domingo, 15 de abril de 2012


If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31
Most of us at some time in our lives have heard someone say, "I've got good news and bad news." The Scriptures are the epitome of that saying, aren't they? I believe one of the reasons the gospel is referred to as the "Good News" is that we're so inundated with bad news and are desperately looking for relief! But the bad news we hear from the media each day scarcely comes close to the bad news we can find in the Bible.
Yes, there is a lot of bad news, but we can sum it up like this: The world is NOT fair, the devil hates us and wants to destroy us and never takes a vacation, and the situation will probably get worse before it gets better.
But God...
And that's where the Good News comes in. Though the world and the devil and all his demon hordes may align themselves against us (and they have!),God is for us,! Romans 8:17 therefore confidently declares, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" That verse isn't promising that nothing or no one will come against us, but rather, because God stands with us and for us and even beneath us, holding us up, not one of the enemies who comes against us can defeat us! Though they may inflict temporary pain and suffering and torment--and even take our very lives--ultimately they lose, and we win.
And that, my friends, is the Good News! The One who stands with us, who fights for us, who even died for us to ensure that the enemies who hate us can never triumph over us, has determined that we are to be "more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). In fact, verses 38-39 continue with this amazing promise, which we would all do well to memorize:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As we continue to "fight the good fight," let's remember that the One who fights for us has already secured the victory and has promised that absolutely nothing can separate us from His great love. And that  is the best news anyone can ever hear!

viernes, 24 de febrero de 2012


Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Nearly  ten-years ago, as a relatively new believer, I was getting ready to leave a Sunday morning church service when I noticed a newcomer sitting in the pew in front of me, a few seats down. As we all made our way toward the center aisle to exit the building, my eyes caught his so I smiled and introduced myself. We exchanged brief pleasantries, and then, as I turned to move on, I wished him well and promised to pray for him and his family during the week. I had no sooner climbed into my car, however, than I felt convicted of not having taken the time to pray for him on the spot. The feeling that I needed to offer to do so would not go away, though I argued with myself that he had probably already left. Still, I decided to go back into the building to check.
Sure enough, though the sanctuary was otherwise empty by then, the young man sat alone in a pew, his head in his hands, and I realized my sense of urgency had been God's call to prayer. I went to him and told him I believed the Lord wanted me to pray with him, and he began to weep.
"I live just down the street a few houses from this church," he said. "My wife left me a few days ago and took the kids, and I've been so depressed. This morning I decided to give life one more chance by coming here to this church. I told myself that if God would send someone to pray with me, I wouldn't kill myself when I got home. I'm so glad He sent you."
And I'm so glad I obeyed! How often do we say we will pray for someone and then forget our promise? And how important is it to obey God's specific call to prayer? Sometimes that call to prayer comes as a nudge from the Holy Spirit, as it did for me that day more than three decades ago, but other times it comes through a command in the Scriptures. First Timothy 2:1-2 is explicit in its call to all believers to pray "first of all" for those in authority, whether political or church leaders. Are we heeding that command? Do we regularly pray for our pastors, our congressmen, our President, regardless of how we may feel about them personally?
I for one have been guilty many times of promising to pray but not following through. As a result, I find myself becoming critical of others. Whether a young man contemplating suicide or individuals in positions of authority with nearly unfathomable responsibilities on their shoulders, people need us to be obedient and to intercede for them. Let's commit together to use our words "first of all," as the scripture instructs, to pray for and bless people, rather than criticize them. If we do, God will be faithful to fulfill His purpose.

viernes, 27 de enero de 2012


Then Gideon and the 300 men who were with him came to the Jordan 
{and} crossed over, weary yet pursuing.
Judges 8:4, NASB
The story about Gideon and his meager band of men defeating a massive enemy gathering is always inspiring to me. First, I'm reminded that no battle is ever won in my own strength. Second, I'm encouraged by the fact that nothing is impossible with God.
This last week, however, as I reread this familiar passage of scripture, three little words jumped right off the page and into my heart: "weary yet pursuing." Wow. Though this story emphasizes God's strength and power and sovereignty, it also points out what is required of us as we partner with Him in battle. Certainly we will grow weary, for the battles continue throughout our lifetime here on earth. But even when weary, we are to continue pursuing!
What does that mean? In the story found in Judges 8, we see the victorious Gideon and his 300 men pursuing the pagan kings who had escaped. Though we as believers aren't called to pursue pagan kings, we are definitely called to pursue the King of kings--even when we are weary--for it is in His presence that our strength is renewed. If we give in to our weariness and fall by the wayside, we will miss seeing the victory that God has already won. And oh, how the enemy would love for that to happen!
Beloved, it is God Himself who fights for us, but He has called us to keep pursuing His heart, His presence, His mercy--even (and most especially) when we are weary. As the world changes about us and life as we have known it melts into the realities of fulfilled prophecy, it is more important than ever to pursue God with each step, clinging to Him and His Word with every breath, refusing to turn aside from following hard after Him (see Psalm 63:8, KJV).
May our motto today and always be that we are "weary yet pursuing," for God will see that our pursuing is rewarded by His presence! 

