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Monthly Archives: December 2014

What does Great Faith look like?

With the year 2014 coming down to a close, one of my prayers to God for 2015 is to be a more faith-filled person. I want to have an increased faith just like what the apostles asked of Jesus: The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5. That’s the same prayer I have entering 2015!

In the gospel of Matthew there’s an account of a person who stood out to Jesus because of the kind of faith that he had. The faith of this person caught Jesus’ attention so much that he even said that he had not found such a faith as his in the whole of Israel. The person I’m talking about is the centurion who had an encounter with Jesus. You may read the account of the centurion in one of the gospels:

Matthew 8:5-10
When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.

As I read about the story of the centurion, I tried to understand what made his faith so special. What kind of faith could a man have such that it will impress even Jesus himself and stand out amongst the crowd? Is this a kind of faith that believes for great, mighty and impossible things? Is this the kind of faith that will dare to do just about anything because of courage, guts and relentlessness? What made his faith so special?

Great-Faith

As I read the story of the centurion again and again, the qualities I mentioned above weren’t really the things that stood out from that man’s faith. The centurion’s faith isn’t the faith that I’d expect from someone who would have such great and amazing faith. His was different from what the world and even most Christians describe as a faith that is so great. I thought to myself, what could have been so distinct about this man’s faith that would cause Jesus to give such high praises for him. I tried my best to understand what was it from his story that stood out. Following are the things that I observed from the centurion’s life and why he was dubbed as someone of great faith:

1) The centurion had an attitude of humility, he knew his place before God.

“Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof

The centurion tells Jesus here that he isn’t worthy to have the Lord of creation come to his house and meet with him face to face. At first we may think that we’ve got a pretty insecure fellow here who got starstruck because he’s able to have a conversation with Jesus face-to-face. Not quite the man we normally thought would be a person identified with great faith. However, for me, I think that the centurion didn’t say those words just because he was insecure or starstruck when he saw Jesus. I think that he said those things because he knew exactly who he was in the light of the presence of the Lord of creation.

Centurion

The truth is we are really undeserving people of the riches of God’s mercy and grace. Lest at any point we become entitled to anything in this lifetime we should stop for a while and think again. The centurion knew his place, he knew who he really was in front of a Holy God. Time and time again the Bible tells us that the truth is we are nothing but dust and ashes. It takes GREAT FAITH to be able to see that and not be blinded by what we see with our position, achievement and status in life. GREAT FAITH is grounded in humility.

2) The centurion recognized God’s POWER

“…but only say the word, and my servant will be healed...”

The centurion had so much trust in God’s power to be able to heal the servant. He had GREAT FAITH because of his level of trust in God. He knew that the moment Jesus would speak a promise, its fruition would immediately come to pass.

3) The centurion recognized God’s AUTHORITY

“…For I too am a man under authority,…”

The centurion also respected and honored Jesus’ authority. While many of his contemporaries like the pharisees disrespected Jesus’ authority, the centurion had GREAT FAITH to see who Christ really was. To many people during Jesus’ time, he was just an ordinary man, blasphemous, a carpenter, a nobody. However, the centurion went and saw beyond the physical. He knew and recognized Jesus’ authority over all life and creation. It takes GREAT FAITH to be able to do that.

The centurion modelled what GREAT FAITH is really all about. Like what I said earlier, the characteristics of the centurion above may not be what we have imagined GREAT FAITH to be; however the account of the centurion shows us what Jesus thinks great faith is.

Faith according to A.W. Tozer

I think A.W. Tozer explains what faith really is all about in his book “The Pursuit of God”. Here, he gives us a working definition of what faith is all about. He said that Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God. After reading this book, my mindset on faith totally change. It hit me that faith is ALL about God and NEVER about the “strength” of the faith of a person. Great Faith has nothing to do with abilities of a person but the more about the object of our faith. A.W. Tozer adds these other nuggets of wisdom about what faith is all about:

“Faith is the least self-regarding of the virtues. It is by its very nature scarcely conscious of its own existence. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves—blessed riddance.”

“Faith is not in itself a meritorious act; the merit is in the One toward Whom it is directed. Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus. Sin has twisted our vision inward and made it self-regarding. Unbelief has put self where God should be,…Faith looks out instead of in and the whole life falls into line.”

Those words from Tozer hit me hard. Faith is never about the act, it’s never about what I can do, never about how talented or strong I am. Great Faith is all about seeing less and less of me and more and more of God. Great Faith is never about us, it’s all about God. My hope and prayer that this insight helped you as you continue to grow in your relationship with God. Remember, faith is important and essential in our Christian walk. We must continue to grow in it but again we it should be clear what great faith looks like lest we go pursue after the wrong definition of it.

God bless! 🙂

P.S.
Oh and did you notice that the centurion wasn’t even named in this story? Nobody knows his name, background, clan or lineage. All that we know is that he was someone who had one of the greatest faith Israel. Great Faith doesn’t need to be known by other people it’s primarily between us and God.

Praying for faith to continually arise in all of us. 🙂

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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Discipleship

 

Make the most of your Christmas Break

Christmas is just around the corner! 3 days to go! A lot of schools are already in vacation mode. Offices in this season are generally reaching a down peak. My brother is here at our home doing his favorite hobby of cooking. Christmas Season = Christmas Break! Most look forward to this for that “much needed break”; break from work for those who are working, and break from studies for those who are studying.

Ideally this should be the season where we’re no longer busy. Ideally this should be a season where we can no longer make any excuses for not reading our Bible and spending time with God. Right? Well the truth is sometimes, when we go on a “break” our quiet times and moments with God take a break as well. Yep! I also feel the same tension. Why? I don’t really understand, but maybe it’s because our Christmas Break is a time where we’re in our comfort zones. Our comfort zones are times when we don’t rely on God as much. Biblically, this has also been the pattern. My hope and prayer is that we’ll fight to spend time with God. As you’re reading this I’m also trying my best to fight for my time with God. The whole day has such been a lazy day for me. Good thing is I already did my quiet time this morning. 🙂

Christmas Break

Following are things that we can do together this Christmas break:

1) Don’t forget the LORD

Deuteronomy 8:11
“Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.”

This is what I’ve been talking about above. God reminded the Israelites through Moses to be very careful not to forget God when they become successful as they gain possession of the promise land. The promise land is a land flowing with milk and honey. It was a place of comfort for them. Periods of successes and comfort zones, most of the time, are the times when we tend not to rely on God as much.

Let’s not forget God especially in this season. I think one of the ways to fight that is to look back 2014 and thank God for all the things he’s done to our lives. 🙂

1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

2) Set aside a day of SOLITUDE

I got this practice from John Ortberg in his book: “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” (One of the best books I’ve ever read please buy it!). Once a year I spend a whole day with God undisturbed and all by myself. I usually go home to my province in Lipa City just to meditate on his word the whole day. I found this to be very helpful in terms of aligning my life to God’s word and God’s will. John Ortberg wrote this in his book to help us better understand what solitude is for:

“Francis de Sales used the image of a clock to express his need for extended solitude.

There is no clock, no matter how good it may be, that doesn’t need resetting and rewinding twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. In addition, at least once a year it must be taken apart to remove the dirt clogging it, straighten out bent parts, and repair those worn out. In like manner, every morning and evening a man who really takes care of his heart must rewind it for God’s service… Moreover, he must often reflect on his condition in order to reform and improve it. Finally, at least once a year he must take it apart and examine  every piece in detail, that is every affection and passion, in order to repair whatever defects there  may be.”

John Ortberg says that this may feel like a waste of time because in these moments your mind will tend to wonder but usually that happens the first time. The second, third time we’ll get used to it more and more. We must fight for moments like this with God. Here’s a pattern John Ortberg wrote down on how to do a day of solitude and I quote:


Extended Solitude

1. Find a place where you can be uninterrupted and alone, such as a part or a retreat center.
2. Spend a brief time the night before to get ready, to ask God to bless the day, and to tell him you want to devote the day to him. This day is your gift to God, but even more, it is a gift God wants to give you. What do you need from the Lord: a sense of healing and forgiveness? Conviction for an apathetic heart? Compassion? A renewed sense of mission? Ask him for this.
3. Arrange the day around listening to God. The following format is adapted from Glandion Carney’s book The Spiritual Toolkit.

