The sea of Grace – 2018.09.30

The land will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, just like the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2, 14

Yesterday I was in Palanga near the sea. I sat high up in the dunes and looked down at the vast sea. How big, how wide! And I thought: If only the sea would be filled with the grace of God! And a thought in me said: The Sea cannot grasp the grace, it is too large! After some time, I thought: If only the sea would flood the land! But that doesn’t work, the land is too high. And again a thought came in response: the land would have to lower itself. Yes, I thought that would be the solution: Then the sea may flood the land. And I saw it in my mind, how the land levelled and lowered. The hills disappeared and a large valley opened up. As the water flowed into it, until everything was covered by the water.
God wants to tell us something: His love and grace is really much, much larger than any sea. Nobody and nothing can grasp the grace of God! God wants to flood the land with His grace. But it is too high.
The pride of people and their arrogance independence from God. We are too proud. We need to humble ourselves before God and we bow before Him. Then the power of grace can flood us.
God is ready, he wants to. But we hinder him. Let us humble ourselves as Jesus did. We know, that we are dependent on Him alone. We want to ask Him that His grace falls on your lives like a warm spring rain, or a life-giving stream. We want to reach our hands out to Him, the living Lord. We want to beg for mercy, love and compassion. He likes to give.

Thank you, Jesus, you have not forgotten us! Our country is important for you. You’ll flood it with your grace, if we humble ourselves before You. Please, flood now my life with your grace! I want to bathe in this stream of life, be cleansed and healed, and above all else praise and worship you. Let my heart overflowing with gratitude, joy and peace! Thou shalt be the Lord.

Penance and repentance – – 2018.09.29

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!
Matthew 3, 2 and Matthew 4,17

Of course we should repent of our evil ways. Lying, cheating, stealing what does not belong to you, killing, talking badly about others, envy and greed …. all this is not proper for a child of God. It is certainly not contained in the essence of God.
But there are also very, very good people who are nevertheless far from God. They are almost saints and yet they lack the presence of God in their hearts, His peace, His joy, His hope …. simply HE Himself.
We should make an effort to be good. But the evil one is not distant from God, like the good one. Through goodness alone we do not come closer to God. But through sin we move away from Him when we were close to Him.
Individual sins are not the problem, but sin itself. We are under the power of sin, it rules us, we are not free!
Our problem is called: I-me-myself. It is my fat, old self that drives me to sin. That is why I want it to go away, to be drowned in baptism, to death with him, I want to part with it! I turn back to Jesus, bring Him my burden with myself: my pride, my self-opinionatedness – even against God, my adversities, my impatience, my craving for pleasure, my envy, bitterness, self-satisfaction and boundless egoism: I, I, I …
I pray Jesus, take my old heart! Give me a heart like yours! Thou shalt be LORD over me! Your Spirit shall rule me, and I will listen to Him!
Yes, this is how our old ego dies and the new Jesus ego can grow. As long as I am one with Him, sin has no chance. Only when I am on my own ways again does the power of sin come back. O, but then quickly back to Jesus! Quickly flee under His spread wings! With Him there is rest from this being driven, from this dissatisfaction, restlessness. With Him is true peace.
Yes, I return to Jesus, repent of my old self life and accept the new life with Jesus as my new Lord. He is good to me! Together with Him I am already in the kingdom of heaven …. how good!!!!!

LORD Jesus, I want to get away from the power of sin, I want to enter the kingdom of heaven! Please forgive me my trespasses, just as I forgive everyone. I give You my old heart, my fat, fat, old self and its desires. Come, take full possession of me, I will belong to You, You shall be my LORD. For You are good to me and not a slave driver like sin. I love You!

