The Calling of God

Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

The apostle Paul gives us in Philippians 3:13-14 a great lesson to each of those who have known the Lord. To give ourselves to Jesus Christ, we have committed to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him. We are called by God and, as such, we have to give an answer to that call. Is likely to feel with jelly legs face the responsibility; but we must bear in mind that it is all part of the process.

In the Bible we find how each of the servants that God called responded to that call. What I love about the Bible is that gets to the point because it presents to every man or woman as he or she was, with his or her strengths and weaknesses. In no way were pluperfect superheroes, but real men and women of flesh and blood that including for God they had excuses. Of course, the Lord had a sure way to deal with every excuse.

Moses, to be called said he had difficulty speaking. God answered the following: Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say (Exodus 4:12). Isaiah told God that he was of unclean lips, perhaps meaning that he was badly spoken. Faced with this excuse of the prophet, God provided the following solution: Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said: Now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed and your sin is atoned for (Isaiah 6:6-7). Jeremiah apologized to God, saying he was a child. God’s answer was blunt: Then the Lord said to me: Do not say, “I am only a youth,” for you will go to everyone I send you to and speak whatever I tell you (Jeremiah 1:7).

In the New Testament, we also see some excuses of those who were called. An example is the one who asked the Lord to let him bury his father first, to which Jesus said to him: Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead (Matthew 8:22). We also know the story of the rich young man who chose not to attend the call of the Lord for not letting their property.

I will not be hypocritical with you; I’ve also made my excuses to the Lord. One was when I tried not to serve in the ministry of marriages for considering me unworthy because my divorced condition. Of course God had his way and I had no another option than serving there and He is greatly glorified because at my weakness, all I could do about it did not come from me but from Him.

If you are today wrestling with excuses for not respond to God’s call, remember that we are not yet a finished product. We continue to be processed every day, we are in the process. On the other hand, the work is not yours or mine but Heavenly Father who will guide us step by step to comply with excellence. God bless you.

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El Llamamiento de Dios

Hermanos, yo mismo no pretendo haberlo ya alcanzado; pero una cosa hago: olvidando ciertamente lo que queda atrás, y extendiéndome a lo que está delante, prosigo a la meta, al premio del supremo llamamiento de Dios en Cristo Jesús.

Filipenses 3:13-14

El apóstol Pablo nos da en Filipenses 3:13-14 una gran lección a cada uno de los que hemos conocido al Señor. Al darle el sí a Jesucristo, nos hemos comprometidos a negarnos a nosotros mismos, tomar nuestra cruz cada día y seguirle a Él. Hemos sido llamados por Dios y, en tal sentido, nos toca darle respuesta a ese llamado. Es probable que nos sintamos con piernas de gelatina ante la responsabilidad; pero debemos tener en cuenta que todo es parte del proceso.

En la Biblia encontramos cómo cada uno de los siervos que Dios llamó respondió a ese llamamiento. Lo que me encanta de la Biblia es que no se anda con paños tibios sino que presenta a cada hombre o mujer tal cual era, con sus virtudes y sus defectos. De ninguna manera fueron superhéroes pluscuamperfectos, sino hombres y mujeres reales, de carne y hueso que incluso le presentaron excusas a Dios. Por supuesto, que el Señor tuvo una manera certera de enfrentar cada excusa.

Moisés, al ser llamado dijo que él tenía dificultad para hablar. Dios le contestó lo siguiente: Ahora pues, ve, y yo estaré con tu boca, y te enseñaré lo que hayas de hablar (Éxodo 4:12). Isaías le dijo a Dios que era inmundo de labios, quizás queriendo decir que era mal hablado. Ante esta excusa del profeta, Dios presentó la siguiente solución: Y voló hacia mí uno de los serafines, teniendo en su mano un carbón encendido, tomado del altar con unas tenazas; y tocando con él sobre mi boca, dijo: He aquí que esto tocó tus labios, y es quitada tu culpa, y limpio tu pecado (Isaías 6:6-7). Jeremías se excusó con Dios diciendo que era niño. La respuesta de Dios fue tajante: Y me dijo Jehová: No digas: Soy un niño; porque a todo lo que te envíe irás tú, y dirás todo lo que te mande (Jeremías 1:7).

