Delighting in God: When We Are Impassioned For Redemption

2012-06-30 01.06.31 pm

1 Corinthians 1:17“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

In 1 Corinthians 1; we see a dividing factor that is causing a disruption in the church of Corinth. You see many of them are quarreling among themselves and choosing leaders, factions and sides; some say I follow Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas; or Christ- the biggest question Paul was asking here is- “Is Christ divided?” even to a point of baptism, people take it in stride to stand in faction by who baptized them. This issue that the early church handled is very much alike in today’s church; only in a bigger spectrum. Each church is divided as we follow brands upon brands of Christianity. Each one tailor-made to suit what the members want, hoping to be liked, to be well received, hoping to be popular while using the notion of commission to insure that more members come in instead of creating members of quality; in this comes the tragedy- that many churches follow their personal leaders, from pastors, deacons, elders and such; no longer are Christian called followers of Christ but followers of whoever is discipling them. To a point that even the scripture is tainted and misconstrued.

It’s a simple yet profound statement here; understand that Paul had been bred up in Jewish learning; but the plain preaching of a crucified Jesus, was more powerful than all the oratory and philosophy of the heathen world. This is the sum and substance of the gospel. Christ crucified is the foundation of all our hopes, the fountain of all our joys. And by his death we live. Blessings, abundance and all the promises to the obedient are but a by-product to the greatest gift of all which is the grace of our King, the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior and the hope of His return; this is what we should preach; not prosperity, nor commission to become leaders; since in John 12:32 it states: “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” Lift Christ up; that is redemption. Redemption; the price paid by Jesus Christ to redeem the whole world and to place it perfectly whole & restored before the throne of God. Redemption; the statement of our King uttering these words to us- we are His; all we are; all we were, all we are going to be is because of His love, His power and goodness. Thus don’t fall into overshadowing the faith by dishonoring His love by looking at Christianity as your way back to your worldly idealism of success because it won’t be.

When redemption is the one thing we are impassioned for; we are compelled to stand right with God. This means; we cannot claim to follow God yet we keep on going back to the world. Therefore we cannot claim to be a church for the true church is married to Christ yet each time we quench our lust, our greed; we are very much flirting with the world- ergo we are unfaithful. When we were saved; there is no turning back nor a thought or situation that should overshadow the faith we hold unto to. There is no sin, nor does our self move to corrupt the beauty of being redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. We can’t go back to those without the faith in order to help us in our faith just because they seem to have what we need to build up our career, our failing finances, our needs, wants or whatever situation we maybe in. Because friends, when we look to others for support apart from God alone, look to them as our source- then it means that God is not our source and the people who we view as the source of our needs, are the ones who stand as the “god” of our lives. But if your call is true, if your Christianity hold the Bible as the only truth and that our lives show the redemptive power of Christ in our walk as we stand to bear much fruit; then it so means that we look to God and no one else, we follow Christ and Christ alone. That when we walk it is redemption that we preach; it is redemption that we live out, it the beauty of our redemption, our salvation that we exude; not the misconstrued doctrine of prosperity but the shining beacon of hope which is the unadulterated, infallible gospel which is the source of our Joy.

Have a Blessed day everyone! – Pastor Lyle Lopez

Happy Heart’s Day Dear Saints!

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1 Corinthians 13:13“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Dear Saints of Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines, Dear Family and Friends,

I would like to greet you a Happy Happy Heart’s day as we all stand to celebrate the love we have in our lives, and the people whom we love and who fills our lives with hope and joy. Amidst the festivities that make this day such a wonderful occasion, I would like for us to pursue the most amazing treasure of all: The purest form of love. The Webster Dictionary defines love as: 1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties 2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers 3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests. Mind you, all these definitions have watered down the essence of love since it defines love as a conditional emotion, a conditional variable rather than unconditional; it showcases one thing in common; it asks for a requirement. Understand that the purest form of love does not require a condition, nor is it based on the sifting sands of feelings or emotions- instead; it is founded on the rock of firm intentionality and the choice to love regardless if feelings dictate a mutual attraction or shared affection. Affection based love is not wrong, only that it asks an individual to expect something from the other party, the downside to this is that we are faced with unmet expectations. But intentional, unconditional love does not face these dilemmas- the only issue is that we cannot exude it without setting our hearts on the One who chose to love all of us despite our flaws, the One who died that we may be redeemed; the One who gave His life to free us from the chains of sin and leading us to the light- The one Who we need to focus on is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The Lover of our Soul, our King who thought of us above all.

This world has trained each of us to focus our lives to find someone who will love and understand us, since it is an innate desire in our hearts to seek someone who could fill the emptiness in our hearts. We expect that we will find this special someone by going to the right expected places. What we haven’t figured out is that we are looking for love the wrong way; since all we are doing is doing a hit and miss to obtain love. Friends, we couldn’t find love because love already found us; Agape is defined as the purest form of love and that is unconditional, it was agape that Jeuss Christ manifested on the cross that by His sacrifice; we have been freed. It is by agape that our sins are washed away and each one is given a new dawn to renew our ways; by God’s grace. Truth is; we could never find agape because agape already found us, we seek love and yet we have already been loved. I would always remember that quote from the Wedding Singer: “I just want someone to hold me and tell me everything will be alright” secretly that is what we have all been yearning for, the truth is that- someone is already holding us, comforting us and telling us that all is well if you fix your eyes on Him alone. We tend to seek that which is already there, what we need to do is to stop looking and start being still. Blaise Pascal stated that: “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus” This truth has been known yet never applied, we keep on trying to fill ourselves with the most random things to feel love but all the time God has been reaching out and telling us, Listen- I’m the only one who can truly satisfy you; for I am the only one who can save you from the emptiness you maybe facing; I’m the only one who can fill your heart with joy, peace and hope.

Thus today, I call out to each one of us to set aside the watered down definition of love that this world peddles and cleave to the purest form of Love that can only be exuded by focusing on Jesus Christ; my prayer is that as we celebrate this day- we remember that it is agape that we celebrate; the agape of our King who despite our flaws and sin; gave up His life that we be free; that we may have hope and that we be insured with a future. Friends, I implore you today to turn your hearts to the Kings of Kings; standing undivided as we delight in His precepts and bask in His presence. Again, I would like to greet you a Happy Hearts Day; may God bless you always!

With Much Love,

Pastor Lyle Lopez and Your Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines Family