Sacred Spaces- August 11, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”—Hebrews 13:5-6

This week’s Verse presents two challenging commands: don’t love money and be content. Obedience to both is fueled by the certain, unfailing presence of God.

Living through a pandemic is a good way to find out if you love money. The daily headlines about job losses, unemployment claims, stock market losses, and devaluation of the economy have an unnerving effect. For some folks, it’s reason to panic, for others, reason to rail against the decision makers and insist that every health risk should be tolerated for the sake of the economy. How do the financial headlines strike you?

A gripping fear that wakes you in the night may be a symptom of sinful affections, or it might signal lack of contentment. Wherever you find yourself, cultivating contentment with what you have, whether a lot or a little, helps to guard you from love of money. And both rest on the guarantee of God’s presence.

Author Jeremiah Burroughs (in The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment) called contentment “a very timely cordial to revive the drooping spirit of the saints in these sad and sinking times.” Apart from the quaint word cordial, he could have been writing this today. Yet his was a different age–he was writing nearly 400 years ago! Even older is God’s Word that is living and active in every age. It is a great comfort how providentially this week’s memory verses fit our current need.

More is Never Enough
Before we know if we love money, we must ask what love of money means. When we love something, we naturally want more of it. Two people in love want more time together, a nature lover can’t wait to be outside again, and a lover of good food is always looking forward to and planning her next meal. If we love money, we always want more. No matter how much you have, it is never enough. That’s why it’s impossible to be content when you love money. But interestingly, the author of Hebrews doesn’t say, “keep your life free from love of money so that you can be content.” Rather, he says, “keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have.”

Paul said that contentment was something he learned, not because of his financial state, but regardless of it:

In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:12-13).

Paul’s contentment flowed from being in Christ and receiving His strength. So too, the author of Hebrews grounds the command to be content in God’s promise never to “leave you nor forsake you.” It is the presence of Christ, not merely dispassion for money, that teaches us contentment.

The Danger of Too Much
The certain presence of God at all times, in all places, calms our anxious hearts not only in the face of payroll interruptions and budget shortfalls, it also steadies us in the face of embarrassing plenty. Having too much is what threatened the Israelites in the promised land. God told Moses to warn them saying,

For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant (Deuteronomy 31:20).

This warning from God followed His promise (quoted in our passage in Hebrews) to never leave the Israelites:

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed (Deuteronomy 31:8).

The Israelite’s greatest danger was not that they would fail in their conquest and have too little to live on, but that they would succeed and have too much. God told them: When you are full, you will forget Me. Excess leads to idolatry.

Proverbs 30 records the prayer of a man who understood this danger. In verse 8 we read,

Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

If you look for satisfaction in money, you will never be at rest. But if you are satisfied in Christ, your contentment will be unhinged from how much you have. Burroughs describes Christian contentment as “That sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition” (19).

We have two heart postures to choose from: Love of money and discontentment with what we have, or love of God and contentment with what He has given us, grounded in His presence and help. The first option finds you discontent whether you have much or little. The second finds you content whatever your situation.

The Cure for Greed and Fear
Further down in Hebrews 13 we read, “Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (verse 16). Do you have a lot? Give. Do you have a little? Give. Giving out of your plenty is a good way to kill greed. Giving out of your lack is a good way to kill fear. Both foster faith. When we love God and know–really know and believe–that He is our provider and will never leave us, we can love Him, not money, and give generously.

At root, we love money because we think it has the power to protect us from what we fear. But the Lord’s help is better than anything money can buy. That’s the point of verse 6. The logical flow is something like this:
Keep your life free from love of money
And be content with what you have
Because you have God with you always.

And because He is with you
The Lord is your helper,
And because the Lord is your helper, you are free not to fear–
There is nothing man can do to you that is not under Christ’s rule.

Nothing man can do to you is more powerful, or terrible, than what He who holds the power over life and death can do (Luke 12:5). If you’re not afraid of man because the Lord is your helper, you’ll have no need for money to save you.

If you are secure in God’s presence and the Lord’s help, you can use whatever money you have been given by God (Deuteronomy 8:18) to do what God intends you to do: provide for yourself and your family, and give to others (Ephesians 4:28, 1 Timothy 5:8).

Because God is our keeper (Psalm 121), we can keep our lives free from love of money. Because God has promised to be with us always, we can rest content in Him, whether we have much or little. Because the Lord is our helper, we can live fearlessly in the face of troubles big and small. No matter what the future holds, every Christian who is content will be able to say with Burroughs, “He has all things who has Him who has all things” (68).

 

Question to consider: Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)

  1. Have you seen a drop in hours and income as a result of widespread quarantines and sheltering in place? Maybe you’ve even lost your job. Even as you pray for help, ask the Lord to show you how you can serve someone else in need.
  2. Are you afraid of losing your job or income? Ask God to comfort you with His presence and show you His power to provide. He is not limited by your circumstances.
  3. Pray and ask the Lord to make this season of financial loss a time of fruitful spiritual gain. May He do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.

Prayer:  Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Weekend Worship- August 9, 2020/Culto de fin de semana: 9 de agosto de 2020

Scripture Reading/Lectura bíblica:

Escuchen ahora la explicación de la parábola acerca del agricultor que salió a sembrar: 19 Las semillas que cayeron en el camino representan a los que oyen el mensaje del reino y no lo entienden. Entonces viene el maligno y arrebata la semilla que fue sembrada en el corazón. 20 Las semillas sobre la tierra rocosa representan a los que oyen el mensaje y de inmediato lo reciben con alegría; 21 pero, como no tienen raíces profundas, no duran mucho. En cuanto tienen problemas o son perseguidos por creer la palabra de Dios, caen. 22 Las semillas que cayeron entre los espinos representan a los que oyen la palabra de Dios, pero muy pronto el mensaje queda desplazado por las preocupaciones de esta vida y el atractivo de la riqueza, así que no se produce ningún fruto. 23 Las semillas que cayeron en la buena tierra representan a los que de verdad oyen y entienden la palabra de Dios, ¡y producen una cosecha treinta, sesenta y hasta cien veces más numerosa de lo que se había sembrado!

Confession/Confesión:

Dear Lord Jesus, we feel our sins. They bite and gnaw and terrify us. Where shall we go? We will look to You, Lord Jesus, and believe in You. Although our faith is often weak, we look to You and find assurance, for You have promised, “He that believes in Me shall have everlasting life.” Our conscience is burdened and our sins make us tremble, but You have said:  “Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven and I will raise you up on the last day and you shall have eternal life.” We cannot do any of this for ourselves. We come to You for help.  Amen.

Querido Señor Jesús, sentimos nuestros pecados. Nos muerden, roen y nos aterrorizan. ¿A dónde iremos? Te miraremos, Señor Jesús, y creeremos en ti. Aunque nuestra fe es a menudo débil, te miramos y encontramos seguridad, porque has prometido: “El que cree en mí tendrá vida eterna”. Nuestra conciencia está cargada y nuestros pecados nos hacen temblar, pero Tú has dicho: “Ten ánimo, tus pecados te serán perdonados y yo te resucitaré el último día y tendrás vida eterna”. No podemos hacer nada de esto por nosotros mismos. Venimos a ti por ayuda. Amén.

Pause for 2 Minutes of Silence/ Pausa por 2 minutos de silencio

 

Pause for 1 Minute of Silence/ Pausa por 1 minuto de silencio

The Our Father (slowly pray this)/El Padre Nuestro (reza lentamente esto)

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre. Venga tu reino, Hágase tu voluntad en la tierra, como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día. Y perdona nuestras ofensas, como perdonamos a los que nos ofenden. Y no nos dejes caer en la tentación, sino líbranos del maligno. Para ti es el reino, el poder y la gloria para siempre, Amén.

 

 

Espacios Sagrados – 8 de agosto de 2020

Silencio, quietud y centrado ante Dios (2 minutos)

Lectura bíblica y devocional:

Hasta los jóvenes se debilitan y se cansan, y los hombres jóvenes caen exhaustos.
31 En cambio, los que confían en el Señor encontrarán nuevas fuerzas;
    volarán alto, como con alas de águila. Correrán y no se cansarán; caminarán y no desmayarán.

Isaiah 40:30-31

El cansancio es un sentimiento con el que la mayoría de nosotros estamos muy familiarizados. Corriendo harapientos por nuestras responsabilidades diarias, agotados por los efectos persistentes del pecado interno y cansados ​​por las formas del mundo que nos rodea, somos dolorosamente conscientes de nuestra fuerza limitada. Para que no pienses que estás solo sintiéndote de esa manera, Isaías nos recuerda en el versículo 30 que incluso los más fuertes entre nosotros finalmente se desmayan y se agotan.

La pregunta es: ¿qué debemos hacer con respecto a nuestro cansancio? Claramente no nos quedan fuerzas para convocar y seguir adelante. Intentar más no es una opción en un tanque vacío. Entonces, ¿qué vamos a hacer?

La respuesta de Isaías en el versículo 31 es sorprendentemente refrescante: espera.

Espera al incansable. Espera al Señor, el Creador eterno que “no se desmaya ni se cansa” (versículo 28). ¡En este pasaje, este incansable promete que hay nuevos depósitos de fuerza que esperan su espera! Fuerza para correr con resistencia la carrera que se te presenta. Fuerza para caminar de una manera digna del Señor, y no desmayarse. Fuerza para no cansarse de hacer el bien. ¡Toda esta fuerza solo esperando que esperes!

Entonces, ¿qué debes esperar exactamente mientras esperas al Señor? Aquí hay algunas sugerencias para ayudarlo mientras espera no cansarse:

“Espera ansiosamente la esperanza de la justicia” (Gálatas 5: 5)

“Espera a su Hijo del cielo, a quien resucitó de los muertos, Jesús, que nos libra de la ira venidera” (1 Tesalonicenses 1:10)

“Espera nuestra bendita esperanza, la aparición de la gloria de nuestro gran Dios y Salvador Jesucristo” (Tito 2:13)

“Esperen nuevos cielos y una nueva tierra en la que mora la justicia” (2 Pedro 3:13)

y “espera la misericordia de nuestro Señor Jesucristo que conduce a la vida eterna” (Judas 21)

Mientras espera al SEÑOR, el poder de estas promesas se remonta desde su cumplimiento futuro a nuestros problemas actuales y renueva nuestra fuerza para resistir.

Por lo tanto, si está cansado y cansado hoy, no intente seguir cojeando o piense que la respuesta a su agotamiento es simplemente otra hora de sueño o una taza de café. En cambio, busque el remedio de Isaías para su cansancio: esperar.

Y mientras esperas para no estar cansado, recuerda que un día la espera habrá terminado y tendremos lo que esperábamos:

“Se dirá ese día:” He aquí, este es nuestro Dios; Lo hemos esperado para que nos salve. Este es el SEÑOR; lo hemos esperado; alegrémonos y alegrémonos en su salvación. ”Isaías 25: 9

Pregunta a considerar: qué palabra o frase se destaca para usted. ¿Qué podría decirte Dios?)

Oración: Concluir con el silencio (5 minutos)

¿A dónde suele acudir cuando está agotado y cansado?
¿Qué cosa particular estás esperando esta semana que pueda ayudarte a combatir tu cansancio?
Si estás buscando una buena oración para ayudarte esta semana, prueba Isaías 33: 2: “Oh Señor, ten misericordia de nosotros; Nosotros esperamos por ti. Sé nuestro brazo todas las mañanas, nuestra salvación en tiempos de problemas.

El Padre Nuestro (reza lentamente esto)

Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre. Venga tu reino, Hágase tu voluntad en la tierra, como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día. Y perdona nuestras ofensas, como perdonamos a los que nos ofenden. Y no nos dejes caer en la tentación, sino líbranos del maligno. Para ti es el reino, el poder y la gloria para siempre, Amén.

Sacred Spaces – August 8, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

 

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. —Isaiah 40:30-31

Weariness is a feeling most of us are all too familiar with. Run ragged by our daily responsibilities, exhausted from the lingering effects of indwelling sin, and wearied by the ways of the world around us, we are painfully aware of our limited strength. Lest you think you’re alone in feeling that way, Isaiah reminds us in verse 30 that even the strongest among us eventually faints and falls exhausted.

The question is: what are we to do about our weariness? We clearly have no strength left to summon up and soldier on. Trying harder isn’t an option on an empty tank. So what are we to do?

Isaiah’s answer in verse 31 is startlingly refreshing: wait.

Wait for the unwearied One. Wait for the LORD, the everlasting Creator who “does not faint or grow weary” (verse 28). In this passage, this unwearied One promises that there are fresh reservoirs of strength that await your waiting! Strength to run with endurance the race set before you. Strength to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, and not faint. Strength to not grow weary in doing good. All of this strength just waiting for you to wait!

So what exactly should you wait for as you wait for the LORD? Here are some suggestions to help you as you’re waiting to not be weary:

“eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness” (Galatians 5:5)

“wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

“wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)

“wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13)

and “wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude 21)

As you wait for the LORD, the power of these promises reaches back from their future fulfillment into our present problems and renews our strength to stand.