lunes, 21 de noviembre de 2011


So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Genesis 1:5

How many times do we wake up in the morning and speak of starting a new day? Many of us did so even today, didn't we? And yet, scripturally speaking, we aren't starting a new day when we wake up, but rather continuing the one that started the previous evening. And that's an important distinction.
God doesn't do or say things capriciously. He always has a reason for every word, every action, and creation certainly is no exception. God began the cycle of a new day in the evening because He wanted us to understand the need to rest BEFORE beginning our activities. We, on the other hand, have turned it around so that we do our "busy work" first, and then fall into bed, exhausted and in need of rest. Wouldn't it make more sense to follow God's pattern of resting first--drawing on His strength--and THEN going out to do whatever it is He has called us to that day?
When Mary and Joseph noticed their twelve-year-old son, Jesus, was missing, they returned to Jerusalem and found Him in the Temple. "Didn't you understand that I must be about My Father's business?" was His response to their concern.
The Father's business. Isn't that what we are to be about as well? Isn't that how we are to spend our days? But how can we do so if we haven't first spent time with Him, as Jesus made a practice of doing regularly--listening for His voice, His Word, His direction, communing with Him, and learning to rest. For it is as we rest in Him that we understand what He has purposed for us to do and are enabled to respond accordingly.
Too many times we run ourselves ragged during the day--working, playing, serving, ministering--all in our own strength. And we wonder why have no feeling of lasting accomplishment when we're done and why all we want to do is sleep and recover from the day's activities. Perhaps it's because we have it all backward. Why not try turning things around by first thinking of your day as beginning at night, when you go to bed to rest. Spend some time communing with God--before you fall asleep, the moment you wake up--and then, rested and refreshed, continue the day in His strength, rather than your own. Chances are you'll accomplish a lot more of the Father's business.

martes, 19 de abril de 2011


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? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
There are a lot of books and movies and songs "out there" that declare our lives belong to us and we can do whatever we want with them. The problem with that popular concept is that it simply isn't true, particularly if we have received Jesus as Savior and are trusting Him to one day get us into heaven.
I know. As Christians we say we don't buy into that sort of all-about-me thinking, but do we live our lives accordingly? When circumstances or situations or various facets of authority get in our path and dare to suggest (or even demand) that we take a different direction, don't we often react with an it's-my-life-and-nobody-can-tell-me-how-to-live-it attitude? I must admit that's sometimes my first reaction. But then I stop and ask myself, Do I really want to come to the end of my life and exit this world singing Frank Sinatra's song about doing things my own way?
No, I don't. I want to step into eternity and hear the Father say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord." If I've lived life my own way, calling my own shots as if I owned my life and had to answer to no one but myself, I'm not going to hear those wonderful words of welcome. The Scriptures tell us we do not belong to ourselves because we have been "bought at a price." That price was so costly that our finite human minds can scarcely begin to wrap around the enormity of it. The sacrifice was beyond measure--and it was paid by the One who owed us nothing. Every scourge of the whip, every taunt of the jeerers, every pounding of the nails was willingly and lovingly endured to buy my pardon--and yours. Had the price not been paid, this world and everyone who ever lived on it truly would be hopelessly and deservedly heading for hell in the proverbial hand basket. And there would be nothing we could do about it.
May that great price that bought our freedom, our redemption, our reunion with the Father be at the forefront of our thoughts and deeds this day, as we serve the One to whom we truly belong, making our choices according to His will and purposes, and not our own.

lunes, 18 de abril de 2011


"For He is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver"
Malachi 3:2-3

