I wanted to share my testimony of patience and endurance but I couldn’t figure how to say it the right way without blabbering. Therefore, let me just give you an almost-detailed timeline of this long and trying season of mine.
I took a day off from my work today to do some spring-cleaning in my room. While I was cleaning out my desk, I found an old box containing letters from my friends, photographs, concert tickets, etc and I saw a very interesting one— a *letter from my old self for my future boyfriend.
I honestly forgot that it exists. If I’m not mistaken, it was written four/five years ago. It was an image of how lost I was before I met Jesus Christ. Back then, I was eager to meet someone who will see me through my partying, drinking, smoking, etc etc. I was ready to commit and give my heart to a person. I wanted saving.
Well, I did meet someone. Someone saw through my flaws. I gave my heart, not to a person but to God. Jesus saved me & I surrendered at His feet.
I read the letter twice. I laughed and then looked back on where God took me to be where I am right now. I never saw my worth back then. My habits were damaging; I was damaged. But God orchestrated everything just so I could meet people who would lead me to Him. God met me where I was: damaged, flawed, lost, and broken. He must have really loved me because through it all, He called me.
I threw the letter into the bin but not before taking one last photo ’cause I know this is going to be another great testimony of how Jesus redeems people. Jesus is the only one who can truly change and save lives. When He said, “I make all things new”, He was true to His word.
I may come across a few other things that will remind me of my old self but I will always look at it with a grateful heart. Some might say that you just have to forget the past but I won’t. I will always remember who I was; I’m just only turning my back on old ways. I thank God for redeeming me, for showing me how precious I am, and for loving me unconditionally.
So I guess I have to make a new letter now. 😉
1 Corinthians 15
Two years ago, I got a text message from my uncle telling me that my grandmother passed away. I knew it was coming since my Lola had a tough battle with cancer but still, it was indescribable when the inevitable meets you straight in the face. I was home alone that dawn; I remembered I couldn’t think straight.I walked out of my room and sat outside with the security guard. I guess at that time, I desperately needed a companion. Not that I talked to the guard, I just want to see someone other than the dark. I was carrying my bible at that moment and I prayed to God these words, “Lord, did my Lola surrender to You? Where is she now?” God answered my question with 1 Corinthians 15. It was very comforting and reassuring. Death had no power over my Lola, God had and has. As you can see, 1 Corinthians 15 holds a special place in my heart because of this event. Now, imagine how emotional I got when the Pastor preached 1 Corinthians 15 this afternoon.
If we don’t believe in the power of resurrection, then our faith is futile. Now, what does it mean to truly believe in the resurrection?
To believe in the power of resurrection is to live victoriously and free from the sin that so easily entangles, to break free from its bondage. It is putting our sins to death and being made alive in Christ. It is never fearing death for death is inevitable but eternal life is imperishable. One day, I’m going to meet my Creator just as my Lola did and thinking about it now scares me but thank God for His perfect love for driving out this fear. Believing in the resurrection gives us the gift of eternal life and that small minute of fearing for death is incomparable to what’s coming ahead. Our time here on earth is just a short stop compared to the eternity Jesus has prepared for us.
Jesus is no longer in the tomb, He has risen! Until now, we can feel His presence in the million of lives which goes to show that the God we serve is not a dead god, but A LIVING GOD. He is alive in us!
Thank you, Abba Father, for giving us your one and only son, Jesus Christ. Thank you, Jesus Christ, for the gift of salvation and eternal life. One day I’m going to meet you face to face and I hope I’ll hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”. But until then, I will decide everyday to choose You more than anything else; to remind myself of your sacrifice, to obey your commands, to love you, and to believe in the power of resurrection. Through you, Jesus, I am no longer dead to my sins. Because of you, I am victorious conqueror. Thank you Jesus for making all things new. Today I honor and give all the praise to a living God. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
Thank you very much for visiting my Lent Devotionals this week. I’m glad to be able to share Jesus with you and know yours as well. God bless you 🙂
Mark 14, 15, 16
The woman broke her jar of a very expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head. The jar was broken into pieces, with no possibility of reusing or replacing the perfume. A few verses later, Jesus broke the bread, His body, into pieces and offered it to us just so we could live an eternal life; free from the bondage of our sins.
The woman gave us an image of what a life surrendered to Jesus Christ looks like. We give our all, leaving nothing behind. We don’t keep anything for safety measures. The world may equate surrendering to defeat but in God’s eyes, surrendering means victory. Jesus giving up his life on the cross is the greatest victory mankind has ever experienced. Admittedly, I am in a process of laying my everything to Jesus Christ; my control, my desires, my future plans. It won’t be hard as long as I keep my eyes focused on Jesus Christ and remind myself daily that He gave his life for me.
