Confidence toward God

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

1 John 3:21-22

In this life there is no more reliable being than our Heavenly Father. God will never fail us and all His promises are true and faithful. When we pray with faith, He has promised to grant our requests. But in addition to faith, there is another requirement to achieve such requests, our obedience. Just as a father or mother will not be motivated to please the requests of a disobedient son, let us not think that God, our Father, would do the opposite.

These two verses of the first letter of the apostle John have a lot of cloth to cut. The first thing is to meditate on this conditional: if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. How would our heart condemn us? Here John is not referring with the word heart to the organ that pumps blood but to our conscience. In that sense, if our conscience condemns us is because it is making us see that we do not act in the right way. When it comes to our relationship with God, our conscience tells us that we are failing.

Failure to God, disobedience to Him, diminishes our confidence in Him. And it is not because God is going to fail to fulfill His promises, but because we are aware that our acts are not pleasing to Him and, therefore, we may be unable to receive what we asked for. Will the character of God change due to our infidelity? In no way, the character of God is immutable and He will always be faithful. Our attitude is not to run from God when we realize that we fail, but to reconcile with Him confessing our sins.

God will never betray the trust we place in Him. And, like our loving Father, His desire is not to see us sad or in need, but to supply us with whatever we need. But we must understand that if we do not receive what we expect, before we become angry with God, it is better for us to review our conduct before Him and compare truthfully if we are as John tells us, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And again, if we are wrong, let us not justify ourselves, but let us acknowledge our guilt.

Now, it is possible that our conscience tells us that we are on the right path and yet we are not receiving what we ask of God in prayer. That should not undermine our trust in Him. The English preacher Matthew Henry (1662-1714) said, “Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the test of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.” The silence of God can be motivated because we are being tested.

Our trust in God must remain unalterable, just as His faithfulness is unalterable. It does not matter if our petition is delayed for our sin or because of the trial. In each case, let’s do the right thing. If we have been disobedient, it is time to humble ourselves repentant before God and ask for forgiveness for our sins. If we are under trial, let us continue to pray in faith, trusting in Him, praising Him, worshiping Him, and giving thanks at all times. He is faithful and good all the time. He will never fail His promises. God bless you.

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The Seed of God

Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

1 John 3:9

Many Christians are proud to be called children of God. And I have heard some people express their pride in feeling princes as sons of the King of kings. They also feel entitled to be rich by being heirs of the owner of gold, silver and everything that exists. But God is also holy and His holiness is incompatible with sin. It is not in vain that 1 John 3:9 says, Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

If the seed of God abides in us, we must prove it with our dedication to what represents our Father and not to what represents the world. Today, many churches have stopped discussing the issue of sin. Sometimes that omission is due to the fact that today’s society has redefined sin to exclude certain practices that have been legalized almost everywhere in the world. Since it is now lawful to sin, to preach against sin is an illegal action, which in some cases includes the jail for the preacher.

Is there any difference with the past? Of course not, the apostles and many other servants throughout history have been imprisoned and even executed for preaching against sinful practices, calling repentance and conversion to Jesus Christ. None of this should come as a surprise to us because that is something that the Lord Himself had warned us in Matthew 24:9, Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

As Christians, we must take into account that the sin that once dominated us must now give way to holiness. The great English preacher Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The new birth has disqualified us to contentment with the world.” Being content with the world is the same as being partakers of the things the world loves, many of which, although human laws authorize them, God continues to call them in His Holy Word with the qualification of sins.

Sadly, what the American preacher Aiden Wilson Tozer (1897-1963) said is a stark reality, “A whole generation of new Christians have risen up believing that it is possible to ‘accept’ Christ without leaving the world.” And again, if they do not leave the world, it is obvious that they will continue practicing the things of the world, and of course, sin is one of them. The correct attitude must be what John R. Stott (1921-2011) says, “The sin and the son of God are incompatible. Occasionally they may be found; but they cannot live together in harmony.”

It is time for rising preachers who remind Christians that they are the seed of God to live in holiness, not to continue living with and consent to sin. It is very true what the American pastor Paul D. Washer says, “A true Christian will be sensitive to sin in his life which will lead to genuine rupture and confession, but people who say they are Christians and are not sensitive to sin, this will not lead them to confession, a person who is that way is not a Christian.” We will prove that we are God’s seed by abiding in Him and renouncing sin altogether. God bless you.

Waiting for New Heavens s and New Earth

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.

2 Peter 3:13-14

The day of the triumphant return of our Lord Jesus Christ should be the most earnest yearning of every Christian. Instead of asking God to fix things in this corrupt world, the believer should pray for the second coming of the Lord to materialize soon. We have the promise of new heavens and new earth, so why do we cling so much to the old? So our attitude should focus on preparing to receive Him as Peter says: in peace, without spot and blameless.

