Psalm 31

Psalm 31

“In you, O Lord, I have taken my refuge.
Let me never put to shame;
Deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me;
Come quickly to my rescue;
Be my rock of refuge,
A strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
For the sake of your name,
Lead and guide me.”

Peace and good to all .

Psalm 31 is the most basic prayer in asking for God’s help. It is also the most basic way of saying you have lifted to God all your worries.

I am memorizing it as I would want it to be one of my memory verses. And, as I was starting to write the verse in order to memorize the same, I was directed to my notepad and of course directed eventually to this long lost blog of mine.

Psalm 31 struck me as it was the favorite verse in one of the movie series that I have watched. And, i fell in love with wordings of the Bible verse, for it is what I was actually trying to tell God everyday of my life. That, you O Lord is my rock and my refuge, lead and guide me.

A pilgrimage…

After seven years I returned back to Lourdes, France, to see again Our Lady of Lourdes in her Grotto in Massabielle. Three months of preparation from getting a visa to bookings of hotels and transportation, everything went well as my son and I flew to France on the third week of May, 2022.

It was a guided plan. Guided by Our Mother and her son Jesus. A plan after I finally turned away from a sin and vowed not to stay with it any longer. She heard my cries. She heard my pleads. “Make me see you again, Our Mother”. ‘Bring me back in your Grotto in Lourdes.” And, she did. She brought me and my son back in her Grotto in Lourdes, France.

Tears filled my eyes as I entered the gates of the Sanctuary. The feeling is different. There is a certain feeling of holiness the moment you enter the gates of the Sanctuary. We arrived just right on time for Mama Mary’s procession where pilgrims, young and old, male and female, healthy and the infirm, and from different parts of the globe, all carry candles, pray and say the rosary in different languages, with each decade of the rosary a song Mary Immaculate will be sung. Oh, how i love singing its refrain: “Ave, ave, ave, Maria.. Ave, ave, ave, Maria..”

The next day I spent much of my time in the Grotto. Again, the feeling was different. I cried and cried. I touched and kissed her cave. Saying – “finally, I am with you now, my Mother..”

The next day, I went to confession and from the depth of my heart I confessed to the priest the one sin that has been bugging me all the time. The one sin that causes all my guilt and restlessness inside. “Sin no more, my daughter”, that was what the priest told me after giving me an absolution. Mercy, I felt that. I felt God’s mercy after that.

I returned to the Grotto afterwards, I prayed, I talked to her and touched again the cave in her grotto. I cried as I prayed. I cried a river. And, I felt her love. I felt her maternal love. I prayed for those who asked me to pray for them. I prayed for those who intended to come and visit Mama Mary in Lourdes with their families. I prayed for those whom I have hurt and for my son and for myself. I prayed that I would be able to return back in Lourdes next time and to volunteer in order to help the elder and the infirm pilgrims.

This is my pilgrimage and I know it has just started. She has plans for me. Jesus has plans for me too.

God bless us all,

The Prayer of David..

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, 

for I call to you all day long.

Bring joy to your servant, 

for to you O Lord, 

I lift up my soul.

You are forgiving and good, 

O Lord, 

abounding in love  

to all who call to you.

Hear my prayer, O Lord; 

listen to my cry  for mercy.

In the day of my trouble

I will call to you, 

for you will answer me.”

Psalm 86: 3-7

Peace and good to all.

The above verses are part of David’s prayer to God. 

The text of the prayer of David is very similar to what we say to God in our daily prayer and in communion with our Father, especially when we ask for God’s mercy. 

We ask for God’s mercy for Him to enter into our situation. For Him to carry us and save us, in the situation where we call Him to be. And, because we know that our Father is full of mercy and love for us – His children, we know and believe that when we call on Him, He will be there, He will save us. 

We for sure could not remember anymore the countless times we have asked for God’s mercy and the countless times He showed His mercy to us. We have cried so many times and asked Him to help us, and He did, He did many times, right? Actually, sometimes it is because that we know that God is merciful that we tend to commit sins because we know that God will forgive us.  But did we not know too that sin separates us from God? That God will not answer us when we call on Him if we are in the state of sin.  

Micah 3:4

“Then they will cry out to the Lord,

But He will not answer them.

Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time

Because they have practiced evil deeds.”

