Thursday, March 18, 2010

God's Retailer?

According to my marketing professor, the middlemen in the business sector earn the most profits. They are the wholesalers (divisoria), the jobbers (agents, brokers), and the retailers (SM Malls and your local sari-sari stores) that get the products moving forward, from the manufacturer to the end consumers. Would you believe that they earn 60% of the profit, and only 40% goes to the manufacturer? So he said, if we are thinking of going into business, go in between. That's how Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, and many tycoons started. There's much wisdom to be gained from this experience. Here is the marketing equation:


I felt like a middleman when I shared the topic of our worship service last Sunday to a few friends. There's indeed much joy, blessings and wisdom gained from this act. Today is already Thursday, and I am still thinking, dwelling, meditating on the message. Maybe you will also be blessed by it. Let me share it with you.

Rev. David Cheung spoke of a message entitled "Walking on Water," an exposition of Matthew 14:30-33. He started off by saying that we can ask God for signs. I am not really very comfortable with this idea. I felt it sounded a little bit selfish, like God should do things our way. Anyway, he said we can ask for signs if, and only if, our purpose is to obey Him. He listed three DON'TS when asking.

1. Do not ask Defiantly. There's this story about a man who lived in Hongkong, a very urban place. This guy did not believe in God and I don't know what pissed him off that led him to ask "God, if you are really God, send me a sign!!" A few seconds later, before he even got to close his mouth, a bee stung him on his tongue. SO BE CAREFUL, DO NOT PUT GOD TO THE TEST.

2. Do not ask Deviously. On one summer day when Rev. Cheung was a couple of decades younger, his group of friends planned for a church activity. They really wanted to go to this carnival in Cubao, and so they made a little scheme. They thought maybe they could bring some gospel tracts and give them away, then they'd have fun after. However he felt a little bit guilty, so he asked God (note: on a hot summer day when global warming was not yet popular) to send rain. Guess what happened? When the sun was still shining brightly, rain poured for 45 seconds that afternoon. Goodbye carnival.

3. Do not ask Importunately. This just means do not be makulit like Gideon. If God has answered you already through a sign, you do not have to ask again and again.

---------- HERE'S THE STORY ----------

The evening after Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the 5000 men with a mere 5 loaves and 2 fish, Peter was on a boat with other disciples waiting for Jesus who went up a mountain to pray (wow! silence and solitude. Our topic for this Friday. :D). After sometime, Peter saw a hazy figure walking on water. It was Jesus! Peter asked for a sign, "if it is you Jesus, make me walk on water also." Remember, it was evening, and there were winds and waves jerking the boat. The boat would still be the safest place to be in at the middle of the lake. Jesus then told him, "COME."

Peter went out of the boat. But when he SAW the wind, he was AFRAID and he began to SINK, he CRIED out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." ~ Matthew 14:30-33

SAW. The wind might be so strong that Peter SAW it. Since usually we can only feel the wind right? Wind diverts you off your paths, deflects you. Maybe this can be a relational problem, financial difficulty or a sickness.. yes, it can be intimidating.

AFRAID. It is okay to be afraid, to fear the wind. There are two (2) types of fear. The UNHEALTHY fear and the HEALTHY fear. The unhealthy fear makes you flee. This creates doubt. Whereas the healthy fear makes you draw near. This creates trust. Rev. Cheung gave us an example of a young boy and his mother who went to a foreign land. When they went to the market to buy some food, the boy was afraid and this made him hold his mother tightly.

SINK. If we read further, we could see that it was not fear that caused Peter to sink, but doubt.


Fearing the wind doesn't make you walk on water. Trusting the Lord does. And if you were to ask Jesus to help you through the wind, or remove the wind, he can do both.

CRIED. Sometimes it is okay to say a very short prayer. :-)

Earlier that day, Peter had already seen the miracle Jesus did through things (loaves and fish). But when he stepped out of the boat it became personal, he entered the realm of impossibility. He himself was doing the impossible. Jesus turned his life into a miracle.

If God tells you to get out of the boat, will you?

Will you get out of your comfort zone?

Will you trust him despite the wind, the problems, the discouragements that may shake you?

Are you willing to see something new, something greater, and something impossible? But this would mean you must entrust your life to Jesus. :-)

I am not the manufacturer of this message, so most probably I'm the 'retailer' who passes it on to more end users. Unlike the business retailer, I don't deserve any profit, nor glory. At least, I also get to enjoy the product. All glory to God!

Feel free to pass this on!

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