Activating our Consciences and Calling it Like It Is


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I find myself purposely avoiding talking about politics, especially with love ones. The reason for this is because politics is dividing people like never before. We have lost the ability to disagree without demonizing the other side. We have lost the ability to reason. I am a fan of the truth over any political party or political figure.  The truth is the truth no matter who is saying it and, a lie is a lie no matter who is telling it. Democrats automatically attack everything our president says and does, just because he is Donald Trump. Republicans rejected everything Obama said and did just because he was a democrat. In the process, we are losing our objectivity.

I told a friend today that I did not want to talk about Trump, Obama, Hillary, Pelosi and the new socialist wing of the Democratic Party. People are getting upset with each other, loosing friendships and not talking to family members over politics. I still want to have meaningful conversations, but without adding these political figures to the conversation.  I want to talk about what people believe and why. I want to know if people support same sex marriage and why, I want to know if people support abortion and why, I want to know if people believe in high taxes, strong military, obeying our parents and obeying authority; I want to know what people think about the police (the good, the bad and the ugly) and those who disrespect the police; etc.

Many times, what I see, is that people are supporting political candidates who totally contradict their belief system, but because that’s the way they vote traditionally, they are unwilling to dig deeper and stick to their convictions. Today, a man expressed to me how he despises the idea of transgender going into the women’s bathrooms. Nevertheless, it is his own party who support these kinds of changes. So, without mentioning any political party or candidate we were able to have a respectful conversation, focus on what we believe and not on who we support for office.

Isiah 5:20-21 says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (KJV) There is evil, darkness and bitterness everywhere; but the truth is not out of sight; the truth is not hiding from us either. So then, point out the lies, where ever they come from and, recognize the truth where ever she is told. Is really time for all of us to dig deeper in passionate pursue of the truth; stand firm and don’t compromise. It is time to activate our conscience and call it like it is.

7 Banderas de Esperanza: La Bendición de Yokdzonot


ANGEL - FRONT Cover Final 5-02-19.jpg

Estoy tan contento por la publicación de mi primer libro en español. Este libro habla de mis cuatro viajes misioneros a México y enseñanzas aprendidas en el proceso.  Espero que sea de gran bendición para ti.

https://www.amazon.com/XQS-Womens-Push-Breathable-Everyday/dp/194310638X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=7+Banderas+de+Esperanza%3A+La+bendicion+de+Yokdzonot&qid=1558047536&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull&fbclid=IwAR1Dd_fysZdfy3GL4BRs5Jw1ewH4KYYkl9ps_xSlm220-gwad7M-NB73ghg

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/7-banderas-de-esperanza-ngel-casiano/1131374506?ean=9781943106387

 

Changing our Focus


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Today I am not writing about having each other’s back or, how we are a family or how we are in this thing together, etc. I am not going to talk about whatever the government has to offer this time around. If the focus of your hope is on those things while ignoring God, you will find yourself running in circles and not advancing. We must fix our vertical relationship with God first before we can truly have a chance of learning how to deal with our horizontal obligations. Today I want to talk to you about “Changing our Focus”. I want to give you 5 Biblical truth that will help us to change our focus:

  1. Nobody loves you like God.You keep looking for love in all the wrong places, but nobody loves you with that Agape love, that unconditional love, that love without conditions that comes only from God. In John 3:16 Jesus tells us,

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

  1. God is the only one who will never leave you nor forsake you.People will let you down eventually. We are humans, we make mistakes, we say the wrong thing, we read into things wrong, we get tired, etc. But not God, He is always there, in the mountains, in the valleys and even in the deserts. In Deuteronomy 31:6 Moses tells us,

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (NIV)

  1. God is the only one who has the ability to supply you with everything you need.You can look for stuff, places and people, but only God can truly satisfy and fill the emptiness of your soul and give you everything you need. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:19,

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

  1. God is the only one you and I can truly trust with our lives.If you are placing your hopes in people and programs, the Bible states that you are curse. When it comes down to the seriousness of our lives and destiny our trust should be on the Lord and on the Lord only. Jeremiah tells us in Jeremiah 17:5,

“…Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord. (NIV)

  1. God is the only one we can truly trust with our pain and adversities.Many of you are in a great deal of pain, some of that pain have been cause by family members, a former friend, a spouse, local churches; that is, men that have presented to you a false idea of God; and, some of that pain have been cause directly by you. Jesus Christ is more qualify than any therapist, any doctor, any physiologist or psychiatric to deal with your pain. As Jesus got ready to start this three-year ministry he stood and read these words in a synagogue,

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free, Luke 4:18 (NIV)

Conclusion

Today I am asking God to change our focus, from focusing on ourselves, people and programs to focus on God. If you change your focus you will begin to see fruit in your live. As you change your focus you will begin to see how we become more effective in loving one another, helping one another, encouraging one another, praying for one another and all the one another’s in the Bible.

