Ibigin ang Kaaway

(From the sermons entitled, “Ibigin ang Kaaway” and “Ang Kaaway na dapat kapootan at ang kaaway na dapat ibigin, for dates July 3 and 6, 2014)

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Maraming mga aral at kautusan ang Panginoong Hesus na nahihirapang gawin ng isang karaniwang tao. Marami kasi sa mga ito ang taliwas sa karaniwang takbo ng ating kaisipan.

Kausap ng Panginoong Hesus ang Kaniyang mga alagad nang sinabi Niyang, “Narinig ninyong sinabi, Iibigin mo ang iyong kapuwa, at kapopootan mo ang iyong kaaway: Datapuwa’t sinasabi ko sa inyo, Ibigin ninyo ang inyong mga kaaway, at idalangin ninyo ang sa inyo’y nagsisiusig.” (Mateo 5: 43-44)

Paano natin magagawang ibigin ang kaaway na nanakit at nagdulot sa atin ng sama ng loob, kahihiyan, at hindi malilimutang karanasan? Magagawa ba nating magpakumbaba at limutin ang hinanakit at sama ng loob na naranasan? Magagawa ba nating magpatawad kahit na nasaktan tayo nang lubos?

Sa Biblia, hindi lahat ng kaaway ay dapat ibigin. Ang Diablo ay kaaway ng Dios, at hindi marapat na ibigin, manapa ay dapat na kapootan (Roma 12:9). Hindi natin dapat ibigin ang kaaway ng Dios na dumaya sa sanlibutang ito (Apocalipsis 12:9, 12).

Ang payo nga ng Biblia ay labanan nating may pananampalataya ang Diablo (1 Pedro 5:8-9). At dapat maging matalino tayo sa kaniyang mga lalang sapagkat tunay na ang puntirya ng kalabang ito ay ang mga lingkod ng Dios.

Sino ang kaaway na dapat nating ibigin?

Sa hindi inaasahang pagkakataon, nagkakaroon tayo ng kaaway sa ating buhay. Hindi naman lahat ng tao kapareho ng ating pagiisip at nagiging dahilan ito pagkaminsan ng hindi pagkakaunawaan.

Dahil dito, nauuwi sa away ang simpleng hindi pagkakaunawaan. At kapag lumala, nauuwi ito sa malalim na pag-aaway. Hindi pinaguusapan dito kung magkamag-anak o magkaibigan, dahil walang pinipili ang pag-aaway kapag ito ay bumangon.

Bilang mga alagad ni Kristo, tinuturuan tayong ganapin ang bahagi ng pagganap sa buong katuwiran (Mateo 3:15), at kasama dito ang matutunan nating “ibigin ang ating mga kaaway.”

Mahirap man gawin, subalit kailangan nating isipin na bahagi ito ng pagtalima sa utos ng ating Panginoong Dios bilang pagtugon sa pag-ibig sa kapatid (1 Pedro 1:22). Sapagkat kung hindi natin ito magagawa ay para na din nating ipinakita na hindi nananahan ang pagibig ng Dios sa atin (Juan 5:42).

Isa sa mga paraan upang madali natin itong magawa ay isipin nating nagawa nila ito dahil sa hindi nila alam ang kanilang ginagawa. Gaya ng mga nagsiusig sa mga unang Cristiano, inisip na lamang nilang inusig sila dahil sa kawalan ng pagkaalam sa kanilang pananampalataya (1 Timoteo 1: 13) Kaya’t naging madali para sa kanila ang mapatawad at ibigin ang mga nagsisiusig sa kanila.

Ano ang dapat nating ipakita sa ating mga kaaway upang magawa natin silang ibigin?

Sa halip na gantihin natin ng masama ay mabuti ang ating ipakita. Maaaring mahirapan tayong gawin ito sa pasimula, ngunit kung iisipin nating tayo’y mga anak ng Dios, madali nating magagawa ito.

