He Already Knows

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” -Isaiah 65:24 (NIV)

Often times, a good doctor can tell what is wrong with a patient even before the patient himself utters a word. Google+PhotoOutward signs, such as overall complexion and severity of coughing for example, can often be enough information for doctors to understand the situation and recommend prescriptions accordingly. But doctors usually do not do this right away. They first wait for the patient to tell them what is ailing them. Only after the patient requests to undergo treatment does the doctor act. Doctors cannot simply force treatment on someone, but are required to wait until the patient willingly submits himself to the doctor’s expertise. When this happens, doctors are required to act towards the restoration of the health of the patient; doing all that is within their power to bring healing.

In His infinite wisdom God knows exactly what we need. He has created us and knows us intimately well; even better than we know ourselves! As the embodiment of love and righteousness He wants to provide for us in our time of need. Yet He will not act if we have not submitted ourselves to Christ and His perfect will for our lives. If we in our pride have rejected Him by clinging onto our flawed wisdom and understanding, we cannot assume that He will grant us what we need. Only when we have come with humble hearts to Him in prayer, making that choice to trust in His flawless guidance and allowing Him to direct our steps, will He unveil the wonderful plan He has in store for us according to His faultless timing. By abandoning our pride and fear; running instead into the arms of Christ and acknowledging that His ways are better than ours, we will be able to find rest in His promise that He already knows what we need in our situations and will lovingly provide for us when we ask.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Who is the Real Criminal?

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” -Romans 2:1 (NIV)

Crime has become something characteristic of life in this fallen world. In every society, in every culture, and in every Google+Photoage, we are made aware of the prevalence of criminal activity. Whether it is through historical documents, popular movies, or even today’s news, we cannot escape the reality that deviance exists and will continue to exist as long as humans populate this world. Yet when we see images of thieves and murderers we become inflated by self-righteousness. Though we may acknowledge the depravity of their actions and look down upon them in disgust, we blind ourselves to our own innate wickedness. How many of us, in envy and jealousy, have desired to take that which was not ours to take? How many of us, in our rage, have wanted to act in violence toward another person? Sin according to Christ is not defined by sole outward action, but by the very thought, and under that definition we are all criminals.

To redeem us from our sinful nature, Christ came so that by His death and resurrection we may be free from the bondage of sin and clothed with His righteousness. But we often forget to put on these clothes which He has given us. While we may think that we are wearing these clothes and are standing up for the holy standards of Christ, we are actually naked if we have done so in a judgmental spirit. Usually we end up using our self-proclaimed righteousness as weapon to slander others and boost our own pride. Truly wearing the garments of purity Christ has given us means humbling ourselves knowing that while we were bound as sinners and still chose to indulge in sin, Christ has forgiven us in His love. Nothing will be able to snatch us from the love of God and He will continue to remain faithful to the redemptive work He wants to carry out in our lives. When we have submitted ourselves to Christ’s Spirit and have allowed His righteousness to be made manifest in our lives, we will remain unapologetic in His view of sin while at the same time displaying His love. He will prompt us to remember that just as He has forgiven us of much, we are to show mercy and love by His enabling; drawing others into the hope of being restored by Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

A Day of Giving

“If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.” -Leviticus 25:35 (NIV)

In certain countries within the British Commonwealth, the tradition of Boxing Day remains strong. Falling on the Google+Photoday after Christmas, it is presently known as a day where people throng department stores in order to take advantage of great sales that only come once a year However, this was far from its intended purpose. Instead of acquiring more possessions, the day was focused on addressing the needs of the poor. Families would make gift boxes and pack food, toys, and clothes in order that they may be distributed to those who did not have the luxury of obtaining these things. Alms boxes would be placed in churches where congregants would donate money to be divided amongst the needy in their midst. Wealthy landlords would give their household servants bonuses, gifts, and the opportunity to visit their families as an act of gratitude for their hard work.

It is tempting to become self-absorbed during the Christmas season. With all the celebrations, gifts, and presents, it is easy to simply bask in the blessings of possessing material wealth. In all these things however, God has called His children to consider the poor. To aid the destitute is mandated in Scripture and is close to the heart of God for He has created all in His image. But we are mistaken if we think we can fulfill this mandate on our own strength and capabilities. Human tendency is to be selfish and to seek ways to glorify the self, even in our charity. Only when we have allowed the Spirit of Christ to conduct His redemptive work in our lives and yield our selfishness to Him, will He fill us with His selfless love. When we do this, we will be fulfilling His mandate not because of any counterfeit benevolence of our own, but solely by the love and compassion of Christ overflowing from within us. By allowing our hearts to be molded by Him, our ears will be open to His voice and He will move us to act with genuine concern towards those around us; bearing witness to who He is and what He intends to do for all of humanity.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.