An article on singleness

I’ve been thinking lately the topic of singleness. Again. (And the topic of marriage occurs obviously in my mind as well.) So singleness. The dreaded s-word. (Actually one of them because another dreaded s-word is submission, right? Just kidding.) Anyhow, I believe that as a single you might quite often ponder your marital status. Here a just a few questions I’ve had in my mind as of late:

– Will I be single for the rest of my life?

– When will I get married if I do?

– How could I best use my time as a single person?

This isn’t an exhaustive list. You may have more questions in your mind. I surely do. I came across this good article on singleness a while ago and I would like to share it with you:

Regarding this article keep what is good for you and toss the rest. :)

P.S In case you’re wondering why I don’t update my blog more frequently the reason is that now I’ve part-time job! Praise God! I waited to get a job for almost 10 months. God is so faithful. He gave me a job that I really enjoy! I don’t have a permanent contract so I don’t know how long they want to keep me there. But it’s going very well and I already have a good reputation at my work place so let’s hope they want to keep me! I will still keep this blog but probably I won’t be able to write so often as I would like and I’m also probably going to write shorter posts in the future. Anyhow, stay tuned for my future posts! 

Love the Lord your God

In this post I would like to write about something very important concerning our Christian lives: loving God. As Christians I hope we would never say that we don’t love God. We acknowledge everything God has done for us on the Cross and that causes us to worship and love Him. In fact, 1 Corinthians 16:22 says that “if anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed”. So of course we love God. But what does it actually mean to love God?

In the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 22 we read about how the Pharisees gathered together and sent a lawyer to ask Jesus a question to test Him. The lawyer asked Jesus which is the great commandment in the law. Jesus replied quoting Deuteronomy: “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind“. Deuteronomy 5:7 also says that “you shall have no other gods before Me”. And in John 14:15 Jesus says that “if you love Me, keep My commandments”.

So in light of Scripture loving God means putting Him to the first place in our lives and in our hearts. We ought to read His Word and obey it. We should grow in our walks and become more like Christ. Jesus also says in John 15:16 that “you should go and bear fruit”.

I think loving God in our lives requires an action. After all, what is love other than showing love in our actions? Do you really want to spend more time with God? Then go ahead and have your devotionals. Talk to Him. Open your heart to Him. And then live in the mundane faithfully for the Lord. Are you really in this because you love the Lord more than anything else?

Thoughts for New Year

Happy New Year 2015! I hope you all had a great Christmas. I had wonderful time with my family during the holidays and New Year’s Eve. Now it’s time to get back to blogging. :)

New Year is obviously well known for resolutions, new plans and expectations. We all long for something new every January. And hence, we make all kinds of plans to “start a new life”. We’ll start eating healthy food instead of junk food. We join the gym. We promise to read the Bible more and pray more. We promise to give more money to the Kingdom work. We promise to help those in need and be more others-focused rather than selfish. And of course we’ll clean our house more often and certainly we’ll cut our social media time to only a fraction of what it is now. And I almost forgot. Our children won’t need Internet, TV or video games anymore because I’ll promise to plan more creative activities for them every day!!! Ah. new life… I’m so ready for it. Let it come!

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with New Year resolutions in and of themselves. If the Lord is leading you to make some changes this year please be obedient and follow Him. In this blog post, however, I would like to take a bit different approach to New Year. (As I often do.) I’ll share with you that I’m not going to make any New Year resolutions. Instead, I’m going to offer a prayer and confession:

“Dear Jesus, I know that I’m not able to keep even my own New Year resolutions. I’m able to “be a better person” for a while but I know that at some point I’ll go back to my old habits. I’m a sinner and I need Your grace for this New Year. I know that I’m not able to change By my own willpower. I need You, Jesus. It’s only by your grace that I can have my sins forgiven in Your precious blood and that I can only change as You, Father, are making me into the image of Your Son. Please help me and guide me this year Lord. Amen.”

I need more of Christ this new year. I don’t need to so much change my habits but let Lord change my heart. I don’t need to make many resolutions and promises for myself I just need to trust God and hold fast to His promises. Each and every passing year we’re just called to draw closer to God and get to know Him better. Let us do just that this new year. Jesus is everything we need and He desires that we fellowship with Him. Isn’t that the very reason why Jesus came to this Earth and died for us? He died so that we would once again have fellowship with our Creator. Praise God! Because of Jesus’ finished work on the Cross He has made peace with God and men. Hallelujah! Let us enjoy the presence of our God this year.

December break

Hi dear readers. I’m going to take a break from blogging during the month of December. I’m planning to continue blogging in January again, Lord willing. Thank you for this year, let’s continue following the Lord and finding our lives in Him next year too.

I hope you’re able to focus wholly on our Savior’s incarnation during this month. Let us celebrate that the Light has come. Let us remember that our Savior took a form of a helpless babe when He came to this world. Let us look upon Him, our Immanuel, God with us.

I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015!

In Him,

Iiris :) 

He must increase

“And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. Then many came to Him and said, ‘John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true’. And many believed in Him there.” (John 10:40-42, emphasis mine)

Have you ever wondered if your Christian life is making much of a difference? Do you find yourself doing only seemingly small, even insignificant, things to the Lord? Maybe you don’t see any fruit from your ministry even though you’ve been serving the Lord for a long time. Maybe you have a job that you don’t really like and you find it rather difficult to shine the light of Christ there. Maybe you’ve prayed for many years for something and the Lord still hasn’t answered to the cry of your heart. Maybe you are just leading a very quiet life and it seems that nothing is happening.

First I want to encourage you with the words of Paul the Apostle: “… your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Know that whatever you’re doing for the Lord it is not in vain. What may look small and insignificant for us is not small and insignificant for the Lord.

Then let me encourage you with a bit larger concept. I was reading the Gospel of John the other night and I came across these words about John the Baptist: “[He] performed no sign, but all the things that [he] spoke about this Man were true”. I think those words speak to all of us who can’t see what the Lord is doing in our lives right now. Maybe we’re just ordinary Christians living seemingly ordinary Christian lives. We’re being faithful to the Lord but He seems to be so quiet, maybe even distant. But what about if we should be focusing on something greater than our own Christian lives? John the Baptist was proclaiming Christ and bearing witness to Him. Maybe we can’t fully grasp what the Lord is doing in our lives but are the others seeing that we proclaim Christ? Are we living such a life and speaking in such a way that others can say that everything we are proclaiming of Christ is true?

Maybe you don’t have such a grand reputation as a Christian but are others saying that everything you say about Christ is true? Maybe you don’t have that “big” a role in the body of Christ and you can’t perform signs nor wonders but are others saying that everything you proclaim about Christ is true? In the end, our Christian life should be about Christ’s reputation and not of ours.

Are you glorifying Christ with your life? Maybe you don’t have all ducks in a row in your Christian life but are the others seeing that you live for Christ? John the Baptist said of himself and Christ that “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). John the Baptist was willing to take a backseat and let Christ shine. Are we? May we cry out with the Psalmist:

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of your mercy, because of your truth” (Psalm 115:1).

Thoughts on boredom

I’ve been thinking lately about boredom and excitement. How do you approach these two things? I think many of us see boredom as a very negative thing. We get bored in a matter of minutes if we don’t have anything exciting waiting for us. We say life is boring if anything exciting isn’t happening at the moment. We crave for excitement and “high moments”. We desire those feelings when we feel “more alive”.

Why do we need so much of excitement and why do we fear boredom? I think that even in our Christian lives we may go wrong if we seek excitement. I’ve noticed that many Christians today say that our Christian life is an adventure with the Lord. I’ve some trouble with that statement. I don’t know about your life but my life is most of the time very… ordinary. And yes, let me say that word, sometimes it’s… boring. Let me be honest with you. My Christian life doesn’t offer me much excitement or any kind of adventure. Should I be worried about that? I think not. I think life isn’t bad if it’s boring sometimes. Let me ask you a question: what is wrong with ordinary, sometimes even boring, life?

