Herro! It’s Saturday, woo hoo! Hope you have exciting plans for today.
Last night, Noel treated me out to a wonderful sushi dinner at Arigato Sushi (in Valley Fair). It was the first time going for both of us!(Look at how adorable her son is :D)
We ordered 3 rolls and shared them. I don’t remember any names for the rolls because I’m useless like that.
I got to tell her about the youth retreat and how awesome it was. After demolishing the rolls in 5.5 minutes, and talking for a while, we headed over to Tutti Frutti for dessert.
Okay. I kind of forgot that mall prices in the food court is a little more than usual (FORTY EIGHT CENTS PER OUNCE? WAAAAHH??). Or I mistakenly put in several helpings of rocks and pebbles instead of granola. Woops.
Let me tell you about PERFORMANCE (this is from a segment of Pastor Daniel’s first sermon from the youth retreat). In today’s society, there is a lot of pressure to do more things than the people who are around you (fellow students, peers, co-workers, etc). We are expected to excel in so many ways before we are rewarded… perhaps with good grades, a particular job, a big raise, promotion, etc.
In today’s church, there is a lot of pressure to “perform” as well. To be a “good Christian”, you must read the Bible everyday, pray all the time (and be one of the last people to leave during prayer meetings? You also pray the loudest), serve at church (probably praise team. You also sing the loudest), drive a crappy car because you give so much monies to charity, host Bible studies and other meetings at your home, be a Sunday school teacher, and know every new and old worship/Christian song out there.
Some people also expect to see that you (a Christian) have your life together. You study hard, you do well in school; you work hard, you are given bonuses at work. Your children are well-mannered, well-behaved, and never causes trouble with the other kids. You share and you are generous.
Then, there are those times when you are so crippled by some kind of sin. Perhaps it’s something deemed as a “small sin”, such as gossiping (which, by the way, is not small at all). Or perhaps it’s an inability to let go of a much “larger”, habitual sin; such as lying, addiction, rage, or hatred. Then we feel like we are “bad Christians”. There is shame, guilt, and sadness. We find ourselves unworthy and perhaps question our salvation (you might say, “How could I call myself a Christian when I am doing all this?”).
Well, there is good news. Jesus dying on the cross means that He has saved you. Do you, as a Christian, know that there is nothing more we can do to be more or less saved. Our level of salvation is not determined by how much we pray, read the Bible, and serve the church. If it was based on that, then that is diminishing the work that Jesus did, dying on the cross to save the world.
Why is this good news? Because it’s extremely exhausting to base our “level” of Christianity on our performance. But, of course, there is the second part. Our love for Our Savior… which I’ll talk about in my next post 🙂
[This is just a portion of Pastor Daniel Park’s sermon. I wish you guys could have heard the whole thing!].
Have a blessed Saturday, everyone!