Master Your Emotions of Envy and Jealousy


Envying and jealousy are deeds of the flesh. It may lead to strife, emnities, anger, disputes, dissensions, fractios.. This is something we need to recognize, to run away, and to resist.

Love is Action


“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35

Love is a choice. It transcends feelings. Some people think that showing love when they don’t feel like it is hypocrisy. In reality, loving others despite our emotions and despite our object of love is obedience! If you wait for feelings, they will never come. Obedience comes first, then the feelings will usually follow.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) Most of the time, our behavior do not match what we believe in. We say we love people but our lives do not reflect this.
Jesus invites us to love not just in words but in actions. He gave us a classic example of how to practice love in Luke 10. “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.” (vv.30-32) Notice that these are religious people—the only ones allowed by the law to actively participate in the temple services. But they refused to help the person who was in need. In many ways, some of us are like them. We are too busy with our own agendas whether in the home, office, school or church, that we fail to notice the needs of the people around us.

“But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,” (Luke 10:33) To His audience’s surprise, Jesus used a Samaritan as a model of love in His parable. History tells us that the relation between Jews and Samaritans was one of hostility. But here we see that the Samaritan felt compassion for the man who was in a desperate situation and attended to his needs. “And [he] came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’” (Luke 10:34-35)

Love is action. It is costly. The Samaritan laid aside his personal agendas and was willing to be inconvenienced. It took him time to clean the man’s wounds and to bandage him. Loving can be expensive. It cost the Samaritan his wine, oil, and 2 denarii to pay for the inn. Loving can be very risky. The Samaritan exposed himself to the robbers that might be hiding somewhere. Some of us have been hurt by people and have become hardened by pain. You refuse to open up yourself to others again, in order to protect yourself. Friends, it is impossible to obey Jesus’ command without taking the risks of loving.

We were not commanded to love in our own strength but to depend on Jesus. “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) Jesus is our standard of love. And this is how He showed His love for us: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Apart from God’s grace, we cannot love others like Jesus did. We have to accept God’s love first before we can love others. The next step is to obey despite our feelings, and then to entrust everything else to Him. Practice love by slowing down in order to recognize and attend to people’s needs. Take action and be a neighbor to the person in front of you!

Prayer for Pnoy


President Noynoy Aquino has confirmed his participation in an afternoon of worship and prayer this Sunday, January 30 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Around 15,000 Christians from CCF and some other churches are expected to fill up the mega venue for the event dubbed as “Prayer for President Benigno S. Aquino III.” The event is spearheaded by K4 Philippines in partnership with Christ’s Commission Fellowship.

There will be 3 different phases of the prayer time which will be directed towards the different officials and branches of government, national problems and also important concerns like the church and the Filipino family. Former Chief SC Justice Renato Puno will be one of the prayer leaders as well as CNN awardee Efren Penaflorida.

However the main part of the event involves the short evangelistic message of Pastor Peter Tan-chi, accompanied by the life testimony of Ivan Tan, the challenge to the Christian community by Bishop Jonel Milan, head of K4 Philippines and the response of President Aquino. In his response, the president is expected to dedicate the entire Philippines to God. The event will also be highlighted by Pastor Peter leading the whole congregation in praying for the president.

The affair, which will start at 3:30 PM and is expected to be finished by 6:30 PM, will commence with praise and worship by the CCF Exalt Team and a 10-minute exhortation on prayer by Pastor Ed Lapiz of Day by Day Ministries.

Participants are encouraged to come early since tight security by the Presidential Security Group is expected. A no ticket no entry policy will be enforced so partipants are urged to secure their tickets from their respective area pastors. Bringing of children are higly discouraged as well as the carrying of bags.

The whole affair will be covered live and can be viewed on the CCF website through the courtesy of PLDT.

Faithfulness Running a Purpose Driven 2011


Every December 25 we celebrate God’s wonderful gift to us! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God in His great love, sent His Son, Jesus, to save us. We must never forget God’s love!

But after we trust in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, why doesn’t God bring us to heaven immediately? Well, He still has a race for us to run and He desires for us to run it well and to finish strong – to be faithful.

