Tag Archives: Lent

God is merciful, but is paying attention Ezekiel 33: 7-20

[for the audio please click on the above link]

We make our beginning in the Name of God the Father and in the Name of God the Son and in the Name of God the Holy Spirit and all those who live and turn from their evil ways said … AMEN

We are in the season of Lent, we should reflect on what our life is about all year long and certainly repent at those times when we have sinned and failed God. Reflection, repentance, are the primary focus of Lent. Today’s readings emphasize that. Most of the Bible is very straightforward, very real in the day to day lives of the people it describes. Many people like the mysticism, the mystery of many other beliefs, just for that reason and dismiss Christianity as being a little too prosaic and not mysterious enough. I disagree, the realness of the Bible, from beginning to end, make it totally relatable, real world, it describes the darkness and sinfulness of a fallen world, and it describes in very gritty, earthy ways many of the people in the Bible. There was little mystical about David, Elijah, Peter, they were very manly-earthy-gritty men, even Jesus. The Bible is not about being mystical, mystery, that so many try to make it out to be, but in some respects it is. There are compelling mysteries in Christian theology: The Trinity, the atonement of Jesus, the virgin birth of Jesus, the resurrection. There are mysteries that we may never understand, but that does not diminish the very straightforward realities of who Jesus is, how we are saved, what the Father does in our lives everyday as we are guided by the Holy Spirit. There are mystical parts to the Bible. Daniel can be, Revelation certainly is, parts of Isaiah. Kenneth Stevenson and Michael Glerup write: “Ezekiel also leaves its mark on the New Testament. The image of Jesus as the Shepherd (Matthew 18: 12-14; John 10: 11-18) finds its inspiration in the prophecy about the shepherds and the sheep (Ezekiel 1: 5-10). Revelation bears several significant traces of the influence of Ezekiel: the vision of the chariot from heaven with the four living creatures (Ezek 40-48; Rev 21-22) … and each book ends with a vision of the new temple.”[1] In our reading today Ezekiel is pretty straight forward, and according to Stevenson and Glerup; “…his teaching about judgment seems at times harsher than the message of Isaiah and Jeremiah.”[2]

Through Ezekiel, Yahweh is pretty tough on Israel and He could be saying essentially the same thing to today’s culture. David Peters writes: “You are no better than the Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite and your mother was a Hittite [reminds me of the Monty Python line Your father was a hamster and your mother smelt of elderberry –mine] You were such an ugly baby they left you out to die.” (Ez 3: 7-9) Peters goes on to write: “This is pretty rough talk coming from the Lord. God compared them to the people for whom they had the least respect – the Samaritans and the Sodoms. This sarcasm attracted the people’s attention and they protested that God was being unfair to them. God replied, “You say, ‘The Lord is being unfair in his assessment of us?!’ Listen to me! You are the ones being unfair not I.’” (Ez 18:25) In a contest as to who is fair, God will always win.”[3]

