Category: Devotion


Weighed…

The psat few months, if not this year have been a challenge to me. With disappointments in work, the challenges of life, the state of the country around me and the passing of my grandfather has weighed heavily in my heart.

I wondered where Grandpa is now. Looking at his life through his memoirs, I see God’s hand on him. I wondered whether God’s hand was on him, guiding him in his last moments. I hope he is with God now. I place my hope on the God I know to be loving and merciful.

With so much challenges ahead, I’ve hidden myself behind the scenes for the past few weeks. The excuse of a Sabbath was used and the reason of being newly married was convenient.

Just a few days ago, I’ve heard in the music making reference to the term “burnt out” akin to spiritual death. I wondered if it was true of me. Although I know deep within, I’m slowly drifting away from the passion of God.

Realising the state of which things are going, I needed to do something. I prayed, I sang, I read. Its a struggle. A breeze of encouragement was felt by my barren and dry heart in the reading of the first few pages of Pastor Edmund’s book. A piece of poetry seems to speak to me…

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By Faith Not Sight ~ By Ruth A. Morgan

Sometimes I’m sad. I know not why.
My heart is sore distressed;
It seems the burdens of this world
Have settled on my heart.
And yet I know … I know that God
Who doeth all things right
Will lead me thus to understand
To walk by FAITH … not SIGHT.
 
And though I may not see the way
He’s planned for me to go,
The way seems dark to me just now
But oh, I’m sure He knows!
Today He guides my feeble step
Tomorrow’s in His right.
He has asked me to never fear
But walk by FAITH … not SIGHT.
 
Some day the mists will roll away,
The sun will shine again.
I’ll see the beauty in the flowers,
I’ll hear the bird’s refrain.
And then I’ll know my Father’s hand
Has led the way to light
Becuase I placed my hand in His
And walked by FAITH … not SIGHT.

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This is my journey to walk… not alone but with Him.

Something is off…

 

Something is definitely off.. I can feel it. Or rather I can’t feel it.

I’m feeling stressed most times… blood pressure has been fluctuating. I’m losing my edge easily. Especially with my loved ones. For that I would like to apologise to those who are reading my blogs. Its been a slow eroding of my patience. I’m seeing it in my thoughts….

I could blame it on the stress. I could blame it on countless things and people. But in the quietness of the night, I realise I can only blame myself. My lack of fellowship with God. My mind and focus on the things of this world. My apparent lack of heart in the Word. I’m realising the effects…

Pray against the devil’s scheme. Pray against thoughtless words. Pray against unnecessary pressure from work, family and friends. Pray against worldliness. Pray against self-centredness. Pray against worthless counsels. Pray against death.

Pray it would not be too late. Pray for mercy. Pray for peace. Pray for love. Pray for guidance. 

 

Remember, Repent, Revert

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

     These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

     Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practice of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

     He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Be Thou Exalted

Wonderful praise and exaltation of God.

Be Thou Exalted.
 
VERSE 1
Be Thou my vision, be Thou my joy
My providence and my reward
Be Thou the wisdom that I employ
To trade my worth for Yours
 
Be Thou my refuge, be Thou my strength
Should my confession err
My heart’s sure whisper assuring then
And trust Your every word
 
CHORUS
Be Thou exalted
Be Thou exalted, Jesus, forever
Be Thou exalted forever
 
VERSE 2
Be Thou my passion, be Thou my zeal, that I may offer Thee
No great pro- cession or vain appeal, but my sincerity
 
BRIDGE
Hallelujah to the Name of all names
Hallelujah, to our God be all praise
Ever holy, worthy, be Thou exalted, always
 

Lost first love

Its been months since I’ve “penned” down any thoughts or reflections. I still do some reflection on and off. Nevertheless, I cannot deceive myself that something.. something very important has been lost.

I could say that its the weeds and thorns of the world that has held me back. That have taken hold of me. But those are mere excuses… I was already warned. Even from the very beginning, before I started my career or stepped out into the world, His Word clearly warned… be wary of the weeds and thorns of the world that distracts us from God. Lest we be lost in the suffocation of this wicked life.

Yet with all the warnings, with all the teachings, here I am. Lost.

The Word has said of the church of Ephesus… “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.

You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

Am I still salvageable? I pray I am still within hearing limits of God’s Word.

Tonight I asked God to take my heart and place it next to His once again. I want to be a man like King David. A man after God’s own heart. Though how or if my heart would conform to His heart, time will tell.

I can only pray and ask for His mercy for such a prodigal son. Pray for mercy and grace that I would not be too far beyond the reach of God’s whispers and voice.

Such a height have I fallen since the first year I fell in love with You.

Mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journey of faith … thus far.

Like what I’ve shared with Ellie on my journey of faith.. Its been ups and downs.. mostly downs but God is good. He has never forsake me or left me.

Its not been smooth sailing this phase of my life. At this stage where the phrase “the world is your oyster” suits appropriately, its a struggle to fight against the “me-first” self-centred part of me and also the many many temptations in the world. I’ve been struggling with the flesh part of me for the past year plus now and I’ve lost much of my sensitivity towards God.

Sometimes I wonder if it is part and parcel of the journey of faith when we begin to place our trust more on non-tangible things than the tangible things like emotions, stirrings… hmm.. one thing is for sure, God’s word is always readily available for us.

