The Trial of Waiting 

No one likes to wait. Not even the most patient person. In this age of “instant” waiting is even harder.

Waiting is inevitable. Just like the metro manila traffic is. Sometimes we can predict it, sometimes we can’t. Moments of waiting will happen.

But waiting is necessary. It’s the only way we learn how to be patient. To practice what the Bible teaches, and to have the fruit of the Spirit manifest in our lives. 

And waiting is good. It develops character. It has the potential to develop intimacy, trust and dependence in God. 

So don’t miss out on the benefits of waiting. No one likes it, but it is inevitable and it is good for your soul. Make the most out of it by building our faith and trust in God who’s timing is always perfect. 

I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 

He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. – Psalm 40:1-3

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Can ministry earn me favor and blessing? 


Many of us church volunteers and leaders, love to participate in God’s work to advance His Kingdom. But could it be that our purpose for doing so is to get more of God’s favor, blessing, and even His Presence? 

We probably know that the gospel offers forgiveness and salvation. But do we think for one second that when it comes to God’s favor, blessing or access to Him, we need to strive for it?

Think again. The Gospel in itself offers His provision and His Presence, too. 

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. – Galatians 3:29


There is a tendency for us to forget this given the system of the transactional world we live in. We’re simply limited from comprehending this grace completely. It won’t even take our lifetime, not even an eternity to fully grasp it.  
If we can truly begin to understand this grace, we will feel compelled to serve God with excellence and dedication, to honor Him in every way as a response

If you’re in Christ, you are already favored, forgiven, and free. He is pleased with you, not because of the ways you seek Him out, but because of His Son who sought you out. Not because of the ministry work you do, but because of His ministry’s work on the cross. 

Prayer 
Lord, we repent if there’s any hint of pride in the work we do for You. Help us humble ourselves to meditate on the real assessment of ourselves–sinners saved by grace. May we always remember that we cannot gain Your approval, favor and Your Presence. Because once we are in Christ, we already have all these. In Jesus name… Amen.

Tips on How to Prepare for the New Year. 


Happy New Year! 

2016 was probably filled with epic memories. Now that 2017 is here, it’s time to make more. To reach new milestones, one has to make dreams come to reality. Here’s a simple process I suggest: Dream, Plan, Budget, Execute, and Review. Sounds like something you do only in the office. Well, I have news for you: This process will probably prove vital even in your personal life. So read on and I hope that this inspires you to as I share my thoughts on these principles. 

DREAM

When I say dream, what I mean is ask yourself what your goal for the year is. When setting personal goals, do your self a favor by being very clear with what you want. Don’t drown yourself with the many things that you think you have to do. Choose one major goal then break it down to sub-goals that serve that one goal. So a good question to ask yourself is, “What’s my one thing for 2017?” Once you have that one thing, you can proceed to the next step.

PLAN
And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. – Habakuk 2:2
We all plan one way or the other, but only some people document their plans. The verse above shows the importance of having plans documented. If your plans are put in writing, then and only then will they be clear to you. And when you get sidetracked along the way, you can always go back to the plan.

BUDGET
Some (if not all) of those plans will have a budget to it. My wife and I agreed that this year our goal is to give more. So, we set aside a budget for that. How about you? If your goal is to lose weight, start putting a budget to it. Find a gym that suits your budget or allocate funds for a nice pair of running shoes. Whatever it is, put your money on it. It doesn’t matter how much money you allocate. The point is that you put value into your plans by actually spending for them. 
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? – Luke 14:28

EXECUTE
Plans remain cute if you don’t execute. Some people have a bias to planning, and it just so happens I’m one of those who have a bias for action. Of course, we’re all afraid of being ur plans failing, but isn’t it much better to execute, fail, then learn? So it’s important that even as early as the planning stage, you make plans that are attainable. And after planning, JUST DO IT!

REVIEW
Designate a time within the year to take a look back at your dreams and where you are with the plans. Honestly asses if you need to stop, continue, or improve the strategy. This will help you reach your goals quicker. I believe in “the speed of humility,” which enables you to be aware of the plans that you should keep, adjust, or simply do away with. Self pity and stubbornness will slow you down and prevent you from achieving your goals. 
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” – James 4:6 

Most importantly, commit time in doing these five steps. For you to have motivation, commit them to the Lord. Ask yourself, “How will these plans honor God?” This brings you a greater sense of purpose. 

