Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On keeping holy habits

    Do not be afraid on taking holy habits. It is a matter of keepig promises. When someone gets maried, gets involved in "holy habits" that he or she are to keep. The same is with God. Never be afraid of having them and keeping them. Holy habits that involve your character, conduct, principles, but also in keeping the Lord's Day.  People will say to you that is not good to be religious, and that is true, but they are so afraid of NOT be religious that they cannot commit to "holy habits".  Religion without works is in vane, just as works with no religion.

    Keep the Lord's Day in a special day.. think of your Lord and prepare yourself to meet Him with the other beleivers. Do not commit to other activities on that day that will distract your mind from your God. There are no rules as how to keep it. It is a matter of concience, but I encourage you to seek your heart and ask the Lord as to which way is best to keep it. So that all that you do that day, will be focused in a special way to the Lord.

   You are to think of the Lord every day in all you do... but there is something special in keeping one day for God alone. A day where you can say: The movie that I want to watch, I can watch the rest of the week, but today, is the Lord's Day!; one day you'll have to decide that the lenght of your lawn is less important than to spend time with God and go to church; that the shopping that you want to do, is less important than to go to church. There are many holy habits that you will be faced with as you get older. Holy habits are not only keeping the Lord's Day, but also keeping those holy habits in your prayer time... having the habit of reading your Bible in the morning and praying before you start your day, is a good habit to have now and as you get older.

    Holy habits of family devotions are habits worth keeping also... honor those times set apart for God. You'll grow up and those holy habits that you embrace today, will be a blessing for you as you grow up.

   Holy habits are not religios habits as long as you live your life for Christ. If you focus on the habits as your hope they are in vain. Holy habits, MUST be holding the hand of HOPE IN CHRIST!

    We do not do any good things to go to heaven... we do good things BECAUSE we are going to heaven. Those hoy habits, must reflect your love for Christ and make it clear in your heart and mind that your hope is in Him alone!

   Treasure them and keep them.


Monday, March 29, 2010

On the Bible

Never forget that the Bible is not just a "bunch of books put together" where some are more important than others.. do not beleive those who say that we live in the time of the New Testament and that the Old has no great importance. The Bible is a series of books that are related with eachother to tell us abut Jesus. The Old Testament is very important, you need to learn to love and study. See the Bible as a complete book. One covenant preceding a new and better covenant. In the Old Testament, Learn of God, see how we see all the time only a shadow of Jesus in the tabernacle, learn about the offerings, the sacrifices, the law, the circumcission, Moses, Abraham, Jacob, of Egypt, of their slavery of their deliverance, of their sin, of Gods forgiveness, learn about the plagues, learn of the prophets, of Adam, of our sin, of Jesus, who is He, why was it important that He came, what did He do, His love, His meercy, His justice, His wrath ,His creation,  learn  the doctrines of salvation, election, His sovereignty, adoption, justification, santification, the Lord's Day, the Lord's Supper, baptism, learn of his coming, learn of the hope that we have in Him, learn to fear him and reading the Bible and reading it all.. not as a "read the Bible in one year" program, but study it, make it part of your every day life. Know how to defend your faith. Learn it enough that in your life, Jesus will be FAR more persuasive that the world.

Someone said once, that some people have so much dust in their Bibles that with your finger you can write "dead". Make sure your Bible looks used!. Make sure that dust does not have the time to sit on your Bible. Read it every time you can, treasure every word you read. Ask the Lord to seal the words you reading in your heart so that you may not forget them.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

On looking at Jesus only

We talked today, about looking at Christ always, make Jesus your only hope. Never look outside Christ, you are here to glorify Him and enjoy him for ever. If you start looking outside, you will make it easy to walk away from Him; but if you keep your eyes in eternity, you will find it easier to persevere. When you sin, go to Christ. When you have doubts, go to Christ. When you are in need, go to Christ. When you are tempted, go to Christ. Make Him your source of life, hope and pleasure. Remember: "No matter what, we will never stop trusting in God"

There is no way I can put this in a sugar coated phrase... other than: Life will be hard for a Christian. There will be lots of resisting temptations, dying to your desires, fighting, going to church while others do things that may sound a lot more fun for you at the time. You will find other things very attractive and wish many times you could have them or do... and that is the part where it will be hard. And here is when i say to you, your reward will be in heaven. Your reward will be great!, much greater than anything you desired here on earth.

