Friday, November 22, 2013

Why? Why? Why?

When calamities strike, we look around for someone or something to point a finger to.

Is global warming to blame? So why aren't the responsible parties doing something to stem its tide?

Was the government negligent, not preparing enough with quick rescue-search-aid-response—when we know that more than 20 typhoons regularly visit our country every year?

Scientists responded: "Blame the higher sea level in these parts. Mix that with hot tropical temperatures and you have a recipe for disaster like what we're always experiencing, year in and year out."

These past few days had all just been a cacophony of questions.

One such question has been hard to answer: "Why would God allow this?"

God needn't justify Himself. But it's only when we seek Him would our questions be answered. God wants us to remember... 

Deutoronomy 8:7-9a: "He's bringing us to a good land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills, a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey, a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing..." 

Hopelessness, hunger and lack is never our kababayans' end state. Tribulation is just part of the process. One day, we will reunite with those who have gone before us—even those who perished in this recent tragedy—and all of our whys will be answered. He will turn everyone's mourning into rejoicing. 

But Jesus himself gave us a heads up. He didn't want us to be ignorant. We have been warned. Tribulations will come, their intensity magnifying as the end draws near. 

In Matthew 24, He spoke of the end of days and how people's hearts will turn from him—but promising to keep in perfect peace those who trust Him. Old testament prophets and His Revelation describe terrible days ahead. The earth as we know it will perish, but in its place will be established a glorious city with Jesus as King and we will eternally rejoice with Him. 

So do not be clueless about what lies ahead. Jesus has constantly been knocking at hearts. "I am the Answer." "The Way, the Truth and the Life." (John 14:6) He promised to save those who would call upon His name. 

I don't doubt at all that when tragedies strike, those who call on His name—as if hanging by a thread or kapit sa patalim—will be saved. Remember the thief crucified with Jesus? He promised to bring him to paradise ASAP!

It's all too hard to comprehend—the devastation, dead bodies strewn all over, the overwhelming desperation. All these are heart-wrenching; so we ask, "Where is God? How could He allow such horrors?" 

Oh how we mourn, and search for answers everywhere. There just seems to be no answers. I just could not comprehend it. But going back to His Word reminded me of these...

God wants us to remember:

He is our Maker. Remember, we are but dust! He breathed life into clayey form, naming it Adam. Unless we're willing to concede that you and I are but created beings—and that Jesus, the Word, is our blueprint for success—then we will be in constant pride mode, shaking our fists at heaven whenever a tragedy occurs. 

That's what He's been doing all along—reaching out to us. "Look to Me. Heed My instructions. Repent. Humble yourselves." And He will restore back to you what the locust has stolen, or what the waters and the wind have broken—either in this life or our ultimate destination, our eternal home. 

From the beginning of time, He had a plan. Even when man sinned, He wanted him back. God loves us, that's why He sent Jesus to save us from ourselves. But God's business is not just about rescuing us from the natural elements—though that is not impossible with Him—but for us to be restored back to Him so that we can be rescued into eternity. 

He is more interested in saving us from our pride so that when or before our end comes, we can be sure of our eternity with him. 

So will things get worse? Yes! Should we be fearful? Yes, in the natural. But there is no fear Christ. He promised to hold our lives at the palm of His hand.

He's been patiently knocking and nudging and whispering and calling. Do not trust in your money or your dwellings or your education (Deutoronomy 8:12,13,17). Entrust your life to Jesus. Savior. King. Lord of all and Lord of whatever deep pit you may have sunk into. 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, Proverbs 1:7. He will instruct us to live our days productively, successfully.
And we can demonstrate His love and compassion to those who hurt and cry and are hungry and naked. 

During times like these, let's allow ourselves—those who are now praising God that we've been spared from this calamity—to become the Jesus they have been searching for. Then they will have hope, and know in their hearts that Jesus loves, heals, cares, provides, embraces and saves.

Jesus, heal our hearts. Heal our land. May no other name be glorified.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Which has the capacity to sting and immobilize people into
helplessness, even through future generations?

Which tickles your ears soooo good that when you come out of church every Sunday, you only remember the heart-warming blessings and grace parts—but never learn about His justice?

And which line has the devil used time and again to drive lawmakers' backs against the wall so that they have no other choice but craft voter-appeasing laws even if they are contrary to the absolute truths taught in the bible?

"You've got to be politically correct!" 

What a marketable slogan! It can win you a seat in Congress, even a Pulitzer or a Nobel prize.

So much so that even Christian teachers and writers are cautioned: "Say the truth but sugar-coat it." "Or don't say the truth at all." "You can't afford to offend anyone."

Since when has the truth been un-offensive? "Do not steal." "Do not lie." "Do not envy." "Do not lust." 

All of these make us squirm in our pants, right? But we have to teach our kids these anyway, for their own sake.

Write about homosexuality being sin, you get branded as a bigot. You're being politically incorrect. How could you say it otherwise? That it's cute, harmless?

I recently watched a video of kids, seven years old and above, the oldest maybe 15, "expertly" talking about being married to the same sex as the most natural thing in the world! 

One very disturbing line from one of them: "God wants everyone to be happy so being gay and marrying someone of the same sex is OK. Because that's what a kind God does!"

Where did these kids get their ideas? Who taught them these lies?

Flash back to the 1960s when the American Atheists Association (AAA) won a landmark legislation banning prayer in public schools. Having taken God out of children's lives, most of America is now in shambles, not knowing right from wrong. The AAA has also championed the rights of gays and lesbians. 

Of course everyone has a right! But not teaching people right from wrong is a manifold wrong. 

Because here are the facts. One: God loves everyone; that's why He sent Jesus to die on our behalf (John 3:16). Two: We have all sinned, none exempt (Romans 3:23). 

Sin is sin, be it murder, lust, coveting, stealing, dishonesty. Having unnatural relationships is sin. Corruption is sin. But even my once in a while white lie is sin. And God will take us ALL to account for our sins. His law applies to everyone! And whoever said anyone is being singled out?
But AAA, and those they've conned to believing their advocacy, would let people believe that if the law of the land is on their side, then it is OK to break God's law. America is exhibit numero uno of what happens to a nation that shakes its fist at God—passing off something wrong as right—and paying the consequence for doing so.

What is sad is, Filipinos being lovers of all things American, have gone the very same path. Oh how we relish Halloween and Hollywood, and their marketing foil to pass evil and perversion as cute and romantic.

John 8:44 says that the devil is a liar and the father of it. Whatever he wants people to believe is a lie—contrary to the absolute truths we've been taught in catechism class, and that to go against them has consequences. Give the devil a foothold and he takes all of you down with him to the bottomless pit. 

On top of being a liar, the devil is scheming and subtle. He massages our sensitivities and sensibilities—slowly, smoothly. 

Like a puppeteer, he puts to work his invisible strings to first control the unsuspecting, then strangles him a little at a time, until many characters in this puppet show called life gets pulled in one stranglehold. A tragic ending to those who go through life clueless—or without anyone caring to let them know the truth.  

Most of the time, the devil manifests himself as an angel of light—an angel of enlightenment. But the story shouldn't end in his triumph and your loss. 

Jesus gives you and me a way OUT.   

Jesus is our wonderful Counselor. He has given us the Holy spirit so that in our search for the best that life has to offer—even if we get exposed to so many conflicting views and concepts—we will indeed know the truth. 

For Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, John 14:6.

Jesus doesn't mince His words. He speaks the truth as it is. He calls a spade a spade, sin sin! No wonder the pharisees hated Him so. 

But He also spoke the truth in love. His motive had always been—and even today—love. He is not willing for anyone to perish as a consequence of their rejecting Him and His truth.

To believe in Jesus is to be set free. Would you want to be free to do what is right and have the power to follow Him? Pray to receive Him as your Savior and Lord!

"Jesus, forgive me. I am a sinner. My sins are many, yet you promised to forgive and make me a brand new creation. I ask you to come into my heart. Be my Savior and my Lord. Give me the strength to follow you. And teach me your truth. Holy Spirit, help me. In Your name I pray."