Saved by grace

by Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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  

I may be in my teens, but I shall classify my life, for now, into 2 parts...

I was a Christian since the time my parents brought me to church. At the tender age, I thought of church as a playground, where I could meet up with my good friends to play hide and seek. Well, I would admit that I did not have a real relationship with God at that time, since I had no clear understand on what Christianity was about. I only knew one thing: Jesus loves me. The usual life of sin continued on, and I did not realise that God was sad seeing me behave like that. This was the first part of my life: unreal Christian.

Until I reached Secondary 3, God revealed himself to me in a clear way. By the random invitation of a net outreach, I rededicated my life to Him: and I was never the same again when I encountered Him. I did not know that encountering God could be such a great thing you could ever do in your life. I begin to tangibly feel the presence of God in every place that I would be; the first time that I opened my heart and felt God's love and grace like never before. This is the second part of my life: Christian. Of course, this second part of my life will continue writing, and I do not wish to go back to my old ways. And, there will be the third part, waiting to be written: my life in heaven...

I was thinking back on the earlier 2 parts of my life, and I started having this thought: what if I died before the second chapter of my life was written? Thinking on, I knew my destiny if I stayed on as an unreal Christian: hell.

And today, I take time to praise and thank God for His wonderful grace. I thank Him for knocking at the doors of my heart, wanting me to come back into His arms: and I am glad I did!

For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely.
Isaiah 48:9

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
Jonah 3:10

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

Not for God's love, I wouldn't have a chance to feel His great tangible presence and encounter Him.
Not for the death and the resurrection of Jesus, I wouldn't be given a chance to be saved again.
Not for Jesus who sent the Holy Spirit to me, I would still be living my life of sin.
Therefore, I give glory to God for my life, for I was not saved by works, by the things that I do; I was entirely saved by grace!

Today, I want to take this time to speak to this few people. If you are reading this and are not a Christian believer, I want to encourage you to accept Jesus. For He does not want you to die on the cross or do anything to be saved; He worked it all out, and hence we are saved by grace. And I really hope you will make your decision today, for you will never be the same. It is not by coincidence that you are viewing this today, for today will be the day for your salvation! (2 Corinthians 6:2)

For salvation/sinner's prayer, click HERE... :)

“Oh no! How?”

by Sunday, May 29, 2011

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
Luke 8:22-25

Today I was reading this verses, and I clearly identified this situation with life's storm. In these verses, the disciples of Jesus were afraid that they will drown due to the great storm. Then they asked themselves: "Oh no! How? What if we drown!" Seeing Jesus sleeping, they panicked and woke him, because they wondered to themselves why could Jesus be so calm even though they were going to die.

Similarly, for everyone, life's storm make us question the reality of God's existence because it is as though He is not with us. When frequent family quarrels arose, when you had to be declared bankrupt or when your relationship with friends start to turn sour, you start to cry out to God, "Oh no! How?"

I remembered there was once when life's storm keeps making me feel down and I did not know what to do at that time, I sought for a super professional advice from a professional, my youth Pastor Jeremy, and this was what he told me:

Storms come and go, but you can decide what to do in the middle of the storm.

When he told me this, I found it rather inspiring, and the first thing I thought about was the power of God. Even though I had storms coming and going, I know that, by His power, He will bring me through the storms. Storms may come and go, but when I treat these storms as tests of faith, I will not be so focused on the storms, but the fact that Jesus is going to bring me through this, and my faith will be strengthened and I will trust all my problems in His hands!

So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
Hebrews 13:6

Being bankrupt, all the hard earned money may be lost, and you may start to tell yourself: "All my money is gone. What hope is there in life now?" Or when quarrels keep happening and you do not know what to do, you asked:"Where is God?" Instead of panicking, why not start to speak to your condition and declare that God is here? Remember, He is our Immanuel and He will be with you always, even when you do not feel His presence. Stand by faith today!

"Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
Matthew 14:27 

Lastly, just want to share a song again...

