Today, The Rev. Norman Naromal, senior pastor of Davao Bible Community Church (DBCC), entrusted to me his ministry of preaching. This happens at least once every two months. It helps him get a break from his preaching routine, and it gives me a chance to serve God and the people through biblical teaching.
Under Pastor Norman’s leadership, I prepared and delivered a biblical message based on his sermon-series on the Epistle of St. James.
The particular passage I used for community reflection was chapter 1 and verses 19-27:
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Here’s the outline of what I shared:
POSITIVE WALK AUTHENTICATES
Our religious talk must be authenticated by our positive walk. Positive walk is demonstrated by listening with pure and humble attitude, applying biblical principles in our lives, being always conscious of the consequences of our words, serving the people in need, and living a lifestyle that is not polluted by the corrupt standards of this world.
1. Listen with a pure and humble attitude. (vv. 19-21)
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… get rid of all moral filth and evil… humbly accept the word planted in you…”
2. Apply what you’ve heard from the Word of God. (vv. 22-25)
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
3. Practice the religion that is acceptable to God. (vv. 26-27)
“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
I praise God for such a privilege sharing the Word to DBCC.
For me, worshiping God with my Davao community is always an act of God’s grace. I do not deserve to be loved and cared for by these people, but God showered Divine Favor not because of me, but rather, despite me.
Joji and I enjoy this congregation. We celebrate the relationships we have developed in this local church. It’s great to have a community where we can be at home, and where sanctuary can be experienced after weeks of intense field work.
Praise God for DBCC!