I once was told that a lot of things have been happening lately. Controversial news was the unbelievable death of a student of UP Los Banos. Her name was Given…
Everyone has problems. This is the opening statement of my pastor last night. He preached about the the prayer of King Jehoshaphat and it’s 3P’s Principle on 2 Chronicles 20. First, PRAISE. A…
The Lord said to me, even if Moses and Samuel were standing here pleading with Me, I would not show these people any mercy. Make them go away; make them get…
Whenever I read the news on a popular search engine, I would sometimes scan down the comments below the article. The reader reaction ranges from being funny to intensely reactive and sometimes would be another article in itself depending on the writer’s outburst. As the new media tends to quicken and broaden our freedom of expression, still, they remain as words…but after we give our outbursts, what do we do next?
It’s good that today’s quick tech-media encourages us to be more outspoken, hoping that the thousands who would chance to scan our comments would consider and reconsider the change. It’s just so sad that most comments are meant to criticize and judge. Whenever a bill, a presidential rumor, a ruse, or just an official comment is on the news, people react quickly, crying out change. But I wonder if they ever act immediately for that change.
The political landscape of ancient Israel also dealt with so much public outbursts. The people had God but then they demanded for a king to rule over them (I Samuel 8:4-9). When they had a king, there comes the pro- and the anti-groups hanging around the palace. Or when calamity seizes them, the people would blame God for their misfortune. If one would put together these complaints and demands, they did made some difference. However, most of these complaints only made things worse, as most of these complainers turned away from the very will of God.
Change can only happen when we stop talking and start doing. We love to speak out but were scared to act it out. Talking can only do so much. Real change must be acted out from the heart. Even if we start with the little things, we will be blessed with so much (Luke 16:10). Cleaning the barangay, helping around, encouraging our friends, and even praying for the nation can make big changes. We might not know it, but when we start with the little things, we can be a part of the big change that we are dreaming for. If everyone stops complaining and just do the little things faithfully (save for the dishonest ways), slowly, such a change unimagined will be made. Let’s not be impatient in seeing big change by just lying around and complaining loud. Being a history maker starts out by being honest in the little ways.
Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless. Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” —Ecclesiastes 11:9-10, 12:1
Everything makes sense. These were the verses given by our youth pastor at yesterday’s youth fellowship. It’s Biblical that we should enjoy our youth. Do whatever you want. Smoke. Drink. Skip school. Dishonor and disobey your parents. Go ahead. BUT remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. You are responsible for every action. The day will come when you will individually face the throne of God where you are expected to be accountable for every decision you made. You and God alone. No one is to blame. You cannot accuse your friends for putting pressure on you to do the stuffs they do.
Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live! —Ezekiel 18:30-32
These verses were also God’s revelation yesterday through our song leader. God will judge us according to our own ways, big or small, hidden or seen. God is only saying, Why will you die, My child? Repent! Turn away from sin. And live! Live for Me and I will give you life!
Today’s breaking news is the death of Osama Bin Laden. Perhaps, half of the world rejoices while the King of the heaven weeps. Jesus’ heart breaks as another beloved chose to live in sin and die daily in hell. I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Give this a month and people will forget this news. It will be over. But for Bin Laden? Who knows the hell he is facing for the rest of eternity?
Christians, we never have a reason to rejoice over a soul going to Hell, no matter what they may have done to you or your country. —Jonathan Lewis
So give us clean hands and give us pure hearts. Let us not lift our souls to another. Oh God let this be a generation that seeks Your face, Oh God of Jacob.
If one has to observe our times today, the values this generation upholds are very much different from before. We have become so open to the culture of violence, immorality, corruption, and rebelliousness that these have become an accepted norm. In fact, when we do “good things”, people would scorn and say that’s not the “in” thing anymore. And so, most of us would ask, “IS THERE STILL RIGHTEOUSNESS TODAY?”
The context of righteousness speaks as the kind of living that we, the children of God, should exemplify. These should be according to God’s standard: guiltless and redeemed.
To understand the reason we have to live an upright living, let’s take a look at Ephesians 4:22-24: “22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” When we have met the Lord, we became changed people, following the image and character of our Father God. Think of the proud daddy who wants his son to become like him; that’s also what God wants us to be.
