Friday, August 17, 2018

Heartbroken

“You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen.” Ezekiel 16:13




How heartbroken must a man feel after this scenario: he rescues an unwanted baby wallowing in its own blood, left to die in a field. Then after taking care of the baby and providing lavishly for all her needs, when she is a beautiful young lady in fine clothes and jewels, she abandons him and becomes a prostitute! That is the lament of God in Ezekiel 16 about how unfaithful Jerusalem was. After He took care of His people, they sacrificed to other gods. “You used my oil and incense to worship alien gods, and the lovely things I gave you, the jewelled ornaments and embroidered cloths, to make their shrines!” 


I believe many of us make God sad when we give more importance to things and people He has gifted us with, rather than the Giver Himself. Yes, it can be idolatry if we lavish most of our time on working, vacations, hobbies, our families, taking care of our beauty, friends, etc. What do we spend most of our time on? Do we give time for God, for praying, reading scripture, serving His people, learning what He values? 


The way we use our time reflects what we value. How much time do we devote to prayer and reading the Bible? Are there more hours devoted to watching TV, surfing the web, concentrating on our iPhone than getting to know what God says? 


“Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) What we spend our money on also indicates what we value in life. It is good to see our life through God’s eyes. Is He happy with where we put our time and money? Or are we like a prostitute, taking His generosity for granted, and using His gifts to worship at altars of alien gods? 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Eyes that Do Not See

“You live in the midst of a rebellious house; they have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear  but do not hear...” Ezekiel 12:2




If the prophet Ezekiel was alive today, perhaps he would be given the same message to declare to us. God was very displeased with the Jews. “You have murdered endlessly, and filled your streets with the dead.” (Eze. 11:6) “The sins of the people of Israel and Judah are very great. The entire land is full of murder; the city is filled with injustice.” (Eze. 9:9) 


God’s holiness never changes. If He was angry with what was happening during Ezekiel’s time, He is angry with the injustice, corruption and rebellion He sees today. God’s laws do not change. Even if Congress enacts a law against gravity, gravity will still rule. So with God’s laws. There are consequences when we go against it. Even if Congress enacts a law changing the definition of marriage, they will go against God’s idea of marriage. There will be far reaching consequences. Broken lives. There are terrible consequences when our leaders do not obey God’s laws. 


We do not want to be part of a people who have eyes but cannot see, and ears that cannot hear. Even in Ezekiel’s time, there was a remnant who listened to God and obeyed. “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all those who weep and sigh because of the sins they see around them,” the Lord said. (Ezekiel 9:4) God saved them and He will save us if we listen to Him and pray. “Even if Noah, Daniel and Job were there, their righteousness would save no one but themselves,” declares the Sovereign Lord in Eze. 14:14. But today we have the new covenant with Him, and we can be robed in Jesus’ righteousness. 


Lord, we hold on to Your promises and ask for new hearts for our people. We pray that a Spirit of repentance and conversion sweep over our land. Restore us O Lord, restore our broken spirits. Let wickedness be banished from our land. Forgive us O Lord of our many sins against You and bring us back into Your favor. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WOUWW: Believe!



On my desk. Starting a new painting. 







“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Like 1:45


Elizabeth, Mary’s older cousin, affirms Mary when the younger woman visits her in Ein Karem. “You are so blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said,” she exclaimed. We too, like Mary, can be so blessed if we believe that the Lord will do as He promised! 


We should “mine” the Bible for what God has said. First we should see the Bible as a treasure that we should dig for like miners dig for gold. Then when we find a promise, we should claim it and say, “This is mine by inheritance as an adopted daughter (or son) of God!” 


That’s how I got my healing for my Deep Vein Thrombosis. I confessed Proverbs 4:20-22, that God’s Word is healing, medicine, to my body. Whatever we need, whatever we are praying for, we can find God’s promise in the Bible for it, and claim it. If we are desperate, we can put the words of God on our mirror, our walls, beside us at work, in the car, as it says in Proverbs 4:21, “Don't lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart..” 


