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!
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!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged ambush, birds, blood, Christianity, God, Jesus, joy, love, net, peace, wisdom
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
The Lord’s people have many enemies. These enemies are always lurking, threatening, scheming, plotting and preparing to do as much damage as possible to the chosen people of God. But just as the people of God have so many enemies, so they too have strength and protection from the Creator. He who formed the universe by his word and to whom all the forces of nature obey promptly and without question takes care that nothing wrong happens to his people and that they can always stand on their feet despite the many obstacles of all kinds that come up on the road.
Do you know the strength of the hurricane and its capacity to destroy everything that comes its way? Have you seen the river waters cover vast plains of what once looked like solid and safe ground? Have you noticed how solid concrete and steel structures come crumbling down when the earth’s crust trembles? Have you seen the glowing lava flow from the mouth of the volcano at high speed to burn and raze everything that gets in its path? The same destructive power is used by God to prevent evil forces reach beyond where they have been allowed to go. Nothing can resist the power of God. Let us trust, then, in the immense power of God that enables us to live in peace and security according to his perfect will. To God alone be the glory!
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
Here is a recipe for those who want to know what it is and live in the fear of the Lord. Although the recipe looks simple at first glance it is not so when we look at it in some detail. At first sight, the prescription consists of four ingredients: restrain the tongue from evil, refrain from deceitful lips, stay away from evil and do good and seek peace and pursue it. The first ingredient, restrain the tongue from evil is almost impossible to achieve in this world where people talk and talk without end. Many think that if they talk pretty using convoluted and fanciful words they will be counted for wise when in fact the opposite is true for the more you talk, the more mistakes you’ll make. Additionally we have that people love to grumble and complain about everything and just for nothing and finally, people delight in criticizing others, ignoring the plank that they have in their own eye. Also, we have the issue of lies. Of all the seeds that Satan has planted in the heart of man the one that has put more roots is the seed of deceit. Everybody makes use of lies thinking they will resolve their issues and all they achieve is to dig themselves deeper into the hole.
Departing from evil by itself would allow us to go a long way in our path toward spiritual maturity but we know it is not easy to depart from evil when we are surrounded by it on all sides and our flesh is weak. How much more difficult to do good! Departing from evil is hard work, doing good requires a titanic effort from us. Finally the search for peace is not an activity encoded in the human genome, by contrast, we argue and fight for even the smallest things. We are never satisfied until we impose our ideas and our views on the ideas and the criteria of others. If we coming up with any of the four ingredients is difficult, imagine how much more arduous and tenacious it will be to put all four ingredients together. Through our own efforts we will never achieve anything. Only the transforming power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives without restrictions will allow us to enjoy the advantages and benefits of living in the fear of the Lord. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Christianity, evil, fear of the Lord, God, good, good times, Holy Spirit, Jesus, lies, life, peace, Psalms
My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.
My wounds fester and are loathsome
because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
all day long I go about mourning.
The wealthy citizens of the Roman Empire had at their disposal a technique to commit suicide that was slow and almost painless. They achieved their macabre purpose of leaving this world in a slow and imperceptible way. We will not discuss the details of this technique because this is out of scope. But it is important to know that when we sin, our bodies slowly submerge into a stupor that keeps us from realizing the fall we are experiencing. Changes in our body occur so slow that we can not realize that they are happening until we reach such a state of deterioration that the consequences become a heavy burden.
It is popularly said that “Man is a creature of habit.” Habits and customs produce in us a sense of security and reassurance. The problems arise when the habit or the custom is associated with a sinful practice. If we routinely practice some form of sin we do not realize the negative impact that this practice is having on us. Our hearts become hard as stone and our conscience is numbed into a deep sleep. We displace the Holy Spirit of God and we claim and gradually remove his control of our lives relegating his role to that of being just a spiritual ornament. And that’s when the woes and pains start. That’s when we feel overwhelmed, brought down, depressed and heartbroken because health has abandoned us.
Not every illness or disease is the result of sin, so it is important that we analyze ourselves and that we allow the Holy Spirit to fulfill his purpose in our lives to determine what behavior we must change to avoid the slow process of death. The only available and effective solution to overcome this painful situation is to go to the loving arms of our Lord Jesus Christ. He can set us free from the habit of sin and set us on the path of justice and health. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you where you missed the mark and take your failures to the throne of grace. Christ is the only way to achieve spiritual vitality. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged burden, Christianity, faith, folly, God, guilt, life, mourning, overwhelmed, pardon, peace, Psalms, righteousness, sin, truth, wounds
His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.”
