Go back

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In Genesis 13: 3-4, we read: “And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord.(ESV emphasis added)

In Genesis 12, the last portion was Abram ended up committing sin by lying to Pharaoh, and ended up leaving Egypt. We can find there that before he went to Egypt, he didn’t inquire of the Lord. There are times that we make bad decisions because we did not pray about it, but it was God’s grace that always shows us the way out.

When you lose your way, just go back. I learned it as a new driver. Everytime I have gone through a non-familiar road, and I know I’m about to get lost, I just go back. Why? Because I know, when I go back, I can get back to the right track. Same with our spiritual life. Whenever we fail to inquire of God or surrender to God a certain area of our lives, or even feel like we are far from God, just GO BACK. Back to the Cross where love and justice met. Where you encounter Jesus the first time. Just like Abram, call upon the name of the Lord.

Your turn:
Are you lost? Don’t know what to do next? Spiritually dry? Just go back to the altar. Remember Jesus, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. He is just waiting for you on your meeting place – The Cross and no other. 

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Principles for a Happy and Prosperous Year

Principles for a Happy and Prosperous Year
We often hear the word “Happy” or “Blessed” whenever we encounter new years but have we considered what is the gravity of these words that we just often used as a greeting?
In Matthew 5:3-12, we read:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit:for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn:for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek:for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness:for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful:for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart:for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers:for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness ‘sake:for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:for great is your reward in heaven:for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you”
In Good News Translation, we can see that the word “Blessed” is translated as “Happy” so we could say that whenever we say “Happy New Year”  that is tantamount to, “Blessed New Year.” Oftentimes biblical principles are always contradicting to the world’s point of view.
So how do we experience a “Blessed New Year” then?
I. Holiness Brings Happiness
Some people may say that being holy is boring. Yes, it may appear that way but if we carefully study biblical principles, we could see that what God is teaching us is totally contrasting to the world’s principles. As we study the Beatitudes we learned that Jesus taught about the different contrasts about how should we live our lives as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “Blessed” was frequently used to represent kingdom principles taught by Jesus Christ which are totally opposite on worldly principles. Some of the contrasts are the use of the words, poor in Spirit, Mourn, Meek, those who hunger and thirst or even blessed are those who are persecuted. These words may denote a negative impression because it may sound weak, or those who are oppressed yet on the contrary, Jesus used these words to point those people who are called Blessed.
 
II. Generosity Brings Prosperity
One of the most contrasting biblical principle is “give and it shall be given.” We know that when we give, we lose something, but in heavenly principle, the Bible clearly teaches us that the more we give, the more we will be blessed. One key principle is what we call “tithing” or giving a tenth of what we acquire or possess to the Lord. People say that tithing is just part of the Old Testament Law, but if we carefully study the Scriptures, we will learn more about it. Before we say that it is indeed part of the Law of Moses, let us study the preceding story. In Genesis 14:20b, we read “And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”  This was the story of King Melchizedek (that represents the High Priest – which is Christ) and Abram. Abram gave a tenth of all that he acquired just to give reverence and honor to the High Priest. It is a matter of values. Another example of which was Jacob.
In Genesis 28:20-22, we read: “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you”
We could say that the book of Genesis gave an example already about tithing and how God blessed these two man who committed giving their tithes to the Lord even before Moses and The Law. They give their tithes because they “Love GOD” and acknowledges that everything that they have comes from God. Abram took possession of a lot of things beyond what his eyes could see. He was even given the title “Father of faith” because of his commitment and love for God. Same with Jacob. He became prosperous within a short span of time because God blessed him through his generous heart.
These two have set an example before us because they have exemplified their love for God and commitment to it. I know a lot of believers can tell their testimonies about how God prospered them just like how God prospered Abram and Jacob. Maybe God is just waiting for you to do the same so that He can bless you even more. Also to keep in mind that when “God increases your standard of LIVING, you should increase your standard of GIVING.”
 
