Rest, dear, rest.

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:3)

Few weeks ago, as I was reading through Exodus and Leviticus, God spoke to me about the Sabbath and rest. Genesis 2:3 is such a beautiful representation of “rest” that I had to meditate on this for a while. God has spent 6 days creating heavens and the earth, he created all the plants, animals and even us! But after finishing all the work of creation, on 7th day, he rested. My first, simple question was “Why did he rest?” Did God, after doing a whole bunch of creating for 6 days, get tired? Is that why he rested?

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary... (Isaiah 40:28)

No, I don’t think that’s it. He is an all-powerful God, he could have worked 7 days, 70 days and 7000 years if he wanted, but it was an intentional decision on his part to take a day to “rest’. I think there is something so powerful and key in this.

I used to think God “blessed’ he seventh day and made it holy, and that’s why he rested on that day, but actually it was the other way around. He rested, and because he rested, he blessed that day. It’s so interesting that from his day of rest, his blessing came.

A lot of the sermons lately I’ve been hearing about rest was mostly focused on the part of as human, we get tired and weary as we are ministering to others. So that’s why we need to rest in the arms of Christ. That is true, but I started to re-think about the order.

We work hard, and minister to others -> We get tired and weary -> We go do Christ for rest so we can recharge.

What if it was the other way around?

We rest in his presence -> We get filled with his spirit and we are overflowing in love -> We go out and minister to others from that overflow.

What if we rested in his presence more often and not wait until we get burnt out? What if everything we do came from the place of spending time with God? What if God created rest not as a rescue plan from being burnt out but as a way to bless us?

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters. (Psalm 23:1-2)

This is one of my favorite verse in the bible, and every time I read this, I picture myself on this green hill on a sunny day. I hear the water running ever so subtly in the background and my eyes are closed. My Lord, my shepherd, he is the one who made me lie down and he is the one who led me beside the quiet waters.

From the place of rest, he will speak to us. He will fill us with his spirit. He will bless us. Not just on a Sunday, or not only when I’m are tired, but always, I pray I will find rest in him.

Power of the Gospel

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. (John 8: 3-6)

Our pastor shared a story yesterday to demonstrate the power of Gospel. It was about this woman who was caught in adultery. When I read this verse a while back, I remember just nodding my head and going ok, and not giving it much thought. But I spent some time meditating this verse and the more and more I chewed on this story, I started to realize the true power of Gospel of Christ.

This woman, all she did was sin, and her sin was exposed to the world to see. Out of all the things, she got caught in the act of adultery. They (pharisees) basically dragged this woman (and the men she was having this affair with was not even in the picture, she was all by herself with no one to defend her) out into the crowd. I never really imagined this scene in my head before, but this might be the most humiliating thing you can ever imagine. She was probably half naked, absolutely mortified and filled with shame.

The Pharisees then ask Jesus, the Law says to stone her, now what do you say?

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  (John 8:6)

The first thing Jesus did was to bend down. Instead of answering their “trick” question, He lowered his posture near to the ground, and started to write something on the ground with his finger. I bet all the people who were staring at this half naked woman filled with shame with disdain, diverted their attention to see what Jesus was writing.

By doing this, people’s focus was no longer on the woman and her sin but on Jesus, and what he was doing. Jesus took her sin, her shame, and he consumed it. He took it away.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  (John 8:7)

and then crickets…

Is there anyone pure and blameless in this world? Not a single one. Even the Pharisees and whom they called the “Teachers of the Law” clearly had sin in their lives. (Some say that Jesus was probably writing down their names and their sins on the ground with his finger)

Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. (John 8:8-9)

The second time he stoops down again, the one and only one who’s truly blameless and righteous stoops down. Instead of standing on a high pedestal, he comes down and lowers his position in humility.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10)

Probably in the tiniest voice shaking with shame, she said “No one, sir,”

Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)

At the part where he said neither do I condemn you, tears welled up in my eyes. The gospel isn’t about you coming to God all holy and righteous after cleaning up your act to ask for salvation. The true Gospel is even in the midst of your sin, and you covered in shame, Jesus saying “I don’t condemn you.” I took your sin away at the cross, I paid the price for you, because I love you. Now Go and sin no more.

I bet her life was forever changed.

