Talk 8

BO SANCHEZ: So, I came from Indonesia, and we had an amazing, amazing presence there.

There are two Feasts in Indonesia. One is in English— half of the members are Filipinos and the other half are from various nationalities. And then there’s this other Feast where members are all Indonesians. And so, it was absolutely wonderful.

We had a Feast Conference there last week.3 And there were 2,000 participants— 100 percent Indonesians. It is just mind- blowing what God is doing there.

We invited one of our Feast builders there, who is Indonesian, to come and preach to us next week in our Feast Conference. You’re going to meet him. And he will be preaching in pure Bahasa Indonesia. But his wife will be there and she will be translating into English. So, it will be an experience for all of us.

Then, I went to Singapore. In Singapore, we have six Feasts, and beautiful, beautiful presence. I met the leaders— fantastic, dedicated people, amazing commitment. God is at work. Amen. He really is at work.

We had to cut short my trip to Singapore. I’ll tell you the story…

Condolence—or Congratulations?

I was still working in Singapore. I was giving an online talk— my son Bene and I were doing a podcast for our Feast builders.

So, I was in a hotel room in Singapore, with my wife Marowe — who was monitoring her father. Because in the morning — Daddy Ruben, we call him, 84 years old— was complaining of chest pain. He had difficulty breathing.

So, he said, “Please rush me to the ER.”

And his wife, Mommy Linda, bought him to a hospital.

And then the doctor said, angioplasty right away.

As Bene and I were doing the podcast,

I saw my wife weeping, sobbing— and I knew there was something wrong.

At 4:00 p.m., in the middle of the angioplasty, Daddy Ruben died. All of 84 years— he led a beautiful life.

Let me share with you what Fr. Willie Ramos (who presided over Mass during wake for Daddy Ruben) was sharing with us yesterday. It was so good, I need to share it with you.

He had a theology professor. The professor told him, he didn’t like to word condolence. You know, when someone passes away, he does not want to say “Condolence.”

He wants to say, “Congratulations.”

It’s kind of off. Like, yeah, right, you know.

But he explained: “Congratulations! Daddy Ruben has graduated from all the suffering, all the tears.”

And he’s correct, right? So, kailan mo sasabihin yung condolence?— When should you be saying Condolence?

Kapag sa kasal— Wedding. Because when you get married, you die to yourself. But then that’s what I realized as I was hugging my wife the first time she found out that her father passed away. Until now, she would cry and I would hug her. But at the same time, as I hug her, as I speak to her, what really comforts us is that, yes,

“Congratulations, he is with the Lord.”

And this is not the end. This is the beginning. You know, we’re going to see him again. The connection between him and us is even more real, more palpable— in the sense that the love is perfected and that he will continue to pray for us.

But thank you so much for all your congratulations, condolences.

A Business Lesson

Anyway, I need to go into our message today… I’d like to talk about Talk 8.

But before I dive into Talk 8, may I give a business lesson? Is that okay?

Because in the Truly Rich Club we teach entrepreneurship.

One of the most common questions people ask me is this: “Bro. Bo, me and my friends, we’re going to get into a business. Are business partnerships okay?”

And then they’ll tell me the story of how three of their friends or five of their friends, or eight f their friends are chipping in money because of this wonderful business idea and then they’ll divide up the responsibilities, then it’s going to be fun…

Then they ask me, “Is it okay?”

The first thing I tell them is this: A business partnerships is like a marriage. Like. You don’t marry on the first date. No. You’re not crazy. You want to get to know the person. You want to have a courtship process. Very, very important. In the same way, when you are thinking about a business partnership you really have to get to know people.

Bad news. This is what I tell people when they ask me if business partnerships are okay.

The second thing I tell them is this: In the first year alone, 50% up to 80% of business partnerships fail. They fail!

That’s horrible. Why do they fail? Many reasons. But let me give you two of the common ones. No. 1: The partners have different values. No. 2: The partners do not trust each other. So, imagine your two business partners. One business partner says, “Yung mga empleyado ko, mga pawns lang ‘yan. Gamitan lang ‘yan.—

My employees are just pawns. You just use them. If you don’t need them, you get rid of them.”

The other business partner says, “No. My employees are my family.” Do you understand the conflict that will happen?

Synergy

When partners don’t have the same values, you’re going to have a business failure. And because the partners have different values, then they do not trust each other.

