Soli Deo Gloria! For the Glory of God Alone

Posted in Christian Life, God, Religion, Theology, Thought of the day on 12/25/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

One of central issues during reformation was the self-aggrandized and improper exultation of worship that was focused on men (saints) rather than the true God. In order to reclaimed the scriptural truth of the sovereignty of God, the reformers, Martin Luther particularly, were viciously engaged with a theological debate and battle with a corrupt, intertwined political and religious system of the time. However, the reformation was not primarily an “overreaction” to the religious system that twisted the understanding of salvation. The primary concern was truth! Truths about God, His saving plan, the gospel and God’s glory.

Truth matters!

As the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” Soli Deo Gloria, the Latin term for Glory to God alone clearly shows that God alone is worthy of our worship. God own the supreme power and authority and there is no one greater or important than He. Therefore, He alone is worthy of glory and honor, and praise.

If God is greater, supreme, and important than anyone or anything, He must get ALL the glory! In Isaiah 42:8, the scripture says, “I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images..”  And Isaiah in 48:11 also says “…And I will not give My glory to another.” If our main purpose in this life is not about God’s glory, then God is not for us. God is jealous and stealing His glory or sharing His glory costs!

Why we give Him all the glory? The answer is simple, we were created by Him, and we were created for Him. The apostle Paul in Romans 11: 36 says, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” As humans make cars for the purpose of transportation, God created us to for His glory. And this is why the New Testament again and again calls us to do all to the glory of God. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). But what does it mean we are created for His glory? Does God created us (imperfect beings) to increase His perfect glory? Not at all! One of my favorites Pastor, Pastor John Piper answer this question in this way, “Now when God says that He created us for His glory, it cannot mean that He created us so that He would become more glorious, that His beauty and perfection would be somehow increased by us. It is unthinkable that God should become more perfectly God by making something that is not God. It is a staggering but necessary thought that God has always existed, that He never came into being, and that everything which exists which is not God is from His fullness and can never add anything to Him which did not come from Him. That is what it means to be God; and it should humble us, O, how it should humble us, when we ponder His reality!” 1

Living for the glory of God: A concept that is easy to grasp yet difficult to put into practice

Why it is difficult? As human beings, we have this desire to put ourselves in the center before others. Often times our focus centers around ourselves. We strongly believe we deserve everything. However, living for the glory of God means it is not about you anymore. God’s priority in your life is to receive all the honor, all the praise, and all the glory. This doesn’t mean that God has an ego issue. Not at all! But we do!

Remember what John the Baptist said about Jesus?  Read John 3:30 – “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Why?  Because … it’s all about HIM … NOT about you or me. To live for His glory you must fully surrender to God.

“God is MOST glorified in us when we are MOST satisfied in Him” said Pastor John Piper. When our highest desire is for His glory, we surely satisfied. The end of every man’s living should be to know God and to glorify Him alone. When your ultimate purpose in life is to please Him, to glorify Him, and to enjoy Him (1 Cor. 10: 31) life make sense and there is no greater joy and privilege than to glorify God.

Eyob B Kassa

December 25, 2011

1 John Piper, Pastor, July 27, 1980 (Morning) Bethlehem Baptist Church GOD CREATED US FOR HIS GLORY(Isaiah 43:1-7) www.soundofgrace.com/piper80/072780m.htm Cached – Similar

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My thoughts for today: The road to SIN starts in YOUR MIND…!

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Thought of the day on 11/29/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

The horrifying death of Christ on the cross demonstrates the righteousness of God; it reveals the horrible nature and reality of our sinfulness, and the glorious God who refuses to settle for anything less other than being glorious through His son’s terrible death.

But the question is, if God takes His glory so serious, shouldn’t we?

Sin may look desirable at first, test good at first but no matter who much we fantasize it, how pleasurable it be, it drags us down, brings us shame and finally death.

Sin must be defined according to God’s view and must be seen through God’s eyes. Sin is not doing something wrong, it is not! Sin is an attack on the infinite worth of God’s glory. And God takes sin seriously!

Sin must be seen as your enemy not a friend. You cannot take sin lightly because our sin cost God the death of his only begotten Son.

God is not a passive observer when you sinned. When we sin God grieves. Because He loves you so much He wants you to hate sin but follow righteousness.

Today, avoid those sinful cravings by live according to the Spirit. Romans 8:5, says “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit Desires.”

Avoid situations, connections, or any attractions that may lead you to making a sinful act. Remember Joseph? He did not only refuse to sin but also run away from it.

Stop playing around sin/temptation like Samson did. Some associations or relations may look harmless but they are the simple step to disobedience. In other words, stop playing with fire. Eventually, either you get burned or you get someone burned.

Avoid being vulnerable. Remember, an empty mind is the devil’s playground.

Meditate on the word of God. As Pastor John Piper beautifully defined it, “The word “meditation” in Hebrew means basically to speak or to mutter. When this is done in the heart it is called musing or meditation. So meditating on the Word of God day and night means to speak to yourself the Word of God day and night and to speak to yourself about it.”

Sin is a “me-first”, and flesh-centered life style and attitude. You can only defeat sin by being governed and controlled by the Spirit. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:17). You need to deliberately put the word into your mind and set your mind on the “things of the Spirit.” But this is not a one time action. It must be diligently worked out each and every day.

Eyob B Kassa

November 29, 2011

DON’T LISTEN TO THE DEVIL

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Religion, Thought of the day on 10/07/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

Don’t listen to the Devil – he is a liar!

The devil is a master of deception, and he is also known as the accuser of brethren (Rev. 12:10). He wants you to pay for something that Jesus has already paid for. He is the father of lies; his goal is to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10). He loves to embarrassing you with your past sin, beat you down with guilt and shame of what you did, and he loves to show how gross your sin looks and how filthy you are. He tries to do this not to help you but destroy you. He is doing this to take your peace, to take your freedom and to dominate and rule your sound mind. But here is the good news, YOU ARE FORGIVEN! YOU ARE ACCEPTED! GOD in His mercy and grace gives you a new life, a new day, a new year, a new purpose and a new path. Don’t allow the devil to bind you up or beat you down with your past. God has a plan for their future and it is awesome.

Don’t listen to the Devil-he is a murderer!

Satan is known in the Scripture as the accuser, the slanderer, the father of lies, the murderer, the deceiver, and the adversary. There is no truth in him whatsoever. He hates truth and does all he can to create doubt upon it (read Gen 3:1). It is the devil who wants you to dwell in your failure and sins, not God. He (the devil) doesn’t want you to understand and acknowledge your God-given purpose in life. As a matter of fact he (the devil) specializes in planting doubt, fear, accusation, despair, intimidation, condemnation, shame, guilt, and regret in out hearts and minds. By doing that he to tries to keep us away from God as much as possible, to show you how much unworthy you are to receive his mercy, and to magnify your past sins and failures and says, “look, Your sin is too big for God to forgive and too much to forget.”

Don’t listen to the Devil – you are forgiven!

My friend, if you confess and repent your sins, no matter how bad they looks, no matter how great your sins, God will fully forgive all of your sins! He says, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds NO more” (Hebrews 10:17). And the scripture is also says, there is now “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1. You are now a NEW creation in Christ Jesus, and old things have passed away, and all things become NEW according to 2 Cor. 5:17. God doesn’t look at what you’ve done in the past, he already forgiven you. He doesn’t look back now on your sins or your failures with condemnation, and neither should you. God, your wise and loving Father, holds nothing more against you. God doesn’t want you to be constantly ashamed and regret of your past. God is more concerned about your future than your past. He wants to raise you up, so rise up!

Enjoy your freedom in Christ!

Today, tell the devil that you’ve already been accepted, forgiven and received a new heart and a new mind. Tell him that you are now a new person, a new creation, has a new purpose, peace and sound mind. Tell him you are not going to walk according to the flesh; you are not going to walk in anger, despair, resentment, impurity, bitterness, envy and fear NO MORE!!!

In Jesus Christ, in Him ALONE, you are justified freely Romans 3:24, you are forgiven of all your sins and washed in His Blood Eph 1:7; Heb 9:14; Col 1:14; I John 2:12, I John 1:9, you have passed from death into life John 5:24, you are God’s child for you are born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God which lives and abides forever I Peter 1:23, Jesus Christ is in you (John 14: 20), His peace is yours wholly John 14:27, you are no longer need to be a slave to sin, because God has given you His power in Christ to became a vessel to holiness and obedience Romans 6:6, you qualify to be given wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. I Cor. 1:30, you are a temple of God in which the Spirit of God dwells I Cor. 3:16; Ephesians 4:30, you are holy and blameless in God’s sight.  Eph. 1:4, you have been saved from your sins by grace through faith Eph. 2:8, you have been purified from your former sins and you are now a child of God 1 John 3:2! Amen!!!

