How does one stand in the midst of persecution?
When we understand and appreciate the new birth we have received, then it enables us to stand firm in the faith in the midst of testings.

Bishop Manny Carlos shared an insightful message yesterday at Victory Fort and I’d like to share it with you.

1 Peter tells us that we have been “born not of perishable seed but of imperishable seed through the living and abiding the Word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23)

The regenerative work of the Holy Spirit inside us that turns us from lost to found, dead to alive, causes us to experience the new birth and in turn transforms the way we live.

Here are the blessings of the new birth:

1. The new birth brings spiritual insight.

Jesus said that unless we experience a spiritual rebirth, we cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

We are given new lens when we are born again spiritually. Being born again is not a religion but an experience once we embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As a result, scales from our eyes fall and we see things from a different perspective.

2. The new birth imparts spiritual life.

Because we have experienced rebirth (1 Peter 1:23), we just don’t live in the physical but also in the spiritual.

There is now genuine joy, authentic peace, sincere love for we have received it from the one who is our Joy, our Peace and the One who is Love Himself.

3. The new birth produces spiritual hunger.

Appetites change as new cravings are replaced.

1 Peter 2:2-3 says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Because we have experienced rebirth, we are now alive spiritually. And hunger is a good indicator of life. When a baby gets hungry, it means s/he is needing nutrition to continue to grow. A child who never gets hungry has a major problem. If this continues, soon, he will be lifeless.

If you and I have truly been born again, a hunger for the Word will surface for His Word brings daily sustenance.

Job declared in Job 23:12, “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.”

May we love God’s Word, treasure it, devour it and apply it to daily life.

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Here’s a simple 21-day guide that will start you off in this journey. Blessings!

 

 

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As we start the fast today globally in Every Nation, I read Day Zero in our Prayer and Fasting Guide (download here). But since it’s also Day 1 here in Manila, I will read Day 1 as well.

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I remember in the old house we were in, my wife and I had a problem with the faucet in our bathroom. Because the water flow was so slow, to be able to brush your teeth, we had to wait about a minute for the cup to be filled. We endured this for several weeks until we got a plumber to help us with our faucet. In 10 minutes, he figured out the problem thus a cup could be filled in 3 seconds instead of a minute.

What you tolerate, you will never change.

I’ve heard that many times on different occasions. What you will allow to continue in your life, you will never see changes. God desires to sanctify and change us into the image and likeness of God. But if we stay stuck in our ways, we won’t be able to move forward.

The Bible says in Matthew 22:19 that “you are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” Change happens all the time. But genuine and lasting change in the life of a person can only happen when God does it. By His power and the power of His Word, we are transformed.

The starting point is with the gospel. We can try to write 10 steps to change or 7 stages to transformation but if they don’t start with an understanding of what God has been done for us rather than what we can do for God, then we only find ourselves frustrated as with many of our New Year’s resolutions.

Jesus became flesh.
Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life.
Jesus was crucified.
Jesus was buried.
Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus is coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The Scriptures declare that Jesus is Savior and Lord. (Acts 2:36)
And the power of God is the gospel for through it, many are saved. (Romans 1:16)

 

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Watch Pastor Jim Laffoon as he explains further …

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This week has been an amazing week of prayer, fasting and seeking God.

I’d like to share with you thoughts I got either from the Word, speakers during the prayer meeting or personal reflection.

Here they are…

The Holy Spirit enables us to speak the Word with great boldness. – CJ Nunag

You are enabled by the Word of God and empowered by the Spirit of God. – CJ Nunag

Speak the Word not out of fear but out of faith. – CJ Nunag

To love another is to seek their highest good. – Peter Tan-Chi

If we want to pray for the body of Christ, lets pray that we will all be Christ-like. – Peter Tan-Chi

If we align our prayers with God’s kingdom purposes, then we have the assurance that our prayers will be answered. – Manny Carlos

Prayer enables us to walk into doors of opportunity. – Manny Carlos

Prayer makes us sensitive to the leading of God. – Manny Carlos

On reaching next gen: It’s not a quick fix but it’s thinking long term. – Joseph Bonifacio

On reaching next generation: It’s not acting like a kid but building relationships. – Joseph Bonifacio

God is a Multi generational God. – Joseph Bonifacio

“Sometimes, it’s not adversity but prosperity that makes us forget God.” – Nixon Ng

Refuse to lose. Jesus has won the victory!

