Pastor's Meditations

Three Days (Genesis 40)  

            “Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head...”

            The difference between a Christian and an unbeliever is a three day journey.  This is the road that Jesus walked to complete his work of redemption.  This is the “road” that everyone must take in order to be born into God’s family.

            The first day takes us to the cross at Calvary.  At the foot of the cross we can deposit our burdens and sins. This is the place where Jesus died to atone for our sins. This is the place where repentance cries out to God for forgiveness and salvation. This is the place where we meet our Lord and Savior and are united with Him through faith.

            Our journey continues and during the last part of the first and the entire second day, the lifeless body of Jesus rests inside the tomb.  In that tomb our sins are also “resting” forever; Jesus took them on the cross and buried them on that tomb.  They are dead and buried forever and shall never come out of the tomb.

            The third and last day arrives and all we find is an empty tomb.  Why?  Because Jesus is alive!  He was raised from among the dead, having conquered sin and death.  In this third day, Jesus consummated his saving work.  Now he offers eternal life to those who dare to believe in his name, and are willing to walk in Jesus, the only road to heaven (John 14:6).

            Three days were the difference between the cupbearer and the chief baker.  One was executed (the baker), while the other was forgiven and restored.  God will do the same for those that will walk this “three day journey” to find new life in Christ.

            Have you walked on this “road” yet?

            A. G.

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For Ever (Genesis 39)       

            “The Lord was with Joseph...”          

            How sad and cumbersome is to feel alone and abandoned!  On those moments, when life “turns her back” on us and friends disavowed us, we feel as if the earth was opening to swallow us alive.

            Sadness, for some of us, is a way of life, but it comes and goes.  Jesus in the other hand, is the great “I am,” he always is, he will never leave us or abandon us under any circumstance.

            This principle is illustrated in Joseph’s life.

            Joseph was sold by his brothers, but God was with him.

            He was a slave of Potiphar, but God was with him.

            He was unjustly thrown into prison, but God was with him.

            Finally, Joseph was made second ruler of Egypt.  Why?

            You guessed it:  Because God was with him!

            Years later, Joseph had a wonderful opportunity to achieve revenge over his cruel and evil brothers, but because God was in him and with him, he became a channel of divine blessings instead.

            Do not allow any test or tribulation to erode your confidence in the Almighty God.  Be reminded that Jesus is with you at all times and in every circumstance.

            Furthermore, let us never forget that God is in absolute control over every situation of our lives.  Everything that comes our way is part of the overall plan and eternal purpose of God. God is with us and we are with him forever.

            A. G.

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Dreams and Visions (Genesis 37)   

            “Once Joseph had a dream...”

            The children of God would do well to imitate Joseph.  He was a man of God in good and in bad times.   Joseph was faithful to the Lord wherever he was; either in his house, in prison, or in the Pharaoh’s court.  God’s desire is that his followers exhibit the same kind of faith and exemplary conduct.

            Joseph was also a dreamer.  To dream is to give wings to our faith; it is to have vision for the future; it is also the ability to look beyond our present circumstances and “seeing” what others can’t see or believe.

            When I refer to “dreams”, I am not alluding to the materialistic ambitions of some (like the American Dream), or to the “prophetic utterances” of others.  The dreams which I am talking about are not even the “quiet times” (e.g., sleep) that some of us practice during sermons.

            What are your dreams today?  I believe there is nothing wrong with dreaming about owning a house, buying a car, getting married, etc.  Nevertheless our dreams must go beyond the confines of our own interests.  We can dream about heaven, about becoming mature believers, about serving God and accomplishing great feats in God’s name.

            “He had another dream...”

            Dreaming is a lifetime experience.  A dream must be kept alive at all costs, because when we stop dreaming, a part of us starts dying.  Never top dreaming, for one day, your dreams may come true, especially if you dream holy dreams.

            A. G.

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One Big, Happy Family (Genesis 38)     

                                                                                                

            “Judah went down from his brothers...”

            Once upon a time, there was a small piece of coal whose name was “Happy”.  He lived with his family inside of a gigantic bag of coal.  They were always together and did everything together. There was nothing that could separate that happy family. Those were truly the “happy days.”

            One day, a customer appeared in the store and bought the big bag.  When he reached home, he opened it and emptied the entire charcoal “family” in a barbecue. “Happy” saw, horrified, how this man set his whole family on fire.

            All of a sudden “Happy” jumped out of the barbecue, escaping the “terrible” fire.  Turning to his family, he was amazed to see them glowing in the flames.  They were not crying because they were fulfilling their purpose in life.  “Happy,” on the other hand, died alone, useless and forgotten.

            When a child of God chooses to distance himself from God’s family, he has no other place to go but to the godless society.  There he or she will find (as Judah did), temptations, adultery, and even death.

            God offers true love; the world tempts us with lust.  God gives us a loving family; the world only offers the trickery and deceit of a stranger (Tamar).

            It’s your decision.  You can separate from God’s family and become as useless as a piece of wet charcoal.  You can also elect to remain in the bosom of the family, and fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

            Do you want to be on “fire” for God today?

            A. G.

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Christ or Canaan? (Genesis 36)

             “Esau took his wives from the Canaanites...”

            Esau was a man of the world.  He can be compared to a pagan that has been raised in a Christian home.  Isaac served God, and was a good example to his children, including Esau.

            Esau had all the opportunities in the world to live for God and walk in righteousness.  He did not come from a “broken home” and he learned about God from his godly family.

            In spite of all these blessings and privileges, Esau chose to reject everything connected with God.  First, he rejected his birthright for a hot stew.  Now, he was marrying pagan women from Canaan.  He chose to unite with idolaters and rejected the only true God. 

            Beloved, beware of the “Canaanite pleasures.”  We are children of the light and cannot join ourselves to the kingdom of darkness.  We can’t love Christ and “Canaan” at the same time, it’s impossible; it’s a mistake; it is a sin.

            Do not take anything from this world.  Be careful not to entangle in “unholy alliances” with non-believers.  In 2 Corinthians 6:14 we are admonished by the apostle:

            “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”

            If you ever need something (or someone), ask God.  He will always give us more than we need or deserve.  At least in this case, it is better to receive (from God), than to give (to the world). 

            A. G.       

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