Archive for May, 2009

How do we live without regrets? For this saying that I’ve heard countless times, being said by many people. But how do we, Christians, live without regrets? For me, to do so does not mean to do everything perfectly, but instead, to see the good that has resulted from all the things that have gone wrong.

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


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Hey all, here’s a long update to make up for my long absence..

Matthew 25:14-30

14“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

21“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

23“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

As a second generation Christian, I’ve read this passage many times. Younger, when I read it, I never knew how much we could gain from it. I thought it was just telling me to use my talents to serve God. Well, it was, but is serving really that easy? The passage just answers everything else.

Every Sunday, I go for the main service at 830 am, and see the mass of people sitting in the chapel, waiting for it to start. My church has a population of a few thousand, I think. But I always wondered how many actually serve God in some way in their lives. And what about the others? I tried to look from their point of view, and I believe many don’t know why they have to serve God in the first place.

Like the master in the parable, God has given us talents, skills, abilities. And to each of us, we have a different set, that God intended for us to use in this world. And because we were created by God, shouldn’t we be giving back these talents to Him is service? Of everyone we know, who is the most deserving besides our Creator Himself? Furthermore, I can personally testify that giving God my time and abilities, which He gave me first, has caused me so much more gain. I once thought about the future, when I pass down my leadership in the youth service to someone else younger. What would I do then? I would feel so lost without serving God. I would have lost my purpose.

I’ve heard the verse from Jeremiah 29:11 being quoted so many times. Indeed, God has a plan and a purpose for all of us, and we can claim it. So go on and fulfill that purpose by serving God. It’s just that simple. Then, like the servants with two and five talents, God will put us in charge of greater things, as I know God will do so for me when the time comes.

Perhaps another reason why some Christians don’t serve God is because they don’t feel ready. I’ve heard this reason countless and countless of times. The answer I always give would be, “You’ll never feel ready.” Again, let us go back to the Word. Did the master ever warn his servants of his leaving? Not really. He just gave them the talents, and left. In the same way, God will call us to serve even when we feel the most ‘unready’, at the most inconvenient times, when we are the most busy… .. What we can choose to do, however, would be to trust Him in His plan for us, and just do it. If we reject the opportunity, how different would we be from the servant with one talent, who was afraid, and buried the talent? We cannot choose to be afraid and withdraw, but instead, have faith in God’s plan, and just take the step forward.

There are some people in the church who will, perhaps, be ushers, some who will teach and preach, and another few who will befriend. Some others you don’t see all the time do the admin, while others prepare snacks for fellowship. Tell me, who is the greatest? I’d say all of them.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11

7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Paul was speaking to the Corinthian church in his letter, telling them about spiritual gifts. All of us, as Christians, have the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and thus, have spiritual gifts. It is just that we all have different gifts, but by the same Holy Spirit. Today, as God equips us with gifts and abilities through the Holy Spirit, never underestimate it. What you are doing is serving God’s purpose, and not serving men. After that passage, Paul continues to talk about the church being one body, and that each part is equal and indispensable.

We are called to do different things, but God does not judge what we do, but He looks at our effort. As humans, we naturally classify things as better or worse, more desirable or less. Perhaps some may feel that worship leading is a great thing to do, and ushers have a less important role in the church. But that is merely human judgement. God sees the heart you have when you serve. Wasn’t this also displayed in the parable? Though two servants had received different amounts, five and two, they still did their best, and duplicated them. Notice what the master says to both of them.

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

We may think that having five talents is better than having two. But God doesn’t see it that way.

What do we want God to say to us when we go to heaven? ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’, or ‘You wicked lazy slave’?
Can we have faith like a child then, to serve Him? Like Samuel had. When God calls us to serve, let us say “Here I am, speak Lord, your servant hears.”

Then go forth and do so.

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Alright! SYF was great. Considering where we started out when the j1s joined us, we have come a really long way, and I am so proud of them.

The music was just beautiful, I lost myself in it.

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No Inspiration

It’s been many long weeks, of rushed homework, rehearsals, and trying to get sleep. I really want SYF to be over soon. Not that I haven’t been looking forward to it though. I know I’ll enjoy the performance, and the choir will do its best. But realistically speaking, life is sucking the life out of me. This post was meant to be serving, after leading the cell group into the last topic of the book. Today’s sermon was also about serving, and I suddenly felt the need to write about it. Unfortunately, perhaps even ironically, I can’t bring myself to do it. With that pile of homework lying on my desk, and my eyes fighting to stay open, I really can’t, now.

Perhaps the next post, when I have the time. Or rather, decide to make time for it…

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