Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013!

What better way to end one year and start another than with prayer?

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for 2012. Thank you for the hardships, persecutions, illnesses, and turmoil. Thank you for the tears, fears, heartaches, and headaches. Thank you for the good for you are good and bestow goodness on all. Thank you for the bad for you always make lemonade out of lemons. You work out everything for those who love you. No experience is a loss for you use all to work out for your purpose. Thank you, Lord, for 2012.

Lord Jesus, you are just awesome. Your love is indescribable. It is unconditional acceptance. The misfit belongs. The popular belongs. Your arms are open wide for everyone. The lonely never feels lonely or alone with you. You turn tears into joy. In your presence, there is peace, love, hope, joy, and comfort. Your healing is complete. You are just wonderful, the great counselor, and mighty God. I adore you, Lord.

Lord, there are many prophesies that 2013 is to be a year of restoration. Amen. Please let it be the year of restoration for everyone’s spiritual, emotional, mental or psychological, and physical health. Please mend broken families and broken hearts. Please draw people to yourself, dear Jesus, so their eyes can see the redemptive work you’ve finished more than two thousand years ago. This redemption provided complete and perfect healing of spirit, soul, and body.

Lord, please forgive your people’s trespasses. You know we are human and fallible. You know how limited and ignorant we really are. Please forgive our humanness and draw us back to you. For everyone who truly repents, please accept him and her with open arms. As you said in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Please listen to our prayers and fulfill your promises in our lives. Set us free from everything that entangles us. Protect us from our own stubbornness, conceit, and ignorance. Heal our spirit, Lord, so we can truly praise you as you deserve. Show us our purpose in life and enable us to live out our purpose. Please do your will in our lives and fulfill your dreams for our lives during our lifetime.

Lord, please heal your people emotionally and psychologically. Please love our hurts away. Enable us to forgive as easily as you forgive us. Renew our minds with your words. Speak to us, Lord. Tell us we are loved and cherished. Tell us that no matter what happens, you will always be with us and never forget us. Take away our insecurities, inferiorities, and everything that separates us from you no matter how daunting it is. You are able to do everything for nothing is impossible with you. Lord, enable us to see the problem in the proper perspective and that you are bigger than any problem. Please set the lonely in families. Take away the negative thoughts and feelings. Please replace sadness, depression, and hopelessness with your joy. You can take the ugly and make it beautiful. Please Lord, restore your people.

Lord, your people are physically ill and some are dying before their purpose on earth is done. Please heal your people of all of their ailments. Kindly do not allow excessive pain or unneeded sufferings to take place.  If there is a need for suffering, please let your grace abound. We do not deserve your mercy, forgiveness, nor healing, but for your name’s sake and for your precious blood’s sake listen to our prayers.  You paid the price of our healing at the cross a long time ago. Thank you.  

We wish to glorify you, Jesus, glorify you alone. You created this earth. You gave us our being. You should be the only one to reign over all of the earth. You should be our only Lord and Savior. So please be glorified for you said that you won’t give your glory to another in Isaiah 42:8. Please be glorified in your people in 2013. Thank you for reading this prayer. Thank you for you. I love you, Lord Jesus.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas, anyone?

We hear fables about Christmas. We have heard about Christmas miracles. We all know the Biblical story of Christmas found in the gospels according to Matthew and Luke. Here are some thoughts about Christmas: 

Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. God had forewarned them that if they ate the fruit from a certain tree, they would surely die. And died they did. They died spiritually. They lost the close communication between mankind and God; Genesis 2 and 3. When God says something, we are to make certain we understand His meaning and not our own.

Adam and Eve’s offspring inherited the spiritual deadness. The very first act of murder happened soon after they ate from the tree; Genesis 4. Morality started deteriorating rapidly. God saw that He had to intercede. But He set up laws that He must adhere to such as the wages of sin is death in Romans 6:23 and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness in Hebrews 9:23. He is faithful to His word. The best way to adhere to these laws and still save mankind from eternal separation from Him was to send a piece of Himself: Jesus Christ.

You would think Jesus would be born in a king’s palace. After all, He is a King. But no. There was no place for Him. He was born in a manger in a barn. You see, it was never His purpose to be born in a magnificent setting. He was born to be a sacrifice for His creation, us. As the song says, He was born to die.

Jesus Christ was born on Christmas day more than two thousand years ago. He humbled Himself. He lived like a poor man, yet He is very rich. Appearances did not faze or impress Him. He was gentle. He never turned anyone away. He healed everyone seeking Him. He demonstrated love, peace, joy, humility, submission, authority, objectivity, compassion, understanding, patience, wisdom, knowledge, forgiveness, generosity, and endurance. He protected, healed, and taught His followers. He supplied all of their needs while they remained with Him even the ones who betrayed Him. He confronted hypocrisy. He is still the same now as He was when He walked the earth in human form; Hebrews 13:8.

Jesus Christ lived a holy life. There was no wrong found in Him. Yet He was beaten, pierced, crushed, oppressed, and afflicted; Isaiah 53. Why? To reconcile humankind with God and enable them to live with Him for all eternity. He died so we won’t have to. He rose again on the third day so we can rise with Him. He became the last Adam. The first Adam severed the spiritual bond. Jesus Christ preserve it for anyone who believes in His redemptive work; John 3:16. Who will you choose? The first Adam or Jesus Christ?

