5 Reasons Why The Reformation Matters Today

Title: 5 Reasons Why The Reformation Matters Today
Artwork by: YMI X Dorothy Norberg (Writer)
Description: For many people, Martin Luther and the history of the Reformation exists in this single snapshot: a monk hammering the Ninety-five Theses to a church door. But there is so much more to the Reformation movement, which began on October 31, 1517.

The Protestant Reformation took place when Protestants—so-named for their protest against Catholic teachings—split from the Catholic Church. Luther’s involvement in this movement was shaped by his personal testimony of receiving God’s grace and overcoming doubts about his salvation. God used Luther to help restore a biblical understanding of salvation.

Here are five foundational reasons why his testimony, beliefs, and stand against the theology and practices of his day still matter today.

Read more here.

 

 

 

 

1. It reminds us to know the gospel for ourselves

As a professor and preacher, Luther encouraged people to focus on Christ and study the Scriptures. Things came to a head on 31 October, 1517: in his Ninety-five Theses, Luther protested the practice of selling indulgences and argued that the church did not have the authority to save souls. 

Luther teaches us that the true gospel frees souls from spiritual bondage, and also frees people from dependence upon the gatekeepers of tradition. We should not depend upon pastors, speakers, or writers to make Christian teaching available to us. It is important to read the Bible for ourselves, know its truth, and be prepared to defend it against false teaching.

 

 

 

2. It reminds us that we are saved by grace alone

As a monk, Luther spent countless hours in the confessional, trying to remember and recount all his sins. He also tried to attain holiness through pilgrimages, long hours of fasting, and prayer. He later said of this time, “I lost touch with Christ the Savior and Comforter, and made of him the jailer and hangman of my poor soul.”

What transformed Luther’s life—and ours—is the knowledge that we are saved through grace alone. In Luther’s study of the Scriptures, he was struck by the language of righteousness in books such as Romans and Galatians, and came to understand that we are saved not because we do righteous acts in union with God, but through faith in the perfect righteousness of Christ.

 

 

 

3. It reminds us that following Christ always has a price

Luther was summoned by church authorities and told to recant under threat of excommunication. Luther chose not to do this, knowing that the authority of Scripture was of greater value than his reputation or comfort. Luther once said, “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

Even in our ordinary lives, following Christ requires sacrifice. Let’s cherish this reminder that when we lay down our preferences at the altar and pick up our cross to follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24), our ultimate security lies in Him.

 

 

 

4. It reminds us that the gospel is for everyone

Because the Germans did not have accessible Bible translation in their language, they depended upon the Catholic Church for religious education and training. The church taught that only priests could rightly read and interpret Scripture, but Luther argued that every person can receive faith and understanding from God.  He spent many of his later years crafting a Bible translation of the New Testament in the German vernacular, making the transformative, authoritative text of Scripture available to ordinary people.

In churches today, let’s not give special favor to the well-educated, wealthy, and beautiful, as if these markers of worldly success indicate spiritual strength. The Holy Spirit resides in every believer, and through Him, we have access to God. 

 

 

5. It reminds us to depend on Scripture

Throughout different generations, challenges to Scriptural authority vary, but the correct response remains the same. Christians must depend upon God’s revelation in Scripture as truer than any church leader’s vision or political system’s creed. They must also reject the temptation to prize other means of spiritual discovery as more important than the Bible.

In today’s culture, it is easy for believers to feel like we must find fresh, glamorous ways to attract people to Jesus. But these approaches discard the tool that best convicts of sin, reveals God’s glory, and teaches the gospel. As the Reformation and the rest of Christian history shows, the Bible is our irreplaceable source of truth, with the power to change both individual hearts and the world.

 

 

Dear God, Do You Care?

Title: Dear God, Do You Care?
Artwork by:YMI X Jane Yeoh
Description: It can sometimes feel like we are battling our troubles alone. Trapped in our own endless thoughts, silently screaming, “Does anyone care?”. Our strength to face the world wanes, and we are desperate for a breakthrough. But in the midst of our pain and loneliness, there is One person who truly cares, and He is patiently waiting to reach out to us.

