God’s compassion towards Gentiles

 

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   Where in the Bible do you see God’s compassion towards the Gentiles? Let’s first take a look at Jonah. Right from the start, Jonah’s disobedience was very evident. A constant tension to withdraw from and to fight against the Lord God is sustained throughout the book. Although many are familiar with the story, it is helpful to read the account with fresh eyes. When we read it anew, we will notice that the audience is kept unaware of the reason for Jonah’s resistance to God’s prophetic calling to Nineveh. It is only until near the end of the narrative that we are enlightened of Jonah’s reason for running away. Jonah was angry that the Lord had relented from Nineveh’s destruction because of His gracious and compassionate character, who is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. Jonah could not live with the reality that the cruel and monstrous Ninevites would be spared the punishment. Did God forget Nineveh deserved annihilation? Who would exact revenge for their evil? Moreover, Jonah knows God is gracious and compassionate. Could not God pour out His favor upon the Israelites? From Jonah’s perspective, the compassionate character of God should have been fully displayed amongst the Israelites who were God’s chosen people. Although it may be true God could have easily portrayed His compassion towards Israel, the emphasis in Jonah’s adventure was to display God’s compassion toward the Gentile nations. We can see the thread of the Lord’s compassion to Gentiles weaved throughout the Scriptures. This common theme begins in Genesis and is carried throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament until Revelation.

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Testimony of the Week – Daniella Ching

Daniella is a third year PhySci major who loves ice cream, boba, cows, cheesy movies, and anything Disney related, but who is extremely indecisive otherwise!

Growing up in a Christian family and attending church every Sunday, as well as attending a Christian school all my life until I came to UCLA. I was constantly surrounded by people who loved Christ and made it a point to share the gospel with me. Because of that, I grew up believing that God was real and that Jesus came and died for my sins. But if I had to pinpoint when I became a Christian, it would be when I was in third grade. At that time, my teacher asked me if I remembered how or when I became a Christian since I claimed I already was. Realizing that I had no memory of accepting Christ as my Savior, I was scared and went home and told my mom. She asked me if I did believe in God and if I believed that I was a sinner saved through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for me, and I said yes. Since this is when I actually distinctly remember confessing what I believed, I consider this to be the point when I became a Christian. But though I believed, my understanding of the gospel was still shallow and part of my reason for wanting to be a Christian was to go to heaven and for social reasons. However, through His grace, I slowly began to understand more in middle and high school about what I professed, and how these truths impacted my life personally. The fact that I am a sinner makes me an enemy of God (for someone who was generally regarded as a good kid, that hit me so hard). But God, who is so rich in mercy and abounding in love, pursued me even while I was hostile through sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins. Christ suffered to become sin on my behalf so that I may have a righteousness that I do not deserve (2 Corinthians 5:21). And praise God that “if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10). I, and anyone else who believes, am not only forgiven and no longer an enemy of God, but adopted into His family as His child. Continue reading “Testimony of the Week – Daniella Ching”

Lessons Learned from Working with the Urban Youth

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A student telling me that it just doesn’t matter anymore because he’s going back to jail. A boy shaking on the floor overdosed. Another boy sitting in my office drunk. A girl revealing that she had been abused by a close family member. Another girl coming to school with new clothes, and new bruised marks. A student requesting to go to the local clinic during school hours. Students struggling with gender identity. Students staying at shelters, garages, motels, and group homes. Students living with no more hope and attempting to take their own lives. Students ready at any moment to fight and hurt each other – guy on guy, girl on girl, girl on guy, 10 on 7, and sometimes even to the point of getting stabbed or shot at.

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Testimony of the Week – Jeannette Hann

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Jeannette is a third year applied math major who enjoys baking, watching movies, crocheting, playing monopoly, and running.

I grew up in a Catholic home where my mom especially made an important place in her life for faith and she put effort into teaching me about God, Jesus, the saints, and the Catholic church. By the time I was in middle school, I went to Catholic classes and Mass every week. I thought I had a relationship with God and I prayed to Him daily. But I thought it was because of kind deeds, good grades, faithful Mass attendance, and daily prayer that God accepted me; I had no concept of how much God hated my sin and that it is only washing in Christ’s precious blood that can make depraved sinners acceptable to Him.

