Christ’s Example of Humility

IMG_7376As l have watched the replay episode of #MagandangBuhay program this morning, I appreciate #Maricel Laxa’s humility to admit her mistakes and even confess or ask forgiveness to her eldest daughter, and her daughter replied, “I’ve forgiven you mommy, let’s just do better next time.” Indeed, that’s a good example of a humble parent who’s willing to ask forgiveness which is one of the key to healthy relationship.

Another good example is the author, William Farley as he testified, “Many times I went to my children and asked their forgiveness for my harsh or ungodly treatment of their mother. When they saw me speak critically to Judy, or put her down, I gathered my children and reminded them that my example was crucial and that I was sorry for my sin, and I asked them to forgive me.”

While the opposite is this: There’s an old mother who’s unwilling to admit her mistakes with her eldest daughter that has ruined their relationship. She poured out to me her bitterness towards some of her children but it’s hard for her to admit her own sins. I agree with William Farley, “Pride has many symptoms. First, proud parents see their children’s sins, but they are unable to see the same sins in themselves. In Jesus’ words, we try to remove the speck from our child’s eye even while we have a log in our own (Matt. 7:1–5).”

What produces humility that attracts our children?:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” ~Philippians 2:3-8

  • Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.:

Someday my child (as of now, I only have one child) might forget everything I did, or don’t even have an idea how I took care of him. Someday, he will be independent and have his own family and might seldom visit me 🙁😢😭, but I know that’s part of my calling as a mom or parent. I am dreaming to have our own house 🏡 and family car 🚗 , but I have to make sure that my son will be the top priority, and that is to raise him into godliness by God’s grace.

Children are not a form of pension so in case they are not able to give financially especially when they have their own family, let us not boast anything that we did or have given them.

  • Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.:

Whatever sacrifices we may give or have given, those are peanuts compared to what Christ did on the cross. As William Farley has mentioned, “The cross is our salvation from the condemnation of sin. The cross motivates us to be the parents that God wants us to be. The cross motivates us to preach a compelling example to our children. The cross exposes our pride. It humbles us. It shows us who we really are—sinners saved by grace.
Cross-centered parents are imperfect, but they attract their children.”

Indeed the gospel affects how we treat and discipline our children. Having an intimate relationship with the Lord that reflects on our Christian living ought to be contagious.

 

 

The Role of Marriage to Parenting

IMG_7372There’s a greatest love ❤️ that surpasses the love of my husband which was demonstrated through death on a cross✝️, and though I’m already married, I am blessed to be part of the eternal marriage: And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” ~Revelation 19:9

I am currently reading the book of William Farley, “Gospel-Powered Parenting”. Last night, I am reminded about the role of marriage to parenting, please bear with me because my quote is slightly long but it’s worth the read:

“From before time began, God had marriage on his mind. He was preparing a bride for his Son, whom he would marry forever. It would take the crucifixion and resurrection of the Groom to bring this marriage to pass. Think of it. God created the most intimate human relationship, marriage, to speak of the intimacy of his relationship with his church.

God created the institution of human marriage to reflect, or mirror forth, this eternal union. In other words, human marriage exists to point men and angels to the eternal marriage of Christ and his church. The gospel made this divine marriage possible. Here is our point: human marriage exists to preach the gospel. It exists to illustrate the fruit that should follow the preaching of the gospel in the church.

To whom do our marriages preach? Of course, the first audience is God and his angels. They watch and rejoice, or if our marriage is a war zone, they grieve. Who is the second audience? Most of us think first about our non-Christian neighbors. Maybe they will see our attempts to model Christian marriage and want the gospel? They might, and we hope they will, but actually they are the third audience.

The second audience, usually overlooked by most Christians, is our children. What is our marriage telling them about Christ and his bride? They see it all. They hear our fights. They absorb our attitudes. They know who or what really sits on the throne of our lives. They watch how we handle resentment. They hear the way we talk to each other. They know when we hear the Sunday sermon and apply it. They also know when we ignore it.

The message that our marriage preaches either repels or attracts our children. God wants your child to watch your marriage and think, “I want a marriage like that, and I want the God that produced it.” Or, “When I think of the beauty of the gospel, I think of my parents’ marriage. I want to be part of a church that is loved by God the way my dad loves my mother. I want to be part of a church that finds its joy in submitting to Christ as my mother joyfully submits to my father.”

