Love, Grace, Truth – Inner Drive


innerdrive_logoLove is universal language. Without love, there is no point in life.

Grace is God’s initiative to form the circle of our salvation. Without grace, there won’t be a life.

Truth is the One that will set us free. Without the Truth, there won’t be a freedom in life.

As Christians, we need to ask ourselves this question: have we truly been freed yet? I think that this one simple question is very important for us all.

In my experience, I’ve seen a lot of Christians who are subconsciously struggling to break free from their bondage of sin and bad behavior. Notice the word ‘subconsciously’, which means that the chains that are binding us are sometimes invisible to the naked eyes. The chains will continue to bind us without us noticing and strangling us from within, like a cancer would do to our body.

This kind of problem has occurred since thousands of years ago.

Isaiah 1:1 = in this verse it is said that Isaiah served the Lord as a prophet during the reign of King Uzziah. Now, Uzziah was a good king, and he reigned in the Kingdom of Judah for around 52 years, which was one of the longest in the history. During his reign, Judah (South Israel Kingdom) grew to be such a wealthy nation, with one of the strongest military force in the entire vast land. Other nations feared and respected Uzziah and his strong kingdom.

The people of Judah were also rich. Almost no poor people could be found during Uzziah’s reign. And more importantly, the people were even more diligent in their prayers. They went to the temple everyday and bring fine cattle and lambs as sacrifices to the Lord. And since they were all richer than before, their sacrifices have been doubled than the previous amount. People were so happy and wealthy. All of them felt good because of the wealth as well as their sacrifices in the temple of the Lord. They thought that the Lord must have been so very happy with what they did, and thus, the Lord blessed them all as a nation. But, during this very moment, the Lord Almighty sent Isaiah the Prophet to rebuke the nation.

All of us need to know that our God does not see the natural world (appearance from the outside). He sees straight to our spiritual world. How are our hearts and minds react, our integrity when no one else sees, and et cetera. And as for the Israelites, it grew to a point where the Lord said through Isaiah that He grew tired of all the fat lambs as the offering. God demanded that obedience is more important than sacrifices. And obedience here refers to our hearts and minds. Whenever we want to give sacrifices and pray to God, He demand a pure and sincere hearts! There are many people who give sacrifices to church or other people with a heavy heart, complaining all the way when no one else sees. But this is not what the Lord wants!

What should drive us from within then? God sees the inside of our hearts and not the outside appearance. One thing I realize here is that we must stop living a lack-driven life, and start a fullness-driven life. We need to realize that whatever things that we have right now is not because of what we did, but because God has more grace and mercy than we could ever imagine. And no matter how small our treasure is, we must receive it and believe that the small amount of treasure is the one thing that the Lord has entrusted to us, and we must make it count with a grateful heart. It’s easier to be grateful when our treasure is a lot, I know. But, it’s not always like that. Lots of rich people are also having such a hard time to feel grateful. When they don’t have that much of treasure, they could still learn to be grateful. But when God entrusted a lot more treasure to them, greed took control of them, even without them noticing.

These kind of things may have happened in our lives without us even noticing! So, how do we deal with it? Love, Grace, and Truth is the very essence of God’s Word, and these things will be the filter of our lives if we understand them correctly.

1). Start to acknowledge your fear and problems. Don’t run away from it, because you never could. It lives within you. And you need to counter it with strong faith in Christ. Say it out loud to yourselves and God. When you embrace your weakness, you’re ready to embrace the grace of God. And from that point on, you won’t ever take God’s grace for granted. Grace is not a free ticket to do sin, but it is God’s initiative to form a circle of salvation for us. As long as we are within grace, we are saved, not because of our work, but because of God’s initiative. He made the impossible to be possible. And how do we see our fear and problems? It is by reading the Word of God in the bible. God’s Word in the bible will be able to make you see a lot better. The bible said that God’s Word is like a lamp for our feet. The Word lights our ways in this world. And if we don’t read our bible, we would easily be lost in our journey.

