Pastor's Meditations

“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

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

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

 

               

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

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.

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

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.

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Voices

                                                

                In the late 1970s, David Berkowitz, also known at Son of Sam killed at least six people in New York City. Later on, after his arrest, he claimed that he was hearing voices that were telling him to commit murder. We all have watched similar events in movies or in the news. Many people today claim to hear voices in their heads. This can be attributed to mental illness or to the fact that they might be somehow involved in occult practices.

                If we are honest, we must confess that all of us hear voices in our heads at one point or another in our lives and most of us hear them on a daily basis. I am referring to the voice of temptation; the voice of fear; the voices of doubt; the voices of deceit and lies and the voices that remind us of our failures.

                These and many other similar voices attempt---sometimes successfully---to torment us and to lead us away from the straight and narrow path. These are the thoughts that are replayed over and over in our minds, until we feel defeated and discouraged.

                There is another way to deal with these silent, and yet loud voices or thoughts. We may not be able to stop temptations from coming our way, or avoid all evil thoughts from knocking at our door, but we don’t have to give in to temptations or yield to any wicked thought. When the “voices” of our enemies try to infiltrate our souls we must respond decisively by…

                 “…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

                This is the key for victory in our spiritual warfare. We cannot entertain (or be entertained by) evil thoughts and ideas. We cannot allow any unholy idea to enter our mind, thinking that we can control it or play with it without danger or harm. These little ideas are like Trojan Horses, filled with a host of bloodthirsty adversaries, ready to bring chaos and destruction upon us.

                 Every time an evil thought or temptation tries to “speak” to you, do not listen to it. Cast it down and put it in prison. When you are being tormented by lies, fear, doubts and depression, call on Jesus and He will set you free.

                 He is the only One that can and will give you victory over the enemy and his fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16). If you notice, the verse says to bring every evil thought into captivity “to the obedience of Christ.” Obedience to Christ and submission to his will empower us to resist the devil in the name of Jesus and win (James 4:7).

                  Finally, if you and I listen to the Voice of our Good Shepherd, we will follow Him (John 10:27) and walk closer with our Lord. When this happens, we won’t hear the wicked whispers that incite us to sin anymore. Then our adversary will roar like an angry lion to call our attention or intimidate us, but we won’t fall for this obvious trap and the real lion, the Lion of Judah will protect us and lead us to victory.

                  A.G.

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter