Draw Near

God is never early nor late. He is always on time. He has a perfect plan for each of us as individuals and the world as a whole. 

In the book of Ecclesiastes, the author emphasized the times and the seasons for many things,  time for the sun to rise and a time for it to set. 

We all love it when God intervenes instantly. In the bat of an eye, a miracle or an answer to a prayer is given. However, there are times that we need to lean on God and trust Him that His answer will come on the most appropriate time. 

This is where we all need to learn to tarry in His presence. 

Learning to wait on God and enjoying being with Him in prayer teaches us a lot of things.

First, it allows us to put our complete trust in Him. God is indeed knowable but incomprehensible. His ways are not our ways. When we wait on Him, we acknowledge that His plan is what’s best for us. 

Next, waiting on God teaches us to enjoy spending time with Him in prayer. There are times when we struggle to pray for at least five minutes. One of the reasons for this is we only pray to get done with our prayer list. When we learn to commune with Him, we stop looking at prayer as a duty but more like a date, something we anticipate. 

This leads to our last point. Waiting on God develops our intimacy with Him. We stop focusing on what we can get from His hands, we start gazing on His face. We bask at His beauty. We begin longing for His voice, for Him to speak to us. 

Why worry when you can tarry in His presence? Why force His hand when we can commune with Him and talk with Him face to face? Draw near to God and you will find Him nearer, close enough to hear your heart beat.  

 


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Why Tarry?

The meaning of the word tarry means “to delay”, “to linger in expectation”, or “to wait”. It also means to abide or stay in or at a place. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tarry)

According to www.blueletterbible.org, this word appears in occurs 51 times in 50 verses in the KJV.

The idea of waiting is not new in the bible. Throughout time, God’s people have had periods of tarrying. Whether it involves waiting for an answer to a prayer or to simply spend a little more time with God, waiting on God always involves a reward. It is His pleasure to “reward those who diligently seek him”. Heb 11:6

Here at Jesus Reigns Ministries Vallejo, we have adapted to the culture of tarrying. Every quarter of the year, we set aside time to pray and fast as a congregation. We do our best to rally our JRM-Vallejo family to embrace the idea of spending time sitting at His feet and having either a conversation with Him or simply enjoying His presence.

So many things can be learned through tarrying. Please stay tuned for our next couple of entries focused on answers to the question, “Why tarry?”


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He is Alive, He has Risen!

The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the core of Christianity. Without this, Jesus was merely a man sentenced to death.

Moses was an instrument for Israel’s deliverance from the hands of Pharaoh, yet he died. David was a powerful warrior, yet he died. His son, Solomon, was among the wealthiest and the wisest in history, yet he died.

Here comes Jesus, whose life and death challenged a nation. His tomb was sealed and was guarded by soldiers. He spoke so much truth while he was alive that the high officials of the time conspired to sentence Him to death. There was one thing left to fully put his messianic claims to rest: He must remain dead.

Yet, He lived.

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

Jesus has risen from the dead. Death could not hold him down! We, the believers, rest on this truth: our Savior is alive! We feel our hearts burn when we communed with Him. His presence in our lives pushes us to know Him more and make Him known.

May we remain true to the reason why we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. This is not just another family day for parents to relax and the kids to have fun. This is the day we affirm our faith in the resurrection of Jesus. This is the day we remind ourselves how Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him: the reconciliation of man with God. Because of His resurrection, God is able to manifest heaven through us while we are on the earth.

Oh how He loves us!


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Darkness Can’t Conquer Light

During storms, some things are unavoidable. At one moment, we are inside the comforts of our homes, waiting for the storm to pass, then in the blink of an eye, we are covered in darkness — power outage.
 
It is amazing how quickly the darkness surrounds us in the absence of light. On the other hand, no matter how small the light is, as long as it stays lit, darkness cannot overcome it. John 1:15 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” 
 
It is not about the great darkness that surrounds us. It is about how long the light stays on. 
 
A simple encouragement for us today:
Overcoming is not about keeping the darkness away, it is about keeping the fire. 
 
Prayer:
 
Dear Lord,
Today, we ask for the courage not to fight the darkness but to keep ourselves on fire.
May our hearts be tender before You so that we may hear Your voice and walk on
Your ways. 
 
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen

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Loving Our City with Christ

Love is the core of Christianity. It is the center of what we do, why we exist, and why we persist.
In this year’s anniversary, we focused on rallying the church to “Love our City with Christ”. This is a call and a challenge for all believers to get out of our comfort zones and to intentionally go to the different corners of the city to demonstrate the Love of Christ.

Church Vision

It is our vision “To love our city with Christ; one person, one family and one community at a time”. JRM-Vallejo is a family of believers whose goal is to explore the love of Christ and share it to the world. From this vision statement, we can get three important things.

The Love of Christ

Embracing our vision is not about lining up activity after activity in hopes of increasing our numbers. To embrace our vision means to get soaked in the Love of Christ. It means that we find time to stay rooted and grounded in love. To love our city with Christ is to expand our hearts to receive greater measures of His love.

The Power of One

Another aspect of our vision is the unlimited possibilities of ONE. Throughout history, we have seen God single out men and women to address a spiritual crisis and bring revival. In fact, our leaders are examples of how God molds a person for a specific task that involves a lot of people.

