WHO HAS THE LOUDEST VOICE?

There are so many voices around and inside us.

Who do we listen to or what do we believe as true?

May we listen and trust the voice of our Heavenly Father, because the one who holds the universe in His hands is also the one who knows what’s best for us.

“That which glorifies Him the most is what is done for my greatest good.“

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ARE YOU TIRED OF CHANGE?

Do you feel restless not knowing what the future holds?

Living in uncertain times makes us grapple for something that’s steady and stable. Something that will remain constant. As we continue to search, may we realize that the only thing that has remained the same and will continue to remain the same is God. He is our Everlasting Father who has always been and will always be loving, faithful, sovereign and good.

“In the midst of changing times, we can put our trust in an unchanging God.”

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HOW BIG IS YOUR GOD?

From the moment we wake up, we are faced with various tasks and worries. 

Do we allow these things to occupy our mind and fill our heart or do we surrender them to God in thanksgiving and worship?

As we choose to seek God and focus on Him everyday in any  circumstance, everything else becomes small compared to how big and majestic our God is.

“When we seek His face, we turn our focus on Him and turn away from every other distraction.”

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WHAT’S THE CRY OF YOUR HEART?

“Lord, please save us!”

We all are crying out for this pandemic to be over soon. Our hearts are grieved with the news that we hear everyday of families going hungry, people fighting on social media, loved ones being taken away, and frontliners dying while fighting this battle.

Let us continue to cry out to God everyday because He alone can save us. 

In whatever situation, may it be of victory and difficulty, we are implored to give glory and praise to God. In the midst of these trying times, God is still seated on His throne and is Sovereign over all. He will remain faithful and true to His Word. We can always run to Him and find refuge in Him.

“Blessed be the name of the Lord, my God!”

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A HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW, WHAT WILL HISTORY SAY HOW THE CHURCH RESPONDED TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC?

Covid 19 will forever be remembered as a disease caused by a virus which led to a catastrophic event not just in China, but has spread throughout the globe. Hence, the Pandemic.

In 1918, more than a hundred years ago, a similar pandemic which lasted for almost 3 years, infected 500 million people. 

These pandemics have caused painful disruptions in the lives of thousands and millions of people – businesses closing down, stocks plummeting, companies losing money, families going hungry, and lives being taken away. 

In the midst of the crisis that we are facing today, where is the church? 

History has repeatedly shown how the church, the body of Christ or the people who follow and love God, has been an extension of His hands and feet. 

God has called us to be the salt and the light of the world.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

The goal is to bring honor and glory to God!

Even with the challenge of not meeting together in a particular place, God has brought our hearts together to continue to worship Him in the way we serve His people – by providing food to the needy, shelter to the frontliners, and prayer and comfort to the anxious and grieving. Through these, many will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as we continue to demonstrate and declare the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ is more powerful and potent than the virus we are facing now. It does not only provide temporary relief or comfort, but offers hope of a fruitful life here on earth and a promise of eternal life.

Let us continue to spur one another in keeping the faith. The God that we worship, who created the Heavens and the Earth, neither slumbers not sleeps. He is in full control and will always be Sovereign above all. Let us fix our eyes on Him and continue to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as to what He wants us to do or say to the people around us – physically and online. How would God want us to respond in different situations we find ourselves in during this crisis?

A hundred years from now, this pandemic will be in the history books. 

What will history say about the church?

I love what Ptr Adam Mabry said from our Every Nation Boston Church, “I believe this is our best moment.”

Let’s embrace it, and let’s engage.

WILL GOD STILL ACCEPT ME INSPITE OF MY DEEPEST DARKEST SECRET?

Yes! 

There is no sin too dark nor too big that God can’t forgive and cleanse us from. There is hope for all of us who have sinned. We can come to Him in humility and acknowledge all our sins because He will neither judge nor condemn us. As we put our trust on what Jesus Christ did on the Cross, we can receive forgiveness from sin and be reconciled with the Father so that we may experience how it is to truly live.

Salvation is by grace through faith and not by our own good works. 

This is the Good News!

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ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE?

In the age social media, most of us put on an image of a seemingly perfect life because we want to be accepted and loved. 

Because of fear of rejection, we’re too afraid to let other people see the real us—our struggles and past mistakes. 

The good news is, there is someone who loves us unconditionally with all our struggles and baggages, and that is Jesus Christ. 

He demonstrated it by dying on the Cross for us, even while we were still sinners. And even if we still fail and hurt Him sometimes, He still showers us with His love every single day.

“In Christ, we are fully known and yet unconditionally accepted.”

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WHAT THIS VIRUS HAS ALLOWED ME TO PONDER ON

After taking a walk around our neighborhood tonight with my family (which we haven’t done in quite a long time), I remembered a composition my daughter in law, Pauline, sent me.

It is apparently written by Chinese pastor to a brother in Christ in Istanbul. I am uncertain about the veracity and accuracy of the author’s information, but the composition is worth the read and will cause you to consider the author’s insights nonetheless.

