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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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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Does God Hear our Prayers?

GOC_does_god_hear_prayersWritten by Jesse Fenn

Does God hear our prayers? Whether you’ve grown up in church or you’ve never stepped foot in a church, you know that the answer of the Bible is a resounding yes. But perhaps a better question is “How does God hear our prayers?” I live on a busy street, so I hear noises constantly, yet If you asked me to recount what I heard, I wouldn’t even know where to start because I rarely, if ever, give any thought to them. Parents will tell you that they hear children’s screaming differently as parents then they did before they had kids. When a friend from school talks to me about national security, I hear it much differently than when I hear the president of the United States talk about national security. I hear things that my parents tell me differently than I hear things that strangers tell me. We hear things differently depending on many different factors. So how does God hear our prayers? Does he hear them as white noise? Does he hear them compassionately, judgmentally, indifferently?  The Scriptures answer these questions for us. Specifically, the Scriptures teach us that God does hear our prayers and hears them as both a sovereign king and a loving father.  

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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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An Exhortation to Kindness

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written by Olivia Chen 

Each day, we come in contact with so many people. At school or in the workplace, we see fellow students, professors, or coworkers. With the mundane tasks of life—grocery shopping, grabbing your morning coffee, eating in the dining halls—we encounter check-out clerks, baristas, and food servers. Most of the people we encounter end up passing in and out of our lives without more than a single “hello” or an awkward moment of eye contact.  

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