The Best for the Best

The Apostle Paul realized that his wise and caring restrictions could have been easily viewed unfavorably. His point: he wasn’t being a kill-joy, but he knew the necessity of restrictions in avoiding distractions, and the necessity of avoiding distractions in serving the Lord best.

We ought to aim to always serve the Lord with our best. And we ought to welcome anything and everything that can help us maximize our potential in achieving it.

Dear God and Father, thank You for Your guidance and instructions. You deserve the best. We want to serve you best. Help us to be willing to get rid of all factors that will hinder us from doing so, even if it would mean a huge sacrifice on our part–in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Love and Justice

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 1 Corinthians 13:6 NLT

Love glories in truth and abhors injustice. True, for injustice to thrive, truth has to be suppressed.

Loving means seeking, pursuing, & upholding truth. We can’t just believe every news, every accusation, every claim, and every teaching without diligent search. Let’s never either condone or cause injustice and lies.

Dear God and Father, You are God of truth. May we never have an “I don’t care” attitude about these things just because we’re not the ones directly attacked. May we not be so gullible and so easily deceived; instead, may we as Your children and followers be passionate about about upholding truth and justice–in Jesus’ Name.

Absolutely Dependable God

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? – Numbers 23:19 NLT
God is a 100% truthful, 100% resolute, 100% dependable, and 100% promise-keeper.

Let’s spend time with Him so we can know His Word, His mind, His promises, His ways, His will. Through this we can better know what to believe and trust Him for. Let’s be true to Him and to others as well.

Dear God and Father, thank You for never betraying our trust. You never fail us. Please help us to do better in not failing You–in Jesus’ Name, amen.

A Time to Flee

Matthew 10:23   (NLT)   When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.

There’s a time to stay, and there’s a time to flee. Protecting our lives, ensuring our safety isn’t wrong. It can be more fruitful, not just in self-protection or family-preservation, but even in fulfilling our mission.

Matthew 10.23 - A Time to FleeWe don’t need unnecessary or avoidable martyrdom—that’s a waste of life. Life is precious—even the physical and temporal. Although it’s far less valuable compared to our eternal spiritual existence, it is important nonetheless. That’s probably one of the reasons why self-preservation and survival is innate in each of us. That doesn’t change for us who have been born again—who have received and are assured of eternal life; we just have a much better and proper perspective of them.

Dear God and heavenly Father, Giver and Sustainer of life, we thank You so much for Your gift of life—both the temporal and the extremely more important eternal life. Please give us wisdom and discernment when a time comes for us to flee. But help us do so not in cowardice, but in obedience to your leading. Lead us to a mission-minded escape when it becomes necessary, and only when it’s necessary and more beneficial to our calling and mission. It’s not always easy to explain such action; there will always be those not open to reason. But we pray that if ever we flee, it’s because the persecution is real—not imagined. And as we go, lead us to better grounds where we can sow the seed of the Gospel, where it will have a greater yield and harvest—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Appreciating God’s Workers

1 Corinthians 16:18   (NLT)   They have been a wonderful encouragement to me, as they have been to you. You must show your appreciation to all who serve so well.

God’s workers ought to be some of the most appreciated people in the world. They strengthen, encourage, comfort, build up, and so much more. The most is: they’re affecting eternal realities in people. That’s of incomparable value. There are many of 1 Corinthians 16.18 - Appreciating God's Workersthem out there, serving God faithfully, through thick and thin, trials and temptations, through comfort and discomfort. They don’t serve for adulations, gifts, and appreciations, but it’s something they ought to receive from their fellow believers—especially those benefiting much from their services.

God knows how to take care of His children. Wherever He leads and assigns, He provides. He’s a good Father and a good employer. He’s the best in fact. He has raised us up as His spiritual family. We are honored for being the people through whom He moves, especially in caring for each other.

We all need help. We who worship and serve the one true living God, though individuals with different gifts, callings, and ministries, belong with each other. As sheep among wolves, we need much help and encouragement. We are under constant attack; attack—that’s something the ungodly world system does. Discouragements and attacks ought to not come from fellow believers and co-workers in the Lord’s vineyard. We may not always cover all needs, but we can always help. Willingness and availability to help is a very good starting point. Because we appreciate and support each other, more lives are touched; more souls are saved; more believers grow; the church expands; the world gets better.

Dependable Promises

Joshua 21:45   (NLT)   Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true. 

There comes a time when being reminded of God’s faithfulness is very comforting and very much needed. There has not failed one word of all His promises. All He has spoken He has done just as He said.

Joshua 21.45 - Dependable PromisesWe face very challenging times. There are times when there is nothing we can do to change our predicaments, when even specialists can bring us no cure or solution; they can just state painful facts. It can be very daunting, very unnerving, especially in life-and-death situations. It’s a fact of life. There is limit to what even the most intelligent and most skilled of us can do.

These are situations and moments when God matters most to many people, when our faith in Him finds its real value, when there is nothing more we can do, when we have come to our human limitations. But we’re comforted knowing there’s reality beyond our own abilities, beyond the temporal, beyond the natural. In God is our hope; in Him we trust. We find courage and peace because we know He never ever turns back on His word. He is our savior; He is our provider; He is our deliver; He is our healer. He has never failed us, and He will never ever do.

In my most gut-wrenching and faith-challenging moments, this is where I find my assurance, courage, and comfort. Praise and glory be unto our ever-truthful, ever-trustworthy, and ever-dependable God.

Resolving Conflicts

1 Corinthians 6:3   (NLT)   Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life.

As much as possible, I try to avoid conflict. God’s Word tells us to keep the peace if it’s at all possible and as much as it depends on us. There’s not a lot there that can threaten 1 Corinthians 6.3 - Resolving Conflictspeace more quickly than trying to correct a person. But God’s Word also tells us to correct and rebuke.

At least in my own personal experience, it’s harder to correct people who are influential, strongly opinionated, successful, achievers, those who are considered high status in society. The task of speaking with them to discuss a possible wrong they do can be very challenging and highly threatening to the peace we work so hard for and work so hard to keep. It can be daunting. And there may be times when we let things just slide; we just brush things off when the best action is to call wrongdoers on their offenses.

Often, we are accused of judging. And I agree; we ought to not be judgmental people. But the wisest king who’s ever lived taught that open rebuke is better than secret love. There is a place for open, loving rebuke.

No one should intimidate us to inaction. It doesn’t matter how famous, rich, powerful, influential the person is. If they need to be told of their wrongs, they need to be told. We will be judging angels, we’re certainly and sufficiently equipped by our loving God to effectively handle disputes and conflicts between others, even if we’re the ones directly involved.