Blog Banners.001“I don’t think you really believe in what you’re saying.”

Joe Kim (not his real name) was telling me today regarding his experience before he met Christ. He was in high school when someone shared the gospel to him in Korea. He felt that his friend had just come from an evangelistic seminar and he was his friend’s first “project.”

Growing up in a Buddhist background, Joe wasn’t all that interested. In fact, he challenged his friend’s faith by telling him that “he really didn’t believe in what he was saying.”

When his friend asked how come he said that, Joe’s answer was, “Well, if you really believed in what you’re saying, it would show in how you live.” Joe loved his friend. In fact, they were often together, even in parties and drinking sprees. But he concluded that what his friend declared didn’t really work.

“If you believed in what you are declaring, you’re life would be different.”

Joe’s statement hit me. In fact, it hit me quite hard.
I began to look at my own life to see if what I believed lined up with how I lived my life.

Jesus addressed the crowds and told them this about the religious leaders of his time,

“Pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach.” (Matthew 23:3)
What they taught didn’t line up with how they lived.

Our lives are sometimes the only Bible our friends will read. We can say one thing but if our life exemplifies something else, it will be difficult to believe. Does this mean that our lives need to be perfect? By no means. However, the important thing is that we’re progressing towards what God intended for us to go towards – to become like Christ. And THAT would be entirely by His grace working itself out in our daily lives.

LORD, thank You for saving me by Your grace. It is never by personal merit or deserved achievement. As I grow in the knowledge of Your grace and salvation, allow me to grow in greater Christ-likeness and holiness. May my life be a story of someone who was undeserving yet unconditionally cared for, fully known yet fully loved. And for that, I am forever grateful. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Life is an interesting journey. And THAT is a huge understatement.

As you and I look back this year, you would notice that you may have gone through a series of ups and downs that may seem disconnected from each other.

What we don’t realize, God is the Master Orchestrator who weaves all the events in our lives to work out for our good and ultimately for His glory. (Romans 8:28)

Joseph’s life was an example.

He went from the Pit to the Prison to Potiphar’s house and to the Palace.

THE PIT

Joseph’s brothers hated him. And this was not for no reason. He did have a dream yet approached it with arrogance which ended up his brothers throwing him to the pit.

God allows us to get thrown into a pit to shave off a lot of our arrogance, self-centeredness and imperfections.

If you find yourself in the pit, embrace the process. God is shaping you for His purpose.

POTIPHAR’S HOUSE

It was a promotion.
Being a slave in Egypt was no easy task.
However, his position gave his a lot of freedom with privileges.

The Bible says, For promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south, but God is the Judge: He puts down one, and sets up another.” (Ps. 75:6-7)

When you are promoted, give God honor.
Enjoy it and yet remember who set you up to where you are now.
Or else, arrogance may creep in and you may find yourself in another pit.

THE PRISON

Joseph was thrown into prison because he was falsely accused.
Mrs. Potiphar wanted to get him in bed. But Joseph asked the crucial question.

“How can I do this wicked thing and sin against God?”

He was thrown into prison not because he was unrighteous. In fact, it was quite the opposite. He was thrown into prison because he was righteous.
It was a test.

You may find yourself in a position of testing not because of unrighteousness but precisely because you stood for righteousness. In your campus. In your office. In your home.

THE PALACE

Joseph didn’t see it coming. He was faithful to God and while in prison, he just kept serving quietly. He interpreted dreams and when the king needed someone to interpret his dreams, he stepped up to the plate.

God promoted him again. He became second in command over all of Egypt and ended up saving both Egypt and Israel from famine.

What the enemy meant for evil, God is able to turn it around for our good. (Genesis 50:20).

Indeed, God is a turn around specialist.

Going through our series ALL IN has been refreshingly convicting.

Sounds oxymoronic, I know.

Refreshing because God reminds me that  there’s nothing I can do to make Him love me more and nothing I can do to make Him love me less.

Convicting because it just exposes the rottenness of my own heart.  All of our hearts.

Toddlers are so cute.  I know that because I have one of them.  Ika nga, mana mana lang yan. Haha!

However, no matter how cute they are, sinful nature trumps our desire to do good – which is why we need a SAVIOR.  We can’t save ourselves.

No matter how cute kids are, they are still sinners – which makes them cute, little sinners.

The other day, Jenn went into the kitchen to check on our 2 year old Joaquin.  He was fiddling with the microwave oven.  When asked what he was doing, he steps back and with a guilty look, he says, “Nothing!”

When Jenn opened the microwave oven, she found our 9 week old Maltese (dog) inside.

What would cause a 2 year old bring destruction to a cute puppy?

I know. SIN.

Proverbs 14:12. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

We all have a propensity for it.

Our Savior needs to save us not just from sin but more so from ourselves.  Left to ourselves, we will mess up.  Left to ourselves, we will destroy ourselves.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:14)

What happened to Briggie (our dog)? Good thing Jenn came in the nick of time.  Or else… she would’ve have been ONE HOT DOG.