Daily Ponder: #017

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Jude 20–21 NIV

The best antidote to the lies of this world is by building up our most holy faith. Build is the key word. This entails labor on our end, the discipline and effort, the humility and a hear that desires God more than anything else.

Build the faith, not out of obligation but rather out of the revelation of the underserved grace, mercy and love. Build the faith because we cherish it the most.

Praying in the Holy Spirit does not mean talking to God about our agendas but rather in a sense praying in harmony with the leading of the Holy Spirit.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Romans 8:26-27 NIV

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:18 NIV

Daily Ponder: #016 The leader who cared

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

3 JOHN 4 NIV

The past few days I took time ponder in the book of John ( 1-3 John). Theologians say that it is more likely the apostle John who wrote it. But definitely the author of this book in a an elder of the church.

Going through the pages the past few days, I felt it was a father and a friend communicating. It is evident with how the author addresses the recipients. “My dear children, or My Friend.”

It made me appreciate His leadership, He was loving and blunt about the truth that the believers may walk in truth that honors God. He gave practical advise in living out the faith, in showing love and how to Honor God.

He reminded the people to go back to the beginning ( the Gospel ) and never fails to mention about the truth. ( Jesus ) John 3:14 Jesus is the way, the truth and the life no one comes to the Father except through Him. He was never silent about these things.

As he mentions these lines. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” John see the believers as sons and daughters, as his children and family. It reminds me as well of the joy of seeing the students I have help before to walk in the way of Christ. Is is indeed a joy to see.

What an awesome leader John is, We need leaders like him. Thank God for His life and being use by God.

Daily Ponder #015 The truth

Because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

2 John 2-3 NIV

Because of the truth,

The word truth is prominent in John’s greetings, perhaps because early Christians saw themselves as being in close communion with Jesus, who called himself the truth ( John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life..)

Which lives / abides in us and with us forever

The gospel that unites lives in us and is a shared faith among believers, not just a personal conviction.

with us in truth and love.

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.


Jesus is the truth. His truth liberates, transforms, brings life, brings healing, brings joy. His truth is done and finish, He died for you and me that we may be save from our sinful selves, bring salvation in us. His truth comes with His love. A love that that is so powerful it enables us to love as He does.

May you come to terms with His truth and His love.

Daily Ponder: We love because

#013 May these words speaks loudly in your life.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9 NIV

 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins

1 John 4:10 NIV

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:12 NIV

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 

1 John 4:15 NIV

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18 NIV

We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19

Daily Ponder: #009 Questions

Have you ever prayed for the love of God to be manifested? To be felt by you? While you may know mentally that you are loved and accepted it may seem that the heart yearns for it to be felt. It may feel empty.

Have you ever consider taking time to reflect how God uses people to fill that love? That God causes people to move or do acts of caring for you?

Have you been vulnerable and the people with you responded with grace and love?

Have you ever made a list of all the possible good you are experiencing despite the present challenges?

These things we need to ask ourselves, these thing we need to ponder. How is the love of God manifested in your life?

Do we have him in a box? In our set of expectations? Because these can possibly blind us from seeing how He is manifesting His love and care?

What else can hinder? Would it be possible we are nurturing anger, bitterness and un-forgiveness? how much more is greed and pride?

If we truly desire to experience His love, it takes a humble heart to ask for it, have it His way and show the potential hinderances and act on obedience.

While there are situations of extreme, while you might be in, it can never negate the presence of His Love.

Sometimes, We are more hard on ourselves… the subconscious words we accept and say to ourselves. This can be “I am are not worthy”, ” I am a bad person”, ” I am filthy” “I am ugly”. and so many more self declarations.

Whatever it may be, My prayer for you is that 2022 will be your year of knowing more and experiencing the love of God in Christ.

Daily Ponder: Where is your hope set?

#008

It has been a difficult and challenging 2 years and it seems it may be far from over. As the new year entered a surge a rise of a new variant grips the world. We have experienced sickness, we have experience grief over the loss of love once and people we know, for the many it can be grief over the world once we know, the loss of what we loved so much ( work, opportunity, routine of life). The world has changed. The dynamics of day to day life and business has changed radically.

What sustained you during this times? What kept you drowning from hopelessness?

