Thank You, God for my Distinction!💞

God’s Distinction is His Faithfulness to deliver His promises to His children— favor of God and man is gratuity.  While Distinction in academic is you have to prove yourself for you to get these favors.

Thank you, God for my Distinction from You through Christ Jesus!

Have you ever get a D or HD grade from your report card given by your lecturer or professor in school? D is for Distinction and HD is for HighDistinction. The feeling was awesome at the moment you receive your report card. This was my feeling when I received HD and D from my Post Graduate Diploma in Organizational Psychology in one of the Graduate Schools in Singapore.

Awesome Feeling.

The feeling was awesome because the hard-work, and efforts were paid-off. For me to get these grades in my Post Graduate Diploma, I had to invest a lot of time in doing projects and presentations; sleepless nights as I am working full-time in the morning; and even study harder.

No hard-work; No results; No Distinction. Good to have a decent grades in your report card but Best if you could apply it in your workplace or even in your life aptly. What is the basis of “Distinction”  in your life and workplace if u had not proven as  such?

When you apply for a job for an instance, these grades will just be good in your curriculum vitae, which carries your–a more detailed academic background. It could make you for an advancement in the interview. Especially, fresh graduates. The only basis the HR will look upon,  is your academic background as  you do not have work experience. But still, you have to prove it, in as much as you could prove yourself with your ability. 

A feeling for a Moment.

My feeling of awesomeness was only for that moment. The Distinction that I received, doesn’t guaranteed my promotion. I still need to prove myself that I deserve a promotion, by putting a lot of effort, hard work and commitment to the best of my ability.

Then what is this Distinction in school all about?  Prestige? Respect? Fame? Honour? Higher profile? Better than the other? No. All these things you have to earn work hard for you to gain. Your Distinction in school doesn’t waive your sacrifices, sufferings and commitment to prove yourself to others. That is only academic. You still have to prove yourself. Full stop. 


Blessed Distinction

But God is giving us  a blessed Distinction, which you do not need to invest a lot of time, sacrifices and hard work to get it.  You do not need to prove yourself. It is freely given to us, Christians by our Faithful Saviour.

 “ ‘But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there, so that you will know that I, the Lord , am in this land. I will make a distinction between My people and your people. This sign will occur tomorrow.’ ”Exodus 8:22‭-‬23 NIV

Distinction is a promised of God to His people.

In Scripture, Exodus 8:22-23, the Lord is telling Moses of what God’s divine plan to Israelites to show His wonder and faithfulness to Israelites. That He will make  His Distinction between His people (Israelites)  and Egyptians. To prove them that He will bring Israelites out from misery–that He is omnipotent–that He is the Lord (Exodus 7:5).
The Distinction that speaks Protection and Security.

But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.’ ”Exodus 9:4 NIV

The Lord promises His protection over our household– our livestock. That No plague of Hailstorm; plague locusts will ever destroy ours. Our job is secured. Our business is protected. Our finances is covered. 

The Distinction that speaks Favor and blessing. 

Tell the people who men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” 

(The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people (Israelites), and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaohs officials and by the people.) Exodus 11:2‭-‬3 NIV

This is the amazing wonder of the Lord to us. We, Christians,  are distinctly  and blessedly favored. The word Favor is a big word for us from God as it defines eternal blessings to us.

His wonder and favor proves His distinction over us, that as He favors us and so with favor of man. “And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.”  Proverbs 3:4 NKJV. 

God’s Distinction is His Faithfulness to deliver His promises to His children— favor of God and man is gratuity.  While Distinction in academic is you have to prove yourself for you to get these favors.

Thank you, God for my Distinction from You through Christ Jesus!

All glory to God💞

Agape,

IAMgoodstar🌟

Find out on how to get Distinction without exerting too much effort, please click here.


Be Still

Jehovah Shalom – God is Peace

During the very first Hope Church retreat I attended in 2007, my then care leader asked me what my objective was, my purpose for going to the retreat. I was brand new, I didn’t know what he was asking exactly. To be totally honest, my first reason for coming was because it was my first trip to Batam, Indonesia. It was a short vacation. I just wanted to go to the beach.

Just to get him to stop talking, I said the first thing that came to me. I said I was praying for peace of mind. And then I walked away.

But God moves in mysterious ways indeed. What I thought to be just a throwaway statement became my personal theme for that retreat. It turns out, I really, truly did need peace of mind (and heart, and soul) at that time. He knew the exact thing that I needed even before I knew it for myself.

