Saturday, October 10, 2015

With our new church website up and running and having a link to this blog site I should probably start to write some things here.

I am finishing my sermon for tomorrow and as I was writing, I was contemplating how awesome God is. To even begin to fathom how great God must be to create all that He has created should boggle our minds. In the middle of writing I managed to take a few moments this evening to sit outside with my wife and dog and watch the beautiful sunset we had here today. In the midst of the hoopla of college football today, all the problems and issues that we seem to have created for ourselves and the unlimited drama that has been revealed about people's lives through Facebook, God still remembered to give us a sunset, an extremely beautiful sunset at that.

The sun comes up and the sun goes down regardless of what we do here to mess up the world because it rises and sets based on God and not on man. God is still on His throne, God is still in control and God has not forgotten about you. He loves ever single one of us in His creation and He longs to have an intimate relationship with us all.

Acts 17:24-28, God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being... NKJV

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Learning in the Dark

Last week, while we were having power outages, I actually learned a valuable lesson from God. When our power goes off, it may be off for minutes, hours or even days. When the power is out, the fans go off (remember, we are in the tropics, it gets pretty warm, read: HOT!) the water pumps quit working, which means the water stops flowing and you just wait, in the dark if it's at night. If you are lucky enough to have lanterns for the night, you can read, but sleeping on a hot, still night can be miserable, if you sleep at all. Water must be taken from outside spigots and hauled upstairs in buckets, for baths, washing dishes, and flushing toilets.

In the midst of these outages last week, I got to thinking about our life and ministry here in Honduras (read: I was having a pity party!). My wife and I have the ability to live and work in any of three different, affluent countries. We have good educations and finding great jobs would not be a problem. As you lay sweating at night and while you pour water over your head to bath and when you don't flush your toilets until you have to, you can think about, "Why am I here, I could be anywhere else if I wanted to?" Then it dawned on me, God knows that I could be anywhere else also and He knows that I choose to be here, following His will for my life.

In reality, I only have the ability and opportunity to be somewhere else if I wanted and now, to be here doing what we do, because of God's blessing in my life. I could very well have been born in Honduras and be struggling just like the people we serve.

So, the next time the lights go out, the water quits running and fans stop, I will strive to only praise God that these are passing inconveniences and that this could have been my whole life instead of just a part of it! And also to remember, that God is well aware of my situation and no doubt, He will have a continuous flow of water and plenty of lights (and AC!) in my new home with Him!

Pablito

Friday, May 23, 2008

Three Pictures of Christ in Genesis - Part 3

Our third picture is seen in a two-fold fashion by using the story of Abraham and Isaac. First, we see Isaac portrayed as, “the one and only son”, to be sacrificed. We also find a correlation in the three-day journey of Abraham and his son Isaac, as three days in the tomb. We must here understand that Isaac was “dead” in the eyes of his father from the moment God asked Abraham to sacrifice him. Therefore, the three day trip would symbolize the three days in the tomb and God sparing him from Abraham’s knife is equivalent to the resurrection of Christ in that Isaac was “resurrected” from the sacrifice his father had made earlier by obeying God. We find something else note-worthy in Genesis 22:3, “And Abraham rose up early in the morning…” (KJV) Here, we find no hesitation in Abraham in sacrificing his son, just as we find no hesitation in God to sacrifice His Son. God went ahead and created the earth and man, knowing from the beginning that the sacrifice of His son would have to be made. Adam Clarke points out two more parallels in that, “Isaac carried the wood for the burnt-offering, (Gen 22:6), so Christ carried the tree whereon he died, (John 19:17); the binding of Isaac, (Gen 22:9), was also typical, so Christ was bound, (Matt 27:2).”[1]

As I said that this was two-fold in this story, the second picture we find from Abraham and Isaac is in the ram. Abraham tells Isaac in Genesis 22:8, “God himself will provide the lamb…” (NIV) We see that indeed, God did provide the sacrifice that day and years later, we believe on that same mountain, in the form of His “One and Only Son”. Matthew Henry says, “Christ was sacrificed in our stead, as this ram instead of Isaac, and his death was our discharge. "Here am I (said he,) let these go their way."”[2] Although Isaac gives us a picture of Christ, we know that there was no way that Isaac could have atoned for our sins and therefore, we had to have the real and perfect sacrificial lamb, Jesus, our Savior.

