Monday, November 5, 2012

On our Merciful God

O to look to please God and not men! seems so hard for men, specially young. I encourage you my beloved, to seek wisdom and often look at Him who is our standard of perfection, of that which is required of us. It should be an overwhelming thought to be compared to Christ. Nothing less. Yet.... Christ our standard, became our substitute. God's righteous wrath, was satisfied in Him. And His perfect life, accredited as ours! O precious Saviour! Look not to the standards of the world to feel better about yourself, look not to the things that you do well to gain glory for yourself, but look at Christ! His life and His death, His resurrection and His acceptance. Look at the merciful God, who does not look down on you and treat you as your sins deserve, but look at the Sovereign Lord who does as He pleases, whose will cannot be frustrated, whose decrees cannot be resisted; look at the Lord who is supreme over all things; the merciful King, and Just Lord. Look at Him who delights in showing mercy, to Him who says "come" to those who are heavy laden, to those whose sins are overwhelming, He says "come, and I will give you rest". Look at that righteous God with Jesus at His right hand as you will see one day face to face, and be called by name: he is mine!

O that precious blood, to be covered by it, is the gift of gifts! Lose not sight of the grace that saved you. Be reminded often of His blood, His sacrifice, His goodness and His love. See and taste how good God is! if you do, you will love to meet with Him, you will love to be at His feet one minute than thousands else where. You can never hear too much of His grace. Be never tired of studying, learning and hearing His word preached. It is food to your soul and a balm to the wounded heart.

Teach your heart the gospel, do not let your heart teach you its ways it will try to deceive you. The battle for your affections is a constant war, and the enemy will not rest. But rest assured, that Christ, who conquered death, is more desirable than any wordily thing the world may offer. Once you know Him, and His great mercy, you cannot be cold in your affections towards the One who saved you for a long time. That love will burn inside you and be evident in your walk.

Resolve it in your heart to know Him more.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On Making a Difference

As you have noticed by now, it is not easy to be parents. It is not easy to make decisions regarding your life, your future, which movies are acceptable, at what age should you be allowed certain privileges, which attitudes are normal and which ones we should watch for, how to discipline you, when to talk, when to be quiet, how to encourage you, how to motivate you, how to build on the relationship and give you your space, and so on...

It is hard. No question. We are learning and we are so very grateful for your patience towards us. God saw it as a good thing to put us together as a family. To give you us as parents and you as our children. We are so pleased with God's choice... you are perfect for us. You fit just right in our arms when we hug, your smile is a perfect match for our household, your laughs and noise is always missed when is not here, your imagination and creativity is inspiring, your conversations are thought provoking, your character always has something to teach me, you are a blessing to us.

Continue to be gracious to us, continue to walk in the way of the Lord, continue to be a blessing. Continue to be merciful and patient with others. Be quick to learn about them, there is always something good to learn and bad things to discard. There is always ways to show compassion and kindness. And as you grow in wisdom and in knowledge and in stature, you teach us also to grow in humility. Because we see how faithful God has been to you and to us. We love seeing you becoming a that which God started one day.

Be strong and courageous. Make a difference in your generation!

Monday, July 30, 2012

On decision making

My dearest, the subject of "signs" and "God speaking" is of much controversy among Christians. A subject that involves emotions and therefore is very personal and can be interpreted in a personal way. That is the danger. Every person can have their own personal experiences, can have a clear sense in them that the Lord is speaking and find a sense of peace before making decisions. The problem here, is that they can "hear" or "confirm" any decision finding isolated verses in the Bible, or hearing a sermon where they say a key word which affirms the issue they are dealing with.

So how do you make decisions? How do you know what the Lord wants? Are there any mistakes I can make that are not according to His Word? What if I do not have peace.. does that mean I should stop? Is that God warning me? or the Devil scaring me? How do you know!!!