Today, in our message, I want to preach to you something that the Bible teaches. The Bible shouts from the rooftops on every single page:

God wants you to be His partner.

I want you to chew on that thought. It’s a staggering thought. Why would the almighty God— the owner of the universe, the creator of the heavens and of the earth, the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the saviour of mankind— why would He come up to you and say, “Can we be partners? Can we?”

My dear friends, there are business partnerships that work — and if they work, the business will fly to the moon. Why? Because of synergy. This phenomenon called synergy— where 1+1 is not equal to 2. One plus one can equal 3, 5, or 10, 10,000. And I want to believe and I believe this because we have this amazing Senior Partner. Our partnership with God can also work in that way.

How the Partnership Fails

Can you put your hand on your chest? I want to make this real for you.

Everybody say, “I’m God’s partner.”

This partnership will also fail — for two reasons:

No. 1: When we do not value what God values; No. 2: When we do not trust our Senior Partner. That’s when the partnership fails.

Now, let’s backtrack. Where are we in this story?

God invites the people of Israel up the fiery summit. And He says, “Come up.”

What do the people say? “No, thank You.”

Why didn’t they want to go to the fiery summit? They did not trust in God. Does God reject them? No. God woos them. God courts them.

God says, “I still want to have a partnership. Come on.”

What God Does

This is where the Ten Commandments come up. Let’s read:

My dear friends, we are very familiar with this. You’ve studied this in Religion. It is very different if you know the context in which this was given.

Why did God give this to Israel? How did He give it? When did he give it?

Where did He give it?

God’s Values

In the Hebrew Bible, the set of rules was not called

The Ten Commandments. It was called The Ten Words. They were the ten Words of the terms of the partnership that God wanted them to have. It was all about partnership. The reason we have such a thing as what we call

The Ten Commandments, which the Bible calls The Ten Words, is God wants to have a partnership with us.

Partnerships fail when partners have different values.

So, what God was saying was, “Here are my values. I’m revealing to you my heart. Can we be partners? These are my values.”

What are the values? Another way of looking at and defining The Ten Commandments or The Ten Words would be like this:

They are like the Bill of Rights.

Do you know what your rights are as a citizen? You have the right to vote. You have the right to free speech.

You have the right to a free trial.

The Ten Words are like the Bill of Rights with a huge difference. The Ten Words are not your rights.

They are the rights of your neighbor. They’re not your rights— they’re the rights of the person beside you.

Why? Because God values your neighbor. God values you and the person beside you equally. And so, loving God and loving your neighbor are just two sides of one coin. You want to love God? You’ve got to love your neighbor.

Because He values that neighbor,… And I’d like to put a comma here…

And I’m going to ask Didoy to continue preaching…

Basic Words

DIDOY LUBATON: Thank you, Bro. Bo. Powerful.

God loves your neighbor. And He loves you and me. We cannot help responding to that — by loving each other too.

The Ten Words spell out the rights of your neighbor, in the different areas— relationships, work, family, property.

Some are basic. For example:

Don’t murder. You cannot kill someone because that person is valuable.

That’s obvious.

But imagine if there is a community, a village where we can just freely kill one another. That is not in God’s heart.

There are other Commandments that are more subtle. For example, God says don’t bear false witness.

It’s not just about lying. It’s like, “How do I answer my wife when she says, “Mataba na ba ako? —Am I already fat? Do I look fat in this dress?”

Guys, one of the most dangerous questions in the world. You don’t have any answer to that.

What is bearing false witness? For example: There are two project leads: John and Patrick.

They are in a town hall meeting— the CEO, members of the management team are there.

John accuses Patrick, “Hey, you stole my ideas. I should have gotten the merit.”

Patrick says, “There’s no stealing at all. The idea is originally mine. You, you do not amount to anything. You cannot have ideas like that.”

That’s bearing false witness. The younger generation calls it gaslighting.

Psychological manipulation. These are under this Commandment.

Genesis Link

These Commandments are also based on the book of the Bible—Genesis. That’s why I was saying earlier that everything is connected. The ancient writers used Genesis as their lens, as they wrote the rest of the books of the Bible. You will see in Genesis that God revealed that He valued us, humans. He valued us very much. So, each of these Ten Words connects to what’s already in Genesis.

For example: Don’t steal.

