Pastor's Meditations

Too Much Heart (Exodus 35)  

            “…whose heart was stirred…”

            When my parents were teenagers in Cuba, they would dance to such popular tunes as “Mucho Corazon” (Too Much Heart).  The chorus of this song went more or less like this:

            “I will give for you my own life, and not die

            That is love, not what you feel now

            I don’t really need a reason to love you

            Because I have too much heart.”

            If this man had “too much heart” to love a woman, how much more should we love our God?   In Exodus 35 the word “heart” is mentioned at least four times.  Those who brought offerings to the Lord were men and women with generous hearts filled with gratitude.  A grateful heart gives freely and abundantly for the work of the Lord.

            Who are those that are able to serve God?

            The answer again is found in the heart.  The Israelites gave offerings and worked in the construction of the Tabernacle, because their hearts were “stirred” or inspired by God.

            Our heart is the engine that drives our will and emotions; and God wants to have complete control of it.  When God directs our hearts we will be able to give, serve, obey and follow, like never before.  We will also withstand temptation, for our hearts will be occupied by its rightful owner: Jesus Christ.

            Perhaps we require “too much heart” to love our spouses, but to love God we just need a single heart that is always open to Him.

            A. G.

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True Jealousy (Exodus 34)  

           “…the Lord, whose name is jealous...”

            Have you ever seen a jealous woman?  A jealous woman is a dangerous individual to be around.  She watches your every step, and monitors your “looks.”  Sometimes it becomes impossible to breathe properly under such scrutiny.

            A jealous man however, is even more obnoxious in behavior and overall attitude than women.  Driven by frenetic jealousy, he exhibits a total lack of trust or respect for his girlfriend or wife.  She is not able to look, smile or talk with anybody, and woe to the man who dares to look at her!  Nevertheless he, (the jealous hypocrite) enjoys looking at other women all the time!

            Our Lord is a jealous God, but his jealousy is not driven by doubt, fear or mistrust.  God’s jealousy originates from his everlasting love.  He wants us only for Himself; he desires our love and dedication.

            Is it right for God to be jealous?  Do we deserve his love or jealousy?

            First, God created us and therefore we belong to him. As our Creator he has every right and privilege over our lives. He is also our Redeemer; he sent his Son to give his precious life for us, to make us his children. Finally, God is also our Sustainer. He keeps us under his providential care every day of our lives, with his magnificent provision and protection from evil.

            Let us always keep this in mind brethren.  When we relegate God to a lesser position; or when we fix our eyes on something (or someone) else, we are committing spiritual adultery.  Only Jesus must have the preeminence.

            A. G.

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An Important Question (Exodus 32)  

            “Who is on the Lord’s side?”

            The following is a story I heard from Eugene Hanchuk, my former pastor many years ago:

            There was a clandestine (secret) meeting of believers in the former Soviet Union which was raided by the communist secret police.

            The group of soldiers interrupted the sweet communion of the Christians, as they entered abruptly into the room.  Armed with semi-automatic weapons they asked with a very menacing tone:

            “Who is willing to die for Christ today?”

            Almost half of the believers stood up, and they were taken to another room, probably to be executed.  The rest of the “Christians” left the building in a hurry, after being released with one condition:  Never attend a Christian meeting again.

            “Now we can worship the Lord freely” Said one of the soldiers.  “We are true believers, but we needed to get rid of those false prophets first.”

            Moses asked:  “Who is on the Lord’s side?”

            Jesus asks who wants to reject idolatry, doubt and disobedience.

            “...on the Lord’s side.”  This means to take a step forward; to identify ourselves with Jesus; and to forsake the world.  If the world does not approve of us, well fine!  It is time for the church to rise up again.  It is time to go back to the Lord.  It is time to answer HERE I AM when he asks:

            “Who is on my side?”

            A. G.

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Danger Zone (Exodus 33)    

             “…but I will not go up among you...”

            To disobey God, is a very dangerous practice.  Disobedience is not only a sin, but it also leads us astray and away from God’s presence. This lack of intimate communion with our God is painful and could very well destroy our testimony.

            The Israelites sinned greatly against the Lord when they worshipped the golden calf, and God sent a plague to punish them.  The people of Israel disobeyed God’s precepts and thus separated themselves from the Most High.

            When we sin and disobey God, we are punishing ourselves.  It is as if we were telling Him:  “Listen God, I know that you love me and that I am your child, but at this moment I want to be alone and do as I please!”

            This is what the Bible calls “living according to the flesh” (Romans 8:4, 5).  This kind of dangerous and irresponsible lifestyle only leads to more sin, more problems and more distance between us and God.

            Living in disobedience can only take us to the “danger zone”, where God’s guidance and protection are minimal.  God has never been in the business of blessing sin or condoning disobedience.

            If we have problems because of our disobedience, it’s not God’s fault.  Although we shall never lose our salvation, we are grieving the Holy Spirit, and becoming highly ineffective Christians.

            Come out of the danger zone today and find refuge in a life of obedience and devotion to God! 

            A. G.

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By Name   (Exodus 31)     

          “See, I have called by name...”

           When I read this Bible passage in which we are told that God knows us and calls us by name, I am overcome with joy. The Creator of the universe not only knows everything there is to know about me, but He is interested in me and wants to be involved in every area of my life.

            The government does not call us by name; perhaps it is not concerned by such trivial information.  To the government we are just one more number taking up valuable space in its computers.

             This reminds me of a tender and loving grandmother, who has four daughters and ten grandchildren.   She loves all the “gremlins,” as she affectionately calls them, and knows them by name. When there is a family reunion however, she usually gets confused and forgets some of the names.  On some occasions, when she tries to call one of her grandchildren, she utters at least six or seven names before hitting the “bulls-eye.”

             How wonderful it is to know that our God is not like the government or the grandmother!  He knows our name by heart and what’s better he will never forget it.  When he calls you to serve, he calls you by name.  When we have sinned against him, he call us (by name) to repent, and to restore us.  We are important to God.  He created us and knows not only our name, but every single detail of our lives.

             Do I know your name?  Probably not, but there is someone I know that knows it.  His name is Jesus. Do you know Him?

             A. G.

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