Pastor's Meditations

       “Sleeping Beauty”

                The tale or myth known as Sleeping Beauty was originated in Europe in the middle Ages. This story has been told and retold many times and was published in Italy, France and Germany with some variations from 1300-1800.

                In the twentieth century this trend continued and in 1959 Disney made this tale into a full length animated film. At the beginning it was a theatrical failure, but this movie was re-released many times in subsequent decades, becoming one of the most profitable productions of its era.

                The premise of the story is simple: A princess named Aurora or Briar Rose is cursed by an evil witch (all witches are evil, by the way) and falls into a deep sleep that could only be broken by the kiss of her one true love. The movie ends with the “resurrection” of the princess as she is kissed by the prince.

                This is witchcraft disguised as a children’s fairy (another word for witch) tale. In this movie you can find spells, incantations, witches and even a dragon. On the other hand, even a movie or a tale such as this can illustrate powerful truths…unintentionally, of course.

                For me, the witches and fairies represent demons and worshippers of Satan, who is depicted in the story by Maleficent, the mistress of evil, who later on turns into a dragon. The book of Revelation reveals the identity of this dragon:

                He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;” (Revelation 20:2)

                And what about Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty? I believe it symbolizes the overall state of the church of Jesus Christ today. This world is crumbling under the weight of sin and immorality and the church (for the most part) seems to be asleep.

                We have placed our lamps under a basket (Matthew 5:15) while we sleep in a bed of complacency and apathy. The world is turning darker every day and very few believers are bold enough to shine their light for Christ, which is the truth of the Gospel as we live it and proclaim it.

                A sleeping church is as effective as a weapon without any bullets. Even the apostles were admonished by Christ for sleeping in his greatest hour of need (Luke 22:45-47). We must wake up from our spiritual slumber to be an effective witness for Christ in this world.

             For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.  But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.  Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5:8-14)

             A. G.

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“A New Beginning”

                                                                     

             In two days, I am set to start a new chapter in my life. I have been a High School teacher for almost a decade, but now I must continue my career in…Middle School.

            Some people love changes and new beginnings. Not me. I was happy (most of the time) with my job and I have resisted and fought this new “opportunity” that God has blessed me with.

            Come to think of it, that was my initial reaction to the preaching of the Gospel. I was a proud atheist for twenty one years. I wasted most of my youth living in sin. I was comfortable (yet lost) in the darkness and I was annoyed and mortified by the light.

            One day, however the light of Jesus dissolved the darkness of my heart, and my hatred for God melted under the warmth of his unconditional and saving love for me.

            I experienced the new birth that the Bible talks about (John 3:3). I was a brand new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). I was delivered into the kingdom of glorious light (Colossians 1:13).

            Beginning a new job, school, or career is always challenging and often very difficult, but a new beginning in Christ is the greatest gift that mankind has ever received. Imagine for a second being tormented in hell (which we deserved) forever. That was our destiny before we were rescued by God’s love and saved by His grace (Eph. 2:8-9).

            Thank God for that new beginning! It was on that day when we began to live, for we were dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1). It was on that day when we began to love, as we believed in Jesus, who is our First Love (Revelation 2:4).

            There is yet another New Beginning for the children of God. The eternal life that began at our conversion will continue forever in heaven. And yet, when we enter through the gates of glory, we shall experience a new beginning that will never end because time will disappear and be no more.

            Are you waiting for this new beginning?

            A. G.

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“Little Stones”

                                                            

                A little stone can create big problems. If you don’t believe me just ask people that have dealt with kidney stones. Have you ever been bothered by a little stone (particle) that has lodged itself inside your eyelids? It is one the worst feelings in the world. It makes you cry; it renders you partially blind and the pain and level of discomfort is unbelievable.

                A little stone flying in the air can break a windshield or badly damage it. Little stones in the bottom of a river or beach are a nuisance and can cut our feet or cause sprains or factures as we slip and fall awkwardly. I can even imagine a little stone causing a big boulder to fall down the mountain, by being the last stone to fall on top of it!

                There are many spiritual little “stones” in the spiritual realm.

                The little stone of laziness and apathy (Proverbs 6:10)

                The little stone of foolishness (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

                The little stone of false teachers and their teaching (Songs of Solomon 2:15)

                The little stone of unbelief (Matthew 6:30)

                The little stone of judgment (Matthew 7:1-3)

                Brethren, beware of all these little stones (physical and spiritual), but also be aware that not all things that are little are evil or can lead to evil.

