Saturday, December 22, 2012

No Other Way

            I never understood, when I was a child, how the death of Jesus Christ in the cross of Calvary saved sinners from eternal damnation and be in hell to suffer forever.

This idea challenged me, so I tried to discover it myself. Being born with Christian parents, I went to church with them, just “following” them, especially because my father who was a public school teacher (a principal) was a very strict disciplinarian. He stands by the military principle “obey first before you complain”. During World War II, he was a guerrilla lieutenant. In those days, to be an army officer, even just a lieutenant, was a very high rank in our Philippine society. The word of my father was a law in our home that everyone of us, his children, must obey or suffer punishment. I thank God for my very strict father. I am what I am because of the strict discipline he imposed upon me.

From elementary to high school, though I was literally “compelled” by my father to attend Sunday school, I never discovered how the death of Jesus Christ in the cross of Calvary can save sinners from going to hell. I never saw or understood any connection between the crucifixion of Jesus and my being saved from eternal death because of my sins. The numerous teachers I had never explained the matter. Even after becoming a lawyer, I did not know and discover the answer to that $64 question in my mind.

In my earnest quest for the answer to that $64 question lingering in my mind and heart, upon the encouragement of my Sunday School teacher, I attended Sunday School class in our church. The teacher was so good and brilliant that every lesson was so interesting that I can’t wait for Sunday to come. And I was not satisfied with just a Sunday school class which my teacher must have observed that she recommended that I enroll in Bible College. I enrolled and found studying the Bible very interesting. I also discovered that the Philippine human laws that I studied are also found in the Bible. By God’s grace, I finished the three-year ministerial course, and I became a Sunday School teacher myself.

From the Bible and my Bible School instructions, I have learned that because of the LOVE of God for his human creation after his likeness and image, he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that everyone who receives and accepts him as such, shall have eternal life (John 3:16). I have learned that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (or remission) of sin” (Heb. 9:22). Jesus Christ made that supreme sacrifice of voluntarily shedding his blood in the cross of Calvary. This was the means by which He purchased or redeemed us from our sin or eternal death, by shedding his own precious blood (1 Pet 1:19). This is what the Word of God exactly says, “Forasmuch as ye knew that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you” (1 Pet 18-20 KJV).

The Bible tells us also, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 KJV).

My friends, my point is: There is no other way to be saved from the second and eternal death, except by knowing intimately and accepting in our heart, soul and spirit Jesus Christ as our only Savior and Lord, and confessing to him our sins in which he said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us from ALL our unrighteousness”. Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:16 KJV).

(FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Weekly Bulletin, December 22, 2012)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Acid Test Of A Righteous And Wicked Person

       How would we know that a person is righteous or wicked?

We will first define who is considered righteous. A righteous person is one who is a true believer of Christ as the only begotten Son of God, but still a sinner, for the Bible tells us that no one is sinless. It says bluntly that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “The LORD look down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy (stinking); there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:2-3).

This is reiterated in Psalm 53:2-3, as follows: “God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God. But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!” (NLT). But when one hears the gospel (Good News of salvation by grace through believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and his Savior from sin) everything becomes new; old things become new. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature’s old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). He has been born again. He is saved by grace (or undeserved favor from God) through faith in Jesus Christ. So then, a righteous man is a believer of Christ (God in person); a sinner saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-9).

One of the acid test of the righteousness of man is his manner or way of handling money. A righteous man (sinner save by grace) avoids borrowing, or if he borrows, he can’t sleep well if he is unable to repay. He is always thinking of paying his indebtedness, and he strives hard until he is able to pay. He is the one described in 2 Cor. 5:17 quoted above. The scripture also says: “Owe no man anything but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8).

On the other hand, a wicked person, borrows money but never intends to repay at all. He steals under the guise of borrowing. In Tagalog, “pagnakaw na harap-harapan” (In English, borrowing by robbery). Don’t misunderstand me. Not all borrowers are wicked persons. It is only the one who borrows and has no plans to pay at all.

This is how he Bible describes the acid test of determining who is righteous and never repay, but the godly are generous givers” (Psalm 37:21 NLT). The King James version (KJV) which is the version nearest to the original Greek word, is like this: “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth”.

