Tag Archives: Love

Called To Repentance

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 62

One thing I’ve learned over the years, and something that I’m continuing to experience in my spiritual walk, is that God uses my idols to break me. It takes a good trial or two for me to recognize what I place my hope in and what my heart worships instead of God. To borrow some words from a friend’s recent blog post, Trials will devastate your idols. While trials are oftentimes painful (or else they wouldn’t be categorized as one), it’s usually a good wake-up call for me to see areas that I need further growth in.

Lately, I’ve realized that I really idolize my relationships with others. It dawned on me that I love my friends more than I love God. I care more about people and I desire a deeper connection with them than I do with my Savior. My schedule revolves around these relationships and I would go as far as sacrificing alone time with God so that I could spend time with people. I could go days without reading God’s Word but I can’t go a few hours without checking out my Instagram feed because I want to be updated and to “stay connected.” Their presence and their words sometimes mean more to me than Scripture. Why go to God alone in prayer when a text message to a friend is faster? Why seek comfort and rest in Christ when I could call up someone and they could encourage me?

The only major problem is that there is no substitute for God because only God can satisfy my soul. My security wasn’t being rooted in my identity as a beloved, adopted daughter of the mighty creator of this universe. Instead, I found my affirmation and purpose through my earthly relationships. I lived for them — and I think I still do. Continue reading

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Weekly Favorite Links (July 2-8, 2015)

MacArthur

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If there is one thing that always surprises and never ceases to leave me utterly speechless and in streams of tears, it is grace.

I have been the recipient of so much undeserved grace lately.

I am amazed at how loved I am by those around me. I suppose I’ve always had this internal struggle that I needed to earn that love and so throughout my life, I sought to please. But grace is something that I cannot earn, which makes it so much more precious when it’s given. God has placed people in my life that have seen me at my worst and ugliest moments. Instead of judging me and telling me that I’m a disappointment or that I should’ve known better than to fall into certain sins, their eyes have only grown more tender and compassionate when all is laid bare.

Most importantly, they have readily forgiven me when oftentimes I struggled to forgive myself. When I am feeling overwhelmed with shame and guilt, they have patiently pointed me to Scripture to help me train my thoughts to find comfort in what is true. Not only have they embraced me in spite of my failures, they have firmly reminded me of the grace that is found at the foot of the cross. By no means do they condone my mistakes. But they have demonstrated what it means to love in hard times and to bear one another’s burdens because we all fall short. Instead of allowing me to run away from my trials, these brothers and sisters of mine have cheered for me to press on and to finish well.

I am so thankful for these individuals.

But you know what’s even crazier? These dear friends of mine are testaments of God’s faithfulness and work in their lives. More than their love for me is the mysterious love that my Savior and Lord displayed on the cross. In order so that I could be freed from the bondage of sin, He who knew no sin became sin in my place and bore my weaknesses. In this life, I will never be able to understand why Christ would die for someone like me. I will never be worthy of God’s love, of His Son’s sacrificial death on my behalf. However, if it was not for the grace of God, if Christ did not bear my guilt and shame, I would still be in chains today.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 

Romans 8:1-11

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Weekly Favorite Links (May 21-27, 2015)

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Starting from the beginning of this year, I have been in the midst of preparing for a big event for my church. The event itself would span three consecutive Sundays, probably not even constituting 24 hours in total, yet hundreds of helping hands and countless hours of email correspondences late into the night over the past several months have gone into preparation for it. Perhaps what makes this particular event “the biggest event of the year” is that it unites our entire church of all three language-speaking congregations in almost every age group.

At first, when people asked me whether I was stressed over planning and bearing such an enormous responsibility, I would respond that I wasn’t stressed about piecing all the pieces together. And I would say that my answer remains true, even with the last and biggest event being T-minus four days. Rather, my biggest concern at the time, which is still relevant now, is that my character would be right — that I would love God so much in order to love all the people that I would have the responsibility of managing.

I believe that loving others is the biggest burden for me, the one that carries the most weight. It ought to be for all Christians. Despite all the administrative duties that go into an event preparation, it is caring for my team members that holds a paramount significance. It is also the biggest blessing and gift from God that I have these opportunities in the first place to get to know people that I do not normally come into contact with because we have differences in our culture and age.

I could easily delegate assignments, coordinate meetings, follow up with all tasks assigned but what would be the point if I didn’t love the people? Those that are on my team aren’t simply chess pieces that I can maneuver into the right places so that we could get things done efficiently. Organization is important, but so are relationships. They are my brothers and sisters in Christ. How could they follow my directions and my leadership if they didn’t get to know me, my heart, and if I didn’t demonstrate Christ-like love to them? Likewise, how could I possibly manage a team if I didn’t actively invest and listen to them, to know their strengths and talents? This is all to say that my authority is limited and when it comes to leading, I cannot rely on my own strength. The work that my team and I are doing is not for our own glory, but God’s. Even when we are planning logistics, love for one another must be present because it must come out of an overflow of our love for God.

I can’t say that I know everything that it takes to be a good leader. Even after gaining so much experience for this particular setting, I think I’m still at level one. But if there’s one ingredient that is essential and absolutely necessary for good leadership, it is love — love for God and a love for others.

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Weekly Favorite Links (March 19-25, 2015)

I miss fall.

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I recently took an assessment test for work. Ever since I discovered the Myers-Briggs test several years ago, I’ve been intrigued with taking personality assessments and learning more about myself. It’s interesting that there’s still so much to unravel about my personality as I get older, including all my strengths and weaknesses. It surprises me that there are parts about myself that remain a mystery, and will only be revealed over time. After all, we’re constantly maturing and changing, too.

Before taking the test, there were certain traits that I sort of knew I had, but it wasn’t until after the report came out that there was greater awareness and clarity in terms of pinpointing exactly what some of those traits were. One of the newfound realizations from that assessment, though, was that I’m very adaptable in social situations and am always eager to assist others. This could be an asset and a weakness. It’s a strength in situations where it involves caring and serving people, and making sure that all their needs are taken care of. I have a pretty assertive and proactive nature; I’m unafraid of taking initiatives in any environment. On the flip side, it can be a potential weakness when it comes to conflicts and confrontations, depending on the circumstances.

I tend to anticipate possible issues and will want to do my best to deter them. In situations where conflicts do arise, my first instinct tells me to run and avoid all possible conflicts, even if I know in my head that it’d be better for me to take care of things as soon as possible. Or I’ll withhold speaking my mind and sharing my personal thoughts in order to avoid conflicts, thereby preventing any sort of negative impact on others. I guess another way of looking at it, perhaps from a more scriptural standpoint, is that I fear man and want to please man. I am afraid of ruffling feathers, afraid of failing to meet the expectations of people — even random strangers. My pride gets the best of me and I seek to preserve my image. I will adapt to cater to people because I want them to affirm and praise me, and I get anxious when it’s a challenge to do so.

Taking this assessment was a blessing because it helped me recognize areas that I needed further growth in. Thankfully, the realizations also came at the perfect time, since I was being thrust into situations where I just. couldn’t. please. everyone. But through this learning experience, I’ve come to appreciate the help of wiser, older family and friends on how to confront and deal with conflicts, even if it’s hard. Now that it’s all passed, I can look back and praise God for how blessed I am for having gone through that entire difficult, complicated ordeal. God is so good. Why do I ever doubt that truth in the first place?

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