Pastoral Exhortation

He Led Us Hitherto

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 30 March 2014

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Twenty-six years have passed since the inception of Gethsemane B-P Church. How graciously and wonderfully our loving Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, has nurtured and strengthened us! We must recollect His goodness towards us and praise Him. To help us to reminisce His goodness towards Gethsemane BPC, I have prayerfully written the following liturgy for today’s Thanksgiving Worship.

 

Anniversary Greetings

Dear Pastor Koshy, the Church Session and all our Beloved Brethren,

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

As I reflect upon the 26 years of the church’s existence, I am moved to praise and thank the Lord for the work He has accomplished in each and every one of you. To mention a few:

1. God’s Work of Salvation – Like the Apostle Paul, I rejoice at the thought of God’s sovereign election, that is, of choosing some unto salvation. Oh, we would all be utterly lost if not for God’s unconditional election that was made effectual in us through the Spirit’s work of regeneration whereby we are enabled to believe in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

And this work of salvation continues as we see how the Lord added unto the church such as should be saved. For the glory of God, see how the church has grown!

2. God’s Work of Sanctification – In the past 26 years, we are all witnesses to how the Lord has sanctified the church. Yes, there were struggles along the way: personal and individual struggles (with sin and worldliness), issues among brethren, practical and doctrinal issues, even battles for the faith. By God’s grace, the church remains steadfast and strong, earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3).

3. God’s Calling to Service – This is one particular aspect of the Lord’s working upon the church that has been very visible through the years. I am amazed at how the Lord moved men (and women) to rise up and testify of the Lord’s calling upon them to full-time ministry. While it used to be Pastor Koshy and only a handful of office staff-workers and a few preachers, the Lord has (continually) added faithful co-labourers in the ministry of the Word, even to include pastors and missionaries now serving in different parts of the world.

In all these, I rejoice and give thanks to the Lord for you have been a great encouragement and good example to all the brethren here and in all the mission churches

On behalf of Gethsemane BPC (Cebu) and all the mission churches and ministries here in the Philippines, I greet you all a “Blessed 26th Anniversary!”

All glory to God!

 

Report of Gospel Trip to Davao City, Cebu City, Leyte and Manila
Dennis Kabingue

We thank God for church members who have been praying for the Gospel team that visited Davao City, Cebu City, Leyte and Manila last week. The Lord has been good to us. We were blessed by the hospitality of God’s people everywhere we went.

children attended the Gospel meetings. Three childhood friends of Sis Juvy Baybayanon received the Lord. They were Reena Liza Aligway, her brother Andrie Aligway and their cousin Zoren Dublan. Do pray for their spiritual growth. Moreover, we were greatly encouraged by Bro Joel Baybayanon’s (Sis Juvy’s brother) fervency and enthusiasm to know more of God’s Word, commitment to holiness, and great desire to share the Gospel with the lost. Though we had to sleep late to answer his many questions, we enjoyed fellowshipping with this sincere brother, who (we later discovered) had been praying all this while that he may know deeper things about God and His truths. So I challenged him to attend the Cebu church camp (27-29 April) where Pastor Koshy will be the camp speaker. God willing, his wife Editha and youngest son Roy will be accompanying him. Thank God, Rev Reggor is willing to accommodate them in Cebu. Do pray that God may bless them richly!

In Cebu City, I thank the Lord that we were able to visit Raja Villagracia, the 3-year-old nephew of Bro Norefel’s wife, who is currently undergoing treatment for leukaemia. Thank God also for the opportunity to preach in the prayer meeting, and fellowship with Rev Reggor, Elder Richard Tiu, Elder Eliezer Ortega, Sis Sarah Yong and the rest of the brethren. It was a great blessing to see many of them coming to pray!

We also thank God for the opportunity to visit my home province, Leyte (which was all but destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan), and to preach in Rev John Pagliawan’s church. Though we had to sleep in tents (as the church had also been destroyed), the Lord gave us good rest each evening after a long day of ministering to the people. Do pray for God’s provision to send aid for them to rebuild the church. Do pray for the Spirit’s enabling in our intended endeavour to produce a Bible translation, which is based on the original languages underlying the King James Bible.

Because of delay due to bad weather, we reached Manila quite late and thus failed to meet up with our contacts. What appeared to be a setback turned out to be a blessing as the delay gave us an opportunity to talk to a lady who is a daughter of a pastor from my previous denomination. Do pray for her as she is working in Singapore and has expressed interest to come to our church. Romans 8:28!

Again, I want to thank the Lord for the opportunity to visit my home country with the company of Bro Julius, Bro Jomart and Pr Donald. The need for Gospel preachers in the Philippines is great. Pray that God will send forth labourers into His harvest, before the cults and the charismatic groups “spoil” the harvest. “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:36-38).