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“Who Reigns?”

Psalm 97: 1; 99: 1: “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad. The Lord reigns, let the peoples tremble, He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake!” The Lord reigns – how do you respond to that? The earth rejoices, for it knows that full restoration from the fall is possible only when the Creator is worshipped as such by His children (Romans 8: 19-21). The peoples, the nations, tremble, as He shakes them and fills His house with His glory (Haggai 2: 6). How about you? Have you worked out in your life what it means to you that “The Lord Reigns”?

“Futile Scheme”

1 Corinthians 7: 29a, 31: “The time has been shortened, so that those who use the world should be as those who do not make full use of it, for the form of this world is passing away.” The word ‘form’ that St. Paul uses here is, in his Greek, ‘schema’, from which we get the word ‘scheme.’ Indeed, the world’s schemes are not here forever, for they are contrary to the Kingdom of God. But if it is true of us, as it was of the shrewd steward (Luke 16: 8), that we are more shrewd in operating the schemes of the world than we are the ways of the Kingdom, what will we do when they pass away?

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time: “Walking in Sacred Sensitivity”

Amos 6;1-7 Psalm 146 1 Timothy 6:17-19 Luke 16:19-31 We are glad to be here because Jesus is here with us! Every Sunday, He stands here with His arms open. Whether we come or we don’t come, He is waiting. We can pray at home; we can sing songs at home. We can go to the mall and praise the Lord, but something unique happens when God’s people gather. Psalm 149 says, “Let the two-edged sword be in their mouth and in their lips.” We are not only worshipping God, but we are drawing a two-edged sword that will begin to rebuke and to challenge the enemy that has tried to take on lives of people. Amos was very vivid about this when he said, “Woe to those who are complacent and at ease at Sam

"Walking in Sacred Sensitivity"

Our God is a God of love, and out of His love comes generosity. Since the beginning, His generosity has been manifested through His creation. Jesus revealed in John 3:16 the generous nature of God, and this passage is considered as the key to man's salvation. Man, being created according to God's likeness and image, also has that nature of loving generosity. In Psalm 146:3, it mentions princes and man as sources of riches, but they cannot help man enter the Kingdom of God. Giving financial assistance, food, shelter and clothing to the needy are not bad at all; but the wealth of man can choke the message of salvation and cause unfruitfulness (Matt.13: 22). Jesus addressed our Gospel readin

“The City was Quiet”

2 Kings 11: 20: “So all the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet. For they had put Athaliah to death with the sword at the king’s house.” Athaliah’s name meant “Yahweh is exalted,” but she was a wicked woman who killed her grandsons and seized the throne. As long as her treachery was allowed the city was in turmoil, but when, after six years, the priests finally confronted her, Jerusalem was at peace once more. Dealing with spiritual chicanery leads to peace; allow it to fester and the city of God will never be quiet.

“Temptation”

Matthew 6: 12, 13: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” What kind of temptation do we ask deliverance from? Adultery, stealing, killing, or covetousness? In context with the rest of the prayer, there can only be one answer: the temptation to forgive our debtors. Those other things aren’t good by any means, but Jesus considered unforgiveness as a much more serious temptation, one that would affect your own forgiveness from God. It’s there in black and white, like it or not.

“Posting Prayers”

Matthew 6: 6: “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father Who is in secret, and your Father Who sees in secret will repay you.” There are some people who have never been seen praying online, have never posted pictures of their prayer closets. Good for them! It seems they know Who they are praying to, and why they are praying. I’m pretty sure their prayers can be trusted. And that’s all I wanna say about that ...

“Listen and Obey”

Psalm 81: 11, 12: “But My people did not listen to My voice; and Israel did not obey Me. So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices.” Why do we think that God is obligated to bless us, just because we call ourselves His people? As His children, He gives us the choice to follow Him or not. If we stubbornly abuse our free will in this matter, then angrily accuse Him of abandoning us, we simply show that we do not know our God at all, and have become proudly presumptuous.

“Lose the Leaven”

1 Corinthians 5: 7, 8: “Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the feast, not with the old leaven …” We pray this verse in almost every Eucharist, but rarely bring out its full meaning. St. Paul has been comparing leaven with pride; they both cause something to rise up. He then reminders the Corinthians that just as leaven (pride) was not allowed in the sacrifices of Israel, neither is it, or malice, or wickedness allowed in our lives when we come to the Lord’s Table. Christ was leavened; we should be, also!

“Master of Sarcasm”

1 Corinthians 4: 8: “You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and I would indeed that you had become kings so that we might also reign with you.” When is it appropriate to indulge in such biting sarcasm? One, if you’re St. Paul (you’re not), and two, if those who came behind you in ministry, mere water boys in the field you planted and cultivated (3: 8), criticize you and exalt themselves over you. In these cases only, sarcasm is warranted; and St. Paul could be sarcastic with the best of them.

