Losing a job is not easy especially for a single mother like me. However, losing my job was the only way for me to get closer to God. Have I not lose my job, I would not be able to know God up close and personal. Some people actually resigned from their job to serve Him. Sometimes I would think that I was chosen by God and it's my destiny to serve Him. We can also serve Him everyday, however we would not be able to know Him better, if we do not have time to read the Bible. Before, reading the Bible was a burden for me and I know most people have the same feeling as I was before. Remember Satan does not understand the Scripture. Therefore, if you are still not interested in reading the words of God, you are still of the world. Satan is of this world and is deceiving people since he was cast down to earth so he can bring these people to his eternal damnation where he belongs -Hell. If you read the Bible and understand it, it will transform you: your belief and outlook in life as a whole.
MY GRATITUDE WITH GOD
It's only now that I realized, God had taken care of me all the time. Imagined I never expected to have a child - a child, who I can be proud of. I know my uterus was introverted when I had a checked up with an Ob-Gynecologist during the time I was married for 5 years and did not bear any child at all. I got pregnant at age 39 with a different man. I was on a caesarian operation when I delivered my child. During that time, I was on maternity leave and didn’t have enough money for the operation. The maternity clinic where I had an operation, as a policy, does not accept patient who never had any records with them. I was really lucky to have been accepted by the maternity clinic. It’s only now that I realized, it was not luck, but a help from God.
I had worked for 12 years in a hotel which became my second home. There I met friends and whom my relationships are getting stronger each passing year. They are friends indeed, and still are close friends until now. It’s very rare that you can find real friends. And again, God blessed me with real friends. I enjoyed working in the hotel, because I love the people who I worked with. However changes were unexpected. There were a lot of things happening and things went against me and the reason for my resignation. I received some good amount of money when I resigned which had helped pay some of my debts and shared some to my mother. I also used some to get a call center training and for applying a job. Luckily after two months, I was able to get a call center job. I was on and off the call center job; however during the time I was jobless God still sustained our daily needs. To add more to the graces of God to me was when my mother died. We didn't have money for the expenses on funeral and the burial. There were lots of people who attended the wake which lasted 7 days. We also have to pay those caregivers of my mother when she was still alive and was still assisting us, during the wake. However, God provided it all. In fact, there were excess money which we used for her 40 days and payment for electric and water bill which was really huge. What is more surprising is that, during those times nobody at home has a job. My sister, who is working abroad had arrived November of the past year, had no more money when my mother died the next year. I, in fact resigned because of my mother's death. Now, I am jobless again but, still God provided all our needs by using my sister who is working abroad. My sister is already old at 55 and is sickly. God takes care of her health and job because He knows we are dependent on her for our needs. At first, I was desperate to get another job and felt so dismayed not getting it. However, I am now at peace, not bothered of anything like fear or worries, because I believe God is with me all the time. I know and trust that God has something greater for me and am patiently waiting for it. I am so grateful for all the graces and love, God is giving me.
I also had experienced some miracle that I would like to share. It was a near accident which happened twice. While I was on my way home on a bus, I saw a red car traveling fast and a truck opposite our direction. I was near the driver seat and the bus was driving fast as well. I closed my eyes and whispered the word" God save us". The red car zipped between the bus I was on, and the truck. The car exacted the space between the bus and the truck. It was amazing! There was another one along the South Superhighway. The driver lost its brake. It's good when it happened there were no vehicles passing by. The driver pulled the jeep on the right shoulder, however while the driver was trying to pull it, there was another jeep that we would come crossed with. Again, I closed my eyes and uttered the magic word" Jesus save us”. The driver was able to pull it without hitting the other jeep. When we reached the right shoulder, vehicles started passing by very fast. God had again saved me. Amazing!