In Deuteronomy 6, God teaches us if we want to be blessed, we should put His Words, His commands in our heart, but not only that. We should teach it to our children, and put it on our door posts and even tie it on our wrists. His promise if we do this is “All will go well with you.” Yes, we must all find a way for God’s promises to be embedded in our hearts and minds! 


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sweet as Honey

“It was covered with...lamentation and wailing and woe!” Ezekiel 2:10




Ezekiel was a prophet and priest who was deported along with other Jewish exiles to Babylon in 497 B.C. When the Jews were disobedient and refused to listen to God, Ezekiel received this Word from the Lord, “Do not join them in being a rebel. Open your mouth and eat what I give you.” Ezekiel saw a hand reaching out to him with a scroll. When he unrolled the scroll, both sides were covered with funeral songs, words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom. He opened his mouth in obedience and found that the scroll was as sweet as honey!!! 


There was a ludicrous story that President Trump chewed and swallowed a sensitive document after talking to his lawyer Michael Cohen. I am sure if that were true, the paper could not have been sweet as honey. How could the scroll Ezekiel swallowed be sweet as honey? 


God’s Words are not easy to take. The Jews were always rebelling and disobedient even after they personally saw miracles and wonders. By nature, we want to do our own thing, follow our own path, and be in control of our own destiny. That’s why God’s Word, His Laws with it’s Dos and Do Nots give us woe and lamentation. We think that obeying God curtails our happiness. I remember listening to Michael Ramsden’s story of conversion. He is one of the very interesting apologists in Ravi Zacharias’ ministry. He grew up enjoying his privileged life very much and he believed that once he became a Christian he would not be happy anymore. That’s what a lot of people believe. Some say they’ll obey God when they’re old already, and get ready for death. 


What most people don’t realize is when we put ourselves in God’s hands and obey Him, our life is more fulfilled, more complete, more joy filled than if we go our own way. Reading God’s Word every day is not only as sweet as honey, it can be super exciting as a treasure hunt as well! 

Monday, August 13, 2018

For Me and For You

“Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for Me and for you.” Matthew 17:27




This story about Jesus and Peter does not appear anywhere else in the Bible, just in Matthew. When Jesus and His disciples reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” Peter quickly answered yes but I have a feeling he did not really know the answer, and just wanted to defend Jesus. The temple tax was collected from Jewish males over 20 years old, for the maintenance of the Temple. This started during the time of Moses when God told him to collect this tax in Exodus 30:13-16. 


When Peter went back to Jesus, Jesus already knew what was in Peter’s mind. He asked, “What is your opinion? From whom do the kings of the earth collect taxes? From their children or other people?” Peter answered, “Other people.” “So,” Jesus concluded, “the king’s children are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open it’s mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.” 


Jesus became man to pay the price for our redemption. Only He can pay the price because He is sinless. He can stand before His Father and pay for our transgressions. Today we, the king’s children, are exempt from paying the price of our sin, eternal damnation, because Jesus paid for us on the cross. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Living Bread

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever...” John 6:51-52




God’s Word is creative and if He says, “Whoever eats this bread will live forever,” we better ask, “What can He mean? How do we eat Him if I want to live forever?” 


If we read it in the original Greek, Jesus uses the word “trogain” which means to GNAW, as a lion would eat the meat off the bones of its prey. “Unless you GNAW me, you will not have life within you.” This was very disgusting to the Jews because they were taught from childhood, from the Law and the Prophets, that they should never eat animal flesh with blood. Many followers left His side at this point. Did Jesus tell them, “Come back! I did not mean what you think! I only meant that you eat me symbolically!”? No! He let them go. 


The Words of Jesus transforms reality. After all He is the Word became flesh for the life of the world. God made light by saying, “Let there be light.” Jesus says, “I am the bread of life... I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” 


Do we hunger for this living bread just as we hunger for food when we are deprived of it? Saint Augustine writes in his Commentary about the 6th chapter of John: “This bread, indeed, requires the hunger of the inner man...The Lord said that He Himself was the Bread that came down from heaven, exhorting us to believe in Him. For to believe in Him is to eat the living Bread. He that believes eats; he is sated invisibly, because invisibly he is born again.” 


Today, as we receive the Holy Eucharist, let us know that we are obeying Jesus’ admonition for us to eat the living Bread, the Word made flesh!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Vision in Time

“Write down the vision...for the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfilment, and will not disappoint...” Habakkuk 2:2-3




I always get excited reading the daily scriptures. Like the prophet Habukkuk and many before and after him, I too ask why God allows evil, why He does not put a stop to extrajudicial killings and corruption and injustice and immoral leaders... The list is long and I know these questions have troubled many and have even caused many to abandon their faith. 


Habakkuk asks: “Why do You gaze on the faithless in silence, while the wicked devour one more just than himself? ....Shall he then keep on brandishing his sword to slay peoples without mercy?”


Then the Lord answered, “Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets...for the vision still has its time, pressed on to fulfilment, and will not disappoint; If it delays wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.”


Clearly God has a purpose and a plan, a grand vision and design. When we read a great novel or admire an artist’s masterpiece, everything makes perfect sense when we see the whole and not just a part of it. The same is true with God’s great work of heART. We do not understand why He permits a massive earthquake in Japan, or a man like Hitler to destroy a major part of humanity. We can be sure God has a greater good in mind for us and His creation. 


In the Book of Job, when Job complained about his lot, God’s response was to take him on a tour of the cosmos, challenging Job from the whirlwind. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Have you ever commanded the morning to appear? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven, turning the dry dust into clumps of mud?” The Lord asked Job many more questions that he and we do not know the answer to. But our God knows all the answers. We do not need the “answers” to our questions or the challenges life gives us, as much as we need God Himself! When we have nothing left but God, God is enough. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Bounty of Blessings

“...whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6




Yesterday my niece got married. She and her fiancé got engaged 5 months ago, and since then have been in a whirlwind of planning. For months we wrapped them and their plans in prayer. August is such a rainy month and we continuously prayed for fine weather for the wedding day. Even if the weather forecast said 98% rain, and even if it had been continuously raining in Nasugbu the past days, yesterday’s weather was perfect. It was cool and the sun was out. All the plans went well, and we all enjoyed the celebration. So many big happy smiles. 




Yes we can sow prayers, and if we sow bountifully, we will also reap bountifully. That’s why we should always wrap our families, friends, our work, our Church, and our country in prayers. We can expect to reap a bounty of blessings. That is what God promises and we should believe it! 


Thursday, August 09, 2018

Upon this Rock

“You are Peter and upon this rock I will build My Church.” Matthew 16:18




What a tempest in a teapot this one verse has provoked. There cannot be two truths, or three, much less hundreds of truths. What is the rock upon which Jesus built His Church? Would it not be best to go back to what the first Christians believed? After all, that truth was what was passed on to them by the apostles and the leaders who came after them. This truth is built on the teachings of the Councils of the Church, the Church Fathers, the Scriptures, and the Apostles—guided by the Holy Spirit.


In 1 Timothy 3:15, Saint Paul writes, “But, if I am delayed, you should know the manner in which it is necessary to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and the foundation of truth.” The CHURCH is the foundation of the truth, before even the Scriptures were written. 


John Chrysostom, an Eastern bishop and 

honored as a saint in many Christian churches, taught that Peter was the universal teacher of the universal Church. “Why did Christ shed His blood? That He might obtain possession of those very sheep, WHICH HE ENTRUSTED TO PETER, AND TO HIS SUCCESSORS.” In this document, “The Priesthood”, Chrysostom recognised the primacy of Peter in the see of Rome and the continued primacy entrusted to Peter’s successors, all of whom were commanded to follow and obey the one shepherd.


In a homily, Chrysostom said that “Peter himself, the chief of the Apostles, the first in the Church, the friend of Christ, who received a revelation not from man, . . . THIS VERY PETER,‑‑AND WHEN I NAME PETER, I NAME THAT UNBROKEN ROCK, THAT FIRM FOUNDATION, the great Apostles, the first of the disciples...”. 