Sinabi ng Biblia, “Kaya’t kung ang iyong kaaway ay magutom, pakanin mo; kung siya’y mauhaw, painumin mo:sapagka’t sa paggawa mo ng gayon ay mga baga ng apoy ang ibubunton mo sa kaniyang ulo. Huwag kang padaig sa masama, kundi bagkus daigin mo ng mabuti ang masama.” (Roma 12: 20-21)

Ang pagbubunton ng baga sa ulo ay isang kaugalian ng mga sinaunang Egipcio bilang pagpapakita ng pagsisisi sa kanilang nagawang pagkakamali. Ginamit ito ni Apostol Pablo upang ipakita ang kahihiyan na maaaring maranasan ng sinuman. Sapagkat sa halip na masama ay kabutihan ang ating ipinakikita sa kanila.

Sa halip na kamuhian, pagpapatawad ay dapat nating ilaan sa kanila. Sa halip na pagisipan ng kasamaan, kabutihan ang dapat nating ipakita. “Datapuwa’t sinasabi ko sa inyong nangakikinig, Ibigin ninyo ang inyong mga kaaway, gawan ninyo ng mabuti ang nangapopoot sa inyo, Pagpalain ninyo ang sa inyo’y sumusumpa at ipanalangin ninyo ang sa inyo’y lumalait.” (Lukas 6:27-28) 

At gagawin natin ang lahat ng ito, bilang tanda ng ating pagpapakababa at pagiging lingkod ng Dios.

Subalit, hindi naman nangangahulugan na magmukha na lamang tayong kawawa kapag tayo ay inaapi. Hindi natin magagawang umibig sa ating mga kaaway kung hindi muna natin magagawang ibigin ang ating sarili.

Ang unang hakbang sa pagibig sa kaaway ay unahin munang ibigin ang ating sarili, na ang kahulugan nito ay huwag naman tayong pumayag na abusuhin tayo ng ating mga kaaway. Ipakilala natin sa kanila na hindi tama ang kanilang ginagawang pang-aabuso o pang-aapi sa atin.

Kung magawa natin ito, ay saka pa lamang natin magagawang ipakita ang ating tunay na pagibig sa kanila, pagibig na hindi nakikigalak sa kalikuan.

Ano ang magiging biyaya ng pagibig sa kaaway?

Ang ganti ng kasamaan ay nasa mga kamay ng Dios. At ang ganti ng kabutihan ay nasa Kaniyang mga kamay din nakasalalay. Anumang kabutihang ipakita natin sa ating kapuwa, sa kaaway man o hindi, ay Dios ang magbibigay sa atin ng kagantihan.

Sinabi ng Biblia, “Kung ang iyong kaaway ay magutom, bigyan mo siya ng pagkain na makakain; at kung siya’y mauhaw, bigyan mo siya ng tubig na maiinom: Sapagka’t ikaw ay magbubunton ng baga ng apoy sa kaniyang ulo, at gagantihin ka ng Panginoon.” (Kawikaan 25:21-22)

Sa pamamagitan ng pagibig sa kaaway, naipapakita nating tayo’y tunay na mga anak ng Dios (Lukas 6:35). Malaki ang kaibahan ng pagganti ng kasamaang ipinakikita ng mga taong walang Dios at walang pananampalataya.

Hindi ganito ang kaisipan ng mga tunay na lingkod ng Dios. Ang mga lingkod ng Dios, sa anumang sitwasyon ay nagpapasiya at gumagawa ng ayon sa kasiyahan at kaluguran ng Dios. At kaluguran at kapurihan ng Dios na makita ang Kaniyang mga lingkod na ginaganap ang kautusang “pagibig sa mga kaaway.”

Bukod dito, makagawa man tayo ng maraming kasalanan, ay matatakpang lahat, sapagkat may puwang sa ating puso ang pagpapakita ng kapatawaran at kabutihan hindi lamang sa mga umiibig sa atin kundi higit sa lahat sa ating mga kaaway. Gaya nang pahayag, “ang pagibig ay nagtatakip ng karamihang kasalanan.” (1 Pedro 4:8)

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A Good Name

(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Mabuting Pangalan” for dates June 26 and 29, 2014)

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Name is important. It is how we call things, places and people.

