Life Thoughts (Sermon Series): The Power of the Tithe

2 Cor 9:6-11

 

Today, for the first time in my life, I will preach about tithing. Ilang buwan na tayong nakikinig sa pagiging steward ng ating katawan, ng ating time, ng ating resources. At ito lang naman po ang napaka-simpleng tanong: nasan na yung ikapu ng kinita mo?

 

Pagkatapos ng preaching ko ngayon, sana ito lang ang tandaan natin lahat:

 

My Tithe is Not Mine!

 

And that will be our main principle, dahil yun nga naman ang totoo, hindi sa atin ang 10% ng kung anumang meron tayo. Yung 100k na kinita mo for 5 months, hindi sayo lahat yon. Ung 1000 na kinita mo dahil sa pagbenta mo ng mga produkto mo, ung 100 don hindi talaga sayo. Sa Panginoon yon.

 

So My Tithe is not mine!

 

But Where is Your Tithe?

 

Ay iniingatan ko.

Tinatago ko.

Ininvest ko na.

Pinangbili ko ng Bible.

Pinambili ko ng pangkain namin.

 

Hindi sayo yan! Bakit mo ginalaw?

 

Ang tawag sa pag sabi na “ibibigay ko sayo” pero hindi binigay ay ESTAFA. Pwede kang kasuhan ni Lord ng Estafa kasi sa kanya yan, hindi sayo.

 

So Where is your tithe?

At Bakit hindi mo binibigay?

 

 

Sa US, in 2001, Barna Research revealed some significant trends in giving:

  • Compared to 1999, the mean per capita donation to churches dropped by 19 percent in 2000.
  • Among born-again adults, there was a 44 percent rise in those who gave nothing.
  • The number of donors to any nonprofit or church organization declined by 7 percent.
  • Four out of every ten adults gave nothing to churches . . . a rise of 15 percent among those refusing to support churches.
  • One-third of born-again adults said they gave tithe in

2000, but a comparison of their giving versus their household income revealed that only one out of eight actually did.

 

“”Americans who earn less than $10,000 gave 2.3 percent of their income to religious organizations,” Smith, Emerson, and Snell write, “whereas those who earn $70,000 or more gave only 1.2 percent.” While the actual percentages are slightly higher for Christians who regularly attend church, the pattern is similar. Households of committed Christians making less than $12,500 per year give away roughly 7 percent of their income, a figure no other income bracket beats until incomes rise above $90,000 (they give away 8.8 percent).

 

In fact, in absolute terms, the poorest Christians give away more dollars than all but the wealthiest Christians.”

 

Alam natin itong story na ito. Mark 12:41-44

 

And according to tithing.com: Widows and widowers are some of the biggest tithers, with 17.6% giving 10% or more of their income to the church, compared to 8.6% of non-widowed people.

 

Ang pagbibigay ng ating ikapu at pagbibigay ng higit pa sa ating ikapu ay hindi na natin nappractice sa church. Kaya sabi ng iba, madaming selfish Christians kasi hindi nagbibigay, kasi nagsimula sa church na hindi nagbibigay ng nararapat para sa Panginoon.

 

At tayo ay naririto ngayon upang makinig sa isa nanamang preaching about tithing.

 

What does the Bible really teach about tithing?

In Leviticus 27:30, sinabihan ng Panginoon ang mga Israelita kung ano ang gagawin sa kanilang mga ari-arian. Maganda po na matandaan natin na galing silang Egipto at walang mga pagmamay aring lupa. At noong nakarating na sila ng sa Israel, ang promised land, minarapat ng Diyos na bigyan sila ng bata ukol sa kanilang mga pagmamay-ari.::::::::

 

Very important yung tithing. At sa atin ngayon minsan tinatawag na natin na tithing kahit anong action ng pagbigay. Kung ang ibibigay natin ay piso lang sa 100 pesos na kinita natin, tawag pa rin natin dun tithe, kahit hindi naman talaga 10% yun ng kinita natin. So lahat ng may kinalaman sa pagbibigay ng pera we erroneously call–tithing. Which in fact hindi naman talaga. We can call anything below 10% as DONATION. And anything above our 10% as OFFERING. But our tithe is 10%. Ayaw naman natin maging legalistic na ijujudge namin kayo kung hindi kayo magbigay sa Panginoon, pero the 10% belongs to God dahil my tithe is not mine.

 

The Israelites were warned that to present to their Creator anything less than the full 10 percent was to “rob God,” since the first 10 percent belonged to him, not them:

Malachi 3:8-10

 

At alam niyo ba, na hindi lang isang tithe ang meron sila, hindi din dalawa, kundi tatlong tithe ang commanded sa kanila ng Panginoon

 

Three Tithes of Israel

  1. Tithe for priests and Levites Numbers 18:21, 24
  2. Tithe for a sacred festival Deut. 12:17-18; 14:23
  3. Tithe for Orphans, Widows and poor Deut 14:28-29; 26:12-13

 

Tithe 1 and 2 are forever. And then number 3 is collected every 3rd year. So every year they actually give to the Lord roughly 23% of what they earn. Which is less than what we pay sa taxes natin. So the practice of tithing is stated by God in the Old Testament. And histroy will indicate that the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Assyrians all tithed to their gods.

 

Who is your God?

 

And we get here the value of tithing. In Deut 14:23::::NIV

 

We tithe so that we may learn to revere God always.

 

  1. Tithing is intended to train people to put God first in their lives.
    1. Before you even spend, naka-laan na ba ang dapat ay sa Panginoon? Tandaan natin, our tithe is not ours.

 

Who is your God?

 

  1. Tithing reminds us that all we are and all we have is from God.
    1. Ang pagtitithe ay nagbibigay sa atin ng perspective. Bakit mas nag dedepend tayo sa Panginoon.
    2. Real talk lang no. Ang hirap mag tithe. Pinag-hirapan ko yung perang yan, may renta ako sa bahay, mahal ng bigas at gasolina ngayon, tapos nagbabayad pa tuition kasi June na. Wala nang space para sa tithe. Gamitin ko nalang, will din nama siguro ni Lord na mabuhay ako ng maayos diba? Ang tanong, nung hindi ka nagtitithe, maganda nga ba buhay mo? Nung nagtitithe ka, kumusta buhay mo?

 

At meron tayo laging ganitong mentality hindi ba? Ayoko mag tithe. Kaya naman ng church. Kaya naman nila pastor. Madami pa akong kailangan. Mas madami pa akong kailangan hindi lang nila alam. And yes, most of the time we say::

 

Ayoko mag tithe, dahil:

  1. Tithing is legalism
    1. Pinipilit niyo kami mag tithe. Jinujudge niyo kami pag kulang o hindi kami nagtitithe. Para kayong yung church malapit dito na puti, talagang nagchecheck ng tithe ng mga tao. Legalism yan. Wag ka masyado dogmatic.
    2. Ito siguro ang baguhin nating perspective about giving back to the Lord. What can you give that He has not given?
    3. May ibang nagtuturo that Tithing is taught in the age of law which is the Old Testament, at tayo ngayon na nasa New Testament church, we live in the the age of grace. And Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law that’s why the law has no more effect on us. In fact sa New Testament, the word tithing is only used once by Jesus in Mark 12, the passage na binasa natin kanina. But the rest of the passages in the NT speak about giving not really tithing. In the Old testament they were required by law, but now Jesus saved us by His grace. Kaya if you are saved by Grace through faith, you should also give.
    4. The old hymn says, Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
  2. May mga babayaran pa akong utang
    1. Ito ang magandang I consider. Bakit ka nga ba may utang? Si Lord ba may kagagawan niyan? Hindi ba sa Diyos ka talaga unang may utang? Hindi ba utang din ang tithe mo dahil nasa iyo pa e.
    2. If we obey God, he will help us pay our debts. Tutulungan niya tayo na maghanap ng paraan. Minsan sa pagbalik natin ng ating kaloob sa Panginoon, ano ba nangyayari? Nagiging clear ang lahat. Magugulat ka nalang ung nilagay mo sa offering basket, aba bumalik sayo x2 right after service.
    3. Mga kapatid ito lang yon: Do not rob God to pay men! Our priority is to please God first.
  3. Magttithe din ako, pero slowly
    1. Anong slowly? Para kang pumunta ng 7-11 at sinabi mo sa sarili mo, isang kitkat lang, hindi ko babayaran pero bibili ako tatlo. Robbing parin ang tawag don! And again if we don’t give what is God’s, we rob Him.
  4. Hindi ko afford mag tithe
    1. Of course you can tithe! Will ng Panginoon na ibalik mo sa kanya ang pagmamay ari niya. And he promises to provide for all your needs according to his riches in glory.
    2. In fact, You are safer living less inside God’s will than living on more outside of it.
    3. Kung hawak hawak pa rin natin yang tithe na yan, we cannot keep what belongs to God. Kung hindi natin ibigay yan, mawawala yan dahil sa kagagawan ng demonyo or talagang mawawala nalang yan. Ibibigay nalang dapat natin sa Panginoon, nawala pa.
    4. Kung iniisip mo ang laki naman ng tithe ko, may solusyon ako! Bawasan natin yung kinikita mo para lumiit din tithe mo. Ok ba yon?
    5. Luke 6:38 says:::::
    6. The passage tells us that when we give,
      1. Pressed down – more space
      2. Shaken together – moving and very active
      3. Running over – like a liquid, overflowing
    7. According to Randy Alcorn

If we pay our debt to God first, then we will incur his blessing to help us pay our debts to men. But when we rob God to pay men, we rob ourselves of God’s blessing and thereby dig a deeper hole.

