Archive | March 2010

FEARLESS COURAGE

Acts 4:13 When they saw THE COURAGE of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and TOOK NOTE that these men HAD BEEN WITH JESUS.

Something is in my heart today and I don’t know how to put it in words. But I will try. Let’s put some meat into the skeleton. Here is Peter and John, the disciples of Jesus going to the temple for prayers. Before they enter, they meet a crippled beggar who asks them for alms. And no…they HAVE NO silver nor gold. But, they offer to give him what THEY HAVE….JESUS. Moments later, the man stands up…HEALED. The crowd is ecstatic with astonishment. But Peter quickly redirects their attention to the ONE who has power to heal – JESUS

After talking to the crowd, Peter and John proceed into the temple, where they farther speak to the people about the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees become alarmed and seized Peter and John. After a night in the jail, the following day, they are brought before the SANHEDRIN…that is…before a council of judges for questioning. And right there and then, in the most difficult situation Continue reading

A LOVE HUNT

Luke 15:8-9 ‘Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and SEARCH carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’

HUNT…can be define as: SEARCH, forage, go in quest of, look high and low, try to find, investigate etc.

By nature, we are all LOVE HUNTERS. That’s how God created us…to function in and within our community. Our love quests range from the love of parents, siblings, friends and neighbors; the quest for excellence in our studies, careers, hobbies, religion or God etc. Our hunting or search can arise in two forms. Either, we are hunting for something we had but lost or something new which we are aiming. But no matter which form, there is always a sense of deep satisfaction when one finds what they are in pursuit of. And of course, in the same way…we read about the Parable of the lost coin. Here we see a woman who had ten coins but loses one of them. Instead of being content with the nine remaining…she gets out of her way to go searching for the one which is missing.

Yeah…you might wonder. What does that have to do with me? But as I said…we are LOVE HUNTERS. So…I think this has to do with you. This is what the woman did. She lit her lamp, swept the house and searched carefully. Continue reading

GIVE ME YOUR LUNCH

John 6:7-9 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd of people coming towards him, he said to Phillip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked only this to TEST HIM, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Phillip answered him, ‘Eight months’ of wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with FIVE SMALL BARLEY LOAVES AND TWO SMALL FISH, but how far will they go among so many?”

And so here is the question. HOW MUCH IS IN YOUR LUNCH BOX? Or rather, a different way…WHAT IS THE WORTH OF YOUR LUNCH?

We all know about the feeding of the five thousands…and yes, we can all agree…It is one of Jesus’ greatest miracles. And yet…beyond the feeding, there is a great lesson hidden between the lines. A few days ago, I told my husband what the Lord had put in my heart. He said to me, “I DO NOT DEAL WITH CURRENCIES, BUT I DEAL WITH FIGURES.” And then this morning, He brought this miracle of the five loaves and two fish to mind.

Note the conversation between Jesus and Phillip, his disciple. Jesus wants to feed the crowds…so he turns to him and asks a simple question; WHERE can we buy bread… And Phillip quickly answers him with a well-calculated answer...EIGHT MONTHS’ WAGE IS NOT ENOUGH… Stop and re-read Jesus’ question and Phillip’s answer. Continue reading

A BREAKOUT AND A BREAKTHROUGH

Judges 1:1-2 After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, ‘Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?” The Lord answered, “JUDAH IS TO GO; I HAVE GIVEN THE LAND INTO THEIR HANDS.”

Today, for the first time I seem to be lost for words. Why? Because I wake up this morning with a JOY, AN UNSPEAKABLE JOY….yes, a joy which I cannot put in words, a joy that has refused to be contained, a joy that I have to quickly and urgently share with someone out there. GOD is about to BREAKTHROUGH for me…HE is about to BREAKTHROUGH for you. But He spoke into my heart these words: JUDAH HAS TO GO FIRST.

JUDAH means PRAISE….So I am here to let you know, that I am going first. I am offering Him…my greatest, deepest, loudest praise of all times. For those of you who have been waiting…HE IS SAYING…before YOUR BREAKTHROUGH, let me hear A BREAKOUT of praise. He is waiting for you and me.

