Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Psalm 84:10

Have you tried scheduling an appointment? Have you felt the excitement that even things you are about to carry with you are already planned or even bought days or sometimes weeks before that day? Have you experienced sleeplessness the night before that “big” day?

When was the last time you experienced being on a “cloud-nine”? Was it because of success? Victory? High grade? The long-awaited “yes”?

If success or the “cloud-nine” is to be earned with sweat and you need to undergo the needle’s eye, excitement is not the initial feeling. Most of the time, you feel so nervous; butterflies are starting to fill your stomach. You are anticipating/hoping for a positive outcome.

So imagine the excitement you will feel if you know that you are expecting for something that will make you happy and satisfied in the end! That is probably the feeling of King David when he utters:

“Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” (Psalm 84:10)

David has experienced the workings and communion of God and so he wanted more of God. He says, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God (Psa 42:2)?” He is too excited to go into the house of the Lord, not because of the splendour of the building (the temple was built when his son succeeded him as king) but because of God Himself. He knew that being in the presence of God, dwelling in His presence is better than anything this world could offer. He loves to be in the presence of God; he wants to be where his love is – and the love of his life is God and God alone. Hasn’t he told us to “taste and see that the LORD is good (Psalm 34:8a)”? You will be excited and confident to share if you have seen and tasted something that is really good. So I can’t imagine the goodness and beauty that David has seen that’s why he keeps on praising and sharing God.

Tonight, I am so ashamed before God. It was too late for me to realize that today is Wednesday, that today is the day for our Midweek Service. There are other people I thought have forgotten it but I felt double shame knowing they haven’t forgotten it and I did.

I was about to finish the blog I am supposed to post tonight but this has really struck me. And I thank God He did talk to my heart. He is too gracious to let me feel not just the guilt but the lost of forgetting Him. He is too gracious to fill my heart with so many convictions that when I opened Winamp to play music, Better is One Day was the music playing. I felt so bad missing our Midweek Service. I felt so bad I was too preoccupied with some other things that I forgot God. I felt so ashamed of myself.

May this confession help you see the worth of immersing in the presence of God. May David challenge you as he has with me today to “taste and see the goodness of God”. He has seen and tasted God’s goodness and he never wanted to depart from God; how little do I see God that I have forgotten Him today? He was so overwhelmed by God’s love that His love is better than life (Psalm 63:3) for him.

Tonight, it is my prayer that even a pinch of David’s heart after God be also my heart. May God forgive me.

The following is a commentary of Albert Barnes on Psalm 84:10a. I hope it will help you appreciate the verse more deeply.

For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand - Better - happier - more profitable - more to be desired - than a thousand days spent elsewhere. That is, I should find more happiness - more true joy - in one day spent in the house of God, in his worship, in the exercises of true religion - more that will be satisfactory to the soul, and that will be dwelt on with pleasure in the memory when life is coming to a close - than I could in a thousand days spent in any other manner. This was much for a man like David - or a man who had been encompassed with all the splendor of royalty - to say; it is much for any man to say. And yet it could be said with truth by him; it can be said with equal truth by others; and when we come to the end of life - to the time when we shall review the past, and ask where we have found most true happiness, most that was satisfactory to the soul, most that we shall delight then to dwell on and to remember, most that we should be glad to have repeated and perpetuated, most that would be free from the remembrance of disappointment, chagrin, and care - it will not be the banqueting hall - the scenes of gaiety - the honors, the praises, the flatteries of people - or even the delights of literature and of the social circle - but it will be the happy times which we shall have spent in communion with God - the times when in the closet we poured out our hearts to Him - when we bowed before him at the family altar, when we approached him in the sanctuary. The sweetest remembrances of life will be the sabbath and the exercises of religion. (Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

More Than I Ever Prayed

( This is a parody of "More Than You'll Ever Know" by Michael Ruff)

Trust His hand

It'll take a while, we know not why
Trust His time, His wisdom knows better

He's the One
Who gives me you very timely
You are the gift, my long awaited beloved

I am blessed, more that I ever prayed
I am blessed, more than I ever longed
More than my heart could ever want
I am blessed, more that I ever prayed

Thank to Him
I know that He's holding us through
We'll always be lifting His Name together

With every pray'r
Our hearts be united in single passion
Glorifying Him forever

(Repeat Chorus)

Take my hand
I'll complement, I'll pray with you
With His love, always I'll be there for you

He's the One
He knows more than I ever prayed
You are the one He prepared for His beloved

(Repeat Chorus)

This is the very first time I made a parody. Bear with me, I'm not a parody writer but I wanna make something I don't usually do for my beloved Best ^_^ There are some problems with the video below, I just need its melody.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Holy, Holy, Holy by Thomas Brooks

"Who is like You, glorious in holiness?" Exodus 15:11

God is . . .
infinitely holy,
transcendently holy,
superlatively holy,
constantly holy,
unchangeably holy,
exemplary holy,
gloriously holy.

All the holiness that is in the best and choicest
Christians is but a mixed holiness, a weak and
imperfect holiness. Their unholiness is always
more than their holiness.
Ah, what a great deal . . .
of pride is mixed with a little humility,
of unbelief is mixed with a little faith,
of peevishness is mixed with a little meekness,
of earthliness is mixed with a little heavenliness,
of carnality is mixed with a little spirituality,
of harshness is mixed with a little tenderness!

Oh, but the holiness of God is a pure holiness, it is
a holiness without mixture; there is not the least
drop or the least dreg of unholiness in God! "God
is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5

In God there is . . .
all wisdom without any folly,
all truth without any falsehood,
all light without any darkness, and
all holiness without any sinfulness.

(continue reading here)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Esther Ahn Kim: Beloved of God

Last Sunday, the youth in our church and I studied a life of one of the saints. Since I was the one assigned to take charge, I grabbed the chance to introduce a saint they have never heard or known (I don’t know her before too but thanks to Noël Piper and her book Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God). This saint I am referring to is Ahn Ei Sook or better known now as Esther Ahn Kim who is also the author of the book If I Perish. You can read more about her life on pages 107-138 of Piper’s book.

She had undergone many sufferings yet she had remained faithful. She didn't bow to the Japanese goddess though she knew that it would cost her imprisonment, torture and it could even be her death. The following are the lessons I learned from her life:

1. She learned the help and importance of serenity and solemnity.

Living in that house, she soaked up the serenity and strength of the brook and field and woods and sky around her. Rainstorms and powerful weather seemed to energize her. Because they were isolated, she could sing hymns loudly. During the weeks they were there, she memorized many hymns and more than 100 chapters of the Bible. (Noël Piper)

2. She learned the importance of spiritual disciplines.

And each day in their house they continued the disciplines they had begun in the country: prayer, hymns—quietly now—worshiping, and memorizing Scripture. (Noël Piper)

a. Bible reading and memorization

As she would have anywhere, she depended on God and his Word to sustain her. The Word that was at her disposal was the vast amount she had stored in the library of her heart. All the Scripture she had memorized was there to meditate on in prison as it had been at all other times in her life, for her to draw on to remember God’s promises of faithfulness. (Noël Piper)

b. Fasting

I knew it would be impossible for me to keep my faith in my own power. God would have to work through me if I was to stand firm. I decided to fast.

Although I had not expected it, after the fast I was able to understand the Scriptures better and I felt a new power in my prayer. Now I felt that I could leave the fear of torture in the Lord’s hands. (Esther Ahn Kim as quoted by Noël Piper)

c. Prayer

As she would have anywhere, she prayed for the people close to her. At one jail, she had lent the head jailer a Japanese Bible. Later he told her he was going to resign and go back to Japan. He wanted to start a new life because he’d come to hate his job. He said, “Officially, I am leaving for a rest, but a change has come into my heart. I want to live for a rewarding and true hope as you are doing.” When she told him she had often prayed for him, he said, “You’ve prayed for me? Now I understand. (Noël Piper)