 

Kaya mga kapatid, we should tithe

 

I should tithe because:

  1. My tithe is not mine
    1. At ilang beses na natin nasabi yan. Our tithe belongs to God. If we don’t give it, we rob God. Isang bagay na ayaw na ayaw ko sa pagttrabaho–delayed na sweldo. Ok pa sa akin yung alam kong wala, pero yung dapat sa araw na ito meron na, pero wala pa, nakakainis yon. Kung tayo naiinis sa ganon, can you just imagine what God feels if we delay naman our tithe. And ako Im guilty of this dahil paiba iba din income ko every month, minsan sinasabi ko ipunin ko ba muna or hindi. But we have to give to the Lord. The Israelites were taught to give the first fruits of their harvest to the Lord. As Christians, we should also give the first fruits of our harvest to God. Hindi atin ang 10%.
  2. It increases my sense of commitment
    1. Around the 70s to 80s, hindi required sa mga kotse ang mag seatbelt. Dumating yung time na narequire yan. Everytime naman na may nirerequire ang batas natin na something, we complain, pero nagaadapt din. Pero imagine kung hindi na irequire ang seatbelt, diba magsseatbelt ka parin? There may be some of you here who might disagree with what I said about tithing and giving kanina, but it is practical, madali din ituro na magbalik ng pagmamay-ari ng Panginoon. And yes, it increases our commitment sa Panginoon. Because in one way or another, Im sure nakita na din natin ang blessing of tithing. Hindi ba?
  3. God has given me so much more
    1. Again, what can we give that He has not given? What can we have that is not already His? Jesus Christ died for you. Isang taong makasalanan. Romans 5:8:::::
    2. At kung tutuusin pagmamay-ari ng Panginoon hindi lang 10% kundi ang kabuuan ng pagkatao at lahat ng meron tayo. Why not give back? Why not give more? Why not give out of your love for God?
    3. Mas masarap magbigay sa anak mo, sa kaibigan mo, sa mga magulang mo dahil mahal mo sila. And if you love someone, you will give. And if you love God you will give as well.
    4.  In the abundance of God’s love for us, we should also be in abundance of giving to Him, sometimes more than 10% of what we earn.

 

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:6-8

Sinasabi ni Paul dito, na ikaw ang mag desisyon kung anong ibigay mo sa Panginoon maliban pa sa tithe mo yan. At ang pinaka magandang tanong at challenge ngayong umaga: what should I give to Him?

 

  1. You get back what you give v 6
  2. You decide what to give v7
  3. If you give, God will abundantly give v8

 

My Tithe is Not Mine!

 

Let me end today with a story

JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER – THE FIRST BILLIONAIRE: The very first person to reach the status of billionaire was a man who knew how to set goals and follow through. At the age of 23, he had become a millionaire, by the age of 50 a billionaire. Every decision, attitude, and relationship was tailored to create his personal power and wealth. But three years later at the age of 53 he became ill.  His entire body became racked with pain and he lost all the hair on his head. In complete agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could only digest milk and crackers. An associate wrote, “He could not sleep, would not smile and nothing in life meant anything to him.” His personal, highly skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year.  That year passed agonizingly slow. As he approached death he awoke one morning with the vague remembrances of a dream. He could barely recall the dream but knew it had something to do with not being able to take any of his successes with him into the next world. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in in control of his own life. He was left with a choice.  He called his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel his assets to hospitals, research, and mission work. On that day John D. Rockefeller established his foundation. This new direction eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for current strains of malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria. The list of discoveries resulting from his choice is enormous.  But perhaps the most amazing part of Rockefeller’s story is that the moment he began to give back a portion of all that he had earned, his body’s chemistry was altered so significantly that he got better. It looked as if he would die at 53 but he lived to be 98.  Rockefeller learned gratitude and gave back from his wealth. Doing so made him whole. It is one thing to be healed it is another to be made whole.

 

Tithing isn’t the ceiling of giving; it’s the floor. It’s not the finish line of giving; it’s just the starting blocks. Alcorn

The power of the tithe is power from God to

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Life Thoughts (Sermon Series): Devotion and Prayer

Nakakatamad ba mag devotion?

 

Alam mo yun hindi mo na nga ma-balance yung oras mo sa school at sa trabaho at sa pamilya na din. Uuwi ka ng pagod na pagod. Gigising ka ng napaka-aga dahil sa labas palang ng bahay niyo traffic na. Papuntang banyo palang traffic na din. Pero, prayer life mo sa tingin mo maganda. Turo sa atin lagi to pray na A-adoration, C-confession, T-thanksgiving, at last yung S-supplication. Pero ikaw S lang lagi. So, wala kang time magbasa ng Bible, wala kang time mag devotion. Pero pag prayer na, consistent. Lalo pag katapusan na.—Lord, please provide. Lord, please help. Lord, paluwangin niyo traffic. Lord, sana hindi dumating yung maniningil. Puro request tayo sa Panginoon. Tayo yung laging nagsasalita. Tayo yung laging focus ng ating buhay when in fact, tayo ay nabubuhay para siya ang focus. Kaya siguro hindi tayo laging #blessed dahil hindi tayo nagfofocus dun sa dapat na focus ng ating #devotion–ang Panginoon. Ang nangyayari ay kapag devotion time, dinedevote mo ang sarili mo sa sarili mo at hindi sa Panginoon.

 

So tanong ko ulit: nakakatamad ba mag devotion?

 

Or pwede nating palitan: nakakatamad ba maging Kristyano?

 

Siguro iniisip mo, oo. Nakakatamad. Biro mo kailangan ko magbasa. Dami ko nang binabasa, tapos magbabasa ulit ako ng Bible. Pagod na pagod na ako, kaya pag uwi tulog na lang. kausap ko naman lagi si Lord, kasi alam naman na niya nasa puso ko. Kaya hindi ko naman siguro kailangan mag pray.

 

At ngayong umaga, yang dalawang aspeto ng buhay Kristyano ang ating paguusapan–daily devotion o pagbabasa ng Bible, pag intindi, pag alam kung anong ibig sabihin at pag alam kung pano ma-aapply sa buhay–at pag darasal.

 

And both prayer and Bible reading involves a common thing. The use of words. Naiintindihan niyo akong lahat ngayon because of the use of words. Naririnig niyo ako. Ako naman nagsasalita through words na natutunan natin sa paaralan at sa mga pamilya natin habang lumalaki. We worship God through words in song kagaya kanina. We evangelize through words. We came to know Christ by hearing words. And in words, the Bible came to us. We as humans, came to the world by the word from God. God spoke a word, the world was created. Our salvation is the word that became flesh.–Jesus Christ.

 

John 1:1 says

 

Romans 10:17

 

Jn 6:63

 

Heb 4:12

 

Ps 119:105

 

Jn 17:17

 

At napakarami pang verses sa Bible which only talk about the word. As in salita. At binibigyan tayo ng malinaw na ideya ng Bibliya tungkol sa kahalagahan ng salita. In God, there is no word empty or void. Lahat ng sabihin ng Diyos ay may halaga. Lahat ng sabihin ng Diyos ay may laman. Na-experience ko to na totoo nung nag aral na ako sa Bible School. Dati pag nagbabasa ng passage, dere-derecho lang. Pero dahil sa kaalaman sa original language ng Bible, sa grammar, Greek man o English, sa konteksto nung passage, lumalalim ang ibig sabihin ng iisang verse lang. Hinding-hindi ko makakalimutan yung una naming exercise sa isa kong class. John 3:16:::: give 25 things you have observed. Pag umabot ng 40, perfect score. So ako naman si mr. achiever. Of course may lesson pa non about the techniques, and after that nagulat ako kasi umabot kaming lahat ng 40+. At kung sa Diyos there is no word empty or void, that made me believe na lahat ng aspeto ng buhay ay naka-saad talaga sa Bibliya. At kung gulong-gulo ka pa rin kung nasan na ang buhay mo, kapatid baka hindi mo binabasa ang Bibliya. At kung binabasa mo, baka kailangan aralin mo pa. Siguro minsan sa buhay mo, nasabi mo na na hindi mo naiintindihan ang Diyos. Alam mo, nagpaintindi na sya sayo. Ang kagustuhan ng Diyos ay makikita sa salita nya. Meron ka ba? Kung meron ka binabasa mo ba? Kinakausap mo din ba ang Diyos? Nagpapasalamat ka ba? Or puro request lang?

 

Kailangan natin magbasa ng Bibliya, at ngayon mas pinalalim pa natin. Kailangan natin mag daily devotion. We are talking about Bible and prayer this morning. Very simple lang ang message natin. Magbibigay po ako ilang rason kung bakit kailangan natin mag devotion at mag pray.

 

  1. Reading the Bible shows us God’s character. The Bible is our definitive source for the answers to our questions about God.

 

Pumapayag ba ang Panginoon sa homosexuality? Ok lang kaya na maging girlfriend or boyfriend ko ay hindi Kristyano? The Bible has that answer. Kung tingin mo pinabayaan ka ng Diyos, kung tingin mo ay hindi sinasagot ng Panginoon mga dalangin mo, read the Bible. Because it shows us who God is. And the more we know who God is, the more we have confidence on what He can do. And we can know Him in truth through His Word.

 

Sabi sa 2 Cor 3:17-4:4

 

What are these characteristics of God? Just a few:

  1. Infinite – he is not limited by anything
  2. Self-existent – walang gumawa sa kanya. He exists within himself not for anyone
  3. Holy – that’s opposite  of sinfulness. God is holy kaya hindi siya pwedeng haluan ng kasalanan. Hindi pwedeng ilapit sa kanya ang kasalanan
  4. Immutable – non changing. Kung ano sinabi niya generations ago sa Bible, is still what he says now.

 

At napakarami pang ibang characteristics ang Panginoon that are in the Bible. Minsan kahit isang simpleng verse contains who God is only if we read it deeper.

 

  1. Reading the Bible teaches us to imitate God.

Ephesians 5:1 says

 

And peter said in 1 pet 2:2

 

So bilang Kristyano ang ating paglago ay pagiging gaya ni Kristo. At pano natin malalaman kung pano mag behave ang Panginoon in certain situation in our lives? By reading it from His word.

 

  1. Reading the Bible helps us discover our next step.

Psalm 119:105

Ps 119:130

Pr 6:23

 

Sing bridge of Desert song

 

Kung nasa state ka ng buhay mo kung saan hindi mo alam kung ano yung next step or kung tama ba yung step na tinake mo, there is comfort in reading God’s Word. Just imagine nag ppray ka. LORD WHERE? LORD WHY? LORD HOW? And then one precious evening, sa gitna ng mga pangalan sa 1 Chronicles, may isang maiksing passage, may isanga prinsipyo that spoke to you. And you learned to wait more on God. So what is the next step for me? Maybe you’re asking God. Read the word. Do your devotion.

 

  1. Reading the Bible keeps us from sin.

Psalm 119:11

Ps 37:31

 

The more we dwell on His Word, the less we sin. Why? Because of numbers 1 to 3. We know more who God is. Alam natin na ung dating parang wala lang sa atin ay kasalanan pala according to His word. Siguro kayo mismo na-eexperience niyo to. Kasi minsan kumpleto kayo sa pagbabasa ng Bible sa devotion. Nasa spiritual high kayo, you would not want to sin. Of course hindi ka perfect so you will still sin. Pero because you are so filled with the spirit through reading and studying His word, hinahanap hanap mo yung time mo with God at hindi mo na hinahanap-hanap yung kasalanan.

