We Have the Peace of the Lord

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27

At the time in which we live not everyone understands the meaning of the word peace. In many countries there are active conflicts that keep the population in distress. It is difficult to speak of peace to Iraqis or Syrians when they have been mired in war for years. It is difficult to talk peace to Colombians who have been affected for decades by irregular armed groups and criminal organizations. It is difficult to speak of peace to Mexicans and Central Americans affected by drug trafficking and gangs. But in John 14:27, Jesus tells us that gives us a different peace to what the world calls peace.

Philippians 4:7 tells us how is that peace of which Jesus spoke is, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The peace that the Lord gives us is above human logic. It is the peace that can have a Syrian Christian while being beheaded by an Islamic State terrorist just because he would not renounce his faith and convert to Islam. That is the same peace that had Stephen as he was being stoned or Daniel when he was thrown into the pit with lions.

The peace that Jesus gives us is that our heart will not be troubled or afraid. Any believer can be part of that peace. I can attest to it and an example occurred in 2005. The hurricane season in the Atlantic this year was the most active in history. Four hurricanes reached Category 5 that year and Wilma was one of them, which keeps track of the most intense Atlantic hurricane of all time and one of the 10 most intense tropical cyclones. That monster of wind and rain was supposed to pass through South Florida where I lived.

Most of my life I’ve lived in places hit by hurricanes, so against Wilma I already knew what I was up against. Before I suffered in the flesh strong tropical systems like David 1979 in the Dominican Republic, 1998 Georges in Puerto Rico or Frances 2004 in the same Florida. The difference from Wilma was his greatest strength and my house was crowded and under contract of sale in October 2005. If any damage happened to my house, the sale could be canceled.

When wind and heavy downpours began, I gathered all my family in the safest place in the house and I encouraged them to sing songs of praise to God. For hours all in the house were singing the Lord while outside lashing winds over 100 mph and torrential rain fell. During that time, the Lord answered our praise giving us your peace that surpassed all understanding. It was not logical that we were in peace while in a house without windows protection for such strong winds.

After the storm passed, we could see that there was great damage in our neighborhood. About 700 feet from us a tornado blew the roofs of dozens of homes. Our roof did not lose a single tile. But most important of all was that God kept us in peace while passing the danger. That peace that the Lord gave my family and me, it can give to anyone who believes Him and His promises. Do you want it? God bless you.

Tenemos la Paz del Señor

La paz os dejo, mi paz os doy; yo no os la doy como el mundo la da. No se turbe vuestro corazón, ni tenga miedo.

Juan 14:27

En la época en la cual vivimos no todo el mundo entiende el significado de la palabra paz. En muchos países hay conflictos activos que mantienen a la población en zozobra. Es difícil hablar de paz a iraquíes o sirios cuando han estado sumidos en guerras por años. Es difícil hablarles de paz a los colombianos, quienes han sido afectados durante décadas por grupos armados irregulares y organizaciones criminales. Es difícil hablar de paz a mexicanos y centroamericanos afectados por el narcotráfico y las pandillas. Pero en Juan 14:27, Jesús nos habla que nos da una paz distinta a lo que el mundo llama paz.

Filipenses 4:7 nos dice cómo es esa paz de la cual habló Jesús: Y la paz de Dios, que sobrepasa todo entendimiento, guardará vuestros corazones y vuestros pensamientos en Cristo Jesús. La paz que el Señor nos da está por encima de la lógica humana. Es la paz que puede tener un sirio cristiano mientras es degollado por un terrorista del Estado Islámico justamente porque no quiso renegar de su fe y convertirse al Islam. Esa es la misma paz que tuvo Esteban mientras lo estaban apedreando o Daniel cuando fue echado al foso con los leones.

