The Sleeping Prophet

I can barely remember the last time i updated this blog. Guess the sudden urge came up to say something with so many happenings in our nation that it just drives the melancholy in me to ponder and think what in the world God is doing.

i guess oftentimes it is the question that runs through our head. Like the Psalmist, we cry,

Psalms 44:23-26 (Message)
Get up, God! Are you going to sleep all day?
Wake up! Don’t you care what happens to us?
Why do you bury your face in the pillow?
Why pretend things are just fine with us?
And here we are––flat on our faces in the dirt,
held down with a boot on our necks.
Get up and come to our rescue.
If you love us so much, Help us!

Sometimes, it does seem our prayers hit a glass ceiling and it makes you wonder what God has up His sleeve.

One of my many hobbies is gardening. Some complain I have too many hobbies but it is what satisfies me. Anyway, one of the things I realize is that the condition of the plant above the surface many a time is caused by the condition of the root. Which brings to the very question, is the condition we are in a sign of a deeper problem of the root? I always remember this portion of the verse in Jonah when he was running away from the commandment of the Lord by sea, and the Lord created a storm to destroy the ship he was in,

Jonah 1:6 (Voice)
When the captain heard, he went down and woke Jonah up.
Captain:How can you sleep so deeply? Get up, and call out to your deity! Maybe your deity will see what is happening and save us from this catastrophe.

Interestingly enough, they soon found that the issue was with the sleeping prophet. He had a spiritual problem. He was running away from the assignment that the Lord gave to Him. Are we also guilty of the same? The church of Malaysia, the body of Christ, the temple of God.

2 Chronicles 7:12-15 (Message)
God appeared to Solomon that very night and said, “I accept your prayer; yes, I have chosen this place as a temple for sacrifice, a house of worship. If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God–defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you:I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health. From now on I’m alert day and night to the prayers offered at this place.

God never said that the land will be healed when those who are not called by His name turns around and pray. He put that responsibility on those who bear His name. He called those who bear His name, the Christ-ians, followers of the way of Christ, to make a turnaround, to set their lives right, to seek His face, to knock on the doors of heaven and He promised He will forgive us and restore our land. That he would be alert, attentive to His house. Has the light of the incense of prayer in the house of God grown dim or maybe even, diminished? Have those who are called to be His priests ceased from their duties and neglected to continually offer up the prayers for this land, for our land, our people?

Then, it is time to repent of our negligence of His house. It is turn to turn around and seek His face once again. Let us not be of those of whom it it is said that the Word of the Lord is rare, of those who said we have neglected our watch at this time and season.

Well, at the time of this post, the writer is aware of his own shortcomings and begs for forgiveness of his negelect, neglect of the incense of prayer for our nation. It is so easy to cry out for our own needs but not as easy to cry out for the needs of another, of those who share this land, share this time and season.

Let us not wait till the time runs out. Start knocking on the doors of heaven.

Matthew 7:7-11 (Voice)
Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you. All who ask receive. Those who seek, find what they seek. And he who knocks, will have the door opened.
Think of it this way:if your son asked you for bread, would you give him a stone? Of course not—you would give him a loaf of bread. If your son asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? No, to be sure, you would give him a fish—the best fish you could find. So if you, who are sinful, know how to give your children good gifts, how much more so does your Father in heaven, who is perfect, know how to give great gifts to His children!

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The Contentment of Love

Aspects of Love – Contentment
By Hon Wei Chan

Love… is not envious (1 Cor 13:4)

Envy… Jealousy… some call it the green eyed monster. When was the last time you were happy when God blessed your neighbour? Or your friend? Does it make you angry that God blessed someone you didn’t like? Or even your enemy maybe?

How about the time when your colleague got a promotion but you didn’t? Or your neighbour who does not work as hard as you getting a car twice as big as yours? Or someone got a house you always wanted? Or dated or even married the girl of your dreams? Or the guy of your dreams?

The strange thing about the word ‘envy’ in the bible is that it could be used in a good or bad sense.

2. zeloo (ζηλόω, 2206 ) denotes “to be zealous, moved with jealousy,” Acts 7:9 and 17:5 , RV, “moved with jealousy” (KJV, “moved with envy”); both have “envieth” in 1 Cor. 13:4 .

Note: Zelos, “zeal or jealousy,” translated “envy” in the KJV, in Acts 13:45 ; Rom. 13:13 ; 1 Cor. 3:3 ; 2 Cor. 12:20 ; Jas. 3:14 , 16 , is to be distinguished from phthonos, and, apart from the meanings “zeal” and “indignation,” is always translated “jealousy” in the RV. The distinction lies in this, that “envy” desires to deprive another of what he has, “jealousy” desires to have the same or the same sort of thing for itself.

