So Far . . . No Further.

Scriptural ReadingsJohn, 9:1-7, 5:5-9, Mark 5:25-29

If we think that so far, we are still defeated in life with anxieties and uncertainties, and a feeling our prayers seem to be unheard of, then something is missing. Anxieties and uncertainties place us depending on someone or something. Whether we like it or not, aware or unaware at all, our emotions and thoughts agree together, telling us that we are not well from inside or outside our well-being. Our conscience and intellectual properties are working together, finding ways to eliminate these things that bother us, putting us back where we were doing our best. These things will indeed come and go, but the big question is, are we learning from our experiences?

John, 9:1-7

King James Version

V.1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.

V.2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

V.3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

V.4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

V.5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

V.6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

V.7 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

New Living translation

V.1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 

V.2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

V.3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. 

V.4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.

V.5 But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

V.6 Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes.

V.7 He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

This fellow was blind from birth, and to make money, he is begging for it. Can we say that he never regretted his situation even once? Was he also hoping that his situation would not go further? We can speculate. But for most of us who freely move, are we blind to the truth? Are we lost, hopeless and helpless? When God plans something, it has to be accomplished because he sets a time frame. There is a boundary.

It was not a coincidence that Jesus was there. It was all planned. His faith ended his misery. We can be spiritually blind, or the only thing we see is a vast ocean of helplessness and hopelessness, resorting to daily complaints. We must see with our spiritual eyes, or we will not see, the meaning of truth in our spiritual lives.

John 5:5-9

King James Version

V.5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

V.6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time [in that case], he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

V.7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

V.8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

V.9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

New Living translation

V.5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.

V.6 When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

V.7  “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

V.8 Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

V.9 Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath,

Here is another guy who has the same situation with no assurance of development, and with all odds against him, he never raised the white flag. He could be stuck in that same spot in his lifetime, but his faith and spirit move. And so did God make His move, making him whole. Are we still in the same spot? Remember, faith moves mountains. We might be thinking that we are in the most difficult situation in life, and there is no hope. God is asking us, “Would you like to get well?”  What would be our response? Let us not give excuses.  

Mark 5:25-29

King James Version

V.25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

V.26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

V.27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

V.28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

V.29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in [her] body that she was healed of that plague.

New Living translation

V.25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.

V.26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse.

V.27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe.

V.28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”

V.29  Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

This woman’s hopelessness and helplessness are not different from today. The only thing left is a miracle. There are two things that we can see here; faith and perseverance. Do we have these two? One may say yes, but are we serious about it, or are we still overtaken by our fear and distrust in Jesus? The answer lies in ourselves. God touches lives. He lets us know through small things, however, we remain unappreciative. But when we cannot handle our problems anymore, this is the only time we come to His throne of grace, and this time, we should touch Him!

Anxieties and uncertainties will never end. They will come, and they will go. But God sets boundaries in all our hopelessness and heartaches. He will not let them go any further. Whatever the worst things that so far are enslaving us will always come to an end. Faith in God makes us understand Him in the best way. It is a lot easier to believe in movies we have seen, heard, and read twisting stories in books that have given us hope, but it seems to be impossible as we pray daily to believe in what our God can do for us. 
So far, many of us are still suffering. The unbearable pain blinds us to the truth about what God can do. We are lame because we do not have enough courage to stand up for our faith and approach God in His throne of grace. If we think so far we are still defeated in life with anxieties and uncertainties, God had set boundaries on these issues. It will go no further. We will be free. When Jesus said, “It is finished” He ended everything, including our hopelessness and helplessness. He gave us an overcoming and victorious life. Alleluia!


A Substitute Or The Substitute

Scriptural Readings: Ecclesiastes 6:2; Psalms 94:11; 1 John 2:16-17; Matthew 6:33

Ecclesiastes 6:2

King James Version

A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this [is] vanity, and it [is] an evil disease.

New Living Translation

God gives some people great wealth and honor and everything they could ever want, but then he doesn’t give them the chance to enjoy these things. They die, and someone else, even a stranger, ends up enjoying their wealth! This is meaningless—a sickening tragedy.

Substitute is a comforting word. The feeling of delight happens after we accomplished an exchange for a frustrating effort. We recognize that there is a better replacement if we are not satisfied with our efforts. 

