All things work for good

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All things work for good Romans 8:28 says, “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.” This is the source of our hope – because we know God is good and He is in control, we can trust that all things will work out for good in His time. God has a plan and this plan has been unfolding throughout all the ages. Though we may not understand what is happening, and though there is suffering and pain; though there are those who continue to hurt us and steal and kill, and though we hear of wars and disasters and plagues, we do not lose hope. We know God will reward each of us according to what we deserve; and for those who trust Him and do good, a heavenly home awaits. And for those who choose to do evil and reject God, they too will get what they deserve. We walk by faith. We live by faith. Because we know that God is in control. Romans 8:28 is a promise for those who LOVE GOD, not for those who reject Him.

  • How do we know we love God?In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.” – 1 John 5:3
  • And what are these commandments? “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39.

Pretty cool, huh? It’s amazing how God allows us to understand His truths as we read His Word. Truly, our God is faithful. And because He is faithful, we can live by faith in the God who loves us. And we can declare with faith for all to hear; “GOD IS GOOD! ALL THE TIME!” Bible Lesson:

  1. The authority of God’s Word: The Bible in many parts is like a giant history book and tells us about how God is faithful even when man is not. It is an account of how God is faithful to do as He promised; how God fulfills His covenants and stays true to His Word no matter what. For most of us, we believe it because of the testimony of people whose lives have been changed when they heard the message about Christ and they put their trust in Jesus. Seeing how the Scripture changes lives, both of those whose lives where written in the bible and the fellowship of believers we have now, and more importantly, how it speaks to us personally and changes our lives as well – this is our reason for believing in the authority of the Bible.
  2. Trusting God through the “ages”:– In Hebrews 11:3, it is said, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (KJV) We know that the English version of the New Testament was primarily translated from Greek, and in many cases such as in this verse, a careful analysis of the Greek terms used will help us understand the meaning more fully. There are three words we have to take a look at.
  • worlds” – This is the Greek word “aion” which means “periods of time” or “ages”.
  • framed” – This comes from “katartizo” and means “to prepare” or “to arrange”
  • word” – This is the Greek word “rhema” and it refers to the “revealed word” or “spoken word,” as opposed to “logos” which is the “written Word of God.”

With this, we can therefore paraphrase Hebrews 11:3 as thus; “Through faith, we understand that that the ages were prepared by the spoken word of God.” This tells us that God is in control of all the different periods of times than man has lived in. From the time of the fall of Adam and Eve, the flood during the time of Noah, the exodus from Egypt during the time of Moses, including all the events leading down to the time of Jesus and the New Testament church, and even until now; God is in control. He has a plan. He has prepared or arranged all things to work out His plan. 3. God is in control: Daniel 2:21 says,“He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Faith is based on the truth about God. It is not based on our wishful thinking that somehow, somewhere, there is a divine hand who would probably or most likely make things work out for the best. No! Our faith is based on the one true God who is in control! “He changes times and seasons” – God is aware of all these extreme weather conditions and super storms and climate change. He is in control. He can calm the wind and waves anytime He wants to. “He deposes kings and raises up others” – no one who is any position of authority or leadership can claim they did it all on their own without God. That is simply not true. God allowed for them to be in charge, whether they are good or bad. God is in control. Job 12:10 says, “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” We may not understand why things are the way they are, but God does. And we put our trust not on what we see, hear, or feel, but on what God says. 3. Living by faith:When we see evil around us, when we are surrounded by pain and suffering, wars and greed, we wonder where is God in all of this? But the Word of God plainly tells us, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:17 In 2 Corinthians Chapter 5, the apostle Paul talks about how we know that our life here on earth is just temporary, and how we eagerly await our eternal dwelling in heaven – the promised eternal home for all who believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Believing this truth allows us to “walk” or “live” by faith, and not by sight, because although we have not seen heaven, we trust God’s Word that it is real. And more importantly, because we have faith that God is in control, it encourages us to make it our life’s goal to please God, because we will all have to appear before Christ one day when it is time to reap in heaven the fruits of whatever we have sown here on earth. God is just and will give us what we deserve. If we have planted much good, then we will harvest much good as well. We do not have faith because of what we see happening around us – we have faith because God’s Word says so. That is how we live by faith, and not by sight. 

