Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Closer!


And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Lk. 9:23) 

In the last post, Endless Light, I mentioned briefly how moths are usually drawn to light. I could go on and try to elaborate a little bit further about what makes light so attractive to moths. My only explanation as to why moths are attracted to light is because of its brightness and warmth.

In the previous post, I also pointed out briefly how the light of Jesus Christ draws us closer to Him. The comfort, warmth, and security of His light in our lives is truly a miraculous event. Not only do those things draw us closer to Him, but also encourages us to abide in Him. 

As we abide in Him, He enables us with the strength, passion, and resources to follow Him as well. As we abide in and continue to follow Jesus' leading in our lives, His endless light will envelope us in ways so mysterious to our finite understanding. The longer we continue to abide in His light, the far-reaching effects of His endless light will continue to attract more and more people into our lives.

His light will be reflected in our lives in such a manner that anyone who sees will at the very least notice something different about. They will notice everything from the kind of people that you associate yourself with to your behavior and mannerisms. If you have been approached by someone before and have been told that there is something different about you and they have no way to describe it to you, the light of Jesus Christ is upon you. 

The miraculous part about carrying the light of Jesus Christ is the light's amazing ability to draw people closer to Him. The vast majority of our witnessing involves non-verbal communications. I have been told on several occasions by my mentors that as a servant leader, I am going to be constantly under the microscope of public opinion. In the same we will receive praise from our Christian friends and family members. It is also possible to be negatively scrutinized from our non-Christian friends and family members. 

It is under these circumstances where we must draw near to Christ. Not only do we need to draw near to Him, but we must also be absorbed in His light. As a result, the very light of Christ that is in us will infiltrate the darkness around us and in effect win as many souls for Christ as possible. Be encouraged friends, as the light of Jesus Christ irons out the wrinkles in our own lives, the very same light we have the honor privilege to bear in His name will also make an eternal impact in the lives of those around us.

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you as you continue to draw closer and closer to God in your life. Without further delay, I want to bring to all of you Closer by Hillsong Live. Always remember friends....JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-). Here's the lyrics...ENJOY!!!...:-D

CLOSER BY HILLSONG LIVE 

VERSE
There is no life without You
You have all that we need
Where You are
Every fear is broken
And the darkness must flee

CHORUS
Closer and closer
We want to know You
Reaching out
Reaching out
Here in Your presence
We want to go deeper
In Your light
Come alive

VERSE
There is no one beside You
You alone are enough
You fling the doors of
Your heart wide open
And we are lost in Your love

BRIDGE
To You
We will come running
In You
We find belonging
Your love

Is all that can satisfy

Monday, July 29, 2013

Endless Light!

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1) 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

I must have heard that line a million times at this point in my life. Anytime we find ourselves in a very dark place in our lives, this is one of those lines that are most commonly used to encourage us in those hard times. There is no doubt that we can all use a strong dose of encouragement from time to time. Right?

A friend of mine once made a passing joke about the light at the end of the tunnel. He told me that as encouraging it is to see "the light at the end of the tunnel", we also have to pay attention to where that light source is coming from. He concluded that the light at the end of the tunnel may not be the natural light of the sun but the artificial light of the train that's about to run you over if you don't pay attention...:-)

All joking aside, the light that I really want to focus on in this post is the light of Jesus Christ. Many of us have grown up knowing that the light of Jesus Christ sheds light on our sinful nature and the realities of our human shortcomings. The light of Jesus Christ also has another remarkable attribute. His light also provides warmth and comfort. His light also acts as a beacon to guide us through life. 

The light of Jesus Christ also acts as a shield of sorts to protect us. I hope and pray that this is not the case in real life, but here's a small analogy that may shed some light (pun intended) on what I mean by light acting as a defense mechanism. If you happen to live in a home that is infested with roaches and you turn on the light to your kitchen or bathroom, what happens? The roaches run and scatter all over the place. In some instances, the roaches may even lose their sense of direction, lost and confused by the brightness of the light.

