Jesus is Lord over my FUTURE

“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.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

What lies ahead of you?

When the road ahead seems bright and promising, say, “Jesus is Lord.” Because it is He who has paved the way, has removed every roadblock, and has brought you to this new path.

When the road seems cold and daunting, say, “Jesus is Lord.” Because it is He who will walk with you, keep you company, and carry you through the entire journey.

Whatever you see before you, say, “Jesus is Lord.” Then add, “So the end point will surely astound me.”

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Grand Homecoming Stories: Why we go to Luneta

The heat was scorching. Such made the people in Luneta not only uncomfortable but also a bit difficult to breathe. It was not an exaggeration to say that each one who was there bumped into another every two seconds. The Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide’s 40th Anniversary was jampacked!

Despite the heat and all sorts of discomfort, people were smiling. They were obviously joyful.

Everyone just wanted to be there, to be a part of history. After all, celebrating 40 glorious years of God’s faithfulness is a milestone, historic event! And this year’s thanksgiving was more than a celebration, it was a Grand Homecoming unlike any other!

The JIL people anticipated something glorious to happen, one they’d never seen before; something miraculous.

When the program started, people who didn’t even know each other smiled and sang along, praising, and worshipping God together. It was a family atmosphere.

“Kulang kung wala sa Luneta”

Sis. Euphemia Redoble was along the sidewalk of Roxas Boulevard proudly wearing a blue JIL 40th Anniversary commemorative t-shirt and dancing with both her arms lifted up in praise.

She is a 76-year-old widow from JIL Navotas. It was her first time to attend a JIL celebration in Luneta. It was also her first time to be in such an amazingly huge event! Sis. Euphemia is a new member of the JIL and has been attending church for just a little over a month. She brought along her two grandsons, Ashley Jude and Marcos Henry, in Luneta.

Sis. Euphemia was attending another church in La Union before she was requested to move to Manila to take care of her two grandsons. But even then, she did not feel that she belonged there. “Maraming bawal! Hindi ka makasayaw, hindi pwedeng kumanta!” That was why she was very glad to have found JIL through Bro. Eddie Villanueva’s “Jesus The Healer” television program.

Today, being with JIL Navotas and being part of a life group, Sis. Euphemia says she is now at home. “Nakahanap na ako ng church na kung saan gusto ko na doon na ako pipirmi,” she said.

And one would think that a woman her age would prefer to just watch the event on television, in the comfort of her home. Plus she has asthma and has constant trouble breathing everyday. But in such a crowded Luneta, Sis Euphemia was filled with wonder and gratitude for a miracle: She did not feel any difficulty with breathing, she was A-ok that day! She said she felt good and was thankful that she did not have to take her medication.

When asked why she travelled all the way to Luneta, her answer was simple: “Kasama na yan sa pagsisilbi sa Panginoon. Kapag na-miss mo ang ibang gawain [gaya ng selebrasyon sa Luneta], parang kulang ka sa buhay. Pero uulitin ko pa rin yung program sa TV!”

Rediscovering roots

Theo Jaire “TJ” Delagua is a 20-year-old college student and a youth leader in JIL Alberta, Canada. He has been away from the Philippines for almost 12 years. While here, he was a member of JIL Cubao.

He said that there were major adjustments transferring to a church overseas. He also explained that there are challenges serving the Lord in a foreign country. “Being young right now is hard, [most are] living in a double standard life. But as Christians, we have to be the light of the world wherever we go, to live out the values of the Church, and to be Christlike. Honestly, being around people of other nationalities is harder because we have language barriers, differences in how they were raised and how we were raised as Filipinos, and differences in standards like how we show respect to elders. Just be Christlike.”

Bro. TJ’s journey to the #JILGrandHomecoming was not without its own challenges. He had to skip school and sacrificed a summer. But nothing could stop him from going to Luneta! Plans to be part of this glorious celebration started in February, to make sure he would be able to come. For TJ, coming home is to rediscover and be reminded of his roots, as a Filipino, and as a Christian. Coming home is to be reminded what a privilege it is to know and serve God in his generation, to be a legacy bearer.

By Michelle Cristina Gamutan

JIL is God-given family

It’s hard to lose your family. It’s like losing the reason why you’re still alive. It’s like you have become a dead man alive. Pastor Roque Peñalosa went through this experience, but why is he still here fighting? How did he overcome this moment of depression?

