Friday, 22 July 2011

Only By Grace!

How often do we mention or take the word grace for granted? Grace, grace, grace. It could be a name of a person, used in an expression but hardly a cuss word.

The first man God made was Adam. He was perfect just as his wife Eve. Eve was also perfect. The first woman, wife and mother. she didn't learn from someone or get the opportunity to observe someone perform these roles; she was just it. Whatever role it was, she was it.

Made in the image of God, they possessed the entirety of God himself. They had no inclination to sin but would have definitely identified sin if the devil went straight ahead to say "steal" "lie" or "cheat". The devil didn't do any of it, he just asked a question did God say.............? and you know how the rest of the conversation went.

But this is the interesting part worth noting. After they ate the fruit, they realized they were naked and felt ashamed. So the covered themselves with figs. They were not ashamed at first because they were naked from the very beginning. Open before God, and not ashamed of it. Nothing is hidden before God anyway however when they did realize they were naked, their first inclinations was to cover themselves with figs and under trees. Imagine your ten or fifteen year old daughter who you constantly bathed as a child scream when you enter the bathroom unintentionally.

That is what sin does. It normally comes paired with some guilt and realization which is also not repentance but just pure guilt of a reasoning man. The apostle Paul said "godly sorrow worketh repentance" They tried to cover themselves (their sin) with their own means of justification, their own making. That does not take away our wrongs, its just like hitting against the wrong wall.

Here comes the first act of grace!, God comes in to cover their sin with clothing made of skins of the animal. To get the skin of an animal involves slaughtering that animal. It demands a justification made purely by sacrifice. That which is allowed and accepted by God himself as a sacrifice. Not by their own doing or might but by the simple acceptance of the mercies and constant grace of God shall the fallen race of mankind be saved.

This act of Justification comes in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not in how much we have become perfect in church stuffs, the singing, fasting, praying in tongues and holding our posture and attitudes of holiness, but in the simple meekness of Jesus Christ, the lamb that was slain in you. Revealed each day by your breath, eating, talking and relationship with others. Just that. Reflect on this

Friday, 15 July 2011

Thy will be done!

Lord not my will but yours..........................................

This is a summary of the prayer Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. It was in agony, having the spirit of the father but being but a mere man. He saw the cross before him and agonized over what he was going to suffer. The scorn, the shame, the pain and all that BUT most of all the obvious rejection by people who would get to hear about him later but refuse to accept him.

Yes that was the level of the agony. So he prayed; three times over the same thing. Lord not my will but yours. It wasn't because of doubt that caused him to do that thrice, but travailing spirit in him. He prayed earnestly in such a way that his sweat became like drops of blood. He wasn't shouting neither was he exerting a particular force because if he was doing so; it would have woken the disciples up from their slumber. Rather, it was between him and God (remember Hannah?). Earnestly praying. Interceding so he became less of himself (mere flesh) and more of God. So he prayed, asking for strength that he needed for what laid ahead of him. So the question is, if he did not pray, what would have been the breaking point for Jesus?

That is a perfect example our master gave us before he left us. Before we encounter any temptation, there is always the battle of the wills. We need to spend more time praying and asking God for his will to be done before we even get to that doorstep of temptation. Asking for extra strength for each day. Simply saying not my will lord but yours................and follow it with deliver me from temptation. Take it as preparing yourself for an exam.

Friday, 8 July 2011

It is the Little things that do matter!

Attention to details.
Its amazing but insomuch as we don't want to accept it, it is those little things that actually make the difference in our lives. The extra time we chose to give to a friend in bereavement, the extra cent we put aside the constant dripping of water in a bathroom, the extra effort in our work etc.. Its quite tedious anyway so it is understandable if some of us have a problem noticing these little things and it is also frustrating when we are the ones doing those little things but go unnoticed.

Principle of money
Investment laws base on this. It is those little interest that sum up to make a profit . Before you do invest, it is those little savings that we make to invest that counts. Then there is no way we could possibly ignore these things if they would probably bring us fortunes.

Principle of Relationship
Yes, principle of relationship. The little things that we do for our family, friends, colleagues and partners. That little smile we give them on day to day basis could lift the spirit of a discouraged person. The thank you and the sorry's we mutter to confirm our appreciation and acknowledging our mistakes could strengthen our relationship with others or break them. A harsh word or ungrateful gesture. A little note of gratitude could change a lot of things

Principle of communication
The science of communication is as simple as relaying your message and receiving a message. But how often do we get the message all wrong because we did not observe the little things. The mood of the person, gesture, tone could all relay something different from what comes out of the lips. How many times have we jumped into a conversation not waiting for the other person to finish only for us to realize that we got it all wrong. If we could have just waited for the person to end what he was saying.

Gradually, the things that go into our bodies are the same that kill us each day. It does not occur the same day we take it but pile up over time to kill us. A little extra butter on our bread, the fried eggs, and the cholesterol we seem to overlook daily. Its what builds up the cancer, diabetes, heart disease and the likes. In the same way, it is a little exercise in a day, water, fruits and vegetables could change something in our lives.

So why don't we slow down for a while and pay attention to those details around us before we finally lose it and it gets out of control. Lets appreciate what life gives us and lets manage it well.