Gleanings: Off to Moab

What if God has allowed all such blessings to be taken away from His people? Magtitiwala pa rin ba tayo sa Kanya?

“In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.” – Ruth 1:1, ESV

Elimelech wants to spare his family from famine. Tulad ng isang mapagmahal na ama, gusto lang naman niya ang best para sa kanyang asawa at mga anak. Sino ba naman ang ayaw na mapaayos ang sitwasyon ng kanyang pamilya?

Off to Moab

During the time of famine, life was hard for the Israelites. Remember Jacob’s family during famine? They even went as far as Egypt para lang makahanap ng pagkain. During this period in Elimelech’s life, even Bethlehem, also called as the “house of bread”, ay nawalan na rin ng supply. Kaya naman napilitan si Elimelech na dalhin ang kanyang pamilya somewhere na may maibibigay siyang pagkain.

Elimelech, whose name means “my God is king”, have forgotten his God and King when he faced a time of great need. Instead of trusting the Lord, he relied on his own wisdom to carry himself and his family through. May sarili siyang diskarte. Sabi ko nga, he just want to spare his family from famine.

OK lang sana kaso the problem is he will be moving from the land of promise to an “idolatrous” land. He will be moving out his family from under the hem of God’s protection to a place of temptation and idol worship. He will be exposing his family into a compromising environment. Their law even says not to give their children to the ungodly people for intermarriage. He’s putting his family in danger.

Maybe on his mind he’s thinking: “pansamantala lang ito. We’ll go back to Bethlehem when the famine ceased”. So off they went. They left their own country, trying to escape the famine, and headed to a land of uncertainty.

Elimelech went with his family: his wife, Naomi, which means “sweet, pleasant”, and his two sons, Mahlon, which means “sickly”, and Chilion, which means “wasting”. Ang weird di ba? Papangalanan mo ang mga anak mo na sakitin, at nanghihina, worse naghihingalo.

“But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years”. – Ruth 1:3-4

Unfortunate of Elimelech’s family, after they have settled in Moab, their place of refuge sana, they have lost the head of their family. So without their supposedly spiritual, financial and emotional leader, ang magkapatid ay naghanap ng kanilang mapapangasawa sa mga kababaihan ng Moab – a direct disobedience to their law. Along with the death of the father is the prolonging of their stint in Moab na umabot hanggang sampung taon, na dapat sana ay pansamantala lang.

“and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband”. Ruth 1:5

To top all the misfortunes Elimelech’s family has experienced in Moab, Mahlon and Chilion both died, giving justice to their names. Iniwan nila ang kanilang mga batang biyuda – Ruth and Orpah, both childless. #Sadlyf.

***

What I have gleaned from the account first few chapters of the book of Ruth is that we have the tendency to veer away from challenges na dumadating sa buhay natin. It was not mentioned in the Bible kung sila lang ba ang umalis at nagpunta sa Moab to find comfort, but it doesn’t matter. Looking into the life of Elimelech, he may have good intentions for his family’s welfare, pero he failed to trust how the Lord works on the welfare of His people.

God cares for us more than we care for ourselves.

Eh bakit may famine?

In the same way that there are sicknesses and trials and pains and challenges in our lives, famine represents a hurdle we must overcome for us to be strong spiritually. Bethlehem is a very blessed place, kaya nga siya “house of bread”. Ang lahat ay provided. Pero what if God has allowed all such blessings to be taken away from His people? Magtitiwala pa rin kaya sila sa Kanya? Unfortunately for Elimelech, he failed the test.

  • Tumatakbo din ba tayo kapag may mga challenges sa harapan natin?
  • Umiiwas rin ba tayo sa mga pagkakataon kung saan sinusubok ang pagtitiwala natin kay Lord?
  • When all His provisions went low, can we still trust in His love?

O baka naman instead of waiting upon the Lord, we begin charting our own plans and off we go to our own version of Moab. Isang lugar, isang sitwasyon na nako-kompromiso na ang ating sarili.

