A love worth giving.

” You will never amount to much no matter where you serve in…”

As a non believer back then, who wanted to contribute a little bit more to the church I wanted to call home, this was not something I have expected to hear. And definitely not something that was easy to comprehend and be healed from.

Why then, did you attempt to show me God’s love if you do not believe in me?

I think many times in my walk with God in the later years, I was unable to fully heal from the damage that was placed on me even before I know Him. The ultimate Savior who paid the price for me to know Him. Who loves me and believes in me more than I did in myself. In the ministry that I passionately served in, I knew in my heart there was a stumbling block, right there.

” I see you are doing so many things for God. You signed up for almost everything available, and you are always there for people. What could ever bring you down?”

This exact question became the stumbling block in my heart. I needed to constantly remind myself that serving God, reaching out to people, going to Bible school, attending church weekly was not so I could prove to the ones who told me I could not amount to much. The constant probing in my heart that cripple me was, “are you serving with the right condition and attitude, or do you just have something you want to prove to the world?”

After knowing Christ for the past 3.5years, and serving in a ministry for the past 2.5years, there were still moments in life, that I wished it did not hurt to love Him, to be broken down to pieces, to learn to have a humble and contrite while serving. That my serving was unto Him, and not unto people. But without this brokenness, I would never have empathy for the people around me.

Going out into the world, to see the world, experience the world have taught me much more than any books could ever tell me. That in the bible, when it said love is still the greatest of it all (1 Corinthians 13:13), it really meant that love is the only thing that have the ability to change and move heart. The only one that can still choose to embrace people despite all the times they have failed you, disappoint you or hurt you.

Love is seeing God in every individuals you meet, and seeing Jesus in them because everyone is made in the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Love is putting aside our skin colors, culture, race and custom, so as to recognize that we are the citizen of heaven. Love has a new meaning to me now, that in all my encounters with people, I don’t love people for who they are, but He who lives in me. If God can send Himself down on the cross for me, a love filled with so much passion and pain, then who am I to withhold love to others.

That’s the thing about traveling. I found my refuge in it. Travel became my best friend and not only has it helped heal my heart which was once torn to pieces, it has also opened my eyes to new things and made me a better person. Not only for love relationship but it applies to every disappointment I faced in my life. A good Friend who left me, someone who passed on, a dream that died, stepping out to travel changes perspectives and seeing God in every Situation. It helped me love a little more.

The NLT bible best speaks of this verse 1 Corinthians 13:2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

If there is only one thing that I can be good at, then let me be the best at loving others. Humans expect something in return for anything and everything, they put into the world. Especially when it comes to relationships. These are dandelions. Stop loving only to feel love. This is not love. Love whole human just to love them. And don’t ask them to love you in return. Some you love may not love you in return. Some may take advantage of the love you give and you may still revoke it at any time.

But keep loving them.
Without expectations.
Give, as He has given.
Drink first then pour out freely.
Thats when we will discover a love worth giving.

 

The cost to follow.

Without God, we cannot.
Without us, He will not.
                                                                           Augustine

Freely receive, freely give.

Traveling has always played a huge role in my life, and recently the new found joy of heading out for missions, and spreading the gospel of Christ. To offer all that I have up to the altar, because all this possession was never mine to begin with. Being out in the field, as much as I can in the recent times, I realized that the major part of being able to go out there was because of the love I have freely receive by the people who is in my life who never fails to love, edify, give and bless me. They have given me courage to lose sight of the shore as I venture out into the ocean. The manifest of God’s love into my life is through their time and constant prayer.

Heading out to the mission field allow my heart to come alive. The devil has placed in me constant self doubts, self hate, and negative self image every time I am prepared to head out, which further assure me what I desire to do is actually is actually in God’s plan. Yet the price to pay for leaving and seeking God was not always easy. There were things that I was forced to let go, and things I had to give up, so as to not lose the chance to seek God first. There were times when I have to learn to let go, but not doing it until I have a battle with God. And like Jacob, perhaps the pain in the hip socket will be the thing that always remind us the faithfulness of God.

