Tuesday, 26 July 2011

How the mighty have fallen...

"How the mighty have fallen..."  

This common adage is repeated when someone rich and powerful 'topples' over and our envy of their success turns into smug satisfaction at their fall.

However, this saying actually originates from a song David penned before he was a king; back when he and his rebel soldiers were hiding in the desert to avoid King Saul's attacks. Jonathan, King Saul's firstborn and the heir to the throne, had every reason to align himself with his father in seeking the death of their rival to the throne. 
However, Jonathan believed that God had chosen David to be the next King and so he put his own ambitions aside and was to David the most "faithful of friends, shielding David's life at the peril of his own." Jonathan also was "...steadfast at his father's side through the dark days of his declining power, and at his side falling at the last during the terrible battle with the Philistines at Mount Gilboa." David wrote this song in his grief when he heard the news of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. 

"The name of Jonathan is treasured in heaven, and it stands on earth a witness to the existence and the power of unselfish love."

The word 'love' is much abused in our language but in the truest sense of the word, it means to have the courage and sacrifice to do what is good for others, even at the expense of our own interests.

May God, who is the author of love, help us to be the sort of people who will love others. Whoever we are, if we love those who God has entrusted to us in our life, our name will also be treasured in the eyes of heaven.

(excerpts in speech marks are from the account of David's life in Patriarchs and Prophets).

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The narrow path

My dear friend Ivana sent me some links to her favourite Bible verses and one of those was Psalms 19. I love all of the Psalms but have a look at this excerpt and may it be a blessing:

 "The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart..
More to be desired are they than gold,
         Yea, than much fine gold;
         Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
         And in keeping them there is great reward. "

The riches of this world are deceitful...and I'm not just talking about money! The riches- the best this world has to offer- are deceiving because they promise much but in the end cannot offer an eternal reward. The pleasures, the entertainment, the honour, the admiration of this world is nothing compared to knowing God and walking in His way.  Apart from the infinite risk and sacrifice of coming to this world as a human, Jesus also never had the praise of men- He chose the praise and favour of God.  Look to God to meet your needs and look to God's will for your life. His way is the path of life even if the journey is difficult sometimes because to follow God, you have to swim against the current (i.e. your natural desires and also the influence of our society's values). But keep walking:) (or swimming or whatever). hehe:)
Blessings and a happy rest-of-the-week to everyone.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Monday Manna, hang on

As the dad was watching his three sons playing in the snow, he challenged them to a race where the winner would be not the first to cross the snowy field but rather the one who could run in the straightest line. The boys stood at one end of the field and their dad at the other end. 

The first son decided to focus on his feet to make sure he stayed in a straight line.

The second son thought that if he looked to his brothers on either side of him, he could kind of stay parallel to them and try to run better than them.

The third son fixed his gaze on his dad and decided he would keep his path straight by having a goal to run towards.

Who do you think kept his path the straightest? The third son of course! Maybe you're better drivers than I am (most probably!) but I know that if I look down at the radio or if I look at something outside the car window, I start to veer off the road, in the direction of where I am looking. Scary, I know! This is why I have to concentrate really hard when I drive:) The point is, the best way to stay on path is to be focused on a goal.

If you want to finish the race of life successfully and win eternal life, don't look to yourself like the first boy did. You might become proud and then fall ("pride comes before fall") or you might become discouraged and give up. Don't look at others like the second boy did because the Bible says it is foolish to compare ourselves to others...Do not compete with others, do not look to the praise of others to give you strength to reach your goals. Follow the example of the third son...

"Wherefore, seeing we are surrounded by a great number of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which clings to us so easily and instead run with perseverance and patience the race that is set before us... [How can we achieve this? Verse 2 tells us the answer...} by "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, thinking not of the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of God." Hebrews 12: 1 and 2.

Look to Jesus and don't let go...never give up because where would you go? 
"Lord, you have the Words of eternal life."  John 6:68

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Do you believe?

One man decided to cross the great, roaring Niagara Falls and to perform various daring feats such as riding his bicycle and once even carrying a stove and cooking an omelette on it (he ate the omelette). 

On one occasion, Charles Blondin (for that was his name) after crossing the tightrope with a wheelbarrow, asked the crowd, "Do you think I can do it again?"  "Yes, yes!", cried the excited crowd.

     "Who will then get in the wheelbarrow?", asked Blondin. 

No one did. The point of this oft-told story is that faith is shown in our actions.

  Do you believe in Jesus? Do you really believe in Him?
 When you sin, do you believe in His mercy enough to come to Him?
 When what you want clashes with God's will, where do you put your trust?
 When you are searching for happiness and fulfilment, who or what do you turn to?

 If you ever want the clouds of doubt, fear, anxiety, stress, depression and uncertainty chased away and to live with confidence, strength, courage and faith, here is the secret: "So then faith comes from hearing and hearing comes from the Word of God." Romans 10:17.

It doesn't matter what our story has been so far because "...The end of a thing is better than its beginning" (Ecclesiastes 7:8). So keep fighting the good fight of faith.