Wednesday, March 30, 2011

O Lord helps me be what you wants me to be

How many times have you said, even cried out to God, ‘What do You want me to do? If you just show me, I’ll do it.

I lost count of the number of times I spoke to God in this way when I was a new Christian but despite my pleading He did not give me a specific task or job to do.  In hindsight it’s quite funny because what makes me think that God needs my help anyway?

When we become Christians and meet with the risen Lord Jesus Christ we often want to do things for Him. OK, everyone is different, but quite often, new Christians will want or feel called, to give up their jobs and work full time for God. There is nothing wrong with having zeal for God’s work but we first of all have to grow in our discipleship of Jesus and get our Christian roots firmly embedded in the rock (Mathew 7:24-25).

Me and Pat became Christians together in 1999 and it quickly became our life purpose to worship God and be disciples of Jesus. We were led to a Christian fellowship approximately 16 miles from our home and after a while we felt the Lord telling us to sell our house in Liverpool and move to Haydock where our church was situated. We did just that and moved into our new home in March 2000.

As we were growing in our Christian walk we had our times of trial and tribulation along with times of blessing. Difficult times should not come as a surprise to Christians as Jesus told us they would come (John 17:33) and many other references in the Bible tell us that hardship is the training ground for Christian maturity (e.g. Hebrews 12:1-11, Zechariah 13:9)

We know that God has a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11) and we know that He is in control but we began pushing Him into revealing His plans to us NOW – not according to His good and perfect timing.

Anyway, we so much wanted to do things for God that we lost our peace and became frustrated with our church leaders and fellow Christians, who didn’t seem to have the same burden for our community as us. This judgemental attitude and bitterness towards others can be a blockage in our relationship with the Lord.

I struggled so much with this for quite a while until I was eventually led to John 6:28-29, which tells of the crowds of people questioning Jesus about doing the works of God.

‘Then they said unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God. Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.’ 

His answer is so simple – believe in Him! 

These words from Jesus hit me between the eyes and reminded me that we are ‘human beings’ not ‘human doings’. It’s not what we do, it’s who we are and what we believe in our hearts that is important to God. 

‘For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.’  Hosea 6:6

Jesus himself quoted this scripture to the Pharisees when they asked why He ate with tax collectors and sinners (Mathew 9:10-13).

Believing in Jesus, however, involves much more than belief – why, even the demons believe in Him (James 2:19). No, it means actively trusting Jesus in all areas of our lives.

Anyway, we repented of our bitterness and our judgemental attitudes towards others and we received our Father’s forgiveness. We realised that we have to stop striving and simply trust in God and His perfect timing. If we are living as disciples of Jesus there are many ‘things’ to be doing.

In Mathew 25:34-40 Jesus tells the parable about the sheep and the goats and describes the mercy we can all do every day. By doing these things for others Jesus said that we do them for Him. 

‘For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me……. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me.’  . Mathew 25:35-40

This parable tells us that we should love every person and serve anyone we can. You see, as disciples, Jesus demands our personal involvement in caring for others’ needs and this theme also runs throughout the Old Testament. 

In this next passage the Lord is asking what is true fasting?
‘Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, thou shalt cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh.’. Isaiah 58:7

If we can be trusted with the ‘small’ things God promises to trust us with more (Mathew 25:21) but we must not be anxious and we must wait on God’s perfect timing.

The Lord taught me a vital lesson during this period – He doesn’t need me to work for Him. He wants me to be faithful in the ‘small’ things, to be content and have a serving heart.

Above all we are all called to love each other and show the love of Jesus to others. Amen.

As the penny finally dropped in all this the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 37. This is a Psalm I’ve read many times before but it was only now that verses 3-8 jumped out of the page at me.

‘Trust in the Lord and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily shall thou be fed.
Delight thyself also in the Lord;
and he will give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the Lord;
trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light,
and thy judgement as the noonday sun.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:
fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way,
because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:
fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.’
Isn’t God great!

The Bible is truly a love letter from Him to us and the truths in it will set us free (James 1:25)- if only we can see them and put them into practice.