Try to imagine living in a world where there are no names, things for sure will become complicated and chaotic.

The Bible says that names are taken from God Himself. Not only God is our creator, He also is our name giver. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” (Ephesians 3:14-15)

However, God gave us the freedom to give names to other creatures (Genesis 2: 19-20), even the stars in the heaven (Psalms 147:4). The names of the angels were all given by God (Judge 13:18).

The Bible also explains how things and people obtained their names.

  • In Exodus 16:15, 31, we can find manna came from the word “man hu”.
  • Babel is from the word “ba-lal” which means confusion and can be read in Genesis 11:9.
  • The name Obed means a servant (Ruth 4:13-17).
  • The name John means a blessing from God (Luke 1:13).
  • Mary Magdalene is from a place called Magdala (Luke 8:2).
  • Esau means hairy according to Genesis 25:25.
  • Abraham’s name was changed from Abram to Abraham and Sarai was changed to Sarah in Genesis 17:5-6, 15-16.
  • Jacob’s name was later changed to Israel (Genesis 32: 27-28)

What do we need to avoid in names?

There is no such thing as a bad name. However, the Bible tells us that a name can be bad because of the personality who owns it (Psalms 109:13). The character of the person is always reflected on its name. The Bible says, “Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.” (Proverbs 21:24)

An example is the name Judas Iscariot. His name is almost always being associated with the terms traitor and deserter. The Bible says, “Then Jesus said, Did I not make a selection of you, the twelve, and one of you is a son of the Evil One? He was talking of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. It was he who was to be false to Jesus– one of the twelve.” (John 6:70-71)

His name will forever be wicked because he was the one who betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ.

The name Judas is not necessarily bad at all, but his actions were.

Before he betrayed Christ, he was found out to be an Apostle who corrupts their finances. This is what the Bible says, “But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was to give him up), said, Why was not this perfume traded for three hundred pence, and the money given to the poor? (He said this, not because he had any love for the poor; but because he was a thief, and, having the money- bag, took for himself what was put into it.) (John 12: 4-6)

Then, he betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16). His name is called “ “son of destruction” (John 17:12).

Judas is already condemned to eternal damnation because he judged himself after he took his own life by committing suicide (Matthew 27:1-5)

What do we need to learn on names?

Names are good or bad depending on who owns it. We can make our names beautiful by having a good reputation. Our parent’s name for example was given to us and it is our responsibility to keep it in good status.

A good name is equal to good reputation (1 Samuel 18:30). Reputation depends on how we live our lives. It is always associated to our names.

Mary Magdalene is a good example. At first her reputation is associated for someone who is a whore and a prostitute during her time. However, when she repented, she changed her name’s reputation by being a servant of God.

The Bible says, “A good name is better than oil of great price, and the day of death than the day of birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

By having a good reputation, we are protecting our name, which is one of the most important things we can ever have in this life.

Reputation however, is not measured on how we live in the past. It is measured on how we live in the present. Our reputation is seen last before we die.

If we live according to the will of God, then we are protecting the name of God, which was given to us. We have been blessed to receive God’s name when we accepted His words and commands. We are called sons and daughters of the Most High and His name was given to us. It is our duty to give glory to His name by living according to His will.

How can we make sure that we can have a good reputation until the end?

Like Mary Magdalene, we need to change for a better reputation.

If there is a need to change, then we’ve got to change. We need to show that we are living according to the truth that we have received. Don’t let our old self rules us. Let the words of God directs us.

“That you are to put away, in relation to your earlier way of life, the old man, which has become evil by love of deceit; And be made new in the spirit of your mind, And put on the new man, to which God has given life, in righteousness and a true and holy way of living.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Instead of showing our old selves, these advises should be followed:

“And so, putting away false words, let everyone say what is true to his neighbour:for we are parts one of another. Be angry without doing wrong; let not the sun go down on your wrath; And do not give way to the Evil One. Let him who was a thief be so no longer, but let him do good work with his hands, so that he may have something to give to him who is in need. Let no evil talk come out of your mouth, but only what is good for giving necessary teaching, and for grace to those who give ear. And do not give grief to the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were marked for the day of salvation. Let all bitter, sharp and angry feeling, and noise, and evil words, be put away from you, with all unkind acts; And be kind to one another, full of pity, having forgiveness for one another, even as God in Christ had forgiveness for you.” (Ephesians 4: 25-32)

Are we willing to risk our end reputation by doing things that are wicked in the sight of God? God forbids! We can always be faithful by living in is words and commands. For by doing these, we are submitting to His will and totally protecting His name.

