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November 2018



November 2018

November 4



   When we speak about a person’s spiritual life, we are speaking of a dimension that is very complex, superior to the biological dimension that is limited to space and time. God made man into soul/spirit, being and body, according to the trinity model of the Creator: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The lack of a spiritual relationship with God is spiritual death, in other words the deactivation of the spiritual dimension, the only one through which man can enter a personal spiritual relationship with God. Neither religion nor good works can place man into a spiritual relationship with God; rather only reconciliation can. Why reconciliation? Because man, by stepping on the divine laws, became the Creator’s enemy, entering a state of conflict and adversity with Him. A person who breaks social laws needs to be punished, a driver that breaks traffic laws needs to be ticketed. Just as the atonement for the punishment or payment of the fine removes the guilty from the charge of the law, so does the atonement for the punishment of sin make man free before God.
   What is the punishment for stealing or a robbery? Likely jail for a while. What is the penalty for going through a red light? Likely a sum of money. What is the punishment for sin? “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). In God’s kingdom the punishment for sin is death in hell. No one is surprised if a person is locked up for stealing. No man is surprised if a driver is fined for going through a red light. The strange thing is that most people wonder if God punishes those who violate his divine laws, with the punishment being entrance into the lake of fire, the place prepared for the devil and his angels. This is the righteousness of God, this is His justice. In His righteousness, God hates and punishes sin. In His love and kindness, He loves the sinner. Out of love, God the Father has designed a plan for salvation, restoration, and reconciliation with the guilty man, putting mans’ guilt upon His Son, Jesus Christ. Thus, Jesus was incarnate through the Virgin Mary and came as a man into the world to assume the guilt of man, to bear his punishment, dying in his place. For this reason, the Savior died on the cross at Golgotha, on the outskirts of Jerusalem two thousand years ago. In this way, man is pardoned, forgiven, saved before the divine justice that was satisfied by the replacement death of the Savior. Man is saved through the death of Jesus. Salvation presumes the forgiveness of all sins thus far.
   From then on, man must live in purity and try not to sin, so that he does not once again fall under the divine law. This means that man must grow in faith, become spiritually mature, and, being filled with the Spirit of God, become a more holy saved person. Explaining this spiritual truth, Peter said “he has borne our sins in His body on the wood, that we, being dead to sin, may live for righteousness…” (1 Peter 2:24).
   In conclusion, the Bible explains that by Christ’s death for sin, we become saved, but by our death to sin, we become more spiritually mature. There are many people who are saved by faith, but remain immature because of the lack of restraint from sin. Christ died for their past sins, but they did not die from their present sins. Christ died for their sins and saved them, but they did not die to sin, and they continue to sin. In this way, their salvation, the work realized by Christ through His death, is compromised before God the Father. If a driver pays his fine for running a red, this does not mean that he will not be fined again if he goes through a red light again. Every such act is punished, and for each one there is a fine.
   What happens to the saved man who continues to sin? Paul responds: “But now that you have been delivered from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22). Christ’s forgiveness of sin has made us children of God. The effect of this change is sanctification, and its effect is eternal life. What happens in the absence of sanctification? The absence of sanctification causes the absence of eternal life. “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives” (2 Peter 3:11)


November 11


In carefully studying the Word of God, we discover several important principles of serving in ministry with which the Church should be led.


“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)


Every nation and every local church has its own specific culture and traditions, but these are not “so sayeth the Lord”, but rather “this is how we do things”. Our convictions should not be confused with God’s principles. Any concept that shifts the attention from servant ministry to a “position” or from modesty to personal merits is worldly. The quality of our ministry should not be evaluated through the prism of human pragmatism, but through the prism of divine holiness.


You cannot lead others until you know full well where you want to lead them, and you cannot take them there until you are there already.


 Even though it is ideal to positively influence the behavior of others, it is not correct to manipulate or hold others under your control, no matter how well-intentioned you may be. When the Lord’s disciples were busy discussing who would be “the first”, Jesus told them that they need to work as a team, serving each other (Luke 22:24-27). The purpose of ministry is to build the church.


 An employee receives the Lord’s acceptance in ministry if he avoids pride, self-sufficiency, infallibility, and indispensability. An employee who steals the glory of his Master is a thief, not a servant.


 Manipulation by any means is against the spiritual model of servant leadership. If the authority of a spiritual leader is not recognized by the majority, then the authority is probably non-existent.


