Talk: Big Day

HI, EVERYBODY!

Welcome to The Feast! And I pray that God will just pour out love and His blessing into your life.

We have three stories I want to share with you. Before I do, let me share my message: How we see something changes that something. How we perceive that something changes that something.

Let me apply that to God perceiving us, looking at us, seeing us with His eyes of love. Because by the way He looks at us with love, we get changed.

Here are my three quick stories: A Cheesy story; A Shopping story; and A Love story.

The Cheesy Story

What’s the Cheesy story? Here it is:

It is about a dying girl with her barkada, gang-mate with other guys doing stuff together– loving God, serving God. Beautiful, beautiful group.

Now the guy is on that stage when he needs to move on– start a family.

So, he starts praying, “Lord God, who do you want me to marry?”

Then the image of his friend, his girl barkada, flashes in his mind, flashes before his eyes.

And he is like, “Really? That girl? But she’s just my barkada.” So, he keeps on praying and praying.

And he looks at the girl and says, “Yeah, it’s possible.”

Because he checks the criteria (a list of qualities, character traits which in our Light of Jesus Family we recommend singles to check out so that they will make the right choice for a spouse).

The guy begins to tick off the qualities and he says, “Right, this is the girl I’m looking for.”

So, he starts courting the girl.

And man, this single girl comes up to me and says, “Bro. Bo, si ganito, nililigawan ako… Yuck!”

She looks like she wants to throw up – not because she doesn’t like the guy, but that she regards him just as a friend. So, when he starts making the moves, she just can’t handle the situation.

I tell her, “I’m not gonna give any advice— except one thing: Just bring this thing to prayer.” That’s what she does. She brings the matter to the Lord.

And the Lord says, “Yeah, give him a shot.”

You know, these guy and girl are now married.  They’ve got kids. They’ve got a fantastic family. They’ve got a beautiful marriage. So, did the girl and the guy actually change? No. What changed was their perception. When your perception about something or someone changes, that something or someone changes.

The Shopping Story

Here’s my second story:

This friend of mine calls me and says, “Bro. Bo, I need help.”

He describes his financial difficulty and adds, “I am not asking you for money. I am asking you to help me by buying some of my stuff I wanna get rid of.

Then he gives me a list of his stuff, and the only kind of useful for me was a guitar…

So, I bought the guitar. Two years later, I was going through Google, and I saw the brand of the guitar…O-M-G! Oh, My God! My eyes bulged as I saw the guitar was worth P250,000!

Here’s what happened next… Because I found out the price of the guitar, all of a sudden, I started caring for it more—holding it with more care, cleaning it a bit more…

Why? Because I understood its value.

When you understand the value of something, you treat it in a different way.

Which brings me to my third story…

My Love Story

When my wife Marowe turned 50 years old, I gave her 50 gifts, and we celebrated our relationship with so much happiness, so much joy.

May I share this with you? That after 23 years of living with this woman, I love her more than I’ve ever loved her.

Now, you might ask, “Why is that, Bro. Bo, did she change?”

Probably. But that’s not my point. My point is this: my perception changed.

When I was making my 50 gifts for her— a card, a letter, roses— I just said, “Wow, I’m such a lucky guy to be married to this amazing woman.”

You see, as the days, years, went by, her value – in my eyes—increased. You see, when you look at someone with love, that person actually changes right in front of you. And that’s why my marriage is amazing.

Now what are these stories got to do with our message for this entire day? God, He looks at you with great love and value.

And so, when God gazes upon you with love, with healing love, you change, you get transformed, you get healed.

To continue with this message, I want you to welcome this man of God who I’ve been serving with shoulder-to-shoulder… He’s been able to impact so many lives. I want you to welcome God’s Word through him, the one and only JC Libiran, who is celebrating his birthday today. Happy Birthday, Bro. JC!

Talk:  All About Love

THE FEAST BIG DAY  

September 5, 2021              

ARE you sick and tired of this crisis? When will all this end? Are you feeling down, demotivated, and depressed? Do you feel like giving up? And the weight of your problem is so overwhelming that you just don’t know what to do next?

