Today, We Prepare

Hebrews 3:13   (KJV)   13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

One glorious day, we will be meeting our long-awaited beloved Lord, beholding Him with our very eyes, to spend time with Him and with our God for eternity. That will be one day, and we pray, one day soon. Today, we prepare.

exhortPart of our proper preparation is urgently exhorting and warning each other daily to be passionate about our God and His Word; to be watchful and vigilant against the insidious tactics and hideous attacks of our enemy.

God has powerfully set us free; we live in freedom. We don’t unwisely subject ourselves again to the cruel sin overlord. In freedom; we’re repeatedly commanded to be careful, to guard our hearts, to make sure our hearts don’t get hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and cause us to turn away from God.

We aim to be faithful to our Lord, to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith, to trust Him as firmly as when we did at first—even more. We don’t make light of the admonition for us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to strive with the power of God’s Spirit that’s continually working in us to will and do what pleases Him. These we restfully do—in freedom, in His grace.

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Passion, Country, and Righteousness

Isaiah 62:1   (KJV)   1 For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

Isaiah 62.1 - Passion, Country, and RighteousnessOur hearts ought to be burning with passion for our country’s welfare. There is no place for stepping back in a corner unaffected by the condition of our beloved nation. Rest isn’t something to enjoy until righteousness rises in a nation and be very clearly assured of its safety.

Do we love our homeland? Believers who love God can and ought to love the nation where God has placed them. I love this country, and it breaks my heart when we notice our country crazily spiraling out of control hastening to the quagmire of immorality and godlessness.

I’m not passive about the choice of our leader. But my choice isn’t determined by personality, polls, or party; my choice is based on values. I uphold, pray for, and pursue righteousness for our nation—there’s where my support and activism lies. The candidate aligned to that positions himself in the line of my support.

We pray and will keep on praying to see the banner of righteousness rise higher and higher in our beloved nation until it brightly and obviously shines like the dawn, and the people in our nation and the world sees. We pray that our country be preserved; that it will be blessed. Here’s where it lies: righteousness exalts a nation; that’s why when a ruler supports righteousness, I rejoice.

With the Little We Have

Acts 18:25   (KJV)   25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

At times, we feel like the tasks, problems, and challenges before us are way much bigger than we can handle. We feel as if we’re unable to cope. Just thinking about them would make others tired, disappointed or want to give up. But we don’t; we know our place, our limitations, and the infiniteness of our God. From the time we trusted Him, placed our full acts-18-25-with-the-litte-we-havedependence on Him for salvation, and surrendered the control of our lives to Him, we already know that this will be the pattern of our lives: us continually dependent on Him in anything and everything.

We trust not in our own strength, understanding, or ability; we acknowledge Him in all our ways. Everyone’s already dependent on Him; there are just those of us who realize it and recognize Him for it, then there are those who don’t. But we all—believers and unbelievers alike live, move, and have our being in Him. It’s in Him and because of Him that all things consists—that we’re kept intact—held together. Because of Him we breathe; we see. All our faculties: intellectual, physical, emotional work because of Him. We don’t dictate the cells of our bodies to keep multiplying and reproducing. We don’t keep telling our minds and hearts to work. Someone else dictates and directs their efficiency.

The Lord calls us not because of us but despite us. It’s not because we’re able, but because He is. He moves in and through us, and gives us the honor of being vessels enjoying the Kingdom work, accomplishments, and victories. That’s it. In Him, we accomplish our tasks and live out our calling—no matter how small or great. We know little, but we’re excited serving Him. We go taking whatever little talent, skill, or knowledge we have. We go humbly yet confidently, knowing we have the great big Almighty God Who covers for our lack. We’re not inhibited or intimidated; our eyes are not on us, we look to Him—Him in us, and that gets us really enthusiastic introducing Him to others, and introducing others to Him.

Passion for God

James 4.5 - God, Heart, Bible3James 4:5   (KJV)   5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

We take God’s Word seriously; it’s the lamp of our feet, the light of our path. It shows us what to believe and what not to believe, how to behave and how not to behave. We meditate on it—day and night; the works of our hands prosper as a result. It tells us to be faithful to God—to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. God is a jealous God, and He wants our spirits to be intimate with Him, to be passionately in love with Him.

