God Provides and Multiplies

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11

Many times I have heard the preaching of these two verses and, generally, I have seen people around me whose mouth is water when they hear them. These two verses are part of the heavy artillery of those who draw people to Christ by promising them prosperity. It is true, God gives seed to the sower, and bread for food and promises us provision and multiplication. Of that there is no doubt, the question is, why does God supply and multiply us? To feed our ambitions or to share with others?

The answer to the two previous questions is given in verse 11: while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. Being enriched in everything is for all liberality, not for all stinginess and avarice. Releasing is releasing, not grasping. God does not supply us and multiply us to make our fortune and bathe in the bills like Scrooge McDuck. If God gives us the privilege of being prospered in the material, it is to be a channel of blessing of those who have nothing.

Let us return again to where he says that God gives seed to the sower and bread to the one who eats. God gives seed to the sower not to the one who eats the seed or who guards it. Every seed that God gives is to be sown. And the process of multiplication occurs when this seed is sown in a good land and produces abundant harvest. The law of sowing and harvesting of which so much is spoken today is not only a seed and an abundant fruit. To have a harvest, you also need a good soil and take care of the plant until it produces fruit.

How does God give bread to the one who eats? Before answering this question, it would be much better to make this one, who do they eat? All human beings, both men and women should eat. So if God gives bread to the one who eats, He supplies the food needs of each person. Sometimes the provision will come into our hands and we will be satisfied; but if God gives us more, it will be to feed him who does not have.

The words of Jesus that strike me most are in Matthew 25:34-40, Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. “‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?’ “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

If God has provided and multiplied us and we see a brother in need, let’s not say that we are going to pray for the brother who is on trial. We are also in the test to see if we are capable of managing the multiplication that has been given to us to meet the needs of our disadvantaged brethren. Let’s not be those mentioned in Matthew 25: 41-46. God bless you.

Dios Provee y Multiplica

Y el que da semilla al que siembra, y pan al que come, proveerá y multiplicará vuestra sementera, y aumentará los frutos de vuestra justicia, para que estéis enriquecidos en todo para toda liberalidad, la cual produce por medio de nosotros acción de gracias a Dios.

2 Corintios 9:10-11

Muchas veces he escuchado la predicación de estos dos versículos y, generalmente he visto gente a mi alrededor a quienes se le hace la boca agua cuando los escuchan. Estos dos versículos son parte de la artillería pesada de quienes atraen a la gente hacia Cristo prometiéndoles prosperidad. Es cierto, Dios da semilla al que siembra, y pan al que come y nos promete provisión y multiplicación. De eso no hay duda, la pregunta es ¿para qué nos provee y multiplica Dios? ¿Para alimentar nuestras ambiciones o para que repartamos con los demás?

La respuesta a las dos preguntas anteriores la da el versículo 11: para que estéis enriquecidos en todo para toda liberalidad, la cual produce por medio de nosotros acción de gracias a Dios. Al estar enriquecido en todo es para toda liberalidad, no para toda tacañería y avaricia. Liberar es soltar, no agarrar. Dios no nos provee y multiplica para que amasemos fortuna y nos bañemos en los billetes como Rico MacPato. Si Dios nos da el privilegio de ser prosperados en lo material es para que seamos un canal de bendición de aquellos que no poseen nada.

Volvamos de nuevo a donde dice que Dios da semilla al que siembra, y pan al que come. Dios da semilla al que siembra no al que se come la semilla o la guarda. Toda semilla que da Dios es para ser sembrada. Y el proceso de multiplicación se da cuando esta semilla es sembrada en una buena tierra y produce abundante cosecha. La ley de la siembra y la cosecha de la que tanto se habla hoy día no se trata solamente de una semilla y un fruto abundante. Para haber cosecha, es necesario también una buena tierra y tener cuidado de la planta hasta que produzca fruto.

¿Cómo le da Dios pan al que come? Antes de contestarnos a esta pregunta, sería mucho mejor hacernos esta otra, ¿quiénes comen? Todos los seres humanos, tanto hombres como mujeres deben comer. Así que si Dios da pan al que come, Él suple las necesidades de alimentación de cada persona. Algunas veces la provisión vendrá a nuestras manos y nos saciaremos; pero si Dios nos da de más, será para darle de comer al que no tiene.

Las palabras de Jesús que más me impactan están en Mateo 25:34-40: Entonces el Rey dirá a los de su derecha: Venid, benditos de mi Padre, heredad el reino preparado para vosotros desde la fundación del mundo. Porque tuve hambre, y me disteis de comer; tuve sed, y me disteis de beber; fui forastero, y me recogisteis; estuve desnudo, y me cubristeis; enfermo, y me visitasteis; en la cárcel, y vinisteis a mí. Entonces los justos le responderán diciendo: Señor, ¿cuándo te vimos hambriento, y te sustentamos, o sediento, y te dimos de beber? ¿Y cuándo te vimos forastero, y te recogimos, o desnudo, y te cubrimos? ¿O cuándo te vimos enfermo, o en la cárcel, y vinimos a ti? Y respondiendo el Rey, les dirá: De cierto os digo que en cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos más pequeños, a mí lo hicisteis.

