Our limited time

Our Limited Time

Have you ever looked back to your past memories and questioned if it was really that long ago? Or maybe, you’ve felt like you just got given your exam notification yesterday, but the test is tomorrow, and you haven’t started studying! This all links back to one thing we often contemplate: time. How often do we use our time for what actually matters? Not a lot. And this is something that the majority, if not everyone, struggles with. Once we realise how short and brief our time on Earth is, we’d be surprised!

Psalm 39:4-6

“O Lord, make me know my end

    and what is the measure of my days;

    let me know how fleeting I am!

Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,

    and my lifetime is as nothing before you.

Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah

    Surely a man goes about as a shadow!

Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;

    man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

We live a very short life, and Psalms even describes it as a “mere breath.” Yet, even if we know this, do we really change how we do things and use our time? We idolise the things of this world and spend our time on our phones (social media), binging on movies, obsessing over money or even getting too invested in our studies. As result, we forget what we really need to spend our time on. 

What’s in your heart determines what you do and, as a result, how you spend your time. We tend to spend most of our time on what we value the most in our lives. This is why we must ensure that what’s in our hearts is not set upon worldly things, but the things of eternal value, so that we can learn to spend our time on what really matters instead. Ultimately, all worldly things won’t last, and there will be no purpose in them other than to satisfy us temporarily, so will it matter after we die? These things would only last while we live on earth and have no other value after that; all the time that we would have spent on them will be wasted! Our hearts and minds should focus only on what will last for eternity – our relationship with God.

Back to the Fundamental Principles

As you may already know, the chief end of man, the main purpose of man’s life, is to glorify and enjoy him forever. If we know that God created us, then we must also understand He defines us and sets our purpose for life as well. Our job in our very short life is to glorify God in every way possible, using the talents that God has gifted each and every one of us with.

1 Cor 10:31

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 

What should we be spending our time on?

As teenagers in this society, we tend to waste our time on useless things and worldly temptations. Just like mentioned above, we must seek every opportunity to glorify Him and our lives must be dedicated to serving God and God only. The teenage years are extremely important in shaping us in humility to serve God and glorify Him. Doing this is definitely not easy with all the temptations around us; it needs perseverance and earnestness. We must remember that we can’t do this alone, but we need God to strengthen us each day to persevere through this. We just need to have willingness and earnestness in seeking God through our prayers and daily meditation on God’s Word.

Finally, in the book, Don’t Waste Your Life, written by John Piper, one of its famous lines  is:

“But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.” ― John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life

This is something we should genuinely ponder on and examine in ourselves each day. Are we really using our limited time on earth wisely? Or are we just wasting our teenage years for “fun”? Is our life “Christ-centred” and “Christ-exalting”?

Erin Kurnia (14) is one of the writers for RE Generation-Z. She hopes that by God’s grace, she can write to spread the Truth and happiness to others, that they too may be children of God living in the light. You will find that she really enjoys playing piano, baking, sewing and designing.

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 Untold Story of C.T. Studd – The Cricketer turned Missionary

I am no cricketer, but I do love a good story. Missionaries, apart from famous ones (like Jim Elliot and the Auca Five), are often unknown. But, their stories are inspirational and have affected so many people – even those we don’t know.

Charles Thomas (C.T. as he was often called) Studd (1860 – 1931) was a professional cricketer from England. During the 1880s, he was one of England’s greatest cricketers. He grew up in a wealthy family and was educated at prestigious schools.

Studd’s father, Edward Studd, became a Christian during a meeting held by D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey. The newly evangelised man deeply wanted to share the good news. As a result, the Studd Mansion turned into a centre of meetings and discussions with pastors and missionaries. Though his three sons tried to avoid the topic of Christianity, their determined father was not going to stop there.

Who do you really live for?

One afternoon, whilst on a break from college, Studd’s father invited a visiting preacher. The preacher confronted each of Edward’s sons, and they all came to faith in Christ that day. He asked them if they believed in God’s promises to give eternal life, quoting John 3:16. He questioned them on who they really lived for. This very challenge convinced C.T. Studd, and he became a Christian. From then on, his life was changed.

