Tag Archives: small group

[Persevering] Day 5: Sins No More

Reading: Psalm 40:11-12

You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me;                                                                     Your loving-kindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
For evils beyond number have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see;
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head,
And my heart has failed me.

 Reflection: 

Failures, mistakes, wrong choices, bad decisions – all of us are not excused from all of these. But we don’t have to continue living a life full of these. Not that life will be perfect and we will never make mistakes, but it will be a life with less.

God has promised forgiveness once we have received Jesus in our life. “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more”. (Hebrews 10:17) And aside from the gift of salvation and eternal life, God has given us a Helper, a Counselor – the Holy Spirit. Once you start having a serious walk with the Lord, your life will never remain the same. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) The role of the Holy Spirit is to help us each day to choose and obey God as our response of our love for Him, that we may become a new person.  “For Christ’s love compels us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14). The love of God is just irresistible not to love Him back.

God’s love and compassion is unconditional and endless. He is patient with you as you desire to become better.  You just have to depend on the Holy Spirit and listen as He convicts your heart when you are about to make wrong decisions. And as we desire a deeper relationship with Jesus, we also have to do our part to get to know Him more.

Here are the things that we need to start including in our day to day walk with the Lord.

1. Pray – This is our way of communicating to God. Our prayers need not be memorized or repetitive. You just have to pour out what’s in your heart to God. A format you can follow is the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Or, you can also do this simple format as you are just starting to learn how to pray (ACTS). Eventually, you can speak from your heart whatever the Holy Spirit is leading you.

  • Adoration – acknowledging who God is and giving Him praise (loving, kind,                               forgiving, etc.)
  • Contrition – confessing to God your sins and asking Him for forgiveness and to                       help you repent
  • Thanksgiving – giving thanks to God for everything that He has done for you
  • Petition – asking God for your daily need, protection and for other people

Every end of the prayer, we always say, “This we ask (or pray) in Jesus’ Name.” As Jesus said in the Bible, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:12-14) 

 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. (1 Timothy 2:5)

2. Read the Bible – If we talk to God through prayer, God talks to us through His Word – the Bible. As you start your day in prayer, it would also be nice to start your day hearing what God has to say to you for that day. You can read the Book of Psalms for your morning quiet time and you can start with the Book of John as you learn more about Jesus. Just like in any battle, the Word of God is our weapon for any temptation that would come along our way for that day. It would also be nice if you have a journal notebook where you can write what God has been speaking to you for that day.

3. Be part of a community. God created us not to be alone. We are made for relationships. It is important that we also become a part of a community that shares the same belief. One way of being a part of is to be a part of a small group or a Bible study group. This way, you can also learn from others, pray for each other and be an encouragement for one another. You will realize that you are not alone in the journey that you are going through.  “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)   

Are you excited with this journey with the Lord? You can pray like this as you start on with this journey.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

You are so loving and full of compassion. Thank you for the gift of forgiveness that you will remember my sins no more because of Jesus. Thank you for giving me another chance to become better as a person. Help me to become more dependent on the Holy Spirit as He leads me to do the right things. I am excited as I desire to know and love Jesus more. I ask that you would strengthen me each day, that I will always have time for prayer and reading of the Bible. I ask also Lord that you would bring me to a group of people who shares the same love for You. From this day on, I entrust my spiritual journey with you. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Song:

Now That You’re Near by Hillsong

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All HIS Leadership Conference

Every third week of January, the congregation (Christ’s Commission Fellowship) holds a leadership conference for all leaders of the church – these are not just the pastors, elders, ministry heads but also small group leaders as well as those who want to start their own small groups.

Last January 24-25, it was a privilege to be able to participate in the leadership conference entitled, “All HIS”. This is also the theme of the church for the year reminding us that everything we have belongs to God and we must be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us.

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There were so many good things to take in and apply during the conference and I want to share some of the points which really spoke to me.

