SANCTIFYING GRACE

“A change of behaviour is only a result of a change of affection.”

God’s sanctifying grace transforms our heart from being passionate in satisfying our own desires to being passionate in seeking God and aligning our desires to His. This is only made possible by the grace of God as we receive a revelation of God’s immeasurable love for us. When He sacrificed His one and only son to die on the Cross, He gave us the chance to enjoy eternal life with Him.

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HOW TO DEAL WITH LIFE’S DISRUPTIONS

In one of our staff meetings at Victory Fort, Pastor Patrick shared a very helpful message during our devotions.

He talked about “how to deal with disruptions.”

A disruption is when a routine or a way of life gets halted for some particular reason. Disruptions are a way of life. Somehow God takes us out of our comfort zones so we can continue trust Him for the next steps.

So what do you do when you’re faced with disruptions?

1. Always be reminded that God is sovereign.

Psalm 135:6 says, “Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.”

And Isaiah 46:10 declares, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”

In the midst of disruptions, God is in control. Moreover, His purpose will prevail, even in the midst of the most disconcerting disruptions.

2. Find your stability in God.

We desire for things to go back to its normal routine.

However, the myth is that when routines come back, we will finally have peace and comfort. While routines can give some level of peace, there are many things in life we are not in full control of. Only God can bring stability in the midst of disruptions.

Phil 4:6-7 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Only Christ can give peace that is far beyond human knowledge.

3. Disruptions allow us to check what’s important to us.

Ask this question, “if my house is on fire, what are the 3 things I will bring with me?” For sure, the answer will only reflect the most important items to us.

When we are pulled out of our comfort zones, our priority lists is reduced to the things that are most important to us.

Heavenly Father, if I can be honest, disruptions are not something I am excited about. I don’t welcome it neither do I appreciate it. But for some divine reason, you allow it because you have the ability to cause all things to work together for my good and ultimately for your glory. Help me to respond in a way that would be honoring to you and encouraging to the people around me. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

 

 


Photo credit: Dante Pamintuan @coffee_dante

JUSTIFYING GRACE

“Because we have been justified by grace, we have been forgiven. “

The Amazing Grace of God says that we have been justified and forgiven of all our sins. But not only has he erased our sins, He also clothed us with His righteousness – justified and given a new heart. What’s left for us to do in the face of this undeserving love and acceptance? Worship. Awe. Obedience

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THE GRACE TO RELEASE BITTERNESS AND UNFORGIVENESS

Recently, I spoke to a man who felt offended and disrespected. While he had all the reasons to feel upset, it was very clear that his unforgiveness was eating him up. But it wasn’t just him, even his wife was greatly affected by his unforgiveness.

As a result, their relationships with their children, friends and other relatives were being affected. They would skip certain events and miss out on family gatherings because of the offense.

Hebrews 12:15 tells us to “see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”

When we allow bitterness to take root, three things happen.

1. Bitterness causes us to fail in obtaining the grace of God.

God’s grace is available for us to do the right thing. Morever, it is availble for us to be the right person even in a very difficult circumstance.

2. Bitterness causes trouble.

We may not perceive it but there are stumbling blocks that would hinder us from moving forward to all that God has for us. We end up staying at home. We avoid people. We lose our joy. We miss out on the peace God gives. These and so much more happen as a result.

3. Bitterness defiles other people.

To be defiled means to be ‘polluted’ and ‘contaminated.’ This is something God doesn’t want us to be in. When we are polluted, our minds are clouded and we end up saying things to others that can be hurtful, cutting and unkind. As a result, people get ‘contaminated’ and influenced by our words that they too look at other people the same way.

Lord, we know that your grace is available for us to release forgiveness and offense. We recognize that it is not the easiest thing to do, but that is why your grace is more than sufficient. Help us to embrace this grace so that we will not cause trouble and end up defiling others. Thank you for the freedom we will receive as we move in faith and respond to your grace to forgive. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

BETTER KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST

“How can I face 2020 with less anxiety?”

