Fortify Palawan…and beyond!

Draw your water for the siege!

Fortify your strongholds!

Go into the clay and tread the mortar!

Make strong the brick kiln!

Nahum 3:14

A message for God’s workers regardless of the position, from pastors, teachers, deacons, administration, missionaries, musicians, etcetera…this evening as Rod led the 2020 Fortify – Narra, Palawan team in a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit brought me to this verse. My initial thought was that I would speak this singular verse to the team. But I could not muster myself, to get up, and by the time I did, it was too late, P Rod had begun the last minute reminders for the team for the next two days, had I missed my moment?02/25/2020

Yet the Lord allowed this verse to stay with, He wanted me to consider the truth encapsulated in this word in scripture. At first, the word ‘fortify’ stood out as it is the theme of Cross Culture’s missions ministry. I searched and found the word six times (NKJV). In a way, it reminded me of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25.

Though this part in Nahum was a warning for the Assyrians in Nineveh to ‘prepare’ for the siege expected from the Lord, it may very well be a warning likewise for the body of Jesus Christ, His church against the apostasy that was, is, is to come.

Breaking it down, thus the Lord’s revelation to me:

The siege is the Field God’s workers scatter seeds on; plow in; and reap from. It is a picture of the battle the missionary faces, which is all part of the ‘job description.’ Paul gives Timothy the reminder that he is like a soldier, enlisted by the Lord, there are dangers from without and within the church. Hosea 10:12 spoke of fallow ground as does Christ when He gave us the parable of the sower of the four kinds of soil.

The water we get to draw from is that which is given by the Holy Spirit… ‘out of him will flow rivers of Living Water’ (John 4:14; 7:37,38) The battle begins by drawing water, so we are not weakened/dehydrated/thirsty spiritually, we are called to ask Him to fill us with His water to allow us to stand fast against the onslaught perpetrated by the enemy (Ephesians 6:13-20). Therefore, be filled with His Word, being in prayer in the Word.

Fortify strongholds…the church…the body of Christ…in the ESV, strengthen your forts…the congregation, the assembly of believers. The call is to not neglect coming together so that we get to build each other up in the Word in word and in deed.

The Bible is full of warnings/reminders against apostasy, Paul spoke of it, Jude was passionate warning the church of certain men who creep in; the old testament reminded the nation of Israel through Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, and the prophets…don’t go far from the Lord!

Go into the clay…(the people that make up the church, teach the Word wholly) strengthen it, tread…clay needs to be molded according to the Potter, mortar is “a mixture of lime with cement, sand, and water, used in building to bond bricks or stones.”

Jeremiah 18:6; Isaiah 64:8, spoke of the clay being in the Potters hand; then in the NT, Paul reminds us that we are God’s workmanship created unto good works…Ephesians 2:10…which is why his call to us in Romans 12:1,2 being able to present ourselves, a living sacrifice, not because of us but because of Him Who called us.

Make strong… as we go through the siege, the Lord Jesus tells us that in this world, we will have tribulation…but we are to strengthen one another because He has overcome the world… we are to encourage one another…1Thess 5:11; Hebrews 12:12; 1Peter 5:10; Revelation 3:2 we are called to fortify each other and ourselves…in the Word, in prayer asking as we ought…2 Timothy 3:16,17

The picture we have is that of man who is made of clay is strengthened by the three-fold elements of water, straw, and baking through heat under the sun.

This is the church of Jesus Christ being built up, Peter uses an Old Testament reference of being living stones; the other is that the Lord is molding us to the image of His Son (Jeremiah 18:4; Romans 8:29, 9:21)that is done by those three elements mentioned in this last paragraph…a picture of the Triune Godhead working on a vessel honoring God, God’s masterpiece(Poiema)… are you surrendered?

Is the Potter having His way in you?

Are you being…?

Lord of the Harvest

“And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Romans 10:15

Aug 18, 2012

I left before 12 noon and dropped off my dirty clothes at the Citrus Laundromat by De La Salle University. The Lord led me to WalterMart along the way. I got some 3-in-one Nescafe coffee, saw the myriad of sweet treats trying to figure what I can bring as a cake of sorts to celebrate Dada’s 53rd birthday with the Yakal Bible Study group.