In the distressing time that we are experiencing right now, with no exception, every one of us is looking for an alternate to practically everything. Satisfaction is a futile word today. Change is imperative. It seems that nothing fits the thing we are changing. Did it ever cross our minds that our attitude is the cause? It boils down to the “I will never stop till I get on top.”  But this thing on being on top never stops. We never stop. A substitute will always be there, enticing us to choose from the options. After all, getting on top through adventure is satisfying for some, but until when?

Psalms 94:11

King James Version

The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they [are] vanity.

New Living Translation

The Lord knows people’s thoughts; he knows they are worthless!

A substitute or the substitute? Is there a difference? In the spiritual realm, it has. We will always have a backup as a replacement, and the alternate who is Jesus whom God gave us remained unattended. The only thing we know is to rely on our futile actions. God deals with us, a reality we have to be well aware of what is happening daily. We are constantly ready for the change in our temporal lives, which by the way, most of the time is a time-consuming effort due primarily to our unreliable, disappointing management. Our endeavor must have spiritual essence!

King James Version

1 John 2:16-17

V.16  For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

V.17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

New Living Translation

V.16  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

V.17  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

What is odd about the Christian life is that we must first deal with spiritual matters followed by earthly affairs. Time is an element when God delivers something for us to accomplish or reveal. Due to our impatience, we substitute something in God’s plan. God’s plan for us is perfect. We are not supposed to change or mess up things that God prepared for us. Jesus is the substitute. There are no replacements God has given us. What we cannot see and that we have to get rid of is our stubbornness. We have seen His works, but we still believe in lies we have been told.

Matthew 6:33

King James Version

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

New Living Translation

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

We are running out of time. God has set a timetable here on earth, and everything will come to its end. Are we still on to have a substitute? If so, we will be blind to the reality we are looking for in our lives. If we still insist our way, everything will come into naught. Our Father has given us the Substitute, not a substitute, and He is our Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever we might be looking or asking, Jesus is the substitute. It is plain and simple. We have to accept what the Lord Jesus did on the cross. As soon as we accept what Jesus did in Calvary, automatically we will be seeking His kingdom, and this time it will be very clear for us the things we are longing for, not only looking for with no doubt and full of confidence.

Many of us might be still in the habit of having a substitute, and this has become a lifestyle. God has given us a new life when we were born again. He has substituted our unreliable life for a life of confidence through His son Jesus, completely changing our body, soul, and spirit. Let us stop looking for a substitute. Let us trust and put our faith in Jesus, and he will give you everything you need.


Tried The Very Best . . . What’s Next?

Scriptural Readings: Matthew 17:20, Psalms 37:7,

We all do try our best in everything we do. There is no reason why we should not. As soon as we start with our plans, we will be having a lot of results. What’s next? Options will be available, and from these options, there are only two things we will arrive at for sure, success or failure.

Call it calculated risks or whatsoever, nowadays failure seems to be dominating, success. On a global scale, the human endeavor is falling short of its targets. Although individually, some are successful. One may think and suggest that this is normal. Is it? After all, we have been through world wars, pandemics, and more, yet we survive. Now we ask ourselves? Is this normal? Is it acceptable to undergo these things that we are not supposed to suffer? If we are going to welcome and take on these scenarios, what are we going to do? We have to have new ways of dealing with the same old problems, and maybe new ones facing us every day.

Hope and wish are only a few of the things inside us that help us go through our dark moments or giving us the wonderful feeling of anticipating success, and for most of us, comfort in a never-ending troublesome, and complicated world. Just like anything in this world, hope and wish are sometimes scarce. When we are dealing with difficulties, we become impatient, losing them slowly, leaving more miseries.

Matthew 17:20

King James Version

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

New Living Translation

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.

What about faith in God? Many may claim that they tried their best, and it did not work either. Then, it is already a lost cause. There is no way that we can be having easy life in the future. Our life is a life filled with complaints and miseries.

Before we make conclusions, we have to consider several things. We must not be in a flash to judge. It is true that in the future we will still be having the same difficulties and miseries. However, we also have to consider some things that we might have missed.

