Lent – Day 20 – Love OVERCOMES Fear

PERFECTLOVEOVERCOMESFEAR

This is a picture of my toddler daughter and my dad having fun in a playground. She wanted my dad to throw her up high in the air and when she came down she wanted him to catch her and then throw her AGAIN. She was so excited and so thrilled when she went high in the air. Every time she came down she said ‘ Higher Thatha ( Grandpa ) , Higher !

Normally she is afraid of heights that she will need someone to hold her hand when walking on a higher ground. What surprised me was her fear was overcome by the trust she had in my dad, that she let him throw her in the air, just like that. And when she went up in the air, she was not scared even for one second that my dad will not catch her or what if he missed the catch, but rather she was enjoying that moment , which proved her COMPLETE trust in her grandpa and his love for her. She based her moment not on her thinking but rather on her grandpa’s love for her.

I believe our trust in God should be a child like faith like this. Not manipulative or calculative, but a complete confidence that He will catch us no matter how deep or how ugly we fall or stoop in our lives.  And that’s exactly what God promises in His Word

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6So we say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper; I will not be afraid.

Hebrews 13:6

We had one of the best children’s evangelist Sean W Smith bring the message of Cross to our church last Sunday. He emphasised the importance of NOT dealing with God using our logical reasoning and thinking but TRUST God for who He is

Faith in God BEGINS where logic and reason ENDS

Sean W Smith

The Word of God warns us not to assume that we know it all, instead to TRUST God

TRUST in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

To reach the full potential of God’s plan and live the abundant life He has for us, its crucial to let go of our plan’s and let God be God.  There is no room in love for fear

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

My prayer for you today is that you CHOOSE to SOAR in your life, rise above all your fears, above all your struggles , above all your difficulties JUST by knowing that He loves you, He will never let you fail,  He is always there to catch you whenever you all and STILL love you the same way like He has loved you always.

The more we learn to TRUST God, the more we will learn to enjoy and cherish His presence EVEN during those rocky bumpy roads of our lives. May you CHOOSE LOVE over fear today

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

Psalm 20:7-8

Stay Blessed in Him

 

 

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Lent – Day 16 – FAITH requires ACTION

FAITHWITHOUTWORKS

What we believe becomes who we are. It reflects in all aspects of our character, behaviour, relationships and the way we live our lives .

God encourages us through His Word to have faith that is filled with action, out of love and reverence for God. And not merely do God talks without any God love in it. He calls it utter nonsense when someone does that

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

James 2:14-17

One thing that stands out among the biblical heroes mentioned in the Bible is the unshakeable faith they had in their God, their Father AND  what they did about their faith in their practical lives. They knew that it was impossible to please God without faith. They had the confidence in what they hoped for and assurance in what they do not see.

In the world’s eyes ,Noah appeared foolish when he started building the ark but Noah believed in what God said and put his faith to action. He was not a people pleaser rather a God pleaser. Noah was not afraid to stand out as he trusted in God’s plan . He built the ark just the way God had instructed him and saved his family

By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God

Hebrews 11:7

Abraham put to action his extraordinary, unwavering belief in God when God told him to travel to an unknown place and God did not tell him where he was going.

Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God. evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God

Hebrews 11:8

Hebrews 11 lists all the biblical heroes that put their faith to action, trusting God one step at a time in their unknown journey. They had complete confidence that even though they have no idea about how their journey will end, they trusted in His promises and had unwavering faith that when God ordains their steps there is nothing to be afraid of or worried about . They looked to God for help and just followed what God had asked them to do. They put their faith to action.

For the reflection part, how does that ‘faith in action’ work for you and me in our practical lives ? Ephesians 5:1-2 encourages us to ‘wake up from our sleep’

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that

Ephesians 5:1-2

We all have mountains in our own private battles that we are struggling with. Of course, we all have been praying for that new job, for that life partner, for that new home , for that new car, for that intimacy with God. Other than praying, are we doing anything about it ? Any ACTION to co-operate with God for His promises to come true in our lives ?