I felt He led me through the rest of that retreat, and prepared everything just for me, so that I would receive and understand the personal relationship that He wanted to have with me.

It was the very first time I encountered and was touched by this favorite verse:

“Be still, and know that I am God”
Psalm 46:10a NIV

It tied in to His message for me right then. Through these words I realised all the things I had to let go of: my anger, my pride, my resentments, my personal slights both real and imagined. I had to let go of all the “my”s in my life, and replace it with what is “His”.

His love. His grace. His faith. His Word.

In the same retreat, they played the song Still, by Hillsong United. After hearing the words, I was shattered. It was the last straw. I wept. I shed tears I didn’t know were inside me, for reasons that I didn’t even understand completely.

All I knew was my need for the peace that only He could bring. Mind, body, heart, and soul — I wanted all parts of me to be filled with His peace.

(I found out later that it wasn’t even part of the lineup. A guitar string broke, and the band had to switch to a song that had more keyboard parts in it. So they played a song that became my anthem for a very long time in 2007.)

Fast forward to today, and I have to teach on Jehovah Shalom. God is Peace.

And in making the lesson, I was refreshed with that memory of my new believer self, all of ten years ago.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 NIV

Peace that transcends all understanding — this is true. It’s been a decade, and I’m certainly not a new believer anymore, but until now I still hold to the indefinable, awesome quality of God, the wonderful reality of His peace.

If you want to experience a peaceful retreat without ever needing to go on a beach vacation, click here.

Take My Life and Let It Be

Take my life
And let it be consecrated,
Lord, to Thee;

by Ernie Rettino & Debby Kerner Rettino

Take my life
And let it be consecrated,
Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands
And let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet
And let them be swift
And beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice
And let me sing always,
Only for my King;
Always, only for my King

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my will and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my life,
Let it be consecrated,
Lord, to Thee!

Kids Praise! 7
Arr. © 1988 Rettino/Kerner Publishing. – www.psalty.com
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.

If you want to know more about the Lord and how you can offer your life unto Him, click here.

#GirlWithPinkBible

#TimeSpentWithGodIsTimeBestSpent

Failure: A positive note!

This is how 1 John 4:4 manifests in our lives as Christians.” That greater is He who is in you than who is this world. ” We will overcome this failure by running unto God; by relying unto Him; by trusting unto Him. That is how Great He is in us!

Ye are of God, my little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

1 John 4:4 ASV

Recently I am in the midst of trembling situation. I felt overwhelmed with all the deadlines or meeting timelines at work. This made me focus at work and de-focus on my spiritual life. However, I am aware of my situation, but my flesh tends to rely on results of my work then I will be at peace. This is me being human–afraid of failure.

At least most of us are afraid of failure. If we encountered failure, some of us tend to lose self-esteem. Some, tend to fluctuate their confidence. Some,  tend to be hiding. Stuck in one corner, even, do not want to come out. Felt ashamed. No face. As if being swallowed by the land.

Failure makes us trembling. Hearing someone is a failure, we belittle the person. People start to talk about that person and became a busy body on finding out why that person is a failure. In your workplace for an instance. A big project had been assigned to you.  If the result were not successful, despite efforts, hardwork, sweat-and-blood given, you are a failure. Failure. Failure. Failure

But why we fail? What is the measurement of failure?  You lose money in a business? You did not pass the exam? You did not finish your studies? You failed in your presentation and interview? You failed in your marriage? You failed in your relationships?  Because no good results were produced! And this how we measure it—This is reality in this world. We gauge it with results. 

Reading  1 John 4:4  had given me great leap of faith in facing failure in this world. That this word-trembling, sucking self-esteem — failure is actually a positive note for Christians. That when we look upon our situation and seems nothing could be done,  that is where we get down on our knees and pray to God. 

This were we started to rely, depend, trust unto God. We are only human. When things seems right. We are ‘ok’ with God. The feeling and relationship with Him is ‘ok’. But when things is bad, we are ‘best’ with God. We run to Him, we cry out loud unto Him and pleading unto Him for a help. The feeling is unexplainable when we are satisfied in His presence.

All along God is with us. This is where He will made His distinction between His people and of this world (Exodus 8:23a). Christians when seems failing; the instinct is to run to Him. 

This is how 1 John 4:4 manifests in our lives as Christians.” That greater is He who is in you than who is this world. ” We will overcome this failure by running unto God; by relying unto Him; by trusting unto Him. That is how Great He is in us!

