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 

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

A Christlike Love

I was in fifth grade when I started to be acquainted with a slam book. A slam book is a notebook or something similar that has a series of questions passed around with friends. Some of the questions that were asked were personal information, hobbies, favorite colors, and subjects. There are also cliche questions and one of them is ”What is Love?”

Surprisingly, fifth and sixth graders have answers to the very question. Some answered, ”Love is blind”. Others answered that ”Love is like a rosary full of mystery”.

I don’t know whether those answers perhaps shape some of our perspectives today about the real meaning of love.

A few days back, a lot of people have posted how they have celebrated the Valentines day with their loved ones. Some are simple and some are extravagant. But what I like reflecting on Valentines Day is what true love really means and what does the Bible truly says about it.

In 1 Corinthians 13, Apostle Paul enumerated what true love really means.

Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving. 1 Corinthians ‭13:4-8‬ ‭TPT‬‬

How I loved the TPT version elaborate on the characteristics of what true love is. And thank you Abba Father that we have found our One True Love in Jesus Christ. The love of Jesus for us is what 1 Corinthians 13 is all about. And as Jesus’ believers and followers, we are to model how we love our family, special someone, friends, and enemies the way Jesus Christ demonstrated it. 1 Corinthians 13 is our model of what a Christlike love ought to be.

#valentines #Love #meaningoflove #Truelove#ChristLikeLove

Good News

I just find it amazing that every references of Jesus’ birth resulted in causing great joy. One of my favorite verse about Christmas in Matthew said that when the three kings saw the star they were filled with joy. Then again here in Luke 2:10, the angel delivered the good news that a Savior has been born to us, He will be the Messiah and the Lord. And this great news will cause great joy for all the people. May the true joy of Christmas be upon us all this holiday season.

Star – A Christmas Symbol

Can you feel that soon it will be Christmas? Few more days and the most anticipated day of the year will be here soon!

People may already already have a calendar when Jesus was born; to us, our guide to Christmas is our calendar; but to them, despite having the calendar that time, their guide to Jesus was the star. Christmas season is everybody’s favorite season – there are so much cheer and love and kindness.

Matt 2:10 is my favorite Christmas verse in the Holy Bible and it says:

”When they saw the star, they were filled with joy” – NLT

I find it amazing for God to use a special star to guide the kings to Jesus. As Christmas approaches, I pray that I will be like that star shining for Jesus for all the world to see!

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.

Delight

Last Sunday, our pastor shared to us that God told her that she is in to be a season of worship, of singing songs and continue dwelling in His presence. She asked the congregation to join her in this season especially this harvest season. It is true that at most times that we are so caught up with our ministries, planning for church activities, doing God’s work and often than not, we forgot to dwell more in God’s presence.

In today’s meditation, God gave me the word ”Delight” from Psalm 37:4.

Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. (ESV)

This is one of my favourite verses in the Bible, but truth be told, sometimes too much familiarity breeds complacency. More often, I focused only on the second part, that He will give me the desires of my heart. I always seemed to fall short of the actual delighting in Him. To delight in Him is to make God our utmost delight and pleasure in our life regardless of the circumstances. Many times, we feel the pleasure in our life when we are in plenty or we have a new blessing or when we are newly promoted. I often asked myself whether I still take pleasure in God in other seasons of my life?

While I was reading the whole chapter of Psalm 37, God brought me to four ways to delight in Him:

Trust Him (Psalm 37:3). Last week, God spoke to me about surrender – trusting God means total surrender. We don’t just surrender the good parts of us, we also surrender the bad parts of us. I am still a work-in-progress. Every day, I lift up the things and emotions that I couldn’t control.  To trust in God is to fix our heart on the promises of God for the one that promised is Faithful (Hebrews 10:23).

Commit your way to the Lord is me giving God the right to direct my life (Psalm 37:5). The issue with me is that many times, I struggle and think of ways to solve a problem. Then I will thank the Lord for wisdom. I got it all wrong. God doesn’t want me to struggle, He wants me to surrender everything, even the ideas, solutions to any problem and not to lean on my own understanding. Sometimes when the problem comes, we started to rattle our mind and think of how to do this and that. We rely on our own strength, our own understanding and when we think of a solution, we present it to God. And when it doesn’t work, we asked God why? I am learning this lesson the hard way, to be honest.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 34:7). Quiet your heart, your fight-or-flight stimuli, your brain, your soul in His presence and pray. How do I do this? I meditate on His word. I meditate on the phrases and keep repeating it until my heart and my mind calmed down. These are some of the phrases I meditate upon on – ” You are my Shepherd”, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”, “His grace is sufficient for me”.

Keep hope alive as long for God to come through you (Psalm 34:7 TPT). Keeping hope alive is fixing our eyes to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, holding fast on our confession of hope without wavering because the one who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). Surely, the hope put to Jesus will never be put to shame.