Trusting an Almighty God

If 2020 had a theme, uncertainty would definitely be a front runner. With a timely message from the passage of Genesis 3:1-7, Isaias reminded us of the consequences of not trusting God. Taking a deeper look into the fall of Adam and Eve reveals the serpent’s techniques as he leads Eve towards disobedience. 

The serpent begins his deceit through the doubting of God’s Word. Covered in verses 1 through 4, the serpent misquotes God, which leads to Eve misconstruing the commandment that God clearly explained in Gen. 2:17. With Eve lacking accuracy in God’s Word, the serpent continues his attack on God, this time through the doubting of the creator’s character. In verse 5, Satan poses the idea that God is a deceiver himself, withholding godly knowledge from Adam and Eve. As the spiral of doubt continues, verse 6 describes Eve losing trust in God’s wisdom and leaning on her human intelligence to decide on what is suitable for her consumption. The doubting of God’s Word, character, and wisdom all come together as Eve partakes in the fruit with her husband. Although Eve was deceived, Adam fully disobeyed God’s commands and in doing so, cursed mankind.  

As Christians, we must always be wary of losing our trust in God. Life will be difficult at times, and God’s faithfulness will seem fleeting, but we can hold fast to the fact that God disposed of all doubt in his Word, character, and wisdom through the life and death of Jesus Christ. God fulfilled numerous prophecies and cemented the inerrancy of scripture through Christ. (Isaiah 53:5-12 is one of many) Additionally, the solution for the salvation of sinners showcases the wisdom and character of God. The gospel being an answer that only God could accomplish while staying constant in his justice and his mercy.  

Trust in God is a key component of life for every Christian. As we see the consequences of Eve’s loss of trust in God’s Word, wisdom, and character, let us take heed of her mistakes and strive for wholehearted commitment with God. We can do so by first seeking the truth through scripture. God’s word contains not only his very clear commandments, but also the showcasing of his perfect wisdom and character. Secondly let us always keep in mind the gospel, and trust that the God who sacrificed his son for the sake of sinners will be eternally working all things for our good.   

12.4.2020 Fall 2020 Week Nine

Mark Kaneshiro

Convinced of Contentment

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:8)

Friends, this is a verse that we often repeat—but when we do, are we fully convinced of our contentment in the Lord? Can we say confidently that we have given up all our worldly desires and have turned to God alone for our source of everlasting joy? 

Isaias’s message on Micah 2:1-5 was a timely reminder that the sin of covetousness should not be taken lightly. What is covetousness? A lack of contentment in God paired with an insatiable desire to be pleased with something (or someone) that does not belong to us. “You shall not covet,” says the Lord (Exodus 20:17). But these oppressors in Israel have not only blatantly disobeyed God’s command; they have twisted their very legal system so as to make their wicked actions just in the eyes of the law. They have orchestrated opportunities to abuse, seize, and steal for their personal gain. They thirst for satisfaction in land and inheritance, having forgotten their Maker and Master––the only One able to quench that thirst.

Just like all wickedness, God is absolutely intolerant of covetousness (Isaiah 10:1-2; Ephesians 5:5). It robs Him of rightful worship and mocks His sovereignty and provision over His people. And Micah shows us that just like all wickedness, God’s judgment is upon that sin. God has a plan, too—a plan of disaster that will humiliate His people. A day is coming where God will give land to the Assyrians (a pagan people!), and the men of Israel “will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the LORD.” As the rich oppressors took from the poor, so God will take back that which He gave as judgment on the nation.

We look at this passage and praise God for His righteousness and justice, but how foolish of us to think that we are any better than these ruthless oppressors! All of us are guilty of wanting what belongs to someone else, and when we covet, we are saying to God that He is not worthy of our utmost praise and worship. We are displaying our discontentment with God and all that He has given us.

But God did not send His only Son to die for us to be dissatisfied with Him.

God could take away all our material possessions, even our very lives––and that would not contradict His righteousness, simply because we are wretched sinners who deserve death. Yet He has kept us alive––and not only that, He has offered us eternal life, a life that infinitely surpasses that of our lives on earth. What reason do we have not to give thanks to Him who has set us free from the chains of death? What reason do we have to be discontent? What reason do we have to covet the fleeting pleasures of this world?

