How would you like to receive love letters from God ? Love letters ? yes love letters. Now you may be saying , you must be kidding ?no I am not kidding.
Now let me ask you a question , have you seen a Bible ? Have you read one ?
I remember 1976, thirty eight years ago when I got hold of a Bible and started reading it, someone told me I will go crazy. Now 2014 I am still getting blessed and more convinced that the Bible is God's love letter to mankind.
I would like to encourage you or everyone to give it a try if you have not read it. Please pray first that God will help you see His heart.
Year 2014 is slowly rolling and I heard some stores in the US closing. The economy appeared sluggish. China's environment starts to suffer due to industrialization. The weather appears to be strange, too much cold in the east of US and lack of rain in California. The Philippines where I came from still dealing with trying to reform the government and politics. Man's knowledge and technology appeared not enough to deal with world's affairs.
Why not call upon the Lord ? or better still , call upon the Lord !
The more I read the Bible and the older I get the more I see the holiness and the high standard of God and with that the more I see my inadequacy to come to Him on my own.
My life has been up and down. A life of "i wills" and " i don'ts". But God is so loving and merciful that He gave us a way, a way to Him and a way of escape from our sins and inadequacies. This way is through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our New Testament , our new covenant with God.
Before we met Jesus , our ways seem to be wide, it seems we can conquer the world on our own, until reality sets in , till our sins drag us down.And then through the mercies of God, He gave us Jesus. And then we came to Jesus, the road seems easy and hard as God helps us along the way.
Many times self tries to take in charge and many times self has to be taught that self only leads to failure and the more we rely on Jesus the more we see results.
May we keep looking on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
Today I just got back from attending the funeral service of a family friend, his wife and his son( they all died in a car accident ). It was a Catholic service and the words that were spoken brought some tears to my eyes. As Christians we all wish or desire to be with Jesus. As shown on my profile, I went through moments in my life where I went through different churches looking for the true church. In that search I got acquainted with several churches.
Going back to the topic, does it really matter what church we attend to, to be with Jesus when we die. I will try to answer that and you can share what you think.
I think what matters most is that we know that we can not save ourselves and that we are all sinners and that Jesus Christ died for our sins. I also believe that salvation is not automatic that we have to accept that gift of pardon through Jesus Christ. That our works comes after we are saved and those were done through the help of the Holy Spirit. My Scripture references are to cite a few are Ephesians 2:8,9 and Titus 3:5.
I will end here and you can tell me what you think. By the way did I say that church affiliation is irrelevant as long as our salvation belief is Biblical, I guess I just wrote it now.
I remember growing up in the Philippines and there was a house in our hometown , where every morning I heard someone scolding somebody. After a while I seemed to get use to it. Though at one time Phil. was the called the only Christian country in Asia, outward praising of God was not practiced in 60's, and 70's. Then sometime in the mid 70's the expression " Praise the Lord" started by charismatic churches and seemed to me artificial and quite foreign to me.
I am to found out later that in time of King David, praising God was common place as the book of Psalms shows. Also stated that a merry heart does good like a medicine. There are mornings when I woke up worried, fearful but now I have learned to praise the Lord, not only when times are good but also when times that I feel are uncertain or looks bad.
Let everything that has breath " praise the Lord"the Bible says.
For the sake of clarity I have been referring to our human body as our vessel. A few days ago I heard that one of my relatives in the Philippines has passed away. Death is a harsh reality and I believe everyone has to prepare or be ready for. God gave us this life and He can take it back anytime. I don't know what your feelings about this but as a Christian, we are promised that we will have or have eternal life after this earthly life.
Our bodies are getting old and worn, and again we are promised that we will someday have new bodies. I believe this and I believe that is why early believers faced sufferings and sacrifices and even martyrdom. I am aware that there are Christians here and in other parts of the world that are giving up what this world has to offer to receive what the True God has prepared for those who love Him.
Romans 12:1,2 the Apostle Paul wrote " 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 is good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
As a growing and observing Christian, I noticed Christians have different degrees of maturity based on the way we do things, talk or write. Only the Lord knows fully our mind and heart. Blogging and reading other blogs allowed me to take a glimpse of myself and how others perceive things. Please correct me if my observation is wrong. It seems to indicate that Christians show two extremes. One is to take sin lightly or that we have a license to sin. I am not saying that Christians agonize on every sin for long time but rather when Christians realize that we have sinned that we confess them to the Lord , do restitution if possible and we go on with our lives. Another extreme I believe is the belief that we can be righteous on our own, that by following the law or ten commandments on our own abilities that somehow we can gain favor with God. Another tendency I noticed is for us to believe that our side is always the correct one even the prophet Elijah thought he is the only one serving God till God corrected him on that by saying that God has 7000 in Israel who have not bowed down or kissed Baal. If Elijah could miss the 7000, we too could certainly miss the people of God.
You may ask where is the happy medium ? I believe the happy medium is to realize that without Jesus we are nothing. That we strive not to sin with the help of the Holy Spirit. That we rejoice forevermore and pray unceasingly, that we encourage and love one another. That we continue to witness about the love of God to a lost and dying world. That we refrain from wasteful debate. That we do our job to the best that the Lord showed us.Sure we will fail at numerous times but the Lord will continue to pick us up.
The world still shakes when meeting Christians seemingly divided, what more if Christians all over the world mature and become more united.
I woke up this morning, with this question : Revival or Apostasy ? I ask then what are these words. Revival as the dictionary says is a wave of religious enthusiasm worked up by powerful preachers; awakening while Apostasy is the act of renouncing one's faith. These terms I believe refer to mass direction. Where is the majority or minority leading to ?
I tried to recall what I have read from the Bible about what will be happening in this days which some may call the last days. The Lord said His coming will be like the days of Noah, where people are eating and drinking and giving in marriage, seems to me business as usual. Another one is it will be like the days of Lot, I will let you recall what happened then based on Biblical account. Apostle Paul warned Timothy, in the last days perilous times will come " For men will be lovers of their own selves.....lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof; from such turnaway." Maybe some of you can recall a more positive picture.
On a personal level one either gets closer to God or away from Him. Revival or apostasy does not happen overnight. One has to pursue one or the other .
Let me ask you what direction our country leading to ? How about the world ? Are we willing to stand in the gap ( Ezekiel 22:30) ?
My Christian life started with repentance and coming to Jesus, then I thought it will be just coasting or cruising along. Then lately I thought about enduring unto the end. Enduring to the end is a recurring theme in the Bible yet seems downplayed in our present Christian life. It is nice to have a fast start but it will be great to reach the finish line. I remember being taught that Christian life is not a sprint but a marathon.
The Bible is full of stories of people who endured to the end. Noah and the ark, Moses and the Promise Land, although he was not allowed to set foot on it because of some reason. Our Lord Jesus when He endured the cross.The apostle Paul when he wrote that he fought a good fight and finish his course.
Today Christians are dealing with challenges, challenges which are not new just came in modern form. We have to compete with different forms of worldly attractions and hence the need for enduring to the end.
I have I believe embraced grace after years of struggling trying to prove that my works will bring me closer to God. I feel relieved now knowing that it is God who will help me or bring me to the finish line. In Phil. 1:6 the apostle Paul wrote " Being confident on this very thing, that He who begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. "
So my brothers and sisters, let us endure to the end, and the Lord will be waiting for us in the finish line.