Last night, my spirit was disturbed, my heart was heavy and I asked God in not so many words, “How do I come back to You? Guide me along Your path once again. How can I once again attain Your wisdom in the things of life”. God answered in Proverbs 1 & 2.

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousnessm justice and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth – Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~ Proverbs 1:1-7

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil, men who paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways. So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed; none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life. So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it. ~ Proverbs 2.

I pray all of us will have the fear of God in us whether be it progressively or even more. I pray we will receive His Words and bind them to our heart and mind always.

Life’s reflection

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of faith is to see what you believe.” ~ St. Augustus.

Life is fleeting and we are all but a breath in the stream of life. Much like a wisp or the morning dew, a moment and the next it is no more. In the background of the great machines of world and the eternally expanding  universe, we seem so small. However, if we are to see life as a weaver’s handiwork, with many strands criss-crossing over one another, we would see that we are all connected to form the fabric that spans all over the world. Sounds a little philosophical.

As I have recently entered into another marker in life, I pondered on the last 30 years of my life. The words of St. Augustus brings many a thanksgiving into my heart. Even my time of devotion reminds me to sing praise to God.

There are many things of which I’m thankful to God for the past 30 years. Thinking back – the time in university where I grew, the friendships I’ve made. The time of stepping into the working world, to see God’s favor, wisdom and strength manifesting in my own life. Achievements in my career, being the among the youngest in my workplace to be recognized. Connecting with young vibrant and colourful lives, being part of their lives and having the privilege of being called a big brother. Building many bridges with people of different age, perspectives and culture. Meeting this wonderful gal I am to spend the rest of my life with, growing to love her even more with the passing of time. And now stepping to build a home with her. Holding hands to take the next step forward of making a family.

I believe the greatest achievement I have to show today for my past 30 years is the bonds that have been made with different people and different lives. Bonds that lasts even longer than material things or recognition or any other achievements. There will be some that may fade in the coures of time but its lingering touch would be forever  imprinted into my life. And there are some bonds that will stand the test of time and space. Those I am forever grateful to be part of.

I see, Lord. I see faith. I look forward to see more of You in life and in the lives of people around me. Its been a great ride thus far… whats next? 🙂

Be magnified in my life.

            I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes a so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

            I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

            As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other. ~ John 15:1-17

For the love of Money…

Root of all evil … I’m beginning to see how destructive and how dangerous the love of money can be. Lives lost… relationships broken… hearts pierced… family shattered. How much are those worth? To have all the riches in the world but to have lost the true riches of life.

A  few weapons the Word of God has given us to fight this fight of our inner hearts.

  • Godliness with contentment
  • Flee from it and pursue
    • righteousness
    • godliness
    • faith
    • love
    • endurance
    • gentleness 
  • Fight the good fight
  • Hope in God
  • Rich in good deeds
  • Generosity

To an extent, all of us struggle with its grip. Money – makes the world turn – so the saying goes. Not true. Nevertheless it is directly and indirectly involved in every aspect of our lives. Even Jesus’ words, much on finances and money.

Take heed and great caution, fellow traveller. Its a long dark road and we’re in the enemy’s territory. Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matt 7:13-14). Hold on tight to God’s leading and focus on the light ahead.

1 Timothy 6:3-19

            If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

            But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

            But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

            Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Book of Psalms

In my devotional reading, I’ve reached Psalms. One of the richest writings of the Word. It is said to be filled with emotions, experiences but one have to really contemplate and reflect to find the richest it holds between the lines and pages.

It is quoted in the book “Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Willard –

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”     Still today the Old Testament book of Psalms gives great power for faith and life. This is simply because it preserves a conceptually rich language about God and our relationships to him. If you bury yourself in Psalms, you emerge knowing God and understanding life.

     And that is by no means a matter, as some suggest, of the “poetic effect” of the great language. No mere emotional lift is involved. What makes the language great and provide the emotional lift is chiefly its picture of God and of life. We learn from the psalms how to think and act in reference to God. We drink in God and God’s world from them. They provide a vocabulary for living Godward, one inspired by God himself. They show us who God is, and that expands and lifts and directs our minds and hearts.

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King David wrote some of the Psalms and here is a man commended by God (through Prophet Samuel) to be a man after His own heart. If you’ve said the prayer to be a man after God’s heart, I believe you can relate very much to David.

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Psalm 27 .. Of David

The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.
Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
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Intermission?

I just got back from a leader’s retreat. An annual event where all the leaders of the church would just regroup and retreat to a secluded location for some R&R and alignment… I didn’t expect much to happen aside from some fun activities and laughter… Did some bonding too. Yet..

Somehow that feeling is still there. I was pondering about it. What happened? Why is this happening? .. I feel defeated. Somehow I have let my guard down and I was beaten down. One of my dreams in life was to make a difference. Watching that fall apart, I find myself helpless and lost. Like I’m broken.. Something somewhere along the way, something was lost. What can I do in life if what I’m doing will not matter in the next 80+ years when I am no longer around? What is life’s meaning to me then if I would lose that?

Yet I know I’m not down for the count…Maybe its an intermission… I need to gather myself. Gather my focus and myself. I need some time to find my fire.. my passion. I need Him to guide me, I need to hear from Him. I need God.