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Sunday, October 26, 2014

How Do You See Yourself?

I am always puzzled when I read about celebrities who complain about their looks, status
or some other thing. These people seem to have it all. The public adores them and thinks their looks are perfect and their performance divine. So why are they not satisfied?

If they can be dissatisfied with themselves, how much easier it is for the ordinary John or Jane to have a low opinion about themselves? This was the case of Gideon. Israel had fallen on hard times on account of the Midanites and other eastern peoples who had invaded their land. He had such low self-esteem that when an angel appeared to him and addressed him as "Mighty warrior" (Judges 6: 12), Gideon replied, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family" The Lord answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together"(v 15 - 16). 

But Gideon was not convinced. He asked God to give him a sign (v 36 - 39) . And the Lord did so (v 40). And so it was that Gideon conquered the Midianites, but not before God had showed him more signs and caused him to hear someone interpreting a dream that foretold victory for the Israelites

So it is with us. We see ourselves as weak, insignificant, destined for failure even though God assures us that He is with us. We will not go after the job we want or the business we would like to start because we are afraid we might fail. But in God's eyes we are not failures. The Bible says, "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8 : 37).

If you are born again, when you look yourself in the mirror, you should see yourself as God sees you - son/daughter of the Most High God, bought with a price, beloved, redeemed, worthy, blessed and highly favored, the head and not the tail -- Shall I go on? Love yourself, because God loves you. 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Do You Enjoy Your Life?

English: Author: myroslava (Myroslava Luzina, ...
English: Author: myroslava (Myroslava Luzina, Kyiv, Ukraine). Source: own camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In light of all that is happening in the world today, one may be tempted to say, what is there to enjoy? Every time we pick up the newspapers, or turn on the television we hear and see things, which, if we are not careful, can send us into a deep state of depression. Hence the reason for the question, do you enjoy your life? Or better still, can you enjoy your life when all around you there is pain and suffering?

Joyce Meyer, popular televangelist, has built a worldwide ministry around the theme, Enjoying Everyday Life. When one listens to her speak about growing up with an abusive father and all the things she had to endure, one wonders that today she can encourage others to enjoy their lives. The truth is, if you're living a life of poverty, abuse and hardship, and you are anxious and disheartened by all the bad news you hear everyday, there may not be much to enjoy.

 But listen to what Jesus said. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer ; I have overcome the world" (John 16: 33). The key is in me. In Him, Jesus Christ. If you are in Him, you will have peace and joy unspeakable and full of glory. You will not be bothered about what is going on around you, you will not be afraid of evil tidings, because your heart is fixed trusting in the Lord.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

When Storms Come

Jesus with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee...
Jesus with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee, Ernst Georg Bartsch, 1967 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Not too long ago, I wrote on Facebook: Most people are either in a storm, coming out of one or about to enter one. Little did I know that I was about to enter one. This past week, one of my sons suffered a vicious knife attack and was fortunate to escape with a wound to his leg and a cut on his forehead. As you may well imagine, I was, and still am, shaken over this incident. To think that you can be in danger of losing your life while going about your normal, everyday business is frightening.

This is the thing about storms; they come upon us unawares, when we are busy, when we are tired, when we need to rest or to concentrate. We are never prepared for a storm. Jesus had been teaching and preaching to large crowds all day, so when evening came and He said to the disciples, "Let us go over to the other side," (Mark 4: 35), they must have been glad to get away from the crowd and all the clamor and get to a place where they could rest. But it was not to be.  "A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped" (v 37).

The disciples were afraid and they called on Jesus who, get this, was asleep on a cushion. Mark doesn't say it, but from their words it seems the disciples' fear turned to anger. "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"(v 38). You know the rest. Jesus got up, rebuked the winds and the waves and the storm ceased. And then He did something else. He rebuked them. "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

But then the story takes a strange twist.  They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"(v 41). They were not afraid because Jesus rebuked them; they were afraid because the wind and the waves obeyed Him. Despite all the miracles and all the preaching, they didn't really expect that Jesus could calm the wind and the waves. 

That's where the test of our faith comes. I have to confess that I am not much different from those men. When the storm comes, I know Jesus is in my boat. I call on Him, but then I worry. I worry that that young man, or someone else, may come after my son again. But I have no cause to fear because "He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1 : 7). 

And how do we develop this spirit of power and love and sound mind? By going through a storm, of course, and knowing that He is right there with us.