Talents and Stewardship. Cilia and Stirrup.

As I said earlier, the church is one body and all its parts has its distinctive roles. It doesn’t matter if you are the stirrup (the smallest bone in the ear) or the earlobe or the toenail or the femur. All have a play to role, and one is need of the other.

This morning, I was lingering on thoughts about the church being as a body and have always loved how the apostle Paul did the comparison a few times in his epistles. The church, with Christ being the head, is one body composed of many, many parts. I remembered the time that I was literally imagining the church having major parts like the heart, liver, skin, bones, spinal cord, and there’s the seemingly minor parts like the hair, eyelashes, nails and even the cilia which are the tiny hairs inside our noses. Thinking further, I told myself, then there must also be parts we cannot see with the naked eye like the capillaries, red blood cells, lymphocytes and the like. All these parts playing a function, a responsibility in the body that it belonged to.

Society today values the magnitude of the position and roles we play, especially when there’s a hierarchy present. We equate a higher position or a higher responsibility to a greater importance and put it on an unnecessary pedestal. Conversely, we associate trivial responsibilities with insignificance, resulting to much discouragement and neglect.

As I said earlier, the church is one body and all its parts has its distinctive roles. It doesn’t matter if you are the stirrup (the smallest bone in the ear) or the earlobe or the toenail or the femur. All have a role to play and one part is need of the other. What do you think happens if the stirrup malfunctions? Our hearing gets affected, right?  Then it irritates us as we are unable to converse properly when our sense of hearing fails us. When our nails get severely damaged, it restrains not only our affected finger but the whole hand as its movement become limited due to pain and inflammation. One small cut on the sole of the feet can cause the body to go haywire like in septic shock if this cut is not treated properly. If one part suffers, the whole body suffers with it.

As Paul particularly mentioned all these truths in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (which I didn’t have a clue on until today, by the way), one part cannot say because I am not an eye, I am not part of the body. One part cannot say to the other that I have no need of you. The body is considered one unit, with all parts caring for one another and working together by focusing on the roles they were given, no comparison or envy.

Hence, it should be the same in the church. You may think that your role maybe irrelevant because you are not a pastor. Maybe you are discouraged because you only have the gift of tongues. Take heart! God, in His infinite wisdom and gracious love, has bestowed to you roles and gifts as He pleased; gifts, talents, positions, roles and responsibilities which we should be good stewards of as a sign of gratitude.

Remember the parable of talents (Matthew 25:14-30)? The master was greatly pleased when the other two servants became good stewards of the talents they were given by doubling it according to the amount they were given. What if the third servant did the same thing, that instead of hiding that one single talent, he also doubled it? Most probably, the master would have been pleased with him as well. As with the first two servants, the master said the same thing, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” It wasn’t a matter of who made more. The master didn’t require the servant given with two talents to produce five more like the first one. It was a matter of being faithful with what they were given.

We cannot all be preachers. We cannot all be worship leaders. We cannot all have the same gifts. Similar yes, but not all same. Some might be called to higher calling, but we all have place in this body. Some need to be the knee, the teeth, the uvula or the stirrup but all parts are essential and indispensable.

So if you are the stirrup or a cilia in this body of Christ, I encourage you, shine! Shine your brightest! Be the best stirrup you could ever be! Be the best cilia you could ever be! For your one most important Audience, watching from above, is greatly pleased as you shine your brightest in the part He has given you with.

If you want to know more about the God who generously gave us gifts, talents and positions in Christ Jesus, click here.

 

Be Still! Rejoice! He is God!

Break out into singing all you children of the Jehovah Sabaoth! Be still! Rejoice! He is God! He is exalted among the nations! He is exalted in the earth! Be still! Rejoice!

Yesterday, I was taken aback by a post in facebook. On the post was one of our church’s original songs entitled, “Purihin Pangalan Niya” (personal translation: Praise His Name) and who originally composed it. What surprised me was that it was composed by the youth of Hope Tacloban in Philippines as a thanksgiving song after these youth and their families where transferred to their new houses whilst Typhoon Yolanda was wreaking dire havoc. The song is well loved as its lyrics and tempo will bring about singing and dancing full of joy and praises to God.

