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Habilin: A Father’s Legacy

By Pastor Alex Ruelo

1 Timothy 1:15-17 says, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.” Father’s have a responsibility to their children because you will not be here forever. The goal is to leave a lasting legacy to them. What are we supposed to leave to them, as mention in the verse about?

Jesus came to save sinners. This is something we should teach our children early on. Most especially your spiritual children. Jesus came to save the lost. His presence can be felt when a person is broken and lost. That is why the church is standing. It exists for you and me. It is good that everything is in order in church - the band is intact, the program flows freely, people are dressed well and all. But if no one is sharing the gospel and no one is being saved, then everything we are doing is useless. We are not doing what we are supposed to be doing. Even if everything is perfect, if no one is being saved, all is in vain. The focus of everything we do should be Jesus Christ. Know your priority.

You are loved at your worst. We are fathers as well as children, and we know that they will make mistakes as we ourselves make mistakes too. But look at how God showed His love. Paul said he was the worst of them all. But God still loved him. John 17:22-24 says, “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!” God loved us even before the world began. He already knows the sins you will commit tomorrow, next week and until your last breath. But He still loves you. He knows everything. But He loves you still. There is nothing that can separate you from His love.

You must focus on your eternity. You have to remind your children to focus on eternity; that there is a life after the one we live here on earth. Nothing bad ever comes from God. Jesus came to give life. It is the enemy who came to steal, kill and destroy. He will use even your worst behavior to give glory to His name. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 says, “stop We are in a war zone. We are fighting against the work of darkness. The enemy is constantly trying to destroy us, especially the leaders of the church. We are like soldiers who have to endure suffering to get the rewards thereafter.

How can we keep up with the work God wants us to do? 1 Timothy  4:6-9 says, “If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.” Keep listening and studying the word. We invite a lot of pastors and bishops to preach here at church. We also stream a lot of conferences. There are even daily devotion on different social media platforms. But beware - there are good teachings and bad teachings. You have to be diligent in studying the word. Make sure that it is really from the bible. Do you read your bible daily? If not, why? You are soldiers! How can you fight without your weapon? Stop wasting time and start working it out. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 says, “Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” Worship anywhere and everywhere. It does not matter. It is good that everything is in order. But these are useless. Godliness is more important than all of these. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 says, “This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.” So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.” This is not only for leaders. This is for all of us. It is a good reminder for everyone. Everybody strives to work out their own salvation. When you go to the gym, you already have muscles. You lift weights to make them come out. This is the same with our faith. You have to bring forth all the goodness that God has put in you by reading His word and doing good things. Everybody needs to be better. Hit two birds with one stone. 1 Timothy 4:8 says, “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” You make heaven here on earth while practicing how to live in eternity.  When you practice your faith, you hit two birds with one stone.

In heaven, there are rewards. There are five crowns that will be given to believers.

  1. The victors crown - 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 says, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” When you discipline yourself in the faith, you get the victor’s crown.

  2. The crown of righteousness - 2 Timothy 4:8 says, “And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” For those who eagerly await for the return of Jesus Christ.

  3. The crown of life - James 1:12 says, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” For people who have patiently endured trials.

  4. The crown of glory - 1 Peter 5:2-4 says, “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t Lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.” For those who watch over the flock of Christ for God.

  5. The crown of rejoicing - 1 Thessalonians 2:19 says, “After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you!” For all who put their faith in Jesus Christ

There are all kinds of people in the world. Good people. Bad people. Ordinary people like you and me. Nobody is perfect. But everyone can be used by God. Even bad parents can produce good children. You can be used by God to accomplish His plan to make a difference in the world. Be ready. It might just be you.

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