The powerful and the evil have deceived themselves into believing that they are not under the authority of God and therefore they can act with impunity. This self-deception gives them a false sense of security that encourages them to continue to do as they will without paying attention to the terrible consequences that their reprehensible behavior is going to bring over their heads. The only way they know is the way of violence and abuse of power. Their joy and satisfaction lie in humiliating, bend and dominate their neighbors as often as possible. The more successful they are in their campaign to dominate others the closest they get to the trap that will catch them like the innocent critters. A false sense of security prevents them from seeing the sad future that lies ahead. Their arrogance gives them the encouragement they need to persecute the helpless, convinced that God does not exist and if he does, he does not see, he has forgotten his creation or he does not care what happens to this world.
The reality is quite the opposite. God is fully aware of all the persecution and abuse that these wicked followers and instruments of Satan have carried out with much pleasure on the innocent and the oppressed. The judgment of God does not tarry, although the fact that God sees time differently than we do makes us think that he ignores our suffering or he has forgotten us. Our faith must withstand the weight of oppression. Our hope is that sooner than later God will wipe away every tear from our eyes and will bring back the peace and joy we are entitled to as children of God. Do not let the enemy steal from you the joy of knowing that you are fully protected by the mighty arm of God. Remember that the Lord sees the trouble of the afflicted; considers their grief and takes it in hand. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged Christianity, collapse, cover, crush, face, faith, fall, God, hope, Jesus, justice, love, notice, peace, protection, Psalms, righteousness, spirituality, strenght, victim, wisdom
Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
If error did not exist, correction and advice would not be required. Nobody is born learned and everybody’s lives are a constant learning process. Only a fool would say that he no longer has anything to learn. A phrase generally attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt says: “You have to learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” The experience of others, transmitted through advice or a word of rebuke is very valuable for us to avoid repeating the same mistakes others have made. It is our pride that prevents corrections and the advice given to us from being transformed into useful lessons to increase our knowledge and wisdom. In fact, pride leads us into folly, because only a fool would think to ignore a wise teaching. The word of God tells us: “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice” and Scripture also reminds us that: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
Let us not act with pride when we are corrected or receive advice, thinking that we know everything and that there is nothing else we need to know. Let us listen carefully to what we are being told and let us analyze where we were wrong and how we can use correction to improve our behavior and performance. To do otherwise will only sink us further into our own mistakes and will prevent us from progressing towards spiritual maturity; we will certainly be trapped into our own folly. Augustine said: “To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical.” Let us seize correction and advice so that instead of doing what pleases our enemy, we can truly do what pleases God. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged accept, advice, Christianity, correction, discipline, faith, God, hope, Jesus, justice, life, listen, love, peace, Proverbs 19, righteousness, spirituality, wisdom
Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
How easy it is for the enemy of our souls and the world, which is also our enemy, to keep us distracted from what is truly important. Their favorite tools, which act as an attractive bait, are displayed before our eyes for us to lose sight of the goal of our life and the direction we need to maintain to reach our destination. Financial success, whether obtained by illegal or unethical means, is the accepted and recognized metric for progress and welfare and trying to achieve it makes us leeches that only live to demand more and more. We have been dazzled by the alleged happiness that results from having many goods and only having to rely on the riches that we have managed to accumulate. Money, now has become the savior of our lives and it makes us look away from our true Savior, Jesus Christ.
The way the apostle Paul explains it is striking: «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.» What is in plain view can not be denied. Many are now under the yoke of mismanaged finances for having been blinded by the false appeal of the prosperity of the wicked. Let us return our gaze to the Provider of all good and all blessings, our beloved Lord Jesus Christ. If we stay focused on the way he presents in front of us, we will stay out of all grief related to the mismanagement of our finances. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Psalms
Tagged arrogant, Christianity, envy, faith, hope, humility, Jesus, love, peace, prosperity, Psalms, riches, righteousness, spirituality, wealth, wicked, wisdom
My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
There are people who spend a lifetime trying to achieve something that is completely out of their reach. Some of these unattainable goals are justifiable, for example, homeownership. Other goals are mere wishes and whims that, not being obtained, end up becoming an obsession which with time could turn into psychosis. The mind of the vast majority of people is controlled by personal ambitions and, in their efforts to achieve what they have imagined they can obtain, they end up reasoning that the end justifies the means and thus are capable of doing anything is to meet their wishes. Few indeed are those who wish to have sound judgment and discretion. Very few people are aware of the benefits of acting at all times according to reason and moderation.
