Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love

My Search for Abundant Life

 

“… I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b

From Worry To Glory
Searching for the abundant life apart from God’s will is like sailing aimlessly on an endless sea of opportunities.

One statement of Jesus that has a deep and significant impact on me is “…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

I read and memorized this verse when I was a small kid attending one of the summertime Daily Vacation Bible School or DVBS. What started then as rote memorization, became gradually a journey to my search for the abundant life.

I was born of parents who are both theology graduates and I grew up with them working from church to church. Because we lived from parsonage to parsonage, I would often say jokingly, “No permanent address” when asked where do I live.

Experiencing the economic and psychological hardships and challenges of being a son of a rural pastor, I would always wonder about that abundant life that the Great Teacher expressed that He came for us to have.

But how can I affirm my confidence on the abundant life that Jesus Christ promised when I experienced injustice, dishonesty, corruption, jealousy, envy and all kinds of strife through and among the very faithful followers of him?

Where is abundance when you went through hunger and poverty because opportunities have become scarce after you made a stand for what is right?

Of course, it is easy to understand what abundant life is in the context of the material world. I grew up with the carnal understanding that to live a life of plenty is to always have more than enough food to eat and you have lots of money to experience living the lifestyle of the rich, like a good house, cars, travels, parties and anything that a person or family could wish for.

Thus, while keeping in my heart and mind the questions I had, I chartered my course towards prosperity. My goals were to study hard in high school to get a college scholarship, graduate a course that would be my ticket to get high paying jobs, do well in my chosen career and finally, live comfortably in affluence.

Then I was well on my way to fulfilling my goals, sailing smoothly, successfully achieving victories left and right. However, later on, after almost a decade of searching and chasing, I reflected at all my striving and struggling using all the gifts that God endowed me to gain the prosperity that I sought, I found myself living a meaningless life.

I exhausted all means to meet my goals but at the end of the day, I found out that when everything in life redounds to achieving financial gain compromising the basic values of truth and justice, I can not find real peace and happiness.

So where could I find true abundant life if it is not present in having material affluence alone?

Finally, after a long tiring journey, my search led me to one great discovery that abundant life is using my fullest potential for the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, I discovered that living my life to the fullest is having all my faculties, availability and resources of good use for the glory of God.

Life has never been so very fulfilling. Surprisingly, the more I focused on having my fullest potential be used for him, the blessings keep coming and coming. Indeed, Jesus Christ has come to give life and have it abundantly.

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Posted in Inspirational

Smile for All Things Happen with a Purpose

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Central Philippine University Blog
“Smile” by Jadyn Castillon (@ 4 years old.)

 

Everything that happens in your life has purpose. There are great reasons you are where you are now, many reasons for the events in your life, a reason why you are making a living.

Indeed, life is hard, especially today, when the global economic crisis is affecting everyone. In whatever walk of life you are, you will always have your taste of hardships and triumphs.

Is it not that the meaning of life is best appreciated through the hardships that you went through and you hurdled every obstacles successfully and unscathed?

With God as your guide, you will always see how life unfolds its great reasons, both in the present and future. What is oftentimes revealing is how the past would tie up to your present and future state. Are these not causes to make life full of zest?

For everything that happens in your life, good or bad, always put in mind that it is an opportunity for you to realize that you are living under the merciful loving care of the Almighty Loving God.

Make every moment an opportunity to serve Him; an opportunity to show grace and give thanks in all circumstances. You can make it as one rare chance to pay humble service to life itself.

Well, you maybe someone who have achieved well in life, amassing great success, great love, joy, and perhaps, fame, and recognition. Towards achieving this, you took a different route and you find yourself different from your friends and work mates.

You wanted power, admiration, and wealth. You are owning various villa rentals and vast real estates.

Despite the outstanding gap that you have achieved from everyone else in terms of material wealth, there is one equalizer that would place you on the same level with everyone else — death.

Tracy Chapman’s song, “All that you have is your soul” rings true.

Indeed, when you leave this mortal world, you cannot take with you all the riches and comforts in life that you have acquired. You can not bring the material things you have acquired to life beyond because all that you will have to bring is only your soul.

Never forget to share what you have. Just because you have invested so much effort and time to acquire wealth, you appropriate everything for yourself and you don’t even think about caring for your neighbors. Remember that one secret to happiness is found in serving others.

Always do what is true, right and just. Let God be your center for service, for it is from Him whom you gain the greatest strength and recognition.

Life will always be kind to you, blessings will come to you, and challenges will be instruments for a better version of you when you persevere.

Go on with life, pursue your career with vigor, nurture your passion, enjoy the beauty of things around you. Love and treasure your family and friends, and let God guide all your ways.

Keep smiling as you revel in the blessings of God’s mighty purposes.

Posted in Hope, Inspirational, Love

Remember the Tsunami After the 8.9 Magnitude Earthquake in Japan

 

 

For us who are far and safe from where the 8.9 Magnitude Earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on 12 March 2011, we can only imagine the terror and destruction that the people of Japan felt two years ago.

As I would always contemplate, our daily lives are manifestation of God’s mercy and grace. Each morning, when we wake up and as we draw our first breath we must thank God that His mercy has allowed us to live today.

Because God’s love is steadfast and everlasting and His mercies are new every morning, it is just fitting that our praises and thanksgiving be expressed in a renewed spirit and humble attitude.

One cannot be proud of the riches and top position that one has attained because we are not sure of what would happened next. Even the strongest of kings and rulers have their day of defeat.

All we can do is to ask for God’s abundant grace…it is always enough.

As Japan continues to recover from the calamity two years ago, let us also bear in mind that for every trials that come our way, we can always overcome and rebuild through the love and mercies of God.

Footage of actual tsunami onslaught: