Am I becoming more and more in love with God as a holy God, or with the conception of an amiable Being who says, “Oh well, sin doesn’t matter much”?Oswald Chambers
The issue with addiction with money is very hard to detect. Not many people is willing to have such examination of one’s heart as the author. We often praise those who make lots of wealth. This probably fuels the addiction. Perhaps we should all examine our own heart once in a while.
“I generally think that if one is rich and believes they have “enough,” they are not a wealth addict. On Wall Street, in my experience, that sense of “enough” is rare. The money guy doing a job he complains about for yet another year so he can add $2 million to his $20 million bank account seems like an addict.”
Our danger is to water down God’s word to suit ourselves. God never fits His word to suit me; He fits me to suit His word. Oswald Chambers, Not Knowing Whither, 901 R
Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher dignity and power, for it is God’s holy ordinance, through which he wills to perpetuate the human race till the end of time. In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his kingdom. In your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal – it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man.Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I found this video earlier this week and Wai Jia and I watched it together. We were both moved and learnt a lot regarding missions.
A few key I learnt from the video:
- We can learn how to pray for healing and cast out demons.
- We need to be very intentional about missions. Are we doing for the people or are we doing it for our own experience?
- We need to see mission more than just a two weeks trip. Transformation takes time. The people we are reaching are not dumb. They know we just come and go. In order to share the Love of Christ they need to know we love them.
- Facebook and smart phones can be a distraction to doing the Lord’s work.
- It ain’t about just going but willing to STAY!
On my triathlon bike, I have a computer that measures my cadence, speed and various things. It also measures how long I pedal on my bike. So whenever I go for a long training ride, the time on my watch will measure the total time of my ride. The bike computer will measure the actual time I pedal. There’s always be a difference.
If you are riding for fun, this is not that important. However, if you are actually training for a specific race, you need to be as precise as possible to find out exactly how long you have been training. Whenever we are on the bike, it is very easy to coast. That is, once we ride fast enough, we let the momentum to keep us going. We can give our legs a little break or rest.
The goal for training is to spend as much time working the body as possible. In other words, it is important to keep the time difference between total ride time and the actual pedal time to be as small as possible.
The truth is the idea of coasting is very attractive especially when you’ve been out on the road for hours. Your legs are burning and they are aching. You are thirsty and you just want to stop. My training buddy always tell me whenever I am dying to keep pedaling. Don’t stop. This is a lesson I learnt early on during my triathlon days.
Whenever my legs are busted from climbing a hill, I will talk myself to keep pedaling and keep my legs moving.
In other words,
At the end of the ride, the time on the bike computer doens’t lie. It tells you honestly whether you are training hard or just coasting.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about this to a Christian life. I asked myself often, am I coasting as a Christian? Being in the Christian circle long enough, you will hear people who say they’ve been Christian for so and so years. But the time being a Christian doesn’t mean anything. Just as owning a triathlon bike for many years doesn’t mean I am a fit.
It is easy to get a quick high from attending a Christian conference, listen to a great speaker or even go on a mission trip, then just coast the rest of our Christian walk. Well, I’ve been to this country before and shared Christ and now I can live my own life after doing my Christian duty.
This shouldn’t be. I can confess that while in Singapore I’ve been coasting. It is very subtle. At first it is simply stop reading the Bible once in a while. Then sin becomes more attractive. The desire to labor for the Lord slows down. I become complacent.
It is interesting how Paul describes in Philippians that even him, one of the Apostles, continued to focus on the Lord so he doesn’t disqualify himself. If he needs to remain steady, fixing his eyes on Jesus, how much more should I (or should we?)
I believe a better way to measure someone’s growth in Christ, or his/her maturity, is not merely the time they go to church or how long they’ve become a Christian. Rather, it is whether they still have the passion for the Lord.
Are they (am I) have the urgency to share the Good News (1 Corinthians 9:16)?
Are they (am I) still hate sin and crucify my flesh (1 Corinthians 6:18)?
Are they (am I) still depend on Him for my daily bread (Matthew 6:11)?
In any cycling race, between the first place and the second place is often mere seconds apart. The one who doesn’t coast in his training is the one who can be strong to endure to get the first place. May we continue to press in so we get the Heavenly reward.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. rothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ JesusPhilippians 3:12-14 NIV
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV
It must be around 25 when I started to count my age and realize how little time I have left on earth. When I was younger I never thought like this. We all think we will live forever. As one year passes, I realized that time is short. In April, I am turning 34. In a blink of an eye, I will be turning 44. Who knows (well, God knows) that I might not live to then? No one can predict their time on earth. As Francis Chan said, ‘each one of us has a time stamp when the Lord created us.’
The question I asked myself lately, it ain’t as much where I want to go, where I want to eat, or what new toys I want to get. Rather, I am asking myself am I investing for the Kingdom? I know it sounds so weird. Yes, Kingdom of God is important. But really? What does it mean? In the whole grand scheme of things, if I am going follow Jesus and be His disciples, how important it is to do His Work in sharing the Good News, in helping the poor and in taeching others His ways? The answer is easy, VERY IMPORTANT.
Last Sunday, the pastor preached on the First Ressurecction (Revlation 21). He warned us that we better be sure we are going to make it to heaven because eternity is a long time to regret. I remembered what Jesus said in Matthew 25 using the parable of the Ten Virgins. There were ten virgins waiting to meet the bridegroom at night. Each of them has a lamp. Five of them were wise and took oil for their lamps. The other five were foolish and didn’t bring any oil. As the foolish virgins went out to buy oil, the bridegroom came and the foolish virgins missed the wedding banquet.
At the end of the Parable, Jesus reminded His disciples to keep watch.
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.Matthew 25:13 NIV
We are called to keep watch. I will admit that anticipating for Jesus to come back is not always on top of my priority. Yesterday, I told my friend that we probably don’t think Jesus will come back any time soon. Afterall, it is already 2000 plus years since His Ressurecction and Ascendsion to heaven. Really? He will come back anytime now?
If we sit down and see the things we worry and the things we focus on on our list, I can easily say that most of them are for this life time. Maybe retirement (that’s about 30 years from now). Maybe getting a car (that’s within a year or two if you are working). Maybe finishing University (3-4 years). Or getting married (a few years depending on the stage of your relationship).
You might think surely these are practical things we need to be mindful on. Of course, they are. What I seeing is that these shouldn’t always be top priority of our lives. Yes, they are important but they are secondary importance.
So what does it mean to keep watch? We can go back to what Jesus said before He left earth…
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
When we see what happened afterwards in the Book of Acts, we see that there’s a great urgency to preach the Gospel until the end of the earth. The disciples were focus and filled with passion. They had urgency.
Lately, this is what I’ve been praying and discerning. That I too have this urgency. Wouldn’t it be a shame when I see Jesus and He asked me what I have done for His Kingdom and I can’t show anything? This is my on going prayer for 2014 and onwards as well. I need to keep pressing in and keep seeking so that one day I can hear the words, ‘good and faithful servant.’
On the first day of 2014, Wai Jia and I prayed together. We gave thanks for how the Lord worked in our lives in the last year. I prayed for us to be bold and courageous as we are stepping into 2014. There will be many changes and transitions. There will be many challenges as well. At the same time, there are many opportunities for us to prepare and to do His Work :).
Time is short. Let’s make the best of it.