Saan nga ba ang ating Moab?

  • Rather than trusting in the Lord’s provision, nagpapa-rescue na tayo agad sa mga usurers kapag medyo na-challenge ang ating mga pitaka
  • Tumatakbo tayo sa anumang nakagawiang bisyo para humanap ng kapayapaan ng loob at solusyon sa problema
  • Ginagawa nating escape plan ang pagiging magagalitin at pala-away upang ilayo ang ating sarili sa mga tao
  • Eto worse, pero baka naman kapag may away kayo ng ka-relasyon mo e may “sidechick” ka na pinupuntahan
  • Sinusubo na natin ang ating integridad sa pamamagitan ng pangungupit, pandaraya o pangingikil ng iba pang ilegal na paraan para lang mapunan ang anumang kakulangan

Big or small, subtle or obvious, when we choose to run to other things as source of salvation and comfort other than the Lord, that’s the time we leave our “house of bread” for an idolatrous Moab. And like what happened to Elimelech, bad choice produces bad results. Mas may chance pa sana siya if he chose to stay.

God wants to make you strong in the face of difficulties. Don’t run from it – face it! It’s safer to be in the eye of the storm with the Lord on your side than in a stronghold where the Lord does not guide.

***

I am writing this at the eve of my father’s birthday. Well, he may not be a perfect father but I know that he loves us perfectly. We may have had arguments in the past, I may not approve of some of his opinions and principles in life, but still no one could ever take away his place in my heart.

We all have Elimelech tendencies within us. Kagaya ko, kagaya ng tatay ko, kagaya nating lahat. Yet the grace of God allows us to run back to Him when our Elimelech-ness urges us to sojourn to Moab. At kung napadpad ka na sa Moab, balik ka lang. Wag mo nang hayaan na mahuli pa ang lahat.

A Single’s Journey to Family & Finance Conference 2017

The whole idea of investing emanates from you being a good steward.

I love going to seminars about biblical stewardship and financial management. Partly because yun ang naging course ko noong college, pero mas compelling reason din siguro na kailangan ko ng matinding motivation para maging mas matipid, masinop at enterprising. Kaya nga when I learned about CCF’s Family and Finance Conference on Facebook, I immediately clicked “interested”, without even checking the registration details. 🙂

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Yet when I was notified na malapit na yung event, and I learned that it will cost me P850-1k/tix (P1.5k-2k couple’s rate), medyo napaisip ako. I wanted to give it a go kaso I have bills waiting for me. Kailangan ko ulit I-spell ang P.R.I.O.R.I.T.I.E.S. Sa huli, I decided to give it up (pero narealize ko rin na I really need to learn how to manage my resources para sa mga susunod, hindi na mahirap mag-decide. Haha!).

Eh mabait si Lord. I read from Joei and Me’s Facebook page that she’s giving away free tickets for the event. I messaged her, and she told me to wait until 3pm for the announcement of winners. Since I seldom win in any kind of raffle draws, medyo chill lang. Until I received a personal message from Ms. Joei telling me that I won a pair of tickets! Wooh! Thanks for hosting the giveaway Ms. Joei! God bless you more! 🙂

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So ang medyo inalala ko na lang after ay since couple ticket and napanalunan ko, saying naman ang blessing kung mag-isa lang ako. Syempre meron na ako on top of my mind na iimbitahan, hehe. Kaso, hindi siya available (aww, sad). Then I thought, maybe a college friend? Time to catch up and apply the Pray-Care-Share lesson namin sa church. Kaso I didn’t get any response. Then pag-uwi ko, I realized, bakit hindi si mama? Siya na lang ang ide-date ko! Besides, tamang-tama rin ang seminar na ito as the CFO ng aming munting pamilya. So, ayun na. 🙂

Learning from the gurus

Yung first session pa lang, medyo mahirap na i-swallow. We were asked to conduct a personal financial health check by identifying what we own and what we owe. As an accounting major, at dahil nasa financial management din ang trabaho ko, medyo familiar naman na ako kahit paano sa mga financial concepts being discussed, pero iba ang kabog kapag sarili mong pera ang inaanalyze mo. Pero mas mahirap lalo kung wala ka naman talagang iaanalyze. Haha!

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Then came budgeting. Ang saya! I was encouraged to set financial goal, both for short term, medium term and long term. Ang daling maglista ng mga financial goals natin sa buhay – this age, dapat may ganito na… this age dapat meron na ako nito… this year ganito na dapat…. But setting goals is just the beginning of achieving such goals. It doesn’t end there. Malayong lakbayin pa!

While Joy Mendoza is speaking, alongside her husband Edric Mendoza, about her husband being so in love with spreadsheets, I uttered a silly prayer: Lord, help me to love spreadsheets too. I can’t believe na my whole career revolves around using spreadsheets and yet hindi ganun katindi ang pagmamahal ko dito. Hahaha!IMG_1145

Makailang ulit din tinanong kung ilan ang single sa crowd. Madami rin, considering that the event is a Family and Finance seminar. Magandang pagkakataon to learn the value of finances in the context of the family. The fact that most of the speakers did their talk as couple is something that I really appreciate. #RelationshipGoals indeed.

Ptr. Joby Soriano shared that 2/3 of couples fail to talk about money matters before they say ‘I Do’. No wonder why finances remain as the most argued concern for couples. Contentment is key, he emphasized. We are mere stewards, God is the owner, controller and provider of all things.

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After all the talk, I am convinced that there is really no great divide between the secular and the spiritual. Sabi nga ni Mr. Randell Tiongon, “the whole idea of investing emanates from you being a good steward” and in Proverbs 13:22a, which Mr. Tiongson emphasized as well, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children”.

 

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Syempre, Mama and I discussed about what we’ve learned from the conference. Medyo inexplain ko yung ilang concepts na hindi niya masyadong naintindihan, but nevertheless I am glad that like me, she’s encouraged to be more enterprising, to save and on top of that to be a good steward of God’s entrusted resources.

On my part naman, mamahalin ko na si MS Excel.

Tsaka parang rewarding din sigurong maging RFP 🙂

 

April Fools!

Yung akala mo ay smooth ang lahat sa buhay mo – all is well and good, only to find out that you are missing out on the most important thing in life.

Marami na naman ang mga posts na maglalabasan na obvious naman na hindi totoo pero pinaniniwalaan pa rin. Marami na namang mga pranks na ibibida sa atin. Masaya, nakakatuwa rin na may mga bagay tayong ginagawang kasiya-siya sa kabila ng ating mga problema sa buhay – sa pinansiyal, sa pamilya, maging sa ekonomiya at sa politika. Hindi naman masama ang mabiktima ng mga birong nakakatawa paminsan-minsan. Kaya kung maging subject ka ng isang prank – wag naman masyadong KJ.

april-fools

Ok lang naman ang mabiro lalo na at di naman fatal. Pero kailan ba nagiging fatal ang isang biro?

Yung akala mo ay smooth ang lahat sa buhay mo – all is well and good, only to find out that you are missing out on the most important thing in life. Yung akala mo na you have it all together, that you are getting the most out of life, but at the end of the day you’ll realize that you have not pursued what matters most. Ito ang klase ng biro na mahirap sakyan – ang biro, ang deception ng ating sariling comfort zone.

There are times when we get too comfortable with our lives that we fail to see the world around us. We have been too preoccupied with our needs that we become apathetic to the needs of others. Our life’s purpose is reduced to getting the comfort that we think we solely deserve. Wala namang mali – Jesus wants the best for us. In fact the Apostle Paul claims that “this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

Note that God is willing to grant us our needs. We are more valuable than the lilies in the field or the sparrows in the skies so we need not worry about anything (Matthew 6:25-34). Yet it doesn’t have to end with us. God blesses us and He expects us to bless others as well.

We are blessed by the Lord to be a blessing to others. God showers us with gifts so we can shower others with gifts as well. This is God’s way of opening more doors of opportunity to bless us and make us a blessing. The cycle doesn’t have to stop.