 

Verse references from, Psalm 56:8, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 4:4, John 16:33, John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4, John 3:16, Romans 8:38-39, Psalm 121, Matthew 11:28-30

 

That girl is me. That’s my story. I was sexually assaulted and still suffer from bouts of depression. I’ve tried ways to end my life. 

I had doubts about God’s providence and His grace. But along the way, I was slowly reminded that God is faithful, trustworthy, and is a caring friend I can completely rely on. 

He assures me that I can have honest conversations with him as He knows my every thought before I utter them (Psalm 139:4). He hasn’t forgotten about me. He has always been there, patiently waiting for me to bring my laments to him, inviting me to turn to Him, ready to transform my cries of pain into songs of praise. 

 

If you are hurting today, will you invite Him into your pain right now?

For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help (Psalm 22:24).

Living In A Coffee-Stained World

Title: Living In A Coffee-Stained World
Artwork by: YMI X Marcus Huang (@marc_hues)
Description: Today is International Coffee Day! On this day, we celebrate a drink that binds the world together, from coffee farmers to coffee lovers.

Ah, the warmth of a hot cup of coffee-to-go on chilly mornings, or the thrill of an iced white on hot days. Coffee consumption has turned into a global way of life, a language we share and a common passion we have.

Little do we realize that behind the growing popularity and demand for coffee is the plight of coffee farmers with threatened livelihoods. As we sip our coffees today, let’s start thinking about how we can take steps towards a better future for those affected.

Here are 3 steps to consider taking:
Educate yourself on the situation
Drink certified ethically sourced coffee
Support communities who advocate fair livelihood for coffee farmers

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

#internationalcoffeeday2019

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways To Keep A Healthy Relationship

Title: 5 Ways To Keep A Healthy Relationship
Artwork by: YMI X Clara Tan (@theperfectstatement)
Description: Snuggling on the couch watching Netflix, exchanging long phone calls and sweet text messages, going on romantic walks and Satur-dates. These are often the images that come to our mind when we think of being in a relationship.

Clara is a wedding photographer who has had the pleasure of listening to her clients’ love stories over the years. While Clara spends her time immortalizing her clients’ wedding day, she knows that making a relationship work takes more than the exchange of vows or a beautiful gown.

Join us as we walk with Clara and Nic through their relationship journey and share their ideas for building a solid and enduring relationship.

 

Our days demand a lot from us—rushing from one meeting to another, attending events, catching up with friends. But spending quality time with the person you’re dating is important, as it allows you to learn more about one another, and stay connected. Activities such as reading and discussing books you enjoy, or talking about topics close to your heart, helps you gain an insight into your date’s thought life, and is also an opportunity for the both of you to sharpen each other (Proverbs 27:17).

 

There is a time and a season for everything in a relationship (Ecclesiastes 3:4). There’s a time for dressing up to impress our date, a time to be honest with each other, a time to mourn and weep, and a time to let our guard down for a good laugh or joke with our boyfriend or girlfriend. Being able to honestly share these emotions with each other will strengthen our relationships.

 

In a relationship, arguments and disagreements are bound to happen. How do we respond to each other during such moments? 

If we hold grudges against the other person, and are unwilling to forgive them, it can give way to deeper relationship problems. Instead, let’s learn to pursue peace, to talk through any hurts and disappointments together, and work towards forgiveness and reconciliation (Colossians 3:13).

 

Being heads-over-heels in love with our boyfriend or girlfriend could sometimes cloud our better judgment. But Romans 12:1 reminds us that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. How can we ensure that our relationship is Christ-centered? We can seek out an older respected couple to journey with us during this time. They can pray for us, while pointing us in the right direction, with the aim of helping us honor Christ through the decisions we make in our dating relationship.

 

It might seem boring to read and talk about the Bible together during a date. However, we are called to spur each other on in our Christian faith (Hebrews 10:24-25), and these activities that might seem mundane are important in drawing us closer to God. It also helps us grow closer to our partner as we learn more about the other person’s values, and watch each other grow and mature in Christ.