His name is one of His greatest gifts to us. How we live it is our greatest gift to Him.

“Let it then be your desire to be like God, as well- loved children; And be living in love, even as Christ had love for you, and gave himself up for us, an offering to God for a perfume of a sweet smell.” (Ephesians 5: 1-2)

 

 

 

 

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The Boastful and Worthless People

(From the sermons entitled, “Ang Pagpapakilala ng Biblia sa Isang Palalo” and “Ang mga Taong Walang Halaga sa Iglesia” for dates June 19 and 22, 2014)

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The Bible defined boasting as evil (James 4: 16).

It is usually evident when people speak. It is very clear in these verses that the tongue is the principal source of bragging and arrogance. It can create a world of iniquity.

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:5-6)

Some of its evidences in the Bible are seen in Psalms 123:4, where people show their discriminations and prejudices over others. They think of themselves as perfect and clean over others. They are very proud and haughty to others, disrespecting and arrogant (Proverbs 21: 24)

Usually, they make enemies because of these traits (Proverbs 13:10).

And these attributes are unacceptable to God especially to His faithful. The Bible says, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)

And if such traits are evident to His children, they will not escape God’s rebuke. Lucifer’s boastfulness attracted the other angels in heaven to rebel against the almighty God.

They did not prosper though. God will not allow such. Even today, God will surely remove those who are seen in such behaviours.

God wants us to become the opposite of this evil character. He wants us to be humble and modest in all our ways. The Bible says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8)

What will be the effect if a servant becomes boastful?

A servant who has been boastful and doesn’t amend for it, continues to be arrogant will be taken away from the house of the Lord. The Lord will separate him or her. Anyone who has been cut off from the house of the Lord will become worthless in God’s sight.

God is truly praised on all things that are worthy in His sight. However, those who are cut off is a sign that they are no longer valuable to Him.

Every member who continuously remains is important to God. If a stem is no longer bearing fruit, it will be removed (John 15: 4-5). If a stem was cut off from the branch of the tree, it will become useless because it’s no longer connected to the tree.

The most severe case that can happen is when God took out a faithful; they will never recover because even their repentance will no longer be acceptable.

The Bible says, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)

Many of them who had fallen away were the first to neglect the church and God (1 Corinthians 11:22). We should not be wondering if they would be falling away because they were already worthless to God.

How do we know that we are still valuable in the sight of God?

A true servant will always remain valuable to God. If a servant continuously remains in Him, in His words and commands, then that servant will bear fruits of good works and holiness. They will always remain strong because their foundations are the words of God. (Acts 2:46)

The Bibles assures they will receive God’s salvation. “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

 

 

 

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The Interest of the Blessed Ones

(From the sermons entitled, “Ang Pagmamalasakit Sang-ayon sa Biblia” and “Ang mga Bukod na Pinagpala ng Dios” for dates June 12 and 15, 2014)

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The word zealous can mean being devoted, committed or dedicated. It is a positive word but can denote a negative meaning when the purpose is malicious.

The Bible says that not all who show zealousness are righteous. Apostle Paul says, “Their interest in you is not good; but their desire is that you may be shut out, so that you may go after them.” (Galatians 4:17)

Paul describes there are those who teach the words of God but of malicious intentions. They don’t intend to bring the faithful to salvation. Their goal is only for their personal gains. They don’t care if they are turning people away from the truth as long as they get what they want. (Titus 1:11; 2 Peter 2:1-3)

You can call it concern, however if it is not according to God’s purpose, it will never be acceptable to the Lord. “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” (Romans 10:2-3)

True concern has a good intention and is aligned with the will of God (Galatians 4:18). Apostle Paul and his companions showed this type of concern to the brethren of the church of God. Their concern is according to what Christ wants them to show and not of their personal motives (Philippians 2: 20-21)

This type of concern is what God wants us to have. This was preached unto the early Christians so that we can imitate their examples, thus, we extend concern to other faithful as well as to the leaders or teachers of the church who showed too much concern over our spiritual growth (Hebrews 13:17)

What will be the fruit of showing concern to our brethren as well as to other people?

