Salt and Light

We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Salt is for healing and preservation while light expels darkness. Being the salt and light, we ought to go to the most decaying and darkest places on earth, to bring healing and preservation and expel the darkness that covers the nations, the communities, the people.

You and I. We are the salt and light of the world.

If not us, then who?

Reflect: Where did I go or what have I done this week to bring healing and preservation and to expel the darkness that covers the people? How can I be more effective and ensure that I don’t lose my saltiness and hide my light?

The LORD is Risen

The LORD is risen! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

He has overcome sin and has conquered the grave. Death has no power over Him. This is the confidence of our hope in Jesus Christ — if He is risen, not only is He our Lord, but He is also our Savior, for everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life!

And although we are speaking of a time that is yet to come, we know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, which means that the same power of resurrection can bring life to us now. Jesus can bring life to your dead situation, to your dead finances, to your dead relationship, to your dead hope.

Paul quoted prophet Hosea beautifully in 1 Corinthians 15:54-57:

“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

His victory is our victory! Let’s celebrate this glorious day of Resurrection. Have a blessed Sunday everyone! 🙏🏻🌈❤️🙌🏻

Hosanna!

“So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”” – John‬ ‭12:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Imagine the crowd welcoming Jesus, holding palm branches and shouting “Hosanna!” as He enters Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. Hosanna means “Save us!” They are desperately pleading for the Messiah to save them from poverty, slavery, and oppression. What they don’t realize is that Jesus did not really come to bring them economic and political solution. He ultimately came to bring them salvation, to save them from the real problem: SIN.

A lot of us today come to Jesus, pleading for His hand to save us from our current situation — and rightly so, as He is mighty to save us from any situation, anytime, anywhere.

What are the areas in your life that needs saving? Can we take this time to quickly pause and reflect what Jesus really came for? Yes, Jesus came to bring healing, provision, rest, hope, and peace. But ultimately, He came to bring forgiveness and save us from our sins.

He will come again to judge and restore. Left on our own, we will die in our sins but praise be to God — Jesus is mighty to save when we cry out, “Hosanna!”

Have a blessed Palm Sunday!

The Power of Experience

Experience is never at the mercy of an argument. Just like the man who was born blind but was healed by Jesus in John chapter 9, we may not be able to explain everything to those who question the how. But we can testify about our experience! Because whatever argument they bring to the table, they can never discount the testimony about our personal experience. We were spiritually blind, but now we can see, and this cannot be explained by reasons that were born out of our understanding of the physical world. The world can shout loud and proud how God is NOT POSSIBLE. But it’s okay because they can never shut down the still, small voice in their hearts saying, “GOD IS REAL and He wants you to experience Him.”

Just like the blind man who was healed by Jesus, I pray that you would testify about your experience. Let them know how Jesus touched and healed you.

Have a blessed weekend!

Unfiltered, Unedited 3AM Thoughts About Numbers 18

Who would have thought I would cry heaps when reading Numbers 18:8-20? 😭

Background: We are like priests as written in 1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 5:10.

Knowing this and then reading Numbers 18:8-20, it made me realize that God gives us, His priests, everything that is His — everything that is due Him, He gives it to us. Even Jesus’ holiness and righteousness were given to us at the cross.

In Numbers 8:20, God also said that His priests won’t have any portion or inheritance in the land because He is their portion and inheritance. We, as His priests, couldn’t ask for more because we already have the Source. Even if we lose everything in this world, God is our portion and inheritance forever and that is more than enough. This broken world is not our inheritance anyway, God has so much more in store for us, vividly illustrated in the book of Revelation.

Amazing how each event in the Old Testament is a foreshadow of the New Testament writings – made possible by the Holy Spirit! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

Ok ’nuff said. Thanks for reading my late night thoughts.

The Year of The Lord’s Favor

Lord, thank You for the grace, strength, and mercy You showered upon us last year. We are grateful for the many lessons 2020 has taught us. We dedicate this year to You, God. May You crown this year with Your goodness and may Your paths drip with abundance. May You show us once again Your unfailing love and may 2021 also be a year of the Lord’s favor! Amen. 🙏🏻🌈❤️🙌🏻

Happy New Year everyone! 🥳

Jesus, the Light of the world

Darkness is not a thing — it is a void, a condition — the absence of light. But “there is no darkness so dense, so menacing, or so difficult that it cannot be overcome by light.” Darkness cannot penetrate through light but light shines in the darkness.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John‬ ‭1:1-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My hope and prayer is that you will find Jesus and let Him shine in you and through you. Let’s celebrate and praise God for giving us the light of the world! Merry Christmas! 🙏🏻🌈❤️🙌🏻

God Will Destroy Your Idols

I was not able to write a blog entry last week because it took a while for me to really digest Ezekiel chapter 16. Reading it pierced my heart and the Word cut through my soul. I couldn’t bear the emotions while reading it, it’s just too intense, raw, painful – but this is also the kind of Word that powerfully changes our life and perspective.

