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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.

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

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in Life Lessons

 

A quality that will help us in this race called LIFE

Life can be likened to a race. There’s a starting line. There’s a finish line. There can be many obstacles. And so on and so forth. Wouldn’t you agree with that? Yes! In fact the authors of the Bible often compared our life to that of a race. One of my favorite verses below says:

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

The author of Hebrews says here that there’s a race marked out for us. Every time I encounter this verse, I always get excited about life because I’m reminded that God’s made this life for us to be an adventure. What lies in the adventure he prepared for us though, no one knows. However, we can be sure of two things: 1) It’s going to be the best adventure of our lives and 2) There’ll be many challenges and obstacles that will lie ahead.

The second point tells us that getting to the finish line of that race will not be that easy. I believe that this is one of the reasons why the writer explicitly said to run with “PERSEVERANCE” the race marked out for us. The writer didn’t say: “Go and take your time with this race, it’s going to be easy… Chill… Relax and Enjoy”. No, the writer emphasized the word: “PERSEVERANCE”.

Last week, I was reminded of that word: PERSEVERANCE because I happened to stumble upon another one of my favorite passages of scripture:

James 1:2-3
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

perseverance-poster

This verse reminded me about the importance of developing perseverance in us. If there’s one attitude in life that will help us face all the challenges and difficulties we’ll face in the future, I think that attitude would be an attitude of perseverance. I like how vocabulary.com defines us the term perseverance for us:

Perseverance is not giving up. It is persistence and tenacity, the effort required to do something and keep doing it till the end, even if it’s hard.

The key phrases there are: “not giving up” and “even if it’s hard”. Perseverance is an attitude of not giving up even when hard things come our way in life. That’s it plain and simple.

Perseverance

This kind of attitude will help us finish what the writer of Hebrews said as the “race marked out for us”. Perseverance is an enduring spirit that keeps on pushing forward even when life gets tougher and tougher and tougher and tougher. Perseverance is an attitude or a characteristic that sets apart the people who’ll finish the race from the people who won’t. I believe that this is one quality that we should have if we have any hopes of wanting to reach the finish line of the race marked out for us.

The question now is, how do I get that characteristic? How do I develop perseverance? Is it just something that people are naturally born with or is it something that can be developed? The good news is perseverance can be developed in us. If you go back to James it says there:

“…the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

It’s clear from that passage of scripture that perseverance can be produced in us. How is it developed? The answer is: whenever our faith gets tested through the trials and challenges we face.

In summary:

God has already marked out a race for us. The race is exciting however, it’s full of challenges and obstacles. The writer of Hebrews emphasized that if we’re going to run this race, we should run it with perseverance. Perseverance can be developed, it’s not something that we’re just innately born with or without. Perseverance is developed whenever our faith gets tested through the trials and challenges we face.

Whatever situation you’re in right now, I hope you would see that as an opportunity to develop a persevering spirit. The key is to not quit, not give up in the challenges you face right now. Don’t quit on the little things. If you’re a student, maybe that’s the drive to study for an exam or maybe it’s deciding today to honor your parents. For most people, it’s about not giving in to a temptation. While for others, it maybe something really serious that tests their faith in Christ. All of those things, all of those trials in our lives summed up are opportunities for us to develop perseverance. Always remember this:

Perseverance does not get developed in a day’s time… Perseverance gets developed daily.

God bless and happy Monday! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Life Lessons

 

Famous Amos

Famous Amos is a brand of chocolate chip cookie which I really enjoyed eating when I was a kid. These cookies were always available in the supermarket here in the Philippines. Lately, however, I haven’t seen one at any grocery store. Maybe they stopped importing this brand of cookies here in Manila. I hope this comes back in our country because it tastes really good. 🙂

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You may be asking why I’m blogging about a certain brand of chocolate chip cookie. Well, the reason there is because there’s a book in the Bible that I’ve read lately with the namesake: Amos. Thus the title 😀

However, unlike the name of the brand of cookie “Famous Amos”, the book that I read from the Bible isn’t as FAMOUS.

