Our Greatest Inheritance

“GSV WVHRIV ULI NLMVB, UZNV, ZMW KLDVI XLIIFKGH GSV SVZIGH LU NZM”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself increasingly engrossed in a particular book series. It’s called “The Inheritance Games”, and it’s a trilogy written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The novel series follows the life of teenager Avery Kylie Grambs, which  is turned upside down when she learns that she has apparently acquired the inheritance of a billionaire who goes by the name Tobias Hawthorne: all because her name was included in the will the man had written before his death.

Avery has no idea who this man is. As far as she knows, she has no ties with him. But all of a sudden, she is summoned to the Hawthorne mansion for the reading of the will and it quickly becomes clear that Tobias Hawthorne had basically disinherited his own family. Besides a few thousand dollars and the distribution of a part of the pricy artefacts that the man owned, the rest (this included the Hawthorne mansion and all Tobias Hawthorne’s private properties located all over the world) was awaiting for Avery to inherit. As long as she stayed in Hawthorne House for a year, she would become the richest teenager in America. 

But Avery couldn’t marvel at the matter for long, because it soon became apparent that the Hawthorne family was not too happy with her presence. Especially since it wasn’t like Tobias Hawthorne had no heirs – he had two daughters and four grandsons to be exact. 

As the story progresses, the four grandsons – the Hawthorne brothers – warm up to Avery and accept her as one of their own. Together, they uncover a trail of coded messages the man had left that leads to the truth as to why he had chosen Avery to be his successor. But after a murder attempt on Avery, they soon discover that there is someone who wants her gone – and the likelihood that it was a Hawthorne couldn’t be ignored. More investigating and deciphering codes led them to discover the instigator was none other than Skye Hawthorne, one of the man’s daughters. Driven by her greed and hatred, she plotted against Avery, thinking that by killing her, she would receive more of the inheritance. 

Now, there is obviously more to tell about this series (we’ve technically only covered the first book!), but let’s pause here for a second. Here we see a representation of the result of human greed. And it’s not just Skye Hawthorne; There are many out there who fall into the hands of money, power and fame, in search of satisfaction – but to no avail.

That is why today we will be exploring the truth behind the value of worldly treasures while also  discovering  the invaluable inheritance we acquire as God’s children; and throughout this article, you will get to decipher your own codes as well! At the bottom you will find the Atbash decoding key that will help you solve each message. Happy solving!

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Although what Skye did was a bit extreme, we can’t deny the fact that our human nature has an obvious defect, and that is the tendency to want more. We call this greed.

It’s important to note that Skye, whether she received the inheritance or not, would still be able to live a far more comfortable life than many others. The problem was, she never felt like she had enough. We can see this in our everyday lives: the endless cycle of gaining, experiencing temporary pleasure, then feeling empty again. 

So, where are we going wrong? There’s got to be something we missed. We need to review all the clues we have so far…

Then it clicks.

If it’s not because we don’t have enough, then could it be that we are chasing the wrong inheritance?

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There’s a reason why it always seems ideal to have more money, fame and power; because it simply doesn’t last. What the world offers are  nothing but futile matters disguised as treasures pleasing to the eyes. 

Ecclesiastes reveals that we could reach  the highest success, work our very hardest or possess  the most worldly wisdom, but as life goes on and we look back at what we’ve achieved in the past, nothing will ever seem to “complete” us. 

We read in Ecclesiastes 2:11, 

“Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expanded in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” 

Skye’s murder attempt on Avery was all in vain; not only because it failed in the end, but I can guarantee you that even if she was the one to inherit Tobias Hawthorne’s legacy, she would still be hungry for more. After all, she was chasing after the wrong inheritance.

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In the beginning of “The Inheritance Games”, Avery lived a less comfortable life, one that rendered her to live in her own car at times. But overnight, she was announced as Tobias Hawthorne’s heir. She became the literal definition of “rags to riches”. 

But of what worth is it to earn billions of dollars, when it will cease to exist over time?

Jesus constantly repeated to His disciples to not focus on  the present, but to set their gaze on what is eternal: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19 – 20)

What we ought to be looking for are: “the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Avery may be a billionaire, but mere dollars cannot compare to the inheritance that our Heavenly Father so graciously bestowed upon us: and that is the gift of salvation. 

This is our own story of “rags to riches”: God’s people who were once in rags, dwelling in sin, are now clothed in Christ’s robes of righteousness.

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What sets our inheritance apart from Avery’s is that ours came with a price. 

And that makes it all the more valuable.

We needed saving; From our sins, from all evil, but most of all, from God’s wrath. Christ took all this  upon Himself in obedience to the Father and bore all the sins of the chosen people. And blood was shed. 

In the history of man, there has never been such a thing as this: where God was willing to sacrifice His one-and-only Son, so that we may become heirs.

We’re promised that this inheritance can never be taken away from us and that nothing can snatch us away from our Saviour. Not even a will can alter what Christ did for us on the cross. John 6:37 states, All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”

Furthermore, we read again in John 10:28 that Christ gives us eternal life, so that we will never perish and  no one will be able to snatch us away from His hands.

We are also guaranteed a heavenly inheritance, one that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for [us], who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Now that we know there is something far more valuable to be chasing, should we just safe-pocket this information and go back to the way we lived? 

No, of course not! But it won’t be easy. 

Temptations will come in all shapes and forms, and because of our human nature, it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint what is worthwhile and what is not. May we all keep Psalms 119:37 in our hearts as a prayer to seek after the eternal inheritance:

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”

Because at the end of the day, my fellow Gen-Z’s, although we may not have received billions of dollars like Avery did, we have acquired something far more precious.

Atbash Decoding Key:

A = ZE = VI = RM = NQ = JU = FY = B
B = YF = UJ = QN = MR = IV = EZ = A
C = XG = TK = PO = LS = HW = D
D = WH = SL = OP = KT = GX = C

P.S. How did you go? Did you get to decipher each message? Here are the answers!

  1. “THE DESIRE FOR MONEY, FAME, AND POWER CORRUPTS THE HEARTS OF MAN”
  2. “LET US ASK OURSELVES, IS IT ALL WORTH IT?”
  3. “THINGS OF THIS WORLD… THEY SIMPLY CEASE TO EXIST OVER TIME”
  4. “SALVATION IS THE GREATEST INHERITANCE EVER KNOWN TO MAN”
  5. “THERE WAS A SACRIFICE, IN ORDER THAT WE MAY BECOME HEIRS”

Samantha Winata (15) is one of the many teens that write in RE Generation-Z. She strives to share the light of the truth through her articles and bring more teens to Christ. If she isn’t reading or playing piano, you’ll find her filling the pages in her books with drawings.

Salvation: The Ultimate Love Song

Romeo take me, somewhere we can be alone; I’ll be waiting, all there’s left to do is run; You’ll be the prince, and I’ll be the princess; It’s a love story, baby, just say yes – Taylor Swift Love Story

One of Taylor’s most popular hits, “Love Story” is a typical love song that references the famous Shakespearean play “Romeo and Juliet”. However, this isn’t a text analysis nor am I expressing my love for Taylor Swift (in fact, I hate to break it to you, but I’m no Swiftie – but that’s not the point). Through this song and many others, we see a representation of the world’s view on the theme of love.

I’d rather cry instead of letting you cry, I want to be hurt rather than letting you be hurt; I won’t let anyone hurt your heart ever again, It’s strange a thing, but that’s just how it is; When you love someone – DAY6 When You Love Someone

Growing up in this secular world, we have constantly been fed this ‘oh-what-a-feeling’ kind of idea. Through the countless books we read, dramas we watch, and especially the music we listen to; the question of “What is love?” is answered – but on the basis of our mortal understanding.

How it could be sweet like candy, how it’s like flying in the sky… How it keeps you smiling all day, how the whole world turns beautiful – TWICE What is Love?

This is what the world has taught us; that this is ‘true love’. It seems sweet, like reaching the peak of ecstasy. But, as soon as it starts, it comes to an end. Even from the love of people around us, we can see that earthly love is merely fleeting. That’s why, when an artist conjures up a melody of romance, there is always a melody of heartbreak that follows.

