Whole Day Worship

Twenty four pastors and ministerial students from as far as Silang in the South and Quezon City in the North braved the horrendous traffic caused by APEC to attend the pastors fraternal hosted by MCBC.

The topic was, “A Case for Whole Day Worship,” a very relevant subject in a day when many churches merely devote half of the Lord’s day to worship. The speaker was Pas. Noel Espinosa of Grace Baptist Church, Los Banos.

We were both challenged and encouraged by the message and enlightened by the discussion and open forum.

Here is a recording of the message:







Honor Your Parents

“We don’t need no education; we don’t need no thought control. Teachers! Leave the kids alone!” No, this is not the cry of protest of high school students who recoil from K12. These were the lyrics of a well-known song by Pink Floyd in the seventies. Judging from the more than 100 million views in You Tube that the hit song enjoys, its impressive popularity is showing no signs of demise.

For the musically inclined, the song may have its merits; for the nostalgic, a must-hear. But I believe in large part that the song has magnetic appeal to the young–the lyrics are fighting words, rebellious and anti-establishment. It strikes a chord in the hearts of the youth that makes them hate controlling authority and yearn for unbounded freedom.

True, the young have had their share of abuse from superiors but the Scriptures view authority in a different light: children are to honor authority; they are to honor their parents and this extends to all rule that has been placed over them by God (Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16; Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20). 

What does it mean then to honor father and mother?

1. It is to show our parents thorough respect. The honor of children to parents is an earthly expectation (Mal 1:6). Our parents were God’s instruments in giving us life. No matter how imperfect our parents are or might have been, God’s grace in them made them nurture us when we were young. We could have died in a shoebox that was left on the sidewalk after we were born or perished as a result of an abortion. But parents or foster parents cared for us so that we are alive today.

Christian youth especially must honor the aged as part of their holy living (Lev 19:3)–and not just by outward expressions like saying po (at least in Luzon) or making mano (cf 1 Kings 2:19) but by having a high inward esteem for them as well.

2. It is to listen to their instruction and counsel. This of course assumes that parents do their duty in teaching their children the ways of God in His word. This is done in the framework of family worship, informal talk, bringing their children to Sunday School, and being a good example of listening to preaching.

They also are to give their counsel especially with respect to the great affairs of life such as relationships, employment, career and other challenges (Ex 18:24; Judg 14:1-3).

The young think that because of changing times, they have the right to lecture their parents. But notwithstanding the faults of our superiors, it is those who listen to their parents that God calls wise (Prov 1:8-9; 3:1-2; 4:1-2; 5:1-2).

3. It is to follow their lawful commands. Obedience to authority must mark the youth (Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:2). This is right and well-pleasing in God’s sight. They cannot reason out that their parents are unreasonable. They cannot argue that domestic disobedience is their response to parental failure. Obeying their parents is obeying God.

The scope is expansive–all things. Yet, it has its limitations as well–in the Lord. Parents are not lords over their children’s consciences. Only God is Lord of the conscience.

There is an encouragement attached to this duty–this is the first commandment with a promise. The blessing of life is with those who obey.

4. It is to submit to their discipline. True, abuses have been committed. Yet that does not diminish the importance of Biblical discipline (Heb 12:7-12; Prov 13:1; 15:32; 19:27). The way a child is trained when young will reap its fruit when he is old. Lovingly applied, the young must see that discipline is for their good. It is an expression of care not just for their physical safety but for their spiritual well-being.

They must meekly and patiently bear the reproof and corrective training, no matter how painful, for their own good. They must seek to correct what has been pointed out is wrong and displeasing to God.

5. It is to be grateful to them for their care. Good children thank their parents and appreciate their care–hopefully not once a year but every now and then (Prov 31:28). You can express this by giving them thank you notes or cards, or giving them gifts, greeting them on special occasions or simply by saying thank you at opportune times. We owe a lot to our parents that to be ingrates is simply wicked.

6. It is to give them joy and encouragement. The young should not humiliate their parents by their words and actions. Daddy should not be often at the principal’s office because his son committed another misdemeanor. Mother should not be red with shame because junior is acting like a monkey on the loose at church. Students should perform well at school and be known for the good that they do. This brings joy and happiness to their elders (Prov 15:20; 17:21; 19:26; 28:7).

7. It is to care for them when they are old or sickly. Children, even those who have left home to marry or to live independently should not forget their parents, much less forsake them (Ruth 4:15; Gen 47:12; Prov 23:22). It is a fitting return to parents for children to reciprocate the love and concern that was showed them when they were still under their care. Very soon, their beloved elders will be gone–why not show them love and concern while still possible? Why wait for the time when it would be too late? 

[Preached at MCBC Youth Fellowship, 11/13/15.]


Lapids come in full force.


My nieces and nephew were also present.


I taught on the virtue of honoring parents.


Elaine leads the games; Eval assists her.


Clay Charade: Yup that’s me, they guessed it, what a striking resemblance!


The complete cast; including me behind the camera.

A Great Salvation

It is amazing how the inspired author of Hebrews (Heb 2:3) when referring to salvation does not leave it adjective-less. He could have; rather, he uses a superlative descriptor in the Greek, just one word (which is translated by two in our vernacular) to describe it–“so great” a salvation.

Salvation just cannot be not great. It cannot be insignificant. It cannot be cheap. It cannot be average. It cannot be small. It is priceless, precious, amazing, incomparable. No less than a superlative is fitting.

But why so?

1. The Author who crafted it is great. Great is the Lord and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable (Ps 145:3)! He created the majestic heavens (Ps 19:1); He rules over things great and small (Acts 17:24). His works of power inspire awe and wonder (Ex 14:13ff). He is perfect in His attributes (Mt 5:48); He is great in mercy, love, grace and faithfulness (Eph 2:4,7; Lam 3:23). He is infinitely holy (Is 6:3). In wisdom unfathomable, He crafted His purposes and plans, something which not the most intelligent man in the world would be able to do (Rom 11:33; 1 Cor 1:24).

2. The forgiveness that it grants is great. How blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Ps 32:1)! One sin would have led us to hell–the God whom we deal with is infinitely holy. But how many sins have we committed since birth, not to mention the sin that has been imputed to us from Adam? The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). We deserve great punishment; instead we receive great mercy. God saves all kinds of sinners (1 Cor 6:9-11), forgives every sin that is confessed (1 Jn 1:9). And He blots this out completely by virtue of the cross (Mic 7:19; Heb 8:12).

3. The danger that it saves from is great. We are not saved from earthly difficulties. Salvation is not freedom from poverty or sickness or even tribulation. Salvation is all about deliverance from eternal fire. The most painful life on earth is infinitely far from hell. Its description in the Scriptures is beyond any earthly comparison. It is a place of suffering and torment (Lk 16:23-24); a place where the worm dies not and the fire is not quenched (Mk 9:48); a furnace of heat where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth; it is called the outer darkness (Mt 25:30), a place of endless punishment (Mt 25:46); it is a lake of fire and brimstone (Rev 20:10) where the wrath of the Lamb is ceaselessly poured out (Rev 6:16)!

4. The Savior who was sent to accomplish it is great. Jesus is a great Redeemer! He was under no obligation to come to our aid and suffer the great torment of body and soul that He experienced as God-man (Jn 1:14). He could have chosen to enjoy the glories of heaven in intimate fellowship with His Father. But so great was His love that He chose to become a sinner’s Savior (Jn 15:13). He humbled Himself and was made a servant and yet without sin (Phil 2:7). He took on flesh and blood in order to become a perfect substitute for His brethren (Heb 2:14). He chose to be forsaken of His beloved Father to receive the wrath that was due to us as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (1 Jn 4:10; Jn 1:29). He died but death could not overcome Him (1 Cor 15:57). He rose again victorious over death and now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for His people (Heb 7:25). He will come again in glorious array to consummate the salvation of His people and every knee will bow at His presence (Mt 25:31; Phil 2:10)!

