By The Grace Of God

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

If we do not understand grace, we miss the whole point of Christianity. A faith that depends on our own efforts and ability is the same as all other world religions. Grace that comes from the cross is the centre of Christianity, and such doctrine should permeate all aspects of our thinking and lives. Grace is what brings us to worship. Grace is what empowers us to serve. Grace is the opening and closing of our whole Christian life.

Grace is an undeserved blessing or gift from Jesus Christ. Grace is only illuminated when contrasted with our vile, sinful nature. We deserve eternal damnation in hell. We deserve God’s wrath here and now and forever. These are not exaggerations. They are what we really deserve for our sin and rebellion against God. If we find such punishments unfair, we do not understand the magnitude of our crime.

Grace is what Christ did for us on the cross. Instead of punishing us to eternal death, Christ took this punishment on Himself that He might bestow to us eternal life. Positionally, grace justified us, changing us from enemies to children of God. But grace does not stop there. Grace worked and is working to sanctify us, change our old hearts and renew them unto holiness. Grace is working to put to death our past sinful habits. Grace is working to make us alive to spiritual things, changing our desires so that we love God more. Grace produces fruits in our lives, making listening and obeying God’s Word our only delight.

Grace also works to empower us to serve God with our lives. Grace gave us the privilege in the first place to serve the King of the universe despite being unworthy criminals. Grace enflames our hearts with zeal and love for God. Grace directs the work of our hands so that God’s plan does not falter in weak and sinful hands. Grace opens doors for ministry and closes pitfalls of danger. Grace was with us, is with us, and continues to lead us.

All things are by God’s grace, and without it, we are nothing — truly nothing. How front-and-centre is the doctrine of grace in our lives? Can we say with Paul, “But by the grace of God I am what I am”? In all of Paul’s thirteen letters, he opens with the phrase “Grace be to you” and closes with some rendition of “grace be with you”. Paul understood that God gave new graces through His Word and revelation and that God sustains His people continually with new graces.

Only when our lives are viewed from the lens of unending grace will we be brought to continual worship before God. The depth of our comprehension of God’s grace will measure the depth of our worship of God. His mercies are new every morning, and they are there “to the praise of His glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:6). Will we learn to praise Him?

Lord, open to us the vastness of Your grace. Give us the grace to see Your grace. Give us humility to know how sinful we are and how loving You are—plant in us a realisation that we are nothing without Your grace. Make known to us Your grace that we may be able to praise You. Forgive us, for we are focused on ourselves and forget to acknowledge that all things are Your divine grace in our lives. Change our hearts so that our lives glorify You and not ourselves. We plead in Jesus’ name, amen.

Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.

Not to be served but to serve

Bible Reading: Matthew 20:20-34

“But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

Like the two sons of Zebedee — James and John — the ambition for pride and honour are incredibly noticeable in our lives. We often long to serve God for acceptance, guilt-appeasement, pleasing others. We long to be valued for our work, and we long for others to praise us. We have grand ambitions for God because we want to climb the ladder, get to the top above everyone else, and desire the power, authority, and respect that comes in the package. 

In a tight-packed schedule, I think to myself — “why do I busy myself with multiple ministries? Why do I pursue academic rigour? Why do I squeeze my time for tasks beyond my ability?” So often, I find the still small voice in my heart whispering, “you want the honour. You want the boast at the end where everyone will acknowledge that you are the best”. Every time, my heart is crushed when I realise my blatant opposition to God’s will.

Moreover, like James and John, when Jesus asks, “you do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” I so quickly reply, “I am able”. How foolish to think that I could please God in my strength and capability and receive the glory reserved for Christ. 

Jesus teaches all of us that in His school, living for God is not about the honour or prize you earn. That is what “the rulers of the Gentiles” seek; to gain power and authority to do whatever pleases them. Though for us, children of God, it is not so. In Christ’s school, to be great is to be a servant. To be first is to be a slave. In Jewish culture, servants and slaves were the lowliest of lowly occupations. It was the dirtiest and worst job you could ever have. Yet, the truth comes in paradox. Greatness is not how much you succeed in building yourself up. Greatness is found in how much you give yourself for the sake of others. 

