Unity In The Body

by Saturday, April 28, 2012

Last week some of my church mates were talking about the difference between pork and bacon, and then out of the blue we linked it to the topic of the members in the Body of Christ (I know this has simply no link, but I really love how we managed to linked it up at the end)! Just thought that it would be nice to share some of the things God spoke to me through this conversation:

When a pig's toes are injured, the pain will affect the feelings and the pig will feel it is suffering because of the discomfort. Likewise as the Body of Christ, what if we're only the toenail or the finger of the body of Christ? It doesn't make us smaller either just because we are smaller size than the other parts of the Body; the way that we handle our discomfort can cause the whole Body of Christ to be either encouraged or suffer.

Even when the pig's toes are chop off, not only will it feel the pain, but something is actually missing, and no other parts of the Body can replace its function. Likewise, as members of the Body, every one of us is valuable and indispensable. We can't say that just because we're only members of the church then we are less important as the leaders - No, for everyone is destined for greater things!

God also reminded me of this book which I finished reading recently called ‘The Grip of Grace’ by Max Lucado. In this particular chapter ‘Life aboard the ship’, it stated:

“All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.” Stop and think about this verse for a minute. Could it be that unity is the key to reaching the world for Christ?

If unity is the key to evangelism, shouldn’t it have precedence in our prayers? Shouldn’t we, as Paul said, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3 NW)? If unity matters to God, then shouldn’t unity matter to us? If unity is a priority in heaven, then shouldn’t it be a priority on earth?

Nowhere, by the way, are we told to build unity. We are told simply to keep unity. From God’s perspective there is but “one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16). Unity does not need to be created; it simply needs to be protected.

How do we do that? How do we make every effort to keep the unity? Does that mean we compromise our convictions? No. Does that mean we abandon the truths we cherish? No. But it does mean we look long and hard at the attitudes we carry.

Unity makes the church an unstoppable force – not even the devil will be able to stop us from advancing. Could it be that unity the key to reaching the world for Christ? I guess that’s the answer. When everyone is united, having the same heartbeat as the Master, desiring to draw people back into the Kingdom of God, I really believe that we will begin to see a great harvest of souls!

Even in this season right now, I believe that God wants to stir up His church to be united in Him and as a Body, to just move in one accord to fulfill the plans and purposes that He has for His people. As members of the Body of Christ, let us then do our part to build up and strengthen the Body as we see ourselves as how God sees us – a useful and indispensable asset to the Body of Christ.

I'm praying not only for them but also for those who will believe in me because of them and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind— just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they'll be as unified and together as we are— I in them and you in me. Then they'll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you've sent me and loved them in the same way you've loved me.
John 17:20-23 (MSG)

A Better Story

by Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Luke 19:1-10 (NLT)

Before Zacchaeus met Jesus, he was a tax collector. With words like ‘cheat’ constantly written in his life story, I believe the title of his life story at that time should be what some people labelled him as - “Notorious sinner”.

His story took a turn after he encountered Jesus. He began to repent and return back four times the amount of money he has cheated from others. Jesus called him “a true son of Abraham.”

Friends, all our lives are stories with messages. I believe none of us would want to have a story portraying a negative message. I don't think anyone would want people to label us as the “Notorious sinner” or “That bad kid”.

When we write a composition, we won't write a story which no one would understand. Similarly, we won't want our life story to portray a message without meaning.

Neither anyone wants a screwed up story, nor does anyone want a story without meaning.

Today, Jesus is inviting you to write a better story:
1) A story with a message which will cease letting you question yourself the meaning of life.
2) A story with a message that will stop labelling you as the condemned, the “Notorious sinner” and “That guy who can't be saved”, but as the “True son of Abraham”, “The righteous one through Jesus (Romans 4:5) and a child of God (Galatians 4:5).
3) A story with messages of triumphs, victories and situations that you will overcome because of Jesus.

Your life is a story with a message. Your story should be meaningful. Jesus is inviting you to write a better story. Will you accept his invitation and allow His love to change you forever?

Click HERE for guide to salvation prayer ...

Good Friday

by Friday, April 06, 2012

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on him
the sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
Isaiah 53:4-8 (NLT)

Good Friday is here. Once again, I thank God for my salvation. I thank Him that He sent his one and only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins.

I thank Jesus for obeying the call. No matter how much humiliation and pain He received, He didn't said a word: he could have given up the call and tell His Father in heaven that He wanted to go back to heaven. After all, He is God and He had the power to do so.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)

In the end, Jesus still finished the work on the cross. I heard Him speak to me, “My child, the cross I shall endure, for you are the joy that was set before me.”

My friends, let's be thankful for what He has done, and let's not hold back this gift of love from anyone. Even as we remember Good Friday, let us also take this opportunity to share with others about the Savior's love.

Jesus loves you and He wants you to take that step of faith to let Him into your life. Will you take this simple step of faith to invite Him into your life?

The Holy Spirit My Master

by Monday, April 02, 2012

A few days ago, I was having very bad stomach cramps. I was so focused on the pain I am going through that I didn't want to talk to anyone. At that moment, God reminded me of this verse:

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

At that time, I wanted to open my mouth and just talk to someone. No matter how I prayed, I was still focused on the pain I was going through. My body was so weak till I almost gave up praying, and God had to remind me again, “Your spirit is the ruler of your body.”

I believe this is reason why dying to the flesh is so important:

For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.
Romans 8:13 (AMP)

Letting your flesh become the ruler of your spirit leads to destruction. Since the lusts of the flesh are not in accordance with the spirit of God, if you allow it to rule over your spirit, it will lead to sin. But when you allow the Holy Spirit to become the master over your flesh, you will lead a holy life.

Even if your flesh fails, God is the strength of your heart and your portion forever (Psalm 73:26). With the Holy Spirit as your master, he will strengthen you and remind you of the promises of God, and he will never lead you to sin. But to choose between your body and the Holy Spirit as your master, it's for you to decide.

Jesus knew that our spirit may be so willing to desire to please him, but we are still living in the flesh. Watch out and pray - keep guard and let the Holy Spirit be the master of your body.

Holy Spirit, be the master of my life. At times when I feel weak because of my physical body, help me to fix my eyes on Jesus...
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