Do you want to be sure?

Waking up on a Monday morning, feeling yucky with colds and cough was nothing when I read the news that my brother shared to me very early in the morning. Another shooting happened in US (Las Vegas) which killed 50 people. It is always heartbreaking to hear this kind of news. More heartbreaking for those families who lost their loved ones.

Just very recent also, the father of one of my best friends passed away. Such event in someone’s life reminds us that death is indeed inevitable. I, myself, experienced also a lost when my sister passed away 11 years ago. And, there are still days I would cry because of longing. But, after those tears is a comfort when I remember God’s promise of eternal life in heaven someday.

I’m not sure how you take the reality of heaven. As for me, I can never take it lightly. The reality of heaven also means there is a reality of hell. When someone passed away, the automatic thinking of people is the person who passed away will go to heaven. Who doesn’t want to go to heaven, right? But if we think heaven is “always” the destination of those who died, what is the purpose of hell, then?

I desire that all my loved ones will go to heaven. God desires the same thing for all of us. 2 Peter 3:9 says, that the Lord is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. However, it is very important to base our statement from Biblical truth and not just declaring it because that’s what we want to believe.

God gave us the assurance of our salvation and eternal life through His Word. It is a life that we can look forward to and a promise that gives us hope that indeed, our life here on earth is temporary and the best is yet to come.

How can we have that assurance? How can our loved ones have that assurance?

From the words of Jesus, Himself…

John 14: 2-3 –  “ My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” 

John 14:6 – “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

Some of us might have known Jesus since childhood, through our parents, going to church or even at school. Some of us might have not known Jesus at all. Whatever we know or not know, the truth remains the same that it is only through Jesus that we can go to the Father and to the place that He has prepared. The question is what to do with that truth? Do we explore or do we take it lightly?

The word “believe” that is used in the Bible is more than just accepting truth.  BELIEVE – PISTUEO – to trust in and rely upon, commit to the charge of, confide in, have a mental persuasion. God wants us to have a relationship with His Son, Jesus. He wants us to believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose after 3 days, and anyone who believes will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). And by having Jesus in our life means we will have the Holy Spirit who will help us live a transformed life – turning away from our old sinful ways. There is so much to know about what it means to live a life for God when we read the Bible.  But we have to take that first step – believe in Jesus. Allow Him to transform you. Let Him take charge. Have a relationship with Him.  That is how we get to heaven! Through Jesus alone.

And, what about hell? The Bible also speaks a lot about hell –  a place that will keep someone eternally separated from God.

Revelations 21: 8 – But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Matthew 25: 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Physical death is not the end. Second death or the spiritual death is. It is the death that we don’t want to experience. (Luke 16: 19-31)

I wish I can fit in one blog everything the Bible talks about heaven and hell. But, it is a truth worth exploring. At the end of the day, all of us want to be assured of one thing. Our life after this lifetime. And God is so loving and gracious that He gives us promises and warnings that we may know, hope and believe based on the truth of His Word.

As I think about those 50 people who died, it made me ask the question, did they believe in Jesus? Are they saved? Will they go to heaven? For that person who shot them, it made me ask a question – what if he had a relationship with Jesus?

Death is only scary when you are not sure where you go after. Heaven or Hell?

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And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)

 

 

 

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I want to say something also…

It’s interesting to read and see ongoing reaction of people about Manny Pacquiao‘s statement few days ago about homosexuality. It’s comment after comment on different social media posts. I can’t even wait to talk about this  with my family on our Saturday night video call (Something we can talk about aside from the upcoming Philippines election!).

I’ve been thinking, should I also say my piece about it? Well, it’s not like anyone would read or care about what I say. And, I’m dead tired from work today that I just want to stop my brain thinking about work. So, why not express myself, kill my boredom tonight and write something.

I’m not going to talk about homosexuality or same-sex marriage. I’ve said my piece about that one already months before – (Not Keeping Silent in Love). What really caught my interest and made me realize as I was reading the different views of people is on how we are a bunch of people with so much contradictions in life. We are so contradicting in the belief we try to uphold just to fight for the things we think we deserve.