Christ, Himself is the Great One. He is the only example in whose steps we must follow. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). As the second person of the Trinity, Christ did not demand justice, honour and respect. He is Holy, and He is worthy to demand such things. However, in His wrath, He does not wipe us out; instead, Christ came down from heaven to earth to seek the lost through the only way. He came to give His life in our place as a ransom, to take God’s justice and wrath upon Himself. Towards us, unworthy men, he healed the blind and sick. 

v. 29 – 34 is a recount of Jesus healing two blind men. They cried out to Jesus, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd rebuked and scorned them. However, Jesus stopped and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”. When they asked for their eyes to be opened, Jesus recovered their sight, and these two men “followed Him”. 

Jesus came as a servant to seek the blind. A world darkened by sin, He came to save. While we were wallowing in the blackness of our sin, in our rejection of Him, Jesus came from heaven to meet with us, to open our eyes, to change our hearts, that we would be followers of Him. Jesus was a great man. Yet, He was not only 100% man, but He was also 100% God. He is the Truth, and His ways are right. 

As children of God, seek not honour or name. Seek to serve with all your heart, time and effort. Give your all to live for God, to serve others that they may to come to know our God because He first came to serve us. Give to God every second, every moment. In humility, serve Him, serve others. Pray that one day, when we meet Him, He shall say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21, emphasis added)

Lord, please forgive my selfish ways. My days and my ministries I have used for myself. I seek to honour myself when I try and serve You. Please forgive me because I steal Your glory. Teach me the path of humility. Teach me to be a servant as You were a servant. Mould me like Christ that I may please You in living a life truly as Your servant, not a life for myself. Help me, God. I surrender my whole life, every second of it, to be used as your servant. Hold fast onto me because “apart from You, I am nothing”. Thank You that You are faithful and that You have died for my sins. You have opened my eyes from the darkness of sin. Praise be to You the Great Servant. Make me like You. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.

Fixing my Eyes

Bible Reading: Psalm 119:9-16

“I will meditate on your precepts

and fix my eyes on your ways.

I will delight in your statutes;

I will not forget your word.” (Psalm 119:15-16)

The alarm goes off. It’s 6:58 am. That’s right, you think to yourself, the bus leaves at 7:22 am. Unwillingly you drag yourself out of bed the way slugs sludge on rainy days. Feeling indifferent, you get changed and brush your teeth. Mind blank, acting in autonomy like a robot, your body, not your brain, calls you back to sleep. Exactly twenty-four minutes into the future, and you’re sitting again on that bus. 

Ok, maybe that was a little exaggerated (or perhaps not), but you get the point. It’s the hectic mornings; they are coming back. With school just around the corner, things have to change. One of my favourite holiday habits is spending long chunky hours of my morning in God’s Word, just enjoying the time to myself. Waking up at eight or nine, then take my time before leaving my room at around ten or eleven to get on with my day. It is such a blessing to have that time. But, as school returns, the rush is back. And I’m sure we’re all in the same boat — we all struggle to find time for God’s Word.

The psalmist writes in Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Let’s face it. School is often a challenge. Physically, we get tired. That makes us emotionally, not a hundred per cent. Eventually, it takes a toll on us spiritually as well. Five days a week seem to go by in a blur of autonomy and bland repetition. 

What is it that can keep us going? What is it that we so desperately need? The psalmist proclaims, for young men and women who want to be holy, who want to live for Christ, our most basic and fundamental need is God’s Word. Imagine not eating or drinking for a week. How weak will our physical bodies be? If our school days rush by without God’s Word, how will we ever survive? 

