Talk 8

I just want to be with you. I want to greet you. I want to give a little exhortation.

What I want to share with you is something that’s really current.

Something that God has been speaking to my heart over the past few weeks and months.

It’s a quote from American author James Clear. He wrote a book titled Atomic Habits and this kind of popped up…. You know, sometimes, there are some quotes that kind of, like, “Whoa, where did that come from?” You were in the right place…

And it spoke to my heart… This is the quote:

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your system.” Now, “Bro. Bo, that seems highfalutin…”

Hey, it’s not. Here’s my question: Do you like the results that you are getting in your: Profession? Career? Relationships? Family? Marriage? Health?

Do you like the results you’re getting? If you like the results you are getting, you’ve got a good system going on. If you do not like the results that you’re getting in these different areas of your life, hey, don’t blame God. Don’t blame other people. Look at your systems…

“Bro. Bo, what system? “

Ah, we’ve been talking about it in Leviticus. What are the rituals in your life?

What are the habits, the routines, the ceremonies, the liturgy?

I’m not talking about the religious. I’m talking about the stuff that you do on a daily basis. Your mental habits. Your lifestyle.

The reason I have an amazing, fantastic relationship with this beautiful girl right here at the front row is we’ve developed over 25 years a system. We’ll be celebrating in July our 25th Wedding Anniversary. You’re all invited to our celebration… Oh, my gosh, what did I say? ☺

What Is Your System?

We’ve developed a system where every morning, this is what we are going to do: We’re going to spend time together. We’re going to kiss each other. We’ve developed a system: once a week we’re going to have a romantic date. We’ve developed a system: that if I hurt her, I ask for forgiveness 25,000 times.

Every morning, what’s your system? What do you do in the morning? You have, as system. And if you don’t like the results of your day, maybe you need to change your system.

May I share with you my system…

First thing I do in the morning, I drink water. I drink a lot of water. And then after that, I do my breathing and meditation—for few minutes—pray, connect

to God. And then I ride my bike. Then I arrive to wherever I want to go. And then I do my pushups. A simple system. And then I read my book. And then I plan.

Some people have another system: They wake up, then they get their phone.

That’s a system. And then they scroll. And after 35 minutes, they’re still scrolling.

That’s a system.

If you do not like the results you are getting, guess what: you’ve got to change your system.

I do not look at social media until after I prayed, exercised, did pushups, read my book, I planned…

You know what I’m saying? You’ve got to change your system. This Feast is a system—where every Sunday, you attend.

That’s a system. You make it regularly. You become faithful. Tithing is a system. Making God your first expense.

Having a Light Group. Having a Feast Light. Not only this big one but a small group of people where you share, where you pray…

All those are systems.

So, you do not rise to the level of your goals. I don’t care how many goals you have: “I’m going to be a better husband…” “I’m going to have more finances…”

The goals are okay. But you don’t rise to their level. You fall to the level

of your system. This is what God wants you to do. He wants you to be responsible and take charge of the systems in your life.

So, keep on listening to Leviticus. Keep on being blessed by Leviticus.

I’m going to call now this man who has inspired me so much and he has inspired you and he’ll continue to do so. Please welcome Dr. Ryan Capitulo.

DR. RYAN CAPITULO: Continue to give a clap offering to the Lord for the gift of Bro. Bo. Sanchez. Advance Happy Silver Anniversary, Sis. Marowe and Bro. Bo.

Good Morning, Feast Bay Area! All right!

Today, we are discussing the 8th Talk of the Closer Talk Series, and I will be preaching the message: Love Rules.

We are going to continue dissecting the Holiness Laws of Leviticus Chapters 18-20.

But mind you, God instituted all these laws for us to follow—not to stifle our freedom but to actually protect our joy.

Parents, we all live by rules, right? Parents, I’m sure you have rules: for when your children should study; for when they are allowed to surf the Internet– play video games, or watch Netflix.

