The Resolution for a New Year and Beyond


There is nothing mystical about a new year; no new powers and no Biblical mandate for a special celebration. However, a new year is like the big elephant in the room; it can’t be ignored. A new year forces us to look at our lives and it places us in a mindset of establishing goals. We can’t help it, but to look at the last twelve months and how we keep carrying certain things year after year. Very rare that many end a year with a sense of total satisfaction.  Year after year we see many of our goals unfulfilled; year after year many of us see our waistline expanding and those nice pants that we love so much hang in our closets as reminders that we must change. The New Year forces us to do an inventory of our lives and the way we are living! I know that many already wrote their resolutions down; that is a good thing! However, there is one resolution that will not leave us disappointed at the end of the year; Psalm 37:4 tells us:

Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.” NIV

            The word “delight” means: “Great enjoyment and pleasure.” This year make it your resolution to delight in the Lord. The promise is that if you do; He will give the desires of your heart. The reason why many of us end the year so dissatisfied is because we insist on giving our delight to things, places and people. Consequently, we ignore God. As we enter the New Year, make it your resolution to delight in the Lord and let everything else in your life flow out of His presence like a stream of water that will forever quench your thirst for the abundant life that Jesus has for you.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV

Del Fango de la Vergüenza al Palacio de Mi Propósito


             Ojos cristalinos por el sudar de mis ojos hoy consumen mi alma. Fracasado me he sentido ya por tantos años. La pena y el remordimiento consumen mi alma. Decisiones mal tomadas, palabras que jamás podré borrar de la pisara del tiempo. Es el crecimiento adquirido en la crucifixión del “yo”; del querer ser lo que no soy y de ser lo que no quiero ser. Circunstancias de la vida que reflejaron el bochorno de la realidad de la vida manifestada en el viejo hombre en mí.  Esclavo del pasado sería sin Cristo; condenado por eternidad por actos rebeldes en contra de lo establecido por Dios como bueno y justo.

        Sin Cristo en nuestros corazones somos nada. Sin Cristo en nuestros corazones seriamos como perros muertos en la carretera; descompuestos y putrefactos en nuestro orgullo y en las consecuencias de nuestra arrogancia. La vida tiene formas de enseñarnos si es que queremos aprender. La vida tiene formas de humillarnos y de llevarnos a mirar para arriba a un Dios que es justo, verdadero e incomparable en sus formas.

        Muchos se encuentran cómodos, manejando carros lujosos, viviendo en el lujo de la materia, sin preocupaciones y una apariencia de bienestar. Mas los tiempos vienen en formas de tormentas sorpresivas, cuando todo parece estar en su perfecto lugar. El tiempo viene pronto cuando lo que hacemos será probado por la fortaleza de los vientos de la tribulación y el problema y por el fuego  consumidor de la disciplina de Dios. El amor de Dios se manifiesta en el azote brutal de su mano en contra de nuestras formas mundanas de vivir. Dios viene a nuestro encuentro cuando hacemos de, “A mi Manera”, el himno de nuestros corazones y la canción predilecta de nuestras almas.

        Mas hoy Dios levanta mi cabeza, mis ojos están fijados en los montes de la esperanza santa que solo encontramos en Cristo. Sí, he fallado, sí he experimentado dolor; parte de dicho dolor ha sido el resultado de mis propias acciones. Mas que se entere el sereno de la mañana, el calor de día y aún las tinieblas de la noche… ¡Dios me ha restaurado!  Que entone la guitarra, que la melodía sea decorada con las notas del piano y el violín; que se preparen los tambores y que suene la trompeta fuerte antes de anunciar la voz del cantante. Vengo armado de devastación masiva en contra de Satanás y de su reino. Con el lápiz y el papel que documentan la inspiración de Dios en mi vida… azoto al que vino a robar, matar y destruir lo que Dios me dio por herencia. Con la unción de uno que clama en el desierto abro mi boca. Con mi voz predico su Palabra; con mi voz enseño Sus misterios y con mi voz le canto al que es Digno de toda alabanza. ¡Gloria a Dios! Anuncia mi alma. Que se prepare el mundo por lo que hará este vaso de barro para la gloria del Dios de los espíritus, el Dios de las luces, el Poderoso, el Terror de las naciones y a el que he reconocido como  mi Pronto Auxilio.

