The Proposal

It was not on a romantic place

It was a place of death and sorrow;

He was not well dressed

He was almost naked;

His face was not handsome

It was beyond recognition;

He does not look composed

He was wounded, bleeding and bruised;

There were no cheering friends around him

Only a mocking public;

There were no roses on his hands

But there were thorns on his head;

He was not kneeling

But he was hanging;

He bought me no diamond ring

He was a persecuted King;

He laid down not just a wedding proposal

But his very own life;

It may not seem pleasant

But, it was the grandest of all;

I know I’m not worthy of such love

– a love that bleeds, a love that completes,

a love that’s unending,

But I will always say “Yes” to my nail–pierced lover.

cross of christ

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Why and Why Not? Because I am not the same anymore.

I had battled my emotions last week, my faith was somehow shaken and tested, and I keep on asking God a lot of Why and Why Not.

Here are some of my Why Lord? questions:

  1. Why do innocent people gets accused for the wrongs they haven’t done?
  2. Why do we have to ask for forgiveness for the wrongs that we haven’t done?
  3. Why do we have to be humble?
  4. Why continue to love those who have hurt us?

and here are my Why Not Lord? questions:

  1. Why should I not be confronting?
  2. Why not tell all my feelings?
  3. Why not hate them?

I have a lot of questions right? But God answered me just once, He points me to the cross, and all the answers are there – Jesus.

Whys?

  1. Because an innocent man was crucified not for His sins (Matthew 27:32-44). Jesus was innocent, yet He was accused. Did He justified Himself? Did He reasoned out that He was not guilty? No, He didn’t.
  2. Because even though the people condemned Him, He asked God to forgive them, saying “Forgive them father for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
  3. Because He is a God yet for my sins He became a man, to save me and rescue me. He humbled Himself. (Philippians 2:8)
  4. Because He endured the cross for my sins for He loves me and that I love Him too, and He said, “If you love me keep my commands.” (John 4:15) His command was to love your enemies (Luke 6:27), and so I must obey.

Why Not?

  1. Because Jesus too remained silent. Jesus could have reasoned out to Herod yet He remained silent. (Luke 23:9)
  2. Because as the prophet Jeremiah said it “I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”(Jeremiah 10:23), and so I let God lead my decisions and actions, and lean not own my understanding and feelings.
  3. Because Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

Come Tuesday last week, I had my T4V class and a privilege to talk to my mentor, Ate Rina, she reminds me that Jesus humbled Himself for me, and as a Christian I must also live the way Jesus live. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. (1 Peter 2:21). Pastor John, our teacher for last Tuesday session, said “If you have experienced true forgiveness then it will be easy for you to forgive without effort.” And my classmate and VG sister, Jeanette, reminded me of “Be slow to anger and be quick to forgive.”

Looking back in my past life, the word SORRY was out of my dictionary, but then now, sorry came out of my heart naturally when I found out that I have hurt someone without me knowing why and how.

If I am still living in my past life, I wouldn’t say sorry then I am sure I could have hurt more and that I am still hurt. Pride could have eat me inside and consumes me little by little that anger could grow and overflow in my heart.

But I thank the Lord (and will be forever grateful) that I have been saved and forgiven in Jesus; and because of that forgiveness, I could forgive easily “Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). My heart was and is still free of pain, anger, and hurt. “For if the son sets you free, you are free indeed” (John 8:36).

I must forgive because I have been forgiven.

Pride and bitterness may knock at my door a thousand times, but Jesus is in me and with Him and like Him, I will ask for forgiveness, pray for those who have hurt me, and love those who hate me.

God didn’t said that as I follow Him I will become lovable and there will be no enemies along the way. Its the same as saying we will live a storm free life in Christ, but God didn’t promised that kind of life. However, He equipped us with the blood of Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2), and in Him, we will be storm proof. Life with Jesus will not be easy, but it is worth it.

