Pastor's Meditations

Die It

                There is nothing worse (or better) than a weight loss diet. A diet of this kind is a terrible way of losing weight. Why can’t we shed the pounds just by watching TV or sleeping? Why must we push away all the delicious foods that God has provided for us?

                On one hand, there are many people (like my mother) that are able to eat whatever they please and never get fatter. This is just not fair! Some say that it is the result of their active metabolism, but the only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than we need or to burn those calories through exercise.

                A good, well balanced and healthy diet and exercise is what we need to follow, if we want to have healthy bodies and a better shape. It takes a lot of discipline and self control to maintain this regimen. The key to change the way we eat, move and look is to change the way we think and live. Fad diets come and go, but a disciplined and healthy lifestyle will bring permanent results.

                The same is true for our spiritual life in Christ. Millions of believers are out of shape simply because they don’t eat right (feed on the Word of God) or exercise (walk with God). Some of them jump into the latest Christian fad or trend, in hopes of revitalizing their sagging spiritual life. They read the latest how-to books that promise:

                “7 steps to…”

                “40 days with…”

                Or they attend the latest conference, Christian concert, summer camp or revival meeting in order to get closer to Jesus. The problem is that the results don’t last very long and they soon return to a life of apathy and mediocrity.

                The only way to have a fruitful and victorious Christian life is to be on a “Die It” plan. The Bible teaches that the followers of Christ must die to sin, to the world and to their former (and sinful) way of life. If you follow this plan, along with a daily walk with God, you will be in the best spiritual shape of your life.

                “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

                “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

                “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6:11-14)

                There you have it! To lose weight, we need a Diet and to get rid of worldliness, we need a Die It.

  1. G.

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     Searching for what?

                A good friend of mine is an avid collector. Every weekend, he sails in his boat all around the Suwannee River in search of buried treasures. As of today, he has an extensive collection (or so he says) of shark teeth and Indian arrowheads.

                He is not the only treasure hunter that I know of. I have seen men and women searching for coins, rings, chains, etc. with fancy metal detectors at the beach. There are also professional divers that have discovered sunken ships and their plentiful (and valuable) bounty.

                In this world, people are always searching for almost anything, except God. They look for love, fame, riches and happiness and find very little of it. Romans 3:11 declares that, There is none who seek after God.”

                In Matthew 7:8, we are told that “he who seeks findsbut the question is, what should we seek or search for? I offer a few suggestions according to the Bible:

  1. Wisdom --- (Proverbs 2:4, 5) “If you seek her as silver, And search for her as forhidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God”

 

  1. The Scriptures --- (Acts 17:11) These…received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find outwhether these things were so.”

 

  1. God --- (Jeremiah 29:13) And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

 

  1. The Kingdom --- (Matthew 6:33) Butseek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”

 

  1. The Well Being of Others --- (Philippians 2:4) “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

 

            These are the treasures we must search for every day. Fame lasts a few minutes, but Faith opens heaven’s doors; Wealth will evaporate, but the Word of God endures forever; happiness is just a mirage, but Heaven is our eternal Paradise and all the lust of this world shall perish, but the Love of God will be our faithful companion in eternity.

             What are you searching for today?

  1. G.

               

 

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A Joyful Noise

A heart that’s filled with sadness

A soul that has a void

Can escape from the madness

And find blessings and great joy

     

This world is a very dark place

 And sorrow reigns supreme

 This world rejects God’s grace

 And has no time or love for the King

 

 There is joy for the heart that’s filled with sorrow

 There is dancing for the feet that cannot walk

 There is hope for today and for tomorrow

 There is light that will lead us in the dark

                                                               

  This Joy is a gift of the Almighty

  For those who have communion with his Son

  A gift that will endure for eternity

  A gift that fills our hearts with a new song

 

 Oh Jesus, you are my joy eternal

 You are the purpose of my life

 I renounce my struggles and my strife

 I submit to you, my loving Lord

 I am diving into the river of your joy

 That will lead me all the way to Heaven’s shore

       

     A. G.

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  Bad words---Good Word

                We live in a “modern” and highly civilized world today, yet our manners and our words have deteriorated almost to the point of no return. Everywhere we go, we hear all kinds of bad words and this epidemic has reached our women and our children.

                The Bible condemns the use of bad words or words used in a bad way. All of us have been guilty of “sins of the tongue” at one time or another in our lives. These are some of the bad words that we must avoid at all costs:

  1. Lying (Proverbs 6:16, 17)
  2. Flattering or adulation (Psalm 5:9)
  3. Slander and False Testimony (Exodus 20:16)
  4. Gossip (Leviticus 19:16)
  5. Profanities (Romans 3:13, 14)
  6. Mockery and Verbal Attacks (Psalm 1:1)
  7. Negative Criticism or Judging (Matthew 7:1)
  8. Fostering Divisions (Jude 1:19)
  9. Taking God’s name in vain (Exodus 20:7)
  10. Excessive and Idle Words (Ecclesiastes 5:2, 3; Matthew 12:36)
  11. Complaining (Numbers 14:27)
  12. Boasting or Pride (James 4:16)

             There might be a few more “bad words” that I missed (please let me know), but these give us a complete picture of all the sins that are committed every day through the use of words. It is a shame that we humans have perverted this precious gift from God and used it for evil purposes.

             We sin when we use these bad words, and we sin when we don’t use good words. We sin when we talk too much, and we sin when we remain silent in situations that demand a response in the name of the Lord. We even sin when we express our opinions, instead of speaking God’s Word.

             There is only One Good WORD in the entire universe: The Word of God. The Bible is the only inspired Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) and as such, it is the only Word that is both Inerrant and Infallible. When God speaks, He always tells the truth with love and for our good.

             This is the way we should speak:

             “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)

             “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:6)

              “…speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ”  (Ephesians 4:15)

              “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

  1. G.

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Happy Anniversary

                “Are you still married…to the same guy?”

                “I don’t know how you put up with him (her)”

                “Wow, you deserve a medal!”

                These and other similar “Congratulations” are the common response my wife and I get whenever we tell people how long we’ve been married. I don’t know if their well wishes are motivated by envy or anger, but the fact is that we rarely hear genuine congratulations---even from Christians!

                Yes, I know that my dear wife has endured my brand of “love” for many years and to tell you the truth, she deserves not a medal, but the biggest crown in the world! I just wish that one year we would hear real congratulations and not jokes or competitions.

                I don’t know how long you have been married, but I would like to offer you my most sincere congratulations on your achievement. I would also like to encourage you to stay married, because long marriages are a powerful testimony to this unfaithful world.

                In our case, all the credit, honor and glory belongs to Jesus. I am sorry if at any time my heart has swelled with a little pride over the long tenure of our marriage. I am glad that I have been married all these years and it’s all because of the Lord.

                I still love my wife (and I know she loves me too), but my weak and feeble love is not the reason of our marriages’ longevity. Jesus has kept us together all these years; in the highs and in the lows and in spite of my many shortcomings.

                I suggest that from now on we must celebrate marriages, because it is a dying breed.

               “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4) 

                Divorce is rampant in the world and many don’t even get married anymore---they just move in together. Our marriages can be a powerful testimony in the name of Jesus, because is a visual representation of the union between Christ and the church.

                “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her(Ephesians 5:25).

                I thank God for my marriage and for all the marriages in the world, especially those among Christians. I pray that God will put a stop to the divorce plague and that He will keep us together until the day He calls us home.

                "Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’  and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

  1. G.

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