Helping God? No Way.

Mark 6:41   (NLT)   Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share.

Miracles invite our involvement. God created everything out of nothing, but He still used and accepted the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish He used to provide more than enough food for 5K men + women and children. Jesus could have made bread and fish to appear in Mark 6.41 - God Needs Our Help--No Wayfront of each person, but He still asked his disciples to help distribute them.  Sovereignty does not promote passivity inactivity, or laziness. Obviously, God can do anything by Himself. So, His invitation for us to join Him in a miracle is not because He’s lacking. Whatever our participation is, no matter how small, brings us opportunity of experiencing the joy of miracle. Sure, for every small part we contribute, God has incalculably multiplied times more, but there’s still satisfaction and joy in knowing that we take part.

God is a good Father. He does not want to spoil us. Even in forgiveness, although He forgives us absolutely, He still disciplines us. He doesn’t allow us to get off, scot-free without experiencing disciplinary consequence. Discipline may not even sound palatable in the age of grace, but discipline and grace aren’t contradictory. In fact, discipline is a proof of us being a part of the family of God. Like in the case of the people who complained against God about their food. They were bitten by snakes and many of them died because of that. When they realized they did something wrong and repented, they asked God to forgive them and to stop the judgment. God was willing, but it was not an immediate termination of judgment; Moses still had to construct a brazen serpent on a pole, and people still had to look at it for them not to die.

God honors us. Praise God, He does not clip our wings but allows us to live to our maximum potential. Why did Jesus intend to just pass the disciples who He saw were in serious trouble rowing hard against the waves? My guess is, He knew they would have made it. As dangerous as their situation may have been, they would still have succeeded and reached the shore safely. He wanted to give them the joy of achievement.

God helps us. Even if it would require a miracle to do it; He does. But He also stretches us. It is often through that when we realize there’s more in us and to us than we know. So, we gladly and gratefully welcome the invitation to join Him in His work and share the joys of His victories and miracles.


Living in His Promises

Numbers 14:8   (NLT)   And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey.

How wonderful it is to know God leads us to a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Our precious Lord Jesus came with a purpose of giving us life and life abundantly—life full of purpose and meaning. Many of us have heard and quoted Jeremiah’s words telling Numbers 14.8 - Living in His Promisesus about the Lord’s plans that are good and not evil, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. I can’t help but sense a soul-refreshing comfort and assurance whenever I remember the Lord making us lie down in lush green meadows.

There are deterrents and oppositions to this. Many times, others have their own version of a land flowing with milk and honey. We’re careful because this can be true even with believers. Not everyone allows God’s Word to take deep and strong roots in their hearts. Simple trials make them look back to the immediate fun and pleasures of their past. Often, blindness kicks in. They lose sight of the obvious and powerful miracles and blessings God has brought them. Their once dreaded but endured past, their land of slavery and bondage, they see now as the land flowing with milk and honey.

But how pleasant it is to us who live for God’s pleasure. Despite all the obstacles, challenges, oppositions and enemies, despite our inabilities and limitations, God isn’t stopped; He brings us safely to His promise. Anything or anyone who gets in the way becomes a helpless prey to the promise. The presence of hurdles before us is trumped by God’s presence in and among us. Why fear? Caveat: I’m not suggesting Christian journey is perfect—that we will always please God. There are moments of slips and failures. But God knows who His sincere followers are. And in His unfailing love, He forgives the contrite and repentant. He restores our souls and leads us back to the paths of righteousness—to the path of promise.

Our minds and hearts are set: the Lord is our God. We live for His pleasure. We’re living in His promise—a land flowing with milk and honey. And we’re journeying to the next. It’s a journey of promise to another promise. There’s no life better than the life of a believer.

Divine Full-Coverage Lifetime Protection

Psalm 27:1   (NLT)

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?

Psalm 27.1 - Divine Full-Coverage ProtectionDarkness, devastation, destruction, devil, death—these are things that scare many of us. Scary people, objects, and situations come our way. They’re real. We don’t deny them, and we don’t have to; we just deny them control.

The Lord is our light amid darkness; He’s our salvation in perilous situations. He’s inside of us, by our side, before us, and behind us. He surrounds us with an impenetrable shield, and yes, with songs of deliverance. So, when enemies rise before us, we don’t worry; we don’t fear; we rise above them. Our God is God Most High.

The Lord is God. His power transcends any and every threat coming our way. He has never failed, and He will never ever do. He’s loving, righteous, holy, and just. He’s not a malicious or capricious God who occasionally desires to see His children beaten down by their enemies just for the fun of it. There’s no ill-will in Him—no spot of mischief.

Enemies may abound, the mountains and hills may crumble, but our God is on our side; His throne is established. He comes and saves. His presence is protection. There’s nothing the enemy can do to those living in God’s secret place—under the Almighty’s wings.

There are those who wish our downfall; that will remain a wish. We don’t delight in our enemies’ failure, but their devices against us often boomerang to them. We don’t cower; we don’t get intimidated; we don’t get paralyzed into inaction. We live joyfully and victoriously—with our shoulders humbly squared; our heads humbly held high; melody remains in our hearts; confidence is in our every step.

We have a divine, full-coverage, lifetime protection. We’re dauntless. Unto Him be all the glory; unto Him be all the praise.

Bountifully Blessed

Acts 26:18   (NLT)   18 to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’

A lot of great things happens to us when we place our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and surrender our lives to Him. For one, our blind eyes are opened. God’s love, our need, our spiritual poverty, God’s answer to our spiritual need, our appropriate Acts 26.18 - Bountifully Blessedresponse—all these are elucidated in our minds and hearts by God’s precious Holy Spirit. That’s why we humbly, gratefully, and readily call on Him and receive Him into our lives.

There’s so much more: we no longer live in darkness, we now live in the light—we are children of light, lights of the world. Whew—awesome descriptions of our identity. Satan, as powerful as he may be, no longer has a hold on us because we’re now under God’s Almighty protection. Satan has got nothing on God. Oh, what joy to know He who gives us life, and life way more abundantly, is infinitely more powerful than the one who tries to steal, kill, and destroy.

We’re also forgiven of all our sins. That’s big. Our sins separated us from God—spiritually dead, that is. That’s serious. Without His forgiveness, it leads to eternal death. That doesn’t sound good; that’s horrible. To spend eternity apart from God, void of love, joy, peace, freedom, and bliss is more than horrible; it’s indescribably agonizing. But we’re forgiven. We’re now, in a saving sense, God’s children—a part of His spiritual family—His people. We’re different; we’re separated from the rest; we’re unique—wonderfully unique.

Help and be Helped

Numbers 3:9   (NLT)   9 Assign the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They have been given from among all the people of Israel to serve as their assistants.

The Lord is our Helper, and one of the ways He helps us is through people. We all need help, and we all ought to help others. God moves in and through us so that we can serve and be served. The work God assigns us is bigger than one person can do alone. God Numbers 3.9 - Help and be Helpedproviding us help and instructing us to help shows His concern about us, about others, about His Name, about His Kingdom.

We all have a call; our call is personal, but our call involves God and people. We’re to love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, strengths, and we’re to love others as ourselves. We can’t do that without getting involved with God and with people. And because others have the same mandate, we too will be recipients of that love. We can’t escape this. This is how humanity is designed: we’re inter-connected.

Don’t be alarmed. God doesn’t want our boundaries violated. Though the Levites were assigned to assist Aaron and his sons, there were things they couldn’t do, touch, and see that Aaron and his sons could. He has things that are uniquely ours, uniquely others’, and uniquely His. Helping others doesn’t mean having the right to violate those boundaries. There are lines we can’t cross, and there are lines we can. There are works we can share, and there are responsibilities reserved for the individuals alone. To violate these boundaries can be ungodly and can end up not helping at all.

