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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Thank God It’s Monday! (The Man Who Works)

We just finished a series in Church titled: Thank God It’s Monday. The series is about work and the title is based on the popular saying: “Thank God It’s Friday”.

tgim

We usually say “Thank God It’s Friday” because we know that for most people that’s the last day of work. We thank God it’s Friday because we can look forward to a weekend of relaxation, rest and enjoyment. 😀 Who doesn’t want that right? 🙂 The sad news sometimes is this: The reason we look forward into the weekend so much is because we don’t enjoy our work.

Apparently a lot of people see work as a curse or a toil rather than a privilege from God. That’s why they’re not that too excited when Monday comes. We did this series because we hope that people will understand that work is a blessing from God and can be enjoyed by reflecting on His character and nature.

The truth is, work is from God. We are designed to work for his glory and purpose, that should really be our ultimate goal.

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

If we get that right, I believe with all my heart that our behaviours and attitude towards work will change dramatically. Remember to always have this in focus… Then everything else will follow.

Having said that, yesterday’s preaching reminded me of a blog I wrote more than three years ago. This blog is about my top 5 learnings from the book of Proverbs about work. This accounts 5 great advices that I read from that book which I know will help me get better at my craft. So without further ado. Here it is:

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WISDOM FOR THE MAN WHO WORKS – April 19, 2012

Work is an integral part of our society. We see people working all around us. In our homes, our schools, the church etc. The work that people do, produces a lot of positive results and outcomes. Whether that be our cellphone, our iPads, our shoes, our clothes, the food that we eat, the streets where we walk or the roads where we drive. All these things are a product of the combined work effort of people in society. In life, work is part of our everyday assignment. We are created to work. In fact in Genesis 2:15 it says there that:

Genesis 2:15
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden
TO WORK IT AND TAKE CARE OF IT.

Even in the original story, God created man not only to have fellowship with him but for him to work. When God created us he already had it in his mind to give us certain responsibilities and duties in this life.

We are all intended to do work, no one can escape this responsibility. So why not embrace it? 🙂 For the past month, I’ve been doing my quiet time from the book of Proverbs. As I’ve read the book, there are 5 principles and truths that struck me that I know can definitely help me with my work habits. Here are the five things, five wisdom and truths that will help the MAN WHO WORKS:

1) Diligence

hard-work-to-become-good

Diligence sounds like a very nice word. When I hear the word diligence, these things come to my mind: Industriousness, Hard Work, Perseverance etc. That’s a picture of people who really excel in their work. However, this is easier said than done. As nice as diligence sounds, our nature as human beings is to be lazy, slack around and choose enjoyment over hard work. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with enjoyment it’s just that, sometimes it’s easier to browse Facebook & Twitter, watch sports, play games than to focus on doing the more important things: our devotions, our relationship with other people and our work. Again, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying things in life however it should be put in it’s proper place. Enjoyment can sometimes be a hindrance (although we’re not aware of it at times) to prioritizing what’s important. (P.S. All the things I mentioned I am guilty of!) 🙂

The book of Proverbs says there are many benefits to being diligent:

Proverbs 10:4
Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Proverbs 12:24
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.

Proverbs 13:4
The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. 

Proverbs 20:4
A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.

Proverbs 21:25
The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.

2) Prudence

Thinking_Man

What’s the difference between Diligence and Prudence? Prudence, is not a very familiar word for most people. As I googled the word “Prudence” a lot of definitions came up so I just decided to base it on what Proverbs associates it to. Prudence means this:

Giving thought to one’s ways

Why is this important? I believe that this is important because prudence has something to do with the mind. While diligence talks about hard work, prudence deals with carefully thinking about our plans and actions. That’s why the world’s top managers, team leaders, etc. aren’t just those who work hard (diligence) but those who carefully think about whatever decision they need to make. In our work, this is important, to give thought to our ways as well as being diligent. Those two should always go hand in hand.

Proverbs 14:8
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

Proverbs 14:15
A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.

Proverbs 22:3
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

3) Trusting in one’s ways

This next that I’m going to talk about, most of us know this to be true even though we have a hard time admitting it to ourselves. It’s about TRUSTING in our own ways and wisdom. I think the reason why we may not agree on these truths is because of our pride. We think we always have the best ideas, we think our solutions are always the right answer. Proverbs says that “There is a way that seems right to man (us)”, the operative word there is “seems” “but in the end it leads to death”. I always have to remind myself of this truth because I know that left on my own I will always trust and go with my instincts. If we are just honest with ourselves we know that historically speaking, our ideas and solutions weren’t always the best.

Proverbs 28:26
He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

Proverbs 14:12
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

This learning actually leads to the next point.

