Father’s Love

Have you ever gotten to the point where you feel like you keep coming to God asking for forgiveness for the same sins? You pray that He would forgive you for doing something, and few days, weeks, or months later you come back and pray again for the same problem. I have. And many times I hesitated before praying. I feel like I shouldn’t ask Him for forgiveness because I am afraid that I would come to Him again for the same exact problem. What should I do? I hated myself because I sinned against Him again. I had asked Him for forgiveness already for the same problem, and I did it again. I feel like I am asking Him for too much. I think I shouldn’t ask Him to forgive me again. What should I do? I felt helpless, ashamed, and miserable. Have you ever felt the same?

Let me share with you the message He gave me today.

 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? Who can bring accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘Because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.’ For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

This is the kind of love that He did and still does. He gave up His own son when you and I were still sinners, His enemies. We were at a war against Him, the Creator and the Lord. And after redeeming us from that status, adopting us as His children, Jesus Himself intercedes for us. I was afraid of going before Him because of what I had done, but He encouraged me to come before Him with every burden I had. He reminded me that He is God who forgives. He reminded me of His mercy and grace that He has poured upon my life and many others’. Honestly, I do not understand why He loves us that much. Why is He so gracious and merciful towards us? My heart breaks but, at the same time, rejoices. I am deeply grieved that I am so weak that I fall over and over again. I am sorrowful that I am no way close to be where God desires me to be. I am so blessed that He chose me to be His. I am so thankful for who my Father is. I am so overwhelmed by His grace and mercy and love that He has shown me.

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The Basis of My Faith in Jesus

So many things are happening in my life now, and, as I am walking in the midst of all of them, I often feel overwhelmed and discouraged. So I began to ask the “why” questions, but last Sunday God taught me something that I should never ever forget. I am recalling the message to remind myself as I am going through this moment that saddens me.

Preaching on Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, my pastor asked, “What is the basis of your faith?” When things are not going well, many people lose their focus and start looking at the circumstances. They began to wonder “Does God really love me?” I was there with them. Although I knew in my head that God loves me, my heart was saying another thing. I was getting tired of the problems I have. I was getting exhausted, but it was not the situation that was wearing me out. It was the lack of faith.

I did not become a Christian because I wanted everything in my life to go well perfectly in the way I wanted. I did not become a Christian because God gave me all the things that I wanted to have. I did not become a Christian because He told me that I would be happily ever after without no suffering, no hardship, and no difficult decisions to make. I put my faith in Jesus because He is the Son of God, Christ, the Lord of all. He died on the cross for sinners, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. The basis of my faith is not what He does for me but who He is. I put my trust in Him. This fact gives me the greatest comfort and peace. Even if not everything goes well, I know I can trust my God because He is righteous and just but also merciful and gracious.

Are you having a hard time? Keep trusting Jesus whom you have always trusted until today. He knows what is the best for us. What He does might not seem to be good for us in our eyes, but we do not know the ultimate answers to our problems. Many times we do not even know what the real problems are, but Jesus never fails because He is God, the Only One who gives life.

Happy New Year, 2012!

My last blog post of the year of 2011 was written in September, and it is already January 2, 2012. It is one of Korean church traditions that church members gather together on New Year’s Eve to have fellowship and worship. Depending on individual churches, the service(s) starts between 11:00pm and 11:30pm and lasts for an hour or few hours. So, as usual, I started this year during the worship service. The message was on the qualification of a spiritual leader, and God refreshed my mind and allowed me to examine myself as a teacher. And, during the Sunday worship service, He reminded me that I need to trust Him firmly because He is faithful and keeps His promise. He taught me that the biggest blessing that I can ever receive is God’s presence in my life.

I took a moment to reflect upon my last year, 2011. There were several major changes in my life. I started my first ministry at New Orleans Korean United Methodist Church, where I have been loved by so many good people. My family got permanent resident cards in April, 2011, which my family had been praying for over a few years. I got a new on-campus job that I love.  And as you can see from my last blog, I got engaged to the most amazing guy ever! Besides these, God has blessed me with countless things. Although there were times when I felt sad, discouraged, angry, and so forth, all I could remember was the blessings God poured out on me. I could see that God had been in my life, and I believe He will continue to be with me.

Though I cannot see what tomorrow will hold, I can trust my God who has always been with me and given me abundant blessings. Happy New Year, 2012! and I pray that I would always remember that I have received the greatest blessing, the presence of God.

The Good News ..

Praise the LORD !

At the end of last semester, God convicted my heart of the need for intentional witnessing. I have never really met people who do not know Christ since I got to the United States.  Since 2003, the year I came to the United States, I spent most of my time at school, church, and home. When I was in high school, I was not really talking to many people because of my language barrier. Then, when my English got better, I was in college, a Baptist College in the seminary where I am studying now. In my undergrad, I studied so hard that I had hardly ever hung out even with my friends. But when I was graduating from college, I realized that it was a big mistake.

I came to seminary not to do academic study only. I came to school to learn so that I can teach others. I came to school to prepare for the ministry God has called me to. Good thing I was looking forward to my future ministry, but too bad that I was missing out the ministry God had given me as I was studying at the seminary. So, when I was coming back to do my graduate study,  I decided that I would not make the same mistake again.

So, last semester, which was my first semester in grad school, God allowed me to have time to spend with people that I love. Last semester, God restored my relationships with the people that I could have the sense of belonging, which I had lost for a quite long time. Then, at the end of semester, I felt like God was telling me that now it is the time for me to go and meet new people so that they can have “restored relationship with Him”. I knew that I would never be able to meet new people without intentionally going out to meet them.

From that time, one of my prayer requests for 2011 has been that God would lead me to intentionally go out and seek those people who are longing for the relationship with God. And, I am writing this to tell you about how quickly He responded to the prayer.

Because of one of the assignments in a class I’m taking this semester, I am obligated to go out to do personal evangelism. This has prevented me from making excuses for not going out. So, I have been going out to share my faith every week since the first week of this month. And, last week, I had a chance to lead somebody to Christ. “O…my…gosh….. really?!” This was my initial response. My presentation of the gospel was not so very much organized or structured. I was not very eloquent in my sharing. Yet, the lady I was sharing with was really listening, and, without any hesitance, accepted Jesus as her Savior and LORD. It was truly the work of the Holy Spirit. Although I spoke, it was Him who worked in her heart. It was the power of the Gospel that saved her. All I did was “speaking”. Then, yesterday, as I was spending time with my friend’s  sister, God allowed me to have a chance to share the Gospel. Growing up in a Christian home, she was very familiar with the Gospel. Yet, she had never made it personal until last night!

“PRAISE THE LORD!!!”

First for their salvation, and second for Him using someone like me.  I just wanted to share my experience with you so that you can rejoice in God’s work in the lives of people around us!

Also, I want to share one thing that really helped me overcome my fear of witnessing. I am aware of that many people are afraid of sharing their faith with people that they know or people that they do not know. I was in the same place, and I cannot say that I would never be in the same place again. But this really helped me a lot when I was sharing my faith with others, and I hope it would help you as well as you share the gospel with the people you care.

“I am not ashamed of the gospel,

because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:

first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Rom. 1:16/ NIV)

“The Word of God” has the power to change lives. As it changed your life, it has the power to change other people’s lives as well. What we need to do is to trust in the power of the Gospel. It is not you that brings salvation. It is the power of the Gospel that brings salvation to those who believe. All we have to do is to trust and “talk” about it, and God will work through us.

I am blessed !

So many times we focus on things that have not gone well for us.  We look at circumstances that stress and discourage us rather than looking at the surroundings that are, in themselves, miracles.  We take so many things for granted when we shouldn’t. So today I wrote down things that I easily forget to be grateful for, and God reminded me how blessed I am and encouraged me greatly.

These are some of the blessings I wrote down on my journal.

He gave me breath and another day, He gave us the Sun and beautiful weather that is not hot. He also gave us winds to blow and the clouds on the sky. He gave me ears to hear, mouth to eat, eyes to see, nose to smell, feet to stand, hands to write, and both of my legs and both of my arms. He also gave me health. He gave me food for today, water to drink, clothes and shoes to wear, a car to drive and protected me on road. He gave me His Word and heart to read and follow it. He revealed Himself to me and allowed me to have a relationship with Him. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit to help me believe. He gave me financial problems so that I may have compassion for the needy. He helped me rejoice in the time of troubles. He gave me the opportunity to study and gave me the job. He gave me an amazing family, both of my parents and my younger brother………………and He created me. I am thankful for my existence.

As I was writing them down, I could not hold my tears. There are much more than what I wrote. I was and I am so thankful for everything He has given me and has done for me.  It was very precious moment to remind myself how much God has loved me, and that moment encouraged me deeply.

I hope you take a moment just to think about the blessings He has given you and be encouraged and comforted by God, who loves you much more than you can ever imagine!

Just seek the LORD

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,

a stronghold in times of trouble.

Those who know your name will trust you,

for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

(Psalm 9:9-10)

 

I had been feeling exhausted before I started reading Scripture. When I was reading Psalm 9, God taught me through these two particular verses that what I need to do right now is to seek Him. He is the only one who can be my refuge and stronghold in times of trouble. He is the only one in whom I can truly hide and rest. He is the only one upon whom I can put my trust.. my life. It is just so amazing that He always gives the right words at the right moment. My God is a living God, who knows what I need, and this God says that He will never forsake me when I seek Him. My God is here with  me now, and He will always be with me.