Renewing Our Mind

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2

It is said today that it is necessary to have an open mind in order to assimilate the changes in society. Then they are harshly criticized those who are not yet in line with the themes of “art” as the redefinition of marriage, legalization of drugs or abortion, among others. Those who still oppose on grounds of conscience were said to have narrow or closed mind. Romans 12:2 tells us to renew our understanding; but it not exactly means that we open our mind to accept the things of the world, quite the contrary.

A confirmation of what Romans 12:2 is written in Ephesians 4:22-24: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. It is clear that our renewal has nothing to do with the modern world but to put aside the things of the world and consider God’s.

I understand that the task of renewing our mind is not easy. We constantly receive the bombardment of ideas contrary to God, which is nothing amazing. And the Bible said in 2 Corinthians 4:4: whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. The god of this age is none other than the devil, who controls the purse strings of the world to blind the minds of people so that they do not know the truth.

If we already know God, we must think differently to those who have not had that opportunity. Let’s see what he says about Titus 1:15: To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. If the enemy has blinded the minds of unbelievers, it is logical that their minds are corrupted. Then clearly a corrupt mind cannot think of pure things.

And while the devil blind understanding, Jesus Christ gives us understanding. 1 John 5:20 says: And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Therefore, with the understanding that Christ gives us, we can renew our minds.

A renewed mind should be equal to that of the Master. 1 Corinthians 2:16 says: For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. Having the mind of Christ can transform and renew our understanding, so that we understand the will of God, which is good and acceptable and perfect. God bless you.

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God Wants Our Wellness

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

In the book of Jeremiah we have one of the most beautiful promises from God: His thoughts toward us are of peace and not of evil. As our Father, all that God wants for us is good. All He expects from us is to seek Him wholeheartedly. What good knows that we have a good Father in heaven!

Before I know the Lord I had some plans and defined goals for my life. After living for more than a decade in Puerto Rico and go through good and bad situations, I had decided to live the rest of my life in Texas. While doing my doctoral studies in Puerto Rico, I did a thorough analysis of each state of the American union and had concluded that the best place to live was Texas and worst of all was Florida.

I moved to Texas in mid-2001 and, although things were not always rosy for me there, most of the time I felt at ease. However, after almost a year in Texas, my life changed and I went to Florida, where I have remained for longer than anywhere else belonging to the United States. I am honest, I do not like the place; but I’ve put it here because it has not left me in any doubt that this is God’s plan for my life.

In the human, things seem not go right for me. Being in a place that I do not like, without a steady job almost half the time I have lived in Florida. Withstand numerous tests of all kinds seems to fit with thoughts of peace, according to Scripture, God has for me. However, I do not think wiser than God and also you believe Him So do not think the Lord is lying when it says Jeremiah 29:11-13. It’s probably me who do not quite understand and assimilate the peace that God wants to give me.

If I’ve shared what happened with me, opening my heart is because maybe you’re going through tests similar to mine. Maybe today you hear or read this message you have many more questions than answers. You might not understand why you’re under certain circumstances not want to be. If you have been angry with God because your dreams and desires are not fulfilled, you stop and meditate on what it says Jeremiah 29:11-13.

We need to do what we have: call on the Lord and go before Him, praying and looking for Him with all our heart. Only then shall we find and He will hear us. Then His thoughts of peace and not of evil to give us that hope. From all this, glory be to Him who lives forever. His plans and purposes wellness are fulfilled in our lives. God bless you.

Duty to God

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

1 John 2:3-6

The apostle John brings a very interesting topic to ponder. The question to ask is: if we are under grace, we must also comply with the law? Why John speaks of keeping the commandments as a requirement to demonstrate that we know God? These questions can bring much theological discussion. But as always, the best way to find real answers is allowing the Spirit to give us God’s own revelation.

Once a Christian friend argued with me saying that nowhere in the Bible command us to fulfill the commandments but simply keeping them. If we seek to keep definition in the dictionary we find the following: care, monitor, guard; put something in the right place; save, not spend; comply, observe a rule; maintain, observe; guard, wary of a risk; avoid. Therefore, keeping not only means something in custody but involves compliance or observation of the rule.

The issue is not followed to the letter the commandments of God because thereby we earn heaven. First, humans are totally unable to meet God’s standard. Nobody can boast of keeping or fully complies with commandments. Second, precisely because of our inability to pass the test successfully, it is impossible for us to win heaven by our own merits.

