“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
The end God has in mind regarding our sufferings is not just our personal conformity to Christ, but also the conformity of the whole church to Christ, so that all of God’s people will be fit to enjoy fellowship with God forever. It is one thing to be entitled to eternal life; it is another thing to be fit for it. We therefore suffer for the sake of the church (those who are already in it, as well as those who will someday be in it). We die that others may live; but if they live, we live too, in the sense that we all become fit to enjoy the presence of a holy God. Holiness is pleasant only for those who are fit to bear it; otherwise, it is a consuming fire. There will be degrees of nearness to God in heaven, depending on our holiness. All the redeemed will be there, but some will be nearer to God than others. We will all be perfectly happy in heaven, but the joy of some will be greater than others. They have wept more profusely, therefore they will rejoice more exceedingly.
The earth is our temporal foundation of stability. If it gives way, our lives are undone. But we are not afraid because God is our everlasting foundation. He provides unshakeable and eternal stability. He is our refuge in whom we can hide and are protected. He is our strength by whom we are enabled to bear the worst that life can throw at us. He is our help, immediately and always present; therefore, I can confidently face a multitude of troubles.
When trouble strikes I should remain calm and look up to Almighty God who reigns over all. He cares for me and will arise in my behalf.
Help me, to be still, O God, in times of trouble, knowing that you are in control and that you care for me.
(Basis of devotional given to the Men’s Group of Ikthus East, Bacolod City; August 17, 2019)
1 John 3:1-3 ESV
 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Continue reading “Children of God”
(Outline of devotional given to the Men’s Group of Ikthus East – Bacolod City last July 6, 2019)
1 John 2:24-27 ESV
 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.  And this is the promise that he made to us-eternal life.  I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie-just as it has taught you, abide in him. Continue reading “Remaining in the Truth”
(A devotional given to the Men’s group of Ikthus East Bacolod.)
TEXT: 1 John 2:18-26
The apostle John wants us to distinguish between those who are truly God’s children and those who aren’t. At the same time he wants to protect us from false teachers. God’s children have received an anointing from the Holy Spirit: spiritual discernment. They are able to taste and see spiritual truth. Continue reading “Anointed by the Holy One”
“God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation everyday.” (Psalm 7)
God can and does feel anger, but it is a righteous anger consistent with his righteous character. The Bible depicts God as a being who has emotions, but these emotions are under his control. If ever he becomes angry it is because he chooses to be. It is in this light that we should understand the biblical passages that describe him as being provoked by our sins. Being omniscient, he is not caught by surprise by them; nevertheless, he is genuinely provoked and his anger is genuine as well.
“If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword.” (Psalm 7)
The threat is real and should not be taken lightly. In 1 Kings ch. 16, because Baasha provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger with his idols, the Lord destroyed all his house (i.e., family) through the hand of Zimri, in accordance with what the Lord spoke by Jehu the prophet.
Do we take the Lord’s anger lightly? Do we provoke him to anger?
Lord, forgive us for the many times we have provoked you to anger. Help us to fear you with a holy fear. Amen.
“Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true to the Lord all his days And he brought into the house of the Lord the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels.” (1 Kings 15:14-15, ESV)
God has given us a lot of gifts and talents. But do we offer these back to him? Do we bring these to his house? And if we don’t, why not? You have a wonderful singing voice. Do you sing for him? He has given you wealth way beyond what the average person earns. But do you financially support the ministries of your local church? Again, why not? In Asa’s case, because his heart was true to the Lord he brought gifts to the Lord’s house. That’s the key: the heart. As Jesus once said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Lord, please make my heart true to you, that I may bring gifts to your house.