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Monthly Archives: November 2014

What are you doing with your life that will last forever?

Last week, I had a very refreshing lunch with two of my friends and youth leaders: Paolo Santillan and Caryl Fenis. We talked a lot about ministry, memories and calling. As we talked about those things, the discussion slowly centered in on the topic of eternal value. I was amazed on how at an early age, they’re already thinking about how their lives will make an impact throughout eternity. I was just so proud of them, knowing that they are not building their lives just on the here and now. Building a corporation, gaining popularity, making a name for yourself or accumulating wealth, although these things are not necessarily bad, they’ll all fade away one day. Making these things the end goal and the ultimate focus of our lives is a meaningless pursuit. For our lives to be truly meaningful, we have to look beyond this lifetime and have a mindset that’s fixed on eternity.

eternal-value

What are you doing with your life that will last forever?

One question that helps me focus on eternity is the question I used as a title for this blog: “What are you doing with your life that will last forever?” I got this question from a Christian Author named Bill Hybels. This question always helps me evaluate that current state of my life and see if I’m still focusing on eternal matters. Bill Hybels in his book called: “Descending Into Greatness” tells how this question changed the course of his life. He realized that everything that he was currently doing was wrapped around the here and now. All his life, he was being set-up by his father to inherit the family business and become the sole heir. Theirs was a very successful company in his hometown. No doubt, he was destined to bring it to the next level and make tons and tons of money. However, because that one single question, his perspective changed. I believe it can help change a lot of people’s perspective, I know because it changed mine as well.

Now if you’re reading this and you’ve managed to stumble upon this blog for some reason, I do hope that you’d ponder on that question. It’ll take a few hours/days but it will definitely go a long way. Thinking about this question is very important, whether you like it or not. It also doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian or not. This question impacts everybody’s lives. I plead and urge you, stop for a moment, pause whatever you’re doing and think about it.

As you sit there and think about that question, ponder about these two other questions below as well. They’re both connected to the first one and can help widen your perspective about eternity. If you’re having difficulty answering the first one, maybe these two other questions will help you understand the first one more.

1) How’s my relationship with God and other people?

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbours as ourselves. Are we prioritizing these two commandments? These two things, I believe, are the two things that will have the most important impact in eternity. Again, pause and think about this for a few hours or so. 🙂

Matthew 22:37-39
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.’

2) Where am I storing my treasures?

Jesus commanded us to store our treasures in heaven. I believe that Jesus said this not because he doesn’t want us to enjoy our treasures here. That’s not what he is saying! Jesus’ reasoning is perfect: Our treasures in this lifetime are only temporary so why store it here? It’s a matter of usage and storage. It won’t matter if we store Gazillions of Pesos/Dollars here in this world, if we just store it here and not use it to impact eternity, it won’t matter. We should pray to God how to use our treasures here on earth wisely so that we can impact eternity. 🙂

Matthew 6:13
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


I do hope that you took the time, or will take the time to think about those questions. Remember the impact is eternal!!! 🙂 This life will not last forever. Hopefully after this, you’ll focus more on the eternal things rather than the temporary. Let’s always keep to mind the Apostle Paul’s word in 2 Corinthians 4:18:

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

God bless and Happy Monday! 🙂

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Posted by on November 24, 2014 in Life Lessons

 

The GOD TEST

Finally it’s here! A few months ago, there was a big campaign in our Victory Metro Manila Churches that equipped and empowered leaders on how to use the GOD TEST.

TheGodTest

The God Test is something to be excited about because the it is currently being used in many parts of the world. As said in its official website:

“THE GOD TEST is being used literally around the world as a groundbreaking tool for Evangelism. From New York to Cape Town, it has not only sparked tens of thousands of gospel conversations, but it is also helping believers to be more equipped and secure in their faith.” – http://www.thegodtest.org

My goal in this blog is to encourage our leaders and potential leaders to proactively engage other people with the GOD TEST. The reason for this writing is because I believe that this campaign will not come without challenges. We may all start out very excited and pumped up to share with our friends, loved ones and even strangers but it only takes one bad experience to hinder us from evangelizing. My hope is that when you read the reasons below, you’ll be reminded on why we are doing this thus gaining more confidence in engaging with the GOD TEST. 🙂 The reasons below are not exhaustive. Feel free to comment below for other motivations to do the GOD TEST. I’d love to hear and learn from you. 🙂

REASON #1: We do the GOD TEST because…

Nothing in this world is more essential than GOD

Yes, NOTHING in this world will be more essential than God. This is why we have to engage people in a conversation about Him. Some people may think it weird that we’re doing the GOD TEST. People may have already labeled us as religious, holy, or just plain weird. Maybe you’ve encountered some of them. Maybe they made fun of you already. A lot of skeptics today feel that because of quantum leaps in the development of science and technology; God or the “concept” of God is no longer essential. I beg to differ with that because God still remains the most essential thing in people’s lives. It’ll take another blog to explain why God is still the most essential thing in this world but that’s not my point here. Your skeptic friends may not know it, or they may not believe it, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Don’t be discouraged when your friends or loved ones make fun of you. For others, what they consider as essential is stuff like personal needs, education, money, career, studies etc. However, none of those things can ever compare to God because it’s God who created all of those things whether people believe it or not. A lot of people just don’t realize this yet, that’s why we have to do our best to engage them in a conversation about God.

