About Me

This blog is dedicated to the glorification of my King Jesus Christ.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

the gospel of grace

a few days ago on saturday night i struggling with the weight of my sin, and i felt as if my heart was black. i had been avoiding him the whole week, maybe because i was busy, maybe because i was studying, but mostly because i was trying to avoid turning to him and i didnt want to face my problems.

saturday night i finally came to him... weeping, because i was broken. weeping, because i saw how black my heart was, i realized how sinful my true nature is, and i finally saw how i was grieving his heart by not turning to him. over and over again i see how strong my will is, how great my pride is, how selfish my nature is--that most of the time, i dont do what he wants me to do. overcome, i came to him, saying lord, jesus, help me because i do not know what to do anymore. lord, you said that you can turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. can you do this for me please, because i cannot live the life that you want or do the things you are asking me to do unless you are there with me, helping me, giving me strength, giving me your grace...change my heart oh lord...only you can...

while i was praying, i felt a flood of accusations hit my head. of the many, some were--you dont do what god wants you to do, you are a rebellious child, you will never be able to surrender fully to Him, it is better to remain in sin...--during this time when all these accusations were all cascading onto me, a flood of them hitting me sharply like rushing waters, god brought to my mind zechariah 3--

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan[a]standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! TheLord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”

Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have chargeof my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.

- Zechariah 3:1-6

the lord is so good! it was that moment when i realized the reality of the enemy schemes, the reality of spiritual warfare--that these hateful thoughts are coming from the enemy; he is the one that condemns me because he is against me, while god is for me. he condemns me because he wants to keep me from running to god in order to pull farther away from god, while god wants me to boldly approach his throne of grace in my time need, in my weakness-- especially in the times when i feel so dirty or stained with sin. satan wants me to feel hopeless, helpless, ashamed and in despair while Jesus brings me life, forgiveness, righteousness, joy, peace, hope, and love. satan is always the first to accuse me, but while satan can accuse me of being black as ebony and point out all my faults though i know they are many, jesus has proclaimed me as his own and has declared that i am white as snow--jesus has cleansed me!! although satan has every right to accuse me for my sin, jesus turns and covers me by his grace so that i would be innocent, guiltless, and free from the contamination of sin!


sunday morning i went to church, and as i was worshiping in service, the presence of the lord dropped on me so strongly that i started to weep. i felt his healing waters of grace wash over me, flowing over my heart, over my entire body. despite all the turmoil that was raging within my heart one night ago, his presence brought to me a peace that was undescribable, and i realized--it was his grace--and i heard him tell me over and over again,

"joyce, you dont have to be perfect. you dont have to be perfect. let me cleanse you. let me heal you. let me change you. you dont have to be perfect."

suddenly the burdens began to lift off my shoulders. then god gave me an image of myself: i was in the bathroom, holding a bar of soap, and furiously rubbing that soap over my wounds and my dirt. i kept continuously scrubbing and scrubbing but nothing was happening; all the dirt still remained. the lord knew. i had been trying to clean my own wounds, scrubbing ferociously at any remnant of dirt that was still clinging onto me, pouring soap and taping on band aids to hide my problems that were buried deep inside my heart. i was carrying the burden all on my shoulders because i didnt want to turn to god and thus allow him to give me his light and easy yoke. but it was his grace that was able to see past my sin, heal my heart, and transform it so that it will be made more in his likeness.

the grace of the lord is that he gives us so much more than what we deserve, that he, the holy and majestic king, allows us to come to him with our sin and in our weakness, that he, the most worthy and almighty god, loves us despite all the vile crimes that we have committed against him. Jesus loves us like no other--with an unconditional love that is not conditional nor ephemeral nor temporal; thus, no matter what state we are in, no matter our circumstances, no matter what we did or will do... his love remains, and will never change.


If God is for us, who can be against us?32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ... 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

- Romans 8

Jesus, in the richness of his love and mercy, does not condemn those who believe of our sin because he has come into the world to save us from our sin! he died for us all, and he, instead of accusing us and pointing out all of our flaws and iniquities, intercedes for us passionately and prays for us fervently day and night on our behalf, pouring all his love out onto us, that we might overcome any trials and come into deeper intimacy with him!

This is the good news! this is the wonderful gospel!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

complete satisfaction leads to overwhelming joy

on reflecting on my relationship with god in the past and what it is now, i realize i had lost a lot of my purity of heart and my child-like pursuit of him. i miss those days when i was wide-eyed with amazement and awe-struck with love at god's majesty, and all i wanted to do was to pursue him and please him and be with him. when my sister asked me what had changed, i realized--

i stopped believing god was enough.

that was it. the moment that i didnt believe god could satisfy me completely was the moment that i lost my complete joy in him and him alone.
and that was when i started looking for other things to satisfy me, turned away from god and towards other things--approval from man, lust of the heart, worldly treasures, material things, identity in ministry or the way people saw me, desire for physical beauty, security in relationships and friendships... and the list goes on.

satisfaction in god alone is the prequel to experiencing a joy that is neverending, a joy that is superseding, a joy that is all encompassing. the moment that you feel as if youve lost the joy you had in the past is probably an indication that you are trying to draw love love and placing your security and trust in something other than the lord jesus christ.

it means that something other than jesus has taken the throne of your heart, that we, just as the israellites, are just as prone to making golden calves and placing idols before worshipping the glorioius king. that i am susceptible and guilty of trading the eternal GLORY and pleasures of worshipping the lord almighty with the oh so fleeting and gilded lusts of the world, that there are idols in my heart that need to be dethroned. for me, so often i feel as if the golden calf is myself. my desires, my plans, my way of doing things, or my lack of willingness to submit to the lord when he calls me to do something.

As i went to my room to pray, i no longer knew what to do with this on-going battle between my flesh and my spirit. i share this struggle of mine because i deem that there are many people other than myself who are struggling with the same issue of lacking joy or not fully believing god is enough.
as i was on my face praying , the lord began to speak to me. these are the words he spoke to my heart, but i pray that this message he gave me does not only benefit me, but also gives you comfort, hope, clarity and direction.

you are drinking from broken cisterns that will never be able to satisfy. only I give the living water you need, and if you truly drink of Me, you will never be thirsty or in want ever again (john 4:13-14). for I, yes I, will satiate every barren place in your heart and in your life. not only will I satisfy your desires, I will bring you life and life in abundance. As you keep drinking of Me, as you keep coming to Me, my waters will keep filling you up and will begin to overflow in you, it will continue to overflow into wellsprings of living water until you are a fountain of life for everyone around you.

do you believe that I am enough?

do you truly love me above all else? your level of contentment in Me is an indicator of who I am to you and how much you love Me, for where your treasure is--there your heart will be. (matt 6:19-24)

thank god the lord is so gracious and so patient with me, especially in my struggles and my sin. i want so desperately for god to fill my heart again, but not only fill it, but completely overwhelm it until i am overflowing in his waves of love and grace so that everyone around me can be touched by the love of jesus christ.