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Blog / Worship

God Wants You Rich

November 9, 2011

No matter if you are rich or poor, young or old, male or female, educated or illiterate – I believe God wants you to be rich, but maybe not the kind of rich that lands you on the cover of Fortune magazine and enables you to wear $500 jeans.

1. God wants you to be RICH IN GENEROSITY.
Here's how Paul described the poor Macedonian church: "Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in RICH GENEROSITY." (2Cor8:2)
This verse shows that even poor people can be rich in generosity.

2. God wants you to be RICH IN GOOD DEEDS.
Notice what Paul instructed Timothy to tell the wealthy people in his church.
"Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." (1Tim6:18)

No matter how much you have, you can be rich in generosity and rich in good deeds. That's why I say GOD WANTS YOU RICH!

Blog / Worship

“God Told Me” – Are You Sure?

July 10, 2010

Back in Manila and excited to preach week 2 of our "AND GOD SAID…"
series at Victory-Fort 9 & 11 tomorrow. While preparing my sermon,
I remembered this story…

A few years ago when our church was meeting in the Star Complex Theater
in the Shangri-La Mall, we had all kinds of drop-in visitors. They
ranged from the famous to the infamous: celebrities, politicians,
professional athletes, socialites, wannabes, and has-beens. We also had
loads of “normal” people and our fair share of not-so-normal people.
But never did we have a visitor like “Mary.”

Our worship leader had just finished the last song and Pastor Ferdie
grabbed the mic to welcome visitors and make a few announcements. (As
usual, no one was listening to announcements. Does anyone in any church
ever listen to announcements?)

The auditorium was full. The only empty seat was in the front row,
right next to me. It was empty because Pastor Ferdie was standing on
stage making those announcements no one was listening to. During the
announcements, an usher seated a (late) first-time visitor in Pastor
Ferdie’s seat. In a few seconds, I sensed two eyes boring holes through
me. I turned and, as suspected, the visitor was indeed staring at me
with wild eyes and a sinister smile. The lights were on, but no one was
home.

About this time, Pastor Ferdie gave the cue for everyone to introduce
themselves to the people sitting around them. She went first.

“Hi, I’m the Virgin Mary. And my three-year-old nephew is the Second Coming of Christ.”

I wanted to say: “Great, I’m Joseph the carpenter. I’ve been looking for you all my life. Will you marry me?”

But I realized that answering a fool according to her folly might cause
a major scene, so I decided to respond by saying, “Nice to meet you.
And what makes you think you are the Virgin Mary?”

“Because God told me.”

How could I argue with that? God said it. She believed it. That settled
it. Or, did that settle it? How do we know if it is really God speaking
to us, and not our own imagination or a demon?

To find out more about God's word and God's voice, join us at any of our 70+ Victory weekend worship services.

Victory-Metro Manila directory

the rest of the above story

Blog / Worship

Struggling with My Inner-Martha

April 20, 2010

Notes from my Moleskine… Reading Luke 10:38-42 this morning. We all
know the story. Most of us have lived it far too many times.

Martha was distracted; Mary was focused.
Martha was upset; Mary was listening.
Martha chose to worry; Mary chose the better way.

I don’t know about you, but I still struggle with my inner-Martha, who
gets distracted by so many trivial things that don’t really matter.

Here’s what Jesus said about the Mary/Martha situation: “few things are needed – indeed only one.” (LK10:42)

I think I do lots of things that aren’t really needed and that don’t really matter.

Resolved: From now own, I only want to do the things that are needed.

Blog / Worship

Who’s the Main Character in My Story, Me or God?

April 19, 2010

Yesterday I preached a one point sermon at Victory-Fort (Matt13:44-46): GOD IS ALWAYS THE MAIN CHARACTER IN HIS STORIES. Then I asked a question: Who is the main character in your story?

While reading Luke 7 this morning, I was confronted with my own point and my own question. Is God always the main character when I minister and when I preach? I hope so, but I fear that sometimes I sneak into the script. 

Here's Luke's description of what happened when Jesus addressed the crowds: "All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus' words ACKNOWLEDGED THAT GOD'S WAY WAS RIGHT"  (Luke7:29)

That's exactly what I hope happens when I minister and when I preach.

I hope the people will acknowledge God, not me.

I hope they will acknowledge that God's ways are right, not that I'm right, or funny, or smart, or a good person, or an entertaining preacher. None of that matters. What matters is that they acknowledge God. And that they acknowledge that He is right. That's what ministry and preaching is all about.

Blog / Worship

Treasure or Trash?

April 17, 2010

I'm preaching at Victory-FtBonifacio tomorrow at 9 & 11. We are in week 2 of a 4 week series on parables called "Kingdom Stories" .

TEXT: Matthew 13:44-46

TITLE: "The Treasure"

NOTES:

1- verse 44 "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field…" – Sometimes real treasures are hidden, not obvious, difficult to find. May God open our eyes to see real kingdom treasures, rather than the trash the world tries to sell us.

