It All Belongs to Him

Creative Commons License And so, yeah. The decision has been made and acted upon. For better or for worse, I’m now a full-time blogger for my Lord Jesus Christ — with no visible support except for his grace, and with no plans of action except for his ways.

With this essay I am closing this series of founding documents for Swordsman of the Word. Things have not turned out as I imagined them when I started this website nearly a month ago; rather, they have turned out to be more beautiful. Who would have thought that I’d become a Patreon creator, and not just a blogger? Who would have thought that I’d share my writings freely through Creative Commons? And who would have thought that I’d serve now God full-time through this blog, instead of blogging being just a “sideline” while I do some “real work”?

Even this very essay has not turned out as I imagined. I had thought of working on a previous draft, to talk now at length about the greatest reason why I’m doing all this, which is my love for God. But the supposed-to-be short introduction had expanded into more than 700 words, so that I deemed it wise to shelve that draft for another time, and to write instead about these topics that I’ve discovered to be far more important to me than I first realized.

You see, there is a lot of advice out there on how to be successful — as a blogger in particular, and as a creator in general. They talk about how to write effective blog posts, how to market myself and grow my audience, how to stay motivated, etc. And I would certainly follow them, no doubt — if I am your normal blogger and creator. But I’m not. And so I thought that, as a closing to these founding essays, I’d share my philosophy about these matters.

Read More »

A Crucial Need to Overcome

Creative Commons License Writing is therapeutic, they say, and I’ve certainly found that to be true in my own life. Unquestionably, writing in my journals and blogs have had positive effects on my mental and emotional health over the years. For a deep and introvert person, it was a kind of self-expression that I greatly needed — a releasing of my pent-up thoughts and emotions. It was freedom to a certain extent.

But as I grew in my faith, and as my nature is changed by the Holy Spirit, writing has become much more than a kind of therapy for me, much more than a form of self-expression, and much more than just a way I use to serve God. For writing has also become a very effective process that I use to deal with my many personal issues, particularly spiritual and emotional issues.

Because I find that writing about these matters, especially in the presence of the Holy Spirit, changes my soul. In leaps and bounds.

Read More »

To Know God More (That’s Why)

Creative Commons License The other day, in the small Bible-study group where I belong, we talked about how to make sure we are really Christians, or followers of Jesus Christ. Our study leader had another responsibility to attend to, and so the teaching for that night was assigned to a member of our group.

The lesson was basic to most of us, as it was meant to be. We are Christians because we are obeying the commandments and teachings of Jesus Christ. “Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, ‘If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’” (John 8:31-32 WEB).

The teaching was going well, and I was remembering past experiences of my own obedience to Jesus. This made me want to share something to my group mates, and so I did, as our meeting was closing. But what I said triggered some arguments I didn’t expect.

This is what I said to them, that an outward show of obedience is not enough, especially if you are only following God’s commandments legalistically. I said that to make sure you really are a Christian, you must not only be obeying Jesus and his commandments, but you must also personally know him. After all, that is his promise, that if we truly obey him, with all of our hearts, we will know him. We will know God.

“One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him” (John 14:21 WEB).

Our discussion has given me the idea for this essay. I had meant to write an article about the Bible itself to start off our study, but I think that it would be best if I first talk about the direction we’ll take and the very purpose of this website — to expound more on what I’ve already said on my About page.

Read More »

An Assignment I Can’t Do Alone

Creative Commons License How does one qualify to be a teacher of God’s Word? Must he possess the credentials, resources, and seminary background? Or is there only a minimum requirement: at least some core foundations already settled within himself, like basic training and a deep personal relationship with Jesus? Or are his salvation, personal Bible reading, and willingness to teach already enough?

I’m not here to dwell on these questions, however. I think that many of you are of the same opinion as I am, and that is, one doesn’t need to be a graduate of a seminary to qualify for teaching, but he does need basic training and a mature relationship with God. After all, this is how my own church works: I myself am being discipled and will soon finish our workers’ training, and so qualify to be a Bible-study leader of small groups.

I ask these questions, and I state my own position, because this is simply my way of affirming in my own heart that I am qualified to serve on this website, teaching the Word of God. Personally, I need this affirmation, and having this is only my first step towards fighting the doubts that sometimes attack me. You see, God has called me here to do things that are beyond myself, beyond my abilities, and so I need his help and power to accomplish them. But before I can depend on him, on outside help, I need first to believe in the things that are already in me. I need to put in perspective the things I can do, and the things I cannot do without God.

Read More »

The Greatest Reason

Creative Commons License When you are serving God, there may come a time when your faith is severely tested, and your hopes are shattered, so that you realize that your once-fiery passion is in danger of dying. More important, you find that believing in God and obeying him are now very hard to do. You are filled with doubts and questions.

You don’t want these things to happen though; you don’t want to lose your faith and turn your back on Jesus. Nevertheless, no matter how you try to feel otherwise and to believe that God is faithful, you just can’t shake off the feeling that he isn’t worthy of your trust anymore… and that everything you’ve done for him has been in vain after all.

It is really hard, to be in such a place.

Read More »