WHEN YOU NEED WISDOM

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You can tell a person’s spiritual condition as you observe where he gets his wisdom and strength from.

David, together with his mighty men just lost their wives and children to the Amalekites. His men even thought of stoning him to death as a result. He cried so many tears that the Bible said that he no longer had any strength left to weep.

But he found strength in the Lord His God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

He later inquired of the Lord if they were to pursue the Amalekites.
God told him to go for it.

Right about the same time King Saul was seeking wisdom. But Saul looked for it through the witch of Endor. This was the beginning of a downward spiral spiritually.

Here is where you can observe one’s spiritual condition.
Saul sought wisdom through worldly means.
David sought it from God who knows all for He is the Alpha and Omega, knowing the end from the beginning.

When push comes to shove, who do you run to for wisdom and strength?

The Scriptures are readily available for us. His Word is our primary source for insight about life and living.

Let’s approach Him who not only knows everything but desires the best for us at will ultimately bring Him glory.

CLAIMING THE PROMISES OF GOD

Someone said that there are 3,000 promises written in Scripture for every believer. That’s more than 8 promises to claim per day! Other estimates go up to 7000 to 8000 total.

Now whether it’s 3,000 or 8,000, unfortunately many are unaware of them. And it is quite difficult to claim something you have no knowledge of.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:4 (NLT), “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”

He has given us great and precious promises! May we discover them and claim them.

Watch how we can discover and claim the promises God has for us.

WHEN ODDS ARE STACKED UP AGAINST YOU

Blog Banners.001What do you do when life throws you a curve ball and are now facing an overwhelming situation?

Psalm 42 is a cry to God at a time of desperation. Many believe that it was King David who wrote this Psalm during the time of his very own son, Absalom, taking over the kingdom that God established for him.

In Psalm 42:11, the psalmist speaks to his own soul,

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?”

After his question, he follows it up with an imperative commanding himself to put His hope on the One who can rescue him from his situation.

“Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

The following video is a testimony of a man who had all the odds stacked up against him and his family and yet persevered not only in faith but also in praise.

Watch Joseph Carodan’s journey of seeing his son almost lose his life and the faithfulness of God to deliver Emman.

May this video bless you.

 

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WHEN GOD SEEMS SLOW TO ANSWER

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“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God.” (Romans 4:20)

When facing a daunting challenge ahead, we have two choices – to press on with faith or to give up in unbelief.

I remember one of our pastors from Mindanao giving his testimony of God’s faithfulness. He and his wife have been praying for a baby for years. They wanted to enjoy the first couple of years of their marriage so they felt it was fine not to have a child yet. But as year 3 came, they realized that it wasn’t happening. Year 4 and 5 came and they were getting worried regarding what might be the concern.

Year 6 and 7 came and still no baby. At this point, when you go through this type of situation, what do you do? Do you accept that it’s the will of God or continue persevering in faith? For my two friends, they kept trusting God.

Similar to Romans 4:20, they stayed the course and allowed “no unbelief to make them waver concerning the promise of God.”

And here’s an important truth:
“A promise is only as good as the person who makes the promise.” (Dare To Believe Manual)

Because God said it, then that settles it!

If you have a promise from God, hold on to it. Don’t let go. Keep on keeping on because He who promised is faithful.

What happened after year 9? My friends got their answer to prayer. Baby Rania was born.

I can’t explain why Rania came on the 9th year of their marriage. Some answers to prayer come on the 5th or 9th or 15th year. But as you go through the journey, embrace the process for God is bringing about something you and I may not fully understand at the moment. But in time, we will realize that God makes all things beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

OUT OF THE OVERFLOW

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It is said that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Have you ever experienced a time when you said something and you realized it was coming out of an overflow from what’s on the inside?
Frustration?
Anger?
Disappointment?

Or on the other hand it could be something positive.
Faith.
Love.
Joy.
Excitement.

