Words of Discouragement Part 4 (Isaiah 36 and 37)

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What are the right response to discouragement? We find two of them in Isaiah chapter 27:

He consulted the right people.

“And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. It may be the Lord thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left. So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” Isaiah 37:1-7

We go to people we trust. Fellow Christians, pastors, mentors, classmates and friends. Those people are willing to listen to our discouragement, give advice, encourage us and lift us up in prayer. Are you discourage? Then do what King Hezekiah did. Find refuge to the right people.

Hezekiah consulted the matter to God.

After going to the right people, King Hezekiah went to the temple and poured his hearts out. We ask Christians should have this kind of response. We should go to the one who is sovereign and mighty. 

“And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord, saying, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open thine eyes, O Lord, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, even thou only.”Isaiah 37:14-20

Hezekiah acknowledge the sovereignity of God and ask for God’s action. In times of discouragment, have we come to God for His wise counsel? We are limited, God is not. Search the Scriptures to find comfort. Pray to God and ask Him to make you more dependent to Him. If its concerning His children welfare, God will make a move for His glory and our victory. 

Next week we will conclude our study on Discouragement. 

(To be continued next week…)

Words of Discouragement Part 3 (Isaiah 36 and 37)

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Let us look at the last two ways discouragement sets in to our life.

By twisting our right decisions.

Doubts may set in our mind when we hear this kind of discouragement. Hezekiah made the right decision to removed the idols that plague his kingdom’s spirituality. But Rabshakeh twisted it and made it look like a bad move by the King. Had this happened to you? Someone sneer or blame you for the right things you stand for? Discouragement can do that.

“But if you say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”?
Isaiah 36:7

By attacking our credibility.

Now its personal. This is when it hits home. Nothings more painful than the discouragement that attacks our credibility. We may have built our reputation for years. We may have shown our very best. But this discouragement makes us like crumbling building. And when the dust clears, we feel we didnt accomplished anything. Discouragement wins!

“Thus says the king: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern,”Isaiah 36:14-16

Next week lets tune to a more positive side of our lesson by looking at how do we respond to discouragement.

(To be continued next week…)

Words of Discouragement Part 2 (Isaiah 36 and 37)

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This week we continue our look at different ways we get discourage. Our next in the list of ways that we get discouragement is:

By bringing up our limitations. 

“Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?” Isaiah 36:8-9

Taunted by Rabshaken, we see that the Israelites are short in numbers to protect themselves thats why they cling to the Egyptian. Knowing our limitations brings insecuries. We might say “If only I’m tall enough, I might get the basketball scholarship” or “If only I’m pretty enough I could be accepted in a group.” Limitations drags us down.

By humiliating us.

“Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?” Isaiah 36:11-12

Next week we will continue this study with #4 and #5 of the methods of discouragements that is thrown at us.

(To be continued next week…)

A Seasoned Servant of God: Delighting Grace Interviews Bro. Simeon Susi Jr.

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Previously we featured a book review and free download of an out of print book titled “Can We Find God?” by Simeon Susi Jr. Today we will get to know more of him, his calling and advice for future servants of Christ.

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us how you got saved and called in the full-time ministry as a missionary servant of Christ and preacher of  the  Word ?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I got saved in 1971, when I yielded my life to Christ and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Saviour. He worked in me for quite a long time convicting me of the truth that I am a slave to sin which is at the bottom of my troubles; preparing me- my heart and my mind to come to a saving knowledge of Christ. Since then I resolved to come to Him and now telling others the great things He had done for me.

Delighting Grace: What is your “Life Verse” in the Bible? Do you have a favorite theme or text that you always want to preach  ?

Bro. Simeon Susi: </strong>I was enlightened through the Book of Ephesians – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9). I always preach the Gospel in whatever topic I touch; and also the subject of “Growing in the knowledge of  Christ.”

Delighting Grace: Aside from the Bible and your book, what are the books, authors you’ve read that you may recommend for the Christians?

Bro. Simeon Susi: Here’s my list of recommended books for you edification:
1.) Books written by A.W.Tozer
2.) Basic Christianity and Your Mind Matters by J.R.W. Stott
3.) Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
4.) Books written by William MacDonald
5.) Books written by the late H.A.Ironside
There are lots of good books, but let us be careful- do not substitute them to the Bible.

Delighting Grace: You wrote a book titled “Can We Find God?” can you tell us hows the experience writing one?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I’m not a professional writer, but as a servant of the Lord, being a preacher and a teacher of the Word. I finally thought that I have to put down in writing my convictions. I decided to share God and His Words through writing, and after much prayers, I wrote the book through the guidance of Him.

Delighting Grace: Can you differentiate preaching a sermon and writing it down for everyone to read?

Bro. Simeon Susi: By preaching you share the Word by the word of mouth. In writing, through pen; but the difference lies, in  writing, we present our ideas in a more polished language, and in detailed form; many times quoting authorities  to authenticate our subject which is seldom done in speaking.

Delighting Grace: Any advice to budding Christian writers who wants to get their works published?