God talks. Dreams, visions and more – 2018.09.28

Your young men will have visions, and your ancients will have dreams.
Acts 2, 17

God sometimes has very unusual ways of speaking. He gives dreams to some people and the interpretation of dreams to others. Some have visions in broad daylight and see the other world openly. Some hear God’s voice (audition).  Sometimes God speaks through an angel and sometimes even through animals, as in Balaam through a donkey.
Somehow this doesn’t fit into our logical head. But we are not the only people on earth and neither God nor the other peoples have to follow us. God is sovereign and speaks differently with different peoples and people of different world views. For many dreams are quite normal. And God responds to them. How good, how patient is God!
I myself never actually have dreams and I also do not see visions. Only sometimes something becomes clear to me in fractions of a second, for example a story or a new song or a context. All of a sudden I know a whole story and just have to write it down.
God has spoken audibly to me several times. I can’t describe it well, but when He speaks, everything else is quiet and I know immediately: He is. It wasn’t often and it was borderline situations. God knows how He has to deal with a stubborn person like me: Sometimes a word of power, spoken in love, without pressure and yet clear.
Jesus once stated very clearly:  My sheep hear my voice (John 10). This is not a promise only for special rooms, but applies to all His little sheep. Whoever thinks he has never heard Him before and yet is His little sheep, must practice a little to distinguish the voices. He will learn it, and will hear Jesus’ voice more and more clearly.
Let us be open to God’s ways! They are unfathomable, but always good! Let us try to hear His voice out, in silence, in the Bible, in community, in common prayer, through the gifts of the Spirit, and let us also be open to dreams!
Let us purify our hearts and hands so that HE can flow and speak through us. He has words of love.

Thank You Jesus that I can hear you! Sometimes everything is very loud and chaotic, but in silence it comes back to me, I hear You. How good it is when You talk! Thank You that you ignore everything you have learned and know no boundaries! Yes Lord, You surprise me again and again! You are good to me.

The last enemy – 2018.09.27

Praise the Lord, my soul,
and all in me His holy name!
…. who saves your life from destruction

and crowns you with grace and mercy.
Psalm 103, 1.4

Death dominates life. For fear of it reigns over us. Whenever something happens, we are immediately frightened, because it could go to our lives. So many people have already died terribly, with much suffering and pain. Can we escape from this?
Jesus’ word says very clearly: He saves even from the last enemy, death. He is the victor!
Many Christians also fall ill with cancer and die from it. Is Jesus then not the Lord after all? Or how should we understand it?
I believe that Jesus prevents many diseases when we have daily fellowship with Him. So HE very often prevents serious illnesses and accidents. We do not know that at all, and are usually not at all grateful for it.
Sometimes we do not believe the Word of God.  We are shaped by our world view and the teachings of our church.  But the image of reality in the Bible is often quite, quite different. We cannot believe Jesus if we do not adopt His view of reality.
In the letter to the Corinthians it says that many Christians are already sick or dead because they blaspheme the Lord at the Lord’s Supper. Sin and wrong views and small faith are often the cause of death.
We do not live according to creation. Our food and medicine are human wisdom, chemistry and sometimes deadly.
We do not know or use our authority over the enemy, not even over death. – Often we have bound the spirit of death and sent it away in the name of Jesus. And the person became healthy.
Death is represented as a person in the Bible and also in literature. Therefore we can talk to him and command him in the name of Jesus. He must disappear when Jesus’ name is proclaimed!
In Indonesia there was a revival and even many dead people stood up again. The Christians asked God: Is his life path complete or is it too early? If they had the impression that the person had died too early, they began to pray, to praise and to praise.  And quite often the deceased began to live again. Yes, Jesus is the LORD over life and death!

Thank You Jesus, You have often saved my life from destruction! That is why I praise You, my Lord, Saviour and Saviour! Thank You for paying attention to our prayer! You have given us authority over death. We want to pray for others in Your name and give life. You are good to us!

Gratitude – 2018.09.26

Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.
Deuteronomy 26:11

There is supposed to be a feast once a year: when all the fruits and crops have been harvested. Everyone should remember that God is the one that let everything grow. He has to give his blessing otherwise nothing will grow. Everything depends on Him. Everything is ruled by our mighty God: rain and sun, day and night, warmth and cold. A hailstorm at a bad time can ruin the harvest. Rain to early or to late will cause a poor harvest. How dependent are we on this blessings of God! We see it and we want to be thankful.
Everyone is blessed by God but to bless his grateful children it is a special pleasure to Him. It is supposed to be a joyful celebration! When we look back on all the good that was done for us by the Lord, we can look joyful, brave, and confident into the future. When we are discontent and remember only that which did not work out, we will not expect anything good from the future. God acts on our faith.
It is nice to say thanks before eating, because He is the donor of all good things. He makes sure we have work and money. He cares for food and drinks. Even small children should understand this connection. We work so we can buy food but it is Gods job to provide us with work and to make sure there is food to buy. He even controls our breath – when He withdraws His Spirit we are done.
The question is: did I work for all this or granted God my work to be successful? This is where Christians have a different view on the world. And it is just a question of what we see. Do we actually pay attention on the good things God provides or do we notice ever only the bad? This is what separates Gratitude and discontent – and in consequence trust in God or pettiness.

