Love God and love others

rejoiceO ften times we don’t understand the actions of another person, but may I remind us to love them anyway.

“And the King will answer them, I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” – Matthew 25:40

Even if you consider the person to be an enemy; Jesus says to pray and bless them anyway. Who knows when we would act as an ‘enemy’ towards another and in turn need that prayer and that blessing. Only Jesus is perfect friends.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew 5:44

We can only accomplish this by the grace of God and thus we need to seek Him.

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. ” – 2 Peter 1:3

If you have no idea what 2 Peter 1:3 was talking about, all the more reason to seek.

Go after Jesus while He can be found, go get Him while He is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

I promise you at the end of the day, when the party is over, the wine has been drunk, in the dark of the night, many people long for the God who created them. Many things they’d use to fill that God shaped hole but it is Jesus they long for. Sure we have happy moments on this earth, but they are in the temporary; the next best fellowship I can think of is marriage, and they are not forever. The Bible says:

” they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” – Matthew 22:30

And for sure we know that we can’t leave this world with all the money we have acquired. A very startling revelation is given in the Bible. A wealthy man decides to live ‘happily ever after’ without giving thanks to God, not knowing that the true treasure is having a relationship with his heavenly Father.

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. – Luke 12:19-20

Job in his time of trial knew that the things of earth pass away, and that he’d leave them behind. He says:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:21

The Bible says we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), that we were made for His glory and to fellowship with Him. It profits us nothing to gain much in this life, yet have no fellowship with God. (Mark 8:36) Even the human on earth we love the most can only do so much. That person also is not perfect and needs God to fill their God shaped hole, that is, to save them from their sins, give them their identity and complete them in the way that only God can.

God though has it all together, He has a very good track record of being faithful. He is also holy, just and wants His creation to live in fellowship with Him; to live a moral life according to His standards. It is only by His grace we can have this, and thus He wants us to receive Him.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. “ Rev 3:20

Don’t forget to Pray

prayThe Bible says the prayers of the righteous availeth much (James 5:16). Recently, I have been reading about North Korea, and other places in the world where Christians are persecuted and oppressed. Open Doors states the following: “In practice, civilians do not have any rights. There is no freedom to build churches or to worship in homes. Possession of a Bible or Christian materials is illegal and punishable by death. The proclamation of the Gospel is strictly forbidden. Christian parents can’t even share their beliefs with their children until they are old enough to understand the dangers. Christians are viewed as ‘a danger to society’ or ‘spies of the traitorous West.'”

“For Christians inside North Korea their fear has increased as the government has mandated all the people to bow down to the gods of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un and participate in the celebration,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. [Full story]

Many Christians are thrown into prisons with deplorable conditions. However, the church is still growing there. It has been estimated that there are about 200, 000 – 400, 000  underground Christians there (some of which are in prison)[1].

In Nigeria, the pastor, as well as 20 worshippers were killed during an attack [2]. In Egypt, countless of our brothers and sisters there face persecution by their Muslim neighbours.

I am thankful to the Lord that I am not under such trials (maybe not yet), but that doesn’t mean I must sit back and just feel sorry for my brothers and sisters around the world, there is always something we can do and the best I can think of is prayer. Jesus, God Himself, prayed while He was on Earth. Jesus set an example for us that we must live a life of continuous prayer. Let’s pray that God’s will be done in not only our lives, but also the lives of our brothers and sisters who are under such heavy trials. Pray for those doing the persecuting, pray that their hearts will be arrested to receive God’s grace. Pray that the examples of our siblings in Christ will minister to the hearts of those doing the persecuting.

I was reading today some chapters in Psalms and I found that these particular verses reached my heart. I also pray that God will:

Psalms 119: 34 Give me understanding and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments, for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness; turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken Thou me in Thy way. Establish Thy word unto Thy servant, who is devoted to the fear of Thee. Turn away my reproach which I fear, for Thy judgments are good.

I am again reminded that God is the One doing the changing, causing us to live for Him. Due to our sinful nature we are not naturally inclined to do so. Let’s ask God to incline our hearts toward His statues and not toward selfish gain. It is important that we pray according to His will. James 4:3 says “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Having read that, we see that we can ask for things out of His will or not according to His purpose.

Abraham Lincoln once said “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go.”

