Pastor's Meditations

“Personal Life”


                You have probably heard people talk about their “personal life.” They have divided their lives into different segments such as work, school, church, chores, shopping and personal time. This last one refers to the little bit of time we can dedicate to ourselves.

                In our personal time we do the things we like (and can afford) to do. We use it to play, rest, watch TV, go out with the family and do other fun activities. This is OUR time and no one should ever dare to mess with it.

                The term “Personal Life” goes beyond our free time and the activities we like. It also refers to a defined set of beliefs, attitudes and ideas we have about ourselves. Our personal life is that secret space we reserve only for ourselves. No one else is allowed there.

                The goal of every Christian must be the elimination of our personal life. In our conversion our dead spirit was reborn as we were baptized with the Spirit of God. This is what is known in theology as our union with Christ. As we grow in Christ (or better yet as Christ grows in us), our own personality begins to disappear until Christ is all that others can see in us when they look at our life.

                Paul understood this concept as he wrote in Galatians 2:20:

                I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I, who live, but Christ lives in me; and    the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

                You see, our life is not ours anymore. We have been redeemed (bought) with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). He is not only our Savior, but He is also our Lord, Master, King and Owner. Paul once again teaches this in Colossians 3:4,

               “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Emphasis added).

                The same message was sent to the Corinthian church:

                “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19 emphasis added).

                Our focus then must be, not in our “personal” life, but in the Person of Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2). We do not have a personal life anymore; Christ is in us and He lives his life in us and through us. We must die to sin and to our own desires and submit completely to Jesus. Only then will we be able to proclaim with Paul:

                “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.(Philippians 1:21)

                A. G.

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  “Pride Week”


                You have probably heard people say to their family or friends: “I am proud of you!” Perhaps you have said so to your children more than one time (I know I have!). As I reflect upon this, I find no biblical basis for continuing this practice.

                Every time pride is mentioned in the Bible is in a negative manner. Pride is a sin, or better yet pride is the essence of what sin is like. It was pride that turned Lucifer into a Satan (Isaiah 14) and it was pride what caused the downfall of mankind (Genesis 3).

                A few weeks ago the LGBTQIA (and the list keeps growing!) community celebrated yet another “pride week” to accentuate their growth as a movement and their pride in their sexual perversions. Even liberal churches joined in the festivities, by proclaiming their support for this “minority” and to reject the intolerance that the church of Christ has had towards this aberrant behavior.

                Yes, the homosexuals and their friends are “happy” and proud. They came out of the closet a long time ago and now there is not even a closet anymore! You can see them everywhere. They are the greatest “evangelists” of our day, by proclaiming the “message of the rainbow” (not to be confused with the Covenant God made with Noah) on TV, at the movies, in books and textbooks, in libraries and schools. They are “happy” and they are proud!

                Meanwhile, the majority of the church has gone into the closet to hide in fear and shame. While it is important to go into the prayer closet every day, it is also vitally important to come out of that holy closet every day and live out our Christianity unashamedly before the world.

                The LGBTQIA community is proud of their sinful lifestyle. Are we going to be ashamed of the Gospel? Jesus was not ashamed. Paul was not ashamed (Romans 1:16) and millions of believers throughout the ages have not been ashamed to identify with Christ.

                We are not called to be proud or to celebrate our faith in Christ one day a week, or one week a year. We have been called to be:      

                The salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13, 14)

                Ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)

                A holy nation for Christ (1 Peter 2:9-10)

                Joyful in Christ at all times (Philippians 4:4)

                I pray that all of us can begin today to proclaim the living Gospel of Christ with our words and our deeds. We are the true evangelists certified and commissioned by the Lord.

                 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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       “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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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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