And people around you are losing their hope, their purpose losing loved ones, jobs, opportunities?

I feel you. I understand you. And I am here for you.

That’s a message I want to share with you, my dear friends. And definitely we are not alone in this. We are here for each other. Mabuhay!

I am Coach JC. I’m one of the Feast builders and preachers in our Feast Bay Area District. I lead one of our

Feast’s Life-long Learners content creators and creative entrepreneurs.

Our Feast used to be called Feast Overflow (which we organized when the number of participants in the main Feast led by Bro. Bo Sanchez at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) so increased that yes, we had an overflow of participants).

So, we put up Feast Overflow, holding our gathering in another part of PICC. Now, we call Feast Overflow as Feast Breakthrough—because we believe that God will transform our breakdowns to breakthroughs.

And I claim your breakthroughs are coming your way.

My friends, amid this COVID Pandemic, maybe you experience or perceive that God is nowhere. As in He’s nowhere to be found. He took a vacation and He’s not listening to our prayers. He has forsaken us.

But maybe, that’s the reason we are here today. We want to shift our perspective, to have a different look at this perception. Instead of saying, “God is nowhere,” we declare, “God is now here.”

That God is with us during this time that we are all challenged, that we are shaken by this crisis.

Friends, know that God is here for us. Yes? In the past three weeks, we were circling around this amazing series we’ve been blessed with: HealHope, Encouragement, Aspiration, Love.

Today, we are going to talk about Love.

You might be asking: Is there still more to learn about this? Well, definitely, my dear friends. Because God will speak to us today.

We’d been looking into the character of Jairus and the bleeding woman. Today we’ll zoom in on Jairus’s daughter.

In the Gospel, God is telling you, telling all of us, “I am here for you.”

Friends, in this Pandemic, Work-from-Home has become our New Normal. But pre-Pandemic, we hated traffic jams during our daily commute, wishing to have a Work-from-Home setup. Now we have this setup.

For me, this is something. Really, from face-to-face encounters before, now I am able to shift to do a lot of things online– learnings, adding value to various engagements…

I believe that I’ve been able to thrive even beyond this crisis. But not all are really for this. I remember one of my friends– we were discussing about these online transactions. He cannot imagine his Dad bringing his work at home.

I asked him, “Why are you making it a big deal?”

He said, “You just don’t know, Coach… My Dad is actually an embalmer.” What’s the connect of this story to our talk today?

Now, I can say that the Pharisees were not the only ones mad at Jesus. Actually, a group of embalmers as well. Why?

Because Jesus is not just into a lot of healing miracles. He was actually in the business of raising the dead (and so, the embalmers have lesser clients!).

There are three stories about Jesus raising the dead, and I’m sure there were more. But these are the written ones in the Gospels:

We have Lazarus (John 11:1-46). Jesus told him, “Lazarus come out!”

We have the widow’s son (Luke 7: 11-70. Jesus said, “Young man, I tell you to get up!”

And in our story today, we have Jairus’s daughter (Mark 3: 22-23 and 35-43). Jesus said, “Little girl, get up!”

And you know what, just looking into this, I see that nothing is impossible with Jesus. He’s capable of raising us up—let’s look now at our Scripture message, found in Mark 5: 22-23, New Living Translation (NLT):

And maybe this is something we can connect with especially for our loved ones. I am a father and I can relate– if Jairus, in humility and desperation, would be singing this line from Angeline Quinto’s song: Kunin mo na ang lahat sa akin, huwag lang ang aking mahal. Take everything from me, but please, not my loved one.

This is very close to my heart because I myself have loved ones—my wife Milen, and this December 20, 2021, we are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. We are celebrating a gift of love—for after five years of waiting, of four years of failed pregnancies, we now have a child—Yana.

So, friends, if, like Jairus, you have a daughter who is sick, you will desperately be doing everything so she will be healed. Whatever you are concerned about, God will fix it.

Jairus’ daughter was an only child. None of the physicians he consulted could heal her. That’s why he came to Jesus with humility. He pleaded before Jesus. In contrast to the case of the Roman centurion, we don’t see any explicit evidence of humility or faith in Jairus. He believed only because as ruler of the local synagogue, he saw Jesus perform healing miracles. That’s not faith. Jairus was not sure Jesus could heal his daughter—he was only hoping maybe, through Jesus, his daughter would be healed.

Jesus definitely appreciates humility and faith but he doesn’t let down those who seek help – whether they have faith or not. Jesus is so good that arrogance and non-belief cannot come between us and Him. His love for us knows no boundaries.

This brings us to Number 2 Truth:

Let’s read Mark 5: 35-36:

These were the words of Jesus when He was attending to that bleeding woman. But now, He has these words of assurance to Jairus: “Kalma lang. Be calm. I got you.”

Jesus wasn’t saying, “Don’t worry, everything will be all right.”

Rather, He was actually challenging Jairus to take a leap of faith.

Look at this image of the Impala. An Impala can leap to a height of ten feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet this magnificent animal can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo three-foot wall. The animal will not jump up if it cannot see where his feet would land.

This shows that sometimes, we need to take a leap of faith to free ourselves from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.

My dear friends, you deserve this breakthrough. Palayain mo na ang sarili mo, kapatid. Set yourself free. Because you deserve the best in life. And God is so good that He answers even the unbelievers– if they cry out to Him. But they cannot continue in unbelief because at some point in life, they have to cross the bridge from unbelief to belief.

So, question: Are you keeping your faith during this time of crisis? Are you feeding your fear?

It’s time to cross this bridge from unbelief to belief– just like what happened to Jairus. He knew Jesus could heal but he did not know whether Jesus could raise the dead. He had to take a leap of faith.

Let’s look at Scripture again:

Jesus challenged Jairus to have faith but the atmosphere in the house is discouraging. Sounds familiar? Just like the news that we are having right now– all are discouragements and negativity. And here, nobody believed in Jesus. This was not good for Jairus’s budding faith. Jesus’ response was dramatic and unexpected. He sent everyone out except the disciples and parents.

This reminds me of a story…

One day, two frogs—Hermit and Kermit– on their way to a pond, suddenly fall into a deep hole. No matter how hard they try, they cannot jump out. Some frogs, bystanders above, see them and they say, “No one will make it out of the hole.”

Hermit starts to say this is the end. But Kermit refuses to give up. He continues to jump, stepping on rubbles falling from above– and he makes it to the top.

It turns out, Kermit is deaf and he does not hear the negative, discouraging remarks of the bystanders.

People cannot draw the boundary lines of your faith when you don’t listen to them.

So, who are you listening to? Instead of listening to this noisy crowd, the discouraging news around us, let’s listen to Jesus– and it is possible for us, my dear friends, to rise above this crisis. Amen.

That’s why I love this Mark 5: 41-42 NLT:

Jesus doesn’t pray for the dead girl to return to life. Rather, he holds her gently by her hand which, for me, is the most powerful action that happens.

With His words expressed for the little girl– and I’m sure for you– more than the miracle, the Lord is saying to you: Nandito ako para sa iyo. Ako lamang ay sapat na. I am here for you. I am enough. Everything you need, everything you are looking for, you can find only in Me. I am the Resurrection and the Life.

Jesus commands the daughter to get up: “Talitha koum! Little girl, get up!” She returns to life immediately– and even death cannot resist Jesus’ unstoppable love. This is the love that is available for us.

…Jesus wants to challenge you to make a decision to rise above your concerns– not just by yourself, but know that Jesus will raise you up. Hindi lang babangon tayo. Ibabangon Niya tayo.

Jesus’ words to us:

My deaf friends, that is something we need to do now– not just to receive these words from the Lord– but it’s now our turn to say to the people around us that I’m here for you as well.

