FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 183

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Prince of Peace

There is a stir in the air, as November ends and December arrives to usher in a period of salvation and celebration with the arrival of the Prince of Peace. Let us enjoy this testimony in song.

Isaiah 9:6: Is. 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

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Nuggets – Qualified to Inherit

“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:11-12)

Having been “made strong with all strength” through “his glorious power,” we are then enabled to complete the assignment that God has granted to us on Earth.

The power of God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). The same power displayed when God raised Jesus “from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:20) is more often needed on Earth for “patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” The word for “patience” in this text describes a quality of temper that does not easily succumb under suffering. That emphasis is not merely a contextual byproduct. Much of the godly life demands a temperament that opposes cowardice or despondence. We should “glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

Many of our brothers and sisters in history suffered beyond human endurance, ultimately giving their lives for the Kingdom of God. “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25). Therein lies the longsuffering that does not hastily retaliate after a wrong. This temperament opposes wrath and revenge.

These godly traits, earned and experienced only while on Earth, reveal us to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Now, we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). Later, He will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). HMM III

Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT182

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Priorities

In my father’s generation, we were disciplined to take time, make time and be on time. Today we have too few hours to do all we want to do, and so often we are late for deadlines, appointments or church service. We try not to be late for work for it may result in a cut in pay, or cause the boss in a bad mood. What are our priorities? God? Family? Work? Self? We have an allotted time on this earth. Seek God first in all we do and as He adds all the rest of the things including family, vocation, seasons in our life we must recognize what time it is for us.

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days,That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal.

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Nuggets – Fruitful in Every Good Work

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)

There are many admonitions in Scripture insisting that the child of God maintain a lifestyle that reflects the holy character of the Savior.

The unique phrase “walk worthy” appears only three times in the New Testament: once in our text today; once in Ephesians 4:1, where we are asked to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called”; and once in 1 Thessalonians 2:12, where we are admonished to “walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”

Paul’s admonition to the church at Colossae was to live in such a way that everything would be “all pleasing” to our Lord. The Galatian church was struggling with members who were trying to keep the “old” Jewish law. Paul argued, “Do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). Paul insisted to the Thessalonians, “As we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4).

Since we are to “walk worthy,” we are to be “fruitful in every good work.” Indeed, “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

None of this should be a surprise. When God drew us to Himself (John 6:44), brought the necessary conviction of our sin, Christ’s righteousness, and the judgment to come (John 16:7-8), what was “dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1) had to become a “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17), “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). That “new man” is then empowered to “walk worthy.” HMM III

From Days of Praise

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Nuggets – Filled with the Knowledge of His Will

“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” (Colossians 1:9)

Paul has chosen a particular word, pleroo, to describe an action that “fills to the top” so that the knowledge about which he prays has no more space to fill. While speaking to his friends in Rome, Paul said that he was “persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another” (Romans15:14).

This includes the kind of knowledge (Greek epignosis) of God’s will that stresses precise and complete understanding of that will for our lives. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness….that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” These “things” (the knowledge, the precious promises) enable us to escape “the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

This magnificent and complete knowledge of His will includes the wisdom (Greek sophia) to use the knowledge acquired by experience. And even that grace God made to abound “toward us in all wisdom and prudence” (Ephesians 1:8), which, since it comes from God, is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).

The wonderful knowledge and wisdom that God has provided for us includes a spiritual understanding (Greek pneumatikos sunesis), an ability to put complicated matters together with the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Indeed, “he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” (1 Corinthians 2:15). “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). HMM III

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 181

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Don’t panic

Have you been flustered because things did not turn out as you expected? Don’t panic! Stop and pray. Keep your mind stayed on the Lord, call upon His name before you respond or proceed according to His leading. Sometimes things look impossible. .. But God – to Him everything is possible. Nothing is impossible. It may be an emergency .. remember,…But the steps of a good man or woman are ordered by the Lord. Each step – let peace reign.Amen.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

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Nuggets – Lessons from Colossians

“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Colossians 1:2)

Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae is especially instructive to those who would seek a close relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Chapter 1 provides a breathtaking summary of the purpose for which we are saved and the eternal changes that take place at salvation: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21-22).

Chapter 2 provides clear warnings about the spiritual battle that is taking place and precise insights on gaining victory over the world: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7).

Chapter 3 insists that our responsibility is to take advantage of what has been provided by Christ and to live as Christians: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

Chapter 4 gives practical instructions for our day-to-day relationships through the lives of the godly people who worked with Paul: “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:5-6). HMM III

Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae is especially instructive to those who would seek a close relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Chapter 1 provides a breathtaking summary of the purpose for which we are saved and the eternal changes that take place at salvation: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” (Colossians 1:21-22).

Chapter 2 provides clear warnings about the spiritual battle that is taking place and precise insights on gaining victory over the world: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7).

Chapter 3 insists that our responsibility is to take advantage of what has been provided by Christ and to live as Christians: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

Chapter 4 gives practical instructions for our day-to-day relationships through the lives of the godly people who worked with Paul: “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:5-6). HMM III

From Days of Praise

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Hold Me Like This [adapted from Carlos Gardel “Abrazame asi”]

Immortality Road

Just hold me like this

So we can feel both our hearts beat as one

With this embrace, know our life has begun

Since the moment you touched me.

When you hold me like this,

I can feel your heart beat close to mine

In perfect rhythm that goes with the rime

Of my words, “I adore you.”

When you hold me like this,

My heart sways in Eternity’s arms

And I know that there’s nothing can harm

Us in Love’s special hour.

Just hold me like this

In our embrace now we’re frozen in time

In perfect comfort, a love that’s sublime

When you hold me like this.

[Spanish words and music by Carlos Gardel; English words by Kenneth Wayne Hancock]

Note: I wrote these lyrics a year ago—words to convey to the English speaking world the beautiful sentiment of this Latin standard. I am an incurable romantic. I…

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 180

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Your greatest enemy

Who is your greatest enemy? You, for your self-will,? God, for His high expectations? the devil, for his vindictiveness and evil intent to lead you to hell?

God’s Word gives us the straight answer :


1 Peter 5:8 –
Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.

So what should we do each time the devil rears his ugly head?

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:7,8

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Nuggets – The Bible Stands!

“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” (Psalm 119:160)

Very few books survive very long. Only a few survive past the first printing, and science books especially get out of date in just a few years.

But one book is eternal! The Bible stands! Even its most ancient chapters are still accurate and up to date. Furthermore, despite all the vicious attacks of both ancient pagans and modern humanists, it will continue to endure. Jesus said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35Mark 13:31Luke 21:33). Even after everything else dies and all the bombastic tirades of skeptics and secularists are long forgotten, the Word endures. “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8).

Note the oft-repeated testimony to this same effect in Psalm 119. In addition to the comprehensive promise of today’s text, this great “psalm of the word” also contains these affirmations: “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven….Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart….The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting:…Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever” (Psalm 119:89, 111, 144, 152). Founded forever, inherited forever, settled forever, lasting forever! God is eternal, and His Word was true from the beginning.

People may, in these last days, arrogantly think they can “take away from the words of the book of this prophecy” (Revelation 22:19), but such presumption will only “take away [their] part out of the book of life,” and the Bible will still stand. “The word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:25). HMM

From Days of Praise

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