I wish that everyone would see and believe that God is not this "thing" that is far away and removed from our lives... He's personal and did EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to have a relationship with us. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."
The Philippines is a country with 80-90% Christian faith.... and by that I mean its about 80-90% Catholic. That sounds awesome...but after having spiritual conversations with people, my heart is completely broken. There are huge barriers between those who are Catholic and those who are Protestant. Those who follow the Catholic faith do not get along with Protestants. It is extremely looked down upon to be "Born Again"..aka, Protestant. Many believe that Protestants are here to convert people and change their way of life. Not so. I love that this country is Catholic. I just wish people took their faith personally and not just as a religion they assume they are apart of because of tradition. Many people do the whole church thing because its how they are raised. They have heard about Christ, and how we are saved because of His amazing sacrifice on the cross. What they don't understand is having faith... not just religion. Many believe in God, but do not have faith in Him. Confusing, I know...but simply believing in God is not enough.
1John 5:11-12 says, "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." I talked about this verse with a few high school students the other day, and they honestly couldn't tell me if they believed had eternal life. Going to church and participating in traditions eludes them to believe they are saved. They have no faith. They just go through the motions. I shared my testimony at high school youth group last night. I shared with them how I would just go through the motions. I thought that was how you were a good person and a good Christian. My "faith" at that time was void. Once I gave my life to Christ and truly believed in Him, I started to understand why I went to church, why I prayed, why I read my bible, etc... There's more to church than sitting in a building and reciting prayers that mean nothing to you. Thats all these students do. They don't understand what they do and have no real motives for doing it. I asked them why but they had no answer for me. It makes me so sad to know that people will blindly do something because its what they have been told to do. They won't explore it and truly fall in love with it.
Please continue to pray for the Filipino students I am encountering. Pray that they won't continue to live in the motions and have a faith that is void. Pray that they will let Christ not only be their Savior, but Lord of their lives. Pray for me as well because I'm facing a lot of fatigue. Meeting people is amazing, but trying to communicate through a language barrier becomes very challenging and tiring. I love what I do and I love all the people I meet. The Filipinos are very warm and inviting. They will talk to you about almost anything. Praise God.
Jeremiah 31:33b "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people." He is ours and we are His.
Thanks for reading & praying. Love you. Miss you.