Friday, July 22, 2011

God's Glory

What Does It Mean to Serve God? by John Piper

The difference is that God has told us not to serve him as though he needed anything..
“He is not served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25).
“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

God is seen as glorious when all our serving is moment-by-moment receiving from God’s supply.
We receive this supply by faith. That is, we trust moment-by-moment that what we need, in serving him, he will supply (“life, breath, and everything”). This is the opposite of being anxious. Such serving is happy. And it makes God look no less authoritative, but infinitely more desirable. This is the glory he means to have. The giver gets the glory.

I enjoyed this post about Serving God and his Glory. Life is a beautiful gift and He enjoys giving it to us if we trust His gift and we can thank him by living it. I can enjoy every moment in His presence, because He has always has taken care of us -whether we asked for it or not. He shows us the purpose and if we pay attention, we will know what it is. I can understand this because, think about it, this is why people enjoy volunteering and doing charity work. It makes us feel good knowing that we can help others when they can't help themselves. When we see that they are successful because we helped them get started, it makes us proud but at the same time we don't want to ask for credit for it. The only way they can thank us is to use our gift and do the same for others. Why do you think there are so many poor people in this world, they are here for a reason, we can help them for God's glory.

I also read this blog about this woman's conversation with God. She talks about how God was trying to ask her this question - "Why do you love Me?" and she responded " I love you because of all the things you've done for us and thank you for all the gifts you have given us." She could feel God ask her again "But why do you love ME?" Do you love God for God's sake and for who He is?      or for what He has done for us?

That was a great question. I thought about it myself. I love God because not only because of all the things He has done for me. I love for what He represents. There's no better feelings than feeling love, trust, pure happiness, confidence, satisfied, generous, forgiving, etc. I want to live in a world like that. That's why this Bible verse is my favorite "Turn from evil, do good. Seek peace and pursue it" (34:14). Peace is where I want to be and follow, because that's where God's glory is.

Isn't she beautiful? Peaceful? I just love her picture.  She's a good friend of mine and she has the most beautiful and radiant soul. There are a few out there that are like that. I'm very blessed to know them. My husband is definitely one of them, he has God's forgiving quality. My mom has the unconditional love. We are His children and I love seeing God's qualities in everyone I meet and it touches me.

As you can see, she's about 8 or 9 months pregnant in the photo. She has an adorable baby and she's a wonderful mother to him. I have another friend who is also a wonderful mother to her daughter, she works so hard and expects nothing in return. I read a blog about motherhood and how it's not a "job" it's a calling.

It's very interesting and very true. I do believe that it's the children that teach us what life is about. Children teaches us sacrifices, just like Jesus sacrificed His life for us. We would do the same for our children. Children teaches us unconditional love just like God has unconditional love for us.  Having children gives us an "idea" of what kind of love that God has for us. So if we love our children this much, can you imagine how much He loves US?

Check out this cute story...

“Ossie and I have made arrangements (for after our death). Cremation after a public ceremony, and then, into the urn. A special urn, large enough and comfortable enough to hold both our ashes. Whoever goes first will wait inside for the other. When we are reunited at last, we want the family to say good-bye and seal the urn forever. Then on the side, in letters not too bold—but not too modest either—we want the following inscription:

Psychiatrist Thomas Hora defines this profound truth for us: “The love of being loving is the desire to manifest or reflect the goodness of God unconditionally and non-personally.” We are not here to ruin ourselves but to love the way God loves (John 13:34), without desire for reward or regard for person. We are all images and likenesses of Love, and are in this thing called love as one, like ashes in an urn.
Excitement is such fun, and such misery. Learning to love is so hard. The love of being loving—being God-like—brings peace and assurance. Why is it that we look for excitement first?  (Michael Leach)

Enjoy today. Think about all the beautiful things you have and...... stay in that moment.

Monday, July 4, 2011

You learn things over time...

Today, I was driving back home from Upstate --visiting my family. During the time I was driving, I realized how time is very important and how we manage our time on Earth.

First, I want to start with this--Gil and I saw two cars in Myrtle Beach each car had a Bible verse. One car had "Psalm 3" and the other car had "Act 1". I told myself to look it up when I get home but didn't get around to it so on the way home today, I wanted to look it up and I loved what I found. 

I knew it wasn't a coincidence that I saw these Bible verses because that was God's way of communicating with me. He has taught me a lesson today and it took me a while to get it. I have been resenting a couple of people that I know and I have already forgave them but I still felt there was something missing. Then I realized that I was supposed to forgive myself too. Sometimes when I get mad or get annoyed with something, I have a habit of letting that person get the best of me and then I regret for letting that happen. Because over time, I would get over it. There's no reason to complain about it when it's going to go away later. So I know I can't take back the words that have already been said but I can forgive myself and move on. 

It's actually easier to forgive others than ourselves. We try very hard not to fall into our weakness and when we do, it makes me feel defeated. Then God reminded me that we are never defeated with Jesus Christ in our hearts. That's when I became so happy and free---I forgave myself. What a difference it makes!!! I stopped wasting time and start making plans. Then God also reminded me that I am going to be tempted again and how important it is to keep making time for God to keep us from sinning again.

So Psalms 3 talks about David's son Absalom, led a rebellion against David, forcing the king to flee from Jerusalem. 

I liked what the last verse said (Psalm 3:8) 

Salvation belongs to the Lord: your blessing be on your people! 

It is the Lord's decision and not of the enemies to make us feel ashamed or punish us for what we did. We should only care about what the Lord thinks of us. We should be wishing well even for the people who opposes us and bless them anyway. 

I take mistakes very personally because I want to honor Jesus for saving our souls. God sent his Jesus so we could be with Him. It's a precious and loving gift from God and the last thing I want to do is to let Him down. So when I make a mistake sometimes I feel like I am not worthy of anybody's forgiveness, including myself. But, then I have to remember that God made us who He designed us to be and gave His son to save us. For that, I will be forever grateful for Him.

Over the weekend, we were all talking about our families and how hard it is to get along with them and even with our friends too. We love and care about them but it's hard to keep peace if someone is so negative and bitter. One of my dad's cousins said this - "Who knows, there may not be a tomorrow, why waste the whole day feeling miserable with regrets"  and after she said that, a lightbulb went off in my head. I have heard this before but this time it had more meaning to me. It is important to use our time to connect with God and mediate with Him so we won't have regrets and just enjoy the day and life. God will guide us and tell us what we need to do in our life to remain in peace and harmony. He doesn't always answer questions right away, it is important to give Him time. I remember Lon Solomon talked about God's timing and that it's always perfect and that we should trust him guide us in the right direction- when he wants us to.

It was one of the best weekends ever, I was surrounded by family who maintained a positive environment and everyone was so honest with each other. It was so wonderful and refreshing. 

I also learned that cousin - is my Grandma's Goddaughter. And she has the same name as my Grandma too - Philomena. I have never met my Grandma Philomena since she died before I was born and I have always wanted to get to know more about her. I learned new things about her this weekend and it meant the world to me. I guess over time , I would get to know my Grandma in many different ways. 

In Act 1:7 it says...

He said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Time will teach us a lesson, time will force us to depend on God for the uncertainties and live our life to the fullest.