Living Free, Doing Good…

Sometimes in life we feel that we are at the mercy of others and that people who care less about us are in positions that can affect us. It can be based on family ties, job, ministry, economy, etc. we want to do something or go somewhere, but then we are held by the decisions or will of others.

How do we as God’s people respond to this?

  1. Jesus is the Lord of all lords. It is true that we are under authority and not all are blessed with loving or even sympathetic authorities. But then we have this truth from scriptures that Jesus Christ who loves us with a never ending love is above all else. He is, in spite of all the other circumstances, favorable or unfavorable, able to keep us and guide us in His purpose.
  2. Who can match or even keep in step with the moves of God. Haman had made his calculated moves and he had the authority to do away with Mordecai and also extend destruction to Mordecai’s people. He had clinched his goal, almost, until God revealed all that He had done and was doing. If Haman was positioned in authority then God had positioned Esther as queen for that opportune time. Moreover, God controlled whether the king slept or not; what he would do to spend his sleepless hours, and in the reading of documents what page should be read to him, and finally what feelings he should have regarding the man God wanted to honor. It is so very significant that Mordecai was not rewarded when he had saved the king’s life. It is unusual but God had caused that omission for rewarding at a better time and as time proved he was honored all the more.

So, no matter what our lot and no matter what the plots are against us God is authoring our life and He will not only decide the fate He will also tie all the loose ends. Let us seek to keep doing good all the more because we have a God who ensures that we are rewarded, if not now, then at a better time for greater joy.

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Telling Your Story

When we work as cross-cultural missionaries – in spite of the many hurdles and challenges – we are blessed by the support given by those first generation believers who are glad to live for Jesus Christ and unashamedly witnessing Him.

In a recent gathering a believer put her testimony in such a simple but profound manner when she said:

“Before we knew Jesus Christ there was the foul smell of sin on us and there was the smell of poverty on us. But when we knew Jesus Christ everything has changed.”

She and her husband are working as unskilled laborers in a small factory that has refused to raise their wages this year. Nevertheless, they are living witnesses of a living God who transforms and sustains.

Remembering our stories and telling them and retelling them with joy, without shame is such an important thing. Let us ask for God’s wisdom to put forth our stories in beautiful and creative ways.

And every story testifies to the greatness of what Christ Jesus has done for us in His advent, passion, and exaltation.

Glory, glory, be to the Lamb of God.

A Reflection on Deuteronomy 31

O Lord, we are broken people.

Left to ourselves we are no good. You know, so surely, what we are up to.

What is that within us that makes us so rebellious, disobedient, haters of you God, and your ways.

We reciprocate not your great blessings with devotion that is true.

We go astray, bringing great destruction upon ourselves.

And then when terrible troubles assail us we would prefer to blame you all the more.

Don’t know why, true repentance seems so strange, irrelevant, silly.

 

Help O Lord, we are a broken people.

We need, again and again, your hand to mend us, repair us, and straighten us.

We want you to heal us from that terrible sickness called sin.

Align our frames so that we may see light –

Abide in us O blessed Lord and consume all that is unworthy of you.

 

For all that you have required of us is to –

Hear your Word

Learn to fear you

And diligently observe all that you have asked of us.

Serving God

There is this pure joy of being used by God; and it is not only in the so called ‘spiritual tasks.’

Two things show that God can be worshiped and served by any task provided it does not go against God’s holiness and His Word.

  1. It is Jesus Christ who holds all things together. The whole of creation though marred by sin and awaiting the redemption which is already at work, is being preserved and run by God. So God can choose any one for any task that is essential for the running of His creation. We need to see the structures of authority and governance as being ultimately headed by God. Jesus Christ is the Lord of lords. God is at the top and He is rectifying severely damaged systems. He is at the top and His kingdom is coming in full measure even though the kingdom of darkness and sin oppose Him. And a time will come when the rebellion and sin that is so pervasive in this world and every walk of life will be contained within hell forever in God’s judgment.
  2. Jesus Christ is the Lord of our life. That is to say all of our life. And, it is not ‘what’ we are doing but ‘how’ we are doing that makes the difference. When we go about our tasks grumbling then we are doing just that – grumbling around. On the other hand when we go about our tasks worshiping God then we are worshiping Him in all things. That is to say that when we do anything, be it as ordinary a task as cooking food or cleaning up a place, when we do it for Jesus Christ it becomes just that – serving God. On the contrary while God may make use of the work that is done by a person claiming to serve God in a very ‘spiritual task’ like preaching; but, if the person’s attitude is not right then that service would not be counted as such.

So what we need primarily is not a different set of tasks but a different approach to do the very things that we are supposed to do. Furthermore, this attitude should result in excellence because we are doing them for God. Let our eyes be opened to see beyond our supervisors or masters or even our co-workers so that we may actually see our true Master. And yes, it is possible to offer those tasks that we may think to have no relation to God as acts of worship and service in our love for God.

Praise be to God who receives our simplest and humblest of acts when we offer them to God in love and devotion. May He continue to help us glorify Him in all things.