Favorite Scriptures

There are quite many Scriptures I love. I will just give some.

Exodus 33:18 (KJV) And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

This was the prayer of Moses when he was interceding for the people of Israel. It was such a very noble prayer at the time when God’s Wrath was burning against Israel. Somehow God was touched to see Moses wanted to make God known among the heathen, he was desperate to see that God’s Name be vindicated as righteous and holy and supreme and this won God’s approval.

Psalms 27:4 (KJV) One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

This is like the above verse: desiring to see God’s Glory, but in a different context. This time, David was under persecution. And what was his solution? Worship and deep communion with God.

Psalms 51:17 (KJV) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

David was repentant, and he acknowledges thay sometimes God may reject a superficial offering. But a true repentant heart is something that God desires and would always delight in.

Isaiah 66:1-2 (KJV) Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

God is so much Majestic, His presence could not be contained. Yet, to our amazement, He desires to commune with the humble and obedient.

Proverbs 27:5-6 (KJV) Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

If we love truly our brethren or friends, rebuke is necessary.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

We become what we behold and cherish in our hearts; and thus, we become Christlike when we cherish Him in our hearts, looking at His beauty.

John 17:24 (KJV) Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Jesus’s prayer for the saints, which is maybe the grandest of all, that we may see in fullness His Glory.

Revelation 21:4 (KJV) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

The revelation of heaven, the things that are beyond what the saints could ever imagine, are waiting for us. Let us be faithful and vigilant for the Lord!

How to Raise up your Teenager

A teenage life is something to be handled with utmost care, for it is the stage of life where the emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual foundations are cemented for future paths leading to adulthood. The starting years of 0–7 are when foundations are laid, but during the teenage years are when foundations are established as permanent.

Let me first say that I am a born again Christian, so it may seem that my advice here will sound religious. However, far from it, but only being spiritual and honest and concern. I would like to give what I firmly believe is the best, and that includes God and His Word.

First, bring your teenage child to yourself. Make sure that you are best friends, or at least close friends. In the Philippines there is a trend that most teenagers are aloof to their parents. Before you can bring good influence to your teenager, you must first be close.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Second, bring your teenage child to God, or to Jesus. This may sound irrelevant or corny or misplaced, but trust me, from my heart I am telling you that this is the best thing you can give to your children. This is greater than good education or great inheritance. Only God can direct the child’s life for good.

Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Psalms 119:9 (KJV) Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

This should not necessarily mean being religious at the first approach. Rather, it is about being happy in God and being happy with the people of God. To make this a lot easier, find a Christian youth group who can be friends with your teenager. This way, the transition will not be that hard for they are all teenagers.

Proverbs 18:24 (KJV) A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Third, let your teenager enjoy the youthful years. Don’t be so strict. As long as what the child wants is not bad or evil, you may give it in moderation. Also, do not be so loose. Everything must be used or gained in moderation. Too much of any good thing could turn up bad.

Fourth, expose your teenager to the path of adulthood. Time flies fast. The best way to tell your teenager about the responsibilities be or she will soon take is now. You should balance though the previous one and this fourth advice.

Fifth, give your teenager some good books to read. This may include a Youth Bible or any Christian Literature geared towards the youth.

Not to disappoint you but rather to be honest, I am a single man. I don’t have a child. But based from many years of handling youth in the Church, counseling youth from different sectors, and hearing from parents about their teenagers, these five points are among the top ways that I would give to anyone who desires to have his or her teenage child grow up good.

Why I (Try to) Read the Bible Everyday

I should read the Bible every day, especially that I am serving Him for years, and at the moment I am serving Him full time.

This past two weeks, I have been reading a lot of Scriptures every day. However, prior to that, a month ago and some months ago, I have been only reading it a bit, maybe once or twice a week. And it was a disaster.

As a believer I would attest with all my heart that it is really God’s Word, by that I mean the only God’s Word. We are so blessed that the Only Creator and Lover of mankind has left for us His very own words! But very few people appreciate that. In fact many people doubt that the Bible really is God’s Word.

Let me state some reasons why the Bible is God’s Word and that there is no other:

First, the Bible is Alive, it changes lives. I mean, countless lives. Reading and applying it in everyday life provides strength to the weak, wisdom to the confused, salvation to the lost, and healing to the sick. No other psychology or self-help books can do this.

Second, the Bible is Reliable, its history record is perfect. Credible historians, Christian or not have testified again and again that the Biblical Record of human history is accurate and without any error.

