The youth ministry in our local church, Elevate, held its anniversary just recently. It was basically a celebration of God’s faithfulness throughout the years. Elevate has played an important role in my spiritual growth because if it weren’t for this youth ministry, I wouldn’t bear much fruit. How overwhelming it is to know that the movement has already reached parts in different parts of the world – like Africa and Canada! It’s beautiful to hear that we are not alone in this Christian journey, we have a lot with us. It is not only us who’ve been worshiping God, people from all over the Philippines [and the world] is too! We can see that God is indeed faithful; we can really see that He is alive and moving in each and every person. This is the proof that He is indeed real… and sovereign.
Perhaps the most beautiful scene that night was the raised and surrendered hearts to Jesus. Remember that cute heart in K-dramas and stuff? It has got new meaning to those who were in UNITE 2017. As Kuya Marty has said it, “Take this heart, Lord; it may be small, but it is Yours.”
Here is the thing: this is not the end. I’ve surrendered my heart to Jesus Christ. I’ve given my life to Him. What now? The story does not end here. Like a plant, we need to grow. In 2 Peter 3:18, it says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” We started as a seed, but we have to let this seed grow and bear fruit. Here is a short and easy word for everyone: G-L-O-R-Y.
What does the word, glory mean? Based on Merriam-Webster, it means to give worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving. So it basically means that as we surrender our lives to Him, we also live for Him. We give glory to His name. How exactly do we do that?
G – Grow in Christlikeness.
God loves us so much that He wants us to live with Him in eternity. Yes, He loves us so much, but since He loves us so much, He doesn’t want us to become a slave to sin anymore! Chains are broken once we give our life to God. We have a new life, and this new life is lived for Him. The main goal of Christianity is to become more like Christ. Since we are now followers of Christ, we are expected to slowly but surely be like Him… in His ways, thoughts, and actions. This is what Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” One of the most effective ways of winning other people for Jesus is to be the evident example of His light! How do you become more like Christ, then? Walk by the Spirit. Be filled with the Holy Spirit, and let the Spirit control you. You aren’t your own anymore, it is God who has control over you and your actions.
L – Love others.
It is in fact one of Jesus’ many commands to love each other. In John 13:35, Jesus says, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” In fact, one very important characteristic of God is His great love for everyone. Love holds everything together. May everything we Christians do be done out of love for one another. “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. God lets rain down on the righteous and the unrighteous, and lets the sun shine on the good and the bad,” as it says on Matthew.
O – Obey His Word.
An amazing way to get to know our good Father in heaven is to read and study His word. It may be a hard task, but it is worth it. We get to learn a lot about God’s character. In Psalm 119, David says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.” We shouldn’t just read and know. We understand and apply. What is the use of knowledge when you can’t turn that into wisdom?
R – Remain in Him.
We can see this command in John 15, to be exact. These are perhaps some of my most favorite parts of Jesus’ biography. In some versions and translations of the Bible, it’s to abide in Him. It means the same thing. To abide means to wait for. To abide means to accept without objection. It is to remain stable or fixed in a state, and in this context, that state is Jesus. In John 15:4, Jesus said, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” Hold on to Him. Have you ever seen a plant bear fruit by itself? It must always be remained in the vine, and He is our vine.
Y – Yield unceasingly, and yield the fruit of the Spirit.
To yield has a lot of definitions, as I’ve checked from the dictionary. In my context, it can mean two things: (1) to surrender or submit (oneself) to another and (2) to bear or bring forth as a natural product especially as a result of cultivation. First of all, to yield is to submit. It is to surrender. Yes, we’ve all surrendered our life to Jesus. But sometimes there will be times that there would be a lot of things that could hinder you in doing something God wants you to do. Perhaps something is hindering you from making disciples and sharing God’s word to people. Do you know what to do? The answer is to surrender. The Christian walk is all about constantly surrendering your burdens to the Lord. Let God carry those burdens for you, and just go. Go and follow His will. May His will be done. Second of all, to yield is to bear fruit. What fruit? The fruit of the Spirit. Paul explains the fruit of the Spirit, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” We should always strive to bear these fruit… with the help of the Holy Spirit.
If I were to summarize the acronym, GLORY, my summarized version of this would be: Be filled with the Holy Spirit. And everything will follow. We have been given the Holy Spirit as a seal and mark of our salvation. We can do amazing things, don’t you know? All thanks to the Holy Spirit who will lead and direct us to Him. Let us run this race with perseverance and fix our eyes on Him. God bless you.