Do you like detours?

Do you like detours? Here in Manila we know a simple detour can greatly affect our traffic. I know we don’t like detours. I know we don’t like seeing our plans change. But the reality is, there can be detours on the road but at the same time in our lives as well.

I remember a detour that I experienced in life. Only a few people know this, but last 2016 I already wanted to get married. I had a chance to talk to the parents of my girlfriend back then but was advised to wait. They wanted to get to know me more before they give me their approval for marriage. It was a huge detour in my life. At first, I did not understand why. But looking back, I now understand why God had to allow that. God had my best interest in His mind and His perfect timing for me to get married was last November 30, 2017.

Another person that experienced, not just one detour in his life, but a lot of detours is Joseph.

jacob_joseph_coatJoseph was a dreamer. He had a dream (Genesis 37:5-8) that he was going to be someone great. His brothers were so jealous of him and they planned to kill him. But instead, they sold him into slavery. This was the first detour in Joseph’s life. Normally, when we experience detours in our life, we grumble and complain against God, but in Joseph’s case, he never did. When he was sold as a slave in the household of Potiphar, he found success. But just when things were now going well (Genesis 39:1-2), another detour came his way. Potiphar’s wife accused him (Genesis 39:17-18) of rape, so Joseph was sent to jail. In jail, Joseph still found success. God’s hand was with him. He was able to interpret the dream of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker. The cupbearer was restored to his office as Joseph interpreted and just as he taught the cupbearer would return the favor by mentioning him (Genesis 40:14) to Pharaoh, the cupbearer forgets him for two more years – another detour.

Despite the multiple detours that Joseph experienced, God was still with him. Pharaoh learned about Joseph who can interpret dreams and made him second in command. And he was used by God to save the very brothers that sold him into slavery. Joseph said in Genesis 50:20:

 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

Detours are not really easy to accept. In life, there will be many detours we will experience. But be encouraged that our detours are not accidents. God has a plan and God is always in control. He can turn something evil for good. The best response during detours is to trust God and refrain from grumbling against Him. Everything that he allows is for our good. James 1:16-17 said:

 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Don’t allow your circumstances to dictate the character of God. God is always good. Everything that He allows for our life is for our good because God is good. Be encouraged with the life of Joseph.

Are you experiencing a detour in your life right now? Are your plans not going as planned? What do you think God is teaching you? How do you think should you respond?

I don’t know what you are going through, but I know God knows. Trust Him. When you encounter detours, remember what Joseph said, and comfort your heart with this truth:

 YOU MEANT EVIL AGAINST ME, BUT GOD MEAN IT FOR GOOD.

 

 

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Seriously, how can we feed 5000 men?

Luke 9:12

Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.”

Crowd of 5000 that Jesus fed

It was very interesting to read the disciples command Jesus to send the crowd away, so they can eat. It seems right and practical, I don’t think they were ready to feed 5,000 men.

But rather than doing what seems logical during that situation, Jesus commanded his disciples to feed them. If you were one of the disciples, what would your reaction be? Honestly, if I was one of the disciples during that time I could have told Jesus that he was crazy! It’s impossible to feed 5,000 men when you don’t have the money to buy the food, plus you don’t even have the time to prepare the food. So why did Jesus tell his disciples to do this?

John 6:6 tells us, “This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.” This is the same story, but John gives us the reason why Jesus told his disciples to do that.

You see, there are moments where God would ask us to do something impossible  – this can also be something that seems absurd or doesn’t make sense. The reason that God tells us to obey is not that we are capable, but for us to see what he can do through us. It was not the disciples who produced the food for the 5,000 men. It was Jesus who used the food of an ordinary person who only had 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed a large crowd.

How about you? What do you think Jesus is asking you to do today? Do you believe Jesus is powerful enough to do the possible and work through you? What is something ordinary in your hand right now that the Lord can use for this glory?

