Thursday, April 3, 2008

Who is this Isaac? and this Samuel?

We know that Isaac is the son of abraham, a very special one, his first born child in his family on his old age... Sometimes later, God ask Abraham to offer his son Isaac to be the sacrifice as a burnt offering for Him. Did Abraham follows what God commanded him to do? In latter part of Genesis 22, we will see that he is willing to offer his only son Isaac to God, and after that, God bless him abundantly.

Do only Abrham have Isaac in his life? Or all of us have Isaac in our lives? I believe that there is an Isaac in our lives that God was asking for, but we are not willing to. We keep on denying and trying to close our ears everytime God ask our Isaac in our lives. Maybe we consider this Isaac of ours to be the most valuable possession or possessions in our lives and it makes you preoccupied with those possessions, that those possessions become the center of your life so that you no longer need and fear God.

God is not a "kill joy God", but He only wants the best in our lives.. According to Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Gods plan in our lives will only happen if we are willing to give up those things that hinders us to fully obey God. Abrahams fear to God makes him fully obey. I have to clarify things, "to fear God doesn't mean that we are afraid of His punishment, but our fear to God should be a fear of dissappointing Him, diasspointing and hurting the one we love, our first love."

And how about this Samuel?? who is he?? First, we want to know his background. Hannah is the mother of Samuel. Before, she doesn't have any child. She went to the temple to wept and pray that God would grant her a son, and if her prayer will be granted, she will give him back to the Lord for all the days of his life. We may notice that all of us are like hannah. We ask God for something we want and promise a lot of things in exchange for the things we want. In the end, we forgot all our promises and focus on the things we have. But hannah honor his vow to the Lord. After she weaned him, he was sent to the temple to serve. Samuel is the best thing Hannah have, but still, she know His God fully well. After that, God blessed Hannah abundantly.

Again, do only Hannah have Samuel in her life? Are we willing to give our best to God eventhough He doesn't ask for it? for we know that God only deserve what is best in our lives. There were times in my life wherein i tried to evaluate what are the best things that I can offer to God. I soon found out that all this things belongs to our God, and the best thing I have is my LIFE. Gods love and grace is so great, that he grant us the freedom to choose, to decide of what we want with our lives. For him, we are not robots who follows every command. He want us to willingly choose Him despite of what the world can offer. Do you know what is the Samuel of your life? God said in Luke 9:24 "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses their lives for me will save it." Think....

So sad that we are trying to save our lives by focusing on earthly things without knowing that we cannot bring it with us when we die. There is only one thing we could bring in heaven, only PEOPLE.

God is now telling you " I believe that it is time that we take a walk and put you to the test to see what you love most in life."

Enjoy Gods grace and love my friend.

Monday, March 31, 2008

More than anything...

I'm really blessed to know that God wants us to be with Him more than anything. The God who designed the world, the God who placed us on the planet, simply wants us to be with Him. And to bring us home, he offers us a gift... the gift of eternal salvation throught His Son Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Obedience is better than sacrifice

This topic is more focus on why God rejects Saul as king when in the first place, He is the one who anointed him to be king. We will observe a confrontation between King Saul and Samuel the prophet. The confrontation speaks to us as we consider our approach to God's instruction. First thing, i want to encourage you to read 1 Samuel 15: 1-35. First part of this chapter talks about God rejects Saul as king.

We clearly see Gods instruction to king Saul to attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Our God seems so unlike to the one who ordered an entire people destroyed. If God is love, gentle and kind, how could he instruct king Saul to totally destroy everything. We have to evaluate 1 Samuel 15 to understand it. To understand God, we have to know the history of the Amalekites. They were the first people to attack the Israelites (Ex. 17:8-16). After initial defeat, they attacked Israel again (Num. 14:39-45).

I believe that God is sovereign, He owes us no explanation as to why He desired for the entire population to be exterminate. However, we can assume they were a vile and godless people because God is compassionate and merciful. According to Jonah 4, Jonah knows that He is gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love. God's desire to forgive and rescue all people from evil. We can assume that the Amalekites rejected the opportunity to repent from their evil and turn to God.

Here are some reasons why God rejected Saul as king:

1. Saul was arrogant. We can see Saul's pride in verse 12 when he directly went to Carmel and built a monument for himself. Aside from that, he spare the life of King Agag to present him as a trophy-a public exhibit.

2. Saul refused to take responsibility for his actions. Saul first excuse for sparing the best sheep and cattle is to sacrifice it for the Lord. Believe it or not, we sometimes use God as our excuse for disobedience too. Aside from that, he also claimed that he was afraid of and gave in to the people (24). Imagine that the king of Israel with God on his side is afraid of the people?? At times we are all tempted to blame someone else when we've blown it.

3. Saul minimize the seriousness of disobedience. In verse 23, Samuel compares rebellion to the sin of divination or witchcraft. Rebellion is a means by which we attempt to set the course of our futures.

I believe that this are the grounds why God had rejected him as king of Israelites.

Now we have to look on how prophet Samuel deal with this issues. According to verse (11), he cried out to the Lord all night. Samuel's heart never grew cold and condemning. God allows Samuel to be emotionally involved but enable him to maintain objectivity so the he could "speak the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15). Maybe a lot of you wondering why he cried out to the Lord? He is not the one who will be punished, right? Now, take a few minutes to reflect if we are also like Samuel. If you know that a fellow Christian is punished because of his mistake, do we take time to pray for that person, or do we feel troubled for him? Think....

Lets look at Gods reaction on Saul's disobedience. In verse (11), "God grieved". Do we know the real meaning of grieve?? Let us stop for a while and evaluate ourself. We hurt God so much everytime we disobey him or sinned against Him.

Here are the lesson I've learned, Saul learned that obedience is better than sacrifice, and Samuel learned that sometimes obedience is the sacrifice. Enjoy Gods love and grace my friend.