OUR WORLD TODAY
Sometimes I would think I was given the Power of Discernment. About 15 years ago, I went to a popular book store. It was Valentine's week and there were valentine’s decorations all over malls: small and big. In that bookstore, there were decorations of 2 cupids facing a heart at the middle, of course, in red color-if you look at it with the naked eye. However, I can't seem to understand why it looks like a skull for me. I closed my eyes and stared at it again and still saw the same thing. Same thing happened when I and my friends visited the Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan. We bought some stuff, like pictures, frames, rosaries, oil and the like. As soon as I arrived home, I checked the frame with the image of the Lady of Manaoag, which I bought. To my surprised, when I looked at the crown at a different angle, I was seeing a skull. In fact, I showed it to one of my friend and she saw the same thing. Don't you think that signs and symbols in our environment have an effect on one's personality or character? I can say "YES”. I was born in the 50's and I noticed that each passing decade a new trend comes up which makes people's attitude to become worst. You will notice changes in music, languages, fashion, electronics, etc and the environment as a whole. A lot of teenagers today are proud to wear shirts with pictures of skull, demon like faces or with nasty, cocky words. They use sign languages which they think are "in “however are signs and symbols of the devil. Look at the famous and popular performers specially group musicians: they create songs that are lewd, worldly songs (talks about power of money, beauty, fame, frustrations, depression, sorrows, etc), used a lot of heavy metals, they shout, take out their shirts while performing. Many people specially teenagers, follow them and admire them. If you just notice most young people of today are impolite and are very gross in manners of speaking. One of the most wickedness of man today which has been widespread is same sex relation. Same sex relation is spread all over the world. This is a lie and a deception from the devil, because God did not create them. Look at these words of God in Romans 1:27 in the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
However, some people would give justifications on their situations. It might be unfair for these people, but God has the power to change people. Is there anything hard for God? If you are a believer, hard thing for God does not exist at all. He is an all powerful being whose power is unimaginable. The devil loves destruction, noise, ugliness, lewdness and everything that gives pleasure in this world. Don't you think they are representing the evil unwittingly? I think so, because have they read the words of God, they would have the fear to do it, and will aspire for transformation. I therefore conclude, that with the worldwide spread of signs and symbols of Satan (which includes the images of idols), man has become nearer and more like the devil and the reason man has disregarded the words of God and has turned away from God. Look at these words from the Bible- 2 Tim 3: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 but they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
There are a lot of religion all over the world that did not come from God. Filipinos claimed to be Christian; however their practices and beliefs are of the pagans. These I observed in the Roman Catholic and used to be my religion. Therefore, I believe that religion matters most in saving your soul. I will expound these statements at the latter part.
MY WEIRD EXPERIENCE
I had a strange experienced that I want to share. I used to go home early morning when I was working in the hotel. My office mates and our boss were fond of drinking after work. Sometimes we would do it outside the hotel, or in one of the room in the hotel. So, normally I would arrive home late night or midnight. Our house is very far from my workplace and it takes more than an hour travel time without traffic. I have to walk half kilometer from the highway going to our house. One night, I got to our place past 2 AM. I was surprised when none of the dog seemed to see me as I passed by. Going home at wee hours is dangerous; however I seemed to be quite protected by some sort. There were lots of dogs along the way from the highway, however they were quiet and seemed not seeing me passing by. It was really an amazing weird experience I cannot forget! I think one of the angels of God was with me. Amazing!
Since, perhaps most of you have no time to read The Bible, let me share some to you. The Bible is divided into parts: The Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament is about the creation of Man and its habitat. How Man had sinned to God and how they were cast out from Eden. How they lived with God. It is how and why God burned down the sinful Sodom and Gomorrah. How God destroyed man for lawlessness during Noah's time. Abraham whom God was pleased came from the 9th descendant of Noah from his son Sem. And, from Abraham came Isaac, Isaac to Jacob, and Jacob who was also called Israel by God, came forth the 12 Tribes of Israel. It's how God saved and emancipated the Israelite or Hebrew from Egypt through the powers of Almighty God who was called YWHW. Its how God helped vanquished their enemies to win the territory of Canaan (The Promised Land). How God gave them the Law (called Law of Moses) for people to obey and its corresponding punishment. It also tells how God was worshiped. It also tells about the Kings of Israel and how it was handed down from generation to generation. It tells about how God chose David and made him great king of Israel. In a gist: it is about how Israel was made and its destruction, and the prophecies of man and nations or the earth as a whole. Most words of God were given to God's chosen prophets. Oftentimes, God used several figures of speech. The used of figure of speech in the message of God to the prophets was the reasons for errors or for several interpretation of different Christian religions in the world. However, if you read and reread the messages, it will become clear and understandable. One word may mean a real place or has literal meaning, or referring to an act of a person or a different place. Ex. the word Babylon which was a historical place in the Bible has several meaning.
