The story of Lazarus is well-known to many people. That’s the guy that was dead for 4 days and then got raised up by Jesus. We know this guy was Jesus’s friend. He was also the brother of Mary who poured perfume on Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair…So we establish the family was close to Jesus.
The bible tells us that Jesus was aware that Lazarus was sick…in fact the word sent to Jesus was: ‘Lord, the one you love is sick’ – However, Jesus stayed where he was for 2 more days, by then Lazarus was already dead! The questions now are: why didn’t Jesus rush to Lazarus while he was sick, since he truly loved him? Since the LORD is all-knowing, why did he wait for Lazarus to die?
Isn’t that how you and I feel sometime when it appears God is delaying? When it appears the situation is not going to make it? And then we struggle to understand the notion that we are loved by God?
The situation is complex, but the answer is simple. God is sovereign. God performs extreme miracles. God’s ways are not ours. God’s glory is revealed in most difficult situation. God appears when we feel all hope is lost. God shows up when we have ’worked hard all night and caught nothing’*
The good news is, the kind of testimony that ends such hopeless situation is always mind-blowing! We see similar trend in Abraham’s life. The bible refers to Abraham as God’s friend, yet God did not give him a child until he was 100! But that child, Isaac, became a game-changer in the world history
I don’t know what it is you’re going through or how long it’s been. But I know GOD loves you and HE is too faithful to fail. He is able and willing to make all things beautiful for you. You’ll soon testify!
You’re not forgotten! So it’s not over yet. You’re coming out stronger!
Ref: John 11, Gen. 18:11-15, Gen 21, Is 41:18, Luke 5
I don’t know why some folks feel it’s un-scriptural, un-holy or ‘canal’ to dance in God’s presence. This is part what I call ‘Doctrine-gone-south’ phenomenon.
There’s time for lifting hands. Time for solemn worship. Time for clapping. And likewise for dancing. The Lord wants us to dance (Jer. 31:4) – The Psalmist says in Ps 149:3-4 ‘Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory…’ – See, I didn’t make it up!
As long as it is unto the LORD, please dance especially during the time of praise worship in your church. Don’t be intimidated. And don’t look down on those who dance in His presence because no one can afford to be the next Michal (2 Sam. 6)
Next time you have the opportunity to dance in His presence, please do so with all your might. Only the Living can praise God!
Ref: Eccl. 3:4, Jer 31:4, Lam. 5:15, Ps 30:11-12, 149:3-4, Ex. 15:20-21, 2 Sam. 6:14-17
“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” This is a typical assumption we make when we see someone going through challenges of life. Of course sin brings repercussions…However there’s another side to every story. There could even be many sides to a story.
Let’s look at one of those sides. The LORD told Satan that Job ‘‘…is the finest man in all the earth… blameless…a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil…” – However, the latter part of that conversation ends with Job in serious trial of life; so horrible experience that no one wishes such on their worst enemy.
So we know that many indeed are the afflictions of the righteous. The good news is that LORD always delivers the righteous from all those afflictions. As we see with Job. The Lord preserved him, and blessed him in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.
I don’t know what you’re going through. You may have prayed but appears no answers are coming forth…Maybe you do not see HIM in the north, for HE is hidden. You look to the south, but HE is concealed. But hey! The LORD knows where you’re going. And when the test is over, you will come out as pure gold!
Your God brings beauty from ashes. Raises armies from dry bones. Turns mess to message. Your God is faithful, able, willing, compassionate, merciful and always with you. You’re coming out stronger, better, wiser and more blessed than you could ever imagine.
You’re not forgotten
Ref: John 9:2, Job 1, Job 42:12, John 16:33, Ezek 37, Ps 34:19, Rom. 8:27
Hey! Have you heard of a guy called Shamgar? He was such an interesting character. At the time when Philistines were terrorizing the Israelites it was too dangerous to go to the market…roads were abandoned. However that was when this Shamgar guy went out with ‘not-too-appropriate’ weapon to attack, and ended up killing 600 philistines with an ox goad!
It’s amazing what God can do through our ‘tools’ – skills, ideas, talent, dreams…They may not be perfect, but our determination working within the grace of God can make unbelievable things happen!
We remain dormant as long as we keep waiting for the ‘big thing’ ‘the perfect tool’. The truth is we would never do anything, if we wait until we could do it so well that no one would find fault with what we’ve done. Do you know that living with fear stops us taking risks? and ‘if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit’
You can do it because your GOD said it. You’re destined to fly!
Ref: Judges 3, Phil. 3:20, Eccl. 11:4-6, Matt. 14:29, 2 Tim.1:7
Simon of Cyrene was the man who helped Jesus carry the cross. In Exodus 17 Moses’ arms became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset
Why keep quiet if you need help? Or why look down on those who need help? Help is a 2-way approach. We receive help and we give help to others. The scripture encourages us not to say to our neighbour, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you” when you already have it with you”.
If God has empowered you to help, don’t delay it. The Lord directs people to us on purpose. So that when your time of need arises you may find help too. Remember God does not forget your acts of compassion.
Help someone this season. And may you receive timely help.
Ref: Ex. 17; Mat. 27:32; Prov. 3:28; Jam. 2:15-16; Rom. 12:13; Phil.2:4; 1 Tim 5:8; Lk. 6:38
‘…People who hang on to grudges are more likely to experience severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as other health conditions…’ – John Hopkins Medicine
Un-forgiveness causes physical, mental and spiritual damages. It clogs the pipe that transports blessings. But when we forgive, we’re acting in obedience to God, freeing ourselves from bondage, while allowing God’s blessings to flow in.
To forgive is a choice. God chose to forgive us not because we deserved it. He does not remember our sins anymore; and does not hold them against us! Let us forgive ourselves, and those who offend us.
Ref: Mat 6:14-15, 1 Jn. 1:9, Col 3:13, Lk. 17:3-4; Eph. 4:31-32, Is. 43:25-26
Jacob was a believer. His parents dined with God. In fact his grand-dad was the ‘father of faith’. Yet, he said ‘the LORD was here and I knew it not!’ Could it be he was so overwhelmed with his situation that he wasn’t expecting God’s move anymore? Or was he used to a particular experience that he didn’t realise God could move silently? Or could it be he was too familiar with God? Do you know we could sometime be like Jacob; being in God’s presence and we’re not aware?
The reality is we could be so familiar with GOD that from the inner depth of our heart, we’re not expectant of HIS touch. When our services become a tradition.
Our level of expectation is reflected in our actions. I’ve seen folks make phone calls during praise worship. Some exchange greetings during prayers. Some just chat or sleep during the sermon. And when there’s a big gathering somewhere then we rush there hoping to receive from God. Have we forgotten that God may choose to do mightier things in small congregation? There could be an earthquake, followed by fire. The LORD may decide not to be in there, but then use ‘a gentle whisper’ instead.
Every appointment with God is an opportunity to have our life transformed. Whether midweek/Sunday/home cell/ personal devotion…Praise-worship/Prayer session/Announcement…God is ever present. We need to be expectant to receive from GOD. A child that wants to be carried must lift their hands.
Let’s make every second spent in God’s presence count. HE is able and willing!
Ref: 1Kg 19:12; Act 3:2; Gen 28:16; Matt. 15:8