At present, the world suffers convulsions. Every day, the news tells us about conflicts, natural disasters and diseases. Almost every continent has some form of violence, whether it be war, gangs, drug trafficking, terrorism or common crime. Almost every day earthquakes of appreciable magnitude occur in different parts of the world. Elsewhere, storms or droughts put the population at risk. The emergence of potential epidemic outbreaks such as Ebola or Zika also cause alarm among the world’s population.

Added to all this are the social inequalities that exist between rich and poor countries or between different ethnic groups in the same country. And many claim to curb injustice in the world. In that sense, they make an effort to improve or demand that the conditions of the planet in which we live are improved. Whoever has not placed his trust in God probably does not know that there is something different and better. Then you can understand the concern of these people about it because their only hope is what they know.

Even unbelievers turn to believers to pray to God in moments of crisis. What I find inconsistent is the position of many Christians to follow the game of who is responsible for things to go wrong. Why pray for things to be settled in a world that is dominated by the evil one? Why establish friendship with the world when that means to be an enemy of God? It is written that all these things would pass. The people of the world may be scared; but Christians had already been warned about it.

Let us not fall into the trap of the enemy, time is over, let’s watch and pray in the right way, which is according to the will of God. Let us pray, first of all, that those who do not know the good news of the gospel will repent of their sins and receive in their hearts Jesus Christ. Let us pray that God will allow us to stay away from the things of the world and live in holiness to prepare for the glorious coming of our Savior and King. Let us pray for Him to come back soon and let’s watch while we wait for him.

The injustices of this world will not end as long as the evil one dominates. The only way to stop his dominion is when the King of kings and Lord of lords comes. Let’s understand that once and for all. Let us remember this great promise: new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. And in the new heavens and the new earth will reign righteousness because the righteous King, the King of glory will rule with His saints. May that be our focus from now on and until He returns triumphant and victorious. God bless you.

Partakers of the Divine Nature

Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-8

As children of God we are partakers of His divine nature. That is part of the precious and very great promises mentioned by the apostle Peter. But if we are to participate in the divine nature, we must escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. We must act diligently in this regard. Instead of participating in the things of the world, our duty is to participate in the things of God. Peter mentions the things we must add to our faith: moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.

The Bible repeatedly reiterates the incompatibility between the things of God and those of the world. Those who have been touched by grace and become children of God cannot continue to participate in worldly things. It is not possible to be a simultaneous participant of the divine and worldly natures. It is written that the whole world is under the evil one, as children of light, we are called to be partakers of the light, not to be accomplices of the darkness. So the Christian must stand firm in the face of current world trends that are opposed to the Word of God.

In order to participate in the divine nature, it is necessary to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh. When we live in the Spirit, the result will be the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us what the fruit of the Spirit consists in, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Just by living in the Spirit, we have several things to add to participate in the divine nature.

As for moral excellence, kindness, goodness and gentleness are virtues that come within the package of the fruit of the Spirit. So we take several steps forward when we live in the Spirit to participate in the divine nature. And what about the others? How do we add knowledge, godliness and brotherly affection? The Spirit itself leads us to the knowledge of God and His Son Jesus Christ. John 14:26 says, But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, the Father will send Him in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

And among the things that the Lord Jesus Christ said and that the Holy Spirit will remind us is what it says in John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. This is brotherly affection. It will also remind us of the words of Matthew 25:34-40 so that we learn about compassion and godliness. God is Spirit, we live in the Spirit and we will be partakers of the divine nature. God bless you.

The Unfading Crown of Glory

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

1 Peter 5:4

When we read only what I Peter 5:4 says, we might be very happy to see that a glorious reward awaits us when the Lord returns. It is a beautiful promise to hear this: And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Now who will receive this crown? The Bible says that God will give the unfading crown of glory to those who bring His Word to others. That could lead us to think that then the pastors already have it guaranteed. Without taking it so lightly, it is necessary to meditate in detail the whole context of 1 Peter 5:4.

To do this, let us see what the previous verses say, 1 Peter 5:1-3, The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

The sheep are of the Lord, not ours. He puts them under our care, not that we take advantage of them. I will tell how God made me understand that great truth. By the end of 2005, I had sold my house and bought another, which was twice as far from the church as I was congregating. In my old house, I was a leader of a very successful cell group. For two years a new generation of disciples with leadership capacity had been raised in that group. My biggest concern was that my new home would be far away at all.

