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Text: John 13:1-5, 33-35

Jesus demonstrated His love to His disciples in order for them to understand & obey His commands of “loving one another”. Practicing this will prove that they are really Christ’s disciples.

What kind of love Jesus demonstrated?

Greek words for love:
Eros: affection bet. a man and a woman
Storge: natural affection among family members
Phileo: fond of a person, object or activity
AGAPE: unconditional love – not based on emotions, on what someone/something can give.

Jeremiah 31:33
John 3:16
Romans 8 38-39

How Jesus thought this love?

John 13:15 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done to you.”

The love that Jesus was referring to is SERVANTHOOD.

Galatians 5:13

Why Jesus commanded His disciples to “love one another”?

John 13:34
“a new COMMAND I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Why must we obey Christ?

John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

If the love of Christ is seen among Christians, that alone is already a step towards witnessing Christ to nonbelievers.

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I’d been living for almost 23 years, and from that, been working for almost 2 years. Life taught me of some basic things that I must be doing then, not just from my experiences but also from some facts that I’ve learned from different resources that I can totally prove. I really think, having able to understand physical anatomy and physiology and life-stuff are just some of the perks of being a nurse and a Christian at the same time.
So here are the list of some important things that you must start doing that are mostly based from my life experiences as a working girl, a superwoman and an owner of this only life that could only have.

1. Set your watch at least 10 minutes earlier. Based on the article I’ve read entitled “A Man Is Punctual: The Importance of Being on Time”, being punctual strengthens and reveals your integrity, shows you are dependable, builds your self-confidence, assures you’re at your best, builds and reveals your discipline, shows your humility and shows your respect for other. Whatever you are right now, whether an employee, a student or a volunteer etc., being punctual is an important thing.

2. Always make a receiving copy. I saw the importance of securing a receiving copy when I was working, after encountering a problem upon not being able to secure once. It was horrible and traumatic since I was obliged to pay because I didn’t able to prove that I have endorsed stuff.

3. When you don’t know, ask. Well, it is really better to ask rather than to act like you know it and encounter problem thereafter.

4. Always bring a pen and a small notebook with you. I do love writing a lot and taking down notes since I really have this what you called short term memory loss. Nah, I’m just kidding, it’s just that I tend to forget a lot of things such as numbers, names, directions etc. You would really doesn’t know when you’re gonna need it.

5. Check your email daily. If you’re like me whose email is subscribed to tons of websites and blogs you better include it in your daily basis not just for updates but also to trash the trashes.

6. Don’t be afraid to say NO. In Matthew 5:37, it tells there, But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No. Instead of hurting others or breaking a promise because you didn’t able to do what you oath to do, it’s better to say NO. I’m the kind of person who, as much as possible, doesn’t want to reject others because I know the feelings of how to be rejected. But let’s be reasonable, don’t be afraid to be hated because of you saying no, if they’re really concern about you, they will understand.

7. Always have your alcohol and sanitizer with you. 80% of diseases can be transmitted through hand contacts. That’s why handwashing is very important to everyone but then, we all know that water isn’t accessible all the time so take alcohol or sanitizer as substitute instead.

8. Never forget to take your breakfast everyday. It is the most important meal of the day since it is where you’re gonna get all your energy for the whole day. So that means skipping your breakfast to save yourself from additional calories, getting late at work or longer sleep is not a good idea.

9. Drink lots of water. There’s a lot of certain diseases that can be prevented and health benefits that can be acquired through right water consumption. Kaiser Permanente nephrologist Steven Guest, MD, agrees: “Fluid losses occur continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool, and these losses must be replaced daily for good health,” he says.When your water intake does not equal your output, you can become dehydrated. Fluid losses are accentuated in warmer climates, during strenuous exercise, in high altitudes, and in older adults, whose sense of thirst may not be as sharp. Read more about it.

10. Elevate your feet after each long tiring day. Elevation of feet while resting will promote venous return from our lower extremities to the heart that was deprived, due to gravity, during our prolonged standing or walking. A big way to prevent varicosities and some vascular diseases.

11. Have an ENOUGH sleep. Not less, not much. Based on researches, having an enough sleep promotes high attention span, good metabolism, and good mood. It is also an aid in promoting strong immune system and healthy skin.

12. Smile though your heart is aching. “Fake it till you make it” appears true when it comes to smiling. It has been proved that even a fake smile can help boost your mood because a movement in facial muscles that was caused by smiling helps in releasing dopamine and serotonin(neurotransmitters that are responsible in enhancing moods) in the brain. So, the next time you are feeling stressed, having a hard  task, or just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, smile for a while and see how your mood can change for the better.

13. Don’t hurry eating. Digestion begins in the mouth, that is called mechanical digestion. Eating thoroughly and gradually will help our precious body  in proper digestion and absorption. Also, eating in a gradual way will help us appreciate the taste of the food we’re eating thus making your meal more pleasurable and satisfying.

