Serving Jesus More and More

Posted by Site Admin On 12:00 PM

by Samuel D. Geroy
   When we want to serve Jesus more we want to give the best possible service. We can deepen our own service for Jesus as we watched Israel served Him for forty years in the wilderness. God sustained them with food, water and His presence but they misused their freedom, placed confidence on themselves, and worshiped idols (Exodus, 1 Corinthians 10:1-22). Their two week journey to the land of promise lasted for forty years instead.
   Today, we serve God better and more when husbands and wives follow God’s order in marriage (1 Corinthians 11), celebrate the Lord’s Supper orderly, follow the apostles, prophets, pastors-teachers, miracle workers, and administrators (1 Corinthians 12) as they do their work faithfully. For all believers, each one should use his spiritual gift in harmony with each other and without the spirit of competition (1 Corinthians 12).
   The greatest gift is love (1 Corinthians 13). Leaders must model love to the Church, and the Church model it to the world. Love, living a life, and service must be done in an appropriate manner (1 Corinthians 14, 15). Paul closed his letter by giving practical and personal words to the believers in Corinth (1 Corinthians 16).
   This April, we centered our thoughts in the last week of the life of Jesus on earth (Matthew 21-28, Mark 11-16, Luke 19-24, John 12-21). The Lord conducted His triumphal entry to Jerusalem, cleansed the temple, and cursed the fig tree. His final teachings were about the Parable of Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32), paying taxes to the government and giving to God (Matthew 22:15-22), answering the question to reveal that here is no marriage in heaven (Matthew 22:23-33), that the greatest commandment is love (Matthew 22:34-40), that the Christ is the Son of One who is greater than David (Matthew 22:41-45), and He pronounced more judgment to the scribes and Pharisees )Matthew 23).Then Jesus was anointed by Mary in preparation for His death (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 123:2-11).

The Beauty of Thanking and Giving to God

Posted by Site Admin On 10:01 AM

by Samuel D. Geroy
   We thank the Lord because He helps us abundantly (Psalm 146.1-10). This is why we are alive, and he continues to defend us against oppression, gives us food to eat, sets us free from sin, opens our eyes in order to understand His will, raises us up when we are down, loves, protects, supports defends us against the wicked. In response, we give Him back the tithes and offerings (Mat 23.23) and do justice, mercy and faith. Indeed God expects our commitment before He gives us provisions (Psalm 145.8-20).  Coming was righteous judgment.
   In Psalm 18 David reviewed his life to prove why he loves, knows and calls on the Lord. In different stages of his life, the Lord was with him- Desperation v. 4, 5, Defense v. 6-15, and Deliverance p. 16-19. As a result, he lived a righteous life by the Lord`s direction v. 20-28, and leadership v. 29-42. King David unified Israel through his theocratic leadership v. 43-45. He concluded by enhancing his praises in v. 46-50.
   Another great thanksgiving to the Lord was given by Moses in Exodus 15.1-19. He claimed a spectacular victory in Exodus 15.1-5 and summarized it in verses 6-10. The Lord defeated all the gods of Egypt and their worshipers 15. 11-13, promising that he will establish them further 15.14-17. Then he repeated that it is important to celebrate and remember what God has done.
   Others who gave praise to God was Miriam in Exodus 15.21. Finally, one of the best way to express thanksgiving is through giving back to God from our income in a regular basis- weekly or monthly, 2 Corinthians 9.1-15. We practice important principles of giving- sow bountifully, reap bountifully and joyfully. God is pleased with the cheerful giver. Even God promised temporal and external blessings to the cheerful giver.