5. The promise that it brings is great. We have been given great and magnificent promises to encourage us to press on (2 Pet 1:4). And why would it not have been not great when it promises no condemnation in judgment (Rom 8:1), a glorious body invulnerable to sickness (Phil 3:21), no more death but eternal life (Jn 3:16), moral perfection without the possibility of sin (2 Pet 3:13), a renovated dwelling place in a new heavens and a new earth (2 Pet 3:13), and eternal fellowship with Christ, not invisibly but face to face (Ps 16:11; 1 Cor 13:12)?

If salvation is so great that no blessing can compare to it, God deserves no less than great praise and we are duty bound no less than to great perseverance to be faithful.

And if salvation is so great, would it not be a great sin to reject its free offer?

Preached this message at Molino last Sunday. Here, the men gather to pray before the service.

Preached the above message at Molino last Sunday (11-08). Here, the men, young and old, gather to pray before the service.

Good to see Pas Boy and Beth looking good!

Good to see Pas Boy and Beth looking good!

Ahh these three were missing in Naga the previous week!

Ahh these three were missing in Naga the previous week! I mean Jean, Ayi and Loida.

My family and the MGBC family. Warm fellowship!

My family and (some of) the MGBC family. Warm fellowship! I was overjoyed to see them after a long time of absence.

Yummy cake for October birthday and anniversary celebrators.

Yummy chocolate cake for October birthday and anniversary celebrators.

Let me join the picture. I'm an Octoberian too!

Let me join the picture. I’m an Octoberian too!

Boiking and Ayi meet at Ayi's territory.

Jaden, my grandson, and Ayi meet at Ayi’s territory.

Meanwhile at MCBC, Maling and Chabby celebrate their bday after prayer meeting (11-05).

Meanwhile at MCBC, Maling and Chabby celebrate their birthdays after prayer meeting (11-05).

I preach at funeral service for Joanna's husband (11-06).

I preach at funeral service for Joanna’s husband (11-06). Pas Mike leads the singing.

Clyde treats us to coffee at Starbucks (11-05) as treat for his birthday.

Clyde treats us to coffee at Starbucks (11-05) as advanced treat for his birthday.


Worried about dwindling finances? About where to get money to pay your bills? Anxious about life’s necessities? It is not necessarily wrong to think about how to survive in this “money-driven” world. What’s wrong, Jesus addresses in the sermon on the mount, is to be anxious about it (Mt 6:25). Not wrong to face the challenge and address it responsibly; what’s wrong is to be paralyzed by worry about how to cope daily.

That this is not a small issue even with Jesus’ disciples we see in the sermon on the mount. I see no less than six reasons Jesus gives His followers as to why they should not be anxious. One or two are not enough; anxiety is mighty hard to kill!

What six reasons can we draw from Jesus’ words as to why we should not worry about life’s necessities?

1. It tends towards worldliness and idolatry. The preceding context (v19-24) reveals that. Thinking too much about earthly life may lead to a worldly mindset. It may lead to thoughts that are primarily preoccupied with material living. It may lead to a lifestyle that solely addresses present physical needs. When this happens, we are not really investing in heaven nor trusting in God. We are laying treasures on earth and our world orbits around that which is fleeting.

2. It views life in a narrow way (v25b). It looks at life as one big routine of supplying food and drink for the stomach and clothing for the body. Or, when there’s a surplus, sumptuous food and drink and expensive clothing. Wasn’t this the kind of life that the rich man who went to hell lived (Lk 16:19)? Is not this the pattern of Epicureans and sensualists whose god is their bellies (Phil 3:19)? Paul tells us that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but rightheousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17).

3. It forgets that we have a caring heavenly Father (v26). God created animal life not just that we may behold and marvel at the beauty of His creation. There is one other salutary purpose–that we may behold God’s providential care of them (Ps 104:11-12, 14a, 16-18, 21, 27-28) and learn to trust Him remembering that we are not His pets but His very children. Our God is a perfect Father who knows our needs and who will not withhold that which is good for us (Mt 7:11).

4. It does not solve our problems but rather adds to them (v27). Anxiety does nothing to lessen our cause of worry. In fact, it may add to our problems. Anxiety leads to frazzled nerves and frazzled nerves leads to all kinds of bodily maladies. Worrying does not add a second to our lives; it may in fact reduce our life span. It does nothing to supply what we need; in fact it may increase our budget burden by increasing our medical spending.