As for me it was HOPE. To be very specific it is the sustaining hope that springs from the promises in the Bible. While there were times I felt the darkness of the future, it was the daily meeting with God and His words that kept me to look beyond, to hope again, trusting the grace of God to carry me.

Thank you for coming to this point of reading this sentence. You made it here, you made it to 2022. and I say you will make it through again this year.

“I have put my hope in your word”… words that is constantly repeated on Psalms 119, It gives emphasis where we should set our hopes, God’s word is trustworthy. I am thankful to the person who I was 10 years ago or so, for coming to terms of putting his hope on the God and His word.

There is hope. There is an eternal hope. May I invite to his hope in which I have. You maybe clouded with fear, betrayals, discouragements and pains, fighting and struggling to keep things together. I am inviting you to move an inch or centimeter each day towards a greater hope in the word, with God.

Daily Ponder #002

Daily ponder is my attempt to write down one of the many thoughts that took me captive or nor I meditated.

Yearning, Trust and Dependence

What caught me well today are the words…. According to your word.. you have broaden my understanding. These are from Psalms 119:25-32 NIV

  • Preserve my life according to your word.
  • Cause me to understand your precepts.
  • Strengthen me according to your word.
  • You have broadened my understanding. ( Enlarge my heart at ESV)

May we live our lives according to His word. May our greatest desires and admirations be unto him alone. May we humble ourselves towards Him and ask for His grace to enable us to understand the scriptures. May we depend on him for strengthen in accordance to His words.

I love how these psalms resounds to my to my heart, I kept reading it over and over. In the same way is my declaration for my life. Let me share to you a prayer that arouse from these lines.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

I desire to grow greatly in the word, preserve my life according to your word, teach me your decrees, cause me to understand your precepts that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds, strengthen me according to your word, keep me from deceitful ways nor in the lies I tend to permeate in my thoughts, be gracious to me and teach me your ways, when I run in the path of your commands you enlarge my heart, you have broaden my understanding. I ask these today In the name of Jesus.

The truth that needs to be reaffirm daily.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

The Bible teaches us, we are not only saved by grace, but also living life by grace, every day of our lives. This so important yet so little understood or practice by christians.

Saved by grace, living life by grace .

The sound good faulty motto: “God helps those who helps themselves.” This is actually transactional.

It sounds and looks like this; if I try harder to be good maybe God will bless me more, and change myself maybe God will be gracious to me. If only I can commit more in serving the church, in giving, disciple more people, evangelize more, do good more with some help with God.

Remember what the apostle Paul said; “ But by the grace of God I am what I am”.

The truth that needs to be reaffirmed daily is this,

My daily relationship with God is base of the merit of Christ instead of my own performance.

God’s transforming grace liberates us from the daily performance mentality and sets us to faith place alone on Jesus Christ.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

2 Peter 2:18 ESV

May we learn to pray 2 Peter 2:18 in the journey of our lives, May we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus.

This writen entry is from a book I am reading at the moment titled “ Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges. These are my take home notes, from the preface portion. There are more from the book itself.

Will your future be thankful from your decisions today?

We are, who we are today because of the decisions we made in the past. If you are physically fit today, it’s because you decided to commit to being fit. Maybe the best question we can ask ourselves today is “Years from now, will I be grateful for the decisions I made today?”

We have been given the power of choice everyday, you have been given the wonderful ability and privilege of embracing life changing decisions. It starts with a decision in the heart and mind to believe and step out in faith.

Let me share my story with you.

More than 10 years ago, during 2009 prayer and fasting week, I prayed and believed for the impossible to happen in my life and that was to go back to college and get a degree. During that time, I was working as a call center agent and helping provide for my family in the province. The financial challenges in my family drove me to give up the dream of a college degree and accept the weight of being the breadwinner.

But it was through a class in church back in 2007 that once again reignited that desire. Since then it has been constantly brewing in my heart, a hopeful thought that haunted me for two years. My response to this thought was resistance and saying how could it be possible? Considering the weight of responsibility I felt for my family. Who would support and help my family if I pursue my desire?

At the 2009 prayer and fasting, I said to God, yes I want it, and I want to continue. Started believing in my heart what can be, rather than what cannot. I felt it was God calling me on this and it was Him who put this desire burning in my heart. The one who called me is ultimately faithful and in that I rested.

