Saturday, August 29, 2009

Composed and Confident in Christ

'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.

(Acts 27:24-25, NIV)

The Apostle Paul began his life with the Lord Jesus Christ in a most dramatic way. He heard, saw and experienced the Lord in a most powerful tangible manner. That day on the road to Damascus changed his life forever. He was a fighter. He continued to fight, but since then – for a different cause. He received a new sight. One with a divine vision which led him into a courageous mission till the very end.

Throughout his accounts we can see he gave himself no rest. Living a life packed with one sole purpose of making Christ known, yet Paul stayed simple throughout – always rejoicing in the Lord as he rendered his selfless service. His strong unmovable faith always keeps me going in hard times. I love his tenacity and his enduring power; how he pursued his cause without any doubt but with such focus of the end. He was a man who watched the Word became alive; taking hold of the promise of God just as he had been told. No second thought.

In the book of John, the Word became flesh. Every word of God is a living word. It carries the full potential to become alive. It contains the breath of God – it’s fresh!

All of us were traveling along some road when we bumped into this Jesus. Our encounter may not be necessarily as dramatic as Paul’s. Ours may be seemingly normal, or it could be splashed with a colourful palate of experience. In reality, we’ve all come into a new life, having a new purpose, living for a new cause and fighting for what counts for eternity. Life may take us into different turns and junctions which appear dangerous and complicated. They lead to fear and confusion. Sometimes we wish there’s an easier route, or a jeep which will drive by so we can jump in and zoomed off the bumpy road. We wish! Most of the time, we have to walk through it and keep the courage just as Paul did. He wasn’t spared from the trials and hardships. In this verse, he knew for sure he had to face Caesar but he retained his composure and stood in confidence of God’s claim – because he had heard the trustworthy God.

Who or what is your “Caesar”? Are you afraid to face it?

We may be seen as the weaker gender in the world's eye but let us remember we are the King's daughters. Let us not be threatened by whatever opposition that comes our way seeking to dampen our spirit. Wait upon God’s deliverance just as He said it will be!

Gracious Lord, whenever I am afraid, remind me of Your presence. Even though I have to face certain challenges, I trust in You. My composure and confidence are in Christ. I will wait upon You, You’ll come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Press In, Press On

Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises, he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.

(Hosea 6:3, NIV)

The feeling is like I just woke up from a nightmare with some phantom pain. The whole more than two months suffering from back pain has been horrifying. Every morning I woke up hoping it was just a nightmare and it is all over. The pain took many forms – from excruatiating to dull ache, prickly sensation to pressing heavy-like pain which traveled to every part of my body. It was not merely confined to the back – the limbs, head, ears, mouth were not spared. The back which holds the body up when injured affects the entire body and mind. It was tough weeks bearing the great burden on my back. My busy lifestyle came to a standstill (which in many ways is good but almost totally unbearable). My days were reduced to bed rest and physiotherapy. Even when the pain has been significantly reduced, my whole body system was somewhat gone cranky.

Some people with good intention advised me to seek other help – relaxation therapy such as yoga and acupuncture to “reset” my system. Someone said, “You need help. A guided program, you can’t do this yourself.” I knew deep in my heart I can’t do it myself. I definitely need help but surely not any sources which were mentioned. I need divine help. I need my Father.
Just before one of my physiotherapy session, I heard the Lord’s reminder to press in…into His loving presence and keep acknowledging his Lordship and rule. Needless to say, it demanded so much mental energy to stay focus and proclaim God’s power of life and healing in trying times. But there was an urging, “let us” repeated twice in this single verse to acknowledge God – to recognize who He is and understand His nature, and believe the certainty of His presence liken to the sun. My eyes turned towards the glass door of the waiting room as I meditated on His Word and I caught sight of the heavy downpour of rain as I continued to read on the remaining portion of the verse. My heart thumped with excitement as the Lord’s presence rained down at the very spot I was sitting as I bathed myself in His refreshing promise – “ he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”

All of us feels like giving up one point or another. How many times we gave up too soon? If only we press in a little more, hang in there a little longer…but we screamed, “I’ve no more strength”. It is then we must realize we have our limitations. Scream if you must, “I’ve no more strength…” but call for His mercy and acknowledge He is Lord.
Confess His remarkable power.
Catch His rising presence.
Contain His refreshing promise of blessing.

Precious Gems, will you persevere and press in…and press on no matter what your circumstance is…and your confidence will be richly rewarded (Hebrews 10:35).

Almighty God, Our Deliverer, give us endless supply of energy to press in and press on…till we see You face to face and feast in Your amazing grace. There we will surely find rest and restoration. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I Will Be Back Soon

To all God's Precious Gems,

I am so sorry I took longer than I thought to make a comeback. Recovery seems slower than I thought. Perhaps it is God's way of slowing me down :)
Thank you to all who faithfully drop by to pick a gem. I've stored up some great gems the past weeks and will deposit them into your hearts soon. Thank you for been patient. Thank you for your prayers too.

You are constantly in my prayers and thoughts. I would appreciate if you could drop a comment here or, in my family blog chatbox, or a brief email to let me know how you are keeping so I can pray specifically for you...and keep in touch. If you are new, then I would certainly like to get to know you.

Let us consider how we may continue to spur one another on towards love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).

Have a great weekend!!