UNDIGNIFIED ONE

Impossibilities and His Sovereign Grace

There we were, waiting for our turn to take the stage and defend our thesis. I never thought we could go that far: being one of the finalists for the Research Congress. What we had gone through to be there sure was no joke. We could almost taste the fruit of all our labor. Bitter or sweet, let it be for His glory.

A Short Preface

The topic given to us by our adviser was anti-cancer. I was a newb to it though I had conducted previous research studies back in high school. I never had the guts to perform an anti-cancer research. The idea of it makes me feel uneasy, most especially the possible cost. We had no choice but to stick with the given topic. We were all required to.

It was only three of us in the team. We agreed it is best to do a group project with people you know well or you are good friends with. It did not matter the number, the important thing is we all do our part. Admittedly, each of us had her own shortcomings, but I praise God for using the diversity in our personalities to complement each other and to discipline us, although sometimes we would clash. :)

Embracing the Impossible

Sadly, our results were negative. Not enough cells were killed by our plant to conclude it effective as anti-cancer agent. I was disheartened. All the sleepless nights, the fights, the laborious walks going to and fro UP Diliman, the absences we had to take, the expenses, the sacrifices. I was enervated at the thought of it. I asked God why. Having a negative result would mean less chance of earning at least a spot in the Research Congress. Research has been a great part about half of my life. Knowing that even in college I could still practice what I had been doing since then gave me child-like excitement.

I was tempted to alter our results. Anyway, that was what the majority was doing and that would save us a lot of time and effort. But God reminded me the sole purpose of our research, that is to glorify His name, and resorting to cheating would not be in accordance to it. He impressed on me that He intentionally made our results negative to display His glory and our utter dependence on His sovereign grace.

The Isaac Factor

God sometimes deters what is humanly possible to do the humanly impossible, so He gets the glory alone. Impossibility makes a big room for God to work in and through us to do miracles and hence we should embrace it in faith. 

"God’s purpose in all that he does is: to magnify his sovereign grace and keep us in our humble place." (John Piper)

Sarah was barren and past her child-bearing age. Abraham was a hundred years old. But God promised to make Abraham a great nation through Isaac and the child will come forth from his own body and Sarah will be the mother. I could not blame Abraham and Sarah for not believing it at first. But with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37).

Being convicted by this, we decided to make every information in our paper truthful as far as we were concerned. I praise God for my teammates.

Delight in Weakness

Final defense day arrived. It was Sunday so I first went to church before going to school. I slept at 6 AM to finish editing chapters 4, 5 and 6, including our powerpoint presentation. Not mentioning, we had a fight the day before. My whole body was crying out for rest and I wanted to skip church and go home and sleep. Thank God I did not. After having lunch with mom and sister, I took the bus and went straight to school. I was trying to memorize my lines for our defense on my way but I was too distracted and was ready to drop. I felt so helpless that I buried my face in my palms and wept before God. I surrendered to Him everything: the outcome of our defense, what we would say, what the judges would ask. Everything. I welcomed my weakness with delight for in it God’s power is made perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God Does the Impossible

There we were, sitting and waiting for our turn. I could not believe we made it to the Research Congress. When we received the news, my teammates and I were quite hysterical. It paid off all of our labors. Now was harvest time and His glory was about to unfold. We went up on stage and had our one last hurrah. We had a negative result. We definitely weren’t the smartest in our batch. But God did the impossible. We won first place in all categories: poster layout, video presentation, oral defense. We won the best research award. It would not be as glorious as it is to me if God settled for the humanly possible. We could not have done it without God plotting for our glory from the start. It was all for Him and through Him. His sovereign grace magnified.

Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with him everything else thrown in.
— C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Fun Day with the Oldies

August 23, Saturday, our whole discipleship group, the D-12 and the Dgroup members, organized a small outreach called “Project Forever Young”, which aims to share the word of God and the Good News to the elderly, demonstrating the love of Jesus and the joy in salvation, at Kanlungan ni Maria - Home for the Aged, Inc. in Antipolo, Rizal

image

Being in Christ Jesus, we are new beings with souls chiseled for good works which God has appointed to his people even before creation. He has blessed us with physical, intellectual and spiritual gifts, not that we should make more of ourselves by it, but to make more of Him—and bless others through it that they may glorify our Father in heaven.

