Master Your Emotions: Know God, No Fear

Family Series
Speaker: Joby Soriano Date: August 28, 2011

Our emotions can make or break us. So it’s important that we learn to master them, or else our emotions will master us and control us.

There are two negative emotions that can destroy lives and relationships: envy and jealousy. Shakespeare described such emotions as the “Green-Eyed Monster”, a monster that can attack even mature Christians. Even the Psalmist Asaph wrote about struggling with such emotions: “For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Psalm 73:3)

We are taught that when we walk faithfully with the Lord and keep His commands, all will go well with us. Deuteronomy 6:3 says, “Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you…” But sometimes, even when we are faithful to the Lord, we find the unfaithful doing even better in life than us. It is in this seeming disparity between the Word and our circumstances that the green-eyed monster comes in to terrorize us. This is exactly what Asaph experienced, as accounted in the verses following Psalm 73:3. “This is what the wicked are like, always free of care, they go on amassing wealth,” he wrote in verse 12.

When the Green-Eyed Monster threatens to overcome us, we need to remember to delight in the Lord – recognize our struggle, run to Him, and resist the temptation of comparing ourselves to others.
Recognizing the difference between envy and jealousy becomes important when we process these emotions. Envy is from the Latin “invidere” which means “to look at with enmity”. It is coveting what another has. Meanwhile, jealousy is from the Greek “zeloo” which means “zealous or burning with jealousy”. It is to resent another’s rivalry with the desire to guard or maintain what one possesses.

Envy is always wrong, but jealousy isn’t always. It’s natural and normal for jealousy to surface when a meaningful covenant relationship is threatened by unfaithfulness, such as in Numbers 5:29-31. In 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, Paul describes a Godly jealousy, and even God is said to be jealous (e.g. Exodus 20:4-5).
The problem of Asaph is the same problem we encounter from time to time: he was allowing the “Green-Eyed Monster” to limit his view of God’s goodness to material blessings and freedom from temporary setbacks. “Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure,” he cried. To think this way is to see things from a human perspective, not from God’s. This paves the way for the Green-Eyed Monster’s attack.

Only when we recognize emotions of envy and jealousy, can we do something about them. And we deal with envy and jealousy by running to the Lord, just like what Asaph did. (v.17) When Asaph ran to God, he realized the bleak future of sinners and his own foolish thinking (v.18-22). And he realized the fullness of the Savior (v.23-28). When we struggle with envy and jealousy, we should run to the Lord and keep our eyes focused on His sovereignty, instead of focusing on our limited capacity.

Finally, to really overcome the Green-Eyed Monster, we need to resist comparing ourselves with others. After all, God has created and called us to Him individually and uniquely.

We have two options in life: we either allow the Green-Eyed Monster to overcome us or overcome it by delighting in the Lord. Don’t adapt human perspective. Choose to view problems from a heavenly perspective today. Remember, in Christ Jesus, we are more than conquerors. We can trample the Green-Eyed Monster under our feet!


Master Your Emotions of Envy and Jealousy

Envying and jealousy are deeds of the flesh. It may lead to strife, emnities, anger, disputes, dissensions, fractios.. This is something we need to recognize, to run away, and to resist.

Focus on Family (Family Series)

The family is under attack. Just look at the divorces, extramarital affairs, child abuse cases and teenage pregnancies happening today. But the enemy is not the busy husband or the nagging wife or the hard-headed kids. Satan, whose name means divider, is. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the scheme of the devil.”

Satan is attacking the family because it is the fundamental nation-builder. Historical studies show that the decline of civilizations and empires began when families and marriages deteriorated and eventually collapsed. Chuck Swindoll describes the family as “the place where principles, where faith, where walking with Christ in the real world is hammered and honed in the anvil of everyday living.” Based on research, it’s neither the church nor the school which serves as the greatest influence to the youth it’s the parents.

God established and loves the family. He urges us to focus on the family because it is foundational in transforming lives, communities, and nations. Parents therefore must be intentional in raising their kids. Needless to say, effective parenting begins with the life of the parents. Let your children see that you are passionately in love with the Lord and that this love compels you to obey Him. Practice this love at home. Remember that your life at home draws them to Christ. Parents must model being committed followers of Jesus in order to lead their children spiritually. You must know your children intimately by establishing a deep and engaging relationship with them. This is the key to influencing, training, correcting and disciplining your children. In this manner, you would be able to effectively teach God’s commandments diligently to your children.

Oftentimes we think of God as a cosmic KJ who wants to restrict us with commands. On the contrary, God, who knows the beginning and the end, and who knows what’s best for us, gives us commands tied up with blessings. He commands His people to obey Him and to teach their children the same; and for their obedience, God promised that their children and their grandchildren will live well, greatly multiply and will enjoy long life (Deuteronomy 6:1-9).

