Work at it with all your heart

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)

Yesterday was the beginning of a long Labor day weekend and people were like TGIF! “Thank God it’s Friday! I can’t wait to just log off work and party” is probably a what a lot of folks were thinking. For me, Friday was just like any other day, because Saturday morning I would jump right back to work. I’ve always be very content with my job, whether it’s waitressing at a restaurant, serving at a cafe, translating, or designing, it was pretty easy and pleasant for me. Perhaps I got lucky throughout the years, but I don’t think there was any point in my life that I truly hated my job.

But there was a moment when God confronted me about my work ethic. I was an expert at being “good-enough”. Pre-Christian days, I was all about cutting corners and just coasting through my work day doing the least work as humanly possible. But one day, he started to speak to me about “excellence” through scripture.

Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12)

This greatly convicted my heart. The definition of “excellence” being : the quality of being outstanding or extremely good, I started to question myself and my behavior. This of course included my work life and work ethics. (not only our church life) Am I demonstrating excellence in my workplace? So much so that the non believing co-workers start noticing / recognizing it? And ultimately having that point to God? Nope, I was not living my life that way at all.

So I started to meditate on this verse, and really go into work with a different mindset. “I want to do the best I can today.” Because everything we do, we do it for the glory of God. so why should I be so complacent?

Meeting my husband also really fueled my desire to be excellent at workplace. He would constantly encourage me that I’m so capable of excelling, and even gave me pointers on how I can even improve the process at my workplace, or manage my projects better. I started having directors/ MDs recognizing me for the work that I do, because I went above and beyond their requirements or expectations. Also with the stressful situations at work, I always prayed and asked holy spirit to give me peace about it. One day my co-worker asked me

“How are you so positive and hopeful ALL the time? I don’t understand”

Then Peter 3:15 came to me : But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

“It’s because I prayed to God. It’s really because of Jesus.”

I still remember the look on her face. 🙂 Everything we do, do it for his glory! Lord I pray that I never forget the fact that even when I’m working for “people” it is you, that I’m ultimately serving. Thank you for even giving me an opportunity to work and I pray that I can represent your love at my workplace everyday, Amen.

Things of this world

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15–16)

I got married recently and my husband and I moved into this new apartment in Orange County. We found this place as a last minute lease-takeover and never seen the apt in person until we actually moved here. (I’ve never done this before) but I was just BLOWN AWAY at how beautiful and luxurious this apt complex was! I was immediately planning all the ways I can decorate this place and invite couple of friends for a housewarming. I was like a little girl giddy and excited all day yesterday, with adult apartment that comes with a fridge that makes ice! (I’ve never had this before, and I LOVE ice, so it was such a treat) I called up 2 of my old friends from this area and scheduled a housewarming this weekend. After that husband and I did a little cheers! and ate some delicious noodle dishes to celebrate our new home. It was like everything seemed so lovely and peachy, I’m living THE LIFE.

This morning, I woke up and the first scripture verse I read was this. And it suddenly hit me like a brick,

What am I doing here?

God has blessed me with this beautiful place to call home for a while, but everything in this life is very temporary and finite. We are here on a mission, and not just to coast through life and have fun. When we talk about YOLO (You Only Live Once), we immediately think of the hedonistic lifestyle because why not enjoy all you can while you are on this earth?

But the YOLO in the bible is you are only on this earth for a short period of time. We have limited amount of time. And the days are evil. We are to become a light that shines throughout the darkest place on this land. We are NOT to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. (Romans 12:2)

So what does that mean and what does that even look like? We have to be very intentional about how we spend our time, and what we do with our resources given from God. How are we stewarding them? I was blessed with a job where I can work remotely and still make a great living, but with that job, what am I doing to advance God’s kingdom? I realized how important it is to spend time in prayer and as for God’s wisdom and guidance in how we need to be living every single day, to truly make an impact to God’s kingdom.

It is so easy to just let a day go by without trying. It is so easy to be comfortable in our little Christian bubble with our Christian friends. But is that what we are called to?

Rise up, you women who are at ease,
And hear my voice;
Give ear to my word,
You complacent daughters. (Isaiah 32:9)

God does not want us to be complacent. He wants us to hear his voice and actually pay attention, and to obey. We are to be salt and light of this earth, and I think it is really time for us to truly run hard after God’s heart, which is people. Bringing people back to God.

The weekend plan quickly changed from a chill housewarming party to a potential start of a revival. I am going to share all the testimonies of what God’s been doing in my life to my 2 friends whom I haven’t seen in a long time. I got more excited than before, because I knew God is going to do something amazing through this hangout. With every hangout or gathering from now on, I want them to be focused on God, and sharing his love to others, encouraging others to run hard as well.

I’m ready to make the most of every opportunity given to me by God. Thank you Lord, for the opportunities, and all the people you’ve brought in to my life. Even in the midst of Coronavirus pandemic, I want to be a faithful steward in all the resources you’ve gifted me with. Use me, and also use my husband for your kingdom. Amen.

When you’re weary in doing good

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9-10)

Countless times, I wanted to give up with this friend of mine. I would try in every way, to talk to her about Jesus, God and his goodness, but she always turned her back on me. I kept on showing love to her, it wasn’t because I wanted to “convert” her to Christianity, but I don’t know why… I just felt so much compassion for her, that I didn’t know what else to do. When you sow in to someone, who you care for SO much, and year after year, not seeing the fruit, it becomes quite discouraging and you start to feel “weary” in doing all the good that you’re doing.

But who’s strength are we operating under?

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

I was trying to do everything with MY strength and that’s when things started to take a toll on me. I was tired, I was feeling defeated, and I started to even question myself, and what I’m doing wrong. The enemy started to attack my identity and use scripture like :

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19)

To condemn me and tell me that I’m going to be cut and thrown into the fire. It is crazy how the enemy will even take a part of the scripture and attack you with lies.

But over the several years, I started to witness a change in my friend’s life. She would randomly ask me to “pray for her” and “ask God to help her” Also recently she started to read the bible with me, which is something I never thought in a million years, would have happened. Slowly but surely, God was changing her heart.

To people who are feeling weary, I want to share this one scripture verse with you:

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. (Psalm 119:28)

I love how here, it says “Strengthen me according to your word.” This, I think is a key antidote, to our weariness. We need to be strengthened through the word of God. We need to be firmly grounded on his truth, or else, when things get tough, and you don’t see a lot of breakthroughs happening in real life, you will get discouraged and even tempted to quit. For me, reading the scripture just like how I eat my meal daily, has helped me GREATLY in being strengthened in Christ. You can clearly see the difference, once you start consuming daily “spiritual” bread.

Lord, thank you for your truth, and your wisdom.