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#RelationshipGoals

2016 has just started and people have set things that they want to achieve before the year ends in a form of faith-goals, new years’s resolutions, 10-things-to-do or whatever you call it. Pictures and videos with a hashtag “#RelationshipGoals” have also become famous like couples travelling to different places, siblings coming up with a trending video, or a group of friends all wearing a Nike Airmax while riding a hoverboard with hashtag #SquadGoals.
Just like any other relationship, do we also have #RelationshipGoals when it comes to our relationship with God?
David’s goal for his relationship with God was written in 
Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

    all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord

    and to inquire[c] in his temple.

Paul expressed it in Philippians 3:7-11 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
How about you? Have you set goals for you to grow in your relationship with God? As for God, we know that while we were yet sinners Christ has already been pursuing us and has already proven his love for us through his death on the cross. God has done his part and He is with us. The question is, “Are we doing our part every single day to grow in our relationship with God”?
Here are some of the practical and simple things I’m doing to achieve my #RelationshipGoals as far as my relationship with God is concerned.

1. Bible-Reading

You don’t need to read 10 chapters a day. The goal is to know God and hear Him speak. As we often hear, “Transformation not Information”. You are not preparing to join a Bible Quiz, you’re just trying to get to know a person you want to grow your relationship with. As you grow in knowing Christ, ovedience and transformation will come as a result.

This year, I’ve decided to read 1 chapter of Proverbs a day and 1 Chapter of the New Testament everyday except Mondays and Fridays because I plan to read other books as I feel led and have an extended Bible-Reading time during those days.

 

Bible Reading Calendar for January

 
I’m also using this paperback, New Testament, English Standard Version so I can highlight and write revelations as I study the Word.

  
2. Prayer

I’ve heard of teachings before that I need to pray atleast an hour a day and wake up as early as 4:30 AM so I can have enough time because I also have to go to work. I tried many times and guess what? I failed many times. If you are starting in your walk with God, you need to form a habit by starting to pray for 5 minutes every single day then challenge yourself to extend to 10, 20 or 30 minutes.

Every morning, I come to God by praying in the Spirit and start by thanking Him for who He is, my relationship with Him and the great things that he’s done and ask him to bless me, give me wisdom, favor, protection and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Also, I’ve set prayer focus for each day, Monday for my pesonal prayers, Tuesday for Church and so on.

Mondays and Fridays are also set for an extended time of prayer so I can take more time to listen to him.

3. Quiet Time

Quiet time is not my Bible reading and prayer time although I start by doing those. Quiet time is taking time to be quiet and allo God to speak. If you are a student or working, let’s be honest, you can’t have a quiet time every single day. Again, I’ve set Mondays and Fridays for extended Bible reading, prayer time and quiet time or taking time to let God speak to me.

Hope these things can help you achieve your #RelationshipGoals.

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Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

ON FIFTY SHADES OF GREY: To My Fellow Christians

Much has been said about the movie and people have different opinions about it. People, Christian or Non-Christian are on both sides of the argument. I maybe late, but I felt the need to give my piece not to everyone but to my fellow Christians.

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, to everyone who call themselves followers of Jesus, fellow disciples and Bible-believing citizens:

I am writing this as a brother who cares and is concerned about you, your relationship with God and the great calling God has for you. I’m doing this as a Christian who wants to speak, in this case, write the truth in love. Second, as a youth pastor who believes so much on young people. I believe that God has a great plan for them, they will be the future leaders and the values being formed in their young minds will become the values of society five years from now.

First, if we can have time to read the book and spend more than an hour to watch the movie, is it safe to assume that we also have time to read the Bible? I do read books. I love reading books and I spend money to buy books. Sometimes, I get to spend more money in buying books than in buying clothes. I advocate reading books. But as Christians, I think there is a problem if we can spend a great deal of time reading fictional books and other books and yet we find it hard to pick up our Bible and read it. And if you don’t have a Bible yet, I think it’s a great idea if you save the money you’re going to spend to watch the movie and buy a Bible. I know I don’t have the right to tell you where to spend your money but Jesus has. Jesus is your Lord isn’t it?

