Category Archives: Christian Education

The Curse of Loans and Debts

One can have a whole other site on this topic and not get exhausted about creating a new post. In other words, there’s just a lot to say on loans and debts. To focus on the curse of loans and debts, however, is another thing. If it’s just for discussion’s sake, it can be helpful to those who are also struggling. If one, on the other hand, would just think about the curse rather than the solution, he or she will soon get depressed.

So this article intends to discuss what needs to be and leaves the rest of the writing space for pieces of encouragement. Who knows you might have landed on this page just for that purpose — some encouragement for all the depressing thoughts you’ve been having about your growing debts. Cheer up! You’ll find hope along the way.

1. I’ve Also Been Struggling With Debts

Young as I am, I’ve already been struggling with debts. I tell you, I didn’t imagine myself to be plunged in such a drowning situation. I, too, had told myself I will never suffer from debts like my mother is right now. And yet, it happened.

It started out with a thought that I really needed to have extra money for a series of events that potentially cost a real lot. Already I was not being a good steward at that time. So I was good, so good at reasoning out that I had practical needs to be met and the amount meant for offerings to others can wait. I was being selfish, and my selfishness caught me along the way.

2. It Wasn’t My First Time To Be In Great Debt

Long before this current situation, I had freed myself from debts. This means that I had once been in dire debt and by God’s grace, I was set free. By means of God’s blessing and my repentance, I finally paid off my bills and overdue payables. I then had more than enough for my needs.

Later, though, I was again confronted with bills to pay — not my own, but my parents’.  I was fine with the bills once, but I got to a point when I thought I’m not having enough to spare at the end of the month anymore. I had no savings! I thought it was time to cheat.

I reasoned out. The moment I reasoned out, I was being wiser than God. It was a fatal mistake. The first time had to have a second time as a result. In other words, I was eventually in debt, again.

The moment I reasoned out, I was being wiser than God.

3. I Don’t Want To Have A Third Time Anymore

You know how hard it is to trust a resolution once the mistake (for which that resolution was made) has been done twice.  But, really, I don’t want to have a third time anymore — I simply want to be out of debt. The good news is that this can be possible.

I have read a lot of success stories about people who once were literally bankrupt and are now enjoying financial freedom. I wish to enjoy the same, not because I want to be a millionaire for myself, but I want to simply have something else to think about each day, something nobler to accomplish than just contributing to the growing ego of a certain institution or company, something to live for that can outlast life itself.

I want to enjoy financial freedom because I want to have something nobler to accomplish than just contributing to the growing ego of a certain institution or company, something to live for that can outlast life itself.

And, I want to extend financial blessings to others. There is work to be done for people who have nothing, people who are suffering, people who are tired of having to ask what to eat next just to survive the day. I don’t want to have a third time of being in debt again because there is so much more to live for, so much to do, so much to explore, so many to bless, so much more to accomplish in behalf of others.

4. For How Can Financial Prisoners Bless?

I’ve been thinking about what fellow Christians have been preaching about financial freedom. While I do not endorse the “prosperity gospel,” I do believe that everyone who has again become a child of God (by redemption) doesn’t have to beg for bread. Still, prosperity lies in obedience, but believers — even the most faithful ones —are not exempted from economic adversities. Just recall what happened to Job.

Eventually, after the fiery trial that he went through, Job was again financially free. God has, in fact, doubly blessed him. I do believe that if Job lived in our day and age, he would be seen as a faithful tithe-giver and someone who was always generous. He would be among the richest, but he would not be a hoarder of riches. He won’t be a financial prisoner either, but a financial conduit who would be blessed in order to be a blessing.

For how can financial prisoners bless? Indeed, debt is a prison. Our goal as financially struggling Christians is to be able to settle all our debts and “shun debt as leprosy” (see Counsels on Stewardship by EGW).

We Can Get Rid Of All Our Debts

There is still so much to say concerning how, but for now, it should be enough to realize why we needed to and be assured that we can, indeed, get rid of all our debts. It can take time, and you can even be living on just porridge and bread for all that time. As the inspired writer says in Letter 4, 1877,

Make a solemn covenant with God that by His blessing you will pay your debts and then owe no man anything if you live on porridge and bread.

Eventually, it won’t matter if you really want to clear all your debts. The reward of financial freedom at the end of the day is so much sweeter than the temporal sacrifice. You’ll spend the rest of your life freely living, freely giving, and freely blessing, anyway.

God bless you and me on our individual financial commitment.


Where Is Jesus? The Song of the Story

If you would ask me what my favorite song is, I could not think of one single answer. Apparently, though, this song stands out as an oasis for the struggle of the moment. Where is Jesus?

(Hit the “play” button to listen to the song.)

On a journey from Jerusalem
Returning to their home
Joseph and his family
Traveled all day long
They must have walked for many miles
Before they realized
Jesus was not with them
Mary sadly cried

Where is Jesus?
Did we leave Him far behind?
Did we take for granted He was here
Walking with us all the time?
Where is Jesus?
To find Him once again
We must return to the place
Where we left Him
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?

I prayed for God to lead my way
That His will for me be known
All He asked is that I wait for Him
Still I stepped out on my own
Without Him here to guide my steps
I’ve failed Him many times
I only have myself to blame
I bowed my head and cried

Where is Jesus?
Did I leave Him far behind?
Did I take for granted He was here
Walking with me all the time?
Where is Jesus?
To find Him once again
I must return to the place where I left Him
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?

