Hezekiah – Man of FAITH and OBEDIENCE

I was doing my quiet time on 2 Kings 18-19, about Hezekiah, king of Judah, who, after a longggg chain of displeasing, wicked kings, finally was deemed righteous and pleasing to the sight of the Lord. I just adore him! Hezekiah was compared to David (I am a huge fan of David. And it is rare in the Bible for anyone to be compared to him. He was called “Man after God’s own heart” – God dearly loved this man.) in that he pleased the LORD (18:3). He is known for his trust in the LORD, his faithfulness to the LORD, and his obedience to the LORD’s commands (18:5-6). Hezekiah carefully observed Moses’ laws and obeyed them. He removed pagan shrines and various idols and did not lead the people to ungodliness. When the Assyrian king blasphemed against the LORD and insulted Him, enticing the people to lose hope (18:19-35; 19:10-13), Hezekiah did not falter. Both times he immediately went to the LORD’s temple (19:1; 19:14) and prayed to the LORD (19:2-4; 19:15-19) and then, praised Him! He did not doubt the LORD; he had faith – he knew that even if all other gods fail, his would not, because all other gods are vainly idols, and his God is the living God (19:18-19). He prayed for victory not for the sake of himself, but for the sake of the LORD (19:19). Yes – he did not after the bombardment of insult and disgrace talked among other people to discuss whether their LORD is real or the damage done to other nations by these Assyrians. He went straight to the LORD in faith and worshiped Him. He was thus rewarded with the comparison to David (18:3), the great, timeless acknowledgement by the LORD Himself – that there was no one like him among the kings of Judah (18:5), His presence, and success in all things he did (18:7) – Because the things Hezekiah did was according to God’s will.

Hezekiah is another great Bible example of Faith manifesting itself through Obedience. I am especially thankful for him because his firm faith and immediate response to pray is very relate-able to us in this generation – the world will bombard us with crap about God, telling us that He is not real and unable. Atheism is the new trend, and a real faith-life is viewed as some archaic lifestyle, deprecated and insulted. But we as Christians must follow Hezekiah: stand firm in faith. Be assured that God is real and working. Worship the LORD in the midst of trial. Pray for His name to be glorified. Study His word and carefully obey its laws. Help those under your authority to find God. And the LORD will call upon your name in the end: “(name), wo/man of Faith and Obedience, you have done well.

“Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.” – James 2:26

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An Entry from My Diary – on Unworthiness

“I am a useless crap. A piece of moldy cake. I cannot do anything well: I have no special talent, no good ability, nor the focus and concentration to better myself. I thought perhaps my mind is special and has a chance to excel, but it proved not. No matter how much I understand my duties and be reconciled to righteousness, I lose it all too easily and never make the action to make real my desires and determinations. I am a useless crap. 
But that is the point. I remember praying, in the midst of subtle pride, that I be weak, foolish, completely worthless, that You (God) may use me to show Your glory. That because I am so weak, so imperfect, Your strength and perfection will be revealed.” 2015.09.29

context: I was looking through my journal and read this one, from a few weeks ago. I was realizing more than ever that I am unworthy of anything, that I am not in fact beautiful. But I also realized that it’s okay to not be beautiful, because the One who matters most, the LORD, love me despite my ugliness. He doesn’t love me because I am beautiful; rather, His love makes me beautiful. This is a follow up:

“Incessantly a voice chatters in my head – subtly, with dimmed sounds… ‘nobody loves you, so you are not beautiful. Nobody makes you beautiful….so you are not worthy.’ 
So I will speak to you, Voice. You are incorrect. There are many, many people who love me. You seem to define ‘love’ as obsession, or an over-passionate eros. That is irrational. Love is not obsessive, love is not only eros. These are facts well founded in the Word. And who do you mean by ‘nobody’? If you define ‘nobody’ as the collective group of people, mum, dad, Sa***, Do***e, Aunt J***, Uncle G***, Wa****s, Ka***, Jo****, K**, and all others in my circles who, I am sure, loves me very much, then sure.
And I think that you do not understand the value of being unworthy. My worthlessness is not a conception, it’s a fact. I have fallen, I am very filthy. I am sinful. This fact cannot change. I will never be righteous until the end of days and I return to my Home. However, I am DEEMED worthy. Not only does a mass of lovely people on earth LOVE me to make me beautiful, the King of all kings, the Creator of ALL, the God of infinite glory, loves me and takes pleasure in me. HE SAYS THAT I AM BEAUTIFUL. And there is no other authority that can challenge His word. I am BEAUTIFUL and you cannot take that away from me. And besides, the fact that I am unworthy proves the extent of God’s love, how selfless and loving He is. That is my honour to glorify Him. -2015.10.07

I just thought I’d share. 🙂

A Trace of Fragrance

“I fear oblivion.” said Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. To some extent, we all can relate. We often wonder if our absence will be noticed and sometimes secretly envy the great individuals who manage to leave their names in history books. Wherever we are, we try to make ourselves distinct enough to be remembered. As Christians, however, should we fear oblivion? Colossians 3:3 says “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Instead of fearing it, Christians are called to embrace it.

  Consider a juicy, bright-red coffee berry. Each of these delicious-looking berries endure the process of being picked from its tree, dried under the scorching sun, stripped of its outer beauty, sorted out individually, roasted in peircing heat, ground into pieces, and finally, brewed.This berry started as an exquisite fruit and ended in grains that are thrown away and forgotten. What was the point of the entire process?

  It was the core, the essence of the berry, that needed to be revealed. Coffee would not be special without the aromatic drink it produces. Likewise, we too must be stripped of color, broken apart, and forgotten so that our core – the Holy Spirit – may be unveiled. “But thanks be to God, who…through us spreads the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.” – 2 Corinthians 2:14. Our Farmer has planted us intending that we spread His Spirit, and that He may resonate in the hearts of those who surround us. He wants us to leave a trace of His fragrance, drifting from hearts to hearts, generations to generations, nations to nations, until the Lord returns and establishes His Kingdom. Until that day, we are to conceal ourselves in the glory of the Spirit, allowing Him to emanate joy, truth, and love as we live according to John the Baptist’s confession: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)  and, beyond that, according to Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me…” So let the pleasing fragrance of Christ be the remnant of your life – one that never perishes, and that will always be remembered by the Lord.