Monthly Archives: August 2009

The Deliverer

They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD. Jeremiah 1:19

From our house to our store. I carry those rolls or pack of textiles which my father or older brother pinpointed. I carried them on my shoulders. I climb up cemented stairs and pass by a railway.  With people standing and sitting on my way, I walk in a maze like streets. Through busy streets towards the market, I carry the loads in front of tall houses and buildings. As I step into the market area, I have to go around vendors and their merchandise on the street. And at this time, my shoulders feel the load getting heavier. However, I have to make sure this goods will make it to their destination. I started and must complete the delivery.  As I step into our store, I delivered.

From glory to glory. God is our deliverer. He carries us. He carries our burdens. He goes with us to deliver us. He climbs up and walks down in our highs and lows of life. He delivers us allows us to overcome hurdles and obstacles in life. From problem to problem, God carries the load for us. No matter how tall is the order of the day, God delivers us from unholiness.  God makes a way in a dead end spot. He finds way and solves the maze puzzle of concerns to deliver us from our worries.  God sees our trials as stepping stones to deliver us. He sees every fence in our path as way to see what is ahead. He continuously walk straight to deliver us to our purpose and destination.  He is our interested author and our strong finisher in the delivery of life. He will deliver, He delivers and He delivered.

From our personal problems, our family concerns, our financial lack, our health issues, our wrecked relationships, our marital wars, our weaknesses, our disappointments and discouragements, our baggage of our past….anything which go against us, God will deliver us. He is with us to deliver us. God alone is our deliverer.

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It Was The Lord

For it was the LORD, our God, who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, out of a state of slavery. He performed those great miracles before our very eyes and protected us along our entire journey and among all the peoples through whom we passed. Joshua 24:17

You prepare the place for the prayer meeting of three hundred students. You get up early from bed. You almost missed your breakfast. You still have those sleep dirt in your eyes. You climb up to that fifth floor. You set up the place; the songbooks, the chairs, the tables, the registration table, the musical instruments. You complete the tasks. And as you rest, you asked “Who did it?” – It was the Lord!

You are to stand up again before people.  You are supposed to inspire people to give their all for God. You have prepared an outline. You reflect on several bible verses. You read about connecting anecdotes. You prepare your heart. You pray for the event. You ask God to utilize you. You give glory to Him for whatever will commence. You stand and speak. You see people are delighted and raring to go for God. You come back to your sit. And as you rest, you asked “Who did it?” – It was the Lord!

You look back through the years. An established student movement. A growing single working people’ community. A covenant community in the works. Brothers and sisters scattered around the globe making an impact for Christ in their own ways. Brothers and sisters continue to carry the flame of fire in their hearts to go all the way for God. And as you rest, you asked “Who did it?” – It was the Lord!

Friends, we share in the work of God. We put our hands into His plow. We take upon the sickle in His harvest. We are His instruments.  Moses, Joshua, Peter, Paul, countless prophets, multitudes of disciples, you and me together we shout, “It was the Lord!”

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Clean Inside or Clean Outside?

Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Matthew 23:26-27

“I feel clean inside.” Praise told me after her confession. She was joyful and it was reflected on her face. I was driving and was looking at her through the mirror, she was really glad and happy. She rested her head on the seat and her face shines.

Afterward, we went to wash the car in a touch free center. I paid some bucks to get the car clean outside. It was a rather quick fix. Pay. Drive slowly. Wash. Dry. Car is clean outside but not inside. Looks good but only outside.

Then it hit me. This is a battle. Cleaning inside versus cleaning outside. Cleaning inside is free while cleaning outside requires cost yet how do we love to pay! Cleaning inside reflects the outside while cleaning outside is skin deep yet how do we love to stare at the mirror.

We must put on God’s signature in our hearts rather than put on signature clothing. Make up for our shortcomings with God rather than putting it on our faces. Clothe our hearts with holiness and purity more than being dressed for each occasion.

Friends, choose where to feel clean – inside or outside?

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Istambay No More

Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’… Matthew 20:3

I remembered this one. Yeah, this scene. They called us istambay. Night and day, I would stand by with my friends at the corner of our street just doing nothing.  We chat at nothing important. We look at passersby. We spend countless hours just standing by.

I heard that same call. Yeah, Jesus’ invitation to His vineyard.  To have life in fullness with Him and dip my dirty hands into His holy work.  I do not know what He has seen in me but I have seen everything in Him, having life with Him and the joy of serving Him alone gives me satisfaction and gladness that no amount of money can buy.  So, I zealously followed Him and actively served Him for about more than ten years in charismatic movements and communities.

