FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 148

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Where are You?

Where are You God when I do not see You? You wonder what has happened.

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Nuggets – Redeemed!

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

How glibly we use the terms redeemed, redemption, and ransom. But what do they mean, and more importantly, what did Christ’s act of redemption mean?

Three Greek words and their derivations are used in the New Testament to denote various aspects of this truth. In our text, “redeemed” comes from lutroo, which means to set free, buy back, or ransom. Christ’s innocent blood, sacrificed for us, bought us back. “By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).

Redeemed from what? From slavery to sin. Jesus taught, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). Thankfully, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Galatians 3:13). The Greek word here is exagorazo, meaning to buy up, to ransom from the market place (i.e., agora), which could be called “the slave market of sin.” He ransomed us, He redeemed us from the horrors of slavery to sin by His death on the cross.

The final word is apolutrosis, “to ransom in full.” He has paid the full penalty! “It is finished” (John 19:30), He said as He died. In Him alone “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

Each of us needs to appropriate His plan, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24). JDM

From Days of Praise

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Wake Up America! By Pastor Gary Hamrick

You are a king, then!” said Pilate.Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.” John 18:37-38

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 147

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Many advisors

When faced with many decisions of life, expecially the complex ones, do you wish you could “bounce” off the issues with someone else who can be trusted? If we have knowledge, we have options which provide us with strength to overcome. Do not wait till you have problems to look for your adviser or advisers. You can cultivate networks of advisers with the Lord’s help if you are there for others as well. Be friendly and ernestly share with one another over the Word or in testimony of answers to prayers of supply and healing and help and protection. Yes let’s learn to be there for each other.

Proverbs 24:5 The wise prevail through great power,
    and those who have knowledge muster their strength.
Surely you need guidance to wage war,
    and victory is won through many advisers.

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Nuggets – Mercy from the Word

“Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.” (Psalm 119:41)

The Hebrew word hesed, used here for “mercy,” has a breadth of meaning. Its basic connotation is “kindness” and is most often used in God’s patient dealing with the nation of Israel through their long, and often rebellious, history. The most frequent contextual use focuses on God’s withholding judgment during specific times or events rather than executing the just sentence demanded by disobedience to His laws.

It is in that sense that “salvation” is often connected to mercy. God “rescues” a person or nation from the consequences of foolish or rebellious actions because He is merciful: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

This section of Psalm 119 clearly states that these mercies are according to the Word of God. No event dilutes the holiness of God. No judgment withheld violates the innate nature of the thrice-holy Creator. Mercy may delay judgment for the sinner, and justification through redemption will eliminate judgment for the sinner, but God’s holiness does not abrogate the law. The sentence is carried out—either on the sinner or on the Lord Jesus Christ in the place of the sinner (Proverbs 11:21).

The psalmist thus praised the basis for God’s mercies, told of his trust and hope in the Scriptures, and then gave a series of promises to the Lord that marked his own commitment for obedience (vv. 44-48). As the stanza closes, the psalmist promised he would lift up his hands in public praise of the Word and meditate in private as well.

Would God that all of God’s children emulate the heart of this dear brother from the past. HMM III

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 146

NOTE IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS Just key in “ptl2010.com”

Wise household

What is your household built on? Is there much discord and lack? Do you wish to have pleasant and precious riches in the rooms?

Proverbs 24:34 – By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

One mission trip took me to one of the Riau Islands of Indonesia, I was welcomed by a 91 year old woman who lived with her son in a bamboo hut on stilts above the sea near the boat landing. She was filled with the joy of the Lord. She was uneducated but loved the Word of God which she memorised verse by verse in the Indonesian language each week the local pastor visited and shared the Word with her. She knew and understood the Word. This precious sister was pleasant and hospitable to strangers and her neighbours. She proved Proverbs 24:3,4 though she was not rich financially. No matter our financial status, as children of God we can have incredible riches based on the Word of God. Dig into the Word – it has provision for every need in life.

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Nuggets – The Comfortable Church

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17)

This is the heart of Christ’s rebuke of the church at Laodicea, the “lukewarm” church (v. 16) of the last days. This is an evangelical church for its candlestick is still in place (note Revelation 1:20; 2:5), but it has become a neutral church, “neither cold nor hot” (3:15). The reason for its tepid witness is because it has become “rich, and increased with goods,” comfortable in a culture that tends to equate material prosperity with success and God’s favor. It may have acquired large and beautiful facilities, developed special programs of many kinds, featured a variety of musicians and other artists, and even gained a measure of political power. Yet, Christ calls it poor and blind and naked!

Not all large churches become like this, of course, but it is always a real danger. The desire for large congregations can easily lead to compromising biblical standards of doctrine and practice. “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion,” the prophet warned (Amos 6:1).

Note that the Lord began His letter to the Laodicean church by identifying Himself as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14). This strongly suggests that a major reason for the development of such complacency in a large church (or a small church, for that matter) is neglect of these three doctrines—the sufficiency of Christ, the inerrant authority of God’s Word, and the special creation of all things by God.

The letter to this church ends with the sad picture of Christ standing at its door, seeking admission (v. 20). “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (v. 22). HMM

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 145

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Growing

Am I growing in Jesus or have I remained spiritually stunted at birth after I said the prayer of confession, repentance and inviting the Lord into my life?

Hebrews 5:12-14For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Can I discern between good and evil? Do I know what is prescribed as “good” and “evil” in the Word of God? Do I know the riches in God’s Word? Do I know what pleases God or angers Him? Do I know what Christians should avoid? If not, I must choose to grow for it is going against the grain of our sinful nature. I must let the Spirit of the Lord lead me deeper and higher in Jesus.

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Nuggets – Father, Abba, Father

“They are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:14-15)

Charles Wesley’s great hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise” concludes with a stirring testimony of the joy of salvation.

My God is reconciled; His pardoning voice I hear.
He owns me for His child; I can no longer fear.
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And, “Father, Abba, Father,” cry.

“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). As our text explains, once we have received the spirit of adoption, we are the sons of God—He owns us as His child. This is a “new” thing. We who formerly were estranged from our Creator have been reconciled to Him. “Old things,” such as the bondage to fear, are “passed away.” The close-knit ties are strong, “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee….I will not fear what men shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

Now that He is our Father, we have direct access to Him. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). As an earthly father desires the best for his children, “how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11). “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And…we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

This father/child relationship goes deep. The term “Abba, Father” reflects a most sensitive and loving bond, perhaps best rendered “O Sweet Daddy.” “We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). JDM

From Days of Praise

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 144

NOTE IF YOU HAVE BEEN BLESSED, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS Just key in “ptl2010.com”

Blood tests

My specialists/doctors recommend periodic blood testing I went for one today. Blood testing is one of the most important ways to keep track of our overall physical well-being. Getting tests at regular intervals allow us to see the way our body changes over a time period and empowers us to make informed decisions about our health. Blood tests are taken when we want to optimize our health, when we experience unusual persistent symptoms and when we want to reduce risk of disease or complications. A sample of blood is extracted and the blood is tested in the laboratory for such as cholesterol , blood sugar, liver function, kidney function , basic metabolic panel and glucose tests.

Spiritual testings can be likened to blood testing. They occur periodically, test us for patience, obedience, faith, endurance, compassion, and other qualities in our christian character. They reveal spiritual shortcomings and gaps and even strengths. How have I done spiritually ? Have I been short on patience, obedience or faith. Let’s be guided by these testings and let us be willing to change, grow and glorify the Lord in each test.

Psalm 26 Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

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