As part of the body, which is the church of God, we have to show that we are united in showing concern to everyone especially to those who are in need. If we can do these things, then God promised that He would also show His care on us.

The Bible says, “And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

How did the Bible elaborate on God’s concern over His people?

God is a giver. He blesses everyone, wicked or good.

However, to those who are called to be His followers, who were given a chance to serve Him, they will experience more of His love. The Bible says, “For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” (Psalms 5:12)

God’s blessings are not only shown in the material aspects. God blesses abundantly more in the spiritual aspect of His faithful. People can ask for material blessings to God. If they ask, they are doing the right thing. However, if they only hope for the material needs coming from God and do not do anything to help themselves, then they are serving the wrong God.

God blesses His people spiritually. The Bible says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us every blessing of the Spirit in the heavens in Christ: Even as he made selection of us in him from the first, so that we might be holy and free from all evil before him in love: As we were designed before by him for the position of sons to himself, through Jesus Christ, in the good pleasure of his purpose.” (Ephesians 1: 3-5)

Therefore, it is a great blessing to be a part of His calling because we can find His abundant mercy and blessing. Like what the Bible said, “Happy is the man of your selection, to whom you give a resting- place in your house; we will be full of the good things out of your holy place.” (Psalms 65:4)

What do we need to learn about being blessed by the almighty God?

This topic teaches us to be grateful and appreciative in all the aspects of our lives. God never ceases to bless us especially in the spiritual part of our lives and we should be aware of that.

Apostle Paul says, “For who made you better than your brother? or what have you that has not been given to you? but if it has been given to you, what cause have you for pride, as if it had not been given to you.” (1 Corinthians 4:7)

There is nothing in us that we did not receive from Him. He accepted us as His sons and daughters and as His children, He has given all what we need and what’s best for us. All He asks is to show the same love and concern to our brethren. Apostle Paul says, “And let us not get tired of well- doing; for at the right time we will get in the grain, if we do not give way to weariness. So then, as we have the chance, let us do good to all men, and specially to those who are of the family of the faith.” (Galatians 6: 9-10)

 

 

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The Wise Servants will always have a Calm Life while Serving God

(From the sermons entitled, “Ang Marunong at Matalinong Kapatid” ang “Ang Dapat Matutunan ng mga Kapatid upang Makaranas ng Magaan na Pamumuhay at Paglilingkod sa Dios” for dates June 5 and 8, 2014)

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God doesn’t rejoice on foolishness.

Anyone who wishes to serve Him should be wise enough. We are talking here about being knowledgeable to His will and commands.

Our foolishness makes us away from God. We usually follow our own ways and not the ways of God. A true servant is wise when it comes to following the will of God. God made sure that His ways would be followed. He even put teachers so people will learn about His will.

However, the words of God will be useless if not done according to His ways no matter how beautiful and worthy they are. James, the Apostle says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13)

Any teaching coming from the Holy Scriptures would become worthless especially if we do not apply it in our daily lives. The smartest way to preach the Gospel of the Lord is by living and practicing them in our lives.

Why did God use it to recognise His servants?

True faith is shown in actions.

Faith is dead without the good works. God uses this standard to know who are His true servants and who are not.

Knowledge is useless if not put into actions.

We cannot show change if we only say it in words. Change is always manifested in actions. We can show importance to the teachings that we always receive if we show fruits of good deeds.

Apostle Paul says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15)

A foolish man walks according to his ways. And he usually transgresses against the will of God. We are not foolish people. We are learned men. We are a people of God and we should show that we are truly taught with God’s wisdom by living a life worthy of His righteousness. (1 Peter 1: 15)

How can we prove that we are living as a wise man?