Isaiah 59:2

“But we know that when we repent and ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness, God will hear us and He will save us. He will save us from the wages of sin which is death and He will give us instead salvation and eternal life. “

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We are all weak. We are all vulnerable. But with Jesus, our weakness would become our strength. Remember,  2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

God’s mercy is  akin with forgiveness. And, the benefits of forgiveness is peace, love and joy. 

God be with us all.

All Things Work Together for Good…

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

Peace and good to all.

If I may share my personal reflection on the above passage from the Book of Romans.

This is one verse I would want to share or quote in order to comfort someone caught in a negative situation which is beyond his/her control.

This verse is a promise that in whatever we do and whatever confronts us, especially when the same is not what we expect to happen or plan, rest assured that “in all things, God works for the good”. 

Illness, death of a loved one, loss of a job, breakups, anxiety, depression and some other things we deemed to call perils in life, are surely not the things that we have planned for. But, as a believer, we may look at these perils in life as a way for God’s purpose in our lives to come together and be realized. 

A breakup with someone you loved can be a way for you to find love from Jesus. Illness can be way for you to find healing and cure through the comforting words found in the scriptures. The pain brought about by the death of a loved one can be a source of your search for comfort which can be found only in Jesus. 

You see, God is always at work in our lives and His work is for our good and for his glory. We may not be able to understand his plans yet given the present predicament of our lives, but we know that God loves us so much and it is because of that love that we can be assured of that in whatever that we are facing at present, God works for the good of those who love Him, that He is in control of everything and that God is bigger than all these perils of life. Have faith.

But remember, while all things work together for the good of all those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose, this is not so to those who do not want to believe in Him or to those who ignore His calls. When you ignore God, you run into rough patches, that is one thing for sure. 

So, to my brothers and sisters in Christ, when we face trials and struggles in life, just remember, in all things that are happening to us, God works for the good, for our good. Have faith.

God be with you. 

The Lord’s blessing…

“The Lord bless you and keep you;  

the Lord make his face shine on you 

 and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you 

 and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26

Peace and good to all.

If I may share my personal reflection on the above passage from the Book of Numbers.

Today is New Year’s Day, the first day of the year 2022. 

The above passage is the best thing that we can have to start the year,  for it is the Lord’s blessing.

“The Lord bless you” – which means for good things which emanate only from God to be in your life. 

“The Lord keep you” – which means to be under the protection and care of God the Almighty. 

“The Lord make his face shine on you – which means to be favored and loved by God always; 

“The Lord turn his face toward you” – which means to feel God’s presence;

“The Lord give you peace” – which means to be calm, serene and worry free in everything because you know that God will take care of everything. 

This passage is about God’s blessings to us, the blessing that we receive from Him and which we can give to others   in order that good things which only come from God may come into their lives. 

When we bless other people, we will or intend goodness to come into their lives. We invoke God in order to support  the good things we will for them. This is the true meaning of blessing and  blessing does not compose of empty words only.

Blessing is a personal and powerful act, it is not a mere random expression, as you often call the name of God and make Him involve when you say “God bless you.” 

As God blesses us with His gifts of grace, love, mercy, peace and many more, let’s become persons of blessings to others too, by sharing and re-gifting to others what we have received from the source or from the giver of these gifts. 

God bless you. 

Jesus, the Hope and Light of the World..

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  

Isaiah 9:2,6

Peace and good to all.

If I may share my personal reflection on the above passage from the Book of Isaiah.

It is Christmas Day today and after I read on the above Bible verse and reflected on it, I know right away that I need to write. 

Christmas is hope, expectation and anticipation. Christmas gives us hope that with the birth of Jesus, light will replace darkness for Jesus Christ Himself is the light of the world. 

Yes, there is darkness,  yes there is a valley of death, yes they exist, but they were overcame by the Light of World, who is Jesus. 

To know Jesus and to have personal relationship with him is to bring light to your life. If your life is covered by shadows, of darkness, of illness and sorrow, there is hope in Him who can dispel the darkness, sorrows, illness and shadows in your life. All you need is to introduce Jesus, the light of this world in your life and have faith. 

“On those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.”  

I once been in there, in deep darkness of life, and no amount of material possession and of privileges that I enjoyed, and no matter what kind of relationship I was into, could give me peace. For at the end of the day then, there was this void in my heart in search of something or of someone who can fill this void. There was no peace then in my heart. It was always troubled. 

