Is This The Start of The End Times?

A lot of people today are asking this question: Is this the start of the End Times? And to be fair, they have valid reasons for asking this question. There were bushfires, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, pestilence, plagues, famine, and more recently, a global pandemic (COVID-19), which now brings anxiety, fear, unemployment, socio-political unrest, economic breakdown, fatalities, and so much more.

Because of this, many individuals are taking advantage of the situation and prophesying when exactly the world will end or when the second coming of Christ will happen, also known as, the Judgment Day.

But please be reminded that even Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 that no one knows but God the Father alone:

“”But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” – Matthew‬ ‭24:36‬ ‭ESV‬‬

He goes on and says in verse 42:

“Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” – Matthew‬ ‭24:42‬ ESV

The same was also cited in Mark 13:32-33:

“”But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.” – Mark‬ ‭13:32-33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There will be tribulations but as it is written in the Bible, it is only the beginning of the birth pains. The Son of Man is coming at an hour we do not expect. Jesus warned us of false prophets and false prophecies concerning the End Times, leading people astray and losing focus of the truth and what’s important:

“And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” – Matthew‬ ‭24:4-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The same warning was mentioned in Mark:

“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.” – Mark‬ ‭13:21-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

So, instead of trying to decipher when the End Times will come, we have to focus on spreading the gospel and sharing the Good News. This is very important because Jesus said that when the Good News has been proclaimed throughout the world, THEN the end will come.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew‬ ‭24:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There are still a lot of unreached people groups that have not heard the gospel yet. We must go, support, or pray for more cross-cultural missionaries to reach these people groups so we can fulfill the Great Commission that Jesus has sent us to do. Watch this video for more information about unreached people groups:

Every Nation President, Steve Murrell, also covered this End Times Hysteria topic and would be worth watching.

Remember, be alert and be on your guard, so you are not led astray by false prophets and false prophecies! Jesus already warned us about this and said that no one knows when His second coming will be but our Father in Heaven only. Don’t waste time deciphering when this would happen. Instead, we have to focus on preaching the gospel; we have to reach out and engage more people. If you can’t go to another country for missions, it’s okay. You can still support them either through giving or by praying for them. Click ‘Every Nation’ in the menu bar and you’ll be taken to the Every Nation site where an option to ‘Give’ in the menu bar is available.

You can also share the Good News in your own little way. Start with your circle of influence, your family, friends, people in your local community. Or you can use your God-given talents to connect to people and plant the seed of the Word of God in their hearts, i.e. music, blogging, etc. Honestly, there are a lot of ways to do it nowadays. The question is, are you willing?

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

A Daughter’s Eulogy For Her Father

He was once a perfect father and I, once, tried to be a perfect daughter.

In grade school, he supported me when I got into speech and drama, ballet and gymnastics, and even music, when I learned to play the flute. He was there in every play, presentation, and recital. These activities led me to become part of a cultural exchange program of our school and sent me to Japan to stay there for a while (I was nine years old). It opened my eyes to a new place, new culture, new cuisine, and new language. Since then, I dreamt of travelling the world.

He supported me when I got into writing for the school newspaper. I would compete in district up to regional level for feature writing during my grade school years. Through high school up until college, he would always keep a copy of our school newspaper and highlighted my name in the articles I wrote. It grew into an insatiable passion. Since then, I never stopped writing.

He supported me when I learned how to swim and joined the swimming club in high school (an elective subject or what we call Enrichment Class). He would always pick me up after practice and bring me to KFC as I always asked for chicken (guess I needed to have my proteins LOL). I competed during intramurals and won a medal. That’s when my love for water sports and activities started.

He was very present during my formative years. Supporting me in doing things I would eventually love and be passionate about. I can say I had a happy childhood and I was called daddy’s little girl.

But then, as I grew up, I started to learn things that he did that disappointed me. I realized, he was not so perfect after all. So, I started to do things that would disappoint him, too. And all of a sudden, he was no longer a perfect father, nor was I a perfect daughter. We were never the same to each other again after that.

