Good afternoon. Please open your Bibles with me to Genesis chapter 35 3 5 and we will read the first 15 verses. Before we read, let me just share to you an internet celebrity who is a proud homosexual man was caught in a brawl with other men a few nights ago. Videos circulated in the internet of him being caught by police and his friends from the LGBTQ community plus some celebrities who didn’t want to be canceled supported him because the alleged context of the brawl was that the gay man was trying to defend his friend who was molested. And so he instantly became a hero of some sort in social media because of it because he was defending his friend who was molested. He fought other men because the other men molested his friend. So again hero. But when the CCTVs were posted online, people now had a better understanding of what really happened. It turned out that this proud homosexual man was trying to molest a man. But he didn’t get what he want, what he wanted so he basically made a scene. So apparently everyone who thought that he was a hero were wrong when the CCTVs were posted online. So the ones who cheered for him before, now nag-180 degree sila and now they applauded the police instead. But most of his friends in the LGBTQ community did not back down. They remained loyal to their friend despite of what was obvious. This is the kind of allegiance that they had with one another. No matter how obvious their sins are, as long as they stay together that’s what matters to most of them. They value their being together.
This is when people come together for their celebration of sin. They have this “allegiance.” They gain power over others because of being included in a larger community. But see, we do have a better allegiance as Christians. We are called not to be partakers of darkness. We are not called to be partners of the world in their sin but to be in Christ whom we are in exclusive allegiance with.
So turn to Genesis chapter 35 and we will read from verse 1 to 15. God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments.
Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem. And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.
And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. 8 And Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So he called its name Allon-bacuth. God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.” Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel. The grass withers, the flower fades but the word of our God will stand forever.
In the beginning of the chapter, you’ll see that it’s not even Jacob on his own volition who left Shechem. Rather, it was God who called him and reminded him to go. Verse 1 it says arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. And by the way, the word Bethel means house of God. So God wants Jacob to dwell there and make it God’s house. God said to him make an altar there which simply means that this place shall be a place of worship where God would dwell with Jacob and his descendants. And so before arriving there, again, he was still in the city of Shechem. It is still in the land of Canaan but it’s not the place where he’s supposed to go. H stayed in the city of Shechem for a time. But he’s supposed to go to Bethel, but he remained in the city of Shechem. As we know, you know what happened, right? When he was in the city of Shechem, disaster happened. Now, God is reminding him go to Bethel; that’s our covenant together. We talked about this when you were dreaming of a ladder and you saw me on top of the ladder. After that, we talked about this. You going back to Bethel even before you went to Laban. That’s our conversation. Now, he’s going there. God is reminding him, eto yun pinag-usapan natin. Arise, bumangon ka diyan, pumunta ka dito.
Before arriving to the house of God, there’s one thing that he needed to do. Verse two.. Jacob said to the house to his household and to all who were with him, put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. The symbolism of changing one’s garments, it is a symbolism of not living your old life of repentance, okay. In fact you can also point that to tearing one’s clothes or putting on a sackcloth. Yung mga images nito sa Old Testament, changing one’s garments kasi probably ay nag-adapt na talaga sila sa city of Shechem. In fact, pinapatanggal din pati mga earrings. Kasi probably, yung kind of clothing na meron sa Shechem ay na-adapt na rin ng family ni Jacob, right. Ibig sabihin, they were there for a time, right. Hindi natin kung gaano katagal. But obviously this implies that. And so, put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. It was something necessary before they actually go up to Bethel. These foreign gods may have been the ones from Laban pa, right. Remember si Rachel, she stole the household gods of her father, di ba. Inupuan pa nga niya, naalala niyo ba? Add to this, as you know they lived for a time in the city of Shechem who are full of pagans. Imagine nag-dwell sila doon so they were with pagan worshipers. They were surrounded with pagan worshipers. Ibig sabihin, there were a lot of foreign gods in the household of Jacob that were needed to be removed, to be put off, okay.
