Monthly Archives: March 2009

Illogical

“When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.” Matthew 1:24

He was the most eligible bachelor. He was coming from a family whose lineage is King David. Joseph does not woo women. He is the one being wooed.  He is that TV bachelor where women would line up dreaming for him to say, “Will you marry me?”

He had picked his rose among the many flowers. Along the way, he had the information that his girl got pregnant actually not by him. He planned to break the engagement with the bride loaded with a baby. But wait, Joseph decides to marry a pregnant lady whose fruit is not his.  His plan is logical; best bachelor in town why marry a pregnant lady. God’s plan is illogical; best bachelor in town takes a pregnant lady into his home.  Joseph followed God’s illogical plan.

I was stunned when I was asked to attend a Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS). You see, for the past sixteen years of my life I have been following the Lord and can give a whole LSS with one foot standing. I see this as illogical. Is God kidding me? Is God the King of comedy besides being the King of Kings? Does He want me to go through the seminar I went through for almost N times by conducting it for people?  I was about to say no however, in my heart, I knew I needed revival. I knew I needed restoration. I attended the LSS and the fire in me sprung day by day.  You are reading my blog because God revived me through that LSS. I am loving and living with Jesus because I followed His illogical plan.

Are you facing a situation where logic tells you that follow this direction? Are you on a verge of decision making where logic points you to step in this path? Is God leading you to do or to take the illogical route? And you are asking why this road and not the other one?

Follow God’s illogical plan and put your faith in Him.

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One Prayer for the Philippines

“For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader, no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.” Daniel 3:37-38

Father in heaven, our nation is at its low.  Long ago we were a model for our neighbors to look up. But in the past decades, in comparison with other nations, we have been poor watchers looking up to other nations. Our people have been long suffering. Our poverty has clothed our children for generations. Our houses are called streets and slums. Our rich land has been long barren and fruitless. Our lakes and rivers, due to lack of freshness, have stopped refreshing us. Our leaders’ and elders’ lack of vision has directed our lives. Our government and churches have been sick with no prescription. Our infants are tired even before they are born.

It is not because You, our God, has abandoned us. It is not because You, our God, has stopped blessing us. It is not because You, our God, has forsaken us.  It is not because You, our God, has strayed from our nation. We have brought our nation low because of our sins. We have abused our stewardship of Your given resources. We have abused our given freedom. We have turned our backs from You, our God. We have our nation lowly because we have no leaders who find favor in You, our God.  Our leaders have taken their place without You, our God, as their Lord and God. Our leaders have built houses for their own and not a place for us to offer You, our God, the fruits of our blessing.

We come back to You, our God. We humble ourselves before You. We confess our sins that cross our generations in the past and in the future. We bask in Your mercy because You, our God, is slow to anger and abounding in love. Forgive our iniquities. Cleanse our hearts and cleanse our nation. Change our hearts and change our nation. Bring revival in our hearts and soul. Bring restoration in our villages and cities.

Raise up for us leaders who will find refuge and strength in You alone, our God. Call men and women who fear You, our God, to courageously lead our nation out from our desert.  Anoint Your chosen children who will rise up and march us on towards Your promise for our land.  Elevate men and women of moral governance who will depend in You, our God, and not on their power or authority. Bring us to unity under Your Lordship.

Father in heaven, reclaim our nation. Take Your place in our land. Be enthroned in our midst. Be our King and God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Opposing the Opposition

“But he passed through the midst of them and went away. ” Luke 4:30

What a God we have! Jesus passes through the midst of the opposition and simply went away. The opposition rose up ready to drive him out of town.  Pushing him to the top of the hill and planning to hurl Jesus down headlong. Jesus did not retreat. He did not surrender. He did not run away. He did not buckle down in the face of the opposition. He met them face to face. He met them force to force. He opposed the opposition’s direction – through the midst of them and went away. The opposition is not in control, Jesus is.

What is your opposition nowadays? Maybe a financial problem or a relationship difficulty? Discouraging issues at home or at work? Disappointment with your prayer group? Personal or health concerns bothering your daily life? Does your opposition bringing you out of your heart and mind? Has your opposition brought you to the cliff of your life ready to drop you down? Do not retreat nor surrender. Do not run away. Do not buckle down.  You do not need to face your opposition alone. With Jesus, you can and you will oppose your opposition. Allow Jesus to lead you through the midst of your opposition. Hold on to your God. He will give you the grace to meet your opposition face to face. He will give you the force to meet your opposition force to force. Stay with Jesus and see for yourself! Voila! You are past your opposition. For Jesus is in control and not your opposition.

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Going Straight

“Turn neither to right nor to left, keep your foot far from evil.” Proverbs 4:27

Is this a bad or good advertisement? There is a popular beauty salon in the Philippines named “Going Straight”. Just in case you ask, I am not plugging this company. I will just illustrate a point. It’s only incidental that my wife is the favorite cousin of the owner. Based from the company name, what comes into one’s mind? Of course, straight hair!  You go to the salon’s website, please click here – Going Straight.  What kind of hairstyle greets you? Long curly hair.