La paz que Jesús nos da es para que nuestro corazón no se turbe ni tengamos miedo. Cualquier creyente puede ser partícipe de esa paz. Yo puedo dar fe de ella y un ejemplo ocurrió en el año 2005. La temporada de huracanes de ese año en el Atlántico fue la más activa de la historia. Cuatro huracanes alcanzaron categoría 5 ese año y Wilma fue uno de ellos, el cual mantiene el registro del huracán más intenso en el Atlántico de todos los tiempos y uno de los 10 ciclones tropicales más intensos. Ese monstruo de viento y lluvia estaba supuesto a pasar por el sur de Florida donde vivía yo.

La mayor parte de mi vida he vivido en lugares azotados por huracanes, así que frente a Wilma ya sabía a lo que me enfrentaba. Antes padecí en carne propia fuertes sistemas tropicales como David de 1979 en República Dominicana, Georges de 1998 en Puerto Rico o Frances de 2004 en la misma Florida. La diferencia con respecto a Wilma era su mayor intensidad y que mi casa estaba llena de gente y bajo contrato de venta en octubre de 2005. Si sucedía algún daño en mi casa, la venta podía ser anulada.

Cuando el viento y los fuertes aguaceros empezaron, yo reuní a toda mi familia en el lugar más seguro de la casa y los motivé a que cantáramos canciones de alabanzas a Dios. Por horas todos en la casa estuvimos cantando al Señor mientras que afuera azotaban vientos de más de 100 kph y caía una lluvia torrencial. Durante todo ese tiempo, el Señor respondió a nuestra alabanza dándonos de su paz que sobrepasa todo entendimiento a todos. No era lógico que estuviésemos en paz dentro de una casa sin protección de ventanas para esos vientos tan fuertes.

Tras pasar la tormenta, pudimos ver que hubo gran daño en nuestro vecindario. A unos 200 metros de nosotros pasó un tornado que voló los techos de decenas de casas. Nuestro techo no perdió una sola teja. Pero lo más importante de todo fue que Dios nos mantuvo en paz mientras pasaba el peligro. Esa paz que el Señor nos dio a mi familia y a mí, se la puede dar a cualquiera que le crea a Él y en Sus promesas. ¿La quieres tú? Dios te bendiga.

We Are not Orphans

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

John 14:18

Orphanhood is a terrible thing, especially when it comes in the early years of our life. If a young child loses his parents, it is very likely to suffer enough and lacks many things, both material and emotional. Jesus was very much that when he told His disciples what is written in John 14:8. The departure of the Lord to the Father happened when all the apostles were what we now call spiritual babies. So He encouraged them saying that would not leave them orphans. That promise applies fully to us today as well.

I can speak from firsthand about orphanhood. My grandmother, my mother’s mother died at birth my mother. Thus the early years of my mother were very hard and passed from hand to hand, her great-grandmother, grandmother, aunts of his mother until his father, i.e. my grandfather, to the denial of the maternal family of my mother, he decided one day to go find her young daughter to take her to live with him. My grandfather told me he went there on a horse and, without them noticing he put the girl on the animal and escaped with her at full gallop.

Fortunately for my grandfather, at that time there were no current laws, since he had stopped in jail today for what he did for his daughter. But orphanhood in my family does not end there. When I had just two years old my father died and I grew up as the son of a single mother, who was father and mother to me at once. In the absence of a male figure in the home, for me it was very difficult to understand the role of man, because, despite his great effort, my mother could not teach me how to be a man because she was not a man.

I fully understand the great difficulty that we relate to God as our Father when on the natural we have lacked a modeling at home. But I can tell you that Heavenly Father is able to take to overcome that obstacle. He did with me and if you go through a similar situation, so He will do with you too. God will never leave us nor forsake orphans His children in any way. He will always be there, as the best of fathers.

How does God fulfill in us that says John 14:18? In John 1:12 we read how to become a child of God, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. Receiving Jesus is the requirement to be a child of God and the Bible also testifies that He Himself is the Son of God, as John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Now, in John 14:18 it is Jesus himself who tells us not leave us orphans. Some people may ask whether we are children or grandchildren of God because the Son of God is also called Father according to Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

But we know that the Father and the Son are one, therefore God has no grandchildren. Jesus, the Son, is now seated at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us. But He did not leave us orphans because in us dwells the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who is one with the Father and the Son. And the promise of Jesus Christ includes His return to be with us forever. Who we love, we look forward to his glorious coming. God bless you.