A great thing to remember, is that if you go to Christ, you will know that your many sins are forgiven. Mom and dad, have lived longer than you, we know that we are not be able to please God on our own. That God's standards are very high, so it is impossible to please Him, because He is holy and we are not. That is why, our only hope is Jesus Christ,to be covered with his blood so that God, when He looks at us, He sees Jesus Christ and not our sin. (Remember the blanket, and how we need to be covered). Only Jesus can make you acceptable... go to Him!. Ask Him to help you, to give you hope, to forgive your sins, to cover you with His blood, to change you. Ask Him to give you repentance. And then you'll be really happy, because you are forgiven! you'll be happy, because He is your God, and there is nothing you will desire outside His will.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On works

You may think, what encouragement there is for every honest, and true hearted believer. To you, Jesus says, 'I know your works'. You may see no beauty in any action you do. All seems imperfect, and full of sin. You are often sick at your short comings. But Jesus see some beauty in everything that you do from a conscientious desire to please Him. His eye can discern excellence in the little things you do because of the fruit from His own Spirit. He can pick out the grains of gold from your actions, and sift the wheat from the chaff in all you do. Your tears are all put into His bottle. Your efforts to do good to others, however feeble they may be, your tears, are written in His book of remembrance. The least cup of cold water that you give someone in His Name will not lose its reward. He does not forget your work and labour of love, however little the world may think of it.

Jesus loves to honour the work of His Spirit in His people, and to pass over their frailties. He notices on the faith of Rahab, but not on her lie. And as a father finds pleasure in the little acts of His children, which strangers don't even notice them.

It might seem impossible to think, that you can do something worth naming in the great day of the Lord when the Lord says: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. He knows your works, they should humble you, to know that He knows what you do in secret! -J.C Ryle


On encouragement

Dear sons,
When you look at your many sins, your weak flesh, a tempting world, a busy devil working hard to win your heart, you might want to give up, and find many times that you are losing hope, that the battle is to hard, that the enemy is too strong and that your sins are too many. At these times, seek God more earnestly, seek Him to find strength; look at the Saviour, praying to the Father for you; think of His blood, His sacrifice, His righteousness, see him crucified and carrying your sin, and sitting at the right hand of God and remember that He is there, is because His sacrifice was accepted by God. Pleasing to God. Seek Him and find Him victorious over sin, Satan and the world. As you feel weak (and many times you will feel his way), just keep you eyes on Jesus.

You are not alone, every Christan that has gone ahead of of has gone through this, including your mom and dad. We are not exempt from Satan's attacks, but when those attacks come, kneel before the cross, go to your secret place, where God sees and hears to your most secret thoughts. Where you can go to Him and ask him to help you pray for you to God. Tell Him that you need Him. Go to the Saviour, go to the Father that never sleeps or is too busy. Go to Him and ask.

Remember the days when we were slaves to sin, you were born sinful, remember those days when God saved you, showing you his love by saving you so young!, remember how He has kept you until now, and how He will continue to do so. Remember His faithfulness, Remember His love, remember His grace , His sacrifice and his resurrection, Remember the meaning of His blood and buying us for Him. Remember and find the courage you need, not in your own wisdom, strength or abilities, but in Jesus Christ and in Him alone.


On faith

This is a hard one to live up to, because faith is a gift from God. I can teach you to love and trust God but only God can give you love for Him and give you faith. But we are asked to believe. So practice to believe in the promises of God rather that in the things that you can see. The treasures in heaven are much better than the treasures on this world. Praising the invincible God is much better than praising and loving the things that you can see. Prefer God than the world. Do not forget the time that we are here on earth, is nothing compared to eternity. The things of this world that you can see and touch which we tend to treasure so much and love, and fight for, are going to burn one day, but the things that are invisible, those are the ones that will last. Those are the ones that will be far better than any toy you could get here on earth, than any Starwars movie, than any Lego toy, than any Ferrary, than any sports event or hockey player. Far better than any treasure, far better than any friendship, than any look, than any fame or glory.. That is what I advice you lo live by. By the faith on the promises made by God. Believe Him.

If you believe Him, you will choose wisely. It will make your decisions easier. Because you will choose for eternity. Where you'll live, the church you'll attend, whom to marry, the job you'll get, the friends you choose,... and when people asks you about your faith, you will know what to say, because you have always lived your life that way.