God’s Word shows us the faithful who have walked before us. We follow their footsteps. There’s always a fork in the road in front of us; we don’t struggle; we’re not confused; our spirits are sure; we’re single-minded and focused. We choose God. We’re committed; we’re devoted to Him. True, not everyone chooses to walk the same path; we have loved ones who choose to walk the broad way and enter the wide gate; we see the devastating consequences of their choices. We won’t trade life in the Son. It’s the greatest life there is. That’s why we turned from ungodliness and turned to God; that’s why we choose God; that’s why we lovingly, wisely, gently, boldly reach out to others.

God’s Word is very clear in many of its instructions; we wholeheartedly submit to its authority and walk in obedience.  Some of them may not be as clear; we live out our conviction while lovingly disagreeing with those who don’t see them the same way; no, we don’t desire evil or advocate violence against them; those who do proves that they’re not Christians even if they claim they are. We know Christians by their fruit; the foremost of it is love. This doesn’t mean we agree with everything everyone else believes and approves everything everyone else does. We love God; we follow Him; we honor Him, His will, His Word. We’re steadfast in the Truth, and we love everyone despite all our differences; we love others though they treat us as enemies. This is a heart consumed by love for the Master. Oh such wonder, such beauty.

Best is Better than Good

1 Samuel 28:2   (KJV)   And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever.

Being a keeper of a king’s head isn’t too bad – imagine being a personal bodyguard of a king – that ought to be an honorable position. But, what may be a really good thing may not be the best thing. David has already been chosen by God to be a king; he has already been anointed by the prophet Samuel as God’s personally chosen replacement for King Saul.

A lot of times, we find ourselves in situations when we forget our God-given destiny. The immediate satisfaction becomes a distraction from our great future. We get ourselves in tight predicaments and just not to be in bigger trouble, any good offer becomes a great offer.  We swallow what’s fed us never knowing that it’s poisoning our tomorrow.

Never believe that we will never be afforded with choices without undue pressure. When these opportunities come, let’s choose wisely. Let’s use both our hearts and minds. Never lose sight of what God wants us to become and who God wants us to be. Let’s not our present passions blind us from our future promises. The trend of the culture can pressure us to hurry ourselves. Somehow, we ought to be like everyone else. Let’s not forget: the Lord’s plans for us are almost always different from the ways of the world. They’re always better than the world’s. Good is good, but best is best. Choose well.

Praise You Father; You’re perfect! You’re the best!!! Thank You for always desiring what’s best for us. Please help us to be wise and discerning. Help us that we won’t ever trade our spiritual birthrights to a “bowl of stew.” We may be passionately hungry for something right now, and we may feel it’s very important for us to satisfy our present passion. But may we always remember: Your offers and plans for us are way better than our passions – unless our passion is You, in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Love and Marriage: Order

Genesis 34:2-4  (KJV)   And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.

Shechem was strongly attracted to Dinah. That attraction turned fatal – not because attraction was wrong; the order, the process was. He first got intensely attracted, then he raped her, then He started dealing nicely with her, then he pursued marriage. His position as a ruler’s son may have made him feel comfortable and entitled to get what he wanted without much thought of order and consequence. His impulsive reaction didn’t help either. He decided with his emotion without due regard to wisdom. It could be legitimately argued that he may not have known that what he did was wrong since he wasn’t an Israelite who had the convicting guidance of God. I may be wrong, but I believe that in reference to objective moral law, rape is a universally recognized taboo. The horrible consequence: death of all the male in his town – including his fathers’ and his – from the vengeful and bloody hands of the girl’s two brothers.

To be in love is wonderful; to be intensely attracted to someone gives us an inexplicable walking in the cloud feeling – especially if the attraction is mutual. But to act according to feelings and our desires mindlessly outside proper boundaries can and will have consequences. And the consequences can be extremely dreadful. We can’t undermine proper order and proper process or procedure. Be in love – great. Instead of passionately jumping straight to bed, it will be very helpfully appropriate to know each other first. When we’ve sufficiently and “safely” known each other and given all the essential aspects considered, pursue marriage. After marriage, consummate that marriage with the most intimate physical expression/s of love. Instead of a curse; it will be a be a blessed attraction and relationship.

Loving Father, may our love and all its expressions be pure. May we show that our love really is love and our actions are not just a shallow expressions of lust presenting itself as a deep and passionate love. You are love. There is nothing improper, disorderly and impure about You. May those we love be assured of love that is true from us, not just through our spoken words, but by the godliness of our actions as well.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.