When we arrived to the place, we were greeted by Nanay Pina, who was quite sprightly for her age, telling never-ending funny puns and always wearing a smile on her face. There was Tatay Manuel also, who refused to speak at first but then finally did so as the day progressed.

The program started in praise and worship, which was followed by an opening prayer led by Sis Shei. We then disseminated to our assigned elders, introduced ourselves and assisted them for the next activity: Wordplay. In this game, each of us will have to choose three positive words that best describe oneself and explain why. It was fun and interactive, even the elders enjoyed themselves. Right after our short game to break the ice, came the gospel-sharing led by Sis Ruby. The elders were given gospel bracelets stringed with gold, black, red, white, and green beads. Each color represents an element in the gospel:

  • Gold - Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:16) : Gold symbolizes the grandeur of the kingdom of God, who created the heavens and the earth. Did you know that we have a special place in heaven as soon as we receive Jesus Christ in our lives? Yes, indeed, we do have. But there is one thing that cannot be in heaven and that is:
  • Black - Sin (Romans 3:23): Sin is our problem. It is the thing that separates us from God. No matter how we try, we cannot wash ourselves clean from sin. However, only if we do this in our own effort. The good news is we do not have to live with a dark heart our whole lives.
  • Red - Blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:22): Because God so loved us, He made a way in order that we can be reunited with Him. He sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins. He took away the punishment we deserve. He took it for us. 
  • White - Purification (John 1:12): This is the gift of salvation. As we decide to receive Jesus Christ and declare Him as our Lord and Savior, we are made clean and holy in the sight of God, worthy to be called His children and co-heirs with Christ.

Here, Sis Ruby invited the elders for a prayer of acceptance, pronouncing their desire to receive Jesus in their lives. It was such a blessing to see them all raise their right hands and accept Jesus.

  • Green - Spiritual Growth (2 Peter 3:18): Like a tree which needs watering, sunshine and air in order to grow, so does our faith needs the Word of God and prayer in order to grow. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord every day of our lives.

We had lunch, bonded for a bit more, and to end the program, Lola Lee led the closing prayer.

I used to be afraid of getting old and seeing my outer nature quickly wasting away, but I looked at them and I praised God for how He takes care of everyone of them. These are poor, abandoned, neglected and homeless old people, but God never fails to look after them and provide for their needs. Gladly my pair, Nanay Baby, was very accommodating and friendly. She told me stories about her college days, how she used to be a volleyball player in their team, how she travelled from places to places to represent their school. She showed me pictures of her self, people she met, places she has been to. I thank to God for the short time I got to spent with Nanay Baby. It made me realized that old age is not something to be terrified about. Rather, it should be something we look forward to everyday, serving as a motivation for us to savor every moment and not waste the strength we have while we are still young to do many good works and serve the Lord. Truth splattered right on my face. Indeed, fame, popularity or richness does not matter anymore when we reach a certain age. All will pass away. All will be forgotten. But only what is done for Christ will remain and matter in the end. The best is yet to come.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

There were a lot of hindrances that went our way for this outreach to be a success: computer, internet connection and cellphone malfunctioning all together, the designing of paper bags for giveaways, the cellphone of Sis Rach missing but thankfully was found in the car of Sis Rochelle, which got hit by another car on the way home from the outreach, my card getting stuck in the MRT station on my way to our meeting place, and even in the littlest of details. The Enemy really tried hard to obstruct us, but God will always win. God’s plan will always work its way.

For sure, the planning and arranging of this outreach was not easy but it was all worth it. The lessons. The experience. The satisfaction from serving the Lord. All priceless.

To Him be all the glory.

Feminism, Purity and Womanhood

One time, I went to the grocery store with Dad to shop for a one-week food supply and whatnots. As we were about to pay for the groceries, I saw an old favorite of mine, tuck in a rack, with Chloë Moretz on the cover, as if beckoning me to croak any attempt to resist buying it. The little teenybopper inside my already-twenty-year-old body started kicking in and in a split second I gave in! Anyway, it’s been months since I last read a teen magazine for girls and reading one once in a while won’t hurt. Or so I thought.

