Not Grudge but Love and Gratefulness to Parents

1/25/2020 12 Comments

Why forgiving your parents is a way to salvation

Often have I come across sons and daughters who, due to certain reasons, have developed grudges against their parents.

Definitely, it is not right for children to develop and harbor negative feelings towards their parents! And if it already exists, it must be rid of right away. How?

The primary thing that children must do is to think and ponder. Ask yourselves, had your mother and father not fallen in love with each other, do you think you would come to existence? If God did not use them to be His instruments to your existence, do you think you would be born?

As we know, a human being is formed when the sperm cell of a man unites with the egg cell of a woman. The sperm cell and the egg cell have 23 chromosomes each. We must realize that all the cells in our body have 46 chromosomes each; only the sperm cell and the egg cell have 23 chromosomes respectively.

However, when the man’s sperm cell with 23 chromosomes meets the woman’s egg cell with 23 chromosomes after sexual intercourse, a cell with 46 chromosomes is formed. This cell will then divide into many cells, until a fetus is formed. And this fetus becomes a child that grows in the womb of a mother.

My point is, had it not for your mother and your father who contributed 23 chromosomes each, there wouldn’t be a “you” today. In other words, next to God, you owe your life and existence to your parents. So, why bear a grudge against them?

To children who have grudges against their parents, please take note of this. No matter how bad your parents are in your sight, no matter what it is that they had done that caused you deep pain, it is best that you forgive them and forget whatever they did that hurt you. Instead of remembering their shortcomings that only embitter you, why not remember instead the good things that they had done for you?

Actually you have so much to be thankful for to your parents. Foremost is, they reared you; they took care of you even from the time that you were still in the womb of your mother; and they raised you the best way they could. Proof to that is, you are still alive until this very moment, and with God’s mercy, you are without any physical deformity or any physical disability.

I don’t think that any son or daughter would ever survive and be what they are today if their parents had been cruel to them all their lives. Remember, no human being will ever survive if nobody will take care of him.

Humans are not like tortoises. When a mother tortoise lays eggs on the seashore, she will just cover the eggs with sand and then leave. After a certain period, the eggs will hatch, and soon after, you can see young tortoises frolicking in the sea right away. We can be sure that, so long as no predators will victimize them, the young tortoises will live even without being attended to by their mothers.

The same is true with newly-hatched chicks. They, too, can manage on their own even without being fed and cared for by hens. They will be able to survive so long as they won’t be devoured by rats, dogs, and cats.

But it is a totally different thing with humans. An infant has to be breastfed by his mother, he has to be taken care of, and he has to be watched over, day and night. A baby grows and continues to live because there are hands that feed him, cuddle him, and protect him. And those are the hands of his parents.

If, later on, the child felt that his parents had not been good parents to him for they failed to provide him with a good education and other comforts in life, nonetheless, those could not outweigh all the good deeds and sacrifices made by his parents when he was growing up. He must not feel bad especially if their failure to provide him with a comfortable life or a good education was due to their limited financial resources, and not because they loved him less.

Every child must always show appreciation and gratitude to his parents. As what the “Pasyon” says, “Even if the bones and flesh of a child would be ground into tiny pieces, it wouldn’t be commensurate to the sacrifices and hardships endured by his parents just to raise him.”

English Translation:
This you should be anxious of
And remember oft
The sufferings, pains and all
That in patience were borne
By your father and mother
Even if you finely ground
All the flesh and bones you have
Include the hairs on your body too
It will never be enough to repay
All the pains they bore for you
If you will not change
Your rebellious state
You will not find grace
Instead, invite the hate
Of the Lord our God

Besides, God is displeased with ungrateful children. In the Bible, children who were disrespectful and did not show gratitude to their parents went astray.

However, it is a reality that there are children who have the tendency to be rebellious and ungrateful to their parents. That is why the Bible has a specific admonition to children.

EPHESIANS 6:1-3 (KJV) says,

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

God has a promise to children who honor their father and mother: they will live long on earth.

So, if there is a deep-seated anger or hatred or bitterness in your heart towards your parents because they failed to live up to your expectations, or they have done you wrong, you better get rid of that feeling if you want to be a recipient of God’s promise.

Moreover, the word of God has the power to convert an ill feeling into something pleasant and beautiful. With God’s help, you can replace the anger that you feel with respect; and your hatred and bitterness, with love. That is very possible to happen because the word of God is capable of altering our thoughts and feelings.