The Ashes

Even before his conversion, the Studd brothers were cricket enthusiasts. Not only did they admire the game, but they were also talented and soon shone out among other players. C.T. stood out, particularly on one occasion, when an Australian team visited their university. The Australian team was undefeated and in their first victory, C.T. was pronounced the best player. 

He then captained his university team, and soon a bigger opportunity arose. He and his brother George were selected to represent England at the Ashes.

The first ever victory of England in the 1882-83 Ashes Series was incredible to the people at the time. Cricket was growing in popularity at that time and the fact that England had won greatly excited the people.

But in 1884, George, his brother, fell gravely ill. The realisation that his brother’s achievements and cricket career meant nothing in comparison to eternity, made Studd rethink his actions and direction in life. Studd even questioned:

“What is all the fame and flattery worth … when a man comes to face eternity?”

He realised that everything in this world is nothing in comparison to heaven. This realisation called him to be a missionary.

“I know that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worthwhile living for the world to come.”

The Cambridge Seven

Through his brother’s illness and its effect on him, Studd felt called to pursue mission work. He joined the China Inland Mission, an organisation founded by Hudson Taylor. Studd encouraged other members of his university, Cambridge, to join. Together, they formed the Cambridge Seven and together they ventured to China.

The news of the departure of one of England’s best all round cricketers at the time came as a shock to the public. Leaving behind fame and fortune to pursue mission work in an unknown land didn’t make any sense. But, Studd was determined. Before his departure, he lead a series of ‘revival meetings’ to universities, impacting many. Then, in the February of 1885, less than three years after he had won the Ashes Series, C.T. Studd left for China.

China and India

During C.T. Studd’s time in China, many things happened. In China, he met his wife, Priscilla, an Irish missionary, and married her three years after setting foot in Shanghai. 

Also, when Studd was in China, his father, Edward Studd, died. Edward Studd left behind 29 000 pounds for Studd as his inheritance. Instead of using it all for himself, he gave away the money to various organisations such as the Moody Bible Institute, George Muller’s orphanage, a man working with the poor in England, as well as the Salvation Army. After serving in China for nine years and with deteriorating health, C.T. Studd returned home to England. But it wasn’t long before he felt a calling to India. He served there between 1900 and 1906.

Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade

However, during a return trip to England from India, he met Karl Kumm, a missionary in Africa. After visiting Sudan in 1910, he set his heart to Belgian Congo (now in modern day Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1913. Here, he spent the rest of his life, serving God wholeheartedly until his death in 1931.


C.T. Studd began his life for the world and ended it for God. So, what can we learn from him?

  1. Devote yourself to God

Devoting yourself to God doesn’t necessarily mean to be a missionary and go to the middle of nowhere. In the case of C.T. Studd, it was. But even before his missionary work, he devoted his life to God through cricket. As he grew in spiritual life, he realised that his life was not of this world and that he should focus his life on God and for God’s Glory. As he wrote in his poem, “Only One Life, ‘Twill Soon Be Past”:

Only one life ’twill soon be past.

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Let us remember the words of this poem.

2. Use your talents for God

C.T. Studd pursued his talents in cricket for God’s glory. As he used these talents and answered his call to be a missionary, he also used his fame and fortunes for the same purpose. His fame allowed him to give his testimonies to many people and his fortune gave him the opportunity to support those who needed support.

Conclusion and Summary

C.T. Studd was a man of talent who gave his life to God. But the question now is not about Studd – it’s about you. Will you too give your life and use your gifts for God?

Ethan Chow (16) is one of the website managers for RE Generation-Z. Through RE Generation Z, he hopes that this generation can be truly ‘RE Generated’. He is an avid chess player, learner of new things, listener and player of music.

Keep in Step

What plans do you have for yourself? What do you want to do in university? What career do you want to get into? What do you see yourself doing in the next ten years?

Tragically, we are swept up in our self-righteousness — striving to take control of our lives. Have you stopped and asked yourself; is God’s plan for my life my plans?

Where are we walking in our life, and with whom are we walking? Are we insisting on taking the reins of our own lives? Don’t be too quick to deny this. Though we know in our heads that we must live a life dependent on God, trusting Him and following where He leads us, whether or not we really do this is another thing. 