 The Savior, knowing that people tend to jealousy and unhealthy competition, commanded them, “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved You, so shall you love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Love toward others is the evidence of God’s love. The lack of brotherly love and trust among the leaders or members in a Church reduces the efficiency of the work of Christ’s church.


No conductor and no member are above the obligation to give an account to the body of Christ. There must be a system of accountability, amid which anyone who violates the principles of Christian ethics will give an account for his deed, and anyone who is in a critical situation may benefit from the council and support of the church.


 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

This is the kind of ministry and service God has called us all to.


 November 18


   Thanksgiving Day is full of beauty, being the day in which we look our Creator in the eye and tell Him in a unique and special way, “Thank you”. It seems banal, but it is divine. It seems too little, but it is enough. It seems unimportant, but it is indispensable.
   Giving thanks is a noble mission, a divine mandate, the desire of a great person, an excellence of human life. Today, we look thankfully to the last 11 months of the year 2018, marveling at God’s mercy, forgiveness, and protection. Unfortunately, not all people weigh life in this way, which is why Thanksgiving captures several categories of people.
    The Bible teaches us to be thankful to God for all things, because in His providence, through all that happens in life, God wants to do good for us. “And in all things be thankful to God” (Ephesians 5:20). Let us look at a few concrete reasons to be thankful from those mentioned in the Bible:
1. We are thankful for Grace - “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:4). Grace is the goodness by which God gives us the things we do not deserve.
2. We are thankful for faith – “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world” (Romans 1:8)
3. We are thankful for prayers that are heard – “Father I thank you that you have heard me” (John 11:41).
4. We are thankful for food – “I take part in the meal with thankfulness” (1 Corinthians 10:30). Of the 120,000 people who died yesterday, 22,000 died of hunger.
5. We are thankful for spiritual gifts - “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you” (1 Corinthians 14:18).
6. We are thankful for the testimony of the church – “I thank my God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1:3).
7. We are thankful for the honor of serving God – “I thank Christ Jesus… that He considered me trustworthy, appointing me to His service” ( 1 Timothy 1:12).
   The Bible assures us of the fact that being grateful and thankful is not a problem of circumstance but of character, of discipline – “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). Being grateful to God is a sign of worship before Him – “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28). Likewise, thanking God is equivalent to bringing Him praise – “Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:18).
    Today is the perfect day to celebrate the Lord and bring Him thanks because He is our God, and we thank Him because He is good!


November 25

   Everything in life has a price, even if the price was paid in the past, is being paid in the present, or will be paid in the future. The state of being a content person also has a price: trust in God, spiritual discipline, and understanding the fact that no one has everything they want, the fact that nothing is ever enough, that there is always someone who has more… The state of being ungrateful also has its price: lack of joy, satisfaction and spiritual peace, competition, materialism, praise and pride, mistrust in God, wrong goals in life, spiritual immaturity…
   Discontentment is presented in the Bible as a sin of the end of times: “Know that in the end of times, there will be terrible times. People will be loves of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful….” (2 Timothy 3:1-2). One of the most serious aspects of the sin of dissatisfaction is that the person who will allow this sin will also be permissive with other sins.
   Are there situations where discontent is not sinful? Yes. Discontent is positive and even beneficial when it comes to your own performance, when it is about what you are, not what you have. In this situation, dissatisfaction generates progress, motivates to higher standards in the personal, spiritual, moral, intellectual, professional, and family life. The person who is satisfied with himself will no longer progress, will become mediocre, lazy, indifferent and careless. Whomever is satisfied with how much he prays will never pray more.
   Jonah was a prophet who lived approximately 750 years before Jesus Christ, and was one of the people who manifested a rare form of dissatisfaction.
1. He was unhappy with God’s plan (Jonah 4:1-2a). Jonah was dissatisfied with the fact that God had mercy on sinful people and tried to stop the fulfillment of the plan of salvation for the enemies of his people, the inhabitants of Nineveh.
2. He was unhappy with the character of God (Jonah 4:2b). Jonah was unhappy because God had mercy, because He was caring, patient, good, and forgiving.
3. He was unhappy with his own living conditions (Jonah 4:8-9). Several times he repeated the fatalist poem: “Better to die than to live”. Despite these sinful behaviors, in His mercy, God involved Jonah in punitive and corrective experiments to discipline him.
   The solution to dissatisfaction is the trust in God and the disciplining of our personal lives: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The manifestation of discontent does not resolve the problem, but rather demasks the unsatisfied dream of man to have more and more material things, attention, honor… God has called us to something else – blessed is he who understands.