Hope – that Brings Closer to the Redeemer

Left: Bro. Trifon Felicia wearing a yellow shirt.

“In 2014, started to doubt my religion.  I told myself that if there are other religions that established their beliefs on the Bible I will give it a chance,” said Bro. Felicia.

Bro. Trifon Felicia has considered the importance of Salvation through Jesus Christ.  He likes to read the Bible and discovered many things that is in contradict with the doctrine of his religion.  One day he decided to buy a radio, while scanning to the different station, he discovered 93.5 DXIM as a Christian radio station and became an avid listener.

He decided to study the Bible and at the same time send questions to “Sukdanan sa Kamatuoran” about the things that he doesn’t understand.  It is his desire to really find the true religion and discover that the Seventh-day Adventist has its foundation in the Word of God.

I decided to find a church and Pr. Ben Rosales arranged my baptism.  I even prepared money to pay for my baptism, but Bro. Tirso Lagumbay – an anchor of the radio program “Lamparahan ug Dangpanan” who happened to be an elder of the Church told me, that I don’t need to pay for my baptism.

I was baptized at Ampayon Seventh-day Church and I am now a member of Sigla Seventh-day Adventist Church.  “I am so thankful to God that there is Hope Radio that enlightens me about God’s word and I am encouraging everyone to continue to pray for the Hope Radio, its financial needs and the listeners, because I know the Holy Spirit is working and inviting people for heaven,” he added.

The Power of Seventy

More than one thousand church leaders from the different Seventh-day Adventist churches in Caraga Region had attended the launching had attended the launching of the “Power of Seventy” at Northeastern Mindanao Academy last February 1-4, 2017.  Dr. Bienvenio Mergal – the vice president of the Southern Asia Pacific Division together with Pr. Bernabe Dahunan – the IEL and NDR Director of the South Philippine Union Conference had shared their knowledge about the importance of being a true disciple of Jesus Christ.  On Thursday morning, Pr. Max Dante Obbus (NEMM President), through a phone patch was thankful to the overwhelming support of the district leaders and Adventists through Caraga Region for their participation of the mission program amidst the storm.

Mrs. Perlyn Panes (Children’s Ministries Director) and Mrs. Pinky Gulfan (Shepherdess International Director) emphasized the role of the children and the family to the Total Membership Involvement to the mission to preach the gospel during the Sabbath School program.  Elder Edwin C. Gulfan preached and send a powerful message of putting our trust fully to God during the divine worship.  He encourages the members of the “Power of Seventy” to rely on the Holy Spirit by connecting to God through his Words and to the Spirit of Prophecy and prayer.

What is the Power of Seventy?

The call “to go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) stirred the hearts of the leaders to follow the biblical principle of evangelism.  The recent application of the Integrated Evangelistic Lifestyle platform as an upgrade to small group evangelism created an impact to the Seventh-day Adventist members.  It helps divert the common focus of evangelism which is baptismal goal to reflecting the character of Jesus Christ through service.

The Administrators of NEMM see the importance of equipping the church and providing knowledge of the doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, its history and mission.  After a careful study of Elder Obbus, the administrators and the departmental directors, they created a system that will answer the need of the leaders of the church and care group.  It is called “Power of Seventh.”  The idea of the “Power of Seventy” is based on a biblical setup of Jesus which is to be a true disciple and to make disciples.

The Power of Seventy will be trained under the “Theological Education of Adventist Missionaries (TEAM)” compose of administrators, departmental directors, theology professors, and pastors.  It is under the supervision of the IEL-NDR Director and the administrators.  The goal is to equip every leaders of the church, leaders of care groups and bible workers – trained them to become a disciple and a disciple maker.  The first phase of the program will be until July 2017.  It will cover the topics about Christ Life and Spiritual Growth, Fundamental doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Servant Leadership, Nurturing and Discipleship, Reclamation of missing members and many others.  This is a continuing education according to Elder Obbus, that will end when Jesus comes, “Do not be just a disciple, be a disciple maker,” he added.

Examples of Prayer Life

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

The patriarchs were men of prayer, and God did great things for them. When Jacob left his father’s house for a strange land, he prayed in humble contrition, and in the night season the Lord answered him through vision. . . . The Lord comforted the lonely wanderer with precious promises; and protecting angels were represented as stationed on each side of his path. . . .

Joseph prayed, and he was preserved from sin amid influences that were calculated to lead him away from God. When tempted to leave the path of purity and uprightness, he rejected the suggestion with, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

Moses, who was much in prayer, was known as the meekest man on the face of the earth. . . . While he was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness, again and again it seemed that they must be exterminated on account of their murmuring and rebellion. But Moses went to the true Source of power; he laid the case before the Lord. . . . And the Lord said, “I have pardoned according to thy word.” . . .

Daniel was a man of prayer, and God gave him wisdom and firmness to resist every influence that conspired to draw him into the snare of intemperance. Even in his youth he was a moral giant in the strength of the Mighty One. . . .