5. It is a manifestation of small faith (v28-30). We can enter heaven by the smallest exercise of faith. But we should not be content at small faith because little faith is never commended in the Bible. In fact, it is rebuked. It is big faith that is commended (Mt 8:10). This is why even the apostles prayed for increased faith (Lk 17:5-6). Anxiety is a sign of little faith.

6. It is unbeliever-like (v31-32). The world is preoccupied 24/7 with earthly needs and daily necessities that it does not have time for the things that really matter. We are assured that God knows our needs even before we open our mouths to pray (Mt 6:8). What we need is to pray and to trust Him and not be like the world which is endlessly busy attending to earthly issues at the expense of eternal concerns such as the salvation of one’s soul.

Without being neglectful of our earthly duties, let us make it our priority to busy ourselves with kingdom concerns such as worship, prayer, evangelism, faithful obedience, diligent service and everything that it takes, by His gracious help, to get our souls to glory.

The promise is that God will supply all of our needs (Mt 6:33)!

Preached at Senior Moments, 10-31-15.


Senior Moments 10/31/15


Gina Leads 5 Memory Games!


I Think the Seniors Were Exhausted After..


Thanks to the Four Sisters Who Assisted


Celebrated my bday after Prayer Mtg with Cheche and Sean (10/29/15)


Cake Courtesy of Friends


About to Blow the Candles


Looks like someone has already had ice cream!


Enjoying the Food and the Fellowship


Cheche ponders over her cake..


Youthful Sean is one of our regular BS and worship attenders



Back to Naga

Nice to be back in Naga last weekend. It’s been four long years since I was there. True, I did a wedding two years ago, but that was in another location and I stayed practically for just a day.

I attempted, or rather, my plane attempted to land at Naga airport last May but was providentially hindered by clouds and rain. It circled for thirty minutes and then returned to Manila. Hopefully, Naga airport will be improved soon to accomodate jets that can land on any weather.

The last time I was there in 2011, I led the covenanting of a group of 18 believers, most of which had persevered for more than 13 long years as a fellowship, beginning in 1997. It was only in 2011 that it became clear the Lord was forming the group into a local church. This was about a year after Bro. Pio, then a fresh graduate of RBIPT, joined the group instead of choosing to go back to his home province of Surigao.

I can still clearly remember that joyous occasion. Being vacation break, about a dozen MCBC members travelled with me by plane and bus to rejoice with the brethren in Naga. They were happy witnesses to the baptisms I performed at a plush hotel swimming pool. There were many guests at the covenanting proper which took place at a local convention center. There was sumptuous food after. Then later, a tour of Legazpi city. That was an unforgettable experience.

I can only recollect and reminisce. In fact, looking back at the past was the subject of most of our fellowship the time I was there this weekend.

I preached three times last Lord’s day seeking to encourage the brethren to press on serving the Lord. There have been ups and downs in their history but the Lord has sustained them all throughout.

The anniversary service was held in the morning. Although we were missing three of the original eighteen, all out of town, there was a married couple, missed for two years, who returned to Naga from Manila just for the occasion.

May the Lord strengthen the brethren in Naga to do His work. May He save sinners and add them to His church. May He bless the move to the new meeting place next year so that with greater seating capacity more would come under the sound of the preaching of God’s word.

To God be the glory for four years of the Sovereign Grace Bible Church in Naga City.


There have been a couple of walk-in visitors because of this sign. Some remain until today.


They welcomed me with what they call warm “pillow-ship.”


The yellow structure will be demolished and on that site will rise their new 80 sqm large meeting place.


The covenant of membership signed by the 18 pioneers last 2011.


Guess who Pas. Boy will vote for?


Pas. Pio’s rented house two municipalities away from Naga in Magarao, Cam Sur.


I was invited for lunch by Pas. Pio and Sis. Marilyn.


Church musician Glaphre plays the violin during worship.


Some of the women of NSGBC-Rose, Sheila, Nat, Marian, Bing and Letty


The place was formerly a garage turned bar. No trace of that now with its nice homey decoration.


