Keep on Daring to Believe: Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting 2016

Keep on Daring to Believe: Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting 2016

Join our Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting from July 5 to 7 as we take time to reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness over the first half of 2016! Let’s continue to believe God for greater things in our families, campuses, workplaces, church, and nation.

Follow our updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to know more about this prayer and fasting activity. You can also read testimonies from our previous prayer and fasting by clicking on this link.

Let’s continue to dare to believe God for more of Him in our lives! May each of us live lives that honor and give glory to Him, every single day.

Honor God With Your Heart

Honor God With Your Heart

“True worship is worshipping God from the heart.”

In this Every Nation podcast, Pastor Jun Escosar talks about the true essence of honoring God.  Unlike religiosity, which only changes our outward behavior, a relationship with God changes our hearts.

Honoring God in Ministry

Honoring God in Ministry

Give to everyone what you owe them . . . if honor, then honor.

Romans 13:7

  God is honored in an atmosphere of honor. Here are five values that honor God in the music ministry by honoring certain people who’ve exemplified these values in their lives. Mentoring Humility honors God. It is important to be open to the correction and encouragement of a mature Christian in your ministry. Get mentored and also be a mentor. If you find it hard to be a mentor, I encourage you to ask God to give you a vision for the people in your team. When He does, mentoring will come naturally. Leadership honors God, too. It takes a good leader to see the potential and gifts of others. Rejoice in the strength of the people you’re mentoring, and help launch them to their calling and destiny. God is honored when you share all you’ve learned, while believing that He wants to move in and through others as well. Unity Unity honors God. I realize that I’m a part of something much bigger and I have to be mindful and responsible to do my part. One of my favorite things about unity is getting to see God’s grace abound as people in the ministry learn to overlook offenses or consider others better than themselves. Unity is a beautiful thing because you see everybody letting go of their selfish ambition and really submit to God’s will and what’s best for His Kingdom. God wants His ministry united in direction and in devotion. Stewardship If you are a singer, a musician, or a writer, you are accountable for the things God has given you to steward. Invest in getting better at your craft. Practice! Get lessons! Be a good steward, for this honors God. Integrity This, I learned the most from my kuya Koji. He was the same person on-stage, off-stage, and at home. Integrity means living a whole life. We should not live a double life. Integrity follows the mindset that wherever you are, you are in God’s presence—so live as one who is in His presence. When you invite people to worship with you on stage that should automatically mean that that’s what you do when you’re off stage and at home. Compassion God is honored not only when we seek His heart, but as we reflect His heart while we do ministry. We don’t have to leave our respective volunteer ministries to make disciples. On a personal note, my ministry in discipleship will always come before my ministry in music. Singing with them from the stage is wonderful but there is nothing like seeing God’s grace and transformation in these people’s lives close up. Don’t forget that music is a ministry for this purpose! Every time someone gets saved, the knowledge that heaven is rejoicing with me adds fuel to my passion to serve in the music ministry.   Singer/songwriter Sarah Bulahan leads a Victory group and serves in the music ministry of Victory Quezon City.

Honoring God in Your Campus

Honoring God in Your Campus

One of the things I love about our movement is how invested we are in reaching the campuses. We believe that, as we change the campus, we have the potential to change the world.

Among the many reasons indicated in our campus manifesto about why we need to reach the campus is that the future leaders of nations and industries will be coming from the campuses. The values the students learn and adopt in their campuses will eventually go into their work, affecting our society, our public policy, media and education.

This is also why it’s so important for our students to honor God in the campus. For some of their classmates, professors and friends, our students’ lives and the way they live are these people’s first peek at God’s love and faithfulness.

Which brings us to the question: how do we honor God in the campuses?

Honoring God begins with honoring the one He has sent—Jesus, the God-Man Himself. On our own, we cannot possibly live lives that are honoring to God. We’re too selfish, petty, and small-minded. But when we put our faith in what Jesus did on the Cross, we are transformed. Our hearts are cleansed from sin and our lives now honor Him.

Our students must then be so deeply rooted in the Word and prayer that they are able to establish their convictions and rely on God’s grace to stand by them.

As they study and learn in school, they also have to keep an eye on what they say and don’t say, and what they do and don’t do.  As Rachel Ong, one of our speakers at Ignite 2015, preached to the students, they need to walk in moral excellence if they want to change their campus and make an impact on the world.

Students can also honor God through the three objectives Pastor Ferdie Cabiling enumerated during Ignite 2015. They can:

  • Strive for positions or functions of servant-leadership. These are avenues where they can lead their classmates either in their classes or even in extra-curricular activities.
  • Work for academic excellence. This, too, is a testament of God’s grace and faithfulness in their lives. This can serve as a platform where they can preach the gospel.
  • Operate with compassion. They, themselves, are missionaries in their campuses. They are there to show God’s love to other people, to reach out to their classmates and to preach the gospel.

We are all called to honor God in the different aspects of our lives and in whatever sector of society God has placed us. We cannot underestimate the potential of our students to set an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity within their campuses and in the world.

 

Joseph Bonifacio serves as the executive director of Every Nation Campus Philippines. He is married to Carla and is a dad to Philip.

Honoring God in Worship

Honoring God in Worship

In what seems like ages ago, I started volunteering in church as part of the music ministry. I worked as a professional musician for a big chunk of my life, and today I serve as a full-time minister in one of our Victory locations in Metro Manila.

The apostle Paul tells us that by “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,” we give weight to the importance of singing or music as one of the ways we express our love and adoration to God. Music is an important part of how we relate with God, particularly in worship. Many times, we think worship is only that part of the service where songs are administered, where lights are colorful, and everybody’s hands are raised, singing at the top of their lungs.

But should we stop there? How can people, especially those serving in the music ministry, honor God—apart from leading people in worship?

Here are two ways we can honor God in worship, in the context of serving in ministry:

Jesus in the Gospel of John 15:16-17 says,

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

  • Humility. We need to realize that God chose and appoint us to serve Him. It was never our initiative to come and worship God. Our gifts and talents did not come from osmosis, nor were they products of a YouTube video or an instructional book. Our gifts are blessings from God. He chose to give us talents and to make them “bear fruit” for His glory. God created music to be beautiful, wonderful, and glorious. It wasn’t invented by man for him to distort and use as he pleases. The purpose of music and the ability for man to create music is to please God. We bear fruit and thereby honor God when we gratefully use the ability to sing or make music as we lead others in worship to God.
  • Service. God calls us to love one another. We serve each other when we set our preferences aside and work with people in our teams. What we are saying in essence is, “I’m willing to make personal sacrifices to include other people in the way I express myself in worshipping God”, which is actually expressing love to one another. Listening to each other’s thoughts and ideas no matter where they are in the talent food-chain goes a long way. Want to get a point or message across? Love by serving others in the team, and God will honor your work.

When we humbly serve each other in the music ministry teams God has placed us in, we can never go wrong in honoring God as we lead people in worship.

 

Gilbert Espiridion is the worship pastor of Victory U-Belt. He is married to Carol and is a dad to Keila and Kari.

Honoring God in Your Workplace

Honoring God in Your Workplace

Last year, I had an opportunity to lead a Victory group of accomplished men and women in the marketplace. They came from different sectors of society, ranging from the government, business, education, and science and technology. They all had one thing in common: they wanted to honor God in the workplace. It was very encouraging to hear how God was using them right where they were. With the world looking for people who are successful in both career and family, they were a welcome sight. In the same breath, the world needs industry leaders and diligent workers whose lives are a good mix of godly values, excellent innovation, righteous business practices, and gainful profit. But why do many Christians in the workplace succumb to mediocrity in their practice, and compromise in their values? Why is it that many start out well-intentioned, yet eventually get eaten up in the unrighteousness of the system and amorality of the culture? Allow me to propose that much of it is rooted in a lack of a clear and defined purpose for work and marketplace success. For sure, it is not just about self-advancement, financial freedom, or securing your family’s present and future needs. When the reason for work is simply these things, it’s either motivation wanes at some point, or money becomes a primary pursuit. When that happens, one becomes forced to put lesser value on other priorities, and life becomes a rut. Ultimately, the purpose for work is to give God glory and bring the gospel to people. It gives God glory when you do your work with an awareness of worshipping Him, an excellence that befits Him, and strength that comes from Him. It advances God’s agenda when your role in the marketplace becomes a platform for the gospel. This happens when your colleagues notice the difference in the way you do things, the extraordinary outcome of your work, and the sheer joy by which you go at it everyday. You’ll get the unusual opportunity to be able to point to your Maker. You’ll grab their attention as you speak hope into every situation, and use it as an avenue to preach the gospel. If you’re working in a Christian company, excellence matters still. You may not necessarily have to preach the gospel (yet there still may be opportunities, as not all who work there are necessarily Christian), but it is a place for you to move along that organization’s agenda towards honoring Christ. Where do you begin? At the end of the day, faithfulness matters to God—faithfulness with where God placed you and what God entrusted you to do. If you do it as unto God, He will grant you success, and advance His kingdom in the process. Have a great time at work this week!   Jon Naron serves as the Executive Director of Victory Provincial Churches. He is married to Let and is a father to four kids: Gabrielle, Kristiana, Albert, and Alyanna.

Why do Some People Find it Hard to Honor God in Their Work?

Why do Some People Find it Hard to Honor God in Their Work?

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

  When it comes to work, people tend to divide the secular and the spiritual. People often remark how sacrificial it is for me to be in full-time pastoral work while belittling their jobs—as if being a pastor is the highest calling ever given to men. This kind of thinking tends to distort our view of our particular calling as children of God. We think the more sacred-sounding jobs are more honoring to God, while a person who works in an office has a second rate job. We dichotomize people and label our work as secular, while the others have sacred work. Let me break that mindset. You see, all work is worship. Your job as a dentist, a secretary, a call center agent, a nurse, or a businessman is not less sacred than the job of a pastor or a missionary. All work is worship unto the Lord. When we understand that our work is worship, we would be just like Paul, who taps into the grace of God to work hard in his call to bring glory and honor to the Lord. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

1 Corinthians 15:10

  So whether you are a street sweeper – sweep with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength as worship unto the Lord. Whether you are an engineer or a doctor – do your best as worship unto the Lord. Whether you are a minimum wage earner or a millionaire—work as unto the Lord. By God’s grace, work hard. To do what you love is great advice, but people who understand that their work is worship would love what they do no matter what the circumstance. That’s because just like worship, we do it on good days and bad days!   Dennis Sy is the senior pastor of Victory Greenhills. He is married to Thammie and a dad to Alyanna, Mika, and Isaiah.

Honoring God in Your Ministry

Honoring God in Your Ministry

After reading through the transcription of a prophecy spoken over me as a young believer in 1986 by a senior prophet of our movement, my pastor sat me down and affirmed that I might have really been called to ministry. It didn’t seem like it was for general ministry, but in full-time capacity as a preacher of the gospel. Prior to that talk, I still knew in my heart that God was calling me to ministry; I just didn’t know how to go about it.

Know that God has called us to be ministers of the gospel, whether in full-time capacity or not. We believe that every believer is a minister. Charles Hillis, a missionary to China, says, “every soul with Christ is a missionary. Every soul without Christ is a mission field.”

As followers of Christ, we are called to be fishers of men, and therefore, ministers of the gospel.

As ministers, how can we honor God in what we do, not only to properly represent Christianity to outsiders, but so it won’t be “reviled” but ultimately glorify God?

The apostle Paul mentions the word “honor” five times in his first epistle to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:17, 5:3, 5:17, 6:1, 6:16).

Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all HONOR, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled.

1 Timothy 6:1

To him be HONOR and eternal dominion. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:16

Clearly, Paul meant to emphasize honor. Using the acrostic HONOR, let us look at how we can honor God in ministry.

 

Handles the truth correctly. (1 Timothy 6:2f-5)
As we handle the Word of truth, we are expected to adhere to the sound Word of God and not be easily swayed by any popular controversial teaching getting into the church. At the same time, we  continue to foster a godly attitude produced by a burning heart, not a questionable one propelled by a big head.

Obeys the path of godliness. (1 Tim 6:6, 6:11)
We honor God when we choose to follow the path of godliness. We exert a fairly good amount of effort in deliberately pursuing godliness and all his other friends–righteousness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness–and fleeing from issues that weaken your desire towards it.

Never gives up the fight. (1 Tim 6:12)
The moment you took the side of righteousness, you declared war against the opposing stronghold of wickedness. You need to take the mission to heart like a soldier and be determined to win like an athlete.

Don’t give up contending for the faith, or even for the souls of men.

We honor Him when we fight the good fight, and grasp firmly the calling and the hope that we have: God’s gift of eternal life.

Opposes material gain. (1 Tim 6:5, 7-10)
Part of the calling of a minister is a realization that material things are but a means for us to propel God’s kingdom here in earth. Money is a tool; an equipment to be used, not to be worshiped. When we become derailed by it and of its lure; we lose sight of its purpose.

Resolves to serve until the end. (1 Tim 6:13-16)
A recent study discovered that young people don’t necessarily stay loyal to just one another. Mostly, they tend to hop from one company to another. If this is the prevailing status of this culture, it’s even more challenging today to swim against the flow, spiritually speaking, but it’s worth it. It’s a sign you’re alive! Dead fish go with the flow, you know.

Stay loyal. Endure. Keep the faith. Don’t give up. Stay in the game no matter what. I know you’ll be richly rewarded. We honor Him as we resolve to serve God till the end. Isn’t that amazing that a call to ministry could start out with a still small voice in a person’s heart?

 

Well, it happened to me. When that pastor sat down with me, I heard God calling.

I was just caught off guard.

I didn’t realize that God sounded like Steve Murrell.

 

Ferdie Cabiling serves as the Executive Director of Victory Metro Manila. He is married to Judy and is a dad to Elle and John Philip.

Nothing Less Than our Best

Nothing Less Than our Best

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

 

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away–cue “Star Wars” music!–I led worship! For five years! I had no idea what our leaders were thinking back then. Their thought process may have been like, “Well, there aren’t too many choices around, and Julius is crazy enough to try, so let him do it!” Whatever it was, whether they really wanted it or were just resigned to the lack of options, they asked me to lead worship.

I was around 28 years old at the time, and I had never sung in front of anyone in my entire existence. No one was too interested to hear me sing either, but I just loved worship music, and, yes, there weren’t too many worship leaders around, so I said to myself, “Lord, it’s not pastoring, but there is a need, so I am willing.”

After about five years of leading worship, one fateful day, Victory’s founding pastor Steve Murrell sat me down. “Hey, Julius,” he said, “we really need you to focus on pastoring and Victory groups.”

I got the point. 😀

Still, during those five years, I committed to worshiping God in the Music ministry with all my heart and with nothing less than my absolute best. So, because I didn’t want to sound like I was croaking my way through the songs on Sundays, I even paid for voice lessons with Ms. Sweet Plantado of The CompanY.

(I even remember singing Les Miserables’ “Stars” for my recital, and it must have truly sounded “Les Miserable!” Hey, Russell Crowe didn’t sound that good either! Still, with all sincerity, I gave it my absolute best because Colossians 3:23-24 says Jesus deserves nothing less than our very best. I am not sure if Ms. Sweet was too happy, somehow I know God was pleased.)

Are you giving your absolute best and nothing less to Jesus in whatever ministry you’re serving in today? We aren’t serving men; we are serving the One Who gave us nothing less than His absolute best. He deserves nothing less than the absolute best from us!

When Pastor Steve asked me to focus on pastoring, he opened the door to many great worship leaders who were emerging back then. Those leaders, in turn, helped raise up the worship leaders we have today. My skill may not have been at the level of Gary Oliver or Ron Kenoly–two godly men considered the Jedis of worship-leading in my galaxy far, far away!–but, in terms of worshipping “with all my heart and unto the Lord,” I can honestly say that my heart and efforts were no less than theirs. I gave Jesus my absolute best and nothing less, because that is what is due the One Who gave us His absolute best on the cross!

As you serve in the Music ministry, or whatever ministry, remember that the Lord Jesus deserves nothing less than our absolute best!

 

Julius Fabregas serves as the senior pastor of Victory Makati and Executive Director of Victory Worship. He is married to Eilleen and is a dad to Isa, Bea, Nica, Ella, and Elijah.

Honoring God in Personal Prayer

Honoring God in Personal Prayer

How do I honor God? It’s when I sing that He is God, and I am not. When things are going from good to great, or when they aren’t, I can’t help but acknowledge who He is and what He has done for me. God’s very character and nature demands this recognition, and it ceaselessly creates in me a divine hunger—a drive to abide in His will (even when it hurts), trust in His ways (even when it doesn’t make sense), and give praise for His works (in the times we should: when we feel like it and when we don’t feel like it).

In a disciple’s life, this is seen as personal prayer—a pursuit for intimacy with the One who loved us and still loves us at our worst. It is a desire to behold Him who stooped down to make us great. It is a seeking for fellowship and not just partnership. It is a drawing near for reasons other than needs. Prayer is both a time and place: a time for opening our whole being to know His holy presence, and a place for hearing His loving voice, “You are my son, my beloved one.” If only for that, it would all be worth it. Have you ever wondered why Jesus prayed so much?

Prayer also, I believe, is a posture of dependence; a bowing down to honor the Lord. It is when we treasure the words of His mouth more than our daily bread. To pray daily is to declare daily that apart from Christ we are nothing. To live a day devoid of the Bible and all or any manner of prayer is only one of three: ignorance, negligence, or a loud audacious statement saying, “God, I do not need you today; I’ll be ok. Maybe tomorrow or next time again.”

 

Sky Ramos serves as the Coordinator for Ministry Development of Victory Philippines. He is married to Fem and is a dad to Jedi and Kenshin.

New Series: Honor God

New Series: Honor God

Join us on January 3 and 4 as we kick off 2015 with “Honor God,” our new series! After this series, may each of us learn how to honor God in and through our lives. Here is the list of weekly topics:

  • Week one: With Your Heart
  • Week two: With Your Body
  • Week three: With Your Wealth
  • Week four: With Your Service

Join us at a Victory location nearest you! Victory is one church meeting in fifteen different locations in Metro Manila. We also meet in multiple locations across the Philippines. If you’re tweeting about our series, “Honor God,” please use our official hashtag #honorGod. See you at our services!