All glory to God!💞

Agape,

IAMgoodstar🌟

If you want to know how to overcome failure without trembling? Kindly click here to know more about it!😊

Blessed is She

Glory she will not give to another,
Only unto her sovereign King.

Blessed is she who depends on the Lord.
She neither sees nor knows her future;
But peace rests in her heart
That in deep unfamiliar waters
She lifts up her eyes
Upon her loving Father.
He takes her by the hand,
Leads her and directs her path.
He takes her to the very purpose
He had for her.
There she will walk in His wisdom
And depend on His grace.
Then she will be filled with praise!
Her joy will overflow!
She will stand in awe
In amazement
As she beholds
The glory of her Savior.
Glory she will not give to another,
Only unto her sovereign King.

 

If you want to find out who is this King and Father, click here. He wants to be your father too. 🙂

#GirlWithPinkBible

#TimeSpentWithGodIsTimeBestSpent

 

Picture by Eleonor Tan

Life of a Christian

We can’t blame people who tagged Christians as hypocrites. They don’t even know what they are saying. Love them anyway. They do not understand that Christianity is a life-time process. It grows. It blossoms. It functions. It is an organism. Life of a Christian mature.

To be a Christian is not an easy way of living; it’s not a trademark to be famous; Or even a superior status quo. Christian not even a brand to look for and get it. It is being quoted as hypocrite(s). It may have been off for those Christians who will read this article and may even not to accept it,  especially the latter. But this is true which perceived by some non-believers and even the socalled professing christians—But! Read through.

Many at times, people around us, if they knew you are a Christian, they will  assume–you are gentle, kind and easy-to-believe. If these were not seen from your gesture and action. Judgement is served—you are hypocrite; and these were only a few of their criteria.

It’s true that it is difficult to have it said and done. “I am a Christian”; “I am a Christ follower”; “I am a Believer”. We are all attune to have these identity. That when you said it, you have to display it.

Come to think of it. Do they have sense in that saying? Yes. I believe so. It is time for us to wake up in our slumber, Christians. Rise up and Walk. Christians who say it by mouth must have it in his heart. We are tagged how Christ did here on earth. But isn’t true? We proclaim that we are Christ Ambassadors. But, what we say is different from the way we live.

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.  

Matthew 12:33‭

Jesus speaks about the tree and its fruit. It is how we, Christians identified. We can’t run away from it. It is difficult to commit to the standard of God because we are only human; and if we tend to rely in our own might and power.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

John 15:5 NKJVwp-image-1457337255

But if we will abide in Him, and He abode in us, it is now the work of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. It is not by our might nor by power, but it is by the Spirit of Lord,  Zechariah 4:6. This how He worked in our Spiritual life.

If we will allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we will realize His amazement. The normal things that we used to do when we are in our own might will not be normal anymore. You are more careful as the conviction is prominent whether it is aligning to God’s will. The reality is clear to you, that you are no longer in a physical realm but  in spiritual realm.

That’s where life as a Christian mature. When we understand that our physical body is in a spiritual encounter. It matures when his faith became child-like. When he give his full dependence on Him. Trusting on Him. Relying on Him. 

We can’t blame people who tagged Christians as hypocrites. They don’t even know what they are saying. Love them anyway. They do not understand that Christianity is a life-time process. It grows. It blossoms. It functions. It is an organism. Life of a Christian, mature.

Let them understand that Christianity is a relationship; a relationship to our Creator. The deeper we establish our relationship to our Creator; the deeper we know Him; the deeper we will walk in Spirit and in Truth —and that is His amazement.

Let us continue to walk in His presence. As the road in this world is rocky. Even turmoil is present along the journey of our faith. But we will conquer it, because in Him, we are more than Conquerors – Romans 8:37.

All glory to God!💞

Agape,

IAMgoodstar🌟

If you want to understand deeper how to become a Conqueror? Click here to find out.

Rise up and Walk. 

Salvation is free to us and to anyone in this world. The crippled man received his healing without the intention of having it. But it is freely given to him.

Then Peter said, silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Acts 3:6 NKJV

 Acts 3:6, In the Spcripture, it is where Peter heals the crippled beggar. This man was carried to temple gate called Beautiful, where he was everyday to beg from those who are going to the temple courts.

