Operation London Bridge

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.”

–      King Charles III

We’ve all heard the news and seen the flags at half-mast. Today­ marks D-Day+4; the queen’s body is being prepared to be transported in a procession from Buckingham palace to Westminster Hall, where the body will lay at rest for three days. The Westminster Hall will be open 23 hours a day, where civilians can pay their tributes and condolences to HM the Queen. On D-Day+9, The queen will have her funeral, and the whole nation will pause to have 2 minutes of silence for HM Queen Elizabeth II. Her body will then be transported again in procession to Windsor Castle, where her body will be buried at her final resting place. 

The National Anthem will be changed to “God save the King” as King Charles is coronated. Currencies will change and have the profile of the new King. And all members of parliament must pledge allegiance to King Charles. Operation London Bridge has been brought to such detail in commemorating the queen’s passing. 

But I now want to bring your attention to a more significant death; a victorious death on a dark day. 

There were no processions. There were no flowers or deep condolences. There was only a display of humility, an exhibit of blood and suffering. Crowds only gave their deepest hatred and pride for Him to carry on His back. A walk of shame in Golgotha, to the hills of calvary. Bloodshed and suffering, in obedience to God, as our one and only King of Kings was crucified on a cross. 

There was no anthem. 

Only Love. 

Every person on this earth will pass. The monarchs, people of power, and civilians. Nothing can save you. No amount of money can prevent death. No power will last forever. There is only one sacrifice that saves us all. 

Because nothing can separate us from the love of God. 

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? …  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

What differentiates the deaths of Her Majesty the Queen and the lowly servant Jesus Christ? 

Great sacrificial love. Love for His people, in obedience to God. Although the queen’s death is a great mark of darkness, we can never forget the sacrifice that God made for His people.

There was a rainbow on Friday the 9th of September at Buckenham Palace. Coincidentally, this was the day after her death. Rainbows are a sign of God’s Covenant with His people. It may or may not be a coincidence, but it is just another reminder of His love. 

My condolences,

Jeremy Sangtoki

Jeremy Sangtoki (15) is a writer and videographer for RE Generation-Z. Through his passion for videography and photography, he hopes to proclaim the truth and bring more teens to Christ. Like his brother, he has a predilection for classical or baroque music. 

Humility in Maturity

Humility in Maturity. 

How would you rate your spiritual maturity from one to ten? Before answering that question, we must first ask, what is maturity? In a nutshell, spiritual maturity is growth—to become more Christlike, to know God more, and to the piety of the fear of the Lord. So, in a ‘rating’, ten would be Christlike, and zero would be immature. 

This was one of the discussion questions that struck me during the retreat a few weeks back. As the people around me tried to answer this question, I thought about what I should say before being given the spotlight. It sure wasn’t an easy question to answer. Most of the people in my group rated themselves in the lower half of the spectrum. But as I pondered hard, I couldn’t settle on an answer. Who are we to be the judge over ourselves? Who are we to set the standard? The standard we judge against must be of the absolute truth—the Bible—through God’s lens. 

To grow, we must know the truths

We must build the foundation of our growth on the truth, which is the Word of God. Not only that, but also on the unity that we can have with and in Christ. Only when we are in this union, this one ship in Christ, we may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit. And this relationship that Christ has offered us is only through His sovereign grace. Christ is the one who has initiated; He loved us first, allowing us to be sanctified and grow daily in oneship with Him. And because of that, we cannot take our short life lightly. Only through knowing Him we can grow to be more like Him. Only through knowing Him may we understand the truth. 

To know the truth, you must have Humility. 

Without humility, you will never be able to learn the truth. We are such prideful people. I know it’s an easy thing to say, and listening to that just turns into a breeze. But trust me, I understand how hard it is to be humble sometimes. I cannot stress how much of a trap false humility can be. 

Sometimes we even act humbly to be seen as humble people, and I am sure guilty of doing that. Whether we realise it or not, we bring our pride and ego into the most minor things. I’ve recently been struggling with my pride and anger. To me, everyone and everything seems to be against me. My parents would get mad at me for what I considered small and petty things, which would constantly be tiring. I’m sure that all teens can relate to me here.

It’s been quite a struggle for me recently, and it’s pretty contradicting for me to write an article about humility when I am struggling with pride myself. But the words shared from the last retreat have allowed me to reflect on myself and my spiritual maturity. From the outside, you might see me as an avid churchgoer involved in so much ministry. But just because I live with that culture, it doesn’t mean that I’m growing and having that personal relationship with Him. Because to grow, our faith must be nourished. Just like a pot plant, if it is not well kept, watered, and given sufficient sunlight, it will surely die. It is the same with our spiritual lives. If we do not nourish our faith with the Word of God, our faith will surely wilt.

