April Fools!

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. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25).

Kaya naman wala nang mas sasakit pa kung biniruin 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 Lord is Speaking, Are You Listening? | #MySundaySeries

We all have different calling in life. Some are called to serve as public servants, others as entrepreneurs. Others still, choose to devote themselves to ministry and making a difference in the lives of others. Iba iba man ang ating pinagkakaabalahan, dumadating tayo sa punto na kuntento na tayo, kahit pa routine na lang ang lahat. Ok na, we can go along. When we get exposed to something at nakasanayan na natin masyado, it eventually becomes our comfort zone. Ayaw na nating umalis, kuntento na.

Not so with Amos. He is a farmer, specifically a dresser of sycamore trees, and a shepherd. All his life he is devoted to tend the animals and the sycamore trees under his care. Probably he is content with his lot. But when he heard God calling Him to be a messenger to the Israel, he willingly obliged.

Having heard from the Lord made Amos obey without any compromise because he is convinced and he trusts the One who is calling him for a career move. Take note that he is no professional prophet, but he took the challenge seriously because he who called him needs to be taken seriously. Upon hearing the Word of the Lord, we are always left with two options: either to take the Word seriously and obey, or to ignore the Word and delay. In the case of Amos, he chose to obey.

What he did is no simple task. Hindi kagaya ng pagpapalit lang ng company o ng lugar na titirhan. Originally from the land of Judah, he was tasked to preach in the land of Israel, a land enjoying a time of prosperity yet the people engaged in corruption and moral degradation. In fact the time he set foot on Israel, he was confronted by a priest named Amazaiah and told him to just go back to the sheep and the sycamore trees. “Di ka rito nababagay. Di ka naming kailangan. Bumalik ka na lang sa inyo. If you want to preach, preach there. Don’t earn your living here.” Napagbintangan pang pinagkakaperahan ang ministry! Good thing, Amos didn’t back off.

He has a message of warning to the people of Israel – na sa kanilang karangyaan, sa kabila ng katiwasayan ng kanilang buhay, nakakalimutan na nilang makinig sa Diyos. The Israelites has been living a life of compromise and hypocrisy. They have forgotten the fact that they are a people of God and that they should be a living testimony to their neighbors of God’s faithfulness. They have been living a prosperous life, full of magnificence, but their hearts are far from the Lord. Their outward religious rites don’t necessarily reveal what’s going on in the inside. And to make things worse, they are so impressed with themselves and their religion, looking forward for God’s blessing to shower upon them as if they have done nothing wrong. And God wants to rebuke them through Amos.

Amos has heard of the Word of the Lord and he took it seriously. So serious that he went the distance and faced persecution because he knows how serious the Lord is as well. He was able to stand for what is right and resist going through the motions. It became possible because he heard the Word of the Lord, and he took it seriously.

The Lord is speaking, are you listening? Will you take Him seriously?