Tag Archives: hope

He Still Stops

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Mark 10:49

He has stopped a lot of things.

He stopped being comfortable in heaven by being born out of woman’s womb in a manger. Jesus stopped fishermen to start to become fishers of men. He stopped water in being water to become wine. Jesus stopped waves from turning their boat. He has stopped grumbling stomachs when he multiplied the bread. He stopped death by raising the dead. He stopped countless evil spirits from residing in human souls. He stopped sin by dying and stopped death by rising.

And he stopped for desperate cries of mercy.

He was leaving Jericho with his disciples with the crowds when blind Bartimaeus cried out for pity. Many tried to silence him but the blind man used his able sense and kept on screaming. That is when and where Jesus stopped.

God has a business running the universe, galaxies and lots of matters you can think of. But he stops when you cry out to him. He delays his itineraries when he hears sincerity in your prayer screams. When you are at your roadside begging and at worst, helpless; God stops. He wants to answer your pleas. He wants to know what he can and will do for you. Your cries to him do not fall on deaf ears.

You, my friend, may need God’s roadside big-time assistance today. He is waiting to hear from you. Shout out and cry out to him. Don’t stop even if people will stop you, still cry out to Jesus. He still stops.

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He Knows

“But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.” Mark 9:32

“I don’t know…”

This was my reply to my sister on her question why this difficulty we have in the family is happening right now. May be she was asking why now that we all are in advanced age levels that supposedly we should be making responsible and acceptable decisions. Or maybe she is wondering why now that we don’t have parental support or even why now that some of us may not be physically present to provide our moral support. “I don’t know…” seems to be an appropriate response for matters we don’t understand.

The disciples were not different from us, “But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.” Mark 9:32. This was the time after when Jesus declared that he would die but will rise again.

Though the twelve did not understand the plan of salvation and resurrection, these beleaguered twelve still stayed with Jesus. They still followed him. They continued to walk with him, eat with him, did a lot of things with him. They would not understand his teachings or his proclamations yet they made sure to stand for him, by him and with him.

May be there’s something you don’t understand right now…

· Sickness has been a burden for you to carry and still no healing or answer to your query.

· Resumes have been submitted but job doesn’t resume.

· Money is becoming a major issue in the family and minor financial rain fall is forecasted.

· A brother is wavering in his faith, not only lack of faith but opposing the faith he grew up with.

We don’t know. We don’t understand. The disciples stayed with him though they did not understand. Hopefully, even when there are times we don’t understand, may our hearts’ desire is that we still stand for him, by him and with him.

For even when we don’t understand, his promises stand. For even if we don’t know, he knows.

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Bring The Bread

In those days, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram with these words… Genesis 14:18

He brings the bread.

In the old and local Philippines, this boy wakes up early. He fetches his goods at the nearest street corner bakery. As he rides his bicycle, the bread within the front basket scatters the smell of fresh baked flour into the morning air. He settles at one home and another and another. At the doorsteps, he puts that sturdy brown bag which is ready to fill the stomachs of families after resting for the night. His work is personal. His work satisfies the hunger. His travel has a purpose. To bring the bread to the households. To fill the hungry with this bread.

Melchizedek did just that. The boy with five loaves did that. You can do it, too.

You don’t need to be a priest, mind you. This call for all of us is personal. As long as you want to satisfy the hunger of this world. Make it  your life’s purpose. To bring life to others as you share the bread of life. To fill the gaps in multiple hearts which can’t be filled by any ideology but by God alone.

May I bring some ways to bring the bread?

  • Be an encouragement in your homes.
  • Always speak God’s word may be in terms of positive outlook.
  • Follow God’s laws and the laws of the land.
  • Do your work well and pay your bills.
  • Be responsible to your promises.
  • Use Facebook or Twitter to spread his love and his words.
  • Show empathy and charity to the needy whose needs may be material or emotional tangibles.

You may be a priest. You may be a small boy with a packed lunch. You may be the clerk at the busiest table or a hotel receptionist. An accountant or an office messenger. A teacher or a student. All of us are called. All of us have the grace. All of us are capable.

Bring the bread.

 

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Of Abundant Grace and Peace

May grace and peace be yours in abundance through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  2 Peter 1:2

Why do you know you have grace when you need it?

Is it because you possess the skills to accomplish a service? Is it because you are doing a ministry which you are considered an expert? Is it because you have the ample resources for the mission at hand? Is it because you have been there, done that? Is it because the mountain is not too much to climb?

Why do you know you have peace in your very heart?

Is it because you know you still have work tomorrow? Is it because you are healthy and you are still kicking and running? Is it because everything nowadays went well and going well? Is it because your bank account is fat as it seems? Is it because the economy is recovering as it should be?

End of questions.

Peter points to one thing why you have grace and peace — knowledge of God and of Jesus.

When you know him, you know you can and you will do it by his grace. Though your skills maybe short or resources are scarce, you know you have grace because you know your God supplies your strength and wisdom to do so. Though the opposition of the service is great, his grace will be  immensely available for you, for you know your God will enable you. Though the days may follow the same route and may give you complacency, you know his grace will come to you by knowing him.