The Bible is what can refresh our souls. It sounds quite cliche and abstract. But personally, sharing from when I genuinely ponder on His Word is very sweet. Whenever we have that personal and intimate relationship with Him, it is beautiful. We cannot fill our lives with worldly things because it will only take away from the strength of our faith. But only picking the Bible up and reading it won’t cut it.

We must deny ourselves if we want to accept the truth and learn and know the truth. Deny our pride. I’ve used this analogy many times, but there is only one seat in your heart. And on it, it’s either you or Christ. If it is not Christ that reigns in your heart, then you cannot grow in the truth. Even if you are surrounded by godly people, the church community, or you study theology. 

If we reign over our own lives, we will never be able to accept Christ as our Saviour nor grow in Him. But when we humble yourselves, then we can accept His Word and allow it to rebuke and change us.

To grow more like Christ, we must increase in the knowledge of Him and grow in godliness with the fear of the lord. But, first, we must learn to humble ourselves. The bible states this countless times. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Psalm 18:27 

For you save a humble people,

but the haughty eyes you bring down.

Psalm 149:4 

For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;

he adorns the humble with salvation.

This is a short article with one message. I hope that I’ve made it clear. You cannot know God without a humble heart. So ask for His grace, because when we humbly and truly thirst for His Word, of knowing Him. James 4:6, says, “He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”. 

So pray, ask God to have a heart that yearns for His Word, and ask for a humble heart to grow in spiritual maturity. 

Psalm 147:6 

“The Lord lifts up the humble;

    he casts the wicked to the ground.”

The Mind

I would very much doubt if you told me that you had never gotten angry before. I would also question if you said you’ve never thought badly of someone else. I’m going to delve deeper into a larger topic, but it is all going to be up in your head (Idk if that was even good enough to be a pun, but if it was, it was intended). 

Everything you see, learn, situation, and everything around you goes through your mind. You’ve probably heard this before, but your mind is very powerful. However, it is tough to control ­— just like a superpower. This makes it a great danger, especially for mentally unsound teenagers. 

Thinking about the process of thinking

You receive information from your five senses, whether it be knowledge or information.

From there comes the thoughts and perceptions, based on what you now know.

Then, what you think changes into something more substantial: a belief.

Afterwards, you start to develop emotions and desires.

And as these get stronger, these will lead to specific actions or behaviours.

This is how we process information; I am showing you this because when any one of these processes becomes negative, then as the list goes on, the impact will double. For example, suppose you perceive a situation as negative from the top of the list. In that case, everything underneath will also become negative. Your thoughts will be negative. You will start to have negative self-talk, and this negativity will develop into sinful thoughts and actions. 

According to  stats, in the next 24 hours in the United States:

  • 1,439 teens will attempt suicide
  • 2,795 teenage girls will become pregnant.
  • 15,006 teens will use drugs for the first time.
  • 3,506 teens will run away.
  • 2 teens will be murdered.

As mentally unsound teenagers, we are prone to developing negative thoughts and perceptions. The stats above all start from thoughts, eventually growing into something bigger. Therefore, we must be cautious with our thoughts, and not only that but if we can limit the negative things that we see, do so. 

Sometimes we have negative thoughts because of our hormones; we quickly get moody and often get mad at little things. But at other times, we’re just angry. Sometimes we are just the stereotypical troubled teen. But it’s not right, and we must break that stereotype. How?

Then what must we do?

Rely on God; you cannot rely on anyone or anything else. My brother bought me a book the other day about anger and calming your heart. It’s a 31-day daily devotional on anger. And on one of the days, taken from James 5: 13, it questioned, when you get angry or sad, what is your first reaction? It may be talking to a friend or putting pity on yourself for some. James 5: 13 says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise”. But what James is saying is that in everything, go to God first. If you are in suffering, pray and go to God. If you are cheerful, praise God. We cannot rely on anyone else from God; our friends cannot sustain us, and they can fail us, but only our faithful God can sustain us. 

All in all, we must go to God; our mind is a Dangerfield to teens. Our thoughts may haunt us, but His rod and His staff will comfort us. However, we must be careful in what we think, see, and do because it may lead to something bigger – into sin. 

This is probably one of the shortest articles on this website, but the point of this is to warn you about your mind, and that we must go and pray to God and God alone, for His perfect and unfailing guidance.

Source:

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-happening-to-our-children-2606269

Jeremy Sangtoki (15) is a writer and videographer for RE Generation-Z. Through his passion for videography and photography, he hopes to proclaim the truth and bring more teens to Christ. Like his brother, he has a predilection for classical or baroque music. 

