The Church Service In Malawi Is Spirit Filled and Long. AMEN!

Posted on August 19, 2010. Filed under: Faith, Glory, God, Grace, Salvation, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , , , , |

Some of my friends in Malawi; I love this picture.

The Church Service In Malawi Is Spirit Filled and Long.  AMEN!

7-18-2010 (Sunday)

As usual, today I wake up early long before the sunrise.  Every day since we arrived in Malawi I have been waking up long before my 6 AM alarm clock screams it’s nerve-wracking sound; today time is a 4:55 AM.  One of the best parts of my morning is having the opportunity to receive a hot, high-pressure shower.  Unfortunately, most days this is not a reality.  Today I am blessed with the warmest and highest-pressure shower since we arrived here at Children of the Nation (COTN).  I am pumped up that I have a hot shower, since it is cold in the morning and I truly did not want to take a cold shower.  But, as I said, today is going to be a good day, as I am starting off with a nice hot shower.  Yes indeed!

Now it is time to go and hang out at the gazebo for my morning devotional of prayer and reading God’s word.  Today I may be preaching at church, so I am praying for God to use me to speak His words and for His purpose.  As I seek Him this morning, I find myself studying in 2 Timothy.

After breakfast, we go to the office of Somebody Cares.  When we get to the office, we are told we will be going to End Time Pentecostal Church in Mtandire village to join them in their worship experience.  Keta calls me out of the van prior to our leaving and asks me if I could preach this morning, and of course I say yes.  I trust the Spirit of God will put the words in my mouth that He wants me to speak.  When we get to the church, Edward, who will be interpreting for me, takes my backpack and leads me into the church.   The church is packed full, with standing room only in the back and out beyond the walls of the spirit filled room.  I see about 200 people as Edward instructs me to sit in the middle seat of three directly behind a table with flowers and water on the stage.  To my left is Ramsey, the lead elder, and to my right is Edward.  Behind me sit 6 other leaders in the church, anxiously waiting for a morning filled with joyful singing, clapping, dancing and the teaching of God’s word.

The 2 hour and 45 minute service begins with one of the people from the worship team enthusiastically singing praises to the Lord.  At the conclusion of the first song, the rest of the worship team along with the keyboard player begin lifting up the Lord in song, as the rest of the congregation joins in.  In between many of the songs, Ramsey interludes with words of encouragement and introduces the next song.  We continue in musical worship with Ramsey sharing and blessing us with biblical stories.  The congregation is very joyful, holding nothing back in their celebration of the Lord.  As the service continues, I pray multiple times for the Lord’s Spirit to guide me in what I will say.  Since I did not have a significant amount of time to prepare for what I would teach on today, maybe only an hour, I realize I must rely on God to facilitate His will and purpose in what I will say.  I can feel the presence of God using me to speak words of encouragement and truth from His word, as Edward assists me in translation.

It is truly a blessing having the opportunity to preach in their church.   As I speak about how we need to be strong and faithful in the Lord, I am directed to share the need for all of us to persevere in this world for the cause of Christ.  God brings me to 2 Timothy 2:1-13 as the main body of text for my sermon, which we study verse by verse.  I feel God’s Spirit directing every word as I continue for over an hour preaching His good news.  Revealing Jesus as a model of strength, I notate how He persevered in fulfilling the will of the Father, and how we should live our lives in a way that emulates Jesus.  Edward was fantastic, as he translates my words into the Chechewa language.  At the end of the message, I share the gospel of salvation through the blood of Jesus with those who do not know Christ.  I invite those both in and outside the walls of the church to come to the saving grace of Christ, and to pray the sinners pray.  I do not know if anyone accepted Christ, but I do know that hearts were stirred.  I also trust God’s perfect plan of salvation and that His message will be received.

I must say, that the nearly 3-hour service was exciting and spirit filled.  The people of Malawi sure know how to sing praises to God in heaven.  If you haven’t been to a Christian church service in Africa, you haven’t experienced a church; the church service in Malawi is spirit filled and long.  Amen!

Now that church is over, we are going to Teresa’s house for a BBQ.  We have BBQ chicken, some type of sausage or bratwurst, rolls, nsima, spicy beans, and a fruit drink made with fruit cocktail.  In Malawi, it is important to eat everything you put on your plate, including cleaning off every part of the chicken from the bone.  Here is some good counsel; do not take more than you can eat.  If it is on your plate, you eat it, like it or not!  There is no wasting of food in Malawi.  This is a wonderful time of relaxation in the backyard and playing games, but mostly just hanging out and talking.