A certain lawyer has a Chemical Engineer-client who had a younger brother, a Mechanical Engineer. The brother borrowed a substantial amount – more than a hundred thousand pesos from the Chemical Engineer-sister, and when payment was sought, he ignored to pay, saying: “salâ nimo kay nganong nagpahuram ka” (It is your fault why you lend me your money). The lawyer read to his client the King James version of Ps. 37:21, which says, “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth” (Psalm 37:21 KJV), and the client remarked was: “Tinood gyud na Atty. kay pila na ka beses naghulam sa ako ang akong manghod, ug wala gyud siya nagbayad bisan usa ka centavo” (In English, that is true Atty. for my brother borrowed from me several times and he never paid any single cent).

The brother died last Sept. 30, 2012 with heavy indebtedness to lawyer’s client and to many other individuals and business establishment. Be wary of a borrower who is wicked!

(FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Bulletin, November 17, 2012)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Danger Of Showing To Strangers Our Material Treasures

           There is a remarkable story of King Hezekiah who became ill and was at the point of death. He has prayed fervently to the Lord to heal him, and God heard him, and had added to his life fifteen years. But he committed a colossal blunder which cost the captivity of his kingdom by a foreign power. The story as recorded in the canonized Bible is found in 2 Kings 20 and 24. It pertinently relates:
“1In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the Word of the Lord came to him: 5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the King of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.”
7Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice (lump) of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered.
8Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?”
9Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?”
10“It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.”
11Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.”

           The healing of King Hezekiah was so marvelous that it was published to the known world at the time, when Babylon was then the world power. The Bible further records:
“12At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness. 13 Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouse—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”
“From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came from Babylon.”
15The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”
They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”
16Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the Word of the Lord: 17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 18 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” (2 Kings 20:12-18 NIV).

              The fulfillment of the Word of God given through the prophet Isaiah came to pass as recorded in 2 Kings 24:12-18:
“In the eight year of the reign of the king of Babylon, he took Jehoiachin prisoner. 13 As the Lord had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord. 14 He carried all Jerusalem into exile: all the officers and fighting men, and all the skilled workers and artisans—a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left.
15Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother, his wives, his officials and the prominent people of the land. 16 The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand skilled workers and artisans. 17 He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah.”

As aforementioned, God has raised King Hezekiah from a bed of death, giving him a new lease of life for fifteen years. The visit of the Envoys or Ambassadors of the Babylonian King to Hezekiah was a test of his humility, gratitude and devotion to our God Almighty. The Babylonians had heard of his wonderful recovery. The King of Babylon sent messengers to Hezekiah to express his amazement and awe at the miraculous and awesome power of his God and to congratulate him on his remarkable recovery. The visit of these Envoys gave him an opportunity to extol our God Almighty to high heaven. But instead of exalting the God of heaven for his wonderful healing, his pride and vanity took possession of his heart, and instead in his self-exaltation and boasting, he laid open to their covetous eyes all the treasures with which God had enriched His kingdom and his people… Consequently, the report of the Envoys to their King centered on Hezekiah’s kingdom riches instead of his miraculous healing, and the King and his advisers moved them to plan to rob the treasures of Hezekiah’s kingdom to enrich Babylon.

Had Hezekiah took the opportunity given him to extol and bear witness to the power, the goodness, and the compassion of the one true God in healing him, the report of the Envoys would have been only on his miraculous and wonderful healing. But he magnified himself above the Lord of hosts and failed to give God all the glory. Compounding his mistake, King Hezekiah volunteered to show to total strangers all the material treasures and riches of his kingdom which ignited the covetousness and envious ambition of the King of Babylon.

The situation is somewhat similar to what precipitated Japan to invade the Philippines during World War II in its desire to acquire dominion over it because President Manuel L. Quezon magnanimously allowed some Japanese officials to acquire the fertile lands in Mindanao which is flowing with milk and honey, so to speak, particularly in the Province of Davao, which the Japanese people envied beyond measure. But our God had other plans for the Philippines. He used the Americans through President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gen. Douglas MacArthur to liberate the Philippines from Japanese imperialism. This and our national independence for which our national heroes fought so hard is our everlasting legacy from the Americans who equally sacrificed a lot in terms of the lost lives of their soldiers. To God be all the glory!

