Tag Archive | faith

4 Life Lessons from Joseph’s Journey with God

All of us are treading a journey. Some are just beginning one and others are almost done. Many are at a point of success while some are still recovering from a life that was in shambles. Some are pretty sure of the direction they are heading while some are facing a crossroad. Some may be like me–at a point of relearning to follow God’s direction because life is simply full of the unknown.

Our journey will be totally pointless if we are not sure of our purpose in whatever route we are taking.

For our journey to be significant, we need an understanding of two key things–our purpose for living and an understanding of God Himself.

We can learn about God best from His inspired written word–the Bible.

At the beginning of year 2018, I started following a different Bible reading plan. That is, the chronological one. Whether I follow the traditional or the chronological one, nothing has changed. God speaks to me through His word.

In the book of Genesis chapters 37 and 39-50, I read of the detailed account of Joseph’s journey with God. I assume that you all know that Joseph (a.k.a. Joseph the Dreamer) received a colorful coat from his father because he was his father’s favorite. Once, he told of his dreams implying that his brothers will be under his authority someday. This resulted in the anger and jealousy of his brothers and him being sold by his brothers to Midianite traders. Lo and behold, Joseph found himself in Egypt serving Pharaoh.

God impressed upon my heart a few life lessons worth-remembering from Joseph’s journey with Him.

  1. Intimacy with God leads to earthly success.
    “The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man…His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.” Genesis 39:3

    If you were to read the account of Joseph’s life in Genesis 39, the first few verses describe Joseph’s notable success in Egypt all because “the Lord was with Him.” It is an implication that Joseph had an intimate relationship with God. The result? Effective execution of his tasks and a visible success in the eyes of men. In light of that, we realize that whatever career we are pursuing or whatever calling we are fulfilling, people will notice when God’s blessing is upon us. God’s blessing is evident upon a person who keeps an intimate relationship with Him

  2. Intimacy with God leads to spiritual success.
    “And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, ‘Lie with me.’ But he refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?’… But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me.’ But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.” Genesis 39:7-9

    Immorality is an abomination in the sight of God. Definitely, Joseph understands that principle and the holiness of God. In Joseph’s reverential fear of God, he ran away from the situation that tested his morality and chose to honor God and his earthly master even in his absence! Unless we fear the holy God, we cannot flee from temptation and achieve victory in our spiritual battles.

  3. Intimacy with God doesn’t exempt us from life’s tests. We read of the integrity of Joseph and yet he was falsely accused by the wife of Pharaoh (Genesis 39:13-18). Imagine Joseph’s stabbing pain in his heart caused by her false accusation and an unjust verdict from Pharaoh who once trusted him. Undeterred, Joseph kept his steadfast faith in God. We don’t see any record of Joseph’s complaints to God. You might be facing a trial you feel like you don’t deserve. It may seem to be beyond your understanding. Take a look at the example of Joseph and remain steadfast in believing that God knows what He is doing.
  4. Intimacy with God gains people’s favor.
    “So Joseph found favor in his [the Pharaoh’s] sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had….But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.” Genesis 39:4, 21-23 (emphasis added)

    Teachers, classmates, bosses and colleagues are not blind to God’s blessing upon His children who are walking closely with Him. In fact, they are confident that whatever task they give to faithful followers of God will be accomplished successfully.In the case of Joseph, Pharaoh was pleased with Joseph’s attitude toward work and so was the keeper of the prison.

The bottom line is intimacy with God brings both blessings and testings but we need to remain steadfast in clinging to our God whether we are on a mountaintop or valley on our journey. Let’s remember the life lessons from the life of Joseph.

Review: Planning Your Life God’s Way by Dr. Timothy Berrey

Are you facing a tough situation? Are you on a crossroad? Are you feeling hopeless in your situation and you don’t know which step to take next? Are you seeking your purpose in life?

Thousands of books have been written on decision making but this e-book, Planning Your Life God’s Way by Dr. Timothy Berrey, is highly recommendable for anyone! Click here for more info.

I am privileged to be given a chance to read this written work of my professor through the gracious kindness of his dear wife.

Here are my five reasons you should not miss reading this e-book:

1. It’s scholarly written and yet reader-friendly.

Points made in the book are not simply elaborated with explanations but are well-supported by secular and biblical examples.  I can’t deny the fact that the author himself is a well-read person. You will definitely learn more about both prominent and unpopular characters from his readings through his writing!

2. It’s filled with proven ways on how to make decisions.

You will never doubt the ways penned by this author as he and his wife live by them! Just to let you know, my husband and I are witnesses of how they deeply honor God and His word in their decisions. You can also check their website here. Be blessed by their future posts!

3. Its price is quite reasonable.

Click the image for more info.

Go and check more info here. In fact, he has written another book called, “From Eden to Patmos.” I have to confess that I left my copy of that book in the Philippines because I had a 10-kg baggage excess the last time I left the Philippines but I will definitely go back to it as the Lord wills.

4. It’s beneficial for all people regardless of their race or religious background.

How I wish I could just summarize the principles written on the e-book but that will defeat the purpose of this post. I want you to grab your copy and read it by yourself. 🙂 I assure you that the beginning chapter will make you so engaged to reading it that you will want to finish it in one sitting. As the author himself expressed, God wants you to enjoy a blessed life by making the right decisions with the guidance of His word.

5.  It’s a substantial read.

If you are a reader like me, I am certain that your diary or journal will never be left empty, but will be filled with quotable quotes from the author himself. I believe that this work is a fruit of his discipline and family’s prayers. You will never regret reading this.

Since I cannot keep the jewels of wisdom from this e-book to myself, I appeal to you to grab your copy and enjoy the life God has given you!

How about you? What’s the latest book you have been reading? Please share your review with me and I will try to find a way to get a copy of it either from Amazon or any internet site. 🙂

Enjoy your journey with God!