These rare virtues are, as the word of God says, a source of life. A person with good sense rarely acts in ways that put his life at grave risk. He will reason and analyze the different courses of action available to him and will choose the one that is most convenient and beneficial, both for him and others. His good name will be preceding him everywhere he goes and it will open doors that are normally completely shut to those who act recklessly. His analytical capabilities will allow him to be aware, well in advance, of the obstacles that lie ahead on the road and they will also allow him to determine preventive and corrective actions to overcome these obstacles without much effort. He will be able to control and minimize the human propensity to make mistakes by means of a reasoned analysis of the pros and cons of possible courses of action, in light of what he has learned from the word of God.
Are you aware of the many benefits it brings to act with wisdom and discretion? Would you like to have these profitable virtues? Only God can give you the true wisdom that allows you to act sensibly and prudently at all times and under all circumstances. James, the brother of the Lord Jesus said “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” So ask! To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs, Uncategorized
Tagged Christianity, discretion, God, grace, Jesus, life, love, peace, Proverbs 3, safety, sound judgment, spirituality, stumble, understanding, wisdom
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
Here is a list of things that set up a sharp contrast between what the world looks for and what the children of God are trying to achieve. We have said on different occasions that what the vast majority of people are looking for, and all that the world has to offer, is fame, money and power. Remarkably, the list of things that God’s children are trying to obtain was written by someone who had a lot of the only three things the world has to offer. Given his wisdom, King Solomon had a reputation way beyond the borders of his kingdom. As for wealth, the Bible says that in his time there was so much gold in his kingdom that “silver was not appreciated.” The word of God also says that “both in riches and in wisdom, King Solomon surpassed all other kings of the earth.” And as for power, Solomon managed to organize a large army that was equipped with many horses and chariots. Why would God give Solomon all these things that are typically granted only to those that follow the world and keep themselves separate from God?
First, Solomon had a very specific mission, to build the temple of the Lord. To achieve this he needed to enjoy extended periods of peace so that the work would not be interrupted every time he had to face the enemy in battle. Fame, money and power allowed Solomon to enjoy lasting peace so that he could carry out the commission that God gave him. Moreover, Solomon never asked God to give him anything other than “discernment to govern your people and to distinguish between good and evil.” Let us ask God to give us wisdom and discernment in order to serve him to the maximum of our capabilities. We will be able to conduct ourselves with prudence, fairness, justice and equity. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs, Uncategorized
Tagged Christianity, fairness, faith, instruction, intelligence, Jesus, justice, life, love, peace, Proverbs 1, prudence, righteousness, spirituality, understanding, wisdom
Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
but those who promote peace have joy.
Deception is an integral part of evil and evil can not exist without deception. These two are linked in such a way that we can not find them separate from each other. And this is not surprising since both of them have the same father, Satan. For those who spend their lives looking to profit from the misfortunes of others, deceit is a powerful weapon that seduces, fascinates, numbs and captures hearts and minds. Most people live with the illusion that some day they will find their fortune and therefore they are easily manipulated by lies and false promises. There are even those who justify lying as something that should be used to achieve the greater good. We know where these ideas come from. We who are disciples and followers of the Master Savior should not have any affinity with this pernicious practice because Jesus is the truth and light has nothing to do with darkness. In this postmodern world where people prefer to believe that nobody has the absolute truth but they all have a little bit of it, even if they hold diametrically opposite positions, a lie is easily disguised and runs free without being detected.
In contrast, we find that the search for peace is something that is righteous and brings joy to those who practice it. One of the greatest satisfactions a person may have is to live without conflict. This does not mean we can live in a kind of protective capsule that isolates us from the world for this capsule does not exist. Conflicts will always be just around the corner, looming to make our life more difficult. But if we are wise we will see them coming and with God’s help we shall be able to find a way to avoid them or to mitigate them. Let us flee from deceit and let us always promote peace. This way we will find truth and joy, and we will remain focused on the way of righteousness, which God prepared for us before creation. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged deceit, evil, Jesus, joy, life, love, peace, Proverbs 12, religion, spirituality, wisdom