Category Archives: church

MAKE DISCIPLES: An Expression Of Loving God

THERE’S NOW A WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON regarding (loving) helping the less privileged. Young people are now looking for something that is beyond them.  Volunteerism is on the rise. Sort of like our REAL Life-feeding program every Saturday morning. Habitat for Humanity. Gawad Kalinga (Philippine version). And many more.

After examining the first and the greatest commandment, let’s now look at the second great commandment.

Matt. 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matt. 22:40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

These must really be highly classified commandments because ‘all the Law and the Prophets HANG on these two’.

‘LOVE the Lord…’ and ‘Love you neighbor…’

The other aspect of fulfilling the greatest commandment, besides the ‘love for the Lord’ -vertical relationship, is the ‘love for one’s neighbor’ –horizontal relationship. The Scriptures tells us that,

1John 4:20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
1John 4:21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Rom. 13:8  Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
Rom. 13:9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Rom. 13:10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

As a movement, we express this important law through our desire to ‘make disciples’. Despite of the current anti-discipleship attitudes of the age.

a disciple. One of the ways to find out the theme of a certain passage of Scriptures is through the Principle of Repetition. So if you look at these words below, you won’t be so far off from the truth.

* Christian/s – 3x
* believers- 28x
* saints – 69x
* disciple/s – 296x

God is looking, not just for a Christian, a believer, or a saint; He is on the look out for a disciple. A disciple; a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ezek. 22:30  “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.

be a disciple. How can one become a disciple of Christ? Well, let’s ask Him. It’s self-explanatory in red letters.

John 8:31  “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 15:8  “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

be a disciple-maker. Many stop short of just becoming a recipient of heaven. Just a recipient, but not a conduit. But Jesus, in red letters again, said,

Matt. 28:18  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Matt. 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matt. 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Being a disciple-maker has something to do with first commandment ever mentioned in the Bible.

Gen. 1:28  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

When we fulfill what He is asking us to do, we are actually following God.

So I say,

“Following God Entails Helping Others Follow Him.”

But as much as it is impossible to love God apart from Christ, so it is to love our neighbor as ourselves.

1John 3:16  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

1John 4:19  We love because he first loved us.

Only through the cross that we can love God (vertical line) and love others (horizontal line).

When these lines crossed each other, that would give us a glimpse of HOPE.


Have you ever wondered what should be the driving force behind every attempt to make disciples?

Here are some questionable ones.

“Evange-ligaw” (courting a girl), “Bible-steady”, “disciple-chicks” trying to be a missionary to the opposite gender. Hoping at the end they’ll end up being together. The person, most of the time, becomes a recipient of Paul’s admonition in 2 Corinthians 6.14. Rather than winning the person to Christ, he ends up winning the person for his own benefit.

status to survive and acquire personal gain. In Judges 17.7-13, a young Levite became Micah’s personal priest (“this Levite has become my priest.”). Many ministers have become peddlers for profit rather than preachers of the Gospel.

Or many more other motives that Paul exposed in lives of the believers in Philippi. Out of envy and rivalry (Phil 1.15) and out of self ambition, not sincerely (Phil 1.17). So what could be the right motives in making long lasting disciples?

A Desire To Please God

2Cor. 5:9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

Pleasing God should be everyone’s business in every area of life. It is not a lip service; it’s our hearts’ pursuit. Faith then is necessary (Hebrews 11.6). Before you share and impart faith, you better make sure you’re possessed. Yup. Possessed with faith.

The Fear Of The Lord

2Cor. 5:11  Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.

We persuade men out of our healthy knowledge of the fear of the Lord. Are there rewards too? Definitely. But ultimately, we know that it is still the terror of God that makes us wise (Ps 111.10; Prov 9.10). And therefore makes us win souls (Prov 11.30).

Compassion For The Multitudes

2Cor. 5:14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

“Out of goodwill (Phil 1.15b)” done “in love” (Phil 1.16a), melts the hearts of people. The Gospel becomes real in the lives of many. There’s an undeniable effect. They not only see it, they could feel it too. Now I am compelled. Not out of mere emotion, but out of sure revelation (Rom 5.8). See Matthew 9.36 and be convinced.