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. – Proverbs 16:3

The Supremacy of Christ

Here’s a link to one of my preachings a few Sundays ago about the preeminence of Christ. 

https://youtu.be/UBnVe4baJ1M

If you can’t seem to watch it for whatever reason, I’ve published my preaching notes below. 

God bless you all! 


Text: Colossians 1:15-18 (ESV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 

16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 

17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

INTRO: Leonardo da Vinci took a friend to criticize his masterpiece of the ‘Last Supper,’ and the remark of the friend was, ‘The most striking thing in the picture is the cup!’ The artist took his brush and wiped out the cup as he said, ‘Nothing in my painting shall attract more attention than the face of my Master!’1
20th century Observation : Many put other people on a pedestal of preeminence or put themselves.
Christ isn’t often first. 

Observation: In the church of Colosse, a heresy called Gnosticism had crept into the church and was trying to marginalize Christ. It was a combination of mysticism, Jewish legalism, and Greek philosophy. The heresy taught that Christ could not be God. This belief was based on Greek philosophy which taught the spirit was good and the body was evil, and therefore God could not have become a human because God cannot mix with evil.

It also taught Jesus was an angel and that receiving him was not enough for salvation. One needed new revelation to be saved. That is where the name “Gnostic” comes from. The Greek word gnosko means “to know.” In order to be saved, one needed secret knowledge that only the Gnostics had experienced.

Like Leonardo da Vinci, we must take our brush and wipe away anything that detracts from his preeminence in our lives. But in order for us to sincerely declare this, we must answer the question..
Tension: Why should Christ be preeminent lives? 
1. He is the image of God. -V. 15

Tension: He is not God. Just a good person, one of the gods, a good prophet, a carved image made to be a lucky charm, a genie… HE IS GOD!

The concept of “image” involves three things: 

A. LIKENESS – Christ is the exact likeness of God, a mirror image (Hebrews 1:3a -He is the radiance of the glory of God)

B. REPRESENTATION – (Christ represents God to us), 

C. MANIFESTATION – (Christ makes God known to us)

Statement for point 1: While God made man in the image of God, Christ is the image of God
Application for point 1 – Jesus is God, He is worthy of our worship. 
2. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.- v. 16-17
Story for point 2. Some years ago a South American company purchased a fine printing press from a firm in the United States. After it had been shipped and completely assembled, the workmen could not get it to operate properly. The most knowledgeable personnel tried to remedy the difficulty and bring it into proper adjustment, but to no avail. Finally the company wired a message to the manufacturer, asking that the company send a representative immediately to fix it. Sensing the urgency of the request, the U.S. firm chose the person who had designed the press. When he arrived on the scene, the South American officials were skeptical—the young man was obviously wet behind the ears. After some discussion, they sent this cable to the manufacturer: ‘Your man is too young; send a more experienced person.’ The reply came back: ‘He made the machine. He can fix it!’6
Tension: If we think we are the ultimate creator of things, then we bear a burden that we fail to carry. 
2.1 ( Creator )  
And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25).

Application – Because Christ is the Creator, we should seek him for wisdom about everything.
– Because Christ is the Creator, we should seek to fulfill his purposes for our lives. (Design – made to glorify God Col 1:16 by him and for him.) 

2.2 (Sustainer)
17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together

The writer of Hebrews says something similar: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Heb. 1:3).
Tension: Thinking that we are the sustainer of our lives brings us anxiety and insecurity knowing that we are imperfect. 
– Christ is still speaking and working in the earth. Christ is not a clockmaker that makes the clock and allows it to run on its own. Though Christ is the one that has implemented scientific laws like gravity, he is the one who keeps those things running.
He is the battery, the power, and at the same time the power switch 

Application (Sustainer)  
The fact that Christ is our sustainer means we should depend on Him for everything.

Illustration : Laminin – cell adhesion protein molecule – show pic after 
3. He is the Head of the Church. v.18
a) Leadership – It is the brain, which is part of the head, that directs every part of the body. It is the control center of the body. Similarly, the church must stay dynamically connected to Christ in order to discern his will.
* We should not be self centered 
*We are Christ Centered, Spirit Empowered. 

Stop chasing after prominence, be captivated by Christ’s preeminence. 

b) Life – without being connected to the head there can be no fruit of the Spirit: no joy, peace, self–control, longsuffering, or even salvation. Christ said, “I came that they may have life and life more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Application: Stay connected to the church as it finds its leadership and life in Christ. 
4. He is the First born from the dead. v.18 
Questions : What does the phrase “firstborn of the dead” mean when referring to Christ? What does this imply for the believer? 

