The Quotable Round-Up #19

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Here are the freshest quotes from your favorite Christian authors. May this bring encouragement to you throughout the week. Enjoy!
“Faith’s neediness yields to faith’s trust.”
— David Powlison
“To obey God’s will is to love well because you are loved well.”
–David Powlison
“Functional atheism is our most natural state of mind.”
–David Powlison
“The human will is desperately set against God and is the great devourer and destroyer of thousands of good intentions and emotions which never come to anything permanent because the will is acting in opposition to that which is right and true.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon
“If the kingdom of God doesn’t sound absolutely beautiful to you, you will always be finding other things to worship.”
–Ed Welch
“The saints are not marked most deeply by what they do but by who they are. They are born again. They are a new creation. They do not go in and out of this newness. It is God’s work. And it is irrevocable. But the fruit of it in faith and obedience is a fight to the end.”
–John Piper
“The distance between us and God is infinite in every way. But God’s is infinitely great to span that distance.”
–Richard D. Phillips

7 Things We Miss Out If We Reject the Gospel (Part 1)

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The gospel is God’s precious message to the fallen humanity. It is “good news” for us who are in bondage of sin. It doesn’t just guarantee us heaven but that the wrath of God and guilt of sin were relinquished by the power of the cross. No other news in the world or history compares to the gospel that saves. Having that reality applied to us, the elect is truly the privileged ones on earth. But what if we reject this gospel? What are the consequences for neglecting such precious news? Here are 7 things we will surely miss if we don’t receive this love from God:
1. Peace
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-7

 

Peace is a scarce commodity in this world. Wars, violence, heartaches are some of the things that will bog us down. Yet ignoring the call of the gospel, we deprive ourselves with this rare commodity. This peace is not just something that will give us a good night sleep. Nor it will erase every conflict that we know of. Its peace that is promised by God through Jesus Christ that we can hold on to here and in eternity. Conflict will still be there but God will give us strength to endure such situations. Do you want peace? Receive the gospel today!

2. Love

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 6-8

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15: 9

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,”
Ephesians 2: 4

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 4: 10

“Love” is a four letter word that has be marred with twisted definitions by this world. Love according to God’s Word is not just loving the unlovable but dying for the unlovable. The unlovable humanity hasn’t, can’t and will not prove anything to gain a good standing before a holy God. Yet out of the mercy of God, He took the initiative to love the unlovable. This love is an everlasting love written with God’s blood. Rejecting the gospel is rejecting true love. This world is hungry for true and deep love. God’s love can be yours if you accept His gospel. Neglecting the love of God will cost you a loveless eternity.

(to be continued next week…)

5 Confidence Boosters for 2016 (and 4 Ways To Thank God For It) Part 4

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 It’s almost a month and have you seen how God is moving in your life this 2016?  Maybe you’re still going in rough times and not sure where is God in all of this. Good or bad it might be, God is still there for us. That’s not just some empty encouragement but that’s stating the reality. And its still worthy of your praise. Here’s the last two ways to thank God for His confidence boosters.

 

  • Acknowledge His limitless power

“Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness”. Isaiah 40: 21-23

 

His power is not just something that is epic in proportions. We might not see a big miracle like a sea parting or raining food everyday but to see God as all powerful. After all He created everything. He saved you from sin. He lets you breath. That enough to consider Him powerful and sovereign. Therefore He can work His power in you.

 

 

  • Keep in mind He doesn’t withhold his promise to strengthen us.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” Isaiah 40: 29-30

 

If you’re a child of God never entertain the thought that He will withdraw His promise to us. Thank Him for those promises and depend on Him always. Spiritually He can and He will sustain us. We might not be an apostle or a disciple of Jesus Christ in Bible times, but our God and their God is the same. He strengthen them through trials, crisis and in the brink of death. He will also do that to us.

Book Review: The Wiersbe Bible Commentary by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe

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                                     photo courtesy of CLC Philippines

Finally a Bible commentary you will actually read! Wait what?! We “read” commentaries? Of course for us “reading” a commentary might mean checking a Bible verse in a Matthew Henry and see that it (especially if we are preparing a Bible study or sermon) agrees with what we think the verse means. But to actually “read” it as in get the book, find your reading spot and spend an hour absorbing the commentary is another thing. Rarely do we do that. But with the “The Wiersbe Bible Commentary” you can enjoy it as if it’s a regular Christian book.
This commentary collects his popular “Be” series that are less technical, easily accessible and easy to understand. Well when we say Weirsbe dropped the theological jargons and can be appreciated by anyone it doesn’t mean its has no depth in content. In the contrary it covers a lot of grounds including biblical principles and apologetics. “The Wiersbe Bible Commentary” is relevant and up to the challenges of this current generation.

This is the zenith of Wiersbe’s work all bound in two volumes, now locally published with a gorgeous cover and a very affordable price. If you’re a newbie in using commentaries, this commentary is a great start. If you’re a pastor who wants a sharable resource to the congregation, this one is the best. If you’re a fan of his “Be” series which you collect by going to Booksale or receiving it as a Kindle freebie over David C. Cook now it’s the time to own a physical copy. Guarantee it won’t collect dust in your bookshelf.

5 Confidence Boosters for 2016 (and 4 Ways To Thank God For It) Part 3

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The best way to thank a gracious God is through our godly actions that will make a difference in our lives and to others. Here are 4 of them that will not only thank God but cultivate a grateful heart towards Him.

  • Flee from idols and false gods

“To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains.” Isaiah 40: 18-19

 

Never lower your view on God. We may not worship carved images but we can put an idol aside from God on the altar of our hearts. Knowing that the God of the Bible is the true God flee to the gods of our own devices.  Follow the God of the Bible that gives true and lasting confidence.

  • Incline to His counsel always

“Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge,and showed him the way of understanding?” Isaiah 40: 13-14

 

Remember that human knowledge is limited and changeable. But God’s wisdom stretch from age to age. Seek His counsel that He is willing to give when we come to Him.

(to be concluded next week…)

5 Confidence Boosters for 2016 (and 4 Ways to Thank God for It) Part 2

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Continuing last weeks list of confidence boosters that are God given, here are numbers 3 to 5. Next week we will conclude it with 4 ways to thank God for these awesome confidence boosters
3.) On God’s Word
A voice says, “Cry!”And I said, “What shall I cry?”All flesh is grass, and all its beautyOr all its constancy is like the flower of the field.The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it;surely the people are grass.The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
– Isaiah 40: 6-8
The Bible is not a catalog of do’s and don’ts. It is the God’s Word. And since its from God, it is dependable. As we glance back to the verse, we can see that His words will stand forever. Man’s words may falter but the message of the Bible will not. Therefore it’s dependable.
4.) Proclaiming the gospel
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news;Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah,”Behold your God!”—Isaiah 40: 9
We have confidence that in sharing the love of Christ to others our labor will not be in vain. All of it is gain even if we face rejection. We don’t however gain anything if we don’t tell the gospel and lose the rewards God will give to us. The gospel is powerful because it came from God. For those who accept the gospel it is an eternal blessing. Rejecting this message of love leads to eternal condemnation.
5.) In God
“Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”—Isaiah 40: 10-11
One might complain that the God of the Old Testament is one unloving God. But Psalms 23 dispels that notion. And so are these verses. God is shown as a compassionate shepherd that tends His sheep. He “tends”, “gather the lambs in his arms”, “carry them in his bosom” and “gently lead those that are with young.” Its one thing to get a confidence boost on the promises of God in His Word and its another thing to lean to God Himself. The God of eternity to eternity gets personal with His elect. Getting personal has been a reputation of God. He has done that when he walk this earth 2,000 years ago. He will do it again soon.
(to be concluded next week…)

Made in Japan: Delighting Grace Interviews Ryo Azumi Author of Manga Bible

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Manga and anime has been a staple to our pop culture. Watching and reading those imports from Japan is something every Pinoy enjoyed during their childhood (and even as adults). Aside from those big eyes and funk hairs are unforgettable stories that still captivates our imagination. Ryo Azumi author and illustrator of the bestselling “Manga Bible” tells us something about manga and everything in between in this brief interview:
Delighting Grace: Hello Miss Ryo, so tell us what’s the difference between a manga and other forms of comics?
Ryo Azumi: It is very important to express the feelings of the characters in the manga. So the face of the characters are being deformed, tend to draw eyes bigger. Because “eyes” are most important part to express his/her emotion. Panel layout is another feature of manga. It’s elaborated. Manga expression is based on the cinema.
Delighting Grace: What you think are the reason manga or anime won the hearts of the Western culture?
 Ryo Azumi: It is the mystery. When I was young, manga was a domestic subculture in Japan, I did not imagine that manga become world-wide. I also did not imagine “sushi” become world-wide.
Delighting Grace: How did you start writing and drawing manga?
Ryo Azumi: I was a very introverted girl, so I started drawings from very young age. Love books and drawings rather than playing outdoors.
Delighting Grace: Can you share with us the process of creating the Manga Bible? What’s your favorite part of the project?
Ryo Azumi: Request → Discussion → Plot making → Storyboard → Rough sketching → Inking → Painting.
My favorite part is “King David”. If “project” means “process”, every parts were hard to me.
Delighting Grace: How did you come to know Jesus Christ?
Ryo Azumi: One of my uncle was a Catholic. He showed me some beautiful pictures of Jesus when I was very young. After that, my friend of a primary school (or kindergarten?) invited me to Sunday-school.(Protestant church) Through the long interruption period, I was back to the church.
Delighting Grace: How do Christians strive in Japan which is so heavily influence by Shintoism and ancestral worship?
Ryo Azumi: It’s a difficult question. I think it is different by living in community and home environment. Shintoism is closely related to social community. Generally, community tie is not strong in the big city. Urbanites does not much interfere with the others. In my case, I was born and raised in Tokyo, so there are no problem. (In addition, my family already had a Christian uncle whom I mentioned.) But, I guess, Christian life in the provinces might be not easy in Japan. By the way, it is a natural feeling for the Japanese to respect the ancestral memorial. It is not always “worship.”
Delighting Grace: Can you give some helpful tips for folks who wants to draw manga? Also for manga artist who wants to get their works publish, what advice can you give to them
Ryo Azumi: Draw intently. Do not become complacent. See your work objectively. And enjoy.
Delighting Grace: Please invite them to get your books and how do fans get in touch with you?
Ryo Azumi: Here are the links that can be helpful if you want to connect with me: