Mercy and Purity

Mercy and Purity

“Blessed are the merciful” / “Blessed are the pure in heart”

“The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:16-17

Early in His ministry, the Word of Jesus quickly spread even beyond Israel.  Multitudes followed Jesus, sitting at his feet, and He taught them doctrine unique to their ears, differing from the rabbis, scribes, and wise men of Israel.  He did not teach the Law of Moses.  He did not clarify it.  He imparted the teachings of the Kingdom of Heaven.  When Jesus sat down to teach the multitudes in Matthew 5-7, His oration left the people astonished.  At the beginning of His discourse, He stated the following:

Matthew 5:7“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

Matthew 5:8“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

Proclaiming how men could do well for themselves, Jesus spoke of mercy and purity.  He opened the door to things not seen by men, a peek into how to ultimately dwell in the presence of God.  Indeed, these two traits are living sermons seen in Jesus, the Word of God, and the Christian.

Do you live your life in purity?

Do you live your life in purity?

The Mercy and Purity of Jesus

John 8:29“And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”

The apostle John writes these Words of Jesus.  The Christ declares his actions stand as testament that the Father is always with Him.  What a man Jesus was!  He did not covet His position as Deity, but chose to come as a savior to this world of sin (Philippians 2:6).  And how the world needs Jesus!

Isaiah 59:2“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Every person walking this earth from the beginning to end – except Jesus – commits sin (Romans 3:23, I John 1:8).  So when Jesus came to this earth, He found a people in need of spiritual mercy.  They were unclean, unhealthy, impure, weighed down with the filth of sin and therefore, separated from the God who created them.  Jesus arrived as a great spiritual purifier for mankind teaching how to return to God (Mark 2:17).  But, this is not why the multitudes of Matthew 5-7 followed Jesus. They were seeking the mercy of His miraculous healing.  Jesus was not just spiritually merciful (Matthew 4:23-24).  Jesus showed compassion in healing all that came to Him (Matthew 9:35-36).  His mercy also caused him to feed the hungry who followed him for days on end (Matthew 15:32-38).  Jesus cared about the physical well being of others and for good reason.  Jesus came to this earth, living in the flesh as a man.  He subjected himself to the intentional and unintentional consequences of the actions of mankind.  He breathed the same air we do under the same sun.  He experienced temptation and hardship just the same as mankind has since the beginning of time.  He endure what the struggle of mankind feels like.  Thus, Jesus shows mercy spiritually and physically for our plight (Hebrews 2:17-18).

However, though merciful, Jesus also needed to be pure.  When an individual lives a life of serving God and not the world that demonstrates purity.  Jesus led a life free from the sins that whirled around Him in the lives of mankind.  He rejected temptation (Matthew 4).  He championed thinking on the good things of life.  “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten…” (I Peter 2:22-23) Peter describes the blood of Christ as that of a lamb without spot (I Peter 1:19).  It was only in this way He would fulfill the Law of Moses and be acceptable as a sacrifice for mankind.  Though he was tempted as us, He did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus in showing mercy to us, obtained the mercy of the Father who raised Him up from the grave.  By living a life of purity, Jesus “after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).  The life He presented to others in Matthew 5-7, turned out to be a living illustration on how things can go well for one’s life.

The Mercy and Purity of the Word of God

The Word of God which Jesus taught was only that which the Father gave Him (John 12:49-50).  Jesus shared a parable in Matthew 18:22-35 which told of a servant forgiven a huge sum by his master.  Sadly, the servant goes away and refuses to show the same mercy to another owing a small debt.  In fact, he causes the man to be thrown in prison over the sum.  When the master hears of the actions of the unmerciful servant, the servant is delivered over to be punished.  God’s Word declares the same will be done by the Heavenly Father to those not showing mercy.  The parable Jesus spoke in Matthew 18 is the other side of “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”.  The Word of God displays mercy by not only telling us how to do well, but how to avoid punishment (II Timothy 3:16-17).

How the psalmist declares the purity of the way of God!

Psalm 12:6“The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.”

Psalm 19:8 -“the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;”

Peter refers to the Word of God when he tells the Christians to long for the “pure spiritual milk that by it you may grow up into salvation”.  As God Himself is pure, so goes His Word.  “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”  Thus, purity at its simplest and more recognizable form is God.  “I AM HOLY!” Many times in scripture God declared this.  Consider John 1:1 now:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:14 declares Christ as that Word.  We know God to be merciful and pure. We know Christ to be merciful and pure.  The Word of God then, demonstrates the traits of mercy and purity as taught by Jesus on the sermon on the mount of Matthew 5-7.

The Mercy and Purity of the Christian

As Jesus spoke to the multitudes, He offered teaching which established what a citizen of the kingdom of God looked like.  The citizen of the Kingdom of God replicates Jesus in mercy and purity (Ephesians 5:25-27).  The citizen of the kingdom of God replicates the Word of God in mercy and purity as well for the Christian sees salvation through the implanted, merciful, and pure Word of God (James 1:21).  Jesus commanded mankind to be merciful when He shared the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10.  The apostle Paul preached to the Christians of Colossae telling them of mercy and moral perfection which is purity in Colossians 3:12-14.  Christianity represents the light of God.  In action, true Christianity shows faith in our unrealized hope, the coming of Christ and entrance into His kingdom.  That such a belief mandates traits of mercy and purity becomes clear when the Apostle Paul speaks of the selfishness and immorality which will keep us out of the kingdom of heaven (I Corinthians 6:9-10).  Jesus in speaking to His disciples as they were concerned about rank in the Kingdom of Heaven stated the following:

Matthew 18:3“…Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

A young child yet unstained by the world wants to please.  He or she will share their cookies, share their toys, and freely give their love.  They want to do anything they can do to help when someone hurts.  Children demonstrate mercy and purity every day, just as Christ.  These traits need to become ours.  The Father longs for this.  Christ lived it.  The apostles taught it.  The world can read this in God’s Word given for their guidance and perfection.

Jesus, the great healer of mankind looked out at the multitudes that constantly surrounded him and He shared words of the Father which provide eternal life.  He did so knowing they were all condemned to die in sin.  He did so knowing they would eventually beat Him, spit on Him, reject Him, and crucify Him.  His greatest act of mercy and purity took place upon the cross as the pure sacrificial lamb of God.  Showing mercy he pleaded, “Father forgive them…”.

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Solar Eclipse: Nothing Short of Amazing

Solar Eclipse: Nothing Short of Amazing

It had to have been one of the most over-hyped, over-sold, and yet totally underwhelming cataclysmic NON-events of my entire lifetime – maybe even eclipsing the dreaded but totally bogus and phantom Y2K world-wide computer shut-down which never happened at the turn of the last century… Recently, on Monday, August 21st, there was (apparently, from what I hear) a total solar eclipse. This particular type of eclipse would be unlike anything we would ever see again in most of our lifetimes, as this type of eclipse only occurs once every one hundred and something or so years, or so we were told by the ‘experts.’

Did you spend time in preparation of the Solar Eclipse?

Did you spend time in preparation of the Solar Eclipse?

And the portion of it that was nothing short of absolutely amazing to me – in case you couldn’t tell by reading the article to this point – was obviously not the eclipse itself, but the unbelievable preparation that so many people were willing to put in prior to it, mostly because it was the latest “here today and gone tomorrow” craze (you know, sort of like fidget spinners?). Intoxicated on hype and dancing hysterically in lemming-like lock-step with the mass-media’s “once in a lifetime,” mass-hysteria, must-see mania, massive amounts of men, women, and children reportedly lined up by the thousands, back out of stores, through parking lots, and around corners for hours, in order to purchase ‘specially-licensed’ paper and plastic glasses with which to view said solar eclipse – glasses which would then, most likely, be summarily discarded by the thousands, to grace garbage cans everywhere only mere moments after the great sun shadow sped by (This, in a culture which claims to always want to ‘go green’ by the way.) Television stations wholly devoted to weather phenomena purposefully planned and dispatched many of their major stars and personalities to different and varying locations along the eclipse’s projected path across America, incurring what I would have thought to have been ‘astronomical’ travelling and accommodations costs – at least, I’m glad that I didn’t have to pay for them.

