GAMES AND APPS: ARE YOU ADDICTED TO?

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Just got my Smartphone back 4 days ago! It just couldn’t function to its new owner, so strange when it’s so well with me. God is an awesome God! He is unpredictable. His ways indeed are higher than our ways. Thank you Lord for disciplining me. You just wanted me to prioritize things and you wanted me to get rid of my idol: gadgets and gizmos and addiction to social networking and apps in my Smartphone and other stuffs that preoccupied me so much, hindering my precious time with you.

Thank you Lord for granting us the desires of our hearts.

I remembered the time three months ago when Jesus told me to sell my iphone, to get rid of this because this turned out to be my idol. I didn’t want to. But then I realized I need to simplify my complex life and one of that is to give up my properties. I had given my other phone to my cousin and I let my iphone be bought to the person He referred to with the price fix to His, no more, no less. I didn’t want to. Eventually, I learned to accept and obey.

You see, obedience is doing the things you don’t want to do. But because God told me, I did. And I was free and delivered from the spirit of materialism and idolatry. I realized it’s all worth it for the months were out in the mission without distractions. I only had with me my other phone (the simplest one) for my family to contact me. It was just so unbelievable I was able to survive it without loads on my phone, no internet, no facebooking, no TV for months throughout the mission field! God had helped me and He continues helping me.

I realized it’s ok to have these stuffs provided you must know when, how and what to use it for and that you would use it to glorify God and not your own selfish ways, not for luxurious, superfluous entertainment and vanity means.

I also remember the time on how God disciplined me. He is such a jealous God. This story went like this. I was burning CDs (supplemental audio and video files for evangelism) forgetting my habit of praying and devotion for the whole day, but guess what? I was not able to burn even a single file! When I ask Jesus why I failed on that task, He simply answered, “Did I ask you to do that? You only wanted to do it. I did not ask you.” After which, my memory card in my other phone was corrupted including all the songs with Christian lyrics, my USB and computer was infected by a virus and all the files was erased but I wondered why the pictures were hidden. My computer malfunctioned. I cried out to God questioning Him, “Lord, is this your way of disciplining me? What’s left is my simple phone and the rest went ashtray.”

I knew He wanted me to acknowledge Him and put Him first in my list of priorities. I knew it when I saw a vision in my dream. In that dream what’s left was the bed and the rest of my properties were washed out and thrown by big waves of the sea and the storm ate them up. The bed represents REST. We could only find rest in God’s presence. And it’s true since the only file left in my other USB is the audio Bible verses from Genesis to Revelation and all the files (songs, pictures, videos, articles) were infected and erased.

When I possessed my stuffs (my gadgets and gizmos) I did not realize that they slowly were taking lordship over me. I was being controlled by them instead of me controlling them. How pathetic it was!

So I prostrated and cried out asking Jesus to forgive me. I found out that He got jealous. He is such a jealous God. He wanted you, your time and you alone.

After you’ll learn from your mistakes, God will grant you reward more than you expect. You just have to be patient and lean on Him. So, I received blessing from the Lord. My computer was reformatted, fixed and upgraded for an amount of almost free! Imagine 200 pesos? Yes, that’s an amount I paid for the person God sent. I got new guitar and trolley backpack bag intended for God’s work and finally I got new gadget: music beat box that could play songs all day long. Then who among you could say I became worse or got back to my old self materialistic idolater to gadgets and other stuffs? If you think I am, you’re wrong. See God is training us. He continues working in us. If we passed the first level of His test, then welcome to the next level until we grow up and mature.

“God will never leave you empty. He will replace everything you lost. If He asks you to put something down, it’s because He wants you to pick up something greater.”

And we also have to learn trusting in Him, in all our ways we have to acknowledge Him. If He will ask you to do something, don’t ask “why?”, simply obey. That’s trust. If you don’t understand, remember: His ways are really higher than our ways. God is able and in control of everything we do.

To God be the glory!