I am not the same anymore, in Jesus I am a new creation. My old unforgiving, greedy, and pride-full life is gone, I may look back it, but God called me to fix my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) and remember what He has done for me on the cross. With this thing that happened to me last week, indeed, all I could say is that the old me was gone and the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I am grateful for this change of heart, attitude, and actions, but above all, I’m glad that God never fails to let me feel loved despite there are times just like last week when my faith in Him was shaken. In times like this, prayers, His words, and Godly people that surrounds me is all that I need to stand firm and be reminded that I am not the same old me, but I am new.

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The Manager, The Rich, and My Questions

Chapter 16

The story of the not-so-good Manager

Allow me to cut this story into pieces and the way it reaches me.

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.

“Dealing with our own kind” this for me means treating others the way we want to be treated. Jesus once said, “the measure you used will be the measured to be  use on you.” This is why I keep on asking God  why do I cry every time I see injustice and inhumane treatment? God always reminds me that I cry because I care and because I love; and because He Himself, a God, treats us equally. As humans, we must also treat each other equally as well, but do we?

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

Are we worth the trust? All of us have been given, all of us have received, big or small as we see it, we are blessed. We are not worthy  to receive these blessings, yet we are still blessed. The question is, Are we trustworthy of what has been given to us? The world is a wealthy place and God entrusted us with a lot of things, How do we handle our riches here on earth?

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Two lines did hit me  here 1.) Hate the one and love the other 2.) what people value highly is detestable to God

I believe Jesus is asking here, what do we love? The things pleasing to every one, which is detestable to His sight? or Him, the one who was detested by men?

The Rich Man

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.

This scares me, honestly. Why? Because I have live a life of comfort. I have a family, which is not perfect but at least I have them; I have a home, which is not a mansion but at least I’m safe and comfortable; I eat three times a day, which is not a feast every meal but at least I’m satisfied and full – these are just few of my comforts and good things here on earth but then I saw this line from Abraham, I asked myself, “Will he say the same words to me?”

I believe what this message means is that, How do we live our lives of comfort? How do we share it with our fellows, those who live an uncomfortable life? The prisoners, the sick, the poor, the orphan, the homeless, and the food less? Do we just let them live outside our mansions?

I believe all of us are like Lazarus – filthy, poor, and beggars but Jesus came out of His comfort zone just to offer us the fullness of life in His Kingdom. The question now is, Can we do what Jesus did to our neighbors?

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

That was Abraham’s answer to the rich man, when the rich man said that his family will only repent if they see someone who was raised from the dead. Many people know that Jesus died and was risen from the dead for even death couldn’t hold him down, yet why are still so many people who have an unrepenting heart? Many people knows the cause of His death and resurrection but why still their hearts aren’t changed?

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The bests of 9!

Chapter 9

Send and Set!

2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.

 

I know by heart that I consider myself as a disciple of Jesus, and while absorbing His words that Jesus sent out His disciples to proclaim and heal,  I realized that just like the first disciples I must also set out and do what Jesus wants me to do and to go where He wants me to go. Just like the first disciples, I shall not worry, for it is Jesus who will send me; all I have to do is to be available and to put my trust in Him. As His disciple, I must offer myself to Him to be send and to set out.

 

He broke the bread

16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied…

Growing up attending Bible camps, gives this story no meaning for me anymore, but as I read this again with the spirit, God reminded me that I may not appreciate this miracle anymore for I was not even part of the 5,000 men, but Jesus broke another bread to feed me and that was His body, He offered His body as a living sacrifice so that I may live and not hunger anymore. (This made me cry.)

Sometimes, I’m just so used to the bible verses or the stories of what Jesus did that it has no meaning to me anymore, but as I dig down deep, I find a much deeper meaning. The verses are not for me to comprehend the words but for me to hear Him and His messages for me – and this my Manna, my daily bread.

Who do you say I am?

20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

There is a song with the lyrics, “If God has a name, what could it be?”, and somehow I think what God’s name could be? In the old testament, God said to Moses, “I am He who sends you.”  And this time, Jesus is asking Peter, “Who do you say I am?” Is I am the name of God?

Whether God has a name or none, who He is to me matters most.

Sometimes I’m just so preoccupied of the things that He has done for my life that I forget about who He is. I was so filled with what Jesus did in the cross for me that I tend to forget about who He is in my life.

Who is Jesus? In two words, he’s my Lord and my Savior. My everything.

the Kingdom of God

27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

Will not taste death? I want to go to heaven and live with Jesus, but I know that I will only reach heaven when I die here on earth, what does Jesus means by this? For me, I believe Jesus is simply telling me that I can live in heaven here on earth by having Him with me always, and that I will not die anymore because He already died instead of me and that I will live with Him for all eternity.

Heaven is here in my heart.

And I believe Jesus wants me to stand with Him and continue to seek His Kingdom and let heaven reign here in my heart for I am not a citizen of this world but of heaven.

 

the Son that we shall listen to

35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

Other Bible version uses beloved son instead of the chosen son. But for me, God is telling me that He choose me and  He loves me so much that He choose to sacrifice His one and only beloved son to die for me and to save me.

And because He give me His son, Jesus, I must live my life with Him, listening to His voice all the days of my life.

 

Is this my generation?

41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?..”

Jesus was talking to the people around Him when He said this, but as I see it, if Jesus is still here walking on earth, He would still say the same words to the generation that I am in right now. It is really hurting  for me to hear His words, I am not perfect and my faith is not, I doubt Him sometimes, but here Jesus is telling me that how long does He need to stay or what things does He needs to do to prove to me so that I should believe in Him.

I look at the cross and realize that He has done enough, my generation needs to believe and that my task is to share Jesus to the next generation. I am so thankful for God sends me to reach out the next generation.

Reaching out to the Next Generation.

I Am Nothing

50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

I call myself a Christian, and by the name itself I have Christ. Here’s an analogy,  in the word CHRISTIAN take away CHRIST and there will be three letters left IAN, it stands for  I AM NOTHING.

Apart from Christ, I am nothing. In His name I have the power, the strength, the love, everything. And if He is with me then no one can stand against me, I shall not fear. ..and if our God is with us then who could ever stop us, and if our God is with us then what can stand against?”

Don’t Look Back

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

As I start to fully embrace the life in Christ many people asked me why do I quit my job, delayed going to Law School, and do not date non Christian men? I honestly don’t know the exact answer, I just told them that God has plans; and as I follow Jesus, He will now call the shots as my Master, it will not be my will but His will. I have left the world in pursuit of His Kingdom. And as I read this message from God, I was affirmed that the cost of following Jesus, is taking His cross no matter how heavy it is without looking back but believing that I have a wonderful life ahead.

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“With you, I am well pleased.”-God

Chapter 3

8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance…

9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into fire

One of the best events or experience I ever had in life was during my One 2 One; it is when I was finally set free, for I was able to let go of all the tings that I have been carrying, I was able to unload the luggage in my heart as I boldly share my old rotten life to my One 2 One partner. Now that I have been leading a One 2 One, and shares about repentance, these lines never fail to amaze me  – “Turning to God means no looking back and no regrets. Godly sorrow produces true repentance and a changed  life.”  And in this verse from Luke simply reminds me that repentance is not a one time big time thing, repentance transforms us everyday because as we cut off the old rotten part of us, a new branch will grow that will produce good fruit.

10 What shall we do then? the crowd asked.

16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But more powerful than I will come… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

It took me 6 years to finally be baptized in water, for I was so hesitant and filled with excuses every time. But I do believe that God’s time is always the best time. I met my savior at the age of 15, received a gift from the spirit at 19, and at 22, I was finally baptized by water in the name of Jesus. I had my baptism last May, and that was the best decision I made in life – declaring out a life in Christ. Many people still asks me, why do I have to go on baptism again for I was baptized when I was only 2 months old, but I will just reply, “In my baptism, I did not killed my religion, I died with my sins, and now I’m alive with not just a religion but in a deeper relationship to God.

In my repentance and baptism, I am now able to say that I am a Born-again Christian, the old is gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17), not for the sake of religiosity but in a deeper meaning of relationship.

22 and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you, I am well pleased.”

