21 júna, 2009

Grace (once again)

John says at the beginning of his gospel that Jesus (the Word) is grace and truth. And that from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace and through Jesus Christ came grace and truth.
(John 14-17)

Why does John start like this? Why does he use the word 'grace' so much and so often? Why is it so important for us to understand the grace? Those all are good questions to ask and even better to answer. But for now I want to talk about grace from a different perspective. From my own...

For the past six weeks I've been feeling really weird. I've been feeling like the joy has been sucked out of my ministry and my life. For some reason it's different. But I believe the Lord has a plan and I pray He would restore what's missing. But what has not changed is God Himself and His grace for us.

And the past week.....when I look back I see myself ignoring Him. Making myself deaf toward Him. Running away and talking to myself: Marek, you need some rest. Don't read...don't listen...don't think...don't pray...just rest. And I agreed on it. But He wasn't that way toward me. He had compassion over me. And the best way how He could show me my ignorance was to show me Himself. Instead of pouring out His just wrath on me He was even more gracious.

On Friday I was in Žilina. Many things happened that day. Things that exceeded my expectations. Things I would not even imagine. God was so gracious to me. I could have seen His grace on every little thing that day. At the end of the day, just before I went to sleep like at 1 am, I fell on my knees overwhelmed by seeing His grace and my unworthiness in the picture of the day. And friends, seeing this being on my knees in that room that night, was the best way to turn me around. Oh how I pray that God would show us His grace every day more and more. And that we would be changed more and more into His likeness through the grace that came through Jesus Christ into our lives. Let us receive grace upon grace!

16 júna, 2009

My school...

In couple of days it’s gonna be over. And I probably won’t be that sad and heart-broken. But I got to say that it was an interesting school year. At the beginning of the school year, back in September, I asked myself a question: What my priorities are going to be for this school year? I’ve decided that my Top Priority would be my ministry. That that would be the most important thing I would do throughout the year. The one I would care about the most. But then I asked what about the school? Well, how to say it…I almost removed that one from my list. I’ve realized that I don’t really want to do computers and informatics anymore. That I can’t imagine myself doing this kind of stuff as my job. That I feel to be led somewhere else then the chair and laptop. I said to God: Look, I really want to do ministry for you and I’m willing to pour myself into it as much as you want me to. But you know, there’s school. I’ll need a help with that…

You all probably know how hard it is to study something you…well, hate. Not easy. Throughout the past 10 months I’ve been involved in many various things that consumed almost all of my free time (I’m not complaining here – I chose it and I love to serve:). But it was interesting to see what the Lord was doing with my study. In a week I’m going to receive my report card for this year. I think that I can say that I spent all together 25 hours on studying for my class for the whole year (what actually means that I didn’t study almost at all)! But the result I got is more then overwhelming to me. I have together 11 classes. These are my grades:

A – nine times
B – twice
C, D, F – none

The last time it happened that I had no C at the card was when I was in 5th grade (8 yrs ago). I asked God to help me with my Slovak class where we study literature. Friends, I’ve got B! The last time I had B was in 6th grade. Ever since I was trying to make it to be B again, but never really happened. I stop trying to have no Cs but I have it now.

I’m not trying to look smart here (cause I personally don’t think I’m smart – I know smart people and I’m not one of them:). What I’m trying to show here is God. His faithfulness is way greater then we think or can even imagine. I told him: Lord, I want to serve you. But I need your help at school. And what has happened? More then I asked for. I never asked him to give me the best report card I have ever received. And I still can’t get over this experience. It’s really overwhelming to me because God showed me what to be faithful really means. It’s more then we often think. God was faithful to me beyond what I thought that to be faithful is.

Psalm 31:5
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, FAITHFUL God.

12 júna, 2009

Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”

05 júna, 2009

What do you think about this?

Some time ago when I was talking to a friend of mine this thought came to my mind and I'd like to know what do you think about it. Do you agree or disagree? And why?

The emptiness inside of you cannot be filled unless you are aware of its presence. And the best way to show this emptiness is to fill it up.

I know that at first glance you may see it illogical. If the emptiness cannot be filled without you knowing about it, how can the best way to show it be filling it up (but you still can't do that without knowing about it)? Let me explain what I mean by the statement above. Bible teaches that we all fall short of the glory of God (R 3:23). We fell into sin and became spiritually empty. There is (or was) emptiness inside of each one of us. This emptiness can be filled only by Jesus and His sacrificial love for us. If you are Jesus' your emptiness has been filled with love and joy for now you are a child of God. But if you are not living with Jesus in your life - you remain empty. And you are not able to fill your emptiness on your own. There's nothing that would be great enough to fill us up but Jesus. And not that we're not able to fill ourselves up - we don't even know that we need to be filled up! We are so blind in our sins that we don't even know we need help. And that's why there's the second sentence in the statement, mainly: the best way to show this emptiness is to fill it up. As we read the first sentence we see it's illogical for us to be able to fill this emptiness up. That's why we need somebody else to do it. Somebody who is not blind. Somebody who knows the truth - somebody who is the Truth - Jesus Christ. He is the only one who is able to fill the emptiness that is inside of us completely. The only one who can satisfy us entirely. When we receive Him into our lives He starts slowly filling us up with His love. And He is not done when we're full of His love. He keeps on filling and what happens is that we start to overflow. And we can be used as instruments of God's love and grace to others. And why does Jesus overfill us with His love? Because He loves us so much...