We come back to the Children of the Nation complex where we are staying around 5:30 and have down time for the evening, or so we think.  After the COTN students ate dinner, all 28 of them, we gather in the big gazebo and begin singing praises to God and dancing.  About 30 minutes into the dancing, the students line up in the middle and put on a performance of song and dance for us.  There is also a drama troupe, which perform a couple of very funny skits.  Next, we are blessed with a few testimonials about their early life and conversion as believers in Jesus.  It was a marvelous night.

I pray that your day is blessed by God and you are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Daryl Dho

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The Glory Of God; He Is Gracious And Merciful

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Creation, Glory, God, Grace, Mercy, Righteousness | Tags: , , , , , |

Glory

It is Monday, the dawn of a new week, and time for another installment of my discoveries of how I see God.  As I continue to seek God’s character in the Psalms, I am blessed from the time spent in my reading, reflection, and prayer.  My hope, is that all of you will take the time to engage in your own reading through the Psalms, in turn, enjoying the beauty of God’s word as it speaks to you in a personal way.

We should abundantly give our Heavenly Father honor and reverence for His splendor in creation, as His reputation stands tall; He truly should receive all glory for His greatness.  As our eyes marvel upon the sky, we note that the heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1), which are above all the earth (Ps 57:5; 57:11; 108:5), and this is because He is above all nations and the heavens (Ps 113:4).  Therefore, we should affirm His righteousness, so that all the people see His glory (Ps 97:6).  We see so much evidence of God’s glory visible to us in His creation, almost as if to authenticate His creation, by giving us a signature for identification of His majesty.  It is no wonder why the Psalmist tells us of how the kings of the earth shall give thanks, for great is the glory of the Lord (Ps 138:5).  Waking each morning, allowing the day to sink in, I steer towards the understanding of my Heavenly Father’s glory.  The glory of God is evident everywhere, I just need to open the lens of my eye and take a wondrous gaze.  As I reflect on being in the presence of God, I realize I love participating in life with my Heavenly Father and visualizing all of His glorious power, might, wonderment, and love shared for His creation.

Gracious and Merciful

My Heavenly Father is full of grace and mercy, is slow to anger and abounding in unwavering love (Ps 86:15; 103:8), showing love and compassion to a continually rebellious world.  He has tenderheartedness towards us, desiring to show us grace and mercy.  He has caused His wonders to be remembered, and for those who follow His ordinances, He lights the way in the darkness (Ps 111:4; 112:4).  As God is good to all, showing His mercy in so many ways (Ps 145:9), I have become more humble in my life.  I appreciate His grace and mercy, and have gratitude for my salvation, provision, and forgiveness.  Each and every day, I am so grateful how my Heavenly Father, who consistently shares peace in my heart through the Holy Spirit, instills joy into my life.   I acknowledge God continues to show His grace and mercy to me daily, as I struggle with sin and fall short in my quest to live in a Christ like manner, including failing to love one another, as Jesus instructed.

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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My Most Holy God

Posted on February 18, 2010. Filed under: Faith, Forgiveness, Glory, Grace, Righteousness, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

A Gift From Our Creator

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

In the dawn of each day,
When I rise to your sunlit morning,
In faith, I give my life to you, O God,
To do the will of the one who created.

Unwavering faith in you I have,
For without it I am nothing.
It is futility to allege I know you, God
Without surrendered faith.

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

You never leave me,
Nor forsake me.
You always guide me,
And direct me.

Your love is so wonderful,
As evidenced in your creation.
I long to be a beacon of your hope and love,
To a world so needing refreshment.

I am nothing without you God,
For you breathed life into me.
Although a failing sinner,
In you, I am a new life.

I am filled with your Holy Spirit,
But only through your grace.
I am nothing without my faith in you,
Through trust, and reverence I seek your face.

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

I trust you in all things,
For you have made a promise.
I do not need to worry,
For you cannot lie, your word is truth.

I pursue only to fulfill your will, O Lord,
As my will only reveals selfishness.
Guide me to your ways, O Lord,
Bring me alongside your righteousness.

This world so desperately needs your love,
For your love is eternal and absolute.
Show me how share this love,
For without it I am nothing.

You only show concern for us,
Through your Son, you stayed the course.
Take away my own interests,
Humble me in my course.

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

Your word is there to direct me,
The truth, you deliver for eternity.
My passion stills not for your unwavering love,
I long to carry it to a dying world.