This verse reminds me of the best day of my life during my Victory Weekend, May 26, 2012 – the day of my baptism. There was no dove from heaven, but the spirit is in me. In my heart, I know God is telling me, “my daughter, I love you; and with your life in my Son, Jesus Christ, I am well pleased.”

Jesus Christ was baptized in water and in spirit, and in His name, I was baptized.

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Do Not Be Afraid

Luke 2

My nurse’s notes on the book of Dr. Luke,

do-not-be-afraid

 

10 But the angel said to them “Do not be afraid. I  bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people”

Sometimes when some people would tell me that I was made to do things for God, I became afraid for not being able to fulfill it or do it right. Two days ago, I was informed by the Lifebox Alabang Campus missionaries that I will be the one to share the word for the tithes and offering next month. I was so hesitant to say, “Yes” for some personal reasons, but this verse simply reminds me not to be afraid, for I was not created to be just a simple receiver but also to be a deliverer of good news to the people.

17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child 20 The shepherds  returned, glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

The shepherds had seen, they spread, and they glorify God (given emphasis above). These verses simply reminded me that as I experience Christ and His love, I must also share Him by reaching out to those who haven’t met Him yet. We have Christ and felt His love at the cross where we are saved. We are saved and was reunited to the one who deserves all the glory; therefore, as we live as Christians, we must continue to spread the good news and bring back all the glory and praise to God.

40 The child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him 52 Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men

Being a Christian is living a life  like Christ, and as I read this verse, I was reminded that just like Christ I must also grow in wisdom and live a life pleasing and in favor in the eyes of God.

Being a Christian is not something I should not be afraid of. Having been able to witness and feel the goodness of the Lord in Christ, the shepherds set an example of what to do without fear – spread what they have seen and glorify God.

The grace of God is upon us in Jesus, and in Him, we are filled with wisdom and will grew strong with nothing to be afraid of.

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The Power and the Spirit

Luke 1

My nurse’s notes on the book of Dr. Luke: 

17 And he (John) will go before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn their hearts of the fathers to  their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord

Even before John the baptist was born, he already have a purpose to fulfill – to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord, and he was not alone, he have the spirit and the power.

purpose

 

As we finished our first day of class for T4V tonight, my thoughts were somehow flying, and I wondered why God placed me in that class although I know that will help me grow deeper in my relationship with Him, but I believe that this verse already answered my question. Just like John, I have a purpose and that is to make ready a people prepared for the coming of our Lord. And I know I will never be alone, I have the spirit and the power in the name of Christ.

 

35 The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most high will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the son of God.

When I was a little girl, I used to pray those lines every 12nn and 6pm, but I was already a grown-up lady when I truly  found out the real meaning of what I am praying then. She (Mary) was not powerful, but she was chosen, and it was the Holy Spirit and the power of  God that overshadow her, so she conceived the son of God.

 

I think this is one of the greatest attributes of  God, being a God of all the possibilities. We, humans, get tired and weak; we do have limits, but God is limitless. God is almighty. And, when I feel helpless and hopeless, I would just remember this verse that with my God nothing is impossible.

 

38 “I am the Lord servant,” Mary answered. “May it to me as you have said.” 45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.

Mary’s response was just so overwhelming as she allowed herself to be used by God. As I was reading this verse, I became so in awe with Mary that I want to be like her. I want to simply tell God, “Bring it on Lord” or  “Just do it God whatever it is that You want me to do.”  I want to be like Mary who simply obeyed and believed.

 

 

66 “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hands was with him. 80 “And the child grew and became strong in spirit.”

What am I going to be?

As I turn 22 last year, I was really thinking about my future, but as I fully surrendered my life to Jesus and accept Him as my Lord, I know my life is in hands. I shall not worry, for He holds my future.  All I have to do is to continue to grow and be strong in the righteousness of Christ and in the power of God and the Spirit.

 

I have a purpose, and with the enabling power of God, nothing will be impossible. All I have to do is to accept thy purpose like Mary. Whatever God’s purpose is in my life, I believe, like John, I will grow and became strong with the Spirit in fulfilling that purpose.