Bro. Simeon Susi: Know your subject better- meaning, know the Bible better.  Pray for the Lord’s guidance as you write about Him. Be patient until the work is published: It is hard to published books when you don’t  compromise with the truth of God’s Word.

Delighting Grace: What do you think is the one lesson every person called to be a preacher of the Word should remember?

Bro. Simeon Susi: Study the Word. We are not called to preach what we know, but what God desires through His Word. God is not interested on the things we learn through secular education, or even in the seminaries if does not conform to the truths of the Word of God.

Delighting Grace: How can a servant of the Lord leave a lasting legacy?

Bro. Simeon SusiBy faithfulness  in  preaching the Word. This includes obedience. Holiness is a by product of obedience. This two important truths will reproduce Christ’s life in us.

Delighting Grace: How do we replenish our passion to go further for God?

 Bro. Simeon Susi: As we daily submit our life to Christ, meditates on His Person, “…we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory…” ( II Cor.3:18). Let us always “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” ( II Tim.2:1)

Delighting Grace: Thank you brother Simeon M. Susi Jr., if ever they want to contact you how can we connect? You do have speaking engagement?

Bro. Simeon Susi: I have some speaking engagement in churches where the Lord blessed me to plant some in Pampanga and Bataan.  My Contact no: 0920-5448-246 or you may email brother Arlan : arlan2nd@gmail.com. Thank you Delighting Grace, I really appreciate your book review on my book “Can We Find God” and for this brief but interesting interview, Thank you! God bless you!

Delighting Grace: Youre welcome. By the way, if you havent read the book review and free download of the book “Can You Find God?”, check the review below with the download link:

Its a privilege for me to be able to receive books for the book review that this blog is giving out. But this one is a stand out because this book is out of print.

In “Can We Find  God?” Pastor Susi opens the book with a call for Christians get real. He states that the stumblingblock of people coming to God is our slackness of in getting to know Him and how we handle this knowledge. Susi clears things out and acknowledge that we can only know God when He reveals Himself first to us. Then through this short book, he takes us to chapters in getting to know Him.

As I read the book, it draws you in despite of the seriousness of the message it tackles. It will not turn you off but it will convict you. As the book unfolds, Pastor Susi unpacks how God graciously reveals Himself. He also has injects some doctrine and apologetics with a “you never saw it coming” style. i think only a seasoned pastor can hack that style. I would like to point out, some of the chapters are too short. I think Pstr. Susi should expound it more or add more chapters. Their are lots more to be tackled but still this book is a good read.

This book is a quick, one sitting read but the depths of the message of this book amazes me. This kind of message is desperately needed in our churches. In todays Pinoy Christian books scene, this type of book may be forgotten or wont make it to the bestseller list. It wont even sell. But to those who wants to get serious with being a Christian and make an impact, reading this book will take you there. Let us all pray for this book that it may make a comeback to every Christian bookstores. But for now you can download this out of print book for free in PDF format. This is a Delighting Grace exclusive and its for a limited time only!

Click this link to get the free book:http://www.scribd.com/doc/234551016/Can-We-Find-God-S-M-Susi-Jr

Words of Discouragement Part 1 (Isaiah 36 and 37)

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Have you been discouraged? Well I have, many times already. Its not a good feeling. Its uncomfortable. Its sometimes comes in words. Mere words can put us down. If inflicting physical pain hurts, words of discouragement is painful too. Our soul’s enemy, Satan uses it to Christians. It may come from our mind as the Devil throws discouragment darts to us. It can come from unbelievers but also, sadly from a fellow Christian. Before we go on to our lesson lets open our Bibles to James 3:9-10 and see how our tongue can be a blessing or a curse to men:

“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” James 3:9-10

Here we can see how we use our tongue and James exhorts not to use it in cursing. We can see how it is important for us to use our tongue as a blessing. Let us not use it for ungodliness, like discouraging others. Christian, please dont let the Devil set foot in our lives.

As look at our main text in Isaiah, King Hezekiah faces a brewing war against the Assyrians. We can see the different strategies our adversary, Satan uses to discourage us.

By bringing up our past mistakes and failures.

“And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.” Isaiah 36:4-6

Been there before? Bringing up those blunders from the past. Those mistakes and failures might be nagging at us when they are recent or still fresh from our memory, but bringing it up opens new wounds from old scars.

(To be continued next week…)

Book Review+Free Book Download: Can We Find God? by Simeon M. Susi Jr.

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Its a privilege for me to be able to receive books for the book review that this blog is giving out. But this one is a stand out because this book is out of print.

In “Can We Find  God?” Pastor Susi opens the book with a call for Christians get real. He states that the stumblingblock of people coming to God is our slackness of in getting to know Him and how we handle this knowledge. Susi clears things out and acknowledge that we can only know God when He reveals Himself first to us. Then through this short book, he takes us to chapters in getting to know Him.