YOUR TURN:
Just a simple rule of thumb: Look at your hands.
two hands
Always remember that our palms facing upward means that our hands are open for God – our lives surrendered to Him. If we just learn how to “open” our life to God, we will also be able to receive everything that He will pour out. The key on how to be happy and prosperous on this year 2015 is in our hands. Happiness and Prosperity is in God’s hands but Holiness and Generosity is in our hands. Our hand represents HOLINESS, and the other one represent GENEROSITY, the question is, are you ready to lead a holy life and a generous hand this year?

Your way or His way?

Your way or His way?

Your way, or Jesus’ way?

In Luke 9:12-15
12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down.
(ESV)
You will notice here that the disciples actually used an imperative sentence toward the Lord Jesus Christ about their present “situation.”
Yet, Jesus answered back with an imperative sentence as well but since He is Lord, the disciples might be wondering “How?” but we see that the disciples just proposed a solution that seems not really a solution that could work. That is where faith starts to rise – when you propose a solution. To make it happen, is the we could see on verse 15, “And they DID so, and had them all sit down.” – OBEDIENCE.
Sometimes, we are like the disciples. We come to the Lord Jesus asking Him to do something for us, yet He has His own way. We tend to lay down our options and solutions to our problems to God and ask Him to do it for us. Imagine how rude we are sometimes in our prayers. Yet, at the end of the day, God knows best and His ways are perfect. just like the disciples did, we could just fully obey God when He finally gives us instructions on how to deal with our present circumstances.

Confronted with the truth

In Luke 4:25-28 KJV
“But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; [26] But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. [27] And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. [28] And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,”

After Jesus read the scroll from the prophet Isaiah, the people already responded in disbelief. I believe Jesus knew that they will respond this way because they knew Jesus since childhood. This is the problem about familiarity. People sometimes can’t accept truths, rebukes, or correction from the people close to them.

-How about you? when we are confronted with truth, do we respond in honesty to ourselves or we also respond in wrath because we can’t accept it. They did not welcome change, because they didn’t welcome Jesus. If we resist change, that means we are resisting God’s power to change us also. If we resist the truth, we are also limiting ourselves to our old selves. Don’t resist the power of God to change us. Open your hearts and ears to all people specially the believers because God is using them to transform you into the person that He wants you to be.

Significance of the insignificant: The Manger

Luke 2:7 (KJV) “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

Have you ever felt like you were chosen because of having no other option? Sometimes it hurts us but if we begin to understand the beauty of it, we may change it into a better perspective. The manger is really very insignificant at the most part, yet it was chosen to be a place where the Savior has been laid.

It’s the same as you. If you find yourself insignificant, remember this: God chose to lay on you. He is indwelling in you. He chose to love you and made His presence known to you. Isn’t it a privilege to know that you are CARRYING the presence of God in you?

Secondly, even the angels are talking about the manger for they said “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Lk 2:12) Something insignificant becomes significant because it became as a SIGN to the shepherds.

Have the right perspective when you look at the manger as you look at yourself. Something insignificant like the manger became significant, because the Lord Jesus Christ was laid there.

Conferred not with flesh and blood: A decision to LIVE

“15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood”
Gal 1:15-16

We tend to seek lots of advices regarding our lives but sometimes there is one non negotiable fact that we should decide on our own. That is to LIVE itself. Any human being can never dictate what you are ought to live for.

As apostle Paul declared, he was not conferred or convinced by anyone about His calling in preaching the Gospel to the gentiles. It was his decision to pursue God’s divine appointment for his life. Our decisions may be inspired by other people’s opinion, but the best decision we could make is if we decide to LIVE for someone who DIED for our sake – no other than Jesus.

Challenge: Are you LIVING for a higher purpose which God has prepared for your life? If not you can make that decision now willfully. Ask God for His guidance what you calling is and how are you going to live it. God’s perfect will for your life is far beyond any man’s ideas and opinions.