Archive for the ‘Christ Commission Fellowship – Alabang (CCF-Alabang)’ Category
I haven’t yet found the church here in Canada more than 3 months from now but I am still watching the Live Streaming video at the Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) official website (via http://www.ccf.org.ph) and at CCF-Alabang, my first Christian fellowship church and second home, (http://www.ccf-alabang.org) every weekend.
I still recall when I was driving and heading to CCF-Alabang to attend the First Worship at 8 in the morning. I got a copy of CCF Weekly Chronicles before entering at the worship hall.
I became a volunteer as a powerpoint operator for the lyrics that always flashed to the giant projector inside the control room. I dreamed to handle cameras, audio, and a worship director during the Sunday Worship Service but filled with deepest regrets to extend my volunteer or other activities there at CCF-Alabang because I received my permanent resident visa to Canada on October 25, 2011, five days after my baptism. I left Manila bound to Canada on November 12, 2011.
I have an unfinished activities at CCF but the Lord had the reason and purpose to leave Metro Manila, Philippines because I am currently studying piano on the 6th level at the New Conservatory of Music here in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. The Lord really knows that I must precisely focus to practice piano and I am not actually fit to handle as a worship director. Playing piano is part of my worship and offer for God and to others. I really don’t know that I received from God as a talent to play the piano.
I’ll come back to CCF to play “LIVE” as a soloist piano after three or four years to pursue my Canadian Citizenship. It’s my prayer and I will fulfill it with the divine assistance from above.
by Pastor Joby C. Soriano (from http://www.ccf-alabang.org)
We sometimes ask, “Why does a good God allow bad things to happen to good people?” However, when we are the person who is suffering, the question changes! Our pain and suffering forces us to ask more personal questions like, “Does my God really care when bad things happen to me? Does He still love me? Does God have any idea how much I’m hurting? The answer, of course, is an absolute “Yes” to all of those questions! Our Almighty God does, in fact, care when bad things happen to us. He does, in fact, still love us. He sees and feel our pain and suffering. He has not forgotten us and He knows more about suffering than we could ever hope to imagine!
You see God uses brokenness to build our intimacy with Him. If we want to experience real intimacy with God we must experience brokenness. Here are three important things to consider about intimacy with God in brokenness.
1. The Reality of Brokenness
Psalm 31:12 says, “I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.” When a person is broken, he is almost useless, unless he gets repaired. We can reject the discipline, complain about our pain, become bitter and arrogantly justify ourselves before God and others. We can stubbornly refuse to bend, to bow or to be broken. The most common response is to become downcast, depressed, feeling worthless and washed-up, and even quit. We take out our bitterness over what is happening to us on to those around us. We develop a short fuse, we say things that we don’t really mean, and we lose control of our emotions very easily. Some of us blame God for what has happened and either drop out of church or quit serving like we used to and become discouraged, disillusioned, and even depressed.
2. The Reason for Brokenness
Sometimes God sees that our life is a mess and He breaks us so that He can remake us. If we aren’t broken, we cannot be fixed. God wants us broken, so He can put us back together again to mold us and shape us into the image and likeness of Christ. “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,” 2 Corinthians 4:17
3. The Remedy for Brokenness
David tells us the remedy for brokenness in Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit. God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin.” David recognized that God didn’t want the ritual of sacrifice. God wanted his crushed heart, his broken spirit, and the very center of David’s being. God wanted a repentant heart.
Humility is the remedy for brokenness that is an essential prerequisite for real intimacy with God. Take the life of Moses. God took Moses through a process of disappointment and disillusionment that resulted in brokenness. Because Moses was broken, God could invest him with spiritual authority and commission him to do an impossible task. Because Moses was broken, he experienced intimacy and communion with God. He learned God’s will for his life and for the people of God.
The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” We are the clay jars. Sometimes we want to decorate and beautify the clay pots, thinking we can attract people and change people because we are so attractive. But God has another idea. The treasure is Jesus, not the pot. And the attraction is the treasure of the life of Jesus, not the clay pot. So God has to crack the pot in order for the treasure to be revealed.