When we speak of righteous living, how should we show it? It’s through these three ways:
Exercising a humble character – Jesus is the best example on this character. Have you seen the King of kings washing His disciples feet? Have you seen thing King of glory befriending sinners, more specifically corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes? Have you seen the God of this universe coming down to earth just to pay the debt of this world? This is one character most of us miss. We are doing service to God (like ministry, charity, for example) yet our hearts are not yet humbled. Some of us even have great talents at church, yet we have not yielded our rights, admitted we’re never perfect, held on to our bitterness, nor disregarded the pride that divides the Church today because of our differences. We should exemplify humility, as this is the very character of Jesus.
Living a holy lifestyle – it dosen’t mean you have to be at church 24/7 or you have to walk on your knees to get there. Holiness is not at the outside appearance. It comes from the heart. Holiness is disregarding the world’s standards. It’s doing an upright living against the twisted values. We are to live God’s way! See in this way: the world says that the one who gets the most toys wins. God says that the one who loses his soul for Him inherits His Kingdom. Selfishness is the world’s goal. Selflessness is God’s being.
Become hungry for more of our Savior – when you’re hungry, you eat so you can gain strength. This goes the same for God. We need so much of Him for we are frail vessels that need to be fueled by His Spirit! Salvation is not a “one time, big time” thing. In the process, we seek the Lord, so we can know Him more and be like Him. We cannot have an upright living if we don’t go back to our First Love who is the Source of righteousness. And how should we quench and sustain (and even add up!) this hunger? By reading and studying the Word of God – the Bible – and by pursuing Him through prayer. This way, we communicate with the Lord and know Him more.
Hence, this message is not to force ourselves to be perfect, for like the cutting of a rock to a diamond, it is God who truly changes us. And so, we are just willing to be changed by Him. All righteousness, in fact, comes from the Lord. He is so holy, righteous, and perfect that we cannot justify enough the description of His being. And who are we, sinners, that we are being loved and refined over and over to be after His image? So, let’s not be pressured with the world. We are not to please the world but to please our God by living uprightly, as this is our testimony. Who knows, we are the only Bible to some people. Let’s continue to pursue righteousness in our generation today and bring back all the nations to Him!
Whenever my heart feels heavy I always go to my room. There in my room, I’ll lie on my bed and cover my face with my pillow. While my face is concealed under my pillow, tears flow in my eyes, I silently cry to my God, my Daddy, my source of comfort. Being an introvert person, I find it hard to share my deepest heartaches to other people. Though sometimes I share some of them to my closest girl friends, still there are some that I couldn’t tell to them immediately.
All my life, I have known you and even before the time that I am created, you have known me. You see me through all the seasons in my life. You see my tears and laughs. You witness my triumphs and you join me in my failures. Sometimes I forget you yet you never forget me. Sometimes I betray you by doing things that are against your will. I even indulge myself in these earthly pleasures yet you are still waiting for me. You never ceased on loving me though I always hurt you because of my actions and selfish desires. So many times I have run a way but still you take a hold on my hand and make me feel that I belong to you. Sometimes I question your sovereignty in all the things and in all the circumstances that happen in my life, yet you are patient with me and you let me feel that you are in control. Most of the time, I tried to break away from your hold, yet you make me feel that I am worthy to be your child. You love me in spite of my iniquities. You accept me wholly and you never count my mistakes.
You are the creator of the vast universe, you placed each star in their places and you even call them by their names, yet you care for me. I, a miniscule creature, was loved and am being loved by a God who is indescribable and whose love is unconditional. You sacrificed your one and only son for me to be saved. You are forsaken that is why I will never be alone and never will I be desolated. Thank you for your love Abba. Thank you for being our Savior and King. Words are not enough to give thanks for all the things that you have done in me. I am just a tiny speck of dust that was given a life because of your amazing power and greatness and a doubter whose life is continuously being changed and whose mind is being renewed through your grace and by your endless love.
So much of our society’s walls have been toppled down by the evils brought about by pride and greed. The good values that have been taught to us in our early years are slowly being ignored because of our materialistic love. We are becoming accustomed to corrupt behaviors even in the smallest scale, as we make fun of it as if it were not a disease that kills our soul. Our eyes cannot escape the most sensuous tastes that are glorified in billboards along every side of the road, and our ears can never get away from the foul languages that dare to force into our embryonic system. Yet, we dare not to fight back. We dared not to put up the walls of righteousness back.
We are so much overwhelmed with everything this world offers. If one would take time and observe the differences of this present time to that of our grandparents, we have truly become more innovative, faster, and more instant. Some historians and idealists call our age the “Information Age”, in which I really agree because of the limitless ideas that whirl before us one after another.