In verses 15 and 16, the psalmist — knowing His dependence on God’s Word — resolves to do two things: 

1. The psalmist resolves to meditate on God’s Word and fix his eyes on it.

Though it’s hard, I plead and implore you to make time for God’s Word — in the morning. Yes, you can do nighttime, but based on experience, it does not work. You’re half asleep most, basically all the time. Set at least a good thirty minutes before your hectic rush to spend time in God’s Word. It will be hard, it will take diligence and perseverance, but you need it. It’s a necessity the same way breakfast is essential. It means sleeping earlier and waking up earlier, but it is worth it. 

As we venture out into school and the world every day, the world won’t like us. Satan will try to tear us down. Without God’s Word, we won’t be able to withstand his lies. He cannot take away our salvation, but he does long to waste our time on earth with worthless lies. If we are to be pure, if we are to live wholly for Christ, we must be people of God’s Word. We must fix God’s Word as our ultimate need in life. We must come desperately each morning in search of it because only God’s Word can give life. God’s word alone is our hope each day. 

Now, meditating is not just reading; it is continually saturating ourselves in the truth of God’s Word. This does not limit us to only our mornings. What we receive in the morning, we ought to digest during the day. We ought to recall and meditate on it throughout our daily activities. Not only that, we should come back to God’s Word, again and again during the day. The key is not setting timetables or schedules. The key is understanding its necessity — understanding our utter reliance on God’s Word for life. With that, we will seek it diligently with earnestness, as the thirsty long for water. 

2. The Psalmist resolves to make God’s Word his delight.

Not only does the psalmist resolve to meditate on God’s Word, but he also resolves to find his deepest joy and satisfaction in God’s Word. We should long for the same. When our joys and hopes and fulfilment is found in God’s Word, all the more we long for it, all the more we seek for it, all the more we realise our utter dependence on it and our complete hopelessness without it. Ask God to shape such love and joy in your life. Ask God to make His Word your greatest satisfaction. 

When our love for the world faints, and our love for God grows, there, be sure that God is working, that our hearts are being changed, and God is all the more glorified. 

Lord, fix my eyes on Your Word. Please forgive my apathy towards Your Word. I have failed to understand that my life is wholly dependent on Your Word. Your words are life, and without them, I am hopeless. Lord, I want to meditate on Your Word. Please change my heart and give me a love for Your Word. Make it my greatest and only delight — to know You and enjoy You. Lord, I have given You my life. This one life is for You. Yet, how must I keep it pure without Your Word? Do not forsake me, God. Show that You are faithful by opening Your Word to me each morning. I really need it. Strengthen and hold my commitment to come to Your Word in the morning, and through reading Your Word, grow my faith that Your name may continue to be glorified through my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.

God’s Pathway to Joy (2)

Bible Reading: John 15:9-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:12-14)

God’s pathway to joy is the pathway of Christlike obedience. Yet what does such obedience look like? 

The key is how we must love others in the manner of Christ’s love for us. Love these days is a very relative term. One could say, “I love pizza”, and another could say, “I love you, mum”. Love, in one case, is very different from the other. Love for pizza is more of a greater-than-average liking of an inanimate object, while love between a mother and child is something relational that far surpasses pizza love. Not to mention Hollywood’s (or K-drama’s) depiction of love that has flooded our perceptions. Films and TV shows bombard us with false perceptions of romantic love that are in and of itself selfish and overly sexualised. With so many lies about love, what is the true love that Christ talks about?

True love is not a feeling or emotion. True love only has one definition found in the person of Christ. 

