“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew 25:13
I missed the weather forecast yesterday. Hence, I did my washing today only to be confronted by a heavy downpour. I mean….CATS & DOGS! To begin with, I hate tracking the weather forecast. My husband on the other hand is a vivid tracker… which is understandable. Having grown up in Africa myself where the weather is almost always predictable and without the disadvantage of the four seasons in a year, I didn’t quite appreciate the importance of the weatherman till I came to Europe.
Hang on, what I am trying to say here? As a child of God… I have another different kind of weatherman. Is he accurate in his prediction? Is he reliable to the letter? Long before Jesus walked on the face of this earth, God had spoken of him through the ages. His forecast of the coming of His ONE AND ONLY BELOVED SON came true 2000 years ago.
While my heart looks forward to the forecast of his soon return, sometimes I miss out on the signs written all over when my heart becomes preoccupied with my today. Like the 5 foolish virgins, I have enough supply for today, and I lack the wisdom to stock up for the long haul. I constantly miss the forecast.
May the Lord help you and I to keep watch…. because the BRIDEGROOM is surely coming and at an hour we expect him not!
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collect stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven but beat his breast and said, ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner.’ Luke 18:10-13
We are all guilty of it. An assumed sense of INNOCENCE…even before God who in actual fact knows more than we are willing to give or acknowledge. It all started in the Garden of Eden. Adam was so over the moon when God brought him the most beautiful thing he had ever seen – Eve, his wife. For the first time in his existence, he had found someone who truly resembled and complimented him in many ways. His appreciation of her is fully seen in his words:
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.” Genenis 2:23
But its not long after those words are declared do we see a sudden change of heart. Eve is not all she seems to be, Adam tries his best to convince God. Of course, she is quilty and he can only be GUILTY OF INNOCENCE …. “This woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Gen 3:12
Just like Adam, it is so easy to full into that trap of the guilt of innocence. We look at ourselves with a less critical eye but we are quick to judge others and pass on a deadly sentence. We are the first to pick the stone of condemnation … yet in reality we are guilt of a greater sin than the guilt one. As Jesus reminds us in the above parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, it is always safe to stand before God as the GUILTY ONE and find mercy than play safe with the GUILT OF INNOCENCE and find only condemnation.
The last time I checked….and I kept wondering, “GOD, DOES IT MATTER?” All this trusting, believing, pleading and staying at one point. “DOES IT MATTER?” So here I am and the Lord put it out well. Yes, it matters. Oh…it more than matters. I am stretching your spiritual muscles. For too long…you have confined yourself to accomodate what you can handle in your present situation. But I am here…I want you TO STRETCH, I want you TO ENLARGE, I want you to MOVE OUT….yes, because I have plans for you. In case you might wonder who this word is for…It for me….and you, and him, and her, and yes….for most of us.
DARE I SAY MORE…..read ISAIAH 54 for the bigger picture.
Psalm 112:1 Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds GREAT DELIGHT in his commands.
Every man on the face of the earth wants or desires to be successful. And while..its right to desire to be successful, there are only two ways to get there. SUCCESS can either by FEAR-DRIVEN or FAITH-DRIVEN.
FEAR-DRIVEN SUCCESS says:
Blessed is the man who wakes up early and stays up late; the man who has a life insurance; the man who has savings for a rainy day; the man who exercises and eat health; the man who knows the rules of the game etc.
Psalm 127:2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat_ for he grants sleep to those he loves.
But…something goes missing for this man….HIS HEART! No matter how sure or secure he is at his present or perceived future….HIS HEART IS ALWAYS FEARFUL. Why? Because he has no fear of the Lord in his heart.
On the other hand…the man who has the fear of the Lord in his heart walks securely. His present or future is sure…as he walks by faith.
Matthew 14:25-29 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, WALKING ON the lake. When th disciples saw him WALKING ON the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them. “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” ‘Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.” ‘COME,” he said. Then Peter got DOWN OUT of the boat, WALKED ON the water and came towards Jesus.
WALK OUT…means: to leave suddenly without explanation, flounce out, get up and go, storm out; abandon; go on strike etc.
WALK ON...means: move forward, pace up; move your feet along on a solid base etc.
We might be all familiar with the story of Peter walking on the water. But…let us look again from a different perspective. Jesus has just appeared to his disciples in the middle of the night. And oh no…its not what you might want to hear. How I wish…it was in the middle of a good dream to reassure them that he is there for them. But no…it wasn’t. In fact, it was DARK; and yes, it was ALL WATER around; and what more; the WAVES were high and the WIND was against them. Talk about a grim scenario… and you have it right here.
Is Jesus aware of where you are at the moment? My friend…I bet He does!!!
Is Jesus aware of the dangers that surround you at every turn? My friend…I am persuaded He does!!!
Is Jesus indifferent to your journey of life? My friend…I ask you, please read again Matthew 14:25.
