Category Archives: Devotional

Let it Go

(Originally published at WriteforACause.Org)

Let it go, let it go! Can’t hold it back anymore. Turn away and slam the door.

This song has been ringing a lot these days. Admit it, you like the song. I like it, too. The beat, the lyrics, and everything of it. The sisterhood essence of the movie Frozen has contributed greatly to its success, and well, the story is heartwarming.

We encounter events in our life on which we feel like we can’t hold it any longer–the pressure, the problems, the issues, and personal matters. Count me in, will you? Because I do have such events in my life, too. I’m a human being alright, and thank God, I’m a Christian woman.

If we feel pressured to the point that we can’t hold back anymore, what do we do? Cry? Give up? Or do we simply ignore the feeling–a passivity? If you’re going to ask me, I rather cry than ignore it. I don’t really recommend passiveness. Passivity is never been good. And oh, please forgive me God, for I am quite a victim of this trap!

Anyway, how about we try to twist some words…

Let it go. Let it go! Don’t hold it back anymore. Turn around and pray to the Lord~

I think I didn’t quite rhyme the lyrics but, oh well, rhyming isn’t the point here. My point is the context of the whole thought. Even though I like the song, I don’t agree with the whole context of the message, I mean, why would you turn away and slam the door–from who? From everyone else? That’s isolation, isn’t it? I don’t think that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross just to isolate ourselves in the end.

READ MORE….

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The More You Know God, the More You Don’t Know

(Originally published at WriteforACause.Org)

My Philosophy teacher used to tell us in his class, “The more you know, the more you don’t know.” I couldn’t understand what he was trying to imply before—I mean, what? I always thought it should be “the more you know, the more you know!” Right?

Well, he was actually right.

In a Christian life, this principle applies best. The more I draw near to God, and the more I know Him, the more I realized that there are a lot of things that I still don’t know about God. And believe me, even my life span here on earth could not know it all. I could not know everything! Could you?

Every time I study His word, the more I understand that God is too knowledgeable, too intelligent, and too wise for me to comprehend. The more I know about God’s principles, the more I understand that God is not bound in TIME, and therefore, the more I don’t know. Why? Because I’m a human being. I am bound in time. My life here on earth is bound in time. But God’s time is not. When I go to heaven, and face God, I believe even then I still would not know everything about God.

But God doesn’t see how big you have known Him, and that’s great. What matters most to God is how you have truly believed in His Son, and how you have accepted that Jesus died on the cross for us to be saved—in your heart, soul, and mind.

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Don’t Swallow Your Emotion. Lest Suicidal Spirit Comes After You.

Suicide issues are now so common. Dishearteningly sad. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. In the Philippines, at least one Pinoy commits suicide every day according to a study by Natasha Goulbourn Foundation. Its major cause is depression and lack of hope.

In most cases, people who have suicidal attempts at the back of their brain are often recognizable by their lack of interest in life, and their depression is visible on their faces. And here I thought that merry and energetic people could be less expected to have suicidal attempts. Unfortunately, of course, I thought wrong. Because even those people who are always merry and happy-go-lucky in their lives, they actually have deep source of sorrow and depression within.

Recently, and just this week, a friend of mine and a classmate, has been admitted to the hospital. The reason? He attempted suicide. In fact, he did not attempted suicide—he did really commit suicide by drinking a mixed of muriatic acid and baygon. Fortunately, God has still a plan for his life and has given him a chance to live because someone from his boarding house saw him in his room and brought him immediately to the nearest hospital. Right now he has a third degree burn on his throat and lungs. Eventually, he could not eat any solid neither drink a water. But he lives.

I was surprised, of course, when I heard the news about his suicide attempt. He was someone who was so merry, happy-go-lucky, energetic, and a very active person. I especially like his karate moves and techniques (he’s a black belter). He even taught us about his turning back kick, a defense move good for emergency cases, especially that we are girls. When we’re in a group, he was often the one who initiates the laughing scene.