Think about it, our Lord was broken in a different way, but through His brokenness, the greatest blessing of them all – salvation, was made available for mankind.
It’s time to bid farewell to the 2011 due to the worst tragedies like what happened about the strong earthquake and deadly tsunami in Japan in March and the latest at the Cagayan De Oro and Iligan City, Philippines due to the previous Tropical Storm, “Washi.”
I ended the eras of despondency that I lived in BF Homes International, Las Piñas City for more than 24 years and 33 years as a resident (since birth) in Metro Manila, Philippines.
To my former neighbor at number 32 Prague Street, I have a one short, stern warning message from the LORD: CEASE YOUR PRIDE and BE HUMBLE LIKE JESUS!
I baptized as a Born-Again Christian and forgave my sins, including my Asperger’s syndrome to God at Christ’s Commission Fellowship in Alabang, Muntinlupa, Philippines 2 months ago. I really missed to my colleagues at the Bible Study every Saturday Night until almost midnight at the Si Family in Malacca Street near in my house. Thank you to Bro Troy and Marisa Si and to your three children, too. To my dear friend and brother Ricky Espiritu, his wife Rowie, and his children, I really miss you so much and thank you. To Pastor Joby Soriano, always continue spreading God’s Word for salvation not just in Alabang but for the whole world. Keep reading my blog, my dear brother pastor Joby! And most of all, to Dr. Jerome Baclao, continue spreading God’s Word while you’re doing a medical profession. Keep on praying and gain more faith to the Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ. I am praying for you always while I am here in Canada.
To the Canadian MP Rathika Sitsabaeisan, an ally of the late MP Jack Layton, thank you for the reunification of the Diaz Family and I am here right now in Toronto, Canada that I arrived more than a month ago. I am praying for your comfort and consolation that your grandmother had passed away before the holidays.
I am praying also for those members of the Filipino family who are currently residing in the Philippines and hope they will be migrated here in Canada this 2012 and be filled with bliss. Have stronger faith to God!
The yuletide holidays are now over and it’s time to resume the regular work or activities like writing in my blog. I had never written New Year’s Resolutions every year but wait, I learned from Pastor Joby Soriano on writing 10 New Year’s God-Solutions. Pastor Joby said on his facebook status: “RESOLUTIONS” This year we commit to turn over a new leaf and break a habit. We’re going to exercise regularly and lose weight. We’re going to improve ourselves physically and spiritually. But then somehow we forget after a week don’t we? … So this year instead of New Year’s Resolutions that we try so hard to fulfill, let’s promise ourselves GOD-SOLUTIONS that we will allow HIM to make all the changes in our lives for the better! We need to trust the Lord and love HIM – to place our lives in HIS hands and allow HIM to use us for HIS glory. I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life, but WHO you have in your life that counts.
by: Pastor JP Masakayan
There was a time where Israel had no king and everyone did as he saw fit (Judges 17:6). During this time, there was a Levite who took on a concubine, dishonoring God’s design for marriage. When they stopped over the city of Gibeah and wicked men demanded to have sexual relations with him, he sent his concubine to them instead. While the wicked men violated the woman throughout the night, the Levite stayed in the comfort of his host’s house.
The next day, when he got home, he cut up the woman into 12 parts, sent them into all the areas of Israel, and triggered a mob against the Benjamite men of Gibeah. Because the Benjamites won’t give the men up, civil war ensued, as well as further degradation of people’s morals.
All these happened because one Levite failed to honor God and also to honor his concubine. “As goes the home, so goes the nation,” says Warren Wiersbe.