I was born to love you, But now we hate each other; I’m sorry, No matter how many times it repeats – Kang Seung Yoon BORN TO LOVE YOU

And just as we thought we couldn’t be any more miserable…

Said I’m fine and said I moved on, I’m only here passing time in her arms; Hoping I’ll find, A glimpse of us – Joji Glimpse of Us

So, is this it? Are we left to dwell in our state of despair, vulnerable to the endless cycle of the fleeting moment of adoration before being dumped in the ocean of our own tears?

No, of course not!

There’s still hope for us yet. But in order for us to uncover the answer to this dilemma, we must consult with an old hymn, a throwback to our Sunday School days…

God the Father and His Elect

How deep the Father’s love for us, How vast beyond all measure – Stuart Townend How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

Sounds familiar, right? I remember we once had a CD in the car with a playlist of Sunday School songs and this hymn was one. It was played so often that it wasn’t long before I had all the lyrics memorised. But, maybe it was because I was still young, I never really stopped to ponder over what the song was really talking about. It wasn’t till I was a bit older when I realised that this hymn, in fact, holds a valuable truth that not everyone is guaranteed to come by. It illustrates a type of love that transcends the love written in all other love songs; A love that is everlasting, unconditional and sacrificial.

We cannot compare God’s love to the love we see in this world, for our love is like ourselves: “unequal, increasing, waning, growing, and declining.(Communion With God by John Owen).

However, God’s love is complete and never lacking. He has given everything in order that we may become reconciled with Him; And His ultimate sacrifice was His one-and-only Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

That He should give His only Son, To make a wretch His treasure – Stuart Townend How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

There was nothing in and of ourselves that entitled us as deserving of this love. God didn’t owe us anything either – it was pure grace and mercy on His part. Salvation wasn’t some last minute plan He thought up when He saw how corrupt our world had become. God has always loved us, even before this universe was created, from when we were but a thought in His mind. And He knew we would reject Him. He knew we would disobey, turn away and rebel. Yet, what did God promise?:

That He will never exchange His “elect” for anyone else. He will remain faithful, even when we aren’t.

“He will not remove His love and He will not seek another object for it. His love will make its abode forever with the one on whom it has become fixed.” (Communion With God by John Owen)

This is true love. It is unconditional, sacrificial, and everlasting.

I pray that this truth may change your view on love as it has for me. May we no longer rely on the fleeting love that our world has to offer, for there is a love song written by our Heavenly Father, singing that He will love us the same way today, tomorrow and forevermore.

Samantha Winata (15) is one of the many teens that write in RE Generation-Z. She strives to share the light of the truth through her articles and bring more teens to Christ. If she isn’t reading or playing piano, you’ll find her filling the pages in her books with drawings.

To Win A Soul

In Reformed theology, we often hear the word “election”. We believe that God has elected His people before the foundations of this world were laid. But many Christians struggle when it comes to the notion of God’s sovereignty, and how evangelism comes into play. Since God has chosen, what difference would it make to preach the Gospel? Saved or not, there is nothing that we can do to alter what God has predestined – and simply because His will prevails nonetheless. This is where we need to be careful. If we continue, it could wrongly lead us to conclude that God’s sovereignty excludes the activity of evangelism, when this seeming paradox in fact works together hand-in-hand.

The Origins of The Elect

First, let’s dive into the concept of “election”. Let us travel back in time, all the way to before our universe was created. 

Welcome to “Eternity-Past”. 

Here, there is no specific time, but we can be sure that we have travelled far beyond the “olden-days”. In case you didn’t notice, we don’t exist yet. The planet we call ‘earth’ has not yet been created. Before us lies a dark and mysterious void. But in the midst of all this nothingness, we are not alone. There is a supernatural being who has been here for longer than we know: The Triune God. Although the universe and everything in it, including us, is still non-existent, we have in fact been in God’s mind this whole time. God, in accordance with His omniscient attribute, has already planned and knows the who, what, where, when and why’s. From every planet’s position in the solar system to all the human beings that would ever live, God knew it all. And, He knew that we would fall into sin and choose to hurt Him too. But God, in His grace and mercy, proclaims His love for us through His great plan for Salvation.

