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CATCHFIRE EXHORTS: ‘BE FEARLESS!’
Thursday, January 11, 2018

Every year, members of the Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon Community (ALNP), Couples for Christ (CFC),Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) and Familia gather during Christthe King Sunday to celebrate the Lordship of Jesus, the King of Kings through Catchfire, a prayer rally featuring rousing worship and powerful testimonies. The theme for this year was Fearless, gleaned from Matthew 14:27: 'Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.' His Excellency The Most Reverend Honesto Ongtioco, Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao, was the main Mass celebrant, with His Excellency The Most Reverend Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of the Diocese of Kalookan concelebrating. In his homily, Bishop David, seeing the many members of the four Catholic prayer communities gathered, quoted Psalm 133—"How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!" The prelate challenged the congrega- tion to proclaim fearlessly only one kind of Kingship, the kingship of the One who reigns with humility and willingness to serve, Jesus Christ, the King of Heaven and Earth, King of the Universe.


After the Mass, main preacher Bobby Quitain, full time evangelist-preacher of Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon, reminded the 10,000-strong crowd who attended the prayer rally that only God can turn fear into great faith, and that there are four important points to take to heart:Listen to God's voice Quitain shared, “I used to be a basketball player, at naalala ko po, when I was in grade school, my father would always be in the crowd. And he would be shouting the loudest. Sa dinami dami ng boses sa gym na naririnig ko, I have a choice whose voice I would listen to.” He continued, “In the same way, every time I pray, I choose to listen to the voice of Somebody who loves me.”


He noted that followers of Christhave a choice who to listen to, what tolisten to. One can either listen to thebad news or the Good News, to listen tothe voice of hope rather than the voiceof despair, the voice of victory ratherthan the voice of defeat, the voice ofGod rather than the voice of the world.Quitain exhorted, “Sasabihin sa iyong mundo, ‘You can do it!’, but Philippians 4:13 says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’The world will tell you, ‘Your life has no direction, you’re not getting anywhere!’Why don’t you listen to Jeremiah 29:11 which says, ‘For I know the plans I have..for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans togive you hope and a future.’”


“The world will tell you that you are nothing, that you have no value andyou have no worth! Why don’t youread Psalm 139:14 which says thatyou are fearfully and wonderfully made? You don’t have a choice as to what you will hear, but every day you have a choice as to what you wouldlisten to.”


Obey

The central message of Quitain’s second point was “It is in obeying Godthat miracles happen in our lives.” What does it mean to obey God? Forothers it could simply mean livinga life that honors God, or following God’s commandment.“When we choose to honor God, we must prepare ourselves for miracles!”Quitain quipped. “It was when Peter stepped out of the boat that he saw themiracle.” He added that for others, it could simply be a choice between a bad thing and a good thing.He challenged, “How about choosing between two good things and obeying which thing God wants you to do?”

 

Venture beyond your comfort zone

What does it mean to go beyond one’s comfort zone? What was Peter’s comfort zone? According to Quitain, it was the boat. Peter was a fisherman;he was safe in the boat because in the boat, he was in control. “But brothers and sisters, when Jesus asked himto step out of the boat, and when he stepped out of the boat, Peter was no longer in control, Jesus was!” Quitain pointed out.He added, “Maybe some of you here have beenfollowing God, no big problems, no suicidal tendencies,not into drugs, your life is okay, and yet you’re still in the boat. You’re not a bad person, but you’re also not excellent in following God. You are not committing a terrible sin, but you’re also not doing something great for your great God. Can I challenge you today—those people who are still not giving full control of their lives to God—to step out of the boat and give full control of your life to Jesus? Why are you holding back? Step out of the boat and God will let you walk on water, where you are no longer in control, but He is,” Quitain dared the congregation.


Expect God's saving and sustained grace “When you listen to God, when you obey God, and when you venture beyond your comfort zone, don’t expect a smooth sailing. Expect challenges and difficulties,” Quitain emphasized. He added, “If someone tells you that following Jesus is easy, he must be following the wrong Jesus. Because in following Jesus, you will experience difficultyand you will sink in the midst of temptations, you will sink in the midst of pain, you will sink in the midst of challenges.”


Marc Alejo of Lingkod ng Panginoon, Rene Medrocillo of BCBP, Michael Lobrigo of CFC, and Roel and Chonette Villa of ALNP, also shared their personal testimonies of being “fearless” because of God’s transforming love, hope and divine providence.


The gathering ended with praise and worship ledby Quitain, who encouraged everyone to be fearless in following God and to never doubt His unfailing love. He led the congregation in a concluding prayer: “Dear God, thank You for loving me. Because Your love casts out my fears, I want to step outof the boat and surrender my whole life to you today. For I know that You have great plans formy life and I will not waste my life for anything less than the best. I give my life to You. I give my life to You again, and I give my life to You until my very last breath. Jesus, be King of my life.” (Andrelene Veloso)





 

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