“You either treasure Jesus above all, or you’re not saved. If you don’t value Jesus above everything else, you don’t have saving faith.

– John Piper

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In Christ alone my hope is found

Really encouraged and challenged by the sermon today at LBCLA. It’s really good being back at the church, hearing Pastor John’s preaching, and fellowshipping with the body. Today’s sermon was on Matthew 11:28-30, where it says:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Pastor John was reminding the body that NOTHING in this world can satisfy, and he was sharing about how hard life can be and how the weight of sin can just be so overwhelming that we really have nothing else to hold onto except Christ. I honestly am so thankful and appreciative of his honesty and transparency about his struggles and hardships because it really does make everything he preaches so much more real … it’s not just him spitting theology at us and saying we should do this or that, but he’s going through real world struggles and still he chooses to hope in JESUS because that’s all we have. I am so thankful for Pastor John’s ministry. He lives a very difficult life, yet he continues to point the congregation to Christ. This is an example of living out a life of genuine faith.

It reminds me of what I’ve been struggling with personally about putting my hope in other people, or even the idea of marriage/dating, etc. I can see how it really does consume my thoughts sometimes and when I have certain expectations or hopes that aren’t fulfilled, I’m shattered. Yet we aren’t meant to hope in people or objects or temporary things in this world that are fleeting. Everything in this life will fade away, but GOD remains faithful and steadfast in his love towards us. I’m meant to fix my eyes on Christ because only he can truly satisfy.

Lord Jesus, would you remind me to not look to man or worldly things for joy but to hope in YOU alone. Thank you for my salvation, thank you for dying for my sins and redeeming me so that I can enjoy you forever. Thank you that THIS is my hope – not in the possibility of getting married, not in receiving love from other people, not in living a picturesque life, not in material things. CHRIST is sufficient. CHRIST is enough. CHRIST alone satisfies my soul’s greatest need.  Thank you Jesus.

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Fix My Eyes

When my heart is weary, when my soul is weak
When it seems I can’t traverse the trail before me
I survey the glory of your agony
And I find the will to fight for what’s before me
Cause you ran the race enduring for your glory
I fix my eyes on you, the founder and the finisher of our faith
I fix my eyes on you, the solace in your suffering is my strength
As I fight to follow, you’re my righteous guide
And you train me to delight in all that’s holy
Heal my broken body, cure my crooked stride
Throw off every weight and sin that clings so closely
I will run the race enduring for your glory
You help me breathe, you’re the only life I need
You died for me, you’re the only life I need
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I asked the Lord that I might grow

I asked the Lord that I might grow 
In faith and love and ev’ry grace, 
Might more of His salvation know, 
And seek more earnestly His face. 

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray, 
And He, I trust, has answered prayer, 
But it has been in such a way 
As almost drove me to despair. 

I hoped that in some favored hour 
At once He’d answer my request 
And, by His love’s constraining pow’r, 
Subdue my sins and give me rest. 

Instead of this, He made me feel 
The hidden evils of my heart 
And let the angry pow’rs of hell 
Assault my soul in ev’ry part. 

Yea, more with His own hand He seemed 
Intent to aggravate my woe, 
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, 
Humbled my heart and laid me low. 

“Lord, why is this,” I trembling cried; 
“Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?” 
“’Tis in this way,” the Lord replied, 
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.” 

“These inward trials I employ 
From self and pride to set thee free 
And break thy schemes of earthly joy 
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.” 

 

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Gosh, God keeps on humbling me. I really do need it though. He’s been stretching me quite a bit lately, especially this week. Humbling me, showing me my sin, revealing the ugliness of my heart.

All to show that I really do need him, that I can’t do anything on my own. I am helpless. My heart is really ugly. And all this to show his immeasurable grace and love and mercy that he pours out on me endlessly, when I clearly do not deserve it.

God revealed the idolatry of my heart, showing me that the temporal pleasures we look to on this earth will never satisfy. Only Jesus can satisfy our hearts. Everything else in this world is in vain … Lord, help me to delight in Christ and your word alone.