That’s one of the results of staying in the city of Shechem. Makikita natin yung result dito. Marami nang foreign gods, right. So again, the fact is his household had foreign gods and they had it in their homes. Some of them probably worshiped these foreign gods. And so when Jacob told them to put them away, the household members immediately obeyed. Ano’ng ginawa ni Jacob? He hid the gods under the terebinth tree, terebinth tree. Walang prublema doon, that’s fine. He hid that near Shechem kung saan malapit din yung mga pagan worshipers. They don’t need to go back there, that’s fine. What Jacob did is good, tinago niya, okay. At probably, hindi alam ng household niya.
But this is what we have to see in this text. See the order. Right after Jacob’s command to put them all away, verse 3 sabi dito, then, let us arise and go up to Bethel. You see the necessary putting off before you actually arrived to the house of God, right. You see that order there. If Jacob and his family were to draw near the most holy God, he must be rid of anything else that would hinder him from worshiping his God. Jacob and his family must have an undivided devotion, fidelity to God. Before Jacob goes to Bethel, the house of God in Genesis chapter 28, actually ang tawag pa sa Bethel, the Gate of Heaven. Before Jacob goes to the Gate of Heaven, the house of God, Bethel, Jacob must settle the issue in his household. Would they commit to serve only to worship only the one true God and not foreign gods. Yun yung issue dito.
This is also a good reminder for all of us here. So when we say we worship God, we’re also saying no to the gods of this world. We’re also saying no to the idols, to anyone, to anything that would truly hinder us from being with the Lord. You know, this is basically what the Christian life is brethren. And this is my message this afternoon. Believers Are Called To An Exclusive Allegiance To The Lord. Exclusive. You cannot serve two masters. Only God, exclusive, loyal, fidelity. God is a jealous God. And when we say God is a jealous God, we’re not saying that he is a sinner that we’re talking about jealous as a sin when it is applied to God, it meant that God wants the best for His people. God wants His people for Himself alone and God doesn’t want His people to go somewhere else. That is the kind of God.. that is the kind of jealousy, the holy jealousy that God has. And so in return sa atin, tayo, we are called to an exclusive allegiance to our Lord.
So I have two points for everyone. First point is what this Allegiance Requires. Secondly, what this Allegiance Provides. Let us consider the first one. What this Allegiance requires. So Jacob was not called for partial obedience. O, sige, punta ka sa Bethel.. household! I’m not sure kung anong tawag niya sa pamilya, family, loved ones, anak, asawa, mga asawa pala..mga asawa..marami siyang asawa! Leave two-thirds of the foreign gods. Bring some and then let’s go to Bethel..No! Put away all of them. He’s not called for almost obedience, right.
He wasn’t called for partial worship of God, no! He was called to give his entire life to God, that he and his household would serve God all the days of their lives. And that they would worship the one true God alone.
God also wants all of Jacob, not a half-hearted Jacob. And if they have their Idols with them, let’s say magdala nga sila. Their devotion to God would be divided, or worse they may lose their devotion to God. This is why Jacob immediately commanded his family. That was the immediate response to God’s calling to Himself. What is the immediate action? Remove these foreign gods, right. He immediately commanded his family to put the foreign gods away. And when they put off the foreign gods, again, tinago ni Jacob under the tree so no one else can find them. And tinago niya yun malapit sa pagan city which simply means away from the house of God. Yes, near the pagan worshipers but most importantly, malayo sa kanila. This brethren is a picture of purification. This is a picture of cleansing before drawing near to the throne of God. And that is a usual picture in the Old Testament. Remember the priests, the priests in the temple, the priests in the tabernacle before they approach the inner court where God dwells, where God shows Himself. Before they approach the inner court of the tabernacle, pupunta sila sa tinatawag na brazen laver and they wash their hands and their feet as a symbolism for purification, cleansing. You cannot draw near to the Lord if you are not cleansed. Yun ang picture na pinapakita sa Old Testament, sa tabernacle, sa temple. And also, this is what we can see in Jacob’s, in this passage where we see Jacob cleansing himself and his household of all the foreign gods from anything that is contrary to the nature of the holy God.
