It’s been awhile since I wrote on this blog. I just been overwhelmed with finishing school in general. Right now, I’m working on my graduation at SJSU, church internship (focusing on discipleship and keeping the gospel and Christ the main thing), and been following up with some students about following. I also, moved in to the Joshua House (near campus) for my last two months of school so that I can focus on school and meet up with students on a regular basis.
Before I sign off, I just want to acknowledge God, because some might get the wrong idea that I’m some kind of strong Christian because of my activities and such, but at the end of the day, just like the Apostle Paul, “[I] have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to god and not to [me] (2 Cor. 4:7).” Every good act that we do and a fruitful life lived for the gospel comes from God. “The reason for this is (treasure in jars of clay) so there would be no mistake about where the power comes from” (R.Kent Hughes).
Without a doubt, I would have to say the book of Romans. Here’s my reason for it: In this book, Paul lays the ground for the Gospel clearly. You see the condition of man and God’s attributes painted clearly. It describes the justice and mercy of the God of the Old Testament (the Father) meeting through the cross of Christ. As a result, God justified sinners like you and me. What kind of love is that? Second favorite would have to be the book of John, because it gives a clear picture of Jesus’s relationship with the Father; and that truly, he is the Son of God. That book was written in particular, so that you and I might believe in Christ. So yeah, I hope you find this helpful.
"God did not die for man because of some value He perceived in hum. The value of each human soul considered simply in itself, out of relation to God, is zero. As St. Paul writes, to have died for valuable men would have been not divine but merely heroic; but God died for sinners. He loved us not because we were lovable, but because He is Love."
It’s been a while since I wrote something on this thing. It’s not until recently that I got to just sit back and relax…
Lately, I’ve been focusing on my new church and getting to know everyone there. And so far, it’s been a great experience. It’s a healthy body (church that is) that is Christ and Gospel centered. It’s definitely a good place for me where I could commit myself and build life long friendships. On the other hand, I’m definitely gonna miss my friends at my former church.
That’s pretty much it. Other than that, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and studying of the Scripture. I also been skateboarding and help disciple my step-Dad [who recently turned to Christ]. Life is good! I’m just thankful to be part of what God is doing in the local church.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen (Jude v.24).
”…[we] were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” -Ephesians 2:3-5, 8-9 (ESV)
There are some thing that I’ve been thinking about for quite awhile now. Some of them can be confusing because I don’t know how to approach them. At first, I didn’t know how to react to some those things, but I think now there’s more clarity than before. SO, I thank God for that. I also thank God for the freedom that we have in Christ and the love that he has for us! How awesome is that?
On the other hand, this process is sometimes painful and frustrating because we only can see things partially and sometimes we’re just blind to so many things (although it is difficult to admit it). But we believe that God is sovereign beyond the things that are out of our control, and we have this confidence that God works out “all things together” for the good of those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:29).
During October of last year I felt like I had this holy discontentment that consumed me. And since then, I’ve been motivated to live biblically and to experience the leading of the Holy Spirit (in greater measure). Anyways, there are so many things I am not sure about anymore, but these are things that I am most certain about:
1. I believe God wants us to enjoy his salvation and grace, and proclaim it to others.
2. The great commission: to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:16-20)
3. Loving God [having affection for him and treasuring him as your most valuable thing in the world] and loving one another [the second commandment].
4. Care for the poor (Matthew 25:30-46), orphans and widow (James 1:27)
I know there’s more to the list that I can think of right now. But I hope this helps you understand what it means to be a follower of Christ. Being a disciple is not an easy thing to do. It requires total surrender and utter dependance on Christ. Most likely, we’re going to make lots of mistakes in the process but I thank God for his patience and his mercy. Ultimately, we believe that God will finish the work that He started in us.
On the other hand, I don’t know exactly what’s ahead of me or what my future is going to look like, but as long as Christ is in it I’ll be fine. I just want my life to look like I belong in the New Testament, whatever that may look like in the environment that I’m in. Lastly, I hope that wherever we are in our journey that we’ll see Jesus and that we find him more valuable than anything in this world.
"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ…for who I’ve suffered loss of all things and counted them as rubbish, that I may gain him and be found in him…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings" (Philippians 3:7-11).
As of lately, I made a choice to objectively pursue the Truth of the bible and it’s been a liberating experience—as He promised to all of His followers that the Truth will set them free. For a long time, I lived a Christian life that is based on a denomination, which built a framework and caused me to be biased on my interpretation of the Bible. In Francis Chan’s Forgotten God, he believes that “we work diligently to ‘prove’ that our presuppositions were correct (another example of eisegesis) rather than simply and honestly pursuing truth” (pg. 47). So I thank God, that I’m slowly breaking away from my presuppositions and coming to know His truth, as He leads.
Reading Acts 2:38, the apostle Peter is telling the crowd to “repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the Holy Spirit.” God promised that if we repent, be baptized and believe Him, we would receive His Holy Spirit. Honestly, I do want the leading of the Holy Spirit, for the purpose of His leading, not because of selfish reasons or it feels good to have Him. I believe that it’s the only way to truly follow Him. Jesus tell His disciples that the Holy Spirit is our Teacher, Comforter, Helper and will guide us in all Truths.
