In the Philippines, especially in its capital Manila, the roads are filled with these rowdy jeepneys – the engine sound, the sudden stops, the blings and stickers on their bodies. As a driver, you would want to stay as far away from them as possible which is an impossible feat in the metro. These jeeps would often have names written on their body or hanged on the back, sometimes stickers of zodiac signs, artwork, or the face of Jesus, others hang signs like “God bless our trip” or some pinoy hugot or humor quotes.
As I was done with my first trip this morning and on my way to the second one, I was already getting cheesed off with the bad Manila traffic, the buses and pedestrians, the chaos so early on a Monday morning. And it’s a Monday. Half-way to my second destination, this jeep cut me and I was about to lose it when I saw what’s written on its side “Jesus Owns You” and it spells JOY.
So simple. 3-letter word. 3 words. Says it all. It occurred to me how we all strive and struggle to be happy, to find peace, to be filled with joy – the joy that the world can never ever take away from us. We search, we seek, we ask, we knock yet often we are left asking for more or asking more questions. All along, what Jesus is telling us, what God wants from us, is to be owned by Him – yet we cannot have that. I am my own, this is my life – don’t we all say that and live that? I want joy but I want my life to be my own as well. Hmm… I really don’t know how we can work around that when JOY is simply being owned by Jesus.
What does it mean to be owned by Jesus and why do most of us resist? Continue reading
So you should pray like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
as we have forgiven those who are in debts to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.”
– Matthew 6:9-13
And this is how we ought to pray. Not by memorizing the Lord’s prayer but by truly understanding what it meant.
To declare His glory and to make known His love; to submit to His will; to ask not only for the daily provisions of life but for the bread of life as well – the Word of God, the presence of Jesus in our lives; to forgive others and acknowledge that we are sinners and humbly lay down our sins at the feet of the cross; to pray for strength for we know that our flesh is weak; to acknowledge our salvation.
When we find it in our hearts struggling to submit to His will, or to forgive – let us pray for these struggles because we are weak and He is strong. Let us not depend on our strength but rely on His. And in times we do not know what to pray, or when we even cannot utter a single word to pray, a tear drop is a prayer that the Lord fully comprehend. A deep sigh from a tired soul, a silence, a sob from a broken heart – all these and more the Lord sees and hears as our prayers.
The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our heart knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.
– Romans 8:26-27
Pray, and listen. The Lord delights in speaking to us when we pray.
Love your enemies.
Simple. Direct. Crazy. But, why should I? How could I?
In theory, it’s already hard to postulate. In practice, what more? The world sees this as the craziest idea – a world that demands justice, revenge, vengeance sugar-coated into something we sometimes use as ‘I’m just teaching him a lesson’ or ‘He deserves it’. Oh, how kind of us, teaching lessons, giving deserving presents! And the world who loves gossips and dramas would be against a person who quietly accepts persecution and forgives – corny, boring, stupid.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:38 – 42
Personally, I struggle with this command. It’s just too hard to comprehend and it goes against lessons the society has taught me growing up. I look at a society that demands Continue reading
Whenever I reflect on God’s Mercy, I cannot help but be amazed of the love that He has for His disobedient and stubborn people. I see how unworthy I am of such love and how faithful He is for keeping His covenant in spite of all that the other party, we, does. Seeing this love always drives me to tears and gratitude and makes me see that all other things matter less in this world.
One parable commonly told is that of the prodigal son, in other texts it is entitled the parable of the Merciful Father and rightly so. Often the focus is on the son who Continue reading
For the past 3 days, I’ve been repeatedly listening to Joyce Meyer’s ministry on podcast about this topic: Using Your Time Wisely. I know I needed a lot of guidance in that aspect of my life and I know I needed to do something about it. I listen to it again and again because I want to internalize every single lesson I am going to get from this ministry. True enough, our gracious God sent His help in the matter. Aside from the ministry, I am given today a strong Word about God’s visitation in my life. Just when the term ‘visitation’ resonated with me from that podcast ministry, I get a reading that warns me about what happen when I do not realize God’s visitation in my life.
What about visitation from the podcast ministry of Joyce Meyer?
The word visitation and the meaning and importance of it resounded to me only on the second day I listened to the ministry. It made so much impact on me that I pondered on it – what do I usually do when God distracts my routine, my plan? Continue reading
If an old horn can amplify music, then perhaps our flawed lives can magnify the goodness of God. We’re the megaphone; the music and the power come from Him.
~ David McCasland