Jacob’s exclusive allegiance to the Lord requires him to be cleansed from sin, to be cleansed from foreign gods. Surely, they will be contrary to the holy God. How can one approach the most holy God with a stench that is sin? Well of course in our time now, we don’t say sa Linggo, make sure that you remove everything before you come here. You cannot even come here if you haven’t put them off. Hindi na tayo nabubuhay sa ganung klaseng calling as Christians. That you can’t even come to the dwelling place of God unless you are truly pure, right. Wala na tayo doon.
There are no sacrificial systems that would cleanse us so we can come to God. Wala nang mga priests na magiging mediator sa atin na kukunin yung hayop na dala o, papatayin yun as a picture of cleansing so that you can approach God. Someone else became our cleansing. And His Name is Jesus Christ. He was punished for sins He never committed. He died on the cross and His sacrifice was accepted by God because it came from a pure, it came from a clean heart. It came from Someone unblemished without sin. And to us who believe in Him, His work of redemption, His death on the cross and His resurrection. We don’t need any methodologies. We don’t need any system in order for us to be outwardly pure because the death of the pure and clean- hearted Christ achieved the cleansing from all of our sins.
First John chapter 1 verse 7 it says the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. This is the good news that we have. You have been cleansed. If you are in Christ, you have been cleansed to the point that you can now actually go to Bethel, that you can now actually go to the house of God, the Gate of Heaven. You can now approach the most holy God even though you still have remaining sins. But in His eyes, you have been cleansed because He has accepted the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. And so if ever you have never believed in this salvation truth brought about by the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of your sins now. Repent of your life of fidelity to sin and come to faith In Christ alone who can save you from such bondage. But if you are in Jesus Christ brethren, the cleansing of Christ does not mean that you don’t have Idols anymore. It doesn’t mean that you are sinless, it doesn’t mean that you cannot be tempted anymore. The fact is you still have remaining sins. The reason why we are always saying that ‘there’s an already but not yet’ in the work of Christ, it’s already happening, you are already cleansed, but to be fully cleansed, perfectly cleansed, you have to wait for Christ to come. When he comes, boom! Tapos! Wala nang sin at all.
However, He has not come yet in the second time. So while we’re waiting, and yes we still have sins, we still have remaining sins. And by that I mean we may still have idols in our hearts. They may not be carved images, but they are things that we value the most. How would you know? How would you know if you have an idol in your heart? If you sin when something is taken away from you, or if you sin in order to get something, then you know that that is an idol. Idols carry weight in our hearts, they are things that we worship, they become Gods to us.
Now, it’s not worship like worship what we’re doing now, worship. It’s a subtle kind of worship. You give all your attention to it, all your time, all your efforts in exchange for the One who is worthy of our sacrifice, in exchange of the One who is worthy of all our time and efforts. Idols. These Idols will hinder us from our devotion and even from our worship.
See but the fact that Christ is victorious over sin and death and we have been redeemed by Him, this means that our exclusive allegiance to Christ gives us assurance of victory over the remaining idols of our hearts. That is the good news that we have. Yes, we’re still sinners, yes, we may still have idols in our hearts but the fact is the good news, it’s still the good news.. that Christ is victorious over sin a Christ is even victorious over the idols of our hearts. Alam nyo yung mga bata. Kapag ang mga bata ay masanay manood. Pag tinanggal mo yung pinapanood nila, marahil sila ay umiyak o sobrang magalit sa ‘yo, right. In a sense, parang ganun tayo sa ating mga idols. Ayaw nating maalis ito sa atin.
Ayaw nating maalis sa sistema natin itong mga minamahal nating mga idols na ito. Whatever they are, whoever they are. And so the same challenge is presented to us today brethren same as what Jacob did. And for us we are enabled by the spirit to really put away these internal idols because we have been saved by Christ.
And so the challenge for us is this Let Go Of The Idols Of Your Heart And Seek Daily Inward Renewals. Hindi pwedeng mortification lang. There has to be a cultivation of spiritual renewal in the word of Christ. Hindi puro on the negative lang, kailangan ay positive din. Seek daily inward renewal, be renewed in your mind. Instead of being fed by the idols, be fed by God in His word. The point of letting go of the idols of our hearts is for us to better enjoy our communion with God. Don’t make a mistake na sasabihin natin just because we have idols in our hearts ay hindi tayo ligtas, wala tayong communion with God. No, the truth is and the good news is that you are are in communion with God because of Christ. The fact is do you enjoy that communion? Because there may be Idols that maybe hindering you. When we don’t identify that we indeed have idols in our hearts, we would be so much into these things instead of dwelling in the heavenly things of God. In our idols, again, our idols may be a thing, it may be a person, it may even be a job that we so value the most, a hobby or your pride and we allow these Idols to remain in our hearts the graces of God become blurred in our eyes. Let go of them. Rather seek the words of God.
What are the things, what are these things that occupy your heart the most? Ano itong mga bagay na ito that it has so occupied you already that you think you can’t live without it? That you worry too much if it’s gone, that it has so occupied you that you can’t let go of it. And you can’t even imagine a life without it. And that is not even God. It has so occupied your mind, your heart, that it’s like you’re always letting go of the Lord. That you keep on forgetting. Sobrang occupied na ang iyong isipan at kaisipan. Nakalimutan mo na ang mga pangako ng Diyos. That you keep on forgetting the Lord’s precious promises, the Lord’s love, the Lord’s provision, how faithful God is, how compassionate Christ is. And you forget these things because you idolise a relationship, a thing, a job, or even worse, yourself. Ultimately, my brothers and sisters, it is an inward battle. It is in the heart. Again, the idol may be a thing, the idol may be a person or whatever, but recognise, tandaan ninyo mga kapatid, recognise that the thing, the person or whatever that is maybe an idol is not the real problem. Hindi prublema yung pera, pwede mong maging idol yung pera Hindi prublema ang trabaho, pero pwede mong maging idol ang trabaho. The real problem is your heart. It is your heart that treats these things as more worthy than God. Yung puso talaga natin ang may prublema kasi yung puso natin yung nagt-trato na idol yun, at mas worthy pa iyon kesa sa Diyos.
You know in the time of Martin Luther, there were reformers who agreed with him, there were radical, overzealous reformers. Ginagawa nila, pumupunta sila sa mga Roman Catholic gatherings, worship, Roman Catholic worship. And then you know what they do? Sa sobrang radikal talagang ide-destroy nila yung mga icons. And dine-destroy nila yung mga statue, yung mga rebulto. Kasi they don’t believe in that. Naniniwala sila sa second commandment. Tama naman.
Pero to be radical to that point. Sabi ni Luther, mali kayo. We shouldn’t be like, yes we should be reformers yes, but not like that. Maganda yung sinabi ni Luther sa kanila…. “take care of the idols in the heart, and the idols on the wall will take care of themselves.” Luther understood the real issue was that they have Idols in their hearts and it would take a redeemed heart to be able to remove the idols on the wall.
The good news is that Christ cleansed us from all sins. Christ cleanses our hearts from all the idolatries. If we come to Him in humility, if we come to Him in confidence, He is able to give us strength to put them off and put Him on. Sa language ni Paul, put off, put on Christ. And you know this can be a daily battle. The letting go is a daily battle, a daily thing, so is the renewal that we must seek and we can find it in the word of God. We can find it in the gospel, we can find it in Christ alone. Let go of the idols in your heart and seek spiritual renewal in the gospel of Christ in His word. Now our exclusive allegiance to Christ is not just a daily active thing. But we need to actively engaged with. It also provides for us a lot of things.
My last point is that what this Allegiance Provides. So right before Jacob went to Bethel, we can see the blessing of being with God. Verse 5 it says And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. Now it may be unknown to Jacob during that time that he was being protected by God. But God has been protecting him from great enemies in Canaan. He is protected by the Lord. On his way to Bethel, he was protected in Bethel. He was protected. No enemies can just go there and kill them all. Because all of them are afraid.