I leave you with these scriptures verses as join me in the BREAKOUT OF PRAISE. Continue reading

HAS GOD FAILED AT ADVERTISING?

Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed OUR MESSAGE and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

ADVERTISE means to present or praise (goods, services etc) to the public especially in order to encourage sales; to make publicly known. In simpler terms ADVERTISING means sending out a MESSAGE publicly. Hence the above scripture can also read this way:

Who has believed OUR ADVERT and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed.

We all have to agree that in our modern society, ADVERTS have become a part of us almost as natural as the air we breathe. In every corner you turn, there is a form of MESSAGE which is aimed at you. And while advertising is not evil or bad in itself, its the seductive way the message is conveyed that is really the problem. You see, most adverts are directed towards your sensual appetite. What you see, touch, feel, taste and hear.

But why do people advertise in the first place? There are three main reasons;to introduce something new, to stand out as the best among rivals or to be seen as authentic. So did God score well on these three? Oh, if you didn’t know ISAIAH 53 is the grand way God first introduced HIS SON, JESUS to the world. But wait a minute? Why would God, the Creator choose to introduce HIS ONE AND ONLY BELOVED in such a crude, unedited form? If you read Isaiah 53 this in what you will come across;

– He is lacking in BEAUTY OR MAJESTY… nothing we are uncomfortable with.
– He is lacking in APPEARANCE…and of course, he doesn’t fit in our celebrity world.
– He is BEATEN UP and DESPISED..we have no time for the downtrodden in life.
– He is SICKLY and MOURNFUL…we prefer stadiums and theaters than hospital corridors or elderly homes.
– He is UNMANLY and QUIET…we like rebels and advocates of whatever rights.
– He is DEAD and GONE…we go on with our business as if nothing happened.

But I have news for you, what might have seemed like the most UNWISE, NONSTRATEGIC ADVERT of all times became the MOST EFFECTIVE of them all. Because unlike the message of the world, God does not appeal to us through our sensuality,that is (indulgence) but rather through sensitivity, that is (common sense). What you see, hear or read is not necessary what you need, but rather to look closely again at God’s ONE TIME advert. If I am not wrong…You will see yourself…the self you don’t like, the self you are not comfortable with, the self who has known nothing but rejection, the self that is lost in spite of all knowledge. And the most painful truth, the self that is DEAD while still living.

GOD’S ADVERT OF HIS SON...is actually YOU AND ME. He who did not know sin became sin for you and me. So next time, you see an advert what is offering you something better, remember there is ONE who did a good job, once and for all…and then HE CEASED ADVERTISING.

Jesus is THE ONE AND ONLY SON OF GOD; He has NO RIVALS; He is AUTHENTIC. Believe in HIS MESSAGE and live!!!!

WHEN SEEING IS BELIEVING

Matthew 24:2 “DO YOU SEE ALL THESE THINGS?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

From time to time, God causes things to happen in the physical to reaffirm and reassure OUR FAITH. Hence, the topic of today…WHEN SEEING IS BELIEVING.

The above words are Jesus’ spoken to his disciples almost at the end of His earthly ministry. His disciples had drawn his attention to the temple building. And Jesus quickly asked and answered his own question. ” DO YOU SEE….In other words, when you see…you will believe. Shortly after, the disciples went to Him at the Mount of Olives to inquire further into the details…Yes, they needed to know what awaited them in the physical, prior to His return and the End of the Age. Jesus’ answer may have surprised them. Why? Because, the signs which he related to them meant they had to be SEEN with the physical human eyes for one to understand. And here are some of them; Continue reading

HURTING FOR OTHERS

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

EMPATHY…is the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings. In other words, HURTING FOR OTHERS is empathy. So here we go.