Observe the commandments of God must be a consequence of having known Him. Once we relate to Him, it is inevitable that our lives change. When Moses met with God in the desert of Sinai, was remarkable glory of God in his face, to the point that the glow was strong enough to damage the eyes of those who watched him. So, our best proof that God dwells in us is to avoid doing all those things He rejects which has clearly written in His Holy Word.

Demonstrate the love of God for us for keeping us what His Word says. Do not turn the freedom He has given us by freeing ourselves from the chains of sin into a license to break His commandments. Although salvation is free for us, we must not forget that its price is invaluable. The cost of the blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary is incalculable. God paid just as much to rescue every sinner who repents. Our obedience to His commands is only a slight acknowledgment of His great love, His delivery and the best demonstration of gratitude we can provide. Consider as our bounden duty to keep the Word of our loving Heavenly Father. God bless you.

Best Demonstration of God’s Love

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4: 9-10

Much has been written about love. Literature and cinema are full of stories of unselfish love, from Romeo and Juliet to the fictional characters of Jack and Rose in the film Titanic directed by James Cameron in 1997. However, none of those beautiful love stories can be compared with the story of God’s love for us.

My native country has given excellent composers. Currently, no doubt Juan Luis Guerra is the most well known internationally for the quality of his musical work. However, the best song of all time written by a Dominican is definitely “For Love” of Rafael Solano, which premiered in November 1968. Many famous singers, including Placido Domingo, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Vicky Carr, Gloria Estefan and Jon Secada have recorded this song, which has also been translated into several languages.

There are several verses of this popular song about love of God. The first one says, “For love have been created men on the face of the Earth.” Another part of the song says: “For love was once to Calvary with a cross slope him who also for love gave his whole soul.” Regarding this, John 3:16 tells us: 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.

God’s love is unconditional and its main feature is giving up. There is no greater love than this, as Jesus Himself told His disciples in John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. If we were impressed when we saw on the screen as Jack sacrifice his life to save Rose in Titanic, this gesture is nothing compared to what made Jesus Christ the Son of God on the cross of Calvary for you and for me.

Some will say that loves God that he or she strives to be a good person and fulfill what he or she thinks is the will of our Father in heaven. However, our own sinful nature leads us constantly to fail the God who we claim to love. Every sin is a betrayal of loved God, whom we are being unfaithful with our actions. So no one can feel secure that loves God when our spiritual adultery says otherwise.

Surely God loves us, so that He has sacrificed His Son for each of us. Jesus was delivered to suffer the worst death to give us a chance to be forgiven for all our sins and all that was for His great love. All we can do to please the outpouring of love is to repent of our sins and make Jesus our Lord. God bless you.

A Grateful Heart

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

These days, many people overlook thanksgiving. There are people who believe that good things they receive are well deserved and, therefore, do not feel obliged to thank anyone. Others are so selfish that they just want their welfare no matter who they run over. According to what the Apostle Paul tells us in his First Letter to the Thessalonians, who do such things are violating God’s will.

When I moved to the United States, I was extremely impressed with the celebration of Thanksgiving Day, which is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November. I was impressed to see the solemnity of that day and as people gathered in homes to share a meal and thank God for all the blessings received during the year will soon be over.

I have been very involved with this national holiday of my adopted country. In 2006, for the first time since I moved to the United States, I spent the day outside the country. My wife and I traveled to her native Peru, where we celebrate Thanksgiving with relatives in the same way that takes place in North America. On that day we share with those present on the occasion to celebrate a special day to thank God and motivate them to continue to do so.

However, in recent years, I have seen, unfortunately, it has lost the spirit of the celebration of Thanksgiving in the America. With the emergence of Black Friday, just next day after Thanksgiving, many people are more concerned in taking advantage of special to shop than stop thanking God for all the good they received.

What is happening in the world that people no longer are grateful? In the 24th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord gives the signs of the end times. Matthew 24:12 says: And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Whoever loves is grateful, but the lack of love is expressed with the lack of a grateful heart. Children do not thank their parents for giving life rather they believe their parents only have obligations to them. Spouses not thank each other for acts of service that manifest. And worst of all is that we give thanks to God for anything, because we believe that He is under our service for everything we crave.

