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BUSINESS CHRISTIANITY

COMPASSION IN A TIME OF CONFUSION

2020 is almost over but the pandemic is still upon us. The Philippines have suffered a great deal, and most of the marginalized are pushed farther into poverty. News about companies going bankrupt and employees being laid off has numbed our hearts. What can we do? How can we help when we ourselves are in the same sinking boat?

Early this year, my wife and I decided to venture into online business. We planned it out, bought our domain and upgraded our hosting provider. The goal of the business is to stabilize our financial footing, help clear outstanding debts, and venture into other investments. Everything was moving according to plan when Covid-19 came barging in. It was disheartening, frustrating and, at most part, frightening. Our plans were put on hold. Then, around August, my sister asked me to create a specific shirt that would feature her line of work as a Medical Technologist. Ideas came rushing in as she was explaining a bunch of their work processes. After 2 days, I finished 3 shirts. All it took was one post from my sister to a specific group of Med Tech people for inquiries to come pouring in. It was a good week for me and also for one of our outreach kid who I was able to tap for deliveries. He needed the job, and I was able to provide a temporary one for him. That’s when I realized the impact my business can have in the socio-economic standing of my community by providing jobs to these young people. I am not a big time business person, but I am willing to help out.

Now, the goal of our business is more than the profit but the impact we can have. My heart goes to all the people I know who is hurting and suffering because of our current condition. Amidst of the chaos, I know that God has still placed this burden in me to help. I am not a martyr…I am far from one. But I am a Christian that has received the unconditional love of the Father and has found favor in His eyes. I am a recipient of grace and mercy, and with that experience, I am bound to bless others also.

At this moment, we have found another way to be a blessing. We have partnered with a movement called jeepneystop.ph where 10% of our earnings will go to their initiative of providing 80 families of jeepney drivers with noche buena packages. We have registered our business to their online shop (www.thejeepneystop.com) where our shirts will be featured. Some of you might think that 10% is a lot. Well, as a Christian, I was trained to see 10% as the initial base of my giving. What is 10% compared to the joy we can give to these 80 families. They need to know that people still cared.

So, If you have the opportunity to help and be a blessing, do it! It may be as simple as buying someone lunch or giving a glass of water. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Don’t miss out on the joy of helping out. Don’t let the confusion of the moment distract you from showing compassion.

Photo by Thor Alvis on Unsplash

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CHRISTIANITY

ACTIVE STILLNESS

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

I love the song STILL by Hillsong, especially the chorus where it says “When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the storm. Father, you are king over the flood. I will be still and know you are God.” My wife and I found a Tagalog version of this song. It’s not translated word for word, but the thought of the song is expressed more accurately, in my personal opinion. The Tagalog version of the chorus goes like this “Suliranin man ay dumating (Even if predicaments come our way) Ikaw lamang O Diyos ang sasambahin (I will praise you alone O God) Panginoon ko sayo lamang, mananatili kalian pa man (Forever I will remain still in You o Lord).” I know, it’s not a very accurate translation, but the song is not the point.

Whenever I am confronted by verses that command me to BE STILL and get a grip on my anxious soul, I always think of just giving up. Most people would even say LET GO AND LET GOD and it always feels like a last resort. It’s like driving your car until it runs out of gas and then letting the momentum take you wherever. Subconsciously, I have equated being STILL to passively quitting. Que sera sera – whatever happens, happens. This was my mentality before I was confronted by a sermon preached in church just recently about INTENTIONAL GROWTH.

We Christians are saved by God’s grace alone. Our faith and understanding of God is also a gift that is made possible by the ministry of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truths (John 16:13). We are privileged to understand spiritual things because we were permitted to understand spiritual things. When it comes to our spiritual growth, we are commanded to endure and show character in the light of hardship and persecution (Heb 12:7). Even Jesus said to love those who persecute us (Mat 5:44). So where does being STILL fit in this scenario of INTENTIONAL GROWTH?

I believe that being still is not passive in nature. Remember Jesus telling the storm to BE STILL? It required great power. The power that Jesus initially veiled as He lived His life as a human being (Phil 2:6-7). He had the power, He was just not flaunting it. In our case, we have that same power in Christ and we should recognize it. Being STILL requires an active understanding of God’s character and how He directly affects our lives. Being STILL is not giving up but pressing on and moving towards the goal that was set before us. Being STILL is a calling to pursue holiness in the midst of pain and corruption. Being STILL is our best option during times of uncertainty.

