Archive

Gospel

many-times-did-jesus-fall-carrying-cross_f50b52727618a9cf

When I tell you about Jesus…
I’m not trying to “convert” you to another religion.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I’m not telling you to abide to a moral standard.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I’m not saying that I’m perfect. Because I, myself, am weak and flawed.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want to tell you about the most precious thing in my life and I hope that you will receive it too.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want you to know Him. Not just about Him.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want to let you know about how He saved me.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want you to experience this joy that I, myself, have experienced. Because in Him, is the fullness of joy. A joy like no other.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I am pleading with you to have a relationship with Him.

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want you to know about Love. A love that is unrelenting, unwavering, and never ending .

When I tell you about Jesus…
I want you to know that He loves you.

 

 

 

Advertisements

A few months ago, a certain foreign celebrity tweeted, “Be young! Be foolish!” The tweet got more than 2000 retweets and favorites.

The fact that people seem to agree with the tweet bothered me.

“We are young, therefore we should spend our youth by doing foolish and stupid things.” Is this the message or the mindset that we want to give to the youth? I suggest that our answer should be a big NO.

Instead, I would like to encourage my fellow youth to pursue wisdom. Let’s not waste our years being foolish, and doing things that we will regret later on in life.

In Proverbs 1: 20-21 it says,

 

Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;”

 

Imagine this: wisdom is shouting at us, telling us to listen to it—to follow it.

But why follow it? Why pursue it? Proverbs 24:13-14 tells us:

 

“My son, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.”

 

However, it’s hard to be wise. Trust me, I know. Where do we get the wisdom? How do we get it? Like all things, we need God’s grace. We cannot depend on our own ability. That’s why the Bible says in James 1:5,

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

And in Proverbs 2 it says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; …”

Depend on the Lord. Ask for it! Put your faith in Him, and He will give it to you.

But let me encourage you with one more verse,

 

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12

 

Don’t waste your youth. Don’t spend it by being foolish. Instead, make the most of it by making wise choices and working on your relationship with God.

Waiting – something that seems simple enough, but can be hard to do. I’m not just talking about waiting for that “someone” (though it can be applicable). I’m also talking about anything that is worth waiting for – an opportunity, a promise, a miracle, or anything in between.

Waiting can be hard, especially (but not limited to) to the youth. I’m not an expert on waiting myself, but here are two things that I think makes waiting harder for most people.

1. Impatience

This one is obvious. We’re living in a world that is used to getting things quickly and instantly.  I always hear from older (or to be safe, more advanced) people how they used to go to libraries and find the book they need to do their assignments and research. But for our generation, all of that information is just a click away. The funny thing is, we even get irritated when we have to wait a little longer when our Internet connection is slow.

We want everything now.  If we want coffee, there’s instant coffee. If we want noodles, there’s instant noodles.

Same goes with that opportunity or that relationship. We’re so used to getting things in an instant, that we’re not used to waiting. We want to feel satisfied in an instant.

Yes, impatience is an obvious reason why waiting can be hard. But the next, at least in my mind, is not that obvious.

2. Fear

What does fear have to do with it? Well, we want to feel that we’re in control. We want everything to be in our hand. We want to call the shots. Uncertainty or the unknown can make us afraid.

For example (here’s a popular one): for the men, when we know that we need to wait for that woman. Thoughts enter our minds like: “What if someone else comes into the picture and I miss my chance?” or “What if I wait and nothing happens?”

Waiting can be a risk.

So what do we do? How can waiting become easier? The answer is trust.

But trust who?

It says in Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

And in Romans 8:28:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

So who do we trust? We can trust in God for he is faithful.

We can be patient, because we know that if it’s from God, it will be worth the wait. We don’t need to fear because God is in control.

Marshmallow_eliquid

For this term, I took a class called “PHILOPE”, which is basically a Philosophy class. From the first few meetings I already had some ideas for blog topics but due to some reasons (i.e. Laziness), I wasn’t able to write any until now.

It’s already the end of the term, but I would still like to share my ideas and insights with you guys. So I’m starting a blog series called “Lessons from My Philo Class” (how original and creative, josh). It’s basically about some lessons I picked up from the class with Christian or Gospel-based insights.

