Faith: Grace by salvation

Sometimes, it is not easy to understand our Father. There can be worries, anxiety, busyness, questions, discomfort, confrontations… and the list can go on – that stand between truly knowing Him, and ultimately – ourselves. Do you know Him?

One thought I’ve had in wanting to see His truth deeply is:

Through faith, we have received grace. By His grace, we receive salvation. So faith is essentially the stepping stone that one needs to take before they may realize His grace that is ever prominent around us. The beauty of His creation, or His blessings in keeping those around you safe. Can you count and bring to the forefront every  little encounter He has set aside for you? Grace remains a mysterious gift to me. He never was bound to give us grace, but He chose to because He loves us.

So grace is favor, “unmerited favor.” Salvation by Grace. Grace is, therefore, God’s unmerited favor – His goodness toward those who have no claim on, nor reason to expect, divine favor. The principal manifestation of God’s grace has heen in the form of a gift.

That then leads to salvation. For without salvation, we would all live without hope. Without salvation, we could not have a personal relationship with our Father. We would be unable to give thanks for the amazing things He has done for us – because we would not have the opportunity to see His grace.

There are so many merits that we will never be entitled to. Humans can be pretty powerless. Fame, money, and fortune – can always be taken away in a split second. But we know our will lies in His hands, and for that – do not have to fear tomorrow.

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

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As I gaze as His wonder and might
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The Sabbath

Rest and the Sabbath. How delicate and perfect they go together.

How do you spend your Sabbath Sundays? Do they remain sacred to you, a day of rest and reflection on how the week has come and gone? Does it remain a quiet time after church, when you can come to work on that space between you and God – bringing it an inch closer than last?

How joyous it is, to be able to serve. To have the ability to praise You along with the masses; to revel in the beauty of Your name. Though words will never entirely capture the essence of your perfection, we offer what little praise we give because You deserve it this much, and that much even more.

In Mark 2:

23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest,he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

27 Then he said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Serve. Because your hands were not made to be your own, but to work as the salt of the world, heightening and exemplifying the presence of our Lord. The Sabbath has and always will be a gift among us. To remind us that even as God created the world, He took rest on the seventh day. Not because He needed to, nor did He necessarily wanted to. But He did, and so can/must we.

Let us continue guarding the gift of rest that the Lord promises us, week after week.

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How comforting it is to know in Him, we will be given rest.

Love Is

Let’s say that I have the memory of a goldfish. Like the bubbles they produce as they swim back and forth, I may forget something quickly. So to combat this amazingly awesome quirk: let’s start documenting the important words that God graces me with.

1 Corinthians 13:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Like so many have said before: God is love. He is love, and through His love for all mankind, we were saved. There is definitely a lack of love present in the world today. In the lack of love, we have conflict, strife, chaos, confusion. All these could be so easily wiped away – like our transgressions, if we were to love like Him.

It is always through His grace that I can sit in the presence and learn, grow, and see the Truth.

There are many principles within love. Why are there principles within love? That is because without them, we may forget what love truly is. Through Him, we were given the opportunity to see these in action and with the transgressions placed on the cross, the love He has and always will have for us. Most surely out of order:

  1. You have to fix your own mistakes, no one else will.
  2. You are not the center of attention.
  3. Do not be in a relationship to receive, always think of what you have to give.
  4. You will not find happiness in another person; you must first find happiness from within.
  5. Be happy with yourself.
  6. Love comes with sacrifice.
  7. Find peace.

In our changing world, though it may seem that it is harder to reach the younger generation – it requires a change and embrace in the trends. Maybe you don’t know how to talk to them as they stare at their phones, or scroll through media, or pick up new words you’ve never heard about before. That’s okay. The change is a progression. Progression we see; God provides progression for us to see the impact and provisions He will ultimately provide. Use those methods and opportunities – do not be afraid, for as

1 Corinthians 2:

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

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Yes. We may be His and to know of Him deeply in addition to sharing the Good News with those who may have not had the opportunity to know of Him – but we are not in this alone.

He is with us, every step of the way, He is not only our shadow but our heart. In Him, we receive salvation – and with that, we are also given peace, love, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. In Him, we know of unconditional love which entails sacrifice.

God, we give thanks because You continually provide. We give thanks because you provide when we need it most.

Thanks be to God for His grace, His mercy, His blessings, His strength. In Him we have salvation, given through grace and mercy; bounded by faith we are enough. For Him, we can do anything. Thanks be to God.

 

Symmetry

Hear the raindrops hit the pane. The droplets tickle as they fall into the puddles and to the side. Where does the freshness that seemingly comes and goes with the clouds. Where do they find their place?

Isn’t calming weather the best type of weather to revel in? Bring that cup of hot sustenance ever closer, turn that corner again and again – feel lost within the pages, the stories, the characters, the feelings, and above all – your thoughts on top of theirs.

Story-telling has been around for so many years, decades, centuries, millennia… it’s origins found even in the breath of the first human. We were born to hold conversations – which turn into shared experiences, and slowly lingers within the minds of the two individuals; a group; the whole room. Transmitted globally through the films of plastic that separate the telecommunication fibres and our fingertips.

