policeman

If you went around rebuking others, acting like a policeman for “God’s spiritual force”, you’d be the LAST person I’d want to talk to!

We are not the Holy Spirit who convicts and sanctifies people according to God’s will. Though God may use us as a conduit for genuine change in people, He did not employed us to be the holy cops of church.

I have to admit that I made that mistake in college. I even got battle scars to prove it. So when LBCLA began studying the book of Jude in our summer CAFE (Care Accountability Fellowship Equipping) groups, I believe that it was quite timely for me.

In the book of Jude, the author reminds the readers to have mercy on those who doubt, save others by snatching them out of the fire, and show mercy to others, mixed with fear and hating “even the garment stained by flesh.” (cf. Jude 22-23) There are 3 categories of people enumerated here: (1) Doubters, (2) Detractors, (3) Defectors. Doubters are confused, thus requiring gentleness and mercy in addressing issues. Detractors are those dabbling in the wrong things, calling for a stronger response, to the point of “snatching them out of the fire.” Defectors are the ones who are convinced, seemingly beyond reason, devoted to following an aberration of God’s truth. Those people do require mercy, but with a great measure of discernment, seen in the phrase “hating even the garment stained by flesh.” There is a reality behind these words, that Christians are engaged in spiritual war and agents of chaos are employed by evil to confuse believers, making them complacent or confused. Hence Jude reminds the readers to be utterly cautious while showing mercy to these people. If Satan can’t take away your salvation, he can do the next best thing and make you confused and inept.

We also see this pattern repeated by Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:24-26, where we see grace and truth balanced in the believer’s response to doubters, detractors, and defectors. Here, Paul reminds Timothy to show Christ-like character in his approach, yet without compromising the precious truth given to him, as referred in v. 14-16.

Nowadays I think before I speak (or I try to), lest I lose another thread of friends due to my stupid mouth. I’m learning that a safe default is to pray. Pray for the Holy Spirit to change a person’s heart and trust in Him who will do all things to His glory. These are lessons that I am still reviewing and relearning constantly, as I recognize in myself that I am still broken and flawed in many ways.

Praise God that He is able to keep us from stumbling and present us “blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.” Praise Him who has bought our salvation with Christ’s blood and continually sanctifies us for His purposes. Praise the Lord that we get to be blessed recipients of His grace and that in spite of us, He gets the glory!

+MK

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into the deep

Commencement Exercises

4 years of college life is over.

I just finished watching my apartment video, made by my roommate. Brings back lots of good (and hilariously embarrassing) memories to me.

The funny thing about this graduation is that it is not like high school graduation at all. While high school graduates were giddy and goofy from leaving high school, we collegiate graduates find ourselves in a more somber situation, dealing with the next step of life… which is the rest of our life.

No elaborate parties, no fanfare or banquets for me, but into the deep I fall. There’s simply no time to sit back and let “senioritis” take over, when there’s real work to do.

High schoolers have it easier, but not necessarily any better.

I like this. I really do.

I have to confess that up until now had my life been planned out by me. To be honest, my mental map of my life had not gone past college. Sure, maybe once in a while I might fancy a thought about what it would be like to raise a family or growing old, but ever since that day happened,.. When that *particular* day happened, I saw a good glimpse of my family history and the tendency of risk-filled, short-lived lives.
I found it easy to see myself living a short life. And thus, I subtly justified my lack of forethought with the internal notion of “I’m going to die anyway, so what is the use?”

But now I find myself past the point of my mental map. I am simply not the planner of great things and I cannot hold to that misleading internal notion of fatalism at all.

Uncertainty is one of the strongest feeling that emanates my moments of stillness. The only certainty I do find is in God’s Word, the anchor for my soul.

In the past 4 years, I truly see that God has *absolutely* no reason to save me. But He did. And I am so broken to know this.

I’ve done nothing to deserve joy. But God gave me joy.

I’ve done nothing to deserve hope. But God gave me hope.

I see the opportunity to toil and labor to spread this joy and hope to others.
+Michael K

Bound As One

Some days, I wish I can break all the clocks and stop the hands of time from moving forward. Other days, I desire to wind the clock forwards and fast-forward the pain. But now I realize that God set time at the perfectly right pace, allowing me to experience His grace in the timing He deemed perfectly sufficient; God made no mistake in setting time's current pace. Never too fast, never too slow, always on time.

Yesterday was a full day. Sunday service, then senior photoshoot, and then banquet! I remember God’s faithfulness in each event.