Leaning on Jesus,

5 Life Lessons from Pain

The fact that I am able to write at the moment is a tremendous blessing! I had thought that I would never be able to pen my musings again.

In fact, holding a pen has never been this uncomfortable but I see this as a great privilege to trust God’s sufficient grace as I continue to be His mouthpiece in the form of writing.

As a writer, I couldn’t but reflect upon what I am going through (i.e. healing my injured thumb.) Different thoughts, both positive and negative, run through my mind at times.

I am definitely sure though that it is God’s will for me to saturate my mind with thoughts that are virtuous and praise-worthy (Phil. 4:8) and to remember that this trial of mine is meant to bring forth patience (James 1: 1-4).

Now, what are the other lessons that God is teaching me from this point of my journey?

5 life lessons from pain

 

  1. God has a purpose for this. (Romans 8:28)
    What is God’s purpose for allowing me to go through this pain? To be very honest, that’s beyond my understanding and I have to take this as from Him. I have to trust that He wants His glory out of this experience of mine.
  2. He uses pain to make me appreciate health.
  3. He is the source of health and recovery!

    “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” Psalm 103:1-3

    If you are like me, going through a healing process, please remember that your other body parts are working normally. Praise God for that! 🙂 Also, remember that our full recuperation may take time but one thing is definite–it will happen in God’s time.

  4. He wants me to move on from this point of my journey continually relying on His might and keep on encouraging others to do the same. Just like a portion in a traditional marriage vow, I must continue to put my faith on my loving God “In sickness and in health.” 
  5. He uses this opportunity to open my eyes and let me see how many people from around the world sincerely care about and pray for me.

For that reason, let me take this opportunity to let you, my dear friends, know that your prayers are greatly appreciated. I have been able to work around my home and write again. My desire is that God will continue to bless you for your prayers for me. Thank you so much. In Bangla, we say, onek dhonno bad. 🙂Thank You!

What are the things that you have been going through at the moment? What are the life lessons you are learning from your spiritual quest? I hope and pray that the five life lessons I am learning from my journey at the moment will be a blessing to you as well.

Leaning on Jesus,

 

 

 

 

 

Deadly Disobedience

“13 So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the Lord, because of the word of the Lord which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, 14 and did not inquire of the Lord. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse.” 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 (NASB)

There are many causes of people’s death–but all are controlled by God’s will and mysterious purposes.

In the case of Saul, God caused him to die because he did not keep His commandments during His reign. Rather, at one point, he sought a spiritist’s guidance (remember the one in Endor?) This only indicated his lack of faith in the counsel of God in effective leadership of the nation Israel?

How many times have I lacked faith in God’s Word? How many times have I followed a worldly advice as I live this life? Should I believe horoscope or fortune tellers to determine my success in life?

Emptiness in my spiritual life starts when I forget to seek God’s advice. There were, for sure, times in the past when I have followed worldly ideas. Maybe you did too. We all fail at some point of our lives BUT, here is an encouragement for us.

Let's seek Him in His Word daily!

Let’s seek Him in His Word daily!

Oh what a joyful and abundant spiritual life we often forfeit when we follow the world instead of our LORD!

Prayer:
Father, help us to seek only Your advice. Be our guide and give us strength to follow Only You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!

5 Verses to Help Us Accept the Unexplained Matters of Life

Be it shattered dreams, unfulfilled expectations, disappointing people or simply unfair circumstances, let’s get real, they are part of life. Life can be unfair sometimes, but God is good.

I recently watched an interesting video of “The Not-So-Sweet Truth About Cabbage Patch Kids.”

In the video, Martha Nelson Thomas’ friends and husband felt that Martha’s intellectual property was stolen by Xavier Roberts. It’s sad. I also wish they could obtain the justice that Martha deserves.

Many a time, incidents like what Martha experienced happen in our personal lives too.

Indeed, situations that are beyond our understanding suck our energy, don’t they? It’s easy to dwell in despondency to think about why they happen.

Hearing the story, some memories of how I have been treated or judged unfairly in the past by some people started flashing back. I know they shouldn’t bother me at all so I have listed down verses that I use to help me accept the unexplained matters of life and I hope that they will help you as well:

5 Verses to Help Us Accept the Unexplained

1. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)

God has allowed whatever circumstance we go through to occur for a reason and all we need is trust His will–yes, even when it’s beyond our understanding. It’s maybe that God will use us to comfort someone in the future who will experience a situation similar to ours. It may also mean being an example to a person who’s been looking up to us as examples of Christians and watching how we would respond to our state. I pray that God will us enough grace to be a blessing to whoever that person is and consequently, cause him to draw nearer to Him and to recognize Jesus as his Saviour, if need be.

2. “Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 (KJV)

It has the same idea as #1. Being still in this verse has the idea of not letting any thought of doubt but faith when we don’t comprehend what’s going on. It means not worrying about what can be wrong but trusting that God knows what He is doing.

3. “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.’ Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-22 (KJV)

It takes a lot of prayers to be able to do this. When people treat or judge us unfairly, all we have to do is trust God to deal with them. Doing the vengeance for ourselves will only ruin Christ’s testimony in us. Let’s just pray for them. And the next verse is so deliberating.

4. “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7

Let us remain faithful to God. While it is easy to keep a grudge against someone and rewind whatever happened in our mind, we should focus on pleasing our righteous God. Pleasing Him means loving people even when we are rejected, gossiped about and judged unfairly. Pleasing Him means living out His word in every chance we have  in the midst of uncertainties in life.

5. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Most of the things that can discourage us are not worth our attention. I am persuaded that the key to overcoming discouragement in our soul is fixing our eyes on Jesus who is our inspiration of someone who endured rejection and all mean treatment by others through faith in the will and wisdom of our Heavenly Father.

What are the unexplained things that you are going through right now? Think on these verses mentioned above and I hope that you and I will have a fresher look at life. Let’s get out of despondency and live a life full of joy and victory in Christ. Let’s look unto Jesus’ example to help us accept the unexplained matters of this life.

How to Win Battles God’s Way

Recently, I caught myself fascinated with what Joanna finds engaging–cartoons. One Friday afternoon, my husband and I joined our daughter in watching “Barbie of Swan Lake.”

There was an interesting portion in the story when Prince Daniel and his mother held a dance ball in Enchanted Forest, their kingdom. They invited Odette, the kindhearted beautiful lady whom Prince Daniel admires to eventually propose marriage to in the presence of many. Little did they know, Rothbart, an evil wizard turned Odette into a swan.

Rothbart and Odile (photo grabbed from fanpop.com)

In the ball, Odile, Rothbart’s daughter disguised herself to be Odette and gracefully danced ballet to a slow and soft mellow music with  Prince Daniel. She acted so stupendously that the prince did not notice her pretension. Amused, the prince made his marriage proposal to her. Surprisingly, Rothbart intervened and revealed the truth after getting what he and his daughter wanted–the marriage proposal from Prince Daniel.

The story went on and as viewers, my family and I were so carried away by the plot. We were inclined to see Odette regaining her physical appearance and power so she can get married with Prince Daniel. Thankfully, that’s what happened in the end. Odette defeated the wicked Rothbart. Eventually, she accepted Prince Daniel’s marriage proposal too!

Odette accepted Prince Daniel’s marriage proposal (grabbed from the internet)

As we saw in that fiction story, there’s this battle between the evil and the good. In most cases, viewers want the good to win and so does God. He wants righteousness through Christ to reign in Christians’ lives.

In our Christian life, we all know that there is a spiritual warfare we have to face every day. While the battle is the LORD’s, we have to inculcate in our hearts and minds that we are God’s spiritual warriors. Praise His name for He never sends us empty-handed.

As I continued reading the book of Joshua in the first half of last month, I realized some helpful tips on how to win battles God’s way.
How to Win Battles God's Way

What three simple steps can we learn from Joshua’s victory in chapter 10 when he and his men attacked and defeated five kings?

1. Remember God’s promises when facing battles.

God knew that Joshua would be afraid to face the five kings. As Joshua consistently sought His guidance and leading, God reminded him of His power and presence.

“The LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you.'” Joshua 10:8 (NASB)

Could Joshua be comforted by God without consulting Him?

How can we be reminded of God’s promises without reading them daily?  God knows very well that we will be discouraged as we face our struggles everyday.

Here’s our first challenge from the life of Joshua: to constantly commune with God to be reminded of His timeless promptings and promises.

What’s next?

2. Be strategic.

“It was told Joshua, saying, ‘The five kings have been found hidden in the cave at Makkedah.’ Joshua said, ‘Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and assign men by it to guard them, but do not stay there yourselves; pursue your enemies and attack them in the rear. Do not allow them to enter their cities, for the Lord your God has delivered them into your hand.’” Joshua 10:17-19 NASB [emphasis mine]

Being strategic involves identifying our enemies and thinking of ways to combat them.  I believe that our enemies come in disguise. They can be bad habits (e.g. procrastination, love of sleep, lack of discipline and consistency in doing duties, poor time and money management, etc.), addiction, idolatry, pull of this world, negative emotions such as anger, fear, doubt, jealousy and so on. Someone even succinctly said that “Your worst enemy is yourself.”

Here’s a case study for us. Let’s say my love of sleep leads to my negligence of my Quiet Time with God. What are the strategies I can do to overcome my love of sleep? Yes! I should pray for God’s grace to abound in my weakness, make sure I hit the sack early, set my alarm clock, wake up early the next morning, go to my chosen private place where I can meditate upon God’s word and enjoy my fellowship with Him there. 🙂

Here’s the next step.

3. Be courageous enough to kill your enemies.

Let’s see what Joshua said to his army when they were face-to-face with the five kings they were supposed to kill,

When they brought these kings out to Joshua, Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, ‘Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.’ So they came near and put their feet on their necks. Joshua then said to them, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight.’ So afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees; and they hung on the trees until evening.” Joshua 10:24-26 [emphasis mine]

Killing our enemies (e.g. bad habits, idolatry, addiction, etc.) simply means surrendering them to the Lord and mortifying these fleshly habits in all possible ways. It means putting off these bad habits and replacing them with God-pleasing ones.

I know my struggles everyday and you know yours, my dear friends. I hope and pray that Joshua’s testimony became a blessing to you as it did to me. Let’s remember God’s promises, be strategic and be courageous enough to kill our enemies so we can win our battles God’s way.

Leaning on Jesus,

Why We Should Not Rainbow-fy Our Profile Photos on Facebook

Why I Would Not Ranbow-fy My Profile

Today at lunch, I checked my Facebook account to see if I have messages from friends I got in contact with lately. I checked a few posts and saw that many are saddened by the news that the US Supreme Court had affirmed Gay Marriage. It’s heartbreaking, I know.

Then there’s something else that caught my attention–the rainbow-fied profile photos of some of my friends. My first thought was why this is the new trend from today.

I searched for the answer on the internet and this explained why everyone is changing their profile photos into a rainbow-fied one. What I found was shocking.

Friends, did you know that rainbow-fying your profile photos means that you are celebrating the affirmation of gay marriage with pride?

I may get bashed for what I am about to say, but I am persuaded that rainbow-fying profile photos on Facebook is not for us, Christians who claim to love and worship a holy God. If we know that we have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ, then we should make a difference by not being conformed to whatever is trendy. 

This reminds me of one beautiful quote by Albert Einstein–

“What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.”

