Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Your work is a sacred matter. God delights in it, and through it he wants to bestow his blessing on you."

Martin Luther, 1493 Exposition of Psalm 128.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Living Every Moment for God

This blog is inspired by Abraham Kuyper's famous quote delivered at the dedication of the Free University -

"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: Mine!"

The powerful idea that Jesus Christ lays claim to "every square inch" of our lives is not new but it bears reminding for us who easily forget. It may indeed be an old truth but sometimes we need new ways to think this. Recently, reading and reflecting upon Ephesians 5:15-17 helped me think of God's sovereign claim over our lives in a fresh, new way.

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

Time - we're called to make the best use of it an not to squander it - because days are evil. This passage reminded me that Christ lays claim, not only to every sphere of our lives but also of every moment of our existence. Every hour we spend sleeping, every minute we're awake, we are spending the currency of time - God's gift to us. Every moment of our lives either at work or at play, we ought to be pursuing God's will for our lives, lest we waste this precious gift.

To paraphrase Kuyper - "there is not a split second in all of human existence over which Christ who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: Mine!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quote of the Week

"There are no first-class and second-class Christians because of their varying jobs. All work is sacramental in nature, be it checking groceries, selling futures, cleaning teeth, driving a street sweeper, teaching or painting trim. Everything we do, ought to be done to the glory of God."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Praying for Present and Eternal Comfort for Japan


All of us watched in horror as scenes of tragedy in Japan unfolded this past week. Technology may bring suffering into our living rooms but it does little to help us grapple with the reality of people dying and a nation suffering. Most of us with a sense of helplessness. In fact, our limited capacity to help against the backdrop of such immense suffering can lead us beyond helplessness to hopelessness.

With that in mind, here are a few thoughts that I've found helpful -

Suffering is inevitable... but it is not arbitrary or purposeless. We can't always understand it but God is neither absent in suffering nor unaffected by it. Instead, God is at work to draw sufferers to Himself and to bring comfort to those who call on Him.

" upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and your will glorify me" (Psalm 50:15)

Suffering is great... but our compassion is meaningful. Through the common grace of technology, God grants us the privilege to help those who are suffering across the world. Though our efforts may seem small, yet by extending practical help to those who cannot help themselves, we become channels of God's compassion.

Suffering calls us to prayer. We can do nothing greater than to pray for the people of Japan. We can bring their needs before the throne of God. We can pray for present comfort for all who are suffering - for mothers who mourn for lost children, for children orphaned by this tragedy, for those maimed and injured, for the hundreds of thousands who have lost homes.

We can also pray for the eternal comfort for those in Japan who do not know Jesus Christ. C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world". Oh, that this tragedy would awaken in them a longing for the eternal God. Here is a prayer for Japan from the Desiring God blog that could serve you in your prayers for this nation -

Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways. We cover our faces and kiss your omnipotent hand. We fall helpless to the floor in prayer and feel how fragile the very ground is beneath our knees.

O God, we humble ourselves under your holy majesty and repent. In a moment—in the twinkling of an eye—we too could be swept away. We are not more deserving of firm ground than our fellowmen in Japan. We too are flesh. We have bodies and homes and cars and family and precious places. We know that if we were treated according to our sins, who could stand? All of it would be gone in a moment. So in this dark hour we turn against our sins, not against you.

And we cry for mercy for Japan. Mercy, Father. Not for what they or we deserve. But mercy.

Read the rest of the prayer here

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Deep and lasting security, resilient hope, and sturdy rest of heart and mind can only be found vertically. You will only know the rest for which you seek when you begin to embrace the astounding reality of who you are as a child of God. If you are God's child, you are the object of love of the Person who rules everything there is to rule."

Paul Tripp, A Shelter in the Time of Storm: Meditations on God and Trouble

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Sleep is a Gift

Sleep - apparently, we aren't getting enough of it. According to this Time article, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that a third of all Americans are getting less than the recommended minimum of 7 hours of sleep. In a separate study, research has shown that a lack of sleep is linked to depression and higher mortality rates. Then I read this Harvard Business Review blog post on why sleep is more important than food

This sleep crisis hit home for me last week. In a men's small group meeting, a few of my friends confessed how getting a full night's sleep had become extremely challenging. One friend told of how the combination of health challenges and anxieties can get the better of him to the point that he sleeps only 4-5 hours a night.

What should be so natural and easy is becoming so difficult for many of us, entangled in cares of life and a myriad of challenges ranging from physical ailments to chronic anxieties. It also reminded me that sleep is a gift - one that we often take for granted until it becomes difficult.

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2

God gives... we receive. It's that simple, yet profound. Let's pray for that we might receive the gift of sleep rom our Creator who knows that we were made to rest.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Think about this: the advertising industry spends untold billions of dollars each year trying to steal your time by making you believe that recreation, not work, is the ultimate source of personal fulfillment... a life free of responsibilities...not working, not investing yourself in others... not making the most of every opportunity, as the Bible teaches us"