We read in Ephesians 1:4 that “….He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him….” As a matter of fact, this is where the story of salvation begins – before “people” even existed! This, in Reformed theology, is what we call “election”. From “eternity-past” God had unconditionally elected a group of people that He would save, through His Son, Jesus Christ. His choice was unbiased, not based on any meritorious deed that He knew we would do in the span of our lives. These are the “chosen people”, the “elect”; those who are guaranteed to be with God. 

Why, then, should we bother to preach the Gospel? If God has already chosen His people, why bother talking to those who might not even be a part of the Elect? God is sovereign after all, and there’s nothing in our power that can change what God has already determined. 

Even if we did, those who have not been chosen will reject it anyways, and for those who are, will God not have a way to bring them to Him apart from us?

Because He Says So

Remember the story of Jonah? The one who got thrown off a boat and swallowed by a large fish because He decided to run away from God? Well, in short, after running from God’s command at every turn, he eventually goes to the city of Nineveh. Jonah preaches and conveys God’s message that if they do not repent, the city would be overthrown in forty days. The people of Nineveh believed and repented, including the king. Yet, fast forward through the story, we learn that in the end, Nineveh returns to its evil ways and perishes. “What was the use then?”, you may ask. “Why did Jonah travel for three whole days just for his preaching to be ignored later on?”

One of the fundamental principles in the Christian faith is obedience. In John 14:15, Jesus says to His disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And Matthew 28:19-20 reveals our great commission. It reads: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” 

Why should we still evangelise? Because God says so! Or rather, because He says “go”.  If we are truly His followers, we will do what He says. And if God says to “go” and proclaim the Gospel, so be it. Notice that Jesus also says “all nations” and not just “His people”. For one, we do not know who will be saved or not, just like Jonah who didn’t know that the city of Nineveh would perish in the end. But God uses us as a means to call the elect. We are His sowers and the seed is His Word. For there to be fruit, the seeds must be planted first. Therefore, understanding will only grow in the hearts where the Word of God has been sown. At the same time, we must be aware that we are not an essential part of God’s plan for Salvation. God will finish and accomplish His work and He can do it easily without us. Yet He decided to include us, even in our sinful and imperfect state, equipping us to do His work here on earth. Praise God for this wonderful act of grace towards His people!

A Lesson To Learn

Evangelising is indeed not easy. But God has appointed us to be His sowers and spread the Good News. We may struggle, just like Jonah who learned to obey the hard way. But God has called us for a purpose, for there is a lesson to learn. Often God uses different means to teach us a thing or two, and that includes the activity of evangelism. In Jonah’s case, God convicts Jonah of his selfishness and lack of empathy towards the people of Nineveh. 

As teens living in a secular world, God is calling us to evangelise in our respective environments. May we all learn and grow together as a community of Gen-Z teens.

Samantha Winata (15) is one of the many teens that write in RE Generation-Z. She strives to share the light of the truth through her articles and bring more teens to Christ. If she isn’t reading or playing piano, you’ll find her filling the pages in her books with drawings.

Gen-Z And Loneliness

It’s lunch time at school and you’re sitting with your friends on one of the benches in the high school courtyard. It’s lively and full of chatter, gossip about other people in the grade and complaints about strict teachers. 

“What do we have next?” One of your friends asks.

You open your mouth to answer but another jumps in, “We’ve got history after.”

“I haven’t finished the homework.” They stand up, “I’m gonna go to my locker and get my book.”

“We’ll go with you.” Everyone stands except you. “Oh, you’re still finishing your lunch? We’ll be right back.” 

You watch them turn and walk away, further, further and further, till you can’t see them anymore. You’re left with your lunch in front of you but you’ve suddenly lost your appetite. 

‘Let’s face it, it’s not the first time they’ve left you out.’ Your thoughts start to haunt you, but you can’t deny them. There’s an unbearable sting as the realisation grows on you. 

‘Maybe, just maybe, I’ve been alone this whole time.’ 

The World’s A Lonely Place 

My fellow Gen-Z’s, we have an existential crisis in the midst of our generation. Can you guess what it is? 

Yep, you’ve got it: it’s Loneliness

Although the example above doesn’t apply to everyone, we’ve become a victim to this desolate situation in some way or another. From friend groups to your immediate family; We can’t seem to escape the clasps of loneliness. 

“But there’s eight-billion people in this world, how can we be lonely? Isn’t that another 7,999,999,999 people to befriend?”