And do not forget. You have a great blessing to live your life in a way that when you grow up, you can say: I do not remember a day when I did not love God.

Ask God to seal the words He has taught you in your heart, that you may treasure them and believe in Him, not just when things go well, but when things get hard, when unbelief tries to take over, ask God to help your unbelief.


On perseverance

I once read this and was of great encouragement. May this be to you too:
Every professing Christian is the soldier of Christ. He is bound by his baptism to fight Christ's battle against sin, the world and the devil. The man that does not do this breaks his vow. The man that does not do this, is not living his life as a Christian. You pray in the mornings as you start your day, you have family worship, you go to church, and all that is very good, but ask yourself: How is my battle going? Are you overcoming the love of the world and the fear of man? Are you overcoming the passions, tempers and lusts of your own heart? Are you resisting the devil and making him flee from you? You must either win, or serve sin and the devil and the world. There is no middle course. You must either conquer or be lost. (Ryle)

I know that this battle will be hard, but do not give up. I have to fight that battle every day too. Do not get tired, but persevere until the end. A few more summers, a few more winters, a few more years and this fighting will end and how you finish the race set before you, will leave behind a great legacy for those following behind. There is no short cut. You must go through the way of the cross, the way of fighting against sin every day. Sin, must be mortified, resisted and overcome!. Just remember those difficult tasks that by persevering you have conquered, and the great feeling you had afterward. The reward in heaven will be great for those who persevere. I know I will be praying for you.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On friends

Be very careful in your choice of friends. Do not open all your heart to a boy/man because he is smart, funny, good-natured and kind. All that is very good in its own, but that is not all. Never make an intimate friend of the man who is not best friends with God first, and of any who will not be useful to your soul. You will resist many temptations if your friends love God above all things. (Ryle)

You may work very hard on your character, you may have great self control, you may have read great books, but having ungodly friends will destroy your character very fast, and working to tr to get rid of your new bad habits, it will be much harder.

Take Salomon's good advice. He is known as the wisest man that has ever lived, he has done it for us, he has gone to all the extremes that will ever exist, he has tried it all, and we can now read of what he learned without having to do any of those extremes.. and what do we read? what was what he learned?.. that all is vanity. That there is nothing that will bring satisfaction to your life. At the end of all life, there is nothing. Nothing of value. Nothing worth having or seeking. But that pleasure in life is only found in God. There is a good saying: "we do not need to invent the wheel again". Someone invented it already, we can just read about it and learn. The same way, Salomon did all that, and wrote about it so that we do not have to go through that, we can just read and learn.


On the desires of the heart

Do not forget your own advice:
Don't look at things that are evil, because your heart will start liking them!. Make a covenant with your eyes, like Job did. That will bring you great happiness.

Put up with a few sins, and soon you will want a few more!. Live with this in mind: God is always watching!, do not forget His eyes or his ears. This is what heaven will be like, being in the presence of God for ever! so get used to being with Him, doing nothing you would not like God to see. Saying nothing you would not like God to hear. Write nothing you would not like God to read. Do not go to places where you would not like God to find you. Do not read a book which you would not like God to say: "Show it to me!" Never spend your time in a way that you would not like to have God say: "What are you doing?" (Ryle)


On prayer

Here is my first advice of many:

PRAYER is the very life-breath of true religion. Never say : I'm too busy to pray, but instead, I'm too busy to read, watch TV, eat... because I was praying. Prayer is the mark of a true Christian. Private prayer. I do not think there is true religion or a true Christian without private prayer. Pray so often, that when you grow up, you can remember where you knelt, and the prayers you prayed in secret and that God answered. What a privilege you have to be thaught at such a young age to pray to your Lord.

Show me a growing Christian, a great Christian, and I am sure, he is one that speaks often with his Lord. He asks much, and he has much. He tells Jesus everything, and so he always knows how to act. (J.C. Ryle)

Do not be deceive as to think that bringing your body to church every Sunday, will make you a Christian and will prepare you to meet your God. All that is in vain if there is no private prayer.

Persevere in the habit of prayer!. If you will have one habit in life, make it, the habit of prayer!, it is a privilege that not all people have to be able to come to the house of the Lord and speak to Him as a father, with all love and reverence, without fear but with confidence.

Do not get into the habit of making excuses for not praying.. for as long as you have a tongue, you can pray. If you have time to sleep, you have time to pray, if you have time to eat, you have time to pray.