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Christlikeness

A Call To be Progressive by Pastor Joe Balaan

A Call To be Progressive by Pastor Joe Balaan

An evangelist once said, “Anything that is alive, grows.” This means that anything that has life grows—progresses. But why do we need to be progressive? In what aspect of our lives do we need to be progressive?

Luke 2:52 tells us that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. And in 1 Peter 2:21 tells us that we must follow Jesus’ steps.

In today’s message, we will learn the biblical why’s and how’s of the idea of progressiveness.

I. Why do we need to be progressive?

1. Because it is God’s command – In Genesis 35:11, God instructed Jacob to be fruitful and increase in number while in John 15:16 Jesus said to the people to go and bear fruit that will last. Even in the very beginning, God’s command to people is to be fruitful. It is God’s command for us to progress, may it be to your work, studies or anything that you do.

2. It is a sign that God is with you – In verse 9 of Genesis 35 tells how God talked and went up to Jacob—how amazing is their relationship. Being progressive is a sign that you let God reign in your life, that you live a progressive life with Him.

3. It is a sign of God’s blessing and provision – The very presence of God is enough to attract the prosperity we need in our lives. In the book of Deuteronomy chapter 28, it tells us the blessings for obedience. If we obey God and be more Christ-like, we progress and prosper in life.

II. How can we be progressive?

1. Let God change your character – Jacob let God change his name, as well as his being and with this, he is blessed with the same blessing as Abraham and Isaac. Now as a Christian have you fully accepted that God would change your life in order to prosper you?

2. Live according to God’s plan – When God instructed Jacob to be fruitful and increase in number, he obeyed and so he was blessed. If we want to be progressive in our lives, we must abide and live according to God’s plan for us. For it is true that God knows the plans He has for us, plans not to bring harm but to prosper us.

3. Keep your faith active in any situation of your life – In Genesis 35, Jacob set up a stone pillar where God talked with him, he also poured out a drink offering and oil on it. It is a sign that Jacob values his faith on God as well as the promises He had for him.

Reflect: Are you being progressive in your life? Remember to find your character in God. If your God is progressive, shouldn’t you be like Him? Keep in mind that no one is kept imprisoned in a low situation because of “obstructions” he is kept imprisoned because of his wrong viewpoint of himself. Refocus yourself on God and His plans for you and you will live a progressive life you could ever imagine.

Resurrection: Mercy and Grace of God by Pastor Macho Barroga

Resurrection: Mercy and Grace of God by Pastor Macho Barroga

Let us rejoice for Jesus has Risen! Let’s celebrate for the salvation God has given through Jesus’ resurrection. For this special day, let us talk about what is REALLY the meaning of Christ’s resurrection.

In Luke 8:40, it tells the story of how Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman. There are two characters in the story that has one particular similarity with each other. Jairus, the synagogue leader who has a 12-year-old daughter who’s in near death and a sick woman who’s been bleeding for 12 years. With their situation, Jairus, even he is a well-respected synagogue leader is asking Jesus for help and the sick woman in humility and fear, seeks healing in Jesus. They are both desperate. As Jesus walks to the house of Jairus, the sick woman touches the cloak of Jesus and instantly healed. When Jesus knew about the woman, He said to her that her faith healed her. While proceeding with their walk, Jairus’ daughter was pronounced dead. But Jesus said, she was just asleep, and as He speaks the girl was brought back to life. We can say the sick woman represents our faith while the dead girl represents second life in Christ.

For us believers, death is just our spirit being asleep. Which is why Jesus said, the girl isn’t dead but asleep. What Jesus is trying to tell us is death doesn’t have the last say; death will leave its captives and He will give us our second life in Him. The incident with Jairus and his daughter is a precursor for us Christians today. It is supported in 1 Peter 1:3-5, which says praise to God and in His great mercy He has given us new birth into a Living Hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never, perish, spoil or fade. It is kept for us in heaven and through our faith, it is shielded by God’s power until the coming of salvation. Jesus’ resurrection brings about our resurrection in spirit. He has given us Christians, new birth that we may choose righteousness and pursue the path to Christlikeness. It is also mentioned in Romans 6:4 that we were buried with him through baptism into death in just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we may also live a new life. In our resurrection with Christ, the Lord will fix and will make sure that your life will be put together in good. God surely works for the good of those who love Him. Just when we are lost, God will make a way to get us back into the right path. He will pursue us until we came back to Him because that’s how much He values His children and what’s good for us.

