Sunday, April 2, 2006

One of the long emails I write

Dear Jef,

I attended HR's Tagalog Service which started at 6:30. Manong and I came in late because we woke up late. How un-glorifying to the Lord that is. We should really endeavor to come early during Sundays. Our attitude towards punctuality reflects our attitude towards worship.

Pastor Bob is in Bohol, speaking in a special service of one of the CCM (Communion of Christian Ministries, of which HR is a member) churches there. So it was Pastor Bong Bulusan from Batac, Ilocos Norte, a senior pastor from a CCM church there, who was requested to preach. He's in Manila for medication and for his sabbatical leave. Ang galing n'ya!

He talked about how Christians ought to respond to the trials and tribulations that come their way. The text was Job 1. And it was wonderful, Jef. Oh, if only you were here, you would've loved the preaching, too.

The Lord spoke to me deeply in this verse: "The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Imagine, Jef, how rooted Job's faith was in God's sovereignty! He had known all along that it was the Lord who gave Him all of his possessions, and that the Lord could take it away anytime, if He pleased.

When his properties were destroyed and his children killed, he was grieved. He must've shed bucketfuls of tears. He shaved his head. He tore his robe. But you know what amazes me, Jef? It was that "he never sinned" in his anguish. Oh, how I wish I could be like him.

I wish I could sing songs of praise even in times of hardships. I wish I could glorify the Lord in my weakness. I wish I wouldn't forget the amazing Doctrine of the Sovereignty of God during the times when I'm in circumstances beyond my control.

Jef, one important lesson I learned, among others, is that we are totally undeserving. I mean, who are we to complain and tell God, "Lord, I don't deserve this" ? Who are we to even gladly receive good, pleasurable blessings from God's hand and yet refuse, when time comes, to receive chastisement from the same loving hand? I often forget this, Jef.

How then should we respond then to Job's example? I suppose the generic answer remains to be the best one: we should follow it. But of course, we couldn't do it on our own. We need the guidance and the urgings of the Holy Spirit. We need Him to spur us to action, because, if left to ourselves, we will choose to slacken off.

I should really like to tell you a lot more, but it's not my goal to turn this letter into one, long Tolstoi novel.

In Christ,
Lance

11 comments:

  1. hey, lance! just dropping by...
    nice lay-out!!! :D

    You're really so talented! naks! hehe...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the letter, Lance. I really appreciate it. >:D< I have more to say, but wrapping it all in just a single comment will not suffice. I'll talk to you soon, OK? God bless, Lance.

    ReplyDelete
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