We hear about all kinds of love stories during the Christmas season. Jewelry stores exploit this time to encourage marriage proposals. But the love of Christ is different. It is complete. It is unconditional. It is accepting of the unacceptable and the misfit. So what is Christmas all about? It is about Christ. It is about the greatest love story ever.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The case for humility

In II Chronicles 12, Jerusalem was being attacked by Egypt after the people abandoned the law of the Lord. A prophet notified King Rehoboam why they were being attacked. The king and the leaders of the land humbled themselves before the Lord. That caused the Lord to deliver them from the hands of the king of Egypt. 

God loves humility. It activates His arm to action. He gives grace to the humble. He exalts the humble. God saves the humble. He guides them. He crowns them with salvation. Wisdom comes with humility. Humility comes before honor. Humility considers others better than self. Moses was more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth at the time; Numbers 12:3. Jesus Christ’s embodiment is the full measure of humility. He said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

In contrast, the Lord detests the proud. He opposes the proud. He is able to humble the proud. Disgrace follows pride. Pride breeds quarrels. It goes before destruction. “A man’s pride brings him low,” Proverbs 29:23. King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4 was prideful for he thought he built the city with his own hands. After his experience he wrote in verse 37, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.” Satan is the source of pride. He wanted to exalt himself above the throne of God; Isaiah 14:12-15. Ezekiel 28:11-19 is to be pondered. The created being cannot be exalted above the Creator.

 It is not about you. It is about who you follow. Follow someone who is humble and you will start to display humility. Follow someone who is prideful, then you will be as well. Some of the consequences are above. The choice is always yours. 

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land,” the Lord said in II Chronicles 7:14

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lover of my soul: 5000

Jesus feeds the five thousand in John 6:1-15

A short summary: Many were following Jesus for the miracles. When Jesus saw the crowd, He asked Philip as to where to buy food for the crowd. He already had a plan. A boy was found who had five loaves of bread and two fish. These were small in size. Jesus gave instructions for everyone to sit. He took the loaves, gave thanks, and had them distributed. Jesus did the same with the fish. After everyone had enough to eat, the disciples collected the remains per Jesus’ request. Everyone wanted to crown Jesus king by force, but He withdrew.

There are several points to ponder.

Jesus asked a question before supplying provision to such a large crowd. It was a leading question as if to imply that payment must be made for bread. He also included the disciples in the “we”; as if the group will be buying food. He already knew what He would do. Why ask? It was a test of faith. Jesus foreknew how and what they believe. He wanted them to be aware of what they believe. When God asks you specific questions, He wants you to know what is in your heart. He leaves the burden of responsibility on you as to how to proceed after knowing what is in your heart.

Jesus takes whatever we give Him, whether small or large, and works with and through it. In the above, He multiplied food. What is He asking of you? Are you willing to give it?

Jesus gave thanks for the small loaves and small fish. This triggered the blessing. Have you done this before? Have you tried being thankful for everything and your situation changed drastically?

Jesus requested they’d collect all of the remains. In everything we do and in every experience we have, we are to cherish and learn all we can from it.  We will need the lessons learned for the future to help us maneuver through life. Protect lessons learned in your heart and mind.

Jesus never told them what He intended to do. He just gave small, specific requests / information. He guided them every step of the way. When following Christ, do not expect to know ahead of time what your future entails. That is not how He operates. He will lead step by step. Just be comforted He is guiding you. Can you trust Him? 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Who are you following?

     A little background for II Chronicles 10-11:1-4: Solomon died after gaining wisdom and marrying many, many women. They led him away from his God and from the path that David, his father, has set. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, became king. Jeroboam who fled from Solomon during the latter’s lifetime returned to Israel. The people sent for Jeroboam to confront Rehoboam regarding the harsh treatment given by Solomon. Rehoboam took three days to seek advice. He solicited his dad’s advisors who counseled he would cooperate with their requests. He inquired of his friends who advised he would become harsher. He paid heed to the young men for this was from the Lord. The people of ten clans rejected Rehoboam as king and made Jeroboam king instead. This fulfilled the prophecy to Jeroboam in I Kings 11:26-40.

Several points are worth pondering. 

  •  God’s promises come with conditions. He promised David the kingship. He also promised that as long as David’s descendents follow God, the kingship would not depart from the house of David. God made the same promise to Jeroboam. However, neither was able to keep and cherish the promise. David followed God during his lifetime. But Solomon did not. To keep His promise to David, God allowed Solomon to die first before taking from the house of David the majority of the kingdom. He allowed them to have just one tribe as their inheritance or as a light for David’s sake. It was the tribe of Judah. God removed the other tribes from the hands of Rehoboam, David’s grandson. Similarly, the kingdom was taken from Jeroboam’s son. Jeroboam was not faithful to God so He yanked the kingdom form his son’s hands. Has God made promises to you? Do you know and understand the conditions to fulfill them to keep the promise? 

  • Neither wisdom nor foolishness is inherited. Solomon was wise, yet his son did not demonstrate the wise trait. Wisdom is from the Lord and cannot be inherited. If we do not have wisdom, we are to ask God. He gives us according to His generosity. We are to be and remain thankful for His grace and His gifting. 

  • God has the final word. He gave His word to Jeroboam and it was carried out. He caused Rehoboam to be obstinate with the people. This led To Jeroboam being king and fulfilling prophecy. So no matter how difficult a situation is, God is still in control. Do you believe and trust Him? 

  • Finally, we resemble whom we follow or admire. A student cannot be better than his teacher. When we attend classes in university, we are studying to become a worker in a specific field. Most of our teachers have studied the same field. So I cannot become a business person being taught by engineers. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Do you know who you are following?