Such a timely reminder, as today Strait Times reported 7 new cases of the 2019 nCOV infection here in Singapore. Some cases are near home which whispered much fear in my heart. At the same time, the words, “Be still and know that I am God.” lingered in my mind. Looking for more comfort, I read through the whole chapter of Psalm 46:

“God is our refuge and strength,
A[a] very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the [b]midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the [c]tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be [d]moved;
God shall help her, just [e]at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”

What an encouragement from the LORD! He is our refuge and strength! He is always present and He will help in any trouble whether it was earthquakes, crumbling mountains or roaring oceans. He gives us an assurance that He is always with His children. He is powerful and sovereign above it all even when nations are in chaos and kingdoms crumble. Desolation and wars aren’t something He is unconscious of, but rather, in His wisdom and judgement, His works. He is Jehovah Sabaoth, Lord of Hosts and He is with us! What do we need to do? Do we fear? Do we panic? Do we give in to defeat? No! We need to be still and know that He is God! Our God, the Lord of the Heavenly Armies! Again, we need to be still and know He is God! The God who doesn’t change! Whose faithfulness and mercies cover a thousand generations!

Somehow, I understood how those youth from Tacloban were able to compose such a wonderful song of praise amidst much lost and sorrow. The typhoon may have taken their homes, but the LORD God have provided new homes for them. From the provision God rendered to them comes a quiet confidence that He was with them during the storm, their very present help in that trouble, thereby yielding a song full of rejoicing!  Truly, His name is worthy of highest praises!

So instead of being discouraged of this rising number of 2019 n-COV infection, I pray that we stand firm, not letting fear seize our hearts. Instead, we hold our ground and continue to believe that our LORD God is the God Almighty above all things! No matter how this outbreak unfolds, God is God! Break out into singing all you children of the Jehovah Sabaoth! Be still! Rejoice! He is God! He is exalted among the nations! He is exalted in the earth! Be still! Rejoice!

If you would like to have this stillness in Jehovah Sabaoth through Jesus Christ is, I greatly and lovingly encourage you to click this.

 

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Romans 8:28 (Part 1)

Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together
for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called
according to His purpose.

One of the most loved verses in the Bible, this promise offers such comfort to believers everywhere. It gives us an assurance that everything that happens in our lives, especially the hard and difficult times, will be used by God for our good and His glory. But I wonder how much truth do we really understand regarding this passage. Let’s slowly take it apart and learn more.

And.

The preceding verses of this part of Romans 8 talks about the suffering that we, believers, have to endure at present (Romans 8:18) and the bondage of corruption that the creation is now temporarily captive of (Romans 8:21). Along with these are our responses to these suffering and bondage, that we, ourselves and the whole creation, groan and long to be delivered from it and let the glory in us be finally revealed (Romans 8:18-23). Now the next verses come with the promises of hope, perseverance and help from the Holy Spirit through intercession (Romans 8:24-27) where our verse comes next as an addition and a conclusion.

Yes, we will have tribulations in this life that we need to endure. Yes, we will long to be set free from the evil that our innate human nature has. We will experience pain and suffering, failures and setbacks. But God promises us His comfort amidst all these. He promises hope in Him as we persevere and eagerly wait on Him. God promises that the Helper, the Holy Spirit that iswill aid us through rough and confusing times when we do not know what to pray for and even how to pray anymore. And lastly, He promises that all that we will go thru will be used by Him.

we know that.

To know in a sense is to have the possession of a certain truth, fact, or knowledge as Merriam Webster defines it and most people superficially perceive it as only that. To know is to be informed. But actually, to know goes beyond getting the information. To know means having direct cognition, awareness and understanding of the information given, also as defined by Merriam-Webster. The mind should be able to process and digest the information through the use of our senses. The information will not be left as it is but it will create something inside of the receiver and be utilized and manifested outwardly. It isn’t something of mere passive receiving. It has to be something that is actively perceiving. 

Having said that, this promise that we have in Romans 8:28 should not be just a mere fact or information we know about God, like “Oh, I know God is like this and that; I know He also will do this and that”, but it should be an unshakable rock where our faith and trust in His character as our God should be deeply rooted. This amazing truth should manifest in our daily lives: how we interact with people, how we face challenges, how we fight sin and the battles within ourselves, how we make choices and decisions wherever we maybe. These actions proves that we have a great understanding and perception of who God is in our lives and what He is capable to do.

all things.

Ah! This one made me smile. Usually when we read this part, we right away think of good and bad things. We think of the comfort and pain we have in this life, our successes and defeats, health and sickness, blessings and afflictions, joys and sorrows. But we should not limit it with these.

When the Apostle Paul said “all things“, he really meant it. It includes the big and small events in our lives, from the smallest decision we make to hardest choice we have to choose. Even the things that we think are unnoticeable and insignificant, the implications of our actions, well, God includes that as well.