Our Unchanging Role in the World

Posted by Site Admin On 9:48 AM

by Samuel D. Geroy
   The Christian is called to live a life at a higher level. As in the story about the prince and the pauper, when they exchanged roles and the pauper lived in the palace as a prince, how joyful he was to live life at a higher level. The Lord offered something like that when he called his disciples to follow him. But not to a life of material riches or ease, he offered them the work of fishing for men (Matthew 4.18-20). How can they do that? According to Matthew 5:16, they start by being different through accepting their spiritual poverty and show sadness and mourning for it. Then they should show meekness and gentleness to others, and have passion and hunger for righteousness. Next they should see the world from God`s point of view by having mercy and compassion, having purity and integrity, work on peacemaking instead of revenge, and accept persecution and adversity. Finally, they must relate to people in a supernatural fashion by living a life that knows one’s strength and weaknesses and living accordingly.
   Here are things to follow in order to pass the test for this standard. First, do the right things for the right reasons (Matthew 6:1-8), Pray to do God’s agenda not yours (6:9-13), Choose right relationships for they make or break you (6:14-15), Prioritize eternal things not the temporal (6:19-24), Don’t sweat small stuff (6:25-31) , Seek God’s kingdom first, for it is paramount (6:32,33), Judge yourself before you just others (7:1-6), If you need something, ask; if you have something give (7:7-12), Don’t stray from your convictions and the narrow path (7:13-20), Obedience is the only foundation for life (7:21-27). Our unchanging role in the world is to see a vision and accept it, and prepare our lives and pursue it. Strong God-given visions drove all worthwhile accomplishments recorded in the Bible: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Nehemiah, Esther, Zerubbabel, Jesus, Paul and others. Great Christians and leaders never lose sight of the big picture.
   For us today, it is the vision of a lost world and the completion of evangelism and mission outreach, especially in pockets of unreached peoples. Therefore, let us prepare and pursue the completion of this vision. Then let us keep God’s work and finish it as much as possible. If not, let God finish it and go to the next assignment.
   As we go along with our service for the Lord, we keep on through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. This start with letting the Lord touch our hearts as we rest in Him (Matthew 11:28). This is an inward holiday in our hearts and souls that will prepare us to take God’s yoke as we yield to a stronger partner. Then let us let God prepare our life (Matthew 10:16-33). He tells us to be wise but innocent, warns about hardships and instructs how to handle them, He predicts personal anguish but gives hope and assurance of victory. Then He teaches to yield to authority, recognizes that trainers only reproduce what they are, trainee emulates the master and trusts God to care for their needs, and to be loyal to the end. Finally, the Lord gives us vision larger than life in Matthew 13:5-58. When we give the word, let us simplify the message, focus on the familiar, know the audience and their needs, seize the teachable moment, show the truth because it gives credibility to your words, and you will see response. Seeing the vision will enable us to be empowered to accomplish it even larger than life so that it will extend to eternity.
   Our role in the world is to live an empowered life by giving in order to empower others. If we are not willing to give power away we will fail like King Saul, Pharoah and Herod the great. The Lord Jesus Christ gave power away to His disciples through the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ law of empowerment is this: Give rest to prepare for new energy and motive (Matthew 11:28-30), learn to be guided by a stronger partner (29), that results to a gentle and humble leadership. We are also giving away our ministry to those who can develop, use and give it away to others also.

Our Unchanging Work Till He Comes

Posted by Site Admin On 11:52 AM

by Samuel D. Geroy
   The Lord wants us to finish our life assignments till He comes. Noah was man of the hour in Genesis 5-9. Because man became so wicked during his time, God declared to destroy the whole earth. Noah was commanded to build an ark because God will send a deluge to judge the world. At the age of 500 years, Noah was commanded to build the ark finishing it after 100 years. Then God sent a flood that drowned everything in the world, only Noah`s family survived. All creatures died except his family and animals that entered the ark. A new family repopulated the world. That was a most difficult assignment for Noah that changed his life forever.
   Enoch and Elijah had very unique assignments. Enoch walked with God for 300 years (Genesis 5.21-24) and one God took directly to heaven without passing through the gates of death. Elijah also walked with God (1 Kings 17, 18) in faithful service as a prophet and in the end was carried directly to heaven in the chariots of fire (2 Kings 1). Both of them finished their life work in a wonderful way.
   Job`s work was to pass through a most severe trial to the limit when he lost everything but never gave up his faith in God. Jude, brother of James (and of the Lord) also wrote about standing for the Lord in the face of error and apostasy as shown in the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Balaam, Korah and others like them in the last days.
   Daniel`s most important work was tracing world history towards its ending in the plan of God. This gives us important lessons? Never plan without praying, respond to the guidance God gives, once we get confirmation & have peace from God we must act accordingly, and obey as a reflection of our faith. Let us always remember that mature Christians have character, works constructively, chooses right causes, have good hearts, does service that impacts, has competence, effectiveness, gives progress, has a good heart, and uses skills to influence others for the good.
   We must be faithful because the spirit of the antichrist is coming in the end times. He will dilute our faith in the Son of God. But we must resist Him and stick on with the Lord. In the midst of all these God`s children must finish their assignment and even finish it well despite the great price. The book of Zechariah encourages us to do this up to the end. Paul adds that we must be steadfast always, 2 Timothy.

Celebrating His Coming

Posted by Site Admin On 11:47 AM

by Samuel D. Geroy
   His coming was the greatest event that changed the world (Mat 1.20-25). Just like Elijah who came in a powerful way in the world of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel (1 Kings 18.17-24, Luke 1.17). The Bible affirms that John the Baptist came in a powerful way like Prophet Elijah in order to prepare the coming of the Messiah (John 1.8).
   To the surprise of the world, God`s Son came not in a palace but in a humble shepherd`s hut in Bethlehem lying in a sheep`s manger (Luke 2.1-7). His mother was a young girl named Mary, from the tribe of Judah, who was to be married a man named Joseph, a carpenter. Jesus`s birth was announced by an angel to shepherds watching their flocks in the hills of Bethlehem at night. The sheep were reserved for temple sacrifice. Then a host of angels and said (or did they sing as implied here) `Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace…` (Luke 2.10-14). The shepherds visited the family in the stable. This birth was also marked by the appearance of a star that was also noticed by wise men from the east. They found out that this star was announcing the birth of a king who will bring salvation to the world (Numbers 24.17, Micah 5.2, Matthew 2.1). So they travelled to Israel in order to look for Him. They asked King Herod and the Scribes he referred to led them to Bethlehem. When the men went there they found Him with his parents in a rented house. They worshiped the Baby and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
   Today we celebrate the Savior`s birth in December though the Bible did not really give the date of His birth unlike the day of His death that is marked in the calendar. Yet the Christmas that Christians celebrate may not be too far from the actual event. This month also gives magic to a beautiful year-end and a feeling of completion. This season is also connected to giving because God gave His Son, the greatest gift for the greatest need. It is also connected to receiving, receiving the greatest gift that no one expects, but one that meets the deepest need of man. This giving also shows a new beginning- like for Adam and Eve after they sinned, for David too, and for Paul after his conversion to Christ, then for Peter after he denied the Lord.
   Other people looked at Jesus and His birth differently- King Herod feared for his throne, Scribes and Pharisees feared for the reprisal of the Roman Empire if they if they go to another king. But the wise men rejoiced at finding the king. That is why the birth of God`s Son is full of ironies that may look like an oxymoron to others. One is the truth that God`s Son is fully God and fully man, He is the bright and morning star, the light of the world that brightens the darkness of night of sin, bringing peace on earth and goodwill to men. Another is that the gift of the wise men reflect the royalty sweetness and painful death. One more is that there was no good accommodation for the coming of God`s Son, and He was born to die for the payment of man`s sin. Finally, the irony that He is God coming in the flesh of depraved humanity. But it was the only way to bring salvation to the sinner.
   As believers, how do we respond to this wonderful gift. For Mary, she pondered these things in her heart and soul (Luke 2.19), then believed and lived it. When we too will believe, we will be like Simeon who believed Him as God`s light to the Gentiles and glory for Israel (Luke 25-35). Then Anna took Him in her arms and praised God for sending Redemption to Jerusalem.

Reaching the World Till He Comes

Posted by Site Admin On 11:38 AM

by Samuel D. Geroy
   Seeing the world’s great needs and meeting them gives joy to the heart of God. The daughter of Jairus, a Jewish ruler, died and Jesus raised her back to life (Mt 9:18-26, Mk 5:22-43). Along the way, a woman with hemorrhage for twelve years was also healed (Mt 9:20-22). Then He gave back sight to the two blind men (Mt 9:27-31). Also, a demon-possessed mute was released from the power of Satan and was able to speak again (Mt 9:32-34).
   But the greatest need of all was emphasized by the Lord when he healed a paralytic man who was brought by his friends inside a packed house where Jesus was teaching by opening the roof (Mt 9.1-8). Jesus said to the man, ”Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven.” While religious leaders complained in their hearts, the Lord said to him, “Get up, pick up your mat and go home.”The crowds were amazed. For Christ, the best way to help the world is to forgive sin.
   Sometime later, Jesus` close friend Lazarus died. He was away and arrived at Bethany after four days. Jesus went to his tomb and wept (John 11.35). Then he commanded Lazarus to come out of the grave and he did. Jesus also wept for Jerusalem (Luke 19.41, 13.34) because she did not understand the wonderful things God was doing before her eyes. The prophet Jonah did not understand too the greatness of his mission to preach at Nineveh (Jonah 1-4, 760 B.C.). It took the experience of being swallowed by a big fish for 3 days and 3 nights for him to obey the assignment. Judas Iscariot never understood the greatness of his assignment in being a disciple of Jesus so that he could afford to sell him for 30 pieces of silver (Mk 14.10, 11, Luke 22.1-6). King Josiah was faithful in restoring the temple in Jerusalem and in serving God as long as his uncle, High Priest Jehoiada was alive (2 Chronicles 24). He backslid when he died. Prophet Jeremiah (580-570 B.C.) wept for Israel and went to the Lord to strengthen his hope. He accepted the call to tell Israel to return to the God and trust His faithfulness (Lamentations 3.24-25, 5. 11, 20).
   In these times, God`s work must be done with haste (1 Samuel 21.8) as David believed. He built a kingdom for God in Israel and many like-minded men followed him (1, 2 Kings). The Lord Jesus told His disciples to seek and build His kingdom (Mt 6.25-33, Luke 12.22-34). He started in Israel and his successors reached Asia Minor, Europe and finally, the whole world through the ages.
   To reach the world, Christians must work beyond their capabilities, give beyond themselves, and go beyond their borders. This happens when God`s people move themselves, and give themselves in reaching and connecting with all kinds of people everywhere. Jesus gave the example of connecting with all kinds of people- the religious (Jn 7.32-36), the immoral woman (Jn 8.3-11),the hardened criminal (Lk 23.39-43), the simple boy with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread (Jn 6.1-14), the child whose simplicity was compared to someone great in God`s kingdom (Mt 18.1-6), the lunatic boy and the girl who was very ill (Mt 17.14-18) who were both healed. This was also seen in the Old Testament through the boy Samuel (1 Sam 3. 18-36), the widow and her 2 sons whose last oil multiplied in order to meet all their needs (2 Kings 4.1-7), the helper of General Naaman in Syria (1 Kings 5.1-14), and the boy King Josiah who brought great revival in the kingdom of Israel through God`s Word that was found in the temple (2 Kings 22). There are many other similar stories in the whole Bible and also in all of life in the world.
   God brings great revival to people with broken and humble hearts, Ps 34.18, 147.3, Mt 11.29, as they come to Him in contrition. Just like Nicodemus in John 3. He gives judgment to the proud Pharisees and Scribes Mk 7.6-7, Pharoah Ex 4.21, and to many others. To reach the world Jesus connected with all kinds of people and brought forgiveness and love. All of us who love and serve Him are expected to do the same.