Living life for your own sake is futile. But a life lived in service for others and honoring God brings fulfillment, joy, and eternal rewards.
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January 7, I’m in Cebu on a business trip, so I attended worship service at Ccf (Christ Commision Fellowship). They sang the song EVERYDAY by Hillsong with this lyrics:
Everyday, Lord, I’ll Learn to stand upon Your word
And I pray that I, I might come to know You more
That You would guide me in every single step I take,
that everyday I can be Your light unto the world
Everyday, it’s You I live for
Everyday, I’ll follow after You
Everyday, I’ll walk with You, my Lord
God used this song to speak to my heart, followed by a video message by Marty Ocaya, a youth pastor for Elevate (ministry for high school and college), about ABIDING IN HIM and His Love. It has been 1 year since I have fallen to idolatry. What is my idol? It is very difficult to admit and realize – I LOVE CLASH OF CLAN. I have justified that I am not addicted to it because I still finish my responsibilities at home, in the office, in my trip, and even in the ministry. I only play it when I’m free like when I’m alone on a trip waiting, and every chance that I get, so I say. Edric’s son is wiser than me when he told his dad that he didn’t want to play a game because he can’t stop thinking about it.
I love the game because it appeals to my analytical mind, the strategy development, the optimization of upgrades, the craving for victory. I devoted time to study it in youtube, watching videos of how to do it properly and great strategies to attack and defend. I was parsing it down to teach my brothers who already played it longer than me. I really love to learn and teach and optimize how things should be.
However, there are draw backs and here’s the bitter reality:
– At night, I play the audio Bible to put my kids to sleep while I was playing the game. (About 30mins to an hour) No wonder i finished the Bible so fast last year. I even repeated Psalms and Proverbs several times.
– I am spiritually dead. I’m a dead branch. I don’t bear fruit for God anymore as i was not spending time with Him. Revelations 2:4 says “You have forsaken your first love.” I still do pray at times, involved in church activities, listen partially to the Bible. I even won on a Bible trivia last Christmas party. But I was merely going through the motions.
– I have become irritable and angry at home maybe due to the fact that I wanted to play but I can’t because I was hiding it from my wife and kids. I have relinquished my role as a dad and a husband because I enjoyed my ga”ME” time.
– I do not have any plans for the future because my mind is already so preoccupied with the things I need to do in the game. Hey, guess what??? I know how to plan after all.
– A controversial point would be, is there a spiritual forces that was keeping me in bondage??? Nobody can prove it, but I believe it so. I thank the people who were praying for me. I thank God’s grace, His mercy, and His patience to me. He didn’t give up on me. Message after message (from Edric to Peter Jr, bro. Jimmy), He was speaking to me. I knew what i needed to do but I didn’t want to, as I said, I was justifying it. So I still didn’t delete it.
Last week at the INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP CONFERENCE, pastor Peter mentioned about stewardship – We are not the owners of our time, not even our SPARE TIME AND SPARE MONEY. Finally, I surrendered my heart back to God. I confessed my sin of idolatry – loving COC with all my heart, mind, and strength. I have decided to delete the game once and for all and never install it again. A foolish thing to even start with. Once more, I pray that I will ABIDE IN CHRIST (from our series last year in Jesus unboxed, the Gospel of John – https://youtu.be/kwaECcI6lNA ) . Great year to start a fresh, renewing the soul, the mind, and the body. To God be the glory.
My dad just passed away August 5 afternoon, at the age of 79 (1937).
Last month, he was admitted in the hospital for feeling weak – low sodium, runs out of breath when going up a flight of stairs. His creatinine was high, there was water retention in his body and in his lungs. After a few days, 2d echo results came out. His heart pumping strength was down to 16% from 70% (April). Doctor immediately recommended a proactive approach – dialysis, andiogram, andioplasty. The other option was the passive one which we just wait for his time. We opted for the first one.
3 sessions of Dialysis was good, andiogram was done. There was a blockage in the left main artery. The crossroad was given to us – by the book it should be a bypass procedure but for his age, a lot of complication might arise after. Second is andioplasty but with a 50/50 gamble. Success will mean he will live, fail then it is the end. Third, we wait for his time. Very, very tough choice.
