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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 man. 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.

Preach the Message by Pastor Peter Aguila

Preach the Message by Pastor Peter Aguila

Unbelievers lack the knowledge of what the Cross is truly about. Christians sometimes forget what is its message to humanity. Now let’s analyze why is this consistently happening to this day.

Paul said in 1 Corinthian that he is not sent to baptize but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence. God did not send him to collect a following but to preach the Message of what God has done. He wasn’t sent to utter senseless words regarding the Cross. He was sent to spread the Good News and collect a following for Him—Jesus.

The Message that points to Christ on the cross is foolishness to those who do not believe and on the way of destruction but for us who are on the way of salvation, it makes perfect sense. It is said in the Bible that this is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Preaching the gospel—unbelievers say that it is foolishness. But God was pleased through the foolishness that was preached to save those who believe. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

We become wise people who are foolish of what God has done because we do not hear the preaching of what we call foolishness. We condemn those who we think is not capable of presenting the gospel. Let’s take a good look of who we were when we are called—we are not the “best and the brightest”. It should be clear to us that God deliberately chose men and women that the society dubbed as “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of “somebodies”. We are to preach the truth and the truth is everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate, and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

How important is God’s heart for you? By Pastor John Mateos Ong

How important is God’s heart for you? By Pastor John Mateos Ong

When King Saul failed to obey God’s instruction, Samuel told him that God would have established his kingdom over Israel for all time but the Lord sought now a man after his own heart to rule His people.

This man was David, son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz. Samuel went to Bethlehem where Jesse presents his sons upon Samuel where they are all not chosen except the youngest, who was David. The Lord firmly instructed Samuel that he should anoint the one He indicated, the one who’s after his heart. Thus, David was anointed.

We may say that David was blameless and upright yet he has committed adultery with Bathsheba. Because of his committed sin, he immediately confessed unto the Lord that made God forgive him. The Lord then gave him the consequence of his sin. David knows that there is always justice, mercy, and grace with God. He may have lost his first son because of his sin, but he had another child, Solomon, whom the Lord loved.

Let’s examine David’s character, is he a perfect leader? Is he a perfect follower of God? No, he isn’t. Yet he was called a man after God’s heart. What do you think is his secret? Basically, David’s trust for the Lord was so great that he let God take over in his life. He trusts that God will fulfill His promise with him becoming a king, with him building an altar, with him being forgiven.

David was no son of a king nor anyone thought that he would be one, but he is destined to be. The moment he became a king that's when he started to learn and dive deep in having a relationship with the Lord. In the book of Psalm, we can read David’s journal. It was beautifully and honestly written from the heart of David for the Lord.

There we can see 8 resolutions that we can start applying to ourselves. This list can help us be more like David who very much values God’s heart.

1. I will give importance to worship – Have you ever cried during praise and worship? Have you ever felt like you really are in His presence? Your heart’s so full that you forget about anyone and anything around you. That it’s just you and Him. My prayer for you is to experience this, just like David who vowed to give importance to worship and who isn’t ashamed of how he worships the Lord. (Read: Psalm 101:1)

2. I will pursue holiness and walk with integrity – When David said that he will ponder the way that is blameless and will walk with integrity it emphasizes that even if he is now a king and is called a man after God’s heart, he is never complacent of pursuing God’s heart and will for him. He ensures that anything he says matches to what he does and most importantly what God wants him to do. As Christians, we must pursue this kind of character for it is crucial for us that what we tell reflects what we do. (Read: Psalm 101:2)

3. I will value my time and choose what to pursue – Do not waste your time on worthless things. God has great plans laid down for you, be wise enough to pursue these instead of worldly “good” things. In anything you may do, never settle and pursue what is “just good”. (Read: Psalm 101:3)

4. I will constantly check my heart – In your busy life, do you still have time for a heart check? Do you make sure that it’s still seeking what is right? What is not evil? My reminder for you is no matter how busy or hectic your day was, always remember to check your heart. To keep you grounded that it should seek the Lord’s will always. (Read: Psalm 101:4)

5. I will not tolerate sin – Christians are not blind for what is right and wrong. As a follower of Christ, you must not protect those who sin but correct through Jesus. (Read: Psalm 101:5)

6. I will be with fellow believers – Look with favorable eyes to those who are fellow servants of the Lord. Dwell with those who also believe, those who walk in the way that is blameless that you may keep them around and minister to you. (Read: Psalm 101:6)

7. I will not be with liars – In verse 7, David did not say avoid the liars, but he emphasized that these kinds of people shall not dwell in his house nor continue before his eyes. We cannot avoid encountering liars but the good thing is we have the choice not to dwell with them. (Read: Psalm 101:7)

8. I will purge evil every day – Purging evil is a daily task for Christians. Internally and externally we must destroy evildoers that do not give the Lord glory. (Read: Psalm 101:8)

Reflect on this: How important is God’s heart for you? The greatest gift of God isn’t our chance of entering heaven but his mercy and grace of giving us the opportunity to have a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ after we’ve been separated from Him because of our sins. Pursue God’s heart. Pursue Him every day.

