WE are down to our last talk on Deuteronomy. Next week, we’re going to take a macro view of the entire Torah. We’re done with Deuteronomy but when you think about it, we’re actually done with the whole Torah– the first five books in the Bible.

If you’ve been studying this with us ever since the beginning, can you just turn to somebody right next to you and say, “Congratulations! You did it! I’m so proud of you.”

You’ve been with us in the Garden when we studied the Book of Genesis. You’ve been with us when we went to Egypt in Exodus and you’ve been with us through the wilderness, through Numbers and Leviticus. And now we are at the doorstep, literally, of the Promised Land and I pray that this will bless you today.

And you know, I don’t want to be that kind of guy because there’s always one in every barkada (group) who, when there’s a new movie, this person is always the spoiler of that movie and I don’t want to be that. But I have to be that guy here today who will give you that spoiler alert because this is just so good!

The Hero Does Not Step into the Promised Land

We are in Deuteronomy 34:5-8 and it says:

The hero of the story, the protagonist who, from the very beginning, has been there for the Israelites, he dies before he gets to enter into the Promised Land. How tragic is this? He doesn’t even get to set foot in the Promised Land! Not one foot, not one nail, not even a cuticle!

May I show you a video of what this looks like? We visited an indoor playground at Vertis North which has sandy ground.

Ellie’s Step…

My daughter Ellie looks like she is hesitating to step on the sand, even as she’s wearing socks; she puts down her toy; she attempts to step on the sand; but backs out…

Moses’ Step…

I remember, when I was a kid, my mom used to tell me, that I did not want to go to the beach. Why?

Well, today, we already have Boracay, El Nido, Coron in Palawan– white sand beaches. But back in the day, the beaches —

Matabungkay, Puerto Azul,– which was not blue at all– the sand was dark, looking so icky.

So, I hated stepping on the sand.

When I saw that video on Ellie, I said I must share this with everybody. Because that’s a glimpse of what Moses went through. He could not step into the Promised Land. He was just there, right outside.

And you know the story that comes close to this? At least modern tale is the Avengers.

How many of you are fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? How did the Marvel Universe start? Who was the first superhero? Tony Stark, otherwise known as Iron Man, right? It started with Iron Man.

How did the MC Universe end that saga? With Tony Stark. It started with Tony Stark, it ended with Tony Stark.

But here’s the thing: Tony Stark, or Iron Man, fought in that last battle in the end game. I hope that this is not a spoiler alert.

If you haven’t watched the end game, where were you? Must had been hiding in a cave.

Iron Man, at that last moment, right before he defeated Thanos, snapped his finger, and gradually, he passed away. He died. The struggle consumed him.

The story’s hero doesn’t even get to see the new world he fought for.

That’s the story of Moses. He was there with the Israelites since the very beginning– and yet he wasn’t with them when they were entering the Promised Land.

So, here’s the big message that I pray will bless you today:

I want to teach you, now that we are at the last part of Deuteronomy, we saw the life of Moses, and now we’re going to see his death.

So, I want to package it this way:

I know our big message is You have a mission. But I want to make sure that you go home today with practical lessons. So, I want to share with you today four lessons from the life and the death of Moses:

The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that life is difficult and if you’re struggling to resonate with Moses– simply because you’ve never led an entire nation from Egypt– you’ve never been through the desert. I want you to know that we’re just like Moses. I mean Moses had plans to get into the Promised Land.

You’ve had plans that died, that didn’t even see the light of day. You studied for an exam and then you failed. You applied for a visa and then you got denied. You were working so hard for that job promotion but then you got retrenched. Or you’ve been together with somebody for six years and then you popped the question and then she said No! Ouch! You raised your children to the best of your abilities and then 10 years later, you find out that they’re taking drugs.


Life is difficult! And it doesn’t even matter if you’re somebody who says, “Well, I’m close to the Lord…” Because how many of you also know that being close to the Lord or having the Lord in your life is not an indication that you won’t go through problems?

Some of you might even say this: “The more I get closer to the Lord, the more that I feel like… you know, I’m going through all of these battles.”

