04 January, 2011

Two Tiny Coins

"Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44

Though extremely poor, I find the widow with the two coins in the bible as one of the most greathearted person ever lived. Jesus caught sight of her in the temple. No one else would have noticed her but Jesus, with eyes that penetrated both her circumstances and her heart, recognized the astonishing nature of her gift. Truly, her gesture was a sign of complete abandonment to God. After learning about this, I kind of picture myself in the scene and asked myself, "If I was there at the temple, putting my offering at the receptacle, what would Jesus see?" Oh my, I guess I would be a great dissapointment!

I salute this woman for being able to willingly and graciously give to the Lord ALL THAT SHE HAD! She truly is a woman of faith because she wouldn't have offered her last penny if she didn't believe that God would care better than she could care for herself. Also, she must have believe in the value of her small offering. What need had God for two copper of coins anyway? But maybe, God in a manner of speaking, did need what she had to offer. Perhaps her gesture consoled Jesus a short time before his passion and death. She had given everything she had to live on; soon, he would give his very life.
The widow also furnishes us with the best example of recognizing the need for money - she had money, although very little - but also the need to hold it lightly - she willingly and lovingly gave it away.1 Timothy 6:10 says " For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs". A lover of money would have hung unto it more tightly than the widow and, when giving it away, would have made sure the gift was noisily apparent.
Personally, I have been constantly skimming the bottom in the last years of my life but God has remained faithful on my needs. I assure you, He truly is a GOD THAT YOU CAN RELY ON and A JEVOHAH JIREH OF ALL TIME! My true security is not in my bank account, but in God alone! :-)
Lastly, the story of the widow and her two copper coins reminds me that God's kingdom works on an entirely different principle than the Kingdom of this world. In the divine economy, the size of the gift is of no conseqeuence; what matters is the size of the giver's heart! :-)

01 January, 2011

A new heart, a new spirit, a new ME!

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you!" Eze 36:26
It's a new year once again! A time of new beginnings and new hopes for most people... for me! The past year 2010 was "my year" in a sense that I was born on the YEAR OF THE TIGER. I thought of it very positively then but naahhh I was totally wrong. However, now that I look back, I actually am very grateful that the Lord allowed me to go through hardships so I become a better person with a greater and extra ordinary motivation, passion and spirit. As in, I can't describe how excited I am with what's going to happen this 2011. I feel like the Lord is going to surprise me with so many things and at the same time, I'd make my way to make Him more proud of me than ever. Well, I know He is no matter how much I messed up in the last 2 decades of my life but nevertheless, I AM STILL LOVED! What a great God I have:-)
The year 2010 truly been a tough and rough road for me. It was the toughest I could ever think of. I was so down in all aspects financially, spiritually, emotionally and even physically. I lost a very important person in my life and I have never been so broke in my entire life but I have no one else to blame but myself. I was not a good steward of God's finances and with that comes consequences. Consequences that affected a lot of people - my family, friends, ministry. The feeling of great self-dissapointment started to control me and I began to fail the Lord more and more each day. I have been a Christian for more that 2 decades but I feel like at one point, I have stopped growing. My desire to be "extra ordinary, make a difference and excel" just suddenly dissappeared. And having to reflect over and over again, begging God to help me understand myself better and see where the problem lies brought me to this - I HAVE FORGOTTEN MY IDENTITY IN CHRIST! I totally lost a clear sense of who I am in God's eyes. That I am His disciple, a temple of His Holy Spirit and more importantly - I AM HIS CHILD.
John 1:12 "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God ."
I John 3:1 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!"
And that as a child of God I should be victorious. And though I may have been betrayed, rejected and abandoned by others, God always welcomes me with open arms.Because WITH HIM I BELONG!
Another issue that the Lord had to deal with me was my CONSISTENCY. It's hard to be consistent isn't it? I mean, in one way or another we all have our own inconsistencies in life, we get busy, but mine was horrible because my inconsistency is on setting up the right priorities in life. I forgot intently what's really most important. Being a child of God entails enjoying Him, which for me means, spending time with Him, inviting Him into times of recreation and rest in addition to my ministry work. I neglected that, I neglected Him... not totally but worse, consciously! When I read John 8:31 just a few days ago which says "If you hold my teaching, you are my disciples" it hit me. IT HIT ME BIG TIME because I know that a true disciple puts a high priority on spiritual growth and heeds the admonition of Ephesians 4:15 that we are to "grow up into Him who is the head, that is, Christ." But I didn't.I messed up.My spiritual growth became very stagnant and I committed the most common mistake most Christians make - BEING COMPLACENT! I have been very lax, slothful and a mediocre christian. And for once, I hated myself for being one. It is for this very reason why the enemy got to easily steal my joy and passion in most of the things that I do. But game over! It's time to get back ALL that was taken from me! ONLY THE LORD can give me such great determination.Through the Holy Spirit, Christ dwells in all true believers, convicting us of sin, guiding us into truth, and empowering our lives. This then leads me to another area of my life that I have been neglecting for soooooo long - MY HEALTH!
By housing the Holy Spirit, our bodies become temples - holy, set apart for God's service."Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?" I Cor 3:16 This means that you and I carry God's spirit with us wherever we go. We are vessels of dynamic Holy Spirit activity and for this reason we need to take care our bodies by adhering to healthy eating habits, exercising, and getting ample rest. Well, I have no issue in terms drinking and smoking but man, my sleeping habit is VERY BAD! Admittedly, I am a night owl but I have never really tried to change which is actually very possible having a God like mine. Paul instructs us to honor God with our bodies (I Cor 6:20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies) and let Christ be exalted!
"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[a] his Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." Romans 8:11-13

Many of our addictions, compulsions, and bad habits are bodily behaviours. That's why scripture tells us not to let sin reign in our bodies but to offer ourselves completely to God, to dedicate the various parts of our bodies to God as "instruments of righteousness". The point is what we allow "in us" determines our behavior. And so, part of being the "new me" is also developing good sleeping habits and a healthy lifestyle!

Oh well, these are my main concerns in the last few years that I really, truly wanted to change and I am claiming that I will be victorious over all plans of the enemy to stop me again. With all these, may be you're asking after all that I have been through, what kept me going? Honestly, it is GOD'S CONSTANT PURSUIT OF MY HEART! It isn't in His vocabulary to give up on me. And with that, I am humbled and will always be grateful. Year 2010 maybe the hardest time of my life but at the same time, it is also a year of GRACE and of GREAT TRANSFORMATION of my life!


"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness". Ephesians 4:22-24