The Lord is good all the time. “If anyone is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature; the old has gone, the new has come,” 2 Corinthians 5:17
This weekend was very interesting. We went to Las Vegas a day after the fight of Manny Pacquiao. JIL Church coordinated Pacquiao’s first crusade here in the States, and we were invited to attend at Riviera Convention Center.
The atmosphere was charged when the meeting started. Manny Pacquiao and his family came and he spoke to the crowd, sharing the love of God. Bishop Brother Eddie Villanueva introduced and prayed for the boxing champion. As people have seen the night before that Manny Pacquiao, a favorite of many, had a very good score by points, was expected to win when suddenly had received a controversial decision by the judges. He lost the fight, which to all including brother Eddie, was a gross injustice. People booed the decision of the judges as it was very clear that Pacquiao was ahead in that fight. It was a dissappointing time and according to the words of Brother Eddie, was an injustice and confirmed by the people that came to the convention center. It was a dissppointment to the followers of Pacquiao.
When his time came, Pacquiao showed peace in his countenance. He gave God glory when he said that he believed God has a purpose in everything. He would quote scriptures upon scriptures. He gave his personal testimony of how God has arrested him and changed him. He called his Bible Study “Pacman’s Bible Study.” He calls the Bible a “Manual for Life” and therefore he consults it. He exhorted the people to meditate on the Word of God. His favorite scripture, says Pacquiao, is Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall you meditate day and night; that you may observe to do it; then you shall make your way prosperous and then you shall have good success.” He challenges everybody to read the Bible and prosperity will come. He said that to meditate means to read it and memorize it and keep it in your heart. In that way even if you don’t have your Bible with you, you have God’s Word in your heart. That is what he is doing in his life now.
Pacquiao also gave his personal testimony. Before he became born-again, he had a dream. He was in the midst of a green, lustrous, and beautiful forest. He has never seen any place as beautiful as that forest Then he heard God’s voice like a thunder, strong, commanding and powerful. Then he saw earth as very small compared with the voice of God. God asked him, “why are you leaving me? Why are you getting farther and farther from me?” Then Pacquiao cried. He cried and cried and he was so sorry for leaving God. Then he woke up. He was sweating. He was crying. His face, his head, his hair, his pillow were wet. He questioned whether that dream was from God. Somebody had given him a bible. He began to read the bible. He then saw his dream in it and he believed that God spoke to him and touched him in that dream. That started him searching, living and changing his life according to the Bible. And now, he believes in God. He tries to obey His Word. He tries to change his way of life through the power of God’s Word. Before he had a hard time leaving his way of life. But now that he is reading the Bible and memorizing scriptures, he is overcoming the temptation of drinking, gambling and womanizing. He promised God that he would live for Him.
Brethren, let us all pray for Brother Manny Pacquiao. His relationship with God is real. As Bro Eddie has said, God will use pastors in their own ways. But in the last days, God will use icons to preach the Gospel and touch the world to hasten His Second Coming. God has a great plan for Manny Pacquiao. He already has experienced sufferings and persecutions because of his “faith.” Imagine being in the center of Las Vegas and preaching the Gospel and hitting the sins of gambling, drinking and immorality! Let us pray that God would strengthen Pacquiao and be preserved by the Lord to honor God and His Word.
God can use anybody to influence this world for JESUS CHRIST. We don’t have to be famous to be used for His glory. Let us be available for God and serve Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, and influence this world for God!
In Christ Alone,