01 júna, 2009

Conference, ŠPM, Third Day, sickness, birthday...

Hey everybody,

last 10 days or so were really exciting and busy so let me tell you what was happening. As you may know from my previous post I went to Hungary for a conference called European Leadership Forum. I went there with two other man from our church. We left on early Saturday morning and got to the conference place at noon. The way was quite good and I got to drive the car from Budapest to Eger. And I enjoy driving a lot! There are many things that I could tell you about the conference but I need to be short. Said in brief: I've never gotten that many information into my brain as I have on the conference. The day started for me about 7am with breakfast. After that there was a morning plenary meeting (with worship and sermon). After that we split into our networks (kind of classes that you participated at every day and it had the same topic). My network was Bible Teachers. That took about three ours of studying the Bible. How to prepare a sermon and how to dig into Bible. After that there was 30 minutes break (for a lunch we had sandwiches) and then there was a workshop for an hour and half. Then another 30 minutes break and other workshop for an hour and half.The we got an hour break and after that we went for dinner. After the dinner was evening plenary meeting where we did worship and there was always a man preaching. Usually I went to bed at midnight. I have never received that many information. To the end of the conference I felt how my brain was full and overloaded of everything I've learned and heard. It was an amazing week! God has shown me so much. And helped me to realize many things concerning my walking with Him. I'm so thankful for that week. And there's one testimony I want to share with you all. At the conference there's always a bookstore that has 60% off from the original price. I decided I spend 30 euros at books but there were so many of them and so good that after all I spent more than I wanted to. Actually I spent everything I had with me and so I was left with 12 cents. But it was worth it. Two days before the conference was over I was standing by the books (even though I didn't have any money but just kept on going through them) and there was this English man from my network standing right next to me. And so we started to talk. He asked me what ministry I do and what do I want to do after I graduate. So I shared my vision and dreams with him. Then he asked me what books have I bought. I replied to him and said I've decided that I buy more thin books this year then to buy couple of thick books. And then next year I bring more money and I buy more. Then he said something I would never expect to hear: Hey, you know what? Pick up like ten books and I get them for you. I was like: WHAT? He took me right away and put Systematic Theology from Grudem in my hands and said: Wait here for a while. Then he ran away got his friend and after few minutes came back with a pile of books for me. Then we went and picked some more. That man bought books for me for 83 euros! (that price was already with 60% off) I am so thankful for that man. OK, let's stop calling him a man. His name is Phil. God used Phil to allow me to study and learn more then I could without those books. And you know, that's a thing that I am kind of afraid of. People invest into me a lot. Their money, time and many other things. That takes a lot of responsibility on my part. I'm being given talents from God and I can't waste them. I have no idea what's God's plan for me. Where will I be in ten years? Who will I be with? What will I do? I don't have a clue. But I believe that God knows what He's doing. And that He's just preparing me for His plan to be fulfilled in me.

I came back from the conference on Thursday afternoon. You can imagine how tired I was from it. But I was happy that I was tired cause it meant that I've been through it. Though on Friday morning I went to Tatras where was our last ŠPM. You know, there are two parts in my about ŠPM. One is that I'm happy that it's over. Because it means that I've finished it. That I''ve been through it and now I can move on and go for something else. On the other hand I'm sad. I've made lots of friendships. I was learning so much there. And now? It's over. The reason why I decided to go for ŠPM was that I wanted to know myself better and to know what God wants to do with me. I have to tell you that God really answered my prayers and in the past eight months. He helped me to understand myself and to know myself way better that I had before. And I'm sure that you all know that our God is an awesome God. Well, He gave me more than I asked for. He gave me amazing friends and people I got to know. And I'm 100% sure that ŠPM has changed my life in more then just one way. Through ŠPM God has showed me that He's got a plan for me and I don't need to be afraid of it. I just need to trust Him completely and rely on Him. Friends, I must tell that I really wonder what's His plan. But I can tell you that it's going to be good. Because it's His plan and not mine. And I'm happy I can be a part of His plan.

Then I, my classmates from ŠPM and one girl went to Trnava for the concert of Third Day (yes, Third Day had a concert in Trnava on the square for free!). We had a great time together. Then we slept over at the Building and in the morning we all stayed for the Sunday service and then we had lunch all together. It was a great time.

Though all those ten days had it's price. Yesterday I was exhausted so much that I had fever and didn't eat anything the whole day. This happens to me when I don't have enough rest and all I need is a day off. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow I don't have school because of graduation so I can rest and read all those books I brought from the conference. Today it's Monday June 1st and I just turned 19. What does it mean though? For me personally it reminds that 19 year ago God has called me into this world. As He says to Jeremiah:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Do not say, 'I am only a youth';

for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,

and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you
to deliver you,
declares the LORD.

(Jeremiah 1:5.7-8)