Remember, even helping has protocols. Forgetting this can be devastating. Instead of helping, we cause more work; instead of making things easier, we make them harder; instead of making things faster, we cause the delay; instead of building, we destroy; and the worst: instead of giving life, we bring death.

We need help, others do too. God helps us. We receive help, we help others. All these are done respectfully. Help becomes a real blessing.

The Blessedness of the Obedient

Leviticus 26:5   (NLT)   5 Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.

A promise of blessing, of provision, is a very good thing to have, especially if the promise comes from God.  It’s interesting to note: this promise is preceded by a condition to follow God’s decrees and to carefully obey His commands. Clearly, God has blessings not Leviticus 26.5 - Blessedness of the Obedientavailable to all people at all times. It’s good to point out that everyone enjoys innumerable blessings from Him. Some are aware of the fact and acknowledges Him, some aren’t aware and don’t bother to know.

We all have needs and we all want our needs provided for. We may not fully know what kind of blessings and provisions He gives to all, and what kind He gives just to His obedient children, but obviously, His obedience matters and opens to way more blessings. There’s much peace in being sure our businesses bring good profit. It’s great to have blessings overlap, when we haven’t yet used up the past blessings, and a new batch of blessings come.

More important than the material examples are blessings not seen. God is the source of love, joy, peace, salvation, sustenance, strength, security, significance, protection, purpose, guidance, worth, victory… Obedience isn’t legalism, it isn’t a bad deal. The way I see it is: when God gives commands and instructions, it’s because He knows exactly which direction the best way is to go, and which path the best way is to take. He knows where the “straight and narrow” is. He knows if we walk that way or this way, that path is lined with blessings and favor. And when we choose to leave the path; we may think we’re pursuing a shortcut to more blessedness—faster, but reality is: we’re blinded by the immediate and temporal, which eventually leads to dissatisfaction and destruction.

There’s no question about it; God can orchestrate everything for us to be abundantly blessed. He’s the Source of all good and perfect gifts. He’s the One Who opens the floodgates of heaven and uncovers the springs of the earth. He directs our steps like a watercourse and positions people instrumental for His blessings to come to us surely—unhindered. So, His commands aren’t in any way to constrict us but to direct us so that we don’t miss out on the best He’s got for us.

We’re willing Lord. Thank You for Your love. Praise You Lord from Whom all blessings flow. Let them pour Lord; let them pour—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

God Helps Us Answer Questions

Psalm 25:12   (NLT)

12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
He will show them the path they should choose.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want… These are the opening words of the famed 23rd Psalm written by the former King David of Israel. It’s understandable that people—mostly believers—worldwide—love this Psalm. It brings comfort and encouragement Psalm 25.12 - God Helps Us Answer Questionsbecause it touches a lot of very common, deep, and important issues and needs very dear to our hearts.

Jehovah-Jireh—the Lord our Provider. That’s one of God’s revealed covenant compound-names. Praise God; He’s not a stingy God who delights in making His people suffer lack. He provides not just material things, but everything we need; this include our much needed guidance. We desperately need truth. It’s essential to make right decisions especially in life-altering, destiny-changing choices.

We have questions; people have questions. We want our questions answered. We also want to have the answers when people ask us of the hope we believe in. For us who have high regard and high-respect for our God—who value Him greatly, who worship Him and Him alone, He’s more than willing to reveal Himself, His Word, and His ways. Teach us, He does: word upon word, precept upon precept, line upon line.

We need not get annoyed, irritated, or angry when people ask hard-hitting and difficult, even tricky and impudent questions. Love doesn’t flinch, and willingness to gently, humbly, and correctly answer people’s inquiries is an expression of love. God is omniscient; we’re not, but as we fearfully, sincerely, and wholeheartedly seek Him; He shows Himself—increasingly more. We grow; we get to guide seekers better—nor as blind leading the blind, but as those who have their spiritual minds, hearts, and eyes anointed with the salve of God’s revealing light.