Kung naalala ninyo, si Abimelech, nanaginip ‘no. Nanaginip siya, nalaman niya yung asawa pala, si Sarah pala yung asawa ni Abraham. So maybe in that way, ganun yung terror na naramdaman ng mga enemies ni Jacob. But see, it’s not just protection. God also continues to provide for Jacob. Of course we can say that God has truly sustained him. God has provided for him material blessings. But most importantly God has provided Jacob strength. God has provided Jacob encouragement, assurance through His great promises. See verse 10 onwards. The reminder that his name is no longer deceiver. God has already told Jacob about this. But God again reminds Jacob about this that his name is no longer deceiver. Your name is now Israel, the one who wrestled with God. In verse 11, the reminder again of what he has promised to Abraham: the nations and king will come from their line and in order to accomplish this, God Echoes His command to Adam, be fruitful and multiply. Verse 12 reminder again of God’s promise of giving the land to Jacob and to his descendant. God has been protecting him and providing for him encouragement, strength through those promises. That’s the privilege that Jacob had because of the exclusive allegiance he had with the Lord. Of course Jacob was a man of faith. He had faith in the promises of God. He had faith that ultimately, the promised Saviour will come. And now we know Him as Jesus Christ. Now we know that He will come from the line of Jacob. You know we also know that even the promises given to Jacob was also pointing to Christ. That the Offspring mentioned in the promise definitely points to the descendant of Jacob. After him, yes. But ultimately, even that points to Christ who will accomplish and gain all the blessings because he was perfect. Jacob believed in the coming Christ. Jacob is like us in that regard.
We too believe in Christ, hence, the same can be said to us that God also protects us. But in fact, He protects us from greater enemies. Kung pinrotektahan Niya si Jacob sa mga kalaban at binigyan ng terror yung mga kalaban niya, more than terror ang binigay ng Diyos sa mga greater enemies natin..sin, death, and satan. In fact Colossians chapter 2 verse 15 tells us nung namatay si Kristo, Dinis-arm Niya ang rulers and authorities. Ibig sabihin wala na silang power over us. Because of what Christ has done. That is how God protects us from His enemies. But again, it’s not only protection. Katulad nung kay Jacob, hindi lang protection ang binigay. Probisyon din ng kalakasan at encouragement through His promises. Ganun din tayo mga kapatid. God continues to provide for us spiritually as well. Just as He reminded Jacob of His promises and those promises are the very words that Jacob needed by the way. Jacob could have been promised material food or sustenance. But Jacob was reminded of different promises like the land, many descendants, in fact, yun yung mga words na kailangan ni Jacob during that time. In time of distress, that’s what he needed to move forward in order to live. Jacob needed to be reminded of the promises of God that He will provide the land and many descendants. But whenever an enemy comes to Jacob, imagine when an enemy comes to Jacob, Jacob may draw strength from what God said. From the promises of God and say teka, may kalaban, why would I fear? If God said He will give me this land, if God said He will give me many descendants, bakit ako matatakot kung mayroong kalaban na dadating. Bakit ako matatakot na uubusin niya kami kung ang promise ng Panginoon ay ibibigay Niya ito sa amin? See how he draws strength from the promises of God? And see God knows that that is what Jacob needs. Hence, he reminded Jacob again of those promises. Jacob did not material blessings really.
Ang kailangan ni Jacob, yung mga promises ng Panginoon. And he can definitely draw strength from such promises. And brethren, isn’t that also what our souls need? In our case, God’s promise of..hindi promise of a land, hindi promise if man descendants. Rather promises that we can see in the gospel of Christ.
If it seems as if we are defeated by sin, we’re not looking back to the promises of God to Abraham and Jacob and say oh, binigyan Niya ng land and many descendants si Jacob. We don’t go there really, but what we remind ourselves of is the gospel, the promises in the gospel. Again, if it seems as if we are defeated by sin, the gospel will remind you Christ bore that sin on the cross and He received the just punishment for it. Di ba? See how you draw strength from the gospel when you are struggling with sin. You should remind yourself of the promises of God in the gospel, that in the gospel, on the cross, Christ already died for your sin. And Christ already received the punishment, the just punishment for that sin that you committed, that you have been committing, that you will commit. See how you draw strength from the gospel. If Satan tempts you to despair and tells you off your guilt within, that’s the song. I mean what do you do? What should remind you of victory, upward you look and see Christ who made an end of all our sins. The gospel will remind you of that, right. If you think that there’s no hope, that it’s so impossible for my loved one to be saved. That it’s so impossible for my relationship with my spouse to be better.
