June 14, 2013

I cannot keep silent

But if I say, "I will not mention His word or speak anymore in His name,"
His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
(Jeremiah 20:9)


I cannot keep silent. God is too good of a news to keep to oneself. There's a saying that goes something like, "If you had the cure for cancer, wouldn't you tell everyone? Isn't Jesus the cure for something much deeper: eternal separation from God? Then why aren't we sharing about Him enough?"

Besides, it's actually a command. Jesus's last words to His followers were:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20)

We don't have to be a pastor or take up a theology course or be a Christian for 20 years. We can just start with the little we know about Him, no matter how general or personal that may be. Besides, it is God who literally gives us what to say:

“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
Jesus (Luke 12:11-12)

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Jesus (Acts 1:8)

So that's that. God wants every person in the world to have a relationship with Him. Those who already have that relationship cannot remain silent, for the sake of everyone else. Will we let our shyness or fear get in the way of someone's salvation? Of course, God is in control of everything, including salvation. But we can choose to work with Him, pointing people towards Him, instead of turning them away or keeping quiet. Take it from Jeremiah: it's much easier to speak up.

Living Water

Today was probably the first time I went around campus with a liter of bottled water in tow. Ah, water. They say a lot of times when we feel hungry, we are actually thirsty. The one "food" that's most essential to our survival. So cheap yet so good, and no calories even ;)

No wonder Jesus compared himself to water. Not to coffee or fried chicken or chocolate (my personal faves), but to water. Let us listen.


Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”
(John 4:10)


“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.
Where can you get this living water?" (John 4:11)


Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)


On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink." (John 7:37)


"Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,
rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38)


By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given,
since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:39)


Feeling thirsty already? Or already filled with Him? :)

Four-Way Gospel

I thought of this image after my last post comparing the four gospels.

Amazing, eh? The gospels have all the bases covered and they balance each other out. God's Good News is for everyone.

One book reminds us to look up to Jesus' divine origins (therefore being worthy of worship), another to look down to his humanity (therefore being worthy to be followed). Another looks behind to his Jewish origins (fulfilling ancient prophecies), while the last looks forward to his being Savior of the world.

Lastly, these four directions combined give us the Cross. The gospels tell of Jesus, who was born to die for our sins, so that we might live with Him. God is making sure that this Good News reaches everyone. 

Have we heard the News? If yes, are we going to share it, in any and every way we can? :)

June 7, 2013

The Gospel according to Social Media

I've been blogging here for *years*, and I'm also on Facebook. Last month I finally got on Twitter and Instagram. In learning how to express myself through different social media, complementary without being redundant, I also got a sense of... gospel harmony.

If you've read the four Christian gospels, you might notice that they're not exactly the same. Just like any book, each gospel has some traits based on the author and the intended audience. Let's look at those traits (according to experts as in here, and verifiable by you and me reading the books ourselves), and see the parallels with popular social media (in my humble personal opinion).

The Gospel according to Matthew


Author's description:   Jew, former tax collector
Content:   Jewish Scripture, history, prophecies (e.g. Old Testament and other writings) 
Intended audience:   Jews or Israel
Focus on Jesus as:   King of the Jews, Immanuel ("God-with-us")
Focus on Jesus' sacrifice as:   Trespass offering ("trespass" = wrongdoing against God according to Jewish law)

Similar to which social media:   Blogs (e.g. Blogger, Wordpress)
Because of:   Ability to post unlimited text and images; Contain complete archives; Can easily link to other websites

The Gospel according to Mark


Author's description:   One of the 70 disciples, companion and scribe of Simon Peter
Content:  Quick, action-packed accounts; the shortest gospel
Intended audience:  Romans
Focus on Jesus as:  Servant, Prophet
Focus on Jesus' sacrifice as:   Sin offering ("sin" = wrongdoing in the general sense)

Similar to which social media:  Twitter
Because of:  Limited length of tweets and messages, emphasis on trending topics

The Gospel according to Luke


Author's description:   Doctor, non-Jew, companion of Paul
Content:  Accounts about the lost, weak, outcast (Prodigal Son, Good Samaritan)
Intended audience:  Greeks
Focus on Jesus as:  Son of Man, High Priest
Focus on Jesus' sacrifice as:   Peace offering (to reconcile outsiders to God)

Similar to which social media:   Facebook
Because of:   Emphasis on relationships (old and new), well-documented timelines

The Gospel according to John


Author's description:   One of Jesus' twelve apostles
Content:  Word pictures (Jesus is the Light of the World, the Way, the Good Shepherd, the Bread of Life...) 
Intended audience:  All
Focus on Jesus as:  Son of God the Father, the Word of God made flesh
Focus on Jesus' sacrifice as:   Burnt offering (for worship)

Similar to which social media:  Instagram
Because of:   Emphasis on images

So there you have it. Please note that I'm not measuring the Christian faith with social network activity ;)  But I do hope that this post helps us appreciate the gospels more: in each book's uniqueness, and in their harmony (unity in diversity) in presenting Jesus, Son of God, Savior of mankind.