Heavens Proclaim God’s Glory

Psalms 19:1   (NLT)   The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.

Psalm 19.1 - Heavens Proclaim God's GloryWe are inundated by testimonies of God’s reality, existence, love, power, and wisdom. We look up to the heavens and we see greatness there. We look up to the sky and we see precision, order, beauty, skillful work of art. Not everyone comes to the same conclusion, but I can’t help but see glory and majesty behind them all.

Creation is a silent yet very visible evangelist pointing us to God. We have to just be more observant and more conscientious of the beauty and the marvels surrounding us. If God could create such awesome wonders, and sustain them throughout all ages, how can He not take good care of us? He is more willing and able to care for us than we think.

Dear God and heavenly Father, God of creation, thank You for leaving us more than sufficient proofs and demonstrations of You. I pray that we’ll be more aware of Your constant presence, of Your immense and tremendous power, of your unfailing love, your inscrutable wisdom, and the universe-size billboard flashing those truths continuously—in Jesus’ Name, amen.



It’s Okay to Ask for Help

John 4:7   (KJV)   7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

John 4.7 - It's Okay to Ask for HelpAs believers, we’re more blessed giving than receiving; we’re more blessed helping than being helped. But clearly, it isn’t sinful to ask for help; it doesn’t necessarily make us less effective in our testimony and in proclaiming the Good News. In fact, the Lord can even use that exactly for the purpose of the Good News.

We can’t be too proud to ask for help. We’re not of this world but we’re still in this world. We need food, clothing, shelter, transportation. We don’t expect all of those to be coming from Christian-owned businesses; we will use items produced by non-Christian-owned businesses.

We’re not here to bless believers alone; we’re here to love our neighbors—which include the lost and unbelieving. We will use their products, and praise God, we help them succeed and prosper. That’s love. Asking for their help may be a way we can build relationship with them—a relationship that will give us opportunities to shine the light of Jesus through us to them. That’s good.

No Worry; No Fear

Matthew 10:31   (KJV)   31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Fear not! Those are very reassuring and comforting words from our loving and beloved Lord and Savior. He told us that as His followers, we will be treated extremely badly; that’s for sure. For others who don’t have a personal, loving, saving relationship with Matthew 10.31 - Sparrows Don't Fear; More So UsHim, that’s really dreadful. But for us, He also gave the reason not be scared: we are very valuable to Him.

We have a mission to accomplish. Our mission involves people. We are sheep among wolves. And the pack of wolves that devoured our Master will do us no less. We are rejected, accused, and some of us have been arrested, and punished unjustly. We are betrayed, at times, even by those very close to us—hard to believe—but it happens. We are hated by the rich, famous, and the powerful influencers of culture.

We don’t cower to and withdraw to fruitlessness. God turns our worst experiences to great opportunities. God has worked through them for those in high places to see and hear the witness of God-loving and neighbor-loving people. We see how real God is, how present He is, how wise and powerful He is. So we continue to lovingly shine His light. We hear from Him in the silence of our “date;” we boldly shout His words “from the housetops.” Others don’t like what they hear. They try to harm us. But they can only touch our bodies. None can touch our eternal beings. Only God can do that, and we’re happy because the only One Who has the power to decide where we spend our eternal destiny—He Who values the sparrows—values us way much more, loves us, and cares for us. With all that, why fear?

We continue to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons. We freely receive; we freely give. We’re threatened with prison and sword; we respond with the gentle force of God’s love—nothing to fear with that.

Our Shepherd and God

Ezekiel 34:31   (KJV)   31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.

Ezekiel 34.31 - Our Shepherd and GodBecause the Lord is our shepherd, we’re one blessed flock.

The most caring, most loving, most powerful being is watching over us. We’ll find no greater assurance and comfort than that.

Either as sheep or as human beings, we’re wonderfully blessed to have the LORD as our Shepherd and our God.  We are not always as wise; we’re very dependent; we have lots of limitations; we get lost very easily; we need lots of help. Praise God, our Shepherd is the best Shepherd there is. He’s a good Shepherd. Where He leads us, we follow. Why not? He feeds us, guides us, leads us, protects us, loves us…

Love Over Freedom

Romans 14:15   (NIV)   15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.

We’re aware that fellow believers can still be distressed. And the cause of each other’s distress can be each other. To be such a cause equates to being unloving in our actions. The mandate is clear: our freedom in Jesus ought to not cause anyone to be distressed or Romans 14.15 - Love Over Freedomdestroyed. Our souls are way more precious than any food, drink, or anything this world has to offer.