Tragedy of 1991

Ormoc City, Leyte – Pastor Roque’s hometown – was hit by a strong typhoon in 1991. It was the first time that their area witnessed and experienced such devastating flash floods due to heavy rains. Dead people were everywhere. Wailing rang across the land. Pastor Roque’s immediate family members were among the casualties: Both his parents, two sisters, and a brother.

Days later, stories of those who survived the flash floods were not encouraging at all. The flood waters tossed them anywhere. Floating materials bruised, or worse, cut their skin. The storm was just too strong and the flood waters, obviously overwhelming.

Pastor Roque survived, but as days passed, he began to question in his heart why his family died. Depression hit him badly and wondered why God kept him alive. But he fought this thought by praying to God for him to keep his faith. He was already a pastor by then and he also held tightly to the Word of God he was preaching.

Encounter with God

Before he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus, he had wanted to die and was in fact planning to stage a suicide.

But indeed, God has His reasons why He kept Pastor Roque alive! Even then, God had stopped him from suicide. On the day he intended to kill himself, someone came over to invite him to the Sunday worship service of the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church. He accepted the invitation, went to church, and for the first time, heard the Gospel of Jesus.

Understanding and feeling the love and embrace of God that day, He then accepted Jesus in his heart as Lord and Savior – without hesitation. Then and there, he got back his reason to live.

He became thankful to God for always saving him from destruction, even death. God had been so gracious to him and so he realized that if in the low points of his life, God always rescued him, why not dedicate his life to his Savior? He decided to serve the Lord under the banner of JIL.

“The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek’” from Psalm 110:4 became God’s rhema Word for him to finally yield to his calling as a pastor. He never looked back from then on. He served God by ministering to the wounded and lost souls – the ones who were like him before he heard the Gospel. Pastor Roque is now the Regional Pastor of JIL Region 8 in Leyte. He says that this is all by the grace of God.

From his painful past which made him feel empty, God made him realize that he is alive for His purposes. The once lonely Pastor Roque is now a joyful, humble man of God. He is being used in marvelous ways in spreading the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. He finds his happiness in seeing people being transformed by God. In the ministry, he has encountered people who were once adulterer, drug addict, criminal, who then turned into a worship leader, minister, and pastor even. This gives him contentment and reason to continue his passion in serving the Lord.

Gratitude for his family

Pastor Roque is grateful to JIL as it became a family to him after he had lost his own in the 1991 tragedy. He had always felt that the JIL Church accepted him and gave him a place he could call home.

“Ang JIL hindi lang church kundi ito ay isang malaking pamilya. Salamat sa Diyos at mayroong JIL,” he said.

He described the JIL Family as a place where people respect one another, love one another and care for one another. And now that JIL is in its 40th year, God’s revelation is no other than to support Bro. Eddie Villanueva, a true man of God, in all that God will tell him to do. He is here to support his God-given family.

By Julia Ramos

JD Cruz: JIL millennial, youth leader, legacy-bearer

Born and bred inside the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide, JD Cruz was picked among thousands of possible candidates to represent the student and youth sector in JIL’s 40th Anniversary “Grand Homecoming” teaser.

“I didn’t expect to be chosen for the anniversary commercial so it is a great honor for me and my family,” said JD, whose father, Joel, is the head pastor of JIL Guagua in Pampanga under the supervision of Rev. Alex Garcia, Director for National Operations..

Currently taking up his masters degree in Public Administration, the younger Cruz wears many hats inside his local church, such as Life Group and worship leader.

He admitted that the pressures of being a “pastors’ kid” was not easy and for a time, he had serious thoughts of keeping to the “strait and narrow road” when his peers seemingly were having the time of their lives.

“May mga temptations din of being a pastor’s kid. Naging mahirap din po ang mga dinaanang pagsubok,” said the 23-year-old youth leader. “Pero noong first year college po ako nag-decide po ako maging totally committed kay Lord. Nothing in this world truly matters.”

If anything, he added, the outstanding lesson he learned from his father and pastor “was the value of a human soul; that all of us should be active in sharing John 3:16 to others. In the light of eternity, noting else matters. ”

Cruz stressed that the grave responsibility of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ was underscored during the message given by Sen. Joel Villanueva during the recent Youth Summit held at the Cuneta Astrome.

