The Light of the World

John 8:12   (KJV)   12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

God wants us to see clearly, knowing where we are, with a clear sight of our destiny—the wonderful future He has prepared for us. He doesn’t want us lost, groping in darkness. He john-8-12-the-light-of-the-worldmakes sure our paths are lit well; He Himself is the light that illuminates our world and brightens our lives. (Thank You Lord). He leads the way where we should go. We—His followers are sure of our steps; we avoid stumbling and falling.

It’s difficult to move in darkness, much more to walk in it or live in it. But darkness is real; darkness abounds, and there are many of us who are still there. There is darkness in the mind: people are plagued with debilitating worries, erroneous beliefs, and destructive opinions. We have darkness in our hearts: many are sad, angry, and ashamed. There is darkness in our world: we see chaos, pride, hatred, and unbridled lust.

Praise God, we’re free from darkness. The Light of the World shines so brightly, showing us the way to go, and we walk forward with confidence. That’s the reason why we found our way to eternal life in the first place. He fills us, surrounds us, and leads us. He’s so much a part of our lives, so close to us that we as His followers share in His “light” nature. We are also lights of the world. He’s the great big universal infinite Light and Light Source; we’re the localized light—much smaller, but lights nonetheless—lights shining brightly as well.

Because we as believers live in His light, we see Him. Because of His light, we see ourselves clearly: we see if we’re clean, or if we have smudges, spots and stains. We’re honest about our real condition, and we address the problems. Because of His light, we’re living out our purposes well, and we’re journeying forward towards our destiny—joyfully.



Slow or Patient?

2 Peter 3:9   (KJV)   9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Our God so loves us; He desires all of us to spend eternity with Him in beauty, glory, splendor and majesty. More times than we know it, we’ve all turned away from Him and chosen our own ways and our own paths. We’ve walked away from Him, and divorced 2-peter-3-9-slow-or-patientourselves from Him. He can allow us to go on like this into our eternity, but no, He doesn’t want us eternally languishing in gloom, horror, and pain—separated and away from Him forever.

Even if He had to suffer; even if it causes a lot of criticism, He does what’s necessary so that He can save as many people as possible. If it’s all left to Him, none will be lost. But He’s such a loving God that He never forces His love to anyone. He leaves us with our choice, even if that choice is to reject Him. Even then, He keeps giving us time—time to come to our senses, to see clearly, to understand, and to humbly receive His precious gift of salvation.

Salvation is possible; anyone can receive it—any time; and we can have the assurance that we are saved—now. What a comforting reality. To know that we’re now safe and secure in God’s mighty hands, that our eternal destiny is sure—wow!!! Is there any peace greater; is there any truth more comforting? True, we suffer—some little, some gravely much. People question God’s existence because of this real human experience. If there really is God, why not stop all these sufferings? But praise God; He is real; He exists, and He will indeed stop all sufferings, all trials, all hardships. He’s just being very graciously patient. If He decides to stop all sufferings now, He will have to end all its sources—of which, we, and all our lost love ones are a huge part. It’s very encouraging though ironic: the very reason and beneficiary of God’s patience are the ones questioning His existence and character, but because He loves the lost so much as well, He patiently keeps on extending His invitation, time and chance for more to respond and return to His saving and loving arms.

Remember, patience and slowness may have similarities, but they’re not the same.

Thank You Lord for having such a tremendously wonderful heart.

Close and Clean

James 4:8   (KJV)   8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Our Lord’s gracious invitation is always extended to us. The Father tenderly draws us through His gentle Spirit, and we willingly and gratefully come. As we do, we’re wonderfully transformed into His image; we’re changed from glory to glory. Changes james-4-8-close-and-cleanhappen; we walk the straight paths of righteousness, holiness and purity. We delight in clean living—in and out. Our minds and hearts are set: we choose God over the world, over others, over ourselves, over anyone or anything else.

