5/30/2017 – Esther Kutai

Even in His Silence

There are times when God seems not to be there with you, not to help you, not to give you the right words when you think you need them most, not to guard or guide you… and you feel all alone. Scared. Angry. Confused. I, sometimes, feel like God has left me alone to deal with my own situations. But the truth as promised in the Bible is that God will never leave or forsake us. He is always there with us!

When God seems silent, one of the ways to remind oneself that He is always present is to begin to “Count your blessings…name them one by one…,” and you will see that He has always been present. Looking back at the experiences you had with God’s promises helps you to see His immeasurable grace and blessings. You will see God’s abiding presence (Psalm 23). May the Holy Spirit help us to be still even when the great windstorms of life swirls around us and, to see and hear God even when He seems silent. Therefore, as we reflect on God’s promises, let us also look to the future of the glory of the promises that is in Christ Jesus.

5/23/2017 – Chris McNerney

“They went after false idols and became false…” 2 Kings 17:15a

In the Book of Kings we read that God finally hands the land of Israel and its people into captivity to Assyria. In 2 Kings 17, there is a devastating description of why God, who loved Israel and rescued them from slavery, would finally hand them over to their enemies. They became false. Different authors have said it in different ways,“you are what you love,” “we become what we worship,” but the Bible puts it like this,“they became false…” During the course of our days are we in the process of becoming more human and more like Jesus or are we becoming more “false” and like the idols of our hearts? Because false gods are not real, they will never provide for our needs in the long run. We will only continue to be filled with a longing that can only be satisfied by God. Do we pray each day that God would smash our idols, while increasing our love for Him? In the end that is in fact the only way. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses warns the people they will one day end up in exile. He doesn’t say,“If you break these commandments,” he says,“When you break these commandments.” But then he says that God will rescue them. But will that rescue change them? No! What will change them is when God circumcises their hearts. It takes God to change our hearts and make us new people. Only then can we stop worshipping false idols. If you are a Christian,you have already been given that new heart. If you are a Christian, the power of sin has already been defeated. Therefore, while we are still tempted daily, God gives us the strength to turn away, not becoming false, but becoming more like his Son. So this day, pray that the Spirit would lead you down the true path, and while you walk it smash the idols strewn about on your path.

5/16/2017 – Wonmin Kim

“Projections of strength can be heart rotting. Chasing things that aren’t life-giving leaves us feeling hollowed-out or empty.”

I heard that this morning and it’s sooooo true. Aren’t we all big messes? The best lives are those covered by grace and a humble heart that knows how truly needy we are.

I am so thankful that I am surrounded byso many who accept me just as I am.

For all my friends who know me and love me anyway, I am deeply truly grateful. You carry me through those tough plays in life. It reminds me of when I need to run through a team I just can’t get by in football. When my team blocks for me they create a path for me when I couldn’t move forward.

5/9/2017 – Wonmin Kim

When you read the title, does it bother you at all? No one wants to be known as“ordinary.” I was recently on a road trip and one of the games we played on one of our 13 hour drives was the question game. It’s truth or dare with no dares. My friend asked me,“How would you describe me in 3 words?” Do you think she would have been happy if the first word I used was ORDINARY. Would you be offended ifyour child was described as ordinary by everyone around you.

Everyone wants to be someone special. We lust after feeling special. We want to be noticed for our special/lovely qualities. Don’t get me wrong. We are all special. Our unique qualities make us special and wonderful but being recognized for that is more rare than regular.

We watch movies and we see someone doing something extraordinary. Superman saves the world but for many years of his life he was ordinary. He was a farm boy and no one saw what made him special except his parents​. On the flip side is Buddy Pine from The Incredibles (aka Syndrome). He is ordinary but wants to be Mr. Incredible’s sidekick as a child. He is extremely intelligent and has the ability to create “incredible” devices that make him feel powerful.

What is his problem? He wants to be special and anyone who makes him feel ordinary is seen as an enemy. He is an entitled, self-centered character who is tremendously talented and does reckless things in order to get attention. Aren’t we all a little like that? All of us in our uniqueness are especially made by God who does good work. Yet, our day to day life should be marked by ordinary faithfulness and not awards for participation. Winning the medal is rare and sometimes the greatest treasures come from our failures and brokenness. What would it look like if we learned how to be content in being faithful even if that means we feel ordinary. (PS: we are not actually ordinary, but sometimes like a piece of art by a famous artist is unknown for years…. well… that’s us.)

5/2/2017 – Tom Chang

Exodus 4:10-12

I can still remember my first time speaking in public. I had just returned from a missions trip and had the opportunity to speak in front of hundreds of youth students about my experience in Africa. And although I’d love to say I captivated the crowd, was super eloquent and had everyone cheering and clapping, the truth is it went terribly as I nervously read everything like a robot. After that night, I felt sad and thought I would never speak in public again however ironically God called me to be a pastor and to preach regularly. And that’s why when Moses said “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” God responded by saying “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” I have to say, I wouldn’t be able to share the gospel if it was only based on my abilities. But, just as if you ask any great preacher whether it’s John Piper or Tim Keller, the only reason we can preach is because of the Great Emmanuel (i.e. God with us). Thus Gracepoint – as God calls everyone, not just pastors but everyone, to share the good news you may be thinking “I can’t do it…I wouldn’t know what to say.” And if you’re depending on yourself, like I first did,you may be right. However friends, be encouraged that Scripture promises, when you have faith and depend on Jesus He will bring us to heights and limits that are way beyond our capacity.