Let us think about what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1, in transgressions, in pain, and in great sufferings, it is where God’s mercy and grace abounds. Through our faith, while facing these trials, our praise and glory to God are revealed. We must know that the resurrection of Christ is all about the mercy and grace of God. We do not deserve it but it was given to us, we are sinners but He gave us second life that is so great no words can explain.

God is talking to you this very moment, if you are in need of Christ, you just have to believe, you just have to have faith and act on that belief. If you want to be transformed, your faith must be accompanied by the right action and vice versa. Now you may ask, how can you do that? Surrender everything to Him and by everything, it means nothing left in you. The truth that you need to know is when you have Jesus you already have everything. Nothing can complete a man than the Lord. You must know that Jesus deserves the whole spot in your heart and soul; He cannot work in your life if there are still bondages that restrict you to fully embrace the Lord. Thank God for our salvation, thank God for the Resurrection of Christ.

My will or Thy will? by Pastor John Mateos Ong

My will or Thy will? by Pastor John Mateos Ong

If you go back to the book of Genesis, God’s original plan for man is to have dominion over all creation. This was His supposed assignment for His greatest creation. The man was put to the first garden mentioned in the Bible, the Garden of Eden where they need to cultivate everything, have dominion over everything, and can eat everything except one fruit which God himself forbid. We all know what happened next, a serpent appeared and deceived the woman. The man fell and have lost the keys of dominion. Now, you may be confused if it is really the evil that holds dominion over the world. John and Paul describe Satan in the book of John and Ephesians as the “prince of this world” and “ruler of the kingdom of the air”—so yes, Satan took over the dominion of the world. Man disobeyed God and because of this, we lost what could have been a perfect life with God.

 

But the good news is God did not give up on us, He continues to pursue us because we are His masterpiece. Now the second garden, in the Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus prayed and accepted His fate. He became fully man and is capable of feeling emotions and being hurt. Jesus even felt like dying because of extreme sadness. You can call it a spiritual war. Not like most of us thought, spiritual warfare is between man and evil not between God and evil. It is a battle we need to win over the forces of evil. Remember when sin entered our world? That was when God’s Son (Jesus) destined to become a man to fight on our behalf.

 

Jesus did a lot of miracles and fulfilled a lot of prophecies that are laid down to prove He is the Messiah. (1) He healed and delivered everyone who came to him. When the evil introduced sickness He displayed authority over it by healing and delivering every person who came to Him. (2) He lived purely; Jesus showed us there was nothing enticing about sin. Satan knew that Jesus came to get back the dominion of the world, which is why he offered the splendor of the world in exchange for Jesus bowing and worshipping him. But Jesus showed no value for sin and everything the devil is offering Him. (3) He served others. Jesus is 100% God but He used His authority only for serving others. He did not use His power only for Himself. (4) He did the unthinkable—He gave himself up to die for us. You may think it is a strange way to win a war but it was the only key. God is just and someone had to pay for our sins and we all know that only the unblemished lamb is enough to tame the wrath of God. Jesus brought salvation to humanity.

 

The most important thing we should know is that by God’s grace we are saved, Satan did not take Jesus’ life, Jesus laid it down himself for us.

 

Jesus left us but he did not forsake us, He said that the Holy Spirit will be with us, to guide and help. What Satan didn’t know is once Jesus died it will pave way for the Holy Spirit to dwell into every believer giving them power. If Satan only knew that the death of Jesus would bring him more enemies, he would not have him crucified and would kill anyone that will try to kill Jesus.

 

Satan is nothing equal to God—he does not have power over anything. The only thing he can do is to lie about what is given to us. All authority comes from God and God gave all the authority to Jesus when he died on the cross. Therefore we do not fight for victory but we fight from victory!

 

Now there are two options— your will or thy God’s will.

 

Our work is to (1) be like Christ. We are the temples of the Holy Spirit since Jesus left us. And because of this, we have to pursue to be more like Christ—we may not be unblemished but we pursue goodness and Christlikeness. (2) Be a worshipper, the devil is very afraid of a worshipping people. What Satan cannot take from people is passionate and genuine worship. (3) Bring others—for Jesus it is better to bring one lost soul than to bring 99 that do not need to repent. The heavens rejoice for this one soul that you bring closer to Jesus.

 

We must remember that only through Jesus we received the salvation, only by God’s grace we are saved.