Here’s a few verses that we also have to keep in mind:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~Roman 12:1-2 [emphasis mine]

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” ~1 Peter 1: 14-16 [emphasis mine]

I may quote many other verses that urge believers of Christ to abstain from all forms of ungodliness but here is my loving plea, let’s be careful with our simple choices. These careless choices may cause people to think that we are in favor of what God calls abominable. If we care for and love the souls of the unsaved, we should not rainbow-fy our profile photos on Facebook.

Leaning on Jesus, (2)

Precious Jewels from the Book of Joshua

Do you love jewels, my friends? Here is another confession of mine–I do love jewels!

Just the sight of them makes me so high-spirited. I don’t normally care if they are genuine or just imitations. I just know that I am fascinated with the simple beauty of crystals and stones.

Today, I brought a box of jewels but I want to tell you that they are far better than the most expensive jewels in the world.

I hope you’ll open your jewellery box (your heart) and feel free to take whichever you want to keep for good from this box of precious jewels from the book of Joshua.

Precious Jewels from the Book of Joshua

These are practical lessons that the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart when I studied this book of Joshua, a book which I would personally describe as the book of battles’ stories.

I’ll try to keep my list short and simple. I hope that you can check these truths for yourselves by highlighting the verses I will mention here especially if you are a new Bible explorer.

Here you go:

1. God is sure to go with us as long as we follow and do His will (Joshua 1:6-9).

The key to any spiritual success is meditation upon His word. The Bible will surely keep us sane as we face our daily battles.

2. God is more than willing to save anyone, who has the darkest past, as long as he or she professes faith in His deity. 

You can guess who I am talking about here from the second chapter of the book of Joshua. It’s Rahab the harlot. She, upon hearing God’s deliverance of Israel, allowed the soldiers of Israel to hide in her house (Joshua 2:1-14). These soldiers spied the land of Jericho since they would have to conquer this land at the command of God. Rahab’s assistance to these soldier is the proof her faith in the God of Israel. She said,

“For the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Joshua 2:11 (NASB)

Our unsaved loved ones with a seemingly dark past has the hope to be saved through the blood of Jesus. Needless to say, our personal spiritual victories can lead to his or her salvation so let’s keep on sharing the gospel with them through our lips and our lives. We cannot do that on our own so we have to prayerfully depend on the grace of God.

3. Our personal spiritual victories over struggles are for the sole purpose of making His name known to the pagans (i.e. unbelievers). 

“On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life….For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:14;23-24 [emphasis mine]

4. God warns us of covetousness since it can lead to our failure to follow His will (Joshua 6:18).

God’s warning is for our protection from misery and all forms of defeat.

5. God cannot give us His full blessing if we conceal any sin in our hearts.

Who is our example in Joshua 7? Yes, it’s Achan. He exhibited covetousness which prompted him to lie. Sadly, that seemingly simple disobedience led to a fatal punishment from God–his personal and family’s death.

In light of his experience, we can see that our personal sin today can inflict trouble to our descendants tomorrow. That’s why we need to ask God to continue giving us His special grace so we can make righteous decisions for the better welfare of our future generation and most of all, for His glory.

What did you learn from your recent meditation upon God’s Word? Kindly share them with me on the comment box and let’s continue encouraging one another to dig God’s Word daily. Consequently, we can find more precious jewels like the ones we discovered today from the book of Joshua.
Leaning on Jesus, (2)

5 Time-Tested Tips on Wedding Planning

While preparing for my own wedding, I had two dreadful dreams.

First, our wedding day finally came. All our guests were so excited to witness our most awaited day but to our surprise, there were no flowers in our wedding venue. In my next dream, my groom and I had finally exchanged our vows but when it was time for us to exchange tokens of love (i.e. wedding bands), our officiant informed us that the rings somehow are missing!

What horrible dreams they were!

Thank God the opposite happened on our wedding day. Of course, there were elegant multi-hued flowers and setting that day. Needless to say, we had our wedding rings secured in the right place!

Now, how many more days or months do you have before you tie the knot with the man you want to grow old with?

Yes, it’s fast approaching and it is but natural to feel some tension as you look at your calendar and budget. I would like to share with you some consoling and unwonted wedding planning tips I personally learned in my own journey of wedding planning.

I also earnestly hope you’ll read until the end because there’s a special surprise for you over there. But for now, let’s start with these ones:

1. Pray for God to bless and anoint every detail of your wedding. 

The best stress buster is prayer.

There are things that you may overlook but as you entrust everything to God, He will help you remember things that need to be done.

“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3

2. Focus on what’s important.

Why are you getting married?

Yes, it’s because you want to mark this as a memorial when you commit your relationship to God before the presence of the people you love.

I hope you also have God’s glory in mind, first and foremost.

Pray that God would draw people’s attention to Him as you and your groom honor each other with your vows.

3. Trust that God will provide all your needs.

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:25-33

Deciding to marry your best friend is a leap of faith. You may not have all the exact money you need but as you pray for God’s provision, He will use people. 

My husband and I were in awe of God’s tremendous blessings upon our wedding preparation. Since our friends were excited to see us finally walk down the aisle and be pronounced as husband and wife, they offered help which we did not expect. I am persuaded that God was the One who burdened them to help us in their special ways.

Please remember to give them thank you notes later. 

4. Do things part by part.  Now that you have committed all your plans to God, it’s time to implement them. Try to sit down, take a deep breath and make a check list. Make sure you have the list of the following:

  • Legal Documents–Secure your documents (e.g. Birth Certificate, Certificate of No Marriage [CENOMAR] in the Phils.) and check them off as soon as you finish. 😉 This might help you if you are a Filipino and this one if you’re in the USA. Since my husband and I are from two different countries, he had to ask his parents to send him a notarized CENOMAR from Bangladesh. We had to ask them to send it by mail.

The point is wherever you are from, take some time to visit websites that will help you get your documents ready so you can apply for your marriage certificates.

  • Entourage–Involve your close friends and family members. One of the tips I learned from my married sisters in Christ is to ask your friends and family members to be a part of your entourage by approaching them personally and handing them a note so it can serve as their reminder if you think that they are pretty busy.