But here’s the twist…

Phil. 1:18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Wow… I am thoroughly amazed of Paul’s high end sincerity. In light of the Philippians’ ‘envy’, ‘rivalry’, ‘self ambition’, and lack of ‘sincerity’, you could sense that Paul had no trace of legalism at all! As long as men and women come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, it’s enough to make Paul happy. But I advice the ones who have adapted the opposite motives, get into further discipleship in Christ. Embrace the true motives he enumerated in his second letter to the Corinthians chapter five.

So the next time you’re tempted to adapt the false ones, think again.

As long as Christ is exalted above all…

Let’s go keep making disciples…

TOP TEN Classic Discipleship Quotes (Part two)

DUE TO SOME POSITIVE RESPONSES from our dear readers and our hardworking staffs, I decided to add a sequel of our top ten sayings.

Be inspired!


1) “As long as there is a lost person out there, we are not big enough.” –Steve Murrell

This is a good measuring stick for us to use as far as church growth is concerned. There is no room for us to be big-headed, but instead we need to be concerned about the lost world out there.


2) “Find out what God is doing in your generation, then fling your life into it.” –Larry Tomzsack

While Steve was listening to Larry’s sermon when he was a young Christian, he was so surprised by that statement that it solidified his resolve to being in ministry and to reaching the youth.


3) “When in doubt, TITHE!” –Steve Murrell

A businessman handed me ten thousand pesos in cash for my first ever missions trip to Indonesia way back in the 80’s. I was so thankful to God and so I asked Pastor Steve if I should tithe it. Well, you know by now what he told me.


4) “You’ll never be mistaken in giving.” –Juray Mora

I can’t think of any other most generous person in the Ministry, but Juray. He lives, breaths, preaches, and demonstrates generosity to the full. It behooves us to follow his example.


5) “Don’t make decisions based on money.” –Steve Murrell

We were trained early on to move in faith not by sight. Every time we do conferences and missions trips, we were challenged with this punch line. I guess this can also by applied when getting married! (Warning: This only applies to single people 40 years old and above.)   


6) “How are you going to face your problem, if your problem is your face?” – Luther Mancao

Well, I don’t really know how to categorize this statement. Pastor Luther’s sayings are beyond explanation most of the time. You just have to hear and meditate on it for a week!


7) “All roads lead to discipleship.” –Ferdie Cabiling

Rome has been that important of a city that they made all roads, during those ancient days, leading to the center. Well, there is something significant about the term; it was the concept Jesus emphasized before He left: discipleship.

We decided to live with this aphorism as our guide in ministry every time we do an activity in Victory Ortigas.


8.)“If you have to brag much about your accomplishments, then it must have not been big enough.” Mr. Broocks (Rice’s Dad)

I heard this several times from Pastor Rice’s sermons on leadership, discipleship, and ministry. This really helped him to be on the side of humility every time he is tempted to brag on his achievements. He heard this said from his Dad when he went home one day.

I’d been on the opposite side of humility so many times. I’m just wondering how much more if I had never heard this early on from Rice. Oh God…more grace.


9) “The greatest legacy you can leave behind in this life is the lives you’ve touched for God.” –Dr. Jun Escosar

Way back when I was a student, I would always think, ‘I want to be like Jun E when I grow up‘. He was the first guy who became our full time minister in church. One of the other reasons why serving God was exciting is because we see him exemplify that.


10) “Saan tayo kakain?” (“Where are we going to EAT?”) –Manny Carlos

Acts 2.46b “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…”

There’s nothing more biblical than finding out where to eat! Thanks Manny for inspiring all of us.

BRANDED Cert. Christ Follower (4/4): Bearing Fruit

What a way to end this series.

John 15:8 says,

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

I am glad Jesus has described our relationship with Him in a biotic level: bearing fruit. He never explained it in a technocratic way; like machines.

Yet the challenge still remains: bear much fruit! Without it, we are as good as dead. To be cut-off. Thrown into the fire.

But if we bear fruit, we still have to be cut. Cut in a different way- to be cut-clean. I don’t have time to talk about pruning in viticulture, but that’s how the Word of God managed to illuminate it beautifully.

I want us to understand though that we as branches, don’t produce fruits. Yup, you heard me. We never produce fruits. It is the vine that produces the ability for the branches to bear fruits. Therefore, we can safely say that, we are like racks where fruits are hanged. Branches don’t have the capability to come up with fruits.

So, how can we, as branches, not just bear fruits, but bear much fruits? I am glad you asked: abide in the Vine. Just stay in there. You may be feeling the ‘heat’ (cutting) from the Gardener, remain anyway.

Since John 15:1 said this in red letters: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” Then you know what I mean when I say ‘abide in the Vine’.

So, which one do you like? To be cut-off or to be cut-clean? Branches that are bearing fruit need to be cut clean so they may bear ever more fruit. Yield to the pruning. God knows what He is doing. Remain connected with the Vine. The fruits will follow.

When that happens, people will start to see something. The bible described several aspects of fruits… to you my dear readers… would you please tell us some of the these fruits that are expected to be seen in us as Christ followers? Feel free to join in the discussion…

Well, let me reword it. If being a Christ follower is a crime, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Ouch..

Don’t be burdened. It’s a privilege. Bearing much fruit is not for your sakes. It’s for the glory of our Father in heaven.

Wow. Let me continue to bear much fruit then.

Glory to God!

BRANDED Cert. Christ Follower (3/4): Loving One Another

When a person decides to become a follower of someone, he becomes branded as what that person represents. Now, that’s easy and automatic. It is almost like becoming a “fan”. The downside though, is that there is no lasting and deep impression in a person’s heart.

A classic example of this is found in this text:

John 6:66
“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”

I would like us to see the other side of being a follower. A follower of Christ, I mean. I consider it a responsibility. An awesome responsibility. Apostle John took the time to present an old truth in a new way:

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

It is a command, not a suggestion. It is incumbent upon us to do so. How?

1John 3:16
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Having said these, what about the great impact of loving one another?

John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Wow… talking about being branded as a follower of Christ! I call that a privilege. A great privilege of being associated with Jesus Christ.

Whether I like it or not, the way I relate with others reflects my brand of Christianity.

I can say then that:

“Loving one another is our endorsement to the world that we are Christ followers”

Let’s enjoy this video clip that shows how others flaunt their brand..

BRANDED: Certified Christ Follower (1/4)

A civilized competition between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs is seen in short commercials of two guys just sarcastically talking to each other. There names: Mr. PC and Mr. Mac.

I am sure many of you are very much familiar with what I am talking about. There seemed to be a similarity between the two but the difference is too far out. Like the difference between a lightning and a lightning bug! (I know what some of you are thinking: what is the diff between blue and green? Sorry, but I don’t have enough space).

I am talking about the diff between a so-called “christian” and a true follower of Christ.

Jesus Christ Himself has given us something that would be enough to put a wedge between existing relationships.

Between the real and the not-so-real.

Luke 14:26-27“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Does that sound exclusive? No. It is not about exclusivity.

It is about discipleship.

I could not think or even imagine anything more important than my relationships with my father, mother, and my siblings growing up.

But when I was exposed to this passage of Scripture, it made me realize that there was something even higher.

As a Christ-follower, my relationship with others is second best.

If that is resolved, then this will make sense…

Luke 14:27 “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Discipleship can not be discipleship without the cross of Christ. The cross that represents death to ‘self’.

Being a true disciple does not only mean that we have to forgo of other relationships in light of Christ having the first spot in our lives, but also we have to forget self to become one.

Sounds foolish? Yes and no. Yes, in the eyes of the world. No, because to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Cor 1.18b).

Let’s go home with this one big idea then:

A true disciple gives Christ first place in their lives always.

If you ask me, how would it look like if a so-called christian and a Christ-follower were caught talking to each other?

Let’s watch this and enjoy!

The Immersion

It was my first time to get exposed to a local church which has a small group-based church growth philosophy. There maybe a lot of baggages connected with it, but I got home with my traveling companion at that time -Dennis Sy, with a takeaway principle that helped us get to the next level of discipleship: “Every Member A Minister.” (Bogota, Colombia, circa 2002)