In the last quarter 2007, we went to start anew our family life in upstate New York.  No charismatic community to serve with. We still have the heart to follow and serve but we did not have the channel to express it. I do not want to be labeled as istambay or idle again.  And God gave us work….

Instead of preaching to other people, preach to your family. We have a regular Saturday night Bible sharing in our family of four.

Instead of caring for people in community, care for people who don’t have family. My wife and daughters visit an elderly woman in a nursing home every week to cheer her up.

Instead of talking about God’s work, write about it. I blog everything about God and His people.

Instead of vocally declaring God’s message to people, be vocal in posting God’s point in Facebook. Every day, I post a passage from the daily mass readings at my Facebook page to impact people.

Instead of exhorting about God’s glory, express it through videos. I create videos for people to see and get fired up for God.

God saw and invited me. By His grace, I am a istambay no more.

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What Is Your Scenario?

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Matthew 19:21-22

I have several scenarios for the rich young man….

First, he went home and prayed. After praying and reflecting on what have just happened, he decided to follow the instruction of Jesus. He gave up all his possessions and provided for the poor. He went to ask around where Jesus is and when he was told, he followed Him closely. He walked with Jesus, he ate with sinners, he helped to heal the sick and he was with Jesus until death.

Another is, he went home and prayed. After praying and reflecting on what have just happened, he decided to stay in his lifestyle. He kept the commandments. He followed the law. But he did not follow Christ. He stayed the same even after meeting Christ. He settled where he is before he met Christ. He knows he still lacking on something but did not responded to what is being offered to him.

Lastly, he went home and was very discouraged. After reflecting on what have just happened, thinking he can’t follow Christ because of his possessions, he wandered away from the law. He thought since he cannot give his all, he will just give nothing. He violated the commandments. He went on sinning using his wealth. In his disappointment of not being able to follow Christ, he turned his back to the teachings of the church.

Have you met Christ? Have you heard His message, “Follow me.”? Has Jesus told you about caring for the poor? Has Jesus challenged you to give up your possessions, ambitions or dreams? Has Jesus told you about having treasures in heaven?

If your answer is Yes. Then what is your scenario?

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We Have Come This Far

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21

“We have come this far.” This was Dennis’ response to his father’s inquiry if they will accept a $30 million dollars out of court settlement which was offered to them night before the jury decides on their case as depicted in the motion picture “Flash of a Genius”. His father, Robert Kearns, sued Ford Motors for stealing his intermittent windshield wiper design. For several years, their family suffered as their father was bent on doing what is right which is going after the big corporation in his own small approach.  And on this night, they decided not to settle. They chose to go the distance. They were determined to finish what has been started.

The young man, too, have come this far. He has observed the law. He has kept the commandments. He has been a quite churchgoer and law follower. Now, Jesus is pointing to him to go the distance. Jesus is telling him to finish what has been started. Jesus is telling him do not settle in what he is doing. Jesus is asking him to go above and beyond what he is doing.

Are you on the same boat? You observe the laws. You keep the commandments. You dress well for Sunday service. Jesus is calling you to go the distance. Jesus is encouraging you to finish what has been started in you. Go above and beyond. Give to the poor. Follow Christ. Do not settle.

Jesus is saying to you, “We have come this far.”

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Come Hungry

The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. Luke 1:53

My daughter Praise is book hungry. She reads everything she finds. From waking up to resting at night she will take books to read. When she is at school, she reads. When she is at home, she reads. At the bathroom, she reads. At the food table, she reads. She would lie down on the floor and reads books after another. When going out with her, she would tell me to bring her to Borders or Barnes and Nobles where she would read again. And most of the time, she would tell us facts we never know of.  She would explain things because she read them. She would extract thoughts from what she has read. Such is her hunger. Such is her desire. She is satisfied because she has the hunger. She is filled because she hungry.

How I hope I am like that before God. Have hunger for His presence. Have desire to serve Him more. Have craving for His word.  Have appetite for His pleasure. Have yearning for His guidance. When I awake I think of Him. When I rest at night, I am in awe of Him. Wherever I am, I seek Him. Whatever the situation I am in, I delight in Him.

And hopefully, I will not come and be sent away empty. Why? Maybe because I am already loaded that I have no place for Him in my life. Maybe because my heart is already filled up that I have no space for Him. Maybe because my schedule is already fully booked that I have no time for Him.

Come to Him hungry. And you will be filled.

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