Si Dios nos ha provisto y multiplicado y vemos a un hermano en necesidad, no digamos que vamos a orar por el hermano que está en prueba. También estamos en prueba para ver si somos capaces de administrar la multiplicación que nos ha sido dada para suplir las necesidades de nuestros hermanos en desventaja. No seamos los de Mateo 25:41-46. Dios te bendiga.

Jesus Christ Became Poor for Love

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.

2 Corinthians 8:9

To understand that Jesus Christ became poor for love is something that is very difficult to understand at this time. The great difficulty of understanding this truth lies in the distorted idea that modern society has of the word love. If we are taught to receive, accumulate wealth and seek happiness for the sake of love, it is unlikely that we accept as a manifestation of love stripping ourselves of what we have to give to others. But the concept of God’s love is just that: giving instead of receiving.

That expression of love of Jesus of which 2 Corinthians 8:9 speaks today is a species in danger of extinction. Very rarely do we see someone shed everything they have to share with others. We are more likely to meet people who are looking to keep what they have and, if possible, to wrench others from their hands. Even in marriage, love is only preserved in health and wealth because in sickness and poverty, when it is no longer possible to squeeze the orange because the juice has run out, the other is thrown like bagasse.

It sounds cruel, but it is a crude reality, of which we should not be astonished because the Lord Jesus Christ himself prophesied for this time in which we live. Matthew 24:12 says, Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. That is the time that we have to live. The evil has multiplied to the highest degree that people today see an incident in which someone’s life is in danger and, instead of helping, they prefer to shoot a video on their smartphone and then share it on Facebook.

And you know what, the very verse that we are studying today, is used as bait to attract to the churches those who lack love. It sounds to them like music to hear this: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich. But they are not attracted by the love of Jesus but by the supposed promise that their riches will be transferred to them because Jesus Christ became poor so that we become rich.

Paul says the following in 1 Timothy 6:9-10, But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. Let us not stray from faith, let us not seek the King of kings and Lord of lords for greed, for the love of money, for riches. Let us seek from Him for who He is and for being our salvation.

Let us understand what the love of Christ consists of. In John 15:13 the Lord says, Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. Jesus not only became poor for love, but He gave His precious life for you and for me also for love. And while we were lost in our trespasses and sins, He called us friends, even though we behaved like His true enemies. Jesus became poor for love; but if we only look for material wealth, we will be missing out on the best part. The earthly riches will pass away, but the best riches of Jesus Christ are in the heavens waiting for us. God bless you.

Jesucristo se Hizo Pobre por Amor

Porque ya conocéis la gracia de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, que por amor a vosotros se hizo pobre, siendo rico, para que vosotros con su pobreza fueseis enriquecidos.

2 Corintios 8:9

Entender que Jesucristo se hizo pobre por amor es algo que resulta muy difícil de entender en esta época. La gran dificultad de comprender esta verdad radica en la idea distorsionada que tiene la sociedad moderna sobre la palabra amor. Si se nos enseña a recibir, acumular riquezas y buscar felicidad en aras del amor, es poco probable que aceptemos como una manifestación de amor despojarnos de lo que tenemos para darlo a los demás. Pero el concepto del amor de Dios es justamente eso: dar en lugar de recibir.

Esa expresión de amor de Jesús de la cual habla 2 Corintios 8:9 es hoy una especie en peligro de extinción. Muy raras veces vemos a alguien despojarse de todo lo que tiene para compartirlo con los demás. Es más probable encontrarnos con personas que andan buscando conservar lo que tienen y, si es posible, arrancarle de la mano a los demás lo suyo. Incluso en el matrimonio, ya el amor solo se conserva en la salud y en la riqueza porque en la enfermedad y la pobreza, cuando ya no es posible exprimir más la naranja porque se agotó el jugo, se bota al otro como un bagazo.

Suena cruel, pero es una cruda realidad, de la cual no deberíamos asombrarnos porque ya el propio Señor Jesucristo lo profetizo para este tiempo en el cual vivimos. Dice Mateo 24:12: y por haberse multiplicado la maldad, el amor de muchos se enfriará. Ese es el tiempo que nos ha tocado vivir. La maldad se ha multiplicado en grado sumo que hoy la gente ve un incidente en el cual la vida de alguien corre peligro y, en lugar de prestar ayuda, prefieren filmar un video en su teléfono inteligente para compartirlo luego en Facebook.