The Importance of Family

Family, you know, the people that you kinda see every day. One day you might love them to bits, but other times they might be the last people you want to see. They are hard people to live around sometimes and arguing plus emotional rollercoasters are inevitable. I’m sure that we are all familiar with family even though all of our families have imperfections and differences within our family relationships, but, we can all relate to one thing, we all have a Father in heaven. Aside from having a strong relationship with God, family is important. Without our family, we would not be alive, and you surely wouldn’t be the person you are today. Before we continue, let me ask you this question. What is the point of family?

Father in heaven

Everyone has different families (unless you are siblings, of course), but there is one thing that we have in common —Our Father in heaven. I’m putting this at the front of the list, not only because it’s one of the first things that I thought of, but because it’s the most important. Many teens in this age neglect this, and many don’t realise that this relationship is the most important.

He is invisible; you can’t see Him. How could a person be your father if you can’t see Him? How could you love someone who you cannot see? How can you rely on someone who you cannot see? A lot of us teens stumble here because we do not have faith. It’s quite hard to depend your life on a father that you cannot see. Yet, by reading the Bible, praying, and talking to God, we can have faith, and surely, that faith will grow. Just like a normal father, you must spend time with Him for the relationship to grow.

Family is important, don’t take it for granted while you can.

Sometimes the people around us will frustrate us, and they might be hard to love at times. For example, I used to get angry at my older brother a lot. If you grew up with me, you probably know that my temper back then was pretty short. There was a time when I w nine (I think) I got so mad at my brother I tackled him to the ground out of anger. But now I’ve grown more mature (I hope), and I’ve come to realise that the time left living with your whole family is not much longer. My brother just finished school, and his leaving the house feels like it is right around the corner. Time with your family is precious, sooner or later you and your family will depart from each other, and you will have your own family to take care of.

If you look at what lies around your house, the things they have done for you —the roof they put over your head, the food that you had this morning, not only from your parents but the atmosphere and care that your sibling may bring—hey have done all these things, and often we forget the love they have for us. Do we love them back as much as they love us?

God chose who your family is, so be grateful.

What is so special about a family relationship is that we didn’t choose to be in any of our families. We were born by God’s will in His will. God chose who we were going to grow up with, what last names we would have, and who would teach and guide us to grow into men and women for His glory. I’m not trying to focus on how we didn’t choose to be brothers with our brothers or sisters with our sisters—even though that is important‚—but I’m focusing on being grateful for our family and God’s providence. God put you in your family for a reason. Even though you may not think so, God’s plan is always the best plan for your life. Remember that God is always in control, and when things happen, God is trying to teach you something.

If you remember the first paragraph, I asked you to think about this question, ‘What is the point of family?’ I’ve been writing about all these aspects of the importance of family, and you might be wondering where I’m trying to bring you here. And the question still lies, what is the point of family? Well, as you grow in relationships with your family, you yourself will grow, not only in relationship back with them but also in yourself, growing together, sharing in love. Just imagine if there was no such thing as family if you were born alone, what would you do? How could you survive? It’s the same spiritually. We are helpless, bound to our sin, born of darkness, and we cannot save our souls. But we have a Saviour that can help us, A Saviour that can save us from our own sin. A Saviour that will take us in as His own child. But the real question is, Are you part of Christ’s family?

Jeremy Sangtoki (15) is a writer and videographer for RE Generation-Z. Through his passion for videography and photography, he hopes to proclaim the truth and bring more teens to Christ. Like his brother, he has a predilection for classical or baroque music. 

Life After Lockdown

Welcome back from your first day back at school. How was it? Good? Bad? 

Well, now, lockdown is over, and we are all back to school, and our lives are starting to get normal again. Some of us have been vaccinated; some of us haven’t. Some of us have already been going out, some of us are still staying at home. Lockdown might have felt like an eternity, or the time might have flown by quickly. I don’t know about you, but these more than 100 days have gone by really quick for me. Of course, we all have different feelings about the lockdown and returning to normal. But what’s for sure is that all our lives are changing, whether it’s getting back into our regular lives or if your life has changed completely. 

It’s been two weeks since the locks have been lifted; I’ve got the chance to go out a bit. I went to the movies, cut my hair, went to church. But it all felt weird; I wasn’t sure if it was just a regular thing or if it really was strange to be back. I felt like I didn’t belong, like, I was separated from everything and everyone. It might have been the social distancing and the masks, but it just felt different. I felt vulnerable. I’ve realised that I’ve taken most things for granted. It made me feel that everything that we have could be taken away from us at any time.  

We are not in control.