If we let books influence us, isn’t it that we are to let the Bible influence us first and let it become a strainer of other opinions and philosophies? If Jesus is Lord, the Bible should be the final authority in our lives.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”

We are to feed ourselves with God’s word. Jesus himself said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

Let us be like Job who said, “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” (Job 23:12)

Let us also consider what the psalmist said. “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart,that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:10-11)

Second, as I have said, I love reading books. I also watch movies. I may not be an artist but I know how to appreciate art. I am not advocating, “don’t-watch-movies-because-it’s-sinful” or “don’t-read-fictional-books-because-those-are-demonic”. I’m not also saying that just because you’ve watched the movie, you are insane and you might imitate those acts. I’ve watched movies on terrorism, murder, robbery or even rape but those movies would show that those acts are not okay and they are being countered as portrayed in those movies. But 50 Shades of Grey is different. I haven’t watched the movie nor read the book but thanks to Wikipedia and IMDB. The movie and the book portrayed that sexual immorality, pre-marital sex and a sex practice called BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism and masochism) are okay. I would never see a movie that portrays women as slaves and degrades their value as an entertainment. As Christians, we are supposed to be grieved. You don’t want that to happen to you and you don’t want that to happen to your sister and your loved ones. Do you? Watching the movie is like saying, “That’s okay.” You might also want to read this from Jarrid Wilson.

Third, it was rated R-18 by the MTRCB. This means that if you are aged 18 and below, you can’t watch it in the movie house and you are not supposed to watch it in DVD or downloaded copies. To the older people, younger people look up to us and they are being influenced by us. Let us set an example. To the parents, what if your children would want to watch it and you prohibit them to do so and they would answer you back with a question, “You’ve watched it. Why can’t I?” What will you say? Think about it! And consider what my friend Perci said, “Try putting a story on Pornography and its already like 50 Shades…” and read this blog.

Lastly, yes you don’t become evil or sinful by merely watching the movie or reading the book. I agree with you! Because the truth is, you are already evil before even watching or reading it. You are evil. I am evil. We are all sinful and impure apart from Jesus Christ. I didn’t become righteous by not watching or reading the book the same way as you did not become evil by reading it.

The Bible says that, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) We are sinful at birth. We are corrupted down to our roots and it’s only through Jesus Christ and His finished work that we have been made pure and righteous when we repent of our sins and believe the Gospel.

And now as Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, disciples, Bible-believing citizens who are not of this world, have been made righteous by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are no longer slaves of sin but slaves of righteousness. We are called to live pure and holy lives! This is our calling. This is who we are.

Let us then consider these:

But among you there must not be even a hintof sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3) You might also want to read this blog from TGC.

Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. (1 Peter 4:2-4)

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:2-8)

Your fellow Christian,

JMN

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Lessons from my first 10km-Run

We had our fun run in celebration of the 15th Anniversary Celebration of Victory Laoag called Run for Victory last July 28, 2012. Participants of the said fun run can run for 3km, 5km or 10km. I challenged myself and decided to join the 10k-run. It was my first 10k-run. I was able to finish but I almost died gasping for breath. Hahaha! People who knows me and were there were so amazed, shocked and can’t even believe that I was able to do it. xD

Image

Here are some lessons I’ve learned from that run:

#1 Stretching is necessary!

A day after the fun run, I can barely get up from my bed. It was even hard for me to walk. For 3 days, I suffered from muscle pains. Stretching is necessary before you run especially if you want to run farther. You don’t need stretching if you will only run 1 km. You won’t feel the same pain you’ll experience when you run 10k without you stretching first. My point is, stretching is necessary if you want to go farther.

Same way with our life, we have to go through stretching. In fact, stretching is already hard and painful that’s why we don’t want to go through that and we try to escape it. But we have to understand that if will not let stretching happen, we will experience more pain when were faced with the run.

I believe that stretching is God’s way of preparing us so that He can bring us farther. He is stretching us so that He can bring us to where he wants us to be in the next season of our lives. God is stretching you because He wants to bring you farther, in a better, bigger and greater place.

#2 It’s more fun to run when you’re not alone.

A day before the run, everyone was so excited. There’s just excitement when you know that you’re not alone. Not only that, while running there were people who encouraged me, challenged me and cheered me up to finish the 10k run. It was so fun to run to run because there even people talking to me while we’re running. We were even joking and laughing.

Same way with our Christian life, it’s not easy to run the race marked for us alone. Hebrews 12:1 says, “LET US RUN with perseverance the race marked out for us…” The race called life was designed to be done with others. You’re run might be different with others and nobody can’t run the race marked for you and you can’t also run the race marked out for others but the Bible says, “LET US RUN…” We are meant to run with others. Life is more fun when you’re with people who will encourage you, challenge you, pray for you and even correct you along the way. Don’t run alone!