2). The Holy Spirit lives within you. The moment you receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior, the Holy Spirit lives within you. He is the One that God sent to help us get through our rough days on this earth. And we can consult the Spirit within us. Sometimes, we might feel or sense something. Sometimes, we might hear our hearts talk to us. We thought that they were just thoughts. It maybe true, but in most cases, those are the voices of the Holy Spirit within you. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, use your body wisely. So, in order for us to avoid the same mistake that the Israelites as well as Christians made thousands of years ago until now, we need to always consult the Holy Spirit within us by communicating with Him in our prayers and daily lives.

3). The third way to deal with such “invisible” problem in our christian lives is to have a good, empowering community. Good community would be able to remind you when you started to set off course. Good community will not judge one another, but will talk and remind each other with love.

So, our inner drive must be derived from the fullness of Christ in our lives. Whatever things that God has entrusted to us, no matter how small the number is, be grateful and do the best that you can for God. And the way to detect and avoid the “invisible” problem is by implementing the three ways above and by understanding the real meaning of love, grace, truth, as I have mentioned above too.

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Redefining Grace


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Have you ever tried to hug someone that had never been hugged before? It was like trying to hug a stiff tree or a cold steel pole. You tried to hug him, and he just didn’t know how to hug back. And you know, most people these days treated Grace the same way.

The word “Grace” has been abused by most people these days. Some didn’t really understand about it, some taking his own advantage from it, and some just didn’t care. Churches these days are divided into two major groups: one that cheers for Grace (Hyper Grace), and one that doesn’t really want to talk about it, fearing that they might mislead the congregation to take the Hyper Grace path.

I can explain all about it in a Theological way with complicated Biblical words. But I won’t do that just to look smart in front of you guys. My purpose here is so that you will fully understand about this, and the way to do that is by telling story, just like Jesus did.

Luke 15:1-32

Do you remember the parable of a lost sheep? It’s not really about the lost sheep, but it’s about the Good Shepherd who found the lost sheep. Do you know about the parable of a lost coin? It’s not really about the lost coin, but it’s about the One who found the lost coin and rejoiced. Are you aware of the parable of a prodigal son? It’s not really about the lost son who returned to his Father, but it’s about the Father who willingly accepted His son back into His home.

Everything that Jesus told in the New Testament is about the Kingdom of God, and who would know better about it than Him? And in every single story that Jesus told, there is Grace in it. Grace is Jesus.

Do you remember what did the prodigal son wanted to say to his Father when he decided to return to his Father’s house? He wanted to say that he was no longer worthy to called son, and that he would be more than glad if Father would accept him as one of His hired servants. But, I have a question from this. When were we truly worthy?

Just imagine if my five year old son came to me in a morning, and all so suddenly said to me, “Father, I think I’m now worthy to be called your son,” I would reply to him and said, “Go back to your room that I’ve bought, brush your teeth with toothbrush and water that I’ve bought, and go to school that I’ve paid for you. You see? We were never been worthy at all. We are not sons and daughters by worth, but by birth!

And when I decided to embrace Grace, it doesn’t mean that I have acquired a free ticket to be sinful and lustful all I want. Grace is free, but it ain’t cheap. The core point of Jesus’ messages throughout His days on earth is about love, grace, and truth. It is love that brought Jesus to the cross. It is grace that enabled us who believe in Christ to be together with Him until now. And it is the truth that sets us free from bondage of sin. And the truth is that our God is holy, and we need to be holy to be with Him. So, are we made holy by our doings? No, for no men will reach the state of holiness with their acts and manners. We are made holy by love, grace, and truth, and they are all in Jesus Christ. And our definition of grace must never contradict with the truth.

