‘Ask … and you shall have it’
Members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) seek relief and comfort in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. For He, being the throne of grace, can and will provide them with all their needs.
By ARNEL M. ARMENIA
COVID-19 BROUGHT DEATH and suffering not just in one country but the world over. We can never forget the days when we woke up and were greeted with news about hundreds, if not thousands, of people who succumbed to the disease. More heartbreaking were the testimonies of those who lost their loved ones—a spouse, a son or a daughter, a friend—in the battle against the deadly disease. Images of hospitals filled to capacity with those who contracted the virus, of hallways lined up with filled body bags, of expansive public spaces used as temporary morgues, and of frontliners repeatedly appealing to people to stay at home will be with us for the rest of our lives.
Add to the all-too-real dread of falling victim or losing someone to the disease, parents had to deal with the backlash of work stoppage and the difficulty of providing for their family’s needs. We can only imagine how stressful life has suddenly become after the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, health professionals warned about the danger of despondency and depression.
Instead of surrendering to or wallowing in despair, members of the
Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) seek relief and comfort in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. For He, being the throne of grace, can and will provide them with all their needs (Heb. 4:16).
A man unlike all others for speaking the truth He heard from God (John 8:40), the Lord Jesus Christ gives assurances that are all true and can be truly relied upon. His words are the wellspring of genuine hope, most especially during these difficult and dark times. In John 15:7 He said, thus:
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.” (Good News Bible)
Coming from the Savior, this guarantee is exactly what people need especially nowadays. Blessed then are those who remain in Him and in His words. They have the guarantee from the Lord Jesus Christ that they will receive anything that they ask from Him.
Christ described the ones who are in Him as His branches, He being the vine (John 15:5, 1). In the words of Apostle Paul, they are the members of the body of Christ, who is the head (Rom. 12:5; Col. 1:18). They are none other than the members of the Church Of Christ (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation).
However, being in Christ is not enough. For them to receive what they ask from the Lord Jesus Christ, they must abide in His words (John 15:7) or obey His teachings. To obey Christ’s teachings is to obey God’s commandments because “the words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father …” (John 14:10 New International Version 2011). It is for this reason that members of the Church Of Christ are taught to obey or keep God’s commandments:
“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” (I John 3:22 New King James Version)
Truly then, obedience to God’s commandments especially in the midst of life’s difficulties not only assures Christ’s disciples that their right to pray to the Lord will remain but, most of all, they can expect His answer. Such is the advantage of being an obedient member of the true Church Of Christ.
What Christ taught
One of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ that members of the Church Of Christ strive to obey despite the present circumstances is worshiping the Father:
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:23 nkjv)
Not all who serve and worship God and not all forms of service and worship are accepted by Him. It is the true worshipers whom He seeks to render worship to Him. Since “God is Spirit … those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24 nkjv). This is the true and acceptable worship of God. The Bible is clear as to who alone can render service acceptable to God, thus:
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
(Heb. 9:14 nkjv)
Only those cleansed by the blood of Christ received the right to serve God. They are the members of the Church Of Christ (Acts 20:28 Lamsa).
Knowing that their service is being sought by no less than the Father, members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), continue to hold worship services even now that circumstances prevent large gatherings. Heeding the instructions of the Executive Minister, Brother
Eduardo V. Manalo, that worship services be held temporarily in every home, the brethren worship God in the manner prescribed by the Bible—with hymn singing, prayer, offerings, and receiving of God’s words or message (I Cor. 14:26, 15; Heb. 13:16; John 4:23). Being able to worship the Father, rest assured, when they call to Him in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, they will be listened to and granted their requests
A promise fulfilled every time
There is no doubt in the hearts of the members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) that the Lord Jesus Christ will stand by His promise that those who abide in Him and in His words will receive what they ask for. They keep their hope and conviction alive because every time they gather together, He fulfills yet another promise:
“For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.” (Matt. 18:20 gnb)
Make no mistake. Members of the Church Of Christ feel life’s hardships as others do. However, all their worries dissipate like smoke blown away by a strong gust of wind when they remind themselves of Christ’s guarantee: “Ask … and you shall have it.”
This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine.
For more articles, visit www.pasugo.com.ph