Tag Archives: Disciples

Distance

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Matthew 5:1

There it is again — the separation.

That distance between the crowds and the disciples in coming near to Jesus.

In here, Jesus goes up the mountain. The crowd stays on the plain. The disciples follow his trail.

Are you part of the crowd?

  • You saw the climb is stiff, so don’t bother to hurdle it.
  • You were healed or fed earlier; you decide stay and rest your body.
  • You heard enough insights, so keeping that distance is all right.
  • You counted the time Jesus took from his walk up to his sit down and said that’s too long.
  • You wanted to go up but saw only twelve men are following him closely so why take the courage, why take the risk.

Are you a disciple?

  • You saw how stiff the mountain is but you also see your Master, sitting pretty, at the top of the mountain. Thus, you climb the mountain.
  • Your following requires no rest: body, mind and soul. Where he is is where your heart is. His place is your place — he is your resting place.
  • You thirst for more than his words, you long to be in his presence.
  • You count your blessings, you don’t count the cost in loving and serving him.
  • You follow with your all and on your own, your loyalty to him is not dictated by the decision of others.

How much distance you keep from Jesus defines if you’re one of the crowd or if you’re a disciple.

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Greatest

An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Luke 9:46

Nothing has changed, right?

We still want to be the greatest…the best…the wisest. We still argue.

Have you watch the US GOP Presidential debates? Politicians raising up their seats. Putting down others’ accomplishments. Pointing to their laurels and thumbing down opponents’ honors.

Don’t go too far. Look at the 2016 Philippine would-be presidents. They serve in the same government yet they belittle whatever gains the other candidates have achieved. No one takes the back seat. Nobody has a better platform, than me.

Let’s go nearer. Look at your Facebook newsfeed. One friend or maybe you are better than other friend. The other friend comment back and says he/she is greater than that one friend. “Mababaw ka dahil AlDub fan ka, malalim ako dahil napanood ko ang Heneral Luna”. So, when does watching a movie make you a better person? “Malungkot ang mundo mo dahil ayaw mo sa AlDub.” Happiness is to each his own, di ba?

Well, it’s in our nature to want to be great, to be better than somebody else. Everybody has this thirst to be the best and to be the wisest. Even the nearest persons who walked with Jesus, who ate with him and who talked to Jesus face to face had the same fervor. This hasn’t changed and is happening around us – we are the greater church, we are the better congregation, we are the holier community. And just like us, they argued about this.

The same book provides the key to be great – be the servant (For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is greatest. Luke 9:48). You don’t have to push the person beside you to the lower level when you climb the higher step. Compliment rather than compete. Work together rather than being at war against each other. Understand before being understood. Focus on the strengths of each other and improve on each others’ weaknesses. Lift up, not tear down.

Nothing has changed. If you want change, may be you may want to start with yourself. Be the least. Be the servant.

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A God Out Of His Mind

When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:21

His relatives are right on point…

He is the King of kings and Lord of lords yet the Son rises out of a manger.  Luke 2:16

He calls his first disciples who may be last on everybody’s list. Luke 5:1-11

A sinless God–Man who searches for sinners rather than saints. Spends time with them and even dines with them. Luke 5:32

He looked up to a small–in–size–big–time–sinner,  whom others looked down. Luke 19:5

He love the world that he gave his only Son, though no guarantee the world will love him back. John 3:16

People questioned his authority but he never questioned the authority of the ones who questioned his authority. Luke 20:2

Prays for the forgiveness of his persecutors and killers while hanging on the cross. Luke 23:24

Rises and shows himself to his disciples who didn’t stay with him during his most difficult times. John 20:19-20

Peter disowned him, yet he brought Peter back to his fold under no conditions. John 21:15-19

He’s not cogent. So maybe that’s why logical thinkers don’t get him.

He is a God is out of his mind.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tools

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.

 

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Greatness

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.

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Receivers

“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ Luke 13:26-27

They ate with the Provider of all things and they were filled. Yet, they did not feed the poor and needy.

They drank with him and their thirst was quenched. Yet, they did not share the fountain of life to the people who were looking for the water of life.

They listened to his messages, they heard his preaching. Yet, they did not pass down what they learn. They did not talk about it to their family and friends.

Whatever they receive they did not give. Whatever they had, they kept it to themselves. Everything stopped with them.

I’m guessing one reason for this — they focused mainly on what they received and not on the one who gave what they received. It filled their stomachs but not their hearts. It quenched their physicality but not their spirituality. It passed through their ears but it was not planted into their hearts. They longed for the gift and not the Giver. Only the Giver satisfies, not the gift.

Jesus is the only way through the door of heavenly gates. And when the time comes, may he not give you the same response, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ Luke 13:27

Make sure your answer is not similar with these comfortable receivers.

Build your relationship with the Giver, Jesus. Love him who feeds you. Live for him who gives his cup to you. Follow him who reveals his Word to you daily.

And may all these allow you to be a giver of whatever he gives you, to know him more, to love him more and thus you may make him known more and make him be loved more.

Always remember this — Jesus knows not mere receivers but receivers who become givers.

 

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Light Up A Candle

No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Luke 11:33

Praise lights each candle.

That’s our daughter. Our daughter serves as an altar server this given Sunday. We arrived early for her to prepare some things for the worship service. She dresses up with her altar gown and walks out from the back door to light each candle in the altar and in the church. She goes to the ones at the altar and she goes to the candles at the back of the church. If there would be other candles, she would not miss them. She goes to smaller candles, and to bigger or taller candles. If the light from a candle is suddenly blown by, she goes back to bring light to that candle. Though the light from each candle would be covered by the ceiling’s electric lighting, the candles continue to provide that certain light which only them could give throughout the service.

Then the light struck my heart.

This is the call of Jesus when we bring out the light. To light up one another. To bring the light to each person. To your spouse. To your daughters and sons. To your friends. To your office mates. That when you go to a certain place and as soon as your presence is felt, your words and actions lights up each person’s heart. That when you enter any door, you share the light of Jesus to others. Share the light to the people who have been standing there and needing of “how are you doing?”, hugs, love, affirmation and encouragement. Share his light to the people whose lights may have been extinguished by trials, marital problems, job concerns, unemployment, broken friendships, or doubt of God. Go back to the person whose light may have been blown by personal difficulties or financial challenges. 

Some of us may be like the ceiling’s lighting. These are leaders, pastors or teachers. Most of us may be like candles. They prepare what is menial, they are always at the background serving with all their hearts. But both type light the church. Both type can provide everlasting spark in the heart. So, you may have a small service or a small candle, what is important is you use it to light others. No matter how small your role is, God has put the light in you so it must be shared and not kept.  You have a unique God-given light or personality or gift that you alone can reach out to a certain person or group.

At the end of the service, Praise goes to put out the light in each candle. Hopefully, we won’t do the same, to your’s or to others’. For the light of Jesus goes on and on and on and on…His light won’t melt you but build you.

So move forward my friend…light up another candle.

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