The gospel is the good news that the Groom loves his bride. He loved her so much that he humbled himself, descended an infinite distance, became man, and suffered poverty and abuse for thirty-three years. Then, in the greatest display of love in history, he allowed himself to be tortured to death on a cross in his bride’s place. The Son of God did all of this to serve his bride, to make peace where enmity reigned. What motivated him? Love that surpasses knowledge! He longed to unite himself in irrevocable love to an unworthy bride.

But the gospel is not just about the Groom’s love. It also provokes a response from his bride. When understood from the heart, it motivates her to humble herself, love the Groom with all her heart, respect him, and serve him with joyful abandon. The gospel summons Christ’s bride to yield to the servant authority of her crucified King.

Here is Paul’s point: Christian marriage preaches this union. It makes it either attractive or ugly. When a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church, washing her with the Word, forgiving her, serving her, and tenderly leading her, his marriage says, Christ loves his church. You can trust the Groom. He is infinitely loving. Serve him. You won’t be disappointed. When a husband humbly loves a menopausal (or premenstrual) wife, his behavior says, “Christ loves the church even though she is sinful.” His behavior tells his children, “Christ loves his bride even when she is unattractive.” It says that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, even our failings.

But when a husband is unfaithful to his wife, verbally belittles her, loves his children more than her, or takes her for granted, his marriage says, “Christ’s love is not that great. He loves us only when we perform. You can’t trust this Savior. You can’t meet his expectations. He doesn’t keep his promises. Why serve a fickle despot?” His deeds say, “Many things can separate us from the love of Christ.”

Wives also preach. When Mom joyfully submits to her husband as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22), recognizing that he is her head as Christ is the Head of the church, and that she is his body as the church is the body of Christ, it makes an “attractive statement. When she does this for an unworthy husband, not because she trusts him, but because she trusts Christ to care for her, it points her children to Christ. Her behavior says, “Christ is trustworthy.” It says, “The Son of God is infinitely good. You can trust him. My father is very imperfect, but Mom trusts Christ to take care of her. If she can trust Jesus this way, I can also.”

But when a wife tells her children to obey Christ, yet doesn’t trust him enough to take care of her relationship with an imperfect husband, but seeks to control him, resists his authority, refuses to respect him, and declines to serve him, her actions speak loudly. They say, “The Son of God cannot be trusted. He promises to exalt the humble, but I don’t believe he will exalt me. He says he will take care of those who submit to lawful authority, but I don’t really believe that. If I don’t take care of myself, who will?

In most cases her children will internalize what she does, not what she says.
What I am saying is that our marriages exist for something bigger than themselves, and our children are watching. Christ’s marriage to his church greatly surpasses our human marriages. Ours are temporary. They end with death. In the new heaven and earth there will be no marriage or giving in marriage (Matt. 22:29–30). By contrast, the marriage of Christ to his church is eternal. It will never end. Ultimately, only one marriage remains—the marriage of Christ to his bride.

This principle is especially important for homeschooling moms. With their children all day, they face a great temptation to center their lives and affections on their children. Convinced that it is what they do, or don’t do, with their children that will prove decisive, they make their children the center of their lives and affections.

I contend that it is how they love their husbands that will ultimately prove decisive. In other words, marriage-centered, not child-centered, moms usually exert the greatest influence on their children for Christ and his kingdom. This means that your weekends away with your husband, alone, might influence your children more than all your teaching and disciplining combined. Your children are watching, and it gives them great joy and security to see their parents loving each other.

In summary, how we conduct our marriages communicates what we really think about Christ’s marriage to his church, which is the fruit of the gospel.”

Excerpt From: Farley, William. “Gospel-Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting.”

In Christ alone ✝️

IMG_7368No amount of lashes on your back, repetitious prayers, good works, or masses attended can earn a place in heaven for you because eternal life, like any genuine gift, is free. Those who were trying to earn God’s forgiveness by repeating Jesus’s sacrifice could not be a perfect and complete thing. Thus, it is meaningless.

The word TETELESTAI which means “It is finished!” is a sufficient reason to earn God’s forgiveness through faith in Christ alone. And only perfect God and perfect man’s sacrifice could satisfy the Father’s wrath.

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. ~Romans 6:8-10

*Let’s imagine that I have a record book of sin that contains a minutely detailed account of my life. Each page details the sin of a particular day–every word I have spoken, every thought that ever crossed my mind, every deed I’ve ever done.

Here then is the problem–my sin. God loves me but He hates my sin and must punish it.

To solve this problem, He sent His Son into the world. The Scripture says “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, everyone, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”(Isaiah 53:6). All of my sin which God hates has been placed on Jesus Christ.

Finally, when the last sin had been paid for, Jesus said, “It is finished!” This is an interesting word in the original text. It is TETELESTAI, a commercial word which means, “It is paid; the debt is paid.” When He died, He was buried in a grave for three days; but He rose from the dead and went to heaven to prepare a place for you and me. Now He offers heaven–eternal life–to you and me as a gift 🎁.*

Why it is impossible to get into heaven by good works?

*If I were to prepare an omelet with five good eggs and one rotten egg, I could not serve it to my family and expect it to be acceptable.

Even less can we serve up our lives to God, which may have many things in them that men would call good, and yet are filled with deeds and thoughts that are rotten, and expect them to be acceptable to God.

If we want to get into heaven by our good works, then all we have to do is to be perfect (Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. ~Matthew 5:48). God’s standard is complete obedience to Him in all things and at all times. We all fall short of this.*

*Saving faith is the right key 🔑 to heaven. There are two other keys that people often think will open the door to heaven. Those keys are head knowledge and temporary faith.*

*Head knowledge: Many people know certain historical facts about Jesus. They believe in Jesus the same way they believe in Jose Rizal’s existence. They believe He was a real person in history, but they are not trusting Him to do anything for them now.*

*The Bible says the devil believes in God (You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! ~James 2:19). So believing in God’s existence is not what the Bible means by saving faith.*

*Temporary faith: When a person trusts in the Lord for finances, you could call that financial-faith. A person may pray and trust the Lord to take care of his family.You could call this family-faith. Many have prayed for a safe trip. You could call that traveling-faith. There is one thing that all of these have in common. They are temporary. For instance, once you reach your destination, you don’t need to trust the Lord for traveling-faith.*

*All the things of this world will pass away. They are temporary. But saving faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life.*

*Saving faith is the hand of a beggar reaching out to accept the gift of a king 👑. I was like this unworthy beggar who reached out and received the gift 🎁 of eternal life. I didn’t deserve it then and I don’t deserve it now. But I have it–by grace!*

*Why, then, should I try to live a good life? The reason for living a godly life is gratitude for this gift of eternal life. I’m not trying to gain something I don’t have by my efforts to be good. Rather, I’m saying, “Thank you, Lord.” The motive for Christian living is gratitude for the gift of eternal life.*

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. ~Galatians 2:20

*Note: illustrations are from Evangelism Explosion

What does it mean to be humble in times of trials or difficulties?

IMG_7334 The rich man Job was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. He even prayed for his sons regularly because he thought his sons may have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. And yet a man like him was not exempted from suffering. Does it mean that he was proud that’s why he lost his possessions including his sons and daughters? How about Christ when he was hanged on the cross? And out of excruciating pain, he cried “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” so the Lord understands when we wonder, “why is this happening to me?”, and we can take comfort on what Christ did at the cross if you are suffering for doing what is right as it is written on 1 Peter 4:12-14: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”

  • What does it mean to be humble?:
    Though Job was commended for his steadfastness, he went through those emotional distress as he uttered, “May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said , ‘A male child is conceived'” (Job 3:3). However, it was because of affliction that he knew God intimately. He realized that he uttered what he did not understand, things too wonderful for him, which he did not know(Job 42:3). And when he repented, the Lord restored his losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10). Like Job, let us cast all our anxieties to God, because he cares for us. When we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, he will exalt us at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6-7). As we get to know God intimately through affliction, and not through mere head knowledge, we will cherish Him more than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

“It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” ~Psalm 119:71-72

  • What is the purpose of suffering?: Suffering is God’s way for us to test ourselves if we are truly saved and if we truly love him. Besides whatever we’re going through in this earthly life is just temporary when it compares to spending eternity with Him.

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” ~ 1 Peter 1:6-9

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
~2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Being blessed can still be referring to those who are suffering and have lost everything: We actually don’t deserve anything but hell or God’s wrath so to know that you are forgiven and saved from eternal suffering is already a great blessing. And whatever benefits we’re enjoying in this earthly life is out of God’s compassion and mercy.

“Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” ~James 5:11

Yes, the Lord restored Job’s losses and even gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10). But the most important thing is his relationship with the Most High that is more valuable than anything.

