Archive for the ‘love’ Tag

Legalism and Justice [Part 2]   Leave a comment

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They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them..” Matthew 23

Hypocrisy is usually a character of the legalist. At some point the legalist will tell to people what they should do but they themselves might not be doing what they say.  Severe to others but indulgent to themselves. They have a false humility i.e. they make as if they do not seek for glory, leadership position or privileges when this is what they are actually seeking. They may be soft spoken persons but in the inside they are wolves in sheep clothing. Their soft tone, humble way of clothing themselves or even the way they walk are deceits. This was how Jesus described the Pharisees who wore wide boxes (phylacteries) on their arms or forehead. These boxes contain scriptures and making them wide was probably a demonstration that they were well versed in the scripture. Boasting about one’s knowledge of the Scripture or the law is another characteristic of the legalists.  They loved to be greeted with respect when they walked in public places(market place) Jesus said. In other words, they sought for recognition. They might also feel insecure if someone aims to learn more about the law/scripture or wish to enter God’s kingdom without going through them.

This is what Jesus said about this: “You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to

They want to be those who guide people to heaven but Jesus called them blind guides. In other words they want to be a mediator between God and man but there is only one Mediator – Jesus. This is why Jesus said never to call a man rabbi or father for there is only one Teacher – Jesus and only one Father – God.

This is a gross mistake of the catholic priests who take the name of ‘father’. The pope for instance is a modern time Pharisee according to this verse and also do all his adherents/followers. Is it on same ground of super spirituality that the catholic priests are not allowed to marry(Peter was married) – for fear of being defiled with sexuality ? The leader among the disciples, Peter was married(1 Cor . 9:5) and it’s hard to understand how the Vatican came with this ascetic doctrine of forbidding man to marry – which has caused so many of them to become pedophile or rapists. These priests probably taught about holiness but they themselves lived in immorality. Asceticism is therefore another characteristic of the religious legalists.

Since the legalists think that they have the key to the knowledge of God or are an authority to God’s affairs, they allow themselves to add or remove to scripture. This is why many false doctrines emerged. For instance, the Pharisees twisted the scripture when they said: ” ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’”. To this teaching Jesus pointed out that their reasoning did not make sense.

As regards tithe, the Pharisees took it so seriously that they even gave a tenth of their spices—mint, dill and cumin. To this Jesus responded “you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness“.

One can be so absorbed in practicing the law that he forgets that the spirit behind the law is justice, mercy and faithfulness.

Tradition in the church is one of the common source of arguments. Traditions are man-made and many leaders consider them as similar to God’s Word. For instance, celebrating Christmas, Easter, Mother’s day are not commands in the bible but are traditions brought in the church. For the Pharisees, it was a tradition that hands should be washed before eating. Of course this is a healthy thing to do. There’s nothing wrong to wash our hands before eating or celebrating mother’s day to honor our mother or Easter/Christmas to remember Jesus’ coming, death and Resurrection. However, eating without washing one’s hands makes someone prone to diseases but not a sinner. Not celebrating Christmas, Easter or Mother’s day does not make one a sinner. This is what the Pharisees said:

Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” 

Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’  they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition” Mat. 15:2

Once again Jesus showed the Pharisees that their teachings were contradictory. The Pharisees probably taught that one should honor his father and mother and failing to do so was such a gross sin that it was subject to death penalty. However, the Pharisees in their hypocrisy reasoned that since they have already spared aside some gifts/money to God then they are unable to use that gift to help their needy parents. They considered that this gift set aside were already reserved/devoted for God and was therefore not right to use it otherwise. In modern time, this might also do to our commitments. For instance, if we reason that we have already committed ourselves to give 6 months of our time in mission and have to leave behind our sick and needy parents then we’re behaving like the pharisees. God does not need our money or sacrifice. Obedience, love, justice are better than sacrifice. Be careful in the way you deal with money in church affairs. If you feel confused in how to spend your time, money or resources in spiritual matters, think about the spirit behind the law: Love, justice, faithfulness and mercy.  What would Jesus do?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted March 22, 2019 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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The Christian and Money [Part 3]   Leave a comment

Christian's Money

Christian’s Money

Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me. “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ Mat. 25:34-45

The story of the rich man and Lazarus illustrate to us that the rich man did not care for Lazarus. Lazarus was satisfied with scraps he could get from the rich man’s table.

As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. ” Luke 16:21

Being inconsiderate or uncharitable is observed by the One in heaven. It is a serious offense unto our Lord when we withhold acts of charity to our brothers or sisters in need. One thing common in the story of the The Final Judgment(Mat. 25) and the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16), was the consequence of  neglecting God’s command. Whoever we are, we have always learned that it is right to help the needy. But the sin of selfishness is what retain us from giving. The rich man knew it but did not care.