Living in this world is difficult. There are many hardships and sufferings in life.

A true wise man can handle all these travails and adversities of life. He handles himself like a true soldier of God. He remains faithful even if he walks in the valley of death.

Many who are called in the early Christian time are poor and lack of education (1 Corinthians 1: 26-28). However, being poor and lack of education are not a hinder in performing God’s will.

Of course there is a big effect in trying to serve God while suffering from the different persecutions and trials, but they have shown their perseverance and patience in performing their spiritual duties. And that showed that they are wise people of God.

They might have been known for being rich and educated. But they have shown their richness in the wisdom of God’s words because of their faithfulness.

For them, hardships and sufferings are opportunities to grow more in faith. It is when they can show their true character as a faithful servant of God.

Not all of the early servants remained to be faithful in their duties. Most of them turned away from God because of the sufferings they experienced. Some may have thought that the best way to eradicate their sufferings is by turning away from being a servant of God.

However, learned and wise servants are willing to embrace all these things. They are following the advises of their leaders. Apostle Paul says, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4: 11-13)

Learning to be content is the key to embrace everything that is happening to us as a true servant of God. The more hardships we face, the more we can show patience and faithfulness.

Usually, the lack of contentment becomes a struggle to many people. They lose focus on what God promised because they worry much on worldly things.

A wise servant of God focuses on the eternal and not on the things that are seen. And no matter what he receives from God, be it small or big, he always feels grateful about it.

On the other hand, this topic never teaches us to become idle. Let it be known that material abundance in life will always depend on how much effort we put on it to obtain God’s blessings.

It is not always a wrong thing to become abundant in this life. If we have the machine and the opportunity to do so, do it. However, a true servant will always be rich not only in the material aspect but also most importantly in the spiritual aspect of his life.

 

 

 

 

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Forsaking God and the Important Instructions that we need to Remember

(From the sermons entitled, “Ang Kasamaang Sasapit sa Sinumang Kapatid na Magpapabaya sa Panginoong Dios” and “Ang Lalong Mahalagang Bagay ng Kautusan na Hindi Dapat Kalimutan ng Bawat Kapatid sa Loob ng IDKH” for dates May 29 and June 1, 2014)

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How do people forsake God?

Usually, people feel like God is forsaking them especially during hard times. They feel that God is very far away from them.

The Bible says that people can forsake God if they fail to obey His commands and instructions. “Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you.” (2 Chronicles 24:20)

It is very clear in this verse that people forsake God by simply giving up on His commandments. This happened to God’s people, the ancient Israel. A concrete example can be seen on the story of Saul, the first king of Israel. God let the evil spirit dwell in him even if he was the anointed king of Israel. God let it happen because of his transgressions (1 Samuel 15: 24).

The spirit of God turned away from King Saul.

The same will happen to us if we disobey God’s will and commands.

We can be totally separated from God if we forsake Him. If people continue to sin against God, His ways can be truly harmful to us. He is not only a God of love but a God who punishes people. “These are the words of the Lord:For three crimes of Judah, and for four, I will not let its fate be changed; because they have given up the law of the Lord, and have not kept his rules; and their false ways, in which their fathers went, have made them go out of the right way.” (Amos 2:4)

And these stories were all written for us so that we may learn from them (Romans 15:4)

Serving the Lord is simple. If we can be fateful to God and to His commands, He promised that He would not forsake us no matter what happens. However, if we are doing the opposite, the contrasting fate will also come to us.

Thus, it is better if we serve the Lord God and continue to remain in His statutes.

However, if we obey God’s commands, there are certain things that we need to remember. People usually remember the instructions of God while inside the church, while listening to the sermons and while reading the Holy Scriptures.

While away, people forget who they are.

Apostle James says, “Because if any man is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a glass; For after looking at himself he goes away, and in a short time he has no memory of what he was like.” (James 1: 23-24)

Moreover, there are some people who only pick the commandments that suit their lifestyles. They pick what they like and forget the most important things. This happened to the Scribes and the Pharisees during the time of Jesus Christ.

