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.