The Ministry of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International is primarily to relate in humility our wonderful experience on how our God had miraculously healed us physically and marvelously prospered us materially, physically and spiritually and in our businesses and vocations, giving God thanksgiving and all glory and honor. In this way others especially the unbelievers, will be attracted to our God thereby paving their conversion to Christianity by the Holy Spirit, not by our own efforts. But how often those for whom God worked miraculously are like King Hezekiah—forgetful of the Giver of all their blessings and instead in their pride, exalt themselves above measure. Like in the case of King Hezekiah, his kingdom was robbed of its riches and treasures by those who do not fear God. God forbid. Let us cling to Him who is our all in all at all times.

(FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Bulletin November 20, 2012)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Is Everyone Guaranteed A Resurrection?

In the book of Job, a question was asked: “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come”. (Job 14:14 KJV).

The correct answer to the question is “Yes”, based on the dialogue between Jesus Christ and Martha. Jesus said to Martha when he visited Lazarus who died four days earlier. “Thy brother shall rise again” (John 11:23) to which Martha said to him, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (vs. 24). Jesus did not correct what Martha said, but instead he remarked, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (vss. 25 and 26). Obviously, the Lord Jesus was referring to spiritual life, not physical life, which is affirmed by what he said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Again, he is referring to spiritual life, not physical life. How can we have eternal life?

Again, the Lord Jesus emphasized, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my Word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life” (John 5: 24 KJV).
Significantly, the second phrase of Job 14:14 says, “all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come”. This is reinforced by Job 19:26 which says, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God”. In Psalm 17:15, which is a prayer of King David, the prince of all psalmists, he said, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness”. Meaning when the believer resurrect or live again, he will have a glorified physical body like that of the Lord Jesus when he resurrected from the grave.

Obviously, the second phrase of Job 14:14 refers to rapture at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke of his second coming in John 14:1-3 when he said, “Let not your heart be troubled: Ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. Then, He (Jesus) concluded, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also (vs. 19).

On the other hand, Apostle Paul said:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (or precede) them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:13-17 KJV)

The Lord Jesus said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28-29 KJV). The latter mentioned to be resurrected shall be thrown in the lake of fire, or hell. This is the second death. That is, those who have not repented of their sins; they have not accepted Jesus Christ as their only Savior; those that do not confess or acknowledge their sins shall not be forgiven. The promise of the Lord to the believer-sinner is that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 KJV). “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him (Jesus Christ) a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10 KJV). Why, because it is written, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

In the teleserie, “Walang Hanggan”, the ending of the love story of Daniel and Katerina, was that they both died and resurrected and in heaven they were together joyous and loving and enjoying the company of each other. Notably, the doctrine of the Lord Jesus as to what life will be in the second life in heaven is written in Matt. 22:23-30 (KJV). The doctrine is completely stated thus:

23 The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:
26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.
27 And last of all the woman died also.
28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matt. 22:23-30)

Angels are sexless. They therefore do not feel the urge for sex as ordinary human beings do. This could be the very reason why they do not marry. Many wives and some husbands do not marry for the second time after the death of their spouse, because they say, it is troublesome to be married. Although some, especially men, get married again. Because the action is on earth, no longer in heaven. The atmosphere in heaven is different from the earth. It is a place of paradise. Inhabitants of paradise/heaven do not have the trouble of making money for a living. They just pick the fruit of the tree of life for their food. They do not need any transportation, inasmuch as they can go any place they want to, like Jesus Christ and the angels. They will just appear suddenly when necessary, so no one will boast he rides in a Mercedes Benz or Rolls Royce, etc. Everybody is equal. No more sickness, so no physician is needed; no more evil people, so there is no need for lawyers. No one engages in business anymore, so there is no need for accountants or managers or clerks. Everybody is like an angel—messengers/servants of God, and always fellowshipping with God forever – without end. The choice is ours: when we resurrect will we want to be in heaven or hell?

(FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Bulletin, November 3, 2012)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Most Important And Greatest Job In The World

What is the most important and greatest job in the world? – To tell others about God’s love and to show them the love of Jesus (God in person).
Jesus was loving, kind, sympathetic, patient, and forgiving, always leading and feeding and encouraging and strengthening the Spirit of His disciples and other followers. He was the greatest of all examples of love, compassion, humility, kindness, patience, mercy and forgiveness that no human being in the past, present and future can equal. This is best illustrated in the following actual happening and true story related in the gospel as written by the Apostle John:
As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-11 NLT)

The Bible tells us, “And if any man sin, we have an advocate (lawyer in our modern language) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1 KJV). As an advocate, he wins all his cases, for he died on the cross on behalf of his clients and took to himself the penalty for their sins. No human lawyer can equal him as an advocate dying for the crime (or sin) committed by his client.

