Monthly Archives: December 2009

God’s Kiss

While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. Luke 2:6

Prince Naveen needed a kiss. He was desperate. He was looking for a princess who would kiss him so he can turn back to being human from being a green frog. Fortunately, he found Tiana who was dressed like a princess. Tiana, who has dreams of becoming a restaurant owner, has to make a deal with the frog prince to provide for her in order to make her dream come true in exchange of the kiss. Prince Naveen, who has riches to provide for Tiana’s dream, agreed to the deal just to get the “frog” spell go away.  It was a mistake for as they kiss, magic smoke came out and when it died down – Tiana became a frog and Naveen was still a frog.

We needed a kiss, too. We are desperate. We were looking for a Savior to come and bring us to light from our darkness. We are seeking for someone to come to save us from our sins and give us hope.  And God came near. He has no motive but to save His people from being “frogs” to being holy and whole. God came near and He did not make a deal to come. He came and He comes for He love us.  Jesus becoming one of us is God’s kiss. God’s kiss is a God turning into a man. And it was not a mistake. God became man so man can be one with his God and live for Him again.  No magic smoke puffed, just God’s pure passion and unconditional love for His people. God became man – that is God’s kiss.

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Dreaming Big and Dreaming Right

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus. Matthew 1:24-25

He may have his dreams. Start a family with Mary. Love and take care of his wife. Build their home with their would be children.  With his trade of carpentry he would build their own furniture and home.  Every chair to be seated on, every table to be shared, every bed where to rest he might have some ideas what to do. However, Mary was found to be pregnant even before they live together. And this may have shattered Joseph’s dreams as he was planning to break the engagement quietly. Yet God has His dream for Joseph and His dream for him is big – be the earthly father of the Savior of the world.  This dream big and is not even comparable to any dream which Joseph might have thought of.  This dream is not only big, it is also the right dream. And as he awoke, Joseph did follow God’s big dream.

Dreaming big is a catch phrase among motivational speakers and spiritual preachers nowadays.  Go to YouTube and watch the motivational speaker shouting the exact phrase. Browse the website of a popular preacher and read through his outline on dreaming big. Deep inside us, we want to dream big. As they say in Filipino, “Libre ang mangarap” (“It is free to dream”).  And when you dream you do not dream small, you dream big. Brace yourselves with this – God dreams big for us.

His dreams for us are not only big but the right dreams for us and His kingdom. His dreams for us are not only for our good, His dreams for us are for our best!  Settling only for our dreams will hinder us to see His plans for us. Being satisfied with what we can achieve will prevent us in experiencing His larger than life dreams in our lives.  Limiting our plans within our boundaries will surely give us a good distance to travel however God’s dreams for us will get us pass  beyond that. Dream big and dream right, my friends.

Find rest and peace in God.  Sleep in God’s presence. Dream big for God.  Dream right for God. And when it time to wake up, go and do what God dreams for us.

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He Came to Separate

His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. Luke 3:17

Wikipedia presents the theory of a winnowing fan:

Wind winnowing is an agricultural method developed by ancient cultures for separating grain from chaff. It is also        used to remove weevils or other pests from stored grain. Threshing, the separation of grain or seeds from the husks and straw, is the step in the chaff-removal process that comes before winnowing.

In its simplest form it involves throwing the mixture into the air so that the wind blows away the lighter chaff, while the heavier grains fall back down for recovery. Techniques included using a winnowing fan (a shaped basket shaken to raise the chaff) or using a tool (a winnowing fork or shovel) on a pile of harvested grain.

This illustration gives us a clear picture of one of the aims why Jesus came. He came to put a division between grain and chaff. He came to separate the grain from the chaff. Jesus came to put a gap between the desirable and unpleasant. Jesus came to identify what is acceptable and what is not.  He came take the harvest and He is determined to clean the harvest before bring it to His barn.

Friends, allow Jesus to come in your life. Right here. Right now.  Allow Jesus’ winnowing grace to separate the good and bad in us. He will reveal to us the grain and the chaff in us.  Let us agree when Jesus makes a division of what is good and what is not in our lives.  He will identify what is acceptable and unacceptable in our hearts. Let us not store chaff in our minds and hearts.  Let good wheat only reside in our barns.

Whether you have been following the Lord for months or years, He has something to divide in us. Whether you are a pastor or an ordinary church attendee, He has something to separate in us.  Whether you are a fired-up or burned-up disciple, you will find Jesus’ winnowing fan in you.

Allow Him to come. Allow Him to separate.

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Falling Away

“Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Luke 7:23

I do not know why John sent his men to ask Jesus if Jesus is the one they were waiting for or not.  I do not know what is in John’s heart and mind during that time. Maybe I can assume but there may be hundreds of assumptions we can propose.  Maybe at the prodding of his own disciples, he did it. Or was he getting impatient? But one thing is sure, Jesus warned John – do not fall away on account of me. Jesus is telling John’s men, “I am he, but even if I am the one you are waiting for, do not stop and continue your work.” “Do not fall away from your calling even if I have taken my place healing the sick, curing diseases, making the blind see, allowing the deaf to hear, blessing the lame to hop and declaring God’s kingdom.”

