And yet none abuses it more than I have done, and still do.
How heartless and dull I am!
Humble me in the dust for not loving thee more.
— “Amazing Grace”, Valley of Vision.
— “Amazing Grace”, Valley of Vision.
O great God of highest heaven
Occupy my lowly heart
Own it all and reign supreme
Conquer every rebel power
Let no vice or sin remain
That resists Your holy war
You have loved and purchased me
Make me Yours forevermore
I was blinded by my sin
Had no ears to hear Your voice
Did not know Your love within
Had no taste for heaven’s joys
Then Your Spirit gave me life
Opened up Your Word to me
Through the gospel of Your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace
Help me now to live a life
That’s dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul
From the evils that I face
You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heaven
Glorify Your Name through me
Ever since I could remember, my family raised me on Christian values. From the very beginning my parents taught me that there was only one God and that anyone that said otherwise was wrong. And even though that was what I was taught to believe, I never applied that in my own heart and saw it as just a religion.
I considered going to church to be a normal routine. I remember waiting impatiently for the day to be over so I can go home and take my Sunday nap. Since I knew that there was a God and that He did not like disobedience, I tried my best to be on my best behavior at all times whether it be at school or at church. I felt that I was safe from God’s wrath because I considered myself to be a good girl and not as bad as the other kids my age.
Once high school and college hit, the motive for my behavior changed from not wanting to be punished to wanting to please others. I was very socially awkward and I felt the best way for me to make friends is to be like my friends. At church, I wanted to be just like my ate’s and my kuya’s and that drove me to join their weekly Bible studies. And this is where I began to practice a lot of lying. I became very deceitful. In order to feel accepted, to feel “cool”, and to save face at my church, I lied a lot about myself. I would be complimented for being studious of God’s word, for attending Bible studies, for being a youth leader, and for knowing a lot ABOUT God and I would enjoy all of these compliments. But in reality, I did all of that to keep up with my friends, to hide the fact that I had no idea what I was doing, and to make sure no one knew that I wasn’t saved. In fact, when people would ask me my testimony at the time, I would lie about it because I knew that outside of church I was a completely different person. I pursued what I thought were the true joys in my life. And I thought I was still safe because I still had the mindset of “well, at least I’m not doing drugs or drinking alcohol or causing chaos in the world”. Little did I know that the desires within my own heart were just as bad because they were completely off from what God desired. A majority of my high school/college life was revolved around being in and out of relationships that were not godly which further blinded me to the reality of my sin.
One day, I was invited by my cousin from church to go to a conference called Resolved. I thought, “Cool! An opportunity in the summer to hang out with them and have fun. And an opportunity for me to learn more about God… so that I could keep up with what everyone else knew”. The theme of this conference was Jesus Christ and I came in with the mindset that I already knew who Jesus Christ was.
But with each sermon, the Lord graciously opened my heart and my mind to His truth and I began to comprehend the gospel in its entirety. The holiness of God was emphasized so greatly that in turn it revealed the greatness of how sinful I am. The reality is that there is no good behavior or good deed that I could perform to win His favor. And there was also no amount of knowledge of God that I could build up to save myself. Romans 6:23 became real to me, that the wages of my sin was death. Eternal separation from God in hell. And this conference drilled into me that Jesus Christ was not just someone that I should know because someone told me to. But that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, who lived a perfect life in obedience to God. And through His death and resurrection, I am able to be forgiven of my sins. I am found justified before God because Christ took the death penalty that I deserve. The joy of Romans 3:24-26 became a reality to me that I am “justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus”.
God revealing this to me out of His loving mercy led me to repent of my sin and proclaim Jesus Christ Lord of my life.
From that point, my perspective on how I lived my life changed and I had a genuine desire for His word. The desire drove me to find so much joy in serving Him and obeying Him to the best of my ability. So now I no longer live to please others, but to glorify God and my Savior Jesus Christ. Of course, I’m not perfect, and I still fall short of His standards. It is only by His grace that I am making progress. To this day it’s incredible to think about God’s faithfulness and love for me. I was incredibly stubborn and prideful, yet God was gracious to save me. I find so much joy in this assurance of salvation, that in obedience to His word, it has led me to this day. My baptism is an outward symbol of what God has already done within my heart. That my identity is now found in Christ. My prayer is that you may be encouraged by what He has done in my life and that those who do not know Him, may come to know Him.
Praise God for His grace and the redeeming work through His Son Jesus Christ.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon the cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
“Smilingly Leading You to Hell” by Tim Challies
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. O____O THIS IS SO COOL.
“What God would have us do in a given situation becomes increasingly straightforward the more we know him, and the way we know him is through the Word. Immersing ourselves in the Word is to immerse ourselves in the character of God.
“Sometimes, despite regular attendance on the Word of God and prayer, we still aren’t sure what to do. Could it be that we really don’t want to know? Maybe we are finding significant joy in something—a friendship, a pursuit, a pastime—and we sense that if we look too closely, we might find that God’s glory and our walk with him is diminished because of it. At some level, we know it isn’t God’s best. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17). A real test is whether we are heeding wise council or arguing against it. It is almost sure that if we spurn the wisdom of godly people and go after what we want, it will not end well.
“Wisdom is recognizing worldly joy as folly, turning from it, and walking straight ahead…we will find real joy only in paths of wisdom.” —Lydia Brownback, Joy: A godly woman’s adornment
Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead. —Proverbs 15:21
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. —Proverbs 14:12
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. —Colossians 1:9-10
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. —Ephesians 5:15-17
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. —James 1:5-8
Brendan (8yrs old): Ate Jainah! Do you want to play the boyfriend game?
Him: The boyfriend game! I have to sing the alphabet song to you. If you move, I’ll stop and the letter I stop at will be the beginning of your boyfriend’s name.
Him: Yeah, so if you move when I say the letter “G”, your boyfriend’s name will be…. GORDON.
Me: …Brendan, I don’t think I want—
Him: LET’S START. REMEMBER. IF YOU MOVE, I’M GONNA TELL YOU WHO YOUR BOYFRIEND IS. *Starts singing the alphabet*
Me: *Doesn’t move the whole time*
Him: HEY. You didn’t move… you know what that means?
Him: YOU’LL NEVER HAVE A BOYFRIEND. No boyfriend for you!
Thanks, little man.
“Appreciation of Truth is Not Application of Truth” by Rick Holland