Chosen Royals

I saw this image and verse today from facebook and it really strikes me as God reminded me again of my identity as “royalty.”

In 1 Peter 2:9 it says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

How easy it is to forget our true identity in Christ. After suffering from depression for more than a year, I know how difficult and challenging it is to fight for this very identity that the devil has been trying, right from the beginning, to take away from us.

It is true that the moment we forget who we are, that’s the beginning of our defeat. We forget whose we are. We begin to lose our sense of direction in life. We lose sight of our purpose. We become dependent on our own strength. We lose our power until we are so weak to even get up. This is why, it is so important that we keep this identity engraved deep within our spirit.

We are royals. That’s what we are – though not by virtue of birth, but by God’s choice.

In John 15:16, Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”

We are His chosen people. We are the Bride of Christ – handpicked to be His own.

The perfect picture of this can be seen in the Book of Esther, where an orphan Hebrew girl and an exile in the most powerful empire at the time – to be chosen from among thousands of young virgins to be the next Queen of Persia.

“Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.” – Esther‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭NIV

However, since the fight for our true identity in Christ is real. There is a purpose and a huge responsibility that is included in this calling. We are to work hand-in-hand with God in bringing more people into His Kingdom. There are so many lost souls out there perishing everyday, and we are not to just sit around and do nothing. We got to do something and there is no time to waste.

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your fatherʼs family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”  – Esther‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The fight is not only for our own personal gain, but moreso that those who have been living going round in circles trying to find their own place in this world may be able to find their real identity in God. And that time is NOW.

Forget the Past

Forget the Past

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18

My dear child,

Let me give you brand new desires. Forget the former things. Let’s start all over again. The old has gone. The past has passed. There’s nothing you could do about it now. But you can do something today.

Look at me. Focus your eyes on me. I am your God… and NO other. Run towards me. Listen to my voice and follow me.

I got you. You’re no longer lost. You are found.

I will take care of you, feed you, protect you and heal your wounds. It’s all going to be alright. You’re in a safe place now.

Rest.

With all my love,

Father God.

Resting as you Wait

Resting as you Wait

Thank you, ‘Daughters of the King’ for this very lovely devotional today. It was so timely, as there have been so many moments over the past few weeks where I come to a point that I am already feeling so tired of waiting. Most often, God would give me something else – which seems irrelevant to me. Or sometimes, He takes me to a situation where He would bring out some emotional wound in my past which have been buried so deep by time. Then I would realize, that perhaps the reason He hasn’t fulfilled those promises yet is because He is trying to make me whole first. After all, He knows what I need the most and at this point, I just have to learn to rest as I wait. 🙂

God bless.

(“Resting as you Wait – Devotional courtesy of Daughters of the King published on 30th January 2017)

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” Lamentations 3:25-26, NKJV.

God healed me physically, but far greater than that, He healed my soul. The physical healing was the taste of His goodness that drew me in, but I never expected my mind and emotions to be healed, even though this is where I was the most broken. I wanted my circumstances to change, but God saw where my real problem was. I was malnourished spiritually and starved for His love. A good earthly father wouldn’t pour his efforts into providing an endless supply of toys when he could clearly see that his child was hungry, would he? Wouldn’t a good father put his resources into feeding his child first? Wouldn’t an even better Father Who sees His children’s hearts know what His children need most? And wouldn’t He then provide it first?

Some of the things we have asked for, God knows we aren’t ready to receive. He hears our desperate pleas, but in His goodness, He waits to give us what we asked for. As we walk on with Him, we see more and more of what our omniscient, all-knowing God always knew. We realize that He was doing what was best for us, even when we thought He was not listening or responding as quickly as we wanted Him to. Realize that your Father truly knows best, and rest in the safety of knowing He is in control.

Prayer:

Father, I am so happy to be Your daughter, and to be able to have this relationship with You that is not tainted by sin. Thank You, Jesus! My heart is changed and that is a miracle above all else! Let me not forget how far You have brought me from the shackles of sin and death. I may not always like Your timing or understand everything, but I know that I can trust You and Your love for me! Help me to wait. Help me to not be afraid of the unknown because I know that You are in control and that You are doing what is best for me at all times! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

(Read Psalm 34:8, Psalm 27:14, Matthew 7:9-11)

 

Why I joined the Kids Ministry

Why I joined the Kids Ministry
With two of our very adorable princesses, taken after our Kids Funday presentation of “You are Special” by Max Lucado

This year, if I am not mistaken, marks my 9th year serving as a Kids Church teacher. I can’t believe it’s been that long! Oh how time flies!

I remember when I first joined the Kids Ministry, I was a bit of a shy person. I didn’t have confidence. I didn’t feel qualified to teach nor think that I have something much to offer since I was also a baby Christian back then. Add to that, the fact that I wasn’t really that good around kids. (Well, let’s just say the longest I can hold up a decent conversation with a kid was five minutes… or less!)

