Monthly Archives: July 2012

5 Vital Verses Catholics Should Read from the Catholic Bible

Standard

 I have a copy of “St. Joseph Pocket Edition of The New American Bible (Revised Edition)” published by Catholic Book Publishing Co. This revised edition’s purpose is “to provide a version suitable for liturgical proclamation, for private reading and for purpose of study” (pg. 12-13). It also states that, “The New American Bible is a Roman Catholic translation” (pg. 18, though not all translators are Catholics, pg. 7). There is an online version of this Bible, click here to read it. Now without further delay, here are 5 verses every Catholic should check from this (or any) Catholic Bible.

1.  Ephesians 2: 8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you it is a gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.”  (See also Titus 3:5, 2Timothy 1:9; Romans 1:17, 3:28,11:6; Acts 15:11, 16:31, Galatians 2:16, 3:11, 3:24;  Philippians 3;9, Hebrews 11, ) Are you trying to get God approval by being a good? How many good deeds do you have to do in order to be right with God? Have you thought that doing those things undermines God’s saviorship? Salvation is by grace of God by putting our faith in Jesus alone. It is a gift, so if we have to earn and to get it, it isn’t a gift anymore. That’s why no one can boast to God that he was saved by going to church, having the sacraments, being a good citizen and doing charity. So where does good works fit in? Read verse 10. You’ll be surprise.

2. Mark 7:8 “You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”  (To get the full meaning of this verse read the whole chapter of Mark 7). Have you set aside the clear statements of the Bible for the church traditions? Can we find those traditions in the Bible? We should remember that traditions are not at all bad BUT it should come from the apostles (see 2 Thessalonians 2:15). If it undermines the Scriptures by adding, replacing or subtracting its authority over the church and Christians then we should check traditions if it’s truly biblical.

3. John 10:28-29”I gave them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand”  (See also John  10:9, 3:15-21; Romans 10:9) Eternal security is given to His sheep (v. 27). It’s not by holding on to Christ (through religious and good works) but Christ and God the Father holding to us double grip that makes us eternally secured. Do you have this promise?

4. I John 5: 13 “I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God” (See also Acts 4:12). In the 1994 Catholic Catechism, claiming that you are saved is considered “sin of presumption”. But what do you make with this verse that straightforwardly tells us those who believe in Jesus are saved and can be sure of it?

5. Romans: 5: 1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Does an average Catholic have peace? Peace meaning not only if he dies he will go to heaven, but does he have everlasting peace with God and His anger over sin is not upon him? Do you have peace knowing that God loves you? This verse says we can have peace with God not by following a religion or good works but being justified by faith. Are you longing to have peace in God? Are you trying in vain to have this? Then cry out for mercy to God. Repent and believe the gospel!

Any more Bible verses from the Catholic Bible you might add? Please post it on the comments.

Advertisements

5 Essential Things to Know on What Book You’ll Read Next

Standard

 Clueless on what book will you read next? If you planning to visit a bookstore, try following these tips for your next book fix.

  1. The Need- your spiritual need that needs to be equipped. Say for example you need advice on discipleship, then find books about discipleship.
  2. The Author- Not just to know who wrote the book but know his forte and other works he wrote.
  3. The Blurbs-I love this part. Check who’s endorsing his book. It will give you an idea what the book is all about.
  4. The book section-the book section is a giveaway answer on what the book and the author is and what kind of book you’re looking for. It will be nicer if it has sub-sections.
  5. Contents –check its Table of Contents. Do the chapters strike something in your spiritual need?
  6. Similar authors-don’t get stuck on one writer. Check out other authors. Other authors may have more in-depth and comprehensive treatment on the subject.

Do you have number 7? Please post it on the comment.

The Challenge of Life towards God’s Faithfulness

Standard

Friday night I found myself attending a Married Men Fellowship at our maiden church. You might be thinking, why on earth a single guy be attending the married men group? Well first because our pastor, Ptr. Joberth Hernandez is the guest speaker and I ‘m documenting it. Two, I want to hear him address the fathers of that church and be bless. And lastly, I want to take some notes and post it here on Delighting Grace. So here is the sermon our beloved pastor preached on that occasion.

The Challenge of Life towards God’s Faithfulness

Ptr. Joberth Hernandez

Genesis 22

Introduction: In line with this year’s theme of Good Shepherd Baptist Church “Gratefulness to God’s Unfailing Faithfulness”, this sermon is on how faithful God is to us fathers. When we speak of being a father, Abraham came to my mind and his faith towards God. If you check his life he lives a nomad life moving here to there. Another is how faith is also required in the promise of God to him in having a son in Genesis 17. We all know he and his wife is old. Abraham didn’t look at this but stayed focus on God.

