Tag Archives: Chocolate

Weekly Favorite Links (July 2-8, 2015)

MacArthur

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If there is one thing that always surprises and never ceases to leave me utterly speechless and in streams of tears, it is grace.

I have been the recipient of so much undeserved grace lately.

I am amazed at how loved I am by those around me. I suppose I’ve always had this internal struggle that I needed to earn that love and so throughout my life, I sought to please. But grace is something that I cannot earn, which makes it so much more precious when it’s given. God has placed people in my life that have seen me at my worst and ugliest moments. Instead of judging me and telling me that I’m a disappointment or that I should’ve known better than to fall into certain sins, their eyes have only grown more tender and compassionate when all is laid bare.

Most importantly, they have readily forgiven me when oftentimes I struggled to forgive myself. When I am feeling overwhelmed with shame and guilt, they have patiently pointed me to Scripture to help me train my thoughts to find comfort in what is true. Not only have they embraced me in spite of my failures, they have firmly reminded me of the grace that is found at the foot of the cross. By no means do they condone my mistakes. But they have demonstrated what it means to love in hard times and to bear one another’s burdens because we all fall short. Instead of allowing me to run away from my trials, these brothers and sisters of mine have cheered for me to press on and to finish well.

I am so thankful for these individuals.

But you know what’s even crazier? These dear friends of mine are testaments of God’s faithfulness and work in their lives. More than their love for me is the mysterious love that my Savior and Lord displayed on the cross. In order so that I could be freed from the bondage of sin, He who knew no sin became sin in my place and bore my weaknesses. In this life, I will never be able to understand why Christ would die for someone like me. I will never be worthy of God’s love, of His Son’s sacrificial death on my behalf. However, if it was not for the grace of God, if Christ did not bear my guilt and shame, I would still be in chains today.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 

Romans 8:1-11

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Weekly Favorite Links (March 5-11, 2015)

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This post is specially dedicated to my friend Janna, who listened, rebuked, and pointed me to Truth this past week. Thanks for helping me exercise discipline in my thoughts and emotions. You’re a true friend.

I don’t know what’s been going on with your life, but a lot of interesting, unexpected events have been happening in mine. Some good, some bad, but all of them have occurred totally beyond my realm of control. It’s like one day I was casually strolling in the park and the next thing I know, I am trying not to get crushed by flying boulders and rainbows. If I were to be totally honest with myself, I hate it when I am not the one in control — I completely freak out. Trusting in God is hard, and I tend to seek answers within myself or turn to my friends, who could then provide me with immediate gratification, before humbly communicating my anxieties before God.

I want to hear from God, but only on my own terms. I want God to tell me what I should do with my life, what decisions to make, what paths I should avoid, and I just want to know my future now. In the depths of my heart, I kind of want it to be picture-perfect, too. But what if God is more concerned with my holiness and sanctification, rather than my future security in this transient life? (Answer: He is.) What if He is using all these uncertainties and challenges to show me my sinful tendencies and calling me to repentance? (Answer: He is.) What if God is trying to teach me to surrender all my emotions to Him, to open my eyes to His wonderful faithfulness, and to mold me to have a more a dependent-like faith? (Answer: He is.) What if God is breaking me so that I come before Him in desperation? (Answer: YES, HE IS.)

See, I know I should choose to believe in God despite whatever doubts and that I should choose to have joy despite my circumstances. Hence, the blog title. But my faith is weak. I am fearful of my future. I am fearful of making poor choices and mistakes. I am worried about failure and not looking my best (according to my own standards), and also disappointing others. My emotions can, and often do, overwhelm me. It’s only when I begin to lose my mind that I confess that I cannot manage things by myself.

Time and time again, God’s Word empowers me to focus on what is true and what is not true. His Word speaks life into mine, calms my fears, and brings me great hope. Let me share with you one such passage, which has strengthened and comforted me during all that has happened to me in one week. God is good. Always.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9).

Just from what I shared today, I hope that you, dear invisible reader, will also be able to evaluate yourself, your life, and where you stand with God. I am praying for you all, Christian or not.

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I didn’t really read or find anything on the internet that I wanted to share beyond the Christianity and Food categories this week. However, there’s a lot of links that I really enjoyed in just those two categories alone, so check ’em out!

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