No Somos Huérfanos

No os dejaré huérfanos; vendré a vosotros.

Juan 14:18

La orfandad es algo terrible, especialmente cuando llega en los primeros años de nuestra vida. Si un niño pequeño pierde a sus padres, es muy probable que sufra bastante y carezca de muchas cosas, tanto materiales como afectivas. Jesús tuvo muy presente eso cuando le dijo a Sus discípulos lo que está escrito en Juan 14:8. La partida del Señor hacia el Padre ocurrió cuando todos los apóstoles eran lo que hoy llamamos bebés espirituales. Por eso Él los animó diciendo que no los dejaría huérfanos. Esa promesa nos aplica plenamente a nosotros hoy también.

Yo puedo hablar de la orfandad de primera mano. Mi abuela, la mamá de mi madre murió al nacer mi progenitora. De esta manera los primeros años de mi madre fueron muy duros y pasó de mano en mano, su bisabuela, su abuela, unas tías de su madre hasta que su padre, es decir mi abuelo, ante la negación de la familia materna de mi madre, se decidió un día ir a buscar a su pequeña hija para llevarla a vivir con él. Mi abuelo me contaba que fue en un caballo y, sin que se dieran cuenta, montó a la niña sobre el animal y escapó con ella a todo galope.

Afortunadamente para mi abuelo, en esa época no existían las leyes actuales, ya que él hubiera parado en la cárcel hoy día por lo que hizo a favor de su hija. Pero la orfandad en mi familia no termina ahí. Cuando yo contaba con apenas dos años de edad murió mi padre y yo crecí como el hijo de una madre soltera, quien fue para mí padre y madre a la vez. Ante la ausencia de una figura masculina en el hogar, para mí fue muy difícil entender el papel del hombre, ya que, a pesar de su gran esfuerzo, mi madre no podía enseñarme a serlo porque ella no era un hombre.

Yo entiendo plenamente la gran dificultad que tenemos de relacionarnos con Dios como nuestro Padre cuando en lo natural hemos carecido de un modelaje en nuestro hogar. Pero te puedo decir que el Padre Celestial es capaz de llevarte a superar ese obstáculo. Conmigo lo hizo y, si pasas por una situación similar, también lo hará contigo. Dios jamás nos dejará huérfanos ni desampara a Sus hijos de ninguna manera. Él siempre va a estar ahí, como el mejor de los padres.

¿Cómo cumple Dios en nosotros lo que dice Juan 14:18? En Juan 1:12 leemos cómo convertirse en un hijo de Dios: Mas a todos los que le recibieron, a los que creen en su nombre, les dio potestad de ser hechos hijos de Dios. Recibir a Jesús es el requisito para ser un hijo de Dios y la Biblia también da testimonio de que Él mismo es hijo de Dios, como dice Juan 3:16: Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que ha dado a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna.

Ahora bien, en Juan 14:18 es el propio Jesús quien nos dice que no nos dejará huérfanos. Hay quien pueda preguntar si somos hijos o nietos de Dios porque el Hijo de Dios es también llamado Padre conforme a Isaías 9:6: Porque un niño nos es nacido, hijo nos es dado, y el principado sobre su hombro; y se llamará su nombre Admirable, Consejero, Dios Fuerte, Padre Eterno, Príncipe de Paz.

Pero sabemos que el Padre y el Hijo son uno, por tanto Dios no tiene nietos. Jesús, el Hijo, ahora está sentado a la diestra del Padre donde intercede por nosotros. Pero Él no nos dejó huérfanos porque en nosotros mora el Consolador, el Espíritu Santo, quien es uno con el Padre y el Hijo. Y la promesa de Jesucristo incluye también Su retorno para estar con nosotros por siempre. Quienes lo amamos, esperamos con ansia su gloriosa venida. Dios te bendiga.