The most poignant part of the lessons for me is when Ezekiel takes his foot off the gas in the middle of the reading to remind his audience: “As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked should turn from his way and live, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ez 33:11) Who is the “house of Israel” that God is talking to? … Yes, us, we are Israel. Jesus is Israel, we are in Jesus, even 500 years before Jesus, God, through Ezekiel, is talking to us and almost pleading with us. I don’t want to see people die in their sins, I don’t want to see people lost in Hell for eternity, that is horrible, I want you to fear me enough, to know who I am, what I have done for you and for you to stop resisting and find peace and rest in My grace. God is often practically pleading with us, stop it, get over this ridiculous, rebellious, attitude that only leads to death! We should be in a state of reflection, repentance and prayer all year long, but we have been given this time of Lent to specifically reflect on the reality of the state of our sinful nature. Not as a way to beat you down, but as a way for you to truly live “I am the way the truth and the life…” Jesus tells us. His way, life and life more abundant in the resurrection. The world’s way is sin and death. We may think Ezekiel is being overly harsh, but God, through Ezekiel, is desperately trying to steer us away from our rebellious and sinful nature and find true life, hope, promise and eternal life of perfection in Him. Is there any doubt that when someone repents, stops his rebellious ways that the Father will be joyful? Luke writes: “ESV Luke 15:7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Because we can’t have it our way, we act as if God is the enemy. We live in a “gotcha” culture. It’s not about what you do, the great ways you serve, the things you accomplish. There are people out there who genuinely think they are serving by waiting in the weeds in order to “gotcha” on the most trivial issues and show what a truly horrible person you are. The world tries to project that mind-set on to God. Nothing can be further from the truth. The “gotcha” God wants is the times when you realize your sin, repent and mourn in ashes over your sin and realize all that He has done to save you and give you eternal life. Is there any doubt in your mind that the Father, on His throne, will be smiling when you realize what has been done for you? Sure He knows who He has saved, but in the middle of the joy of heaven, there will be the Father’s smile of satisfaction, that His plan in that person has come to pass? In the parable of the talents Jesus tells us how our Master, God, “Enter into the joy of your master.” (Luke 25: 21, 23) The world tries to convince us it’s an “us against Him”.

By the same token, He isn’t playing. You want to take the wide road into the wide gate, do it your way? You can’t expect God to be pleased with your destructive behavior. He wants to save you, Jesus came in order to be the salvation of the world. The Godhead knows that most of the world faces destruction, death, the eternal wrath of God, and why shouldn’t they who have rejected God? God takes no pleasure over the death of the wicked, but they made their choice and rejected God. Ezekiel writes: “Again, though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’, yet if he turns from his sin and does what is just and right,…he shall surely live; he shall not die.” (Ez 33: 14, 15). Through the Holy Spirit, the Father has made the path to salvation quite obvious and doesn’t make us jump through hoops to be in Him, as all other beliefs do. He gives us pure, unqualified grace in His Son Jesus. Jesus did the hard work and the heavy lifting. Jesus died on the Cross the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the entire world. God made the road to salvation quite obvious in His Son’s life, death and resurrection. There is nothing we can do to earn it, to justify it, to deserve it, it is given to us to have life and life more abundant.

In our Gospel reading people are asking Jesus if the people who died because of Pilate or an accident somehow deserved such violent deaths because they were bad people. The people asking were somehow “good” and those that died got what they deserved. Jesus replied: “No, I tell you; unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Not that a tower will fall on all of them, but Jesus was saying, keep doing what you’re doing and you will all die in your sins, you will be condemned to the eternal fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. We do not have a “gotcha” God who is just waiting to condemn us. John 3:16 for God so loved the world that He gave us His Son to give us a sure and certain way to salvation, everlasting, perfect life in the resurrection. Trust in Him who does so much for us, turn and repent and know that in Him, in His church, in our baptism in Him and in the Lord’s Supper when we eat His Body and Blood, in Jesus’ life and sacrificial death, He has saved you to that eternal life in the resurrection. He wants what is best for you and waits to give it to you. There is no joy in the death of a sinner, there is joy in the man and woman who repents and receives the free gift of grace in Jesus.

The peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amin and Shalom

 

[1] Stevenson and Glerup in “Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture Ezekiel, Daniel” p xx

[2] Ibid p xiv

[3] David Peters “The many Faces of Biblical Humor”

Jesus the rejected prophet Luke 13:31-35

[For the audio version please click on the above icon]

We make our beginning in the Name of God the Father and in the Name of God the Son and in the Name of God the Holy Spirit and all those who know that Jesus is not to be ignored or treated lightly said … AMEN!

Today’s Gospel reading emphasizes the rejected prophet. Essentially we see the leadership of Israel telling Jesus to go take a powder. “We have everything under control, we know what we’re doing, thanks for sharing, but we will keep doing what we’re doing and stop in sometime when you can’t stay so long.” Adios, ave weidershein, dospedonia, aurevoir, see you later Charlie. It might appear that this is a warning from some well meaning Pharisee, but it’s more like “Herod wants to kill you and that’s just fine with us, see ya, don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.” Now of course the more cultured and refined of society would never say such things, they would just be snotty and presumptuous, clearly the Pharisees heart is full of hate. Sound familiar? Ya, we get that a lot in the world today. Not so much that anyone is going to kill you, no, you can get in trouble for that. Not so much that they want to see you physically dead, as much as just ruined, maybe … tee hee, some serious suffering, ostracism, and of course the trademark worldly, ridicule. Back in the day though ridicule was just as satisfying by stoning someone or wagging your finger at them, as they would do, while someone hung in shame from a cross.

Jesus had just taken a thinly veiled shot at those who presumed to be so religious, who were sure that they had been saved. Someone had just asked Him: “Lord will those who are saved be few?” Jesus’ reply was “strive to enter through the narrow gate”. While many will tell Jesus at the end time all about how much they did for Him, Jesus’ reply to those who put on a good show, but didn’t live up to it? “Depart from me all you workers of evil”. Does kind of make you stop and think. When we do that we need to drop our perspective, “I did this, I did that, aren’t I a swell guy” and start looking at it from Jesus’ perspective. “Is Jim doing My will, or is He just putting on a swell display for His own gratification? Is He serving me, or is Jim serving Jim?” The Pharisees knew full well what Jesus was saying when He answered the question. They were putting on a show, and in their heart they knew it, and their reaction to Jesus showed defensiveness on their part. “Really Jesus, you’re saying that we will be condemned?” Jesus did go on to say, to those “workers of evil, of iniquity” to depart: “In that place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out.” (Luke 13: 28) So Jesus is telling them what? … They are going to be going to Hell. They’ve been running their own show, it’s not about God, even though they claim to be all about God. It’s about them using God and their place as, presumably, God’s chosen leaders and them receiving all the glory and benefit. They’re not going to worry too much about turning the spotlight on God, that would take away from them.

The Pharisees are really acting as though they’re out on the playground, “oh yeah Jesus? We’re the cool kids and our boy Herod, well he’s going to fix your little red wagon.” But it wasn’t a fight after school, surrounded by all of Herod’s bully buddies. Herod could easily take Jesus and have Him executed and that’s just what the Pharisees wanted to see, so that they would have the satisfaction of wagging their fingers at Him and that is what they would do.

Jesus or the Pharisees might not be thinking about it, but Jesus has already been in Herod’s sights. Herod the Great tried to end the issue way back, when Jesus was a baby, when Herod sent soldiers into Bethlehem to slaughter the Holy Innocents. Jesus was supposed to be one of those innocents. But it wasn’t God’s will.

Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees was : “Go and tell that fox”! Herod you have no idea who you’re playing with. To the effect you better be careful and think about what I’ve already done. I’m not someone to toy with, try to bully, I’ve demonstrated who I am and you, Herod, had better be very careful of how you play this. This Herod, the one who tried to avoid executing John the Baptizer, was no where near as decisive as his father. No doubt Jesus would have put Herod the Great on notice the same way He was warning Herod Antipas, but he wanted Herod Antipas to be very aware: “Go tell that fox…” Jesus knew who Herod was, crafty, sneaky, a man without honor, who was more concerned with his ego, not to be trusted. Again not uncommon in post-modern man or woman. Go tell that self-obsessed ego maniac who he’s dealing with. “Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course.” You’re not in control buddy, I am. You don’t decide what happens, I do. I’ve done things you could never do, I will decide when it’s over and then what happens, I’m God the Son! You Herod will be taking that wide road to destruction where you will be weeping and gnashing your teeth, along with your self-important Pharisee buddies. So I’m going to pick up and leave from here, I’ve made my point and now it’s on to Jerusalem where God’s plan will be worked out according to His will, not the will of some two-bit despot.

