Tag Archives: good news!

What is The Gospel?

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My friends and I recently attended a concert at the Music Museum and this word got my attention as we were going down the stairs.

Then I thought to myself,  a lot of people go through life, just passing by this word and not really getting the heart of it.

If you try to ask random people,  some would say its a genre of music. For others who grew up with a religious background its just the first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and for some, they’d say its the good things you do for God or a way to earn your ticket to heaven.

But what is it really? What would a biblical worldview of the gospel look like?

 GOOD NEWS! GOOD ADVICE 

More than a doctrine, a teaching or a set of Scriptures, the gospel is primarily an event centered on the person and the life work of Jesus Christ. It is His Story that is actually the heart of the Christian faith. Dr. Rice Broocks gives us a clear and complete summary of what it is:

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Therefore, the gospel is not about what we do for God, but what He has done for us through Jesus. And what He has done for us elicits a response on our part if we would believe it or not. Indeed, it is the power for us to be made right and accepted before God who is holy and righteous. And it is through this gospel we who are enemies of God could become His very children.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” -John 1:12

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NOT JUST THE A-B-C’s BUT THE A to Z 

Timothy Keller, a pastor and Bible teacher makes this point clear: “The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make progress in the kingdom.”

The point is as believers we never actually graduate from the gospel. It’s not just for the lost who needs to become new creations in Christ, but it also for Christians who continuously needs transforming. It is for you and I who continuously needs to be more like Jesus in our character and attitude, in thoughts and in our actions.

The gospel is the basis of our personal relationship with God. It must be at the core of our faith walk and life journey with God. It tells us how sinful and morally ugly we are in ourselves, yet loved and accepted in Christ more than we ever dared hope!

 

Do you have friends who need to know about this good news? Time to take this good news to them.

Are you struggling with character issues in your personal life and relationships? Time to get back to the gospel.

 

Here’s a prayer you could pray daily to saturate yourself with the goodness of the gospel, reminding yourself of the essence and the heart of God for us in Christ.

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Powerful “His Story” Messengers!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)

 

 

The good news about Jesus (who He is and what He has accomplished on earth) is the power of God! It rescues us from the power of sin and transforms us who believes and receives it.

It is the only true story that is life-changing, a climactic event that ever happend in all of human history that causes people to live for a cause that it is bigger than themselves. This cause is to make Jesus be known that He might be treasured, loved and honored for life above anything or anyone else!

Individuals who have received this truth are continually being changed and transformed by it! And it would take the same grace and favor from God through the Holy Spirit to cause them to be powerful His Story messengers!

“Father God, Oh that You would give us the grace to practically demonstrate and verbally proclaim with clarity, the Story of Jesus with power from the Holy Spirit! In Jesus’ name!”

(Photo Source: “Manga Metamorphosis”, A Manga version of the Book of Acts by Tyndale & NEXT publishers)

Why I Think Christianity is NOT A Religion

Religion, by the simpliest definition is man’s systematized attempts to reach out to “the Divine.” Christinity is so unique that it all starts with the realization of the Good News that God has already reached out to us! He already made the One Way, not a man-made way, but a God-given way-thru the person and the work of Jesus.
Here’s what I think:

1. It’s NOT ABOUT YOU!
Religion focuses on the external actions-how “faithful” you are, how “committed” you are etc.
Yet this is why the Christian gospel is good news! Take a deep breathe here’s the truth…Christianity is all about Christ! It was never about how externally “good” or righteous a person is. Its about how awfully bad we are and how amazingly good Jesus is! It rightly begins with an understanding about the Person of Jesus and His Work-His perfect life of righteousness, His substitutionary death for us on the cross and His victory over the power and consequences of our sin when He rose again from the death!

