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. 

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. 

My Lord comforts me…

“Who will rise up for me against the wicked?  Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?

Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” 🙏

Psalm 94: 16-19

Peace and good to all.

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

When faced with a problem our first instinct is almost always to worry. We get uneasy, nervous or get scared especially when confronted with an event or something with an uncertain outcome. We have suddenly forgotten that when we are with God, we should worry no more. Faith. Have faith in Him who is the rock of your life. 

The above verse is an assurance that God is faithful, that we should not give in to that uneasiness, to that worry or that unknown fear. When worry is too strong for us to take,  have faith that God will extend his helping hand and, even when death is imminent, let’s remind ourselves that we are not alone. We have God, we have Jesus with us. God through the Holy Spirit will comfort us, He will tame our worried hearts. And, when we feel like we are slipping away, call on Him, for His love will save and support us. Praise to you my Lord and my God. 

Establishing a relationship with God, thru His Son Jesus, is the key in everything. God will never force us to have a relationship with Him, but if we invite Him in our lives, if we make Him the stronghold of our lives, we will enjoy that kind of peace that no one and nothing in this world can give. 

I was in the darkness once, but I did not allow my soul to dwell in silence. I accepted Jesus when the first opportunity came knocking in my heart. I accepted His help and, then believe me,  I no longer feel that emptiness that I had before.  He gave me peace of mind. He calmed my soul and I praise Him for that. 

God be with us all. 

Have you disowned Jesus?

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. 

And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” 🙏

Luke 12:8-10

Peace and good to all.

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

Have you been guilty of denying Jesus in public? All of us I believe are at some point in our lives, been guilty of denying Jesus in public. Peter, one of the closest apostles of Jesus, denied Him three times, remember? The shame. The guilt. And, yet, Jesus had forgiven him, because Peter repented.

Remember those days when you could not go out in public and proclaim about the good news of salvation and, of Jesus as your saviour, for fear of being outcasted or attacked as trying to be pious more than the Pope or being branded as corny and, therefore, ashamed? We all had those days, I supposed.  I am guilty of that, I know and I have confessed about it.  

And, things have changed.

Perhaps because I am no longer my old me, and I have been one of the living witnesses of Christ mercy, forgiveness and faithfulness.  I am one of the living witnesses of the mystery of the Holy Spirit as manifested in my life daily. Then, I started to get vocal about it. Testifying about Jesus, my Lord and my God.

What does it mean to acknowledge Jesus? 

It means to accept Him as the Sovereign God, recognizing His authority and to remain obedient to Him, to make Him rule over your life and be obedient to His teachings and truths. 

How about disowning Jesus, what does it mean? 

It can be as subtle as ignoring those who say something negative about Jesus, to the most dramatic way of renouncing one’s faith in Jesus in order to preserve a status quo or personal comfort or to avoid persecution.  Oh how admire those faithfuls who chose death in the hands of malefactors instead of renouncing their faith in God. They surely are in the rooms in paradise prepared by Jesus  for His servants in God the Father’s home. 

We disown Jesus when we fail to speak up and make it clear where we stand for Him. Even when you have not renounced your faith vocally, remember, God knows what is in your heart, and He would know if you have denied Him or not. 

Are you acknowledging Jesus or denying Him before men? Take a stand, my friend. 

Be brave to accept Jesus. Be bold to proclaim His promise salvation. 

God be with you. 

When you cry out to God…

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help,  and you listened to my cry.

To the roots of the mountains I sank down;  the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God,  brought my life up from the pit.

 I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”🙏

Jonah 2: 2a, 6, 9s

Peace and good to all.

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

The above quoted verse is an excerpt from Jonah’s prayer, while he was inside the belly of a fish. We know about the story of Jonah, right? Jonah, a prophet who ran away from the Lord because he did not want to follow what the Lord our God instructed him to do. He flee as though he can hide from God. He boarded a ship to get away from the Lord so God hurled a storm against the ship where he was hiding. And, when he realized that he cannot flee from an all-present Sovereign God, and in order to spare the other passengers of the ship, he asked them that he be thrown  out into the sea.  And, yes, Jonah was thrown into the waters. Then the raging sea suddenly became quiet. And, while Jonah sunk into the waters,  the storm ceased.

It is said that it was while he was sinking into the sea that he cried out to God:  a cry of distress to the Lord.  Jonah remembered that he has a forgiving God; a God full of mercy that even though he deserved to be punished with his death being imminent, he recalled of the steadfast love that God has for His people; a God who is slow to anger; a compassionate God. And, thus he prayed for mercy and God heard him and, saved him. It was then that He was swallowed by a large fish (a whale probably)  and remained in its belly for three days and three nights. The Lord had mercy on Jonah and saved him miraculously in a fish’s belly.

