2021-04-03

Yin-Yang and Easter - The Secret for a Victorious Life

Yin-yang is a key Chinese concept in helping us to think better. Let's apply it to Easter.

Yin is hidden, dark, dead...
Yang is opened, bright, life,...
Yin is Good Friday, the death of Jesus on the cross, carrying the sins of the world.
Yang is Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus, overcoming death, the victory for us all.
The problem with some churches is the overemphasis on death, the sins sacrifice, ... Emphasis on sin does not bring victory over sins. Stressing on the resurrection, the power over sins help.
Oth, just stressing on the resurrection, the grace, without an understanding of its purpose over sins, may result in grace as a license for sin.
What is needed is therefore the understanding of both, the yin and yang, the sin that needs the resurrection grace. The Grace that brings us freedom and victory over sins and death.
The order is important too. The sin and death and then the victory over sins and death. It reveals first the love of God - while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The resurrection reveals the power of God, defeating sins and death, and more, that we all may become the children of God. We dead first to self and then made alive to live for and with God.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Remember that we are now children of God, the victors, that we can live out the resurrection power, freed from the bondage of sins, able to love and do good to others, reflecting the image of our Heavenly Father.
Have a victorious Easter and a God-blessed life.

Lim Liat (c) 3 Apr 21

2020-06-14

Overcoming Fear in Time of COVID-19 Pandemic

What can we learn from Peter, Paul, and Confucius about overcoming fears in this challenging time?
From Peter, we learned the shortest and most effective prayer, "Lord, save me!" Mat 14:30. Jesus did everything for Peter and Peter just rested on Jesus.

For Paul, Jesus did not give him too many miracles. Paul had to go through the challenges of shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonments, escaping, etc, and coming out of them victoriously. He had the calmness and the wisdom to plan and act rightly. His advice for the young and timid Timothy was to remind him of what they had received from the Lord. Under fears, we easily forget what we have. The key verse is 2 Tim 1:7.

 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

(ESV)  for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

(GW)  God didn't give us a cowardly spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment.

(ISV)  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power, love, and self-discipline.

The 3 keys are:
  1. Power
  2. Love
  3. G4995 sōphronismos which got translated as:
    discipline, self-control, sound mind, and good judgment.
Power is pushy or hard-power and Love is pulling or soft-drawing-power. How hard or how soft should one be depends on the situation and the people involved. Hence, we need the 3rd key of a right-balance, the sound-mind to make the right judgment of discipline use of power and love. 

How this works is best explained by Confucius teaching captured in the Book of Great Learning Chapter 1:

知止而后有定,定而后能静,静而后能安,安而后能虑,虑而后能得。 
物有本末,事有终始。知所先后,则近道矣。

Knowing the end-point objectives/targets enables focus.
Focus enables rest. Rest enables peace/calmness.
Peace enables thinking. Thinking enables achievements.
All things have an origin and an appearance.
All projects have a beginning and an ending.
Knowing the before and after, the order or sequence is close to knowing the Way of the Universe.

So we see Jesus always give his disciples peace first.

 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (Jn. 14:27).

John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

The peace that we need to overcome fear comes from Jesus and from His Spirit (2Tim 1:7). He gives us the peace to think and even the wisdom to find the solution. James 1:5 (NIV) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Peter figured it out in 1Peter 1:3-7 of the unchanging and undisruptable power that Jesus had given us to enable us to endure and go through the trials victoriously.

So, when fearful, please come to Jesus, to receive the Spirit of Power, Love and Sound mind, to boldly face the situation and work out the solution, asking Him for guidance throughout.

May you be greatly blessed and may come out of this pandemic much better than and stronger than before,

Lim Liat (c) 14 Jun 2020