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

Fact, faith, feelings- part 2

by Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just want to share with you a thought after I read these few verses:

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgement to begin with the family of God...
So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4:12-13, 16-17, 19

During these few days, I thank God for placing leaders in my life as they were a great strength and encouragement to me. Reminded by them, that I had to maintain hopeful and strong, I tried to completely surrender to God, for I know that in such season, I will not be able to survive on my own; I need the word of God as a pillar of strength for each day.

And so, I was asking God to grant me hope and strength, as I acknowledged that I could not finish running this race without Him. I really thank God for giving me this great strength as I read these few verses.

Clearly, I knew that my faith would not be tested if God doesn't believe in me, and I know that these are part and parcels of life: the challenges will make me a strong person…

Applying fact, faith and feelings:

Since God speaks in me through the word (John 1:1), I know that when I start to read His word, hope starts to rise (Isaiah 40:31).

And so, in 1 Peter 4, I felt God was telling me not to be surprised at the tests that are going on in my life currently, but I should start rejoicing as I participate in these, for I will be overjoyed as I see His glory revealed. Submit to Him, and believe that I will become victorious at the end, as I will be able to say that I have fought the good fight, ran the good race, and kept my unshakable faith, just as how I place my faith on a solid rock! (2 Timothy 4:7)

Begin believing in what He says through the word... Because God never fails! (Hebrews 13:5)

Realize that more hope start to rise and a peace is rising in my heart, letting me trust more in Him!

I knew that I need to completely surrender everything to God, for I know that if I depend on my own strength, I may miss out on some important points that God wants me to learn from. Then when my strength is dried and I have no where to turn to anymore, I will start feeling disappointed and weary. It is as though the whole world is will against me. The minute I realize I have to be fully dependable on His strength and not mine alone, I start to accept His full control of my life and He'll begin speaking to me because my heart is opened to His voice.

Thankful for the hope; I'm counting on God! :) Really hope this serves as a strength for you, that you may realize that, though we may be weak, we may stand and say that we are strong.. :D

Fact, faith, feelings

by Sunday, May 22, 2011

I recalled the time when I first rededicated my life to Jesus. That was the time when I felt God's presence so strongly in my life: at youth service, in my prayers, at my bed, and in altar calls. I began to have strong faith knowing that God is with me, and I will cry out to Him whenever wherever.
Gradually, as the weeks went by, when I start to move on in life, God began to test my faith. I just cannot feel the tangible presence of God anymore. When I saw my parents quarreling, I asked God where He was. When my relationships with my friends turned sour when I was in Secondary three, I asked God why did things turn out that way. When I went for altar calls, expecting God to touch me or give me a vision, and He did not do anything in the end, I felt disappointed.

That was when I began to realize the intentions of God: He wanted to shape my character and let my faith grow. It was not all about feelings.

Something I learnt in the discipleship lessons:
1st: fact
Based on God's word. For instance, God is faithful!
God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9

2nd: faith
Believe by faith that whatever that God promises and speaks are true and worthy.

3rd: feelings
This is when you start to feel God's tangible presence, see visions, etc.
The order is always like this. Feelings cannot come first; faith cannot come first.

Before I learnt this, I based almost every situation by feelings. Most commonly in altar calls, when I questioned God why I did not feel anything. It was only until 3 weeks ago, when I learnt about this, I started to apply this theory on my problems.

Currently, I must admit that my faith is not very strong. Because of the problems I am facing, like when quarrels keep happening, and when I asked God for visions, I felt that I had not completely surrendered my life to Him, as surrendering my life means to give Him my all: problems, worries, thoughts and service. In the end, I may not be pleased with the outcome, but this is one thing I know: He has great plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11), and all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).

I may feel that its hard to lift my faith in this hard times, but I know, that when everything's over, I will become strong in faith.

Therefore, for now, as I go through this tough times, I know that this are things I need to do:
  1. Persevere: Don't give up...
  2. Hold on to God's promises..
  3. Remember God is my Immanuel: always with me...
  4. Do the best I can to ensure my faith will not waver...
Jesus, I am thankful because you believe in me, and I am assured that, when the storm rests, I will turn out strong... It appears on the outside that I am running alone, but I know that you are with me, for I cannot do anything without you...

