Month: May 2015

The Blessedness Of Fearing The Lord

by Sis Melanie Azurin

Psalms 128:1-2 – “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you”.

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When we are afraid to someone, we usually stay away from that person right? Or if we have fear of doing something, we tend not to do it or get away from it. We are not giving ourselves a chance to validate if that someone or something must be feared of. And if this continues, we’ll eventually end up having fear forever. How does it feel to have fear forever? Of course, there is discomfort, and anxiety.

But it’s totally different when we have fear to the Lord. When you say “fear of the Lord” in the bible it means respect, awe, submission or reverence. And in the above text, the word fear here doesn’t mean that we are driving away from the Lord but instead it’s a condition wherein we take refuge in Him. How? By walking in His ways! Because of this fear that we have for the Lord, we continue trusting in His steadfast love and faithfulness in our lives. And through this, we can keep His commandments, we can abide in His laws that are so perfect, and walk in the path towards Him. Why should we? Because there is a great reward of fearing the Lord as it says in verse 2 “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed and it shall be well with you.” How do we fear the Lord then?

As genuine Christians, let’s fear the Lord with trembling as we journey every day. Let this fear draw us more near to God, trusting Him and taking refuge in His mighty ways! This is for our joy!

Embracing Suffering

By Pastor Leo Obra

2 Cor. 6:10 “Sorrowful yet always Rejoicing…”

Romans 8:17, And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

suffering

Embracing suffering??? Who wants it?

It’s very, very rare to see somebody who would gladly offer herself to suffering. I haven’t met somebody who is really willing to go through any form of sufferings nor welcomes to go through it at all. As people, we shunned various kinds of suffering – No one would like to have a disease, no one would like to get a pay cut, No one would like to lose his job and career, especially if it’s the only source of income one has. No one would like to have a terrible boss, or maybe we don’t want to experience hardship in the ministry or maybe his/her child to be disabled – we don’t want to suffer. Suffering maybe the last thing a Christian would like to experience. Why? Because most people think that suffering connotes uncertainty, pain, out-of-control situation, loss of something or maybe sorrow – and we don’t want it. It makes us go out from our comfort zone which we don’t like it let alone get stuck for quite long.

Gloomy yet Glad

However, sufferings (not as a result of sin) are actually blessings according to the bible.  Blessing in the sense it leads to something – blessing in the sense that we belong to someone. In Romans 8:17 it said, “And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” So how can a mere man like Paul, declare joy amidst sorrowful suffering, how can he say sorrowful yet always rejoicing, in the eye of suffering? Although, there’s an unavoidable pain and sadness brought by his trials, but His joy surpasses those sorrows. It’s because his suffering was a sure indication of where he belongs – that He is a child of God – a more than enough reason to be joyful.

It’s hard to cheer up when you are really on a state of suffering. Perhaps in the worldview, being happy amidst suffering can be construed as craziness or maybe out of mine. But this is the irony of Christian suffering – is to be joyful amidst test and amidst storm. Amidst suffering, because of the hope that we have in Christ, because of the surpassing worth of knowing Him and being His child.

One of the things God taught me in my journey is that, it’s hard to embrace and accept something in which you are NOT really joyful or happy with. That’s why a lot of people embrace sin such as same sex or live-in relationship because they’re happy about it. On the other way around,  a true believer struggles to embrace back the way he used to be doing such as vices, wrong relationships etc,  because there’s no joy anymore in those sins. He was already changed by God. I got married and embraced to be with my wonderful wife because I felt joy and happiness out my love for her.

I believe the same thing with suffering, we cannot embrace it if we don’t see the joy behind its curtain. And that joy lies in the life-saving, joy producing and life-changing Words of God in Romans 8:17, because it’s only through this powerful Words of the Lord that we will be able to discover the joy in suffering…endure suffering.  Only then through this hope that we will be able to embrace suffering.

Rest in Jesus

by Sister Whymee Padero

Matthew 11:2828 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

rest

I’ve been staying in Dubai for 7 years now and I must say that working here is not an easy breezy kind of life; this is something that you would have to take seriously. Why? It is because there’s no security with the jobs that we have. Anytime, our company might close. Anytime, we might be terminated. So it simply drives us to really work harder and work to produce quality service. In that way, we could keep your employer happy and that you could keep ourselves employed.

Working abroad helps me fully understand what hard working is all about.  I’ve literally experience how is it to be working for 10-14 hours a day to meet everything the job demands. How productive you have become, it seems that he job is endless and you would still extend more and more hours because you still have urgent things to do. In some cases, you just want to work extra hours to lessen your workload for the next day. Well, no matter how hard we try, work is work and it will always be there. There is always something to do and it doesn’t stop.

Our work is not the end of everything. There is a great help above who we can find peace and rest in times when we are tired and weary, that is in our Lord, Jesus Christ. For in Him, we find comfort and rest!  Jesus provides “rest for our souls” and that is eternal rest for all who seek forgiveness of their sins.

Though living in this world is very tiring, there is hope. There is rest in JESUS and that is everlasting. We don’t have to work for it as Jesus is giving it free. In Matthew 11, Jesus is inviting us personally to come. Come to Him! So let us all come! Come unto Jesus and find rest!