A Lack of Faith…

Quiet Time – 5.10.2016 [Mark 6:1-6]

Hey homie I just read Mark 6:1-6.  Jesus goes back to His hometown and they don’t respond well to Him, in fact they’re described to have an amazing lack of faith!  It ends up with Jesus not doing many miracles there except heal a few sick people.

The people of Nazareth is another example of how people react to who Jesus is.  They live by sight and doubt who He is because of what they’ve seen.


The People of Nazareth

It’s starts off with Jesus teaching in the synagogue and “many who heard Him were amazed…” but they’re not amazed for what you might think.  They begin asking questions like “Where did this man get these things?” and “What’s this wisdom that has been given Him, that He even does miracles!  Isn’t this the carpenter?  Isn’t this Mary’s Son…”  They’re extremely doubtful of Jesus because they’re remembering who He was when He was growing up and living here before He began His public ministry.  He surely can’t be anything else!

The people of Nazareth have a lack of faith because they’re focusing on what they’ve seen only.  They don’t even consider if what Jesus is saying to them is true, if He is who He says He is.  


Jesus

Jesus sees this and is “amazed at their lack of faith.”  They give Jesus’ Words absolutely no consideration, not even the slightest chance.  They deny who Jesus is by relying on their sight.  They live by sight and not by faith.  Just as C.S Lewis argues, Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or LORD.  It seems that the people of Nazareth see Him as both a liar and a lunatic.

They deny who Jesus is as they live by sight and not by faith.


Application

From seeing this I asked myself:

  • How do I deny His character?
  • How do I fail to respond to who Jesus is?
  • How do I live by sight instead of trusting in God’s promises?

How do I deny His character?

I often deny the fact that Jesus is enough in the way I see relationships.  I can sometimes feel that if I had a partner I would be happier, more satisfied or more fulfilled.  This is a straight up lie.   In fact human partners are all deficient, they can never satisfy me the way that I intrinsically need because it’s only found in Jesus.

Jesus is absolutely enough for me. 


How do I fail to respond to who Jesus is?

Jesus is king.  He is LORD above all.  But if someone was to look at how I live would they see that Jesus is Lord over all of my life?  Maybe on the surface they would, “Oh!  You’re involved in ministry and all these great leadership roles!  You must be having Jesus as Lord over all of your life!”  But what about my time at home?  What about all the time I spend procrastinating because I’m too lazy and slothful?

I need to be intentional with the way I spend my time at home, one of the ways for me to do this is cut down on the time I spend watching YouTube and rest in a way that will actually help me look at Jesus.

I want to live in a way that shows to everyone that I live for a King who is not myself.  I live for a Kingdom that is not here.  


How do I live by sight instead of trusting in God’s promises?

I live by faith because I trust in myself, my skills and my gifts as I serve in ministry.  I get the delusion that past ministries have borne much fruit because of how skillful I was, how gifted I was, how much I tried to achieve success through them.  In reality they bear fruit because God is Sovereign and He always works by His Spirit whenever His Word is opened to achieve His purposes.  I try to claim His success as my all and delude myself to thinking that I’m the important gear that makes everything run.  Only God does this.  If it was reliant upon me everything would legitimately fall apart.

One way that I can stay humble and remember to rely upon God’s promises instead of what I can achieve is by staying in prayer.  Prayer is how you can really tell if someone trusts God or not.

Prayer is NOT the preparation for the more important thing.
It IS the more important thing.


“Jesus said to them, “Only in His hometown, among His relatives and in His own house is a prophet without honour.”  He could not do any miracles there, except lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them.  And He was amazed at their lack of faith.”

– Mark 6:4-6

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“Don’t be afraid; just believe…”

Quiet Time – 4.10.2016 [Mark 5:21-43]

Hey homie I just read Mark 5:21-43. It’s where Jesus gets asked by Jairus to heal his daughter who is dying. He goes there but gets ambushed by a crowd and a woman who has been bleeding for 12 years touches His cloak in faith and gets healed. Jesus then continues on to Jairus’ household who’ve said that his daughter is already dead, but Jesus is like lols not really. They laugh at Him and then He proceeds to bring back Jairus’ daughter from death.

It’s really apparent to me from this passage that the nature of faith in Jesus defies the circumstances you see around you.

Jairus

We get introduced to a character called Jairus who is a synagogue ruler who has a little daughter who is dying. He comes to Jesus and earnestly pleads with Him. “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her and she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.”