It also includes the times we reluctantly disobey God due to fear and doubt and also the times we surrendered and willingly  obey Him.

It includes all sorts of people we meet and know and may it be for a few seconds or a few hours or days everywhere.

It includes our past, present and our future.

It even includes the places we have been thru. The sights we have seen. The experiences we have.

It includes our hopes and dreams, our failures and nightmares.

It includes all things my finite mind can think of and cannot think of anymore.

All these things are not out of God’s self-indulgence or compulsion or ignorance. God, with all His infinite wisdom, will have all these things used by Him and not be wasted. All things.

work together.

And everything listed up will work together! HUH?! Really??? Even the times when I failed Him because I cheated? Even the times I got angry and hurt someone? Even when I deliberately disobeyed Him? I mean good and wonderful things, when combine, are meant to produce good and wonderful results. We get that. But to add the bad things, the sour things, the bitter things, even the evil, ugly, gruesome, scary and dirty things? Oh Yes! It’s like God making a delicious meal with a recipe including all that we are and all that we have. Adding mud and manure to sugar and cream! Only He, in His awesome power and infinite wisdom, can mix everything together, no exclusions, and make everything work together in harmony to produce a delightful taste!

 

 

If you want to know more about Romans 8:28, stay tuned for Part 2!

If you want to have all things in your life work together by God for your good in His glory, click here.

 

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No Longer Slaves to Fear. I am a CHILD of GOD!

Romans 8:15

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15 NLT

I have found my journal. A journal that is different from my normal journal with writings of my messages to God and His message to me. In this journal, I had compiled His promises in a form of drawings or sketch or what you could say it as an art (whatever 😂😉😳).

I found this verse in one of the pages

I love this verse. I love it the most when I understood it intently. God position us to the safe place, the moment we believe that He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. We are released from God’s wrath.

At the cross, Jesus took our infirmities; Jesus took our condemnation; Jesus took our sicknesses and diseases. Jesus redeemed us and saved us from our sins. He delivers us. Jesus is the main bridge for us to call God our Abba (Father).

Because of Jesus obedience we can live the life that is full of grace. The Grace which everyone is undeserved to possess it.

But God is a gracious God. His goodness is can not be measured. His intelligence is can not be fathomed. He is the Sovereign God.

He had given us the sonship through Christ Jesus. What a privilege to have that.

Let He be a Father to you. A Father who will do everything for His son own good sake. A Father who is so generous when you ask. A Father who is so so good. Because that is who He is!

If you want to know more of Him more. Click here to receive this kind of privilege.

None like King Hezekiah (Part 1)

hezekiah

Bible passages: 2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32, Isaiah 36-39

*All Bible passages used are in NKJV

 

King Hezekiah, son of King Ahaz and Abijah, daughter of Zechariah, was the 13th king of Judah and the king who “did what was right, good and true in the sight of the LORD, according to all that His father David done” (2 Kings 18:3, 2 Chronicles 31:20) like some kings of Israel and Judah. I, as a kid, have known him for having an additional 15 years of life given to him by God when He prayed to God for his sickness (2 Kings 20:6) but never did I know that he was regarded as the king like no other.

2 Kings 18:5 says:

He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him..

He must have been quite a king to be regarded as such! The king who trusted God that no king before and after him was like him.  Let’s look at some characteristics of King Hezekiah:

  1. He was zealous for the restoration of both Judah’s and Israel’s relationship to the LORD God.  2 Chronicles 18:3-5 says:

    In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the LORD and repaired them.  Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.

    His first order of business as king was seeking God by cleansing God’s temple and urging the Levites to purify themselves before God. He unashamedly admitted before his people about the trespasses their fathers made before God by turning their backs from Him and forsaking Him that brought upon the wrath of God. He urged his people to come back to God as they were chosen by Him, as 2 Chronicles 18:11 says:

    My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister to Him and burn incense.

    This king wasn’t afraid to admit their transgressions before God but instead he humbled himself and repented and then urged his people to do the same. He made them remember that they, the Levites, were chosen by God with a specific purpose for Him. After repenting and cleansing themselves, they worked on cleansing the temple, as 2 Chronicles 18:16 says,

    Then the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and brought out all the debris that they found in the temple of the LORD to the court of the house of the LORD.

    2 Kings 18:4 mentioned specifically that he abolished the pagan idols that the Israelites used to worship:

    He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.

