Unity in Brotherly Love

Meditating on Psalm 133.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity! (Ps. 133:1)

When I became a born-again Christian and began to serve the Lord in Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry, my experience of religion changed dramatically. Though I grew up going to church (Catholic), I was used to living in a hypocritical environment. Then I became an adult and a hypocrite myself: “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof… lover of oneself, lover of money, boaster, proud… disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving… without self-control…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God… always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (see 2 Tim. 3: 1-7).

But in the congregation of the saints of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is entirely different. Everyone walks (or does his/her best to walk by the grace of God) in the Holy Spirit, praying and working to know and follow the will of God. And dwelling in unity bound by love. Brothers and sisters as one body in one Spirit with one hope.

Years ago while we were on our way to our first crusade in the province, we passed by an outreach of our church which was along the way. We attended the mid-week service there. It was our first visit to the outreach. After the service, one of the workers who managed the outreach, a sister in Christ,  approached us, took my hands in both of hers, and implored us to stay the night and have supper with them. Dusk was gathering and they couldn’t imagine us continuing on our trip. But I assured her gently that we would be fine and would be spending the night in a hotel nearer our destination. I knew they had a lot of work to do and I didn’t want us to be a burden to them, but I saw in her eyes the sincerity of their love for the brethren.

In another crusade in another province, the preacher and his family assigned in the outreach there arranged for our lodging: a spacious guesthouse surrounded by trees and yonder were mountains which brought fresh breeze that invigorated us. A day after the last day of crusade, a Monday, we were packing our luggage in haste and hauling them into our van. My husband Felix needed to attend a staff meeting in our company. When we were about to settle in our seats, the preacher and his family arrived with pots and dishes full of home cooked, delicious food. They prepared a modest feast for us before we went home!

When we attempted to explain that we needed to be on our way, their faces fell. It was then that I heard the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit, “Stay and eat what they have prepared. The staff meeting in the office is not that important. Love and fellowship with the beloved brethren are what matters more at this moment.” We all alighted from the van and went inside the guesthouse again. I took the hand of the beloved preacher’s wife and smiled warmly, silently assuring her that we so appreciate their care for us. Other workers and choir members joined us in the breezy balcony as we enjoyed the sumptuous lunch they lovingly prepared. We shared testimonies and stories of God’s love and mercy. We talked and laughed and rejoiced in the Lord, the staff meeting completely forgotten.

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

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God Brings Back the Captivity of His People

Among the many ills our country suffers from, poverty and insurgency top them all. These are just two of the evil fruits of corruption. But, as the Lord Jesus Christ victoriously declared, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”, so it is with this victory that we operate as we go to the utmost peripheries of this country, preaching the Gospel, healing the sick, and turning the rebellious hearts toward God.

Every one of them has turned aside;
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one. 
(Psalm 53:3)

The Lord declared that He has overcome the world. Yes, by His blood that flowed in Calvary, we now have this ministry of reconciliation to God. The demons that hold one shackled and imprisoned in sin and in all the works of the devil are now cast out by the power of the blood and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the Good News, and its glory and power to change a life has never failed and will always triumph.

Below, I share with great joy the triumphs of our Church (Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry), by the power of the Holy Spirit. All glory to God! To my followers and readers outside the Philippines, I hope that these will not only encourage and inspire you and strengthen your faith, but you’ll also enjoy these few glimpses of our beloved country.

  • Bringing the Gospel to the remote areas, sometimes through rough mountain roads, sometimes fording rivers…
  • Preaching the Gospel to all. There is nothing too few, nor too far, nor too poor – the Gospel is for everyone. There is nothing too dangerous. This summer, the JMCIM outreach of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Valley in Northern Luzon had bravely preached the Gospel to CPP/NPA strongholds.
  • Bible Study in an area so remote it’s beyond the reach of electricity, but the Gospel shines in the dark! “Arise, shine! For your Light has come!”
  • Baptizing in water in Jesus’ name. The ones in blue (or red) robes are the ones to be baptized. They are not baptized in the river in their own clothes so they won’t be going home dripping wet.
  • Preaching the Gospel to soldiers. (In second photo, a former NPA commander now a Christian testifies before Philippine Army soldiers).
  • An outpouring of blessing. It hadn’t rained for a long time in this area of Northern Luzon, but when Jesus Miracle Crusade held a crusade there, there was a downpour and the workers and preachers were soaked to the skin.
  • After the heavy rain, roads were hardly navigable, so, roasting a chicken for a meal :):
  • And resting a while.
  • The Lord Jesus Christ, through His Gospel of salvation, reconciles the rebel and the soldier. (In photo are, R to L: a former NPA Commander now a Christian, a soldier of the Philippine Army, beloved Ordained Preacher Danny Cuarteros and his beloved wife).
  • JMCIM crusade at Luneta Park, Manila

Endnote:

All photos (except the last one) courtesy of beloved Ordained Preacher Danny Cuarteros of Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry.

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