Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Road to Heaven

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone would
come after Me, he must deny himself and take up
his cross and follow Me." Matthew 16:24
The road to Heaven is not so pleasant, and comfortable,
and easy, and flowery—as many dream. It is not a bright,
sunny, flowery path. It is not paved with triumph—though
it is to end in victory. The termination is glory, honor, and
immortality; but on the way—there is the thorn in the flesh,
the sackcloth, and the cross. Recompense yonder—but labor
here! Rest yonder—but weariness here! Joy and security
yonder—but here endurance and watchfulness, the race,
the battle, the burden, and ofttimes the heavy heart.
♦(Horatius Bonar, "The Surety's Cross")
Taken from today's Grace Gems

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Depravity of Man: Romans 1:18-32

For the Wise
(Who are foolish)

I. We have been revealed God's eternal power and divine nature ---> His Existence

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the:
1. Godlessness
2. Wickedness
Of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness/unrighteousness.(Rom 1:18)

*How are they suppressing the truth? or What have they've done?
The have suppressed the plain knowledge of God's existence revealed unto us.
What may be known about God is OBVIOUS [plain] to them, because God has made it plain. (Rom 1:20)

*And what makes God's existence SO obvious? or How has he made it plain/obvious?
God tells us that His creation is plain evidence of His existence, power and Glory.
His eternal power and divine nature [what may be known, which are His invisible qualities] have been clearly seen (mind you these are invisible qualities), being understood from what has been made (the creation) so that men are without excuse. [Note: the greek word used for Creation, ktisis means original formation (properly the act; by implication the thing, literally or figuratively): - building, creation, creature, ordinance.] (Rom 1:20)

So that come judgment day, no one can stand in God's presence and claim ignorance.

II. Knowing God Exists we choose NOT to believe in Him or thank Him for creating us.

*What did man do instead?
We became futile in our thinking and our foolish hearts were darkened. (Like when Christ came, the Light came into the world but man chose the Darkness, the darkness of sin.) (Rom 1:21)

III. We Choose Idols over God
*What are the implications?
We became fools. (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, thus the rejection of the Lord is the beginning of Foolishness.)
We exchanged God's glory for Idolatry of images resembling man, birds, animals and creeping things. (Rom 1:22-23)

IV. Because of this God has given us over to

a. Sexual Impurities
Since humans exchanged the Truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created beings, God has given/granted us the desires of our iniquity-filled hearts and gave us over to sexual impurities for the degrading of our bodies (Promiscuity perhaps? which can lead to STDs?)
Just in case you still haven't gotten why He does this: "because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen." (Rom1:25, ESV, emphasis mine)

b. Shameful Lusts
Because of our Idolatry, which leads to sexual impurities and these lead to shameful lusts, shameful sexual desires which include homosexuality (both in men and in women, v.26-27) and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (the men who committed indecent acts because of their homosexuality)

c. Depravity of mind
Since us humans didn't think it was important to retain the knowledge of God, in other words we rejected the plain knowledge of God's existence, He gave us over to a depraved mind. (v. 28)
You see the thing is that apart from God, sin (Transgression of the law) takes a hold of us, invades our feelings, our desires, our actions and our thoughts and everything acting through sin is depraved, evil, shameful and an insult to God. That is why we need Jesus sooo much! because apart from God, under the reign/slavery of sin we die both physically and spiritually(Eph 2:1).

*The Result of our depraved mind?

We became filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. Filled with envy (covetousness), murder, strife, deceit and malice. We became gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (v.29-31)

5. The Conscience?
Even though in our heart of hearts we know that what we do, that is so evil and unrighteous, deserves the death penalty we continue to do these things and also approve of those who practice them. (v.32)

Horrible Stuff! Is there anything Good we should look forward to, say hmm some Good news? Some HOPE???

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
For by works of the law(good deeds, trying to keep the 10 commandments) no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (because sin is transgression of the Law)
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it--
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
(Rom 3:19-26)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3.16

SO, now that you know you're sinner...what can you do? or better yet, what does God commands us to do?
REPENT, turn away from your sins, and Put your FAITH in Christ Jesus the Lord and Saviour who died on a cross bearing your sins and resurrected beating death and sin, so that there could be a way to be JUSTIFIED before God and be forgiven of our sins. And so what after that? One is Born Again, by the Holy Spirit and as a born again you can finally have a relationship with the Unchanging Creator of this universe the Lord, Almighty, Amen! (Mark 1:15, Luke 13.3, 13:15)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Book Shopping

Something really sad happened today. After being dropped off at the place where my nutritionist's office is located, I decided to walk to the building across from it, where I knew there is a Christian bookstore, since I had about an hour and a half free before my appointment.
I went in started looking at the books they had, found the Truth War book by John MacArthur, grabbed it right away to buy it but before doing so I kept on looking at what other books they had. It then occurred to me since I was there, to ask around for some Puritan books so I'd save myself the trouble of having to order them online even if they were in spanish (I know I'm weird, I just don't like translated books). To my surprise the very nice lady who was helping me did not even know who the Puritans were. I kept on looking at the many different books they had while apparently she went to ask another nice lady who did not know either, again to my amazement. After that she asked a man who was there explaining something about a book to a customer, he looked at me and chuckled, obviously he knew what Puritans I was talking about, sadly they had no puritan books.
The sad part? They have all the Osteen books, all the Warren books, all the books on Dr. Don Colbert, and a lot of them weird emergent books!! *sigh*
On the plus side, I found a Hebrew bible, which I'm so going back there to get AND the Septuagint :D which I'm going to get as well.