When you know him, you know you can close your eyes at night and sleep in peace like a babe and wake up revived like a young colt. In the midst of economic crisis, unemployment, family chaos or health issues, you have peace for he gives it to you by knowing him who calms the storm. Knowing your God, allows you to be still (Psalm 46:10). He brings you a table of feast in front of your enemies, that’s why you know you will have peace by knowing him.

Other translation provides knowledge of God as experience with God. The more we experience him, the more we acknowledge his grace and his offering of peace. The more you spend your life with him, the more you tap into his grace and allow his presence to give you peace.

May you have the passion to know him. May your days be filled with experiencing our Almighty God. May you have grace and peace in abundance.

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Withered

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. Mark 3:1

He did not see perfection.

He did not see strength.

He did not see freshness.

Jesus saw something withered. A withered hand. Dry. Shrunken. Wrinkled.

Yet, Jesus stayed. Jesus does not go because he saw what he needed to see — imperfection. He knows people who goes to his church are not perfect. He stayed because he is there to revive the withered. He is there to stretch what is shortened. He is there to make new out of the wrinkled. He is there to refresh the dryness.

He still does today.

Enter your church. Go into your homes. Look at your offices. See your campus. Jesus enters and stays with those places. To stretch the faith of the challenged. To revive the life out of the lifeless. To bless freshness into the tired and battered. To smoothen the wrinkled and stressed hearts. To bring healing to the dry relationships.

Let him enter your heart today. If your soul is withered, ask Jesus to come in. Expose your withered life. Let him see what he suppose to see. Open your tired mind and invite him to stay.

He will enter and he will stay.

For the withered.

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Quick Answer

Do not hide your face from me now that I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. Psalm 102:3

Exactly three months ago, God quickly answered even before I called.

It was a Thursday the 13th when I got laid-off from the company I used to work for. Its not that I did not expect it but it just came too soon. I wanted to stay with this company for I liked the way it operates and I wanted to give my loyalty. In fact, there were several headhunters giving me calls and emails but I had to turn them down courteously. But life is full of surprises and this is one.

As I went home to my wonderful wife, I said to myself, this is where God will show he is God. After discussing our options, I decided to call one of the headhunters who called me previously and expressed my interest on the opportunities their office might have. The person quickly returned my call after hearing my voice mail and told me she’ll refer me to a certain global corporation. After a day, a manager from the said corporation phoned me to set-up an interview with me in the coming week. The company offered me the job after another interview session and verifications but I had to wait for pertinent papers to be processed before I can get on board. All happened in three weeks.

For about two to three months of distressed days without an income for the family, we experienced God’s face in the faces of family, friends and brothers and sisters in community. We enjoyed God’s carefully listening ears when we raised up our concerns to the same people who helped us and supported us.

  • Siblings were always on-line to encourage us, always giving us their consolation, asking us how are we doing.
  • A friend lent us funds to pay our mortgage for one month. A brother in community expressed his intention to help us in this area, too.
  • Had the longest email (63 replies all in all) in my entire life with brothers and sisters for continuous encouragement and prayers.
  • Friends calling our home and asking how we are doing and inquiring how can they help us. Friends giving us financial aid amidst their own economic difficulties.
  • God paving way for my wife to do dog sitting which gave us good amount of money to live by.
  • On my 40th birthday, two friends were in tug of war to treat us in restaurants. We scheduled them in two separate days so they can be accommodated.
  • A brother of mine sent us financial support which was good for a month’s food supply.
  • My daughter’s bible school teacher affirming their prayers for us each time we see them in church.
  • Our pastor enrolling in our prayer warriors list.
  • My family getting closer to one another and to God as we went through the tough times.
  • I am starting on a new journey in the corporation stated above this week.

God does not hide his face on the distressed. His ears ever attentive to his children. Even before I prayed, God has an exit plan from the present trial. It was not late. It was not delayed. God showed he is God. Before I called, he quickly answered.

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Miss Job

In all this Job did not sin, nor did he say anything disrespectful of God. Job 1:22

Raissa Laurel twitted, “♪♪ Our God is greater.. Our God is stronger.. God, You are higher than any other.. ♪♪”

Who is Ms. Laurel?

She was a victim of the DLSU bombing during the bar examinations in Manila, Philippines. She should not have been there. Media described- Raissa was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe. She is only at her 2nd year at San Sebastian College Law school. As a result of the explosion, the 23 years old lass will have her two legs amputated. Tough future for the future lawyer. And yet, she praise God. She exalts Him. She magnifies God. She even expressed, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your prayers and support for my recovery! Our God is sovereign and He is in control of everything.. God bless us!” She was even confused with the media, “Disappointed with media.. Why are they twisting the story?.. Why can’t they just understand that GOD IS WHERE I DRAW MY STRENGTH FROM?..”

Job lost everything he had, livelihood, family and his future. Raissa will lose her two legs, small compared to Job, you might say. However, for a young woman full of dreams, who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, she was a victim.  She was innocent. She has every reason to question what happened or what will happen to her. She must be angry with God or with the world. Instead, she still sings for God. She still confess the greatness of God. Like Job, she has remained faithful to God. She did not say anything, yes, anything that will insult God.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Miss Job.

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