21 entries categorized "Religion"

Understanding to observe the law

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.

I like the burning zeal David has to learn from God what man could not teach him. God has given all human beings a measure of intellectual capacity to think and learn, but here David teaches us that we can ask God to give us grace to use that ability to understand what tends to our peace. He asks to know how to keep God's law. He prays that the Lord must enlighten his mind to understand God's will.

We need wisdom and understanding to keep God's law. Therefore, we also find in the New Testament that the apostle Paul often prays that the Holy Spirit must give the believers enlightened eyes to understand and take possession of  our inheritance. He calls the Spirit the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. The Apostle John says: we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 5:20).

In this Psalm, David does not ask just for understanding to keep the word. He also prays for grace to observe God's law wholeheartedly. In Hebrew thinking, understanding and knowledge are not anything theoretical and intellectual, but are always linked to life. We only understand God's Word when we live it. If we do not live by the word of God, we have not understood it. If we truly understand who God is and what He says we should do, we would not dare or want to do something other than obey. When we have come to know God through Jesus Christ, we also have the urge to do His will.

There are some translations where this last sentence is not a prayer, but a promise: Truly, I shall observe it with my whole heart! There is no contradiction between its two ways of translating this sentence. Whenever we give a promise to God, we do it in prayer for grace to fulfil it. Whenever we commit ourselves to something for God, we do so in the belief that God will help us. Our prayer and promise go in the same direction. Both are turned to God. It is him we want to learn from. It is His will that we will do, and it is His grace that will help us. We pray wholeheartedly, and will gladly keep and observe His law of our whole heart.

"Give me an understanding heart, that I with burning zeal can know and obey your truth!"

Seeing glimpses of God

To be somebody is to see glimpses of God

at unexpected moments

in the song of a bird

in the sparkles of light on water

in the scent or the sight of the ocean

in the hint of springtime on a mild winter day

in the innocent smile of a baby

in the wrinkles in the face of your mother

in the enduring love of your wife

in the care of your neighbours

in the green sprout of a dandelion break through black tarmac

in an eagle soaring the sky

in an old fashioned postcard or a modern text message on the cell phone

Written after having read "The secret message of Jesus" by Brian McLaren

Longing for God

To be somebody is longing for God

-above everything else

Longing for God is not longing for an experience

It is longing for a true relationship

It is not about having some knowledge of God

But it is about knowing him

-as a person

-as a friend

-as a confidant

-as a companion

Not to become high on him

But to be conformed to his image

Not to learn more, to increase knowledge

But to love him more

I am somebody when I realise

-I am created to be a God-lover

I am somebody when the very purpose of my life

-is to love God

I am somebody when I am longing for God

-only because of love

My life

Blessed be the Lord!

He is the music of my life

He is the song of my life

He is the melody of my life

He is the lyric of my life

He is the text of my life

He is the poem of my life

He is the word of my life

He is my life

I am somebody in Him

Being a poem

I am somebody because I am a poem

Everyday I can enter into human lives

-at the workplace and in the neighbourhood

With grace from God to bless

I can come as a poem

A poem that is touching the inner longings

-conjuring up dreaming melodies of the heart

-painting colourful images of the soul

A poem that is putting words on the sprouting faith

-calling forth cries for salvation

-giving birth to prayer for forgiveness

I am a poem written by God

I am a work of God

I am a masterpiece of God

I am God’s own masterpiece of art

I am somebody

I am born again

I am somebody because I am born again

I have been born twice

I have been born through my parents and by the Spirit

Humans can only reproduce human life

That which is human falls short of God’s glorious standard

That which is born of the Spirit is spirit

Only those born from above can enter the Kingdom of God

I am born again by the Holy Spirit

I am born into the family of God

I am a child of God, the Eternal Father

I belong to the Kingdom of God

I am a Kingdom person

I am a Spirit person

The invisible Spirit moves me

-through new life from heaven

I am somebody when I am moved by the Spirit

Because of my birth

I am somebody because of my birth

I am born into the most prestigious royal family

My father is the Sovereign Ruler

-of the entire universe

Because he is the almighty creator

-of everything that exist

My brother is the Redeemer

-of the human race

Because he conquered death,

The evil powers of darkness,

Selfishness and sin in all its fashions

My personal assistant is the Sustainer

-of the whole world

Because he is the eternal life-giving spirit

He assisted my father

-in bringing the world into being

He assisted my brother

-in bringing him back from the death

I am somebody because of my relationship

With the mysterious triune Being

Who loved me, chose me, and planned me

Even before the universe existed

Only because of his marvellous grace

I am born into the Kingdom of Love

Friendship with the Living One

Turns a nobody into a real Somebody

Knowing the Invisible

To be somebody is to know the Invisible

By living in a personal relationship

Through everyday life with him who walks with you

-when no one else is there for you.

