Together with the reading of Proverbs, we have also started an all-church daily prayer. We call it the 10-Minute Appointment. The 10-minute prayer is an uninterrupted time with God lasting to about 10 minutes. Each VNLC attendee chooses his or her own time.
We begin our conversation with God by telling Him that we love Him. By that we mean, we are ready to obey His will that we learn from the devotional passage or lesson from the pulpit the last Sunday.
Next, we tell Him our praises and the issues that we face during the day (or week).
Then, we make mention of at least two fellow church attendees or believers. We bring their needs to God that we gather from talking with them.
We also ask God to help a person who is struggling to believe in Him. He or she maybe a member of our household or circles of friends.
We spend some time to ask God to bless our congregation: our ministries, leaders, projects, Sunday worship, Prayer and Discipleship (PAD) meetings, and even our relationship.
Please join us in our daily prayers. And let us know by filling out the form on the right hand side of this page. You can also send us questions and comments.
Thank you so much.
Pastor Joven Laroya
Humility to honor : god's work
Proverbs 15:33 (NLT2)
Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.
These two statements complement each other. The fear of the Lord thrives in humility. Honor results from wisdom which can only be gained with humility. The equation looks like this: Humility + Fear = Wisdom = Honor. It may be restated differently. Fear, that is respect and reverence for God (Psalm 111:10) comes through and sustains humility (Proverbs 22:4). This symbiosis of fear and humility results to wisdom, that is, righteous living. Righteous living generally makes one live an honorable life.
The nature of the Lord being all-knowing and almighty, but also “all-loving” God should create awe, a fear of His judgment, and respect and love to Him. The sum of all of these feelings is called the fear of the Lord. Wisdom is when we act on this kind of fear. Humility is the appropriate attitude. Honor comes as a result because God and His ways are followed (Proverbs 20:20-21; 22:4).
Let’s honor God with our humility and He will honor us among people (1 Samuel 2:30, James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6). This will be rewarded with a life with Him forever.
Happy Thursday everyone.
Sent - 12:32 PM
Correction: Proverbs 15:32
Sometimes,you will get a short devotional for the day in this section. VNLC has an ongoing devotionals in the book of Proverbs. About three months ago, we have set out to read one verse each day. We started with Proverbs 11:1. We are now on Proverbs 15:32.
Please continue reading.
Proverbs 15:32 (NLT2)
If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
We can take this passage as an extension of yesterday’s verse. The word used in the original language for “understanding” may be translated as “heart.” It usually refers to the thinking, feeling, deciding, and willing side of a person. It may then mean that when a person agrees to correction, his inner self grows. That includes his depth of thinking, width of his understanding, agreeableness of his attitude, and strength of his character.
We seem to think that the older we get, the wiser we become. Yes, if our experimentations and experiences in our younger age have developed the discipline to choose what is right. The Bible puts more weight on learning than aging. Yes, Job says, “Wisdom is found with the elderly” (Job 12:12). But he immediately explains that wisdom comes from the counsel of God (Job. 12:13). That entails learning as later emphasized by Christ. He said, “Those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge" (Matthew 13:12).
When corrected, we know what to do: listen and learn. This applies primarily in our living in the kingdom of God. But then also, it makes us a better person in every way, if we change our ways when corrected.
Happy Wednesday everyone.
Pastor Joven Laroya
P.S. You can make comments. Our goal is to remind each other the teaching of our Lord, and help each other live it. Share your thoughts.
Happy heart, happy face
Our Proverbs verse for today: Proverbs 15:31
"A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit."
Most consider this passage to naturally mean that one’s cheerful looks brings happiness to another. In addition, if the person brings a good news, the other person is refreshed or strengthened. A commentator puts it simply. A positive person’s encouragement, whether nonverbal (by a cheerful look, lit., “bright eyes”) or verbal (good news; cf. 25:25), is helpful and uplifting.
I think that the most literal translation of our verse from the original language would be from the New American Standard Bible: Bright eyes gladden the heart; Good news puts fat on the bones. Now we can look at the other meaning of the passage. If our very own eyes (vision and understanding) are attuned to positive things, they can make our hearts rejoice. Our seeing and our countenance feed each other, that is, if the heart rejoices, our disposition follows.
And on the other hand, if our hearing is tuned in to good news based on the Good News of Jesus, it makes our bones “fat.” In Biblical Hebraic language, a bone covered with fats expresses health and prosperity.
It is a happy thought that we stir others to be positive, joyful and strong through our temper and outlook. But that can only happen if we possess the same disposition.
Are we a bright-eyed and fat-boned Christians at home and at work?
June 25th, 2018
God invites. That’s what He is known for. His book, the Bible, is a story of invitation. He calls people to come Him when they needed help or refuge. He created the church so that together, He and they, could bring more people into His eternal kingdom. He offers people a way to share in His life beginning on earth.
From this story we learn a great lessons about our main vocation in life, that of inviting others to Christ.
A. We invite people to hear the teaching of Christ. (vv. 1-3).
His teaching is more than moral precepts. They are spirit and life (John 6:63). Before he would call his disciples to fish for people, he teaches them His life, work, mission and promise.
B. We invite people by “going to out” to where they are (vv. 4-10)
Christ commands us to go to all ethnic groups (Matthew 28:19) but beginning with those we get in touch with everyday (Acts 1:8). Sometimes we feel and rationalize that it does not make sense to let our nets out there. But Christ’s knows better and wants our obedience more than anything else. He did not promise that we will catch all the fish but only those he prepared (John 6:44-45, 65)
C. We invite people to follow Christ and be counted among his people (v. 10).
To fish people is to bring them to the safety net of the church. The church is a place of refuge for the frightened (Psalm 27:5), a place of rest for the weary (Matt. 11:28), a place of growth for any and all disciples (Ephesians. 4:14-16)
WE INVITE PEOPLE TO CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH. THIS IS OUR REAL VOCATION. INVITE.
“All right, Lord, you will leave us. But you are asking us to continue to trust you. We have seen your mighty works. We have given up everything and followed you. We have been with you this far. Now, you promise us to plead for us with the Father when you get there. You are very positive that we will even do greater works when you are gone. This is perplexing. How can you work with us? How can we be sure you will be with us?”
These thoughts might have lingered in the minds of the Apostles while the Lord Jesus was saying His good-bye to them. We understand the trepidations of the Apostles. We know from experience that long distance love or friendship is very difficult to keep. If it is to last, both parties must regularly defy the gap by being present, either virtual (artificial) or real. Knowing that anxiety riveted the hearts of his followers, Jesus promised to return and take them to a place where He and the Father would live with them always.
But Jesus knew that the promise was not comforting enough. He knew that his followers were very disturbed about going on without him. They heard him talk about the persecution that would befall them. And they had already made the preaching of good news their life’s purpose. They needed the reassurance that they could continue this exciting and eternal journey. So Jesus revealed to them His plan to maintain the relationship during the in-between time.
Jesus started by pointing out that the relationship is characterized by mutual love. He would sacrifice his life to them, but he was asking them to love him in return. “If you love me,” He said, “obey my commandments” (v. 15). Conversely, Jesus said that those who do not love him do not obey him (vv. 23-24). Jesus used another metaphor for this kind of love, that of remaining in his love (John 15:9-10). Loving Jesus means loving his commandments.
When the disciples would love and obey Jesus, He and God the Father, would establish their love in them (John 14:21). But wait, there is more. When disciples would love and obey Jesus, God would fill them with His Holy Spirit who would never leave them (v. 16). They would never be abandoned (v. 18). The Spirit is called the Encourager or Comforter. He is the Presence of God in all situations and conditions of life. He would remind Jesus’ followers of His teachings (v. 26). He would give them peace, for He is the Spirit of peace (v. 27). The Spirit would help them continue their mission by working in the lives of people ahead of them (John 16:8-11). The Spirit would make them bold even in the midst of opposition (Acts).
Do you sometimes wonder why Jesus is more absent than present? You don’t need to look for another miracle to know His empowering Presence. Do this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30, NIV).
Happiness Completes Success
When God promised His people that He would make them a symbol and a source of blessing, he also promised to make them happy (v. 7). He would give them victory and make their hearts rejoice in Him (v. 7). Biblical translators use happy and blessed interchangeably.
Succeed by Winning
God calls us to succeed. This is what the abundant life is all about. In God’s scheme, we become a blessing to others when we succeed. We succeed when we win. And we win only when God comes to help.
SUCCESS: GOD'S WAY
When we do what we have been best prepared to do, many exciting things happen in our life. We will be happy because we will feel fulfilled. We will become credible in the sight of people because we live an authentic life.