God, Time, and Repentance

God is always on time!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

What does God, time, and repentance mean in our lives? I believe that it is our responsibility, as Christians, to always access what is going on in our lives on a daily basis and announce to God our wrong doings or sin. He is looking for growth and while He knows what is happening, He wants to hear it from us, just as our parents did when we were young. When I was young I equated sin with the Ten Commandments, but it is so much more, it encompasses all that we do, say and think that is not Christ-like.

When pondering our sin questions arise like, did I exhibit anger when I should have been kind or at least kept my anger to myself (acknowledging all is not perfect), was I haughty, prideful, unrelenting, greedy? If we can acknowledge our sins and repent, and intentionally attempt to change our dispositions, God acknowledges our growth. This is a life long process, it is demonstrating growth over time. 

Time is defined by man, not God. It is how we gauge growth which also means that we gauge God’s responses by our sense of time, not His. Everything we do or think is considered a learning opportunity by God. The length of time it takes to grow in the Word through action and deed is on us, not God. He keeps His promises when He sees that we are ready to receive them.

Advertisements

What Does God Say About Humility

 What does God say about humility? I was attending a prayer group recently and the question about humility was posed to me. At first, I thought, hum, that’s easy enough to carry out, but as the evening went on, and I ruminated about humanity in general and my humanity specifically, it was not that easy to answer. Humanity was created in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness which means it is a state of attainment. It is the way we humble ourselves before the Lord in our actions and deeds. Questions that arose during my inner thinking were, when am I humble, when it is convenient? When do I own humility? When do I act on it? Does choosing when to show humility make me a hypocrite? When am I not humble and why? When do I express humility and why?

I’ve fought this battle most of my life, limelight-humility, limelight-it’s about me; humility or pride. I know this is the battle that rages in many of us. Sometimes we rise to meet God’s expectations of us and other times we fall flat on our face, and all the while ego is laughing. Do we succumb to the evil one, or do we repent?

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Bible Theology describes  ‘humility’ as being grounded in the character of God. Humility is necessary to enter God’s kingdom (Matt 5:3; 18: 1-4). As the absence of self (Matt 10:38-39; Luke 9:23-25). It is a bankruptcy of Spirit (Matt 5:3); that accrues no merit but depends solely on God’s righteousness for salvation (Luke 19:9-14, 18:15-17).  Since the Lord denounces hypocritical worship (Isa 57:15; Matt 6:5-8, 6:16-18) and false humility (Colossians 2:18 w:23), a person’s heart must match his or her posture (Isa 57:15, Luke 18:9-14; cf. Isa 6:5;  Acts 11:29). A person must not claim honor for self (Prov 25:6-7; Luke 14:7-11) but have an unassuming attitude (Romans 12:3). [www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/humility. 1/27/2018).

John the Baptist is a perfect example of what we must do when he said, “He (Jesus) must increase and I (John) must decrease.” Humility stems from understanding who God is, our Lord and Savior. We must understand that God is Sovereign and He has entrusted us to be used for His purpose and glory, not our own. [Lesson 19: A Lesson in Humility (John 3:22-39), www.bible.org/Series Page/Lesson-19-humility-John-322-30, 1/27/2018)

So back to the questions, like many, I work to build and strengthen my relationship with our Father. I know that pride, a lack of humility, is a part of our battle on earth. As a Christian, I must be alert and put down my carnal self. I must not claim honor for self but have an unassuming attitude at all times, choosing not to want public credit to bolster my self-capital. Only God is righteous. My righteousness is through Him. I am no more than ‘a filthy rag’. I must become humble in my being, demonstrating humility as my personal norm. I must terminate a prideful attitude. According to Stephen Cole, pride is the most deadly and evil of all sins because it’s at the root of all other sins. When we sin, we are arrogantly asserting that we know better than God knows what is best for us. As Christians, we must constantly battle pride and grow in humility.

Growing in humility is a life-long process. When we think we have mastered humility and remain humble is when we fall prey to the evil one. This type of thinking leads to being prideful, and pridefulness is a sin. So when I fail, it is important for me to repent and continue to move forward, working on humility and being humble before the Lord.