Since, I feel like its rebirth for me, I guess the first thing to do is to get baptized again. The apostle Peter says that I would receive the Holy Spirit after repenting and being baptized. I’m really excited to get baptized again. Like I said before, I just want to live a biblical life and experience God like the people in the Bible. I’m not trying to sound radical or crazy, but I believe the things that I’ve been doing is motivated by love and the Bible. I hope that God will give y’all the desire to receive (or have a greater commune with) the Holy Spirit, which leads to a life that is biblical and Christlike. See you all soon.
It feels good to be off school and I’m really excited for this winter break because I can finally unwind and just lay down my thoughts. Tomorrow night I’m taking off to see my brother in Vegas, and to spend Christmas with him and my mother. I can’t wait to go. I’m looking forward to a lot things that I want to accomplish while I’m there. Aside from hanging out with my brother, I really want to study the Bible for clarification about certain things that have been burdening me. Things like: the “Prosperity Gospel”, which I felt have been abused by many word of faith advocates; what it means to live biblically; and the true meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, are just some of the issues that I want to revisit and get a better clarity from the Bible. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I can no longer accept some of the things I was taught growing up (because of its contradiction with the Scripture). I mean, anyone can take different passages from the Bible and package it into something that would fit our life, with a little bit Jesus in it; and I feel like we’ve done that. I feel like we made our own version of Christianity to fit our lifestyles, so that we don’t really have to conform to the Gospel.
Right now, I feel like I’m starting all over again with my theology (except for the foundational elements, of course!). But my prayers for you and I, is that the Holy Spirit would truly guide us and lead us to the truth; and that God would grant us more love and humility, so that we don’t puff up and our love for the lost would increase. On the other hand, I’m not exactly sure where God is leading me but I know that God has struck a chord in my soul, that won’t allow me to rest. I believe that He’s leading me to seek Him out diligently and challenging me to take more risk (or use my faith). Overall, I know I’m in His will. Even though, it breaks my heart to see myself growing apart from my contemporaries, I want to follow Him at what ever cost (as He supplies me the grace to do it).
I want to leave you with this quote from Mortimer Alder, which should be our attitude about dividing the Word of God. So here it is: “Do not say you agree, disagree, or suspend judgement, until you say, “I understand.” We have to be honest with ourselves and God, because at the end of the day, it is us that’s accountable to Him. Being intellectually honest is part of the process. If we stumble upon something in the Bible and our theology/tradition/beliefs is contradicting it, we have to let go of that belief and submit ourselves to the Word of God, with readiness to obey it. Ultimately, the Bible is our guide and our filter to our doctrine and not the other way around.
And I hope that as follower of Christ, that we would all seek Him diligently and we would be lovers of the Truth to the end! I pray that we would not conform to this world, but as children of God, we would “let our light shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Love y’all!!!
This has been a crazy 1st semester at State. Lot’s of reading, researching, writing, bus riding and sleepless nights. On the other, there were a lot things that struck my soul, which led me back to the Scriptures and to His grace. Some tension remain unresolved, but definitely struck a chord in my heart. All I can say for now is “Soli deo gloria” and it’s time to unwind.
There’s nothing more inspiring than to know that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I thank God that He granted me to know Him in truth, not that will of any man but as the will of the Father. Whether I’m in need or not, Christ is enough. Only He can satisfy. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the power of God to salvation to those that believe. The world may shame us for believing in Him, but we don’t have to be ashamed of Him. And lastly, these I am also thankful for, that we have been granted to be called the children of God and joint heirs with Christ. Nothing in this world matters but to know Him and be known by Him. In Christ alone my hope is found…
Giving others grace does not simply mean “cutting them some slack” although at times, that may be part of it. But many times, I cut people slack, because I just don’t care that much, one way or the other. Grace, on the other hand, cares deeply, but allows another person to fail, or be different, or to have a different way of looking at things. Grace offers forgiveness – especially when it is not deserved. -revth.wordpress.com
With so much to do, yet only a few of them really matter
This year is wrapping up pretty quickly. With so much to do, yet only a few of them really matter. Seek God while you still can because He can make that difference in your life today and for the life ahead.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanks giving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7
Today we had a good time worshiping God at De Anza. Things are picking up slowly, but it’s definitely worth it. By God’s grace we’ve been fortunate to meet and pray for students in De Anza.
Lord, I thank you for what you’ve been doing in my school. And I ask, in Jesus’ name that You would draw people in to You. We ask that you draw people to us, so that You may be able to bless them in Your name. We believe for the best. In Jesus’ name. Amen!!!
Gonna be taking it easy for now. As of lately, I’ve been swamped from school work and life, as well. Top it off, I’ve been staying up late. I know I have a lot of work ahead, but rest is also crucial. Perhaps, staying at home, drink more fluids and more exercise; Also staying in His presence and meditating on His word is a must!!! I can’t wait to regain my strength and do it all over again. But for now, I have to slow down.