  • The evidence that you love God is when you do your best for Him.
  • God doesn’t need me to exist but God decided to need me to “co-exist”.
  • We were created to be in partnership with God for His work.
  • Our unbelief limits God to accomplish things through us because we are in partnership with Him.
  • Leave your goals, ambitions, dreams in that workplace for God to be able to use you. (Because of our own personal dreams, we do things for ourselves only that we hinder God to use us where He has placed us.)
  • There’s a reality that we “stereotype” people whom we can share the gospel with. (We think that there are people who are gospel-ready and there are those who are not. When the truth is, everyone should come to know Jesus.)
  • Organize your finances: 1) Get out of debt 2)Don’t manipulate (how much you need) 3)Give
  • Tithing is not giving; it is returning what belongs to God in the first place. (In the Bible, “give” tithe was never used. It’s always been using the word “bring”.)
  • Giving is what is over and beyond your tithe.
  • Mistakes: 1) Haven’t rested enough 2) Haven’t prayed enough 3) Haven’t studied the Bible enough 4) Haven’t trained enough 5) Haven’t lead my family enough
  • About resting – If you don’t keep commandments 1-3, 5-10 – there are consequences. What made you think that by not keeping commandment 4 – Keep holy the Sabbath, there won’t be consequences?
  • For leaders: walk – character, work – ministry
  • If you focus on people, you will stumble. Focus on God.
  • I am a “slave” of Christ. (owned, no rights, absolute obedience)
  • Serve – We can serve without loving God but we can’t love God without serving others.
  • The Principle of First – Return to God what belongs to Him.
  • We are stewards of:  Time, Talent, Treasure, Title, Influence, Relationships, Opportunities
  • We are also stewards of God’s Truth. We are responsible to share the gospel.

My action points for this conference are:

–          To be a good steward of God’s truth – share God’s love and the gospel to as many as possible

–          To be a good steward of my time, talent, influence and finances – maximize my time for the Lord and to organize my finances

–          To share God more to my family – in love, in truth, in words and actions

–          To be a better small group leader – deeper study of God’s Word, evangelism and multiplication

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”― John Wesley

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ – Matthew 25:23

cross Every color represents specific aspect in life that you want to surrender to God. At the end of the conference, all the boards with stickers were put together and formed into a cross

collageAttended the conference with my disciple, Anne

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“I am all HIS!” – Pepay

Made for Relationships

When I moved to Manila to work, I didn’t have any immediate family with me nor friends that I can live with. I was basically on my own at the start. It wasn’t an easy move and I can still clearly remember that I wanted to go home to Bacolod during my first week of stay. I got so homesick as it was my first time to really be away from family.

Eventually, I made a lot of friends from my work, from where I used to stay and from church. As months went by, I realized how important to have people who would continue to guide you and even become accountable for you. That’s when I decided to join in a small group. And being part of it really helped me in my continuous stay here in Manila.

The small group became my spiritual family. It is composed of people who show genuine love and concern towards each other. In the group, we share our victories and trials to one another to be able to encourage each other. We pray for each other and help each other in our walk with the Lord. There is nothing so extraordinary in a small group except the common factor why we meet together – Jesus Christ.

I’m glad that I made that decision to be part of a small group. It’s not just about meeting together, talking about our lives, doing fun stuff together, a small group is more than that. It’s a privilege to be a blessing to different people. It’s a privilege of knowing God through other people who share the same passion for the Lord.

Indeed, we are all created for relationships. We are not meant to be alone. If right now, you feel like you don’t have friends, or you’re too far away from your family or you just really feel alone, and you’ve been invited to be part of something like this, give it a chance. It’s more than an invitation, it’s a privilege.

In small groups, we don’t just gain friends, we grow with friends.

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25

 

These are the different small groups I’ve been with and still with. It’s just amazing growing old with such beautiful women, some have gotten married already, one had kid, some had left the city, some had returned, some still stayed single :), but despite of the changes, the journey of encouraging, praying for each other and lifting up one another never changes.

Truth is, our lives together go beyond the small circle of group. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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