Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why is it Hard to Forgive?

There are probably lots of people out there who have a problem forgiving: children who have grudges against their parents for leaving them, women who have been betrayed by their lovers, close friends who have been separated due to an issue that remains unresolved, and more.

So, why is it so hard to forgive this people who hurt us?

To answer that, I believe the most common reason why people have a hard time forgiving others who hurt them is because they don't understand how forgiven they are.

Why should we forgive then?

1) Because God has forgiven us.

Forgiven us from what?

He forgave us despite us hurting him, rejecting him, being unfaithful, offending him, and more. We owed God a debt we cannot pay, and He gave us mercy. On top of all that, He gave us His Son to pay for our sins and to show us His love. (John 3:16) We were sentenced to death, but Jesus took all our sins and suffered in our place.

"Does anybody here really think that a person on earth has done anything worse to you than what you've done to God?" - Joyce Meyer ("Do Yourself a Favor and Forgive" video)

2) It "chokes" the soul terribly.

The more grudge we have inside of us, the more we break ourselves. As Bishop T.D. Jakes said,

"Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself."

We can be angry at people, but we can't stay angry forever (Ephesians 4:26-27). It does not make us any better. We just have to let go. Let it go.

I know it's not always easy to forgive, but when we understand how God has forgiven us and loved us despite us being arrogant, prideful, selfish, self-centered, ungrateful, and more, we'll be able to forgive.

I've also experienced people hurting me deeply and the only thing I can do is turn to God every time they do. One person in my life who hurt me deeply is a close friend of mine who betrayed me twice after doing the same thing twice (and despite me giving out all my efforts for that person) in a span of around two years. I still chose to forgave in the end though, but made sure that I'll not trust that person again. Another person who hurt me deeply is my own mom. But God really worked drastically in our lives which included me forgiving her despite everything.. If you want the full story click here. After everything that happened, there was a sense of peace and joy in my heart that I couldn't describe. GOD WORKED EVERYTHING OUT and I believe He will continue to do so.
"Do yourself a favor, and FORGIVE." - Joyce Meyer


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

When a Christian commits suicide, is he still saved?

Q: When a Christian commits suicide, is he still saved?

A: Before answering this question, we should also try to ponder on other questions similar to this:

When a Christian steals a pen, is he still saved?
When a Christian curses once within the whole year, is he still saved?
When a Christian flatters someone as a form of lie, is he still saved?
When a Christian thinks negatively of the people around him, is he still saved?

Just because people think that the sin committed by a Christian is that "big" (like suicide), it doesn't mean that he has lost his salvation. I mean, a sin is still a sin, right? If there's such a thing as "losing salvation" then nobody will really be saved...

If people believe that they can lose their salvation, then how will they be able to get it back? By crucifying Jesus Christ on the cross again? I don't think so...

As Jesus said on the cross, "It is FINISHED". As Christians, we still fail God daily, and the only thing we can be proud of is His love for us. In church, even if Ephesians 2:8-9 is mentioned over and over again, some of us still miss the GRACE part..
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
But then again, this doesn't mean that this gives us a license to sin. On the other hand, what difference does it make when a Christian commits suicide? How different is it from other people's flaws, or better yet, sins?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Encounter with Jesus?

If you're familiar with the first four books in the New Testament which is Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, I suppose you'll notice that most of the stories there contain people who had an encounter with Jesus.

There were those who are blind (Matthew 9:27-31; Mark 10:46-52), paralyzed or physically disabled (Matthew 9:1-8, 9:18-26; Luke 5:17-20; Luke 6:10), possessed by a demon (Matthew 15:21-28), unclean because of leprosy (Luke 12-16) and even those who are brokenhearted (Luke 7:37-38,50). There were also several different ways on how they encountered Jesus, but I noticed that one thing they all have in common is HUMILITY and FAITH IN HIM.  Jesus has this popular line where in He says something like, "Go, your FAITH has SAVED you!"

For every encounter, there was ALWAYS a CHANGE not just with the physical healing of the person, but also with their LIVES. Every time Jesus would tell the person not tell anyone what He has done (which I don't understand why He does, but He does anyway), people couldn't help it but to tell others. This is because they had that LIFE-CHANGING ENCOUNTER with JESUS CHRIST himself! All it takes is for a person to humble themselves, and have faith in Jesus Christ that He is our Lord and Savior. It's the greatest decision anyone could ever make.