“Sen. Joel was right when he challenged the youth present to be the JIL’s legacy bearers as we mark our 40th Anniversary, ushering in a new generation of leaders who will carry the Gospel message,” he noted. “This is the huge role I and my fellow youth hope to live up to.”

Indeed, for JD Cruz and for legions of millennials like him, proud “legacy bearers” of JIL trailblazers, the worldwide mission of evangelizing and discipling people for the next 40 years and beyond is just beginning.

By Bong Pedralvez

Tatay Abet Perez: Productive JIL “farmer,” harvesting souls for God’s kingdom

With his bronze complexion and lean, sturdy features, “Tatay” Abet Perez can truly be mistaken as a hardworking farmer.

Perez – who was chosen to represent the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church members in the countryside in the JIL 40th Anniversary “Grand Homecoming” teaser – is actually a former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who worked as plumber for 15 years in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Both his parents, however, were both humble rice farmers in Bustos, Bulacan, and from whom he learned the values of hard work and sacrifice.

Why else would Perez venture to the “upside-down” oil-rich Middle East country to work and earn a living for his wife and five children?

It was while attending a secret Bible study (because such religious activities are banned in the country) at the barracks of his company where he was led to believing in Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior.

When it was time for him to return to the country for good, his brethren encouraged Perez to remain faithful in his spiritual journey and endorsed the JIL Church to be his new Christian “home.”

“Maganda at masaya ang praise and worship sa JIL. Maganda rin ang mga katuruan,” said the former OFW, who is a member of the Security of the Saints (SOS) ministry of JIL Bustos, and whose two daugthers also serve in various ministries in their respective JIL chapters.

And while he may not have been a farm worker as his late parents, Tatay Abet has found a rich field to till in handling seven families as a Life Group Network in his local church.

Truly, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as Perez has become a productive JIL “farmer” : harvesting souls for the Kingdom of the Almighty God.

By Bong Pedralvez

Ex-OFW Rosana Gayas put passion for God and family above else

A former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Qatar, Sister Rosana Gayas made the bold step nearly two years ago to come home for good and look after her husband and two children.

Although active in her Christian fellowship in the Qatari capital of Doha, Gayas, who was chosen to represent the millions of OFWs in the JIL 40th Anniversary “Grand Homecoming” teaser, decided that caring for her family was far more priceless than the dollars she would earn in that country.

“Umalis ako ng Pilipinas bata pa ang mga anak ko – limang taon si Elizabeth at pitong taon si John Emmanuel,” recalled the 53-year-old midwife of her decision to work in a foreign land to support her truck driver husband, Joel, himself a former expat worker in Saudi Arabia.

She said she realized that even with all the modern communications technology at hand such as the Internet, texts and mobile phones, nothing could replace the actual presence, nurture and care of a mother in her family’s life.

Gayas admitted that reconnecting with her brood, especially her children, continues to be a challenge.

In these challenges, the ex-OFW was grateful that she has found solid spiritual and moral support in JIL Church Bustos in Bulacan under Ptr. Nancy Teodoro.

“Malaking bagay na member po ako ng JIL Bustos sa ilalim ni Ptra Nancy,” said Gayas, who is a member of the church’s WIN (Warriors’ Intercessors Network).

She stressed that she has no regrets in leaving Qatar, firmly believing that the same God who provided for her and her family there is the same Jehovah Jireh who will look after them in the country.

While her husband Joel is back to driving trucks locally, Gayas now runs a growing drug store owned by her and her sister.

“Nananampalataya po ako na kung anong pagpapala na ibigay sa akin ng Panginoon sa Qatar ay kayang ibigay sa amin kahit na ako’y naririto na,” she confidently said.

Amen to that, dearest Sister, amen to that.

By Bong Pedralvez

Knowing the true God overcomes spiritual deception – Bro. Eddie

In the face of rising spiritual deception worldwide, people need to personally know the True God.

This was what Bro. Eddie Villanueva drove home in his message during the 39th anniversary thanksgiving of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide in front of multitudes of JIL pastors and members, and other guests gathered before the Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park.

“Many government leaders, spiritual leaders, and even members of the police worldwide are being deceived, so we urgently need to know our God, and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ,” he stressed.

“So many nations are in complete disorder this why we need to know the True and Living God,” the JIL Spiritual Director declared, referring to the anniversary theme based on Daniel 11: 32, which says “…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (KJV)

He also recalled one of his major principles in Christian ministry: “The greatest and noblest achievement of a man/woman here on earth is for him/her to be able to know his/her Creator truthfully and personally. To love Him passionately and wholeheartedly, and to serve Him faithfully with integrity and excellence until he/she stands before Him on Judgement Day.”

Near the end of his anniversary message, Bro. Eddie shared an anecdote with then Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte on April 30, 2016 — 10 days before last year’s May 10 presidential election.

“I was asked by then Mayor Duterte to pray for him, and I agreed on the condition that there would be no media around to witness the occasion,” he recalled of the event. “So we went to meet him.”

The JIL spiritual head then led Duterte to a prayer of acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior “and felt compelled to release the kingly anointing by laying hands on him. Ten days later (on May 10) he became our elected president.”

Bro. Eddie then reminded the President of the promise he made to the JIL leader that “he (Duterte) was willing to die for his country,” even as he expressed dismay in the thousands of reported extrajudicial killings in the national government’s all-out crusade against illegal drugs.

“Public service is a public trust,” he said because “ang tunay na may-ari ng Pilipinas ay ang sambayanang Pilipino.”

Bro. Eddie then asked the Christian leaders to each offer a prayer for the Filipino nation, among them Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Gunigundo, Dr. Michael McKinney, president of the California-based Promise Christian University, Broadcaster-pastor Alex Tinsay, and Bishop Leo Alconga, Biblica East Asia Director and National Vice-Chairman of the Philippines for Jesus Movement.

He ended his anniversary message by allowing the JIL pastors and workers to minister to the JIL members present during the gathering, closing it with his pastoral prayer and benediction.

Bong Pedralvez


Greetings of joy to all Filipinos and all Philippine-loving people!

With all the bright lanterns, colorful decorations, and cheerful carols filling the streets, it is undeniable that we are in that season when hearts are warm even though the air is cool.

Christmas. That time of the year when we seem to be most generous–not just in giving gifts but, also, in giving a smile, a pat, or a hand. And rightly so, because Christmas, in its very essence, is a story of giving:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, NKJV)

Take note that God gave not just any son, but His only Son, His most beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who, in turn, also gave:

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45, NKJV)

God gave His Son, the Son gave His life, for all of humankind to be rescued from the pit of death we ourselves dug. What a gift it is: freely given but expensively bought! Dare we waste it?

Therefore, this Christmas, more than any material gift we could buy from stores, let us not forget to share the gift we received from God. Let us tell that boy on the street, that woman who weeps, and that man who drinks his problems away that they need not beg or weep or drink, because God so loves them to the point of giving His Son for them.

But aside from sharing God’s gift to others, let us also not forget to give to God: our thanksgiving and praise, love and devotion, even our very life. For, doesn’t His lavish gift deserve such a lavish response? Aren’t our lives little compared to the gift He bestowed? And don’t we owe our very lives to Him?

Finally, in conclusion, let us make this spirit of giving our daily living, not just a Christmas tradition. May we not wait for bright lanterns, colorful decorations, or cheerful carols before we give–just as Christ did not wait for us to be perfect before giving His life to us.

Shalom! Shalom!

Declaring His RESURRECTING POWER, exalting Jesus

That which is powerful to render a person lifeless, that even the mention of it silences a noisy crowd and subdues a festive atmosphere: death.

Everyone’s inescapable end, death is dreaded by most. But we need not fear, because there is Someone who has the power over death: Jesus Christ.

Look at these three instances where death and Jesus met, and see what happened:

Jesus’ power over dead bodies. If Lazarus had been proclaimed dead for four minutes or, even, four hours, we could easily dismiss the miracle—maybe he just passed out, or maybe the medical person just missed his pulse. But Lazarus had been dead for four days. Already at this state, and yet, when Jesus called out—just called out—Lazarus did come out, with no lesions or lacerations or any sign of having been dead, at all.

Has a disease eaten up your body and sapped your strength? Have you been declared by the doctor to be beyond cure? Do you have a relative in a state of coma? Think of Lazarus. He was not just dying; he was already dead. But Jesus Christ was able to resurrect him. If He could do that, what else could He not do?

Jesus’ power over dead hopes. Imagine the situation of the widow of Nain who lost her only son. In a society where women’s worth depended on men, a wife who lost her husband was bound to live a life that was as good as dead—that is, if she did not have a son. So the widow of Nain did not just lose her only son, she also lost her only hope at societal redemption. Jesus knew that, and His heart went out to her, causing Him to raise the son back from the dead and the widow, back from desolation.