The cost to follow will never be easy, but what we have done for Christ will never be in vain. 4 years ago, when I became a Christian, I paid a price of being abandoned by people who I held dearly in my heart. People who left eventually when they could not understand. Yet, this was a price I was willing to pay, because till today, Christ has still been the best thing for me. There were moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have a feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well. Without sadness, there would be no joy. Without suffering, there would be no compassion.

Afterwards, I had to let go of a toxic relationship which led to betrayal, and hurts. Yet the comfort of letting go back then was know that Jesus has intertwined. The comfort of walking out then and healing from the broken relationship is that God has saved me from even more heartbreaks. It took months to heal, and even days when there was too much uncertainty in walking out. But eventually His big hands have covered me, and there’s joy in just traveling, seeing the world and sharing His love. And some day, this special guy will come through my serving, holding the same verse as me.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a bondservant (love slave) of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle (an envoy of God’s word), set apart (separated from comfort, lifestyle, sin, failure and pride), for the gospel (call) of God.

Many are called by God, yet only few are chosen. The ones who are set apart are the people who are willing to rise and be separated for Jesus. To be chosen, we need to consecrate our lives, and there is a price to pay. Abraham had to be separated from:

  1. Home country; our comfort.
  2. Father; our custom.
  3.  Nephew Lot; worldly.
  4. Ishmael; mistakes.
  5. Isaac; pride.

The cost to pursue God lies in seeking Him first. And till today, giving freely whether it is possessions, time, and love for the cause of God is something I have never forgotten to do so. Before I am working adult, I am first a child of God. While growing up, people have said that I am different. I do not fit in anywhere but I think it is okay to be different now. I do not have everything, but all I have will always be found at the altar. The spirit of the world has come, but it has nothing on me. And like Romans 1:1 has said, one day, I want to stand in front of the throne, and be someone like Paul, who has given up everything to seek Him first. My priority in life has always been Jesus. He is no fool to give what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose. Christ is my reward, always.

 

 

2017, soaring w J.

In every season, You are still God

In 2014 (1st year), I wanted to learn to love myself, accept myself, and believe that God is still not done in my life.

In 2015 (2nd year), I wanted to learn to trust others, stand with others and fight with others.

In 2016 (3rd year), I wanted God’s love to manifest out of my life, into the life of others.

In 2017 (4th year), I wanted to recognize the seasons in life, and know clearly i was born for a time such as this.

“4” speaks of creation, separation of night and day, and marking off the seasons. 

And, “Seasons” in the hebrew is “Moed” which meant “appointed times”.

In Psalms 107, “oh, and that men would give thanks to the Lord for His grace”, has this verse appearing 4 times, after 4 different seasons. The garden of Eden has a river that parted into 4 other rivers which represents 4 different seasons. (Genesis 2:10-14).

This 2017 will be my forth year in church, committing my whole life to God, and set in a whole pursuit of Him. And amazingly, I was reading the book of Esther, and having some deep revelations of her life in the story. And the interesting thing that got to me in this morning devotion, was the fact of what the number “4” meant in the bible.The 4 witnesses of God on earth are miracles, wonders, signs and gift of the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 2:4) and 4 gospel accounts of Jesus’s life ministry, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John has gone through 4 different seasons that has a unique aspect of sacrifice and ministry.

The number 17 meant – overcoming the enemy and complete victory.

1 Corinthians 13:13, has 17th mentioned of the word love. And in that verse, it wrote, “the greatest of this is love” and by this love it meant in John 3:16, God’s agape and sacrificial love that have overcome the evil with goodness.

True Christians, however, will gain the ultimate victory over God’s adversaries when he resurrects them back to life (Revelation 15:2; 20:4). One of the major themes of the Day of Atonement, which occurs in the seventh Hebrew month on the tenth day, is the binding of Satan (see Revelation 20). Thus, 10 plus 7 equal the number 17, which testifies to Christ’s perfect overcoming of Satan.

In Romans 8:35 the apostle Paul asks a simple question which is “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” . He extends his question a little more by asking if the following seven things could separate us, which are tribulation, persecution, distress, nakedness, famine, the sword or any other danger. He then tells us ten things that CANNOT get between our God and us, which are life, death, principalities, powers, angels, things present or to come, depth, height or anything created. Thus we have 7 + 10 = 17, representing a Christian’s perfect and eternal standing with God through Christ.

