Friday, October 15, 2010

Servant Attitude

Mark 10:42-45 Jesus called them and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you , instead whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the servant of all. For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many".

This passage which our Lord did not only preach but lived by has been misinterpreted by some, especially those who are labouring in the kingdom.
We have common news of pastors and leaders involved in rebellion which started in insubordination and unwillingness to work with those who are set above them. Specially to those whom they found interfering to their affairs or even those whom they consider controlling them.

As we deeply study and look into the heart of the message of Christ it is not on the focus of becoming great but rather in becoming the servant of all. Relationship and work ethics are at stake when we begin to look on our sacrifices while others benefit from it. The issue is not living in the servant attitude that our Lord instruct us to lived by. I have the following suggestions:

1. Consider every ministry opportunity as our service to Christ. Therefore, the reward and compliments must not be sought but rather just be satisfied that we served Christ. Whether others took advantage of your servant heart as long as Christ is the center in that service, you're in good standing.

2. Count it a blessing to see others promoted, benefited and even recognized to your service. Any way, we have a just God to whom all things will be brought into and justly recognized. It's normal even in the most spirited leadership that you will find what you or others might find bias, unjust or unfair treatment. That's part of our imperfection. That's why in serving, we must always look at the Lord whom we are serving who has all the right to do as it pleases Him. He is Lord.

3. Commit yourself in building your place in the Kingdom of God with no room for ill feeling, murmuring and earthly honor. Anyway, all this worldly things that seems so pleasing are all temporal. Any position in this earthly service are all for temporal enjoyment, but what ever Christ shall entrust to us in eternity will last forever.

4. Cover with grace, as we all know none of us is actually qualified to be in the position of service to Christ. all are by His grace that's why we are given a ministry. So, whatever we may gain, acheive and lose, cover it with His grace and don't look at it as your effort or gain. Only by grace.

5. Cost of Christ. personally, it's not always easy to served God especially if those who are around and above you are seemingly not on the same heart and servant attitude as you are. The following is what I do;

a. I always trust God to what he allows them to do to me. God knows all things.
b. If offended, i run to my God and poured out my heart. He always listen
c. When found un justly treated, I remember the price Christ paid to saved and change me. The cross paid them all.
d. In all things, I give thanks for I know how great His grace to me in giving me a chance to served Him in any way possible.
My only prayer is that all of us who consider our selves the servant of Christ may be found faithful and truthful both here on earth and in the life to come..

God bless!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Worshiping God

Why we should Worship God?
This has been one of the common question but to me as they know I'm a worshiper of Jehovah God; the true God.
My answer usually falls into these verses:
  1. John 4:23-24- God seeks worshiper. If there is something that God wants to find it's a person who worship Him in Spirit and Truth. So I want to be one who would find time to please God. Why not, He has all the reason to be pleased.
  2. 2 Peter 2:9. Man is created and called to Worship God. I want to fulfill why I exist, because only in this way I will be satisfied and see my usefulness. Many are wasting their time, effort and resources in secondary or even not needed things. Remember if we won't worship God, we don't do anything at all.
  3. Exo. 23:25. Blessing will come.. I want to be blessed.. I need everything that God could provide. And He said so, if we worship Him he will send blessings to us. Wow, so to make sure that blessing find me, I must be found worshiping and praising God. Many are working hard to bring home some blessing, many went home having just a little, some with a little more. But those who worship God will lack nothing, for God will supply everything that they need!
  4. 2 Cor 4:17. There is the Spirit of the Lord in worship. When we worship His presence comes, His presence sets us free from all bondages, heals us from any sicknesses and free us from all worries. Wow! I must admit that I'm in danger without God's presence. There many things that tries to tempt, tires to discourage and even hurt us in this life but God can always lead us to victory. Where His presence is there is freedom!

Many can be still said, but may this suffice to convince everyone reading this to go and worship God. There are many ways to do it. But one of the most exciting and best way to do it is by joining the congregation every Sunday to worship God. So let us put aside everything and decide to Worship God. What are you waiting for? See you in the church.. God bless!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Make it Right

by Pastor Bong Gonzales

1 Sam 12:1-3
Samuel said to all Israel, "I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. 2 Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. 3 Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these, I will make it right."

As I was meditating the preaching outline for this coming Sunday here in New York City (Sept. 26, 2010) the verse above led me to write this note for all of my fellow pastors, leaders and for those who are serving the Lord.

4 Things that I will always check and need to keep it right or make it right:
  • Whose ox or donkey have I taken?
  • Whom have I taken advantage of as far as livelihood is concern?
  • Did we as a leader manipulated others?
  • Have we used our people to advance our own interest?
This is a challenge of becoming a true “Servant Leader”. For more than 20 years of Pastoral Ministry under JIL Church, I have been with many good people who volunteered to join me in fulfilling the great commission. Most of them are still around, though few has already been transferred to eternity.

I have not asked these questions to them. Especially to those whom I have left in order to move to other City or place of assignment. Hopefully if we meet either here or in eternity I have nothing to be charged of regarding this matter.

Sad to say there are some who obviously does take advantage of others. They seem to be concerned and yet as you look at the result of how they set up things, its always about protecting or advancing their personal good, position or interest.

 Whom I have cheated? A question of Integrity. To whom have I lied? Some are tempted to make their reports so good to impress and gain favor or promotion. But for all we know that truth always prevails.

I remember one Pastor who submits exaggerated status report. Yes he was promoted, though it was short lived because the truth was found and worse he even lost an opportunity to serve God in this Ministry. Cheating hurts. It costs the lost of confidence of those who work with us and for us. It breaks healthy relationship. It destroys everything we have worked for.

So let’s check this always in our service, let us serve God with integrity and honesty. Most of the times when we are caught in lying, we could hardly know we’re in it. But to those who serve God truthfully, they have nothing to be caught in but His Truth.

Whom I have oppressed? – Oppression is simply defined as controlling others to do what we want even to the point of forcing it to be done, violating the opportunity of others working with us to show their talents and ability to do things with joy and freedom.

This probably is one that many of us leaders should examine our selves. Our ministry position does not put us above others. It just sends us in front of others to lead them not control them.

Politics sometimes comes in even to the ministry. That while others are suffering due to unjust and unfair protocols we enjoy the benefits of the labors of others. Thank God that He has given us who becomes victims of leadership abuse, with Christ like patience and humility that causes us to see the goodness of the Lord in the midst of tyranny of man.

As leaders we must make sure that our co-workers are truly partners. I always check my self in this, and of course those with whom I work with. Honestly, there’s so much we need to pray in this regards. This one kills the motivation, the appetite of serving. It also destroys trust and work relationship. This leads to rebellion and sometimes death of ministry and calling. So let’s be aware as leaders.

I pray to God that like Samuel, may I be able to state these things to all I have been blessed to work with to say what he asked. I pray that if I may be found guilty, I would be given a chance to make it right!!!

God bless

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