On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
We are thankful to the Lord for the provisions He gives to True Life BPC-FilBF. Little love gifts were given to our faithful brethren and friends. In this pandemic, we all understand what life in the Philippines is. It is reported that millions of people lost their jobs, not counting those who do not have jobs but rely only on daily manual labour that may come from time to time. We are thankful to God that He provides us work here in Singapore and many of those who receive the love gift pass it on as gifts of love for their relatives and neighbours. Praise the Lord!
How to Save for the Rainy Days
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).
In a time of pandemic where there is financial crisis, it is very tempting to hoard resources for our own. “We have to save for the rainy days” as it is said. It is reasonable to save and, I believe, a very needful act in these very troublous times. However, the Bible describes for us the best way to handle resources if we really desire to have enough “during the rainy days”.
The Bible exhorts us to give. This was exemplified by the believers in Antioch, Syria where they extended help to the brethren in Judea in a time of affliction (Acts 11:27–30). A prophet, named Agabus, signified by the Spirit foresaw a famine in Judea. In fact it was not only a famine in the Palestine area but it included some neighbouring places. The period of this famine was during the reign of Claudius Caesar (AD 41–54). They lived out their faith by giving sacrificially to the needs of the brethren in Judea. It is highlighted in the Scriptures that love for the brethren is not just in words but in deeds also (1 John 3:18). Genuine faith is always manifested by actions and when we give, God shall give us His blessings!
The Christians in Antioch voluntarily contributed to send relief to Judea. It was not a forced collection of relief but according to how the Lord prospered them. The word for relief is related to where we get the word ‘deacon’ which describes arrangement for provision for the brethren in Jerusalem. They know they will also experience the famine but they are burdened for the needs of the believers in Jerusalem where they have practically nothing. This is the Christian spirit lived out by the disciples in Antioch. This arose not merely from their general sense of obligation to aid the poor, but they felt themselves particularly bound to aid their Jewish brethren. This act of giving will surely provide the giver abundant blessings!
Similarly, in Acts 20:35, Paul admonished the Elders of Ephesus to give generously to the people of God. The apostle reminded them to give per direct instruction from the Lord Jesus Christ. The service to the brethren must not be done in a manner of filthy lucre. Paul committed the elders to God for their assurance of heavenly inheritance for them. As spiritual heirs of the abundant richest in Christ, they are not bothered of the physical supplies in this side of the world. He himself set an example in providing for his own needs. He therefore understands what it means to be a struggling needy person. He reminded them of the words of Christ, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Giving is not just to fellow believers but may extend also even to those who are still outside of God’s Kingdom that they may have opportunity to learn God’s goodness upon them. When we care for the poor so that they may hear of the gospel, salvation will come for faith cometh by hearing God’s Word. We have to make sure they hear the Word of the Lord so that they will not be hungry again for they have the spiritual provision that will last forever and ever.
The promise is when you give, it shall be given to you in full measure, even pressed down. Giving however must not be motivated by the idea of getting it back or receiving multiplied blessings after. It is constrained by the love of Christ. Nevertheless, God is true to His promises and He will never fail. Adam Clarke wrote, “Christian charity will make no difficulty in giving that which eternal truth promises to restore. Let us give, neither out of mere human generosity, nor out of vanity, nor from interest, but for the sake of God, if we would have him place it to account. There is no such thing as true unmixed generosity but in God only; because there is none but him who receives no advantage from his gifts, and because he engages himself to pay these debts of his creatures with an excessive interest. So great is the goodness of God, that, when he might have absolutely commanded us to give to our neighbour, he vouchsafes to invite us to this duty by the prospect of a reward, and to impute that to us as a desert which he has a right to exact of us by the title of his sovereignty over our persons and estates."
In Deuteronomy 15:7–8, Moses told the people of Israel, “If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.”
The prophet Isaiah said, “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” (Isa 58:7–11).
Giving is the proof of our genuine faith. The Apostle James rebuked those who claimed to be Christians and yet were negligent to help their own brethren who were in need. He argued, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (Jam 2:14–17).
The Lord Jesus gives us the conclusion from Matthew 25:34–40, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Thus, the scriptures says that if we give, we shall receive from the Lord even more abundant blessings not only temporal but eternal. This shows us God’s truth that if we want to “save for the rainy days,” we must learn to give. “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” (Pro 19:17). Another proverb says, “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” (Pro 28:27).
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