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.

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Me—Example of God’s Patience

1 Timothy 1:16   (KJV)   16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

The patience of our Lord Jesus is unquestionable. I’m a proof of that, and it’s my desire that my life be a demonstration of the love, mercy, grace, and longsuffering of God. I may not claim the same as Paul being the chief of all sinners, but I know more about myself 1 Timothy 1.16 - Me - Example of God's Patiencethan those commonly known and considered as really evil people. We only know so much about them, but I know even the deepest and most secret sins I’ve committed—most of them remain unrevealed.

Praise God, I obtained mercy. I don’t know how my life would be now had I not been saved. Even in my most religious years, I realized I was being a hypocrite—I just didn’t have the conviction then. This is not to glory in my depravity, but to exalt the Lord in His kindness to a sinner. Imagine a child who was a terrible spoiled brat in his childhood. Imagine a child who was full of anger and hatred towards his step-mom and step-brother. Imagine a person who used to curse at the beginning, middle, and end of almost each sentence—without trying, while serving as altar boy almost every day. Imagine a young man whose communication with peers was replete with lustful, immoral, and filthy words—enjoying every moment of it. Imagine a young man who had enough of ungodly pride to expect his peers to bow to his wants at his beck and call. Imagine a person who caused a break-up of a family for pursuing an adulterous relationship. Imagine a man who treated his romantic partner very badly—a woman he promised to make the happiest. Imagine no longer, I was that man—pre-Jesus.

By God’s grace that man exists no more. By God’s grace, a new man was born. God’s love and power were way much greater than all that man was. I was a very principled and dogmatic person—even when I stood for what was wrong (without knowing it). I didn’t just surrender my life to Jesus at the first hearing of His glorious Gospel. It took time—much time. I glory and rejoice in God’s “higher-than-heavens,” “longer-than-my-obstinacy” longsuffering or patience. He didn’t give up on me.

If you’re reading this and haven’t yet experienced the reality of God’s forgiveness, hope, and salvation in Jesus, may my life serve as an example of how an impossibility is possible with God. If I can be saved—gloriously transformed by God into a new man, anyone can experience the same.

 

Live What We Preach

Malachi 2:6   (KJV)   6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

This is one of the times when the Lord commended the priests in the Old Testament. They taught and preached the Word. They were truthful. They lived before the Lord in Malachi 2.6 - Live What We Preachpeace, meaning: they had integrity. They effectively turned many people away from their lives of sin.

We’ve received the wonderful privilege of bearing the torch of truth to everyone. We possess within us this great treasure of God’s Word, the honor of preaching the Good News of salvation to the lost, and this unequalled task of making disciples of all nations. With this is the necessity of living faithfully before God. We steadfastly stand on God’s pure truth; no lies or deceit are found in our lips or in our lives. We maximize our effectiveness that way.

Our hearts sincerely cry out for salvation of God-loved sinners. And it’s just appropriate that we  remove any and every blinding obstacle that would shun them from being attracted to the light of God. One of those obstacles is hypocrisy—living differently from what we preach. We don’t want that for ourselves; we don’t want that for Christianity; we don’t want that as a picture others will have to erroneously represent Jesus and us to them.

When Clueless

Luke 23:35   (KJV)   35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

Both the people and the leaders expected Jesus to save Himself as an unambiguous proof of Him being the Christ. They were amiss. God’s chosen Messiah came not to save Luke 23.35 - When CluelessHimself, but to seek and to save the seemingly helpless and hopeless lost. He did it not by saving Himself from death on the cross, but by the exact opposite—not saving Himself, by giving His life—shedding His most precious blood—as a ransom payment for our sins.

God said, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). He often does things in ways that transcends our expectations and baffles our imaginations. But they always astonishingly yield the best results. It’s because of this that the saying “Let go and let God” isn’t just a good cliché to us; it’s our lifestyle.

Our only wise God and Savior, we humble ourselves before you. Please open our eyes, our hearts, and our understanding to the wonders of Your ways. Help us to never doubt You, but to always trust Who You are and how You do things. We won’t come to a point when we’ll understand all Your purposes in every turn of events, but we can always trust You in all of them. You have repeatedly shown us Your inexhaustible creativity. You have assured us of Your unquestionable and unending love. We depend on You and act on those things You’ve plainly revealed to us; we depend on You as well even in times when we don’t have a clue as to what’s going on.

 

Preach to the “Choir”

Luke 4:44   (KJV)   44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

Luke 4.44 - Preach to the ChoirJesus preached outside of the walls of the synagogues; He also preached in the synagogues. Implied: there were people in the synagogues who needed to hear the Good News.

Going out to all the world and preaching the Gospel rings very loudly from our pulpits and that’s very good, but it will be a huge negligence on our part if we forget that there are people sitting on the chairs or pews Sunday after Sunday who still need to be preached to.

It’s important for us to declare God’s message of salvation to the lost. Most of them do not come to our places of worship. We go where they are. We also recognize the obvious truth that not everyone who gathers together with us for worship and the preaching of the Word is a believer.

There have been many times when I heard testimonies of our very own church people share how they got saved long after they’ve started attending our church gatherings. Praise God for that. That’s why we preach the Good News and we teach God’s principles; we evangelize and we disciple. We do this when we gather together as a local church in a particular place, and we do this when we part ways and go as individual churches to our personal spheres of influence—our own “worlds,”—our own mission fields.

At times, it’s worthwhile preaching to the “choir;” so let’s continue preaching in our “synagogues.” There’s a big probability that some of those in attendance may be with us bodily—geographically, but not yet a part of us as a church spiritually.

Christmas – He Came to Save

Luke 19:10   (KJV)   10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

It’s God’s earnest and loving desire that you and I—everyone—be rescued from the fires of judgment, from life and eternity without Christ. That’s the reason why Jesus willingly came. He was born to die for us—to give His life as a ransom for many. Not all are saved, luke-19-10-christmas-he-came-to-savebut all are salvable, and there are those who are and will be saved. We were once lost, but now we’re found, we were once blind, but now we see; we were once dead, but now we’re alive.

God’s eyes are still looking to and fro; Jesus, through His Holy Spirit is still knocking on the door of our hearts; the door for salvation is still open. Anyone, from the most moral sinner to the most hardened criminal, can be saved. All over the world, people just like us are looking for Jesus. For some, the process isn’t as easy and comfortable as we have it here in our free country. But against all odds, they find ways. With tears in their eyes and with indescribable gratefulness, they joyfully cling to the Savior, and bow in absolute surrender before the Lord.

The Lord never disappoints His own. He always sees us eye to eye; He always meets us at the point of our need, always, with a loving invitation to rest in Him. Others don’t understand this beautiful divine dynamics; they can’t understand how sinners such as I can be saved and accepted by a perfectly holy God. They can’t believe the genuineness of good drastic changes that transpire. But the Lord doesn’t have any problem with it. He knows His purpose is just getting accomplished. The salvation for which He came is happening, proven by genuine repentance of those who experience it.

 

The Word, Life, and Light

John 1.4 - The Word, Life, and Light - 2John‬ ‭1:4‬   (KJV‬‬)   In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Jesus is the Word; He is the Light of the world; He is life. As the Word, He gives life; as Life, He brings light. Because of the Word, creation exists; because of life, death is overcome, because of light, darkness flees.

God doesn’t run out of resources. He spoke and the worlds came into being. He doesn’t need anything to create something; His Word is more than enough to create reality. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. God speaks life. He is our life-source; He’s also our life-support. God illuminates our world; in Him, everything is exposed; everything is made clear.

We have no fear of lack; God has promised more than enough provisions for those who seek Him, His Kingdom, and His righteousness first. His Word is our bond; nothing’s surer. We have no fear of death; we who believe, although we die, we will live, and those of us who live and believe will never die. Death really has lost its sting. We no longer live in darkness; we’re free from sin, guilt, and shame. We know where we’re headed. He is the Light that marks our destiny, the Lamp of our feet, the Light of our path. We’re not lost.