In our family we all have problems. Most of it is not giving TIME for our family. But remember problems will come but God is faithful.

So what are the challenges God gave to Abraham.

  1. God challenge Abraham’s quality of faithv. 1-3 “purity of faith”
    1. Faith with complete trust in God- Abraham gave no reservations. He gave God his 100%
    2. Faith with full assurance v. 7-8. God will provide. In verse 5, he gave a promise to the servants that they will comeback all four of them. Full trust on the outcome. Can you give it back to God? God will challenge us in our faith and trust. God always has an answer.
  2. God challenge the quality of obediencev. 1-6
    1. Abraham followed without conditions- unlike Gideon
    2. Abraham followed without questions-sometimes we question God. But look at Abraham.
    3. Abraham followed with full confidence-v.1 he is able to say “Here I am.”

God will always challenge our faith. Will our answer be “Here I am”?

  1. God challenge the quality of time– v.15-24
    1. Abraham was tested by quality of experience in time with God. How’s our time with God?
  2. God challenge the quality of his service to God-v. 1-24
    1. The way Abraham gave God his performance is always at his best. (Ecl. 3:15).

Conclusion: Looking back the days when you’re single or the time you came to know Christ. You can’t do those things isn’t it? But let me tell you this. Family is not the hindrance to be on service to God. He may not be able to do those things way back but we may be at another ministry that God calls us to. It is not a burden to serve God. Let us all be challenged by what Abraham did for God.

Read. Reflect. Renew: Delighting Grace interviews Elijah Abanto of BDJ/CYPA Paper Ministry

Standard

Interviewing Bro. Elijah Abanto is such a blessing. His passion to start a paper ministry that can impact the body of Christ is something to follow and support. We got hold of Bro. Elijah and chat with him about Baptist Devotion and Journal/CYPA and also the topic of family devotions.

Delighting Grace:  As of now, what has BDJ/CYPA Paper Ministry accomplished in terms of its reach & impact to the body of Christ? 

Elijah Abanto: If Christians today will consider prophet Jeremiah’s ministry during his time, many will deem it a failure. Most of the people did not believe his message, and according to tradition he was killed by his own countrymen. But did he really fail? I think accomplishment of a Christian ministry lies on the basis of “Is it doing what God says it should do?” And based on that measure, I can say that CYPA Paper Ministries has accomplished just that. It continues for nearly five years, and all it does is say what God wants us to say, no matter if people will believe and do it or not.

On any other basis, I can’t really say how much it accomplished. I can give you some details though. Every week, we are giving out more or less 50 copies of printed BDJ and BDJ Devotions to church attenders as of today. We are also giving out copies to students and teachers at Bible Baptist Seminary of the Philippines in Mandaluyong. We are sending online copies of the same to about 75 (and counting) people in Facebook every week (many of them, Filipinos from various parts of the country and of the world). Our Facebook account’s “Notes” has a potential readership of over 200 people. Aside from that, our other publications which are geared toward children (Children’s Scripture Story, Children’s Sunday School, Children Bible Truth) have reached many children (I do not count them).

Many pastors and missionaries of Baptist churches within the BBF of the Philippines know about CYPA Paper Ministries and have occasionally received our papers and said they were blessed by them. One time a copy was carried by my grandmother to Bible Baptist Church in Proj. 8, Quezon City (where Pastor Mar Arias leads) and she showed to the members and told my parents that they were blessed. Most of the Baptists who hear of CYPA Paper Ministries are saying: “We are challenged by your ministry. There are many churches bigger in number than yours that still don’t have a publishing ministry as your church has.” Some have told me that they have started a printing ministry because of CYPA.

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us how BDJ came about? I could guess it started as a church bulletin, am I right?

Elijah Abanto: Well, something like that. This ministry began when I was just 16, a 1st year student in Bible School. I’ve been reading many English Christian publications such as In Touch magazine among others. The articles written there inspired me in my Christian life and challenged me also. However, as I read, I thought, do Filipino Christians have their own? Publications aside from the Bible that they could take with them for the week that they can understand? As I go through serving the Lord I realized that there are many people who can’t understand English. That’s how God gave the “CYPA Idea” to me. I told my parents (Pastor Felizardo and Mrs. Olivia Abanto) about my burden and they supported me, and then went to Dr. Dennis and Mrs. Gloria Ebert and other Baptists to ask for financial and printing assistance, which they graciously supplied.

The first BDJ issue (November 2007) was actually The Baptist Metropolis at first, and it was meant to be a monthly publication. I just print the original in the BBS and then photocopied it. I remember, it was the worst copy of BDJ ever. The distributed copies (which were photocopied) were barely readable. Later on, finances dropped and publishing stopped for a while and rethought. It went back in January 2008, now becoming a weekly publication. Over the course of its ministry, page numbers went from four to eight and took on the name Baptist’s Digest, now running 12-16 pages weekly, with brethren from foreign countries giving financial support. Because of these supporters, we began our online ministry, through Yahoo Mail and Blogger (bdjontheweb.blogspot.com).