Abraham told the rich man “Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote…If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead” Luke 16:29,31

Another warning here, is the sufficiency of the scripture to warn. People know what is right to do, but prefer to remain selfish.

Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.”Prov. 28:27

Those who did not host strangers, did not feed the hungry or did not visit the sick were not ignorant, they just did not care.

These were their arguments.:”We did not see you, if we knew it was you we would have helped you“. James warned us of prejudice:

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?” James 2

That moment we say in our heart that “It’s none of my business“, “Other people will take care of the poor“, “It’s not my ministry” or other legitimate replies, we label ourselves as goats. Both the sheep and goat have the knowledge of what is right. What differentiate them is action.

James said: “ What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” James 2:14:17

 

Posted May 14, 2015 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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He is jealous for me…   Leave a comment

Understanding

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“…for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.” Exodus 20:5

We rarely understand God’s jealousy towards us. Much less do we understand it when he is demonstrating it. There is always some kind of hurt whenever jealousy is being demonstrated. There is always some kind of hurt when God is demonstrating his jealousy for us. There is a big difference between man’s jealousy and God’s jealousy though.
Man’s jealousy flows out of selfishness. Whenever people are being jealous, most of the time it is because they are not getting what they were looking for for themselves, from someone else.
God’s jealousy flows out of pure love. God demonstrates his jealousy when he sees us giving ourselves over to someone or something else and know that this will not bring a healthy balance of things in our life. Whenever…

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Posted November 7, 2014 by Cedric in Thought-provoking

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The 5 love languages [1]   Leave a comment

5 love languages

5 love languages

I read the book “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and found out in it an interesting source of information regarding people’s response to love. Did it ever happen to you that you demonstrate much love to someone and he/she seems not realise it? Or maybe you’re frustrated or feel unloved even if people around say they love you? Gary Chapman has skilfully portrayed 5 categories of love languages that people understand. This is of course not an absolute way of categorizing it but I found it making sense on several aspects. There’s of course some overlapping between these languages but categorizing them help to see clearer.

  • The Gift Language

Some people feel loved or valued when a gift is given to them. It does not necessarily mean an expensive one but the intention. It can be when you give yourself, your time, a nice meal, flowers or invest your money. The person who is sensible to this language feels “Oh look what he/she did for me!”. Some people assume that the more they give to someone, the more the person should feel loved. However, they can still be deceived that the person did not appreciate their gifts. In this case, the gift language is probably the one of the giver and not that of the receiver. This love language remembers me Jesus giving His life for us (John 15:13).

  • Acts of service Language

It refers to people who feel loved when service are rendered to them. It can be about ironing the clothes, putting out the garbage, cleaning the house or washing the dishes. Doing household activities for your spouse, children or parents can be very meaningful if the one to whom the service is rendered is sensible to that language. It can also be about what you do for your colleagues at work or friends at school. Taken alternatively, if the person does not receive help for domestic chores, no one puts out the dustbin and no one proposes to wash the dishes it makes the person feel unloved. The person feels that he/she always do for others and no one do for him/her. Of course, the service language does not limit itself to household activities. It can be when you help a colleague complete his/her work or propose to carry the heavy groceries of someone leaving a shop. This remembers me Jesus washing the feet of His disciples like a servant (John 13:16).

  • Words of affirmation

It’s mainly about things said to value someone. Many are quick to criticize and if the person to whom the #1 love language are words of affirmation, this person will feel inadequate. Destructive criticism has no goal to help, it tears from within the hearer. However, constructive criticism has growth as objective. When someone criticizes constructively, his/her love is genuine and does not have on his/her agenda the intention to say “You’re a loser, incapable, stupid, good for nothing”. Issues has to be addressed in relationships and suppressing feelings will not help at all. It’s not about who will win the argument. Genuine words of affirmation can easily be distinguished from fake ones. When you say for example the dish was excellent when it was not, you’re fooling yourself and if the hearer discerns it you’ll lose her/his respect. However, if you fail to say/see the qualities of someone, it causes that person to feel inadequate. Many people feel insecure with their physical appearance, intelligence or abilities. They have probably been hurt in the past because of some inappropriate remarks and they closed their hearts to express how they feel. Their parents were probably always making them reproach and they feel that they cannot achieve anything good. Words of affirmation renders the hearer his/her value and dignity. Words like “You’re beautiful, intelligent, awesome, a hard-worker” can really lift up someone who has low self-esteem or some sort of inferior complexity. Sometimes, how you say things has more impact than what you actually say. The tonality used can paralyzed the hearer and traumatized him/her. You probably know the qualities of your parents, friends and spouse but if you fail to praise them how will they know your appreciations? Maybe in their minds they are just waiting for a “Thank you”. Praising someone honestly can be powerful and encouraging. This remembers me Jesus calling His disciples friends (John 15:15).

