When Things Aren’t Going So Well || Weekly Devotions


 

When Things Aren’t Going So Well

Philippians 4:8
Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Its good to be aware of the negative things around us, but it is so much better to witness, learn, and understand God’s great plan for you than to find ways to bring the enemy down by your own strength. Stop trying too hard and LET GOD LEAD, because it is ONLY BY HIS GRACE that we are able to receive our salvation. Not by works, not by your own faith, but by God’s grace THROUGH the FAITH that He has given you.

Things might not be going so well for you, but I hope and pray that you will learn to look past that and continue to glorify God in the midst of your difficulties because it is written in Matthew 6:4 that when you DO GOOD, do it IN SECRET. Then your Father (God) who sees what is done in secret will reward you in full.

#OnlyByTheGraceOfGod
A Short Message From Mary:

Hello my lovelies, I know I haven’t been writing much, as always. There were so many things I had to deal with (both good and bad) that I didn’t find the right time to write. Well, that is both true and false (laziness). Anyway, part of the reason is that I’m at the Philippines! Aaand, I’m going back to Dubai once again. So fast right? *sniffles* I’m feeling mixed emotions right now. But good news! I have so much to write about! I just hope that I find the time to write it, hehehe 🙂 Man, God has been so good… but I couldn’t list them all right now or even then because there’s just too much to list. Anyway, I got to go spend as much time with my family and relatives (by watching a nice movie together) before we leave. I pray that you all be blessed by this post and that whatever you are going through right now, know that God will never leave you! He will be there for you through it all ❤ God bless my lovelies!

– Mary

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When my Heart Doesn’t Burn for God…


My Heart Yearns to Burn for Christ

May ~ June 11, 2014

School’s ended a bit too early for me, though I must admit I had prayed so much for it to end, yet I still feel a deep void within me. My situation? I’ve lost my passion. I haven’t really lost it, I just feel like I did. Of all the things I’ve gone through, I find this the hardest to deal with. I find it impossible to not hunger for the Lord. He has done so many wonders in my life, He gave me so many beautiful things I don’t deserve, showed me a glimpse of Heaven through His creations, and because of that one touch of His love, He changed me… But my desire for God is like a roller coaster, it just goes up and down, but never stays up where all the beauty could be seen and admired. I expected to have an exciting vacation filled with missions and glorifying praise for the Lord! But it was when vacation started had I felt the loss of purpose and growth of boredom. How do I turn this Holiday, into a Holy day?

I hoped this feeling would go away the next day, but it just grew worse and worse the more I waited. I felt no passion and no burning desire for God, though I continued to encourage other people despite my situation, I didn’t feel God’s presence at all. I felt like I had just wasted my time… I recall my aunt say,

We should pray even if we don’t feel like it. PUSH! Pray Until Something Happens.

It was a simple command to pray, but ignoring your emotions isn’t. I can’t count how many times I had dismissed my prayer time for my own desires or just plain laziness, but has God ever dismissed my requests? No, He listens and he answers. I know this, because I have witnessed it. Then why at times do I feel like He’s not there, when I know for sure He is? Here’s a thing we should all remember, our feelings our unreliable. Our feelings change all the time, we can’t rely on it. But our God and His word? it will never change. Our identity is based on the bible, God’s word, and not our emotions. Makes sense?

To be honest, I asked for this. I recall telling God, “Lord, you are so amazing! I will never drift away again! Test me, test my faith in you! I could handle it, for I know that you wouldn’t give me something I couldn’t carry”, I imagined God smiling at me, shaking his head in amusement and saying “Okay my child, but there will be a time when you will drift away… don’t worry, I’ll never leave you”. I practically shook my head at this, “No, Lord, I will never!”  How could I? I love you all too much to turn my back. He was right though, I did drift away, but He didn’t. 🙂 I prayed this because I wanted to prove myself to God, which reminds me of Peter and the Rooster…

 (Luke 22:33-34) But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” and yet again, He was right! Amazing isn’t it?

But why would God allow this? What’s the purpose of trying to connect with God when He simply allows me to feel like He’s not even there?

What’s faith when we could FEEL God all the time?

And that basically answered it, God answered my question with another question haha. Man, there are lots of proof that God exists, yet why do I still doubt? Well, its human nature. But we have a perfect God who will never leave us, who will never give us up. He loves us. And I keep saying this because I KNOW it, I have felt it, the feelings just kind of vanished though- but I’ll keep fighting for that, you know why? Because once you have felt that LOVE of GOD… you will never be the same again. You will yearn for it. 

How do I fight the wall that’s keeping me from God?

Never give up. You have to exert effort in this. I know I did, I had to. It’s easy to just give up and drift away, but once you do that- there will always be that missing piece and no other person or thing or even angels could fill. Only Jesus. So what I continuously do each day is that when I wake up in bed, I put God first. No matter how much I want to pick up my phone and check my notifications- it would only make me feel discouraged and disappointed. So, put God first. He will never disappoint you. You just have to be persistent, grab His attention! Check this out…

(Luke 18:1, 7-8) Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly…

So I tell you now (including myself), be persistent. No it doesn’t annoy God as I thought it would, instead, it grabs His attention and He sees what’s in your house- sorry, I mean heart. Haha, I wandered off a bit over there. Anyway, see my point? I know its easy to just stay where you are and stay depressed and discouraged and just wallow in it (because after all these times you’ve carried this for so long, and now its turned into your comfort zone- and no matter how ironic this is, its true) but I tell you now, that unless you do something about it, surrender, and be right with God you will never be able to fill up that missing piece in your heart.

I wanted God to surprise me, to give me a job to do, to use me…

That desire to be used… it always stuck. I always wanted something big to happen, for God to surprise me. But its been so long and nothing happened. I became discouraged and lost hope. But you see, I should be in content with what God has given me. If I ain’t content with the small things in life, then what about the bigger things God has in store for me?

Every time I wake up from bed, I have this discouraged and sunken feeling like “Oh! its another same old day… yippie.” but again! I have to tell myself over and over that I shouldn’t cater my feelings. I shouldn’t feed on it. I shouldn’t trust my feelings ’cause it changes every time- but God doesn’t! No matter how low I feel without that passion in my heart- everything would just stay dull. I read the bible everyday, I try to give my time to God, I talk to Him in every moment I remember Him- I just want to feel Him there. But, nothing. No audible voice. No visions. No dreams. No, nothing. And its really frustrating but it doesn’t shake my faith at all- I know and believe that there is still a God out there, listening to me. That’s my comfort. And this is what I advice you to do, after this very long post, this is finally the conclusion to all the things I have just said…

Do everything, and I mean everything you can to feel and ignite that connection between you and God. Fight for it! If its singing, reading the bible, praying- just do whatever it takes. Even if it only lasts for a moment. I just couldn’t get over it.

You could never get an overdose from the love of Christ. Never.

And I just love to write… I know random- but writing out my feelings is like my way of connecting to God. I seek Him and the questions I have in my mind makes me want to get to know God more and more each day. And just writing it down… God somehow, in His own wondrous way, gives me the answers to all these questions as I continue to just write and write and write to Him and to you guys. Paul is right…

For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6)

This is a pretty long post- or at least for me… haha! but I just really felt this one in my heart. And I really want to encourage all of you to, NOT give up on the Lord 🙂 He never gave up on you. That’s all for now lovelies ❤ God bless you all!


Here’s a verse for you and a word of encouragement!

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

Amen! You might be planning ahead for something right now, it may be your college course, it may be your job, your new house, your school, relationships… but don’t worry- if it is the Lord’s will, who could go against you? Just have faith, do the next right thing, and God will direct your path. Don’t be afraid, God, king of all kings, is with you!

God’s Thoughts & Mine: Pduh (PDA) || Right or Wrong?


John 12:13

Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

This act of MARY‘s, showed public display of affection. Judas probably cringed at the scene stating that she could’ve sold the perfume and given the money to the poor. He thought it was a waste- not because he cared, but because he was a thief (v.5-6) . But Jesus loved it, He appreciated her public display of affection and thought wonderful of it. Now take a look at DANIEL who also showed his love towards God in a very open manner…

Daniel 6:10

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Though he has been warned of the new law the King has agreed to sign (v.7), nevertheless, Daniel continued to pray and worship his God with no shame. He didn’t even bother to close the curtains and pray quietly, no. He showed public display of affection towards God. He wasn’t afraid, he didn’t care about what other people thought. He only cared about what God thought of him. Now witness God’s miraculous protection to Daniel when the guards threw him in the den of lions!

What about the PHARISEE’s public display?

Luke 18:11

“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 

Do you think God saw him as righteous? The difference between the Pharisee’s and Daniel’s/Mary’s act of worship is very far apart. The Pharisee took boast on himself, but Daniel took boast on the Lord. The Pharisee was prideful, Mary was humble. The Pharisee prayed for himself, but Daniel prayed for the furtherance of God’s kingdom. The Pharisee’s PDA? is not affectionate at all- its egoistical and arrogant. The Lord has more favor towards the TAX COLLECTOR who confessed his sinful ways than the boast of the rich Pharisee towards himself (v. 13-14).

But what about the PDA that is not towards God but rather to the opposite gender?

I could only tell you that it depends. The bible didn’t speak of PDA in a direct manner, but there are some verses that are indirect which moves toward this subject. Well, MY thoughts of PDA towards the opposite sex? I do not like it at all- regardless of your age or action- I find it uncomfortable to sit beside a couple cuddling with each other, caressing ones arms and playing with one another’s hands at the middle of a church service. It’s just disturbing. Yes, its sweet and GOD desires for a MARRIED couple to show affection and love towards each other, but think about the many people who can’t focus at church and their urges to just gag. I know I’m being quite harsh, but its something to think about and discuss. ESPECIALLY to those innocent and care-free teenagers. I’m a teenager, and though little crushes on boys is nice, I feel pity for the many broken hearted teens who sought comfort from the wrong person. Please, just stop Pduh-ing and maybe show affection through kindness and helpfulness towards our brothers and sisters in Christ, or much better, show “public display of affection” towards the Lord our God who seeks our love and affection!

No PDA isn’t that bad, holding hands and little side hugs are okay- but to the opposite gender, especially to those who aren’t married? Just stop right at your tracks. Who knows where this could lead to? calm your hormones bud. This isn’t what God has in mind. Sex, love, kisses, hugs, are beautiful things and aren’t supposed to be abused by those who don’t use it in God’s right time and place. Let me clear it up for you,

PDA towards God? no problemo! But to those couples on the streets? PD-Ain’t happenin’. Just say, Heck no!

Haha God bless you my lovelies ❤ Think twice and be wise. If you have any thoughts and/or opinions or even corrections/feedback, don’t be shy to share it with us in the comment section below! Thank you!

Notes:

Bibe Gateway; John12:13, Daniel 6:10, Luke 18:11

Fortifying the Family

 

If You Had to Choose… Family or GOD?


Many people believe in Jesus, even satan himself believes in Jesus. It’s safe to say that some people may believe in the Lord but not all will inherit the kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21). Let me ask you one important question, why do you believe in Jesus? What made you believe in Him in the first place?

Godfirstbro

Now the whole topic here is “Jesus or Family”. Many people believe in Jesus because they want to be together with their family in Heaven. This is true, and trust me this will happen. It’s part of God’s plan. But when you ask them, “who would you choose, Jesus or your family?” Who would you think they’d choose? Who would you choose?

Well, think about this, what if your wife leaves you? or what if your child dies one day? 

What if, everybody turned their back on you, even your loved ones? then what?

Who would you turn to then?

I’ll tell you one thing, the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you (Deu. 31:6). But now you’re angry at God, “why did you take my son?!” or “Why did you allow my husband to leave me, God?”

Remember that God is a Jealous God filled with love-driven jealousy. He knows you love your family dearly (and so does He)… but the Lord also knows if they’re preventing you from finding the real reason why Jesus, His son, died on the cross for our sins. Maybe the only way for you to really move on, is for God to take someone away from your life and bring in someone new. The God who opens doors also closes them, but trust me when I say, He has a very good reason to. He has a plan. Something far GREATER will come your way. Just trust in Him.

