Pastor's Meditations

Two Voices (Genesis 3)

             “…or you shall die…You will not die”

            Two voices, one from God, the other one from the devil (through the serpent, of course). Two voices, one speaks truth; the other spreads lies, seeks destruction, and brings curse and tragedy.

            To which voice are you listening?

            Is it to the one that speaks to your flesh and deceives you? Or perhaps you are listening to the voice that brings life, salvation, and consolation to your soul. This is God’s voice.

            They heard the sound (voice) of the Lord God…”

            The voice of God calls us. With love God seeks to bring us out from our “hiding places.” Adam and Eve hid also from God. Why? They hid from God simply because they had sinned by following the advice of the wrong voice, forgetting God’s clear command.

            Where are you?”

            God is asking today. What have you done with your life? Some will answer with excuses, some will not even reply, but some, a few, will listen to God’s voice and will answer with repentance, love and renewed commitment.

            Do not hide from God; just listen and reply.

            A. G.

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“Panicdemic”

                We are in the midst of a global pandemic known as “Coronavirus” or Covid-19. This is a real and dangerous virus, responsible for many deaths in the world so far. I hope and pray that this deadly virus suffers a sudden death today.

                And what is a “pandemic” anyway? Allow me a brief Greek lesson to explain it.

                “Demic” comes from the Greek word “Demos” (people). Democracy=rule by the people.

                “Endemic” means something that is native to a certain group of people.

                “Epidemic” means something that comes on or over (EPI) the people (such as a virus).

                “Pandemic” means something that comes to all (PAN) the people.

                The Covid-19 is certainly a pandemic because it has spread to ALL parts of the world. This virus started in Wuhan, China and it still running laps around the world. I am praying really hard that this virus is in its final stages.

                There is another pandemic that is affecting the world today. No, it’s not another virus or flu. This is a spiritual pandemic that is even deadlier than Covid-19. Some say that the Coronavirus pandemic is on its third wave, but this other pandemic brings a fresh wave of destruction every day.

                I call it the “Panicdemic.” I believe I have coined this term because I have not seen it anywhere else. A Panicdemic is a pandemic of panic. It is a global wave of fear that has engulfed our world. It is an unreasonable and unwarranted terror that has paralyzed most countries.

                Recently, however, I have seen positive signs that this Panicdemic is subsiding. I see more cars on the streets, more people in the stores and more businesses and schools re-opening. It seems that many people are shaking off the chains of panic and fear and attempting to resume their “normal” lives.

                I pray that this optimism grows more and more every day, because a Panicdemic can bring more devastation and chaos than all pandemics put together. Pills and vaccines can save us from pandemics, but only faith in Christ will save us from all the Panicdemic attacks.

                I pray that the church of Jesus Christ rises up today and shows the world that we do not fear pandemics or succumb under the pressure to bow down to any Panicdemic. We, who are free in Christ, will not become slaves of fear and panic.

                Let us remember the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 1:7,

                “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

                I don’t know about you, but I simply refuse to live in fear. I will wash my hands (like I did before) and I will respect your decision to wear masks, but I won’t stop living, haunted by the possibility of death. I am saved, I am free and I am fearless because Christ lives in me.

                A. G.     11/1/2020

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God is the Best

             Genesis 1

             In the beginning…

            All of us had a beginning, a physical beginning when we were born from our earthly parents. Some of us had yet another beginning, a spiritual awakening or rebirth from God, the day we believed in the Lord Jesus as our only Savior.

            Our lives were a “formless void” and the darkness of sin covered our hearts, making communication with God impossible. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit was there preparing the way for the coming of the Prince of Peace into our disorganized and meaningless lives.

            Then God said, ‘let there be light’…

            Then, when everything seemed to lead to chaos and despair, Jesus appeared bringing hope; just as morning sunlight brings forth a renewed confidence that darkness will not prevail. A world without light is as a heart without Jesus.

