Jesus is Lord over my NEIGHBORS

Jesus is Lord over my NEIGHBORS

King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Every day poses a challenge on how we would treat the people around us. Take for example that driver who overtakes you, that officemate who spreads rumors about you, or that classmate who bullies you. How do you feel about them? Annoyance? Resentment? Anger? How about that old man walking alone under the scorching heat of the sun, that skinny boy selling sampaguita, or that mother asking for alms? Did you even bother to look at them? Think about that person you made fun of or cursed. Have you considered how they would feel?

As we encounter these people, may we pause and see past their appearance, personality, or attitude. May we not see them as enemies, as disturbances to our routine, or as people to be reproached. Instead, may we see in them the fingerprints of God, created in His own image. May we see them as people who are broken and in need, just like us. May we see them as people for whom Christ also died. Then, having seen, may we treat everyone we encounter with love, respect, and dignity.

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It is finished

It—the descent from heaven, the virgin conception, the birth in a manger, the attempt of Herod to have Him killed, the simple life as a carpenter’s son, the unbelief of the Jews despite the many miracles He performed, the persecution of the Pharisees, the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter, the whips and lashes, the crown of thorns, the crucifixion—is finished.

Jesus Christ successfully went through all those without hesitation or complaint, only with love, so that our sins might be forgiven, our filth might be cleansed, and our lives might be saved. Therefore, in view of the task He finished, let us decide to also finish the enemy’s grip in us by giving and uniting our lives to Jesus Christ—without hesitation or complaint, only with love.

Know God, know Courage

Know God, know Courage

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)

There is courage in the defiant shouts of simple men decrying the invasion of foreign colonizers. There is courage in their engagement in combats and battles, with only their tabaks. There is courage in their deaths, willingly faced for the freedom of our land. That is why we remember these heroes this month.

But we also acknowledge those unlikely heroes we meet every day, for there also is courage in the stillness. Courageous is he who is being battered and pounded by the storms of life, but still keeps his ground, still stands up. Courageous is he who does not know how to face tomorrow, but nevertheless smiles and inspires others. Courageous is he who comes at the end of himself and realizes things are no longer in his hands and there, there surrenders everything to God.

Some circumstances in life would require a courage that dares. In others, a courage that persists. In either case, we know that God is with us. This is our ultimate courage.

FEET

FEET

If you would look at his feet, you would probably feel your insides lurch and belch. Because his feet, well, his feet are dirty and grimy, callused and bruised. You see, he was but a simple man. A carpenter. And simple men just walked—on dusty streets, on muds and puddles, with no shoes on.

But if you would look at the direction of his footsteps, you would surely feel your insides warm and soar. You see, his feet always moved—to the poor, to the hungry, to the sick, to the weeping, to the sinning. To everyone who needed him.

On and on his feet moved, responding to every cry and every call—yes, every call. Because when they called for his feet to be nailed to a cross, he did not walk away. Instead, he walked toward them… toward his death.

Because, you see, that was the very reason why he walked. He stepped down from heaven, walked among men, and trudged to Calvary, that all men would find their way to the path of life everlasting.

So do not look at his grubby, miry feet. Look instead at the direction of his footsteps.

But then, if you are poor, hungry, sick, weeping, or sinning, you won’t have to look for his feet. He will come to you. To bless you, fill you, heal you, comfort you, and forgive you. Just as he had come two millennia ago.

Because that was the very reason why he walked.

JIREH: THE LORD WHO PROVIDES ALL OUR NEEDS

Yet, He has a requirement for us to experience His all-sufficient provision. This can be seen in the life of Abraham, the father of many nations and a model of genuine faith in God. When God commanded him to offer his only son, Isaac, he immediately obeyed God, without hesitation or complaint. He did not tell God, “You promised me to be a father of many nations! Why are you asking me to kill my only son?” What he did was to prepare everything they needed for the burnt offering and set off in the journey towards the mountain. What a faith!

Then at one point in the journey, Isaac asked him where the lamb is. To which he responded, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8). Now, we are enlightened about God’s requirement: one must trust God plans fully and obey Him completely. Abraham exemplified this and he was rewarded with God’s miraculous provision.

As Christians, we are called to become the Abrahams of our nation – true believers who live by faith and not by sight. We are the people who will declare the power and promise of Jireh in our country besieged by enormous debt and abject poverty. Hence, we are commissioned to do three things.

First, we must possess an unshakeable trust in God which will enable us to continue dreaming for progress. Now is the time for us to shun apathy, complacency and mediocrity so that we may significantly contribute to hasten the fulfillment of our glorious prophetic destiny.

Second, we must be willing to take risks in obeying God without any reservation. As His promise tells us, blessings will overtake everyone who lives in full obedience and submission to His sovereign will.

Third, we must allow ourselves to be the extension of His Hands by helping the poor and needy in our country. If we really want God’s outpouring, our aim should always be for God’s heartbeat to be ours. Without any iota of doubt, the heart of our Lord beats for all who are in desperate need of the caring touch from His people.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, my assurance for all of you is found in Psalm 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” Never be overcome by any worry or fear whether in the present or in the future. As long as you are obeying God, you can rely on this unchanging truth – our God is Jireh, the Lord who provides all our needs!

God bless you all and God bless the Philippines!