I believe that God sends His best soldiers to the biggest battles. So, if you’re going through a big battle right now, guess what? You’re one of God’s best soldiers! He knows that you can handle that problem. He knows that you can take care of that business— not because you’re good but because you’re with God.

It’s not easy. Life with the Lord doesn’t get any easier. But here’s the thing:

You do get a lot stronger, right? Do you know that when I first started preaching here at The Feast, before I came out on stage, I was not shaking, I was vibrating? Every single part of my body was just vibrating. I couldn’t wait to get off the stage. That was six years ago.

Now, if you’re asking me, “Do you still get nervous?”

Absolutely! I mean, right before I go on stage, I feel like I always have to go to the bathroom– even if I don’t have to go to the bathroom. Because it’s scary to be here on stage. But you know what?

As I’ve been doing this again and again–many times–I’ve realized that I don’t get nervous as much anymore when I step on stage. Because I feel the grace of the Lord flowing through me and I see people smiling, happy, not sleeping– I hope— I sense I’m not doing this alone.

There was a time, when I got jittery, I would always say this to the people, especially the worship leaders– I would often tell them this advice: “Be scared if you’re not scared.”

And that’s good advice!

But you know, now– at my age, where I am– I realize that the advice is not entirely true. Because if you continue to be afraid every single time you’re here, that you’re supposed to be doing something for the Lord, that simply means that you’re not really doing it for Him. You’re doing it for you because when you’re so self-conscious about how people are judging you, and how people are looking at you, what you’re doing is not about God– it’s about you!


Through these years of preaching on the stage, little by little, I’ve realized that, “Hey, if God anointed me to preach His Word, and He equipped me to be able to do it, it won’t matter how people will see me. Because it’s the Lord who will be speaking through me.”

So, now, I am no longer afraid! I get nervous, yeah. You see, my hands are always sweaty. But that’s normal. But being afraid? No, I’m not afraid– because I get to do this with God. Amen.

See, that’s what happens when you’re with God. It doesn’t get any easier and life is difficult– but why do we continue to serve the Lord? Why do we continue to worship the Lord even if it’s difficult?

Because your purpose is greater than your phobia. That’s what happens when you know you’re on a mission. You can be afraid but you can do it afraid.

When you’ve got a purpose– the Japanese call this the ikigai. Have you been watching this Netflix documentary—

Live to 100 (Secrets of the Blue Zones)? If you’re not watching that, you better do..

This documentarist, he looked for four places in the world where people have gotten old– 100 years old. He researched, trying to discover how they’re doing it. For me, the answer is simple: Purpose.

Because these people live with a purpose. If you don’t have purpose, it’s so hard to get out of bed, right? It’s so hard. That’s why if you live with a mission just like Moses did, it’s going to be so good for you to get up every day– no matter how difficult it is.

A Pattern

But you know, the story of Moses, it’s not unique– in the sense that it’s not the only story that we hear of a hero traveling on a long journey and then you know, going through difficulty. Like Moses wanted to save the Israelites.

There are others in different cultures who went through the same ordeal.

I’ll give you examples.

The Greeks, they have The Iliad. You had to read that in college because that was part of the curriculum.

The Mesopotamians, they had the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Indians, they have the Ramayana. The Chinese, have The Monkey King.

I’m hoping that some of you have read this. We Filipinos also have one: Biag ni Lam-Ang. Have you read that? I haven’t. Even the Tokiens, they have The Lord of the Rings.

There’s a pattern in these stories: The hero of the story leaves his comfortable life, travels, and goes through a difficult passage. Why? Because he wants to save the princess, he wants to find the treasure, he wants to kill the dragon. This is a pattern that happens everywhere and the lesson is this: it’s a question actually — that even if life is difficult, even if your plans don’t go your way, here’s my question to you:

Will you continue to trust God? Will you? Will you continue to trust God even if life is difficult?

That’s the lesson that we’re going to learn from Moses today.

Old News: The Truth

Here’s the second lesson:

Let’s go to the Bible:

My goodness! I don’t know what secret potion Moses is taking, but he’s now 120 years old…

Now, let me just highlight this: When Moses says, “I am not able to lead you,” it’s not because of physical disability that Moses is not able to lead the people.

It’s not.