On the other hand, disobedience to God’s commandments has costly long-term consequences. The passive and condoning parenting style of Eli to his immoral and disobedient sons caused him to lose his spiritual heritage, his priesthood lineage (1 Samuel 2:30-31; 3:12-13; 1 Kings 2:27).

Life is too short for trial and error, so we must choose God’s way in raising our children. His way is for parents, primarily the father, to teach their children to know the Lord, to pass on a spiritual heritage (Ephesians 6:4).

How do we know we’re raising a generation who knows the Lord, or that we ourselves know Him? Matthew 7:20-21 says we shall know by the fruits. It’s not when we go to church or get busy with ministry. Consider Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas. They were temple priests, but God declared them worthless because they didn’t know Him (1 Samuel 1:3; 2:12).

To truly know the Lord is to do His will. And His will for the family is for fathers and mothers to bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, and for children to obey their parents in the Lord and to honor them (Ephesians 6:1-4). Let’s stop blaming society, the government or the media for our dysfunctional families. Let’s assume responsibility. It’s time to focus on the family.

Love is Unselfish

1 Corinthians 13:5 Love is… not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love is Unselfish

•It is not self-seeking. It is giving without expecting any self-gain. It does not seek its own (NASB); does not
demand its own way (NLT); isn’t always “me first” (Message); not selfish (NCV).

•We can be obsessed with ourselves apart from thegrace of God; we could live a very selfish life.
Love is Unselfish…it doesn’t hoard

• People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell (Prov.11:26).
Principle of the verse: When God gives us the capacity to help somebody, but we do not do it, we are like the man who hoards grain who is cursed for hoarding. We bring upon us the curse for hoarding.

• What could we possibly hoard? time, kind words, gratitude, encouragement, forgiveness, patience, respect,
submission, unconditional love, the Gospel… Love shares not only material things but intangibles. If you allow
yourself to be obsessed with yourself, then you only have yourself left with you at the end of the day.

• We should set boundaries and say no whenever necessary, but when God gives us the capacity and opportunity to be a blessing to others, we must give unselfishly. If anyone has material possessions and sees
his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (1 John 3:17)

Love is Unselfish…it sets us apart

•If our obsession and the greatest share of our mind is ambition for power, position and possession, then we
have a problem. Our selfishness will get in the way of our relationship with God and with others.

•But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,
boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy (1 Tim. 3:1-2)… Take this as a
checklist of our (un)selfishness.

•When we are made holy, it means we are set apart for the purpose of God. The opposite is to be set apart for
our own purpose which is being selfish.

Love is Unselfish…it makes Jesus happy

•When God sees His children sharing the things they with another, it warms the heart of God and makes
Jesus happy. It is a win-win-win experience: we make Jesus happy foremost of all, we make another person happy, and it certainly makes us happy. Freely received, freely given.

•When we think of others first more than ourselves, it becomes a privilege more than an obligation. • God does
not need us to do His work; He can fulfill His plan for another person without our help, but He gives us the
opportunity and the privilege to be part of His plan and purpose.

Love is Unselfish…it is secure in the Lord

• Take a look at the life of Abraham. Abraham is an example of a man with unselfish love because he is
secure in the Lord. Abraham freely gave Lot the first pick of the land which they were dividing (Gen.13:8-11).
Abraham could do it because he was secure in his relationship with Lord. He believed God for who He was
and for what He said He will do.

• Just like Abraham, as children of God who have received Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, our
security in our relationship with the Lord will allow us to love unselfishly. If we are secure in the Lord, how
much more security can we possibly want? Our security in the Lord allows us to love unselfishly.
Our time is too short for us to be selfish. Love other people today and every day unselfishly.

Love is Slow to Anger

1 Corinthians 13:3-5 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

Love is not a feeling but a commitment directed towards imperfect people, to seek their highest good which oftentimes requires sacrifice.

• One of the biggest barriers to loving others is anger. Anger is a ‘respectable sin’ which we oftentimes try to rationalize. The Bible tells us that love is slow to anger.
• Anger is not always wrong. Righteous anger refers to the wrath of God because of sin and its consequences. But even our holy and righteous God is slow to anger. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness (Psalm 103:8). God is slow to anger because God is giving us time to change. But God’s anger is real. It will come one day. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). God loves the sinner but hates the sin. God’s righteous anger against sin is part of His perfect character. The wrath of God will come upon those who keep on sinning; God’s judgment will consume the enemies of God (Hebrews 10:26-31).
• Jesus was angry when people made the Temple of God into a den of thieves (Matt 21:12-13). To be angry for the right reason at the right time is the challenge. Righteous anger is possible with us but it can be dangerous because most of the time we get angry for wrong, selfish reasons, like when our rights are stepped on. But Hebrews 10:30 instructs us to not take things into our own hands but leave the judgment in the hands of God. It is God who will avenge one day.
When we are slow to anger – we will not be rude, not self-seeking, not keeping a record of wrongs (v.5).
Anger comes in different forms and ways:

Temper-Anger (Love is not rude)

• Our anger comes because of our temper problem. We show our temper in different ways – either we immediately explode or we withdraw in silence. The latter tends to be more dangerous especially in parenting children, but whatever way you release anger, it is still dangerous. Anger is “d” short of danger.
• …everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

It is a mistake to think that by shouting, you can teach people what to do and what not to do. The anger of man will not accomplish what God wants to do in the life of people.

