What Do You Live For?

Alive
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Have you thought about the real purpose of your life? Why are you here? Why do you do what you do? Do you think this life is about you? Is it about helping others? Is doing good deeds for others good enough? Are you just one of the faces in the crowd that think getting famous will give sense to your life?

2 Corinthians 5:15 NLT says: “He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.”

What do you live for?

. . . . . .

Ponder that question some more.

Please don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying I’m a saint here. Rest assured that I know I’m way far from being one; I struggle with being respectful of my parents, I spend a lot of time on social media, I could care less even when I know others need my help, I seldom appreciate what I already have, I can’t get enough of a lot of the things this world brings to the table, and I’m not grateful for the things I receive and for the good things that happen to me (at times).

There are also times when I think and act like this life is about me. (Sometimes, consciously but most of the time, unconsciously.) Most likely, we struggle with the same things, and just like you and I, Jesus was once a human—flesh and blood (John 1:14). He felt what we feel (Hebrews 4:15). He even cried (John 11:35).

However, unlike us, He got out of this life without sinning. He was born to die—for you and me. Despite this reality, we need not mourn but rejoice all the more because the story did not end there.

After three days, He rose back to life. He overcame the grave! He is alive!

It is because of His death that we are alive.

Are you taking that in?

I’m imperfect just like anyone, but now I have the confidence to face everyone, for my Savior said: “It is finished. It is done (John 19:30).”

Just Another Thing On The Agenda

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These days, I seldom watch videos that run for more than 10 minutes, be it a music video or an inspirational one. Actually, 10 minutes is long enough. I just can’t seem to focus. I think my attention span has gotten shorter as I got (a little) older.

Yeah, and I remember. More often than not, I doze off whenever I watch movies either alone or with family. This is so, especially when there are a lot of conversation scenes in them. Oh I just can’t take them! I easily fall asleep when there’s not much action going on. (One of my brothers knows this very well.)

 

As I watched this video, I just couldn’t let a word or scene pass. I wouldn’t want to miss a thing, even when I knew I could get back to it anytime I wanted. It caught my FULL attention. It took hold of me.

I don’t know but there’s this something that connects each of us with one another, even if we haven’t personally met. This was how I felt with Zach and his family.

Zach Sobiech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when he’s 14. In his battle against death, he’s inspired so many. Too bad I learned about him a month after he’s gone. ;'(

Come, fall in love with his original song “Clouds.”

 

All of these about Zach reminded me to live worthy of every day that I’ve been given. Neither should I nor anyone else spend it in unforgiveness, despair, selfishness, grudge, anger or loneliness. Living with any of those isn’t what I or any one of us was made for. We were made to love God above anyone and anything else and to love one another as He has been loving us since the very beginning.

Life is about love. Need I say more?

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What if you live life as if you’re gonna die the next day?

Would you change the way you’re living now?

What significant changes are you going to make?

INDESCRIBABLE As Always!

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Rainbow

This is what we saw on the day we came out to invite young people aged 10-16 for our Church’s Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS) 2013.

“Wow! This is a great sign for our upcoming DVBS… a sign of God’s blessings that are in store for us!” I said with excitement and confidence.

We got tired physically, hungry and thirsty on our long walk to reach out to these children, but our spirits were filled and sustained.

There’s nothing in the world that is more fulfilling and satisfying than doing things for His glory.

I thank God for what He has already done for us and in us as I, along with my brothers and sisters in Christ here in JCEF Church, strive to do our part in spreading His Word. In the same way, I thank Him now for what He is yet to do. I believe it’s never gonna be ordinary, instead it’s gonna be something that is too wonderful to behold or in one word: INDESCRIBABLE … as always! :)

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.”Psalm 28:7 NIV

Related articles:
Be Fruitful & Multiply, God’s Promise To Noah, Rainbow As A Sign Of The Covenant | A Rainbow Is A Sign Of The Promise | After The Rain | Rainbow Hope

I Dare To Be A FOOL!

Call Me A Fool
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Since I was young, I’ve been wanting to be smart. I would be happy whenever someone would tell me that I was. As time passes by, my definition of “being smart” or “intelligence” has changed. For me, it is inappropriate to make a generalization that someone is “smart” and another is stupid because a person can be “smart” at one aspect and be wholly stupid at another; in the same way, be stupid at one aspect and be “smart” at another. It is always a combination of the two (though their extent differs), and I hope we’re on the same page.