So why did I join the Kids Ministry? I could think of a lot of reasons now after several years of serving in this ministry but these, I believe are the basic ones.

First of all, I knew God called me to teach.

Teaching our big kids (ages 7-12) has been one of my favorite tasks. I like to surprise them, but almost always, they surprise me more! They are smarter than you think!

I remember when I was a little girl, I love to play what we call in Tagalog, “Teacher-teacheran”. I enjoy being called, a “teacher” and of course, I love passing on what I learned to other people. Although, unfortunately I didn’t end up being a teacher by profession, but deep down inside, I knew that someday somewhere I will be able to fulfill this calling. And I am so glad that I signed up to this ministry as it opened up a lot of doors for my other giftings to come out.

Secondly, I want to challenge myself. 

When I first joined the KIDS, I was too afraid of standing in front of the children.  I see them as little monsters ready to devour me at a blink of an eye. I always think that perhaps they might throw paper, pens or books at me because I am unqualified to teach. I didn’t think I have what it takes knowing that being a teacher requires an enormous amount of energy, patience, skills, creativity and passion for the children. But through the years, I have learned to come out of my comfort zone and try to do all sorts of stuff for the enjoyment of our children and the teachers as well. It’s funny how each time, I would discover some new talent in me and I would just laugh inside because I knew God made me do it so that He could bring out something new from within me.

I am so grateful for the Kids Ministry for challenging me to grow and multiply my talents.

Acting out as David and Goliath. This was  really fun! The kids enjoyed it so much!
This was taken during one of our Kids Birthday Funday celebration where we asked our kids to come in cowboy costumes. Aren’t they cute? 🙂
Birthday Fundays are never complete if we don’t get a chance to have our kids come in their favorite superhero costumes! 🙂

Finally, I would like to honor God and make a difference in the lives of the next generation. 

Although there may be times when I feel as if teaching a bunch of rumbunctious kids doesn’t make much impact to their lives, as I keep showing up each week and planting seeds of faith into their hearts, teaching them how to obey God and leading them towards Jesus, I knew that my labour was not in vain.

One of my most precious moments was when I saw one of our kids whom I have not seen for a long long time in the mall and when she saw me, she screamed with excitement, “Teacher Piaaaaa!!” Then she ran towards me and gave me a big hug.

My heart sank.

As I hugged her back, I thought to myself, WowDid she just call me, ‘teacher’? And she remembers my name! Thank you, Lord. 

I felt as if it was Jesus who hugged me that moment. Oh so precious!

Kids Ministry is also about building fun relationship between the teachers and kids.

I thank God for making me a part of this ministry and I am grateful for all the men and women who sacrificially give off their time, talents, money and efforts in making a difference in the lives of our future generation of leaders. You are all amazing!

Keep up the good work! 🙂

” Together everyone achieves more!” This is so true!

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

Even if He doesn’t… (Finding satisfaction only IN the LORD)

Even if He doesn’t… (Finding satisfaction only IN the LORD)

I’d probably say that the biggest breakthrough I received from this recent prayer and fasting is this – that I now truly understand and completely surrender to the sovereignty of the Lord over my life. I realized that even though I have been a Christian for almost a decade now, I would still very much label myself as a ‘wandering’ Christian. Wandering in a sense, that even though I knew that Jesus is the answer to all my life’s problems, somehow, deep inside me – I still doubt whether He truly is. I was still constantly searching for an answer somewhere else outside of Him.

My previous year was marred by depression and trying to get back on my feet and faking joy – you know, you’re smiling and laughing from the outside, but miserable inside – which left me even more depressed. However, those small tiny steps of faith and daily choosing to believe in the power of God, have helped me to overcome my daily struggles. This has somehow made me realize that much of my sufferings, as a believer has been brought about my dissatisfaction of God’s gift of salvation.

But in spite of my selfish pursuit of the things I thought would make me happier, I seem to be always hitting a blank wall – only to find out in the end that there was nothing there to be had, but empty promises and deceit. More like that moment when Eve was deceived by the serpent, making her believe that where she was – the Garden of Eden that was full of God’s provision and the chance to literally walk and talk with God – was still not enough for her and that something was being kept from her. So she was cunningly deceived, took the bait and dragged her husband along – and we all knew what happened after that. Both Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden and in the very presence of God.

Sad.

But that’s what we all are in most cases even as believers. We pray long prayers. List down all our faith goals, prayer points, prayer requests, etc. etc. and give out 110% of our faith with all our mind, soul and strength – for the answers to our prayers that we have earnestly been praying for, that deepest desires and longings of our hearts.

But what if…?

What if the only answer to your prayer is the answer God has already provided for when Jesus died on the cross two thousand years ago? What if this year, as much as you’ve been believing for a breakthrough all you would ever receive from Him is Him? After all, He is our greatest need! Not the brand new car, or the new house, or the healing, or the promotion or new job, or the husband/wife you’ve been praying for?

Would you still love Him? Would you still stay in His presence and not wander around? Would you be satisfied with just having Jesus in your life? That deep knowing and confidence that your sins have been forgiven – and nothing else comes along with it. Just that… and Jesus!

Would you say, the very words which Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego uttered in the midst of their trial before King Nebuchadnezzar as they were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to the gods of Babylon,

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18, NLT)

As I meditate on this, I ask myself, “Would I be like Eve who gave in to the temptation of the serpent? Or would I be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who stood their ground with resolved hearts that even if God doesn’t come through to deliver them, they will never serve other gods?”

I choose the latter.

So, I bowed my head down with my knees on the ground and my hands held up as I cried out to God and asked Him for mercy and forgiveness; to change my heart, to keep my gaze fixed on Him, to help me decide each day for the rest of my life, that even if He doesn’t deliver everything I listed down in my faith goals nor my prayer requests, I will still serve the Lord.

He is enough. Everything else is grace.

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15, NIV)

Faith glorifies God

Faith glorifies God

This illustration is just so beautiful! Thank you, John Piper for sharing this wonderful revelation.

“Your daddy is standing in a swimming pool out a little bit from the edge. You are, let’s say, three years old and standing on the edge of the pool. Daddy holds out his arms to you and says, “Jump, I’ll catch you. I promise.” Now, how do you make your daddy look good at that moment? Answer: trust him and jump. Have faith in him and jump. That makes him look strong and wise and loving. But if you won’t jump, if you shake your head and run away from the edge, you make your daddy look bad. It looks like you are saying, “he can’t catch me” or “he won’t catch me” or “it’s not a good idea to do what he tells me to do.” And all three of those make your dad look bad.

But you don’t want to make God look bad. So you trust him. Then you make him look good–which he really is. And that is what we mean when we say, “Faith glorifies God” or “Faith gives God glory.” It makes him look as good as he really is. So trusting God is really important.

And the harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can’t swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what’s happening and calls out, “Johnny, jump in the water. I’ll get you.”

Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can’t swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool.

We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified.”
John Piper

 

The Year of Reward has begun!

The Year of Reward has begun!

I was so blessed after reading this devotion today that I thought of posting it here so I could also share it with you. This has somehow confirmed what God has already pressed upon my heart recently as He keeps telling me something about “rewards”. I know it has been a tough 2016 for me, since I started off the year with a brokenheart and carried on battling with depression up to almost more than half of the year. So, it was really a difficult year for me overall. These devotions I read everyday on top of my daily bible reading, blogging/ journaling my struggles and revelations were the things that have kept me going – more like formed my faith muscles. So I am really excited to hear this confirmation from God, although to be honest – at this point in my spiritual journey I have already learned this one important thing from God – and it’s the exact same assurance that God gave to Abraham in Genesis 15:1, when God spoke to Abraham (who was called Abram then) through a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. ”

I am most grateful to God for teaching me and proving this to me as I learned to be content and satisfied in Him. I have learned that I got everything I ever wanted when I have Him. Truly, He is my everlasting love and joy – my very great reward. Everything else that comes along is icing on the cake. 🙂

I am welcoming 2017 with joyful expectations – less of me but more of Him. 

God bless and enjoy reading this devotional. 

Much Love, 

Pia ❤🙏🏼😇🌈

– Devotional credits from Daughters of the King posted on 1st January 2017

The Year of Reward has begun!

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” Psalms 37:4, NKJV.

Before the year ended God had already begun by blessing our family with something we had been waiting for. It was like a package that just showed up at our door. It was as if we just ran into God’s blessing and there was no work involved in receiving it. This is a year of reward, and God is already bringing to pass the desires of our heart.

Know that there are so many blessings ahead. So much abundance ahead. God is getting ready to do exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think, and it will all come without struggle or strain. You will effortlessly receive it and you will know that it’s from the Lord. For some of you, before the month is out you will see God bless you in many different ways. You will see favor on every way. Desires coming to pass. Grace to do what you never thought you could do. Doors the size of a garage are opening for you. Multiple streams of blessings all pointing to you.

“So don’t worry, says the Lord. Don’t worry at all. I’ve got in all under control. I’ve got in all in My hands. You just continue to seek Me. Continue to hunger and thirst after My righteousness and you will surely be filled. Filled to the overflow. Yes, for there is an outpouring. You’ll know it’s yours when it shows up. You will say, this is my reward from the Lord.”

Prayer: Hallelujah, Lord! Thank You for speaking directly to me. I worship You and I praise You for Your rewards. I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving. Be glorified in my life and help me not to worry at how You will do it. My trust is in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Further Scripture Reference:

(Read Matthew 5:6; Hebrews 11:6)

“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” Matthew‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭NLT‬

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