After much thought, I decided to make tuna sandwich and got chocolate cupcakes with yummy vanilla filling, along with the coffee and the memory of the Pancit Bihon na binalot sa dahon ng saging that we shared the previous Saturday.

My next order of business was to fuel at the Petron Gas Station along the highway which is becoming “my” Avanza’s regular pit stop.

His name is Johnny Asuncion and he got to be the first of ten souls reaped for the Lord’s harvest that day. What a nice way to begin the day, he gave me fuel for my car and I shared with him fuel for his life. The energy that keeps on going…the Holy Spirit.

The Lord kept me in good company, the drive was smooth and easy that I had an hour before the Bible Study, which was scheduled for 3 PM. The Lord guided me and I found myself at the Eternal Gardens Memorial Park. I realized I had not visited my Tatay’s and Nanay’s gravesite. My mother passed in 2010 wherein I was not able to see her interred, it just seemed perfect that I found myself there.

I couldn’t find their location and was helped by Ipeng, one of the caretakers who also couldn’t locate it…I was ushered into the office and by God’s design found out that there was another body, two even, buried next to the space that was my mother’s.

Ipeng showed me the location and before I knew it, I was asking him if he knew that eternal life is promised to both believer and unbeliever. “Do you know where you’re heading to, knowing that death is always staring at you everyday?” He said he was an INK and had moved to Biñan from Davao and haven’t been active in his faith. He also was not able to bring his wife into the INK faith.

What a door the Lord has opened! After sharing the truth of the Gospel, with tears in His eyes he said he wanted to have an assurance that he is forgiven and will have eternity in heaven. We prayed together and the angels praised the Lord in heaven, and he knew it! I told him that now that he is born again, he can lead his wife in this new life that he gets to live in faith in the Christ who loved him and died for him. That was number 2.

I was just in time for the Bible Study, our second. While waiting for the others, I had John, my nephew rehearse the music for some songs that we sing at CLC. I got to talk to Lina who is the Yaya for my two grand-nieces and she got saved too (#3). We started singing, and since my sister-in-law is an “evacuation center” for three families displaced by the flooding in Biñan, one family joined us. They came with three children, ages 4, 5 and 7 years old. The songs had to be adapted so the kids could learn and sing with us. You should have been there…I had no doubt that the angels were praising the Lord with us!

At the end of our study, I knew that God wanted this family saved and so it was, after letting them know that their good works and their practices won’t save them, I asked, “Do you both have the confidence that you are going to heaven when you die?”

The wife said boldly that she was confident. I asked how she was sure and she said because she does good and follows the rules, like the 10 commandments. I asked her if she really hasn’t broken any of the commandments and she said again that she hasn’t. I told her that she just lied to me and to the rest of the group.

Tell me have you ever stolen loose change from your parents when you were little? Have you always obeyed your parents when you were growing up? Have you never lied about going to school when you actually did not?

And that my dear is how we address our Catholic cousins…after I explained the truth about man’s natural tendency to sin and that only Jesus can forgive her, all of them agreed that they need to be saved.

God was pleased to see all of them (4,5,6,7,8,9), even the little ones praying for forgiveness and confessing that Jesus is Lord and Savior. Even Naty (10), Koyang’s ex- Yaya finally made a confession this time. She was the only one left behind two years ago during my last visit when the household made a confession as I led them.

God is so good. He has been preparing these souls just for me to reap and all for His glory. I do not deserve to see His goodness and faithfulness but He lets me be part of His harvest because He chose me. That I should go and bear fruit for His kingdom…John 15:16

There we have it….ten souls that day. The number of righteousness. They have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ. And I got to see it happen….O, praise the Name of Jesus!

Sunday. I took them to a church nearby thinking it will be good that the church is close to them, they can really get involved and learn to serve. I got it all figured, I forgot to really inquire of the Lord. The short end of it was they got to make a public confession of their new-found faith.

May is here

Time goes by so quickly…so many souls, so little time.

How many have you led to Jesus Christ in the last week, or since the last time you visited us?

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Romans 1:16

The Gospel

The Reason

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:16-18

The Promise

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction…for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Romans 10:9-13

The Response

“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:3

“…Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
John 3:5-8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Romans 1:16