At this point Jesus probably turned in the direction of Jerusalem, what should be the holy city, but in reality the one where God’s prophets are shamefully killed. What is partly in despair and partly dejection such high hopes for you, Jerusalem, and yet you’re just as grimy and sin-filled as the rest of the world and you camoflouge it with ornamentation and pretense. If Jerusalem is guilty of its arrogance and rejection of God the Son all the more the rest of the world. Jesus declares that Jerusalem is forsaken and will be with those who take the road to destruction. For those of us who know Jesus as our Savior, how can we show the rest of the world His glory and mercy and how in need all of us are of Him?

The peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amin and Shalom

For God so loved all peoples, all heritages John 3: 14-21 First St Johns Mar 15, 2015

[For the audio version of this sermon please click on the above link]

We make our beginning in the Name of God the Father and in the Name of God the Son and in the Name of God the Holy Spirit, and all those who are brothers and sisters in Jesus said … AMEN!!

You may have heard me refer to St Patricks as the “high holy day”, if you grew up where I grew up, it would be easy to come to that conclusion. I went to the St Patrick’s Day mass in Boston, once. It was conducted, by then, Cardinal Law. You wanna talk “high holy day”, that was it. The worship service, for what was during the week, was very ornate and well attended. This was at the Cardinal’s seat at Holy Cross Church in Boston. Say what you will about the Roman Catholic Church, but I left there very much feeling as if I had been in worship.

The story is told of Mayor James Michael Curley of Boston. Mayor Curley was quite the character, sort of a Robin Hood figure at the time, which was pretty much during the depression. He couldn’t make March 17 a holiday for a Christian Saint, he tried to find an historical event to commemorate. He hit upon the fact that March 17 is when the British evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War. Well the fact that our Boston ancestors drove the mighty British out of Boston wasn’t something that not only the old Boston Yankees would happily commemorate, but also the Irish-American population would also buy into. Call it what you would, there was a holiday on March 17 and we all know what it’s really about. Evacuation Day is still a recognized holiday in Middlesex and Suffolk counties where Boston is located in. And it is duly celebrated.

Heritage is an important thing, it should be shared and celebrated. Right here we have at least four different groups in First St Johns Lutheran Church that are very serious in the living and celebrating of their heritage and there is nothing wrong with that. In a society that has become so splintered and so alienated, I submit that those people who remember their heritage, share that heritage with others of the same group, make sure that their children, grandchildren and other relatives remember that and don’t surrender to what has become an increasingly homogenized society. As much as diversity is promoted in today’s society, it really is putting away ethnic and religious heritages, to be bound together under an increasingly secular and humanist heritage. Many talk a good game about heritage, the lack of knowledge of American and ethnic history is getting to be scandalous. Too many young people can’t even think in historical terms, as if what came before them doesn’t matter and yet has very much made them what they are. This lack of anchoring in our society, to our Christian heritage and our family heritage has left us with a society that is increasingly detached and alienated.

When you were baptized, you became a new person. In Baptism you are “born again”, you are given real life, in Jesus Christ, you are that new man or woman. Because of that you are born into a new heritage. You may be of German ethnicity or Irish or Spanish, African-American, Italian, but as the song says “…in Christ alone…” We share a heritage that goes back to the beginning in Jesus. As Paul wrote to the Galatian brothers: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

Because it is the “high holy day”, I bring this up because I do try to make St Patricks a little special. I know it’s the middle of Lent and should be somber. Sundays, though, even in Lent, are still festival days on the church calendar. It’s odd how it works out and if you would like me to explain it, I will, but I see St Patricks as a way to kind of stay in touch with the culture that I was brought up in and even as a Lutheran was included in. I have to admit, being of Irish/Yankee ethnicity, makes me an oddball in the Lutheran Church. Although it’s not the only thing that does, but I see St Patricks as a way to remember not just our ethnic identity, but so much more importantly our identity in Jesus.