To love our city with Christ means we honor and respect one another, the stranger, our neighbor – everyone. Everyone counts! We start appreciating each person as one whom God has lavished His love on. We see through immaturities hold up the destiny God has for each person.

The Ripple Effect
The thing is, each one has so much potential the possibilities are endless. Who knows, the next person you might witness to is called to reach unreached people groups in the world.

This is the time for us, JRM-Vallejo! Let us look for opportunities to demonstrate the love of our Savior. Little acts of kindness count! Find time in your schedule and be intentional about it. Shalom!


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Senior’s Life Group

Click this to watch the video.

It is such great joy to see the Senior’s Life group flourish through the efforts of our dear Ptra. Irenea Elec.

In one of their gatherings early this month of December, more than 30 residents gathered together to worship the Lord, listen to the preaching of His Word, and and enjoy fellowship with one another.

Special thanks to bro.Teddy Garcia, George Oyco for helping out on this event. A big thanks to ptra.Noreen Santos for sharing the Word of God that day.

Looking forward to a better and greater 2018 for our Seniors’ Life Group!  


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Wednesday Prayer Meeting

Every Wednesday at 7:30pm, the church gathers for a prayer meeting. This is the time we spend as a congregation to discover God’s heart through prayer and to stand in the gap  for our families, communities, cities and nations.
 
It is such pure joy to hear the chorus of believers praying and interceding. Believers agreeing in prayer is a powerful act. It is the promise of Jesus, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  Matthew 18:20
 
Our hope is for more people to realize the need for and the joy of prayer meetings. By joining believers in prayer, we not only lift up our voices in behalf of the people and institutions we pray for but we also strengthen our inner man through fellowship with the body of Christ. 
 
Here’s to more rooms filled with people praying! 

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Preparation and Planning for 2018

 
For most of us, the month of December marks the end of the year. This is the time we contemplate on the things that we have encountered, lessons we have learned and victories we have achieved.
 
For our leaders at JRM-Vallejo, the month of December means all of those things mentioned above and MORE.
 
On December 16, 2017, our Ministry Heads gathered to prepare and plan for 2018.  Different ministries and their heads presented their proposed Calendar of Activities for the coming year. The process was fun, exciting and inspiring. Seeing leaders act on their God-given roles and demonstrate their passion for their respective ministries  is a great motivation for the church.
 
During the meeting, different ministries worked together on their schedules, making sure no activities are redundant through  merging similar activities or giving up some weeks for other ministries to hold their events.
 
We have a great year ahead of us JRM-Vallejo! 
 
 
 
 

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Contentment: The Secret to Gratitude

The book of Psalms is filled with admonitions to “come to the Lord with thanksgiving” and to “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good”. The bible never lacked instructions for us to express our gratitude to the Father.

However, there are times when gratitude is our first reaction to situations we are in. It’s difficult to be grateful when our expectations are not met.How then can we be thankful when life seems difficult?

KEYWORD: Contentment

Paul has one thing to say about this:
“In ALL SITUATIONS I have learned to be content.”

It did not come naturally for Paul to be content; He learned it. He has adapted the habit of not letting the outward circumstances affect His internal attitude. In other words, being content is a state of the heart.

David has this one thing to say:

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.” -Psalm 27:4-5

The status of our “inner man” predicts whether our initial reaction is to trust that God knows what He is doing or to complain that things are not going as planned. 

For this reason,our goal to know Jesus enough to trust Him in all the things that are happening in our lives. We know that the “Pilot” has enough knowledge to navigate through the skies and bring us safe and sound to our destination.

Knowing Jesus intimately makes us content. Why? Because He satisfies. He is the Living Water. Those who drink from Him will never thirst again.


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Acknowledging God’s Faithfulness in Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and reflection on the goodness of God. It is “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.”

Throughout the Bible, we can see a pattern of public expression of gratitude. We see the people of God offer sacrifices before, during, and after major event in their lives.

Paul, in the New Testament, would exhort the churches and the believers to “always give thanks to the Father”; to make thanksgiving a crucial part of their prayers. Doing this not only acknowledges God’s favor in the lives of His people but also helps the believer to adapt a perspective that sees the move of God in one’s life – no matter what the circumstances are.

For the 19th of November Sunday Service, the church had a special offering. This was done as a gesture similar to that of the Old Testament tradition where the people of God offer the best parts of their harvest as an offering to God.

The church was encouraged to bring a portion of food, fruits, of any item that can be offered as a token of gratitude to God’s loving-kindness and faithfulness. These tokens represent the consciousness that without God’s favor, all our labor is in vain.

This thanksgiving season, let us make it a point to make the most out of our this season. Let us not forget to acknowledge God’s providence and faithfulness. Our “Abba” keeps His promises.

At the same time, let us also acknowledge the people in our lives who deserve a pat on the back or a warm hug. Let us remember our parents, our brothers and sisters, our mentors, our friends and colleagues, the community we belong to, and all the people in our lives who challenged us to grow, who comforted us in times of sorrow, and those who have loved us through all the phases of our walk with God.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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