My friend, a Christian life is a life of freedom, freedom from any guilt, shame and condemnation. Don’t listen to the devil. Don’t waste your time listening to his lies, because he is the father of lies according to John 8:44. Enjoy your freedom that you have in Christ. You are free, and “If the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8: 36).

Eyob B Kassa

October 6, 2011

Be Encouraged in the Lord

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Relationships, Religion, Theology, Thought of the day on 10/05/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

“David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” 1st Samuel 30:6

Sometimes in life, God doesn’t give you people; instead He gives you a challenge. You go through what you are going through, but you will grow. 

When things go wrong, when everything doesn’t make sense, when the unexpected hits and blows you like a tornado, when your situation gets worse and worse, when you are going through challenge after challenge, …etc what are you going to do at that moment? What do you hold on to? What keeps you sane? Positive? Determined? Peaceful? Joyful?  Etc etc.,

Life is not about surviving, but finding your path and most importantly yourself and your purpose.

A human heart is prone to trouble and the mind is easily discouraged, depressed, and stressed when confronted by a difficult and uncomfortable situation. At that moment our mindset got usually into a negative state, hope start breaking down, peace shuttered, and life start losing its balance, purpose and meaning.

Unless you redirect your focus and reframe your perception about yourself and your situation you will be discouraged and frustrated. At that moment what you are focusing on makes a huge difference. Where your focus is, so are you.

Consider the scenario!

While David and his men had been away from their camp, Amalekites, a longtime enemies of Israel, had swept in, burned everything, and taken the women, children and everything captive. When David and his men came back all that remained was heap of smoking ruins. Everything was gone! Everything was destroyed! It was a terrible loss. As we read in verse four, “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.” Some of the men also spoke of stoning him out of their distress over their families. And at that point, as the scripture says “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (verse 6b).

It is always easy to blame someone when tragedy took place. As someone said, “misrey loves company.” When we are on the edge of despair, we tend to blame on someone or something, and that was what these men did. David not only had to deal with his own personal loss (I Samuel 30:5,6a), but he also had to deal with six hundred angry, grief-stricken men.

Everything he had was taken and the rest was burning down. What a loss! But, how did he respond to his situation? Think about that for a moment. As he stood before his burning house what was going on through his mind? How did he handle it? Was there a choice for him at that moment? Of course! 

Friends, life’s circumstances can either make you bitter or better, it’s your choice. Your choice determines the outcome. In the midst of discouragement, David encouraged himself in the Lord. He chose not to be bitter, discouraged, and hopeless. Rather, he took courage and strengthened himself in the Lord His God. When you start looking your situation from a different perspective, when you start encouraging yourself in the Lord, and when you say “NO” to fear, tragedy, loss, disappointment, etc., you see the same situation more precisely and clearly.

Be realistic but keep your focus beyond your situation

Nothing has changed. David’s situation was terrible. Everything he had was gone. His situation looked beyond repair, beyond hope and beyond his strength. His situation was discouraging. He was also surrounded by angry warriors. David had more than a bad that day. The Amalekites had taken everything. But, there was one thing that the Amalekites could not destroy and could not take. There was one thing that they couldn’t stole: his faith in God. The scripture says, “he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” He didn’t turn to no one but God. His focus was on the Lord.

No matter what you are going through, no one can take your faith from you unless you surrender it. You have an option not to convinced otherwise. But does this mean we deny the reality? Faith is not denial. To deny circumstantial reality in order to maintain a positive faith confession is always has a bad result. But, faith acknowledges and recognizes. True faith courageously faces the reality of any circumstances, situations, problems, giants, mountains, etc., but chooses to see them contrasted to the power and greatness of God.

You cannot deny the reality and say I have faith. Biblical faith isn’t denying the reality, it is the ability to see beyond the reality. Faith is knowledge in action. It is an active trust and confidence NOT on anything but the Lord himself. The scripture commanded us to be strong only in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10). As the matter of fact, “He is the One who gives power and strength to his people.” (Psalm 68:35).

Focus on God’s Promise, Not Your Problems!