Yes, but even people with huge social networks tend to find themselves wandering into isolation too, because at the end of the day, we each have our own problems to face and our own ways of dealing with them. 

Our society is aware of its presence, but the way we’ve tried to address this issue… we are yet to succeed.

Anti-Social Media

“Need to talk to a relative across the world? Want to make new friends? Welcome to the digital world. Here, everything is accessible with a tap of the finger. Thanks to our new and advanced technology, we are now more connected than ever…”

Our teenage years have always indirectly been fed the “Instagram, AI, and gadgets-galore!” idea.

The introduction of apps such as Tik Tok and Snapchat, with the intention of connecting people in a more easier and convenient way, has unknowingly caused us to drift further apart. Now, we’ve become solely dependent on these devices to communicate with one another. But with every Snap we send and Instagram post we like, our purpose as social beings declines. 

We become lonelier and lonelier.

“Why do you say that? These apps are used worldwide, which means we’re connected with everyone!”

But how can we fix this problem with just a simple friend request? Or a single or few comments on someone’s Tik Tok? This is the truth our generation must face. We know oh too well that this is something all teens struggle with. But we’ve become unresponsive. We’re so comfortable in this life by now, surrounded by social media, we’re probably too scared to address the dilemma we’re currently in, afraid to acknowledge that we are in need of help.

The Battle of The Heart

“Soooo, what do you s’pose we do now? It sounds hopeless honestly, we might as well live in seclusion.”

Fight fire with fire.

“Hol’ up. Fire? You wanna use fire to penetrate the imaginary walls of loneliness or something?”

What if I said we were looking at it all wrong? What if our society had been looking through the wrong lens this whole time?

What we’re dealing with is like something under this one huge umbrella. Many outcomes due to one factor. And that factor is sin. 

God has made us as social beings who cannot live without fellowship with another of our kind. But sin has caused relationships to dissolve and communities to fall apart. 

It’s time to sound the alarm. This is our call to face our opponent on the battlefield: our world. But this isn’t a physical battle. It’s a spiritual fight – a battle of the heart. But first, we need a proper battle strategy. Let’s discover together the perfect tactic as a troop of Gen-Z teens against this broken postmodern age.

Samantha Winata (15) is one of the many teens that write in RE Generation-Z. She strives to share the light of the truth through her articles and bring more teens to Christ. If she isn’t reading or playing piano, you’ll find her filling the pages in her books with drawings.

The Tale of The Faithful Servant

Thud Thud Thud Thud…

Footsteps echoed through the corridor as a woman in her late middle-ages came charging through the door of the study. She came to an abrupt halt before a couple who were sitting together in prayer. 

“Pardon my intrusion, but there is a slight problem…” she said impatiently.

The man looked up at the housemother. “Whatever is the matter?”

With desperation getting ahold of her, the housemother blurted, “Mr Muller, sir…. I’m afraid there- there’s no more food to serve the children!”

“Are you sure of this?” His wife inquired, “Have you checked in the other houses?”

The housemother nodded furiously. “Not a crumb, Mrs Muller. We’re all out. It’s never been this bad!”


Let’s pause here for a second. 

Now, for most of us, living in such an advanced society we could just go down to the nearest Woolworths or Coles and do a little grocery shopping. 

But for George Muller, addressing this problem would take more than a simple trip to the supermarket. Because he is not only responsible to feed him and his family, but a few extra hundred mouths he sheltered in his orphanage.

With such a high demand for food, also taking into consideration that he doesn’t have a direct source of income, there was no way he could get something for all the children to eat.

Let’s see what Muller decides to do in this situation.


“Sir,” The housemother paced back and forth before the couple. “What are we going to do? The children are starving!”

George Muller, besides the fact that he was just bombarded with such alarming news, remained in his seat and seemed to be completely calm. He stood up from his seat and said firmly, “Take the kids to the dining room and have them sit down.”

The housemother hesitated at first, but then nodded and the couple followed her out the door.

300 children filled the dining hall, chattering away as they sat patiently for the food. They looked at their empty bowls in confusion. Normally, by that time they would have been served breakfast, but there wasn’t any food in sight.

“Children, let us thank God for the food.” Muller announced. 