 

 

  1. Reading the Bible is how we learn about the gospel.

John 5:39-40

 

Sinasabi ni Jesus dito sa passage na ito, kayong mga Hudyong naghuhusga sa akin, naghahanap kayo ng kaligtasan, alam na alam niyo ung mga prophecy, pero ako yung sinasabi ng mga prophecy na yon. During their time, mas naunang nalaman ng mga Hudyo na may darating. Tayo ngayon mas nauna nating nalaman yung dumatin–which is Jesus. The center of the gospel is Jesus. The gospel is Jesus. At hindi natin malalaman na kailangan pala natin yung gospel, na kailangan pala natin maligtas kung hindi natin alam from the Bible. For all have sinned. After death, judgement. Sin brought us to the point of death. But Christ brings us to the point of righteousness and life. May ilang beses ko na din prineach ito. We cannot know the gospel, we cannot share the gospel if we do not know where it is from. At very important that we read and study the Bible para malaman natin ang salvation na galing sa Panginoon.

 

  1. Reading the Bible gives us courage.

Joshua 1:6:8

 

This is a passage na very familiar to us ngayon esepecially nung sinimulan natin ang ating daily devotion. And God was speaking to Joshua here. Si Moses na siya dapat magllead sa Israelites to the promised land, was taken by the Lord. So si Joshua had to step up. Syempre bata. Syempre takot. I can relate to him very much simula last year. Nagkaroon ako ng responsibilidad dito sa church. And ang sabi nga ng Panginoon, do what the law says. Do what I told Moses. Gawin mo yung sinasabi ng aking salita. Ano nga ba sabi ni Lord?

  1. Have courage
  2. Do the word carefully
  3. Do not twist the word

 

Which makes us believe today that if we follow the Bible, we can have courage. And if we twist what the Bible says, we live in fear. Kaya we also have to be careful kasi baka kung san-san tayo naniniwala. Hindi porket galing sa Bible yung verse ay tama. Madaming naglipanang mga sikat ng preacher sa US na im sure pinapakinggan niyo sa youtube and facebook. Naiinsipire kayo, pero mali mali naman sinasabi. Magiingat tayo don.

 

  1. Reading the Bible helps us to be fruitful.

Ps 1:2-3

 

This psalm na siguro ay nabasa niyo 2 weeks ago sa ating daily devotion, speaks about a person who does not just read, but also meditates on the word day and night. Anong sabi?

  1. You will be firm
    1. Kahit anong bagyo ang dumaan sayo, kahit anong pagsubok, if you are firm in the word of God, you are firm. Magiging ok ka.
  2. You will prosper
    1. Mamumunga ka. The more we are immersed in the word the more we are filled with the spirit. And it also says that in whatever you do, you will prosper. Naka encounter na ba kayo ng tao na alam mong spirit filled. Alam mong nagbabasa at nagppray, diba kalmado siya most of the time? Diba parang totoo na kahit anong gawin niya, parang ang galing niya? And this is true. And this is from meditating on God;s word

 

Wag natin idisregard ang Bible. Sabi ni John Stott:

 

Christians who neglect the Bible simply do not mature.

John Stott

 

 

So ito ay 7 reasons for you to read the Bible. Hindi lang read ha. Meditate also. We encourage you also to write and share your devotions to others. Ngayon, I also give you reasons to pray. Pero una, why do we pray? Sabi sa Bible that God knows our thoughts from far away. So why do we need to pray? Merong something sa prayer that gives us assurance of God’s existence diba? Pero meron tayo laging danger in prayer. Im sure nagpray na kayo minsan sa isang araw na puro hingi lang. Lord, bigyan niyo ko tv. Lord, bigyan niyo ko bahay. Lord, bigyan niyo ko sobrang gandang mapapangasawa. Puro request. Kasi minsan ginagagawa nating grocery shopping ang prayer.

 

Honestbee:::::

 

Prayer is not grocery shopping. Prayer is talking to God. Plainly just speaking, not just asking. And we are taught in the word and the example of Jesus the importance of prayer. Si Jesus ang nagsabi ng Lord’s prayer. He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. He prayed habang naka-pako sa cross. So it is important. And here we have 7 reasons to pray

 

 

Seven Reasons to Pray

  1. Builds Our Relationship with Jesus
    1. Ps 145:18
    2. Isipin natin yung taong pinaka-malapit sa atin. BFF, asawa, bestfriend,,,,,we talk. Naguusap tayo at minsan we can spend hours and hours sa chat, sa phone, video call at naguusap lang. Ganun din sa Panginoon. Alam natin sa umpisa pa lang na we are entering a relationship, a relationship na hindi kailanman mawawala. At gusto natin ibuild yung intimacy natin sa Panginoon. At ito ay sa pamamagitang na pananalangin.
    3. Sabi ko nga kanina, na sinabi sa Bible that God knows our thoughts from far away. Galing yan sa psalm 139. but why do we need to pray? It’s for our intimacy with the Lord. Gaya ng isang magulang na alam naman na talaga ang pangangailangan ng anak niya, mas natutunaw ang kanilang mga puso kapag nakikipag-usap ang mga anak nila at nagpapasalamat, nagsosorry. Basta intimate na usapan.
    4. Pag may byahe ako, gustong gusto nila mama na mag video call kami.::::::::
    5. At minsan ganon din ang Panginoon. We build this relationship and this closenss sa kanya whenever we pray, not just ask. When we talk to him at hindi lang mag request.
  2. Helps Us Overcome Temptation
    1. Luke 22:39-41
    2. Ito yung example ni Jesus in the garden of gethsemane. Sabi niya sa disciples niya: mag pray kayo para hindi kayo ma tempt! And true enough that when we pray, we automatically have this connection to God at pwede nating sabihin, Lord help me with this. Lord lead me not into temptatation. Lord help me to get out of this temptation.
  3. Helps Us Determine God’s Will
    1. Prayer doesn’t really give us an answer sa kung ano ang will ng Panginoon. Pero kung babalikan natin yung sinabi ko kanina, prayer bring s us closer to God. And in being closer to God, in abiding in Him, we have peace sa decisions natin at doon malalaman natin na will ng Panginoon yon.
    2. Rom 8:26-27
    3. Again it all still boils down to intimacy with God. Doon natin malalaman will ng Panginoon sa buhay natin.
  4. Prayer Accomplishes God’s Work
    1. John 14:12-14 is a passage na ilang linggo na nating naririnig dito.:::
    2. In the passage sabi ni Jesus sa mga disciple niya, I can do something greater for I am with the Father. And before He left ano ba ang ginagawa ni Hesus? He healed the sick, he made the blind see, he transformed hearts to believe in God. At sinabi niya ask, and I will do the same kahit na wala na ako. So in prayer, in our prayer especially for the expansion of God’s kingdom here on earth, it accomplishes God’s work because we rely in Him to work, not us. But Him. Kaya very important para sa akin na we pray, before we start ministry, before I sing, before I preach, before I start on my preaching. Sabi ng isang prof ko, na pag gumagawa daw kami ng preaching namin, 3 things daw dapat namin gawin–before we start pray…..during…pray… after…. Pray. Gusto natin na sa lahat ng bagay ay kasama ang Panginoon. This is His ministry. Hindi po sa akin. Hindi po sa amin.
  5. Prayer Encourages us
    1. Alam niyo yung mga panahong napaka lungkot niyo, daming tumatakbo sa isip, tapos out of nowhere na kwento mo to sa kaibigan mo or taong very close sayo. Tapos parang biglang naglaho yung mga iniisip mo kahit wala naman siya talagang sinabi. That’s how prayer works for us. We tell God how we are feeling and sometimes, nawawala nalang.
    2. Phil 4:6
    3. It says do not be anxious. Don’t overthink. Don’t stress out. But tell God everything. Sige kausapin mo ang Panginoon kasi sigurado ako na makikinig siya sayo. And in turn it encourages us as well.
  6. A Prerequisite to Spiritual Awakening
    1. 2 chron 7:13-14
    2. And in church history prayer meetings, and prayer warriors began movements around the world. Ito ay tungkol sa pagppray kasama ang maraming tao. Walang problema mag pray mag isa, but in a corporate gathering of people na nagppray, alam niyo, there is so much power. I always value times of prayer kasama ang ibang kapwa mananampalataya. Dahil in one accord lahat to talk to God. In one accord lahat to be closer to God as a church as a body of Christ. Siguro sa mga cell groups natin, pag prayer time, we look forward to that. Personally, isa yun sa mga nillook forward ko dahil we can pray for each other. We can pray for the church, and someone prays for you as well. At dapat maniwala tayo sa power ng corporate praying. Let’s pray with each other. Sabi nga that the family that prays together, stays together…. The church that prays together, stays together.
  7. Prayer glorifies God
    1. Kung iisipin natin, prayer is our direct access to God. At sabi sa Bible that God came down to seek and save that which was lost. And here we are not praying to a God who, sa simula’t simula pa lang wanted everything to be personal between Him and man. Our salvation is personal, He works in our hearts in different and unique ways, he paves our lives in our own different unique way, he gave us different spiritual gifts, he molded us to respond to Him in different ways, He allowed us to worship Him through our different personalities. Our God is a personal God, at napapakita yun through prayer at sa pagppray natin we magnify Him more dahil walang Diyos na katulad niya. Yung ibang Diyos bago ka magpray, bago ka makalapit sa diyos nila, sisindi ka pa kandila, papatatak ka muna sa noo, luluhod ka muna, magbabayad ka muna, kakausapin mo muna yung isa pang makasasalanang tao para ilapit sa diyos yung mga panalangin mo. Pero key Hesus hindi. Lapit ka lang.
    2. Heb 10:19-22

 

These are 7 reasons to pray. And we want God to move in our lives, sa buhay ng pamilya natin, sa trabaho natin, we should pray. Sabi ni DL Moody:

 

Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.

Dwight L. Moody

 

So mga kapatid the first step to reading the Bible is to read it. The first step to praying is to pray.

 

And I hope we can make it an important part of our day to study the Bible and pray. Kasama po yan sa ating paglagong espiritwal.

Life Thoughts (Sermon Series): The Privilege of Prayer

Jeremiah 33:1-3

Heb 10:19-22

The privilege of prayer. Ngayon, ang unang tanong na pwede nating isipin…. bakit siya privilege? Pang iilan lang ba ito at hindi para sa lahat ng tao?

