Thursday, 27 July 2017

What are you afraid of losing?




“So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.” John 12:10-11

We come across these verses with a very scary conspiracy from the chief priests. Men who served God, led the people and had knowledge about the Holy Scriptures were planning to kill two men: the Lord Jesus and Lazarus. Those who “defended” the law given by God to Moses, now intended to break it without any remorse. Or doesn’t the Law say “Thou shalt not kill?”

We see that the feast of Passover was near and many of the people were already coming to Jerusalem to purify themselves (John 11:55). But while the people sanctified themselves, the priests who were to set the example, were planning something terrible.
The fear of losing their religious power was so much that they were willing to commit a terrible act against whom they considered a threat to their purposes. It is very sad when the person thinks that he is spiritual being totally of the flesh.

And how many people when they feel threatened to lose a responsibility, a title or a position, begin to speak lies, become jealous, have evil eyes, malice and even slander those who they think are occupying the place that should be theirs.

They begin to plot evil against someone committing the same error as those priests. At that moment what they have always condemned because it’s against the Word of God, now in a difficult moment of their life, they do it! It is easy to live the faith when all is well, but what are your reactions in the deserts of life? Do you remain faithful to the Word or act in the flesh by forgetting the Law of God?

Many people think that they will achieve spiritual things using fleshy means and that is IMPOSSIBLE. Do not think that by harming someone and being unfair you will get something from God. We must live what we believe and teach, and that is true for good and bad times of our lives.

God bless you all!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Mistakes we can make with time




Time can be a great ally if we remain in the faith, as well as a fierce enemy if there is no vigilance from our part. See common mistakes that someone makes, when he/she is no longer in the faith.

·      He/she thinks they know everything
·      In their weakness they complain instead of using their faith
·      They don’t recognize their weaknesses
·      They do not seek help
·      They don’t accept to be rebuke or be taught
·      They feel self-sufficient
·      Believe in their own ability or intelligence, and so they leave God aside
·      They stop depending on God in the smallest details
·      Want to maintain an image of perfection
·      Live by appearance

If by reading this list you realized that you are in this situation, go back to live a pure and genuine faith in the Word of God.
Leave your comments or testimony!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

The sacrifice of Mary




“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:3

As we read this passage we see that Mary had a gesture of love and gratitude to the Lord Jesus by pouring perfume at His feet. Although it seems a simple attitude, we see that the perfume was rare and it was equivalent to the salary of a year of work. Then we see that far more than a gentle attitude what Mary did was a real sacrifice. At that time single girls used to save money for their wedding day. With this gesture she gave her future and her dreams to the hands of the Lord Jesus. Her faith led her to sacrifice by giving everything to the Lord and remaining in His dependence.

At that time, it was not a good idea for a single girl to touch a man's feet. But Mary knew that the Messiah was not an ordinary man. Regardless of being judged or what others would think or say about her, she knelt down and anointed Jesus' feet. There she materialized her faith and showed that He was the first and most important in her life.

She stood before the Altar and would not miss the opportunity to trow herself on the Altar. How many people are afraid to take a step of faith, always worried about the opinion of others, listening to negative words and feelings of doubt and defeat. When we do what is right and we are driven by faith, we are sure that the outcome will come in the form of blessings.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to throw ourselves into the Altar with faith and doubts remain within us.

Mary is a great example to us all. I don’t get tired of writing about her because whenever I read about her, God reveals something new to me. Perhaps people see what you do to God as something not important. Judas Iscariot also saw Mary's attitude as not important; but she knew that she was pleasing her Lord and her gesture for him was accepted. Without knowing that His death was near, she was preparing the Lord Jesus for the grave (read John 12: 3-7). Mary left there justified and all who depend on the Altar will also be justified by Him.    

Do you believe?
  
 
Translated by Márcia Sebastião

Thursday, 29 June 2017

The great difference between Martha and Mary



Martha, Mary and Lazarus were brothers and sisters, and they believed in the Lord Jesus. They always received Him in their home together with His disciples and offered them hospitality. We can then say that they were people who were members of the church, and were intimate friends of the Lord Jesus; and He loved them.
There is a lot of talk about Martha and Mary, and there really was a big difference between them. What caught my attention between the sisters was that Martha was always worried about doing many things, while Mary was always at Jesus' feet. In the hectic world we live in today, this can teach us a lot. Perhaps today you will find out that you have been more Martha than Mary, even believing in the Lord Jesus.
But what was the secret of Mary that led her to receive praise from the Lord Jesus? What was she doing so special?
·      To listen and learn His teachings Mary was at the feet of Jesus:
“She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His teaching.” Luke 10.39
·       In moments of pain and suffering, Mary threw herself at the feet of Jesus:
“When Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11.32
·      Mary went to Jesus' feet to worship Him:
“Then Mary took a pint of very costly ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment." John 12:3
Both were from the church, but one called Jesus' attention for her dedication, for always placing Him first, for knowing how to establish priorities. We must understand that God has more interest in us than in our service. Many of us worry about doing many things in the work of God. We want to be busy, we want to feel useful, and we think it will only happen if we work hard, perform many tasks or have many responsibilities.
Many even boast about how many responsibilities they have, their gigantic to-do list. But because they do not have communion with God, what they do for love ends up being a burden and they are always irritated, agitated and murmuring. Doing much is not a synonymous of spirituality.
But what really matters and will make a difference in our lives is the time we spent at Jesus' feet; the moments we spend alone with Him, whether to hear His voice, to seek comfort in difficult times, or to worship Him.
That was the big difference between the two sisters, while one wanted to DO a lot the other wanted for BE much. While one was distracted and occupied with many things, the other had fellowship with God. Many believe in the Lord Jesus, but not all have life with God, not all have this intimacy with their Lord, and that is what He most appreciates in us.
There is no use going to church and believing in God if there is no such approach to the Lord. How about you, have you been a Martha or a Mary?