You touch him

-even though you can’t feel him with your hands

You hear his tender voice of thunder

-even though your ear don’t register a sound

You see him clearly

-even though your eyes only see the natural world

By faith only you know the Invisible

-for faith is the art of hearing him

Through hope you cling on to the Invisible

-for hope is the art of believing him

Through love you get close to the Invisible

-for love is the art of trusting him

To be somebody is to hear, believe and trust

In him who no one can see

-even though he is ever present

-even though he constantly reveals himself

The Invisible can only be known in an intimate relationship

(Inspired by some phrases in Summoned to Lead by Leonard Sweet)

Having a dream

To be somebody is having a dream
That consumes you like a fire
Giving you no rest but
Motivating you to make great sacrifices
Preparing you for bold initiatives
Stirring you to adventurous living
As you are pursuing your dream with joyful hope

To be somebody is having great dreams
Nor only for yourself and your own people
But having dreams on behalf of the underprivileged,
And having dreams for your affluent society
Or the many suffering groups in the world

When you are dreaming great dreams
Of a changed society and a better world
You will lay down your life as a seed of hope
As a fruit everyone will see
That you are really somebody
For you are not living for yourself

Telling your own story

To be somebody is tell your own story
To share your own life with others
Trying to communicate hope, faith and love
That comes from your convictions
And your compassionate heart
That the best thing in life
Is to be like you
Completely dependent on God
Fully alive and aware of his presence
Totally abandoned to his grace
Free to enjoy his marvellous acts of kindness!

Unique strawberries

To be somebody
Is to marvel at the biological facts
Of the spring fruit strawberries
For strawberries are unique
- Not only in taste and beauty
But in their very construction
It is the only fruit with seeds on the outside skin
Birds and people indulge themselves
With this unique and delicate fruit
The birds become the source of spreading the seeds
Thus ensuring that we will always have the fruit to enjoy
People cultivate and grow strawberries
Some to make a living
And others to help people enjoy life

To be somebody is to marvel
At the simple facts of life
Giving thanks to God for the details of nature
As we worship him who keeps us alive
In mysterious and artistic ways

(Written after reading a comment by Jerry Mabb on my first strawberry poem.)

Free to create a new lifestyle

To be somebody is to be free
From dead forms and unnatural rituals
- of the old traditional religion
Not giving in to artificial patterns
- of modern Christianity
Not serving inhuman systems
- of political ideologies
Not giving in to any thing that stifles life

To be free is to create your own lifestyle
By submitting to the design of your Creator
Only when you choose to be the person
You are designed to be in the image of God
You are enabled to create a beautiful life
Because you are free to choose the beauty of holiness

To be somebody is to realise
That freedom and bondage
Depend on your own decision

Pushing yourself forward

To be somebody is to push yourself forward
It is to lift your head above the mass
Avoiding being choked by the boring sameness of sin
Or being imprisoned by accepted rules
It is to make yourself free from conventional views
As you follow the Truth in ministering Grace
Liberating people around you to breathe freely
Even in the hostile environment of consumerism
As they keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law
- the law that sets people free

Having young people for dinner

To be somebody is having young people
Eating dinner with you in your home
And enjoying their company
Sharing our life with one another
As we talk of many different aspects
Of our life with God and our families

To be somebody is enjoying
Interaction with grown up people
Belonging to a different generation
That could have been our own children
But not noticing age at all
Because we all enjoy being God’s children
Having fun together
Appreciating one another’s company

Character formation

To be somebody is to be marked
By the very character of God by having
- love written all over you
- joy crafted in your face
- faithfulness inscribed on your heart
- peace carved deeply into your spirit
- patience chiselled into your very soul
- kindness imprinted on your entire being
- goodness penetrating your nature
- gentleness sculpturing your actions
- self-control engraved on your will

To be somebody is to be in the hands of God
Gratefully allowing the great artist of life do want he wants:
- remove sexual immorality and
- delete every impure thought
- wash away eagerness for lustful pleasure
- deliver from idolatry and participation in demonic activities
- take away hostility, quarrelling and outbursts of anger
- uproot jealousy and selfish ambitions
- plot out the feeling that everyone is wrong except your own little group
- set you free from envy and drunkenness
- rescue you from wild parties and other kinds of nasty behaviour
To install divine values into your inner being
For the real beauty of holiness to be seen
As you are radiate with the glorious grace of God

Giving thanks - leaving comments

To be somebody is to give thanks
For the small things in life
It is to leave a comment
On a poetic blog of a stranger
Expressing appreciation with one word: cool!
Telling how you will use it
In blessing relatives and friends

When your footsteps are a trail
Of thanks and appreciations
Of positive and encouraging words
Of real and virtual smiles
Then everyone you encounter
Will think that you are really somebody

To be somebody is not to take things for granted
But allowing yourself to be surprised
At any little token of goodness
And every expression of kindness
Giving glory to the Creator
He is the source of the beautiful life
Of a grateful heart

Leaving an impression

To be somebody is to leave an impression
Of depth and purity, integrity and love
On the people you spend time with
It is to make a lasting impression
On precious people created in the image of God
As you touch them with your life
Of honesty and transparency
Even though they seem indifferent to you

To be somebody is to leave a beautiful mark
Of the loving presence of God
On persons you interact with


To be somebody is to respond
To the word of the Lord
Spoken to you by a human being
By humbling yourself
- through prayer and fasting
Seeking to understand the times
- and the seasons of the Spirit
Preparing yourself for things to come
To live out the eternal purpose
Of the mystery made known to you
Knowing that the drama of eternity
Is acted out in the present
In down-to-earth obedience
To the Lord of the Universe

Receiving prophetic words

To be somebody is to receive prophetic words
Concerning your future
- your ministry
- countries to visit
- people to minister to
and persons to meet

It is to be given insight
Into the unseen realm
And the seasons of the Spirit
Through words and visions
Through signs and dreams
Brought forth by men and women
Moved by the Holy Spirit

When God bothers to speak to me
Through other persons
I really feel that I am somebody
If that had not been the truth
He would not have spoken
Encouraging and strengthening words
Helping me to grow

These words also help me to realise
I am what I am only because of his grace
Only because of his sovereign election
I have become somebody
To his own glory