Skip to content

God Makes Perfect

(A devotional message delivered at the start of the Seminar on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) sponsored by the CPU ISO Office last September 14, 2005 at the 4th Floor, Dr. Alfonso Uy Student Union Bldg., CPU.)

Why conduct a seminar on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)? Is there such a thing as bad or poor manufacturing practice? Isn’t the concept of what is good relative? What may be considered as a good practice in the Philippines may still be short of the US, or Japanese, or European standard. Is there ever an absolute standard of what is good? What is “good”?
Serving its purpose well, having desired qualities, morally excellent, virtuous, well behaved, dutiful, kind, agreeable, pleasant, beneficial, sound, full, efficient, competent, reliable, and that which is morally right are just some of how Mr. Webster defines “good.”
In the creation account in the Bible, in Genesis chapter 1 verses 9 & 10, it says, “And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let the dry ground appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry ground ‘land,’ and the gathered waters he called ‘seas.’ And God saw that it was good. The account goes on in similar fashion for the rest of the six creation days, each day being concluded with the declaration “And God saw that it was good.” Until finally in verse 31, after God had created man in his own image, it says, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” God surely observed Good Manufacturing Practice. God made perfect (GMP☺) His creation.
It is interesting to note in the creation account that when God created everything except man, he simply uttered a command and the creation appeared or simply came out of nothing. Not so with man. “The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7). This simply shows how special man is to God. Not only did God take the effort to form man from dust, He also formed man in His own image. He created man with capabilities similar to His. He created man with intellect and will. And most of all, God created a “good” man, a perfect man and put him in charge of the rest of His creation. And this I would like to call “God-Man Partnership (GMP).” God established the rules of the partnership and gave man the instructions together with the benefits that go with observing the same. In a sense, God gave man a GMP manual—a “Good Manufacturing Practice” manual.
The partnership however did not last long. It was “dissolved” or was broken when man willfully disobeyed God; when man failed to observe the standards of the God-Man Partnership. And so, as the cliché goes, “the rest is history.” And throughout that history, man tried to restore the broken partnership by his own means, by his own standards. Man tried time and again to make his own “GMP manual.” But all of man’s efforts and strategies fell short of the GMP standard, the God-Man Partnership standard. This brings to mind a very good illustration of how “short” man’s bests are compared to God’s standards. A group of scientists once challenged God that because of the great advances in research and technology, man can now do everything that God can do and therefore has no more need of God. God, ever patient with man, said, “Okay, let me see you make another man the way I did it.” The scientists, confident of their knowledge and experience in cloning started to gather dirt which they would use as one of the ingredients to clone a man. But God stopped them right there and said, “Ah, ah, you have to also make your own dirt!” Man can make many things out of something but creating, making something out of nothing is what man cannot do. Only God can do that.
God again took the initiative to restore the broken partnership. He sent His very own Son to restore the partnership, to restore the relationship between God and man. And it was only His Son who can fully meet the requirements of the GMP standard. So, through His Son, God put in place a strategy, a way or restoring the “good” in man, a way of slowly remolding man towards that original state of perfection— a God Makes Perfect (GMP) strategy.
And so, even as you immerse yourselves into the GMP standards of this world today, remember that the greatest manufacturer of all, the Creator Himself, has set an absolute GMP by which all of us will be measured against. Let us not forget to also strive towards that perfection by adopting the God Makes Perfect strategy through His Only Son Jesus Christ. Let me leave you with this verse, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men (Col. 3:23).” God bless us all.

Advertisements

The “Have A Coke” Challenge

Two of the often quoted verses in the Bible in reference to giving are the following:

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.” (Malachi 3:10-11 NIV)

and

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:6-7 NIV)

The first set of verses is found in the Old Testament while the second set is found in the New Testament. The first set was written by the prophet Malachi while the second set was written by the apostle Paul. The first set is a command and a challenge spoken by God Himself. The second set is an admonition from the apostle Paul. Does this mean that the first set of verses having been spoken by God Himself carries more weight than the second set which were given only by the apostle Paul? I don’t think so.

The principle laid in the first set of verses is the giving of a specified amount (whole tithe) while the principle of giving prescribed in the second set of verses is that giving should be according to what one has decided in one’s heart as long as it is done with a cheerful heart and not reluctantly or out of compulsion. Now, which of the two principles should we follow in giving to the work of the Lord? Does the second principle, the cheerful giving of any amount one has decided in one’s heart to give, being from the New Testament, supersede the first principle which is the giving of a specified amount (whole tithe) which is from the Old Testament? I don’t think so.

It is sad that many times, the cheerful giving principle is used as a “justification” of the giving which is short of the whole tithe. We would oftentimes hear, “It is better to give an amount lesser than the tithe if it is done cheerfully than giving the whole tithe reluctantly and out of compulsion because God loves a cheerful giver.” It does sound right and good. But wait. What about His challenge to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse? Does it no longer apply to us? If we read the verse preceding the first set of verses, it says, “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.” (Malachi 3:8) Do we really think God would consider our giving cheerful if we give short of what He has required of us to give? Or, would we be genuinely cheerful in our giving if we know it is short of what God wants us to give? Would God be happy if He knows we are “shortchanging” Him? I don’t think so.

Another common justification of a “short giving” is by invoking the example of the poor widow’s mites. “God does not look at the amount but at our hearts when we give.” Again, it sounds right and good. But if we look closely at the example of the poor widow, we will see that although she gave just two mites, those were all that she had so they were more than those tithes. As our Senior Pastor, Dr. Nathaniel Fabula, quoted in one of his sermons, “God does not look at how much we put into the offering pouches, but at how much is left in our pockets.” This is the principle of the poor widow’s giving.

Combining both, the right principle in giving therefore is to decide in one’s heart to give at least the whole tithe cheerfully. “At least the whole tithe” means the whole tithe is just the minimum. Tithe or one tenth should be computed from the gross income, or from all that God has blessed one with, not from net after deducting all the expenses. And, we should also bear in mind always that we give not because God needs our giving (God owns everything, remember?) but because God wants to bless us with more as we give.

With these, may we all be challenged to give our tithes and offerings cheerfully, not out of the abundance of our pockets for such could ran empty, but out of the abundance of love for God in our hearts. For with such kind of giving, “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Cor. 9:11 NIV). “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.” (Malachi 3:12 NIV).

Now, as to the title, “The ‘Have A Coke’ Challenge,” I am sure many, if not all of you would have asked, “What is the relevance of the title? It seems so far off!” Yes, you are right. It has no relevance at all. But why such a title? Well, as I was lying in bed contemplating on what to write about for the “Church Alive” publication regarding giving, the verse “Bring in the whole tithes into the storehouse…” came to mind and the first thing that came to my mind where it is found in the Bible was Habakkuk 3:10. So, I thought a catchy title would be “The ‘Have A Coke’ (Habakkuk) Challenge,” only to find out later that the verse is in Malachi. But the title sounds catchy so I used it anyway.

Have a cheerful heart everyone!

Cheerfully yours,
Jeriel Militar

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my corner.  I am a startup and, frankly, I have nothing organized in my mind yet to write about so this is just to fill in and have my first blog post. I do have a lot of things in my mind to write about. Signing up here is my way of forcing myself to start doing what I believe I should have been doing a long time ago– to express my ideas in writing and publish them.

I do hope I make good on this promise to myself. If I do, expect more blogs that are more organized and have something worthy to think about for my readers.