Let me share with you a little story. In the 1980s, I used to be one of the resource persons in the radio program of Mr. Manolo Favis. In one particular broadcast, we were talking about suicide and the people who commit suicide. There I said, “People who commit suicide are stupid! Why will you commit suicide? Why will you put an end to your life when you are not the one who owns it?”

I was unaware that while we were broadcasting, there was one person who turned on his radio just to check the time, and he was able to listen to what I said. He was checking the time because come 10 PM he was going to commit suicide. (It was only about 9 PM then.)

Apparently, he thought of committing suicide because he was also feeling bad about his parents. But when he heard me say that it is stupidity to commit suicide and the people who committed suicide are all stupid, he got enlightened and he decided not to carry out anymore what he planned to do that night.

Later on, that man came to see me personally. He was crying while he was thanking me. He said my statement brought him back to his senses, and had it not been for what he heard from me, he could have ended his life. I was happy deep inside because I saw how the word of God worked in him.

Similarly, the word of God can also work in children who have grudges against their parents. It can make them kindhearted and forgiving sons and daughters. Isn’t it that God also forgives us when we turn back to Him? God forgives all our sins when we repent and submit ourselves to baptism.

ACTS 2:38 (KJV) says,

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

If God forgives, why can’t you? Remember, God does not sin; He does not commit mistakes; yet He understands and gives considerations to us whenever we commit sins. He forgives us. If God, who does not commit any sin and does not make any mistake, is able to forgive, will it be difficult for you, who sin and make mistakes, to forgive your mother and your father?

MATTHEW 6:14-15 (KJV) says,

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

When you forgive you will also be forgiven. All the bitterness, all the pain and anguish, and all the things that defile your heart can be cleansed by the word of God.

JOHN 15:3 (KJV) says,

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Those are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.

JAMES 1:21 (KJV) says,

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Bear in mind, we cannot be with our parents all our lives. When they pass away, it would be then that you will realize how much you love them and how much you want them by your side. And you would wish that you had more time together.

At certain points in my life, I had also wished that my parents were still around. I love my parents very much. My father passed away in the year 2000, and my mother in 2003. During those years, I had so many things to attend to being a leader of a congregation; I had very limited time to spend with them. Until now, I miss both of them, especially when I happened to be in other countries. In my heart, I wished they were with me when I was in Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA, and in other places.

We have no power to turn back the hands of time; therefore, it is best that we make the most out of the time that our parents are still with us.

We only have one set of parents – the man and the woman that God used to bring us forth into this world. Make them feel your love. Doing this does not necessarily require you to spend a single centavo. You can show them your love by being caring and respectful to them at all times. And instead of grudges, let the feeling of appreciation and gratefulness for their unconditional love dwell and prevail in your heart. In addition, you can also show them your love by inviting them to join you in listening to the word of God.

It is good to love your parents; it a commandment of God. Just make sure that your love for them will not exceed your love for God and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Be Prayerful: Christians Pray Without Ceasing

1/18/2020 , 20 Comments

Why Christians Should Pray Without Ceasing

The Bible is teaching us of the rightful time, or instances, when we should pray. For one, we have to pray regularly; God commanded the Christians to pray day and night.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 (KJV) says,

Pray without ceasing.

What does that admonition mean? How are we going to pray without ceasing? Does it mean that we will devote all our time in praying, and we will no longer do other things, like working for a living, for instance?

This is how 2 TIMOTHY 1:3 (KJV) explains it:

I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

To pray unceasingly means to pray night and day. Meaning, before going to bed, or when you wake up the next morning, or before you start doing anything that you have to do on a given day, you need to pray first. If you were able to accomplish everything that you need to accomplish, bear in mind that you were able to do it because God helped you. So, it is but proper that you pray to Him, thank Him, before you go to sleep.

The Lord Jesus Christ urged the apostles to always pray, and He showed them what fervent and constant prayers can do through a parable.

LUKE 18:1-7 (KJV) says,

1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was a city judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said to himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

The Lord Jesus Christ narrated this parable to point out to the apostles that, if the unjust judge yielded to the continual supplication of a widow, all the more that God would listen to the prayers of His people. He said, “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”

It is an established truth in the Bible that Christians pray day and night.

Aside from praying before and after sleeping, there are also other instances that we are supposed to pray. We also have to pray before eating.

1 TIMOTHY 4:4-5 (KJV) says,

4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Today, we can eat even the foods that the Israelites had been prohibited from eating like pork, for example. The Israelites had been prohibited from eating so many things, but during the time of the early Christians, the Apostle Paul taught them that, “every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused.”

In our time, in the Christian dispensation, God no longer prohibits us from eating meat. I just wonder why those who practice vegetarianism refuse to eat meat and fish when the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, ate fish with His apostles when He was still here on earth! Not only the vegetarians, but even other religions in our time prohibit the eating of beef and pork. The word of God says, we can eat meat now. Only, we have to pray before eating. Ask God to bless the food that you are going to eat and practically everything that you are going to ingest.

We also ought to pray in times when we are heavily laden, when we are in a very difficult situation and we have nowhere to go, when we are troubled by so many problems and we do not know anymore what to do. These are the times that we need God’s help; these are the times that we need to pray.

PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 (KJV) says,

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

In life, we have our own cares and worries. We worry about so many things – problems, hardships, illnesses, finances, etc. But the word of God is very comforting and very reassuring. We need not worry about anything but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

So, each time that you are beleaguered by problems and worries, pray to God. And if you are a servant of God, you ought to pray at any opportune time, in any situation. Always be prayerful.



God Tests His Servants

1/11/2020 21 Comments

Why does God allow suffering

Tests and trials come from God. God tries, or tests, His servants for very good reasons.

DEUTERONOMY 13:3 (KJV) says,

Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Tests and trials serve as a gauge for God to see if you are steadfast in your faith, if you are enduring, and if you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. And once you are proven to be so, you will merit a priceless reward.

If we are to make a comparison, it is just like going to school wherein a teacher first gives his students a thorough discussion of the subject matter. Afterwards, he gives them a test or an examination to find out if they remembered and if they understood what he had taught them. And the result of the test will serve as the teacher’s basis in giving them grades that they deserve.

The same is true with God. He teaches us His words, and after that, He would test us if we understand and if we obey His teachings; He would test us if our faith will remain unmoved even in the midst of adversities and challenges. If we pass His test, we will then earn His trust.

Trust is not easily achieved; it is something that has to be worked for. Isn’t it that, even in an ordinary household, the owners of the house do not readily give their trust to their servant? The servant has to prove first to his masters that he is trustworthy, that he is not a kidnapper or a thief. Because it would be too risky if they would immediately entrust to him their house and their children when his trustworthiness has not been proven yet. But once the servant has proven his honesty and obedience, he eventually earns the trust of his masters.

God, Himself, also tests people; He searches their hearts and probes their minds to see if they are truthful and faithful, or not.

JEREMIAH 17:9-10 (KJV) says,

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

And when He finds out that you are faithful, trustworthy, and you have no ill intentions, He will be with you.

After having tried, what does the Bible say?

1 PETER 1:6-7 (KJV) says,

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

According to the Apostle Peter, although tests and trials may sadden us, yet, we should not despair even if they come repeatedly or in succession because, if we are able to overcome all of those, we are partakers in the suffering of our Lord and we will merit honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

God tries and tests us to see the depth of our faith; He wants to see if we will remain steadfast in our service and obedience to Him. And passing His tests will mean our salvation.

If the students who consistently passed all the tests and examinations given to them by their teachers qualify for graduation; on our part as servants of God, if we will be able to pass the tests that God gives us, if we will be able to prove to Him our faith and obedience to His words, and if we will be able to show Him that we love Him with all our heart and with all our soul, then we will merit the salvation of our soul.

1 PETER 1:8-9 (KJV) says,

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

After successfully passing the trials and tests, we will receive the ultimate goal of our faith, which is the salvation of our soul. That is why it is very important that we deal with the tests and trials that come in our lives the biblical way.

So, whenever you go through difficult situations, whenever you experience trials, the best thing that you should do is pray. Do not be mad; do not despair. Just pray.

It’s just unfortunate that there are people who, when faced with tests and trials, become wild and violent. And instead of invoking God, they resort to alcohol and drugs. If this will be your attitude, you will never pass the test. And if you fail to pass the test, the consequence is, you will not merit any reward.

But if you want to be rewarded by God, you need to pass His tests and trials. Don’t forget, His reward is the salvation of your soul.



'Missing Years of Jesus Christ Mystery' Solved

1/04/2020 31 Comments

The missing years of Jesus Christ

Some people claim that there seemed to be some missing details in the Bible’s presentation of the life story of the Lord Jesus Christ. According to them, what were only narrated was His birth and the time that He was already preaching, but the events that transpired after His birth until before the start of His ministry were not recounted.