The housemother faltered, “What-” 

But she was cut short as Muller started to pray. “Heavenly Father, we thank You for the food You have set before us. We have never lacked and for that, we are grateful. Amen.”

As they all opened their eyes, it was no surprise that their bowls were still empty. But Muller didn’t panic. Because he knew God would provide as He has always been.

Within minutes, there was a knock at the door. It was a baker.

“Mr Muller, I could not sleep last night. I was thinking about your work with the orphans and, well, I somehow knew you would need bread this morning. So, here they are!” The baker presented them with three batches of fresh bread. 

After the bread had been brought in, almost instantaneously, there was another knock on the door. This time, it was the milkman. 

“Morning, sir. My milk cart broke down just outside. The milk would be spoiled by the time I’ve fixed the wheel so I was wondering, um, if you could use some free milk?” And with that, ten large cans of milk were carried into the orphanage.

The housemother was in shock. “I- I cannot believe this! I will never doubt prayer ever again.” And she left the couple to attend to the children. 

The fresh bread and milk were served to the kids. It seemed like God had provided for yet another morning, just as He had always done.


Note how George Muller solely rests his trust in God to care for his and the orphanages’ needs. Even in such a situation, he didn’t turn to money or ask for help from others. But rather, he leaves everything to God.

In Matthew 6, we read that even the birds of the sky who do not reap nor sow, neither do they gather into barns, yet God feeds them. Aren’t we of more value to Him? How much more does God provide for us? Therefore, we needn’t worry about what we are going to eat or drink, or even what to wear, because our Heavenly Father knows we need them all (Matthew 6:25 – 34).

God never fails to provide for His people. His providence can come in many different ways, sometimes in a way we do not expect. But that’s the beautiful thing about it. Although we do not know how God works, we can let go of all our worries because we rest in the knowledge that there is a God who is not only aware of our needs but supplies abundantly till our “cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5).

Mission: Humanity’s Search For Happiness

“What is happiness?”

These are the three words my teacher asked in the middle of Geography class. The words ‘Gross National Happiness Index (GNH)’ was sprawled across the projected whiteboard. They weren’t new to us since we had been learning about the index in accordance with the subject of human wellbeing for the past few lessons.

The class launched into a heated conversation.

Ignoring the chatter, my teacher instructed us, “In your books, write a few things that define your happiness.”

My friends, for some reason, decided to take my book and scribble a rough mind map. With arrows here and there, they wrote to their heart’s content. I watched on (since there was no space for me to write) as they ran their pens all over the page. After just a few minutes, the entire paper was filled. 

I peered over their shoulders and took in the page’s contents. But as I stared at that piece of paper, I realised that all the things that they found to have contributed to their happiness were all materialistic things, or in other words, earthly things. 

From shopping, to Netflix, to relationships – you name it. As the teacher went around the class, asking each of us to share what we wrote down, I began to realise this: our human inclination is to fulfil our desires and search for happiness from things of this world. If I had made my own list or mind map, I bet I would’ve written down those things too. 

As teenagers growing up in a secular world, happiness is something we are constantly told to strive for. Whether it be found in money, success or fame, it has become a factor in giving meaning to someone’s life. But we fail to understand this one concept: this world is temporary and so is everything in it. It’s as simple as that, yet we all tend to forget as soon as we come face to face with our own earthly idols. We ignore the fact that we actually do realise that these things will never fully satisfy our desires because we always end up coming back for more. 

Did You Know #1: We only ever run to what the world provides, when searching for happiness, because we do not realise that true happiness is more than just what the eye can see.

But if it isn’t shopping, Netflix, relationships, or the like, what is happiness then? What can give us the everlasting satisfaction that we need?

Answer: The World is Not The Answer

Vanity. If you searched up the word in a dictionary, you would be given the definition “the quality of being worthless or futile”. 

Synonyms? Meaningless, useless…. you get the idea.

Did You Know #2: In Ecclesiastes, the preacher stresses that everything in this world is meaningless; All is in vain. He laments even in the very first few verses, “Vanity of vanities… vanity of vanities! All is vanity…” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

This planet, though seemingly “just right”, will not and never will grant us eternal satisfaction. Because no matter how hard we try, all our efforts will be in vain.

