December has now officially began, the season of the year when hope is rekindled, love is empowered and peace stands attainable. Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines has been on countdown mode since early November as we look forward to what God has in store for our dear church come Christmas of 2011. Once more, we are nearing a milestone not wrought by what we have done or accomplished, but granted to us by the grace of God who empowers us all to stand as a beacon of His light at the heart of Quezon City. The day started out with a downpour of rain, yet it did not stop the faithful from coming and fellowshipping with their dear family in Christ. As the rain poured so did God’s blessing as He showered His goodness through the message Pastor Lyle shared to everyone this day.
This would be the last message of Pastor Lyle Lopez in AHF Philippines for 2011 since He will be traveling to Florida to speak and visit in partner churches and our main church in Crescent City; Abundant Harvest Ministries where He will be holding the God is in the House Florida Conference on December 31- January 1. Pastor Lyle will then be returning on January to launch the new series here in Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines.
Pastor Lyle Lopez, Sister Idonnah Villarico and Bro. Victor Cruz led worship and sang Christmas, praise and worship songs together with the band led by our musical director, Bro. Rommel Villarico. Such a joyous moment as God moved and inhabited the praise of His people. Everyone was excited for this day featured 3 events; the service, the Lord’s Supper and finally the Christmas party. Though everyone was already looking forward to the festivities to come after the service; each person was hungry for the word of God.
The message of Pastor Lyle Lopez was entitled, Mary’s Servant Heart. We learned in Luke 1:26-38 that Mary, a simple virgin promised in marriage to Joseph, humbly accepted the will of God and offered herself as a bondslave, a bondservant of the Lord. God sent the Angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee. The angel appeared to Mary and brought her the Good News. She was troubled by the angel’s message but the angel said that Mary should not be afraid for God favors her and that she will give birth to a Son and she will name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. How can that be if Mary is a virgin? The angel answered that the Holy Spirit will come upon Mary and God’s power will rest upon her. Luke 1:37 states: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Mary submitted herself to the Lord and let the will of God be done. What we learned here was that we don’t worship Mary but we praise God for her, we don’t pray to her but we can emulate her servant’s heart. A heart not doubting or questioning.
She knew her place, she knew her calling, she was a servant of the most High God; a small part of a bigger plan to reconcile the lost to the Father. That is why we do not pray to Mary but we praise God for her, we do not worship her or her statue but we seek to emulate her servant heart which she exuded by God’s amazing grace in her life.
The Godhead is the only one we ought to worship, and to Him be all the praise yet we scorn not Mary but stand blessed, praising God for her. What we can take from Mary is her obedience and trust, her marvelous faith and her servant heart. A servant heart that would trust the best that God has planned, a servant heart that trusts and obey- no hesitation or query but marvelous faith.
God speaks to us that nothing is impossible with Him. A faithful servant comes from within a heart that accepts and returns; like Mary, she wholeheartedly accepted and followed the Holy Word of God. She trusted God in whatever may happen, from happiness to pain, until the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the rest of her life. In the most unexpected events of our lives comes the miracles of the Lord.
Together, we commemorated the Lord’s Supper and enjoyed the food at the Abundant table. Thus began the celebration for our Christmas party. We felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as we celebrate our Christmas party in our church.
Each family presented an astounding performance. Some sang songs as a group, others danced, while others performed amazing duets that filled each heart with joy. I believe that this is one of the most important movements in the church. As Pastor Lyle would always stated: “We ought to bring the Family together, putting God as their center and anchoring each heart to the King of Kings.” The joy of each family was evident in the laughter, cheering and smiles that enveloped the worship hall. The gift-giving moment gave a smile and laughter to everyone, as each person presented a gift to the person they picked that stood as meaningful tokens. We enjoyed every second of our Christmas party and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. Truly the Best Christmas Party in AHF Philippines yet. All Glory and Honor to the King of Kings, Thank you Father!
About The Author of AHF Viewpoint:Ate Nikki is the Head Girl of The Armor Bearers which is the official Youth Ministry of Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines. She is also a writer for the Abundant Harvest Fellowship Web Team. A graduating senior, her testimony, viewpoints and, changed life is such a blessing to Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines, Her Family and Friends. We truly Praise God for Her Life.