We have none. God has given us all we need through His Son.

The gospel has revealed to us the breathtaking glory and loveliness of God, and in so doing, it has lured our hearts away from temporary things and has left us enthralled by Him instead––we must live in a way that reflects this! Let us give thanks; let us sing praise; let us be fully convinced that absolutely nothing should rob us of the joy we have in our God who redeemed us.

“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

11.25.2020 Fall 2020 Week Seven

Christine Grace Pamplona

Testimony of the Week: Charlotte Chan

Charlotte is a third year MCDB major who enjoys knitting, drinking coffee, and taking walks on her free time 😀

I’m so thankful to have parents who dedicated me to God in front of their church before I could even remember. They sent me to Christian school where I learned a lot of verses and sang worship songs, and prayed with my teachers. It must have been part of the curriculum because every year teachers would meet with me personally and ask me if I wanted Jesus in my life, and I would pray and accept Jesus once again because I was just never sure if I truly accepted Jesus the year before.

Growing up, it may be cliche to say, but God was a vending machine to me. I would give a dime or two only when I needed something. And weirdly, or maybe by God’s grace, it always seemed to work for me. In fact, things worked out so well for me that I distinctly remember telling my camp counselor one year at youth camp, that I didn’t feel like I needed God because my life was just too good. Pridefully, I really felt like I had everything I needed and wanted with friends, family, and school. There was little actual room for God in my heart. But still, I called myself a Christian and tried to be one, thinking that God would continue to give me the things that I wanted. And partly because I wanted to please the people around me.

Eventually, telling people that I was Christian and going to church started to feel like a lie. I felt so fake when I was praying and I couldn’t sing in church because when I sang, I felt like a liar. And honestly, it started to feel very scary because I knew what the consequences were. I knew in my mind very clearly that the wages of sin were death (Rom 6:23), and I knew very well all the verses about how someone who might say they’re Christian might approach Christ in the end and Christ will say “I never knew you” (Matt 7:21-23). And that scared me because deep inside, I knew that was me.

I had this internal struggle for a long time, and I began to feel so bitter towards God because I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel like a Christian even though I thought I knew John 3:16 well enough in my mind. Then one day, my friend was sharing with me about how she’s been going through the gospel of John. There were the Pharisees who rejected Christ and sought to kill him, and then there was the woman at the well who believed and shared the good news with the whole town (John 4). What separated them was that the Pharisees thought themselves too good for the need of a savior, whereas the woman saw her own sin and knew she needed the all-satisfying living water, eternal life and freedom from sin, that only Christ can give her. The gospel is only valuable to those who realize they need it.

I thought about what she said for a long time. I realized that God himself was never important to me because, like a Pharisee, I never really saw myself as a sinner. I had focused so much on all the ways that God is a giver, a giver of eternal life, a giver of good and perfect gifts, that I forget that God also takes away, he takes away sin by giving his Son to die on the cross on our behalf. I prayed for God to show me how much of a sinner I am and how much I needed to let him take my sins away.

God showed me that my heart had gotten used to rejecting him and giving into sin, so used to it that I wasn’t even aware of my own sin anymore. And my greatest sin wasn’t lack of love for others, pride, envy, discontentment, anxiety, disobedience, idolatry, though I regularly did all of those too, but it was that I had turned my back on God, rejected him with bitterness, and continued in the sin that put his son on the cross.

Looking back, I was certainly the person who desired too little, and was satisfied with the things of this world, being ignorant to what I truly needed. I asked God to fulfill my greatest need, to forgive my sins and reconcile me with himself, and to be my truest joy and he has already answered me through Christ’s death and resurrection.

Funny enough, since then, God has given me many more circumstances in my life where I felt like I needed him all the more. But through all these trials, I know fully that God is good because he grows my faith and draws me closer to him, making me more like his son. Even in this broken world, where death, pain, and sinfulness are at every corner, God does all for the good of those who love him. The truth that I had taken for granted, now makes me praise and worship God even more so as I am humbled and brought low. And God faithfully continues to teach me daily that I need him just as much when I’m in green pastures as when I’m in the valley of the shadow of death (Ps 23).