COUPLES FOR CHRIST 37TH ANNIVERSARY MESSAGE
Good evening, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Tonight, let me start off with this beautiful passage from Matthew:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” ~ Matthew 5:14-16
How does this passage relate to us, today, in the here and now? It relates to us in a huge way and especially today when our theme calls us to “Rekindle the Gift! Fulfill Your Ministry!”
Fulfill your ministry! SHINE! This is what Matthew is asking us to do. He is saying that we ought not to hide our light but use it to illumine everything around us. Such a tall order but this is exactly what “Rekindle the Gift. Fulfill your Ministry” means for all of us in CFC. God is saying, “Set fire anew to the gifts I have already bestowed upon you. Fulfill the task I have set out for you which is to bring light to all the nations.”
Have you ever experienced a “brownout” or worse still, a “black out”? What is the first thing we do when the lights go off? Our first instinct is to look for light, for a candle, for a flashlight. Why? We know that without light we will stumble. Without light we are not safe. Without light, we are lost. How many people out there “stumble”, are “unsafe” and are “lost” because they do not see the light of Jesus?
And so Jesus said, “Your light must shine...” (v16) And what is this light that we have? It is our gift. And what is God’s greatest gift to us? It is Jesus.
Can we truly say that Jesus’ light is shining fully through us? Can we look deep within ourselves and acknowledge, in all honesty, that there were times that we “hid Christ” under our own “bushel baskets”?
Brothers and sisters, we are called to SHINE! We are called to bring out the light we have hidden so well under our bushel baskets—under our fears, insecurities, arrogance and pride.
And so tonight, we will SHINE! We will not only rekindle the Gift of Christ in us, but we will shine! How do we shine? I leave you with 5 ways by which we can bring out that light within us and show the world that Jesus shines in us and through us:
S - SERVE like Jesus served. If there was is one thing we all love doing in CFC, it is to serve. It is not easy, it challenges us, and even pains us. But it is in the mystery of service that Christ shines the brightest in us.
H - be faithful to your HOUSEHOLD. We can shine our individual lights but isn’t it true that we shine brighter when we are surrounded by other “lights”? Isn’t it true that it is impossible to continue hiding our light when our companions are shining so bright? Nakakahiya, di ba? I'm sure you are with your household tonight. Don’t let go of your relationships. Continue to be in fellowship, and never tire of giving and forgiving.
I - IGNITE the Faith in others. You shine for a purpose—to ignite the faith in others. Continue inviting to the CLP and keep going back to those who continue to reject you. Every time you invite, you ignite. They will ask, “Why are you so persistent?” Tell them why! Tell them that And we know that it is because Christ never gave up on us. And so we will never give up on them either.
N - NURTURE Your Family. Do not neglect your family. They are your primary responsibility and CFC exists to help you fulfill your role as a family member. CFC should be one of the reasons why you are united as a family, because when Christ shines in the home, hearts are warmed and there is peace, hope and joy. How we nurture our families in the loving ways of God, and in the power of the Holy Spirt is still the best way to evangelize other families. Nurture your family, because family is a gift.
E - ENRICH your Prayer life. Enrich in Filipino is Papagyamanin. For light to shine, the oil in our lamps must be always filled. Hindi pwedeng kapos. We are to be filled and enriched in prayer. If Christ is full in us, we are rich. 2 Corinthianss 8:9 tells us, “For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” Our union with Christ makes us rich, and that is why “God is enough!” And that is why the oil in our lamps will never die—we will not burn out.
And so, we gather tonight to SHINE! Let us SHINE not only in this venue but everywhere God places us.
CFC is called to be a light to the world. And as light, we are sent to lift up those who “stumble”, to embrace those who feel “unsafe” and to guide those who are “lost” in the dark.
Go, brothers and sisters, fulfill your ministry! Shine!