Whenever obstacles appear in your life, redirect your focus on God and His promises. When you focus on your problems you will be discouraged but when you focus on God you will be encouraged. In Hebrews 12:1-3 we are encouraged to keep our eyes on Jesus. Then we will not become weary and faint. Ephesians 6:10 urges us “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power”.  One of the best ways you can encourage yourself during a difficult time is remembering who your God is. If you keep on focusing on the situation you will be discouraged, intimidated, fearful, and finally defeated, but when you switch your perspective to God and His ability you will become strong, determined, powerful, and focused. When God is the only source of hope you have, you got all you need. It is not what you see matter but how you see. In a time of adversity, keep your focus on God not your problem because God will bring light out of darkness, peace out of trouble, and all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

Ziklag is not your final destination but it’s a place of transition

Discouragement is inevitable. Every now and then we collide with a difficult situation that test our strength and faith. Yes, Ziklag may be a place of desperation, tears, and pain but it is also a place of restoration, transition and preparation to get your victory. It is a place where you repositioning yourself to jump into another level. All the disappointments, failures, pain, and struggles you’ve experienced right now will equip you to fulfill your destiny. Ziklag is not a place of rejection but it is a place of transition. Your situation is not your destination. Ziklag is not your final place where you give up all your hope and dream. It must be a place of preparation. It should be a place where you reorganize yourself, your energy, and your thoughts and prepare yourself to go to the next level.

Discouragement doesn’t come from Lord but from the devil. And discouragement can also be a sign that we are walking by sight not by faith. But this doesn’t mean when you walk in faith you will not experience discouraging situations and conditions. There are seasons you experience discouragement, there are times you are facing countless obstacles, and there are levels of challenges that you will experience in this life. But as long as you fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of your faith…” Hebrews 12:2a no matter how much trouble you face, no matter how much you lost, no matter how bad your situation looks, God will restore you and He surely renew your strength.

No matter what you are going through you will never be placed in a situation God cannot handle. God isn’t at work producing the circumstances I want. God is at work in bad circumstances to produce the me he wants. John Ortberg

 Eyob B Kassa

September 30, 2011

 

Lord, teach us to pray

Posted in A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Religion, religon, Theology, Thought of the day on 07/18/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

Ever since our first son was born, my wife and I have always talking about having a family devotion each evening. We just knew the importance of teaching our child the Word of God and keep that tradition as much as we could consistently. Thank God we can keep that commitment till this day. However, keeping that “togetherness” before the Lord, and preparing simple, clear and exciting materials was my responsibility. But I tell you this; that was not easy. Teaching the word of God to little kids requires a different creative approach so that they understand the truth on their level of understanding.

I remember this incident one night for example…

“Settle down boys,” I said,

“We are going to talk to God.”

“Talking to God?” asked my youngest son, his little hazel eyes wide open.

“We are talking to God?” asked the oldest one.

“Yes we do.”

They were surprised, with a good reason of course! I know what was in their mind at that moment, “How can we talk to God, we don’t even know if he can hear us.” That was a long time ago when we started our “family devotion,” which become a habit since then.

Prayer is a great privilege not an obligation

I am not sure how many of us do realize that prayer is actually means having intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God. Mark; in his gospel tell us that Jesus went off by Himself, early in the morning to spend time in prayer with His heavenly father (Mk. 1:35). Luke 22:39 suggest that a place called the “Mount of Olives” was a favorite quiet time spot for Jesus. Do you have a quiet time with God? Do you have a special place that you want to be with God? Prayer is not about location or time. It is about having intimate and personal relationship with God. And intimacy cannot be hurried and cannot be confined with time and place. Yes sometimes we need a specific location and time to have fellowship with God, but the purpose of prayer is not about location but interaction with the living God. Some people think that as long as they go to church once a week, sing a few songs, and pay their tithe, that they are “in relationship” with God. But God doesn’t want your one-day in a week church attendance, your money, and your Bible study time, none of your religious list. What He wants is you! Walter A. Mueller said, “Prayer is not merely an occasional impulse to which we respond when we are in trouble: prayer is a life attitude.” This doesn’t mean we will pray without a pause all day every day. Don’t relegate the idea of prayer to just when you are on your knees. Make prayer a habit. Develop a constant communion with God.

We need to be taught to pray, because we are chronically prone to pray wrong, said Edward H. SchroederLord in his article, Teach us to Pray, printed in Nexus, Vol. 2:1 (Nov. 1961)1. When the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him “…‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1) His answer was very clear “when you pray, say: …” in (Luke 11:2-4) or in the gospel of Matthew He states, “In this manner, therefore, pray.” (Matthew 6:9). Now let’s pause here for a while and look what Jesus was trying to show them.

