For Nick

I would not work my soul to save, 

For that my Lord hath done;

But I would work like any slave,

For love of God’s dear Son. 

-Author unknown

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Thank you Nick, for living this out and being an example to me. 🙂

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Penance for Sin

Would you insult the Almighty by offering Him the fruits of this frail body to atone for sin?

Supposing your queen were to send me a magnificent present, and I said to the royal messenger: “I certainly should not like to accept this from Her Majesty without giving her something in return.” Suppose I should send her a penny! How would the queen feel, if I were to insult her in that way? And what have we that we can offer to God in return for His free gift of salvation? Less than nothing. We must come and take salvation in God’s way.

“If you come to God as a beggar, you go away as a prince.”

If I work for a gift or attempt to give money for it, it ceases to be a gift. The only way to get a gift is to take it as a gift.

(Excerpts from God’s Abundant Grace by D.L Moody)

When Words Fail

My heart broke at the sight of her shaven head. Where beautiful black hair was once her feminine adornment, a simple black hat now covered her head.

Lord, what just do I say?

Words are so feeble.

Just what do I say to bring comfort or hope, without sounding hypocritical or clueless about her suffering and pain?

I’m afraid of throwing spiritual clichés at her.

God, help.

What do you say to a woman who has just been sexually abused by her own father?

God, what???

I sometimes forget that you grieve and hurt more over the abuse and pain inflicted on your children than the victims or I do.

Had I remembered your tears at Bethany then maybe I would have understood.

God, help.

You have shown me hope and purpose even through this illness and heartbreak, how do I share this hope and life and peace You have given me?

You’ve got to help me.

For those who have suffered so much more than I have.

Lost a spouse.

Undergoing chemotherapy.

Losing a breast because of the ugly, ravaging disease called cancer.

Raising a child with special needs.

I am inadequate for I have not suffered in such a magnitude.

Your road to Calvary Lord, has to be the answer.

Lord, please.

Please be the answer to them today.

Christmas Has Never Been About Us

We just returned from a trip to New World Supermarket for some grocery shopping here in New Zealand. Crowded with many harried shoppers who were doing last minute shopping on a Christmas Eve, it was a picture of how festivity and commercialism has taken precedence over the true meaning of Christmas.

Back home in Malaysia, a friend from church grieves the death of his father who had passed away two days ago. While friends are posting pictures or hot mugs of cocoa by a Christmas tree, bags and bags of Christmas shopping and parties with family and friends, he, together with his loved ones, will be sending off his father on his final journey today.

Another good friend heads off to the very interiors of Indonesia during this season to reach a group of villagers who have yet heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Traveling for hours by car, boat and foot, he will now spend Christmas there in an attempt to connect with this unreached group in the very interiors of Indonesia. He reminds me of Christ, who came to do the work of His Father. It was never about Himself, but the will of God who sent Him.

While we enjoy the company of family and friends during this season, let us not forget those who may be alone this Christmas. Perhaps, it would be the first Christmas for a widow without her husband, the first Christmas for a missionary away from home or maybe, several Christmases where one has persevered through with unanswered prayers for healing, reconciliation or breakthroughs in their work and family life.

Let us not forget that Christmas was never about us. It’s all about Him – the little baby boy who was born in a stable instead of a royal palace, laid in a manger instead of a crib lined with satin.

How do you intend to share Christ’s love with others today?

Longing for a Saviour
A hopeless world would wait,
Sin demanded justice
At a price we could not pay
But God displayed His mercy
The greatest gift of love
When we could not reach heaven
Heaven came to us

He made a way in a manger
A way to the cross
Messiah the Promised
Before time had begun;
For God so loved the world,
Though He knew what love would cost,
He made a way in a manger,
To make a way to the cross.

– Lee Black & Steve Merkel

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