MUSIC + MESSAGE + MISSION
Hi I'm Acel and I am a Filipina recording artist, an inspirational speaker and a social-entrepreneur.
This blog is dedicated to my thoughts on living a life of worship to Jesus and service to others.
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If I can just have a promotion, then I wouldn’t struggle with my debts. If I can just be more beautiful, then maybe my “one” would take notice of me. If I can just.. (insert your statement) .. then all our problems would be solved. Many of us have this mindset. But let’s see what we can learn from the story of The Bleeding Woman.
A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
Mark 5:25-29 (NLT)
Here’s a woman who has done everything and spent all that she had to be well, but nothing happened.
Are you in that same hopeless situation? You’ve exhausted all that you have and all that you know, but nothing seemed to work.
In verse 28, the woman kept saying, “If I can just touch his robe”, I shall be restored to health.
She put her hope in Jesus. She pressed on to touch Jesus despite of the great crowd gathered around Jesus. She knew that she is not allowed to touch anyone due to her state. A woman who has her menstrual period is considered ceremonially unclean, and is not allowed to touch anyone. And so this woman has been isolated and marked as unclean for 12 years because of her condition. But she knew that Jesus is her only hope. In faith she drew nearer to Jesus and touched him. Immediately, she was healed.
How about you? Where do you put your hope? When everything fails, where do you run to?
We may not be bleeding literally like that woman, but the sins in our lives cause this continuous bleeding in our souls. All of us need to be healed by Jesus. How desperate are you to be healed and to be free from the cycle of sin in your life? Through Him, we can be healed.
If there’s an obstacle that hinders you from drawing near to Jesus, will you muster all your strength to come near Him? Will you let go of all those functional messiahs in your life where you put all your hopes?
May we learn from the bleeding woman. May all of us see and realize that Jesus is The Hope that we need.
Let’s draw near to Jesus and touch Him.
Jesus is moved not by need but by faith.
He is pleased with your faith.
Are you in suffering or in pain? Does your situation seem hopeless? Let Jesus help you.
Kaharian Mo (Your Kingdom) – I wrote this song based on the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:10 that says, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”
I contemplated on these words. What does it really mean to say, “Thy Kingdom come and Thy will be done”?
When we think about the word “Kingdom”, we see an image of a king, a castle, and his subjects. During the time of Jesus, the Jews wanted him to be an earthly king, but Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world. The Jews didn’t understand that an earthly king wouldn’t be able to save their nation.
You see, Jesus was not just thinking about one nation. Jesus was thinking about all of us. He came to save the whole world. Jesus was not just thinking about temporary relief of oppression, but Jesus was thinking about our eternal salvation. God knows that even the most wise and the most good hearted king couldn’t sustain and produce a peaceful, joyful, grateful, loving society or nation. This is because we are all tainted with sin. It will need a savior to take away all our sins to save us. The savior had to take the punishment of sin to free us from its power. The savior needed to shed His blood on the cross as a ransom for us all, for without the shedding of the blood, there will be no forgiveness of sins. If we allow the savior of the world to be King of our hearts, then His kingdom has come upon us. His rulership of our hearts will transform us internally and its fruit will manifest externally. It is not religion, not traditions and rituals, nor rules and good advice that can transform and save us, but only the KINGSHIP (LORDSHIP) of Jesus in our lives.
We all need Jesus, the Savior King!
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:6-11
Here’s the lyrics of my song KAHARIAN MO
Pag-ibig at kapatawaran
Buhay na pinagpala,
Kagalakan, kalayaan at
Ang kaharian mo ang nais ko
Dito sa lupa para nang sa langit
Ang kalooban mo ang nais ko
Maghari ka sa aking puso
Maghari ka sa aking puso
Have you been accused of a “wrong doing?”
Accusations can come to all of us and need not be something grand like murder, theft, etc., it can be something like, being accused of gossiping, or being proud, vain or irresponsible etc. How would you feel if you were misjudged? That would certainly make you feel either sad or angry. It’s unfair and it’s unjust. It’s funny that we can be so defensive when people misinterpret or misjudge us, but most of the time, we hurl accusations at people we know. These accusations are in our heads, and we believe it to be true even if they have not been proven. In our hearts and in our minds, we have already judged the person. In our own judgement, we exclude that person and put a big “x” mark on his/her face.
What if the accusation were true? How will you react if you – the offender – have been forgiven?
This is what happened to the woman who was caught in adultery. The pharisees and the scribes brought her to Jesus in the middle of the temple court, and put the case before him.
They said to Jesus in John 8: 4-10 “Teacher this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The Law of Moses commands us that such women shall be stoned to death. But what do you say?” Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger. When they persisted with their question, Jesus raised himself up and said, ” Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he bent down and went on writing on the ground with His finger. And then they began leaving, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Jesus was left alone, with the woman. When Jesus raised himself up, he said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?” She answered, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.”