Ezekiel chapter 16 talks about the unfaithfulness of Jerusalem against God.

At first, it portrays how God chose Jerusalem, when no one else had any interest in her, and God made a covenant with her. It shows how He adorned her with jewelries and the finest clothes. She, who was once nothing, became like a queen.

““But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘Live!’” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love. So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty. I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

However, Jerusalem gave herself up to other nations, building alliances with them instead of trusting God and being completely dependent on Him. She started building altars and worshiping their idols and she made these nations and their relationship her idols and set them above God in her heart. She did not remember to look back when she was nothing and God gave her everything and made a covenant with her. She prostituted herself to other nations without demanding payment from them and forgot about God.

““But you thought your fame and beauty were your own. So you gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along. Your beauty was theirs for the asking.” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“You took the very jewels and gold and silver ornaments I had given you and made statues of men and worshiped them. This is adultery against me!” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“In all your years of adultery and detestable sin, you have not once remembered the days long ago when you lay naked in a field, kicking about in your own blood.” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“On every street corner you defiled your beauty, offering your body to every passerby in an endless stream of prostitution.” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

““What a sick heart you have, says the Sovereign Lord, to do such things as these, acting like a shameless prostitute.” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Prostitutes charge for their services—but not you! You give gifts to your lovers, bribing them to come and have sex with you.” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This aroused God’s anger and made Him very jealous. Who would have thought that Jerusalem could do this to Him, after all that He has done for her? This is such a huge scandal and brings shame to His Name.

“I will punish you for your murder and adultery. I will cover you with blood in my jealous fury. Then I will give you to these many nations who are your lovers, and they will destroy you. They will knock down your pagan shrines and the altars to your idols. They will strip you and take your beautiful jewels, leaving you stark naked. They will band together in a mob to stone you and cut you up with swords. They will burn your homes and punish you in front of many women. I will stop your prostitution and end your payments to your many lovers.” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:38-41‬ ‭NLT‬‬

At this point, I reflected on my life, how God raised me up until the time that I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. The first time I had a personal encounter with Jesus, I was really on fire. The first love I had for Him was full of passion and joy. He blessed me with a good and stable job, gave me the ability to do what I want and go where I want (I love to travel), and established me in a church community with godly friends and a spiritual family who accepted me.

But then, one of my weaknesses is relationship with men. I put them above God. Soon, these men have become idols in my heart and I started worshiping my relationships. This made me sin even more as I did things that I know He wouldn’t approve. Although I claim that I am a Christian, I deserted God and have prostituted myself to these men without demanding payment. In fact, I had to do things in order to keep the relationship going, which was like paying them instead of the other way around.

How could I do this, even after experiencing God’s love and goodness in my life? There’s really no way to sugar-coat it but I was rebellious and stubborn. I said, “Alright, you can be the Lord over this area of my life, but not on this one. I will obey some of Your commands but not the others.” This was me basically boxing God into what He can and cannot do in my life and only following Him when it suits me.

I got engaged and ALMOST got married but God destroyed my plans. Because sometimes, God destroys our plans if He sees that our plans will destroy us. He said in the last sentence of Ezekiel 16:41, “I will stop your prostitution and end your payments to your many lovers.”

That’s how much He loves us. I realized this months after I had a broken engagement. Why did the Lord allow that to happen to me? It’s because even if I deserted Him and have rebelled against Him, He still cares for me and He loves me dearly. He didn’t want me to have a miserable life, spending it with an unbeliever who doesn’t understand my faith. It’s chaos and will only result to more pain and suffering!

Towards the end of Ezekiel chapter 16, God gave a promise of restoration and forgiveness of sins because of His mercy and faithfulness to His covenant with us.

“Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were young, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:60‬ ‭NLT

This promise is available to anyone who repents and turns away from their old sinful ways and go back to Him.

“And I will reaffirm my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord. You will remember your sins and cover your mouth in silent shame when I forgive you of all that you have done. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”” Ezekiel‬ ‭16:62-63‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This verse reminds me of a sinful woman in Luke chapter 7, who has wet Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, who did not stop kissing His feet and anointed them with ointment. She loved much because she has been forgiven of her many sins.

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”” Luke‬ ‭7:47‬ ‭ESV‬‬

After all that I’ve been through, my experiences only led me to love God even more and to honor Him and to always put Him above everything and everyone else and make Him the Lord of my life – over every area of my life. Because if He is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all.

