28 apríla, 2010

What is the Power of God?

Today I started reading 2 Timothy where Paul is giving last instructions to Timothy. Paul is encouraging Timothy not to be ashamed for the gospel in spite of all the suffering that proclaiming the gospel might bring upon him. But Paul knows that if we decide to stand for the gospel we will suffer. We read in verse 8 (chapter 1): 

Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in SUFFERING for the gospel by the power of God.

Paul is saying there, that the way we handle these sufferings is by the power of God. The phrase "power of God" is certainly one of the favourites for Paul. Paul uses this pharase seven times in his letters and it's always implied that the power of God is the gospel. The clearest instance of this is found in Romans 1:16, where Paul proclaims:

I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

the Gospel = the Power of God

So when we go back to 2 Timothy 1:8 we realize that the way we handle suffering BECAUSE the gospel is the GOSPEL itself. Then this verse could be read like this:

Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord,..., but share in suffering for the gospel BY the gospel.

Many times we are moked and made fools of because of the faith that is in us. At least that's my experience at school and many times when people find out I'm going to study at a semminary. We are being shamed BECAUSE of the gospel. But the way we fight this shame is the GOSPEL itself - The Power of God! For when we realize what we have in the Gospel (forgiveness of our sins, eternal life and Father who loves us with everlasting love) then there's nothing else in this whole world that is strong enough to put us in shame. And then we can say together with Paul:

I am NOT ashamed of the gospel

And that is the very reason for this blog.

21 apríla, 2010

God the Savior

In my today's devotion I was reading 1 Timothy 2. But when I came across the verse 3, I was stunned by what I saw there. We read:

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

It's more obvious in Slovak translation where it's written: "in the sight of our God the Savior". There are many gods in this world that people have made for themselves. Whether they call them gods (ancient Egypt) or they make gods out of them (money, success, etc.) they are distinctively different from the God of the Bible, for He Himself is God the Savior (or put it another way: Saving God). All those made up gods let people serve them. When people sin "against them" it's a man who needs to fix it. A sacrifice or another act that will bring about peace. Something that will please their gods. But it's only the God of the Bible who's different. He fixes what men messed up. He says of Himself: I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior (Isaiah 43:11). It is the very nature of God that He's our Savior. That's who He is: Saving God.

It's even more clear when we look at God's Son - Jesus Christ. Even His own name reveals the greatest act He came to accomplish here on earth. For the name Jesus means: Jahve is salvation!

If we look back into 1 Timothy 2:5-6 we'll find a confirmation of the fact that God is Saving God: ...Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.

Conclusion: Christianity is not just another religion. In fact, it's not a religion at all. Because though an important point in Christianity is what people have done (sinned) even more important point (actually, the most important) is what God has done - died for us - and thus became the Savior of all.

Therefore, our God is Saving God
God the Savior

12 apríla, 2010

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less

I just love Bible saturated hymns. Especially this one.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteous;
No merit of my own I claim
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
In every high and story gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, his covenant, his blood
Sustain me in the raging flood;
When all supports are washed away,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When he shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in him be found,
Clothed in his righteousness alone,
Redeemed to stand before the throne!

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand. 

03 apríla, 2010

KPM 2010 and me

Konferencia pre Pracovníkov s Mládežou (Youth Workers Conference) is a conference that happens every year in Žilina. It’s done by TCKompas (the same people that run School for Youth Leaders – ŠPM – that I’ve gone to last year). The first time I went for this conference was two years ago. A year later, last year, I worked as a volunteer since I was a student of ŠPM. And this year is not any different. Again, I’m volunteering and looking forward to serving side by side with my close friends from Žilina and others from all around of Slovakia.

The theme of this conference is “Pay It Forward” (Podaj to ďalej) and the main idea is to pass on the baton in a race of discipleship. Jesus basically said in the Great Commission: Disciples, now it’s your turn, pay it forward! Spread the gospel to the ends of the earth to all the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). This is the trailer:

KPM 2010 Trailer from Marek Tomašovič on Vimeo.

Let me tell you in short what I’ll be doing there. I leave to Žilina on Tuesday afternoon and I will come back late on Sunday. This year I will be in charge of many things. One really new thing for me is that I will lead a seminar (lecture) on small groups. I’ve never done this kind of thing before. It is a great responsibility, mainly when I realize that at the conference will be youth leaders all across Slovakia and some of them will come to my seminar for help, encouragements or guidance. I feel like I should be the one going for lectures and not to be the one giving them.
Another thing I’ll be doing will be translating. I will translate two another seminars and I have already done some ahead-of-time translating (songs, transcript for a video) and just now I’ve finished making Slovak subtitles for one video. Then I’ll be an MC for activities that will be every day during the main meetings (Thursday & Sunday once, Friday & Saturday twice). Also on Friday I will be in charge of two hours long “game” for people. Also doing some stage help king of stuff and all the random things that will pop up as the conference goes.

The reason why I say all this is not to boast. To show off how much of stuff I do. That is not the case. I don’t want you to feel pitiful about me. On contrary, I am more than happy to do it all. The very reason why I go to Žilina next week is the serve. I’m gonna come there and say: Here I am – what do you have me to do? That’s the reasons why I go there. I admit, it’s a lot and I fully realize that, but that even increases my joy to come and join by friends in this ministry to our fellow youth leaders. I believe that God will sustain us with His love, grace and power throughout the whole week.

But that’s where I need your help the most. As you know, I am very young. In both ways, physical and spiritual. And I’m aware of the responsibility that is laid on my shoulders. But I am in a great need of God’s grace because I know how easy it is to take all the credit to myself. How to become proud and how to glorify myself instead of God. So I want to ask you, my friends, would you pray for me in the coming days? Would you pray for my heart? That it would be humble, ready to serve and help. But never to boast and grow in pride. I’m coming to Žilina to serve our Lord and not myself!

If the activities will be awesome, if the lecture will be great and the big “game” will be just brilliant, but my heart will not be in the right place, everything fails!

Just as the apostle Paul has said in 1 Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have a prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Heart – the center of our being. If it’s corrupted, everything that comes out of us is corrupted as well. Please pray for me and others that I will be serving alongside with, that our hearts would be focused entirely on God and manifestation of His glory through spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth, to all the nations.

For His name sake,

02 apríla, 2010

Good Friday - Ah, Holy Jesus

The Good Friday is here. But the only thing that is good about it is that Sunday will be here soon. For on Good Friday, the ultimate sin - rejection of God - has happened. By Jews and pagans in Jerusalem 2 000 years ago and by us even today, when we sin against the Most Holy One.
Yet, we can still call this day a good day, because it's the day of God's grace, when Jesus laid down His very life for those who rejected Him, so there would be a way for the sinners to come to forgiveness and turn back to Him. Jesus Himself said it best on the cross: Father, forgive them (Luke 23:34). So lets mourn for a while. But not for long. Because Sunday's coming. And Jesus knew what He was saying when He said: So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you (John 16:22).

This is a hymn I found of DesiringGod.org this morning. As I read it (and heard it sung) it helped me to realize the reality of this day. 

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended,
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted. 

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee.
’Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied Thee.
I crucified Thee.

For me, kind Jesus, was Thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life’s oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
For our atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee.
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving. 

You can listen to the hymn here: http://songsandhymns.org/player/?hymn=ah-holy-jesus-how-hast-thou-offended 

01 apríla, 2010

MTW Slovakia

Hey guys,
I was just reminded about a video we've made last summer about the mission that MTW is doing in Trnava. If you want to watch it, here it is: