Posted in Devotions, Ministry

Road to Soulwinning


Rom 10:15    And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Today, with a cheerful heart, I invited three beautiful souls for divine service. It’s not about bragging the statistics, I actually prefer to have a deeper relationship with them. It’s just that I’m being convicted to invite them.

I will keep on praying for them, that God in His marvelous way move mightily on their lives. It’s not about converting into new spiritual affiliation, it’s about bringing them closer to God. It’s not about the external, it’s the transformation of life for God’s glory.

I’m not sure what lies ahead. I’m full of hope, a bit anxious. It’s not easy to represent the God that you serve but worth the effort. I’m not looking forward to bring them to church, it’s just my icebreaker (not always applicable). My heart’s desire is to bring them closer to God. And for them to allow God to change their lives from glory to glory.

(c) bertsoriano.com

Posted in Devotions

Moses and the Burning Bush


2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” ~ Exo. 3:2-3

Have you ever wonder whether you are living a life God called you to live?

We all go through this challenge – an identity crisis if we have to label it. Looking with the life of Moses, he might be asking God about the uncertainty of his life. Being a fugitive must be a humbling or rather embarrasing experience, far from his former life as a next heir to the Pharaoh’s seat. But God is not finished with him yet.

Studying deeper, we witnessed the same scenario with valiant men of God: Gideon, Jacob, Saul (Paul) to name a few.

  • Gideon: once considered a coward, after an angel encounter, led his clan into redemption from the hands of the medianites (freedom!).
  • Jacob: once considered as a deceiver, after wrestling with an angel of the Lord, became Israel.
  • Saul: once considered as the punisher by advocating execution of christians, after the ‘road to Damascus’ experience, became Paul – a most notable christian apostle ever lived.

Reflecting on the lives of these mighty men of God, we note that there’s a turning point in their respective life when God intervened to align them to His purpose in their lives – usually far from what everyone (or even themselves) considered based on their track records. Scholars coined this as a ‘significant one.’ They’re the significant ones. And one factor is constant: God caught their attention.

Whenever we are experiencing unusual trials and afflictions, or blessed beyond measure, let’s immerse ourselves in a spirit of worship. God might be catching our attention! We might be calling by our significant God for a significant purpose – we might be that significant one.

God bless you always.

(C) bertsoriano.com

Posted in Devotions

A Pure Heart


Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. ~ Psalm 51:10 | NIV

As I spoke before God thru prayer tonight, God started to show my innermost thoughts, my private perceptions, my flaws. He started to show my heart. In the spirit of worship, I diligently asked God for a pure heart. Although countless times I sought God to give me such heart, but not until tonight when I can see all my impurities before my God. I literally crying to God to give me that kind of heart.

Truly, I’m not worthy even to speak before my King, but thru Jesus I can speak freely. I can ask for a pure heart.

Lately, I keep on listening to old song, a Filipino song entitled Dati-rati (what used to be) portraying a backsliding Christian. I even put into ‘repeat loop’ so I can listen uninterruptedly. I don’t know the reason though it’s weird enough. Now I know. God wants to impress to me how He wants me (so is all of us) to be aware how to safeguard our faith and not slip away from His presence. We have to seek for a pure heart.

Now I play ‘A Pure Heart’ by Rusty Nelson (feat. Hosanna Integrity Music).

A pure heart

That’s what I long for

A heart that follows hard ater Thee

A heart that hides Your Word

So the sin will not come in

A heart that’s undivided

But one You rule and reign

A heart that beats compassion

That pleases You my Lord

A sweet aroma of worship

That rises to Your throne.

Posted in Devotions, Ministry

Come, now is the time to worship


“A song of ascents. Of David. I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” Psalm 122:1 (niv)

I just had a conversation with my flatmate as we cook each other’s dinner. He arrived in Qatar under spouse’ sponsorship. His wife is working as a nurse if I’m not mistaken. As we carry on with our conversation, I felt an urge to share Jesus. It’s Easter after all. Out of nowhere (before I can open the topic), he inquired about the church I’m attending. I took the opportunity to introduce Jesus… and that we are a non-denominational church. I even encouraged him that if he feel he will grow in his current spiritual affiliation (catholic) then he should stay. God is in the business of changing lives, not promoting religion. I ended up inviting him for a church service, and I went s bit far by inviting him to bible study as well.

Little did he knew that I started praying for him (for my whole flatmates actually) around two weeks back. That’s conviction of the holy spirit. I pray that God will continue to convict him in obedience. I desire nothing but God’s favor in his life. That favor works for me, why won’t with him, right?

Posted in Devotions, Reflections

Easter Hype


I had a rather overwhelming exposure with celebration of Easter this year, from social media to … er’ just social media. I can’t expect Qatar as a Islamic state to take part on Christian events such as Easter anyway. Ironically, Christmas is being observed in shopping malls, hotels, and airport. Seeing a 10ft christmas tree is a common sight.