 

 

Are we Victims or Victors?


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When I was a kid being a victim was not cool. We wanted to be the tough kid; the one that everybody feared. We wanted to be known as fighters. We did not want to be labor as a coward or as weak. However, in today’s society, we celebrate victimhood; there is no need to overcome anything. Part of the reason this is so, is because being a victim has its privileges. There are a numbers of government programs and various kinds of disabilities that, if you qualify for, you can make some money out of it without having to do a thing; tax payers have your back.  Let me stablish very quickly that it is not biblical for us, as Christians, to see ourselves as victims. That is a slap in the face of God.

I want to make clear that you don’t confuse not being a victim with the absence of going through difficult times. In 2 Timothy 4:7 the Apostle Paul tells us, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (NIV) The Christian life is a fight; it is a fight to maintain our faith in spite of what we go through and, in spite of what our eyes see. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that, “…we live by faith, not by sight.” (NIV) Another great man of God, King David, tells us in Psalm 34:19 that, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (KJV) The focus should never be on the suffering; but in God’s deliverance. Beloved, we are more than overcomers. Revelation 12:11 tells us, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (KJV)

The word Overcome in Revelation 12:11 is the Greek word níkē”meaning, “To be victorious, to prevail.[1]Romans 8:37 tells us that, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (KJV) Again here, we see here the Word Nike! Maybe you lost a love one; maybe you lost your job; maybe you suffer a great betrayal; maybe you lost it all; maybe your dad mistreated you; maybe your mom mistreated you. Maybe… God did not promise a life with no afflictions; but he promise that he will deliver you from them all.Today, be encourage!

God bless you and thank you for visiting our blog! Leave a comment, a question or initiate a discussion

[1]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

Is Prosperity Achieved Through Giving or Through Good Stewardship?


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This is not the time in my life when I am making the most money. I am a Shelter Manager in a Rescue Mission; we definitely do not make a whole lot of money. Just 4 years ago I was making $9.00 an hour more than what I am making right now. However, because I am a better steward of what God has given me, I have more money in the bank. I am totally debt free and, I am working on something that I thought it was impossible, to have enough emergency savings for six months. I am now ready for God to release more into my life because I am learning how to live within my means. I thank God for Dave Ramsey; he has been the instrument God is using to transform the way my wife and I approach our finances.

As I focus on the topic of this small article, I will be dealing with answering the following question, is prosperity achieved through giving or through good stewardship? You will never be prosperous by giving only, without stewardship; but you will always be prosperous if you embrace biblical stewardship. In 3 John 1:2 the Bible tells us,

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. (NASB)

            Let me start by stating that, it is God’s will for us to prosper. The word prosper is the Greek word, euodóō; meaning, “Easy to travel through. To lead in a good way, to prosper one’s journey. Figuratively, to make prosperous, give success to; to be led in a good way, to have a prosperous journey.”[1]As we can see, prosperity goes beyond money; on this verse the Apostle John attaches health and the condition of our souls to true prosperity.[2]In our souls we have our minds (the way we think) our will (Decision-making) and our emotions (the way we feel).  However, it seems that when it comes down to prosperity, as explained by the average church, the focus is strictly on material things. The theology of the prosperity Gospel apologist goes only as far as Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (NASB)

For some, prosperity is only achieved if we just give our tithes and offerings or, better yet, if we give beyond that. However, this message is incomplete if we don’t deal with this thing called stewardship. Proverbs 21:20 tells us,“There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up.” (NASB)

            Prosperity is found as the result of divine wisdom. We can give, but if we are not good stewards of what God has already provided us with, if our giving is irresponsible, we will not prosper. We will find ourselves one bad situation away from a financial disaster. For example, the Lord is blessing you with a good job. Let’s imagine that this week you made $1000.00; you go to a church service on Sunday and the preacher is talking about sacrificial giving, faith and planting seeds, etc. The preacher is talking about how the Lord is going to bless you if you give a $500.00 offering. Apparently, the Lord told him that there were 50 people that were supposed to give $500.00 each. Now, you just made $1,000 that week by working hard. You have bills to pay, your car needs gas and your house is in desperate need of groceries. You have enough money to cover all of your financial responsibilities; God really provided all you needed for that week; but this preacher is still talking… What would you do?

I have a word for you, DON’T LISTEN TO THAT FOOLISHNESS.” You have the God-give responsibility to provide for your family. First Timothy 5:8 tells us, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (NASB) Understand that here the Apostle Paul is placing folks who do not provide for their families, in the same category as folks who deny their faith.

Your biblical responsibility is to take a look at that $1,000.00 you made that week and understand that, 1) you must make sure you pay your debt, because it is a sin to be in debt. Romans 13:8 tells us, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” (NASB) This is not a recommendation; this is a Biblical mandate. 2) Living within our means is actually biblical also! Make sure you are addressing your debt and that you are providing for your family. Believe me when I tell you, that preacher is not delivering a Godly message to you or anybody when he speaks about giving a $500.00 offering. As soon as preacher speak of a particular amount, he is clearly in violation of Scripture. This is a demonic tactic that is keeping God’s people in bondage. First Peter 4:10 tells us, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (NASB)

            You give according to what you have received. According to First Peter 4:10, when you give according to what you have, you are a good steward of God’s grace upon your life.  Giving out of what you do not have or, giving what you are supposed to use to provide for your family, is irresponsible and ungodly giving. What about those preachers that encourage folks to place their giving on credit cards? Again, a total violation of Romans 13:8. The same goes to those missionaries with families who abandon their jobs to go and serve the Lord with no income. While the Senior Pastor enjoys a salary and house allowance, the Missionaries have to live “by faith.” Again, we all have the biblical responsibility to provide for our families. The Apostle Paul is our best example, even as he was a single man and even as he was an apostle, he still work and make his own living.

In Matthew 25:21 the Bible gives us another powerful insight into stewardship, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave (employees). You were faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (NASB) I am not saying that giving is not biblical; as Christians we must give. What I am saying is that the Bible is very clear that stewardship is required for prosperity. In Matthew 25:21 we see that prosperity came as the slave (employee) proved himself faithful to his master. The master is a typology of God.

To be good stewards of the blessings God gives us is a Biblical theme. The secret to prosperity is not in giving alone, but in faithful stewardship. You can give a $1000.00 expecting that the Lord will bless you with $10,000, but the reality is that is not going to happen. God is in the business of teaching you how to manage that $1000.00 before he can bless you with more. If we are faithful in the little things God will indeed bless us with more. That my friend, is a biblical promise.

 

 

[1]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[2]In our souls we have our mind (The way we think), our will (Our decision-making process) and the seat of our emotions (The way we feel). The way we think, and act will affect our emotions. The Apostle John wants us to prosper in our mindsets and make decisions according to God’s will; the result of that will be the enjoyment of joy and peace.

The Holy Ghost is not Only for Pentecostals 3 “Bearing Fruit”


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Jesus stated that the evidence for salvation is a person’s fruit (Matthew 7:16). When we are born again, our spirits are now alive to God; we now have the ability to respond to God. As a matter fact, our spirit is the part of us that is willing to cooperate with God (Matthew 26:41). It is impossible to be a born-again believer with no fruit; that is because the Holy Spirit of God dwells in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). Galatians 5:22-23 tells us,

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

(NASB)

Let’s take a look at each one of these fruits:

  • Love:This is the Greek word “agape” meaning, “Affectionate regard, goodwill, benevolence.[1]This is the unconditional love. We, as believers, are called to love every person in this world; that is, including our enemies or, those who want to harm us.
  • Joy:This is the Greek word. “χαράchará” meaning, “To rejoice. Joy, rejoicing, gladness.”[2]I know that we all have our moments; nevertheless, a believer is a joyful person. We have more than enough reasons to rejoice. There is indeed a gladness that is release from our spirit. Joy is something humans in general look for; people want to be happy. Many times, folks end up using drugs to feel joy; to feel energy. Think about this, the Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy releases energy; depression take it away.
  • Peace:This is the Greek word, “εἰρήνηeirḗnē”; meaning “metaphorically, peace of mind, tranquility, arising from reconciliation with God and a sense of a divine favor.[3]This is another gift that folks look for; peace of mind is truly a blessing. Again, as believers we are not immune to losing a night here and there over stuff. However, as believers we must have a lifestyle of peace. Our peace should be so powerful that for the naked and untrained eye in the things of God it should make no sense. It should surpass any reasonable understanding (Philippians 4:7).
  • Patience:This is the Greek word, “μακροθυμίαmakrothumí”meaning,“To be long–suffering. Forbearance, long–suffering, self–restraint before proceeding to action. The quality of a person who is able to avenge himself yet refrains from doing so.[4]As believers we will suffer; that is guaranty, this fruit helps us to endure and show restraint in retaliation.
  • Kindness:This is the Greek word, “chrēstótēs” meaning, “To be useful, profitable. Benignity, kindness, usefulness and is translated good.[5]A kind person is not a weak person, but a useful one. A kind person is a good person. Even as we have different personality, a believer must live a lifestyle of kindness towards others.
  • Goodness:This is the Greek word, “agathōsúnē” meaning, “benevolent. Active goodness. Of disposition and character, virtue.[6]This fruit is very close to kindness; however, goodness is active; so, it implies a disposition; a special willingness to help others.
  • Faithfulness:This is the Greek word, “pístis”; meaning, “To win over, persuade. Faith. Subjectively meaning firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality or faithfulness (though rare). Objectively meaning that which is believed, doctrine, the received articles of faith.”[7]This is a non-negotiable faith in God as the provider of all things and as the God of the impossible. As believers we never place hope in ourselves; we have a deep conviction that we can trust God in all things.
  • Gentleness:This is the Greek word, “praǘtēs”; meaning. “Meekness, but not in a man’s outward behavior only, nor in his relations to his fellow man or his mere natural disposition. Rather, it is an inwrought grace of the soul, and the expressions of it are primarily toward God. It is that attitude of spirit we accept God’s dealings with us as good and do not dispute or resist.[8]This is beyond humility is a deeper confidence and trust in God. Gentleness accepts, without dispute, God’s dealing in our lives; whether we like or not.
  • Self-Control:This is the Greek word, egkráteia; meaning, “temperate, self–controlled or continence.[9]There are plenty of reason, circumstances, people, etc. that are demonically designed to make us lose control of our emotions and explode in anger. This fruit will always surprise us; because we are able to see the deep work God is doing in us. This fruit is always tested in fire.

            Beloved, to be a born-again believer is more than repeating a random prayer. A person can pray the perfect prayer of repentance; but that does not necessarily mean that they are save. The prayer should be a reflection of what God is already doing in their hearts. A born-again believer WILL BEAR FRUIT; that is an automatic. How can we not bear fruit with a born-again and willing spirit within us? Moreover, how can we not bear fruit with the indwelling of the Holy Ghost? Many are repeating these prayers of repentance; but I encourage you not to look for the prayer as the ultimate evidence of salvation, but look for the fruit; that’s how we know  them, by their fruit.

[1]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[2]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[3]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[4]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[5]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[6]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[7]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[8]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[9]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

The Holy Ghost is not Only for Pentecostals 2


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On this article we will look at five varieties of the Holy Spirit; 1) gifts, 2) ministries, 3) effects, and 4) manifestations. First Corinthians 12:3-7 will help us take a look at the first four varieties.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all personsBut to each one is given themanifestationof the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:3-7 (NASB)

Before we look at the key words and definitions for the sake of our article; lets look at the definition of varieties; it is the Greek word, “diaíresis” meaning, “Distribution. Used only in 1 Cor. 12:4–6 in regard to the gifts, services and results of energies or operations.”[1]We are in the midst of an operation; a divine operation, a Holy Ghost operation; HE MUST call the shots, not us. These varieties are as follow:

  1. Gifts

The word Gifts is the Greek word, “charisma”meaning, “A gift of grace, an undeserved benefit.[2]The gifts of the Spirit are for the benefit of the Body of Christ. Those spiritual gifts are as follow:[3]

Romans 12:6–8 1 Corinthians 12:8–10 1 Corinthians 12:28 Ephesians 4:11 1 Peter 4:11
1.    Prophecy

2.    Serving

3.    Teaching

4.    Exhortation

5.    Giving

6.    Leadership

7.    Mercy

1.    Word of wisdom

2.    Word of knowledge

3.    Faith

4.    Gifts of healings

5.    Miracles

6.    Prophecy

7.    Distinguishing between spirits

8.    Tongues

9.    Interpretation of tongues

1.    Apostle

2.    Prophet

3.    Teacher

4.    Miracles

5.    Kinds of healings

6.    Helps

7.    Administration

8.    Tongues

1.    Apostle

2.    Prophet

3.    Evangelist

4.    Pastor

5.    Teacher

1.    Whoever speaks

2.    Whoever renders service

 

Every believer has gifts and, for the church to function properly, every believer should be free to use his or her gift according to God’s Word. Talents are the abilities God has given us in order to effectively serve his people. A good Pastor is eager to identify his folks’ gifts, he is eager to disciple them and release them to use their gifts.

