National Heroes’ Day

As I opened Facebook, it dawned on me that today is National Heroes’ Day; a day on which we commemorate the fearless acts of sacrifice done by our Filipino heroes – if one is a citizen in the Philippines. One could think through the initial reading of this blog post that I should suppose to know this day because I’m a Filipino. For that I’m sorry because I never tried to intentionally put it into mind. I’m really awful in remembering dates; this forgetfulness gets me into trouble a lot of times. This flaw is obviously seen in the title of this blog post.

{A friend just told me after publishing this blog post that today is Bonifacio Day and not National Heroes’ Day. Though that is the case, I hope that you’d look beyond my mistake and still try to finish reading this blog post. 🙂 You’ve just witnessed how my forgetfulness and clumsiness have gotten me into trouble. :D}

I wrote this blog post not because of the significance of the acts that they did and the related effect that it had on the legacy of the Filipino people but primarily for this dawning realization: that all of us have our own heroes whether we admit or not. These are people whom we admire; people whose lives are exemplary. We make them as road maps in order for us to somehow know how to live in the future; these people might be your father, mother, that great rhetorician, and the like.

In light of this, I just want to share to you my heroes. 🙂 Kindly bear this idiosyncrasy of mine; I love to share what I know to people. Sometimes, I get into trouble because of it but I hope in this instance that it would be a blessing to you rather than a curse. 🙂

These are the heroes of my faith: the Christian faith. I just want to commend certain characteristics that struck me the most about them. The information that are in here are but a dull glimpse of them so if they interest you, kindly take the time to learn more about them. 🙂

Saint Augustine (354 to 430)

“You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You. (The Confessions of Saint Augustine)”

I deeply admire his rhetorical ability and how God used Him for the faith. Before he became a Christian, he was a teacher of rhetoric. I think this is the main reason why he had defended brilliantly the Christian faith against heresies that plagued the church; one of which is Pelagianism.

John Owen (1616 to 1683)

“On Christ’s glory I would fix all my thoughts and desires, and the more I see of the glory of Christ, the more the painted beauties of this world will wither in my eyes and I will be more and more crucified to this world. It will become to me like something dead and putrid, impossible for me to enjoy.” (The Glory of Christ)

His love for Christ and His glory is really exemplary – all because of the grace of God – in spite of His achievements. For me, he’s one of the finest Puritan theologian in his time. He is so focused in meditating the person of Christ (the study of the human and divine natures, teachings, and work of Jesus Christ). He didn’t want to try to think of anything else but Christ for he thought that the mere thought of other trivial things was futile.

John Calvin (1509 to 1564)

“My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly.”(2)

I think he’s the figure in the Christian faith who has been deeply misrepresented and bashed. Calvin was inherently a scholar. Put him in a cave with his books and his pen and he’d be the happiest person on earth. He is somewhat shy. We could say that he’s an introvert. Though this is the case, he has systematically preached with boldness the Word of God in his time. He’s one of the finest expositors of the Christian faith because of his marvelous ability to systematize doctrines and concepts and principles in the Bible. He produced many volumes of commentary on most of the books of the Bible. “For the Old Testament, he published commentaries for all books except the histories after Joshua (though he did publish his sermons on First Samuel) and the Wisdom literature other than the Book of Psalms. For the New Testament, he omitted only the brief second and third epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. These commentaries, too, have proved to be of lasting value to students of the Bible, and they are still in print after over 400 years.”(1) In spite of his intellectual prowess, we can’t deny the fact that his heart displays that it’s yielded to God.

Clives Staples Lewis (1898 to 1963)

“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.” (Mere Christianity)

I deeply admire his ability to provide articulate analogies to explain the faith. He’s one of the finest Christian thinkers in his time and in my judgment we could still consider him as one of the Christian thinkers of our generation. His works have stood the test of time. And not only that, in spite of his piercing persuasive ability, he still remains to be humble and gentle. One could immediately observe it in his writings.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 to 1892)

“I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens—that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence— the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche.” (3)

Last but not the least is Spurgeon; he has a towering intellect. He can do impromptu preaching. In spite of his intellectual prowess, he’s not self-willed but is dependent to God; he’s a man of prayer.

