Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear

You are my best friend, my soul companion. You complete me. Indeed, I'm blessed by God to have you as my wife. I can say with all my heart that you are the greatest wife in the whole world for me. God knows that you are the one for me and I fully trust God on that.

There are times when I wish that I could give more to you. Sometimes I wish that I am financially rich so that I can provide for you and that you would not have to bear the comments of others on money matter. Having said that, I too am glad that you have endured such comments and have came out a better person. Instead of a nagging wife who is not satisfied financially, you have become a constant support to me and the children. I thanked God that I'm spared from having an unsatisfied and nagging wife.

You have gone far in your character building and I'm proud of it. Yes, we have to go further in this area but I rejoice that in doing so we will find many treasures in life. And I'm looking forward to our journey together in our pursuit to bring up godly children. There will be ups and downs in that journey but I know we will be enabled by God to achieve what He has in mind for us. Again, I praised God that He has given you as my partner as we complete this Amazing Race together.

Loving you always.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Maids in Saudi

I have a maid from Indonesia. Most of the Indonesian maids prefer to work in nearby countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei because of the similar language. It is much easier for them to understand the instructions from their employer and as such can avoid making unnecessary mistake because of language misunderstanding.

The maids have a choice to work in other countries like the Middle East countries. The pay is much higher but the maids must understand English or Arabic. The good thing about working in Middle East is the maid's salary can be in kind. The maid can ask the employer to buy gold bullion for her instead of paying cash to her. I think this is a better deal for the maid if the maid does not need to use her salary as gold price keeps on increasing. If the maid has to send back money to her family, then this salary deal is not appropriate as it is risky to send back the gold bullion to their own country.

I was further told that sometimes the maids in Saudi would never seen her employers face throughout her employment period as the women would wear burqa and the maid would not be allowed to see the male employer.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tenants leaving

Received a call from BBU Management office admin. She told me that my tenant is leaving by end of December this year. They just moved in about two months ago and now they are leaving. It seems that the courses that they wanted is not provided for by the university here. They would be moving up to Cyberjaya next year. Looks like it would be another month of looking for tenants.

Cost of renovations

The roofs on our kitchen halls need to be changed. Yes, we have two kitchen halls, one is indoor kitchen and the other one is somewhat outdoor kitchen. The roofs are of zinc material and over time, it rusted and there are many holes on it. It is time to change it.

The 1st contractor quoted RM10K for the work. Then the 2nd contractor quoted RM5.4K or RM7K with some extension. Then another contractor quoted RM14.8K if we use steel frame. So we decided to go for the 2nd contractor. We call him but was informed that he has calculated the cost on the low side. He will have to recalculate the cost to the repair.

He came and and after another recalculation, quoted us RM6.5K and RM8.8K with some extension. That is an increase of RM1.1K and RM1.8K from the previous quotation. *Sigh.

I was hoping that we can settle at the RM7K repairs which includes some extension but it looks like we have to pay for the same amount without any extension.
Thank God that the other siblings are willing to help out.

Gold wins again

My banker friend drop by at the house the other day. As usual, she would promote the various plans the bank has. And in this instance, she was promoting a fixed deposit plan for our children. The time duration for the FD to mature is 4 years and we are not supposed to take out the money within that period. The interest rate is only 3.5% per year.

Well, the plan is attractive because our children do have some money inside their saving accounts. Then, we calculated it against the gold savings plan. We estimated that the gold price will continue it upward trend for the next four years and the increase is definitely more than 3.5%. Well, it might go up as high as 60% for the next 4 years. Without much of a fight, the gold wins. So the next day we went to UOB to buy gold. Looks like the children will have higher returns for their money.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rules of This Household

Got these rules from Cybersalt. Interesting....might even put up these rules when the children are older.

Here goes the rules: -

1. If you are not here for dinner, too bad. This is not a fast-food place where the cook is on duty at all times. The cook works full time and does not need a second job.

2. If you make a mess, clean it up. The dishwasher is open 24 hours a day to service you as are the vacuum, broom, and sponge. Please help them to help you by using them. If you need assistance, ask the cook -- she will be happy to give you training on any of the equipment.

3. The taxi service for this household is not on call 24 hours. You must make reservations at least 12 hours in advance. You have two good legs, skateboards, and bikes that are somewhat operational; one of you has a vehicle that works. Use them. By the way, skateboards are to be used on the outside of this house and are never to be used in the living room just because the landing is softer when you fall.

4. We are not a bank and you have no collateral to offer us. Face it: We own everything you have and I have receipts to prove it, so don't ask us for loans. Get jobs! We have them. Try it and you might like it (not so much the work as the money).

5. Curfew is negotiable, but try not to be late too often because it could go either way.

6. Tell us where you are going. GOOD GRIEF! I am way older than you, and I still tell my mother where I am going when I am at her house. Leave us a note or try to form words describing where you are going while we are in the room with you. Honestly, we don't bite unless provoked.

7. You know how to use a phone. Most of you even have cell phones. We like to hear your voice if you are going to be late. You can use a phone to find out what's for dinner, to let us know you made it to wherever all right, or just to let us hear your beautiful voice.

8. No food in your room, the living room, the bathroom, or anywhere in the house other than the kitchen or dining area EVER! How many times do I have to say this?

9. You do not contribute financially in any way, shape, or form to this household, so try to pull your weight in other ways: Clean something, put something away, surprise us by doing it before we ask. Otherwise, you may find yourself financially supporting yourself on the OUTSIDE of this house.

Changing tyres

As I entered my old junk to go to work, I glanced at the car tire and to my surprise, I saw that the tire has worn out. In fact both front tires are in the same condition and are badly in need for change. I knew that I need to change the tires immediately for safety reason.

As usual, I went to my favorite tire workshop. They provide fast, friendly and cheap service, which are some of my expectations for a good workshop. They recommended a few second-hand tires but it was quite old tires, about 3 years old. Told them to find a newer tires and they managed to find a year old tires.

While they are busy changing the tires, I noticed that they also sell Tire Chains. I will definitely get one of the tire chains if I ever decided to go up the mountains range during winter. At the meantime, the old junk would only be used for me to go to work.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roof repairs

A month ago I informed my siblings of the roof conditions of the house. I told them that there are many holes on the zinc roofs and that the rain water will leaked through everytime it rains. And it needed repairs urgently. However, the emails does not generated any response from the recipients.

Everytime it rains, the water will sip through the holes and flows down to the wall and to the furniture. As you know wood materials should not be wet but there is nothing much that can be done in this situation. Bit by bit the rain water damage wood furniture austin. In addition to that, the rain water damage to walls austin can also be seen after a few days. I did not have any carpet on the floor or I might have to find some professional carpet cleaning tips.

A week ago, a few of my siblings came back to visit Mother. Only when they have seen the condition of the roofs that they see the urgent need to repair it. Only then they are willing to contribute to the repairs of the roof. Even then, the response from the others are slow in coming. What can I say? The repairs will still need to be done before more damage is done to the house.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


GBM Gateway Christian Fellowship, 18-10-2009 by David Bong

Key Scripture: 2 Chronicles 16:9,
“For the eyes of God range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”

King Asa early reign. War with the Cushites and Libyans.

1. God Is Searching/Looking. – “The eyes of God range throughout the earth”

God is looking to see us do the right thing. It is those things that are holy and pleasing that He wants to see.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, anything that is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things” – Phil 4:8.

Eg. 1 : - God takes notice of Job.
In Job 1:8, “Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
God is not looking for your fault but is looking for people who want to be blameless, upright, who revered God and shuns evil.

Eg. 2 : - 1 Kings 19:18, God told Elijah, “Yet I reserve 7000 in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.”

2. God Wants to Strengthen Us.-“ to strengthen those”

God knows our weakness. He knows that we need to be strengthened.
Each and every one of our abilities are given by God. – Exodus 31:1-6
It is a gift to us so that we can do the good things He wants us to do.- Heb 13:20-21

Eg. 1: - Joshua leading the people into the Promised Land – Joshua 1:6,7,9… “be strong and courageous”. Joshua has no “supernatural” credentials.

How does God strengthen us? Generally, God strengthens His people in a few ways:
i) By His Word
ii) By word of testimonies
iii) By word of encouragement
iv) By upholding the cause of the people
v) By being the Deliverer and place of refuge.

We should live by bread alone but by every word of God.
In Psalm 19:7a, the psalmist says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul”.
And in v 8a, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart”.
When God strengthens King David, none of the nations around him can defeat King David.

3. Hearts That Are Fully Committed To Him.

King Asa’s heart is not fully committed to God.
Are we fully committed to God?
What does it mean to be fully committed to God?
i) A life that centers on God and His Word.
ii) A heart that trust God notwithstanding the circumstances around him.
*1988 Winter Olympics featured blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing.
iii) Making a choice to do what God wants to do though it hurts badly.
*David Livingstone wrote back, "If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

Commitment will only emerge when there is hardship and choices to be made.
Marriage requires commitment.

God becomes our Master, Lord and God and we are His servants. In heaven, we want to hear from God, our Master tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

We can build commitment to God by developing Godly disciplines/habits.
- Read your Bible daily- a chapter or 5 chapters
- Pray at certain time
- Sing Christian songs
- Read Christian books
- Greet God in the morning.

It all depends on us. It is when we are committed fully to Him, God takes notice of us and strengthens us. In James 4:8, Paul said, “Draw near to God, and then God will draw near to you.” The choice is ours.

The Vine and the Branches. If we the branches remains committed to Jesus the Vine, then He will strengthen us and we will produce fruits for Him. If our hearts are fully committed to Jesus, he will not let us whither but strengthens us and in due time we will produce fruits for Him.

Joseph- Refined By Hardship.

GBM Gateway – 28 Feb 2010 – by David Bong

Scripture Passage: Genesis 37 – 50

Intro: Gen 50:19, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good”.

1. The Forming of Godly character – a servant heart.
Joseph was a favorite to his father Jacob. And he because of that he develops this boastful pride in his early life. He has this bossy type of character. He likes to show off. And because he is Jacob’s favorite, Jacob would give in to Joseph’s demands. That is why we read in Gen 37: 11 that Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. They were angry at him, hated him and could not speak any kind words to him.

God has a plan for Jacob and family. And God wants to use Joseph in His Mighty plan. But at the age of 17 and with his boastful character, Joseph is not yet suitable for the job. God has to refine Joseph to be the suitable vessel/instrument for His plan.

I believe that God has already set a plan for Joseph to be a ruler. But to be a ruler, Joseph must be able to serve. Jesus said it in Matthew 20: 20-28 that to be a ruler, one must serve. So we see here that God’s plan for Joseph is to be a ruler. But a ruler in God’s definition is one that serves, not one that is proud and boastful and orders people around. God has to refine Joseph to be a ruler. Unfortunately for people who are boastful, God will allow them to go through humbling experiences. Joseph was given a dream, one that the people would understand its meaning. Joseph was destined to be a ruler, and rule over his brothers, and even his parents have to bow down to him.

God allows Joseph to be sold as slave of Potiphar to teach Joseph to be humble. It is also an opportunity for Joseph to learn to be a true leader that is by serving others. It is there in Potiphar’s house that Joseph learned to serve others. At first, it might have been difficult for Joseph to serve others. Imagine a spoiled brat trying to serve others. But Joseph did learn and when he put his best in serving, God was with him and in due time he was promoted. But Potiphar’s house is only the first purifying stage for Joseph.

Serving in Potiphar’s house is not so difficult. Good food, beautiful house, nice bedroom, and everything is taken care of. One thing about God’s trial is that He knows our character and He moulds us bit by bit. He knows how much hardship we can take for any given time. Although most of the time we feel that it is too much but God knows better. God knows that Joseph’s character is not perfectly moulded and the hardship in Potiphar’s house is not enough to fully refined Joseph. Joseph needs to be tested and refined in a tougher and harsher condition.

What better place to further refine Joseph’s character than to let him be in prison. It is one of the worst places to be and that is what needed to test/refine Joseph. If Joseph can succeed in serving in a prison, then he is ready for God’s plan. Indeed we read that Joseph was tested in prison for more than 2 years before God says that Joseph is ready to serve. It took about 12 years for God to transform Joseph to be ready to serve and be appointed a ruler.
* What situation are you in right now? Is it a difficult situation? Could it that God is preparing you for greater things in your life. Could it be that God want to build a better you and the only way to get you to cooperate is by letting you be in hardship. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

We may feel inadequate, unworthy, unprepared, but God will never call someone to do something that he won’t enable them to accomplish. He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips those He calls.

2. God’s Timing, Not our Timing
Joseph was given the “dream” that he would become a ruler of his brother and his parents when he was still a young man. Knowing that he is boastful and arrogant in his character, it is most likely that he tried to be rash and act as though he is the ruler, telling the brothers and parents to do everything he wants. I believe that Joseph might have tried to do it. He may have boasted about it to his friends. He may have wondered when that “dream” would come to pass. Maybe Joseph have been imagining on how the dreams would come to fulfillment. He may even plan on how to make the dream come to fulfillment faster. I would not be surprised if Joseph had followed in his great grandmother Sarah thinking. Abraham was promised by God that he would have children through Sarah. Sarah believed it but she could not wait. So, in her rashness to make the prophecy come to pass, she offered her servant girl Hagar to Abraham. But that is not God’s plan, not His timing.

Joseph might felt his biggest surprise/disillusionment while he is in the dry cistern. He thought he would rule over his brothers but it is him who was ruled over by his brothers. Caught and thrown down in the cistern, left to die. There in the cistern Joseph experience the death of his vision/dream. In his desperation, Joseph might have cried out to God to save him. Joseph might have bargained with God. That, we are not told.

Then God provides salvation to him. Instead of being left to die in the cistern, he was sold as a slave to a caravan trader. Later, in Egypt, Joseph was again sold as a slave to one of Pharaoh’s official, a captain of the guard name Potiphar. Joseph is now a slave. A prophesied ruler has now become a slave. Again, here we may imagine how Joseph may have felt. When Joseph was with his father Jacob, Joseph is the master of all the slaves, the menservants and maidservants. Instead of ordering others to do the work, he now has to do the work.

By now, we can see the changes in Joseph’s attitude. He became diligent and with God’s favor upon him, he was successful in all the tasks given to him. Soon he was promoted to take charge of Potiphar’s household. He is now the second in command. It seems that maybe, maybe the dream is alive again. Joseph is now in command again.
Now that Joseph is in command again, he might have thought that the dream is now fulfilled. He may have reason out that the dream is about him being a ruler or being in command, which he is now. Sometimes we are like Joseph, having a small plan and we tell God, “Ok Lord. Thank you for your plan that is fulfilled in my life.” Yet that is not God’s final plan for us. Many times we can’t grasp or imagine how great/big God’s plan is for us. Joseph may have thought that God’s timing have come and he may be contented with what he is now, being in command of Potiphar’s household. The problem is though he is in command, he is still a slave.

I believe that Joseph may have felt complacent and resigned to the fact that where he is now is the best he can get in his life, being in command of Potiphar’s household. He might even be happy with where he is now. Potiphar, being captain of the guard, one of Pharaoh’s official, is rich and have tremendous power, the elite in Egyptian society. It is said that a person like Potiphar lives in a big mansion, maybe 3 storey’s mansion. He uses gold utensils and bowls in his daily routine. There are big beautiful vases decorated in his mansion. He sleeps in big beautifully decorated rooms with nice pillows, mattress and comforters.
Joseph might have compared his life as a shepherd, a nomad when he was with his father Jacob, being in command of Potiphar’s household seems to be better. No need to be under the hot sun or shiver in the cold nights, sleeping on hard rocks with insects or snakes all around, smelling like sheep or goats.