We all come from different parts of the ‘excited or not-excited spectrum’ when it comes to normal life. But one thing is for sure, the life we are ‘returning back to’ is still only temporary. From lockdown, we got a glimpse of what it was like not being able to do normal things. Not being able to meet friends, not going to church, or not being able to do the things that were once so normal to do. Now, things are getting closer to what it was before, but the fact that our life is temporary has always been the same. Only after having these things taken away from me, I truly feel and realise this. Anything can be taken away from us at any time, including our life. Do you think that you are willing to let go of the wonderful things of this world? Do you think you are ready to have your life judged by God, looking at everything that you have done in your life? Do you think that you can say, “Lord, my work on earth is done.” I want you to realise that what we do matters. Take control of what you can control before the one who is in power takes it away. You have control over what you can do on this earth. Will you use your time and ability to serve him? 

Ultimately, God is the one entirely in control; he has the power to pluck you out of this world at any time. So do what God wants you to do before it is too late.  

Take every step like it is your last. 

Everything is temporary, our house, our world, and our life; it is all temporary. But there is something for sure that will last forever, the love of Christ, the knowing of Christ, that relationship and union with Him. That is the only thing that will last forever. If we take a look at Paul, while he was in prison, he wrote, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8). Paul says that everything is rubbish compared to knowing Christ. He knew that all the blessings on this earth would end and that the true treasure that lasts forever and is so great is the union with Christ. 

So, as we return back into our regular lives, know that it is all temporary. We must search for that treasure that will never end. I’ll give you a clue. It starts from your heart, alone with God. Take the time to contemplate, to meditate on His Word. It’s only through the personal relationship with Him that we can have the true treasure that never ends.

Jeremy Sangtoki (15) is a writer and videographer for RE Generation-Z. Through his passion for videography and photography, he hopes to proclaim the truth and bring more teens to Christ. Like his brother, he has a predilection for classical or baroque music. 

The Problem of Procrastination

Procrastination,

I’m sure you guys are familiar with this idea. Whether it be trying to do schoolwork or getting your chores done, we’ve all come across it at some point in our teen years. It’s human nature, a nature to be lazy, to have complete control of what you want to do. But this nature isn’t good, and it shouldn’t be able to take control of your life.  

Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. When we have responsibilities, we say in our minds that we will do it later, but in the end, we never get it done. For example, you have to study for a test, thinking it’s days away. You say, “I can study tomorrow”, but in the end, you leave all of it for the day before. 

Procrastination grows; the more you do it, the more often you will get caught in this sinful nature. Especially in lockdown, we think we have all the time in the world and can do things closer to the due date. But no. Having this mindset will create bad habits, and it can destroy our lives.

I’m writing this not because I’ve overcome this. I’m writing this because I see this as a problem for me and all other teens. I still get caught in this. For example, I had a maths test last week, and I thought it would be acceptable to study later. But the day before, I was stressing about how many formulas I didn’t know. I know I’m not alone and that this is a universal problem; we cannot let this be.

Distraction.

The most significant factor that tempts us to procrastinate is the endless amount of distractions that live at the touch of our fingers. These include the media, games, notifications, and other things that your mind will think are more exciting and important than your responsibilities. Especially in lockdown, where all the distractions become more appealing, our eyes are filled with screens. Our own room becomes our enemy. 

Now, anything can distract you, and it’s a matter of not getting distracted by the things that can distract you. It’s having that control over your desires, having control over what you need to do.

I’m sure all of us have responsibilities, and I’m sure you take them on. But I’m sure that you’ve been distracted by something or someone and end up not taking the responsibilities up. It’s hard; our heart yearns for everything except for what we need to do. And the truth is, we can’t do it ourselves. Ask God for help. Ask that we can keep our minds straight and do the task willingly.

Unwillingness

On the other side of the spectrum, it’s not things pulling us away from the task; it is also the things that make us unwilling to do our work. Whether it be boring homework, continuous study, or tedious chores, our willingness must have a purpose. 

Our purpose is to glorify God. Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”. 

We may ask ourselves, “how can I glorify God while doing my homework or doing chores around the house?” As students and teens, we are responsible for obeying our parents and doing our best in school. Our calling is to fulfil these responsibilities. And using our time and effort to fulfil our calling is bringing glory to His name.

If you know your purpose, that will drive your willingness to do something; that purpose will drive your determination. So we must learn that what we do, our tasks and our chores should be all for God’s glory.

Time flies, especially when we procrastinate.

Have you ever had that guilt, like after you were glued to YouTube or TikTok and when you realise, two hours just passed? I was writing an essay, and as I was researching, I somehow found myself on YouTube. Let me tell you, the recommendations on the side are tempting. By the time I realised, I had just wasted hours thinking that it was okay to keep clicking the recommended videos. 