4) Planning and Seeking advice

advice 2

If you have something that you want to accomplish. If you have a God-given dream or vision that he has really birthed in your heart to accomplish. If you’re so convinced to do something and would want to do anything to achieve victory then Proverbs is consistent in it’s admonition to everyone of us: Seek Advice. Andy Stanley said that it is not a coincidence that the wisest king in the Bible wrote more about seeking advice and counsel more than any other person in the Bible. That’s the secret to his wisdom and we can have that type of wisdom as well if we seek advice. There are times wherein I have questions that I have a difficult time comprehending but because I seek advice and get counsel from someone who’s an expert then Boom! clarity instantly comes because of that person’s advice. Admittedly I don’t do this as often. I know that I have to change and always ask people for advice if I want to grow wiser. So seek advice as much as you can! The sooner the better. 🙂

Proverbs 15:22
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 20:18
Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.

5) Wisdom > Wealth and Riches

Wisdom

Managing our finances is one of the biggest challenge we’ll ever face in this life. Thus, a lot of people, because they get so worried and concerned about money try to chase after it. People think that as long as we have tons and tons of money then we’ll be ok.

After reading the book of Proverbs, I realized that having wisdom is more beneficial than having wealth. A person can store up money for himself but the book of proverbs exhorts that acquiring and gaining wisdom is way way better than that. Why is that so? I believe for the simple reason that when you have wisdom, generating wealth is an easy task. You see great minds like Steve Jobs who lost his position in Apple in his earlier years only to be able to start his own company regain his position there. Why? Because of wisdom. You may have a lot of money, but I would go for wisdom any day of the week. The book of Proverbs says that it is more valuable, profitable and better. So choose gaining wisdom over riches anytime! 🙂

Proverbs 16:16
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!

Proverbs 3:13-15
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

So that’s my top 5 most important learnings from the book of proverbs that concerns work. Hope this helps inspire you be more efficient and effective at work. God bless you and Thank God It’s Monday! 🙂

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Posted by on July 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Break the Silence! What’s your Acts 8:5 story?

Last week, Coach Perci invited me to preach at our Youth Services in Victory Malate after a long time. It felt great preaching there to the students after such a long time. 🙂

Break the Silence Cover

It was the last part of our series titled: Break the Silence which is a series about evangelism. Our objective for that series is to inspire our students to proactively share the message of the gospel NO MATTER WHAT, to NO MATTER WHO and NO MATTER WHERE. Unfortunately, classes got suspended last Thursday and Friday so we decided to conduct only one service that day (4PM Friday). A total of 145 students came and heard the word. We usually average at around 400 + students this time of the year so I decided to write my message in a blog format for those 255+ students who weren’t able to go 🙂

The last part of the series focuses on preaching the gospel NO MATTER WHERE. In last Friday’s message we focused on the story of Philip from the book of Acts, specifically in Acts 8:4-8. It says there:

Acts 8:4-8 (ESV)
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.

Context and Background

To give you a context and background of the passage of scripture above. It says in verse 4 that the people had been “scattered”. The question is, why were they scattered in the first place? What caused that event to take place? The answer lies in Acts 8:1:

…On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

5.13-persecution

The people were scattered because a great persecution broke out against the church. Apparently there was this guy named Saul who was trying to destroy the church back then. He went from house to house and dragged the Christians to prison.

Saul_Persecuting_Christians_001

It was a scary time to be in the church back then. I’d imagine the people trying to get away from Jerusalem as far as they can in fear of Saul catching up to them. In my mind, the next logical thing to do would be to just hide and live a quiet and peaceful life for fear of what may happen. Verse 4, however, tells us a different story. It says here that:

Acts 8:4
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.

While I was reading this verse and preparing for my message. I was amazed at the fact that even though the Christians were forced to scatter because of the great persecution, they were still preaching the word wherever they went. They didn’t let this terrible event stop them from preaching the message of the gospel. It inspires me to think that there were these kinds of people who didn’t let their circumstances stop them from preaching the gospel. From their story I realized that “Every season is always the RIGHT SEASON to preach the gospel.”

In and Out of Season

We shouldn’t let our present circumstances hinder us from preaching and sharing the gospel wherever. This is a message that all people needs to hear and receive. The reason we ought to share the gospel is because the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). There’s no more important message out there that people need to hear. Their eternal lives are at stake. Also since the gospel is the power of God, we will see people’s lives changed by it. This is precisely what happened to the places were the early Christians were scattered:

Acts 8:5-8
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was much joy in that city.

In verses 5-8 we see the story of Philip as he went down and proclaimed the message of the gospel in Samaria. The results were astonishing: 1) Signs and Wonders followed him, 2) Unclean spirits came out of many who had them, 3) People got healed and 4) A great joy came to that city.

Philip, because of his obedience to preach the gospel resulted to the revival in Samaria. This happened because of his initial obedience to go wherever God had called him from Acts 8:5.