Were you surprised that there was such a book? I bet that a lot of us didn’t even know that such a book existed in God’s word. 🙂

Usually, I tend to not have that much of an interest from books like Amos in the Bible (others would be Joel, Nahum, Haggai etc.). Sometimes I get the feeling that I think I’d have more insights and revelations from the more popular ones out there. What a mindset right?! :))

Last week, however, while I was reading the book of Amos, God broke this kind of thinking in me. A few verses from Amos struck me hard and even inspired me with the prophet’s life. Last week I encountered this passage of scripture:

Amos 7:12-16
And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.” 14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was[a] no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15 But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.

In this passage of scripture God called Amos to speak and prophesy against king Jeroboam of Israel as clearly seen in verse 11:

Amos 7:11
For thus Amos has said, “‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.’”

Amos’ job isn’t a very popular one. I’d compare his job to a modern day journalist whose job is to expose corruption in the government. It’s a very dangerous job and risk your life with a kind of job as his. Amos was famous here, but it’s not the good kind of famous. He was infamous to the king and his officials because they didn’t like him for speaking God’s word of truth to them. Amaziah, one of the king’s officials, didn’t like what he saw and heard from Amos. That’s why in verse 12, Amaziah told Amos:

Amos 7:12-13
And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

Amaziah didn’t like what he heard from Amos, that’s why he told him to leave them and not prophesy again. He told Amos that it’s the king’s sanctuary! It’s as if he’s telling Amos NOT TO DO those things because he was just an ordinary person. Who was he anyway to say those things in the king’s sanctuary? I think for Amaziah, if the king doesn’t know you, if you’re not popular or famous, if you’re just an ordinary human being then it’s better not to speak up at all. He discourages that kind of a behavior from people like Amos. Sounds familiar?

Though we may not have really experienced this kind of treatment from anyone. I believe that some of us feels like Amos a lot of times. Sometimes we feel like we’re just a nobody in this world. We think we don’t have the background, the experience or the pedigree to have any say in the important matters of this world. Why waste our time in having a say in the important and essential matters of this world when nobody will even listen to us? Is this true for you? Have you felt the same way before?

Well if those things are true for you, I’d just like to encourage you how Amos responded to Amaziah’s comments about him. Reading his reply to Amaziah inspired me to emulate what he did. In verses 14-16, this is what Amos said:

Amos 7:14-16
Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was[a] no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15 But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.

After reading Amos’ response to Amaziah, I got encouraged. These are one of the few verses in this book that really struck me. It changed my mindset about how I see certain things. At first, like what I mentioned above, I felt that I won’t get too much insight or revelations from this book because Amos isn’t famous in the Bible. I was no different from Amaziah, I was treating Amos the same way! But God rebuked me as I read this passage of scripture. Amos’ reply to Amaziah was very commendable and I think so should be our response everytime people would look down on us. He had two responses:

First, he had a proper estimation of who he really was. He knew that he was no prophet nor a prophet’s son. He wasn’t really as famous as Isaiah or Jeremiah in the Bible. He said that he was just an ordinary herdsman and dresser of sycamore figs. I believe that we should have the same response. We shouldn’t try to pretend who we are NOT.  Let’s not try to pretend we’re someone else, or pretend as if we’re really something when in fact we aren’t! At the end of the day our true and real identities will be revealed so it’s better to just accept who we really are.

Second thing that I liked with Amos’ response is what he said in verse 15. That verse started with the word: “BUT”…”BUT!” Amos didn’t let his background or who he was define what God can do in and through him. He wasn’t limited and boxed with his pedigree or occupation. Amos said that it’s God who took him from where he was and commanded him to speak the truth of His word to his people. What great confidence and what a great reminder! Amos said that it was God who told him to prophesy to the people of Israel:

Amos 7:15
“…But the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”