When we repeat the Lord’s Prayer we say to God that His will be done. However, we refuse to make the will of God of giving thanks in all circumstances. Thousands of people die every day. Those who woke up healthy have a good reason to thank God for it. Many people in many parts of the world lack a roof or food, we have that, we should thank God every day for food, house and health, among many things we take for granted. Let live it with a grateful heart. God bless you.

Following the instructions of God

When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.” But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country.

Mateo 9:27-31

Jesus performed many miracles and His reaction after healing someone, sometimes He would ask them to testify about the miracle received; but, on other occasions, He told them not to tell anyone. In this healing of two blind men, Matthew says that Jesus commanded them that they should not disclose to anyone that they regained sight. This rigorous assignment of Jesus must have been an order given with all the authority of the Son of God. However, the two blind men completely disobeyed that order and revealed to everyone what had happened.

How many times have we revealed the secret confided by someone? How often have we been reckless studs opening our mouth? Each of these cases result in embarrassing situations participants thereof. And here we are only talking about the human plane. Now let’s see how bad is when we decided to ignore the order that God has given us and do the opposite. Disobedience to God’s command is called sin, and the consequence of sin is death, which means total separation from God’s presence. We gain nothing when we deaf to strict assignment that comes from God and yes we all lose.

Several years ago, someone sent me an email with an interesting history, which can serve as an illustration for the title of this reflection. Sometime an expert mountaineer decided to climb a high mountain. He came to a point where it would camp that night. However, his eagerness to reach his goal led him to try to continue ascending the mountain. Halfway through his rise, his foot slipped and fell into the void, leaving only hanging on a rope. In their desperation, the climber cried out to God to save him. In response to his prayer, he heard a voice saying to him; “Cut the rope, cut the rope.” The man, rather than give case to this voice, clung with all his strength to the rope. The next day, rescuers found the man killed by freezing, clinging with both hands to a rope and just 12 inches off the ground.

Every day we pray to God and ask Him to guide us on our way. However, I wonder if we are really listening and following His guideline. There may be those who say they do not hear the voice of God and, therefore, until He comes and talks they are not going to lift a finger. The truth is that our Heavenly Father has many ways to communicate His will for our lives. Hearing an audible voice is possibly His most unusual way of communicating with us. Many of the instructions He is given to us come through His Word. God bless you.

Self Analysis Before Analysis

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:1-5

The natural human tendency is to observe and criticize the mistakes and shortcomings of others. Most people are trying to place blame on the sidewalk in front. How comfortable is blaming others! However, one must be very brave or being touched by the Spirit of God to acknowledge mistakes and own shortcomings. What are hard to pronounce the words “I was wrong”!

Jesus teaches us that we look first to our faults before taking into account our neighbor. Many problems would be avoided if before lifting our accuser finger against others recognize our own share of the blame. Thus, it would be easier for the other to recognize himself or herself in what would have failed as leading by example.

Every human being is imperfect. In a way, we all have our own factory defects. And I do not just mean physical defects, which are sometimes noticeable, but those hidden things that nobody can see. If I’m trying to bring others to the knowledge of the truth of the Bible, I must be the first ministering to myself with this message and fulfill myself a self-analysis.

I must admit that although many times I try to overcome my weaknesses, I really marked the good and bad features of my melancholy temperament. In this regard, I constantly fight against my spirit of criticism that project both made those around me as I did myself, why I use to feel very unhappy with myself. Besides that, I am very sensitive and picky; sometimes I’m also moody, depressed and antisocial.

Continuing my self-analysis, I am intolerant and impatient with those who do not see things as I do. Being an idealist, sometimes I tend to be impractical and too theoretical. I get angry easily and have very sudden emotional changes. I hate to be interrupted when I focus on something I consider important. Other of my defects include being pessimistic, hypochondriac, introspective, proud and egotistical. And worst of all is my pleasure to give a picture of suffering.

As you can see, I, Tony Tejada, who every day bring you these messages, I am an imperfect being and have found not one but many logs in my eye. With all humility, I invite you now who read or hear this message that you apply yourself, what our Lord said in Matthew 7:1-5. I know it might work a little difficult, because the human tendency is to try to save his own image before others. But I tell you, if you do, your image will emerge before God. I wish many blessings for you.