I am a strong believer in prayer and His miracle working power. I also strongly believe that God wants us to use that mustard seed of faith that He has given us , to work along with Him, to co-operate with Him to make His plans establish on this earth for His glory. It’s God that puts that dream , that desire in your heart that you have right now and probably He has confirmed that through a prophecy. It’s time to trust His word and set into action

God has that wonderful job for you. But He needs you to use that God given talents in your interview from your end so He can sprinkle His favour for the best outcome. God will heal you but He needs you to go to the doctor and have your medication. Of course, if God has promised you a certain ministry, you need to equip yourself in that by studying and learning in that area.

My prayer for you today is that May this day be a day of ‘faith filled with action’ for you.

May you find that little mustard seed of faith that God put in your heart and put that faith to action TODAY

Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

Matt 17:20

Stay Blessed in Him

 

 

 

Lent – Day 13 – Magnitude of His Love

magnitude-of-gods-love.jpg

On a weekend, my family decided we would have a spin on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. What better way to catch a bird’s eye view of spectacular Melbourne than on this stunning giant wheel. The above picture was one of the many breathtaking views taken on that day.

When I looked at the wheel from afar, it did not catch my attention that much. It was just an ordinary wheel for me. But when I took a ride on one of those spacious cabins and got a closer look of the wheel , the way it is built and the way it takes us on a spin to a spectacular 360 degree view of Melbourne made me appreciate the brains behind this amazing work. The closer I chose to look the more I observed and learnt

In God’s kingdom, for one to actually grasp the MAGNITUDE of HIS LOVE, one needs to actually understand what God did for them. The more closer we get to God, the more we will start to understand His heartbeat.

Paul talks about grasping God’s love in Ephesians 3:17-19

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19

God’s love is PERSISTENT,CONSISTENT , SELFLESS and UNCONDITIONAL

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

We sometimes feel so unworthy of His Love, this great love. We get deceived by the words of the devil ‘ who can love us?’ , ‘ why will anyone love a bad person like me?’ , ‘ If you know what I did , you would not even want to talk to me?’ . The truth is the devil is a liar and he only comes to steal and destroy. He can’t stand to see God’s plans manifest in our lives and he will try his very best to uproot the good seeds set to blossom on our prosperous ground. But God says perfect love casts out all fear. So we have that grace to come boldly to the throne of God, without any pretence.

Today is an invitation for you to come to the Lord , JUST AS YOU ARE.

God loves you and He proved His love by sending His only son to die for your sins so you can have an eternal life. It is already done. Now it is your turn to accept the free gift and reap an eternal life of hope and peace

Hold on to this promise of God’s faithful love for you. He has already EMBRACED YOU AS HIS VERY OWN

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Romans 8:36-39

Stay Blessed in Him

 

 

Lent – Day 6 – Abounding Grace

abounding grace

As I begin writing this post, I am reminded of this beautiful good old hymn ‘ Amazing Grace’ by John Newton. I am humbled and overwhelmed even by the very thought that the Lord of the Universe saved a wretch like me, accepted me , loved me unconditionally and adopted me into His family, FREELY. AMAZING GRACE !!!

Amazing Grace

How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me 

I once was lost but now am found 

Was blind but now I see 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon in his book, All of Grace quotes the below on grace

Grace is the first and last moving cause of salvation; and faith, essential as it is, is only an important part of the machinery which grace employs. We are saved ‘through faith,’ but salvation is ‘by grace’

He adds on to say the below
Jesus did not die for our righteousness, but He died for our sins. He did not come to save us because we were worth saving, but because we were utterly worthless, ruined, and undone. He did not come to earth out of any reason that was in us, but solely and only because of reasons which He took from the depths of His own divine love. In due time He died for those whom He describes not as godly but as ungodly, applying to them as hopeless an adjective as He could have selected.”
Jesus replaced ABIDING LAW with HIS ABOUNDING GRACE. Jesus substituted the animal sacrifice from the law by becoming the ultimate sacrifice , thus defeating death on the Cross, just for you and me and all of mankind.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ
John 1:17 
Hebrews 10 talks about the ultimate sacrifice of Christ once for ALL.
GOD’S GRACE  alone has the POWER TO SAVE and ABILITY TO TRANSFORM.
First He said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then He said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second.10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all
15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ Romans 5 :15 
A gift is a waste and has no value until it is accepted by the person that it is given to. God offers His grace freely to us so we can experience an abundant life He has in store for us.
My prayer for you today is that your heart be prepared to accept the grace of God upon your life and into every walks of your life. The divine grace of God has the power to save, to forgive, to restore and rebuild things that seems impossible in human strength.
I pray that you choose the pathway to heaven today.
16 So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need
Stay Blessed in Him
Feel free to share your lent thoughts with me as we do this journey together
PS :  There will be no lent devotions on Sunday

