Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Admitting our Flaws & Sins

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As a believer, I have encountered several Christians who can easily judge others without looking onto their own faults. I admit, I used to be like that, that I can see the sins of others in a snap but then I realized that we have no right to judge others. I have also witnessed believers who stumbled and were criticized by other Christians. Sometimes, we overlook our own vulnerabilities and flaws, nobody is perfect. This kind of false confidence isn't a good thing but for the devil, it is a big advantage for him. I know that as a believer, we should have this full confidence standing with Christ to be righteous but we must also remember that we also have internal problems and weaknesses. The best thing to cast away and overcome this is to be firm in front of him. Never fall into temptations and don't let our weaknesses control us. Most importantly, we should ask for guidance and protection from God.

In 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.), it says here that these temptations are part of his test, that He will not give it to us without knowing that we can win over it. And yes, there is always a way out of it. We shouldn't justify the sins that we committed, instead, admit it and take full responsibility of it then look toward unto Him and ask for forgiveness. We shouldn't make any excuses and blame others for the ungodly works that we did as we have no right to redefine and rationalize sins. We should be careful in our every step and we should all be humble in front of Him. His words are our armor and best protection we can have against those strategies that the devil is doing to win us.

He has an unlimited forgiveness for us but true repentance only means if we change our mind and turn our back on those flaws. There is no excuse for ignorance so if you feel that you are drifting away from Him, there are a lot of ways on how to return to His direction. Committing sins isn't the end of our Christian life. Submit to the Lord our sins, take full responsibility, give your full power to avoid doing it again and ask for forgiveness. We have given two options on how we can reach His kingdom, to turn away from Him or go directly to His path and the latter is the best choice and decision that we can have in our life.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Humility and Humbleness

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My devotion this morning is about not trying to step on to others or compete with them or show them that you are better than them. Then I read on my Facebook news feed these words: "Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less." I think we had the same devotion but I'm not sure but I believe that this is the words God wants me to convey and learn today. It is not bad being proud about ourselves but still, there are guidelines and factors that we need to consider. In my opinion, those praises are better if given to us naturally, without demanding about it and be humble on accepting it. Humility is a manner of modest or low view of one's own importance.

We should imitate the humility showed to us by Jesus and it is also a direct command from Him which can be found in Philippians 2:3-4 "3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." It is very clear, never think of yourself as better than others and don't think or do something for your own interest. Maybe on a normal day, we have the tendency to compare and look others and say to ourselves, "oh, I have a better job than him", "oh, I will do this thing to just to prove I am the best", "oh, I am better looking than him", "oh well, my clothes and shoes are branded because I can afford it and he can't". Be reminded that our attitudes and actions are interdependent. Our actions will show what we are inside; it is very hard to deny it. What inner attitudes we have may affect others and is the cause of our outward attitude.

Pride can be a primary source of selfishness and we might not be aware but sometimes the way we boast and building up ourselves by bringing down others is unacceptable. There is no one in this world that is better than the other one. Be reminded that what we have now or any victories that we have reached, all came from Him so instead of always aiming to be on top and number one, why don't we share it to others. Encourage them, teach them and never underestimate the attitude of humility and outcome it may bring to others. When we are doing good to others, do not think that it will give us some points and target self-interest just to show that we are way on the higher steps than others. Do not treat ourselves as the most important person in the world; instead, the best way to clothes ourselves with humility towards others is by regarding them as more important than ourselves. If we will reflect on this attitude with Christ, we are set free from the bondage of selfishness and empowered to put the interests and needs of others above our own. The result of this manner is a way to spirit of love and unity.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Obeying Without Questions

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In decision making, we might be considering several factors before we can make our final thought about a certain thing. We seek advice, ask for guidance from our close friends and inquire for opinions from our loved ones. There is one thing that should surpass all these considerations and that is to listen to Him as He wants us to make right decisions and directions that are according to His will. He will provide us the instructions and steps that we must take but we must obey it without a doubt and questions. I remember those days before coming here in Dubai, I was asking Him to give me answers whether to leave or stay in Singapore. God told me to wait as He was "cooking" something special for me. I waited patiently for His answers and after five months, I left for Dubai.

Before leaving Singapore, I had many questions. Am I ready to leave my ministry and lifegroup? What does future hold me in Dubai? Is there any lifegroup and I can join with? With all those questions, He insisted that I should go here, so I obeyed even if it hurts leaving people behind who made me for who I am right now. They are my second family and I treasure the friendship I have with them. So I packed my bags and went here. There were some challenges and moments of sadness but He helped me a lot and made me realize that there is more in this place than my job. I'm starting to love my stay here and I believe that there will be more precious moments that I can treasure from this country. Maybe God wants me here for a reason and I am still waiting for that revelation.

