7 P's Of Being A Christian

God does not always give us what we want. Sometimes, what we want is not good for us. We are being disciplined especially when we disobey God. That is how God loves us and that's how much God loves us. God's discipline is both painful and refreshing.
Download MP3

If our government has 4P, us tonight have 7P's of being a Christian.

Tonight, I will try to convince you, I will try to show you that being a Christian is a positive thing. There are perks of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This is because as Christians, we feel or think that as a Christian you have to always be sad, you are not allowed to be happy, you have to look pitiful. Have any of you had any such thoughts of being a Christian before? That you are not allowed to be happy because you should be conservative. But that is not necessarily the case of being a Christian. Earlier, I only put 5P but I keep on thinking of more and more P's that there is that's why it became 7. And since we are only given 20 minutes, I limit it to that.

Let us start with a story:

There was a family. The father lost his job. He had to transfer to another place because that was where he was able to get a new job. He talked to his family saying, "Kids, I'm sorry but we have to move because I lost my job. But don't worry, I found a new job in Basilan." They went to Basilan and his new employer was an ASF. At least, he has a new job now. They bought a ticket on a passenger ship and will ride that going to Basilan. On their voyage, he talked to his children and said to them, "Sorry, kids. Let's just make do of what's available. We don't have much right now so the only food that we will be eating for the three-day voyage is bread and cheese." With this, the children complained to him. "Dad, what's with this? Only bread and cheese?!" But the father told them that they will just get through this. Fast forward: they were already in the ship and when they were there the first day, the crew served food. Every time the crew would serve food, they would go to their cabin where they would eat their packed bread and cheese. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, they only eat bread and cheese. So that went for three days. When they were about to disembark the ship, the captain noticed and talked to them. As it was customary for the ship captain to shake the hand of his passenger, he talked to the father saying, "Mister, I can't help but notice but whenever we are serving the food, you do not eat, instead you go to your cabin. Did we do something wrong?" The father replied, "No sir. Your service is very fine. But it's really embarrassing because we cannot afford the food." The captain then replied, "Oh sir, I'm so sorry. It's our fault. We have not informed you and you have not noticed, but when you bought the tickets that included the buffet."

What can we learn from that story?

It was a waste, right? Imagine missing the buffet.

Who among us here felt the regret from the story?

They were entitled with the buffet and the food, but since they did not know it, they were not able to get it, they were not able to eat. Sometimes, that is how our Christian life works. We do not know the inclusive privilege that we have that's why we do not enjoy it. Hopefully, after this session, we could get to learn those benefits.

What's the lesson that we can learn from the story? When we bought the tickets that included the buffet.

In our Christian life, when we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ, we "bought" the ticket to heaven, had a personal relationship with God, but that also includes a buffet, it also includes some benefits.

Sometimes we fail to get the fullness of it, because

1. We don't know. (ignorance)

2. We were misinformed. (fake news)

3. We do not follow instructions. (disobedience)

"The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

When we have Jesus Christ, we have access to the fullness of life. I want to tell you tonight that as we received Jesus Christ, there will always be suffering and poverty. The reason that Jesus came into this world is to give us the access to the fullness of life.

7P's if you are in Christ:

1. Part of God's Family

"But as many as received Him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." (John 1:12)

Sometimes, this does not imply much to us. "So what if we became part of God's family?"

A very good example is this: You have been adopted by the president. He now became your father. You may go in and out of the MalacaƱang Palace, and it's alright. We have a different prestige when we belong to a rich, well-known and powerful family. That should also be the way we see ourselves when we belong to God's family. Also, if you are a child of the house, you can freely get anything from the fridge, but if you are a housemaid, an outsider, it would be unacceptable. We can see that there is a great privilege being part of the family.

"Therefore, you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." (Galatians 4:7)

2. God's Presence

"And he said, 'My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'" (Exodus 33:14)

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." (Psalm 16:11)

Wherever the presence of the Lord is, there is fullness of joy. During the time of the Israelites, whenever the presence of the Lord is with them, they win the war.

"No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Joshua 1:5)

Imagine the most powerful being is your Father and He said that He will not leave you nor forsake you. That's also how we should see now that God's presence is with us.

3. Peace

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:2)

Our world may be full of violence, and our daily lives can be marred by conflict and turmoil. But God promises His people a peace that surpasses all understanding. It's when we are peaceful whatever may happen, even if your stocks depreciate or you have failing grades or your crush doesn't text you anymore.

4. Provision

"Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" Or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all." (Matthew 6:31-32)

"Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!" (Luke 12:24)

When it comes to provision, if we are part of God's family, we are well provided for. I will always testify that God does normally provide for us, but sometimes, the problem is how we spend the money. God has given you something for a week, yet you spend it for a day, but then we complain why God has not provided for us. If there are times when we feel like God is not providing for us, why not we check on how we are handling the resources that God has provided. God values us so much that He makes sure to provide for us what we need. If He is feeding the birds, how much more us, His children.

5. Power

"For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But you have saved us from our enemies, and have put them to shame that hated us." (Psalms 44:6-7)

This is the power that overcomes our enemies. We cannot do this on our own. This is what the Israelites are saying: It was not their bow, nor their sword, not because they are good nor they were famous that I am powerful. Our power, our strength comes from the Lord. Just as the Israelites had said, whenever the presence of the Lord is with them, they are powerful.

Like the ship, it is powered by the main engine. Once the main engine fails, do you know what would happen to the vessel?

If you have heard of the incident regarding the livestock carrier, it capsized because of an engine failure. There was a power failure in the main engine, and if you don't have the power, you are basically at the mercy of the sea. It was tossed by the sea until such time it capsized. In the same way, we need the power that comes from the Lord.

"Remember the Lord you God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath."(Deuteronomy 8:18)

It is God who will make us successful. It does not necessarily mean financially successful. But rest assured, God will give us the power to be successful in the things we do.

6. Purpose

"I cry out to God most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me." (Psalms 57:2)

God has a purpose for us. The enemies also have a purpose. If the purpose of the Lord for you is for the good, the purpose of the enemy is for the worst. Their purpose is always contradictory to one another.

"Now when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed." (Acts 13:36)

Does it sound great that before you died, you have fulfilled the purpose of the Lord for your life? In my earlier example, if the power is your propulsion, then purpose is the direction. What good is it that you have a propulsion yet you do not have a steering, you do not have the direction in your life. Even if your power keeps you moving, but if you do not have a purpose, you do not have a direction. Power and purpose comes together.

7. Pardon

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Of all the good things that I may have shown you, this is the most important: PARDON. The Gospel of Christ is that he came here on earth because we are sinners, because we need a savior that will save us from our sins and because of His shedding of blood, we were forgiven. We were pardoned. The wrath of God that was meant for us was cancelled, through the blood of Jesus Christ. He was the ultimate sacrifice - pardon for our sins.

It is important that though the first 6 points were all the good we could have, as Christians, we don't only receive Jesus Christ because we could be blessed. The very reason is because we need forgiveness.

This is not a prosperity Gospel!

We don't only live a life with good things. There are still failures, problems and trials. There is even discipline. God disciplines His children.

"Endure hardships as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined - and everyone goes under discipline - then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all." (Hebrews 4:7-8)

God does not always give us what we want. Sometimes, what we want is not good for us. We are being disciplined especially when we disobey God. That is how God loves us and that's how much God loves us. God's discipline is both painful and refreshing.

So if God's will is good for us, then why are there so many sufferings around us?

Side story:

There was a time when a customer and a barber were talking about some stuff. During the course of their conversation, the barber told his customer that he does not believe in God, "I don't believe in God. If he is real, then why is there so much suffering and there are a lot of poor? Sickness?" Then the customer answered him, "For me, I don't believe in barbers." The barber answered, confused, "Why not? I'm right here. I'm even cutting your hair." The customer then answered, "Because if there is a barber, there wouldn't be anyone with untrimmed hair."

The point is, if we do not go to the barber, we will not get our hair trimmed. Let us not always blame God for everything that is happening to us. The reason why we are experiencing the bed stuff is because we do not come to the Lord. Let us come to the Lord so that we don't miss out the buffet for us.

Take away:

1. You are missing a lot of things if you have not accepted Jesus yet and have not decided to have a personal relationship with Him.

2. If you already did, but you feel that you don't experience these things, pause and reflect, maybe... there is still disobedience and sin that we have yet to surrender to Him.

If we do not receive the Lord as our Savior, non-believers will see our lives and say, "How come I am living my life better than this person who claims to be a Christian?" As Christians, we should show that our lives are better because we have Christ in us.

Photo by: Jaime Legaspino