When we don’t get our way when our plans fail, when God leads us down a different path, how will we respond? If God wants to redirect your life, showing that He has something else planned for you, His will shall be done. So, are you going to move in grumbling and complaining at every turn? Or, will you willingly follow Him and joyfully give up your own plans, for God’s plan that He has for you?

An Overthrow 

First thing’s first. If there is to be a place for Christ in our lives and firstly in our hearts, there must be an overthrow of someone else. 

In our hearts, there is one throne, with space for only one person. Now, the question is, in your heart, who is sitting on that throne?

If we sit stubbornly on our throne, we sit with our self-righteousness and pride. If Christ comes knocking at the door of our hearts, we may hear it but still foolishly insist on sitting at our own thrones. 

If this is you, you must know. If you want to follow God’s plan, you must be overthrown in your own heart first and foremost. Otherwise, there will be no room for Christ to enter, and there is no space for the righteousness of Christ. If you keep insisting on sitting at your throne, Christ will never be able to be King in your life? Why? Because you have unjustly crowned yourself as King of your heart. We all must question ourselves. Who sits at the throne of our hearts?

As sinful men, we have built high walls of pride and righteousness for ourselves. If God is to be king in our lives, these walls must first be crumbled and demolished. Our foundations must be completely and totally destroyed if Christ is to be our cornerstone. Note Isaiah 28:16, “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation: the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.”

What is a cornerstone? A cornerstone is a crucial stone laid first to ensure the stability of the building. All other stones in the building are based and guided by that first cornerstone. So, if Christ is to be our cornerstone, then all foundations and previous plans must be completely destroyed. Buildings cannot have multiple plans. There is only one plan from where it is built — only one foundation.

You might question, why should I live for someone else when the things of this world satisfy enough? Why can’t I rule my own life? Because God has told us this, that only He can fully satisfy us, that a life we lead is a life walking to the path of destruction. We cannot fill our hearts with games, study, our reputation, material possessions. It will not work, and by the year, we will only feel emptier, seeking more and more extreme things to fill ourselves. The most satisfying and fulfilling life is a life for God, walking with Him and obeying Him. 

We cannot walk with God if we are insistent on walking ourselves. We might pray for it and say that we want to walk with God. We may even trick ourselves into thinking we want to walk with God, but we must check ourselves: do we genuinely yearn for this, or is it just empty words?

An Exchange

All glory in the past and hope in the future that we put in ourselves must be put aside. Exchanges must be made. 

We know that true joy and a truly fulfilling life first starts from a true overthrow — a true surrender. We know it is the best for us, yet we insist on keeping our own plans. Proverbs 3:5-6 — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight” — reminds us not to trust on our own limited, feeble, understanding. Yet, we still do so. It is utterly foolish. 

God wants us to surrender. Surrender our hearts, lives and plans to Him so that when He reveals a path He wants us to go down, we can be willing and ready to do so — that we go wherever He leads, whether or not it is what we want. We hold tight onto our desires, but to experience the joy in walking with God, we must first let go. 

This isn’t something that comes naturally to our sinful nature, and even once we follow, we experience doubt. Due to our impeccably limited understanding, we can’t (and often don’t) understand everything that God chooses to do in our lives. God tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” (Isaiah 55:8). So, we have a choice to make. Either we depend on our limited understanding, forcing our own plans. Or, we follow God, walk with Him and pray that our wants for our lives can be transformed and synced with what God wants for our lives. 

Remember, what are we exchanging these things for? We exchange these things not worth keeping for God’s plan for us. God’s good plan will shape us and lead us to grow closer to Him. Only in obedience to Him will we be able to follow Him. God wants us to delight in Him, and in following Him, we will be given things far more valuable than anything our own plans could ever produce — things that are eternal, things that are good for the deepest parts of our souls. So why should we ever follow in grumbling, holding tight to rubbish?

So what NOW?

We can’t expect our whole life plan to be revealed to us in a few seconds. It’s not as simple as a ‘step by step’ plan on walking with God. Don’t forget that we walk in faith in a DAILY struggle. 