We decided to stop with andiogram, get second opinion. He was not just ready to die that day… he was expecting to live after andioplasty, not come out as a corpse. For us, his eternity was uncertain.
Dialysis sessions continued, his appetite was back – drinking softdrink or juice, eating sandwiches, which he hasn’t done for a very long time because of his high creatinine levels, which makes him vomit and reduces appetite to zero. All he eats is quaker and congee… so this is a good sign… Doctors gave him clearance to go home if no procedure is to be done… He just went back for dialysis sessions. We started giving him nutritional supplements to nourish his body. But his heart grew weaker and his body too.
After the andiogram, we kept on sharing the gospel to him everyday. We called chinese friends to share with him. I tried my best to translate verses in English to Chinese. I told him:
– the story of Lazarus and Jesus (John 11). Lazarus died because Jesus delayed going to him. In verse 25, Jesus told Martha “I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. Anyone who believes in me will LIVE, even after he dying…”
– John 14:2-3 ” My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
– John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
– John 3:16 ” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
– Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins BUT after 3 days he rose again from the dead…
All he needed to do was say a prayer from the heart that goes something like this – Our heavenly Father, please forgive me for my sins. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me. I need you in my life, come into my heart. I accept you to be my Lord and my Savior. Amen.
A simple prayer and yet so profound when said from a heart of faith. John 1:12 says “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the RIGHT TO BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD.”
I told him how I was thankful for him: for being the provider of the family, for mentoring us in the sales field, going along side us, helping us find new customers in Mindanao. I told him, I can not give you money, or travel, or food, but all I can give is what I have – this life is temporal, but eternity is found in Jesus alone. After that, I prayed with him. That was the last time I saw him as I left for the business trip, not knowing it was our last. No regrets when all is said and done.
I just wanted to acknowledge my brother Bobby for all the sacrifices that he has done being with dad at the hospital. You’re the best care-taker ever. My dad commended him being alert, for waking up in the middle of the night to help him when he will go to the toilet, escorting him to prevent a fall. God bless you brother.
My dad, though he was not perfect, was generous, helpful, wise in counsel, wonderful father, and a great fun and playful Grandpa. Thank you God for your grace in his life. A wonderful 79 years here in this world. I hope to see you in heaven as I was told you received Jesus in your heart the other day.
I was reading through the book of Psalms and I saw the prayer of distress of the author – they are left deserted, humiliated, ridiculed, and scorned. The oppressors have taken over their cities, conquered their nation, and destroyed their precious temple, where God is enthroned. They were waiting for God’s salvation to come. Has God forsaken them? Is God sleeping?
All the grievous and terrible things that happened to them was as God declared through His prophets – Sin will be punished. Wickedness will reap its wages and that is destruction and death. God is just, He cannot leave the guilty unpunished.
In the midst of all these horrific circumstances are the righteous, God-fearing people, who has their faith in God. It seems that God is distant, that God has abandoned them. He would not hear their prayers or hear their cries. The righteous suffered with the wicked for it is 1 city. It is 1 nation.
When evil prevails, the righteous can not stand and do nothing. The righteous can not keep silent because it is 1 city and 1 nation. The righteous has to act NOW! We can not let evil and wickedness prevail. We can not let corruption and injustice be the way of life. We have to rise up and make a difference!
UNITE GODLY PEOPLE! Forge your bond and strength. Stand as 1 people for our city, for our nation. We will change our families, our communities, our nation for God’s glory. Let His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let justice reign, help the poor and needy, reach out to the orphans and the fatherless. If we do not act then we will reap the wrath of God in our cities, just as Israel was destroyed because of the wicked and idolatrous people. We will suffer if we are passive and indifferent within the communities we live in. Fight the corrupt system of governance. Expose it and let reforms be made in each branch of government. We can not just accept it and say “That is how it is.” Those system must STOP and it can when we STEP-UP.
God is our King, He is our fortress and strong tower. We will not be shaken, we will not be moved because God is our strong foundation. He is with us. We will bring heaven to earth when we live our lives according to His principles. Sacrifices has to be made. Do not wait until it is too late. The time to act is NOW! Make the difference! 1 City, 1 Nation. God bless you all.
So many things are struggling to get our time so that we won’t be able to spend it with God – FB, sleep, tv, movies, games, etc…