Quiet Time with Jesus – The Next Step

Saturday, 14 April 2018

After taking an early childhood course, I began to think of child development in 4 areas – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I have observed that parents put too much emphasis on their children’s physical and mental development and pay less attention to their children’s emotional and spiritual wellbeing.  

God gives us a free will. He allows us to choose. God gives us emotions. He allows us to experience all kinds of emotions. God does not want us to become robots, efficient but heartless.

God is love. We are His children. He tells us the rules and allows us to decide whether we want to obey or not. If we obey, we will be blessed. If we don’t, we will be cursed. The word ‘cursed’ sounds really bad. We might think that God is hard and merciless. Today, many of us try to change God’s image. The truth is: God is pure and holy. He cannot tolerate sin. God cannot be changed. 

God is a wonderful Spirit Being. I cannot fathom God’s heart. He is PERFECT. He is PEACE. He is LOVE. He is GOOD. He is GOD. I have learned that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. I am still seeking God in good times and bad. And He has amazed me so much that I’m beginning to trust Him more and more, love Him more and more…

As a parent, I want my children to be independent (able to think wisely), confident (willing to take on new challenges), diligent (work for success), conscientious (be responsible), honest (never cheats, never lies, never steals), gentle and kind. I want my children to have a good future…

God gives me HOPE. Jeremiah 29:10 says, “This is what the LORD says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.”

My reflection: 70 years! It’s a long time! The Israelites suffered under the hands of the Babylonians for 70 years!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.
— Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah said ‘declares the LORD’ 3 times as though he is emphasizing that God is the One speaking, that God keeps promises, that He makes sure they are fulfilled and His plan will never change. He will bring His people back to Him even though it may appear like it’s not going to happen.

I have often given God a deadline to complete the tasks that I give Him in my prayer. I believe it is okay - if the condition of my heart is right with God – I am His beloved child. He loves me and He will give me the desires of my heart. Surely, it is good to see His plan come to pass.

Through storms of life, God gives parents (myself included) the opportunity to guide and nurture our children to become emotionally and spiritually strong. Sometimes, the problem is: Parents are too busy… Parents don’t know the right way to nurture a child… Parents over-protect their children…

When times are good, there is nothing to learn (sorry, it’s a sweeping statement) - we can teach a child to be thankful. Let us be aware that the devil will teach our children to be complacent, take things for granted, compare with others and demand to have the best…

There had been many times when I receive God’s grace unexpectedly. I am overwhelmed by His grace and mercy. “I don’t deserve it,” I would say – that gives me true understanding of the powerful verse:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this NOT FROM YOURSELVES, it is the gift of God – NOT BY WORKS, so that no one can boast.
— Ephesians 2:8-9

My Prayer

Dear Father God,

We have been so brainwashed by the world that our success is due to our own hard work. We have allowed ourselves to become proud of ourselves, forgetting that it by YOUR GRACE that we can walk through difficulties, challenges, problems… overcome obstacles, tear down strongholds… to emerge as victors in life.

Thank you for asking me the question: How does experiencing God’s grace lead to compassion for others?

Let us not stop there – thanking You for Your Amazing Grace, telling others about Your Amazing Grace, but to GO ONE STEP FURTHER to ask You, “LORD, what do you want me to do?” Give us ears to hear. Hearing Your Voice is also a gift. We want it. We need it. Speak Lord, Your child is listening.”

Lam Yee Ling