En el Nuevo Testamento, también vemos algunas excusas de quienes fueron llamados. Un ejemplo es aquel que le pidió al Señor que le permitiera enterrar primero a su padre, a lo cual Jesús le dijo: Sígueme; deja que los muertos entierren a sus muertos (Mateo 8:22). También conocemos la historia del joven rico quien prefirió no atender al llamamiento del Señor por no dejar sus bienes.

No voy a ser hipócrita contigo, yo también he puesto mis excusas al Señor. Una de ellas fue cuando traté de no servir en el ministerio de matrimonios por considerarme indigno al ser divorciado. Por supuesto que Dios se salió con la suya y no me quedó otra que servir allí y Él se glorificó grandemente porque ante mi debilidad, todo lo que yo podía hacer al respecto no venía de mí sino de parte suya.

Si hoy estás luchando con excusas para no responder al llamamiento de Dios, recuerda que no somos aún un producto terminado. Continuamos siendo transformados día a día, estamos en el proceso. Por otro lado, la obra no es tuya ni mía sino de nuestro Padre Celestial quien nos guiará paso a paso a cumplirla con excelencia. Dios te bendiga.

God’s answer for a World in Crisis

For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.  For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.  I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the Lord, “And I will heal him.”

Isaiah 57: 15-19

If we listen to the news today, we see that natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, snow, extreme temperatures, global warming, catastrophic cyclones, tornadoes, wildfires, volcanoes, etc. occur. If to all these natural disasters, we add other social or personal calamities: wars, international conflicts, poverty, drug trafficking, inflation, unemployment, economic crisis, bankruptcy, divorce, drug addiction, abuse, family breakdown, forced migration, crime, kidnappings, etc. our senses may tell us that everything is wrong and there is nothing good under the sun, because the whole world is in crisis.

I do several questions. The first one is will also be the church in crisis? Will Christ’s body being dragged by the current world? In the Bible know stories of men and women of God who passed through crises. An example of these was Job. David, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and Daniel also went through many moments of crisis.

Of all the calamities afflicting the world, everybody on this planet have his or her own share of responsibility, although most of the time we feel more comfortable blaming others (parents, children, spouses, politicians, fathers, sons, foreigners, people from other races, etc.). But when we point a finger at someone else, there are four other fingers pointing us. Says the Holy Word of God: For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13).

As Christians living in this world, we will not be immune to the crisis. Our Lord warned us about: These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Although we have forsaken the fountain of living water, and hewn broken cisterns, our repentance and closer to God again allow us to resume drinking the cool water of the Spirit.

There is certainly a great crisis today, which impacts all of us; but God has not abandoned us. Recognizing His great love and care for each of us stop complaining and celebrate the victory that gives us. God bless you.

Respuesta de Dios para un Mundo en Crisis

Porque así dijo el Alto y Sublime,  el que habita la eternidad,  y cuyo nombre es el Santo: Yo habito en la altura y la santidad,  y con el quebrantado y humilde de espíritu,  para hacer vivir el espíritu de los humildes,  y para vivificar el corazón de los quebrantados. Porque no contenderé para siempre,  ni para siempre me enojaré;  pues decaería ante mí el espíritu,  y las almas que yo he creado. Por la iniquidad de su codicia me enojé,  y le herí,  escondí mi rostro y me indigné;  y él siguió rebelde por el camino de su corazón. He visto sus caminos;  pero le sanaré,  y le pastorearé,  y le daré consuelo a él y a sus enlutados; produciré fruto de labios: Paz,  paz al que está lejos y al cercano,  dijo Jehová;  y lo sanaré.

Isaías 57:15-19

Si nos ponemos a escuchar las noticias de cada día, veremos que ocurren desastres naturales, como terremotos, tsunamis, inundaciones, sequías, nevadas, temperaturas extremas, calentamiento global, ciclones catastróficos, tornados, incendios forestales, volcanes, etc. Si a todo estos desastres naturales, agregamos otras calamidades sociales o personales: guerras, conflictos internacionales, pobreza, narcotráfico, inflación, desempleo, crisis económicas, bancarrota, divorcio, drogadicción, maltrato, desunión familiar, migraciones forzadas, criminalidad, secuestros, etc., nuestros sentidos nos podrían decir que todo anda mal y no hay nada bueno bajo el sol, ya que el mundo entero está en crisis.