So first part of the series is called the Marshmallow Test. It wasn’t really a lesson; it was just something mentioned in passing. I’m sure any Psychology major will know more about this than I do. But anyway, here it goes:

What is The Marshmallow Test?

From what I understand it was a test conducted by Dr. (insert name here). What he did was he put children in a room at separate times and placed a marshmallow on a table in front of them.

He asked the children to NOT eat the marshmallow until he returns. If they obey, they will receive another marshmallow, which will give them two marshmallows (YEY! I can count.)

Some kids waited, some kids sniffed the marshmallow but had enough self-control to not eat it, while some of the kids ate it despite the promise of a reward.

What we can learn from this

When I heard about this it reminded me about us, and our relationship with God. We are like those kids. God promises us a reward, a reward that will never fade. But before we get that reward, we have to learn how to obey first.

In this life, God commands us to be obedient to His will. He tells us that it’s going to be challenging, but in the end there is a reward. An even greater reward than what the world is offering us.

But we, as humans, tend to take what’s in front of us and tell ourselves “I want a reward now”, “This is what’s best for me”, or even “How can I be sure that God will fulfill His promises?”

We get impatient. We settle. We settle for things that we think are what’s best for us, the things that are in front of us. These can be relationships that aren’t started at the right time or with the wrong the person, fame, fortune, etc.

But my encouragement for all of us is this: That God is a God who keeps His promises. He will never forsake you. He wants the best for you. He has already given you his best—Jesus, what else will he withhold from you? I challenge all of us to put our trust in Him. Have faith that He will fulfill His promises. Let’s not settle, but let us wait for an even greater and eternal prize from Him.

25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:25-27

“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.”- Jeremiah 29:11

And you know what? When you trust in Him, you’ll realize that the greatest reward that we can ever get is Jesus himself.

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” – Philippians 3:8

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11

For the past few days, I was encouraged to see people who volunteered in different venues to help give relief goods to the victims of the floods. Our country experienced a great trial due to the weather. But despite all the losses and hardships, people banded together to help out the people in need. All of these efforts reminded me of this verse:

“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”- 2 Corinthians 9:11

From the verse, I believe there are at least 3 things that we can get from it.

1. God will enrich and bless us

God is a God of grace. He blesses His people. He looks out for us and provides for us. He will never leave us. Just like what Matthew 7:11 says,

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

God is a Father who wants the best for His children.

2. We are blessed so that we can be a channel of blessing

Aside from God being loving, one of the reasons of Him blessing us is for us to be a channel of blessing. We are blessed so that we can bless others. God wants us to be generous and share what we have with others. To repeat 2 Corinthians 9:11,

“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way,…”

We are not supposed to be black holes that keep everything to ourselves, but we should become channels of blessing. Let people know about God’s love through our giving.

3. We give to give thanks to God

At the end of the day, it still begins and ends with God. We want to give so that we can honor and glorify Him. After all, He gave us the best gift of all.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”- John 3:16

We can be generous because he blessed us first. We can give because he gave the best gift of all—Jesus.

 

P.S. I would like to know your comments about this entry, and my blog in general. What do you want me to talk about? What do you want me to change? Let me know. 🙂

Let me ask you (the reader) a question: what’s the best gift that you received? It can be a birthday gift, a Christmas gift, or any kind of gift from any occasion.

Have you thought of an answer?

Alright, I give you more time to think.

Well, time’s up! The reason I asked that is because I want to share the greatest gift that I’ve received. First, let me share a verse:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”– Romans 6:23

Yes, the greatest gift that someone has ever given me is Jesus. But honestly, there are times that I lose sight of that. Imagine, I (a sinner) who deserved death, was given life.

The thing about gifts is that before you receive it, someone has to pay for it for you. Just like when you buy a Christmas present for someone. Let’s say a shirt. You have to go to the store and pay for it before you give it to the recipient. It’s the same here, someone had to pay for my debt.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”– Romans 5:8

God out of His love chose to give me life. Chose to pay for my debt. Chose to give me His son, Jesus. And me, the forgetful one, try to look for satisfaction and joy from other things when I already have the only thing that will satisfy me and give me joy (Psalms 16:11).

