When Humility walks into the room, the walls rejoice, greeting her with endless joy. Humility appreciates, but doesn’t want anyone to notice, blocking it out. Praise isn’t what she came for. Humility blends in, just seeming like thin air. Going one by one, she studies each person, only taking a short second to check. You’d think she’d be somewhere else, maybe at a party, or a fancy gathering. But she isn’t. Humility doesn’t choose to bask in her glory, to take it all in, and take what she wants. Instead, Humility gives it all away. All of her gifts and most beloved treasures, simply gone in a blink of an eye. Humility has nothing, but gives everything. She gives her love. That boy who no one ever talks to, the outsider, she laughs with him. That old beggar on the street that you always pass by but never noticed before, she’s sat next to him. Even those kids that make fun of everyone, even Humility herself, well, she doesn’t hate them. Humility loves them. She cares for them. Humility pours her heart out to them, and doesn’t stop. Humility uses up all her energy and power to help-and yet is never tired or weak, and keeps going throughout the night. Humility never needs a reason to help someone, whoever they might be. What Humility does know is that she wants to help, to be that outreached hand, and to be that sign of hope.
Category Archives: Pilipinas
As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. Matthew 14:13
He has been where you are.
He takes a time out. He separates himself from the flock. He goes alone. After all, he is human. Knowing how precious John is to him, he may have felt in his heart the feeling you may have felt when someone dear to you past away or went away. Sadness. May be despair. Feeling of losing somebody you love, you value. May be the thought that you will never see that face again. May be the thought that you will never hear that voice again.
This is why this passage is so much important for you and me.
For us to know that Jesus had the same feeling. For us to know that we are not alone when we feel this way. For us to know that he has been there. For us to know that he understands our feeling of being abandoned. That he understands our agony. Our need to be alone. Our need to take some time out. A time to cry and may be celebrate the memories of your loved one. A moment to trace the moments with that somebody.
And because God understands, he knows how to comfort you. He knows how much strength and time you need to recover. He knows the path how you will recover. He knows whom he will send for you to lean on. He knows where to bring you to so you can muster yourself altogether. He knows when to give you whatever you need to stay in the valley and whatever you need when you emerge out of it.
So go ahead. If you need to take some time alone by yourself, take it. Jesus did. He understands.
Will the axe boast against him who hews with it? Will the saw exalt itself above him who wields it? As if a rod could sway him who lifts it, or a staff him who is not wood! Isaiah 10:15
The main difference with tools and servants is this — one can say no, one can’t. The tools sitting at the garage just wait to be picked up for work and use. The servants in the pew has the power to say to the Master, “I’m a sinner, I’m not good.” “Not now.” or “Not me.” The toolbox occupants are always prepared and ready for the action. Servants have always the option, to go or not. There is a choice to be made by the servant if he or she will allow the Creator to create through him or her. If the servant say’s no, the Master may select another servant to do the work.
The main similarity with tools and servants is this — both can’t claim the glory of the work done. Two of my old uncles were carpenters, but they were not the same creators. With this, they may pick up and utilize the same tools but they may not have the same creation. One does an excellent job, one doesn’t. Thus, the tools can’t grab the limelight of the work. Yes, they are part of the accomplishment, yet, without the expert guiding hands of the Master, the tools will still be siting in that cold box. Their purpose not fulfilled. Their edges not used. Their skills not displayed.
The lesson you may learn from this is this — be a servant who will trample trunks of challenges and at the same time who will not boast against him who hews you. Be a servant who cuts hearts and minds and who doesn’t exalt himself or herself above the hands who wields it. Be a ready and a willing servant for God’s glory.
But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” Matthew 9:34
This is a before and after.
Before the passage above. Jesus drove out a demon from a mute person. Just as the demon came out of the person, the person spoke. Healing. His mission.
After the Pharisees spoke those words. Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.– Matthew 9:35. Teaching. Preaching. Again, healing. His mission.
This is focus.
It does not mean there is no opposition to the mission. There was. It does not mean he was not being distracted. I think he was. It does not mean he did not hear those words. Matthew noted them so Jesus may have, too. It does not mean everything will be fine when God sent his Son. He know this. In spite of the opposition, the distractions, the people not believing in him, the disciples turning their backs from him, he continued to walk the way and talk about the Gospel. Jesus fulfilled his mission.
And this spoke to me. That’s why I’m back writing.