The moment we got home, I excitedly unwrapped my magazine and scanned through the pages as I relived my teenage years. I was so hooked in an instant: stalking celebrities and feasting my eyes on cute 90’s outfits and Audrey Hepburn inspired closet. I was really having fun until I read an article about street harassment and how to fight back. A section in the article confronted what it called “common misconceptions’ regarding the topic. One was the issue about girls who wear skimpy clothes shouldn’t be surprised when guys throw them inappropriate comments. It says there:

Girls shouldn’t have to adjust their outfit choices for fear of being harassed. Why don’t we talk about the men who actually committed the crime?

This really caught my attention. I did not see any encouragement to take action here, which I suppose would be best. Instead, I saw an indirect hint of feministic side of the writer. 

Who Is a Feminist?

Frankly, I used to be indifferent to feminism and did not know that this can mar a person’s conviction with respect to true womanhood. And when I say true womanhood, I am referring to biblical womanhood.

I just finished reading “Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood” and I would like to quote Courtney Reissig for what she wrote about feminism. She defines it this way:

Feminism began as a push for equality and in many ways has now turned into a push beyond equality. It wasn’t enough to be equal with a man; now women want to be better than men. It wasn’t enough for women to be independent from men and their control, now women want to be above men in the home, workplace and everywhere else.

I see this in families. I see this in schools. I see this in the television, in movies, books, and now, in my old favorite magazine. I see this even in myself.

True Womanhood

I have nothing against the fact that women can excel more than men in different aspects and I do not intend to negate the ability of women to lead. There are multitudes of circumstances in life that call for women’s leadership. All I am saying is that men and women weren’t created to compete with each other; men and women were created to complement each other. God created us that way. For example, let’s take a look at Genesis 2:18.

It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him

In a Biblical point of view, women are basically helpers of men. Not that wives should enslave themselves to whatever decisions their husbands make, or that women do not have the right to have equal privileges with men. But the Bible is very specific in calling on men to be leaders.

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

Men are called to lead just as Jesus did and is to the Church. And women are called to submit just as the Church should to Jesus. In this way, the glory of the gospel is magnified. God’s beautiful and deliberate creation of men and women is revered. And if we have a problem with that, then we nullify the fact that the Bible, the word of God, is the ultimate and the final authority.

So God created the female made in his image, equal to the man in dignity and yet immediately different from the man in role. (Trillia Newbell)

One of Satan’s strategies to ruin us is to twist God’s design. He likes to distort the true concept of manhood and womanhood and introduce new self-serving and unbiblical ones. That’s why we see broken homes, men marrying men, women marrying women, fathers abusing their children, wives nagging at their husbands, children disrespecting their parents, and the list goes on.

Modesty and Self-Control

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

We are what we wear. And saying that girls shouldn’t adjust their outfit choices for fear of being harassed and instead focus on the men who committed the crime foreshadows the tenacity of women of today to dominate over men and spurn the responsibility to accept mistakes.

Yes, we are victims here. But that does not exempt us from being accountable to ourselves nor give us the reason to put the whole blame to men. More importantly, we are not just accountable to ourselves, but to our brothers as well. 

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. (Romans 14:13)

This exactly clarifies my point.

Dressing modestly might not make all the perverts go away, sometimes they just street-harass to tease and make fun, but at least you know in your heart that you did not put any stumbling block in the way and that God is glorified in your choice of clothes. In this case, you have no responsibility to their action whatsoever.

Read the Bible

My old favorite magazine used to be my primary source-next to Tumblr-of the latest fashion trends, movies to watch, music to listen to, gadgets to buy, boys to be crazy over with and a whole lot more. Yes. This was years ago when I still did not know Christ. I even continued collecting it when I became a Christian. But when I finally realized what it has done to how I see myself as a woman, I resolved to let it go.

Reading a teen magazine is not always bad for you, please don’t get me wrong. But remember to immerse yourself in the Bible first and let it renew your mind so when the time comes that you encounter something like what I did, you can differentiate the truth from a lie. Anyway, you cannot tell a gold is fake until you have seen a real one.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

The Path to Glory

It wasn’t the usual day for me. Sitting, I was waiting to get to my station. Weird how it seemed quiet to me despite of the noise. The train was congested with people who were busy talking about work, the whether, and the lives of other people. But, I was alone with my earpods, filling my thoughts with what-ifs and should-haves.

I just took the first half of our final exam in PAD. It was the subject I found so difficult to study, let alone get a passing grade. I was thinking, I should have dropped the subject already right after I received a failing grade in both of my preliminary and midterm exams. That way, perhaps, I would not have a failing mark in my transcript. Now, seeing how the exam went for me, I might fail to graduate on time.

Under the Wings of God

Days before our final exam in PAD, I was invited to attend Spark, an all-day camp for girls. A Christian friend of mine got me a free ticket, so I decided to invite someone to go with me. Thank God, one of my closest buds accepted my invitation. I wanted her to come to know Jesus Christ as well. But before the event, it was announced that we would be having our final exam in our QC laboratory subject on the same day. Also, I could instead study in advance for PAD on that day. So, I began having second thoughts whether to go or not. Then, I prayed to God for clear instructions.

Since we just started our series on the book of Ruth, I took my Bible and started reading. God spoke to me through Ruth 2:11-12, which says:

“But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. The LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”

Under whose wings you have come to take refuge. Okay, this is God telling me, “My child, do not be bothered by the worries of this world. Come, follow me and take refuge under my wings. And you shall find favor in my eyes.”

I took the leap of faith, went to the event with my friend, and was so grateful to God I did. My friend told me she was really blessed and signed up for a youth ministry in our church. On top of that, I received a text from another friend of mine telling me all our exams on that day were postponed. O God, you are amazing. I said to myself.

Ruth: A Woman Called By God

Just in case you haven’t read the book of Ruth yet, it is a story about a widowed woman who followed her calling to look after her mother-in-law, Naomi, who was made bitter by the happenings in her life. A famine in Judah, a move to Moab, the death of her husband, the marriage of her two sons to foreign wives, the death of her sons. Naomi has no one left to take care of her. Ruth, on the other hand, saw that need and was willing to leave home to care for Naomi. Ruth had no idea of how her future with Naomi would be, but she followed God and took refuge under God’s wings.

The Best Is Yet to Come

When I got to my station, I hurried and walked home. As I reached home, I went straight to my room, took my Bible and threw myself in bed, laid there still for a couple of minutes. I couldn’t drag myself to study. I just wanted to have some quiet time alone with God. My body was screaming for it. I knew I needed rest, and genuine rest is only found in His presence.

I couldn’t help myself but cry, considering “what if I don’t get to graduate?” I was thinking of my parents. Their sacrifices. Their expectations of me. Their honor. Then, I was thinking of what would other people say about me? Would they judge me? Then, when I thought of God, all I could think of was how sorry I am to Him for not taking care of what He has given me.

I was helpless, weary, and despairing before God. I was honest with Him and told Him I couldn’t do it anymore. God, I can only study so much. I am not as smart as some are. I need your help. I said to God with all my heart.

When I composed myself, I continued with the book of Ruth. Now, I was on chapters 3 and 4. Afterwards, I read a commentary, or rather a sermon, written by John Piper on the book of Ruth. There he said:

“The point of the story is made in the life of Naomi. The life of the godly is not a straight line to glory, but God sees that they get there.”

I sensed God comforting me, telling me, “I am plotting for your glory, my child. Sit back and watch me as I do great things for you. Be still. Know that I am God.”There was a sudden rush of relief in me that made me feel secure at least. I am not able. But my God is. And in my weakness, His power is made perfect. Therefore, I should rejoice in it and boast about it. My situation maybe is hopeless, but nothing is impossible through Christ who strengthens me.

“The best is yet to come. That is the unshakable truth about the life of the woman and the man who follow Christ in the obedience of faith. I say it to the young who are strong and hopeful, and I say it to the old, for whom the outer nature is quickly passing away. The best is yet to come.” (John Piper)

For the godly, the best is always yet to come.

Faith that Pleases God

Before I took the second half of my final exam in PAD, I texted all my dgroup sisters to kindly ask for their prayers just as I did the day before. Through this trial, I learned to count on the power of prayer and take refuge in God’s promises.

