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.

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

Faithfulness Running a Purpose Driven 2011


Every December 25 we celebrate God’s wonderful gift to us! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God in His great love, sent His Son, Jesus, to save us. We must never forget God’s love!

But after we trust in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, why doesn’t God bring us to heaven immediately? Well, He still has a race for us to run and He desires for us to run it well and to finish strong – to be faithful.

As we read in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Witnesses and Weaknesses In our race as followers of Jesus, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, men and women of faith like Jacob, David and Rahab, who have gone before us. Although they weren’t perfect, by faith and repentance, they finished strong. But their lives bear witness to the hindrances and entanglements that sin can cause in this race. That’s why Paul urged us in verse 1, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…”

We need to rid ourselves of all that holds us back in our race, all the sinful habits, wrong choices and pointless pursuits. There are obvious sins for us to throw off such as immorality, and idolatry, as innumerated in Galatians 5:19-20, but we also need to rid ourselves of the less obvious and thus tolerated, “respectable” sins such as anxiety, unthankfulness, pride, and the sins of the tongue. Also, wrong choices that lead to negative consequences can entangle us as Galatians 6:7 warns us, “…whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” God has a destination for us in our race but pointless, selfish pursuits are a focus that distract us, determine our direction and keep us from reaching the God’s destination. As Paul adds to his exhortation, “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”

Transformation and Inspiration Jesus Christ in not only our Savior but also our Lord. The ultimate purpose of our Christian life is for us to be so in love with Jesus that we surrender our life to Him and are thus transformed into Christ-likeness. However, the reality is that we can experience a struggle between our carnal nature and the work of the Holy Spirit in our livesmuch like the struggle Paul described in Romans 7:15-18. Sadly, some of us call ourselves Christians yet there is a great disconnect between who we say we are and the way we live. Why? Because we are disconnected from fellowship with God and with fellow believers. But we do have the Holy Spirit to give us the power to run well and to finish strong. That’s why we need to run in the power of the Spirit daily.

The Christian race is unique. It is not about who finishes first – it’s about who finishes strong. It has been said that to finish first, one runs fast; but to finish strong, we run together. There are people in this world living life unaware that they need Jesus to be their Savior and Lord and that there is a race to run. We, who are in the race, should live our life in such a way that it will inspire others to love and follow Jesus and take their place in the race.

Mission and Vision Paul continues in Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” As believers and followers of Christ, we must fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author of our faith, who has designed us for Christ-likeness. He’s also the Perfecter of our faith, for He began our transformation and He will complete it. (Philippians 1:6)

So, let us be faithful to what God has called us to do: to make visible the invisible Christ by touching people with His love. Our CCF Mission is to make Christ-committed followers who will make Christ-committed followers. Our Vision is to see a movement of millions of committed followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, meeting in small groups – Transforming Lives… Families… Communities…Nations… For the glory of God!

Hebrews 12:2 finishes by saying that Jesus, “…endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” We have been given a mission. Let’s be faithful in running the race in spite of trials and problems ahead.

In 2010 as you ran the race were you transformed into becoming more like Christ? According to Ptr. Rick Warren, “Only changed people can help change people.” Have you become better or bitter? Let’s make sure we run better in 2011! We have the Holy Spirit’s power and the promise of victory! We are on the winning side!

So, on your Mark! Get ready. Get set. Run in the power of the Holy Spirit!

God’s Promise Is Greater Than The Law


Many years ago, God made a covenant of blessing to Abraham. The Lord promised him that he would be the father of nations. That his descendants would be as numerous as the stars! However, at the time, Abraham and his wife Sarah were both well advanced in age so it seemed humanly impossible for them to still have a child. What’s more, Sarah was barren. The fulfilment of the promise was completely up to God! But Abraham believed and God declared him righteous because of his faith
(Genesis 15:6).

In the same way, God in His amazing grace grants us salvation when we completely put our faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing we can do in our own capacity to earn it. God requires perfect righteousness that we would never be able to live up to. But Jesus, when he became man, lived a sinless life. He died on the cross to pay for the penalty of our sins. Then when He rose again on the third day, He conquered sin and death, not only proving that He was the Messiah but also fulfilling, in our behalf, what was needed in order to receive salvation. And if we place our faith in Jesus, God gives us His life and righteousness and forgives us of every sin. This is the Good News! We receive God’s promise of salvation simply by believing in His Son, and not by righteousness through the Law. Once we accept His salvation, it is complete and everlasting.