Third, the Bible is Prophetic, its prophecies were fulfilled and are being fulfilled. The Bible contains more than three hundred prophecies regarding the Messiah Jesus Christ alone, and all of them were fulfilled, and that is a miracle in itself. And there are many other prophecies concerning different areas, which were fulfilled. Many still are to be fulfilled concerning the end times.

Fourth, the Bible is Harmonious, its sixty-six books do not conflict. The Bible is written in a span of more than fifteen hundred years by more than forty authors, signifying that it has One Ultimate Author as the books contain a unified message of God’s Glory and Man’s Redemption without any conflict.

Fifth, the Bible is Indestructible, countless attempts to destroy it failed. Kings, Emperors, Politicians, nations, and Satan himself tried to destroy it but they all failed miserably. The Bible is still the best-selling book of all time.

Now, let me state my personal reasons why I try my best to read the Bible everyday:

First, I get to know God better thru the reading of the Bible. This is maybe my most important reason. Bible reading cause me to know my God and Savior more. It draws me closer to Him, and it brings intimacy to our relationship.

Deuteronomy 31:12 (KJV) Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law

1 John 1:3 (KJV) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Second, it guides me. If I want to ask God about anything in life I have two basic options, prayer and Bible reading. God’s wisdom and counsel are found in the Bible.

Proverbs 4:4-6 (KJV) He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

James 1:5 (KJV) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Third, it sanctifies me. The Bible shows my errors, and tells me the right ways in all things. It provides detailed instructions on the direction to go towards holiness.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect

Psalms 119:9 (KJV) Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Fourth, it strengthens my faith. The Bible feeds my soul in my daily walk in life as a Christian. I do not rely on emotions and feelings, but in the Biblical Faith in my walk in life.

Romans 10:8 (KJV) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Romans 10:17 (KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Matthew 4:4 (KJV) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Fifth, the Bible is the best Christian Worker Handbook. Thru the Bible I get to know how to serve God in the most God-glorifying way.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I will age and God willing attain an old age but my need for the Bible well never cease for the Word stands forever.

Psalms 119:89 (KJV) For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Why we need the New Testament

Why the New Testament is relevant and needed today is a very good thought to ponder. The New Testament in invaluable to the Bible as a whole, and to the Christians. Without the New Testament, God’s Revelation to man will not be complete, and without it, the saints will not fully understand nor realised God’s purposes.

Why the New Testament is needed:

The New Testament is God’s Revelation about the New Convenant which is superior to the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant highlights the Law which God gave to Moses as a means of appeasing God’s anger and coming back to God. However, history reveals that it is never sufficient, for man could not and could never fulfill his obligations. The New Convenant is the superior one, highlighting the sacrifice of Jesus as God’s Lamb as a way of bringing man to God.

The New Testament brings God’s Redemptive Plan to man in completion. Having the Old Testament alone is not complete. Genesis 3:15, the seed of God’s Redemptive Plan will never be realised or understood without the New Testament. New Testament brings this to light and confusion is removed.

The New Testament fulfilled the expected Messiah from the Old Testament. The prophets prophesied more than 300 prophecies about the Messiah. All of Israel was waiting for His Coming. In the Gospels from the New Testament, the waiting has come to an end and almost all the prophecies were fulfilled, and the remaining few will be realised on His Second Coming.

The New Testament gives the final information on how God will put the end to evil, and bring Glory to His Kingdom and to His saints. On earth, Christians are sojourners, as citizens of heaven. The New Testament, especially the Gospels and some Pauline Epistles and Revelation give the details on how God will put an end to all the sufferings of His Children, how He will put an end to Satan once and for all, and gives us the glimpses of the future Glory to come reserved to God alone and His children. And this is our present hope, as we ensure in this broken world.

The Church is so blessed today to hold in her hands the complete 66 books of the Bible. The Early Church has only access to the Old Testament and some of the Pauline and General Epistles. God’s Word is under attack and under fire today as many scholars and critics try to challenge the authenticity and authority of those 66 books. Some on the other hand try to include other books to the Bible.

Let us then all pray and use our Bibles for personal growth and for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. In Faith we believe that the 66 books of the Bible were given to us to glorify God.


Hebrews 4:12 (KJV) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Psalms 12:6 (KJV) The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Isaiah 40:8 (KJV) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

The Bible is not the Authoritative Word of God

Every true believer of God believes that the Bible alone is the Word of God.