Could it be, that God have appointed me in this season to overcome the devil, through my standing with Christ? 2017, I am looking forward to soar with God. Looking forward to go on missions in the Philippines, more moments of standing in the gap between the living and the dead. To grow in capacity and understanding of Christ.

She loved.

I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.

When school started, I told myself to put my self out on the line, to know people, and to love people. To everyone else, be a listener, hear their dreams, fight with them, and live it with them. Hear every stories that I get too, and more importantly, be a friend. And that was one of the toughest job that I have ever done, and been through. I did not exactly know how to love another. I have been so guarded, so hurt, so depressed, that most of the times, relating to others require a huge amount of faith from me. It’s never easy to let down my guards and tell myself that I am going to be safe. But everything that I have today, I fought for it. I fight each day, trying to be better, not for anyone else, but me. Walking into a big crowd with unknown people always scare me, that at times, the unknown silence fall right into me. 

I don’t need a big pulpit, nor the limelight. I was happy being me, doing the unseen things, and living my life the way I thought to be right. I fought hard to be here, and I love the way I am. Even though there were times that I failed, God did not. He sustained me, and gave me the courage to fight on. Even when walking to an unknown. There were many times that I hated the girl in the mirror, but every battle that I fought, I made sure to come out stronger and better. To know that the person in me, was more than who I am. It is the Lord working in my heart, the Lord who said I was enough. 

Over the past 6 months, I have heard many stories, I stood with many people for their dreams. And it blessed my heart each time I could be a blessing to the people around me. And that’s what is important. Elevating the dreams of others, standing in agreement and living out their life with them. It has always been enough for me to be able to give a little portion of my life to someone whom I know will appreciate it. I have clearly put my heart out on the line, living out the verse 1 Corinthians 9:22 and trusting that healing and mending would come upon me. And God always did come true for me. And I thank God that His love have overwhelmed my heart, that I can have it outpouring to the life of others. 

At the end of the day, all I want is to hear You say well done. Just a smile from You would suffice. 

Still it longs to be near You. (Japan)

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

If everything we have been through forms a memory in our head, then this trip to Kumamoto has formed a memory in my heart. A memory that can never be erased. I felt so ever strongly about this place that I have grown to love, and it was hard to leave when my heart wished I could do more. When a friend released a word of knowledge into my life today, the question was,” why wait? what is holding you back when you already clearly know what you want?” When God is with me, I can do it through Christ who strengthens me.

Even though, this prophetic word spoke the desire of my heart clearly, I know that leaving would require preparation. Preparation for the things I need to do, and equipped to do the greater things. That as Paul knows that all he is going through was a time of preparation before he was thrown into jail, so I know that all this is a preparation before I went out to do the great works for Him. Paul did not have an easy life on his way to Rome, and despite having the choice to leave, Paul stayed on to serve the Lord with this course.

And I do, I desire to serve the Lord like Paul did. That at the end of every hard pressed day, perplexed day, I would still choose the Lord. And trust that the Lord did make a way for me the nothing in this world could make my heart waver. My cry and my heart desire was always to be near the Lord. It is definitely not easy to hang on till the day dreams come to pass, but I know this desire and passion I have for the Lord will never burn away again. Because His great love has always compelled me to want to do more for Him. That my life should not be just stuck in the social norm of studying and working, getting married and having kids, and raising my kids right. There are people out there that needs Him.

That my dreams might get crushed because people do not understand why I will still choose to leave over and over again, but I will uphold my dreams tightly in my heart. Because even though, Jesus knew it was hard to head to the cross, Paul knew it was hard to get thrown into the prison, one thing we all knew was that, it is the right thing to do. And if it is the right thing to do, then go, go and hear of the Lord’s word.

And unknowingly 1 corinthians 9:19-23 became the verse for my life.

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Because I clearly know that Jesus loves people, and if I want to be close to God, I have to love His people. All of His people and my desire grew stronger to head out to love people, because it will be the only place where I won’t have any restraints or fear. And the only place where I can love people fervently and draw close to God. When others commented that I became quieter in class, it’s because I know that whatever I have been through can never be verbalized with just words. I will be back soon, Japan. Real soon. And I am excited to see revival sparking in Japan.

