Monday, November 01, 2004

test your faith

I remember in one of our church services it was indicated that Christianity is not a buffet.

And I have to agree with that fully.

But one thing that I don’t understand is that there are people who only get what is beneficial to them
from christianity.

Actually upon writing this, I can’t help but feel bad because I have witnessed first hand what people do
when they feel like they can’t commit.

When they look at god as an option.

When they fear that things would go wrong if they take a leap of faith.

Two of my cell should have been baptized last Thursday and Friday.

We got it all figured out.

We have the schedule, paid the fee, had the reservations, finished one to one and the only thing
we need to undergo is the session.

The day before the assembly we met to finish the last part of one to one and to talk about final instructions.

It was all set.

And so that was what I thought.

8 pm both of them called me to tell me that they can’t make it.

I was shocked.

What is this? Am I from another planet? Is water baptism an excursion?
Of course I asked why? Why won’t you fulfill your commitment? Why wont you obey gods command?
(see acts 2:38-41). Why the sudden change of heart?

One said her parents did not allow her and she is afraid that it would mess everything up at home if she insisted.

Now here is the catch.

The only reason why her family was intact is because she has so much faith THEN, that she believe
god would restore her family back and God did, for God is a god of restoration. And now that she has it,
she forgot that the reason why she has it is because god gave it to her. She totally forgot that she, me or
anybody cannot restore anything. Nobody can restore that relationship.

It was because of the mighty hand of god that it worked out.

The other said she can’t make it because she has to be in their loading station.

Now this is even pathetic, disobeying god because of money.

I felt weak, I checked my faith. I told them that we need to pray hard. But what I felt was, I was the only
one fighting the battle. The two gave up even before the

Battle started.

I don’t want to sound self righteous, but there is no better way to present this but this, they asked me if
somebody could just take their slot.

I was furious by that time.

To furious to even speak that all I did was cry. What do you think of god’s command?

A plane.

There could be chance passengers.

By 11 am, I start blaming myself.

Maybe I was not a good cell leader.

Maybe I was not a good example.

Maybe I don’t walk the talk.

But suddenly I was reminded of the fact that it has never been about me, it is all about God.

And if my cell didn’t see it that way then they have a problem. I have been telling them all along…

If truly they have been reading the bible then this would not be a new thing.

I cried like I never cried before that day…but one good thing is that I prayed like

I never prayed before and my faith grew even more stronger. And just like what god said
'my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2corinthians 12:9.

The night before and the next day I felt god’s presence so much that I even had the courage to go
to the church/center and see what is going on.

I was reminded that the only reason why they have these things (‘yung mga pinanghahawakan nila) is because
god gave it to them.

God practically hand it over to them.

Once they received it they don’t want to let go, thinking that it would be all messed up. but I must admit,
once a thing becomes the center of your life, god will take it away. Not because he is cruel but because a
worldly thing should not be the center of your being. How shallow can you get?

When we received salvation God did not expect something from us in return. In fact it was the opposite,
the bible said 'for it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith-and it is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of god,-not by works so that no one can boast’ (Ephesians 2:8,9).The best that we can do
aside form receiving the gift is the fact that we obey god’s words and ‘pay it forward’.

Christianity is definitely not a buffet. We cannot choose and pick things that would benefit us. We get the
good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly…but most of all we get God.

Grace Bible Church