So our passage today ay dalawa. And The first is based sa Jeremiah chapter 33. Si Jeremiah ay isang prophet na tinalaga ng Diyos nasa sinapupunan pa lamang siya. And very important ang role ni Jeremiah as a prophet dahil siya ung messenger ng Panginoon during that time na ibubuhos ng Diyos ang kanyang galit sa bayan ng Judah. Galit ang Diyos dahil sa mga kasalanan ng mga Hudyo. At ang naging dulo nun ay exile nila to Babylon. Pina alis ng Diyos ang kanyang bayan sa kanilang lugar para sila ay alipinin for years dahil hindi pinapansin ng mga Hudyo ang kanilang Diyos. Nandiyan na sa harapan nila ang tunay na Diyos pero naghahanap pa rin sila ng iba ibang Diyos. Kaya siguro sinabi ng Diyos, “i am glorious, i am Holy, pero naghahanap pa kayo ng iba?” Kaya a part of the book of Jeremiah ay naka laan para sa Warning at judgements ng Panginoon sa bayan niya, ngunit dahil sa naturang ng Panginoon na mag restore ng mga buhay at pusong dati ay sira, ganoon din ang kanyang ginawa sa mga anak niyang Hudyo. So part of the book of Jeremiah as well ay tungkol sa promises of restoration ng Diyos. And chapter 33 ay kasama doon sa promise ng restoration ng Diyos. Kaya makikita natin sa Verses 6 to 9 ng chapter 33 yung mga promises ng Panginoon sa bayan niya. So napaka importante na maalala natin today yung context ng passage natin: wrath ng Panginoon, His punishment, and most importantly, His restoration. So it was a crazy time for the Hebrews. They might be telling God, why are you forsaking us? Why will you allow this to happen? At sa night devotion natin sa book os Isaiah, kita natin yang mga masasakit na nangyari sa bayan ng Israel dahil sa mga kasalanan nila. At ito na,  in chapter 33 it was the second time that God spoke to Jeremiah concerring the future plans for His people, His deliverance and restoration. Ung unang beses was in chapter 30.

 

So in chapter 33, we read that the Word came to Jeremiah. And just from that verse, pwede na natin makita, that in relation to prayer, it starts from God. Prayer starts from God. Prayer cannot exist without God. Prayer cannot exist without a recognition of God. And this tells us na ang pagdarasal natin hindi talaga mababago ang kalooban ng Diyos, kundi ang ating attitude at buhay ang nababago sa ting pagdarasal. And what’s more is that when we pray, we recognize that God is the almighty God. Sa totoo lang, kaya tayo nagppray kasi napaka powerful ng Panginoon. At kaya tayo nakakapag pray kasi napaka powerful ng Panginoon natin.

 

At yan na yan ang unang unang bungad ng Diyos kay Jeremiah sa verse 2…..

Before even going to His point and our message this morning which is in verse 3, ang point ng Panginoon ay siya ang Diyos, and He can make things happen, he makes things work, he allows prayers to be answered, he allows for us to pray.

 

And today we will be getting our points from verse 3 which says….

Jer 33:3

  1. Being invited by God
    1. The Lord told Jeremiah in verse 3: Call to me! Halika! Tawagin mo ako. It is an invitation. It was an invitation to Jeremiah to call to God. And this invitation is the start of everything. Ito na yung simula ng pagpapahayag ng Panginoon ng restoration na gagawin niya which is in verses 6 to 9. Hindi siya nagsimula sa Prayer ni Jeremiah.  Kundi nag simula ito sa invitation ng Diyos to “call to me”. Sabi ng Diyos, “hahayaan kitang tumawag sakin” at pag tumawag ka, I will answer. At sanga sanga na yon, then comes blessing, then comes restoration. All because God has invited Jeremiah.
    2. The same thing sa atin ngayon. God has invited all of us to pray. God has invited all of us to believe. John 3:16>>>>
    3. God loves the world! Ang imbitasyon ay open for all. Ngunit iilan lamang ang tumanggap ng kanyang paanyaya. Iilan lamang ang nagsabing gusto kong maniwala na ang Diyos ang magliligtas. Iilan lamang ang nagsabi na ikaw Diyos ang iisang Diyos na akong dadasalan at paniniwalaan. Dahil marami pa rin sa mga pamilya at mga kaibigan natin na alam naman nilang may Diyos, at sabi sa Bibliya na Rom 1:19-20>>>
    4.  All of us were invited. Lahat tayo ay inimbitahan ng Diyos na magtiwala sa kanya. Hindi tayo forced to believe. Pero because of our free will, we responded to that invitation at tayo ay naligtas because of His grace through faith when we believed. Ang ating kaligtasan ay galing sa Panginoon. Eph 2:8 says….
    5. So the privilege of prayer is being invited to pray by who? Now bakit big deal ito? Big deal ito dahil Lagi nating babalikan ang verse 2. It is being invited by God, ang pinaka mataas, at pinaka makapangyarihan sa lahat ng bagay na tingin ko ay makapangyarihan. He invites you to pray by inviting you to believe na siya ay makakapag ligtas sayo sa depression, sa kasalanan and ultimately sa kaparuhasan sa impyerno. Hindi lahat sumasagot sa invitation na yan.

 

The privilege of prayer is only for those who know Christ as their Savior and have the awareness that their sins are forgiven.

 

Clarence Herbert Benson, Biblical Faith : Doctrines Every Christian Should Know, Biblical essentials series (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2003), 54.

 

At kung ikaw ay naniniwala sa Panginoon, yung pribilehiyo na ito ay full use mo. You can come to the Lord with confidence.

 

 

  • And the principle is this: God is opening His line to you through salvation. Ilang beses ko na sinasabi dito sa harap ninyo na ang Diyos hindi nanatiling Diyos lamang na nanood sayo mula sa langit, ngunit siya ay nagpaka-baba para iligtas ka. Sa totoo lang hindi naman niya tayo kailangan iligtas dahil kahit hindi niya tayo iligtas, Diyos sya. Pero ginawa niyang iligtas tayo dahil ganun siya ka dakila. At ito siya, gaya ng transition niya from verse 2 to verse 3 sa passage natin, I am God, I am strong, I am powerful, I am creator, I am magnificent….call to me!

 

  1. Sabi nga nila privilege ang pagkakaroon ng license. Para siyang imbitasyon din galing sa gobyerno na pwede kayong gumamit ng sasakyan pero kailangan mag comply kayo sa batas at requrements before anything. So the same way, I need to have something. I need to be a child of God to have this engagement sa Panginoon through my prayer life.
  2. James 5:16
    1. according to James na ang panalangin ng isang banal na tao ay may kapangyarihan. And we are made righteous through the blood of Jesus. Kaya kung feeling mo dasal ka ng dasal at walang nangyayari, luhod ka ng luhod sa kung san sang simbahan at parang walang nangyayari, baka naman kaibigan, hindi ka pa talaga nagtitiwala na ililigtas ka ng Panginoon. Baka naman may kasalanan ka din sa puso mo. Bago natin isumbat sa Panginoon lahat ng masasamang pangyayari sa buhay natin, bakit hindi natin tignan ang ating sarili muna.
  3. Ano ang kailangan mo gawin?
    1. Answer the invitation
      1. Answering the invitation unlocks God’s power in your life through salvation. Ilang Sunday ka na ba nagpupunta dito? Baka matigas parin puso mo, kaya para hindi lumlagpas ng bubong ang mga panalangino mo. Ps 66:18>>>>
    2. Pray!
      1. The first step to praying is praying. Sinagot mo ang imbitasyon siguro last week, siguro last year, siguro 5 years ago, mag pray ka. You were invited! Magpakita ka naman sa party! Tumupad ka sa usapan niyo ni Lord. Pray!
  1. Being answered by God
    1. Jeremiah 33:3, the second part says “I will answer you”. So first, si Jeremiah was invited to call on God, at syempre an invitation should be answered, so kung sinagot ito ni Jeremiah at sya nga ay tumawag sa Panginoon, God will answer. In fact, sa passage natin, nag invite palang ang Panginoon pero may mga naghihintay nang mga pagpapala kay Jeremiah at sa mga Hebreo. So another privilege of prayer is being answered by God. At napaka importante talaga yung invitation ng Diyos at ang Act ni Jeremiah to call to God dahil kung wala lahat yon,  there will be no restoration to the people.
    2. At isa ito sa mga lagi tayong nacoconfuse. Dahil may mga kanta at mga teachings online, sa youtube and FB nowadays na ang labas ay kung hindi ka mag pray di sasagot ang Panginoon. May mga kanta nowadays na pinapalabas na ang Diyos ang nagrespond sa panalangin natin. Well in fact hindi! Nauna ang Panginoon. Sa totoo lang naghihintay lang siya lalo na kung anak ka niya. Pero in the Bible, if we respond to God through prayer, HE will indeed answer. And take note of that, IF WE RESPOND TO GOD THROUGH PRAYER….. And for our second point, may dalawa akong naisip na principles in prayer being answered by God. Una, Prayer is response to God. Again, we don’t pray and wait for God to work. Dahil God is already working kahit na hindi ka mag pray. Pero, we see then and again sa Bible that He waits for our response in prayer and then he blesses us abundantly. So kung ang panalangin natin ay response sa imbitastyon ng Panginoon, imbitasyon niya dahil He first loved us, He died for us while we were yet sinners, magiiba tingin mo sa prayer diba? Mas magppray ka! So we pray as a response to God.
    3. Ps. 34:4>>>
      1. At napakadami pang ganitong passages sa psalms. Lord I call on you. Lord help me. Lord save me from my enemies. Anong nangyari kay David? Because of his intimacy with the Lord through prayer, He was called a man after God’s own heart. He was changed. And sometimes, kung will ng Panginoon, He answers our prayers.
    4. Jn 15:7>>>
      1. Christ was talking to His disciples dito. Ito ay mga tao na naniniwala na sa kanya kaya sila ay sumunod at naging disciple nya. Sabi niya ABIDE in me.. Kung ikaw ay nananahan sa akin, at ang mga salita ko ay nananahan sayo, ASK.. And what??? It will be done.. He will answer!
    5. So here’s another principle from this point: God answers the prayer of the righteous. God will answer you if you abide in Him. Babalikan natin ung jer 33:2. This God na gumawa ng langit at lupa, ang Diyos na nagpapatigil ng bagyo, nagpapalambot ng mga matitigas na puso ay sasagot sa panalangin mo Kung patuloy mong isinasabuhay ang kaniyang salita. Kung patuloy kang nag dedevotion at pinapahalagahan mo ang kanyang salita. At dito nagiging isa pang privilege ang prayer, because He answers prayers. Amen po ba?
    6. Now siguro nasagot mo na yung invitation ng Panginoon through salvation dati, pero ngayon marahil ang kailangan mo ay bumalik sa kanya and abide again by His word. Abide in Him. For those involved in the ministry, we spend so much time preparing for Sunday and for Cell groups and for events, but how is our time with God?
    7. Ano ang kailangan mo gawin?
      1. Abide in Him
        1. Literally live within His Word. Kung may pinagpray kang matagal na hindi pinayagan ng Panginoon na mangyari, He has something better for you. Or maybe He’s teaching you something.
      2. Pray with excitement
        1. Tayo ay nagdarasal sa ating tatay na punong puno at umaapaw sa kapangyarihan at kayamanan. Kaya alam mo hindi ka mawawalan kung ikaw ay anak ng Diyos. Hinding hindi ka mauubusan. There is so much for each of his children. At pag lumapit tayo sa Diyos wag natin bali-walain ang pagiging Diyos ng ating Diyos. Minsan kasi binabaliwala natin yon. We pray at doubtful tayo. Bakit? Kasi naka-focus tayo sa sarili natin. Naka-focus tayo sa request natin at hindi sa pagiging intimate sa Panginoon.
      3. Focus your prayer more on God.
        1. Kasi let’s get real. Hindi lahat ng prayer mo ay sasagutin ng Panginoon. Kahit gaano ka kalapit at ka-intimate sa kanya, He has a plan for you. And sa prayers natin maybe sasagutin niya, maybe hindi. But if we focus on God sa ating mga prayers at hindi sa mga gusto natin, we will be more open to what God wants for us rather than what we want for ourselves.

 

  1. Being blessed by God
    1. Sa same verse, in verse 3, third part, sabi ng Diyos, “I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Now another privilege of prayer is being blessed by God. Maaaring usual na nating naririnig dito yan. Pero Jeremiah 33:3 again it all starts with God’s invitation, Jeremiah’s calling of God, and God’s answer. Ito naisip ko–we want to pray for something, kasi we are searching for a specific answer from God na pwedeng sagutin niya, pwede ding hindi depende sa will niya kagaya ng nakita natin kanina. But here sa verse na ito, God said kay Jeremiah, call to me and then:
      1. I will answer
      2. I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know.
    2. So in essence sabi niya kay Jeremiah, sige sasagutin ko prayer mo, tapos sasabihin ko sayo will ko. The word “mighty” means inaccessible, or cut off. Iba yung translation sa NASB. Sa ESV it says>>> sa NIV it says>>>>>
    3. So he told Jeremiah, na yes sasgutin ko yang prayer mo, and there’s more. Jeremiah, you will discover more things in store for you and the restoration of the Hebrews. Ano itong hidden things? Ano itong unsearchable things na ito? Remember na ang Panginoon nagpataw na ng parusa sa kanyang mga anak, kaya punong puno ng pagluksa, unbelief, yung mga tao. So God told Jeremiah in verse 6 to 9, that if you pray >>>>>>
    4. AMAZING! And for them this is unthinkable. May parating nang gyera. Aalis na kami sa Jerusalem. Mamatay kaming lahat. And then God promised these… at anong kailangan gawin ni Jeremiah….respond in prayer. At nandun talaga yung konsepto ng pag unlock. Hindi ibig sabihin noon na talagang naka-lock ang will at blessing na Panginoon sa atin kundi when we pray, God will at blessing na Panginoon sa atin kundi when we pray, God pours out.
    5. And here’s the principle: Prayer unlocks God’s favor. At ang pinaka-mind blowing dito, when God answers our prayers, pati yung ibang aspeto ng buhay natin na hindi naman talaga natin pinagpray sinasama na niya sa outpour ng biyaya niya. Now this a wonderful privilege. Again, babalik tayo sa Jer 33:2…. Ang Diyos tumawag sayo para magdasal sa kanya, na sasagot sa panalangin, ay siya ring Diyos na sobra sobrang magpapala sa iyo, sobra sobrang magpapala sa trabaho, sa pamilya, sa business, sa personal life, sa ministry mo. What a mighty God we serve! Kung itong nakaraang weekend bumabagyo, sa Panginoon din, when he answers…bagyong bagyo din.
    6. Sabi ni Martin Luther,
      We pray for silver, but God often gives us gold.
    7. Nangyari na ba yon sa inyo? Nag pray kayo para sa isang bagay, and then sinagot ng Panginoon tapos andaming kasamang ibang bagay na hindi mo ineexpect. Ako pinagpray ko lang 2 years ago iready ng Panginoon puso ko to preach. Di ko alam ang isasama pala ni Lord mapapang-asawa.
    8. Ps 34:8
    9. Ps 31:19
    10. Deut 28:1
    11. Ano ang kailangan mong gawin?
      1. Expect God to answer your prayers in an amazing way.
        1. Ang amazing ni Lord. Kasi He will answer your prayers plus plus plus. Kagaya ng sinabi niya kay Jeremiah, HE can answer your prayers and make you realize maybe His plan for your life, maybe through your answered prayer, you can bring someone to Christ. Maybe through your answered prayer, malaman mo yung purpose niya sa buhay. At ung mga bagay na tingin mo dati ay naka-lock away from you, He will unlock for you. So pray pray pray!

 

Our second passage this morning is from Heb 10:19-22, which says>>>

And from this passage, we continue to learn ung privileges ng prayer

 

 

  1. Being confident to talk to God
    1. Heb 10:19 says>>>> we are confident now Dahil sa dugo ni Kristo. Again, this passage shows that it all begins and ends with God. Prayer begins and ends with God. And this passage greatly shows what Jesus has done for us. Hindi na natin kailangan lumuhod at maglakad gamit tuhod para marinig ng Panginoon. Hindi natin kailangan makikpagsiksikan sa Quiapo para marinig ng Diyos o sa Baclaran para maipa-abot sa Diyos mga panalangin natin. Hindi na natin kailangan idaan yung dalangin natin sa ibang tao na mas malapit daw sa Diyos. Hindi na natin kailangan magpatatak at magbayad at magbyahe sa kung san san para lang marinig ng Diyos ang ating panalangin. Dahil ngayon, kung tayo ay anak ng Diyos, kasama natin ang Diyos lagi at maaari tayong lumapit sa kanya kahit anong oras, kahit anong panahon natin naisin. Kung dati nung Old Testament ay kailangan pa nilang dumaan sa high priest, kailangan pa nilang mag-alay ng hayop para makausap ang Diyos, dahil sa dugo ni Kristo na namatay sa krus, tayo ay maaari nang lumapit sa kanya. Again, kung babalikan natin ung Jer 33:2., itong Diyos na makapangyarihan, banal, manlilikha ng langit at lupa ay pwedeng lapitan ng isang taong makasalanan tulad ko dahil niligtas niya ako.
    2. Jn 1:12
      1. Bilang mga anak ng Diyos, we can come to our Father in heaven. At siya ay nakikinig sa kanyang mga anak. Kaya alam niyo, kung tingin natin hindi naririnig nga Panginoon ang mga panalangin natin, hindi siya ang problema. Kundi tayo. Our confidence comes from the fact that we are His children, and a good Father listens to His children like how God is.
    3. Eph 2:18
      1. And this access is the privilege that others who do not believe in God do not have. We have access to the heavenly throne. We have access to the creator and ruler of the world. We have access to the one who holds our future. Yung ibang mga faith wala silang access sa Diyos. Bakit? Kasi una, hindi sila naniniwala sa iisang tunay na Diyos. So denied access agad. Pangalawa, iniisip nila na kailangan pagtrabahuan para lang marinig ng Diyos. Hindi. Wala tayong ginawa. Tandaan natin na ang Diyos ang nauna. Ang Diyos ang nag imbita sa atin na manalangin, siya ang nag imbita sa atin na magtiwala sa kanya. At dun nanggagaling ang access natin. Dun nanggagaling ang confidence natin na pwede tayong mag pray sa Diyos Ama natin kahit anong oras at panahon.
    4. And this is the principle: Prayer gives us direct access to God. And all we need to do is to respond gaya ng ginawa ni Jeremiah. It’s amazing how all these things about prayer ay maaaring mangyari by just recognizing and responding to his invitation. So we have direct access now to the Lord by the blood of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that:::

 

“…every person can now have access to God because Jesus’ death on the cross has opened the way. Such access is actually experienced by those who express personal trust in Jesus and rely on divine grace.”

 

Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 17.

 

  1. Freshman students in UP:: direct access to popular teachers…..
  2. Ano ang kailangan mo gawin?
    1. Rest in the fact that God hears your prayers
      1. And yes. God hears your prayers kung ikaw ay nagtiwala na sa Kanya. Siya ay laging makikinig sa kanyang mga anak at sa mga mahal niya. Mahal ka ng Panginoon, at siya ay nakikinig. In fact, may sagot nang nakalaan para sayo. Ang gusto niya lang ay matuto ka at mag mature ka. Kaya maganda na paghandaan mo din ang ibubuhos ng Diyos sayo. But of course you need to believe in God, and you need a right heart when you pray.