Jesus says, “A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you make men give a tenth of all sorts of sweet- smelling plants, but you give no thought to the more important things of the law, righteousness, and mercy, and faith; but it is right for you to do these, and not to let the others be undone.” (Matthew 23:23)

If we would obey God’s commands, we should not only pick the commands that suit us.

If we have the power to obey God’s commands, then we must do them all and do not let other things be undone. We should also learn not to withhold when it is in the power of our hands to do them. “Do not keep back good from those who have a right to it, when it is in the power of your hand to do it. Say not to your neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when you have it by you at the time.” (Proverbs 3: 27-28)

We can notice that these commandments are centered not to us but for others. Love, faith, righteousness and mercy require us to show it not only to ourselves but as well as to others.

What can people receive if they follow these advises?

We can definitely receive grace from God and men if we try not to forsake God’s commands.

It is written, “My son, keep my teaching in your memory, and my rules in your heart: For they will give you increase of days, years of life, and peace. Let not mercy and good faith go from you; let them be hanging round your neck, recorded on your heart; So you will have grace and a good name in the eyes of God and men.” (Proverbs 3: 1-4)

God will never forget the good things that we have shown to others. Especially, knowing that God focuses on the most important things of His commandments, which is showing love, righteousness and faith to others.

These are all needed in saving up for our spiritual wealth in heaven.

 

 

 

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Ang Palalo at ang mga Taong Walang Halaga

(From the sermons entitled, “Ang Pagpapakilala ng Biblia sa Isang Palalo” and “Ang mga Taong Walang Halaga sa Iglesia” for dates June 19 and 22, 2014)

frustration-stressed-workerSaan man pag-aralan, ang salitang palalo ay mayroong negatibong kahulugan. Ang kahulugan nito ayon sa Biblia ay mapagmapuri (boastful) at masama (Santiago 4: 16). Kalimitan, ang pagpapalalo ay nahahayag sa pamamagitan ng pananalita.

Ang dila ang karaniwang nagiging kasangkapan upang ihayag ang kapalaluan. “Gayon din naman ang dila ay isang maliit na sangkap, at nagpapalalo ng malalaking bagay. Narito, kung gaano kalaking gubat ang pinagaalab ng lubhang maliit na apoy! At ang dila’y isang apoy:ang sanglibutan ng kasamaan sa ating mga sangkap ay dili iba’t ang dila, na nakakahawa sa buong katawan, at pinagningas ang gulong ng katalagahan, at ang dila’y pinagniningas ng impierno.” (Santiago 3:5-6)

Sa iba pang pakahulugan ng Biblia ang palalo ay mayroong mapanghamak na ugali (Awit 123:4). Taglay din nito ang mapagmataas na paguugali sapat upang magawang libakin ang kaniyang kapuwa tao (Kawikaan 21:24). Karaniwan, ang ganitong paguugali ng tao ay nagiging daan upang magkaroon siya ng maraming kaalitan (Kawikaan 13: 10).

Ang ganitong ugali ay kasuklam-suklam sa Dios. Ayaw Niyang makita ito na taglay ng Kaniyang mga lingkod. Gaya nang pahayag, “May anim na bagay na ipinagtatanim ng Panginoon; Oo, pito na mga kasuklamsuklam sa kaniya: Mga palalong mata, sinungaling na dila, at mga kamay na nagbububo ng walang salang dugo; Puso na kumakatha ng mga masamang akala, mga paa na matulin sa pagtakbo sa kasamaan; Sinungaling na saksi na nagsasalita ng kabulaanan, at ang naghahasik ng pagtatalo sa gitna ng magkakapatid.” (Kawikaan 6: 16-19)

At kung ito ay kasuklam-suklam sa Dios, hindi Niya itutulot na ito ay manatili sa Kaniyang mga lingkod, kundi ihahayag Niya ang mga ganito at aalisin sa Kaniyang harapan.

