Tag Archives: joy

Destiny


How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
Proverbs 1:17-18

The fate of those who have decided to pursue a life of crime and perversion is announced and will come in due course. It is quite possible that those who do wrong are aware of what awaits them for their wrongdoing and yet little they care about their eternal future. They continue to act maliciously causing all the damage they can do to achieve their personal goals in this world. Not only they will do all the evil they may cause bu they will also invite those who do not act like them to accompany them in their outrages. They believe that if all do wrong their responsibility will be diluted in the collective responsibility. They do not understand that the judgment that will come is a personal one and saying that the wrong they did is no different from the bad that others will not work as an excuse or mitigating factor to reduce their sentence.

Let us not be convinced by these people to pursue evil purposes. Our destination is the heavenly country where the throne of God and the Lamb is. Our heritage is love, joy and peace in God’s presence for eternity. Our future is assured by Him who gave His life for us on a Roman cross. We have nothing to do with darkness or with the people who hide in them to satisfy their appetites and passions. Eternal life awaits for us and weeping and gnashing of teeth in eternal punishment awaits for them. Let’s look at the future with confidence and act with gratitude and loyalty to Him who rescued us from darkness to bring us into His marvelous light, our beloved Lord Jesus Christ. Only to God be the glory!

To praise or not to praise? That is the question


Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious.
Psalm 66:1-2

People are most curious. Everybody wants salvation but nobody seeks God and if they seek at all, they seek for a god to suit their wishes. They want to believe that there is a god just as they imagine it to be, with the attributes that in their eyes make it a god and yes, it has to be a god who does not judge or rebuke them when they do something wrong. What they want is a self-serve god. Those who have become millionaires by selling books and duping half the world with these ideas suggest that God can be found in the depths of our being and that all we have to do is to focus by meditation within ourselves until a divine spark or something like that shows up. Any strange feeling associated with this process would demonstrate that we are on the right path to find God.

The world is full of tricksters and charlatans. If someone wants God to dwell within him, he must first invite God to come forward, enter and establish his dwelling in the inner being. Since the creation of the universe God has been knocking on the door of the every heart to ask them to let him come in and live with them. But they have ignored the call of God and have dedicated themselves to create their own philosophies and all kinds of religions to feel they are doing something about it. Some even have allowed God to enter but refuse to recognize and thank him for all that God has done for them. It’s like having a girlfriend to whom you never say she is very pretty and neither you mention to her that she makes you so very happy. I do not think such an engagement has a future at all. We were created for the praise of the glorious grace of God. Do you know what we’ll be doing when we are in the presence of God? We will be praising and worshiping God for eternity. Why wait? Let’s start at once! Only to God be the glory!

From grumbling to praise


Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
Psalm 107:2-3

On the lips of the children of God there must always be a word of thanksgiving for all the good that God has bestowed upon us. The grace and mercy of God became effective in the life of each one of us and that’s more than enough reason to always be grateful and satisfied with what we are and have. If so, then why do we sometimes feel as if we had been dealt the worst hand? Why doesn’t our heart overflow with joy at all times because of the kindness and blessings that God has given us? Why our mood flags and sometimes we feel as if we were defeated and tired? There are two or three things that exert a strong influence on how we feel every day. One is our sinful nature that leads us to listen to the messages of the world and the tares of the enemy instead of awaiting the promises contained in the word of God. When we listen to what the world tells us we find that do not meet the criteria of what the world considers as successful and we are frustrated because our whole effort has been wasted.

On the other hand we have that we rely heavily on our own strength and therefore underestimate the power of God in our lives. When relying on our power we are heading quickly towards failure because the vast majority of problems and things cannot be solved by ourselves. Third is our limited attention span, which is the ability that we need to focus on a task without being distracted by the environment. This limited attention span reduces the time we need to devote to studying God’s word. With these three powerful influences acting negatively in our daily lives it should not be surprising then that joy and satisfaction are not part of our ongoing mood. Let us identify those negative forces that want to take away the joy and let us fight with persistence its influence on our lives by regularly immersing ourselves into the reading and study of the wonderful gift of God’s word. We’ll see how our mood changes from sadness to joy and from grumbling to praise. To God alone be the glory!