 

  1. Being cleansed by God
    1. Heb 10:22 says>>>>>
    2. So the passage says that we draw near. Why? Because we now have confidence dahil sa dugo ni Kristo. AT kaya sabi din ng writer ng Hebrews, na kapag lumapit ka, lumapit ka with your whole heart, lumapit ka ng sincere. And yes, sabi nga natin kanina that the reason for that confidence is the blood of Jesus that allowed us to have direct access to God. Pero what’s more ay yung dugo ni Kristo also allows us to be cleansed from our sins. Nung na-save tayo we were justified–pinawalang-sala tayo. But sa mga kasalanan natin araw-araw, we can still come to the Father in prayer when we confess our sins. So pwede tayong lumapit sa Diyos at hingiin na muli ay linisin niya tayo sa mga kasalanan natin.
    3. 1jn 1:9
      1. And we need to remember, lahat ng priviliges na yan ay konektado. We can pray because we responded to God’s invitation. Therefore, we can also confess our sins to Him dahil pinapayagan niyang gawin natin ito. At ito pa ang isang bagay na makakapagturo sa ating panalangin pabalik sa Panginoon dahil siya lamang ang Diyos na nakakapag-patawad ng mga kasalanan natin dahil din may direct access tayo sa kanya. Yung iba, kailangan maglakad na nakaluhod. Yung iba, ipapaubaya mo pa sa ibang tao. Yung iba gamit insenso. Yung iba ngang mga diyos hindi sila nagpapatawad ng kasalanan, kaya ang ibang tao namumuhay sa takot sa maaaring gawin ng Diyos nila. Pero ang Diyos natin binigyan tayo ng privilege in prayer para linisin ng Diyos sa mga kasalanan natin. It all begins and ends with God. Again, Jer 33:2. Ang Diyos na makapangyarihan, na banal, na hindi maaaring magkaroon ng kasalanan malapit sa kanya, na siyang gumawa ng langit at lupa at nagpadala sa demonyo sa impyerno, ay maaari kang linisin sa kasalanan mo para makasama mo siya. At lahat yan ay dahil sa kanya at hindi dahil sa atin.
    4. So here’s the principle: Prayer allows us to ask forgiveness for our sins. Very simple di ba? Pero because of our access to the Father through the blood of Jesus, we can be forgiven of our sins. Therefore, no more guilt and shame dahil tayo ay malinis sa kanyang harapan. At dito makikita natin that God is merciful. We deserved to die right away dahil sa kasalanan natin. Pero instead of doing that, ang ginawa ni Lord, yung kanyang wrath, yung kanyang galit, binuhos niya sa kanyang anak na si Hesu Kristo para siya ang maparusahan at hindi tayo. Para siya ang mamatay at hindi ikaw. At marahil, ito ang privilege sa ating pananalangin na hindi natin narerealize hanggang ngayon. That it is possible for us to pray because of the blood of Jesus Christ.
    5. Ano ang kailangan mong gawin?
      1. Confess your sins
        1. Because God is able to forgive and cleanse you. At ginagawa natin ito through prayer. Walang ibang Diyos ang makakapag-patawad sa kasalanan mo kundi ang Diyos nating buhay. Kung matagal ka nang nabubuhay sa guilt and shame, kung ngayon ka lang ulit pumunta sa church dahil sa hiya mo sa mga tao at hiya mo sa Diyos, talk to the Lord today and confess your sins. At kasama sa pag cleanse niya sa mga kasalanan mo ay ang pag-alis sa guilt and shame mo through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. It all begins and ends with God.

 

And let me leave you with this main principle na naisip ko din while preparing for this: Prayer makes us realize how great and mighty God is.

 

Napaka daming model prayers sa Bible, isa na don ang book of Psalms. Isang short example ay sa Psalm 54.>>>>

The petitions or the requests are short, pero napaka dami nang sinabi about God’s majest and who God is. Kaya alam niyo sa pananalangin talaga natin, walang anything about us ang nahihighlight, kundi ang Diyos lamang.

 

Kaya sana sa mensaheng ito ay magbago ang pananaw natin sa pananalangin. Kung binabaliwala natin ang panalangin, mga kapatid, it took the blood of Jesus Christ at the cross to make it possible for us to pray. Ang Panginoon ang nag invite sa atin na mag pray at magtiwala sa kaniya, siya rin ang sasagot, siya rin ang magpapala sa atin ng lubos lubos, siya rin ang nagbigay sa atin ng confidence na lumapit sa Diyos at siya din ang maglilinis sa ating mga kasalanan all through prayer.

 

Sabi ni Dr. Timothy Keller:

 

The very fact that we have access to God’s attention and presence should concentrate the thoughts and elevate the heart.

 

-Timothy Keller

 

How much and how often we pray reflects our hunger for God. The best way to learn to pray is by praying.

 

How is your prayer life? We can go on and on, pero kung hindi natin nakikita importance ng prayer, this is all worthless. I hope and pray that today we are challenged by the Word of God through Jeremiah and the book of Hebrews. And I hope that all of seek God more in prayer.

 

 

Life Thoughts (Sermon Series): Finishing it Well

How do we finish strong? How do we finish well? Meron bang konsepto ng success in the Christian life and our walk with God? And how do we go through our life para sigurado tayo that we finish strong?

In our passage, Paul gave us 2 very important things for him to finish well. Of course all by the grace of God. Paul speaks always in the context of an athlete. There is always a physical aspect in his analogies about the Christian life as he always compares the christian life to a race.

How is your race? Almost there? Haven’t started? So today we will focus on Philippians 3:13 and 14 where Paul has just 2 points concerning this.

 

Philippians 3:13 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

  1. Forget the past
    1. In Philippians chapter 3, Paul told his readers that they should have a goal in life. Before, he told them, that he has this other goal. He already has that reputation, the strength, the power, pero sabi niya in verse 7 that all of it was loss for the sake of Christ. Loss? Pano magiging loss yon e nasa tugatog siya ng tagumpay? Pano magiging loss yon e nasa kanya yung kapangyarihan, nasa kanya yung talino. Sabi niya sa verse 8….. It is all loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Paul was telling them, my past is nothing. My past accomplishments are nothing. Lalong lalo na yung Past sins niya nung nag pepersecute pa siya ng Christians. It is nothing. It is loss. Kaya in verse 13 sabi ni paul….
    2. When Paul said the word “forgetting”, hindi naman ibig sabihin non ay completely parang hindi talaga siya nangyari and move on. Hindi possible yon because our past will always be a part of us. Kaya nung sinabi ni Paul na forget the past, that just means, allow that past memory to exist, but instead re focus to what matters most-facing the present and the future. Kaya ito po ang principle natin.
    3. Finishing well is Re focusing your life. Your past will always be a part of you. Hindi na natin mabubura yan. Kahit anong gawin natin to forget the past, the best thing to do is to fill our minds with new things. Nangyari na ang nangyari. And in fact our past shaped who we are today. Dahil sa past natin, ganito tayo sa kalagayan natin ngayon. We longed for something in the past na hinahanap natin sa ibang bagay pero nung natagpuan natin na lahat pala ng hinahanap natin ay malay Hesus lamang, nagtiwala tayo sa kanya, at nandito tayo ngayon. We are all shaped by our past. Pero sabi ni paul na siya he is forgetting what lies behind. And trying to fill his mind with things that drive his life forward.
    4. What are the things that we should leave behind?
      1. Sin
        1. Leaving behind our sins include sins na alam ng mga tao na ginawa natin, pati yung mga sin na hindi alam ng mga tao na ginawa natin. The Bible says that we should repent. And sinabi mismo ni Jesus na yoon ang kanyang layunin sa Luke 5:32>>>>  And bilang Kristyano, lagi dapat tayong may repentive spirit. Everyday we sin dahil everyday din naman natin nakakalimutan na tayo dapat ang nagbayad na kasalanan natin, at hindi si Kristo. Pero we need to remember na bilang kristyano ay dapat hindi na tayo gaya ng dati, kundi isang panibagong tao na Kinalimutan na ang nakaraan, and sabi sa phil 4:8….. So it is a constant and deliberate action to fill out hearts and minds with new things. Meron ba tayong past sin na patuloy na nagbobother sa atin? Through the blood of Jesus we are forgiven. And we can move forward.
      2. Shame
        1. Malamang nung sinabi ni Paul ito sa philippians, gusto niya talagang kalimutan, completely, na pumatay siya ng napakaraming Kristyano. Pero dahil sa calling niya galing sa Diyos, Hindi nya hinayaan na yung past sins niya ay makahinder sa pagkaka kilala niya sa Panginoon at sa pag fulfill niya ng goal niya dito sa mundo. Kung iisipin natin yung mga kasalanan natin, nakakahiya sa Panginoon! Nakakahiya yung mga kalokohan ko dati. Nakakahiya yung mga sinabi ko! Nakakahiya ako! Wala na akong mukhang mahaharap. Ayoko mag church kasi nakakahiya Alam niyo, dito natin makikita ang kapangyarihan at pagmamahal ng Diyos. Sabi sa Rom 8:1>>> Kasi ang totoo, kadiri tayong lahat sa mga pinagagawa natin. Pero sabi ni Hesus, namatay ako para sayo. Iwan mo na yang nararamdaman mo. Magsimula tayo uli dahil ang istorya ng gospel ay istorya ng pagdala ni Hesus sa kasalanan at kahihiyan mo sa krus. Nakapako at namatay na. Pero si Hesus, buhay na buhay parin. Kaya kung iniisip ninyo ngayon, na nahihiya parin kayo sa buhay niyo, alam niyo lahat tayo may dapat ikahiya. At kaya may church tayo. Kasi lahat tayo nakakahiya sa harap ng Diyos dahil sa mga kasalanan natin. Pero ang Diyos tinanggal na yon, at kaya ngayon nakakaharap ako sa inyo. Kaya kung may kilala kayo na nahihiyang pumuntang church, hindi po tayo masusunog dito. But we can leave our shame behind and move forward.
      3. Hurts
        1. Lahat ng sakit na pinagdaanan natin sometimes drags our walk with God. We are sometimes too focused on ourselves that we do not see the need to minister to people around us na mas kailangan pala ng comfort. Mas matindi pala pinagdaanan nila kaysa sa atin. Nandyan din minsan ang pagbblame sa Panginoon dahil sa hurts na napagdaanan natin. Lord, bakit niyo siya hinayaan mawala? Lord, bakit niyo siya hinayaan na mawala ng masyadong maaga? May iba sa atin hanggang ngayon napaka-cautious sa mga tao? Bakit? Kasi may bad experience ka of people na very close to you before? E ang problema hindi naman lahat ganon. Leave that behind. All our hurts were already carried by Christ. At habang nandito ka sa church, maganda malaman mo, na hindi lahat ng tao dito perpekto. Lahat tayo ay may pain na pinagdaanan, pero tingin ka sa paligid mo. Maaliwalas diba? All by the grace of God. Kung hindi mo pa naiiwan yang sakit na yan sa puso mo, leave it at the feet of Jesus, and move forward in your walk with Christ.
      4. Anxiety
        1. What is anxiety? Yan yung mga alalahanin natin. And according to the Bible, our anxieties block the Word in our lives in Mark 4:19>>>> so the more we worry, kahit na nagbabasa tayo ng daily devotion natin everyday, at pumpunta tayo sa church, sabi sa passage na yan that it chokes the word–in other words, naiintindihan mo pero dahil worry ka ng worry, ang bilis mong makalimot. Phil 4:6 says>>>>> alam niyo napaka raming bagay kung san tayo pwedeng maging anxious na inadress din sa Bible. Of course ang pinaka common ay ang needs natin everyday. Inadress din sa Bible ang tungkol worry natin sa mga nakaka alitan natin. Pati ang anxiety sa kung anong sasabihin inadress ng Bible. At itong mga anxieties na ito blocks our growth. Ayoko mag share ng gospel. Ayoko mag testimony, hindi ko alam sasabihin. Matt 10:19>>> sabi ni Jesus wag kayong mag-alala sa mga sasabihin niyo. The Spirit will help you. And sometimes our anxieties also block our leveling up. Ayaw natin mag mentor. Ayaw natin mag disciple. Because we worry too much. Forget that part in your life. Leave it. And move forward.
      5. Lukewarm-ness
        1. Rev 3:15-16>>>> itong passage na ito from Revelation is about the church of Laodicea. Lukewarm sila. Average. Unenthusiastic. Tasteless. Hindi mainit. Hindi din malamig. Kung baga sumasabay lamang sa agos. Pupunta sa church kasi malamig. Punta small group kasi may tinapay galing sa monbek’s. Kung baga pag dinala sa sa giyera, di mo alam kung lalaban o uuwi nalang. Kasi di mo maintindihan. And God had a warning for those people sa Laodicea, anong sabi??? I will spit you out!…. Strong words for a Christian na hindi mo alam kung anong ginagawang effort to grow. Parang dalawang magboyfriend yan. Pero hindi naman sila. Hirap non kasi walang label. “o bigyan mo ko gift sa christmas.” tayo ba? Parang ganon ang pagiging lukewarm. Much is expected of a Child of God. Pero we don’t do anything. So this is a challenge for all of us na iwanan ang pagiging lukewarm Christians natin because We are called to maturity! Hindi tayo niligtas ng Diyos para maging malnourished Christians. Niligtas tayo ng Diyos para maging healthy, living, and active Christians. Heb 6:1 says>>>>> so we want to leave our lukewarmness behind and move forward in our walk with Christ.
      6. Success
        1. SI paul had this. He was smart. He was well-known. Pero sabi niya that it was loss compared to knowing Christ. Hindi lahat ng kumikinang ay ginto. Hindi ibig sabihin na nanalo ka dati ay ok na ang buhay mo. Hindi ibig sabihin ay mayaman ka ok ka na. Walang kahulugan ang buhay kung hindi ito ipinapamuhay para kay Kristo. And this can sometimes weigh down our walk with God.  And Paul knew this. John Rockefeller knew this. Gary V knows this. Marami tayong kilalang ganito. Dahil maraming beses we rely on what we can do and who we are rather that who God is and what He can do. Success is nothing. And honestly, I’m still learning this. Sa ating daily devotion, because God blessed the Israelites, akala nila sa kanila yon. Akala nila sila yon. What happened? Yumabang sila. At pinabagsak sila ng Diyos. Gave them over to other kingdoms, allowed them to become slaves and prisoners. Success is nothing. Because success is not ours. Sa totoo lang napakasarap manalo, napakasarap maging successful. Pero lahat yon ay empty without purpose. Lahat yon ay empty without Christ. At kung empty yon, ano don ang pinanghahawakan mo. Wala! So success is part of the things that weigh us down in our walk, and therefore, we should leave it behind.
    5. Alam niyo our past is part of who we are, but we are not meant to look back. Ano nga ba ang reason kung bakit napaka liit ng rear view at side view mirrors ng mga sasakyan at motor? Kasi mas malaki yung wind shield. At kung magddrive ka na nakatingin sa rearview mirror, anong mangyayari? Mabubunggo ka. Hindi tayo meant to look backward. But we are always meant to look ahead. Anong nangyari sa asawa ni Lot nung lumingon siya sa Soddom and Gomorrah? Sabi ni Lord, pag lumingon ka, asin ka! We are not meant to look back. Again, our past is part of who we are. Parang dalawang tao yan na parehong may mapait na nakaraan. Marahil may past relationships na akala nila yon na. pero parehong nasira. At itong dalawang taong ito ay nagkasama. At nung nagsimula sila ng relationship nila nagkasundo sila na kakalimutan na nila ang mga nakaraan nila at magsisimula ng panibago kasama ang isa’t isa. At ganon din, sabi ni Warren Wiersbe:

