God in Our Midst

God in Our Midst

The recent election season elicited mixed responses online and somehow contributed to a growing divide in our nation. In the midst of various reactions toward the midterm election results, will we—as Christians—remain steadfast in our faith and choose to hope for our nation?

Below are some of the points from our interview with one of our pastors, Bishop Juray Mora, who encourages us to be the voice of faith and unity amid fear, hopelessness, and hostility.

 

Pause and Reflect

Battles are never won or lost on social media. One reaction will always elicit another reaction, and the chain will be endless. As powerful as it is, social media is limited; it will not allow us to put the whole context of what we say or believe on a single post or tweet. We have to pause and take time to think if what we’re doing is simply provoking a thought or provoking a negative reaction in someone else. We have to be sensitive and consider where all these are going: Will our reactions help the nation or will they cause an even wider divide among us?

Pray and Trust

Amid all the chaos and noise, we can go to God and call people to pray—not out of fear or anger, but out of faith. We should stir up each other and rely on God as we entrust to Him not just our own future and individual lives, but even the future of our nation. We should focus on Him and believe that He is sovereign. Someone bigger than all of us is in charge.

Commit and Act

As we rely on God, let us not wane in our passion to serve and see the nation transform. All of us have a part to play in setting a foundation that will allow the next generation to take it further than where it is now. If we want to bring change, we should not let our circumstances hinder us from being involved and from upholding righteousness wherever we are—in our marriages, in our families, in our communities. God can use us and provide an avenue for us to bring change in different ways.

Unite and Believe

It says in Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” Whatever issues we have in our nation, God can make great things in our midst—little miracles—that we don’t expect to come. Instead of letting divisiveness reign, we can stand together and believe that the will of God will prevail. God’s purpose will be fulfilled through whoever is in leadership.

 

 

Juray Mora serves as a bishop in Every Nation Philippines, which provides spiritual leadership for Victory, Every Nation Campus, the missions work of Every Nation in Asia, Every Nation Leadership Institute, and the Real LIFE Foundation. Juray is married to Deah, and they are blessed with six children: TJ, Iya, Sophia, Juliana, Celina, and Raymund.

Beyond the Series: Responding to Poverty in the Nation

Beyond the Series: Responding to Poverty in the Nation

One of the most prevalent social issues in the Philippines is poverty. As Christians, we cannot turn a blind eye to this matter because God called us to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel to the poor and marginalized, just as Jesus did.

After encouraging us to be in faith in the first part of the interview, Bishop Juray Mora shares how Christians can deal with poverty in the nation.

 

How should Christians respond to poverty in the nation?

The gospel is the solution. Some of the poverty we face is because of structures created by greed. One way to deal with that is to see a person’s heart regenerated through the power of the gospel. That’s still the ultimate solution.

The gospel is
the solution.

Another solution is a challenge for us to be generous in the way we live and help. I’m not just talking about finances, but also being generous in showing concern and compassion, and in every area of life.

The challenge for our own family is the people who help us in our home, our house help. The question is, “How can we be generous to this person’s family? How can we help them in a way that the next generation, their own children, will not have to be in this same situation of poverty?” Sometimes, we get overwhelmed. We think we can’t do much because of the prevalence of poverty in our nation. But we can do something, starting in our own home, through our house help. We tend to hide behind legalities, thinking of the legal minimum wage in our country. But as Christians, we must ask instead: “Lord, what is Your will? She’s working for me. She’s a blessing. How do You want us, as a family, to bless her in return and help her family?”

Helping one person
at a time can make
a difference.

Connecting with ministries that have the expertise, knowledge, and infrastructure to help the poor in our nation is another way. We may support such ministries financially or with our time and effort. Sometimes, we don’t give because we feel embarrassed with the amount we can donate. We have to get rid of the mentality that says, “What I can give is too small.” Regardless of how little our money is, God will use it. Besides, if you pool it together with like-minded people who want to help, then the impact will be bigger.

Just be sensitive. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. You can start in your own home or neighborhood. If you don’t have house help, search for people in your neighborhood that you could start helping. It maybe the guy who keeps buying your old newspapers and empty bottles. There’s always a place to start. You don’t have to win the whole world all at once. Helping one person at a time can make a difference.


