One Word For The Year

Every year, people do some sort of goal setting or New Year’s resolutions. It’s been a while since I stopped working on New Year’s resolutions – I think the last time I did it was when I had to write a composition writing on my last year in Senior High School. I still do some goal setting and guess what, at most times, I fail most of my goals set up for the year.

The only thing that didn’t fail me is God and my one word for the year kept me in check on the reality that I could never do it without God. Some people do the “one word for the year” to describe how they wanted to focus on their goals and what they expect the universe to teach them through their word for the year.

If you google “one word for the year”, the sites would give you a walkthrough on how to pick your “one word for the year”. However, for my case, I have a different approach in my “one word for the year”.

A week leading towards the New Year’s Eve and even after the weeks after the 1st of January, I always seek God what would be my scripture for the year. So here’s my step by step approach in case you wanted to pick your “one word for the year” if you haven’t had one yet.

Pray – seeking God in prayer on what will be my scripture for the year is my first step. Things I ask the Lord is what will be my scripture for the year to declare a blessing in my life, to overcome trials and to be able to stand firmly for my faith.

Next is singing about God’s goodness in my life. I find that engaging myself to praise and worship helps me to focus on what God will tell me through the scriptures.

Then, meditate on His words – seek Him in the scriptures. No, I don’t flip open my Bible when I asked God for my “word for the year”. I will tell God that Lord, I will seek you in the current book of the Bible I am reading. For 2018, I specifically told God that I will seek His word for me through the letters of Paul in Philippians, Ephesians, Thessalonians, and Colossians – until God spoke to me in Colossians 2:10.

Repeat until God speak to you through that scripture and one word. 🙂

How many days did I seek God? Some years, it took me weeks to get my “one word for the year”. Some years, took me only days. It depends on God’s speaking to me. I am sharing below what are my scriptures for the year since 2014 and it’s corresponding “word for the year”.

2014 – “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/isa.41.10.esv

2015 – And you shall be a blessing [a source of great good to others]
‭‭GENESIS‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭AMP‬‬
https://www.bible.com/1588/gen.12.2.amp

2016 – ”For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].”
‭‭JOHN‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭AMP‬‬
https://www.bible.com/1588/jhn.1.16.amp

2017 – “For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ they are [all answered] “Yes.” So through Him we say our “Amen” to the glory of God.”
‭‭2 CORINTHIANS‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭AMP‬‬
https://www.bible.com/1588/2co.1.20.amp

2018 – ”When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭MSG‬‬
https://www.bible.com/97/col.2.8-10.msg

2019 – “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭90:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/59/psa.90.17.esv

I pray and hope this post helped you find your scripture and one word for the year this 2019.

In His Presence

inhispresence

I had an opportunity last Sunday to share some insights of God’s manifest presence at one church in Cavite, Philippines. The lessons and insights were based on my encounter with the Lord in July 2018 and Exodus 33.

Knowing that God is always present and experiencing God’s presence is not the same thing. Manifest presence of God is a tangible, clear or obvious experience of God in a person’s mind or eye.

1. We should crave God’s presence in our lives. Moses craved for God’s presence in his life.

Exodus 3 – Moses had an encounter and experience God himself in the form of a burning bush. Then in Exodus 13 – When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, God’s manifested His presence as a pillar of cloud by day to guide them and as a pillar of fire to give them light so that they could travel day and night. In verse 22 it says, neither the pillar of cloud by day or pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
Exodus 33 happened after the Israelite asked Aaron to make them a golden calf while Moses was at the mountain of the Lord. Because of Israelite’s sin, God told them that He will send his angel to go with them.

Our sin causes us not to experience the manifest presence of God. Sin causes us not to hear from God. God is a Holy God. But Moses is audacious enough to say to the Lord that if God will not personally go with them, it is better for them not to leave the place.
Then again, still in Exodus 33:18 – Moses asked for God’s glory. Moses kept on craving for God’s presence and glory in his life.

We should be like Moses – crave for God’s manifest presence in our lives and surely, in God’s own bidding and perfect time, He will surely, surely give that desire of your heart.

2. Manifest presence of God causes us to repent from our sins. God’s manifest presence causes us to see who truly God is. When the Israelites learned that the Lord will not go with them, in verse 4, the Israelites mourned and stopped wearing adornment and fine clothes.