        Dios ha rescatado mi alma del fango de la depresión y de las acusaciones de los crueles que pasan juicios sin perdón ni misericordia. Dios ha rescatado mi alma de la falta de esperanza. Dios ha rescatado mi alma del fango de la vergüenza y  hoy me sienta en el palacio de mi propósito.

Lonely Days by Prophet G Craige Lewis


Photo of Prophet G. Craige Lewis

 

I must say that coming in contact with Prophet G. Craige Lewis’ ministry was one of the greatest blessings I received this year. I e-mail this Man and ask him permission to publish this “Daily Word” he send out. I hope that you, not only read this message, but also become familiar with this man’s ministry; it will be an eye opener for you. You can visit his site at http://www.exministries.com

 

John 15:14 ‘You are my friends if you obey me. I no longer call you servants,
because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are my friends,
since I have told you everything the Father told me.’ NLT 

Lonely days are no fun. We all have them. Whether married, single, or divorced, you will have some lonely days. But it seems that some people have more lonely days than others. It seems that those with higher callings on their lives are usually people that struggle with loneliness. It’s almost like God sets them apart or calls them out of past friendships and relationships, and then keeps them alone to himself for a long period to work things out of them. Many of us were so dependent on a man or woman in our lives that we totally ignore God and cannot connect with him like we need to for our callings sake. So what does God do? Take everyone away from us so we can be with him alone. But where does the loneliness come from?

Loneliness comes when you have developed a need for others. I know many will not agree with this, but if you have spent your life living for others, depending on people to validate you, chasing friends and friendships, always needing people around to make you feel wanted or needed, then when you are suddenly alone, you feel very lonely. But if you suffered with any of these issues, loneliness is what you need! Not forever, but at least for a while. You see, Jesus wants to be that friend you are searching for. Don’t you know that God put a desire for himself in your life? Your purpose lies in him, so you must know him to know YOU! Your reason for being lies in him, so you must know him to know why you are you! And when you spend your life chasing friends, using people to find yourself, all you end up doing is having a bunch of one sided relationships, or failed relationships because you are searching for answers in the wrong places. And loneliness becomes a plague to you! But being alone is really an asset. Jesus said in the word that he is your friend and he will not leave you comfortless. He is there and he has all that God has told him about you! Read John chapter 14 and 15 and you will see that his concern is you. He wants you to be his friend and find yourself in him! So the next time you are feeling lonely or all alone, rejoice. Because he is working the false friendships and relationships out of you and working on something much better. Your friendship with him. Because if he calls you friend, it means that he has shared your purpose with you.

Suggested Reading:  John 14, 15, 16

http://www.exministries.com
©2010 G. Craige Works All Rights Reserved 

Suggested Reading:  John 14, 15, 16

http://www.exministries.com
©2010 G. Craige Works All Rights Reserved

“God Wants You to See Him as He Is, but One Thing Stands in the Way”


 

“Oh God, I want to see you, I want to feel you, I want to embrace you, I want to walk with you in the cool of the day and find you in the darkness of the night. Have your way in my life Lord. Fill me with your Spirit, manifest your power, anoint me…”

 

            I am sure that many of us have prayed these prayers at one point or another in our lives. Our most inner man, our spirit man, cries out for these expressions to be more than just words, but to be manifested in the reality of our daily living. As we rapidly approach the end of this year and are getting ready for the beginning of a new one, our souls have the tendency to be more sensitive to the voices of our deepest desires. For many of us, we start the New Year spiritual; with fasting, daily reading of Scripture, a prayer life, a physical exercise routine, eating right, etc. However, by the end of March, we start falling back to our old ways. By April, we are slaves to our fleshly man again and our souls become insensitive to whatever the spirit man is saying. This phenomenon seems to happen over and over. The reality is, my friends, that we are very undisciplined people. Even as some have mastered extraordinary self-control as it refers to their flesh, God wants more of us and God wants to give more of Him.

 

            I remember praying frequently, after my wife passed away: “Lord, if I have to choose between a new wife and having more of you, I’d rather have more of you.” The prayer sounded good; however, it was a ridiculous prayer that placed all the blame on God for me not having more of Him. We want to have more of God and enjoy all of His benefits without surrendering: we want to keep doing things our way and for God to change His Way for us. However, in His unfailing love, God has a system in place that manifests the greater desire that He has for us.