You’ve made some bad decisions
With a selfish thought in mind
You had the best intentions for
The goals you set in life
Your relationship with God’s secure
But the fellowship is gone
You can choose to walk with Him again
You don’t have to walk alone

Where is Jesus?
Did you leave Him far behind?
Did you take for granted He was here
Walking with you all the time?
Where is Jesus?
To find Him once again
You must return to the place where you left Him
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?
Where is Jesus?

Just where is Jesus?

And why is this post called “The Song of the Story”? What is the story?

Well, we all have stories to tell. We have stories of our own lives—how we’ve managed to walk victoriously over our own set of trials and temptations. Some of us, by the way, have many more stories of defeat to share.

This song by the group “Pictures of Grace” just effectively retells the story of initial defeat, and then, a subsequent victory. It tells of how Mary and Joseph lost their thought of where their “Son” could be. They assumed He was there with them for one whole day. Later, their hearts were pierced. Conscience spoke through their neglect. A discovery of their weakness was the beginning of their victory.

So where was Jesus?

Apparently, Jesus was just in the temple. He was there, conversing with rabbis—mostly old men who were esteemed authorities back in their day.

Why was He left there? Where were Mary and Joseph headed? How could they be neglectful of Jesus’ presence?

Before we start accusing them, let’s take a look at the rest of the lyrics of the song. I will discuss “The Story Behind the Song” in a separate post. (Click here to get notified when that post comes out.)

Where did we leave Jesus?

We could have left Jesus behind, too. I often do. Often, I pray “for God to lead my way that His will for me be known.” All He asks “is that I wait for Him.” Still, I step “out on my own.”

The lyrics of the song just cuts it straight.

Tired of waiting

Often, I get tired of waiting. I’ve been impatient most of the time. In other words, I’ve been impulsive. I guess you, too.

It’s in here that we make a lot of mistakes. We often get ahead of God. Unknowingly, we think of ourselves as wiser than Him when we make decisions rashly, without conducting a consultation with Him.

A God Taken for Granted

Do we ever take God for granted? We probably do. We brush Him aside whenever we think we’re doing just fine. We often do.

Often the Last Resort

How would God feel if we make Him our last resort? I don’t know; I’m not God. I could even question if it could be a loss for Him. He’s God. He doesn’t need us. But the fact that God is love makes a lot of difference.

When we make God our last resort, it’s definitely never His loss. Rather, it is our loss. And how would that make God feel?

Still, A God Who Sympathizes

If He’s a God of love, and He truly is, He would most certainly feel for us. Consider a loving earthly father, watching his son or daughter struggle to obtain a certain item. The son or daughter would have expended all he or she can do just to get that item. But let’s just say only the father knows how.

Wouldn’t it have been easier for the son or daughter to simply have asked the earthly father to get that item for him or her? Isn’t this an apt illustration of how we often relate to God?

Returning to Jesus

“To find Him once again, we must return to the place where we left Him.”

How often we leave Jesus behind right after our devotional time. We make haste to do our daily duties, and we forget the fact that we’ve asked God to guide us every step of the way throughout our day. But we often forget.

Distracted by cares

Our daily cares often distract us from Jesus. But it’s not only our “legitimate” cares that turn our eyes away from the Savior. In this day and age, we are often bombarded by “illegitimate” cares, those that we expose ourselves to unnecessarily.

Distracted by the unimportant

Our newsfeeds truly “feed” our brains. There may be good things out there but it is important to filter our feeds in order to maintain a healthy connection with Jesus. Discipline is necessary.

Following Jesus

In order to really follow Jesus, we may have to unfollow those that prove only to be distractions. Distractions, remember, may be deemed “good,” but not all “good” things get you to a goal.

For example, activism about something “good” may be beneficial, but if it takes all of your time—including your time for Jesus—then that activism must be subjected to control.

How Not to Lose Sight of Jesus

Moment by moment. We need to think of Jesus moment by moment. But how is that even possible?

The key, perhaps, is not to lose consciousness of the presence of Jesus. Our brains are powerful. We may use the power of our minds to imagine what is actually beneficial to our souls. One thing we can do to maintain our connection with Jesus is to imagine Him right here, just beside us.

What If the Savior Stood Beside Me?

This reminds me of another song entitled, “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” by Sally Deford. I also love this song as it is on point. If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?

Indeed, our consciousness of the presence of Jesus beside us, or wherever we go, makes a lot of difference in the way we behave. We certainly would have this “fear” of Him—not a fear that would make one fear a tyrant, for of a certainty, God isn’t a tyrant—but a certain reverent, godly fear that would prevent us from sinning against Him.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?”

Just where can we go from God’s Spirit? Where can we hide from His presence? (See Psalm 139:7-10). Now God is everywhere. But doesn’t this contradict the question we’ve asked from the beginning? Where is Jesus?

It may be beneficial to point out that Jesus will forever retain His human nature. Indeed, He can’t be everywhere at once. He’s presently in heaven, ministering as high priest on our behalf. But He can be everywhere at once, only through the person of His Spirit.

It’s our choices that make us feel away from God

While God can manifest His presence to us, anytime, anywhere, and while He sees us anytime, anywhere, we can still feel far away from God. This is because of our own choices. Darkness envelops us whenever we, by choice, distract ourselves from Him.

“You can choose to walk with Him again”

As the song says, we “can choose to walk with Him again.” You and I “don’t have to walk alone.” We can walk with Jesus again.

Do you ever feel lost, and far away from God right now? The good news is in the song. It is the song of my story, your story. While it began by retelling an apparent defeat in someone’s spiritual walk, it ends with an encouraging note that we can, indeed, choose to walk with Jesus again.

Where is Jesus? He’s just there waiting for your choice. Take that U-turn and walk with Him, again.