That is why we have His Holy Word. To know what to do. Now, many times, we will find decisions that are not clear in the Bible (homeschooling, the job you should take, the carrer you shoud choose, the outfit you should buy, the music you should hear, the girl/boy you should marry, the car you want to buy ...) So how do you decide? YOU PRAY. The Bible commands us to bring all our petitions before Him. It does not commands anywhere in the Bible to wait for a "special peace" before you decide something. It just commands us to pray. Then you decide according to what will be best for your soul, what will glorify the Lord most. And act after you looked wisely at all the cards, when you seek Godly counsel and when you ask the Lord for His guidance. And trust in Him. If the decision was "not the greatest - or wrong", you know the Lord will help you go through it and He will teach you through this. If it was the "right" decision,  you also know He will help you and teach you through this. You know the Lord is sovereign and if you look throughout His Word, you will see people doing the "wrong" thing and yet they did not got away with it. God's will still was fulfilled. Look at Abraham, Jonah, Moses, Esther... ) Look at the apostles and how they chose Matthias! (they prayed, and then they acted knowing that the Lord was Sovereign). And so you should pray, consider where your soul will profit best, and then act. They waited not for a special "peace" about the decision.

The Lord can change your desires or interests, He can change the circumstances so that you choose one over the other. The Lord is Sovereign. The Lord's will cannot be frustrated even if we choose "wrong".  His will, will prevail. He does as He pleases. We plan, but He decides. You can rest assured that He is your God and that He will guide your steps, not into financial prosperity necessarily, but into a prosperity of your soul.

Remember, God speaks through His Word. And His Word preached. Look not for signs or secret messages. But seek Him always, seek Him in every decision, seek Him wholeheartedly, do not go by emotions or feelings which can be deceiving.  Do not look for signs, because you will find them, but most of the time, will be signs you want to find.

Search the Lord and always go back to His Word, not to the new teachings of today.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Prov. 4:23

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Look to Christ!

My dearest children, you will fall, you will sin, you will be unfaithful to the One who gave you life. There will be days of sorrow, but may those days be because you sorrow over your sin. There will be times you will be tired and want to give up. There will be days when mortifying the sin will seem so difficult. When the world may seem so attractive. When eternity may seem so far away. Times of frustration, and you may feel you are losing hope. There will be days when your prayers may seem so empty, when your faith is weak, when your desires are taking over.

Look to Christ. Cling to His cross. Hate sin and love God. Remember His goodness, remember how faithful He has been in the past. Remember His patience and how He is slow to anger but quick to show mercy. Remember His sacrifice and how much He loved you. Remember not your sin, but His forgiveness through His blood and how it washed your sins away. Remember His promises and how we read through the testimony of the past, that He does what He promise! Look to Christ! Look for the blessed hope in heaven! Look for that final rest. Look for the promised crown to those who persevere! Look for the day when all of your needs will be satisfied by Christ! Look forward to that blessed day!

Think of the day when after a long race you will face your God, you will see Him face to face, and how He will be so incredible satisfying and so incomprehensibly beautiful that nothing will be on your mind that day other that enjoy the presence of the Lord! And all your labor, and all your hard work will be rewarded, and you will sit at His table and eat with Him!

And then, your sins will be remembered no more. Your race finished. Your labor completed, your faith will be seen. And there, sitting by your Lord will be your rest. You will walk with Him, talk with Him as a friend, laugh, and not a sinful thought will be allowed in that place, so no more mortification, no more struggle, no more frustration, no more worldly desires, no more losing hope! NO MORE!

So, look to Christ!

Monday, April 23, 2012

On Remembering the Lord in your youth

What better advice one can give to her children? Which wiser words can be better that these?
O my children, keep these words in your heart and meditate constantly upon them if you care for your soul.

"Light is sweet and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.
Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that of all these things, God will bring you to judgement.
So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, ..."
Ecclesiastes 11,12


Friday, March 23, 2012

On change of attitude

O that you would care for your soul more than for the comforts of the moment and the joys of today! So I plead with you to consider these words.

One of the most misused verses in the Bible is: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength" Phil. 4:13 It is taught today as an empowerment verse, giving you that little push that you need to do great projects, or make great trips that you were afraid of doing before, or riding that so dreaded roller-coaster, or taking that extra course you needed to advance in your studies, or finally being able to talk to that person you had no courage to do before. And all these are good and fun, but the verse is not about any of them. This is what it says:

"I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (13I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

God has ordained the circumstances you are in. He has decreed them from eternity. Nothing is escaping unnoticed nor is out of His reach. He is Sovereign over all things, over all acts of nature, over every atom, over every trouble, over every joy, over every tragedy, over every miracle. Nothing is by chance. So it is in those circumstances He set before you, is that "you can do everything through Him who gives you strength" not to change the circumstances in your favor, but to change your attitude towards those circumstance. Knowing it comes from your Sovereign God, who cares for you, who wants that which is best for His children.