Let Jesus be rightfully known that he might be truly loved!
Colossians 1:15-20; Ephesians 2:8-9

2. A DIFFERENT MOTIVATION
Good works, giving to the less privileged and needy, to missions, volunteering at church activities, leading and serving a commuity group, Bible reading and studies, prayer, attending youth groups, worship services, etc. and all the “religious” and “Christian” acts are definitely good but the big question to consider is “Why are you doing these?”

Religion does good works out of guilt. A grace-driven Christian does it out of gratitude. Religion does it to “please” God with performances Christians does it because of a desire to please Him by faith because of His great grace.

Let His Story be loved that we could Make History for His Glory!
2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 2:10 & 3:21; Hebrews 11:1

3. Mere Knowledge Vs. An ENCOUNTER
Religion demands that you follow a set of rules of Do’s and Don’ts and that you Know, Know, and Know as if Its all about KNOW-ing. But it’s all about an inside-out life-change because of a personal Encounter with God. (Isaiah 6:5; Saul in Acts 9:17-18; Cornelius in Acts 10:34-43)

I could merely KNOW how awesome it is to watch Transformers 3 in an IMAX 3D Theatre, how good the lights are, the clarity of the high definition screen is, the sound effects that are so doubly digitally Dolby….but not until someone gives me a free ticket (because I can’t afford it :)) and EXPERIENCE what it really MEANS to watch a movie in an IMAX 3D will I only TRULY KNOW what watching in IMAX means.

Let Him bring back AMAZING in His Grace, and allow Jesus to ignite a fire within you that no one else even you yourself could shut. And like candles in the dark may our lives shine louder than what we proclaim that more men would know how good and liberating the Real Christ of CHRISTianity truly is!

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Guilt-Driven Vs. Grace-Driven Fasting

Guilt-Driven says… “I SHOULD because I am a pastor, a small group leader, a full-time Christian worker and everyone’s eye is on me…I SHOULD set them an example.”

Grace-Driven says…”I COULD and I WOULD because I’m a follower of Jesus and I love to keep on looking up to Him as my my Ultimate Example”


Guilt-Driven says…“It’s an annual DUTY… I must GO THROUGH this! Urgh!!! Waaahu!!! I’m from Sparta!!! I can! I can! I can! I trust my 100% juice and my drinking a lot of  water!!! Waahu!!!”

Grace-Driven says…”It’s MY DESIRE to get to KNOW and EXPERIENCE God more personally and commit all my days of my life to Him even this year 2011… And wow! In Christ alone I really can!


Guilt-Driven says…“Oh I want to go water fast this time so God could hear my prayers More CLEARLY and would possibly answer my wants!”

Grace-Driven says…”I believe God is leading me to go water fast this time so I could depend on His enabling grace more and that I would clearly hear and know Him and rightfully respond to Him


Guilt-Driven says…“I’ll go absolute fast and will not eat UNLESS HE ANSWERS the way I wanted and I want results fast!” (Hunger Strike)

Grace-Driven says…”I want to grow in my faith, trusting God in his promises more so I can obey more and be really strong and successful in life with Him” (Humble Surrender)


Guilt-Driven“I’m actually fasting SO THAT GOD WOULD LOVE ME more and I would be more worthy to come to God”

Grace-Driven says…”Thank God! In Christ alone I am completely loved, secured, and accepted that there is nothing I could do to make God love me more/less. I’m fasting SO I COULD LOVE HIM MORE, training myself to always depend on Him in all things!”

 

 

(It can be so easy to forget about the Gospel and try harder to strive in life

in our own might and strength.

Yet His presence is with us and that is what gives us strength and joy to thrive! )

Happy fasting to everyone joining the 7 Day of Prayer and Fasting! Let His Great Grace AMAZE us more and more this year 2011!

It Started with A Spark!

Why Full-Time Campus Ministry?

This is one of the major questions people ask me whenever they learn about me and what I do in life.

I can still remember I was about 12 yrs old when I recognized my “discontent” about the kind of “Christian” life I was living. That time I knew that I am saved through faith in Christ Jesus and I even remember personally praying with my mother together with my other siblings, accepting Jesus as the Savior of my life when I was about 6 yrs. old!