We are blessed by the Lord to be a blessing to others. God showers us with gifts so we can shower others with gifts as well. This is God’s way of opening more doors of opportunity to bless us and make us a blessing. The cycle doesn’t have to stop. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25).

Kaya naman wala nang mas sasakit pa kung bibiruin tayo ng ating sarili na “ok ka na, kaya na nila”, kung ang nakikita ng iyong mga mata ay hirap o kawalan ng pag-asa, sakit o kumakalam na sikmura, kung dinadaya ka ng sarili mong comfort zone at nabubulag ka o nabibingi sa mga hinaing ng iba – wala nang mas sasakit pang biro. Ito ang fatal na klase ng biro. Fatal sa ating buhay-kristiyano.

Sabi nga ni Apostle James, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17). Ang sakit lang di ba? Ang maparatangan ka na may pananampalatayang patay.

At bilang pangwakas, ang sabi pa ni Apostle John, “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17). Ouch! #NoteToSelf

Ngayong April Fools, maraming maglalabasang mga pranks, mga biro. Pero higit na kailangan kong bantayan ay kung nabibiktima na rin ba ako ng biro ng aking sariling comfort zone.

The Dream

Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady.

 

It was bit amusing yet chivalrous, bizarre yet encouraging, finding myself in a dream fighting to win someone’s heart. I know, it is imperative not to over-spiritualize things, especially dreams which are most of the time product of our ‘subconscious’ personality, but I believe my dream speaks of every man’s journey to search for his ‘better half’ and upon finding her, to serve and protect her with all his might. After all, God sometimes speaks through dreams. And while I do not claim any direct, divine explanation for my story, allow me to just sprinkle some thoughts I pondered as soon as consciousness hit me on my bed that day.

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The story unfolds inside a mansion with many rooms; contemporary in design yet the expanse so big it is comparable to an ancient castle. Some of the rooms are breathtaking in design and intricacies; some are so plain and dull. A fine, attractive lady is escorting me in my trip inside the mansion, bringing me from room to room boasting of its beauty. Her facial expression goes along with the design of the room – plain and mediocre when inside the plain rooms, radiant and spirited when inside the beautiful rooms.

As we progress in our journey that day, I noticed that the rooms are depreciating in splendor. The surrounding becomes damp and crowded; cobwebs begin to be visible and there emanates a stinking smell. Then I also noticed the embarrassment in her face. Our pace reduced and I can see the hesitancy in her eyes. It’s as if all the pain and doubts and worries and fears in life came upon her that moment. But I admired her for being strong. We moved slowly and she led me to the rooms with the worst condition compared to the first ones. She cries as she was telling me the stories behind the rooms. For some rooms, she can cite reasons, for others, she just returned blank stares, suggesting her lack of idea. I joined her in tears until we reached the terrace, which is also the end of my journey with her inside the mansion.

[I joined my friends outside the mansion. There we talked about our respective journeys in life. We poured out ourselves to each other as a band of brothers, ready to protect one another.] But when I gazed at the terrace, there I find visions of men and women contributing to the ugliness of the rooms I have witnessed inside the mansion. Some are even attempting to create new ugly rooms. Then a stirring came upon my heart. I need to protect the lady. I need to rescue her from people who try to add tears from her eyes by building ugly rooms in her mansion.

But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up.

With friends alongside, we fought the forces. We fought our different battles. They had their own motivations. Mine is to rescue the lady. But we fought on the same battlefield. Our weapons seemed to be small and weak compared to our antagonists’, but we can retaliate. It is as if Someone stronger than anyone else in the field is backing us up. Ultimately, we won. We ended up victorious. And a celebration awaits us.

I gazed again at the terrace. There she is, surrounded still by the horrors of the ugly rooms behind her. With her as well are the people who love her and care for her welfare. But now I can see her welcoming countenance. Without hesitation, I asked her to come down from the terrace. She turned around and bade farewell to the people behind her, as if asking for their approval, which they gave. And with just a glimpse, she joined me at the celebration below; with the happiest face I can ever imagine, ready to build beautiful rooms in our own mansion.

Seeing Through Things

What if we can read the mind of God?

Minsan ba nasabi mo na sa sarili mo na sana nababasa mo ang iniisip ng ibang tao? Malamang sa mga lalaki, they can relate with me when I say, “sana naiiintindihan ko ang takbo ng isip ng mga babae”. It doesn’t matter kung sino ba siya sa buhay mo, as long as babae siya, marahil hinangad mo na maintindihan kung gaano nga ba kabilis tumakbo ang ‘train of thoughts’ nila. Ok sige, pagdating sa mga babae madali niyong mahuhuli ang mga lalaki kung sincere ba o hindi sa mga sinasabi namin, though alam naman namin may intuition naman talaga kayo sa kung ano ang totoo sa hindi.

seeing through thingsIf we can read minds, most probably we’d think that we can minimize misunderstandings sa mundo. Paano ba naman, alam mo na agad kung sarcasm lang ba ang totoo na ang sinasabi ng isang tao. Madali lang din malaman kung gusto ba nila tayo o hindi. Ang dali-dali siguro magdesisyon kasi we will no longer be left in the hands of presumptions. Imagine how things will go between couples. Ang saya di ba?

Pero when we see through things, malaki din ang mawawala sa atin. Sa context ulit ng mga couples, mahirap nang i-qualify ang effort kung ‘effort’ pa nga ba na matatawag kung hindi naman talaga diniscover ang gusto mo at ayaw mo. Everything’s just plainly revealed. The element of surprise will no longer be ‘surprising’ but rather mapapalitan ng ‘expected ko na yan’. Yung raw emotions nang pagkamangha, pagka-gulat, pagkatuwa at iba pa ay mababawasan, o di kaya’y tuluyang maglalaho.

Eh paano kung hindi mo magustuhan ang iniisip sayo ng ibang tao? Ang sakit sa puso nun di ba? Posibleng makaramdam ka ng galit sa taong yun, at malamang ay iiwasan mo na siya sa susunod. Maraming relasyon ang masisira. Hindi mag-ooperate ang tunay na pag-ibig kung lahat ng ating iniisip ay nakalantad sa madla.

Maraming mga panahon na naging laman ito ng panalangin ko:

  • “Lord, baka naman po pwedeng malaman ko po kung ano yung plano Niyo para sa akin.”
  • “Ano po ba yung gusto Niyong gawin ko, Lord?”
  • “Lord, I don’t know which way to go and what to do, tulungan Niyo naman po ako.”

What if we can read the mind of God? Yung mga tanong at panalangin natin na kagaya ng nabanggit ko ay mabibigyan agad ng tugon. We will be spared from lots of heartaches and pain dulot ng ating mga mistakes and missed priorities. Di ba ayaw din naman ni Lord na nasasaktan tayo? Generally, sino ba namang ama ang nagnanais na masaktan ang kanyang mga anak?

Yet things don’t operate the way we want it. It takes an intimate relationship with the Lord to comprehend His plans in our life. At hindi pa nga natin totally mababasa ang Kanyang isipan dahil syempre, He is an infinite, eternal, omnipotent God, as opposed to our finiteness.

It takes faith on our part to trust God na kahit hindi natin nababasa ang kanyang isipan, alam natin na maaari Siyang pagkatiwalaan. It takes faith on our part to understand na His ways are higher and dependable than ours.

Yet He is gracious enough to lead us to His perfect will through His written Word, the Bible. Pero to give us specific, to the detail, and black and white instructions on which way to go, which option to choose or the specific words to say, unfortunately hindi ganun ang paraan ni Lord. It takes faith on our part to trust God na kahit hindi natin nababasa ang kanyang isipan, alam natin na maaari Siyang pagkatiwalaan. It takes faith on our part to understand na His ways are higher and dependable than ours.