God showed me how prideful my heart is. I was working on an assignment for my research class and I seriously felt so darn helpless. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing – and I was desperately texting my classmates, and none of them were responding at the time. I really felt like I couldn’t do it. I started to panic and feel anxious. I quickly prayed to the Lord to help me in that moment, to give me understanding (I really struggle with research and statistics and SPSS and all that fun stuff). He calmed and quieted my heart, and I was able to do at least part of the assignment (still have to finish the rest eek!)

Gosh, God is gracious and good and I seriously cannot do anything on my own.

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Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Oh how easily my heart wanders and idolizes the things of this world. Lord, would you help me to find Christ more beautiful and more precious than anything this world can offer. God – it’s been a hard day. A tiring day. And yet you are steadfast in your love, you are faithful, you are never changing. Even when my heart fails to love you, and I turn to other things for joy, you are forever faithful. You are jealous for me, God. How fickle my heart can be … how unfaithful I am.

Jesus, help me to fix my eyes on you so that everything else in this world pales in comparison. Help me to the see the beauty of the cross, to see the eternal value of devoting my life to Christ and to DESIRE to live for you more than anything in this world. Soften my heart, help me to love Christ more, help me to be filled with your Spirit.

Thank you for your grace upon grace and your mercies that are new every morning.

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the post that never got posted (and was never finished)

(From December 2015)

I just got back last night from a week long trip to Philadelphia and Chicago. I’m so thankful for the time I got to travel and for how God provided me throughout the trip, even in the littlest things. I didn’t have to worry about housing because I was able to stay with my uncle in Philly and a church friend’s friend who’s a pharmacy student 30 minutes west of Chicago. I was traveling there for interviews for grad school at Thomas Jefferson University and Rush University. Praise God for allowing me the opportunity to interview with such awesome programs.

I’m thankful for the time I was in Philadelphia to be able to spend time with my mom’s brother’s family. It was the first time I really got to know them, and gosh they’re just the cutest, funniest, quirkiest family.

My Uncle Philip is a doctor and is one of the smartest guys ever, and whenever he gets passionate about something (usually something the average person views as mundane or boring), he gets really excited and can go on and on talk about it. Every night, he’ll drink one glass of wine or have one beer, and he’ll light a fire every night and just sit there watching it before he goes to bed. He told me how he was a huge troublemaker when he was younger, definitely the curious type, always trying out different science experiments and even testing a stink bomb on my mom while she was asleep. He eagerly picked me up from the airport when I arrived and drove me to my interview at Thomas Jefferson. He works at the Thomas Jefferson hospital so he knows that area inside and out.

My Auntie Anya is the cutest woman alive. She’s so funny and bouncy and kind of reminds me of a squirrel. She told me about how she’s allergic to pretty much every food out there, and she’s even allergic to water, so they have to have a specific water in their house that filters out the chemicals so she doesn’t get rashes. My cousin Stephen just got engaged and I finally got to meet his girlfriend/fiance Steph for the first time. I also got to ride on a motorcyle with him for the first time.. totally felt like I was gonna fall off and die at any second. He gladly showed me around Philly on my last day there, and we went to the King of Prussia mall, got boba in Chinatown, toured around Drexel University (his old college), and then visited where his fiance’s work at a Sichuan and Taiwanese restaurant/bar. It was a pretty hip spot, and we ended up sitting at the bar which was really awesome. The workers are all super friendly and everyone who was sitting at the bar was very friendly and easy to talk to. I ended up sitting next to a guy named Isaac who happened to have a roommate who started OT school at Thomas Jefferson, so he connected us by email which was super nice. He and his friend Walter had met in high school and lived in Philly their whole lives, and he went to University of Pittsburgh while Walter went to Carnegie Mellon. After that, we went to Stephen’s friends’ apartment and just said hi, and then we headed back.

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