It’s a steady Saturday so I had time browsing on blogs and trying to create an itinerary, which I am still not in the mood completing. Guess I like the pressure of a few days left before I travel before coming up with something.
So because of this pleasant weekend (and a long one at that since Monday’s a holiday here in Manila), I had a chance to listen to music as well. One of them is Matthew West’s ‘Hello, My Name Is’.
Names have always been special to me because my name doesn’t have a specific meaning. Yeah. And names say so much about a person eventhough most parents don’t really know what the future is going to be like for their children. A name is a declaration and a vision.
Have you been called names that have wounded you in the past and are still scarring you now? Has anyone called you something which you do not want or not true but is starting to take a toll in your life just because it was declared upon you? Someone has been through that; and it’s not just me.
“He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”
– John 1:11 (NIV)
When Jesus was here on earth, everyone had been calling Him a prophet; the Messiah. He was popular. Everyone wanted Him and His miracles. But when events turned out as it should be, everyone had been calling Him names which He didn’t deserve until he breathed His last breath. And guess what? He endured all those name-calling and those condemnations you and I received (and still will receive) and those were nailed with Him on the Cross. Jesus restored our identity in the Father.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—”
– John 1:12 (NIV)
And there was a promise. So whatever names your past, present, or future call you with, remember that you have a name which was already set for you by your Father through Jesus. You only need to believe it and live by it.
I know many of us are familiar with the words of Psalm 23. Some of us have even memorized its words since childhood.
I came across the chapter for my quiet time earlier. My favorite verse is verse 6. One of the popular versions is,
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
As I am reading the New Living Translation (Gifts and Rewards Edition), I have encountered another version of such verse with something that caught me with glee. It goes,
“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”
Notice the word pursue. I don’t know with the guys (or some girls out there) but this had an impact with me as every woman would love to be pursued. The word follow used in other versions may sometimes be associated with stalking (LOL) but pursue — it is done by someone whose love is sincere and willing. And yes, that is such an understatement.
Now, could you imagine the depths of God’s love for you? That He, the Creator of the heavens and the earth pursues you regardless of who you are and what your background is? That his goodness and never-ending love pursues you even if you are undeserving?
And you may say, “Oh, I don’t need it and I don’t care.” It’s alright. He just wants you to know that He is there and that you don’t need to be anything for Him to love you and shower with with His goodness.
In the different stories I’ve encountered of Israelites in the Bible, generally speaking, prior to every success or victory is a failure. Now I ask myself, “Why the need for that? Isn’t God all-powerful and can deliver them from all the hindrances that go along the way?”
Agreeing that “All things work together for good…“, I thank God for allowing my early tummy ache which made me wake up early. With that, I was able to read my Bible early in the morning (which happened eons ago since I do it in the evening) and had an early devotion. Aside from the refreshment it brought, I was happy as I go on smoothly with my daily routine. No hurries, no worries.
While doing my morning ritual of checking out the Tweets that I follow, I stumbled upon Sitti‘s and one of her updates says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” This was inspired by the verse from Ecclesiastes 11:4 (Let me use the version from The Amplified Bible) which says,
He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.
Too many times, we came across circumstances where decisions are necessary; and not just simple decisions as what color of flip-flops you would wear or what hairstyle you would have today. Sometimes, decisions which we have to make is a matter of life and death (Yeah, exaggerated maybe.) – Life and death of a career; life and death of a relationship; life and death of a breakthrough.
Most of the time, we calculate too much – looking at our surroundings, checking if each strand of eyebrow is at place or if our shoes are well-polished, not knowing that there proves to be situations when getting caught open and willing to change and motion bears good results.
Waiting for the perfect time to come may not happen if that’s what holds you from doing whatever you need to do, or want to do. Unless you make an action or two, given the circumstances where you’re in, you could never move from where you are now.
Taking risks may cost you something, right. But would you rather learn from it or play it safe, waiting for the perfect time until never finding out what could have been? Your choice.
This morning, while I was fighting over going or not going to work, I browsed through my phone and found a draft containing the verse Psalm 16:5. Didn’t bother looking at it as I returned to sleep. When I finally got up, I checked my phone again and passed through the drafts folder, and there, I get to see Psalm 16:5 again. Then I decided to browse through my Bible and here’s what I found (Got the NLT version):
“Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.
You guard all that is mine”
Most of the time, I worry a lot on what is in store for me in the future and what is about to happen with my immediate involvements. But God has assured me that my future is well taken care of already, and with this promise, He has assured me more that everything, as in EVERYTHING – every single promise that He is bound to let flow in my life, is in the palm of His hand. 🙂
I am down with the third book for the year (Waaaah! It’s just the third book I have finished so far and still a lot more to go!!!) and am currently reading Xtreme Faith by Kelly Carr. It is a compilation of stories shared by different teens regarding their faith.
One quote taken from Brennan Manning caught my eye and made me ponder on how my life is in the eyes of other people. It states:
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyles. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
We are God’s representatives in this world, and our lives are the best representation we could have of Him. If we live differently from how we confess Him, then, who would ever believe? I bet I, myself wouldn’t.
This challenged me. I hope all else who declare to be believers of Jesus Christ would be, too.