In the above related story, not parable, here was a woman accused of committing a crime which under the Law of Moses, was punishable by death by stoning including the man (Lev. 20:10, Deut. 22:22). Notably, however, the accusers also “violated the Law of Moses” by not bringing and accusing also the man before Jesus, although the woman was definitely guilty because she was “caught in the act”. But disregarding technicality, because of his love, compassion and mercy to the sinner, but not violating the Law as given through Moses, Jesus said “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. Since “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), no one cast any stone, and being conscience–stricken, one by one beginning from the oldest to the youngest went away, until the woman and the Lord Jesus were the only ones left. The Lord Jesus forgave the woman but significantly said, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” He did not condemn but forgave although he did not also condone the sin. What a beautiful solution to a very difficult problem! Jesus was a problem-solver to the satisfaction of all concerned. That is why human lawyers should not be condemned for lawyering for the guilty criminals if in the process they do not violate the law just like what Jesus did. They are just helping solve a problem which is their job as advocate.

There are a lot of other people who need to know Jesus and his extraordinary virtues. After declaring that “all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” he gave the so-called Great Commission to his disciples which include all his followers and believers, as follows:

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 2819-20 NIV)

We can “teach” by example in our way of life, not necessarily by actually “lecturing” to people personally, or we can write ecclesiastical articles in our Saturday Bulletin, if God has endowed us with the gift of writing like the Apostle Paul who authored 13 books of the New Testament and the other Gospel writers. In this modern age of advance technology of internet, website and blogs, in an instant, a writing can be read all over the world. These are, in a manner of speaking, also part fulfillment of the Great Commission--the believers’ most important and greatest job to do. And we can do this without resigning from or abandoning our chosen profession or career, or vocation or business endeavor. We can do it “on the job” as opportunity arises as we do our business, or as already said above, in our way of life.

Speaking of “gift” which basically means spiritual gifts like the “ability gifts” enumerated in Romans 12:4-8 (prophecy, ministry, teaching, preaching, or exhortation, giving [benevolence] rulership or leadership). Also the gifts spoken of in Eph. 4:11 like apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Likewise the spiritual gifts mentioned in 1Cor. 12:4-11 like word of wisdom; gifts of healing; the working of miracles; prophecy; discerning of spirits; diverse kinds of tongues; interpretation of tongues. Each believer has at least a gift and that should be used to serve others and the kingdom of God faithfully. And “if anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God” (1 Peter 4:10). And above all, to be effective servant of God, “He should walk his talk”.

The Good News as written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John will show us how Jesus, excellently and beyond measure, performed His mission as Messiah. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and healing all that were oppressed by the devil; for God was with him and with power: who went about everywhere doing good (Acts 10:38 KJV). The life of the master teacher who examples love and sharing, who came for love of the human soul, and lived in love and died for love of the sinners that we all are, that we might live and love God and our brothers and sisters in eternity. The human soul who is endued with the most wonderful emotion of love will realize how most wonderful to be and live in heaven forever with our God where LOVE is the prevalent mode.

The teachings of the LORD Jesus are the most beautiful, inspired, instructive and encouraging part of the Bible. He was very loving, kind, gentle, tender, compassionate, gracious, merciful and a peacemaker; He did not force anyone to believe on Him or to love Him. He wants all acts done on voluntary basis (Rev. 22:17). He wants our acts of love, benevolence and worship to be done on “whosoever will” basis (Rev. 22:17).

Nothing is more important to God the Father and so with His only begotten Son, than the immortal souls of men, the last and highest and very special and perfect creation who created man, in His own words, “after our image, after our likeness", on the sixth day (Gen. 1:26). He sacrificed His only begotten Son to save souls of men by the latter’s shedding his own precious blood in the cross of Calvary inasmuch as he has decreed that “without shedding of blood there is no remission or forgiveness of sin” (Heb. 9:22).

The souls that we win to Jesus will be our “brothers” and “sisters” and treasures in heaven, and these will be thankful to us for all eternity because we told them about the love of God and His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and SAVIOR and only way to heaven, the very and most special place prepared and reserved for all true believers.