Prayer for sending off with the Armor of God

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Dear Kuya Jun and Ate Shee,

We thank the Lord for God’s goodness which He has shown you all these years and for how much you both have blessed our hearts and shown us God’s love is indeed alive and true. As you embark on this new journey, we want to send you armed with the armor of God, so that you may be able to stand firm and “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10), “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6)

As you fasten the belt of truth around you, may the “Spirit of truth guide you into all the truth;” (John 16:13), “the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD.” (Isaiah 11:2) May the Lord “Sanctify you by the truth; for His Word is truth” (John 17:17).

As you put on the breastplate of the “righteousness that is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:22), may your “love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:9-10).

May you bring the gospel of peace wherever you may go, for it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15). As “Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20) compelled by the love of God who has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation through Christ, may your “message and preaching not be filled with wise and persuasive words, but may it be a demonstration of the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4).

As you take up your shield of faith, may you always “walk in faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). May your eyes always be “fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). May you be rich in good works prompted by love and abound in generous deeds, that your faith be made complete (James 2:22).

As you wear the helmet of salvation, may you have “eyes to see and ears to hear all the wondrous things that God has prepared for you that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). May you be transformed from glory to glory by the “renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). And we pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

As you take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, may “this Book of the Law not depart from your mouth, but meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.“(Joshua 1:8).

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 5:24-26 )

In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.

“As in the days of Noah…” Rapture, anyone?

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“For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark.” – Matthew 24:38

The upcoming epic movie of biblical proportions has gotten many people excited, whether they believe in the bible or not.

Watch the trailer here:

Remember the Ten Commandments 1956 movie starring Charlton Heston? Not biblical. Hollywood’s version is less fact and more fiction.

A careful reading of the biblical account would lead one to understand that the movie has explored the artistic freedom so much so that if you think you know what happened because you’ve watched the movie, the truth is, you don’t. From the characters of Ramses,  Queen Nefertiri, Moses’ adoptive mom (pharaoh’s daughter), to even the role of Joshua and Dathan, the movie is just one big epic fictional love story set on a factual event, much like how the movie Titanic was.

The upcoming movie NOAH appears to be following the same path. It is not the biblical account. One blog post has even made it in the news because in the script, Noah is allegedly portayed like an “environmentalist whacko.”

“Stand up for the truth” has more information here on how much “artistic liberty” the director has actually done to tweak this bible story: 12 REASONS NOT TO FALL FOR THE NOAH MOVIE HYPE

With all the recent catastrophic events apparently prophesied

and upcoming celestial signs,

it has been in the forefront of my mind that we may indeed be living in the end times.

With that thought, this verse suddenly came to mind. “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark.” – Matthew 24:38

I began to think what if maybe there might be a relationship between the movie and the signs of the times? I did a bit of research and this is what I came up with:

  1. The movie is not expected to be faithful to the biblical account.  Fox news reports: “A source tells FOX411 that Paramount is determined to make a movie that is as biblically accurate as possible and appeals to those who go to church each Sunday, while Aronofsky – an independent filmmaker making his first big studio film – has a very different creative vision less in the line with scripture.”
  2. The movie is set to hit the big screens on March 28, 2014.
  3. The biblical account of Noah points to the 17th of Nisan as the day Noah’s ark rests on the earth for the first time after the flood. (Genesis 8)
  4. The 17th of Nisan is also said to be the date of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Other significant events that are said to occur on this date can be found here: The Mystery of the 17th
  5. In our modern calendar, this 17th of Nisan from the Hebrew Calendar translates to April 17, 2014.
  6. Nisan 1 is also considered as the  “Biblical New Year” : theSeason for our Liberation.
  7. The first of the blood moon tetrad of 2014-2015 will occur in April 15, 2014. This is also the 15th of Nisan in the Hebrew Calendar or PASSOVER. (Article on the Coming Four Blood Moons)
  8. The Feast of First Fruits occurs in April 20, 2014, just 5 days after the blood moon. (This date is according to this calendar: 2013-2014 Biblical and Jewish Holidays)
  9. The Feast of the First Fruits has also been said as the possible date of rapture. For as Jesus was the first fruit and he resurrected on the the said feast, so will the elect also possibly be gathered up on such a day.“‘Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Read: “The Rapture and the Feast of First Fruits”)
  10. ALL THESE DATES ARE MAKING ME DIZZY. But somehow, there seems to me that there is something very significant to watch out for this coming spring between March-April 2014; and it is NOT the movie “Noah,” but something much more biblical in proportion.

