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COMFORT IN SUFFERING

COMFORT IN SUFFERING

God always refer to all of His followers as a body of Christ and Jesus is the head. A body can only function well when all are connected and working in unison. No believers should want to live alone and have no regard for others. Many believers mistaken the term “Jesus is all we ever need”. That saying is true that we need Him in our lives with an intimate relationship but it doesn’t mean that we forsake others otherwise Jesus would not come to this earth to die for all and would not command us to go to the ends of the earth to make disciples of all nations.

We need fellowship with other believers and we can find that in church. Every church needs to be a caring community of individual where the people care, love, support each other, cry and laugh together, pray for each other and help each other out. We can’t do that if we don’t want to get to know each other. We need to be involved in a small group like a bible study group where we can meet each other on regular basis sharing the kindness of God.

As we get comfortable with each other and grow close together, we can open up about everything. We will find that a lot of us have similar problems and therefore can encourage us. There are people who have gone through the same problems that we have and have come out of it victoriously with God’s divine help and now they can share that with us, pray for us and comfort us while we are going through it.

If we ever wonder why we have to go through such trials, it’s because God allows us to go through the fire to be purified; to be stronger and God is always there to comfort us so that after we go through those trials, our faith grows stronger in God and depend on Him instead of our own strength. God let us go through those processes so that we can now comfort others who are going through the same things.

Don’t live alone. Have tight fellowship with other believers. Pray for each other, comfort each other and encourage each other. Even Jesus had His 12 disciples and He always kept all or some with Him most of the time except on His private prayer time to God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Daily prayer
God teach me to cast away all of my selfishness. Forgive me if all this time I only think about myself and complain about every trials that I have to go through. Thank You Father for placing kind, wonderful people around me that has help me through all of these trials. I will only rely on You and I know that You comfort me directly and through others. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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God’s plan

God’s plan

Many believers think that everything that happened in their life is according to the will of God, even all the misfortune and heart breaks. The truth is sometimes God has nothing to do with it. God knows everything and God let it happen. It is mostly our own fault and our own choices that go against the will of God. God’s plan is to prosper us. He doesn’t get enjoyment bringing misfortune to us as if He loves making us suffer. In fact, the opposite happens.

Romans 8:28 says “and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”. This verse does not say that “all good things work together” but it says all things including all bad things that are happening to us in our lives. There is a lot of evil in this world and God’s will are not always done. However, the good news is, in the life of a believer, God makes all things whether good or bad will work out for good at the end. There is a catch; it only happens for those who love Him. Who are willing to let Him work in our lives, who keeps believing and stay faithful to Him through anything.

God is greater than any problems we face. Of course, we might not see it when we are in the midst of struggle and there are times we won’t to give up especially in the long process. However, God never abandon us. He is working to turn our situation around, any situation for our good. There is always something that we can learn from every process. It might make us better prayer warrior, it makes us stronger, becoming more compassionate, train us to be patient, teach us to be caring for others, teach us to depend on God even more.

Once we have come out on the other side and look back with a different perspective, we will appreciate all the things that we have gone through. Things that we cannot see while we are in the midst of struggle. One thing for sure, if we never lose faith, all of those things will turn out good for the glory of God. We can become His witnesses and share and encourage others to hang on and completely rely on God who never, not a single second, abandoning us.

Romans 8:28New King James Version (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Daily prayer
Lord Jesus, forgives me if many times I made choices that were against Your will and blame You for it. You are truly a faithful God who is always by my side, working to turn my situation around and working in me so that I become a better believer to become like You. I love You Lord for Your mercy and goodness. In the name of Jesus I pray. amen

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DEALING WITH ADVERSITY

DEALING WITH ADVERSITY

In our live we face adversity from anyone. Family might reject us, close friends betray us, strangers just take out their frustration and anger at us. Sometimes people at work stabbing us from behind in order for them to get ahead. God gives us freedom of choice and many times we act and make decisions without consulting to God or keep pushing it even though it is against His teaching. For all those troubles that we bring to ourselves, we blame God as if it was His fault. We blame God for many things that He never caused.