The second part is the New Testament which is about the life and birth of Jesus Christ. How He became man. It tells about the miracles and teachings -He used parables in teachings which are not easy to comprehend. Sometimes you may need some professional help to explain it. I go to some websites where I can find related matters or listen to some professional leaders of church, or read related materials. The New Testament also tells about how He appointed the 12 apostles and how He commands them to preach the Gospel (teachings of Jesus Christ). It tells about His Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection. It tells about the experiences of the apostles during their spread of the gospel in different places. Most part is of Apostle Paul -the apostle for the gentiles. A very important revelation was given to John (Jesus favorite apostle) through an angel about the future of man and earth (same as the words of God to the prophets in the Old Testament)
TEACHINGS FROM THE BIBLE
From the very beginning God hated the people for turning to idolatry. Idolatry has several meaning in the Bible It not only means other gods, but any images created by man either with the used of woods, carvings, etc. It also means things that man focus himself. God is always talking about Israel, however God not only refer to Israel, but for all people.
Here are several verses from the scripture about idolatry. You could find almost every thing about idols and idolatry in the words of God to the Prophets.
Deut 4:15” You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire: male or female. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, So, God did not show any images of Him.
Deut 6:10“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
7 “You shall have no other gods before me.8 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments- This is the very first commandment of God Almighty.Ezekiel 14: 3-4"Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin. Why should I listen to their requests?
Isaiah 45:20"Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save.-Catholic do this
Isaiah 46:7"They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Though one cries out to it, it does not answer; it cannot save him from his troubles.-Catholic do this
Isaiah 65:2-4"All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—a people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick; who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil;-Catholic, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism do this: in short these are pagans practices
Jeremiah 2:25"Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, 'It's no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.'-these are gods aside from the Almighty God.
Exodus 20:4"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.- These are practices of the Pagans. Catholic does this-they create images of Jesus Christ, angels. Most people do believe in astrology such as: Chinese, Koreans, etc.
Jeremiah 8:2" They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped. They will not be gathered up or buried, but will be like refuse lying on the ground.-these are for people who refer to Horoscope, astrology, tarot reading, etc.
Habakkuk 2:18 “Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.Jeremiah 17:5" This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.-this also implies you can depend on God for any illness in the body if you just trust the Lord and always depends on God for any help. Some men would refer to herb doctor or faith healer for the healing of illnesses.
Act 17:29 "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man's design and skill.-See, people make images from gold, silver and or decorations of gold, silver, etc. on their idols.
Let me ask you some question? Are you sure that the image you are venerating which you kneel down in church or at home where you made altar is really Jesus Christ? Let me tell you this word of God in Isaiah 53:2-3 He grew up before him like a tender shoot and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
So, the picture of Jesus Christ we are seeing all the while was exactly the opposite of what He really looks like. I believe that the picture of Jesus Christ came about from the Shroud of Turin, which man created out of imagination and technology. I think the one reason why God doesn't want us to kneel, pray before idols, because Satan can use these idols. Remember Satan can also make miracles in 2 Thess2"9-10 the coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
While being under the influenced of these idols you will never find the real path to the true God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, I could say religion can save us. See this message of God to the people who idolize or who are into idolatry-“They perished because they refused to love the truth to be saved in 2 Thess2:10 (I was before) Now, I know I am walking the truth in Jesus Christ which I know is the true path.