I am not a bible scholar nor a preacher or anything like that. I am an ordinary person who believes in an extraordinary God. I believe the Bible and am merely trying to follow what Jesus said which is to “watch and pray”, to “look up” and to “be ready” for we don’t know the time nor the hour. But Jesus also said we would know WHEN THE TIME IS NEAR. I am not researching this with dreaded fear or anxiety, but with a great awe and anticipation of what is to come.

Because for those who put their trust in Jesus, we are called “children of the light.”

1 Thessalonians 5

“1Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate,and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

SHALOM!

(Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a prophecy.)

The Bible in 90 days Journal: Exodus and Leviticus (Much Ado About Offerings)

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Reading through Leviticus was a much bigger struggle than Genesis and Exodus. I got overwhelmed with all the specific instructions about the what, when, and how to offer sacrifices; namely, the burnt offering, grain offering, peace offering, sin offering, guilt offering and ordination offering. Truly, there is “much ado about offerings.”

However, as I was reading through the chapters, I suddenly had a realization: If the Israelites had been commanded to make all these different offerings of animals and grain, then it must be assumed that they as a matter of fact had a lot of animals and a significant amount of grain with them. It was after all, from these daily sacrifices that the Levites get their portion and they even had regulations where and up to when they could eat it.

In Exodus 12:32, the Pharaoh sent them away with their flocks and herds after the death of the firstborn of Egypt, and so we know where the animals came from. Now as for the grain, it seemed unlikely for the people to plant and cultivate wheat in the desert, so it would be most probable that they brought a lot of grain with them as well when they left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea.

With this realization came a big question: If they had all these sources of food, then why would the Israelites complain of “starving to death” on the desert? They had their animals and grain which they could have eaten!

Here’s the scripture wherein they grumbled against the Lord:

The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord ’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (Exodus 16:1-3 NIV)

This prompted a bit of researching (another stall in my daily reading, but I couldn’t help it; I have to try and make sense of what I’m reading, right?). Unfortunately, it appears that scripture is silent as to the specific source of grain while they were in the desert. They probably brought some from Egypt, it is possible they traded with other peoples while in the desert, or maybe they found some grain in the desert — it’s all speculation. However, since God commanded them to offer it, it would be safe to assume that God also provided them with a source where to get such offering.

What we do know is that for 40 years, God provided them with manna or the “bread from heaven” to eat. They had quail in the evening and manna in the morning the day after they complained. God made sure their needs were met, even though they weren’t always gracious nor deserving of God’s generosity.

The Israelites did not lack God’s provision. They lacked faith. And perseverance. And persevering faith.

Today, during our Praise and Worship, we sang the song, “Ikaw Lamang” which talks about God’s goodness and grace. As I sang it today, it became a personal acknowledgment of how God chose to show his goodness to me; how He has given me such a wonderful family; how He has blessed us with all that we need and more. I realized more deeply how God, by His grace and mercy, has allowed that a proud, spolied, fault-finding, rebellious and always complaining, miserable individual such as myself would ever be called a child of God.

Grace: “God’s unmerited favor.” Being blessed even when we don’t deserve it.

