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God is not dead! He is surely alive!

Chapter 24

 

Believe on what is hard to believe in

11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.

If a fisherman would say that he was able to sail and caught a fish in the Dead Sea, will anyone believe him? I bet no one. I believe this is the same thing with Jesus. It is indeed hard to believe that someone from the dead is back to life.

If I haven’t felt Jesus and that He is alive then it will also be hard for  me to believe. I haven’t seen Jesus neither touch Him, yet in my heart, I know He lives. I can feel Him near me, for I live by faith and not by sight.

My Savior

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!

I believe God wants me to know that I shall not look for my savior among men, for my ultimate savior, my knight and shining armor has already come and saved me. Here on earth, we consider one as a hero as they die; but Jesus is different, He is my risen savior, my ultimate hero.

 

Call them Foolish Maybe

Sometimes when I think about those people who doesn’t believe on Jesus, I felt sad for them; and I don’t even know what to call them, “unbelievers”, “lost”, etc., yet Jesus calls them Foolish.

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

Now, I’m grateful that I am not foolish, for I do believe that He is risen.

 

Jesus opens the Scriptures

32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Jesus reached out to the foolish people who doesn’t believe and He opened His eyes so that they can see and understand the Gospel clearly.  There are many people in this world who could open the Bible to us and interpret it for us; but I believe it is only Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, can truly open our hearts and minds so that we can fully understand the words of God.

 

Peace be with us!

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

When revealed Himself, He brought peace. This is indeed amazing to know that only in His presence, we can truly find peace.

38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?

When Jesus was risen and when we are with Him, we shouldn’t feel trouble or doubt; for in Jesus, we will have a peaceful eternity.

 

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Therefore, He is innocent.

Chapter 23

 

Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 

22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty.

41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”

 

The Innocence of Christ is clear to the authorities and even to the sinners, yet He has to die. As a Christian, I know that He was innocent, yet He has to die for me and fulfill the promises of God.

 

The words of Pilate simply said that Jesus is innocent. 

However, God’s message for me in reading Pilate’s words is that just like Herod who was forced to behead John the baptist, He too can’t stand for his own decision, they were  both pressured by the people around them. They are more concerned with what the people will say than what they feel is righteous to do.

In life, there will be pressures that will rise, but I pray that I won’t be like Pilate and Herod who listens to the people around them and was pressured, I pray that God will give me the strength to stand for what I believe is right.

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His Body and Prayers

Chapter 22

 

His bread

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying,“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

One of the best things that God illuminates to me as I turn away from religion and had a deeper relationship with Him is the meaning of His words. Before, every time I would see the bread, I remember my sins and feel unworthy; but Jesus didn’t say that I should remember my sins and confess it to anyone before I can partake the bread. He said that I remember Him and what He has done for my sins. I can come boldly to God asking Him for forgiveness of my sins yet I can also partake His bread not feeling unworthy but loved, for the bread is not my sins but His life given for me.

Prayers

32 “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus knows that Peter will fail Him, yet He still prays for him. I believe this is the same with everyone, all of us have sinned and fall short in the glory of God, yet Jesus still prays for us. Jesus hopes on us that we will be strengthen in Him.

40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

There is indeed an escape to temptation, it is clearly said by Jesus. Our ultimate escape to whatever situation is that of our prayers.

44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

When I feel angry what do I do? I walked out, go to a solitary place and wept. Sometimes, when I can’t take it, I let my angers out into words. I learned how to tame my tongue though, yet Jesus sets an example of the best thing to do when in anguish – to pray more earnestly. So when my temper rises and anger envelopes me, I should just remember Christ who prayed earnestly in anguish.

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Offerings and Words

Chapter 21

Out of poverty

4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Jesus said that obedience to His words are far better than any sacrifices, I believe sacrificing more than what we have is also more pleasing to God. I really don’t know why out of our nothingness we can still give; yet Jesus said that woman has done it so just like her, we too can give back to God for there is nothing that we have that He doesn’t give. When I tend not to give my offering, I would just remind myself of this story from Jesus. God loves a cheerful giver. He doesn’t look at the amount but He looks at the heart.

 

His words not mine

14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

Every time I write sometimes I wonder where are those words come from, did I actually wrote it? Then I would thank God for I know it is His words and not mine, before I write my journals I would ask the Holy Spirit to work and write with me believing that I am writing His words and not mine. Indeed, God has blessed me with the passion for writing, and I thank Him more for equipping me with His words and wisdom; and with these things, may He always be glorified.

 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

When Jesus was tempted He remained firm by keeping the word of God and making it as a weapon to the enemy. I believe this message is saying that as I stand firm, rooted, and grounded in His words, I will surpass any thing and I will not perish, for one of the promises of God to me says that In Christ, I will have an eternal life.

33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

This is, for me, an affirmation from the Lord that says, “I may lose hope but His promises remains.” And this made me more hopeful for I know that God will never forget His promises to me, His words will never pass away. I must be patient and believing.

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On Angels and Taxes

Chapter 20

Like Angels

35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.

When I was a little girl, once a year my relatives will dress me in white and give me wings and Yes I really feel like an angel before. But I never dream to become an angel, I wanted to become a doctor back then (at least I’m wearing white) however, I didn’t know that I will be an angel someday too, I just read this message of God saying that someday, I will no longer die and be like an angel. By faith, I am claiming this for I believe that I am a children of God, a child of His resurrection.

