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Open Your Hearts To The Work Of The Savior

CFC (Couples For Christ) has grown to be a mighty work of the Holy Spirit. We have a committed membership of over one million adults, spread out over 78 countries. Through the work of our Special Ministries, we are becoming involved in every sector in society. And the forward momentum of growth remains strong. As we look back, we rightly can be content with our response to the workings of the Holy Spirit. Or can we? Have we done enough? Did God intend for us to do more? Are we moving in accordance with God's will for CFC? At the start of the decade of the 1990s, we received the call to rapid, massive and global evangelization. This involved a doubling of our membership from year to year, due to our emphasis on person-to-person evangelization. But after the enthusiastic response for the first half of that decade, we began to see our growth rate slowing down. In an alarming way! After doubling for a few years, the decline started in 2005, with a growth rate of 78%. Then 52% in 2008, 37% in 2010, 16% in 2012. Fortunately the growth rate picked up in 2014, at 23%. We can only hope that the upward trend would be sustained in the future.

Why are we no longer doubling? Is it because we are already building on a much bigger base? Not so, because the bigger we are the more evangelizers we have, and our growth should be based on person-to-person evangelization. And there is no lack of persons to be evangelized. In the Philippines we are only a little over 1% of the population.

But should we not be content with the immense work CFC is doing? Well, it is only immense in relation to other ministries or groups that are not so large. But consider this: CFC has 216 fulltime staff, while Campus Crusade for Christ has 20,514. We have 5 missionary couples, and others who go on short-term mission, while the Mormons have 60,000 missionaries, and Hare Krisna has 8,000.

The whole worldwide CFC family probably will spend over $3 million for its mission this year, while the Mormons spend $770 million a year.

What's the point? We may be smug in thinking we're big. But in the grand scheme of things, considering the forces (Christian and non-Christian) arrayed in the spiritual war, we are a very small army. But God did not intend this to be the case. God intends for us to do much more. We need then to expand our vision, if we are to become the people God intends us to become. Our vision needs to be worthy of the mighty God whom we serve. Can we be so bold as to look to having fulltime pastoral workers in the thousands and missionaries in the hundreds?

As we look at the large picture, we also should not neglect the basics. Our members are not all evangelizing. What good is a soldier who is not at the forefront of the war? Many members continue to have other priorities and are less than faithful to their covenant. What good is a servant who does not follow the Master? Our members on the average are only giving a pittance of their money for the cause, compared to the tithe (10%) that they ought to give, as a minimum! What good is a steward who does not use his Master's goods according to His will? What a pity! What a shame!

The call to CFC was clear, to do rapid, massive and global evangelization. That continues to be the call to us today. We are being sent to bring glad tidings to the poor. This has to do with the social dimension of the gospel, the work for total human liberation. So now our work has to do with the fullness of the gospel. This is what our call to mission is all about.

If God calls us, then He will provide. We need never fear. In fact, we have experienced His faithfulness in all these years. But we are called to do more, much more. What Jesus says about the faithful and prudent steward ought to be sobering for us, “That servant who knew his masters will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his masters will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. ” (Luke 12:47-48).

Ignorance of God's call is no excuse. But worse is disobedience to God's will. For us as CFC, we know what is God's will. Dare we not respond? Much has been given to us, so much is demanded. This is our burden, but more importantly, this is our privilege.

Let us truly begin to experience liberation. Not just liberation from sin, but from our selfishness, our lack of concern for others, our inward focus, our desire for comfort and material pleasures, our disunity. Let us allow the Lord to form us into His holy people, and into a truly mighty and effective army, worthy to be led by Him. Jesus the King calls us, intends to lead us, and will empower us by His Spirit. As it grows into manhood, CFC can do so much more.

“Finally, brothers, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God - and as you are conducting yourselves - you do so even more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. ” (1 Thes 4:1-2).

Enough has been said about the life and mission of CFC. Full instructions have been given. Now it is up to you to respond. Now is the time to do even more. I beg you, my brothers and sisters, open your hearts to the work of the Savior - in your own life, in your family, and in the world.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

The allocated length of time for praying over for the baptism in the Holy Spirit is more or less one hour. It should not take too much longer than this. It is not a prayer for all the concerns of CLP (Christian Life Program) participants. Rather, it is simply a prayer for the renewed infilling of the Spirit. This need not take long.

Thus those who pray over must be conscious of the amount of time they have for their group. For example, if there are six persons in the group, then the average praying over time is 10 minutes, including time gaps in between. Those who have fewer persons to pray for can afford to spend more time per person.

The participants can become very restless if the praying over session is too long. Slow worship songs should be sung during the whole time, to maintain a solemn atmosphere. After an hour, and after giving some allowance for those still praying over, the speaker should move into the concluding remarks, even while there are still others being prayed over.

God bless you all.

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