8:00 – 9:00 Prepare your mind and heart, take a walk, or do whatever will help you set aside concerns over tasks and responsibilities. Try to arrange your mornings so you can remain in silence from the time you awaken.
9:00 – 11:00 Read and meditate on Scripture, taking time to stop to reflect when God seems to be speaking to you through the text.
11:00 – 12:00 Write down responses to what you have read. Speak to God about them.
12:00 – 1:00 Eat lunch and take a walk, reflecting on the morning.
1:00 – 2:00 Take a nap.
2:00 – 3:00 Set goals that emerge from the day’s reflection.
3:00 – 4:00 Write down these goals and other thoughts in a journal. You may want to do this in the form of a letter to God. Prepare to reenter society.

3) Write down a personal MISSION STATEMENT

This has also been my practice for the past couple of years already. I started writing this I think four years ago until I kept on refining and refining it. Writing a mission statement just like setting aside a day of solitude helps me align my will to God’s will. There’s a verse in the Bible that talks about carefully searching our hearts and making sure that we align it to God’s will:

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

After years of doing this, my personal mission statement is still being refined. The only thing I think I got right is the first part of my mission statement and that is: “To live for the glory of God” or “Honor God”. The other part of my mission statement is still under construction. You can start doing yours! It’s not going to be a very easy task. It will take more than one sitting to do it but you have to start somewhere. As you start to do it then you’ll continually refine it and continually align your life to the honor of God. 🙂

God bless you and may you make the most out of your Christmas Break. 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Discipleship

 

What to do when OTHERS are more TALENTED than YOU

Today marks the day that Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list in the NBA. Now, Kobe Bryant is top 3 all-time 3rd only to Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Only time will tell if he’ll be able to take over the number 1 spot. Based on my computations, he needs to finish 3 more complete seasons at his current average. 🙂 Now don’t get me wrong, don’t think that I’m a Kobe Bryant fan (nothing against all the KOBE fans out there 😛 ). I’m still convinced that Michael Jordan is the greatest player ever to play the game. HEHE 😀

kobe-9-scoring-michael-jordan-mamba-moment

A lot of people have had huge admirations for great athletes like Kobe Brant or Michael Jordan. If you’re not a basketball fan, it may be another athlete in a different sport like Manny Pacquiao or Roger Federer. Or maybe if you’re not a fan of any sports then maybe you’re more into the arts such as music, dancing or theater. I play the guitar and have been following prominent guitarists like John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan and Joe Satriani. Whatever field you may have an interest in we’ve had superstar celebrities we’ve looked up to. I’m a big fan of the names I mentioned above. I watch their videos on youtube for fun and relaxation. 🙂

The athletes and artists I mentioned above are the most talented athletes and artists in their respective fields. They are the BEST of the BEST of the BEST of the BEST. No one in their field today can match to their level of greatness. However, because of these celebrities it may lead us most likely to think how small and tiny we are compared to them. It may lead to a lot of wrong mindsets. We may think that the talents God gave us are pretty much useless and worthless because there’s always somebody out there who’s better.

For some people it leads to a bunch of what ifs: I’ve had a lot of people I’ve had conversations with that told me: “If only I was smarter”… “If only I was more handsome”… “If only I had amazing talents”… “If only I was better at this or that” and so on and so forth. The downside of this way of thinking is that it leads to a negative response on how we should use the talents that God gave us.

Every time I’m in a discussion on talents, I’m always reminded by the parable of the talents which Jesus talked about. I believe that this parable gives us a lot of insights with regard to the talents God has given us. You may read the whole story at Matthew 25:14-30. Following are five things I learned from the Parable of the Talents which I believe is the right perspective on how we should maximize the talents God has given us.

1) God DETERMINES how many talents we START of with

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

God is the author and sovereign ruler of the universe. He specifies how many talents is given to people at the onset. He determines where we’re born, who are our parents and so on and so forth. Hopefully we’ll accept it like that. For some reason I wasn’t born as Michael Jordan. It’s God who pre determined that. We can’t do anything about it. Let’s just accept it. Once we accept and are settled with this fact, it will be easier for us to progress and move on to what we should actually be doing with our talents. Questioning God on why some people have more talent than us will lead us nowhere.

Will you choose to accept that fact that God has given more talents to some people as a starting point?

2) It’s our RESPONSIBILITY to develop our talents

He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.

Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

It’s our job and duty to do so. This is what the Bible says. All of us have been given talents. There are no exemptions. Our talents vary in degree, but the point is that we all have talents! The parable tells us the we will be held accountable to our talents. God will check and see if we have been faithful in doing so. The first and second servant doubled their talents of Five (5) and Two (2).

What will you do with the talent God has given you?

3) Honing our talents requires diligence and faithfulness

But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.

But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant!

Contrary to the first and second servant. The last servant didn’t do anything with his talent. He didn’t put it to good use! The Master of the parable called him wicked and slothful. LAZY is the word. Developing our talents requires diligence and hard work. HARD WORK is HARD WORK! However, just like what NIKE says: Just Do It! As we try to develop our skills and talents, we’ll be amazed to the level we’ll be able to bring it. We just have to be faithful and diligent.

Everytime you see Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, just remember this: they didn’t start of that way. Both of them carved in a lot of hours in practice in doing so. Manny Pacquiao trains for months before entering a boxing match. That’s just insane! I believe that as we train and put in the number of ours in training and practice then our talents and giftings will definitely improve as well.

*There’s a concept of this in a book called “Outliers” about the 10,000 hour rule. Read more about it to get more information when I’m talking about carving hours of training and practice

Will you work hard in honing the talents God has given you?

4) We SHOULDN’T COMPARE our talents to other people’s talents. Instead remember: Our GOAL is to please God.

And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’

And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’

Enter into the joy of your master.’

If you noticed the second servant, he only got two talents but he didn’t complain and asked the master: “Why did you only give me two?!” No no no, he was faithful and diligent with the giftings and talents he received. He developed and doubled it. The key is to not get distracted and envious of other people’s talents. Focus on yours! Looking at others, comparing and being envious will not help. It only makes things worse and you’ll only get discouraged. However, watch out as you just focus on developing your own sets of talents. Let’s see where that will go!

Also, to keep us from comparing our talents with one another. Keep in mind that our goal is to please God. He’s our audience of one! Not the people watching us, not our friends, relatives, even loved ones. Always remember that to keep us from being caught in a comparison syndrome. Always live for the Honor and Glory of God. If we get this right, the habit comparison will become lesser and lesser in our lives.

Who will you choose to please? Others of God?

5) God will give us more opportunities as our talents get honed

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.

Talent comes from God but also opportunities. In this parable, because God saw the first two servant’s faithfulness in developing their giftings and multiplying them, then he gave them more responsibilities. More responsibilities is good because it gives you more avenues to use your giftings and talents and hone it even more and further. As we develop our talents, more opportunities will arise. Just wait and be patient as he entrusts us with much. Remember again: be faithful with what you have and has been entrusted to you.

As you wait for the opportunities will you choose to continually develop your talents?

Lastly, it’s good to keep in mind that as much as we would want to think that we’re the first and second servant. The reality is we’re not either! The truth is, we are the last servant who was not able to meet the responsibility and task of developing the talents to its full potential. Really? Yes! We’ve failed so many times in our lives, just like what I said earlier. We have a huge tendency to compare. There are a lot of moments that we have been unfaithful in maximizing our talents. Diligence is not a word we’ll associate with ourselves most of the time (for me this occurs a lot). There’s so many times I’d fail. Just like that servant in the story. Although the title of the parable is: The Parable of the Talents, the story primarily talks about the KINGDOM of GOD and just using talents to make a point.

The story talks about judgment and how God will judge us and hold us accountable when that day comes. It’s true! Look at the last part of the parable:

So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

See, I’m not joking. It’s a scary parable if we really think about it. This parable is a warning for all of us. However, we don’t have to be afraid anymore, because the KINGDOM of God brings the good news of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The good news tells us that God is the one who saves us from all our short comings and failures. That though we know that one of our responsibilities is being good and faithful stewards of his talents that he’s given to us. We can never meet and reach his standards. That’s why he sent his one and only son Jesus Christ to die and pay for our sins on the cross 2,000 years ago. Where we have failed, that’s where he stood in the gap and was the one who was judged for us. The good news is, in the cross of Jesus Christ, in the gospel, there’s also that grace to be able to now maximize the giftings and talents that God has given us to live this life to the full. 🙂

Last question: Will you continually rely on the grace of God to develop the talents God has given you? 🙂

God bless you as you use your talents and giftings all for the glory of God.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2014 in Life Lessons

 

That ONE important thing I missed in the book of PROVERBS

For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading and meditating on the book of Proverbs again for my quiet time. The last time I did an in depth study on this book was almost three years ago when I turned 25. Now, since I’m entering a new season of bigger responsibilities I just felt that I should read it again to get practical insights and gain more wisdom, especially in decision making.