When we start to choose to be still, change is never guaranteed. Peace, on the other hand, can be attained in our STILLNESS. I love how the Apostle Paul told the believers in Philippi that God’s peace is beyond their comprehension and is able to guard our hearts and minds as we live in Christ (Phil 4:7).

As my wife and I go through rivers of doubts during her pregnancy, I pray for God’s sustaining grace as we attempt to intentionally grow in Him and actively pursue being STILL.

Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash

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CHRISTIANITY

PASSING OVER

The exodus account is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Seeing the faithfulness of God all through-out the narrative is a depiction of unfailing grace and renewed mercy. The temporary uprooting of Jacob and his family was pre-planned by God in eternity past so that the lineage of Christ will be preserved. It gives you a glimpse of God’s love towards His beloved. Then, the time came for the Israelites to return.

When you read the first chapter of exodus starting at verse 8, you would see that the suffering of the Israelites started when a new Pharaoh came into power without being oriented to the history and origin of Joseph’s people. Fear was somehow instilled in the mind of this new leader. A major detail to the story of the Passover.

I will not be tackling the whole story. I expect that you have come here with a basic knowledge of the Exodus story, or even the Disney adaptation – Prince of Egypt. Now, let’s fast forward to the very last plague that would be the key to the Israelite’s release.

Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. (Exo 11:1 NIV)

Let’s pause. You might be thinking – “Why didn’t God just jump to this plague right here? Why go through all the trouble of sending nine plagues?” Well, it’s a very valid question. I asked myself that years ago, and I came across this study on how all the plagues God sent may have been a direct contradiction to one or two specific gods of the Egyptians. Just like how the last plague hits the ultimate power of Egypt – Pharaoh! The Egyptians worshipped Pharaoh. They even believe that he is the actual son of Ra – the sun god. So, when you think about it, the nine plagues before the final one is a precursor to the ultimate knockout move God has planned out. Now that God has the attention of both the Israelites and the Egyptians, it’s time to show grace and judgment in one pass.

So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt – worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites, not a dog will bark at any man or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. (Exodus 11:4-7 NIV)

There’s the knock-out punch! I love how Moses wrote the last part of verse 7 – “Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. God has drawn the line and made sure that the world will know the difference between those He has chosen and those whose heart has hardened from the mere revelation of His character. Let’s move on.

The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you – so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.” Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country. (Exo 11:9 & 10)

TIME OUT! That’s not fair! Pharaoh was bound to lose in the first place! Let’s clarify. First of all, God will always judge fairly (Psa 9:8). If we understand the nature of God, it’s common knowledge for the believer (It should be) that everything God has willed and purposed is and will be good (Rom 8:28) – final and beneficial. Secondly, God is also a God of mercy, compassion, and grace (Lam 3:23). Never will God contradict His essence just to prove a point. His characteristics operate simultaneously without any contradiction. Remember what I said? GRACE AND JUDGEMENT IN ONE PASS! Now, let’s go back to my first question – Why did it take 10 plagues when it could have been finished in one? What if, it’s also a show of grace to Pharaoh to acknowledge God’s power and sovereignty over everything? I love how an article in The Gospel Coalition explained that for the first five plagues, Pharaoh hardened his heart. It was not until the end of the sixth plague (Exo 9:12) that it mentioned the Lord hardening Pharaoh’s heart. Then, then the article said this:

Well how did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? God simply revealed himself. He revealed his power, supremacy, love for his people, hatred of sin, etc.. Through the signs and wonders of the plagues. It was this revelation of God that hardened his heart.

Even before the plagues happened, in the first verse we read, the information Pharaoh decided to believe was the foundation of his heart being hardened. He did not know who Joseph was, therefore the existence of the Israelites became a threat.

We have come to the part of the story where God gave the Israelites the whole day to prepare for His visit. This part amazes me because of the way God has included specific instructions for the people to follow. The details include what meal to eat, how to prepare the meal, how to eat the meal and even what to wear during the meal. The most interesting part is when Moses said this:

“Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘it is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when He struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshipped. The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. (Exo 12:24-28)

This was an event worth remembering. This was an event that future generations needed to hear about. It’s like God telling the Israelites – Don’t you forget that I chose you! And when I come passing through your homes, remember that I showed you grace! Grace to the Israelites. Judgment to the Egyptians. All in one passing.

So how does this story help us?

Well, dearly beloved, if you are a follower of Christ, then we should not forget that God chose us. Before the foundation of the world, we have been purposed to be In Christ. Spiritual death passed over us the moment we were reconciled in Christ. Grace pursued us the moment we were born to this fallen world. The elaborate story of the Exodus was given for us to deeply appreciate the extent of God’s faithfulness towards us. Even during the times when we fail and complain, just like what the Israelites will do after they are freed, God continued to show grace.

Now, hold on to these principles. Live life with a better perspective. Look at your circumstances through the lens of grace. Remember this fact – that through Christ’s loving mercy, He called onto death to pass over His beloved and offered Himself in our stead. The passing over of death is in itself an act of grace.

Photo by Cosmin Gurau on Unsplash

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CHRISTIANITY

HOLY WEAK

The end of the Lenten season is at hand topped off with a weeklong commemoration of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. The “HOLY WEEK” is anticipated by the Filipino people, not because of any spiritual undertone, but because of the long holiday weekend. It’s a chance for the working people to experience uninterrupted days of rest. So…who’s excited for a long holiday weekend? (If you’re reading this in the far future, I’m writing this during the enhanced community quarantine where everyone has been in lockdown for more than a month because of the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Celebrating Jesus should be a default for the Christian. Apostle Paul declared it best to the believers in Philippi – “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21 NIV) The life of the Apostle Paul before his encounter with Jesus in the road to Damascus was so much against God, and yet, God in His love and sovereignty pursued Paul (it was Saul back then) to live a life with a greater purpose. That is why when the great Apostle said “For to me, to live is Christ…” it was a statement that as long as he is living, the life he is living will be in parallel to Christ. He can confidently say that because he has nothing to lose. Even dying is gain…profit! That is why, if you only have this week to think about Christ, to honor His sacrifice, then what does that make us?

Dedicating our lives to Jesus is never easy. Even Jesus said that the world will hate us because of Him (John 15:18; Matt 10:22). We will even be persecuted because of Jesus (Matt 5:11). The Christian way of living will be hard, and the only way for us to live it out the way it should be is when we understand that our hope is in the Lord (Isa 40:31). That is why our best shot in this world is to really stick close to Jesus. How close? Like you have “…been crucified with Christ…” (Gal 2:20). When you continue the verse, it says there that being crucified with Christ gives you a grace-oriented perception that it is no longer you and I who are living, it is Christ living in us!

So let’s get to my main point.

We, who have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ, draw strength from the God who pursued us. We are spiritually weak and vulnerable. And it is in our weakness where God’s power is made complete and full. That is why we should never be ashamed of our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). Our capacity to comprehend the grace, mercy, and compassion of Christ is all because of the power of the Holy Spirit in us who teaches us all things (John 14:26).

In conclusion, during the holiest week of the year, we have to accept the fact that we are weak. If Jesus, in all His power, decided to veil His deity and become a man just to fulfill the Father’s plan (Phil 2:6-8), then we, who are spiritually weak, have no choice but to submit to God.

This is my first installment in my personal reflection regarding the importance of knowing who Jesus is. I hope and pray, that as we progress in our walk with God, that our ultimate understanding of His nature would radically change the direction of our goals and aspiration in life.

Photo by Ümit Bulut on Unsplash

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CHRISTIANITY

ENHANCED SPIRITUAL QUARANTINE

After weeks of being quarantined because of the rising COVID-19 dilemma, people have resorted to social media as their source of entertainment and frustration. People would often like, comment, post, and share things that do not go well with everyone. People from the extreme left would refute people from the utmost right, and vice versa. And if you’re neutral, you become prey to both parties. The heavy desire of people to connect through social media would sometimes push us to become hateful, vindictive and just plain rude.

Don’t mistake my introduction as a sign of empathy or neutrality, because I have my own take on what is happening around us. I am just choosing to shut up. A handful of family and friends are the only people I prefer to share my insights. They know me well enough to rebuke me or encourage me in love, especially when my unsolicited opinion is suddenly shared on Facebook. But as I extend my time in social media, my mental and emotional state is slowly deteriorating. I feel stress is beginning to brew in the recesses of my soul.

Step back.