Envy desires to deprive another of what he has. In Malaysia, I’ve seen many new cars get scratched deliberately by another. Why? Envy. You have something I cannot have so I will destroy it for you. Or the common theme of many a love drama where if the girl you love does not share your affection, you try to destroy every good relationship the person could have. Envy often rears its ugly head. Caleb couldn’t get God’s affection and was envious and angry and decided to kill his own brother.

Acts 7:9
And these aforementioned founders, burning up with envy of Joseph, sold him into Egypt. But God was with him

Joseph’s brothers was so furious of the special treatment his brother received, they sold him into slavery. What is the power of envy that it can even cause you to betray or even kill your closest of kin? It almost seems envy screams out, ‘If I can’t have it, nor can you.” Envy declares that it wants what the other person has and if it can’t have it, nor can the other person. There is this sense of a loss of humanity when one is intoxicated with envy.

Envy cannot be happy for another. In fact, the happiness of the other almost always robs it of its happiness. The problem with envy is that it always magnifies the things that we do not have and minimalises the things that we have. Envy often brings out the worst in you.

Why do people envy? Why do I envy? Who do you envy?I could think of several possibilities.

One, we tie our self worth to what the other person has. If the other person gets praised, I feel inferior. If someone was endowed with good looks, it makes us feel strangely ugly. If someone was blessed financially, we feel poor and deprived. Our worth is tied to things another has and not on the things we have. It is a vicious cycle that almost perpetually deprives us of happiness and an inability to see the things we are blessed with.

Two, we measure our success based on another’s achievement. We are always trying to keep up with our neighbours. If someone sings better than us, then we cannot be happy until we sing as well. If our friend owns a bungalow, then we cannot be happy till we get a bigger one. Again, this paralyses us as there will always be someone better than us.

Eventually, envy will kill every meaningful relationship you will ever have. You cannot love someone you envy. It is impossible. You cannot be happy for the person you love if you are perpetually envious of them. It is impossible.

I often illustrate this with something I did when I was young. Something I could not remember. Something my mum told me. She said that when I was young, I love chicks so much. And often I would squeeze them so hard, they would die. That is what envy can do to your relationships. It can make you a control freak. If your girlfriend talks slightly longer with another guy, you get envious. If your boyfriend spends more time with his friends, you get jealous. Probably, if you could, you would put them in a cage on your little finger, so they can be yours forever and noone else could have them. Then maybe, you would be less envious.

This brings me to the third reason I think people envy. They don’t see God. They don’t see eternity. And because they do not see God, they cannot know that they will never lose His love for them. They cannot see the unique plan and purposes for them and the reason why they were created different – in a different environment, with a different ability and gifts and circumstances. They cannot see that the true reward which is eternal will be given in heaven. If you do not have access to the limitless God who will eventually give you His eternal heaven, you will always hold on to earthly things.

I guess this verse summarises it all:
James 4:1-4
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrongyou want only what will give you pleasure.You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

The hands that hold on to the world will never be able to reach out to God. So, I have learnt that in life, I cannot have everything I want but I can have everything God wants to give to me. And He knows what is best for me. So it’s time to let go and let God. It is time to find our peace and contentment in God and this may be the best thing that we do for ourselves. We may finally be happy.

I am just a regular guy who really desires to please God. I’m not there yet, but I’m on the way.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITER-MAKE A WEBSITE

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The Kindness of Love

Aspects of Love – Kindness
By Hon Wei Chan

Today, I would like to explore the second aspect of love in 1 Corinthians 13 i.e. the kindness of love.

1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud

I was searching for the meaning of the word ‘kind’ in the bible and here is how it is defined in the enhanced Strong dictionary:
g5541. chrsteuomai; middle voice from 5543 ; to show oneself useful, i.e. act benevolently: be kind.

Huh? To show oneself useful? Act benevolent? To be kind to someone in the bible means to be useful? To be characterised or suggestive of doing good? Organized for the purpose of doing good? That’s kinda deep.

As usual, I will look for the first occurrence in the New Testament of the root of this word:
Luke 6:35
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.

Wait a minute! This does not limit to being kind to a family member; or a friend; or a loved one; or a stranger! This is talking about being kind to an enemy! And another bummer is ‘without expecting to be repaid’! It requires us to be kind in a useful way. It means that even if your enemy is hungry, feed him – not just pray for him. If he is injured, to heal him – not just avoid injuring him further. Be of useful help.

But the bible does not say that we would not be repaid. It only says that our kindness should not be given with expectation of repayment from our enemies. It says there is a possibility the person to whom we extend kindness may not repay us. It means don’t expect them to pay you back with the kindness you lavished upon them because that repayment is going to come from God. God is the One who would repay you when you display His kindness because then you would truly be acting as children of God – the God who would be kind to even those who are not even going to give Him an ounce of thanks or even those who act wickedly.

Titus 3:4-5
But”When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

For me, the question today would be whether I would want kindness according to the world’s standard or God’s standard. The world would say be kind to those who are kind to us. Be kind to the grateful. Be kind to the good. That is the world’s standard. But God’s standard demands a different level of action – it demands us to be kind to even our enemies who in our very eyes, may not have done a single act of righteousness but extend to them mercy. Be merciful for He is merciful.

Yes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. This man is willing but he will have to fight against every ounce of resistance in his mind and emotions. But it would be worth it as God is His rewarder. He would repay and we would be sons of light. sons of the true and living God.

I am just a regular guy who really desires to please God. I’m not there yet, but I’m on the way.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITER-MAKE A WEBSITE

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The Patience of Love

Aspects of Love – Patience
By Hon Wei Chan

Love is really the in-thing nowadays. People sing about love, movies are themed around love, books about love are bound to be bestsellers. Love sells but what is love?

Does the world portray an accurate picture of love? Does the church portray an accurate picture of love? Maybe, a good place to start really is in the famous Love chapter of Paul namely 1 Corinthians 13 written about Agape – the love of God.

The last thing we all need is a dictionary definition of God’s love. But rather, I would like to explore the different aspects of love. And the first aspect I would like to indulge in is this, taken from the Wuest New Testament is the Patience of God.

1 Corinthians 13:4a
Love meekly and patiently bears ill treatment from others.

Meekly and patiently bears ill treatment… Wow… the thought itself is mind blowing. This brings back the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:39-42
But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

What possibly could be running through Jesus’ mind when He uttered those words? Was He thinking about these words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing”? Who was on HIs mind when He spoke them? Was it Judas who betrayed Him with a kiss? Was it Peter who denied Him three times? Was it His disciples who ran away forsaking Him? Was it the soldier who forced the crown of thorns down His head? Was it the one who tore His flesh with the whip? Was it the crowd crying out for His crucifixion? … meekly and patiently bearing ill treatment… Was it my sins He was paying for on that cross? Was it my continual denial of Him with my daily disobedience? Was it…?

The first time the word was used to portray ‘meekly and patiently enduring ill treatment’ was in Matthew 18:26-27 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all. ‘ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

The master didn’t give the man an installment plan or made him pay half the debt or mortgaged his house or sold his wife and children. He forgave him of everything. The man walked away free at the expence of the master.

As I looked at all these verses, I realised the first thing about Patience – it will cost us. It is about giving when we should be getting what was owed to us. It is about mercy when punishment was due. It is about me being forgiven extending forgiveness to my fellow men. It is about giving up my right to what was mine. The right to anger. The right to revenge. The right to hate. The right to retribute. It is about extravagant forgiveness.

If we claim to love, then maybe the first question to ask if we have been patient. Patient with family. Patient with friends. Patient with colleagues. Patient with the stranger. Patient with our enemies.

I think I am found lacking. It is impossible. It cannot be achieved unless the crucified Christ lives through me. Unless I give up my right to my rights to Him and allow HIm to transform me little by little, from glory to glory, strength to strength.

As Joyce Meyer would put it, “I’m not there, but I am on the way.” I am on the way to Patience. The Patience of Jesus. The Patience of God.

I am just a regular guy who really desires to please God. I’m not there yet, but I’m on the way.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITER-MAKE A WEBSITE

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Betta Splendens

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“Betta Splendens” or better known as the Siamese Fighting Fish. The fish that even fights it’s own reflection if you were to just put a mirror next to its container. So, infatuated it is with fighting its own reflection, it may skip food and eventually die if the mirror were just to be left day for a few days.

“Homo sapien” or better known as your typical human being. Have you ever met one that fought his or her own identity. How about the beautiful actress that would literally starve herself to bones because she did not like her reflection in the mirror? Or the teenager that would gorge herself with food and then minutes later, forcefully make herself to throw up everything to stay thin?

How about you? How about me? We all know that in one way or another, sometime in our lives we struggle with our identity. We fight with ourselves. Ask the Koreans. Plastic surgery is a norm rather than the exception.

Who are we when we are stripped down to our essence? When we lose our jobs? When we lose our partners? When we lose everything that we tie a value to? When we lose part of our beauty or good looks? Who are we?

Maybe, that is the reason that got me onto this journey. This guy wanted to see things more than an ant’s eyeview. He wants to see things through an eagle’s eye view. But not just an eagle eye view but through the eyes of a Creator. A Creator who loves him enough to die on the cross for him. And that is the reason for this blog. Not to express my own opinions or wishes but to discover what the Creator has in store. His dreams. His purpose. His vision. His life.

This invitation is to you to join me on this journey if you wish to see things in a different light. The light of the Word of God. May the journey begin…

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