Joy In Evangelism

I grew up in a Christian family. My mom and my dad would buy two Bibles, one for me and one for my sister so that we have something to use for our Sunday schools. My sister and I would end up with no Bible after a few months because my mom and my dad would give our Bibles to people that they have invited to church. I also remembered our summer school holidays, my mom and dad would ask us to answer some Christian booklets so that we could get free Bibles and give it to people who will surrender their lives to Jesus during one of the street evangelism in our area. As I grew up, the mission to share the gospel was instilled in my mind. I was always part of the “back office” of the mission up until last year. I thank my parents for teaching us to be generous in this ministry and for encouraging us to obey the Great Commission at our best effort.

But this year, I asked God that I wanted to be part of the “front office” of going into the mission field. I started praying in February and I praised God that He sent me twice already to two short-term mission trip. As I study the book of Acts and how God used the apostles, I am being encouraged all the more to be in the mission. Despite that I am an introvert by nature and most of the time, it is difficult for me to initiate conversation, but God’s love for me is overflowing that I couldn’t but help to desire to go for street evangelism. No, I am not always brave – days before the street evangelism, most of the time, I get nervous. During my last mission trip last Saturday, a few hours while waiting for my flight to that city, I got so nervous that I had to walk and keep praying to God to empower me. Truly, when we asked the Holy Spirit to empower us, He will not fail us especially if we are doing the work of God.

The crowds were eager to receive[a] Philip’s message and were persuaded by the many miracles and wonders he performed. Many demon-possessed people were set free and delivered as evil spirits came out of them with loud screams and shrieks, and many who were lame and paralyzed were also healed.[b] This resulted in an uncontainable joy filling the city! Acts 8:6-8 (TPT)

Acts 8:8, is my “mission vision” – for me to share the gospel and make disciples so that the city (my harvest field) will encounter the joy of our Lord. So I keep trusting that the God who started this mission work in me, will carry it to completion until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Weekend Worship: Do It Again – Elevation Worship

I am not a Super Christian – there are circumstances that my faith also falter and I was eaten up by worries of life.

There are instances that keep stacking up and that instead of my faith keeps getting hyped, my anxious mind gets in the way. But when I start singing to our God, God keeps on reminding me on one of verse that I kept holding on whenever I felt that the struggle was real.

I was once young, but now I’m old.
    Not once have I found a lover of God forsaken by him,
    nor have any of their children gone hungry. – Psalm 37:25 (TPT)

This verse was one of my life verses that I have been holding on since I am on my teen years. Up until now, God has been keeping His promise that no righteous man will be forsaken and will beg for bread. At this time, when I am about to lose a job that I have been in for the last nine years, God has reminded me that I was never in need. He always provide me a good and a better job. If He is able to do it last time, He will be able to do it again. Sometimes, some good things must come to an end, so that better things can come and stay.

PS: I will be having my second interview on Tuesday, and I am claiming that this new job is the one that I have been waiting for over a year now. Truly His goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life as long as I make my God my refuge and my stronghold.

Taking Refuge in His Words

Have you ever been at the receiving end of encouragement; when people tell you to take refuge in Him? But when you are all alone, you didn’t even know how to do it?

When I was a child, I usually hear and sing along to the song while at the church:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of Most High; shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

And I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I will trust.

I know the words and the melody, but at that time, it was only a stock knowledge. I don’t even know how to make God my refuge. Until my grandfather was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1996. I have been praying to God and that is the time I have started to apply in my life to dwell in God’s words and promises. At that time, I didn’t know yet, that being in God’s word, meditating it, praying the psalms to God, is actually an act of taking refuge in Him.

As different circumstances come into my life, from one season to another, I have been learning to trust and abide in His words. Proverbs 30:5 says: ”Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him”.

In the scriptures, God has been emphasizing that His words are trustworthy. He said that He is not a man that He should lie (Number 23:19). Even if the grass withers and the flowers fade, the Word of God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). And what can be more assuring than this:

Thus says the Lord: “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

In Psalm 19, David listed down some of the benefits when we abide in God’s Word:

  • God’s word revives our souls (v7)
  • It makes the wise simple (v7)
  • Gives joy to our hearts (v8)
  • Gives light to our eyes (v8)
  • God’s words warn us from sins and dangers (v11)
  • Following God’s word will give us a guarantee that we will succeed

We can take refuge in God’s word because God’s word is perfect in every way (Psalm 19:7). Each of His commandment is right (Psalm 19:9), and nothing He says ever needs to be changed (Psalm 19:9). Because of all these reasons, we can be assured that God will be there for us as our refuge and shield, covering us with His mighty wings despite the storms we are in right now.

Note: This is a continuation of my reflections and God’s impression on my word for the week Refuge.

Word of the Week: Refuge

Yesterday, it was my first time to actually pray and minister to someone I don’t know. Our pastor asked the congregation if there is anyone who was currently in a challenging or faithless situation. While they were standing, the pastor called out to those who are sitting near them to pray and minister unto them.

I was serving as an usher and the lady sitting near me stood up but her life groupmates went over her and prayed for her. But my relief was only short-lived; one of my life groupmates who was also serving as an usher called me because the man sitting near her stood up in faith to be prayed for but none has approached him yet. So I came over and started to ask him what is his specific prayer. He told me that he is losing his faith but the message of our pastor has struck the core of his heart. And I prayed for him, giving him words of encouragement from the book of Psalms. As I was concluding in my prayer, I said that God is the anchor of our hope; He is our refuge and we will not be shaken.

This week, I would like to share my thoughts and reflections of God being our refuge.

In Psalm 91, what a profound assurance that if we dwell in the secret place of most High, we are hidden in His strength. We can trust and be confident that when we make Him our stronghold, He will be our protector – He will be our shield and He would send angels to be with us wherever we go.