You may also ask them to be in-charge of their dress’ cost and let them know that you would count it as their early wedding gift. 😉

  • Guests–This is one of the most challenging decisions to make–choosing whom you should invite. Everyone wants to see your wedding and you also want everyone to witness your special day of exchanging vows with your husband to be. In our case, we asked at least two members of our friends’ and relatives’ families to come.

Take advantage of this ceremony to preach the gospel to your loved ones who are not sure of heaven. Ask your pastor to include the gospel in the ceremony. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone would tell you later that your wedding day became the day of his/her salvation?

  • Delegation–You might be good at multitasking but you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Welcome help and ask your friends and family members to aid you if they are willing and available. In our case, we had our delegates fully in charge of music, flowers, food and event planning.

Our wedding coordinator was kind enough to take care of looking for a good reception venue and we got it a reasonable price of Php 5,000 (around $113)! Learn to communicate with the people whom you have delegated to undertake certain responsibilities and it will contribute a lot to what you have been waiting for! 😉

  • Wedding Program–Borrow a few people’s wedding program copies and try to revise the order of the ceremony according to your preference. You may ask your pastor or someone trustworthy to do this for you as well.
  • Suppliers–I assure you that God would lead you to the suppliers you need. Ask your flower suppliers if he collaborates with a credible catering service. More often than not, they will give unsolicited (in a positive sense) suggestions on how you can avail of different wedding services at reasonable prices!

Don’t forget to take a break and give attention to all the other people around you. 😉 Spend time with them and talk about stuff other than weddings.

5. Expect the unexpected.

Yes, you read it right. On your wedding day proper, there are a few details that won’t work as planned but take it as part of your wedding story. Let it go and relax. Enjoy your day and make your guests feel welcomed to your wedding party.

I know, there may be things I forgot to list down but I do hope that the aforementioned reminders would calm your soul. 🙂

Now, here’s the surprise I told you about. I asked a few of my married friends and fellow bloggers to share their stupendous wedding pieces of advice with you and here they are:

“List every detail, even to the simplest one. After everything is planned, everything is listed, BE FLEXIBLE, RELAX 🙂 Expect disaster or any tiny error. Things will not really go as planned sometimes. A realistic expectation is better than a super perfect wedding but with a bride who can easily go insane with just one tiny detail or delay in the schedule.” -Mrs. Daisy Mae Aguinaldo Eugenio

“It’s been three months since our wedding day and we don’t regret that a big part of our wedding budget went to the photo and video expenses. As many people would say these are the only things that will really stay with you when the wedding is over. Once in a while my husband and I browse our beautiful pictures or watch our heart tugging wedding video and it never fails to bring us back to that very special day. It still gives us chills in a good way. These memories can also be passed down through generations. So I advice to hire good and professional photographer and videographer that’s within your budget.” -Mrs. KC Suk De Guzman

“Leave it to your wedding planner. Focus on your husband to be. The color of your flowers don’t matter so much as your love for each other.” – Mrs. Abra Marie Carnahan of Cafe Mom

“Don’t get lost in the little details so much that it takes your mind off the big picture. In the end the marriage is what matters most, not the wedding details.” -Mrs. Kay Cee Groves of Moral Morsels.

“You will need a small purse the day of the wedding. Be sure to fill it with make-up for touch-ups, gum, a small mirror, safety pins, bobby pins and a small perfume. I thought I had everything planned, but had forgotten this majorly important item! I figured my mom would have everything I needed, but I failed to realize she wouldn’t be with me at all times.” -Mrs. Jessa Nowak of In Wealth and Health.

“Number the RSVP cards and save the names and numbers in a spreadsheet. People constantly forget to RSVP with their name and we got blank cards back.” – Mrs. Abra Marie Carnahan of Mere Breath

“Be prepared for the worst but expect for the best. You are to begin a life together. You will have bitter-sweet experiences. Yes, you will see flaws and faults along the way but you must also believe and trust God’s work in both you and your partner. Both of you are work in progress so be willing to let God work. God will be the One to mold your husband, not you. So there’s assurance that He will be better. And remember to allow God to work in you first before you expect your partner to be better. Most of the time God wants to change us first before we expect the change in our partners. He wants us to be fully dependent on Him as we allow Him to deal with every area in the relationship.” -Mrs. Cath Quizon

“Just be yourself. While it’s great to look at wedding blogs to get inspired, sometimes you end up copying, or trying to make your wedding like someone else’s. Take a step back. Remember that, aside from the fact that the primary goal of a wedding should be to picture Christ and His bride, this day is about you and the man you love. Celebrate what makes you unique… don’t try to impress others or think that you have to make your wedding fit into a certain mold.” -Mrs. Julia Potts Valle

“One of my friend’s advice? “Open your legs.” I hope I’m not shocking you, but it was so funny. Especially with her strong Dominican accent. You don’t have to use that – just thought I would add a touch of humour here.” -Mrs. Jennie Lawlis Goutet of A Lady in France

Think carefully about what you want your wedding to say about you and your future husband. Even though this is “your” day, you want everything that is done to glorify your Lord. In addition, your wedding should reflect who you are – music that you have chosen, colors and styles that you prefer, vows that mean something to you, traditions (even new ones) that reflect your personality. Your wedding says something about you – it can be a testimony of God’s grace in your life, and a meaningful event that speaks of who you and your groom are as individuals about to become one. Mrs. Ruth Bachorik

“Ask around at your church to see if anyone does cakes, photos, or other services. We were blessed with our church family’s talents. Look online for deals (80% of our wedding supplies came from online for much less than we would have spent on it finding it in stores).Take time to savor every moment of the special day, it flies by fast. Don’t forget, your wonderful groom to be will not ever be enough to fill your God-shaped hole. That’s my top advice, you can use any or none of it….Don’t lock your knees…people pass out in ceremonies all the time when they lock their knees while standing….” -Mrs. Robbi Bittle of About a Chick.