                A few little fish were used by Jesus to feed a multitude (Matthew 15:34)

                A little (young) donkey carried Jesus in his triumphal entry to Jerusalem (John 12:13-15)

                A little stone defeated the most feared giant in the land (1 Samuel 17:49)

                A little child was born in Bethlehem to save the world from sin (Matthew 1 and 2)

                Having faith in Christ like a little child opens the doors of heaven (Matthew 18:3)

                You might consider yourself to be nothing but a pebble; a little stone and you are right, but we are as the apostle Peter says:

                “…you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)

                We are members of the body of Christ and are (little) living stones He uses to build his kingdom. By ourselves we are small and almost insignificant, but together and in the hands of Christ, the eternal Master Builder we will reach “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

                A. G

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Blood Check

                                                                                  

                There are more than 415 million diabetics in the world, including more than 100 million in the United States. Among them is my father, who suffers from a host of ailments aside from Diabetes. This sickness is a serious problem in our country because it is a gateway to many other illnesses such as stroke, blindness, heart problems, high blood pressure, nerve damage and loss of consciousness.

                Diabetics must follow a strict diet and exercise and they must perform a daily glucose test. My father checks his blood sugar level every morning. He pricks one of his fingertips and presses on it until blood comes out. Next, he “deposits” some of his blood (usually a drop) into a plastic strip inserted into the reader (a small device) which instantly beeps giving him his actual blood sugar level.

                Sugar is like sin in many respects. Both are tasty and sweet for a few seconds, but their adverse effects are long lasting. A person that consumes too much sugar will become obese and obesity puts millions at risk of diabetes. A sinner is someone that lives in sin and is destined for an eternity in hell.

                Diabetics can check their blood sugar level, exercise, eat healthy and use the best medications available. By doing this, many diabetics can have a normal life. I have witnessed this in my father’s life. When he takes care of himself he does well, but when he deviates from the program, not so good.

                There are no electronic devices available to check the “blood sin” level in a person’s heart. There is no program for sinners to reduce their sinfulness and there is nothing that can be done to eliminate the presence and power of sin by the sinners themselves.

                There is, however, a sin-checking heavenly device. The Word of God reveals our sinful condition (Romans 3:23; 6:23). The Bible also lets us know that there is nothing we can do to get rid of sin and be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9).

                There is only one Way to be saved from sin (John 14:6). Our blood is tainted and corrupted with sin as we were all born in sin (Psalm 51:5), but the Blood of Jesus shed for his people on the cross has forgiven all our iniquities (1 Peter 1:19).

                There is no cure for diabetes (high blood sugar level), but there is a cure for sin:

                The Blood of Jesus.

                Have you received the life-giving transfusion of the Blood of Jesus yet?

                A. G.

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Moving Statues

                The world is filled with all kinds of statues. There are statues in honor of many political and military heroes in every nation. You can also see many statues around stadiums and other sport facilities, to remind us of the great exploits of yesterday’s athletes.

                The great majority of statues are of a religious nature. The world has erected many monuments and statues in honor of Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, Mary and even Christ. These impressive and sometimes beautiful artistic expressions shouldn’t be called statues. They are simply idols and they must be rejected by every real follower of Christ.

                Man was a statue until the Creator breathed life into his nostrils (Genesis 2:7). This original version of life was cut short by his rebellion in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). After the fall, man became a shadow of his former self. The image of God in our soul was marred by sin and our spirit became dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1).

                Mankind became a race of “moving statues.”

                As we go around the world today, we are surrounded by billions of moving statues. The statues made of wood and stone cannot walk, hear, talk, feel or do anything (Psalm 115), but the moving statues (unredeemed people) of this world can do many things.

                They can speak (lies, curses, deceit, etc.)

                They can walk (away from God, to shed blood)

                They can do (nothing good, destruction)

                They can see (darkness, not God)

                (Romans 3:10-18)

                Only God’s grace and love can give eternal life to mankind. In the first creation God breathed life into man, but in the new (second) creation in Christ, He has given us the Holy Spirit. A Christian is someone that has been born again and has abundant life (John 10:10) in Christ.

                We were once moving statues, moving away from God and moving towards hell, but now that we are in Christ, we are not statues anymore. We have been transformed by the power of God and we have been commanded to go (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

                Do not allow sin to turn you into a statue. This is what happened to Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32) and this is what happens when the church is compromised with the world and paralyzed with fear. Get up today and follow the Lord wherever He leads you.

                A. G.

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