Prayer is about relationship

Prayer [Gk: “proseuche”] is “communion with God”. It means “intently engaged in; attend constantly to; persist in adherence to; constantly devoted to.” True prayer is not a mantra. Prayer is having intimate conversation with God. Through prayer we actually experience a relationship with God. The quality of our prayer life then determines the quality of our relationship with God. Prayer is talking with God. So, don’t make prayer a lecture. Prayer is neither to inform nor to impress. Prayer is having conversation with God. Remember: conversation is talking “with” not just “to”.

So, why the disciples came and asked Jesus? Even though there is no clear indication, they must have seen the way Jesus was praying every day in front of their own eyes, because He had been praying at certain times and places. Or “they had been struck with the Excellency and fervor of his prayers, and, recollecting that “John” had taught his disciples to pray, they asked him also to teach “them.”2 Whatever their reason was, Jesus’ response was direct and revolutionary. Surely the disciples of Jesus being Jews they recite the Shema, pray the psalms, offer spontaneous petitions to God and had some “idea” of prayer like their pious leaders and rabbis of their time. But now things about to change radically and there will be no more bigotry, prejudice, social elitism or religious arrogance about prayer or God.3 As Philip Yancey mentions in his book, Prayer, does it make any difference? “No one in the Old Testament addressed God as Father. But Jesus did it 170 times”4. In the patriarchal period, when people began to call upon the name of the Lord’ (Gen 4:26; compare Gen 12:8; Gen 21:33), prayer is naive, familiar and direct (Gen 15:2 ff; Gen 17:18; Gen 18:23 ff; Gen 24:12). It is evidently associated with sacrifice (Gen 12:8; Gen 13:4; Gen 26:25). As Joachim Jeremias has noted “this represents a radical departure from Jewish custom and tradition. Though Jewish people were given a lengthy number of appropriate titles for God in personal prayer, significantly absent from the approved list was the title “Father.””5

Prayer is not about words, but where our hearts should be

We have made prayer a ritual. We tend to think prayer is exercising a religious custom in a public assembly. Even when we pray, we sometimes do it in a way we talk to some “distant relative” who live far, far away. But if we could understand God’s main purpose for us is about fellowship or “koinania” according to 1 Cor. 1:9 and our God is a “relationship oriented,” and God’s desire is to have close and intimate fellowship with His children, then the whole idea of prayer would be clear. That was what Jesus trying to show the disciples in the first place.

Prayer is having intimate communication or relationship between the heavenly father and His children. Prayer is the outgoing of the heart. Beyond the content of discourse, prayer is “an overflow from the encounter between the living God and the living person.” In other words, prayer should come from a humble heart. C. H. Spurgeon said, “How many, too, have found a prayer upon their lips! It is a very common thing with those who pray in prayer-meetings, and those of us who pray in public, for our lips to run much faster than our hearts move, and it is one of the things we need to cry to God to keep us from, lest we should be run away with by our own tongues, as men are, sometimes, run away with by their horses, which they cannot restrain; and you know, the horse never goes faster than when he has very little to carry. And, sometimes, words will come at a very rapid rate when there is very little real prayer conveyed by them. This is not as it ought to be with us, and we must look into our hearts for the desire to pray, and if we do not find it in our hearts to pray a prayer, let us rest assured that we shall not be accepted before the throne of God.”6

Prayer is not a way to manipulate God into doing things OUR way

Often times we confuse “praying earnestly/diligently “ with “persuading God”. But there is a difference between “bringing our requests to God” and “trying to persuading God to do our will.” The New Bible Commentary aptly states, “…prayer is not an attempt to persuade God to do our will; rather it is an activity in which believing children approach their heavenly Father in a sincere endeavor to place themselves in the line of His will.”7When you switch the focus from you to God, you will experience His grace. Because what changes through prayer is not the “mind” of God but what changes through prayer is our mind and heart. Most of the time we get into disappointment and confusion when we don’t want to be change but We want God to change his mind about our situation. There is a prayer quote that I like very much, which says; “Our prayers must mean something to us if they are to mean anything to God” I think that is absolutely true. Prayer is not “God, you have to do this” or “God, you better do this before my life ruined” but it is acknowledging that He is in control and we trusting Him that He knows and do what is best according to His will (Romans 8:26-27, NIV). However, when a believer prays for help, that help will be given. This is absolutely true. But not rely on mystical powers of our words as the Word of Faith Movement teachers think. “Effective prayer is, as John said, asking in God’s will (John 15:7). Prayer is not a means by which we get our will done in heaven. Rather, it is a means by which God gets his will done on earth.”8

