8 Jan 2015 by Lim Poh Ann –
Long ago, I happened to visit a church where the pastor spoke about peace. He said: “If one has one million dollars in the bank, then one would definitely be at peace.”
Many feel the same because so often our security is tied to what we have in our bank account. While financial security does remove some anxiety from our lives, we definitely cannot say this pastor’s statement is in line with biblical teaching.
At the beginning of this new year, may we have the right perspective as we set goals and pursue what God has in store for us.
While prosperity has a place in our lives, there are other Ps we should look into. Here are four areas, all beginning with P, which I believe we should consider:
Having all the financial security in the world without a right relationship with God is useless. Our priorities are warped if we think being rich is the best thing that can happen to us this new year.
To think we are rich and have no need of anything is to have a false sense of security. That was exactly the problem with the Laodicean church which prided itself in riches. In God’s eyes, however, this church was “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked”. Unless its members repent, they will come under judgment (Revelation 3: 17-19).
May we seek to set ourselves right before God this new year by confessing our sins and choosing to obey Him. A broken and contrite heart, He will not despise. May we not grieve the Holy Spirit. May our hearts be soft and open to correction. Blessed are the pure for they will see God.
Turmoil and turbulence are signs of the times we are now living in: wars, lawlessness, persecution, famines, earthquakes, pestilences and an imminent financial collapse. The atrocities committed in the Middle East and the resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus strike fear and trepidation in the lives of many.
Amid this highly disturbing global scenario, we should take more time to seek God and find our rest in Him. It is highly unlikely things will get better. It can only get worse. These end time tribulations will culminate in the Great Tribulation as the antichrist unleashes a time of unprecedented suffering for the whole world, including believers.
Let us place our trust in Jesus, the Prince of Peace, for He promises peace if we place our trust in Him. “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).
This peace is not a state that is reached when all things are going on well, whether in the world or our personal lives—be it good health or financial stability. Rather, it is the ‘in spite of’ kind of peace which passes all understanding—that which can only be experienced by those who really know God. But can we say we really know Him—in the heart, not only in the head?
We may be righteous before God and living in His peace amid various trials and tribulations but that is not the whole equation. God has something much more in store for us.
We need to know our distinctive gifts and talents and God’s calling for our lives. Knowing who we are in God’s eyes is imperative if we are to be effective in ministry. If we are clueless about our giftings and calling, then we are like flotsam drifting along in the ocean.
Many well-meaning believers are deeply involved in a particular ministry—meeting diverse needs, spreading themselves thin, “fighting fires” with leaky hoses and blunt axes. But if they don’t have a clear understanding of their primary calling in life, they won’t be effective.
Philosopher and theologian, Dr Ramesh Richard, once challenged some leaders to reduce their life work to one word, which to him is “proclamation”. We too need to find that “one word” that best describes our life work.
This new year we would do well to spend some quiet moments to discover who we are in God’s eyes so that we will be more fulfilled and effective.
Some of us may know what are our gifts and talents and what God has called us to do. But somehow we have lost the fire. We are merely chugging along like a steam locomotive when we should have been zooming like a high speed electric train.
That’s why we need to learn how to find our rest in Him. Take time to worship Him. Allow His Word to refresh us. Spend some time away from the hustle and bustle at a place where we do nothing except give God first priority, away from family and work responsibilities. Perhaps we need the fellowship and counsel of one or two confidantes to help us think through where and how far we have gone and which direction God would have us take in the next phase of our lives.
Learning to wait is never to be considered a time-wasting activity. Through waiting we learn to get a handle of God’s direction and timing. And, once being enlightened, we come back with renewed zeal and fervour.
No man of God can continually serve and give of himself to others without recharging his batteries. Even the great prophet, Elijah, faced depression. After God dealt with him under a broom tree, he was recommissioned. He got back his fire (1 Kings 19:4-16).
This new year, brothers and sisters, may you get excited about your raison d’être! May the Holy Spirit anoint and empower you. May He grant you a fresh revelation of His purpose for your life. God bless.
Hyper-grace teaches us that, after our one-time confession of sin at conversion, believers no longer need to confess our sins. When God looks at us, all He is going to see is Christ’s blood, not our sins whether it is past, present or future. We merely rest in the ‘imputed righteousness of Christ’.
To live soberly and purposefully during these perilous end times, we need to arm ourselves with wisdom and discernment.
Can believers rest in the security that we will be raptured before the Great Tribulation? Let us re-examine first-hand the passages on rapture.
Are there rewards for waiting? What consequences await those who are impatient?
Getting ourselves immersed in worship is important. For worship brings down God’s presence and paves the way for effective service.
By embracing a God-inspired vision, we can live purposefully—by design and not by default.
Once we have resolved some important questions about our identity, we are well on our way to enjoy sound psychological health. We are also well-positioned to live out God’s calling for our lives. Otherwise our lives might be stuck in the doldrums.
SHOULD WE MAKE RESOLUTIONS?
Just because we fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions, does it mean we should not make them?
Ten reasons why we fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions.
HOW TO QUICKLY ACCESS PORRIDGE
For a quick overview: http://bit.ly/1ijiXHp
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Source of Article: http://limpohann.blogspot.com/2015/01/four-ps-to-guide-us-into-new-year.html
NOTE: All pictures from original blogsite unless otherwise specified.
ABOUT Author: Dr Lim Poh Ann is a medical practitioner. He was the former editor of Asian Beacon magazine (December 2008 – October 2011). He can be reached at his blog, Porridge for the Soul
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