Ang pagpapalalo ni Lucifer na naging daan upang digmain ang Dios ay hindi pinahintulutan ng Dios na magwagi laban sa Kaniya. Kaya’t kung mayroon mang palalo sa panahong ito, hindi ito magtatagal sapagkat aalisin siya ng Panginoong Dios sa Kaniyang banal na harapan.

Kung mayroon mang tayong paguugali na dapat taglayin ay ang kabaligtaran ng pagiging palalo samakatuwid ay ang laging maging mapagpakumbaba o mababa sa paningin ng kapuwa at ng Dios. Ang wika nga, “Kaniyang ipinakilala sa iyo, Oh tao, kung ano ang mabuti; at ano ang hinihingi ng Panginoon sa iyo, kundi gumawa na may kaganapan, at ibigin ang kaawaan, at lumakad na may kababaan na kasama ng iyong Dios.” (Mikas 6:8)

Ano ang ibinubunga ng labis na pagpapalalo ng mga lingkod ng Dios?

Sinumang lingkod na umabot sa labis na pagpapalalo ay ihihiwalay ng Dios sa Kaniyang bahay. At sinumang mahihiwalay, sila’y nalalagay sa kalagayang wala nang halaga sa paningin ng Dios.

Ang mga bagay na may halaga sa paningin ng Dios ay nakapagbibigay ng kapurihan at kasiyahan sa Kaniya. Subalit silang mga inihihiwalay Niya, nangangahulugang sila ay wala nang halaga sa Kaniya dahil kung mayroon pa silang halaga, ay hindi itutulot ng Dios na sila ay mahiwalay sa Kaniya.

Bawat sangkap na naugnay sa iglesia ay nagiging mahalaga sa Dios. Ang Panginoong Dios ay ang puno at tayo ay mga sanga na isinangkap sa Kaniya (Juan 15:4-5). Kung tayo ay mahihiwalay sa Dios, bilang mga sanga tayo ay matutuyo at mawawalan ng kabuluhan sa Dios, at kaylanman ay hindi na masusumpungang nagbubunga sapagkat naputol na sa pinaka-puno.

Kaya sa pahayag ni Apostol Pablo, silang mga nahiwalay na ay hindi na maaaring baguhing pang muli ng pagsisisi. “Sapagka’t tungkol sa mga minsang naliwanagan at nakalasap ng kaloob ng kalangitan, at mga nakabahagi ng Espiritu Santo, At nakalasap ng mabuting salita ng Dios, at ng mga kapangyarihan ng panahong darating, At saka nahiwalay sa Dios ay di maaaring baguhin silang muli sa pagsisisi; yamang kanilang ipinapapakong muli sa ganang kanilang sarili ang Anak ng Dios, at inilalagay na muli siya sa hayag na kahihiyan.” (Hebreo 6: 4-6) 

Marami sa mga nahiwalay na ito ang unang nagwalang kabuluhan sa iglesia at sa mga ibang sangkap nito. (1 Corinto 11:22) Kaya hindi dapat pagtakhan kung mahiwalay man sila ay ituring ng Dios na sila ay mga taong wala nang halaga.

Paano makikilala yaong mayroon pang halaga sa paningin ng Dios?

Ang mga lingkod na may halaga ay iniingatan ng Dios. Sila’y nakapananatiling nakaugnay sa Kaniya at sila’y nagbubunga ng gawang mabuti at kabanalan. Ang mga lingkod na ito ay matibay at nakapananatili sa mga aral o katuwiran ng ating dakilang Dios (Gawa 2:46).

Ang mga lingkod na may halaga sa Dios ay nananatili sa Kaniyang mga aral at sila’y makakasumpong ng kaligtasan. “Ngayo’y ipinatatalastas ko sa inyo, mga kapatid, ang evangelio na sa inyo’y aking ipinangaral, na inyo namang tinanggap, na siya naman ninyong pinananatilihan, Sa pamamagitan naman nito’y ligtas kayo kung matiyaga ninyong iingatan ang salitang ipinangaral ko sa inyo, maliban na kung kayo’y nagsipanampalataya nang walang kabuluhan.” (1 Corinto 15: 1-2)

 

 

 

 

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