Continue on doing the GOD TEST and don’t be discouraged, I believe God is already working in the lives of the people we do the GOD TEST with. He’s also pleased with you and that is a fact. 🙂

Matthew 5:11-12

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

REASON #2: We do the GOD TEST because…

We want to OBEY GOD

Jesus said in Mark 16:15 (NIV)

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

At the end of the day, the GOD TEST is just a tool but a good excuse for us Christians to share the message of the gospel to our friends and loved ones. Jesus said in the passage above to preach the gospel to all the world and creation. That’s a direct command for all Christians. Sometimes, we have great difficulties on sharing the gospel to people because we don’t know where to start. The God Test, based on my experience, made it easier to share the gospel. I praise God for this tool! Sharing the gospel has never been this easy!

What’s our excuse? 🙂 When we preach the gospel we obey God. Sometimes the reason we don’t want to obey God is because it’s too difficult, the GOD TEST made it a bit easier. I never had this tool back when I was in college, now it’s here. Let’s continue to maximize it.

REASON #3: We do the GOD TEST because…

God wants all men to get saved

A lot of us know this already, but most of the time we just need to be reminded of the significance of what we’re doing. When people receive Jesus Christ in their lives, something happens, people cross over from death to life. The Bible says that we were all dead in our transgressions apart from Jesus Christ. The gospel is the only way for us to be saved, there’s no other way (John 14:6). Although at the end of the day it is not our job to save people, God has given us the privilege of sharing the message of salvation to others. I hope we never take that for granted, that’s something definitely mind-blowing if we just really think about it. When we share the gospel, we become channels for others to know and hear what Christ did for us on the cross. I remember the time when someone shared the gospel to me:

The first time I understood the message of the gospel was back in college. Two strangers approached me and my block mates one afternoon. They shared to us the gospel through a material called the Four Spiritual Laws. At first I didn’t understand what they shared to us, but after a while I joined their fellowship. One of the stranger’s names was kuya Paul Aragones and he continued to explain to me what Christ did for me on the cross after our initial meet-up. I still remember that moment and from then on I realized that Jesus Christ died and paid for my sins so that I can have eternal life. I realized I am saved by grace through faith and not by what I do for God. I realized that because of the cross I now have eternal life in Jesus Christ. Imagine if he didn’t share to me the gospel, where would I be right now? Now the same is true for us who now shares the gospel to other people. We’re like kuya Paul in my testimony, people will remember us and be thankful to us because we shared the gospel to them.

When people make a decision to put their faith in Christ, they’re making the best decision of their lives. When we share the gospel to our friends and loved ones, we become part of the most important moment of their lives. May we never lose our wonder and amazement every time that happens. The Bible says that all of heavens are rejoicing in times like these. So we should as well. 🙂

I hope and pray that because of those three reasons, we’ll continue to be excited in using the GOD TEST. The stakes are high and time is of the essence. 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Discipleship

 

Tips on Studying

Hello! Happy 2nd week of November! The second semester is fast underway for most colleges and high schools in the Philippines. This means that a lot of students gets a fresh shot at redeeming their grades for this school year. This is your chance to do better with your acads especially if you didn’t do well during the first semester. For those who didn’t do too well, I hope you’ll see this as a second chance. Just think of it like a basketball game: This is the second half. You may have been beaten by 20 points by the other team during the first half but the game is not yet over. 🙂

basic

I hope you’ll do your best and maximize your season as a student. That being said, I just thought of sharing some best practices on how to do well with your academics. Here goes:

1) WALK WITH THE WISE

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” – Proverbs 13:20

Back when I was in college, I can honestly say that the reason I got high grades is because my blockmates and barkada were a studious bunch of people. They influenced me to study, work hard and give my best in my studies. Every time we would have exams, we would prepare, do study groups, call one another just so that we’d be ready for quizzes and final exams. Looking back, I just know that if I belonged to a group that didn’t prioritize studying, I knew that my grades would have suffered as well. This is one of the top factors that helped me study well.

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33

Who are the people you’re hanging out with? Are they helping you in your academics? Are they leading you to study well for the honor of God? Or are they leading you towards the wrong priorities?

College Barkada

2) ALLOT A LOT OF TIME

Studying doesn’t just involve you going to class and expecting to know everything already. The teacher is a source of information where you can learn a lot of stuff but you have to process everything that was given to you. You have to ALLOT TIME in studying the things you picked up in the classroom. Review your notes, study the references given in class, do practice exercises, finish your homework, prepare for upcoming quizzes and final exams. As a student, you have to set it in your heart that you will have to set apart A LOT of your TIME in doing the above things that I mentioned. If you do this, I can confidently say that your grades will improve dramatically.

Time

How are you spending your time? What takes up most of your time on a regular week? If you were to do a comparison of the time you allot in studying vs. other things that are not important, what would take up most of your time? Will it be the things that are inconsequential? If that’s the case, maybe it’s time that you start doing the right things.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

Ask God to help you number your days, or help you spend your time right. Ask God for the wisdom to be able to do this. I believe that a lot of students today, have the potential to get really high grades, it’s just that they don’t ALLOT that much TIME in studying.

3) DISCOVER THE RIGHT MOTIVATION

Number 1 and number 2 sounds great and ideal, but if you’re not motivated enough to do it then nothing will really happen. Most people reading this knows intrinsically that numbers 1 and 2 are some of the important things we need to do. However, if you’re not driven enough to do it, then you simply won’t. That’s why finding the right motivation is critical and important. Our motivation is our fuel, our motivation is the thing that will help us jump out of our beds and do numbers 1 and 2 with a strong resolve. Our motivation is the driving factor that will help us study passionately and excellently. The question now is what should we do to get that motivation?  To answer that question: our motivation primarily comes from our: MOTIVES, that’s the root word of the word MOTIVATION. Our motives are our reason for doing something we’re doing. Our motives is the source of our motivation. If we get our motives right then that’s where we’ll find the motivation. However, it doesn’t end there. It’s not just about motives, but it’s about the right motives.

Motivation

Notice that I said in the point above that it’s about discovering the “RIGHT MOTIVATION”. The reason for this is because I believe in my heart that there’s such a thing as a RIGHT motivation and a WRONG motivation. If our motives are wrong then sometimes we don’t end up studying at all. Sometimes because of wrong motives, we get hyped up easily and at first study hard and give it our best. However, because the motivation is wrong then the work ethic that follows is also temporary and won’t last that long.

If we’re living on the wrong motivation then in the end it doesn’t matter how good we study or how excellent we are, if it’s wrong then we’d end up disappointing ourselves and other people. That’s why we have to be careful of our motives as well. The more important question now is, how can I discover the RIGHT motivation or what is the RIGHT motivation for wanting to study hard?

To cut this already long blog short, the answer to that question is the glory and honor of God. It may sound cliche but that really is the best and ultimate motivation why we should be studying hard. All for God’s honor and glory. In fact, God’s glory should be the ultimate motivation for everything that we ever do. For more on this you may check out my other blog that talks about God’s glory being first in our lives (andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/1031/).

Live life for the honor and glory of God, make it your motivation and I assure you that you will live life to the full, purposeful and fully motivated. God bless and hope you excel in your studies. 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Life Lessons

 

The Myth of Maturity

When I was a kid, I remember a short conversation with my sister. My sister told me that maturity is not something self-proclaimed. Maturity is something that other people has to see in our lives. The proof of our maturity is through the lens of other people and not us. Now, whenever I’m reminded of the word: maturity, that moment always comes back to me. Maturity, for me, seemed to be very elusive. Because of that conversation, I had no idea when I’ll become mature. I guessed it’ll just happen, but when will that time come? After college? When I’m married already?

Facing_the_Obstacles_of_Maturity

I also remember a comment made by my parents, that when you start to have kids then you’ll definitely mature. So again, another image stuck in my mind, that I’ll only mature fully if I get married and have kids one day. From that day on forth I thought that maturity is only for grown up people.

Whenever I hear the word: “Maturity” these words pop into my mind: Adults, Married people with kids, Parents and Grandparents.

I felt like maturity only belonged to old people with kids, so I had to wait when that time comes before I mature.

I held on to that belief UNTIL I came to Victory and learned about the MYTH of MATURITY. That’s the first time I ever heard of that phrase: “The Myth of Maturity.”

The context of the whole myth in our Church is about discipleship. SIDE NOTE: Even if that’s what the myth is really pertaining to, I believe it still has the same applications in every area of life. According to the myth: “No one should minister until they are mature”. The myth of maturity is explained by Pastor Steve Murrell (http://stevemurrell.com) in his book: WIKICHURCH.

In his book, he explains what the Myth of Maturity is about and I quote:

“No one should minister until he is mature. This myth convinces believers that before they even attempt to minister to others, they need another discipleship class, training course, leadership seminar, and framed certificate on their wall. Only then would they possibly be mature enough to be used by God.”

