Rain of Grace

A field is useful to farmers if there is enough rain to make good crops grow. In fact, God will bless that field. But land that produces only thorns is worthless. It is likely to fall under God’s curse, and in the end, it will be set on fire.” Hebrews 6:4-7 CEV

To drink the rain that falls on the ground, to yield good fruit, to be fertile and always ready for each day’s blessings – why is this not always happening?

Everyday, grace is sufficiently bestowed – rained upon us, as if we deserve it. And what do we do? We are like the roads which hold the rain for a while but then get rid of it in the sewers. We can, but we don’t drink in the rain, because our hearts refuse to be rained on. We think that we have what it takes to be truly human. We believe in our sufficient strength, our good acts, our benevolent intentions, our religious rituals, our commitment to our vows. But “life is difficult.” And in the face of trials we sometimes lose hope. When faced with temptations, we fall on the wayside, presented with options we go astray. In fact, we are often unwise that we have often detoured from our life’s main road.

If are without wisdom, what we will become in the end are immature people. We will cover ourselves with enough masks to camouflage our inadequacies.

God wants to bless us – but we need to drink in His rain of grace all the time. We need to live on, by, and of His love. We need to stop living in our own might. Our efforts should be towards a growing understanding of how God wants us to conduct our lives. For us Christians, It cannot be as how the world does it, or according to what the world approves of, or based on whether we have a good feeling afterwards. We need to live in God’s grace, completely dependent on his provisions for righteousness.

This is not easy. Sometimes this is even impossible for us human beings, but this is how it should be.

Streams in the Desert (Volume 2-Charles Cowman)

 

“Ang mga ito’y mga magpapalayok at mga taga-Netaim at Gedera. Doo’y naninirahan sila na kasama ng hari para sa kanyang gawain.” 1 Cronica 4:23 ABB

Maaari tayong manirahan kahit saan “kasama ng hari para sa kanyang gawain.” Maaaring hindi maganda ang lugar na kinaroroonan natin; sa isang malayong probinsya na halos parang walang ginagawa ang Hari sa paligid natin; maaaring sa isang lugar na napapalibutan ng lahat ng uri ng kasukalan at mga hadlang saan man tayo tumingin; at dagdag pa rito, maaaring ito’y sa isang lugar na kung saan ay gumagawa pa tayo ng kung anu-anong paghuhulma sa araw-araw nating pamumuhay.

Hindi na bale! Ang Hari na naglagay sa atin sa lugar na iyon ay dadating at mananahan doon kasama natin; tama lamang para sa atin ang mga kasukalan, o kung hindi man, ay tiyak na agad Niyang aalisin ang mga ito. At hindi naman ibig sabihin na hindi tayo maiingatan ng kasukalang ito; at tungkol naman sa mga araw-araw na mga “paghuhulma” natin, aba, ang mga ito ang tamang-tama lamang na gawaing ibinigay Niya sa atin, at kung gayon, sa kasalukuyan, “Ito ang kanyang gawain.” Frances Ridley Havergal.

“Mahal ko, bumalik ka sa hardin!/ Bumalik ka doon hanggang sa pagkagat ng dilim,/ At talian mo ang mga lirio at pasunurin ang mga baging,/ Hanggang sa ang Guro, ikaw ay tawagin.//

“Pagandahin mo ang hardin hanggang sa iyong makakaya,/ Hinding-hindi ka gumagawang nag-iisa;/ Marahil siya na katabi mo lamang na naglilinang / may ari din ng hardin at siyang magbabantay”//

Ang makukulay na mga paglubog ng araw at ang kalangitan na hitik sa mga bituin, ang magagandang kabundukan at maningning na karagatan, ang mababangong kagubatan at makukulay na bulaklak, ay hindi pa rin kasing-ganda ng isang kaluluwang naglilingkod kay Jesus dahil sa pagmamahal sa Kanya, sa kalagitnaan ng kahirapan at pagdurusa na kalakip ng pangkaraniwang buhay at buhay na hindi maisasa-tula. Faber

Ang mga pinaka-banal na kalooban ay naroroon sa mga hindi man lamang kinilala ang kanilang mga sarili bilang mga manlilikha, o doon sa mga hindi man lang nag-iwan ng monumento ng sarili upang mapag-usapan ng mundo; kundi naroroon sa mga namumuhay tulad ng mga anghel, namumulaklak nang walang nakakakita gaya ng babagong namumukadkad na lirio sa baradong lambak sa pampang ng batisang marumi ang tubig – Kenelm Digby

JCB November 2007

http://www.english-to-tagalog.com/EnglishtoTagalog.com

“These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work.” (1 Chron 4:23)

Anywhere and everywhere, we may “dwell with the king for his work.” We may be in a very unlikely and unfavorable place for this; it may be in a literal country life, with little enough to be seen of the “goings” of the King around us; it may be among the hedges of all sorts, hindrances in all directions; it may be furthermore, with our hands full of all manner of pottery for our daily task.

No matter! The King who placed us “there” will come and dwell there with us; the hedges are right, or He would soon do away with them. And it does not follow that what seems to hinder our way may not be for its very protection; and as for the pottery, why, that is just exactly what He has seen fit to put into our hands, and therefore it is, for the present, “his work.” – Frances Ridley Havergal.

“Go back to they garden plot, sweetheart!/ Go back till the evening falls,/ and bind thy lilies and train thy vines,/Till for thee the Master calls.

“Go make they garden fair as thou canst,/Thou workest never alone;/ Perhaps he wholse plot is next to thine/ Will see it and mend his own.”

The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life. – Faber

The most saintly spirits are often existing in those who have never distinguished themselves as authors, or left any memorial of themselves to be the theme of the world’s talk; but who have led and interior angelic life, having borne their sweet blossoms unseen like the young lily in a sequestered vale on the bank of a limpid stream – Kenelm Digby.

What is the son of man….

 

What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.” Hebrews 2:5-8

That Jesus became man by the will of God is something for religious debates. One major religion in the Philippines does not believe that Jesus is God, but that He is only a “sugo” or literally “the one commanded.” Another believe that Jesus is an angel and that the name Jehovah belongs to God but this is not Jesus.The psalmist asks the question rhetorically because only God can answer the question since only God knows the son. What is “man” that you are mindful of him? “The son of man” born of Joseph and Mary, that you care for him? Even the angels testified when Jesus was born “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Christ the Lord. …Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:11,14. On his birth, Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, but after his resurrection, he was crowned with glory and honor. Then God “put everything under his feet.”Why is this truth contested even to this day? Jesus is Lord and the book of Hebrews can only be straightforward about it. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2). That Jesus is the beginning and the end is so obvious in this verse. That he is sustains the world which is also under his feet is even more clear in the following: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to them. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son; today I have become your Father?” (Hebrews 1:3-5)These words were originally written for the Jews who considered angels as superior to Jesus. In our time, there may be other “celestial beings” people consider to be God over their lives and decisions. Sometimes, it’s painful to learn that people will easily believe that their bodies could also be gods, and they work at this, if only to attain that heavenly stature. Christians have a duty to tell about Jesus, that He is God and there is no other.

About a hundred yards

But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. John 21:8

Peter simply went out to sea again, gave it another try, because somebody says “go out to sea again.” Why didn’t he debate the command? He is a fisherman. He should know better. What could have made him tow the net once more?

“It is the Lord,” John said, and Peter’s heart burned. This is the Peter who betrayed his Lord three times. What could be going on in his head during the interval, between Jesus death and the events of his resurrection?

The same impulse which made him take to the sea again is now driving him to hug the source. His blessing is not just that they finally caught fish, but that he finally becomes the fisherman that God intentioned him to be.