We can learn from Joseph who from such a young age has the misfortune of being rejected by his brothers, planned to be killed, sold to slavery, get thrown into prison, falsely accused, lonely and hurting but notice his attitude many years later when he was faced with his brothers that he forgave them and realized that even though they meant harm to him, God intended it for good and turn his life around.

What made Joseph able to face this adversity and came out victorious? There is an important phrase that can be found five times in the story of Joseph each time after he faced major adversity; “but the Lord was with Joseph”. The constant presence of God in Joseph life showed that Joseph walk his life with God. He lived righteously and seeking His presence. Joseph knew that God sees everything that we go through and that he cares. That conviction alone made Joseph able to go through adversity; to go through the ups and downs of life. Joseph’s conviction that God is always with him and see him and work in his life, made him has godly characters.

If we are going through adversity right now, do not give in to self-pity. It will only cause us major depression, unwilling to do anything, have a give up attitude and weaken our faith. This self-pity feeling is the same as if trying to tell God that we don’t believe He cares about us, that He is powerless and soon we will not believe in God anymore and give up hope.

We have to put it deep in our heart that God is always with us if in our lives, we truly seek His presence and live according to His ways. He will give us supernatural peace and power to hold on and turn things around. It is us that make mistakes and bad choices and it is the enemy that constantly trying to bring us down, but God can use all of that for good. We just need to grab His hand and trust Him. Never lose heart. God sees and God cares

Psalm 33:13-15 (NKJV)
13 The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
14 From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
15 He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.

Daily prayer
Lord, I believe that You see everything and that You truly love us and care for us. Life is hard but I believe that You will get us through it each and every time. I will seek You Lord with all my heart and have faith in You that You laid out the best plan for my life. I will not lose heart and hope in You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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FISHER OF MEN

FISHER OF MEN

For any people who make a living as fishermen, they would have to untie their ship and sail to sea and sometimes in the rough weather and amazingly they catch unbelievable amount of fish. There are days when they will not catch anything or very little but the point is to be able to catch anything they would have to sail out to sea. They will not catch anything if they get on their ship and the ship stay on the dock and expect the fish to come to them.

Jesus told His disciples to follow Him and He will make them fisher of men. He pretty much says that He wants them to go out there and “catch” people. In Jesus time, there was a temple of God where people came and worship God and gave their offering. The most interesting is, Jesus did not stay there all the time. He went out to all the surrounding villages and spread the gospels, did His miracles and teaching and touch people’s lives face to face and made them believers. He sent His disciples out to surrounding village as well to spread the gospel so they may be saved.

Believers nowadays and many churches are just like fishermen that get on their boats but the boats are tied up to the docks. They go to church, do their things and go home and live their everyday life as if it has no connection to the mission of the gospel that is to make disciples of all nations. Many fall into the trap of using modern technology which is not bad but it is not enough. You can’t feel the presence of God in TV unless God Himself decided to touch your lives.

Where is the compassion of touching people? Where is the interpersonal relationship through face to face communication where people can see the sincerity? Where is the anointing through the laying of the hands that we cannot do through glass door of television? Jesus from the beginning called out His disciples and sent them on their way to save people. If He wants to do it through television or internet, He would have been born on this day and age, but He did not. Personal relationship and personal touch is very important to God as is our relationship with Him. God lives inside of us, it doesn’t get any more personal than that. So, let’s go out there be a fisherman and catch some men.

Matthew 4:19 (NKJV)
19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Daily prayer
Jesus, as You called Your disciples to be fisher of men, You want us to go out there and save others through personal touch and relationship. We are Your disciples not just in a word sense but we want to be Your true disciples and follow You and Your commandment. As You have set an example before us, anoint us with Your Holy Spirit to be able to do what You want us to do. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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WHEN I AM WEAK THEN I AM STRONG

WHEN I AM WEAK THEN I AM STRONG

Many believers who have accepted Jesus Christ found that life is still as hard and if not more challenging then the life that they live before they accepted Christ. Many of us leave Christ because we couldn’t handle it. It is an obvious sign that after we accepted Christ we still put Him in the back burner and struggle mightily facing everyday mountains and valleys of life. If we do not let Christ take over our lives, then what is the difference between the life that we live after or before we accept Him?