    King Hezekiah led and commanded his people to worship only one God, “the LORD of hosts, the God of all the kingdoms of the earth who made heaven and earth” (Isaiah 37:16).

    2 Chronicles 29:29-30 says:

29 And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped.30 Moreover King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the LORD with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped

He even urged all Israel to seek God as 2 Chronicles 30:1 says:

And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the LORD God of Israel.

King Hezekiah recognized that knew seeking God and restoring their relationship with Him as one nation was of utmost importance and should be his foremost priority.

 

2. He diligently  and whole-heartedly obeyed God which resulted to prosperity and favor.

2 Kings 18:6 says:

For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses. The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went.

Moreover, 2 Chronicles 31:21 adds:

21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.

Throughout his life, King Hezekiah was faithful in every work that he did for God and served God with all his heart. He and his people honored the LORD through worship, burnt offerings, devotions to the law of the LORD and the giving of “firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field”          (2 Chronicles 31:5). This was rewarded by God by blessing his kingdom.  King Hezekiah saw this great abundance as it says in 2 Chronicles 31:9:

Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.10 And Azariah the chief priest, from the house of Zadok, answered him and said, “Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and have plenty left, for the Lord has blessed His people; and what is left is this great abundance.”

The people gathered the grain for four months. Before this, grains were already taken by the priests as tithes and offerings dedicated to the LORD and by the people of Judah as provisions for their families. Still after all were full, the left overs were still great in amount!

King Hezekiah had the favor of God and with it came the favor of men. As it says in 2 Chronicles 30:11-12:

11 Nevertheless some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 Also the hand of God was on Judah to give them singleness of heart to obey the command of the king and the leaders, at the word of the LORD.

When the king sent letters to urge people all throughout Israel to come to Jerusalem to worship and keep the passover, some laughed and mocked at the runners carrying these letters (2 Chronicles 30:10). But God’s hand was upon the tribes of Asher, Manasseh, Zebulun and of course, Judah. He touched the nation of Judah that all obeyed, as one and with the singleness of heart, the command of the king and observed the passover. God blessed the feast with great joy and with a great number of people as 2 Chronicles 30:25-16 says:

25 The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, also the priests and Levites, all the assembly that came from Israel, the sojourners who came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.

Abundance in grain, people, favor and joy! An overflowing abundance indeed!

 

Stay tuned for Part 2!

 

If you want to have this zeal, prosperity and favor from God like King Hezekiah had, click here.

 

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The Noble Job Post

Job position, scope of work, pay and schedule – are the top consideration when people look into job posts. Human being by nature focuses on looking after the title, what we need to do, how much we can get, and how much of our time will be spent in terms of doing something from our job, our social life, and on something which we are called to be by God.

Are you in leadership right now? Or being challenged to be a leader? It is not coincidence that you are reading this blog.

The Nobility of Leadership

Leadership is noble. If so what does the Bible wants us to know about nobility? The Bible says in Isaiah 32:8 “But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand”

The 4 Humble Reminders

1. Job Position

Remember that being a leader is a noble job, it is not about the title but must focus on why God has called you. In Acts 20:28, leaders are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be overseers and shepherd of God’s church.

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood” (Acts 20:28)

2. Scope of Work

Leader comes from Indo-European word “leit” which means “the one who holds the flag in the front of an army”. Followers of Jesus are all considered warriors, but a group of warrior must have it’s God-lead leader in order to guide the way where the team must go to conquer. Otherwise, each warrior would have to fight without direction.

We do not lead to impose laws of man-made origin but to draw the people closer to God (Psalm 145:18, Psalm 73:28). We need to set as a modest example from the inside out, with the true representation of Jesus – Spirit is caught not taught.

3. Pay

As we keep our submission to God and continue to obey His direction, God as what Paul said as encouragement to the people of Corinth on his second letter, will surely keep His covenant with us. In 2 Corinthians 15:58, Paul says

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”The same thing was addressed to Galatians.

“Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9)

4. Schedule

Proper time scheduling should be exercise in order to balance ministry, family life and personal life. The Bible says in Ephesians 5:15-17 to “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Congratulations! You are “Hired”!

Faith is the main currency used in the Kingdom of God. As early as now, exercising how to use this can help us win any spiritual battles we might encounter. As we work more for the advancement of His Kingdom, know that more distractions and trials will be faced ahead. Keep in your heart that “God has given us gifts and His calling is irrevocable” (Romans 11:29)