3. She learned not to live in luxury.

The first step was to learn to live in deep poverty... She made a habit of buying complete lots of poor produce from the poorest vendors—at full price. Then she culled through and gave what was edible to her mother and sister. She ate what was left. She was preparing for the rotten beans and millet she expected in prison. (Noël Piper)

4. She has compassion for her persecutors and the lost.

The soldiers all had that strange look of death, as though they were being sent to hell for the sake of the state. . . . Someone must save these tens of thousands of fine young men from the road to hell. I stomped the ground and cried in my frustration and anger. If only someone in a high position would stand up to the Japanese leaders and make them see that the youth from all over the country were turning into fiends in hell, day after day. . . . That burden tormented me like a fire that would not be quenched. Then suddenly I heard a voice speaking to my heart, “You are the one! You must do it!” (Esther Ahn Kim as quoted by Noël Piper)

5. She learned to share Christ no matter what situation was and wherever she was.

It was not considered proper for ladies of their class and education even to visit the market. But each day they were there, handing out tracts and trying to tell people about Jesus. (Noël Piper)

6. She learned to rejoice and delight in God’s will and way.

We fasted as a group and made it a habit to eat as plainly as possible and to sleep without using quilts. Although we were all poor, we were never in want, and our houses and clothes were clean. We were all filled with the Holy Spirit and were convinced it was more than an honor to die for the Lord. We constantly lived in fear of the police, but we were happy and satisfied, envying no one. Having prayed all night, Pastor Power Chae would often stand up in joy, dancing and singing, while tears ran down his cheeks.

For us it was a joyous blessing to have been born in such a place and for such a time. I realized that it was because of this persecution that I was able to truly experience God’s presence and trust His promises. (Esther Ahn Kim as quoted by Noël Piper)

7. She learned to solely depend on the power of Jesus.

“But if not.” Even if God didn’t save them from the burning fire, they would die honoring him. I was going to make the same decision. With God’s help, I would never bow before the Japanese idol, even if He did not save me from the hands of the Japanese. I was saved by Jesus. I could bow only before God, the Father of my Savior. I felt as though I could already see the burning furnace yawning for me. While we walked I was praying. I knew what I was going to do. “Today on the mountain, before the large crowd,” I told myself, “I will proclaim that there is no other God beside you. This is what I will do for Your holy name. (Esther Ahn Kim as quoted by Noël Piper)

And when they were in heaven, “they would tell Jesus that it was because of his love and not because of their own powers that they had not denied their faith. (Noël Piper, italicized were words of Esther Ahn Kim)

I am really recommending that we read biographies of great men and women of God because from their lives, we can learned lots of things and we will be greatly encouraged too.


Reference: Piper, Noël. Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God. Illinois: Crossway Books, 2005.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

For My Father on Father's Day 2011

If I will recall my childhood memories now
They are filled with all your answers to my "how"
When the spelling of "sugar" I do not know
You did not mock me when "shoegar" written on my paper I did show

Little by little you taught me not just in spelling words
For you even involved me in your electrical and mechanical works
As lots of curiosity enveloped that little girl of yours
You patiently answered as waves never got tired visiting the shores

How I appreciate you in knowing my likes when buying toys for me
'Cause You never bothered to buy me doll house and dolls like Barbie
Instead you bought me sewing machine and that tool kit which are tiny
Let us add the cooking pots and utensils I used when portraying the cooking mommy

You were the one who taught me to love reading books and magazines
Observing your passion in collecting and reading I know there is that treasuring
And so I tried to finish my "365 Bible stories" book when I was only ten
It started with just imitation; now benefits are realized then

I was the only one who had suffered much from your disciplinary hands
And I would never regret that; I thank God I am given that chance
Your authority I admired much more; those disciplines kept the bonds
'Cause I know I have a father for I can feel his loving hands

Those days and memories may have been so much different today
Yet their lasting effects may I be able to explain and don't find it corny
What I was before when I was the papa's girl helped me much to know my Father in heaven
You taught me domesticity, discipline and reading I now find helpful in serving the brethren

You installed in me to be critical and to believe on things I have proven true
I am not easily swayed now and before until Christ has penetrated me through
Thank you for all those trainings and knowledge that prepared me so
It is my prayer that this Christ I found may also be found by you