Obedience is better than Sacrifice by Pastor Alex Ruelo

Obedience is better than Sacrifice by Pastor Alex Ruelo

Back when Samuel was old, he appointed his sons to lead Israel but his sons did not follow his ways. They accepted bribes and perverted justice and so the elders told Samuel to give Israel a king that will lead them all. Samuel prayed unto God and He said that it is not Samuel whom Israel has rejected but the Lord whom they have been rejecting since the day He brought them out of Egypt. God told Samuel to warn Israel that the king that will reign over them will claim everything as his rights. Despite this, Israel still insisted on having a king. And so Samuel anointed a man named Saul, God himself chose Saul. It has been said that there is no one like Saul among all the people. As a child, some of us thought that King Saul is a bad king all along. But he started off as a man chosen by God himself. As time goes by, King Saul become full of himself, he became jealous and disobedient to the Lord. God instructed King Saul to kill all Amalekites along with its animals. But King Saul spared the life of the king of Amalekites as well as its animals. He thought that the Lord would be pleased if he sacrificed those to Him. Samuel said to King Saul that the Lord is more pleased with obedience than sacrifices.

Just like the great King Saul, us people, when we experienced power and privilege can become the very person God doesn’t want us to be. We can be proud of ourselves and do things on our own. We can come short on obeying God while thinking we are doing more for Him. Here are some ideas about why King Saul fail and fall:

1. Sin gives birth to another sin – People tend to make excuses when caught. From our committed sin, we give birth to another sin that makes the situation worse. Just like when Samuel knew that the king and animals’ life were spared, Saul began to tell lies. Trying to redeem himself, he told Samuel that it would be given to the Lord as an offering.

2. 99.9% of Obedience is Disobedience – Always remember that obeying God requires your full trust. You cannot bargain with God, obedience to the Lord cannot be chopped into percentages. It is to obey or disobey.

3. All who exalt themselves will be humbled – As sinners, we hardly avoid blaming other people for our mistakes. We try our hardest to appear blameless putting other people down. But the truth is those who exalt themselves shall face God’s judgment and will be humbled.

4. We cannot fool God – When God tells you to do something, you obey. You cannot offer him something better than full obedience to Him. For God, it is more important that we obey than to offer him worthless things in exchange.

Remember: No sacrifice or offering can compare to a heart that loves the Lord, obeys the Lord and trusts the Lord — it is our best gift to God.

How to hear God? By Pastor John Mateos Ong

How to hear God? By Pastor John Mateos Ong

We can admit, not all of us have that deep relationship with God. And that’s the saddest thing human can have—not having a personal relationship with the Lord.

 

Back when Samuel, the last judge was a kid, he had an encounter with God. But just like everyone at first, he didn’t know who is God. The, while he was sleeping, God called him by his name. He woke up and thought that it was Eli the priest who called him. This happened 3 times before Eli realized that it was God who is calling Samuel. He told Samuel to go back to sleep for it is God who is calling him, and if he hears Him again he must say, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Then the Lord told Samuel that He would do something in Israel that will make everyone’s ears to tingle.

 

In today’s time, it is a great privilege to hear God or to have an encounter with Him. As Christians, whether we’re new Christians or have been baptized for a long time now, we must desire to have a deeper relationship with Him through time. With our personal relationship, we can have the opportunity to hear Him.

 

If we want to know how to hear God, here are some ideas that may help us achieve it.’

 

1.   Long – You must desire to hear God. You cannot hear Him if you’re too lazy to desire it. Don’t expect to hear Him if you don’t do anything just to hear him. A very beautiful verse from Isaiah says, “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you.” The very soul craves the word of God, day and night; don’t put “me time” first but your time with Him.

2.   Learn – We must master the art of waiting and keeping ourselves quiet. In some circumstances, waiting for God and keeping ourselves quiet teaches us how to hear God better. It is a total dependency on Him that no matter what the situation is our goal is to learn from His Word in order to hear Him. Which is why in Psalm 24:5 says, “Show me your ways Lord, teach me your path.”

3.   Listen – the difference between hearing and listening is our choice to understand what the other person is saying. We can hear for it is uncontrollable, but listening and putting your full attention to someone is by choice. It takes an effort on our end to listen to someone, so be wise in using your effort and listen to the Lord.