The unsaved person is controlled by the past, but the Christian running the race looks toward the future.

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996), Php 3:13.

  1. Kaya po ang SPIN 180 ay patuloy for 24 years, helping transform young people na laging tumitingin sa past nila, laging tumitingin sa mga death words na sinabi ng mga magulang nila sa kanila, laging binabilakan yung pangbubully sa kanila na naka affect sa kanila, laging binabalikan yung past broken relationships nila. Helping them move forward in their walk with Christ. And we praise the Lord for the oportunity to lead this ministry towards its 25th year.
  2. Ang isang Kristyano ay laging forward driven. Bakit? We look forward to heaven. We look forward to meeting God. We look forward to our home! Kaya si Paul continued verse 13 sabi niya>>>

 

    1. Struggle forward Phil 3:13 -14
      1. So sabi ni Paul, forget the past behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. Yung ibig sabihin ng straining forward ay to exert oneself to the uttermost, stretch out,. So ang sinabi ni Paul sa mga Philippians, leave your baggages behind, and then exert all your efforts, magpaka-pagod ka, mag stretch ka, magpakahirap ka to reach what lies ahead. Sa pagiisip ni Paul, hindi na niya babalikan yung nakaraan niya. Nandun pa rin yon, pero irerefocus niya, he told that he is moving forward to his goal. At kahit wala na yung baggages ng kanyang nakaraan, sabi niya that he exerted all his effort. He is straining forward. May mga times na naskatan siya. May mga times na inisip na ulit niyang mag give up. May mga times na inisip niya na sana hindi na siya nabuhay just to reach his goal. May mga times na inisip niya na para siyang cursed just to reach his goal. Pero kasama yon sa pagiging strained for Christ. Nandyan na yung finish line. Lord help us to STRETCH! Aray. Cramps. That’s part of it ayon kay Paul. Ano ba yung goal ni Paul. In v 14 he said>>>> His goal is a reward in heaven! That is His upward call. Na magkaroon siya ng reward at masabi sa kanya ng Diyos, “well done my good and faithful servant.” Pero according to him, para ma-achieve niya yon, with the help of God, madaming kahirapan ang pagdadanaan, madaming struggle, madaming pagsuko, madaming dugo at pawis. Dahil ang Christian life will always be a struggle. Kaya ang principle is this.

 

  • Struggling is part of finishing well. Lahat tayo dito bago maka graduate, dumaan muna sa hirap. Marami sa atin, bago sumweldo, petsa de peligro muna. At sa totoo lang, walang ginhawa sa kabilang dulo. Bagong struggles ulit. Ako tinatapos ko masters ko, sobrang struggle, discouragement, depression bago marating yung goal ko of graduating. At hindi pa ako tapos. We get strained. We get injured sometimes. Pero si paul knew that. At yan ay part ng ating walk with God.

 

    1. What are our struggles toward our goal?
      1. Our past
        1. Kaya paul told to forget what lies behind. Dahil ito at ito ang magigin rason natin for not growing more in Christ. Ayaw mo magserve sa Diyos, kasi nakakahiya e. Ayaw mong magsalita sa harap, kasi hindi ka marunong e. hindi ka nag aral e. Ayaw mong mag share ng gospel dahil na reject ka dati. Ayaw mong magpa-mentor dahil ayaw mong iwanan ulit. Parang wala kang tiwala sa mga tao sa paligid mo. Lagi mong iniisip na hindi ka pwede sa church when in fact, lahat tayo ay ginawa lamang worthy by the blood of Christ. So sometimes, we struggle towards our goal to grow more in Christ because we dwell too much in our past. At minsan, it really takes a lot of strength from the Lord para ma overcome natin ang past natin. Maybe para sayo ngayon, hirap kang mag minister sa iba dahil hindi mo nakita yung consistency dun sa nag minister sayo dati. Maybe sayo hirap kang mas kilalanin ang Diyos dahil dati nasaktan ka ng isang tao na nag miminister din sayo. It is a struggle. Pero this is also one struggle ni Paul. Kaya sabi niya sa 4:13>>>>>>
      2. Laziness
        1. This is common for a lot of us. Kakatamad pumunta ng church. Kakatamad gumising ng maaga. Kakatamad mag devotion. Pwede bang maging comfortable nalang sa trabaho ko, kumita, at ok na ako? Pwede naman. Pero alam niyo kulang na kulang ang buhay. Sabi ni Paul, strain forward. Not sit down and wait for your purpose to happen. Nakakatamad pumuntang cell group. Magsasayawan lang naman sila. Makipag fellowship ka naman! Pwede kang mag journey alone. O kaya, pwede kang mag compare notes with other Christians dahil lahat tayo may kanya kanyang journey towards our purpose. Sa book of proverbs, napakaraming passages referring to lazy people.
          1. Prov 10:4-5
          2. Prov 22:13
          3. Prov 26:14
        2. Yes struggle maging tamad. But we need to ask strength from the Lord to overcome laziness.
      3. Burning out
        1. One very common struggle for people in the ministry is burning out. At gusto kong sabihin sa inyo, sana po minsan i-encourage niyo din kami. Madami kaming ginagawa. Hindi lang ito. Iniisip namin ang family namin, personally I think of work, yung mga taong minementor ko, mga program sa church, ippreach, at napaka dami pa. sa pagiging burned out, sobrang hirap mang encourage dahil minsan, kami mismo dicouraged. Maybe not only to those who minister, pero minsan ang dami nga naman talagang ginagawa, tapos iisipin ko pa yung sayaw namin para sa Christimas party? Ako nalang lagi gumagawa nito sa church. Wala na bang iba? Remember. It is part of straining forward and stretching. Burning out is sometimes spiritual fatigue. Overworked. Overexposed. Ang isang atleta pag overworked, usually naiinjure, nagkaka sprain, at minsan hindi pinapalaro ng ilang games to rest. Maybe you need to rest. And then once you gather your strength with the help of Christ, pwede ka na ulit umatake.
          1. Heb 12:3
            1. For those like me who minister to others, gal 6:9 is for us.
          2. Gal 6:9
      4. Loss of focus
        1. Sometimes we want to give up our christian life dahil may mga nakasakit sa atin within the church. We cannot control what others think. Pero sana wag tayo magsimula ng chismis sa loob ng church. Wag tayo magsabi ng masama tungkol sa ibang tao. Because yan ang nakakapagpabagsak ng moral ng ibang tao. Yung iba gustong mag grow, pero dahil sa chismis, nasasaktan at anong nangyayari? Aalis nalang. Hindi na maggrow. Sayang ang ininvest na time ng pastor at mentor. Sayang ang fellowship with believers. At alam niyo kahit nung time ni Paul nangyayari ito. Si paul mismo ay sinisiraan. Sinasabi na hindi totoo yung mga sinasabi niya. It became a struggle kay Paul dahil paano maniniwala sa kanya yung mga nirereach out niya kung may mga chismis. Pero mga kapatid, our faith must not rely on people we know, on people na tinitingala namin. Not us, but God. Ang Diyos ang miracle worker. Hindi tatay ko. CBC exists until now, dahil sa Diyos hindi sa kung sino man ang tumatayo sa harap niyo. 24 years na ang SPIN dahil will ng Panginoon yan, hindi dahil sa kung kaninong tao. So siguro part ng struggle ng ating walk is clinging to people rather than to God. We have to cling to God. Siya ang nagbigay ng confidence sa atin to come to God, not pastor. Not me. That’s why importante na ang focus natin ay sa Panginoon at hindi sa tao. Itong mga bagay na ito requires a lot of strength na wala tayo, pero meron po ang Diyos.

