On this section, we will be posting writings/essays solicited from our apostolic youth to inspire others. To start with, we will be posting selected materials from InsideOut with due acknowledgement. InsideOut is an official publication of the General Youth Division of the United Pentecostal Church International.
It is our objective, to have our talented Filipino young people write and share their stories, testimonies, inspiring articles to bless the church, the youth ministry in particular.
We welcome your contribution. Do share your essay or composition. Send it to any of the following:
- Written by Amber Huizar
- Category: InsideOut
- Hits: 1108
One’s youth could be looked upon as a clean slate, a new beginning. This is the time in which young people are looking to find their identity and purpose in life, not just secular, but spiritual as well. Yes, it is a time where flippant choices for a momentary pleasure or satisfaction can cost a lifetime of payback. However, youth also affords second chances.
I was raised in a pastor’s home by two godly and loving parents who instilled in me godly morals and values. My dad did not merely practice what he preached—he preached what he practiced. My dad is a man of integrity who lives out what he believes. My mother is a prayer warrior and has always been a role model for me to look up to.
At the age of twelve, the battle for my soul began. I began to like someone in the church my parents didn’t approve of. Of course, I didn’t understand their disapproval because all I could see was that he came to church. I thought that should be good enough, but my parents could see his lack of character. I broke the rules my parents made for me. I convinced myself I could control sin because I was a good girl. However, lines I thought I would never cross were crossed, and things I valued were lost.
I was left feeling broken and hopeless. I felt my life no longer had value. I felt that all of my wrong choices disqualified me from ever being used of God. That is, until I heard my mom praying. I thought I was alone in the house, but I heard something coming from upstairs. I made my way up the stairs and noticed the sound was coming from my parents’ room. The door was ajar, and what I saw would be forever etched in my mind. My mom was lying prostrate on the floor interceding for me. The carpet was stained with her tears. Hearing my mom battling in the Spirit for my soul made me realize there was still hope for me, because she still believed in me and was fighting for me.
During this rebellious period of my life, which lasted until I was seventeen, my parents didn’t focus on my failures or what I was going through—they focused on what I could be. They remembered hearing me when I was four years old praying in my closet. They remembered how sensitive I had always been toward God and how much I desired to be used by Him.
This is exactly how God sees the value of young people. It is not measured by their mistakes, but by their potential. God saw years down the road how He could use me, despite my shortcomings.
At the age of twenty, I became the first female youth pastor at my local church. I was privileged to lead a thriving youth group. Eight years later, I married my prince charming, and I experienced the joy of doing ministry alongside my husband. Five years after that, we became the associate pastors in Pasadena, California.
Throughout the Scriptures, we see the love God has for young people and how He used them in some of the most vital roles in the unfolding of His marvelous plan of redemption.
Let’s reflect upon some striking examples that demonstrate God’s confidence in youth. David, a young shepherd boy, used a simple stone and sling to destroy Israel’s greatest enemy, a Philistine giant named Goliath. Samuel, as a young boy, ministered to the Lord in the presence of Eli, and during that time, Heaven opened up and God’s voice was once again heard clearly. Joseph was hated by his brothers and sold into slavery. But God was using him as a providential instrument for the preservation of the Hebrew nation. A teenage girl named Mary was used to birth the Savior of the world.
In each of these cases it is evident how much confidence God places in young people to fulfill His purpose and plan. Also, these stories should remind us that young people—who are properly trained—are capable of courageous faith and considerable usefulness in God’s kingdom.
God not only strategically placed the above young people in the Bible days, but two thousand years later He is still raising up young people to fulfill His purpose in the last days. This is confirmed in Acts 2:17: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions.”
Young people are part of God’s plan for revival. It is our responsibility as parents, pastors, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, and so forth to recognize the potential in our youth. We must look beyond their present circumstances and see their potential and value to God’s kingdom. We must communicate our love and belief in them. It is imperative that we not overlook our Apostolic youth— their value is priceless. Finally, we must mobilize them to reach their God-given potential. God has strategically placed His young people on school and college campuses around the world where they rub shoulders with thousands of young people from different walks of life as well as different ethnic backgrounds. This is their mission field, and they can turn their world upside down.
(Article from Pentecostal Herald, March 2013)
- Written by Paul Jake Tolentino (UPC-Tondo Church)
- Category: InsideOut
- Hits: 1808
Advance His Kingdom – Fighting the War
Bro. Paul Jake Tolentino (UPC-Tondo Church)
“No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” Mark 3:27
The English word advance in the Merriam-Webster dictionary means the following:
verb / ad-vance / \əd-ˈvan(t)s\
: to move forward
: to move (someone or something) forward
But if you have background on war histories, battle strategies, and even the board game chess – you know that the word advance is also a common military term. In a military perspective, the word advance means the forward movement of a unit toward the enemy. So when we declare we are advancing His Kingdom, we just don’t mean we are progressing the cause of the Kingdom, or we are just moving forward for the kingdom. When we are advancing the kingdom, or furthering the kingdom, that actually involves marching against enemy lines, subduing enemy strongholds, pushing against enemy boundaries and seizing enemy lands. It is simply a declaration of an all-out-war.
So the truth is, advancing His kingdom is not just about spreading the cause, nor just moving forward and telling everybody it’s a joy to be a Christian. Advancing the kingdom means preparing, positioning and engaging yourself in a war of conquering territories.