“Life is not fair.” It is not just a cliche but a reality. A reality that all of us can never accept that is why there are so many laws passed about having equal rights, if possible equal rights in all aspects of life. And I believe that’s our human nature. We want to be treated fairly in wherever we go or whatever we aspire and do. I, myself have my own personal sentiments about it.

However, we fail to realize that what we are fighting for sometimes contradicts the standard that we claim we believe in and stand for. I remembered what our senior pastor said of what are the two types of people in this world. One who believes in God- the Creator, the Author of Life, the Author of the Bible and the other one who does not believe in God at all.

If we believe in God, the basis of the kind of life we want to pursue is what He commanded us to do in the Bible. If I consider someone an enemy, I just can’t ask to pass a law that any person I consider as an enemy even if that person is not doing anything to me, must not go near me within this distance just because I don’t want to see that person. This contradicts to what God said that I should love my enemy. It’s not love. It’s being mean to the person.

We can’t say we believe in Him but consciously accept and do the things that He does not approve of. There is a huge difference between compromising and overcoming sin. Compromising is you know that God does not approve of such act but you still do it and has no intention to repent. Overcoming sin is having the desire to turn away from it but you struggle and fail at times but you allow God to help you overcome until you totally turn away from it.

If we do not believe in God, then, we can choose what ever standard we want to base our life on. A life without God has really no distinction of what is acceptable and not, of what is good and not. A life without God is a life without laws. We can fight for whatever equality we want as nothing can contradict what we are fighting for.We get to choose how we want to live our life based on our own standards – which is based on what? I really don’t know.

So what am I really trying to say? That in this lifetime, we will always have that desire to fight for what we think is right and fair in our own standards even if it contradicts to God’s standards. To compromise is never okay with God. God’s truth is a truth that we can never dispute and argue with Him. We can all argue about it in social media or in our conversations with other people. But it will never change  God’s mind about it. It’s a done deal. We will be judged according to His standards  when the time comes.

But despite of, what is still amazing is God’s standard of equality and fairness.  There is love. There is grace. There is mercy. There is forgiveness. Because He knows that no matter how much He shortens the greatest commandments from ten to just two, we will still fail Him.  That’s our nature. We just want to follow the easy commandments and break the other ones. And because we are bunch of contradicting people who can never save our self from His judgment someday, and because He is a gracious and just God, He gave us a chance to be able to meet His standard. He sent Jesus  who alone can satisfy the standard of righteousness we can never meet. If we believe and love and follow Jesus with all of our being, we just don’t get to meet God’s standard, we also get a bonus of a transformed life. We can never have Jesus in our life and not be changed. He is just too amazing not to be able to do that.

 

 All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness.” Romans 3:23

” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

“When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new!” 1 Corinthians 5:17

 

I didn’t expect this to be a long writing. I hope you didn’t get bored reading.  I just hope that as you finish reading this, you will appreciate more the goodness and grace of God. I pray that you will see that the love God is giving to you is in all fairness and equality. In Him, there is no favoritism, nothing less, nothing more. His love is just enough. Hope you meet Jesus today!

Have a great night!

Sending love,

Stifany (Princess Pepay) ❤ ❤ ❤

Power Outage

It’s 8:39 PM of August 29th. My apartment is in complete darkness. Having no electricity, the only things I can do are to eat and sleep. Reading is not an option anymore. And just waking up from an afternoon nap, I just don’t want to sleep again yet. With a little power left in my laptop’s battery, thus the writing.

Sitting at my desk right now, seeing the lights of the high rise buildings beside my apartment turned on, I feel nothing but envy. I am in total darkness…literally.

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See, this is not my first time to experience power outage. In the Philippines, we always have this. This is not even my first time to witness damages due to storm. I am so used to this back home. However, this is my first to experience it here. And it made me realize that even in  a first world country, there are times that restoration would really take longer than you expect. I thought that if there is power outage, in just few hours, electricity will be restored immediately. Well, I’m dead wrong. The wind storm hit pretty hard that some people here might even find it overwhelming. I’m just hoping that tomorrow will be much a better day. The transition of our weather is just so extreme, from drought to a storm.

However, with all of these happening, I’m still grateful. This outage makes me appreciate the comforts that I have been enjoying – especially the hot shower and oven toaster. 🙂 It also allowed me to rest from online activities. After months of buying my doodle & design book, I was once again able to do some coloring stuff (not that I’m an artist or something – just doing something creative).  

 And I am able to write, like right now which I haven’t done in so many months. And I was able to spend time with God. And I was able to have a complete rest after a full packed summer. Honestly, this is my first Saturday since summer started that I totally rested. And it is really good.
And this darkness reminds me that I may be in a dark place right now, but my life is not. I am connected to a High Power that will never have an outage. As long as I am connected to the Source, I will never have a life outage. There will always be light that will shine in and through my life. These are temporary catastrophes and maybe tomorrow or in the next two days, all will be back to normal. However, there is a permanent darkness that we can never escape once we are there already. And that is the judgment of God when the time comes. The only solution not to be in that permanent darkness is to be connected to Jesus Christ who is the only Source of Light. It is only through Him that we will forever stay in the Light.

Just imagine yourself being in complete darkness right now, then, think that to be eternal, then add to that endless weeping, endless burning, endless thirst. If we complain with little drought or hot weather, just imagine that eternal life apart from God. It’s an endless pain.

Don’t stay in the dark. God gives us the freedom to stay in the Light. Make that decision today.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

I got everything I need, I don’t need God…

As I ride the sky train or walk in the mall, I see a lot of lost souls.  And it really breaks my heart.

I keep asking God, “How can I tell them about Jesus?”

In this era of materialism, most of us define a life of meaning and success based on what we have – wealth, career, fame.  And if someone has all of those, then really, why would that person need God?  If everything is going very well, then, what is God for?

It’s a point missed. BIG time.

If God allowed me to be born in this lifetime to survive, be successful and accomplished, do whatever I want, but then die eventually , if death will just make everything in vain, then what is really the point of living?

We missed the point. Truth is, until we truly know who God is and His great plan for all of us, we will realize that our life here on earth is not just about living a “good” life. No matter how great our life here is, if our mindset is only focused on what is temporary, we will never realize how much we truly need God in our life.

Nothing wrong with having a prosperous life. But everything becomes meaningless when we only live for this life time. It’s like watching a movie that has no ending. All you can say is, “That’s it?”

I don’t want to live that kind of life. I want to be excited for the life after this lifetime. I want to look forward to that “eternal life” that God said in the Bible. Jesus said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, He gave His Only Son, that whoever believes in His Son will not perish but will have eternal life.”

Life becomes purposeful when you accept the truth that this is not just it. There’s more. And we can only experience that through the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Only Son.

If you haven’t experienced God in your life, I pray that you will be able to open your heart to Him. I pray that you will not miss out what lies ahead. I pray that you will live an abundant life in the presence of God.

If you want to know more about God, let me know and I would love to talk about it with you.

God bless!

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Just one thing…

Last night in our weekly small group meeting, we studied one of the attributes of God which is being merciful.

Upon pondering my take home last night…

Justice – you get what you deserve

Mercy – you don’t get what you deserve

Grace – you get what you don’t deserve

Just imagine if God is only just but not merciful and gracious…

How will we be able to live?

There’s no even point living because we will totally be separated from God – eternally.

Why?

Because God being just means all of us are bound for hell forever. We will never be able to live up to His standards.

But because God is merciful, He sent His Son Jesus to take the penalty of our sins.

And because God is gracious, He gives us salvation and eternal life through Jesus even if we don’t deserve it.

Do you want to live not just for now but eternally with God?

Just one thing…

Believe, have faith in Jesus. Let Jesus not just be your Savior but also the Master of your life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Isn’t it amazing how one decision can totally impact your eternal destination?