Pas. Boy leads the morning service.


Pas. Pio leads the evening service.


Deacon Tony gives his testimony after the lunch fellowship.


The morning congregation last Sunday.


Now the church members pose.


A couple of couples.


Dinner fellowship at Grisini for anniversary and birthday.


My handwriting on the wall, done in 2010, survives the onslaught of black ink from other happy customers at the resto.


Waiters sing happy birthday and give me this dessert cup candle to blow. Thanks for the dinner Naga brethren!

Wednesday Evangelism

There are seven Mini-Stops and four Seven Elevens in our area. All of these work round-the-clock to serve the customer. Business is non-stop.

Evangelism ought to be that way too. It is a 24/7, no let-up endeavor. It is a way of life more than a duty to be done. That’s why I was delighted when at one point in the history of MCBC we were having Bible studies daily.

Some of those outreaches have since concluded but the Lord has opened new doors of opportunity. They are now clustered on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I had the opportunity of teaching in a Bible study at Siena Park, an upscale condo, a few kilometers away from the church. One of our members who holds a high position in her company invited her officemates to dinner and to Bible study. There was no occasion; just a burden to reach out to fellow workers.

There were six who came, most of whom were new to this experience. I taught from John 3 about the impossibility of saving ourselves and the necessity of God changing the heart if one were to see the kingdom of God. They were good listeners; there were no questions at the end. I hope that’s a sign that they got the point; I pray the Spirit would blow like wind upon their hearts, giving them that regenerating grace which can only come from Him.

Afterwards, they agreed to make this a regular monthly affair.

We have had office ministries before at government institutions like DOLE, DTI, LAND BANK, BFAD, and the long-running ADB ministry from which we recently withdrew. We have also done outreach at private companies such as UNILOGIX, CONCEPCION and JEEVES. Thank God for this new inroads at ALLEGRO MICROSYSTEMS. I pray more would attend next time. It’s only a beginning.

That was at 6pm. An hour later, at 7pm, a very recently opened outreach was taking place at 4th Estate Subdivision. Since being diagnosed with cancer, one of our members, has been overcome by evangelistic fire, inviting every relative and friend he could get hold of in order to attend the services of the church. A few weeks ago, the Lord opened a door in his cousin’s house. There is good attendance and curious interest. Some of these have also become regular attenders at MCBC.

After the 6pm Bible study at Siena, I had to rush home for the 8pm Bible study in our house. There are about a dozen regular attenders here, from family to neighbors to officemates of one of our members. This has been a regular affair for more than a year now. Initially, I was the one who taught but later on gave the privilege to one of our young gifted preachers. I constantly pray that God would use this Bible study to save my loved ones and friends.

6pm, 7pm, 8pm. I missed the nightly TV news. But that’s a small price to pay to seek to win the lost to Christ. May the Lord bless these efforts to His glory.


6pm-Reaching Out to Sudi’s Officemates


7pm-Pas. Mike Handles the BS at 4th Estate with Johnny’s Relatives and Neighbors


8pm-Bro. Clyde Leads the Bible Study in Our Home

Rainy Breakfast

Happy birthday Cielo! Although the skies were foreboding of strong rain, Typhoon Lando was no match for the power breakfast of kinilaw na tuna, alimango, pusit, sinigang sa miso, and steaming rice, we had this morning in celebration of deacon Cielo’s birthday. 

Cielo is one of the pioneers of MCBC, having been a member since the 90s. He was instrumental in organizing a weekly Bible Study at his office, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), during the early years of MCBC. He is the third deacon to be recognized by the church and is presently the chairman of the board of five deacons that we have.

He hails from Talisay, Negros Occidental and is married to May who comes from Romblon, recently recognized as a tourist destination with its inviting beaches. Of course, May is the greatest attraction for Cielo. They just celebrated their 21st year recently and we gave thanks at prayer meeting for that.

They have three children, Bambam, Simon and little Miciel. Bam is graduating from Benilde this March, Lord willing. Simon is graduating from high school while Miciel is in elementary.

How old? Old enough to retire from government service? Not just yet. Still some way to go to join our senior moments fellowship. Still some way…

But not a long way.