Mold me, make me, and use me for you plan,
The Great Commission is at hand.
Give me the knowledge of your truth, O Lord,
Impute in me your faithfulness.

As you showed us, in your Son,
Your love never fails.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

I give you my life, my faith, and my love,
Without you I am nothing.
Seeking now to share of you,
The truth I am so grateful.

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

There are no others before you, God,
For you are everlasting.
I beg for your forgiveness, God,
I seek you each moment passing.

Through you faithfulness you give us your love,
There are no conditions.
Love one another, you command,
And through faith I am able.

I long to give all glory to you, most Holy God.
There are no others like you, most Holy God.
None can stand above you, most Holy God.
You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

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Everybody’s Got an Invitation to the Celebration, So Don’t Be Late

Posted on December 23, 2009. Filed under: Christmas, Creation, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

Have you ever fallen back asleep after your alarm clock goes off in the morning, then wake up after the time you were suppose to be at work has already passed, it is a frightening feeling.  Today, someone I know was late to open a store for large chain retailer. No, it was not me, but I have awaken later than I wanted before, and I know the feeling of panic, fear, and frustration someone has when the realization of their dilemma sets in.  It is especially disheartening when you are the person who is suppose to open a business, and other people are depending on you to be there so they can work, or shop in your store.

There are other occasions when you want to be on time or at least not past “fashionably late”, such as going to a party or celebration, particularly if you are the guest of honor.  When you are an honored guest, everyone is counting on you, for you are the reason the celebration is happening.  At a wedding, it is critical that the bride and groom show up, as there may have been months of preparation for this one significant event, and without you, the ceremony and celebration will not and can not go on.  Don’t be late for your birth either, or your mother may have to go through some additional pain and suffering due to your not being born on time; of course I realize none of us has any say in this, it just seemed like something to say.

It is only 2 days until Christmas, a day when many people will celebrate the birth of the savior, Jesus Christ.  The Bible tells us in Romans 10:13 (ESV), “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  This invitation to us all comes without condition, without a requirement of our doing anything with the exception of having faith in Jesus to take the burden for our sins, for as Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  What a party this is, as we celebrate the birth of God, coming to earth as a child who grew and became a man, in order to die on the cross for our sins, for as the scriptures say in Romans 3:23-25, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”

This is certainly not a party you want to be late for, since the guest of honor is Jesus, the Son of God. Really there is only one way you can be late to this celebration, that is by completely ignoring the invitation, by not believing you need redemption, by not comprehending the ramifications of a life lived in unrighteousness.  Although, we are late to the party if we just say “no” to God, never accepting the fact we will live forever for eternity; we will live for eternity either in the presence of God, or outside His presence.  Everybody’s got an invitation to the celebration, so don’t be late for the party.

Know one knows the day or the hour when they will pass on from this life to the next, so all of us should be prepared for when that day comes.  We need to take God’s invitation, the one allowing us to spend eternity with Him through the salvation received from His Son Jesus, and go to the party.  We never know when the end of our life comes, so we should ready now, allowing the Angels to sing in heaven as we accept Jesus as Lord.  This is why Jesus was born, why we celebrate on Christmas, so that we can recognize our Lord and savior, putting Him first in our lives.  There is no tomorrow, for tomorrow is today.  We can not expect to calculate the time when we no longer breathe the breath of this life.  Wait no more, you have the invitation, come to Jesus and live the life worth living, a life in which you know you are on the guest list for the greatest party of all time, the party for those saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.  Then, you can go and celebrate with God when the time comes for you to enter into eternity, and enjoy the greatest party of all time.

May God bless you on your journey through life,

Daryl Dho

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The “Thanks” from the “Giving”

Posted on November 26, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Family, Grace, Heaven, Sacrifice, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

I get all charged up this time of year, you know, for the “Holidays” as we call them in our culture.  You have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, all within about 5 weeks of each other, all occasions when family and friends gather together to celebrate their beliefs and traditions.  As I pondered about Thanksgiving this week, I began to think about what the holiday symbolizes and how people choose to commemorate it.  Most of us take this time each year to give thanks for our family, friends, and what we have been blessed with, or possibly working in a shelter or food kitchen, wanting to share their time with those who are less fortunate.  And of course, many would say that Thanksgiving can’t go on without enjoying the football games.