Yes, my world before Jesus was indeed a dark place. But even during those darkest moments of my life, Jesus was there, holding my hands to carry on, to hang on and it was just lately that I discovered that those hands of Him were meant to take me to the path towards His direction. The light who is Jesus had come to dispel the darkness that have overshadowed me. Praise the Lord!

Life after the introduction of Jesus in my life is not easy as well. It was not a bed full of roses. The beast is just around the corner, ready to devour my spirit. Temptations, ruined family relationships, illness, sorrow, trials and many more will be his ways, I fought them by my faith with Jesus,  as John 16:33 says:  

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Life with Jesus does not stop in introducing and accepting Him in your life. As believers of Christ, we have a mission and that is to spread the good news of salvation. To make Jesus known to the world for while the world may know about Jesus, they are still living a life without Him if they do not know Him actually, that is if they have not accepted and do not have a personal relationship with Him yet. 

Walk out of the darkness and into the light, my friends, turn to Christ. 

Merry Christmas and God be with you.

On willful sin and the words from my mouth…

Keep your servant also from willful sins;  may they not rule over me.  Then I will be blameless,  innocent of great transgression.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart  be pleasing in your sight,  Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” 🙏

Psalm 19: 13-14

Peace and good to all.

If I may share my personal reflection on the above passage from the Book of Psalm. 

On willful sins:

We are all sinners. Everyday we struggle with sin. But we fight sin through faith in Jesus. Because of our  faith in Him, we trust that through His mercy and love for us, we are forgiven when we come to Him and ask for His forgiveness. We know that there is salvation when there is forgiveness.

But there is a tendency  to lose salvation when we engage in willful sin, that is when we deliberately commit sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth.  As written in Hebrews 10:26, “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” 

Thus, the Psalm of David, to remind us to pray that we be away from willful sins so that they may not rule over us. For willful sin is beyond salvation. 

 On the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart:

Our hearts and the words that we speak have strong connection. They go hand in hand: the mouth and the heart. They are related and both should be pleasing to God. Thus, it is written: 

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45)

This means that we speak out things that are stored in our hearts. There were times that out of frustration on something or somebody, we say things which we are not supposed to be saying, taking into consideration that we consider ourselves followers of Christ. But take note of this, once you realized that what you have spoken is wrong and you acknowledge it before God and confess about it, I believe that it was the Holy Spirit who has in dwell in you that was at work. 

Let’s pray that our thoughts be always captive to the mind of Jesus so everything that we say should be founded on the truths and in accordance with the word of God. We can use the above verse  in praying that the words we speak and we use to daily communicate with others be founded on the truths about Jesus. 

God be with you. 

Of vigilance, prayer and the Word of God…

“Be on guard; don’t immerse yourselves in a life of pleasure and drunkenness and worldly cares and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.  

Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 🙏

Luke 21:34-36

Peace and good to all.

If I may share my insights on the above gospel of our Lord.

Vigilance and Prayer, these are the two things Jesus has told us to have in order to be prepared when we meet Him again.

As believers of Christ, we know that based from the  scriptures, the Lord could come at any moment and we ought to be ready. We always have to be on guard for the return of the Son of Man could occur or happen at anytime. 

The return of the Son of Man for those who believe in Him is something to look forward to with great anticipation for this would mean that we would be able to finally see and be with our saviour whom we have been waiting for so long. 

To the unbelievers, this would mean, however,  a calamity,  destruction, something scary and gruesome to think about. And why, do they think that way, in the first place? Because  despite the warnings given in the scriptures, the unbelievers cannot give up their worldly life, they live differently and irresponsibly, without regard to our Lord. Such a pity. 

We believers, are not immune to this. Temptations and the deceiving luster of worldly life may lead us to live irresponsibly. When we start to take our eyes from Jesus, we tend to forget His soon return, our values change, our priorities shift, and soon we live irresponsibly like how unbelievers live their lives.  That’s why Jesus tells us to PRAY. 

Prayer and God’s word would be our weapons to fight distractions and freedom from worldly desires. Pray that we may be able to fight off all this worldly distractions. Remember always that we can only remain faithful to God through incessant prayer and through the Word of God. 

