My story for His glory.

I grew up believing that salvation is a result of doing good works. I delight in practicing human traditions because I thought this will make me right before the Lord.

I was still in grade-school when my family moved into a place where most of our neighbors are my relatives. During this time, I had a male cousin who was just few years older than me who molested me repeatedly. I was so innocent back then that I didn’t know that what he was doing is a form sexual harassment. What I do know was that I felt disgusted, unclean and ashamed. I felt so many emotions that just made me hate myself. I did not have the courage to tell any members of my family because I was so afraid of rejection. I was just blaming myself the whole time. I don’t exactly remember when did my cousin stopped abusing me however, because of that experience, my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects suffered deeply.

I felt unloved knowing that not even my parents were able to protect me. My parents both manages our business wherein they would wake up very early in the morning to go to our grocery store and would come very late in the evening. It also causes me to be exposed in watching movies with sexual content whenever I watch television in our house or in our neighborhoods. My mind was corrupted with lustful thoughts even at a very young age which leads me to commit sin against my body.

Though my parents were busy, they are the ones who taught us about Jesus. We learned how to pray from our father and my mother and I always went to church every Sunday.

However, even though I prayed to Jesus, there are times when I doubted His existence because of His silence from all my sufferings.

Apart from having a unpleasant childhood experience, I also suffered bullying from my grade-school classmates. I had a severe mosquito allergies that causes my skin to get swelling and redness then became dark circular scars all over my legs and arms. My classmates would make fun of me by calling names and send nasty messages towards me. I kept all the painful emotions to myself because I thought no one would really care and understand me. I became more unhappy, anxious, insecure and over sensitive because of these.

At a very young age, I felt the need to be liked and accepted. That’s why I studied very hard and was a consistent honor student during gradeschool and was one of the selected aspirant students in the top class section during my entire highschool years.

I also became very active in serving our local Church and I was the only one who was awarded as a Lector of the Year when I graduated in Highschool. This award was given to a chosen student who consistently serve the church by reading the Liturgy (word of God) during Sunday Masses. I thought I was pleasing God wholeheartedly but later did I realize that I also had a selfish motive which was to impress the people around me. I became self-righteous and proud.

I read the Bible only when I am infront of the crowd but in realilty, I did not make time to understand the word of God when I am left alone in my room with Him. Hence, I value impressing other people than having a personal relationship with Christ.

It was during college that God started to plant seeds in my heart. I met a friend who is a genuine follower of Christ. I recognized how she really love God the way she loves the people around her. She was kind, gentle, patient and would share verses from the Bible. That was the time that I started to seek God.

After I graduated in college, I move to Cebu to start earning money and to be independent from my parents. In 2015, two years after I started working, I was so worried about my direction in life and I prayed to God to reveal my life’s purpose.

My prayers were answered when a friend invited me to a Sunday CCF service. I was drawn and keep coming back every Sunday because I learned a lot from the messages that were preached. I eventually joined a dgroup (discipleship group) in the same year to help me grow spiritually. In one of our dgroup session, our leader explained to us the consequence of sinning against God and the solution on how one can be truly saved.

In Romans 3:23, it says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And in Ephesians 2:8-9 it says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

God revealed to me the magnitude of my sins that separates me from His presence. I learned that having a religion and doing good works are not the means to salvation or not an assurance of going to heaven. We are saved only by believing in Him. Doing good works are just an overflow of our love for Him and the evidences of our salvation. We don’t need to serve to be saved. Rather, we are saved to serve. And the purpose of our life is to give glory to God.

I then declared Jesus as my Lord and Savior and committed to follow Him. Or so I thought.

In 2017, my fellowship with God drifted when I entered into an relationship with a non-believer. He was the first guy who persistently pursued me and even though I know I was disobeying God, I did not stop communicating with him until he became my first boyfriend. When we were together, I struggled in the area of purity. I gave my heart, emotions, and even pieces of my physical purity. I was telling myself all the while that I was still “pure” because I hadn’t fallen off the cliff. But deep within my heart, I knew that I was not pleasing God.

This made me had a double life. I would go to church every Sunday, still active in our ministry and attend our discipleship Bible study but I continue falling into sin willingly. I neglected the truth that if you refuse Jesus as Lord, you cannot have Him as Savior.

There are nights that I doubted my salvation because of my disobedience. This was the lowest point of life. I was so anxious until I cried out to the Lord to rescue me from my sinful flesh so that I will be filled with the Holy Spirit.

God gave me the courage to finally let go of that relationship and ask the Lord for His forgiveness. In 1 John 1:9, it says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. “

I recommitted myself to declare Jesus not only as a Savior but as the Lord of my life. I can’t thank Him enough for rescuing me and I praise Him because I was able to preserve myself for my future spouse.

Indeed, God refined the area of purity in my life. Spending time with Him, being part of a dgroup, and watching online Christian videos helped me to heal from my brokenness.