As I thought about it, I began to ease into wonderment concerning why we spend so much of our time during this holiday giving thanks.  Naturally, I believe we should be grateful for all that we have been given, but maybe there is another perspective that we can view this holiday from.  Possibly, some of our thoughts about this entire holiday tradition should not be about ourselves and how grateful we are, but increasingly ab0ut living our lives so that others will exercise a bestowing of thanks for what they have received from us and the way we share and sacrifice for one another not just on a holiday, but every day.

Maybe we can make this holiday not just a once a year celebration for what we are grateful for, but rather a time when we participate in recognizing how we need to be engaged in serving one another each day and all year long.  In a society that shows itself to care mostly about personal gratification and the fulfillment of our own wants and desires, I believe that we should assemble to share in each others lives in a way that we become more involved giving to others before we visualize and take a grasp of our own considerations.

As we view history, do we look up to our heroes for greatness in what they have done for themselves, or for how the distinction of their heroism merits applause due to it’s effect on someone other than themselves or society as a whole?  I am guessing if I took a poll, the populous would convey they admire their heroes for what they have done for others, for society, or for the sacrifice they may have made to be recognized as a hero, not by what they have achieved for themselves.  As a culture, we need to change our outlook on life, we should not be continuously burdened with our own wants, desires, and needs, instead seeking to be a hero for those around us by giving and sacrificing of our own time, treasure, and talents.  If we do more of this in our everyday lives, 365 days a year, then maybe, just maybe, we will find people expressing “Thanks” from the “Giving”.

Those on the receiving end of the adjustment in lifestyle from self to one that presents an outward expression of caring will in turn render thanks from our giving. When we sacrifice and give of ourselves, this gives us an opportunity to be grateful and thankful, because we will have a greater sense of accomplishment and distinct appreciativeness from our giving.  Our thankfulness will come from giving not receiving.  Think about how a reciprocal action like this could benefit everyone and how we could have a greater cooperation among people.  I realize I am being idealistic, but I truly feel compassion for others and desire to see change in our society; a change that promotes community not individualism.

If we were to participate in a quest to give of ourselves, our time, our treasure and our talents in our daily walk on this marvelous God created earth that we live on, putting the needs of the many before our own, then quite possibly we may begin to see a change worldwide for the good of all.  But wait, we have already experienced this in action; this type of life was lived out in the person of Jesus Christ.  Yes, Jesus was the ideal example of living a life that emulates perfection and how we should love and care for others, unconditionally and sacrificially.

In Mark 12:28 (ESV), the Bible says, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus then answered in Mark 12:30-31, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Loving your neighbor as yourself, well that does not always come easy, but we need to recognize that if the God of the universe establishes the criteria for us to live by, then we should follow His instructions.  It sounds easy, but takes work and a sincere appetite of caring and a passion for people.  This has to come from the heart, from our inner being, since fulfilling this commandment takes us away from our own fleshly requirements and urgencies.  But, if we seek a personal interest in the well being of others, giving of ourselves first, then we will become the recipients of the thanks from the giving!

Jesus took on the most significant sacrifice for others, He came to earth as a man, suffered and died while being nailed to a cross, absorbing the responsibility for all the sins of those who ask and receive His path of forgiveness.  Through His unconditional sacrifice for all of us, He showed how we should live our lives, caring and loving one another, as He commanded us in John 15:12.  Then verse 13 further explains to what level we should care for others when He states, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  There is not greater reward we can receive then the gratitude from someone we have benefitted through our generosity.  If God can come to this world, suffer as He did, in order that you and I can live eternally in heaven with that same creator, then we certainly can pay it forward to those in whom we come in contact with.  We can seek others needs before our own, as Jesus did for us.

Many people around the world give thanks to Jesus for giving of Himself for their sins and are grateful for the eternal opportunity they now have to be with the creator, in turn rendering thanks from His giving. I must believe that the joy Jesus receives each and every time someone knocks on His door, whereby receiving eternal salvation from His grace, certainly outweighs the sacrifice He made for our atonement.  He has joy in His sacrifice for us!  We all can receive similar joy from our sacrifices for those in our lives that we can love as ourselves.  I say take the plunge, put others before yourself, giving and sacrificing for those around you, then be prepared to receive the bounty of blessing you will receive from those same people when you are granted the “Thanks” for the “Giving”!

This is my Happy Thanksgiving proclamation to you all.  So, go out, spread your caring, concern and love to others in the world and receive the “Thanks for the “Giving”. Amen

May you all be eternally blessed,

Daryl Dho

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YES, YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO!