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Testimony of the Week – Jeremy Tran

IMG_1316Jeremy is a second year statistics major who enjoys reading, napping, playing guitar, wearing sweaters with polos, and trying to understand cultural references.

Before I was saved, I was stuck in a life of pride and selfishness. Even though I grew up in the church and was praised as a good kid who said the best prayers, I did not truly understand the weight of my sin or my need for a savior. Instead, I placed my pride in being spiritually and intellectually superior to my peers, so I had little love for God and for others. At home, where there were no friends to see me, I rebelled against my parents and pursued pleasure above all else. I vainly sought satisfaction in video games, social status, and lusting. But evening in finding their failure to bring me true joy, I still did not want to commit everything to Christ. I “knew” God but did not honor Him as Lord.

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To Love as He Loves

 

GOC_to_love_as_he_lovesWritten by Victoria Ng

The word “Christian” means “little Christ.” We, who follow Jesus, desire to be more like Him, to reflect Him and give Him all the glory. John 14:15 says, “those who love God will keep His commandments” and in the gospels, Jesus gave us a new commandment, “to love one another as He loves us” (John 13:34). Being called to belong to Christ is no small calling. We strive to be like a God who is perfect in every way. Though we fail to be holy, we desire to joyfully pursue holiness, trusting that the Lord will continue to perfect us until that last day. But do we forget the height of the standard God has called us to?

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What is your life: A Call for Self-Examination

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written by Matthew Kim 

“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” – James 4:14

This passage does not ask, “What is life,” but rather “what is your life?” If someone asked you this question, how would you respond?

There are many different ways you can respond. You could say your life is all about getting good grades, investing into different social organizations/frats at UCLA, evangelizing, or even hanging out with people and “fellowshipping.” But in the end, what is your answer?

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The Battle is Not Done, but the War is Won

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written by Kyle DeGuzman 

Every believer, either new to the Faith or a seasoned veteran, knows all too well the vicious battle with sin and temptation. We have all weathered the fierce storm of fighting for minutes, hours, even days against the old self that so desires to grab us back into our former ways. And we have all tasted the bitterness of falling into sin – sometimes even the same one over and over again. We can find ourselves in the same situation and pattern of sin and be trapped in a cycle of habitual sin that we cannot seem to escape. Have you been there? Or maybe you are currently in a spiritual drought right now and feel hopeless, dejected, and discouraged to take up your sword and continue the fight. Have you been tasting defeat in your battle with the flesh? If this is true of your current state, I hope that the following may give you strength and resolve to continue your daily fight with sin and that you may find victory over the flesh through Christ who strengthens us.

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Christmas Graphics for Download (2016-2017) and Christmas Spotify Playlists

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Hi everyone! We have another round of Christmas graphics this year for phone screens, Facebook cover photos, and desktop wallpapers. We hope that these will be uplifting and a good reminder of why we celebrate this season. 

View and download them here!

Also, be sure to check out our Christmas playlists on Spotify here!

Merry Christmas!

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When It Is Well

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written by Joe Zhu

When trials come, we run to the Lord. We seek refuge in His promises, we meditate on His word and remain constant in prayer. Passages like Psalm 62, Romans 8:28 or Lamentations 3:22-24 may come to mind to remind us of hope. Heaven becomes much more desirable as we long for God to wipe away our tears (Revelations 21:4). We remind ourselves of the purposes of trials (1 Peter 1:6-7, Romans 5:1-5) and the attitudes we should have during them (James 1:2). Eventually we press through because God is good and delivers us through the trial. Soon after, we reflect on God’s goodness in preserving us as He promises (Philippians 1:6) and rejoice in His kindness, goodness and faithfulness as we walk away refined.

But what about seasons of joy? When things are going well, do we still cling closely to Christ? Do we continue to find hope and peace in His word when the world doesn’t seem as hostile? When God delivers us blessings, gifts and encouragements, do we continue to long deeply for heaven? Is Christ our greatest treasure or does He become a treasure among many?

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