The Power Of God

by Friday, February 17, 2017

“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”
Romans 6:4-7 (NASB)

When I stepped into the waters of baptism years ago, I thought I was stepping in to make a significant declaration to heaven, earth and hell that I am resolving to follow Christ all the days of my life, and that is all there is to it.

Chancing upon these verses, I realised baptism has so much more than just declaring that resolve.

When Jesus died on that Cross, He had to depend on the Father to raise Him from the dead. Now, we who believe Jesus is alive, also should believe that, that very same power that raise Jesus from the dead shall also empower us to walk in newness of life. We depend on this power to help us, and so we do not go by mere willpower.

We no longer desire to sin freely; we desire to live free from sin.

The same power that crushed the enemy is the same power that lives in me. What a comforting and powerful reality!

Loneliness - A Human Experience

by Tuesday, January 17, 2017

This is one of the many reasons why I love reading the bible - I saw it as different books of biographies. Ordinary men and women were used by God extraordinarily because they simply yielded their lives to God, living not for their own gains, but for something bigger than themselves. In every season, I could always turn to a particular book and find a man or woman having a relatable experience with me.

In recent times, I became aware of the deep loneliness I was feeling. To remove it previously, I turned to quick, unhealthy fixes. I tried looking for people to alievate this feeling. I kept a hectic schedule. The feeling would temporarily be shaken off, but later come back in bouts of pain. Sometimes, I just feel like going to a corner somewhere (not to lepak haha) to cry. If you know what I mean, virtual high-5. You are not alone.

I came to realise that loneliness is not something meant to ignored, brushed aside or rebuked (do not say, “I rebuke the feeling of loneliness” haha); it is a human experience we would all go through. Even Jesus felt this way.

I took the time to revisit the book of Jeremiah, and I found great comfort reading his story. He was called by God in his youth to be the prophet to a rebellious and idolatrous nation, Judah. A good half of his messages were about judgment and warnings of disasters. He was unpopular among most of his countrymen, but yet remain courageous and steadfast to speak God's messages.

As I read some of the commands God told Jeremiah to do as an object lesson / message for his nation, it caused me to look towards heaven a couple of times and go, “God, really? Why would you do that? It's crazy!” For instance, in chapter 16:1-2,

The word of the Lord also came to me saying, “You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place.”

If Jeremiah wished to have a family of his own (which I highly think so), that command was a tall order. He would never experience the joy of getting married and sharing intimacy with a significant partner. Emotionally, it was not a good place to be in. In many occasions, with tears, he brought his pain, sorrows and frustrations before God. There was no one present who understood what he was feeling. He was acquainted with loneliness.

Jeremiah found comfort as God promised a future restoration for his nation. Though God's promise was not fulfilled evidently in his lifetime, He rested in faith, knowing God would act whatever He had promised in future.

It is perfectly fine to be honest about the feelings of loneliness. The issue is whatever you do after being honest about it. Do you sink and wallow in hopelessness, or do you rise and look towards the God of hope?

I chose, and am choosing again, to look towards Jesus, the Man of sorrows who understands. I found tremendous strength, peace and assurance. I hope you will find yours too.
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