However, if I believe that the Bible is not the Authoritative Word of God, I will have these possible reasonings:

  1. There is a religious book or books out there that is/are more infallible, more relevant, more reliable, and more authoritative than the Bible itself. It must be a book of an utmost value, one that is above all spiritual books.
  2. There is a religious book or books out there that has/have been proven to be “the one” by the Church and the saints in the most length of time. Tried and tested by innumerable saints, it must be the one.
  3. There is a religious book or books or there that has/have changed more the lives of innumerable people from all races, from all times, from all cultures. Such a book has changed the worst of the sinner to the most holy of the saints.
  4. There is a religious book or books out there that has/have more persevered its destruction by its opposers. Such a book/books have survived against all malice, all the burning, all the accusations thrown against it/them.
  5. There is a religious book or books out there that has/have more given Glory to the Only Living God and the strengthening of the Church. It is a book that highlights the Sovereignty of God and the immeasurable depths of His Love and Grace. It is a book that contains all the truth to edify the saints.

Well, unfortunately, these are just hopes, nothing more. I have never found a book that in these four categories have surpassed the Bible. In fact, the Bible alone is the only book that possesses these qualities.

So, the Bible is the Authoritative Word of the Only Living God.

My Favorite Books of the Bible

Needless to say, the Bible is the most wonderful book I have ever read. I really like many books in the Bible for several reasons:

  1. Genesis: Tells tha start of everything, of the universe and creation, of sin and God’s Redemptive Plan. I love how God interacted with man, sometimes taking the form of man to talk with His most-loved creation. For many times, the stories of the Patriarchs made me cry. So dramatic and full of life! Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac and Joseph reconciling with his brothers are just a few samples.
  2. Deuteronomy: Basically Moses’ farewell speech. You can see here the heart of a man whom God so highly esteemed. And the tragic lesson on how even a devout man could miss God’s perfect plan.
  3. 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings: The stories of the Kings. How Israel rejected God (and Samuel), David’s rise and fall and redemption, Hezekiah’s dependence on God, etc. Here God’s intervention in the daily life of His chosen people were very evident.
  4. Psalms: I could relate well with the emotions and circumstances of the Psalmists.
  5. Nehemiah: The great man of vision, action and prayer. His life was endangered but wisdom saved him.
  6. Daniel: The highly-favored man of God. Gifted and prayerful.
  7. Joel: The great message of Repentance.
  8. Jonah: How a servant of God could be so stubborn, and how God could show mercy to His repentant enemies.
  9. Gospels: The living story of the Messiah. His perfect model for the Ministry, His humility and Authority, His humanity and divinity, His teachings and miracles, and His time with His disciples.
  10. Acts: The Early Church, the Standard of how the Church today should walk, think, and talk.
  11. The Epistles, Pauline and General: The writings of Jesus’s followers who witnessed Him and experienced to pour out their lives selflessly for Him.
  12. Revelation: Christ’s triumphant return, God’s victory, the wedding between Christ and His Church, Heaven the home of believers, and hell the torment of Satan and the unsaved.

This is just a partial list. Surely I have missed others like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ecclesiastes, and the others.

Nonetheless, the more you read the Bible the more you will love it from Start (Genesis) to finish (Revelation).

Goodness on Fire

Cover of "Merriam Webster Dictionary"
Merriam Webster Dictionary’s definition of goodness fall short in comparison to the goodness of God.

What biblical goodness is
Goodness, as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary refers to the quality or state of being good. The term good is then defined as a favourable character or tendency.

Receiving the compliment of being good is an honour and privilege – we may call many as exhibited some good acts, but labelling them as good people takes on a much higher level. Yes, being called good is such a rare opportunity.

National heroes may speak well of the term – but not all of them. It only shows that the term is heavy and calls for uniqueness.

In the Bible, the term goodness is said fifty (50) times in the King James Version (KJV), in which more than 90% refers to the goodness of God. Good is said seven hundred fifty (750) times, and the majority of it coming from the acts and nature of God. Very few of the biblical terms goodness and good refer to a particular biblical character. Clearly implied, goodness is a virtue in which God is exemplary, and none of His creation comes close to the degree of His innate goodness or good character.

A survey of the use of both goodness and good in the Bible defines the meaning by its qualities that are exhibited when practiced. One key area is forgiveness. When God shows goodness, it is often associated in His unwavering commitment to forgive His straying people (e.g. Isaiah 63:7). Another is God’s willingness to bless peoples materially. This is evident in the way God blessed Israel in the Old Testament times (1 Kings 8:66): God loves to bless His people not because of their own merit but because God desires to glorify His Name. It is also God’s way of showing that He desires a people who will speak of His goodness.