The Bible tells us to honor and respect everyone (1 Peter 2:17). Honor is the attitude or the disposition towards people; respect is the action towards them. So what does it mean to honor and respect others? To honor and to respect people means to treat them as family. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 says, “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”
To honor and respect people also means to be considerate of them: to look at them from God’s perspective and to look at them from their side of the fence. We should always keep in mind that whether lovable or not, God has also created the people around us in His image and likeness, just like us! And also, even the latter part of the Ten Commandments is already filled with guidelines on how we should treat others, their property and their possessions.
To respect and to honor is to defer to others as well. We treat others in deference to who they are. If we can’t respect the person, we ought to respect the position. The Bible goes further, saying, “in humility consider others better than yourselves…” (Philippians 2:3) and to “not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…” (Romans 12:3)
Honoring and respecting others is hard because, ultimately, it’s about dying to the self. It’s giving up our sense of rights, it’s giving up our claim to be first, and it’s giving up our desire to be on top and to have everybody else below us. It’s about living as a sacrifice. It’s a demonstration of Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Biblical honoring and respecting may be such a high calling, and human nature may be too selfish for it, but this is possible when we know Jesus Christ. During those days, Israel did not have an authority above them. They also did not know the Lord. Parents, as God ordained authorities in your children’s life, it is your responsibility to point them to Jesus and to train them in His ways. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Learning how to honor and respect God and others is important. And the reality is that children learn this in the home. That’s why training in the family setting is crucial. Do you want our nation to change? Be a changed agent first, then be an agent of change in your family. “As goes the home, so goes the nation.”
– I am really apologized that I didn’t publish the best of CCF Chronicles because I migrated to Toronto, Canada last November 12. I will publish the 2 best CCF Chronicles here in my blog in December. God bless. — Chester Diaz
A blessed evening everyone. My name is Chester Diaz residing alone in BF Homes International, Las Pinas City. In January 2007, my mother brought me to a psychologist at the Makati Medical Center to test my psychological skills. Then after a couple of weeks, the results of that test came, I was diagnosed having an Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s is a mild autism spectrum that was traced back when I was a child. I did not interact or mingle socially with other people, much more there was absence of permanent friends to build a stronger relationship on me.
My loneliness began when I was a child I had to live in Sta. Cruz, Manila with my relatives on my father side. Filled with lack of love and peace because my parents were busy on their respective jobs, I was imprisoned with despondency and rejection.
I grew up and graduated in BS Computer Science in 1999 but I didn’t apply for a job at once because my parents enrolled me at the different schools of personality development and some computer training centers. But in spite of getting my mind occupied on these learnings of improving myself, I was still empty and thought that something is still missing in my life.
After studying in these schools, I decided to assist my family’s meatshop business until 2009. I really missed my parents so mch as they are now residing in Canada for more than three years, and I was left behind alone in Las Pinas. All efforts were made just so I could join my parents in Canada but the Canadian Visa Officers rejected to grant my visa application as a dependent thrice and this led to more frustrations, misery and resentments.
Last year, I met Rowena Pena at Power Books Alabang Town Center, who was the one who convinced and invited me to come to Christ’s Commission Fellowship here in Alabang.
I attended “The 40 Days of Love” Seminar last February 2011 until the first week of April 2011. After that, I met Dr. Jerome Baclao, M.D. who conducted the teachings of Biblical Foundation Series up to Baptism which started way back July 2011. I am really amazed with doc’s clear instructions about the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ based on the Bible. One session, I missed our lesson because of my gout resulting into a high uric acid. I know in my heart that Satan wants to hinder me from not finishing the session but I prayed in my mind and in my heart said, “I will finish this foundational studies by God’s grace!”
I recalled what the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20 (NASB) and it says: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” I learned from the Scriptures that Christ suffered until his death on the cross so I gave up my life through bending my breast, and prostrating to the ground surrendering my sins (sins of omission and commission) against God. I asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come and to reign in my life, and this culminated the long years or decades of despondency, laxity of social skills, and untoward rejection including the hidden secrets of my dark pasts, and mold me into the kind of person that He wants me to be after I received Jesus Christ as the Only Way to eternal life.
In Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” I know for sure that God has a better and a greater plans for my life before migrating to Canada. My loyalty and commitment to Christ Jesus still remains. Paul said in Philippians 4:13 (KJV): “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” I will face struggles and adversities but Christ will always be on my side. He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). But the greatest thing that happened in my life that I have a stronger and better relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, who gave me the best gift that anyone can have and that is I have now eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
by Pastor Joby Soriano
Gratitude is a command and choice for us to respond with a heartfelt expression of thanksgiving and appreciation acknowledging the grace of God, in every area of one’s life. But notice that it is first a command, and secondly a choice. Gratitude is not a feeling that dictates your choices. But it is a choice that affects your feelings.
Gratitude is what the children of God do in everything, at every moment, every day. First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” The will of God is for us to be grateful. Think about it. Gratitude is a gift that the poorest person can give it lavishly for free, yet having given this, will not make him poorer but even richer.
Are you grateful? Ask yourself these questions: Do you find yourself complaining about the traffic? How about your work situation? Do you feel resentful about not having branded clothes or the latest gadgets? Do resent your parents? Ungrateful people live miserable lives because they choose to. Ungrateful people become unhappy, bitter, discontent, and angry. They can’t live with joy, peace and contentment because they see life with a pessimistic perspective.
Another mistaken perspective is the feeling of entitlement. In most families today, parents spend too much time at work or earning money. Consequently, they have little time left to be with their children and develop healthy relationships. To compensate, they “buy” their children’s affection with whatever they ask for–toys, candies, gadgets, etc. Children then develop a sense of entitlement–that they are entitled to receive everything they ask for. This fosters an attitude of ingratitude. A child who is used to getting everything he want will throw a tantrum when he isn’t given what he demands.
Ungrateful people want it NOW! Like the prodigal son, we couldn’t wait. Ungrateful people believe that they deserve MORE! Like the elder brother in Luke 15, we are envious and jealous, proud or angry; we assert that we deserve more and better.
The antidote to their ungratefulness is to have a whole new perspective, and that is, gratitude. To teach our children the attitude of gratitude, we have to model it. Our children are watching us and they follow our example.
To cultivate an attitude of gratitude, we have to DECIDE to turn blessings into praise. Every blessing God pours out, let us turn back to praise (Deuteronomy 8:17-18) because every blessing we don’t turn back to praise turns into pride.
What did Jesus teach about gratitude? In Luke 17, ten lepers cried out to Jesus for healing. Jesus healed them, but only one came back to Him with gratitude and praise. Jesus said, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? Arise, go your way, your faith has made you whole.” Gratitude confirms salvation. Will you be like this one who returned to God to give thanks?
With so much that God has done and is doing for us and in our lives, shouldn’t gratefulness be a natural response? Let us pray to receive a new perspective about God. Meditate on this list:
1. He love us and has our best interests in mind. (John 3:16)
2. Everything that happens to us is meant to bring us closer to Him. (Romans 8:31-32)
3. He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
4. He is sovereign and in perfect control of all things. (Psalm 103:19)
5. Nothing is impossible with Him. (Luke 1:37)
Whatever circumstance you are in right now, remember that there are many reasons to praise God for. Would you pause right now and express your gratitude to Him?
– CCF Weekly Chronicles, July 24, 2011
Next Month: Virtues To Teach Your Children: Respect by Pastor JP Masakayan on the Best of CCF Chronicles here on Chester2278’s World of Blogs (chester2278.wordpress.com).
Official Statement to Express Strongest Condemnation against Admins of the Andi’s Angels and Its Fanpage on Facebook — AN EXPLOSIVE BLOG!!!
Posted July 5, 2011on:
Good evening everyone to my co-bloggers at wordpress and other social blog sites here and around the globe.
