Weekend Worship: Till The End of Time (City Harvest Church)

“I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭46:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What are the things or circumstances that we are afraid of? Earthquake scare, end of the world apocalypse, loss of job, singleness, lack of security. All these things at one point of our life scare (or will scare) us – but what is so wonderful with God is that He will never leave us until the end of time. We may not see Him working, or not felt Him just what had happened to Job, and yet, God says in Isaiah that He will be our God until our lifetime. He will carry us until the end of time. I hope in this love song to our God, we come to acknowledge and accept the truth that no circumstance will ever make God abandon us – because He is our Faithful God.

#WeekendWorship #CityHarvestChurch 

 

Unshakable

“He shakes the earth from its place, and its foundations tremble.” ‭‭Job‬ ‭9:6‬ ‭NLT

For the past three days, we have been literally shaken by the Lord God Almighty.  Luzon Island was jolted last Monday with an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 and has recorded about 500 aftershocks. The next day, one of the islands in South Philippines experienced a 6.5 magnitude quake. And just as the country is still assessing the damage done by the two quakes, at least three quakes have been recorded in Mindanao (an island south of the Philippines).

My mom, sister and I were out when the Monday quake happened. We were in a public utility vehicle (PUV) when it happened. I thought that someone is playing a prank on us; that someone is shaking the vehicle. When we looked outside, other PUVs were also shaking and a realization came to us that it’s an earthquake. We saw people from afar, running into safety from a nearby high-rise construction. The earthquake lasted for about a minute.

I never thought that I would experience an earthquake again as it’s been a while since the last time I experienced an earthquake that strongly shook me (1999 to be exact). This caught me by surprise and physically, my knees shook when I saw how many people are outside of the building waiting for an update. But even if my knees were shaking, I was pretty much calm; because of the truth that whatever happens, God Almighty is in control. Just as what was written in the book of Job, God shakes the earth in its place and its foundation trembles. God is just showing to us His might and who can ever deny it?

These last three days have been an awakening for both secular and Christians. Some have been sharing some scary post about the Big One. The Philippines have been anticipating the Big One for quite some time now. According to studies, the Big One is an earthquake that will have a magnitude of 7 and would displace a number of buildings and people. With all the happenings for the last three days, there was a constant effort from the secular side, the government and the NGOs to be on the lookout for the Big One and to ensure the every Filipino family is prepared with a survival kit. With this in everyone’s mind, it also cultivates fear and panic to everyone. But as a Christian, God has prepared us for such circumstance. He gave us the truth that we will have troubles in this world. But we do not need to worry, nor live in fear and panic because we know that Jesus who overcame death, has overcome the world and all of its troubles. 

One of my favorite verse in the Bible gives me and my family an assurance in all of this earthquake scare is that the Almighty God will hide us in the shadow of His wings to those who dwell in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 91:1). He will be our rock, our fortress and He will never be shaken (Psalm 62:6). And because my God is in control, a rock and mighty fortress that is unshakable, therefore, my faith and hope in God are unshakable. 

#TheBigOne #Earthquake #UnShakable #EarthquakePH #Faith 

Love Never Gives Up

Today marks the world’s commemoration of our Lord Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. I was reminded of the scripture from 1 Corinthians 13 that love never gives up.

I was reflecting on these words and realized that Jesus’ loves for us didn’t stop Him on fulfilling the scriptures.

38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (NLT)

In Matthew 26:38, Jesus was in great distress and grief that He felt that He was almost at the point of death. But His love for us and obedience to the Father is greater than His grief and distress. I wonder what was going through Jesus’ mind at that time? I feel that at that time, all our names flashed through his mind and when He thinks of His love for us, it is what that kept Him for not giving up.

Jesus loves us enough for Him to endure the suffering and humiliation. His love for this world didn’t falter when all His creations shouted at Him to crucify Him. His love for us didn’t waver when He was hanging on the cross and being bruised and struck. His love for each one of us is unstoppable, unbreakable.

Lord Jesus, thank you for Good Friday. Indeed, you are a good God and that your love for us never falters nor it wavers. Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross for bearing my sins. Lord Jesus, this day I remember your goodness and love; teach me Lord your way so I could share your love with others. Thank you and I receive the full benefits of the cross.

Good Friday; Lenten Reflections; #GoodFriday #Lenten2019 #Lent2019 Passion Week; #passionweek

Broken and Hopeless?