The month of March went by so quickly. And as the day of the releasing of grades was closing in, the horror of it never left me. I would cry myself to sleep sometimes, even at the shower I would cry! But I considered it a blessing, because through my suffering, through my fear, I sought God more and more each day. God turned my suffering into praying, and fear to strength in Him. My prayer life was never the same then.

My mom was asking me when would be my graduation day, but I couldn’t answer her. She even bought me a surprise graduation gift in advance! Oh, the guilt it caused me. I was also hesitant of finally getting rid of my notes and reviewers because I might need them in case I would have to enroll again next semester. But the Holy Spirit convicted me. If you believe God is God, and He will do great things for you, then put your faith in Him! It’s useless praying for something when you’re not expectant of what God will do for you. Have faith! So, I placed all my notes and reviewers inside the cabinet and fixed my room, and told mom the date of our graduation. All by faith.

And the day has finally come! I was actually ecstatic because I got numerous signs from God, confirming that I will pass, that I will graduate. Clear, specific signs from God. But as I was about to prepare for school, my classmates started texting me, telling me they did not make the cut. I was discouraged and for the last time cried out to God for help. And once again, God reassured me through 2 Corinthians 6:2, which says:

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Now is the day of salvation.

I held on to that. Tightly. Desperately. So, I rode the train and tried to be brave. Still, I couldn’t hold back my tears, and for the last time, I cried once again. Prayed to God for help.

For Your Glory

Today, when I look back, I still get sentimental. There is no way that it was not God’s work. It was God behind it all along. Plotting for my glory. In His name.

I received my grades, and miraculously I passed all my subjects. Now, I am officially a college graduate, a board passer, and ready to work! God did not stop from doing wondrous things in my life and drowning me in awe for Him, for His unfailing love and faithfulness. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to get through it without the prayers and support of my sisters in Christ and my family that God surrounded me.

I am a child of God, who chose to take refuge under His wings and thus has found favor in His eyes.

To Him be all the glory.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Radical Christianity

Guide verses: Luke 14:25-34

The Cost of Discipleship

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish. ’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Life Applications

The Christian life is a constant battle

We are warned beforehand what it would cost to follow Jesus. Everyday, we have to carry our own cross—-and that could be leaving home to go on missions, giving up a television show we think is not good for the soul, or being bullied because of our faith. The Christian life is a constant battle of the flesh and the spirit. Yes, our spirit is made new in Christ. But the flesh is corrupt and often desires things of this life that rots the soul. That is why Jesus tells us we have to lose this life in order to gain him. For whoever loves this world leads himself to desolation—-a trap, which snatches away what we have in Christ and deceives us through fleeting and empty pleasures.

Better not begin than begin and not finish

A wise man does not go to a battle unarmed. He takes battles seriously. He knows that there is no room for mediocre preparedness else he loses the fight. Same goes with Christianity. Like what C.S. Lewis said, the only thing Christianity cannot be is moderately important. If we take Christianity as moderately important, we are no different from those who take it as if it is of no importance.  

So if we do not know what discipleship would cost us, we will take it lighty and live a superficial Christian life. Worse, we set ourselves up to futile labor and sacrifice. For the enemy is like a lion, always looking for someone to devour. If we are not alert (especially to worldly desires), we will surely give in and end up not finishing the race.

We fight not by flesh alone

The good news is, God has already won the fight. We do not fight by flesh, but by the Spirit. Thank you for the Cross. Indeed, the cost of following Jesus is great. But as promised, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We can endure being laughed at for standing up for Jesus through Christ. We can keep our chastity until marraige through Christ. We can choose to swallow our pride to win a soul through Christ. We can rejoice even when suffering through Christ. We can finish this race through Christ. If we are to count the cost, we know He is worth it.

Salt Without Taste Is Worthless

Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?

You are the salt of this world

In the Scripture, mankind, if unrestrained, is naturally corrupt. Christians, as the salt of this world, are to preserve humanity from corruption, season its insipidity, freshen and sweeten it. 

But what if the salt has lost its flavor?

Here goes the problem when we, Christians, who should be preserving a generation for Christ, are the ones who are corrupt. Thus, have lost flavor, existing only as superficial Christians. 

 How shall its saltiness be restored?