  1. Ministries

Denying God’s power is denying the Holy Spirit. There is no such a thing of ministry of any kind without the Holy Spirit at its center. That involves teaching without holding back and without watering down information. We must learn everything, as possible, that it is to be learned about the Holy Ghost. Without the Holy Spirit we are reduced to agencies, organizations, etc. with a form of godliness, nevertheless denying God’s power. Without the full involvement of the Holy Ghost, we become too cool and too sophisticated to let God do his thing and in that, we become arrogant. At that point we become a secular agency with a few Christians in it.

The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:5, “…holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” (NASB) Interesting that the Bible encourages us to avoid folks like this. Something to think about deeply.

Back to First Corinthians 12:4, the word Ministries here is the Greek word, “diakonía” meaning “to minister or to serve.”[4]It is essentially, the same word we use for deacon. Ministry is about serving others and to serve others effectively we need the Holy Ghost.

  1. Effects

The word Effects is the Greek word, “enérgēma” meaning “the results of the energy of God in the believer. Though enérgēmais translated operations, it is actually the results energized by God’s grace.”[5]The Holy Spirit give us the energy to fulfil our call; to do what He has call us to do. If we are feeling unmotivated, if we are feeling lazy to carry on the call of God for our lives, we must check our relationship with the Holy Spirit.

  1. Manifestations

The word for Manifestations is the Greek word, “phanerosis” meaning “To make manifest. A manifestation, a making visible or observable”.[6]The varieties of the Holy Ghost are not invisible; they don’t go undetected. The varieties of the Holy Ghost are indeed visible; they are practical and tangible.

To be continued…

 

 

[1]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[2]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_gift

[4]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[5]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[6]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament(Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

The Holy Ghost is not Only for Pentecostals


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There are things that are not our business to know; one of those things that come to mind is the return of our Lord Jesus Christ; not even Jesus himself knows of his own return, only the Father knows (Mark 13:32). Nevertheless, when it comes to the Holy Ghost, ignorance is not an option. The apostle Paul tells us in First Corinthians 12:1, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.” (NASB)

We as humans are three in one, we are body, we are soul and we are spirit. Before we are born again in spirit our spirit is sold out to idolatry. The number one function of the spirit of a human is to worship (John 4:24). Idolatry is to worship anything other than God. A human who is not born again is led by idols; there is a variety of idols, including themselves. Those who claim that they don’t believe in any religion are led by their own spirits; they become their own idols.

Through human history we can clearly say that humans always have a belief in something higher. One of the signs of the last days is that humans will be lovers of themselves (2 Timothy 3:2). That is idolatry and, when we idolized anything other than God we are led astray. First Corinthians 12:2 tells us, “You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led.” (NASB)

Idolatry has always been the main problem in human history. The root is in placing our trust outside of God. Idolatry takes us by the hand and introduces us to all the sin in the world; it is indeed the root. The devil knew this and with the Tower of Babel he organized idolatry. Pay attention to the unfinished tower that is shown in our one-dollar bills and also, pay attention to main symbol of these secret societies. Idolatry was the downfall of Israel as a nation and it is the downfall of nations all over the world.

Idolatry is simply placing our trust in something else other than God; therefor idolatry has been the downfall of ministries and Christian organizations as they take their eyes off of Jesus and place their focus on other ways and themselves. It is crucial, therefore, that the Holy Spirit be at the center of our faith. Jesus said of the Holy Spirit,

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helperwill not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousnessand judgmentconcerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.  John 16:7-14 (NASB)

