Don’t Kill Yourself because It’s Valentines Day

Don’t Kill Yourself because It’s Valentines Day

Valentines day. Many are rushing to buy gifts for their loved ones or for the person they admire (whether the other party knows it or not). This day elicits a lot of emotions to all, from feeling fully loved to despair or depression.

For those who are experiencing a great feeling of being loved by someone today, remember that God is the author of love. In fact, God is love and love is more than just feelings and passion. For God, it is a decision to make every single day to love the unlovable and extend mercy and grace to those who are far away from Him. I hope you’ll extend that genuine and pure love that God has given you through Jesus Christ.

For those who are feeling lonely because of the fact that someone left you hanging or maybe you feel hopeless and depressed to the point of taking your life, please read further. I want you to know that there is a kind of love that is better than the love that we know here on earth — and it is always available for you. It always extends to you, and it always desires to fill you and make you whole.

Please don’t kill yourself because you feel hopeless today. Think about these things:

Receive. God has shown his love for you. The kind of love that will complete you is the love that only God can give. Don’t be deceived by the flowers, love letters floating around, love songs being played and all the temporary things about romantic love. The love that you really need is not based on a yearly occasion, it is based on the passion of one person — Jesus, the one who entered the history of man to reach to you. He died a gruesome death to reconcile us to a loving relationship with Him. Receive his everlasting love.

Jeremiah 31:3

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Forgive. Forgiveness is really difficult. I know because I also feel that people who wronged you should pay. But I realized that it’s also true to myself. I also have to pay. I also commit sin and make mistakes. Yet, God extended his mercy upon us so that there will be a reality of having a relationship with God. Forgive because God has extended his forgiveness to us. Do not be fooled with the idea that unforgiveness will make your enemy pay. The reality of unforgiveness is that we ultimately pay for not letting go of the person who wronged us and not allowing God to do his justice to all. Forgive so that you may live a life that is free from bitterness and offense.

Isaiah 1:18

“Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

Believe. God has a plan for you. A plan takes time to unfold. We have to wait and trust that our God who leads us by the hand is faithful and true to His promise, purpose and plans for our lives. He has the best choice for us and He will not lead us into destruction but into the construction of our character. He is the lover of your soul, that’s why you don’t have to sell yourself short to someone because he/she promised a good “moment” with you. Don’t settle for good. Don’t settle for momentary pleasure. Believe for the best that God has for you. You will wait, but the arrival of the promise that God has for you will overshadow the pains and struggles of the waiting. Believe that God is good to you, not just on Valentines day but every single day of your life.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Don’t kill yourself to sadness or loneliness or just don’t kill yourself (if you’re planning to do so). God loves you, now and forever. No man or woman can top that.

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How Can You be Certain that It’s God’s voice?

How Can You be Certain that It’s God’s voice?

A lot of questions surround the certainty of hearing God’s voice. Some people find it mystical whenever they hear someone, “I believe God is telling me…” Some find it really difficult to understand how does it really happen. I heard some Christians telling that “when you hear it, you’ll be sure that it’s God.” Sadly, some Christians abuse that phrase and use it to manipulate people which lead other people to shun away from these things.

But how can we be certain that we hear God’s voice?

I believe even in this day and age, God desires to communicate to his people. He can use a lot of means of doing it, but I know God wants to communicate to us in a manner that we will understand and will build trust in him.
In my life, I have learned that hearing God’s voice is not a one time deal and then you get it right afterwards. It’s a journey of learning to hear and obey God’s voice (maybe audibly or thru circumstances). Hearing is one thing, obeying it sets you to get familiar with it.

I found 3 disciplines that can sharpen your faith to hear his voice and be certain that it’s God who is speaking to you.

Reading the Bible
God’s word gives us direction of God’s heart, His desires and will for our lives.

Obedience
Obedience to his moral laws is a pathway to understanding and knowing his personal will for your life.

Getting wise and Godly counsel
This examines our motives, and gives balance in our perception of things. Our heart is deceitful. We need people to tell us if we are still aligned with what God has for us. We need people who will tell us the truth. This is one of the best ways God uses to sharpen our faith and test our humility.