In a time when social distancing is urged, I firmly believe that SOCIAL MEDIA DISTANCING should be more encouraged. It’s high time for us, Bible-believing followers of Jesus Christ, to step back from the thinking of the world. Apostle Paul said it perfectly to the Christians of the Roman Empire – “Do not conform to the pattern of this world…” (Romans 12:1a NIV) Do not walk like the heathens do. Don’t talk like the unbelievers do. A higher calling is expected from us, and anything less is unacceptable. Anything less is plainly a violation of God’s integrity. Anything less is a sin. So if your social media account becomes so unbearable, and your notion of justice and fairness is being challenged with every post you read, then take the Biblical route. Don’t react like the world, but respond like Jesus. Master the art of compassion, and let God take your Christianity to the next level.

Reset.

“…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:1b NIV) Stepping back is just the first step. Now is the hard part – changing. Transformation comes from a renovation of our thinking. My dad is in construction, and I remember him telling his foreman during a renovation of a building to TAKE DOWN FOUNDATIONS WITH COMPROMISED INTEGRITY and replace them with new ones. When our worldview is not founded on absolute truth, then integrity is sure to be compromised. If sin has caused the damage, then let’s confess our sins and let God cleanse us from all our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Confession of sin is another way of stepping back and acknowledging that something needs to change. Don’t let the quicksand of social media hate pull you down a lifestyle void of compassion. Repent and be transformed. Continue your journey to a more pleasing and gracious version of you.

Dive right back.

With a better understanding of God’s love and grace, we have a better chance of surviving out there. I’m not saying that we will be able to withstand everything life will throw at us, but we “…will be able to test and approve what God’s will is…” (Romans 12:1c) That is what matters. Even Jesus, the third person of the Godhead, wanted what God the Father has intended for Him. Jesus earnestly prayed to God – “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42 NIV) YET NOT MY WILL, BUT YOURS BE DONE. Once every thought in our minds is fixed unto Jesus, and we slowly build a mental capacity to somehow grasp on to the Sovereignty, Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Love of our God, then we start to surrender everything to God. We lift up both hands in submission, knowing that God, in His unwavering righteousness, perfect justice, and absolute sovereignty, has everything in control. Whatever the government decrees, God has assured us that “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord…” (Proverbs 21:1a KJV). Whoever wishes us ill, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” (Psalm 118:6 KJV).

Stay rooted.

As we dive back into the social media stream, let us remain in Christ…and only by the grace of God can we remain in Him! Do not let the hate-filled comments, the burdening posts, and the discouraging news take you away from our stand in Jesus. Be armed with compassion and integrity, and “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV) It’s harder than it seems, but always know that when we fail and fall – Step back, reset, dive back in, and pray to God that we stay rooted.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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CHRISTIANITY

FEARDEMIC

These are trying times.

Here in our part of the world, our government has declared a nationwide community quarantine to curb the increasing number of people affected by COVID-19. We have been locked in our homes for almost a week, and I can feel anxiety creeping up on me. Not just about the current scare of being infected and even the possibility of my loved ones getting the virus, but the aftermath of this whole ordeal. Stocks have been in a freefall and businesses, big and small, are starting to lay off employees just to stay afloat.

I’ve been hearing of a great worldwide recession that’s coming, even bigger than what caused the great depression. Analysts from all over are trying to predict the economic pulse of the world after the pandemic. Everyone is looking for stability. Everyone is looking for security. I, for one, am guilty of this.

So what should we do?

Maybe after this sentence, you will hit the back button and look for another article to read. Still, I would like to tell you this – It’s time to anchor our stability and security on God! Yes, I am the kind of person who has built my entire belief system on the One Who created the heavens and the earth. I am a follower of Christ. But, that doesn’t mean that I am well off. In reality, fear is my go-to emotion. I’m not proud of it, but I need to address it. That is the whole point of this whole article.

From the start of the pandemic, fear has been slowly taking hold of my core beliefs. Slowly demolishing the system of beliefs that I have been learning all throughout my life. Biblical precepts were slowly being unloaded because of my unbelief. Fear took away my peace…and that opened a whole new level of internal problems for me. Panic and anger ensued. I was spiraling downwards…and I was risking the peace of my family too. I had to bounce back.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

This passage gave me the opportunity to bounce back. God was offering a peace that was beyond comprehension. The kind of peace that will bound my thinking towards Jesus. So, when the writer of Hebrews told us to FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS (Heb 12:2), it was under the premise of gaining God’s gift of peace. If it was just up to us, fear will never depart from us. Remember, the spirit of fear is not from God (2 Tim 1:7). Peace is what God has in store for us.