Let me share to you what Christ did. He died and rose again. Talk about impossible. Look at the gospel. Draw strength from the gospel just as Jacob drew strength from such promises that he will be given the land and many descendants. So that when enemies arrive, ano yung panghahawakan ni Jacob? Yung pangako lamang ng Panginoon. Yun din ang panghawakan mo kapatid.
Kapag may kalaban, kasalanan, si satanas, even kamatayan. Ang comfort mo, ang anchor mo, ang weapon mo kung saan huhugot ka ng kalakasan ay ang gospel ni Kristo. And you know what? God knows that that is what you need.
The work of Christ found in the gospel protects us. It is our spiritual provision. Our exclusive allegiance to Christ involves spiritual protection through gospel provision. And again, this is the great privilege of our exclusive allegiance to Christ. We are reminded always of what we need. God knew what Jacob needs and so He provided for him, He reminded him of the same promises He has been giving to his father, to his forefathers. He will give the land, He will give the many descendants and He will give the blessing. That’s what he needs to move forward. And brethren what you need are the promises in the gospel of Christ.
Draw strength. But the question is just like God who knows what we need, ikaw ba alam mo ba ang iyong pangangailangan sa gospel? Ang Diyos, alam Niya.
Kaya nga every Lord’s Day, nire-remind tayo ng gospel. And probably, sobrang complacent na tayo. It’s the same words that we hear. It’s like it has no effect to the point na we’re already asleep, na wala na tayong pakiramdam kapag ang gospel ay na-preach sa atin. Wala nang kirot sa ating mga puso kapag ang gospel ay na-preach sa ‘yo. Ang tanong ko sa ‘yo kapatid, meron ka bang pangangailangan sa gospel? Kasi ang Panginoon, alam Niya yung kailangan mo. Sa sobrang alam Niya, lagi Niya itong nire-remind sa iyo. Kagaya ng pag-remind Niya kay Abraham, kay Isaac, at kay Jacob nang mga promises Niya, ganun din sa iyo kapatid. Alam mo ba ang pangangailangan mo?
Ang challenge ko sa lahat is magkaroon tayo ng life na sobrang cultivated sa atin yung gutom, yung pangangailangan ng gospel. Cultivate a life of neediness for Christ. Always take advantage of the Gospel preaching in the church. Because it’s what your soul truly needs. This is where God needs you and tells you what you need and gives you what you need. The problem is, for us, parang wala lang. The more you recognise your need of the gospel of Christ, the more that the idols in your heart are being put away. The problem is if we get used to not receiving, if we get used to not hearing the gospel. That’s the problem. We’re so used to not hearing it. Maybe from Monday to Saturday, we’re not we’re so not used, or we’re so not used to really putting what we have heard on a Sunday and putting it in our hearts. We’re not used to it. Our hearts, our minds, our eyes are so trained by the world, instead of the Word.
Remember the Beatitudes. Matthew chapter 5 Verse 6 blessed are those who hunger and the thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.
Meaning, the more you cultivate a life of neediness for Jesus, the more you will be satisfied in Him. The more you think that everything else falls short of the beauty of Christ. That your eyes, that your minds, and your hearts will be so accustomed to what’s holy and what’s righteous. And you will be so aware of sin. You would be you’ll be so disgusted by sin. You’ll be so aware of its temptations.
Not only that, all the more that you would hunger and thirst for Christ again and again. Yun yung paradox nung verse na iyon. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst. You know what? Because Christ will satisfy you. And as you are satisfied, all the more that that hunger, that thirst will grow and grow and grow and God will satisfy you again and it will grow and grow and grow. Unending growth until you get to heaven and you still hunger and thirst.