It was while he was inside the fish belly that Jonah prayed and thanked God for listening to his plea of deliverance. It was while he was inside the fish belly that the he prayed and glorified God. 

This is because he asked for mercy in the imminence of his death as he sunk into the depths of the water and God answered him by sending the fish that swallowed him. The fish was Jonah’s  place of refuge sent by God for three days and and three nights.  It was his vessel in reaching the dry land. 

The story of Jonah is not fictional. It is not a parable. It was a real story which Jesus even mentioned in his teachings. Jonah’s story is a story of inspiration, a story of encouragement to all of us, particularly to God’s children,  that God answers us and hears our cries. That,  in the moment of our distress, we have a living God whom we can turn to and  who can save us, for God hears our cries to him. That He answers us inspite of our guilt, of our sins, of our shortcomings to Him. All we need to do is to pray and call His name. And, He will be there, yes, He will be there just when we thought we are not worth saving for. 

They say desperate times call for desperate measures. But if you believe in the power of God to save you especially in times of distress,  all you need is to cry to God and to rely on Him, to trust Him that He will save you and carry you in the most trying times of your life. And, believe me, He will. 

God’s promise is clear: Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).

Cry out for Him with humility, faith and sincerity and He will deliver you. God be with us. 

Face you fear like an olive tree in the house of God.

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;  I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever.

 I will praise you forever, for what you have done; in your name I will hope,  for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.”

Psalm 52:8-9

Peace and good to all.

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

As followers and believers of Jesus, we can be like what David is saying: “an olive tree flourishing in the house of God, trusting God’s unfailing love forever.”

We face trials, adversities and storms in our lives. This pandemic for instance has brought changes in our way of living. Many have been victims of the sickness, while there are who those who survived, many also have succumbed to this dreadful disease, thus creating fear in our minds.

But whatever it is, pandemic or other matters where we found ourselves in some difficult circumstance or situation, which may be long or short, be it emotional, physical, mental or spiritual, remember to face them like an olive tree in the house of God. You are a believer of Jesus, right? Then, have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, focus on Him and not on your present circumstance or difficult situation.

If you indeed believe in Jesus as your saviour, then believe that He is present in your life, actively in-charge of your life. Trust Him and cast everything to Him. Believe in His words, in His promises, in His strength. But trusting Him is more than a feeling, it is faith, it is like believing in Him when your feelings or situation would have you believe or do something different. Remember, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 .

Have faith, therefore, my friends, walk behind the Lord and let Him lead you. Sometimes our expectations are different from what is happening but have faith and have hope in Him. Be patient and have a thankful heart. God always keeps his promises. God be with us all.

God’s thoughts for you and me..

Psalm 139: 17-18

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.”

Psalm 139: 17-18

Peace and good to all.

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

It was few months ago when I started to regularly spend time with Jesus, starting my day with Him, conversing with Him (like you are conversing with somebody you know so much), reading His Word in the Bible, and listening carefully in my heart on what He was saying. Recently, I found myself  retiring my day with conversation with Him and reading His Words.  Even in dreams, I remembered mumbling His Words, reciting the verses I read in the Bible and even using them to rebuke unpleasant elements and bad people wandering in my dreams. And, in my every waking hours, our Lord has become the first thought in my mind. I am sharing this in order to glorify God and not to boast, my friends.

Am I thinking more about God? Am I thinking more about Jesus? Probably, yes,  but this is nothing as to how God was thinking about you and me. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and no matter how we say we think deeply of God, the same is nothing as compared to how God thinks of us.  God’s  thoughts for us, His thoughts for our future, for our safety, for our protection and care, is immeasurable and infinite. Why? Because God’s love for us is infinite. God so love us that He would not want us to be separated from him perpetually. Hence, He even sent His only begotten Son, to save us and redeem us, in order we may be able to be again with Him.  Man’s love is limited but God’s love has no limit. 

I cannot say that I know what are God’s thoughts for me. I cannot say that, because I know they are many,  plenty and infinite. It cannot even equal the grains of sand here on earth.  I would not even dare to ask Him what are those for I have faith in His Promise, as written in Jeremiah 29:11.   My Lord’s plan for me is to prosper me and not harm me, to give me hope and future. 

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.” Jesus gave me that  innermost peace my heart needs. And, I praise Him for it.

A promise of hope and future.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Peace and good to all.

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

The above verse is one of the many favorites of many believers. Why? Because it is a promise of hope, a promise of a new day from any turbulent situation that a believer may be facing at the moment.