For this once little girl of yours long to grow with you again
This time together in knowing and treasuring God for eternal gain
How I wish I could share the joy whenever I see you in your pain
I have no more wish, no more pray'r than be with you in heav'n

I could not offer you wealth to repay the hardships you have dealt
I could not give you the luxury to recompense the pains you have felt
May this heartfelt "Thank you" this Father's Day kiss your heart
And may through this poem I can tell the message I pray for you always

Sunday, May 8, 2011

For My Beloved Mama

God says that all things work together
For the good of those who love Him
Having been borne and molded by Nida Posadas Manuel
Therefore; is part of His molding and working in Anna Manelle

She has been my life's great challenger and teacher
She is unique in her ways of raising me
She knows me well of my learning styles
So she taught me how to read and write in ways I could learn better

Thanks to my mom whose hands are always busy
I got curious that washing the dishes and doing the laundry
Made her satisfied and so much happy
So at an early age I learned to love domesticity

She is not good in fixing my hair
Nor in wrapping my gifts and covering my books
But those are still blessings in disguise
So I could learn them on my own

She has strengths I seldom see in a woman
People love to bring her along; she excels in interpersonal communication
That's why when I do bad things
She knows well how to penetrate guilt in my heart

There are more things I wanted the world to know
Yet words aren't enough to mention her works
So I simply thank God she is my mother
And may this simple poem express my thanks to her

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Day: April Fool's Day

I planned to post a blog here today because last year, I posted a topic about women who are considered fools by this world. I am about to have a part II of that post; however, God has planned another topic - an unusual way of showing me that today should be really my is because April 1 is considered a Fool's Day, this is then my day... How can I say so? Here is the story....

Thursday night, I had a talk with my mother and I learned that the financial crises we have is more than I expected. But instead of feeling the problem, I thanked God for that conversation because He let me see the other side of my mother which I, most of the time, misunderstood.

That night my prayer is very different. Whenever a problem is there, I always cry before the Lord and seeing things as if everything is really hopeless. This night is very different. There is a work from the Divine, a work I couldn’t explain but I know that His comfort and His love enveloped my heart. My prayers were not about our problems but about His sovereignty. My heart was very at peace infront of Him. I prayed that He knows my needs, He knows where and how those needs will be met.
'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
and to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
and to know, "Thus saith the Lord." (Louisa M. R. Stead)
What happened today is very unusual. I went to school to finish my clearance. After doing so, I was told to go to the Human Resource Department of our school. I was handed a memo stating that my contract will not be renewed this coming June. I was somehow shocked and all that I could asked was, “On what reason?” I was told that it has been four years that I am in the school and yet I have not finished my Masteral Degree yet. Ma’am Zeny was teary eyed as she was telling me that. She kept on telling me that she knows I am a Christian and that I am strong enough to face this trial. She said more things to encourage me but there is something more that shouts louder within me. This is the answer for my prayer, Lord, isn’t it?

I managed to go to our Department Head who told me more words of encouragement. I told one of my close co-instructor Jawe and she cried and cried. Many thought I have the poise to control my emotions; some told me I am so strong facing that news. They don’t know what happened last night.

I don’t know where – the place of my new work, the source of our income. Yet, one thing I know, this time it will not be from CdD. God knows it is not through CdD. I don’t know what awaits my future but I am not afraid; the One who created the heavens and the earth never fails to uphold me. In the past He never left me; in my present, He is always there and so in my future, I know He is there.

This may be foolishness but His grace increases all the more whenever things are so blurry and yet I confidently say and even sing:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I've proved him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more! (Louisa M. R. Stead)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Response to A Note IN Authentic Beauty

Nard handed me the book Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy with a note which you can read here. He started with poetry and through poetry I will also express my heart:

Yes on My 29th on March 9

You gave me nine reasons for yes, hesitations also amount to nine
Let me put first the eleven years of friendship from the Divine
If things won't work out what will happen to that
Fear to lose this friendship envelopes my heart

Next reason is just my foolishness plus a pride
Thinking of my own words that affirm my friends there's no feeling inside
Will a nod silence their question if we are tied
Or will this bring further questions beyond my mind

I am not into a perfect family; you know our struggles too
My obligation holds me; you know that's true
You have been with me through it all
Too much shoulder you have offered; will I ask for more

In addition to that I have given you lots of cares
For financial stability is always my prayer
Again, you have bear them all with me
Can I, again, involve you into a greater degree

Let us add to the list this frail body I have
For you know my health is not in good tide
This puts me to another worry
Can I then be the perfect complementary

I know you since we are about five or six
If familiarity is one of the criteria that would fix
Yet this area of courtship is very unfamiliar to me
Though many think I know a lot about this LCM bee

I am not a perfect person; still sinner inside
I fear the whole of me especially if self is not denied
If that happens I am pushed to this last hesitation
Could I be an effective partner in your Single Passion

Lots of what ifs and why's fill my mind
I could have nine reasons to say "No" to thine
But when you assured that God's grace will suffice
Then my heart with you in His hands I entrust

In any way I can serve Him more, there I'll be
If that means with you then I won't flee
May God be gracious as He always is
In this new path I take as I told you "Yes"

An Extraordinary Birthday Celebration

It is always a tradition as well as a challenge to save the best for our (Nard and I) birthdays. We want our gifts and even preparations be surprised and this is the most surprising gift I received. He handed me the book I long to have though actually the book itself is not a surprise for he already informed me not to buy that book for he would do it for me. What surprised me is the note which you can read below:

March 9, Year 29, Reason 9

Farcical was I by the age of fourteen
When proposal I made to a girl from Palaming
I know the shame being under that chico tree
Don't laugh when now, to you, it's through poetry

My antecedents here are generally childish
Like a boy losing against Yuri's Skirmish
But please endure and persevere to the end
I am just setting the stage for my message to send

First, you know that we both are already tired
Of students and friends asking if we're tied
Instead of stepping through miles of NOT
At least it will already suffice with a nod

Besides, Finals is near and fast approaching
I need someone who will assist in the checking
I don't want Mel, Anj, and Stan making a grin
When my class records to them appear clean

Allow me to state that I need a potential refuge
From a skinny guy who maybe needs the dude Freud
Don't want him to think of an imaginary reason
That her beloved Jean Grey is my obsession

For this next item, I fear to be misunderstood
For I envy those whose kids are so good
Christine Joy already has two nice Añonuevos
While our bellies to pageants will surely lose

I am perplexed how they change their status much
Considering mine is the same since Game and Watch
I am curious and to this river I want a sip
And see in my Facebook, " a relationship"

"Why on my birthday?" is a question you may raise
But it's known that dates on my head can't place
For one brain cubicle, March 9 will save me
Less I forget and make you upset or even angry

Moreover, March 9 is a perfect pocket asylum
For anniversaries' expenses not being premium
It will be nine days after we receive our last pay
And we need to be thrifty until the sixth day

I guess you now find it hard to follow through
That reason eight states my pity for you
Because today, you are just a step down 30
Drawing nearer to the words of Carolyn McCulley

Your bestfriend you know even before second grade
You know there is no grim in these rhymes I made
Enough of making these tiring stanzas silly
For my mood changes, now I am drafting sincerely

The Lord taught me how to see Authentic Beauty
Eventhough, not like you, I don't read Ludy
I fully rest on the Bible's infallibility
Exciting me to see your charm even at fifty

In you, united are orthodoxy and domesticity
And even apologetics and catholicity
I can't help but appreciate you to be pretty
For the GOD of glory defines you as lovely

You may doubt, as an abstract noun, it's not superb
But I promise my love will be an active verb
Times will be testing but there is a GOD of grace
So won't you affirm and to courtship with me say Yes?


my answer is here

Sunday, February 13, 2011

While True Love is Waiting

This was part of my lecture delivered last February 11, 2007 to the young people. Almost everybody is celebrating this day so in order to grab this time and yet not to spoil my (unfinished yet) lecture for the young people on Friday, I wanna share this first.