Eat a full meal before you put on the dress! Even if you have a dinner afterwards you will either A) be too nervous that you will make a mess on your uber expensive dress or B) like Samantha Ford-Godette said, be too busy to eat at all! My wedding day I got a handful of almonds, one bite of cake, and a bag of jalapeno chips.” -Mrs. Amy Dickerson of Accidental Happy Baker

Please get these words of wisdom “with all thy getting.”

Before I forget, congratulations on your wedding! May God bless you and your husband-to-be!

Please keep in mind these consoling and unwonted tips on wedding planning. I hope they indeed helped you! ❤

Written with lots of love,
Nance 😉

It’s Never Wrong to Learn Wisdom on April Fool’s Day

It’s April Fool’s Day! I believe that many pranksters are bursting into laughter after seeing their friends’ reaction about their Facebook posts or any form of mischief.

Well it’s never wrong to make pranks once in a while. Laughing is good for the heart anyway. 😉

While many are getting fooled, I thought that it’s never wrong to learn wisdom on April Fool’s Day.

Who doesn’t like to be wise? Everyone does!

Now, where can we learn wisdom? Many people learn it from experience while many learn it from reading books.

I am sure that one of the exigent situations one can have is being faced with a tough decision to make. But what do we need to do to make a prudent decision? I am persuaded that you know the answer–yes, it’s the Bible.

Here are the common factors where we tend to base our decisions on–people’s opinion, circumstances, feelings.

What’s the problem with the said factors though? You are absolutely right! They all change!

I didn’t intend to discourage you if you, just like me, tend to make some of your decisions on the things I mentioned. I am writing this to give you hope that we can make decisions by doing the following:

1. Ask God to give wisdom.

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

Here’s the good news! God gives wisdom to those who request him to do so and He does in a generous way. Not only that. He also munificently provides wisdom without reproach (i.e without mocking and disapproval).

2. Seek godly counsels.

“Without counsel, purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22

Many of the prudent people I know did not make wise choices because they are naturally prudent. Most of them have sought the wise counsels of the godly authorities they have.

Now, who are the qualified people who can give us godly counsels? Those who have set a good example of wise choices in the past. They can be our pastors, our parents or our godly friends who earnestly seek God’s will in His word everyday.

3. Follow God’s leading.

As God shows you His will through His Word, godly counsels and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, do your part and leave everything in God’s hands. His will may not be as pleasant as our own choice but we have to trust God’s best.

If He asks you to wait, wait. If He asks you to do it, do it now. If He shows you that it’s not His best for you, surrender.

Here’s a familiar verse you can print out and post on your fridge to remind you to trust His leading in your life.

Trust His choice for you!

Trust His choice for you!

That’s it for now. I did not mean to make your day so serious today but as I said, it’s never wrong to learn wisdom on April Fool’s Day.

Dalisayin Mo, O Panginoon: Alteration for “God’s Refining Fire”

Filipino Version of “God’s Refining Fire”. 🙂 Sing along this accompaniment I grabbed from YouTube and sing this song in our mother tongue. ❤

Leaning on Jesus

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” ~1 Peter 4:12-13 (KJV)

There was a time in my college life when things drastically changed. I was in my final year when the administration office announced that the order of the curriculum had to be changed for the benefit of many others in our college.

While everyone was glad about the news, I was heartbroken. I initially assumed that it would mean that even if I didn’t fail any subject, I would have to extend my year of studies.

Wanting clarification, I approached our respectable college director. He said in an encouraging manner that I could manage to graduate in that school year. He mentioned that…

View original post 450 more words

My Late Father’s Legacy of Wisdom

March 22, 2015 marks the twelfth death anniversary of my father–Philippine Marines Sgt. Major Rafael Rodrigo de Sagun.

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Papang–that’s how we used to call our father.

All I can remember about him was his being a man of few words. Needless to say, he was creative, strict, smart, disciplined, selfless and most of all, a loving father. He was a teacher in and out our home. I have memories of him teaching us sundry life skills–riding a bike, playing volleyball, observing good manners, cooking and even sewing. My mother did teach us many skills too but I am pretty sure that people who know my father well would agree that  he was exceptional among other fathers.

His Words of Wisdom

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As he aged, he suffered from many health issues which led to complications. He had bleeding ulcer, went through a surgery after having an inflamed gall bladder. He also had diabetes and high blood pressure. I cannot recall the precise number of the medicines he had to take but I knew it was a lot. His physical condition might have influenced his behavior.

Despite his physical sufferings, he struggled with life by faith. He remained supportive to us. He was not perfect. More often than not, people mistook his strictness as spitefulness.

I, as one of his children, understood well that his intentions were purely out of a desire to do things right as much as possible.

Yes, it’s been twelve years since my father passed away and I am writing this to share with you the words of wisdom that will remain inculcated in my heart:

  • “The sun doesn’t always shine brightly.”–There are days when we feasted on French fries, burger, pasta, and fried chicken and there were also days when we had to eat dried fish and rice or sometimes just rice and salt. He used to remind us that what’s on our table should not stop us from being thankful.

  • “Who are they?”–Other kids would bully you; that’s inevitable. They would criticize you, misjudge you, talk about you but who cares anyway? Their judgement would not make you less of a human. Go on and live your life. Remember how Jesus prayed for his enemies since they did not know what they were doing.

  • “Start and end your day with thankfulness”-After getting up or before going to sleep, he used to remind us to offer prayers of thanksgiving and prayers for our family, relatives and friends.

  • “Study hard so you can buy whatever you’d like to eat in the future.”–it’s self-explanatory. Hard work pays off. Most of the people who suffer financially suffer not because they don’t have a good fate. It’s sometimes a result of their inability to value their studies when they were students.