  • Physical touch

Physical touch is a powerful way of expressing one’s affection and love. This is probably because it deals with the body. We have all been wired to respond to touch. This is a chemical/biological respond of our body which gives some good sensations. However, we must realize that one can still be unfulfilled in his emotions even if touched in erogenous places. If someone’s #1 language are words of affirmation and you have always belittled her/him how do you think that person will feel? That person will feel used. Sometimes, what happens psychologically has more impact than the physical. Many men think that sex is what can make them feel loved. But taken in the right perspective, it is mainly their masculinity which make them desire it. One can still be unfulfilled even after having sex. It is probably because there’re other issues which do not render physical contact pleasurable. What will happen if you abstain to touch someone who feels loved when touched? That person will think you do not desire him/her and will slowly avoid you by respect. Hugs or kisses not given to someone whose love language is physical touch can lead him/her seek for it elsewhere. This remembers me John leaning on Jesus’ bosom (John 13:25) and Jesus touching lepers, those people deprived of physical contact.

  • Quality moments

This love language is what I understand as intimate moments. It can be about spent time together laughing, discussing about plans, sharing secrets, playing games, running together, playing tennis, cooking together or just resting in each others arms. It’s not necessarily about how much time is spent together but about the activities done together. Two people can spend a whole day together without actually making the most of these moments. It can also be about being together without saying anything. It’s the presence of the person which matters. There is a high need of mutual trust and transparency. This remembers me the time spent by Jesus with His disciples in prayers and teachings (John 17).

Chapman also mentioned that there’re many dialects in those 5 languages. For example a man and a woman will not enjoy the same kind of physical touch, same kind of gifts, praises, services and activities.  There’re different ways of expressing each other.

One important thing in relationship between spouses, friends, colleagues and in the family is to know others love languages and one’s personal love language.  By this way we can learn a new language and thus communicate our love and affectation through the channel that is best understood by the receiver. A Chinese and an African can be madly in love, however unless they talk the same language they won’t be able to communicate their love. It requires efforts to learn a new language. It is also important to say that this kind of love is not self-seeking but aims at loving someone else. The interesting thing is that when you love someone without expecting anything in return, this person will love you back. Honest discussions can help improve significantly relationships. Last but not the least, it is essential to mention that the efforts made by an individual to practice the love language of someone having a difficult character will be useless unless the heart is renewed by Christ. The heart of man is evil, selfish and deceitful by nature. The knowledge of the 5 languages will be of no value unless divine love finds its way.

1 Corinthians 13 says:

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].”

Epistle to the Hebrews (13:2-3)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” Hebrews 13:2-3

At the time the author was speaking there were probably not many inns where people could stay. We are living in a corrupted society and for security reasons no one likes to take the risk to host strangers in his home. The author is probably making allusion to strangers serving God. For example, Abraham and Lot hosted strangers without knowing they were angels.

When I was on a mission trip this year, a family hosted me and some other team members. What marked me was their attitude in caring for me. It was not really about what they could offer but about their willingness to help. It cost them their time, energy and money to host me and they did it with all their heart. This couple and children did much sacrifice and this is something I could not repay back. It was not about money but about the host’s attitude for demonstrating hospitality.

Still on the mission trip, I did not have the opportunity to visit prisoners but some of my team members were able to. Their visit at prison marked them for life. Going there and experience the atmosphere was a unique experience. We could all have been behind the bars if Christ did not snatch us from our depravity. A fit of rage could have led us to make an unrepairable mistake like crime of passion. Without the Spirit in us to tame us, we don’t know if we would have had issues with law today. Some people in prisons did a stupid mistake during the immature days of their youth and now they are behind the bars.