Jairus believes and trusts in the rumours he’s heard about the Man who has healed so many before.

Woman

As they travel on their way to Jairus’ home it has this sandwiched section about this woman who has been bleeding for 12 years. She’s suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors, spent ALL she’s had but instead of getting better, she’s gotten worse! This is the picture of someone who’s hit rock bottom who has no where else to turn. “When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.” Just like Jairus she trusts in the rumours she’s heard about the Man who has healed so many before.

She pleads by faith because she has nothing else to hold onto and no one else to turn to.

Jesus

Jesus instantly realises that power has gone out of Him and asks a pretty silly question considering the circumstances.

“Who touched my clothes?”

“Jesus buddy, there’s a billion people crowding around you and you’re asking who touched your clothes?” is probably what His disciples are thinking. What they don’t realise is that Jesus is infinitely powerful and aware of every single bit of His power. The woman falls at His feet trembling with fear and tells Him the whole truth.

She’s realised that with one touch this Man has done more for her than anyone in her 12 years. Jesus’ power is huge and goes beyond our circumstances.

Daughter

Men then come from Jairus’ house and say that his daughter is already dead, don’t bother the Teacher anymore, it’s too late… But…. Jesus IGNORES them and says to Jairus these absolutely incredible words into this situation. “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” If there’s ever a time to be afraid and panic for Jairus it’s now. He’s just missed his little daughters last few hours of life to find some dude who could heal her but it’s too late now. No one comes back from the dead. They keep going to Jairus’ house welcomed to much wailing and crying. Jesus says “The child is not dead but asleep.” to which everyone laughs at Him. Truly no one comes back from the dead. But surely enough Jesus goes to visit Jairus’ daughter and absolutely defying all logic and circumstance raises her from the dead.

“Talitha Koum!” – “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”

Jesus’ power defies our circumstances and situations. He calls us to respond to who He is in faith. Trusting that He can do what we can’t even imagine.

Application

– I’m actually meant to relate to Jairus. We have to continually and earnestly plead with God. We’ve heard and seen God’s power and we need to rely on it day by day.

– I’m actually meant to relate to the woman in the crowd. In my sin I was at rock bottom and had no where else to turn to and no one else to turn to. Jesus called me to rely upon who He is completely for my salvation. You only plead when you have nothing else to offer. However that reliance upon Jesus continues NOW. Right now I need to keep living by faith knowing and trusting that God can do more in a single touch than I or anyone else could ever do.

Don’t be afraid; just believe. Jesus absolutely defies what my circumstances say around me. I can’t live by sight, I have to live by faith. In fact my circumstances will actually contradict what Jesus has promised for us.

One of the things I struggle to see past my circumstances with right now is with my work. RICE desires to fundraise support for me so I can work for them in a full time capacity for their Gospel ministry. However I am prone to look at my circumstances and point out all the flaws and difficulties of raising enough support for me. I’m not properly trusting God to provide what I need. Jesus promises that I’ll have exactly what I need but I doubt that promise because of my circumstances.

Jesus WILL provide for me what I need. That sometimes might not look like what I expect but whatever does happen it’s going to be perfect for me in that situation! Faith is trusting in God’s promises despite your circumstances seemingly contradicting them. Pray that I might live by faith and not by sight!


“While Jesus was still speaking; some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

– Mark 5:35-36

Responding to who Jesus is…

Hey there WordPress!  I haven’t posted anything up for a while because I haven’t had the time to write poetry/devote much of my head space into keeping this blog constant BUT I normally share some of my quiet time reflections with some of my close homies and realised that it wouldn’t be hard to just copy and paste some of them onto here!  This is the reason why most of how I will be talking in these blog posts will be super casual and often use my own weird colloquial language.  I apologise to all of you in advance :)

So I’ve decided to be posting up my quiet time reflections onto this blog and God-willing it would be an encouragement to some of you guys!  Hope you guys enjoy seeing this kid try to love Jesus.  If you’re encouraged by anything I share please encourage me back by letting me know in the comment section!


Quiet Time – 29.9.2016 [Mark 5:1-20]

Hey homie! I just read Mark 5:1-20. It’s about Jesus encountering Legion and it was super encouraging for me! It was really apparent how the character and person of Jesus demands a response from people. You can’t encounter Jesus and not have a response.