Most of the time, we find ourselves promising the Lord that we are going straight in following Him. We tell the Lord that in our day to day life, we will walk straight in loving Him. And we commit to evangelize people, to advertise Him to people. But from time to time, we turn to the left or to the right. We walk not in a straight direction but in a curly course.  Is this a good or bad evangelization? Surely, this is bad.

The Proverbs writer exhorts us to go straight. Keep our feet from stepping onto the direction of what is evil.  The road to Jesus maybe narrow and the path to sin is a large highway, that turns to the left or to the right, however life is in that narrow road towards Jesus. Fix your eyes to Jesus. Do not turn to the left; do not turn to the right.  Go straight. Be a good advertisement.

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Listen to Him

“Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Mark 9:7

Dr. Gregory House asked the intern applicants, “Who did I say is in-charge?”. One of the interns pointed Dr. Eric Foreman, House’s assistant.  House acknowledging the intern’s response replied, “Then listen to him!”.

Peter wanted to build tents for the prophets and Jesus, but this is not God’s plan of salvation. The Father communicated, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” He pertained to Jesus as His beloved Son, establishing the authority given to Jesus, establishing who is in-charge.  Jesus is leading Peter, not Peter leading Jesus. It’s not that Jesus must not listen to Peter’s suggestion, it’s just that Peter’s prayer is not in accordance with God’s plan.  Even up to the point the disciples did not understand – “So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.” (Mark 9:10). It was imperative the disciples listen to Jesus who is in-charge to accomplish God’s plan.

When we pray, our prayers must be in accordance with God’s plan and not ours.  That’s why we always ask the Lord to reveal His plan for us. We plead to God that His plan will be our plan and not the other way around. We say ” May Your will be done.” (Matthew 6:10).  And when our prayers are answered going in the way of God’s scheme and not ours, the best way is to listen to Jesus. Even up to the point you don’t understand what is taking place. Allow Jesus to be in-charge.  He can bring us joy or sorrow however this is God’s plan then the best in our lives will surely come. Listen to Him and let God’s plan be accomplished.

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Mercy Living

“Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36

Mercy is defined as to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched.  It is more than a lip service, where a person says “I forgive you”. It is going beyond those words by helping the afflicted to move out from his wrongdoing.

When I was in elementary school, I got caught by my parents getting some money from my Aunt’s wallet.  I was disciplined by my mother after that but my parents continued to love me, continued to give me education and empowered me by giving me responsibilities in our home. When I was in high school, I got disciplined again by my father when I was caught getting money from our store’s cash box. Likewise my parents continued to love me, continued to give me education and empowered me by giving me responsibilities in our home. When I was in college, I got caught getting money from our store’s daily sales and was disciplined by my father.  Likewise my parents continued to love me, continued to give me education and empowered me by giving me responsibilities in our home. Looking back, I believe I am where I am now because of my parents’ mercy on me. They could have stopped in providing good education to me when it seems I had no hope of changing my wicked ways but they did not.  They could have told me that I am a hopeless wretched but instead they saw hope that I can change. I am grateful my parents did not give up on me. I am thankful they did not turn their backs on me. Instead, they educated me, empowered me. They had mercy on me.

God does the same way with us. He gives his pardon and strengthens His people. He does not leave us even if we live as sinners. He does not turn His back on us. He does not give up on us. He is always hopeful that we can change our ways. He sees hope beyond our afflictions. He empowers us to rise from our iniquities, to overcome temptations.

Jesus invites us to be merciful as the Father is merciful. He is encouraging us to forgive and empower people. He is telling us that words and works of mercy combined can be shown through us to other people as it is shown by the Father to us. By the grace of God, we live to receive mercy and we live to give mercy.

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Pray for the Leaders

“Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.” Matthew 23:3

Is the Pope perfect? Are the archbishops, priests or pastors spotless? Is your catholic charismatic leader faultless? We all know all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Only Jesus is perfect.

How many Christians have shunned away from following God after their church leader has faltered? Answer – many.  People stop in going to church or prayer meetings when their leader falls into sin or has done a wrongdoing, especially when it is made public. Jesus points out that Christian faith should be focus on the God alone and not on man. He is saying that we follow the preaching and not the preacher. Be ministered by the ministry and not by the minister. Be touched by the message and not by the messenger. Our faith should be anchored on God and not on someone’s faith.

On the other hand, the enemy works double time for our church leaders to fall. The enemy knows that when a pillar of the house crumbles, people’s faith crumbles too. The enemy’s resources are geared towards hitting the head ship so the other ships may scatter.  The enemy’s strategy is to trap the leader so the followers may jump in into the pit.

It is important to realize that praying for our leaders should be part of our prayers. That they may practice what they preach. That they may lead us not only by words but with actions. That they may stand firm when temptation comes their way. That we may find them faithful.  Friends, let us pray for the following leaders of the church:

  • Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales
  • Archbishop Paciano Aniceto
  • Ricardo Cardinal Vidal
  • Filipino Bishops and priests
  • Eddie Villanueva and other evangelical pastors
  • Mike Velarde, Bo Sanchez and other charismatic leaders
  • Brothers of the Servants of the Word especially those in the Philippines
  • Christ’s Youth in Action Director, Raoul Roncal
  • Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon Director, Mon Samson
  • Leaders of local charismatic communities

Pray for our leaders in the faith. But when your church leader falters, focus on God and continue to follow Him.

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