Posted on November 20, 2009. Filed under: Assurance, Faith, Forgiveness, Glory, Grace, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

I think Bonnie is trying to smash the cake into my face.

I take pleasure in allowing my taste buds to be massaged by a delicious piece of cake, especially chocolate with whipped butter frosting. As my wife and I prepare to celebrate our 24 wedding anniversary next month, I am excited and energized about the prospect of having a piece of scrumptious cake as we celebrate our union together.  I know that may seem a little silly, making a big deal out of having a piece of cake, but our society says that we can’t have our cake and eat it too.  I got to tell you that this is not true, because I am convinced that in life YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO!

When we got married almost 24 years ago, it was during the Christmas season, and we had a beautifully decorated medium size wedding that was attended by family and friends.  We were blessed with catered food that I suppose was fantastic. although I would not know since I only gazed at and smelled the aroma of the wonderful display, not able to eat any due to all of the attendees wanting to congratulate us prior to being escorted away in a limousine for our honeymoon. Our wedding included this incredible cake too, complete with multiple levels and a top all of its own that nobody ate from; you know, the type with the plastic bride and groom on top.

We fed a small amount of the cake to each other, believe it or not without smashing it into our faces, then saved the top level for a future anniversary, at which time we would eat the rest of our cake. We had a predicament though, we never wanted to really eat the cake because we didn’t want to see our wedding day memory disappear. So, we kept it in the freezer thinking that maybe we could have our cake and eat it too. The problem with this plan is most people would say that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. But we saved the cake for almost 24 years now, that is until today.  You see, we noticed that our freezer shrunk and we now needed the room. No, we didn’t eat it, can you imagine eating a 24 year old cake?  What we did was, believe it or not, throw it in the trash!  Yes, all those memories, now gone!  Bummer.

At first, I really did not want to throw it in the trash, as it felt like I was throwing a part of my life away. As we took pictures of ourselves gazing at the cake, memories of those blissful 24 years of our life and the day we got married passed through my head. At this point I said to my wife that although the cake would fade away, my love for her would last forever. I know that may be a little mushy, non unlike the frosting on the cake, but its the truth, and we both realize how fortunate we are. Although we would not be able to look at our broken down box filled with stale, freezer burned cake anymore, the marriage that we have built over a lifetime extends itself due to a loving and caring relationship. We realize that as material things in our life disappear and dissipate with time, our love is eternal. You see I believe that YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO!

A great many people believe that our time on earth is all there is to life, that when we die there is nothing else.  But who we are, humans made in the image of God, does not cease to exist at the end of this physical life.  God created us so that we could be with Him forever, but unfortunately, as sinners, we are unable to coexist with a Holy God.  We need to be redeemed in order to be with God, who is perfect in His being and love for us.  After all, while we were still sinners, God sent His only begotten son to save us from ourselves (Rom 5:8), from our sin, from our unrighteousness.

If you look at this life as a piece of cake, thinking that the cake is finite and will someday disappear, then you will have the view that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You will think this way because you believe that when the day comes for you to die, that so will all of your existence.  But, on the other hand, if you understand and believe that God created us in His image (Gen 1:26) for the purpose of giving all the glory to Him in everything we do (1 Cor 10:31), then you should take comfort in knowing that you can have your cake and eat it too.

God desires for us to be with Him eternally, so that we can glorify His name in paradise.  But we are sinners by nature, imperfect and unworthy of being in His presence, due to our polluting of the image that God made as in.  Being born into sin since the fall of Adam, we are like a piece of cake that has gotten freezer burned and disintegrates.  But you ask how can we have our cake and eat it too, how can we, as sinners, exist with a Holy God forever?  It’s not too difficult to obtain this eternal existence with God, since He does not want us to suffer the anguish and torment of being eternally separated from him, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:41-42).  God wants us to have a relationship with Him whereby we can seek out forgiveness and salvation by His grace and through our faith (Eph 2:8).

The beauty of God’s plan is how we can be sinners by nature and at some point conforming to the world, yet through our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and savior be transformed by the renewing of our minds, discerning what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).  This my friends, is how WE CAN HAVE Our Cake and EAT IT TOO! You see, although we are unworthy to be in the presence of God due to our sinful and unrighteous nature and behavior, we are loved by God in a way that He provides a way out, a way to His kingdom, a way to change who we are.  Romans 8:10 (ESV) tells us, “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”  Although we are dead in our sins, we are redeemed into righteousness because of Christ.  This is the parallel between the cake and our lives.  We still can live eternally with God, through our acceptance by faith of Christ as our savior, even though we are still sinners.  This is where YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO! You can be unworthy, yet worthy of eternity with God, you can have it both ways.

