Kaye Mendoza: January 28, 2008

Love Doth Not Behave Itself Unseemly

1 Corinthians 13:5 "Love doth not behave itself unseemly."

1 Corinthians 13, the most popular chapter of the bible tells us all about love - what it is and what it is not. It is indeed beautiful, however, even Christians tend to overlook the words and dismiss them as mere profound. Looking at these words closely, we know in our hearts that they are not mere reflective and insightful words, but something that we must all practice in our daily lives.

Love doth not behave itself unseemly. It is never rude, uncouth, nor inappropriate in language, deeds, and thoughts. We could not claim our love towards others in whom we express impropriety in manner, dress, words or even tone of voice.

More often than not, the degree of our complacency - familiarity - is so high that we forget our manners. We no longer say, "Thank you" or "Please" or "Excuse me" to family members, knowing that they will understand. We are no longer courteous in our dress and how we look before people who are closest to us. Graciousness and politeness is something that we overlook within the confines of our homes. Our voices become unpleasant and less cordial toward our family members.

But we should remember that love is the foundation of every good relationship - whether it be toward God, spouse, friends, parents, siblings, relatives and children. We should be considerate and well-mannered to everyone, especially to those whom we profess our love, because love - doth not behave itself unseemly.

Debie Misir: January 21, 2008

Create in Me a Pure Heart, O God

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10) cries David in desperation. A man whom God Himself describes as being after His own heart, cries out to God to make his heart and spirit right before God. David was not perfect. He made many mistakes and sinned greatly, like all of us do. But what made him so pleasing to God?

You see, David knew that God knew his weaknesses, his strengths, his wickedness, and his sincerity. He fully understood that man is utterly transparent to God, even down to the hidden motives and intentions of the very heart of man. There is nothing hidden from God. O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me (Psalm 139:1) he exclaims. For David to have such knowledge of God's omniscience, he must have had a revelation of God's heart. He must have sought God with a passion unlike any other. Not only did he know the heart of God, but in that knowledge was reflected back to him, the filthiness of his own heart. You see, when we come into the full knowledge of who God is, we will also see ourselves as we really are. For the purity and holiness of God is a mirror of truth, exposing and reflecting back the true state of our body, soul, and spirit. Isaiah, the prophet of the Lord, cries "Woe to me!". "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." (Isaiah 6:5). He stands in the presence of the Lord, beholding His glory and receives a revelation of his own deeply sinful state before a Holy God. He then realizes how much he is in need of God's cleansing power to purify his innermost being and humbling himself, he cried out. Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." (Isaiah 6:6,7). As Isaiah gets a revelation of his true filthiness before God and cries out, God cleanses him. As David gets the same revelation, he cries Create in me a pure heart, O God, and again God moved and David was restored to right standing with God. Such is His promise to those who seek him, Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. (Isaiah 64:20)

We all need to come to this realization of the true state of our flesh before a Holy God. We need to truly understand it's utter filthiness. We need to know, like Paul, that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature (Romans 7:18). In order to do this, we must seek God with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our might, like David. He says in Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. His passion for God brought him many rewards. He received many revelations of who God was and who He was in God, and it brought him to a place of total dependency on the Lord. Similarly, we also must receive a revelation of God in all His holiness deep in our spirits. We also must have one on one encounters with the living God in all His glory. Only then can we begin to see ourselves as we truly are before God. 'Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, "Live!" (Ezekiel 16:6). All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away (Isaiah 64:6). When we stand before God, then we will fully realize our great need for God's cleansing and restorative power to keep purging our sinful nature. The Lord has promised that once we are born again, sin cannot be master over us, but it is a constant battle between our flesh and our spirit, Paul says. We can only win this battle by wholly surrendering to the work of the Holy Spirit and becoming fully and totally dependant on God. We must constantly cry out to God, Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23,24). We must become poor in spirit.

Kaye Mendoza: January 14, 2008

Go the Extra Mile

Matthew 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

We are called to perfection; the imperfect man called to emulate the perfect God. With the law of sin still in effect in this world, we cannot do this if we try to live our lives apart from Christ - apart from the Holy Ghost.

The life that God wants us to live must be transcendent - awe-inspiring, magnificent, moving! We are not to be like mere humans, acting out of the flesh. We must rise above our flesh, if something is demanded of us by men, let us go the extra mile, an added measure for the glory of God.

Men will smite our cheek, our own pride, but God says give it all up and then some more! Men will seek to get our coats, our own properties, but God says give it up and add your cloak too! Men will ask for us to go with them one mile, our own will, but God says give it up and add a second one too!

By doing this, we say, "Lord, we are allowing you to use our brother and sister to purify us some more, so that we may be dead to this world and be affected no more." By doing this, everyday, we die and suffer little by little - till we can gladly say, "It is no longer I, but Christ."

Debie Misir: January 07, 2008

The Joy in the Pain

When pain comes into our lives, it is usually so intense that our entire focus is centered on that pain. Sometimes, we cannot seem to get past or rise above it. We then say we are in the flesh. It is only normal for pain and grief to overtake us sometimes. But the Word of God says differently. Certainly we are IN flesh it says, but we are NOT flesh. We are spirit of His (the Lord's) Spirit. We are spirit in a flesh, not flesh with a spirit. Thus, we must not allow flesh to rule, but we must overcome flesh by allowing our spirit to rule under the subjection to the Holy Spirit. Our Lord is a perfect example of "spirit ruling". He has shown us the way to look at and deal with pain in the Spirit, so that we can overcome and be victorious in spirit first and then in the flesh as well. Paul tells us, Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2. The Lord, facing excruciating pain (the cross) and untold suffering, scorned its shame. For, He knew that that pain would accomplish joy unspeakable for Him once He had endured. He already saw the accomplishment in the Spirit. He saw millions of people being "Sozoed" (Greek word for Saved, Healed and Delivered). He saw that His death and resurrection would save many from the eternal tortures of hell and set them free in this world as well. For this "great joy" to come, He endured, focusing only on this joy and not on the present pain. So much so, that he began to feel the joy in the pain. This made the pain of no account compared to the joy. When Stephen, full of faith and power, was being stoned to death, the word of God says in Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. This was the joy that enabled Stephen to endure. Pain and death meant little to him compared to what was awaiting him in heaven.

Similarly, every trial we face, every pain that is inflicted on us, every suffering that we must endure, we must endure with the same attitude as our Lord and Savior. We must see the joy in the pain. We must experience the joy in the pain, knowing that the pain is nothing compared to the joy that would result. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; The greatest suffering and pain that man can endure can be summed up by Paul's "light affliction which is but for a moment", when compared to "the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" it is working for us. In intensity and duration, any pain we can ever be subjected to, is of no account compared to the eternal glory it is accomplishing for us. Though we do not see this, we know it. We know it in our spirits. So we must walk in the spirit, by the Spirit (by faith), not by sight. Only then can we take hold of joy in the pain and overcome.

Father, in the mighty name of Jesus, I ask for the eyes and ears of our spirits be opened like never before. I ask for your grace as our flesh is crucified daily, to rise above the pain and see the glory it is accomplishing for us that we may endure. In Jesus name, Amen.