I found myself humbled at His presence, as I pieced together the different things He has led me to ponder on these last few days. I have been reflecting on how God has never allowed me to experience deep suffering and hard trials, and yet as a child and even as an adult, I was angry at God and complained about things that others would already count as blessings in comparison to their own suffering.

To put it simply, I know I’ve had an easy life compared to most others, and still, I spend a lot of time grumbling against God.

Not very far from what the Israelites in the desert did, right? They were blessed far more than any other nation; they have seen God’s mighty hand as they were kept safe from the 10 plagues; they saw how God made the Egyptians give them silver and gold as they left Egypt and they came out of bondage with much wealth; they witnessed how God parted the Red Sea and punished those who had oppressed them;  they were freed from slavery and was given a wonderful promise from God that they were to come to their abundant inheritance of the land of milk and honey.

With a renewed heart, I continued to sing to the Lord, asking forgiveness for my shortsightedness and thanking Him for His grace. I sang to ask for His help to always see His goodness in everything and to commit myself and my whole family once again to serve Him with all our hearts, soul and minds; to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice; an offering that will reach the heart of God…

To Love God with all that we are, and with all that we’ve got.

We may not always get it right, indeed we will fail often; but with God’s grace, we have a reason to have a faith that perseveres;  a confidence that “He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:6)

Almighty God, You are soooo GOOD! We love You, LORD!

The Bible in 90 days Journal: Genesis (Lot Saved by God’s Grace)

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(Note: These are personal reflections regarding certain verses that caught my attention as I am journeying to read the Bible from cover-to-cover in 90 days. I am not a bible scholar or anything of that sort. I am but an ordinary person serving an extraordinary God.) 

THE STORY OF LOT: A Picture of God’s Saving Grace

With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. (Genesis 19:15, 16 NIV)

What an amazing story of how God takes care of His chosen ones. Even if Lot was a stubborn sheep, hesitant to obey and not deserving any favors considering his many failures, the Good Shepherd remained faithful and kept Lot from being destroyed, even it it meant He had to purposely “grasp his hand” and lead them out of the city of Sodom and Gomorrah.

So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. (Genesis 19:36, 37 NIV)

What men do for evil, God is able to turn for good. After receiving such mercy from God to spare their lives when Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, this little family who fled to the mountains sinned the unthinkable. But the offspring became the father of the Moabites, from which Ruth came from. Ruth was the mother of Obed (by her union with Boaz), who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David.

Of the perseverance of the saints…

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Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12, 13 NIV)

Thank You dear Father, that we have the assurance from Your Word that we have a sure hope and a great reason to persevere; and that is, as a people whom You have mercifully called out of darkness into Your marvelous light, it is by Your gracious and mighty hand, and not our own feeble strength that we are in fact able to do anything good at all, and that since it is Your sovereign plan at work in our lives, we cannot help but rest in Your victory and proclaim Your glory in our lives. All praises to You Almighty God!!!

(Praise God for all the wonderful things I learned from the ST505: Doctrine of Salvation  by Roger R. Nicole, Th.D.The free course ended today, and I’m considering paying for the certificate course to learn more from this great man of God about God’s wonderful plan of salvation.

 

Love is…

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Will write my own version soon…

i have no greater joy


If I keep my house immaculately clean, and am envied by all for my interior decorating, but do not show love to my family– I am just another housewife.

If I am always producing lovely things– sewing, art; if I always look attractive, and speak intelligently, but am not loving to my family– I am nothing.

If I’m busy in community affairs, teach Sunday school, and drive in the carpool, but fail to give adequate love to my family– I gain nothing.

Love changes diapers, cleans up messes, and ties shoes– over and over again.

Love is kind, though tired and frazzled.

Love doesn’t envy another wife– one whose children are “spaced” better, or in school so she has time to pursue her own interests.

Love doesn’t try to impress others with my abilities or knowledge as a mother.

Love doesn’t scream at the kids.

Love doesn’t feel cheated because…

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