 

  1. So stretch out and strain! Sa tulong ng Panginoon, ikaw talaga ang magpapaka-hirap towards your purpose. Hindi lalapit sayo ang purpose mo! You work and strain forward to it. At alam niyo, yun talaga ang konteksto nung sinabi ni Paul sa Phil. 4:13>>>>>> sabi ni Paul I can do all things through Christ. I can work towards that goal through Christ. I can be injured, pwede akong mapagod. Pero I will work towards that purpose through Christ who gives me strength.
  2. One very heart warming story itong past month ay galing sa NBA Player na si Derrick Rose. Nung pinanood ko yun video niya, naluha ako. Because he never gave up. Dami niyang struggles–injuries, ayaw na sa kanya ng mga teams dahil sa injury niya. Pero siya yung pinaka-batang MVP sa nba. At pinakita niya na he can still strive and grind to reach his goal to be a good NBA player.
  3. How are we straining forward for our walk with God?

 

Kaya si Paul towards the end of his life, nag throwback siya. At sabi niya sa 2tim 4:6-8>>>> He finished well. And someday, in the glory of heaven, we want to finish well also. Forget the past, strain forward. How is our walk with the Lord so far? Naka tapak pa rin ba sa past? Or nasa gitna tayo ng struggle in the present?

 

How are we sure we can finish?

  1. Have discipline
    1. Creativity vs technique…….
    2. Our spiritual disciplines brings us back to the fundamentals, the basics. Minsan in trying times, dun makikita ang foundation ng ating pagiging Kristyano. How easily do we give up? How quickly do we leave? How much do we pray more on trying times? It all comes from our spiritual disciplines. Hindi tayo makakatakbo sa isang karera ng walang sustansya. Anong mangyayari? Pulikat. Pilay. Hindi mo talaga matatapos. So our disciplines, our exercises, moments na nag sstretching tayo will all boil down sa moments when God tries us.
  2. Rely on God’s pacing.
    1. Maybe some times you need to slow down. Maybe some times you need to take a break. Maybe sometimes you need to go kasi ang init mo. Strike while the iron is hot. So we need to rely on God’s leading. Kasi if we go all out ng 42km sa isang marathon, mamatay ka. There are times that you need to go fast, last push. There are times you need to know the pace Kasi ang layo pa. You need endurance in the Christian life. So we need to know our pacing from God.

 

At yun ang ibig sabihin ni Paul he said He can do all things. We usually take it out of context, na we can do anything. No. We can endure the Christian life like Paul through Christ who strengthens us.

 

How is our walk with Christ? Nasaang stage ka na? Nakaka move on ka na ba? Or are you still weighed down by your past? If you want to let it go, that’s the first step. After that it is the constant struggle of living the Christian life through the help of Christ our strength.

Remember your goal is to grow in Christ

Lalong lalo na while we are still here on earth.

 

And as a church, I hope and pray that all of us will struggle together as we walk closer to Christ.

Life thoughts: 1 Peter 1:20-21

1 Peter 1:20-21

 

He was foreknown. Before the world began, He is alive, He is existent. Trying to simplify through diagram the passages of verse 20 and 21, I believe that it goes like this: He has appeared in these last times for the sake of the believers in God, so that your faith and hope are in God. Makes me ask, did they have their faith and hope in something or someone else before? He has appeared for you so that your faith and hope are in God. If He didn’t appear, it seems that their faith and hope will not be in God. But, since He appeared, until now we can say that God is real and that our faith and hope are in Him. Which can also be taken further into God’s manifestation of glory even in present times. Manifest doesn’t mean that He appears physically but that He is seen, manifest, through us because of our works in faith in Christ Jesus that other people see, and that we ourselves have seen as we become sensitive to the leading of God through the Holy Spirit and through His filling of us in times that we do our ministry that seems to be impossible to do in our own strength but then God allows us to accomplish with His strength manifested in us.

 

Now, this is the reason why our faith and hope are in Him. They are in Him because we have seen how He has worked in our lives, in our relationships, our finances, our health, our safety, our achievements. He has “appeared” in us. The more He “appears” in us, the more we have faith and hope in Him. Which leads me to conclude that even if we don’t physically see God, we have faith because of His manifestation in us.

 

How, then, can He be manifested in us? He does not manifest Himself to people He doesn’t know. It’s like seeing more and more a person’s friend in him if they are always together, or a couple who are almost identical in their mannerisms because they know each other so well and are very intimate. God’s manifestation in us will come as we continue to know Him, to be intimate with Him. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. This is the beginning. He will reveal more of Himself to us, be made manifest in us, people will see, we will see, and the more we and others see Him in us, according to Peter, we will have more hope and faith in Him. It all begins with being intimate with God.

Life thoughts: Secured in my Father

Our position will affect our condition. If we are sure about something, it will always affect how we behave. Eternal security is important with our intimacy with God, because like a son’s assurance of his father’s love to Him, (this has been my case when I was young) even if I don’t win my basketball games, even though I miss some notes in playing the piano during my recital, even though accidentally bumped the car, even though he gets angry, I am assured (and he does assure) that at the end of the day, he still loves me. For a son like me, the security of his love and acceptance of me no matter what I do is one of the greatest driving forces to live life. For sure he gets angry when I do foolish things, and it will be only natural for me to think again if he loves me or not, if I am still welcomed in the house or not, but as his character is, our relationship will never have an end.

As God’s children, that security we can only found in Him brings us intimacy with the Father in two ways:

  1. Even if we prove ourselves to Him or not, He still is our father. We do not need to spend our whole lives trying to please Him by doing good works because when we believed Christ’s death and resurrection for the purchase of our sins, we were already made perfect in God’s eyes.

Hebrews 10:5-10 says:

5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,

 

“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,

But a body You have prepared for Me;

6 In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.

7 “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come

(In the scroll of the book it is written of Me)

To do Your will, O God.’”

8 After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He [a]said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By [b]this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

Romans 5:1 says: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,.” Christ already did what we can never do: to perfectly please and appease God.

 

  1. Because we are secured in His love and acceptance for us, we can spend our whole life in gratitude and worship as we become closer and closer to God who has given us this everlasting love through our relationship with Him. Our gratitude in worship or living our life for Him brings us to a more intimate knowledge of who God is. “…since we have confidence to enter the holy place…and since we have a great high priest…let us draw near with a sincere heart…let us hold fast the confession of our hope…for he who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:19-23)

So papa, thank you for the security of love you have given the family. I am not perfect but I think you still see all of us as wonderful blessings from God. Thank you and I love you.

Life thoughts: My year in a nutshell

I just want to use this post to thank God for all the things that he has done and taught me this year also as I look forward for the coming new year. I’m gonna try to attempt to do a monthly looking back starting

January
-started the year with a very great project with a jazz pianist
-I had dengue that month til February
-was also mentally and spiritually preparing for the launch of our church album for February

February
-was still recovering from dengue
-dengue left me with Vertigo which was so dreadful for me. The 2 sundays after i got home from the hospital was very unforgettable because i passed out those 2 sundays after morning rehearsals for church.
-a big blessing would be the launch of the album which i produced. Everyone loved it and the Music during the launch was the best or church music ministry has done so far

March
March to April were the most painful months i have had this year. I rejected from having a scholarship that would allow me to have my graduate studies in composition in Germany. I was given full assurance that i would have it so i actually never planned for anything else when i started the year. It was indeed painful but God has other plans that i did not know during that point. I felt like my whole world shattered in front of me since almost everyone was expecting that i leave at the middle of the year (or at least that’s how i felt).

April
-my April will much be the same as my March until the last week.
-was hired to a piano studio to teach voice and piano.
-during the last week of that month, i received an email and a text message asking if i would like to work in de la Salle- College of st. Benilde which is a very prominent school, and in UP college of music extension program. Both of these are my dream work places aside from Febias College of Bible where i was teaching since last year.

May
i got all those jobs. My self esteem was boosted again.

June
-shuffling 4 jobs and a couple of projects at the side ain’t easy. But it certainly is a blessing.
-my friends start teasing me of getting married with my girlfriend because of all the work i have

July
-was surprised to receive an email inviting me to perform in Malaysia.

August
-probably the busiest month of my year.
-international silent film festival
-and a couple more events that needed some new works. This month i pushed myself to the limit and wrote 1 piece of new music a week.

September
-my birthday month
-spill over of work from August

October
-went to Malaysia for the sound bridge music festival
-after the last concert, went straight home for ara’s special project with my piece also to be performed. That weekend was one for the books. No sleep, but had 2 works premiered on just one weekend.
-ara graduated with honors. Super proud of her.

November
-started with maybe my biggest project ever. I had to do arrangements for a theatre production on December. That’s 16 songs in 3 weeks.

December
-i joined a jingle writing contest for the Philippine dental association, and surprisingly won the thing with a jingle i did in just 6 hours (all arrangement and recording and mixing and all)
-blessed to have a lot of work which made it a very merry Christmas for me. Hehe

Next year, great things are already lined up for me. I am excited, yet anxious of those things that i have no assurance of. But looking back this year, i think i dont have any reason to be afraid of the coming year. He has it all planned out already 🙂

Merry Christmas and a blessed and exciting new year to you!