Proverbs

A proverb is defined as “a short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice.” There are many verses in the book of Proverbs which contains short, timeless pieces of truth as observed by the authors of this book. In one section of the book of Proverbs, specifically in Proverbs chapters 10 to 22, these are where you’ll find most of the “short pithy sayings”. Most of the sayings that you’ll find here are contrasts, for example:

Proverbs 10:4
“Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth”

In this proverb, laziness and diligence are being contrasted, and seeing the conclusion that both brings.

Having said that, if you’ll look at Proverbs chapters 10 to 22, there are more than 340 proverbs that you’ll find in those 13 chapters. This is the part of proverbs that we usually remember. This is the part where we get our most quotable quotes in the book of Proverbs, quotes about diligence, prudence, wisdom and so on and so forth. In fact, I surveyed a few of my friends and asked them what comes to their mind when they think of the book of Proverbs? My friends said that things that automatically pop in their minds are: wisdom, diligence, fear of the Lord and so on and so forth. In fact, if I were to ask you, what comes to your mind when you think about the book of Proverbs, you’ll most probably say the same things. These are also the same thing that came to my mind! As I mentioned earlier, I read the book of proverbs more than three years ago, I used that book as my quiet time for 30 days. I even wrote a blog to note my top learnings from that book:

The top learnings from my blog more than two years ago are divided into two categories: Wisdom for work and Wisdom for relationships. Here’s the top things:

Wisdom for Relationships
1) The value of holding your tongue
2) Quarelling
3) Covering Offenses
4) Patience vs. Temper
5) Rebuke

Wisdom for Work
6) Diligence vs. Sluggishness
7) Prudence
8) The downfall of trusting in one’s ways
9) Planning and seeking advices to ensure victory
10) The advantage of wisdom vs. wealth and riches

Now, the reason I’m saying this is because after reading the book of proverbs again for the past few weeks. I tried to do a simple analysis on the 340 proverbs in those 13 chapters. What’s my Math and Statistics skills for anyway? HAHA. Might as well put them to good use.

I carefully copied and pasted all 340+ proverbs for a few days then tried to group them according to the category where they’l best fit, in my own opinion anyway! As usual, there’re categories like diligence, wisdom, the tongue, correction that stood out. However, what surprised me the most is that I discovered another category of these 340+ proverbs which I totally missed out as I’ve read this book before. This category, in my opinion is actually the biggest category which we can group all these 340+ proverbs, this group contains more proverbs than any other category we can find in those 13 chapters. When I saw and learned about this last week, I was so dumbfounded that I can’t believe I missed it all the while! I guess this the reason why we really have to study scripture. This is the reason why we can’t let our feelings interpret what the word of God has to say.

One thing

Ok so I’m already making this too long for you already. To satisfy your curiosity, the biggest category in those 13 chapters and 340+ proverbs is the category that talks about RIGHTEOUSNESS or a RIGHTEOUS PERSON. That’s right! That’s more than 14% of those 340 proverbs.

BIG DEAL right?! When I learned about that, I was like, “OKAY! So what’s the importance of that?” at first. However, I realized that there must be a purpose why there’s so many proverbs that talks about righteousness. I can’t just easily dismiss it like that. So I tried to learn more about that word.

What is RIGHTEOUSNESS anyway, or what does a RIGHTEOUS PERSON look like? When I hear the word RIGHTEOUSNESS, I think of people who are good, nice, religious, holy maybe? That’s why maybe the word never resonated for me in the book of Proverbs. However, as I researched on the word, I realized that it was way more than my perception on it at first. The word RIGHTEOUSNESS is defined as such in http://www.gotquestions.org:

“Dictionaries define “righteousness” as behavior that is morally justifiable or right. Such behavior is characterized by accepted standards of morality, justice, virtue, or uprightness.”