It’s good to have heroes, as a matter of fact, the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 13:7 exhorts the readers of the epistle to:

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”

But, we also need to caution ourselves to exalt them so highly at the expense of the glory of Jesus Christ. All of them deeply desire for people to know the greatest Hero of all and He is Jesus Christ.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Luke 19:10, NASB)

Let’s try to imitate their faith and not forget to point people to Christ – the greatest Hero of all. Jesus is the only one who saves those who would repent from their sins and trust in Him as their Savior and Lord. He saved the elect from the wrath of God because He bore their sins on His body at the cross and God the Father poured out the wrath that his people deserve upon His most beloved Son because He desires that you might have a saving relationship with Him. He also lived the life that He alone could live so that His perfect righteousness would be imputed, transferred, or credited to those who come to Him by grace alone through faith alone in Him alone. The Father now sees His people as perfectly righteous for they’re dressed in the righteousness of Christ – not by their works for it’s just filthy rags.

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Solus Christus

Christ alone


(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calvin_bibliography

(2) http://www.ligonier.org/blog/theologian-ages-john-calvin/

(3) https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/justintaylor/2010/07/11/spurgeon-on-the-extent-of-gods-sovereignty/

Trust Him

I’m really tired of life right now. I just feel so lost and beaten. Discouragements and problems conspire to drown me. As I try to understand where I am in right now, I can’t seem to find sense out of it. This is what happens when I’m consumed of what’s at hand. This is what happens when I lose focus in Jesus. Just as Peter sank into the sea when his focus shifted from Jesus to the strong wind, we would also drown in the sea of troubles when we lose sight of the King who is over and beyond the flood. I keep on reminding myself to not allow my heart to be in trouble for Jesus – the lover of my soul – will protect me and guide until He sees me and I see me. May we focus our eyes on Jesus as we live this Christian life moment by moment in complete surrender to Him and full dependence on Him. God bless. 🙂 

When Silence Takes Over

I caught myself in the midst of these trees – trying to make sense of where I am in life. The silence is just so loud that it deafens my heart. It deafens my heart of the reality that there’s a lot of things that I could not recover, a lot of questions that I haven’t figured out, and a lot of problems that remain unsolved. Is there still a chance for me? Or am I forever lost in the midst of these trees? Wondering where life would take me and wandering as life takes me where it would take me. I really wish there’s someone who’d be there for me in this lostness – that we’d find joy in the midst of all of these because we have each other. But it’s really hard to accept that it’s still not time for you and me. Until that time comes, I don’t want to wander away and think of worthless thoughts that are not related to you – for you alone are worthy of my contemplations. But, I still don’t know you. Nevertheless, I don’t want to linger my thoughts to any other woman that could fall short of you. I wish you would come but I wish you wouldn’t for I think I’d just mess things up. I wish you’re here but I wish you aren’t for I don’t know what to say; your presence  might overwhelm me. It might stun me. You would probably make me nervous. You would make my heart beat faster and my words stutter. But, I still want you to come even though I’d just do you a disservice. I know it’s selfish but I can’t help it for you might be the one who could fill this emptiness. This may seem foolish but I don’t want to miss your next whisper when silence takes over. The whisper that would stir my affection to live once more. Thd whisper that would grant me the strength to persevere because I have you.

I just want to entrust you to Him – whoever you are, knowing that I can’t outgive Him. He knows better than me. So, may this hope be grounded in Him. I hope that I could now get rid of myself of these nonsensical ramblings for this is what happens when silence takes over. 

Disordered Love

Hello! A friend gave some corrections and feedback. This is by far my favorite blog post that I wrote because some quotes are from Augustine and Timothy Keller – followers of Jesus whom I deeply admire. I would really appreciate it if you could share your thoughts with me. 🙂

A nobody who has Jesus

“The essence of sin is disordered love.” (Augustine)

Lately, I’ve been contemplating this quote from Augustine and I’ve tried to relate it on my own experiences, other people’s experiences, and my personal Bible meditation, study, and readings.