I bet statistically, people nowadays are much more aware of Christ’ sacrifice. I could name a person or two who religiously watch Passion of Christ and The Ten Commandments during lenten season. Facebooke memes are temporarily sidelined, replaced by Easter-themed messages. Personally, that’s good news. We don’t have to explain the significance of the cross as an ultimate sacrifice. I am encouraged.

Then a realization struck me. Now that people are more aware and appreciating Christ’ atonement, how far are they willing to go? Will it change their usual walk to be righteous in the eyes of God? Will they turn away from sins?

Christ did His part, let’s do ours. Let’s seek His will and purpose in our lives. Desire intimate relationship with God, lest this will settle into a hype that stirs us in repentance every year only to come back a day after like nothing significant happened.

Posted in Devotions, Everyday Living

God in Action


Previously, I’m confessing frustrations with my  current job. Surely, it’s a sign of burning out. Nevertheless, my faith is unbreakable and I’m confident that my welfare is in God’s hands. I just need to do my part. Me and my loving and ever-supportive wife came into mutual agreement to execute two emotional responses and two monetary responses. And our efforts paid off. All glory to God.

Emotional Responses

  1. Pray – we spoken openly to God, specifically discuss our prayer requests.
  2. Wait patiently – my wife is my constant reminder to wait patiently. Sometimes we have to wait because that’s our only option. But having a patience is another level.

Monetary Responses

  1. Tithe – we sometimes neglect paying our tithes. Or at least delaying the payment. Delayed obedience is disobedience. It’s not easy to be faithful in tithing if we have good factors to consider. But we learned to prioritize God, and as a result, everything is being provided by God. Let’s initiate the leap of faith. 
  2. Seed – put a seed in your offering. Label it. Say ‘this is for the car!’ We are not encouraging you to be materialistic, it’s just the concept of being specific. Of course you have to be pure in motive, as God checks your heart, not your seed’s amount. It’s fun to experience God’s hands orchestrating your situation in your favor, particularly in granting your requests.

Just this morning, I had a closed-door meeting with my boss. I thought I will receive a scolding 🙂 Instead, I was given a token of appreciation for all my hard works, assuring me that they are aware of my extra efforts to get the job done. And I was granted payment for all the hours I will spend working beyond office hours. 

Well, this is just a beginning. I want this to be an encouragement to everyone (kaway kaway Jai hehe) that He’s not finished with you yet. May magandang plano ang Panginoon. 

Posted in Devotions

Peace of God


​Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:5-6

It’s our human nature to worry. We have anxious heart after all. How many times did our judgments been clouded with doubts and anxiety? Nevertheless, God’s peace is in store for us. We just have to trust in Him.

The above scriptures instruct us not to worry, but in everything by prayer and supplications (with thanksgiving)… then God’s peace shall keep (guard) your hearts and mind.

Verse 6

Let’s break down these two requirements namely:

  1. Prayer
  2. Supplications with thanksgiving

Prayer

Praying is our way of communicating with God. It’s a popular cliche’ that says: “When you pray, don’t give God instructions. Just report for duty.” That’s cute, but in reality, it’s not easy. Trust me, it’s really not easy to just report for duty when you are upset and troubled. I found it easier to be just be “you” when talking to God. There’s no need to address “God of Abraham, Isaac and David.” Although exhortation/adoration is part of prayer’s structure (ACTS), sometimes it’s easier to delve into your heart’s issues. Pour these before God. Just bear in mind that you are talking to God, speak with respect.

ACTS:

  1. Adoration    –  Praising, worshipping God, for Who He is
  2. Confession    –  Asking God to cleanse us from sin
  3. Thanksgiving    –  Believing, acknowledging God’s grace
  4. Supplication    –  Our specific prayer requests

Supplications with thanksgiving

Apostle Paul highlights supplication and added “with thanksgiving” (with gratitude). I suspect that he wants brethren not to just request to God. He wants them to express gratitude upon requesting. That’s the quality God desires. We just don’t ask God. Because He is God, we ask with respect. Give honor to whom the honor is due.

Now that you’ve done your part, it’s God’s turn.

Verse 7
The Peace of God 

It is defined as ‘state of tranquility, rest.’ What a relief! People try to find peace only to fail because they’re seeking in a wrong direction! Seek God, and He will give you peace – a sweet promise. And that peace shall keep (guard) your heart and mind.

The scenario is, you entered into God’s sanctuary with anxious heart and then leave with a peace of heart and mind. You may now rest in peace 🙂

What a mighty God we serve!