This was titled while true love is waiting because many young people are asking what they are supposed to do if they are not to pursue romantic relationship early. But before we answer that question, let us clarify first why we need to wait.

Why true love waits?

Waiting until I’m ready for commitment before pursuing romance is just one example of letting Christ’s love control my relationship with the opposite sex. (Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, p.20)

In Song of Songs, Solomon defines love as strong as death (8:6). The power of love is beyond human comprehension and comparing it to death is the proof of its power.

The wisest man on earth is the same man who acknowledged that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven (Eccl.3:1). And there is even a proper time to love (Eccl.3:8a).

1. Waiting is obedience.

Waiting for the right time to love the right person is not a violation of man’s freedom to love. But treating/seeing your brothers/sisters as potential “partner” or spending time to seek for the right man/woman is a violation. It is disobedience towards God for not loving one another as Christ and it is sinning against our brothers/sisters for not portraying the love of Christ for them.

2. Waiting is trusting God.

Rushing is not trusting God at all. Our primary concern should be to seek first the kingdom of God (Mt.6:33a), not to seek who is he/she that God has prepared for us. Because if the latter is our concern, we don not trust God that all these things shall be added unto you (Mt.6:33b). We don’t trust God He knows we need and long for someone to love us. We forget to see that God knows the inmost part of us, we neglect to remember that Adam didn’t ask for Eve, God knew it is not good for him to be alone (Gen.2:18).

3. Waiting teaches us to be patient as we learn to acknowledge God’s sovereignty.

In the book of Ecclesiastes it says, there is a proper time and procedure for every matter (8:6a). And our Sovereign God is the Author of that perfect time and procedure.

4. Waiting is submission to God as you allow Him to mold you until the proper time.

Joshua Harris says that the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.

5. Waiting is an opportunity to enjoy singleness as a gift from God.

This is the moment for every believer to grow in Christ and serve Him with an undivided devotion (I Cor.7:32, 34).

How to know the right time?

And the wise heart will know its proper time and procedure for each matter. (Eccl.5:5b)

The Bible doesn’t tell us to weigh our emotions and feelings to know if he/she is the right man/woman. It tells us that a wise heart will discern it. That is why, we need to pray and seek for the wisdom, not to seek him/her.

We need to guard our hearts (Prov.4:23a) especially that the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure (Jer.17:9). Let us pray for God’s guidance and blessing of a wise heart. A wise heart is a patient heart. A wise heart is an obedient heart. A wise heart is a heart that loves like Christ.

“Waiting for God’s timing requires trusting in His goodness and wisdom. We develop patience as we trust that God denies us what we think is good only because He has something better for us- both now and in the future.” (Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, p.81)

And While True Love is Waiting…

Waiting for the day, ‘til I hear You say, “Here’s the one I have created just for you.”

(Jaci Velasquez, I Promise)

I will celebrate in its due season, and wait for the one who’s waiting for me.

(This Promise I Made)

While waiting for the proper man and the proper time, what are we supposed to do?

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Eph.5:15-17)

In Genesis 24:10-66, it is not the sign prayed by the servant that has made Rebekah the chosen girl for Isaac. God has already made Rebekah to be for Isaac even before they were born. What made Rebekah perfect for the perfect timing of God is that she was just doing her daily tasks without knowing that God was already arranging every scenario of her love life.

Greg Harris said that Rebekah was able to meet God’s divine appointment for her life because she was faithfully carrying out her current obligations.

What are our current obligations?

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matt.22:37)
It’s easy to say that we love God and we trust Him. The following are just some questions that will help us evaluate our relationship with God now:
  1. How intimate or deep do we know our God?
  2. How much time do we spend in a day with God?
  3. Is God our first thought in the morning and the last thought before we sleep?
  4. Do we enjoy reading God’s Word and do we meditate on them?
  5. Do we enjoy our prayer time and do we have our quiet times?