…Jesus went out to them….is self-explanatory. Jesus is coming out to you today! Continue reading →
For the last 3 days, I have been EMOTIONAL….yes, I am full of GOOD EMOTIONS. And while I do not know how to express them through this computer screen…one thing is for sure. My EMOTIONS at this point in time can only equal the emotions of these TWO VERY EMOTIONAL WOMEN in the bible. So…I will borrow their words…to express my own emotions as well as theirs!
HANNAH…THE BARREN ONE.
She was married to a wonderful husband but couldn’t bear him children. She was constantly mocked and ridiculed by her co-wife. But finally, God heard her prayer and opened her womb. She became the mother of Samuel…one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament.
1 Samuel 2:1-10 Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heartREJOICESin the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. ‘There is no-one holy like the Lord; there is no-one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. ‘Do not keep talking such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. ‘The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those whose were full hire themselves out for food, but THOSE WHO WERE HUNGRY HUNGER NO MORE. SHE WHO WAS BARREN HAS BORNE SEVEN CHILDREN, but she who has many sons pines away. ‘The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings to the grave and raises up. ‘The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. HE RAISES THE POOR Continue reading →
2 Kings 13:18-19 Then he said, ‘Take the arrows,’ and the king took them. Elisha told him, ‘Strike the ground.’ He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck the ground FIVE OR SIX TIMES; then you would have defeated Aram and COMPLETELY DESTROYED IT. But now you will defeat it only three times.
Everyone who enters into a fight…hopes always to win. But there is always a WINNER and a loser. However, there is another different angle to any kind of fight. Sometimes, you might win by default or sheer luck. Thankfully, as a child of God…who is constantly faced with different kinds of battles…our perspective in a fight is…or ought to be that one of a victor. Yet…in spite of this awesome knowledge, we at times enter into our fight UNARMED and UNPREPARED to endure through to the end. At other times, we have no strength to keep our hands on the WEAPON for too long. That’s what happened to the King of Israel.
Israel was ever fighting different kinds of enemies. Before each battle, according to the instructions, each king was required to inquire from the Lord through the prophet. In the account from 2 Kings 13, we see Jehoash, King of Israel consulting Prophet Elisha before going to fight the Arameans. And this was Elisha’s instruction to him.
2 King 13:15-17 Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put HIS HANDS ON THE KING’S HANDS. ‘Open the east window,’ he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. THE LORD’S ARROW OF VICTORY, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. ‘YOU WILL COMPLETELY destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”Continue reading →
Genesis 28:16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, ‘Surely the LORD IS IN THIS PLACE, and I was not aware of it.”
I just opened my email randomly this morning…and was excited to find a reply email from my blogging friend, Dora from Hong Kong. As I began to read her mail…tears began welling up in my eyes. But one sentence…one sentence in her email….made the tears begin to flow down my cheeks unstoppable. She was praying for me…and my family. She was praying for the very things…I have been praying for privately, and which I wouldn’t have thought of sharing with people outside my inner circle. Then, God took me back to Jacob’s encounter. Yes….GOD IS IN THIS PLACE…and I didn’t know not. It was as if…God was telling me….that He knows my thoughts ten years from now. He knows….what I will think, ask or do….come ten days, weeks or years down the room. GOD IS IN THIS PLACE….not because He comes and goes….God is in the place when I am at the present, God is in the place where I have been in the past, God is in the place where I will be in the future.
The tears are unstoppable, friends. GOD IS IN THIS PLACE…as He was with Jacob, so He is with each and everyone who looks up to Him…and even when we are unaware of it….GOD IS IN THIS PLACE. Continue reading →
Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but WE TRUST in the NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD.
What does SIMPLY CHURCH got to do with anything? You see, church…for you and I may have a whole lot of different meanings. And so does…CHARIOTS AND HORSES. Ask the nobles in the days gone by and you might found out that…CHARIOTS AND HORSES represented in those days…POWER, PROSPERITY & PRESTIGE. In the middle ages, those who owned and rode in HORSE AND CHARIOTS…were usually the CREME of the society, to be regarded with high honour…not because of anything they had done on their part but simply because one was born into aristocracy.
But what does SIMPLY CHURCH got to do with you and me? EVERYTHING...and much more. Church…and I mean church in the only place where you require no qualifications whatsoever to be part of…other than…allowing Jesus to take your lowly place by forgiving your sins and admitting you into AN ETERNAL ARISTOCRACY…in this life and in eternity. Yes…CHARIOTS and HORSES can seem for some like a secure place…of power, prosperity and prestige…but SIMPLY CHURCH…is more secure than all the horses and chariots put together. Why? Because the bible says so: Continue reading →
Isaiah 52:11 Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. But you will not LEAVE IN HASTE, or GO IN FLIGHT; for the GOD OF ISRAEL will be your read guard.
Today, I had planned not to post due to my busy schedule. But as I pressed on doing what I thought was important, the Lord impressed these words upon my heart. YOUR STEPS ARE ORDERED! In other words, I don’t need to be in a hurry to get there…because without Him in the picture, I can and will easily stumble. And of course, when you and I stumble, that means, some unnecessary delays. Continue reading →