In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him,
I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before,
so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill?
This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”
I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever!
Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins,
and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king,
“If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight,
let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me,
“How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?”
It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.
* What is your dream for your country?
* What is your prayer for your country?
* We laugh at Filipinos who makes something wrong.
* Never be comfortabe. Always be heartbroken.
* Not a romantic heartbreak
* When you are heartbroken, it means you truly loved.
* What does real love mean?
* Heart of Nehemiah
1. Big heart
Even if he was in Persia, his heart was left in Jerusalem
Een if he was already working with the emperor
Types of Heart
a. Small Heart – selfish people
– What is it for me?
b. Regular Heart – big enough to fit only special people,
whom they know, whom they love
c. Big Heart – his heart includes everyone
– Are we still moved by the suffering of others?
– 26% live below poverty line
– 3 out of 10 are hungry everyday
– If you want to have a big heart, it is always broken
– Never be comfortable
– You cannot hear God’s voice when your heart is not broken
– Have your role models – real heroes
2. Best heart
– He is excellent with his work
– Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
3. Bold Heart
– He did something about it
Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.
If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,”
but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
– What can I do right now?
– Start small
– Do something
– Let’s make disciples for Jesus
– Start now
– Be a helper in our own little way
1 Samuel 16:7
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height,
for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
* When the world rejects you, you’re in good company
* God calls you not for who you are but inspite of who you are
* God knows you better
* God likes working with underdogs
* God chooses the weak to shame the strong
* My God is my rock
* When your resources are down to nothing,
believe that God is up to something
And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites
into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’
Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid,
let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned,
and ten thousand remained.
But the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water,
and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you,
‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you,
‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water.
And the Lord said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps,
you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.”
And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men;
but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon,
“By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand.
Let all the other people go, every man to his place.” So the people took provisions and their trumpets
in their hands. And he sent away all the rest of Israel, every man to his tent, and retained those three hundred men.
Now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
It happened on the same night that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp,
for I have delivered it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go down,
go down to the camp with Purah your servant, and you shall hear what they say;
and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.”
Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outpost of the armed men who were in the camp.
Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts;
and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.
And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, “I have had a dream:
To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian;
it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.”
Then his companion answered and said, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash,
a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp.”
And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped.
He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.”
Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand,
with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. And he said to them, “Look at me and do likewise;
watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: When I blow the trumpet,
I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say,
‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’”
So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp
at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch;
and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands.
Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands
and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”
And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried
out and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion
throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia,[a] toward Zererah,
as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.
* 32,000 souldiers in the army of Gideon
135,000 souldiers in Midianites
-> Big dream but small resources
-> Sometimes, instead of increasing your resources, God decreases it
10,000 remained on the first test – those who are afraid must go home
300 remained after the second test- those who drank the water from their hands
* Why God removes resources
1. Intimacy – we get closer to God
Having no problems is a problem because your heart is closed
When with crisis, your heart becomes broken and it allows the grace
of God to come in
Bring humility in the heat of Gideon
Enemy of success – success itself – enemy is pride
The moment you succeed, you stop listening
Victory with humility
Humility is the greatest asset
Today it works, but there will come a time that it will not work
– have the humility to listen and to change
You are forced to change strategy because you have less resources
It’s a learning curve
When you start a business with less resources, you will be creative
When you have 300 men, would you be brave? You are ready to die
Are you ready to die for those dreams?
There is no choice –> either victory or death
* If you experience a pullback, you will gain energy, to reach your dreams
* Pull back for your comeback
* Decrease so that you can increase
* The lowest point of life is transformational
* Filipinos – have gone with som much disasters and catastrophes in life
– yet here we are, still happy, and hopeful
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
* Learn from mistakes, and it’s Ok to cry infront of God. He understands.
The world will tell you something else,
but God will tell you “You are my child and I love you.”
* Make allowance, create space
* There’s something unique with Filipinos
* 6 Filipino Virtues
– Proverbs 28:6
“Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”
– Proverbs 13:11
“Dishonest money dwindles away,
but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
– Proverbs 14:3
“A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them.”
– Proverbs 17:17
“A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
– Thessalonians 5:16
– Leviticus 19:32
“Stand up in the presence of the aged,
show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.”
– We put people before things.
– Judges 6:13-14
“‘Pardon me, my lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘but if the Lord is with us,
why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our
ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’
But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.’
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel
out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
– The Lord will say, “Just trust me.” He’s not just going with you, He is going ahead of you.
* Our suffering can turn out a big blessing.
* Failures are fertilizer for your success.
* Be responsible of your actions, but do the right thing.
* Trust in God
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
* Salt -> To preserve food -> Battle bacteria
* You are the salt
* In society there is a living bacteria -> unforgiveness, dishonesty, anger, bitterness, compromise
* You need to be opposite to fight the evil of society
* Preserve goodness of life
* Preserve life
* Stress -> result of wrongdoing
* Preserve other people’s life
* Don’t lose your saltness -> stay loving, stand firm
* Do not underestimate yourself by comparing yourself to others -> you are unique
* Bring out your goodness
* Have you given up on the Philippines?
* Never give up
“Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around
Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?””
* Do we know ourselves as Filipino?
* True identiry as Filipino
* Look beyond the person not just the flaws
-> God has a plan for each and everyone of us
* Maybe we have forgotten who we are as Filipin
* We have inferiority complex
* God made you just right
* Balance of brain and heart
* Filipinos have initiative and cooperation
-> They find a way
* Learn to celebrate our gifts
-> Fullfill God’s plan for you
* Be true to who you are
“The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite,
where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.””
* God has X-Ray Vision
-> On the inside, God saw courage
1 Samuel 16:7
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.””
* God sees who yu will be tomorrow
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh,
and I am the least in my family.”
* God likes woking with underdogs.
1 Corinthians 1:26-27
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.
Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential;
not many were of noble birth.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
* When God speaks, he cannot be wrong