Let me end my reflection with this question, “Are we willing to break down our personal jars and offer it to Jesus Christ?”
Lord Jesus Christ, you surrendered your life to us so we can have an eternal life with You. Allow us to do the same for you. Give us the grace to surrender our all; the strength to break down our personal jars and offer it to you. We want to surrender to You because we love you. We want to surrender because we want to know You. We want to surrender because we want to give you all the control. Be the King in my life, Jesus Christ. Take control. To You, I surrender. Amen.
Jesus Christ knew he was going to die an extremely painful death and his response was very simple, to pray to the Father. Before being taken away by the guards in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus commanded his disciples to pray, so that they (you) will not fall into temptation (Luke 22:40). Jesus’ parting words to his disciples that night is an image to what our prayer life should be like. When I became a Christian, my prayer life went from nothing to everything. However, there are also times when I haven’t been praying enough—meaning, I wasn’t praying sincerely as I should be. I was praying like a pagan. I thank the Holy Spirit for the conviction because I can immediately get back up, repent, and pray to my Father in Heaven.
Luke 22:40 is a great reminder that we should always be on our guard and pray. The enemy is waiting for every open opportunity that we fall into temptation and we will not let the enemy get his way. During his darkest days, Jesus Christ prayed and let this be our inspiration to never let a day pass without praying to the Father. As we bow our knees in prayer, we get a glimpse of Heaven. As we humble ourselves and pray, we see our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you Jesus for teaching us how to pray and the importance of prayer. May I always be on my guard and remain standing firm on the faith you have given me. Lord Jesus Christ, today Your image of praying on the garden hours before your suffering will give me the strength and the motivation to persevere and to keep on walking. I pray today with my whole being; I bow my knees and look to You. In your mighty name. Amen.
John 18, 19, 20 & 21
I am a big fan of US series. Every now and then, I go on a binge-watch especially the ones on Netflix (i.e Narcos, House of Cards) or if I have to catch up (i.e Mr. Robot, Sherlock). I’m a pretty responsive viewer, might I add. The way I watch my television series transcends to my Bible-reading habit. I catch myself saying, “OH NO!” “WHAT!” “WHAAAAAT?!” and “AWWWWs” each time I read exciting stories in the Bible—the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ is one of them. What separates the Bible from my TV series is of course, the Bible is my identity. My history is recorded in those pages.
When I think of what happened to Jesus two thousand years ago, I sometimes imagine myself being in the shoes of his disciple. What could I have done if I was in there position? Would I have deny Him, too? Would I hide? Would I be strong enough to stand up for Jesus? Would I believe when Jesus said He would rise in three days? I don’t know what I could have done but I always take comfort in the fact that Jesus did all these things so I wouldn’t do anything more.
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have seen and yet have believed.” (John 20: 29) I may not be there to witness what happened two thousand years ago but I have the Bible; it’s my only passage to the event that changed history and my life’s story. Some may question the authenticity of the Bible but I am a proof, along with the billions of people around the world. We are His witnesses. We have not seen, we have read, we have felt and we believe. What a great story.
Jesus, thank you for sharing your story. Yours is the greatest one ever told. Allow us to be Your witnesses here on Earth. Help us to be bold enough to share the wonderful message of the Gospel. May we not live in fear and in doubt but move in truth, in love, and in faith. Amen.
Ever heard of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot? Simply put, Earth is just a tiny, lonely, blue dot in the vast universe. We are considered mere specks living in this dot. But that’s Carl Sagan. For Jesus, we are much more than a dot. We are too important that He even died in our place.
During Jesus’ last days on Earth, He prayed to the Father on our behalf. His prayer is a mirror to how Jesus sees us. We belong to the Father (John 17:6), we have been chosen to be His witnesses for God’s glory (John 17:21), and we are one with Him (John 17:23). If the world thinks that we are just a speck, Jesus sees us as His everything. He is thinking of us all the time, even to the point of death. When I was starting to have a relationship with Jesus, I used to question my identity. What am I here for? What is my purpose? Who am I? Why me, Lord? The answers I’ve been looking for were right in front of me. I look around and all I can see are His creations. The sky, the food, the house, the animals, the air.. me. I belong to Christ. My identity is in Christ. The reason why I can enjoy this life I have is because someone died on the cross thousands of years ago… and that changes everything. We are more than a speck in this tiny blue dot. We belong to a big God who made this same vast universe so to consider ourselves as a speck is an insult to His greatness. We are His.
Jesus, my mind cannot fathom your greatness and your love for us… me, a sinner. During your last days on Earth, you thought of me. You interceded for us. Thank you Jesus for showing and teaching me who I really am. My identity is in You. You are my God, my Savior, and everything that I am is in You. Amen.
I am on a Daniel Fast this week and it was harder than I expected since I have to take out coffee in my daily routine. I’ve been drinking coffee for as long as I can remember; my guardians did not adhere to the no-coffee-for-kids rule. It’s only Day 2 and I can already feel the effects of caffeine withdrawal–if there is such a thing. This morning, I read John 15 and reflected upon Jesus cutting off branches that doesn’t bear fruit. Jesus’ way of cutting off my unfruitful branches is incomparable, even fasting from coffee cannot come close to the struggle, the pain and even the rewards that one would reap.
I remember the many times Jesus destroyed my branches and prune some. Until now, I can feel Jesus pruning my character. It was rough, ten times (even more) harder than not-drinking coffee BUT I’m glad Jesus is merciful enough to allow me to bear fruit. I used to consider myself a useless branch but Jesus saw something in me. Jesus chose me (John 15:16). My response is to stay close to my Vine, to cling onto Him, to remain in Him, and to let Him do the work in me.
Thank you, Abba Father, for being our Gardener. I am grateful for the many instances that you pruned my character and cut off the things that brought me harm. Every pruning season was tough but I look back and all I can say is “I’m glad it happened.” Thank you, Jesus, for being my Vine. I look only to You and all I want is to remain in Your love. Thank you for choosing us to be your fruitful branches so that we can also be a blessing to other people who don’t know you yet. Allow me to stay in Your vine till my last breath here on Earth. Amen.
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end”. What a great opening statement. Not to beat around the bush, Jesus reminds us that he loves us…to the end. Period. I could even end this devotion right here because this is just it : Jesus love us.
But of course, I would want to expound and honor His sacrifice through my words.
So listen, I am not a fan of spontaneity. I like knowing where to go, what to do, or at least know beforehand what’s coming. In that way, I can figure out a Plan B if Plan A didn’t push through. It sounds boring but at least for me, it is safe. If I know what’s coming ahead, I could think of possible scenarios in my head and probably alter my actions in advance. Now I am imagining that I am in Jesus’ shoes: I could’ve back out the minute I knew of this plan or I would’ve talk my way through and gather as much as I can to lessen the verdict. But I am not Jesus. I am the reason why He did what He had to do.
Jesus knew of his impending crucifixion and the agony but He chose to still follow His Father’s plan. His reason for doing so is astounding : He, again, just simply loves us. He loves us to the end.
Jesus, thank you for loving me/us to the end. You were about to leave the earth but not without the promise of us being there with You in eternity. Thank for this amazing love that only You can offer. Today I offer you my devotion, my praise and my love. All honor and glory are yours in your mighty name. Amen.
I go through fasting from time to time especially if I feel that my spiritual antenna is weakening; all because of my laziness, disobedience, and getting caught up with my worries. I fast because I want to be in tune with God’s voice and when I have to pray for a specific leading. Let me tell you, fasting really works! It is foolproof & not only because of the breakthroughs and answered prayers that came out of fasting (which happens) but more simply because God says so.
“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes”
Daniel 9:3, NIV
This time though, I fasted together with thousands of people. Victory’s fasting period happens twice a year : at the beginning of the year (5-day fast) & during the middle (3-day fast). I usually join the mid-year fasting because circumstances have blocked me from joining the “first” fasting. Fortunately this year, I was able to complete my 5-day fast. Thank you, Jesus!
Surprisingly, this fasting never gave me a hard time in comparison to my previous fasts. I looked back at my faith goals last year and realized that all of my prayers have been answered! Some that I’ve already forgotten that I’ve prayed for but were crucial.
I am glad for these breakthroughs but more than anything, I am thankful for the pruning and the building of my character. When I decided to know Jesus more last year, all the burden have been lifted off of my shoulder and I began to see a greater purpose which is bigger than my own understanding.
This year on the other hand, I am praying bold prayers. This 5-day fast gave me so much encouragement and audacious faith to stand on the promises of God. I am believing for greater things! My visa? Yes in Christ Jesus! Household salvation? AMEN AND AMEN! Chains be broken in Jesus’ name. This generation, the next, the future generation and even up to the last will bow down to name of Jesus Christ!
Yesterday, the Lord even gave me the impression that I already have His promises in my hand—all I have to do is to obey in faith and spread His gospel. I even dreamed that God was telling me that He holds my future and I only have to be concerned with what’s happening now. Tomorrow is HIS.
Today I am ending my fasting period but not my journey in seeking Jesus more. I will continue to walk in His ways and put Him first & above all. By His grace, I know magagawa ko yun.
To end, let me share you two verses which gave me a lot of hope as I fasted.
“Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
2 Chronicles 20:12
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Romans 4:18-21, NIV