But when I stumbled and ran into some problems (oh life!), he was always the first one to forgive, to help, and to accept me. If my mother taught me about strength, courage, grit, resilience and persistence, my father taught me about patience, forgiveness, generosity, charity, and unconditional love and support.

Though our relationship was complicated, I wouldn’t be me if it wasn’t for him. All those years when he was there for me resulted to something. I can’t say something great, but it definitely is something.

To date, I have travelled to many local places in my country and in over 10 other countries. I have a published blog with over 64k readership across 114 countries with a facebook page attached to it that has over 4k followers. I do island hopping, snorkeling, free diving, surfing and I am a licensed open water scuba diver. All of this happened because he was there to support me before, cheering me on, as my biggest fan.

But I guess the most vivid memory I have of him was when I was a little child. He used to read me bible comic books at night until I fall asleep. He did this until I can read on my own and started reading the bible. If asked what is the greatest thing he passed onto me, I think it is the love for the Word of God. He planted the seed when I was still a child. I never knew how important it was until I became a christian. Teaching the Word of God is the greatest gift a parent could give to their children because not only does it give them faith and hope during difficult times, but it actually leads them to salvation.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t exactly become christian right after reading the Bible. During my rebel years, I actually became an atheist, then an agnostic, before I found my way back and had an encounter with God. What I’m saying is, once the seed is planted, and with the right conditions, like a mustard seed, it grows up and will eventually bear fruit.

My father passed on Tuesday morning, 28th of July 2020 at 4:05am. He was not a perfect father and I am definitely not a perfect daughter. There were a lot of unspoken words between us through the years, given our complicated relationship. But one thing I admire about him is that he can always see the perfection through the imperfections of people around him and become a channel of light and hope for them. He was a blessing to a lot of people that he helped. Even when he had so little, he still gave so much of what he had to others. It was never about being perfect, but being present with the people you care about when they need you the most.

If there’s anything I would like to say to him right now, I’d say, “Dad, I’m proud of the good things you’ve done in your life. And for everything that you gave and invested in me, I hope that I make you proud, too. May you rest in peace in the loving arms of our Lord. In Him, there are no more sickness, no more pain, no more tears, no more death. Just pure love and joy. I will never forget the most important thing you’ve taught me. Make time for those you love and plant the seed of the gospel into their hearts. So that one way or another, they will find their way back and walk on the righteous path that the Lord has set before them. We love you. See you on the other side!”

What Spirit Did God Give You?

During times of crisis, whether it was caused by global pandemic, economic recession, socio-political unrest, warfare, many people succumb to fear that paralyzes their ability to enjoy the freedom that God gave us.

Fear is one of the most powerful tool that the enemy uses against us, to bring us turmoil, anxiety, depression, doubt, and hopelessness.

But God said that He did not give us the spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE, and SOUND MIND! This spirit that God gave us can be used to combat the lies that are being planted in our hearts by the spirit of fear. The spirit that God gave us has the POWER to defeat the enemy.

The Bible is very clear about this:

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

So, let us not succumb to fear, for we know that the spirit that God gave us is more powerful than anything and everything in this world.

You have the POWER to:

  • Rebuke the lies of the enemy that puts fear in your heart
  • Declare healing and protection over yourself and your family
  • Call upon the Lord of Hosts and the Heaven’s Armies to shield you from any harm and disease that surrounds you
  • Spread LOVE through your service and generosity to other people in need in times like this
  • Have self-control, self-discipline, and peace regardless if everything around you seems to be nothing but chaos

God gave you this spirit, so that you can live life to the full and not be paralyzed by fear.

Jesus said:

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

So, take heart! Use the spirit that God gave you! Defeat the enemy by using the mighty name of Jesus! Remember, He has overcome the world!

Have a great weekend. God bless!

Does God Hear My Prayers?

Many people ask if God can hear their prayers. I ask this question myself many times, too. Sometimes, it may seem like God “chooses” to be silent when we cry out for help. Sometimes, it feels like there’s no use in praying if God already pre-destined what is going to happen in our lives. Does God really hear our prayers and does He answer all of them?

