“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” — Psalms 138:8, English Standard Version
Oftentimes, we move our minds — and our minds move us — wherein our feet mobilize its stratagems. From being lifeless, we acquire potency triumphing this lifelessness we cognized. Then we free doubts, ornament our lives with exactitude and prayerful sense, score ourselves unto gradual increase until we turn into whole. This wholeness hammers us and our faculties on coherence upon the known truth — with exact movements and purpose. Just like what the Holy Scriptures tells us this way:
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” — Hebrews 11:13, 16, King James Version
Way back 2013, during my youngish days in the Church [named as Members Church of God International, known popularly as Ang Dating Daan], I had rundown of ideas how should I expend time as having a saintlike living after baptism. I regularly attend Worship Services, Prayer Meetings and Thanksgivings to God whilst hovering the course down to last days of my tertiary studies. Until one live Thanksgiving to God, a brother from our church locale [Locale of Santo Tomas, Batangas] approached my seclusive quietude, offering hope for youthful reward [be a part of Guest Coordinators, a church youth committee for ushering brethren and guests] though this inclination at first did not lump up earnestly on my inmost desire. I am enticed joining the squad, knowing to have an opportune chance to wield my time for valuable exertions, yet am encased with qualms and a jittery heart. Weeks after, if I am not mistaken, the Worker-Coordinator rendered me an orientation for novices detailing regulations of the committee. Thereon I am readying for preliminary phase by asking canvass price for black vest and black necktie. My comrades buzzed me now and then to know when will I commence for my consented duty. But I dispensed out casual reasons why I am not readily stationed for duty. First Quarter of International Thanksgiving to God back in April 2013 befell even I called off for duty.
The long wait is finally over. I am now hatched for my first “eclessiastic” duty as a Guest Coordinator week after PNK. Wearing the prescribed uniform excluding black vest I am branching my way for Thanksgiving duty. Later in the afternoon, still I remember the walk uphill the locale stage ushering newly baptized brethren and sing in unison with them hymn intended for their thanksgiving. Right after all celebrants offered their thanksgiving, we are stationed at each post side and I was assigned in the left side area near the KNC [Kawan ng Cordero, Flock of Lamb] room. And the day went fine as I had a wrap for my first locale duty. Praise be unto God.
Then it came to pass, I was indecisive to persist through. Hand by heart I felt something way disturbing, firstly, because all my contemporaries are arrayed in their complete uniform – except me without black vest covering the long sleeves. And to bulk it up, I have an uneasiness about other people might daresay against my corporeal frailties. Regretfully, I deemed I am not timely befitted with the church function. I feel so apologetic after some times. Days passed, my pledged duty did not prosper. It was terrible to confess I finally shunned rooting for it. I dismantled the interest being a Guest Coordinator. That may be a consequence of defenseless ignorance about church duty’s full godly value. The vacating period being a withdrawn Guest Coordinator mounted from a year and some months, by rough estimation.
Thereafter I pinned myself on seeking a copacetic job for self-sustenance, church obligations and familial convenience. I traveled northward in Manila by hap and within nearby cities for apt jobs. I had three temporal jobs in sum and were all dropped in troublesome issues. It was conflicting, however, that my pursued jobs have lower lure on me for some negating reasons I allow.
Soon after unsuccessful dealings, I abode with a charitable family [also my brethren in Christ, fortunately] whichever the decision I believe an ideal remark for a warm reason. And that decision became a gateway to streaming opportunities in the Church which also bears an indebted glee inside — to them and to Him.
Gone were the months I am emptied at home. Prayed jobs drifted into reality [one involves in tutorial services; the other in a manufacturing company]. Coveting these jobs drove me to grind working beyond standard working hours thus earned money savor. Whereas I am vexed and dissatisfied with my reaping; there is something that growls inside, affirming that something which lacks me. That puzzling notion clearly spoke of my abandoned obligation — the church function [tungkulin] I endear, my ever FIRST LOVE.