Major Works of the Believer

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

John 14:12

When Jesus preached the gospel He was accompanied by demonstrations of power. The Lord did great miracles in His three and a half years of earthly ministry. Many believed in him because they were healed or because they saw the Lord’s works. Two millennia have passed since then and the longing for God is not that great works of Jesus Christ remain only as a mere historical record, but in His name, believers we carry out similar works that glorify Him. We are not magicians or possess superpowers, but we have been invested by the power and authority to use the name of Jesus.

The prophetic words of Jesus written in John 14:12 were fulfilled since the early days of the church. In Acts 3:6-8 we read, Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them—walking, leaping, and praising God. Fearless as always, Peter dared to prove the truth of John 14:12 as a believer in Jesus.

The works of believers made in the name of Jesus continued. In Acts 5:14-15, God’s Word says, And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.

Were these great works limited only to the time of Jesus Christ and His apostles? Will it be possible today too? If we study the history of Christianity for two millennia, we will see miracles and wonders and signs have been present all the time. Many men and women of God have exercised their ministries accompanied by the miraculous power of healing, deliverance and even resurrection of the dead. In our day these great works that glorify the Lord are made.

You could tell me that it is because both the apostles and the servants of Jesus Christ who have made great works through history have had a special anointing that you do not possess. I repeat again what the Lord said in John 14:12, Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. Jesus never said that great works would be made by those who possessed greater anointing, but for those who believe in Him. If you have believed in Jesus, then you are included.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of power that comes with miraculous works. It has always been so from the beginning and will be so until He comes again. As a believer in Jesus you have already the authorization to use His name to show miracles, signs and wonders that will glorify Him. Be like Peter and tell the sick, Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. The Lord has never lied and He will enforce His written word in John 14:12. God bless you.

Las Grandes Obras del Creyente

De cierto, de cierto os digo: El que en mí cree, las obras que yo hago, él las hará también; y aun mayores hará, porque Yo voy al Padre.

Juan 14:12

Cuando Jesús predicaba el evangelio lo hizo acompañado de demostraciones de poder. El Señor hizo grandes milagros en Sus tres años y medio de ministerio terrenal. Muchos creyeron en Él porque fueron sanados o porque vieron las obras del Señor. Han pasado dos milenios desde entonces y el anhelo de Dios no es que las grandes obras de Jesucristo quedaran solo como mero registro histórico, sino que, en Su nombre, los creyentes llevemos a cabo obras similares que le glorifiquen. No somos magos ni poseemos superpoderes, pero sí hemos sido investidos por el poder y la autoridad de usar el nombre de Jesús.

Las palabras proféticas de Jesús escritas en Juan 14:12 fueron cumplidas desde los primeros tiempos de la iglesia. En Hechos 3:6-8 leemos: Mas Pedro dijo: No tengo plata ni oro, pero lo que tengo te doy; en el nombre de Jesucristo de Nazaret, levántate y anda. Y tomándole por la mano derecha le levantó; y al momento se le afirmaron los pies y tobillos; y saltando, se puso en pie y anduvo; y entró con ellos en el templo, andando, y saltando, y alabando a Dios. Intrépido como siempre, Pedro se atrevió a probar la veracidad de Juan 14:12 como creyente en Jesús.

Las obras de los creyentes hechas en el nombre de Jesús continuaron. En Hechos 5:14-15, dice la Palabra de Dios: Y los que creían en el Señor aumentaban más, gran número así de hombres como de mujeres; tanto que sacaban los enfermos a las calles, y los ponían en camas y lechos, para que al pasar Pedro, a lo menos su sombra cayese sobre alguno de ellos. Y aun de las ciudades vecinas muchos venían a Jerusalén, trayendo enfermos y atormentados de espíritus inmundos; y todos eran sanados.

