Fruitfulness vs Faithfulness

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭25:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God does not measure our success on the number of our ministries or number of people lead to Jesus. God measures the success of our service in our faithfulness.

In Matthew 25, in the parable of talents, God did not applaud the two servants on their fruitfulness. Instead, God affirms them in their faithfulness. Sometimes, we get discouraged when we don’t see any fruits in our ministry and our mission – if that is the case, let us examine our hearts on the way we follow Jesus.

Weekend Worship: First Loved Me – Covenant Worship

One of my favourite verses about love in the Bible was found in 1 John 4:19.

“We love because He first love us”.

It is not from our own doing that we are able to love, but God demonstrated love by giving up His only begotten Son so that we could have life and to have it in full. And because of what Jesus did on the cross, I couldn’t think of any reason why I couldn’t fall in love with Him. Thank You, Jesus, for loving me that while yet I am still a sinner, you have died for me.

Confidence in Him

As I continue to seek God in this season of worship – God brought me to the word confidence. I was listening to the song Do It Again by Elevation Worship and suddenly, I am already meditating on the word Confidence.

I ask my soul, where does your confidence lie? Why are you confident with your God? And surely, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in five points why I can put my confidence in Him.

God is Faithful. Throughout the entirety of the Bible, we saw how God showed His faithfulness to His people. His love is new every morning and it doesn’t stop and will never ever stop.

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

We might try to think that when we make mistakes, His love and faithfulness for us will cease. And we know for a fact that is not true – because He will continue to love us.

God does not change. We can have confidence in His faithfulness and in His love because God is God – He does not change.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

The God that created the world can start creating something new in our life. He is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end. We just have to hand Him the messy things of our life and He can end those stuff and He will create something new in our life.

God’s Word will always come to pass. Whenever there is something not good in my life, I like to meditate Psalm 19:7 ” The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul, the statutes of the Lord are trustworthy”. We will see countless scriptures providing proof that God is not a man that when He says a word, it will not come to pass.  These verses are so good to meditate on why we can be confident about God’s promises to us:

11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

Isn’t our God is amazing – whatever He has called us forth, it shall come to pass. If God promises us that He will provide our daily bread, it shall be done. If God promises us that He will provide comfort, it shall be done. Not one promise of God will come to void. Therefore, we can place confidence in His words.

God’s grace is sufficient for us. Sometimes, when our life is bright and full, we tend to overlook God’s grace. We only seemed to remember His grace when we are feeling low and blue. But God’s grace is always there for us – though we are not worthy, God still gives Himself to us and that is the very definition of grace. I prayed that I will continue to depend on His grace for indeed, whether I am full or in need, His grace is sufficient for me.

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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

No one can snatch me out of His hand. Isn’t that a wonderful promise? With this promise handy to me, I can always be confident with my God, with my relationship to Him. He will not let anyone snatch me out of His hand. Oh, how lovely is my Lord. I love you, Jesus.

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:28)

And you know what, God does not only promised us that no one can snatch us out of His hand. Jesus promises us that He will give us eternal life and we will not perish to those who will receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. You are an awesome Lord.

Delight

Last Sunday, our pastor shared to us that God told her that she is in to be a season of worship, of singing songs and continue dwelling in His presence. She asked the congregation to join her in this season especially this harvest season. It is true that at most times that we are so caught up with our ministries, planning for church activities, doing God’s work and often than not, we forgot to dwell more in God’s presence.

In today’s meditation, God gave me the word ”Delight” from Psalm 37:4.

Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. (ESV)

This is one of my favourite verses in the Bible, but truth be told, sometimes too much familiarity breeds complacency. More often, I focused only on the second part, that He will give me the desires of my heart. I always seemed to fall short of the actual delighting in Him. To delight in Him is to make God our utmost delight and pleasure in our life regardless of the circumstances. Many times, we feel the pleasure in our life when we are in plenty or we have a new blessing or when we are newly promoted. I often asked myself whether I still take pleasure in God in other seasons of my life?

While I was reading the whole chapter of Psalm 37, God brought me to four ways to delight in Him:

Trust Him (Psalm 37:3). Last week, God spoke to me about surrender – trusting God means total surrender. We don’t just surrender the good parts of us, we also surrender the bad parts of us. I am still a work-in-progress. Every day, I lift up the things and emotions that I couldn’t control.  To trust in God is to fix our heart on the promises of God for the one that promised is Faithful (Hebrews 10:23).

Commit your way to the Lord is me giving God the right to direct my life (Psalm 37:5). The issue with me is that many times, I struggle and think of ways to solve a problem. Then I will thank the Lord for wisdom. I got it all wrong. God doesn’t want me to struggle, He wants me to surrender everything, even the ideas, solutions to any problem and not to lean on my own understanding. Sometimes when the problem comes, we started to rattle our mind and think of how to do this and that. We rely on our own strength, our own understanding and when we think of a solution, we present it to God. And when it doesn’t work, we asked God why? I am learning this lesson the hard way, to be honest.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 34:7). Quiet your heart, your fight-or-flight stimuli, your brain, your soul in His presence and pray. How do I do this? I meditate on His word. I meditate on the phrases and keep repeating it until my heart and my mind calmed down. These are some of the phrases I meditate upon on – ” You are my Shepherd”, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”, “His grace is sufficient for me”.

Keep hope alive as long for God to come through you (Psalm 34:7 TPT). Keeping hope alive is fixing our eyes to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, holding fast on our confession of hope without wavering because the one who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). Surely, the hope put to Jesus will never be put to shame.

Surrender

Last Sunday, we have the privilege in our church to be ushered into God’s wonderful presence by JPCC (Jakarta Praise Community Church) Worship Team led by Pastor Sidney Mohede. Some of JPCC’s songs are instruments in my personal walk with God and have been my anthem in one of the seasons of my life – songs like More than Enough and Jesus It Is You.

Then they have included in last Sunday’s song list is the song Surrender from their newest album Made Alive.

While singing the song, the Lord spoke to me: “Child, surrender to me”.

And I answered, “Lord, you know I have surrendered my life to you”.

And He said again, “Surrender”.

Then I cried. The Holy Spirit revealed to me what God is asking me to surrender.

Then I said, “Lord, I surrender to you my fears, my anxieties, my insecurities and my doubts”.

And when I said that prayer, God has poured out the peace that transcends beyond my understanding came upon me just as what is written in Philippians.

7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

And when Pastor Sidney Mohede started his exhortation, I got confirmation on what the Lord spoke of me. It’s not just my life that he wanted, He just doesn’t want the good parts of me – God is interested in all of me and that includes my emotions, my thoughts and all my cares.

He ended up his exhortation with this:

Growing closer to God is not the result of trying harder but the result of surrendering more.

As a result, each day I surrender to God the good and the bad things in my life and I let my faithful God steer the wheel of my life. Because where would I be if not for His infinite grace and love.

Here’s the official video of JPCC Worship:

 

Update: I am following one blog site here in WordPress and have written a beautiful description of surrender – to surrender is brave.

Does God Care?

Does your mind ever doubt if God really cares for you? Are there any circumstances that you don’t understand why it had to happen?

I had a couple of rejections two weeks back and somehow, those circumstances left me in puzzled why that has to occur. I actually ask God,

“Lord do you know the implication of that?”.

Of course, God knows. That is why He brought me to the verse that He is my creator and He cares for me.

As cliche as it may seem, God cares for me. I know that God cares, from the depths of my inmost being, I know that whatever circumstances I am right now, God does care for me as what He said in Isaiah 44.

I have been nursing my broken heart for the past week, but God never left my side. He kept on reminding me, that I may have these rejections over rejections, but God is for me. He will never reject me when I call on for His help (Isaiah 58:9). When I call, He will answer me, “Here I Am”.

If God is my creator, He knew what I needed today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

God cares for my feelings. When I felt sad, He comforted me. When I felt broken, He made me feel whole because I am whole in His care and love. When I am happy, He is happy for me.

God cares for what I need. He is my Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide. He will give each day my daily needs. He is my Great Shepherd.

God cares for my loved ones. He said in the scripture that “If I believed, my family shall be saved”. He is my salvation, therefore, He is my family’s salvation too.

God cares when I am sick. He died on the cross so that I can be healed.

God cares when my faith is weak. He is my strong tower, my refuge so even if my faith falters, He will strengthen my heart to have faith again, to persevere again. And when we are weak, He is strong, His grace is sufficient for us. (2 Cor 12:9-11). God’s grace and love are new every morning, His faithfulness never ends.

When my mind cannot fully understand why some things I did not perceive happened to me, I trust that God is my Creator and He knew my needs and He cares for me. God wants to help me in ways I might not be able to comprehend. But I know that My God is for me and that He will never leave me nor forsake me.

 

 

Weekend Worship: Who You Say I Am

Sometimes, our identity in life is defined by our past mistakes. Other times, it is defined by our current circumstances.

If trials come, we call ourselves the “afflicted one”.

In a career setback, we call ourselves the “jobless one”.

When our health reports came unexpected, we call ourselves the”sickly one”.

When the desire for a child came later than expected, we call ourselves “the barren one”.

Dwelling in our circumstances takes our eyes off to who we really are. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to be called the “afflicted”, the “jobless”, the “sickly”, the “barren”. Jesus came for us so that in Him we can be called the “Child of God”. He came so that even though we may suffer afflictions, setbacks, sickness and barrenness so that we may have life despite all of these things. Jesus came so that we can have an identity in Him.

We are chosen.

We may experience affliction, but we will never be abandoned, never forsaken.

Jesus is for us. And because of this truth, we can put our identity into practice. Our faith in Jesus is secured. We are who God says in the Bible because of what Jesus did at the cross.

Blessed Sunday everyone.