How does this affect our children? Our children learn from us. As parents, we constantly tell our children to be competitive, win, take credit for the win, do your best and standout. While these may be good earthly characteristics, they do not demonstrate the character of Christ within us.  We must teach our children that it is more important to be humble than prideful. It is not the way of our Lord to beat our chests and claim greatness in what we do and accomplish. We must humble ourselves and thank the Lord for everything He has done for us, after all, He knew us before we entered our mother’s womb and knows the plans He has for us, all of which are absent of pridefulness and a haughty spirit.  Our children must learn to submit to God’s reign over their lives and renounce all glory except glory from God. They must avoid arrogance,  stubbornness and a willful spirit. Our children must learn to be humble. The hard question is – Are you humble or do you take credit for your accomplishments and sacrifices? Do your children, nieces, nephews, and other young people see God in you? Do you demonstrate humility in your daily living?

 

 

Guest Post – Karina’s Thoughts

New post on Karina’s Thought: karinasussanto.wordpress.com

You In The Eyes of God
by Karina Lam

At my parents’ new house in Paris, they used one room of the house as their private library. When I was helping them put the books on the shelf, I saw a small diary that written by handwriting “You in the Eyes of God” and there is my mom’s signature under the right corner on its cover. Don’t know why, I was tempted to saw the content of the diary. After I got permission from my mom to read her diary, at first I thought it was just a random thought of my mom but the more I read I became aware that the writing wasn’t just a random thought but rather to contemplation and it made my heart touched. My dear friend, this evening I love to share what my mom wrote about. Here it is…

You in the eyes of God

If Jacob saw Joseph as a good child,

If in the eyes of his ten brothers, Joseph was a useless dreamer

If in the eyes of Midianite traders looked Joseph as a slave

If Potiphar saw Joseph as wise man, and as a lover in the eyes of Potiphar’s wife

In the eyes of God Joseph was an Egypt young king candidate.

People could look you with the different point of view and assessment. So it is with God. God has His own way to see you through His eyes. God said,

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

When you are disparaged by people around you, don’t be discouraged, don’t be disappointed, and don’t be sad, because God has His own way and reason how He sees and judges you. Only God knows who you really are.

If God wants and wills,

An office boy in your office could be a CEO in your own company.

God could make nothing to be something, impossible to be possible

And,

He doesn’t care about your age. God blessed Abraham in his very old age.

He doesn’t care about your ability. God chose Moses as Leader of Israelites

He doesn’t care about your experience, He chose David a young shepherd as a King of Israel

He doesn’t care about the gender, He chose an orphan, Esther, as a queen

He doesn’t care about someone who have dark past, Paul had dark past but God chose him.

God doesn’t care about one’s social status. God choose a hated person, corruptor, traitor of the Nation, and sinner. God was choosing Zacchaeus’ house to stay.

How people look you, it doesn’t matter. How God looks you, it does matter.

In the eyes of God,

You are Father’s child

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)

You are the precious and Honor in the God’s sight, and loved by God.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you… (Isaiah 43:4)

You were redeemed by God, belongs to God

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

You are protected by God

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)

The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. (Psalm 121:5)

You are no longer a servant, but God’s friend.

I no longer call you servants; Instead, I have called you friends. (John 15:15)

You are set by God

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

God has wonderful plan for you

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(Jeremiah 29:11)

You are who will always get the fulfillment of God’s promise

…not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. (Joshua 23:14)

You are who always get God’s help in the midst of the hard times

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

You are who always receive every of your prayers in the Name of God

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22)

You were chosen by God with a special task. Bear fruit!

… But I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit (John 15:16)

After I read my mother’s writing I hug her and said, “Mom, thank you for this important reminder” then she said, “Finally you read it now. Please always keep it in your heart and mind. When people degrade you, doubt your ability, or even maybe assume that you’re nothing, please remember that in the eyes of God you are so special because God created us in a special way. God ended His work with a “personal touch” God formed us from the dust of the earth and gave us live by breathing His own breath. And remember this; we also created in His likeness so we may rule over the other creatures. But don’t ever underestimate people around you for you don’t ever know what God’s plan to those around you. Be good always, my dear princess”

My Dear readers, not only for me, I hope and pray this post could be a reminder and strengthening for all of us. In the eyes of God we’re special. People might don’t like us, maybe we’re worthless in the eyes of human, but in God we’re precious, honored, and loved. Amen

Karina – Living by faith

“You in the Eyes of God” by Rebecca Fong

The Power of Thanksgiving and Prayer

The last post focused on Prayer, Praise, and Worship. We learned that giving thanks is part of prayer. This Post is an elaboration on the Power of Prayer and Thanksgiving.