We hunger and thirst for what the world has to offer and never think twice if the satisfaction they give is eternal or not. It may look appealing, and there may be pleasure involved, but just how long it lasts, we know oh too well. Yet, we find ourselves coming back for more even when we know how useless it is. 

It’s quite a typical scenario considering our human nature: we feel empty, we turn to the things the eye sees as pleasing, and we feel content or fulfilled, but once that fades we feel disappointed and empty once again; Then the cycle repeats. What a dead and pitiful state our human race is in! 

We should all ask ourselves this question, “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3).

Did You Know #3: The term “under the sun” refers to all things that are done with a purpose that is not purely Christ-centred. In this verse the preacher gets straight to the point; What does man gain from something that is meaningless?

There’s something missing…. something we must have looked over in this mission in search for happiness…. but what is it?

Answer: There’s Only One Answer

In this mission, we’ve been seeing it as multiple pieces that make up one big puzzle, but what if we shifted our perspective to look at it like this: 

Did You Know #4: In actual fact, this puzzle is only made up of one big piece…. and that piece is God.

No wonder! That’s why whenever we try to fill ourselves with worldly things, it simply doesn’t do anything. It may give some form of satisfaction, but a few enjoyable moments later, it’s all gone.

Blaise Pascal – a french philosopher, mathematician, scientist, inventor and theologian – once said this:

“There 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.”

At the end of the day, there will always be that feeling that there is something missing inside of us. We were designed so that nothing and no one can fill that emptiness in our hearts, but One…. and it is none other than God.

Alongside all this, we have to know that the only reason we can call this “mission complete” is because of the grace that has been bestowed upon us. When we see just how sinful and unworthy we are we come to realise that, in fact, we don’t deserve happiness at all. What we should be getting is God’s ultimate wrath. Then it would become “mission abort”.

But because of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross, we are now eligible to obtain that true and everlasting happiness that can only be found in God. Praise the LORD for His wonderful, sovereign plan of salvation! 

Mission Accomplished!

Final Announcement: Mission accomplished!! Congratulations fellow crewmates!

Human endeavour in this world is but an endless and vicious cycle. But we can rest assured because we have found the source of eternal happiness – not just a one-time thing, but a joy that is everlasting. Our Father in Heaven. May this hope be with us as we continue our journey here on this earth.

Order Of Salvation

I sat there in the car, gazing out the window, watching as the cars around us inched forward ever so slowly. It was one of those mornings where we were late and, much to our dismay, stuck in heavy traffic. Seeing that there was a possibility that we would be there for quite a while, I decided to catch up on some sleep. I laid back in my seat, and my eyes fluttered to a close……

“Monergism. Synergism.” I heard my dad say. Like every other morning, he was listening to a sermon from the internet radio station, ‘RefNet’. 

My eyes shot open, as my face scrunched up in confusion. “Mon…. Syner- what?”

Alert! New words unlocked: “Monergism” and “Synergism”. 

Two words that most of us probably haven’t come across before. Even if you have, they’re not words you would normally use. Such theological terms are, in fact, linked to another set of words that you may have heard in church when listening to sermons – the double bond of salvation: justification and sanctification. 

You must be thinking, “What?” Honestly, I, too, was bewildered when my dad first introduced me to those terms. But what do these words mean, and what do they have to do with us? Let us first start with monergism.

Regeneration by God Alone

Picture a clay vessel. It has been beautifully sculpted by the ceramicist and boasts a magnificent, unique form, the evidence of hours and effort poured into this creation. 

But overnight, this ceramic, which is unfinished, gradually turns bone dry and can no longer be moulded. It, obviously, cannot save itself and has no power at all to turn back to the malleable state it was in before, because it is not alive – It is dead. 

The ceramicist has every right to throw it away and start a new one, having many bags of clay at his disposal. But graciously, he decides to save it by using a spray bottle to sprinkle the clay with drops of water, thus reviving it. Once again, it is the soft clay that is able to be moulded by the ceramicist.  

We are, in fact, that clay vessel while the ceramicist is God. Here explains the new beginning for those whose lives have been ruined by sin, and harbour a hardened heart. But, in our inanimate state, we take no part in this new birth – It is the ceramicist alone who acts to revive the hardened vessel; to regenerate us. 

