What does it mean to Store Treasures in Heaven?

Jesus told us to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). He linked this command to the desire of our hearts: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21; see also verses 10–20).
The Bible mentions rewards that await the believer who serves the Lord faithfully in this world (Matthew 10:41). A “great” reward is promised to those who are persecuted for Jesus’ sake. Various crowns are mentioned (in 2 Timothy 4:8, e.g.). Jesus says that He will bring rewards with Him when He returns (Revelation 22:12).

You see,a Committed Follower of Christ must choose between God and Money. His choice will determine what reward he gets- earthly and perishable or Heavenly and Eternal.

In the case of the Rich of Man who was confronted by Jesus, he literally missed eternity. He valued temporal treasures rather than Heavenly Treasures. Let me tell you: Jesus was not saying that the man being rich was a bad idea but what was really consumes his heart was not about honoring God but the earthly possession that he has. Between God and His possessions the latter was more significant and he wasn’t ready to let go.

ON HEAVENLY TREASURES:
all that matters is if we are willing to let go of perishable earthly possessions to receive our eternal heavenly treasure.

We are to treasure the Lord Jesus most of all. When Jesus is our treasure, we will commit our resources—our money, our time, our talents—to His work in this world. Our motivation for what we do is important (1 Corinthians 10:31). Paul encourages servants that God has an eternal reward for those who are motivated to serve Christ: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23–24).

When we live sacrificially for Jesus’ sake or serve Him by serving the body of Christ, we store up treasure in heaven. Even seemingly small acts of service do not go unnoticed by God. “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).

PAUSE AND THINK:

1.What really gives us our security?

2.Are we eternally secured because of the earthly things that we have?

3.Are we willing to give up temporary pleasures for eternal rewards?

Think about it. God Bless You.

Vandalizing Imago Dei

The Mona Lisa is the most valuable painting ever. It is kept and displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris. While it is admired by many people, this painting is also the most digitally vandalized. But the physical painting has also been vandalized at least three times. It is estimated that 8.5 million people visit and admire the painting every year in that museum, giving respect to the masterpiece and the master artist himself, Leonardo da Vinci. In the same way, we in the Christian community admire and give respect to the greatest masterpiece that our Master Artist has designed— you and me, the Imago Dei.

Last time, I defined the Imago Dei based on the Westminster Confession of Faith, that our chief end as Man and Woman is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever and we exist for His Glory.

The Fall of Man (Genesis 3) is the beginning of the Vandalization of Imago Dei in Man and Every sin that we do is the actual Vandalization of Imago Dei. So, therefore, in the illustration i gave on Monaliza, God is the Master Artist but Unfortunately because of Sin, we vandalize it and that is why the sins that we know Biblically,like the “idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, nor homosexuals, thieves, nor the covetous, drunkards, nor revilers, swindlers,” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NASB) also, “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing.” (Galatians 5:19-21, NASB) are the Result of the Imago Dei Vandalism that we call “Sin”.

In line with this, let us not cherry pick Sin like this particular is the worst sin while the other sin is not so worst.

Every sin is worst in the eyes of God, and deserve only Judgement from God and If we understand fully the Doctrine of the Fall of Man, we will not Dichotomize Sin and categorize that as worst and less worst.

Sin vandalizes the image of God and we are “separate from Christ….excluded…no hope and without God in the world.”(Ephesians 2:12, NASB) and that is why Jesus came to Seek, Save, Restore the Imago Dei in Man and that happened in the Cross. At the cross, The Imago Dei was restored in man.

The story of us is this: From the beginning, we are designed to glorify God and enjoy Him forever but sin vandalizes us and distorts our chief end but in CHRIST, our Imago Dei was restored and we are restored to our chief end as Man and Woman exist only for His Glory.

That’s all for now.

IMAGO DEI: The Real Definition

Most of you, my dear friends have encountered this term maybe in your religion subjects, or even in your Bible Studies before this term “Image of God” but what does the “Image of God” or “Imago Dei” really mean?

The Scriptures tells us fundamentally on this subject. Remember that On the last day of creation, God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Thus, He finished His work with a “personal touch.” God formed Adam from the dust and gave him life by sharing His own breath (Genesis 2:7). Accordingly, humanity is unique among all God’s creations, having both a material body and an immaterial soul/spirit.

Having the “image” or “likeness” of God means, in the simplest terms, that we were made to resemble God. Adam did not resemble God in the sense of God’s having flesh and blood. Scripture says that “God is spirit” (John 4:24) and therefore exists without a body. However, Adam’s body did mirror the life of God insofar as it was created in perfect health and was not subject to death.

The image of God (Latin: imago dei) refers to the immaterial part of humanity. It sets human beings apart from the animal world, fits them for the dominion God intended them to have over the earth (Genesis 1:28), and enables them to commune with their Maker. It is a likeness mentally, morally, and socially.

Mentally, humanity was created as a rational, volitional agent. In other words, human beings can reason and choose. This is a reflection of God’s intellect and freedom. Anytime someone invents a machine, writes a book, paints a landscape, enjoys a symphony, calculates a sum, or names a pet, he or she is proclaiming the fact that we are made in God’s image.

