It’s almost a year later and I came back and read every article I posted before -totally amazed at how my own writing inspires me and inspires me to keep writing. Continue reading
God’s chief aim for our lives is that we reunite with Him at the highest level. From the moment we are born, His deepest desire is that we grow to the stature of Christ. His primary aim for us is spiritual, it is attaining righteousness, holiness and divine attributes as attained by Christ. The truest fulfillment of His promises is in them leading us back to Him.
We see this in the lives of all saints who we are told walked with God. They all went through the school of being broken, dressed down and surrendering their former wants, desires and ideas before being used by God. Not only did God call them, he purified them and shaped each one of them into people He could use. Some came into the story with impressive credentials but God consistently drives the point home that credentials and status will not serve Him; if they are to be of use to Him they are to be shaped by Him first.
Abraham, the only man called God’s friend, was called out from a familiar land, familiar people and pursuits to a journey and place he didn’t know. Along the way, God shaped him, teaching him about honesty, tithing, loving and leading. It is only after he is well grounded by God that God begins to use him. Moses had the highest credentials in the Egyptian army. He was wise and greatly revered. God had to school him in His school of humility for 40 years before he could lead.
Isaiah had a burning coal experience before he could really respond to God’s call. In it he saw himself as God really saw him, as a man of unclean lips living amongst unclean people. Jeremiah was told he was called even before he was born. Jonah had God bring him to his senses before he could preach a message that turned an entire nation to repentance. Peter full of confidence had to be humbled before he could become the mighty leader and apostle.
In all of them we see the same process being repeated again and again. God had them unlearn everything they had learned until they met Him; He had to erase all inborn tendencies and vices before He could write new thoughts and ideas on their system and only then did they yield the results they and He wanted. Maybe we can learn from them and understand that everything along the way is for shaping us into what God wants us to become. All the blessings in our lives are not it, they are not the end in themselves; the aim is for them to help us go full circle and attain our true nature and calling in Christ.
Not so long ago before I understood that the ideas sold by the self help industry are not entirely godly I thought that more anything I wanted a good life and I would aim at having a ‘comfortable’ life having amassed just enough wealth for me to lead the comfortable life. I didn’t want to be filthy rich, I just wanted to have enough to be ‘live comfortably’. And they may all sound as harmless plans but I now see there is an error in that thinking.
For the very first time I am starting to understand the following verses in a very different way:
Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Luke 12:33 -34 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The gifts and wealth God gives us are not entirely for our gratification in a sense, they are for blessing others and amassing wealth in heaven. That sounds very cliché because we hear that very often it starts to lose meaning. We see the lesson of selflessness in nature everyday, the sun doesn’t shine just to bask in its own glory; it’s rays enrich all other living forms on this earth. The flowers, the trees, the oceans and the seas are not there just to be blown away with their own beauty, they beautify the whole world, they enrich our lives.
Everything we give out, God notices, if we are giving it as to the Lord. There is a lot we are keeping that we do not need, a lot of things we should let go and give away to God, a lot we have to give away, and we will be surprised how much we can give away. A lot of our things need to be surrendered to God – our time, our money our resources, anything He has blessed us with we can use for His glory and get His wealth instead. There is always something we can do or give to lift up or brighten up the people around us. He is not asking you to give up your common sense as we can easily misinterpret the word.
Matthew 19:16 -26 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Reading through the story of the rich young ruler who was told to give away everything and left Jesus sad I must say I was also left sad by that story thinking that Jesus meant I should also give ALL of my worldly possessions away and lead the life of a beggar although it will often require that I make sacrifices, sometimes huge sacrifices. I am learning that that story actually is talking of something way deeper than that. He is not asking me to live the life of a pauper, He is asking me to let go of ‘my wealth’ and exchange it for “His wealth’. And we may sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we cannot see the distinction between the two but He has given us a simpe test for that – He tells us that where our treasure is there our heart will be. We just have to be honest with ourselves and ask ourselves what we truly consider to be our treasure. Whatever we consider to be our treasure will dictate how we will live.
God values alms, and He has not left it to our imagination on what to think about that. He honours our alms, His word says He notices each alm we give but only if we give it as to Him and give it with the pure motive of exalting Him and not for us to be seen by men (Matthew 6: 1-4). He clearly says that each time we have given our alms for worldly applause that worldly applause is all the reward we should expect.
Matthew 6:1-4 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Acts 10:3 -4 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
Acts 10:30 – 31 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
Shed off as much as you can. Literally ‘sell off’ your wealth for God’s wealth. Exchange the perishable for the everlasting and become rich towards God.
Luke 12:15 -26 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
It’s been a lot of silence. Most of it a lot of pressure from work, part of it a little disillusionment on how I want to take the blog on in the future and how I want to grow it, part of it some changes and growth in my own life and getting new perspectives on everything. So it’s been terribly quiet. Started wondering if I can align this blog better with my core beliefs, that’s the only way I know how, anything else would not be me. And desperate to bring in more and more authentic posts, more real things and less of sounding like common self help blabber, wondering how to bring more of God into it and how to be a lot more open and a lot more direct to the audience, whoever that is. Wondering how to really share what I’ve always wanted to share with everyone, the good news really, the real truth; wondered if I should just revamp the blog or have a new one altogether.
And I haven’t got answers to any of that yet. Just a little pressured sometimes to say something, especially to those that may have been waiting to hear something. Read through almost all the posts and again it is very clear, I must continue to write and not keep things in, I must continue to express myself. But I want to do it well. And part of it is being stuck because I want everything to be perfect before I start again, and it is a trap really, I want to be 100% sure God is happy with me and where I am and that I am sure all I am saying is what He wants me to say – and that will not happen. So again, it is clear, I must start with what I have now. It will come out beautifully somehow. I must start. I must not stagnate. I don’t know how but it should work well.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.
It’s probably one of the hardest commandments ever. Maybe because there is so much lying we can get away with, no one really has to know. It is one of those things that starts so small and before we know it it has become normal and is part of normal life and besides that’s just how the world works now and no one really tells the truth anymore.
It’ll take a whole new meaning if you think of it as an honour you do to yourself. It’s not about others anymore, it’s not about being noticed, it really is about being able to be honest with yourself. Every little lie, ever small gets its own life, and it changes you very slowly. Soon it becomes acceptable.
It’s not easy to tell the truth, there are sacrifices to be made. We don’t like facing our lies because they often reveal the worst about us and our motives. But you need to learn to treat yourself a little more honour and respect again and again.
I probably enjoy reading now more than I’ve ever had, it wasn’t always that way though and I know there must be many people that are not naturally interested in it and for whom it’s an effort to read through anything as a past time. I find myself totally attracted to everything that is books and I’m forever on a pursuit for that next great book, that next fine writer who expresses everything just like I want a good writer to. I look forward to visits to bookstores anticipating the next ‘great buy’; that amazing book hidden in obscurity that I will get at an awesome price. Continue reading