Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turn an Enemy into a Friend

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
” (Matthew 5:43-44NLT)

Love your neighbor’ is an easy job –especially when your neighbor is your own family members. [Greek, “play-see’-on” means ‘a neighbor’, that is, fellow (as man, countryman, Christian or friend)] At least that’s the case I’m in. Because I live in a village; my grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins are my neighbors. But ‘love your enemies’? Now that’s troublesome! Showing love to your enemies seems completely unreasonable; meeting annoying people, people who call you names or only call you when they want something, people who make noise, people who insult you, who sins against you – wait [pause]; people like us. Yes, people like us.

Yet God continue to forgive – to love us. Showing love to your enemies seems too radical to do, unless you realize that you were once an enemy of God until he forgave you. When you love your enemy, you see that person as Jesus does. He sees every one of us as someone who needs grace and forgiveness – show your enemy how awesome and merciful is our Lord and Savior. ‘Be tenderhearted… keep a humble attitude… don’t repay evil for evil… don’t retaliate… pay them back with a blessing.’ (1 Peter 3:8-9) Pray for your enemy, continue to pray and with God’s Grace and the work of the Holy Spirit, you might turn an enemy into a friend.

Heavenly Father, at times we may find it difficult to love and pray for those who causes us harm but we ask for your strength and power to Love our enemies.Lord help us to press through those tough times and to bless those who hate and hurt.Through forgiveness we find freedom from hurt,pain and we receive your peace as we choose to bless those who cause us harm.
In Jesus name. Amen


 Prayer above is taken from: http://octavia137.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/love-your-enemies/

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Help Others become Stronger

When you talk, do not say harmful things,
but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger
(Ephesians 4:29)

...say life-giving words
From the very beginning when the first words were uttered, the ability to communicate has played an important role in our world. Words can tear people down, and words also can build people up. A Chinese proverb states it this way, “Words are the keys to the heart.” What you say is as important as how you say it. 
Whether within our own thoughts, spoken or written, words have the power to transform the world we live in. Love, laughter, heroism, friendship, and virtually every emotion we feel as human beings can be inspired by words. Unfortunately, fear, anger, and hatred, can also be invoked by words. Choose your words carefully… so that instead of tearing people apart, your words can help others become stronger.
Max Lucado writes, “You have the ability, with your words, to make a person stronger. Your words are to their soul what a vitamin is to their body. Do not withhold encouragement from the discouraged. Do not keep affirmation from the beaten down! Speak words that make people stronger. Believe in them as God has believed in you.”

You see, the Word of God is not just practical; it’s a life giving words. Therefore: When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
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Love will Prove itself, if it is Genuine

Imagine that you have a best friend, okay more than your best friend, who tells you he loves you and cares for you. Every time you call or see him, he says, “Darling, I am really concerned for you. I like you so much. I care for you… [bla... bla.. bla..]  I love you, baby.”
Imagine that one day you fall on hard times. You fall sick. You failed your driving test. You lose your job. Your broadband and all the other bills mount up so high. Plus, thieves break in and empty your room… including your precious possession: - iPhone!
What would you expect from your best friend who tells you he loves you so much? In a desperate thought – you would expect him to prove his love by helping you (not by having sex!). You would expect him to give or lend you some money, send you to meet the doctor or buy you a medicine, make a police report for you, or whatever you need; as much as he can help you. If he did nothing for you, but still repeatedly said, “I love you!” you would surely call him a hypocrite and his words empty and useless. I love you? Yeah, right! Hypocrite!

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food,” writes James. “If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16NIV) But overtime, both you and I am hypocrite sometime - we do the same with one another. Perhaps it’s the right time for us to examine our authenticity of our love towards God and thus, to check our genuine love toward one another, when we say, ‘God, I love you’. 

Michael Wakely observed, “We know that God’s love was genuine because he proved it to us by sending Jesus into the world. He loved us not just in words (sending us love messages through the prophets) but in painful deeds (at Calvary; the Cross). If people tell us that they love us, we are within our rights to challenge them: ‘If you really love me, prove it!’ Love will prove itself, if it is genuine.”

God, don’t tell me about love!” you might ask, “proof it!
He might answer something like this: “If you want the proof, glance back at Calvary. See the agony, the price my only Son paid, He cried out because He did care, and that He does love.” John answered it Biblically, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” (1 John 3:16)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the test of our authenticity of God’s love in our life is not measured by how frequent we attend meetings or how hype we feel after enjoying worship experiences or by how many pages of the Bible we simply read or how long and brilliant religious jargon language we use when we pray – All this are rubbish in the face of God if we don’t display His glorious work of Salvation in our life by caring for one another outside our comfort zone! Love is real only when it is given expression in acts of compassion, generosity and practical help. Salvation is by faith alone, not by the work of men – period; but if there’s no work of love among us… I wonder… do we really have faith in God? Do we really love God?  