Update on my Diet: I've lost 8 pounds so far, and my BMI is in 21% yay praise the Lord!! :D

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What about the people who've never heard of Christ?

You know people always come up with this question, I have a small comment, if you're really THAT concerned for these people why don't YOU go and make 100% sure that these people hear the gospel. Oh but a few disclosures and warnings first:
1. Make sure you're saved first so you wont be the hypocrite telling them they need to repent and trust in the Saviour Christ Jesus, when you yourself haven't done so.
2. Beware of the well expected hostility toward the gospel, if Jesus Christ was killed for offering Salvation to the lost world and claiming He is the Son of God and God himself, what can you expect will happen to you for preaching the Gospel?
3. Take heed, you may be imprisoned, beat to death, abducted, tortured, humiliated, insulted, spitted on, ridiculed, oh and yes be rejected. Christ was, why should you expect less?
But you know what, Christ came over 2000 thousand years ago knowing all of this would happen to Him and yet that didn't stop Him from calling all to repentance, teaching the Heavenly things His Father sent Him to teach, serving all those who were considered unrighteous, rebuking the Hypocrite Scribes and Pharisees, dining and fishing with sinners, and ultimately carrying a cross to calvary where He beared ALL of our Sins, where He took in the Father's wrath, died. And on the Third day resurrected beating death, Sin and Satan. So that one day, you my friend who don't believe in God or the Bible because, among other things, you think its unfair that people who haven't heard the Gospel are going to hell; could be saved.
You see, we have ALL sinned (broken God's law, The Ten Commandments: Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods before the Lord your God, Thou Shalt not make yourself a Graven Image, Thou Shalt Not Use the Name of the Lord your God in Vain, Thou shalt Thou Shalt keep the Sabbath Holy, Thou Shalt Honor Your Mother and Your Father, Thou Shalt not Kill, Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery, Thou Shalt Not Steal, Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness [a.k.a. Don't Lie], Thou Shalt Not Covet your neighbor's anything. ) even the the indiginous people, those hidden tribes that are who knows where. ALL have sinned, and have fallen short of the Glory, or Standard, of God. The Bible says that the wages of Sin is death, and only a person who has NEVER sinned could pay that wage, this is why Jesus Christ had to die, He was the only one who could bear the sins of the world and who could take in the Father's wrath.
Isaiah tells us that He was pierced for our Iniquities (sins) so that by His blood shed on the cross we could be Saved from eternity in Hell, which where ALL sinners go.
You see when you realize that you are a Sinner, bound to go to Hell because of sin, the bible says if you repent of your sins and turn to the Only Saviour, Jesus Christ, He will save you. You will be Justified before God, because Christ has taken YOUR place on the Cross and has payed the price for YOUR Sin. God promises that all who repent and trust in Christ, will then receive the Holy Spirit who will change your heart of stone for a heart of flesh, and will give you a new nature (This is called regeneration) that will desire to do that which pleases God and will hate sin.

So what are you waiting for??

Saturday, February 09, 2008

En Tiempo Real/ In Real Time

Something amazing happened today!!
Finally the day had come for the Musical, En Tiempo Real. So I decided that I would read today's devotion from the one I have in e-sword, where its got some scripture, a message, and then a prayer at the end. The scripture of the day was from the book of Isaiah, it what something about strength coming from the Lord. I thought wow such wonderful truth, and wrote the following prayer:
"Oh blessed Father, such great Truth! Lord you know today is the day of the Musical! Father renew our strengths after each remaining rehearsals Lord! and especially after each function so that we not grow weary but in joyful strength give our best to the last mile! Glory and Praises to you oh Lord who have made this possible, may we glory in You Lord and you alone through this. In Jesus Christ's name, Amen."
Let me tell you we were still not ready, there were details that we knew only the Lord could fix. There were dance moves that were still not perfectly coordinated, scenes that were not correctly propped due to lack of time and then there was the time issue. The last rehearsal we had, the musical lasted 2 hours and 8 minutes with all the glitches and mistakes. We prayed once before we began officially the Musical. The First function, was GREAT!! absolutely wonderful!! I'm absolutely 150% positive it was the Lord who made it all possible.
Everyone was tired though, we had arrived at the place at 11 am and began rehearsal at 2pm, by the end of the first function it was 9pm. But I remembered the devotional I had read this morning but forgot the chapter!! I knew it was Isaiah 40 something but I couldn't remember I searched for it in the bible and couldn't find it.
We prayed again for the second function, that our pride might not get in the way and that we may stay focused on what is the important part and that is Glorifying God through everything we do. The 2nd Function was absolutely wonderful. It was now over and everyone rejoiced in the Lord and hoped the message in the musical had reached who the Lord wanted it to reach and that the gospel may have gotten through to families and teens.
Now the awesome part!
I was waiting for my brother to pick me up I was still inside and I hear the girls talking about a portion of scripture they had read today that had given them strength and courage, how it was all one of the girls could think of as she danced and her legs trembled. And she mention Isaiah 40 something. I couldn't believe it! What did you say!? I asked her, and she repeated the Isaiah 40:31, excited I told them how that was the portion of scripture for my devotional this morning!!

Isa 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

The Lord is good! He had been taking care of everything from day one! He is our strength, He is our Joy, He is our Portion!!!

All the Glory and Praises to His name!!! AMEN!!!!

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
ISAIAH 40:28-31