Believe it or not, I have seen it happen. I saw men and women who were passionately serving God yet when the time came they needed to pass the baton to their understudies, these servants faded in the shadows.  They have fallen away as if they have reached the peak of their zeal for His house. They have wandered because they knew someone has taken their place. They have been laidback thinking somebody will do the work even if they are not there.

Sometimes, I find myself in their shoes. I will not serve because I know someone will do it. I will not preach because there are already thousands of preachers out there. I will not blog about God and His gift of life because Bo Sanchez or Bobby Quitain writes better than me or further, there are multitudes of Christian bloggers in the virtual world who will do just that. I will not proclaim God’s word for someone more gifted will eventually declare the message. I will not go to the social service of the community since I know I am not in-charge of the activity. I will not spend time with my kids since I know their mother will have her time with them. I will stop since someone else will start.

Jesus warns us about this. We must not be falling away on the account of someone taking their place in God’s work. When someone has risen to partake in God’s work, he/she is not replacing you. There is a place only for you to occupy in God’s plan of action. There is a ministry designed for your God-given capabilities and gifts. Do not fall away. Be blessed.

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Answering with Actions

When the men came to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?'” At that time he cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind. And he said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them….” Luke 7:20-22

Picture a low-level techie demonstrating to an older person how to use Yahoo Messenger or Skype for real-time communications.  She has a lot of questions. How to install the software? How to make an account? How to add contacts? How to make a video call? Can she chat with others? So I received all these inquiries about using all these internet communications.  I wanted to answer them in words but in my mind it will be really tough getting my points taken. I decided to demonstrate to her how to do it.  We came in front of her desktop and for less than an hour I answered her curiosity and she well understood my responses to each inquiry. I answered her questions with actions.

Jesus did this. When John’s men came to Him to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’ Jesus did not say a word. Jesus did answer the question with actions. He cured the sick. He eliminated sufferings in people. He drove out demons out of people. He made the blind see. He made the lame hop and jump. He unclogged the ears of the deaf. He raised the dead to live again. He proclaimed the good news to people having bad times.

Jesus does this. When you come to Him to ask, “I thought You will provide for us?” He will give you more than financial blessings. When you come to Him to ask, “Will You please heal my wife?” Jesus extends His hands to your wife and she is healed.  When you come to Him to ask, “What am I doing here?” He spreads His plan in your heart. When you come to Him to ask, “How can I serve You?” Jesus empowers you.  When you come to Him to ask, “What else can I give You?”Jesus brings you more of Him.

Jesus’ words have power. Jesus’ actions show that power. And when we have questions, He replies more than words. Jesus answers with actions.

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In Your Desert

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. Luke 3:1-2

Aren’t you intrigued with the verse above? Luke enumerates who were sitting at government positions. He cites rulers and governors. He states their positions and area of authority.  He also cites church leaders. He cites the high priests of the land.  Luke was talking about who were big-shots in the society. Yet, Luke ends verse 2 with – the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. The word of God did not go to someone who is sitting in public office. The word of God did not go to the sacred seat of the church hierarchy. The word of God went to someone who is sitting in the desert.  The word of Life came to a lifeless place.

Here is my disclaimer: I am not saying God’s word will not go to political heads or church leaders.  What I am pointing out is the word of God may come to anybody else, does not discriminate by position in society. God does not look at your position in church or work. Jesus can and will bless and utilize someone for His work.  God does not look if you have power or authority over somebody in order to bring His message to your heart. He has that power and authority.  And no matter how lowly or unqualified you maybe, His word may come to you. If you think you are in a lifeless place, think again. God has shown this many times…

An ordinary teenage lady bearing the Savior of the world.
A carpenter becoming the Messiah’s father.
Fishermen becoming fishers of men.
A tax collector becoming a soul collector.
A prostitute becoming a follower of Christ.
A persecutor of the early church becoming a church builder.

So look around your surroundings. Wherever you may be sitting now, open your hearts to His word.  God comes to you. The word of God comes to you. In your own desert.

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It Happened

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. Luke 3:1-2

There was a time element – fifteenth year of the reign… There was a specific mention of people on the period stated- Tiberius Ceasar, Pilate, Herod, Philip, Lysanias, Annas and Caiaphas. There was a mention of government and church leaders of the said duration; it was an indication of certainty.  I think Luke was narrating an event with historical facts. When you are writing about history, precise and uncontested matters are important ingredients. And Luke portrays this. He indicated the time. He pointed to the people who were leading that time.  Luke maybe is telling us, this really happened.

When we read and reflect on the bible, sometimes we do not realized that what we are reading are real occurrences.  We are reflecting on actual events of the saving plan of God. We comprehend realities of God loving us and men and women loving God. The Read Sea parted, the blind saw, the lame walked, the deaf heard and sung; these are some of the supernatural acts of our God.  And in this modern day, it’s hard to grasp what God has done or what God will do.  We asked for more evidence and proof about God and His love and existence. Yet, we have the verse above signifies time and people of history.  Further when you read the word of God…

God created. We sinned against Him.
He sent prophets. We did not listen to them.
Jesus came. Jesus walked with us. Jesus died and He rose.
We are saved. He loves us. By His grace we can love Him back.

No more proof needed. It happened.

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