Obeying God brings so much blessings in my life. He gave me opportunities to share the gospel to my parents and directed me to lead my own dgroup with single ladies. I am also able to pray, care and share God’s love to my friends and even to strangers. God also helped me forgive the people that hurt me in the past. In Ephesians 4:32, Apostle Paul says “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

As I look back, I cannot fathom how God was so patient with me and love me unconditionally.

In Romans 8:28 it says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
And in James 1:12, Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

But God is not finish with me yet. I am still a work in progress. There are still times when I fall into subtle sins like worldliness and sins of the tongue. Christianity is perfect but Christians are not. It is impossible to fully live the life pleasing to Him, but God promised us in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.

I am Jean Lopina, once empty, insecure, and lost but now found by Jesus Christ our Lord and filled with the fullness of His unconditional love.

To Him be all the glory and honor and praise. 🌹🌹🌹💖

🍂p.s. If God has spoken to you as you read this, and you feel that you have not experienced a real encounter with Jesus nor you are not sure that you are saved and will go to heaven, humble yourself and place your faith in Jesus Christ to save you by accepting His free gift of eternal life. You are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Good works are not the means to salvation, rather they are the evidences or by-products of your salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

You can pray this simple prayer to express your faith in Jesus Christ and receive Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior. You only have to pray this prayer once but with sincerity, because when He enters your life, He will never leave you.

“Lord Jesus, thank you so much for loving me. I confess that I am sinner and worthy of eternal punishment. Thank you for dying on the cross to pay for my sins. With Your help, I am turning away from all my sins. Today, I put my trust in You as my Lord and Savior and I receive you into my heart. Thank you for forgiving me my sins and for coming in to my heart. I accept your free gift of eternal life. Thank you that one day, I will go home to be with you in heaven. From this day on, I will follow and obey You. Amen. “

If you have trusted Jesus to save you and express that trust by asking Him to come into your heart, then the following things happens to you:

  1. You have eternal life. -1 John 5:11-13
  2. All of your sins are paid and forgiven. (Past and present sins) – Colossians 1:13-14.
  3. You are a new person in God’s eyes. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
  4. You became a child of God. – John1:12

You’ll be in my prayers

God bless. ♡

New season 🍁

A deep ache gripped my heart as I watched my closest friends waving and saying good-bye to me. It’s been a tough week for me trying to process that I will no longer see them for a while and that I’ll have to adopt to a ‘long distance friendship’.
It was expected of me to cry on the first two days upon their departure but I didn’t expect to cry again as I have my conversation with the Lord tonight.
As tears rolling down my cheek, I praise God for comforting me and giving me peace that transcends all understanding as cliche as it may sound. Rather than sorrowful tear, this time, rejoicing tears flowing from my heart that had turned its gaze to the faithfulness and love of God.

I will forever be grateful to God for allowing me to experience His love and care through the friendship that I have in them. I am blessed to have them and no one else can replace them in my heart. And as much as I love them, God reminded me that no earthly friendship can ever compare the friendship I have in His Son, Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. He alone satisfies me for I know He will never leave me nor forsake me.

“You have shown me the path to life, and You make me glad by being near to me. Sitting at Your right side, I will always be joyful.”
Psalms 16:11

To my dearest friends, we may now have a new season in life but know that I’ll always pray for you all. No amount of words can suffice to express how thankful I am for our God-ordained friendship. I love you all so much!
And God loves you more!
‘Til we see each other again. 💙

#Day5 Worship in times of crisis

While most of us have things that are outside of our control during this time of pandemic crisis, I praise God for giving me peace that is far beyond explanation especially at times like this. The world has slowed down a bit but finding ways to be purposeful is what God calls me to do. How I respond during this crisis reflects how deep is the foundation of my faith in Him. If I hadn’t have an intimate relationship with God before this pandemic, I would have questioned His goodness or even blame Him for allowing this pandemic to happen. But because I was able to experience His unfailing faithfulness and unconditional love all through my personal life, I know that He is a God who is sovereign, faithful and a promise keeper. What the enemy meant for evil, God will use it for good.

2 Corinthians 1:4 says that God comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from Him. In the midst of this crisis, God allowed me to reach out to friends who need to be reminded of His love and comfort. Whenever we have online meetings with my colleague, I lead the team in prayer. During the mid year prayer and fasting week in CCF, I was able to invite three of my friends outside CCF to participate and they were very blessed by the testimonies and the messages of hope that lies in the assurance of God’s lovingkindness. I also joined a goViral training where we are being equipped to start a movement-wide disciple-making process. At this time, God gave a burden in my heart to reach out to my siblings and invite them to have a weekly Bible-study. Praise God for they responded with a Yes and we are now in our 7th week of our Bible sharing. We got to have a quality worship time together and grow in loving relationship with one another.

One of the ways where I share my faith is by using the social media. A facebook friend whom I don’t know personally, messaged me and asked if she can have an online Bible study with me. In our first meeting, I shared with her the good news of salvation and praise God for she accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior.
It is all because of God’s grace and the works of the Holy Spirit, that I am able to serve the people He entrusted me. Despite of this, there are times that the enemy will attack me, telling me I am unqualified to do the works which God appointed me. But God tells me in John 15:16 where it says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit— fruit that will last, so that whatever you ask in My name, the Father will give you.” These truths reminds me that I am chosen by God and I should serve Him not because I am worthy but because He is worthy to be served.