As for my wife and I, we were traveling when “it” occurred. Actually, we had stopped for fuel and noticed a few people with their paper and plastic glasses on and/or electronic “devices” out, staring up at the sky while seeking to get a momentary glimpse or image of what was occurring in the heavens. Over the course of the past half hour, our environment had admittedly gotten a bit dingy in the south, but a few minutes after we got back on the road everything got back to normal. And I thought, ‘Really? All of that time, and money, and discussion, and preparation that so many people had put in… for nothing more than a few brief moments of basically the same effect as a cloudy day so often and routinely produces? What a terribly sad commentary on our “got to get caught up in it because everyone else is,” “got to have it because everyone else has,” “media made it sound so special so it must be,” “only this moment matters,” drama-driven culture!

Consider for yourself: A very brief and momentary moon shadow darkens our sun and everyone has to go to incredibly great lengths to “see” it – although all will experience its ‘shady side’ whether they want to or not as it passes by. But, when millions of these very same folks who are conversely walking in the deadly darkness of sin have the opportunity to experience walking in the pure and unpolluted light of God’s presence and preservation for all eternity in heaven, they shun and avoid it with every fiber of their being! Where is their preparation then? When was the last time you saw a television or internet news story about hundreds of people lining up outside of the meeting house of a congregation of the Lord’s church – the ‘official,’ ‘licensed’ church of the Lord of glory ‘by the Way’ (Romans 16:16; Acts 20:28) – through the parking lot and back down around several city blocks, for a full four to six hours before bible study even begins, in order to get a good view and a glimpse of glory from the word of God? When was the last time you heard some ‘star’ or member of the media say in effect, “It doesn’t matter to me how much time, or money, or effort, or preparation I have to put in to get to worship and bible class (2 Ptr. 1:2-11)! Seeing the Light pierce my darkness (Jn. 3:19-21) is so much more than just a mere and momentary, once in a lifetime event – it is an essential and ever-necessary component to transforming my momentary earthly life into an eternal in the heavens event (2 Cor. 5:1-11)! I’d be foolish not to go! Want to come with me?”

In Matthew 16:1-3 and Luke 12:54-57, Jesus condemned those whose feeble and fatal focus enabled them to accurately forecast the weather, but who chose not to discern the far more important purpose of His presence and promise of His return. Christ’s return will be nothing short of the most stunning, amazing event this earth’s inhabitants have ever witnessed (1 Thess. 4:16-18; Rev. 1:7). It will come without warning or media hype – but make no mistake, it will come just as Jesus promised (2 Ptr. 3:1-18).

The only question that therefore remains, is ‘what on earth’ was more of a priority for you to spend your precious time and money on prior to that? Events like the momentary darkening of the sun, or, walking in the light (1 Jn. 1:1-7) and preparing daily for the eternal reckoning God promised, so that you can then walk in the unfading light of the Son of glory forever?

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Respeto a Dios y su Nombre

Respeto a Dios y su Nombre 

    Ningún estudio referente a Dios y su nombre puede llevarse acabo sin antes ver desde la misma apreciación del Salmista en 111:1-10. Este Salmo forma parte de lo que los judíos comúnmente entonaban después de haber participado la pascua, el famoso “Halel” iniciando aquí en el 111 y finalizando en el 118. Muy probablemente Jesús y sus discípulos entonaron estas mismas letras en Mat 26:30 cuando el evangelio según Mateo nos informa que; “cantaron un himno”. Con particularidad el v9 de 111 nos ayuda a recordar como debe de ser nuestra apreciación a Dios y a su nombre, él dice: “Santo y temible es su nombre”.

EL NOMBRE DE DIOS MERECE EL MAS ALTO RESPETO.

EL NOMBRE DE DIOS MERECE EL MAS ALTO RESPETO.

Los nombres importan. Cuando Moises pregunta en cuanto al nombre antes de retornar a Egipto a liberar al pueblo la respuesta divina fue “Yo soy el que soy” (Ex. 3:13-14). En los tiempos de Moises (Cerca de 1445-1405 a.C) unos 44 dioses prevalecían en Egipto. Cada dios tenía un nombre especifico (Anubis, Nut, Set, Osiris, Horus etc..). Dios el Padre deseaba enseñar que EL no necesitaba un nombre personal porque simplemente EL es EL que es. Israel debía de entender que no existía ningún otro Dios más que EL, debía de aprender a respetarlo y tener reverencia para referirse a él.