We’re not that close, but I know that he doesn’t share his emotions to anyone including his closest friends. He keeps it to himself. He was someone who could not dare to share what his real insights and feelings are. One of his close friends said to me, “He thought he was left alone. That no one is on his side anymore. He couldn’t tell us because he was afraid that we won’t understand.”

It’s because of our deep concern of our emotions that we are blinded to see the truth and the real beauty of life. Humans are so emotional. Our emotions come from God because God has emotions. However, our emotions are full of fleshly desires and we rely to our own understanding.

People disregard God’s emotions because they are so concern of their own feelings. Whatever they feel they keep it to themselves especially when they don’t know how to share. Until they come to a point that they cannot contain the emotions any longer. Then they will start questioning, WHY? Why…why…of all people, it’s me? Most often than not, they will blame God for the perils and unceasing struggles happening in their lives.

And they miss one thing…

They keep their emotions to themselves alone, instead of laying them down to God.  

We often forgot that in everything we do, in whatever we face, we should always remember God. We are so concern of our own struggles and principles that we forgot to look up to God to ask for His guidance and mercy. If we keep our emotions to ourselves, and when we dwell on it not looking up to God, someone is actually rejoicing for you—Satan. The enemy is legalistic and he will use your difficult situation against you. He will use your own emotion against you. And against God. The devil will inflict negatives thoughts to your mind and if you don’t trust in the LORD, the spirit of suicide will surely come after you.

If you dwell on your own emotions so much, negative thoughts will reinforce in your mind. It’s always better to engage in a small spiritual group, or to learn to speak out your emotions to someone you trust, because in that way you will be guided. If you share what’s bothering you inside then there’s a greater chance to avoid loneliness and hopelessness. Because you will receive advises and counsels. And you will have more understanding about the situation and you not only dwell on your own.

If you know someone who is currently depressed and sad, approach that person in whatever way you can. You do not know…you might be the person that God has sent to save that depressed person from his current dilemma.

Conclusion: Do not dwell on your own emotions and understanding. Always look up to God whose heart can be trusted. Look for someone you can share your emotions and problems with, in that way you will receive counsel and advise. More importantly, do not entertain the spirit of suicide and loneliness. Because we don’t have the right to kill our lives, for it is not our own.

“Be not overly wicked; neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?”(Ecclesiastes 7:17 ESV) 

All articles are written by Jenine Silos. Unless otherwise stated.

Submission to Authority

Continuation of The Thing You Really Love is Sometimes the Thing You Have to Give Up.

OoO

I’ve cut my hair. And everyone who knew me, including those people I know from when I was still unbeliever, was surprised. My sister, too, quite laughed at me when she saw my new short hair. Well, it’s not a big deal now, by the way.

From elementary to my first year in college, I always had a short hair. Even shorter than my hair now. That was the first time in history that I’ve gotten my hair that long, and that was also the reason why I did not want to cut it short. When Ate Ann (my spiritual leader) told me to cut it, she did really mean it, and I was having a hard time whether to agree to her or not.

The night when she told me to cut my hair, I was not able to contain the thought and I could not get to sleep. I went to the table and wore a complicated face. I saw my Bible. At first, I was hesitant to open it because I was feeling half-hearted to know God’s answer. But the conviction in my heart was very deep and it was getting on my nerves–you know that feeling when you feel like God wants to make you understand about something? That kind of feeling. I know that there is something I have to understand. But I was somehow afraid to face it because my hair was involved. Gah! So I struggled even though the matter was not actually big enough.

Nonetheless, God’s will is more powerful than a man’s will. So eventually, I opened my bible. It’s the only way for me to get a peaceful sleep. I scanned some pages in the book and I stumbled upon this word: submission. And I was like, yeah right.

My heart was like, thump thump thump. Gottya. An echoing thought entered my mind, “You said you’ll give up your everything to me. You said it, didn’t you, that you will surrender your life to me? You said that you want to die every day for My sake. You wrote it up. That you are not living for yourself any longer, but you are living for me. Why then are you asking me if it’s wise to cut your hair? Are you hesitating? Can you not give up your hair?”

