Its been three years

Its been three years. I’ve been involved in different ministries before but I have never been as immersed as I am right now in a church ministry.

Its been three years…

Its been three years since I started serving in the singles ministry of CCF Alabang.

I remember the first year we re-launched the singles ministry and gave it the name B1G South. Why B1G South? Well, we just wanted to align with the name of the singles ministry in CCF Center, which was B1G, and we just want to be distinguished as the B1G ministry in the South, therefore the name B1G South.

The first year was exciting! There were too many things to expect and everyone looked hopeful about what the Lord can do. It was a time where everyone was on fire to serve. But as I have realized through the past three years, it’s not how you start – it’s how to you end and remain faithful.

True enough as the months and years passed by, slowly you’ll observe who are really those who are passionate about serving the Lord and continuing to run despite so many oppositions.

There were leaders who have said their goodbyes and I will forever be grateful for their heart of service. But there are those who have never said their goodbyes and just left. It’s sad. I hope everyone can give the same passion in serving God just like how it was when the ministry was starting.

crossroadBut the effect of time, failures, frustrations, disappointments, and a lot of other things can really leave a leader tired and worn out. At that time where he or she is at the crossroads of life, a decision should be made. Do you stay or do you go? Do you quit or do you continue to hope and run the marathon? By God’s grace, for the past three years I have chosen to continue to run, and have been trying to run well.

Was there a time where I wanted to throw the towel and quit? I would be lying if I said no. But what made me continue? What made me not quit? Honestly, I could not think of one reason alone, because there’s too many.

I love God too much to quit and exit saying “I quit because I don’t trust You, Lord.” I love the people that God has called me to serve that I cannot abandon my post until such time that I am assigned to another. I don’t want to look back and think what could have been. I want to look back and say I gave it my all – I tried to run the race as faithfully as I can. I want to continue putting my hope in God that I know he will always be faithful and true. I know my God is greater when I am not.

Its been three years…

I haven’t been perfect and there were times I haven’t been faithful to what the Lord wants me to do. But one thing will always remain the same. Throughout those years, the Lord has always been faithful.

My discipler asked us to write our faith monuments. Those times where you saw the Lord’s faithfulness in your life. As flawed individuals, we are very prone to forget. We can easily forget who the Lord is, and what he has done. And these faith monuments should be a reminder to you. When things get rough and you feel like quitting – don’t. Remember who the Lord is, He is faithful. Remember what the Lord has done, He has always been faithful.

This is one of my faith monuments. Throughout those three years, the Lord has been faithful. When he called me to start leading the ministry, I felt so inadequate. I had so many questions in my mind. I had so many fears inside.

I felt like Moses, saying to God “Me, Lord? Are you serious?” “I’m not even capable of preaching yet.” “I don’t know if I am eloquent enough.”

Exodus 4:10 – Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”

 

I felt like Jeremiah, saying to the Lord “I’m so young Lord, do you really want me to lead people who might be older than me”

Jeremiah 1:6-7 – 6 Then I said, “Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ because everywhere I send you, you shall go, and all that I command you, you shall speak.

 

But I felt like Isaiah, saying to God “Here I am. Send me!

There was a conflict inside me, I was scared and felt so inadequate but I felt that this is really what he wants for me. The moment that I reject it and run away from it, I know dissatisfaction will just hunt me. So I said yes to the call and even went full-time after a couple of months.

Its been a year, since I started leading the B1GSouth ministry. Its been three years, since I served in this ministry. It has only been a year since I took over the role as the over all leader and being a leader is not an easy role. But to see lives get changed, all for the glory of God is priceless.

Its been three years…

I will forever be grateful to the one who has called me despite my unworthiness. I will forever serve the One who gave it all. I will forever sing praises to His name; giving Him always the glory He deserves.

Happy third anniversary B1G South. All glory to God alone!

B1G South 3rd Anniv

 

Hope in God

What do you hope for? Do you hope for a new job? A new relationship? A new adventure in life? A new smartphone? But first let me ask you this question, what is hope?