Yo me hago varias preguntas. La primera de ellas es ¿estará también la iglesia en crisis? ¿Estará el cuerpo de Cristo siendo arrastrado por la corriente del mundo? En la Biblia conocemos historias de hombres y mujeres de Dios quienes pasaron por situaciones de crisis. Un ejemplo de ellos fue Job. David, Abraham, José, Moisés y Daniel  pasaron también por muchos momentos de crisis.

De todas las calamidades que sufre el mundo, todos lo que habitamos este planeta tenemos nuestra propia cuota de responsabilidad, aunque la mayoría de las veces nos sentimos más cómodos echándoles la culpa a otros (padres, hijos, cónyuges, políticos, suegros, yernos, extranjeros, gente de otras razas, etc.). Pero cuando señalamos con un dedo a alguien más, hay otros cuatro dedos que nos señalan a nosotros. Dice la Santa Palabra de Dios: Porque dos males ha hecho mi pueblo: me dejaron a mí, fuente de agua viva, y cavaron para sí cisternas, cisternas rotas que no retienen agua (Jeremías 2:13).

Como cristianos viviendo en este mundo, no vamos a ser inmunes a su crisis. Nuestro Señor nos había advertido al respecto: Estas cosas os he hablado para que en mí tengáis paz. En el mundo tendréis aflicción; pero confiad,  yo he vencido al mundo (Juan 16:33). Aunque hayamos abandonado la fuente de agua viva y cavado cisternas rotas, nuestro arrepentimiento y acercarnos de nuevo a Dios nos permiten volver a beber del agua fresca del Espíritu.

Ciertamente existe una gran crisis en la actualidad, la cual nos impacta a todos; pero Dios no nos ha abandonado. Reconociendo Su gran amor y Su cuidado para con cada uno de nosotros, dejemos de quejarnos y celebremos la victoria que nos da. Dios te bendiga.

Patience and Obedience to Receive God’s Promises

Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.

Hebrews 10:35-36 (AMP)

The modern world teaches us to hope to achieve instant results. The clearest example is the microwave oven by which we obtain hot food in minutes. Likewise, we want God to act in our lives, i.e., we think God will answer our requests automatically and the only thing we should do is push the spiritual buttons of hasty prayer and immediately in the heaven, our Heavenly Father will answer our petitions.

The book of Hebrews tells us that there are two prerequisites to obtain the promise, be patient and do the will of God, i.e. obey. It also tells us that we will get our reward if we don’t lose confidence, i.e. if our faith in God remains in us. The Bible clearly defines us the meanings of patience, obedience and promise.

Patience is to expect as Romans 8:25 says: But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience. Patience is to resist:  Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12, AMP). Patience is to obey: Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12). Patience is to persevere and bear fruit: But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience (Luke 8:15). Patience perfects Christian character: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4). Patience strengthens us through Christ: strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy (Colossians 1:11).

Obedience involves following orders and commandments of God, as Romans 16:26 tells us: but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith. Follow the instructions that give us people who are in charge of our spiritual growth is also part of obedience.

Our example must always be Jesus Christ, who was patient: Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:5). Our Lord was also obedient: And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8).

God promises us many things in this world and in eternity. As our pastor, He has promised that we lack nothing. He has promised to give us His Holy Spirit, be sealed with Him and be with us until the end. Obey God at all times and waited patiently as we keep the promises present and eternal inheritance. God bless you.

Paciencia y Obediencia para Recibir las Promesas de Dios

No perdáis, pues, vuestra confianza, que tiene grande galardón; porque os es necesaria la paciencia, para que habiendo hecho la voluntad de Dios, obtengáis la promesa.

Hebreos 10:35-36

El mundo moderno nos enseña a pretender alcanzar resultados instantáneos. El ejemplo más claro es el horno de microondas por el cual obtenemos alimentos calientes en pocos minutos. De la misma manera, pretendemos que Dios actúe en nuestras vidas, es decir, pensamos que Dios va a responder a nuestras peticiones de manera automática y lo único que nosotros debemos de hacer es apretar los botones espirituales de una oración apresurada e inmediatamente, en los cielos, nuestro Padre Celestial responderá nuestras peticiones.