4.   Live – To be able to hear God, you must live His teachings. Remember Philippians 4:9! You must remember that you cannot hear God or experience Him if you only say and know his teachings but do not practice it.

 

Why some people don’t hear? It is because of three things:

·      Distraction – there are things around us that we put our focus, we get distracted easily and we tend to refocus ourselves. We get distracted to fame, money, power and other worldly things we thought is important.

·      Deception – People are deceived by the wrong teachings, heard wrong gospels, and worshipped false gods. With these, it keeps some people’s ears closed from hearing God.

·      Destruction – Simply because some of us are bound for destruction. 1 Corinthians 1:18 tell us, the death of Christ on the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but a Power of God to those who are being saved.

3 Steps to Embrace God's Call by Pastora Monique Lopez-Ong

3 Steps to Embrace God's Call by Pastora Monique Lopez-Ong

In the Book of Judges, we have learned the Israelites’ Cycle of Sin, which made God raise Judges to be their leaders. Today, we are about to open the story of the 4th Judge named Deborah. She’s a woman whom God called to be Israelites’ Judge. It is unusual for a woman to be a leader but Deborah trusted and embraced God’s call.

The story began when Israelites fell into sin and idolatry again. So the Lord gave them in the hands of King Jabin of Canaan who enslaved the Israelites for 20 years. Desperate and struggling, Israelites cried to the Lord for help. (Judges 4:1-3) King Jabin has a commander of his army named Sisera, he has nine hundred chariots fitted with iron, enough to defeat anyone by that time.

Now, Deborah, a prophet and wife of Lappidoth was leading Israel. They came up to her to have their disputes be decided. So she called Barak, son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”

Upon knowing this, Barak became hesitant and told Deborah that he will only go if Deborah will go with him. Deborah then said, “Certainly I will go with you, but because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.”

So Deborah and Barak went to with 10,000 men who went up in their command. The battle went on and Sisera, summoned his 900 chariots fitted with iron but the Lord has already given them by the hands of Barak. Sisera was forced to flee by his foot, which made him gone up to the tent of Jael, wife of Heber from the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law.

Jael went out to meet Sisera and gave him a glass of milk then let Sisera fall into sleep. When Sisera was asleep, Jael took a tent peg and hammer and drove it straight to Sisera’s temple and he died.

Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead. (Judges 4:22)

Sisera did fall into the hands of a woman just what Deborah told Barak. The lesson here is sometimes God is calling us to do something but we refuse to answer and obey. We are sometimes ruled over by our own fears and doubt. This very resistance to our callings makes us undeserving of every blessing that we could have got. To help you out, here are some points to embrace our own callings.

1. Step up in Faith – We don’t become a Christian just to look and observe what’s happening around us. As Christians, we should be the first ones who initiate that in the Name of Jesus anything could happen—that miracles exist in His Name. As Christians we are called to step up in our faith in Him, in His Name and in our faith we could be His medium to show His miracles.

2. Step out of the Normal and Usual – Romans 12:2(a) “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Don’t be bothered if there are people laughing at your faith or mocking you when you praise, for these people are not against us but is against Jesus. We are called to step out of the norms of the world and make the Kingdom of God reign anywhere we are. Never stop doing what is pleasing to God.

3. Step Into His Will and Power – Believe and have faith in Him! And when you step in, be sure to (1) Hang on! Don’t lose hope on God even if you see no changes despite all your efforts to do what He has been telling you. (2) Dive in! Drench yourself in His power because if you’re still hesitant to soak in His power you’ll never experience His fullness. (3) Be empowered! Encourage yourself to step in and plug into God! Make Him your source of empowerment. Know that we are nothing when we’re apart from Him.

God's Grace Overflows by Pastor Peter Aguila

God's Grace Overflows by Pastor Peter Aguila

As Christians— faithful believers of God, we must welcome the year with a hopeful heart that this year given to us will overflow with God’s grace.

 

Luke 4:15-19 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[

 

Sometimes, our problem is we doubt what God has planned for us. We doubt His presence surrounding us, and we doubt His power that He can do miracles through us if we only put our faith and trust in Him.

In His presence we must soak our selves and we can guarantee to be showered with His blessings as well as we can bless other people. Seek His righteousness, and declare that you, as loving son and daughter of God, will minister to those whom God told us just what Jesus did in Nazareth.

This year, as we remain in His presence, He will give us the favor that we deserve. Our genuine relationship with Him will result into grace upon grace and blessings upon blessings.

Faith that costs nothing

Faith that costs nothing

What does your faith cost you? Do you worship even when times are hard or just when it's convenient?