LAUSANNE DAY 3: CULTIVATING GOD’S WORD

We began our day with scripture exposition by Richard Chin, a Malaysian-born Chinese Australian who is the National Director of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students. This was followed by a 10-minute reflection with our connect groups, where we discussed application questions on the Character of God, Humanity’s Purpose and the Blessing of Creation.


Today we also had our first Leadership Panel featuring Kristina Alikhanyan (Lausanne Catalyst for Tentmaking and Postdoctoral Fellow at the DKFZ German Cancer Research Center), Ole-Magnus Olafsrud (Senior Coordinator for YLG2016) and Mutua Mahiaini (International President of the Navigators). If you look at their titles, you would be intimidated but I truly appreciated their transparency on the realities and challenges of leadership. Continue reading

PUNISHMENT

WHAT IS PUNISHMENT

In response to the Daily Challenge, I am writing about PUNISHMENT. Now all around the world, we all have different associations and experiences with the word. Punishment for me, brings back memories of when I was a disobedient kid and I had to be grounded or whacked with my dad’s leather belt (sinturon, in Tagalog). I understand that for some cultures, spanking and the use of sinturon is a bit extreme, but I’d have to say I’m grateful for the discipline. Values have indeed been instilled in me and I know that my parents were only doing their job of correcting me.

On the spiritual aspect, PUNISHMENT would mean eternal separation from the Lord. God is overflowing with grace and mercy, He gives us so many chances to repent of our sins and come into His presence with repentant, humble hearts. A lot of people think that humbling oneself before the Lord is out-dated, will take away freedom and is overly boring. It is so easy to be enticed by the world and it’s attractions but we have to constantly remind ourselves that these attractions will pass away. In the end, what matters is where you are going to spend the rest of eternity–will it be in the presence of God or will it be in punishment–far away from His presence, His grace and glory?

 

What does your soul pursue?

Will you run after the things of this world or will you run after what pleases God?

Will you run after serif

Sometimes I feel like I can strongly say no to the attractions of the world but then there are days when I just want to give in–define myself with worldly success, buy things that will impress people and make them like me. I thought I was over this phase when I got past my teenage years but it turns out, we cannot be too proud. Our sinful nature will creep in and the enemy will do whatever it takes to distract and get us off the path the Lord has laid out. That’s why prayer is essential. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Continue reading

When Ministry Becomes “ME-nistry”

 

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Photo from crosswalk.com

“I’m so #blessed! Wala pa akong tulog but played during church service at 9AM, had lunch with my group, nag-counsel pa ako sa hapon and then led worship for the evening service! God’s so good! Thanks for giving me energy Lord!”

“100 people received the Lord! Hindi ako prepared mag-share but I led them all to receive Christ!”

On the surface, these statements seem harmless. On the surface, they do appear to glorify God. In the age of social media, is it right or wrong to update our social networks with all the deeds we’ve done for the Lord? There is nothing wrong with sharing the joy of serving in ministry however we have to watch out for there is a fine line between harmless sharing and sharing to boast of one’s good deeds.

How do I know this? I used to be like this.

At first, it felt good to share until my motives shifted—in my heart of hearts, I knew I was waiting for the commendation. Then the Lord convicted me and showed me that I am no different from the Pharisees who flaunt what they do to gain a reputation in the community. That rebuke was not easy. Confronted with it, I thought “Lord naman, I’m doing this for You… what’s wrong kung i-share ko sa social network ko?” While there isn’t anything majorly wrong with sharing, we have to be mindful of the words we use and more importantly, the MOTIVES.

Am I crafting the words in a way that will make me INCREASE and Christ DECREASE?
Am I doing this as an expression of my love for God and others?
Am I serving as an overflow of the grace I’ve received? Or do I serve because I want to gain a reputation for myself?
Am I serving because I want people to admire or compliment me?

Hard questions but as true believers, we need to come face to face with the sin in our hearts. I realized that no matter how good we think we are because we serve, go to church regularly and know so much about the Bible, sin manages to creep in and that is why WE NEED JESUS CHRIST. Kahit feeling natin ang bait bait na natin, we still fall short of the standards.

Don’t feel helpless though. Don’t let the devil tear you down and tell you “See! Sinner ka pa din kahit may ministry ka! You don’t deserve to serve kasi epal ka! Wag ka na mag-serve!”
When faced with the reality of sin, instead of running away, we must draw closer to Christ. Confess the sin to Him, ask for forgiveness and His help to overcome it.

Let’s keep an eye on our motives so that MINISTRY does not become “ME-NISTRY.”

John 3:30
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (ESV)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world

ROMANS-12-2-youversion-most-popular-verseA good reminder for myself and fellow believers: Remember who you are in CHRIST. Remember WHOSE you are. How easy it is to be engulfed by the world, to feel like you’re traversing & making a stand but you begin to realize that you’re going with the current and not against it. Our values, our stand, our Biblical beliefs, our faith will always be challenged as people grow more accustomed to sin.

I’m not perfect, I still sin and am a work in progress. But with Jesus as my Lord & Savior, I must continuously be transformed by Him and desire to sin less.