The list could go on but maybe the most important of all is how the goodness of God relates to His character of love. In the Holy Scriptures, the goodness of God in relation to His love (actually mercy (chesed), but the term mercy/lovingkindess implies love according to Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew) is mentioned sixteen (16) times in the KJV. When God chooses to do wonderful good acts, it is because He does it out of love. Or to put it differently, because God is love, He will never cease to do good things. Wow! O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. (1 Chronicles 16:34)

The goodness of the Lord therefore is of a separate class. It is far beyond the idea of human kindness. The goodness of man has its own limits, and its nature is imperfect, but God’s goodness crosses boundaries and is perfect in its nature.

Everything is not about us

English: Pulpit at St Nicholas of Mira Church ...
Preaching is a sacred task that requires a sacred heart.

I stepped in and walked forward
Amidst the crowd and in front of the lights
All eyes were toward me
Seeing and beholding all my glory
And I gave my best, oh yeah
Knowing that they liked me

Cheers and whispers and smiles
They were all because of my glaring presence
I took a proud bow in my heart
Yes, this is me
I told in my heart
The most wonderful person of all
Adored and worshiped among all

Standing before the pulpit
Without any sign of nervousness
My manuscript was within my hand
Ready to deliver my grand stand
I believed I could do that well
No need to pray and depend on Someone else

I spoke with a confident voice
They all stood in awe
I knew I had it
I made myself even wiser
Flowering my words with eloquence

I walked away from the pulpit
Trying to sound wiser still
I spoke words without looking
At the papers
Impressing the crowd with
Thoughts that were locked in

In the middle of nowhere
A sudden thing occurred
I lost my words
And my mind stopped
To offer me thoughts

This could not be right
I would lost my dignity and prestige
Before all in shame

Alas! My tongue went twisted too
I could not utter a word properly
But I could recompose myself
And recuperate from this
I dictated my heart

Ahhh… Err…
My tongue would not obey me
My mind became stubborn
I felt my cheeks as hot as iron
And the people began to laugh

I took hurried downward steps
In humiliation I almost slipped
The manuscript that I was holding
Flew into the air
I never turned back to get it
All I wanted was to rush to the door

At home I cried and prayed
And in great rebuke
My Father Lord told
Everything is not about me
But everything should be done
Only for His Glory

 

The Good Thing About God

Grace-for-all
Grace conquers all our deficiencies.

Actually the title isn’t so good. Upon finishing reading this short reflection, the reader will come to see that there are countless reasons to prove that God is so good.

For one thing, who in the earth could say that he or she deserves God’s Grace? Of course there are many out there who would dare to claim so. These are the people who have missed altogether the true meaning of Grace. For them grace is earned, which is at once at odds with its real definition. Grace, Biblical grace is unmerited favor. Favor is for the obedient, but Grace is given even to the disobedient.

The forgiveness of God comes close to the list. God is so merciful and forgiving, that to forgive and forget a multitude of sin could be seen as part of His character. Yes I am emphasizing forgiveness here, and not His wrath to come at the day of Judgment when He recompenses every man for his or her evil deeds in hellfire.

The sweet sovereignty of God is another one. If not for His sovereignty, there could be no miracles or other stories that defy physical and natural limitations imposed by nature. Because of this many lives are saved – not in the natural means. And even problems, the insurmountable ones are overcomed. Thanks to His omnipotent power.

There are still a lot more, but let me tell now my story. For the past two weeks I have been down and could not move. I really feel unworthy. But God told me to act as a leader in an outreach – yes, He tells me to act – unworthy though that I am.

The Delight of Teaching God’s Word

English: ESV Study Bible Hardcover Cover
ESV Study Bible – the Study Bible I often use when studying the Bible.

Teaching the Word of God is truly a delight. It is one of the few things in life that truly brings pleasure to my soul.

Teaching requires that we study the teaching material first. In the endeavor to teach the Bible, in any form, in preaching, Bible Study, evangelism, or others, studying it first gluttons my heart to high spiritualities. It is one of the wonders any Bible teacher experiences from time to time. It is in fact listening to God.

A true teacher of the Scriptures will do his or her best to live out what he or she is preparing to teach. This, again, fulfills the deepest longings of the soul. Any true obedient disciple of Christ knows that trying to live in the perfect will of God is one sure thing to live a meaningful, fulfilled life. It is the highest achievement any human can achieve.

Then comes the blessed task of teaching it. If we have tried our best to study and live the Message, then the act of teaching is really in a sense a completed task. It has its own duties, but once we have tried to study and live the Word, then we can be assured that God will bless also our work of teaching to others what we have experienced ourselves.