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.” ~Job 42:5

For related topic, please read or listen to the sermon: How to Face Trials Patiently

Working at home (Titus 2:3-5) 🏡

 

IMG_7323Whether you’re a working mom or stay at home mom, both could be a homemaker because both could manage a home. As a woman, wife and mother, we can be productive when we know our priorities:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. ~Titus 2:3-5

  • Love their husbands and children: As a young woman, I am motivated to love my husband and child (as of now, I only have one son) as Christ loves me and gave himself for me. Loving my husband and child includes being patient with them in every circumstances. I love to quote the inspiring words from Elisabeth Elliot regarding motherhood: “This job [of motherhood] has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” 
  • Self-controlled: Aside from avoiding quarrel, it also includes our proper handling of budget.
  • Pure: We could avoid the wrong counsel and identify the wrong views or myth when we know our Bible. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” ~Psalm 119:9
  • Working at home: I love being a homemaker because I am motivated to look well to the ways of my household. Thus, to avoid idleness.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. ~Proverbs 31:27

When I resigned from my previous employment to take care of my little one, it doesn’t mean that I am not working or I am not busy. In fact, the more I appreciate when I don’t get sick because there’s no so called “sick leave and day off” as a wife and mother. When I remember what God said, I know that there’s a lot of things to do at home 🏡. When I am focused, I could do multitasking. I love being organized because for me it also reflects a pleasing personality and you even make things findable.

Since I am my husband’s helpmeet, for me that also includes regarding our finances so I am planning to pursue a virtual career. Homebased job is an opportunity to earn our living and still have quality time with my family ❤️️. Having said that, I have learned a wisdom regarding work (that includes homemaking) from the sermon of John MacArthur:

“Martin Luther said there is absolutely no difference before God, though there may be before men, between one who preaches the Word of God and one who washes dishes.  There’s no such thing, he said, as the sacred and the secular in terms of employment.  We understand the difference between preaching and washing dishes as it affects men, but in terms of service before God, there’s no difference for one could preach the truth of God from an impure motive and God would be displeased and one could wash dishes with a motive of glorifying Christ and God would be highly pleased.

You see, our Christian faith has sanctified every occupation.  There isn’t any difference between the secular and the sacred, there isn’t any at all.  The church should remember that Jesus was a preacher for three years but a carpenter for at least 20.  That sanctifies work.  All of life is God’s.  All of it is for His glory.

So Paul is saying to the Ephesians and saying to the Colossians, work is a sacred duty not a secular one.  Work is sacred in the sense that it is done to the Lord whether you’re washing dishes, scrubbing floors, taking care of children at home and maintaining the house, or whether you’re in the financial marketplace doing accounting and bookkeeping for a company, or whether you’re delivering mail or teaching school or driving a truck, or whether you’re operating a business, or whether you’re working in sales, whether you’re developing strategy for marketing, or whether you’re some kind of an expert who acts as a consultant in a unique field – whatever it is that you’re doing, it is a service rendered to the Lord.  He has gifted you.  He has granted you talent.  He has given you the power to get wealth, as it says in Deuteronomy, through means of that, and He has allowed you the opportunity to provide your sustenance through that talent, ability, and experience and capability that you have, but it is to be done as if you were serving Him, the one who gave you that as the means by which you can earn your living – particularly, is this not true for Christians?  Everything you do is a sacred trust.”

  • Kind: To maintain a harmonious relationship, let us choose to be kind to others even when they are against us, even when they do not meet our expectations or standards besides, those who are gracious are those real recipients of grace.
  • Submissive to their own husbands: Though I express my wants and desires to my husband, I follow according to his decision.

The role of older women was mentioned first and that is indeed my pursuit in which I call it “aging gracefully”. There are older women who speaks and acts without growth. Some did not grow in homemaking such as cooking, maintaining a clean and organized home. Some are wasting their time on gossiping and slandering out of bitterness. Thus, instead of being a right example, they are not reverent in behavior so they could not train the young women. I am not totally against wine especially red wine because it’s good for the heart and has other health benefits. However being slaves to much wine 🍷 is being drunkard.

Pursuing these qualities from Titus 2:3-5 could be a living testimony about the role of women, so that women will not be mere hearers but doers of God’s Word, that the word of God may not be reviled.

For related topic, you may read or listen to the sermon: God’s Plan for Younger Women

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