Now, I don’t know when all of this will end. I have no clue what will happen next. I’m just taking it one day at a time…because today’s trouble is enough for today! (Matt 6:34)

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CHRISTIANITY

ROMA WALO, DALAWAMPU’T WALO

“Alam nating sa lahat ng bagay ay gumagawa ang Diyos para sa ikabubuti ng mga nagmamahal sa kanya, silang mga tinawag ayon sa kanyang layunin.”

Napakadali para sa ating basta nalang banggitin ang mga katagang ito na para bang pangunang-lunas sa mga nararamdaman ng mga taong may mga pinagdadaanan. Parang Joy na sa isang patak kaya ang kalungkutang saaaaaaangkatutak! Pero hindi kasi ganoon yun mga kapatid. Walang mahika ang mga salitang binigkas…ang kalakasan ng talatang ito ay naka-ayon sa Diyos na may taglay na lubos na kapangyarihan upang gawin ang lahat ng bagay para sa ikabubuti natin! Wag tayong mawili na gamiting bala ang katagang ito kung di natin lubusang naiintindihan.

ALAM NATING SA LAHAT NG BAGAY

Hindi sa kakaunting bagay, o kaya sa mga bagay na nakikita lang natin, kundi sa LAHAT ng bagay! Dito mo makikita ang kapangyarihan ng Diyos. Hindi lang Siya kumikilos sa mga bagay na hawak natin o sa mga bagay na apektado tayo, pero pati narin ang mga bagay na patuloy na kumikilos sa paligid natin!

AY GUMAGAWA ANG DIYOS

Naaalala ko yung kanta ni Gary V. “Natutulog ba ang Diyos?” Siyempre hindi.  Kahit na di natin nararamdaman ang Diyos, patuloy parin Siya sa pagkilos. Sabi nga ng propetang Jeremias sa Mga Panaghoy 3:22-23 na ang “…kahabagan mo’y walang kapantay. Ito ay laging SARIWA bawat umaga…” Kaya huwag panghihinaan ng loob!

PARA SA IKABUBUTI NG MGA NAGMAMAHAL SA KANYA

Kahit anong mangyari, ang mga nararanasan natin na nagmamahal sa Kaniya ay laging mabuti. Tandaan, na ang antas ng kabutihan ng Diyos ay hindi katulad ng inaasahan natin. Kahit na may cancer ka, walang pera, nasunugan, nakakaranas ng hindi maganda sa buhay, mayroon at mayroon parin itong mabuting kahihinatnan. Pero, ang maaaring makaunawa lang dito ay ang mga mananampalatayang nagmamahal sa Diyos. Paano mo masasabing mahal mo ang Diyos? Dapat kilala mo ang kakanyahan ng Diyos! Kailangan mayroon tayong kumpiyansa sa Kaniyang Salita.

SILANG MGA TINAWAG AYON SA KANIYANG LAYUNIN

Hindi pag-aaksayahan ng Diyos ang mga taong hindi naman niya tinawag at binigyan ng layunin. Tayo na tumanggap kay Kristo ay may iisang tungkulin pero iba-ibang layunin. Tungkulin nating lumago sa biyaya ng ating Diyos, at sa ating paglago, maiintindihan natin ang pinaka layunin natin dito sa mundo. Bakit kailangan lumago? Dahil sa paglalakbay natin sa ating buhay Kristyano, mayroon at mayroon tayong madadaanang problema. Pero hindi natin magiging katapusan ang mga problemang ito kung alam natin na mayroong layunin ang Diyos para sa atin!

Kaya mga minamahal, bago natin ipangsangkalan ang Roma 8:28, intindihin muna natin ang pinaka pundasyon nito.

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash
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CHRISTIANITY

“IN THE BEGINNING, GOD…”

At the onset of everything…God was already there! Elohim…the infinite and all-powerful Deity with the intention to create anything and everything from nothing. At the very beginning…GOD!