However, some men called “Judaisers” came and said that God’s work is not enough. According to them, aside from placing our faith in Christ, we must also follow the law to the letter in order to gain salvation. This kind of teaching is called “legalism” which in effect says that the Law is greater than God’s promise. Paul wrote to the Galatians to correct this.

Galatians 3:27 says, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

The Pre-eminence of the Promise. Galatians 3:15-16 says, “Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is Christ.” Part of God’s covenant with Abraham was the coming of Christ Jesus, the Savior of mankind!

The Law was like a legal contract but God’s covenant with Abraham was as a promise. God gave the Law to His people through Moses but made the covenant with Abraham. He was asleep and covered in animal blood (read Genesis 15) when God made His promise, which was also symbolic of Jesus shedding His blood on the cross.

Paul said, if a man-made contract is strictly followed, how much more God’s covenant with Abraham? The Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant already ratified by God so as to nullify the promise (Gal. 3:17). God cannot take back His promise of salvation by grace through faith just because of the Law. “For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise” (Gal 3:18). Because God is faithful in keeping His promises, salvation remains a free gift. God’s promise is unconditional. Absolutely nothing can cancel it!

The Purpose of the Law. “Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made” (Gal 3:19).

The Law is like a mirror, showing us that we have a sin problem. Like a flashlight in the dark, it shows us the way but does not take out the darkness. Like a plumb line, it can only show us the correct alignment to God’s standards and nothing else. “Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God?” Paul asks and answers: “No!” The Law is given to us to show that we are all guilty of not living up to God’s perfect standards. By doing so, it guides us to understand and appreciate the grace of God. It doesn’t give the solution to our sin problem. God has an entirely different reason for giving us the Law. It shows us His holiness and our sinfulness, and our need for a Savior.

The Law was also given to protect us from lawlessness. Like a guardian or tutor, the Law guides us on how we must live. Praise God for His wisdom! The Law was added because of transgressions until the seed–that is, Christ– would come (Gal 3:19). Paul writes, “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” The Law was meant to show us that we are sinners, thatwe cannot make it on our own and lead us to Christ who fulfilled the promise of God.

Jesus fulfilled the Law perfectly with His sinless life. When we place our faith in Him, God credits Jesus’ righteousness to us. Our salvation in Christ is complete. Praise God!

The Position of the Believer. Not only does God save us from eternal damnation, He also gives us a new identity. Galatians 3:27 says, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” God adopts us as His hildren. And as part of God’s family, we should live according to the standards of God in character, in words, in everything (Ephesians 1:5). (Note: Baptism is the public declaration of one’s allegiance to Christ and not a requirement for salvation.)

We now belong to God. We were given the right to become His children (John 1:12). We are assured of eternal life with God (1 John 5:13). All believers become one in Christ (Galatians 3:28). He gives us a new name and a new home. Our faith in Jesus as our Savior brings us into the family of God. God’s gospel welcomes, loves, and values everyone equally regardless of race, social status, or gender.

God’s Promise is indeed greater than the Law. Salvation is not about achieving; it’s all about believing. Because of His promise of salvation, we have peace, joy, and hope through Jesus. We are free to live lives that glorify God! As God’s children let us live according to the new identity that God has given us.

If you, on the other hand, are asking yourself if you are you saved, know that salvation is available to you because of Jesus. In whom do you place your faith for salvation: in Christ or in fulfilling the Law? This is the most important decision you will make in your life. We pray that you choose Christ Jesus, who loves you and gave His life for you (Galatians 2:20).

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Inspiration From Chile’s Miners


By Jim Whelchel

Once in a while the world is riveted by good news…like others around the world, we in the Philippines have watched with nervous anticipation as the amazing rescue effort for the 33 miners has unfolded, ever so slowly, and has finally come to an amazingly smooth conclusion.

But one of the stories behind the story has been the work of the Chilean Campus Crusade for Christ ministry to reach out to and encourage the miners even while they were still trapped hundreds of meters below the surface.

Some weeks ago, our national director in Chile, Christian Maureira, initiated contact with the rescuers to offer moral and spiritual encouragement to the miners. Although the rescuers initially were hesitant to allow contact, eventually they realized that they needed all the help they could get to keep the miners’ spirits lifted and to create an environment of hope.

The Campus Crusade for Christ ministry provided MP3 players with the Jesus Film audio, and large portions of scripture, for the miners to listen to. It turns out that there were believers among the miners, and they had daily prayer meetings together twice a day. One of the miners, Jose Samuel, wrote to Christian Maureira from inside the mine to thank him for the MP3 materials. Some of his comments were:

“I want to express my appreciation for this great blessing for me and my co-workers, it will be very good [for] our edification” (referring the MP3’s)
• “I am well because Christ lives in me”
• “We have prayer services at 12 a.m. and 6 p.m.”
• “I ask all of you for pray not only for us here, but for all the lost people in the world”
• At the end of the letter he signed off with Psalm 95:4 “In his hand are the depths of the earth, and mountain peaks belong to him”.

Upon reaching the surface, many of the miners were wearing the tee shirts given to them by the ministry, with the Jesus film logo on the sleeve (see attached picture), and with Ps. 95:4 written on the back. Many also made their first words upon reaching safety praise and thanksgiving to God for His sustaining grace.

We know they still a long road of readjustment to overcome. Please pray for them. And pray that the story of their faith in God and the role He played in their rescue would be used for God’s glory around the world.

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The MARK 5 Man


Mark 5:1-20: They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet Him. 3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of Him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that You won’t torture me!” 8For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” 9Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man–and told about the pigs as well. 17Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their
region. 18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with Him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

1. Who is the MARK 5 Man? (vv.2-5; Ephesians 2:1-3; James 1:14-15)

• He is one person who is representative of the many people who need the Lord Jesus Christ; people
who have no personal relationship with Him, whose lives are not surrendered to Jesus. He is a helpless
and hopeless case without Jesus.

• He lived among the dead, helplessly followed the dictates of the evil spirit that inhabited him; he was
out of control and could no longer be subdued. Like many of us today, who are “possessed” and
unrestrained who have been taken hostage by the lure and standards of this world.

• He was isolated and cut-off from help. Isolation is also a powerful weapon of the devil. Notice that
when a D-group member has been absent for a long time with no apparent legitimate reason, there is
usually something wrong. Satan can use their isolation to take them hostage.

2. What did Jesus do to him? (vv. 9-13; Matthew 28:18)

• Why were the disciples not mentioned in this story? Maybe the storm at sea had tired them out. Or
maybe they looked down on the demon-possessed man as unclean or were afraid of him or didn’t feel
equipped to deal with him. We may be like the disciples – too tired to share the gospel, or scared of
not being ready, or afraid of people’s rejection. Or perhaps we look down on certain people.

• Jesus did not look down on the demon-possessed man. He saw his need and delivered him. He has
compassion for the unwanted, hopeless and helpless. No person, regardless of their condition or
situation is out-of-reach of the grace and love of Jesus.

• When Jesus delivered the demon-possessed man, He dramatically demonstrated that all authority in
heaven and earth has been given to Him, and that is our confidence as we share the gospel to all.

3. What should we do now? (vv.14-20; Matthew 28:19-20)

• After Jesus delivered the demon-possessed man, He instructed him, “Go home to your family and tell them
how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

• Jesus has given us the same marching orders. We have an amazing story to tell of God’s grace and
mercy. Look for the Mark 5 men and women in your home, in school, in the workplace, in your
neighborhood, even right in the church; they need the Lord, just like we did before we trusted in
Jesus. Share with them “how much the Lord has done for you.” They will be amazed and blessed!

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Developing a Hope that Works


By Peping de Villa
(Delivered during CCF Dawnwatch –June 16, 2009)

Hope is one of the three elements of ideal Christian character, the other two being faith and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). Hope can be defined as a “trustful expectation.” To believers, therefore, hope is a trust in God. Everytime we pray, we must have this confidence.

First, we trust that God hears us, 1John 5:14 says “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. This gets even better. Isaiah 65:24 says, “Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.”God already knows what you want even before you ask . Why do we need to ask? He delights in the praises of your people. He therefore delights in your coming to Him in prayer.

Second, we trust that God is all powerful and capable. He can move mountains, He can part seas, He can give babies to the old and barren women. He can raise the dead. He can do ANYTHING

Third, Trust that God loves you and He knows what’s best for you. He died for your sins. Even if you are the only person left on this earth. He will still die for you.

It is this trust that is the expression of our Hope.

How can we cultivate the fullness of HOPE everytime we pray? There are pre-requisites to having this kind of HOPE or confidence in Prayer. It is not an inherited trait. We need to cultivate it and grow it.