Pablito

[1] Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft. (Genesis 22:4)
[2] Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. (Gen 22:11-14)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Three Pictures of Christ in Genesis - Part 2

To look for a picture of Jesus as “The Christ”, we can go to Genesis 3:15 or Genesis 3:21. I will skip 3;15 and use 3:21 as a picture. Genesis 3:21, “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (NIV) Although there is no direct statement of where the “skins” came from, it is only logical to assume that the death of an animal had to have occurred. Again from Adam Clarke we read, “It is very likely that the skins out of which their clothing was made were taken off animals whose blood had been poured out as a sin-offering to God…”[1] In hindsight, we see this very clearly as a picture of Jesus as “The Christ”. Another commentary tells us, “The Hebrew [kaat¬™nowt (OT:3801) `owr (OT:5785)], coverings of skin, because the latter word is singular, not plural: one skin was sufficient for both.”[2] This would make sense as with Christ, one died for all; here one animal would have been sacrificed to cover the “sin” that Adam and Eve had committed. Another way we correlate this as a picture of Christ, is that we see in Genesis 3:14, that the animals have now become cursed, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals!” (NIV) Although the animals had done nothing wrong, they became cursed because of the sin of man. We find the same with Christ as He became the curse because of our sin. The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."” (NIV)



Pablito


[1] Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft (Genesis 3:21)
[2] Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft. (Genesis 3:21)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Three Pictures of Christ in Genesis - Part 1

The next three posts are from a discusion board question in my Old Testament Survey class at Liberty University. The discusion is: Find three ways that Jesus Christ is pictured in the book of Genesis and discuss how each one relates to Jesus either in His person (deity) or in His work. Be specific.

From the very beginning of the book of Genesis, we can see Jesus, because as we read anything of God, one can never picture God without picturing Jesus and the Holy Spirit there. The Trinity is made of three persons, but of one essence. Therefore anything involving one, in effect involves all three. As God spoke the world into being in Genesis 1, we correlate that with John 1:2-3, “He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (NIV) We cannot look at the very beginning words of Genesis without seeing the deity and person of Jesus. Adam Clarke’s Commentary puts it this way,

…GOD is said to have created all things: in this verse, Christ is said to have created all things: the same unerring Spirit spoke in Moses and in the evangelists: therefore Christ and the Father are ONE. To say that Christ made all things by a delegated power from God is absurd; because the thing is impossible.[1]

Clarke goes on to explain,

God cannot delegate his omnipotence to another: were this possible, he to whom this omnipotence was delegated would, in consequence, become God; and he from whom it was delegated would cease to be such: for it is impossible that there should be two omnipotent beings.[2]

Pablito

[1] Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft, (John 1:3)
[2] Ibid

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Is There Anything They Won't Try Now Days?

There seems to be no end to what people try to get away with these days. I swear I don't know what is going through these people's minds when they come up with things like this. It is apparent as a believer, that what the Apostle Paul said is VERY true, "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Eph 6:12-13 NIV)


Headline:
"Middle School Draws Controversy Over 'Most Likely to Get Pregnant' Survey"
"a teacher reportedly forced her 6th grade class to vote who among their classmates were the most likely to get pregnant, contract HIV, go to jail, or die by the age of 19."


One of the greatest comments ever made was by Jeff Goldblum's character in the movie "Jurassic Park" when he stated, "You were so busy worrying about if you could, you never stopped to think about if you should!" Is that the lot of the people of the world today? "Let's see how far we can push it and how much we can get away with".

Lord I fear you wait too long in your return, but I trust that you alone know what you are doing!

Pablito

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

There is a song by "The Clash" called "Should I Stay or Should I Go". It is probably a question most of us have asked for one reason or another at one point in our life. As I was reading my Bible the other day, it took on a whole new meaning for me as I pondered my namesake, the Apostle Paul's, words in:

Philippians 1:21-24 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. (NIV)

Paul's entire existence after his Damascus road conversion was Christ and this passage summed it up for him. Basically he says that everything about his life is Christ. Christ means everything to him and and his entire purpose for existing now was to preach the Gospel of Christ and disciple the believers.

The key to how Paul feels comes in the next verse as he ponders his life. How great it is to be here, alive and in his body, because he gets to do the work of his Savior. But, on the other hand, wouldn't it be great to go ahead and die, because then he would get to be in the PRESENCE of his Savior! Paul is actually "torn" in this choice. The Greek word here means that it is like he is caught between two things and squeezed or compressed. He does say that to go ahead and die "is better by far". In the end, he knows that it is more important to stay and assist the churches that he was discipling.

The main reason that Paul could make these statements is because he was SURE in his salvation. He knew the truth of salvation and eternal life in Christ and that gave him the assurance that if and when he died, he would be with his Savior forever. He also KNEW what awaited him in the glory of heaven and the presence of God, but that story is for another time!

Should we stay or should we go? I feel that those of us who reach heaven, will no doubt wonder why we dallied so long here on earth, but until that time, we should continue as Paul did, with "fruitful labor" for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Pablito

If you want to hear the song, here is a link to it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk2LIjUnrx0&feature=related