Bitterness-Anger (Love does not keep a record of wrongs)

•Some people have bitterness and anger in their hearts because they have not forgiven people who hurt them.
•In your anger do not sin…do not give the enemy a foothold (Eph. 4:26-27). When you harbor bitterness- anger in your heart, you are giving the enemy a ‘right of way’ in your life. You are being demonized without your knowledge. You have become calloused with your sins; even when you know what the Bible says, you don’t obey it.

•Loving God must be the motivation for you to obey Him and thus manage your anger. Put away all kinds of anger. Put on kindness, tender-heartedness and forgiveness. As you have been forgiven by God, forgive others also (Eph. 4:31-32).

Pride-Anger (Love is not self-seeking)

• When you start to process what makes you angry, you will find out that the root problem of anger is ultimately pride. You get angry because:
> you are hurt when people badmouth or accuse you; > your goals are blocked and you think yours is the best; > your rights and entitlement are violated;

•Pride is self-centeredness, seeking for special treatment and entitlement. When pride enters your mind and your heart, you are in danger of anger.
The antidote to anger is keeping fervent love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter4:8).

Love is Action

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35

Love is a choice. It transcends feelings. Some people think that showing love when they don’t feel like it is hypocrisy. In reality, loving others despite our emotions and despite our object of love is obedience! If you wait for feelings, they will never come. Obedience comes first, then the feelings will usually follow.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) Most of the time, our behavior do not match what we believe in. We say we love people but our lives do not reflect this.
Jesus invites us to love not just in words but in actions. He gave us a classic example of how to practice love in Luke 10. “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.” (vv.30-32) Notice that these are religious people—the only ones allowed by the law to actively participate in the temple services. But they refused to help the person who was in need. In many ways, some of us are like them. We are too busy with our own agendas whether in the home, office, school or church, that we fail to notice the needs of the people around us.

“But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,” (Luke 10:33) To His audience’s surprise, Jesus used a Samaritan as a model of love in His parable. History tells us that the relation between Jews and Samaritans was one of hostility. But here we see that the Samaritan felt compassion for the man who was in a desperate situation and attended to his needs. “And [he] came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’” (Luke 10:34-35)

Love is action. It is costly. The Samaritan laid aside his personal agendas and was willing to be inconvenienced. It took him time to clean the man’s wounds and to bandage him. Loving can be expensive. It cost the Samaritan his wine, oil, and 2 denarii to pay for the inn. Loving can be very risky. The Samaritan exposed himself to the robbers that might be hiding somewhere. Some of us have been hurt by people and have become hardened by pain. You refuse to open up yourself to others again, in order to protect yourself. Friends, it is impossible to obey Jesus’ command without taking the risks of loving.

We were not commanded to love in our own strength but to depend on Jesus. “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) Jesus is our standard of love. And this is how He showed His love for us: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Apart from God’s grace, we cannot love others like Jesus did. We have to accept God’s love first before we can love others. The next step is to obey despite our feelings, and then to entrust everything else to Him. Practice love by slowing down in order to recognize and attend to people’s needs. Take action and be a neighbor to the person in front of you!

The Power of Your Knees

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to hispower that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21

God entrusted to us a power that is beyond what our mind can conceive! Prayer is the power of our knees! When we pray, God unleashes His power! God is able to give us what we ask for. God is able to give us what we dare not ask for but dream of in our imagination. God is able to give us more than all we could ask for, dream of or imagine!

Yes, when we pray, God can do more than we can ever imagine! Who would imagine that He would part the Red Sea to provide an escape for Moses and the Israelites from the Egyptian army, feed five thousand men with just five loaves of bread and two fish, and even raise the dead, but He did! Through prayer, He restores broken marriages, brings home the wayward child, heals the sick, changes unbelieving spouses and so much more!

God changes us when we pray! Many times when we pray we want God to conform to our will, to change others or our circumstances. But He often transforms us first. Jacob is an example of this. As he wrestled with God to bless him, God first asked him, “What is your name?” The name Jacob means deceiver and Jacob had deceived his father Isaac by pretending to be his brother Esau in order to steal his brother’s blessing. God wanted him to first realize who he really was, a deceiver, before He blessed him and changed his name to Israel. (Genesis 32) When we truly pray, God changes us. It is impossible for us not to change after meeting God face to face in prayer.