When the lights on the road start to flicker, and the road you are passing by gets darker and colder by night, we at most times felt unsecured, sometimes afraid. And then our fear turns to loneliness and then loneliness to brokenness and then brokenness to hopelessness.
Ever felt that you were the most resilient Christian one day and then the next day, hope is depleting faster than the ice melting on a warmer day? Or the waiting felt like it’s forever that your mind gets crazy with the “no response”?
Last week, I felt that I am getting tired with the “waiting”. I am starting to get bored. I am a very active person and sometimes the wait felt so much that even without moving, it tires me physically, mentally and emotionally. I have been in this situation before but now, it’s much more at stake. My grown-up faith and trust in God are being shaken literally.
I cried to God that night that I am broken, I am afraid and I am starting to feel the heaviness of my hope depleting fast. And God allowed me to cry; He allowed me to express my feelings. I am starting to feel hopeless but I have the audacity that when I express my feelings of hopelessness to my God, He will listen to me. And God did – as I was pouring my heart to Him that I am feeling hopeless and broken and bored, God brought me back to His word to Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 29:11 – 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
No, I don’t take hold that God will take away these sufferings and this brokenness because God said those words. What I take confidence is that God will be with me at times when I am losing hope and that the grace of God will be sufficient for me to finish the course set upon me. And God is faithful, He will give us what we need when we need it.  And when I am broken and hopeless, I know my God will supply all the hope that I need to carry on during this waiting season of my life.
#Jeremiah2911 #hopeless #hopeful #faith #hope #love #WordOfGod #InHisFullness #brokenness

You Can’t Hurry Love

I first heard that song when I was in university – my friends and I had a long break so we decided to watch the movie Runaway Bride. You probably have seen the movie and it’s a bit funny and there is a hint of truth that, when we view love from the worldly perspective, truly we can’t hurry love.

But what if I tell you today that someone is in a hurry, to love you? You must probably say, “Nah, that is too good to be true!”.

We know how to love because He first loved us. Do you ever wonder when did God first loved us?

Even before the foundation of this world, God has loved you and me already. He has chosen us, to be His sons and daughters even at the beginning of the age. It was because of His great love, He has ordained us, so that we may be holy in His eyes (Eph 1:4). Even before we are formed in our mother’s womb, He has loved us. What an assurance we have in God’s love.

That brings me to the story where the Author of Love didn’t shy away rushing towards us. Perhaps, you know the story of the Prodigal Son – we are all too familiar with the story that we forgot that the core of that story is that, when we truly acknowledge and humble ourselves before the Lord, He will stop whatever He is doing and He will run towards us and shower us the affection that is overflowing in Him. Can you imagine the God of heavens, the King of Kings, running towards us? Sometimes, most of the men will have difficulty understanding such display of overflowing emotion – men felt that only women are emotional. God’s immense love for you and me are not defined by our hormonal structures, nor by our biological X and Y chromosomes.

And you say, you can’t hurry love? No, God is in a hurry to love you because God is chasing after you – wanting to love you despite the ifs and buts we have in our lives. As I end this post, I am sharing to you one of my favorite song growing up – I pray that this song will touch the core of your heart and realize just how much He loves you and me.

Photo and video credits from Youversion and Youtube respectively.
PS: this blog post was originally posted last August 15, 2018, and believed that it is timely for the month of February to remind each and every one of us that God first loved us.

#valentinesday #lovemonth #GodisLove #love #february14

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.

Confidence in Him

As I continue to seek God in this season of worship – God brought me to the word confidence. I was listening to the song Do It Again by Elevation Worship and suddenly, I am already meditating on the word Confidence.

I ask my soul, where does your confidence lie? Why are you confident with your God? And surely, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in five points why I can put my confidence in Him.

God is Faithful. Throughout the entirety of the Bible, we saw how God showed His faithfulness to His people. His love is new every morning and it doesn’t stop and will never ever stop.

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

We might try to think that when we make mistakes, His love and faithfulness for us will cease. And we know for a fact that is not true – because He will continue to love us.

God does not change. We can have confidence in His faithfulness and in His love because God is God – He does not change.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

The God that created the world can start creating something new in our life. He is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end. We just have to hand Him the messy things of our life and He can end those stuff and He will create something new in our life.

God’s Word will always come to pass. Whenever there is something not good in my life, I like to meditate Psalm 19:7 ” The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul, the statutes of the Lord are trustworthy”. We will see countless scriptures providing proof that God is not a man that when He says a word, it will not come to pass.  These verses are so good to meditate on why we can be confident about God’s promises to us:

11 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)

Isn’t our God is amazing – whatever He has called us forth, it shall come to pass. If God promises us that He will provide our daily bread, it shall be done. If God promises us that He will provide comfort, it shall be done. Not one promise of God will come to void. Therefore, we can place confidence in His words.

God’s grace is sufficient for us. Sometimes, when our life is bright and full, we tend to overlook God’s grace. We only seemed to remember His grace when we are feeling low and blue. But God’s grace is always there for us – though we are not worthy, God still gives Himself to us and that is the very definition of grace. I prayed that I will continue to depend on His grace for indeed, whether I am full or in need, His grace is sufficient for me.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

No one can snatch me out of His hand. Isn’t that a wonderful promise? With this promise handy to me, I can always be confident with my God, with my relationship to Him. He will not let anyone snatch me out of His hand. Oh, how lovely is my Lord. I love you, Jesus.

28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:28)

And you know what, God does not only promised us that no one can snatch us out of His hand. Jesus promises us that He will give us eternal life and we will not perish to those who will receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. You are an awesome Lord.