– EL RESPETO POR EL NOMBRE DE DIOS ES DEMANDADO- Definición: El diccionario de la real academia define la palabra respeto de la siguiente manera: “admiración, veneración, acatamiento que se hace a alguien, miedo, recelo”. Una definición bastante aproximada a la idea Bíblica sin embargo le falta más , mucho más…Desde muy temprano se le recuerda al hombre como debe utilizar el nombre de Dios. A los Israelitas se les recuerda nunca utilizar el nombre de Dios en vano: “No tomarás el nombre de Jehová tu Dios en vano; porque no dará por inocente Jehová al que tomare su nombre en vano.” (Ex.20:7).“No tomarás” Es una demanda para Israel, es una orden explicita de Dios.¿Pero que deseaba Dios que aprendieran? Ellos debían de mantener apartado y para cierto uso exclusivo el nombre de Dios. Observe en  1Pd 1:16 Pedro menciona lo que reiteradamente en el A.T se hace saber “Sed santos porque yo soy Santo” (Lv.11:44, 45; 19:2; 20:7, 26; 21:8). El término hebreo Kadosh para santo es; separado, apartado único, reservado. Si Dios es santo entonces también su nombre es Kadosh único, apartado y separado. Hay cientos de personas que usan el nombre de Dios para expresar sus emociones tales como: enojo, sorpresa, exclamación… y lo terrible es que sucede con miembros de la Iglesia, esta práctica categóricamente es pecado. Hacer de lo santo algo común, le costó a Israel lecciones muy pesadas y muy dolorosas. Deberíamos de recordar siempre que Dios y su nombre están muy por encima de todo y todos.

– EL NOMBRE DE DIOS MERECE EL MAS ALTO RESPETO: Pero si esto fue dado como ley a Israel, ¿que con nosotros?. Es correcto el mandamiento explícito fue para Israel hace muchos años atrás bajo la antigua dispensación, pero el mismo principio aprendido sigue teniendo sentido en el N.T. Observe como Cristo se dirige a Dios. “Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre”(Mt.6:9). La versión en Ingles KJV utiliza una palabra  que no es tan común ya en ese idioma,“hallwode” y esta palabra expresa respeto. Dicho sea de paso esta versión no es tan popular por  el uso de palabras antiguas como esta, pero quienes respetamos el nombre de Dios apreciamos que esta versión sea casi una de las pocas que utilice reverencia y respeto al dirigirse a la persona de Dios. La versión en español Reina Valera 1990 utiliza  en reiteradas ocaciones casi de forma peculiar para referirse a Dios como el “Eterno Padre”. Piense en nosotros. ¿Cuantas veces usted ha usado la frase: ¡Hay Dios mío!?, o tal vez !Ni Dios quiera! o tal vez el equivalente al inglés ¡Oh my God!.

  1. En la calle. ¡Que le vaya bien, Dios lo acompañe! el cuestionamiento que yo hago si es cristiano ¿acaso Dios no acompaña siempre a los cristianos, dudamos de ello? En Mateo 28:20 el Señor dijo que estaría con nosotros todos los días hasta el fin del mundo. De ninguna manera yo puedo dudar de eso. Si no es Cristiano, segunda pregunta ¿Realmente usted cree que Dios esté y va con él o con ella? Hechos 5:32 tiene mucho que decir al respecto: “Dios ha dado de su espíritu (no de una forma directa) a quienes le obedecen” (Enfasis mío HLM). Cuando el muchacho va para la fiesta, la vagancia o el bar la madre le dice lo mismo ¿ Acaso Dios acompaña a el al bar, o a montar toros? Estas preguntas necesitan ser respondidas con claridad y sobre todo con honestidad.
  2. En la Iglesia. ¡Vamos a orarle a Diosito! le decimos a los niños antes de comer, iniciar una clase con ellos o demás, pregunta ¿Usted tiene un diosito? Lucas 1:37 para Dios no hay nada imposible, el es Todopoderoso (Salmos 80:19; 91:1; Ap.1:8). Por lo que más quiera no le enseñe usted a nuestros niños en las congregaciones que Dios es “Diosito”.
  3. En lo social. Me da vergüenza recibir un mensaje de un miembro de la Iglesia de Cristo escribiendo Dios en minúscula. Desde la escuela le enseñan a uno que Dios va siempre en mayúscula. No utilicemos a Dios para cualquier cosa común en las redes sociales, por cierto Dios no tiene Facebook… ¡Querido Dios te escribo, Querido Dios en estos momentos!…  No escuche, no vea programas películas donde incluso se burlan de Dios, oh amigos que utilicen el nombre de Dios en vano. Recuerde que Dios y su nombre merece el más alto respeto.
  4. Aprecio mucho escuchar oraciones dirigiéndose a Dios como “Eterno Padre, Buen Dios, Soberano Señor, Señor del Cielo y de la Tierra, Jehová de los ejércitos, magnifico Dios admirable…” todos y cada uno de estos términos tienen un versículo bíblico, la manera como nos dirigimos al Padre es importante, especialmente si usted está orando en representación de la congregación en los servicios de adoración.  Tenemos una gran variedad de términos respetuosos de como aproximarnos al trono de la gracia.