As we read in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Witnesses and Weaknesses In our race as followers of Jesus, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, men and women of faith like Jacob, David and Rahab, who have gone before us. Although they weren’t perfect, by faith and repentance, they finished strong. But their lives bear witness to the hindrances and entanglements that sin can cause in this race. That’s why Paul urged us in verse 1, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…”

We need to rid ourselves of all that holds us back in our race, all the sinful habits, wrong choices and pointless pursuits. There are obvious sins for us to throw off such as immorality, and idolatry, as innumerated in Galatians 5:19-20, but we also need to rid ourselves of the less obvious and thus tolerated, “respectable” sins such as anxiety, unthankfulness, pride, and the sins of the tongue. Also, wrong choices that lead to negative consequences can entangle us as Galatians 6:7 warns us, “…whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” God has a destination for us in our race but pointless, selfish pursuits are a focus that distract us, determine our direction and keep us from reaching the God’s destination. As Paul adds to his exhortation, “…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”

Transformation and Inspiration Jesus Christ in not only our Savior but also our Lord. The ultimate purpose of our Christian life is for us to be so in love with Jesus that we surrender our life to Him and are thus transformed into Christ-likeness. However, the reality is that we can experience a struggle between our carnal nature and the work of the Holy Spirit in our livesmuch like the struggle Paul described in Romans 7:15-18. Sadly, some of us call ourselves Christians yet there is a great disconnect between who we say we are and the way we live. Why? Because we are disconnected from fellowship with God and with fellow believers. But we do have the Holy Spirit to give us the power to run well and to finish strong. That’s why we need to run in the power of the Spirit daily.

The Christian race is unique. It is not about who finishes first – it’s about who finishes strong. It has been said that to finish first, one runs fast; but to finish strong, we run together. There are people in this world living life unaware that they need Jesus to be their Savior and Lord and that there is a race to run. We, who are in the race, should live our life in such a way that it will inspire others to love and follow Jesus and take their place in the race.

Mission and Vision Paul continues in Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” As believers and followers of Christ, we must fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author of our faith, who has designed us for Christ-likeness. He’s also the Perfecter of our faith, for He began our transformation and He will complete it. (Philippians 1:6)

So, let us be faithful to what God has called us to do: to make visible the invisible Christ by touching people with His love. Our CCF Mission is to make Christ-committed followers who will make Christ-committed followers. Our Vision is to see a movement of millions of committed followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, meeting in small groups – Transforming Lives… Families… Communities…Nations… For the glory of God!

Hebrews 12:2 finishes by saying that Jesus, “…endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” We have been given a mission. Let’s be faithful in running the race in spite of trials and problems ahead.

In 2010 as you ran the race were you transformed into becoming more like Christ? According to Ptr. Rick Warren, “Only changed people can help change people.” Have you become better or bitter? Let’s make sure we run better in 2011! We have the Holy Spirit’s power and the promise of victory! We are on the winning side!

So, on your Mark! Get ready. Get set. Run in the power of the Holy Spirit!

The Freedom to Experience Real Relationships


Every one of us has relationships. Our relationships have many levels. Most relationships remain shallow or never go deeper than being comfortable with each other. Now it’s true that we can’t be intimate with every human being we meet. Sadly, most of us walk through life lacking any depth in the level of relationships with people whom we should be very close to. God’s ideal is we go to the deepest level of relationship and intimacy possible with these people. How is that possible? Jesus. He frees us to experience real relationships.

In intimate relationships between two imperfect persons, conflict and problems are inevitable. There will come a time when a difficult issue will arise and need to be addressed. How does one confront someone about a difficult issue? The better question to ask first is this: “What gives me the right to confront someone about a difficult issue?” The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 6. What is the godly response when we see our brother or sister caught in sin?

Throughout Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he is reminding us that the whole issue of salvation and sanctification is solely the Spirit’s work in our lives. It is given by grace, not earned by our hard work. Our job is to participate with the Holy Spirit. The flesh contests with the Spirit’s will; the Spirit empowers us to live lives pleasing to God. Salvation is God’s work, from start to finish.

It is also the Holy Spirit who enables us to have real relationships with others. When Adam and Eve were created, God intended them to experience a deep level of openness with Him and with each other. Our deepest relationships are with God, with your spouse, family, and dgroup. They are the ones we should go to with our hurts, and meet them in a safe place.

The human heart is looking for that safe place. In there, the human heart is able to talk to another about the most sensitive heart issues. In there, the human heart is able to share openly and honestly about heart issues. In real relationships we move beyond a distant or impersonal “surface or comfort level,” to a “safe place” where two persons can allow each other to be completely open. In that safe place, secret wounds can be shared. In that safe place secret wounds are mended.