Basically, sin is love that is out of order as Augustine so aptly puts it. We could infer from that statement that there’s a right order of love and a wrong order of love. Say for example, if I prioritize video games over my studies then it’s in the wrong order of priority. If I prioritize my career over my family then it’s the wrong order of priority. All of us could agree that this is a wrong way of ordering our priorities. And Augustine said that it is the essence of sin: the disordering of things. At the heart of sin is the disordering of loves and ordering it in a manner…

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Feedback From A Missionary

Hi guys! I just want to share how I’m deeply blessed and encouraged by the feedback of a friend. It’s really helpful in online ministry when someone provides encouragements and constructive criticisms. I’m really praying that Christians in the blogosphere would try to cultivate this kind of atmosphere so that we could mutually encourage each other to write more blog posts for Jesus Christ and His glory alone. 🙂

I got to ask her feedback because she’s a friend of my best friend.  She’s an American missionary. I just want to praise God for her because I’m deeply blessed by her grammatical corrections and kind words toward me and blogs. Without further ado, here are her encouragements and feedback for me and my blog posts:

Pursue Clarity not Intimacy: Overall content is good.  English is also good.

Link: https://justinmykoagpangan.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/pursue-clarity-not-intimacy/

What Can I Do For You?: I really liked this one. I think it has an awesome message that everyone should read. You get your point across well, without beating around the bush. Very good 🙂

Link: https://justinmykoagpangan.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/what-can-i-do-for-you/

What is the danger of not being like the Bereans?: This one is a little harder to follow. But I think I got what you were trying to say by the end.

Link: https://justinmykoagpangan.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/what-is-the-danger-of-not-being-like-the-bereans/

Disordered Love: Really good. Seriously, I loved this post. It gets you thinking, huh? Glad I read this one 🙂

“I think we could answer that question by analyzing the relationship between worship and service. Worship and service are inseparably related. The way we live our lives is inseparably related to the object of our worship. We could reasonably conclude that the object of our worship directs our lives.”

Wow, this last paragraph is great.

Link: https://justinmykoagpangan.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/disordered-love/

Overall comments:

“You can tell that you’ve put a lot of thought into the material. Your main idea is always clear and to the point, which are both excellent qualities of a good blog post. Very good job. Thank you for letting me read them!”


I just want to praise God for her and my best friend because he asked her if she could read my blog posts for corrections and encouragements.

They have deeply blessed me.

P.S. Hi fellow blogger, if you have read this, you could send me a link of your top blog posts, I’d be heartily willing to provide a feedback, encouragements, and constructive criticisms.  God bless you! 🙂

Find Comfort In His Sovereignty

What is settled in eternity cannot be undone in time. It’s a comfort that God is not merely spectating in heaven but He so governs the events that happen in this world so as to accomplish His purposes. Come to think of it, if there’s one “maverick molecule” that’s outside of the control of God then His redemptive plan – the zenith of which is manifested in the cross of Christ – that was laid out in eternity wouldn’t materialize within time. We’re all in this mega blockbuster movie that God had already filmed from eternity. The events that happen are merely an unraveling of what Had been predetermined by the greatest Filmmaker in the universe. He already took into consideration our free choices so that it’s always His purposes that will prevail in spite of the innumerable plans in men’s heart. This thought causes the beloved to praise God with the apostle Paul in Romans 11:33 and say, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”

5 Principles To Date Radically for Jesus

Lately, I’ve been contemplating about the wrong choices I’ve made in dating. This made me feel awful about myself because of the effects that it has on other people and on my self – the hearts that have been broken, the relationships that couldn’t be restored, the time that couldn’t be recovered, the image that has been tainted, the soul that has been damaged, and heart pieces that couldn’t be reclaimed.

I decided to share the principles that I think we could apply in our lives in the context of dating so as to avoid the drastic effects that flow from dating irresponsibly. More so, I want us to date radically to show Jesus to the world.

I really hope that you’d be blessed as you read this blog post and learn something from it. 🙂

Before I enumerate and expound the 5 principles in dating for Jesus. Let’s establish first what dating is for. What is dating for? Is it just a noncommittal testing of waters so as to know whether you are compatible with each other? Or is it of a higher purpose? That is, is it geared toward marriage?

All of us have bases upon which we make choices and establish the purpose of the activities that we do. I think the best basis is God’s word and the wisdom that is obtained from it through daily meditation, study, prayer, and reading.

Without further ado, here are the 5 principles I think we could use to date radically for Jesus.

[1] Chase clarity.

Dating should be geared toward marriage though it precedes marriage but it never stops in marriage – it just takes another form: a rather intimate form. Intimacy is safest in the bounds of marriage. I think it’s best to not chase intimacy in dating lest we give our hearts again to another person who’s not our future partner. Instead, we should discipline our minds that the goal of dating is to chase clarity. It is for us to know whether or not this is the person whom God has made for me.

On a nutshell, we should be relentlessly devoted in focusing our minds on getting to know the person rather than being romantically attached with them.

On a side note, if this blog post has spurred interest in you on how to set up healthy boundaries to gain clarity. I’d appreciate it if you’d comment on this blog post in order for me to have an idea whether or not I’d write a blog about it. 🙂

[2] Define relationships.

I think this principle is really essential because it affects the way we deal with people. If we are to think that the person is just an object for our pleasure then we’d just have self-serving mindset as we deal with others.

As a Christian, if the woman is in Christ, she’s either a sister (or a mother) or a wife. There’s really no middle ground. Same principle applies to women – he’s either a brother (or father) or a husband. 1 Tim. 5:1 to 2 is clear, “Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as to a father. Treat younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.

We should discipline our minds in thinking that the member of the opposite sex is a brother or a sister whom we should serve. It’s nasty to passionately kiss your sisters or your brothers so we don’t do that to them. That’s just one of the ways on how we could apply this principle.

[3] Seek godly advisers.

I think this is important not just in dating but in all aspects in life. It’s really different when there’s people who’d tell us that this guy or this lady is not for us. We should value what other people – family, friends, and community of believers – has to say about the dating relationship. We should honor them by seeking their guidance and insight. Proverbs 15:22 says it well, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

[4] Pray.

Pray to God. Ask God for guidance and protection in your relationships. Talk to Him about your struggles with temptations and everything you have in mind. He delights when you talk to Him. Also, we should surrender all aspects of our lives to Him. The Christian life is about our daily surrender to God and the moment by moment walk with His Spirit.

[5] Seek to grow more in the knowledge of Jesus.

Our relationships are affected by the relationship that we have with Jesus. The relationship we have with God affects the relationship that we have with other people. It follows that when we’re in the right relationship with Jesus, we’d also treat people in the right way. Let us be consistent in our daily habits of grace – bible study, prayer, reading, meditation, and memorization for us to grow more in this intimate love relationship with God. Everything falls in its proper place in His appointed time. 🙂

Let us strive to show Jesus to the world by dating radically.

What are your thoughts as you’ve read this blog post? Would you agree with me? 🙂 or Do you have something to add to it? I really want to hear from you. 🙂

P.S. These principles are not exhaustive and it won’t guarantee a life free of heartbreaks.

Just before the Judge

The effort of the prosecutor to accuse us for the purpose of declaring us guilty before the tribunal of God is useless because Jesus is the ultimate defense Attorney of those who trust in Him.

Their sins are covered by His blood and His perfect righteousness was transferred on their account through faith. It’s all by the grace of God – unmerited favor.

Thus, “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. ” (Romans 8:33 – 34)

 

Only One Life

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

Numbering our days causes us to contemplate about matters that have lasting significance. It also helps us to direct our efforts in the pursuit of the more important stuff. Have we ever asked ourselves, “What will I do if I knew that I only have thirty more years to live?”How about if it’s only one month?

C.T. Studd aptly puts it in his poem. To quote:

“Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

Let us not waste our lives.
Question for Reflection: What are the things you’ll do in order for you to make your life count in this world for Jesus?
Feel free to comment your posts. 🙂