There was also this other time; I said that I would do my homework at 5:00 PM. I kept looking at the time, “ahh, it’s fine, still got thirteen minutes left.” The next time I checked the clock, it was 5:12 PM. So then I said to myself, “Okay, for real this time, start your homework at 5:30 PM.” By the end of the day, I had not done my homework. 

Procrastinating doesn’t just affect the outcome of your responsibilities. It will change your life. And I mean, negatively. The habit will grow on you, and more problems will arise the longer you stay in this trap. Realise — it’s not a small matter. You may think so, but whether you realise it or not, it will grow on you. And this habit will devour your self-control.

All in all, it’s our decision—whether it’s getting rid of the distractions or having the willingness to take up our responsibilities. It’s having the self-control to do what has to be done. We have the choice to get caught in procrastination or use our time wisely for doing what needs to be done. Even though it is hard, being tempted by all the temptations that may come around, we must pray, ask God for help, ask for the strength to turn away temptation, ask for the willingness to fulfill our responsibilities. Walk away from this form of laziness; it’s a problem that is greater than it seems, and we cannot stay in this trap.

Jeremy Sangtoki (15) is a writer and videographer for RE Generation-Z. Through his passion for videography and photography, he hopes to proclaim the truth and bring more teens to Christ. Like his brother, he has a predilection for classical or baroque music. 

The Call to Evangelise

If somebody gave you a gift, and this gift was the best gift you’ve ever gotten, the best gift that you have ever seen, would you not share it with others? 

If you ate at a nice restaurant and the food was cheap and excellent, would you not tell people to go to the same place and have the goodness you enjoyed? Would you not share it with others?

God gave you the perfect sacrifice – free salvation for the fate of your eternal soul, His perfect love, and a true internal satisfaction having a relationship with Him. And, all we have to do is declare with our mouth and believe it in our hearts. This is a free but priceless gift. Why aren’t we sharing it with others?

The good news

The gospel is by no doubt the best news we’ve ever heard. Yet, we often tend just to let the goodness of it pass by. This news is far better than the distressing covid daily updates. The Good news is that God died for our sins and rose again. There is no condemnation for those who believe, only eternal joy. The well-known verse John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” 

To evangelise, you must know the true meaning of this verse, and you must experience it entirely first. You wouldn’t have the urge to evangelise if you don’t truly think that the news is good. You wouldn’t recommend a restaurant to someone if you haven’t even been there yourself. You cannot give a gift that you don’t even have. We must learn to read the Bible more often, not only read it but study the depths of it. Delve into a relationship with God through prayer and knowing of Him.

You may be scared 

My question to you is: what are you scared of? Think about that deeply. You might be scared to lose your reputation, to be rejected, to be downcasted. But really, all those reasons are based on you. Those thoughts are selfish; you are trying to serve God by spreading the gift you have received. You shouldn’t fear these things; we must know that we are not doing this for us before we can evangelise. It’s for others and His Kingdom. If people reject your efforts, you aren’t the one being rejected. They are rejecting God, and they will have to deal with it for the rest of eternity. 

Usually, there are these three things that stop us from sharing the Word. (1) We doubt our confidence in the truth. (2) We lack love for others and God. (3) We don’t have the courage to go against unbelievers. 

Suppose you doubt the truth that you are proclaiming to others, only believing it half-heartedly. That will not work. You must believe and know the truth for yourself. 

If you love someone, you will want them to hear the good news as well, right? You would like them to have the opportunity to be saved and have the blessings and the special grace that God gives to all His children. The problem is our lack of affection for others which leaves us unmoved to share the Word.

You might be scared to lose your reputation or to be rejected. But, let me assure you; all these reasons are resolved when you put God at the centre of everything. 

If you have experienced the goodness and the fullness of Christ, there is no way you will doubt it. You still may reject it because of your stubborn heart, but no longer will you doubt it. And if you want to accept the truth, then you will know and be confident in the truth that you believe. 

It’s the same. If you have experienced Christ’s glory, then you will learn to love Him. And from His love, love to others will flow. You would want to share the goodness of his blessings with the people around you. 

If your life is centred around Christ, you would not be scared because you are no longer worried about yourself. You are no longer concerned about your self-image or reputation. You will also realise that the call to evangelise is not for yourself; it is for God and His Kingdom in heaven. 

Where do we start? 

Evangelising is not always going to the most primitive countries in the middle of nowhere and sharing the gospel in gruelling conditions. Evangelising is preaching the gospel or spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Evangelising can simply be talking to family or friends about God or bringing your friends to church. There are thousands of ways that you can get the gospel of Jesus Christ to others. It’s a call to all Christ’s children to share the gospel with everyone, to all nations. 