I have heard more times than I could care to count that John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the entire bible. But you see, in the effort to rationalize this verse, the most important lesson can easily be missed: When Jesus wept means more than just tears of sympathy. HIS TEARS SAYS, YOUR PAIN IS MY PAIN. But let’s get the basis of this story.

They are a family of THREE SINGLE ADULTS; the two sisters, Mary and Martha and Lazarus, their brother. They are known to Jesus personally. And yes, Lazarus who is loved by Jesus is lying down in his sickbed. Word is sent out to Jesus that his friend needs him. Instead of going there in time to touch and heal him, he delays on purpose. Oh yes, he was very much aware that Lazarus could soon be dead. Yet when he finally got there, with Lazarus already in the tomb, he wept. For a long time, I was puzzled by this scenario. Why? Continue reading

WHAT MAKES YOU ZEALOUS?

Matthew 21:12-13 Jesus entered the temple area and drove all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the MONEY-CHANGERS and the benches of those SELLING DOVES. ‘It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’ “

ZEAL means fervent or enthusiastic devotion, often extreme or fanatical in nature, as to a religious movement, a political cause, ideal or aspiration.

ZEALOUS means filled with or inspired by intense enthusiasm or zeal; ardent or fervent.

From the above description…I believe everyone has some kind of zeal about something. But for you as a man, WHAT MAKES YOU ZEALOUS? Let’s look from the example of Jesus from today’s scripture. Jesus had just entered Jerusalem in triumph. In fact, the whole city of Jerusalem was STIRRED. In a sense, from outside, the people were zealous for Him. But moment later, Jesus entered the temple area. But no, you will notice he did not receive the same kind of enthusiastic welcome like he did outside.

But wait a minute. Why would the CROWDS outside…on the streets welcome him in triumph and on the same note, those inside the temple show him a cold shoulder? Does it surprise you? Yes, the question still comes across to you. WHAT MAKES YOU ZEALOUS? You might be shocked if I tell you that those in the temple is YOU AND ME. Oh yes….you, the Christian.

You see, those who are outside represent the people who Continue reading

EXTRAVAGANT GRACE

Luke 7:37-38 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with HER TEARS. Then she wiped them with HER HAIR, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

EXTRAVAGANT is defined in my Collins dictionary as: spending money excessively or immodestly; GOING BEYOND USUAL BOUNDS; UNRESTRAINED; Ostentatious or showy; EXORBITANT IN PRICE; overpriced.

Before I start, I wish to pass my well wishes to all my fellow women readers as the world celebrates the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY today. To all of you out there...YOU ARE LOVED AND PRECIOUS IN HIS EYES.

And with that note, let’s have a look at the story of a woman in Jesus’ earthly life. Its most probable that you have heard or read, or been preached to, the story of the WOMAN WITH AN ALABASTER BOX OF PERFUME. But until yesterday, I had never seen this side of the story before. So here in the UGLY TRUTH.

The woman in the story is a PROSTITUTE. That means…she earned her living by selling her body in exchange for money. Hence, it is most likely that her ALABASTER JAR OF PERFUME was bought with money from her immoral trade. But wait a minute. Why in the world would Jesus accept to be anointed by her knowing how she had obtained the jar of perfume? But here is the WHOLESOME TRUTH. Continue reading

DANGEROUS VENTURES

Psalm 107:23-30 OTHERS went out on the SEA IN SHIPS; they were merchants on the mighty waters, They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a TEMPEST that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in the peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at THEIR WITS’ END. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. THEY WERE GLAD WHEN IT GREW CALM AND HE GUIDED THEM INTO THEIR DESIRED HAVEN.

We all go through times and phases in our lives when we have to VENTURE into something in order to accomplish or reach a DESIRED END. And while this is true in every area of our lives, there are ventures whereby before we set out to accomplish, we need to carefully sit down and calculated the risks against the gains and weigh out the scales appropriately. That’s what all business people do. But, I am not talking about business…but rather about life – YOUR LIFE!

How often do you sit down and calculate before you set out to reach your desired end? Some of us do, but for most, we set out with our Continue reading