Those are only a few examples. There are lots of them of which God spoken to His prophets about idolatry. You see the very first commandment of God was "Love your God above all things". Our God is a jealous god that doesn't want to share His glory to anybody. Therefore, believing in idols and other forms of idolatry is abominable to Him. Recently, a Sto Niño from Romblon which they called “Sto Niño de Romblon was given honor by the people. If you just look at the procession in honor of that idol, you will be disgusted on how they honor it. Can you really feel that that idol is God? Take heed from the Words of God for you not to be deceived and not be separated from the true God.Let’s not also venerate Mother Mary or any saints.Mother Mary did not tell us to venerate her.Mary was blessed because she was chosen by God; however, she did not come from Heaven. She was a woman on earth that God created. God, the Father did not give any authority of His glory to anybody except, Jesus Christ. He neither gave authority to those saints who were canonized by the Vatican. There was no such authority from Father in heaven for people to do such things. These dead people were not resurrected by God, while Jesus Christ came from God and was resurrected by God. Remember those important things for you not to be deceived. Therefore, it’s only accepting Jesus as your Savior is the true path to God. One more thing that we people has forgotten: The Sabbath day. We normally observe this Day of the Lord on Sundays, however most people instead of gathering in honor of God, they would go to the malls for shopping, watching movies, going out of town, etc. Why was it become Sunday, instead of Saturday? This was originally again, from the Romans. They had its holiday on Sunday and thus put the Sabbath on Sunday instead. This is a word from God that we have to remember about the Sabbath or Day of the Lord Ezekiel 20:19-21” 19 I am the Lord your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 20 Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God. But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, “The person who obeys them will live by them,” and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness.
We also failed to do fasting. Did you know that the Jews when asking request from God would do fasting? David did it many times. In Samuel 12:21-23” Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ 23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”A fasted life is an honor for our God.
THE LAW OF MOSES AND JESUS
God has given the words to His prophet who pointed out to Jesus, as the one Messiah who will come to save the people. In Deut 18:15" The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelite. You must listen to him. Isaiah 7:14” Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel. Isaiah 42:1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. In Jeremiah 23:5-6” Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Those are only, but few words from the Bible about the coming of Jesus as the Savior.
In the Law of Moses, the Jews burned animal offerings for forgiveness of sins as in Hebrews 9:22, 15 “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. However when Jesus became man, His blood is enough for forgiveness of sins of man. This is what the scripture says in Heb 10:1-4, 10, 18” The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. So, just the BLOOD of Jesus, we have been forgiven for our sins and from His 39 stripes and wounds, we are healed. THEREFORE, JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO THE FATHER IN HEAVEN.
HOW TO BE SAVED
Since Jesus is the only way to the Heaven and the Father, we need to follow Him. We can follow Him, by being like Him. How can we do that? First of all, we need to be repentance of sins, as in 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Sometimes, I would think that it is really hard to follow Jesus. Look at some of situational example below:
1. How can you not feel resentment on working hard for a good work, but credit which was due to you is being given to others who does not deserved it?
2. How can you not lose temper or avoid being impatient during heavy traffic and you are late in your appointments especially on your flight to go abroad?
3. How can you not feel resentment to people who had despised you or betrayed you and or said bad words behind your back?
4. How can you forgive somebody who had killed your loved ones? Can you forgive that person and not put him to prison?
5. How can you not testify the lies of other person in order to save the lives of your loved one?
6. How can you not get angry for a family member who is under addiction and who does not work and always depends on you for his vices.
7. How can you not get angry to a person who lied to you which resulted to messing up the situation?
8. How can you share to people borrowing money or asking money from you when you yourself don’t have enough of it, because it is allocated for something else?
9. How can you not say bad words or gossip about a person who you hated the attitudes.
1 How can you not retort to a person who you have been patience for a long time or who have inveighed or nag you?
And there is lots of ‘how many’ question. Those are some situations that put us in an uncomfortable situation, which will put to light our attitudes and quality. We are tested in the area of our weaknesses, and God refines us with our impurities. So, we have to make adjustment. The sooner you’ll make adjustment, the better person you will be. Those situations are samples of how we love our brothers and sister. Jesus said ‘Do unto others what you want to do unto you”. In other word, love your neighbors just as you love yourself (the very essence of the teachings of Jesus). And, Love means sacrifice just as Jesus sacrificed Himself, because of His great love for us. They say, “In everything you do, put God first and He will crown your effort with success”. Before we do an action, let’s check our hearts first because our heart is the emotion of God. Those are not easy things to do, but with God’s grace anything is possible with trust in the Lord.
Start by reading the Bible, listening to songs of praises of the Lord. Watching shows which will empower your Holy Spirit. Put God first in your life. Pray incessantly-which means every problem you have, resort to God for resolution and trust Him. However, remember repent for thy sin first and follow the words of God. God said, “Seek my kingdom and everything shall be added unto you”.