I believe that the reason why some of us view discipleship like this is because of the word: Maturity and what it is associated to in our society. Just like my earlier stories, I believed maturity is mostly equated with age and time. I believed that we have to wait a certain period before we become mature. I believe this is the reason why some of us are afraid to minister because we feel we’re not yet mature.

The truth is, there’s some element of truth about maturity having something to do with time. As I looked for the definitions of maturity in Wikipedia these came up (I’ll just post the things we can all relate to):

Maturity may refer to:

  • Adulthood or age of majority
  • Developmental age
  • Maturity (finance), a financial term indicating the final date for payment of principal and interest
  • Maturity (geology), a geological term describing rock, source rock, and hydrocarbon generation
  • Maturity (psychological), a term in developmental psychology to indicate that a person responds to the circumstances or environment in an appropriate manner
  • Maturity (sedimentology), a geological term describing the proximity of a sedimentary deposit from its source

As I read these different references on the subject maturity. I noticed that almost all of those subjects relates maturity directly to TIME. I think this confirms my theory that maturity is mostly equated with time. However, if you noticed, there’s one there that doesn’t relate maturity directly to time and that is Maturity in terms of psychological behaviour.

As I clicked on that specific link on psychological maturity, this is the definition that I got:

“In psychology, maturity is the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctive.”

After reading that, I had a lightbulb moment. I realized that the maturity to minister has something to do with the psychological maturity. Whereas most topics on maturity has something to do with TIME, the psychological one has something to do with it being a LEARNED behavior!

Now the MYTH of MATURITY makes more sense to me. The myth that: “No one should minister until they are mature” is by all means NOT TRUE. Maturity has mostly been associated with time, but the maturity that is being mentioned here is more related to it being psychological. Maturity here is more of a learned behaviour than being a function of time.

Great thing is Pastor Steve corrects this myth and gives us the TRUTH of Maturity and I again quote:

“We can’t wait until every believer feels mature enough to minister because no one will mature unless they minister. This is one of those chicken and egg conundrums. Which comes first – ministry or maturity? According to the Bible, ministry comes first.” 

I just love the wisdom of Pastor Steve and our leaders in Victory because I saw truth of maturity applied in my life. Below are some of the “firsts” in my life, firsts in ministering to people:

One2One
I remember the first time I did One2One with someone. He was more than 5 years older than me. The first time I did One2One with him, I remember that I was very nervous before we began. In fact, I thought I wasn’t qualified to do One2One with others yet before our encounter. The good thing is someone pushed me to do One2One with him. “Bakit hindi nalang ikaw mag One2One sa kanya?” That gave me encouragement! That’s when I realized that our church being an empowering church is not just lip service.

When I was about to ask the person I did One2One with if he wanted to receive Jesus Christ in his life, my heart beat fastly because I feared that maybe I’ll get rejected. Praise God he received Christ in the end. 🙂

Life Group
The first time I did Life Group was with my officemate from Standard Chartered Bank back in 2009 if I remember correctly. We were trying to reach out to our other office mates. I remember one time where I led a life group. I was so nervous that I was reading the notes I wrote on the material. One of our officemates noticed and criticised me saying that I was just reading the notes. I felt like I bore them all. Ouch! There’s a first time for everything I guess.

Exhortation
The exhortation I’m talking about here is that part near the end of the praise and worship. I remember the first time I did this, if I remember correctly that was back in March 2011. I was asked to transition during the Sunday Service. I was the service lead for three services. Again I was so nervous and panicky. Because of my nervousness, I dropped the Bible just right before the tithes and offering part. I remember someone shouted to encourage me “Come on Andrew!” I was so moved by that. I’m thankful for people who believe in me even if I wasn’t an “expert” yet.

Preaching
The first time I ever preached was back in June 2011. This is right after the IGNITE campus conference. Again, another milestone and another first in my life. I was, you guessed it, so nervous when I prepared and when I got up on stage. I brought my whole iPad with me containing all my notes. I ended up reading word per word my manuscript because I haven’t internalised it. Probably my worst ever preaching. However, I was still so thankful for the opportunity and that someone trusted in me. 🙂

243503_2012955971100_1517457_o

I recounted and shared all of these first moments in my life to show you that no one is MATURE enough the first time we do this. The only way we’ll ever mature is if we minister and learn from our experiences. I hope this helps and this encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and have the desire to minister. If you have an opportunity, grab it! Don’t over analyse and just like what NIKE would say: JUST DO IT. The first time would probably not be the best and will be forgettable, but hey there’s always a first time. The promise though is if we minister then we’ll mature! 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2014 in Discipleship