Bishop Juray Mora oversees our pastors as the director of Victory Ministers Association. He also serves as a preacher in Victory Ortigas. He has been married to Deah for 27 years, and they continue to believe God for greater things with their six kids—TJ, Iya, Sophia, Juliana, Celina, and Raymund.

Beyond the Series is a set of interviews with Victory pastors on topics related to our sermon series. Read the first part of the interview here.

 

Beyond the Series: Faith and Generosity in Every Situation

Beyond the Series: Faith and Generosity in Every Situation

The church has always been an important part of God’s mission to reach the poor and helpless. Yet people in the church often go through times of testing. Can we still reach those in need when we ourselves are experiencing setbacks from lending a helping hand?

In this interview, Bishop Juray Mora talks about being generous in times of testing and in times of abundance.

Can we bless others in any situation?

In times of testing, the purpose of God does not change. Even in times of abundance, the purpose of God does not change. We’re still called to be channels of God’s grace. It all starts with a desire to be used by God. God can still use us no matter how difficult our situation is. He can use us to be a blessing, proclaim the gospel, or reach out to someone, whether we’re on top of the world or whether we’re on the bottom.

In times of testing,
the purpose of God
does not change.
Even in times
of abundance,
the purpose of God
does not change.

How can we be in faith in times of testing?

Through years of reading Scripture, praying, and walking with God, I realized that the best way to respond to God is by faith. It’s through trusting God’s Word. If faith is not there, then I really don’t have a solution. This helped me realize that I should choose the path of faith. When my situation is overwhelming, I have a choice to trust someone who is bigger, more powerful, and more loving than anyone or anything I know.

The option to choose myself is always there, too. My limitations and incapacity are right before me always. Through the years, I experienced falling down many times, trying to find solutions my own way, and getting to a place of desperation where I already tried everything. In the past, I ended up praying, “Lord, sinubukan ko na. Wala talaga.” Then after getting to that point, I see God walk me out of the situation. He showed me why I had to go through the time of trying everything. But why not just go straight to God from the very beginning? You can ask Him for wisdom, strength, and solutions.

How should Christians respond to poverty?

The Scripture in 2 Corinthians ministers to me and challenges me. It talks about the Macedonian church. In trial and poverty, they still welled up in rich generosity.

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. (2 Corinthians 8:1,2)

That’s an encouragement and a challenge to you as well. Your poverty or trial is not a hindrance for God’s grace to flow through you and touch others. Sometimes, we have our eyes too much on ourselves, and we think it’s the end of the world. But when we start to look at others and allow God to use us, we begin to realize how blessed we are and how much God can still use us. When we allow God to use us as a channel of His grace, there will always be more than enough that will be left for our own needs. At least that’s my experience. That keeps me going despite the difficulty we are facing.

“Your poverty or trial
is not a hindrance
for God’s grace
to flow through you
and touch others.”

Many years ago, my wife and I realized how powerful it is to be used by God to help others in a time of financial difficulty. We decided to set aside a certain amount every week, then we would pray and ask God, “Lord, somebody needs help. Somebody may need this amount. Lead us. Show us who. Show us where. We’ll take it there.” When we don’t get any leading from the Lord that week, we double the amount the next week.

I’ll never forget a time when I met a pastor from another church in our city. He drove a pedicab during the day to augment his income because his church was really poor. One day, I knocked on his door at 7:30 a.m. after bringing my son to school. I gave him a certain amount of money, and he looked at me with a shocked expression. He said, “Pastor, I just finished praying. I just asked God for this amount so I could pay my electricity bill, which is about to be cut off.” When I realized that, I got so excited. I went home and told my wife. “We heard God, and He used us to be a blessing.”

It’s amazing that our needs are met the same way, without us telling anyone and advertising our needs. Some people would call, text, and show up to the house saying, “The Lord told me to give you this.” It’s amazing how God has provided for our needs as we allow God to use us as a channel as well.


Bishop Juray Mora oversees our pastors as the director of Victory Ministers Association. He also serves as a preacher in Victory Ortigas. He has been married to Deah for 27 years, and they continue to believe God for greater things with their six kids—TJ, Iya, Sophia, Juliana, Celina, and Raymund.

Beyond the Series is a set of interviews with Victory pastors on topics related to our sermon series.

Read the continuation of this interview here!