Talk: The Love of Jesus

THE FEAST BIG DAY  

September 5, 2021

 I LOVE the practicality of this message that Bro. JC Libiran just preached. I don’t know about you, but I find so much comfort in being reminded– especially during this time of the COVID Pandemic, a time of great challenge— to know that there is a God who is here for us. That God walks with us, that God knows our feelings, and that God’s love surrounds all of us.

Here we are right now at the end of what has been so beautiful mini-series. I pray that God will speak to you through the talks we gave you.

You know, we spent so much time focusing on what Jesus did for Jairus, what Jesus did for his daughter, and what Jesus did for the bleeding woman. It’s amazing that Jesus was always doing something for someone, right?

But what’s more amazing is that in anything that Jesus ever did, it was always for a profound reason– it served a practical purpose. He didn’t just whip up miracles out of the wind, or out of impulse. No. Jesus was always calculating. Everything that Jesus did was curated. Why? Because He was always teaching people through His actions. Thousands of years later, Jesus is still teaching all of us today.

Here is my humble theory: Everything that Jesus did during the time of His public ministry, from the start, all the way to His Crucifixion and Resurrection, He did it for this particular purpose: He wanted to show us the way.

And you know what’s even more amazing about that? He didn’t just preach the way. No. He showed the way. And ultimately, He became the Way.

I truly believe that Jesus wants us to replicate everything that He did. He wants us to grant forgiveness just like He did. He wants us to give way to people, just like He did. He wants us to give love to people, just like He did. Jesus showed the way.

The story that was told by Mark, I believe, wanted us to replicate two actions of Jesus:

Jesus wants us to replicate his compassion. Jesus was compassionate to Jairus– even if Jairus wasn’t a big supporter. That’s what Bro. JC said: Jesus’ compassion was so great that on the way to Jairus’s house, He stopped for that bleeding woman.

I pray that this week, your compassion will be so great that it will make you stop and help somebody in need. That’s my prayer.

Jesus wants us to replicate His kindness. Some people say kindness is so rare a commodity

these days. It’s rare that you will find kind people. But I’d like to believe that there’s still hope in humanity. I live for moments when I get to witness great kindness by random people.

Since last year when many have encountered the ill effects of the COVID Pandemic, I have seen countless acts of kindness that have absolutely restored my hope in humanity.

I’ve seen Feast servants who went out of their way to serve those who they aren’t related to. They know these beneficiaries will never be able to pay them back.

We have seen Feast members who befriended drivers who could not work because of the lockdowns, and provided meals for the drivers on a weekly basis. We have servants who put up community pantries in their barangays to feed the hungry. We have volunteers who drove to far-flung places using their own resources to donate goods, to give hope. We have priests who risked safety and sanity to visit people in the hospitals and poor people in the slums.

Why? To share the Love of Jesus.

If that’s not kindness, I don’t know what is.

Kindness is a beautiful thing, my dear friends. And if there is anything that we should be spreading, let it be kindness. Let our kindness infect people because I believe that kindness is contagious. Why? Let we give an analogy:

When a car stops before the pedestrian lane to let an old woman or a child cross the street, what do the other car drivers do? They also stop– or at least the kind people do. That’s what you need to do when you are before a pedestrian lane. You stop.

When at random strangers show kindness to you without any agenda except to help you– like paying for your MRT ticket, or maybe paying for your toll fee on the highway– somehow, it shocks you. But this inspires you. You want to pay them back, or pay the kindness forward to somebody else. Why? Because people emulate kindness.

That’s what Jesus wants to show you and me when He helped the bleeding woman and Jairus. Jesus wants us to emulate His compassion, His kindness. He wants us to copy those acts and then share them to the world.

It’s as though Jesus is saying: “Let Me show the way.” That’s beautiful. Jesus wants us to know Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He shows us the way so that we can be the way to other people who are so lost in this world. Isn’t it great for you to know that Jesus is there for us?

Jesus shows you how to do it– how to live a life to the full.

And now it’s your turn. As you live your life to the full, teach others and love others so that they too will learn to live their life to the full.