            The Holy Spirit is 1) our Helper, 2) the one who convict us of sin. Without the Holy Ghost it is impossible to see ourselves as sinners; we will always justify what we do and never take ownership for our sins. We will always end up blaming somebody else and, even as we do suffer injustices, nobody is free of sin. Without the Holy Ghost we become experts in accusing others of their sin while closing our eyes to our own. Repentance for salvation will never takes place until we are convinced that we are indeed sinners, so we can add that, 3) only with the help of the Holy Ghost we can be saved from sin; for it is the Holy Ghost that gives us the ability to repent. 4) The Holy Ghost show us what is righteous, what is right, 5) the Holy Ghost show us that there will be a judgment coming, that we can’t live our lives as if there is no eternal judgment. 6) The Holy Ghost guide us into all truth. Our freedom depends on knowing the truth (John 8:32). That freedom can only be found through the Holy Ghost. 7) The Holy Ghost will show us things to come; we as Christians should not be blinded concerning the future; and 8) The Holy Spirit is here to glorify Jesus. First Corinthians 12:3 tells us, “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” (NASB) Our greatest job on this earth is to glorify Jesus; think about this; we can’t glorify Jesus without the Holy Ghost.

To be continued…

Church Hurt


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I have been hearing about the imperfections of the church within days of receiving Christ as my Lord and Savior. Within local churches there is always somebody offending, somebody upset with this sister or this other brother, some disappointment or wound somewhere. People hurt people; it is a matter of time!

We are all, as Christians, encouraged to walk in the Spirit, that is, walking in love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.[1]However, often times, because we also have to deal with the nastiness of our flesh, we walk in sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy; drunkenness and orgies.[2]The Born Again experience does not mean that we are immune from walking in the nastiness of our flesh. If the right bottom is pushed, we will find out exactly what our true level of spirituality is.

There is hurt everywhere! You will be hurt in your jobs, in your community, in churches and even in your own family. Humans have been hurting other humans since the beginning of times. We will hurt other humans by the decisions we make, by the things we say and even by our body language.  We serve a mighty and good God, but we are not mighty, and we are not good either; none of us are.[3]

The Bible guarantees suffering.[4]That is why in the Christian faith forgiveness is at the center. Because suffering is a sure thing, because people will hurt us and we will hurt them; because there will be disappointments, betrayals and much pain, we must always be willing to forgive. God has given all of us the ministry of reconciliation[5]and He has made it clear that forgiveness is key for us receiving our own forgiveness. Matthew 6:14-15 tells us,

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (NASB)

I say all of these things to say that the solution to deal with church hurt in particular is not by removing God out of the equation. The solution is not to discourage the gathering of the saints. The solution is not to justify why a person should stay away or be exempt from becoming a part of a local church. I don’t want to be insensitive from whatever church hurt you have been a victim of; however, I want to remind you your biblical duty to forgive and also warn you not to let your pride get on the way of your responsibility as a believer. Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (NASB)

On these verses we are encouraged to 1) hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering. After this he takes the time to describe how to hold on to that confession by 2) reminding that God will fulfil his promises. He continues by encouraging us to 3) truly learn to love one another by intentional acts of kindness towards one another. Lastly, 4) he seals his point by establishing that these things can only be fulfilled when we share space and time together; that is, the assembly.

Church hurt is not a reason to move people away from God and the assembly; church hurt actually accelerates the need for such assembly. Is God not big enough to deal with our pain? Do we feel qualify to keep people away from God by offering man-made solutions? Anything secular is ultimately designed to keep people away from God, is an attempt not only to question our need for God, but to question his existence altogether. For the Body of Christ to rely on any secular system is an insult to God. Jesus is uniquely qualified to heal the broken; it is exactly what he came to do. In Isiah 61:1 the Bible tells us,

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners; (NASB)

 As Jesus initiates his ministry, he quoted these exact words in Luke 4:18. So why do we feel the need to keep people away from God or the assembly? Why do we attack the church so much? Why do we become the accusers of the bride? I am not arguing that we as the church MUST get better; but I assure you that we are getting better. Is God not faithful to finish the work that he has started on each one of us? None of us has arrived yet, we all have a long way to go; but that is the work of the Holy Ghost. God promise that he will finish what he started in us.[6]

In conclusion, don’t judge a product that has not been completed yet. We, as the Body of Christ, are a work in progress; all of us are. We need to give folks truth and grace; that truth and grace comes from God. That is the example of Jesus.[7]We are called, as mentioned before, to reconcile people to God not to find justifications to push them further away.

 

Key Bible verses for this article:

 

 

[1]Galatians 5:22-23

[2]Galatians 5:19-20

[3]Romans 3:10

[4]John 16:33

[5]2 Corinthians 5:11-21

[6]Philippians 1:6

[7]John 1:17