Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions for 2009



1. To keep a daily journal.

2. To read more.

3. To write more.

4. To read through Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions. I'm hoping to find some things there that I may adapt as my own.

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Lord, these things I hope to fulfill for your glory.
Be with me in this endeavor, for apart from you I can do nothing.


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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Isaiah's Christmas


Christmas Lessons from a Man Who Lived Seven Centuries Before Jesus' Birth



Isaiah 9:6


For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Israel is under the threat of Assyrian invasion. Assyria is God's instrument in bringing judgment to rebellious Israel (10:5-6).

God hides his face. He withdraws his favor upon the nation (8:17). Yet in their sinfulness, Israel did not seek God. Instead they hired mediums and necromancers so they could consult the dead (8:19)

And when the prophesied invasion, distress and famine came, they did not repent. Their response: they cursed God (8:21).

The Promised Light

Yet God in his mercy will send his light to subdue the darkness. Light will come (9:2). They will rejoice. They will be glad (9:3). As in the day of Midian, as in the time of Gideon, they will triumph over their oppressors (9:4). They will burn their battle boots and garments (9:5). They no longer need it for peace is coming.

God's cure for our horrors


God's cure for all their misery is--- a baby (9:6). The government shall be upon his shoulders and when he rules, he will be called:

1. Wonderful Counselor- His wisdom is greater than all other kings combined. He could never go wrong in his decisions. His knowledge is perfect.

2. Mighty God- He is powerful. He will never lose a war. He will subdue all his enemies.

3. Everlasting Father- His care for his people will be as tender as an affectionate father. Social injustice will never thrive when this king reigns.

4. Prince of Peace- He is able to bring peace. Not just absence of war, but he will cure the people of their sinfulness so that they will have peace with God (Romans 5:1)

This is Christmas according to Isaiah, that a God so zealous (9:7) to save a rebellious people sent a baby for us to be our king. Oh truly, this grace is amazing


Matthew 1:21

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Aanhin Mo ang "Answered Prayer" kung Nakasimangot naman ang Diyos?

Psalm 106:15: "So he gave them what they asked for,
but sent a wasting disease upon them."


Which do you prefer: a prayer denied or a prayer answered?

Surely, we want God to grant our requests. We want to receive the things that we are longing for. Hindi matino para sa isang tao ang humingi pero ayaw namang tumanggap. We ask because we want to receive.

Ngayo’y baguhin natin ang tanong. Alin ang gusto ninyo: Ipagkait ng Diyos ang ating hinihiling- pero nakangiti siya sa atin o ibigay ng Diyos ang gusto natin pero nakasimangot naman siya?

Minsan ay nagreklamo ang mga Israelita: “Hay! Abo ba natan ‘to? Wala man lang karne… Buti pa sa Ehipto, may isda… may pipino… may milon. May sibuyas… may bawang…pero Ngayon puros manna… manna… manna… Sawang-sawa na kami. Bumalik na lang tayo sa Ehipto”

Ano ang tugon ng Panginoon? Ibinigay niya ang layaw ng kanilang puso. Umihip ang hangin at dala nito maraming karne, karne ng pugo. Abot hanggang baywang, pulot lang ng pulot. Malamang ay sasabihin ng iba: "Aba, answered prayer!"

Subalit sa galit ng Diyos, ang kasunod ng karne ay isang salot at marami ang namatay. Bakit, ang sabi sa verse 13, “they forgot his works” and “they did not wait for his counsel”. They did not honor him as holy. They think of God as untrustworthy. Their belly is more important than God. They craved for meat… they craved for fish… they craved for cucumbers, melons, onions and garlic… May gana sa pagkain, pero walang gana sa Diyos.

Brethren, what does it profit a man if he gains the desires of his heart yet forfeits the pleasure of God? Let us honor Him. Let us wait for his counsel. Let us trust and obey. By His perfect wisdom, He knows what to give. And He knows what to withhold.

Let us keep on asking, but let us remember that we should seek the Giver, not the gifts.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Natin



Psalm 71:9-12
Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
They say, "God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him."
Be not far from me, O God;
come quickly, O my God, to help me.


Nang panahon ng kanyang kabataan, si David ay isang mahusay na mandirigma. Sa 2 Sam.17:8, ang paglalarawan sa kanya ni Hushai ay “mighty… expert in war” (ESV). Hindi ba’t may isang awit na lubhang ikinagalit ni Haring Saul? : "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." (I Sam. 18:7)

Subali’t hindi totoo ang kasabihang “Kalabaw lang ang tumatanda”. Sa paglipas ng panahon ay unti-unting naramdaman ni David ang paghina ng kanyang mga bisig; nauubos ang liksi ng mga binti at tibay ng mga tuhod. Pati ang kanyang paningin na dati-rati’y ubod ng talas, ngayon ay patuloy na lumalabo. Doon nga sa I kings 1:1, sumapit ang sandali na kahit pagpatung-patungin mo ang mga kumot sa kanyang katawan, giniginaw pa rin ang matandang David.

Dito sa Psalm 71, tumanda na nga si David, pero ang kanyang mga kaaway ay hindi nauubos. Sinasamantala nila ang lahat ng pagkakataon upang magsabwatan sa pagpapabagsak kay David.

Sa mga sitwasyong ganito, walang ibang lalapitan si David kundi ang matagal na niyang sinasandalan. Ps. 71:5-6: “For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you;you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you.

Kahit pala noong panahon ng kanyang kabataan; kahit nuon-noon pang malakas siya, hindi siya nagtiwala sa sarili niyang kapangyarihan. Sa lahat ng kanyang pinagdaanan, siya pala ay paulit-ulit na nagkubli sa proteksyon ng kanyang Diyos. Sa verse 20-21, ang kanyang mga pinagdaanang pighati ay marami at pawang mapapait, pero paulit-ulit rin ang paghango sa kanya ng Panginoon mula sa pagkakabagsak kaya’t panatag siya na muli siyang bibigyang karangalan ng Diyos.

Saksi ang bawat araw na idinadagdag ng Panginoon sa ating edad; nagpapatotoo ang mga ito sa katapatan ng Panginoon. At habang tayo ay tumatanda, nawa’y tumitibay rin ang ating pananampalataya sa ating Diyos. Pumuti man ang buhok natin- maaasahan natin siya sapagkat nakataya dito ang kanyang karangalan at kapurihan: (v. 22-24). Ang nais nga ng Panginoon ay maipahayag natin sa mga susunod na salin-lahi ang kanyang kadakilaan (v.18)

Dito sa ibabaw ng lupa, habang tayo ay humihinga. Tiyak na darating ang ibat ibang kahirapan, kapighatian, at problema. Subalit ito ang ating kapanatagan, na ang Diyos ay kasama natin sa lahat ng panahon: edad man natin ay 20, 40, o 80… pumuti man ang buhok natin o kahit malagas na ang lahat ng buhok natin, ang Panginoon ay isang kanlungan na paulit-ulit na masisilungan.

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