BESIDES GOING TO HEAVEN, WHAT ELSE DID JESUS ACCOMPLISH FOR US?

When we don’t understand the worth of something, we don’t value it as much.

We’ve been given an incredible gift. The more we realize what we’ve received, the greater the appreciation we will have. The following are the 4 things Jesus accomplished for us through His sacrifice in Calvary.

1. PEACE WITH GOD.

Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The peace Paul speaks about is the fact of peace more than the feeling of peace. 

We were at enmity with God. We were at odds with God. Some may say, “I feel peaceful.” That’s true. But you may not necessarily be at peace with God. 

It’s like sitting on a lounge chair, drinking your mango shake on the deck of the Titanic. You feel good for now but the boat is about to sink. It’s a temporary illusion.

But when we come to faith in Christ, we are reconciled to the Father through Him. We now have peace with God.

The peace with God is the fact.
The peace of God is the feeling.

The peace with God is judicial.
The peace of God is experiential.

The peace with God is objective.
The peace of God is subjective.

2. PRIVILEGED ACCESS

Romans 5:2 says, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand…”

Dr. Kenneth Wuest, a New Testament scholar, describes the word access as a person having the privilege of having an audience with the king because he has the right set of clothing.

You and I can’t enter the presence of the King of kings without the right clothing. Our personal clothing is like filthy rags (Is. 64:6). But thankfully, He has given us the robes of righteousness (Is. 61:10) when we surrendered our lives to Jesus. 

As a result, we have unlimited access to the Father through Jesus.

He has given us the keycard to keep going back to the presidential suite because of this privileged access. 

3. PERSPECTIVE OF THE FUTURE

Romans 5:2 says in the JB Philips translation, “Through him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future.”

We have a happy certainty of the glorious things God has for us. Hope is a confident expectancy and anticipation of that which we have yet to see.

When we see Him face to face, we will no longer be marred by sin, but freed from the corruption of our depravity and released from bondage of our sinful nature.

As Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic (paralazyed neck down) beautifully puts it,


“I still can hardly believe it. I, with shrivelled, bent fingers, atrophied muscles, gnarled knees, and no feeling from the shoulders down, will one day have a new body, light, bright, and clothed in righteousness—powerful and dazzling. Can you imagine the hope this gives someone spinal-cord injured like me? Or someone who is cerebral palsied, brain-injured, or who has multiple sclerosis? Imagine the hope this gives someone who is manic-depressive. No other religion, no other philosophy promises new bodies, hearts, and minds. Only in the Gospel of Christ do hurting people find such incredible hope.”

4. PURPOSE TO OUR SUFFERING

Romans 5:3-4 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

Was Paul out of his mind? Why would we rejoice when there’s suffering?

The only reason is when we understand that there is a purpose to the pain. We are averse to it. None of us wake up in the morning asking God for a painful day. When we’re going through suffering, our initial prayer is for God to take us out of it.

But Paul says that there is a purpose to the pain.

Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and You are our potter. All of us are the work of Your hand.”
 
Will you let your Father, the Potter, shape you?
Will you allow pain to shape us or break us?
 
Having a relationship with Christ is not an escape from trials but a guarantee that those trials have a purpose.
 
May we be reminded of these that Jesus accomplished in our salvation.

 

 

THE KIND OF LEADERSHIP NEXT GENERATION LEADERS LOOK FOR

I was speaking with a professor in one of the top business schools in our city one morning. Our discussion was on how times have changed in terms of leadership.

In the 70’s, 80’s and towards the 90’s, leadership was about STRATEGY, STRUCTURE and SYSTEMS. He came from the hippie generation and because that was the cultural element then, structures and systems were key to lead people who highlighted free expression towards an extreme extent.

But as the millennium shifted, things have changed. Harvard Business Review had an article on the changes in the leadership style that is needed to rally the millennial generation.

As my professor friend emphasized, it’s no longer STRATEGY, STRUCTURES and SYSTEMS but PURPOSE, PEOPLE and PROCESS.

Does this mean systems and structures are not important? Of course not. But what this means is that the way we lead the younger generation has to shift as well.

People over process.

More than top-down leadership, we employ inspirational leadership. More than positional, it is now collaborative.