But even though I forget, He still draws me back to Him. He remains faithful, even when I am not. I just want to share this to you. This gift is available for you. You can receive it! Just put your trust in God, and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and I promise you, He will do wonderful things for you, in you, and through you.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

I’ll always be here if you want to ask questions, talk, or comment about what I wrote. That’s it for now. 🙂


In our culture, here in the Philippines, religion is a big part of our daily lives. Most of us, if not all of us, grew up hearing about Jesus and what he did on the cross from our schools, families, and churches. We have grown so accustomed to hearing it, that we often take it for granted. I guess the best way to really appreciate what Jesus did for us on the cross is to know why he had to do it. We call him our Savior, but we don’t really know or fully understand why we needed to saved.

SIN

Jesus came here to save us from sin. Yes, I know we are all familiar with it. We’ve heard about it over and over again. But do we really understand the magnitude of sin? Let’s discuss it.

“…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” –Romans 3:23

First of all, everybody sins. No one is exempt from it. Prisoners, priests, pastors, students, teachers, parents, children, everyone will fall short. As Romans 3 says, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Next, now that we know that all of have sinned, what are its effects? What does it do to us? How does it affect our relationship with God?

1. Sin separates us from God

“ 1Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
2 but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.” – Isaiah 59: 1,2

One thing that we have to understand is that God and Sin cannot connect. God hates sin. God is holy and righteous, God himself cannot sin. And because of this, our sinfulness separate us from God. Sin breaks our relationship with God. Sin hinders us from having a relationship with God.

2. Children of Wrath

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath,” –Ephesians 2:1-3

Sin does not only separate us from God, but because of it we were children of wrath. We were his enemies ( Romans 5:10).  Because of His righteousness, He justly looked at us as children of wrath.

3. Sin deserves death

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23 (Remember this verse, I’ll be continuing it later)

Lastly, sin deserves death. We, being sinners, deserve death. As the verse says, we have earned ourselves death and eternal separation from God. The truth is because of sin, we were not just sick, we were dead.

But gladly, the gospel doesn’t end there.

Salvation Through Christ

Now that we know that because of sin we were separated from God, children of wrath, and deserving of death, the question is: What now?

God is both loving and just. He wants us to have a relationship with Him, but at the same time, He cannot leave sin unpunished. That’s why He made a way for us. He gave His only Son, Jesus, to take our place. Jesus died a death that we deserved. He lived a perfect and sinless life, and at the cross, put our sin upon Himself.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” -2 Corinthians 5:21

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—“ –Galatians 3:13

Through Jesus we can have salvation. Through Jesus we can have a relationship with the Father. Through Jesus we can have a new identity.

1. No longer enemies but friends. No longer children of wrath but children of God.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” –John 1:12

When we were dead to sin, we were called children of wrath. But now because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, and if we receive Him and believe in Him, we were given the right to become children of God. We were given the right to have a relationship with Him. Not just as a Lord and his servant, but as a Father and his child.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.” -John 15: 13-14 

We were once his enemies, but now He calls us His friends.

2. Only by Grace

Another thing that we must remember, just like what Roman 3 says, we all for short. There is nothing that we can do to deserve this. Our salvation is only by His grace.

Let me go back to Romans 6:23 and continue it:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 6:23 (Aren’t you relieved that it doesn’t end with just “for the wages of sin is death”?)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” –Ephesians 2:8,9

Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we don’t have to strive anymore. All of this is available to you, if you believe in His name and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Salvation is a free gift, a give that we don’t deserve. That’s why we call His grace “amazing”.

Before I end, I would like to share two more verses:

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16

After everything, after all the words and the long blog entry, if there is one thing I want you to remember, it’s this: Jesus died a death that we deserved so that through Him we could live.

But the good news doesn’t end with His death, because on the third day he rose again. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is alive! That’s why you can be confident that through Him you can be victorious. That through His death and resurrection, we are indeed alive.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”– 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22