That’s when the question came out of my mouth, what am I going to do with my group? The answer of God did not wait. I felt a voice inside me saying: “Your group? It’s not your group, the sheep are mine, not yours.” At that moment I realized the terrible recklessness of my words. I understood that this cell group was not my possession but God had put those people in my care for a while and that time was over. My house had been bought by another leader of the church and I gave the group to him.

In my new house, I started the task of starting a new cell group from scratch. To obey God brought the blessing that in a very short time, the new group surpassed in size and quality the first one. I was with them until God moved me from the church where I was to new responsibilities. As I had learned the lesson the first time. At no time did I think to take the sheep with me. I just said goodbye to all the members of the group and left them in the hands of their new leader.

Peter is very clear in the requirement that we must fulfill in order to reach the unfading crown of glory: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. Let us remember that our mission is to serve, not to serve us. Our greatest reward is not material but the unfading crown of glory that the chief Shepherd will give us. God bless you.

Good Stewards of the Grace of God

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:7-10

The apostle Peter begins by saying in 1 Peter 4: 7-10 that the end of all things is near. And verily the second coming of our Lord and the judgment of the nations are coming ever closer. But we will also be believers before the judgment seat of Christ where we will be evaluated as stewards of the grace of God. We must keep in mind that we are going to render an account of what we did with the gift received, if we have shared the grace, the gift of salvation with others, and we have been obedient to His words.

The second that Peter warns us is to be of sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Currently, we spend much more time using our smartphones than kneeling before the Lord. Generally we only remember that God exists when some catastrophe touches us closely. Many are more concerned about being connected to social networks or playing Pokémon Go than being in continuous tuning with the heavens. And if you are told that the end is near, then your greatest concern for prayer is for God to give us extra time.

The following that Peter says is becoming less and less common: Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. The Lord had already said that it would happen in the last times. According to Matthew 24:12, And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Today the love of many has cooled and very few are hospitable or try to help the brothers in need. It is more common to hear of Christians saying, “I will pray for you.” Having in their hands the way to help, they hide themselves in religious hypocrisy.

The final part of 1 Peter 4: 7-10 tells us, As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Not all of us have received the same gift, nor has God given the same revelation of His truth to all His servants. Pretending that the grace that God has placed individually in us is the only important thing for Him is, at the same time, to minimize human size to an infinite God and to raise our own value to the utmost.

The apostle Paul speaks very clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. There are a diversity of gifts, ministries and operations within the body of Christ. They all come from God and all of them are equally important and have been given for the benefit of the church.

We are good stewards of the manifold grace of God when we use our gifts to minister to our brethren in the faith. In the same way, we must show meekness and humility, allowing us to minister for our fellows who have gifts different from ours. Otherwise, we would lose much of the multiform grace. God bless you.

Removing the Clogging of Our Prayer

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

1 Peter 3:7

Today’s theme is one that confronts every man, including myself. And it is that 1 Peter 3:7 says this, Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. There will be those who fill their mouths saying that they have always taken to the letter everything that says 1 Peter 3:7. To be honest, I cannot make this statement but, on the contrary, admit that I have failed many times.

As I said at the beginning, this message confronts us all men. And, instead of seeking to justify our behavior, it is time to take our responsibility, admit our mistakes and amend the way. If today, all over the world, laws are introduced that establish strong obligations to men while undermining their rights, it is because we ourselves have not known how to exercise our manly functions or have abused by generations of our position. The result is the radical distortion of God’s plan for humanity.

Let us do what we have first. It is true that there is no guarantee that they will respond to us in the same way; but our priority must be to obey what God sets and He will take care of the rest. Living wisely with the woman and treating her as a more fragile vessel means not being a grumpy bear. The following is written in Colossians 3:19, Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. And if we lack the wisdom to deal with the situation, let us pray to God in prayer and He will respond favorably.

Surely God will direct us to His Word and tell us something similar to what is written in Ephesians 5:25-28, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

Certainly the Word of God also gives the command to women what to do and how to behave with their husbands. And it would be a foolish thing to say that most of them do their part. But that does not stop you, man, to fulfill yours. Remember that the commandment has been given by God, not your wife. So before whom you will respond for violating it is before God. Whether or not she fulfills what she has, it does not entitle you to do the same. Be responsible for what is your part and leave the rest to God.

Look closely at the comparison Paul makes in Ephesians 5:25-28, compare you, man, with Christ and your wife compares it to the church. Look carefully that Jesus Christ did not wait for all of us to repent of our sins to die on the cross. He took the first step, He gave Himself up before the first person showed repentance. That is our example, boys, the first step is ours. After that, let’s bend knees and, without a doubt, our prayers will be without hindrance and will be answered favorably. God bless you.