October 29, 2010
|Genesis, with her father Pastor Teddy Tarlit of Gospel of Christ Fellowship (Binalonan)|
Gen, this message is specifically written for you on your 18 birthday but I hope my other nieces, or any other Christian girl who was raised in a Christian home will find it beneficial too.
I want to start by rewinding time to the point when we were the youth of Gospel of Christ Fellowship.
When the Internet first became available in San Carlos City, rentals cost fifty pesos an hour. Very expensive for such a slow connection. For that reason, the medium I hold dear is the radio. The radio set was a precious possession for three main reasons:
i. with it, I was updated with the latest news and current events
ii. with it, I was fed with the Word of God. Through the radio, I was acquainted with great preachers like Charles Swindoll and John Macarthur.
iii. With it, I enjoyed listening to Christian Contemporary Music (CCM). I rarely missed Eric Maliwat's program 4-2-6.
When we were the youth of GCF, we were fans of CCM artists such as DC Talk, Jars of Clay, Rebecca St. James, Petra, Jaci Velasquez, etc. One of the things we longed for is the chance of being a part of the delegation to visit Asia-Pacific Theological Seminary in Baguio City where instructional materials were given for free. Included in the freebies are posters and cassette tapes of CCM.
Now that the Internet is so much cheaper and faster, we have subscribed for an unlimited access (atsaka matagal na ring nag-retiro yung aking radyo). Naturally, I use Google to search for my interests. My interest for news and current events have dwindled down. I am still fervent about sound biblical teaching. On CCM, we'll I'm no longer as passionate as before but I'm still a fan. So I used Google to search for these artists and my search yielded some great results like legal mp3's from Apologetix, a Christian parody band.
One day, I remembered this issue of Encounter Magazine. I checked the name of the pretty girl on its cover and it was "Katy Hudson". So I typed that name on Google's search field. Strangely, Google cannot give me results for "Katy Hudson". More strangely, Google kept on directing me to a girl named "Katy Perry". I found out later that Katy Hudson changed her name to Katy Perry.
When I searched for her and found her, she was about to release the album "One of the Boys". A few months later, she's a superstar, topping the charts with the "I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It", a song promoting lesbianism.
The supposed to be role model for the Christian youth is now very far from her roots. She used to sing that even if you throw her in a lake or throw her in prison or throw her in a lion's den, her "Faith Won't Fail”.
Now, she's #1 on a men's magazines Hot 100 list, she opposed Proposition 8 (which defined Marriage as a union between a man and a woman) and was reported to have said she would rather die than be celibate for a year.
I am not doing this out of hatred for Katy. I would be very happy if the prodigal daughter returns home. I am raising her case on your 18th birthday because Katy Perry is just a representative of what is happening in general to young men and women in America who were raised in Christian homes. When they reach the age of independence, they leave home and soon abandon the faith of their parents.
Gen, at 18 you are still dependent on your parents for you food and education, but time will come when you have to leave home and raise your own family. You will soon leave the home where you received Christian instruction from your parents.
Gone are the days when kids inherit the vocation of their parents. It used to be that when the father is a furniture maker, the son will also be a furniture maker. When the father is a fisherman, the son will also be a fisherman. Girls too will more likely inherit the trade of their parents and marry men within their community. Gone are those days. The trend is, upon finishing college education they go where the job is. If the job is in Pampanga, youngsters will go there. If the job is in Manila, youngsters will go there. If the job is in the Middle East, youngsters will fly to the Middle East.
Gen, I hope that you will find job close to home, but who knows where you will work tomorrow?
And who knows to whom will you fall in love? Perhaps you will marry someone who will take you to Cagayan or to Cebu or to Sabah or to Ethiopia. No one knows for sure.
What that means is that you have to strengthen your faith now. You have to prepare for the time when you will be away from you parents and your church. The world is waiting for you. I have some practical lessons for you to this end:
1. Listen to the Christian teaching from your parents, keep it and treasure it.
Proverbs 1:8 says "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
Of course your parents must do their part. And I assume they have been doing that for you for the past 18 years. Deuteronomy 6 says parents must instruct their children in every situation: While sitting at home; while walking in the road; when you lie down and when you get up. That is their duty-- yours is to listen and treasure what they have imparted to you from infancy up to now.
2. Consider the weight of your responsibility in passing the faith of your parents to your own children.
Gen, someday you will marry (hopefully). Deut. 6:2 says that the goal of parents in instructing their kids is "so that you, your children, and their children after them may fear the Lord"
"YOU"- Teddy and Imelda
"YOUR CHILDREN"- Genesis, Micah, and Blessie
"THEIR CHILDREN AFTER THEM"- the grandsons and granddaughters of Teddy and Imelda
THAT THEY MAY ALL FEAR THE LORD.God's design is an unbroken chain of passing the faith from generation to generation.
In the Rosario clan, you are only a 2nd generation born again Christian. Ate Cynthia, Imelda, and Virgie received the Lord while they were in College. It will be a tragedy if the chain will be broken in the 2nd link.
3. Choose your friends well.
Be with those who love the Lord. I'm not saying you must avoid unbelievers-- you would have to go out of the world to do that (1 Cor. 5:10). What I'm saying is that in the most intimate relationships, be with those who are passionately in love with the Lord.
1 Cor. 15:33 says "Bad company ruins good morals"
Proverbs 13:20 "He who walks with the wise grows with the wise"
Never forget also that your closest friend in the future will be your husband. So choose a guy who is very much in love with the Lord.
4. Remember that God is worthy of fear
Proverbs 1:7 says "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom..."
In some sections of Christianity, there is an overemphasis on God's love. Of course it is good to teach about the love of God. But some people do so at the expense of his other attributes like justice and holiness.
Earlier you father quoted Ecc. 12:1 says "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth..." for time will come when your arms and legs will grow weak and your sight becomes dim and your hearing becomes dull. Even super athletes like Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali must retire. Verse 14 of the same chapter says God will bring every deed into judgment.
Keep in mind that God is a threat to those who don't love him. “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31)
I don't want to end my message with a threat, so here's the final point.
5. Remember that there is no happiness equal to the pleasures God offers
Psalm 16:11 says “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at you right hand.”
True and lasting joy is found only in fellowship with God. Where else should you go?
by Paul David Tripp