Moses is not able to lead people — some of you know this, if you studied Numbers with us– because the Lord told him that he was not supposed to go into the Promised Land.

So, to Moses, this is not news. It’s actually old news. Since Numbers, when he disobeyed the Lord and when he did not trust God, from that moment on, he knew that he wasn’t going to enter into the Promised Land.

I want you to see what Moses has been doing since then. He says:

I want to tell you that the reality of life, in case you do not know this yet, is that nobody comes out of this world alive.

It’s the truth. Maybe one day we’re going to disappear — I hope not today or tomorrow– hope we’ll have more time here. But one day, our clock will stop and we’re going to go to that next chapter of our life. So, it pays for you to understand that the moment you believe and accept the truth that one day you will die, what happens next to the legacy that you’ve been building? How do you sustain this, how do you continue this?

The Light of Jesus Family

I’ll give you an example. Our Community, the Light of Jesus Family, has been around for 43 years now. In 1980, it started in a small garage on Chicago Street in Cubao, Quezon City with a few people worshiping. That means when Bro. Bo and Tita Chelle, and the Sanchez family were already serving, I was only two years old :)

I had to say that. But why is it for 43 years, we’re continuing our growth? We’re still thriving, we’re still creating from that one small garage, now we are hundreds all over the world. Would you like to know why? What is the secret to our longevity?

Our Community is committed to the next generation. We need to raise leaders, new people, especially young people. Because we believe that we’re not timeless.

We’re transitional.

We must keep looking for the next leader who will replace us.

Our founder, Bro. Bo, could be our leader forever as long as he wanted. He established this Community. But what did he do? He stepped down. Why? So that others can step in and step up. The leader that we serve– my goodness, our founder himself– no longer has a title. But he’s still on a mission. He still preaches, he still ministers to thousands and millions of people all over the world.

It doesn’t end when you say, “My position stops.” Because if the mission is here in your heart, ministry will not matter–wherever you go. That’s the kind of leader that we need to establish.

When you’re the leader and you’re given an organization or a team, establish that to the best of your abilities. But when it’s time for you to pass the torch, then you endorse. Establish and then endorse.

What God Is Doing

Because the one thing that I’m learning from the life of Moses–and this is something that you need to learn also today– is that as great as Moses was as a leader, the one lesson there is that he was not irreplaceable.

Moses was not able to enter the Promised Land. So, it means that, hey, was Moses valuable? Yes! He was loved by God. But what’s more important in this lesson is that Moses was not king of the Israelites. It was God. It is God, even up till now. So, don’t worry if you’re the person who sometimes doesn’t get into that promised place— or situation. Because what’s more important is what God is doing and it’s God who will take you to different places. So, even if you retire, hey, you still have significance!

What’s important is that God follows through. God is the One, not Moses.

That’s the lesson. All right, so raise up a successor!

How Moses Died

Lesson No. 3:

How did Moses die? Chapter 34:5 says: “So, Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab just as the Lord had said. The Lord buried him in a valley near Beth Peor in Moab…”

Listen to this: “…but to this day, no one knows the exact place.”

You know, when a loved one dies, what is the thing that we do? We set up a tombstone, an altar, where we can commemorate this person.

Was Moses valuable to the Lord? Yes. Did he deserve a tombstone?

Yes, absolutely.

But why is it that the Bible says, to this day, no one knows the exact place where he was buried? I’ll get to that point later…


I imagine that if Moses did have a tombstone, he would have an epitaph.

What is an epitaph? An epitaph is the description of you, however you want Let’s say you have a wife and your wife puts that epitaph on your tombstone–or your children put that. That is, if never decided what your epitaph should be. That’s why as early as now, you make a decision about what to put as your epitaph. You tell your spouse, you tell your children, you tell your family.

I want to show you examples of epitaph:

I imagine that if Moses had an epitaph, it would not say:

It would say: Moses: The Servant of the Lord.

I don’t know about you, but for me– I’m so sorry Moses– I’ve got to borrow that same title. If my wife is listening, that’s the same title I want to have when I die– to describe me. Just put my name, then add The Servant of the Lord.

Simple yet so powerful!

What Is Your Mission?

Who lived life loving God. Serving God and worshiping God. That’s how I want to live.

