Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrew 11:1
Just imagine yourself unable to move your own weight around….just for a moment. Then again, imagine a little change in your situation because you have something to help support your weight…that’s right; crutches. For someone in need, crutches can seem like a god-send.You see for a long while, I tried to convince myself that what I had was better than not having at all. In the past 2 years, my faith had been tested and stretched to the limit. My faith had been shaken and turned inside out…in a sense…my faith had been exposed.
And because of this…my faith was sure….but it lacked the certainty of the unseen. My hope was still intact…but my vision was distorted. As I began to seek the Lord about my faith’s condition, He didn’t seem to be in a hurry to answer…. not until recently. His answer came in as a shock to my system: “YOUR FAITH IS ON CRUTCHES.”
In otherwise, the Lord didn’t come to offer me good wishes and hope for a speedy recovery something that I had been seeking from Him all throughout my shakings. No…instead He was offering me more:FAITH WITHOUT CRUTCHES…a NOW faith. Just like Jesus had asked the man who had been an invalid for 38 years… He is asking you and I today. “Do you want to get well?” And I suspect your answer as a good as mine. Yes, Lord!
Your faith need not be on crutches. He is saying to you and I today;
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was RAHAB, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was RUTH, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David. Matthew 1:5-6
The Gospel of Matthew begins the life of Jesus with his geneology. It introduces Jesus backwards by way of showing us his lineage. And while some women are mentioned along with their husbands in his geneology, two of them particularly stands out. RAHAB and RUTH. They are part of Our Lord’s earthly lineage not by accident, but AGAINST THE ODDS.
You see, both of them were foreigners; one a prostitute and the other, a widow. In the natural, where they were in life seemed prove enough of the future they were likely to face. Rahab must have already given up hope of ever finding a man who could love her for who she really was. She knew that she was no husband material. Ruth on the other hand, had clung to her mother-in-law, Naomi out of a deep loyalty as a way of honoring what she had with her son. No, another marriage was nowhere near her mind.
But AGAINST THE ODDS, the Lord brought opportunity in both their lives which needed a RADICAL OBEDIENCE. And although as foreigners God was as much removed from their everyday reality as can possibly be, when opportunity came knocking they both obeyed without a second thought.
Maybe that you today….God is asking you to do something AGAINST THE ODDS. There are no promises of a grand future….but that might just be what you might miss by not OBEYING. It might be someone in your lineage…they laid the foundation against the odds and now you are reaping the harvest. God wants you and I to look backwards and be thankful for those against the odds moments and He is also calling us to go ahead and do the right thing against the odds to give the future generation something to look back as Our Lord Jesus did and hence move forward with a grateful heart, against the odds.
“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!
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 18:14
A censor according to Oxford dictionary is: person authorizedo to examine letters, books and films etc…, and remove or ban anything regarded as harmful.
We live in a fallen world. It doesn’t take you a day or two before you hear that someone somewhere has just put themselves in the spotlight because of the words of their mouth. Yes….the WORDS OF THEIR MOUTH. Most of what is publicized or receives much public attention is when words are overly used or abused. One wrong sentence or phrase and one’s life is suddenly ruined or permanently damaged.
It is interesting to note that most of us are careless with our words from time to time. And hence, our greatest efforts to be courteous and civil are always being put to the test. For example, after being married for a while, a couple suddenly begins to be careless with their words. Before long, words that were unthinkable get exchanged in the hit of the moment. Teen children begin talking back to their parents etc.
But the Psalmist did not trust in his own ability to always keep his cool. He needed a HEART CENSOR. He needed the Lord to examine his heart and his words. He allowed the Lord’s full access into his heart’s affairs because he understood that when God had access then only good could come out from his mouth. If you and I could allow the HEART CENSOR into our hearts today, we will removed all those little and seemingly harmless ways that can still cause much pain and heartache when not dealt with sooner.
Its my prayer that you and I will allow our hearts to go through the test because at the end…there is always a reward for a censored heart!
The tongue has the power of lifeand death, and those who love it will eat of its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
Psalms 139:23-24 Search me , O God and know my heart: test me and know MY ANXIOUS THOUGHTS. See if there is any offensive way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.
We all experience ANXIOUS THOUGHTS from time to time…if not most of the time. In the world we live in, we have been so accustomed to hearing negative and most often the pessimistic point of view that we have come to accept this as the norm. It is normal to think about the future…and of course plan forward. But of late, the Lord has been reminding me of the simple principle…TODAY HAS ENOUGH TROUBLE OF ITS OWN. Yes…those ANXIOUS THOUGHTS, long hours of sleepless nights will not and cannot change a thing.
As a baby Christian, it was easier to let go of those anxious thought…and trust MY DADDY for today. But as time pass by, as a mature Christian… I take charge of many things and like the foolish Galatians…I start mixing my faith with works. I feel the need to help God with my tomorrow. And hence….THOSE ANXIOUS THOUGHTS. Maybe that’s you. Maybe….like me you need to have BABY THOUGHTS but A MATURE HEART. God wants us to have peace. To rest assured that the sky will always be blue, the water will always be colourless and yes…GOD WILL ALWAYS BE FAITHFUL to meet us in our tomorrow.
John 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hands and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
It is with no doubt the most overly used phrase when referring to a person who needs the convincing before they jump into the boat. Yes…doubting Thomas of course. But this last Easter, I was once again reminded that doubting Thomas needed not be the one who met Jesus in flesh and blood. Countless of times, I have needed the convincing and persuading that HIS SCARS are for real. Like Thomas, I realised that when Jesus had asked him to reach out and TOUCH HIS SCARS…it wasn’t to condemn him or call him unfaithful. But rather He was asking Thomas to believe inspite of…what He had witness a few days earlier.
Maybe thats you…Jesus is asking you to TOUCH HIS SCARS. Jesus is giving you the access to see the evidence of His pain, His passion, His love, His forgiveness and His lovingkindness which He gave willing at the Cross of Calvary. I needed to TOUCH HIS SCARS today. What about you?
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.