Origen, an early Christian scholar who wrote more than 2,000 treatises on theology and founded the first school for Christian pastors, wrote in one of his commentaries: “Peter, upon whom is built the Church of Christ, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail, left only one Epistle of acknowledged genuinity.” 


There is so much wealth to be found in homilies, and writings of the Church Fathers and the Saints where they proclaim that Peter is the rock and the one to whom was entrusted the government of the Church. 


Father, thank You for guiding Your Church for all time, and for entrusting Your truth to Your Church. 


Wednesday, August 08, 2018

All Things are Possible

“O Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Matthew 15:22




This story in Matthew is difficult to understand. It’s like the Canaanite woman pleading with Jesus deciphered a secret code while she was speaking to Jesus. She was desperate when she approached Him. For one, she was a woman and women just did not approach men in public. But she persisted. Then she was also a Canaanite, and Canaanites and Jews were like oil and water in Jesus’ time. But she persisted. 


It does not matter what Jesus said, even if it seemed as if He was rejecting her petition. She persisted. Even the disciples wanted to send her away as if she was an inconsequential pest. She persisted. What was the code she deciphered?


Surely it was her faith that opened the door! Jesus acknowledged: “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish!” And her daughter was healed. 


In Hebrews 11:6, Saint Paul declares, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God!” In Mark 6:5, we are told that Jesus could do no great miracles because there was such a lack of faith there. But even if we find ourselves lacking faith, we should just persist as the Canaanite woman did. 


We can also resort to praying like the father of the sick child in Mark 9:23-25, when told by Jesus, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Walk on Water

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31



Today’s reading is the fascinating story of Peter getting out of the boat to walk on water while strong winds prevailed. He was the only one foolhardy enough to shout as Jesus walked on water, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” None of the other disciples dared. I would like to think that if I was there, and Peter was able to walk on water at first, I would have foolishly tried as well! 

Peter showed great faith as he stepped out of the boat. But as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on how strong the winds were, he began to sink, and he shouted, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him. “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” He asked. 

Many times we feel tossed about by circumstances. Perhaps we or someone we love is facing a health challenge too difficult to bear. It may be a financial burden. Or we may be anxious about the future for ourselves, or for our children because our country is spiralling into some serious moral, spiritual, cultural and financial decline. Whatever it is, we can take comfort in Jesus’ words to the disciples in the storm tossed boat, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 

What is God’s goal, His will for us? Is it not that all of us reach heaven? That all of us become saints? This world, with all its challenges, trials and hardships, is a big Saint-making machine! Sometimes we do not understand what He allows in our life, but we can always shout, “Lord, save me!” Those who cry out will always see His hand reaching out. The storm may not abate, and the wild water may continue to churn at our feet, but if we focus on the Lord, we can be certain God will walk with us. 

Monday, August 06, 2018

Listen to Him!

“We possess the message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as a lamp shining in a dark place....” 2 Peter 1:19




Today we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration. I grew up reading about what happened in the high mountain when Jesus was transfigured, His clothes becoming dazzlingly white, and Elijah and Moses appeared. I have to imagine myself with Peter and James and John before I realize how amazing and awesome this was. We would all have been terrified, maybe we would be frozen in place, or clinging to each other. Nothing would have prepared us for what would happen next. A cloud cast a shadow over us, and a voice came straight from heaven: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.” 


Many years later, in 66 A.D., before he died, Peter wrote about his experience. “We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with Him on the holy mountain. Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote...” 


We see that Peter followed Christ valiantly until he himself was crucified upside down in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. With the testimony of Peter and other saints, we have no other recourse but to believe that the Creator of the universe sent His beloved Son, Jesus, to give us a message and that we should listen to that message. “LISTEN TO HIM!” 

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Super Bread

“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger...” John 6:35




True stories abound of very rich people, celebrities even, who earned hundreds of millions of dollars, and ended up scrounging in garbage bins and living out of cardboard boxes or cars. There are also people who won millions in the lotto, who thought all their problems were solved but who became even more enmeshed in more problems and disasters. No matter how rich or privileged a person is, he can never guarantee that he will never go hungry. 