Actually it’s a blessing din nga for us not to know the details of His plans sa buhay natin. Mas nae-excite tayo how things will unfold for us. Mas nagiging dependent tayo at mas lumalalim ang ugnayan natin sa Kanya. The moment He reveals His plans, mas nauunawaan natin at naaappreciate how He operates in His divine schedule. Mas naiintindihan natin kung bakit tayo nasaktan, kung bakit tayo iniwan, kung bakit tayo nawalan, kung bakit kailangan marami muna tayong maranasan. At the end of the day, as Christians we “walk by faith and not by sight”.

Isa pa, hindi Niya rin tayo hinayaang masaktan kagaya ng sakit na nararamdaman Niya sa tuwing binabalewala natin Siya. He can see through us clearly, dahil omniscient Siya. Everytime we reject Him, ignore or make fun of Him, He sees it, hears it and feels it. Alam Niya ang lahat ng iyon pero He is gracious and merciful enough to forgive us and bear with us. Imagine kung alam natin how people think about us – life will be a never-ending pursuit of trying to win people’s affection and escaping their judgment on us. Ang hirap nun! Ang bait ng Diyos ano?

John Piper, in his book Don’t Waste Your Life, quoted C.S. Lewis and it reads:

You can’t go on “seeing through” things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to “see through” first principles. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To “see through” all things is the same as not to see.

Makes sense, right? Hindi rin maganda na ang lahat ay plain and bare sa ating harapan. Not being able to see through things makes life more exciting and rewarding. Mas maganda pa ring makita ang ‘raw’ emotions ng mga mahal natin sa buhay through our ‘efforts’.

The best thing is, we may not be able to see through things but let’s thank the Lord that He sees us through. Dun pa lang panalo na tayo e.

Freed

I’d rather be a servant to Jesus than a slave to sin.

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Day 23: God says you are…

FREED

One of the things na hindi masyadong maappreciate at maunawaan ng mga taong yet to be Christians ay “how come we are freed by the Lord and yet we become His servants?” Hindi ko rin ito masyadong naaappreciate at first. Akala ko ba freedom? Bakit may servitude?

There’s a biblical account about Onesimus, a runaway slave of Philemon who happened to meet Apostle Paul, which happens to be imprisoned because of the gospel. Marahil may ninakaw si Onesimus sa kanyang amo. Sa Greco-Roman world that time, kapag ikaw tumakas bilang isang slave sa iyong amo, hindi ka lang basta makukulong, ie-execute ka through crucifixion bilang deterrent sa mga slaves na magbabalak na tumakas. Bukod pa dun, slaves are considered the lowest kind of people sa social ladder. Walang karapatan, walang pag-aari, walang identity apart from their masters. Imagine yourself in the feet of Onesimus – parang most wanted.

It is to be noted that Philemon is a Christian, a follower of Jesus. Tapos si Onesimus ay nakakilala rin kay Jesus when he met Paul. So hindi na lang sila basta mag-amo, sila ay magkapatid na rin kay Kristo. Kaya nga’t hinimok ni Paul si Philemon – patawarin si Onesimus at tanggapin bilang kapatid kay Kristo. And Paul even went the extra mile – kung anuman ang pagkakautang ni Onesimus, siya na mismo ang magbabayad. Why go the extra mile for a “runaway slave”? Check the meaning of Onesimus’ name: profitable. Onesimus is a profitable part of the body of Christ. Hindi siya liability, he’s an asset.

Pero ngayon, dahil kay Kristo, tayo ay hindi lang basta malaya – may karapatan na tayong tawaging anak ng Diyos, may pag-aari na tayo, ang ating relasyon kay Kristo. Ang identity natin – Christian – one with Christ.

We are like Onesimus – servants freed from fear, impending danger from hell. Once, wala tayong karapatan, walang pag-aari at walang identity. Pero ngayon, dahil kay Kristo, tayo ay hindi lang basta malaya – may karapatan na tayong tawaging anak ng Diyos, may pag-aari na tayo, ang ating relasyon kay Kristo. Ang identity natin – Christian – one with Christ. Pinalaya tayo sa dati nating buhay. At bukod pa dun, we can be profitable in the kingdom, like Onesimus.