Are you in a situation where you feel that all hope is lost? A dream beyond reach, a business beyond recovery, a relationship beyond repair—whatever it is you are facing right now, think of the widow of Nain. She was at that point of helplessness when Jesus’ help came—and she didn’t even ask for it! So hold on, help is near.

Jesus’ power over dead souls. You would think of someone who resurrected Lazarus and the widow’s son to be a person invincible from death. But Jesus Christ died, literally. His death, though, was different: it was a death that lasted for only three days! Just as He resurrected Lazarus and the widow’s son, He Himself rose from the dead—yes, Jesus slayed death. As a result, all who would believe in Him would have life everlasting.

Are you afraid to face death? Think of Jesus. Not only has He experienced death, He conquered death! For you. For us. Because He wanted all of humankind to be able to face death with all certainty. Because He wanted all of humankind to live for all eternity, with Him.

In sum, in all three instances, whatever kind of death it may have been, Jesus won. Because He is the Giver of Life. He IS life.

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)

Declaring His GLORIOUS SPLENDOR, exalting Jesus

The contrast of the landscape against the woman, the details of the transparent veil on her head, the soft contouring of her face as seen in the smooth transition from one color to another—all these and more have made art analysts from then and now marvel at Leonardo da Vinci’s genius, to the immortalization of the “Mona Lisa.”

But if we want to look at great masterpieces, we need not go to the Louvre Museum. We can just look up at the evening sky and see the shining stars, feel the invisible but palpable breeze tousling our hair, or stare at the mirror and into that complex confluence of bones and muscles and organs. Because all of nature, the whole universe, even our very beings, are canvasses. Intricate works of art.

Works of art that point to the glorious splendor of the One who created them all—everything—out of nothing, at just the command of His lips. The Great Designer, our Mighty God, who is:

Terrifyingly magnificent. The mountains quake before Him, the wild winds are hushed at the sound of His voice, the planets rotate and revolve at His bidding. So when Moses saw Him as a burning bush, he was warned not to come any closer; when Isaiah caught a vision of Him, he cried, ‘Woe to me! I am ruined!’; and when Paul encountered Him on the road to Damascus, his eyes were blinded. Powerful, holy, terrifying—this is our God.

But He is also beautiful, splendid, magnificent. Yes, Moses, Isaiah, and Paul were terrified in seeing a glimpse of Him, but they were also awestruck, mesmerized. The towering mountains and the orange sunset suddenly lost their charm. After seeing the real thing, the one Source of nature’s beauty, Moses, Isaiah, and Paul chased after nothing and no one else, like a groom who found his bride.

Mysteriously familiar. For thousands of years, the world’s greatest minds have yet to understand the whole of the universe. So much unexplored space and unreached galaxies—even with the aid of scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs. Now, if the universe is this vast, how much more God for whom the earth is but a footstool? Mighty, awesome, powerful, splendid, holy, righteous, majestic—He is all of these and so much more! Even Moses, Isaiah, or Paul could not paint for us the whole picture of God, for He is incomprehensible, far too lofty for our little brains.

But we can know Him. Not all of Him, yes, but we can know Him: when we are afraid, we know Him as our Fortress; when the economy is failing, we know Him as our Provider; when our health is falling, we know Him as our Healer; when people are against us, we know Him as our Defender. Whatever the season of life, we know Him as OUR God.

Transcendentally near. Throughout history, no one has ever come close to our God. Think of Alexander the Great, who, in his fifteen years of conquest, dominated most of the known world in his day, without ever losing a single battle. Then, at the age of 32, Alexander was defeated… by a disease. But our God, supreme in every way, will never be defeated by anything—even death. He proved that when He came back from the grave three days after dying on the Cross.

The Cross? Dying on the Cross? Why? Because transcendent as He may be, He is also a God who is willing to lay down His life just to save us puny people from the cruel hands of death. Not a far-away god who could not be moved from his high pedestal, but a God who comes down… who walks among the poor and touches the leper… who is personal, near.

So, the next time you look up at the evening sky and the shining stars, the next time you feel the breeze against your hair, the next time you see your reflection at the mirror, remember the One who created it all—terrifyingly magnificent, mysteriously familiar, and transcendentally near—and fall down before Him in worship.

“Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.” (Psalm 96:9)