There is only one Person who can give us that guarantee that we will never go hungry if we stay by His side. Jesus. He said, “Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life , which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him, the Father, God, has set His seal.” 


During Biblical times, seals were often made of wax, embedded with the personal imprint of the one who makes the guarantee of authenticity. Here Jesus assures us that it is God the Father Himself who guarantees Jesus as the Bread of Life. Whoever depends on Him, who accepts Him as Lord, will never hunger. 


When we pray the Lord’s prayer from Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11:3, we say, “Give us this day our DAILY bread”. But most Christian scholars today reject this translation of word “epiousios” in the original Greek New Testament. These scholars as well as Saint Jerome back in AD 382, translate it as “supersubstantial”. Jesus instructed us to ask for supersubstantial bread. That is why we will never hunger, never perish, never die. 


Like the apostles let us pray, “Jesus, give us this bread always! You are the bread of life. I believe in You! 

Friday, August 03, 2018

Seed of Faith

“He did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.” Matthew 13:58




Can you imagine how much Jesus’ neighbours in Nazareth missed out on? Jesus did not heal many people, He did not multiply bread, did not change water into wine, all because they lacked faith! How much do we miss out on because we do not step out in faith? 


All of us are given a little bit of faith, even smaller than a mustard seed. We have to plant it in fertile soil, water it, nurture it, grow it. How? God gives us many ways to grow our faith. Prayer, reading and understanding His Word, listening to people of faith, and using it. Most of all, going out on a limb and using it. 


In the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, a Master gives his servants money and he tells them to invest it for him while he was gone. Two of his servants were able to double the money, but one just hid it in a hole in the ground. The Master commended the two servants and gave them more. What did he do with the servant who hid the money? The Master took it away. 


God our Father gave us many wonderful and amazing gifts. One of them is faith. We should be driven and motivated to find out how to grow and use this marvelous and awesome gift! 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Clay in the Hands of God

“Like the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand.” Jeremiah 18:6




Anyone who has tried to work with clay will know that the quality, the workability of the clay determines much of what the potter can make out of it. At the start, the clay just looks like mud with a lot of stones and twigs and leaves in it as it is dug out of a river bank or even a construction site. The potter can’t use it until he removes all the alien matter by using a sieve or processing it by hand. Can you imagine how painful that would be if we were the clay? 


After the clay is prepared, the potter puts it on a potter’s wheel and turns it round and round much like we experience the trials and challenges of life again and again! Unlike clay, we can choose to be malleable in God’s hands and cooperate with what He wants to do. Sometimes God uses a low temperature to fire us up. But if He uses a higher temperature, we should know that He wants to make us useful for His own purposes. Clay of good quality like kaolin or porcelain need higher temperatures and are fired repeatedly but they can be made into plates, and cups and vases and they can be decorated with glaze. 


None of the pain we experience at the hands of the Master Potter is ever wasted. The longer He works in us, that means He is working to remove all that does not please Him in our character, the more He is making us useful and beautiful in His sight. 


Thank You Lord, that I am in Your hands! The best place in the world for me! We need only to trust in You! 

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Pearl of Great Price!

Here is something I drew for a journal my son is designing. It did not get approved! Need to do it over! 




“When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” 

Matthew 13:46




The two most expensive pearls in the whole world were found off the island of Palawan here in the Philippines. One, the “Pearl of Allah” is valued at $35 million and was found in 1934. A more recent find, little more than 10 years ago, is yet to be named. A fisherman found it inside a giant clam. It is huge, more than 2 feet long, and 1 foot wide and weighs 75 pounds! The fisherman hid it under his bed, his house burned down, and the pearl survived. The pearl is valued at an amazing 100 million dollars! 


Even if I sold all I had, I could not buy that pearl! And what in the world would I do with it? I cannot think of anything that I would sell everything I have, in order to possess! 


Jesus gave all He had, even His very life for something He considered His pearl of great price. Mankind. Are we worth it? He must have seen beyond the surface because when I look around me, when I read the news, and the comments on Facebook, it seems like people are getting worse every day! 


