Going Up? Going Down?

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Kahapon, naligaw ako sa Basement 1 ng City Sports Club. Parang may inner panic na naganap kasi baka parang Narnia yung pupuntahan ko. “Baka somewhere here yung Zular Room,” pero stairs paakyat at pababa lang ang nasa kanan ko, while parking area ang nasa left at harapan ko. Yun naman pala ay nasa other side nung parking area yung venue.

Lumaki akong church kid pero naliligaw pa rin ako with regards to having a relationship with God. Lumaki akong may “religious mindset.” May pagka-self-righteous, minsan judgmental, minsan condemning pa nga. Wala akong nakakapanindig-balahibo na testimony sa kung paano ako “nakakilala kay Lord” at “nung tanggapin ko Siya.” Pero marami akong small encounters kay God. Maraming lessons na alam kong di maituturo sa akin ng mga magulang ko o ng kung sinuman, kundi si Lord lang. Kapag pinagsama-sama silang lahat, ang produkto: yung ako ngayon.

Ngayon: di na ako naka-angkla sa religion, sa mga tradisyon, sa mga piyesta, sa mga pag-iyak at pagkatumba, sa mga mirakulo, sa mga supernatural na kaganapan. Wala na ang confidence ng salvation ko sa good works ko, sa accomplishments ko, sa denomination na kinabibilangan ko. Matapos kong magpaikot-ikot at magkanda-ligaw-ligaw, yung personal na pakikitagpo sa Diyos pa rin ang binabalikan ko. It’s true that miracles and supernatural things happen in the presence of God, but they are not the basis of man’s salvation (or the ticket to heaven).

“…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:11-13)

. . . . .

Sa GLC 1 kahapon, may isang tumatak talaga sa isipan ko. Nabanggit ng speaker na pagdating ng judgment, ng paghatol ng Diyos sa kalalagyan ng tao forever and ever, one-on-one na daw yun. Hindi itatanong kung nakumpleto mo ang Simbang Gabi noong Pasko, o nagpaka-monghe ka ba, o di ka ba nagmura for the rest of your life, o nasa megachurch ka ba. Sa Bible study ko nung isang araw, sabi sa Psalms 1:6, “For the Lord knows the way of the righteous…” Sa Hebrew translation, ang ginamit na salita para sa “know” ay “yedeoni” na nangangahulugan na pamilyar sa Diyos ang isang tao. So napatanong ako sa sarili ko na kapag dumating na ang oras na ka-face-to-face ko ang Diyos, kilala Niya kaya ako? Pamilyar ba ang buhay ko sa Kanya? Am I walking this life na lahat lang ng gusto ko ang nasusunod sa buhay ko, or am I walking the path He has set for me?

May nagsabi na hindi raw mahirap ang maging Christian; imposible raw. Pero dun pumapasok yung grace ni God na nag-e-enable for people who choose God and His ways to follow Him day-by-day. And this is one thing which has never failed to fascinate me in my journey with God; His mercies are new every morning. There are great chasm of difference between living a life na ine-enjoy mo lang for what it is with no meaning at all is, from a life lived with a security that God cares for every bit of your life — that you can actually know and experience Him, and that you get to spend eternity with the One who knows everything about everything.

So many things I still want to share, pero mahaba na ang artikulong ito.

Last words: TURN TO GOD AND FOLLOW HIS WAYS. Di ka talo kapag si Lord ang pinili mo.

Much joy in the Lord,

PJ

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