Pastor's Meditations

For Ever (Genesis 39)       

            “The Lord was with Joseph...”          

            How sad and cumbersome is to feel alone and abandoned!  On those moments, when life “turns her back” on us and friends disavowed us, we feel as if the earth was opening to swallow us alive.

            Sadness, for some of us, is a way of life, but it comes and goes.  Jesus in the other hand, is the great “I am,” he always is, he will never leave us or abandon us under any circumstance.

            This principle is illustrated in Joseph’s life.

            Joseph was sold by his brothers, but God was with him.

            He was a slave of Potiphar, but God was with him.

            He was unjustly thrown into prison, but God was with him.

            Finally, Joseph was made second ruler of Egypt.  Why?

            You guessed it:  Because God was with him!

            Years later, Joseph had a wonderful opportunity to achieve revenge over his cruel and evil brothers, but because God was in him and with him, he became a channel of divine blessings instead.

            Do not allow any test or tribulation to erode your confidence in the Almighty God.  Be reminded that Jesus is with you at all times and in every circumstance.

            Furthermore, let us never forget that God is in absolute control over every situation of our lives.  Everything that comes our way is part of the overall plan and eternal purpose of God. God is with us and we are with him forever.

            A. G.

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One Big, Happy Family (Genesis 38)     

                                                                                                

            “Judah went down from his brothers...”

            Once upon a time, there was a small piece of coal whose name was “Happy”.  He lived with his family inside of a gigantic bag of coal.  They were always together and did everything together. There was nothing that could separate that happy family. Those were truly the “happy days.”

            One day, a customer appeared in the store and bought the big bag.  When he reached home, he opened it and emptied the entire charcoal “family” in a barbecue. “Happy” saw, horrified, how this man set his whole family on fire.

            All of a sudden “Happy” jumped out of the barbecue, escaping the “terrible” fire.  Turning to his family, he was amazed to see them glowing in the flames.  They were not crying because they were fulfilling their purpose in life.  “Happy,” on the other hand, died alone, useless and forgotten.

            When a child of God chooses to distance himself from God’s family, he has no other place to go but to the godless society.  There he or she will find (as Judah did), temptations, adultery, and even death.

            God offers true love; the world tempts us with lust.  God gives us a loving family; the world only offers the trickery and deceit of a stranger (Tamar).

            It’s your decision.  You can separate from God’s family and become as useless as a piece of wet charcoal.  You can also elect to remain in the bosom of the family, and fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

            Do you want to be on “fire” for God today?

            A. G.

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Christ or Canaan? (Genesis 36)

             “Esau took his wives from the Canaanites...”

            Esau was a man of the world.  He can be compared to a pagan that has been raised in a Christian home.  Isaac served God, and was a good example to his children, including Esau.

            Esau had all the opportunities in the world to live for God and walk in righteousness.  He did not come from a “broken home” and he learned about God from his godly family.

            In spite of all these blessings and privileges, Esau chose to reject everything connected with God.  First, he rejected his birthright for a hot stew.  Now, he was marrying pagan women from Canaan.  He chose to unite with idolaters and rejected the only true God. 

            Beloved, beware of the “Canaanite pleasures.”  We are children of the light and cannot join ourselves to the kingdom of darkness.  We can’t love Christ and “Canaan” at the same time, it’s impossible; it’s a mistake; it is a sin.

            Do not take anything from this world.  Be careful not to entangle in “unholy alliances” with non-believers.  In 2 Corinthians 6:14 we are admonished by the apostle:

            “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”

            If you ever need something (or someone), ask God.  He will always give us more than we need or deserve.  At least in this case, it is better to receive (from God), than to give (to the world). 

            A. G.       

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Dreams and Visions (Genesis 37)   

            “Once Joseph had a dream...”

            The children of God would do well to imitate Joseph.  He was a man of God in good and in bad times.   Joseph was faithful to the Lord wherever he was; either in his house, in prison, or in the Pharaoh’s court.  God’s desire is that his followers exhibit the same kind of faith and exemplary conduct.

            Joseph was also a dreamer.  To dream is to give wings to our faith; it is to have vision for the future; it is also the ability to look beyond our present circumstances and “seeing” what others can’t see or believe.

            When I refer to “dreams”, I am not alluding to the materialistic ambitions of some (like the American Dream), or to the “prophetic utterances” of others.  The dreams which I am talking about are not even the “quiet times” (e.g., sleep) that some of us practice during sermons.

            What are your dreams today?  I believe there is nothing wrong with dreaming about owning a house, buying a car, getting married, etc.  Nevertheless our dreams must go beyond the confines of our own interests.  We can dream about heaven, about becoming mature believers, about serving God and accomplishing great feats in God’s name.

            “He had another dream...”

            Dreaming is a lifetime experience.  A dream must be kept alive at all costs, because when we stop dreaming, a part of us starts dying.  Never top dreaming, for one day, your dreams may come true, especially if you dream holy dreams.

            A. G.

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Room for One (Genesis 35)                       

           “Put away the foreign gods...”

            Imagine with me the following scene:  It’s Sunday morning, in your own church, and the pastor is preaching a long sermon.  Let’s “hear” what some of your brothers and sisters are probably thinking:

John--”I just want to know when the pastor is going to finish. I want to watch my football game!”

Maritza--”I still don’t’ have a job!  I don’t have money, and I do not know how I am going to pay the mortgage.”

Carlos-- “Man, I’ve got to buy that Corvette!”

Lucille--”What a beautiful dress Susan brought today!”

Elizabeth-- “Oh my poor baby! He is home sick, my house is a mess and I am here wasting my time.”

            Scenes like these are repeated every Sunday in a church near you.  Our bodies might be in the building, but our hearts and minds are somewhere else.  These thoughts that crowd our minds must be expelled at once!  If we let them roam around, they will become idols, foreign gods that will attempt to control our beings.

            The Bible clearly says that we must,

            “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

            God is our only Lord and Master.  Put away all the idols all the time.  When you are worshipping in your church, make sure that in your heart and mind there is only one thought, one desire and one king:

            Jesus Christ.

            A. G.

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