Paul wrote Philippians 4:6 to let us know that our requests are made known to God. “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Paul also shared

If praying was easy, everyone would be doing it. It is important to understand that the war between God and the evil one often takes place in our minds. When I was younger, I thought the battle was in the physical realm, and often it is, but the center of anything that happens in this world originates in the mind of world leaders, governmental officials, family members, friends, associates, bosses, villains, and you. We find ourselves at war in our minds. As believer’s we initially stand fast in pray, unwavering in the Word when our lives are going well, and at odds with ourselves when the prayer is not answered as quickly as we wanted. We begin to question God, we entered the war where the voice of doubt speaks out. This doubt, this darkness, is the stronghold of the evil one. His weapons are the attitudes of wrong thinking, of pride, and carnal thinking in general. They are designed to strip us of our blessings and throw us into sin.

So, what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Everything! When we pray in faith, we stay in faith. God sends down blessings when we pray. If we pray and doubt, they cancel each other out.  Have you ever prayed and believed, and saw your blessing only to see it deferred? Think back, when did you begin doubting that God has control and started questioning yourself saying (self-talk) maybe God is not going to answer, maybe He did not give me direction, maybe it was just me. It was not you, it was the evil one that is speaking doubt to rob you of your blessings. The key is distinguishing between the Lord’s voice and that of the evil one. One of my favorite scriptures reads –

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27. We must learn His voice, and His voice is the Word which is the sword of the Spirit and part of the Armor of God to protect us against the evil one.

Yesterday we learned that praising the Lord as a way of thanking Him for all He has and will do for us. It is how we petition in praise and acknowledge that He is our Father and will answer us. Giving praise or thanks is how we express acknowledgment and appreciation of Him, His grace, blessings and sovereign work in our lives, and the world. But it is not easy, in fact, it is a battle. 

Most of us have experienced difficulty when praying and giving thanks, especially in times of anxiety. But, as we pray through, we become less anxious because we are letting our requests be made known to God so that He is glorified when answering them.  After our blessing, we should give Him more praise and thanksgiving for answering our prayer.

Now back to our children. We often read Bible Stories with young children and share the Word with older ones, but how often do we dissect the scripture to explain how to apply it in their lives? Young people are smart. If we explain to our youth that praise and thanksgiving are a way to acknowledge our Lord, and through praise and thanksgiving a relationship and bond is established between the Lord and them, most would become avid practitioners of praise and thanksgiving. They would begin to understand the formula we have been given to pray and receive God’s blessings. 

In general, people do not understand their relationship with God in real-time. They feel that the Bible was about people during its time of writing and does not pertain to us today. How wrong can we be? Our children deserve training to become Young Christian Warriors. His Words are our sword, part of the Armor of God.  Praying back His Word to Him and thanking Him for all He has done provides a sense of calm, diminishes anxiety, and protects from the world.

_______________________

I just listened to John Hagee, Scriptures on Healing at https://youtu.be/9qxfyyYDF58.

Take a listen, he is one of the worlds most dynamic healers. John is the founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas. Website – www.jhm.org

Prayer, Praise, and Worship

We often hear the phrase, prayer, praise, and worship but do we really consider what that means? Do we interpret what God is saying when we are instructed to pray, praise and worship Him?

Let’s break this phrase down because it is the foundation to building a healthy relationship with our God.

PRAYER  

We are instructed to ‘pray,’ or ‘enter into prayer.’ Prayer is the way we submit our praise and petitions to God. It is carried out through the same way Christ used to communicate with God. To pray, we must have faith that the Word of God is real and applies to us.