One reason that I have felt it was so important to recite the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds with the word “catholic” is to emphasize that the Lutheran Church is very much a universal church. We should not concede that to any other church. We are universal and the Lutheran Church has members and churches in almost every country in the world. There are countries where Christianity is seriously repressed, so we really don’t know what church is or isn’t represented. The fastest growing Lutheran population in the world is not in the United States or Europe, it’s in …. Africa, by far. “…there are over 16 million Lutherans in Africa?  To put that in perspective, that’s more Lutherans than in all of North America. Unlike the Church in Europe and North America, Africa as well as Asia is seeing phenomenal growth in membership.” Put in perspective, from Dr Luther grew the churches of modern Protestantism. [1] Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, genuine Protestant Christian, excluding Anabaptist churches, churches are the result of what Martin Luther did 500 years ago. We are all truly brothers and sisters in Christ. Often more brothers and sisters than the people that we share physical parents with.

I may use St Patricks Day to add a little twist into worship, I try to do it better, but it never seems to come about. But we have a shared heritage that far transcends what countries our ancestors were born in, we have a heritage that matters for eternity. Jesus died for all of us equally, we are all equally saved in Jesus, whether you were baptized last week, or seventy years ago. I am no more saved because I’m of Irish descent than you are of German descent, or Spanish, African American. In the eternal resurrection our heritage is solely in He who died so that we could be saved. He who is the Lord of our life, in this life and in the life eternal. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” World, ko,smoj in Greek means “…the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race”[2] We are all brothers and sisters in the Holy Catholic, universal Lutheran church of Jesus Christ.

The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Shalom and Amin.

[1] See more at: http://www.messiahlacrescent.org/2010/09/lutherans-in-africa/#sthash.x7ApeFjD.dpuf

[2] BibleWorks

Tentación Ojos Primeros St Johns Santiago 1: 12-18 22 de febrero 2015

Hacemos nuestro comienzo en el Nombre de Dios el Padre y en el nombre de Dios el Hijo y en el nombre de Dios el Espíritu Santo, y todos aquellos que han mantenido firmes en ensayo dijimos … AMEN!

A principios de 1970, una de las primeras canciones que recuerdo como un adolescente, irónicamente, fue por un grupo llamado los Grass Roots, titulada “Temptation Eyes”. Era una canción de rock duro de conducción, lo que, realmente caracteriza a la tentación. Para mí, la tentación es una especie de esta conducción duro, casi perforando en que este deseo, sólo hay que tenerlo. Las letras, para una canción secular, realmente te dan una sensación de la tentación. “Ella tiene algo que mueve mi alma …” Una canción secular hablando de algo que llega a la derecha abajo en el alma. Esta tentación que es tan convincente es mover este cantante con un ritmo de rock duro.

No tenga ninguna duda de que cuando Jesús fue tentado por Satanás, Jesús se sentía la tentación que fue perforando hacia abajo en él. El desierto no es un lugar acogedor, hace calor, es seco (a menos, claro está nevando y lluvia helada en York, entonces es casi acogedor.) Tentación para protegerse del sol, de agua fresca, refrigerante, para la comida, es convincente en el desierto. Pero a medida que el autor de Hebreos nos dice: “Pues en cuanto él mismo padeció cuando fue tentado, es poderoso para socorrer a los que son tentados. Este pasaje nos asegura que Jesús sufrió. Sintió la tentación en el fondo. Él sabe que somos tentados y Él sabe que la tentación nos puede dirigir a las cosas que no son buenas para nosotros, que tienen nuestros ojos de Aquel que es nuestra esperanza y promesa. Pero también debido a esto sabemos que podemos confiar en Él.