Posted in Devotions, Reflections

God Heard Us The First Time


​*[[Dan 10:12]] ISV* “‘Don’t be afraid, Daniel,’ he told me, ‘because from the first day that you committed yourself to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard. I’ve come in answer to your prayers.

I admit I have my shares of doubt. I asked God one favor, years gone by and still my prayer remains unanswered. 

I started to work my way to please God. Later, i realized that I want to manipulate God. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are way above ours. God moves in His perfect time. We have to align ourselves.

In my three decades (+4yrs) of existence, I can say that most of my unanswered prayers have something to do with my readiness. Say if the Lord will  bless me with 1million pesos, I can live with that. However, how can I be sure to do the same if we’re talking about 1million dollars? Am I capable of handling that? It’s not the greed that I am concerned of, it’s how to manage it properly. How ready I am for the challenge? If I’m not ready, it will destroy me.

The scripture above comforts me. I’ll never give up, He heard me..

Posted in Devotions

Offering our Hearts


Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

The above passage portrays our desire to surrender fully in the Lord. We can only arrive on this place when we are saturated with His presence in the spirit of worship.

I have to admit, I’m not always receptive to God’s investigations. There are times I want to hide from Him, makes me feel like what Adam and Eve felt after committing sin.

I can’t thank God enough for everything. All I can do is to offer this heart wholeheartedly. After all, it’s for my own sake. God will not benefit because l have this somewhat self-centered,egocentric heart. The scripture is pretty much accurate. God knew my anxieties.

Let’s continue reading below, which concludes the thoughts of the matter:

*[[Psa 139:24]] KJV* And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

As you can see, obedience to God starts with surrendering our hearts. We cannot say to God: “guide me,” unless we are willing to set aside our selfish thoughts. We have to allow God to search our hearts and get rid of impurities. He cannot work His way in our hearts if we’re wrestling with Him to take control. It’s either we, or God, who will drive. Someone must be in the passenger’s seat. We usually drive our lives like crazy, then jump on passenger’s seat and ask God to take charge when we lost control. Tsk!

Do not put yourself in a vulnerable situation, and then ask God to rescue you.

Isn’t it more comforting to sit tight and allow God, the Master Driver to increase the gear? Continuing to contemplate will lead us into the issue of trust. We have to trust God. Will you trust your house key to a random pedestrian?

Let’s continue to trust God with our lives. And start counting marvelous days with Him.

Posted in Devotions

Walk Blamelessly


*[[Psa 84:11]] ISV* For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD grants grace and favor; the LORD will not withhold any good thing from those who walk blamelessly.


I hear a preacher shout  blessings in the midst of a congregation. People are very interested. I have nothing against that, in fact i’m with them. We can find in scripture that blessings will surely follow us whenever we go. But there’s another context in scripture we have to consider. It’s not that we’re after the blessing then we’ll have it. Look at the requirement: “walk blamelessly.” 

Query is, is it possible to walk blamelessly? Who will cast the first stone? 

When we think about blameless, we’ll start to imagine Jesus – a man who walked in the face of the earth and did not sinned. Does it mean that we will “copy” him? Of course not! That’s blasphemy. Instead, we follow him. We declare that He is our Lord and Savior, and we entrust everyday of our life with Him. That’s how we walk. In doing so, we’re wearing God’s robe of righteousness. That’s for me is walking blamelessly – living in the beauty of His holiness.

Our God is generous, He will not withheld any good thing from us. Instead for chasing blessings, let’s pursue a blameless life. And surely, whatever good stuff we can think of will be given to us.

Posted in Devotions, Reflections

Masterpiece of a Master’s Hands


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

We can debate all day in complex issue of creation. Scientists can argue with claims such as big bang theory and algae’s evolution and come up with convincing truth. But one simple creation left them baffled – the creation of man.

As a father, I observed how complex the process in the womb is. It took a toll in my wife who primarily carry the burden. The moodswing, discomfort, uneasiness ponder her in a daily basis. We observed that she must be very blessed because she no longer require a bedrest and extra cautious as our baby boy is strong inside. We are amazed everyday how he is being developed from mere blood to a fetus that kicks a lot! Such delicate and state-of-the-art process – truly a masterpiece. When my son is pulled out of his mom’s womb, God’s work doesn’t end there – He’s only just began.

Appreciating the beauty of nature is more than enough to be grateful of God’s works. His fingerprints are everywhere. Travel agencies take pride in showcasing nature more than any man-made tourist attractions. They can boast of astonishing Pyramid or breathtaking Eiffel Tower, but they have to admit that nothing comes so close to nature when it comes to unwinding and relaxation.

Come to think that of all His marvelous works, you and me are the ones He is proud of. As an artist, He paid attention to every detail, so minute that He put an appendix inside our body that doctors and scientists yet to figure out the primary purpose and discovered something new about this organ!

 Take some time to appreciate God.