Legion

This homie is nothing short of badass. He lives in the tombs, no one can bind him, no one can match him in in strength. Everyone around is scared as beans of him. But as soon as he sees Jesus he runs to Him and falls on His knees in front of Him. He knows exactly who Jesus is, that He is the “Son of the Most High God.” He responds to who Jesus is in absolute terror. He pleads that Jesus would let him go into the pigs on the hillside. He knows his place before Jesus.

The dude who everyone is terrified of is not even slightly a match for the power and authority of Jesus.

Villagers

The villagers see that Jesus’ power absolutely trumps Legion and that the man is now freed from Legion and in his normal mind. This TERRIFIES them. The dude we couldn’t even hope to beat was quivering in front of this Dude? They respond to Jesus character in FEAR. They end up pleading for Jesus to leave their region.  Holy beans this Dude is nuts.

The character and person of Jesus demands a response from people.

Demon-Possessed Man

This dude is totally g now and BEGS Jesus to let him go with Jesus, but…. Jesus doesn’t let him. Jesus says “Go home to your family and tell them how much the LORD has done for you and how He has had mercy on you!” Jesus wants him to be a witness of His goodness to those around him!   “So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”

Jesus wants the man to follow Him by staying here as a witness of His goodness.

Myself

So it was pretty clear to me that the character and person of Jesus forces people to respond to Him. My question for myself was how do I respond to Jesus’ character? I need to let who Jesus is, shape the way I live in every aspect. Clearly shown in this section is that He has an incredible amount of power and authority that I simply can’t ignore.

– I personally doubt His power in my life with my parents and family. I find myself basing their likeliness of salvation dependant on what I see. This doesn’t make sense because in the story if I was to bet on someone to win a power struggle, I’d bet on Legion and well… we all know how that story finished :)

The cross is big enough, even for the salvation of my parents and family.

– I personally doubt His authority in my life with the way I see purity. I’ve been finding it more difficult recently keeping my mind on things above and holding on to God’s call on my life to be “Holy as He is Holy.” I find intimacy and satisfaction in things not of God, and they all leave me feeling empty and disappointed.

Jesus is MORE than enough for my cravings of intimacy. Jesus is LORD and I need to submit to His LORDSHIP over all of my life.  He is King and He alone!

– I wish to respond to Jesus’ character just like the demon-possessed man. Would I be BOLD and TESTIFY to all of God’s goodness to me in my life! Particularly for me right now, I have a lot of birthday parties, battles and events with a lot of my dancing friends! Pray for me that I would be bold and courageous in talking about God’s goodness to me intentionally as I interact with them and all those people in my life just like the demon-possessed man!

Pray that I would boldly testify of God’s goodness towards me, to all around me!


“The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man – and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.”

– Mark 5:12-17

A Letter to Christians with Eczema

Hey there this is a shout out and message for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling with or who have wrestled with eczema.

I’ve been really blessed in the last 2 years as I’ve been on immunosuppressants which have helped ENORMOUSLY to maintain and control my eczema. However, I went to the hospital recently and they want to do a test on me which requires me to be off my medication for a few weeks. So in the last 2 weeks or so I’ve had heaps of people asking me why my face is so red, or why I look like I’m sunburnt or had too much to drink. (xD – also the picture below doesn’t really show it because I don’t know how to turn off beauty face LOL) All this reminded me of what it was like when I had eczema at my worst. The constant pain. The social fears. The insecurities. The insomnia. The dark spiral of depression.

Inevitably eczema affects every facet of our lives, of how we see life, other people, ourselves and even God. Can I just say that even though I don’t completely understand all of your circumstances, since all of us are different, I can empathise and sympathise with you homies. I feel your pain, frustration and sadness.

From the times where you shy from photos. When you choose to stay at home avoiding people. When you wear clothing to cover your scars and exposed skin. When your friends from church ask you why you missed service. The fear of having a shower. The sleepless nights. The constant visits and disappointments from the hospitals and dermatologists. The times where you notice people’s eyes wander as they talk to you. The times where you’re afraid to look at your bed and floor. The times where you’re crushingly depressed because you feel your body is trying to fight your happiness and satisfaction constantly. The feeling when you feel like you’re becoming a different person. The feeling of not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The pain and rawness of crying out to God and seemingly getting no response.

I feel you fam.

You’re not alone.

If this is how you feel can I encourage you with 3 things that you may already know but are so important to remember and hold onto.

1) Our God is the God of all comfort.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

– 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Our God is not one of indifference, ignorance or sadism. Our God is one who cares for His people “who comforts us in ALL our troubles.” There is not a single trouble or affliction that God’s children cannot bring to Him. So if that is true, go to Him, cry out to Him, He hears and promises to comfort you.

“Cast all your anxieties on Him for He cares for you.”

– 1 Peter 5:7

As you pray and cry out to God, listen to Him. Read His Living Word! You have in your bible the very Words of God that He uses to comfort His people! So read and seek comfort from the One who promises to give it. In fact here’s one of the great comforts that God tells us in His Word about what the New Creation will be like :

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things have passed away.”

– Revelation 21:4

Every. Single. Tear.

The earlier verse from 2 Corinthians mentions that we are comforted by God “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort that we ourselves have received from God.” This is the reason why I wrote this article. So that I, who has been comforted by God, can also comfort you with the Words of God which have comforted me.

2) Jesus is in control.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

– Psalm 139:13-16

God has made you exactly how He desired to make you. It’s not as if God said to me, “Oh… sorry Popo I didn’t mean to let you get eczema… I messed up…” Nothing could be further from the truth. God has lovingly, actively chosen to mold and shape you exactly as you are, including your eczema. The fact that we live in a sinful fallen and corrupted world means things like disease and illness happen but even in this context God chooses to use sin and disease for His purposes. He goes even as far as to say :

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

– Romans 8:28

God works through ALL things for the good of His people. There is not a SINGLE situation that God misses, forgets or overlooks. In everything, He works for the good of His people. Now at this point I have to talk about what the bible means when it uses the word “good.” Thankfully the next verse in Romans gives us the answer, that the “good” that mentioned in v28 is that His people will be conformed to the likeness of Jesus. God works through ALL things for the good of His people as He uses every single situation to make them more like Jesus. Take heart, your eczema falls in this category. Your eczema is not pointless or meaningless. God actively uses your eczema to make you more like Jesus.

3) Your identity is not found in how you look or how people see you.

“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

– John 1:12

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…”

– Romans 8:15-16

You are not defined by how you look. You are not defined by how people see you. You are not defined by how you see or feel about yourself. For those who trust and call Jesus LORD you have the great privilege of being God’s children. He does not see Popo the kid who has eczema. He sees me as one of His children. He loves His children so dearly that He Himself dwells within us! His Spirit dwells in us and conforms us to the likeness of Jesus.

Your identity is not found in how you look or how people see you but in how God sees you. You are His delight. You are His joy. You are His child.

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Popo | Not a red-faced kid with eczema but a beloved child of the living God.


Cry out to God for He is the God of all comfort.

Trust that Jesus is in control. He uses all things for your good, to make you more like Jesus.

Remember that your identity is not tied to how you look or how others see you. You are a beloved child of God.


I know I’ve talked about alot of different things and maybe you’ve heard it all before. That’s fine. I just want to let you guys know that you’re not alone. I feel you homies. God has not forgotten you and He loves you dearly as His child.

If you ever want someone to talk, pray or cry with shoot me a message and I’d be happy to.

 

Much love,

Your Brother in Christ who also struggles,
Popo

 

Cleaning My Room | Poetry

See I wonder if we actually realize
That our life is just like a musical reprise
It goes on and on, like a repetitive motion
So here’s to that, my narrative devotion

Just last week, I was cleaning my room
Removing everything with my cloth and vacuum
Papers, notes and books everywhere
And a lesson uncovered that I wanna share

University notes, loose sheets all were found
From every subject all over my ground
Physiology, Anatomy, New Testament Greek
Biochemistry, Pathology, my studying peak

Character sheets, my notes from DnD
And all of the characters that were played by me
Rawrkus Thunderstone and Billy Bittybundle
Markelhoff, printed repeats in a bundle

Bible studies and camp books too
Speaking of the Gospel, speaking words of truth
KYCK, Next Gen and MYC
CPC, CYA, a massive knowledge spree

Now see the connection that are between these three
Is that I used to think that they all were key
But their physical state now, says more than my words do
Forgotten on the floor was something I was used to

What was left over, what was covered in dust
Once valued but then my life chose to adjust
Chose to value new and different things
They all changed quick as my life did swing

But let me tell you something that didn’t change much
Timeless, unmoving something that never  budge
The Alpha, Omega and the Bread of Life
Savior and King, He’s my Lord Jesus Christ

See I was reminded, as I cleaned up my stuff
That things in life change, other things interrupt
You value it now but will you value it later
Just take a step back, see the things that are greater

See I was reminded, as I cleaned up my stuff
That things in life change, other things interrupt
You value it now but will you value it later
Just take a step back, see the things that are greater

Living By Faith | Poetry

I got big dreams and my head in the skies
I gotta get serious is what my family  does advise
And it ain’t a surprise when they choose to surmise
That my faith ain’t wise, it’s just a bunch of lies

And man it’s hard to live when they misconstrue
My main reason for living and what I choose to pursue
They don’t see what I love, and they think that I’m lost
It’s hard to feel the love, when all I see is the frost

Your faith can’t feed ya, so just drop it and quit
It’s the prime of your life, you really shouldn’t waste it
But I’m not gonna give up, I’m not giving in
If it’s not right now, then my question is when?

Going after God, wherever He goes
That never will change, through the highs and the lows
Living by faith and not by sight
Cause I know for sure that my God provides

I got big dreams and my head in the skies
I’m just trying to be real,  not hidden in disguise
And what that implies, is that I’m tryna catalyze
All of God’s people to think likewise

That living for God, and following Him
Often ain’t easy, often looks pretty dim
But keep on trusting, having faith in the King
That He’s got yo back and He’ll give you reason to sing

Love God with your all and please love one another
I plead this to you all my sisters and brothers
That wherever you are and whatever you’re doing
Make the hard choice it’s Christ you’re pursuing

Going after God, wherever He goes
That never will change, through the highs and the lows
Living by faith and not by sight
Cause I know for sure that my God provides

I got big dreams and my head in the skies
Trying to envision, trying to actualize
What it might look like and where He might take me
Stepping off of the boat and stepping onto the sea

Can’t stop for my parents, they be blowing like the wind
And can’t look at my money, it’s not where I’m being sent
Birds of the skies and the flowers of the field
He’ll supply all my needs as His kingdom comes near

I guess this is it, what I’d say is my synopsis
Things of my life, and my God who’s a colossus
And I can’t see the future but got a hope ensured
Cause all else will fade only God endures

Going after God, wherever He goes
That never will change, through the highs and the lows
Living by faith and not by sight
Cause I know for sure that my God provides

Going after God, wherever He goes
That never will change, through the highs and the lows
Living by faith and not by sight
Cause I know for sure that my God provides

 

Reflection | Poetry

Reflection, that’s the name of the game
Put my words onto paper before I go insane
Just tryna share my thoughts and  what I feel inside
So please come on board, and please enjoy the ride

So coming out straight I’m bringing my perspective
To encourage and uplift is my directive
Opening blind eyes and awakening souls
To go against the flow of society’s mould

So first things first I think I move too fast
But funnily enough I’m actually ending up in last
So even though I do so much in my life
I can’t focus, so don’t have the right sights

Everything gets blurry when you don’t stop to think
Stories, emotions and knowledge go by in a blink
So please take your lens and switch it to corrective
Stop for a second and start to be reflective

Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Just take a second and just stop to think

And don’t get me wrong, I love to hustle
But the symptoms it shows, man it ain’t subtle
Like long, dark eye bags and sagging cheeks
Fatigued and drained, definitely not at my peak

Producing and creating again and again
It’s a real big drain and just hurts my brain
People say “work hard, it’ll be for the best”
But honestly sometimes, the best is in the rest

You get to stop and see the good and the bad
You get to stop and see what makes you glad
You get to stop and see your art grow
Improving each day as you learn to flow

So I’m pleading to you and I’m saying it again
You gotta reflect and make sure not to neglect
The time you have to just stop and think
Before you get pushed straight to the brink

Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Just take a second and just stop to think

Now I’m bringing it home, with the third and last verse
Gotta share my opinion, gotta keep it diverse
Cause with a God so big, I can’t help but say
That I live for Him, cause He lights the way

And I’m being really honest, I’m being really frank
Gotta give Him all the glory, gotta give Him the thanks
And that ain’t gonna happen, without stopping to think
He’s the pen to my paper, He’s my spiritual ink

He’s the words I write
He’s my source of life
He’s the one true King
And the beat kicks in

Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Yo, just stop and think
Just take a second and just stop to think

2016
Popo
Blazo
Reflection