“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men’” – Luke 2:52
S T A T U R E
Every child of God (man and woman) carries a spiritual dimension of God’s glory. The godly DNA, eternal covenant, heavenly family heritage and divine calling in his life makes him a spiritual heavyweight. His very presence carries a unique supernatural signature and
emits a distinct heavenly aroma that leaves a spiritual thumbprint wherever he goes. He is designed to make a lasting impact.
The Hebrew word for glory is CHABOD, which means among other things “weight”. The more a child of God loves the Lord with all of his heart and completely yields to His will, the heavier the anointing of the Lord’s tangible presence becomes evident in his life. A
genuine disciple of Christ is a man of stature that commands respect as both seen and unseen realms discern the weight of God embodied in the earthen vessel. Manifestations in chronos abound in sync with the spiritual movements in kairos as the man of God flows with the divine life.
Sadly, the opposite is also true, the more a believer dishonors his covenant with God by constantly compromising to sin, disregarding divine order, breaking heavenly bonds and being unequally yoked with darkness, the more he regresses into becoming a spiritual
“lightweight”. Instead of possessing weighty words of integrity that cause signs and wonders, the backslider morphs into a hyprocritical Sunday Christian doing the churchy motions and speaking religious cliches in order to maintain an “I‘m okay, I have not forgotten God“ image. Just like the Pharisees who were white washed tombs with dry bones inside, all he carries are memories of the past but void of the present powerful
living reality. His arsenal is reduced to sterilized theological rhetoric and well choreographed empty rituals that do not transform lives nor cause darkness to tremble.
May we be like Jesus who lived in and did the Father’s will. In so doing, He spoke with
such authority that the hearts of his listeners burned (Luke 4:36 ; 24:32). He was so full of the weight of God that when He revealed His identity to the arresting soldiers, they all fell to the ground. Glory!!!
When was the last time you stepped on the spiritual weighing scale with a broken selfwill and a deep genuine desperate cry for the Lord’s presence? When did your spiritual weight move up as you were undone in total devotion to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Was there a spiritual tremor when you prayed and prophesied? Did you feel the brush of angels wings when you sang? Were hearts moved and set on fire when you spoke? When
was the last time you had an encounter with the glorious God? When did you feel the weight of God’s CHABOD?
Child of God, it’s time to move up in spiritual weight class and go from glory to glory. You can determine it by the depth of your cry: “Not my will but let Your will be done.” Creation is waiting for the Christ in you to manifest.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”
– Romans 10:14-15
ONE SEED CAN GO A LONG WAY
Last Saturday, I participated in an online necrological service for Leo Cauriz (1948-2021). More than paying my last respects and personally extending my condolences to Leo’s US based son Emman and his family, I felt compelled to speak and pay tribute to a brother in Christ. By the time the service ended, I was not only able to do what I had in my heart, I was honored before the congregation and asked to pray for the bereaved family. More than that, I was touched, inspired, and motivated hearing the testimonies of those who
knew Bro.Leo. Aside from the consensus that he was a very godly man, the prominent feature that stood out in his life was his zeal and passion to share the Gospel. Several testified that they got to know Jesus Christ through him. He was always seen in public sharing the Word of God to strangers.
Leo Cauriz was a professional musician, a bass guitarist in a band, playing in nightclubs when I met him in Seoul, South Korea in 1989. At that time, he sported long hair and was a chain smoker. I shared the Gospel to him and he sincerely repented of his sins and
genuinely surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. He started to devour the Word of God and actively participated in our pioneering mission work. I baptized him in icy water on an open pond. Without being prodded, he had a haircut, stopped smoking, and joined the praise and worship team. He brought his Korean wife and little boy, Emman, to our church.
After a couple of years, he lost his appetite playing secular music in the Korean nightclubs and decided to go back to the Philippines to serve the Lord. He paid a high price for the radical lifestyle change that even his marriage suffered. In spite of the hardship, he passionately loved the Lord serving in different ministries. He raised his son in a godly way, who became a musician for the Lord. He also became a spiritual father to many.
I was not really aware of the extent of Leo’s evangelistic ministry not until I heard of the testimonies. The two pastors in the necrological service honored me by citing the fact that I led Leo to the Lord. As a result of which, many got to know Jesus Christ through him. My heart was warmed but at the same time, I realized how much I underestimate the ripple effect of obeying (or disobeying) the Great Commission.
