Posted in Lift up your head

King David

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Who would’ve have thought that a man after God’s own heart suffered such grief.  Before, I always think that the people in the Bible are perfect.  As I delve and study them, they are broken and lost like we are today in some cases even worse.  As I read Psalm 6:6, it reminded me what I’ve been through a few months back.  I thought I was abandoned by God and being punished.  Little did I know that it’s a lie being put in my mind by the enemy.

When I read through this passage, I was in awe and still am.  Knowing that David, the anointed king of Israel, who’s called after God’s own heart. He’s been through what I went through, though not for the same exact reasons.  The outcome after that, we were both delivered by God, only by putting our complete trust and hope in Him. And by obeying Him even though a lot of it doesn’t make sense.

If you’re being hated and tried look no further on David’s faith.  The fact that he has numerous opportunities to do harm on King Saul, he never did. He waited on God instead to act on His behalf. God never failed him.  We might think that God will be late, He is never late and I can testify to that.  It is when we rely on our own understanding and strength that things wouldn’t go well, it is when we rely on our own human perception that things would turn to bad to worse.  God sees things differently from us.  He sees and control everything, we don’t.  Our job is to obey Him no matter what the consequences.  In the end everything will work our for your good and His glory.  God can always turn dire things into blessings.  You won’t realize at the present but as you go on everything will fall into its place.

Stop being scared, stop doubting. Start trusting in Him.  I know it’s hard to do.  I felt the same thing, deep in my heart I know He will never abandon me nor forsake me. It is one of His promises in the book of Hebrews.  Things would’ve turn for the worse if I took action by myself.  I’m grateful for all the trials and heart aches I went through because if it’s not because of them I wouldn’t be able to develop this closeness to God.  I was crushed to pieces, I thought it was the end of me. And yet God picks me up and put me back up. Better, bolder, kinder and tougher.  As time went by, I become to see clearly, having this spiritual insight. Now I know everything makes sense.  That He doesn’t hate nor punish me. That He loves me and cares for me.

Stop turning back to the solutions the world has to offer. You know it’s a beaten path. Don’t give up on yourself because God never gives up on you.

Give God a chance.

 

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Posted in Lift up your head

God’s Promises

I’ve discuss before from my earlier post what God makes who He is and that is His unfailing love for us. Couple days ago, I felt down due to the effects of my recent divorce. Praise be to God, that He’s always there to catch me and lift my head up. As I spent my quiet time with Him, I was reading the book of Hebrews 6:17-20(NLT), “God also bound himself with an oath, so those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence.”

As a society in whole we thrive in promises. You promise to your children, to your spouse, parents, siblings, friends and co-workers. However, given the propensity of us being humans, we make mistakes and end up not fulfilling such promises. Some of these promises have dire consequences if they don’t get fulfilled, leaving individuals with emotional distress and heart aches.

This is what set God apart from us, because He always is faithful. No matter how much we’ve failed and disobeyed Him, His promises never change. So long as we have a repentant heart. I really like those words on the verses above, unchangeable and hold on to his promise with confidence. For me, this promise is another evidence how much God loves us. It trumps all the promises out there. The fact also that He bound himself with an oath as an assurance that He would never change His mind, despite of Him being the God. Isn’t that amazing.

How do we received God’s promise? In the same chapter on verse 15, “Then Abraham waited patiently and He received what God promised.” Note the keyword is to wait patiently. I think for all of us this is the hardest part, waiting patiently. We all know what the consequences are whenever we try to over step God’s timing, especially in a society which is saturated for instant gratification.

In closing, I hope you continue in trusting the Lord no matter how dire the consequences are, no matter how rough we’re going through. Because rest assured, our home is not here, it is in heaven. I’ll leave a song down below, and I hope it’ll encourage you like the way it encourage me.

Posted in Lift up your head

First Step

There’s nothing like teaching your child learning how to ride a bike. It is one of memorable moments of child hood. Being a father I feel proud of seeing my daughter finally learn how to ride a bike. I thought she’ll never learn it due to her lack of interest. Her bike has been sitting in the storage for a while. With a little push and encouragement she finally did it. The hardest part is the first step, learning to balance. When you master that everything falls into place.

I know it’s not easy riding on two wheels. It scares us. The fear envelops us. We don’t want to get hurt . Who wants to be? But it is necessary to take that first step. You have to pass through it. My daughter struggled to balance as she keep her other foot down to ride. Sometimes she would crash and hurt herself. I felt the pain too. I want to hold her but I know if I do that she’ll never be able to learn. So many times she told me that she couldn’t do it, “Too scary,” she said. She wanted me to hold her bike for her. I replied, “You have to learn to balance it yourself, do not give up, you have to conquer your fears and doubts. You can do it.” But how? You just have to do it over and over again until you get better. Then that day finally came, she done it.

It reminds me when I was learning to drive a manual transmission, the first gear is always the hardest ,same thing with motorcycles. The faster you go, the easier it’ll be, but only if you are willing to take that first step. I never rode a motorcycle before. It freak me out even more when I have to ride through a series of cones both straight and zig zag. I was trying to go slow for fear of falling. In motorcycles, the faster you go, the bike will balance itself. All the people in my class kept yelling, “Go faster, go faster.” I was too afraid and then it dawned on me I better listen to them since they have more experience than I am. Oh boy, I just can’t describe the feeling. The wind hitting your face. The smell getting trap in your nose. All the elements hitting your body. The adrenaline pumping through your blood. It was fun and I used fear as a reason to not to crash and always have a situational awareness.

Like in life, there’s a lot of challenges that we go through. In order to overcome them changes has to be implemented. It could be going to college. Getting out of bad relationships. A change in career. Or God choosing you to serve Him. Day in, night out you tell yourself you’ll do it next time. As seasons pass nothing change. The fact is aside from you having doubt and fear, the most troubling is you don’t want to step out of you comfort zone. You’re use to it and you like to be comfortable. Little did you know that if you only take that first step, things will get better. In the end, a plethora of opportunities awaits you. Then you ask, “What If I fail?” So what, learn from it and be better. Now, go and take the first step or you’re going to end up in regret.

Posted in Lift up your head

Trials and Punishments

When I was younger sometimes I found myself hating my parents due to the fact that they were so strict.  I held this belief that somehow they’re there to get me and make things miserable for me.  I realize now all the rules and punishment was for my own benefit.  Wouldn’t be any different with our Heavenly Father.  I actually thought they never love me.  Now, being a parent I understand why.  I realize that they truly love me.  And I’m very grateful for that.

Nobody wants to go through trials but it is a necessity for growth and change.  We get fixated on the hardship that we’re going through.  We start doubting and ask God why.  Then the devil will start spewing lies.  Telling you that you are never good enough and God doesn’t care about you.  Whatever you do you’ll always be a reject and a failure.  Go back to the words of God.  Because it is the truth and that’s how you defeat all the lies the devil has planted in your mind.  Do not let your past and failure defines you.  It is not who you are.  You are a child of God.  There’s nothing you could add or take to gain favor with God.  You are under grace and God loves you just the way you are.  You have to keep believing in Him and let Him lead, surrendering every area in your life. When I say you’re under grace I hope you don’t go on sinning willfully.

I’ve been through a lot of trials myself.  The recent, my wife and I breaking up.  I never thought in my life I would get divorce.  It is painful and heartbreaking.  It’s been the reason why I haven’t written lately for the past few months.  Through this, it made me closer to God than ever before. It made me realize all the lies the devil has put on my mind.  My faith and understanding with God has never been deeper before.  I know the enemy had hope that it’ll be my demise and fall from faith.  I admit that for two weeks I was defeated but by God’s grace I was able to get back stronger than ever before in the entire history of my Christian life.  Then I look back all the  good things that this trial produce.  Like faith, obedience, perseverance, patience and peace.  I know it’s sound crazy but I thank God for it.

You’ll never know peace until you experience it in the midst of chaos and confusion.  Peace is not the absence of trials or problems.  Peace is when you know that deep inside God’s got you and He is always in control.  Remember Joseph and Job.  There circumstances were bleak and hopeless and yet  He can always make a 180 degree turn.  In the end everything will fall into place, it’s all for the Glory of God.

Posted in Lift up your head

Best Way to Worship God

What is the best way of worshiping God? Is it by lifting our hands, singing in praise? Giving our time and money to the church. Helping those in need?