God continues to bless me even in the area of friendships. It’s important to spend time together in an edifying and God-honoring way during this time not only within a discipleship group but also to your other friends that God entrusted and gifted you with. A month a ago, me and my housemates which are also my closest friends started to have Sunday Bible Study meetings where we redefine success that truly matters. I am so blessed how God allows us to nurture our friendship and grow spiritually together during this pandemic outbreak.

There are so many things that I am grateful to God over the past few months when the world is in isolation. At a time when we all face uncertainties and worries, God, however continues to show His infinite grace and compassionate heart. His light shine upon us. As King David says in Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for God is with me.”

There will be days when the enemy makes us feel the weight of the brokenness that is in the world. Issues on authentic government leadership, economic and heath crisis, adjusting to new normal sometimes makes us want to fast forward to heaven. But when we are rooted in God’s words, we know that God will grant us abundant life to experience His presence while on earth. Sometimes the world needs to experience brokenness to see the God who heals.

All praises and honor to the glorious name of Jesus, my King.♡

#Day4 Reunited

I am so blessed to find friends who brings me closer to Jesus Christ. Today, I finally reunited with one of my closest friends in our church after almost seven months of not seeing each other because of the pandemic.

Ann and I have the same desire which is to encourage others in having a relationship with Christ. We pray that by building an intentional and edifying fellowship with each other, the people around us will draw near to Christ.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for His friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you”
-John 15:13-14

#Day3 A Dream

I enjoyed binge-watching cafe vlogs on YouTube today. My favorite is Zoe’s channel. Watching her videos makes me want to chase my dream of having my own cafe. Starting today, I will fervently pray that God will provide the grace to believe and the courage to persevere in reaching this dream. Thy will be done. ♡

“I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.”
Job 42:2

#Day2 Don’t waste the waiting by Saddie Robertson

  • In waiting, you need to celebrate before the answer because God’s presence is the answer.
  • If you can have a Kingdom mind-set, you’re not gonna be so disappointed when your worldly status isn’t as good as the person beside you.
  • Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!
    Philippians 4:4
  • The waiting period is the time of self-examination of looking inward and asking God what you can do better.
  • In waiting, focus on your relationship with the Lord and with others.
  • Don’t forget what you already have.
  • There’s a difference between knowing something and realizing something.
  • Ask God to increase your faith.
  • Never be lazy. Work and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 💚

God hates..

While reading the book of Amos, the verse where the Lord says “The people sinned again and again and I will not lem them go unpunished” was repeatedly pointed out five times in the first chapter which was addressed to the five nations who put destruction against its’ neighbors.
This reminds me that God is Holy and just and those who act unjustly towards others will not be spared from His wrath.
This also reminds me of a sermon from David Platt where he says that the phrase “God loves the sinner not the sin” is wrong. People who use this phrase generally mean well, but sometimes it is misleading. God does love sinners, as we read in many passages. But we also read verses like Psalm 11:5 and Palm 5:5, which state that God hates not only wicked deeds, but also the people who do them. We won’t value His grace and love for us until we understand that God finds us detestable when we sin. It’s the sinner who is eternally separated from God when we choose not to accept His free gift of salvation that is in Christ Jesus.

When God wakes you up.

“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Luke 22:46

This verse literally hit me last night. I usually sleep at 3:00 AM since my shift schedule starts at mid-day but because of the very cold weather yesterday, I felt sleepy right after my shift. I decided to skip Bible study and feel asleep. 😓 Around 11:35 PM however, God woke me up. The rebel in me tried to fall back to sleep but God’s persistent love save me from my lazy flesh. And so I obeyed Him and chose to open my Bible and meditate on His word.
Being a true follower of Christ means dying to self and abiding in Him. In John 15:7, Jesus says “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, You may ask for anything You want, and it will be granted!”
If you love Him and want to know Him, you must read His word and pray. You can’t say you long to be with Christ in heaven if you don’t even spend time with Him on earth.
“Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer..” Lamentations 2:19 ♡

Catalog of blessings.

On tonight’s reading from the book of Joshua Chapters 14-15, I was skipping some of the verses as most of the sections only talks about the catalog of the lands allotted and divided to different tribes of Israel. I was saying to myself ‘it’s just a name of the places, I don’t need to meditate it.😑’ , or so I thought. I searched different commentaries of this chapter and realized that I failed to see it’s relevance. The reason why the writer had to lists down the places that Israelites were rewarded is to show us how they valued the blessings showered upon them after obeying God’s command.
Just like Israelites, we as 21st century Christians are encouraged to have a catalog of blessings too. Write down the good things God has given to you, as many as you can think of even in the midst of the pandemic. Your family, your job, good friends, food provision, great books or music that move you, and more. Use your list today and in the future to thank and praise God. And the greatest blessing we could ever have is the free gift of eternal life that is in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. 🙏

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.
Hebrews 10:23