In the prison at Philippi, while suffering from the cruel stripes they had received, their feet fast in the stocks, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praise to God; and angels were sent from heaven to deliver them. The earth shook under the tread of these heavenly messengers, and the prison doors flew open, setting the prisoners free.

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Prayer takes hold upon Omnipotence, and gains us the victory.

From My Life Today – Page 24

Power in Prayer

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do. John 14:13

The petitions of a humble heart and contrite spirit he will not despise. The opening of our hearts to our heavenly Father, the acknowledgment of our entire dependence, the expression of our wants, the homage of grateful love–this is true prayer.

Angels record every prayer that is earnest and sincere. We should rather dispense with selfish gratifications than neglect communion with God. The deepest poverty, the greatest self-denial, with His approval, is better than riches, honors, ease, and friendship without it. We must take time to pray. If we allow our minds to be absorbed by worldly interests, the Lord may give us time by removing from us our idols of gold, of houses, or of fertile lands.

The young would not be seduced into sin if they would refuse to enter any path save that upon which they could ask God’s blessing. If the messengers who bear the last solemn warning to the world would pray for the blessing of God, not in a cold, listless, lazy manner, but fervently and in faith, as did Jacob, they would find many places where they could say, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” They would be accounted of heaven as princes, having power to prevail with God and with men.

True prayer, offered in faith, is a power to the petitioner. Prayer, whether offered in the public assembly, at the family altar, or in secret, places man directly in the presence of God. By constant prayer the youth may obtain principles so firm that the most powerful temptations will not draw them from their allegiance to God.

The greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual Christian . . . are those victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power.

From My Life Today – Page 22

Pray Always

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36

Remember that He was often in prayer, and His life was constantly sustained by fresh inspirations of the Holy Spirit. Let your thoughts, your inner life, be such that you will not be ashamed to meet its record in the day of God.

Heaven is not closed against the fervent prayers of the righteous. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, yet the Lord heard, and in a most striking manner answered his petitions. The only reason for our lack of power with God is to be found in ourselves. If the inner life of many who profess the truth were presented before them, they would not claim to be Christians. They are not growing in grace. A hurried prayer is offered now and then, but there is no real communion with God.

We must be much in prayer if we would make progress in the divine life. When the message of truth was first proclaimed, how much we prayed. How often was the voice of intercession heard in the chamber, in the barn, in the orchard, or the grove. Frequently we spent hours in earnest prayer, two or three together claiming the promise; often the sound of weeping was heard and then the voice of thanksgiving and the song of praise. Now the day of God is nearer than when we first believed, and we should be more earnest, more zealous, and fervent than in those early days. Our perils are greater now than then. Souls are more hardened. We need now to be imbued with the Spirit of Christ, and we should not rest until we receive it.

Cultivate the habit of talking with the Saviour. . . . Let the heart be continually uplifted in silent petition for help, for light, for strength, for knowledge. Let every breath be a prayer.

From My Life Today – Page 21

Prayer Never Out of Place

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. Col. 4:2

There is no time or place in which it is inappropriate to offer up a petition to God. There is nothing that can prevent us from lifting up our hearts in the spirit of earnest prayer. In the crowds of the street, in the midst of a business engagement, we may send up a petition to God, and plead for divine guidance.

We may speak with Jesus as we walk by the way, and He says, I am at thy right hand. We may commune with God in our hearts; we may walk in companionship with Christ. When engaged in our daily labor, we may breathe out our heart’s desire, inaudible to any human ear; but that word cannot die away into silence, nor can it be lost. Nothing can drown the soul’s desire. It rises above the din of the street, above the noise of machinery. It is God to whom we are speaking, and our prayer is heard.

Every earnest petition for grace and strength will be answered. . . . Ask God to do for you those things that you cannot do for yourselves. Tell Jesus everything. Lay open before Him the secrets of your heart; for His eye searches the inmost recesses of the soul, and He reads your thoughts as an open book. When you have asked for the things that are necessary for your soul’s good, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. Accept His gifts with your whole heart; for Jesus has died that you might have the precious things of heaven as your own, and at last find a home with the heavenly angels in the kingdom of God.

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If you will find voice and time to pray, God will find time and voice to answer.

From My Life Today – Page 20

God Shall Supply My Need

My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

It is difficult to exercise living faith when we are in darkness and discouragement. But this of all others is the very time when we should exercise faith. “But,” says one, “I do not feel at such times like praying in faith.” Well, then, will you allow Satan to gain the victory, simply because you do not feel like resisting him? When he sees that you have the greatest need of divine aid, he will try the hardest to beat you back from God. If he can keep you away from the Source of strength, he knows that you will walk in darkness and sin. There is no sin greater than unbelief. And when there is unbelief in the heart, there is danger that it will be expressed. The lips should be kept in as with bit and bridle, lest by giving expression to this unbelief you not only exert an injurious influence over others, but place yourselves upon the enemy’s ground.

