Everyone knows how to cut, paste and crop these days – my kids included. I was cropping our family picture one morning for a Power Point presentation in time for a seminar I was going to teach in.

Coming back to the office, I thought about how people try to ‘crop God’. Cropping God?

People try to reduce God into ‘managable sizes’ so they can pull Him out of their pockets whenever they need Him.

But He is above and beyond that. In fact, we wouldn’t want a God we can manage. When circumstances overtake us, we want Someone who is much bigger than our situation.

Remember, our God is ALL-MIGHTY…

Question: How big is your God?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9


Every so often, I would hear people talk about their small group (Bible study/prayer group).  I love it that many are so involved with making disciples.  At Victory, we are really just about 2 things: Honoring God and making disciples.

However, there are times when I cringe.  I’m sure people don’t mean it the way I’m hearing it but it really just doesn’t sound right.

I’m talking about the phrase “my disciples.”

They’d talk about having a meeting with “my disciples” or fellowship time with “my disciples.”
Worse, they refer to the people in their group as “under me”.

Whose disciples are they really?

When we look at the Scriptures, when “my disciples” show up, it is Jesus speaking.  Whose disciples are they?  Not mine, not yours, but HIS.

John 8:31. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
John 13:35. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 15:8. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Minor adjustment in terms but a HUGE change in mindset.

“You are Christ’s…” (1 Cor. 3:23)


Sitting in Paul Barker’s “Christ Centered Preaching” seminar really stirred me.

What is the Bible all about?

Then the answer to this would greatly affect the way we teach, preach and share.


A lot of people are offended by the word ‘lost’.

When Jesus said He came to seek and save the lost, He meant people who don’t have a relationship with Him.  People get offended because it hits on their pride.  I know that.  I grew up in a religious school thinking, “I’m not really that lost because I do good things religiously.”

However, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been going to church 5 days, 5 years or 5 decades, if Jesus is not in the center then you’re lost.

As a pastor, I can lead a church.  But if I am not walking with Jesus, then I am lost too.

“Lost is a matter of perspective.”  Many people say that.

But it’s really just one of two things – either you’re lost or you aren’t.  Either you’re living for Jesus, or you are not.

Make a choice.  If you will live for God, live for Him passionately.   If not, then pursue what you want to pursue with all your heart as long as you live with the consequences.  Can’t keep straddling the fences.  Fences are for sissies.

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)


Hearing testimonies of people whose lives have been transformed by Jesus never gets old.  Seeing people come to Christ and surrender to Him always amaze me.

Here’s one that we showed last weekend that illustrates a life that had no chance – none at all – apart from Jesus stepping into his situation.

Here’s the story of Judah Paolo…

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, ESV)


When you look at the cross, one word that comes to mind is the word FORGIVENESS.  The depth of His forgiveness never ceases to amaze me.

In Scripture, you see this happen time and time again…

  • the woman caught in adultery
  • the government official who was corrupt all his life – Zaccheaus
  • the religious who wanted to see the kingdom of God – Nicodemus
  • the disciple who denied Him 3 times – Peter
  • the murderer who ‘got rid’ of many Christ followers – Paul
  • the man who has been sinful to the core – Paolo Punzalan

As someone aptly put it,

If our greatest need had been information,

God would have sent us an educator,

If our greatest need had been technology,

God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need had been money,

God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure,

God would have sent us an entertainer.

But our greatest need was forgiveness,

So God sent us a Savior.

We all have been absolutely guilty, yet unconditionally forgiven.  Thank God for His grace!

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Eph. 2:5


There are many who refute His death.

From D.H. Lawrence’s “Swoon Theory” to Hugh Schonfield’s “The Passover Plot”, and Donovan Joyce’s “The Jesus Scroll” to Gary Habermas’ “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, people have tried to debate the fact that Jesus died.

Why?  Because if people can convince themselves of this fact, then Jesus couldn’t have been God and that all He claimed was a hoax.  Thus, we are no longer compelled to follow His commands and are free to disregard everything He says.

Dr. Metherel, who has a medical degree  from University of Miami and doctorate from University of Bristol in England clearly gives evidence to Jesus’ death in Lee Stobel’s book “The Case For Easter.”

1. His body went through hypovolemic shock.  Hypo means low, vol refers to volume, and emic means blood.  So hypovolemic shock means the person is suffering from the effects of losing large amount of blood.  This was due to the beating, scourging, dehydration, intense stress, lack of sleep from the previous night when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane.

2. A person who is crucified (though some don’t make it to the crucifixion due to the scourging and flogging) essentially dies a slow agonizing death by asphyxiation.  In order to exhale, the individual must push up on his feet so the tension on the muscles would be eased for a moment.  In doing so, the nail would tear through the foot not mentioning what it does to the person’s nailed wrists/hands.

People then just give up by not pushing up to breathe.  As the person slows down in his breathing, he goes into respiratory acidosis which leads to irregular heartbeat which then leads to cardiac arrest.

3. The legs of the men on Jesus’ left and right were shattered in the lower leg bones to prevent them from pushing up to breathe, thus killing them almost instantaneously.  Jesus’ was already declared dead, thus there was no need to break his legs.  This was to fulfill the prophecy from Ps. 34:20 that “none of his bones will be broken…”

4. To ensure His death, a Roman spear by a professional executioner is thrust in His side.  The Bible says that blood and water gushed out.  Because of the hypovolemic shock, it would have caused a sustained rapid heart rate that would have resulted in the collection of fluid in the membrane around the heart called pericardial effusion as well as around the lungs, which is called pleural effusion.  Hence the reason for the blood and water exiting His beaten up side.

This confirmed to the Roman executioner that the One crucified was indeed dead.

There are many more evidences to His death.  I could go on and on.

However, with all the evidences, one will still have to make a decision whether to put his faith in the person and work of Jesus.

Bottom line, salvation only comes by faith.  While it is not blind faith, it is definitely a faith on truth.  He is the TRUTH.

Well then, what will it be?

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4)