So, how can we follow God’s plan for our future when we don’t even know what it is? We follow God at the moment. NOW. It’s not something far off, reserved for our later studies or jobs. It is daily obedience to God NOW. God has specifically put us in our lives. God has purposely put us in our families, the country we live in, the opportunities we receive. So, we first follow God’s plan at the moment from what He has given us, and He will lead us to our future. 

Denying our own dreams isn’t a far off thing. It’s something we do every day, now. When we want to waste our time, then first think, what does God want us to do? How else could we use our time? Let us not be reluctant to follow God’s current calling for us. We see in Jonah’s story. He didn’t want to follow what God asked of Him, what He planned for Jonah. Jonah ran away, but in the end, God’s will was fulfilled. This applies to us. If God has a calling for us (whether that be something currently or something later on in life), in the end, His will shall be fulfilled. 

To know what God wants, we must first know God and saturate our souls with His will. We need discernment which comes with spiritual maturity. We cannot expect to know what God wants us to do if we do not know Him and if we do not read His word. Our calling won’t be unveiled to us in a second. It’s not something we don’t know in one moment and know in the next. We need to walk with God daily and slowly. By having a true relationship with Him, we will know what He wants us to do with our lives. 

In small situations, we must keep in step with the spirit, bearing fruits of the spirit while we are led by the spirit every day. Bear love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 3:22-23).

Keep in step, small steps, steps in the present. Bear our cross and deny the fleshly desires we have, that God may be the true King of our lives, that He may sit in the throne of our hearts, that He may truly be glorified and that His Kingdom comes, that His will be done in and through our lives.

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. 

God and Me

Who or what do you put your faith in? When your world turns upside down, what is it you cling to?

In seconds our life could be flipped upside down, and our time on earth could end at any given moment. In times like these, where do we turn to? Where do we seek comfort, strength and rest?

What is there to hold onto in an unstable, constantly changing, and wicked world?

What is it that you put your trust in and look to as your ray of hope?

Fears of Mine

In a world soaked with sin, we don’t need to look far to see sin’s effects on us and the people around us. As you read this sentence this very moment, hundreds and thousands of people are experiencing great, great hardship. People are constantly facing loss, poverty, persecution—the list is continuous. There are so many things that we may fear, things that can take over our minds and things that have us thinking of all the possible “what ifs”. 

However, it is too often that we worry about such worldly things. At times we fear so much, which traps us into a state of worry. We worry about our future, our grades, about disappointing our family and friends, about materialistic belongings. Fearing the wrong things can be like a trap that holds us so that we cannot move — and go anywhere. Our fears pile on top of each other, some bigger than others, some we’ve had for longer than others. 

These piled up fears only point to even bigger fears and lies we hold in our hearts. Without a personal relationship with God, our hearts are blackened and hardened. Only by God’s grace and mercy may God change our hearts to be meek, earnest and trusting in Him. Without going back again to God, to lay at His feet these fears, our hearts will only continue to rot. Covering these fears and lies by blocking them out, ignoring them or ‘fixing’ your heart with a replacement (e.g. friends, games) will not in any way solve the problem. By letting the problem stay, it will only continue to grow and grow until it will one day overcome us. 

When fear seizes us, life seems overwhelming, and God’s solid promises seem to falter before our eyes. In moments of panic and worry. It is crucial that we stop ourselves from diving deeper into the rabbit hole of “what ifs”, and pause to think—what is it I fear, and is it something that I should be fearful of? 

Godly fear and the Biblical response to fear

There was a time I had an experience where I faced uncertainty. During that time, my mind was all over the place. I was thinking about so many things, and I felt unsteady. Safe to say, I was overwhelmed with everything, and I felt lost in it all, so I went to kneel down in prayer. 

It was at that moment that a verse I read earlier that day came back into my mind. Psalm 46:10, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

I started to think. Why am I so overwhelmed? what exactly am I afraid of? Is it the uncertainty? Fear of the future? Fear of loss? After reading the rest of Psalm 46, God had once again reminded me of His greatness and His goodness. “Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (Psalm 46:2-3), we have nothing to fear, and we will not be afraid. 

The almighty and steadfast God is our God, and He is our refuge and our strength. What else is there to fear? He is present—God is with us—He remembers us and inclines His ear to us. He is gracious, providing us with all the grace we need to overcome any trials. He is sovereign, in control of every situation in our lives. He is trustworthy; He knows what is best for us and will work through everything for good to those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose, those whom He has predestined and called. 

