Tag Archives: Christian life

Distance

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Matthew 5:1

There it is again — the separation.

That distance between the crowds and the disciples in coming near to Jesus.

In here, Jesus goes up the mountain. The crowd stays on the plain. The disciples follow his trail.

Are you part of the crowd?

  • You saw the climb is stiff, so don’t bother to hurdle it.
  • You were healed or fed earlier; you decide stay and rest your body.
  • You heard enough insights, so keeping that distance is all right.
  • You counted the time Jesus took from his walk up to his sit down and said that’s too long.
  • You wanted to go up but saw only twelve men are following him closely so why take the courage, why take the risk.

Are you a disciple?

  • You saw how stiff the mountain is but you also see your Master, sitting pretty, at the top of the mountain. Thus, you climb the mountain.
  • Your following requires no rest: body, mind and soul. Where he is is where your heart is. His place is your place — he is your resting place.
  • You thirst for more than his words, you long to be in his presence.
  • You count your blessings, you don’t count the cost in loving and serving him.
  • You follow with your all and on your own, your loyalty to him is not dictated by the decision of others.

How much distance you keep from Jesus defines if you’re one of the crowd or if you’re a disciple.

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He Knows

“But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.” Mark 9:32

“I don’t know…”

This was my reply to my sister on her question why this difficulty we have in the family is happening right now. May be she was asking why now that we all are in advanced age levels that supposedly we should be making responsible and acceptable decisions. Or maybe she is wondering why now that we don’t have parental support or even why now that some of us may not be physically present to provide our moral support. “I don’t know…” seems to be an appropriate response for matters we don’t understand.

The disciples were not different from us, “But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.” Mark 9:32. This was the time after when Jesus declared that he would die but will rise again.

Though the twelve did not understand the plan of salvation and resurrection, these beleaguered twelve still stayed with Jesus. They still followed him. They continued to walk with him, eat with him, did a lot of things with him. They would not understand his teachings or his proclamations yet they made sure to stand for him, by him and with him.

May be there’s something you don’t understand right now…

· Sickness has been a burden for you to carry and still no healing or answer to your query.

· Resumes have been submitted but job doesn’t resume.

· Money is becoming a major issue in the family and minor financial rain fall is forecasted.

· A brother is wavering in his faith, not only lack of faith but opposing the faith he grew up with.

We don’t know. We don’t understand. The disciples stayed with him though they did not understand. Hopefully, even when there are times we don’t understand, may our hearts’ desire is that we still stand for him, by him and with him.

For even when we don’t understand, his promises stand. For even if we don’t know, he knows.

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Touch

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. Mark 10:13

It was the right time – the children came into the picture when the discussion was about divorce.

I wonder why the disciples have to stop them. May be because the twelve saw these children have no need for it. They may be healthy as raging bulls so no healing session. Their faces may have shown satisfaction so there’ll be no feeding outreach. They have no prayers to murmur so no answers were to be scheduled.

I wonder, if my assumptions are true, if we can come to him like these children. No intercessions to pray. No requests to be raised. No healing is on the want or need list. No stomachs rumbling due to emptiness. Just come to be touched.

All you may want is for his touch. His hand on your head and that would be enough. For those hands sculptures the universe, shaped the lands and the seas. Those hands waved to silence the waves. Those two hands fed the hungry thousands. Those hands broke the bread will be broken soon. Those hands who hammered a nail in the carpentry shop are the same hands which will be nailed on a tree for our sake.

Come to him for his touch and more than his touch, he gives you blessings.

Come to him for his touch and more than his touch, you will be embraced.

Come to him like a child and be touched – it’s always the right time.

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Alive in the Living Room

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11

It’s dead but it’s in the living room.

It was staring at me yet it’s dead – an elk head. With eyes wide open and horns outstretched, the animal’s neck occupies the living room where I’m talking about Romans 6:11, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

History tells us this elk was alive, then it was dead, then it looks like it’s alive but it is really dead. Thanks to the work of a seasoned taxidermist. So when it was alive, it went to being dead and stayed dead though it looks like alive.

Paul points to this taxidermy lesson –> dead to sin, alive in Christ.