There's a great big difference when we just stand with the crowd and hear the name of Jesus, not really knowing who He is, compared to having a genuine encounter with Him which is definitely life-changing and awesome! It's when we experience Him that we get to know Him.

As Charles Stanley, a pastor from InTouch Ministries, would say it,
"If you've never been excited for Jesus Christ, you have MISSED SOMETHING BIG!" 
The question remains for every person out there:
"Have you encountered Jesus Christ yet?"
 Healing Begins - Tenth Avenue North
(I'm loving their songs. HEHEHE)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Comparing Yourself with Others

I'm wrote this blog entry just right after hearing a podcastfrom Steven Furtick, a pastor from Elevation Church, about competition and calling. And, I just want to share this to others.. That's why immediately wrote this (so pardon me if I have wrong grammar, little typographical errors or something.. anyway..)
“The death of contentment is comparison.”
Most probably, one of our struggles in life is when we compare ourselves with others. Or maybe many of us have even tried to outperform the person we’re comparing ourselves to. There’s a spirit of competition and this results to bitterness or even insecurity.

Well, here are the few things I’ve learned (and was reminded of) while listening to the podcast:
    1)      Everyone has a different calling.
-         God made each one of us differently and in a unique way. We don’t have to compare ourselves to others because we all have different callings (different future, different roles). If we do something else, it’ll make us more frustrated than ever.
- Calling: it's not about what He wants me to do, but about what He wants me to be.

2)      Freedom of Christ means that I don’t need to prove myself to others.
-         God is our only audience; we should stop trying to prove ourselves to others because it doesn’t matter anyway if people like us or not. In the end, what God thinks of us is all that matters. ^^
-         Plus, getting the approval of others won’t gain us anything in the end.
-         God does not judge our lives based on what we do, instead He calls us to be faithful with what we’ve been given.
“True freedom in Christ comes the moment that you realize that you have nothing to prove to anyone because in Christ, God fully approves of you.”

3)      I am LOVED and APPROVED by God!
“You’ll never fill your emptiness from a place of emptiness. And, you’ll never find what you’re looking for until He becomes the fullness that defines your calling.”
-         Be full in the presence of God. It is only God who can satisfy us and not other things or relationships.
-         Trying to get approval from other people or trying to reach their standard will only make us frustrated.

God’s love is the best love we can ever experience because we don’t need to earn it. That’s how amazing He is. ^^


If you want to hear the whole podcast, you may download it from here.
The title of the podcast is: "The New Rules of Resolution: it's not a competition, but a calling."

Loving this song recently. HEHE.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beauty is NEVER in the Eyes of the Beholder

I've been having fine arts class and I just love how my teacher explained about Plato's thoughts on the topic: Beauty. She told us that Plato, one of those guys from the Renaissance period (or the "classics" HEHE), questioned true beauty. Plato stated something like:
"True beauty is beyond human perception."
How is everything around us beautiful if it's subject to change?
How is it beautiful when it decays in the end?

My teacher went on, concluding that "True beauty is ETERNAL." What we have or invented here on earth is artificial beauty. Everything is just an imitation of real beauty which is perfection (something that we can't find here on earth).

So what then is true beauty?

Imagine a painter who just finished his artwork. I could picture the smile on his face as he is satisfied with his work and sees it as beautiful. Others wouldn't probably agree that they find it beautiful. They would just see it as plain normal artwork. They say "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder", but the truth is, it's not. That is what we call taste. On the other hand, creates something, it is undeniably beautiful.

Since God is eternal and created the things of this world, then we know that everything He created here is BEAUTIFUL. It's just man distorting the meaning or image of beauty.

Whenever we feel like we need to go with the flow or we feel insecure with our identity, we should always remember that God created us, therefore we are beautiful. Our worth is not based on what people say about us, but what God says about us. And He says we are, of course, fearfully and wonderfully made. God created each and every one of us as unique individuals.

Always remember:
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."  - Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

More Reads.