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight I officially and voluntarily relinquished as an administrator of the Andi Lines on Facebook’s fanpage that one of the administrators or members of the Andi’s Angels named Aubrey Anne Dela Cruz who was behind of attempting to destroy my reputation as follows:
1) “Sino ba si admin ches ng andi lines? Siya ba yung chester diaz the former admin of Andi’s Angels who alway’s say that he will migrate to canada and when he does he will leave Andi Manzano’s fan page etc……..!? or is it another person? just curious” (Who is Admin Ches of Andi Lines? Was he, Chester Diaz, the former admin of Andi’s Angels who always say that he will migrate to Canada and when he does he will leave Andi Manzano’s fan page etc……..!? or is it another person? just curious.”) — On the wall post of Andi Lines.
2) “Hi angels! question lang po sino po ba ang admin ches ng andi lines? siya po ba yung Chester Diaz na dating admin dito na baliw na kung ano ano ang pinagsasabi like he’s going to canada then he will leave Andi Manzano fan page??? binura kasi yung question ko dun ng admin tapos di na pwede magpost sa wall nila” (Hi angels! Question who is admin Ches of Andi Lines? Was Chester Diaz the former admin here became crazy of what he’s saying like he’s going to Canada then he will leave Andi Manzano fan page??? The admin deleted the question then I can’t post in their wall.) — On the wall post of Andi’s Angels.
Ms. Aubrey Anne Dela Cruz, you were the one on igniting through the use of firecrackers to humiliate me with thousands of followers of Andi Lines. I was the one deleting or censoring your “blunt” statements to destroy my reputation. Ms. Dela Cruz, I’ll be leaving to Canada in the near future but my official leaving is still confidential — that’s the internal affairs of my family. Ms. Dela Cruz, you know, I have my own extra-curricular activities for my preparation before leaving to Canada and you have no rights to question me! You must confess your sins to the Lord, but if you will fail to confess, God will judge you soon and I will be the one to witness against you!
I am addressing to Ms. Andi Manzano that I know you’re reading my blog to express my stronger condemnation against the admins and members of the Andi’s Angels EXCEPT you and your family. I was a victim and removed by the admins of those angels due to their envy and wickedness against me. It’s time to break my silence that I kept my bitterness against them for more than 6 months ago. This is the war of my words against the foolish angels!
You know, Andi, you won’t reach one hundred thousand followers on your fanpage because those angels are like the strands or threads appear on the weak rope and will be easily split between you and your angels. Those angels are the biggest obstacles against me! You must be eternally vigilant of more than 88,000 followers in your fanpage. Remember this, I was the one advising and encouraging you through writing thoughts when I was a Catholic and I’m humbly still respecting you. Always take care and guard against them!
The whole truth that your angels really scoffed me by such sarcastic and bothering or backstabbing words against me that they were creating the TOP5@5 chat or forum group four months ago.
I ended penning on your fanpage last February 4, on the 34th wedding anniversary of my parents because, I promised to my mom to end writing your thoughts on your fanpage but I have filled with my deeper regrets. Please forgive me that I had forgotten to press the “UNLIKE” last February. I don’t want to break the strongest chains of my loyalty as your fan or your Christian friend. Please forgive me, this is my strongest fight against your bogus angels! Using social networks like Facebook and Twitter are filled with biggest perils. Don’t be the next victim of social network crime committed by cyber predators. Again, take care!
To the former colleagues of Andi’s Angels, you hypocrites, I am strongly penned this EXPLOSIVE and PROTEST blog against you because you have been implanted your minds and hearts by Satan. True angels have no wings but they are spirits. It is written in Hebrews 1:7, 14 in New American Standard Bible (NASB):
“And of the angels He says, ‘WHO MAKES HIS ANGELS WINDS,
AND HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.’ … Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”
Angels have no wings but they are ministering spirits to inherit salvation according to the Bible. I am speaking the truth in the Scriptures. If you will say angels have wings, it is a myth and a lie! A true angel guards for those who believe in God. It is written in Psalm 34:7 in King James Version (KJV):
“The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. “
You know, I don’t eat uncooked rice but I must cook and steam it before I eat it. You are eating unpolished rice or “palay” because of your crap!