THINK BIG Don’t just simply sing, “God, I give you my heart, I give you my soul, I live for you alone…
 START SMALL Proof it!
GO DEEP “Love will prove itself, if it is genuine”

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 68: Thankfulness - "Try Thanksgiving"

I thank God for my handicaps, for, through them,
I have found myself, my work, and my God
” (Helen Keller)

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that thankfulness is indeed a virtue.
(William Bennett)

I’m thankful…
It was told that one day on the streets of London Charles Spurgeon was robbed. When he arrived home and told his tale, he said,
Well, thank the Lord anyway.”
His wife countered, “Thank the lord that somebody stole your money?
No, my dear,” answered her husband. Then he began to enumerate some reasons why he was thankful.
First, I’m thankful the robber just took my money, not my life. Secondly, I’m thankful I had left most of our money at home and he didn’t really rob me of much. Thirdly, I’m thankful to God that I was not the robber.”
What a respond! Today, what are you thankful for?

Be thankful…
In Merriam –Webster dictionary, the word ‘thankful’ (noun ‘thankfulness’) means ‘conscious of benefit received’, ‘expressive of thanks’, ‘well-please’ or glad. It is a “positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgement of a benefit that one has received or will receive”. Thankfulness changes the way you look at your circumstances. Thankfulness make you realize that your circumstances, no matter how bad it were (I’m not trying to minimize your experience, God knows what you have been through), is part of God’s plan. You don’t have to understand, nor can we understand if we want to either; just trust Him and take hold of His promises. In every circumstance there is a purpose – so always be thankful in every situations.

Try to give thanks…
I love this story: A missionary in China was living a defeated life. Everything seemed to be touched with sadness, and although he prayed for months for victory over depression and discouragement, his condition remained the same. He finally determined to leave his work and go to an interior station where he could pray and seek victory over his morbid state. When he reached the new place, he was entertained in the home of a fellow missionary. The first thing he saw on the wall was a motto which read,
“Try thanksgiving!”
The words gripped his heart and he thought within himself,
Have I been praying all this time and not praising?
He stopped and began to gives thanks, and immediately his heart was uplifted. Perhaps, as you read this article, you are depressed, discourage and feel defeated; maybe it’s time for you to:

Count your blessings instead of difficulties,
Count your gain instead of your losses,
Count your joys instead of woes,
Count your friends instead of foes,
Count your courage instead of fears,
Count your health instead of wealth,
Count on God instead of yourself!
…and try this: “Try thanksgiving!

Last words...
Enjoy whatever blessings come your way. Enjoy what you have. Enjoy others who are close to you. Enjoy nature. Yes, enjoy whatever blessings come your way; small or large, like or dislike, petty or extravagance – be thankful. Develop the attitude of thankfulness. An attitude of thankfulness not only brings blessings to your life, but it also blesses others. A thankful lifestyle is one of the best sermon you'll ever preach - so in every circumstances, count your blessings: In every situations, count on God!


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Friday, November 25, 2011

Turn Calamity into Blessing

I am thankful for my mother who says our house is too small for us to lives because it means she concern for her children’ welfare. I am thankful for my brother who always used my clothes (especially my shoes!) without my permission because at least he’s not stealing from others. For both of them who are sometime complaining (I'm included) about which television channel to watch, because that means they are at home together not on the street alone. For my girlfriend who sometime very hard to contact because it means we have room to missing each other.

For PTPTN (Education loan) that I pay monthly, because it means the government care for my education. For the e-mails, Facebook messages and phone calls, because it means I have been surrounded by friends. For overload rubbish bins in office kitchen, because it means my colleagues care for environment and not simply throwing rubbish elsewhere. For raining outside, because it means I don’t have to waste water to wash my car. For Malaysia hot weather, because it means the sun still shine.I am thankful for the parking spot I find that is quite far from my office, because it means I am capable of walking, I have been blessed with transportation and it’s free too!

For noisy kids at my village, because it means I can hear. For my friend’s birthday cards awful hand writing (since secondary school), because it means I can see (and still can read). For headache and aching muscle at the end of the day, because it means I have work hard. For mosquitoes that bite my legs every morning, because it means I still have my legs. For celebrating my 25th birthday this year, because it means – I’m still alive!

William Law once writes, “If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to happiness and all perfection, he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing.

Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.


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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Be Thankful for the Problems on your Job

I love this quote by Charles Kingley, “Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done whether you like it or not. Being required to work, and doing so to the best of your ability, will breed in your self-control, diligence, contentment, and a hundred other virtues which the idle never know.”