Hope looks at the future. You are hoping because there is something to look forward to. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Single individuals might hope in their work to achieve their goals and dream. Or they might hope for a relationship where they would receive the love they need. These can be the wrong anchors or sources of our hope.

Hebrews 12:2 says keep your eyes on Jesus who perfects our faith. It is actually saying that we are to hope in God. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Wherever there is full assurance of hope, there is faith. Faith is the full assurance of hope. Hope is part of Faith. Therefore, in Hebrews 12 God is the author or source of our faith, and He is the source of our hope. He is the one we are to hope for because he will be the one who will make what we hope for come into a reality. Look at what Romans 15:13 says also.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

When is says “God of Hope” it means God is the source of hope. I like how its translated in the NLT version, it says: “God, the source of hope, will.” Hope here in Greek is elpis meaning expectation, trust, confidence and expectation of what is sure or certain. We can now relate this to God the source of hope as God our source of confidence as we expect something to be sure or certain.

That’s why I would like to define hope as CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE ANCHORED ON GOD WITH GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Great Expectations because God can do more than what we could think of our imagine and because we expect it to actually happen. One famous preacher said, biblical hope is just not a desire but it expects it to happen

This is an message directed towards singles. As single individuals we should hope in God in these three areas:

  1. Hope in God as our Hope in our Work
  2. Hope in God as our Hope in our Relationships
  3. Hope in God as our Hope in our Future

1) HOPE IN OUR WORK

What could possibly we be your hope in your work? What are you hoping for in your work? Do you hope your office will look as cool as the office of Google, Dropbox or Lego? Or are you hoping to find the right career?

For most of us I know this is something that we want to achieve that’s why we hope for it. We even pray for it. We hope to find our dream job. We might be in a place right now were there’s too much work and we feel that compensation is not at par with the load you are given. You have too many overtime plus there’s office politics.

Do not endure because of your hope in finding the right job someday, but work because you are working for the Lord

Colossians 3:23-24

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Look at the hope that is being mentioned here – “since you know what you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as reward.” You will get a reward as you live a life of obedience, just working for the Lord even if you earthly bosses doesn’t reward you.

That’s why you are to respond properly and do your best in your work. Love the people (your officemates) you work with and share Jesus to them. Show Jesus in how you do your work and do not crumble

I know this is easier said than done. I have experienced this. But let your focus be on desiring to hear from God “Well done good in faithful servant.” Imagine that kind of a reward! And as we work for him, the Lord will empower us to work with passion and love for what we are doing when we rely on Him and the power of the Holy Spirit

Our hope in work should also not be to gather riches in this world which his temporary.

1 Timothy 6:17

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Put hope not on Money but the Lord. That you may find security in Him and not in material possession.

2) HOPE IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS

What are you hoping for in your relationships? Finding the Perfect Partner? Or the hope that marriage will solve everything?

I appeal to you brothers and sisters that our hope to get love and attention should not be on people. People are not perfect. They will fail us. Hope is secure in God because God is not changing and will never fail us. That’s why single individuals are not to focus on marriage as a means to an end to this single life but our focus is to be the best the Lord wants us to be.

I don’t know if you’ve read this article entitled “Marriage Isn’t for You.” It went viral and got a million hits. Seth Adam Smith, the writer, got it!

“Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me,” Smith begins, before pulling a bait and switch on the reader and launching into his pro-marriage stance, which he developed after getting cold feet before his wedding to wife Kim. “Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?”

Turned to his father for guidance and says that what he learned was life-altering. “He said, ‘Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.’”

I believe this is the kind of selfless love that we need to develop. This is the kind of love that we need to learn how to practice in our family and friends. And we can only learn how to do this once we understand that true love can only be found in the Lord.

What should be our hope in our relationships? Our hope in our relationships for the people that we love is for them to know the Lord. We should not be selfish. We should only look after their best. And that is for them to have a relationship with the Lord and experience eternal life with Him in heaven someday.

But you can only hope in God – that the power of His love and grace will be able to transform them. Because change is not dependent on us but on the Lord.

1 Corinthians 3:4-6

4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? 5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.

If you are praying for the salvation of a family member – Hope in the Lord. If you are leading a bible study group or discipleship group, you need to realize that change will not come from you but from God.
Of course, you have to do your part in being faithful to sharing Jesus to them. That they may get to know the Lord and be secured in their future. You need to take action! It’s hope that moves. Hope in God.

3) OUR HOPE IN OUR FUTURE

It is our future destination that gives us hope.

Colossians 1:4-5

4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

Not matter what we are going through in this earth – trails, pain, hardship, etc. It is nothing compared to eternity. Our time here is just like a day that has gone by compared to eternity. What should you value more, 60 years on earth or limitless years in eternity?

Think about it. Hardship is just like a second compared to an eternity of pleasure with the Lord in Heaven.
That’s why as children of God, we always have hope! Maybe on the earth you feel none but this is only our temporary place.

As singles, we are easily prone to lose our eternal focus because of the things we want to do. We want to achieve a lot in our work. We want to be fit and exercise. We want to travel and see the whole world. We want to try a new hobby or start investing to save for the future.

But it is not the temporary investments that you should give your time and effort to but on the things that will have eternal value. This is where we should invest our time and effort into. That means sharing Jesus to people around you because their relationship with Him is what will last all throughout eternity. And if that means you are to do your best in your office, in hope that people will see Jesus in you, then do so passionately.

Have the right anchor in your hope. Hope in God alone in your work, relationship and future. God is our hope which will never disappoint us and fail us. There will be a time where we will have problems and go through trials. What should keep us going is our hope in God and in his never ending love.

I love this story about a guy in Bangladesh who was being persecuted and was going through a tough time but had anchored his hope in Jesus Christ alone. This is what he said:

Milon says, “We are going through many problems, but still we have Jesus Christ. We have peace through Him, and we have hope that when we die we will go to heaven.”

This guy knew where to place his hope. How about you? Where are you putting your hope into? Is it anchored in the right foundation?

We will cut off your feet (Milon G, Jesus Freaks)

The angry crowd yelled after the lone bicyclist, “If we see you again, we will cut off your feet. Then see if you can ride your bike!”

This is not the first time Milon G. had been threatened by angry crowds of Muslims. But such threats have not quenched his zeal to take the truth of God’s Word to his countrymen.

Indian boy Riding a Bike“I ride to the villages on my bicycle and carry Christian literature. In the rains, I hold an umbrella in one hand and steer with the other. I often fall down and get muddy and scratched. At night, I hold a flashlight. I sing from the Psalms when I ride. The Christians I meet do not have an extra blanket for me, so I try to make it back home to sleep.”

Milon was a teenager when a friend gave him some gospel booklets. “I hid them in a steel trunk in my bedroom. At night I would get my keys, open the trunk and read with a kerosene lamp. Having studied in a muslin fundamental school for twelve years, I had known about Jesus as mentioned in Koran but I didn’t know Him as Saviour. I accepted Jesus in 1992 and was baptized secretly 400 kilometres from my home.”

Stockphoto indian marketEver since then, Milon has been persecuted by Muslims. “I sold clothing in the local market and began placing some Christian books in my shop for other Christians. When Muslim men learned of this, they would walk into my shop and just take shirts, pants and socks from the shelf without paying for them. If I asked for money they threatened to bet me. Anytime someone is interested in the booklets, I give them one.”

Milon says, “We are going through many problems, but still we have Jesus Christ. We have peace through Him, and we have hope that when we die we will go to heaven.”

From Jesus Freaks: stories of those who stood for Jesus 

  • Check my Top Posts & Pages

    What is Spiritual Perseverance?
    Trust God. He is in Control.
    One lesson we can learn from Jesus washing the disciples’ feet