In the same way the light of Jesus Christ has the ability to repel. The light of Jesus Christ also has the ability to draw you in as well. The exact same way that moths are attracted to light. The light of Jesus Christ has a dual-effect in our lives. It will either repel us or it will draw us in. The choice of what happens to us (repel or draw us in) is entirely up to us. The light of Jesus Christ drew me in. As a result, the light of Jesus Christ in the lives of other believers in my own neighborhood and around the world drew me closer to Him. 

"This little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine...this little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine...let it shine...let it shine...let it shine..." 

If you can relate to those words, then I look forward to continuing to bask in that light together with you. If not, then I encourage you to jump into the light of Jesus Christ. Jesus is ready to receive you with warmth and comfort. Here's a wacky little line for you...:-)

DON'T BE A ROACH...BE A MOTH!!!...:-) 

Thanks for reading to the very end my friends! Without any further delay, I want to bring to all of you Endless Light by Hillsong. May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-).  Here's the lyrics...ENJOY!!!...:-D 

ENDLESS LIGHT BY HILLSONG LIVE

VERSE
From the highest throne
To the earth below
You laid down Your life
For the likes of us
Great is the love of the Saviour

From the wounded heart
To a life made whole
Every human heart
Will declare as one
Great is the love of the Saviour

CHORUS
Lord of endless light
Let Your glory shine forever
All the earth
All the earth
Sing Your praise

Hope of every heart
Let Your name be lifted higher
All our hearts
All our hearts
Sing Your praise

VERSE
From the mountain heights
To the valleys low
All created things
Given life to show
Jesus we live for Your glory

From the rising sun
To the still of night
Every waking moment
For Your delight
Jesus we live for Your glory

BRIDGE
God be exalted
God be exalted
In everything
We live for Your glory
Live for Your glory

Saturday, July 27, 2013

God Who Saves!

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8-9) 

For as long as I can remember, I have been taught that God is in the business of saving lives. During my adolescent/teenage years, my perception of a God that saves was that of a lifeguard. I would often imagine God wearing those red shorts, chiseled out body, and a floatation device in His hand. The most fascinating part of this analogy is the fact that before the lifeguard takes action to save someone's life, the lifeguard is constantly on the lookout for impending danger.

Another fascinating perspective is that a lifeguard always sits on those really high seats so that the lifeguard can get the panoramic view of the area he/she has been assigned to watch. The same applies to God as well. God not only sits high upon His throne, but He is eagerly waiting for His opportunity to come down from His heavenly place and save us from any form of danger that comes our way. 

My dear friends, Jesus is that Lifeguard. Jesus is not only the King of kings and the Lord of lords, He is the Lifeguard of lifeguards as well. Jesus ushered in another Lifeguard known as the Holy Spirit to not only protect us from physical harm, but from spiritual harm as well. As the above verse tells us, we have been saved by grace through faith. There's nothing we can or will ever do that will help us earn the "right" to be saved. 

Quite frankly, I would rather boast about being saved by Christ as Jesus lives in me than to boast on "being saved" from our own strength and abilities. In other words, our ability to boast outside of Christ Himself is not the righteous kind of boasting, that kind of boasting is usually humanistic, self-righteous, and self-centered, not God-centered. Read 1 Corinthians 1:31

With that said friends, are you convinced that God not only can, but will save you from any ordeal that you find yourself in. If so, congratulations. If not, then here's your chance to give God that chance and let Him prove to you that He is indeed Faithful and True. He saved me...I know He will save you. 

Thank you so much for reading this far and for faithfully following me in the awesome journey called Christian Living. My hope and prayer is that you will have the awesome honor and privilege of experiencing God's saving grace in your life and in the lives of those around you. Without further delay, I want to bring to all of you God Who Saves by Hillsong. May God bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name friends! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-). Here's the lyrics...ENJOY!!!....:-D 

GOD WHO SAVES BY HILLSONG LIVE 

VERSE
The light of the world
Shining in love
Taking the fall upon Your shoulders
You shattered the dark
As You rose to life again

You search all the earth
For those who are lost
And leaving the rescued for the fallen
You're leading us home
As we call upon Your Name

CHORUS
You're the God who saves
You're the hope of all
Reaching out Your hand
As Your people call

VERSE
Our Saviour has come
Let Your will be done
Your kingdom on earth as in the heavens
Our freedom is found
Lord in no other name

You are the Way
The Truth and the Life
Your mercy has overcome our failings
The battle is won
Jesus in love You reign

BRIDGE
Here in Your light ever brighter
We lift Your Name higher and higher

Thursday, July 25, 2013

You Never Fail!

