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.

 

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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.

The time is now. (Esther)

I was born for a time such as this.

Esther 4:14-17 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.


Background: In the book of Esther, Esther was a Jew who lived in the time of Persia. She was brought to the palace when the King was looking for a new queen. Esther won the favor of the king, and became the queen. Haman wanted the Jews to perish, but Mordecai went to persuade Esther to stand up for her people. Esther got her people to pray and fast and stand in one accord together with her. Esther rose up to the time, and made her request to the king and saved the Jews.

Esther is a woman, like all of us here. I pray that whenever I read the story about Esther, I will know that as a woman, I can do great things for God. 

So, here is 3 things I learnt from Esther: 
#1 We need to know our position when we serve. (Esther 2:9,17)

Esther 2:9, And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem. 

Esther knew what she needs to do when she was in the palace. She needed to be at the top, to be able to be the queen. Similarly for us, we need to know our position when we serve, and do what we are good at. We must not be envious of who other people is. We are all made uniquely by God. Can you imagine what will happen if Esther was being envious of others?
In Ephesians 4:16 “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Esther knew her position in the palace, and she gave her best when she served. Similarly, we need to know our position, and work together with one another so that God’s glory can come upon us. When we do that, people will begin to see God’s love in us.

In Esther 2:17 “The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

Esther won the favor of the king and people by knowing her position.

2. We need to recognize the season of our people (Esther 4:14-16, Esther 5-6)
Esther 4:14-16 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!””
Like how Esther recognized the season her people were in, and she stood with them. We need to learn to hear our people and have a greater heart to empathize with our people. 
So what do I need to hear?
H – heart: we need to hear the things on their hearts that has been weighing them down.

E – experiences: Everyone goes through different experiences in life, and we need to hear the things that people have gone through in the life.

A – agonized: We always think that we understand the pain in someone’s life, but we never really do. It’s like giving birth. I may have given birth before, but I will never know the kind of pain you have gone through, because we are not them.

R – rejoice: we need to learn to celebrate others.

I am chosen by God today to serve the next generation. Do not despise what we are doing because the children will be the leader of tomorrow. The ceilings we are building today are the floor for the next generation. Help can always arise from another place if we fail to hear the cry of our people, but we need to know that God has personally chosen each of us here today, to make a difference by learning to hear the cries our people.

Lastly,

3. We need to stand in one accord with our leaders. (Esther 4:15)

Esther 4:15-17 “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.”

When Esther ask the people of the Jews to fast and pray, they did. Sometimes, we might not see the purpose of doing what our leaders ask us to do. During those times, can we still stand in one accord with our leaders?

We need to know and believe that our leaders are God’s appointed. At the walls of Jericho, the people might not understand why Joshua march around it 7 times, but they stood with him. It is during those times that we have to ask ourselves are we able to stand in one accord with the dreams and vision that God has placed in our leader. Lets me enlarge my heart today, and trust that God has placed them above me for a reason.

A Father’s letter.

I think growing up, I have come to terms with being unable to receive love from my father. As he was too busy working hard for our future, I lost his attention and I have never stop craving for this love. I watched my friends having fun with their father, and in my heart, I asked myself where is my father, exactly? I wanted to look upon the other person in my family, my brother. But as much as I wanted too, he drew a line with me, he was more of a stranger living at the same house with me. I never managed to get into his heart, as he never did for me. Despite wanting restoration, I have almost given up on trying because the heartaches that came with it was too much to bear. I had friends whom he would look after, and slowly it dawned on me, that he would have never been the same towards me. Later on in years, I stopped searching for that love because I wanted to be kinder to myself, until my uncle came into my life. His life with me, though was a short mere 3 months, before he passed on, it was a love that came like a father. But all good things always come to an end, and when he left, it took me 2 years to resonate with it, to be set free, and to forgive myself and forgive him. Not so because he did anything wrong, yet somehow I blamed him for leaving me in this cold hearted world. For having it, and then losing it again. And it took 2 years to heal my emotional hurts, and two years to accept myself once again. That God loved me, and I have to love myself. And yet this healing process is a constant process, not a one time off process. And in the midst of this, a Father’s letter came to me, like a wind, flooding my heart with His tangible presence.

My precious daughter,

Before the day that you were formed, I have known you. I have called you by name, and I have never cease to stop loving you. As much as you were hurting through the times of hardships, and fighting to live, survive off your depression, I was there collecting all your tears. The nights that you were having insomnia, then hurting yourself, I was there wiping your tears and telling you to be strong. I have loved you that I would still bear that cross for one of you. I am your Father. I know what you need before you asked me, but all this trials was to make you stronger, so you could look to Me. I love you my precious daughter more than the gems of this world.

From: You Heavenly Father.