A worthy message for missionaries, trained and aspiring to become one: “How much do you know God?”

 speaker: Paul Washer

You must not pursue mission to find Jesus; you must pursue Jesus and missions will follow.

God works on broken, frivolous, tiny, sinful, weak individuals…

The greater the depth of your brokenness and weakness, the more you will see His power.

I myself have seen the power of God. I have seen multitudes converted, I have seen the miraculous, I have seen God do mighty things but when I am alone in the dark with Him I know what I am.  And it’s not because I have reached some level of piety that has escape my brothers. But it’s because God always works through broken, tiny, weak and sinful individuals like myself.

   If you’re ever going to be of any use in missions, it’s because God is going to take you and He’s going to be faithful to break you into a million pieces and to grind you into your weakness that you did not even know existed.

God said,” If I am a father then where is my honor?”

Your greatest need for missions, your greatest need for godliness is to know the Lord. Wise men are not supposed to boast in their wisdom and strong men in their strength, wealthy men in their riches. The one to boast is the one who knows God. Your greatest need, the churches greatest need and the world’s greatest need is to know God, not merely as an intellectual pursuit but to know Him, to grow in their knowledge of Him, because the more you do the more you will be enabled to honor Him if you’re heart has truly been converted and the more you will be able to love Him and glorify Him.

Oftentimes preachers will stand up before a group of people and tell them what to do but very rarely will a preacher tell them how to do it. A preacher will say something like this “All of you need to love God more than you do.” And the people walked out and say, “Of course. I should love God more than i do.” And they go back to their homes and they pray about loving God more than they do but they fall into condemnation because they know they don’t love God as they ought.

How can we be able to start that journey of loving Him more than we do now?

Yes we could do like what everybody do today…we could draw a conference and get everybody sight up for few weeks about God and missions and everything else and then after all the strange fire is burned off, nothing will be left but smoke.

A mission is driven by a passion for God, a love for God, a desire to honor God. But how can we create that in ourselves? Well, let me use a human analogy. I have been married for many years and I love my wife now more than I love her at the first. Well how is that? I love her more because I know more of her, I know more of her excellence, beauty, virtue and it brings forth out of me a greater love in spite of the imperfections and error and the quirks of her personality. I do love her more because I know her more. Now apply this same relational principle to God. You know that if you love God more, if you have the greater desire to honor Him, you would be given more to missions and the proclamations of His glory throughout the world. So how can you increase that love for God and that desire to honor Him? Only to the degree that you know Him.

If there is no relationship, there is no communion.

We were made for Him and we will be restless until we rest on Him. There is an intimate communion, fellowship and a walking in God and that must be our main pursuit. Study your own life for a moment. Isn’t it much easier for you to set up with the boys even when those boys are 16, to set up with the boys around the table and talk theology all night? Isn’t it for the most part easier to do that than it is to tarry in the presence of the Lord alone in prayer all night? Say, it is!

Isn’t it easier to read a good book saying something in 37,000 pages than he could have said it in 2?

Isn’t it easier on the flesh to stay up all night working through one paragraph than it is to stay up all night with Him? That in itself is evidence that we are not fully and completely redeemed. That there’s still something left in us that awaits a redeeming work, a glorification.

Religious activity even the work of the missions is nothing in itself. I have found that my flesh has the unique ability to turn almost everything into an idol. I can love knowledge more than God. I can love correct thinking more than God. I can love missions more than God. I can love evangelism and preaching about evangelism more than I enjoy going across the street to witness to my neighbor.

In all our activity, is God in them? Is God center? Is the personal intimate relationship with Him the thing that is driving us?

I want to go back to something. One of the ways to which I knew I was going to marry my wife is that I just wanted to be with her. I knew that my heart was right because I wanted to be with her. I wanted to talk to her and for her to talk to me. We could walk honestly down the path and doesn’t have to say anything for hours. I just wanted her. She wasn’t wealthy. She didn’t have a lot of money. But I did not want anything from her except her!