I remember a time when I was praying for provision for my family. I knew that God said that “He shall supply all my needs in Christ.” I knew that the Word tells me to trust in the Lord with all my heart. But the next phrase that came out of my mouth was “what if it doesn’t happen?”

What I had in my heart eventually came out. What I believed or didn’t believe was ultimately articulated.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:13, “I believed, and so I spoke.”

As a result, I endeavored to fill my heart with the Word for the Bible says that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
When my heart is filled with God’s Word, it will eventually overflow and influence my speech and ultimately my actions.

Lord, help me go to Scriptures each and every day to fill my heart with words of life not death, strength not weakness, and joy not sorrow. May your Word be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I mentioned yesterday that I will start a series on the miracles of Jesus.  However, due to the Prayer and Fasting week, I’d like to jump off from the devotionals given that can be found in Victory’s website.

TRIALS CAN EITHER TRANSFORM OR DEFORM

Blog Banners.001Difficult circumstances can either TRANSFORM or DEFORM us.
The outcome will depend on how we respond to it. 

Will we respond in faith or in unbelief?

The apostle Paul writes in the book of Romans:

“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:20-21)

How did Abraham keep himself from wavering in unbelief?

1. Grew strong in faith.

The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Coupled with hearing the Word is obeying the Word.

Abraham heard the word directly from God in Genesis 12. Not only did he hear, but he also obeyed. And as he obeyed, he saw that God followed through with what He communicated.

Our faith will grow as we hear and obey the Word. The book of James says that we shouldn’t merely hear the Word but also obey it lest we end up deceiving ourselves.

2. Gave glory to God.

Abraham’s eyes were fixed on the One who called him, not on the circumstances nor on the people around him. That didn’t mean he never had his moments. But because Abraham’s steadfast gaze was upon the One who holds his future, he honored God even in the difficult moments. God ultimately got the glory as a result of Abraham’s faith.

As John Piper would often say,

“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

Faith coupled with contentment that we have all that we have in Him will evidently surface in our life if it’s there. We don’t even have to manufacture it. People will notice and consequently glorify God.

3. Remained fully convinced.

Abraham was told that he will have a son that will give birth to a nation. And when God did, his faith to trust in God’s word was tested. He was asked to sacrifice Isaac at Mount Moriah. While he was willing to sacrifice Isaac, God stopped Abraham from doing so and provided another sacrifice on Isaac’s behalf.

But whatever was in Abraham’s mind at that moment, he was fully convinced that God would either give him another son or raise Isaac back to life. He was fully persuaded that God had the ability to do either.

Being fully convinced doesn’t mean we will always know the outcome. But even in the midst of uncertainty, Abraham was certain of one thing: God is both willing and able to fulfill His promises.  He never turns back on His Word.

Author C.S. Lewis declared,

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

Will you continue to trust Him and remain fully convinced?

STEPH CURRY AND HIS FAITH

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A decade ago, the Golden State Warriors were regular cellar dwellers. 

These days, we hear that team often mentioned in ESPN. Coupled with the team is a name that is consequentially mentioned – Steph Curry

The son of a 16 year NBA veteran, Dell Curry, has made it big. But in spite of his athletic success, he forgets not the reason why he was given this platform. 

In the website of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he had this to share: 

I remember it like it was yesterday, the day I gave my life to Christ. I was in fourth grade, and I recall hearing and understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ and walking down the aisle to give my life to Him. My parents continued to pour into my faith from that point on, making sure I understood the commitment I’d just made. Starting in middle school I attended Charlotte Christian School, which allowed me to hear the gospel on a daily basis. Looking back, my childhood was filled with the Lord’s presence.

Some of us might have seen him thump his chest and point his index finger upward after making a shot.  In an interview with Decision Magazine , he explains that it was a trademark he and his mother came up with as an outward sign and internal reminder that God gets the glory for his success. 

Steph explains furthermore. 

“Obviously, there’s a lot of hoopla and fanfare that follows you wherever you go, but I know where my talent comes from.”

“I know why I play the game, and it’s not to score 30 points a night, but it’s to use the stage I’m on. I’ve been put here for a specific purpose: to be a witness and to share my testimony as I go through it.”

In a column last year for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes website, Steph wrote that he loves to point people toward “the Man who died for our sins on the cross. I know I have a place in Heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that’s something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top.”

“I love to play the game, and I love when good things happen,” he said. “But when I get home, it’s about my family and just enjoying the blessings in my life without letting [basketball] define my personality or my character.”

May of this year (2015), Steph received the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award.   He started his acceptance speech saying: “First and foremost I have to thank my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for blessing me with the talents to play this game, with the family to support me, day in, day out. I’m his humble servant right now and I can’t say enough how important my faith is to who I am and how I play the game.”

One Q&A session, Curry spoke in detail about his faith after one member of the media asked him about the meaning of the 4:13 that he made sure was placed at the bottom of some of the sneakers’ tongues. Inside the tongue reads, “I can do all things,” which comes from Philippians 4:13 which reads “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“It represents a Bible verse I wear on my shoe,” Curry explains to the press, according to Rapzilla reports. “Philippians 4:13. It says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ It’s also my mantra, how I get up for games and why I play the way I do.”

His life reminds me of James 4:6  that says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 

May we all be encouraged to use whatever platform God has given to ultimately bring praise and honor to His name and His name alone. 

PACQUIAO KEEPS HIS FAITH

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Yesterday was quite a sad day for the Filipino people. I can’t tell you how bad I also felt listening to the score cards and Pacquiao losing to Mayweather.

People asked me, “I thought Pacquiao was a Christian. If he is, then shouldn’t God give Him the victory?”

That’s a valid question and a very interesting one at that. If a person becomes a Christian, does it mean he will always enjoy victory?
You and I will have to consider Biblical examples of Moses, Abraham, David, Joseph, Josiah, Jonah, Job, Paul among many others who lived a life that pleased God but at certain times seemingly suffered defeat.

God is more interested in the process as well as in the outcome. God always works with the long term goal in mind. When going through a tough situation, we often desire for our circumstance to end or be cut short. But God doesn’t see it that way. He is the Master Craftsman who is building something beyond today. He is the Potter and we are merely the clay. The clay cannot say to the Potter, “what in the heck are you doing?” (my version of Isaiah 64:8)

What happens to us is not as important
as to how we respond to what happens to us.

 

And that is what God is after. Because if we don’t learn our lesson in the first run, we might have to go through it again so that He can make sure we get it.

I love how Manny responds after the fight. He calls for a prayer/worship service to honor God in spite of defeat.

In his words,

“Thank you for coming here, thank you also for your support last night. But you have to understand that the plans and ways of God are higher than our ways. The most important thing is, we have Jesus in our life. One day we will be with him in heaven.”

“What happened last night, that’s God’s plan because our plan is not God’s plan. God’s plan is higher than ours and we know that if we have Jesus, we have peace of mind.”

“My purpose is not boxing but to proclaim the name of the Lord in the whole world that Jesus is the name of The Lord.”

It is possible that you lose a fight and yet come out victorious. It really is a matter of perspective. In the game of life, we may not attain a single championship and yet come out as a winner.

ESPN ON PACQUIAO’S FAITH

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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.”

COACH ERIC ALTAMIRANO’S JOURNEY WITH THE NU BULLDOGS

PHOTO CREDIT: www.abs-cbnnews.com

What seemed to be the laughing stock of the league became a shining example of faith, discipline and hard work.

This was the story of Coach Eric Altamirano’s journey. He recounts when he took the post as coach of National University Bulldogs 4 years ago and how God brought him and the team from cellar dweller (60 year title drought) to this year’s UAAP Season 77 champions.

Watch his testimony below and I pray you will be inspired and realize that God is a turn around specialist. What seems to be a set back can very well be a Divine Set up to bring honor and glory to His name.