Overcoming fear with faith

`“Overcoming what frightens you the most strengthens you the most.”

In the book of Daniel 6, the story talks about Daniel in the lion den. Daniel was betrayed by the administrators in the King’s courts. They were envy of him and set out to device a plan and got king Darius to sign a decree that everyone could only worship the King. When Daniel heard of it, he went home to pray three times a day on his knees and give thanks to God. In Daniel 6:16-22, Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. However, when morning came, Daniel was found unscathed and the lion mouth was shut.

Our faith in God is our confidence when faced with fears
Daniel had a strong faith in God, and his confidence in Jesus was unwavering. In face with his fears of going into the lion’s den, Daniel knew that God would be with him. He had the confidence that God would never leave of forsake him. In the bible, Psalms 118:6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Daniel’s faith in God was not limited to just his circumstances.

Before I went to Japan for the disaster relief, many people have been asking me why would I risk my life in an earthquake zone for others. At that point of time, I was really afraid too. Yet I held on to my faith and confidence in Christ. I had a peace within me, that everything was going to be fine, just like how Daniel had peace within him even in the lion’s den knowing that if God is for us, who can be against us. And it turn out that I am fine. 

Our faith in God is our weapon in face with fears
Our faith is like light and our fear is like darkness. Just like how only light can drive out darkness, only our faith in God can cast out fear. And this faith in God is our is the weapon to cast out all fears that the demons place in us. The definition of F.E.A.R is false evidence appearing real. And only having that faith in God could remove our fears.

The verse Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. 

The definition of shadow:a dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body intercepting light

Even in the midst of the valley of shadow of death, there will still be some intercepting light. And the intercepting light is the light of Christ. The faith that we have in Christ is like the weapon that can cast out our fear. The intercepting light is there is the same as the rod and the staff – It is used both for guiding and defending the flock. Therefore having faith in God is one of the most powerful weapon we can have against our fear.

During the trip to Japan, we were supposed to carry debris down a 11th storey building which was completely split into half by the earthquake. In order to get to the lift, we had to cross this 30cm hole. As I looked down, I could see the ground level. And I was shivering in fear. However, I decided to say a prayer, and take a step of faith to believe that my God will protect me. And this faith I had, became a weapon for me. Soon, I was no longer deceived by the circumstances I was going through. I conquered my fear of crossing the gap, and it made the job afterwards much easier.

Our faith in God is our confidence and weapon against our fear. If we hold on to this faith and use it against our fears, we will soon realize that there isn’t any fear that could get to us. Because Jesus is the alive, and if He is with us, who can stand against us? Daniel’s faith in Jesus eventually became his confidence and weapon in the lion’s den, and God delivered him from the wilderness.

He wrote in my heart (Japan).

201Before I went to Japan, so many people has been questioning me over this trip. There were so many noises that flood through my head.

Why are you going?
Why are you risking your life for people you don’t even know?
Why are you heading to a disaster zone, and being unsure if you could come back?

This were the common questions that I have heard throughout before heading over to Japan. It set me thinking real hard. Why did I go? But before explaining why did I go, I could clearly tell you what I have gained from going to this trip.

I have gained/learned..

  • meaningful friendships with people all around Japan who came to serve without a second doubt. The 1% Christians from all around Japan came to help. They connected with Kumamoto Harvest Church, and came so willingly to serve their own people. This are the people who must have love God and His people so deeply to travel 16 hours to meet the needs of their people.
  • the grace of God even more deeply. Those things that we do the past few days would not have been achieved without the grace of God. The strength and power of God by overcoming our fears, the heaviness and the tiredness over the early days, and late nights.
  • of humility. That laying your life down at the cross is doing the simple and basic things of life. That no matter what your position is, it is just a title. That as pastors in different churches, many of them could just clean the toilets and washed the feet of the people who lost their home.
  • of what one simple action could do. What giving a sweet to a 93 years old lady could do. How that one hug, and one touch could do for her. And how all this turn into the appreciation of what my Lord has for me.
  • the joy of serving God’s people. That I always feel so alive serving God’s people and His kingdom. That even simple task like cleaning and cooking for them could have made me laughed, and satisfied.
  • and just being there to meet the needs of the people. Knowing that in all things, God has a greater purpose for me.

and more than that, I have a new deep desire to start a children ministry in Japan, and to reside there. So many children that needs Japan are over there. I love the warm country and its people.