Monday, March 28, 2011


“Sebab itu haruslah kauketahui, bahwa TUHAN, Allahmu, Dialah Allah, Allah yang setia, yang memegang perjanjian dan kasih setia-Nya terhadap orang yang kasih kepada-Nya dan berpegang pada perintah-Nya, sampai kepada beribu-ribu keturunan..” (Ulangan 7:9)

Suatu pagi di bulan Mei sekitar 100 tahun lampau, seorang anak lelaki sedang berjalan gontai menyusuri jalanan desa Iwata-Gun, di pulau Honsu, Jepang. Soichiro HONDA baru saja dihina dan diusir dari suatu pesta perayaan di rumah temannya karena ia miskin. Ayahnya yang bekerja hanya sebagai tukang tambal panci, kasihan melihatnya. Ia mencoba menghibur anak kecil ini dengan menceritakan kisah Napoleon Bonaparte, seorang rakyat biasa yang akhirnya menjadi Jenderal penakluk Eropa dan Kaisar Perancis. Honda merasa terhibur dan terpesona. Dan setelah melihat gambar figur sang jenderal yang kecil dan pendek, ia pun terinspirasi untuk meraih sukses sebagaimana Napoleon karena karena kesamaan kondisi : pendek dan miskin.

Sejak itu, Honda sering bemimpi dan bergaya seperti Napoleon. Perlahan pengalaman imaginer dengan tokoh idolanya ini membentuk sikap positif dalam diri Honda, khususnya memotivasi dirinya untuk meraih sukses. Kelak terbukti kemudian meskipun mengalami tantangan dan jatuh-bangun berkali-kali, Honda berhasil membangun usaha bisnisnya menjadi salah satu perusahaan otomotif terbesar di dunia yang dikenal dengan keunggulan mutunya. Ketika meninggal, nama Honda dikenal sebagai pemegang lebih dari 100 hak paten dan mewariskan ilmunya yang masyhur: The Power of Dreams (kekuatan Impian).

Sahabat NK, ketidak-berdayaan dan kondisi kekurangan tidak menghalangi kesuksesan. Tetapi, keyakinan atas mimpi akan membangun sikap positif untuk meraih keberhasilan. Mimpi yang dibangun atas kepercayaan yang benar, kepercayaan kepada janji Allah yang setia. Dan seperti kata Honda :”..Impian akan berubah menjadi kenyataan…

Percayalah! [SM]!/notes/renungan-harian-nilai-kehidupan/the-power-of-dreams/10150113866227092

Sunday, March 27, 2011

God's Purpose For Your Life

The best place to be for any human being is in the middle of God's plan for his or her life. That is when you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right people and enough provision to accomplish your purpose.

Actually, that is the only place you will ever experience fulfillment and success in, because you were created to be there! You were designed with a unique combination of gifts and talents to fulfill a specific purpose while you are here on earth!

Any other plan you might have in your life will never satisfy you, because, sooner or later, God's plan will be tugging at your heart and you will feel deeply dissatisfied.

Nevertheless, there are a number of obstacles between you and the wonderful life God has prepared for you. And they are not on His side.

God longs to walk with you and to communicate the plans He has for you. He yearns for each one of us to invite Him into our lives. That is what we were created for!

You were not designed to live your life according to your limited human abilities. Your mind was not meant to cope with the daily burdens of your life. God created you to live with Him!

So, how then can we surmount the obstacles that lie between us and the awesome life He has planned for us?

Contact God

First of all, we have to contact Him. We have to slow down, change direction and search for Him. He promises to always come to those who search for Him with all their heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

Learn About God

Second, we have to learn about Him. God has a much higher way of thinking than we have, and He wants to teach us to think that way. Failure, lack, worry and defeat are not part of His vocabulary, and He does not want it to be part of yours! The best way to renew your mind to God's way of thinking is by reading His Word and by hearing anointed messages about Him!

Spend Time With God

The third step is to spend time with Him daily. Just like in any friendship, you have to invest time and effort to get to know God intimately. It is only then that God will reveal His secrets to you.