            Then God said…

            How immensely powerful is God’s Word. The world was created by the Word; we are born again when we believe what the Word teaches about Jesus; and the Word of God is our “daily bread” that sustains our spiritual selves. Finally, the blessed Word of God is filled with God’s promises including the return of Jesus.

            And God saw it was good…

            Everything God did is good. All God is doing is good, and anything God will ever do is good and for our good.

            Thank you, Lord.

            A. G.

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The Breath of Life (Genesis 2)

                So God blessed…

                Someone has said that “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.” I believe this is true. God did not only create everything, but God made it good and blessed it. A special blessing was bestowed upon the “Sabbath,” or as we know it today, on the “Lord’s day.”

                This means specifically that a special blessing is waiting for us every time we meet in our congregations to worship the Lord. A clear biblical example is the apostle Thomas (John 20:19-29), who lost the blessing of seeing the resurrected Christ.

                Then the Lord formed… and breathed…

            Life is another blessing that comes from God. Without this blessing or “Breath of Life,” we would be nothing but dust or mud. This means simply that our lives depend on God. He gave it to us and can surely take it away.

                This breath of life represents the spiritual side of humankind (soul and spirit). We are different from every other creature in this sense. This breath also typifies the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, imparting new life, eternal life to us even when we were dead in “trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

                And the Lord planted a garden in Eden…

            Eden was the first paradise. Everything there was beautiful, harmonious, peaceful and delicious. What a blessing it must have been to live in this perfect place. God, in infinite wisdom, created a place for his prized creation. This paradise is not lost, however, as Jesus promised it to the thief (Luke 23:43) and to those who believe in Him.

                Are you waiting for the day when we will enter into God’s eternal and glorious heavenly paradise?

                I know I am

 

               

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Dedication

                 Yesterday I had the enormous and undeserved privilege of leading the dedication ceremony of Sofia, our tenth grandchild. It was a beautiful day in every aspect. The weather was nice, the food was great and the family and friends were enjoyable and amicable.

                The highlight of the day, however, was the dedication ceremony itself. I was able to preach the Word and pray, which is the best thing in the world for me to do. My text was Psalm 127 which reads:

                “Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;
                 Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
                 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late,
                 To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.                  
                  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
                The fruit of the womb is a reward.
                Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.
                Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
               They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the
gate.”

               I pointed out the fact that God is the Keeper and Protector of our house (family). He is also our Provider and the One who brings peace and rewards to our life. Our children bring us happiness and they are our future, flying like arrows into unknown.

              I love the fact that my sons always ask me to dedicate their children to God. I have told them repeatedly that this is not infant baptism, a magical ceremony or a special ritual whereby children receive benefits from God, spiritual or otherwise. A baby dedication demands a commitment from the parents and grandparents, to raise their children in the ways of the Lord and to seek his blessings.

             This is the same thing that our heavenly Father expects from us. A baby dedication is meaningless if we don’t dedicate our own lives to the Lord. This is akin to what many well-meaning parents do, as they send their kids to Sunday school or to private Christian schools, but they themselves never go to church services (wedding and funerals do not count).

              If you are a Christian, you need to dedicate your life to Jesus. If you are not a Christian, you need to repent of your sins and come to Jesus seeking forgiveness and salvation. You see, everyone in this world dedicates his or her life to one or more causes. While some of these causes have some merit, the majority are totally useless and irrelevant.

               I encourage you to dedicate the rest of your life not to a cause, but to the Cause of all things; to Jesus, the “Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). He is and will always be our reason for living and the ultimate purpose of our lives.

               Anything else that we do in this life must never surpass, or even get close to our dedication to our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember: Whoever or whatever you dedicate your life, energy and effort to, is in fact the object of your worship. Choose today to whom you will dedicate your all. Some will choose sports, jobs, careers, family or money, but I will remain here at the feet of my Lord and Savior forever.

               A. G.

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