May God give us wisdom as we lead others in this day and age.

WHEN DEATH BRINGS GAIN

Blog Banners.001From the moment we’re born, we consistently strive to achieve some type of significance in our family, school, workplace, community, and society.

Rewards are given to those who excel – medals, trophies, certificates, plaques. And rightly so for hard work, time, and resources have been poured into gaining them.

I was in high school; one particular semester, I made it to the honor roll. I can tell you that didn’t happen very often. And that’s a huge understatement. But that particular semester, I got a medal for getting second honor. But more significantly, when I got home, I got a very special chocolate cake from my mom. Those who know me, chocolate cakes are far more valuable for me than a medal.

Gains and achievements bring joy and fulfillment. While this is so, Paul challenges us to think long term and to view things from an eternal perspective.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21 (ESV)

For if to live is something else, then to die is a loss. “How can it be a loss?” you might say.

I’m glad you asked.

If to live is gaining wealth, then to die is a loss because we can’t bring anything to the next life.
If to live is succeeding in your career, then to die is a loss.
If to live is getting married, then to die is a loss.
If to live is purchasing your dream house, then to die is a loss.

But if to live is Christ, then to die is gain. How come?
Because this life isn’t all that there is.
What we sow in this life, we will reap in the next.
What we plant in this life, we will harvest in the next.
What we invest in this life will yield in the next.

Paul encourages us to keep our eyes not on what is seen but on that which is unseen. For what is seen is temporal but what is unseen is eternal.

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, thank You for this reminder. It is amazing how You re-calibrate my perspective through Your Word. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Teach me to keep my eyes on that which is of eternal value. May I never be swayed by temporal things. I will continue to excel wherever You position me – whether in the campus or the workplace so that I may give You glory. But internally, I will also remember to keep my eyes on You, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Thank You for the glorious inheritance I have in Christ Jesus.
IN JESUS’ NAME. AMEN.

WHEN BAD CIRCUMSTANCES LEAD TO GOOD RESULTS

How can bad circumstances lead to good results?

Is that even possible?

I lost my mom.
I missed my exam.
I received a bad report from the doctor.
My business crashed.

Paul was relating his experience to the church in Philippi. He was in chains. He was imprisoned. And he didn’t have many years left. Somehow he knew.

But his posture was incredibly astonishing. He sees his suffering and adversity as good things.

How could he say that? This is what he said:

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. (Philippians 1:12-13)

Again, how can he say that? Well, what he valued wasn’t what an average person would value. More than his life and freedom, he valued Jesus and His gospel.

He said that his imprisonment served the advancement of the gospel. Furthermore, he said that his imprisonment was for Christ. Since the gospel and Christ were of most value to him, what he went through paled in comparison.

Question: What, or better yet, who is of most value to you?
When we know that He is the One who has the ability to orchestrate the events of our lives, then what happens now is nothing compared to what He ultimately wants to accomplish.

He holds our life in His hands.
And where He will lead, I will follow.

PRAYER:

Lord, thank You that You are Sovereign and in control. There is nothing that happens in my life that escapes Your eye. In fact, You are able to orchestrate all that happens such that, ultimately, it will be to advance Your gospel and give glory to Your name. Help me remember this always. And may my life be a pleasing sacrifice to You each and every day.
In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

REAL BEAUTY

It takes courage to make a stand and say “it’s not about me.”

When you’re as smart (cum laude from University of Santo Tomas) and beautiful as Janine Tugonon, it’s easy to claim some credit… even just a little bit. In fact, you’ve worked hard for it, right?

Well, that’s not how Janine sees it.

In her recent interview, this was how she put it.

Understanding your purpose and acknowledging the Purpose Giver are 2 of the important things in life.

1. Understanding your purpose.

You and I were created for His glory. Our lives are to resemble that. Our goal has to reflect it.

“All things were created by him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)

2. Acknowledging the Purpose Giver.

We have a lot of plans for our own lives but nothing beats His.

His will, His plan, His purposes produce His results.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever. (Ps. 138:8)

Thanks Janine for representing our nation well.

Most of all, thanks for representing the Lord well.

—–

ABS CBN News article here – “Janine on Runner Up Finish: It’s Not About Me”