What a great and amazing yet humbling sight. Amos wasn’t FAMOUS. Yet, even though he wasn’t famous at all. Even though he didn’t have the pedigree or background, he didn’t let that stop him from letting God do great and amazing things in his life. I believe that the same is true for a lot of us today. We shouldn’t let our skills, experience, or reputation define what God can do through us in the future. Especially for us Christians, we know already that we’ve been set apart by God to do great and amazing things for him. We shouldn’t let our insecurities get in the way of our great destinies. After all, if it’s God who calls us, he’ll also be the one who’ll accomplish his work through us. Let’s just go and Let God. 🙂 If God tells us to do something, let’s have the same response as Amos which is obedience:

Amos 7:16
Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in Personal

 

The First 40 Days

Today marks the 40th day of 2015! Surprise surprise! Almost 40 days have already passed! The first month is already over and that means only one thing:

Either we’ve stayed true to our resolutions during the start of the year OR just like any other year, we’ve lost focus of them already.

40days

One of my goals when I started the year was to aim for a cumulative run of 600-700K kilometres. In order to do that, I have to run at least 15 kilometres a week to attain that goal. Here’s how I’ve done so far:

Week 1: 14KM
Week 2: 2KM (Fasting Week)
Week 3: 15KM
Week 4: 12KM
Week 5: 12.5KM
Week 6: 8KM

During the first three weeks, I was so inspired to reach my year end goal by meeting my weekly goal of 15KM a week. That means I have to set aside at least two days a week, one 10KM run and another 5KM run which adds up to 15KM. However, as you may notice, during the 4th, 5th and 6th week I’ve been slipping a little bit. My 15KM a week was reduced to 12KM, and last week I only manage to finish a mediocre 8KM.

Maybe you’re reading this post and you feel the same thing. You said that you will study X hours a week so that you can get the most out of your education, ace your exams and make your parents proud. Maybe you said that you’ll read the Bible everyday for the whole 365 days of  2015, but now you have already missed several days. Or maybe it’s a diet plan that you know your friends, family members and God has been telling you to do; the first week of January went great but shortly after the 2nd week, you’ve lost control again.

GOAL OF THIS BLOG: To encourage us to stay back on track and regain focus on our goals during the start of the year.

The start of the year always seem to be the time when we’re most inspired to achieve our goals. Everything seems to be going right during the first few weeks of the year! Why is it that as the weeks pass us by and as we head on to the next few months, we tend to lose sight of our goals once again? Will this year, once again, be the same cycle of losing sight what needs to be done and just hit the RESTART button come 2016? I hope not!

Red Reset button

As I noticed this cyclical pattern, I observed a few things we do differently during the start of the year. I hope to share to you in this blog a few insights that can help get us out of this rut. My prayer is that we can all get back on track and get us one step closer to the goals we’ve set last 2015. Here goes:

1) Take time to reflect

We have to take time to reflect. I believe that this is one of the few things we do differently during the start of the year compared to any other time of the year. During the Christmas Break, we’ve got a lot of time in our hands to write down our faith goals or resolutions. It gives us the time to reflect on the things that we did wrong during the past year and things that we want to do differently for the coming year. We have 1 – 1 1/2 weeks during the Christmas break and have a lot of time to spend time with God. I believe this is one of the keys why we start the year so motivated!

Now, the thing is, for the rest of the year, we don’t have the luxury of time to do this but we do have our SABBATHS or DAY OFFS. We should take this time to reflect on our goals and the specific things God called us to act upon for 2015. God did command us to “Remember the Sabbath”. I wrote a blog on this which can hopefully help you maximize your Sabbath:(https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/remember-the-sabbath/).

Also, another thing that can help us is to set aside A DAY OF SOLITUDE once a month. This can either be towards the end of the month or the beginning (whichever you’re most comfortable with). I wrote about this during a blog I did last December so I won’t write it here anymore: (https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/make-the-most-of-your-christmas-break/).