But do you know what amazes me with the manifest presence of the Lord? The manifest presence of the Lord purifies us. In Isaiah 6:6-7, Isaiah experienced the Lord’s purifying presence when one the seraphim put coal on Isaiah’s mouth and declared that his sin was completely atoned and forgiven. Manifest presence of God causes us to repent from our sins. God’s manifest presence causes us to see who truly God is and God’s manifest presence purifies us.

3. Manifest presence of God causes us to worship God. Moses has this heart of worship. Moses craved for the Lord’s presence in everything he does. It was a practice for him to always go into the Tent of Meeting.

Moses has the habit of meeting God. In verse 8-10 of Chapter 33, when the people saw the pillar of cloud which is the manifest presence of the Lord, they stand and bow down in front of their own tents. Experiencing God’s presence causes us to see who God is and because of that glory of His manifest presence, nothing and no one will be able to stop us from worshipping God.

Manifest presence of God causes us to truly worship Him for who He really is.

4. Goodness, mercy and compassion are evidence of the Lord’s manifest presence. Verse 18 – Moses again asked for the glorious presence of the Lord. Moses kept asking God for the affirmation that indeed His presence will go before him and the people of Israel. He wants more and more and more of God’s presence. In our lives, let us desire to be like Moses, to be bold enough to ask God, I want more of your presence. I want more of your favour. And surely, God will not disappoint us. He didn’t disappoint Moses before and God does not change. The more we ask for His presence, the more He will give. And where God’s presence is, there is a fullness of joy.

When Jesus came as Incarnate God (God’s manifest presence), wherever He is, there is healing, there is mercy and forgiveness, there is compassion.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.                 2 Cor 3:17 (NIV)

The manifest presence of the Lord frees us from the things that we can’t control, the situations we can’t change, to the addictions we can’t turn back. The manifest presence of the Lord allows us to see that God is good; He is faithful and He is our loving God.

Focus

Last week, while washing the dishes, God spoke to me to change my focus. I was like ”God did you really spoke to me?”. So when I went back to my room, I seek God again and He said again ”Change your focus. Focus on Jesus’ love”.

I know that God spoke to me but sometimes, we asked for more confirmation. And God was good! He confirmed His words for me through the sermon of our church pastor. In the sermon, I got a confirmation to focus on Jesus – on His persona, His integrity and character. I have to stop magnifying and overthink of the things I couldn’t control or on the what-ifs.

To focus on Jesus means to fix our thoughts to Jesus (Hebrews 3:1) whom we acknowledge and embrace as our High Priest.

To fix our thoughts on Jesus means to meditate on His persona; the incarnate God. Sometimes our thoughts have been focusing on our difficulties, problems, trials and sufferings. But when we focus our thoughts on Jesus, God will slowly reveal that all of the things we experienced as humans has been experienced by God. I remember reading an online article before and Jesus already knew that He would rise up Lazarus. But still, in the Bible, it was recorded that Jesus wept (John 11:35). This is to show that all the emotions raging in us, the things that stirred up our hearts – all of them have been experienced by Jesus. If I am lonely right now, Jesus knew how to be lonely. If I got rejected, Jesus knew the feeling of rejection.

To fix our thoughts on Jesus means to focus on His integrity. When He promised, He will surely do it. Jesus is not a son of man, His words are flawless – His words are perfect in every way. His words lead us to the truth, it is upright (Psalm 19:7).

To fix our thoughts on Jesus is to fix on His character – to fix our eyes to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith. Jesus knew that He would die on the calvary soon – but the joy set before Him of us being reconciled to the Father was enough to endure the sufferings in the calvary. Jesus gave birth to our faith based on what He did on the cross. Therefore, we can focus on the joy of what lies ahead of us.

Weekend Worship: Surrounded – Upper Room

I loved this song! This has been one of my anthems for this year especially when I lift up to God the biggest prayer I have said in my life.

I have been sharing with my small group mates about the biggest prayer I have in accordance with Ephesians 3:20 “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.”

My biggest prayer is that for one of my loved ones to be delivered from depression, that Christians and pre-believer to be delivered from depression and that suicide caused by clinical depression will stop and tremble at the name of Jesus. Sometime in July, I have waged war against that spirit and while at the church that time, this song was being sung, and then God clearly spoke to me – “Daughter, the war you have waged against depression, I will win that war for you, because I love you”. I may not see the complete answer to my biggest prayer into fruition, but I know my God is able to accomplish it, maybe not on my lifetime, or not in the next generation – but this I know for sure, it shall come to past for my victory is in Jesus’ name.

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.