Greetings from the Board Chairperson Areli Esteban Dear family in Christ, It is with great joy that I greet you and congratulate you in the celebration of our 87th Anniversary. Our Filipino Disciples Christian Church has been blessed with one more year of victory. We rejoice in the Lord for being so faithful to us. For making us stronger this year besides all the challenges that not only us, the people of God, but everyone around the world have been facing. Our Anniversary this year encourages us to look closely to ourselves and reflect on our legacy. We look back at the past years of service to the Lord and commitment to the Word of God. Not only that, we now look to the future and the promised grace, mercy and favor for those who obediently trust and love the Lord. Our Church Anniversary theme for this yea r is focus on our Vision, Compassion, Prayer and Action. Our vision is for a great future. We are faithfully working hard in many ways. Making sure that the Word of God is preached to all. We welcome everyone that is willing to hear the Gospel and is also willing to be changed by God. Our vision may seem slowly coming; but we patiently wait for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3 . We are a Church of Compassion: As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13. We are a Church of Prayer: As the bible encourages us to pray in the spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18. We are proud to be a Church of Action. Knowing that whatever we do we do it with all our heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since we know that we will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. Colossians 3:23-24. I truly appreciate everyone’s support to our ministry, and invite you to our online service celebration for this special occasion. God bless you all! Areli Esteban
VISION. COMPASSION. PRAYER & ACTION
Greetings in the most precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
We praise God for another year that God has blessed our Church – 87 years!
This year is certainly the most interesting and challenging year not only for us but for all churches around the world because of the pandemic, the covid-19. The year 2020 has been a very challenging year from natural disasters, financial crisis, economic hardships in many countries around the world, racial injustice, accidents involving prominent personalities and of course, the covid-19. To the point of shutting down large gatherings like concerts, sports events and religious assemblies. This has heavily affected our local assembly indeed. But the year 2020 will not be the end of our Vision and Mission as a Church. We will not stop and we will not be moved. (2 Chronicles 15:7; 1 Corinthians 15:58) We will, by the grace of God abide in the Word of God and will stand united as part of the Body of Christ.
This year’s anniversary theme is Vision, Compassion, Prayer and Action based on Matthew 9:37-38. We may be challenged with difficult times, but we are serving a living God Who will remain faithful.
OUR VISION WITH A HEART OF COMPASSION TO BRING SOULS TO CHRIST
Believe that it is needful as well as justifiable that you should feel compassion for the souls of men. You all desire to glorify Christ by becoming soul-winners. – Charles H. Spurgeon
The Bible tells us in the book of Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish..." Many Christians will never win a soul to the Lord Jesus. Sadly, even during this time of pandemic and this is very regrettable. Sometimes the reason is a lack of vision and desire or a heart of compassion to win souls. Sometimes it is a lack of knowledge on how to win souls. Lack of discipleship. Lack of commitment, devotion and dedication to the Lord. A vision and compassion to win souls is the first prerequisite.
The sinful world is heading for a cliff of destruction. Soon they will fall over the cliff of peril for which they are heading. Do we build fences about that cliff to stop them? Or do we put up signs of warning to alert them to the danger? Or do we physically run up to them and plead for them to turn around? Or do we mind our own concerns and allow them to perish? How many people have perished because of the covid-19 and other disasters that challenged this year so far? How many have died without the Lord Jesus in their hearts to be saved.
First things first beloved, we need to be prayerful about this vision as Jesus told His disciples:
Matthew 9:37-38, "The harvest is truly plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore that the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest."
The disciples began to pray, and that prayer awakened a love, a vision and compassion for the lost souls. They prayed for laborers to be sent from God, and God called them to be those laborers. Yet, first they had to obey a command to pray.
Remember James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much..."
Secondly, following the vision and prayer for souls and for the laborers, will come compassion. Arising within us is the Holy Spirit of God who will put a deep compassion or concern for the salvation of souls. This is the "vision" that must come in order to get us to keep souls from perishing in hell-fire. Jude 21, “save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” (NIV)
Without this compassion, we will not prevent sinners from sin's penalty. (Romans 3:23; 5:8, 12; 6:23)
Compassion for the salvation of souls means bearing a burden. If you are truly compassionate, your priorities will change so that you will be prepared for the price that must be paid to win souls. You will be ready to deny yourself, bear the cross and follow Christ Jesus to whatever price must be paid. You will not allow your vision to dim and die towards the future.
OUR PRAYER LEADS TO COMPASSIONATE ACTION
Prayer and action can never be seen as contradictory or mutually exclusive. Prayer without action grows into powerlessness and action without prayer degenerates into questionable manipulation. If prayer leads us into deeper unity with the compassionate Christ, it will always give rise to concrete acts of service. And if concrete acts of service lead us to a deeper solidarity with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the dying, and the oppressed, they will always truly give rise to prayer.
Action with and for those who suffer is the concrete expression of a compassionate life and the final criterion of being a Christian. Jesus Christ, who did not cling to his divinity, but became as we are, (Philippians 2:5-11) can be found where there are hungry, thirsty, alienated, naked, sick, and imprisoned and oppressed. Precisely when we live in an ongoing conversation or a prayerful life with the Lord Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, we will recognize Christ in the poor, the oppressed, and the downtrodden and will hear his cry and respond to it wherever he is revealed.
As the seasoned preacher, Pastor Tommy Barnett always say, “We may be the only Jesus people need to see.” And yes, he is absolutely right! Even though we are challenged with difficult times these days, we should never lose our VISION towards the future of our ministry. We must ask the Lord to grant us a heart of COMPASSION that will bring people to the saving knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must always PRAY to God to send forth laborers into the field, shepherds after God’s own heart. (Jeremiah 3:15) and always be ready to take ACTION to obey the Great Commission; each one brings one to Christ.
Again, in behalf of the Filipino Disciple Christian Church, I thank you for your prayers and steadfast love for the work of the Lord in our ministry for the last 87 years. Having all said, beloved, we bring back all the glory to the Lord Jesus Christ! (2 Peter 3:18)
Your Co-laborers in the Lord,
Pastor Jeffrey Ilagan and Sister Bethany Ilagan
JEFFREY V. ILAGAN
Filipino Disciples Christian Church (DOC)
Smart Roaming: (+63921) 793-6118
US Cellphone (310) 951-9656
Email address: jeffLA2005@yahoo.com
"Faithful is He that calls you, who also will do it. "
(1 Thessalonians 5:24)