Do you remember when He governs your life as a new believer? Or you just don’t mind because the only thing you thought about was Him. You don’t have the great aspiration of being used, no desire for greater ministry? You just wanted Him! Do you remember when you got into the Word and it wasn’t because you had a sermon to prepare or you needed to learn some things or there were some doctrinal problems or you knew that to progress as a useful servant you had to continue on in the things of the Word of God? Do you remember when you just got into the Word because you wanted to hear something from God? Because you just wanted to know about Him?

Do you remember when you prayed just because of Him? Most of you, I’m not a prophet or the son of a prophet but I would dare say this that most of your prayer life is nothing more than intercessions, maybe the least of all prayers. Intercession. Interceding. What about communion? What about just walking and talking and thinking about Him? What about private praise and worship? What about waking up at night and you can’t sleep and you know that it’s a sign and you almost go “He has awakened me.” Then you will say, “Oh brother, how many times God had awakened me to intercede for the nation.” That’s not what I’m talking about. He had awakened you to just say, “Come my love, walk with me. Past at midnight watch with me, tarry with me.” I find it interesting in the book of Mark how Jesus Christ ministers a great while all throughout the night and then the great while before daylight He gets up once again and He goes out to a solitary place to be alone with God.

See, we can light so many fires. We can do so many things in all our activity. But is God in it? Is it for Him? Is it a heart burning for Him?

    Malachi 1:11 says, “My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations’, says the Lord Almighty.”

Look at what’s going on here. In most mission conferences, you have a man standing there telling you that there’s so many lost people all around the world and we’re God’s hands and feet and if we don’t do what we’re called to do then God’s hands are tied and there’s nothing to be done and the nation will be lost and God will be lonely and heaven will not be heaven. All of that, blasphemy. God will do His work, God is doing His work. God will be worshipped and glorified and rejoiced, but the question is, will you participate? Will you be a part of it? You’re not the catalyst. You’re not the great mover. You’re not the cause-behind all these. You’re invited into the privilege of this. Don’t you realize that we’re the most privileged people on the face of the earth because we are brought into a relationship with Him? Number one privilege is that we are brought into a relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, a privilege that we don’t speak on our part. And we are brought into the privilege of being instruments of the glory to God. God will do the work. He will get glory for himself but He invites us to participate in that.

Angels could sing that Christ died but we as believers could sing that He has died for us. Angels could rejoice in the Gospel, but we could preach it and proclaimed it to men, devils and angels. You are so privileged.

Have you sold yourselves for lesser things? Have you given your money for things that can’t fill you, that can’t quench your thirsts? Isn’t it amazing that we are the most prosperous, most protected people of God in the history of Christianity and yet you go into those silly little Christian bookstores of ours and 95 % of the books are written dealing with the problem of how empty we are? Why are we empty? For the same reason that He never was. He was persecuted, He was impoverished, and He was in anguished but our Savior was never empty because He had food to eat that we know not of and that it was to do the will of His Father.

You are to be given to the will of God, not just for missions. You see, sometimes we talk about missions in the same way the image of believers speak about the will of God. They come to me and said, “…brother I am searching the will of God in the Word.” I said, “…Then you realized your problem.” He said, “What do you mean?”  I said, “Is your life, the practice of your life given to the renewing of your mind in the Word of God.” And he answered, “No, I really struggle in that area.”  But when you need to know the will of God in the specific instance in your life, you go to the Word to look for the answers, that’s not true, yes. You’re wrong! You put the cart before the horse. This (the Bible) is not a magical book after which you could throw it up in the air and turn to a certain page and discern the will of God. We discern the will of God because we have a lifestyle. Romans 12: 1-2, a lifestyle of renewing our mind in the will of God and that renewing of the mind reveals to us the will of God. It is a life-practice that resolves in the knowing of God’s will. It’s the same way with missions.

