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.

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Help Build Others’ Dreams

Genesis 41:44   (NLT) And Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.”

Pharaoh appointed Joseph as his 2nd in command. He gave Joseph what many may consider too much power to delegate to one person. He did it without any kind of insecurity about his position. He recognized the Lord’s work in the life of Joseph, that Genesis 41.44 - Helping Build Others' Dreamsbecause of God, Joseph was wise and intelligent. Sure enough, his confidence and trust in Joseph was justified. Joseph was diligent; he was loyal; he indeed saved the world from famine, and because of him, pharaoh was personally enriched.

We’re not afraid of promoting people who are deserving of certain positions. We’re not insecure or threatened when others succeed; promotion comes from the Lord. We want to help others succeed; we want to help them fulfill their dreams. We cannot be too careful that it paralyzes us and stunts our growth or the growth of our team. We lift others up, positioning them appropriately where they could function the most. This makes them most productive, growing and helping the team in the process.

God is a trustworthy God. He is in control of all things. Even when others really want to rise up against us after they’re put in a position, God protects us, preserves us, and sustains us. He knows how to take good care of us; He also knows how to effectively handle our enemies: “For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11). That’s settled.

As for us, we look for people whose dreams we can help fulfill. We recognize their skills, talents, abilities and God’s favor in their lives. We see those who the world is afraid of and insecure about—people who they try to stop from going higher. We don’t get threatened by them; that’s a reason why we grow—much faster and stronger. Our security, our position, our status— it’s the Lord we trust for those. We rest in confidence; we are secure. We help others; we lift them up; more people live their dreams; they grow; the team grows; and it’s a joy being a part of making it happen.

 

Diligence and Assurance

Hebrews 6:11   (KJV)   11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Diligence plays a huge part in fully assuring our hope. This is specifically referring to work and labour of love for our spiritual family.

Hebrews 6.11 - Diligence and AssuranceThere may be times when we don’t really feel like loving. We want to be on the receiving end. Others have times of laziness. But our days are exciting exactly because we don’t allow our moods and circumstances to dictate how our days go.

In the process, we keep on growing; we keep on progressing in our Christian journey; we keep becoming more productive as God’s people; more people are blessed through us. We contribute in the Kingdom purposes and mission.

We believe in the supernatural, in the eternal, in the spiritual. We believe in heaven; we believe in God; we believe the return of our Lord Jesus. This results in us living full lives—lives truly blessed—recipients of, and channels of. Through us, more people are helped living out their fullness as well.

More Valuable than All Our Achievements

Philippians 3:8   (KJV)   Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

We are pursuing something more significant than any and all achievements we or anyone else can ever achieve. Knowing Jesus more carries infinitely more value than all our advancements and accomplishments—even the spiritual kind. We don’t mind losing Philippians 3.8 - More Valuable than All Our Achievementseverything no matter how precious they may be in the natural eyes and in society’s estimation. Compared to Jesus, they’re like useless garbage.

When it comes to our salvation, our best efforts amount to nothing. We humbly admit: our best efforts still fail miserably short of God’s glorious standards. It’s foolish to anchor our hope in ourselves. Perfection is far from anyone’s reach. The Lord Jesus alone can claim sinlessness. He’s the One to “run after;” He’s the One we take true pride and joy in.

It isn’t wrong to be proud of each other who sincerely and diligently try to do our best to faithfully live out our faith before the Lord and before the watching world. A good testimony—an exemplary life is admirable. There’s a place for compliments. We’re also called to encourage others, and to tell them “good job” when they really do well. It’s befitting for believers to do our best in all our works. Many times, we excel. Even our unbelieving bosses or peers notice.

We shine the light of Jesus through us—that’s a natural goal we have in everything we do. That’s very biblical. We will get applause, approval, and commendations; we may even receive promotion. We’re also called to grow in the knowledge and likeness of our Lord. All these give us sense of satisfaction, and that’s perfectly appropriate. But when it comes to comparing the value of all those achievements and progress to the value of an intimate knowledge and relationship with Jesus, the choice for us is undoubtedly clear: He’s our hands-down preference. Our ultimate pride is not ourselves, it’s Him.

 

Listen Well

Mark 4:24   (KJV)   24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

The measure of our understanding has very much to do with the measure of our hearing. The more intentional and sincere our listening is, the more understanding we Mark 4.24 - Listen Wellreceive. Understanding, discernment, illumination—all these are from our gracious God, but it’s not an encouragement to passivity or laziness; it’s an invitation to enjoyment of our undeserved participation in His wonderful works.

The principle is God-established; it does us well when we zealously take it to heart. To whom much is given, much is required. It’s a circular blessing and response design: the more we heed what we hear, the more understanding we’re given; the more understanding we have; the more we ought to hear. If we don’t use our gifts, we lose them; if we use them, God multiplies them; if we use them for God’s Kingdom, God multiplies them greatly.

Our God is omniscient; there’s no secret He’s not privy to. He’s never at lost as to any kind of information or knowledge. He knows exactly how to approach every situation. No problem’s too big that He can’t solve; no question’s too hard that He can’t answer; no situation is too messed up that He can’t find a solution for. He has the authority, the power, and the willingness to share with us a necessary slice of His infinite knowledge and wisdom. And it’s an awesome privilege to be honored recipients of such assuring and extremely important blessing.

 

If there’s a Will…

Luke 19:4   (KJV)   And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

Zacchaeus’ smallness didn’t deter him from seeing Jesus. He found a way. He used his Luke 19.4 - If there's a Will...mind; He used his legs; he used his strength; he used time; he used the tree; he used knowledge available.

There’s no greater desire and sight than Jesus—wanting Him, “seeing” Him, “finding” Him, knowing Him. And I love the fact that there’s nothing that can stop us from having a personal, loving, saving experience and relationship with Him. There are challenges; there are hurdles; there are deterrents, but God has given us everything we need for life and godliness—especially everything needed for our salvation.

Dear God, thank You for doing everything You can do to save us—even “passing” this earth-way through the person of Your precious Son—our Lord Jesus Who so lovingly and willingly gave His life for us to redeem us from our old, past, lost lives. Help us not to find excuses but to find ways so we will continue drawing nearer to You and experiencing all the glorious changes and blessings of being more intimate with You and being more like You.

Fall Not

2 Peter 1:10   (KJV)   10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

2 Peter 1.10 - Fall NotWe are humbly grateful to the LORD our God and heavenly Father for giving us assurance of our salvation. We don’t have to guess; we don’t have to doubt; we rest in it. We don’t take this lightly; instead, we “give diligence to make our calling and election sure.”

How do we do that? Praise God, he makes it very clear: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:5-7).

Diligence as a believer is of tremendous importance. Resting in Jesus isn’t the same as being lazy and passive. We bear the Spirit’s fruit by diligently working out what He’s working in. We’re told repeatedly by people not to doubt our salvation; we’re also admonished by the Scriptures to test whether or not we’re in the faith, and to confirm our calling and election. By doing so, through His empowerment, we stand strongly and walk faithfully.