It is the wisest thing to trust the plan of the One who knows your past, your present and your future. – Juray Mora

God has a plan for our breakthroughs. The question is if we are willing to work with His plans. – Juray Mora

God’s breakthroughs in our lives do not come by chance. They are planned by God. – Juray mora

The goodness is not dependent on our timing. – Juray Mora

You cannot pay for the blessings of God because none of it we actually deserve.- Juray Mora

Your trust will only be as strong as your knowledge of His goodness. – Juray Mora

God’s plan, God’s will, God’s Word always works. It never fails. – Juray Mora

Your breakthrough depends on the Word of God and the Will of God. – Paul Chase

God does not ask you to do the impossible. All He asks is for you to BELIEVE. – Paul Chase

Jesus will heal you not because you gave your life to Christ. He will heal because He gave His life for you. – Paul Chase

Don’t allow the past failures to steal your future expectations. – Paul Chase

If you hesitate to ask the unbelievable, you’ll hesitate to believe the miraculous. – Paul Chase

“Don’t pray prayers you can answer “- Paul Chase

 

We started a new series all over Victory entitled “That Thing You Do.”  It is a journey through Acts chapter 2 studying what the early disciples did and how the church grew not just in numbers but also in spiritual maturity.

For the next three weeks, here are the topics.

  • July 28 and 29: Read – Know what it means to love God’s Word
  • August 4 and 5: Share – Find out the importance of true Biblical relationships
  • August 11 and 12: Pray – Discover the value of prayer
Last weekend, we gave out a reading plan where we can journey together as we read through the Scriptures. I’ve attached the file below in case you’d need a digital copy.

 

1. The Word of God brings joy.

Psalm 119:111 says, “Your statutes are my heritage forever;  they are the joy of my heart.”

There are many things that can make you happy while there are only a few that can really bring joy.

Gadgets can bring happiness and so does promotion, salary increase, new relationships. But these can be temporary. God’s word brings something way beyond happiness that is based on happenings. God’s word brings joy, therefore, we are to value it.

 

2. The Word of God brings power.
God’s word is able to transform lives.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Only God’s Word is able to bring genuine transformation.
The world came into being by the very word of God.  Something came out of nothing as a result of the very words that came from the mouth of God.
The same power from those words is the same power that is in God’s Word, the Bible.
It is powerful, therefore we can believe it.

 

3. The Word of God brings growth.
We see our lives flourish when we read God’s word.
But ultimately, the Word of God is not about us.
It really is about Jesus.
Jesus says in John 5:39-40, You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Ultimately, THAT THING YOU DO IS BECAUSE OF THAT THING HE DID.
We devote ourselves to Him as we realize how much He’s been devoted to us.

It was Jenn’s mom’s birthday last Saturday.  Coming home from the Couples Getaway of Victory Fort,  she had a dinner for the whole family all set up – steak, liempo, puchero, and lots of other dishes.  It was a major feast.

Have you ever told yourself, “Ok, there’s lots of food.  I’m hungry.  But I won’t eat a lot tonight.”

Fast forward a couple of hours, you’re burping every minute because of the tons of food you ate.

That was me.

You’ve heard it’s been said to “follow your heart.”  (For this instance, it was follow my stomach.)

You like this guy, just follow your heart.
You want to transfer to another department, then just follow your heart.
You desire to leave your wife because she’s so annoying, then just follow your heart.
You want to spend more time with him even if you’re married because he gives you the attention you don’t get from your husband; then just follow your heart.
You know it’s wrong.  Going all the way won’t be the wisest thing to do.  But then again, just follow your heart.

Not sure if you’ve noticed by now, we are actually masters at self-deception.  At least I know I am.  I’ve lived long enough to realize that.

“I can eat this liempo.  I really haven’t had any in a long time… like 24 hours…”
“Just one won’t hurt.”
“No one notices anyway.”

We’re good at convincing ourselves to do something we know that’s not wise.

Then we end up messing up.  Then we blame our circumstances, others, our childhood, our parents, even God.  We blame everyone else except ourselves.

Let me tell you why we can’t follow our heart.

Jeremiah told us clearly that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

It’s deceitful.  It’s desperately wicked.

What would be a good standard to follow?  God’s given us His word.

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8, NLT)

It is our compass.  When we stick to what He says, then the promise is that there is going to be success in all we do.

His Word.  Our standard.