Missions is not some independent thing that we decide to joined up with. It’s not a work that we suddenly feel called to do. It must be an outflow of true spirituality. It must flow out of communion with God. It must flow out of a correct understanding of who God is and His works in the world and the glory that He’s getting for Himself. It must flow out of knowing this that everything outside of Jesus Christ is absolutely absurd! And that all things were made for Him, through Him, by Him, in Him.

I could tell you to run off to the mission field and you might just run off an empty husk driven by a romantic passion for missions. Then you’ll need stronger medicine than that to keep you on the mission field. What I encourage you to do is to run after Him, pursue the very thing for which you are pursued–to know Him. “Who are you? I want to know.”– that will be my magnificent obsession: to know my God. And then from that you’ll flow out the work of God and the ministry of God in your life.

(click this to watch the full video) —> How much do you know God?

Our life is not to be based in our life’s experiences but from the Word of God, from the sound teaching. But you need more than that.

I do pray this, that God creates such a hunger in you that you seek after Him in prayer, that you desire and long for intimate communion with Him, that you desire to see His glory, that you know that in all your knowing it is not enough, and that you seek His power.

We are so afraid today of certain heresies that we oftentimes ran in the opposite direction and create an opposite puller of heresy. When we talked about great revivalist, we talk about Wakefield, we talk about Wesley, but to be honest with you we won’t let those men in our churches today because they were not quite respectable enough and they were not very civilized and there were strange things that happened around them that we would not at all approve. Do not let your inheritance be stolen from you by a bunch of heretical TV preachers who speak about the things they don’t know and blasphemed God in return.

Know this that there is a God and He’s more than a doctrine, He’s a person. There is a Holy Spirit who manifests the person of the Father and the Son to the believer. There is a knowing God in prayer. There is a manifestation of God in your life. There is the miraculous. God still does swift through a congregation and lay them all on the floor not giggling or barking like dogs that are crying out for mercy because they’ve seen their sin. God still moves. And we should not only desire it, we should expect it. We should not be pleased when we preach the good sermon.

If you’re going to the mission field and if you’re going to stand in a pulpit, you’re not a life coach, you’re not a peace core worker and you’re not just a transferer of truth, you are a prophet or you are nothing. And every time you stand before men, you must stand before men as Ezekiel stood in that valley knowing that unless the Spirit of God moves upon dead men, nothing will happen. And you must be men and women sent from God. “I must leave Him and come to you. I must leave you in a few minutes and go back to Him. Or I’m nothing but a boy, a parrot who talks about whatever men of experience.”

Missions is an absolutely impossible work that demands, requires the power and the life of the Holy Spirit.  And we, like many of the men we honored who went before us, should make it our constant prayer to cry out for greater and greater manifestations of the Spirit’s power in our life and preaching. Do not be afraid of that which has been given to you. It is your inheritance simply because others have distorted and twisted it.

Seek the Lord. Seek to grow in your knowledge of Him. Cry out for greater sense of His presence in your life. Cry out to God, “Make me like your Son.” And realize this, if you had any idea what you are praying, then you would not have the courage to pray. Because to ask Him to make you like His Son will bring about a life of being broken by Him, and grinding you and breaking you and disciplining you until He’s formed in you the very thing He desires. 

You must have Him. You must be filled by Him.

 

 

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

 

 

WHAT IS VAIN GLORY?

While I was waiting on God, I was told by the Holy Spirit to write an article about vain glory.

All the glory belongs to God. From suffering to glory.

Straight to the point, vain glory is the tendency for a Christian to develop the pride and boasting spirit in him for being so spiritually gifted. It’s a feeling of being so important and special about his self after performing signs, wonders and miracles forgetting that God had performed it through him and that he was just an empty vessel used by God.

Do all have it? Can both Christians and non-Christians have the tendency of acquiring it?