The Book of Malachi, in talking about the last days, refers to Christ as  "refiner's fire," a "fuller's soap," and a "purifier of silver," the overall message being that God is the One who burns out of us all the sin, hypocrisy, and self-righteous deeds that count for nothing, leaving only the pure holiness and righteousness of God within. But the very fact that this act of purifying happens as a result of fire tells us the process probably won't be fun--or painless.
Underground believers around the world, particularly in China, have a saying: "True gold does not fear the refiner's fire." And that's the key, isn't it? If we are truly born again, truly God's son or daughter, truly a committed disciple who has chosen to live (and die if necessary) for Christ, then the true gold of a life submitted to God will withstand the refiner's fire, however painful it might be. The only things that will be burned away in the process are worthless and temporal attachments to a world that no longer has a hold on our heart.
Many of us are experiencing the refiner's fire right now, and I won't deny for a moment that it's tough. But I will tell you this: You are not in the fire alone. Not only are your brothers and sisters in Christ enduring fires of their own, but the Fourth Man who walked in the fire with the three Hebrew children (see Daniel 3) is also in the fire with you. And like the Hebrew children, He will bring you out on the other side, victorious and purified, without even the smell of smoke on your clothes.
So, like our beloved brothers and sisters in the persecuted Church, may we not fear the refiner's fire, for we know we have the true gold of God's Spirit living within us, and the flames will only cause it to shine brighter for those who are still trapped in the darkness. 

sábado, 30 de mayo de 2009


Get glasses to see everything black and dark, this is how can one explain the depression, a disorder that impairs the lives and makes the vision of the world is negative. May cause changes in the cognitive and emotional changes, it affects everyone, especially those with a family that lacked in her childhood love, who have suffered traumatic experiences or who have been unable to overcome an emotional loss. Although all human beings have a strength in her personality to face the difficulties, not all possess the same ability to adapt to the loss.

For this reason, eventually entering a state of depression that can affect your mood, anxiety or living spaces that can last weeks, loss of interest or pleasure in most activities, living with feelings of insignificance, helplessness and guilt. May have changes in sleeping habits, feeling tired, loss of energy, feelings of sluggishness, agitation, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, frequent thoughts about death.

It is important to distinguish between sadness and depression. The first is a normal state which is presented in person to events such as the loss of a loved one, the abandonment of the loved one, loss of freedom. Develops over a short period of time is passing, his recovery process is easier in humans. While depression is a mental disorder characterized by feelings of worthlessness, guilt, sadness, helplessness and deep despair. Unlike normal sadness or grief that follows the loss of a loved one, depression is a pathological grief for no apparent reason justifying it, and serious and persistent, that is when the boundaries of sadness are exceeded. It is a long time that the vision of the surrounding world is close to the point that distorts reality.

A depressed person does not make plans for the future because everything is dark, usually stays in the past and regrets what he has done in his life. Depression constitutes high risk factor that can lead a person to think of suicide, often by economic factors or unwanted separations, among others.

On many occasions, although the symptoms of depression are quite clear, most people affected do not consult or seek any kind of help, but it would be appropriate to reflect on this: Who told you that your problems have no solution? Do not let problems or crisis condition your life. Understand that you are unique and that God has given you a creative abilities, gifts, talents and other skills to solve problems and can bless those around you. With a new level of thinking you can see possibilities in your life instead of impossibilities. Say goodbye to stress, anxiety, depression, fear, fear because He who dwells in you has made you more than winning on all those things.

Make a stop to the anxiety and see clearly what the problem is. Sometimes what you think is the problem is not the problem. Get questions: What is wrong? What is the problem we are trying to solve? What is my responsibility in the matter? Specified, no turns or falls des sen assumptions. For those who are married, no marital problems, personal problems alone. Colócate targets. What I would like to see happen? How is the problem solved? Expand your imagination. Think about all the ideas that are possible to solve the problem. Think of possibilities. Make lots of questions. Forget the "crisis" for a moment and enjoy your life thinking it would be like without this problem, ask yourself now: What do I need to solve the problem? How can I prevent this? Take action on your thoughts.

Once you have found what they needed to solve the problem, design an action plan that will lead you to the life you want to achieve. Do not stay on paper. Do what you have to do: forgive, to love, serve, honor, discipline, perseverance, paid work. Do not give up until you see your problem solved. Acquire wisdom, wisdom comes from God and we should seek to assist us in every step. Still there are answers and solutions. ¡Really born to win!

"But in all this we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37)