Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Attention with Intention

And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mark 4:9)

It is possible to hear God’s Word with our ears, but not with our hearts. Jesus knew that we can often hear without understanding. That is why He would so often say, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” If we were to paraphrase that in our modern language, Jesus would be saying, “Pay attention to what I’m saying. Listen carefully to what I am telling you right now.” He who has ears to hear, let him hear. It is attention with intention.

I do quite a bit of traveling. When I get on a plane and take my seat, I hear the safety message that the flight attendants give before every single flight. They have a long list of information to give out, pointing out the exits and the location of the oxygen masks and life vests. But often I don’t pay attention. I may look at a magazine instead. Because I have heard it so many times, I think I don’t need to listen.

But what if a few minutes after takeoff the pilot came on the intercom again and said something like this? “We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties, and the flight attendant is going to go through that safety message for you one more time,” I can guarantee you that I would be listening. Why? Because my life would depend on it. I would want to know where those exits are. I would want to know what steps I needed to take. I would like to survive in an emergency.

And that is precisely how we should read the Word of God. We need to listen carefully. It is attention with intention, listening with the desire to apply what we have read to our own daily situations, because so much depends on that infusion of wisdom and life. Probably more than we’ll ever know.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Life is a JOURNEY

“The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Life is simply a journey towards eternity, towards our true home in heaven. Pastor Rick Warren explains this reality in his book, Purpose Driven Life.

He stated that, “Life on earth is just a temporary assignment, it’s like a mist, a fast runner, a breath and a wisp of smoke…” This is so true because “earth is just a temporary residence” or better say a practice ground on what is really waiting for us there in heaven. We won’t be here long so we don’t have to get too attached…

The Bible says “For we were born but yesterday, our days on earth are as transient as shadow…” Job 8:9

There are only two permanent things here on earth and that is “Change” and “God”… We may live 40, 50, 60, 70 years or perhaps longer than that but time would surely come knocking our way and would tell us, “Hey, I’m really sorry, but your life has come to an end…” But let us cheer up co’z it is also the start of our supposed life there in heaven…


Monday, August 9, 2010

Coming Up Empty

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. (Ecclesiastes 2:1)

It’s not that unusual to pick up a newspaper, read an article, or turn on the news and learn that another celebrity has checked into rehab or another rock star has overdosed or committed suicide.

We have a hard time understanding how these “beautiful people,” these men and women who seem so perfect to us in their airbrushed photos and Tinseltown world, could be utterly miserable and bitterly unhappy. The truth is, many of them have the same problems that we do—even though they possess some of the material things we can only dream about. Yet many of them have discovered the emptiness and futility of living for “things” or for “celebrity.”

The world offers a fleeting happiness that comes and goes fast. Its happiness depends entirely on personal circumstances. If things are going well, then you’re happy. If circumstances in your life have taken a bad turn, then you are miserable. But God offers you a happiness that will be there in spite of your circumstances. It’s not a happiness that grows out of what you have, it comes from who you know. The Bible says, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:15).

The world tells you to take drugs, party, and get drunk. That’s where it’s at, they say. But God says, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

Have you been settling for a cheap substitute? If so, you have been coming up empty. Maybe, like Solomon, you will conclude that it is meaningless. Just so much emptiness, like a bubble that bursts or a wisp of a vapor. That’s the conclusion everyone will eventually come to. So you can either take God’s Word for it now or you can learn it the hard way.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Up late... Pondering the meaning of life

We always keep on contemplating the meaning of life. But sometimes it sucks to know that we end up empty handed, we analyze things like this far from reality. Far from what it should be.

We know we were born because of Him. But there are times that we keep on ignoring the fact that we were born with only one purpose, to glorify HIM.

It’s not about you! It’s all about Him! The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your happiness and your very own peace of mind. “It's far greater than our family, our career, or even our wildest dreams and ambitions. If we want to know why we were placed on this planet, we must begin with God. We were born by His purpose and for His purpose.” (Rick Warren)

People of all walks of life are puzzled about the purpose of life. Everyone keeps on searching for the real purpose for thousands of years now. According to a renowned pastor, this happens because “we begin at the wrong starting point------ ourselves!” We constantly ask self-centered questions and most of the time we keep on defying God’s will and go on doing the things that defile the temple of the Holy Spirit.

We were born to glorify Him through the spiritual gifts that He gave us. You may be a great musician, then praise Him through your music. Are you an artist? Glorify Him through your works. Could you dance? Then dance like what king David did. Are you a composer? Then write songs for the glory of God! Are you a nurse? A doctor or perhaps a restaurant Supervisor or something? Then do your job for His glory. Everything has a purpose and we should live with that purpose according to His own will. Remember that it’s not for us, it’s all for Him.

“Living for God’s glory is the greatest achievement we can accomplish with our lives.”

Let us praise Him, forever!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Two phases of my Christian life

The initial phase includes the first time I was called by God (2000) to serve Him until the very moment I went back to my old ways due to things that I don’t have so much control. I began doing ugly stuff, vices here and there. Beer, lots of beer for a better cheers!

I lost my faith. I stopped trusting God’s power and like what most backsliders do, I relied on my own understanding unaware that what I am doing would benefit the devil and on the other hand it would certainly destroy the most precious temple, our body, the temple of the Holy Spirit!

But God is really good after all. After several years of ‘hiding’ from Him, (as if I can literally hide from God) He brought me be back to His loving arms. He used some of my Christian friends to convince me that life without God would be futile. They let me realize that there is no other way to salvation but through Christ. Without His love and compassion my life would certainly be empty. It would be dull and worthless! Meaningless!

In layman’s term I was given another chance. A rare opportunity to prove that I’m really worthy to be called a Christian after all what I’ve done and I won’t waste this opportunity. I’ll follow my calling and His will. I know this is tough but who can be against me if God is with me, right?

So be it. Lord let's go! :)


Draw your sword

The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

In the listing of a Christian’s spiritual armor in Ephesians 6, the sword stands alone as an offensive weapon. When I go into battle, I don’t beat my enemy with my shield or try to defeat him with my belt or chase him down with my sandal or throw my helmet at him. I pull my sword out of the sheath and I use it.

Ephesians 6:17 tells us to take up the sword of the Spirit. When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given to us as believers is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Jesus modeled this so beautifully during His temptation in the wilderness. When the devil tried temptation after temptation against Him, Jesus used the sword of the Spirit (see Luke 4:1-13). The devil said, “Why don’t You turn a rock into a piece of bread? I know You’re hungry.”

Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God."

Then the devil said, “Why don’t you worship me right now?”

Jesus responded, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord God only. Him only you shall serve."

“Why don’t you cast yourself off of here, and the angels will catch you,” Satan said, quoting Scripture out of context.

Jesus responded, bringing the Scripture back into context, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God."

The sword of the Spirit it is sharp, it is powerful, and the enemy cannot stand before it. So draw your sword, Christian.

(Blue Ridge Broadcasting)