Tag Archives: freedom

Clueless of the Times

5 Oct

35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (Mark 23:35-47)

If Jesus said, “…you don’t know when…”, do we really think that we will know when to wake up? Are we expecting certain events to be in place before we do? And like the 5 foolish virgins, will it be too late when we finally open our eyes? Jesus said to watch and pray.

I’ve heard many say they’re not into politics and give little thought to what’s happening around the world. They are very busy meeting the demands of life and there’s little time to pay attention.

In the parable of the great banquet, Jesus said the people who were invited were also busy and began to make excuses. He gave three examples: one had just bought land, another had just bought animals for work, and the last had just gotten married.

Again, those that were called were too caught up in the affairs of this temporary world. They were not mindful of the times in which they lived. For them it was business as usual. These were “church members”, not “worldly folk”.

To prepare, we need to pray and ask for guidance. God will inspire his people to move according to his will. Just being mindful of the times we’re living in can help raise our awareness and prepare us to listen to our Creator.

There is something happening right now and many are continuing to live their lives as if the world is set to continue forever. They seem to not be too excited about the appearing of Jesus, rather, their blinders are on to what’s happening around them.

When Jesus came the first time many people were oppressed and harassed. Their land was occupied by rulers who controlled them and they had little freedom of expression.

Could it be that He will come during similar circumstances? Remember, although many were oppressed, still, there were those who conformed. This latter will continue to live comfortable lives and so the rules of the world will not pose a threat to them. But when they finally wake up, it will be too late.

Preparation is key whether it’s for an exam or a marathon; how much more important for the coming of our Saviour? When he comes will we be waiting expectantly, or surprised and disappointed? As a friend of mine always used to say: “We should always be in a state of readiness”. I pray that we all will be.

Following our Conscience

23 Sep

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)

God is the one that has been taking care of us all these years. He is the one who supplies all our needs. (Philippians 4:19).

Therefore, if we’re being told, “If you don’t receive such and such, you won’t be able to work or participate in society”, shouldn’t there be an alarm sounding off in our heads? The alarm should remind us that we depend on God and God alone.

All through the years, God has used many ways to take care of our needs. These ways were obvious to us. They came through our jobs, subsidies, friends, families, etcétéra. We didn’t feel forced or felt the need to compromise and our conscience was never bothered.

But now, something is different. Before we had a choice. We ate food and took meds without knowing every ingredient that was found in them. We could’ve said ‘no’ or ‘yes’.

In the summer of 2021, I was placed on the list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. One day, I got a call from a doctor regarding another list. He said that he must be transparent and proceeded to inform me about kidneys from donors who had certain treatable infections. The doctor said, “in the 80s we would never offer such kidneys to our patients, but now we do because it has been proven that they can be treated successfully, and we have since done many of these types of transplants”.

I prayed about it, consulted with my husband, who was skeptical as I was, and I also spoke with other doctors. Finally, after weighing the pros and cons, I decided to trust God and go on that special list. Although I was told the waiting period was 10-12 years, I was called in about a month later for my transplant.

I am proud of how far we have come in medicine. I admire the dedication and ethics of my doctors. I appreciate the transparency and honesty that most exhibit. I went into the hospital and received exceptional service. All the nurses and doctors felt like family. They were kind and answered all my questions. I felt at home.

My conscience never bothered me. I felt comfortable and strongly believed that God was walking with me all through the process.

However, regarding the current push and coercion to receive a certain treatment, I’m not so sure. I have doubts. I don’t know enough about it and although I have a choice, it comes with a price: do it and you can participate in my society, or don’t and you will be excluded.

I asked my nurse if she knew the longterm risks of the treatment on people with kidney transplants, and she folded her arms and said, No.

For me, this situation is more complicated than getting a compromised kidney.

In Luke 18:8b, Jesus asks if He will find faith when He returns to this earth. Faith is depending fully on Him, it’s you alone with God. It is following one’s own conscience and trusting Him no matter what. It is not trusting in an income, a doctor or pharmacy, or a third-party handout when faced with persecution. More importantly, it is a personal decision with consequences.

I want to reiterate that we always have a choice no matter what. Will we choose the right master? Will we hold onto our faith until Jesus arrives? Or will fear and little faith cause us to compromise on what we believe?

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ (Matthew 4:8-10)

Do Not Sell Your Birthright-Part 3

13 Sep

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,” Luke 4:18

Esau willingly sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. He said, “Look, I am a about to die”… “What good is the birthright to me?” Genesis 25:32

Let’s look again at the significance of a birthright.

It is a responsibility. Once the father passes, the first born son assumes responsibility for the entire household. Not only is he expected to take care of his widowed mother, but he is to care for the women until they are married. Running a household takes sacrifice and selflessness. There is the financial obligation: Bills, food and other necessities.

It is interesting that Jacob, on the other hand, desired such a responsibility. I often wondered what was so special about this deceiver, but now I understand. Jacob went after the birthright on his own. There was no deceit here. He simply made his desire known, and his Brother Esau could have said, “No way!”.

Jacob’s request reveals that he wanted to take care of his vulnerable family. He was a man of integrity. He wasn’t only thinking of himself.

However, when he deceived his father Isaac, he was compelled by his mother. Back then, obeying one’s parents was paramount. Also, let’s remember that when she felt the unborn babies struggling in her womb, God told Rebecca,

The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” Genesis 25:23

Isaac was about to die, so Rebecca thought she needed to act fast. Some might say she decided to help God, others, on the other hand, could argue that she simply had faith to carry out such a plan.

Now let us try to apply the above to what is happening right now.

First of all, a recent exchange with a very close friend inspired me to write a part three to “Don’t sell your birthright” immediately. This morning she woke up and heard the phrase , “Jesus is very angry with the Church of Laodicea…”, repeatedly. My friend had never heard of Laodicea. She asked her husband who told her it was a church mentioned in Revelation.

4 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14-16

The church of Laodicea is a lazy church. It may be busy, but not doing what is required. It blends in with its surroundings when it should stand up and stand out. It also follows the wrong leader.

As soon as my friend shared the above experience with me, I remembered my desperate prayers for those people who are suffering all around the world because of various distressing circumstances.

These people are being ignored because they are expected to go against their liberty of conscience. Others have lost loved ones, are in poverty, or are suffering because of physical ailments that are being ignored or downplayed.

Where are the pastors? Where are the evangelists? What is God’s Church doing to help this group? Who is willing to take up responsibility for this household, for this birthright? Perhaps we, the common people must help them and follow the example of Jesus:

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:35-38

We have a vulnerable group of people who are being harassed. Many of them do not know Jesus, but they need help and hope. Yet, we are busy living our lives because we aren’t affected.

This has been on my heart! The harvest is plentiful. If we are too afraid to stand up for the cause of the needy and vulnerable, let us, at least, pray for workers to help them.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8,9

“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.” Psalm 41:1

Let us seek God for His will. May we pray for courage to do it when we find out what it is. And finally, I want to remind us that those who are deceived, do not know that they are. The bible says that if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. (Matthew 24:24)

“I will follow Thee, my Savior,
Wheresoe’er my lot may be;
Where Thou goest I will follow,
Yes, my Lord, I’ll follow Thee.” (1st verse from hymn by Steve Darmody)

God’s way is never the popular way.

Depending solely on God

4 Sep

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Most of us have some kind of security. We’re either working, receiving help from the government or family and friends. But imagine not having any kind of support at all. How would we handle this?

Years ago I read a book about a pastor who felt moved to go into the ministry of casting out demons. He wasn’t supported by any large church organization, he had no income. My admiration about his story wasn’t so much about the ministry, but about how God used people to supply his needs.

If his girls needed clothes, a basket of clothing would be found on the front porch; food came from those he helped. Sometimes his family would have to wait and hold on to their faith. I remember thinking, “I’d love to experience living like that. Fully dependent on God!”

The bible says there will come a time when we will have to solely depend on our God. But if we want to eat and support our families with no hassle, we’ll have to compromise on what we believe.

Though many are right now adamant that they will never yield to such pressure, time will show it is easier said than done.

This reminds me of the apostle Peter. He told Jesus he would never ever deny Him. In fact, he said he would die if necessary, but we know the story; he caved out of fear of imprisonment and possible death.

I am not saying that our present situation is that dreaded time, however, many feel forced to do something they don’t feel entirely comfortable about. Is it okay to compromise? Is it worth being let go of a job? This is up to each of us.

All I know is that the time is coming when the only One we will have to depend on is our Creator. Just like Elijah, we will have to trust God for everything.

When we are at our weakest with no power of our own, will we be brave and trust God, or will we give in? When we have nothing, will we lean on His strength or on others?

But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:33

We are individuals, born with one power and that is choice. I want to emphasize that no matter the consequences we are faced with, we can always exercise that choice. It’s up to us.

Standing Alone Before God

4 Sep

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8,9

One of the many confusing elements about Christianity is how divided we seem to be. Within our religion we have many denominations and even within them there are further divisions. This has puzzled unbelievers preventing many to take us seriously.

Yet Jesus prayed specifically for unity among believers so that the ‘world’ would believe:

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17 20,21

This does not mean that everyone who calls themselves Christian will be united in Christ, only that remnant of believers who stand for the principles of their Creator. See Matthew 7:21

It is easy to stand strong with a large group, but how hard it is to stand alone! In these last days, the believer will feel like Elijah:

He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:2

But God reminded Elijah that he wasn’t the only one. During these times many are feeling like they are alone but many share their sentiments.

