This is a sequel to my last article entitled: “The Blessing of Paying Tithes and Giving of Offerings” published last Saturday, March 22, 2014.
After I have taken my oath as a new lawyer in January 1963, my former professor Atty. Jose R. Ebro, Jr., came to buy an electric set from the company where I was working as stenographer typist and where I was groomed to be promoted shortly as Asst. Credit & Collection Manager. I was enjoying a good income and perks, so I felt I was in a comfort zone, especially because of my forthcoming promotion. He asked me, with great wonder, “What are you doing here?” Of course, I told him the truth. I remember, in my college days, I was his favorite student, and the feeling was mutual. He encouraged me further by saying: “You are a probable bar topnotcher”. To cut a long story short, I graduated at the top of my class. When he saw me about three months from my passing the bar exam, he said, “This is not your place, you ought to go into private practice. Join me in my law office, I’ll give you PCIBank as your retainer, and give you an allowance of P300.00 a month for managing my law office at Philamlife Bldg.” Philamlife Bldg. was then a very nice and attractive only concrete building in Davao City, besides the old ANTWEL Bldg. at Sta. Ana, Davao City.
Due to my previous experience in the prestigious Abellera Law Office where I was the steno-typist for 3 ½ years, and knowing that out of my notarial and retainer’s fee at the Rural Bank of Tagum (now a City), there is a lot of money in law practice and in banking, especially because PCIBank is a commercial bank with branches all over the Philippines. I grabbed the opportunity. Indeed, I found it a lot better and was in my “proper place” to put it bluntly. This, to me, was a manna from heaven.
Since out of my income from the Rural Bank of Tagum I was able to build a house adjacent to our church (Foursquare Gospel Church), upon my invitation to my uncle, then Capt. in the Davao City Police but was a Colonel upon his retirement, he accompanied me to hear personally the Pastor of the Church (Rev. Thelmo C. Bringas) who is now a pastor in California, U.S.A., deliver his sermon because his voice was like that of Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos, my “idol” in law and in politics.
Upon the invitation of the Director of the Halls of Life Bible College (HLBC, henceforth), the Bible College of Foursquare Gospel Church, and Rev. Elvie Carbajosa, both of whom were my Sunday School teachers, I attended the Sunday School class for professionals. I enjoyed the class such that I was always present and actively participating in the discussions. I was just like Nicodemus of the Bible who was asking questions, but my teachers were not offended at all. In fact, my teacher Ma’am Elvie encouraged me to enroll at HLBC. She told me “if the Sunday School class is interesting to you, you will find more interesting the subjects at the HLBC”. Being then a relatively new struggling lawyer with not much cases and retainer clients to attend to, I accepted the invitation. Indeed, I found the study of the Bible very very interesting - - more interesting, very much more than the study of law. Because it involves the study of God’s law which I found to be the very basis of our human law, and more importantly, the salvation of the soul of man, not only how to make money!
In my Sunday school class, I learned the meaning of “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 KJV).
Since the time I came to know the Scriptures on how to receive blessing from God, and having put into practice the principles, from a struggling lawyer on my own efforts, my practice of law prospered gradually like what the prophet Isaiah said, “little by little” or “slow by slow” until like a mustard seed which is the smallest seed on earth when it becomes big enough, the birds will find shade in them.
The next principle I came to know is that to prosper, the Bible says, one must sow bountifully so the reaping will also be bountiful.
Thus, the Bible specifically says:
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Cor. 9:6 KJV)
When we give, to be a blessing, the Bible says:
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (vs. 7)
The promise of God is that the result will be:
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (vs. 8)
Grace will abound in the giver (Grace is unmerited favor). Meaning, one does not deserve it, but by the grace of God, nevertheless it is given to him (by grace) by God himself. Imagine, the promise is ALWAYS having ALL SUFFICIENCY in ALL THINGS, and ABOUND (sobra, sobra) to every good work. Meaning God will give the giver abounding good works to do. This means money! This is what everybody is looking for everyday. For some people, every night! Who wants plenty of money?
Applying the aforementioned scriptural principles, I gave unstinted, honest, and to the best I am capable, services to all my clients regardless of whether they can pay me or not, once I accept their case.
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (or Jesus Christ) and give voluntarily not grudgingly or out of necessity (not just because everybody is giving you will also give), and give cheerfully (walang sakit ng loob or puso). When God makes a promise, it will be fulfilled up to the last dot!
In summary, first, seek the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ first before anything else. In other words, the priority in all things is always, God and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, all others are secondary. Secondly, give voluntarily and cheerfully. The Bible says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38 KJV).
The greatest giver of all is God himself. “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). Nobody can outgive God! Imagine, the gift He gave is ETERNAL LIFE to all who will receive His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Who else can give such a gift? Of course, no one but God only and He alone.