In Verse 7, it says, “So Moses was 120 years old when he died and yet his eyesight was clear and he was as strong as ever. The people of Israel mourned for Moses and the plains of Moab for 30 days until the customary period of mourning was over.”

Listen to this: I’m sure this shocks you– to find out that Moses died at 120 years old. Have you ever seen anybody over a hundred years old? What do they look like? They look old, of course. But they look frail. Some of them cannot see anymore. They’re blind and some of them, they’re walking with a stick.

But the Bible says, Moses was 120 years old and when he died, his eyesight was clear and he was still strong!

The reason Moses died was not old age. It wasn’t because of sickness.

It wasn’t because of cancer.

He died because he already completed his mission!

Would you like to be like Moses? That the Lord will call you not because of a sickness, not because of old age but because you have completed your mission? God will tell you, “Mission accomplished! Now come back to me.”

I love that!

That’s why I want to encourage you today, to ask yourself these two very important questions.

  1. What is your mission?
  2. How are you fulfilling that mission every day?

Because if you’re somebody who doesn’t have a mission yet and you don’t know what your purpose is, what God calls you to do, you better start discerning, processing.

You’ve to know your mission and then embrace that mission for as long as you live.

God’s Timing

Here’s Lesson No. 4:

Moses didn’t get to be in the Promised Land.

But check this out:

It says in Deuteronomy 34:1:

It’s painful, isn’t it? The Lord showed the place where the descendants would live. And then He says, “You will not enter that land.”

You know, there is a word that we use nowadays. It’s a technical word, when you message someone—in Messenger, or What’s Up, or Viber, you see the person but does not reply, what do you call that? Seen Zone.

What would you do if all the blessings that you see are only Seen-Zone by you? You see your dream house, your dream boy or dream girl—but you can’t have them. You’re just  limited to Seen Zone.

That’s what’s happening to Moses. Moses, you’re up to Seen Zone only.

You cannot enter the Promised Land.

What do you do when that happens? When all the blessings that you see are not for you?

Here’s one way to process that…

Because I believe all of us have a different timing. The Lord has a timing on how He  will bless us. He has a timing on how He will bless you.

So, here’s what you do: You embrace your mission by embracing your season.

If this is not your season yet to have abundance, then you embrace that season of working and planting because God maybe is not going to elevate you yet. But here will come a time when the Lord will ready you and prepare you for that blessing. But until that time happens, you can embrace that season.

Seen Zone

Here’s one way I want to explain this Seen Zone.

What happens when you keep seeing the blessing but you cannot enter?

I want you to close your eyes and imagine all that you are praying for– whatever it is—material thing, relational, spiritual, can be one or two…

I want you to imagine this: That the Lord is with you, He’s beside you. And now the Lord is showing you this big land — a land flowing with milk and honey, where all the blessings you have

been praying for, and working hard for, are in that land.

And then the Lord tells you: “Child, this is the land that I’m going to give– not to you– but to your family, to your loved ones, to your children, to your children’s children. Because you have been faithful to me…”

Now, open your eyes… Was it a sad moment? Or was it a glorious moment?

You see, what’s happening here is that God is telling Moses: “You have worked hard all your life, you’ve done your mission. But I want you to know that your mission will bless not just you—but it will bless everybody around you.— everything that  you see.”

And He says, “ This is the Land that I will give to your generation.”

That’s the mission that you die for. That you don’t get to enjoy it sometimes, but it’s okay…

Because the people that I love – my son, my daughter, my wife, they get to enjoy it.

My friends, that’s beautiful, right? You have a mission to live for but you also have a mission to die for.

Tragic Life

Some people might say the life of Moses was very tragic. I mean, he wasn’t able to enter the Promised Land. The hero of the story doesn’t get to enjoy the fruits and the promises of God.

How many of you agree that it’s a tragic ending? It is. It’s a tragic story but you see, one thing you have to know is that the story of Moses doesn’t end there.

It ends in Deuteronomy—but Moses reappears in the New Testament. Matthew  talks about it. When Jesus was up on the mountain with His disciples, it says in Matthew 17: 2-3:

What does that mean? Moses did not enter into the Promised Land in Deuteronomy. But he was actually in the Promised Land—with Jesus.