May these 3 disciplines guide you on how you can be certain of God’s voice in your life.

Election and What Not to Do About it.

Election and What Not to Do About it.
It’s the season in the Philippines were we choose our leaders and people pick their sides. I’ve heard lots of information and comments about who to vote and who not to vote. But I am not that concern about who to choose in this coming election, I know we have our own opinion and choice of why we pick a leader for a government seat. I am more concern on how we as Filipinos are willing to divide ourselves from our close relationships for the sake of our choice of vote. I believe there is something fundamentally wrong with that attitude in this election.
We take it too personal what is only meant to be political.
Think about this:
  • Your political bet will not be with you in your deathbed.
  • Your political view should not be an excuse to demean and divide relationships.
  • Your relationships are more important than your political view.
Aside from how we pick our leaders, let’s be mindful of what is more important in the midst of a critical season of our country.

5 Questions Jesus Asked and How Our Answers Can Change the Way We Walk with Him

5 Questions Jesus Asked and How Our Answers Can Change the Way We Walk with Him

We usually have questions when we approach God. Our questions can come out of curiosity, or it can come out because we are in pain or we are experiencing challenges and we are looking for explanation why things are happening. God listens to our cries and questions. He is willing to comfort us in our pain.

But what if the scenario is reversed and Jesus had a few questions for us? As we are eager to hear answers from Him, God is also eager to hear the answer to His questions. I believe Jesus asks questions not because we lack information. I believe He asked these questions because the people He’s asking needs direction and change of heart.

I encourage everyone to read the whole chapter where I got the questions of Jesus. These questions were directed to specific people but I believe these still have significance for us today.

  1. Why did you doubt? (Matt 14:31)
  2. But who do you say that I am? (Matt 16:15)
  3. Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I command? (Luke 6:46)
  4. Do you love me? (John 21:16)
  5. Do you believe I can do this? (Matt 9:28)

Hope these questions challenge our hearts and grow our relationship with Jesus. Enjoy reading the Bible!

4 Effective Steps to Stay Motivated

4 Effective Steps to Stay Motivated

January is about to close and most of us has already forgotten that we have a goal or a resolution, a habit to break, or a fitness goal we want to achieve. Whatever goals or resolutions you have set, it is bound to be forgotten if we don’t have a system that will keep it.

I always have my goals written in paper or Evernote but I still find myself forgetting it along the way. Especially when life happens — Somebody in the family got sick, or I got stuck in traffic or my baby started crying. When these pressures and challenges come, it is so easy to give up and fall back to my old “good” routines.

However, we picked our goals and resolutions because we want a better life, a better way of living it and also a better way of representing Christ to other people. So this year I started building this system that has been helping me continue and stay motivated to execute what I have planned to do. Of course, any system will fail if there is no intention to achieve the goal. That is the “why” behind the goals that we set. If the “why” is set in place, the “how” will have the power to move. Here are my 4 effective steps to keep myself motivated.

Write it down and post it everywhere where you can always see it. I have mine posted in my study table. Some people post it in their refrigerators, some in their mirrors in the bathroom. Wherever it is, it’s important that you see it everyday.

Translate your goals into a calendar. What I mean by this is that you put it in your daily schedule. When our goals are not connected to a schedule, it is bound to be forgotten and eventually fail. We give time to anything or anyone we value. Whether that’s a date time with your wife or study time for your academics, it needs to be written in a calendar.

Get a coach. There will be times that your will to win will not be strong enough to do what you intended to achieve. Someone has to encourage you and challenge you to continue with your plans and goals. It can be your friend who is not necessarily an expert but someone who can speak strength and challenge your status quo. That can be your wife or husband who always sees you. It can be your pastor. Whoever you choose to be your coach, it is important that they’re willing to lift you up and challenge you to keep what you have set.

Celebrate. Our brains are wired for rewards. We all want to feel that we are winning and celebration is one way to feel we are winning.  If we don’t get rewarded we usually get tired and stop doing what we plan to achieve. It can be a day were you can eat a cake after six days of hard physical training or it can be a planned day were you can sleep longer after six days of waking up very early. Celebration should be planned and consistent.

The good news is we still have time to improve and achieve what we have set. We can’t perfect the whole journey but we should not stop. God has given us the grace and strength to have self-discipline and experience life to the full.

What has been your biggest challenge accomplishing your goals this year? How do you plan to improve it?

Famous Lies Satan Always Whispers to You

Famous Lies Satan Always Whispers to You

There is a saying that the mind is the playground of Satan. I believe it’s true that’s why Peter and Paul encouraged the followers of Jesus to be alert and to renew their minds. Everyday, our mind has the potential to be tricked by the enemy. If we are not aware of his schemes, we’ll be shocked how far we are away from God and lose our confidence in the grace and love of God.

So I listed the lies that I personally fought and am continually fighting by His Words. Usually these lies come when you’re weak, discouraged, disappointed or offended. I am hoping that by His grace this wisdom will help you be alert and be wiser than the schemes of the enemy. I categorized the lies into two: Condemnation and Compromise.

Condemnation

  1. God is mad at you. You might hear this when things are not going your way or a tragic event is happened to you. If you are in Christ, His wrath has been fully satisfied on the cross. The trials and challenges have turned from curse to refining of character. God wants to refine and prune you so that Christ will be revealed more in you.
  2. God is disappointed with you. Whenever you feel like God is not listening to you or answering your prayers, this lie might appear in your thought. His silence doesn’t mean he’s away or he’s ignoring you. I believe, God is working at the background of your situation and He’s preparing you for something great.
  3. God wants you to be “fixed” before you come to Him.  This lie can bring discouragement or pride in our hearts. Jesus’ heart always goes for those who are hurt and sick. He wants you to come as you are and let Him do his great work in your heart.

Compromise

  1. Nobody will know. Lie will cover lie, but in reality somebody knows what really happened. You. This lie usually works in us because we are deceived into the idea that we can get away from it. But reality says otherwise. We are burdened and haunted by the things of the past and the only way to get healing from it is to expose it into the light.
  2. Nobody will get hurt. This lie is famous in the context of sexual sins, but I believe it can be used in other areas of life. The truth is sin hurts people. Sin hurts relationships and divides it.
  3. You deserve to be happy. Wait, that’s true. But it’s half truth. We can only be happy when our legitimate desires are filled legitimately. Happiness is fulfilled when we are fully devoted to the one who created us.

 

The list gives us wisdom on how to fight at least half of the battle. The half of it is fought by faith through His words which act like a sword against the enemy and our own desires.

Are there any lies you feel like you have been believing recently? How do you plan to overcome it?

You Have to Tell These to Yourself Everyday

You Have to Tell These to Yourself Everyday

Your tongue has the power to set the direction of your day. And if we’re not careful it can set the direction of our weeks and months to discouragements and frustrations. A proverb said that

“The tongue holds the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

Your speech has the power to control your emotion and even the actions that comes with it. That’s the reason why when we hear bad news from the media we get affected by it and eventually the whole day gets defined by the news we get and vice versa. I believe God has given us the ability to speak encouraging words that comes from the Bible to empower our day and give a boost of encouragement for your work. Here are my personal declarations that I say to myself every single day.

  1. I am a new creation. This is like the Gospel to me in a nutshell. It reminds me that I am forgiven and renewed. Empowered to do His will and be excellent in my workplace.
  2. I am loved and accepted. This brings security in my heart. It reminds me that God is already proud of me and he is pleased with me even when I just woke up.
  3. I have a great purpose today. This declaration reminds me that I am involved in a very huge endeavor in the world and God is my director. It reminds me that there is more to life than my complains and petty issues.
  4. I am an overcomer. For a natural shy type person that I am, this one really enables me to see and do things differently. My nature would dictates that I won’t communicate, deal with people and preach. This declaration reminds me that His grace is made perfect for my weakness and in Christ I can do all things.
  5. God is in charge and in control.  At the end of the day, when all the work has been done, God is in charge and in control of the outcome. It removes the anxiety and worry of the results and gives me hope that God is in control of everything.

For me, it is best to declare this at the start of your day. It can give you a great sense of hope and can strengthen your faith as you go through your day. It’s like preaching to yourself in 1 minute.

What have you been telling yourself recently? How has it been affecting you lately?