“God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

(1 John 4:8b-10)

This is how Christ loved us. He came from heaven to earth, from glory to shame, from His kingly throne to an earthly manger. He did this to die for sinful men who deserve nothing but wrath. The Author of Life was willing to sacrifice His life and accept death on our behalf. The Holy chose to bear the wrath of the sinner. The King willingly became the Lamb to be slaughtered. What is “laying down his life”? Philippians 2:6-10 says,

“Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

(Philippians 2:6-10)

This is love, Christ’s complete abasement for our salvation. Love is sacrifice, but not sacrifice of human terms. It is an impossible sacrifice made by God for our redemption. It is a sacrifice that redeems us from sin yet brings Him all the glory. As Ephesians 3:19 mentions, Christ’s love, true love, is one that “surpasses knowledge”. We must pray to catch a glimpse of it, to realise its gravity and depth. 

Christ’s call for joy is through obedience. And obedience is a call for perfect submission to love as Christ loves. It is a call to give up your life to seek lost souls. It is a call to lose your life for the sake that others may find theirs in Christ. Christ calls us His friends because He has laid down His life to seek us, redeem us, and give us life. He has given us the greatest love. He calls us to follow in His footsteps. He calls us to love one another with such sacrificial love that others may find life in Christ. As God’s church, do we love another? Do we love those out there who need Christ? 

Rest assured in His faithfulness. Though our fruit may be small, God will work to bear fruit because His Holy Spirit is at work (1 John 4:13). Will we abide in Him? Will we trust Him? Will we give Christ our all, our love? This is the path of obedience. This is the path of joy. 

Lord, here is my one life. You loved me with the true love, and there is no greater love than this, that You laid down Your life for me, to reconcile me with You, to call me Your friend. Please forgive me; I have not understood what love truly is. I still don’t understand. Show me, O Lord, the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that I may catch a glimpse of Your glory. Teach me to live in love, and help me love as You love. Teach me to love my brothers and sisters in Christ, and teach me to love those who desperately need You. I know I am weak; please help me. I trust in You, for apart from You, I can do nothing. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.

God’s Pathway to Joy

Bible Reading: John 15:9-17

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:9-11)

Where do we seek our joy? Where is our deepest satisfaction?

In this fast-paced world, Satan’s lies and temptations attack us from every corner. Social media and entertainment summon to fulfil our desires. Pride, fame and wealth sell us their fraudulent designs of success. Relationships and other people even, seek to steal our hearts and true joy. Satan knows our weaknesses. He knows where we are most susceptible and in that aspect will he tempt us with idolatry. He will strive to lure our joy, satisfaction, contentment, awe, sense of security, comfort, desire, identity all into anything other than God Himself. 

In this world of lies, where is true joy? 

The true joy in it’s fullest and ultimate form is a God-given joy, born from abiding in Christ’s love. Keeping Christ’s commandments is abiding in His love. Yet, such commandment-keeping is not of the Pharisee’s nature. It is not a begrudged or unwilling obedience as a result of force. It is obedience born out of awe and honour to the God who has loved us with the Father’s love. 

What kind of love is such that springs forth all-satisfying joyful obedience? 

It is the love of the Father to the Son, which has been passed down to us. This is a profound love! Hear how Matthew Henry puts it:

“As the Father loved him, who was most worthy, he loved them, who were most unworthy. The Father loved him as his Son, and he loves them as his children.” (Matthew Henry Commentary on John 15:9-17)

It is the Father’s holy and perfect love intended for His worthy Son, given to us the unworthy. It is the Father’s love to His perfect Son, given to us sinful enemies of God. Christ loves us with love only fit for Himself to receive. Such love was manifest on the cross, where he “lay down His life for His friends” (John 15:13). And just “what is the breadth and length and height and depth” (Eph 3:18) of such love which “surpasses knowledge”, we fail to understand. Yet, let us pray just how Paul prays for the church in Ephesus, that we may comprehend and grasp the love of God and “be filled with all the fullness of God.” When we abide and place our identity in God’s surpassing love for us, there, there is a real joy.

Abiding, however, does not equate to acknowledgment. To admit God loves me is different to abiding in His love. To abide is to live by and to place a whole trust. When we abide in His love, we not only acknowledge the depth of His love, but we live in response to such love through obedience. What does obedience look like?