There are many other words of wisdom that my father taught us but I don’t want to take too much of your time reading. I hope though that I can teach those I mentioned above to my daughter, Joanna, as well.

My father may not have left us a big amount of money, a vast land and luxurious cars but he left us these legacy of wisdom which we can pass on to our next generation.

His Salvation Testimony

My father has passed away, but I am confident that he is with God the Father in heaven–it was not because of his righteous life. As I said, he was not perfect just like every one of us. I am confident that he is with the Father in heaven at the moment because two weeks before his death, right in front of me, he professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted him in his heart that he’s the One and Only Savior of the world and of him personally. He did that while he was bedridden. He went to heaven because he learned from the Bible that religion, good works and anything he has done would NOT save him from the punishment of sin in hell. He accepted that Christ’s death on the cross paid his sins fully–that’s it.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Matthew 8:36

Here’s the sad news my friend, you can have all the treasures of this world, and still remain unsure whether you can go to heaven or not when you die. Here’s the good news though, you can know how to get to heaven. 

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I John 5:13

Now, would you like to be sure of heaven before you die? Kindly check this one out. You can also read my personal testimony on how I became sure of heaven here.

If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, then remember to thank God for His gift of salvation.

To you my friend who haven’t made a decision to accept the gift of salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please don’t ignore this message. Life is uncertain and so is death. Be sure of heaven.

Love,
Nance

Rerouted by God: Must We Follow or Not?

Joanna, my young tot loves adventures. Just like any other kid, she is extremely independent and is always wanting to do things by herself even without asking my permission. More often that not, she ends up regretful after doing the things I have prohibited her to do. She does not fully understand yet the value of my warnings–she does not fully appreciate yet that the reason I redirect her most of the time is I want her safety. I want her full happiness.

Now, just as I want my daughter to be spared from trouble, God also redirects us and even if the reason is obvious,  let me share with you what He impressed upon my heart through His word.

As I read through Exodus 13 this morning, God powerfully spoke to my heart. It says:

“17 Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.” 20 Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

Here is what I realized:

As God leads us upon our submission, He sometimes reroutes us. Undeniably, the ultimate reason for that is He has our welfare–our best interest in His mind. He does so not to hurt us, but rather to spare us from danger and discouragements. It may be challenging to understand the direction He shows us, but all we need to do is trust Him and see how He will provide “pillar of clouds and pillar of fire” along the way. This is also taught in a hymn which was penned many years ago. There is no other way to be “happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

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I know in myself that there are still things I need to surrender to God. I need to trust His redirection just like how my daughter needs to trust my orders so she would be safe. It is my prayer that God would give me the grace enough to trust His leading and see His rescue from disappointments and troubles.

Now my friend, do you see that God is rerouting you as you follow His will in your life? Are you having second thoughts whether you must follow or not. That shouldn’t be! Indeed, there is no peace more perfect than the one brought about by submission to the God who only desires what’s best for you. Pray hard. Seek godly counsels. Read His word. Follow His leading. Without any doubt, you will end up victorious spiritually. Consequently, when you are victorious in your spiritual life, you will see that all the pieces of your life coming into their right places.

Rerouted by God? Yes, we must indeed follow by faith and He will provide all that we may need as we do so.

How to Enjoy Your Earthly Gifts

“How much money will make you happy?”

This is one of the conversation questions I sometimes ask my online Japanese students who want to have a free conversation lesson. Most of my students’ reply to this silly question of mine is, “Just a few yen.” (Shocking answer, isn’t it?) Well, the reality is this isn’t their common answer! Many of them answer to this effect,  “A million dollars!” 🙂

Now, let me ask you. “How much money will make you happy?” You can keep your answer to yourself for now. 🙂 Actually, it’s just natural for any nationality to want money to sustain their needs. It’s not evil at all! Possessions and wealth are not evil in themselves but the Bible says that the love of it makes it evil! (1 Tim. 6).

King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 5:18-20,

“18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment[h] in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.”

Now, the question is “Is it bad to enjoy your possessions and wealth?” The answer is obvious from these verses. It is God’s gift to be able to enjoy His material and financial blessing.

Now, why is it that some extremely rich people still can’t enjoy what they have? Some want more. Some envy what others have. They exert their full effort to have what others have until they forget what they have in their hands, in their pockets, in their lives.

Ironically, why are there people living hand-to-mouth who are enjoying a contented life?

What do you think?

Interestingly enough, attitude towards our possessions makes a HUGE difference.

Anyone who doesn’t recognize the Giver of his or her gifts don’t enjoy what he has. He ends up being discontented, depressed and worse, unhappy!

However, only those who recognize God to be the sole source of all his wealth and possessions are the ones who are capable of enjoying His blessings. The more appreciative a person becomes, the happier he can be!

Our enjoyment actually should not be based on how much we have. In contrast, it should be based on the attitude of our heart towards the Generous and Gracious Giver of our blessings.

Abundance in material, physical and financial blessings is futile without the ability to enjoy it. So after seeing Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, what do you think is the key to enjoy your earthly gift?

Yes, you got it! Recognize the Heavenly Giver of your gifts and stay grateful to Him for what you earn after all your toils!

It is God's gift to be able to enjoy His material, physical, and financial blessings.

It is God’s gift to be able to enjoy His material, physical, and financial blessings.

 

Dalisayin Mo, O Panginoon: Alteration for “God’s Refining Fire”

Fiery Trials

There was a time in my college life when things drastically changed. I was in my final year when the administration office announced that the order of the curriculum had to be changed for the benefit of many others in our college.

While everyone was glad about the news, I was heartbroken. I initially assumed that it would mean that even if I didn’t fail any subject, I would have to extend my year of studies.

