Sunday, March 22, 2009


Being Christians makes us specimens under a microscope.

(1 Cor. 4:9 - For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. NIV)

If I may just repeat in bold letters, we have been made spectacle to the whole universe. (Imagine that? A SPECTACLE TO THE WHOLE UNIVERSE!) I guess that's primarily the reason why most of us wear church masks in front of people so as to define ourselves with the rest. After all, people watch every move, every word, every reaction. Christians are expected to behave in a very crucial godly way.

  1. We go to church. Of course it's a must.
  2. We pray. Oh, how we close our eyes and bow our heads with everyone else in earnest prayer!
  3. We guard our tongues. We can't speak bad words! But what's going on in our head?
  4. We say faith-filled words. God is my healer! God will provide! God has a plan for us, to prosper us and not to harm us! Music to the ears of many, eh?

When we say something, it does not necessarily follow that we believe in it a full 100%. Most often than not, people say something out loud not to express conviction but to convince themselves on its truth and validity.

I hear people in a deep mess saying these to encourage themselves. But sometimes we ought to ask, Do we really believe in what we're saying? Sometimes it gets too overrated that it loses its impact to change our lives. Some even say these bible-based encouragements and quote verses from the bible just to look spiritual, or to make themselves look holier than thou.

We can seem to be the "ideal Christians" and the entire universe may adore us on how we behave, but still, the genuineness of our hearts remain to be the main indicator of who we really are. Are we putting up a show? Are we just trying to fit in? Is our faith merely on a superficial level?

At the end of it all, it's only between us and God.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Martha or A Mary?

Reference: John 11:21-33 "Jesus Resurrected Lazarus" A must-read.

This is a late post.

I was privileged to have attended a talk about prayer led by Ms. Mary Malinao. (Not the Mary I am referring to here). In this very popular story in the bible, it is amazing how God could be speaking more than just resurrecting Lazarus from the dead. When Jesus arrived to Judea, long after Lazarus was gone, Martha and Mary approached Jesus and said the same thing: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." But there was a greater impact in Mary's encounter than in Martha's.


It's not because Jesus loved Mary more or that he listened to Mary's request more than Martha's. Nor is it because Jesus and Mary had a relationship (just like most people believed in after reading Da Vinci code).

Martha approached Jesus in a theological point of view.
  • She knew and believed that Jesus is the Son of God. That's basic but still a good point.
  • She knew and believed that Jesus can do anything. Certainly. He had calmed the storm, fed thousands of people, healed the sick. And ultimately died for the forgiveness of our sins. What else can he not do?

But when Jesus revealed himself as the resurrection and the life, Martha missed that very rare opporunity to witness God's power. She simply said, Yeah Lord, I know it right? She knew Jesus is capable of making all things possible, but she didn't understand that in front of her was the God, the resurrection and the life, who could prove it right there and then. Only, she didn't ask.

On the other hand, Mary upon seeing Jesus, immediately fell at his feet. And Jesus was deeply moved. Mary approached him in a relational way.

Most of us have or try to gain a good head knowledge of who God is and the immensity of his power. Like Martha, we know the wonders he has done and we believe in his might and authority over everything. Yet, we fail to approach him as a Father listening to his child

Faith is more than just believing, because Satan also believed there is a God. It takes a deeper understanding than that. More than memorizing the bible, more than knowing all the miracles Jesus did, we are called to seek God with no pretension. Can God turn his back to a child calling out on his name?

We see God as someone distant, sitting on his throne far far away, guarded by a million of angels. We doubt if we are heard, or if we are important enough to pay attention to. But in this story, Jesus revealed himself as a God simply waiting for us to ask. He longs for us to have fellowship with him. He longs for us to know him not like how we may know the prominent people of this world through their biography, but through a personal encounter with him.

The bible tells us different description and stories of God, but only through a relationship with him that any of it will become real in our life.