The evil in desire typically does not lie in what we want, but in that we want it too much. (John Calvin)

It is not a sin to desire for a future partner. It becomes a sin when it already strips our focus on God’s glory and sovereignty. When longings and imaginations fill our hearts, when discontentment enters our hearts and that we long for someone and fails to see God.

A relationship with God through faith in Christ is the answer to the insecurity of our earthly life. (Jim Elliff)

Let us pray for satisfaction in God, the contentment for His love in us, and the assurance for the hope we have in Him is secured in His hands. Be a godly man, a man after God’s own heart.

A deep and an intimate relationship with the Lord will make us secure even if the people around us pressure us to be like them, even if they all have partners and we don’t have.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. (John Piper)

If we are committing ourselves in service to God, in devotion to prayer, and in meditation of His Word, we are sure that we are on His will. And God is most glorified if we are contented and satisfied in His love.

  • Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt.22:39)

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Rom.12:10-11)

Next to God, our current obligation is our duty towards our brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul reminded the Romans to be devoted to one another in brotherly love. God gives us godly people not for us to pinpoint who, among them, is our future partner. God wants us to grow with them, enjoy the fellowship as we glorify God in loving each other as Christ loved us.

We need to develop pure and genuine friendship with others. C.S. Lewis defines friendship as two people walking side by side toward a common goal. For Christians, this common goal is the growth in Christ’s likeness as they glorify God.

Treating others as friends, as brothers and sisters in Christ, will help us demonstrate Christ’s love. It is greatly encouraged to develop deeper friendship with the same sex to avoid any romantic intimacy. Yet, opposite-sex friendship is not discourage, for there are some things that you may learn from them also. However, this friendship requires greater accountability and responsibility for both sides of men and ladies.

The Responsibility

Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with absolute purity. (I Tim.5:1b-2)

Men’s responsibility

It is the nature of a man to be protective and gentleman, especially to a person so dear to him. Yet, men should take an extra care to consider the vulnerability of a woman’s heart. It is your responsibility to be very careful with what you do or say with a woman. You need to guard the heart of a woman against any arousal of unwanted feeling and expectations. You have the accountability with your sisters to share with their burdens but take a lot of care for them (us) not to be dependent on you, lead them back to the cross always.

Do not treat any of your sisters as potential girlfriend. Any special treatment you show to a girl might distract her from her focus on the Lord. Her focus will not be the service you are doing for her, it will be you.

Girls’ responsibility

The responsibility doesn’t lie on men alone. Girls, we need to guard our feelings against any romantic attraction or much emotional dependence. We should not misunderstand nor give extra romantic reasons for every action our brothers do to us.

Any single idea of seeing a brother as a partner will lead us away from the will of God. And being intimate with someone, especially in the opposite sex, is quite dangerous. It is our responsibility to draw a line between friendship and intimacy. We are more emotional and fragile to affections.

It is our weakness to desire for the excitement of romance and we love the comfort and the feeling of being liked and loved by someone. Infatuation may focus us away from God.

Let us take seriously this warning from Joshua Harris:

Instead of making God the object of our longing, we wrongly direct these feelings toward another human. We became idolaters, bowing to someone other than God, hoping that this person will meet our needs and bring us fulfillment.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Don’t Waste Your Femininity

It was during our New Testament Survey that while my brother was discussing I Timothy chapter two when this blog topic was conceived.

God created women with the same purpose as men; that is, to glorify God (Isaiah 43:7). One of Elisabeth Elliot’s quotes that I love says, “The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God's idea of me and my whole life is an offering back to Him.” Thus, Christian women should not use our distinction from men to justify sins or idolatry. Using our being woman to reason out that we have greater needs and demands doesn’t glorify God. We may be even wasting the very purpose of our creation. Please bear reading this blog post and I pray that my meditations will help you not waste your femininity.

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (I Timothy 2:9-10)

Don’t Waste Your Femininity on Flamboyant Clothes

Women are mostly given the taste for artistry and creativity; that is to be used for conducive homemaking. It can also be used for one’s physical outlook. Nonetheless, artistry and creativity doesn’t require the compromise of immodest dress. You don’t invite attraction and appreciation with low cutlines, miniskirts or even short shorts; rather, you provoke lust.

