Pastor's Meditations

Turn off the Lights

            I have a quirk…well I have many quirks. Among them is that I have a fixation with turning off the lights where ever I go, especially around my house. If I see a light on, I just feel the urge to turn it off.

            I believe that this obsession is a direct result of my upbringing when I lived in Cuba and natural abhorrence for wasting resources.

            I was always very poor when living in Cuba and we were forced to save and conserve everything, from electricity, to food and even soap bars. I have remained frugal to this day and if a room in the house is not occupied, I promptly turn the lights off.

            It is the one thing to turn the lights off around the house, and quite another to run away from the light of the gospel. I did hide from this Light for many years, as I “lived” in darkness and sin.

            The Bible speaks about mankind’s affinity and love for the darkness:

            And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)

            Even as believers, we shun God’s light more often than we care to admit. Temptation is a cloud that covers our eyes from the truth. As we fall into sin our conscience is muted and the Holy Spirit is grieved (Ephesians 4:30).

            Don’t turn the light of God off!

            Listen to the voice of your conscience and don’t shut its alarm off. God uses our conscience to warn us about evil, but as Christians we have even bigger lights at our disposal.

            A disciple of Christ is guided by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit leads us to the truth and as we all know,

“The truth shall set (us) free” (John 8:37).

            The truth of God’s Word is the other light that God uses to keep us from walking again in darkness. David said it best when he wrote:

            “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105).

            Don’t forget to turn the lights off in your house, but always walk with Christ in the light, because we are children of light. (Ephesians 5:8).

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   A Leveled Pool

                A man decided to buy a pool one summer. He dreamed of spending time with his family swimming in the pool and he had saved a little money through the year, hoping to make his dream a reality during the summer time.

                Summer arrived and our friend went to the store and acquired a brand new pool. The big box barely fit in his car, as he drove home excited with his new toy. The above ground pool came with all the parts and instructions and it was surprisingly easy to assemble. In less than three hours, the whole pool was set up and ready to be filled with water.

                There was only one problem: The ground wasn’t leveled. There was water overflowing from one side of the pool, while the other side was half empty. In addition to this, the bottom of the pool was as bumpy as the surface of planet Mars. It was a total disaster!

                The man was distraught but determined. He emptied the pool and took it apart. He learned how to level the ground properly, bought the materials and tools that he needed and proceeded to do the job right the second time around.

                An unleveled pool is very much like a life that is built upon the sand. It doesn’t matter how pretty our “house” is, if the foundation isn’t good. We need a leveled and strong foundation for our lives, and there is only one available: The Rock.

                You might have many gifts and talents in your life, but if Christ isn’t the foundation of your house (life), everything will crumble and fall, like the walls of Jericho. Jesus Himself, warned us about this in Matthew 7:26, 27:

                “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

                We must build our lives upon the Rock. All other ground, as the hymn says, “is sinking sand.” But Jesus is not only the foundation, but He is also the Builder. In Psalm 127:1 the Bible declares that,

                Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;”

            Is Jesus the Foundation and Builder of your life? If the answer is yes, you can be sure that your life

is secure in Christ, because it has the best foundation in the universe. Let the winds blows and the storm

bring the rains. You will remain standing after all is said and done, because your life is anchored upon the

Rock and because the Lord himself will complete the work that He began in you (Philippians 1:6)

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Safety Pin (Reunited pt. 2)

                Do you remember the story of the pair of socks that were separated for a long time? One of them went home, but the other one remained hidden in a dark corner of the Laundromat until it was found and it was reunited with its partner.

                Well, I’m happy to report that this pair of socks is still happy together. The owner of the socks has devised an ingenious and fail-safe plan. Every time he takes his socks off, he “connects” them with a safety pin before he places them in the laundry bin or basket.

                This tactic or strategy has made it possible for the owner to retain and not lose any of his socks. In fact, he claims that he now has 100% sock recovery success! This process has proven to be so successful that he will continue to use safety pins for all his socks.

                Jesus also has perfect success with all the “socks” (souls) that He has received from the Father. The Bible attests to this fact in several places:

                This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” (John 6:39)

                While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”           (John 17:12)

                “…that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, ‘Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.’” (John 18:9) (Emphasis added)

                I was once a lost “sock” or soul in the world. I was dirty because of sin and was separated from God and his family. One day, however, Jesus came to my life and found me alone in a corner of the world. He lifted me up and cleansed my sin with the best detergent in the universe: His blood. He also put a “safety pin” or seal in my heart, to eliminate any possibility of getting lost ever again.