I hope sharing my experience helped you gain a little bit of insight of how deep the love of God for us is. Head knowledge of the Word is totally different from real-life application. Submitting to God’s lordship over your life can be difficult at times because of the altars you’ve built and the idols you worship in your hearts over the years. God will destroy these altars and idols and will redeem you. It may be painful and you might not understand it right away but it is necessary so that He can get you back and give you eternal life. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Reflect on your life: What are the altars you’ve built and the idols you are worshiping that are currently pulling you away from God? How can you submit to His lordship and surrender these altars and idols at His feet?

Have a blessed weekend!

Benefits of Reading The Bible

Many people ask, why is it important to read the Word of God (Bible)?

Here’s why: God’s Word (the Bible) is the spiritual food that we need to grow spiritually mature in our walk with God. An athlete who is committed to winning is serious about the nutritional value of his food. Likewise, a disciple who is serious about fulfilling God’s plan for his or her life is one who develops the habit of getting into God’s Word.

“But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”” – Matthew‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Here are 5 benefits we receive when we make the Word of God (reading/meditating on it) a regular part of our lives:

1. God’s Word teaches us to be disciples

“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.” – John‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Being a disciple means being a follower. Since we are disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to follow His teachings. How can we know Jesus’ teachings if we don’t read the Bible?

Jesus said, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?”

2. God’s Word teaches us to be obedient

“It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.” – Hebrews‬ ‭11:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Bible gives us a lot of examples of how God’s people have been obedient (or disobedient) to Him. It also shows us the blessings that await those who remain obedient to God and the curses for those who disobey Him.

3. God’s Word teaches us to be successful

“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”- Joshua‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Bible is the ultimate success manual in life – it has existed before many books were written on how to become successful. The Bible teaches us how we should live our lives and run our affairs so we can be successful and prosperous according to God’s standards (not worldly standards). Just read Proverbs for example, it has a lot of wisdom nuggets that we can actually apply in real life in order to be successful by living upright and godly lives.

4. God’s Word teaches us to resist sin

“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” – Psalms‬ ‭119:9-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

When we know God’s Word – His promises, His character, His faithfulness, His grace, His mercy, His love – we can use it to help us overcome the temptations of sin. Many christians have a life verse (memory verse), which they hold onto when going through difficult times.

When temptation and fear try to pull us down, we are able to resist and overcome by God’s Word. It has the power to counter the temptation set before us.

5. God’s Word teaches us to be wise

“You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. By reading His Word, we learn how to look upon Him with fear, awe, and wonder. After all, He is the King of the Universe, Lord of the Heaven’s Armies, the Beginning and the End, of course it would be wise to fear Him.

But once we get to know Him more and understand how deep His love is for us by reading the Word, then we’ll start praising Him and following His teachings, making us wiser and wiser as we grow spiritually mature in our relationship with Him.

💭Now What: Ask yourself, are there areas in your life that you are currently being tempted in? How can you resist this temptation by using the Word of God?

Have a blessed weekend!

Training For Godliness

Many of us who are fond of exercising, joining races or competitions, miss jogging outside, going to the gym, cycling around town, and training with other people. When COVID19 hit us, we learned how to train ourselves physically at home to stay fit and healthy. We trained ourselves with cardio or strength training exercises that can be done at home, or we bought equipments such as treadmills or stationary bicycles. These are all good – as Paul said, physical training is good. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit so we should continue to be good stewards of it.

But in the same verse, Paul said that training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. How many of us have continued to train ourselves spiritually this pandemic season? How many of us have drawn closer to God by reading His Word and by praying to Him daily? How many of us used this opportunity to reach out to more people who needs to be comforted and encouraged because of the suffering brought by COVID19? How many of us did not falter in sharing the Good News and preaching the message of salvation? How did we train ourselves spiritually this season?

I am encouraged to see that a lot of people used this opportunity to feed the hungry, comfort the bereaved, pray for the sick, and share the gospel online. Even though a lot of restrictions were put in place to stop the spread of the virus, it did not stop us from spreading the Good News and showing the love of God to other people by allowing ourselves to be a conduit of His blessings. Many people used this time to have a deeper relationship with God and to grow spiritually mature in their understanding.

Training for godliness is not about being perfect, but striving to be more Christ-like every day. As we get to know more about God and His character and submit ourselves and obey Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the more we’ll become aware of our sins and the things we should remove from our lives so that we can be sanctified, from glory to glory. Then, the fruit of the Holy Spirit will manifest in our lives:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My hope and prayer is that, just as we continue to train physically to stay fit, we would also continue to train spiritually to grow in our walk with God – every day, regardless if there’s a pandemic or none, whatever season we may be in. For the benefits will surely be greater as we look towards eternity with God, when we pass on and leave our physical bodies behind.

Have a blessed weekend!