Blog Banners.001From the moment we’re born, we consistently strive to achieve some type of significance in our family, school, workplace, community, and society.

Rewards are given to those who excel – medals, trophies, certificates, plaques. And rightly so for hard work, time, and resources have been poured into gaining them.

I was in high school; one particular semester, I made it to the honor roll. I can tell you that didn’t happen very often. And that’s a huge understatement. But that particular semester, I got a medal for getting second honor. But more significantly, when I got home, I got a very special chocolate cake from my mom. Those who know me, chocolate cakes are far more valuable for me than a medal.

Gains and achievements bring joy and fulfillment. While this is so, Paul challenges us to think long term and to view things from an eternal perspective.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21 (ESV)

For if to live is something else, then to die is a loss. “How can it be a loss?” you might say.

I’m glad you asked.

If to live is gaining wealth, then to die is a loss because we can’t bring anything to the next life.
If to live is succeeding in your career, then to die is a loss.
If to live is getting married, then to die is a loss.
If to live is purchasing your dream house, then to die is a loss.

But if to live is Christ, then to die is gain. How come?
Because this life isn’t all that there is.
What we sow in this life, we will reap in the next.
What we plant in this life, we will harvest in the next.
What we invest in this life will yield in the next.

Paul encourages us to keep our eyes not on what is seen but on that which is unseen. For what is seen is temporal but what is unseen is eternal.

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, thank You for this reminder. It is amazing how You re-calibrate my perspective through Your Word. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Teach me to keep my eyes on that which is of eternal value. May I never be swayed by temporal things. I will continue to excel wherever You position me – whether in the campus or the workplace so that I may give You glory. But internally, I will also remember to keep my eyes on You, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Thank You for the glorious inheritance I have in Christ Jesus.
IN JESUS’ NAME. AMEN.

Blog Banners.001How can bad circumstances lead to good results?

Is that even possible?

I lost my mom.
I missed my exam.
I received a bad report from the doctor.
My business crashed.

Paul was relating his experience to the church in Philippi. He was in chains. He was imprisoned. And he didn’t have many years left. Somehow he knew.

But his posture was incredibly astonishing. He sees his suffering and adversity as good things.

How could he say that? This is what he said:

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. (Philippians 1:12-13)

Again, how can he say that? Well, what he valued wasn’t what an average person would value. More than his life and freedom, he valued Jesus and His gospel.

He said that his imprisonment served the advancement of the gospel. Furthermore, he said that his imprisonment was for Christ. Since the gospel and Christ were of most value to him, what he went through paled in comparison.

Question: What, or better yet, who is of most value to you?
When we know that He is the One who has the ability to orchestrate the events of our lives, then what happens now is nothing compared to what He ultimately wants to accomplish.

He holds our life in His hands.
And where He will lead, I will follow.

PRAYER:

Lord, thank You that You are Sovereign and in control. There is nothing that happens in my life that escapes Your eye. In fact, You are able to orchestrate all that happens such that, ultimately, it will be to advance Your gospel and give glory to Your name. Help me remember this always. And may my life be a pleasing sacrifice to You each and every day.
In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

It takes courage to make a stand and say “it’s not about me.”

When you’re as smart (cum laude from University of Santo Tomas) and beautiful as Janine Tugonon, it’s easy to claim some credit… even just a little bit. In fact, you’ve worked hard for it, right?

Well, that’s not how Janine sees it.

In her recent interview, this was how she put it.

Understanding your purpose and acknowledging the Purpose Giver are 2 of the important things in life.

1. Understanding your purpose.

You and I were created for His glory. Our lives are to resemble that. Our goal has to reflect it.

“All things were created by him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)

2. Acknowledging the Purpose Giver.

We have a lot of plans for our own lives but nothing beats His.

His will, His plan, His purposes produce His results.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever. (Ps. 138:8)

Thanks Janine for representing our nation well.

Most of all, thanks for representing the Lord well.

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ABS CBN News article here – “Janine on Runner Up Finish: It’s Not About Me”