– ES UN PRIVILEGIO USAR EL NOMBRE MAS SAGRADO Jesús comparte la misma naturaleza de Dios. Es decir si usted presenta respeto hacia al Padre y su persona también debe de haber respeto hacia Cristo Fi.2:10.Cualquiera que haya sido el nombre de Dios en el A.T es una discusión vacía y sin sentido y algunos amigos (T.J) pierden su tiempo, zapatos y almas al propagar que Jehová solo es Dios y que ese es su nombre. Tanto que su traducción (TNM) han cometido un error intencional de tradición garrafal al traducir  “adonai” o “Teos” en el N.T a Jehová, palabra de origen hebreo ¡Absurdo!. Basados en Hechos 4:12 se corta todo intento de argumentación. No hay otro nombre más exaltado bajo el cielo que el de Jesús, (no Jehová, ni Yahweh, ni Elohim pero para la salvación eterna,es Jesús). El nombre Cristiano y Cristiano solamente es el más grande privilegio porque nos identifica y nos une a Cristo  por consiguiente también a Dios. Ninguna denominación lleva su nombre  porque ninguna le pertenece a él. Pedro expresa si alguno sufre como “Cristiano” Glorifique a Dios por ello (1Pd. 4:16, no como católico, o evangélico etc).  El nombre que llevamos es un privilegio, note la armonía de la Biblia; Cristo mismo lo profetizó. Mt 10:22 “Seréis aborrecidos (Odiados LBLA) por todos por causa de mi nombre”. Si ve ¿Cual nombre lleva usted? Nosotros y solo nosotros llevamos ese nombre glorioso.  Y sufrimos el odio de las denominaciones con mucha dignificad y con mucho orgullo por causa del buen nombre…Iglesia de Cristo.

El estilo de vida reflejaran cuanta honra nosotros le demos al nombre de Dios. Llevar el nombre sagrado implica vivir como vivió ese hombre sagrado. Gal 2:20 “Con Cristo estoy juntamente crucificado…” Los pensamientos míos deberán  ser como fueron los de Cristo, las respuestas a problemas, tentaciones y tribulaciones deberán ser igual a las de él, mi entrega a Dios, los hermanos y los injustos deberá  y será la misma entrega de Cristo y mi obediencia al Padre debería ser igual a la de Cristo.( Heb.5:8), mi amor por la Iglesia debe de ser igual o mayor y por su puesto mi respeto hacia el nombre de Dios debe ser igual al respeto que él mostró. “Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre”. (Mateo 6:9).

REFERENCIAS
  1. Diccionario de la Real Academia española (Versión electrónica en rae.es 2017).
  2. La Biblia de las Américas (Fundation publications) 1990.
  3. Liddell, Bobby, God the Father (Sain Publicastions, Memphis School of Preaching Lectures) Pulaski, TN; 2003, pg 489.
  4. Versión  en Inglés King James (Broadman and Holman publishers) Nashville, TN; 1996.
  5. Wesley J. Perschbacher, “The New Analytical Greek Lexicon” (Peabody, Massachussets: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1999). 
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