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Showing posts from July, 2006

Fulfilling God’s Purpose in Our Time

Is it really possible to fulfill what God wanted us to be and to do?

Well, King David did just that: “David had served God’s purpose in his own generation...” (Acts 13:35a, New Int’l Version) Thus, he was called a man after God’s own heart. What about us? If David can do it, so can we.

This week, I participated in the 1st National Purpose Driven Congress. Dr. Rick Warren, author of the bestselling Purpose Driven Life, and his team shared their biblical insights before the multitude that packed the PhilSports Arena. It was a refreshing retreat for me. Allow me to give you a review of the five purposes of God for our lives.

First, we are planned for God’s pleasure. That’s worship. We are formed for God’s family. That’s fellowship. We are created to become like Christ. That’s discipleship. We are shaped to serve God. That’s ministry. And, we are made for a mission. That’s evangelism. We are called to live a life that fulfills all these purposes.

Note that one of the purposes is evangelism. T…

Being R.E.A.L. Matters

Have you ever asked, “If I were a first time visitor, what would be my impression of this church?” Would you feel so welcome? Does the church have to resort to gimmicks to attract visitors? Charles Swindoll, one of my favorite authors, wrote: “I can assure you, when people discover that a church promotes authenticity, when its leaders model it on a consistent basis, they cannot stay away. It’s like an invisible magnet that draws them in.” This morning we will talk about “Being Real Matters.”

Charles Swindoll defined “authenticity” this way: “Authenticity occurs when real people say real things about real issues with real feelings. When you’re authentic you live what you are.” So, to be authentic is to be real. What happens when we are not real or authentic? We wear masks. We pretend to be what we really are not. Bruce Larson questioned this sad situation: “What’s wrong with the church in our time? It’s the place you go when you put on your best clothes; you worship; you eat together—bu…

Love Heals

Dr. Karl Menninger, noted doctor and psychologist, declared, “Love cures people—both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.”

What led Dr. Menninger to say that? Some time ago, he sought the cause of his patients’ mental illnesses. He decided to develop in his clinic an atmosphere of creative love. He told his staff to give large quantities of love to all patients. They are to avoid any display of unloving attitudes in the presence of the patients. All nurses and doctors must go about their work in and out of the various rooms with a loving attitude. At the end of six months, this experiment of love had cut in half the time spent by patients in the institution. (Adapted from the illustration database of the Biblical Studies Foundation)

I believe love heals marriages also. Loving is the husband’s responsibility just as submitting is the wife’s. I like how The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language translated Ephesians 5:25-28a—“Husbands, go all out in your love for your w…

Be the Woman of Your Husband's Dreams

Let me ask you, “What are the qualities you’re looking for in an ideal partner or spouse?”

It’s okay to have expectations. In premarital counseling, it is important at the onset to ask the engaged couple to share their expectations about marriage with each other to avoid frustration. Allow me to share two things about expectations.

First, be REALISTIC. Your partner probably will not meet your expectations. J. Grant Howard, Jr. wrote, “We have a picture of the perfect partner, but we marry an imperfect person. Then we have two options. Tear up the picture and accept the person, or tear up the person and accept the picture.”

Second, be RESPONSIBLE. Ask yourself, “Do I have those qualities I am looking for?” In his Secret of Loving Josh McDowell wrote, “The golden rule of a successful marriage is that whatever qualities you desire in a mate, develop first in yourself. If you want a queen, you need to be a king. If you want a good lover, you need to be a good lover. Most of us search and se…

The “S” Word

To some, the “S” word brings mental images of shackles with matching chains attached to a heavy iron ball. To other, it means punishment, denial of rights and hard labor.

No, I’m not talking about slavery. The “S” word stands for “submission.”

But there are those who think submission is synonymous to slavery. Maybe it got that stigma because there are men who love to beat their wives on the head with these words: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (New International Version)

But submission is not a bad word. In fact, The Message (The Bible in Contemporary Language) even rendered Ephesians 5:22 this way: “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ.”So, to submit is to understand and support. It speaks of the wives becoming the catalyst of change to their husbands.“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, …

In-laws or Outlaws?

Someone asked me, “Do you know why Peter denied the Lord?” I answered, “Because he was afraid that he would be arrested too?”

“No,” the person replied. “It was because Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law.”

In-laws are usually stereotyped in movies as meddlers in a couple’s life (such as in Jennifer Lopez’s Monster-in-Law). But really this is a case of art imitating life. There are times that in-laws become outlaws.

I believe that Genesis 2:24 provided God’s original plan for the family: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (New International Version) There are commentators however that says Genesis 2:24 can’t refer to geographical separation due to the extended family structure of the Jews. Usually “the man continued to live in or near his parents’ home. It was the wife who left home to join her husband.” (Thomas Constable, Notes on Genesis) But Moses wrote under the guidance of the Spirit that even the man had…

For Better or... Bitter?

A woman was shocked when her husband came home early. “Himala! (“It’s a miracle!”) She exclaimed. “What happened?” The man replied, “My boss told me to ‘Go to hell!’ That’s why I went home.”Marriage makes our life on earth either heaven or hell. Of all the institutions that God created, the family is the most important. The strength of the church and the nation depends upon the strength of the family. When the family goes down, everything goes down.We saw the last time I spoke that the Spirit’s empowering penetrates even our relationships. In Ephesians 5:18, we are to “be filled with the Spirit.”[1] This leads us to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (v. 21) Then the apostle Paul amplified it by starting with the husband and wife relationship. Let us read Ephesians 5:22-33 together... 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church …

Empowered to Live to the Fullest

We love Superman. He seems to be so invincible... so powerful... except of course in front of a kryptonite. Still, we love superheroes. We know they’re not real. Yet how we wish we would become superheroes. For most of us, we only have the strength to barely pull us through the day. After a tiring but unfruitful day at the office, we slump on the sofa and ask, “Is there more to life than this?” I have great news for you. The Lord declares: “I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.” (John 10:10, Contemporary English Version)[1] Is this life really possible? Not only does the Lord want us to have it, He actually empowers us to live to the fullest. Let us read Ephesians 5:18-21... 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Je…