Author Archives: little_sheep

Remembering the Ordinary Blessings from God

Moses makes a point throughout all Deuteronomy to make the Israelites remember the blessings of God during their travel in the wilderness. In chapter 8, he does not mention the great big miracles like crossing the Red Sea or the victorious battles they fought. Rather, he focuses on the very basics—that their feet that were not swollen, their clothes that did not wear out, and that they were fed with manna every single day. In fact, Moses mentions it twice in the entire book (29:5).

Often, these are the things that we take most easily for granted. Continue reading

Mordecai, the Unsung Hero

When I read the book of Esther, I am always so amazed at the beauty of her character—the gentle, quiet spirit that surpasses all adornments and that is so pleasing to God (1 Pet 3:4). I am always so envious of how she seemed to obtain the favor of all who saw her, how courageous, selfless, and wise she was in her dealings with the problems that surrounded her life, and how readily she entrusted everything to God through prayer!

But this time around, my eyes were opened to the great love, faith, and humility of someone I had always seemed to brush over: Mordecai.

Though the Bible never hints at whether or not Mordecai had his own family to take care of, we can see from his actions that his heart was faithfully devoted to his own family, his people, and to his God. Continue reading

Nehemiah: Building Through Love

When Nehemiah asked about the state of Jerusalem, its walls were already broken down. Its gates had been burned with fire, and the survivors of the captivity were left in great distress and reproach. But why was the wall of Jerusalem broken down in the first place? What had happened to the wonderful future God had promised them for victory over their enemies in the promised land?

The fundamental problem was that no one sought for the well-being of Israel. Likewise, we today as spiritual Israelites, must seek the well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ. As part of one body, we need to seek the prosperity of Jerusalem, as it says in Psalm 122:

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
Because of the house of the Lord our God
I will seek your good. (Ps 122:6-9)

But how can we do it? How can we build this wall?

Continue reading

Prayer: The Dynamic Force of Revival

What the Church needs today is not human ingenuity but the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not work in proportion to human ability of organization. The Church consists of people called out by God. What the Church requires is people through whom the Holy Spirit can work, ie, the mighty men of prayer.

Prayers not only bring about the spiritual growth of a person, they account for the prosperity or downfall of a Church.

A preacher must be a man of prayer. He must have the likeness of God’s nature. Only through prayers can he obtain a God-like mind. Then only would he have the kind of zeal from on high to push his work through.

A preacher is not merely an author of sermons but an example for believers to follow. He need not be a man of great ability, a man of great learning, or a man with administrative skills, rather he must be pure in the sight of God. He should have faith, love, conscientiousness, and be able to endure hardships, to be greatly used by God.

A preacher must be a man of prayer to be greatly used by God. What he preaches he also puts into practice. Through prayers a preacher will be strengthened with the wisdom from on high and become strong. In the Church, prayers must be emphasized.

So, let us examine ourselves and remind the whole congregation to see how much lacking we are. The driving force of divine work is nothing but prayer.

Prayer is a privilege God has given to His children. Unless one belongs to Him, he cannot understand the value of prayer, nor obtain blessings therefrom. Hence, prayer is to those who belong to the Lord an absolute necessity but an unattainable blessing to those who do not.

Prayer is communion between man and God. Through prayers, we receive strength, help, comfort, and understanding. Unfortunately, many believers are unable to obtain these in their prayers. They have stumbled along the way and deviated to wrong paths. Some, lacking vigilance, fearful and weak, have been devoured by the Devil. They have all experienced spiritual rebirth but failed to reach the blessed end. The reasons for their fall may be many but all of which may be linked to prayer or the lack of it. Lacking in prayer summarizes all the reasons for failure. Having lost the strength of prayer, spirituality plunges and this spiritual journey will inevitably end in failure.

Our Lord who was the Word manifested in flesh set the perfect example by totally relying on prayer. Before His ministry, He went to the wilderness and fasted and prayed for forty days and nights to obtain strength to do the will of God. The Bible records that Jesus regarded prayer as something indispensable in life. He was praying at all times, for all things (Mk 1:35, Mt 14:23, Mk 6:46, Lk 11:1). He often prayed for many hour or all through the night (Lk 6:12, 22:39-46). Thus, He was able to overcome the Devil, perform great miracles, proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of Heaven, and finally sacrifice Himself. The saints of old also accomplished great tasks through prayers (Acts 13:3, 14:23). Many of the commandments and teachings of the Lord indirectly tell us to be vigilant in prayers in order to triumph in all ways (1 Pet 4:7, 5:7-8, Mt 26:41).

May the Lord move us to search our hearts as we pray before the Lord. May each of us pull down the barricade between man and God, clear the obstacles blocking the progress of the Church. For the sake of the whole Church, for the sake of our spiritual life, may the Lord help us to see our imperfections in prayers, granting us zealous hearts to build ourselves up with vigilant prayers.

(Manna 13)