So together as one church, as one great body of Christ, may we share the gospel to those who need it, to all those around us and those afar. Some of you may be called to be missionaries dedicating your whole lives to sharing the gospel. Some of you may be called to be street evangelists. Some of you may be called to be a witness sharing the gospel to those around you. But I can assure you that all children of God have a calling to evangelise. So it’s just up to us to take that calling up.

Ask God for help

We cannot do this alone. We must pray. Man’s strength alone can do nothing. Only by the grace of God can we preach to others. It is through His love that we can love. It is by His power that we are enabled to share. May we realise the calling that we have received, take it up and share the gospel. 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

I hope that this encouragement can move people to share the gospel. Through the ministry that God has allowed me to be a part of, I pray that I may be a blessing to others and may bring glory to Him.

Jeremy Sangtoki (15) is a writer and videographer for RE Generation-Z. Through his passion for videography and photography, he hopes to proclaim the truth and bring more teens to Christ. Like his brother, he has a predilection for classical or baroque music. 

Death Is Not The End

It’s a reality that is sadly true in the teen’s world. A reality where we go off and do what we want for ourselves. Things like going out, partying, ‘having fun’ but with no purpose, only a purpose for seeking fulfilment in the bottomless pit of emptiness in our hearts. Fulfilment and true satisfaction can only be found in Christ. Nothing else. 

Many of us go out with friends every so often; I do so too (not very often), and there is nothing wrong with going out and having fun. Sometimes it is even good to go out and have a timeout from work and study. But the thing is, what I see from many people at school, and people around me is that they revolve their life around fun and excitement, with the lack of understanding of eternity. We have to open our eyes to see beyond the short life on earth that we have. Not only seeing the goodness of this world but the perfect heaven that God has graciously given everyone the opportunity to be in for the rest of eternity. 

There is this quote from Jonathan Edwards, “Lord, Stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” Edwards prayed so that his eyes may be set on eternity, that the end goal of his life would be for eternity, not the scope of this world, the world that will die as time goes on, the world that has no eternal value. Many teens, not only teens but many people, are blind to eternity. They have their eyes set on a good life, full of fun and excitement. As Christians, let us not be blinded by the “earthly goodness” that this world offers but see beyond the scope of the earth and ask God to stamp our eyeballs with eternity. 

A little about me, I go to church for basically the whole weekend. I get there on Saturday as the sun is still rising and leave when it’s dark. Same for the next day. Many people see that my life is boring, and my friends at school also see my life as such a boring life. They question why I do this and why I spend my whole weekend at church. Well, firstly, I’m not one bit regretting what I am doing. I have been given a great opportunity to serve God and do ministry in the church. Even though I am missing out on hangouts and sleepovers that my friend group often has, the thing is, they are missing out on the opportunity to use their time to take part in ministry for His glory. I want us teens to realise that our lives are short and the time that we have is limited, don’t waste your life on earthly values. 

We are called in the Bible as Christians to work for the Lord. In 1 Cor 15:58, Paul writes, “therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.” The labour for the Lord is not in vain; the time that we use for the Lord is never in vain. This encourages me as it should for you as well.

Many people work so hard for money and wealth; they work seven days a week and full days to earn more money each day. Yes, they do get rich, and they can spend their money on ‘nice’ and temporary things, but our lives are not for money. And what happens to all the money and wealth when you die? It doesn’t have any eternal value. It’s all vanity. Yes, as Christians, we can’t go slacking off hoping that we earn a lot of money, we still have to work hard, but the purpose of our life, the chief end of man, is to glorify and enjoy God forever. Forever, for the rest of eternity, getting to know him in all His glory and the new earth’s perfectness. 

I see many people in my grade and my school (even though I go to a Christian school), who are trying to be satisfied with worldly things, things like pornography, drugs, vaping and even sex. They want something to satisfy their hearts. Only a genuine and intimate relationship with Christ can truly satisfy the soul. “He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” (Psalm 107:9). 

So all in all, from reading this article I want you to take home these points. Set your eyes to eternity, not to this world. If your eyes are set to eternity, you will realise that the time on earth is limited; you will realise that eternity in heaven is way better than what this world can offer. Live not for man but God and His glory. There is no eternal value in gaining money and fame, but what will not be in vain is the work for the Lord, the work that glorifies Him and brings people to Christ. Remember that only God can truly satisfy. You cannot seek satisfaction in any worldly things, only in the creator. Remember a quote from Blaise Pascal, “here is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” Yes, the earth is wonderful, and the things that it can offer can make us feel really good, but the bottomless pit cannot be truly filled. Life is temporary. Let the life that we live once be a life that glorifies him forevermore.