As I have purposed in my heart to go back and seek the basic foundation of my Christian belief, I decided to start at the very first book of my Bible and seek out what God wanted me to find. I never thought that the first 4 words in my English Bible would hit me hard! Truly, God’s word will never return empty. Moving further down the verse, the answer to the question “how did everything start?” is in plain sight. In the beginning, God, Who already existed, created the Heavens and the Earth. It goes on to define in detail how God pursued the creation of life as per His standard. But I want us to go back to first part of Genesis 1:1. I want us to dwell on the life lesson presented to us in these four words.

Recently, I hit a wall in my life where things made sense but not in the proper order. I ran into a doctrinal dilemma where I couldn’t make sense of God’s love and grace co-existing with His justice and sovereignty. I foolishly tried to comprehend an infinite Deity with my finite mentality. I was trying to selfishly make sense of it all…when all I needed was to make sense of what mattered! God’s motives can never be fully comprehended. His omniscience can never be expounded. He is infinite and eternal. He can never be contained. Because in the beginning, even before time, matter and space existed, GOD has always been there. It is not my job to define God with my limited vocabulary…but it is my desire to make Him known in the areas where He revealed Himself to us through the infallible and complete canon of scripture.

As I continue my journey back to the basics, I am comforted by the fact that I have a God who pre-existed everything the world has to throw at me. And with this, I have logically concluded in my soul that since God is all-knowing, all-powerful, eternal and sovereign, it means that God in his perfect knowledge knew in eternity past that I will exist and decided to put forth His power to save me. He has decided to redeem me even before the foundation of the world…that is why, the writer of Genesis boldly declared…

IN THE BEGINNING…GOD!

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CHRISTIANITY

MORE THAN A WORD

Grace is just a common word for the common person. Nothing special. Nothing spectacular. Nothing breathtaking. Grace is just a word. But when you have nothing to show forth, grace becomes your everything.

My first personal and face-to-face encounter with grace came when I was a little over 11 years of age. A Pastor and dear family friend of ours made me realize that unlimited grace was just a positive decision away. The moment I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, grace became amazing in my eyes. The fact that a sinner like me, with nothing worthwhile to show forth and righteousness as filthy rags, became acceptable in the sight of a perfectly just and righteous God. It made grace more than amazing and wonderful for me. The awesome fact that Jesus who knew no sin became sin for me so that I, the filthy sinner, can become worthwhile in the eyes of God. That was something I have truly appreciated in my early years as a Christian…til everything became complicated.

Years have passed and God blessed me and my family with so much. We were living a very comfortable life and our convenience became a breeding ground for leniency in our spiritual lives. Soon, our prosperity quickly turned from being a blessing to a heartbreaking test. We forgot what was important. Detailing our struggles here will be unfair for my family, but let me tell you this, we were left with nothing except for God’s grace.

Up until now, we are still recovering from what had happened. Hard times became harder and tensions within the family rose…but still, God’s grace overflowed from the heavens. We may never be as comfortable or financially stable as we used to be, but we are much more secured now as we were before. Now, we understand that security comes from the absolute source of grace. As long as God is in the business of flaunting grace, there is nothing to worry about.

I’m not promoting the abuse of grace but the idea that without grace, we are nobody with nothing going nowhere. Our lives are pointless and senseless without grace.

It’s no accident that you are reading my post. Maybe God is speaking to you and telling you that it’s time you allow grace to be more than a word.

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CHRISTIANITY

SCARED & UNSURE

those are two of the words in the English vocabulary that you don’t want in one sentence.

I want to do more than what I am presently accomplishing…I believe that the Lord blessed me with a creative mind and impressive audio/visual instinct…part of a master plan that I am still trying to figure out.

My search started way back in 2006 when i surrendered myself for missions. I knew that starting at that point, God is preparing me to go somewhere. Where? I have no idea…all I know is that i need to go! years passed and the desire to go diminished…over time, I was starting to be uncertain if God really did call me. I continued with my life and tried to be as good as a christian as I can be…then came Missions Conference week 2010…God rekindled that flame in me! Hearing testimonies after testimonies from missionaries, I was sure that God wants me to do something.

Right now, I will be concentrating with the basics that I once taught…then once i have mastered the basics, I am praying that God would give me an opportunity to have formal training in the area of Biblical Studies. I want to know more about the Lord and His ways…and also, I want to gain the capacity to rightly divide His truths and illuminate it to people who are lost.

God…I pray…that you give me the grace to overcome being scared and unsure!

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