I am going to miss everyone at College Life. God is absolutely amazing for redeeming me and allowing this broken vessel to cherish people. I know that I have more than enough in me to deserve the ill-favor of all. Even though I have regrets, I know that God gave me so much blessings that I never imagined before! Regardless of my past regrets, the fact that God still sustains me and even enables me to share His grace to others is so humbling for me.

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth,… [Ecclesiastes 12:1a]

These are the memories that I will cherish. These memories are only made possible by the cross.

I praise God that He has kept me alive long enough to cherish each and every precious soul He has brought in my life.
I praise God that we are bound as one in Christ.
+Michael K

Apologizing

from pinterest

I am broken by the truth and heart behind these words.

Did I really mean my sorries, my apologies? What is an apology if I demand forgiveness? Is my apology any good if my motives are revealed to be impure?
So… Apologizing does not mean that “I said my sorries. Now your turn, or else.

What does it matter if both sides wronged each other and harbor unforgiveness. If neither are willing to apologize and forgive, then both sides are trashing the Gospel testimony of ultimate forgiveness.

Can forgiveness be forcefully demanded? Or restoration be rightly commanded?

Whether the other side responds correctly is not up to us. Do all on your part to be at peace with all.
God is sovereign and God is the ultimate judge.

In the very end, we all answer to God Himself. It will ultimately be between Him and us only, when we are faced with the question of whether we truly forgave, whether we truly apologized, whether we truly reconciled.

Unforgiveness is gospel amnesia. -Joshua Harris

But forgiveness cannot be demanded. It is not beneficial nor fruitful to wave around bible verses and sayings, demanding restoration under the guise of biblical platitudes.

Remember,
genuine forgiveness can only be politely asked
and it’s the other side’s prerogative to truly respond rightly.

Therefore,…
Apologizing means “I’m sorry. I love you. Please forgive me?”

I was wrong and I admit it.

I am sorry.

official

It is official.
I am in the Czech Missions team this year. Provided that missions support and training goes well, I will be shipping out to the Czech Republic from June 26 to July 14th.

I’m soo humbled beyond belief.

Praise God! I still find it hard to believe that God would save such a wretch like me. That he would even continue to use me is even more amazing.

The promise of the resurrection always holds true. Jesus Christ is risen; the basis of the Christian faith is found on that foundation. This truth saves and continues to sanctify the believer from the moment of salvation on.

I’m humbled to even have my life be a witness of this. And though my sins are great and though I still continually struggle, I am truly grateful that God has graced my life with the promise of resurrection.
+Michael K

good day

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:2 ESV)

Today is Good Friday.

This day celebrates the fact that Jesus Christ remained focused. He stayed the course as He followed through His mission to glorify the Father by the work on the cross, despite its agony.

This year, I’m (re)learning that pain ought to remind us that this world is not our home.

John Piper expounds on this notion excellently:

… everyone will encounter fires of trouble and pain in life, and this experience can make you salty. It salts you. In other words, close calls with eternity, where you can smell the flames of hell and the scents of paradise can fill you with an amazing dissatisfaction with this world and a profound satisfaction in Christ as your eternal reward.

Jesus Christ is the author and founder of our faith! He is the model and leader whom we follow. He lays down the perfect example of glorifying God through trials.

Despite the pain and the agony, can we endure and stay true to our mission?
Remember our Lord Jesus.
Remember Him who went through the ultimate trial to save many.
Remember Christ who did this for the joy set before Him.
Remember Jesus Christ, who gave all to glorify the Father.

Our trials are perfect opportunities to mirror our Lord and be satisfied in Him.


+Michael K

Everything is going to be okay

everything is going to be okay

Photo credit to anomalousmaterial.com

Earlier this week, I saw a Source Code with Peter Park and Daniel Chan for a late night movie run. It turns out to be a decent movie. Not the same caliber as Inception, but pretty close. Besides, as Inception was 10 years in the making, Source Code is pretty good for a low budget movie [only shot in two different locations.]

Yet in the movie, this particular quote keeps ringing through my head:

Everything’s going to be okay

The characters in the movie kept saying that, despite how much things are falling apart. While the movie does resolve itself in its own fashion, those words are intriguing to me. On what basis can we truly say that “everything’s gonna be okay?”

For those of you who are aware of my personal situation, it became far worse than ever before.

Though as the gray skies loom over me, I know and I trust that
as long as we are in Christ, everything’s gonna be okay.

Everything is going to be okay.