Friday, June 18, 2010

Your grace is sufficient for me!

A few Sundays ago, before driving to Acts Church for the evening service from SLS (my own church), my mom suddenly told me, "You seem down lately."

Surprised, I asked why she said that. Instead of answering my question, she continued, "You need to be careful of who you're friends with. It seems to me that your faith is unstable."

I nearly reacted badly because I knew to whom she was referring.

But I responded calmly (thank You, Holy Spirit) and in a low voice, "On what basis did you say that, mi?"

She replied, "Well, yeah, most of the time, you're on fire for God but sometimes, you seem sad and discouraged. Especially lately."

Then I told her matter-of-factly, "Mi, first of all, I'm just a lil' sad that my best friend will be gone for a year. It's not like I'm depressed or anything. Secondly, to say that my faith is unstable just because I'm not jumping for joy every second of the day... just because I have feelings and emotions... seem a lil' unfair, right? Even the best fall down sometimes. I'm only human. It has nothing to do with whom I'm friends with. My friends may not be perfect, and yes, some are nonbelievers but they're not causing me to stray away from God. I'm not straying away at all. If anything, I'm growing closer to Him since I attended Acts and Homes (cell group)."

She shrugged and continued with her work at the church office.

As I was driving to Acts, I pondered about what my mom told me. Although what she said was mainly based on her own observation, perception and judgement, and not facts, I had to admit that it's important as a leader with people looking up to me to be mindful of my being, thoughts, words and deeds without being inauthentic. And being authentic (in this context) is about admitting your weaknesses and overcome them in order to grow, inspire and empower others. You can't be more than a conqueror and an overcomer without having to first encounter opportunities to be victorious!

I was still pondering about this right before the evening service and when Pastor Kenneth Chin shared on John 2 (Water Turned to Wine) and he described how each verse applies in our daily walk with God, I knew the Spirit was moving. Then he shared a song the Spirit put upon his heart and the lyrics were so beautiful they ministered to my spirit:

Always Good

God, you are so, so good
There is just none like You
You make me sing
Out loud for joy
Lord, I'm so grateful
Jesus, Your love for me
Like nothing I've ever seen
I lift up my hands
To praise Your name
Oh, how I love You

Everytime I'm in Your presence
I can't help but overflow with gladness
You are so good and merciful
All I wanna do is to stand and worship You
I delight myself in You, O God
Make all my hopes and dreams come true
Only You are worthy, Lord
All I wanna do is to shout my praise to You

You make everything beautiful
You make all things new
You are ever so wonderful
You are always good

The Spirit ministered to me so clearly through John 2 concerning the things I need to detach from and the things I need to overcome. The testimonies (on the church building fund) and the song humbled me so much that I didn't care who was looking; I just cried my heart and eyes out (good thing I didn't wear any makeup on my face or I would have sent kids screaming in terror). Then God's peace, grace and love flooded me all over again since then... and I slept like a baby that night for the first time in weeks... =)

The Lord is so much more faithful than I.

Your grace is sufficient for me for Your power is made perfect in weakness! So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Even a respectable pastor like Pastor Kenneth has his down moments (let alone me) and I was so relieved to hear that I wasn't alone, and that he (as an esteemed, reputable leader) was not afraid to admit his weaknesses. Thank you, Pastor Kenneth for being such a blessing and inspiration to me... =)

Here are parts of the sermon on John 2:

The John 2 Drama (1 of 4)

The John 2 Drama (2 of 4)

The John 2 Drama (3 of 4)

The John 2 Drama (4 of 4)

"Problems (pruning) have a way of both revealing and rooting - who or what it is that we're truly abiding (trusting/holding on to). If we abide in Christ, problems will turn to fruitfulness. If we don't, problems will only make us fall away." - Kenneth Chin

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