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What’s so special about Mandy Thursday? I understand Friday for that’s when Jesus was crucified. Saturday was when Jesus was in the grave. As for Sunday, it was the greatest event in all of human history.

What happened on Thursday? And why’s so “maundy” about it?

Maundy comes from the Latin word where we derive the word ‘mandate’. It was a day where a command was given by Jesus. It was on the night before he was betrayed where He took the cup and the bread, blessed and gave thanks to share the meal with His disciples.

It was during the meal that Jesus took a basin of water, wrapped a towel around His waist and started to wash the disciples feet. So what was the “mandate” that made Thursday Maundy?

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

What He did (washing the feet of his disciples) preceded what He said (love one another).

It was a powerful moment for if He only told them what they needed to do, they would most likely obey but the impact wouldn’t be as intense and compelling.

If their Master could serve them the way He did, how much more can they do the same to others?

His command to love one another is an overflow of the love we have received.
We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

REFLECTION APPLICATION:

1. Pray to Jesus now and thank Him for His sacrificial love to take our place on the cross for He died on our behalf. He paid the debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.

2. Pray for someone now to know Christ personally as their Lord and Savior (family member, friend, officemate, classmate).

3. Text that person a verse to encourage and reflect on what Jesus did on the cross.

Sacrifice is only a sacrifice if you don’t know what you’re trading it for.

I heard the story of Migz a few weeks ago and it utterly inspired me. He live a life that was separated from God and disobedient to His will. Recently, he went through Victory Weekend after a series of meeting with one who walked him through his faith in Christ. After surrendering everything to Jesus and understanding all that the gospel provides and redeems, he made a 180 degree turn.

His friends and people close to him asked him why. It was a sacrifice to give up all that he used to do and all for what? Faith in Christ? Won’t Jesus understand? After all, we’re merely humans, right? Prone to sin. Inclined to give in.

But speaking to him after 6pm service one Sunday, he said something that hit me hard.
“Sacrifice is only a sacrifice if you don’t know what you’re trading it for.”

Jesus sacrificed His all so that I can have life and life to the full.
I owed a debt I couldn’t pay. He paid a debt He did not owe.
Because of that, I am forever grateful.

Written below is part of the story of Migz. I pray that it will bless you, inspire you and challenge you to continue to look to Jesus both as Savior and Lord.

“I’ve spent a lot of time “finding myself” and ended up in the same place as before because I was too busy searching rather than being.

Religion has always been an identity crisis for me, I knew it was part of me, I just couldn’t figure it out then. I tried being dutiful, attending church, saying prayers – though sometimes not even knowing what I was saying.

It reminds me everyday why I choose to be Christian and live in a world of organized religion and follow the path that has been set out for me. I have never in my life been this close to religion, God and Jesus. I grew up saying prayers I never even understood until just recently. I always wondered where the “Our Father” came from only to realize it was from the book of Matthew.

I believe this was all part of His plan. If I was meant to learn it then I would have.
“His timing is perfect, and his presence is constant. He is always with you!” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

He gives you struggles to overcome – not struggles to accept as part of your identity, but to shape you to be the person He created you to be.

I choose to be Christian because I now have the lens to see the better side of me, the knowledge to be better and the strength that every struggle provides blessings that I may not even know I need.

I choose to be Christian because it has helped me see my purpose; my ability to help and lead people as I have in my work, to inspire people as I do with my students and bring it to a whole new level by helping carry out His word.

I don’t believe to be perfect nor do I think I ever will be, but being Christian gives me the strength to try to be, the courage to pick up from failure and try again, to repent, to be me- the person He created me to be. This all paves way to a better life.

I choose to be Christian because He Saved me. And He always will.

 

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PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.flickr.com/photos/36590684@N05/

My son and I were driving through Pasig one Valentine’s Day. He was about 9 years old at that time. As we passed by Canley Road where there were lots of motels advertising “QUICKIES”, he asked me why the rooms were so cheap and why they were rented out only for a couple of hours.

Good thing I was already able to explain to him about the “birds and the bees”.

I told him that it’s unfortunate that people no longer wait for the officiating minister to say, “Now, you may kiss the bride.”
They end up saying, “I did” rather than “I do.”

Genesis 1:26 says that we were created in His image and in His likeness. What does this mean? This means that you and I have value. We are valuable not because of the clothes we wear, the car that we drive, the title on our business card nor the village we live in.

We are valuable because we were made in His image. Our value is intrinsic.

Which begs the question, “What would it take for your partner to get you in bed?” What would your boyfriend or girlfriend need to offer you to get you to sleep with him/her?

Let me propose to you that it should nothing be less than 2 words. Three won’t do.

“I love you” shouldn’t be enough.

You are worth waiting for.

Not 3 words but 2. And those 2 words? “I do.”

Until he can back it up with a ring, don’t give in.
Until she says “I do”, you can’t give in.

Jackson Pollack, an abstract expressionist painted a painting. It looked like my 5 year old can do the very thing he created. However, a man named David Martinez bought the painting on November 1, 2006 for a whopping $151.2 million.

You see value is determined by how much one is willing to pay for.

And the value you place on yourself will determine what and who you will give yourself to.

Now if you don’t think you’re worth that, you’ll give yourself for a whole lot less, then you’ll wonder why you feel cheap and he doesn’t treat you with the value you deserve. You gave him what he wanted at a discount.

Remember, you are no longer your own, but you were bought with a price.

You are so valuable that Someone sacrificed and died on your behalf.
Now THAT is real love.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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

Helen Vela was allowed to go through what she went through, I believe, because her life became an encouragement and an inspiration, that though you go through what went through, your life can still be a blessing to many and ultimately bring glory to your Maker.

I am thankful for the opportunity to share my mom’s life story through GMA 7’s Tunay Na Buhay.

Here’s an excerpt of her episode.

 

In his 6 volume historical masterpiece “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, Edward Gibbon wrote in 1776 five major causes of the fall of the Great Roman Empire.

5. Decay of religion.
4. Unsustainable buildup of armaments.
3. Hunger for pleasure.
2. Increased taxation.

Interestingly enough, the top in his list was the “breakdown of the family.”

You would think that it would be a problem in the leadership or an invasion by another empire.

1. Breakdown of the family…

Hmmmm…. interesting.

As the familiar saying goes, “Everything rises and falls in leadership.”

Husbands have been given the task to lead the family.

The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing… (Eph. 5:23, Msg)

The Bible tells us in Eph. 5 how we are to lead…

1. Lead lovingly.

Husbands, love your wives … (Eph. 5:25)

We are called to lead not in an authoritative or domineering manner, but lovingly.

One of the best ways to lead the family is to love your wife the way Jesus loved the church.
You want to see your kids grow up secure?
One of the best ways the Bible tells us is to love your wife unconditionally.

2. Lead sacrificially.

Sacrifice is giving up something you really really want.

… just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her …. (Eph. 5:25b)

Too many marriages are filled with “I”, “me” and “myself.”

If you’re not ready to give up ‘self’, re-think marriage. It just might not work.

3. Lead spiritually.

…to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word… (Eph. 5:26)

The word ‘husband’ means ‘to cultivate’, ‘to till’, ‘to take care of.’ In other words, the husband is a gardener.

If a garden is dry and dying, we go to the gardener and ask what’s the matter.

In a marriage and in a family, when things are dry and dying, the final accountability that God has ordained is with the husband.  He is the leader.  He has headship, therefore with it comes responsibility.

Seems impossible? You bet!

But God doesn’t tell us to do something without giving us both the grace and the ability to fulfill what we’ve been called to do.

In Christ, we can do all things … and He gives us the strength.

Have a great week ahead!