We had a fairly relaxing day playing tourists yesterday. After breakfast, we all decided to go back to the International Baptist Church Makati for Sunday worship this morning . We were keen to listen to the continuation of the ” Great Commission Realities ” (GCR ,Part 2) sermon, and what God has further installed for us.
As the service began we were reminded not to ignore God’s voice speaking to us when worshipping. If we don’t respond to God then our worship is incomplete.
The bible reading was from Act 15:36-16:40. The message this week was also quite appropriate and applicable to us as we prepare to start the second week of our mission in Marilao.
The story of Lydia teaches us the principle of Spiritual Conviction GCR#3. I find the story of Lydia encouraging, where God could use one ordinary person to grow his ministry in Philippi. We should not ignore or shut out the Holy Spirit talking to us. Faith is given to us by the Holy Spirit. We are not saved by our work but by Grace through Faith. It is so comforting to know that the Holy Spirit is always with us, at work before, during and after our ministry. We cannot accomplish the work here in the Philippines without the Holy Spirit, we need the power of the Holy Spirit.
The story of the fortune teller from today’s bible reading teaches us about the principle of Cultural Disturbances and Suffering , GCR #4 and #5. It reminds us of the need to respect different cultures. Not all cultures are evil and no one culture is more important than other culture. We need to communicate the Gospel in a culturally sensitive and appropriate way and it can sometimes confront cultural evils and wickedness. We should never compromise or change the Gospel message in order to win favour in the culture. Fidelity of the gospel message through respect and love is important.
Our obedience to Jesus Christ sometimes puts us in harms way, and we should not be surprised. Jesus Christ promised His disciples will endure suffering and in that suffering, Christ will be present with us. Comforting to know we are not alone as we go through trials and tribulations in our mission here.
Pastor David finished his sermon by posing a few questions:
1. Are we serving in our own intelligence, skills and power or are we asking for daily filling of the Holy Spirit? We are fooling ourselves if we think that we can do it alone on our own.
2. Are we sensitive to the cultures around us, but still courageous to present the Gospel in spite of cultural objections?
3. Are we willing to endure suffering for the sake of the Gospel?
All the questions posed were relevant and a good reminder to all of us before we embark on our 2nd week of our mission.
Please continue to pray for us as we begin the second week of our mission in Marilao.
“But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”
1 Samuel 12:24