God has already given us what we can manage— to steward. When we work, we own things. So, when someone steals from his neighbor, the thief prevents his neighbor to rule over what he owns. So, the thief is going against what God intended for us, humans.

For example: DON’T COMMIT ADULTERY. In Genesis, God already said, that husband and wife become one. And God values that oneness. Adultery tears that apart — does not honor that oneness. God says:

Genesis used the exact words when Eve desired the (forbidden) fruit of the tree. Remember this: We desire the wrong thing because we do not trust God that

He will satisfy our deepest needs.

One more very misunderstood Word. The Bible says:

What does it mean to misuse?

Some will say, “Oh, you do not say, OMG (Oh my God) or Susmaryosep (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph), or Juskopo (My God) or, Gee, d_ _ _n it.

Could there be meaning much deeper than that?

Carry His Name

In Hebrew, the literal translation of this verse, Exodus 20:7, is this:

Carry. It doesn’t sound right. Do you carry a name? If you continue reading the Exodus, you will understand.

Because after God gave the Ten Words, He also talked of the High Priest.

Here’s a picture of the High Priest:

When the High Priest performs his duties, he doesn’t wear just jeans, polo, sweater, sneakers. The High Priest wears an elaborate apron, with gold threads.

He wears precious stones in the middle of his chest— 12— actually to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. On his forehead, he wears a gold medallion—strapped on his turban and there are words there that say:

The High Priest carries God’s Name on his forehead on behalf of the tribes of Israel.

That is very important: That a person is set apart…

Set Apart

This is connected to our purpose: That we are His partners. We are His representatives.

That is why the Second Word, the Second Commandment:

We show that we are in His image— faithfully. God created us in His image. Again, Imago Dei.

Because God’s reputation is on the line, He has to say, “These are the terms of our partnership. They matter to me.”

Anything we do to our neighbor is going to affect how others see God. The way we love one another, that’s how others would see how God loves us. How we, the Junior Partners, act will represent how the Senior Partner makes decisions.

And if our partnership with God is to work, we must value what the Senior Partner has told us— the values that He has shown us.

That’s why we cannot murder, steal, covet, harm other people.

Because we represent God.

A Picture of God

The Second Word is also connected to the First Word.

The First Commandment is:

Why are there no images allowed? Because God has already made an image. Every human is a picture of God.

Look at the person beside you— that is the picture of God, whether you like it, or you really, really like it.

To love God, we must love our neighbor. But to love our neighbor, we must trust that the Senior Partner knows what He is doing.

We trust that when God gives His Word, it is for our good.

How many of you can relate to me when I say, it is very tough to be faithful to God? It is very tough to be a Christian, a follower of Christ. It’s very tough not to steal, not to lie, or not to bear false witness. It’s very tough not to covet your neighbor’s goods or wife.

It’s hard, it’s tough following God.

Welcome home, guys. We are in a Family where we say, “Let’s go together.

Let’s go through it together. Let’s build together. Let’s suffer together. Let’s try together.”

But the Good News today is God knows that already.

God knows you’re having a hard time.

The Tabernacle

The Ten Words are not the last that God did. You have to remember, you have to appreciate the narrative here. There were another ten before The Ten

Words, The Ten Commandments.

There were the Ten Plagues. Israelites came from Egypt. God got them out\ of Egypt.

Just to give you the narrative— from Fire to Fire: The Burning Bush;

God called Moses— “Take the Israelites out of Egypt”; the Pharoah says No;

Then God said Ten Words which turned out to be the ten words of the de-recreation; And God got them out of Egypt.

There was a turnaround— there was the Red Sea; they eventually got across the sea; Last week, we were preaching that God invited the Israelites to a Burning Mountain; and the people said No.

And that is the Word today: God allows us to be with Him.

Actually, this is what God said:

And that, my friend, is the reminder of God’s amazing compassion.

The Israelites chose not to climb the Mountain. They chose to listen to their fears rather than to their faith.

But God, in His infinite mercy, love, and goodness, He went down from the Burning Mountain and said, “I want to live among them.”

The Tabernacle became this special place that God used, where God dwelt with them at the foot of the Mountain.

“Ayaw ninyong umakyat, ako na lang ang bababa.— You don’t want to go up?

So, I’ll be the one to go down. I’m going to live among you.” Wow, what a Partner!

God’s Territory

Later, this Tabernacle that they built, following God’s instruction, went wherever they went: “I will be with you wherever you go.”

