God Always Accepts Us Back

Sin, it tears us away from God. While it tears us away from God, many forget that God always accepts. It is our guilt that keeps us from going back to God. God always accepts us back when we have strayed. A terrific post, titled What God Thinks of Sinners (Luke 15:1-10) shared a very wonderful verse that I wanted to share with you:

Luke 15:3-7

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

It justifies the love that God has for each and everyone of us. He does not give premature judgement but accepts us, gives us a chance and welcomes us back into His arms when we go astray. Our God is the God of love and forgiveness. There is none greater than the One True God. There is no love greater than His love. God always accepts us back because he is so great.

A Prayer For Humility: Give Praise to the Lord

Pride is sin that we all are guilty of. What beats pride is humility. At times we are faced with a lot of circumstances in life that tempt us to be overly proud. The Bible tells us that pride is sinful and it corrupts our spirit. We must remember that all things come from our creator and everything that we have is because of God. In everything that we do we should remember to give praise to God. Letting pride get in the way of praising God is common though, and we will all struggle with it from time to time.

Often, I forgot that my achievements are not my own. I forgot that without God, nothing would have become of me. I came across a great post entitled: “Litany of Humility: A Prayer For A Beloved Sinner“. The prayer keeps me in touch with myself and taught me to remember that humility beats pride. I thought that others should read this prayer for humility as well because it helped me very much.

3 Things That Remind Me of God’s Love

Reading “Ten Reminders of God’s Love for You” inspired me to do this post today. While this article gives readers 10 Bible verses that remind of God’s love, I’d like to make a list of the things that remind me of God’s immeasurable love. Here are 3 things that remind me of God’s love:

1. My family. There is no greater reminder of God’s love than the joy and love I receive everyday from my family.

2. Sunsets and sunrises. The wonderful display of the beauty of sunsets and sunrises remind me of God’s unfailing love. As Lamentations 3:22-23 says: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

3. Rainbows. Seeing a colorful rainbow after a rain reminds me of God’s faithfulness and forgiving love for mankind despite our sinfulness. As you remember, the rainbow was created by God to stand as a covenant of God’s promise to man that there will not be “any more be a flood to destroy the earth.”

How about you? What are the things around you that make you remember God’s amazing love for us?

Feeling God’s Closeness Through Meditation

One very important, but overlooked way to connect with God is meditation. In this busy world that we are living in, very few people actually take the time to stop for a while, clear their minds of worldly cares, and direct their thoughts to the Lord. Meditation is a very crucial part of our spiritual growth and formation. Together with the reading of God’s words, meditation is the key for our thoughts and actions to be in line with our savior Jesus Christ. Feeling God’s closeness through meditation is something all Christians should get to feel during their life.

St. Paul even emphasized the importance of tuning our minds to the Lord in Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” 

It is through the habitual stilling of our thoughts and emotions that we can hear God’s whispered response and lead truly Christian lives.

Try this Meditation Exercise to experience the beauty and power of meditation. Feeling God’s closeness through meditation is a gift I want you all to experience!

Loving Life Now and Appreciating Heaven Always

I read some questions today from a post at Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction that made me do some reflection. The questions that were raised by a Catholic reader were: “Am I wrong to love earth? Can’t I enjoy earth now and experience Heaven later (since eternity is, after all, so long)?” The question makes a lot of sense right? I mean with all the wonderful things that the Lord has put into our world, are we really not supposed to love it?

After much thinking, I came to a conclusion that it is not wrong for us Christians to appreciate the beauty and wonders of our world–to love it in a way that expresses adoration for the greatness of our creator. What is wrong is to love the world in a way that we are drawn to it, cling to it and crave for all that it has to offer.

As a guideline, we should look into the words of St. John in  I John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” I think the point is that loving life now and appreciating heaven always is the route for Christians to take.

Allow Yourself To Be Surprised By God

God Acts, and He Surprises Us,” this is Pope Francis’ message from when he visited the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. The message of the Pope wonderfully reminded all Christians of our need to constantly trust in the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness to us, his children.

No matter what difficulties may come our way, we should never lose hope and allow ourselves to be surprised by the ways of our mighty God. In the Pope’s words, he said, “Always know in your hearts that God is by your side; he never abandons you.” It is only with complete submission and trust to the plans of our Father can we live a joyful life.

For every trial that you face, patiently wait for God’s help–be open to his surprises. As he promised in Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Allow yourself to be surprised by God and his amazing ways.

Trying To Understand Eternity

Have you tried understanding the concept of eternity? It’s kind of hard isn’t it? I have tried a few times to wrap my mind around the concept of eternity or living forever with the Lord. I can never seem to put together a solid picture. Today, I found the answer to why I am finding it so hard to understand the promised life eternal of the Lord. Trying to understand eternity is not possible for humans to do.

In a blog post titled, “Describing The Internet To An Ant,” the author said that us trying to imagine and comprehend what eternity would be like is the same as an ant trying to understand the concept of the internet. No matter how hard a tiny ant tries to use whatever thinking faculties it has, it will never really understand the complexity of the internet or even simply understand how it works. Just like us, no matter how much we try, we will never be able to fully comprehend the eternity.

So the next time you think about life eternal and find yourself faced with more questions than answers, remember the ant that’s trying to understand the internet. I thought this was a perfect comparison to trying to understand eternity.

Lessons From St. Mary Magdalene

We celebrated the day of St. Mary Magdalene recently, and I would like to take the time today to remember some of the lessons that we can learn from her life.

Here are just a few lessons from St. Mary Magdalene:

1. Jesus can set us free from our past. The Scriptures tell us Mary Magdalene was possessed by seven demons (Luke 8:2); but Jesus set her free from her demons and acknowledged her as one of her important followers.

2. Jesus can forgive the sins that men find unforgivable. St. Mary Magdalene was mocked, looked down upon and condemned by many people. She continued to believe in Jesus’ promises–That no matter what sins we have in our lives, God is ready to forgive us. Her life teaches us that there is no one who is beyond the pale of his redemption.

3. Despite of all the sins we have committed in the past, when we surrender our lives to God, He will use it mightily for his purpose. Mary Magdalene, a woman with a dark and sinful past was the the first witness to Jesus Christ risen from the dead. From a sinner, God turned Mary Magdalene into a great witness of his love.

Ultimately, St. Mary Magdalene’s life teaches us that there is no one whom God cannot redeem and use for his purposes. What other lessons from St. Mary Magdalene have you learned?

If you want to know more about St. Mary Magdalene, here’s an interesting read: “Visit Mary Magdalene’s Hometown.”

God Will Test Your Faith: Perseverance

Testing Your Faith Produces Endurance,” prompted me to open my Bible to James 1:2 & 3. This verse says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” God will test your faith at many points throughout your life, but developing perseverance will help you continue to find joy.

Being followers of Christ in today’s world, isn’t it wonderful to be hearing these words from St. James? All of us have experienced trials in our lives, and I believe that you agree with me when I say that fighting through life’s storms can be quite disheartening at times. These words from one of Jesus’ disciples ought to remind us to feel joy instead of disappointment or frustration and anger whenever a trial comes our way. For it is only through the endurance of trials that our faith is fortified. It is not a matter of if God will test your faith, but when.

Do you know Job? The faithful man from the Old Testament whose faith was put through a series of serious trials? He endured all of them and remained faithful to God til the very end. He had this to say about his trials: “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)

May we all have an attitude towards trials and faith like Job.

The Wonder of God’s Grace

Do you ever feel hesitant to talk to God because you feel like you are not worthy to be calling his name? Some people feel this way because of their sins. Honestly, I feel this way sometimes. I have found myself several times having second thoughts about coming to God in prayer because I feel embarrassed of the wrong things that I have done. I guess we all have felt this way at one point or another–that we are unworthy to call upon God and ask for his help or blessing. The wonder of God’s grace is a thing to behold though. He forgives us of our sins!

Is it right to feel ashamed of our sins? Well of course! But is it right to let our sins keep us from coming to God? Definitely not. The great King Solomon gave us these words: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

Do not allow our sins to take control our lives. Remember that the blood of Jesus is greater than any sin that you can commit! Dwell on what Jesus has done for you instead of what you have done against God. As it says in Ephesians 1:7, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…”

Here’s a very simple yet meaningful illustration of the wonder of God’s grace: “God Teaching Me About Grace.”