Let’s take a look at the book of Job. We know that Job “tried” to live a righteous life but everything was taken away from him, one tragedy after another. He lost his family, his business, his friends, and was inflicted with sickness. Some of his friends tried to reason out with him, accusing him of committing sins that’s why he was being punished, but he defended his innocence. Yet, he still questions God why these terrible things happened to him. He believed that God has wrongly judged him and punished him for sins he did not commit. Is God someone who is just? Because in Job’s eyes, he has done nothing wrong.

However, before these tragedies struck Job’s life, we read in the first chapter of the book that the “Accuser” wanted to prove to God that Job only lives righteously and praises God because he had an easy life. The Accuser said that if God takes away everything Job has, he will surely turn away from doing good and curse God. This is a test of faith.

As we read on the next chapters, we see how Job’s life turned upside down and how his friends have accused him of sinning in a dialogue. Does this sound familiar to you? Something bad happens in your life and you pray to God but it seems like He is not listening and you think some of your friends are secretly laughing at you and think you got what you deserve? Then, you start questioning if God hears your prayers and why is He not doing anything.

Towards the end of the dialogue between Job and his friends, Elihu decided to speak up and defended God. In his words:

“Do you think it is right for you to claim, ‘I am righteous before God’? For you also ask, ‘What’s in it for me? What’s the use of living a righteous life?’” Job 35:2-3

He goes on and says:

“If you sin, how does that affect God? Even if you sin again and again, what effect will it have on him? If you are good, is this some great gift to him? What could you possibly give him? No, your sins affect only people like yourself, and your good deeds also affect only humans.” Job‬ ‭35:6-8‬ ‭

Elihu makes his case:

“If they are bound in chains and caught up in a web of trouble, he shows them the reason. He shows them their sins of pride. He gets their attention and commands that they turn from evil.” Job‬ ‭36:8-10‬ ‭

“But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention through adversity.” Job‬ ‭36:15‬

Elihu then explained that God, in His wisdom, rules, and is sovereign, over all of His creation. We cannot fully comprehend how everything in the universe falls into place to make life possible, more so, the reasons why something happens in our lives. Everything happens for a reason: a small act create ripples and we don’t know when it started and how it would affect us or the people around us in the future. Only God knows, but Elihu pointed out that sometimes, God uses adversity to get people’s attention and rescues them from suffering so that they may believe and praise God, the Almighty.

Some of you may think, “isn’t that kind of power-tripping?” No, it is to make us realize that God is sovereign and to encourage us to put our faith in Him. The whole point of the story of Job is to address one sin that most of us don’t realize we are committing: PRIDE.

Sometimes, we think:

  • I am a good person, why do I deserve to suffer?
  • Why is God punishing me when all I’ve done is to follow Him? This is unfair!
  • There is no God. If there is one, He is not fair because if He is, then why is there a lot of suffering in this world?

I will not even try to answer these questions, but notice how it puts us in a position where we think we can do better than God. When we pray and come before Him, are we in the position of humility or pride?

The Lord spoke to Job and asked him if he was better than God. Job responded:

“I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” Job‬ ‭42:6‬

After this, we see in the story that God blesses Job twice as much as what he had before and that he lived a long, full life.

The next time we pray and think God is silent, think about what God said to Job and how Job replied to God – in humility and repentance.

There is a reason for everything and although we cannot fully comprehend the why’s, we need to trust that the Lord is sovereign. It could be a test of faith that will lead to a powerful testimony or it could be a way for us to seek Him continually. Whatever the reason is, we can trust that everything happens for the good of those who love Him.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans‬ ‭8:28‬‬‬

Have a blessed weekend! 😊❤️🙏🏻

Mental Health and God’s Amazing Grace

Our church holds bi-annual prayer and fasting – one at the start of the year (1st week of January) and one by mid-year (1st week of July). During this time, we collectively commit to praying for our church, our nation, our leaders (government and church), our mission (honor God and make disciples), our spiritual growth, and our present situation, i.e. pandemic, recession, etc. We also take this time as a congregation to pray for one another, declaring our faith goals, and submitting our requests to God.

During this year’s mid-year prayer and fasting, this passage of Scripture (Psalms 118:5) made me realize that God is able to save us from depression and anxiety, even before mental health awareness became a “trending topic.”