Lent – Day 3 – Know Your Belonging

 

child of god

We are driven by a sense of belonging this day and age.  I read this quote on google from Brene Brown about the sense of belonging

Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect

A sense of belonging occurs when you have a feeling of being connected. The heartbeat of any connection is communication. In God’s kingdom, the very reason God created us is to have fellowship with Him so we can know Him

God has called us so we can come to know Him – John 17:3

If we look at the life of Jesus , He set an example for us to slow down the fast paced life to spend time with His Father. He often chose moments of solitude to pray and listen to God for His life comfort and direction.

Jesus knew Who He belonged to. He knew His identity in God.

Today I want to encourage you to dig a bit into your identity in Christ and know who you really belong to

God adopted you into His Family

He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ , in accordance with His pleasure and will

Ephesians 1:5

You are the child of God

But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, [even] to them that believe on his name

John 1:12

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 : 1-2

You are a chosen one

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation , God’s special possession , that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light

1 Peter 2 : 9

As you reflect on your sense of belonging in Christ

My prayer for you is Colossians 3 : 1-3

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

FINALLY , Its time to say HELLO to GOD . Know Him to REALLY Know Him

Stay Blessed in Him

 

LENT – DAY 1 – TIME APART FOR JESUS

Lentday1

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of 40 days of ‘ LENT ‘ season in the body of Christ. Lent is observed by millions of Christians across the world as a way of honoring the sacrifice Jesus made for us. It’s a time of reflection of our hearts condition, repentance and reunion in fellowship with God. It’s that time of the year where we set apart time for Jesus and contemplate what Jesus REALLY did for us. Lent starts today 14th Feb 2018 and ends Saturday 31st Mar 2018

The 40 days of lent takes us back to the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. Matthew 4:1-2

Personally I have not observed Lent for 40 days in my Christian life. But this year I have resolved to ‘intentionally’ spend time with God and want to take this opportunity to reflect on my heart’s condition in my walk with God. I will share my devotions for Lent for the next 40 days and we can do this journey together.

Deciding on what to fast from during this period is up to the discretion of the individual. I believe what is more important that the fasting be accompanied by prayer and fellowship / quiet time with God . Also its worth noting that physical fasting should never harm your body as your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18, ESV)

WHERE IS YOUR STETHOSCOPE

Few months back I was preparing for a giving message for 2 services at my church. I was inquiring the Lord on the message. I was asking God ‘ I want to hear your heartbeat ‘

When I prayed , I saw  this picture of me with a stethoscope. I was praying the same prayer ‘ Lord, let me hear your heartbeat ‘ But the steth was on my shoulders rather than my ears . I felt the Lord take the steth from my shoulders onto my ears so I can ACTUALLY hear the heartbeat. That moment I realised that though we all have the same passion and yearning to hear from God, we miss the heartbeat because so often our steth is not positioned well to hear JUST His heatbeat. So many distractions that screams for our attention most of the time disrupting and often stealing our time with God.

As we observe Day 1 of lent, I would like you to take some time alone with God and reflect on the THINGS that steal your time with God. Once you list them, choose one from that list to fast from and invest that time spent in quality time with God.

Set apart time for Him. If we yearn to listen to the heart beat of God and want to know what this Jesus is all about and how it makes sense in this practical life, we need to get our steth right to our ears so we can hear the heart beat of God. And that’s where all our BIGGER problems begin to decrease at the sight of the BIGGEST God we ever have

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Open our hears and minds this Lent season as we seek Your face and choose to know Your ways. Let us hear and grasp Your heartbeat to reflect Your love and life on this earth

In Jesus Name

Amen

Feel free to share your journey of lent with me on the comments below

Stay Blessed in Him