Thank You dear Father! You command the sun to shine and everything to grow. You control everything with Your strong hand. Thanks for the job and thanks for the bread! Thank You for taking care of me! You are the spring of my life. I will celebrate You and praise Your greatness!

God’s Lesson – 2018.09.25

Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.
Hebrews 5: 8

Was it is necessary for Jesus to learn something? Apparently yes. Or could he read and write, or walk, talk and jump already as a baby? He had to learn everything, because he was born one hundred percent human. And he also had to learn obedience to God.
In human beings this obedience to God is not there. Our heart is independent, stubborn, wild, proud, and by nature not patient, obedient, loving, humble and full of confidence in God. We have to learn it.
God did not spare his own Son. Even Jesus had to learn everything. The school in which patience, trust in God and obedience are learned is called suffering. God does not send it, it is already there. Sometimes God saves us from great suffering and sometimes he uses it draw us closer to Him. In the suffering we learn to trust in God. Because if all our hopes are taken, we finally turn to Him. And when he saves us, we have faith in the Saviour. Only then can we trust Him and learn to obey Him. He means well with us!
A person who has everything and for whom anything is possible, does not need God. But a man, the for whom things in life are missing and often something goes wrong and he is suffering and lacking, seeks after God. And he can encounter God in Jesus. Jesus is the friend who brings us through suffering and tribulation. He is palpable, His consolation can be experienced, His love and kindness are tangible. In the silence we experience Him. If we know Him then, it is no longer difficult for us to obey Him or to wait patiently for His salvation. Only with Him at our side are we happy to learn the lessons that God has prepared for us. He teaches us gently and lovingly.

Thank You, Jesus, that You are there! You’re the friend who travels my way with me. You take me by the hand and take me to the destination. I can trust You, even in the darkest night. You have good thoughts for me and good goals for me. How fortunate that I am safe in You!

Highs and lows – 2018.09.24

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angles nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8, 38+39

I always amazed about our God. How great is HE! How kind, how faithful, how merciful and wonderful! Nothing can stop Him from being faithful to me, from loving me, from forgiving me, from being patient and from taking the first step of reconciliation again and again. Where is such a God like our Jesus?
Whatever wants can come. Nothing prevents Him from loving me. Neither death separates me from Him, from the source of life, nor life itself.
I was on the heights, with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Sometimes there are moments when we are very, very close to heaven. One wants to hold on to them and never let them pass away, just as Peter wanted to build huts there on the Mount of Transfiguration. He did not want to return to the valley.
Sometimes these moments block our way with Jesus. They are so beautiful that we always want to bask in them. We hang on to this memory and measure everything by these sublime moments. And everything else is nothing more measured against that. There we lose the ground under our feet and are no longer usable for the practical work for which we are here.
Jesus went back to the valley after the transfiguration. There the people were already waiting with their sufferings. And He served them, washed the disciples’ feet, drove out the evil powers and was hated by some, others talked badly about Him and one betrayed Him for a few thalers.
In the valley there is little sun, little light, much shadow and suffering. We would rather be on the mountain and see God’s nearness! But as Jesus did His service in the valley, so must we. He did it joyfully because God was with Him. If we think only of the heights, the ministry is difficult for us. Like Jesus, we should wash people’s feet. We live in the valley of tears, where God is close to us.
But neither the ups nor the downs should separate us from His oversized love. My gaze should remain fixed on Him, and my heart should be grateful and joyful, even in the valley. There faith proves its worth, there is its battlefield.
The things in the valley will not separate me from His love. All the many odds and ends, the thousand little problems, the hostilities, the worries, the temptations ….. all this should not separate me from Jesus. My gaze remains on Him!

Yes, Jesus, You went back down to the valley and happily did Your service. Forgive when sometimes I am so grumpy and dissatisfied and just waiting for the glorious great things. You have served, and I want it too. And You are with me – how good!