And in their long journey through the wilderness, until they eventually reached the Promised Land, the Tabernacle would be their “portable” Temple. It would be where God’s Presence is. They would carry God’s Presence— and God’s Name.

So, the next thing I want to remind you is this: The idea of that Tabernacle is it flips our well-known Christian thinking — it’s a phrase I’m sure you’d name before, we may have heard before. It’s a half-truth. I want to correct it now.

When we say, God cannot have anything to do with sin— or that sin cannot be in God’s Presence— that is not true.

This a dangerous half-truth— if we believe it. Because through this example, through this Tabernacle, God declared: “I will dwell with my sinful people.”

Oh, thank You, Lord!

God pitched His tent in the territory of sin, apparently saying, “That is not the Devil’s territory. That’s My territory.”

Look at the person beside you and say, “You are God’s territory.”

By dwelling in us, God calls us— every human— “You are My neighbor.“

So, yes, God loves His neighbors— you and me.

Through His Presence, He redeems humanity. He re-creates humanity. He re-defines our Partnership.

And so, guys, the impossible becomes very possible— because of this Partnership being offered to us by the Lord.

The Partnership is not a command. No. The Partnership has a bonus. The most important: the Presence of God in that Partnership.

Welcome Home!

God gave us Ten Commandments, Ten Words. But if He gave us only those Ten Words. We’re doomed. We’re not going to pass. We are going to be left out.

The reminder is this: God did not give us only His commands. He gave us

His Presence. He gave us His commitment. He gave us His power. He gave us His love. God is committed to you and God is committed to your neighbor. And so we should be too.

That is God’s Word today.

Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord.

We live it, we try. And if you fast forward to the New Testament, we meet Jesus, who is Emmanuel— God with us; Word became flesh, dwelt among us.

The Gospel of John opens with these words:

And another version is:

Welcome home!

God in Us

St. Paul’s message to the Colossians in the New Testament, says

And through the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus, He shows us what it means to fully commit to God and to sinful humanity — to show us a way to move forward. How it is to love our neighbor, to die to ourselves just like Jesus did.

Dying to ourselves leads to eternal life.

The Ten Words, The Ten Commandments, are not to inhibit us, to prevent us… It is actually the Partnership that is offered to us so each of us could have a good life, good relationships.

Are you ready to respond to Him today?

We look at Jesus. He guides us to be the kind of human that we are called to be.

He shows us the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Guys, God wants you to be His Partner.

I’m going to sum up the Talk in two words: Partnership and Presence.

God is re-inviting you and reminding you that the Partnership has already been there from the very start— has already been there since the time of the Israelites, the people of God, up to us now, the people of God. There is a Partnership.

Jesus, We Want You!

You know, when I think about this, I get emotional a bit. Because I realize how we’ve failed as partners. We’re always wanting something from our Senior Partner. We always want this, we want that. We hate that. We gaslight each other. How we dishonor this Partnership! And we think it’s hurting us. But actually, it’s our Partnership to that everlasting life, to that fulness of life that Jesus has promised. How many times does God need to remind us?

I’m so grateful that His compassion, His mercy are new every morning.

That’s why I love attending The Feast because even I, as a preacher, I get nourished.

I get reminded that hey, God has a Partnership with me, and with you. And again, He does not abandon us. His Presence is in you and me:

“Do not be afraid. For I will go with you wherever you go.”

I invite you to respond as I ask you this question: Do you want this Partnership? And how committed are you to this Partnership?

And remember, God is dwelling among us. How lovely are the dwelling places of God!

So, today, let’s love God and love our neighbor, as He has loved us first. Let’s look to Jesus:

And our prayer, Lord, I want You! Yes, oh yes, to our Partnership. Thank You, God. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank You for not abandoning us. Thank You, for You’ve always been good despite the times we are not good. But You always believe in us. You have never failed us, despite we have failed You.

Lord, we are now made aware again that Your Presence is here. And we don’t have to look very far. But we look within. And we look at each other.

Our prayer: We want You. No one else, Lord. We want You. Thank You, Lord, that despite our sins, despite our indifference, despite hurting others, You are our constant, who’s loving, faithful, and true. Not giving up on us. So, receive Your Family’s prayer now. We’re lifting our eyes, our voice, our songs, our whole spirit, body, mind, heart, and soul to You. And we want You. We want You. I want You. Amen.