———

“QUIET CHINA”

The hustle and bustle of China finally quiets down, the restless society comes to a still, and the restless Chinese people gradually calm down.

The wild animals that were once held by humans in cages finally managed to keep humans in cages.

Humans finally lower their proud head and have begun to think quietly: Are we still the king of the earth?

Mankind finally feels the power of nature once again….

In the face of the threat of death, human beings have only begun to reflect seriously, only to realize that a lack of awe-inspiring social atmosphere will lead to more harm and more risks.

The greedy heart is being purified by the virus, and the mouth that loves to eat is being punished by the virus. The people who have been soaking in the bright red and green places all day have been driven home by the virus, saying…. “Go home!”

There are fewer and fewer people on the street, few cars on the road.

The air is getting fresher…. the haze is gone…. the sky is getting bluer…. the sun is getting brighter…. family lives are getting warmer, harmonious, and cordial. People’s hearts have become more and more calm.

People who haven’t read for years have picked up books at home. Parents and children who had no communication, couples who couldn’t speak a few words a year have opened up the conversation box. Children who do not know how to respect the elderly have begun to be filial.

The virus teaches human beings a vivid and profound lesson. It makes us understand awe. It also lets us know what is called “good times.”

It also makes us feel true love on earth. It makes us gradually fall in love with “Return to the Road.”

We really should be grateful for this “enemy.” We need such an enemy to give us a “reminder” and give us “empowerment.”

The virus will not leave so quickly. It needs to see the cultivation of human good habits. The virus will not continue to rage, because human love will gather more power to keep the virus away. Time will tell us everything. Time will also prove what is right.

The virus reminds us that THERE IS AN ALMIGHTY.

And humans are just humans.

IS BEING GOOD, GOOD ENOUGH?

Is being good, good enough?

“Man’s religion is about what man can do for God. Christianity is about what God has done for man.”

The beauty of the gospel is that what Jesus Christ has done on the cross is already enough to save us from our sins and give us the wonderful gift of eternal life. It is already finished! Being good is not a requirement, but it is the overflow of a heart that’s grateful for receiving salvation and victory in all areas of our life.

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WHAT CAN WE DO WHEN WE FACE CRISIS?

With the continuous threat of a major outbreak of COVID-19, what can I do to respond?

Last week, during our Metro Manila pastors meeting, Pastor Gilbert Foliente encouraged us from God’s Word. Sharing from Genesis 41, he presented principles we can glean from when the people of God were also faced with a major crisis which at that time was famine.

External threats are beyond our control. Romans 8 describes to us that the “world groans.” There is going to be a new heaven and a new earth. But in the mean time, what can we do?

Egypt, during the time of Joseph, had the threat of famine. The Pharaoh asked Joseph to interpret his dreams. What happened during that time gave us a template on how to respond when crisis hits.

1. TRUST GOD FULLY.

The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. (Genesis 41:32, NIV)

All that happens in God’s creation does not escape God’s attention. He is sovereign and He is in full control. This means that nothing takes Him by surprise.

Because of this, we can trust that though we may not know what the future holds, we do know Who holds it.

Psalm 33:11-12 says, “The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”

2. LEAD CONFIDENTLY.

“And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:33)

Every one of us are in some form of leadership capacity. We lead teams, families, units, corporations, organizations. At the very least, we lead ourselves. And as we lead, we can influence others positively.

Joseph was placed in charge over all of Egypt. And after that, he led with confidence knowing that it was God that was ultimately leading him. He wasn’t looking for a job. He was just there as a messenger. But God raised him up for His purposes.

In times of crisis, will we be the voice of faith or the voice of fear?
In times of trouble, will we be a beacon of hope or a source of unbelief?

Joseph trusted God to give him wisdom. We can do too.
Wisdom is being able to do the right thing at the right time.
Joseph had discernment.

And discernment is being able to distinguish between two options.
God has the ability to empower us with discernment to make the right decisions.

3. WORK IMMEDIATELY.

He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:46, NLT)

As soon as Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he worked instantaneously. He didn’t take his sweet time. He went for it right away.

When crisis hits and danger is immanent, we need to be decisive and work swiftly because it can mean life or death.

The famine during Joseph’s time wasn’t coming until 7 years after his appointment as Governor. But he went to work right away.

4. PREPARE THOROUGHLY.

He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:46, NLT)

As soon as Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, not only did he work immediately, he prepared thoroughly by inspecting the entire land of Egypt. He studied, learned, evaluated, surveyed, supervised, worked. He did all he can to prepare for the famine.

We will believe God for the best.

But we will also prepare for the worst case scenario.
The important thing is to stay connected to the Holy Spirit so that He can give us clear instructions for what we need to do.

At the end of the narrative, we see in Genesis 41:57 that “… all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.” In the midst of crisis, Joseph, who represented the people of God, became a blessing to the world.

As we encounter crises, whether current or future, we can trust God fully, lead confidently, work immediately and prepare thoroughly. And as we do, the people of God, the church can be a blessing to the rest of the world.