Monday, 26 June 2017

A shepherd or a hired hand?


“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. But he who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and runs away. So the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.” John 10: 11-12
The Lord Jesus compares himself to the good shepherd who gives His life to rescue his sheep. He guards them, feeds them, guides and protects them against predators.
On the other hand, if there are good pastors it is because there are also the bad ones. These are the wage earners, who work only for money but not for the love of souls.
The servants who don’t have true love for souls don’t care about the stage of their sheep. Those who perform the work of God to receive a salary, or thinking of their own life and well-being for sure are not willing to make any sacrifice for the people who need their help and direction.
These are those who don’t pray for the people, are not interested in knowing the suffering of the people; they will not wake up in the middle of the night to pray for the afflicted, much less sacrifice their day off if needed. They just meet their schedules and live their lives normally without even thinking about those who are spiritually dependent on them. And when the “wolf” comes, they are the first to flee and leave behind the herd that is unprotected and exposed to all dangers.
As the Word of God describes them, these are the hired hand who are not shepherds.
There is a difference between working for a profit and to working for love. He who truly loves souls gives himself for them, in prayer, fasting, vigils, counseling, visits, and all that he can do for the afflicted. This is the good shepherd, who cares about the well-being of his sheep; and even when he is not near them, his thoughts and prayers go along them, because he is aware that the sheep depends on his shepherd.
Meditate on how your service has been in the work of God!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Example of Servant - He was meek and peaceful



When the centurion who stood facing Him saw that He cried out and gave up the spirit, he said, “Truly, this Man was the Son of God.” Mark 15:39
Our example of Servant had good testimony even in the most difficult and agonizing hour of his earthly existence. The centurion, who was the leader of the Roman military service, watched the suffering of the Lord Jesus until His death. He was impressed with how the Messiah endured all the pain and suffering. Through His meek and peaceful conduct, the Lord Jesus won souls even at the hour of death. Even the centurion being a pagan man, acknowledged that He was truly the Son of God.
 This teaches us that just as the centurion confessed that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God because of His behavior before all that He had suffered, the people around us must witnesses our good behavior so that, although they do not manifest faith in God, they will acknowledge Him in our lives. It is easy to be gentle, loving, patient and polite when things are going well; there is no difficulty in that. 
However, many are those who embarrass the Lord when things do not favor them: when the situation is difficult or simply when they are contradicted. At such times, they become aggressive, coarse, slanderous and nervous, demonstrating an opposite behavior to what they have professed. They are gentle and peaceful if all is the way it pleases them, when they do not suffer injustice or feel offended. Otherwise that meekness disappears instantly.
Now think of your reaction when someone pisses you off, hits your nerve, is unfair and mean to you, disagrees with you, and so on. Let us look at our reactions to each situation we live in, for they show us what is really within us. Being meek when everything is to our liking is very easy, it is difficult to remain calm in the face of the tribulations and injustices of life. 
This is what Jesus did, that is why He is admirable!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Faith vs Works



We will be saved by our faith in Jesus and not by the amount of good works. However, a faith without works is not real. If I say that I have faith but I do not materialize it or I do not have the courage to act it, what profit will there be? None! It would be like having a heart and it doesn’t work; it's inside of me, but it doesn’t give me life.
Without the use of faith the person is full of problems and his/her life is destroyed. I am not referring only to physical accomplishments, but it takes faith even to conquer Salvation. It is no use to have faith and not make use of it to leave sin, traditions and religion; and obey the Word.
Genuine and supernatural faith, given by God Himself, drives us to act and not cross our arms. It shows us that there are no barriers that we cannot overcome, even if the circumstances show otherwise.
We cannot show our faith with words. Through the transformation of our lives it is possible to put it into evidence, even without speaking.
Of course, this faith comes through obedience to the Word of God. No one who lives in disobedience possesses the supernatural faith. It is the power of the Holy Spirit within each one of us and the only one that has the power to change our lives, starting with our interior.
So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” (James 2:17).
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