Monday, April 15, 2013

Obeying God's Words: How's Your Foundation?

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The preaching last Thursday service was about obeying God's words. It was actually a very powerful message. I was actually telling to myself, 'Uh oh, Lord you are talking to me again!' Basically, when it comes to prayer and pouring of blessings, we immediately claim them and we say, 'Oh Lord, it is for me, I claim it, give it to me oh Lord!' but when commandments are being relayed, we ignore them and we say, 'Oh, this message is not for me, it pertains to others'. Claiming victories and blessings is so easy for us but when we were instructed to love your neighbors, do not judge others, give forgiveness, etc, we tend to point our eyes to others.
In these kinds of situations, we should check our foundation of faith. Do we have the strongest foundation that any instructions that He will give us, we will obey. Do we have the deepest foundation that we believe that any adversities and challenges will pass and we will be victorious? The main verse on that service was Luke 6:46-49. Basically, there are three things that we should know and check about our foundation:
  1. Foundation is important when we obey God (Luke 6:46-47 - "46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like."). Obeying God should be easy and listening to His words is far different from living them. We read the bible but do we apply it into our lives? We call Him our Lord and the source of everything but why we are not putting Him on top of our priority list? Why are we giving Him divided attention? Following His commands will be as easy as natural thing once we have that faith and trust in Him that have been cultivated from our foundation. Most Christians will face a command that isn't easy to understand but the perfect way to respond to it is to follow and be reminded that He has the widest understanding and that He sees everything so there is no way but to follow the commandment and the lessons behind it should be applied into our daily living.
  2. Foundation will be tested (Luke 6:48 - "They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built."). Challenges are inevitable and these are one of the tools that He uses to give us a chance to get closer to Him and not to harm us or destroy us. The foundation will be tested to check if we have our full trust and faith on Him. We should never give up and face these tests knowing that we are not alone. That we have Him and that everything has a purpose. The best example of this attitude is Job's life (Job 23:10-11 - "10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.") That despite those unfortunate things that happened to him, his faith was indestructible and was strong as ever.
  3. Foundation dictates the outcome of what it built (Luke 6:49 - "But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.") If our foundation is not that strong, then the result can be easily identified: we might give up, turn to our own understanding and rely to our own strength that can lead to more negative things. But if we have a strong foundation, everything will be easier and everything that surrounds us will be a testament of how great He is.
Foundation of faith is like the foundation of a house that is being built. If it is so deep then it can't be shaken but if it is shallow then you know what will happen. We might sometimes need to check our foundation and categorize if it needs minor repair, major repair or total destruction. Building a strong foundation takes time so we should be careful with it and ensure that we are surrounded with people and things that can help us to enhance and improve it.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Attention! (Says the Lord)

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Imagine yourself in a room alone, concentrating on your writing tasks and suddenly you heard an alarming sound. Definitely your attention will be reverted to that noise and you will check what it is and what the cause of such sound is. If you are crossing the street and a police officer whistled and stop you, will you be alarmed? If you are in the office and so busy reading your Facebook timeline when your boss came into your desk, will you be get attentive? Surely the answer is yes. There are many ways on how this world can get our attentions and can wake us up in the midst of daydreaming or imagining a happy vacation. We get attentive when something is not working according to our plans. We lost our focus by a sound, a situation and a powerful thing.

Our Lord has special ways of getting our attention. We might feel in distress and might feel that we have a restless spirit that sometimes you don't know what to do and how to overcome such situation. There could be someone that will tell you powerful words that can help us to recognize that something is wrong. Or some challenges that will make us stop and ask ourselves: is there something that He wants to tell me? Did I do something wrong? You want to say something to me Lord? Let's read Deuteronomy 1:42-44 (42 But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’” 43 So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the Lord’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah.)

In the above verses, Lord is showing us to always seek Him and listen to Him carefully. One of his tools in getting our attention is unanswered prayer for us to sharpen our faith and trust in Him. The difficulties in our lives can also reveal to us that He is calling us and He wants something from us. The failures that we are experiencing are also His way of telling us that we didn't listen to Him and now He has our attention. But we should be reminded that He has the best plans for us and He acts in our best interests. This is a reminder that in our problems and tragedies, He is waiting for us to seek Him and listen to His words as we might be getting busy in our life in the modern world that sometimes we forget Him. We get preoccupied and we focus on the things that are happening in our lives that is causing a divided attention towards Him. Nevertheless, let's not forget that victory and failure is part of our lives that are poking us and reminding us that our Father waits for us, seeking our attention as sometimes He gets jealous.

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