On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
We thank the Lord for the zeal of many sisters who keep the evangelism going despite the absence of our brothers. This is the Lord’s working in them to continue on sharing the gospel to our “kababayans.” As what Pastor mentioned last Sunday, it is not our own effort and eloquence that bring a soul to Jesus, it is through the power of the gospel! “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16–17).
So let us keep on inviting and sharing the Word of God which is God’s power to save the lost. Pray the Holy Spirit work in the hearts of our friends and colleagues. Please remember our Christmas Gospel Meeting on the 23rd December. This is an opportunity for us to truly share what is the true meaning of Christmas.
Do You Despise Suffering? (Ayaw Nyo Ba Ng Pagdurusa) 2/2
The Omniscient Lord knows man’s inclination to sin, especially the sin of pride. He allows certain physical infirmities and weaknesses to come into our lives to humble and control us. The purpose is for us not to do beyond that which He has ordained for us. This is especially true to those who are in the ministry. Certain successes will puff up the hearts and minds of God’s servants. That’s why our church is very careful not to put young believers immediately for higher office. Paul explains that those who will hold office in church must not be a novice, “… lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6).
The Apostle Paul received so much of the Lord’s revelation that there was a great temptation for him to boast and be proud of the favour that God has granted him. Paul acknowledges that, “… lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7–10).
On the other hand, the LORD allows His children to go through sufferings in life in order to strengthen us. The psalmist says, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:71). When Job understood that his sufferings were from the LORD, he admitted, “Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:1–6). He needed not to assert his innocence before the LORD. He had to submit to the great sufferings which God allowed him to experience for it was for his good. James shares Job’s sufferings as an example to the believers in his days, “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:10–11).
James also says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:2–4, 12). This echoes the words of our Lord Jesus Christ saying, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
The sufferings in the believer’s life do not just chastise him when he wanders away from the Lord and strengthens his faith but above all they are a manifestation of Christ’s presence in his life. Once he becomes one with Christ as Christ abides in him, he will still experience sufferings that Christ be made manifest in his life. “For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” 2 (Corinthians 4:11–18).
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Peter made mention of this in his epistle, “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God…. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified” (1 Peter 4:1–2; 12–14).
Sufferings will always be in the lives of every human being whether Christians or non-Christians. For the unbelievers, suffering is God’s curse upon them to let them realize they have sinned against God and there is a far greater suffering ahead of them if they will not repent of their sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. For the Christians, having true faith in Jesus Christ, it is always for their good. When they stray away from the course laid out for them, sufferings will be a chastisement. Sufferings also come to strengthen His people in their spiritual growth and in their service rendered for the LORD.
Above all for genuine believers, sufferings are expected life experiences not for self-promotion but for God’s glory and honour. Sufferings work for the believers to thoroughly appreciate what the Lord Jesus Christ has done. The believers’ responses are not of hatred and complaint but submission and humility. The sufferings, even hostile oppositions against the believers for Christ’s sake are opportunities to shine forth the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). – Bro Jose
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