Also remember that your wife, your husband, your children, your siblings, your grandparents, and loved ones here on earth AREN’T GOD. They do not hold the key to Heaven. Jesus does. Your family NEEDS SALVATION just as much as you do. Remember that Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:35). We have to eat His bread and drink His blood BY FAITH (not literally eat Jesus) and eating is a personal thing, right? You can’t let somebody else eat your food and have YOU benefit from it!

Salvation is a personal thing. You can’t let someone believe in Jesus for you to inherit His kingdom.

If your whole purpose for believing God is for your family, then what about you? Lets say your whole family is saved, that’s wonderful! But what about YOU? God cares about each and every one of us. And I know its not really good to compare… but if you had to choose, who would you run to?

Your family… or GOD?

HALT! : The answer is God 😀 “As for me and my house, we’re gonna serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15) not the other way around. GOD IS YOUR FIRST PRIORITY.

Suicide, Cutting, & Hurt || STOP!


1 Corinthians 6:20
For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Had a nightmare last night of a friend who sought for attention, she had scars on her wrists due to cutting. “Don’t you notice?” she cried.

So I just wanted to remind my peeps, you were bought with a price… maybe you’d say “Well I didn’t even ask to be bought” or “I’m too expensive, sorry”, my reply is, the Lord loves you and if He didn’t give His son Jesus to save you, well, you’d know where you’d be. Blunt truth guys. We don’t know how many kids and teens are considering suicide or other wrong decisions, but just so you know, somebody DOES care for you and LOVE you. Don’t destroy your body just because you feel emotionally broken. THE LORD IS NEAR THE BROKENHEARTED AND SAVES THE CRUSHED IN SPIRIT. (Psalm 34:18) Don’t even think about it. You think it will benefit others thinking that if you’re gone maybe they would live happier lives. WRONG! It’s a selfish thought to cut or hurt yourself. Don’t drown yourselves in thoughts like these, instead dive into God’s holy spirit and embrace His love. It’ll change you forever. A BIG, powerful, majestic, and holy God LOVES you and gave His only son to die for junk? I think not. He came to die for something worth dying for… am I right, or am I right?

If you’re considering to commit suicide or have a friend who is thinking of doing so, we’re praying for you. We, the church, might not know your name or where you are right now or what you’re feeling, but GOD KNOWS…

And here’s a good movie to watch: “To Save A Life”

What’s the point of all this, if you’re not gonna let this change you?

That’s all. ^_^ God bless!

Childlike Faith || Do You Want to See Jesus?


April 7 2014

I do not own this picture

One night I asked my little sister who lay with me in bed, “Gab, do you want to know my crush?” she turned to me with an innocent smile plastered on her face,

“Who?” she asked,
“Jesus.”

She scrunched her nose “But how can you marry Jesus?  How can you kiss Jesus? You can’t even see Him…”

At that moment, I started to cry. It was dark so she couldn’t see me. O how I longed to see the face of my Savior. How I longed to hug Him. I asked God, “When?”… after I had stopped crying, I decided to ask my sister again,

“Gab, do you want to know my crush?”
“Who?”
“Jesus.”

She started to repeat her rant “But how can you marry Jesus? How can you kiss Jesus? How can you hug Him?…”

“Do you want to see Jesus?” I asked my little sister, she smiled and nodded “Yes!”
I want to see Jesus, I want to hug Him and lie down on Him… I want to see Jesus when I go there in Heaven.”
“Someday, Gab, we will see Him. When its time. When its the right time.” I whispered to her,
“When is the right time?”
“Only Jesus knows..”

She closed her eyes and fell asleep. And I lay awake… what wonderful faith my sister has. ^_^ Be not childish, but be child-like in your faith towards our Father in Heaven…

So do not lose hope and faith, trust in the Lord. Live for Him until you see Him face to face, live to love Him, live to glorify Him… God bless!