So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the LORD who makes you holy. -Leviticus 20:7-8
We can never be holy by what we do, because it is only God who can purify us and make us holy. And because God is holy, we must set ourselves apart through obedience to His word. Then, He will be able to cleanse us from our impurities. This does not mean that God is not able unless we obey. It’s not a matter of God not being able, because He is and He can, if He wants to. Rather He won’t because we are not allowing Him to. God doesn’t force Himself in our hearts. That is not His character. Obedience is a heart matter. And through obedience, we are telling God, “yes, I want to be made holy” and in the process, we are made holy because we allowed Him to. Obedience is not easy if we do not know who we are obeying. And when we begin to know who God is, what Christ did for us on the cross 2000 years ago, and how the Holy Spirit will enable us to obey and more, we will experience the real pleasures of life.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
This is what I learned recently, that (1)sometimes it’s hard to extend love towards others especially when they are being difficult. I say hard but not impossible.(2) You cannot obey the second greatest commandment without obeying the first because it is only through obeying the first that you will acquire the grace to obey the second. (3) As what one of my mentor said, “For love to be perfect, it has to be tried”. sigh!
Oh, Lord! Thank You for loving me and giving me the grace to love despite and in spite of whatever circumstances there may be.
We love because He first loved us
1 John 4:19
I’ve been staring in the monitor for an hour, awestruck and still speechless from last night’s experience that I seriously do not know where to start. I can still feel my heart palpitating and my body still shaking. what I heard last night at T4V blew me away! I just feel like crying and laughing at the same time. The funny thing is, what I heard was actually not new to me. It was something I’ve been hearing over and over again…the very basis of my foundation as a Christian: Jesus, son of God died for my sins, reconciling me to God the Father, was raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of the Father. His victory becoming mine. As I was hearing this gospel message for the nth time, I felt a veil lifted from my eyes. It suddenly dawned on me that I AM A SINNER no matter what I do. This fact, shook me to my core. I felt shame crept over me as I thought of my sins. Suddenly I could see the wall of Jericho in my life…the wall built by both my rebelliousness and religiousness throughout the years. I was miserable! But then another emotion overtook as I heard and remembered the grace of God in my life. I could breathe! JESUS DIED FOR ME…HE TOOK MY SINS AND NAILED IT ON THE CROSS. Oh what joy! I was liberated!!! The wall of Jericho came crumbling down. I felt a victory cry rising from my throat. A picture of Andres Bonifacio and the katipuneros tearing their cedulas and crying liberty came to mind. So this is what it feels like to be free, I thought. The feeling was so familiar…like a distant memory. I’ve felt this before….I’m sure I have. Ah! I remember…I felt this very same feeling the first time God opened my eyes to my own nakedness. Making me realize that only He could save me, back when I was 19. Now I’m 21 and still the feeling is as overwhelming…no! even more so!!! I felt more grateful when I remembered. All of a sudden I understood all those things that has been taught to me about dying to self, preaching the gospel to myself everyday and the like. Everything made sense to me! I felt like a blind person who could see after a long time of being blind. haha! I thought of my friends and family who have never experience the joy of God’s salvation. I wanted to call every one of them and tell them about it. I felt like the samaritan woman sitting in the well whom Jesus shared the gospel to, who wanted to tell everyone about it after she heard the most wonderful news. Oh, wow! I am soo glad and delighted with God! I am filled with so much love…a love that only He could give.haha! THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!!! I pray that I never get over this experience. That everyday, as I hear the gospel, it will be sweeter than the first. That Christ’s death will not be futile in my life. That His grace will just freely flow in me as I do the things that He wants me to do in my lifetime. And I pray that as you read this, God will open the eyes of your heart that you may see His glory. That you too will experience what I’ve experience…and as you do, you too will enjoy a life changed by the love and grace of God. That you can’t help but share that overflowing joy to others. I tell you, the gospel never gets old. It never gets out of style and never will. Even if you’ve heard it a thousand times, if you understand Christ’s love for you, hearing the gospel everyday would be like opening a present…you’d be surprised! :D
The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
Lord, my soul aches…I know You’re fixing things that needs to be fixed in me. Even though it hurts, it’s okay! I will endure…sa ikububuti ko din naman po to eh. Just don’t leave me vulnerable, Heavenly Father. Let Your unfailing love and faithfulness protect me! My heart is in turmoil yet I know that You are able to still this anxious heart and for that I praise You!!! Cause my rebellious heart to respond right. Assure me God that what I did was right. I desire to please You above my own. Thank You for revealing my own heart to me, for being so patient with me, for correcting me with love! Thank You for always being there to listen to my prayers and rambling thoughts. Thank You because I can always run to You. Thank You because You understand me better than I do. Thank You for reminding me that I am indeed Your daughter and that I don’t have anything to be insecure about because You love me soo much! And that You have something greater in store for me. Praise You, God! You deserve all the adoration, the glory, the honor! My heart aches yet it rejoices at the mere thought of You… :’)
I’ve been wanting to write everything that has happened to me since my birthday April 21,2012 on paper but I never got the chance to until now. There has been a lot of things in my mind the past weeks. Questions that are in need of answers. Answers that don’t really fit in any question as of the moment….but mostly questions. And so I sought God and asked more questions but found most of the answers vague. All of which clouded my mind. I needed to get away and rest. not think of anything… ministry, school, and responsibilities. Just me and God. Ive been troubled with things the past weeks that I don’t even know where to begin….battling with emotions, wrestling with God, which when I think about it is quite silly..like hello! as if naman mananalo ako..haha! anyway, that and more. I wanted so much to be alone with God that I thought of staying in manila for a week instead of staying for just a night. So I asked God about it and He urged me to push through despite my reluctance about leaving everything behind…ministry and family on my birthday. I have to admit that it was a hard decision for me because I wanted to be with my twin on our birthday, and I also wanted to be on my friend’s birthday the following week. But God spoke and so I had to obey. In my heart I felt that it was also the best thing to do. After all wasn’t I the one with a thousand questions in mind? I wanted answers….I needed to hear from Him. As I began my search, visions of what God wanted me to do grew wider. Dreams and promises were being recalled. It was like God was refreshing me and slowly taking the veil of my eyes as He spoke to me through His word and through people. I felt relieved. I needed to hear it. I needed to be reminded. And although not all of my questions were answered and believe me, there are still LOTS…I am comforted. I am comforted of God’s sovereign will in my life. I know He will not let me be away from Him. He will intervene. That I am sure of! I am comforted of His movement in my life…that although things doesn’t make sense sometimes, It’s just God humbling me, wanting me to trust Him even though I don’t get what He’s trying to do. But most of all I am comforted with His unfailing love. I would never have been here if it weren’t for that. He would have never bothered answering my never ending questions and He wouldn’t have been patient with me.
So before I end this note. I wanna share this verse with you that I got reminded of after the talk I had with my bestfriend’s dad who is also like a dad to me. He shared to me a testimony of their family when they arrived in Manila after something big happened in the family and what he shared really amazed me, encouraged and even comforted me. I couldnt help but praise God for what He did. He never left them, He didnt forget them.
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.-Joshua 1:5
It’s so comforting to know that God will always be there when I am being suffocated by the outside forces and even by my own thoughts and concerns. I am comforted to know that I can always run to Him, ask Him questions that none of the professors or teachers nor my pastor and friends can answer. I am comforted knowing that when I’m done with my little retreat and go home to CdO, He will be right there with me ready to listen to my ramblings about life…guiding me…teaching me…practicing His sovereignty in my life! and so I end this note feeling grateful. Time for me to sleep now, goodnight! I bid you all adieu! :)