Best place we can reside is in His presence, talking to Him as part of our daily lifestyle ensures that we become more like Him. How do I know that, well, think about the terms or phrases you often use in your speech. They probably reflect Bible passages or phrases from close friends. God says for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). When we spend time with God, His Spirit deposits truth into our hearts. So let us not neglect our prayer life which is spending time communicating with God. Pray for our siblings in Jesus, pray for those who commit works of inquity, pray for ourselves. In other words, let’s talk to God about what’s going on around us and with us.

A sister says “When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles, When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devils shouts for joy.”

Now that doesn’t sound very good. Let’s not forget to live a  prayer filled life. Let’s not talk to God only when we feel like it. Remember, the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. Pray for me also that I myself will heed these words.

May the Spirit of God be with you all.

Read more about our persecuted siblings in Christ Jesus at: ,

Get There, Be There


I haven’t come across anyone who’d prefer their friends to keep troubling matters to themselves. We often want a person to feel comfortable in confiding with us; opening up their hearts to let us know their deepest hurts. And many times it may be something that we ourselves are going through or went through. But what if it’s not? What if your friend comes to you and says they lived in an abusive home, drink to sleep because of the grief caused from the past; what do we say then? Sometimes, there’s nothing we can say. If a friend is telling us of a loved one who has passed away, sometimes it’s just best to listen. But many other times, that friend is looking for answers, and we ourselves better be open to what God wants us to say to that person.

What I’ve noticed is that often times we tend to try to give solutions to the symptoms without listening to God for a solution to the core problem. So let’s say you have a friend who says they want this and they are not going to be happy if the particular want doesn’t come to pass. What do we say then? Do we offer books or guides on how to be content with not getting that particular want? I think that’s giving a “solution” to a symptom of a greater problem. If we listen to that person carefully, they’ll reveal things to us about their relationship with someone else, often someone from the past, like a mother, father, and other relatives or maybe even a close friend. Either way you can be sure that this great desire to fill up a void was intensified due to some broken relationship. So we don’t offer the person solutions to the symptoms. Let me give a real life scenario. Say a friend says he wants to find a girl and get married. He says he will not be happy if he doesn’t have a wife to call his own, he has been praying to God but “no answer”. Let’s not be quick to offer “be content while single” guide books. Let’s not only say: “Trust in God, He loves you, He’s there for you”. While that is the truth, it’s hardly helpful if the person thinks that they are doing just that. Keep listening, that friend will surely reveal the underlying reason for this “I will not be happy without it” want. Almost always it is because of a want to feel loved, accepted. And that desire to be loved is now stressed as a result of something painful from their past or possibly, present life. Let me say that we all want to feel loved, but when we start thinking that “we must have and will not be happy without” we’re setting ourselves up for hurt and disappointment. So when our friends start talking like this, know that what they think they want is hardly the issue. We know it’s God they really need, but there is something that’s preventing that relationship from happening or blooming. So find out if this friend has any grudges towards anyone who might have hurt them. Let the person know that we must forgive and let go; that true forgiveness comes without condition. It doesn’t give the offender licence to continue hurting us, but it frees us and allows us also to be forgiven by God (Matthew 6:14-15). Depending on what was said, we’ll also want to let the person know that God is NOT a vending machine; that we can’t expect Him to do things on our terms and in our time. Remind the friend that we don’t get Jesus to have as a personal genie, we get Jesus because we are in need of a saviour, because we need His righteousness to wash us clean from sin (all rebellious actions against God; fornication (sex before marriage), homosexuality, lying, stealing, cheating, adultery, prostitution, murder, covetousness, drunkenness, slander, blasphemy (like using God’s name as a curse when trying to express disgust) and the list goes on). Also, that we need to seek Him, and the other godly desires of our hearts will be given us. Of course, in everything we do we petition to God in prayer. We can offer to pray for the person, and ask God to reveal things to that person, but I think we should also offer ourselves to be even more used by God on behalf of that individual. Here’s why. As a believer, if I’m going through a particular struggle often times I’m too consumed in the problem to actually realise that God has already answered me. I often need another brother or sister in Christ to bring me revelation from God. It will then occur to me that this was actually shown to me already.

So let’s be a lot more there for each other. There are times when we talk to God, He answers us and we know He answered. But when someone’s too consumed with the present problem, they often miss out on the answer from God. So at times we really need to get as involved as the Spirit will allow us to. Let us also get to the problem and not give solutions to symptoms of. The symptoms help to confirm our Spirit given suspicious of the real problem. May we pray that God gives us the wisdom and discernment to speak words that the Holy Spirit will use to get to the person’s heart.

We want to be used by the Spirit to get to the problem of heart; we want to be used by the Spirit to speak the Word to the heart. We need to get there, we need to be there.