“In the humiliation, Christ, of his own free will, enters the world of sin and death. He enters it in such a way as to hide himself in it in weakness and not be recognised as the God-Man. He does not enter in kingly robes. His claim, which he as God-Man raises in this form, must provoke contradiction and hostility. He goes incognito, as a beggar among beggars, as an outcast among outcasts, as despairing among the despairing, as dying among the dying.”

Bonhoeffer, Christ the Centre

Have You Loved Me?

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This weekend, I was at a YAM (Young Adult Ministry) Retreat, and the theme of the camp was ‘abiding in the Father’s love’. 

I came very expectant, but as the hours and days went by, I became very frustrated. To me, the retreat was speaking to those who had yet to know God as their father, or had yet to leave their destiny and lives in God’s hands. However, I felt that I already knew the calling for the season in my life, and I had encountered the Father’s love for me last year during church camp. 

And so by the last day of the retreat, I was dry. To be honest, I felt like I wasn’t even thirsty. Somehow, there didn’t seem to be a hunger. I literally felt like I was in limbo. The hardest part of your relationship and journey with God is not when there are troubles, but when there are none. Many times, our relationship and communication with God is based on our need and vulnerability, and so when we feel like we’re in a good place, we don’t really know what to say to God. 

Well, at least that’s how I felt. 

And so, on the last day of the retreat, I was feeling rather disappointed. I didn’t feel like I was getting much out of the camp. Worship also felt withheld. 

However, after the sermon, Reverend Barnabas was releasing prophetic word, and people started coming up for prayer. The music started praying and people started crying/giggling by the Holy Spirit. I could feel His presence. So there I was seated on one of the chairs in the middle of the room, and I leaned forward to pray.

And suddenly, God spoke:

‘I love you, but have you loved me?’

When I heard those words, I burst into tears. I realised that all along, I had been ravelling in my Father’s love; taking it all in, but never giving anything to Him. I thought I was okay because I knew God loved me very much. I believed that the ‘status’ of my relationship with God was defined by the knowledge that God loved me. 

Yet, God was searching my heart. When exams ended, I had told myself that I was going to sit in my room overlooking the college field, and do my quiet time. But then, all those plans faded away when the excitement of post-exams started. And then when my internship came, my devotions were half-hearted because I was exhausted. My prayers were brief because the idea of maximising my sleep time was always on my mind. Throughout all this, I kept assuring myself of God’s love.

‘I love you, but have you loved me?’

The question was not ‘Do you love me?’ because I think I do. The question was ‘Have you loved me?’ because I had not shown God my love for Him lately. I had not seriously set aside time for Him. I had taken all, but given none to Him. I was selfish and my Father was longing for that reciprocity of love. 

In response to that, I cried to my Father ‘Lord, I am sorry. I have been so selfish.’ Sometimes, we feel dry not because God has not been talking to us, but because we have not been giving Him time to talk to Him. And suddenly when we have a three day retreat, we unreasonably expect God to reveal Himself to us, when for a long time, we didn’t make time for Him. Had I been expressing my love for God? No, I had not. And that’s what made me cry, because I understood the sadness in my Father’s heart.

The theme ‘Abiding in the Father’s love’ is not just about receiving; it’s about reciprocity. For to abide means to dwell, and to dwell means to continue, and to continue means to reciprocate and maintain that relationship. We are not just to receive God’s love for us, but we are to love Him back. That is what it means to abide – to yearn for Him just as much as He yearns for us. 

God also impressed another thing on me. I have learned that I am to trust God with my circumstances and to do His will, primarily because I know my Father loves me and He has a plan for my life. But when God asks ‘have you loved me?’, He is teaching me that I am to do His will simply because I love Him. I follow His will not because I selfishly take all the love He has lavished on me and in my life, but because I selflessly give all my love to Him.

So the answer to why we should do His will is not only because God knows what’s best for us and that He loves us, but more importantly because we love Him and will follow Him. 

Well, so let me ask the same question God asked me: ‘God loves you, but have you loved Him?

Faith Through Generations

The other night, I sat down at the dinner table: ‘Mum and Dad, serious question – what do you think of the idea of me working overseas?’

I was expecting an extensive analysis of expenses, my roots or loneliness.

But my parents’ reply was simple: ‘Well, it’s up to God. It’s about where He leads you.’

The reply was brief yet powerful, and I am ever so grateful that I have my family as my spiritual support. My family has more faith than me! My parents are more obedient to God’s will for my life, and are willing to let me go where He leads.

For in areas that I am lacking in faith and courage, I know my family does not. And it has reminded me of the importance of family, and specifically a family rooted in Christ. 

Proverbs 4:1-4

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
for I give you good precepts;
do not forsake my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.

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Pillar

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I thought this was so cute! 

I was on the way home on the bus, and I literally had just a few seconds to see this and snap it! It’s a piece of rope tied together on a pillar such that it looks like a fish! 

It was such an encouragement to see this, especially after a day of work, panic and confusion. 

Jesus will always be my pillar. Things will be tied and woven together so as to reflect His image. 

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None But Jesus

I love internships because they are extremely rewarding and useful. Because they prevent me from bumming around all day at home (or running my bum off all day).

Yet, I dislike internships because my mind is constantly focussed on work, law, internships, CV’s, future, career. Help. And such thoughts hit me most especially when I’ve done all my assignments, and my mentors are busy. All these questions start running around in my head and I start to panic about everything.

So today was one of those days, and I pretty much spent my free time worrying and planning about nothing.

And then, this song came to me –

In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that you are God
In the secret of your presence
I know there I am restored
When you call I won’t refuse
Each new day, again I’ll choose

 

And I am reminded of god’s sovereignty and plan. Remember God’s calling. I must learn to change my heart. Where He brings me, I will go. Where He directs, I will move. Where He calls, I will follow.

So fear not, my soul.

“None But Jesus”

In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that you are God
In the secret of your presence
I know there I am restored
When you call I won’t refuse
Each new day, again I’ll choose

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise

In the chaos, in confusion
I know you’re sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do your will
When you call I won’t delay
This my song through all my days

All my delight is in you Lord
All of my hope
All of my strength
All my delight is in you Lord
Forevermore

 

 

 

 

A tweet from a celebrity DJ in Singapore. This is so heartbreaking. 1610758_725055634221801_81889534635295804_n

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful

1 Corinthians 13: 1-3

What Do I See God In? G ▢ D

 

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I see God in my little brother’s handiworks: the bursts of energy, dots of colour and the love he puts into his handiwork. And there I see God, because I know that God holds us so much more dearly than these pretty little crafts. 

I thank God for little children, little creations, as well as for my big creator. And the reminder that if my little brother can put so much effort and pride into his work, so does my God.

I am His artpiece. I am His burst of energy. I am His dot of colour in this world.