Saturday, May 22, 2010

Love Them

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” ~ Hebrews 6:10

How can I show love to an invisible God?  This is not a mystery.  God left us with very specific instructions on how to love and work for His sake.  The extent of our concern and help to the "poor and less fortunate" is an expression of our love for God.  This is very scary to me because we are a generation of people who like to take care of ourselves.   The average person would act only for himself and his immediate family.  We play God to fix our own problems and to meet our own needs.  We depend so much on ourselves.  We push and push until we are exhausted trying to find our own hope, purpose and fulfillment.  On the contrary, according to Hebrews 6:10, when the time comes when God rewards or judges us He will refer on the records of the love we showed Him through helping His people.  We ought to act like God in meeting other's needs - unconditionally generous.  This is a God-prescribed formula - allowing Him to take care of you while you take care of someone else.  This is amazing! 
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' ~ Matthew 25:40
Does my life show that I love God?  What am I doing to show it?  Oh my God, help me to love 'them' as I would love you.  Help me to depend on you for myself so that I can see and act beyond my own concerns. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Entitlement says "I deserve something.  I am qualified for a privilege.  I have the right and I must have it." 

We all get into this situation sometimes.   There are many ways in which we find ourselves fighting for what we believe we should have.  In the airplane one might say, "I am entitled to that little leg room under your chair!  So please take your bag out of my space!"   A child may say to his parents, "How come I don't have an iPhone?  You are being unfair to me!"  I believe that entitlement opens the door to mediocrity and shuts the way to understanding and reason. When we begin to claim for a privilege, we narrow down our focus and lose track of other opportunities.  That prerogative, when given enough emphasis, eventually overwhelms our ability to reason.

Jonah (Read Jonah Chapter 4) for example, believed that he is entitled to the shade from the vine, forgetting that he did not have any thing to do with its existence.  When the worm ate the leaves, he got upset because all of a sudden he was exposed to unfavorable heat. 
But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight.  But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"
 Today a mother upset by a 30-minute change in schedule to accommodate a group piano practice was very angry.   Obviously her son did not let her know about it.  The mother did not plan and was not prepared for this change so she questioned and yelled at the teacher and could not be appeased.  She was determined to insist on who-knows-what - that she was not going to listen to any explanation.  The thirty-minute change in schedule was enough reason for her to ruin her relationship with her son's teacher.  Right there and then she was setting a not-so-dignified witness to her child and the rest of the students who were watching.

"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."  ~ Isaac Asimov

Many times we are like Jonah - we put our own agenda on top of everything because we think that we deserve all the success, comfort, good treatment, and blessings of this world.   Think again and evaluate "the heart" in relation to the things that we desire to have and do.  It could be that in the pursuit and protection of whatever we want we harden our shells and prevent our chance to grow outward.  It could be that we are willing to give up the other beautiful things just because of something we know we deserve.  We miss our chance to choose what is right because we are too busy fighting for the right way things should be done.   How many times have I seen this happen?  Beware!  (especially me).   God wants us to be beautiful and loving people.  He wants us to flourish...yet when we have enclosed ourselves with a hardened shell, He may need to break us in order for a new life to begin in us. 

The bible says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind.   Love your neighbor as you love yourself."  If we follow this commandments then what is the essence of entitlement?  Null. 

Father, help me to remember that my relationship with you is far more valuable than anything that I can get entitled to..  Help me to choose you at all times.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Daily Ponderings - Psalm 1

Psalm 1:1-3

1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

In this day and age, prosperity is often associated with having the abundance of the things we desire at all times.  It is often equated with money. We make money because of our abilities and efforts.  We are prosperous when we generate a lot of money and vice versa.  Fortunately, God does not define prosperity with such parameter.  

Psalm 1 illustrates the picture of a blessed man as a tree planted by a stream of water.   His roots are planted close to God.   He absorbs the life-giving resource by meditating on it day and night.  It is implied that the man who is closely dependent on God will stand the pressures of this world. 

Oh God, please give me wisdom and understanding.  Help me to choose well and to be motivated to dig deep into your words.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Look

I just spent hours learning some Photoshop techniques to resize pictures and customizing the overall look of this blog.  The old template looked outdated.  It gave the impression that only people who are in their "second half" (over fifty-five) should be reading this blog.  That's not true at all!  Most of things that I write about here are supposed to be timeless. :)

Anyway, there you have it in full (girly) color!  Maybe this will inspire me to write more often.   Come back and find out!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jesus: the Fulfillment of the Law

Them: Under the law.  Based on biblical stories, the Jewish people are law-abiding people; some are more anal than some but all of them lived their lives around rules to please God. These laws were written instructions which they read or were read to them on a regular basis. They lived with these laws since their forefathers were delivered out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses.  They broke these rules over and over gain; they offered sacrifices to appease God or to pay for their unrighteous acts.  The Pharisees, who thought that they got it, had to translate the laws into their own version so that they could fulfill them or be able to appoint a finger at anyone who would not be able to.

Jesus: The fulfillment of the law.  Throughout His life, Jesus campaigned for a new kingdom - the kingdom of heaven.  The expectation of everyone is that this new kingdom would involve a new militaristic administration with a new set of laws. A total change would be in place and expected.  In any type of political change, there would be those who are radical to favor the innovation. There are also those who are sentimental who would prefer to stick to the old and comfortable way of life.  As you can imagine, Jesus was creating a tension among the people regardless of heir social status.  Contrary to popular belief, Jesus said that he did not come to abolish them but to fulfill the law.
What does it mean to fulfill the law? 
The law that was impossible for any man to bear has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ when he walked the earth.  Jesus Christ, the man who lived a sinless life, was the only one approved by God.  Blameless, He was the only worthy sacrifice.  This was all God's plan... to give us a free pass to righteousness so that the world would know that He loves us (John 3:16).  This is love that is equivalent to the love that He gave to His son Jesus Christ (John 17:23).  That is very amazing!   Even better - "whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

You and I Now:  Free.    On our own it is still impossible to fulfill the righteousness that God desires of us.   However, we have been granted freedom through Jesus Christ.  We no longer live by the law but by God's grace.  Jesus paid for our freedom from unrighteousness and now He offers us the freedom to follow Him.  Will you believe Him and be free?  Then practice and teach the law also so that you will be called great in God's kingdom!