*Many times it is when we are contented with what we are that God allows trials/hardships to happen. It is not that God is bad/evil but it is that we have not reached our fullest potential. God want us to go higher in faith. That is what happens to Joseph. He was accuses of doing something bad when he did not do it. And Joseph finds himself in prison, being treated like a criminal though he is not. Life is so unfair, really unfair. How would you react if you are in Joseph’s situation now? Would you be disappointed, frustrated, and angry with God? Would you be questioning God’s wisdom and do you want to curse God (like Job’s wife).

Now Joseph’s dream suffers another blow, a second death of a vision. However, God spared Joseph’s life. Potiphar has the right to kill Joseph there and then. Remember that Joseph is a slave. And a slave does not have any right. So it is quite surprising that we read that instead of killing Joseph straight away, Potiphar put Joseph into the prison. I would assume that Potiphar knew that Joseph is innocent. Potiphar may have investigated the matter with his other menservants and maidservants and found out the truth. And probably Potiphar also know his wife’s character.

We can say that Joseph is in deeper “shit” than before. Previously he is only a slave. Now he is not only a slave but also a prisoner. God was with him and even in prison he was promoted. He was to be in charge of all the prisoners.

Joseph’s dream is to be a ruler. Instead of things turning out good, things went from bad to worse. In a way, Joseph is being demoted from being in charge of a big rich household to being in charge of dirty, grim, depressing prison. It is like you are being transferred from the HQ in KL to some remote places in Sarawak/Sabah. And from living in a beautiful luxurious condominium/bungalow to living in a prison.

It is only when the time is right, when God has placed everything in position that God made the fulfillment of the dream/vision. We read the story of how Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and hew was appointed to be the second in command to Pharaoh. I don’t think Joseph would have imagined that he would be second most powerful man on earth at that time. When he received the dream, he would at the most imagined that he be the head/ruler of his family. But God’s plan is much bigger. God planned that Joseph be the second most powerful man on earth.

What is the vision/dream that you received? Are you still running with the vision? Have is suffered death? Always remember that it is God’s timing, not our timing.

3. Having The Fear of the Lord Always.

Joseph realized that it is always wise to fear/revere the Lord. He has internalized this wisdom and it is shown in his response to temptation. In Gen 39:9b, we read, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” We all are accountable to God first for all our action.

One near death experience can bring one near to God. It is likely that Joseph came to realize that life and death is in God’s hand. He may have realized that is it best to follow God’s ways than to depend on his own abilities. Joseph’s character was changed from one that is proud and boastful to one who give all the credit to God. He is constantly aware of God’s hand working in his life.

Day by day Joseph’s heart becomes committed to God. He may have realized that it is all because of God’s favour that he was successful in all his tasks. This realization made his commitment to God stronger day by day. We have heard the principle that God strengthened those whose hearts are fully committed to God. This commitment to God was made manifested when temptation comes. He knows that he would be sinning against God if he sleeps with his master’s wife. I wonder how many of us guys would already have that kind of commitment. Not many I guess, for even people like Samson, King David and Solomon failed in this area.

When given the opportunity to take revenge on his brothers, he is able to see through God’s eyes. Instead of focusing from his own point of view, he focused on God’s view. And because he focused on God’s view, he is able to see that what his brothers did to him is also part of God’s plan. What would your response be to those who have hurt you? Are you still angry with them, never forgiven them even though its been years since it happened? Are you still blaming God for the sickness, the hardship, the misfortune that you experienced? Or will you try like Joseph to be so in tune with God that he is able to see God’s hand working in his life, even through the difficult part of his life. (being thrown into the cistern by his own brothers, being sold as a slave to the Ishmaelite traders, being sold to Potiphar, being unfairly and unjustly accused of having an affair with his master’s wife, being thrown into prison, helping others but was forgotten and stayed in prison for more than 2 years.