Morally, humanity was created in righteousness and perfect innocence, a reflection of God’s holiness. God saw all He had made (humanity included) and called it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Our conscience or “moral compass” is a vestige of that original state. Whenever someone writes a law, recoils from evil, praises good behavior, or feels guilty, he or she is confirming the fact that we are made in God’s own image.

Socially, humanity was created for fellowship. This reflects God’s triune nature and His love. In Eden, humanity’s primary relationship was with God (Genesis 3:8 implies fellowship with God), and God made the first woman because “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Every time someone marries, makes a friend, hugs a child, or attends church, he or she is demonstrating the fact that we are made in the likeness of God.

Part of being made in God’s image is that Adam had the capacity to make free choices. Although they were given a righteous nature, Adam and Eve made an evil choice to rebel against their Creator. In so doing, they marred the image of God within themselves, and passed that damaged likeness on to all of their descendants (Romans 5:12) and more on that on my next blog.

Now, if we can simplify the definition of Imago Dei, i think the Westminster Confession really is the exact definition of Imago Dei:

Man’s Chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

This is exactly what we are designed for. If you notice Genesis 1:26, two times God said “Image” “Likeness” “Image of God” so it is very important: We are created male and female to Glorify God and Enjoy Him forever. In short, we are not created for nothing.

Therefore, we are created to Glorify God and Enjoy Him forever and exist for His Glory alone.

Now, if we understand fully the Biblical Imago Dei, we are so contented dapat in the way God designed us. Well, if you redefine, alter and scrap it off, It is still true: We are Originally Designed by God to Glorify Him and Enjoy His presence forever.

Total Depravity:The Basis of World Missions

The Basis of World Missions is actually the Total Depravity of Man. Well, in the Book of Genesis, God created the World, and it was good. When Satan came, the World become Depraved.

The doctrine of total depravity is an acknowledgement that the Bible teaches that as a result of the fall of man (Genesis 3:6) every part of man—his mind, will, emotions and flesh—have been corrupted by sin. In other words, sin affects all areas of our being including who we are and what we do. It penetrates to the very core of our being so that everything is tainted by sin and “…all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). It acknowledges that the Bible teaches that we sin because we are sinners by nature. Or, as Jesus says, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” (Matthew 7:17-18).

The total depravity of man is seen throughout the Bible. Man’s heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Bible also teaches us that man is born dead in transgression and sin (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Ephesians 2:1-5). The Bible teaches that because unregenerate man is “dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:5), he is held captive by a love for sin (John 3:19; John 8:34) so that he will not seek God (Romans 3:10-11) because he loves the darkness (John 3:19) and does not understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). Therefore, men suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and continue to willfully live in sin. Because they are totally depraved, this sinful lifestyle seems right to men (Proverbs 14:12) so they reject the gospel of Christ as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18) and their mind is “hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is unable to do so” (Romans 8:7).

On the basis of this Doctrine, we can clearly say that because of Man’s Depravity, World Missions is neccesary. When we proclaim the Gospel in a Creative Access/Restricted Countries, we do it with Trust in God’s Sovereignty and Sovereign Grace.

Only God can call every Nation, Tribe and Tongue and all we have to do is to Pray, Give, and Go and God will do His part in Regenerating, Saving, Calling People to Salvation and Sanctifying God’s Elect from Every Nation, Every Tribe, and Every Tongue.

Do we feel God’s Heartbeat for the Totally Depraved Worldwide? I hope that will serve as a basis Why we should participate in Missions.

God Bless You!

The Power of Waiting

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

(Isaiah 40:28-31, NASB)

We hate waiting. I hate waiting. It’s easy to wait if it will take only 5 minutes but if that’s 30 minutes, maiinis tayo.

Abraham waited for a child for 25 years. Boy! that’s a long, long wait. That is why he made mistakes with Pharaoh (Genesis 12:10-14) and Abimelech (Genesis 20). You see, there is power in waiting. Waiting is not a passive term. It is an active term. When God say wait, it means Wait for the sovereign fulfillment of the promise but at the same time, do what God tells us to do.

Based on the Isaiah 40:28-31, What does waiting do to us? How powerful is waiting?

1.It brings you back to God’s Sovereign Promise and for who He is.

2.It strengthens our Faith.

3.It empowers us to Trust the promise keeper not on the promise itself.

May mga pagkakataon sa buhay natin na ayaw natin maghintay pero sabi ng Biblia, nasa paghihintay ang kalakasan na gusto natin makamit. Ang Paghihintay ay base sa mga layunin ng Diyos sa buhay natin.

Abraham, kung natutunan niya ito, mas matatag ang kanyang pananampalataya at paninidigan. Because Waiting will always bring you to the promise keeper.

