discipline.

7. I don’t like when I’m disliked. I know we shouldn’t really care in situations like those, especially if it is for no good reason or no reason at all, but it isn’t a good feeling. Don’t worry, I would not compromise anything in situations like that though.

8. I’d rather hang with guys than girls because they are more laid-back and I somewhat feel more accepted around them. Most of my close friends are girls though and I cherish them dearly.

9.Adventure interests me. Anything with heights excites me. (Ziplining for example). I’ve also always wanted to ride a motorbike (just to see what it’s like.)

10. Sometimes I find it hard to open up to people. To me, it is like giving someone something to carry and not being sure if they even want to carry it. So I guess I feel like people aren’t obliged to listen furthermore be interested.

11. I like listening to people. I’m not really the type to “just make conversation” so when I ask you if you would do something or about what you want to do in the future or what you learnt today, it’s because I’m actually interested.

12. I’m not really a phone person.

13. I enjoy my own company. I like being alone at times but there are also times when I hate it.

14. One day I hope to repeat Kirk Franklin’s words “ My entire life is a miracle.” One point of reference he made was that “I have a large choir but I’m not a singer. All I do is talk.”

15. I believe in happiness; but I also believe it comes and goes rather easily. Joy and peace however, can withstand storms.

16. I enjoy admiring nature. It’s definitely a source of peace for me.

17. I’m pretty reserved.

18. My mission is to love like Christ did. And though I won’t always succeed, I won’t ever stop trying. I love you.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seek ye first

If God is not enough, what can possibly be?

What can truly be more satisfying than the Creator and the Saviour himself?
What can soothe the soul that always yearns for more?
If not Love himself,
then who?
If not Hope itself,
then what?

Is there something else in life worth seeking after 100%?
The things which I chase after last, but only for a while.
All that my hands reach for and all that my eyes envy will fail at some point.
But Him?
He never dies. His love never fades and His glory always shines.
Oh when will we realise that the joys of this life can be deceiving?!
Its alluring nature must never find us thinking that we can't find something sweeter than the taste of earthly pleasures.

-Seek ye first the Kingdom of God -

Mmmm. That's it! That is indeed God's desire for me.
"Seek me first", He whispers " and all that is mine; all that is good, will be yours."

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God - for it is the foundation on which immortal pleasures are built.