Prayer doesn’t require a certain formula

Prayer is exciting and powerful when it comes from within. Don’t make prayer a lecture. Prayer is neither to inform nor to impress. Prayer is having conversation with God. He doesn’t care about the words; He cares about your sincerity and the motive in your heart. God is not into making “things” complicated. He doesn’t lay down a complicated set of criteria before he’ll listen to us. He is eagerly awaited to hear us and to have conversation with us. Through prayer our job is not to impress or persuade God. We are not lawyers in courtrooms. As some one said, “God is bigger than you, so don’t go bossing God around.” Prayer is having an intimate relationship or communication with God who loves you and wants to have fellowship with you. Prayer is simple. Don’t make it complicated.

Eyob B Kassa

July 17, 2011

End Notes:

1 Edward H. SchroederLord. Teach us to Pray, printed in Nexus, Vol. 2:1 (Nov. 1961).

2 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible. Notes on the Bible by Albert Barnes [1834]. Luke 11

3 Morries, Derek. Walking with Jesus- part 6. The disciple’s prayer

4 Philip Yancey. Prayer, does it make any difference?

5 R. C. Sproul. Praying to Our Father. Renewing Your Mind

6 C. H. Spurgeon: Prayer Found in the Heart. January 16th, 1876

7 New Bible Commentary. G. J. Wenham, J. A. Motyer, D. A. Carson and R. T. France. 21st century edition. 1994. Inter-Varsity Press

8 Norman L. Geisler, Creating God in the Image of Man? (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1997) 86

Waiting on God: God is a rewarder of those who wait for Him

Posted in A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Relationships, Religion, religon, Theology, Thought of the day on 06/14/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

Waiting on God: God is a rewarder of those who wait for Him

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting…

Sound familiar?

What are you waiting for today? How do you feel about waiting—love it? Hate it? … No matter what your answer is I can tell you this; waiting is an unavoidable part of human life, and it is painful. Nobody likes to wait; it is not entertaining at all! Waiting is exhausting. It is not relaxing. But, you know the good part? Waiting is not life itself.

“We never live; we are always in the expectation of living” said Voltaire

If there is one thing most people hate to do these days, it is to wait. We want everything to be faster, better, and cheaper. “I hate this waiting,” said my friend in our recent conversation “it make me sick.” We DO live in a “short attention span world” these days, right? I guess so!

However, day after day, we find ourselves having to wait – in traffic, in checkout lines, in doctor office, at school, at the bus station, etc etc. Life is full of opportunities to wait. We wait for a phone call, we wait for an answer, we wait for one single visit or one single “shot”…whatever that means….we go through our lives waiting and waiting…until the  next big thing.etc etc., everywhere … anywhere… No matter how much we hate waiting, we always end up sitting and waiting somewhere for something or somewhere for someone. Isn’t it ironic? I think it is.

Recently I read an article on Psych Central by Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project. The article called 8 Reasons Why Waiting in Lines Drives Us Crazy and it referenced an article called The Psychology of Waiting Lines by David H. Maister. Well, the article aimed at a different setting, but I found out that no matter where we are waiting, no matter who we are waiting, “waiting is painful as well as challenging” at least for many of us.

I got to be honest with you here though. Waiting, I’m not good at it. In fact, I hate to wait. I am really bad at waiting for anything.  That is too bad, right? Tell me about it! And at the end of the day I still end up at square one because I just wasn’t patient enough. But now I am just going to wait for God…… He knows be better than anyone. So, I’ll wait patiently!  Yes, it is not easy most of the times. Sometimes I find myself arguing with God, saying, “…God I have been waiting for this so l-o-n-g…! Can’t you see it? How many more hours, days, weeks, years… want me to wait? Don’t you think you are not moving ‘fast enough’?”

And whenever I find myself in such kind of “conditions” or “situations” I feel like God saying “Patience… just be Patient.”

“Hello! Look who’s talking now?”

 My question is” God, hmmm… how long God?”

And He always says, “wait!”  And here I am today, anxiously waiting, and waiting…

What are you waiting for today? Are you waiting for the Lord? Have you ever wondered why you’re waiting so long?