I’m sure you have rules for those because you want them to learn their lessons, you want them to graduate and be a step farther towards achieving their goals.

Right, parents?

During the Pandemic, the Government instituted some rules: the minimum health standards, the minimum health protocols, to protect all of us, to prevent all of us from spreading the Coronavirus Disease (COVID).

It would be very difficult for us to live in a society with no rules, with no system, right? So, we need rules so that we won’t constantly live with chaos.

God’s Rules

And the Word of God, in the Bible, gives us rules, gives us commands, gives us systems that we should follow so that we will live a life that is pleasing to God.

Please extend your hands to the Word of God and let us glorify His Word by singing:

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet And a Light unto my path.

We shall read from Leviticus 19:1-2: The Lord also said to Moses, give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel: “You must be holy because I, the Lord, your God, am holy.”

Today, we are discussing these many Holiness Laws:

But I am telling you all of these laws, they want to teach us a very important lesson: that we should obey them so that we will know how to properly, how to correctly love and worship the Lord. Let us glorify His Word once more by singing:

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet And a Light unto my path.

These laws in Leviticus, they were revolutionary— they were controversial at that time.

Let’s discuss the Laws on Sabbath and you will see why… Leviticus 19:3 says:

“…you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest. I am the Lord, your God.” (19:3b NLT)

During those ancient times, there were no weekend rest days—people were working every day. So, when God instituted the Laws on Sabbath, and the Israelites started having a rest day, started having one whole day, every week, regularly, the other nationalities, they started looking at the Israelites as lazy people. They did not know that the Sabbath was very important to God. It was so important that God mentioned it eight times in the Torah.

Because God was teaching the Israelites then—and God is teaching us now— that we should rest in God’s embrace. Let’s be toxic, let’s work so hard for six days a week. But on Sunday—for us—it was Saturday for the Israelites—on the Sabbath, let us rest in God’s embrace, and let’s just surrender all of our trust, all of our faith, all our confidence in the Lord.

You know, I was really having a hard time serving here in The Feast every Sunday. Because I work Monday to Saturday, and my work is so toxic. You know I am an obstetrician-gynecologist. I wake up in the middle of the night to deliver babies. I work as a clinician—my private practice. I work as a government doctor. I work as a hospital administrator. I work as a medical educator. Just enumerating these, it seems I feel tired already.

So, to say that my schedule from Monday to Saturday is hectic and full—it’s an understatement. So, it’s really hard for me to serve on a Sunday. I used to serve in The Feast in SM Manila every Friday. So, I really rested on Sundays. But we had to close that Feast because of the Pandemic, and we are serving now on Sunday.

You know, in my prayer time, God talked to me in my heart, and He asked me this question: “Ryan, is serving in the Church rest or work?”

God’s voice sounded like He was angry: “Is serving in My Church rest or work?”

And then He made me realize in my heart that serving here in The Feast every Sunday, serving all of you, is actually rest for me.

Serving the Lord is actually serving in the bosom of the Almighty God. And there is nowhere else I’d rather be on a Sunday than here in The Feast with all of you.

Let’s now discuss the Laws on Society.

These Holiness Laws on Society, they want to teach us to share our blessings to others.

Leviticus 19: 9-10 says:

From the start of Scripture, we always read about the preferential love of God for the poor, for the marginalized, for the widows, for those who are neglected in society.

And here in The Feast we always teach you, strive and work hard, go ahead, be successful to achieve your dreams, earn some much, grow your wealth. Why?

Because we want all of you to be generous to others—to share your blessings. That’s what we want you to do. That’s why we encourage you to be successful.

Why? Are there failures here at The Feast? None. We are all successful. We are all winners and we want you to continue to win in life. Because we want you to be blessings to others.

During the Pandemic, I love what this favorite restaurant of mine did. I have a favorite restaurant in Quezon City. Instead of closing shop because of the Pandemic, instead of firing their employees, this restaurant focused on food delivery. And then they trained their waiters to be delivery riders. And they even provided motorcycles for their waiters. So that they will continue to have a salary, continue to earn even during the Pandemic.

