Pastor's Meditations

More than a Mother (Genesis 28)

                “If God will be with me…”

                I have not met a child yet who says no to candy. They may refuse cookies or chocolates, but candies, no way! In the same manner, I haven’t seen a Christian who does not desire God’s blessings upon his or her life. Jacob, running for his life, needed God’s protection and provision. We need God as much or more than Jacob.

                “Know that I am with you…”

                This is the divine answer for all of our needs. Even before we ask God to help us, he is already with us like a tender shepherd. Jesus promised,

                “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

                Jesus is with us; in fact, he will never leave us. In our trials and tribulations, he is there; in the days of gladness and joy, he is there; and when the storms that bring sorrow and dark clouds cover our sunny skies, Jesus will be there. His presence will comfort us and his love will give us new strength to carry on.

                “I will not leave you…”

                Jesus is with us and in us forever. His presence is permanent; he is faithful to the end. His name is “Emmanuel,” which means God is always with us (Matt. 1:23). Everyone may forget about us, even our own mothers, but Jesus will never abandon us, not even for a second. If today you are felling that nobody (even God), cares about you, remember that this is just a feeling, not the reality. It is possible to be forgotten and rejected even by the people of God, but that God will leave us is...impossible.

                A. G.

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A Delicious Dish (Genesis 27)

                “...savory food for your father, such as he likes…”

                I remember clearly the breakfast my three sons cooked for me one Father’s Day. It was delicious! There were scrambled eggs, fried Spam, Cuban bread, café con leche (Cuban coffee and milk), pancakes with maple syrup, and a few other savory items. It was truly a feast fit for a king!

                Jacob cooked Isaac’s favorite food (with Rebekah’s help) and brought it to him. They prepared the best dish, but they had an evil wish. This banquet was a small piece in a much larger conspiracy to obtain Isaac’s blessing illegally. It was similar to sin: a delicious (yet deadly) trap.

                What is God’s favorite food?

                God delights himself in his children. His favorite “food” is a pure heart filled with love, a renewed mind filled with Christ, and a consecrated spirit filled with the uttermost devotion.

                Is our life a sweet-smelling offering to the Lord? Are we presenting our bodies as a “living sacrifice” unto God (Rom. 12:1)? Our life must be like a delicious dish for God: a banquet where he can find faith, hope, gratitude, obedience, trust, and love.

                This is what our Father likes.

                A. G.

                

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Sweet Death (Genesis 25)

                “…and was gathered to his people.”

                Have you ever thought about your death? Death is the most guaranteed ever of our lives. The probability of death is still one out of one, and is intricately connected to us as a fish is to the sea. In other words, death is perfectly natural occurrence, and its visit shouldn’t surprise us. But is does, because no one is ever completely prepared to face death.

                Abraham died and was gathered to his people. What people? Abraham was reunited with Adam, Enoch, Noah, and many other servants of the living God. Ever since the time of Abraham, humans have believed in the afterlife, even the Egyptians! God was called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob simply because they were alive with God after death.

                There is a multitude of believers waiting for us in God’s glorious presence. This is God’s family; these are the people of God from every age and race. One day we will be reunited forever with them, either through death or through the “Rapture.”

                If everything I have been saying is true (and surely it is), then death is not as bad as they say. Death for the Christian is the bridge leading to a better life. Death also will gather us with our true family in heaven and with our Lord Jesus Christ.

                Isn’t death sweet?

                A. G.

 

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Say No to Egypt (Genesis 26)

   

“Do not go down to Egypt…”

                Egypt, in the Bible, represents the world and its pleasures, just as Babylon is a symbol of idolatry and fase religions. In “Egypt” you can find everything you want (except God, of course).

                No wonder God advised Isaac personally not to go down to Egypt. Why? Because going to Egypt means taking a step back in our Christian life; it means leaving the Mountain of the Lord to descend into the “valley of sin and death.”

                But doesn’t God send us into the valley to preach his saving gospel? He certainly does. The difference is found in the purpose or motivation to go back to “Egypt.” Its one thing to descend as God’s ambassadors to spread the good news, and quite another to go back to the world to satisfy our carnal appetites. It is not the same to “feed” the unbelievers with the “bread of heaven” as to be fed with the poisonous, yet tastier “food” of the world.

                “Isaac dug again the wells…”

                When there is need in our lives (and who is not needy?), God wants us to return, not to Egypt, but to God. He will give us power, wisdom, and strength.

                We can dig another well; we can begin anew. How can we dig wells of blessings? With prayer. God will hear our cries of desperation and will come to our rescue in his always-perfect time. God will open heaven’s windows and pour his manifold blessings over us so that we never again return to Egypt.

                 A.  G.

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Basic Stuff (Genesis 24)

                “…ran again to the well…”

                A successful Christian is one who “sticks” to the basics of Christianity. What steps must we follow to become victorious believers? What I am about to tell you is so simple. It is basic. The first step is the faithful study of God’s Word. In the beginning, you will be content if you at least read the Bible; but as you grow and mature as a Christian, you must go deeper and deeper into the Word.

                If you study of the Bible is limited to casual reading and listening to Sunday morning’s sermon, then do not be alarmed if your spirit is weak and your faith is small. Drawing “living water” from the Bible requires at least two things: deep thirst—“She went down to the springs;” and perseverance---“she…ran again…”

                “Before she had finished speaking…”

                The second vital activity is prayer. God always answers our prayers, even though the “answer” may not be what we anticipated or prayed for in the first place. Nevertheless, there are occasions when God surprises us by answering while we are still praying. A successful Christian prays to God every day regardless of the nature of the answer.

                “I will not eat until I have told my errand.”

                The victorious believer takes time and effort to communicate God’s message to the lost world. This is the logical outgrowth of Bible study and prayer. We have tasted the living water; now let’s tell others about it. These are the basics of Christianity.

                A. G.

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