Later on those non-member and overseas supporters stopped, and our church’s members began supporting the ministry (they were not, at first). We then bought our own computer and two printers and broadband Internet connection (at first I was doing it in the Seminary computers, then in local computer shops, and printing them there). It then came to be named Baptist Digest & Journal and was standardized to 8 pages (regular issues) and 12 pages (special editions) every week. The name then finalized to BDJ with a slogan “Read. Meditate. Change.” We still continued to publish online, but now through Facebook, as it have now become more widely used. CYPA has now published more than 200 issues of BDJ over the course of nearly five years.

Delighting Grace: Wow! Now let’s go to family devotion. What is family devotion & why is it important?

Elijah Abanto: It is a time where a family comes together to read the Word, meditate and reflect upon it, talk about many wholesome things, and then ends with a prayer.
Nobody can ever underestimate the importance of family devotions. I’ll sum up its manifold importance in these words:  It can keep you close to God and at the same time with your family which in turn will enable you to be strong to face the world’s challenges and evils. The whole family will know God’s will every time we read the Bible; the whole family will grow in their bond toward each other resulting from the conversations it brings up; and because of these two we will have the needed strength to face the world.
I deem it very important that CYPA decided to make BDJ Devotions last year to help Christians do just that. It continues until now. It is different with devotionals like Our Daily Bread.

Delighting Grace: How can a church initiate a family devotion project?
Elijah Abanto: I think it begins with the pastor. He must begin doing family devotions first before he can lead the church families to do it. Then when it is established with the pastor’s family, he can then motivate the men of the families.

Delighting Grace: What should a family consider if they will engage in family devotion?

Elijah Abanto: I think it’s just a matter of faith and will. Of course, the fathers should be the one who must initiate it. He must set aside his work outside and think about God and the welfare of his family. If he truly thinks that, he will schedule a time when they can get together and have devotions and trust God about it.

Delighting Grace: Does the absence of a father, a single parent or a broken family consider being hindrance for having a family devotion?

Elijah Abanto: Again, I say, it’s just a matter of faith and will. Most of the families of our church (broken or not) can’t do family devotions because they can’t trust God to do so and have a strong will to execute it. So it’s no, it should not be. In the father’s absence, the mother should be able (or the children) to lead the devotions. They must not let school or house work or anything else to hinder it. They must put it first. If there is school, they must decide to do it early. They must have a schedule.

Delighting Grace: In your case how does your family do family devotion?

Elijah Abanto: We are doing it 6:45 in the morning after all of us have woken up. We read the Scripture scheduled by the BDJ Devotions. Each person reads one to three verses each. After that we reflect upon by answering the questions prepared by the BDJ Devotions. After that we talk about many things and then end in prayer.

Delighting Grace: BDJ is truly helpful. It’s short but insightful. You have this “Hard Copy Project” for BDJ. What’s it all about and how can we believers get involved?

Elijah Abanto: “Hard Copy Project” has been a longing desire of CYPA. We can only give printed copies of BDJ and BDJ Devotions to our church (Capitol Bible Baptist Church) attenders and members. Only a few have been privileged to go online regularly and receive our publications. Hard Copy Project aims to publish printed copies of BDJ (“hard copies”) right to the addresses of those who desire to receive them. It’s just that, God has not provided finances for this ministry yet. You know, this kind of project needs thoroughly working printers and money to be able to send them to various addresses.

Believers can help us make this come true by sending enough support to us. You can send financial support through any money delivery service company to this address:

CYPA Paper Ministries

The Publishing Division ofCapitolBibleBaptistChurch

c/o Pastor Felizardo D. Abanto

Blk. 29, Sec. 1, Lot1&2, Belvedere Towne Subdivision II,

Filinvest West, Brgy. Paradahan I, Tanza,Cavite4108

Please notify us if this is for Hard Copy Project, so we can save it and when enough finances has come, we will be able to begin executing it.
Delighting Grace: Any parting words to those who already benefiting with your publication and also extend an invitation to our readers to check BDJ out.
Elijah Abanto: To all who are already receiving BDJ, may God continue to bless you with this ministry. We can publish your articles if you’ll just send them to us at cypapaper@facebook.com.

To all who haven’t experienced BDJ, please take time with us and go to http://www.facebook.com/cypapaper. You can also receive an online, weekly copy of BDJ and other CYPA Paper Ministries by just letting us know through our e-mail address above. Thank you very much.

Delighting Grace: God bless you Bro Elijah and more power to your ministry!