¿Estaban limitadas esas grandes obras solo para los tiempos de Jesucristo y Sus apóstoles? ¿Serán posibles hoy también? Si estudiamos la historia del cristianismo por dos milenios, vamos a ver que los milagros, prodigios y señales han estado presentes todo el tiempo. Muchos hombres y mujeres de Dios han ejercido sus ministerios acompañados por el poder milagroso de sanidades, liberaciones e incluso resurrección de muertos. También en nuestros días se efectúan esas grandes obras que glorifican al Señor.

Me podrías decir que eso ocurre porque tanto los apóstoles como los siervos de Jesucristo que han hechos grandes obras a través de la historia han tenido un unción especial que tú no posees. Te repito de nuevo lo que dijo el Señor en Juan 14:12: De cierto, de cierto os digo: El que en mí cree, las obras que yo hago, él las hará también; y aun mayores hará, porque yo voy al Padre. Jesús nunca dijo que las grandes obras serían hechas por los que poseían mayor unción, sino por quienes creen en Él. Si has creído en Jesús, eso te incluye a ti.

El evangelio de Jesucristo es un evangelio de poder que viene acompañado de obras milagrosas. Siempre ha sido así desde el principio y así habrá de ser hasta que Él venga de nuevo. Como creyente en Jesús ya tienes la autorización de utilizar Su nombre para demostrar prodigios, milagros y señales que le glorifiquen a Él. Sé como Pedro y dile a los enfermos: No tengo plata ni oro, pero lo que tengo te doy; en el nombre de Jesucristo de Nazaret, levántate y anda. El Señor jamás ha mentido y Él hará valer Su palabra escrita en Juan 14:12. Dios te bendiga.

Dying to Give Fruits

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

John 12:24

Very simply, Jesus says in John 12:24 a great truth: dying fruit is obtained. Most people might think that death is the end and that after it was over. But the explanation of the Lord taking agricultural analogy clears all doubt concerning that there is something after death and that something could be helpful. It is impossible for the ground bring forth any fruit if we do not bury the seed in it the same way we bury the dead.

I have known many cases where, after the death of someone it has produced much fruit. Some of these cases have touched me very closely because they happened within my family or close friends. I have also seen the big difference between dying with Christ and die without him. I had an experience on the latter once I visited a friend who was in the section of terminally ill cancer patients, he was very quiet, as I saw in a nearby room to someone who had been away from the Lord for sorcerers and suffered terrible pain despite morphine administered to him.

That cancer sick friend named Jose Luis, was Cuban and we had a brief friendship, for his departure; but very close. In his last days I saw him very quiet, no loud own pain of those who are dying from this terrible disease. Even Jose Luis told me that the Lord visited him on his deathbed. Finally, my friend passed away in holy peace with God the eve of the celebration of the famous Calle Ocho festival in Little Havana, Miami, Florida.

My friend’s funeral was just that Sunday in which the festival was celebrated and his mother decided to use a funeral home in the same Calle Ocho, just a few blocks from where they celebrated the feast. She argued that all relatives lived in that area and for that reason it was better to meet in a place to stay near them. One of the pastors of the church to which we attended was to carry out the service; but when I called him to agree to go, he told me he could not attend because his car was not suitable to move in heavy traffic that day and asked me to perform the service.

For me it was my debut performing the farewell of the deceased. At one point, Alexandra, daughter of the wife of Jose Luis and whom he treated as his own daughter asked me to accompany her to the coffin of my friend. The girl grabbed my arm and we stood in front of the coffin. I closed my eyes and saw my friend with the Lord watching us with a smile. When I shared the Word with the people there, each one of them that night decided to give their life to Jesus Christ. The death of my friend took dozens of fruits for the Lord.

The death has given more fruit was precisely that of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, dying, bridged that restored the relationship between God and humanity. But we also need to die to our sinful lives and fall to the ground to produce fruits worthy of repentance. Fear not quit your current life because you get new life in Christ will forever and enjoy their fruits in eternity. God bless you.