It is very difficult job to do, but as faithful followers, let us strive to be like Jesus, and when He comes for the second time, or theologically speaking (second coming of the Lord Jesus) we are assured of a mansion in heaven for eternity, enjoying the tree of life as food for all seasons which again He has prepared and reserved for all true believers (Rev. 22: 2&14).

Being adopted children of God, the believer shall enjoy the same rights and privileges of His only begotten Son who is at the right hand of God the Father in heaven interceding for all believers for eternity (Romans 8:34; Psalm 110:1; 1 John 2:1; Rom. 8:15-16; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). Under the human laws (particularly in the Philippines) which laws originated from the Romans, then from England and the United States, as is very true in the spiritual world, the adopted children have the same inheritance, rights and privileges as the original or biological children.
Then, shall come to pass what the Bible said, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:3-4 KJV).

Join now, today, to do the most important and greatest job in the world. This is the very best in life. Join Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International in your city or locality.

(FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Bulletin, October 27, 2012)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Christlike Leadership Qualities

            Some people are endowed by God with leadership qualities. What are some of these basic qualities?

The greatest leader of all times is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ. His leadership is beyond compare. Let us dissect some of the outstanding leadership qualities of the Lord Jesus.

Jesus was a problem-solver. Remember that it is written “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble [or problem] (Job 14:1). There is no person on earth who does not have a problem. It could be a big problem or small one, but it is a problem. The number one problem of any human being is how he can attain eternal life (or salvation). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6). How can Jesus help someone to attain eternal life?

The Apostle John said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV). “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 KJV). And this is the ABC of salvation: Acknowledge that you are a sinner, and that you cannot save yourself even though how good you believe or assess you are; Believe that only Jesus Christ is your savior; Confess or admit that you are a sinner, and you need Jesus Christ as your only savior.

The number two problem of man is food, shelter, clothing and the other necessities of life. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the things you have need of shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33). The righteousness of God is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:30). “He (God) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21 KJV).

There are a thousand and more problems of man, but God (Jesus Christ in person) can solve all these problems. So, a person needs only to be connected with Jesus Christ (God in person) to solve these problems of life. “The righteous (or believer) cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17 NIV). “The righteous man (believer) may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; (vs. 19).

The Lord Jesus Christ was knowledgeable of the canonized Scriptures. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

The greatest book on earth is the Bible. It has outsold every book. It is the Book of God. Whatever this book says, goes, and it will surely and inevitably come to pass. “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the earth, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18 KJV), said the Lord Jesus.

When the devil tempted Jesus, he quoted scriptures in answer (Luke 4:4, 8 and 12). The Word of God is powerful. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12 KJV).

The Word of God will build our faith in God. “So then faith cometh by hearing (or reading), and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17 KJV).

The Lord Jesus was full of wisdom. Wisdom is knowing or discerning between good and bad, and doing what is right. This was what Solomon asked of God when he assumed the Kingship of Israel at the very young age of 20, and God gave him what he asked, with bonus of a “large and understanding heart, riches and honor and long life, if you will walk in my ways, as your father David did walk” (1 Kings 3:9-14).

Jesus never hurried. “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for him:” (Psalm 37:7).

Impatience is costly. It cost King Saul his Kingdom which was given to David who was patient and courageous. We are living in an impatient generation. That is why we have fast foods, microwave ovens which will cook our food in a few seconds, instant coffee, etc.

Our greatest mistakes will happen because of impatience. We are always in a hurry. Accidents happen because of impatience. DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo met an accident because he was too in a hurry to go home. Great businesses do not happen overnight. The successful professional in terms of clientele and income do not happen overnight. Life is a marathon, not a 100-meter dash. Jesus refused to be rushed by the emergencies of others. Here is a vivid example.

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
(John 11:1-6, 21, 23, 43, 44)

Despite his love for his three very close friends, he did not rush to answer the call.

Skilled negotiators teach that waiting is an excellent weapon. Whoever is the most hurried and impatient usually ends up with the worst end of the deal. So, let us be Christlike, let us not hurry.

Successful leaders are patient, meek and humble. Moses was one, as the Bible says, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3) yet the Bible describes him “Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of the Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people” (Exodus 11:3). For forty years he was trained in the Egyptian palace. Having killed an Egyptian soldier in defense of a Hebrew citizen (defense of a stranger in our modern legal language) he was forced to leave Egypt and live in the wilderness for 40 years until God personally commissioned him to liberate the Hebrew people who were slaves in Egypt. He was 80 years old when he assumed the office of Liberator of the Hebrew people. He led the Hebrew people for 40 years.