“I’m better than him.” “I’m a better preacher than him.” “I’m the most anointed evangelist since I can perform a massive healing crusade with lots of sick people got healed.” “I’m super-talented since I can play all musical instruments and got the brilliant voice to song lead.” Have you been there? These were just some of the common thoughts and lines of evangelical Christians whether actively or non-actively participating in the ministry or mission field for God’s work. Nothing is hidden in God’s sight. He knows our thoughts even the hidden secrets of our hearts.

Matthew 12:36 says, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will account of it in the Day of Judgment.”

Let us be careful with every word we utter. In James 3:1-12, Apostle Paul talks about how hard it is to tame the tongue.

How about these lines? – “He’s too sinful to be my friend so I must avoid him.” “Only with the same religion/ church/ denomination are welcome here.” “I must always stick to my over-religious friends and have nothing to do with bad-influenced group of people. I will just pray that someone might be used for them so they’ll be reformed.” “I’m not the right person for them, our characters don’t fit and I’m not ready yet to share the gospel and I’m afraid I might be influenced by their bad habits. So it’s better to stay on the safe side.” How hypocrites are we if we are thinking like this! We’re not only violating the “anti-discrimination and anti-favoritism law when it comes to our relationship with our fellow believers and non-believers in Christ. Apostle Paul explained in James 2:1-12 the topic about “Favoritism Forbidden”. As he emphasized in verse 8 and 9, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing right but if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” Let us be reminded that our neighbors are not only those who are law-abiding citizens but also those who are not. And whether we like it or not, we can’t pick or choose our neighbors. We can’t say, “Oh I don’t want them to become my neighbors because they’re not pleasing, not friendly and not kind to me.” Remember the story of a Good Samaritan.

Vain glory associates with hypocrisy, self-righteousness, self-seeking, boastful and pride spirits. It also includes condemning and judgmental spirits.

Why do I have the burden to come up with this topic? Simply because, most Christians are unaware that they have this kind of spirit. We’re too focused of becoming holy explicitly not implicitly. Most churches do have church-going members who are unaware that they are demonically oppressed. However, church leaders don’t know how to deal with it because they look plain to them. So these leaders will just conclude that there’s nothing wrong with their members.

7 Capital sins  :Pride- Lucifer, anger- Satan, envy – Leviathan, avarice – Mammon, vanity/ sloth – Belphegor, gluttony – Beelzebub and lust and perversion – Incubi and Succubi

We’re used to the seven capital sins as major deadly sins. We’re too focused to them but are ignorant that little sin is still a sin. It’s the same as white lie is still a lie.

We must know who our enemies are. Our enemies are not our brothers, not our sisters, not our parents, not our kids… Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” <READ further: Eph 6:10-20>

Lucifer was thrown into the lake of fire through eternity because of his pride. We must not be like him because we are created in the image and likeness of God. We are inheritants of His promise to be with Him in heaven through eternity, not in hell because hell was created for falling angels who disobeyed our almighty God.

What to do:  We must counterfeit the spirit of pride with the spirit of humility. Our best example of humility is our Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross, though he’s innocent, in order to pay the wages of our sins.  “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.” (Romans 6:23) God don’t want us to suffer from eternal damnation so He sent His only Son Jesus Christ because of His great love for us. <READ Colossians 2:14>

Humility is not necessarily doing what exactly Jesus Christ did of dying for our sins on the cross. So you don’t have to physically inflict pain on yourself or nail yourself on the cross just to minimize your sins because it only takes an innocent blood without stain and blemish who could wash away all our sins. None of us have that kind of blood, not even the animals offered as sin offering in the Old Testament…no one but only Jesus’ blood is clean, pure, without stain and blemish. 1 Peter 1:18-19 says, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

Humility is admitting that we are sinners and without Jesus Christ as our personal savior we can do nothing.

Humility is reporting to our captain that we’re done with our tasks and say, “We’re just doing our work so we don’t deserve applause.”