You were dead and into sin, but when Jesus gave his life and died on the cross for you, you receive life and became dead to sin. Like the elk, you become dead…to sin. Unlike this elk, you don’t stay in death and you don’t look like alive, you are really alive…in Christ.

So each time you stare at that mirror, know that you are dead – to sin. Remember that you are alive – in Christ.

You are alive in the living room.

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Focus

Soon afterward he journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. Luke 7:11-12

The camera was on him — Jesus.

Then, it was on her — the widow, whose only son is dead.

Both angles of the camera has multitudes.

Jesus was with his disciples and a large crowd was following him. The widow as well was with a large crowd from the city.

Both were traveling with large crowds. Yet, the camera zooms on our two protagonists. Thanks to Director Luke.

Luke makes you realize that Jesus should be zoomed out in your life. Your eyes and hearts should be focus on him. There maybe a large pile of life you may have. You have family to love and care for. You have chains of relationships. You have concerns in the office. You have service in the church. The large crowd is part of your life and the crowd only accompanies him. Jesus should take the center stage.

You focus on Jesus.

Luke also makes you realize how God’s eyes are on you as you travel in this life’s journey. You may be with a funeral of death or a parade of life, God’s cameras are zoomed into you. No matter how thick is the population he has created, his eyes rolls and looks for you. His heart goes after you especially in your lowest of lowest. When death comes to take life. When healing is postponed. When employment is not offered. When family is not one. He walks towards you. He walks to meet you, in your hurt, in your loneliness. His pupils have your face.

Jesus is focus on you.

Originally posted in September 17, 2011.

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The Opening

And (immediately) the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. Mark 7:35

He wanted his ears opened. His friends wanted his ears opened.

But they couldn’t do it.

What they couldn’t do, Jesus did.

We wonder why his friends have to bring in the guy. The guy can walk. He can wave his hands to Jesus to get his attention. Instead, his friends brought him to him. Maybe frustration has caught him. Not hearing people and being able to communicate is a hard thing to do, a hard life to live. His father wants to tell him he is there for him, yet he does not hear it. His mother tells him how much she loves him, all falling on closed ears. Try one day without talking and avoiding sound waves pass your ears.

Frustration. And he is not alone.

You have traveled that dead end. You got nowhere to go. It’s closed.

A health issue is lingering in your body for several years now. Doctors have the answers but your body does not respond.

Or unemployment is blocking all your plans for your family and children’s future. You have the resume’ but employment does not resume soon.

You got a ministry which hit a great road block. You look at your resources, you look at what you can do, and deep inside you know Jesus what will do.

Don’t fret in your corner. Come to the Opener. If you can’t, allow your friends to bring you to him. Open whatever is closed to him. Let Jesus touch you.

Experience Jesus. Experience the opening.

–> This is re-posted, originally posted in February 15 2012.

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Boxing God

Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. John 6:15

The crowd boxes God with their limited insights.

The crowd wanted to do things on their own route. This crowd has its own plan but this is not God’s plan– force Jesus to be king, a political king. Not king of heaven and earth but a king by their own dictionary. Who does not want to be a king? But Jesus is more than an earthly king, he is Lord and Savior. He is further than a ruler, he came to serve.

You may define him by your bounded understanding. You might expect present proceedings to be the same as past experience but God does not live by fences and property lines. Yes, he is the same God, but don’t limit him because you saw him work in this way.

We boxed God. When we  immigrated, we fixed our eyes that God will work the way he worked in our mission work. We set out to build a prayer group/community the way God has established our group in the past. Obviously, this is our experience so this is our expectation. But God can’t be boxed. He showed us that he can build on a different route. He presented his power in another direction. He utilized us in ways we are not accustomed. He put us in places we’ve never been before, never familiar to us. God showed himself in an un-experienced and unexpected manner.

You can expect that he is the same God. Loving. Faithful. Full of mercy. Forgiving father.

However, don’t expect the same route when following or serving him. He knows various roads going to his kingdom. Don’t limit him. Don’t box him. Don’t force him to your own familiar way.

After all, God’s gifts are not boxed. So is he.

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