Monthly Archives: February 2015

Come Pilgrim, Come My Princess

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God wants us to be more than His creation. He has invited us to be a member of His family.

To be created is indeed a privilege. To be breathed life into is a gift of grace. Yet to be led to enter into the presence of the Maker and dwell in His Kingdom is privilege beyond privilege. It is a prized invitation that should set our feet into dancing, our lips into unceasing praise, our hearts into rejoicing, our minds into leaping!

The invitation is not based on past merit nor of present excitement. Just as Jesus’ disciples, having been invited to become His followers, went on to sleep when they should have stayed awake at such a precarious hour (Matthew 26). Instead, it is an invitation based on the sheer choosing of the inviter. In Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd, the King empathizes with the invited: “I understand that you don’t know how it started, nor do you know how to become the who I have called you to be.”

I can’t understand it, I confess. Why God?

Him who invites bids us, “Rise, let us be going.” (Matthew 26:46) It is a call to “let the past sleep, but to let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him.” (February 18 My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers) Just as how His calling is based on His redeeming love, our future with Him is all based on His redemption. We come because we have been invited. We are able to come because His grace and mercy enable us to do so. We are coming because His love sustains us. If His grace, mercy, and love were not overwhelming, we would have fallen away from our own despair. Yet His is a well that does not run dry.

He bids us to come. “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) He bid us to come, and to come as we are, not in princess clothes, but even in pilgrim sackcloths, because it is He, not us who will clothe us with the “garments of salvation” and cover us with “the robe of righteousness”.

“My princess, My child, I have chosen you, come, arise, let us get going.”

Providing Privilege

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It was a God-sponsored event. And I didn’t even realize it until I was actually there.

God knew I had wanted to organize field trips for public school students. I even went as far as writing a proposal letter for a crowdfunding group to help me in this endeavor. Though that didn’t push through, God surprised me that He can make things happen.

Yesterday, all nine of us were able to enter Cultural Center of the Philippines and Metropolitan Museum for 155 pesos! We were able to catch some folk dance shows, looked at classic paintings, touched sculpture, played with modern art, and listened to a live spoken word performance with interpretative dancing and accompanying ukelele.

How this happened, I can only say is God’s master orchestration. It was the yearly Pasinaya or the cultural event of the country and it’s an open house of some sort to most forms of art. The night before, I sent a message to the mothers asking if they have other things planned in the afternoon after Sunday School. I then proposed the activity and before I knew it, all six children were present (usually just three). Lunch was sponsored by my dad who had a Jollibee fastfood card which had credit beyond enough to buy us lunch, some water, and an ice cream.

Indeed, when God wants something done, He makes a way for it to happen. And for us, we can only stand in awe and respond in excitement. Praise God! Indeed, God provides us with privilege to enjoy so much more than what we wish for!

God of So Much More

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Learning last night about the “God of so much more” challenged my small brain to grasp the magnanimity of God’s exaggerated greatness, abundance, and big-ness!

In the gospel story where Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, He answered them with what we now know as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “Our Father”. He then shared a parable of a persistent friend knocking at a friend’s house at night for food. And because of such persistence–and not for the sake of friendship–the friend conceded. The lesson was “Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)

My impression of the above story was that as a Christian, I should come boldly before the Lord and ask, seek, and knock–persistently as I can–and for sure my desires would be given. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:10) So oftentimes, I find myself telling God of my requests and reminding Him of those that remain unanswered.

Yet reading the following passages revealed a truth beyond what I thought I knew. Not that there’s anything wrong with asking, seeking, and knocking per se. But I realized that those aren’t the main point. Luke 11:11-13 states, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more with your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who asks Him!”

Jesus, in his very interesting way of communicating, was actually making a contrast, not a comparison! He wasn’t comparing God to the reluctant friend who gave because of annoyance nor to the father who would naturally give what the son asked for. He was contrasting them!

Jesus depicts God as a willing and generous heavenly Father who knows how to give good gifts to His children–not necessarily what they asked for, but surely what is best for them. In “The Lord’s Prayer”, Jesus said to tell God, “give us day by day our daily bread”, erasing the need to run to God late at night knocking for bread, because He would provide our daily needs. Jesus also said that our heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit, and we know that “…for we do not know what we ought to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)

The realization that God is indeed so much more than I thought He was (gives when asked and what I asked for) is shaking my brain until now. It’s confusing. Yet it’s so liberating! This God of so much more knows so much more, will give so much more, will let me know so much more what I really need…it’s beyond even asking, seeking, and knocking!

I am reminded of one of my favorite children’s illustrated book Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram. Little Nutbrown Hare wants very much to make sure Big Nutbrown Hare knows how much he loves him by asking, “guess how much I love you?” He stretched his arms as wide as they could go and told his dad how much he loves him. And when Big Nutbrown Hare did the same thing, Little Nutbrown Hare realized that his dad’s arms were way wider. Little Nutbrown Hare went on to exemplify his love…”I love you as high as I can hop!” “I love you right up to the moon!” Only to be assured that his dad can hop way higher, and as he lays asleep, Big Nutbrown Hare whispers, “I love you right up to the moon–and back.”

We have a God of so much more.

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