National Chaplains Of Philippines National Convention June 2017

Attended and celebrated the ordination of my comrade-in-Christ, Pastor Martin Fao-ilan, as Bishop during the National Chaplains of Philippines national convention cum fellowship conference with the leadership of the Body of Christ Fellowship, Indonesia from 19 to 20 June 2017.

All thanks and glory to God that I was also conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by the Alliance of International Bishops and Theologians Inc, Urdaneta City, Bangasinan, Philippines and re-appointed as the International Chaplain on the same occasion.

 

Pastor Myra and John Jalique of Cathedral of Faith, Philippines

Testimony (14)

Phil 4:6

 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

We will encounter trials and tests of our faith in our life journey.   Do we bring our anxieties to God in the first instance and ask for deliverance ?

At times, God delivered us.  And at other times, God granted us peace to deal with the situation.

My 2 minor children aged 14 and 13 were supposed to join a church delegation on an overseas mission. They were initially allowed to fly but were later denied and offloaded because they would need a waiver of exclusion ground to travel unaccompanied by a parent.

We told them not to be disappointed but to bring everything to God in prayer first.

We had 3 hurdles to clear together :

  1. We hoped the airline would allow them to fly again without considering as no-show for the promo ticket they had purchased. That was unlikely because it was our fault for not finding out about such regulation.
  2. We had to expedite the application for this waiver at the destination country embassy which normally required at least 3 days in advance for such application.
  3. Even if we clear the first 2 hurdles, would there be available seats the next day since we were informed few seats were available ?

We prayed knowing that if God so willed, He could still grant our prayer request to overcome these hurdles despite the really slim odds. It was a great lesson for my children to learn to trust God in every situation.

Hallelujah ! All thanks and praise to God our Father and Jesus our Lord for granting our prayer wish to overcome all hurdles.

This incident reminded me of another I faced 2 decades ago.  My wife and I worshiped in a denominational church then.  We once planned a free-and-easy 4 day holiday in Ho Chi Minh City.   When other members came to know about our plan,  they wanted to join us as well.  In the end, I had to book a land package tour for 22 pax.  As the tour would start on a Sunday, the church lay leader was upset enough to curse us of God’s judgment for skipping Sunday service.  Later,  I realized we could still go for the service in the morning before heading for the airport.  I cast all my anxieties to God – the unease of bringing so many elderly folk and the unexpected curse – and also prayed for journey mercies.

On that very Sunday morning,  an elderly lady joining us for the tour received news of her brother-n-law’s death and she decided not to fly with us.  2 days later,  she had a heart attack.   If she had joined us and had the heart attack in Ho Chi Minh City,  it would prove the curse of the lay leader to be true and the entire blame would be upon me.  How wonderful was the peace God granted me when I brought all my anxieties to Him.  And the amazing deliverance from the curse and the journey mercy throughout the holiday.   All thanks and glory be to God our Father and Jesus our Lord.

The Christian And Politics

The Only Commission

The only commission given to the Christian is to save souls and make disciples.  And not to effect policy change in legislating morality.  Legislating such change cannot permanently change human hearts.  Only the gospel, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can effect real change in society.  We are to share the gospel to everyone but when we take sides in politics,  we end up losing the evangelism focus.

The Sovereignty Of God

All governments are ordained by God.  God is sovereign over all the affairs of the world and we can trust Him over all national and foreign affairs.  God has revealed through His Word how the world will end with lawlessness increasing by the day till it climaxes.  We are not to be alarmed and we should have hope because we are already pre-warned.   As such,  it is something we cannot stop.  We can never make any society truly righteous until Christ our Lord comes again and set up His perfect Kingdom.  Instead of political activism, we should glorify God in our little sphere of influence by exalting our Lord through good works,  witnessing,  and exhibiting good conduct.

Submission To Governing Authorities

Our Lord came in a time where there was slavery, persecution and oppression.   He never tried to effect political change although the people were looking forward to it.  Instead He said,” Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  Matt 22:21.  Instead of political revolution,  He started a spiritual revolution in the hearts of men.

During  the apostles’ time,  the believers faced severe persecution under the wicked Nero.  Yet Paul and Peter exhorted us to submit to the governing authorities and live godly exemplary lives.  Rom 13:1.  1 Pet 2:12-15.   We are also exhorted to pray for those in authority over us and the salvation of their souls so that we can live tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity.  1 Tim 2:1-2.   Titus 3:1-2.   So when we see our leaders act unrighteously,  the first response is to pray rather than protest, since it is God who ordain these governments in the first place.

Citizenship In Heaven Not Earth

Our true citizenship is in Heaven.   Though we are in the world, we are not of the world.   Our priorities are to advance the Kingdom of God and not kingdom of the world.  So when we spend time on making the world a better place to live,  is that advancing the Kingdom of God or kingdom of the world ?  Even if we manage to Christianize governments through political means,  do you think we can change the heart of the non Christian society through political power instead of the power of the Holy Spirit ?  We should pursue spiritual pursuits instead of political pursuits.

  • gleaned from an article by Dr John MacArthur, “God, Government And The Gospel”.

 

Gray Areas In Life

In many matters of conscience in which Scripture does not address clearly the appropriate response,  should the believer simply have the freedom to act as he wishes ?

Can a believer enjoy any entertainment ?

Can a believer enjoy any music ?

Can a believer enjoy any hobby ?

Is it correct to say that a believer can do what he wants to do since he is free in Christ ?

It is true that the Bible does not mention specifically every possible decision a believer may face in life, but it does address all choices with general principles that govern Christian freedom and conduct.

Here are some principles which I gleaned from the excellent book, Right Thinking In A World Gone Wrong, by Dr John MacArthur, that will help us to make the right decision in life which will glorify God as the main goal.

1.  The Edification Principle.  Will this activity produce spiritual benefit ?

1 Cor 10:23.   “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

Unless something is profitable and helpful to the spiritual good of others,  it is not worth doing.

2.  The Enslavement Principle. Will this activity lead to spiritual bondage ?

1 Cor 6:12.   “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

Anything that dominates us and takes that rightful place of Jesus Christ as our Lord will bring us ruin at the end.

3.  The Exposure Principle. Will this activity expose my mind or body to defilement ?

1 Cor 6:19-20.    Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Anything that exposes us to the sinful nature of the society is to be avoided obviously.

4.  The Esteem Principle. Will this activity benefits others, or cause them to stumble ?

1 Cor 8:8-9.  Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

If any activity that causes a brother to stumble because of his weaker conscience, we should not insist in doing it for the sake of love for the brother.

5. The Evangelism Principle. Will this activity further the cause of the gospel ?

Matt 28:18-20.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Christians should always consider whether their action in any activity will affect their witness to a watching world.  1 Cor 10:32-33.  1 Cor 9:19-23.

6.  The Ethics Principle. Will this activity violate my conscience ?

We sin if we act in any way that goes contrary to the convictions of our own faith and good conscience.   If our conscience is troubled by what we are doing,  don’t do it.

7.  The Exaltation Principle. Will this activity bring glory to God ?

1 Cor 10:31.  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

We are created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  If any activity that will bring dishonor to His name,  don’t do it.