Be thankful for the problems on your job [not the one that you create due to procrastination etc.] – I mean, really be thankful for the problems on your job. You see, if you didn't have them, you would not be there and if they were less difficult, someone with less ability would have your job. And one more: If you have difficulties on your job, just remember that YOU HAVE A JOB (maybe not the one you like, but still – you have a job!) and hundreds of people out there don’t have one. There are more than happy to have yours.

And if you have a job and more or less you love what you do… take the advice below to heart:
Thomas Edison sent the following recommendations to a youth assembly that required a message from him:
1.     Always be interested in whatever you undertake.
2.     Don’t mind the clock, but keep at it, and let nature indicate the necessity of rest.
3.     Failures, so called, are the fingerposts pointing out the right direction to those who are willing to learn.
4.     Hard work and a genuine interest in everything that makes for human progress will make men and acceptable to themselves and to the world.
(Quote from Tits & Bits magazine)


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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"The Lord is my Shepherd", Do you Know that?

The LORD is my shepherd…” (Psalm 23:1)

That man is my father”, said my little cousin. “Who?” I acted blur. 
Eee… that one,” irritated by my question, she extended her mini index finger.
 “Who?” I asked. “There… that one, not the ugly one… that man [she waved her dad who was in the midst of our family gathering] with yellow shirt. That man is my father!”
Her voice increased. Her lung expended. Her eyebrows rise. Again I asked, “Who?”
The Lord is my Shepherd...
David penned Psalm 23 under the guidance of God’s spirit. Some commentators suggest that David was fret over his life on many occasions, and they suspect it was because of the envious King Saul who seeking after his life. He was a man just like we are. He was anxious. He was struggle with his life. He was in deep trouble. Yet, when he penned this well-known Psalm, David responded all these by God-honoring way. Basically, he says that we should trust God as the good and faithful Shepherd and rejoice in His grace. But how can he do that?

You see, David says in the first section of the Psalm “The Lord is my Shepherd”. The word ‘Lord’ here refer to Jehovah, the Lord, the self-existent or eternal, Jewish national name of God. And ‘Shepherd’ here is in the context of His providence, guidance and protection. David says “The Lord is my Shepherd” may well understand as a personal Shepherd to him. It’s as if David were saying that he knew that the God of the universe was personal to Him. Just like my cousin who can clearly identify who is her father because she know him personally.
That man is my father”, said my little cousin.
The Lord is my Shepherd”, write David.

Do you know that?
Do you know the Lord as your personal Shepherd, like David did?
May as you read and meditate on Psalm 23; you’ll encounter with the living God. If God had never been personal to you before, I hope that He will as you open your heart to receive Him into your life. And if He had been one and only for you, may Psalm 23 will strengthen your faith in Him.
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11) – Do you know that?


I’m giving away ONLY 3 copies of A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller. If you never receive any book from Motivates4Life before, you are welcome to get a copy for yourself. Do these 2 things:
1)    Comment below “Rich, give me one copy___(Your name). I want to know the Lord as my Shepherd and Savior personally”
2)    E-mail me at Motivates4life@hotmail.com or send message to my Facebook your real name, phone no. and your postal address.

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How do You tell if You’re Really in Love?

Dear beloved,

I’m in love. Yes, I am. Have you felt in love before? Oh, how sweet it 'taste'. Dreaming, longing, wandering; all mix in one moment. Smiling, singing, jumping; all comes naturally. Love is a feeling you feel when you have a feeling you’ve never felt before – and that’s the way I feel today.  It’s true when someone say that no one is perfect until you fall in love with them… love blinded her flaws and shortcoming. Love doesn’t really make the world go round; it just makes people dizzy so it looks like it – and I’m seriously dizzy!

There is a story that I want to tell you, my beloved;
A teenage boy, returning from an early date, found his mother still sitting up reading,
Mom,” he said, sprawling in a chair, “how do you tell if you’re really in love?”
His mother smiled, walked over to the desk, pulled a weathered clipping out of the drawer, and handed it to her son. It read:

“True love is like two deep rivers that meet and merge,
intertwining completely into one, then flowing on together.
The joys, happiness, and sorrows of each
become the joys, happiness, and sorrows of the other.
True love cannot be hurried,
but once unselfishly rooted, it will grow forever.”

I like this statement: You know you’re really in love when “the joys, happiness, and sorrows of each become the joys, happiness, and sorrows of the other.” As today, I’m in love… and I hope she read this: Your joys, happiness and sorrows have unselfishly rooted in me.

Sincerely yours,
(THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP. Doesn't apply here)
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