Tag Archives: life

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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Get Plugged In Regularly!

Where do we get the power for living?

Where do we draw strength and inspiration from to live the life we are made to live?

As much as studies or work can be so enjoyable or our family really good, our friends can be great or our hobbies satisfying, there can only be One Ultimate Source of lasting joy and power for life!

Jesus. (He’s not safe but He satisfies!)

He calls Himself the True Vine and yes He is!

He is like the Power Source in which we can get ourselves fully charged like our cellphones and gadgets- ready and prepared for the Owner’s use!

It’s frustrating to go places with your cellphone or gadget that is only half-charged. Not only it can’t serve you well, but if it’s not regularly and properly charged, it would soon malfunction.

Yet this is a daily fight against the flesh. It takes discipline and commitment, emotion and passion on our part to connect with Him and be wholly satisfied in Him.

And yes we can fight for our joy in Him and win for His great grace is upon us.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener… I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

-John 15:5

Real joy, power and strength comes from Him alone!

Get plugged In Regularly!

The Good News of Christmas!

Ever heard of people who when they learned that you are a Christian and you go to this certain church, they would say “ah ayoko jan, baka masunog ako jan”? (I don’t wana go there, I might get burned up)

I love these people because they are simply honest! I also feel that same sense of unworthiness from time to time. But guess what? I believe it’s the same reason that would keep Jesus’ followers coming back!

There’s something about this light and the sense that we feel even in just thinking of coming to God.

I think it was the same “fear” that the shepherds felt when angels came and brought them the news about Jesus. Yet the Angels said “DO NOT be afraid!  For I bring you GOOD NEWS that will of GREAT JOY not only for you but FOR ALL people!” Don’t be afraid the angles said, Rejoice! Just come and worship! 🙂

This good news tells us that God has come to be like one of us, to become like one of us. He experienced the good and bad things that life brings, tempted in every way like any of us, struggled through life’s pain like many of us, to identify with us, yet He never sinned!

He lived perfectly as a man to die on our behalf to cover the sins of the humanity. He died not as a victim but as a heroic victor who is mighty to save! He was hung on a tree then rose to life and overcoming death and sin!

He did it that those who would trust him, turn from their unrighteous living and give their lives to him would be free from sin and its enslaving power and eternal penalty and so they could freely live for His honor and glory!

It’s because of this good news that we can come to God without shame or fear.

It’s Jesus! From Him alone comes the Great Joy that we all have been looking for!

It’s trusting this great news that the first Christmas brings that makes Christmas worth celebrating!

May we truly find this great joy and share it that all men might be really “merry” this Christmas!

The Strength Each Person Must Find

Ever heard of the Strengths Finder test?

I already took it and got my results wowed me!

Its my strengths indeed! 🙂

The Strengths Finder is an online test that you can take after purchasing a Strengths Finder 2.0 or Strengths Based Leadership book by Gallup Research Press. Each book comes with the passkey you’ll need to take the test on the web.

I personally believe it’s one of most reliable and close to accurate way to get to know your strengths as a person and start living and working based on them. The bottom line: Get to find out what your strengths are so you can be more productive and fulfilled personally and professionally.

For me this test better than temperament tests or personality tests that limits a person as choleric, dominant, phlegmatic or just conscientious. I also find it better than spiritual gifts surveys or career-based exams because though it is still divided into four domains as most personality tests are, (Executing/Influencing/Relationship Building/Strategic Thinking) the themes under each domain are much more wider and more specific. They are skill related and strengths focused.

Yesterday, I ask some friends who I work with as Life Coaches if they already took the Strengths Finder Test. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: Hey have you taken the Strengths-Finder test?

LC1:  Ah yeah! Nope. Not yet. I will soon…

Me: Oh take it asap! It’s a good investment!

LC2: I now know mine!

Me: Great! What’s yours?

LC2: “The Joy of the Lord!”

Me: Oh! Ayos! J (We went LOL!)

Seems cheezy at first but this reminded me that though knowing your strengths through survey tests can be great yet the ultimate strength, (the force and motivation, the drive) that each person can find comes from no one else or no company survey test but from God Himself. We can get the strength we need by giving God honor, joy and pleasure by working and serving in the strength that He provides. (1 Peter 4:11)

Indeed, the joy of the Lord is our strength!

Have you tapped on it lately?