I thank God for life of Leo Cauriz and pray many will have the same evangelistic zeal.
“However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.” – 1 Corinthians 15:46
ALL TRUTH IS PARALLEL
Morris Cerullo taught that: “All truth is parallel”. Setting aside any political bias, there are sobering truths that can be gleaned from the recent and dramatic events in Afghanistan. Here are some:
(1) Kabul residents thought they had months to prepare but it turned out to be just hours. The same is true in the spirit. Many do not have a sense of urgency as they think they have a lot of time left when in reality, judgment is lurking at the doorstep.
(2) False security leads to chaos and death. The responsibility of a leader is very serious. President Biden said earlier that the Taliban will not take over Afghanistan and that we will not see helicopters pulling people out of roof tops to evacuate, all of which happened.
May spiritual leaders do not give false hope/security to people. Genuine servants of the Lord must not sugar coat serious messages of warning and judgment. Intercessors are expected to blow the trumpet and contend in the spirit.
(3) Delegated authority must be used to implement order and not abandoned that creates a vacuum. Darkness is the absence of light. Hence, vacuum is an invitation for dark forces to march in. The Taliban moved in as the Afghan government and military abandoned their posts.
(4) The absence of will renders everything useless. The Afghanistan National Army,
although better armed, didn’t have the will and courage to fight the Taliban. No matter how much Bible classes one attends, unless there is a decision to apply and live it out, it is reduced to an empty lifeless theoretic knowledge.
(5) A baptism of fire purifies. There are Afghan Christians who chose to stay in order to continue the work of the Lord despite the threat to their lives. Such pure and genuine faith is inspiring wherein the reality of eternity overshadows the temporary. There are present day evangelists/missionaries who are committed in sharing the love of Christ no
matter what the price is. Undoubtedly there are many more lessons to learn as committee hearings and inquiries
will be conducted as politicians will pounce on the opportunity score points, let the Body of Christ be focused and continue to pray for the salvation of the Afghans. More than that, may it be a wake-up call for us to redeem the time for the days are evil (Eph.5:16).
“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary.” – Deuteronomy 25:17-18
CONNECTED, NOT CUT-OFF
A Filipina was so thankful that she found our church in Memmingen. She told me that she was active in the church in Cebu City and missed the fellowship since she moved with her husband to Bayern. Indeed she came and worshiped with us for several months and I was delighted to see her passion for the Lord. One day she informed me that she was going to “lay low” for awhile because her husband and in-laws were not in favor of her coming to church. She just wanted to diffuse the tense atmosphere. Sadly, that was the last time I saw her in church. Several years after, I met her in a social gathering and she looked so different, so worldly and void of the spiritual glow she used to carry. It was obvious that she had backslidden as revealed by her words and demeanour.
In the quoted passage, the enemy targets those who are lagging behind. Just like wolves isolate a calf from the herd, demonic forces seek ways to convince a child of God from distancing him/herself from the family of God. Hebrews 10:24-25 addresses it and admonishes believers “not to forsake the assembly”.
It is essential that we stay connected to the family of God where we are encouraged and built up. Just like parts of the body, we thrive only when we are part of the whole. There is security in the household of faith as we pray for one another. We encourage everyone to be part of a “Life Group”. If you want to start a new Life Group, do not hesitate to let us know. Participate in our onsite and online meetings. If you desire and are led to be a
part of CFFAN, fill up the online form for Church Membership. Each believer has a special and unique place in the Body of Christ.
“Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised.” – 1 Chronicles 16:23-25
SING UNTO THE LORD A NEW SONG
Often times we take things for granted especially when they are readily available. However, when they are taken away, we begin to see its value. For many months during the lockdown, only the Worship Team was allowed to sing during our Sunday Celebrations while the congregation was forced to be muted. Thank God, since June 7, such Covid19 restriction has been lifted and everybody is now allowed to sing in church, albeit with surgical masks on.
Jesus said that if his children will not praise Him, the stones will cry out (Luke 19:40). Let us celebrate the Lord’s greatness and welcome His Presence by maximising our regained freedom. Let us express our devotion to the Lord through passionate worship as we sing love songs to Him from our hearts. Let us not hold back in declaring His praises to both the spiritual and natural realms.