Jeremy

Jeremy Sangtoki (15) is a writer and videographer for RE Generation-Z. Through his passion for videography and photography, he hopes to proclaim the truth and bring more teens to Christ. Like his brother, he has a predilection for classical or baroque music. 

Sooner Than Later

How quick does it feel? The first week of school is over, and the second one is right in front of you. Sooner than later, holidays are just around the corner. It all feels short, and the time we have on this earth is limited. Years will pass, you will finish school, then graduate from university, get a job, retire, and then it’s all over. 

But the thing is, we never know when God will call us. If He calls you out to face judgement, do you think that you are ready, ready for God to judge every second of your life and judge you for everything you did in your life? Looking back on your life, do you think that you have done enough for God? Do you believe that you have done what God has called you for? We, especially as teens, need to wake up. We cannot be blind to this scary but true truth. It’s reality. 

We must wake up from wandering aimlessly and realise the reality before us. We, as teens, just pass over the fact that we can die any second. Time is valuable, and time is limited. Many of my friends at school are sadly blind to this reality. Some people only want to have fun; they only want to do what is good for them. People have commented on my weekend schedule, “to be honest, you have such a boring life.” It doesn’t bother me that much, but what bothers me is that they don’t know the worth of time. 

There is this illustration. Take a long piece of string, about forty metres. There is a tiny portion of the string that has been coloured in red at the tip of the cord. That is the life that you have on this earth, and the rest of the string represents the rest of eternity. The string should never end, but the illustration is there. If you take the average human lifespan, and divide that by hours, the average life span is only about seven hundred thousand hours. The short life that you have on this earth is the chance to have all of that eternity in heaven or hell. 

I want you to think, really ponder on what I will say next. What if you were to pass away in a few minutes? What would you do? Think about what you have done on his earth. Are you ready for the day of judgement? Will you say before God, “Lord, this is my life that I have fully surrendered into your loving hands, my life is in your hands, let your will be done, Lord.” Or will you regret the moments that you have wasted on earthly enjoyments? The many missed opportunities to spread the word of God. Your life right now is the only life that you will ever live. We cannot be blind to that truth. 

I believe that basically everyone has felt at some points in their lives that time goes quickly. I’m still in shock when I look back to see that lockdown started over a year ago. Sooner rather than later, we will be looking back to all the things we have done in our whole life, lying on that death bed waiting for fate to come. It is hard to think of this, but it’s true. John 9:4 says, “We must work the works of him who sent me while its day; night is coming, when no one can work.” Because the end will come, and the end is near, so while you still can, have zeal and passion for the Lord.

People with holy zeal and passion for Christ’s work will realise that life is short. Whenever I start to slack off, my mum would always say to me, “time will never wait for you. It will always keep going. You are the one that is meant to chase time.” On this earth, time will never stop and wait for you. If you miss the moment, the moment will stay in the past. It’s a problem that I see in teens today; many teens just aimlessly wander, doing ‘fun’ things that will please them. We need the zeal for the glory of God, not a false zeal for money and fame. But true fiery zeal for the expansion of the kingdom of God and His glory. The bible contains true zeal; it is a zeal that forms in the heart the burns within the heart. 

So Pray

If you go into my brother’s room, you can see a small note posted on the wall. “Life is Short, So pray” Psalm 90. – from everlasting to everlasting. “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom … Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” Pray and ask God for true zeal. Pray and ask that you may have the passion for His Glory. We cannot be blind to this truth. It is reality. Sooner rather than later, we will pass away. When we face Christ on judgment day, will it be the last time we see Him? Or will you be with Him for the rest of eternity?

Jeremy Sangtoki (15) is a writer and videographer for RE Generation-Z. Through his passion for videography and photography, he hopes to proclaim the truth and bring more teens to Christ. Like his brother, he has a predilection for classical or baroque music. 

The Blessing of Parents

In my life, I can say one of the most incredible things or people that I am most thankful for is – by no doubt – my parents. I am extremely and exceedingly grateful for what they have done for the good of my soul. Not only that they have given my life value on this earth, but they also have set for me an eternal value that I am too grateful for. But sorry to break the praise, it’s not the work of any human. It’s the work of God, the work of the triune God, that allows everyone who is called to have a relationship with Him and have eternal salvation. 

Baby Jeremy

I was born some (not so long) time ago. Flashback to fourteen years ago, there lay baby Jeremy Elkan Sangtoki with a life planned by God, ready to unfold. It was a great day in our family’s history. For everything that my parents had done for me since that day, I am grateful. The discipline, the troubles that came along my way, the good things like blessings and gifts that I have received. The numerous times my parents scolded me, the times that they have disciplined my wayward behaviour all have a purpose, which is for the good of my soul. 

Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Paul says ‘all‘ things work together for good, even the bad. Things that seem bad will have a purpose in God’s plan. And it will be good for those who are called according to His purpose. 

The number of sacrifices that my parents have made for me is uncountable. The number of times that I have disobeyed them, the number of times that I have dishonoured them are plenty. The amount of times that I have wasted and taken for granted from the sacrifices that my parents have made make it greatly unfair. The opportunities that I have wasted because of my stubbornness and selfishness are too many. I am grieved by the number of times that I have done wrong against not only my parents but to God. But never in my life have any of my parents left me alone to be influenced by the world’s brokenness. Their love and care are some of the most potent love there can ever exist on this earth. And I am thankful for that.

There was a time quite long ago, when I was still in my mother’s tummy. Mother came back home from shopping, with my older brother in the pram and little me weighing her down, and in her arms, the shopping. Back then, we lived in a unit on the top floor; you could probably imagine how the story goes now. She walks toward the lift, and as she reached out to press the lift button, a yellow note covered it saying, “lift out of order.” My mother had a burst of dread rush through her; the only way to get up was to go up six floors by stair. Tears started to form on the tips of my mother’s eye, but through her distress, she never let go of her two beloved children. 

Mum and Dad

Well, I want to ask you a question. Do you pray for your parents? Well, for me, I regret not doing so as much. They are humans too, and they have feelings that I have hurt many times. Parents are a blessing from God. There are thousands of teens who want to be in control of their own life; they want to have fun. But I’ve realised that the best life is a life used by God, a life that will spend eternity in a perfect world, a perfect and impeccable heaven, full of God’s elect. God has placed parents in our life to guard us against the evil in this world, but if you stray away from the protecting hand of God, surely you will perish.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” – Proverbs 1:8-9. It says here, not to forsake your mother’s teachings. Matthew Henry’s commentary says, people who have no true wisdom or reverence for God are fools. The teachings of our parents are valuable. They are teachings that they continuously remind us and guard us from the corruption of the world.

We must pray for them. Pray that God may use them to be a tool for God’s glory, that they may be used to nourish and nurture children. Our parents are also humans, and they make mistakes. They might not do things right, but in these times, we pray for them. Ev. Sari once said in the teen’s retreat. “Do not look for the wrong in our parents, but when they have done wrong, do not blame them or despise them for it, but pray for them.” 

Being a parent of children would be hard. I haven’t had any experience, but I can say that because of the many times that I have failed my parents. I have disobeyed and dishonoured them many times. Being disrespected is hard, and I have made my parents need to put up with that for many years. If we see wrong in the household, look at ourselves. Those who look at other people’s wrongdoing before they have self-examination are proud and arrogant people. Let us realise our sinful nature.

Obey and Honour your Parents.

‘Honour Your father and mother.’ you have probably heard this phrase many times. But have you thought about how important it is in our lives? God has set an ‘order’ in our lives. You could say it is like a hierarchy of respect. God has put our parents above us. That we must obey and honour them. “Honour your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land that God is giving you.’ Exodus 20-12. 

A significant problem that I see in teens in this day and age is carelessness, carelessness against parents. Many teens today want to have their own life. They want to be in complete control of what they can and cannot do. They want to stray away from their so-called parents. They want to have their own life. And many do not realise that God has put in their life, one of the greatest gifts. The greatest blessings of parents. We as teens should realise that a life without God and His caring hand is useless. It’s a waste. An analogy Rev. Agus had once said, a life without God is like the most expensive electrical gadget without electricity. If this valuable gadget had no electricity, we could not use it for its purpose. It will be worthless, wasted and thrown away. It’s just like us if we don’t have that ‘electricity’ we will end up being thrown away and wasted. God placed our parents in our life so that they may be able to guide and shape our lives to be a life that is fruitful and a life that God can use. A life that honours our parents.

We as teens should realise that we cannot live our own lives. We are foolish to think that we can live a full life without true wisdom and reverence for God. So, we must act. Don’t believe that our lives cannot be changed. God is always listening to our prayers. 

It may be hard for some, there are many who are parentless, many who have broken homes. But remember that God the father is the best father that could ever be. God is always going to be there for his children. The church is also the best place for you to grow in faith, to nourish and learn. But just remember, that God is having His arms wide open for his children. 

“But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14

Jeremy Sangtoki (15) is a writer and videographer for RE Generation-Z. Through his passion for videography and photography, he hopes to proclaim the truth and bring more teens to Christ. Like his brother, he has a predilection for classical or baroque music. 

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