That’s what God wants us to do.

Let’s clap to the Lord for that blessing of the restaurant.

Look at this picture. I’m sure you know her: Patricia Non. She started the Maginhawa Street Community Pantry. Because there were so many who were having difficulty putting food on the table during the Pandemic.

And what happened? This Community Pantry exploded, right? Inspired so many other Community Pantries all over the Philippines. The Community Pantry that Patricia started inspired all of us to be generous.

That’s what God wants us to do.

On June 8, 2021, The Feast Bay Area featured Patricia Non in the second part of its Better Together Series.

Titled NEW BAYANI-han: Celebrating Extraordinary Filipinos, the show was hosted by Coach Rezza Custodio-Soriano of the Pastoral Council of Feast Bay Area District’s Feast at Home, English Professional Life Coach, and Women’s Transformologist, and Coach JC Libiran, Inspirepreneur and Feast Builder.

See Everyone with Dignity

Here’s another Law on Society that God instituted in Leviticus 19:14-15:

This particular Love Rule, this particular Holiness Rule, is teaching us to see all people, to see everyone with dignity, with worth, with value.

This particular Holiness Law is telling us that the unborn child in the womb is a human being, is a person with dignity.

This Law is teaching us that the severely ill, the disabled, the elderly—they are human beings with dignity, with worth, and with value.

God is teaching us that the prisoners, the poor, the marginalized, the orphans, the widows—they are human beings like us with dignity, with value, with worth.

And because of these laws, we should be opposing abortion. We all should be opposing euthanasia, or assisted suicide for the terminally ill. We should be opposing the death penalty. Because even people who society consider as burden, even people who society consider as useless, they are human beings like us— with dignity, with worth, with value. Why?

Because all of us were created as the Imago Dei, with the image of God.

Among the Light of Jesus Mercy beneficiaries are, from left: Jeremiah Foundation sexually abused minors; Grace To Be Born’s unwed pregnant women, in crisis, prevented from resorting to abortion; and lolas at the Anawim Home for Abandoned Elderly, here being visited by our founder, Bro. Bo Sanchez —all to give them hope for a life of dignity.

Leviticus 18:21 says:

During the time of the Israelites, 3,000 years ago, the pagan Canaanites, they offered their children to their God Molech. They would throw their children—alive— into the fire of Molech just so they can receive abundance in their agricultural exploits and in their military services.

At right, an illustration from the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster.

So, God had to tell the Israelites, “Don’t do that.

Don’t sacrifice your children.

I’m sure you might think, how is this law applicable to us? We don’t kill our children just to succeed in life…

But sadly, there are many who are sacrificing relationships, who are sacrificing their loved ones, their friends, people close to them– just to get ahead in life.

Yes, there are so many doing that.

Father and businessman who hardly goes home, who always spends his time in the office. That person, that father has sacrificed his wife, has sacrificed his children for the sake of money.

The politician who set aside the truth and propagated fake news. That politician sacrificed the welfare of his constituents just to get elected, just to have power.

The aspiring actress or actor who would give sexual favors just to book a role in a movie or a television series. That particular actor or actress has sacrificed integrity just to be popular.

So, we are still doing it. We are still doing human sacrifice to this day. And Leviticus is telling us to stop. Stop sacrificing your relationships. Stop sacrificing the people you love just to get ahead to achieve your goal.

Leviticus 19:26, 31 says:

God is telling us to stop believing and practicing superstitions.

Many will tell you, “There’s no harm in doing that. Wala naming masama.— There’s nothing bad about it”

For God, you are defiling yourself when you practice superstitious beliefs.

In other parts of the Bible, God calls superstitions and all of these practices abominable. In Tagalog, kasuklam-suklam.

