The ‘new’ begins

The ‘new’ begins

Vision Casting 2017

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“God will dwarf everything He has done with what He will do in this season of new beginnings.”

That has been the declaration of Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide President and Spiritual Director Bishop Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva since JIL’s 38th anniversary celebration last October 2016. And he is right, because God has already started doing just that.

Last January 14, over 8,000 JIL pastors, leaders and workers who attended the Vision Casting in Camp Praise Valley, Norzagaray, Bulacan experienced the palpable presence of the Living God. Both lively and heart-felt songs were offered unto God, bringing the delegates jumping to their feet and, even, down on their knees.

“Pagpasok ko pa lang po dito sa Camp Praise Valley, damang-dama ko na ang presence ng Lord (Even upon entering Camp Praise Valley, I have already felt the presence of the Lord),” Ptr. Jovi Villanueva-Binalla, CYN Director and International Operations and Youth Affairs Director General said.

Camp Praise Valley, which is one of the “golden places” of JIL Church’s formative years according to Bro. Eddie, will once again be opened for the training of faithful and committed pastors and leaders of JIL Church. Now renovated and given a modern look, Bro. Eddie envisions it to be also an international training center, where leaders from all over the globe could be equipped and empowered.

In conjunction with that, the Administration Building, Camp Praise Valley’s very first building, was dedicated that day. The building was named after Engr. Jun Manzano, a respected and trailblazer structural engineer who “served JIL significantly… without fanfare,” Bro. Eddie said.

The event was also peppered with testimonies of JIL pastors and leaders like Rev. Alex Garcia, Rev. Virgie Hernandez, and Sis. Menchie Tobias, to name a few.

With all the wonderful things God has done during the Vision Casting, Sis. Dory Villanueva, JIL Church’s Vice President, admonished the delegates, “The vision has to be kept in prayer.”

Because as God is indeed creating a new wave of His blessings and anointing for the JIL Church, so must JIL people remain steadfast in Him.

SUMMER

SUMMER

We are at that season of the year when we feel that we are elbow to elbow with the equator. With the sun’s scorching heat against our skin, large and heavy beads of sweat trickle down our foreheads—even when we are steady and still, in front of a giant electric fan!

The irony, however, is that while our skin is drenched in sweat, our body, however, can be dry. Or, more aptly, dehydrated. This happens when the amount of fluid that gets out of the body is not duly replenished. This is the very reason why, although taking a shower or swimming in the pool could indeed refresh us, we are advised to drink lots and lots water (not pool water, though!).

Because the need is from within.

Much like the need of each of us. That persistent, nagging need to be filled. Because there is, deep down within us, a feeling of being incomplete, of being empty.

Some of us may have tried to fill the void with medals and trophies, money and fame, alcohol and drugs, relationships and sex. But still, the void remains. In fact, it feels wider… deeper.

Because that nagging need can only be filled by the One whose imprint is in the every fiber and every vein and every organ of our body. The One who created humankind with His very hands—and the same One who saved humankind with His nail-pierced hands.

Jesus Christ. He promises us water that will never make us thirst again. Ever. Because He, well, He IS the living water, the well of life.

So let us come and drink. And be quenched. And filled. And satisfied.

TSIDKENU: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

Yet, we must also consider that truth that we can never be God’s agents of righteousness in the world if we ourselves are not living in His righteousness. This is the reason why He Himself redeemed us from the power of sin and made us new persons. Because of this, we can “…draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22).

We were born sinners and lovers of wicked deeds because of the sin of Adam and Eve. But we have been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ which made us righteous before God’s eyes. As a result, we have been saved from the punishment of sin which is eternal death and separation from God. Of course, to save us from eternal punishment is not the only purpose of God in redeeming us from sin. In the same way, He also bestows upon us the hope of being transformed unto His likeness day by day.

Knowing all these, we are called to do two non-negotiable things in our Christian walk. First, we must boast only of the righteousness of Christ. In Philippians 3:9, Apostle Paul expresses his desire to “…be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” We must never covet any credit for the goodness that is reflected in our life. It is only because of Jesus Christ that we can walk uprightly.

Second, we must live in righteousness as determined followers of Christ. We must exemplify God’s word in James 1:22: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” It is never enough that we know what pleases our God. We must act on every word and every command that He gives us through the revelation in His Word. If we live contrary to His will, we cannot be considered genuine believers, and in doing so, we are piercing the heart of God who gave Himself up for our complete redemption.

Hence, brothers and sisters in Christ, I sincerely urge you to continue living in God’s righteousness that He might be glorified in your life. Always remember that He Himself has promised the great reward in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Whatever we want for our country – freedom from wickedness, oppression, injustice – we can definitely receive if we choose to live according to the will of God and walk in His righteousness.

God bless you all and God bless the Philippines!