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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From: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/8e/3f/48/8e3f487c4ce03bd083e3062a5b9d2378.jpg

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 🙂

The Greatest Parent We can ever have


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From: https://smileshinelove.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/god-the-perfect-father.jpg

Isaiah 49:15-16

15). Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

16). See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.

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Even though the whole world could not be bothered to look at you and just ignored every hard work that you ever done, there is One that never looks away from you.

Even though your boss or friends or partners underestimated you, with no respect or appreciation, do not be sad or feel that you are rejected.

Rely on Christ. Depend on Him. And He will give you the strength and joy that you need.

We probably think that we won’t prevail when the hardship comes or when the betrayal occurs. But when you are willing to open up your heart and mind, and let Christ have His way, you will find the joy and strength to surge out from within you, enough for you to stand and walk again to finish your day.

And even though your own mother or father or both have abandoned you since you were a child, there is One that will never forsaken you. His name is Jesus Christ. He is the Lord, and He is very real. He wants to reach out to you, and as long as you are willing to open up your heart and mind to believe in Christ, you will not regret it. Besides, you got nothing to lose.

Be refreshed 🙂

 

Disciples of Jesus Christ. Are we?


http://renrutkram.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/cross_follow
Matthew 16:24
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Hi there people. Today I’d like to talk about the core meaning of being a disciple of Jesus. Many people nowadays are so confident and call themselves the disciples of Christ without really knowing the core of being His disciple. And so now, I really wish that the food that I am about to give can refresh your mind with the truth from the Bible.

Most of the times, we often thought that the best school and also the most expensive school is better for our children or loved ones. They would guarantee their success. But the truth was not like that. Those expensive education and the amount of money that we have doesn’t guarantee the success of our lives. I’m not talking about rich-success here. I’m talking about Godly-success. We may be successful in our career, studies, or even in our ministries. But does that mean we are successful before the Lord Almighty? The Bible said:

Matthew 7:21-23
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Furthermore, the moral of this world is also declining. This disease is affecting the world even worse now, and it quickly affect the Christianity as well. And so, as the disciples of Christ, we should have looked into the bible and set our standard there so that we won’t be carried by the waves.

Jesus said that if any man would come after Him, he or she must deny him/herself and take up the cross. This means that we must give our whole life to live for Christ and not follow what we want or we will; but it should be what the Lord wants and what He wills. And so in our career, studies, or ministries, do we do the will of the Lord? Or do we do our own will? What’s the will of the Lord?

John 15:10-17
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
These things I command you, that ye love one another.

In everything that we do, we should do it with love for our brothers and sisters at work or at ministries. And in everything that we do, we should do it with our best effort as if we do it for the Lord Himself because He has chosen us so that we may bring forth fruit, and with that fruit, we will glorify the Lord and proclaim his goodness to the entire world. Since the beginning of time, our purpose in this world are to minister, to be His disciples, and to proclaim the glory and goodness of Him to the world. It doesn’t matter whether you are a businessmen, or a student, or a preacher. Do whatever your works are so that you may glorify Him. But also remember to have love in whatever you do because nothing is for good when we do anything without love.

One example of a disciple that didn’t submit to His Lord’s will was Peter.

Matthew 16:21-23
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Peter was probably just trying to help, and this would mean he was lack of understanding. But I say that Peter was trying to show himself off that he is capable of saving Jesus from the elders of Jerusalem; and thus, rebuking the will of his Lord. I can say this because in verse 23, Jesus called Peter a Satan, and He told Peter to get behind Him. This shows us that to be a disciple of the Lord, we need to stay behind our Master and not in front of Him. Let Jesus be the captain of our ship. Let Jesus be the problem-solver in our lives. Let Jesus be the main head in the house. Let Jesus be the boss in our works or businesses. Let Jesus be our main teacher in our studies, Let Jesus decides for our decisions in our lives. Let Jesus have all our lives. Let Jesus rule every aspects of our lives. We should apply this because our lives are not ours anymore, but our lives are His. He has redeemed us at the cross, replacing us in a beautiful exchange at the cross.

And learning from Peter’s mistake, we know that to be the disciple of the Lord, we also need to convert our mind concept and the way we think, and sync them with the mind and the way Christ think (Metanoia). Just as Jesus was behind the Father, we also should stay behind Jesus Christ. This also means that as the disciples of Christ, we should listen to Him, which is harder than it sounds (take Abraham’s case as an example of how difficult it can be sometimes) be obedient and loyal to Him in every circumstances no matter how harsh it will be, be responsible for our work He gave us in this world and also to be the salt and light of the world that can affect our surroundings so that people can see Christ in ourselves, and last but not least, we must be ready and stay close behind the Lord in every tests the world throws toward us.

I hope this can enlighten your mind and refresh your soul people 🙂

What Jesus brings when He comes to us?


Matthew 11:1-6

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Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities.

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples

and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:

The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

Oh how great these verses are! Today I want to talk about what Lord Jesus wants for us in our everyday lives, and so that we may always count on Him. Because the only one who is reliable enough for us to depend on is Jesus Christ. Only Him. Check this out:

Jeremiah 17:5

Thus says the LORD: ” Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD.

Now back to the main verses from Matthew 11:1-6. Here John sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus whether He was the Messiah. However, Jesus didn’t answered them directly and said I am. He answered them by mentioning the miracles He has done. All illnesses and sicknesses that the people around Him suffered have all been healed by Him. This means that the presence or the coming of Jesus Christ in our lives will bring us a much better life than before. He is capable to heal our incurable disease. He is capable to lift all the burden and weight that we’ve been struggling with all these days. He is capable to give us the answer to every problem because He is everything we need. He is capable to give us the love that we yearn to feel all this time. Maybe you doesn’t feel any love at all from your family, from your mother or father, you feel that you’re unwanted in your family or neighborhood, and you suffered a disease that is most fatal out of any other disease, that is, an ache in your heart, which can keep on growing until you have all of the complications of sicknesses you maybe having today. But I have good news for you, that Jesus has come to this world, He has died, buried, and risen at the third day so that we can receive a cure from Him. Just one cure from Him for all our problems. The cure is His Love. He is Love, and He is the best! Blessed is he who is not offended because of Jesus because he will receive the eternal life that He has offered us!

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Again the word come is used here. I have mentioned in my older post that so much of God’s message to us is come. We just need to come to Him. Faith really is a simple thing. You just come and respond to God. And how can you come to God? I believe that the simplest way to come to God is through worship; worship Him not just in church when you have all the songs played with the full band and all, but with all your yearning heart and with your spirit praise and worship Him, and also through your conducts in everyday lives. Praise God with your studies, praise God with your work, praise God with your lives. Know that your lives have been redeemed by Jesus at the cross with His Blood, and so your lives are not yours anymore but they are His. And so, use your body to praise God because your body is the temple of God. And since our lives are His, we might as well trust Him with every aspects of our lives. Check this:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I hope this post has blessed you, and be refreshed 🙂

 

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 🙂