Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Effects of Prayerlessness

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Colossians 4:2 - Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;

Have you ever thought the fact that there is a price when we allow our prayer life to subside? When we realize such certain moment, we sometimes think the repercussion that it will take.

Emptiness. If we fail to make prayer as the priority in our life, we will feel empty and disconnected from the source. Our hearts will feel a strange sense of unrest and uneasiness. Do you realize that when we pray, our burdens seem to be lighter as we have someone to talk to? As I always say, God's yoke is always waiting for us to be shared and surrender to Him any circumstances that we might have.

Lost. When there is no sense of belongingness with Him, we could get lost in the middle of weariness and hardship and we become accustom to it. If we continue in this manner and lifestyle, we begin to rely upon ourselves instead of upon the Lord and the effect could be vulnerability and always at risk of disaster.

To avoid these difficulties, let's make it a habit and priority in our lives the fellowship and communication with the Lord. It is a must that we pray and in contact with our Father in order to clearly hear His voice and fathom His will and plans for our life. If you feel that sometimes you allowed prayerlessness in your life and in "seenzone" with our heavenly Father, confess this to Him. Once you renew your prayer life, you will able to experience again His goodness and re-ecounter God's best.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Confidence in His Light

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I was driving around the block earlier just to destress and take off from my mind a feeling of sadness ( I tried to contact someone but He was unavailable apparently ). Sometimes I just drive and drive just to ease a tension. Then I drove to this dark street and I realized that I am not familiar with the place. So I stopped and opened Waze to know my location and way home. I was around 'Sports City'. Fortunately, navigation became easy because of this application. That moment reminded me of verses that I read last Thursday during my morning devotion.

John 11:9-10 - " 9... Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

Well literally, it is easy to walk and drive during the daylight. But in this verse, the world's light represent the God's guidance and progress in our lives. The word stumble is a symbol of a moment falling out from the personal relationship with the Chief Shepherd. So if we don't have this intimate relationship with our Creator, we will fall apart and will be clueless to everything that is happening around us. Without His guidance and love, it will always be dark and night in our lives. We will never see the sun shine down upon us. So if you are in the middle of nowhere and seems light is unreachable, call on His name and meditate on His words. Don't let the enemy sway you and bring you to the world of total blindness. 

Just like what happened to me, even if I am not familiar with the place (well, it was my fault driving around there), I was confident because I know I have Waze haha. In real life, let's all be confident in facing challenges and dark matters that run after us. We have God in our life and we will never stumble.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Second Chance

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On our post-Valentine lifegroup, we discussed about second chances; on how we can get our second chance and why should we give second chance to others. When I was doing my devotion and creating the lifegroup teaching points, Matthew 18:21-35 (21 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times) really spoke to me. This verse is part of "The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant", below video describes what this parable is:

Most of us, for sure, had that one thought “If only I had a second chance, I could…” Our Father grants us second chances, third chances, fourth chances, etc. But we must remember and put in our hearts that we should use those priceless opportunities in good and truthful ways.
We sometimes stumble and we all commit mistakes and after that moment, we inevitably ask our Creator for another chance. God believes and always give us second chances but there are strings attached to those who are doing these opportunities – repentance and change.
Now after we have received and earned that second chance, He also teaches us to give second chance to others. Probably “love your neighbor” is His hardest reminder to us.

1. Our OWN Second Chance
God is not only the God of second chances; He is the God of another chance. This is good news because most of us mess up the second chance fairly quickly. One of the amazing facets of God's character is His incredible patience with us. Psalm 86:15 says it well: "But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." The Bible is full of people who received second chances, and even third and fourth chances: Peter, Jonah, Mark, Samson, David, and others. All trophies of God’s grace.
  • Repent First. Repentance is one of the first principles of the gospel and is essential to our temporal and eternal happiness. It is much more than just acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart that gives us a fresh view about God, about ourselves, and about the world. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments. Luke 5:31-32 (31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”)
  • Ask for Forgiveness. Forgiveness is always available! The good news is that, no matter how serious the sin, God is always seeking us out and is willing to forgive and forget our sins and give us a fresh start. As long as we live, it is never too late to ask for forgiveness and make a new start! So Jesus used this illustration: (Luke 15:3-7) 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  When we have sinned, we can ask God for forgiveness, as in the Lord's Prayer: (Matthew 6:12) "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."
  • Visible and Invisible Change. After having the second chance, it is now in our hands the responsibilities to show others and to Him that we have changed genuinely. Remember, people will see our outward personalities and actions to verify our changes. But God sees everything and He sees our heart if we made a pure repentance. 1 Peter 1:7 "These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

2. Giving Second Chance to OTHERS
God is patient and forgiving, He wants His children to be patient with and forgiving of others. "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Colossians 3:12). He gives us second chances, and we must give the same to others. Jesus gives a stern warning to those who refuse to forgive, saying that if we will not forgive others, God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:15; see also Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; and Proverbs 19:11). If someone is truly repentant, then we are obligated to forgive (Matthew 18:21-22)
  • Guard & Check your Heart. Forgiving others is sometimes very hard, but it is essential if you want to break out of the bondage that it's brought you under. Forgiving others opens you up for the Lord to begin healing your soul and heart (inner healing). Since unforgiveness blocks us from receiving God's forgiveness of our sins (Matthew 6:15), it puts up a wall between us and the source of our healing.
  • Forgive & Forget. Of course, it is impossible to truly forget sins that have been committed against us. We cannot selectively “delete” events from our memory. The Bible states that God does not “remember” our wickedness (Hebrews 8:12). But God is still all-knowing. God remembers that we have “sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But, having been forgiven, we are positionally (or judicially) justified. Heaven is ours, as if our sin had never occurred. If we belong to Him through faith in Christ, God does not condemn us for our sins (Romans 8:1). In that sense God “forgives and forgets.”

Giving someone a second chance means we give him another chance to earn our trust. But that does not mean we instantly forget what experience has taught us. Trust must be earned over time, and we are foolish if we give trust prematurely. We can have a loving and forgiving heart that also practices wise guardianship over our lives.
When we have wronged someone, we have no right to demand another chance. But we should work to earn another chance by continued demonstration of repentance and change.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Setting Goals

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On my way back to Dubai, I was seating in the plane and was thinking that this year will be a very good and fruitful year for our church. It made me think to do planning and vision casting. So after landing and getting a cab, I immediately asked the team to get ready for an exciting activity. Below is the teaching that revealed to me during my devotion last Wednesday and Thursday.


No! Many people wrongly think, "Goal setting is unspiritual because it shows a lack of trust. It's not right to plan. Instead, people should wait for God to lead them.” Granted, God doesn't want us to forge ahead in pride without consulting Him for direction. But neither does He want us to sit around without acting, because He's given us gifts and talents and has also said that we are called to do good works.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.)

Forging ahead without seeking God or sitting back and doing nothing can stem from fear or a lack of faith. However, setting goals and consulting with Him shows that you trust Him and believe that He is able to lead you while you are moving forward.

The main verse that we studied was Philippians 3:13-14.
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Setting goals is a part of spiritual discipline
  • Before you can ever accomplish anything meaningful in life, you have to see what God sees so you can see what God can do in your life
  • Once you are able to see what God can do, then you have to believe he will really do it
  • You have to believe he can help you make the changes you need to make
  • If you don't believe change is possible, you won't even make the effort to change
  • But once you believe you can actually change, then you will be able to set faith goals

1. Set Goals Like Running in a Race (v 13)
  • TAKE HOLD (Apprehend, Make it my own) - to reach the goals, claim it as you have received and accomplished it.
  • FORGETTING (Not to have remembrance, Not looking back) - forget the past and old failure but never omit the lessons that you have learned from it
  • STRAINING TOWARD (Forward, Reaching Forth) - focus your eyes on God, focus on accomplishing good works. No laziness, no weakness, no backing down. Aim for gold!

2. Set Goals Like Winning A Prize (v 14)

  • PRESS ON (Pursuing, Chasing, Running) - it is about winning the prize which is knowing God more and hear His calling. Again, setting goals is a part of spiritual discipline. It's not just a good idea; the Bible says you need to set goals in order to grow in your faith. Goals stretch you and help you become all God wants you to be.

God is a God who sets goals, and he expects you to set them too. Like the Apostle Paul, he wants us to say: Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. (1 Corinthians 9:26)
You will make mistakes in setting goals. It's OK. Because God wants to see you do His will, He will teach you the way to go as you walk in faith. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8)

After the teaching, I divided the team into two groups and put the goals that we will accomplish and might able to attain. It turned out to be exciting and the ideas were pouring out: