WHEN I’M AT THE END OF MY ROPE

Blog Banners.001Have you ever been in a desperate situation?

Someone deathly ill.
Business on a downturn.
Relationship gone sour.
Spirituality grown cold.
Facing a hopeless situation.

Two men who have been blind all their life must’ve heard about this miracle worker named Jesus. They followed him around. When they had a chance, they cried aloud and said, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” (Matthew 9:29)

They had the audacity to interrupt Jesus’ busy schedule! Didn’t they know that the Lord had a lot of appointments to go to? They were being very insensitive!

But what’s amazing about Jesus is that he is never too busy for us. When we call out his name, he responds, especially when we do it in faith.

HIS MERCY

We approach Jesus on the basis of His mercy.
The 2 blind men cried out to Jesus and asked for mercy.
Some call out to Jesus as if he was their attendant.
A few treat him like Santa Claus.

But these two men understood that they can only approach Jesus on the basis of his mercy. They knew that they deserved nothing and could only ask for what Jesus could spare them.

Paul tells us in the book of Romans to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice in view of God’s mercy. Anything we can do for God stems from what He has already done for us.

HIS NAME

“Son of David” was a messianic title attributed to Christ. While they were calling out for mercy, they were also crying out in faith. They were stepping out in faith that if this Jesus was really what men said he was, then he would have the power to meet them at their point of desperation.

Calling Jesus “Son of David” expressed their sense of his deity, dominion and power, declaring that he was the Messiah.

OUR FAITH

The 2 blind men were asked, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matthew 9:28a)
What a question!
Previously, he just restored a girl back to life. Whoever has heard of this miracle would be so pumped to go to Jesus for a prayer.

So what was their answer to Jesus’ question?
They said, “Yes, Lord.” (Matthew 9:28b)

Interesting that they didn’t just answer with a simple yes. They followed it up with “Lord.” This was an act of faith indeed!
He is not just the Christ, he is also the Lord.

Jesus doesn’t just meet us at our point of need but more so at our point of faith.

PRAYER:

Lord, we thank You for the example of the two blind men who dared to believe. They acknowledged who You are and trusted that You are able to do what you decided to do.
I pray that we would have the same faith to believe you in the darkest times – that what You’ve said You would do, You will actually do. Thank You that You are not only a Covenant Maker, You are also a Covenant Keeper. And for that, I lift up my praise to You. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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This week is Prayer and Fasting week for Victory all over the Philippines and for Every Nation Worldwide. The theme is #DareToBelieve. For the next 5 days, including today, I will post reflections on the miracles Jesus performed as a response to the faith of those who dared to believe.

WHEN A CHALLENGE SEEMS MASSIVE

WHEN A CHALLENGE SEEMS MASSIVE

Is anything too hard for the LORD? (Genesis 18:14)

This is a question I am often faced with… we all are.

We all believe this until we actually encounter a massive challenge that might beset us.

Last Friday, in our small group, Joshua shared that all week long, he was down sick. He couldn’t ‘afford’ to be sick because he and his wife were faced with bills to pay, mortgage payments for their townhouse and other outstanding dues.

But since he was in bed sick, being in real estate, no meetings would mean no chances of sale.

Lo and behold Friday afternoon, he gets a call and sells 3 units.

“Nothing is too hard for the Lord.”

Even in our sick bed or while we are asleep, God is working and is working everything out for our good.

As you start this week, remember that you may face several challenges, massive and minute. But right before you say or do anything, know this,

“Nothing is too hard for the Lord.”

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PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/borisv/

BROKEN TO BE A BLESSING

Have you ever broken anything in your life? A vase, a mirror or an iPhone.

I did a couple of years ago when I dropped my iPhone. The glass broke and it was an expensive lesson. It was a lesson on carelessness. I was trying to carry too many things at one time. You know how that goes.

But when God is the One who does the breaking, it is never out of carelessness. There is always a purpose to the breaking.

In Matthew 14, Jesus fed 5000 plus people. The disciples told Jesus to dismiss everyone because it was getting dark and they had no food. The only thing they had was 5 loaves and 2 fish.

Jesus told them to keep the people there and have them sit.

Jesus TOOK the bread, BLESSED it, BROKE it and GAVE it away. While this was a process Jesus used to perform a miracle to feed the 5000, I wonder if this is also a process God does whenever He deals with us.

You see this all throughout Scripture – God takes, God blesses, God breaks and God gives away.

God took Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, blessed him with a son, broke him in Mt. Moriah to see who his top priority was when God asked Abraham to offer Isaac and then as a result, gave him to be the father of many nations.

God took Moses from the Nile river while in the basket, blessed him to be part of Pharaoh’s household, broke him when he was forced to live in the desert for 40 years and ultimately to be given away to be the deliverer of the Israelites from the clutches of the Egyptian empire.

God took Joseph into a journey towards Egypt when he was sold into slavery, blessed him with a great job in Potiphar’s house, broke him when he was thrown into prison because of a false accusation by Mrs. Potiphar and then gave him to be the 2nd in command all over Egypt to save both Egypt and Israel from famine.

God took Jesus from heaven, blessed Him when He announced that He is His Son of whom He is well pleased, broke Him on the mountain of Calvary only to be given away to become the Savior of mankind.

A.W. Tozer said it beautifully,
“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”

Today, you may be in the TAKING stage. God is taking you on a journey. And when He does, it can be disorienting because you don’t know where He is taking you. But hold on tight, because He is holding your hand. You may not know what the future holds but at least you’re assured that He holds the future.

Some of you may be in the BLESSING stage. That is wonderful! God desires to bless His children. Enjoy it and share it.

Others may be in the BREAKING stage. Understand that blessed are the broken, for they shall see God. It was in the desert of brokenness that Moses saw God via a burning bush. Actually, the breaking is really a blessing. God has to break our pride, selfishness, self-will. Some of us, God has to break our dreams because He is wanting to replace it with better ones. There are those of you are coming off a broken relationship. God is taking you to a new journey. He had to break that to allow you to discover Him in the process.

There are those in the GIVING stage. It is in this stage that God takes the brokenness in our own lives and gives it away to a broken world. We all are essentially wounded healers. With the comfort we’ve received, we comfort others who are going through the very same thing we went through.

You see, this is the process God brings us through. When we realize this, we will stop struggling and start cooperating with His dealings. Then and only then will you realize that God has done a miracle in your life.

WHAT KIND OF DRUNK ARE YOU?

I was stirred when I read Acts 2 again this morning for my daily reading.

The Holy Spirit came upon all the apostles. This is what we would usually refer to as the Pentecost.

At that moment, boldness and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit came upon them that they started in different languages not native to them.

Concurrently, Peter, with extraordinary boldness preached to the crowd about Christ and what He accomplished at the cross. (Remember, just a few days before that, he was cowering in fear, denying Jesus three times.

It was interesting what the following events were.

1. People thought they were drunk, even crazy.

When we decide to follow Christ and get baptized by the Holy Spirit, many will not quite understand what is taking place. Many times, we also don’t. But that’s what it means to ‘go against the flow.’ They’ll think you’re crazy for not being like everyone else.

2. Signs and wonders followed.

God did ‘extraordinary miracles‘ on their behalf. You’ll notice this throughout the book of Acts. The whole book is actually the “Acts of the Holy Spirit.”

As you put your faith in Jesus and get filled with His Spirit, expect miracles to happen in your life. Beginning miracle? Your salvation.

Jesus didn’t die to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive.

3. People responded to the gospel.

Signs are exactly what they are – SIGNS.

Standing by a sign going to Baguio doesn’t mean you are already in Baguio. It just points you to the direction going to Baguio.

Many get stuck in the signs (and wonders) that they camp there. Signs should point not just to the miracle but to the Miracle Worker (Jesus).

Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit… (Ephesians 5:18, NLT)

POWERLESS LIFE?

Attending the World Prayer Assembly has re-ignited, adjusted, rebuked, corrected and re-calibrated my life as a Christ follower.

It is so easy to live life apart from the leading of the Holy Spirit.
… apart from the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
… apart from the power of the Holy Spirit.

I can actually go about my day doing things for God not realizing I am doing things without God.

From being a husband to being a dad.
From being a Victory Group leader to being a pastor.
From working in the office to going to the mall with my lovely wife.

The Bible says in Acts 19:11 that God did extraordinary miracles through Paul…

It didn’t just say miracles. The Bible said “extraordinary” miracles as if miracles are actually ordinary.

Note that a few verses earlier, Paul was just talking and preaching about the person and the power of the Holy Spirit. Then immediately after, it talks about God doing extraordinary miracles through him.

I’m reminded of what Francis Chan said in his book, Forgotten God.

I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power. I want to live in such a way that am desperate for him to come through. And if He doesn’t come through, I’m screwed.

Lord teach us to always move in the power and presence of Your Holy Spirit that we may bring honor and glory to you every moment of our lives.

IS GOD DEAF?

I spoke to a guy one time who asked me if God still listens to prayer these days.

He has prayed to God several times yet seemingly is not getting any answers.

1. Does God answer prayers?

Jeremiah 33:3 says to call upon Him and He will answer.

The Bible doesn’t say that He might or He probably will.  The Bible says He will.

2. Now if God answers prayers, does He answer the way we wish Him to?

He always answers but the manner that He does may be different.  In fact, the answer we get may not be what we expect it to be, but He does answer.

Isaiah 55 tells us that His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are way beyond our thoughts.

We ask Him to open a door, yet the door He opens may be the one on the left, not the one on the right.

Last question…
3. If He does answer, will it be good.

Actually, when He answers, it is much better than we ever expected.

Ephesians 3:20 says that “He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.”

In other words, when He answers, it is way better than what we expected.

Does He answer prayer? A resounding yes!
Does He answer the way we want Him to? Not necessarily.
If He does answer, will it be good? Actually, it’s way better than what you’ve ever imagined or expected. Trust Him and see what He does. 

AN IMMEASURABLY MORE GOD…

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us … (Ephesians 3:20)

Watching Louie and Jenn’s testimony on video has challenged my faith.

Surely God is able to provide in areas we’ve never expected.  God can. God will. God is indeed able.

 

STILL A MIRACLE WORKING GOD

We kicked off our 7 day prayer and fasting last night with our WORSHIP NIGHT.

Carlos started off with the verse, “This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

It became a celebration from beginning to end.  A celebration of God’s faithfulness.  A celebration of His goodness.  A celebration of hope for the coming year.

We prayed for people God to move and He did.  Here’s a lady who shared what she experienced last night.

hello ptr paolo,

just wanted to share…

i would have wanted to raise my hand to share while you were going around earlier during worship night, for the healing right after prayer. but i had some quite a number in the list, was thinking it would be long to enumerate.

1st, i had migraine. after the prayer, it felt so light, like my head was ballooning.

2nd, i came with backpain. right after, i felt like my back was being lifted and stretched and i didnt feel the pain anymore.

3rd, i had grumbling tummy mid of the worship night. i was already hungry. after the prayer, i didnt feel full but it wasnt hungry either.

it was just amazing! one of the best worship nights. just keeps on getting better & better!!! and oh by the way, my first to speak in tongues too. and ptr joey is right, when you cannot contain it, it simply overflows!

B.T.