When Reading the Bible Feels Tasteless

I remember how I felt after discovering the gospel of Christ. It felt like tons of weights had just been lifted off my shoulders and that I don’t have to live aimlessly for my selfish desires anymore. My insecurity — my constant inability measure up to everyone’s expectations, including God, was nailed to the cross as Christ finished the work that I could never do (Colossians 2:14, Romans 8:2-4). Then I realized how the gospel is not only a beautiful narrative, but more importantly it has the power to change every fiber of all our being (Romans 1:16).

The experience was quite distinguishable from the moments after reading great stories, watching inspirational movies, or listening to brilliant soundtracks. Unique from those entertainments, my whole life was changed not because I decided to read a book, watch a movie, or listen to a music track; not because of my doing, but His. And what was it that He did? He gave me grace — the grace to know Him, the Maker of the whole universe, the One who formed me and the days that are ahead, the One who is eternal and is sovereign over everything. I was given a precious gift of knowing God Himself and enjoying Him. This led to many hours spent studying the Bible, which was a delight.
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Why Do We Fall?

In Mark 5, Jesus worked wondrous things before a large group of people. Described in the passage are three miracles: the casting out of demons (v. 13), the healing of “a woman who had had a blood discharge for twelve years” (v. 25), and the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter (v. 41). Despite the different nature of each wonder — one showing Christ’s authority over evil spirits, the other showing Christ healing a diseased person, and the pinnacle of all these wonders, bringing someone back to life — there’s one common thing that we can find in the text; the three key characters who witnessed these miracles fell down before Christ.
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When We Suffer

When it hurts, it’s hard to focus on anything else but the lingering pain. Hope seems so distant; if any, the only glimmer of hope is of a hypothetical reality when the pain goes away and life goes on like a normal day. Truth be told, it is hard to focus on anything but ourselves as we try to define the hurt that alienates and fills up the mind with a strange kind of juice. We may think we are the exception — that we’re the most miserable person walking on the planet. But we are not the exception — everyone has been there as well. Maybe not to the point where everything is identical, but everyone has their own share of the same breed of pain. Like the problem of sin incessantly trying to penetrate our skin, going deep into our hearts, we’ve all been there. There is none but one exception, Jesus Christ. Continue reading

Social Media and the Glory of God

For the past few weeks, I have been listening to some podcasts that talk about how we can use the advancement of technology for our good. Two podcasts that were really helpful for me was from Age of Minority titled The Social Media Episode and an interview with Tony Reinke titled Teens and Technology. There’s also a short sermon by Tim Challies about productivity in this digital age which was a good reminder for me. You should check them out, they are gold! Continue reading

Persecution

I should not be writing right now as I will be having an exam later today (wish me luck!), but here goes:

When I was a kid, I was astounded as I was hearing my teacher mentioning that Christianity is one of the minor religions in Indonesia. At that time, I was just a kid in a Christian school still thinking about the best use of 5000 rupiahs while looking at an array of food wagons in my school’s backyard during break. The reason why my teacher’s statement really surprised me was that being a student in a Christian school meant that all my friends were mostly Christians, which I myself was not at that time. Back then, I felt like I was one of the few who were not accustomed with going to some building weekly with their families to listen to a sermon and worship as a community.

And a few years later, long story short, I joined this band of minorities. Continue reading