Our Place in the Family of God

Our Place and Service in the Family of God

“God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). God is a God of order. His children all have a job to do and a place to keep. And when sin defiles the family it must be dealt with in order for continued harmony and productivity. We need to first evaluate the condition of our relationship with God, cleanse ourselves, find our place, and be faithful in carrying out our work for the Lord.

Your place in the family of God is an important one.

Your place in the family of God is an important one.

How blessed the Christian is today to be living  under a better covenant with a superior sacrifice. Too often we take this for granted and even though God does not require the same outward cleansing or offerings of sacrifice today that He did under the Mosaic Law, He still does require an inward cleansing and a circumcision of the heart. He requires a living sacrifice and demands our best for His glory and honor. We should each evaluate our lives and do what needs to be done to be conformed to the image of His dear Son.

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Temptation of Taking Credit for God’s Gifts

Don’t Take Credit for God’s Gifts

In Deuteronomy 8:17, we read, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’” Moses was speaking to the children of Israel about what would happen after they entered the land of Canaan and began to experience all the wonderful blessings that waited for them there. The temptation would be that they would begin to think that they earned these blessings because of their own righteousness. The next verse (18) says, “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Do we face the same temptation today?

Any power or blessings you have do not come from you.

Any power or blessings you have do not come from you.

Like the Israelites, we can sometimes forget that God is the One from whom all blessings flow, and we can begin to think that we have earned these blessings through our own righteousness.  We should never forget Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Remember what Jesus said, “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty’” (Luke 17:10). I am so thankful that Jesus always got it right, and that through Him I have my salvation. Now, I can put my faith and trust in Christ to save instead of my own ability. Doing this means that I will obey Jesus, and that His grace will cleanse me of my sin (1 John 1:7). Let’s remember the warning Moses gave the Israelites and never think to take credit for God’s gifts.

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Making a Bad Choice

Making a Bad Choice

Let’s take a moment to imagine a game show in which the contestants are given really easy choices to make. Really, really easy choices. Choices which should be so blindingly obvious that only an idiot would choose poorly.

Consider how you choose...

Consider how you choose…

This week, for instance, the lead contestant’s choice is between having a million dollars paid into his bank account each year, every year, beginning in a year, or eating a slice of apple pie right then. And just to make the choice more interesting, the pie is poisoned and sure to bring a slow, painful death over the course of the next few days.

Now let’s take a moment to imagine the contestant choosing the pie. We would all, of course, think him a great fool, but that is what he is going to choose. He is going to forego a lifetime of wealth and eat a pie guaranteed to painfully kill him.

His rationale is that he really, really likes pie; it’s a very good-looking pie; and he’s not sure he’ll be alive in a year anyway.

Most people would think the contestant to be crazy.

And yet, if we were making a spiritual comparison to ourselves, and the choices God gives us, most of us choose to eat the poisoned pie. Moreover, most people look askance at the ones who decide to go for the long-term prize.

For instance, the Bible tells us of a certain man who was given a choice. He could enjoy the luxuries of life immediately. He could be one of the most powerful men of one of the most powerful nations in the world. Or he could give that all up, and choose to leave his position of power, become a wanted fugitive, and be counted amongst a group of people who would be poor in this world, but yet have great spiritual promises for an age yet to come.

Quite a few people would think that choosing the wealth, power and privilege to be the right gamble.

Moses disagreed and chose the other.

We read in the Bible, “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26; NKJV)

Moses understood the real choice he was being given: momentary pleasure which would end badly, or an everlasting heritage.

The pleasures of sin are indeed a poisoned pleasure, for the Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, and misery is in its path. (cf. Romans 3:16, 6:23) It looks very tempting in the moment of decision, and it seems, to many, to be the smart choice, but the wise man knows that it’s a lie. Sin is always a bad choice.

God cautions us in His word, “the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:17; NKJV)

The reward that God offers may often be in the future, but it is also guaranteed by the word of God, and God cannot lie. Thus, the apostle Paul reminded Titus that the faith of which he was an apostle, the same faith shared by all of God’s people, was, “in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” (Titus 1:2; NKJV)

We don’t have to worry that we won’t be around to get the prize, and thus reason that we might as well eat the pie while we have the chance. God cannot lie, and God says that those who are faithful to Him will be rewarded with eternal riches and everlasting life.