Why did I go?
Because God has called me too. He called me out of the darkness into His marvelous light, so I could shine for the glory. I was scared too. But somehow, the peace of God has always surrounded my heart, and I know that I was going to be safe. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” This was the verse that got me through all the times that I shivered in fear, in lost, in unknowing. Even the times when I was scared, I knew God was with me. He was and had gone before me. And all that I feel about Japan could not have been expressed out in just words. He wrote this words, visions and dreams in my heart. Japan, you helped me do what was deemed impossible with man, but only with God. And through this, I drew closer to the heart of God. 

私は日本に行く前、非常に多くの人々がこの旅の上に私を疑問視されています。私の頭をあふれさせるように多くのノイズがありました。

なぜ、あなたは行くの?
なぜあなたは、あなたも知らない人のためにあなたの人生を危険にさらしていますか?
なぜあなたは被災地に向かって、あなたが戻ってくることができればわからないされていますか?

これは私が日本に渡って向かう前に全体で聞いたことがある一般的な質問でした。これは、実際のハード考えて私を設定します。なぜ私は行きましたか?しかし、私は行かなかった理由を説明する前に、私は明らかに私がこの旅行に行くから得ている何を言うことができます。

私が学ん/得ています..

  • 第二の疑いもなく仕えるために来たすべての日本の人々と有意義な友情。全国各地から1%のクリスチャンが助けに来ました。彼らは熊本ハーベスト教会に接続され、自国民に奉仕するように喜んで来ました。これには、深く愛神と神の民を持っている必要があり、それらの人々のニーズを満たすために16時間を旅行する人々です。
  • より一層深く神の恵み。我々は、過去数日間行うそれらのものは、神の恵みなしに達成されなかったであろう。強さとパワー神の私たちの恐怖を克服することで、重さと早期日間の疲労感、そして夜遅くまで。
  • 謙遜の。クロスであなたの人生を敷設は人生のシンプルで基本的なことをやっていること。それは関係なく、自分の位置が何であるか、それだけのタイトルではありません。それは別の教会で牧師として、それらの多くは、ちょうどトイレをきれいにし、彼らの家を失った人たちの足を洗っ可能性があります。
  • 1つの単純なアクションは何ができるかの。どのような93歳の女性に甘いを与えることを行うことができます。どのように1抱擁、ワンタッチは彼女のために行うことができます。そして、どのようにこのすべては私の主は私のために持っているものの鑑賞に変わります。
  • 神の民にサービスを提供する喜び。私はいつも神の民と彼の王国を提供するので、生きている感じています。洗浄、彼らのために調理などあっても、簡単な作業では、私は笑っなされたものであり、満足している可能性があります。
  • ちょうど人々のニーズを満たすためにそこにいます。すべての事に、神は私のためのより大きな目的を持っていることを知ります。

そしてそれ以上に、私は日本の子供たちのミニストリーを開始すると、そこに存在する新しい深い欲求を持っています。日本を必要とするので、多くの子どもたちがあそこにあります。私は暖かい国とその人々を愛しています。

なぜ私は行きましたか?
神はあまりにも私を呼んでいるので。彼は彼の素晴らしい光に闇の私を呼ばれるので、私は栄光のために輝くことができます。私はあまりにも怖がっていました。しかし、どういうわけか、神の平和がいつも私の心を囲まれている、と私は私が安全であるとしていたことを知っています。ヨシュア1:9わたしはあなたに命じたではありませんか。強く、勇敢です。恐れることはありません;どこにいてもあなたがたの神、主があなたとなりますために、落胆することはありません。 “これは私が無知で、失われた中で、恐怖に震え常にを通して私を得た詩だった。私は怖がっていたとしても倍、私は彼がいた。神が私と知っていたし、私の前に行っていた。そして、私は日本について感じているすべては言葉だけにして表現されていませんでした。彼は私の心にこの言葉、幻や夢を書いた。日本、あなたは私が行う助け何が人間では不可能と思われたが、唯一の神と。そして、これを通じて、私は神の心に近づいていきました。