And because of these alleged missing details, some pastors invented silly stories that state that during those times Christ was not in Israel. They said that He went to India and studied yoga there, and after that, He returned to Israel.

Of course, that is a big lie! Christ never left Israel. He was born there; He grew up there; He preached there; He died there; and He resurrected there. That is the full story of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible did not miss out any period in the life story of Christ, and never did He leave Israel.

From His birth until He was twelve years old, Jesus Christ was with his foster parents in Nazareth.

LUKE 2:41-51 (KJV) says,

41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

The Bible tells us that every year, Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The Jews were commanded to celebrate it in commemoration of their liberation from bondage in Egypt of the time that they experienced God’s salvation and peace.

The word “passover” in English, or pascha or paz in other languages, signifies peace. We have to remember that on the eve before the Israelites left the land of Egypt, the “destroyer” came to every Egyptian household and all their firstborns died. However, it did not enter the household of the Israelites; instead, it just passed over them. Hence, nobody among them died.

Passover implies peace. While there was great lamentation in all of Egypt due to the death of all their firstborns, there was peace in the dwellings of the Israelites because the angel of death or the “destroyer” passed over them.

That was the event that the Jews were commanded to celebrate every year. And for twelve years, Christ was always with His foster parents each time that they went to Jerusalem to celebrate it.

When Christ was twelve years old, there was an incident that happened. Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, and when they returned to Nazareth they did not notice right away that the twelve-year-old Jesus was not with them. All the while they were thinking that He was in company with their kinsfolk and acquaintance. When they found out that He was not with them, they went back to Jerusalem and looked for Him for three days until they realized that He was at the temple.

When Mary saw Him, she told Him, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” The Lord Jesus Christ answered, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” Mary and Joseph did not understand what Christ said but verse 51 said, “And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth...” This implies that He joined them back to Nazareth.

It was in Nazareth where Jesus Christ grew up.

LUKE 4:16 (KJV) says,

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

Christ wouldn’t be called a Nazarene if He did not grow up there. When He became a young man, what was Christ doing?

MARK 6:3 (KJV) says,

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Christ already started preaching. He was called the carpenter because He inherited the craft and occupation of His foster father Joseph, who was a carpenter. The verse also referred to Him as the son of Mary because when He was already preaching, Joseph had already passed away.

LUKE 3:23 (KJV) says,

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

The Lord Jesus Christ was about thirty years of age when He started preaching. This means that from age twelve until He was about thirty years old Christ was in Nazareth.

The Jews knew that He was the son of Joseph, a carpenter. And being a son of a carpenter, they knew also that He never had any education. That was the reason why they marveled at His excellence when they heard Him preaching.

JOHN 7:15 (KJV) says,

And the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

They knew that He was unlearned because they witnessed His life, from His youth until the time that He was already preaching. That is why it is preposterous to believe that He left Israel and went to India, and stayed there for eighteen years, because there were people who witnessed practically His entire life.

The Bible is complete in its account. Christ never left Israel. That was where He stayed; that was where He worked as a carpenter (in Nazareth); that was where He preached. After preaching, He was crucified. When He died, He resurrected after three days; He stayed with the apostles and taught them for forty days and forty nights; after forty days, the apostles witnessed His ascension to heaven. That is the full story of Christ; nothing is missing.

ACTS 1:21-22 (KJV) says,

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

Luke had a full understanding of everything that happened; and he never mentioned in his book that the Lord Jesus Christ was at any particular point not in Israel or that He was somewhere else.

LUKE 1:1-3 (KJV) says,

1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Even as the delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word,
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

Luke, as an evangelist, conducted a thorough investigation of all things from the very first. That is why his account on the life story of the Lord Jesus Christ is complete and comprehensive, following proper chronology.

His gospel began with his introduction of Saint John the Baptist who, in turn, was the one who introduced Christ. And then he talked about the birth of Christ and where He was born, including the month and year of His birth.

He also recounted how, for twelve years, Christ joined His foster family as they went to Jerusalem yearly to commemorate the Passover; and also, how He worked as a carpenter. And when He was thirty years of age, He was baptized by John the Baptist, and then, He started preaching, etc. And finally, His death, resurrection and ascension to heaven. In other words, what Luke rendered was a complete narration of Christ’s life story. Nothing is missing.

May God bless you!