As I sit here, I thought and wonder about Christ’s temptation, how the devil promise Him all the kingdoms of the world and all its glory so long as he bows down and worship Him. He didn’t even ask Christ or offer any conditions. Just bow down to me in exchange of material things. What an egotistical maniac. Sadly I found this often among us believers. We only know Him when things are good but when things are bad we tend to go back to the ways of the world. Try to fill that void of sadness and emptiness with alcohol, drugs, pornography, or whatever carnal things we indulge yourself into. Only to find yourself in the end that we are empty as ever. We are too blind to what God is doing behind the scenes, we are too ignorant that there’s a spiritual warfare going on. I know it blinded me. All I see is the hurt I can’t see anything else just pain and darkness. I am going through a storm right now but I’ll write more about that in upcoming posts. I ask God why, and as weeks go by I see myself closer to Him. And I thank God through this storm I’m going through He opened up my eyes and I had a chance to share the gospel among relatives which I haven’t done for a long time. One of the ways how mature you are as a believer is trusting God and entrusting everything to Him no matter how bad you are going through. So bad, that everything doesn’t make sense and everything is against you.

If you want to know what kind of worshipers does God wants, you don’t have to look any further. John 4:23-24 says, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” And the only way to find the truth is to read His words and obey it. Mankind have this mindset that Christ’s words are burdensome, it is far from it. He Himself said, I came to give you life and to give you more abundantly. The enemy comes to destroy (John 10:10). Truth is the only one that will set us free from being slave to sin and it is only found in Christ Jesus.

Posted in Lift up your head

The True Measurement Of Courage

Scene 1

Somebody cut you off in traffic, you got mad and yelled at the person. As you drive away, you gave him the middle finger. Someone cuss at you, you cuss back and pick a fight. You don’t take any crap from any person. Always standing up for yourself. You drink, you smoke and proud to be a player to prove the world that you’re a man. This is what man makes a man you said. I’m bold, I’m brave and I’m no coward not like this fellow I work with, who shuns women even though they’re flirting with him.

Doesn’t drink, no vice, doesn’t want to go the strip club. What kind of man is that? Is he even a man? What a coward!! P—y!! Weakling!! I’ll do what I want, whenever I want. This guy need to have some courage. You gotta have some fun, you know.

Scene 2

You forgive even you’re not at fault. You desire to serve rather than  be serve. You don’t look at women not because they’re unattractive, but you know in your heart that you would be committing lust. And whoever looks at women with lust commits adultery in their heart. People view your actions as a sign of weakness. A pacifist. Deep inside you, you wanted to do what the majority is doing but you won’t for the simple fact that you ought to obey God not man. You follow Christ’s commandment not only for the sake of your salvation but because you love Him and He love you first even though you’ve failed and wronged Him so many times. So you made that decision. No more flirting with the world. No more compromising with the God’s word. Better to suffer in doing good than to suffer in doing bad. Day in, day out you struggle to keep your sinful nature from mastering you. It is hard, not an easy task. Just go through this day and finish it without sinning.

Sometimes when you’re lying there in bed. You’re heart beats faster like a locomotive train coming at you. Palms start sweating. You can’t sleep and you just keep turning. You hear this voice and it says, why don’t you go online and take a look. It’s free you know, a lot of fine women. Don’t worry if you fall you’re save by grace isn’t it.

But no, you must resist the urge. Ignore it, even though you’re shaking for resisting it so much. You had enough. Now, you must stand up and conquer it. When tomorrow comes you hope and pray that God will give you strength again. To nail your old self on that cross.

Which one do you think takes more courage to do? If you look at first scene, it is not courage at all but mere impulses and natural instincts of the flesh. It’s just a crowd mentality, trying to fit in even though you knew deep inside that it’s wrong. For all those struggling out there dealing with trials and temptations. Pat yourself on the back because you’re the one that’s courageous. Courageous, because you refuse to fit in and participate in this sinful lost world. If you find yourself falling into temptation get back up and live another day to fight the good fight of faith. Do not listen to the voice of the enemy that you’ve been beaten by succumbing to his plans. The only way he’s beaten you is when you stop fighting and trying. As long as you’re alive, as long as you have breathe no matter how bleak the situation is there is always hope in Christ and strength in His words. It’s been tried over and over again from the prophets to the apostles until today. So keep strong we might not see each other but God sees all our battles, and whether we fail or victorious Christ is there waiting for us to welcome us home.

Posted in Lift up your head

Daredevils

Last night I was watching this documentary about freestyle motocross called Unchained on Netflix.  I love watching action sports because not everyone can do it and the adrenaline rush. I have a lot of respect for this guys the fact that no matter how many broken bones they suffered they’ll do it again.  One conversation that really hits me  was when they ask the riders why they do it knowingly that it’s dangerous and it could cost their life, living their wives’ widows and children fatherless. I mean this guys have multiple fractures, broken ribs, you name it they’ve been through it and the crazy part is they’ll do it again even they have full of doubts, fears and in pain from injuries.  Even the doctors advise them not to ride ever again.  To my amazement, they just don’t give up. So, one of the riders replied because it’s what they love to do.

