Pastor's Meditations

Powerful Men (Genesis 10)

                “…the first…mighty warrior.”

                We live in a world fascinated by power. There are power-hungry executives, power-hungry Satan worshippers, and multitudes of bloodthirsty fans willing to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars to enjoy boxing, extreme wrestling, and ultimate fighting, to mention just a few.

                What about “superheroes”? A while ago, I took my then, three teenage boys to watch X-Men, a movie full of nonstop action in which our “heroes” displayed an awesome array of supernatural powers, including fire, laser, ice, and mind control. These movies, comics, and video games have captured the imagination of our power-hungry generation.

                Nimrod would have been a popular character in our times. He was truly powerful, at least in the worldly sense of the word. He founded Babel or Babylon and ruled over a vast empire. Some even say he controlled the Babylonian religion.

                This world of ours needs power, but not the power that comes from Hollywood, Wall Street, or Washington, DC. God has given power to his Church, a power that is able to change lives and influence society. Hollywood has special effects and tricks, Wall Street controls the economy, and DC has the president of the United States, but we have God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

                There is no person in this world more powerful than a Spirit-filled Christian. In John 4:4 we read the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” If you are a follower of Christ you have more power at your disposal than you can imagine.

                This power allows us to live a holy life and to preach the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. This power enables us to pray for others as we intercede before the throne of God and this power is the reason that we can obey and serve our Lord.

                Do you have this power?

                A. G.

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THE GOD OF SECOND CHANCES (Genesis 9)

                "This is the sign of the covenant…"

                There is something peculiar about the game of baseball that separates this sport from every competition: signs. Have you attended a game of baseball or watched one at home? Then you probably noticed the manager and the first and third base coaches making all sorts of ridiculous signs. For the casual observer, this is a comical spectacle, but for the batter or runner, these signs are reminders that the coach is in control and that he is directing the course of the game according to his plan.

                The rainbow is the sign of God’s covenant with Noah. This sign pointed to God’s promise of not sending another worldwide flood; this sign tells us that God is still in control of the universe; this sign is a public testimony that God has given humanity a second chance. What is your first reaction when you see a rainbow? Some admire the bright colors, while others don’t even bother looking up. I am thankful to believe in a God that always fulfills His promises and is always ready and willing to offer yet another opportunity to the repentant heart.

                God also made a covenant with us, better known as the New Covenant, which was mediated by Jesus in His complete work of redemption. This is also a second chance, as we now enjoy the benefits of a new life and will enjoy a new home in heaven. Great emphasis is place on the fact that God wiped out almost an entire society, but let us not forget the word almost, for God gave Noah and every future generation a new beginning, a celestial sign, and a second chance.

                 A. G.

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Thoughts on Nativity

                Nativity comes from the Lt. Nativus which means birth and we get the word Native (PEOPLE BORN IN THIS PLACE). Christmas is literally the “Mass of Christ” a Roman Catholic ritual service in which Christ is sacrificed over and over.

                The actual date or day in which Jesus was born is not as important as the fact that we celebrate his birth. It was probably not on December 25th. The fact that we celebrate Jesus’ birthday means that He is alive. Dead people have no birthday celebrations.

                Nativity is the birth of Christ. No one else should be celebrated on that day (secular Christmas).

                Without the Incarnation (birth as a human) there is no real Crucifixion (death on the cross) or Resurrection.

                The birth of Jesus changed history (B.C. / A.D.). His death on the cross changed my destination (from hell to heaven) and his resurrection has given us hope.

                The real tree is not adorned with tinsel and lights. It is stained with the blood of the Lamb.

                The real Santa is our Heavenly Father from whom we received all blessings and gifts.

                The real Bright and Morning Star is Jesus.

                The fact that we celebrate yet another Nativity or Jesus’ birthday means that He is not a baby in a manger anymore.

                Mary was the mother of Jesus (humanity) but no woman can be the mother or creator of God.

                Jesus was born at night and He died amid great darkness, but He was raised from the dead three days later in a beautiful Sunday morning.

                If this and every year you want a real reason to celebrate this season, ask Jesus to come into your heart as He has already come into this dark world to bring light.

                In a manger He laid, on a cross He died and a grave lays empty as a testimony that He is alive forever.

                The worldly man never comes to Jesus; the wise men came to Jesus one time; the religious man comes to church one a year; the churchgoing man comes to church almost every Sunday; but the saved and devoted man comes to Jesus every day of his life.

                On Nativity heaven came to earth so one day we can go to heaven forever

              The purpose of Nativity is the Cross. The glory of Nativity is Jesus.

               A. G.

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DETAILS (Genesis 8)

                 “But God remembered Noah…”

                 The greatness of our God can be attributed to His majestic glory, His creative genius, and His orderly rule of the universe. God’s greatness can also be appreciated in His attention to details. The same God who controls the course of history is the God who feeds the birds and clothes the flowers of the field (Matt. 6:26-29).

                 God remembered Noah. Who was Noah? Just a little speck, an insignificant creature lost in the vastness of the universe. But nothing or no one escapes God’s attention. God remembered Noah. This is an expression to denote that in reality, God never forgets anything, except our sins.

                God never forgets us and always remembers us. God knows our dreams and desires, our secrets and sins, our fears and future. He even has the exact count of the hairs on our heads (for some of us, the count is becoming easier by the minute).

                “Go out of the ark…”

                Noah came out of the ark to a “new” earth. In the near future, we too shall go out of this world. The ark represents not only our salvation in Christ, but it also typifies our preservation during the earthly phase of our Christian life. One day, we will meet Jesus face to face in the “new heavens and new earth” (Revelation 22).

                We can face the future with confidence, knowing that God is interested in every detail relevant to our lives, that He will take care of us in His providence, and that soon He is coming to take us home with Him forever.

                A. G.

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CLOSED DOORS (Genesis 7)

“Go into the ark, you and all your household…”

                Since the beginning, God has had a tremendous interest in the family. The family was the first institution ever created, and it is the bonding nucleus for a successful society. In fact, the government and the church would not exit if there were no family.

                There is nothing more pleasing to God than to see an entire family entering through the “doors” of salvation in Christ and worshipping Him together. Noah’s ark symbolizes our salvation from the penalty of sin because Noah and his family were saved from the ravaging flood. Is our family inside this “ark” today?

“…and the Lord shut him in.”

            The doors of salvation are still open wide today, although they will not remain open forever. God shut the doors leading to the ark, and those who were out perished. Do you know someone who is “out”? The world needs to know that now is the day of salvation (2 Cor.6:2).

“Only Noah was left…”

                Who will be standing after the return of the Lord? Only the conquerors. Who are the conquerors? Those who believe Jesus is God’s Son (I John 5:1-5).

                In this world, we will be persecuted, ridiculed, and tempted almost to the point of defeat. But a day is coming when the doors of heaven will open wide and a trumpet will signal that it’s time to come home. As for the unbelievers, the doors will shut forever and they will never see God. Aren’t you glad you are “inside” today?

               A. G.

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