We can choose to still stay within the boundary of grace or not. It’s our choice. The grace of God is everlasting, and it is the very thing that enabled us to be within the circle of salvation. Grace is coming from God, and do not waste it by going back to our old sinful behaviors. And this is our choice. A person who believes in Christ will be saved, but that person, who already entered the domain of grace, must maintain his/her belief by love and truth.

It’s not as hard or as complicated as it may sounds. When you have such a good spouse, who understands you very much and always speak with your love language, would you cheat on her? Would the very thought of cheating on her appear in your mind? Of course not! I have never ever thought of doing that evil thing and make her suffer. Now, if we can be like that to our wives or husbands, shouldn’t we be even better for the Lord?

Our God loves us so very much! The cross is one most significant evident that shows God’s tremendous love. Another proof is when Jesus said that the Father of the lost son was running towards the son, even when the son was still a long way off! Middle-eastern men are forbidden to run! And when Jesus told the disciples this story, all of the audience must have thought, “I’ve never seen my dad run.” And the fact that Jesus told them about the Father who ran told us the breathtaking truth about God’s powerful and insane love towards us! Our God understands us. He speaks with our love language. And for a God like that, if you truly know the extent of His love, you will never even think about cheating on God by going back to the old way anymore.

So, as a conclusion, Grace is Jesus, and it is the very thing that enables us to stay within the circle of salvation and be with God forever. It is our choice, however, to stay within that domain of Grace, or not. Embracing Grace doesn’t mean you can do whatever sin you want in this life. But don’t worry, because when you embrace Grace, you are embracing a much better life than sin. And most of all, remember this: you can fall during your life journey, but you need to get back up every time you fell down. Just remember that falling is still okay if you decided to get back up. But it is not okay if you gave up and decided to lie down there in the mud for the rest of your life! Falling in sin is still understandable, but remember to repent and don’t fall in the same hole again. What’s not okay is living in sin, which is when your conscience is already numb and you don’t feel a thing when you did wrong.

Let us redefine Grace. Grace is Jesus. Grace is free but ain’t cheap. Grace is God’s salvation circle. Love, Grace, and Truth must never be separated. “For by Grace you have been saved through Faith, not that of yourselves, but it is a gift from God, so no one should boast.”

Precious Handiwork of God


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Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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When we want to buy something handmade and branded, it will surely be very expensive and precious.

We are the handiwork of Christ, and we are branded by His Name. We are precious in His sight, for we are His precious handiwork. You are precious, more than you ever know it. And you are precious for the world, more than the world will ever know.

You are specifically made for God’s good work. Embrace that calling that comes from within your heart; your dreams, your good desire, and the urge from within to do the right thing and help other people.

Embrace the call of Grace from God, to keep on believing in God every day for the rest of our lives; even though we may not see Him now. When something is invisible, it does not mean that there is nothing. Air is invisible, but we cannot live without the oxygen in the air. The same principle is applied here.

We cannot see God right now, and that is the reason for most people to stop believing in God and consider it as a fairytale that our parents told before we went to bed. But, even though we cannot see God now, it does not mean that He does not exist. God is real. Heaven is real. Miracle is real. There are a thousand ways that human can die every day, but the fact that many people lived until 70 years old is a miracle. Remember, every day is a miracle. Every day is a gift, no matter how harsh your condition or situation is. Your life is a gift. And it will get better as time passes by.

When God created you, He has a purpose in His mind, and I believe that He has put that very purpose inside your heart. So think about it, pray to God, and accept the calling of God that you have in your heart. Remember, God has prepared in advance the things that He wants us to do in this life.

Be refreshed ๐Ÿ™‚

Coming Back to the ‘Dust’?


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Isaiah 26:4-8

Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

For He brings down those who dwell on high, The lofty city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He brings it down to the dust.

The foot shall tread it down — The feet of the poor And the steps of the needy.”

The way of the just is uprightness; O Most Upright, You weigh the path of the just.

Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O LORD, we have waited for You; The desire of our soul is for Your name And for the remembrance of You.

Today I want to talk about being humble and depend on God instead of men. Most people only cried to God when they want something or when they are in a somewhat difficult situation. I’m not saying that it’s wrong. But, why don’t we start to ask, pray, talk, be who we are, and cried to Him in our everyday lives?

You see, people tend to forget God when they are blessed with whatever they need or want. When they forgot that they can be that successful because of God, they can be very arrogant. If we look at verse 5 above, I can say that the verse means that arrogant people, who forgot about God when God has helped them from the very bottom and claimed that his success was because of himself, will be brought down to the dust from where they were at the start.

But, trust in the Lord and He shall bring us up. Because He is our Strength. He is our Redeemer. He is our Savior. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. And for someone so big and powerful, He is so humble. So graceful and merciful. So loving towards us. We should learn from Jesus Christ our Lord. He even washed His boys’ feet! The Lord Jesus Christ did that! If the big and powerful Lord Himself is humble, then what are we that we act arrogantly as if we are capable to do anything by our strength alone? We are nothing without Lord Jesus you know. I am nothing without Him.

Our soul’s desire should be Him and the remembrance of Him. This will keep our soul from dehydrating you know. For He is the Living Water, and our souls crave for Him. Even though people doesn’t believe in God, their souls crave for The Living Water without them realizing it. That’s why a lot of people are tired and wasted spiritually, and this will eventually affect the bodies.

The remembrance of Him. Do you remember where this verse leads to? Check this one out:

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;

and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, โ€œTake, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.โ€

In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, โ€œThis cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.โ€

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lordโ€™s death till He comes.

And,

John 6:53-56

Then Jesus said to them, โ€œMost assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

You see now? Trust God and He shall brings you up. This means we trust our Lord Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice He made at the cross for our salvation and welfare. Receive His sacrifice, receive His Flesh and Blood for His Flesh is Food and His Blood is Drink indeed. Not so hard right? It really is simple. For we must be like a child to enter the Kingdom of God. And to be like a child means that we just depend on God and stop worrying and thinking a lot about our problems in this life. In other words, be simple. Don’t focus on the problem but focus on the Answer.

And again, don’t ever forget that you can be who you are right now is only by the grace of God. If you are still down at the dust, believe that God’s plan for you is not the plan to make you suffer, but a plan to prosper you and to give you future filled with hope. May the Holy Spirit refreshes you ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Still Condemned?


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John 5:45

Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you — Moses, in whom you trust.

Today I want to talk about Father’s Love. He really loves us you know. If earthly fathers know how to give the best for their children, isn’t our Father in Heaven more than that? If animals know how to treat their offspring with care, isn’t our Dad in Heaven knows better than that? He’s deeply in love with us that He willingly gave Jesus Christ for us. Check this out:

 

 

John 3:16,18

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The words ‘only begotten’ here can indicate that God gave His best for us. And the best that God has is Himself through Jesus Christ. He will never accuses us for our mistakes if we believe in Him. He has redeemed us and forgave all of our sins with the power of His blood. He has sacrificed Himself at the painful cross, only thinking of our salvation and welfare. So that we won’t be condemned anymore by the devil, and by the law.

From all of the above verses, I can also say that we should not be lukewarm with this matter. It’s either we do all the Commandments (which is impossible for us) or we totally believe in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. We can’t believe in Jesus Christ but at the same time we are condemned by the law. Remember, the impossible-to-fulfill law of Moses has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. So, we are not under condemnation anymore. We live under His grace and mercy. This is the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. Remember this verse:

Revelation 3:16

So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

So, if you already believe and accepts Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, and yet you still do something that break His heart, don’t be condemned. It’s not sins anymore, but it’s trespasses or mistakes. I’m not saying that we are free to do whatever wrong things we like. I’m saying that whenever you make mistakes, don’t be condemned! Ask Jesus Christ to forgive your trespassing, and ask Him for His help to guide you so that you may not repeat the same mistakes anymore. Just ask Him; because He is your Greatest Dad Ever!

