Monday, June 18, 2012

Represent Christ or Being Christ

Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians: “For God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”  

How many times we think it’s committed unto us to condemn sin, to preach against sin, or even to forgive sins! But it’s not. We preach Christ, who reconciles people to God. There’s a difference between representing Christ and unconsciously trying to be Christ. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pride led to his downfall

Was reading the story of King Asa in 2 Chronicles 16. It is a powerful life testimony of how one can be so successful in his early days but descended into total abandonment of God later in his life. I've preached on King Asa's life before and as I read again King Asa's life, the Lord spoke to me in His own gentle way. King Asa's success in defeating the vast Cushites and Libyans army has been the result of his total dependence on God. And God honored King Asa's total reverence and fear of Him. King Asa removed all the idols in the land and deposed his own grandmother. His heart is right before God. It is a Biblical principle that God honors those whose heart is set on Him. Even in our relationship with our children, we tend to show more of our love, care and guidance to the ones whose heart is right with us. And there's peace for 35 years after the war for King Asa. Then a smaller problem happened to King Asa. This time the response is totally different. Instead of relying on God and trusting on God's power, King Asa depended on his own cleverness, and following the ways of the heathen, he made a pact with an ungodly king. That led to tremendous problems to his kingdom. Even when he is sick, he did not seek help from God. Total abandonment of God at the end of his life. He started well but failed miserably in the end. As I reflected on King Asa's life, I realized that pride has also come into my life. I started my internet cafe with no experience, no know-how at all. I've never worked in a internet cafe before and I don't even have any paper qualification on computer networking or programming. I started the business with total dependence on God to provide and to bless the business. I've tried to follow the ways of the world by opening the business on Sundays but that is not pleasing to God. He challenged me to close the business on Sundays (even though in the eyes of the world, business on Sundays will bring in the highest income). After struggling with that challenge for a month, I decided to trust God and close my business on Sundays. God has blessed the business ever since. A year ago, I bought over another internet cafe business. The business in this new shop has not been doing well. As I reflect back on King Asa's story, I was made to realize that I too have pride in my life. Since the first business is doing well, pride comes to my life and it is shown in my attitude. Unconsciously, I felt that I too played a role in the success of the business. And that pride is shown in how I tried to manage the new internet cafe. Depending more on my own "intelligence" and experience rather than depending on God. Forgive me Father and help me to be humble before you. Help me to remember that unless You builds the business, I labor in vain. Help me to check my attitude towards the business and remind me that it is You that is in total control. Even in managing this business, help me to depend totally on You. Help me to set my heart right before You in every areas of my life. Amen.