On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
Although our prayer for this year is for FilBF to increase not only in quantity but above all in our spirituality. We have to remember the Great Commission that our Lord Jesus gave us. With this our missions stations should not be neglected. With this work is the accompanying heart to give to the needs of our workers and countrymen. Let us not neglect the privilege granted to us to be a blessing to others. This is what we are studying now in the Epistle of James and let us not just be hearers of God’s Word but also be doers!
It is better to give than to receive!
As Filipinos, we know very well our culture. We look forward to receive than to give. If we give, we make sure that we can get something back. This is the rule of the game that we learned since childhood. We like exchanging gifts very much. Then, when we receive a present of lesser value than what we bought we pout and murmur. We are a people ready to give only when we can expect something to receive. In our country’s politics, that is how corrupt politicians think, they give money to people during election time, for obvious reasons that, they want to receive the votes. When they are in the position, they can get more money than what they have distributed. Now, the worst case is in the church where people are taught by false pastors to give so that they can receive more. The church becomes a bank or a pyramid scheme, a Ponzi scheme like the Kapa-Community Ministry International in Mindanao. There were many religious scams that happened, victimizing many poor people. They preach that when they give money, there is more to come in the next few weeks or months.
This is absolutely not the teaching of the Scriptures. God gave us His only begotten Son to die for our sins for our salvation. Jesus did not come that men may become rich and wealthy. He did not demand gifts from us so that He can bless us. We know He first loved us and saved us while we were yet rebellious and sinful people. Anyway we cannot give Him anything for all things we have are His! David said in 1 Chronicles 29:14, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” God has nothing to ask from us, God gave and has given us everything, our life and sustenance. For the believers we receive more because He has given us the grace to believe and the promise of life eternal in His heavenly kingdom. We cannot give, then demand from Him.
This must be our pattern of giving to other men. We have to follow what God has set for us as an example in giving. As He gave us, so also we give to others in the same manner. As He has given us freely and abundantly we also must give to others the way we have received from God.
The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us the Biblical way to give. In the beatitudes, He said, “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:42). He set to us an example of giving to those who cannot pay us back. “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12–14). This is the principle that should guide us in giving. Thus Jesus clearly explains in Luke 6:30–36, “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
The Apostle Paul, having learned from the Lord Jesus Christ, also teaches us in 2 Corinthians 9:6–15 “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 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: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” This reflects his teachings to the elders of the church in Ephesus recorded in the Book of Acts, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). As he knows the Lord’s way, the apostle also followed.
You might ask why we are sending so much to the missions in the Philippines. As you can see the bulk of our budget is sent for the workers and those who are studying in the Bible Institute. We know we cannot be there to do the work but we can share their burden by helping them in their work. As Paul said, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9–10).
I hope we can also see the need to plant more churches in the Philippines which God can use to preach and teach the right doctrines of His Word. As many of us understand, there are fewer protestant churches in our country today which are standing in the truth of the perfect Bible. Many are compromising, meaning, they are either becoming like the world, adapting the charismatic way of worshipping the Lord or working with the Roman Catholics, teaching false doctrines which take away the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in salvation by introducing works as the means to be saved.
We are not to accumulate the riches of this world. We are not a business corporation! As the Lord is to return soon, we should use the resources we have for souls to be saved now, for the time will come that we cannot use money anymore! If we give, we are not giving in vain. We give to support more labourers for the harvest of souls. Please pray that we will not only plant churches in Mindanao and Visayas but also in Luzon. We want to promote the Lord Jesus Christ and to bring more Filipinos to the saving knowledge of His grace.
When you give, please understand that this is just a part of what the Lord has richly blessed us with. Let us be clarified that it is our great privilege to be part of the work of the Lord for the fulfilment of the great Commission He has for us!
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