Check out number 2 from that blog. It’s good to have those times with God every once in a while. Jesus did say in Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

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Let seeking God’s kingdom always be a priority in our lives. Jesus did say that as we do this, then all of the other things in life will be added unto us as well. 🙂

2) Just do it

This very popular nike slogan has been very helpful with me in terms of accomplishing the things that I need to get done. If we’re really honest, the only reason we’re not doing the things that needs to get done is because we’re lazy. That’s one of our fallen human conditions. We have to fight of laziness. We have to NOT make excuses and just DO the things that we know are important. Stephen Covey, in his book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said this:

—“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do.” “They don’t like doing them either necessarily, but their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”

I like the phrase “their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose“. This is why the previous point “Take time to reflect” is important. However, after we’ve been refreshed by seeking God’s kingdom first, now we have to act on it. JUST DO IT.

just-do-it-6888

Looking back at last week’s run. I realized that the only reason why I settled for 8KM is because I got lazy getting up in the morning to meet my target. This morning, by God’s grace I was able to get back on track.

Week 7: 12KM and counting

Everytime we feel lazy, we have to subordinate those feelings and do what Nike tells us to do: “JUST DO IT”. Let’s work hard in achieving our goals. Did you know that the Bible says a lot of things about working hard?

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

Proverbs 12:24
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.

WORK HARD! JUST DO IT!

Again, two things that will help us accomplish the resolutions and goals we set for 2015:

1) Take time to reflect – this will help you be reminded of the reason or the “MOTIVE” why you set your goals last 2015. As you get refreshed with your MOTIVE, then that’s where you’ll get your MOTIVATION. Then after doing number 1,

2) JUST DO IT. NO MORE EXCUSES. DO IT. WORK HARD ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in Life Lessons

 

What is God’s will for my life?

What is God’s will for my life? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I sure did, and still continuously do so even today. Constantly seeking for God’s will for our lives is one of the most important things that we can ever do. I often find myself faced with this question in my walk with God and when I talk with other people. Last Thursday, I spent time with a student and one of our conversations zeroed in on the subject of God’s will.

The question of “What is God’s will for my life?” is one of the biggest question for a person who have recently made a decision to follow Jesus Christ. That question is a $64,000 dollar question for a lot of Christians today. Most Christians feel that if that question just gets answered… then everything will go smooth sailing for their lives. We think that if we can just unlock the secrets and the mystery of God’s will then life is going to be easy. We think that we no longer have to be surprised by uncertainties in our lives.

know-gods-willWhat’s God’s will for my life?! What’s God’s will for my life?! What’s God’s will for my life?!

Now if you’re here and you’re reading this blog and you constantly find yourself asking this question. I have great news for you! God’s will in your life is knowable! In fact, I’m going to tell you below, the primary way that we can know God’s will! Are you ready? Here it goes, here’s the answer:

We can primarily know God’s will for our lives by reading His word

Reading-Bible-pd

TADAAA! There it is, you can know God’s will for your life by reading the Bible. Surprise surprise!

But WAITTTT!! Did the answer somehow fail your expectations? Have you heard this answer so many times already and was expecting a different one? Did you expect an answer that will give you the key in unlocking where God wants to lead you in this season? Well if that’s you, then hopefully you’ll continue to read along to see where I’m getting at. 🙂

I believe that, for a lot of us, whenever we ask the question: What is God’s will for my life? We’re primarily thinking about his SPECIFIC WILL for our lives. This concerns more of the “WHAT WILL WE BECOME”. God’s specific will zeroes in more on these questions:

“Lord, am I going to be an engineer one day?”
“God, what college should I go to?”
“What course should I take?”
For the singles: “Lord, what’s the name of the person whom I’m going to marry one day?”
And so on and so forth.

God has a specific will for our lives! That’s true and I believe that that is the beauty of this Christian walk. Our walk with God is an adventure! It’s the most exciting thing we can ever journey through in this walk called life. However, as much as this is true, sometimes our tendency is to give too much focus and emphasis on God’s SPECIFIC WILL rather than the other part of God’s will which is his GENERAL WILL.