When I hear of your news, I feel you. Your emotions and words unspoken – they resonate with me. Do you know why?

When I think of you, I feel happiness when I see you happy. Your worries that speak volumes by the lines in your forehead make me question and ponder, hoping you will also share. I knew you before you walked into my life. I knew your steps and your trails before you showed them to me. I believed in you before you knew to leap.

Aren’t all the traits in others that are so admirable what make you stop and stare? To just think quietly to oneself the individuality of humans and their capacity to change. It’s almost irrevocable how far we’ve come.

And I hope we continue to strive for change, in positive and grand ways. In ways that we’ll most definitely look back and be glad we poured in those hundreds and thousands of hours to perfect the detail others can so easily overlook – but we realize in an instant because we care deeply for it; for you; for that.

The smiles of some are so radiant they seemingly bring a smile to my face too.Watch as others speak their minds, and willingly push yourself to speak yours too. For the minds of one will not be known unless they choose to share with others. Why withhold that opportunity of collaborative culture and change? It’s true what they say. Travelling to new cities and countries bring a perspective that becomes lifelong and unforgettable.

Barcelona, you had never held an exquisite spot in my heart. But now you are slowly doing so, and I fear your clutch as you rein in the strings of what I’ve closed for some time.

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Emerge 2018

Elevation Worship – Do it Again

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again

 

 

This weekend was a spectacular surprise. It was my first time attending our University Christian Ministry’s retreat. The sheer number of undergraduates gathered under one roof was pretty impressive. Seeing students of all ages, ethnicities, disciplines – showed me how God’s love has been able to grow in a faith that genuinely encompasses any son or daughter encountered.

There was an identity issue. We discussed topics on labels given to us, which internalize and take hold of us as we go about our lives. Maybe we wish we could throw down those labels and walk away – without a label, without a history. God (as always), loves us so much. He gave us this blessing of being nameless and sinless when He sent us the one and only Jesus. Jesus, the only human who ever traversed this earth as sinless, bore the sins of this world in hopes of allowing us, every single one of us (a sinner), to reconcile and foster a relationship with our Father.

There was the allegory about one’s aroma. What do you think your aroma is to others? To both non-believers and fellow brothers and sisters. Is your aroma enticing? Are you actions aligned with how God wants you to live in terms of your workings within your work, your commute, your relationships with your family, friends, or strangers? When I think about my aroma, I think it teeters between the freshness of cut grass and the morning dew that sits upon the surface. The sharings of fellow believers continually ignite and cleanse my palette of being ready to go out and share the Good News. But like grass that grows, if it is not kept tidy – becomes unkempt. There needs to be one that comes to maintain a smooth and beautiful appearance.

But in God, He sent His Son to die for all of our sins so that we may never have to feel unclean or burdened by the sins of this world. He provided a path for us to be able to see the cleanliness that comes with eternal life with Him. God allowed us to see with clarity and our hearts to shaken by love for Him. He loved us so much He decided that His Son was most definitely worth sending to save each and every one of us, the ninety-nine with the lost “ones”.

God can do the impossible. He showed me this a couple of years back. He defies the law of human physics and impossibility, to save lives – both physically, mentally, emotionally. He was there when the world might have turned against you. He is here as you take that breath, followed by another. He will be here tomorrow when you wake up and marvel at the beauty of life, of your home, of your loved ones.

There is much to be grateful to God for. This weekend marks the beginning of what I hope to continue to be a fire-igniting relationship with Him. Because if I do not live for Him, whom else would I be living for? He is so majestic; I still cannot believe He gave us the simple task of living for Him, as the center of our lives, forevermore.

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Let us continue to look upon your grace and live like You

fine

need those steps to carry you forward

as one takes one foot and places it in front of the next, what is pushing her forwards? what holds her up as she falters in her breath and her choice? what is holding her upright as she looks down and sees unfamiliarity?

will you hold on even when the times become rough? will you be there even when no one else is. when no one extends their hand toward you because they would rather look the other way.

hear that laugh disappear so quickly you thought you missaw. see you and see him bind themselves into one. look up but down even faster so you do not trip when the unforeseen manifests itself as a chip on your shoulder.

let’s all go together. to the one who was, who is, and who will forever be.

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i will be fine. we always turn out fine.

Twinkle Faraway

Love. Fully and unconditionally. Then you will see behind those layers that most of us try to conceal ourselves within.

Can you distinguish if that laugh or chuckle is genuine? But who are you to judge whether someone is fully authentic and laid bare? Let’s take those steps back to when we first met, and you’ll see who you truly were meant to be. Before those days of television, of magazines, or standards and conditions. Before the line that separated the beautiful with the plain, with the pure-hearted and the conniving.

I wonder as the times go by, will we move towards a civilization that places more importance on the strings that bind everyone, holding an identity upright – or more on the steps that one takes to reach a certain status. Without care for the one behind you.

See those whom fall behind you.

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