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Rom. 11:36) 

God never fails.

Those three words are the most comforting and assuring words that we need to hear. No matter how many times we have failed in the past and present or how many times we will fail Him in the future, God has never nor will ever fail us. 

Evidently, failure and success go hand in hand. Without failure, it will be very difficult to appreciate the successes in our lives. Without failure, it would be very easy for us to take God's blessings in our lives for granted. The reality of it all is that all of us have failed in some areas of our lives at one time or another.

In spite of the possibilities for failure in our lives, there is good news. The good news is that as long as we remain faithful in our love and devotion to God, He will NEVER fail us. Now mind you, this in no way, shape, or form implies that He will not be faithful to us whenever we fail Him or those we love. 

Quite frankly, I find it very comforting that God is so willing to use a man like me in spite of the many times I have failed Him. As a result, I sit here typing away words of encouragement and inspiration with the occasional challenge and rebuke as I'm led to do so. As we live our separate lives, we are united in Christ to admonish one another as God encourages us in His Word to do so. 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! My hope and prayer is that we will find comfort and encouragement that the God Who never fails is Faithful and True no matter how many times we continue to fail Him and others. May God continue to bless you and keep you my friends! Without any further delay, I want to bring to all of you, You Never Fail by Hillsong. Always remember friend...Jesus loves you and so do I!!!...:-). Here's the lyrics...ENJOY!!!...:-D

YOU NEVER FAIL BY HILLSONG LIVE 

VERSE
When waters rise all around me
When mountains stand in the path I see
I look to love that's unfailing
I look to grace that is all I need

PRE-CHORUS
Oh call
Call upon the Name
Jesus Christ
The only Name that saves


CHORUS
For there is no one like our God
There's no one like our God
There's nothing that can stand against You
There's no stronghold You can't break
No life that You can't save
Our God You never fail

VERSE
Your light will shine through the darkness
Your word will calm every crashing wave
My hope it lies in Your promise
My faith it stands on the empty grave

BRIDGE
Strong through every trial
Faithful through the night
Our God will never fail
Our God will never fail

Anchor through the flood
You keep holding on
I know You'll never fail
Jesus You'll never fail 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Christ Is Enough!

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2) 

Christ is enough for me.

Those words will be forever tatooed in my soul, mind, and heart. Without Christ in my life, I would definitely not be the person I am today. I chose Jesus not only because He is God, but because He is also a man. It would be far more difficult for me to be able to relate to His divine nature than His human nature. 

Nevertheless, Jesus has done more for you and I than anyone ever will. Jesus will forever be enough for me because He serves as a constant reminder and example as the way I should strive to live my life on a daily basis. Jesus also reminds us that it is possible to achieve the victorious life while maintaining our integrity and devotion to Him.

The sad part about the world we live in today is that many people, including Christians, find more fulfillment in the things and cares of this world than Christ Himself. While people are mired in drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, and anything else where they may find temporal fulfillment and enjoyment, Christ Himself is waiting nearby with His arms opened wide to provide eternal fulfillment and enjoyment. 

So friends, where are you finding the most fulfillment in your life? Are you finding fulfillment in the things and cares of this world? Or have you already found fulfillment in Christ?

Thanks again for reading this far my friends! My hope and prayer is that once Christ has taken dominion over your ENTIRE life, you will not only experience fulfillment and enjoyment in Him, but you will freely tell everyone in your world that there is no turning back...no turning back. 