Con demasiada frecuencia nos ocupamos de las cosas en nuestras vidas que llegan hasta en nuestra alma. Otros tratan de darnos consuelo y seguridad, “oh no es nada”, que pueden mantenerse fuertes y hacer frente. Es una gran diferencia entre hombres y mujeres. Hay cosas que las mujeres compiten con, que se ven tentados por, que, como los hombres que no lo entiendo. Simplemente no podemos empatizar con la compulsión que sienten. Y ciertamente viceversa. Podemos decirnos cosas lindas, y pensamos que estamos ayudando, pero demasiado a menudo que realmente no somos y podemos estar agravando la situación. Sin embargo, con Jesús, basado en las palabras de Santiago y del escritor de Hebreos, se nos asegura que Jesús entiende. Con demasiada frecuencia nos hacemos una imagen de Dios como enojado y vengativo, a la espera de nosotros derribar cuando estamos siquiera tanto como la tentación. Ese es Dios para muchos, a los que no son salvos en Jesús. Pero nosotros, que somos salvos en Jesús, que han nacido de nuevo como hombres y mujeres nuevos, guardados en Cristo, tenemos un Salvador que entiende, que quiere ayudar a empujar hacia atrás contra la tentación antes de estar abrumado y cedemos. La tentación no es un pecado, Marcos nos dice que Jesús fue tentado (Marcos 1:13), sabemos con certeza que Jesús no pecó. Pero para nosotros, que son débiles en nosotros mismos, es demasiado fácil para que la tentación que nos impulsen a hacer algo que es pecado. Santiago escribe: “… cada uno es tentado cuando es atraído y seducido por su propia voluntad. Entonces el deseo, cuando se ha concebido, da a luz el pecado y el pecado, siendo consumado da a luz la muerte “(Santiago 1: 14-15). La tentación está a nuestro alrededor, el Ben y Jerry sabes es en el congelador, la ira, la venganza , hacer las cosas que usted y otra persona duelen. Encienda la televisión, la computadora, libros, revistas, es por todas partes. Cuando cedemos al pecado, nos encontramos con excusas y racionalizaciones que empujan a Jesús y hacen que el pecado un ídolo, y luego cruzamos la línea y cometemos pecado.

Nuestro Salvador entiende que, Él no está de pie junto a nosotros a la espera de que hagamos ese movimiento en falso, que te pillé. Él ha estado allí, en este tiempo de Cuaresma recordamos Su tiempo en el desierto. Desde que Jesús puede relacionarse con los que son suyos, porque, como el escritor de plumas Hebreos: “Porque no tenemos un sumo sacerdote que no pueda compadecerse de nuestras debilidades, sino uno que en todos los aspectos ha sido tentado como nosotros , … “(Hebreos 4:15), pero luego se va a decir,” pero sin pecado. ”

Jesús sabe lo que nos enfrenta, él no se relacionan con nosotros. Aún más, si se lo permitimos, el Espíritu Santo llegará a abajo y fortalecernos. A menudo pensamos que el pecado como un regalo, que Pooh-Pooh cosas como más de caer en los alimentos. No es saludable para nosotros, es el debilitamiento de nuestro cuerpo, nos hace menos capaces de servir a Jesús ya nuestros hermanos y hermanas en Jesús. Claro que en la moderación, pero en este día y edad? No somos un pueblo moderados. ¿Has visto a Ben y brebaje de Jerry, formulado por Jimmy Fallon, me pone en un coma diabético con sólo mirarlo.

No haga usted se pregunta, ¿por qué Satanás incluso tratar con Jesús. Satanás sabe mejor que nadie cómo va a terminar. Pero él quiere que fracasemos. Él quiere que lo dejemos. Es evidente que Jesús había venido al mundo para estropear los planes y esquemas de Satanás. No se puede esperar que Satanás sólo juguetear con sus pulgares mientras Jesús deshace todo el mal y el pecado del mundo. No se puede esperar que él se dio por vencido, quiere descubrir el mundo, que ha sido condenado, él quiere que todos condenó. Así que tuvo que hacer retroceder contra Jesús. Pero Satanás no es normalmente en la parte superior, no es por lo general en la cara. Él es generalmente sutil, continuamente tratando de socavar. Él está poniendo la tentación delante de usted para que usted salga y ceder. Va a dejar de preocuparse acerca de lo que Jesús quiere y sólo se centran en el objeto de su deseo.

