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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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The goal is not life change but Jesus.

We want to see a person’s life to change for the better. And that’s not a bad thing. It really isn’t. However, the problem with making it the goal is that if we push for change without emphasizing Jesus, change becomes merely external.

Drunkenness, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, substance abuse, greed, pride are all acts of the sinful nature. But asking a person to get rid of all these is purely external apart from introducing them to Christ. Life change is not the goal, Jesus is. When we introduce people to Jesus, as they realize the everlasting love He offers through the message of the gospel, people will embrace a greater value than what they are holding onto at the moment.

What happens on the inside will eventually show up on the outside.

Elevating conversation from life change to the Life Giver will radically shift the focus. Our goal is to bring them to Jesus. As we do, it is He who will bring the necessary adjustments according to His Word and in conformity with His time table. Remember He is God, not us. The Holy Spirit is the Change Agent not us. Sometimes we act as if we are the assistant of the Holy Spirit. We try to bring conviction in the lives of the people we are reaching out to. That’s not our job. It’s God’s Holy Spirit that will accomplish that.

Let me share a few things you can do:

1. Pray.
2. Serve the person you’re reaching out to.
3. Love him/her the way Jesus loved you and showed His grace upon you.
4. Use God’s Word to bring counsel for it has power more than our personal experience.
5. Trust God for the results.

May God give us wisdom as we share His love to those we love.

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Skip Bayless of ESPN writes an article regarding the transformation of Manny Pacquiao.

“About three years ago he underwent a spiritual conversion — he says he accepted Christ in his life and was born again — and he’s now so on fire with his faith that, according to insiders, he reads his Bible throughout the day and shares his faith with random fans he meets. Just two Sundays ago, he gave his testimony to a packed house at the megachurch he attends just outside Los Angeles, Shepherd of the Hills Church, telling the throng how lost he once was while constantly getting drunk and cheating on his wife (who was with him that Sunday).”

More of Skip’s Article here.

But below is the interview on ESPN regarding Skip Bayless’ thoughts saying that “being saved doesn’t mean being soft.”

Today is a sad and joyful day.

Sad because a very loving, thoughtful and affectionate man has gone to be with the Lord.

Tito Delfin’s battle with pancreatic cancer has come to an end.

The Lord has given. And the Lord has taken away.

The Lord has given a “tito” who brightens the day of every person he encounters.
The Lord has given a faithful usher who knows the power of a simple hug.
The Lord has given a lolo to many kids in church who received a candy whenever they were restless.
The Lord has given an amazing friend to his basketball buddies who organized a weekly Bible study to share God’s love and Word to.
The Lord has given a compassionate man who brought 100 plus handicapped on wheel chairs to Jesus and now enjoying church.
The Lord has given a jolly lolo who gathered 50 street children every Saturday together with his son John to feed, bless and tell the story of Jesus’ love.
The Lord has given a father to John and Ann who has poured his love to all these years.
The Lord has given a husband to Edna who has been a friend, companion and constant prayer partner through the years.

(And the list goes on and on and on and on… Feel free to add and comment below.)

The Lord has given.
And the Lord has taken away.

But as Job says in his book,

May the name of the LORD be praised! (Job 1:21)

A sad day indeed but at the same time, a joyful one.

We have been blessed to witness a life of a man transformed by the grace of God and served Him to the very last breath of his life.

As I visited the family this morning at the hospital, a few hours before he passed, he woke up suddenly and in a loud voice said, “Thank You Jesus. Thank You Jesus. Thank You Jesus.”

Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious I the sight of The Lord are the death of His saints.”

How can death be precious?
It is precious to Him because those that He loves dearly, He brings close because He can no longer love from a distance.

His life here on earth ended but His life in His presence has just begun. What a way to spend Christmas!

I can almost hear the Father saying, “We’ll done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Thank you Tito Delfin for your hugs, encouragement and example of what it means to live for Christ.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness…” 2 Timothy 4:7

There’s  a lot of hype going on these days because the iPhone 5 is coming out soon.

Because of all the iGadgets, our life has never been the same – from music to movies to reading books to social networking. Steve Jobs and Apple have successfully revolutionized how we live our lives.

Or has he?

Why did he have a measure of success?
He was crazy enough to believe that he could change the world.

I remember when he was trying to get John Sculley to join his team. John Sculley was the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Operations for Pepsi Cola Company. He was trying to convince him to come on board.

Here’s what Steve told John:

Because of this, John Sculley was able to successfully apply his marketing prowess in the personal computer market.

Steve Jobs had the audacity to believe that he could change the world.

Here’s my question to the church:
How dare Steve Jobs have a greater vision than the church of Jesus?

Better yet:
How dare us allow Steve Jobs have a greater vision to change the world than God’s very people?

And iPhone or iPad will last you 3 or at most 5 years…

The Gospel of Jesus will last for eternity. It will transform a life, a family, a city and a nation.

I know it has changed mine. And I bet my life (if I were a betting man) that it is going to change this nation only if we continue to honor God and make disciples, advancing His kingdom in every sphere of society.

Steve Jobs was crazy enough to believe that he could change the world with gadgets.

Do we have the audacity to believe that the Gospel of Jesus is potent enough to change my world, your world, our world?

“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

So… who’s crazy enough?