Giftedness vs. Godliness

1Timothy 4.7

Have nothing to do with irreverent,  silly myths. Rather  train yourself for godliness;  8 for while  bodily training is of some value, godliness  is of value in every way, as  it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

I love watching talented people do their thing. I love it when people can his high notes and hold out a falsetto. I love it when athletes can soar in the air. I love it when I hear intelligent people make their case. And i love it when i hear good preachers preach. However, with all good things, I can always manage a way to turn them into bad things. Let me explain.

I’m sure that i’m not the only one that loves watching talented people do their thing. As a matter of fact, our culture loves to see the giftedness of people’s abilities displayed on T.V. That’s why the actors, actresses, musicians, artists, athletes and etc. are paid at such a high cost – people are willing to dish the cash in order to watch the superb. Yet, I wonder how this mentality of us desiring to see the spectacular also translates into becoming the spectacular. We fall in love with the glamour of what those gifts can bring. Especially, when it comes to exercising those gifts in ministry. Listen, I’m not saying that it’s bad to want to become a better musician as you lead praise, become a better speaker as you preach, or become a better leader as you serve. But what i am saying is that giftedness is not the same as godliness.

We can’t fall for the silly myths of stardom; We shouldn’t think that becoming more gifted in some talent automatically equals becoming more godly. Godliness values scripture. Godliness places its whole trust in Christ. Godliness places its value in what Christ was done perfectly on the cross. And Godliness is from the power of the spirit. It has more value than you think. Not because the world said so, but because God said so in 1 Timothy 4:7.

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What is ministry about?

I was reminded and challenged once again by my professors with the question of what the bulk of ministry requires of individuals: Dying. That pretty much sums up ministry in a nut shell. We have to die to our peoples in order to serve them – Even when it means people constantly are complaining, constantly gossiping, constantly saying things without ever lifting a finger. We have to die to our pride. We have to die to our snarky come backs when we want to respond to a hostile comment.  We have to die to our reputation. We have to die to our own visions and dreams, so that the vision and dream of the church grows. All of it is about dying to ourselves so that Christ would reign in those moments where we don’t really feel like dying. We die to ourselves, because Christ has already died for us. Welcome to ministry.

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—  but  God shows his love for us in that  while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:7-8

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Preaching about Law is so much easier than preaching grace

I (amos) was preparing a message for youth group last sunday on Ephesians 4:25-29. If you’re not familiar with the passage, it’s where paul exhorts the church of ephesus to no longer be liars, no longer be unrighteously angry, no longer thieves, and no longer have corrupting talk. These are all imperatives (commands) that Paul gives us in light of the gospel. As i was preparing the sermon, I couldn’t help but notice how easy it was to actually come up with the outline for the sermon. Don’t be a liar. That section was easy. Don’t be unrighteously angry. It was easy. Don’t be a thief and don’t have corrupting talk come out of your mouth. Easy. Right off the bat i could think of illustrations and applications for all the commands that Paul lists. But then i had to come to the part about the gospel. And frankly, to be honest i had to spend more time thinking about how the gospel applies to the commands that Paul makes.

That’s when it hit me. I am by nature so attuned to the law (moral commands) and this idea of grace is still awkward for me even as a christian. I mean i’m not denying anything about what Jesus did on the cross for us, but just the concept of grace boggles my mind. Grace is so foreign to me that when it comes time to actually preach about it, it actually takes a good chunk of my time just communicating it. Why is that? We are by nature people who put ourselves under the law.

This doesn’t mean that because we are so used to the law (commands) and so foreign to grace that we shouldn’t obey what Paul is preaching about. Instead, it’s because of the fact that Jesus already did everything on the cross for us that we can obey. He was the one that perfectly fulfills the law. We no longer live under the paradigm of “do this and live,” but instead we live within the paradigm of “my grace is sufficient for you.” Grace is the motivating factor that makes us obey without a legalistic framework. It’s grace that makes us become people who obey. Not the other way around.

Friends are you constantly preaching the awkward and foreign news of grace into your lives daily? Are you becoming more familiar with the gospel?

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Men’s Ministry Kicking off the New Year

Join us for our Monthly Men’s fellowship.

We will be meeting at 10 am at Brea Junior High for a friendly pick up game. Join us even if you don’t play basketball. After the game, we will be discussing about our weeks.

Why Should you Join Men’s ministry?

Frankly, because our culture has cause so much confusion about a lot of truths of the bible, it has also confused the idea of what it means to be a man. When we think of what it means to be a man today, a lot of people will come up with caricatures such as growing a beard, living dangerously, going hunting, drinking beer, having sex with lots of partners,  and driving big trucks (no offense to anyone who does have one of these qualities, except for the promiscuity part). But if we seriously look at what the culture today would view a man as, it’s much more different than the caricature that was previously portrayed. As a matter of fact, men seem to be more feminized than ever. Men’s ministry is all about shaping men not according to the world’s standard, but according to the bible. This is what we want to see happen out of it. Every month there will be a seminar on topics that will help men rethink their role as men in the world. Topics such as : a man’s role in the church, what it means to have fellowship, sexual purity, career, and etc. We hope that you would make time to join us.

 

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How Touchy is too Touchy?

I know that it’s not February yet, but i found this clip interesting.

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The ESV translation

It’s been a busy week of thanksgiving, but i hope you all had a good time. I know i did. I found this clip on how people go about translating the bible. After watching this clip, it gave me a greater appreciation for translators. I’m glad that God created people that are good with languages. I don’t know where we would be without them.

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Confirmation Sunday

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Congratulating Daniel Chong for being confirmed. Welcome to the family.

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