RIGHTEOUSNESS is more than just a nice person, it’s more than just good behavior. RIGHTEOUSNESS goes beyond those things and is supposed to be associated with morality, justice, virtue and uprightness according to gotquestions.org. As I looked at most of the proverbs which contains the word RIGHTEOUSNESS, I noticed that RIGHTEOUSNESS some of the things it is associated to:

A PERSON WHO HAS INTEGRITY
Proverbs 20:7
The righteous lead blameless lives;…

A PERSON WHO RUNS TO THE NAME OF THE LORD
Proverbs 18:10
The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

A PERSON WHO SPEAKS LIFE
Proverbs 10:11
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,…

A PERSON WHO HAS JUST PLANS
Proverbs 12:5
The plans of the righteous are just,

After reading all of those things that describes a righteous person, my perspective on it totally changed. I now love righteousness! This is what a righteous person looks like. Now I realized why there’s so many things written about it in the book of Proverbs.

After having all of these revelations, I realized that if I really desire wisdom and if I want to make the right decisions and choices then I have to be a RIGHTEOUS person. A righteous person again, is someone who has integrity, runs to the name of the LORD, has just plans and one who speaks life.

Basically, to summarize everything I said above, a righteous person, is a person who does WHAT IS RIGHT. If you want to have wisdom in your decisions in life, then ask yourself that question: “What’s the RIGHT THING to do?” I believe that God through the power of the Holy Spirit will guide us in making the right choices and gaining wisdom in the choices that we make. God bless! 🙂

*Disclaimer – The topic of RIGHTEOUSNESS here talk about what proverbs tells about it and does not contain the whole view of the BIBLE. 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Personal

 

A Roller Coaster Life (Musings on the life of Joseph) Part 4

This is now the fourth part of a series of blog about the life of Joseph. If you want to check out the first three parts you may go to these links below:

Parts 1-3
https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/a-roller-coaster-life-musings-on-the-life-of-joseph-part-1/
https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/a-roller-coaster-life-musings-on-the-life-of-joseph-part-2/
https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/a-roller-coaster-life-musings-on-the-life-of-joseph-part-3/

I wrote and started this series specifically for people who may not seem to make sense of what’s happening in their life. Most of people desire for stability and security in life. If we can only be assured of those things for the future then that’s going to be awesome! However, as many of us have already experienced, life does not seem to work that way. Here, we looked at the life of Joseph to encourage us and give us hope specially for times when life doesn’t make sense. Whatever circumstance you may be facing right now, the key is trusting God in whatever situation you’re in. So now let’s continue with Joseph’s story. 🙂

We ended part three by looking at the phrase: “The LORD was with…”. We said that that is one of the reasons why Joseph didn’t quit. That’s the reason why he wasn’t disheartened and discouraged to keep on moving forward. It’s because God was with him all throughout. In our lives, if we can just focus on our relationship with God then I’m confident that we can brave life’s toughest and biggest challenges.

The Cupbearer and the Baker
Now, continuing with the story, because of that incident with Potiphar’s wife, Joseph was now in prison. In prison, Joseph met two individuals: the Cupbearer and the Baker. Both had offended the king of Egypt that’s why they’re there. Now while they were in prison they both had dreams, and surprise surprise, their prison mate is Joseph the dreamer himself! Think it was just coincidence?

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Both of them couldn’t interpret their dreams on their own, but the good thing is Joseph was there. Their dreams got interpreted. Joseph said that in three days, the cup bearer will be restored to his position while the baker will be impaled and put to death (talk about an encouraging interpretation). Joseph asked the cup bearer a favor to show him kindness and mention him to Pharaoh so that he’d be set free. Doesn’t seem like much for someone who gave you a good interpretation of your dream right?

Three days went by and when the cup bearer was finally restored to his position, he totally forgot about Joseph. This is another low in Joseph’s life. It was a great chance for him to escape! He helped his fellow prisonmate with an interpretation of his dream. He gave him a favor, all he wanted was to be mentioned to the Pharaoh and possibly be set free from the prison. I’d imagine Joseph very eager the first few days when the cup bearer was set free. Then a week passed by, a few months then almost a year already with no word from the cup bearer. (JOSEPH’S LIFE METER: -5)

It was his only possible chance to escape! Him being trapped in prison was the worst thing that could happen, but something as worse is the hope of being able to escape but not materializing. If I were Joseph I’d ask God what did I do wrong to deserve all of this? It was one bad thing after another for Joseph’s life. A roller coaster life indeed! Well at this point, it’s more of like “I never should have been born kind of life”.

The good news is, it couldn’t get any worse than this for Joseph. Now it’s all uphill for him! 🙂

To be continued.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Life Lessons