That can only happen when the confrontation is done God’s way. God’s way provides the right level of personal relationship between two intimates. God’s way gives us the right to confront others with heart issues and allows us to receive the Holy Spirit’s help and empowerment. When we have the answer to who gives us the right to confront, the Holy Spirit shows us the how.

God’s way is this: the Holy Spirit, the Creator of our hearts, gets involved in our relationships. He is the one who understands the human heart the most, and he helps us understand others. So even in dealing with conflicts and heart issues we need to walk in step with the Spirit.

A heart filled with the Holy Spirit will bear the fruit of joy and love and gentleness… everything we need to put us in the right attitude to approach or confront others. So what gives us the right to confront? Power and motive.

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass… Paul sets the condition: if any of our brothers unintentionally blunders into sin–not just when our brother is willfully sinning do we confront him.

…you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness… When we are filled by the Holy Spirit, then we can take the step to restore our brother. Our approach: gentleness, which is the Spirit’s fruit. We can’t confront our brother without the Spirit. Restoring our brother is then about him and the Lord; not ourselves, not our egos. Your motive is to restore – not embarrass, not humble, show your right, put him in his place. …each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted… When you are empowered by the Spirit He keeps you humble. He knows you can fall into the same sin if not careful. One such pitfall is spiritual arrogance–”I’m spiritually superior and you’re not” thinking. This is a very real temptation. Contrast this with a spirit of humility: When the person knows you believe you could fall also, he does not feel judged. He feels safe!

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ… When our motive is to restore brothers then their burden is not just theirs. It becomes ours, too. This is the love that Christ exhorted to show each other.

Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34–35).

For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself… People empowered by the Spirit never think they are to special to help. Instead, they assume Christ’s attitude and realizes they are servant to all. God brings people within our circle of influence for a purpose. Ultimately, it is to bring glory to His son.

But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another… It is not a spirituality contest with anyone. Our only desire is to imitate and please Christ.

For each one will bear his own load… The great freedom this brings is that you are responsible to love and help your fallen brother – no matter what his reaction is. Whether he listens or not is not your concern. Your concern is to do God’s will.

You let God deal with it.

May the Holy Spirit free you and take you to that safe place in your relationships.

Love, Acceptance & Forgiveness


In an upper room where He celebrated the Passover with the disciples, and where He washed the feet of His disciples as a servant would, Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” According to Him, all men will know that they are His if they love one another. (John 13: 34-35)

Love one another just as I have loved you – Just how easy is this new commandment from Jesus? How about we look at some of the people described in the Bible to be “loved by Jesus”?

Jesus loved the disciples who were with Him in the said upper room. Jesus loved the siblings Martha, Mary and Lazarus (John 11:5). But Jesus also loved the rich, young ruler who chose to hold on to his wealth rather than follow Him (Mark 10: 21). Jesus loved His disciples James and John, the brothers who asked Him to call down fire from heaven and wipe out a stranger they saw was casting out demons in Jesus’ name. He also loved temperamental Peter who had taken his sword on the high priest’s servant Malchus during Jesus’ arrest. And Jesus loved Judas Iscariot, His disciple who betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver.

Jesus loved them all – and us too – just as they are, faults, failures and all. “Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person to meet the needs of that person in such a way that causes sacrifice,” says Dr. Harold Sala, well-known speaker, author and Bible teacher.

And in John 13: 34-35, Jesus is asking His followers, both His disciples and us, to give the same kind of love.

The problem is, we tend to divide people into two categories: that which we like about them and that which we dislike. And the bigger problem is that, every person has idiosyncrasies, mannerisms or habit patterns that have the potential to be unlikeable, offensive even. And unlike a wormy apple which we could cut to salvage the good part, we can’t love people in slices. And Jesus wouldn’t want us to. Paul even wrote to the Romans, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

When you really love someone, you have to accept them as they are with the expectation that God will work in their hearts and He will be the one who changes them.

“To love a human being means to accept him, to love him as he is. If you wait to love him till he has got rid of all his faults, till he is different, you are only loving an idea. Love him with the love of Christ. This means accepting him as he is then lead him towards a goal he doesn’t see and, because I love, to attack all that is contrary to God with all of the energy of love,” wrote Florence Allshorn, a missionary to Uganda in the 1920s.

Admittedly, it is difficult to accept and love those who have offended us. And there are actually several other options on how we can respond to them. We can go “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth…” which leaves both parties blind and toothless. We can break off the relationship – something God never did with us, praise Him! We can live dejected, while letting your pain grow.