In the book of Mathew, Jesus huddles his disciples and talks to them about the attitudes that they need to maintain if they were to remain in ministry with Him –This is called the Beatitudes or BE ATTITUDES.

Let me submit to you the things you need to BE so that you will be full of HOPE every time you pray.

I call this Jolly Be’s to a Hopeful Prayer.

1. BE HEALTHY

I do not mean Physical Health but Spiritual Health. How can we be healthy spiritually? God gave us a tool for us to use: the BIBLE. Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of Scriptures might have hope”

Read your Bible, attend Bible Studies, listen to Bible Studies on the radio
If you have the time, attend bible school (GLC)–There you will learn about high falluting terms as Hermeneutics, Apologetics, Agnostics, Exilic, etc, etc.

In other words, make every effort to know more about God we serve.

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. This is a command with a promise. Being intimate, or knowing, God is like preparing land before planting. The farmer knows that seed grows better if the land is prepared well.

Testimony (First Part):
I became a born again Christian in 1987, upon the prodding and prayers of my wife. Since then, God has worked on me and transforms me one step at a time.
Even up to today, he continues to transform me. This happens because I continually seek to know Him more.

The Bible will make you know more about the character of God.
-God’s awesome power (he can do anything)
-God’s love for you personally (he knows the number of hair that you have)

Someone once said, “It’s not what you know, it’s what you do with what you know that’s important”. It is useless if you continue to acquire knowledge and not do anything about what you know (Implosion, constipation)

Christians need to Explode. We need to walk the talk if we are to impact people.

This brings us to our next Jolly Be for a Hopeful prayer

2. BE OBEDIENT

A simple definition of obedience is responding to knowledge by following instruction or simply doing what you are told.

Our knowledge of God and our obedience to Him are interrelated

Two things we need to realize about Obedience:

First, obedience requires a relationship. As with people, the more closely you become aligned with someone, the less you want to offend or grieve them.
This is the concept in terms of our relationship with God. The more closely you become related in terms of relationship to God, the less you want to hurt Him. The closer you become to God, the more you want to Obey him. The more we know of Him, the more we will be motivated to obey Him.

Second, blessings come with obedience. Luke 11:28 says, But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Testimony (Second Part):
In 1986, we started a small business of garment trading and retailing. We had a permanent stall in Shoppesville, Greenhills and participated in the banketa sales around area. Although we were already young Christians then, we operated our business by worldly standards (double books or under declaration of sales) because this was the practice then and upon advice of our accountant.

There came a point in our doing business that we were both convicted (by the numerous sermons that we hear every Sunday). We decided do it the right way. This entailed paying high taxes, submitting to the tedious regulations of government. In other words more work and less profits.

This caught our accountant by surprise since it would jeopardize her position with the BIR- How come this small stall is paying this much taxes while your other clients with the same operation are declaring 5x less income? We were so convicted that we said “We’d rather change accountant than compromise”.

This move proved to be the turning point in our garment business. God led us to expand the business from a small trading enterprise to a manufacturing concern with 5 branches in major malls in Metro Manila and Cebu.

God truly rewards Obedience. This experience only strengthened our walk with Him.

Let me qualify this. Blessings come in many forms –it can be monetary, it can be peace of mind, it can be contentment. Not getting what you want can also be a blessing.

However, once you decide to obey, it is not going to be smooth sailing all the way.
You also need to persevere.

3. BE PERSEVERING

Many times the devil will throw things at you to discourage and to deceive you to make you lose hope. You need to persevere- to continue to do good in spite of the difficulties.

Eugene Peterson defines perseverance as Long Obedience in the same direction. If I may borrow from Pastor Peter, I would like to put the emphasis on the Looooooonnnnng.

To illustrate this, let me show you some entries from the Diary of John Wesley
Sunday, A.M., May 5 Preached in St. Anne’s. Was asked not to come back anymore.
Sunday, P.M., May 5 Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said “Get out and stay out.”
Sunday, A.M., May 12 Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there, either.
Sunday, A.M., May 19 Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.
Sunday, P.M., May 19 Preached on street. Kicked off street.
Sunday, A.M., May 26 Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service.
Sunday, A.M., June 2 Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway.
Sunday, P.M., June 2 Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me.

Testimony (Third Part):
In 1999, Our garment business was heavily hit by the Asian Financial Crisis. Sales drastically dropped. This, together with the liberalization of garment imports from China exerted much pressure on our profitability. In our prayer time. God impressed upon us that He was going to take away our garment business of 13 years.

