Tuesday, February 26, 2013

GOD Over the River of Nile

"Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, "Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live." 
Exodus 1:22

This particular historical moment in the land of Egypt for the Israelites was agonizing and unbelievably dark.  Before this resolution came to Pharaoh, the complication was stated earlier (1:8-11) when the sons of Israel became too many that the Pharaoh dreaded that they would become a mighty people and turn against them. So he dealt shrewdly to them and afflict them with heavy burdens.  However, the more that the Israelites were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread (1:12). While reading this passage, I wonder, at that time, how many couples were asking God for a child and were granted?  And how many among them were appealing to Him to forbid pregnancy because they had enough children? Yet the will of God stands.  I am almost certain that having a child or not having one was determined by God Himself for His plan of delivering the Israelites from the hands of Pharaoh.

At times, we are busy asking God of what we want.  Our prayers are full of ourselves, as if all the world is looking at us.  But as I examine this story closely, every detail in our lives is allowed to happen not just for our good but more so, for the glory of God.  For this is the very purpose we are made.

I pictured the parents of those baby boys who were casted into the river of Nile.  Sorrowful tears and pleadings might have been flooding the atmosphere.  They could be asking, why did God let this happen to the innocent ones?  Why did God let them bear a child just so the egyptians could throw them in the struggling waters of this river? Little they know, the future of this present mishap was shining brightly not merely for them, but for the rest of the surviving generations. That that very moment would eventually reveal the working power of God that the world had ever known.  Those infants were not sacrificed but served a noble purpose. The noble purpose of being part of God's plan to preserve the mediator of the Old Testament.   And I believe that as they afloat in that river, God's providence was upon them, and were brought home safely into the arms of their Maker.

Even Jesus lived this purpose.  He knew He was sent to suffer in our behalf.  Not to partake but to wholly take the wrath of God upon Himself, as a substitute for us and our sins.  Our Lord did not falter but remained focused. He could have given up on us if He wanted to. Yet He clearly understood why the Father sent Him.  His purpose is to do the Father's will in complete obedience.  That's why when Peter showed His concern to Him by not agreeing to what He needed to go through to save mankind, He rebuked Him.  

Living the purpose of God in our lives is being victorious to a more significant future.  And that is our eternal glory with Christ.

"For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done." Matthew 16:27

Reflections: Exodus 1-3, Matthew 16:13-28

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Once Saved, Always Saved

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
(Romans 6:14 ESV)

Romans 6:14 best explains the principle behind this controversial phrase. This verse reflects that a Christian who is truly pardoned by grace, would always have the will to be sanctified from his sins. A heart that knows his wretchedness and is humbled by the loving kindness of the Lord, would always seek forgiveness to the One who is perfect, for he understands that in his fallen state, he could still sin both knowingly and unknowingly. Yet since Jesus captured his heart, sin would no longer master him, he has a sure hope that leads him to the redemption of Christ through grace.  

And as we relent on our everyday shortcomings to the Lord, we are reminded in the Holy Scripture to "bear fruit in keeping with repentance".  Thus, we cannot misinterpret that while our calling is irrefutable ~ "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand." (John 10:29 ESV),  we can do whatever pleases us, without consideration to our holy calling.

Matthew 7:16 ESV says "You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?"  The doctrine of our faith must lead us to be Christ-like, with all we are, we are sanctified, from glory to glory.

Matthew Henry's Commentary explains 
Nothing so much prevents men from entering the strait gate, and becoming true followers of Christ, as the carnal, soothing, flattering doctrines of those who oppose the truth. They may be known by the drift and effects of their doctrines. Some part of their temper and conduct is contrary to the mind of Christ. Those opinions come not from God that lead to sin.

Let's examine our doctrine and its effects on us.  The Christian doctrine is not about sinning as you like and asking for forgiveness whenever it pleases you.  I would like again to quote from Gil Exposition of the Entire Bible:
When doctrines are contrary to the perfections of God, repugnant to the Scriptures of truth, tend to depreciate the person and offices, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ, to lessen the glory of God's grace, to exalt the creature, and to fill men's minds with notions of the purity, self-sufficiency, and ability of human nature; when they are calculated to feed the pride and vanity of men, to get money, and gain applause, to serve their own interests, and gratify men's lusts and passions, they may be easily discerned who they are, and from whence they come
Hebrews 10:26 clearly states "For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries."

The evidence that we possess the true salvation of God is not merely based on our profession and claim that we are followers of Christ, but through the level of our obedience to Him.  

"If I want to know what you really believe... I have to look at your life." - R.C. Sproul

*Image was downloaded from shutterstock.com

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In Between Rough Edges

Some time in our lives, there would be a dawning moment when we would turn towards heaven, and ask, “Why?” -- maybe not always of anger or unbelief, but could be of marvel and mystery. 

As I write my words, I would never know where would this end.  I woke up this morning thanking God for everything that I have, yet my heart was still heavy for my unborn baby. 

Maybe it was my fault.  Was it?  I would never ever wanted to hurt my baby in any way.  Or maybe things were just the way it should be, but why then?  If my God is able of all things, why could something so delicate and innocent leave without a future?  Why did He breathe on it and then take it back, anyway?

If anyone would firmly stand and undoubtedly reasons with the vagueness of my voice, then maybe he could also know the things written,

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On where its footings set,
Or who laid its cornerstone-
While the morning stars sang together
And all the angels shouted for joy?

Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
Or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.” –Job 38: 4-7, 16-18

The definite answer to all our uncertainties may always be indefinite.  But when this time comes - when we look for answers that we know we could only find beneath the wonders of the skies, I am steadfast that the very seams of doubts would know the power of God.  And at the very moment that the human queries escaped from our lips, my hope is that we would swiftly realize our dependence on our God, and how we are at mercy on His throne.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.” –Job 1: 21

See You In Heaven, Love

I saw your laughter in my dreams;
      dried your tears on my thoughts
I prepared my chest to lay you down;
     settled my mind on coming pains to give you life

I announced your name in the throng;
     welcomed you in my whole world

I made you smile in my imagining;
     readied all we have to nurture you

In my vision I walked you on freshly cut grasses;
      cuddled you strongly in my arms

On my mind I kissed your feet so many times;
       and bathe you in the morning sun

When the Lord gave you to me
      my tears fell down, I knew you were mine

But when He took you back
      my tears well up, I knew I'll know you up there

We say goodbye for now
      but we'll see you in heaven, love

                                            -Dad, Mom and Andi

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If I Want Mint, Then I Want Ice Cream!

I just can't get over loving this mint chocolate ice cream from Baskin Robbins -- yes, that I have to write it down and overload some of my yummy joys today.

I love those bits of mint chocolates that linger in my mouth for a couple of seconds after a spoonful!  It's not too sweet nor too minty. Not to mention I get that "Christmas feeling" whenever I eat it! :)

So, now I've said it.  And I don't know, I have to say some more.  The desert kinds of make me a little sad with the Yuletide closing in.  There are no carols or lanterns or colorful blinking lights in the streets -- but this kind of dessert will surely compensate a little! (Blah! Excuses! ^_^)

half-full ;)