Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are you trapped?

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Charles Swindoll wrote about these men who bring in animals from Africa for American zoos. They say that one of the hardest animals to catch there is the ringtailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it’s simple. They’ve been catching this agile little animal with ease for years.

The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can’t get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him.

There’s a pretty clear moral to this story, wouldn’t you say? If we really want to be free, we must let go of the things we love. The more we hold on to our earthly posessions, the more frustrated we will get and eventually, we will be entrapped.

Let’s let go of the worldly things we’ve been holding on to. God has much greater things for us to be doing than sitting here with our fists in a melon!

This article was provided by Worthy Devotions

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Valentine Day reflection

The streets in Penang are starting to setup stalls to sell flowers and gifts for Valentine Day. At the same time various controversies being introduce by some "not-so-well-informed" religious experts who declares it is a Christian celebration. Well, the Bible (the central doctrinal reference for Christianity) never teaches about a specific day called Valentine Day and at the same time it was never observed as Christian festival.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the Bible central theme is all about God who love us so much, who gave Himself that we may life and life abundant. Well, since we are in the topic of Valentine Day and Valentine is always referred to a day where love is expressed, it appropriate to learn about the Christian view with regards to love.

There is one scripture reference that is the essence of the Christian faith and define the true love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). It simply speaks about "Unconditional Love". What is "Unconditional Love"? God, in his greatest show of love, sent his son, Jesus, to walk on this earth, to teach us, to show us how to live real lives, love-filled lives, and, eventually, to die for us. That is unconditional love.

What kind of love should we give in return? What should be our standard? The powerful words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Mark speak to the love standard Christians are expected to live by, not just on Valentine’s Day, but on every day of the year. There are two important focuses for our love.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” (Mark 12:31). Human love often seems complicated and frustrating, so it is comforting to have its complexities reduced to these two manageable realities: love God; love each other.

Valentine's Day honours human love with all its frailties. The Bible reminds Christians every day that God's love is real, eternal, and unconditional.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stand Strong!

Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

An official of a mission board, who knew it takes more than just desire to make a missionary, was appointed to examine a candidate for the mission field. He told the young man to be at his house at six o’clock in the morning. The young man complied and arrived a six o’clock sharp. The examiner kept him sitting alone in the room until ten. Then he finally came in and said abruptly, ” Young man, can you write your name? A little taken aback by the simplicity of his question, the man paused. Before he could get a word out, the examiner blurted, “What, you don’t know what it is?” The mission board official put him through a series of questions of that nature and then went to report to the mission board.

“Okay,” he said, “he will do.” I tried his patience for hours and hours and he did not break down; Then I insulted him and he did not lose his temper. This candidate answered with patience, fortitude, and gentleness. His faith was vindicated by the very quality of his character. He will make a good missionary.”

Whether we realize it or not — we all are in the mission field. Our patience is bound to be tested in ways we’ve never imagined and we’ll most likely find it unfair and unkind at times. But standing strong in the Lord in the face of offensive treatment and enduring seasons of long-suffering is a testimony in and of itself — and that will win souls!

Are you weary from the walk? Get your second wind! Count it all joy! You have endured much and you will see victory! Not only here on earth but when we meet the Lord!

This article was provided by Worthy Devotions