And yes, I grew up attending “Sunday Schools”,  I went to church weekly with our family and was quite active in serving our local church but there was just something lacking within me. My purpose for living was not clear, I have no cause to live and die for, and things were merely becoming mechanical.

Some months after this our parents decided to move out from our local church and try attending other Christian churches. It partly hurt me because I was getting “busy” in the music ministry of that church and feeling valuable (though I was spiritually “dying” inside). So we went on for a season of “dating churches”. Yet still I can feel the discontent within me. I still had no sense of  purpose and direction in this life.

Then came High School. I tried other applying for other schools but God’s providence led me back to the Christian School where I spent my preparatory level through thru Grade two. During those times there was a spark of a new desire to get to know this Jesus of Christianity. I started reading the Bible beginning with the book of John and I was blown away by the truths about this God who became man, and lived a life with a seemingly worthy cause! It was during those times when I understood about what the Bible teaches about being “born again” etc.

It was here during my days as a teenager when my sister invited me to join this group called “Youth on Fire”. I was “culture shocked” the first time I entered one of their Friday night gatherings! There was about 500+ students and young people who were so passionate for Jesus! I honestly felt weird about it but something in me kept me coming back every week. They were jumping and singing from their hearts and during the pastor’s preaching, many would respond and repent of their sins and give their lives to Jesus!

It was here where the spark that Jesus did, caused me to give my life to Him in absolute surrender. I repented of my sins and put my faith in Jesus and gave my life for His cause! This was the time where I said: “You’re Saving Grace is so Great and Amazing! I can’t help but to give my whole life to you in absolute surrender!”

Fast forward my high school season, I found myself helping my friends in High school know and follow Jesus too! I did it through one on one with them and gathering them together. I really enjoyed doing this that I considered doing it as a “career”. I found our group growing and soon even some of our batch mates were helped to follow Jesus by my other friends! We even had an opportunity to coordinate a high school wide event about SEX and RELATIONSHIPS with the help of some student life coach from our church.

The turning point happened during a national student youth conference that happened in Baguio called “Campus Harvest Asia“. It was there and I was about age 15 where I dedicated my life for full-time ministry still not even know how to prepare for it. I just kept on following Jesus together with a small group of  young men & helping my friends follow Jesus. Then After high school, my father who is also in full-time Christian work, encouraged me to try entering a Bible College for me to better get equipped and grounded in the Basic Biblical truths.

I never planned continuing for another four more years in the same college. But step by step I know God was with me. There, I was exposed to a lot of other Christian ministries- hospitals, drug abused, provincial missions, street children, orphans, and even teaching values to students among campuses (which is my favorite) I did my OJT in San Francisco High School which I really enjoyed!

Then came last year when I graduated last March,  I was back with my home church in Victory-the people who helped me in my teen years to live for a worthy cause and love and follow Jesus!

So why am I in full-time campus ministry? It’s because of the “spark” that I believe God did in my heart as a teenager who has no purpose to live for. He gave me Jesus, the only Person from whom I have found my identity, purpose, value and worth! It was He who chose me and loved me first that now I was able to chose and love Him passionately and live for His cause of helping people know and follow the Jesus of the Bible esp. with the students who are in campuses!  I just want to pass it on! 🙂 They may not become a full-time Christian work, but as long as they “get it” and live for the cause of Jesus  in whatever vocation God calls them to be, I’m happy and it’s job well done for me!

And this year I am very excited to be a part of a national campus conference called “Ignite”

This will be another year where I believe God will be calling out more young people in this generation and make plain to them the cause they are to live for and even die for! 🙂  I know each of us has his/her own story. Yet all I desire is to see young people love Jesus and His Story and Make History all for God’s greater fame and glory generation after generation!

For more details about the conference: Click here!