Being in tune with God made a lot of difference. Having the fear of the Lord made a lot of difference. Joseph was able to say that all the hardship is necessary so that he can be God’s instrument, God’s vessel to fulfill God’s plan, not only for Joseph’s life but also for the family members of Jacob. It is also to fulfill God’s prophecy given to Abraham. Being in tune with God frees us from being enslaved with hatred, vengeance, anger, bitterness, jealousy, lust, covetousness and many other evil thoughts. Instead being in tune with God will repulse all these evil thoughts away from our mind. But being in tune with God does not mean all the troubles will go away. It does not repulse hardship, trials or troubles.


I truly believe that God has a GREAT Plan for each one of us. And I also believe that God is interested in building man and woman of Godly character. When God made us in His image, He wants us to display His character. That is why the Bible says that God is in the process of conforming us to be more like Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 3:18). May we too be refined like Joseph through hardships and will come out as pure gold, an acceptable offering to God.

Panggilan Allah – 1 Samuel 3

GBM Gateway – 24 Okt 2010 – David Bong

Allah senantiasa bekerja. W/pun kita tidak dapat merasainya atau melihatnya, yang pasti Allah senantiasa bekerja. Allah mempunyai rencana yang besar. Untuk membawa setiap bangsa ke syurga supaya mereka dapat menikmati kebaikan dan glori Allah. Bila keadaan kelihatan tidak ada harapan lagi, Allah secara diam-diam memanggil orang-orang tertentu untuk melaksanakan rencananya.

Apabila Allah memanggil kita, apakah reaksi kita? Mari kita lihat kisah Samuel apabila Allah memanggil dia.

Tempat: Shiloh dimana Tabut Tuhan berada. 3 kali setahun umat Israel akan berkumpul untuk merayakan perayaan-perayaan agama mereka. (1. Paskah & Roti Tak Beragi; 2. Pentekosta, 3. Pondok Daun)

Politik: Umat Israel sering kali diserang dan ditindas oleh orang Palestin. Umat Israel tidak mempunyai raja tetapi mereka bergantung kepada ketua-ketua suku kaum mereka dan juga Imam Besar pada masa itu – Eli.

Rohani: Gelap; Semua orang melakukan apa yg difikirkan betul; penyembahan berhala Baal dan Asithoret; efod yg dibuat oleh Gideon juga disembah oleh umat Israel; yang menyedihkan lagi ialah pada masa itu firman Tuhan jarang.

Samuel = Heard of God (didengar Tuhan atau Tuhan telah mendengar); Shama = mendengar; El = Tuhan.

Samuel – anak kepada Elkanah dan Hannah. Elkanah merupakan keturunan Levi dari bani Kehat (Kohatites). Umur Samuel pada waktu Allah memanggil dia mungkin 13 tahun. Samuel merupakan seorang pembantu kepada Eli, Iman
Tugas Samuel: 1. Menjaga dan membersihkan alat perabot di tabut Allah. 2: menyalakan dan mematikan lampu rumah Allah, 3: membuka pintu rumah Tuhan di waktu pagi. 4. Mengikut arahan para imam.

Pada satu malam ketika Samuel sedang tidur, dia terdengar satu suara memanggil namanya, “Samuel, Samuel”. Sebanyak 3 kali Allah memanggil Samuel. Baca 1 Samuel 3: 3-10

Apa yang boleh kita pelajari dari kisah Samuel ini?

1. Tuhan memanggil kita secara peribadi – Tuhan memanggil nama kita.
c/f Keluaran 3:4 “Musa, Musa”
- Tuhan tahu kita secara peribadi. Tuhan yang mencipta kita didalam rahim ibu kita. Tuhan yang tahu berapa banyak rambut di kepala kita. Sebelum sepatah perkataan keluar dari mulut kita, Tuhan sudah tahu mengenainya.

2. Tuhan memanggil kita mengikut waktu Tuhan.
- Mungkin kita seperti Samuel: -
- masih muda lagi – 13 tahun sahaja
- belum mengenal Tuhan
- firman Tuhan belum dinyatakan kepadanya
- sewaktu kita masih enak tidur.
- kita tidak mempunyai kelayakan yang sepatutnya – hanya pembantu rumah

3. Panggilan Tuhan selalunya berkenaan rencana Tuhan
- apa yang Tuhan akan lakukan terhadap anak-anak imam Eli
- sama seperti penciptaan tubuh badan manusia, Tuhan mempunyai tugas dan tempat yang khusus bagi kita. Mungkin sebagai telinga, mata, hidung, mulut, tangan, kaki dsbnya.

Bagaimana Respons Kita terhadap Panggilan Tuhan.

1. Tidak Tahu Tuhan Sedang Memanggil Kita
- sama seperti Samuel, kita tidak tahu yang Tuhan yang memanggil kita.
- kita menjawab kepada orang lain

2. Perlu Mendapatkan Nasihat/Bimbingan daripada orang lain.
- Eli memberi nasihat kepada Samuel apa yang harus Samuel lakukan
- ada diantara kita telah mendengar panggilan Tuhan tapi kita tidak berbuat apa-apa sebab kita tidak tahu apa yang perlu kita lakukan.

3. Bersedia Untuk Menerima Panggilan Tuhan
1) Membenarkan Allah bercakap – “Berbicaralah…”
- sering dikacau/diganggu oleh perkara-perkara lain
- dalam seminit, pemikiran kita diganggu sebanyak 6 kali.

2). Mendengar dengan aktif – “Hamba-Mu ini mendengar”
- dengan niat akan melakukan apa yang disuruh.
- kadang-kala kita tidak mahu mendengar Panggilan Tuhan sebab kita harus kembali ke jalan Tuhan. Kita tidak mahu meninggalkan perbuatan-perbuatan duniawi yang memuaskan nafsu kita.

God’s Way of Achieving Prosperity and Success.

- All of us want to be prosperous and successful. There’s an inherent desire in us to be prosperous and successful.
- We have heard of so many ways of the world to find success. Unfortunately, most of the common way to achieve success is against the Biblical principle..e.g. *the means justify the end; cheating; bribing, stepping on others, taking advantage on others to get what you want; be scrupulous in your dealings; don’t give face to others; grab as much as you can; bring down your competitor; etc etc.
- It has come to a stage that the word “success” is commonly associated with worldly desire that we are afraid of desiring success. What does the Bible has to say of success?
- Very often the desire for success drives us to make bad decisions. Eg. Taking drugs by athletes.
*I’ve tried to study God’s Words on this issue. And I would like to share with you what I’ve learned about this issue so far. What I will be sharing to us is just a guideline/a framework of God’s way of achieving success.
*Desire comes first before the needs. Do we ask to fulfill our needs or do we ask to fulfill our desires?

Where in the Bible does it mention God’s way of Achieving Prosperity and Success? Let me show you a few verses.
1. Leviticus 26:3-13
2. Joshua 1:8
3. 1 Kings 2:3
4. Psalms 1:2-3
5. James 1: 22-25

From these 5 references, let’s draw out the common instructions from God: -

1. All of these verses focus on the Word of God, (decrees, commands, Book of the Law, the Law of Moses, the Law of the Lord, the perfect law that gives freedom)
2. Exhort us to follow, obey, meditate on it, do everything written in it, observe, walk and keep his decrees, look intently into the perfect law, not forgetting about it and doing it.
3. The result is prosperity, success and blessings in whatever we do and wherever we go.

Wah… sounds so simple. And being a sinner, I too would not want to simply believe God in His Words and His promises. Like many others, I too felt that there must be a “catch” to God’s way to achieve prosperity and success. Tried as hard as I could, (so far) I could not find anything that contradicts God’s way. And I ask God to help me understand His ways in this matter. God is more than willing to do that.