Acts 8:5
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.

sent_to_proclaim-_Jesus

Philip was just one of the people who got scattered because of the persecution. God had a unique calling for each person who were scattered. The same can be said of you as well. Where do you think is he calling you to preach the gospel? Where’s your season right now? Where is God placing you? This is your Acts 8:5 story. This is not just Philip’s story. This is also your own personal story of how God will use you in a place to preach the gospel so that transformation can happen in that place.

How about you? What’s your Acts 8:5 story going to be? Where’s do you think God’s calling you in this season? Fill in the blanks below with your name and the place where God’s calling you to make an impact.

Acts 8:5

____<Your Name>_______ went down to _____<The Place Where God’s Calling You>______

…and proclaimed the Messiah there.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Anybody can be a leader (Leadership lessons from a reluctant leader)

Leadership. A lot of people say that this one word is the difference maker. Whether you are running an organization, a project, an event, the military or a whole country this is THE ONE intangible element that will effect positive change.

Leadership

This blog recounts my personal journey: a person who’s a natural born introvert transformed to a student of leadership. Now I know for sure that I am not the best leader out there but ever since God placed a call in my life to preach the gospel and make disciples I’ve intentionally tried to learn and get better with this area called leadership. I was not a natural “born” leader. I was more inclined to be a follower for the first 20+ years of my life.

The fact of the matter is I didn’t want to be a leader. I knew I wasn’t good at it. However there came a time where I just knew in my heart that God had called me into this realm. To give you a picture of who I was before I became a leader, here are some facts about my life when I was younger:

1) My main areas of interests are Mathematics, Music, and Finances. I’d consider these fields as areas where leadership isn’t that important.

MATHEMATICS

2) I’m a person who can stay at home for days all by myself without interacting w/ people. I can sleep, eat and surf the internet without feeling the need to go talk with people. Sleep Me
Because of my background, interests and wiring I continually find myself trying to unlearn things and habits which I have so gotten used to. I just know for a fact that some of these mindsets of mine had to be renewed if I wanted to continue on growing in my leadership skills. Nevertheless, I am thankful to God and his grace because I have seen a significant improvement in my leadership skills ever since then. The reason I’m writing this blog is because I want to inspire three specific groups of people:

  • The first group are those people who’ve just recently developed an interest in this area called LEADERSHIP and don’t know have any idea where to start.

Where to Start

  • The second group of people are those who think that they don’t have what it takes to be a leader. Let me tell you that I was in that position before. Anyone can be a leader, this is what I believe in. If I became a leader, I’m sure that you can be a leader as well. Even better! 🙂

lack-of-confidence1

  • The last group of people I want to talk to are those whom I know God’s calling to be a leader, step up and initiate change. Don’t back out of the challenge even though you know that it’s going to have a lot of difficulties. We need more leaders in this world to effect positive change. I encourage you to step up and rise to the call of God’s leadership in your life.

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If you identify with any of the three people groups I mentioned above then I believe that it’s not an accident that you’re reading this blog. If somehow, after reading the things I wrote above and it resonates with you quite well. I can relate with you perfectly. If you feel something rising up in your spirit or a chill in your spine as you read about this topic. I believe that God has called you for such a time like this. I pray that you’d accept this mission and role that God has sovereignly placed in your life because of this: The world needs more leaders. Leaders who are servants, selfless and agents of positive change.

ServantLeaders

I believe that we are at a critical point in time where the need for leaders is at an all time high. Time is of the essence and the number of leaders responding to this call will have a profound impact on the change we’ll see happening in our nation and the world. So if that’s you. You identify with any of the three groups I mentioned above. Pray to God about it. Ask him specifically to give you courage to take on this challenge that will change your life forever. If you have fears know that some of the greatest leaders in history were also afraid at one point in their lives. However, they did not let their fears dictate the outcome of their decisions. They stuck to doing what is right in the eyes of God. You’re in good company:

Moses was insecure and unsure of himself:

Exodus 3:11
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

Jeremiah thought that he was too young and had communication problems:

Jeremiah 1:6
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

David’s Father did not believe in him and his skills:

1 Samuel 16:10-11
Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”…

We’re in good company. You see, because it will not be about our own strength or ability. If that’s the standard then I would have quit on this leadership journey years ago. But No. It’s all about God’s character and his strength. The reasons we’re being called is so that he can display his power in our lives and through us.

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

If God’s calling you to lead I hope that you’d accept his call in your life willingly out of obedience to him. Here’s a secret I want you to know. In the end we’re already successful if we’d obey him every step of the way because the victory is already won at the cross 2,000 years ago. It’s not going to be by our own efforts but ultimately by his finished work. The question is will we say yes to his invitation and privilege of leading others for positive change? I hope so. Remember the victory is already won. We just have to trust in him that through our own set of weaknesses, God will display his power and strength in every and any leadership challenge that we face in the future.

God bless you leader and world changer. 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in Uncategorized