Don’t sound like great options either, right? But Jesus is telling us, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you,” (Luke 6:28)

We need to understand that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) When we stand at the foot of the cross, we will all be on level ground. No one could look down on someone else and say, I am better than this person. Paul even wrote to the Galatians, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:1-3) This is compassion and humility – elements that make up the love of Jesus Christ.

Aside from blessing and praying for those who have offended us, Jesus tells us that we must also forgive them. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Forgiveness doesn’t mean the offense was okay. Forgiveness means, you are giving up your “right” to hurt the person back. When you forgive somebody, you release a prisoner – you!

Sounds tough? Nah… IT’S IMPOSSIBLE! Apart from the infilling of the Holy Spirit, that is. We need to ask the power of the Spirit to respond to Jesus’ call to love, accept and forgive as He does. And we ask for the filling of the Spirit by

1. Acknowledging our need for it;
2. Confessing our sins;
3. Giving ourselves, as is said in

Romans 12: 1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…”;

4. Asking the Holy Spirit to fill us; and
5. Accepting the filling of God’s Spirit and walking in simple obedience.

When we ask and accept the filling of God’s Spirit with thanksgiving, and reach out, take Jesus’ hand and walk with Him, only then can we respond to the impossible call of Jesus. Only then can we love, accept and forgive one another as He has done so with us.

Smile: You Are Now A Son


The apostle Paul had been shipwrecked, flogged, stoned, beaten nearly to death. He is one tough guy. And yet in his letter to the Galatians he wrote about being “astonished” (Gal. 1:6), “perplexed…” (Gal. 4:20), and “fearing for them” (Gal. 1:7). Paul worried about the Galatians who were being confused by men trying to pervert the Gospel of Christ. Wouldn’t you be astonished yourself if you find in your backyard a beautiful butterfly – with great, big, colorful wings for flying freely – crawling on its belly as if it were still a caterpillar? Paul earnestly reminds the Galatians in Chapter 4, “The Lord Jesus has set you free! You are now sons and no longer slaves. Don’t go back to living like a slave. Slavery and sonship do not mix!”

You are now sons and no longer slaves

Verses 1-3 talk about an heir who could not lay a hold of his inheritance because of his young age. Until the time set by his father, he is placed under the watchful eye of a guardian. We were like the child once. Before coming to know Jesus Christ we were slaves – to the law. Whatever we think could draw us closer to God, we do sincerely, hoping that if we try hard enough maybe we could win God’s favor and even deserve entry to heaven. Jesus even said, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life.” (Jn. 5:39-40) But He declared, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Jn. 14:6) Salvation and sonship are only possible through redemption, a giving in exchange of something. Thus, when the time had fully come, God sent His Son to redeem us who were under the law. Referring to Jesus, Isaiah 53:2-6 say, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Redemption has always been God’s plan. It was not an afterthought God had made up as things went along in the history of mankind.

God has sent Jesus Christ not just to redeem us as His sons. Galatians 4:7 says, “So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” God has also given us a new heart and put on us a new spirit when Jesus Christ redeemed us into sonship. Ezekiel 36:26-27 say, “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.” Through Christ’s redemptive death on the cross, God has given us true freedom – freedom from our old selves and from obedience to God just out of obligation. Just as he reminded the Galatians, Paul is reminding us today: when we accepted Christ, we have become sons of God, no longer slaves. No need to crawl on our bellies like a caterpillar – we can fly freely like a butterfly. Remember, the evidence of true sonship is a changed life.

Don’t go back to living like a slave

In verses 9-10 of Chapter 4, Paul scolds the Galatians, saying, “…how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? [10] You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!” The Galatians were becoming obsessed all over again with obeying Section A, Article 1, Item 278… The principles, the items may be right things to do, but if they’re doing them for all the wrong reasons, they’re back in slavery all over again. Paul warned the Colossians, “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (Col. 2:23)

We are not exempt from falling into a similar pit. It is entirely possible that we do the right things – attend worship, go to D-Group, serve in a ministry, attend Bible study, have quiet time, go to dawn watch – all for the wrong reasons. We might be doing these things: out of routine & tradition; to help make up for sins; to belong, conform & comply; to overcome my guilt, out of people’s expectations; because God will be angry & punish us if we don’t; to impress and look good; because God will love me more if I do, etc. We need to be sure that we’re doing these things as an outflow of our gratitude to God. We need to be sure we’re doing these things under the power of God’s Spirit. If we’re not careful, we might just end up being sons living like slaves.

