Tag Archives: Message

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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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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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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Strong Arm

Be our strong arm each day and our salvation in times of trouble. Isaiah 32:2b

Each of one of us has this.

You depend on it. When you are tightening a glass jar cap or when you are opening a tight one, you use it. You lean on it. When all of a sudden you fall on the street, you put it first. When you push or pull something or when you go against something, a wall or a box, this arm gives you the foundation. It does your hardest work. When you twist a plumbing or when you get into a hole inside your car’s machine, this arm does the job. It reaches out for you. When you rebound a ball or when you jump to hand off a hanging fruit, this arm extends. It may be your left. It may be your right. It can’t be both but all of us have one – a strong arm.

Isaiah prayed that God be our strong arm, “Be our strong arm each day and our salvation in times of trouble. Isaiah 32:2b“. And God is.

He can tighten whatever is loose in your life. He can loosen whatever is in bondage to be in your personal or family life. He is the one you can lean on to. When you fall, he catches you. As you walk the narrow road and may be about to trip, he puts you on his back. He is your strong foundation, when you aim to pull your dreams or when you push away your distractions, you can ask his grace and strength to be there for you. When at your weakest, he comes up to take on what’s tough and what’s rough. He can and he will open things for you, your ideas, your wildest dreams, anything you thought it won’t be possible. He can close matters if these will hurt you or hurt your relationship with him. He extends his love and mercy to you. He reaches out for you when you are about to divert in your walk with him. He reaches out and extends himself whatever you can’t attain. All for you. You can depend on him. You can lean on him. He is the only one. He is the only one you’ve got.

You have him. He is God. He is your strong arm.

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I don’t want me to be still me

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist… Matthew 14:1-2a

He sees John in Jesus.

Not the other way around — see Jesus in John. And he has all the reasons to get startled. He is the same man who sent John to the valley of death. He is the same ruler who gave orders to put to stop John’s breath. Then Jesus appeared to start his ministry, this tetrarch saw John not Jesus. In every miracle, for every healing, for every driving-out-of-demons, he saw John not Jesus.

Sounds like our neighbors.

When I was starting my relationship with the Lord, they told me that I will, at some point, go back to my old life. That night, our conversation gave me a deeper reflection which is still challenging me today. Though I told them about my new found life in God and the ways I was serving him, the way our discussion went through and as they were predicting I’m about to slip from this narrow road, the bottom line is this — they still saw me in me. They did not see Jesus in me.

This gave me enough time on my knees to pray to God to change me, to turn my life upside down. I pleaded to him to let his face shine upon mine so they will see him not me. I cried out to the Lord to give me grace to repent from my old ways and that I may love him above all else. For no matter how many miracles or healing God can do through me. No matter how many people will hear me and get inspiration from my talks or preaching. No matter how many hours I can dedicate for his service. No matter how many hits this blog can record. Everything is in vain if they still see me in me. It won’t matter if they don’t see Jesus’ life in the way I live my life. Paul confirms this, “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Until today, my prayer still reverberates to his ears, “…change me oh God, make me like you…”

I don’t want me to be still me.

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One Message

And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you. 2 Peter 3:15

He wrote letters. Paul wrote letters. He preached the Word. Paul preached the Word. Both bringing one message.

Seldom we see leaders in the church or preachers of the Word concurring with one another. Most of the time, they try to contradict one another. Sometimes, they try to challenge one another. Other times, they fiercely debate with one another. I’m not saying Peter and Paul did not argue or debated on some issues of the early church, but when it comes to the very staple message of salvation they have one voice. To have one voice, one message, several must be done.

The humility Peter possessed. He is considered as the main leader of the church and yet here, he points to the words Paul has written. Peter thought he can’t do this on his own and needed help. Thus he referred to Paul’s letter for support. Humility. This is needed among leaders of the present church. That leaders maybe humble in lifting up one another and refer the good work each other is doing.

The brotherhood Peter and Paul had. Peter called him, beloved brother Paul. More than an esteemed co-worker, he referred to him as beloved. More than a fellow apostle, he called him brother. Brotherhood. May this gift be evident among the leaders of the church. That leaders may complement one another not to compete with one another.

The recognition of God by Peter by recognizing Paul’s given wisdom. He acknowledges there is wisdom in what Paul wrote. He knew gifts are distributed in the church and each has an important role to play. Peter pertains to Paul’s work as God’s work. Can church leaders do just that? Identify God by establishing a brother’s gift of ministry. Adhere to God’s plan in giving another person of his gifts and skills for the expansion of God’s kingdom.

And so we thought it’s impossible to have unity in the church. It can be done.

By having one message — Jesus as our salvation.

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Sending Humans

When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Matthew 28:17

They saw the risen Jesus. They worshiped him. And then, they doubted.

That’s what we read from Matthew.

And yet, also according to Matthew, Jesus approached these worshipers–doubters and sends them to go out to the whole world to make disciples out of men. Jesus further gives them the authority to baptize people in the name of the Holy Trinity plus the position to teach people regarding how to follow and love him. Most importantly, Jesus promised them of his presence until the end of time.

That’s right.

Jesus sent doubters to the world to bring his life giving and life saving message. He is sending imperfect disciples to preach to imperfect people. He does not commission people who have no flaws, he sends men who are just like us, humans. He sends men, who even in their prayers, have doubts into their hearts yet they continue to lift their hearts to him. He sends men, who even in their time of worship, have worries in their minds and yet they rest in their ever dependable God.

God sends humans to humans. Imperfect to imperfect. Sinners to sinners. Doubters to doubters. So maybe they can empathize with them. So maybe they can accept them and love them. So maybe they can understand their situation for they are in their situation.

When you feel you are unfaithful to him to serve him in your church, read that verse again. When you feel your weakness pulls you before you are able to offer your time and skills for him, reflect on that verse again. When your imperfection or spiritual inadequacy prevents you in volunteering for a ministry, come back to that verse again. When a doubt or a sin blocks you to make disciples out of men, be encouraged by that verse.

God is not sending superheroes. He is sending humans.

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