Testimony of the Week – Rachel Tu

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The lyrics from “All I Have Is Christ” so accurately describe the ignorance of my life before college, heart transformation in college, and current sanctification (of which I am an undeserved recipient).

I once was lost in darkest night Yet thought I knew the way

The sin that promised joy and life Had led me to the grave

I had no hope that You would own A rebel to Your will

And if You had not loved me first I would refuse You still

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Testimony of the Week – Claire Lee

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Claire is a second year history major who drinks water.

I grew up as a church kid. My parents brought me to church on Sundays, I knew God existed, my mom prayed with me daily, and I sang children’s worship songs in the car. In Sunday school, I learned that Jesus had died for me, and I was asked to give my life to Him so that He would “live in my heart,” so I did; however, I cannot say I understood what sin was and why it required Jesus’ death to give me life.

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Why I Love GOC

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Philippians 1:3-6 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.” (New American Standard Bible)

We have been at GOC since 2002 and have seen the people in the group change many times due to the nature of college ministry. Even though the particular people have changed the spiritual life has not. Thanking God is appropriate, because only He can provide such a work of grace throughout the years.

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My Golden Calf

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Idolatry. Wait.. like statues? You mean like those golden calves that the Israelites worshipped? Nope, that’s not me. I don’t have idols. Wait… but I do, I have idols. You have idols. And I don’t just have one idol, but so many. In fact, our hearts are idol factories.

But, what is an idol exactly? It is anything that captures my thoughts, emotions, affections more than God does. It steals from the full glory of God and the worship He deserves. Examples of idols can range from academics, food, friends, family, careers, approval of others, anxiety, or sports. In fact, many of these were originally created to be good things for us to enjoy, but as sinners we are capable of distorting anything so that it replaces God in our hearts.

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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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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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Work Heartily as to The Lord

GOC_work_for_the_lordWritten by Elkana Chan

We spend a lot of our time on this earth working; I feel easily preoccupied by it and spend a lot of time thinking about it too. It seems that there is constantly more to do. I often fear, and sometimes even despair, How am I going to do all the things I have to do? And how can I work for the Lord, when I’m not even sure I can finish all that is placed before me? Honoring God in my work feels elusive and I struggle to work heartily for the Lord.

Yet God has shown us the gospel of grace that pervades all aspects of life, including work; I hope that in repeating these truths that He continues to teach me and apply to my heart may likewise encourage you and direct you to worship Him.

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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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An Important Question: Do You Trust God?

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written by Tim Peters

Scripture teaches us that in this life we will face trials.  Job states this in Job 14:1, “Man, who is born of women, is short-lived and full of turmoil. . .” Jesus said it in John 16:33, “In this world you will have tribulation. . .” James also promises trials as he wrote in James 1:2, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…”  For Patti and me, the calendar year 2015 seemed full of turmoil, tribulation, and various trials.  All required us to trust our Sovereign God as we dealt with the loss of employment for a family member, the death of an unbelieving brother-in-law after a lengthy illness, a reoccurrence of a potentially deadly disease in a family member, and dealing with the onset of dementia in an aging family member.  Each of these trials could have become overwhelming if we did not have the promises of scripture to lean on and a loving Heavenly Father who promises to never leave us nor forsake us. (Deut. 31:6-8, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5)

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