This struck me  and I could relate with my walk with Christ.  I hope that we don’t follow Him not just because of the rewards but rather because we love Him.  No matter what we go through in life. In perils and dangers. I wish and pray we’ll get back up again for this is what we want to do. This is what we love to do, to follow Christ and to reach out to the lost and down trodden.

Posted in Lift up your head

Come Home Backslider (A follow up to Backslide)

A lot of the things a new believer encounters are very common in the Bible. If you take your time and do your own research. However, it is very compelling and surprising with the amount of information the word of God gives you that pertains to every aspect of human life. I’ve been a believer for quite a while and I’m still finding things in the Bible that often surprise me. Like, the apostles being homeless. You name it, whatever struggle and problems you’re facing right now it’s there.

Coming from a family that’s devotedly Roman Catholic, even the tradition and education that molded me who I was. I had to make a choice whether to follow Christ or break away from tradition. I choose the first. My parents, weren’t happy at all. So are my teachers, and some friends. It was hard and heart breaking at the same time. Here I am, thinking families, friends and love ones should be happy that you finally found the truth. Quite the opposite. A lot of Catholic schools have a Religion class, I would get excluded from class discussions because I would challenge what’s being taught. Explaining that it contradicts the Bible. The hardest part actually was with my parents, I mean they suppose to be there to back me up. Isn’t it that’s what they wanted? For me to be a better man? It broke my heart. The way they treated me change so rapidly and I wasn’t prepared for that. Then one night I was at a service, the Pastor mentioned that even Christ close relatives doesn’t believe in Him. Telling Him that He should show himself to the world (John 7:3-5). Christ even defined who are His brothers and sisters. And those are the ones who hear and does His words (Luke 8:19-21).

It’s not easy being a Christian and I guarantee you. You’ll burnt out, to the point that you’ll be all alone, betrayed and forsaken. You’ll cry out to God and all you hear is just silence. You had enough that you beg God to take away your life. Elijah (1Kings 19:3-4) and Jonah (Jonah 4:8) have been through it. So is Job.

I hear a lot of preaching today that material wealth equates God’s blessing and favor. You’ll be prosperous when you become a believer but Christ and the apostles never preached such thing. There was only one individual who promise prosperity to those who follow him. Remember, when Jesus Christ was tempted in the wilderness. Yes, the devil is the only one who promise prosperity in the entire new testament (John 4:8-9). If you decide to follow Christ, do so because you love Him, because He love you first. I asked my brother once, why I can’t be as succesful(materially) as other people. Am I curse or just keep making the bad choices? And then he told me this verse, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you (John 15:19).

If you find yourself alone. Beaten and treading life by its own. You are not alone. The apostles and disciples of Christ have been through it. Even Christ had to go through it. He could’ve change the situation if He wanted to. And yet He chose to stay with us and be a man to suffer and die as a man. It’s nothing new you’re brothers and sisters in Christ have been through it. So rise up, repent and come back. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

In closing, I leave you this.

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “for your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Posted in Lift up your head

Why the World is Against Jesus Christ’s Second Coming

We all know that the world is not ruled by righteous individuals. Power and money is their main goal.  Money is not bad rather it is the love of it.  The whole world revolves around commerce.  Sadly in order to keep the money flowing things need to break, no cure for diseases only treatment, make the people feel bad, feed them with all kind of garbage through the media, make lies sound truthful and truth hateful. Politicians lie all the time just to get that vote. They claim to serve the people but nothing is farther from the truth.

The state of the economy is not good at all. People are sad and depressed. To keep the masses sedated and happy we are bombarded with entertainment. We are being taught to love pleasure just like 2 Timothy 3:4  mentioned. Then there’s war, a big money-making machine. Wars are everywhere and they seem to never end.

Consumption has been our most coveted past time.  We buy things that we don’t need and spend money we don’t have. People always think they’re lacking not because they don’t have it but because they’re not satisfied with what they have. “You gotta have that latest and greatest bling you know.”  As soon as the novelty wears out you find yourself feeling empty. So what you do to ease that craving?  Find out what the world has to offer but in the end you still feel lacking and empty and you repeat the whole cycle again.  Don’t you think that the one you needed the most is not of this world?