Caesar’s and God’s

25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

When I started working I really hated it to see the amount I paid for my taxes; however, I realized that I give taxes for it is due for my country. I give my tithes and partnered with missions since I was in College; however, I came to the point that I can’t trust God much because I doubted if I give my 10% may be I will be short in budget, but I came to realized that  my tax is an obligatory giving for the benefit of my country, and my tithe is an offering to God. I believe during those times that I am not giving what is due to God, God is just telling me that the place where I give my money is worth it if my country is worthy of my tax then what more God. I don’t have a stable job now and doesn’t have that big salary from my previous work, yet I believe I am still able to give to God for I know He is more than worth it. He deserves all that I have and I own – my everything.

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Be Zac and a Donkey

Chapter 19

A story of repentance (Luke 19:1-10)

  Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector, a sinner in the eyes of every man, yet he wanted to see Jesus. I can’t imagine a sinner like him who is eager to see the son of God. In this modern time, he is like a criminal who runs towards policemen and gladly welcomes them to his escape place.

However, God’s message for me in this story is repentance. When Jesus came and Zacchaeus welcomes Him, repentance took place.

Zacchaeus had a change of heart and attitude that after he said he will give back what he has taken from men, Jesus said, “Salvation has come.”

I’m eternally grateful that Jesus came into my life, He changed my heart through repentance, and now I am saved. Indeed, 10 the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

 

The wicked vs. the faithful servant

Parable of the Ten Minas (Luke 19: 11-26)

When I reach heaven and final walk with Jesus, I wonder what He will tell, but I pray that God will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” God blesses His children with gifts, treasures, talents, and abilities. How we utilize these gifts are more important to God, are we like the wicked servant who just keep his minas on his own or are we the good and faithful servant who has been given much yet returns more.

The donkey

In the prince of Egypt or the story of Moses, the pharaoh has a chariot and many horsemen that’s why they are all looked up to; they are like the ones who drive a Ferrari in this generation, but Jesus the King of Kings does not even own a horse, and so He used a donkey.

What is a donkey? A stubborn, simple-minded, low maintenance, but with great endurance, it can work under hot and difficult conditions, it is the so-called animals for the blue-collared workers. And what does Jesus says about the donkey? The Lord needs it.

Jesus used an undesirable donkey for His triumphant entry to Jerusalem. Isn’t this a great reassurance from the Lord that no matter how undesirable we see ourselves, we may feel lowly, stubborn, and simple minded but we can used by God for His glory just as used and needed a donkey.

The crying stone and Jesus weeping

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Have you ever see a crying stone? I haven’t seen one yet; maybe it is because I surround myself with people who never stop praising the Lord.

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it

Have you ever cried for your country? I did for the Philippines a couple of times. But I shall not feel sad, for even Jesus wept just like Nehemiah for Jerusalem.

My tears will never be enough, I must do something. I must pray for my country and work it out by reaching the next generation and even other nations telling them of the Gospel, the good news of the risen and will be returning King – Jesus.

The temple of prayers

Where does God lives? I don’t know, for He is uncontainable; no place can ever contain Him. The Bible says that, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; therefore, as God the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we must be a temple of prayers. Jesus said, 46 “It is written,” he said to them,“‘My house will be a house of prayer’ As He lives in us, let our bodies be holy, sacred, and pleasing dwelling place of the Lord.

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Nothing is Impossible

Chapter 18

The Judge

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 

I believe Jesus is saying that God is a just God, He gives not just justice but mercy. He punished those who sinned, yet He gives mercy by sacrificing His son to be penalty for the sins of man. How can I not cry unto God day and night? He who listens and answers to His people and never puts me off.

The Tax Collector

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

Humbly he asked for forgiveness, and I know God greatly forgives him. I pray that I may continue to be like that tax collector who knows who he is and knows who God is – a forgiving Father.

The Children

16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

I believe Jesus is saying that in order for us to belong to the Kingdom of God, we must be like little children who are innocent, humble, and confident to come boldly to Jesus. Unless we humble ourselves to Jesus and be like little children, we can’t enter His Kingdom. My prayer is that I may be child-like, fully dependent on Jesus  for my growth.

 

The Rich Man

25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

If I all have the things that I want in this world, will I still pray to God? This is my question always, for I know that I can come to God knowing that only in His greatness, I can have everything; and only in His presence, I am satisfied.

Nothing is Impossible

“What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

This is the answer why I am not fully dependent on man because like me they are things that they cannot do, and so I put my faith and trust 100% to Jesus for ONLY Him can do all things even the things that are impossible for man. With Jesus, I could not ask for more. He has done miracles, He conquered death, He gave His life for me, and He live again to be with me. Can any man do that? I don’t think so, but Jesus can. He already did.

Will they praise God too?

When all the people saw it, they also praised God.

In here the people saw the blind beggar healed. Jesus just  said that by faith he will be healed, and so he was healed. The people saw this and so they praised God, I then asked God what can the people around me see that will make them praise God too? I don’t know the answer yet, but I pray that the time will come that when people saw me they will praise God more than me.