Those group that I called them “VIPERS” because they are venomous group to kill, humiliate or intoxicate my reputation or my soul due to your envy and wickedness!
You know, I almost memorized all the verses of the Scriptures that I implanted in my mind and heart already because those Biblical verses are like bullets or ammunitions for more than 7 years ago! Therefore, I am still sinking with an anchor through God’s Word better than you, hypocrite and wicked angels!
I am calling to the colleagues of the Bible study group at Christ Commission Fellowship – Alabang (CCF – Alabang) for stronger prayers and support on this blog that I am still vulnerable by the enemies of faith. To Ms. Joyce Burton Titular, my blog colleague and friend, please pray for me to strengthen my faith in God. To Ms. Nova Ituralde, please tell to your church mates at the Church of God International (CGI) for prayers and moral support for me.
Thank you. So help me Lord!
“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” — I Peter 4:16, KJV
These were the words written by the Apostle Peter to encourage believers not to be ashamed to call them “Christians.”
I had previously written here in my blog about my official statement that I quit as a Catholic for nearly 33 years. I have no deeper regrets to the Catholic bishops and clergy who are ranting to quash the House Bill No. 4244 or Reproductive Health Bill. But I’m deeply saddened to my colleagues at the Presentation of the Child Jesus Parish (PCJ) because I am no longer attending the daily masses and disregarding the Catholic practices such as praying rosaries and chaplets, lauds and vespers of the Liturgy of the hours, the novenas, and more except reading the Bible.
It’s the start of the month of July to my dear co-bloggers and readers. I started to study the Biblical Foundation one under the first level of the Global Leadership Center (GLC) at the Christ Commission Fellowship – Alabang (CCF-Alabang) every Wednesday night. My classmates at Biblical Foundation I were amazed on my answers because I was so attentively participated in the class. I haven’t yet baptized as a Christian but I have really learned the verses of the Scriptures.
My parents know that I am no longer a Catholic. I will tell them soon in Canada that my faith really and strongly focuses in God through His Beloved Son Jesus Christ. My loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ still remains in my life. Therefore, I am not ashamed to call me a Christian whether here in my blog or different walks of my life.
I really can’t know the official day of my baptism to be a Christian because Satan will crush my future so I asked God through prayer to leave behind my future and I don’t really mind to give it to Satan. To be a Christian, well, by immersing and obeying God’s Word daily that was taught by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
by Pastor Joby Soriano
We are living in the “I” generation. People don’t understand the concept of service or sacrifice before self. The “I” Generation is all about “I” and “me” and “mine.” Everyone is obsessed with self.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;” (NASB). The Apostle Paul tells us in verse 5 that love does not seek its own. When God looks down at His spiritual children, His heart is overjoyed when we are unselfish, but also aches when we keep putting ourselves first. Here are 3 truths that we need to understand about what the Bible says about ourselves and the sin of selfishness.
1. Caution – Beware of “I” in Selfishness
Selfishness goes against everything that Jesus taught. 2 Timothy 3:1-2, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy.”
Selfishness is not a small problem. Selfishness is one of the most serious sins that a man can commit. In fact, six of the Ten Commandments are directed primarily against the sin of selfishness. Selfishness is the root of all other sins. The definition of selfishness is acting or thinking of one’s own well-being alone. The Corinthian believers were models of what loving Christians should not be. They were selfish to the extreme. They did not share their food at love feasts, they protected their rights to the point of suing fellow believers in pagan law courts, and they wanted the “best” spiritual gifts to build themselves up instead of others in the church.
It is almost impossible to have a true meaningful relationship with a person who only thinks about himself or herself. Let’s be reminded that the opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference. And indifference has its roots in selfishness. This applies to a lack of compassion for people who need the Lord. 1 John 3:17, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” You can’t be selfish and loving at the same time.
2. Cause – “I” is in the center of Sin
Sin is when we fall short of the standard of God. We are not living in obedience to God. The reason is because of “I”. Look at James 4:1-2, “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them.”
