The Proposal

It was not on a romantic place

It was a place of death and sorrow;

He was not well dressed

He was almost naked;

His face was not handsome

It was beyond recognition;

He does not look composed

He was wounded, bleeding and bruised;

There were no cheering friends around him

Only a mocking public;

There were no roses on his hands

But there were thorns on his head;

He was not kneeling

But he was hanging;

He bought me no diamond ring

He was a persecuted King;

He laid down not just a wedding proposal

But his very own life;

It may not seem pleasant

But, it was the grandest of all;

I know I’m not worthy of such love

– a love that bleeds, a love that completes,

a love that’s unending,

But I will always say “Yes” to my nail–pierced lover.

cross of christ

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Why and Why Not? Because I am not the same anymore.

I had battled my emotions last week, my faith was somehow shaken and tested, and I keep on asking God a lot of Why and Why Not.

Here are some of my Why Lord? questions:

  1. Why do innocent people gets accused for the wrongs they haven’t done?
  2. Why do we have to ask for forgiveness for the wrongs that we haven’t done?
  3. Why do we have to be humble?
  4. Why continue to love those who have hurt us?

and here are my Why Not Lord? questions:

  1. Why should I not be confronting?
  2. Why not tell all my feelings?
  3. Why not hate them?

I have a lot of questions right? But God answered me just once, He points me to the cross, and all the answers are there – Jesus.

Whys?

  1. Because an innocent man was crucified not for His sins (Matthew 27:32-44). Jesus was innocent, yet He was accused. Did He justified Himself? Did He reasoned out that He was not guilty? No, He didn’t.
  2. Because even though the people condemned Him, He asked God to forgive them, saying “Forgive them father for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
  3. Because He is a God yet for my sins He became a man, to save me and rescue me. He humbled Himself. (Philippians 2:8)
  4. Because He endured the cross for my sins for He loves me and that I love Him too, and He said, “If you love me keep my commands.” (John 4:15) His command was to love your enemies (Luke 6:27), and so I must obey.

Why Not?

  1. Because Jesus too remained silent. Jesus could have reasoned out to Herod yet He remained silent. (Luke 23:9)
  2. Because as the prophet Jeremiah said it “I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”(Jeremiah 10:23), and so I let God lead my decisions and actions, and lean not own my understanding and feelings.
  3. Because Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

Come Tuesday last week, I had my T4V class and a privilege to talk to my mentor, Ate Rina, she reminds me that Jesus humbled Himself for me, and as a Christian I must also live the way Jesus live. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. (1 Peter 2:21). Pastor John, our teacher for last Tuesday session, said “If you have experienced true forgiveness then it will be easy for you to forgive without effort.” And my classmate and VG sister, Jeanette, reminded me of “Be slow to anger and be quick to forgive.”

Looking back in my past life, the word SORRY was out of my dictionary, but then now, sorry came out of my heart naturally when I found out that I have hurt someone without me knowing why and how.

If I am still living in my past life, I wouldn’t say sorry then I am sure I could have hurt more and that I am still hurt. Pride could have eat me inside and consumes me little by little that anger could grow and overflow in my heart.

But I thank the Lord (and will be forever grateful) that I have been saved and forgiven in Jesus; and because of that forgiveness, I could forgive easily “Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). My heart was and is still free of pain, anger, and hurt. “For if the son sets you free, you are free indeed” (John 8:36).

I must forgive because I have been forgiven.

Pride and bitterness may knock at my door a thousand times, but Jesus is in me and with Him and like Him, I will ask for forgiveness, pray for those who have hurt me, and love those who hate me.

God didn’t said that as I follow Him I will become lovable and there will be no enemies along the way. Its the same as saying we will live a storm free life in Christ, but God didn’t promised that kind of life. However, He equipped us with the blood of Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2), and in Him, we will be storm proof. Life with Jesus will not be easy, but it is worth it.

I am not the same anymore, in Jesus I am a new creation. My old unforgiving, greedy, and pride-full life is gone, I may look back it, but God called me to fix my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and remember what He has done for me on the cross. With this thing that happened to me last week, indeed, all I could say is that the old me was gone and the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I am grateful for this change of heart, attitude, and actions, but above all, I’m glad that God never fails to let me feel loved despite there are times just like last week when my faith in Him was shaken. In times like this, prayers, His words, and Godly people that surrounds me is all that I need to stand firm and be reminded that I am not the same old me, but I am new.

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The Manager, The Rich, and My Questions

Chapter 16

The story of the not-so-good Manager

Allow me to cut this story into pieces and the way it reaches me.

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.

“Dealing with our own kind” this for me means treating others the way we want to be treated. Jesus once said, “the measure you used will be the measured to be  use on you.” This is why I keep on asking God  why do I cry every time I see injustice and inhumane treatment? God always reminds me that I cry because I care and because I love; and because He Himself, a God, treats us equally. As humans, we must also treat each other equally as well, but do we?

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

Are we worth the trust? All of us have been given, all of us have received, big or small as we see it, we are blessed. We are not worthy  to receive these blessings, yet we are still blessed. The question is, Are we trustworthy of what has been given to us? The world is a wealthy place and God entrusted us with a lot of things, How do we handle our riches here on earth?

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Two lines did hit me  here 1.) Hate the one and love the other 2.) what people value highly is detestable to God

I believe Jesus is asking here, what do we love? The things pleasing to every one, which is detestable to His sight? or Him, the one who was detested by men?

The Rich Man

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.

This scares me, honestly. Why? Because I have live a life of comfort. I have a family, which is not perfect but at least I have them; I have a home, which is not a mansion but at least I’m safe and comfortable; I eat three times a day, which is not a feast every meal but at least I’m satisfied and full – these are just few of my comforts and good things here on earth but then I saw this line from Abraham, I asked myself, “Will he say the same words to me?”

I believe what this message means is that, How do we live our lives of comfort? How do we share it with our fellows, those who live an uncomfortable life? The prisoners, the sick, the poor, the orphan, the homeless, and the food less? Do we just let them live outside our mansions?

I believe all of us are like Lazarus – filthy, poor, and beggars but Jesus came out of His comfort zone just to offer us the fullness of life in His Kingdom. The question now is, Can we do what Jesus did to our neighbors?

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

That was Abraham’s answer to the rich man, when the rich man said that his family will only repent if they see someone who was raised from the dead. Many people know that Jesus died and was risen from the dead for even death couldn’t hold him down, yet why are still so many people who have an unrepenting heart? Many people knows the cause of His death and resurrection but why still their hearts aren’t changed?