Decisions


The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
Psalm 19:8

Everybody faces ethical and moral dilemmas all the time. It happens so often that many times our decisions are mechanical and instantaneous. These decisions are made without much analysis or much consideration of the potential consequences they may bring on the person making them. In most cases, even for those who have been walking in the ways of God for a while, these decisions are wrong and go against what God has established as good in his word. We hear people say we must follow what our heart tell us. This is a very nice saying but it has a serious flaw. Nobody can give what he has not. Most people do not have God in their hearts and those hearts will not be able to tell their owners how best to proceed as they do not know what is truly good. It is therefore necessary that we always make our decisions in light of the Word of God and for this we need to know his word very well and have it treasured in our hearts.

If we base our decisions on what God’s word says and not on what the world or our emotions tell us we can be certain of acting correctly. The world and the flesh can not be trusted. In fact, together with Satan, the world and the flesh are our main enemies and if we do things according to the wishes of our enemies you can imagine how we are going to end, in defeat! Let us remain, therefore, hand in hand with our Lord and grounded on the instructions God has given us through His word. Then we will have the assurance that we will do things according to his perfect will. Putting our trust in God enable us to make better decisions which in turn will make all things go well. To God alone be the glory!

Parenting


Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart;
then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.
Proverbs 27:11

Children are typically a source of pride for their parents. Sometimes things do not work out right and children become a source of shame to their parents. In any case, children’s performance will positively or negatively affect morale and the reputation of the parents because, in great measure, the behavior that can be observed in children is related to the type of upbringing they have received or are currently receiving. Wisdom, whose principle is the fear of God, is something quite rare in individuals, the basic reason is that offspring are not taught to show respect, reverence and obedience to God. The most recent psychological theories recommend that parents try to intervene as little as possible in the process of creation and strengthening of the personality of their children, presumably so the child does not suffer traumas that eventually may result in behavioral disorders. There is nothing more wrong than allowing a child to grow unchecked and according to his own nature because that nature, as in every human being, is sinful and evil. Children must be taught that there are limits and that certain behaviors are morally unacceptable.

Unfortunately, these modern psychological theories are gaining ground rapidly and its disastrous results are already becoming apparent in the trends of society. While it is true that in other periods of history disorder and lack of morals have proliferated, these misguided practices multiply stronger today with the purpose of disrupting the system and considering good as evil and evil as good. As parents we have a responsibility we can not evade. We will be accountable for what we do with the education and upbringing of our children when we appear before the tribunal of Christ. God grant us that we have been able to carry out this important aspect of our stewardship and can be proud and not ashamed before the Lord. To God alone be the glory!

Good and bad leadership


When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan.
Proverbs 29:2

The aspiration of all peoples is to be governed with justice and equity. Everyone wants their rights to be respected and the least possible government interference in their normal activities as long as they are legal, of course. The sad reality is that this type of fair and balanced government is the exception not the rule and that is why we see so many rebellions like those now ocurring in some Arab nations. The world has always had its share of tyrants and oppressors whose sole purpose is the indiscriminate use of the power that has been given to them or that they have taken by force of arms and traps. When a wicked man rules, the people can only have woes and tribulations. The only way to get a solution that does not prove to be worse than the situation of tyranny that it seeks to correct is to ask God to remove the evil ruler. The trouble is that man has always thought that he can achieve anything that he proposes to do without the help of God and that is why people do not seek God with all their heart to receive liberation.

On the contrary, how much joy people experience when he who rules the destinies of a country is a righteous and God-fearing person. The direction of the Holy Spirit in his life ensures that decisions conduce to achieve the welfare of the people and that corruption is effectively punished to the delight of the masses. If you are suffering the rigors of finding yourself under a tyranny, seek God. Do not believe that mechanisms established by politicians and the military, violent or peaceful, will get you out of subservience. Only God has the power and authority to set or remove the authorities of a country or a nation. A nation that seeks God will have more opportunities to live ruled by an authority that really cares for their welfare than a country where people are unrighteous and full of idolatry. Look to God. To God alone be the glory!

Parental pride


The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
Proverbs 23:24-25

Egocentrism makes us pay attention on things that only concern us and disregard everything that is out of our being. When we are young, it is of little concern to us if our behavior is pleasing to our parents or if instead it is causing anguish in their hearts. At this stage of our lives we only care about what we ourselves think or feel. As soon as we get married and we have children the perspective changes completely and then we realize the severe impact that children’s behavior has on the peace and welfare of parents. That’s when we also realize the follies that we have committed and we understand the pain or shame that our way of life caused to our parents. It is only then when we can put ourselves in their place and start to understand why they had to gives us all the exhortations and warnings  that we received while we were under their care and responsibility.

