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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Never Too Young Part 1 – Vision

Young people are the future leaders of society. They are the movers and shapers of cultures around the world. We see the media, entertainment, and marketing industries across the globe being highly influenced by the needs and the wants of the young people. 42% of the world’s population is below the age of 24, almost half of the entire population. These facts alone should be evidence enough to conclude that the direction of the future of our society will be dictated by what will influence the young people.

I go to a church named Every Nation and in this Church movement, we believe in young people. This is our calling as a world-wide family of churches. We believe that it’s never too early for anyone to make a positive impact. I’m so happy to be part of a church that is highly invested in the youth, specifically students. To know more about Every Nation’s heart for the young people you may click on the link below and get a glimpse of our campus ministry.

http://www.everynation.org/our-mission/campus-ministry/

In the Bible, it’s unmistakably clear how God had used young people to impact society. We see this in the story of David, Samuel and Timothy just to name a few. One of the most well known verse in the Bible that talks about how big of an impact a young person can make can be seen in 1 Timothy 4:12. This is where the Apostle Paul encourages and instructs his young protege named Timothy.

1 Timothy 4:12
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

The reason Paul exhorted this to him is because Timothy was leading people older than him. Historians said that Timothy pastored a church when he was as young as 16 years old. Indeed, someone can never be too young to make an impact.

Last Saturday we had our triannual Shared Lives Discipleship Meeting. We do this so that they can have a time for fellowship and fun but also to cast to them the vision of Honoring God and Making Disciples in their campuses. I shared to them about having a heart for the lost people, prioritizing sharing the gospel and believing God to give them a vision for their campuses.

Shared Lives Part 1

VISION

I believe that God wants to give young people like them today a personal vision of how He will use them for his glory. I also believe that it’s no accident that they are there in the campus they’re in right now. I believe God wants them to excel in their studies but at the same time give them a vision on how he’ll use them to make disciples. Acts 2:17 talks about how God gives young people vision (Greek: horasis meaning the act of seeing)

Acts 2:17
” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”

THE POWER OF VISION

Vision is such a powerful thing to have. Never underestimate the power of vision. Bill Hybels said in his book Courageous Leadership that vision is a picture of the future that produces passion in us. I highly recommend reading Bill Hybel’s book: Courageous Leadership to learn more about vision and to see how big of an impact vision creates.

I remember that time when God gave me a vision of how discipleship can change the world. I said to myself that if we just made disciples one person at a time then we can definitely turn this world right side up. That vision wrecked my life (in a good way) my life was never the same again after God made me understand the power of discipleship.

Major movements, life changing events and other great episodes in history all started with a vision. The vision for those things originated from a single man or a group of people. I believe that anyone with so much vision can change and impact the world. I believe that this is one thing that young people needs:

A God-honoring and Biblical Vision

APPLICATION

If you’re here and you’re reading this blog, pray and ask God for a vision. What is the vision that he wants for your life that he wants you to see? He wants to give you a vision, maybe you just don’t know it yet. Ask him for a vision so compelling that you will not be able to sleep because of this. 🙂 Ask Him for a picture of what could be in your given situation and context. Maybe you’re part of an organization in school and something just doesn’t seem right. Maybe you are close to a group of people whose life are a mess right now. Maybe the culture of your campus is not pleasing to God i.e. (a culture of mediocrity, drugs, violence etc. etc.). What change does God want to see happen?

Picture in your minds what God wants to see materialized. Pray and seek God’s will. After you’ve confirmed the vision he’s giving you through the Holy Spirit, keep that vision in your heart. Don’t lose sight of it. That vision will disturb you (in a good way). It will lead you to proactively do things that will turn that vision into a reality one simple step at a time.

Young people… They’re never too young to receive a vision from God on what he wants them to do. Imagine if all young people today would receive a vision from God and commits to trust God to turn that vision into a reality. Imagine the impact it’ll make in our society, nation and the rest of the world!

Praying that you’ll receive a God-Honoring vision soon if don’t have one yet. God bless! 🙂

Shared Lives Part 2

UP NEXT: Never Too Young Part 2 – Reality

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Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Leadership

 

Pao Santi testimony (Get Wired to the FULL LIFE)

Last week, we had our recently concluded event titled: LIVE – Get Wired to the FULL LIFE. It was a great event which hosted 160+ LaSallian and St. Scholastican students. We hold events like these to invite first timers to Church and help them get to know how to live LIFE to the FULL. People had fun at LIVE and at the same time got to know about the one true light of the world: Jesus Christ.