You see, however we may define “intelligence”, God has a way different view on the subject. 1 Corinthians 3:19a (NIV) says,

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”

Are you a fool, just like me?

Let’s go celebrate because there’s still good news for us! He can still use us for His glory!

Isn’t that fantastic or is it beyond awesome?

It’s so much of a privilege to be used by Him, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

C’mon, call me a fool!

If being so means being of service to my God, it will surely be my pleasure!

Here is what God has made known to Pastor Christine Caine about this foolishness that I’m talking about.

Transcript:

It’s kinda like a crazy story, but the thing that I’ve discovered is God’s always kind of used really unusual, unnamed, unwanted widows to make a difference.

You know, we talked about it in the Bible, but it’s happening in the 21st century if you would just let yourself be that “person”. You know the ordinary person that you think: “How can I make a difference?”

And you know, 1 Corinthians 1:27 (NKJV) says, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”

And I always love (this) ’cause I think this is my story. Foolish, I’m qualified. Weak, I’m qualified. The least likely, I’m qualified.

Could you imagine if we stop trying to be cool? If we stop trying to impress each other with what we’ve done? And where we go? And what my doctrine is? And how intellectual I am, and how smart I am, and how sleek I am, and how cool I am. And we just said you know what? “I’m a fool for Christ! I’m a 45-year old woman that is just a fool for Christ!” because God has always used foolish people.

Do you know how foolish Noah looked building an ark in the desert? Can you imagine what people would’ve said?

“Noah, what are you doing?”

“I’m building an ark.”

“What’s an ark?”

“I don’t know.”

“But rain’s coming.”

“What’s rain?”

“I haven’t got a clue.”

“So I’m building an unknown for I haven’t got a clue.”

Can you imagine how foolish Moses looked as he turned up to the Red Sea? He’s got a little stick.

“What are you gonna do with your little rod, Moses?”

“I don’t know, but there’s an Egyptian army behind us and the Red Sea in front of us, but I got my stick.”

It’s kinda how I feel with A21 all the time.

How foolish did Sarah look in the maternity ward in Walmart?

“Sarah, what are you looking for?”

“Maternity clothes.”

“Why?”

“I’m havin’ a baby.”

They would’ve thought she was like smoking crack.

And then you’ve got the Israelites. How foolish did they look doing laps around Jericho? Just lapping around. Kind of might look a bit foolish like a whole group of 200 churches in a basketball stadium in Miami. Looks a bit weird to the world. You’re all coming together. You look a little bit weird. What might you be doing?

Or how foolish David looked with his little slingshot and a mighty Goliath?

Or how foolish Esther looked as she went into the King when she was in summon?

Or how foolish the four lepers looked at the gate of Samaria with the Syrian army inside?

Or how foolish Caleb looked to an 85 said, “You know what Joshua, I don’t want my 401(k). I don’t want my little Winnebago camp event. I’m not retiring. I’m 85. I’m as young now as I was then.” That’s what Francis was talking about at the end.

How foolish did the wise men look when they were on their little camel? And they go, “What are you lookin’ for?” As they’re lookin’ at a star, and they’re like, “A Messiah.”

How foolish did Peter look stepping out of a boat in the middle of a lake?

How foolish did the woman with the issue of blood look as she reached up to the hem of His garment, believing that God might just heal her?

How foolish did Paul and Silas look as they sang with their hands in chains in a prison cell?

How foolish did the little boy look with a couple of pieces of fish and some bread and 5,000 people that needed to be fed?

How foolish did Mary look as she turned up to Joseph and said, “It was an angel.” But anyway, that’s another story.

How foolish did Jesus Christ certainly look to so many as He stood half-naked on a cross, and a whole lot of people looked around and said, “That’s your Messiah? That’s your Savior? That’s the King of the Jews? That’s the guy that was gonna help you?”

But you know what I’ve discovered? From Genesis to Revelation, God has always used ordinary, foolish people or foolish things to do extraordinary things. Let me just tell you what the results are when you dare to be a fool for God!

You know what happened?

