Pastor's Meditations

A Thanksgiving Song

The moment to give thanks is not a single day

Hour by hour we sing your praises, Lord

And we shall never stop to thank you and to pray

Now and tomorrow and forevermore

Kneeling we come today before your throne

Satisfied with your love and your salvation

Giving thanks to you with our songs

 In all worship, praise and adoration

Victory is ours and yours is all the glory

 Infinite is our debt of gratitude

New every morning is your grace and mercy

God, to thank you, is all we want to do

 

Alexander Gonzalez

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Destroying the Bible

            The Bible is the best loved and the most hated book in the world. It is loved by those who follow Christ and it is despised by those that live in sin.

            Many have tried to destroy the Bible throughout history. The list of kingdoms and nations that have either banned or burned Bibles is very long and there is simply no space in this article to name them all. Suffice it to say that the Word of God is a taboo in most Muslim, communist and liberal countries today.

            Why is there so much hatred against the Scriptures? Why have so many countries and leaders endeavored to destroy it? They have attacked the Bible, because the Word of God is the Truth that convicts sinners and the Light that overcomes the darkness.

            John the apostle captured this sentiment in his gospel, when he referred to the unbelieving and Bible-hating people of this world. 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)

            As I said before, many have attempted to destroy the Bible, but there is only one problem: The Bible is indestructible. Yes, they may ban it or burn it, but it always comes back. Jesus said, Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.”(Matthew 24:35)

            Now, having said all that let me ask you: How many Bibles have you destroyed? I see many Christians without their Bibles at church. If you would search their homes you would find one or more brand new (and dusty) copies of the Scriptures. This is very concerning to say the least.

            I have “destroyed” several Bibles in English and Spanish. Some of those Bibles are in really bad shape because of so much use. I still keep those Bibles at home. I will never throw them away, even if they are falling apart.

            I don’t want shinny Bibles. They look good in museums and displayed in some churches, but give me Bibles that have been used, written on the margins, underlined and wept over in prayer.  

            I hope that I can “destroy” a few more Bibles in this manner before I die. I pray that I can fall in love with God’s Word all over again.

            I know that the dirtier my Bible looks, the cleaner my life will be. Moreover, the more I “destroy” my Bible by daily use, the more the Lord will build me up. This is my plan. What about you?

            Alexander Gonzalez

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Deicide leads to Suicide

              Last week a student in our school did the unthinkable:  He took his own life. This young man had been the target of ongoing abuse and one day decided that a bullet would end the bullying.
 
              Bullying is a big problem among young people and so is suicide. I don’t know the exact numbers of suicide among teenagers, but the statistics are really high and keep climbing up.
 
              This is what happens when we remove God from our schools and our lives. This is a form of “Deicide” (killing God), which invariably leads to suicide (killing of oneself). When there is no room for God, then the adversary takes over and death spreads its deadly tentacles.
 
              This is what happened in a “Baptist” school in Hialeah, Florida. This “Christian” school began to compromise and everything went downhill from there. First, they allowed catholic and unbelieving teachers in the school and then, they removed the Bible from the school curriculum.
 
               What do you think it would happen if you would stop praying or reading the Bible? You would stop growing in Christ; you would lose your joy, peace and love and eventually you could fall into grievous sin.
 
               This is the story of that Christian school. The year after they stopped teaching the Bible, a student committed suicide and a year later, the school closed permanently.
 
               Believer, don’t ever forget your first love (Revelation 2:4, 5). Jesus is our first love in more than one sense. He was the first real love we ever knew and his love is first and foremost in importance in our lives.
 
               If you have no room or time for Jesus, be prepared to deal with the devil. He is the biggest bully in town. The Bible warns us to  “Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
 
               Believer, do not remove God’s influence from your life. Keep Jesus first in your heart and mind and never forget to pray and read the Word. The Spirit in you is life; the Word in you is light and prayer is your direct lifeline to the Father.
 
               Alexander Gonzalez
 

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Useless or Useful

              I own a couple of used cars. One of them is really "used" as it has been driven close to 300,000 miles. My plan is to keep using it until it breaks the Odometer, breaks a mileage record or it breaks apart. I like to use things until they can't be used anymore. This applies to soap, toothpaste, shoes, clothes, cars, food, wife, etc.

              Here in the United States, we throw many good things away simply because they are used. Many nations could be well  fed with the food that is discarded every day from restaurants, hotels and super markets. The same could be said about clothing, shoes and a host of other products.

              The urge of buying new cars, cell phones and many other material things is overwhelming for many Americans. The problem with those "new" products is that they become used as soon as we acquire them. A few months (I mean weeks) later a newer version appears in the market and we feel disappointed with our now used (and seemingly useless) possession.

              The average Christian is similar to a brand new automobile in a showroom. They both look great, shiny and with lots of potential. What good does it do for a new car to remain in a dealer, or for a Christian to hide in the church? There are far too many "brand new" believers around, and I am not referring  to their recent conversion. They are new in the sense that they are rarely used by God. 

               Let me ask you a question: Do you think that God wants to use every Christian? The answer is yes, of course. Every believer is an important member of the body of Christ and has a function and a purpose. I want for God to use me in any and many ways. I pray that He uses these writings to bless you.

               Used things are anathema to the world, but Christians that are used by God are a sweet smelling offering that is pleasing to the Lord. The more that we are used by Him, the more glory He receives and the more blessings we and those around us enjoy. Even people like Mark, who refused to serve God and be used by Him at one point, can be used again as Paul testifies: "Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry." (2 Timothy 4:11).

                Believer, be useful to God and not useless. This is the right thing to do. This is our life's purpose

               "Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." (2 Timothy 2:21)

                 Alexander Gonzalez

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Locked In

               A few days ago, I had a really weird experience: I was locked in in my own barn. I have been locked out my house several times before, but never locked in.

              As a teacher, I have taken part of several "Lock In" or "Lock Down" drills in our school. At the sound of the alarm, teachers must turn off the lights, barricade the doors and sit on the floor with the students and out of sight. Hopefully, we will never have to take part of in a real Lock In, when armed intruders invade our campus.

              As a youth leader, I also enjoyed a few nights together with the group. It was a lot of fun to be up all night playing games, talking, praying, studying the Word and goofing off a little bit. This is the kind of "Lock In" I love. Being trapped in my shed or barn, however, is not one of my favorite experiences. 

              I was busy inflating a tire, while all of a sudden, the door closed with a loud bang. I tried to get out, but the latch was firmly attached. I started screaming my wife's name, but no one came to my rescue. The seconds turned into minutes, and the minutes seemed to last like hours. It was a real life horror movie. I started praying and banging on the walls until she finally came (thank God) and opened the latch.

             Have you ever felt trapped like this? I think about the people that were trapped in Mexico City during the earthquake a few weeks ago. It must be horrible to be locked in under the rubbles, but it is worse by far to be a prisoner or our own emotions and thoughts.

             Elijah felt like this after he was told that Jezebel wanted to kill him. He prayed:

               “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:1-4).

             This is the prayer of someone that is locked in, in a "room" of despair and depression. This same kind of prayer was uttered by another prophet.

              "Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”  (Jonah 4:3).

              I have been "Locked In"  in this manner more times times than I can remember, but God has delivered me from them. 

             The book of Psalms is compilation of songs and prayers for deliverance. All the psalmists were locked in at one time or another, but the grace of God came to their rescue again and again.

              If you are locked in today, call on Jesus. He has promised  that if you, 

              “knock...it will be opened to you. For everyone...who knocks it will be opened." (Matthew 7:7, 8)

             Alexander Gonzalez

 

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