Along with the devotion that morning (P. Tripp’s ‘New Morning Mercies’) where the Bible passage was Psalm 145, I was reminded how God could use everything for His glory. His Holy Name will be exalted, and His wonderful works will be made known. Every day, including our highest and lowest points, times of fear and times of assurity, God can use it all for His glory. He will be exalted among the nations, He will be exalted in the earth. God gave me peace, once I lay at His feet and placed my burdens on Him. 

So my question is, do we truly trust Him? Or are we uttering those words in emptiness? Where do we put our faith?

Once we know of God’s greatness and holiness, then why do we still fight to keep each day, keep our future, for ourselves? Why do we not trust God with each day? This by no way means carelessness or simply going with the flow of each day. No. Each day is a spiritual battle, a war. Our whole heart must be given to God and nothing less. Trust in Him wholeheartedly and nothing less.

The Fragility of Life and the Vanity of the World

As I said earlier, I wanted to remind each other that our lives can turn around in mere seconds. As teens, we usually think that we’ve certainly got plenty of time left on earth, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

We take His grace for granted. Each breath we take is only by His grace. Things that we have no control over can change our lives. Things we have absolutely no power over, not us or any other man on earth. We arrogantly think that we are strong and knowledgeable enough to lead our own lives. We have so little insight, so why do we still insist on choosing our own way? Why do we refuse to follow and submit to God?

Things like the pandemic have shown us just how weak we are, but even after seeing that, we still choose to follow our own self, pleasures and plans. It is foolish to lead our own life for our selfish desires, and our lives will be in vain. 

As written in Psalm 1 — those who follow their own counsel, those who are content with dwelling in sin and wickedness will blow away like chaff. Their lives lead to nothing, and they will not stand in judgement, as the only way that road leads to is complete destruction. When this world is gone, what will be left? If God were to call on you now and ask you about your life, what could you say? Do not frolic in your sins, but repent and beg God for His mercy. 

What will you do?

Fellow teens, plead to God that He may open your eyes to turn them to Him and that He may reveal to you a glimpse of His glory, that you may see His greatness and almighty power, that you can truly taste His goodness for yourself, PERSONALLY. God and me. God and you. 

So, will you follow Him? Will you give your whole heart and your whole life to Him? To not look back, to have no regrets and to walk with Him from now until forevermore.

Where is your heart right now? Pray, that God may reveal it to you and that you may know your heart and just how much we all need God. 

Cling to God as your one and only hope in this unsteady world. Put your faith in Him, and keep praying. Always. 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Your sister in Christ – Samantha

Samantha Wy (17) is a writer for RE Generation-Z. Through this ministry, she strives to spread the truth to many other teens. Besides playing musical instruments, she also loves to bake and make random things.

The Five Solas


The five solas – Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Christus, and Soli Deo Gloria. These five solas are what separates the true biblical gospel from other teachings. But before we get into what each of them mean, we need to understand what are the Five Solas? The Five Solas are 5 Latin phrases that sum up the Reformation’s declaration. The word “Sola” in each of the phrases means “alone”, in the context of “grounded”, which we can see from what each of the solas mean.Sola Scriptura means “Scripture Alone”, Sola Fide means “ Faith alone”, Sola Gratia means “Grace alone”, Solus Christus means “Christ alone” and Soli Deo Gloria means “To the glory of God alone”.

The 5 Solas are the foundational beliefs laid down by the Reformers that we firmly hold on to today, because they are what the Bible teaches. During this next month, we’ll go through to explain what each of them means.

Sola Scriptura

The first sola we will go through is “Sola Scriptura”. Sola Scriptura translates to “Scripture Alone”. The Scripture is not man’s words, it is breathed out by God. This means that the Bible alone, God’s Word, is the highest authority in the church. All other authority in the church has to submit to Scripture. God’s Word is essential for the life and growth of a Christians’ life (2 Timothy 3:16). God’s Word is the most valuable thing that anyone can read or hear.

