A Testimony Talk

“The moment we make our mess into a message of hope and the testings our testimony, we celebrate the victory we have in Christ Jesus.”

I had the opportunity to talk last night in a youth group about 1 Corinthians 13. By God’s grace, I hope I was able to present a very good and thorough explaination of what true love is, basing it in the written word of God, the bible.

Amazing things happen when you know God walks through the door and makes you tell your testimony to a group of youngsters.

Perhaps, I’ll share it here one time but for now, be praying to God about it. ūüėČ

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The Power Of Confession

Today is one of the most powerful day at church. I have seen the Lord move in the congregation without any songs at the background but just Him and from a person who has given his testimony and how God has changed him from the inside out.

It has been a challenging and hard step for me to lay it all down before the Lord and to my church family with my struggle with sin.

Indeed, the past few days has been a meaningful journey of finding true freedom in Christ Jesus.

Starting today, I have set myself in the next step of my journey of healing, restoration and redemption.

I’d like to share the process I’ve been through and how the Lord has used a lot of people in my life to be bold enough to speak in front in truth, in love and in full of humility for the next few blog posts.

Today, I will share about how the Lord prepared my heart for the times ahead.

The Preparation of The Heart

For the last two weeks, I’ve been confronted with the deception that I am unloved, unaccepted and condemned. The enemy has instilled in my mind that no matter what I do right, I am still broken,incomplete and rejected.

All of the statements I’ve mentioned came from the enemy. And all of them are lies.

Our mind may tell us all these things but God looks at the heart and not on how we think of ourselves. We have people around us who will protect and rebuke us.

God has placed in my life people to let me see the other side of me that needs to change.

In my preparation, the Lord has brought me to scriptures and statements that speaks about my identity in Him, not of myself but of what He has done for me. It took me hours of heart to heart talk with my mentors to deal with the sin and me.

My spiritual parents have ministered and rebuked me with all the reasons I can give to them why I am afraid to confess it.

My Uncle Lemuel (my senior pastor) has been a powerful voice in my life to rebuke my stubborness. He reminded me that recognizing myself and my pride, the fear of rejection and discrimination is a sign that I have not died to self.

It is only when i recognize the importance of confession will I be able to be truly experience the freedom I have always longed for.

Indeed, as a believer, the words of Jesus rings true to all of us who wants to follow him.

Luke 9:23-24 “And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.

The battle was all in the mind and I am blessed to say that receiving forgiveness from my brother, my mom and my spiritual family was not an easy task. It took all of my pride and laid it aside and be open to criticism, rebuke and condemnation.

But because of the boldness to confront my pride, my fears and the sins I have done that I was able to step-out from the darkness and receive the life Christ has promised.

Today at church, I have opened myself to all of those who were present about my struggles and have asked for forgiveness. I was crying in front as I shared the innermost secret of my life.

As I was pouring out my heart to the congregation, I knew the lord has started to release a mantle of forgiveness in my life. I know that being bold on what I shared will either put me in the spotlight of condemnation and rejection but I no longer cared because I felt the love from my Father in heaven, tangible and real.

I also received forgiveness and grace from the people in church I recognize as family. I know that it was not easy for all of them to see me in front but I also know that God has also ministered to them through what I have done as an act of worship.

We all cried in knowing that we have all received the love of the Father and mercy for our misgivings. And in all of these, to Him be all the glory and honor alone!

I may never know what you are going through right now and I know that in all the struggles and sin that you have, you have longed for the freedom that Christ has promised.

Let me be the first one to say this “He loves you no matter what” and accepts you for who you are. And He is ready to forgive you if you will just lay down your guard and be truthful about it.

He will not leave you until the broken pieces of your life are brought back together. I am the very evidence of a “work in progress” and I have received grace and a renewed mind because I stood in front to almost a hundred people in my church today and openly confess my sins to be forgiven.

God will give you a new heart, a heart of flesh that will feel the love, grace and acceptance from our Abba Father. Just receive it as you read the prayer below:

“Father, I speak life to those who are reading this message. May the same love, kindness and grace you have showered me today be evident in their situation.

You have a purpose in all of our struggles but we have to make a bold step to forgive ourselves and make your way in our lives once again.

In your name, we speak life and blessing that you who have called us is faithful and true. May we find our resting place in the security of who we are in You, not with what we have but of what you have done for us.

We renounce the spirit of deception, the sinful nature and receive your love and forgiveness. That no matter what we have done so far, you will take away. Your love is near and you can remove our sins.

Amen.”

Freedom – Can it really exist?

I was watching “Soldiers of Change” at home and it was really interesting. Th story shares a lot of things of every man or race’s desire. It was a story about life, passion and true worth. It was a fascinating story about freedom.

It made me think of our own freedom and how many lives have been sacrificed for such “freedom”. Even today, our own community still cries for the changes that we have cried out for so long. Try to see the news of people in the streets, documentaries of leftists and rightists fighting for that one cause we surely desire for so long.

But can true freedom really exist? ( Or experience?)

I don’t want to blog about the meaning of freedom, a lot has been made and remade to capture the exact definition of it. All I want to air out is that freedom, although many have staked their life for it, is not what we sometimes expect it to be. After watching the movie, I came to a realization that sometimes freedom is the absence of life for another.

Freedom gets the life of the other, for another to be truly free.

A person’s perception about freedom varies from good to bad, rich to poor or vice-versa. Freedom, for centuries has been tagged with getting away from oppressors and yet, unfortunately, to an oppressor, freedom is taking away the will of others to experience it. But to someone who has been in darkness for so long, FREEDOM is something as a gift that cannot be given without someone loosing his freedom,and sometimes the freedom to live.

Watch any movies about freedom and you’ll see the dreaded reality that freedom has and will always be with a price. And that price is not one’s own income or estate, but of someone’s life.

When we were oppressed during the Martial Law, many media and political figures stood for such freedom. But look at where we are now, still there is (and will always be) people power in the streets, still there is corruption,there is poverty, hatred and much more. The freedom that we long for seems to be the slavery of another, not by mere men but with the situation they are into. Imagine the downfall of the Marcos’ regime but one person’s life laid down (or killed for it).

In our human aspect, freedom is what we want to experience the life without boundaries. It’s the life we always dreamed of, a desire for more or even pay for. But to many of us, freedom can also be the opportunity to get more from others and sometimes the life of others. And to some, it’s that freedom that cause them their greatest fear- loosing the life they always wanted to live out.

I am not arguing of taking away freedom, but just the reality that freedom has a price tag – and it is definitely not money but life of another.Can someone’s life be freed for another man’s death? Life maybe unfair, but I believe freedom is much bitterly unfair.