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Another thing that happens whenever we conduct events like these, is we see students maximize their giftings and talents for the sake of advancing God’s kingdom. Many new student’s talents were discovered during the planning and execution of this event. Students also grow in their leadership skills since they had to deal with other people together in accomplishing a goal. One person whose leadership skill was tested the most is Paolo Santillan.

Pao Santi Final

Pao was the overall project head this time around. That means he had to lead different committee heads for this event. Pao did an awesome job for this LIVE and has grown tremendously in character, skills and leadership. I’m really so proud of him and you would be too if you just knew more about his story.

Pao’s Story

I met Pao around 4-5 years ago at KFC near our church in Victory Malate. His sister introduced him to me and was totally NR. I tried to engage him but he wasn’t responsive, it felt like he wasn’t interested in meeting new people in Church. I got his number so that I could invite him to our discipleship group, however, he didn’t reply to me that time. 😦 Siguro may pinagdadaanan siya back then. (Hi Pao Santi!)

Everything Happens for a Reason

After that initial encounter with Pao 4-5 years ago, I didn’t see him as often anymore in Church. I’d catch him once in a while but he’d still be NR to me. Little did I know that he was undergoing a tough time during that season. How’d I know? Check out his testimony below:

As Pao said, those were the times where he started to walk away from God because he blamed him for all the bad choices he made. He had so many unfortunate events that happened in his life, he started to drink, stopped going to class and hanged out with people who couldn’t help him. Pao would later drop out from DLSU and transfer to CSB.

God of Second Chances

For many people, that could have been the end. Getting kicked out from a school would probably make you feel like a failure. The good thing though is that life’s always full of second chances. Failure is just an event, it’s not a person and God will always give us another shot of getting it right with Him. We’ve all been there, we’ve all failed at one point but we thank God for the continuous outpouring of his forgiveness and grace.

Pao started to go back to church back in 2012. He mentioned to me that he saw church as an opportunity of trying to get back in good terms with his family. He attended a youth camp with his sisters and the rest was history. In that camp, Pao encountered God and finally took his walk with Him seriously.

The youth camp was summer of 2012 and when the school year came, that’s when he started doing 121 and growing in his walk with Jesus. By 2013, he started leading his own life group in CSB and people started to notice the gift of leadership in his life. He started exhorting in our youth services and discipleship meetings encouraging others students with God’s word. The gift of wisdom is very evident in his life. He also started leading and organizing discipleship meetings for our campus ministry in DLSU and CSB.

Last March 11 he was able to lead a successful event: LIVE. One of the biggest he’s ever handled. From the person who didn’t like making new friends in Church to the person that he’s now become, clearly this is one unique turnaround story by God. 🙂

Also, as much as he’s leading events in our campus ministry, he doesn’t forget his other priorities. Pao today continues to disciple others, grow in his relationship with his family and excel in school. A few weeks ago he told me how he got the highest grade in class from a subject that’s known to be difficult in Benilde. God is indeed gracious and can help turn around someone’s life 180 degrees. It’s really true what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

We have millions of stories whose lives has been turned around by Christ. Pao’s story is just one of them. The reason why Pao Santi’s life has turned around is because of one person: Jesus Christ.

LIVE – Get Wired to the FULL LIFE isn’t just a nice title for an event so that we can get people to go. It’s an event ran by students whose lives has been personally changed by God himself and are all now living life to the fullest. 🙂

I know that Pao still has a long way to go. There’d still be more challenges to face but I just know that as long as he continues to walk in Christ then he’d always be living life to the full. Pao is one of many world changers who’d continue to affect other people’s lives one person at a time. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Discipleship

 

Living life to the fullest

Happy Monday to you! I just turned 28 last week and am thankful to God for the privilege of living this life for his purpose and glory. The past 28 years had been wonderful but more so during the past 7 years when I surrendered my life to Jesus. ANDREW BDAY 2 Who would’ve thought that if we surrender our lives to Christ then we can actually live life to the full? Yes it’s true! That’s his promise. John 10:10 says:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

God never meant for us to live a boring life. He desires for us to live an abundant life! So who says Christianity is boring? It’s a wrong mindset. After turning 28 last March 2, it made me reflect and remember the things God taught me to live this life to the full. Following are 10 I’d like to share and impart:

1) Live for the Honor and Glory of God

Our ultimate motivation, our starting line, plumb line, and finish line should always be about the Honor of God. Theologians and even our early church fathers figured out that man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. One of my life verse says this:

1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Even with the little things in life, these things should be done with the glory of God in mind. 🙂

2) Read the Bible everyday, and don’t just read it… Love, desire, delight and be consumed by the word of God. 🙂

If our ultimate motivation is the Honor of God, if everything that we do should be for his honor and glory, then we should start knowing and discovering things that will honor Him. We don’t live in a vacuum, God set his standards for us to obey so that we may glorify him. It’s written in his word. 🙂

Psalm 1:2 but his delight is in the law of the Lordand on his law he meditates day and night.

God’s word isn’t boring, it’s one of the most amazing reads that we can ever find in this world. Why? One of the things that make it unique is that it’s the inspired written word of God. Not just any ordinary book, that’s why when we read it. God speaks to us directly.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

I have MANY MANY MANY MANY more things to say about his word but maybe I’ll just write another blog about that. 😀

3) Love God

Life is NOT primarily about achievements, our status, power, riches or fame. It’s primarily about our relationship with him. At the end of this life, God will not focus on those things. He’ll be more concerned if we’ve loved him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s why it’s the first and most important commandment:

Luke 10:27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’;…

LOVE GOD with everything. I believe this is the primary way that we can honor Him.

4) Love Others

The second most important commandment God tells us is to love others. Life is primarily about relationships with other people as well. One of the most beautiful things in this world is our relationship with others. God commands us to love them second to loving him.

Luke 10:27 …and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

 Let’s live this life for the service of others. 🙂

5) Discover God’s calling for your life

People usually ask, “What’s your dream in life?” I’ve been in that conversation as well before. However, after growing more and more in my relationship with God, I realized that’s not the best question to ask. The more important and better question is: “What’s God’s will for my life?” God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect. Yes we have dreams of our own but those dreams do not compare to what God has in store for us. God has a specific calling, destiny and purpose to every human being. It’s exciting, it’s an adventure, it’s going to be awesome. He didn’t create us all the same, we are unique in our attributes, personalities, and the path we’ll take in this life.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

The Bible says there’s a race already marked out for us. What’s God’s race for you? You’ll discover it as your grow more in your relationship with God. 🙂

6) It’s Not About the Money

I’m guilty of this before I became a Christian. One of my life goals was just to be filthy rich. I just planned to save and invest all the money I’ll receive and hopefully earn at least PHP 50,000,000 in this lifetime. I realised that that wasn’t a very good goal. Again, I have a lot of things to say about this, but to simplify this blog just read what Jesus had to say about this:

Matthew 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

It’s more worth our time to invest our treasures in eternity than in the now. 🙂

7) Don’t waste time

Every second, every minute is a gift from God. Hopefully we’ll not waste what he’s given us. Again, we are to live this life for his Honor. How are we spending the time he’s given us? Once a second, a minute, an hour, or a day has passed us… we’ll never be able to get that back again. We will live an average of 70-80 years in this life… how will we live it? Will we live it to the full or not? Hopefully yes. Let’s make good use of every opportunity.

Ephesians 5:15-17 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Paul concludes this statement by discovering God’s will for our lives. That’s how we best maximize our time. 🙂

8) Work Hard

Hard work honors God. Period. It all goes back again to honoring God. Working hard is not for the achievements, riches, or position we’ll get in this life. I realized that Christians should be the most hard working and excellent people in all of society. As they see more and more excellent Christians other people will be more interested with the God that we serve. 🙂

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

9) Share the Gospel and Make Disciples

His last command is our first priority. One of the very last instructions of Jesus to his disciples is to go and make disciples? It’s like a last will and testament. He must have said that because it’s really really important. Need I say more?

Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

In everything that we do, even in the midst of God’s calling in our lives, we should always share the gospel. We are placed wherever we’re at for a reason, one of those reasons is to share the gospel. If we don’t live a life that continually shares the gospel, then we’re basically missing the point.

Acts 20:24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

10) Live for the next generation

Like what I said above, we’ll all be gone after a few years. It’s our job to pass everything we’ve learned from God to the next generation. Success without a successor is a failure as they say. If we’re not able to train and raise up the next generation to be better than us, then we’d failed to do our part.

2 Timothy 2:2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

I’m really glad that I was able to spend most of my birthday celebrations with these world changers. I know that one day they’ll do an ever better job than what God has called me to do. Really excited to see that moment when I’ll step down from all these campus activities and see a generation who’ll do far greater things than what we did. 🙂

 ANDREW BDAY 3 ANDREW BDAY

Lastly, all of these things would not have been made possible without the cross of Jesus Christ. I thank God that he sent his one and only son to die and pay for my sins on the cross. Indeed it’s all by his grace that I’m living life to the full right now. Where would I be without you Jesus? 🙂

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

cross_sunset.1.lr

Want to start living life to the full? Start with Jesus. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in Life Lessons