 

Think about it, when Jesus Christ comes back and set his kingdom.  What kind of government would that be?  To all those who read their Bible, you know what I’m talking about.  He is a healer so there goes the medical industrial complex and big pharma. He hates lying, so there goes your politicians, bureaucrats and propagandist just to name a few in which lying is involve in making a living. He is the prince of peace so there goes your war. As for entertainment and things that makes you happy here’s one for you from Revelation 21:4.

I wouldn’t blame them if they’re doing all they can to prevent or even obscure His return by substituting it with someone else that even the very elect could be deceived.

Time is not always on our side. Majority of the people think the Bible is foolish let alone preaching it. To most people I’ll be called crazy. I say the same thing to you.  You’re crazy if you don’t want to know or think about how you spend eternity.  Your life here on earth determines how you spend eternity.  Death is sure. So Christ’s return is too. Do not get caught off guard where everything is too late.  Read the Bible.  If your skeptic read it like a literature. Read the whole book.  A lot of believers where skeptic too before they got saved, including me. If you don’t have a Bible read it online, it’s free.

 

Posted in Lift up your head

The Lost Sheep

Things were a lot easier when you were young. You don’t have to work, no bills to pay, all you worry about is your education and how the kids in school treats you. That, and having to deal with your nagging parents, if only they could understand you. Trust me they’re saying to themselves too, if you could only understand them.

Fast forward to adult life. It’s a roller coaster ride. We always want to be happy. If we’re not, we end up being miserable. When we reached our goals, we thought we’ll be satisfied. Only to find we want more. Before you just want a simple life. You didn’t want a house, an apartment is enough, never wanted a nice car, as long as it’s sufficient for your needs. You dreamed of being married, of settling down. But you know it’s not settling down at all. Now, you understand why your parents treated you that way. Now, that you’re a parent you could feel how they felt when they tell you you’re being extravagant.

Your thinking if you could just turn back time and do it all over again. You could have done this in that way and not this way. You wish you could be single again. Being married is too stressful. You do your best as you could to provide for your family and yet in spite all this you don’t get appreciated. You feel so alone that you think that God has forsaken you. Who would’ve had thought that life as a Christian could be this hard. Why didn’t God provided a caring partner, instead of yourself doing everything.

There’s nothing more painful than being ignored by the very person whom you love and supposed to love you. Love without action is not love. Envy start to settle in. You start going after material things. Later to find out that after the excitement wears out, you feel miserable. “Maybe God has forsaken me,” you said. “Why does God allow this things to happen to me,” asking Him. Fist clenched and tears rolling down. Screaming on top of your lungs because you just can’t take the frustration, despair, the loneliness, feeling of abandonment. You’ve cried a ton and yet God keeps quite. Enough is enough, I guess I’ll take action. Have you forgotten this?

trust-in-the-lord-with-all-your-heart-and-lean-not-on-your-own-understanding

You are so blinded by your trials and by trying to satisfy individuals hoping that they’ll love you back and one day they’ll change. Hope turns into despair and you’ve forgotten the words I’ve spoken to you.

So, this is what you did.

I found a religion that talks about forgiveness. No guilt. Reincarnation instead of heaven. We’re all connected in one. It taught me how to treat every living thing as precious. From grass, to trees, to the smallest insects. It gave me a broader sense of what forgiveness is. To let go. That happiness is just a state of mind. I venerate a statue. I look at with awe, with this sense of spirituality. For a while it ease the sufferings and the loneliness. Better than the material things and  flesh has to offer.

However, questions keep coming up on my mind. Doubt and confusion. Why would I worship the very works of mans hand. And what I am being forgiven from. Of all the movement in the world there’s only one who died for his followers. The rest, their followers died for them. All their prophets are dead but Jesus Christ is the only who has risen. His apostles risk being tortured, imprisoned, beaten, mocked, forsaken. And left everything for the sake of Him. I realized now why everyone is running away from the truth. Because they don’t want to admit they have sinned. That we pick religions base on what suit us rather to embrace the truth that we are lost and have sinned. We never did anything what God said not to do and yet we blame Him for everything. What if we actually do what he is asking us to do. Would there be any change?

Now, I realize it’s all been me along. God has nothing to do with it. It was all my choice. He showed me the way but I refuse to walk in it. That throughout all along what he desire is a personal relationship. So here I am in my knees, tears on my cheek. Now I understand everything. That God is love indeed. I was blind but now I can see. I heard Him talking but I wasn’t listening. It’s not too late to repent as long as I’m here breathing. I finally understand now how to worship him in spirit and in truth.