Change your attitude. Whatever you do, do it as for the Lord and not for men. Learn the secret of being content in every circumstance. If is serving, serve with all your heart. If persecuted, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. If in trouble, pray. If in prosperity, help those in need. If in need, trust in the Lord. If outside of home, give witness of Jesus Christ all the time. If alone, resist temptation. When provoked to anger, do not sin. And yes, it is there, that you can do all things through Him, who gives you strength.

May the Lord teach you that contentment so that you may truly know it and hold on to this resting assured that He will give you strength.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On growing in grace and knowledge

"Therefore, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..." 2 Peter 3:17-18

Here is a great advice to heed. Listen so you may not be deceived. You are not called to learn to be happier, or to feel better about yourself. You have been called to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.

So I encourage you to study His word faithfully. You need not to be content with knowing what you hear at church on Sundays, or what your parents teach you or what you saw on a "Jesus movie". Do not be satisfied until it is your hunger to search for more. Study the Word of God in a way that you are a theologian, know what you believe, why you do so, grow in knowledge of the Lord. If you do this, you will not be moved. Your feet will be firmly planted and will strengthen your faith. And at the same time, grow in grace. Grace will keep you humble, not thinking of yourself higher than you ought to. Grace will help you see others with less knowledge with patience and compassion, learning from them, and renewing your joy for the things that are holy. Grace mixed with knowledge will prevent the results of boasting, because you will know very well, that anything you know, is because God graciously gave it to you and you deserve it not.

Guard your heart from pride that comes with knowledge alone. Always fill your mind with grace so that is always overflowing. But also, guard your heart of grace without knowledge, because it will give you tolerance of sin and you will be weak in your faith, your mind will change very easily from one way of thinking to the next... you will be moved by emotions alone. Remember, you need to grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On the Lord' Day

Dearest children,
Prepare your heart always before going to hear the Word preached on the Lord's Day. Never go unprepared. Never enter without going before your Lord and ask Him to prepare your heart, to help you to listen and not be distracted, to listen and learn something for yourself. Go with an attitude of worship. Not to be entertained, not to be amused, but where the Word is preached. Be quick to listen and be sensitive in areas you need improvement; where discipline is lacking, and humble yourself not think that you know that topic, that you heard it before, but be aware, because there is always good to learn, always good that your soul needs.

Walk away from people that complain too much about the sermon, the church, the music, the likes, the dislikes. Walk away from them, they will only make you fall and pass that bad habit to you. But instead, speak what is right, look for the good, and encourage the weak.

There will be many churches with great music, or with a great preacher, or a wonderful program for kids or youth.  Do not be distracted. You do not go to church for an emotional experience, you do not go to find joy or happiness. You go to church to learn to wean yourself from the world by worshiping God, not necessarily the way you like it, but in a way  that your mind will be more focused to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (using your brain, saying that which is right and not run by the peer pressure of the emotions). Now, I am not saying you should have no emotions! Emotions are important! You go and sing or listen, with all fervency, even if you are the only one. You sing with your emotions poured out before the Lord. Be all aware of what you say and whatever you do it with all your heart.

Many people will complain about the preaching... may that not be you. If the Word is not been taught in the church, leave. If the Word is been preached, stay and listen without complaining. The style of preaching is the least important when it comes to hearing the Word. If you are attentive, you will learn.

 And lastly, I say to you. Be merciful with others. The Lord works in each one of us at different stages. And some people may know more than you, and some may know less, but always, there is something to learn. Prepare yourself so that the Lord's Day, may be of great blessing, growth, and satisfaction to your soul.

Monday, March 5, 2012

On Sin

Do not get tired of hearing about your sin. The world and ourselves make great excuses to minimize its guilt for that which God calls downright wicked and ruinous to the soul. We need to learn about its seduction, its poison, its goal if we want to understand God's grace.

Sin will not come to you and look at you in the eye and say: "Here I am, Sin. I want to take you, destroy you, kill your soul and increase hatred towards God.". No. It will come in a very attractive way, it will come and be something you desire and that it may seem good and pleasing. Good enough, that will be worth risking many things for a taste of it. It will be very seductive.

Sin will not knock at your door. It will come through unexpected ways, it will come when your guards are down, when you were not looking for it it, when you feel secure in your own ways. Be on your guard. The Bible says: Watch and Pray so that you do not fall into temptation!

Watch and Pray. Make that your resolution to always be on your guard, to always keep an eye over your mind and heart who are not trustworthy. Trust the Lord only. Trust your heart and mind to Him.

Resolve it in your heart, to never put yourself in a situation where you are vulnerable to sin. If you hide into your room, will be to pray. If you speak in secret, will be to edify. If you watch a movie, never watch something you cannot watch in front of your parents. If you play, never play whatever will bring shame to the Name you carry. If you read, read something to educate you. If you listen to music, listen to the words. If you play in the computer, will be in an open place where everyone can see what you are playing. If you must be alone, be accountable to someone for your time. If you need counsel, ask for advice to godly men. If you fast or pray or give to the poor, do it secretly, as secretly as possible.

And if you know sin and know how it always tries to seduce you the same ways, know it, know your heart, do not be ignorant about your weaknesses, but know where you need help from the Lord, and ask for that grace He gives to those who need it. Understand how terrible sin is in the eyes of the Almighty God, and even if you do not understand the severity of sin, see the cross, see the cruelty that happened on that day, see your Savior crucified and beaten because of your sin. See the blood that needed to be shed, the mocking and the nails He endured, the pain and the shame. All because of sin. And if you see that, you will much better understand His love, His grace and His mercy.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

On Rejoice

What a mine of daily comfort there is in the thought—that we have an Advocate with the Father, who never slumbers or sleeps, whose eye is always upon us, who is continually pleading our cause and obtaining fresh supplies of grace for us, who watches over us in every company and place; and never forgets us, though we, in going to and fro, and doing our daily business, cannot always think of Him.(Ryle)

Listen and  Rejoice! Rejoice in having an advocate who is faithfully interceding with the Father in your behalf. He does not sleep. He does not get tired. He does not grow impatient. He is faithful. He cares for you. He does not change His mind. He does not forget. He is the One praying to the Father for you! Rejoice!

Rejoice that it is Jesus, who shed His blood for you, God's only Son himself praying for you all the time. What a comfort! What a comfort to know that Jesus will pray that which is good, that which pleases the Father, that which is perfect and not stained by sin or by selfish gain. I say to you, rejoice in that understanding. Grab unto that promise.

He is faithful and does not lie.

So I say to you: Rejoice!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

On the 5 Solas

Live by the 5 Solas:

Sola Scriptura - Scripture Alone
Solus Christus - Christ Alone
Sola Gratia - Grace Alone
Sola Fide - Faith Alone
Soli Deo Gloria - The Glory of God Alone

Do not trust in your human nature or your ability for salvation. God's grace in Christ is not just necessary but is the cause of salvation. In salvation we are rescued from God's wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life. Salvation is never, never an act of human work. Faith is not produced, is a gift from God.

Scripture alone. Stay close to the doctrine of the gospel, but those doctrines that are closely knit with that which is written. Go to the Scriptures for final authority. Stand firm on the principle:
"Unless I am overcome with testimonies from Scripture or with evident reasons -for I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils, since they have often erred and contradicted one another - I am overcome by the Scripture texts which I have adduced, and my conscience is bound by God's Word" (Martin Luther).

Christ alone. There is no other way. No other path, believe or religion outside Christ to go to the Father. Christ alone paid the price, shed His own blood; not to cover His own sins but the sins of His people. He bought us with a price. Christ alone is the way.

Grace alone. You are saved by grace alone. Not by works, not by the will of man but because of His mercy. You cannot earn it, you cannot lose it. You cannot  buy it, you cannot demand it. It is a gift from the Father, executed by the Son and we are convinced by His Spirit who makes us call Him Abba Father.