A month after the prayer and fasting, my mom called me up to share her good news! She was hired to work in Macau as a domestic helper. The month that followed was another answered prayer, my sister’s education in a private school will be fully supported financially by a relative until she graduates. Isn’t that great?

God took off every hindrance, showing that truly nothing is impossible with Him. That year I resigned from work and went back to college as a full time student. The journey wasn’t easy, there was plenty of hurdles along the way, but the very words of God brought sustenance and strength throughout the journey.

Today I am grateful that I had made that decision to respond in faith. I am thankful that God enabled me to move in hope in a seemingly cornered and hopeless situation. This experience enabled me as well to see God in action in my life.

But truly the best decision I ever made was the moment I accepted Jesus Christ in my heart as my Lord and Savior back in 2006. I would not have the faith to believe for the possibilities If I did not embrace his Lorship over all things . I am in Christ, so is my life and all it’s circumtance.

These decisions where acts of faith to a faithful and all powerful God that brought so much joy and gratitude in life. It was not because I made a good decision but because it is God’s character who is ultimately good and faithful.

At the end of the day, we all make faith decisions.

Three things I want to point out;

• Never make life decisions base on personal limitations.

• Pray and trust God in all circumstance.

• Obey and act in faith in accordance to God’s words and promises.

What decisions are seemingly challenging and impossible for you, but will make you thankful in the years to come?

IDENTIFYING PASSION KILLERS

While preparing for the message for the Youth Service, my good friend and fellow campus missionary, Roel Layug shared to me about passion killers among the youth in the church. What are passion killers? These are things that rob our enthusiasm and zeal for our faith and relationship with Jesus.

  1. Ungodly relationships : Relationships that lead us away from our intimacy with God, causing us to sin and disobey God’s will. Godly relationships help us to value more our relationship with God and pushes us to honor Him and walk an ever increasing path of obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Mike (not his real name), a student, came to know Jesus at our campus ministry. Realizing what Jesus did for him, he left his ungodly relationship with his girlfriend, pursued his relationship with Jesus, and is now one of our fruitful leaders – sharing the gospel in his campus and leading fellow students to Christ.
  2. Unbelief : This comes from a heart that is not sold out to God, who He is, His ability, His promises, His unfailing Love, His forgiveness, His redemption, and His sovereignty. When challenges come, our unbelief can cause us to be overwhelmed by fear, anxiety, and insecurity. The only way to counter unbelief is to move in faith in God’s words and promises. When in doubt that God will provide, believe that everything comes from Him. When sickness strikes, believe God’s word for healing. When relationships are broken and dysfunctional, move in faith that God is able to change hearts and minds. When faced with uncertainties, hang on to God’s promises. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the word of God will last forever. Even in the midst of unbelief, God remains to be faithful and loving. Unbelief hinders us from fully receiving God’s promises and breakthroughs. The only way to counter unbelief is to hold on to God’s word, and that can happen when we commit to do our part of knowing God through the Bible, prayer and devotion, and a community of believers.
  3. Voices we listen to – Nowadays, social media, society and peers makes huge influence in our youth; they set the trends of what is in or out, what is cool and what is out-of-the-date; and most of the time, these are the voices our youth listens to. First Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character”. It is true that whoever we listen to or who we are with most of the time, influences us, whether big or small. I’m not saying that we must not be with them, actually we must be with them, like what Paul did, but we need to filter the things that is according to God’s word and that are not – this can happen if we soak and meditate in His Word. Ultimately the only voice we need to listen is the voice of God. To hear God we need to create that quiet environment for us to hear Him speak. When we know God’s voice we easily discern other voices that are not from God. God’s voice is redemptive, regardless of our failures, shortcomings and sins. The voice of God is distinctive, it loves you but it leaves you unchanged, accepts you, affirms you, comforts you, and secures you. What matters most is the voice of God than the opinion of men.

Every time I meet with young people and hear of their challenges, I ask these questions, What is God telling you? How is your quite time and daily bible reading? What is/are God’s word regarding the matter.  As they faithfully seek God and keep the spiritual disciplines, our young people will remain passionate for God and the gospel.

I’m thankful to my fellow campus missionaries in Ortigas for sharing their insights about this topic.