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


grace

 

 

 

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.”

Don’t Forget About the Water from Him :)


http://picturesofjesus4you.com/images/jesus_washing_apostles_feet_parson_l.jpg

Hebrews 10:10

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Now we live in the world of the New Testament. It is different with the Old Testament. Way back then before Jesus Christ came on earth to redeem us, mankind must offer sacrifices for a period of time so that their sins can be forgiven, but only until a certain period of time. After the period is over, mankind must offer sacrifices again. Sacrifices here can be a sheep, a cattle, a bird, etc. The sins mankind have committed would determine the size of the living sacrifice. The heavier the sin is, the bigger or the more expensive the sacrifice would be.

However, Jesus Christ has come to the world and He became the Living Sacrifice. The difference is that this type of sacrifice is only once for all, which means that our sins are being forgiven for ever. The Lord has forgiven all our sins because Jesus has taken our place up there at the cross. It should be us back then at the cross. But Jesus replaced us and became a Living Sacrifice for the Lord. The blood of Jesus has sanctified us forever. However, a lot of people only remember about the blood, but not about the Water.

John 19:34

But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

The Blood came out first, then the Water came along. The key to everything that I’m talking about is in this Water. To understand about this, let us read first.

John 13:3-10

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,

rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.

After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”

From verse 7, Jesus said that what He did at that time the disciples will know about it later on. This means that what Jesus did here was symbolic, and therefore, have meanings. From these verses, let us focus on some words such as “laid aside His garments”, “towel with which He was girded”, “poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet”, and “wipe them with the towel”.

He laid aside His garments as a symbol that Jesus arose from the dead. in this context, Jesus rose from supper in the Passover feast, and in every table at the Passover feast, there will always be a roasted lamb. This lamb represented Jesus when He was burned by the wrath of God at the Cross because Jesus has replaced us at the cross. And when He laid His garments, it means that He will rose from the dead.

The towel girded to Him means that Jesus is the High Priest, and He came to this world to minister.

He poured water and washed the disciples’ feet with it means that we all will be cleaned again and again, but not with blood anymore because blood of Jesus has sanctified us forever. But by Water.

Ephesians 5:25-27

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Water by the Word. So people, we need to be cleansed not by blood anymore because blood of Jesus has cleansed us once and for all, but by the Word of God. By the Water. Don’t forget to read your Bible everyday because this will cleanse your feet. We need not to clean our whole body with Water because we have been bathed by the Blood of Jesus and we are clean forever. But our journey in life will involve our feet, and sometimes dust and dirt may come to stick at our feet. This represents all our mistakes we may have committed in this life. But believe that we have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus forever and He has forgiven all our sins and mistakes. Do not be tricked by the devil. Devil may tricked you and condemned you for your mistakes. That’s why you need to be strengthened by the Word of God. By the Water.

And after Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He wipe the feet with the towel. Just imagine if our feet were wet and we walk outside again. There will be more dirt and dust on our feet. This means that after we receive or hear His Word through this Bible for example, we must realize the truth that we have been forgiven through the sacrifice of Lord Jesus once and for all! We must also realize that our lives cannot be apart from the Word of God. Everyday we need His Word.

So, don’t be condemned by the devil. I don’t know how hard your lives are or what kind of problems you are having. But learn the truth, and let your feet be washed by His Water daily. Let His Word cleanses you daily, and you will enjoy living your Christian lives with Jesus (“If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”). Be refreshed my friends 🙂