A Cheerful Giver

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Today being the 16th, I logged onto my bank account online to check if my paycheck has been deposited, and every time I do this, I feel a like a little girl getting paid for the first time on her summer job. Now that I’m an adult and earning my own money, I should feel more “meh” about getting a paycheck, but still after 5 + years of working in corporate, I still do an internal happy dance when they come in. I truly feel like I’m getting free-money sometimes. I thank God, because he allowed me to even have a job, and not only that but to let me truly enjoy what I do for a living. (I think that’s why it feels like I’m getting paid for nothing lol)

I have recently made a decision to quit my freelance job (but still keeping my full time gig) so I have 2 more weeks left on my freelance, but today the paycheck for both my freelance and my full time job has exceeded any amount I’ve ever gotten paid in my life LOL it was pretty cool to see how much God’s blessed me especially during this pandemic. In 2 weeks, my income will be cut down to half but I’m still trusting God and his faithfulness in his provision. I never want to stop pouring into his kingdom whether it is giving to church or blessing others.

I pray that I give cheerfully, always.

God loves a cheerful giver, and I think this says so much about who God is. God is literally the God of universe, heaven and the earth. He doesn’t really need our money, but what he’s looking at is our hearts. If you are giving just because you feel the need to, or out of pressure, it wouldn’t mean to much to God. He can see straight into our hearts and see where we are coming from. There was time in my life I gave to church because I thought it was the right thing to do, but over time, God has been teaching me about what a wonderful blessing it is to GIVE.

A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. (Proverbs 18:16)

Generosity, I found out over time, is key to opened hearts. Through even a small gift, I have experienced people coming into presence of the Lord. Through us representing God’s goodness and kindness, people turn back to God. It was never through harsh words and condemnation.

“So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:3-4)

As a Christian, I wonder if we are truly living in the way of the Lord, and being kind and generous to our neighbors, and I’m not only talking about our friends and family, but even the security guards, grocery store clerk, homeless people on the street…

After contemplating this for a while, I had a conversation with my husband on how we can demonstrate such love and generosity to people, and have decided to host a weekly dinner and invite those who are in need of prayer, encouragement, and love. Everything free of charge, because that’s how God’s love is. No strings attached.

Lord, I pray that you give me your heart of compassion and generosity. That I would be filled with your joy as I’m ministering to people who are in need, and is desperate for love. I pray that you bless these people at different dinner gathering and may your holy spirit be present at all of these meetings. Lord, both me and my husband want to be good stewards of the the resources you’ve given us. We love you, Jesus, and we thank you for your kindness and generosity, Amen.

A New Heaven and a New Earth

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. (Rev 21:2)

In a past couple of days, I’ve been hearing and reading about this “New Jerusalem” A new heaven and a new earth. I am a pretty visual person so whenever I read a part in bible that’s described in detail, I picture the image in my head. It was actually pretty magnificent how it was described in the bible, city like a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. I bet more than anything that city is full of purity and holiness.

source : Google

It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Rev. 21:11-12)

The reason why this city is so marvelous is because it was shining with the glory of God. Of course there it was built with all these jewels that sparkle but the only way to make any jewel shine is with “light” without light, even a jewel becomes an invisible dull stone sitting in darkness.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Rev. 21:23)

And this particular city did not even need the sunlight or the moonlight, but the light of the Lord was shining through, making all gold and jewel sparkle in it’s brilliance. I started to imagine the New Jerusalem not just as this future city to come, but as every one of us, after we’ve been born again and sanctified.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev 21:3-4)

God’s dwelling place is now among us, he is living inside of every single one of us, and he becomes our God. My God, my father, my comforter, my Lord. We don’t have to look for New Jerusalem too far away because we are being sanctified into becoming his holy temple. His light will shine out of each of us, that we sparkle like the true gem. Pure, holy and transparent like glass. In his perfect glory, there will be no more pain. He will wipe every tear from our eyes, and it will be us going from glory to glory.

Yes, it is true that we live in this fallen flesh and body, but we also have holy spirit living inside us renewing us daily. Could it be possible that we get so close to God and empty ourselves daily to fill the space completely with God? Could we experience the New Jerusalem here on earth?

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. (Rev. 21:6)

He says it’s possible. Jesus has paid the price on the cross so that we may be victorious through him.

It is done.

Powerful Scripture Verses : Sin & Freedom

Here are collection of verses that I think could really help us to experience FULL freedom in Christ 🙂

  • No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  • Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
  • Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
  • “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
  • and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. (Psalms 50:15)
  • Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
  • It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, (Titus 2:12)
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2-3)
  • I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
  • You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:18)
  • “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
  • 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)
  • Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
  • For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

Love & Pray for others

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV)

Today’s Daily Bread was this verse, and as soon as I was reading this, my friend sent me a DM on Instagram.