The cause of relational conflicts is simple: someone is not getting their way. As long as I put “I” first, it is only a matter of time before “I” meets someone else who wants to be first and the result according to the Bible is “fights and quarrels.” Think back to your last fight with your parents, family member, co-worker or friend: What was your fight about and why? “What did you want?” If we really looked at it and had you come up here to share what it probably came down to, most likely you didn’t get your way because the other person insisted on their way. What’s most important in God’s eyes is not who is right but that your relationship with Him is right.
Many churchgoers silently and selfishly demand that church be done the way they want – to meet their needs. They don’t realize that the church is not just about them. It is composed of many who all have different needs that the church is trying to meet especially for those outside the church. If churchgoers don’t get their way they grumble to others to cause division within the church. If your marriage is suffering realize that God can’t help you until you both are willing to take “I” out of yourself to humbly care and serve the needs of your partner.
3. Cure – No longer “I” but Christ
What is the cure to selfishness in our lives? Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” This verse is declaring a change of ownership in our lives. Our hearts are transformed to live for Jesus and not for our selves anymore.
How does this happen? Whereas the root of our lives were once of this world of sin and evil, our new roots are changed to godliness as Christ comes into our lives. As we abide in God, His Word and the power of His Holy Spirit the evidence or the fruit will naturally come forth. In this case, love. We cannot manufacture love on our own. It is simply a by-product of our being rooted in God Himself. Of course we will struggle with out natural flesh, “the old self” in our life, but now we have the freedom to choose godly living. Being in Christ means – I live for Him, not myself.
Let us remember 3 simple words that deliver us from the curse of selfishness – Surrender, Service and Self-denial. When we are truly secure in our relationship with the Lord, we will be willing to surrender whatever we think is most precious to us knowing that God will give us what’s best. We conquer our selfishness with an attitude of service to others. And lastly, self-denial gives others a chance to experience Christ’s love in action.
Jesus loves us unselfishly. If you were with the disciples, He would have washed your feet just as it was written in John 13:5. Yet in a matter of hours, as payment for our sins His own feet would be nailed to a cross, along with the hands that washed those feet. Jesus did His part for you; you need to do your part by receiving by faith the gift of salvation that Jesus freely gives so you can have the security of a personal relationship with Him and share that love that does not seek its own.
Next Month: Let Go and Let Love by Pastor EJ Del Mundo
A blessed weekend everyone to my dear bloggers here at wordpress.com and blogging colleagues from the other social media sites to share with you that I’m still studying the Bible every Thursday night at Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF) Alabang. I didn’t attend the Bible study group when I was in Catholic for nearly 33 years. Well, I attended the 40 Days of Love program at CCF-Alabang on my new D-Group formed by Bro. Ricky Espiritu three months ago. I would like to thank Bro. Ricky Espiritu for giving me free materials from the transcript teachings of John MacArthur’s Fundamentals of the Faith through the Grace to You official website.
The Grace to You website says, “Every Sunday morning at Grace Community Church (and throughout the week), small groups of people gather together around this manual for ‘Fundamentals of the Faith’ classes. Thirteen lessons blend basic biblical truths with personal obedience and service. Many young believers take these classes to grow in their understanding of biblical truths. With topics ranging from the character of God to church participation, it’s an ideal study for discipling new believers or returning to the basics of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
Here are the following 13 lessons of the Fundamentals of Faith:
- Introduction to the Bible
- How to Know the Bible
- God: His Character and Attributes
- The Person of Jesus Christ
- The Work of Christ
- The Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit
- Prayer and The Believer
- The Church: Fellowship and Worship
- Spiritual Gifts
- Evangelism and The Believer
- God’s Will and Guidance
I encourage everyone to study these 13 Fundamentals of the Faith each week either download the transcript or listen to the sermons of John MacArthur log-on to http://www.gty.org/fof.
Enjoy study! Thanks and God bless everyone.