Dreams- part 2

by Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Today I was feeling down as I saw the situation at home. It left me hopeless. Even though God ignited the family dream in my heart, I just felt tired to continue running for the dream. I was like having a debate with God, telling Him that I cannot do it anymore. I want to stop… I was telling Him through my prayer that it is not that one altar call which can let my hope be lifted; I needed constant reminders. I asked God the same question again, and again: “why me?” And there is the devil trying to tell me: “you cannot do it.” But anyway, I thank God for lifting my hope again through these verses I read today:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 14:6-8

When I was reading these verses, I immediately knew that it was God speaking to me and reminding me that He is actually with me. God was actually telling me not to lose hope, and start to put total trust in Him. Even though it appears that everything I hoped for, prayed for, and did is like nothing, but I know God wants to renew me again. I may not see the dream being fulfilled yet, but I know that today, He is teaching me that I need to stop looking at the present, but begin to dream with God; I need to fix my eyes on the eternal good!

I am aware, to run for the dream, I need to push away all obstacles that stop me from running for the dream: the lies of the devil. Shortly after I read these verses above, I flipped one page, and I was reminded of the verse that my discipler, Karina, reminded me, to be wary of the devil:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5

If I do not want to give up running for the dream, I need to cease hearing whatever that the devil is trying to insert into my mind: half-truths, which are nothing but lies. Therefore, today, I started to renounce every lie that the devil put in my head: no more hope running for the dream and that I cannot be used to run for the dream. I started to take all these thoughts captive and obedient to Christ, and I felt an unexplainable peace. And I really want to thank God for His trust in me, and for the leaders He placed in my life…

In conclusion, I believe I would need to be reminded every day that God believes in me… And I hope to see the dream totally fulfilled, just as how God wants it to happen…


by Monday, May 16, 2011

Just want to share the sermon that my youth Pastor, Jeremy Seaward, preached on, titled Dreams- what's left of your dreams.

A summary of the sermon- Dreams (3):
Dreams (3) - what’s left of your dream?

You and I were made to dream

God has a dream for us- Jeremiah 29:11
-“I know the thoughts I have for you.”
-“I know the dreams I dream about you.”
He has good plans for us

In the last days God will pour out His spirit on everyone! - Acts 2

4 types of dream:
1. Shattered dreams
Dreams that we lost all hope for. A dream that was ignited in our heart, but people do not believe in our dream, and hence we feel discouraged and all of a sudden that dream began to crumble, because when we look for support we could not find any.

2. Tired dreams
Dreams that we run for, but it appears that all hope is lost and we start to be tired to run for the dream.

3. Damaged dreams
Believe in the dream, and have been trying to work for that dream, trying to be faithful to work on the dream, but the dream seemed unfulfilled. If you settle for the damaged dream you will never see the dream that God has promised you. But I want the dream for God in my life.

4. Forgotten dreams
The dreams had not been fulfilled for so long, and even though you felt desperate and wanted to believe, because of the long wait, you forgot the dream.

God wants us to believe in the dream that he has for us. For He believed in the potential of our life. Even when we lost all hope in the dream we once run for, He wants to give us a new hope and restore His dream for us. His dream for us: for us to know Him, have peace and eternal life; cannot be bought with money: because He loved us too much, therefore, even before He knew us, He decided to send Jesus to die for us so that we may gain life through Him.

After the whole sermon is preached, and there was the altar call, I thank God for calling me there, and at the altar He started to reveal to me the types of dreams, and He wanted me to ignite the dream in my heart:

Tired dream
Dream for the blog readers. When the blog first started 2 years ago, I was so enthusiastic and I will blog each day. But, honestly, sometimes I felt that I am starting to run for my own dream. When God told me he wanted me to blog to see the lost in every country reading this blog to be saved, sometimes I am weary and I asked God: “why me?” On that day, God told me that the reason I became tired was because I was not really blogging with His spirit; but, in actual fact, He wants me to entrust this blog totally to Him: God is the one who runs this blog, not me. Sometimes when I look at the statistics, I feel really happy when I see the numbers rising and more people and reading the blog. But since I do not know who are saved or strengthened through this blog, I don’t really know if I am blogging for only some people to see. But, during the net rally, when Jeremy was preaching on being a dream releaser, I felt that God was trying to tell me to dream for others; not for myself. And, on Saturday, God told me: child, be strengthened. I am using you to reach out to the nations. All you need to do is to trust in me, and everything’s going to be okay.