May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name my friends! Without any further delay, I want to bring to all of you Christ Is Enough by Hillsong. Never forget friends...JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-). Here's the lyrics...ENJOY!!!...:-D

CHRIST IS ENOUGH BY HILLSONG LIVE 

[VERSE]
Christ is my reward
And all of my devotion
Now there's nothing in this world
That could ever satisfy

[PRE-CHORUS]
Through every trial
My soul will sing
No turning back
I've been set free

[CHORUS]
Christ is enough for me
Christ is enough for me
Everything I need is in You
Everything I need

[VERSE]
Christ my all in all
The joy of my salvation
And this hope will never fail
Heaven is our home

[PRE-CHORUS]
Through every storm
My soul will sing
Jesus is here
To God be the glory

[BRIDGE]
I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back
No turning back

The cross before me
The world behind me
No turning back
No turning back

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Glorious Ruins!


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

When you see a picture of a ruin, what is the first thing you think about? The first thing I would most likely notice is would be all of the broken down buildings that have crumbled over the course of many centuries. There are ruins all around the world that have different stories to tell. 

In the same way those ruins have a story to tell, there are plenty of people around us today with ruined lives of their own with various stories to tell. All you need to to do in this day and age is look at your TV screen and newspaper. For those of us who have access to internet, there are numerous sites that report atrocities on a daily basis.

Just like past civilizations have been ruined due to natural disasters and man-made events such as wars. There are many of us today that have been affected by the same exact scenarios that continues to play itself  in the world we live in today. An excellent example of the two scenarios that I have mentioned is the civil war that is currently taking place in Syria. A natural disaster also unfolded recently in Taiwan where a very powerful typhoon killed a small number of people. 

With lives being "ruined" on a daily basis, where do we find the glory in it? I personally admit, outside of Christ, I would be hard-pressed to find any glory whatsoever in a "ruined life". Yet, as Christians, it is more than possible to find glory in the midst of the ruins of our lives. God always abides in the midst of the "ruins" of our lives. Even though war and natural disasters play a role in our lives, we don't necessarily have to experience them to have ruined lives.

We also have the ability to "ruin" our own lives as well without the assistance of any external circumstances to "ruin" our lives. Because of lack of wisdom, knowledge, and understand, we can "ruin" our lives in the areas of finance, health, and spiritual well-being. In spite of our own shortcomings, God in His mercy and grace has continuously been faithful and true to us. Doesn't that excite you friends?...:-)

God is in the restoration business my friends. He's promised us in His Word that He will restore us not only in this life, but in the life to come as well. Always remember friends...ruins can always be restored.

The glory can only be found when Christ is the One doing the restoration...:-)

Thank you very much for reading this far my friends! My hope and prayer is that YOU will be able to find Jesus in the midst of your "ruins". Without any further delay, I want to bring to all of you Glorious Ruins from Hillsong Live. May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)

GLORIOUS RUINS BY HILLSONG LIVE

VERSE
When the mountains fall
And the tempest roars You are with me
When creation folds
Still my soul will soar on Your mercy

PRE-CHORUS
I'll walk through the fire
With my head lifted high
And my spirit revived in Your story
And I'll look to the cross
As my failure is lost
In the light of Your glorious grace

CHORUS
Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your Name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign

And my soul will find refuge
In the shadow of Your wings
I will love You forever
And forever I'll sing

VERSE
When the world caves in
Still my hope will cling to Your promise
Where my courage ends
Let my heart find strength in Your presence


Friday, July 19, 2013

Anchor!

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil; (Heb. 6:19) 

When the storms of life come your way, where does your anchor rest? Does your anchor rest in your own abilities? Does your anchor depend on the strengths and abilities of others around you? If you have said yes to any of these questions then you may need to reconsider where you anchor especially during those times when life gets pretty hard.

Having wonderful family and friends to love us and support us when the going gets rough is always a blessing and a sign of God's favor over our lives. Thank God for wonderful friends and family!....:-)

Dropping anchor in the lives of those around us would only provide temporary relief from the storms of life. Jesus is the only permanent answer to resting our anchor during life's most turbulent times. Jesus is the Rock that our anchors need to rest on. 

So many of us have the "Titanic mentality". The Titanic was hyped to be unsinkable by its creators and the captain of the ship itself also made the bold claim that it was unsinkable as well. In reality, every single ship is unsinkable until something happens to it. It just so happens that the Titanic ran into an iceberg.