He is our continuous pursuit. We want to know Him ever-increasingly more. We want to be as close to Him as possible. The closer we are to Him, the clearer we see Him, the more we know Him, the more we become like Him. Our faith-our dependence on Him, our relationship with the Lord is proven genuine even through the hardest of tests, trials, and situations. It’s not a cheap claim and confession; instead, it’s clearly evidenced in our lives.

All for God, and God for all—totally and absolutely—all in, all out, all the way. The cross before us, the world behind us, though none go with us, we are committed: we follow Jesus, ever closer. Our eyes are set on Him; our path is clear. Nothing can stop us. We’re going all the way—to the upward call of our Lord. Suffer, we may; it will be way more than worth it all. Surrender to Him, we do. We walk without the unneeded weights of our sin baggage. Jesus is seen increasingly more in us; we look for and see God’s image in others. We treat everyone with love and respect. That’s why we don’t discriminate; that’s why our lives are testaments of God’s blessing; our lips are fountains of sweet blessings as well. Our minds, our hearts, our works—all them are aligned toward one end: the glory of our beloved God and Savior.

Too Good for the World

Hebrews 11:38   (KJV)   38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.


Believers who are persecuted and whose very lives are threatened that they have to lose their homes, leave their communities, and forced to leave life’s comforts willingly undergo such experiences not because they are not worthy of this world—that they are below the world’s standards. The converse is true; it’s the world that’s not worthy of them. That’s why they would rather suffer than compromise with the world.

There is the world; there is us. Our precious Lord Jesus makes it clear: there is no “unequally-yoked” marriage between the two. The world utterly hates us because we love our Lord. The world hated our Master; much more so will it hate His followers. No sweat. We’re not missing out on anything. We’ve been blessed with everything we need for life and godliness; our super-gracious heavenly Father gives us everything for our enjoyment.

Others can’t comprehend this. We live in ironies—or do we? Whatever we give up for our Lord, He returns to us—thirty, sixty, hundredfold, and with them, suffering. We have nothing, but we have everything. We live by faith in God that can move mountains, shut the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire, bring people back from the dead; it’s by that same faith in our God that we are tortured, cruelly mocked, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, sawed, struck with the sword, beheaded, displaced, became fugitives. Ah, these are ironic in the world’s perception, but not with eyes of faith. We count all our earthly experiences for our Lord Jesus as honor and privilege; we see them working altogether for His sovereign purpose and for our best; we also see beyond all this bodily experiences–we see the glory awaiting. That’s why we don’t turn back.


Of Crown and Righteousness

2 Timothy 4:8   (KJV)   Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

There is seemingly an interestingly direct correlation between righteousness and our attitude regarding the return of our precious Savior. Why of all the different rewards and crown to be given, the crown of righteousness is given to those who love His appearing? 2-timothy-4-8-of-crown-and-righteousnessMy humble theory is this: We who are excited about His return—we who are deeply longing for our blessed hope and that blessed moment when we’ll meet our dear Lord in the air—live righteously.

To the best of our knowledge, the Lord’s return is imminent; He can come literally any moment of the day. That’s why we’re constantly waiting; with this, we’re constantly prepared; we don’t want to be like the foolish unprepared virgins in the Lord’s parable. We fight a good fight; we run a good race; we keep the faith. We try—as best as we know how—to live as good reflections of our righteous Father. There’s still a long road before us on the way to our predestination: our conformity to the image, or likeness, or character of our Lord Jesus, but we’re destiny-bound.

We prepare ourselves, we also help others prepare. As we do, the Lord’s also preparing to step back visibly into human affairs. There’s a famous cliché: there’s a payday someday. For us, there’s an awarding ceremony someday—very soon. He’s also preparing our eternal homes. Right now, we carefully guard ourselves against the ever-increasing evil surrounding us. The closer the curtain of this “age” comes to a close, the more ungodliness increases. With that, hostility and persecution against us increase; our suffering increases all the more. But we’re undaunted; the Lord has so sufficiently readied us for whatever lot we get; He also more than adequately empowers us.