Jesus constantly consulted his heavenly Father. “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14). In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus cried, “O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39). Jesus was prayerful and always consulting his Father.

Jesus was very brilliant, even more than a genius. No one could surpass him in brilliance and wisdom. He discussed sensibly with the doctors of laws even while he was yet a child, only 12 years old. But he was and remained humble.

Jesus delegated. Delegation is simply giving others necessary instructions and motivation to complete a particular task. The father-in-law of Moses told him to delegate, and Moses did (Exodus 18:17-26). Moses is one of the greatest leaders of old times, and he did not wear out but lived until the age of 120 years.

Jesus told his disciples to organize the multitude when he gave the loaves and fishes for distribution (Matt. 14:19). He sent his disciples to get a donkey (Matt. 21:2). He sent his disciples into cities to prepare for special meals (Mark 14:12-15). He did not do minor things which are time-consuming and which can be done by somebody else he can trust. Let us learn to delegate, so we will not wear out in our work, especially in our kingdom ministry.

Jesus offered incentives, or gave rewards. A successful leader reward those who help him succeed. “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:12).

David asked what rewards would come to him if he killed the giant Goliath. He was told he would never have to pay taxes to the kingdom again, and he would be able to marry the king’s daughter. He took five stones and killed the giant. He had motivation and an incentive.

During my term as President of our Chapter, I offered incentives of the best Bible available in Davao city as prize to the member who would be able to invite the most visitors and who will become members of our Chapter. Praise God for those fortunate recipients. By God’s grace I see them faithful in attending our fellowship. At the beginning of the term of President Jun Basalo, he gave an incentive of a 12K gold ring instead of a Bible. And it worked as shown by the increased number of our chapter’s membership. Engr. Eder Bacus won the prize. Praise God and to God be the glory for Engr. Bacus.

There are other qualities of leadership of Jesus Christ, but time and space would not allow me to expose them. The above-mentioned leadership qualities are enough for now.

This election day, may we be guided accordingly in choosing our leaders for this coming year 2013. God bless. To God be the glory.

In summary, a good religious leader is one meek, humble and matured in training like Moses, knowledgeable and skillful in the Word of God, approximating the Lord Jesus Christ only in a manner of speaking; full of wisdom and with a large and understanding heart like King Solomon; courageous like King David; with much patience like Job.
(FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Bulletin, October 20, 2012)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sanctification, Self-Sacrifice And Self-Control

            Both Old and New Testaments (The Holy Bible) talk about sanctification, sanctified, sanctifies, sanctify, which theological terms simply means “to cleanse or set apart for sacred use; to declare or make holy”. For example, “the Tabernacle (the place of worship of the Israelites in the wilderness during their escape from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan) shall be sanctified by my glory (Exodus 29:43). Then God said to Moses referring to the things to be used in the Tabernacle, “and thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy; whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy” (Exodus 30:29 KJV).

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul said, “God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and Holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom. As the Scriptures say, the person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord (Jesus) has done.” (1Cor.1:30 NLT). Theologically speaking, our spiritual union and identification with Christ results in our having God’s wisdom (Col. 2:31),  being acceptable to God (2 Cor. 5:21), being pure (1 Thes. 4:3-7) and having the penalty of sins paid by Jesus through the shedding of his precious blood in the cross of Calvary (Mark 10:45). Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission or forgiveness of sin (Heb. 9:22).

If the soul is to be purified and ennobled and made fit for the heavenly courts, there are three lessons to be learned – sanctification (set apart for sacred use), self-sacrifice as exemplified by Jesus  who for the salvation of our soul, voluntarily gave up himself to be crucified in our instead as wages or payment for our sins, and self-control (our human nature drives us to do or say it but by the power of the Holy Spirit we desist from doing or saying it) which is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22).  Some learn these important lessons more easily than do others, for they are exercised by the simple discipline the Lord gives them in gentleness and love.  Others require the slow discipline of suffering, that the cleansing fire may purify their hearts of pride and self-reliance, of earthly passion and self-love (in one word selfishness), that the true gold of character may appear, and that they may become victors through the grace (underserved favor) of Jesus Christ. 

The love of God will strengthen our soul, and through the virtue of the merits of the blood of Christ we may stand unscathed amid the fire of temptations and trials; which abound in this valley of tears and joy, as it is written, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). Jesus was born of a woman, so he had plenty of troubles culminating in the cross of Calvary on our behalf. Indeed, more serious troubles than ours. But thanks be to God, for he also said, “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous (believer), and his ears are open unto their cry (Psalm 34:14); The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delibereth them out of all their troubles (vs. 17); Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all” (vs. 34:19).

Most of our troubles, like sickness, shelter, food, clothing, and all other comforts in life like owning cars, TV sets, cellphones, etc., could be solved with money.

Wise King Solomon, in his old age after gaining vast experience in life, said: “A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things” (Eccl. 10:19 KJV). Yes, except salvation of our soul which cannot be bought with money. It is absolutely free! Only believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and only Savior and accept or receive Him in your heart. In this sense, rich and poor, man or woman, children or adult, white, yellow, brown or black people are equal.

No other help can avail to save us from eternal suffering in hell but Christ and Christ alone, our righteousness, who is made unto us wisdom and sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). 

True sanctification (or belonging to God) is nothing but to love God with all the heart, to walk blameless in His commandments and ordinances.  If we don’t love God, in the first place, who has loved us first (1 John 4:19), we will be looking for someone else other than God, because man having been created by God with the sweetest and most wonderful emotion of LOVE, will surely look for someone to love who also will reciprocate. Solomon, a wise lover, said, “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it…” (Song of Solomon, 8:7 KJV). In Cebuano dialect mixed with Spanish, (“Mapunggan pa nimo ang bahâ nunca ang gugma”).

But then the Bible also tells us, “as it is written there is none righteous, no not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:10-12; Psalm 14:2 KJV). That is why no one can boast that he is truly good and deserves to be in heaven. Only through believing with all earnestness and sincerity and accepting Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, as his LORD and SAVIOR in the heart can one be saved and enter heaven. Thus, the personal assurance of Jesus Christ is, “I am the way, the truth and the Life; no one cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6 KJV). One must believe this as ABSOLUTE truth to be saved and be with God in His kingdom. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 KJV). So, don’t look for ANOTHER way or PERSONALITY in heaven or on earth, for that is futile. You are just wasting your time and effort.

Sanctification is not an emotion, but a heaven-born principle or doctrine that brings all the passions and desires under the control of the Spirit of God;  and this work is done only through and by Jesus Christ our Lord and only Savior. As above stated, no one else can do this for us, and one must believe and accept in his heart Jesus Christ as his only Lord and Savior.

Spurious or fake sanctification does not glorify God, but leads those who claim it to exalt and glorify themselves. 

When the grace of Christ is implanted in the soul by the Holy Spirit, the possessor will become humble in spirit and will seek for the company of those whose conversation or manner is upon heavenly things, or are earnestly seeking God. These people, most of them by the way, are found in churches or fellowships or gatherings of believers. Praise God for the faithful members of our fellowship, they are these fortunate sanctified ones. Then the Spirit will take the things of Christ and show them unto us, and will glorify, not the receiver, but the Giver, our only true God (in person Jesus Christ).  If, therefore, we have the sacred peace of Christ in our heart, our lips will be filled with praise and thanksgiving to God (Jesus in person). Always being thankful to God, the GIVER of all things either good or bad for the moment, (Eph. 5:20), remembering that “in all things God will work for our (believer’s) own good” (Rom. 8:28).  Our prayers, the discharge of our duty, our benevolence or philantrophic attitude and utterances, our self-denial or self-sacrifice (attending to, or satisfying first, the needs of others before our own personal needs), will not be the theme or center of our thought or conversation, but we will instead magnify Him (God, Jesus in person) who gave all things and Himself for us when we were yet a sinner. As we praise Him in our heart and not only in our lips, we will have a precious blessing and blessing upon blessing in everything, and all the praise and glory for that which is done through our instrumentality as channels of blessing to others, without expecting any material thing in return, will be given back to God, the GIVER of all things in heaven and in earth (2 Cor. 9:8-15). The joy in our heart for being an instrument and a channel of blessing both material or physical shall be unspeakable - - beyond description in words. Praise be to God!

(FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Bulleting October 13, 2012)