Sunday, April 15, 2007

Christian Pilgrimage

The preacher asked us this morning if we have read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim Progress. I read the simplified version during my early teen years. Does that count?

The sermon this morning is based on Micah 7:8-13 particularly the first 2 verses:

8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
…… Though I have fallen, I will rise.
…… Though I sit in darkness,
…… the LORD will be my light.
9 Because I have sinned against him,
…… I will bear the LORD's wrath,
…… until he pleads my case
…… and establishes my right.
…… He will bring me out into the light;
……I will see his righteousness.

When we commit our lives to God, it is not so much a “happily ever after”, there will be hard and tough times and we need to know how to respond to our God. The Christian pilgrimage is imperfect. “Though I have fallen … though I sit in darkness.”

The preacher reminded us that Abraham, the Father of all nations, lied to save his own skin; David, the man after God’s heart, committed adultery, committed murder; Simon Peter, the disciple closest to the Lord, denied him three times. The preacher reminded us that we have hope because even these great men has fallen at some points of their lives but they still had hope and salvation in God.

But I thought that we must also never forget that this is not the license for us to continue to sin. We must remember Romans 6.

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? ~ Rom 6:1-2

We still struggle, we still fall. We must confess, repent and face God. Are there sins in your life that you need to confess before God? The pilgrimage of faith is not an easy one. And we cannot be so engrossed in our own ways that we forget the ways of God.

The only way to master life is to trust in God, and in God alone. There is hope in him. The speaker shared with us this story about Mother Theresa.
    Professor of Christian Ethics John Kavanaugh once went to live at Mother Teresa's ‘house for the dying’ in Calcutta for three months. Somehow he thought that he might find the answers to some nagging questions about where his life was headed. On his first morning there he met Mother Teresa herself. She asked him, "What can I do for you?" Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. "And what shall I pray for?" she asked. He voiced the request that had taken him the thousands of miles from his home in the U.S., "Pray that I might have clarity."
    She looked at him sternly and said, "No, I will not do that." When he asked her why, she said, "Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and that's what you have to let go of." But Kavanaugh replied that she always seemed to have complete clarity about what she was doing and the direction of her life. She laughed and said, "I have never had clarity, what I always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God”. What a simple yet powerful statement. It’s something we all need to remember that the most important thing in the Christian life is to trust in God. Our problem is we fret and worry about life, instead of trusting in God.
There is no clarity in life, only faith and trust in God. What happens at times when we do not hear God at all? What do we do? What can we do other than to trust him?

Trust is the only logical respond in our world of troubles. He is hope, he is Emmanuel.

We may have been a Christian for a long time but have we started our journey of faith, trusting him and depending on him for all things? Let God rule in your life. He is God, he is hope.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. ~ Heb 11:1

Picture by Alistair Williamson

Text of Mother Theresa from Thought of the Day


  1. Hi Pearlie - that's one of my favorite stories about Mother Theresa. Thanks for posting it.

  2. hi thanks for stopping by my blog!
    i see that you're from KL. my mom is from malaysia too, kuching, sarawak to be exact. i've been to KL once, and I have 2 cousins who to go college there now.

    glad you liked my blog, feel free to stop by again!

  3. Julia,
    You are welcome :) I on the other hand seldom hear her stories.

  4. Hey Deborah,
    Great to have bumped into your blog then coz it is nice to 'meet' a half-Malaysian across the globe :)

  5. What profound words from Mother Theresa. I had never heard them. Thanks for posting that. Jesus own words "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8b

    I must constantly strive to stay in Faith and not in works.

  6. Hey,

    I figured I'd comment on all my favorite blogs today.

    I love your postings. I'm still not going to post for a while, but I've been stealthily reading yours and a few others.

    For the record. I am of the opinion that Pilgrim's Progress, is kind of dry. I think that an abridged version is just fine. Unless you need to get to sleep.

    God Bless

  7. Susan,
    Good reminder. I am fearful that on that day, I will be the one that God say, "you call me Lord, Lord but I do not know you." We need to be humble and keep trusting Him.

  8. Hey Doug,
    So so good to hear from you. I had wanted to write to check how you and the family have been keeping but I guess I do not have your email :)

    Thanks for reading, it is encouraging now to know that you are still in the loop.

    PP is dry eh? I read the abridged version so long ago that I don't even have the copy now, but still remember bits here and there.

    Again, so good to hear from you again. Keep well, God is good.