Unbelievable Forgiveness

1 Timothy 1:16   (KJV)   16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

We’ve seen hardened criminals—people society considers as worst of the worst—incredibly changed by the power of the Gospel. Their sins may have been great and many, but God’s grace is greater and more. This is the unique hope found in Jesus alone. This is 1-timothy-1-16-unbelievable-forgivenessGod’s amazing patience, love, mercy, and grace at work and on display. It’s beautiful; it’s also unbelievably outrageous—so outrageous that others criticize Him for it.

Famous people have expressed their utter contempt and disapproval for God’s generosity of forgiveness. They vehemently disapprove of Hitlers, Stalins, Bin Ladens and such like having any chance of spending eternity with God in glory; they prefer them languishing in toughest punishment commensurate to all their hideous atrocities and evil. Some of them loudly broadcast their position that it’s this very teaching that made them turn their backs from the God of the Bible, that this is what made them into atheists.

Our hearts sincerely and lovingly go out to them. We fervently pray that their hardened hearts be softened and their blinded eyes be enlightened. We don’t want them to miss out on this wonderful truth and experience. It’s hard to accept, but we’re humbly grateful to our Savior. We are recipients of the same immeasurable blessing. True, our sins and the damages our sins cause may not be as grave as those of the infamous villains, but we also desperately need help. Those who oppose God and malign Him appallingly, although they don’t see the wickedness of their actions, also sin against God and are also in real need of forgiveness.

From where and from whom will they get that? Praise God; He’s so willing and so generous to bless us with cleansing and forgiveness. He’s able to pour out His love, and do so with absolute justice, because He personally paid for all of humanity’s sins. This fallen humanity includes all of us: even the Hitlers and the Bin Ladens, God-attackers and God-haters, the worst of all sinners, and yes, the best of all sinners. We find ourselves there somehow. Praise You Lord.

The Honor of Suffering

Philippians 1:29   (KJV)   29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake

It is an honor and privilege to believe in our precious Lord and Savior Jesus. Another honor and privilege is one that’s unique; it may take time for some of us to wrap our minds around it, more so, experience it: it’s our inevitable suffering as believers. With all the philippias-1-29-honor-of-sufferingenjoyable blessings we receive is this seemingly odd insertion that many of us may not find too appealing. Pain isn’t always easy to equate to something positive.

But it’s regarding this very issue that I was very recently reminded of my humbling shortfall. Depending on where you’re reading this from, your experience will most probably dictate the weight of your conviction. As for me, it was a rude awakening, yet one I highly receive and value. I almost wish that it’s just my memory that doesn’t serve me well, but, as far as I can remember, the worst suffering I’ve ever experienced in connection with me being a believer has to do with personal insults: mockery, indifference, rejection, loss of friends. They hurt, and although it may be hard to accept, those experiences may have caused me some kind of intimidation that’s why I don’t share the Good News as frequently as needed.

What brought me some kind of godly “shame” are the sufferings of other believers. The Apostle Paul was imprisoned several times, whipped so many times—he lost count, faced death repeatedly, lashed several times, beaten with rods several times, stoned almost to death once, shipwrecked several times, was always in danger of death, and finally—beheaded. Add to this the prophets before him. One was sawed in two; some were struck with the sword; they left their homes and wandered in deserts and mountains and lived in caves and holes in the ground. Add to this the other apostles: thrown down from a high edifice and smashed with a club, struck with a spear, beheaded, crucified upside down… we get the idea. Add to this our brothers and sisters living in other countries who are under a continuous threat of persecution, imprisonment, torture and even death.

Should I add mine on the list, I can’t help but feel that my share of this “honor” looked anything but pathetic. I know that we’re not competing with each other as to who suffers the most, but I humbly admit,  there’s a need for me to step up a notch in the way I live and serve our Lord—and not to be intimidated into silence by these very small share of sufferings I may potentially add to my honors.