                “…you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.(Ephesians 1:13, 14)

                We also read in John 10:28 that we are totally safe and secure in Christ.

                “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.(Emphasis added)

                In addition of being sealed by the Spirit and in the hands of God, there is still another layer of protection for believers. Colossians 3:3 tells us that our life is hidden with Christ in God.”

                The socks are held together by a safety pin, but we are sealed by the Spirit. The socks are never out of the reach of the owner, and we are always in God’s hand. The socks are resting tucked away in a comfy drawer, but we are hidden and secure in Christ forever.

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Pig’s Food

                The story of the Prodigal Son is a tale of redemption and reunification. The main emphasis of this short story is not how lost, depraved and sinful the son was, but how much love and forgiveness there was in his father’s heart.

                I have found this to be the case with our heavenly Father. He has always been a loving and forgiving Father towards me. I have been a prodigal many times in my life; I have often been a wayward sheep and a disobedient child, but his forgiving love has reached out and rescued me over and over again.

                In our Father’s house there is safety and joy. His forgiveness is a fountain that washes away our guilt and erases our sins from His memory. We forgive…sometimes, but our Father forgives and forgets. It is us that have a hard time accepting his forgiveness (or “forgiving ourselves” like some people say). In the Father’s house there is abundant mercy, grace and his table is always filled with the most delectable and nutritious food for our souls.

                This is what the Prodigal Son left behind when he decided to leave his father’s house in search of great adventures and worldly pleasures. He exchanged his loving family for a harlot’s embrace, and he chose to eat pigs’ food instead of enjoying his father’s feasts.

                This is also what we do when we fall into sin. We leave our Father’s house and dabble with the world, hoping to see how close we can get to sin without actually falling into sin. We draw near to the world, hoping to find excitement and happiness, but as we draw nearer, we realize that we have made a big mistake. The promises and pleasures of this world are nothing but a dirty pig’s pen.

                Imagine for a second what the Prodigal Son must have felt when he found himself surrounded by pigs (immoral unbelievers), desiring to eat their “food.” As we all know, pigs eat mostly garbage and this is what sin is: Garbage, junk, poison and death.

                Oh, that we could remember all of this when we encounter temptations! Open our eyes Lord and let us see that this world and its pleasures is nothing but a gigantic pigs’ pen. Let us return to God before we find ourselves drowning in the mud.

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New Version

                My wife “accidently” broke her smart phone the other day. Now we need to buy a new phone, but we don’t know which one. There are so many brands and each company comes up with a new version every year.

                The phones that we buy today may be obsolete by next month. Every new phone version or generation is better than the previous one.

                When God created mankind there was only one version, which was divided into male and female. This original version of humanity was not perfect, but it was innocent and good.

                This innocence and goodness was soon evaporated, as Adam and Eve fell into sin. The original version that God created after his image was lost. Now mankind was only a perversion of the first version of creation.     

                 This is what sin always does. God made the version, but Satan---using temptation and sin---turns it into a perversion. In other words, sin destroys our spiritual life and fellowship with God.

                 God created the version, which soon became a perversion through man’s rebellion. God could have dealt with this problem in two different ways: He could either destroy the earth (almost did it in Noah’s time) and create a new original version; or He could eliminate the perversion of sin by conversion to Christ.

                 And this is what He did. He sent us the last Adam (Jesus Christ) to be the propitiation for our sin and the only way of salvation. He was a new and improved Version of Adam and He did not fail. His death on the cross erased our perversion at the moment of our conversion by faith.

                Our conversion has made us a brand new version in Christ. The Bible declares, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This new version of humanity is not as good as the one of our Lord Jesus, for he is perfect, but it is infinitely better than Adam’s because he could fall and lose his standing with God, but we will never fall from God’s saving grace.

                One day, this new version of us will also come to an end. One day we will be perfect, spotless and glorious. One day, we will become a perfect and eternal version of redeemed humanity in heaven. One day, the words of the apostle Peter will be fulfilled:

                “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

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