When he saw Peter and John, He asked for money. Peter  and John looked at his eyes straight, and said, “Look at us”. The man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have give you, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”- Acts 3:1-6. 

—–

As Christians, on the day when we received our Salvation, it is not a one time off. That automatically, spiritual maturity is there and you possessed it. If that is the case, we are being deceived. We have to raise our spiritual discipline for us to become mature spiritually.

Spiritual discipline, it establishes our relationship with the Lord deeply rooted. “NO spritual discipline; NO spiritual maturity”. This is the case for some of us. Especially for new believer that were not guided properly in the Church, since day one. Fact, Faith and Feeling is important to understand from the heart for all Believers; and how Salvation work.

The crippled beggar in Acts 3 is — Us, Christians, who enjoy in our slumber. We are being crippled because of us being deceived. Some of us might think of Christianity will make me rich. I will receive blessing, blessing, blessing. We must understand that blessing is a bonus for us of God. He has “more” for us beyond blessing and much even important— Our Salvation!

That is the case of a crippled man. He only gave his attention to Peter and John because of money that he was asking. But for Peter and John, they knew that the crippled man, need much important than that. He need Jesus in his heart genuinely. He need Him to be released in his chain of bondage and wake up in his slumber. 

Salvation is free to us and to anyone in this world. The crippled man received his healing without the intention of having it. But it is freely given to him.

When he rise up,  he could walk. These two action words are important in our Spiritual life. When we received Jesus in our lives genuinely, we could rise up to stand firm of what we believe in. We could walk that people will take His light from us and be the salt in their life to draw near to God. 

It is imperative for us, that our Salvation is freely given to us. Do not waste it. Wake up from our slumber. Christians, Rise Up and Walk.

Find out here, to know how to get Salvation and not to waste it.

“I AM Stubborn, Moses!”

So with Moses. He was stubborn to listen and undertand what God had planned Him to do. He is Stubborn to deliver it, BUT God’s Love is more than Stubborn to deliver and make it happen for Israelites and even to us, in our lives. If Moses is Stubborn, God is telling him, “I AM Stubborn, Moses!”. 

​So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”  But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 

Exodus 3:10‭-‬11 NIV

Moses is so daring to question God about His instructions to him. Maybe from this scene in Exodus 3:10-11, Moses is like a “fresh off the boat“, so curious and scratching his head and thinking of, what  is this guy is actually want from me? 🤔 hmmn. 


THE ARGUMENT 

In Exodus 3, God revealed Himself, His Deity to Moses in Mt Horeb (the mountain of God). There, He revealed to Moses His divine plan of exiting Israelites from Egypt. God seen their misery and concerned about the Israelites (Exodus 3:7).

Moses doubted his ability, capability and capacity to deliver what the Lord had instructed him to do. He rejected God four times, despite God’s assurance of the “The Great I AM” will be with him in this journey no matter what (Exodus 3:14).

In the next line, we will see how Moses doubted and rejected  God. But let’s learn how God answered to him and assured Him  with His plan and resource to make it happen. It is in a total package like a gift, wrapped nicely. The only thing that Moses has to do is to deliver it to the recipient.

Moses’ Doubts

  1. “Who am I that I will go to Pharaoh & bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
  2. “What if they (Israelites Elders) do not believe in me or listen to me & say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you?” (Exodus 4:1)
  3. Pardon your servant “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech & tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)
  4. “O Lord, please send someone else to do it. (Exodus 4:13)

God’s Assurance to Moses despite Doubts

  1. I will be with you. And this is the sign to you that it is I who have sent you” (Exodus 3:12)
  2. “I AM WHO I AM”. This is what you will tell the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you”.  (Exodus 3:14)
  3. God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord , the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation” (Exodus 3:15)
  4. The Lord even showed him His resource — a Staff on his hand and Aaron as his speaker to Pharaoh and Israelites,  on how he will deliver Israelites from Egypt. (Exodus 4:2-9;14-17)
  5. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. (Exodus 4:15)

I love this episode of argument of God and Moses in Exodus chapters 3 & 4. It had shown God’s character in the presence of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. It magnify His Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, FaithfulnessGoodness, Gentleness and Self Control (Gal 5:22).

Notice that Moses had 4 times he doubted God and questioning God of His capability to choose. For Moses, God is choosing him,  who is Not perfect Physically and Spiritually;  who committed sin in killing the Egyptian and now He is calling him to deliver Israelites? Who is he to do that? 