You may know that regeneration is actually quite a controversial topic. Many religions believe that they can be saved by their good works; that the more good deeds they perform, the more eligible they are to be accepted by God and go to heaven. But as Christians, we believe otherwise. 

The word “monergism” refers to, as you may have figured out, justification. With the word deriving from the term “mono”, meaning “single”, it is a concept explaining that it is God alone who acts to regenerate us, without our cooperation. This is because we are incapable of bringing about our own justification. Just as the clay vessel could not turn itself back to its former state, we too cannot turn ourselves into a righteous being. 

Because the fact of the matter is, if God does not intervene, not even one will seek for Him (Romans 3:11). And our efforts can’t miraculously make us righteous either. The seriousness of sin is so great that we, in ourselves, can do nothing to make up for them. The only thing that could save us from our miserable state, to pay the price of our sins, was Christ’s death on the cross. 

We don’t do good works to be saved, but we are saved to do good works. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10, 

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” 

And in Ephesians 2:8 – 9 Paul reminds us that,

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

So now we are justified, having gone through the double imputation – Christ’s righteousness is imputed onto us and our sins imputed onto Him. We are no longer seen as the filthy and sinful beings we once were but as blameless before the eyes of the Lord. The End–

Hold up! It’s not over yet. You may think that this should be where we wrap up the story, but we are far from finished – because this journey of salvation has only just begun. 

Play Your Part

Have you ever heard of the saying “It takes two to tango”? Well, it pretty much explains this next term we are about to learn, which is “synergism”. Once we have been regenerated, we don’t just dust our hands off, say, “That’s that!”, and go back to how we used to live. Surprise, surprise! There’s a second part to this story, and it certainly isn’t a brief one. 

“Synergism” – a word that comes from the Greek term “synergos”, meaning working together – refers to sanctification. It’s not something that happens just once, but is a lifelong journey. And in this lifelong journey, we are a part of a relationship with God, a partnership in our faith. Now, it is not only Party A (which in this instance is God) who does all the work – we, as Party B, must have a part in it too! 

Some may think accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour instantaneously changes our lives. But we do not transform just like that, as if it were a switch of a light. Maturity takes time, and so does growing in Christ. As we go through struggle after struggle, God, day by day, renews our minds to think more like Christ, growing us to become spiritually stronger; and synergism explains that these changes need our response. 

If there is no response from us, our faith is at a complete standstill. 

It is written in James 2:26 that “faith without deeds is dead.” We cannot expect to grow in our Christian life without making an effort to respond to God’s calling, because we need to work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12). It takes the cooperation of both partners to execute a dance, just like the saying,  “it takes two to tango”. Once we are saved, we do not just wait around till we die. This part of our salvation includes our efforts. This is what we call synergistic, because it includes both parties doing something. God’s part is to open the door for us, but we will not get anywhere if we do not step through the doorway ourselves. 

If this partnership is going to work, you are required to “play your part”. What is our part, our duty in this relationship? John 14:15 puts it plainly: 


“If you love me, keep my commands.

Our response, then, is our active obedience. In short: if you love God, do what He says. 

An example can be your daily devotions. God will leave it to you to make that commitment to wake up early and read your Bible, and God will carry out His role to open our minds to help us to understand the meaning of the Scriptures. 

Sanctification is a process that takes relatively longer than we would have expected, and sometimes, it may seem like it is rather fruitless. But when the ceramicist, after reviving the clay, continues to mould the vessel, though it does take a while, the creation eventually gets stronger and stronger. Our spiritual growth is a lot like this clay vessel. It is a slow but sure process.

Work in Progress

The ceramicist is currently still shaping us. We are a work in progress! We, as the vessel, will be brought to completion on the day Christ returns (Philippians 1:6). No matter where we are in this journey of salvation, we can rest assured because we are in His perfect hands. We can cling to the hope and be sure that whoever God calls, He will not fail to sanctify.

Samantha Winata (15) is one of the many teens that write in RE Generation-Z. She strives to share the light of the truth through her articles and bring more teens to Christ. If she isn’t reading or playing piano, you’ll find her filling the pages in her books with drawings.

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