Slavery and Sonship do not mix

Galatians 4:22-26 says: “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.”

Slavery and Sonship cannot mix. The formula cannot be faith in Christ plus good works, equals salvation. Good works is on the other side of the equation because it is the response to the gift of salvation. The Christian life is designed to be a life of joy. There are many, many reasons to be joyful in the Christian life: we have been redeemed as sons of God; we are no longer slaves to the law nor to sin nor to our old selves; we have become heirs with an eternal inheritance; we have been given a new heart and a new spirit; we can love and worship the Lord, freely. So stop frowning. Go on and smile.

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Inspiration From Chile’s Miners


By Jim Whelchel

Once in a while the world is riveted by good news…like others around the world, we in the Philippines have watched with nervous anticipation as the amazing rescue effort for the 33 miners has unfolded, ever so slowly, and has finally come to an amazingly smooth conclusion.

But one of the stories behind the story has been the work of the Chilean Campus Crusade for Christ ministry to reach out to and encourage the miners even while they were still trapped hundreds of meters below the surface.

Some weeks ago, our national director in Chile, Christian Maureira, initiated contact with the rescuers to offer moral and spiritual encouragement to the miners. Although the rescuers initially were hesitant to allow contact, eventually they realized that they needed all the help they could get to keep the miners’ spirits lifted and to create an environment of hope.

The Campus Crusade for Christ ministry provided MP3 players with the Jesus Film audio, and large portions of scripture, for the miners to listen to. It turns out that there were believers among the miners, and they had daily prayer meetings together twice a day. One of the miners, Jose Samuel, wrote to Christian Maureira from inside the mine to thank him for the MP3 materials. Some of his comments were:

“I want to express my appreciation for this great blessing for me and my co-workers, it will be very good [for] our edification” (referring the MP3’s)
• “I am well because Christ lives in me”
• “We have prayer services at 12 a.m. and 6 p.m.”
• “I ask all of you for pray not only for us here, but for all the lost people in the world”
• At the end of the letter he signed off with Psalm 95:4 “In his hand are the depths of the earth, and mountain peaks belong to him”.

Upon reaching the surface, many of the miners were wearing the tee shirts given to them by the ministry, with the Jesus film logo on the sleeve (see attached picture), and with Ps. 95:4 written on the back. Many also made their first words upon reaching safety praise and thanksgiving to God for His sustaining grace.

We know they still a long road of readjustment to overcome. Please pray for them. And pray that the story of their faith in God and the role He played in their rescue would be used for God’s glory around the world.

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Know the Truth, Live the Truth


Truth matters! What you believe will impact your life, your decisions and your future. In our day and age many people think that what you believe does not matter as long as you are sincere. However, it is possible to be sincere but sincerely wrong.

Paul wrote to the Galatians because he was shocked that they were already turning away from the true gospel to follow a false gospel. (Galatians 1:6, 3:3, 4:9) They had distorted the gospel of grace by added religion, circumcision, good works, among others as necessary for attaining salvation. Studying the book of Galatians will help us to correct our beliefs and doctrine, especially when it comes to the gospel.

Paul wrote in Galatians 1:6-9, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

It’s imperative to know the truth. Truth doesn’t change. According to Paul no one can change the gospel, not the Apostles or even the angels. And if anyone does preach a gospel contrary to the true gospel, Paul says, “…he is to be accursed!” That is how serious the truth is! Truth is 100% accurate. Counterfeit truth is often 99% true. To discern truth from error, we need to systematically study the Bible. Flannery O’Connor says, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

If truth – the Gospel is being distorted then, even before early first century Christians, how much more today? What is our safeguard? Go back to the Scriptures. Paul states the truth about the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” The truth of the gospel is that Jesus was born, died for our sins and rose again on the third day. We are saved when we believe this by faith alone, not by good works or being religious. Galatians 1:16 says, “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus”, even we Vol. 22 No. 39 September 26, 2010 CCF Weekly Bulletin CCF Mission: Making Committed Followers of Christ have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”

We may not understand it or even believe it but God’s truth does not and will not change. However, truth will change our lives when we believe it and live it. It changed the life of Paul as stated in Galatians 1:10, “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” The word bond-servant means a volunteer servant somebody who was given the freedom to go but who chose to stay and serve his master as Paul chose to serve Jesus. That is the power of the gospel.

The truth is important because the truth will set the direction of our lives. If the direction of our life is wrong, we will not reach the right destination. Intention does not determine our destination. We need to change our direction by aligning it with the truth, because only this determines
your destination.