Our initial reaction was to worry and to be anxious. Where will we get our payment for amortizations, for my son’s education and even for our daily existence? That was our only source of income.
It was very difficult decision but God gave us the peace that surpasses all understanding. That was the sign that I was praying for. It was a sign of confirmation from God to close our business.
When we closed our last store, which was in Megamall, the leasing manager was surprised because we were not remiss in our rent and the sales in our register was acceptable to them.

Then God led us to a new business of soaps which we named GIGA –which stands for God is Good! Always!

What we thought would be easy sailing turned out otherwise. For the next 7 years we struggled with the business but the Lord was faithful in guiding us and leading us one step at a time. There were times when we tried to get ahead of Him especially after we used up all our savings. Yet we continued to trust and persevere.

If we really believe in our hearts versus just knowing in our minds, that God is really good, then we will be hopeful and His spirit will lead us to obeying Him, and persevering in Him.

How we can persevere in difficult times? 1Chronicles 16:11 says, “Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” Hope departs from us when we give up. We need to persevere.

Finally, if we are to have fullness of Hope in our prayer, we also need to….

4. BE EXPECTANT

Jesus said in Mark 11:24, Whatsoever things you desire when you pray, believe you receive them and you shall have them. Believe you receive when you pray!

What good does it do to pray without expecting to receive? Faith is required to receiving what you desire. Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith, let it be done unto you.”

Believe also that God has your best interest in mind and simply trust that everything will work out. He didn’t say we would see the manifestation of our prayers immediately. We must keep believing and not waver, “For a man who wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord” (James 1:6-7).

Expectation is the key to receiving from God when you pray! If you are not going to expect God to act, then don’t pray at all. It’s ineffective and displeases Him when you don’t believe. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”

In the meantime, while we are expectantly waiting on God, what should our attitude be? “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” Romans 12:12

Testimony (Fourth Part):
in January 2005, my wife was challenged by her discipler to start the year by asking God for a miracle, something that you cannot accomplish on your own so that God can be God.
So she asked God for what seemed impossible at that time:
1. To open new doors for the soap business. At that time we did not see any new opportunities for our business to grow.
2. To pay for all our business debts and lastly
3. To fully pay the amortization of our house which was still 4 years to go.

She expectantly asked God to grant all these within a period of one year. This was her prayer in 2005.

Indeed we saw how God worked miraculously in our business in 2005, literally opening doors we didn’t knock on, sending new customers we did not know and even giving us media mileage we didn’t seek nor pay for.

In January 2006, we were able to expand our business, pay all our business debts and pre pay our housing loan –all within a span of one year!

Indeed. GOD IS GOOD! ALWAYS!

Friends, the key to having a prayer that will give us fullness of HOPE requires us to go through a relationship with God. Because apart from God we have no HOPE.

You need to:
Be Healthy Spiritually- Make every effort to know more about the God we serve.
Be Obedient to His Commands-Obey God at all costs
Be Persevering -Persevere in the strength of God even in difficult times
Be Expectant-Expect that God is a big God. He knows best and he will give you nothing but the best.

I pray that this will encourage you to develop a hope that works in your life so that you can live out to the fullest God’s purposes for you.

May you be blessed!

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Prayer Changes You


Prayer is not designed to change God; it is designed to change us. Prayer is not calling God in to bless our activities. Rather. prayer takes us into God’s presence, show us His will, and prepares us to obey Him.

Moses climbed Mount Sinai and spent forty days communing with God. God showed him the wickedness of the Israelites (Exod 32:7). Moses had not known their desperate condition; nor had he realized the imminence of God’s judgment upon them until God revealed it to him. As God made Moses aware of all that was at stake, Moses felt the same compassion for the people that God felt. Moses became willing to sacrifice his own life for his obstinate people. In a compelling and selfless prayer of intercession, Moses offered to have his own name blotted out of the book of life if God would spare the people. In Moses’ time with Him, God had formed a mighty intercessor for His people.

God will use your prayer times to soften your heart and change your focus. As you pray for others, the Holy Spirit will work in your heart so that you have the same compassion for them that God does (Roman 8:26-27). If you do not love people as you should, pray for them. If you are not as active in God’s service as you know He wants you to be, begin praying. You cannot be intimately exposed to God’s heart and remain complacent. The time spent with God will change you and make you more like Christ.

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