Standing alone is not easy, yet, this is going to be our experience in the last days. We will have to choose God in difficult circumstances and let our conscience be our guide. Jesus Said:

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-la)36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Matthew 10:34-36

Isn’t this happening now? Yes. I just read an article about a mother and father who went to court over inoculating their child in Quebec. This is not an isolated incident. The entire world seems to be polarized.

As our opening verse suggests, this is the time to be sober minded and alert. This is the time to resist the enemy and stand firm in our faith. We can no longer stand firm in a group. It’s time to think, reason and follow our own conscience before God.

It does not matter what our church think the seal of God is, if we don’t have the faith to stand alone in whatever we believe, we will be in trouble.

These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. Revelation 14:4

Therefore, let us follow Jesus wherever he leads us. Let us be like brave Peter who obeyed and went to Cornelius despite the teachings of his church. (See Acts 10) Stand firm and follow The Lamb.

Overcomer

22 Jul

Have you ever had a high only to fall flat a day or two later? One day you’re exercising, eating well, being productive, then come the days when you binge on TV, junk food and you just can’t get off the bed or couch. Yes, it’s such a pain to kick a bad habit that is destroying you inside out. Many may say, “Oh, that’s a sign of depression”, or, “what’s wrong with having down days? But If it bothers you, why not make an effort to change?

We do have good intentions. The worse of us wish we could overcome ourselves, but we end up being slaves to our bodies; we end up being enslaved to our minds due to memories and feelings.

When this happens, what do we tend to do? Seek justification from those around us. Yes. If enough people agree with our behaviours, then we will feel better. Our conscience would be quieted. There would be peace in the mind, the body and soul.

Being part of a group brings comfort. Furthermore, if laws support you, well, you’re set. Not only do you have peace, but you’re a law abiding citizen.

However, what we really did was say “YES” to our feelings. We gave them power over our minds and reasoning. We quieted our conscience.

Many of us also allow others to think for us because it’s the easier thing to do. Why did God create humans with brains if not to think and reason? When we begin to think we make better choices for ourselves and our families. However some of these choices come with consequences that are hard to bear. They call for faith and discipline.

There are quite a few verses in the Bible that encourage us to discipline ourselves:

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 RSV

Jesus also said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. Matthew 16:34

knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; Romans 6:6

See also Galatians 5:24 and Ephesians 4:22.

Athletes, musicians, doctors, etcétéra, must make the choice to exercise discipline if they are to master their fields. How much more should we? If we are to inherit eternal life, we must overcome the flesh with its passions and desires and submit to God. Submitting to God will require us to go against the current of this world.

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21

Our Creator isn’t an ordinary being. He is infinitely higher that the most important person on this earth. So then, let us study the book that speaks of Him so that we may learn His ways and follow Him no matter what comes our way.

The Jab

30 Jan

Writing about spiritual things isn’t a light matter. I’d love to upload posts more often than I do, however, they often end up as drafts. I am very careful about what I share as I feel humble dealing with anything pertaining to God.

Take the topic about unity for instance; once I started writing and researching, I no longer felt moved to share it. I now understand that true unity is something that only Jesus can do, any other artificial way is destined for ruin. Whether we accept it or not, where there is Freedom of thought, there will always be differences. Freedom, therefore, is the enemy to those who wish to forge unity.

What I really want to share is this fear of the vaccine. I know that I am treading on dangerous ground, but I have been reading and hearing views from both sides, and I’ve finally found peace. My question is, as believers in Jesus, which stance should we take?

Is the vaccine powerful enough to separate me from Jesus?

No.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38,39)

Who should we fear?

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. ( Luke 12:5)

I read “In God’s Underground” by Richard Wurmbrandt. It was a faith-filled book about a believer who dedicated his life to sharing Christ in a communist prison. One amazing account was that he suffered greatly due to perforated lungs caused by the horrible conditions he was subjected to. The doctors did not expect him to live, but, he survived the entire ordeal and lived to ninety-one.

When you are walking with The Lord your God, your life is in his hands. He will do miraculous things through you.

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”(Luke 16:17,18)

Should I focus on what I fear, or on What I was called to do?

Even though the disciples were threatened with imprisonments and death, they chose to obey God rather than the laws of man. They placed their lives in danger for the sake of the gospel.

God has put leaders in place to govern us. He does expect us to follow rules. However, the time will come when we will have to follow God instead of man. Daniel did it. The disciples did it. Even Jesus did it. When God’s holy spirit falls on you to go and share the gospel, what will you say? I cannot travel because I don’t trust the vaccine? Or I cannot because we’re not allowed to proselytize? Taking the vaccine is not the issue; following Jesus is. Have faith. I encourage all of us to seek a closer walk with God, so that we can all hear his voice and do confidently what he wants us to do. Courage.