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What pleases God!

It's a worldwide on-the-hour prayer chain. God's people are praying seven days a week at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm for the Holy Spirit's presence in our families, leaders, churches, and communities. Praying any hour, on the hour, a person will unite with thousands of others in another time zone around the world, bringing unity. "A chain of earnest praying believers should encircle the world . . . to pray for the Holy Spirit" (Review and Herald, January 3, 1907).

Communicating God's Word to the world is a task most rewarding, most satisfying, most joyful...

2014-11-17 18:03:00 | Pasay City

Communicating God's Word to the world is a task most rewarding, most satisfying, most joyful. In many ways, God commissioned the individual believer and the collective Church to relay that message today to all (Matt 28:19-20Hebrews 1:1-3). Hebrews 13:16 (NKJV) picks up that commission and echoes it with some dash of flavor.

"But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." 

Whilst the Greek word κοινωνίας, is rendered "to share" (NKJV), "to communicate" (KJV), both translations in English reflect the intended meaning, which may be viewed in the context of the author's concluding general religious directions to the recipients of Hebrews. The writer placed significance in the task of "doing good" and "sharing" or "communicating." What, however, is the nature of "doing good" and "sharing" or"communicating?" I reckon that"doing good" refers to the varied exhortations the author mentioned from vv. 1-15 demanding positive responses. For the believers to show their faithfulness and authentic faith, they must act as befits genuine Christians.

Related again to the verb, κοινωνίας, the author of Hebrews understood the value attached to sharing or communicating. The continuing growth of technology coupled with the rapid quantum advances in other areas of present life has inadvertently diverted our attention from the tasks on hand. We delight in the new gadgets. We spend time utilizing the same and go to the extent of maximizing such to receive our money's worth. The question is asked: Do those tools, instruments, and the like figure in our actions, programs, and other activities related to the main task? Lest we become presumptuous, it is imperative to restate the mission of the Church.

The task is to preach the Gospel to the world. Whether done through real preaching, teaching, or even healing, the point emphasized, is the Doing! Whether done through radio, television, live streaming, texting using the latest I-Pad or some other modes of communicating, the point is the Doing. Sure we have adopted well-planned programs like IEL, and sponsored major evangelistic initiatives backed by millions of pesos and staffed by personnel known far and wide for bringing in many into the faith. The stress is still the Doing! The Doing must be genuine, real, something that pleases God!

Lest I be misunderstood, allow me to clarify. The initiatives, plans, programs are superb and can even be described as "out of this world!" I believe the people involved in them are genuine, have fervent faith, full of confidence in God's leadings, accepting whatever outcome arises, and truly sincere and committed to finishing God's work. These are those in the frontline, bearing the brunt of the task, laboring quite feverishly, with great intensity, and unmindful of praise or paean from humans. I salute these people, these believers! Oh, there may be some with a different perspective but they are few and come far in-between.

The problem is the huge majority of professed believers having this continuing tenacity remaining inflexible in their non-involvement. Living in their own world, they would rather be entombed in their comfort zones. Cocooned in their own enclaves, unwilling to be dragged out of their established realm, they cling to every bit of excuse and raise all manner of pretext, howls, and justification, in their fight to stay where they are.

The aforementioned enigma really boggles the mind! Make no mistake about it. Many know the Gospel Commission, are aware of the need to support the Gospel work! Many even have the Gospel Commission memorized to the very dot by heart! The problem is the failure to live out the Gospel truth! This is the stark reality facing each of us.

To share the Gospel truth, communicate it, we need to live out that Gospel truth.

To each Christian, this remains the one challenge which resolution can only be secured by no other than the same individual believer. This is not to lash, lambast, reprimand, nor judge anyone. The truth of the matter is that, often, in every person, there exists some sort of divide separating reality from idealism. It is this clear: we say one thing and do exactly the opposite! We long for what is good but we cannot do the good. We aim for what is pristine, we end up short of the pure. We yearn for what lasts, we fall for the temporal. Paul words it this way in Romans 7:18-19:


 

Missionary book of the year

It's a worldwide on-the-hour prayer chain. God's people are praying seven days a week at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm for the Holy Spirit's presence in our families, leaders, churches, and communities. Praying any hour, on the hour, a person will unite with thousands of others in another time zone around the world, bringing unity. "A chain of earnest praying believers should encircle the world . . . to pray for the Holy Spirit" (Review and Herald, January 3, 1907).

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing!

Why are we not able to live out that Gospel truth? We do not allow the Lord Jesus to reign in our hearts and lives! We simply talk it but we do not do it. Life is not lived according to the ideal. Reality prevails, idealism is left to what it is, just idealism! Things shall be that way until we realize it is in giving up all of ourselves to God that He can start working in us. The same Apostle tells us it is the sin inside our bodies that stand in the way, prompting the carnal being in us to prevail and drive our bodies into doing is exactly what we do not want to do (Romans 7:20). The only power that can help us overcome the sin in us, is that of God through Jesus Christ. Allow God to work His way in our lives, then can He lead us to victory! Ah, what a glorious discovery to know that in Christ, "God who works in us (you) both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Phil 2:13).

Hebrews 13:16 demands that we do good, that we share, that we communicate. It is wonderful to plan to do good; marvelous to share that which is good. Heaven wishes that we communicate the good, the Gospel. However, let's move from planning, from intending to share it, even from wishing to do it into really doing it. Do it by the life we live in the power and grace of Jesus Christ! The Doing (in Christ) is what matters! Now that's real communication, one that pleases God!

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