Children themselves are a great blessing. How much more if those children behave wisely and always walk in the fear of the LORD! How good it would be if we could understand these things as early as possible in our lives so that we could spare us a lot of pain and tribulations. Let us at all times be a cause for celebration to those who gave us life. May our parents say as the apostle John in his third letter: “Nothing gives me more joy than to hear that my children practice the truth.” [1] Only to God be the glory!

[1] 3 John 4

Friendship


Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.
Proverbs 27:9

Since ancient times it is well-known that certain stimuli produce pleasurable feelings. Nobody can deny the profound impact that music causes in both mind and body. Today’s music has become a multibillion dollar industry of which we can hardly make abstraction. Likewise flavors and the combinations of these aimed at stimulating the palate have led to the remarkable development of the culinary industry by highlighting the concept of “gourmet” as something very refined. The visual arts positively or negatively impact our sense of sight and our touch is constantly stimulated by changes in temperature or the extremes swings of it. Finally, the sense of smell and our ability to associate certain aromas with different moods has led to the equally successful perfume industry and with markedly less success ─no wonder─ to the alternative medicine of aromatherapy. Certain fragrances produce a state of great comfort and hence a great price has to paid to acquire and enjoy them, even though many of these smells are freely available in nature.

Likewise, friendship is something truly pleasant to the mind. Our friends are a constant source of joy and support, especially when circumstances become adverse. In the same way that certain perfumes are a sweet fragrance to our smell, the relationship with our friends produce a highly positive effect on our hearts. Let us, therefore, have many friends at all times and let us act as the friends we are. Remember that our Lord said: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” [1] But to be a friend of Jesus we must be obedient: “You are my friends if you do what I command.” [2] So with obedient hearts let us share God’s love with our friends at all times . To God alone be the glory!

[1] John 15:15
[2] John 15:14

Today’s word for July 28, 2011


The rich are wise in their own eyes;
one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are.
Proverbs 28:11

Some people think that wealth comes from cunningly conducted business and that it is a demonstration of the wisdom of those who have become rich this way. Nothing could be farther from reality. While it is true that the word of God speaks of certain financial principles that will help us not to fall into debt and enjoy a healthy economy, these principles by themselves cannot guarantee financial success. The wise man honors God with his wealth and the first fruits of his crops. God knows the hearts of all men, so he knows the spiritual condition of he who presented the offering. The gift that someone “honors” God with may be ineffective if the heart of he who offers it does not act with sincerity and devotion. God gives us wisdom that allows us to make good decisions on any area of our lives, including our finances. Let us remember that the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord, which is obedience and reverence to God.

So wealth does not depend on cunning or a supposed “financial wisdom” but on the will of God that is good and pleasing and perfect. While there are many non-believers who “enjoy” the accumulation of money and apparently are happy, in reality they are not. Their alleged joy is only a facade behind which they hide their misery. As the apostle Paul told Timothy, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Let us act wisely and let us follow the teachings of the Word of God with grateful hearts for all the blessings, financial or of any other kind, that we have received from the mighty hand of God . To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for July 7, 2011


Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Psalm 33:1

Since childhood we have been taught to be so individualistic that it is very difficult for us to publicly recognize the achievements and talents of others. Of course, we like it a lot when we are the recognized and in fact, recognition is something we expect to receive when we accomplish something important. The problem is that all our thoughts are focused on our self or ego, as it is also known. Worst of all, we do the same with God. We hope that God rewards us and praises us when we “do” something good but we forget to thank him for all he has given us and all he has done for us. We enjoy what we “have” and forget that everything we, God gave to us. We tell God at all times that we want to “be” wiser and more knowledgeable and we forget that we are here for His grace and mercy. Unfortunately, many times we confirm the maxim that says: “There are no atheists in fox holes.” This unacceptable behavior is very characteristic of our sinful nature. The gene of pride is part of our genetic code since the world exists, we are interested only in what a profit or a pleasure we can get out of it. Everything else is incidental and of no consequence.

When we act like this, we are breaking the commands, decrees and laws the LORD our God commanded us to observe so that we, our children and our grandchildren would honor him as long as we live. We must always keep in mind that whatever “we are”, “we do” and “we have” we owe it to God and to no one else and that to him alone we must express our gratitude because this way we will be honoring him. When we focus on ourselves we are denying the glory to God and this, clearly and definitely does not honor him. Let us take away our eyes from our ego and let us turn to our God. Let us consider all the blessings he has bestowed upon us and let us joyfully give thanks always for all he has done for us. To God alone be the glory!