 

5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:5-14)

 

            Many, like me, have found themselves loosing heart as we face the Lord’s rebuke. We understand that much of what we are enduring is a direct result of our undisciplined ways. Shame knocks at the door of our shallow religiosity that speaks words of judgment such as, “you should have known better.” The problem is that this Christian life is not about how much we know, but about how much we are willing to surrender. It is that lack of willingness to change that requires the intervention of our Father. Because He loves us so much, He disciplines us as the zeal of our legitimacy as His sons and daughters. That discipline is birth out of God’s love for us and out of His desire for us to be holy.

 

            Like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them; like a good father becomes a child and plays with his children in fun playgrounds; like a good father throws the football, plays some hoops or teaches his child how to run the bases. Like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them; the playing monopoly in the dining room table, the watching a good movie at night, telling a good story, going out to eat; a trip to a sensational park, acting goofy and so many other activities that father’s look forward to do with their children. Like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them; how much more our Heavenly Daddy desires to spend the time without end and do unimaginable things with us? As children and even as adults, do you remember the precious moments that have been frozen in the storages of your memory? Those precious moments can’t even compare with what God has for us and the plans that He has written on the pages of the everlasting book of our lives.

 

            One thing stands in the way as a symbolic stature of our rebelliousness; one thing stands as an enemy of God’s purpose, will and love for us. One voice that yells, “You can save me from hell and be my Savior, but I am not ready for you to be my Lord.” That one voice is our un-holiness! Why does God want us to be holy with such passion? Why does He allow us to go through His unpleasant and painful chastisement? Because God wants us to be able to see Him! This is what it is all about…God wants us to see Him as He is; like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them. God wants to be seen by each one of us. He is not hiding; He is not being difficult; He is surely not the problem. The problem is that we, like Adam and Eve, continue to pretend to hide our un-holiness from God with a few leaves of empty religiosity and false counsel of who God really is. Beloved, as we end this year and start the next, God is after you and me and through hardship and the power of His discipline, He will cause brokenness to be birth in our souls so that we can welcome His precious holiness in our hearts, so that we will be able to see God as He is. Like a wild horse must be broken by His master before he becomes useful for His master’s travels; we also must be broken so that we may be useful in the hands of our God. Our Father waits; patiently He waits…like a good Father loves to carry His children and kiss them…He waits. Do you want to see Him?

 

 

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)

           

The True Heart of Christmas: This one May Surprise You


The old man, Simeon waited for many years for a very special moment. During a time where God was not speaking much; a season of four hundred years to be exact, Simeon was made aware by the Holy Spirit that he will not see death until the Messiah was born. Eight days after Jesus was born, his eyes saw baby Jesus at the Temple as Mary and Joseph were taking care of the required custom of the Law. Not much is said about Simeon other than he was righteous and devoted. However this Prophet made very important and insightful statements about Jesus.  

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
   you may now dismiss our servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
   and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:25-35)

 

Let’s take a look at four statements that Simeon made about Jesus and then take a closer look at the fourth one:

 

  1. Jesus came to save the world. From the beginning it was established that Jesus did not only come to save the Jews; even as he came to save them first; Jesus came to save the world.
  2. There is no middle ground with Jesus; He either is the reason you are rising or the reason you are falling.
  3. Jesus will be targeted and spoken against. We should not be surprised of all the resistance that the name of Jesus causes in this world. The world manifests its hate for Jesus more and more. Even as we celebrate Christmas, it is getting to the point when it is politically incorrect to say “Merry Christmas.”
  4. Jesus came so that our thoughts may be revealed.

 

            I want to place an emphasis on this fourth statement made by Simeon as it refers to this article: I want to do so because it seems like this powerful statement has been almost ignored. Jesus did not come only to take away a few damaging behaviors in our lives or for us to join a church or just change the way we talk. Jesus came to change the way we think. We can hide behind our behaviors and behind saying all the right things: we can make it look like all is well with us and that we have no major issues; but until we change the way we think, we will continue to be the same. In fact, a time will come when what is in your mind will find its way to the reality of your behavior and the reality of what comes out of your mouth. Proverbs 23:6-7 tells us:

“6Eat not the bread of him who has a hard, grudging, and envious eye, neither desire his dainty foods;

7For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost].”

