Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Believe Firmly

"...firm in your faith" (1 Pet. 5:9).

Recently I visited the home of a fellow pastor and his wife.  It was like walking into the Gospel: many beautiful Christian paintings and pictures, a Nativity scene, a number of crucifixes, and the gift of hospitality on the part of the pastor and his wife.  (There was an egg casserole just coming out of the oven.)  God bless them!

But what caught my attention the most was a plaque which read:

Live simply.
Love generously.
Serve faithfully.
Speak truthfully.
Pray daily.
Leave everything else to God.

And that's exactly what they were doing.

I thought about those six things and how each is taught in the Bible.  Then I remembered that seven is the complete number, not six.  And if I could add just one other thing, what would it be?

Believe firmly.

That is the foundation for the other six.  Believe firmly, with all your heart, in God and His Word.  Believe firmly that you are a sinner, that you have a Savior, the Lord Jesus, and that He fills your heart with His love.

Sunday was Pentecost: the fiftieth day after Easter, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the birthday of the Church.  God gives His Holy Spirit in order for us to believe firmly and then to live a Christian life.

Pastor Al and Traci Espinosa are a good example.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

God Knows

Exodus 2 ends in a strange way.  It reads: "and God knew."  It does not say what God knew.  The thought is incomplete.  It is up to the reader to complete it.

It is proper to understand from these verses (Exod. 2:23-25) that the children of Israel groaned because of their slavery in Egypt.  But it is not enough.  To complete Exodus 2, you must do two things.  First, name the burden you are under.  Second, believe that God knows about it.

In Christ Jesus, God went from being the one who hears our sighs, to becoming the one who sighs with us and for us (Mark 7:34)!  In Christ Jesus, God has compassion and comes to carry our burdens with us.  This may actually mean more than if God were to take the burdens away.  It requires more love to suffer with someone than to take their suffering away.

God knows.  He knows exactly what you are carrying.  And in Christ, He knows it firsthand and carries it with you.