El libro de Hebreos nos dice que hay dos prerrequisitos para poder obtener la promesa: tener paciencia y hacer la voluntad de Dios, es decir, obedecerle. También nos dice que nuestro galardón lo obtendremos si no perdemos la confianza, es decir, si nuestra fe en Dios permanece en nosotros. La Biblia nos define claramente los significados de paciencia, obediencia y promesa.

Paciencia es esperar, como dice Romanos 8:25: Pero si esperamos lo que no vemos, con paciencia lo aguardamos. Paciencia es resistir: Bienaventurado el varón que padece con paciencia la tentación, porque cuando fuere probado, recibirá la corona de vida, que Dios ha prometido a los que le aman (Santiago 1:12). Paciencia es obedecer: Aquí está la paciencia de los santos, los que guardan los mandamientos de Dios y la fe de Jesús (Apocalipsis 14:12). Paciencia es perseverar y dar frutos: Mas la que cayó en buena tierra, éstos son los que con corazón bueno y recto retienen la palabra oída, y dan fruto con perseverancia (Lucas 8:15). La paciencia perfecciona el carácter cristiano: Mas tenga la paciencia su obra completa, para que seáis perfectos y cabales, sin que os falte cosa alguna (Santiago 1:4). La paciencia nos fortalece a través de Cristo: fortalecidos con todo poder, conforme a la potencia de su gloria, para toda paciencia y longanimidad (Colosenses 1:11).

La obediencia implica cumplir las órdenes y mandamientos de Dios, como nos dice Romanos 16:26: pero que ha sido manifestado ahora, y que por las Escrituras de los profetas, según el mandamiento del Dios eterno, se ha dado a conocer a todas las gentes para que obedezcan a la fe. Seguir las instrucciones que nos dan las personas que están a cargo de nuestro crecimiento espiritual también es parte de la obediencia.

Nuestro ejemplo siempre debe ser Jesucristo, quien fue paciente: Y el Señor encamine vuestros corazones al amor de Dios, y a la paciencia de Cristo (2 Tesalonicenses 3:5). Nuestro Señor también fue obediente: y estando en la condición de hombre, se humilló a sí mismo, haciéndose obediente hasta la muerte, y muerte de cruz (Filipenses 2:8).

Dios nos promete muchas cosas en este mundo y en la eternidad. Como nuestro pastor ha prometido que nada nos faltará. Él ha prometido darnos Su Espíritu Santo, sellarnos con Él y estar con nosotros hasta el fin. Obedezcamos a Dios en todo momento y guardemos con paciencia mientras esperamos las promesas presentes y la herencia eterna.

Friendship with God

So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.

James 2:23

Abraham was a friend of God; but their descendants inherit the blessings of this friendship, God promised to be with them, to instill encouragement, helps them always, support them with the right hand of His righteousness, confound and confuse the enemies of Israel. And we wonder how Abraham became a friend of God?

Abraham was called a friend of God because he believed God. We have heard many times that it is important not to believe in God but believe God. And that is very true because when you believe God we become friends; because when you believe God when we trust Him and trust Him, obey Him and obedience is another facet of friendship with God.

Seeking God’s presence to bring a fresh message coming out of the throne of His grace, my spiritual ears heard His voice say, “I never have withdrawn my friendship to you. In your most bitter moments, I have been with you. No matter if your senses are unable to perceive Me, My presence is never gone.” What does it really mean to be friend of God? What has God done for His friends?

Jesus told His disciples in John 15:14-15: You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. It is important to recognize that friendship with God requires commitment on our part. Jesus made it clear that you cannot serve two masters, just as we cannot be friends with God while we love the things that God rejects or when we keep friendship with the enemies of God.

Many times we fail God; we turn away from Him and reject His unconditional friendship. For many of us, when we do that and we realize our error, we feel ashamed and we move further from God. The consequences of this distance are always disastrous for us. When away from His coverage, we are vulnerable to the attacks of our enemies. But God always waits patiently to return to His lap.

God is telling us: “Take my hand and walk with Me. I will show you the way to go. I have not left and I will not leave you alone. I promised I’d be with you until the end of the world.” On this day the Lord says to each one of us: “I am your best friend. I’m the one who was, is and always will be with you, not only while living in this world, but I have prepared for you eternal abode in the house of My Father. I do not want to miss out on my friendship, but have in mind that I’m here for you 24/7. I love you so I gave My life for you and would give again if necessary just to pay the price to save you.” God bless you.