1 Peter 5:5 says, “…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

All the glory belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ, not to us. We don’t even have the claim to His glory, not even sharing it to ourselves for we are only filthy rugs-servants of God. We’re only empty vessels used by Him so that His works will be accomplished to His people. Bond-servants obey without questioning. They don’t have the right to say “no” to the command or put on limits to their obedience neither put on terms on when, where or how to obey. They don’t have the right to retire or resign from their duty. They don’t have the right to demand wages or incentives. They will serve their master all throughout their lives. See the humility the bond servants have. According to Neville Johnson, the only passport to enter heaven is the bond-servant relationship with the Lord. Are you serving the Lord? If you are, then what kind of servant are you?

Finally, I wanted to share this video entitled “Christians Who Ended up in Hell Because of Willful Sin thought they were going to Holy Heaven”.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxCFIjLsHU0

 This is about a particular minister of God about his travel-experience in hell. He said that God gave him the chance to let him know and for him to share to others that He is not the God of liars, fornicators, adulterers, murderers, proud…This minister’s supposed to be in hell because he have the spirit of “vain glory” since he undermined and belittled his pastor. He thought he had done lots of mighty works (wonders and miracles) than his pastor in his ministry.

God is our rescuer and redeemer. He’s a God of chances. If He would have not let me watch that testimony of him, I possibly would have developed vain glory against the pastor who used to disciple me. And I was wrong…so wrong to think that there’s nothing wrong with that. Who are we to brag about the gifts God gave when in fact He is just being so gracious for giving us such whether we deserve it or not. It’s not about us being so special among others. It’s about how fair Jesus is. It’s about how loving and merciful He is for choosing and calling us…back to Him.

Although we think we are living a holy life in this world but still failed to a single aspect of purity in God’s sight, like for instance, we’re not able to forgive someone before we die, so we’ll still end up in the flame of hell. While alive, we still have the chance to repent and be forgiven. Repentance is a daily basis. It can’t be done in a single or 2-minutes professional prayer like what we usually do when we pray before we eat. You have to tear your heart and cry out to the Lord.

Revelation 21:27 says, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Vain glory is just one of the impurities we have to deal with and asked the Lord to wash away with.

Since most of us Christians don’t know who our enemies are, not fully equipped with the armor of God and we’re always on the defense instead of the offense, we must at least know our enemies’ tactics. John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to steal and to kill, and to destroy…” Everything nowadays becomes ‘hi-tech’ so does our battle. We know that servants of God like apostles, pastors, evangelists, teachers, prophets, missionaries are labeled as FAVORITE in our enemy, the devil’s ATTACK list. So we must always pray for them. Let’s not let our enemy took advantage of the breaches or the holes on our walls. We must be upgraded with our tactics to fight against our enemies because in the spiritual realms, there is a constant battle happening that directly affects our physical realms.

True intercession or spiritual warfare could be done even if you’re alone provided that your heart and mind/soul are one, been united. Then that’s the time the Holy Spirit of God took hold of you tightly and together you’ll pray with the Holy Spirit interceding for you with groaning that words can’t utter. Romans 8:26-27 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

Friends, let’s not lose heart because we’re on the winning side. In Hebrews 13: 5-6 “God said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” <READ further in Revelation 20:1-10 about Satan’s doom >

To God be the glory!

Tags: vain glory, intercession, spirituality, war, spiritual warfare, battle, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, prayer, heaven, hell Continue reading “WHAT IS VAIN GLORY?”

My Pleasure

Thoughts From The Porch

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Mother Teresa

 Chick fil a

My Pleasure

Any time you enter a Chick fil A restaurant, you will be greeted by a server behind the counter with them saying; it’s a great day to eat at Chick Fil A, how may I help you? Once your order is filled and the server hands you your tray, they will say; it was my pleasure. If you should go back to the counter for a refill or some other need, that  need will be taken care of with a smile and the words; my pleasure.

Excuses

excuses

Each day opportunities present themselves for us to serve others. However, there are times when we don’t acknowledge those opportunities. We have an excuse for not answering the call to help others.

  • I really don’t have the time.
  • I don’t know…

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