In fact, this is a significant reason why the Reformation was sparked. During Martin Luther’s time, the Catholic Church had the highest place in society in Western Europe. However, not everything they taught was right according to the Bible. One big example was the practice of selling indulgences, saying it will help them get to heaven. However, the Bible tells us that a person is saved by faith, not by one’s deeds. In Ephesians 2:8, the Bible tells us “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” 

So how can we apply “Sola Scriptura” to our spiritual lives? Nowadays, we humans tend to base our judgment on “feelings”. However, we must remember that we, humans, are sinful, so Jesus’ teaching will not always make us “feel good”. We must set our thinking in line with the Bible, and our feelings in line with our thinking.

The Bible is the only source of hope and truth. 

Sola Fide

Sola Fide means “faith alone”. Jesus Christ is our only saviour, and we are saved through faith alone in Him. We are not saved through good works or by our own strength (Galatians 2:6). Faith means accepting Jesus Christ into your heart. It means living a life in the truth.  Just as Martin Luther says, (Sola Fide) is “the article with and by which the church stands.” Without this, we will have no hope for salvation. 

In an excerpt of Martin Luther’s Commentary on Romans (translated by J. Theodore Mueller), Luther writes, “Faith is a divine work in us. It changes us and makes us to be born anew of God (John 1). It kills the old Adam and makes altogether different people, in heart and spirit and mind and powers, and it brings with it the Holy Spirit. Oh, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith. And so it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly….Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man would stake his life on it a thousand times. ”

Luther reminds us that good works comes because of faith. Good works cannot buy our salvation. True faith isn’t only for getting into heaven, faith changes our entire current selves. Faith is essential for the lives of Christians and the church, even today.

Sola Gratia

“Sola Gratia” translates to “grace alone”. We are saved by faith alone (sola fide) by God’s grace alone (sola gratia) , not by our own doings or strength. So, what is grace? Grace is God’s undeserved mercy to us, sinners. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” We need to understand that nothing we, humans do by our own strength can ever lead us to salvation. Humans are sinful by nature. We can never be “good” enough to be saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, 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.” Sola Gratia is important because it shows how God saved us because of His mercy and grace, not because we did something that makes us worthy to be saved.

So do we truly thank God for His grace? Everything in us is by God’s grace. We can never fully realise and understand how great is God’s grace until we understand what sin truly is and we realise how sinful we humans are. 

Solus Christus

Solus Christus translates to “Christ alone”. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone. He is our Lord, Saviour and King. Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Church. 

But why is Jesus Christ our only hope for salvation? Because He is perfect and sinless. In this world, fallen into sin, there is no human that is perfect enough who is able to pay the price. As Romans 3:10 states, As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one”. Only Christ can save us.

We humans do not and can not add to what Jesus has already done on the cross. This means that no sinner is beyond the reach of God’s salvation. No-one’s sin is too great to separate a sinner from God, if they put their faith in Christ for salvation.

By understanding Solus Christus, it helps us to understand the other solas. We receive grace (sola gratia) from the Father through Jesus Christ. We are saved through faith alone, however it is not our faithfulness we are saved by, but the faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done. Jesus Christ is at the centre of the Scripture (Sola Scriptura).

All humans have a God-shaped hole in their heart and only Jesus Christ can fill that hole. (Blaise Pascal) 

Soli Deo Gloria

The last sola we will go through in this series is “Soli Deo Gloria”. Soli Deo Gloria translates to “to the glory of God alone”. God alone is the one to receive the glory for his wonderful works- creation and redemption.  Therefore, we live for God’s glory alone. 

God’s glory is something that is emphasized throughout the Bible, both in the Old Testament and New Testament, from Genesis to Revelation. But why is God’s glory so important? God’s glory is God’s magnificence and purity. We, with our human limitations, cannot express the fullness of God’s glory. 

The Westminster Shorter Catechism summarises what the Bible says about this.  “What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” 

In  1 Corinthians 1:31 it says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” The Bible shows us that the ultimate goal for the works of God is to glorify His name.

God and God alone is the one to receive the glory for His wondrous works.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Eliana (Anju) Tambunan (14) is one of the writers for RE Generation-Z. She strives to share and spread God’s Word and what she has learned from it to other teens. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, drawing, sewing and attempting to bake new recipes.

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