Some have been caught up with drugs due to bad influence or poverty. No one wants to go to jail. Being deprived of his liberty is a very hard blow for a man. Many prisoners regret what they did but unfortunately it’s too late. The author is not asking us to get people out of prison but rather visit them. Show them love even though they are despised by the society. Remember you were also a prisoner of sin and it’s not something you’re proud of(Eph 2:1-3). One day someone visited you in your spiritual prison to present you Christ. Christ has redeemed you and you now have spiritual liberty. Think of those who are physically deprived of their liberty and are imprisoned in their sins. A prisoner is often stigmatized by the society and still unloved when released.  Remember you could also have been one of them if you were in similar situations as them. I had the opportunity to visit drug addicts in a detoxification centre. These people resemble you and I but the difference is that they are trapped in a vice and shouting for help. They know that by themselves they are unable to leave their drugs and alcohol. They are miserable men and women. They saw their families destroyed by their own hands. These men love their wives and kids and miss them. It is so easy to judge and despise these people. But listen to their story. Ask them what led them to that state. Ask them what happened while under influence of drugs/alcohol. I saw a man whose legs and hands were broken and was almost dead when alcohol was flowing in his veins. No one takes pleasure to suffer like that. But the fact is that these people messed up somewhere and we cannot just wash our hands. They need Jesus, they need hope, peace and love. Who can pass on this genuine hope and love if not us who have the Spirit indwelling us? Think also about those who suffer and persecuted unfairly.  When you’re in prison or addicted to drug, your status no longer matters. You’re trapped and imprisoned. Let us go back to the basics brothers and sisters. We often boast about the great events organised in our churches or how great the sermon was. But remember the poor, remember the prisoners and those enslaved in vices. I am personally guilty of failing to pass on Christ’s love. Jesus said that it’s a serious offense unto Him if we never visited one of His followers who was jailed. He portrayed it as such:

And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,you were doing it to me!’“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” Mat 25:40-46

Demonstrate consideration and care for those who are stigmatised and tagged by the society as “problems”. Jesus came to save sinners irrespective of who they are and what they did.

Posted September 7, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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Epistle to the Hebrews (13:1)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

 “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 13:1

Loving one another forms part of the central teaching of Jesus.  Loving God and people were explicitly described as being the greatest commandments.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Mat 22:37

In the Gospel of Mark 12:29, Jesus described love as a commandment for which there’s no greater than it.

We cannot talk about Christianity without mentioning love. It’s because God so loved the world that He gave His son.

John says in his letter:

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” 1 John 3:11

If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.” 1 John 3:14

Loving one another is not just a teaching but a command. Loving others is an evidence that we are children of light and passed from death to life. Why is love so central to Christianity?

Paul described love as a debt.

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” Romans 13:8, Gal 5:14

The entire law is based on loving God and loving people. If we love God we will not sin against Him and when we love people we won’t hurt them. If you love God, you won’t commit idolatry and if you love your wife, you won’t commit adultery. From love was the law derived. The laws given by God were to make people draw closer to Him and take care of others.

Much has been written and many will write on this very deep word – Love. The media twists love as being a feeling or sexual. But love is not a feeling but a commitment. Love is all about giving yourself for someone else.

Paul describes love as such:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor 13:4-7

When we love someone, we’re patient with that person’s weaknesses. When we are impatient, it’s probably because of selfishness. God has been very patient with me and it’s something I do not deserve at all. Love is also kind, it is gentle and caring. Love is not harsh or bullying but demonstrates tenderness. Love is not arrogant. Love is also not envious and jealous. When someone is envious, it is probably because that person compares what he has with what others owe and is unsatisfied. Love is not boastful or proud because it has nothing to prove. Love is either genuine or not. It is not conceited. This love does not look down on others. Love is humble and seeks not to be placed on a footstool and praised. It tries not to impress or is double-faced. Love gives without expecting anything in return. It does not boast at how much it did but naturally serves others. Love seeks not it’s own interest but that of someone else. Love is also not rude but respectful. Love does not insist on its own rights but rather gives up his rights to bind the relationship. It accepts to lose and sacrifice it’s ego for the sake of that relationship.

Let us look at a verse which describes Jesus’ attitude as giving up:
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.Though he was God,he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.Instead, he gave up his divine privilegesPhil 2:3-5

Love is quick to forgive and slow to get angry:

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Col 3:12-13

Love gets over an offense and seeks to heal the wounds quickly. Love forgives and forgets. It is not resentful. Love makes allowances for others faults and is slow to judge. Love is not irritable. It cannot be provoked to withhold good when wronged. It does not retort or aims to return wrong for wrong. Love never ceases to forgive and does not count how much forgiving or good it has been.  It will be ready to forgive wholeheartedly even – 70 times 7(Mat 18:23). It never says it has done enough or forgave much. It keeps on seeking to serve others. Love rejoices when good is done and does not tolerate injustice. It has no part in injustice but rather condemns it. Love is not suspicious but trusts. Love is innocent to evil. It is hopeful and will endure. Spiritual gifts will cease, heaven and earth will pass away but love will still remain as being the character God expects to see in us for eternity.  Love is a permanent command. Love faces adversity and storms but feelings are attenuated with them. Real love is a commitment and is long-suffering. The more love rubs with difficulties the brighter it shines.

