Thursday, December 13, 2007

Joy (That Indescribable Feeling That Wells Up Inside Us)

Joy is different from happiness although to many, they may mean the same. Happiness is contingent upon the realization of a cherished goal or want. Happiness is an external manifestation of that feeling of elation over a positive development in one's life.

We may be happy because we hit the jackpot in a lottery, or we landed a big business deal, or our child won in a spelling bee contest in school, and so many other positive developments in our lives that give us that feeling of wellness and exuberance inside.

Not so with joy. Joy is from the Creator. It is the feeling of indescribable joy that is not contingent on any external circumstances or situations in one's life. One may be in the most miserable and dangerous situation in life and still be in the state of indescribable or overflowing joy. Why? Because indescribable or overflowing joy is anchored on the firm hope and faith of the believer in the promise of His Creator.

Have you ever thought about the reasons why the early Christians exuded that indescribable joy even though they were persecuted, crucified and fed to the lions by their Roman tormentors?

The frenzied mob that flocked the Coliseum during those times were awestruck by the stoic faith and calm in the faces of those Christian martyrs as they were mauled to death by lions, or were burned alive at the cross, or were mercilessly slaughtered by war toughened gladiators.

Expecting that the victims would be so hysterical and fight their tormentors to preserve their own lives, the audience were treated to a sight seemingly out of this world.

The Christians were looking up to heaven and were singing praise and worship to their Creator. Why? Because they were clinging to that cherished hope that they will be with their Creator in His blissful abode after their impending demise.

If we are at peace with our Creator and we know that we are walking in His will, then we have that same indescribable and overflowing joy in our hearts. No matter what the circumstances may be, we may be living in the most wretched situation, yet that same indescribable and overflowing joy will remain in our hearts until we see the day of our eventual deliverance and return to the bosom of our Creator.

Joy To The World

Posted by Mel Avila Alarilla

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pride Goes Before Destruction

What was the sin of Lucifer before he was cast out of heaven, and before he was thrown down to earth to become Satan? Was it not the sin of pride which caused him to rebel against God and His heavenly hosts (angels)?

Lucifer was the highest, the most intelligent and the most beautiful of God's creation. He was almost like God but was never God.

In his worship like admiration of himself and all his superlative attributes, self pride caused him to aspire to become God. He was able to win over his side, one third of the heavenly hosts and they rebelled against God and the remaining heavenly hosts.

The faithful heavenly hosts of God, led by a lowly archangel by the name of Michael, defeated Lucifer and his rebellious angels who became demons. (Lucifer ranked as the highest Seraphim, and the Seraphims are the highest rank among the hierarchy of angels in heaven. Seraphims and Cherubims are of the highest rank- the first order in the hierarchy of angels, while angels and archangels are on the third and lowest rank).

The worst enemy of man is pride. As the saying goes, "pride goes before destruction." Pride originates from a very high estimation of one's self. A proud man does not want to depend on God, but wants to stand on his own two feet alone. In fact, he rebels against God's authority over him and does not want anybody to reprove him when he does something wrong. The poetic line from the poem "Invictus" characterized him most. "I am the captain of my ship, I am the master of my soul."

This is in direct contrast to God's admonition to man when He declared, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

We can see the example of king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in the Book of Daniel. Seeing the splendor and grandeur of his mighty kingdom, he praised himself and attributed all of those to his own glory. He was not yet finished declaring himself to be glorious when God struck him and made him to become lunatic, acting like a beast of the fields and partaking only of dew and grass for his sustenance. Not after seven years had elapsed, and only after acknowledging God's sovereignty over him, did God restore him to his sanity and his kingdom.

Hitler prided himself that he will develop a superior Aryan race and will establish a new world order with him as lord of the world. He was soundly beaten in World War II and committed suicide in his own bunker.

Saddam Hussein, who prided himself as the second Nebuchadnezzar who would bring back the lost glory of ancient Babylon, was caught like a rat in a solitary bunker, sentenced to death and was hanged before his own people.

We can go on and on with our examples. Men who defied God and established their own proud existence were severely punished and were humiliatingly brought down to their knees.

James 4:6b says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." God loves those who are of a humble heart but abhors those who are proud in their minds. In fact, God gave these three attributes as His most admired ones, and humility was at the top of the list. Isaiah 66:2b says, "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word."

You want to please God? Humble yourself before Him and acknowledge His sovereignty over your life. Remember, pride goes before destruction.

Posted by Mel Avila Alarilla

"Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7b)


Please click here:


Tingnan ang buong laki ng larawan

Hear Il Divo's Amazing Rendition of Amazing Grace at the Coliseum in Rome, Italy

Please click here

Divine Providence