Paul was an apostle with great gifts. He faced trouble, deceit, danger, persecution, abandonment, false accusation and imprisonment after He accepted Christ but he was happier than ever and he found out that God’s strength is made perfect in his weaknesses. Paul chose to glory in his weakness that the strength of God may work in him.
Life is supposed to be hard, tough, challenging and sometimes more than we can bear. If life lies within our reach, what will ever bring us to our knees? We have to face the truth that life overwhelmed us and sometimes we are facing the impossible and that is exactly why we need God. Not only in moment of trouble but every single time for His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. When the burden of natural realm overwhelms us, the supernatural power begins to work.

Anyone who will be great for God must come to the end of their strength to find the measure of His supernatural strength. Life exceeds the hope of a believer for we also have eternal enemy that constantly trying to bring us down and that’s where we find the help by the power of God.

If we decide to accept Jesus in our life, do not stop at just accepting Him but make Him the Lord over our life and let us become weak for when we are weak, Christ is strong. When we feel that we strong all the time then we will never feel that we need Him and we will find that we are struggling, drag our feet, lose hope in this life and feel so alone.

2 Corinthians 12:10 (NKJV)
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Daily prayer
Lord Jesus, I have decided to accept You in my life as my Lord and Savior. I surrender all my life’s problems, sadness, joy, the up and down for I know when I am weak then You are strong in my life. I know that problems and challenges will always come my way but with You Lord, I will be made victorious. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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SPIRIT OF GENTLEENESS

SPIRIT OF GENTLEENESS

We as believers have responsibility to spread the gospel and make others the disciples of Christ so that they may be saved and then in turn save others. We have seen many people in all forms and races spreading the gospel in so many ways. Sadly, many of them use harsh judging form and condemning way in trying to convince others to believe in Christ.

Jesus set the example for us in how to spread the gospel. He taught with a spirit of gentleness and forgiving to those who have sinned and repented. He walked in compassion so that others may see that God is good even though they are sinners.

Galatians chapter 6:1 says that we need to restore those who are also believers but overtaken by their trespasses. That is the nature of sin. It doesn’t just stay at one action and done but it will overtake us. Whatever forms of sin may it be small or big but it will numb our heart to the voice of God and it will be easier to keep doing it. Rage for example. We let it take over and we hit someone and if we don’t keep it under control and find satisfaction in hitting others, we might be numb and it might lead to murder. Another example would be sex and adultery. Once we have seen such scene and proceed to do it, those images will stay in our mind and we will never forget it. it is important to focus our mind on Christ. Don’t even try it because those sins will overtake us.

We all need restoration especially in this day and age where free immorality is acceptable and actually a way of lives. Young minds are corrupted. It is the duty of parents and believers to be strong spiritually to restore those but make sure that we ourselves are not tempted and become corrupted. Those believers who says that they need to try drugs to reach those who are addicted by drugs are already corrupted and put themselves in temptation. That is not the right way to do it. Jesus did not act to become a sinner to save sinners but He died as a sinner to take all of our punishment.

To save others who are overtaken by sins, we need to have strong foundation in the word of God, intimate relationship with God and unshaken believe in Him

Galatians 6:1 (NKJV)
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Daily prayer
Lord Jesus, keep me strong in Your way and unshaken in restoring others to come back to You. You are my Foundation and my Shield that I will remain faithful to You against the enemy temptation. I pray that I may do all of this with compassion and strong faith and spirit of gentleness. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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TRUE FORGIVENESS

TRUE FORGIVENESS

In Matthew chapter 18: 23-35 there is a parable of someone who owes the king ten thousand talents and could not pay. He begged for extension to pay his debt but the king moved by compassion not only gave him an extension but forgave him of his debt. That servant however did not forgive another person who owed him 100 talents and threw him into prison instead.