As I read the book, it draws you in despite of the seriousness of the message it tackles. It will not turn you off but it will convict you. As the book unfolds, Pastor Susi unpacks how God graciously reveals Himself. He also has injects some doctrine and apologetics with a “you never saw it coming” style. i think only a seasoned pastor can hack that style. I would like to point out, some of the chapters are too short. I think Pstr. Susi should expound it more or add more chapters. Their are lots more to be tackled but still this book is a good read.

This book is a quick, one sitting read but the depths of the message of this book amazes me. This kind of message is desperately needed in our churches. In todays Pinoy Christian books scene, this type of book may be forgotten or wont make it to the bestseller list. It wont even sell. But to those who wants to get serious with being a Christian and make an impact, reading this book will take you there. Let us all pray for this book that it may make a comeback to every Christian bookstores. But for now you can download this out of print book for free in PDF format. This is a Delighting Grace exclusive and its for a limited time only!

Click this link to get the free book:http://www.scribd.com/doc/234551016/Can-We-Find-God-S-M-Susi-Jr

Grace for Kids: Delighting Grace Interviews Grace D. Chong

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First saw Grace Chong in person in last years Manila International Book Fair and recently I read her children’s book. Her books truly hits not just the heart of a child but to others who are kids at heart. No wonder she received awards and recognition for her craft. But most importantly, she delivers God’s grace in books she wrote. In celebration of National Children’s Book Day, Delighting Grace brings you Ms. Grace as she talks about her books, crafting a good story, and many more:

Delighting Grace: Ms. Grace what makes a good story kids will love? You do have a knack for kids.

Grace Chong: Any story that is within the realm of the kids’ experience and imagination, if presented in a unique, fresh, and fun way in their language, can be appreciated by the readers. 

Delighting Grace: How did you start writing books for children?

Grace Chong: My mother wrote in my Baby Book that I started writing stories when I was five.  Maybe as early as then I already had the passion to write stories. But I took my first-ever win in the Palanca Awards 1999 (The Boy Who Had five Lolas, first prize) as an affirmation of the new direction I wanted to take after leaving the workplace–to pursue my love for writing. 

Delighting Grace: Your children’s book is every entertaining. How do you get inspirations for your stories? I’m impress that some are really enjoyable and full of actions.

Grace Chong: I can get inspired by everything, everyone, and anything that I see around me.  That may seem to be a cop-out, but that is how it is. I am touched by every little act of kindness, or unkindness, and I see gems in mundane things. These I translate into stories that readers can identify with.     

Delighting Grace: One book or books worth mentioning is your Oh Mateo! series. Who is Mateo in your life? You gave him a series and I thought hey this must boy must have a special part in Ms. Grace’s life?

Grace Chong: Mateo is the name of my dad, my brother (Mateo Jr.), and my nephew (Mateo III). When I created the character, I was looking for a Filipino name and I didn’t need to look far. In my family, I learned great life lessons from my dad, rib-tickling humor from my brother, and thrilling adventures from my nephew.  Each had been a rich resource of ideas for the series.  

Delighting Grace: Wow thats great. Any book you wrote that is near to your heart?

Grace Chong: Every single one of my books (37 for children and 12 for adults as of this date) is close to my heart. My favorite is usually what I am currently writing, till the next one comes along. 

Delighting Grace:  You have other books that are not childrens book. But your are known for your children’s book. How do you want to be remembered in terms of being an author?

Grace Chong: I like to think I am not typecast as a writer for only one genre. The readers of my books for adults are often surprised that I write children’s books. Likewise, the readers of my children’s books react the same way about my books for adults. 

My writing is not about me–it’s about giving honor to the Author of life, the Source of my ideas and words.  

Each book is written for a particular audience, not for being remembered as an author. I write about Christian values and God’s grace or I don’t write at all. And I pray that readers (adults or children) remember God’s message and appreciate the grace they received through the book.      

Delighting Grace: Does it give you a lot of pressure in writing when you receive an award for your work?

Grace Chong: Not pressure, no, but resolve to keep writing. 

Delighting Grace: How do we cultivate our love for children specially for us who want them to know the gospel?

Grace Chong: Matthew 19:14 (NASB) always enthralls me, “But Jesus said, ‘Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” 

Our Lord and Savior loves children and to them His kingdom belongs! How can we ignore them, how can we not love them just as much? We need to let every child know this truth. 

Delighting Grace: Any advice to budding writers who want to try writing children’s book?

Grace Chong: Please read as many children’s books by other authors as you can. Immerse yourself in the world of children–study how they act, react, talk, walk, laugh, think, cry, play, or even throw temper tantrums.  In short, know your young reader inside out. And keep the child in you alive. 

Here is the link to my blog on creative writing:

http://leavesofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/01/creative-writing.html 

Delighting Grace: Thank you for your time Ms. Grace. Kindly invite our readers to check our you books and your blog.

Grace Chong: If you are looking for books that speak to you about God’s amazing grace, please visit:  
My blog — leavesofgrace.blogspot.com or omflit.com.

Delighting Grace: Yes children’s books not just written by Ms. Grace but with God’s amazing grace. Thank you Grace Chong. God bless you!