Month: April 2015

Discipline of Children

by Pastor Wallie Padero
Proverbs 13:24 – “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”

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Children are awesome! One of the best things that has happened to me is having my two kids. However, it is also one of the greatest challenges I have in my call as a father. Well, it’s all fun when they are just a year or two and all they can do is smile at you and say their first words of “ mami” and “dada”. But wait till they run and learn how to express themselves and you’ll know what I mean. When the time these little cute creatures are starting to take charge, as if they are the center of the universe.

As an inexperience dad, child discipline is mind boggling to me whether spanking is right or wrong. I have read a lot of books especially from American authors discouraging this kind of discipline for some psychological reasons but in the long run my child is more and more running wild and out of control. Now I ask the Lord, how can I please you on this Lord? Yes I want to discipline my child but not up to the extent that I would suppress and wound her soul. Well, God being the greatest Father in the universe led me to this verse saying that sparing the rod for my children is like hating them. It’s unloving for me as a father not to engage my child if I see something is broken in their character. True love could be diligently express through discipline. As what the bible says about love in 1 Corinthians 13:4, love does not rejoice on wrong doings or we can say love does not tolerate wrong doings. So, loving my children is shaping them to follow the right path to God.

Well it’s funny to think that the greatest Father in the universe apply this to all of us, His children and who am I to make my own style to raise-up my children? This brings me back to all the spanking and pain of the discipline of God all throughout my lifetime. As painful and difficult as it was but the fruit of it takes me to depths and heights of seeing more of Him who strengthens my heart to love and trust Him. I will never be me apart from God’s grace of discipline. And I desire for my children to experience the same grace and love.

So, in every discipline of God, I should learn from it and not be afraid to express the same to those that I love. I should hopeful in all of these because there’s good news. All people can be changed because someone died for this. Through Jesus Christ everyone have a hope to overcome every pain of His discipline and see the beauty of what He wants us to be.

 God in heaven, may I welcome more of your discipline and be more loving to be part of what you are doing to these precious souls around me. Through your sweet Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

A True Follower Of Christ

by Bro. Ryan Golez

1 Thessalonians 2:1-4 – For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

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It is so encouraging to know how great God has touched the lives of the apostles and how Paul has boldly declared the truth in the midst of darkness in this world. Not even the toughest person in the world could endure without the leading of the Spirit.

I thank God that he has revealed to me the life of Paul, as I am so touched and inspired with his selfless courage to do what he must for the sake of pleasing God.

Here in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-4, Paul made known to the church of Thessalonica about his intention sharing the Gospel to the people. Paul had suffered greatly and was shamefully treated for doing the commission; this act was a selfless act of obedience and love for Lord. Paul has stated they have been approved by God to carry the Gospel. What I believe this means is Paul has been given the authority to share the Gospel of Christ. I see this as a big responsibility and somehow, knowing this I thought “wow! that is a big and hard responsibility, a task not easy to bear because the world as we know rejects anything that comes from God.” I am so inspired by Paul’s response to that responsibility which he Love God more, by pleasing Him in pursuing his delight. He became bold in sharing and endured the suffering because he wanted to please God alone and not man or himself.

Therefore, as followers of Christ let’s focus our hearts and lives to pursuing whatever delights God. There is much pain or happiness the world can offer but only by pursuing the right things for Gods glory can fill us with Joy and true happiness. Like Paul, I believe all the hardships he has encountered cannot surpass the Joy and satisfaction he must have felt in pursuing Christ.

 

Work Heartily For God’s Glory

by Sis. Yvonne Adraque

Col3.23

How are we when it comes to our jobs? Are we doing it well for God’s glory?

I remember before when I was working in Tomato boutique in the Philippines, I always wanted to be the best. In terms of doing my weekly reports to be submitted on time, receiving good feedbacks from our competitors, no absences and no late. I’m doing this all just to make my operations manager and the managing director  be proud of me. I’d work so hard for this because I want to be praise.

But as time goes by I felt so exhausted doing it again and again. Then suddenly I realized everything that I’d work for was useless! Because I just did it only for my own sake. I just did it just to make those people proud! I didn’t even think about God and ask for His wisdom during those moments because I’m just relying only on my own.

Usually, it is our tendency as humans that we tend to do things that make others  proud of us. Sadly, God is just secondary. That’s why Apostle Paul is encouraging us that we should always focus on heavenly things rather than earthly things. This is a reminder for us that we should work heartily in everything that we are doing, by reflecting God’s goodness in our lives, God deserved to be pleased in all things, it should be him only.

 

The Sovereignty of God

By Pastor Al Austria

What does it mean that God is sovereign?

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Theopedia.com defines Sovereignty of God as the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission.

In R.C Sproul’s article he entitled, “How would you define the Sovereignty of God?” it said, “If there is any element of the universe that is outside of his authority, then he no longer is God over all. In other words, sovereignty belongs to deity. Sovereignty is a natural attribute of the Creator. “God owns what he makes, and he rules what he owns.”

“He rules what He owns!”  This phrase touches every aspects of the meaning of sovereignty.  Which means, God’s control and rule are not only in creation and in sustaining all creation (Colossians 1:16-17), but also in salvation, which sadly being opposed by a number of professing believers (from another belief system) who emphasize more on the free will of man in choosing God, than on God being free in choosing those who will be saved.

The Bible explicitly talks about God’s sovereignty in salvation.   In Ephesians 1:4 and 11 which says, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,” We can see God’s sovereignty in electing those whom He will save according to His will.    Quoting from John MacArthur, he said,”Certainly He did not choose certain sinners to be saved because of something praiseworthy in them, or because He foresaw that they would choose Him. He chose them solely because it pleased Him to do so. God declares “the end from the beginning . . . saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all my good pleasure’” (Isa. 46:10). It means, He is not subject to others’ decisions. Furthermore, His purpose for choosing some and rejecting others are hidden in the secret counsels of His own will.”

Nevertheless, I don’t want to set aside the truth that the Scripture affirms both God’s sovereignty and human responsibility.  Man is responsible in how he responds to the gospel.  John 3:16 says,  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  But then again, it is God who grants the faith needed for man to believe as what these verses are saying. “No one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.” (John 6:65)“Nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him (Matt. 11:27). “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:” (2 Peter 1:1)

It is also God who grants or gives to the Son, who will respond and who will be saved, which is a combination of the truth about God’s sovereignty and human responsibility.  “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37).

In application, the truth about the Sovereignty of God if believed and trusted with full conviction, will greatly impact how one views life and all of the suffering that comes along with it. Preacher C.H Spurgeon once said, “There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all.”

As a personal testimony, if I have not known the beauty of the sovereignty of God, I would have condemned myself and question the goodness of God. For the things that happened to me a few years back, when I lost my job, when my visa has expired and at the same time suffering from tremendous pain caused by ulcer.  Add to that, our resources are dwindling.  But amidst this agony, it is knowing and believing that God is sovereign, that He is in control (of why this is happening and the end and outcome of this), it puts hope in my heart and in mind that all things work together for good for those who love Him and called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

“God owns what he makes, and he rules what he owns.”  This amazing truth about God’s sovereignty is the truth to hope for, to trust on and to live by.