Jesus taught us to forgive one another up to seventy times seven. Does that mean we count how many times we give out forgiveness only up to 490 and after that we stop forgiving people? Of course not. What Jesus meant is that we always forgive others just as the Father has forgiven us over our past sin, present and future.

What is true forgiveness? If that servant after he threw his friend into the prison and get his 100 talents back and then he can say he forgive him? That is not forgiveness. That is collecting payment. That person has paid his due by being in prison and paid his money back. if someone hit you and you say you can only forgive him if he lets you hit him back; that does not count as forgiveness but it’s pay back.

True forgiveness is if we can let go of what the other person did. True forgiveness is not free. Someone has to pay for it which is the person who release forgiveness. It’s like the king in the parable, the servant of course is happy being forgiven but the king lost ten thousand dollars. If you forgive someone after being hit in the face and did not hit back; you were the one who suffer and pays for it. If your heart is broken but you are willing to forgive your spouse, it means you are willing to bear the hurt that the other person is inflicted upon you.

Jesus teaching seems hard to follow but He set the example first. It is not just empty word. Jesus died for us and took all of our sins so we could live. He forgives us and He was the One who suffer all of the consequences which is dead. We can’t say that we are believers and Christ followers if we don’t release forgiveness even though we suffer because of it; with this our Father will be glorified. Others will see how good Jesus truly is by us able to forgive.

If we truly want to forgive others who hurt us; just forgive them without asking them to pay anything back. that’s what Jesus did for us. God will give us strength to bear whatever others have done to us.

Matthew 18:22 (NKJV)
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Daily prayer
Jesus, thank You for forgiving me and died for me. I will learn to forgive others with true forgiveness just as the Father has forgiven me. I believe that You will give me strength to do that and to bear the hurt that others have inflicted on me. I will find release in You and I believe that Your Name will be glorified when they see Your kindness and mercy that You have shown to us all. In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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SEEKING STRENGTH

SEEKING STRENGTH

Everyone has times when they feel tired and overwhelmed by the pressures of life, be it our job, relationship, schools, loneliness, studies, dark future, bullying, feeling inadequate and hopeless. Whatever it is, every single one of us faces our own challenges and at some point, it will bring us down that we want to give up.

People go on vacation, seeking solitude place, some take meditation, yoga, exercise; some go on drinking, partying and doing drugs trying to escape or ’blow off steam’ is what people like to say. Some join a group doing whatever that they are interested in trying to reinvigorated themselves. The reality is, the problems remain the same, the people who face those problems are the same and nothing changes. Those are just temporary solution and normally the second time around people get frustrated for facing the same thing over and over again and that is why many people give up.

Isaiah 40:31 says that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. We as believers face the same problem but we have God who is bigger than any of our problems. Our problems will remain the same but God changes us. God gives us strength; He changes inside of us on how to face our problems. Wait on the Lord doesn’t mean we don’t do anything. It means we go seek Him and pray to Him, spend time with God and declare and believe that God is mighty with Him we are more than conquerors. We let God fill us with His power which is divine and majestic and he changes our character to be more like Him as long as we surrender ourselves to Him.

God even promises on Isaiah 41:10 that we should not fear for He is our God and He will strengthen us, He will help us and uphold us with His righteous right hand. Our strength comes from the Lord. It says that we have to wait on the Lord which tell us not to go out there and do everything with our own strength. God cannot help a person who feels strong and doesn’t need anybody. Would you help a world champion weight lifter lifting weight when he doesn’t need your help? We have to come to God and says that we need Him in our lives that we cannot do anything on our own outside of Him. He will always be with us and cause us to soar on wings like the eagle and we will be empowered to move forward confidently into the victory He has for us.