All you need is the right recipe, and that recipe is Jesus Christ, who came into the world to show us how to love one another and for the redemption of sins. YES, YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO! Just grab a piece of the cake of salvation from Jesus, and enjoy it for eternity.

May you all be blessed in life with the eternal cake of salvation.  Go ahead, grab a slice, you will LOVE IT.

Daryl Dho

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What Would You Compromise Your Principles For?

Posted on October 14, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Heaven | Tags: , , , , , |

Here is the situation, someone comes up to you and asks, would you steal a pack of gum for a million dollars? I will give you a moment to think about that. Well, would you do it, would you steal the pack of gum for a million dollars? I am guessing that many people would steal the pack of gum for a million dollars, thinking that it is only a $1.39 pack of gum, who cares. But is it really just a pack of gum, or are we talking about something greater than that. Are we talking about your integrity, or your moral view on things? That is really the challenge and debate, isn’t it? It seems like an easy enough question. I want to believe that there would be more people who would say no rather than those who would say yes to this dilemma, but would people really say no? So, you have to ask yourself the question, what would you compromise your principles for?

The real answer is that stealing is stealing, it doesn’t matter if it is $1.39 or a billion dollars, if you take something that is not yours, then you are stealing. If you turn the scenario around, and it was your merchandise on the shelf for people to buy, you would not want anyone to steal it, regardless of how much it is. Worse yet for the person who takes the gum, is the thought that they will always know, in their heart, that they stole something from you. Who cares if someone is going to give you a million dollars, or even a billion dollars to steal that pack of gum, for if you do, then you will know in your heart that you are guilty of stealing. Now you would be a thief, each and every day you would know and remember that circumstance in your life. As you think about that, ask yourself again, what would you compromise your principles for?

The world view of this would tell you to go ahead and steal the gum, because you are going to receive a million dollars in return for your act, plus it is only $1.39, so no big deal! What if you were told that you had to steal $1000 worth of merchandise, would you do it then? The costs of doing the crime just went up, or did it really? Regardless of the cost, stealing is stealing, and taking what is not yours is a crime both from a societal standpoint, and a sin in the eyes of God. Yes, the biblical view of this situation would tell you not to do it, “Thou shall not steal”; remember from the Ten Commandments? Yes, Exodus 20:15 is very clear, “You shall not steal.” But nowhere in that text does it mention anything about a minimum requirement for this type of act to literally be considered stealing. Therefore, since stealing is stealing, and you have to ask yourself the question again, what would you compromise your principles for?

Let’s take a moment to acknowledge what Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28 (ESV), “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Many times, we try to rationalize our deeds in a way as to think that we are not guilty of a crime, or a sin, because it may seem small to us like looking at someone with lustful intent, which according to God’s word is a sin regardless if we act on it or not. In the eyes of God, sin is sin, He doesn’t care how big it is, the facts remain, sin is sin. With the question of the pack of gum, this seems plain to me, we are guilty of the sin; plus the minimal dollar amount does not negate the fact that we stole. I don’t believe we can justify our wrongs. When we do something that is wrong, regardless of how big or small it might appear to us, it still is wrong and a sin in God’s eyes. When we sin, we are rebelling against what God wants us to do and separates us in our relationship with Him. We shouldn’t compromise our beliefs and principles for money.

The bible tells us in Hebrew 13:5, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” This is some clear counsel here on the subject that we have been talking about. If someone would fall into the trap of taking something that is not theirs for money, then they are guilty of the sin of stealing, of course, but they are also giving up a faith in the Lord’s provision. Understandably, we use money to purchase goods and services in our society. But, God blesses us with our provision, and we should not, according to Hebrews 13:5, care so much about money that it rules our life. We should not be concerned with money so much that it distracts us from having faith in the one who provides it for us in the first place, God. Putting our faith in God, knowing that he will provide for all of our needs, regardless of what we believe is enough or what we might require for life.

Think about this; you decide to take the million dollars after stealing the pack of gum. Then, God decides that it is time for you to die. Fortunately, you believe in Jesus, trusting Him for redemption, and because you are saved by the grace of God, you go to heaven. When you are entering into heaven, are you bringing the million dollars to help build more streets of gold? Guess what, the answer is no, God doesn’t need that money, plus you will have to answer to God about why you stole the pack of gum for a million dollars. He may even ask you why you decided to compromise your beliefs and principles for money, money that He would have provided for you if you would have been faithful. That’s right, we can’t take it with us, and God gives us enough to take care of our needs while we are here. We just have to be faithful and trust Him each and every day.