Wanting clarification, I approached our respectable college director. He said in an encouraging manner that I could manage to graduate in that school year. He mentioned that the requirement was for me to study certain courses individually. The college will supply all the syllabus I need and all I needed to do was make sure that I submit my projects and quizzes on respective due dates indicated on the syllabus.

I nodded and smiled at our director but in my mind, I complained to God asking, “This is different from what I expected this year. Why do I have to go through all these?”

Oh me of little faith! I broke into tears when I got home.

Contemplating upon my situation all throughout the week, I struggled to accept my God’s will for me that year. Thanks to the Holy Spirit who helped me decide to channel my anxiety into something more productive and beneficial. I then penned a Filipino song with an inspiration from the words of Mac Lynch’s song, “God’s Refining Fire.” I would like to share with you this song in both versions.

You may sing along the accompaniment I grabbed from YouTube.


~English Version~

1. O Lord, we pray “Thy will be done” or “Master, here am I.”
We pray You’d do a mighty work
That to the flesh we’d die.
And when the answer comes to us
In form of trial and test,
We fail to see Your loving hand,
Refining fire is best.

2. That I may stand when You appear,
Abide till Your return.
O place the fire perfectly
That all the dross be burned.
Whether furnace of affliction, Lord,
Or unfulfilled desire,
Bring forth a vessel pure and tried
By Your refining fire.


Refrain:
God’s refining fire, God’s refining fire,
May it purge me now and make of me what You require.
O Lord, feed the fire, Your refining fire.
Now as gold and silver must be tried,
Lord, may my heart be purified.
Lord, send Your great refining fire.

*Now, that you know the melody, try singing this translation using this other accompaniment which I also got from YouTube. Start singing at 0:12

 

Here’s the Tagalog Version:

Dalisayin Mo

 

What are you going through that is totally different from what you have planned? It is my prayer that the message of this song would bless and encourage your heart if you’re going through any fiery trial at the moment.

P.S. Indeed, nothing is better than a song sung in your own mother tongue, don’t you think so? 🙂

Leaning on Jesus,

My Intercultural-Wedding Story: Joining as Lights Together for Christ

My wedding story….

God is the best love story Author. Don’t you think so? 🙂 I just want to share how He wrote ours.

“In God’s perfect time, He planned to make our (Joseph’s and mine) paths cross,

In His wisdom, He planted the seed of love in our hearts,

And in His kindness, He nurtured and allowed it to grow to have His perfect will done in our lives.”

He led us to the verses below while my husband and I were starting our relationship over again after a lot of maturing in the process and until the time we have decided to tie the knot with the blessing of our parents and spiritual leaders.

1 JOHN 4:18  There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

ECCLESIASTES 8:7  Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised.

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|Our wedding ceremony on April 9, 2011 in Bethany Bible Believers’ Church|

We ended up with a theme “Joining as lights together for Christ.”

After much prayers and a year-long preparation for our wedding, God made our wedding not only beautiful to the eyes of people but pleasant in His sight. I must believe that it was His work!

I am persuaded that every love story is beautiful and here is the version of ours. 🙂

Kindly click on the link to inspire you as you prepare for your wedding as well. 😉 God bless you as you prepare.

Good Works Cannot Save You, Only Jesus Can!

Many people around the world are yearning for peace–admittedly or not. Unfortunately though, they turn to money, fame and many other temporal things of this world to satisfy their empty souls. Needless to say, they also do good works here and there and think that it is sufficient to fill up the hole in their hearts and to cover the guilt brought about by sins. I was not exempted from the people I just described above until a turning point in my life happened.

It was April 11, 1999, a few days after my graduation from elementary school.  My mom was invited by an American missionary to come to a Bible Study in her house. My dear mom was interested to go to the said Bible Study, but was afraid that she would not be comfortable there. She then asked me to accompany her and so I did because I was also curious about what would be discussed in the Bible study. In short, we went to the Bible Study and at first, it was hilarious for me to hear some strange hymns. I found the songs funny not because they sounded like a tribal song or something, but because the melody sounded odd to me. The preacher then stood up right after the congregational songs and preached with boldness that no one can be saved through good works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Salvation is a free gift from God!

Those words sank into my heart which moved me to pay more attention to more biblical things he had to say. He added that everyone needs the Lord Jesus Christ to be right with God. Jesus in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

The preacher then continued saying that not a single type of good work, any kind of religion can get anyone to heaven. Solely, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ is the only thing that can bring us to heaven. Eventually, the Bible study ended with an invitation for people to be sure of heaven by accepting the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ alone. I raised up my hand desiring to hear some more of the bad news (i.e. good works cannot get me to heaven) and the good news (i.e. I can get to heaven through Jesus Christ). The pastor’s wife brought me to the side and reviewed with me what has been preached and clearly showed me from the Bible that Jesus died to pay for my sins (I Cor. 15:3; Rom. 5:8).

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

What a great news to know that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for my sins! As she showed from the Bible, I also have to admit that I am a sinner and I need to confess all my sins. (Romans 3:10; 1 John 4:9)

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

1 John 4:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It was evident enough that all I need to do is to accept my sinfulness, repent of my sins and believe on the Lord Jesus to be the only Savior and my personal Lord to receive eternal life as a gift.

That night of April 11, 1999, I recognized that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness of my sins, asked for God’s forgiveness of my wickedness and accept eternal life through Jesus Christ. After doing so, I went home confident of God’s forgiveness (I John 1:9) and also confident that God would keep us safe as we go home. Oh the joy and peace which the gospel (i.e. good news) brought to my heart is unutterable.

How about you my friend? Are you sure that your soul would go to heaven after you die? You can know how to get to heaven by understanding the gospel I just presented and doing the necessary steps of faith. May we not resist the mercy and love that God has offered us. If you found my presentation unclear, kindly refer to this link and take the time to absorb God’s message for you. God loves you, my friend. I am hoping and praying that you will receive this free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and enjoy a rich relationship with God.

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