But God is so Patient in explaining to Moses His divine plan. To show His Kindness and Goodness to Israelites, that He is Faithful to deliver His promise to their forefathers. God was seen to show His SelfControl, when in the fourth time, Moses rejected God about the calling (Exodus 4:13).

Out of God’s anger ( Exodus 3:14), instead of God scolding him, He even given solution to his problem by putting Aaron as his speaker to Pharaoh and showing him  an assurance that He is behind him— a  Staff  to show and symbolizes His wonder to Moses first then to Pharaoh; and even to show God’s Gentleness to him instead of scolding him of his stubbornness.

It is His Love and is a Joy to Him to deliver what He had promise to us. Because God created us for a purpose of worshipping Him alone and parallel to that, was and is to bless us, and to bless us alone, always remember that. This is His Love for Us.

God is very much able to deliver His divine plan to us. If He calls us to deliver it, no matter what, whether you are incapable and not perfect of doing as such; if He calls you for something, even how stubborn you are of rejecting it, He will make it happen for you to say “Yes” to Him. He will give everything you need for you to succeed.

So with Moses. He was stubborn to listen and understand what God had planned Him to do. He is Stubborn to deliver it, BUT God’s Love is more than Stubborn to deliver and make it happen for Israelites. If Moses is Stubborn, God is telling him, “I AM Stubborn, Moses! To let My plan and purpose to you,  Succeed.”

Let us find out more on how Stubborn God is, to deliver His promises for us and He will make it come to pass.  Please click here to see. 

All glory to God!

Agape,

IAMgoodstar🌟

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Knowing God: Choose Willingness Over Readiness

 

 

 

 

 

“But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed and do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled” (1 Peter 3:14)

 

We are taught in school about principles, laws, and even theories in order for us to gain an understanding about many things. While trainings and hands-on activities give us better perspective on how things happen in reality.

Julius Ceasar recorded the earliest version of the proverb, “Experience is the teacher of all things”. Experiences may not be favorable all the time. The bible says in James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance”.

Therefore, to know something better, it is best for us to experience it and have personal encounters – this involves “willingness” not “readiness”. An anonymous quote goes “How much knowledge you gain depends on your willingness to learn”

In our relationship with Jesus, we need to be “willing” not “ready” – to suffer, to feel intimidated by other’s comfortable life, you will be troubled. No one will be ready and accept being on suffering, intimidated and troubled.

But the Lord said, “You are blessed”

Why do most of us perceive “readiness” as an important factor in knowing Jesus Christ?

1. Most think that competence is a requirement.

Therefore, we desire to prepare ourselves to be competent for Jesus. But the bible says, “Not that we are competent to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).

Our relationship with God is not like an employer-employee set-up wherein competency in our field of work is the top requirement to be in, and if we fail to meet competency requirements we can be terminated.

We should be like a child that performs in front of the crowd without fear but with gentleness, our performance may be not as excellent when compared with professional performers, but we must remember that our parents’ love never decline and because we are willing, we make them proud and happy. “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have” (1 Corinthians 8:12)

2. Most think that they must be deserving for God.

It is written, “For many are invited but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). We are invited by God for a personal relationship,  only few were chosen. Why? Many of us thinks we do not deserve being into such relationship because of our ‘sins’.

Most have the concept of sin which boils down from arguments over right and wrong. Biblically, it is defined as something that falls below the perfect standard of God.

As we receive Jesus as our personal Lord and savior, we must take baby-steps and soon bigger steps as show of reverence to him. It is doing something out of the grace that we receive from God – we must choose to be willing not ready.

Paul is clear with his message to the people of Ephesus about being deserving. He said, “Walk in the manner of calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). Same with the Colossians and he said, “Walk in manner worthy of the Lord” (Colossians 1:10).

3. Most focus on ‘status quo’

Status quo is defined as the status on which we are now. We used to conform to the norma of this world, whereas the bible says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

Millenials are now living in a fast-paced, perfect-seeking world to feel the sense belongingness in their outermost being, but full of voids from within.

Most of us think that we can do great things for God by becoming great first on our own. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).

Apostle Paul pleaded three times to God to remove the spirit of being conceited.But this is what the Lord revealed to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9)
We must be “willing” not “ready”. God used people who are ‘incompetent’, ‘undeserving’ and ‘ordinary’ for His greater glory:

1. Abraham was old but he is “willing to wait on the fulfillment of God’s promise that he will have a son, and he will be the father of many nations”;

2. David was a young sheperd but he is “willing to show that His trust is in God”, because of this he killed Goliath and became the King after King Saul;

4. Jonah ran away. He was not “ready”. But as God called him, God’s calling will remain still. Isaiah 46:10 says “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” He will make us roll over to be “willing”.

