Monday, September 23, 2013

Love birthed Faith, Faith birthed Courage

Faith is being sure what we hope for and being certain of what is not seen.
Hebrews 11:1, NIV

When we know the LOVE that gives peace, assurance and hope, we can be sure of the things that we hope for. Things in the future are hard for us to perceive. Just like this game shows I heard on Red FM, ‘The Box’. You are required to answer a simple question. Then, you are given two choices; cash or the box. In the box, there is a surprise GIFT. It may be an EXTRAVANGANT GIFT, or a simple gift such as two bottles of the 500 ml water. Many had participated. Many had win and brought home the CASH! I remembered one man sighing when he had discovered that in the box was a trip to a beautiful island, compared to the load of cash at hand.

Obviously our life is not like the game show. However, we could see some similarities that we often go for the things that could be SEEN or EXPLAIN, rather than the UNSEEN or UNEXPLAINABLE. We discount our faith to only things that could be SEEN with physical eyes. Why? Because we are afraid. We have fears that if we put our hope to the things unseen, that our lives will be out of control.

This fear is genuine, because it is into the unknown. When you and I placed our trust in Him, our unseen and unexplainable future is certain. Because it is there we find assurance that no matter where we go, we will have peace because He is with us. 

One day, there is a man lying on his death bed. There is a Christian doctor who worked at the hospital, who hopes that he can share the gospel with him. So, day and day, the doctor will go and check on him and have conversation with him. Soon after, the man on the death bed asked the doctor, “Do you believe there is heaven and hell?” The doctor caught by surprised, looked at the man and said, “Yes, I do.” The man replied, “Do you know where you are going?” The doctor said, “I know where I will go, that is heaven.” The man who had bad experiences with Christians, quickly challenged the doctor, “How do you know? How can you be sure? How sure you are going to heaven?” He added on, “If you can prove to me, I will give my life to Jesus.” The doctor was lost of words. So, he went home and prayed and seek the Lord. Few days passed by. He still haven’t gotten his answer to the questions of the man.

Taken from
Now, this doctor has a dog. His dog is a faithful dog. Everytime, he comes home from work, his dog will be so happy to see him. As he goes about doing house chores, his dog followed him back and forth in the house. One night, as he was seeking the Lord, he looked at his dog and finally gotten his answer. 

The next day, he got permission from the hospital to bring his dog to visit this man. He got the dog all clean and sterilized. So, he went to the man’s room. Knocked on the door, and enter with his dog. He did his usual checks on him. The man who was curious, looked at the doctor and asked, “Why did you bring a dog here?” The doctor smiled and looked at him, “This is your answer to the questions that day.” The man was puzzled. Then, the doctor explained, “You asked me how can I be so sure where I am going in the after-life? I thought for days and sought the LORD but I didn’t find a solid answer to tell you. So, one day when I was resting, and my dog was by my side, then I realized something. My dog is a faithful dog. Every time I come home after work, it will greet me with smiles and followed me whole-hearted back and forth in the house. Today, I have brought my dog to an unknown place. Instead, of being frightened of its new surroundings, it calmly follow me in and out of my office and now in your room. It is not afraid, because my dog knows I am here with him. Same goes to my faith in Christ. I will not be afraid where I will be going after this life, because I know I will be with Him. With Him by my side, I am comforted.”

The man eyes welled up with tears.” May I have this kind of assurance that you have?” asked the man. The doctor puts his arms around the man and prayed.

Am I making this story up? No, absolutely no. It is a testimony of a friend. Thus, when we know WHO we LOVE and have the communion with HIM, then our LOVE will birth FAITH in our life. With this FAITH, we will be COURAGEOUS to live life in accordance to Him, by Him and through Him.

LOVE, the greatest of all

Love birthed Faith, Faith birthed Courage.
-Nick Vujicic-

LOVE has become something that is cliché or even weak in the eyes of many. This has to be REDEEMED in today’s world. LOVE is the GREATEST of all that gives u strength, assurance and courage to pull through. I am not talking about human love. Human love fails, but there is one that never will fail us, that is God’s love. Because of this perfect LOVE from GOD, then we can have FAITH that He will never fail us, and from there, it will birthed out in us COURAGE to put our words in actions.

Taken from
Psalm 8:3-5 [NIV]
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
What is man that you are mindful of him,
The son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower that the heavenly beings
And crowed him with glory and honor.

He is an ALMIGHTY GOD. Who are we that He care for us? Simple. It is because of the LOVE He had given to us that He made us and crowned us with glory and honor. HIS LOVE surpasses our logic understanding. 

He could have created MAN programmed to LOVE HIM no matter what. Instead, He gave us a choice. He first showed us LOVE. In our minute understanding, we have to choose whether we want to reciprocate the LOVE that He has given us, to Him. When we learned to LOVE HIM with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind and with all our strength, our entire focus will be on Him. Not because we are forced to do so, but we are delighted to do so. Not because we don't have a mind of our own, but we have discovered something greater and more valuable than gold and silver. To love Him, we cannot do it out of own, but we have to rely on Him to LOVE Him. This is because our love can turn out selfish and deceitful, because of our human nature.

                              He has given his LOVE for us, will we open our hearts to accept Him?

LOVING someone takes time to grow. It's a long process, but a meaningful and heart-warming experiences.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Come near to God and he will come near to you

Come near to God and he will come near to you.

– James, one of the fathers of the first-century church –

I read of this story. I find that it explained the above statement clearly. 

There’s a story of a man driving a convertible on a mountain road who took an unexpected turn too quickly and went right over the edge. As his car fell, he managed to grab on to a tree sprouting from the cliff face as his car dropped a thousand feet to the canyon floor.
“Help!” he screamed. “Can anyone hear me?” An echo was the only response.
 “God, can you hear me?” he cried.
Suddenly the clouds rolled together and a voice like thunder said, “Yes, I can hear you.”
“Will you help me?”
“Yes, I will help you. Do you believe in me?”
“Yes, yes, I trust you. Please, hurry.”
“If you trust me, then let go of the tree,” thundered the voice.
After a long silence, the man cried, “Can anyone else hear me?”

We trust God in good times, when bad times come about, our faith is tested. Unrealisingly, sometimes we act like the man holding onto the tree. We expect God to work in our means or ways. When it is not according to our ways, we swapped sides. We go back to expecting help in the form we want.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heaven are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts Isaiah 55:8-9.

So, the equation is simple. Come near to God and he will come near to you. When you desire to be near to God, it must be put to actions and then you will know His heartbeats. He will come near YOU, means your senses will be refined knowing He is there carrying you through, because from the beginning, he is already near you. 

The question is whether do you realize and acknowledge your DEPENDANCE on GOD? 
Are you near Him today? 
[John C. Maxwell: Today Matters, Today's FAITH Gives Me Peace, pg. 197- 213]