The Holy Spirit is the Power that works within us as we pray! Prayer is total dependence on God. The power to pray comes from the Holy Spirit in us. (Eph. 3:16-17) Our tendency is to begin our prayers with asking God for our needs and concerns. But Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 6:9-13 to begin their prayers with focusing on God and His mighty power. We need to empty ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to take control of us. It is the Holy Spirit that tells us how to pray according to God’s burden and will. When we pray we should ask Him what to pray for. The Spirit enables us to not just pray from our head but to cry out to God from our heart.

Take prayer seriously!

“Prayer is our highest privilege, our gravest responsibility, and greatest power God has put into our hands.” (The Kneeling Christian). Prayer is our powerful connection to experience God. Prayer is the power on our knees for when we pray by the power of the Holy Spirit, God is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask, think or even imagine. So pray and be amazed at what God will do!

Prayer for Pnoy

President Noynoy Aquino has confirmed his participation in an afternoon of worship and prayer this Sunday, January 30 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Around 15,000 Christians from CCF and some other churches are expected to fill up the mega venue for the event dubbed as “Prayer for President Benigno S. Aquino III.” The event is spearheaded by K4 Philippines in partnership with Christ’s Commission Fellowship.

There will be 3 different phases of the prayer time which will be directed towards the different officials and branches of government, national problems and also important concerns like the church and the Filipino family. Former Chief SC Justice Renato Puno will be one of the prayer leaders as well as CNN awardee Efren Penaflorida.

However the main part of the event involves the short evangelistic message of Pastor Peter Tan-chi, accompanied by the life testimony of Ivan Tan, the challenge to the Christian community by Bishop Jonel Milan, head of K4 Philippines and the response of President Aquino. In his response, the president is expected to dedicate the entire Philippines to God. The event will also be highlighted by Pastor Peter leading the whole congregation in praying for the president.

The affair, which will start at 3:30 PM and is expected to be finished by 6:30 PM, will commence with praise and worship by the CCF Exalt Team and a 10-minute exhortation on prayer by Pastor Ed Lapiz of Day by Day Ministries.

Participants are encouraged to come early since tight security by the Presidential Security Group is expected. A no ticket no entry policy will be enforced so partipants are urged to secure their tickets from their respective area pastors. Bringing of children are higly discouraged as well as the carrying of bags.

The whole affair will be covered live and can be viewed on the CCF website through the courtesy of PLDT.

Watch the CCF Leadership Conference 2011 Live …

Prioritize Prayer

The Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 4:2 to “devote yourself to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” In our pursuit of the right goals, we begin with the overarching goal of pleasing God. And then we should choose prayer as a priority. Though prayer, God gives us direction in life and that determines our destination. When we pray we should be ready for God to act!

But many of us think that we don’t have time to pray. This is a myth! If something is important, then we will have time for it

“The sign of prayerlessness is proof that the life of God in the soul is in deadly sickness and weakness.” — Andrew Murray

Jesus said in Luke 22:40, “Pray so that you won’t fall into temptation.”

As John Bunyan said, “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.”

In 1 Samuel 1:1-28, we learn about the power of prevailing prayer. Hannah was childless and her rival, Peninnah, purposely provoked and irritated her year after year when they went to the temple to worship. We can learn from Hannah that our response to people and circumstances is our responsibility. She did not grumble. She did not blame others or retaliate in her distress. Instead, she prioritized prayer. “She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life (v. 10- 11).” Hannah knew the Lord intimately. She called Him the Lord of Host. Our understanding of God determines our prayer life. She was specific in asking for a boy. She was expectant. After she prayed her countenance changed. She got up and ate and the next morning worshiped God. When we pray the first person changed is you. The Lord invites us in 1Peter 5:7 to cast all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.

God indeed answered Hannah’s prayer for a son, whom she named Samuel. It could have been difficult to give up her much awaited son but she willingly dedicated Samuel to the Lord as her covenant with God because she saw herself as His maidservant (v.10-11; 27- 28). We can never out give God. He took note of Hannah and blessed her again with three sons and two daughters; and the Lord used Samuel mightily in His work (v.2:21).

Prayer is not a ritual or a memorized script. Prayer is talking and listening to God, pouring out our heart to Him even in tears. Heart prayer is an honest, faith prayer and God listens. We can be assured that He will answer us in His time with either a yes, no, or wait. Whatever His answer, we can thank Him because God loves us and will give us the best. Like Hannah, we should pray honestly from the heart, specifically and expectantly! Thank God in advance for what He will do in response to your prayer! With God, there is no limit!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7