The Bad Minister
Natatandaan ko ang kwento ng isang iglesya na naghahanap ng magiging magaling na ministro. Matagal na silang nagpa-advertised ng posisyon na ito, ngunit wala silang makitang qualified candidate; lahat ay rejected by the pastoral relations committee. Ngunit may isang Resume or CV na nag stand out and naging paksa ng usapan. Binasa ang sulat at ito ang isinasaad:
“Gentlemen: Understanding your pulpit is vacant, I should like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications. I`ve been a preacher with much success and also have had some success as a writer. Some say I`m a good organizer. I`ve been a leader most places I`ve been.
“I`m over 50 years of age. I have never preached in one place for more than three years. In some places, I have left town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I must admit I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any real wrongdoing.
“My health is not too good, though I still get a great deal done.
“I`ve not gotten along well with religious leaders in towns where I have preached. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I baptized.
“However, if you can use me, I shall do my best for you.“
The board member looked over the committee. “Well, what do you think? Shall we call him?“
The good church folks were aghast. Call an unhealthy, trouble-making, absentminded ex-jailbird? Was the board member crazy? Who signed the application? Who has such colossal nerve?
The board member eyed them all keenly before he answered, “It`s signed, `the Apostle Paul.`
Kung hindi mo alam kung sino si St Paul, he used to be called: ‘Saulo,’ who masterminded the killing of Stephen also by many as the First Christian Martyr. Paul’s past was terrible. He is a murderer, and God could have written him off because of what he did. But God himself changed him on his way to Damascus. He was then later to be known as Paul, the Apostle. He stayed positive about himself. Paul was not a disciple of Jesus. But nothing has done stopped him from calling himself an Apostle of Christ Jesus. And Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 9:2 that they are the seal of his apostleship, whether or not anyone else recognizes him. Peter even includes Pauls writings with “the rest of Scripture” in 2nd Peter 3. further legitimizing his Apostolic authority, and not only that but when Peter himself was in error Paul corrected him(see Galatians 2:11-14). Paul stayed positive and saw himself as a man of God.
When you face big problems, stay positive that they are not there to break you but to make you.
In the book of John chapter eight “…a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the center of the court, and they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery.Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women [to death].”
Some people are fault-finder who would tell you what’s wrong with you because we have made mistakes and made a wrong turn. Yes, there are times we deserve judgment and condemnation. But God looks at our hearts and cleans our mess. He will show us a favor we don’t deserve. He forgives. Stop remembering what God has forgotten. He is not a fault-finder. Instead of wrong, He will find what is right with you.
We have a song, “My life is in You, Lord.” It does also mean that He knows our flaws, our past and our mistakes. God is the potter; we are the clay. He is not yet finished with us. Some of us are still on a ‘journey.’
Kapag tiningnan mo ang mga apostoles ni Hesus ang ilan sa kanila ay mga taong hindi maganda ang mga pinangalingan: ang iba ay mangingisda lamang, si Pedro at Andres, na mahilig mag-tungayaw at magsabi ng ‘puto bumbong’ at ‘puto kutsinta’. Even the night before Jesus was crucified, Peter was cursing (nagtutungayaw) despite being Jesus for many years. Ang iba naman ay mga mamatay tao, nabilanggo, si Pablo. Ang iba naman ay mga maniningil ng buwis, si Mateo, mga taong madadaya at gahaman sa pera. God even chose, Thomas ‘the doubter’ and Judas ‘the betrayer’.
Staying positive about yourself does not mean you do not make a mistake. Of course not. We all do make mistakes because we are not perfect. It is only because of the grace and mercy of God that we are forgiven. In Hebrews chapter eight verse twelve “For I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.” But we cannot go back to our past to correct it and make a new beginning. We can only make that decision to start today and strive to have a better ending. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He wants us to keep trying.
Great is the faithfulness of God
In the book of Lamentations chapter three verse 23: “it is because of the Lord’s loving-kindness that we are not consumed, Because of His [tender] compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.” Kaya minsan mahirap masyado tayong maging mapagmataas at mapang lait sa kapwa. Without the Lord’s loving-kindness, wala din naman tayong maipagmamalaki sa buhay. It is just because of His compassions that never fail which is new every morning. Hindi siya si Fernando Poe na magsasabi: “kapag puno na ang salop, hindi ka na sisikatan ng araw.” No. Because God’s love and kindness and his compassions are new every morning. Ang ginagawa ng Diyos pag malapit nang “mapuno ang salop”, itatapon na Niya yung kahapon. Renew nya ulet yung salop mo. Kaya tama ang sabi sa book of Romans chapter eight verse one: “Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior].”
Of course, we don’t need to abuse the love of God. We want to be changed, grow and be matured. But every time we fall, that means we are trying. That’s what God wants: for us to keep our faith, believing in Him, holding on His promises. In the book of Mark chapter two verse seventeen: On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” In the book of First Timothy chapter one verse fifteen: “This is a statement that can be trusted and deserves complete acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, I (Paul) is the worst of them!”
The Backstreet Boys
I cannot help but mention Back Street Boys about the lyrics of one of their songs: “Don’t care what is written in your history. As long as you’re here with me. I don’t care who you are. Where you’re from. What you did. As long as you love me…” I want to relate that message today for staying positive about yourself. Nothing you have done can change the love of God for you. You are the apple of God’s eyes. What He cares about is you’re trying your best and as long as you love Him.
Peter is one of the greatest disciples of Jesus. He started to deny Christ three times. Grabe siya na itanggi niyang kilala niya ang Panginoon before He was crucified. The first time Jesus and Peter met again, one would expect that God will tell Peter off. But no. Jesus asked Peter: “Do you love me?” three times too. You see God is not in the blaming business. He is the encouraging business. As long as your heart is right with God, all good things are possible.
He has never taken you this far to blame you and accuse you. Your job is to see yourself as blessed, healed and promoted. Don’t let the world change the way you smile. Keep smiling no matter what. If you stay positive, good things start to happen.