5. Peter’s up and down discipleship journey showed that being a disciple is a matter of the heart. But despite this, Peter has been a “willing” disciple – from having shortcomings he became a strong church foundation. When we look at the situation when He encountered Jesus, he may not be “ready” – but who can say know to the Messiah?

6. Matthew persecuted church.
But despite of all their being less, they have one thing in common – they are “Willing” to be used by God for a purpose that will give glory to Him and Him alone.

Will you be willing to know more about Jesus, and have that personal relationship and encouters with Him? Pastor Simon Eng said in one of his preaching at HOPE Church Singapore, “We cannot rely on historical faith and encounters alone. We need to have own fresh, encounter with God”

The first step in having a relationship with Jesus is to accept Him as you personal Lord and Saviour. It does not require ‘readiness’ where competence, being deserving or anyone’s status is being looked up. Come to Jesus with a willing heart that sees no fault nor flaws but love. He was not sent by the Father into the world but to save the world through Him – He is our salvation.

God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good.

Whenever I read this verse, I always imagine myself trying a new flavor of ice cream. The moment of that first bite and then sweetness and creaminess comes right after. A burst of wonderful flavors in every spoonful, I could taste chocolate chips, almonds, cookie dough. Oh yes! What a pleasure to my palette! Then a signal to my brain will be sent saying “This is really good! I will definitely buy again!” This scenario is the simplest way I could express how this verse means, well, generally speaking.

2859Taste and see that Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him

Psalms 34:8 (NIV)

Whenever I read this verse, I always imagine myself trying a new flavor of ice cream. The moment of that first bite and then sweetness and creaminess comes right after. A burst of wonderful flavors in every spoonful, I could taste chocolate chips, almonds, cookie dough. Oh yes! What a pleasure to my palette! Then a signal to my brain will be sent saying “This is really good! I will definitely buy again!” This scenario is the simplest way I could express how this verse means, well, generally speaking.

To taste the goodness of the Lord is undoubtedly inevitable but the devil has his ways of making us become blind. Unbelief has always been a part of my daily spiritual battles and to tell you frankly, it has contributed a lot to make me spiritually paralyzed before. I saw myself being tempted with what the world could offer, “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world; 1 John 2:16”,  and it occurred not only to me, but this actually happens to all of us, even our beloved Jesus Christ was tempted. In Matthew 4:8-10, it says that Satan tried to tempt Jesus, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”. Do not get me wrong, God created the world and everything in it displays is glory (Psalms104:24-25; Psalms19:1), but when we put God out of the picture, we give birth to desires leading to pride, greed, self-glorification, and lust that causes us to take pleasure in sin.

They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

Ephesians 4: 18-19

 

BUT DO NOT WORRY! This is temporary. We were never made to stay in darkness. Tests and troubles will always be here in our midst (John 16:33) but God will ALWAYS provide a way for us to see Him. We just need to do our part. Let me share my devotions about this wonderful word of God.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16


Taste and See



Then God said “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the Earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground–everything that has breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that He made, and it was very good. And there was morning–the sixth day.

Genesis 1:29-31

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I think it is safe to say that it is IMPOSSIBLE for us not to have tasted the goodness of our heavenly Father. In creation itself, the whole Earth was purely made for the our benefit and in our daily lives, we see God providing everything we “need”, may it be asked for or not. Every single thing is orchestrated by God himself so we could see His glory, resulting to our hearts being humbled and admitting that “apart from God, WE ARE NOTHING” (John 15:5)

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Matthew 6:25-27


The Lord is Good



There are no words to express how good our God is. Most of the time, we see His goodness at every successful job interview,  in sickness that has been healed, in times of reconciled relationships, in celebrating a new birth and of course, Christmas bonuses. YES! This defines the human perception of “goodness”. It is everything that makes us feel happy, secured, loved and every nice feeling you could come up with. But what about those times when you lose someone you really love or in failed relationships especially in marriages and families, during times of abandonment and betrayal of a friend. Can we consider this a part of His goodness?

