It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (2)

Creative Commons License It’s all about knowing God.

But as exciting or wondrous that might sound to some, this kind of life is no walk in the park. Rather, it is a narrow path.

True also for some other religions maybe. But this is much more than just a rigid way of life — much more than just a bunch of rules and rituals to follow.

Genuine Christianity is about having a real relationship with a living God. The living God. The triune God who has neither beginning nor end. The Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit.

And so if you say to that God, “my life is yours, Lord Jesus,” you better mean it, my friend. Because your life will never be the same again.

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Note: This post is part of the series My Testimony.

For sure, you’ll get to spend eternity in heaven with God — spared from the judgment in hell — and you are born again. A new creation in Christ. What’s more, you will have the power of the Holy Spirit within you, to help you live a victorious and overcoming life. WOW. You know, all these Christian stuffs you’ve probably been hearing about all your life — on the internet, on TV, in books.

But what might not have been properly explained to you, my friend, is that when you say these words, when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your life is not yours anymore — but his. It now belongs to God. And he’s the one now who will decide what to do with your life. Not you.

Salvation is easy. It is a gift from God. All you have to do is accept it. But submission to his Lordship? Now, that is another matter.

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The Price I Pay for Victory

Creative Commons License I’ve just finished making my to-do lists using a new method: markdown and HTML. Dividing my many tasks into different categories and subcategories — my tasks for the various aspects of my life and work — I then write my lists in plain text files using a simple markdown editor. These text files are individually converted to HTML pages, to be viewed in a web browser. To make my browsing efficient, I’ve added a basic system of page linking, just like in a website.

The result? Not only are my lists much easier to update now, and to adapt to changes compared to, say, using a task-management software, but my own minimal design also gives me a good overview and summary of my tasks, making prioritizing much easier. The states of my life and work, and my direction have all become clearer, and thus lifting much of the pressure I’ve been feeling lately.

Now, if only life itself is as easy to manage and to understand as our lists of things to do….

Because oftentimes, as we deal with our problems and struggles every day, we can become so focused on what is in front of us, that we forget to consider the bigger picture. We can forget how the pieces of our lives might fit together in the overall scheme of things. This doesn’t sound good, right? After all, we want to make the best of our lives, and so we don’t want to waste our limited time doing things that don’t really matter.

But I’m saying to you now, my friend, that as long as we also don’t forget to thank God continually for all the things he has done for us, and as long as we take an occasional break and try to keep everything in perspective, there is nothing wrong with this: To be focused on our present concerns, and to forget the rest.

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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.

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*Patrons Freebie #1

It is July, not January, but with everything I’ve been doing lately — the launching of my website, Swordsman of the Word, and the launching also of my Patreon page to find support for my writing — it really feels like a new year for me. Indeed, I “stand upon the verge of the unknown” as I work towards possessing my promised land.

This is actually an act of faith, starting this Patreon page. I don’t have yet many followers in my website, and I don’t have yet any network. But God’s direction has been clear about this, and so here I am, building this channel through which God’s supply would come — hoping for those “springs that shall never dry,” for those “fountains and streams that shall never be cut off.”

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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.

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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.

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