The knowledge of the holiness of God will grow and grow that desire of love for God will grow and grow and you will be satisfied and satisfied and satisfied. And you know what? There’s also an already but not yet to that. We can already be satisfied, we can already continuously hunger and thirst for Christ.
And we believe in His promise that He will satisfy us and the more that we are satisfied we are living kumbaga cultivated na sa buhay natin yung need, sobrang needy natin. Walang masamang maging needy kung needy ka kay Kristo.
Just like in the hymn. Can we confidently confess this truth? Can we rest in the truth that our hope is found in Christ alone? That He is our light. See, nakita mo yung , even yung writer ng hymn na sobrang linaw na Kristo lang alone ang aking ilaw; ang aking kalakasan at hindi iba. Can we confess this truth? Can we rest in this truth, in this song, that our hope is found in Christ alone. That Christ is our light, He is our strength, He is our song, that He is the Solid Ground, the Cornerstone that despite of the fierce drought and storm, His heights of love and the depth of His peace, He remains to be our comforter. He is our all in all. Can we rest, can we confidently confess that truth, sing that truth, rest in that truth.
Because we are so kumbaga so convinced in the beauty and Holiness of Christ and we are so convinced of how disgusting sin is. Do we have the confidence to say, to confess that no guilt in life, no fear in death, no power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck us from the hands of Christ? If not, you can’t, if you can’t confidently confess that because you think that you lack neediness, that you think you have not yet cultivated that life that you are hungry, you are thirsty for righteousness, for the righteousness of Christ. If you think that you can’t confidently confess that truth, sing that truth, rest in that truth, don’t lose hope. Be comforted in that truth, have confidence in that truth kapatid, for that is the truth. Rest in that truth. May you find the truth, may you find that truth comforting. May you find that truth enough. May you find that truth satisfying, that you won’t run to anything else, that you won’t run to anyone else but Christ alone. May you find Christ enough for you to mortify your sins, whatever sin you’re struggling with right now. May you find Christ alone as your comforter, as your sanctification, as your strength.
You cannot draw strength from, really, from your brother. Oh, he can be used by God, yes, to preach to you. But what he’s going to preach to you is yung kung saan ka magd-draw ng strength. You can only draw strength from Christ alone. Be comforted by that. And at the same time we pray that your desire for Christ would grow, na mas lalo kang magutom, na pagpunta mo sa worship, hindi mo pwedeng hindi mo makita si Kristo. Huwag kang papayag na pupunta ka ng Lord’s Day nang hindi mo makukuha si Kristo. Kasi ibibigay Niya ang sarili Niya sa ‘yo heh. Ang tanong, do you anticipate it? Do you have a need for Christ? Come humbly and at the same time confidently because He will definitely give Himself to us.
Sa mga mata mo ba, sufficient si Christ? Sa mga mata mo ba beautiful si Christ? Do you hunger for Christ? Or does your heart crave for other things which becomes the idols of your hearts? Let our eyes be fixed always on the worthiness of Christ so that we would continue to mortify the idolatries in our hearts and cherish the truth that we are blessed beyond compare because of our exclusive allegiance to our Lord. What it requires? Let go of your idols. What it provides? This joy, this opportunity to cultivate a life of hunger and thirst of neediness for Him. May the word of God enrich our knowledge of Him and may it stir us to live in light of these truths.
Let us pray. Great God and gracious Father, thank You Lord for Your word today. Thank You of the blessings that we have for we are in union with You.Thank You Lord. You are jealous for us that You want us oh, Lord. It is our prayer that we would continue to want You. That our desire for You would truly grow, that we would truly continuously need. Lord, find recognise our need of You that we would continue to hunger and thirst for Christ. And as our desire grows Lord, Lord we are encouraged to know the truth that Lord all the more na mas nagiging pangit sa amin ang kasalanan. Lord, that is what we want. Lord, I pray that You would allow us to really enable us to cultivate that kind of life. Allow us Lord to continuously let go of the idols that would truly hinder us to devote ourselves fully to You. We praise You in the Name of Christ, amen.