Google+ peggy aplSEEDS: April 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Blessings

Dying, He destroyed our death. Rising, He restored our life! No greater love is there.

And so, whatever life may bring, we can experience the victory Christ won for us on the cross.

Jesus is Risen! Alleluia!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Cleaning

We just transferred to a new home and with packing up for the move we're also doing a lot of throwing out and cleaning up. Moving house is a good time to decide on what we really want to keep and what we can let go of.

I'm reminded of the ancient Jewish custom of thoroughly cleaning their homes in preparation for the spring-time holiday of Passover. According to Wikipedia, "In remembrance of the Jews' hasty flight from Egypt following their captivity there, during the eight-day holiday there is a strict prohibition against eating anything which may have been leavened. Jews are not only supposed to refrain from leavened foodstuffs (known in Hebrew as חמץ chametz), they are expressly commanded to rid their homes of even small remnants of chametz for the length of the holiday (Exodus 12:15). Therefore, for the past 3,500 years, observant Jews have conducted a thorough "spring cleaning" of the house, followed by a traditional hunt for chametz crumbs by candlelight (called bedikat chametz [Hebrew: בדיקת חמץ]) on the evening before the holiday begins."

Even if we're not Jews, or even if we're not moving house, it's a good idea to have regular spring cleaning, a time of heavy duty cleaning and organizing. Perhaps we will find that there are things we have that we don't really use and which would benefit someone else much more. Or that having less clutter will give us a more peaceful and well functioning home.

The weeks before Easter are also a good time to do some spiritual spring cleaning, to take a look at our lives and allow God to take away the clutter, to leave behind what is of value in the eternal perspective.

This Holy week, why not take hold of a Bible and take to heart these words...

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
" Psalm 51:10

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:22

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Romans 12:2

Have a blessed Holy Week!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Seemingly Illogical Ways of God

Sometimes, or maybe oftentimes, we don't understand God's ways. We question them and say, as Oswald Chambers says in his book "My Utmost for His Highest",
"I am impressed with the wonder of what God says, but He cannot expect me really to live it out in the details of my life!" ... Your ideals are high and they impress us, but in touch with actual things, it cannot be done... "

Chambers says "These misgivings about Jesus start from the amused questions put to us when we talk of our transactions with God - Where are you going to get your money from? How are you going to be looked after? Or they start from ourselves when we tell Jesus that our case is a bit too hard for Him. It is all very well to say "Trust in the Lord," but a man must live, and Jesus has nothing to draw with - nothing whereby to give us these things..." Chambers was reflecting on John 4:11, when the Samaritan woman told Jesus - " have nothing to draw with."

These words struck me as I read them because in these times of financial crisis, so many people find themselves anxious about where to get money to pay the bills. And just like the Samaritan woman, many find it hard to believe that God can provide for the practical everyday needs.

But then, if you've tried all the other ways to get out of a crisis, what harm can there be in trying to find out about God's ways? After all, His word in Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." When I read something like this, I want to claim it and I try to find out what God requires of me so that I can follow His ways.

Someone close to me shared about how he used think that paying His taxes fully and giving tithes would definitely mean less money in his pocket. That's logical, isn't it? And then he got convicted about evading taxes and decided to follow God's ways. He paid his taxes and gave his tithes, obeying Malachi 3:10, and perhaps "testing God". It says - "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows." To his amazement, his business prospered and although illogical, he he found that instead of having less to spend, he had much more.

God's ways don't always seem logical to us. Like when He says in Luke 6:38, "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-- pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." Or in Matthew 20: 26-27, "It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave."

However illogical God's ways seem to be, who knows how He will work in our lives when we open ourselves up to Him. I think it's worth a try.
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