“11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord” Psalm 34:11
The author of Psalm 34 makes this invitation: Come and listen! What does he want us to listen? Listen to the commandment of the LORD, so that we will gain reverence and receive wisdom (Proverbs 1:7)
We all know to listen is very difficult. Because we want to speak, we want to argue or we want to make statement before the others. That is the desire to prove ourselves through speaking and to make our presence known. Instead if we listen to the Word of God, we pay full attention to Him. It is a way to humble and to move our focus from ourselves to Him.
When we listen, we create a space to allow His presence come into our hearts. We welcome the true “Wisdom” which is Christ Himself. Every time when we receive Him into our beings, we sense the sweetness of peace. That moment of rest is very important. It will subsequently give us power and courage to move on in our spiritual journey.
9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Continue from the devotional last week. I have an insight this week that we need to press on, in particular in doing God’s work. We need to be firm and persistent in doing good work, even when we experience set back and failure. It is especially true on our building project. I know it is taking a very long time (but praise the LORD for the encouragement from Pastor Dave).
It is also true to mission and evangelism work. It is so often we give up too early and too easily. We need to keep on praying and wait on God’s timing and His guidance. He will prepare the people to listen and give us the word to say. The Bible uses planting as an example. After we plant the seed, we may not see anything immediately, but if we continue the hard work, we will eventually see the sprout, the flower and the fruit.
May the LORD encourage us. May He sustain the work of our hands that we can see the result of our effort in Christ.
It is almost the end of 2017, time really goes fast. What is 2017 for you? It has been a tough year, many frustration (especially in the first half of the year), many disappointment and still many resolved issues.
However, Praise the LORD, the Bible says,
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I praise the LORD when I went out to walk in the morning. He reminded me His love is new every morning. We have hope in the LORD. No matter what kind of situation, we can move forward by His love.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
He likes to give us surprise. When we are open to Him, we will receive something unimaginable, strength and joy that can carry out in any situation. We will have more so that we can bless the others.
Only a few days left for 2017, I will spend a few days meditate on what the LORD has been teaching me and wait on the LORD for the strength and wisdom in the coming year. I have a sense that we will be doing some great for his kingdom in 2018. Let us come and pray and prepare ourselves for the great thing to come!
In the ancient time when there was no GPS, star is for navigation. It shows direction especially to the traveler. The familiar example we have is from the Gospel of Matthew: the Bible tells us the magi from the east followed the star to look for the newborn king. “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2
The star pointed to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed” Matthew 2:10. Jesus says, “I m the bring morning star”. Revelation 22:16 Following Jesus Christ, we will have the sense of direction and we can find eternal life in our journey in this world
The Bible also tells us believers, like Jesus Christ are stars to give direction to the unbelievers, so that they can find Jesus. In the Old Testament:
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3
In the New Testament
“15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” Philippians 2:15
We are approaching Christmas, let us be conscious about our deeds, because we are like the star in the Gospel of Matthew, shine among people to lead them to Christ.
“17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” Luke 8:17
Recently we found out so many cases of sexual misconduct. It is so shocking to know certain popular politicians, news anchors and celebrity are involved. There is something common; these are all “powerful and popular people”. They used their power, money and fame to exploit and take advantage of the others. And these are not isolated issues; they are repeated crime, not just one instance; but multiple instances and multiple victims. Perhaps these people thought it would never be disclosed and they would escape the consequence. But no, as the scripture says, “Nothing hidden that will not be disclosed”, you cannot hide sin.
God is just and He will punish. No one can escape and no one can hide. I am confident that God will maintain justice, judgement will come (big one or small one). On the other hand, God provides a way of salvation for us: Jesus Christ died for us and He saves and redeems us from sin. Now if a person does not confess and repent his/her sin, it will have a consequence and it will be a devastating one. The gravity of sin is huge. No matter how powerful, how popular that person is, sin will destroy that person. “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door” Genesis 4:7
Therefore, listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Constantly examine ourselves. Be humble and come to the LORD to confess. Put into action to repent. Make a U-turn when it is still possible.
November 30, 2017
Acts 4 continues the account of the crippled man being healed. Apostle Peter filled with the Holy Spirit and said to the rulers and the elders, “It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, that this man is healed” (Acts 4:10)
Sickness is something we do not plan, it just comes. Recently, we got news about one of our friends got cancer, the other with a minor stoke. A few is still recovering from surgery. Like many, I have been experience spring allergy these two weeks. Although it is nothing comparing to the situation of our friends, it is uncomfortable enough that disturb my work.
On one hand, we understand that in this world, we will suffer from sickness and we can only wait until the LORD comes back. On the other hand, we believe the LORD is our healer. He has power to heal. To receive healing from God, we need to be surrender to Christ. Admit our weakness and confess that our whole person (our body) belongs to Christ. Trust in His power and wisdom instead of our own. In His mercy, we will be healed.
Dear LORD Jesus, you are our only healer. Help us to surrender to you completely and we will receive healing. Restore us and raise us! We will rejoice and praise you.
March 31, 2016