2- verse 44 "in his JOY sold all he had and bought that field…"  – Some treasures are more valuable than everything else we own, and it is joy, not sorrow, to sell all and purchase the treasure.

3- verse 44 "…and bought that field."  – Sometimes we have to buy the whole field in order to get the treasure. I never liked Cracker Jacks, but I loved those cheap plastic treasures in the bottom of the box. We can't pick and choose, we buy the whole enchilada, or we don't get the treasure. Salvation comes with a cross. 

4- verse 45 "a merchant looking for fine pearls…"  – Dude in the field seemed to stumble on a treasure, but this guy is LOOKING. Are you stumbling or looking? Probably better to look, even if you are not good looking (couldn't resist that "Lutherism").

5- verse 46 "sold everything he had and bought it"  – There it is again. Selling all and buying something of greater value.


THE POINT: Who is really looking? Who is really seeking? Not me. Not you. At least not according to Romans 3:11 which clearly states that "no one seeks God"

Who sold all and bought a hidden treasure? Who was looking for a valuable pearl to purchase? 

Acts 20:28 says Jesus "bought" the church with his own blood

1 Cor 6:20 and 7:23 both say essentially the same thing, that "we were bought with a price"

THE END:

I don't think I'm the dude in the field or the merchant seeking pearls. And I don't think the treasure and the pearl are the kingdom of heaven that we are to sell all and purchase for ourselves.

Rather, I think I'm the treasure and the fine pearl – at least in God's view. And He sacrificed all so he could purchase me and you from the power and penalty of sin and adopt us as his sons and daughters. There. 

More tomorrow at Victory-Fort…

FYI: Variations of this message in English, Tagalog and Taglish will be preached at all 73 worship services offered this weekend at 13 Victory locations in Metro Manila. Take your pick and bring a friend. 

Blog / Worship

Mountain Tops & Valleys

March 28, 2010

I'm in Raleigh, North Carolina with 2000 students at Campus Harvest 2010.

 Adam Mabry, Lynette Lewis and Rice Broocks all knocked it out of the park this morning. Ferdie Cabling is on tonight, then I speak at final session tomorrow morning.

Here's my message: "Learning to Love the Mountain Tops AND the Valleys"

We
all love life's mountain top moments – those spiritual highs that come
with conferences, retreats and miracles. But we live most of life, not
on the mountain tops, but in the deep dark valleys.

My text is Matthew 17:1-9.

Verse 1 – Jesus took 3 of his disciples to a mountain top where strange & supernatural things happened…
Verse 2 – shinny faces, glowing clothes
Verse 3 – dead OT heroes walking & talking
Verse 4 – "It is good for us to be here" – everyone likes the mountain top
Verse 5 – a bright glory cloud & a voice from heaven
Verse 6 – disciples fell down – "slain in the spirit" as they say today
Verse 7 – Jesus told them to get up off the ground – falling down in ok, but we have to get up
Verse
8 – "when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus" – we probably
need to look up more often and see Jesus rather than ourselves and our
problems
Verse 9 – they went down the Mountain – this always happens – we can't live on the mountain – eventually we have to go down

The mountain top experience was amazing. The valley experience was less than amazing.

As soon as they got off the mountain top, the encountered DEMONS (vs 14-20) and TAXES (24-27).

I'd
much rather have glowing faces, shiny clothes, glory clouds, heavenly
voices, OT heroes and the presence of God – but most of my life is
spent in the realm of demons and taxes.

Demons and taxes –
that's the real world – the world that needs Jesus. That's why we can't
live on the mountain top. That's why we need to get up off the ground
and go down the mountain to take the gospel to a messed up world.

Blog / Worship

Devotion

January 10, 2010

Preaching tomorrow at Bethel-Franklin.

Random notes for tomorrow:
-Devotion is not about getting God to like us more.
-Devotion is not about punching our religious time-clock.
-Devotion is not about winning God's favor.
-Devotion is not about impressing our friends and family with our spirituality.
-Devotion is a heart RESPONSE to who God is and to what He has done for us.

-The more we see, hear and understand God, the more devoted our hearts will be.

TOPIC: Devotion
TEXT: Isaiah 6

-Isaiah
saw God, who is holy to the third degree (holy, holy, holy) and he
realized he was a mess to the third degree. He repented.

-God cleansed him. With a burning coal. On his lips. Ouch. Repentance is often painful. 

-God
called him. Interesting that Isaiah understood and responded to God's
call when his "self-esteem" was at its all-time lowest point. The lower
we go, in our own eyes as compared to God's greatness, this greater our
understanding our our calling. As long as we think we are pretty good
people, God will not call or use us for his purpose. Humility is the
starting point…

More at Bethel-Franklin tomorrow.