Regardless of the situation, the Almighty God is worthy to be praised. When Paul and Silas were assaulted and imprisoned, they sang hymns to God at midnight hour. In spite of their condition, they sang to the Lord in the darkest moment. As a result, the glory of God came and their chains were loosed and the prison doors opened supernaturally. Lockdown or no lockdown, let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6).
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give you the spirit of wisdom and revela=on in the knowledge of Him.” – Ephesians Ephesians 1:17
TO KNOW INTIMATELY
There is a kind of knowledge that one can gain through study and experience. However, there is another kind of knowledge that comes directly from God which we refer to as “revelation knowledge”. An example of which is found in Matthew 16:17 when Simon declared that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. To wit, the Lord said that flesh and blood did not reveal it to him
but such knowledge was revealed to the disciple but the Father Himself.
We thank God for the abundance of biblical teachings we have received. However, unless such precious truths become a revelation to us, they remain as information or head knowledge. May such truths be revealed in our spirits that lead to transformation.
Paul’s fervent prayer was not to be the famous preacher of all rather that he may know Jesus Christ in the power of His resurrection and in the fellowship of His suffering (Philippians 3:10). The word “know” in the original Greek is “Ginosko” which means “To know by experience; to know intimately.” The apostle was not satisfied with correct theology rather his longing was to have a personal encounter with the Lord and be intimate with Him. It is my prayer that all of us experience the reality of Christ on a daily basis.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” – Genesis 1:1-13
DEEP CALLS UNTO DEEP
Who would have thought that 15 months after the first Covid19 case in Germany, we would still find ourselves in a state of lockdown? The whole nation has gone through a wild ride of ups and downs (mostly downs) where regulations and policies rhythmically change. With the increase of the different variants and staggering number of cases, a cloud of fear, depression and resignation has darkened the souls of many. On the other hand, a rebellious spirit has been sowing seeds of lawlessness and anarchy causing chaos.
The first verses of the Bible ought to give us hope as the Creation story reveal a powerful parallelism. Just as the earth in the beginning was without form and void, covered in darkness, the present global community finds itself in chaos and plunged into pandemic darkness. It was in that state that the Holy Spirit moved and God spoke. Let us take heart knowing that no chaos nor darkness can stop the Holy Spirit from moving. Moreover, the atmosphere is ripe to receive the Word of God and behold His marvellous light as He creates something new in our lives.
Jesus is Lord!
“…You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not
here. See the place where they laid Him…”. – Mark 16:6
JESUS IS ALIVE! Hallelujah!
The disciples witnessed the gruesome death of the Master and they were devastated, depressed, fearful and hopeless. They were so overwhelmed by the negative emotions that they forgot what the Lord repeatedly told them, that He will rise again and meet them in Galilee.
Similarly, it is easy for us to forget the promises of God when we go through dark seasons and distressing circumstances. We should not allow ourselves to be paralysed by fear rather focus on the promise-keeping God. Indeed, we cannot find the living (eternal matters) among the dead (passing worldly things). Let the message of Resurrection Sunday cause us to shake off the dust of doubt and fear when adversity strikes. There is nothing impossible for our living God(Luke 18:27).
Death’s legal right over man is sin and Jesus paid it in full. There is nothing that the accuser can level against those who are in Christ Jesus. Eternal life is guaranteed to every child of God not because of man’s effort but because of God’s amazing grace.
Let the Resurrection message reverberate in our entire being and activate hope, strength and confidence in us as we face and overcome the present challenges knowing that God is much bigger than the totality of all the problems of this world.
The once in a century pandemic pales in comparison to the greatest event of all times, namely the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah! Jesus is risen!
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. –Psalm 37:4
Do you remember the excitement you felt when you were about to embark on a much delayed vacation; or the thrill of opening the package of your much awaited brand new gadget; or the heart pounding exhilaration you experienced driving your first car?
In comparison, do you have the same intense excitement and/or unspeakable joy when in comes to the things of God? In reality, eternal issues ought to elicit great delight in us. The Webster English dictionary defines the word DELIGHT as (1) a high degree of gratification or pleasure (2) joy > as in children squealing in delight (3) extreme satisfaction (4) something that gives great pleasure.
Let us delight in the Lord, in His Word, and most importantly, let us find great satisfaction in doing God’s will.