14. Never hesitate to express affirmations. There’s nothing more heroic than letting others feel their worth. Uplifting someone’s spirit can never be overrated. I was the kind  of person whose so timid of expressing affirmations to others before, maybe because of my insecurities or shyness . But then, I realized that affirming others could also be an encouragement to me, also a way to be affirmed in return.

15. Start and end your day with a thankful heart. A secret for being joyful is having a heart that is full of praise and thanksgiving. This life may offer us a lot of pains and sufferings but as we face it with a heart full of thanksgiving and focus on God’s faithfulness, everything is bearable. In 1 Corinthians 15:57, it saids “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” How good it is to know how God gave us the very reason to be thankful in everything.

Hope these list would help you. 🙂

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The Lord responded, “Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.” Judges 20:28 

I’m having this complicated battle in my mind of whether I’m going to start my own small group or not. I’d been a part of a small group for almost 5 years and my mentor told me that maybe it is time for me to bear my own fruit in others and also to fulfill the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”).

“I have the desire to do so but I feel so unworthy, unqualified and unprepared.”  – this was just my so lame, inexcusable excuses over and over… but of course I recognize the importance of having an acceptable heart pleasing to the Lord in serving, what I want to tell here is I think my knowledge and wisdom is not good enough for me to lead other people.

But God made me realized something upon reading the book of Judges, wherein He commanded the Israelites to ” Go, for tomorrow I will give them into your hands.”

It reveals to me that when God says “GO”, we must have no other option but to go. When my mentor told me that I should start my own small group soon, I think that was also a way of God telling me to go. Before God commands us to do something, He already know our potentials and capabilities that’s why doubting on ourselves is a big “NO-NO”, aside God will be the one who will work in us, not in our own power but His, not with our own skills but through His grace alone. We don’t need to waste our time preparing our tons of baggage because it is Him who will take care of everything. What God wants is just our willing heart to submit and to obey and the rest is His.

I can see my weakness

But You are my strength.

I can see my unworthiness

But You have showed me Your grace 

 God, use me as Your instrument

Not mine but with Your strength

Not with myself but with Your power

Lord, let Your name be exalted forever…

Have you heard about the life of Jephthah? Well, if not, you can see his life in the book of Judges. Jephthah is son of Gilead from a prostitute. Among the member of his father’s house, he was the least adored and he has experienced how to be forsaken.

Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute. Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,” they said, “because you are the son of another woman.” So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob, where a gang of scoundrels gathered around him and followed him.  Judges 11:1-3

Being a part of a broken past, still, God used his life to lead Israelites in fight against Ammon. Some reacted with disappointment as he made a rash vow with the Lord.

And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” Judges 11:30-31

When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.” Judges 11:34-35

Some of us think, if he didn’t made a vow maybe his daughter need not to die, that his daughter might have able to experience to live longer and have able to enjoy life even more. It made us to conclude that in our lives, we must be careful in taking vows, specially making vows with the Lord. Aside from that conclusion, let’s go to the other point of the story and let me say, the rhema that was revealed to me with this story.

I have experienced in my life wherein I declared that I am willing to surrender my everything to Him because that was I really wanted and ready to do for me to experience Him even more, to be more closer to Him, to be with Him. And I think, that overwhelming experience was the same of what Jephthah felt. He is really willing to offer God anything He would wanted.

Having the thought that I have already surrendered everything, my all in all to Him, there comes the rejoicing over the triumph, until God pointed on something that is in me, something that is in my pocket, something that I never thought He would also wanted, my precious ones. Jephthah never expected that what God wanted for him to offer is his one and only daughter, his precious one. He mourned and I can see that it was really painful for him but then, he still offered it to the Lord. In our lives, we do have special ones (or can be more), it could be a habit, a person, a thing etc. which we would never expect God wanted us to give up to Him. It would be painful but then we are still guarantee of God’s blessing through obedience. After Jephthah submitted to what God wanted him to do, God granted him the victory over all his enemy until he died, he was even buried in his own town who once forsook him.

Jephthah led Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in a town in Gilead. Judges 12:7

If God ask you to give up this precious one of yours unexpectedly, are you also willing to surrender it to Him?

-shine

At once they left their nets and followed Him… Matthew 4 :20

How willing are you to follow JESUS?

In my life, what I desire the most is to follow Jesus,  to be with Him wherever He goes and to desire whatever His Heart desires. Sounds interesting and inspiring, right? Knowing the joy that you could experience with Him is just so incomparable. BUT, in order for us to have that joy we’re talking about with Him, there is one thing He wants us to do,  a matter of faith, He wants us to leave everything and follow Him.

Like His disciples, God wants our willing heart to give up everything for Him. Without hesitations, Peter, Andrew, John and James left their nets, that net symbolizes their source of enjoyment, income and living, almost their lives.  God wants us to lose our life for Him in order for us to find it.

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39

For us to find the joy of following Him, we must leave everything behind, withholding no baggage.

How willing are you to follow Jesus? Are you so willing to the point that you, for His sake, will leave everything behind?

Lord, You know the desires of my heart, You know how I love to do Your will, Give me a willing heart to give up and let go of everything that I’m holding back for the sake of YOU…

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