Life can be the same way for us. So many of us walk around with this "Titanic mentality" until we hit that "iceberg" that floats just above the surface of the water. I personally thank God that He is continually guiding us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit acts as the "lighthouse" that is continuously shining His light upon us to reveal to us the way we should go to prevent us from experiencing what happened to the Titanic.

Here's the moral of the story my friends...

If we are not anchored to Jesus, we will inevitably sink one day. God forbid that we find ourselves not anchored to Him. Without Jesus, the stormy waves of life will drown us. 

Thanks again for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! Here's the lyrics to Anchor from Hillsong Live. JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-)    

ANCHOR BY HILLSONG LIVE 

VERSE
I have this hope
As an anchor for my soul
Through every storm
I will hold to You

With endless love
All my fear is swept away
In everything
I will trust in You

CHORUS
There is hope in the promise of the cross
You gave everything to save the world You love
And this hope is an anchor for my soul
Our God will stand
Unshakeable

VERSE
Unchanging One
You who was and is to come
Your promise sure
You will not let go

BRIDGE
Your Name is higher
Your Name is greater
All my hope is in You

Your word unfailing
Your promise unshaken
All my hope is in You

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Running!

Know you not that they who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain. (1 Corinthians 9:24) 

Back when I was high school, I did ALOT of running. No, I haven't been running from the police...;-). Quite the contrary I know plenty of family members and friends in the police. The kind of running that I'm referring to is of the eternal variety. 

Running for God is not a sprint. It's a cross-country run. Now, the only time I will suggest that you sprint is when faced with temptation. Temptations will come and go in our lives. Temptations will take on many forms as well. How we respond (or not respond) to the temptation will determine in whether we will achieve victory or not.

From personal experience, throughout my entire teenage/adult life I struggled with various temptations. In spite of all those temptations, God has had His hand upon me and delivered me from those temptations. In those moments when faced with the temptation, God was always faithful in providing an exit plan to "run" from the precarious situation.

One of my mentors once told me "that I may not be able to prevent the bird from flying over my head, but I can prevent the bird from making a nest on my head". As you can already tell, this is one quote that has resonated with me and has stuck with me ever since. In my mind, the above quote is the very essence of the way temptation works. Can we prevent temptation from "flying" into our lives? No. Can we prevent temptation from making its nest in our hearts? YES!

In order for us to become "eternal-class" (not world-class) runners, it is extremely essential that we have the proper training so that we can effectively run from not only temptation, but harm in general. The most beautiful part about all this is we are only responsible for the training and actual "run". God will take care of everything else ranging from the exit plan to your place of safety. Notice that I didn't say comfort. I deliberately left out the comfort part because the temptation of complacency will eventually settle in. 

Keep "running" this race my friends! God has wonderful prize waiting for you at the very end and it's called eternity in Heaven. That is the one prize that will never rust no matter how long it takes for you to receive it.

Thanks for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you as you continue to "run" this race with passion and enthusiasm in Jesus' name. Here's the lyrics to Running by Hillsong Live. Enjoy in Jesus' mighty name friends! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-) 

RUNNING BY HILLSONG LIVE 


Ready at the line looking out
Looking out to all that's ahead
When every heart confesses Your name
We're pressing on towards that day
We're never gonna stop
We're never gonna stop

Letting go of every mistake
Throwing off the chains of restraint
And all that will remain
A passion for Your name
Burning as we run this race
We're never gonna stop
We're never gonna stop
We're never gonna stop
We're never gonna stop

We are running
Chasing after all that You are
We are running
'Cause all that You are
Is all that we want now

Every stride is taken in faith
Every step compelled by Your grace
We're taking up our cross
No matter what the cost
We give it all to go Your way
We're never gonna stop
We're never gonna stop

We are running
Chasing after all that You are
We are running
'Cause all that You are
Is all that we want now
[x2]

Onwards we draw towards Your light
Desperate we seek
To know You more and more
Further we look beyond ourselves
To Your love
To Your love
[x2]

'Cause we are running
We're chasing after all that You are
We are running
'Cause all that You are
Is all that we want now

We're running
Chasing after all that You are
We are running
'Cause all that You are
Is all that we want now