Let’s meditate on this issue for a while. Let’s journey along this Biblical principle of achieving prosperity and success and let’s see what we can find along the way.

These 5 references refer to the meditating and obeying of God’s commands. God reminded me of the Greatest Commandment, (Deut 6:5; Matt 22:36-40) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves.
So the first stage in this journey is to love our God with all that we are. God wants our total obedience, devotion to Him. And how are we to show that we love God? Well, Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command”. And in verse 23 again Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.”
Then we asked ourselves, what is Jesus’ command and teaching? To put it in a simple way, it is the Biblical principles and teachings. Now, we can only obey the Biblical commands if we know what the commands are. And we can only know the commands if we read and meditate on it. That’s why reading the Word is important. It is crucial discipline of a believer’s spiritual life. One of the marks of a Mature Lovers of Christ is that he/she reads the Bible daily or has a regular time reading the Bible.

Most of us ask God for success and prosperity. Yet, this simple yet important spiritual discipline of reading His Word is ignored. We wonder why we are not successful. We wonder why we are not prosperous.

Let’s continue this journey to success and prosperity. We read the Bible daily and meditate upon it. We know God’s commands. The next step is the most important step. It is obedience. It is doing what we are instructed to do. It is obeying the will of our Master. Don’t bother asking God for prosperity and success if we do not want to obey Him. Even human logic can testify to this flow of consequences.
Parents – would you be pleased with your children if your child does not obey you? Would you want to give to them gifts if they are always disobedient and rebel against you?
Employers – would you be pleased if your employee does not do what they are instructed to do? Instead of making things easier, they make the job even worse. Would you recommend them to be promoted if they are lazy?
Teachers – would you be interested to give more teaching if your students just don’t bother to listen to you and not interested to learn?
We naturally want to give gifts to our children when they are obedient to us, when they willingly and joyfully listen and do things that please us. We want to reward them. We want them to be happy. Once we know that they have develop Godly character in them, we can trust them with gifts and whatever they ask for because we know that they would not be spoilt by such gifts. The gifts will not change their character.
Likewise our God operates in this simple way. God is longing to bless us. God is longing to provide for us. God is longing to make his people prosperous and successful. It is not for us but for His name sake. He longs to show to the world His characters.

Let me tell you what God wants for us. He does not want to cheat, lie, kill and destroy us. That’s all the work of the Devil. Instead, God our Creator wants us to have life to the fullest – John 10:10. He wants us to focus on Him, on His Kingdom. Luke 12:31 - He wants us to seek first His Kingdom with a promise that He will provide for our needs. John 14:23 – God not only wants or desire to have our obedience but also that through our obedience to Him, God can come to us, show us His love and have fellowship with us.

But God wants to make sure that His gifts of prosperity and success would not cause our spiritual downfall. *Deuteronomy 8:12-17, “Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 17 - You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”

God promises us His generosity, His willingness to give us whatever we wish when we remain in Him and His words remain in us – John 15:5. We will also know that apart from God we can do nothing. Only by remaining in Him, we will bear much fruit. The analogy God uses is the fruit tree. Success to the farmer is when the trees that he planted bear good fruit. And it is prosperous when the tree not only bears good fruit but when the tree bears much good fruit. In other words, you will know that you are successful and prosperous when like the branches that draws life from the vine, you bear much good fruit.

Okay, that’s it. That is God’s way to achieving success and prosperity. As simple as ABC.
A – Know the commands of God by hearing, reading and meditating on it.
B – Follow, obey, keep, observe and do the commands of God, then
C – God promises success and prosperity.

Now, before I close, let us look at a few more Scripture verses on this matter so that we would not get off in the wrong step.

Luke 12:15, “Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

James 1: 2-4, “2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Ephesians 5:8b- 10, “Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord.”

In our quest for success and prosperity, may we be reminded of the words of Paul,
Romans 14:8, “8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord”.
Romans 14:12, “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God”
Hebrews 12: 1-2, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,”
2 Timothy 4:7, “7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”