It seems that having little faith in God is insufficient. The problems we face are bigger and more powerful than our God. The picture we see is our burdens are too heavy for us, and our small faith in God just will simply not work. If this is our side, have we given thoughts on how God sees it? But one may argue. How can humans see, as God sees? Isn’t God is perfect, and we are not? Our faith in Jesus, first, tells us that His Spirit and the Holy Spirit let us see things spiritually. Second, the same faith empowers us. So, it all starts with faith in God and trusting Him through Jesus Christ.

Psalms 37:7

King James Version

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

New Living Translation

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Impatience blinds us in the true meaning of faith. It teaches us to listen to our unreliable selves. We will, of course, tend to wait for the solution, which might take time, but instead of putting our faith in Jesus, who gives us the peace that we need to rid of the uncertain feelings, we suffer from the devastation of impatience. What is happening is that we know that there will be an answer, but what takes place is we are fooled by impatience, letting us worry a lot.

All we need is faith in God through Jesus, our Lord, and Savior. The first thing to do is have faith in God. It may start as a small faith, but this is the foundation. From the start, it will strengthen as we go on. What’s next? He will instruct us.

Our relationship with Jesus is tapping us to our Heavenly Father in Heaven. A divine waiting is happening, replacing our impatience. It is now the spiritual beating the temporal, resulting in peace and contentment. The small faith we have seen is now bigger than we think, transforming our uncertainties with confidence.

Once our faith kicks in, all things that our temporal body follows the spiritual. Now, we can comprehend why trusting in Jesus gives us peace rather than trusting in a government that changes. We are confident in the healing power Jesus has rather than putting all our trust in vaccines. What we need right now is God’s intervention in our dying and chaotic world through faith in Jesus Christ to have peace, healing, and contentment. We must put our faith in God, not in human laws conceived in our unstable and unreliable minds. In other words, faith in God through Jesus Christ putting human endeavors behind.

If we haven’t tried our best, it is a must that we have to. All we need is just a little faith. God is always patient with us, and we are the impatient ones. What’s next? Trust God. It is now on its way.


Stand on His ground

Scriptural Readings: Matthew 24:6-8,13-14

King James Version

Matthew 24

v.6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

v.7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

v.8 All these [are] the beginning of sorrows.

New Living Translation

v.6 And you will hear of wars and threat of wars , but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.

V.7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes and many parts of the world.

v.8 But all this is only the first of birth pains, with more to come.

It seems that what is happening today is becoming clearer as days pass for Christians and as Christians we should be well aware of what is going on. We have been reading, hearing and seeing a lot of the worst news ever in our lives. What do these things tell us? Where are we heading?

A lot of us today who live in different parts of this world whether a Christian or not, we are definitely somehow affected by what is happening on this planet. While this is written, there are some countries who are having a conventional war. People are suffering and dying because we are plagued by a virus. Unemployment rises, political instability threatens almost every country in the world. Economy is on the brink of collapsing. We cannot deny the fact that uncertainties continue to intensify as days go by. What do these things sum up to?

see that ye be not troubled…

The Lord Jesus said that we should not be troubled , alarmed or panicked.
These are His words. There should be no reason why we should not believe and follow it, and as Christians, if we are not to follow the things that He instructed us, it is going to be a disaster for sure at the end for all of us if we continue to ignore these things that we are asked to do by our Lord Jesus.

What about the good news? Will there be good news? Or some will say that there is no more good news happening today neither will there be happening in the future.

There is a good news.

King James Version

v. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

v.14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

New Living Translation

v. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

v.14 And the Good News about the KIngdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.

Nobody knows when the end will come. It is only our Heavenly Father knows, but what is very clear right now is that the signs are for real and we cannot deny it and as we go on reading the whole chapter to the end, it tells us that we have to be strong in the Lord.

The big question now is are we strong in Him. It is indeed a scary feeling of what is happening today but we have to endure. How? Verse 13 said those who will endure will be at the end and be saved. The word “endure” in Greek is “hupomeno”. Hupomeno comes from the root words hupo and meno meaning “stay behind” or in other words remain; figuratively it means persevere- abide.