Remember this: Waiting on God is not only difficult; sometimes it seems impossible. We want things to happen in our own timing, according to our plans. But God doesn’t operate on our schedules, and expecting that He will is when disappointments come. God has a greater perspective of life’s events, and His perspective, plans, and schedules are perfect and holy, because He is perfect and holy. The Psalmist tells us “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever His timing—is also perfect. When we come to grasp that fact, waiting on God is not only made less difficult, it actually becomes joyful.

The promises of God are clear on this matter—if we wait on God, He will renew our strength (Isaiah 40:31). But we are human and we live in a culture that demands everything now or even yesterday. That’s why waiting on God is difficult. Sometimes, the prayers we lift up to the Lord of Hosts are answered immediately, and that encourages us to further trust and confidence. However, sometimes over a period of time, the Lord tests our faith, and that’s when we can really struggle. That is when things can get hard and that is when we wonder whether the Lord is really listening to our prayer, whether it is for a son or daughter to come to faith or guidance on the right type of job or even regarding a God-honoring relationship.

There is Power in Waiting.

God Bless you.

Is your Faith Anchored on God’s Purpose?

Well, title pa lang shocked na kayo. Well, let me begin by saying that it is possible to have faith yet anchored on the purpose that is contrary to God’s purpose.

Abraham’s faith journey is based on the Purpose of God in his life. If you look again in Genesis 12, the Call of God to Abram was combined with His purpose. Here we see what God’s purpose had in mind for Abram: “And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;” (Genesis 12:2, NASB)

God’s purpose to Abram was to be a Blessing to the Nations and God’s purpose in Abraham started when He called him and his Obedience paved way to progressively reveal his purpose to Abraham.

God, from the very beginning of His faith journey, wanted Abram to see God’s purpose in the land of uncertainty. God literally brought to a Land where God’s purpose begin to Unravel as stipulated here: “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.” (Genesis 12:7, NASB) in that Land of Nothing, God’s purpose unravels.

God’s purpose will be unraveled to us by God in times that we are uncertain and God’s purpose cannot be thwarted. Question is: Is your Faith Journey anchored on His purpose?

Now, let me tell you: Your Faith Journey will be worthless if it is not anchored on God’s Purpose.

Hindi masama ang mangarap ng maganda para sa iyong pamilya, sa iyong sarili, sa iyong propesyon o sa iba pang aspeto ng Buhay. Pero is your Faith anchored on your so -called ‘Purpose’ or God’s Purpose.

But what if He thwart that Purpose that you have place upon yourself?

God’s purpose is higher than our so-called Purposes. If our Faith Journey is based on our so-called ‘Purpose’ then it is shallow and sinking sand.

But if our Faith Journey is based on God’s Sovereign Purpose, ours was Solid Rock.

On God’s sovereign purpose, the solid rock we stand. All other Purpose is sinking sand.

So, is your Faith anchored on His purpose or your so called purpose?

God Bless You.

Doing Shortcuts is not Faith at all!

I told you last week in my previous that Abraham’s Journey was not a perfect one. While commendable his obedience it may seem, there was one point that Abraham (he was Abram at that time) was doing shortcuts. How?

1. He went down to Egypt to settle there because of the Famine. (Genesis 12:10)

2. Integrity Compromise. (Genesis 12:11-13)

Why is he doing that? Yeah Abraham Obeyed and went out and settle in the Land but because of His lack of Trust in God, He committed shortcuts. In plain Filipino, thats “Kapit sa Patalim.”

Therefore, Committing Shortcuts is not Faith. In this Faith Journey, there should be no shortcuts. Ganun talaga!The more you obey, the more you suffer inconveniences.

Let me tell you: The Promises of God and Suffering collides. The Promise of God is Life to those who walk in it, the more we walk in the Promises of God, Problems is Lifer! Suffering is Lifer!

So in this Faith Journey, How do you trust God’s Word? How do you hold on to the Promises of God?

Sa Pananampalatayang ito, hindi pwedeng Kapit sa Patalim eh. Faith ba yung Nagtataya Sa Bingo? Nagtataya ka sa Jai Alai? Faith ba yung gumagawa ka ng Illegal?

Sasabihin mo: “Praise the Lord! Nanalo ako ng 36 million!” Saan nakuha? sa Bingo, Jai Alai, Jueteng, atbp. Illegal na paraan. At least instant daw!

Hindi quality kind of life yung marami ka nga pera, sira naman ang pamilya mo, sira ang moralidad mo, Lahat sira! Tell me: Faith ba yun?!

Kaya ako naasar sa Prosperity Gospel at sa Word of Faith Movement eh kasi Tinuturuan mo yung Kristiyano na Kumapit sa Patalim. Example, nagpray ka ng Materyal na Bagay, hindi nangyari, so ano gagawin niya? Kapit sa Patalim. Baka sakaling pagpalain daw siya ni Lord.Instant ba!

That’s not how it works. Faith knows no shortcuts. It maybe harder but it will make you journey more safer because you have God.

Abraham learned his lesson along the way. Sana kayo din. Pag hindi ninyo binago yung mentality ninyo na gusto ninyo lahat Instant, mind you! Masakit magbigay ng Lesson ang ating Panginoon!