#3 Don’t stop. Don’t quit!

As I have said in my tweet right after the fun run, “I joined the Run, Walk, Run, Walk, Walk, Run for Victory…” There were time times that I almost quit but I just slowed down and walk and I never stopped until I finished it. It wasn’t easy but I was able to finish it. If I stopped at the middle of the race, will I be able to say that I finished my 10k run? If you will stop, you will not be able to finish the race. Hey, it’s too soon to quit. They say, “It’s not about how well you start but on how well you finish.” God did not call us just to start the race, but to finish it well!

2 Timothy 4:7-8

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day —and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Discipleship, Faith

 

Decision Making: Inquire of the Lord

I’m now 24 years old and almost 7 years now as a Christian. I realized that as I grow older, the more that I have to face bigger and harder decisions. And as these decisions I’m going to make gets harder, the more that I have to be careful. These decisions already involve my future and sometimes even of other people. If I will not be wise and careful enough, my life, my future, other people and more will be affected – more will suffer. Bigger decisions means more is at stake. Faced with these, I just want to share from God’s word something which I believe to be the wisest and most careful way in making a decision –TO INQUIRE OF THE LORD.

Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-30

V.1-4 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat.Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea. It is already in Hazazon Tamar ” (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

 

As a king, he’s faced with a concern that involves not just his personal life but the lives of all the people of the nation he’s leading. Jehoshaphat had to make a quick decision and deploy an army to face their enemies but he resolved to inquire of the Lord.

 

As a result, the Lord fought for them and gave them victory as a nation. As for Jehoshaphat,

 

V.29-30 29 The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”

 

Now what happens when we don’t inquire of the Lord?

 

1 Chronicles 10:13-14 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance,and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.

 

Deciding in haste will cause regrets. Hasty decisions often cost us more that we can imagine. That’s why we need to be wise and careful.

 

How do we inquire of the Lord?

1.    Pray

V.3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.

 

Consider your decisions in prayer. As you think about it, pray about it as well. The more time you spend thinking about it, the more time you need to pray about it.

 

Acts 13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

 

Prayer is not just a time to tell our concerns and petitions to God but also asking God questions and taking time to listen to God’s answer.

2.    Read God’s Word

As they were praying, a prophet stood up to speak God’s word to them. Today, we have the bible in our hands. Read it! God speaks through His word. God’s word serves as our God, you’ll never go wrong when you follow it.

Psalm 119:104-106 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.

3. Godly Counsel

There are things that we can’t see that other people can see. We all have blind sides. Can you see your back? You can’t but other people can. Ask them! Ask your pastor, your small group leader or your friends in church.

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

V.4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord…

 

What I like about the people of Judah is that when they joined Jehoshaphat, they never gave their opinions but joined him to seek help from the Lord…

 

Sometimes, godly people around you can give you their opinion to help you make a decision, others just share their own experience, others just few words as advice and others ask questions to clarify and it’s good. But sometimes, even wiser, they don’t even give a word but they’ll just join you to seek help from the Lord…

 

Lastly,

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Other translation of this verse says, “Trust in the Lord… and he will make your paths OBVIOUS.

Don’t be in a hurry. Be wise and be careful. Take time to pray, read God’s word and seek godly counsel.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2012 in Faith

 

Learning From Elijah: Just Trust the Extraordinary God

James 5:17-18

Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

There’s nothing extraordinary with Elijah. He was just an ordinary human being just like us. But what made his prayer so powerful? It is because of his great confidence on our EXTRAODINARY GOD. He trusted our all powerful God.

In 1 Kings 17:1 Elijah said, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” Wow! What a faith?! He was so confident that God will hear him that he said, “it will not rain unless I say so”. He knows that when he calls on to God, God will answer him. Again in 1 Kings 18, because of his great faith, he even challenged the Baal prophets saying, “…call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire-he is God”. He knew then that God will hear him.

Again, there’s nothing extraordinary with Elijah except that he had great faith in our Extraordinary God. The God that Elijah worshipped and served is the same God that we worship and serve today. He is unchanging. His faithfulness to His promises remains and His power wasn’t lessened through the years. He is the same yesterday, and today and forever.

Believe that He will fulfill every promise that you received from Him. Continue to believe because he is faithful and is able. Be confident that He will perform miracles on your behalf as you call on Him.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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INTRUSION: In the Furnace

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Love Different: Should We follow our heart?

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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