 

These verses are clearly describing someone who tells us something with his mouth, but in his heart is saying something totally different. Proverbs is not giving credit to the behavior of this person, as this person gives food to someone; Proverbs is not even giving credit to the fact that this person is actually expressing with his lips: “eat and drink.” What Proverbs accepts as real, is the thought of this person: “yet his heart is not with you (but grudging the cost).” Beloved, we are what we think. This is what Jesus came to change; religion emphasizes on outer appearances. Jesus came to reveal our reality…the reality of our minds. Jesus wants our meditation (Our deep thoughts) to be pleasing unto Him. “May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.” (Ps. 104:34). I believe that Christmas is all about being honest with ourselves; recognizing who we really are and allowing the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside out. That, my friends, is the true heart of Christmas.

 

 

El Escándalo de María Y de José


                   La preciosa y joven señorita estaba ya comprometida para casarse con un hombre bueno y justo. Todo parecía tan perfecto; dos jóvenes producto de dos buenas familias con un gran amor y respeto por Dios preparándose para una espectacular y humilde boda. Ninguno de los dos, ni José ni María se imaginaban lo que había de esperarle; sus sencillas vidas serían transformadas para siempre. El plan de María y José era de casarse y vivir vidas normales; el plan de Dios era de traer a su amado hijo a este mundo a través de una virgen con el propósito de salvar el mundo de sus pecados. Mas desde el principio vimos que el plan de Dios va por encima del “Que Dirán”. Mateo 1:18-21 nos explica lo siguiente:

“El nacimiento de Jesucristo fue así: Estando comprometida María, su madre, con José, antes que vivieran juntos se halló que había concebido del Espíritu Santo.

José, su marido, como era justo y no quería infamarla, quiso dejarla secretamente.

Pensando él en esto, un ángel del Señor se le apareció en sueños y le dijo: «José, hijo de David, no temas recibir a María tu mujer, porque lo que en ella es engendrado, del Espíritu Santo es.    Dará a luz un hijo, y le pondrás por nombre Jesús, porque él salvará a su pueblo de sus pecados».”

 

            El nacimiento de Cristo y los eventos que tomaron lugar antes de su nacimiento fueron sin duda espectaculares. Mas también vemos que el nacimiento de Cristo fue rodeado de mucha controversia y escándalo. José estuvo a punto de divorciarse de su amada novia porque ella estaba preñada antes de su luna de miel con él. Mas, aunque José recibió el mensaje departe del Ángel del Señor y él creyó, el mundo de aquel tiempo divulgó tal y como nosotros divulgamos hoy.

            Muchas veces lo que para el mundo es un escándalo es producto de la perfecta voluntad de Dios. El escándalo de María y José no era en si un escándalo, mas un evento imposible de creer sin la intervención sobre-natural de Dios a través de sus ángeles. Quizás hoy tú te encuentres en un escándalo no santo; en medio de una vida de pecado, en medio de fornicación, adulterio y grandes mentiras. Hoy Dios te habla a ti hombre y mujer de Dios y te ruega que te arrepientas y regreses a sus caminos de justicia. Hoy Dios quiere que el poder de Cristo se haga una eterna navidad en tu corazón. Jesús nació en medio de escándalos como un simbolismo de que el vino a quitar el escándalo de tu vida ante los ojos de el Padre de la Luces y del mundo. Dale tu escándalo a Dios y El transformará tu vida y la hará una vida productiva para Su Gloria.

When Cutting Fellowship With our Brethren is Necessary


“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with any who claim to be fellow believers but are sexually immoral or greedy, idolaters or slanderers, drunkards or swindlers. With such persons do not even eat.” (I Corinthians 5:9-11)

 

            Cutting our fellowship with someone we know and love is difficult and painful. If you are like me, I love to be around people that make me laugh, think and, most of all, people that are edifying and fun in my life. It is hard when you find someone like that and then you find yourself in the Biblical obligation of having to disconnect from that friendship. We must point out that the Bible is not talking about disassociating from the world; the Bible adds that, “In that case you would have to leave this world.” Personally, I feel that we focus too, much on the world and the un-godly things they are doing! We must focus on ourselves as the Body of Christ! The Bible tells us in First Corinthians 5:13 “God will judge those outside.”

      Perhaps it is easier to point out fornication and adultery when it comes down to reasons for cutting our fellowship; however, as you can see, there are other reasons to cut fellowship. As painful as it may be, the Bible does encourage us to cut our fellowship with brothers and sisters that engage in the following lifestyles:

1.   Sexual Immorality: engaging in fornication or adultery.

2.   Greedy or covetous: the commandment tells us “You shall not covet…”

3.   Idolaters: somebody who shows excessive admiration or love for somebody or something above God.

4.   Slanderers: the act or offense of saying something false or malicious that damages somebody’s reputation.

5.   Drunkards: somebody who habitually drinks too much alcohol.

6.   Swindlers: to obtain something from somebody, especially money, by deception or fraud.

Why not fellowship with our brethren who are involved with greediness, idolatry, slander, drunkenness and swindling? These groups of people will affect our conversations with one another as we fellowship. Our minds will be affected by what we allow to come in. Therefore, our meditation will be out of balance. Lets us consider Psalm 1:1-3

“Blessed are those who do not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but who delight in the law of the LORD and meditate on his law day and night. They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither– whatever they do prospers.”

            You may be one facing the tough decision of having to cut fellowship with a love one. This action does not feel like love at all; that is the reason why many refuse to do it. That is also the reason why many are very comfortable in their sin. However, if we truly love God and trust His ways, we must conclude that His ways will also bring forward the best results possible.

¿Por Qué Rayos es que Peleamos Tanto?


La religión Budista establece básicamente como pensamiento central, que la razón por la cual las personas se sienten infelices es porque se envuelven en desear cosas que no pueden obtener. Como resultado de no poder obtener estas cosas nos sentimos tristes, enojados, desilusionados y muchas otras emociones negativas. Los budistas entonces concluyen que la base de la felicidad es el llegar a un punto en donde no deseamos tener nada; de esta forma, no damos abertura a estas emociones tan negativas. Este pensamiento no es del todo mentira; mas su autoridad no está en la religión budista, mas en la Palabra de Dios. Lamentablemente vivimos en unos tiempos en donde el Evangelio contemporáneo enfatiza demasiado en la prosperidad material como evidencia de nuestra buena relación con Dios. Si tienes eres bendecido y Dios te ama; si no tienes, Dios no está contigo; por lo que el énfasis de nuestra cristiandad se concentra en  lo que deseas y recibes y no  en el que te ha regalado el aire que respiras. Santiago 4:1-4 nos dice:

“¿De  dónde vienen las guerras y los pleitos entre vosotros? ¿No son de vuestras concupiscencias, las cuales combaten en vuestros miembros? Codiciáis, y no tenéis; matáis y ardéis de envidia, y no podéis alcanzar; combatís y gerreáis, y no tenéis lo que deseáis, porque no pedís. Pedís, y no recibís, porque pedís mal, para gastar en vuestros deleites. Adúlteros y adúlteras, ¿no sabéis que la amistad del mundo es enemistad con Dios? Cualquiera pues que quisiere ser amigo del mundo, se constituye enemigo de Dios.”

 

Estos versos nos dan la base de todos los conflictos. Desde la pelea de barrio entre dos jóvenes entrándose a golpes hasta la razón por las guerras mundiales; todo se encierra en una realidad: “Alguien no tiene lo que desea; alguien no está conforme con lo que tiene.” Cuando deseamos algo y no lo podemos obtener ardemos en envidia y llegamos al punto hasta de cometer asesinato por eso que tanto deseamos. Los Cristianos, quienes también son seres humanos, si no tenemos cuidado también deseamos cosas y vamos en oración a Dios para pedirlo, mas no lo recibimos porque “pedimos mal”. En otras palabras: pedimos “para gastar en nuestros deleites.” Esto significa que eso que tanto deseamos se ha convertido en un ídolo. Un ídolo es todo aquello que toma el lugar de Dios en nuestros corazones.

Cuando nos dejamos llevar por nuestras emociones y ardemos en furia por no tener algo que deseamos nos convertimos en “adúlteros” ya que nos hemos conformado al mundo y deseamos lo que el mundo ofrece más que a Dios. ¿Quieres saber cuánto amas a Dios? Hay una forma sencilla de probarlo; evalúa lo que deseas y no has recibido y como esa realidad ha afectado tu relación con Dios.

Encontramos pues libertad en ser agradecido a Dios por lo que tenemos y en poseer una revelación profunda, de que si tenemos a Dios en nuestros corazones verdaderamente lo tenemos todo.

The Untold Sins


Much is said about the obvious sins. It seems like homosexuality is at the top of the list; adultery and fornication will follow and many others. We live in a society where we are constantly looking for whom to blame and judge. However, there are sins that are consuming our hearts. At times, we have so much lie in ourselves that we refuse to see how deep and affected we really are by them.