Whenever we see people who are successful, we always say, “You’ve made it.” This person has made it– depending on how you would define success.

Let’s say you look at success as having an amount in the bank. Then you tell that person, “You know, you’ve made it.”

Or, maybe for you, success is a certain position in a company or an organization, and you tell that person, “You know, you’ve made it.”

Or maybe you can even tell yourself – depending how you view success: “I have made it.”

Because to us, success is a place. That’s the destination. But in the Bible, it’s different.

Success is not a place. The destination is not a place. It’s a person. It’s Jesus.

Jesus Is the Promised Land

So, what am I trying to say? You don’t have to be in Heaven to reach the Promised Land. As early as now, if you’re with Jesus, hey, you are in the Promised Land.

Because Jesus is the Promised Land.

That’s how Moses was able to get into the Promised Land. Because of Jesus.

And if you’re walking with Christ right now, and you’re encountering Him every day, guess what:

Every single step that you take is on Holy Ground, and you are with Jesus. Every single breath that you take.

That’s the promise of the Lord. Isn’t that amazing? Moses reappears in the New Testament. And here’s how I want to end:

When you think that the work of the Lord is done, that God’s program ended when Moses stopped leading them, it did not– because he continued on. It continued on with Joshua.

It doesn’t’ end just because your friend said it ended. It doesn’t end just because your doctor said, it’s ended. It doesn’t end just because your professor said that you’ve got no hope anymore. It ends when Jesus says it ends. He has the last say.

And I want to bring this to you and say this: That the work of God doesn’t end with you and me. It doesn’t end when we die. It continues on.

What you think is a period in your life, guess what: it’s just a comma in God’s Kingdom. It’s just a continuation to where God will lead you.

That’s why it’s important, my friends, to trust in Jesus. To give your life to Him. The Bible says that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. God gave us Jesus so that we may have salvation.

So, my question to you right now is: Do you trust Jesus? Do you trust Him enough to give your life to Him and to walk with Him?

And to say, “Lord, You will be my Savior. No matter what comes my way— I can be in a season of drought, on dry land—and I trust You that You can bring me into the Promised Land. And it’s not a place. It’s You.”

If you can walk with Jesus, then you are walking in that Promise—by Him transforming you every day.


Lift up your hands. We pray and we acknowledge the Presence of the Lord:

Heavenly Father, look at Your children today. Look at their surrender, their posture of worship. We have all come here, Lord, with our sin and we don’t want to walk with it anymore. So, we surrender it to You, at the foot of the Cross and we declare, right now, in this moment, that we fully trust You—completely, absolutely. Whatever You are doing in our life, Lord, we may not understand it—but we don’t have to because we trust that You do. We have complete confidence in You, Jesus. Continue to speak to every person here, in this place. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


We continue to be in the Presence of the Lord. Nobody stirring, nobody moving in this place—even if you’re online, I want you to feel the tangible grace flowing through your screen right now. Let me pray for you.

Let me pray for you:

Father in Heaven, look kindly upon all of us today. See us as Your children like You always do and know that in our heart, we are sincerely we are sincerely approaching your throne with humility right now, relinquishing crown and laying it down at the foot of Your Cross. We decrease in this moment so that You can increase in all of us. Thank You, for walking with us in this journey.

And we believe that because You are already with us in this journey, we have already arrived at the destination. Because the destination is not a place.

It’s a Person. It’s Your Son, Jesus Christ.

I pray, Lord, for those who are here who have never even their life to Your Son– that they may come to know Him in a powerful and in a personal way. That His Presence would pervade their life every day.

And I also pray for those who have been walking with Christ all their life— that You would rejuvenate, You would revive, and You would refresh them with the energy hat they need in this journey.”

Now say, this prayer with me:

Dear Jesus, I have made some sins. I have some faults. But I acknowledge them in Your Presence. And I declare that You are my Savior. From this day on, only You I worship and only You will I trust. I believe that with You in my life, nothing can stop me. Because You fight for me. I trust in You. I believe in You and I will worship You. In Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

This story was first published in the Feast Family Online News Magazine

Published by THE FEAST (October 1, 2023)


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