Showing posts from March, 2007

Invest in Eternity

Millionaire at 23 years old. Billionaire at 50 years old. That’s John D. Rockefeller, the world’s first billionaire.

But at the age of 53 he had a debilitating sickness. Pain all over his body. All the hair on his head gone. At that time, he was the world’s only billionaire. He could buy anything he wanted. But he could only digest milk and crackers. An associate described his dire situation: “He could not sleep, would not smile and nothing in life meant anything to him.” His doctors gave him only a year to live.

One night, he had a dream. He could vaguely recall it but all he could remember was that he will leave everything behind. Motivational speaker Brian Kluth wrote, “The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in control of his own life.” That realization led him to establish the Rockefeller Foundation. Through its generous medical research grants, penicillin and the cure for diphtheria, malaria and tuberculosis (among many other scientific breakthrou…

Debt Is No Game

“The reason contestants are in debt in the first place is that people have already gone out and bought these prizes.”
That's the wise observation of veteran host Wink Martindale. He came up with the Debt game show, which aired for only three years over Lifetime Cable Network in the USA. It was a groundbreaking show which even won a CableACE Award for best game show. The National Cable TV Association gave this award to honor excellence in cable TV programming. It was sort of cable TV’s Emmy Award. It was simple. Contestants who were neck-deep in debt due to credit cards and other loans would battle it out by answering questions dished by Martindale. But, instead of taking home appliance showcases, winners got to erase their debt and even won up to twice of what they owe. 
In other words, they failed to practice delayed gratification. Simply put, suffer now and enjoy later rather than enjoy now then suffer later. People drown in debt because they can’t wait. They can’t suffer for a wh…

Experience Grace Giving Part 2

One time a pastor preached to his congregation, “If we are going to serve God, we need to get down on our knees and crawl!” The church responded, “Yes, we will crawl, Pastor! We will crawl!” Then the pastor shouted, “Once we learn to crawl, it’s time to get up on our feet and walk!” The church cried out, “Yes, we will walk, Pastor! We will walk!” Then he yelled, “Once we learn to walk, it’s time to run!” They yelled back, “Yes, we will run, Pastor! We will run!” Then he looked at them straight in the eyes and said, “If we want to run, we have to reach deep down in our pockets and give our tithes and offerings!” There was a long pause, an awkward silence. Then they mumbled, “We will crawl, Pastor. We will crawl.”[1]

Seriously, we are going through a series on giving because we want each one to enjoy giving and not just to endure it. This morning, we will look into part 2 of “Experience Grace Giving.” Open your Bibles to 2 Corinthians 8:1-9.[2] Again, to our dear visitors and friends, …

Experience Grace Giving Part 1

I confess that there are some pastors who are afraid to talk about money to their churches. Their motives are right. They are not just comfortable with the topic. So, they would rather invite a guest speaker to talk about giving.

However, as your pastor, I believe if I can’t talk to you about giving, I can’t really talk to you about anything. As I have mentioned in a sermon before, our Lord Jesus Himself talk more about money than heaven and hell. There are more verses about possessions in the Bible than verses on faith and prayer combined. So, since this is what the Bible teaches, I have to share it with you. And I believe a straight talk on giving is better that not talking about it at all. Giving is both our privilege and our responsibility.

But first, let me clarify that this is family talk. In short, I am talking to our members and regular attenders of Makati Gospel Church. To our visitors, this is not meant for you. Though, of course, you are most welcome to listen.

When I was in …

Get or Give?

There’s a guy who came to church (not MGC :-), I hope) with his family. After the service, on their way home, the man was complaining about everything. He said, “The music was too loud. The choir was off-key. The sermon was boring. The announcements were too long. The aircon was not working. The people were unfriendly.” He went on and on. Finally, his son said, “Dad, you’ve got to admit it wasn’t a bad show for just fifty pesos!” (Adapted from the illustration database of Sermon Central)

We tend to have a consumer-mentality, that is, we ask what we can get, not what we can give. Some people hold on to what we call “prosperity doctrine.” They give because they want God to give it back a hundredfold. Yes, I believe that God indeed blesses us when we give. But, if that is our motive, then it is still getting, not giving. That should not be our reason for giving. Also, we give not just to pay for the bills of the church organization and its work. We do not give to have a good “show.” To pa…