Although there is no specific author noted in this psalm, many Bible scholars believe that this was written by David due to various reasons such as similarities to his other psalms, mention of the word enemies, etc.

Suppose it is David, it would make sense that he may once have been distressed – he was being hunted by Saul, he probably got Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from always running away to avoid getting killed or fighting wars, and he probably got depressed when he lost his child or when his son betrayed him or when his son was killed in combat, and even his conscience was eating him up from the inside when God, through a prophet, convicted him of adultery and murder. This is A LOT to take in and I think we could all agree that if it happened to us, it can really affect our mental health.

So, as you can see, mental health is not “new” to God. There are hundreds of verses referring to God’s people, even prophets, going through mental distress and seeking refuge in God, asking for help in their prayers, crying out to God about how they feel.

But the good news is this: God can hear us and can set us free. Yes, it may take time. Yes, it might not be easy. Yes, it could even mean that we might have to get help in the form of therapy or medication. But God will answer and He who promised is faithful yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

This topic is very close to my heart. After going through a rough year in 2019, I have been diagnosed with high-functioning depression and PTSD. With regular therapy sessions and medication, I am getting better. But I think, more than the therapy and medication, my faith has kept me together and I know God will continue to strengthen me, physically, mentally, and emotionally – for by His amazing grace, we are saved and called to participate in the Great Commission, no matter what our circumstances are and where we are in our walk with Him. He is our Purpose and by focusing our eyes on Jesus, by laying down our burdens on His feet, He will carry us through. For His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Praise Him for making us worthy to be called a child of God, through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

In Him, we can hold fast to this truth – whenever we are in distress, we can call upon Him and He will answer. He will set us free and the peace that transcends all understanding will be with us, for this is what He said:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27 ESV)

God bless us all!

Tuning Out The World To Be In-Tune With God

Every day, we hear a lot of noise in the world, some good, some bad – but if we’re going to be honest, I know most of what we hear now is bad noise: very discouraging, enraging, and depressing. This year started out with bushfires in Australia, wildfires in America, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in Asia, pestilence in Africa, and now the world is dealing with a deadly pandemic alongside protests and socio-economic instability.

There’s a lot of this bad noise that many people have become anxious and depressed. Even some people who once had faith in God have become hopeless. It’s all over the news and this is what we all hear in our television, radio, and the internet. Now more than ever, it’s easier to get lost in the noise and forget the faithfulness of God.

But we can always go back to the Word and learn from history. It is not the first time that believers have suffered from this noise. In fact, we can see in the bible that it’s been happening since the beginning of time. There were wars, famine, pestilence, slavery, even death. What sets the prophets, apostles, and the faithful saints apart is this: they know how to tune out the world to be in-tune with God.

Let’s look at Peter’s example in Acts 9:36-42:

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”

39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

In this passage of scripture, we can see that Peter had to send all the people out of the room before he prayed. Why? Because these people were crying and they already lost hope. If we are going to pray for something, even a miracle, we cannot have any doubt in our hearts. We have to be in faith that God will hear us. We cannot surround ourselves with noise that could plant a seed of doubt that could sneakily discourage us even before we ask God what we’re going to pray for. We have to block the noise, tune out the world, to be in-tune with God.

We see that after Peter was left alone with Tabitha, he prayed to God. He was able to pray in faith without the crying and wailing noise in the background. And after that, he believed that God heard his prayer and asked Tabitha to get up. She woke up and stood up. Then, Peter presented her to the people and many believed in the Lord.

See how it works? Tuning out the noise of the world, praying to God in faith, and believing Him over the noise that surrounds us can bring about an answered prayer, a miracle, and can even lead people to believe Him!

How about you? How do you tune out the world to be in-tune with God? Share your story by leaving comments below. I would love to hear it!

God bless us all.

How Should We Respond to The Current Corona Virus COVID-19 Pandemic?

It’s all in the news and some countries have announced lock down and community quarantine. Classes have been cancelled, businesses have temporarily closed, and some companies already allowed their employees to work from home. All preventive measures, including social distancing, are taken to contain and delay the spread of the virus. It is spreading fast and along with it, spreads fear and anxiety to both believers and non-believers.