Escribir sobre nuestras vocaciones en la vida; trabajo, la familia, la iglesia, la comunidad; “Wingren dice que ‘Tentación en la vocación es el intento del diablo para conseguir al hombre de su vocación” (121) El Dr. Gen Veith continúa escribiendo: El diablo quiere que renuncies. Él quiere que renuncie a su trabajo. Él quiere que usted pueda obtener un divorcio. Él quiere que dejes de hacer las cosas para que el manojo ingrato en la iglesia. Él quiere que le digas a tus hijos a ‘hacer lo que quieras hacer. Me doy por vencido. “Él quiere que deje esa congregación porque es nada más que problemas.” ¿Eso es no es el mundo que vemos hoy? La izquierda y la derecha vemos esta dando en la tentación. No sólo las tentaciones obvias, la lujuria, la gula, la avaricia, la ira, etc. La tentación más sutil de darse por vencido. ¿Por qué tratar? El gobierno proporcionará para usted, algún familiar proporcionará para usted, la iglesia, debe, proporcionar para usted. ¿Por qué tratar en el trabajo? La gente está significan para usted allí. ¿Por qué tratar en su matrimonio? Si alguien no te hace feliz, volcar ’em. ¿Por qué tratar con sus hijos, sólo lo van a hacer lo que quieren. ¿Por qué tratar con su iglesia? El pastor no tiene remedio, nada bueno está pasando y por supuesto, sabemos que la iglesia sólo está lleno de hipócritas de todos modos.

Sí, la mentalidad cobarde que vemos en el mundo hoy en día. Usted puede dar al mundo, puede dejar que Satanás te llevan lejos y dar en la tentación de que olas en frente de usted para dejar de fumar, a darse por vencido. Jesús pudo haber dejar en el desierto, sólo lleno en ella, “hey, no es mi problema, van a tener que hacer frente a esta tentación cosas ellos mismos.” Él no lo hizo! Él fue fiel a usted, para asegurarse de que tenía esa esperanza y la promesa de que usted tiene un Salvador que no va a dejar de fumar por ti. Él nos da la fe para seguir confiando en él, pero sólo seguir adelante y Chuck se? Entonces, ¿qué? Apocalipsis capítulos 2 y 3, Jesús está diciendo a los lectores que se enfrentarán a terribles tribulaciones. Jesús promete el que vence: “Al vencedor y guarda mis obras hasta el fin, yo le daré autoridad sobre las naciones … Él será vestido de vestiduras blancas y no borraré su nombre del libro de vida. Y confesaré su nombre delante de mi Padre y delante de sus ángeles … Aférrate a fin de que nadie tome tu corona … le haré columna en el templo de mi Dios … “Leer los capítulos 2 y 3 en el Libro del Apocalipsis . Él nos advierte, pero las promesas que hace a los que son fieles, son eternos y abrumadora.

La gran cosa es, Jesús no nos deja a nuestra propia fuerza para vencer la tentación y el pecado. Sabemos que tenemos Su promesa para defendernos, para protegernos, para darnos la fe que necesitamos. Pero lo triste es que, cuando Él está de pie allí nos protege y nos acaba de huir, se trate sólo de nosotros mismos? Mandisa es un gran cantante de rock cristiano, estas letras son de una canción reciente:

“Todo el mundo ha sido golpeado por la parte inferior, golpeó el suelo, Ooh, usted no está solo

Basta con echar un aliento, no se olvide, aferrarse a sus promesas, Él quiere que usted sepa

Usted es un vencedor, estancia en la lucha “hasta la ronda final, No vas bajo

Porque Dios te está sosteniendo en este momento

Sea un vencedor, no se rinda a la tentación. La letra de la canción Roots hierba son instructivas: “Pero ella me decepciona cada vez, no puede hacer que su mente ella es amante de nadie …” La tentación siempre le fallará, te fallará. Pero Cristo siempre te fortalecerá y os salvará. Puede seguir para hacer frente a la tentación o ser un vencedor.

La paz de Dios que sobrepasa todo entendimiento, guardará vuestros corazones y vuestros pensamientos en Cristo Jesús. Shalom y Amin.