Damaged dreams
I have been praying for my family for quite some time, and, seeing things at home not going smooth, like for so long, I want to give up. Sometimes I had negative thoughts that things are not going to be okay, since the problem has been going on for so long. I want to see breakthroughs, and, without fail, I will pray for the situation in my family to be restored. I want to see a restoration of peace, but the picture just looked so darkened. I feel tired. And I thank God for restoring that hope into my heart, and letting me feel at peace. He reminded me of two verses:

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1

May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:10

And I know that He wants to draw near to me once again to grant me that comfort. Yup, even though this dream may take some time to be fulfilled, I pray that God will grant me strength to overcome all obstacles and see that dream be fulfilled. And now all I need to do is to press in, push away all negative thoughts and not give up… I need prayer…

Lastly, just want to leave TheEDGE's website for you people to go download and listen... God shall strengthen you and encourage you with this podcast...

Click HERE  > Click on Dreams 3...

Rules, rules and rules

by Saturday, May 14, 2011

In the past, when I was younger, if you asked me what Christianity means, the first thought that comes to my mind would be the Ten Commandments. Wow! Why are there so many commandments I had to abide as a Christian? I cannot do this and cannot do that. Why so troublesome? Having that childish and unclear perspective of what Christianity was all about, I would use one word to tell you what Christianity is all about: rules.

Not having any deep knowledge of God's great love and mercy at that time, all I thought about was rules, rules and rules. I believe some of you reading this had or are having this misconception like I once had, that stepping into Christianity was about what I can do and what I cannot do. Therefore you would feel that Christianity is a religion with no freedom because of all the rules you had to follow.

Well, try thinking out of the box: have you ever wondered why God implemented all these commands? He did not command you to give you a hard life as a Christian; He does not want you to fall into sin:

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
John 5:24

‘To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.’
Jude 1:24-25

Because of God’s mercy for you, you will feel sad; because you know God has forgiven you, you start to feel underserving of His forgiveness upon you. This is why the commandments are in place, to make sure you are not doing wrong so that you will not fall into sin. If committing an act of sin makes your spirits dampened because you felt you have angered God, why not start to live a life of holiness? Not only God will be happy, you will also be happy!

Therefore, rejecting sin means following the commandments of God; forsaking the world and following Christ:

‘For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome.’
Psalm 5:4

‘Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.’
Galatians 1:10

When we follow His ways and do what He wants us to do, we are doing the will of the Father, and thus this pleases Him. For instance, when we are focused on the things of this world, like politics or entertainment buzz, we tend to draw away from God because we will become so affected by them. Hence, we are not doing the will of God. However, when we start to shift our focus onto Jesus, by caring for His people or spending time reading His word, even when we are tired or have no time for homework, we are being hungrier for His presence and seeking Him more. Through this we will please His will. And, keeping His commands and applying it in your daily life also pleases Him!

When you become dead to sin and alive to Christ (Romans 6), you start to be an example for others to follow:

‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship.’
Romans 12:1

‘Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.’
Ephesians 5:1

When you start to live your life as a holy being, imitating the ways of Christ, people around you will start to see your change. Your testimony also serves as strength for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ; they will feel encouraged seeing the big difference Jesus has made in your life, and praise God for this great work. And, firstly, being a testimony for Christ requires you to lead a holy life, and you need to turn away from sin. Hence, the commandments serve as a guide for you to follow so that you will into fall into sin.

In conclusion, Christianity is not about rules; it is about the great love and mercy you will encounter once you step into Christianity. Once you forsake sin and tell the devil to move away from your life, sin will never enter in your life. Because Jesus became victorious when He died on the cross for our sins, we can say that we are victorious through Jesus Christ our Lord!