I want to take this opportunity to invite everyone to reflect on how we should respond during this time of uncertainty. Should we succumb to fear and panic buying, hoarding essential goods and depriving those that can only buy one day at a time because they get paid daily? Should we succumb to fear and discriminating others based on their nationality and health condition? Should we succumb to fear and constantly worrying that we and our loved ones might get infected at any time?

Or do you think it’s better to use this time to encourage everyone to hold fast to the promise of God? For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). Let us replace fear and anxiety with songs of praise for He is our refuge, our strength, and our safety in times of distress.

I want to remind everyone that this too shall pass. The church community had suffered even more severe challenges and persecution before, yet we are still here, we survived. We have a merciful and powerful God. He will deliver us from perils and redeem us from our sins. Indeed, we are called by His grace and the righteous shall live by faith.

I now declare and claim God’s promise to comfort everyone affected by this current corona virus COVID-19 pandemic:

Let me submit an alternative response to everything that’s happening around the globe. How about we spread the love of God to His people? How about we spread hope and peace and become the salt and light of the world? How about we pray for wisdom and strength to be given to those in authority and working in public and private health sectors? How about we spread the gospel?

How about we spread the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ?

I pray for everyone’s health and safety. Most of all, may God give you peace that transcends all understanding. All glory to God in the Highest!

Peace Be With You

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Have you ever felt like you failed God because you couldn’t measure up to His righteousness and holiness? Have you ever felt like you’ve been swallowed up by this enormous guilt? And you think you cannot come back to Him anymore?

Remember, even Jesus knew that His disciples will abandon Him, betray Him. What’s amazing though is that He let His disciples know that He already knows this will happen. But still, He loves them and died for them so that in Him, they can have peace; so that in Him, we could face life’s trials and have the wisdom and strength to choose not to believe the lies of the enemy. How great is our God!

How’s your relationship with God today?

pulse-check

How’s your relationship with God today? Is it dull or intimate? Do you still remember your honeymoon stage when you first encountered His love? Do you still feel the same way now? Do you still feel the strong urge to fulfill your mission and to realize your godly vision now or is it long gone?

A lot of Christians go through this stage when they feel bored because there’s not much action (this is not true though as a lot of miracles happen everyday, we just overlook it or take it for granted sometimes). Although it’s normal, it doesn’t mean that we should not address it. Love is not just about feelings. It’s a commitment.It means to stay in the relationship through the ordinary and extraordinary, through the routine and the unusual, through the highs and lows, through the similarities and differences. It’s a piece of work but we need to trust our Potter to turn us from a simple pile of clay to a glorious work of art.

Most of the time, when our relationship gets boring or if we feel like His path is not where we want to go, we tend to run away from God. We don’t want to do what he asks us to do. We try to tune His volume down in our lives so we can live how we please. If we continue to do this, things might get dangerous. Consider the story of Jonah and how God pursued Him: Letting Go: Running Away From God.

So, what should we do if we feel like the fire inside us is burning out?

Pray Unceasingly. No matter how boring our prayer might sound like to ourselves, remember that our God is a very personal God and He is mindful of us. Communication is vital in any form of relationship and prayer is our main communication tool with God.

Keep Reading. Not everyone hears God audibly speak to us. Reading his Word would allow us to get advice and teachings from God himself without waiting to hear a thunderous voice from heaven. The Bible is our ultimate instruction and guide book that He left for us. Everything we need to know is already in here.

Stay Connected. Attend the church service, listen to podcasts, and catch up with your life group from church. Hearing God’s Words through godly people is a way for us to reconnect to God and vice versa. Remember, if you take a coal away from the rest of the burning coals, it will become cold. But if you put it back with the rest, it will burn again.

God never fails to provide and take care of us. He has given us a mission to fulfill in various areas of our lives. That should be enough to keep us from getting bored. Sometimes, the problem is that we don’t like the mission itself, thus, we ignore it and pretend nothing is happening in our lives which leads us to getting bored. It’s never gonna work this way. God gives us the opportunity to live a full and meaningful life but remember, it takes two to tango!