Sunday, June 30, 2013

Created in the Image of God

Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. They knew God personally and experienced God's love. They worshiped God and enjoyed God's presence and blessings.

But Satan tempted and deceived them. They rebelled against God by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God banished them from the Garden of Eden. And a flaming sword was placed to guard the tree of life.

Men lived away from God. By their apostasy, men lost the image of God. They are born in a state of alienation and condemnation. They are by nature destitute of spiritual life. To men, God is far away.

Through Christ, the image of God is renewed in men as believers are transformed by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Men worship God and experience His love again...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why All These Trials?

Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. (Job 7:11)

  • The OT Job had the worst days ever.

  • He loved God. But he lost his animals, his servants, and his 10 children in one day! (Job 1:13-19).
  • Job mourned deeply. He asked “Why?” He cried out, “Have I sinned? What have I done to You . . . ? Why have You set me as Your target?” (7:20).
  • Job’s friends accused him of sinning and thought he deserved his difficulties. But God said of his friends: “You have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has” (42:7).
  • God did not give Job the reasons for his suffering. But He listened to him and did not fault him for his questions. God assured him of His control over everything, and Job trusted Him (42:1-6).
  • The Lord may not give us the reasons for our trials. But we can know for sure we are loved by Him (Rom. 8:35-39).
  • God knows our hearts with our pain and joy. He will never leave us nor forsake us, as His Word tells us. We pray that He may hold us close during our trials.
  • God’s love does not keep us from trials, but sees us through them.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Battle is The LORD'S

For the battle is the LORD'S and He will give you into our hands. (1 Samuel 17:47)

  • David fights Goliath with the methods he developed and practiced while caring for his sheep.
  • He killed him with a slingshot.
  • And he killed him with just one stone on his head.
  • David cut Goliath's head off with Goliath's sword.
  • The Philistines fled.
  • The armies of Israel pursued them.
  • And Israel was saved that day by a shepherd boy.
  • David defeated Goliath with the power of God.
  • God helped David kill Goliath and save Israel that day.
  • David became a national hero of Israel.
  • God blessed David and made him successful all his life.
  • The battle is the LORD'S.
  • It was God who gave Goliath into David’s hands.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Some Old Story...On Rubber Slippers

In the olden days, wearing rubber slippers was a luxury.

Not many folks in the countryside and villages could afford them.

Many children were seen walking and running around barefoot. And I was no exception.

Children presented with a pair of rubber slippers (during festive season) would giggle, laugh out loud, smile from ear to ear...

They would then walk slowly and carefully, then leaping and running around faster and faster, and disappeared many miles after that with their relatives, friends and neighbors...

It didn't matter if the slippers were of different sizes!

It didn't matter if they were of different colors!

It didn't matter if they were of different patterns and designs!

It didn't matter if they had a rubber slipper with a leather slipper or a worn-out adult shoe!

They were slippers!

And they were nice to wear!

And they gave comfort to their feet and protected them from thorns, sharp stones and bones, hot soil...

"Oh! How I wish I have a pair of slippers!" Children would cried and screamed and dreamed!

In the modern days...

No many children care to understand the meaningful joy and the true happiness of a pair of simple slippers.

Maybe they will understand someday...

... We really need to be thankful for what we are and what we have...

... Though it may just be a simple slippers.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

All for Jesus

Chenaniah, leader of the Levites, was instructor in charge of the music, because he was skillful. (1 Chronicles 15:22)

  • From the Old Testament, we learn that God appointed people with skill to be involved in temple worship.
  • From construction workers to worship leaders, people were chosen based on their skill.
  • The Lord gave each of us different talents and spiritual gifts to be used for His glory.
  • When we serve with the purpose of glorifying God, and not to lift up ourselves, we don’t need to be concerned with what others think.
  • God gave His very best to us, His Son Jesus, and we honor Him by giving our best to Him.
  • Our Master needs what we have to offer.
  • His work on earth is done through His children.
  • So let us give Him our best, our all.
  • We are at our best when we serve God from our hearts.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Our Daily Worship

So Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

  • It is one thing to worship and praise God at church.
  • It is quite another to move out into the real world and worship Him through daily obedience.
  • Do we confine our worship to church?
  • Or do we continue to worship Him by obeying Him in our daily life, looking for opportunities to serve?
  • Saul was asked by the Lord to do a task.
  • But he used worship (sacrifice) as an excuse for his failure to obey God.
  • God’s response was, “To obey is better than sacrifice”.
  • It is good to be involved in worship at church.
  • But let us also ask God to show us ways to continue to give Him the praise He deserves through our obedience.
  • May our worship of God extend beyond the walls of our church.
  • May we listen to God’s prompting and serve others wherever we can, no matter what day it is.
  • Our worship should not be confined to times and places.
  • It should be the spirit of our lives.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Shepherd My Sheep

The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. (Ecclesiastes 12:11)

  • Some of us have wise spiritual leaders who make positive impacts on our lives.
  • They have made the Word of God come alive.
  • They have trained us in our study of the Bible.
  • They have shepherded us in building vital ministries to help others grow spiritually.
  • Each of these teachers has encouraged us in different ways.
  • King Solomon wisely observed some ways that spiritual leaders can help us grow: “The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd”.
  • Some teachers prod us.
  • Others build solid spiritual structures into our lives.
  • Still others, as caring shepherds, are there to listen to us when we are hurt.
  • The Good Shepherd has given our spiritual leaders a variety of gifts: exhorting, developing, and shepherding.
  • The Good Shepherd desires that we maintain humble hearts and a love for others.
  • What a privilege to be led and used by our Shepherd to encourage others in their walk with Him.
  • May our Lord God give us the wisdom we need to encourage others in their spiritual walk.
  • May He give us His Spirit’s power to do that.
  • May He use the gifts He have given us to help others along on their journey.
  • May our words always reflect the heart of God and His wisdom.