Faith alone. You are justified (made as if you have never sinned)  by faith alone. Faith in the work of Christ, faith that rests on the work of Christ. Faith that believes in He who saves you. Faith the He hears your prayers. Faith that was given to you because it pleased the Father.

For the Glory of God alone. And why did He saved you? for His glory. He needed it not, but pleased Him to show us mercy. He alone receives the glory since it is His work alone. We add nothing, we helped in no way, but His love and mercy are enough. And our salvation rests upon God and God alone. So that on the day that we meet Him, we will have nothing to say but come with empty hands and lips full of thanks!

Friday, February 17, 2012

On Broken Heart

Most parents would love for their children to have a good life, a safe life, a life full of joys and a very prosperous life in all areas. And all these are good things, natural things to want for our children. These are all but temporal. But if you ask a God fearing father or mother what they really really hope for their children, the answer is with no doubt, for a broken heart, for them to know the Lord, to love Him and be loved by Him.
Oh, that you pray for a broken heart constantly! That you may not justify it in your heart that because you are a Christian, they your sins are forgiven. And again, as this is true also, you need to seek Him and ask earnestly to see your sin before a holy God, to see the cross and cling to it. To mourn over your sin understanding that it was your sin that caused Jesus to die and to not just love the preaching or the churches or the Christians, but that you may LOVE HIM with all your heart , mind and soul. Love Him because God's wrath was poured over Jesus instead of you... What a precious love!

May your sin be not just crucified in Christ but mortified every day as well.  Ask Him who hears, ask Him and beg for a perpetual broken-heartedness, that you may always cling to the cross. It is there, that you will find His love. It is in your brokenness, that you will know Him. It is in your understanding on  how little you are before Him, that your thoughts of Him will be higher. His power will be evident in your need and His grace in your sin.

O for a broken heart for you I pray! That you may know Him in His fullness! That everything you do is dependant on Him, because you know that nothing you can do on your own if He is not right there with you. A broken hearted Christian acknowledges Him in all his ways, because recognizes who is able to do all things in a way that has eternal value.

Ask the Lord for a broken heart, sensitive to the Spirit, a heart sensitive to sin, one that pleads easy and rejoices greatly.

A broken heart that goes often to the Lord; a broken heart where humbleness is his clothing; a broken heart that rejoices in the cross; a broken heart that begs for the lost; a broken heart that sees his accomplishments as nothing but the work of the Lord in him. O, for a broken heart I pray!

A man with a broken heart knows His Savior more, because he has the need to go and meet with his Lord so often.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On Secret Prayer

Listen carefully.

Do you Pray? Do you work at this holy habit? Do you go into your room, close the door and talk to your Father who hears in secret? ... Every day?
Only you know, only your Father knows.

Praying secretly will be of great assurance in your salvation, since you will know, that when no one knows that you are seeking Him, you are.

You will grow in wisdom when you are in your room alone with God.

Prayer will weaken your flesh, will make you needy of Christ understanding more your sin, and the beauty of His love.

The accuser (Satan) will be silent against you.. because you will confess your sins before the Lord, therefore, he will have no charge to bring against you.

You will know your Lord and His  forgiveness, His comfort and His patience. You will learn to rest on Him alone.

Through prayer your faith will be increased and your mind renewed.

Prayer will teach you to bring your concerns and complaints to the Lord, so it will keep you from sinning.

Through prayer, your desire for holy conversations and holy habits will increase,

It will give you a need for more of Him and less of you in your life.

Secret prayer, needs to be as secret as you can. You do not announce you will go to pray secretly, you do not tell people of your secret time with the Lord. But your secret prayer will be evident in every area of your life.

Secret prayer is a duty of the Christian. Is a sign that you belong to Him. Many can pray in public beautiful prayers, but the most beautiful prayers ever said, were those said in secret. Those that had the best aroma, those that shed the most secret tears. Those where the most intimate confessions happened. Those prayers that bring you very close to the cross. Secret prayer is where the Lord has a special communion with us. Where we seek not the gift, but the Giver. Where we can beg Him and thank Him; where we can cry and laugh; where we can be honest because He knows our heart -we need not to impress Him or make ourselves look good or not too bad- He knows.

So listen carefully, and go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who sees and hears in secret.

Do you pray?