To honor God in my writings

Archive for March, 2014

LEAVE and CLEAVE part 1

Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh.

 

This is the first biblical principle we can learn about marriage.  But let us explore some of the common arguments that we give in order to avoid following this principle.

 

Argument # 1: Economical – save expenses from ren to buy or build our own house.

Truth # 1:  God’s economy is different from our economy.

Truth # 2: God’s blessings follow obedience to His will.

 

God does not give us a command for us to follow and just leave us on our own strength to do it.  But in His every command, there are blessings connected with it.  God blesses us for every step of faith and obedience that we do / take.

 

Career and Marriage: I started working with a starting salary of 10k peso gross a month.  I left and opted to help in our family business and starting a new frontier in Davao and General Santos along with my dad.  It was a clean slate, we had 0 sales for several trips.  In 2002 as we plan for our marriage, we learned about the biblical portrait of marriage by Dr Bruce Wilkinson – Leave and Cleave.  After we heard that message, we were thinking of the pros and the cons like this common argument that we have.  But still we decided to obey God’s design and started looking for a house.  We were getting disappointed because we couldn’t find a good house with a good location.  Still we trusted God.  For Chinese culture, it is a fear of the children to ask permission from their parents to live on their own because their parents might be insulted.  When we told our parents about it, they gave us their blessing.

 

God’s commands are tied up with His promises.  In His time, my mom and dad were able to find a “not so old house” with a great location.  The size was twice and the price was half of a brand new one.  It was really a bargain though we still had to renovate the interior.  Truly God is amazing at providing when we follow His will.

 

Next paying for the house:  Again, God provided and increased my sales with the suppliers that He has given me.  My wife got promoted at work too.  Despite of the increases in income, we sacrificed from spending money for our pleasure and luxury and devoted all our earnings in paying off our mortgages because we believe in a debt-free lifestyle.

 

In all these years, we didn’t fail to “return” our tithes (10% of our income) to God.  We saw His faithfulness and provision year after year until we were debt free – The blessing of faith and obedience to our Almighty God.  He is our Great Provider and He is in control.  As we near the end of our mortgage, He gave us our first son.  What a great bonus and perfect timing.

 

I encourage you once more – Trust in God’s promises – He will never leave you nor forsake you.  If you follow His commands, He will provide for you, He will enable and empower you to abide in His principles.  Our wisdom and economics are foolishness compared to His wisdom and His economy.  Again, God’s blessings follows obedience to His will.

 

Marital Problem 3

3. How can i restore the romantic love that we had before during our courting stage?

A. By Being patient with her. I easily get irritated and annoyed with her and our family members whereas i was patient with her when she was my girlfriend.

B. By Respecting her with my actions and my words. I should complement her often with specific appreciation and gratitude. I should avoid belittling her with unkind and negative words, specially making fun of her. I should only say words that build up and encourage people. 

Marital Problem 2

2. How can i love my wife if there is so much pain.

Prayer: Lord it is so difficult to love our wives specially when we’re hurt and when we feel empty. You invite us Lord Jesus when you said in Matthew, “come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and i will give you rest.” Satisfy us oh Lord with your unquenchable river of love. Let your love overflow and fill our hearts that we may be able to love our wives. Help us oh Lord to have that sweet romantic love of our relationship back again just as the time we were courting and in our girl friend stage.

Marital Problem 1

Some marital problems that we face:
1. Unsatisfied sexual desires.

My wife doesn’t satisfy my sexual longing as often as i like. It’s so difficult to ask it from her, she often says no. She doesn’t prioritize me. It’s better for me to find it elsewhere, have an affair.

If you observe carefully, even after she satisfies your sexual longings – do you still look at other women with lust? Sexy legs, body, beautiful and young women. The problem is not with your wife. The problem is with our hearts. Just as Jesus stated in Matthew, out of the heart comes sexual immorality, adultery, etc.

Prayer- forgive us Lord, for our sin of adultery. We commit to you our hearts and our desires. Cleanse it, purify it, make it pleasing to you. Help us to know how we can love our wives more and find our satisfaction in you. Renew our minds, and set us free from the lies of Satan. Help us not to be controlled by our lustful flesh. Thank you for your forgiveness that is made possible through Jesus Christ our Lord, and your Holy Spirit that enables us.

Significance by Edmund Chan

For Christians, our significance is not based primarily on “who we are” identity but “on whose we are” identity.

I have learnt that it is not the important things we do that makes a significant life; rather, it’s a significant life that makes what we do important. The essence of our significance is not based on what we do.

Tony Horsfall “our true identity does not lie in our performance or our productivity, but in the fact that we are God’s beloved children and that we do not need to earn or maintain His favour by what we do. They will help us to let our being become ground of our doing work from a place of spiritual rest… Here we minister out of a true awareness of who we are, not from an image we project.”

A significant life is a relationship with Jesus. What we are to do for God should not be our first focus. Instead our foundation is based on what God has done for us.

“I will receive you unto myself” Jesus said. This is the full and final restoration of relationship with Him through whom we are reconciled with God.

That is why abiding in Christ is the secret to victory. That is why a love-relationship with Christ is the center of true discipleship.wpid-th.jpeg

Surrender by Edmund Chan

“Surrender is not about giving up but about giving in.”
The reason why we cannot give up what we want for God is because we have not learned to give in to Him. The problem lies not in my clenched hands but in my closed heart. My heart closed my hand. I clutch at my earthy marbles because i do not have an appetite for heavenly diamonds.

Prayer “God open my eyes to see what you are giving to me; so that with all my heart I can give in to you.”

The important thing isn’t how committed we are to the battle but how surrendered we are to God. For Christians waving the white flag doesn’t mean giving up. It means “victory at last!”

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Toxic Spirituality

wpid-th.jpegSome reflection questions based on Toxic Spiritality of ptr Edmond Chan.

1. Have you lost the zeal, passion, and the joy of serving?
2. Are you caught in the performance trap?
3. Has excellence become an excuse to criticize people’s performance?
4. Has your performance been geared to whether the audience receives it well, do they like it?
5. Are you working instead of worshiping?

Pastor Chan reminds us that we should focus on our relationship with God first. It is in Him that we find our joy. He is our joy and He gives us joy when we rest in Him.  We should remember why we are in the ministry, who called you to be here – i hope your answer in your heart is “God called me here. I answered His call to serve Him in nxtgen.”

We do not perform to please the kids, the parents, or our leaders. We perform to please God. He is our audience, “the audience of 1” as the slogan says.

We serve God out of our love for Him. Let us renew that love by spending time with Him. So that we may serve Him out of the overflow of our heart – an overflow of worship, adoration, and love for our God, the lover of our soul.

God bless you all.

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