Answers: 

4.1 Firstborn From The Dead Means Christ Is The First Part Of The New Creation.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep – 1 Corinthians 15:20

However, firstborn does not just mean “first in time” in this context…

4.2: Firstborn From The Dead Also Means He Is The Supreme One Of All The Resurrected

Phelps story – felt like his life was a mess despite the gold medals. Thought of commuting suicide. In the midst of being the “superior” one in swimming- what saved him is reveled in this statement …
In a recent interview with ESPN Magazine, “Phelps explained that the Christian book “turned me into believing there is a power greater than myself and there is a purpose for me on this planet.”
Landing: 
Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 15:14: “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
If Christ had not been raised, then the Christian faith is a hoax and our faith is in vain. The resurrection of Christ is the crux of the Christian faith and therefore this resurrection makes Christ the priority—the supreme one of all those who will be raised.
This implies that IF we put our faith first in Christ being our Lord and Savior, we could look forward to an eternity under His rule with glorified bodies in a glorified world. 
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 
Jesus is God, He is the Creator and the Sustainer of all things, the head of the Church and the redeemer of our souls.  
Main Point: A revelation of Christ’s preeminence leads us to reverence, builds our confidence, and strengthens our dependence. 

Will you…

It’s the love month once again! For those who have dates, I’m sure all kinds of plans are being made thus bringing so much excitement. But for the dateless, the single, maybe your hoping that this all will just pass quickly.

The love month is for everyone.

For those who are in a relationship it’s a time to grow in your romance for each other in a God honoring way.

For the single, it would be a good time to envision. Because I believe that one day it will come. However, this season of being a single can be truly enjoyed this love month with friends and family in the same meaningful way a couple would.

In our BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) service #VictoryOrtigasBPO, our love series is called Will you… Here are the topics.

Week 1- …be my friend?, Week 2 … be my valentine?, Week 3 … marry me.?

Our goal is to give a biblical perspective about the seasons in a person’s love life in order to enjoy healthy and God-honoring relationships at every stage.

We hope to see you at the Lower Penthouse of the AIC gold tower, F. Ortigas Jr, Ortigas Center in Pasig. We start 9am and group talks will follow right after.

Let us learn to enjoy and maximize each season together.
Happy love month everyone!

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R.S.V.P.

For our last preaching series for 2014 (Thursday morning service),
we did a preaching series entitled R.S.V.P.

Week One was an invitation to believe. We learned from the story of angel Gabriel’s visit to Marry. Nowadays, many challenge the faith. They seem to be in hot pursuit to disprove the existence of our Lord in the season of celebrating His birth. But the truth of Jesus still trumps all year round.

We also talked about the challenge for the Christian to believe in spite of the unfavorable circumstances in their lives. The goal of this message was to give each listener an invitation to bring their faith in God to a new and personal level.

Week two was an invitation to worship. We learned from the story of the Magi/Wise men. We exposed the fact that if man cannot worship God, he will in effect worship created things.

So the message was crafted in such a way that will direct our worship to the Only One who deserves it all. The goal of this preaching was to show the Real Meaning and purpose of Christmas.

Below are the links to both preachings. May the true message that Christmas brings resound in your lives all throughout the year.

Oh! And Happy new year too🎉 🙂

Invitation to Believe

Invitation to Worship

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Hooray for Wednesday Mornings!

I am stoked for our first Wednesday 8am worship service happening April 2.

For the past 6 weeks, we’ve had group discussions on certain topics that enable people to have a revelation of the love and goodness of Jesus.
We have grown in number week after week and because of this, we feel that we’re ready to open a brand new service to be a place of worship for those working in the BPO.

By God’s grace, the support of our Pastors from Victory Ortigas, our existing Victory Group leaders and to our volunteers for Ushering, Music Ministry, Tech and Stage production and Communications, we are now about to see this vision come to reality.

If you’re working the night shift, this worship service will suit your schedule. I know how stressful work can get. I did work the night shift for 3 years, and it would be great to run to the Source of strength at the end of the work day.

See you this Wednesday 8am at Chef and Brewer, F.Ortigas Ave Jr corner Sapphire road Ortigas Center in Pasig.

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