Pero hindi tayo basta pinalaya mula sa ating dating pagkatao para pa bumalik lang sa dati nating kalagayan. We are freed to be free! At dahil nakay Kristo na tayo, aalis pa ba tayo? Remember, if you are not for Christ, you are for the world. Walang neutral ground. It’s either black or white, in or out. Saan ka? At ang sabi nga, if Christ is in us, who can be against us?

Christ is our new Master. But unlike earthly master, He will not be mean to us, He won’t do us any harm. He wants us to have life and have it to the full. At sa lahat ng unmerited favor na ito, marapat lang na sumunod tayo at maglingkod sa Kanya. I’d rather be a servant to Jesus than a slave to sin.

Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains. Psalm 116:16

Lavished In Love

Naaalala mo pa ba yung unang beses kang na-inlove?

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Day 22: God says you are…

LAVISHED IN LOVE

While I’m writing this post, I am listening to NSYNC’s “That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You”. The song is about a guy na titigil lang daw sa pag-ibig kung yung winter comes on summer, at kung sakaling may hangganan na daw ang “forever”. Rhetorically speaking, hindi siya titigil sa pagmamahal.

One of the things I love about 90s music, particularly RnB – punong-puno ng emosyon ang mga kanta. Tapos samahan mo pa ng mala-dramang music videos na may pa-sway-sway pa ng mga kamay at hawi-hawi ng buhok, ewan ko na lang kung hindi ka mapa-emo. Mula sa puso, maganda ang pagkakasulat, raw emotions. Love songs talaga, hindi mga sex songs. A trip down the memory lane. Buti na lang may Spotify at Youtube, pwedeng balikan anytime ang 90s RnB.

Naaalala mo pa ba yung unang beses kang na-inlove? Yung buhos-buhos ang kilig at ang attention na ibinibigay mo sa taong pumukaw ng iyong damdamin. Sino bang makakalimot sa emotional roller coaster nang first love mo? Yung emotional bliss nang sinagot ka ng nililigawan mo? Yung tila pagtigil ng oras habang lumalakad ka sa aisle at hinihintay ka ng groom mo? Kung nasaan mang yugto ka ng iyong love story, I’m sure you will agree with me na sa buhay mo, nagbuhos ka nang immeasurable amount of love. Kung sinuklian o hindi, ibang usapan na yun.

While we long for lavish love from others, take into heart that we have already received in Christ a lavish amount of love. Sobra-sobra, more than we deserve pa nga. Gusto mo ng proof? Look at the cross. Spreading His arms, He’s telling you: anak, this is how much I love you.

Lahat tayo ay nagnanais na makaranas na tumanggap ng buhos-buhos na pagmamahal. Yung love na hindi kinukwenta, boundless at unconditional. Pero sa takbo ng mga relationships ngayon sa mundo, medyo nagiging incapable na yata ang tao na tumanggap at magbigay ng ganung klaseng pag-ibig. Iba rin kasi ang influence ng media, ng mga failed stories at syempre, dahil na rin sa selfishness ng tao. Nagiging bukambibig na rin nga, kahit ng mga bata na “walang poreber” na hindi natin alam kung san ba talaga nanggaling. Medyo distorted na ang perspective ng tao pagdating sa pag-ibig.

While we long for lavish love from others, take into heart that we have already received in Christ a lavish amount of love. Sobra-sobra, more than we deserve pa nga. Gusto mo ng proof? Look at the cross. Spreading His arms, He’s telling you: anak, this is how much I love you. Kung ang ibang tao hindi tayo kayang ibigin ng totoo, kay Kristo makakasumpong tayo ng higit pa sa kayang ibigay ng sinumang tao. We are lavished in love.

Imagine God serenading you with his own version of love song, mas emosyonal pa kaysa NSYNC:

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1