It should not be, when we boil it down to its basics, a hard choice.

So why do most of us tend to make the wrong choice, choosing instant gratification, no matter the consequence, and eschewing the greater reward that is to come? Instead of making the choice that Moses made, forsaking the passing pleasures of sin, we instead follow in the footsteps of Demas, whom Paul lamented “loved this present world,” and thus departed from his place in the faith. (cf. 2 Timothy 4:10)

Whatever the reason, lack of faith, lack of self-control, lack of wisdom… we should recognize that whenever we choose sin over God, we are making a bad choice. A very bad choice.

Let’s be smarter than that and make the choice that Moses made.


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Time and Our Eternal Destiny

The Best Use of Our Time

How we use those precious minutes God gives us each day can determine our eternal destiny. Even David failed to use his time wisely on at least one occasion. The Bible describes that time, “It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle…but David remained at Jerusalem. Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house and from the roof he saw a woman bathing and…” (2 Sam. 11:1-2). He missed the opportunity to destroy the enemies of Israel, and this missed opportunity ruined the rest of his life.

Choose your actions carefully because you cannot turn back time.

Choose your actions carefully because you cannot turn back time.

Now think about us as we apply the words of Paul, “Redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5). Are we unconsciously missing opportunities to use our time better? Consider these suggestions.

Every day at school, work, home or in our daily walk we encounter people. Do we miss opportunities to let them know of a far better life they could have? Let me ask you, do you have any church advertising with you right now? Remember to redeem the time.

How often do we get so busy that we are blind to obvious opportunities to impact our visitors? What do you do as soon as services end? The tendency of so many is to engage those friends sitting around them in conversations and “opportunity” walks right by without any welcoming greeting. Remember to redeem the time.

Think about how little investment of time it would take to use that list of visitors sent to you each week. Think of the accumulative effect it would have if dozens of cards came to them. Remember to redeem the time.

We also can so easily miss how special it is to encourage each other in worship. Our Lord clearly states to us that each of us is to speak to all others in psalms and hymns. There is the power of united prayer together. When two or three pray together, it makes a difference. It is so uplifting to worship and visit with each other. Think of the impact if we did this more than one hour each week. Remember to redeem the time.

In the verse preceding the instruction to “redeem the time,” Paul told the Ephesians to “walk circumspectly.” That is, to inspect all the things that are around us. The ESV translates, “Look carefully then how you walk, not unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time” (Eph. 5:15-16). That just about sums it up. To redeem the time is not to focus on the misuse of the past but the present. Think carefully. Is there a way to make better use of your time? Is one hour a week making the best use of the many hours He gives to us?

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Inspiracion Verbal

Inspiración Verbal
La inspiración que la biblia reclama para sí misma es “Inspiración Verbal plena”. Dios usando las palabras del autor o del escritor para comunicar su mensaje. Nosotros podemos notar con claridad que esto ha sido aprobado por Dios y ratificado por el mismo Señor Jesús en Juan 10:34, cuando se refirió a los salmos como ley. El basa su punto en una palabra particular en Mateo 22:34. Jesús dijo que Exodo 3:6 era Dios hablando a Moisés. Esto prueba que Dios espera que todas las personas en la tierra  observen su palabra como autoritaria para todos los seres humanos. Pablo también afirma inspiración verbal en 1Corintios 2. El dice que su predicación y su palabra no eran palabras de sabiduría humana (V.4). Sino que sus palabras fueron con demostración del Espíritu. Reclamó que tanto él como sus compañeros apóstoles estaban hablando con sabiduría de Dios. Explicó que lo que ellos habían estado enseñando lo habían hecho por el Espíritu Santo. Que dicho sea de paso era una de las misiones fundamentales y la obra del Santo Espíritu en influencia directa para estos hombres. De seguir trabajando hoy de una manera directa, a parte y separado de la Palabra de Dios, las preguntas siguientes son: ¿Que hace?, ¿Cuales son sus funciones?, ¿Le revela palabra nueva? y sino, ¿Porqué no, si habita directamente en la persona?. La inspiración Verbal sirvió por un determinado periodo en el siglo primero, pero cumplido su propósito no hay razón para que continúe obrando de la misma forma. La inspiración Verbal plena entonces, envuelve las palabras que el Espíritu Santo ha escogido para ser parte del sagrado texto sin violar la personalidad y estilo de la persona que escribe  sino mas bien utilizando la esencia de tal autor. Parece realmente necesario que esto haya sido el caso. Si Dios hubiese transmitido su mensaje a travez de dictación mecánica, probablemente la transmisión del mensaje hubiese encontrado limitaciones en la comprensión de los receptores.  Podemos identificar solamente una vez o dos cuando Dios usa de dictación mecánica y es cuando la mula de Balaam habla en Números 22 ya que tal animal no poseía vocabulario propio. Dios siempre ha respetado la voluntad de cada persona y su libre albedrío aún en la transmisión de su excelentísimo mensaje.

Dios usando las palabras del autor o del escritor para comunicar su mensaje.

Dios usando las palabras del autor o del escritor para comunicar su mensaje.

Inspiración en el Nuevo Testamento 
  Un sin numero de eruditos liberales alegan que el Nuevo Testamento por si solo no reclama inspiración de ningún tipo. Este reclamo simplemente no es válido. De hecho en 2 Pedro 3:16 Pedro mismo clasifica las epístolas de Pablo como “escrituras” y las coloca al lado del resto del canon. Pedro afirma entonces que los escritos de Pablo son de carácter divino de tal manera que quienes tuerzan sus escritos serán destruidos es decir; condenados. Debe de observarse también, el como Pedro une a los apóstoles  con los profetas del Antiguo Testamento (1Ped.1:10-12). Ni siquiera por un minuto los escritures del N.T se consideraron ellos mismos menos que los grandes autores del A.T sino más bien como ministros del Nuevo Pacto (2Co.3:6).  El hermano Hugo McCord hace notar 8 aspectos grandiosos de las santas escrituras. El nota la siguiente lista:
  1. Unidad y diversidad.
  2. Simplicidad y Profundidad.
  3. Imparcialidad.
  4. Brevedad.
  5. Perfección.
  6. Restricción.
  7. Excelencia Literaria.
  8. Indestructibilidad. 
      (“The holy Scriptures” editado por Wendell Winkler pg. 327)
En estos 8 elementos se ve claramente reflejado lo que es inspiración verbal divina de las santas escrituras, la Biblia. Jesús refirió varias promesas directas a los apóstoles  en Juan 14,15,16. Jesús prometió:Aún tengo muchas cosas que deciros, pero ahora no las podéis sobrellevar. Pero cuando venga el Espíritu de verdad, él os guiará a toda la verdad; porque no hablará por su propia cuenta, sino que hablará todo lo que oyere, y os hará saber las cosas que habrán de venir”. (Juan 16:12-13).  El Espíritu pondría palabras en ellos, de hecho no los iba a obligar pero los iba a guiar…una vez más ahí en esa frase observamos inspiración verbal pero no dictación mecánica. Numerosos pasajes indican el cumplimiento de estas promesas del Señor a los apóstoles para extender la predicación de ellos que era el mensaje del cielo (Hechos 4:8,31;5:32; 15:8, 27-28; 16:6-8). 
El cristianismo  debe defender la inerrancia de las Escrituras con un compromiso teológico sano, un compromiso que sea consecuente con lo que la Biblia dice sobre sí misma. Hablar de la inerrancia significa que cuando todo es dado a conocer , las escrituras tal y como fueron escritas por sus autores y con sus apropiadas traducciones, probarán ser verdad en cada una de las cosas que afirma (Juan 17:17).  Esto prueba que si Dios inspiró a sus hombres que escribieran uno esperaría que Dios no se contradiga a sí mismo y de hecho no lo hace ni un solo instante. 
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