The answer to that is knowing that the one who holds our future is sovereign, faithful and good. God is able to grant us wisdom and revelation to know Him more. And as we know Him more we will be assured and secured that we are in the loving arms of a heavenly Father who will always be with us. 

May our desire for the rest of this year be to know Him more.

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EMBRACE THE MUNDANE. LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS A CONSISTENT HIGHLIGHT.

I love watching the NBA. Since I was a young boy, I have enjoyed following some of my favorite teams like the Sixers, Lakers and Celtics.

But because of the limited time I have to day, I can only watch the highlights on YouTube. I love it because it will only take 9 minutes of my time to watch the highlights of the game. I skip the 39 minutes of errors, bad passes, missed shots and fouls. I only get to see the dunks, the three pointers and fancy passes. I only see 1/5 of what goes on the whole game.

In a day and age where we only see the highlights, we carry this over in our lives. When we scroll through our social media feeds, we will see, for the most part, highlights of people’s lives – their vacation, their outstanding OOTDs, their new gadgets, nice parts of their house, their laughter, their happy moments. When we begin to think that that should be much of what should be happening in our lives, we get sucked into the highlight culture.

In addition to this, we fall into the comparison trap. When we watch someone’s highlights, we can begin to think something’s wrong with our life because it’s not a consistent highlight.

It is an important discipline to embrace the mundane. In fact, it’s in the mundane that we see growth. It’s in the mundane that we develop perseverance. And it’s in the mundane that our character is built.

Here are a few things we can do to embrace the mundane.

1. Be thankful.

The apostle Paul commanded, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thes. 5:18) We are told to give thanks not FOR all circumstances but IN all circumstances – both when you’re enjoying a highlight or when you are going through deep valleys.

2. Persevere in faith.

We are called to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).

When we don’t see what’s up ahead, we can trust the One who sees it. He knows the way. He has been there way before I even get there.

3. Make the most of every opportunity.

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity” (Eph. 5:15-16).

Each day is a gift from God. Each moment for that matter, is a wonderful gift from God. Make the most of every moment given. Stay present. Value relationships. Rather than scrolling through your feed when you’re having coffee or dinner with someone, put your phone down and enjoy the conversation.

In a boring and mundane day, take the opportunity to be quiet and rest your soul before God.
Be still and know that He is God.

Life is not always a consistent highlight. Embrace the mundane. After some time, you’ll realize how much you’ve grown and life will be more joyful for you’ve unburdened yourself of the unnecessary pressures we put on ourselves.

IF WORDS CAN HURT, HOW CAN I DISCIPLINE MY TONGUE? HERE ARE A FEW QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK.

In a comment culture we have today, it is very easy to drop words that can tear people down. Social media platforms’ comment sections have empowered each of us to say something after every post, article or photo. It can be a good thing or a bad thing.

In Ephesians 4:29, we are commanded – “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

In our desire to make people laugh or be funny, we occasionally end up crossing the boundary lines of respect and courtesy.

Here are a few questions we can ask ourselves before saying something or commenting online:

1. Will it hurt others?
2. Will it encourage those who will hear?
3. Will it build my character?
4. Will it be helpful to the person I’m talking to?
5. Will it glorify God?

As we start this year (and decade), may God give us to grace to be mindful of what we say… “to not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (NIV)

Happy New Year!

ADOPTION

“Because we have been adopted, we now have a new family, our debts are cancelled, and we gain an inheritance.”

By God’s grace and and unconditional love, He has adopted us as sons and daughters to be heirs to the promise and to enjoy the privileges of having the Almighty God as our Abba Father. Having been given this identity, may we have a heart that’s always grateful and that desires to please and honor Him every single day of our lives.

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BELIEVING THE UNSEEN

“Just because you don’t see anything happening doesn’t mean nothing is happening”

When the things that we’re believing for don’t happen how and when we want them to, we immediately think that God has forgotten or He’s not doing anything. But the truth is God is always at work and He is able and willing to give us the best according to His will and timing. All we need to do is to trust Him who knows everything and loves us the most.

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