Surprise!

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (John 13:7)

How many times have you told God “God, I don’t understand what you’re doing!”?

I find myself being impatient from time to time asking God, what. is. happening! But Jesus said, later we will understand. There is only one who can see the big picture, everything from the beginning and the end, and that is God. He knows everything, and therefore he knows what’s best for us, and what’s not.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Not only does he know everything, but he also has a plan for us. Plans to give us hope and a bright future. But contrary to what the scripture say, we often say “Why GOD! Why!” We blame God and we question his goodness.

“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? (Matthew 7:9)

Will God give us a stone instead? Absolutely not. He is our good father 🙂

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:11)

My husband’s birthday is coming up and I’ve been racking my brain day and night to think of the most perfect gift. And because we live together and our packages get delivered to the same spot, I was afraid that he might pick it up and find out what it is before his actual birthday. And I had to do some prep work and wrapping the gift without him knowing or seeing! So I told him if he can just go somewhere for half a day LOL! He asked me “What’s wrong? why?” I said “I need some space!” Hahahahahah (and I never say this kind of stuff) and he was puzzled and also seemed sad/disappointed. But I know that he will be more surprised that way!

I wonder God does that with us sometimes, he only reveals so much to us at a time, but save the best for the last.

Once we enter through the gate of heaven, he’ll be standing there with his arms wide open welcoming us back with the most radiant smile and say

“Surprise!”

Letter to a neighbor

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)

I’m gonna tell you about the beef jerky story.

So me and my husband, we have obsession for this one brand of beef jerky, so we ordered some to our place (we usually do bulk orders) and also decided to bless some of my church friends in NYC. (I’m from NY, and I recently left the church there so I can serve at a smaller church in OC as we moved here) It was a farewell gift to all my previous small group members =)

My friends got the jerky in NY but the shipment that was supposed to come to us (in Cali) got sent to the wrong address! So I was patiently waiting and waiting, then I called the jerky company to confirm the address, so they sent another shipment. But again! it somehow got sent to New York again! So we had to do this 3 times, and I was getting a bit frustrated lol. So the company felt bad for us, and sent us an extra bag of jerky. (which melted all my frustration)

But the crazy thing is the boxes of jerky KEPT ON COMING! All the wrong shipments somehow got re-routed to our address and we ended getting 300 dollars worth of beef jerky FOR FREE. So what do we do with this? I felt the urge to share this blessing with others, so I posted under “FREE” category on Craigslist.org and titled it “Free 1 lb Beef jerky with Prayer” LOL

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Matthew 10:8)

I am such an internet troll, but I was in the mood to just do something a little ridiculous today. Of course the Craigslist posting got flagged immediately and taken down after 10 mins or so (I was surprised at how fast it got flagged!) I can’t just offer some free jerky and free prayer in this day and age? But in that short window of time, someone contacted me and said he could come pick it up.

My husband is such an amazing human being, because this was entirely my idea and I didn’t really tell him about it until later. I just told him “A stranger is gonna come to our place today to pick up some jerky, can we pray for him?” And he was SO confused. 🙂 But he agreed after I told him what happened.

I went all out and me and my husband even wrote a letter to him and created a care package including a pound of beef jerky. I truly felt like this person who was about to come and pick up a jerky is someone who stands up for justice and has a lot of courage. I included a verse in there as well.

It was such an awesome thing to bless someone like that. When he got the care package, he blessed US as well and said he was so very touched by what we were doing. He started to recite Proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

which was actually the verse my husband gave me when we got married. It’s inscribed in my engagement ring.

How good is our God? Afterwards me and my husband went to dinner, and as we are praying for our meal, I just started to cry, because I felt the overwhelming goodness of God. I pray that I live each and everyday overflowing with the joy of the Lord and filled with thanksgiving. That I’ll be able to love on strangers and our neighbors more than I love myself.

Die to ourselves, live for Christ

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Galatians 2:20 – when I read it, my first impression was

“Huh?”

Bit of an oxymoron: I’m dead (I no longer live) but still I live. I live by faith in the son of God. The whole upside down principal of God’s Kingdom always was a bit of an enigma to me, until I started experiencing them in my own life. For example, Loving your enemies. (Instead of hate)

 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:44)

Why do we even have to care about the enemies, when we can’t even love our own neighbors? But Jesus loved and prayed for the ones who persecuted him. Even when he was on the cross, he uttered “Father Forgive them” It’s almost a mind-blowing concept, especially if you don’t know the person of Jesus. I remember the first time I loved on the person who was cursing me and hating on me, I think I was half-curious, if I can even do it. The key here is never using our own strength but using the strength of Christ to love them.

Day after day, loving on someone who has something against you isn’t the easiest thing, but you will see softening of their heart as Holy spirit works on them. It’s pretty fascinating. If you haven’t tried, please go ahead and actively try loving the ones who hate you. They’ll think you’re crazy, you’ll think you’re crazy, and probably everyone will think you’re crazy. But the Lord will see your heart, he will reward you.

What does it even mean to be crucified with Christ?

We talk a lot about dying to ourselves and our flesh daily. But I wonder if we really put that into action. When we are dead to ourself and our flesh, would we ever argue with others and fight? Would we throw fits and complain about how we are being mistreated?

When something’s dead, there is nothing but silence and stillness. (If you are dead, you usually don’t talk back)

It seems like my flesh is always talking back at me yapping and going “I don’t like this, and I don’t like that and I’m so frustrated and can’t believe so-and-so did that, blah-blah-blah..” It’s nuts. I want to know what it is like to truly die to self and to live ONLY for Christ. I want to empty myself of me and all my selfish thoughts and start living only for Christ.

God does not only want a part of ourselves, but whole. 100 percent of who we are. He wants full ownership because we belong to him. When we give him 99 percent but decide to hold back that 1% God cannot really use us. Whether it is an idol or secret sin. He is waiting for us to fully surrender ourselves to him. I need to search my life and see if there is even a small thing I’m holding back from him. “God, please you can take everything but this one thing” This will NOT work.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139 23-24)

Lord search me and test me. If there is anything that is offensive to you, please point them all out to me. I want to truly learn what it is like to die to myself and live for you and your glory only, Amen.

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)

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.