Y saben qué, el propio versículo que hoy estudiamos, es utilizado como carnada para atraer hacia las iglesias a quienes carecen de amor. Les suena como música escuchar esto: Porque ya conocéis la gracia de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, que por amor a vosotros se hizo pobre, siendo rico, para que vosotros con su pobreza fueseis enriquecidos. Pero no van atraídos por el amor a Jesús sino por la supuesta promesa de que sus riquezas les serán transferidas a ellos porque Jesucristo se hizo pobre para que seamos ricos.

Pablo dice lo siguiente en 1 Timoteo 6:9-10: Porque los que quieren enriquecerse caen en tentación y lazo, y en muchas codicias necias y dañosas, que hunden a los hombres en destrucción y perdición; porque raíz de todos los males es el amor al dinero, el cual codiciando algunos, se extraviaron de la fe, y fueron traspasados de muchos dolores. No nos extraviemos de la fe, no busquemos al Rey de reyes y Señor de señores por la codicia, por el amor al dinero, a las riquezas. Busquemos de Él por quien es y por ser nuestra salvación.

Entendamos en qué consiste el amor de Cristo. En Juan 15:13 dice el Señor: Nadie tiene mayor amor que este, que uno ponga su vida por sus amigos. Jesús no solo se hizo pobre por amor, sino que entregó Su preciosa vida por ti y por mí también por amor. Y mientras estábamos perdidos en nuestros delitos y pecados, Él nos llamó amigos, aun cuando nosotros nos comportábamos como verdaderos enemigos suyos. Jesús se hizo pobre por amor; pero si solo lo buscamos por las riquezas materiales, nos estaremos perdiendo de la mejor parte. Las riquezas terrenales pasarán, pero las mejores riquezas de Jesucristo están en los cielos esperándonos. Dios te bendiga.

Perfecting Holiness

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2 Corinthians 7:1

No doubt 2 Corinthians 7:1 is an admonition to all that we have believed in Jesus Christ: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Holiness must be our natural response to God’s love. After receiving salvation and eternal life, it is not for us to continue to practice sin, but to live a life of holiness, separated for God, who rescued us from hell and cleansed us from the filth of sin with the blood of His Son Jesus.

The subject of holiness is one that has been almost completely excluded from modern preaching. With the excuse of respect for each person’s way of thinking, they have lacked respect for God and the fear of Him has been lost. When I speak of the fear of God, it is not to walk in fear of His presence and think that God is a grouchy old man who walks with a stick looking for someone who has misbehaved to punish Him. Fear of God is to keep respect for Him and His Holy Word and stop inventing our own rules of conduct and accepting His own.

It is so important to remain in holiness that Hebrews 12:14 says, Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. And as if that were not enough, 1 Thessalonians 3:13 states the following, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. The Lord Jesus Christ will come and expect to find a clean and pure church, without blemishes or wrinkles. That is only possible if we remain in holiness.

Now can we remain in holiness and perfect it in our own strength? The answer in no and 2 Corinthians 7:1 tells us how we accomplished it, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Several times in the Old Testament it is affirmed that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and that has been preached enough. Now, how does the fear of God perfects us in holiness? Proverbs 8:13 tells us, The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.

If we feel a reverent fear of a Holy God, we will be subject to Him and, therefore, we will love what He loves and hate what He hates. God abhors sin, which is the opposite of holiness. With the fear of God we are going to hate evil, we will abhor sin and we will keep separated for Him and we will perfect the sanctity to which we have been called so that we can be part of that church without blemishes or wrinkles that will Receive the Lord in the clouds.

Searching in the Word of God we will learn more of Him, we will respect Him more and we will love Him more. And that fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, will teach us to hate and depart from evil; but it will also give us greater knowledge of God, as Proverbs 2:5 says, The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Only in the fear of God will we perfect holiness, which we will need to see the Lord when he returns triumphant and full of glory as King of kings and Lord of lords. God bless you.

Perfeccionando la Santidad

Así que, amados, puesto que tenemos tales promesas, limpiémonos de toda contaminación de carne y de espíritu, perfeccionando la santidad en el temor de Dios.

2 Corintios 7:1

Sin duda que 2 Corintios 7:1 es una amonestación para todos lo que hemos creído en Jesucristo: Así que, amados, puesto que tenemos tales promesas, limpiémonos de toda contaminación de carne y de espíritu, perfeccionando la santidad en el temor de Dios. La santidad debe ser nuestra respuesta natural al amor de Dios. Después de haber recibido salvación y vida eterna, no es para que continuemos practicando el pecado, sino para vivir una vida de santidad, separados para Dios, quien nos rescató del infierno y nos limpió de la inmundicia del pecado con la sangre de Su Hijo Jesús.