In this story, the woman was found guilty, for she was caught in the very act of adultery. In their law, it is legal to stone such a woman to death. But what happened? Jesus extended the grace of God towards her though she deserved death. Jesus’ grace saved her and gave her a second chance.
Jesus sees our hearts. All of us are utterly sinful, and that’s why He came.
Point 1. Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save the world.
This doesn’t mean that he came to abolish the law, but he actually came to fulfill the law.
Jesus was wrongly accused. He did not do anything wrong, yet He took all our accusations, all our guilt and shame. He took that stone that should be thrown to us — death that we deserve because of our sin. He took all of it so we can be free and be justified from the punishment that is rightfully ours.
Point 2. The Cross is the picture of Justice and Grace.
This holy week as we remember the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection, let us remember that Jesus fulfilled the law and justice of God by taking all our sins and putting it on Himself. The law can’t save us. It just shows how depraved we all are. It shows our need for a savior. The wrath of God towards sin was seen on the cross. Jesus had to suffer and endure the excruciating pain of being flogged, scourged and nailed to the cross. The cross is also a picture of His grace for He died on our behalf and paid the penalty of our sins. But it didn’t end there, for Jesus rose again! He defeated death. Death couldn’t hold him down for He is sinless.
Point 3. Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can save us – the Lamb of God – the ultimate sacrifice that can take away the sins of the world and its power (death, apathy, poverty, sickness, curse, unfaithfulness, pride, promiscuity, greed, unforgiveness, selfishness, drunkenness, addictions, perversion etc. ) Now, whoever believes in him will have eternal life. A life of knowing Him, a life of love, peace, joy, forgiveness, gratefulness, contenment – a full life. Free and enabled to live a life that would honor God.
Text: Luke 7: 37- 50
A woman with an unpleasant past came to Jesus carrying a bottle of an expensive perfume. And standing behind Jesus at his feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume…it was probably the most precious thing she had.
The Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw it, he said to himself, if this Man were a prophet, He would surely know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him.
But Jesus replied with an illustration about a certain lender of money who had two debtors. They had no means of paying the lender, but the lender forgave them both. Jesus pointed out that the one who owed a bigger amount will love the lender more. Jesus said that the woman’s sins are forgiven because she has loved much. (v.47) But he who is forgiven little loves little.
When I think about how God loves me despite of my stubbornness, all I can do is love him back and offer my life. He forgave all the wrong things I did, He took my sin, my shame, my curse, and the punishment that is for me, through His death on the cross so that I can have life and true freedom. My heart is filled with gratefulness that leads me to kneel down, and worship Him. That’s what happened to that woman. When she encountered Jesus, she bowed down, wept and worshipped Him.
Do you remember that time when you first received Jesus in your life?
The reason I lift up my hands whenever I sing songs of praise and worship in church, the reason I laugh and cry (at the same time) sometimes during worship, the reason why I was able to leave my previous band at the peek of my career, and the reason why I can obey and trust God even in the road of the unknown, is all because I’ve encountered Him, His love and His grace.
When we look to the cross and come to the understanding of what the gospel is, the result is a heart filled with joy and thankfulness, empowered to follow and obey Him. May our lives be like that perfume that released a pleasant aroma. May Jesus be honored and glorified through our lives.
A woman is not an object nor a toy but a precious, beautiful human being. Women need to know their value and their true worth. Not knowing it will get us into trouble. Ladies, don’t believe in the deception that you can find your true worth through wrong relationships, material possessions, money, shoes, bags, brands, manipulation, power (over men) or any other way the world will try to affirm your worth. You don’t even need to show much of your skin andyour curves just to shout out you are beautiful and worthy of love. Because you are already beautiful.
Ladies, you are valuable. You are a woman—made in the image and likeness of God. Any violation, abuse, and mistreat- ment of who you are physically and emotionally is like marring the image of God Himself.
Know who you belong to—you belong to Christ. This truth would then help you have healthy, fruitful, and meaningful relationships, and would even lead you to that man who would value you the same way how God values you.
We are made priceless because the blood of Jesus was spilled on the cross to pay for our redemption. Because we have been redeemed by Christ, our bodies are not our own. Our bodies belong to the Lord.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you,
whom you have received from God?
You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
(Excerpt from the book: Who Would Have Thought? by Acel)
WOMAN, WHAT COMPLETES YOU? SERIES
THE DISTRACTED ONE
TEXT: Luke 10:38 – 42 (Amplified version)
With all the many things that we need to do daily, it seems like 24 hours is not enough. If you’re a mom, definitely you can relate with me. From taking care of the household, to taking care of the kids, and finding your own time to do your own work…being a mother and a wife is really challenging.
We can learn from the story of Mary and Martha, and what Jesus said about that ONE thing that is needed..
verse 41-42 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.
Martha is anxious and troubled about many things, but only ONE thing is needed and Mary chose the better one.
To work is not wrong. Work is a blessing, and we need to work to provide for our needs and to bless others. Serving others is not wrong as well. In fact, the Bible says that we have to use our talents to serve others, but in this text, Jesus commended Mary for choosing the better one – the one thing that is needed. And what is that thing that Mary chose? It says in the verse that, Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.
That one thing that should be our top priority is our time with Jesus – reading His word and communing with Him.
Do you still listen to Jesus? Or are you so distracted with the busyness of your day to day schedule, busy working for your family, serving others, going to church, and doing all kinds of ministry? Again, doing all of these things are not wrong, but if we neglect our time to commune with the Lord, then we are missing the most important thing in this life and the whole point of why we are doing what we’re doing. Start the day reading His Word and worshipping Him, I’m sure you’ll be refreshed and empowered to do greater things in His name.
Being busy is different from being fruitful. I believe that when we prioritize our time to listen to Jesus, then our schedules and our workload will be meaningful and would leave a greater impact to the people around us.
Let us not allow our busyness to drown the voice of Jesus. Let us not allow distractions to keep us away from that one thing – the only thing that we needevery day – our fellowship with Jesus, the living Word.
The standard that we follow sets the direction of our lives. Emotions are erratic and that is why it is important to have a standard in how we want to live our lives.
What standard are you following? Consciously or subconsciously, the law of exposure says that what we read, listen, watch and the ideals of who we hang out with, influence our standards and our manner of living.
In Romans 12:1-2, it says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not CONFORM to the PATTERN of this world, but BE TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
As a follower of Christ, I decide to pattern my life with God’s Word. I know it will not be easy, but with His grace, He will enable me to truly live it.
Quote from the book: Who Would Have Thought? Finding Identity, Love, and Purpose in Unexpected Moments by Acel Bisa van Ommen
Photo by ClaraJPhotography
Lay out by Dro Pagado
SAMARITAN WOMAN (The Outcast)
John 4 talked about the story of a Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus.
The Jews despise the Samaritans, and they consider them as an outcast.
Background: The Samaritans (whom they call “pagan half-Jews” follows the pagan religious practices of Jeroboam. In 930BC Jeroboam built two pagan altars (2 golden calves) at Bethel and Dan so that their people can worship there instead of going to Jerusalem. And Jeroboam declared that Mt. Gerizim is “the real” holy mountain. It is their Jerusalem. Jeroboam made this counterfeit religion making up stories that Mt. Gerizim is the mountain where Abraham sacrificed Isaac and not on Mt. Moriah.. They also intermarried with the Assyrian settlers (http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-samaritans.htm)
On the way to Galilee from Judea, Jesus went through Samaria and sat by the well while his disciples looked for food. At noon, the Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well. During that time, drawing water is a highlight of a woman’s day, for this is the time when they can socialize with each other..but notice that the Samaritan woman came at noon so she can draw water by herself. She was marked as an outcast with her own people for living an immoral life. She had 5 husbands and the man that she is living with is not her husband. Jesus knew all about it.
Jesus asked her to give him some drink. The Samaritan woman was surprised that Jesus (a Jew) would speak to her. Then Jesus said in John 4:10,
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
John 4: 13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus is illustrating a spiritual parallel of our physical thirst and our spiritual thirst. Our souls long for something that would satisfy us. Some would cling on to relationships, and some would cling on to their material possessions, fame, or career to fill the void within us. But Jesus declared that He has that living water that can truly quench our thirst. In this story, we learn that:
a. Jesus is actively pursuing us. He will not reject you. He wants to reveal himself to us. He values people and will not treat any one as an outcast. This is evidenced, as Jesus intentionally went through Samaria so he can meet the Samaritan woman and offer her the gift of God. Jesus will not reject you if you come to Him.
b. Jesus declared that He is the ultimate thirst quencher. If you have Jesus, you have everything. It’s only through Jesus that we can have eternal life.
If you feel like you don’t belong and you always feel rejected, know that Jesus loves you and he wants to receive you as his own. If there is shame, and if you feel condemned, know that Jesus took our shame on the cross, so that we can start again. Jesus is extending his grace towards us.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” – Romans 8:1
He wants to offer you new and abundant life and if WE ONLY KNOW the Gift of God and who Jesus is, all of us will look to Him, and be satisfied. May we all know Him more and more everyday.
Knowing that you are loved by God liberates you from any fear. The approval and the perfect love of the Father catapults you to greater heights, for you are no longer a slave to the opinions of men, nor to your own feelings of inadequacy. As a child of God, you are like riding with the Spirit of God that empowers you to do things that is beyond ordinary.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
- 1 John 4: 18
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