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8)

You can find out what God's plan is for your life and change the course of your life forever. Learn how to flow with God's plan for your life, and how to successfully develop the talents.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Ada seorang anak gelandangan yang diadopsi oleh seorang bos kaya raya.
Selain anak itu bersyukur karena keberuntungannya diadopsi juga ia dituntut untuk berperilaku seperti layaknya anak bos. Ia harus belajar budi pekerti, etika, sopan santun untuk menjadi serupa dengan anak bos.
Seorang pelajar lulusan SMU mendapat beasiswa ke universitas ternama di luar negeri. Hampir dapat dipastikan masa depannya cerah karena mendapat pengetahuan, pengalaman, dan juga kesempatan untuk belajar di lingkungan yang mendukung. Selain anak itu bersukacita karena mendapat 'hadiah' yang tidak akan didapat sembarang orang, ia juga mendapat tanggung jawab untuk belajar segiat mungkin, dan lulus dengan standar nilai tertentu.

My friends, seperti seorang anak Tuhan yang diberi anugrah keselamatan dari Bapa. Dengan percaya dan menerima anak-Nya sebagai Tuhan dan juruselamat pribadi maka ia mendapat anugrah keselamatan. Sudah seharusnya kita bersyukur dan bersukacita mendapat anugrah itu, seperti anak gelandangan dan pelajar pada ilustrasi di atas. Tetapi jangan hanya berhenti sampai di sana. Ingat juga bahwa ada sisi lain dari keselamatan, dan ini sebenarnya juga adalah tanda / bukti bahwa kita telah diselamatkan. Alkitab mengajarkan kita untuk mengerjakan keselamatan.

Filipi 2:12
Hai saudara-saudaraku yang kekasih, kamu senantiasa taat; karena itu tetaplah kerjakan keselamatanmu dengan takut dan gentar, bukan saja seperti waktu aku masih hadir, tetapi terlebih pula sekarang waktu aku tidak hadir,
Di tempat lain, penulis kitab Ibrani juga menulis bahwa setelah diselamatkan kita diwajibkan untuk mengikuti perlombaan iman.

Ibrani 12:1
Karena kita mempunyai banyak saksi, bagaikan awan yang mengelilingi kita, marilah kita menanggalkan semua beban dan dosa yang begitu merintangi kita, dan berlomba dengan tekun dalam perlombaan yang diwajibkan bagi kita.

Ibrani 12:2
Marilah kita melakukannya dengan mata yang tertuju kepada Yesus, yang memimpin kita dalam iman, dan yang membawa iman kita itu kepada kesempurnaan, yang dengan mengabaikan kehinaan tekun memikul salib ganti sukacita yang disediakan bagi Dia, yang sekarang duduk di sebelah kanan takhta Allah.
Karena sesungguhnya panggilan kita diselamatkan adalah supaya kita menjadi serupa dengan gambaran anak-Nya.
Roma 8:29
Sebab semua orang yang dipilih-Nya dari semula, mereka juga ditentukan-Nya dari semula untuk menjadi serupa dengan gambaran Anak-Nya, supaya Ia, Anak-Nya itu, menjadi yang sulung di antara banyak saudara.
Dan target keselamatan kita adalah menjadi sempurna.

Matius 5:48
Karena itu haruslah kamu sempurna, sama seperti Bapamu yang di sorga adalah sempurna
Renungkanlah ayat-ayat di atas, dan pikirkanlah berapa besar usaha yang perlu dilakukan untuk memenuhi target tersebut.

Don't get me wrong here. Hal ini tidak berarti bahwa keselamatan adalah usaha manusia. It's totally a gift from Him and Him alone. And I'm not saying that we have to (or even can) do this with our own strength. Hanya oleh penebusan darah Kristus, perubahan pola pikir karena kebenaran Injil, tuntunan dan pimpinan dari Roh Kudus setiap hari. 

Please bear this on your mind, bahwa di balik anugrah keselamatan ada tanggung jawab besar yang harus dikerjakan oleh setiap orang percaya. Jangan terpaku hanya pada hore-hore kita telah diselamatkan, tunjukkan dan buktikan bahwa kita telah diselamatkan. And as we get wiser, I pray that the focus on our christian lives will be more on the proving part rather than the hore-hore part.

"... and my love is for You
and my love is for You
and my love is forever..."