14 For here is what the Lord has spoken to me:
    “Because you have delighted in me as my great lover,
    I will greatly protect you.
    I will set you in a high place, safe and secure before my face.
15 I will answer your cry for help every time you pray,
    and you will find and feel my presence
    even in your time of pressure and trouble.
    I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast.
16 You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you.
    For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!” – Psalm 91:14-16

Because we have made Him as our refuge, the one that we immediately call when we feel that we are in danger or because we have been triumphant, He will greatly protect us and make us safe and secure. He will answer us every time we pray and we will feel His presence. He will be our Hero.

Surely Goodness!

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I would like to share one of my all-time favorite verses about God’s goodness as I conclude this week meditating on my word for the week – Good.

This verse is a conclusion to one of the ”most recognized chapter”, not just on the book of Psalms but in the entirety of the Bible – Psalm 23. Whenever I meditate on this word, I always get reminded His goodness in my life – passing grades in one dreadful subject in college, gave me a new job right after I resigned without a backup plan, miracles over my family.

I like how the The Passion Translation Bible transcribe Psalm 23.

“The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough.”

‭‭David acknowledged that the Lord is his best friend and his Shepherd. In the succeeding verse, still in TPT version, David remembered how the Good Shepherd offers him rest in his luxurious love.

In a world of haste and technology, I often ended up tired and weary. Or at times, I have been talking a lot to people at work but I get lonely at night when it is time to retire. There are times that all I could do was cry – but every time I felt empty, and when I start running to Him, He always fills my cup with His love and I always get a good rest afterward.

Our Good Shepherd always guides us so that we could have rest for our exhausted heart, downcasted souls, and anxious minds. And at times when we perceived that we are walking towards suffering or darkness, He strengthens our heart and giving us His comfort that He will not leave us nor forsake us.

The comfort of Your Love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for You are near. Psalm 23:4

Just as Jesus declares in John 10:11, He is our good Shepherd; the one that will lay down His life for sheep. If He can put aside His deity and give up His life for me, what else I could ask for that He could not give? For indeed, in His death, I have the affirmation that His goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life – this may pertain to the wholesomeness of the temporal things that we need while we are here; but the greatest assurance that I have is that one day, because of what the Good Shepherd has done, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever where His goodness and mercy does not end.

    So why would I fear the future?
    For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.
    Then afterward, when my life is through,
    I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you! – Psalm 23:6

No Good Thing Is Withheld

As I continue to meditate on the goodness of our Lord for this week (blog posts theme for the week is the word Good), I wanted to share my reflections on Psalms 84.

Last Friday, my flight to Manila was cancelled due to a runway excursion. I am on leave from Friday until today. I told God that I am not ready to do nothing for five days. I was mentally prepared to be tired, as I was supposed to embark on three flights last weekend in less than 24 hours. But due to an accident in Manila Airport, all my flights for Friday and Saturday was cancelled.

I was telling God, I am not mentally prepared to do nothing. When I am not doing anything, I am always in solitude and likes to reflect on things. But yesterday, I felt that there are certain circumstances that the devil was using in order for me to doubt that God’s answer to my prayers. One part of my brain is telling me that God is an all-powerful God and He is good all the time; then one part of my brain is trying to tell go and check your phone for updates. One moment, I am telling my brain, God’s timing is perfect; He is neither early nor too late. I was anxious yesterday, that I feel lonely and needed to talk to someone.

Similarly, the author of Psalms 84 wanted to escape the anxious and bustling city and meet God in His holy temple; I am anxious to escape my complicated-wired brain and be at ease with the presence of my God. I have been repeating the verse from Psalms 73:25 – “Whom I have in heaven but You?”. I wanted to run so badly to God because half of my brain wanted an assurance, and half of my brain keeps reminding me He is God; He knows what He is doing.

While pondering, the Lord has brought peace to my fidgety heart and distressed mind. I may not be in a physical temple yesterday, but I rejoiced that our body became the temple of the Living God. I can have my encounters with Him at times when my thoughts are dampening my faith and spirit. I can be assured that being with God, I will feel better. If my flesh and my heart will fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26).

Suddenly, God reminded me of His goodness on that specific prayer item. He reminded me that He didn’t withhold any good things from me. Yes, my faith at times falter, but the Holy Spirit, my counsellor, keep reminding me that He always works on our behalf. We are His delight, therefore, all good and perfect gifts are from Him. He didn’t say that we will not experience waiting, but we will go from strength to strength during the season of anticipation.

This I say to the Lord, He is my sun and my shield. As surely as the sun rises from the east and sets from the western horizon, I can be assured that there are no good things that will be withheld as long as we obey and desire to always walk with Him. Thank You Lord, for indeed You are good.

Weekend Worship: God, You’re So Good (Passion)

Yesterday, I posted a blog about my meditation on the word “Good”. Last week, during our service, one of the worship leaders said that if you never experienced goodness, then you don’t know God.

God is so good and He keeps inviting us to come and taste His goodness. Truth be told, I also have my own prayers that I have been lifting up to God; some as old as last year, two years, three years and some as new as yesterday. I am not a Super Christian, I feel anxious too about when God will answer my prayers. I am just like anyone else who is always on the wait.  But in my waiting time, God always reminds me that He is faithful and that He is good. God is good and this is one of the attributes that we can’t take away from Him.  His goodness extends even to the death of His only begotten Son on the cross. Therefore, I can fix my eyes to Jesus as God’s reflection of His great love for us and the assurance that His goodness will always be there for me and in His perfect time, the Lord will answer all my prayers.

As you play and meditate on this song, I pray that you encounter God’s goodness and amazing love in the waiting season of your life.