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A Christmas to Remember, Celebrating 30 Years in the Kingdom

Has a degree in Education. An academician and freelance writer.

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30 Years of Kingdom Life

About thirty years ago, one particular Christmas season, somewhere in the heart of Makati City, a great spiritual windfall suddenly took over me. It is one event in my life that will remain unforgettable as long as I live. After that peculiar event, I will never be the same person again. Such visitation so overwhelming that invaded my entire being.

Before that mighty spiritual breakthrough, I thought I had known the Lord. I thought I was near Him. I thought I was His servant. And I thought I possessed eternal life. I was utterly mistaken. After that event that shattered and unsettled me from my convenience, everything I thought about me was totally altered.

I used to see myself as a decent person who sins occasionally. But after that event, my spiritual eyes were fully opened and it shattered me to fully realize the depth of my depravity. I was not an ordinary sinner who sins occasionally, I was a terrible sinner that lived in sin continually from birth. Though I professed Christianity for seven years prior to that event, I have never been truly transformed and have never become a true regenerate.

Though I call Jesus as my "Lord," He is not Lord at all of my life. He remained at the back seat of my life. He was not my top priority in life. I still desire glory for myself. I still desire the best things this evil world boast about. I rebel that I have been deprived of these "great things" of life. I desire the "good things" this earthly life has to offer. I resented when I failed to achieve them. I thought I deserve to receive the "best things" from God. But after that great event that awakened me, I realized that I never deserved any good thing at all.

Though I call myself a "Christian" I had not died completely to myself. My sinful nature still ruled my life. My heart was still filled with selfish ambitions, bitterness, lustful desires, and other carnal things. These carnal ways and cravings in me were just evidences of my unregenerate nature. Though I call myself a Christian, the three big things of the world, "the pride of life," the "lust of the flesh" and the "lust of the eyes" have not yet been unseated from my heart. It is written in I John 2:15-16,

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life-comes not from the Father but from the world."

The kind of Christianity I lived out for seven years prior to that great event of my awakening is a man-centered Christianity. This is the kind of Christianity being lived out by the modern church. A man-centered Christianity seeks out to gratify the carnal cravings of worldly men. A man-centered Christianiry is adverse to Biblical Christianity lived out by the Apostles and first century disciples. Biblical Christianity requires dying to oneself and taking up the cross daily.

About thirty years ago, during the Christmas season of 1991, after broken hearts and shattered dreams, the Lord suddenly broke through my life and enabled me to experience the regenerating power of the Spirit. Such visitation is too overwhelming for me. He came just at the right time, when I needed Him the most. After broken hearts and shattered dreams, I finally found true happiness. For the first time in my life, I became truly happy in spite of being deprived of the great things the world could offer. Such unspeakable joy cannot be simply described.

After thirty years of Kingdom living, I can declare that true Christianity is a very narrow path that leads to life. It requires a person to die to himself. It requires a person to mortify his prideful and carnal nature, it requires one to walk in humility and mercy, to look at people with mercy and compassion even at those who cause pain and misery to him. It requires one to refrain from talking back to justify himself. It requires one to remain calm even when provoked. It requires one to forgive all those who offended him. It requires one to take up his cross daily and follow Christ at all costs. Seemingly very difficult to accomplish but for a true regenerate person who has been transformed by the Spirit of God, this is not burdensome. These are possible if one is controlled by the Holy Spirit.

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After thirty years, I cannot declare that I am perfect. The sinful nature in me makes me prone to fall. Every true Christian has a potential to fall. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit we can become overcomers. We should seek to be filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit moment by moment.

After thirty years, I can declare that God indeed is faithful. If not for God's faithfulness, we can never become faithful. It is by His sustaining grace that keeps us in the narrow path that leads to life. And every time we fall, He is always faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness as written in I John 1:9.

After thirty years, I can declare that God is the greatest Father of all time. Throughout all the ups and downs of my life, He is always there to see me through. He is our Jehovah Jireh(God, our great Provider), He is our Jehovah Rapha (God, our Healer) and our Jehovah Shalom (God, our Peace). Amidst the unpleasant circumstances taking place all over the world, there is a reason to celebrate the season for those who experienced His forgiveness and mercy. Amidst all the wars and rumors of wars, you can be at peace if you have His peace in your hearts. To have the Peace of God through Christ, you must receive Christ in your life as Savior and Lord.

We need to receive Christ as Savior, because we are sinners. It is written in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Christ died on the cross to take our place. We will be condemned because of our sin for it is written in Romans 6:23,"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ our Lord." Christ was crucified on the cross to atone for our sin. Those who will put their faith on Christ work on calvary will not be judged for their sin.

We must also surrender our life to the Lordship of Christ and abide in His light to prove our faith in Him. It is written in John 1:12 that those who receive Christ will have the right to become children of God. If you become a child of God, surely His peace will be with you.

Let me greet you,

Have a Blessed Christmas!!

May His Peace be with you.


In God's mercy,

Cristina


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