What enlivened my desire to cave in once and for all the seat I disowned arose out of the pure need to amplify my faith as a Christian youth. Someone candidly said to us [a brotherly clique] that it is not ideal for a Christian youth just to plainly attend church gatherings and afterwards flee to home routinely. Instead Christian youth should cull for a church function, compel himself to church affairs as it is pleasing to God serving Him in our youthfulness. That statement dragged me in a deep-seated thinking for some days. As this blankness continue to oppress me inside, I enthusiastically accepted a rebound for the function forsaken. Together with my contemporaneous duty companion, we agreed becoming Guest Coordinators as we heeded the need of youth involvement for God’s working salvation. In the like manner when heretofore I opted being a Guest Coordinator by function, we sought a seamstress for our vest and both conceded to stamp our preparatory duty — his mere first and reckoned mine as second.
After a month of tarrying, with God’s beckoning guidance, ceaseless help and mercy, I am able to throned back the chair I deserted before. It was during September 27, 2014, first day of Pasalamat ng Katawan [Thanksgiving of the Body] that I had my church function revival. The date which is so dear to me and always will be hoarded on my inner caddy. Delighted and fulfilling. That is what I always feel. We were able to role out the duty entrusted to us. I prayed for guidance that God may bless me as I restore my vow serving Him knowing I am trivial and incapable without Him.
Still a brewing fact sprouts that we are just from dust and alongside our might, thereby infirmities stand. Strenuous days sprang in where voiceless notions dishearten the sinewy man in you, weaken your spirit, saying, “You are calloused; shun from doing your duty. You can never endure good works. The world awaits you. Rest now.” This is the warfare I am about to quell.
Not until an Unang Pag-ibig [a church event which aims to recuperate faith of brethren who have temporal stray from church doings and gatherings] in Lipa Coordinating Center, which I and my duty companion, bridged chores to assist brethren for the occasion. Whereupon a cheerful spirit conveyed a light feeling for the function we execute midst the event. And this downpoured my mind with clouded tears in my eye, “This is a genuine feeling wherein you serve your brethren, your alike heirs, for the glory of the true living God.” I am in the safest haven; it was a metaphorical feeling that you descried for the scantiest light on the darkest dark.
There goes succeeding church events which I and my brotherly comrades [Locale of Santo Tomas Guest Coordinators] have consorted at, through God’s help and mercy. Among these are Unang Pag-ibig, Bible Studies, Grand Bible Studies, Medical Missions, Mass Baptisms and Mass Orientations.
Wherever a Christian goes, his Christian spirit remains immovable. I firmly believe in that inward maxim Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon have taught us. Time quivered that after two years and five months I homesteaded in Batangas province I renounced the protraction being a brother adjoining to the district; to the place where I was wholly bred and sculpted in faith. At first I am agonized, twinged in soulful misery ruminating I will be departed from the place and brethren I am clung with. It was a strange feeling when I about to leave, way hesitant knowing it will never be that way ever again. Yet I bordered myself upon reasons why I should grip with my decision. For not so a long slack, my maneuver to veered from Batangas to Laguna, as my new homage, transpired. There is inward suppression I admit but life rejects stagnancy. We move because we foster for growth in faith. Upheavals happened, I believe, because there is a sharp purpose which helms to the truth that,
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28, King James Version
I am scarred yet I stood up wrestling for my faith. I will wrangle until the end. Christ is in me, I will fail not. I am a Christian. Mind you, it was the only consolation I avow every time disturbing grasps cloud my mind. Yes, I profess and God knows, during my oathed duty, I sinned against Him for so many times and abruptly astrayed howbeit I defy these barricades to spiritually thrive and thrive harder. Still am blessed. God deserves all the merit, honor and worthiness in me.
Imbued pure biblical knowledge aided us [members of the Church of God International] to manner modestly, purging misdeeds out of our daily subsistence. And this would be viable not without God’s instrumentation of His avowed wise men, identifiable in the persons of Bro. Eliseo Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon. Ceaseless thanksgiving we offer to Him for sending us faithful preachers leading us to truest salvation and illumine reticent mysteries of the words of God, faultlessly.
There the learned secrecy was disclosed. Only by working for genuine love can we obtain purity in our deeds, as it was written,
“Let all that you do be done in love.” — I Corinthians 16:14, English Standard Version
Instill humbleness in the sight of God, acknowledging you are worthless, saying,
“So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” — Luke 17:10, King James Version
; and it is God who always listlessly works in you, for Jesus said,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” — John 15:4, New International Version
Topmost, work for your exaltation not but for the glory of our Almighty God, our Father and Creator.
“Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.” — I Chronicles 29:11, King James Version