In typical movie plot, there will always be a character living a problematic life. His parents are separated, and he lives with his father whose always drunk every single day. He has no money for school, therefore he makes a living through selling drugs. Eventually, he gets involved with the wrong people and because of this, he will live out of shame, then he blames his parents and questions, “GOD! If you exist and if you truly love me, then why do you let these things happen to me?” It is a question that most of us have thought of. I did for sure. I never lived a perfect life. I had those days when I felt like, because I did something, SO WRONG, that maybe God is punishing me. I experienced those sleepless nights where I would cry my heart out to God just so He could take away my pains. Everybody hits rock bottom. No man is an iron man, we all feel pain.

Human nature may never grasp how He works in our lives but by knowing God, we can be assured that in whatever circumstances we are facing, He is always in control and He is always good. What He is doing is MEANT FOR OUR OWN GOOD, therefore, we just need to obey and TRUST Him.

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“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 58:8-9

The life of Jesus Christ is a perfect example of obedience in times of pain. He never questioned the will of God. He obeyed fully even if He was hated, persecuted, and crucified. It is not because He had superpowers not to feel pain, or that He is invincible and fearless. The bible shows that during the night before He was put to captivity, he was in great distress because he knows how excruciating his crucifixion will be.

And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.  Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”

Mark 14: 33-34

Further more…

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Mark 14: 35-36

If you and I were in that situation, we would be begging for the same thing. Worse, we will be overcome by our emotions. I may have escaped from that garden and run for my own life.  This is where “unbelief” and “lack of faith” comes in. It is hard to believe that situations that break and hurt us could be seen as something good. And if we do not know God, the devil comes in like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8) He bombards us with so many lies and deceitful words, we get devoured by our own emotions that lead to depression and anxiety. It causes our heart to turn away from God because we have doubted Him. This is unbelief.

Having said that, it is very important for us to know how to combat unbelief by genuinely knowing the God we serve. It is important for us to know Him as good and perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful, merciful and loving Father.  We should do our part as His sons and daughters, to know Christ by accepting Him as our Lord and Savior and by equipping ourselves with his word.


Blessed is the one who takes his refuge in Him


After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

Genesis 15:1

What makes you feel blessed? Great health? A successful career? Sixty years of marriage? Seeing your sons and daughters to graduate? Having your own house and a car? Luxury? Being able to travel? All these things, we consider them blessings. But do we count having God as a blessing? The answer is WE SHOULD, and as matter of fact, Him being our refuge is the cherry on top of every blessing we have received in our entire lives.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines refuge as “a shelter or protection from danger or distress; a place that provides shelter or protection”. So what does it mean when we say that God is our refuge?

I’ve always seen God as my parent. This is how I make Him my refuge. He is my loving Father. A parent loves his son or daughter no matter what (including of all the headaches and problems caused by his child) and I could say that God is my perfect refuge. Here are some reasons why:

  • He never changes and He is always present. I call to my heavenly Father anytime and anywhere. He is everywhere. 

 

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Revelation 22:13

 

“Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:23-24

 

  • He is Faithful. I have lived 28 years, 336 months and woke up to 10,220 mornings and not one of those days where in God did not renew His love for me. Praise God! Hallelujah!

 

The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassion never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

 

  • There is nothing He could not do. He has no limitations. He is the source of all wisdom and knowledge, strength and power. He makes everything new and beautiful.

 

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

 

  • He loves us unconditionally. I could give countless testimonies of His goodness in my life. You may or may not agree with me but this is what I chose to believe, that the God I truly serve did not deserve a daughter like me because I am sinner, but that did not stopped Him from loving me first.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

This is the most significant reason why we are blessed to have God as our refuge. It is because of His unconditional love, and this explains my faith. Jesus loved us so much that he took our place to die at the cross. It brings me to my knees when I think of what He has done for me, despite me being a sinner. I praise Him because He has met my heart and I have come to accept Him as my Lord and Savior. I could not live this life alone. I am weak and fragile and I’m not smart enough to know what’s best for me. The need for a refuge is a must and maybe you are like me. You need someone to rely on, someone who could save you from all the confusion, worries, problems or you just need someone to save you from your own-self.

I would like to share the love of Jesus Christ to you. In Him, we are equal and there is no need to pretend. He sees everything even our deepest darkest secrets, knows our weakness, he keeps track of every tear you have shed and he feels your pain. He will turn you to something new and in His eyes, you are more beautiful than the glorious sky. Genuine Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.

“He himself  bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

1 Peter 2: 24

Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6

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