Christ calls for obedience that is just like His to His Father. Obedience is not ‘tick the boxes in the rulebook’. Obedience is a wholehearted total surrender from a selfish desire to God’s perfect and holy will. As Christ emptied Himself to death on a cross, so are we to deny ourself and bear our cross. Yet, see Christ’s attitude, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Heb 12:2 emphasis added). 

The path of joy is paradoxical; it’s hard, it’s narrow, yet “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Lord, I do not know how to love You. In this world of lies, my joy and satisfaction have been set on anything apart from You. Please forgive me. Please change my heart and desires to pursue Your path to joy. Help me find my joy and satisfaction in You and Your bountiful love for me. Lord, as You obeyed the Father out of love, even to the point of dying on the cross, teach me to love and obey You. Your love is truly beyond comprehension. Please continue to work out Your love for me by shaping in me a heart that loves and enjoys You alone. Thank You for Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.

Trusting in God to Trust God’s Promises

Bible Reading: Romans 8:31-39

“Be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5b-6)

We have all heard sermons on finding our contentment wholly in Christ. Of course, we will all say “amen” to that. We agree and accept that our enjoyment and satisfaction should ultimately be found in Christ alone and in our daily relationship with Him. But, let’s face the hard reality. If we were to be brutally honest, there is little to no chance that we would call reading the Bible the most desirable thing in our lives. At this point, you might rationalise and say, “well, you know, it does feel good when I read the Bible”. We know reading the Bible is right; we know enjoying a personal relationship with God should be the ideal. Still, the matter of fact is the least satisfaction we get in reading the Bible and relating to God is from the relief of guilt that otherwise would bother us for the rest of the day. 

There is one thing in our hearts that we cannot change — our desires. We can force ourselves to read God’s Word, pray, go to church, do ministry, but we can never force ourselves to love doing those things, to find our deepest satisfaction and whole contentment in knowing and serving our God. We can do them out of guilt because we know it’s right, but we can never change our heart’s desire towards it because our heart reveals who we truly are. You could deceive yourself into thinking you are a good Christian from all the outward actions you put on, but you can never change your heart to desire God as the deepest source of joy and contentment in your life. 

Romans 8:31-39 could be said as the climax of the book of Romans. It reveals to us the greatest promise of all; that we, who are God’s people, have God on our side. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Rom 8:33-34).

God, the ultimate Judge, has decided that we are righteous and we are His based on the evidence of Christ, God the second person’s atoning sacrifice. Moreover, Christ is the lawyer continually interceding for our case, and He knows exactly what the Father wills. What more do we have to fear? All the parties in the heavenly courtroom are for us. Not only that, the parties comprise of God Himself who is almighty over all things. No one will ever overthrow His decision, and His decision is 100% right, just and holy. Nothing can “separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:39b), so we have nothing to fear! We can live in full contentment and satisfaction in what He has done!

It seems so great and all, but in reality, we are scared. I am scared. Because God’s promise is so big and so glorious, I just don’t believe it. I know I should, and I want to believe, but I just don’t. I could try to suppress my unbelief and chant mantras to engrain “belief” in myself; I’ve actually tried that, but it doesn’t work. So I am left trembling in fear, feeling hopeless, because my faith is small, and my desires are satisfied in other things like the praise other people give me and close relationships with friends and family. 

One of the most incredible things God has taught me is that this is 100% where He wants me to be. Because when I realise my faith is so small, I will realise that my God is so big. As the father of the demon-possessed boy said in Mark 9:24, “I believe; help my unbelief!”, so we should pray. Here is the thing; God wants us to trust in Him to change our desires. He wants us to trust in Him that He will help us trust in His promises. Only when we cling to God with the impossible will we see our faithful God work wonders in our life. With such, we can be content as Hebrews 13: 5b-6 says. We can be content not because we have faith but because God promises to create faith in us. He promises to change us as it says in Ezekiel 36:26, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you”. God never leaves, and if we trust in Him to work in the impossible in our lives, He will work to bear fruit. This is what abiding in Christ is, and by this, God is glorified. 

Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief! I want to have a heart that loves You and desires You, and is content in You. I know my heart does not have that. I know I still seek satisfaction in my sinful desires. Lord, you know my faith is little. Please change my heart as You promised in my heart. Let me see Your faithfulness and Your glory as You work miracles in my life. God, please help me trust in You, and please change my desires. Thank you, Lord, that You are good and that You love me. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.

Abiding in Christ (2)

Bible Reading: John 15:4-11

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:7-8)

Abiding in Christ means living our new life that is reconciled with God. What does living this new life actually look like? Some would think that going to church, being active in ministry and becoming a Bible nerd is the answer. Christ points out two truths about abiding in Him in John 15:7-8.

1. Abiding in Christ means abiding in God’s Word until it transforms and renews our sinful desires into the desires of God’s will. 

We must often hear that to know God means we must become acquainted with God’s Word. That is true! God’s Word is the Truth. God’s word produces life. Going without God’s Word is like living without food. We desperately need God’s Word — it’s our only hope. But so often, we come to God’s Word only in the scraps of our time. We come with begrudged hearts and tired minds. Abiding in God’s Word is more than just reading it. Abiding in God’s Word involves opening our hearts in desperation for life, in desperation to be changed from our old sinful ways and to have our sinful desires renewed. 

Observe what Christ says in v. 7. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” To “ask whatever you wish” does not mean that if we are in Christ, God will grant us whatever we want. It means that those who truly abide in Christ, abide in His Word, and His Word, which abides in us, works by the Holy Spirit to change our hearts and inner desires until all that we desire and ask for is what God desires and wills. With such, God will inevitably grant what we ask for, not because of our desires, but because of Christ’s desires that have been worked into our hearts by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Have our hearts been changed? Has God, through His Word and Spirit, worked His desires into our hearts?

2. God is glorified when we abide in Him and bear fruit. 

For most of us growing up in Christian homes, the term “glorifying God” is nothing new. To glorify God has always been the answer to the timeless, “what is the meaning of your life?” question. But, what truly glorifies God? v. 8 says that if we bear fruit, then we glorify God. Does that mean that the more active we are in ministry and involved in spreading His Kingdom, the more we glorify God? This is not always the case. If we purge deeper, who is the one who spreads God’s Kingdom? Is it really us?

It is too often that we think, by our actions, we can glorify God. If I just do this and that, I will glorify God. But, giving God the glory is a whole lot more than that. After all, what can we sinners add to God’s glory that is perfect within Himself? 

If we recall in v 4, “neither can you [bear fruit], unless you abide in me.” Bearing fruit glorifies God because it is not us who produces fruit, but God works to produce fruit in us. God gets the glory because He is the one who has worked from the beginning and continues to work in changing us from sinners into saints. 

And so, if we seek to glorify God, what should we actually seek? It is not to do this or to do that. It is to seek a glimpse of what He is doing. It is to seek a glimpse of His glorious work. It is to seek to know God. Only from there can we glorify God because only there can we see God’s inherent glory, full and perfect in itself, with no need for any addition by man. Only when we are satisfied in God being and doing all can we bring glory to God. Only those who abide in Christ can glorify Him. Do we truly seek to glorify God? If so, forget about doing this or that. Seek to catch a glimpse of His glory. Only if He reveals Himself can we come to glorify Him. 

Oh Lord, thank You for Your Word that is deep and abounding. Please teach me what it means to abide in You. Please forgive me because my deepest heart does not desire You and Your glory. My heart is still in love with sin and with this world. Give me Your Word, oh Lord, for it is my life. May Your Spirit work through Your Word to change me. Grow fruit in my life that I may see You working and see Your glory. Let me know You and be satisfied in You, that my life may bring glory to You. All praise and honour be to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.

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