Yup! That’s right, I believe that this is one way that we can look at the topic of God’s will. There’s his GENERAL WILL (sometimes we call this as his MORAL WILL) and his SPECIFIC WILL (sometimes referred to as his WILL OF EVENTS or PROVIDENTIAL WILL).

Our hearts, our questions, our desires focuses more on the SPECIFIC than the GENERAL. Too many times, we tend to lose sight and focus on his GENERAL WILL. I think that this is funny especially when it comes to the question: “WHAT IS GOD’S WILL FOR MY LIFE?” because 95% of God’s will is already found in scripture. I forgot where I learned that quote, but it’s an idiomatic expression saying that MOST of GOD’S WILL is already found in scripture. We just have to read and apply it in our lives.

If we’re really truly concerned about God’s will we will CONSTANTLY read his word and apply it in our lives.

If there’s anything that I want to achieve in this blog, it’s this: that you will focus more on God’s GENERAL WILL than his SPECIFIC WILL. Again, God’s specific will is amazing. Knowing and seeing how he moves directly in our lives shows us that our God is real and directly concerned in our lives. However, if you think about it, focusing too much on the SPECIFIC WILL without concerning on the GENERAL WILL may leave you most of the time frustrated. It will lead you frustrated, because you’re always asking those questions:

“Lord, am I going to be an engineer one day?”
“God, what college should I go to?”
“What course should I take?”
For the singles: “Lord, what’s the name of the person whom I’m going to marry one day?”

If you just observe closely all these questions that concerns God’s specific will in our lives, these are questions that only occasionally happens in our lives. They occur once in a blue moon. The answer to “God, what college should I go to?” only happens when we enter high school or college, after that you never had to worry about the question ever again in your life.  Whereas in our everyday lives, God’s GENERAL WILL occurs more frequently. Imagine if we just took the time to focus on his GENERAL WILL then we would know what to do in these situations:

Whenever feel lazy
When we get tempted
When someone offends us
When we see a first-timer in church
Should we honor our parents or not?
Any many many many other situations.

These are moments that we will encounter more, more than the questions I posted above relating to God’s SPECIFIC WILL. If we have just been busy in concerning ourselves in knowing and following God’s GENERAL WILL, then we would know how to act and respond properly in those situations. I believe that one of the reason why they say that 95% of God’s will is already in the Bible is because God has already given us instruction how to face most of the challenges we face in life. I believe that 95% of the events that will happen in our lives are part of God’s GENERAL WILL, while the 5% is part of God’s SPECIFIC WILL. We can choose today and decide what will we focus on and put our energies in.

Lastly, again this is not to say that I’m against the SPECIFIC WILL. What I just want to say is that hopefully we’ll focus more on his GENERAL WILL, because at the end of the day:

God’s more concerned in WHO you are becoming than WHAT you are becoming

The good news is, if we constantly live a life that obeys and honors God’s GENERAL WILL, then our character gets built. The WHO in us becomes refined and mature so that when God reveals to us his SPECIFIC WILL, we will be ready. Pastor Steve said in his book WikiChurch:

“My experience tells me that if we are ever to find that special grace and calling, we will most likely find it while in pursuit of doing what God has already called us to do. For me, that meant embracing the Great Commission as my own. Following the Lord’s command generally led me to a more specific understanding of what God wanted from my life.

There you have it, from Victory’s founding pastor himself. Constantly living a life that obeys God’s GENERAL WILL, will ultimately lead us towards God’s SPECIFIC CALLING in our lives.

May God give you the grace to obey his general will for your life as he slowly but surely reveals his specific calling for you.

God bless and Happy Monday everyone!

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Discipleship

 

Dealing with Failure

Failing is something that nobody wants to happen in their lives, ever. No one, as in NO ONE, just wakes up one day and thinks of creative ways of failing. Right? However, as much as we tried to avoid failing, everyone have experienced failure at some point. It’s pretty much inevitable.

