Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Paglalakbay sa Buhay

Napagod. Nasaktan. Nabasag.
Pinagpahinga. Natuwa. Binuo.

Eto ang kwento ng buhay ko.

May mga tagumpay.
May mga pagkatalo.

May mga tamang nagawa.
May mga maling di na uulitin pa.

Buhay ay sadyang isang paglalakbay.

May masaya, may malungkot;
Sa lahat ng iyon, may isang hindi nagbabago.

Ikaw, Hesus, and Diyos ko anuman mangyari!

Hindi Ka nagbago, Ika'y tapat kailan pa man.
Sa lahat ng pighati at katuwaan, kasama Kita.
Lumingon ako, nandun Ka.
Bukas, sadyang nandun Ka pa rin.

Ikaw, Hesus, and Diyos ko anuman mangyari!

 * Adopted from the Song, "Through All Of It" by Colton Dixon. It seems every line of that song says what my heart would exactly say to God.
 * Image comes from Google Image Search

Sunday, July 30, 2017

More of You, Less of Me

You might have heard, "Knowledge is power!" There is truth in this. Learning more and gaining more knowledge means being one step wiser than before.

Gain more knowledge about History and we eventually become expert with Historic facts.

Gain more knowledge about Law and we eventually become expert with how Law and Justice works in the society. 

Gain more knowledge about Jesus Christ through the Bible, and we are amazed and humbled at the same time!

John the Baptist was amazed and humbled when he met Jesus. (John 3:22-30)

After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized (for John had not yet been put in prison).

Now a discussion arose between some of John's disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him." John answered, "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.' The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease."

John knew that though he gained so many followers, he was just the friend of the bridegroom, and the bridegroom is Jesus Christ. 

John was sent to prepare the way for the Christ, and as soon as he met Jesus he humbled himself before the Christ. It is interesting that this humility John showed came from a heart completely amazed with and in knowing Jesus - Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease. (verses 29b-30)

As we learn more about Jesus Christ of the Bible, we gain more knowledge about Him that leads to our joy being complete which should humble us more.

Human flesh craves for recognition from other people. We tend to put the spotlight to ourselves. And it is with this natural heart that we are to look to Jesus always, be amazed with His glory and power, and with all surrender we say, 

"More of You [Jesus], and less of me."

And then we become transformed (Romans 12:2) to be more like Jesus as we meditate on His Word with a joyful humble heart - a heart completely surrendered to Christ. 

"He must increase, but I must decrease." - John 3:30

 *Image comes from Google Image Search

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Your Money, Your Heart, and The Treasure

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:21

It is Pay Day again! Some are in that time of the year when Companies are reaping the harvest from last year's performance. Bonuses are given out to employees to let them share with the Company's success from all throughout last year.

It is that time that many are tested once again where truly his heart will be.

Whenever you receive your paycheck, what is the first thing that comes up to your mind?

Some may think of buying a new gadget or spending it on Fashion wear. Some may think of having a vacation somewhere far to get away momentarily from the noise of the city. Some may think of food and lots of food!

These may be legitimate needs for some, though some may object that these are just cravings.

But don't you feel that you have been forgetting something from the list above?

Who is the One who enables you to work so that you may earn such salary?
Who is that Person who strengthens you day in and day out so that you can earn a living?
Who made it possible for you to have that job in the first place?

Isn't that it is God, by the riches of His mercy and grace, who gave you that job, strengthens you day in and day out, and enables you to do your work?

Without God, you can do nothing.
And with God, you can do everything according to His will by His grace!

So why not give God back the glory by "bringing the full tithe into the storehouse (Church), that there may be food in God's house"?

Ask God to open your heart today so that you might see that Jesus Christ is the treasure that is far greater than the wealth this world can ever give you. Jesus offers forgiveness for those who repent from their sins and turn back to God. Jesus offers Himself as the Treasure your heart can ever have.

Seek Jesus Christ as you read His Word today, and may your offering be a pleasing sacrifice to Him as you make Christ your greatest Treasure.

 *Image comes from Google Image Search

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Teach Us to Number Our Days

The year 2016 has gone so fast, and now 8 days have passed as we entered the new year 2017! The Lord teaches us to number our days, for our days are short. "For a thousand years in God's sight are but as yesterday when it is past", as Moses described it in his Psalm (Psalm 90:4).

Teach Us to Number Our Days

We could plan and execute these plans flawlessly this year, but always remember that our life is but "like grass that is renewed in the morning, in the morning it flourishes and is renewed, in the evening it fades and withers." (Psalm 90:5-6) Always keep in mind that our life is short, no matter how young we are today. So it is important to see our life as how God wants us to see it - to number our days, so that we could have a heart of wisdom!

That We May Get a Heart of Wisdom

What does it mean to have a heart of wisdom?

"And he said to man,‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” - Job 28:28

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." - Proverbs 9:10

In short, to have a heart of wisdom is to believe in God's promises written in His Word, the Bible, and to trust that Jesus Christ is the only One who could satisfy the longing of your heart - leading you to turn away from your lifestyle of sins and living your life for God's glory!

Make it a goal this year to make your every day count as you live it for God's glory, with our hope anchored in His amazing grace!

 *Image comes from Google Image Search

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Are You a Fragrant Flower?

"Just as a flower which seems beautiful and has color but no perfume, so are the fruitless words of the man who speaks them but does them not." ~ John Dewey

While walking at a park with my lovely girlfriend, we took the chance to take some photos using our phone cameras. It was just right after a downpour. These little red flowers caught our attention, and it was indeed beautiful!

But I felt something is missing. I never smelled its fragrance. It should have been a more delightful experience if it had a very pleasant aroma!

It is just as the same way as the words that we speak. We might be the best silver-tongued man, but if our actions do not back these words up, we are more like a man who after looking at himself on a mirror, immediately forgets what he looks like.

"For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like." - James 1:23-24

The Word of God, is like a mirror that makes us see our true nature - sinful, wicked, wretched, hopeless, all because of sin. It shows us that we need help. On our own, we tend to ruin ourselves.

That is the reason why Jesus Christ became a baby - a human like us but still God at the same time, grew up, was crucified on the Cross - to die for us as the punishment for our sins, buried - to show that our sins were also buried with His body, and was risen again - to demonstrate that every one who believes in Jesus Christ and surrenders everything to Him has a new life already!

My friend, if you have surrendered your life to Christ already, you are a new person now. Jesus Christ is living in you now. Therefore, let us ask God that by His grace He would help us walk what we talk about.

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves... But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." - James 1:22, 25

Be a fragrant flower today, my friend, and may others smell that fragrance and point them to Jesus Christ who is far more fragrant and delightful and pleasing - the One who made it possible for us to appreciate beauty in the first place!

© 2016 Erickson Ibana

 Image is my own capture.