When Jesus arrives in the house of Jairus and he finds so many women mourners, weeping for his dead daughter, this is a very sensitive scene that might even resonate with some people especially if you have lost a loved one.

Imagine this: The air is thick with grief and gloom. Joy is not present in the room. Here is exactly what happens as we read in Mark 5:35-40:

In this context, only Jesus knew the girl wasn’t dead. Everybody else in the room thought that she was dead. That’s why everyone laughed at Jesus when He said the girl wasn’t dead— she was only asleep.

Now, how did Jesus respond to the mockery of that crowd?

He made everyone leave the room. At first glance, this action didn’t really seem it deserved merit to be mentioned. It didn’t sound like a big deal. But remember that every time Jesus does something, it always comes with a purpose. He did not want to put up with their drama. Why? Because it was deterring Him from doing His duty.

Sometimes, that’s what drama does:

And when it comes to showing compassion and kindness to people, you know that drama should never have a part in any of it.

You know, there are people who will help others only when they feel guilty or maybe because they want to gain likes or followers on their Facebook or other social media pages, for doing a good deed. But here’s what Jesus says when it comes to compassion and kindness: Let’s stop the drama. If you want to help, then help. Let’s stop the rhetoric, and the credit-grabbing, and the competitiveness.

Let’s extend help to those who really need it the most.

That’s what I witnessed recently…

We have a Feast servant whose entire family contracted COVID and the reason I found out about it was an entire barangay sent me messages about it. Her Light Group friends, her co-Ministry servants, her Ministry head, her squad— everyone was moving mountains to send help to the family.

Our Feast immediately sent an oxygen tank to the family because they needed it the most.

The Feast servant’s brother was in critical condition. They live somewhere in the south. So, everybody was desperately calling up hospitals for him.

The sad realty nowadays is hospitals are so jampacked you cannot get a room. But you know what, our Feast sister’s squad refused to quit, and by God’s grace, they found a hospital in Manila. And the brother was brought there.

The following day, that same Feast servant was now in critical condition and her friends frantically looked for a hospital where she could be accommodated– and eventually, an ambulance fetched her.

All this time, our Feast Builder Bro. Didoy Lubaton, a doctor, generously and graciously looked after the family. He called up the mom, he called the servants, he looked into their medical condition.

And that’s what hit me… Just in context… You know, Bro. Didoy is a valuable person in my life. My wife and I call him when we need his advice on our medical needs and other concerns. I tell you, he is the most encouraging and affirming doctor you’ll ever meet. After you talk to him, you will feel like you are already healed. The ailment may still be there. But your fear and anxiety will be replaced by this beautiful sense of peace. That’s the kind of doctor that he is and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who feels this way about Bro. Didoy.

The reason I believe Bro. Didoy is valuable is not just because he’s a doctor. But get this: It’s because he is available.

Let me preach this loud and clear to somebody: Your availability is your greatest ability.

You become valuable when you become available. The friends who helped our Feast servant were valuable because they were available.

Jesus was valuable to Jairus and his daughter and the bleeding woman because He made Himself available for them. No frills, no fuss, no drama– just pure kindness and concern for them.

That’s the Way, my dear friends. Jesus calls us to be available to those who are in need right now.

You might not be the wealthiest person in this world and you might not be the most talented, or the wisest person in the world. But God doesn’t take wealth and talent to be a blessing to somebody. Just like Jesus did, all it takes is just a little time, a little kindness, a little compassion for you to tell people: “I’m here for you.”

Be the kindest and the most compassionate to people who are desperately in need right now. Let’s replicate the heart of Jesus, the kindness of Jesus, the compassion of Jesus. Let’s get help out there. Let’s quit the drama. Let’s just help. We don’t need this credit-grabbing– who did what–but let us just get the help out there.

Are you ready to respond to the Lord right now?

If you are, let’s pray. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirt. Everybody say this: Jesus I’m available. So, use me. Use my voice. Use my arms. Use my hands. Use my feet. Use my talent, my gifts. Lord God, use me. I am completely, absolutely available. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Categories

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