I remember going to a pearl farm in Hanoi a couple of years ago. The guide showed us these ugly, mud encrusted shells. We had to dig into all that muck to find the pearl. I know Jesus sees the pearl in us, encased in sin and the mud of our own selfishness. He was willing to give up His glory, His power, to be crucified by the very men He came to save, just so He could ransom us from our hopeless state. We too should try to see our brothers and sisters as pearls of great price. How do we bring ourselves and those we come into contact out of the muck? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. 


Thank You Lord! I cannot imagine what You went through for us! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Thrown into the Furnace

“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” Matthew 13:36




This parable can be hard to hear because Jesus speaks of the reality of hell, a fiery furnace where evil doers will wail and grind their teeth. Most of us of course believe that at the end of the age, the angels won’t gather us up like weeds and throw us into the fiery furnace to be burned. Jesus says that the angels will collect “all who cause others to sin and all evil doers”. 




I have no doubt that each and everyone of us have sinned and caused others to sin. Have we made anybody angry at us? Anger to Jesus is the same as murder. In Matthew 5:21-22, He said, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”




Our God is holy. And to someone who is holy, any spot of sin, big or small, is a spot of sin. Is there hope for us then? I believe that is why Jesus, the Son of Man, waits for the harvest at the end of the age, to separate the weeds from the wheat. He gives us all a chance to learn of Him and His ways. He gives us all the white robe of righteousness when we open the door and let Him into our heart and allow Him to change us.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Rotted

“They shall become like this loin cloth- good for nothing.” Jeremiah 13:10




This passage of scripture can either be absurd, dramatic or a poignant show of God’s love and frustration with His people. God instructed the prophet Jeremiah to buy a loin cloth or linen belt and put it around his waist. After wearing it, Jeremiah was to hide it in a hole in the rocks near the Euphrates river. Then when a long time passed, God told Jeremiah to go and retrieve the cloth. Of course it was rotted with mildew. It was useless! 


Then God explained, “This is how I will allow the pride of Judah and Jerusalem to rot. These wicked people refuse to obey My Words. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship other gods. Therefore, they will become like this linen belt- good for nothing! As a belt clings to a person’s waist, so I created my people to cling to me. They were to be my pride, my glory, an honor to My Name. But they would not listen to Me.”  




I am praying that it’s not too late for our nation. I feel sure that God wanted us to be His special people, to be His pride, His glory, His honor. Are we like the loin cloth, useless and fit to be thrown away? Let us make sure that we ourselves are not dirty loin cloths. Let us cling to Him, read His Word everyday, and obey it. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Give, Give, Give

“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them...” John 6:11




In our world today I marvel at how some people are not satisfied with all the wealth and power they have amassed. They want more, more, more. We need to learn from this and see that in God’s Kingdom it is the ones who have learned to give, give, give who are blessed and are able to bless  others. 


In the parable of the multiplication of the loaves, Philip cannot see how the multitude can be fed. All it took was one little boy who offered what was in his hands. He did not shy away and think, “My five barley loaves and two fishes won’t help. I will not volunteer.” Little did anyone think that Jesus would take the loaves, bless it and distribute it and it would be more than enough! How many times have I not given because what I had was a pittance compared to the vast sea of need I saw around me? During disasters like floods and earthquakes, how many times did I look on in helplessness? Did I not have five barley loaves and two fishes? 


I am just like the people who want more, more, more, if I cannot give, give, give. God provides more than enough for us to share. Let us be His partners in blessing the world! 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

God Sees

“I too see what is being done.” Jeremiah 7:11




The prophet Jeremiah lived during the crisis days when Judah existed as a nation. The main message during those last 40 years was: God is disciplining you for your wrongdoing. Repent and return to the Lord Your God. Only God can save you. The capital, Jerusalem, was eventually destroyed and it’s elite taken to Babylon. It is a timeless reminder to the world that when a nation rejects God, the inevitable outcome is ruin. 


Jeremiah warned the people in chapter 7: “Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place...Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, will I remain with you in this place...” 


God saw what was happening then. He sees what is happening now. Let us take the message of Jeremiah the prophet seriously. Let us continue to search for ways to turn to the Lord, and convince others to do the same.