The question is not if do we really, as Christians, lose flavor but if Christians, “the salt of this world”, lost its flavor, what else would replace it? The answer would be found on Matthew 5:13 which says, “It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out (a figurative expression of indignant exclusion from the Kingdom of God) and trampled under people’s feet.”

Reference: Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary

Beauty Beneath

image

This was my first time to ever try snorkeling. It was scary as heck but not enough to drown that itty-bitty scrap of courage left in my bones. The thing was worth it anyway!

We rode a canoe going to the floating raft where we got off. I was having second thoughts about it but I don’t get to be in this beautiful island everyday so I might as well consider doing it. So I jumped into the water and swam with fish. They would crowd my face, vying with each other for a piece of bread. It was fun feeding them though.

I was able to dive under and observe up close the sea underneath. Man, it was beautiful. The master diver pushed me down hard and it was so difficult to keep myself from floating. I wish I were able to stay longer down there.

As my eyes burned at the beauty of my God’s creation, I could hear Chris Tomlin’s ”Countless Wonders” song play at the back of my mind.

Your beauty fills the sky
Your glory reigns in brilliant light
Great God of countless wonders
I will lift my eyes

It is quite overwhelming to know that the very same hands that created and formed the ones I am seeing beneath this sea of water are also the hands that crafted me in my mother’s womb. Amazing, amazing God.

My Thoughts On Pinoy Big Brother

One thing I noticed is that Big Brother likes to twist His own house rules and has a tendency to be irrational and biased when actuating punishments to the housemates. Well, business is business. I cannot blame the management for being a sucker for high ratings. They have to take risks even when it means playing games with a person’s soul every single day. The mass will still watch the show anyway. Like lust, watching people unlock their bad sides feels so good and is so addicting. Thus, it makes a lot of money.

Jesus Died for This Moment

Have you ever had that moment when you made lots of mistakes and you think you have fallen so far from the grace of God to go tell Him you’re sorry and deserve His forgiveness? Well you are not alone. I have experienced this many times, and many times have I heard that it is a lie from the devil. But I keep on feeling the same thing whenever I sin. I always struggle to stand up again after a fall.

God is so holy, so righteous that a glimpse of Him can shatter us all at once. If Isaiah, who was considered by his contemporaries as the most righteous man in the nation, saw himself as a man of unclean lips before God, how worse could I be?

This is where the cross comes in.

I therefore thank God for the cross. So, whenever my past sins haunt me or whenever I struggle to get up from falling, I tell myself, “Jesus died for this moment.” It comforts me to think that because there is this child of God who is undone by His presence by all the sins she has made, Christ had to die. And as long as there is one child of God who is experiencing the same thing, the death of Christ will not cease to have meaning.

image

Sometimes, God has break us to make us whole. As C.S. Lewis puts it, “He wants us to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand.” Only when we realize the depth of our sins and how horrifyingly hopeless we are as humans that we start to understand how dependent we are to a Mediator every single day of our lives. Thus, the cross of Christ is magnified.

In the same way, the cross of Christ gives us the reason to keep on breathing in pursuit to magnify what he did on that cross.

Tonight, God impressed on me that I cannot afford to lose Him. Because life without God is like trying to fill a bottomless hole or look for a well in a desert; It is pointless.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

image

Ever heard of C.S. Lewis? He is the notable man behind the Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series! Our childhood years might be filled with colourful reveries and make-believes we enjoy doing with our pals because of it. 

But this masterpiece of C.S. Lewis is one I deem to be exceptionally done. He is among those advocates of evangelical Christianity and inarguably the most influential Christian writer of his day.

This book tells a story in the form of spate of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape to his novice tempter nephew, Wormwood. His mentorship regards his nephew’s assignment in securing the damnation of a British man known only as ‘the Patient’.

Ravishing, convicting and wittily written. C.S. Lewis glued me on place while reading this satire. I highly recommend this book to Christians and even to those who are half-convinced. It left me greatly astonished as to how God blessed this man with such talent to articulate ideas so deftly. There are a lot of quotable quotes I would like to share but I will just share one of the most striking to me to not defile the whole thing if ever you decide to read this.

image

"Indeed, the safest road to hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,"