I couldn’t resist taking a snapshot of the rising sun as I was watering the plants one early morning. Capturing a sunrise definitely is one of those relatively rare moments for me, let alone one that had its glorious light filtered out by a layer of smog. I do hope that we don’t reach Beijing-like levels of noxious air, but what can we actually do about it?
Here are some images I took from a surprise birthday dinner I’ve been invited to. The restaurant’s name is Rose and they serve Japanese “enhanced with classic French cooking techniques“. The chef had whipped up some simply fascinating combos from his kitchen that night.
I realize that there’s quite a number of folks in my network who’s had their birthday on February, if you happen to be one of them, allow me to greet you a happy birthday!
I loved the salmon rose & the edamame. The green beans amused me so much that I decided to physically pull each seed out of the pods so I could share with you its ‘inside-story’.
And don’t let the dessert fool you, the chocolate flame packed a bold piquant flavor blend that made me want some more. It definitely is a must-try!
“If it feels good, go ahead!”
“If it feels right, then yeah by all means do it!”
Do these statements sound familiar?
Problem with this thinking is that there’s no absolute truth to these situations. To those who subscribe to this type of thinking may easily argue that “it may not be good for you, but it’s totally fine for me.”
What does the Bible say about the human heart? While the world says “follow your heart”, the Word says “your heart is deceitful“. In other words, we’re not supposed to follow our own hearts, since we’d easily become wayward and it would be a step away from God’s heart.
One example of this is when Saul decided to disobey God by following his own heart, and in so doing was on his way to being replaced as king of Israel.
Even king David, who is better known as “one who is after God’s own heart”, thought that he deserved a “break“. Or perhaps he was saying to himself, “I deserve to be happy, after all, I am king.” The moment he followed his heart, he was deceived into thinking that he can do things on his own terms and outside of God’s will and purpose for him. When he listened to his heart, he thought that he could easily fix problems on his own without seeking God’s guidance. It certainly led him to a series of sins that he would soon deeply regret. Even if people don’t find out or worse – if people actually agree with you in your wrongdoing, God knows.
What should we be doing then? Let us guard our hearts and be a people after God’s own heart.
Do you feel that you need a break? Get down, pray, and talk to God. God is not limited. God is not stingy. When we follow our heart’s pleasures and not His pleasures, we end up despising God. Let’s not despise the reading of His Word.
David repented when he heard God’s warning through prophet Nathan’s story. Be alert of those little compromises that we slowly and seemingly build into something we suddenly become “proud” of. So watch out! Guard your heart and let’s have the same attitude of repentance (David’s example) and not of arrogance (Saul’s example).
God’s level of love differs from the way we love. God’s amazing love is just awesome, He is a God of restoration.
Do you believe in the saying “Follow your heart”?
Today’s breakfast was the usual – eggs!
I’ve created an omelet with tiny blocks of cheese before among other ingredients, but haven’t tried grating the cheese before putting it in the pan. So that’s what happened this morning – pretty easy stuff I’d say. Grate the cheese onto the egg, add the right amount of pepper & salt, a pinch of basil leaves, and off to the beating!
Although I found the taste a bit salty for my palate (I must’ve added a pinch too much), I was glad my family liked it. The right salty soft-crunch on the sides with the melted cheese inside providing that final oomph! Oh yeah.
I still had to create the default order for the day though for my youngest — the sunny side up.
Thriving is not just about salvation, but a saved life moves forward in the process of sanctification in Christ Jesus. This means that the gospel forms part of the ‘starting line to finish line’ of our Christian life and not simply put off as just the start. Healthy growth then means that given the proper conditions, one’s life may then be called a “thriving” life.
In Romans 8:1-2 it reads, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Now means something new – something that is not of the past. The change that brought the now is Jesus. There are two types of law that are seen in this passage: the Law of the Spirit of Life or the Law of Sin & Death. So what’s the difference?
Take for example this analogy the Law of Drag & Gravity taking the place of the Law of Sin & Death while the Law of Thrust & Lift taking the place of the Law of the Spirit of Life. Now ask the question: can you fly? Or more appropriately ask this question: can airplanes fly? Yes, but how? Airplanes can fly even in the presence of drag & gravity because of thrust & lift. Our lives are thrust forward in Christ and we experience lift in Him as well.
“No Condemnation” doesn’t mean it’s a pardon. Remember that the punishment still had to come to pass for those who have put their faith in Christ. Christ being the one who had paid the cost in our behalf! What then shall our response be? The proper response then is conviction. We must not only be convicted of sin, but be convicted of righteousness as well. It’s not just about what you’re not supposed to do, but also what you ought to do. Condemnation is separation. Conviction has the opposite effect.
Thrust — Now since we are His children. God goes way beyond the Judge-Subject relationship! This is what makes us move forward. Have you tried jogging by yourself? Compare the experience when jogging with someone, or perhaps jogging with a friend? Now imagine yourself jogging with someone you love… that definitely changes the game.
Notes from “Thrive: Old or New”, part 3of4 of a message series about knowing more about the lasting effects of what Jesus did on the cross: a life of victory over our sin & living a full life according to God’s ways
Questions to think about: If you were to write a rule that the whole world gets to obey, what would it be and why?