“Hannah I need prayers

I was like God is always so timely! I totally felt the holy spirit was encouraging me and leading me to pray for her. (If you are reading this, love you Sandy!) This morning was so good, because my husband and I worshipped and prayed together for a lot of things. Everything from our friends and family who are struggling, to ministries we are supporting. We prayed for leaders in our church and for every single member in our church to be filled with holy spirit and passion for Jesus. There is such power in prayer & intercession.

In 1 Thessalonians, it talks about these 4 things.

  1. Warn those who are lazy or idle.
  2. Encourage those who are disheartened.
  3. Help the weak (care for them tenderly)
  4. Be patient with everyone.

Are we doing this in our daily life? I wonder if we are only so focused in ourselves and our problems that we don’t care to look around. Whenever my life feels busy or hectic, I lose sight of what’s really important. Spending time to love on our neighbors and the Lord. Someone once said this quote to me, and it really made me think.

“If the devil can’t make you sin, he will keep you busy.”

Enemy will throw things your way, all these busy-work to keep you occupied from advancing God’s kingdom. Lately I had to check myself a lot and make sure that I’m not just filling my day up with busy work. That I may have time to help, and encourage others. Or even gently rebuke the ones who are idle. It was such a great reminder this morning to do more of that.

Lord, thank you for reminding us daily, to love you and love others. We sometimes get so caught up in our own life, and focused on “me” and not you. No matter how busy our day is, we want to prioritize you as #1 and then spend time helping and loving on others. Forgive me for being so selfish from time to time. Help me to become more loving and patient with others, Amen.

Heal our Land, Lord

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

I’m not sure you have seen this but this is going on in San Francisco right now. Look at the sky, no instagram filter, no color correction, this is day time we’re talking about.

My husband and I moved down from SF to Orange county about 2 weeks ago, and 2 days before our move, we were smelling a lot of smoke and burnt wood (kind of like a campfire) That’s when the California fire started spreading at a rapid pace. But I never knew it would get this bad. The air quality has gotten worse, even here in Orange County and the dust keep falling on us like snow from the sky.

People are wondering if the world is ending,

I say they are not really wrong about that because I do feel like Jesus is coming back soon. I don’t know when, but he is coming back.

Spent some time hidden in my closet, praying for our city, our state, and our nation. I prayed for the spirit of repentance. That we might humble ourselves and pray, that we might all turn away from our wicked ways. I didn’t know if this fire was the work of the enemy or the judgement from God. I just kept on praying that God have mercy on us, and on our land. I believe there is something so powerful about praying in scripture. I was praying on the verse:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

As I was praying I saw an image of Jesus Christ on the cross, wearing the crown of thorns. Blood dripping down from his head and to his face, his eyes, and coating his eyeballs (sorry, it was pretty graphic) When he saw the world from that cross,

the whole world was tinted in this orange red. Just like the sky of San Francisco.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)

I started to cry out and pray for the city of San Francisco to be completely covered by the blood of Christ. That they be sanctified and justified.

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22)

Lord, I pray that the city, our state, our country be cleansed by the blood of Jesus, forgive us, God. We pray that this fire stops spreading and hurting more people and having them to evacuate out of their home. Heal our land, Lord. We want to humble ourselves and pray please Lord, hear us, hear our cry, Amen.

A little sleep, a little slumber

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:10-11)

I love sleep, don’t you? I love a little slumber, a little folding of hands to rest.

It is 11:39 pm right now, and I’m racing against the clock to finish this entry because I’m trying to be diligent and faithful in keeping my promise to journal everyday. It’s one of the things God’s been speaking to me about this season, “Discipline and Diligence” God delights the ones who are diligent and blesses them.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5)

When I read this the first time, I was like “oh! this is definitely about finance”. I felt pretty good about it being a natural born ‘hustler’ lol I have worked multiple jobs since the age of 15, and made good living out of it. But then I started to meditate on this a little more and thought this could also mean us being lazy with our spiritual walk with God.

How many of us are asleep? Taking a nap? During Covid, how many churches are asleep? I started to think about the fruit and the harvest. What is the fruit we’re producing in this season? Are we truly diligent in with our walks with God? spending time with God each day, meditating on his word, and filling our days up with prayer, and loving on our neighbors and spreading the good news of Christ? Or are we being lazy?

Then the poverty comes.