Let us focus on what Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” If we concentrate on these words and the rest of God’s word, then it is easy to make a decision about the gum, for we do not want to purposefully sin against our God. Considering that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), we certainly do not need to knowingly and intentionally sin against others or our God. Live the life worth living, with a biblical view, treating every moment as a glimpse of how God would want us to be, for we are made in His image (Genesis 1:26). Amen

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Sharing About God, Who’s Spirit Dwells In Me, With Others

Posted on October 2, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Grace, Salvation | Tags: , , |

Jesus telling the disciples in John 15:12 to “Love One Another” is a driving force for me to wake up each and every day, venturing out into the world as His servant. It is due to the ability that God has given me to have compassion for others, attempting to put them before myself, that I feel the urging of Him to aid me in my quest to satisfy His calling of caring for those who are in my wake of life. As I ponder this, I understand that sharing about God, who’s Spirit dwells in me, with others is what all of us should try do in our lives. Look for the opportunities that God gives you!

God has blessed me with experiences in ministry that have engaged me in almost every aspect of church life over the last few years. Digging deep into the wonderful world of God’s word with people who, in the beginning, could be called acquaintances and over time develop into a family, is very satisfying. As I am one who enjoys being around people, no matter what the situation, I can always find an opportunity to interconnect with them. So, regardless of the place of activity, I am best suited when I am able to have a conversation with those around me. If you don’t know me or the Lord, listen, this message is for everyone.

Knowing of the need to share about God with people, God has given me a passion for studying His word. Included in this study is the desire to share with those whom God puts in my path. It is part of all my waking moments, this hope to be able to have a conversation about the goodness of our God, the love from our God, and the care and concern that He has for every one of us. So much so, that almost all of my free time is used to develop that head knowledge about His word, in order that I may be able to give an answer for the hope that is within me. Going beyond what my natural abilities may be, I entrust God to gift me as He sees fit, as only He knows how I may best serve His kingdom.

I repeatedly see God’s hand at work in my life. He guides and directs me in such as way that He has put me in situations where, although I may have questioned in the beginning, finally realize that He is the master who knows what is best. It is part of my being that I have concern for others, compassion for their needs, as I am gifted with the ability to listen, showing love for one another as Jesus commanded.

God continues to orchestrate opportunities in my life to minster to peoples needs. As a Store Manager for CVS, I am able to talk to patients, care for them when a concern is expressed, and be a beacon of hope at times for those who enter into my path. As I contemplate on and discuss this, I realize how much God is in control of things, how He makes sure that we utilize our gifts while we are in certain circumstances and seasons in our lives. It is no surprise I work where I do, as He guides and directs me to share His love with many people that I come in contact with, from my employees to customers. This is a natural ministry that goes beyond the walls and halls of the local church that I am embodied with.

Giving back wherever possible, and in any way, both physical and spiritual, is key. I attempt to be the type of steward in God’s kingdom where I can be of most use. As I reflect more on recent opportunities to serve Him, I am certainly connected with children of every age group. As they are the future of the Kingdom, I feel it is essential for us to train them in the ways of Christ’s righteousness. So many homes are broken, awaiting the right glue to put their lives together. Peer pressure, lack of parental concern for their well being, and living in a society that puts an enormous burden on them to perform, makes working with youth such an important position in the Kingdom.

As I was not even introduced to the Gospel of Christ until I was 20 years old, I feel fortunate and blessed, holding a great amount of gratitude for my salvation that came at age 35. It is for this reason that I believe we should not neglect the youth in our community, we must draw them in towards the goodness of the Gospel. Regardless of which side of the street they live on or come from, all deserve and need to here the Gospel. If not for a few along the way during my 20’s and 30’s, at a time when I was on a path of depravity and destruction, I would not have come to know Jesus. What a shame that would have been, for now I long to serve Him at every moment. Someone knew it was important to share about God, who’s Spirit dwelled in them, with others; we shall all be reminded of this and continue the same. If you do not know Jesus, then continue to listen, He is knocking at your door now.