O Lord you're beautiful

by Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I want to take your word and shine it all around
But first help me just, to live it Lord
And when I'm doing well help me to never seek a crown
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Impossible is nothing

by Friday, May 06, 2011

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone!
Jeremiah 17:14

Today, I have a hunch that God wants to release His healing power through this blog. Currently, if you are reading this and have any illness like cancer, skin disease, or even small illness like fever and flu, today, Jesus wants to heal you. For those who have family members who are sick, and you have been praying for them to be healed, take heart child!

Now, I start with this prayer:
Dear God, today, I pray for those who are ill or have family members who are sick. You know their desires, Lord, how much they want to be healed. You, know their sufferings, Lord, how serious their condition is. Today, I take authority, that, in the name of Jesus, they are now free from all these illnesses. Jesus, right now, let it be by your blood and your stripes that they are going to be set free today. In Jesus name, let your will be done! I thank you Father for what you are going to do in their lives, for you are a God who never fails. Thank you Jesus for your healing power. In Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen.

No matter which country you are from, I strongly believe that Jesus is omnipresent and wants to heal you. So, pray now and let God take full control today:

For Jesus, impossible in nothing to Him, for, with Him, nothing is impossible!

You may leave healing reports through commenting on this blog or in my chatbox talk it out! And for the benefit of those who cannot understand Chinese, today’s post will be an exception: I will translate this post.

主啊,如果你拯救我,我将会真正治好了 ;如果你拯救我,我将会真正保存。我的赞美是单独为你 !
耶利米 17: 14

今天神想释放其愈合的权力,通过此博客的预感。目前,如果在阅读这篇文章,今天有任何疾病如癌症、 皮肤病或甚至小病,出现发烧及流感,耶稣要治愈你。目前,如果你有家人身病,我希望你会与我一起祈祷,让身边的家人因为耶稣的力量而全愈。

亲爱的上帝,今天,我祈求那些生病的人,或那些生病的家庭成员。你知道他们的欲望,主啊,他们是多么希望被治好啊。你知道他们的苦况,主,他们的情况有多严重。今天,我拥有权力,耶稣的名义它们现在免费从所有这些疾病。耶稣,现在,让它将由你的血液和您他们打算今天被释放的条纹。在耶稣的名字,让你做的意志 !我感谢你父亲什么如何在生活中,因为上帝永远不会失败。感谢您所拥有的力量。耶稣强大的名称在祈祷,阿门。




What a great king!

by Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A king inherits his position by the right of birth. Therefore, he expects to be served in the best way, to live in a great palace and wants to be given the honor. For some demanding kings, they will reprimand their subordinates for their wrongdoing.

A king should be expecting all these luxuries, but today, I want to talk about this king who abandoned all these luxuries just for us: Jesus.

Realizing the wicked generation rising on earth, God needs a solution: a sacrifice for all our sins:

'For the wages of sin is death...'
Romans 6:23

Because of our sins, we were separated from Him, and the more we allow wickedness to take root in our life, we will end up in Hell.

Therefore, due to God's great love upon His nations, as He loves His people too much, He decided to send a solution: His one and only Holy Son, Jesus, to pay the debt for our sins.

Isn't this crazy when the king could enjoy the glory and honor in heaven, but, instead, the king decides to suffer? Well, it is true. If there was no solution, we would not be granted any citizenship in heaven. Like in the old testament, the people had to sacrifice a burnt offering to redeem our sins, our sin offering was Jesus:

'The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'
John 10:10

'In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace'
Ephesians 1:7

The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
Hebrews 13:11-12

And so, now through Jesus, we can have freedom from the bondage of sin. All we need to do is to believe that Jesus died on the cross for us and say the sinners prayer and have faith that He is going to come through our lives:

'The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.'
Psalm 98:2 

Salvation is available for regardless of your age. It is never too late to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior:

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
2 Peter 3:9

'For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.”Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.'
2 Corinthians 6:2

What are you waiting for? Jesus wants to save you! Click HERE for guide to salvation prayer.

What a great king I serve! I will praise His name forever and ever! :D
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