Failure

There are two extreme type of people who battle failure from a unique vantage point. Maybe you can identify yourself with one of the two. The first set of people are the perfectionists (this is where I identify with), these are the people who are scared of failure. For them, just thinking about the possibility of failing sends chills to their bodies. In defining moments, thoughts of failure or not wanting to fail consumes them. However, since we know that no one is perfect, failure will face them in the eye at one point. The problem in being a perfectionist is when failure hits these type of people, it paralyzes them. It makes them insecure. It deals a blow to their confidence and their perfectionism actually works against them.

How-can-I-be-a-perfectionist-2

The second group of people are those who have who have resigned to the fact that maybe they’ll never do anything significant in their lives. Maybe when they were little their parents have told them that they are a nobody, leading them to have that mindset. Maybe there was an event in their lives where they failed massively and because of which weren’t able to get back up. Because of that event probably it lead to a life of mediocrity. Of course, we know that even though sometimes being too much of a perfectionist is wrong, it’s also wrong to accept failure in our lives as part of the norm. We need standards in this world in order for us to live by.

So how do we deal with failure properly? It seems like both extremes aren’t desirable to be in. The problem is if you go on the extreme of being a perfectionist, it consumes your life, however, if you go the other side it leads to a life of no standards. What’s the proper balance and tension here and can this be actually resolved?

Failure vs Success

I believe that there are many ways to go about this, I don’t have all the answers, but I’d just like to share what realized from my devotion last week. While I was reading God’s word. I was reminded of a famous verse written by the Apostle Paul:

1 Timothy 1:15-16
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.

If you know the Apostle Paul, many people regard him to be one of the most influential figures in Christianity, probably next to Jesus Christ. He wrote most of the books in the New Testament. His passion and zeal for advancing the gospel is second to none. God made him to be the Apostle to Gentiles, taking the gospel to places where no man has ever gone before. He was willing to die for the sake of the Gospel. When Christians would talk about the Apostle Paul, Christians would recount many of his achievements and see his life as a successful one.

However, when I read the verse above last week. I was quick to remember about the Apostle Paul’s dark past. He was a pharisee of pharisees, regarded by many as the enemies of Jesus Christ. After Jesus resurrected from the dead, the Apostle Paul went on an operation to kill as many of the earliest Christians as possible. Most notable of which was Stephen from the book of Acts. If you’re a Christian living in those early times, the Apostle Paul was the enemy. He was definitely a man who did not do the will of God. Yet, in a remarkable turn of events. God chose the Apostle Paul, not counting all his failures to ensure that the good news of God’s kingdom is advanced.

Failure is not final as they say and it definitely was not for the Apostle Paul. God used his life for his glory no matter what he’s gone through. I believe that the implications of this is huge especially for those who may have deemed their lives as failures. If you feel like that when you’re reading this, remember there’s always a SECOND CHANCE. Even if you felt like you’ve failed, or maybe will continue to fail so many times in your life, never fear. God can turn your life around and use it for his glory. Don’t lose hope, in this life you always have a shot to turn it around for God’s purposes. Just remember to always trust in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

“…But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”

Failure-Is-Not-Final1

Now for the perfectionists, here’s what I realized. We will always fail at some point that’s why it’s useless to put our security in our successes. When that becomes the ultimate thing for us failure will hit us hard at some point. It will shake our world and make us lose our self confidence. In my opinion, I realized that the key to dealing with failures is to accept the fact that we are all sinners and remind ourselves daily. That means that we deserved absolutely nothing. We were, at one point, failures who had no hope in this world. Left on our own our lives are pretty much useless. However, we shouldn’t end there because if that’s all, then we’d be like the other group. The next step is to put our trust and faith not on ourselves and our accomplishments but only in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The truth is only in the gospel can we find true success in life. The beauty of the gospel is that gives us the power to live a life the will honor God. Also, whenever we fail, the gospel gives us a reboot, it always gives us a second chance just like what it did with the apostle Paul. Not only does the gospel give us a second chance in life, but it always gives us the strength and fuel to move forward and face all the challenges and problems that this life can bring. Left on our own we can’t, but with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, indeed nothing will be impossible for him.

Have a great day ahead of you! 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Life Lessons