I believe that when we are in great anticipation in the coming of our Lord; when we are full of zest to see Him and looking forward to stand before Him, when we have the confidence to stand before Him, then we know that we are indeed in constant connection with our Lord.

Otherwise, the second coming of our Lord will be something we would not want to talk about nor even think about, because we know that  we are unprepared for that moment to come due to our unbelief and of being weak to  give up our worldly desires.  

Remember this:

  “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:15-16). 

Are you prepared to meet Jesus?

May God be with you.  

Thanking God and Making Him Known

“Give praise to the Lord,  proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

Glory in his holy name;  let the hearts of those who seek  the Lord rejoice.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face  always.

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,” 🙏

Psalm 105:1-5

Peace and good to all.

If I may share my personal reflection on the above passage from the Book of Psalm. 

On giving thanks to God:

The Holy Bible contains commands of giving thanks to God and it contains multiple reasons on why we ought to give thanks to our Lord; because His love endures; His mercy is everlasting; and, because God is good, are among those reasons. 

Praising and giving thanks to  God, go well together and both manifest belief in God. Thanking God is a sign of gratitude and humility. It is sign of being dependent to God and not of just believing to oneself, which is arrogance and self-centeredness. 

Praising and thanking God every time keeps us in a relationship with Him, because every time we thank Him, for anything and everything, we acknowledge our dependence on Him, of Him being a part of our lives, and of Him as our Father who provides for us. 

Remember that we ought to be giving thanks to God for anything and everything,  even for the things or circumstances in our lives that we do not seem to like. Yes, even for things and circumstances that we do not like. For when we are with God, we know that these things though we may not like them at present, maybe a way for something beautiful and grandeur that God has prepared for us in the future. And that even in the midst of the suffering that we may be experiencing at the moment, thanking God should not be forgotten, not because of the suffering, but because of the strength He is giving us to sustain all of it. Have faith. God is good, all the time. 

On Making Christ known:

Believers of Christ should make Christ known. They are witnesses of Christ goodness and mercy and, therefore, they ought to testify about it, so others may know. That is our obligation as  followers of Christ. 

There are people who are by nature introvert or shy, but they have to understand that they ought to take courage to open their mouths in order to be the witnesses for Jesus. The good news of  the Lord as they mysteriously play in our lives are ought to be known by others. Speak out and let’s not keep our mouths shut when God wants them open. 

When we remain silent when we know we ought to speak out to glorify God, consider it as a temptation, my friends.  Jesus calls us to witness. Pray.  Pray in order that the Holy Spirit may open our mouths so we may play our part to be witnesses of what we have been called to be.  Be reminded of Matthew 10:19-20: 

“…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

God be with you. 

The Seal of the Living God..

“Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne, and before the Lamb.” 🙏

Revelation 7: 2-4, 9

Peace and good to all.

If I may share my personal reflection on the above passage from the Book of Revelation. 

If there is  a mark of the beast, believers of Christ need not worry, for there is the seal of the living God. The seal that brings salvation to the righteous and true-hearted to God, the seal of the living God, the seal of Christ. 

But what is the seal of the living God? 

Jesus Christ, himself, is the seal of the living God. The scripture is clear on this, thus John 6:27, says:

 “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

This means that when we trust in Jesus, when we believe in Him and in His gospel of salvation, we become possessors of the seal of God, we get to be marked in Him with a seal and this is made manifest when He sends us the Holy Spirit to dwell into our hearts. When the Holy Spirit in dwells in our hearts,  we become sealed with the Holy Spirit, we, therefore, bear the seal of the living God. 

This could be the reason why as believers of Christ, you get to feel this sense of completeness, peace and security because  we know that we can sustain any wickedness and evil in this transitory world because we bore the seal of the living God. God’s children are sealed by Him. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ. 

What does it mean when we bear the seal of the living God?

When a document bears a seal, it gives the document the character of authenticity and legitimacy. For humans, when we bear the seal of the living God, I believe it gives us the character of being an authentic and legitimate children of God, for not everyone is a child of God.

Bearing the seal of God make us identified also with God, that we are owned by God, that we belong in Christ and everything in Him belongs to us too. This means that our redemption and eternity are secured; that our sins have already been forgiven, because we are marked and sealed by the living God. 

You may want to ask yourself, have you received the seal of the living God?

God be with you.