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time: “Walking in Responsible Stewardship”

Amos 8: 4-12 Psalm 113 1 Timothy 2: 1-8 Luke 16: 1-12 Stewardship is the handling or the managing of things, possessions, resources that are another’s and is entrusted to somebody else. There are three things that I want us to remember. One, we are stewards, not owners. God is the Owner of the earth and all that is in it. Two, we will give an account someday of the things He has entrusted to us. Three, we should handle the things He has given us with eternity in our minds. We are stewards, not owners. We don’t own squat. We don’t own anything. In the Parable of the Vineyard, it shows us the foolishness, even the tragedy that comes to us when we think we are the owners of things and

“Walking in Responsible Stewardship”

“Although God gives us ‘all things richly to enjoy,’ nothing is ours. Nothing really belongs to us,” writes Author Bill Peel, in his book What God Does When Men Lead: The Power and Potential of Regular Guys. “God owns everything; we’re responsible for how we treat it and what we do with it. While we complain about our rights here on earth, the Bible constantly asks, What about your responsibilities? Owners have rights; stewards have responsibilities.” We’re all stewards, and responsible stewardship is the duty of every human being. When God created us, He designed and built each one of us for the responsibilities of stewardship. This means being responsible is innate in us. It is embedded in

“Tough Lessons”

Psalm 27: 2, 3: “When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.” We’ve seen recently David’s struggles, and how they developed him into Israel’s greatest king. Similarly we’ve seen how Solomon never fought a battle, never had a conflict. He ended up being deceived away from the Lord by the quest for comfort. I can imagine that Davic eventually regretted that he didn’t take his son and heir to his throne into the battlefield once in a while. It’s too late for him, but not for us …

“Foolishness”

1 Corinthians 3: 19: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, ‘He is the One Who catches the wise in their craftiness.’” In this world of pleasure-seeking comfort addicts, what is seen as wisdom is marked by disorder, selfish ambition, and just plain evil (James 3: 14, 15). Paul, who knew his share of conflict, saw it differently. Following the advice of the self-styled purveyors of such ‘wisdom’ leads to captivity, not freedom, for it is not truth, but deception.

“The Path to Blessings?”

Matthew 5: 10: “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” With singular focus many believers strive to escape poverty, and sorrow, and hunger, and by all means, persecution. At heart, the avoidance of these things was their reason for becoming Christians in the first place. But in the Kingdom of God these things are not an avenue to the blessings of better things, they are sometimes the better things, signs of a blessed life to be embraced, not cast off. Once more we see today’s comfort Christianity is not Christianity at all.

“Adding Insult to Injury”

1 Kings 22: 23: “Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the Lord has proclaimed disaster upon you.” All the prophets were speaking what the people wanted to hear (v. 13), but Macaiah was hearing something way different from God Himself. What to do? Tell the truth, or avoid the conflict? Years under Israel’s worst king (1 Kings 21: 25) had taught him the necessity of being God’s true mouthpiece (v. 14) and the end of the story validates his choice. Sometimes a believer has to say what a believer has to say, and leave the consequences to God.

“Wall-leaning 101”

Psalm 62: 3: “How long will you assail a man, that you may murder him, all of you, like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?” How do you think David discovered that God was his Rock, his Stronghold, and his sure Defense? By leaning on a tottering fence or two. They weren’t easy lessons, but they were essential for the success of his reign. Again, the most important lessons aren’t learned in the comfort of the classroom.

“This Sure Ain’t Max’s!”

Matthew 3: 13; 4: 1: “Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him … Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil.” What would you rather have: a christening party or one big fight? The Holy Spirit threw Jesus the latter. But in those forty days Jesus learned much, and even the devil learned something – just Who he was up against. We spend so much time avoiding discomfort, but remember, “Jesus learned submission from the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5: 8).

"Walking in Rescue Missions"

It is a common experience of our human nature that we don't want losing something that we once had. Especially if it is so valuable and cherish it a lot. We feel sad if this happens. More so, for our God, He cares so much for His people and He knows whether we are saved or lost. The reading in Luke 15:1-10 reveal the character of our God, extending mercy to the undeserving and the hurting. The message of Love. When I read about the parables of the Lost sheep and the Lost Coin, I can't help to read it over again. I can't help myself into the story as a sheep and as a coin, the lost one. When I came to find Jesus as my Saviour, I feel that I am home. The spiritual meaning of these p

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time: “Walking in Rescue Missions”

Exodus 32: 7-14/Psalm 51:1-11/1 Timothy 1: 12-17/Luke 15: 1-10 God is full of mercy and compassion. He deals with us according to His compassion. Our Epistle reading tells us that Paul identified himself as a former blasphemer, a persecutor and violent aggressor. He fell to the ground when he had an encounter with Jesus Christ who asked him why he was persecuting Him. When he got up, he couldn’t see and he experienced this for three days where he did not eat or drink, and the Lord instructed Ananias to restore Paul. Before he was converted, Paul separated families and he confiscated personal possessions; but God was not done with Him. Paul was an enemy, but he was a chosen vessel of God

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