Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Standing at the Crossroads of Life

Nobody wants to be found standing in any crossroads. It is a place that many seem to detest. Why? Basically, crossroads represents choices that many are difficult to do in any situation. Most of the time, if not all the time, they would rather have someone choose for them or if they can help it, avoid making at all. However, it is not the case. One way or another, we will find ourselves standing in it in seeking the greater things ahead. William James, an American philosopher said, “When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.” In addition, we must never forget that Jesus also stood at this crossroad of decision twice and made the right decision twice for our sake (Matthew 4:1-11, when tempted by Satan during His forty days fasting and Matthew 26:36-45, at the Garden of Gethsemane).

In my personal observation, one thing is certain, i.e., crossroads of life can produce the best decision anybody can make especially when God-factor is involved. Unfortunately, there are also decisions that cause many disastrous consequences. No one can ever predict what will happen next except to make it anyway. But one thing is clearly illustrated by the apostle Paul that will make the difference is by choosing to stand on the supernatural perspective when we make any decision, in this spiritual truth I can truly attest: Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:12,14 ESV)

It is worthwhile to note that the greater things can also be relative based on the person involved: a piece of bread to a hungry child is a greater thing; a family reunited after many years of separation is a greater thing; a fiesta to some family is another greater thing; and there are other settings that can be considered great things also. Most importantly, to a genuine believer of Jesus that stands on the supernatural perspective, these are some of the things that can be considered greater things: to become a recipient of salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross of Calvary; a direct beneficiary of God’s forgiveness; and a witness of God’s miraculous healing.

Interestingly, this is a year that can be considered a crossroad for all of us to receive the greater things we all desire. The nagging question for many can be this: how can we be guaranteed to receive the greater things in 2014? Allow me to provide you with some principles to align ourselves properly to make the right choices and to become a recipient of the greater things of 2014: First, attain to discern carefully the right choices and to have an expectant heart for the greater things to come even at the worst of times. Romans 8:28 gave us an idea of how God operates in this matter: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Simply put, don’t prejudged things based on personal assessment until God says so. Secondly, go past beyond the circumstance that causes delays and look ahead to what’s more important, i.e., what God is up to with the situation at hand. Lastly, prepare to become a ready vessel for the greater things that are coming as 2 Timothy 2:21 stated, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”

I believe that the words of Eleanor Roosevelt rings very true in regards to this matter: “One's philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

What’s Ahead for 2014…

The past year was filled with many varied circumstances that may or may not be expected again in 2014. However, one thing is clear, what God has started in our lives will never be affected no matter what the situation. The Scripture is clear that new things from God comes every morning, as stated in Lamentation 3:22 “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Thus keep in mind that God’s new things are daily not annually and this is what makes our Christian life exciting, as years come and go.

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With God on our side, we can be assured that our journey will be filled with guaranteed success and overwhelming victory. But the key to attaining this status is to be consistently observing with God’s view on the horizon. I believe that He intends to release many answers to His promises that we all hold onto. Never let go of this thought even when things around us are rough and tough. Keep moving ahead towards the greater things of God.

I firmly believe that 2014 bears many important milestones for every God’s people, including JRAM churches and congregations, that are on the verge of fulfillment. The apostle James provided specific instructions, as to how to live our life with this confidence: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).

What should we do to ensure that 2014 would be fortified to become an exciting year? Then, let’s take heed to what the book of Proverbs says: “Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” (Proverbs 16:3-4). Decide to do this as the first act and priority of every believer in Christ. Most importantly, God honors those that honor Him. Therefore, let us aim to honor God in 2014 and He will honor all our work, labor, and everything that concerns us. I’m excited, are you?! that concerns us. I’m excited, are you?