Sickness, death of a loved one, deception, financial problem, family  problems. These are issues which may discourage some of us. Having faith during this difficult times is the hardest part of all especially with the thought that everything seems to be against you,  to the point of including God on the perception of conspiracy against you. Do not allow this discouragement to blind you on what you know about our one true God.  That God is merciful, who is for and not against us,  and,  if God is for us who can be against us. Remember Romans 8:31? 

Oftentimes, it is late to realize that during our difficult times, God was just with us, actually working on our behalf. That He was just around the corner, helping us to get through with our situation no matter how difficult it is. Thus, when we get discouraged at some point, be still and know that God is with us. Let not our difficult situation nor our discouragement blind us on what we have learned and know on the truth about God. 

When you feel down and discouraged, remember, as in always remember,  that God is always working on your behalf, and no matter how bad your situation seems, it is not yet over,  God is working on the other areas of your life that may seem not obvious to you today. Trust Him.  Have faith, you are not helpless, you and I,  have a God that watches us, who neither slumber nor sleep. God be with you. 

Can a believer fall away?

“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift,  who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming  age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance, to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

Hebrews 6:4-6

Peace and good to all.

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

 Can one who has believed and been saved fall away and be lost? Are believers still susceptible of falling away and, of being lost?

The above passage is a warning, that yes, it is possible. It spoke of believers who have fallen away and of the impossibility of they, being brought back again to God. But what do we mean of falling away? This we ought to know so that we would be aware of the snare of the devil, who will taunt us to fall away. 

Falling away simply means apostasy or the rejection of Christ, the rejection of the Word of God by one who has been a believer or a Christian, these are believers who have consciously or voluntarily abandoned their faith in God. 

Falling away also includes backsliding, which happens when a person who has been converted, lapses or drifts away or  turns away from God in order to pursue his/her own desire. It is drifting away little by little,  and, if it escalates, it will lead to apostasy. If you think this would not happen to you, be warned, or you fall. 

But what causes believers to lose their faith? Some because of betrayal of their churches, or through bitterness from their faith leaders or faith family, for others it may be due to multiple tragedies that happen in their lives that led them to question God’s promise of love for them. 

Remember, that we are all human and, therefore, are all vulnerable, and we are indeed in a spiritual war with the a deceptive enemy who would use any and all means for us to fall away from God, thus stay on guard always.  Stay with God’s truth with thankful hearts, affirm God’s goodness and always thank Him for His blessings  and never doubt on God’s goodness even in the midst of our trials. 

I walk my faith with Jesus now under a strong conviction, that He is the truly son of God who died for my sins, who is my shepherd and my protector in this life’s journey. This will stand and this is enough for me. 

We can protect our faith from the shipwreck, through the word of God and through the Holy Spirit. 

God be with us all. 

The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few…

  “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Matthew 9:36-38

Peace and good to all.

If my share my thoughts on the above gospel.

It speaks of how bountiful the blessings of God is, ready to be harvested and given to those in need. Jesus saw how many people who are in need and needed to be taken cared of and brought to God, but there seemed to be few who are willing to do the work. 

When Jesus came here and died in the cross and resurrected, He destroyed death, He has redeemed the world, He has redeemed us and saved us, He destroyed our bondage from original sin that separates us from our Heavenly Father. This means that the battle has been won and we have the world to enjoy, the fruits of God’s work are ready for us to experience. But many of us  do not know this, because they are helpless of their conditions and situations in life, harassed of their enemies, of their own choices in life, and they are at lost for there is no one to guide them. 

What do we do now as followers of Christ? What we should be doing is to invite these people to be part of the harvest with us, to share with them the good news of the Lord, to share with them the blessings of  God’s saving work. Yes, it will require plenty of work my friends, because for others, it would be scary to accept our invitation to join us in our walk with Christ because the path is indeed narrow, there are lots of sacrifices and some could not part their earthly life. But we need to be fueled by compassion like  what Jesus felt in the gospel, upon seeing the crowd of helpless and harassed individuals who are hungry for the word of God. We were once like them, spiritually helpless, harassed, but by the grace of God, we were led to Jesus, to His harvest field, and it was upon tasting the life with Him that changed our lives.  We follow Jesus now, not because we are compelled to do so but because we want to,  because in His harvest field there is peace, there is forgiveness, there is love and there is compassion. 

The word of God has the power to transform our hearts. The word of God has the power to transform the very core of a person’s life. Remember that before we started following Christ, we first believed in the word of God, and before others can be changed and be part of the harvest of God with us, we need to share the word of God, the Gospel,  with them. 

Finally, we may want to ask ourselves, “are we part of the workforce of Jesus, harvesting His field to share it and feed it to His people?”