If we believe in God, we are armed with the righteousness of Christ; we have taken hold of His strength. . . . We want to talk with our Saviour as though He were right by our side. . . .

It is our privilege to carry with us the credentials of our faith, –love, joy, and peace. When we do this, we shall be able to present the mighty arguments of the cross of Christ. When we learn to walk by faith and not by feeling, we shall have help from God just when we need it, and His peace will come into our hearts. It was this simple life of obedience and trust that Enoch lived. If we learn this lesson of simple trust, ours may be the testimony that he received, that he pleased God.

If we commit the keeping of our souls to God in the exercise of living faith, His promises will not fail us; for they have no limit but our faith.

From My Life Today – Page 18

The Touch of Faith

For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. Matt. 9:21, 22

To talk of religious things in a casual way, to pray for spiritual blessings without real soul hunger and living faith, avails little. The wondering crowd that pressed close about Christ realized no vital power from the contact. But when the poor, suffering woman, in her great need, put forth her hand and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, she felt the healing virtue. Hers was the touch of faith. Christ recognized that touch, and He determined there to give a lesson for all His followers to the close of time. He knew that virtue had gone out of Him, and turning about in the throng He said, “Who touched My clothes?” Surprised at such a question, His disciples answered, “Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?”

Jesus fixed His eyes upon her who had done this. She was filled with fear. Great joy was hers; but had she overstepped her duty? Knowing what was done in her, she came trembling, and fell at His feet, and told Him all the truth. Christ did not reproach her. He gently said, “Go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”

Here was distinguished the casual contact from the touch of faith. Prayer and preaching, without the exercise of living faith in God, will be in vain. But the touch of faith opens to us the divine treasure house of power and wisdom; and thus, through instruments of clay, God accomplishes the wonders of His grace.

This living faith is our great need today. We must know that Jesus is indeed ours; that His Spirit is purifying and refining our hearts. If the followers of Christ had genuine faith, with meekness and love, what a work they might accomplish! What fruit would be seen to the glory of God!

From My Life Today – Page 17

Doubting Nothing

O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Matt. 14:31

Life is not all made up of pleasant pastures and cooling streams. Trial and disappointment overtake us; privation comes; we are brought into trying places. Conscience-stricken, we reason that we must have walked far away from God, that if we had walked with Him, we should not have suffered so. Doubt and despondency crowd into our hearts, and we say, The Lord has failed us, and we are ill-used. Why does He permit us to suffer thus? He cannot love us; if He did He would remove the difficulties from our path. . . .

He does not always bring us to pleasant places. If He did, in our self-sufficiency we should forget that He is our helper. He longs to manifest Himself to us, and to reveal the abundant supplies at our disposal, and He permits trial and disappointment to come to us that we may realize our helplessness, and learn to call upon Him for aid. He can cause cooling streams to flow from the flinty rock.

We shall never know until we are face to face with God, when we shall see as we are seen and know as we are known, how many burdens He has borne for us, and how many burdens He would have been glad to bear, if with childlike faith we had brought them to Him. . . .

God’s love is revealed in all His dealings with His people; and with clear, unclouded eyes, in adversity, in sickness, in disappointment, and in trial we are to behold the light of His glory in the face of Christ and trust to His guiding hand. But too often we grieve His heart by our unbelief. . . .

God loves His children, and He longs to see them overcoming the discouragement with which Satan would overpower them. Do not give way to unbelief. Do not magnify your difficulties. Remember the love and power that God has shown in times past.

From My Life Today – Page 16

One with God Through Faith

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. John 17:21

“I am the vine, ye are the branches.” Can we conceive of a more intimate relation to Christ than this? The fibers of the branch are almost identical with those of the vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the trunk to the branches is unobstructed and constant. The root sends its nourishment through the branch. Such is the true believer’s relation to Christ. He abides in Christ, and draws his nourishment from Him.

This spiritual relation can be established only by the exercise of personal faith. This faith must express on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. Our will must be wholly yielded to the divine will; our feelings, desires, interests, and honor, identified with the prosperity of Christ’s kingdom and the honor of His cause, we constantly receiving grace from Him, and Christ accepting gratitude from us.

When the intimacy of connection and communion is formed, our sins are laid upon Christ, His righteousness is imputed to us. He was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. We have access to God through Him; we are accepted through the Beloved. Whoever by word or deed injures a believer, thereby wounds Jesus. Whoever gives a cup of cold water to a disciple because he is a child of God, will be regarded by Christ as giving to Himself.

It was when Christ was about to take leave of His disciples that He gave them the beautiful emblem of His relation to believers. . . . A union with Christ by living faith is enduring; every other union must perish. . . . The true believer chooses Christ as first and last, and best in everything.

From My Life Today – Page 15