Poor people are always in “need” and they are not the one who can give to others. If we are not filled with the holy spirit and God’s love, we become the poor who constantly needs other peoples help in order to survive. (When it should be us who are helping others and feeding others) We become incompetent. We become inwardly focused and unable to bless others and die for one another, because we are so busy trying to “survive” We are not just talking about finance anymore.

Only out of abundant love of Jesus flowing through us, we can minister to others. But we cannot get there without diligently spending time with the Lord. In his words, prayer, and worship.

I really think accountability in this area is so important, whether it is a small community of people or close friend or in my case, my spouse (my 24/7 accountability partner) helps a lot! Lord thank you so much for the people you’ve placed in my life to keep me accountable, so that I do not fall into the sin of sloth. And from time to time, I totally was being lazy and I repent for not caring enough. I want to spend my time intentionally.

Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)

Days are evil and we cannot waste time anymore. Lord help me to always be mindful of how I spend my time, and more than anything I want to be diligent and faithful in loving you and becoming more like you each day! Amen.

p.s It’s already 12:30 and I know I was supposed to post this yesterday, but have grace on me ❤

Everyday Thanksgiving

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

For days, I never questioned why my hairbrush was so clean (when every time I brushed my hair I shed like a golden retriever lol) Usually my hairbrush looks like a furball.

One day I saw Brian (my husband) cleaning my hairbrush in the bathroom. He’s been doing this all this time so that I can have a clean brush!

My hairbrush Brian cleaned

I never knew there were so many things he does that I wasn’t even aware of. He just did them quietly even when I failed to recognize them. I am always humbled by the way he is, and his huge heart of serving. I bet this is how God is like too, we fail to recognize so many things God has blessed us with, because they are just trivial things. But regardless he continues to love us.

If you really think about it there is thousands of things to be thankful for, yet we just take them for granted. I just wanted to take some time just to sit and be thankful for everything he has blessed me with😊 (Since it’s a day off)

I am healthy, and have all of my limbs, I have enough money to buy my favorite brand of yogurt from time to time, I have both of my parents who loves me very very much, and I have a roof over my head, the air I breathe and I get to see beautiful sunrise and sunset with my husband. I have a voice, so I can sing, I have vision so I can read, and see the ones I love. God even made cute animals like Alpacas and Capybaras. I am thankful for a million things! For my church, my friends, my husband, my family, my job… THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever. (Psalms 106:1)

I held on to my hairbrush and started to cry, I hugged my husband and asked him “Why didn’t you ever tell me that you were doing this! I’m so sorry I never recognized it. I’m so sorry that I never said anything He smiled and said because I love you! Then he was busy wiping my tears away saying why you cryin’ lol

Lord, I’m so sorry I never said anything, I took many things for granted, forgive me. I want to spend every day with joyful heart of thanksgiving, Amen.

Who do you surround yourself with?

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)

When I was in high school, my mom always used to tell me to stop hanging out with my friends, that they were a bad influence in my life. But of course, being stubborn little brat I was, I ignored her advise. In fact, I moved out of my parents place so I can freely hang out with my ride-or-die friends. I would go out drinking, smoking and shoplifting whatever I wanted with them, we were truly just a bunch of idiots.

It is very true, that if you look at a person and their close circle of friends, you’ll be able to figure out what kind of a person they are. Who you surround yourself is very important, because you will eventually become like them. (If you are not already)

In 1 Corinthians, it says bad company “corrupts” good character, and following verse says to come back to your senses so you can stop sinning. At the end, not only the bad company will corrupt your good moral, but also when that happens, it easily leads you to sinning, or a lifestyle of habitual sin.

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

It is so important, especially in the beginning of your Christian walk to surround yourself with a good Godly people, who are passionate for Christ. Learn from them and have them keep you accountable, just like how Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) I’ve seen countless Christians fall away from their faith or backslide because they were lacking this.

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)

When I first got saved, I was still dealing with a lot of sin issues I’ve been living with all my life, but I held on to my spiritual mom’s advise and counseling for dear life and surrounded myself with many Christian sisters. (I had to actually cut contacts with many friends) Of course my primary counselor was the holy spirit, but having good company really did help a lot, because I was immature and lacked wisdom.

But then, do we just avoid people who seem like a “bad company” and hide out with “good people”? Is that what Jesus did? He spent a lot of times around his disciples but he actually went to the sinners and fed, healed, delivered, and loved on them as well.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

This is one of my favorite verse in the bible, and every time I read this, I get chills. We are not to be conformed with the worldly patterns, but we are called to be the atmosphere shifters and salt and light of this world. Not only surrounding yourself with a strong community, but to actually be going out into the world to make an impact.