Jesus the son of the living God wants us to remain, persevere and abide in Him. We should stand on His ground. As soon as we stand on His ground, we will have fortitude. We are going to be immovable. We are the ones who will proclaim and preach the Good News about the KIngdom. If we stand on the ground of the good news, the finished work at cavalry, we will have the task of spreading the good news. This is the strongest ground that we will be standing on as Christians. This is the ground where the foundation of our salvation was fortified and this is the ground we are to stand on as we go through with our Christian lives.

We are always given the option where to stand on. It is important that we have to stand on something otherwise we are going to be miserable with our lives. We have to remember that we humans have the tendency to lean on or stand on something if we are in distress. This is our nature. We need a saviour. We need God through Jesus Christ. No one goes through the Father but through Him.

We can continue to stand on the ground where we cannot be sure of what will be for us at the end or stand on the ground where Jesus our Lord and Saviour promised us that we cannot be moved. Let the Holy Spirit guide us. Let us always have a prayerful life that the Holy Spirit will protect, sanctify and empower us on these times of trouble.

Heavenly Father, we are always weak. We can never be strong without Your Son Jesus. We come to Your throne of grace. Help us with our frailties and weaknesses. Cleanse us from our iniquities and let Your Holy Spirit comfort us in times of uncertainties. In the mighty name of Your son Jesus, our Lord and Saviour we pray. Amen.


It is all about intentions

Scriptural Readings: Acts 13:2, James 4:8, Matthew 22: 36-40

Intention is all about planning including our feelings and all those sorts of things that we want. True enough we considered a lot of things arriving from these intentions. Considering the things and the time we gave and went through with these intentions as Christians, the question is…Is it God’s will?

King James Version

Acts 13:2

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

New Living Testament Version

Acts 13:2

One day as these men were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”

One sure thing is that God has a plan and intentions for us. Make no mistake about it. He will reveal a lot of things for us as soon as we go through with our day. The Holy Spirit Whom the Father promised us will guide us. We should not doubt it. God never wanted for us to have intentions without His will. God has a plan for each and everyone of us.

If our intentions is all for God’s glory there is no doubt that God will not delay His response for us. The only reason we cannot understand, comprehend and all mixed up is because of our own intentions hidden in our hearts that only God can see.

One day as these men were worshipping the Lord and fasting….

This alone we can see that they were no doubt serious with their worship and fasting as well. This is a time only for God. Their intention and focus is just all for our God. There is only one thing in their spirits, soul and body and that is God. They are doing this for one reason and that is to draw near to God and sure thing was that they knew God will draw near to them. And as they expected the Holy Spirit responded by giving them His intention.

James 4:8

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded.

This is why a personal relationship with Jesus, accepting Him as our Lord and Savior is needed.

We are asked to draw near to Him but when? Tomorrow? Next week? next month? because we have to finish something? God knows all our intentions. There is no doubt that if we draw near to Him He is always there and He will draw near to us. This is the reason why we always regret things at the end. God is always waiting for us to draw near to Him but we always have other intentions which has become a priority not Him.

Matthew 22: 36-39

v.36 Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?

v.37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

v.38 This is the first and great commandment.

v.39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

v.40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

All things do matter. Our responsibilities to our families. Our social responsibilities matter too. Our rights also matters a lot. Jesus wants us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves but the first thing Jesus wanted is to love God with all our hearts, soul and mind.

If our intention is to think what are the good reasons why we should divorce our partners, a legitimate reason why we should be having abortion because these are bothering us. Do we think that these intentions are more favorable for God? Did we ever asked God how to have a forgiving heart so that I can forgive my cheating partner? Have we given some serious thoughts about the innocent life that has to be removed because of an untimely pregnancy? Did we ever have the thoughts of giving God the time and not asking Him the reasons why we should have reasons for these things that we did and decided in the first place ? These are our intentions. True enough we are focused on God but our intention is for our own good not His will. Again, true enough we will be having these uncertainties but God wants us to focus on Him not with the things that has given us these discomforts. God is bigger than any of our countless unbearable problems.

God wants us to acknowledge Him. His presence in us should tell us that we are precious to Him and not to waste time looking for what is good for us. God knows what is best for us. It would be a real comfort and peace of mind focusing on Him. Despite the fact that we are weary and heavily laden, Jesus said “ I will give you rest.”