I have oppositions, not other people but myself. I lose sight of the ministry. When nobody was commenting or liking my posts, my passion began to diminish. The call was not to have people comment or like my posts, the call was to write about him and spread the word of God. Just write. No expectations on comments or likes. Just write.
I have distractions. I thought I was overly occupied with my professional life that I forgot about my missionary life. I replaced my bible reflections with technical articles. I’ve prioritized my personal technical research over my personal search of God.
Maybe you are in the same road. You lost your focus. Maybe you heard somebody commenting negative about your ministry or work. Maybe health issues in the family is a distraction. Maybe a difficulty in a relationship is pulling you away from your call.
Oppositions or distractions are here to stay. Jesus had them. So, expect that we will have them. Jesus had focus. Look up to him and pray, he will surely bless us with the same.
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
Greatness does not view consequences – Doug Collins.
Greatness when you don’t view consequences is like saying yes to God’s plan. Even when you are not told what your nod entails.
Mary – she said yes to carry God’s Son in her womb for nine months and be his mother as long as he is here on earth. She was not oriented on the where she would deliver him– manger. She is not informed as early as possible that her son would die a tragic death– on the cross. She had to linger on day and night where her son would be as Jesus hopped from one town to another to preach and reach the broken. She had to wonder if he has taken his lunch or what food he had for dinner. And yet, she said yes and did not view consequences.
Joseph – he said yes to the angel’s instructions from his dream to take care of God’s Son and his mother. He may have wanted the best delivery room for his wife and first born but he had to settle to be with animals and for a while, exchange his carpentry to nursery. He didn’t anticipate that his business would change address from time to time to fulfill what was written long before. His work is to be belittled as Jesus was judged, “He is the son of a carpenter.” And yet, he said yes and did not view consequences.
You can take this first step to greatness.
Say yes to God’s plan. And don’t view the consequences.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
A thousand impressions a day.
This is the promise of a billboard sign space along Central Avenue.
Quite impressive number of impressions, huh!
I guess this is rationale. Why not? Cars, school buses and public transport take this route going to and from offices, stores and schools. The location of this sign is even in the middle of two major areas in the Capital district of New York. It is also a way going to shopping malls from the residential portions. So, for an hour you have at least 84 pair of eyes looking at this sign. And for those 42 people, you hope that they will remember what your sign advertised and probably buy your product or services. At least you can hope, because the sign promises impressions not sales.
Two thousand years ago, God posted a sign. Isaiah even talked about this in Isaiah 7:14 — “Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”
Picture this sign or billboard. Virgin. Son. Immanuel.
Any eye will be glued on this sign. Any heart will be amazed with this sign. Any mind will have this sign planted. For the Lord erects this sign, “A virgin will give birth”. Yeah, he will and can make impossible possible. For the Lord raises this sign, “God with us”. Yeah, he will be with you no matter how small is the virgin’s stomach to fit in the Son of God.
Impressive, yes. But don’t let it be just an impression. Or an after thought with all the busyness around “holiday season”. Buying gifts. Having parties. Cooking food for a feast.
Reflect on how God came near to you. Talk about on how he can make things happen such as this sign. Meditate on how God will go through great lengths to show how much he loves and cares for you.
He still holds this sign for you to see. He still keeps this sign for you to come back to him. He still elevates this sign for you to remain firm and faithful.
This sign promises salvation. Not only to thousands but to countless souls.
Don’t just drive by this sign.
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” Luke 19:8
Economics is about incentives.
Companies or persons hand their resources if in return they get incentives or benefits above what they gave.
Knowing that this guy Zacchaeus is the chief tax collector, accounting or economics are his daily life. He looks for financial benefits in every transaction. His eyes scans the numbers and says if it’s a deal or not.
Look at his economics.
Before meeting Jesus:
Net Worth = Z (this is his total worth, assets minus liabilities)
Moments after meeting Jesus:
Net Worth = Z – 0.5*Z = 0.5Z (this is his total worth after giving half to the poor)
Further moments after meeting Jesus:
Zacchaeus threw what he learned all his life about economic benefits out of his window. His financial worth decreased moment after moment after meeting the Christ. Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house…” (Luke 19:9) and Zacchaeus, by his economics, replied, “It’s a deal!”.
We don’t know if he came back to his job as the chief tax collector, I bet he resigned! We don’t know if he became a full time follower of Jesus, just like the Twelve, I bet he did in his own small ways! This is what we surely know – his life turned around and he realized it’s not about the money. That life is not about these financial benefits thus he was willing to give almost all he got.
Jesus saved him. And that is an enough incentive.