Coming from an alcoholic and drug addicted background, I feel charged to make sure that we do not neglect anyone, including the young, do not shun those who are in addiction, do not black ball those who may not think the way we do, for it is by grace we are saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 says the following, “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” We need to show the character of God, the loving compassionate character that Jesus showed to a world so desperately needing it. The people wait, we just need to be Jesus to the world, loving one another as he demonstrated and commanded us to do. People of the world are seeking hope, seeking something they can put their hands on, seeking a presence that they can absolutely know is real; one which can provide them with the fulfilling of their desire to be authentically, unconditionally loved. If you do not know Jesus, now is the time to seek and come to know Him.

My ministry passion is that all people have the same favorable circumstance that I did, finding Christ. We can leave none behind; we must go out and share the Gospel with all walks of life. Remembering that sharing about God, who’s Spirit dwells in us, with others is something that Jesus commanded us to do in Matthew 28:18-20, which says, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Here I am, sharing with all who come to this place; please, if you do not know Jesus, go to Him now. Pray for Him to guide your life, forgiving of the sins you bare. Amen.

May you all be blessed by His Spirit,

Daryl Dho

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In A Blink Of An Eye, Life Has Passed Us By

Posted on August 6, 2009. Filed under: Forgiveness, Friendship, Grace, Salvation | Tags: , , , , |

One day you wake up, start crying for seemingly no reason, get a spanking on the rear end for doing nothing wrong, acquire a really big cut in your belly, and are evicted from the nice warm house you have been living in rent free for the last 9 months. Life is tough some times. Then, you do not get any good food to eat, can not go to the bathroom on your own, nor can you change your own clothes. What is going on, life seems to really be difficult for you, because basically you can not do anything for yourself. You, of course, have just been born, and are now wandering through your first days of life. Well, the next thing you know, in a blink of an eye, your life will have seemingly passed you by, and you will have just the memories stored in your brain to take with you for the remainder of your days. You can not blow this opportunity called life, You must be proactive about how we live our lives.

Yes, it is apparent the each day can not be waisted, that each moment counts for something, that each second we interact with someone measures a result in a momentous way. Since each one of these seconds are so precious, we have to consider them as such, and can not look at them in a frivolous way. We must take each moment, measure it with precision, guiding it with purpose in order that we can obtain a lifetime of positive outcomes worth remembering. Now, I am not saying that we sketch or map out our entire life or existence, but rather that we have a positive purpose in our life, one where we can make a difference in peoples lives that we come into contact with. Because when we blink our eyes, nearing the end of our life, and life seems to be passing us by, we want to look at what legacy we are leaving behind. Most of us would say that the relationships that people have with others are probably the most important part of any legacy that we could leave behind. This needs to be the focus of our purpose, and the precision of where we drive our existence.

Let us not wait until our life has passed us by, the time for action is now. If their are wounded relationships in the wake of your life, then get off the couch, bridge the gap, and begin to mend the relationship, so that memories can continue and bitterness can depart. No one wants to take heartache to the grave, nor do they want to carry the anger around with them daily on their belt or on their back, for it is a heavy burden to carry and makes us age quicker. Probably what holds most people back from forgiving other people is pride. If that is the case, I say throw the pride out the door, over the fence, and allow yourself to forgive the person, trying to begin a relationship again. Psalm 130:4 (ESV) says that when God forgives us of our sins, “But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared”, we should do the same for others, and this is the good lesson.

God gives us forgiveness, and expects us to follow His lead. How can we care for others if we consistently have bitter feelings towards them about issues that have gone unresolved. I say, let us forgive and forget. The time to move on is now. Life goes by fast, the time to develop a legacy of love and forgiveness needs to start today, not tomorrow, or the next, but now, today. As we put away our harsh feelings we might have, we can think about what Ephesians 4:31-32 says,”Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave.” God is teaching us that we definitely need to have the attitude of a caring, loving, forgiving person, one who sees others as more important than themselves. Jesus was the perfect example of this as He went to the cross. We can leave this same legacy, laying down our cross for others daily, in our lives, as we have occasions to celebrate, assisting people with their needs, and putting them before ourselves.

What a privilege it is to humble ourselves and serve others, this is how we leave a legacy, making our life worth living, so that in the end, when we gaze back at the memories, they are fond memories of days gone by ministering to the needs of those who will be remembering us. That should be our legacy, and in doing so, our life will not pass us by in a blink of an eye, but rather will continue on as a vision of others, as they remember how you did not pass them by, but took the time to engage them with your time, your talent, and your life.

Amen.

Go now and bless a life with your time,

Daryl

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