Our Lord Jesus has set us free, and whoever He sets free is truly free. It is for freedom itself that He set us free; that speaks of the great value of freedom. But there’s something of greater worth than that: souls. God loves each of us tremendously, that explains the rationality of our precious Lord Jesus willingly leaving the glories of heaven to seek and to save the lost by sacrificing His life as a ransom payment for us.

We as His children understand His indescribable love—not totally—but enough to know that it’s great beyond measure. Having this set in our hearts and minds, we’re willing to sacrifice our freedom to protect others, especially our spiritual family. Sure, everything is permissible for us, but we understand that not everything is beneficial. Sure, we’re free to do anything, but we’re aware that there are things that can be destructive instead of constructive; there are things that can get us enslaved or addicted, there are things that can cause others to stumble, and there are things that just plainly don’t glorify God. Having the heart of God for His children, we willingly submit our liberty to love if a choice has to be made.

Celebrating Children

Mark 9:37   (KJV)   37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

We love our kids; they’re a wonder to behold. They are wonderful gifts from God. Yes, it takes a lot in raising them; it’s also a joy doing so. It takes a lot of responsibility in raising them. There’s so much to teach them; but guess what, there’s also so much we can learn mark-9-3-celebrating-childrenfrom them. You know what’s interesting? Learning something from them is probably the last thing others would think about, but not us. Thank You Lord; You woke us up to this reality.

To some (or many), kids are an annoyance, that’s why they would rather not have kids. Others don’t mind having one or two, but not more. There are those who give them away for adoption; and there are those who don’t even give them a chance to live beyond the womb. It’s not hard to see irritated stares from people when a child cries incessantly—especially children not their own. But there’s a good side in this: as there are those who can’t stand children, there are also many of us who love them. We treat them the best way we can, although of course, we still fail. We learn from our mistakes; we do better.

Children are hugely dependent on responsible others; they can’t survive on their own. We need to take good care of them, and it’s something we keep doing until they can take care of themselves. Taking care of them isn’t a waste of time. I need to emphasize this because many times, others see kids as disturbances from a lot more important things in life. They’re sadly considered by others as uncomfortable distractions from their pursuit of greatness. This is where our loving Lord Jesus took His disciples’ attention to. The path to greatness isn’t by lording others into submission; it’s by receiving children.

I’ll state this again: it’s by receiving children. The reason I feel the need to doing that is because I want us to not miss out on this principle. Many of us are aware that a path to greatness is by conducting ourselves humbly like a child and serving others. That’s a principle that many believers are familiar with. But there’s really more to it than that: It’s not only by having childlike faith and humility that we enter the Kingdom of heaven and become great, it’s also by literally welcoming, receiving, and caring for little children. Welcoming them is welcoming God, and having God is both greatness and way to greatness. That’s why, we don’t just tolerate children, we celebrate them.

Care for the Sheep

John 21:17  (KJV)   “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

Those we love, we take care of.  It’s because of God’s great love for us that He takes great care of us; it’s because we sincerely love each other in the church that we naturally take good care of each other. We feed each other—both spiritually and physically. It’s because john-21-17-care-for-the-sheepwe fervently love the lost that we persistently reach out to them—that we willingly help them with their needs, especially their indispensable need for salvation. This is what our Lord Jesus repeatedly commissioned Peter to do as a responsibility that comes with his love for the Lord.

Our dear Lord Jesus loves us. He cares for us so much that He invites us all to cast all our often nerve-wrecking cares, worries, and concerns to Him. One of the interesting things He did with the apostles after His death and resurrection was to feed them and to eat with them. It’s almost allegorical—that’s what He did for three years: feed the apostles, especially with spiritual food.

He didn’t give up; it didn’t matter how many times the apostles failed to understand His teachings, how many times they forgot, how many times they failed; He just kept on caring for them; He just kept on feeding them. This is the pattern; we don’t get tired of teaching our brothers and sisters in Chrsit—repeatedly, continuously. Like physical food: we eat; we get hungry; we get weak; we eat again—the cycle continues.

Just because we’ve taught a certain truth to others doesn’t mean we expect them to go by the power of that one teaching without failing or falling until they meet the Lord. No; we clearly understand that they will get weak; we understand that properly caring for them is an invaluable task we’ll keep doing—without irritation, annoyance, or disappointment. We understand this because we too need and receive the same precious gracious, patient, persevering care. So yes, it’s a wonderful pleasure taking good care of others—again, and again.