I think nowadays many Christians speak about Christian life in an unhealthy way. We often talk about how God has amazing plans for our lives. Once again, I’ve little trouble with a statement like that. God does often give us things that are way better than what we would have imagined ourselves. But what about when suffering comes in our way? Cancer diagnosis. Mental health problems. Marriage problems. Unemployment. Physical illnesses and many visits to the doctor. Adult singleness. Infertility. Death of a loved one. Burned house. Financial struggles. When we suffer do we still speak about how amazingly wonderful plans God has for us? Do we speak of suffering and trying times as this great adventure with the Lord?

Don’t get me wrong. Christian life is wonderful. But I think we might often forget what the Gospel is really about. When we place our faith in Jesus’ finished work on the Cross and repent of our sins we will be saved. Our reason to come to Jesus should be to ask for forgiveness for our sins and not to ask for better life. In fact, John 16:33 says “in this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world“. Can Jesus be even more clear? He says that in this world we will have tribulation. But the great promise of Scripture for God’s children is that one day God will make everything new. Revelation 21:1-4 has these comforting words for the followers of Jesus:

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away'”.

You see, the always wonderful and exciting life is for us. But it will be perfect only when we’re in glory in Heaven. Jesus died for us so we wouldn’t need to suffer for eternity for our sins. He wants to spare us from eternal suffering. Unending wonderful adventure is waiting there for Christians. We might get foretastes of heavenly adventure while we’re still on this Earth but we will also have tribulation on this Earth.

The most important thing that Jesus has done for us is that He has forgiven our sins. By His work on the Cross we are able to enter Heaven in the first place. Do we come to Jesus to have our sins forgiven or to have some kind of adventure and high moments? Do we come to the Lord to know Him or to get our problems fixed? Jesus does give us high moments time to time and He does help us with our problems. But is the Lord dear to you even if you would “only” have ordinary day-to-day life which may be boring at times? Is Jesus more important to you than your desire to have exciting and adventurous life? More often than not we as Christian live a very basic life. We get up in the morning, go to school, go to work, go to church, have dinners, take care of children, have hobbies and so on. There is nothing wrong with boredom. Usually boring is very safe. When something extraordinary happens it’s not always good news, it might also be bad news.

Let us follow the Lord faithfully even with our ordinary, boring and uneventful daily lives. Our greatest adventures are ahead of us.

“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13)




The Bible – message of God

I’m worried how easily we speak nowadays about “messages from God”. We have people who have written books about how they visited Heaven and how God gave them a message to deliver. We have people who say they have seen angels and that angels gave them a message to deliver. I’m worried about these kind of “messages” because the Bible tells us that “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light”. Of course no one can be a judge over other peoples’ experiences, only God can. Paul the Apostle writes in 2 Corinthians 12 about revelations from the Lord:

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows – how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).

So it seems that “Heaven experiences” might happen but why do we need to read about them? Do they edify us? Do they exalt Christ? I’ve watched some TV shows where people share about their “trips to Heaven”. It seems that many times they have nothing to do with Christ or biblical accord of Heaven.

But do you know what? God has already “delivered a message” and that is His Word, the Bible. It’s just that many people don’t want to read it because it tells us that we aren’t good. The Bible speaks about sin and need to repent and place your faith in Christ in order to be saved. The Bible has bad news: it tells us that we are sinners and that we need a Savior. But the glorious thing is that the Gospel message is Good News too, because it tells us that Jesus has died for our sins and paid the penalty we would have deserved and that by placing our faith in Him we will be saved.

The happiest message in the world was born in a graveyard. Disciples of Jesus found out that their Master had risen from the dead. The Bible is a revelation of God and the Gospel is the power of God: “for I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). The Bible is our safety. We can trust the Bible. We may have supernatural experiences but let’s remember that God already has revealed so much of Himself, Heaven and many other topics in His Word. God gave us His Word so that we would know what is True.