An encounter of such could have made my heart flutter over and over again. It reminds me of what love that this Father could have given me. Days when I feel not good enough, I know that I am enough for Him. I don’t hate myself, because I know He loves me. That even though the earthly people has ceased to be there for me, people who just choose to leave because it was easier than sticking around, my Father in heaven would still choose me. He was there with me in the comfort, when I am weak. Hearing from God, telling me that I do not have to be strong all the time, because He will never leave me, nor forsake me, even when the world caved in down on me, was the best thing that I could have known. That this God, this Father, was more than what the world could offer to me. When running around the park, He would have used this world as His canvas to paint something, Something that would marvel and capture my heart. To one, it might be a lavish image, but my Father know what would just satisfy me. Neither silver nor gold, nor the treasures of this world would have satisfy me more that a beautiful sunset that He have drawn for me. And along it came the love and tangible presence. 

And the battles ahead might get tough upon signing up for Trinity College when bible School ends, but I know in my heart that His love and grace can sustain me. And here I am, although imperfect, but just standing in awe of His great love, feeling thankful every single day, that this life not my own, but His. And I am safe in His hands. A pilgrimage of this world, knowing and being assured that hanging on to His love is the most precious thing to thank God for. And in all thankfulness, and a heart of gratitude, thanking God for Him who would choose to die for one of me, so that I could have a commune with Him. So that I could share His great love with people around me. So now, for me to live is Christ. Thank You Jesus.

A citizen of Heaven.

To love is to see the face of God.

It’s been 3 weeks since school started. And here I am, in awe and amazement of what my God has done through it all. From feeling the surreality of being in school, to realizing that everyday, I want to fall in love with Him more, that passion was indeed my wake up call, and I need nothing to keep me awake. And knowing that to be here at this place, I laid down my all to follow Christ. And through this 3 weeks of struggles, I saw and experience much more than I could, walking under God’s grace and glimpse of heaven. And I still stand amazed at the King that I love. Earlier this year, I resolute to put the cross before me, to let God’s love manifest out of my life, which I had both terribly failed and pass exceedingly.

I met many people from all walks of life that laid down their life for His cause. The stereotype of thinking that the Caucasian were more daring, and the Asians were actually more timid came to a halt. Each individual faced a battle that no one was able to comprehend or understand until you take the time to sit down with each individual, to hear their stories, see their fears and realize that they are after all still a beautiful human. And their imperfections, fears and struggles are what made them more beautiful.The most beautiful thing that happen through the pass week was when I passed a card to this girl, who needed just that encouragement, and she broke down in tears, telling me that I was God’s answered prayer to her. God is amazing, that He used a broken vessel like me, struggling in my own deep thoughts that no one could penetrate to love His people. I was struggling in having my own resolve of my failures.

My failures of being unable to compose myself when I should, and breaking down in the midst. My failure of knowing that I didn’t trust the heart of my leader, whom I should have known, would protect and love me. How many times had he been there for me yet I still did not have the courage to open up my heart and myself to him. How many times had he stood in that gap, yet I still did not trust his heart. And what breaks me most, was knowing I doubted someone I should never have. The whole world may walk out on me one day, knowing what a mess I was, but he would never because he saw what a mess I was and still fill in those gaps and became a dad to me. It eventually awoke up my darkened heart to the things around me. That the pieces of my missing school life came to fit in. And that God had set me free in this 3 weeks.The delusions that I had friends who love me, was there all along. I realized I hated my own past. When I trusted, love and was vulnerable to people around me, and the amount of times it led me to suicide, to hurting myself, to having depression and where I hid away from the world. That those emotional abuse that I faced was not gone, I just hardened my heart and live in this delusion. And in the end, I never had the chance to face it, unable to walk away from the haunting nightmares and killed me a million times over. Those insomnia that was caused up at a later part, I was unable to resolved it. And eventually I was held captive. And I hurt people around me unknowingly and I couldn’t stop. 

But in this 3 weeks, God set me free from what held me captive. I was able to go forward to apologize for things. Not as confident as I thought I could. But I tried, with the time and space I needed. I came to a resolve with God and myself that Christ is enough, and Christ has set me free and forgiven me off all the things in my life. That I was broken and my chains had been set free. God is faithful. I thought my life would have been the same, but in 3 weeks, I have tasted and seen the faithfulness of my God. And what heart could hold the weight of His love. The more i know Him, the more I realize how far I am from being more like Him, and how much I have fallen short from this grace of God. That my life was a vessel to God. 

And I’m looking forward to a great 7 months of school where even in all my fail attempts to be more like Him, all I want was still to let God’s love manifest out of my life to people around me, and let His power and anointing touch the people who need Him.

And then I will run away,

To a place that I could love His people,

And share the glory of my King,

Where social status don’t matter,

Just because I know I’m a citizen of Heaven,

And nowhere else.