With these things that I have experienced, I learned that for us to be able to hear Him clearly about His instructions, we should have a clear and pure heart. We must ensure that our intentions are good and obey Him without a doubt. Surrender everything to Him and be persistent in praying as it is indeed the most powerful tool we have. I remembered that I even fasted for two weeks just to get the answer and the results were according to His plan and I believe that time will come that what my heart desires can be found here. I also had peace in here that I didn't feel during my last days in Singapore since I had many things on my mind and some problems that I didn't know how to solve. His instructions are clear, wait for His time as He has the perfect timing in everything. Knowing and trusting God's promises will erase the doubts that we have. Maybe the answers that we are waiting for might take months before we receive it. I realized all of this in Psalm 25:9, "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way". There is no useless time in waiting for his instructions as we can be sure that the directions we need is the right and perfect way.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Causatum of Betrayal

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Being betrayed by the one we love is one of the most painful things that we can experience. It's unimaginable the effect it may cause to the relationship with that people. But how we should response when we are the one who betrayed by our loved ones? We might not realize it but simple things can lead to another level of betrayal. If you are a parent, how would you feel if your child was expecting you in the audience during the recital program? As a friend, what emotions would we feel if we were not around during our friends' unfortunate events? As a son and daughter, isn't it too painful in our hearts that we were not besides our parents' when they needed us the most? Though there might be some excuses, the thought and words "if only" will still hunt us. If we put ourselves in those situation, isn't it too painful when we were betrayed?

If read Matthew 26:36-46, Jesus experienced being betrayed by His disciples. He was in times of trouble and distress and a simple request was not accomplished by those men. It was too hurtful to realize that His "friends" were not watching Him during those times. He was praying and asked them to watch Him but what did they do? They slept and rested. Jesus experienced this thing not only once and even pointed out to Peter to pray to cast away any temptation. We are living in a demanding world right now and it is not easy to balance life's demands by loved ones and serving Him. But be reminded that if we don't know how to do it, we are betraying not only the people around us but also Him. 

So we shouldn't ignore His calls and justify those times that we are not doing our purpose. We might also need to consider the ways on how we can show our love and care to our loved ones. We can be both in this scenario, a betrayer and the one who was betrayed. We don't know what battle the people around is fighting. They could be hurting and afraid to be alone, so fellowship and praying together is a powerful tool to overcome it. Why don't we take our steps now to show our care to those people in need because loving these people is also a way of loving Him. Our measurement of our love for Christ is our sensitivity to the needs of others. Pray to God to open your eyes and heart to see clearly the things that we can do for others and take actions about it.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Repercussions of Unforgiveness

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Oh yes, it is very easy to say the word "forgive" but in reality, most of us is having major trouble in accomplishing such behavior. It is indeed very hard especially if were wronged. Keeping anger and resentment is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. Holding onto it can result into negative effect and unexpected consequences. You might not be aware but unforgiving can spread into everything that you do. A feeling of anger can affect your work and relationship to others. You can't perform fully your duties if you are clinging into that state. For example, if you saw a person you had trouble with in your way to office, the instant thing that you might do is to tackle different way just to avoid that person. You might not realize it but unforgiving also affects not only the mind and spirit but also your physical attributes such as your muscle and chemical balance in the brain. An attitude of bitterness can lead way to tension and anxiety.

In bible, we can see how God directly commanded us to forgive. Matthew 18:21-22 (21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.) is the perfect example of how shouldn't we linger into unforgiveness, it is clearly a violation of God's law. This also hinders the ability of a believer to perform his church duties and can be a distraction in maturity and growth. The way you worship and pray to Him will be in hypocritical manner since your heart isn't pure and there is a part there which is damaged. It is ineffective to honor the Lord if your try to justify or hide wrong attitude. You can also affect other believers since they see in you a stage of disobedience. The list of the effects of unforgiveness goes on and might lead to self-destruction.

I know that forgiving isn't easy but prayers and pure heart is the perfect match in order to overcome it. If you forgive someone, you should also remember that you are casting away your right to get even to that person even if you were wronged. Give up that anger and never ever think of revenge and vengeance. Isn't it refreshing if you don't have any anger in your heart and your journey to your life will be lighter and can be perfect? Seek guidance from Him as in His presence, everything is possible and everything is easy.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Key to a Perfect Life

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You might have read several articles on how to improve your lives and how to achieve the good things life can offer. There might also be some personalities or famous people whom you look up to reach that goal. We want all the perfect things in life such as relationship, financial, fame and power. Many people can give you the basic steps on it or the stages that you need to follow. But we all must know, there is only one that we can depend on to attain such stable life. There is only one code that we need to understand, it is to seek Him. Once we started seeking Him, all good things will follow. Everything will be as bright as the diamond and the happiness will be endless.

It clearly states in Ezra 8:22 (I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.”) the difference of two colliding attitudes: seek and forsake. The only stage that we need to reach is to deeply understand and know Him. You will then realize that once you committed to follow His steps, you will experience a love that transcends any human relationships. By seeking Him, there will be a great joy that we can share to others. I have posted on my Facebook account the words: "Look for joy inside you and let it burn the pain". It is indeed true! Just focus your eyes to the joy that He is bringing and any anger and hatred will be easily healed.

In His arms, there is contentment and satisfaction. There will be no empty space in our hearts and soul. We should remember that all those earthly pleasures will fade away eventually. But His blessings will be unstoppable and it's an important thing that we can get in His presence. God loves it when we go to Him and ask for guidance, He will be gladly to help and aid us. He is the great provider and for sure He will always provide our needs. There is no need to pay subscriptions of magazines just to guide us in our everyday lives. The bible is our armor and by reading it, we are assured that we are protected. There is no need to watch those video advices from other people, instead, bring to life all the lessons that His words are saying. To make it brief and clear, ask yourself if there is an instance when you didn't think of Him for an entire day. Because if that's the case, then you are not earnestly seeking Him. Don't forget Him, that's a one major rule.

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