I think knowing why we hate to wait is very helpful. But most us of even hate to wait to find out why we hate to wait. Because; we are living in a rather impatient society (not to blame society), and we are so used to everything moving at break-neck speed, we want everything now, immediately, or instantly. Perhaps there are many reasons for our impatience. But in most cases, it has a direct relation to our perception about everything. Everything? Yes!

But I want you to understand that waiting on God is different for some basic reasons.

God’s timing is different than our own.

There is a fullness of the time in respect of every Divine movement. As someone said it once, “There is no frenetic hurrying in heaven, only calculated purpose.” The concept of God’s timing is more than the “concept of time” because time is for us not for Him. Waiting on God is about being with Him, and that is why the question of time is outside His zone. God does not calculate time the way we do. But as the Bible tells us that God makes all things perfect in His time. I think so of make such a common mistake that we know what we want but we miss God’s timing in carrying it out. God’s timing is different that ours. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him’ (Ps 37:7). “God is the God of time as well as of timing.”

Waiting time may be a “grueling process” but it is a time of blessing.

Wait a minute here! Blessing? Oh really? Yes! It is a time of blessing and refreshment. Often time, we compare waiting time to stagnation. But waiting time is a season of learning, maturing and blessing. When we face situations which we don’t understand, or when we encounter obstacles which we were not expecting, it is easy to give up and lose sight of God’s purposes. But it is a time of learning how to give up on our will and a time of receiving “new” insight, perception, revelation, understanding and wisdom about ourselves, God, and life itself.

Why is waiting so very important? Read Psalm 62:1 & 2 and 5 & 6; ‘My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Defense and my Fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. My soul, wait in silence only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation is from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress; I shall not be moved’. Waiting on God may be a “grueling process” but it is a time of transformation and maturity. Isaiah 40:28 –31 says “… But those who wait for the Lord shall change and renew their strength; they shall lift their wings and
mount up close to God as eagles mount up to the sun; they shall run and not get tired, they shall walk and not become weary’.

Waiting on God is not idle nor passive, but is an act of Trust, Hope and a time of Worship  

Waiting seems to be a long period of inactivity with no definite end point but “God is not idle in His house” and so we do. I hope you realized by now that waiting is an action verb. It is not only a time God is working with us but we are working within us too. Waiting gives us an opportunity to seek God diligently in prayer and studying
His word, it is a time of self-examination, and it is a time of preparation for what God is going to do in our lives. Time spent with God is not a wasted time unless we make it a waste of time. It is a character development time. Yes, it is not an easy season but it is a time we are “soaking in the presence of God” rather than distracted and get confused with other things.

My friend, if you are in a “waiting season” God is preparing you as a testimony of His greatness, so work with Him. God will not take you out of it! He will take you through. Your job is to trust Him do His work in your life, hope for His best in your life and Worship Him no matter what. “The ability to wait on the Lord stems from being confident and focused on who God is and in what God is doing.”

Someone said once, “Waiting is the DNA of faith.” This may not be a perfect message for most of us who live in an “instant gratification culture” in which everything is about NOW! But life should not be like that. Waiting on God is hard, no doubt about it. Nothing tries our faith like waiting on God. But when we exercise our faith by turning our needs to Him, He will surely direct our steps. God is a rewarder of those who wait for Him. When we focus so much on what we waiting for, our anxiety rises up. We experience no peace, but restlessness. Waiting is not wasted; it is a part of the faith journey. Waiting is not wasted because we wait in faith, we wait in hope and we wait

Use waiting to grow closer to God. View your waiting time as a season of growth and development and you’re your “big moment” comes, you’ll find you’ll be that much more ready, and matured enough for your moment on the stage. “To wait is not merely to remain impassive. It is to expect–to look for with patience, and also with submission. It is to long for, but not impatiently; to look for, but not to fret at the delay; to watch for, but not restlessly; to feel that if he does not come, we will acquiesce, and yet to refuse to let the mind acquiesce in the feeling that he will not come.” – Dr. A.B. Davidson, Waiting on God (quoted in The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre) I originally read this quote here.

“Be waiting for the Lord, and keep his way; and you will be lifted up, and have the land for your heritage: when the evil-doers are cut off, you will see it.” Psalms 37:34

Psa. 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord”

Eyob B Kassa

June 13, 2011

Jehovah – Jireh – The Lord will provide

Posted in A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Religion, Thought of the day on 06/03/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

Jehovah – Jireh – The Lord will provide

God’s provision always exceeds our expectation!

