Friday, April 18, 2008

God's warning on sufferings that Christians might face

Some people think that after becoming a Christian, our life will be like a bed of roses. We will received blessings from God and go to heaven when we die. Well this is true but not totally the truth because our life in Jesus has just begin after we accepted Him as our personal saviour. We will be molded and trimmed to be more Christ like. This is not a comfortable process but it's the best for us. Our faith and knowledge in Him must grow.

Because not many knows this, Christians become consumers in church. They want blessing after blessing without wanting to know Christ more or repent. Even commit their lives to church and serving Him. Jesus had warned us in the bible that when the end times is near, many things will happen. We will be tested so that our faith remains strong. God informed us this so that we made a clear decision today to hold on to Jesus no matter what. We prepared our heart and plan to overcome any obstacles in our spiritual life. We must remain faithful till the end just like Paul said he finished the race. Our passion for Christ must last till He come back one day!

Luke 21: 8-12
Revelation 2:8-10
Luke 24:26

Let us be reminded! Amen..

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Organizing our communication

Communication is very important in our lives. We communicate with the people around us every day whether it's in our house or work place. Many times communication break down or mis communication cause much problems in our relationship.

Christian communication is important as well when we want to communicate God's love to others. God communicate His love clearly to us and as His children we should able to communicate well with others. Good communication helps us to relate well with others. Well communication can empower us just like the story of the tower of Babel in the Bible (Genesis 11:1-6). There may be different forms, methods and tools of communication. If we can understand the communication process, it can help us to communicate better.

The communication process
  • Transmission - the person who transit the message is the source of the information. If we don't transmit or transit badly then there would be problem in communication.
  • Reception - Every communication need to have a receiver. You may say something but the receiver didn't received it. Hearing is a very important part in communication.
  • Understanding - Interpretation of the message is important. Different people with different background might understand the message differently.
  • Respond - Good communication got to be 2 way. That is why the response is important. Effective communication will provoke a response.

Let us learn to communicate well with our brothers and sisters in church to avoid and prevent misunderstanding due to bad communication. We also allow the grace of God to work in us as we learn from our mistakes. God communicate His word through the bible and become alive in us with the conviction of the Holy Spirit so that we may received and respond to His message. Most important of all we want to communicate His message of salvation to those who don't know Jesus yet.

Benefits of using Bible to pray

Prayer has been an important part of our Christian life. We talk to our Lord and encourage our brothers and sisters through prayers. One thing that I have learnt in my prayer life is that praying using the bible verse. Word of God in the bible contains promises of God and by using it we are actually claiming the promises of God in our life. Besides using our own word we can use the word of God to empower our prayer. When we are emotionally down sometimes we out of words to pray. Here are few benefits we can get when we use the bible verse to pray:

  1. Gives us direction. Sometimes we are lost so we don't know what to pray. By using the bible verse it will guide us. It is like the lamp unto our feet that gives light to our path (Psalms 119:105 NIV -Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.)
  2. Remind us the promises of God. Sometimes we may forget the promises of God in our life. By reading back relevant verse, we are reminded back the covenant of God.
  3. Enable us to pray more specifically. Especially according to His will. Maybe sometimes we are praying for our will to be done but not His will. So when we are praying with God's word it will help us to know what God want us to pray.
  4. Give us more faith and hope. As we know faith comes from reading and hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ). Therefore our faith will be increase when we pray using bible verse. When God made His promises, He shall keep it. That is why we have hope in Him.
  5. Help us to grow in our relationship with God. Praying with bible verse help us to strengthen our relationship with God because we can know our God better by knowing His word. What better way to know our God better than reading the words that He gave us. This is effective when we do our quiet time with God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (New International Version)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Christian Giving

One thing that I learnt through my years as Christian is giving. Some said giving need to sacrifice a lot. I believe it is true if we first start to give freely when we know God. As we mature in Christ it become our second nature to give because Christ love compel and live in is. It is not our nature to give. People may give with motive or expect something back. Even if we are generous, it may be because of our self conscience and righteous. But for Christian we give because all thing belong to God and most important Christ first give His love and life for us. When we give we need to know why and willingly because we see the value. Otherwise our giving will be limited, conditionally and not cheerfully.

When I first started care(cell) group, I used to pick up people all over the place to joined us. Thinking back those days, I might get tired or even frustrated if the people I bring didn't response well. Or even think or ask why I am not appreciated by these people after all that I done.... well I realized that I did it all for CHRIST. It's OK if they don't response well, its OK if sometimes they hurt us or even make us angry. .. of course it would be good if they can response well. :P We do our best and let God do the rest. The motivation is from God. I draw strength from Him most of the time. God change my self-centered to more Christ centered. If we know this simple principle, no one can take away our peace and joy in God. Not people, bro & sis in church, family, environment, situation, circumstances, work and etc....

Every time we feel that we are tired or feel bad when we are serving God, check our heart motive and pray to God. It's what I do most of the time. It's amazing how God did all that change in my life. What I can say is all glory to Him... Amen

Christian giving involves:

1. Checking our motives
We should check our motive when we give. Bible encourage us to give freely and cheerfully.
This will ensure that our giving is appropriate and pleasing to God like the story of Cain and
Abel (Genesis 4:3-4)

2. Knowing God's love
Geting to know Christ more will help us to learn His agape love for us. Knowing the fact that
all things belong to God and we are only His steward on earth. What motivate ur giving? We
need to see the value

3 . Giving wisely & trust in God
Even though God ask us to give we are to be wise in giving. (Ephesians 5:15) God can provide
all our needs as we trust Him. We don't have to fear to give to God or others. Giving
generates God's blessing

Monday, April 7, 2008

What is important in life?

In our modern life, we seems to be occupied by many things. Career, family, wealth and many things creep into our life as we grow old. And so much things we want to have in life, sometimes we become lost and don't know what is important in life.

What is important in life itself is actually a life itself. Without life we would not able to enjoy or even exist in this world. Life is about relationship. To live means to be able to relate with living things around us which is human beings. We can replace things that are broken or sent it to repair. But for human, you can never find another replacement. Nowdays technology is so advanced that we become less and less relational person. Without love there would be no relationship. Love is a very important part of our Christian living. Bible say that God is love. And to know God means to know love. Love must be the foundation for us to obey every command from Him.

Therefore our life will be more fulfilling if we use to love. And the love of God must be the source and strength for us to love others (1 Corinthians 13:3). People ask me how we can practical show our life. I once read a book about love language and how each person receive different type of love expression. When I look into the life of my friends and church members, I observe that most people need someone to be with. Our soul need to fellowship both with God and people. And to do this we need to spend time. Time is priceless and we cannot get back the time we lost. We can make more money but we can never make more time. In today's life,If we look at 10 commandments in the bible, the first 4 command talk about our relationship with God and the other 6 commands show us how to relate with peoples. Basically, I believe if we love God and know Him well, we can easily love others. Love will leave a legacy behind and impact lives.

Mother Teresa once said it's not what you do but how much love you put into it that matters. Think about it, when we're dying we would like to see the faces of people that we love most beside us. I once read a book said that you can love without giving but you cannot love without giving. Giving will come naturally when we love and this include our time. The best time for us will be now because there are no guarantee for tomorow. Many things will change as time goes by. We won't want to lose the opportunity to show our love to the people around us.