Isaiah 40:30-31 (NKJV)
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Daily prayer
Lord Jesus, I surrender all of my problems, my challenges and my future in Your hands. I need You in my life every moment. Outside of You I cannot do anything. Fill me with Your power and Your will. Change me to be more like You; renew my strength o Lord and I believe I will soar like an eagle with You. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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MIRACLE HARVEST (sowing-part 3)

MIRACLE HARVEST (sowing-part 3)

The moment before Jesus was lifted up to heaven, He and His disciples gathered and He gave a final message that they shall receive power when the Holy Spirit come upon them and they shall become witnesses to Jesus to the ends of the earth.

A witness is someone who has seen and heard something and retell it to others just like it is, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It is our job as believers and if we call ourselves as Jesus’ disciples to be His witnesses, to tell about Him, to spread the Gospel, the powerful and living word of God to others. We have to sow in the word of God and we believe that the word of God once heard by others; Holy Spirit will stir their spirit to come in acceptance of Jesus Christ. We have to take up this mission. It is the duty of all believers to sow in the word of God to harvest the soul.

Jesus promised the disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit come upon them. This part is a must for every believer. Before we start our mission or spreading the gospel, we must receive power from the Holy Spirit. It makes the word of God that we share become alive in others who heard it. The divine power of God will work with the power of Holy Spirit. Without it, it is just us babbling with the knowledge of the word and we won’t be able to share the right message to the right people at the right time because without God we are nothing.

There is a price that we have to pay. Even though Jesus was the one who promised to give the power, but the disciples must pray in unity for days with desire and hunger and thirst for that power. We believers have to do the same. It won’t just be given to us. We have to show that we are hunger and thirst for the power of Holy Spirit for the right reason, that is to surrender our lives to be led by Holy Spirit, to do the will of God and all for the glory of God. If we want it for all the wrong reason, we will never receive it.

If we want to harvest souls, we have to go to those who haven’t heard the Gospel and those who still don’t believe with the power of Holy Spirit who gives us courage, wisdom, knowledge, the fruits and the gifts from Holy Spirit. We will see miracle harvest happens in this generation.

Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Daily prayer
Lord Jesus, I believe in You and I want to be Your witnesses and tell others about You and Your greatness and Your love and Your mercy and grace. I surrender my will into Your hands and ask that You pour out Your spirit upon me. I want to do Your will and let Your name be known and harvest many souls. Guide my words, my actions and my life. In the name of Jesus I pray. amen

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MIRACLE HARVEST (sowing-part 2)

MIRACLE HARVEST (sowing-part 2)

God is a giving and generous God who prepare abundant blessing to those who believes in Him and have faith to receive them. Even for those non-believers, God doesn’t hold back His blessing. He gives sunlight, rain, air to all.

We as believers must have the heart of giving otherwise there is no way we can harvest souls and we cannot or refuse to be a blessing for others. It requires sacrifice in our lives with prayers as well as financially. Many believers talk as if they have desire to save others but unwilling to part ways with their possession. It requires money to go to other countries to do mission. It requires money to help those who are in need after natural disaster to rebuild their homes and their lives. If the only thing we do is saying God bless You and ask them to believe in God but there is no action or giving, that is all just big talk.

When Jesus was on this earth, He gave food to 5000 and 4000 people when He finished blessing them with His teachings. There is always an action if we want to bless others and to make them realize that our God is a generous God. God doesn’t owe anything to anyone. If we are willing to be a blessing for others, He will keep pouring out His blessing through us because He sees that we can be trusted and that those materials don’t stuck with us. God wants to use us to save many souls.

It also helps us to not be tied down to our possession and instead make God number One in our lives and believes that all blessings and riches come from Him and not our own effort which it is. We will not live thinking and worrying about our possession and instead we can fully live our lives for God’s purposes and let God take care of us. Sow through our materials and we will harvest souls.

There is happiness when we can share to others. There is so much joy when we can see how happy others are when they are truly in need and we bless them. Above all, there is a celebration when they are saved by the name of Jesus.

Acts 4:33-35 (NKJV)
33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

Daily prayer
Lord Jesus, I believe that You bless us so that we can be blessing to others. Let our heart only tied down to You and not our possession as You are the One who owns everything. We come with nothing and we will leave with nothing, so while we live, let us do Your will and harvest souls. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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