Question: Do you think “Wala namang masama” when you do something that is kasuklam-suklam?

Yes, there is something bad. Because these practices will make us impure. These practices are abominable to God.

So, please, let’s stop doing it. Instead, let us declare that only God is in control of our life.

So, let’s stop re-arranging our furniture for good luck.

Instead, let us re-arrange our priorities—so that we will experience the providence and abundance of God.

Let’s stop consulting fortunetellers. Especially the single people— stop consulting fortunetellers. Let’s pray to God– because God is the source of all good.

God is the source of all abundance.

Let’s stop wearing certain colors or charms for protection. Instead, let’s put on the armor of God.

My dear friends, in Leviticus 18 to 20, there are 49 Holiness Laws– but right smack in the middle of them is Leviticus 19:18:

So, all of these 49 rules, the core message, right smack in the middle, is Love your neighbor as yourself.

That’s why we call them Love Rules.

And Jesus, a Bible scholar, who knew His Torah very well, when He was asked what is the greatest of all commandments, He went straight to Leviticus 19:18— the middle of the Holiness Laws– and He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

And Jesus loves us, His neighbors. We know that Jesus practiced what He preached. So, on Christmas Day, Jesus became Man like us so that we would truly be His neighbor. So, He would experience what we experience. He would feel what we feel. And we became His true neighbor on that very first Christmas Night.

On Good Friday, Jesus became the greatest neighbor to that repentant thief— His neighbor while He was on the Cross. Because that thief repented of His sin, he was brought by Jesus to paradise on that very same day.

And on Easter Sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead, He enabled us,

He empowered us to also rise with Him so that we too would be His neighbor in Heaven.

Please remember, God instituted all these Holiness Laws as Love Rules – to enable us to be loved by Him. And also, to empower us to love others.

So, let’s not be afraid of these Holiness Laws. Let’s not be wary or stressed about all these Laws. Instead, let’s use these Love Rules to be closer to people— and to be closer to Jesus.

There was a time–19 years ago– I was living a life of no rules. I just allowed myself to be governed by anything and everything that gave me pleasure— lust, money, popularity, and power.

Earlier, Bro. Bo showed my Tiktok video. I’m no longer ruled by popularity, Bro. Bo—even as that video has 3.6 million views. Ha-ha.

Freedom To Serve

So, 19 years ago, God called me to an intimate, loving relationship with Him. And He convicted me. He gave me the grace to live my life according to His rules on chastity, according to His rules on sexual purity, simple living, service to the Church, and service to others.

And I’ve never been freer in my life– even if there are so many rules. I’m enjoying the freedom now to live according to God’s ways, to live a life which I hope is pleasing to Him. I’m doing my best.

I have the freedom now to serve Him, to serve others, and to love all of you as I love God.

Let us worship God…

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Oh, Heavenly Father, we have come here to worship You. And we ask You:

Lord, let Your Love rule us— so that we will rest on the Sabbath, fully trusting, fully having faith in Your providence.

Lord, let Your Love rule us—so that we will do our best to work hard, so that we will strive to be successful, to earn a lot, to grow our wealth, so that we will help those in need, so that we will be able to help those less fortunate.

Lord, let Your love rule us – so that we will not be governed, we will not be limited by our superstitious beliefs. Instead, place all our trust in You. Instead, allow You to be the King, to be the Sovereign, to be the One in control of our life.

Lord, let Your love rule us—so that we will learn how to treasure our relationships, the people we love. So that we will learn to treasure people instead of money, instead of popularity, instead of power.

Lord, we now know that You made all these rules because You want to express Your love for us. Because You want us to be loved by You. And because You want us to love others.

Lord, we know that You see us. We know that You see our heart.

We know that through Your Godly Eyes we are people of value, we are people deserving of Your compassion, deserving of Your mercy, deserving of Your forgiveness.

And so, Father, as Your children, we worship You and we give our all to You.

Published by THE FEAST (March 19, 2023)


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