According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, Prayer is to be offered in the Name of the Lord, Jesus, John 14:13, that is, the prayer must accord with His character, and must be presented in the same spirit of dependence and submission that marked Him, Matt 11:26; Luke 22;42. (pp. 481)

Faith is essential to prayer, Matt 21:22; Mark 11:24; Jas 1:5-8, for faith, is the recognition of, and the committal of ourselves and our matters to the faithfulness of God. (pp. 481)

PRAISE   

We are instructed to ‘praise.’ Throughout the Bible, we are told that God loves music, Paul loved to sing praise to our Lord, we are instructed to sing our praise to God as well. There are many ways to accomplish this, but in this context, it is by using scriptures in the same way as hymns and gospel music. We are to sing back God’s scriptures to Him. It is singing God’s heritage to us, as told in scripture. (pp. 479) Many expand the method by creating their own songs through the use of scriptures.

 

     WORSHIP

Worship in context of ‘Prayer, Praise, and Worship,’ denotes that we recognize God’s authority over our lives through our praise, actions, and deeds. When we worship, we are acknowledging our dependence upon God and are being obedient to His Word.

According to Vines, worship is not confined to praise; broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgment of God, of His nature, attributes, ways, and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such acknowledgment. (pp. 686,687)

My last Post – Divine Influence, further explains our relationship with God. To quote, “we were made for God. God loves us and wants to spend time with us. He is a loving Father and loves to hear the human voice in worship and prayer”, in short we spend time with God each time we pray, praise and worship Him. It pleases him and builds us up.

Through Prayer, Praise, and Worship, we are acknowledging His divine influence over our lives, not as doctrine but as applied action. When we use the scriptures as our guide we learn how we are to act as Christians in our daily lives, we are learning to walk in the Word.

Walking in the Word is a lifelong learning process. The earlier we begin, the more effectively we demonstrate our walk in our daily interactions.

When we understand the commitment we are making, we are better able to train our children how to live their lives as Christians. Our children will emulate the characteristics of Christ, taking them on as their own. As young, deliberate Christians grow in number and become prevalent in our society, they will advance the Kingdom of God. Their actions will change the atmosphere.

My earlier posts give direction on how to inspire our children to build a life living the Word of God. Through training our young people we will be preparing them to become Young Christian Warriors.

September

  • Children Armor Up
  • Helping Children Put on the Armor of God Through Prayer
  • Activating the Fruit of the Spirit in Children
  • Children – Fruit of the Spirit
  • Core Values Early in Life
  • Children – How Do You Define a Friend

October

  • Children Model After Christ
  • Prayer for Peace
  • Children – Protected by Angels
  • Children Navigate Difficult Times
  • Children – New Mercies Everyday
  • Children Expect God’s Blessings and Favor
  • God Urges the ‘Why’ in Children
  • Children Model After Christ

November

  • Learn to Thank God as Part of Prayer

January

    • Protection, Freedom, The Word
    • Personalize God’s Word, Psalm 91
    • God’s Divine Influence

I Invite You to Join Our Community and advance the Kingdom of God.

Definitions from: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words. W.E. Vine, et al. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996

God’s Divine Influence

Good Morning,

I’m reading a good book and want to share an excerpt. It is in line with my theme, inspiring our children to live the Word of God. It is about God’s Divine Influence.

 

Our children look to us for guidance, especially spiritual guidance. Once we delve into the Word and practice living out the Word, we can inspire them to do the same, and they will live a more fulfilled and dynamic childhood than we did. 

 

****

[The Anna Anointing Devotional Plan Excerpt by Michelle McClain-Walters. You Version, Bible.com. (Book-Charisma House, 2017)].

We were made for God! God loves us and wants to spend time with us. He is a loving Father and loves to hear the human voice in worship and prayer.

God has created us all for His glory. Our hands, feet, and mouths were formed and fashioned to minister to the Lord. We were created for the pleasure of the Lord. The major reason we exist is to bless the Lord. We must endeavor to live lives that glorify Him now and forever. This is a powerful concept to grasp. God gives everyone the power to choose, but we will be held accountable for how we spend our time.

Find out what you are called to do, and do it with all your might, remembering it all starts with ministering to the Lord. He created us because He loved us. It was always God’s plan to have a royal priesthood and holy nation who would stand before Him to worship His holy name.

If you’re facing confusion regarding who you are and what you’re designed to do with your life, try ministering to the Lord. Spend time declaring His name and your love for Him. Remember you are His bride. Just as He did for Anna, He will show you the path of life. (Rev 4:11)

****

As parents, it is our God-given duty (and job) to prepare our children to live a Godly life. A  life divinely influenced and inspired by the Word of God.