BEHAVE TO BELONG

I was in a meeting with our LifeBox Executive Director, Joseph Bonifacio when a young man popped in our meeting.

He was downcast and in a forlorn mood.

He is usually jolly and cheerful but this day, he was not his usual self.

He then pours out his heart and tells us about the struggles he had been going through.  He was pretty disgusted with himself, feeling a lot of guilt for offending God with what he had done.

He further explains that he has been trying to control all that he had struggled in the past. He gave his life to Christ a year ago and have been victorious so far.  Until that week.

I told him that while it is saddening and heartbreaking that what happened happened, I also wasn’t very surprised.  Suppressing, bottling up and controlling … all that is quite hard to sustain. Sooner or later, we will implode.  Trying to measure up and keep the standards are failures waiting to happen.

He said something that caught my attention, “I have to make it up to Him (God).

I can’t tell you how much I’ve said that or thought that throughout my Christian life… and failed.  Trying to make it up to God is not only nonviable, much less unsustainable.

Jesus said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

From our salvation to our sanctification, He did it for us. Nothing to add. Nothing to append.

Tetelestai. Done. Completed. Accomplished. Executed. Fulfilled.

While we have received our salvation through the gospel of grace, we then hope to achieve our sanctification through the gospel of performance.

Eeeeeeennnnkkkk.  X Factor judges push the buttons to show 3 X’s.

We have been deceived to believe that “if you behave, you belong.”  Nothing can be farther from the truth.

As the famous hymn goes…

“‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.”

Truly, His grace is amazing.

DAY 2: ONE FOR THE BOOKS

Haka Dance by EN New Zealand

World record or no world record, day 2 is one for the books.

Efren Penaflorida started the afternoon session.  So unassuming.  So humble.  If I get a fourth of his humility, I think I’d be a much better man.

  • Spoke about paying it forward.
  • “The hero in you is waiting to be unleashed.”
  • “If you see a need, just do something about it.”
  • “I tried to SEEK revenge for all that I’ve been thru until the Lord FOUND me.”

Pastor Yesupadan was up next to share his story of being an untouchable being touched by the Lord and His gospel.  What an inspiring testimony.  God is truly in the business of changing lives.  People who tried to stone him eventually became the elders in the church he was pastoring.

  • “We have a responsibility to carry this gospel to every tribe, every nation, every people…”

– Jackie Chan (not his real name) was engaging, inspiring and powerful.  ‘Nuff said…

  • “I had no money, but I had faith.”

– Darlene Zschech.  Heart of worship oozing.

  • “The worshipper in you needs to rise.”
  • “We can’t get too good at what we do.  Stay hungry for God.”
  • “We were never designed to RECEIVE glory.  We were designed to GIVE glory.”
  • “We don’t want to raise up celebrities.  We want to make disciples.”
  • “If you can’t sing well, just sing loud.”

– Amazing Grace in 50plus languages was nothing short of amazing.

– Breaking the Guinness World Record was an added bonus.  Nice to be part of it.

– Worship rocked – literally.  I thought the upper room was going to merge with level one.