Monthly Archives: December 2011

Non-Stop

…., but whoever endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22

There is no stopping.

Family problems. Parents having marital issues. Parents getting into mid life crisis. Parents getting into unemployment. Kids getting expose to the culture of the outside world. Children thinking independent of their parents up to the point not obeying their old folks. Children have to be reminded daily of their significance even without performance.

Financial problems. Credit cards full. Savings don’t save you. Only income is not enough to get you by. You wanted to help others but you can’t even help yourself. You won’t turn down a plea from a relative if you have more but you have less for yourself. You try to cut expenses but there is no portion to cut.

Natural and man-made calamities happen weekly, from month to month. Earthquakes rock nations and families. Typhoon takes away lives and properties. These shatter infrastructure and progress. Bombing hugs the headlines almost everyday. Life takes away lives. Humanity on the edge of a cliff.

There will always be something somewhere stopping someone.

Jesus tells us one direction,”…, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22. You are not promise of a smooth sailing ocean ride. The current will always be present. The tide will always give you nerves. They will not stop to stop you. They will not sit down and watch you go by them. If these will not stop in stopping you, you don’t have to stop. Your life don’t need postponement or cancellation because things happen.

Problems and concerns are non-stop, so be you.

 

 

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Born Into A Battle

…and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

This king will be protected.

In the war on the chessboard. Every subordinate will make sure their king is standing. All strategies point to shielding this king whether the move is attacking or retreating. In this battle, they will sacrifice oneself for their king. They will go after their demise as long as their king sits on his throne. Not even sure if that will assure victory. This king who can only make one step at a time and that’s all.

This King will protect.

In the war starting at the manger. For a short time, he will have shepherds and wise men as short time subordinates.  All strategies point to this King protecting his people up until his death on the cross. He will go after the enemy. Defeat sin by dying sinless. Defeat death by death. In this battle, the King lives, will die and will live for his people. A King whose love for his people is expressed by being one of them. He will claim back his people. He will emerge as victorious King. This King who can and who will make all steps in every place and in every time to bring you over to his kingdom.

This King is born to give abundance and unexplainable joy. Most importantly, he is born into a battle.

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Unfamiliar

…and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

I woke up in an unfamiliar place.

Once a month, we go down to New Jersey to attend our community’s prayer meeting. To cut cost on hotel, my family sleeps over a brother and sister’s home before or after the meetings. We sleep in their comfortable basement yet every time I wake up in the morning, I get this unfamiliarity. I have to take my whole bag to the bathroom, which I don’t do at home. I come up to their breakfast table wondering where will I get my tea or food which I usually and easily does in our kitchen back home. In all these unfamiliarity, I get to miss our home.

He woke up in an unfamiliar place.

Manger. Hays and horses. Lowly shepherds and wise men mixing it up. Teenage mother bearing him in her arms. Carpenter father looking with amazement. This is the first sight of Jesus’ eyes. Unfamiliar.

He is King, now he is an infant. He is worshiped day and night, now he is in the middle of a dark cold night. He tells angels to come here and there, now he is dependent on his earthly parents. He has a Father who created the universe, the world, everything, now he has a father who creates something out of wood.

Let me tell you why he is in this unfamiliar place. For him to become familiar to you. He came to that unfamiliar place to come near to you for you to know him and love him. He came to that unfamiliar place for you to know how much he will go to express his love for you.

Wake up!

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Lost Will Be Found

In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost. Matthew 18:14

It’s a weird feeling.

Having your child being lost.

We were at a fast food and she was playing at the play place portion of the facility. Her mother went to the counter to get more food. I stayed to watch over our stuff. I thought she was still playing, she thought our child was with me. When my wife came back to our table, she asked for her. I looked at the play place, and she was not there. We went near it, to look inside and out, she is not there. Within this short time, our eyes wandered and she wandered. Couple of minutes passed, we found her just outside the food store. She may have assumed we have gone without her or she may have lost her way around the packed fast food.

You want to shout. You want to scream. You want to stay calm. There’s a feeling of fear with sort of hysteric nature. There’s this great rush of cold perspiration going through your veins out of your skin. One second, your child is with you. One second she is not. And when found, never to let her go astray again.

Does the Father feel the same way when one is lost and search for the lost one?

He leaves behind the other ninety-nine and goes further to shout and scream his or her name. Every step gives him fear he won’t find him or her. Every step has every heart beating to worry where is he or she now? He goes and never come back until he or she is found.  Look. It’s not the will of the Father we get lost. We wander from our home. We go astray from his sight.

I know how the Father may have felt. So he does everything.

Everything including sending his only Son into the belly of Mary.

So the lost will be found.

 

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A Strange Way to Save the World

And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Luke 1:35

Clark Kent is Superman. Peter Parker is Spiderman. Bruce Banner is the Hulk. Maria Mendoza is called Wonder Woman. I can go on and on and on.

These superheroes become extra-ordinary from ordinary. A journalist changing into a flying super strong man. A teenage guy becoming a high leaping, wall crawling protagonist. A physicist being magnified physically and turn into a high level humanoid.

An expected way to save the world. From ordinary to extra-ordinary. From zero to hero. From weak to strong. From needing a savior to being the savior.

When the angel announced to Mary on how God would save us, it was just the opposite.

A Son of God will be born on earth to save mankind. Yet, he will be born weak, a baby. He will be born out of a teenage mother, not a queen. He will have a carpenter, not a king, as a father. Ambiance of a manger smell will first go into his nose. Poor shepherds will be among his first visitors.

A strange way to save the world. From being God to being man. From being a majestic King to being an infant depending on his parents. From being strong to being weak. From being the Son of God to being a son of a wood worker.

There are things you don’t understand on how God works, yet God works, all the time for your good. Your manger is his palace. His small arms holds your world. His baby breath gives life to you. His cries are the answer to your prayers.

God comes to save you. God will come to save you. But don’t expect the same route.

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Zebedee

…and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:22

He let them left him.

They were in the middle of their livelihood. They were helping him out feed the family. The sons were mending the nets with their father when they got the calling to mend the world. Without questions, the brothers followed Jesus. Without questions, Zebedee allowed his sons.

There is a great amount of stories written about the brothers but not about their father. Allowing his sons to leave him and live for Jesus is a sign of how this father knows God’s plan for his sons. Letting his sons walk after Jesus and not after him is a symbol of his hands offering his sons to the Messiah. Right in the middle of their work, he moved his motivation behind God’s work. A father recognizing the Father.

He is my Zebedee.

We were not a well to do family. I have one older sister working at that time. My older brother has taken over our family business from our father. Another older brother, who was expected to help out the family in a bigger way,  suddenly died. My father expected me to contribute to the family income as I garnered my college degree. However, before I graduated, I came to know Christ in a personal way. At the last year of my studies, I was actively serving in a college missions movement. As I was waiting for the board examination results, I volunteered to serve. After the results came in, I felt God’s call to spend more time to work for the college movement. Postponing my entry to the secular world will be a difficulty for my family. I know I will have a hard time to get my father’s nod on this.

I was cringing nervous as I spoke with him about my intentions to stay in the campus to work for the ministry. I expected him to raise objections. He has to. After all his hard work, after all these years, here I am telling him I will not be contributing to the family’s sinking funds for I will be working for free for the movement. He has been waiting for this day for me to step up into the plate and swing my bat. After I gave my piece, he said yes. He allowed me to serve. He allowed me to follow. He let me leave him to love Him.

Behind a  disciple is a father who let him walk away from him and walk towards the Father. Behind a minister or a priest is a father who recognized the Father as the father of all. Behind a John and/or a James, is a father — a Zebedee.

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