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.