Noah and his family, they were saved from the flood. Moses did see the Red Sea part. Sarah gave birth to Isaac. The Israelites saw the walls of Jericho come down. David defeated Goliath. Esther stopped the Jewish genocide. The lepers saw the Syrian army flee. Caleb did get Hebron. The wise men found the Messiah. Peter walked on water. The woman with the issue of blood was healed. Paul and Silas were set free. The little boy’s lunch fed five thousand. Mary gave birth to the Messiah. And JESUS CHRIST got off that cross. He defeated hell! He defeated death! And that same Spirit lives on the inside of you and me in Jesus’ name.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, So that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, ‘LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.'” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NASB


Related articles:
The People God Uses | The Humble Servant | Feelings of Inadequacy | Fool For Christ | A Fool For Christ | A Fool For Christ | God Can And Will Use You | I’m A Fool For Christ | Christ in a Fool’s Clothing, Or a Fool in Christ’s Clothing

A Big Mess NO MORE!

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Life is unfair. Need I say more?

However, there’s good news for all of us!

Do you think God wasted His time when He made you?

Do you think you’re in the deepest of holes, and no one can find you and lift you out of it?

Do you think you’ll never get it all together?

Whoever you think you are…

Wherever you think you may be…

Whatever kind of mess you’ve become…

God can change you! He’ll stop for you! He’s got your back! You’re being watched. He’s got His eyes on you.

Cross by Catherine Partain

You’re not a ‘nobody’. To Him, you are somebody… somebody to love. He loves you, so much that He needed to open His arms far wide on the cross.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. – Psalm 40:2 NIV

Now tell me, isn’t that good news?

 

Related articles:
Steve Harvey’s Opening Remarks: God Can Change You | The person in side! | When You Believe In God But Don’t | Think You Can Change | God Can Change You! | If God Can Change Me He Can Change You | You Can Change 8: Change Is God’s Work

Hopeless in Life but Hopeful in Christ

Nothing Is Impossible
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Our car (parked just in front of our house) got its driver’s side window cracked, and worse it got holes. We do not know who did it. Probably, it happened while almost my whole family was away and I was dozing. (Tsk, tsk..) We thought it was the car’s battery the culprit was trying to get. Well, this kind of stuff is prevalent here in the Philippines, so to speak.

Broken Driver's Side Window

In this kind of situation, I find it oh so easy to speak words that are not so much wonderful to hear as an outlet for disgust. Some people (actually, many of them) are really desperate to make a living and more often than not it’s at the expense of others (too bad that this time, it’s at ours).

This fact saddens me enough and made me realize how perverted our world has been, and this would remain as such if Jesus would not intervene. This happening also reminded me of what I recently told the young people I do Bible Study with:

“We can do almost nothing to change people who are very much older than us because at their age, they’ve already made up their minds–to either continue doing good or bad. However, we can still do something (actually a lot of things) to lead the young people of today to the right path—JESUS, which is also possible through only Him.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we can do absolutely nothing for those ahead of us agewise. We have God on our side and nothing is impossible with Him (Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37), and that I still and forever will believe. However, we also have to accept the fact that the time wherein the minds of those people were still open for change has already passed. Perhaps we have not done what should have been done. Had we had, they wouldn’t have been as wicked as they are right now—doing evil things in order to live not realizing that this only makes them lose the life they think they will obtain by doing so (Matthew 10:39; 16:25). At some point, we have to admit that we were not able to wisely use whatever God has given us for this matter. And the worse thing is that: we can’t turn back time; the damage has already been done and much damage is still to be done. However, God says nothing is too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:17b). And I think that’s what we should be holding on to from now on.

With what’s happening around and inside of us, we should focus on Jesus more lest we become hopeless and do something that would bring shame to Him. Let’s continue praying and doing at the same time!

What are your insights? Surely, I’d be more than thankful to hear your opinion.

May you realize how blessed you are today! :)

Related articles:
Day 51 – Matthew 9:35-11:1; Mark 6:6-13; Luke 9:1-6
HOPE VS. SELF-DESCRUCTION
Capacity For Hope
Hope in Christ
Christ Our Only Hope
In Christ alone my hope is found
Do you Hope in Christ?
Hope in Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

How blessed King Hezekiah was!

15 years more
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Originally, I wasn’t feeling well. Both my hands and feet were sweating nonstop maybe due to the many things that I have to do for this week. I sneeze every once in a while (hachoo!). You see? I told you! I also have a cold. Then I started to read my Bible, and reading 2 Kings 18-20 made me feel great! Read it for yourself!:D

Oh wow! Today, like what I’ve said earlier, I read about the reign of King Hezekiah. The first words in this writing make it obvious that I was amazed… and I think I forever will be. I can see that God loved him so much that He added 15 years to his life. I just couldn’t imagine how delighted this king had been the moment he learned of that awesome news from the prophet Isaiah! FIFTEEN YEARS MORE? (Yum, yum, yum! :) )

I’m way amazed at how God proved His power when Assyrian King Sennacheerib, through his chief of staff, blasphemed the everliving and ever faithful God. He dared compare God to the gods of other nations. How awful was that? I’m sure that comparison he made right there has been one of the lamest (if not the lamest) comparisons ever made. How could he possibly do that? Comparing the Most High to idols made by human hands… is so ridiculous!

I admire King Hezekiah’s unwavering faith in God despite the accounts presented to him by the Assyrian chief of staff.

An immature Christian would have fallen for that deception.

This part of history only proves that God is God and there is no other. He is faithful to His promises; therefore, we shall never doubt. What other proofs do you want? Follow Him and success will follow you. That’s for sure!

To know more about the story of King Hezekiah, read 2 Kings 18-20.

GOD IS GREAT!

Related articles:

King Hezekiah of Judah | Lessons in Grace – King Hezekiah | King Hezekiah: a godly example | Hezekiah, king of Judah | Things I learned from King Hezekiah | King Hezekiah | King Hezekiah Prays For Health | Hezekiah the King of Judah | Praying for the Right Reasons

Made New

Video

MADE NEW
Lincoln Brewster
(off “Oxygen”)

You’re calling me over
You’re pulling me close
With love You surround me
You give me hope

You’re taking me deeper
You’re making me whole
With grace You redeem me
You restore my soul

Now I’m made new
Because of You

You hold my head up
You remind me who I am
You hold my head up
I’m alive in You again
I’m made new

You’re making me stronger
You’re healing my heart
With Your hands You hold me
And You set me apart

You are my salvation
I will not fear
You’re the strength of my life
I won’t fear

Jeremiah 2 – National Adultery

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let us not drink from broken cisterns

I caught a glimpse of God’s anger in this chapter. Here, God stated how the Israelites have abandoned Him time and again by worshiping other gods made by human hands. I wish I could say that I’m better than them, but the truth is I can identify with their being idolatrous. There are countless times when I have failed to give God what He alone deserves from me. Despite it all, there’s beauty in this saddening reality. It made me see how gracious and loving our God has been, is and will always be.

On February 18, the latter part of Jeremiah 2:31-32 MSG struck a chord in me:

“But my people forget me. Day after day after day they never give me a thought.”

It dawned on me how hurtful it is for God to be treated like this. Most of the time, we focus on what we feel, the damage others have caused us, and the many times we’ve been unfairly treated. However, this life is not about us. We ought to live this life for the One who gave us all even when all we think of is ourselves.

On February 19, as I read this chapter, I thought of the things that I am guilty of doing even up to date: forsaking the Lord; being indifferent to Him; and not having fear of Him, which can also be found in Jeremiah 2:19 AMP.

This statement in Jeremiah 2:20 AMP struck me: “I will not serve and obey You!” It made me ask: How many times have I indirectly thrown that arrogant line to God? I say one thing and do another. How awful, proud and ungrateful I have been…

“Why do My people say, We have broken loose [we are free and will roam at large]; we will come no more to You?”

The verse (Jeremiah 2:31 AMP) above made me realize how prideful and stupid I become at times to think that I can go on without God. I wonder how He looks at me whenever I do such a thing.

On February 20, as I read Jeremiah 2, I was reminded that no matter how much effort I put into something, I will never succeed if God is not on my side.

On February 21, these are the verses that caught my attention:

“Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God…” – Jeremiah 2:19 NASB

“I will enter into judgment with you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.'”
– Jeremiah 2:35 NASB

I also noticed that there are a lot of questions listed in this chapter; questions from God for the Israelites delivered by the prophet Jeremiah. I believe God was not asking questions because He did not know the answers; instead, He wanted to encourage reflection. He wanted the Israelites to think about the wrong things that they have done despite His goodness to them.

The Craziest Thing That I Did For Love

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Perfect Love Drives Out Fear

The craziest thing that I did for love was taking the responsibility for discipling the young people in our church when my eldest brother left for the United Arab Emirates to work there. Prior to that, I could not even picture myself leading a group of people because next to God, I was the one who knew my countless weaknesses and understood the magnitude of my insecurities and fears back then. However, because of my love for God, my brother and the young people that I’ve been privileged to live life with, I am still here #standingupforJC! God is awesome! He really works all things for good! (Romans 8:28) #loveoutloud