El tema de la santidad es uno de los que ha sido casi excluido por completo de la predicación moderna. Con la excusa del respeto a la manera de pensar de cada uno, se le ha faltado el respeto a Dios y se ha perdido el temor a Él. Cuando hablo de temor de Dios no es andar muertos de miedo ante Su presencia y pensar de que Dios es un viejito cascarrabias que anda con un garrote buscando a quien se ha portado mal para castigarlo. Temor a Dios es guardarle respeto a Él y a Su Santa Palabra y dejar de inventar nuestras propias reglas de conducta y aceptar las Suyas.

Es tan importante mantenernos en santidad que Hebreos 12:14 dice: Seguid la paz con todos, y la santidad, sin la cual nadie verá al Señor. Y como si fuera poco, también 1 Tesalonicenses 3:13 afirma lo siguiente: para que sean afirmados vuestros corazones, irreprensibles en santidad delante de Dios nuestro Padre, en la venida de nuestro Señor Jesucristo con todos sus santos. El Señor Jesucristo habrá de venir y espera encontrar una iglesia limpia y pura, sin manchas ni arrugas. Eso solo es posible si nos mantenemos en santidad.

Ahora bien, ¿podemos mantenernos en santidad y perfeccionarla en nuestras propias fuerzas? La respuesta en no y 2 Corintios 7:1 nos dice de qué manera lo logramos: perfeccionando la santidad en el temor de Dios. Varias veces en el Antiguos Testamento se afirma que el temor de Dios es el principio de la sabiduría y de eso se ha predicado bastante. Ahora bien, ¿cómo el temor de Dios nos perfecciona en la santidad? Proverbios 8:13 nos dice: El temor de Jehová es aborrecer el mal; la soberbia y la arrogancia, el mal camino, y la boca perversa, aborrezco.

Si sentimos un temor reverente de un Dios Santo, vamos a estar sujeto a Él y, por lo tanto, vamos a amar lo que Él ama y a aborrecer lo que Él aborrece. Dios aborrece el pecado, el cual es todo lo contrario a la santidad. Con el temor a Dios vamos a aborrecer el mal, vamos a aborrecer al pecado y nos mantendremos separados para Él e iremos perfeccionando la santidad a la cual hemos sido llamados a fin de que podamos formar parte de esa iglesia sin manchas ni arrugas que habrá de recibir al Señor en las nubes.

Buscando en la Palabra de Dios aprenderemos más de Él, le respetaremos más y le amaremos más. Y ese temor a Dios que es el principio de la sabiduría, nos enseñará a aborrecer y apartarnos del mal; pero también nos dará mayor conocimiento de Dios, como dice Proverbios 2:5: Entonces entenderás el temor de Jehová, y hallarás el conocimiento de Dios. Solo en el temor a Dios perfeccionaremos la santidad, la cual vamos a necesitar para ver al Señor cuando regrese triunfante y lleno de gloria como Rey de reyes y Señor de señores. Dios te bendiga.

God Is Our Father

“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.

2 Corinthians 6:18

It is very difficult to grow up lacking a father figure. For some of us, the parent passed away during our childhood or was never present at home. Others were born and abandoned or given into adoption without ever knowing their biological parents. Lacking a father, especially for men, means growing up without male modeling, which can be a source of disruption in future behavior. Whatever our story, there is a beautiful promise in 2 Corinthians 6:18: God will be our Father.

There is much biblical evidence about God’s fatherhood toward us. Everything begins in the way in which we become children of God. John 1:12-13 explains how we became children of God, But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. God shows greater interest in being our Father than we in being His children. The requirement is so simple: to receive Jesus Christ, and we refuse to do so.

God is not obligated to recognize His paternity over us. He willingly makes us His children and adopts us as such. Romans 8:15 says, For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Receiving Jesus Christ we become children of God and He becomes our Father. Being His children, we can confidently approach Him without fear of being rejected. As a good Father, He will always be willing to receive us.

Our Heavenly Father is always interested in giving His children all the best. James 1:17 says, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. And among all those good and perfect gifts that come down from above and give us our Father are the Holy Spirit (Matthew 7:11) and His Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Perhaps you would think that a good and perfect gift is to give you a million dollars to solve your problems; but the Kingdom and the Holy Spirit are more than a million.

What we consider to be good is not always good; but God, our Father is not mistaken and knows what is best for His children. And he will always do this because he loves us. 2 Thessalonians 2:16 says, May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace. And so great is His love that He spared no surrender to His Son to give us the opportunity to be saved and become part of His family.

Our Lord makes a grave warning in calling our Father someone other than our God. Matthew 23:9 says, Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. So no human being has the divine authority to use the name father, apart from our progenitor of course, and to occupy God’s representation on earth. So there is no such thing as a Holy Father or spiritual father.