To do this, the solution is simple: Study and follow the Word of God. Cling to the truth; for the truth will set us free.

Truth matters! What you believe will impact your life, your decisions and your future. In our day and age many people think that what you believe does not matter as long as you are sincere. However, it is possible to be sincere but sincerely wrong.

Paul wrote to the Galatians because he was shocked that they were already turning away from the true gospel to follow a false gospel. (Galatians 1:6, 3:3, 4:9) They had distorted the gospel of grace by added religion, circumcision, good works, among others as necessary for attaining salvation. Studying the book of Galatians will help us to correct our beliefs and doctrine, especially when it comes to the gospel.

Paul wrote in Galatians 1:6-9, “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

It’s imperative to know the truth. Truth doesn’t change. According to Paul no one can change the gospel, not the Apostles or even the angels. And if anyone does preach a gospel contrary to the true gospel, Paul says, “…he is to be accursed!” That is how serious the truth is! Truth is 100% accurate. Counterfeit truth is often 99% true. To discern truth from error, we need to systematically study the Bible. Flannery O’Connor says, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

If truth – the Gospel is being distorted then, even before early first century Christians, how much more today? What is our safeguard? Go back to the Scriptures. Paul states the truth about the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” The truth of the gospel is that Jesus was born, died for our sins and rose again on the third day. We are saved when we believe this by faith alone, not by good works or being religious. Galatians 1:16 says, “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus”, even we Vol. 22 No. 39 September 26, 2010 CCF Weekly Bulletin CCF Mission: Making Committed Followers of Christ have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”

We may not understand it or even believe it but God’s truth does not and will not change. However, truth will change our lives when we believe it and live it. It changed the life of Paul as stated in Galatians 1:10, “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” The word bond-servant means a volunteer servant somebody who was given the freedom to go but who chose to stay and serve his master as Paul chose to serve Jesus. That is the power of the gospel.

The truth is important because the truth will set the direction of our lives. If the direction of our life is wrong, we will not reach the right destination. Intention does not determine our destination. We need to change our direction by aligning it with the truth, because only this determinesyour destination.

To do this, the solution is simple: Study and follow the Word of God. Cling to the truth; for the truth will set us free.

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The MARK 5 Man


Mark 5:1-20: They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet Him. 3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of Him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that You won’t torture me!” 8For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” 9Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man–and told about the pigs as well. 17Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their
region. 18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with Him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

1. Who is the MARK 5 Man? (vv.2-5; Ephesians 2:1-3; James 1:14-15)

• He is one person who is representative of the many people who need the Lord Jesus Christ; people
who have no personal relationship with Him, whose lives are not surrendered to Jesus. He is a helpless
and hopeless case without Jesus.

• He lived among the dead, helplessly followed the dictates of the evil spirit that inhabited him; he was
out of control and could no longer be subdued. Like many of us today, who are “possessed” and
unrestrained who have been taken hostage by the lure and standards of this world.

• He was isolated and cut-off from help. Isolation is also a powerful weapon of the devil. Notice that
when a D-group member has been absent for a long time with no apparent legitimate reason, there is
usually something wrong. Satan can use their isolation to take them hostage.

2. What did Jesus do to him? (vv. 9-13; Matthew 28:18)

• Why were the disciples not mentioned in this story? Maybe the storm at sea had tired them out. Or
maybe they looked down on the demon-possessed man as unclean or were afraid of him or didn’t feel
equipped to deal with him. We may be like the disciples – too tired to share the gospel, or scared of
not being ready, or afraid of people’s rejection. Or perhaps we look down on certain people.

• Jesus did not look down on the demon-possessed man. He saw his need and delivered him. He has
compassion for the unwanted, hopeless and helpless. No person, regardless of their condition or
situation is out-of-reach of the grace and love of Jesus.

• When Jesus delivered the demon-possessed man, He dramatically demonstrated that all authority in
heaven and earth has been given to Him, and that is our confidence as we share the gospel to all.

3. What should we do now? (vv.14-20; Matthew 28:19-20)

• After Jesus delivered the demon-possessed man, He instructed him, “Go home to your family and tell them
how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

• Jesus has given us the same marching orders. We have an amazing story to tell of God’s grace and
mercy. Look for the Mark 5 men and women in your home, in school, in the workplace, in your
neighborhood, even right in the church; they need the Lord, just like we did before we trusted in
Jesus. Share with them “how much the Lord has done for you.” They will be amazed and blessed!

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