Keep on loving others with this love.

Posted September 1, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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My Testimony   Leave a comment

My testimony

My Testimony

A testimony is a formal written or spoken statement. It is like one given in a court of law under oath. The testimony basically consists of saying what we actually saw, heard or experienced. A false testimony is simply anything which did not happen. A testimony is not based on assumptions or probabilities but on facts/evidences. I hesitated to write on it down because of my pride. No one likes to be exposed. But because I was blessed by the testimony of some humble men, I found the strength to tell about what Jesus did for me. I would like through this post testify about how my life was before knowing Christ, what He did for me and how my life is now.

  • Before I knew Jesus

I am not a guy like Nicky Cruz who had a powerful testimony to share. To be honest, I lived a rather good life. However, there are things I did which I am ashamed of. I did not want to talk about them because I am not proud of these things I did. These things I am not proud of are called “sins”. I went to church with my parents since I was a kid and the sermons I heard were pretty good and had much wisdom. I never had sex with a girl or ever kissed one but I was exposed to movies I should not have watched and this made me guilty.

My biggest struggle was with spirituality itself. I was in the church but yet ignorant about who Jesus really was.

  • When I met Jesus

My encounter with Jesus was gradual. My life did not change all of a sudden like many of those who turned to Christ. I had many questions about Christianity and wondered if it was the truth. I looked at the teachings in other religions and concluded that it could not be the way to God. The fruits produced by these religions in the lives of these people proved that it could not be the way to God. My main issue with Christianity was Jesus’ claim of being God. I could not really digest it. It was not logical to me. How could God die on a cross? How could I be sure that the disciples did not concoct together to invent a story about Jesus? How could I know that the bible was true? How could Jesus’ death on the cross remove my sins? No one could give me the right answers to my questions. So all these question marks on Christianity were leading me to agnosticism (one who cannot prove nor disprove the existence of God).

I came across a verse in the bible which God said to Israel:

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.”

I said to God, will you also reveal yourself to me? And oh yeah He faithfully responded.

I had doubts about the veracity of the scripture because it was written by men like me. However, the stuff it said about man’s sin was really true. I identified myself to what it described. It was the truth. The teachings in the scripture really touched me because it revealed my sinful nature. I believed that the One called the Father in the bible was God. But it was still confusing in my mind that Jesus could also be God. It appeared to me that Christianity had more than 1 God and this still made me skeptic. For me Jesus was just a sacrifice for sins and I had doubts that His sacrifice could really forgive me. I did not know Jesus. So here I was on a quest for the truth about Him. I wanted to sit down and have a fresh look at Christianity and question it. My life drastically changed when I started to study the Epistle to the Hebrews. I discovered Jesus as God and bowed to my knees and asked God to forgive me for all my stupid questions about who Jesus was. The fact that I knew that Jesus was God made it evident to me to believe in everything He taught. I guess this was the moment I really gave Jesus all of my life. I wanted Jesus to rule my life and I wanted to obey Him.

  • After I met Jesus

It was a radical change when I acknowledged Jesus as my God. I wondered why no one ever exposed Jesus in His Sovereignty. I discovered the perfection of His sacrifice to even cleanse my tainted conscience of my past sins (Hebrews 9:14, 10:22).  There is no one who can point the finger to me because of my past sins. It is now what God thinks about me which matters. I am now a free and fulfilled man. I have joy in my heart and know God loves me. God has blessed me through so much teachings in His Word. I do not deserve all the blessings God has given me. I am not a slave of any sin. If you think that it is IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of sins that are enslaving you, I will tell you that you know nothing about what Jesus can do. It’s never too late.

I now take pleasure in writing about His goodness and love.

Jesus has also given me this assurance that He will care for me for my daily needs and this helps me to remove this burden called worries. I am a satisfied man, God is all I need to be happy. I have now a purpose in life – doing God’s will. I found out that doing God’s filled up the emptiness in my heart.

I do not know how sinful your life has been but one thing I know is that Jesus came to give a brand new heart to the broken hearted, hope to the hopeless and vitality to a meaningless messed up life. You might have failed in your studies, relationship or career and now you feel inadequate or unfulfilled. With deep conviction and assurance I can tell you that these are not what life is all about. You have not yet failed in your life. God wants to give sense to your life and make you a fulfilled individual by serving Him. The greatest failure is to push away this God who wants to overflow you with His love and renew you.

Posted July 15, 2013 by Cedric in Testimony

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