Through the law, we must obey everything without any breathing space. This makes it even harder for people to obey it. But with Christ’s Love and mercy, we can feel His hand support us when we fall. We can feel how He loves us, and that we are ashamed of all the things that break His heart because He is very good and He is a forgiving God. This can keep us from trespassing against Him and to break His heart ever again. You see. It’s a process. A whole big process so that we can be His ambassadors in this world and so that we can be transformed to be more like Christ in conduct and also in our ways of thinking.

Because He loves us, He will teach us and even slap us a bit when we wrong. But that’s for our own good. Just like a father that teaches his child. Our Father in Heaven is more than that. His plan for us is a plan to prosper and to give us future filled with hope. Be refreshed ๐Ÿ™‚

Today’s Troubles Sufficient!?


Matthew 6:34

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Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I want to share this with you guys, especially those of you who always, and I mean always, worried about every single thing in this life.

At some part in our lives, we are all a total believer. When someone asked us, ‘do you believe that Jesus Christ has saved you?’ Then we will definitely answer yes. But when someone asked us, ‘do you believe that Jesus Christ will help you out of the mess in your office? Or in your family?’ Then somehow we’d think twice before answering.

From my own experience, we can be a really good believer at one part of our lives, but we are all sucks and have too little faith in another. We are not worried about our own eternal lives, but we are worried over such trivial things like food or clothes or money.

Matthew 6:25-33

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;

and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

It’s true that money, food, clothes, shelter, etc are important aspects in our lives. They’re all our primary needs in this world. And since they were so primary, do you think God didn’t know? But first seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all our primary needs and also secondary needs will be added to our charts.

If they’re so primary and vital to our lives, do you think God will not provide? When first Adam and Eve fell to the grasp of sin, God Himself fulfill their needs with clothes. God Himself do this for them, because Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness. Do you think that the same God will not do the same for us? For you? He is more than capable to do that! He is more capable than any of the world’s offer. He is everything we need. He is the Great I AM. He is our Salvation, Redeemer, Best Friend, Best Dad, Best Mom, He is completely everything we need and desire.

Just remember of His goodness and mercy and grace in our lives. How great He is in helping us with every bit of a problem in our lives. Always remember every miracle He gave! Remember, today that we can still live and breathe is the grace of the Lord Jesus Himself. Remember all these, seek Him through worship, not only with our songs but also with every aspects of our lives, and be refreshed ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Your deeds count? Uh oh…


Ephesians 2:8,9

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For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Eternal life that God has offered is a gift from God. We cannot get or buy that with our deeds or money. But, not everyone can have that gift. This happens because sin is in the way. Mankind have all sinned. With our own power, we cannot save ourselves; because God is perfect, and he requires perfection. That’s why, there must be a solution.

Most people have a wrong understanding about who God really is. Some thought that God is full of love, but no justice at all. But then, some also thought that God is a just God, but no love. The truth about God is that He is both love and just. But then, if God is full of love, surely he doesn’t want to punish the sinful people. However, God must also be just. This dilemma is solved when God shows his love and justness through the sacrifice of Himself in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is God who became Human. He was pierced, hung, and died at the cross for all our sins. Then he raised at the third day, and then, after He showed Himself to the disciples and others, went up to the heaven. He offers an everlasting life to us because He has defeated death, and He has ransomed all of us. And we can receive this gift by faith.

Faith means to know and depend on Jesus as our God and personal Savior to receive an eternal life. And to have faith really just means to respond to His call, to His teachings, to His love, to His grace. Hebrews 4:16 said, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.ย  I also believe that the simplest way to come to God is by worshiping Him. Worship Him, not only with our voices and singing, but also with our lives.

Sure we need to do good stuff and all, but not to buy our own way to heaven. Remember, salvation is a gift from our God Jesus Christ. And so, you can all share this food with relatives or friends and be refreshed ๐Ÿ™‚