Remember, what is impossible to man is possible to God. In the story of the feeding of the 5,000, the crowd was fed but the amazing thing that we should still take note of is that there were still 12 baskets of leftovers. Jesus can do the impossible and even do beyond that we think or imagine. What an amazing God we have!

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His Man and His Woman Q&A (Part 2)

It’s been two months since I posted the first of part of this series. I know some of you were anticipating the second entry. Again, there were so many panel questions we weren’t able to answer during our Biblical manhood and womanhood series. This entry is meant to continue that topic.

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Question #3:

Hi! It has been said men should step up. Could you expound more on what stepping up is and what it means?

Answer #4:

I have seen single men who are passive. It breaks my heart because I see so much potential in them, but they don’t want to step up. When I say “step up,” it means being more involved in the context of ministry. I want them not to be scared of volunteering, taking a leadership position, and preaching the Gospel if they have to. It also means doing what God wants them to do even if that might result in failure along the way.

For example a lot of men need to share the gospel and disciple other men, they need to obey God’s commission to make disciples and evangelize. They cannot allow their fear of failure to hinder them from building their own DGroup and spreading the Good News.

A lot of men don’t step up because they’re scared of failure. They have to accept the possibility that they might fail along the way. Not that they want to, but as imperfect human beings, we are prone to mistakes. It’s not about making mistakes or failing. It’s how you come back strong that will define your character and leadership.

So men, step up. Don’t be scared to lead, fail, and not know everything before doing so. Be scared of being passive and disobedient to God’s direction in your life.

 

Question #4:

How do you make sure that your single life is maximized for the Lord?

Answer #4:

Whenever I hear this question, I always think about what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:34.

“…and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

So to maximizing your single life to the Lord is being undivided in your devotion to Him. This means while you’re a single individual, you will make the most out of your time to focus on Him and what He wants you to do. You have the luxury of time, so go and attend as many conferences, seminars, and Bible studies that you can. You are free from serious commitment, so serve God as well. Serve in a ministry. Build your discipleship group. Go to different mission trips. The insight here is: Spend your time on activities that have eternal value.

 

Question #5:

What if you see your preferences in a girl who goes to the same church (Connect)? How would you respond?

Answer #5:

Don’t be aggressive and carried away by your emotions. First pray, then observe. Observe how that girl serves the Lord, how that girl worships the Lord, how that girl studies God’s word, how that girl relate to other people, and that girl’s lifestyle. In time, combined with prayer and the blessing of your parents, DGroup leader, and other related mentors, look for opportunities to know her more in a group setting (refer to my answer in the first question about group settings).

Then when everything seems to be clear, and you sense this might be the person that God wants you to pursue, ask your mentors what the next steps are. Just ensure that you are covered with lots of prayer and accountability.

 

Question #6:

How should a godly man respond to a girl that made up a story about him?

Answer #6:

First of all, how did the news come to you? Did you have a friend that said this is happening in their DGroup? Or did you personally see and hear the girl gossiping to her DGroup about you? If you personally saw and heard that happening, you have to confront that individual. You should rebuke the individual in a loving way. You can politely butt in and say, “Pardon me, I overheard your discussion but that is not actually what happened…” Then you explain what actually happen or say the real story. Then ask the person who was telling the wrong story why she is sharing something untrue from what actually happened.

Your objective is not to embarrass her in front of her friends, but to understand her heart and what led her to do this.

But, if this is news you heard from a second- or third-hand source, it may not be wise to confront the individual.  One thing you can do is pray for that person. Another thing you can do is to respond in a godly way. Do not be affected by this gossip since they are sharing a wrong story about you. You know the truth. There’s no need to worry if you really know that you did nothing wrong. Allow your life and your actions to speak the truth. If you do that and you are above reproach, whatever people negatively say about you will not be accepted by others because they’ve seen the real you. Pray and surrender this to the Lord. Allow your godly actions to speak louder than ungodly, untruthful words.

 

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There are a couple of more questions to answer which will be tackled in the third and final entry. Thank you for your patience. Again, if you have anything that you want to share, just leave a comment below. I like hearing from you. God bless!

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