That’s it. And I said to myself, so this is the reason why I feel so uneasy. God wants me to understand about submission. So I prayed for God’s forgiveness for my delayed respond and for my child-like reaction to Ate Ann. Later, when I was facing the computer I accessed my account in Facebook and changed my status in relation to my final decision: to cut my hair. Immediately after posting that status, a former teacher of mine from college, hit me a message:

“Hi. How are you? Hmnn, I hope you don’t mind. I’m just curious. Why cut your hair short? I’ve just remembered a verse something about short hair and long hair.”

I was surprised to see a message from my former teacher, but I replied, “Hello, Ma’am. I’m doing good by God’s grace. Yes, I’m really going to cut my hair. My spiritual leader advised me to. Even though I don’t want to cut it, I still have to because I have to submit to what she ordered me to do. She said she wanted to see the way I respond to her advise, whether I’d be willing to submit to her or not.”

In the next message, she included a verse, “New International Version (©1984) but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 1 Corinthians Chapter 11.”

I replied to her, “Yes, ma’am. I have read that also. But I also have to submit to authority. I do believe she has a purpose why she commanded me to cut it.”

“Yes, I understand. Test of faith. If you believe that it will glorify God, then you know what to do.”

“Test of faith! Indeed, ma’am. This is how I understand this: If I cannot submit to my leader, how then can I submit to the One who is King and LORD of Lords? If I cannot be trusted over little, then I cannot be trusted over something big. Something like this, ma’am.”

“Oh, yes, it’s biblical. It might be hard for you. But if that is what the Lord tells you, you really have to take heart. Your leader is accountable of you, and I’m sure she will not put you to harm. Whatever her motive is your response will not be in vain because the Lord knows that you are doing it for His glory.”

“AMEN! I’m blessed to have a conversation with you tonight.”

“You are welcome. I’m also so blessed with your fellowship.”

And that conversation in Facebook ended. I just smiled at my teacher’s commentary. That night, I texted Ate Ann that I’m going to cut my hair for real. And I had a peaceful sleep.

It was morning. After my devotional I always have a short time in checking this site, to post daily verse and daily quotes and so on. Most of the time, I also check my facebook account. And when I opened it that morning, I received a message from Ate Ann. It said:

“Hi Neen! Good morning. Are you stressed? Oops, were you pressured? Haha. Well, it was actually okay for me whatever you do with your hair. I just really wanted to see your reaction last night if there’s a sudden change in your life–I only used your hair! I want you to come out in your shell, my dear. Because the LORD really has something for you. I want you to come out in your comfort zone. In fact, I’ve noticed many things, but let’s remove them step by step. Let’s ask the grace of God and in that way He can use you more! Okay. Love yah!”

And I was like, oh yeah. I was then thankful that the LORD gave me an understanding about this matter. Indeed, Ate Ann really have a purpose why she wanted me to cut my hair.

I wanted to see your reaction if there’s a sudden change in your life…

And to be honest, I almost failed to meet Ate Ann’s expectation. But by God’s grace, I was able to understand my spiritual leader’s motive. To God be the glory in everything!

Conclusion: Submission to authority must be a lifestyle of every Christian.

Lesson learned: God is far more concerned with an attitude of submission than an outward display of submission via a head covering (in this case, a long hair).

All articles are written by Jenine Silos. Unless otherwise stated.

The LORD our God is a Literal God.

Some say that Christians are taking up the scriptures so literally, and indeed, we are literal. Because we have a literal God. He is very literal and he does not tolerate inaccuracies and fallacies nor the ignorance of men, in one way or another, the Truth will be made known to them.

As such, when a Christian is convicted to share what is in his heart to his fellow men, an unbeliever would find his ways to repel what has been said, for he is blinded by his own principles. When you quote verses among them, some would probably say, “Don’t quote me with your verses. You’re taking it so literally.” Unfortunately, for the unbelievers who keep denying the Truth for their own principles, they miss one thing: that is to know that, indeed, we Christians are taking the scriptures and the principles of God literally. It is because our God is literal Himself!

What does it mean to be literal? It means that our God, the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Israel is an actual, Living God, and is not exaggerated or inaccurate; his principles are not overstated; and His words and commandments and laws were not written for the sake of historical importance but they’re there for us to read it and know that He is God.

God is literal for He is accurate and true to His word. But God also works in mysterious ways that it is difficult for a man to understand it, for His works are not comparable with the works of men. He is indeed literal to his commandments and laws, nonetheless, in the scriptures Jesus also speaks in parables so that people can relate to it to life and make an understanding out of it.

The scriptures is literal. It is not inconsistent. It is not inaccurate nor exaggerated, as some others claim it to be. Many are parables that Jesus has spoken, yet in his parables and illustrations they are all true and literal regarding to the lives of men. What has been written on it can still be observed up to this day, even till the end of age.

I do not force you to read the scriptures, but I am suggesting that there is no better option than to read the word of God. Only then you will know that God is a literal God: He is not inaccurate, nor his principles and laws.

Be still. And know that He is God.

All articles are written by Jenine Silos. Unless otherwise stated.

Pray High

In our journey as Christians, we face problems, persecutions, and personal struggles. There are moments in our life that we feel so down, depressed, lonely, and sad. We are in a constant struggle. As long as we are here on this world we are still vulnerable to temptations, problems, and struggles. But the good thing about us who have Jesus Christ in our lives is that we know that we are not abandoned. We are not alone in our struggles. WE HAVE A GOD. In our constant struggles in life we become even more stronger in the LORD, especially when we overcome the problem, knowing that God is walking with us.

In our journey in life, then, prayer is a valuable weapon. It is our way of communicating to God. In our prayers we can report to God and cry, “Abba Father!” “Help me, oh, LORD.”

Prayer is a powerful tool. Through prayers we can intercede for others. Through prayers we can have hope. Hope in the Living God who will answer us in His own time. We must pray diligently and wait until God answers us. Though there are times we feel like God is not listening to our prayers anymore, that He is not answering us. But in such cases, God is being silent for a reason that He alone knows. It might be He wants us to understand something.

But to pray once is sometimes not enough. We have to pray higher. Remember that prayer is our great way of communicating to God, whether it be solemn, or in a not-so-formal way. There are no requirements when we pray to God, it doesn’t need position, status, formalities, or anything. Just pray and be yourself when talking to Him. God knows your heart. Your motive.

God loves it when we pray. Because He knows that we are thinking of Him and that we need Him in our lives.

Always have a quiet time with the LORD.

And pray. But praying once is not enough. PRAY HIGH.

All articles are written by Jenine Silos. Unless otherwise stated.

Jesus is the Only Way

Photo credits: touchyaneighbor.com

Written by: Jenine Silos

We Christians do not take on people personally. While some others think that we’re so religious to a point that we seemed (for them) to be condemning unbelievers, others think that we’re so annoying—with all that preachment and holiness stuffs. Most often than not, our best persecutors are our families and close friends.

I have been a born again Christian for more than two years, nevertheless, in my daily walks with Christ I have been confused why people love to persecute us with our faith—the faith which we cannot see but so true and alive within us. Until a basic thought, and yet the most critical fact, has enlightened my mind:

It is hard for those who do not believe in Christ, for those who do not walk with Him, to understand the way of a Christian living. Which is why, it is not hard for them to persecute us Christians. And it is a constant affair that they are likely to question our faith. It is likely for them to feel uneasy, sometimes annoyed, whenever we start to preach or share the good news. Sometimes even, I think they see us as someone who carries a contagious disease wherein they cannot dare to go near us.

And yet despite some people who refuse to accept the Truth in their lives, we Christians are in a constant struggle to pursue what is right in the eyes of the LORD: that is, to win them back no matter what it cost.

And just like everybody else, we Christians are also humans. Though our emotions are still there, we cannot hate the sinners, we cannot hate our brethrens. In fact, we do not hate them at all. Even if we do, we have no right to do so. Because we’re sinners as well. The only difference is that we are already cleansed from our sins. Jesus Christ who died at the cross washed our sins away. And He could do the same for you and everyone else if only you would have faith in Him, only if you accept Him and repent your sins before Him. Only then you are saved.

God hates the sin and not the sinners. Without God’s grace and love, we are spiritually and physically dead already. And as a Christian who knows the grace and love of God, it is our responsibility to share the good news about Jesus Christ, our Personal LORD and Savior.

Once again, we do not take on people personally. But one thing is certain, that we Christians do not force our religion to other people. We do not insist to force people to believe in our religion, as some others would immediately think that way. Because it’s not about religion. What we’re actually doing is helping our brothers and sisters to return back to God and be reconciled with Him, which can only be done by building a personal relationship with Jesus Christ his Son. In order to build a personal relationship with Christ, the initial requirement is to believe in the Son, to accept Him as our Savior who washed our sins away by dying at the cross. We must first acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Savior—the only way to be saved, in fact!

“32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Jesus is the only way to salvation. To be reconciled with the Heavenly Father, Jesus, and in Him alone is the only way. Seeking Him through reading the scriptures (the bible) you will find the answers that humans could not give. And to have an understanding of God’s word we need the conviction of the Holy Spirit, so we really need to pray and seek for it. So pray diligently.

Once again, the initial requirement to be saved is to have faith in the Son, to believe and accept Him as our personal LORD and Savior, and to believe that He paid the price by dying at the cross. By faith in Jesus Christ alone we can be saved. But it is important to note that it’s not by faith alone, because when there is faith there also is commitment. We are committed to follow Jesus Christ and walk in His ways.

So rejoice, because Jesus Christ is the only way!

Why Do We Need to Be Saved?

Why Do We Need to Be Saved?

Photo credits: dadsteachthebible.blogspot.com

Written by: Jenine Silos

Why do we need to be saved? Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34)  Whether you believe it or not, whether you deny it or not, we are all guilty before God. Even if we deny our guilt and sins, even if we do not see our own wickedness, behold, for there is a God who sees it all. He sees everything that we do and think, he sees the righteous and the wicked.

The moment of our birth we already have sinned, for we carry the blood of our ancestors Adam and Eve, who committed the first sin because they disobeyed God’s command. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—“ (Romans 5:12) The whole human race is affected by Adam’s sin!

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) Sins make us guilty before God and we all deserve His judgment. Sin separates us from God, and because we are separated from Him, we face the awful prospect of “the wrath of God” which is eternal.

We also need to be saved from our ignorance of the one True God. Believing there is a God is not enough, in fact, there’s a lot of gods that people worship. But we need to know that we must be saved from believing false gods, because there is only One True God! The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.

We need to be saved from the state of our alienation from God, thus we must restore our fellowship with Him—but we cannot do it ourselves. We cannot save ourselves. Even the richest man and the wisest man cannot bring salvation to himself. By doing good works is not the way to salvation, because in order to be saved we need a Savior.

And because God love us so much (that’s why he wants us to live in relationship with Him), because God is so faithful, and because His grace is abundant, God made a way for us to be saved. He sent his Son—Jesus Christ—to die at the cross in exchange for our sins so that we are saved! So that we are reconciled with God—the LORD All-Powerful.

Decide now or never. Accept Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Savior…because only through Jesus Christ we are saved. Believing that Jesus died at the cross for us, believing in Him and to walk with Jesus, is the only way to salvation.

Examine yourself…and ponder with this question: “Who is the God you believe in?” “Is he the God who actually exists and has revealed himself to us in His son, Jesus Christ, or is he a god conceived by humans?”

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