No matter what you think He is, God is the master of surprises. He doesn’t need “favorable circumstances” and “appropriate conditions” to fulfill his promises. When God says, “This valley of ditches will be filled with water” we may expect a wind or rain. However, beyond our “natural limitaions” God will do what he said he will do and He needs nothing because He himself is the source. He is self-sufficient, which means God doesn’t need anything because he is perfect. In fact, it is on God alone that everything in the universe depends for its existence (see Acts 17: 25; Col. 1: 16, 17; Rom. 1: 36; Heb. 11:3; 2 Cor. 4:6; Rev. 4:11)

He made a way through the sea. He provided Manna in the desert. He provides peace in sobering circumstances, a shelter in a stormy situation, strength in the time fear, comfort in the time of grief, etc. God cannot be micromanaged. His plan exceeds our anticipation, vision, and understanding. His thoughts and ways for us are higher than we think. Because God is beyond human comprehension. He always provides for his children. He always meets his children’s needs at the right time and the right place. He is Jehovah – Jireh: the
Lord Who will see to it that our every need is meet. He knows our need because He sees in advance and meets our need just the right time. (Read Matthew 6:31-32, Matthew 7:11 and Philippians 4:19 too)

Obedience leads to provision!

God will never ask us to do something unless He provides a way. God never puts us in a situation that he has not already given us the ability to handle. When God wants to do something in your life, He doesn’t require your ability but availability. He doesn’t look at your ability but readiness and willingness. Your availability to walk in obedience and faith into what He about to accomplish in you is a key in your journey to Moriah. When Abraham rose up early that morning as we read in Genesis 22: 5 and packed for the journey to Moriah, the journey he about to start wasn’t easy. God had asked him to do an unthinkable thing and illogical! But Abraham did not wondering, or questioning. He believed God and trusts him in faith that God would provide. God wanted to see if Abraham would obey Him even though he could not understand why or unthinkable or unreasonable. God Provides Through our Obedience! The only way to experience all that God has for us is to walk in complete obedience.

God Provides at Just the Right Time!

Sometimes when we are overwhelmed by “difficult situation” we want God carrying out his plans “on time.” But, the reality of God’s providence reveals the difference between our thoughts and His (Isa. 55: 8-9) and our concept the “right time” and His “appointed time.” I believe in God’s miraculous provision all the times.
However, because He didn’t provide “as we want Him to do” doesn’t mean He doesn’t care. “God is never late, and he’s never early. He’s always right on time.”

God is never too late. We may wait too late sometimes but not God because there is no “too late” with God. He is always right on time. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
God always provides. God is working according to His own time schedule – not ours. His provision is always on time, but when we confuse our inability to wait patiently with his ability to provide there is always a problem. The expression “they that wait upon the LORD” (Isa. 40:31) implies that a Christian should be willing to allow God to decide the terms because God provides at just the right time.

Where in your life do you stand in need of provision from the Lord?

We worship an awesome God. Our God abundantly provides for us physically and spiritually. Not always when we want and not always how we want — but God provides. His provision is a reflection of His love and care for His children. His name is Jehovah- Jireh- the God who provide, in other words, on the mountain of the Lord it will be provided! – Nothing to worry about!

God’s provision is not partial provision, but it is a complete provision. And He gives us every provision that we need so that we may walk (live) in the very character of himself. In other words, through His provision there comes glory and honor. He said, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Psalm 50:15 He created us for his glory and he provides for our benefit. Not superficial but the true knowledge of God brings provision. God’s provision brings glory.

Friends, I have no idea what you are going through right now, but whatever you are going through, I want to encourage you with the word of God today. I am not going to tell you that all your problems, tribulations, trials, etc., you are experiencing right now will be solved right away, but I know God provision exceeds your expectations. God says in Philippians 4: 19 “ I will…” not might, or think about, but He says, “I will.” That means not only “He is going to do it, but already took care of it.” And He says, “ I will meet all your needs” that means EVERYTHING!

“Jehovah who created all things is equal to every emergency; heaven and earth are at the disposal of Him who made them, therefore let be very joyful in our infinite helper.” Charles Spurgeon

Be blessed and encouraged in Jesus name; Amen!

Eyob B Kassa

June 2, 2011