We like to categorize sins according to our own opinion and turn our faces to what the Bible has to say about sin in general. Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that “God opposes the proud.” (James 4:6) Pride is not to be taken lightly!  Let’s take a look at Ezekiel 16:49-50 as we explore other untold sins:

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” 

            It amazes me that every time we talk about Sodom we associate this city with homosexuality; however as we look at these verses we see other sins that have absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality. I am not saying that homosexuality is not a sin. The Scripture refers to homosexuality as an abomination. However, for the sake of this article, I want to explore those other dark and lethal sins that we seem to not be so willing to speak against as we do with homosexuality.  The Bible tells us that the sin of Sodom was as follows:

1. Arrogance

2. Overeating (Gluttony)

3. Unconcern

4. Did not help poor and the needy.

Mathew 13:20-21 uncovers another untold sin that is eating away the life of not only human kind, but the Body of Christ also; it is the sin of being offended.

“But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”

 

            Many of us have indeed experienced the reality of these verses at one point or another in our lives. Perhaps some are experiencing this reality even now as you read these words. The same tribulations and persecutions that God uses to mature us; the devil will use them to plant offending seeds when we take our eyes off Jesus. In Matthew 24:10 Jesus stated offences as a major sign for the last days:

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

             When was the last time we saw people protesting in church for welcoming prideful, overfed, unconcerned and offended people in their congregations? Probably never! Nevertheless, these are untold sins; sins that will rob us of our relationship with God and others; sins that caused Sodom to be destroyed; sins that we can’t take lightly.

Encendamos las Luces de la Navidad en Nuestros Corazones


               En esta navidad las luces del amor de Cristo desean iluminar de forma radiante e impresionante en el centro de nuestros corazones. ¿Por qué insistimos en hacer las cosas a nuestras maneras? Nuestras casas iluminadas, corriendo de centros comerciales a centros comerciales, comprando esto y lo otro; invirtiendo nuestro dinero en lo último en tecnología. Tanto apuro, tanta ansiedad y en el proceso nos olvidamos del que nació y se hizo uno de nosotros y luego dio su vida por nuestros pecados. Jesus el Cristo murió, resucitó y hoy se encuentra a la diestra del Padre, intercediendo por nosotros día y noche, noche y día.

     Tantas luces, mas insistimos en utilizar palabras que entristecen el Espíritu Santo. Tantas luces y árboles hermosamente decorados, mas rehusamos en perdonar las faltas que hemos cometido los unos en contra de los otros. Nuestras almas están consumidas con las tinieblas del odio, la falta de perdón, la fornicación, el adulterio, el alcoholismo, la vulgaridad y las drogas.  Mateo 7:21 nos dice:

“No todo el que me dice: “¡Señor, Señor!”, entrará en el reino de los cielos, sino el que hace la voluntad de mi Padre que está en los cielos.”

            En esta navidad y cada día, el mejor regalo que le podemos dar a nuestro Dios y a nuestras propias vidas es vivir vidas que estén de acuerdo a la voluntad de Dios. Yo he sido niño, he sido joven y hoy un hombre con canas y cicatrices de dolor y de malas decisiones en mis años; hoy yo les testifico que no hay vida fuera de la voluntad de Dios.

     ¿Sabes tan siquiera cual es su voluntad? Nos preocupamos por trabajos,  por mantener apariencias y meternos en lo que no nos importa, mas ¿Sabes lo que Dios quiere y demanda de ti?

             ¡El amor de Dios es el misterio más grande del mundo! El mejor regalo que jamás se ofrecerá en este mundo, mas lo más que se rechaza y hasta se odia en las naciones. Aún hemos llegado a abrazar la hipocresía de celebrar Navidades sin Cristo. ¿Cómo es posible? Hemos hecho de la imagen de un hombre blanco y en sobrepeso, quien se viste de rojo y entra por las chimeneas de las casas, el centro de nuestra atención durante este tiempo.

     Pausemos por un momento y démosle gloria a Jesús, quien es el Cordero de Dios que quita el pecado del mundo. ¡Meditemos en El y en lo que Él representa! Invitémosle en nuestros corazones; entreguémosle nuestras vidas y veremos así la luz de su amor iluminar cada uno de nuestros pasos. En este día, encendamos las luces de la navidad en nuestros corazones.