Christian women, know the struggles of men regarding lust and you will be helping them a lot by not enticing them to fall or even struggle with it. You are created not only to complement your partner/future partner. You can do so even among your brothers in faith. You can glorify God even with the choice of clothes you wear. (read more here)

"In the world's philosophy people dress in order for other people to notice them. But the Christian philosophy is that we do not dress primarily for others, but to please God. If He is the one we're trying to please, our objective should be a desire to reflect his glory, even in the way we dress.

In the world's philosophy the purpose of clothing is to reveal the body. The purpose is for sexual attraction. Some do it overtly and crassly-exposing most of their bodies. Many of the women in our churches would not do that. But some have adopted the philosophy of showing a little bit to tease. That can be just as seductive, if not more so, to Christian men than some of the more extreme forms of immodesty on the covers of magazines at the grocery store check-out. The Christian understands that the purpose of clothing is to cover the body." (Nancy Leigh DeMoss)

Don’t Waste Your Femininity on Material Temporal Things

Women are so much hooked now on how they may improve their hairs, how to have fairer skin, how to loss weight – all for the physical yet temporal beauty. Paul reminds Timothy that women are not to be much with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes. It is not bad to braid our hairs or use accessories but Paul rebukes those Ephesians (specifically the women) because they are imitating how the prostitutes dress. They dress to entice men and the Ephesian women are starting to make these fashions as their standard. In Colossians 3:2 Paul says, Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

"…the world promotes the philosophy that beauty is physical and external, whereas the Word of God helps us to understand that beauty is fundamentally spiritual, and therefore, internal… The woman who adopts the world's philosophy, believes that her body is her identity. It becomes the basis for her security or insecurity. So you knock yourself out trying to achieve this beautiful model's figure, and that becomes the basis for your security." (Nancy Leigh DeMoss)

Don’t Waste Your Femininity With Ungodly Deeds

After Paul rebukes and reminds what are not supposed to be the passion and pursuit of a godly woman, he then tells what is appropriate for her – to adorn herself with good deeds. Good deeds will glorify God (Matthew 5:16) and they testify that those who do them are wise (James 3:13).

King Lemuel’s mother reminds him that an excellent wife or woman is far more precious than jewels and one of her characteristics is that she does him good all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:12). At verse 30, she exhorts that charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

You waste your femininity when you do not do good deeds. That is because you are not a woman living for this world’s approval; you are a woman living for the glory of God.

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

It is advised that you acquaint yourself with godly men and women whose aim is for the glory of God. And as I conclude, let me share some challenges and wisdom from godly people I respect:

"Does your hairstyle, clothing, or any aspect of your appearance reveal an excessive fascination with sinful cultural values? Are you preoccupied with looking like the latest American Idol winner, or the actresses on magazine covers, or the immodest woman next door? Are your role models the godly women of Scripture or the worldly women of our culture?" (C. J. Mahaney)

"The world's philosophy is if you want to be loved, you have to be beautiful, sensual and alluring. Now I grant that women who are sensual and physically stunning will likely receive a certain kind of male attention and love. But physical beauty will never get you the kind of love you were created for, the kind of love and attention that your heart as a child of God really longs to have. The Christian woman recognizes that she's already loved by God in a deeper and richer and more meaningful way than she could ever be loved by any human being. Therefore, our hearts as Christian women should fundamentally seek to be beautiful for God, i.e., to cultivate the kind of beauty that he finds attractive.

The world's perspective on clothing is driven by fashion. But the Christian's philosophy is driven by the heart and the Word of God. Now, let me ask which of those philosophies is revealed by your physical appearance and your clothing choices. What are you communicating? When people look at you, what do they learn about what you believe? Christian modesty is first and foremost a way of thinking. It's a way of thinking that manifests itself in the way that we dress, talk, and act. So ask yourself based on these two philosophies, "Am I living according to the world's way of thinking or am I reflecting God's heart and his way of thinking?" (Nancy Leigh DeMoss)

Copyright His Beloved 2011.