So if you’re weary and exhausted today, don’t try to keep limping along or think the answer to your exhaustion is simply another hour of sleep or cup of coffee. Instead, look to Isaiah’s remedy for your weariness: waiting.

And as you wait to not be weary, remember, one day the wait will be over and we’ll have what we waited for:

“It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”” Isaiah 25:9

 

Question to consider: Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)

Prayer:  Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

  1. Where do you typically turn when you’re exhausted and weary?
  2. What’s one particular thing you’re waiting for this week that can help fight your weariness?
  3. If you’re looking for a good prayer to help you this week, try Isaiah 33:2: “O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.”

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Sacred Spaces – August 7, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

 

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. —Colossians 3:1-3

In this passage, the apostle Paul helps us understand who we are in Christ, and what we are to do in light of that reality. Before we examine our condition in Christ and subsequent calling, though, let’s consider the contrast that Paul sets up as his letter transitions into chapter three. You might want to grab a Bible and follow along.

The Contrast

At the end of Colossians 2, Paul sets up a contrast, making the point that those of us who have died with Christ have also died to the idea of setting up regulations or living ascetically in order to work our way to God. Christians have died to a works-based lifestyle, and now live gospel-driven lives. Paul is saying that Christians recognize they can never work their way to God, and fight to rest in his power instead of their own. But what does it mean to live a gospel-driven life? Enter chapter three.

Our Condition

Paul wants to tell us what a gospel-driven life looks like, but first, he wants to remind us of our condition in Christ. “If then you have been raised with Christ…”, he begins (emphasis mine). Paul is not telling us what we must do in order to be raised with Christ; he’s telling us what to do because we have been raised with Christ. He’s making the point that our condition drives our calling, and to make the point stronger, he bookends this section by telling us who we are in Christ twice. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God,” Colossians 3:3 states (emphasis mine). Let’s put away our checklists, because this is not about how we must make ourselves right before God; indeed, we cannot. Yet, we do have a calling. What must we do in light of who we are? More precisely, what do lives that are hidden in Christ look like?

Our Call

Because we have been raised with Christ, Paul says, we are to “set our minds on things above.” What does that mean, though?

John Piper has a helpful word on this question in his article entitled, Setting Our Minds on Things Above in Summer: Thoughts on Colossians 3:1-2:

“[Things of earth are all a] prelude to the real drama of heaven. It is a foretaste of the real banquet. It is a video preview of the reality of what the eternal summer will be like when ‘the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb’ (Revelation 21:23).”

Piper is saying that Jesus is in the details of our daily lives. “Things above” are things pertaining to the beauty of Jesus. Colossians 3:1-3, then, calls us to live in such a way that Christ can be seen in us, and we would worship him in the details of our lives. It is a call not to ultimately treasure the things of earth, but – as Piper goes on to say – to “see the Light beyond the campfire.” To acknowledge that everything exists for God’s glory, and so, to glorify him in everything we do.

Because we have already been raised with Christ, believers, this call is attainable. Because our lives are hidden with Christ, “who is our life,” we are already counted righteous even as we struggle daily to obey Paul’s exhortation. Because we are seated with Jesus in the heavenly places, we have been given access to the source from which we must draw our strength to live out Paul’s charge – God himself. Best of all, our union with Christ guarantees that we can never be disconnected from this source of power.

We need only ask, and God will again breathe gospel-driven life into us, by his Holy Spirit, empowering us to set our minds on things above.

 

Question to consider: Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)

  1. Do you find yourself forgetting who you are in Christ? How does that manifest itself in your life? How can you keep the gospel forefront in the “details” of your life?
  2. In what ways are you tempted to rely on yourself instead of all that God is for you in Christ? How can you fight these temptations?
  3. What things currently occupy your time? How might you see past those things to “things above”?

Prayer:  Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

Espacios Sagrados – 7 de agosto de 2020

Silencio, quietud y centrado ante Dios (2 minutos)

Lectura bíblica y devocional:

Ya que han sido resucitados a una vida nueva con Cristo, pongan la mira en las verdades del cielo, donde Cristo está sentado en el lugar de honor, a la derecha de Dios. Piensen en las cosas del cielo, no en las de la tierra. Pues ustedes han muerto a esta vida, y su verdadera vida está escondida con Cristo en Dios.

Colosenses 3:1-3

En este pasaje, el apóstol Pablo nos ayuda a comprender quiénes somos en Cristo y qué debemos hacer a la luz de esa realidad. Sin embargo, antes de examinar nuestra condición en Cristo y el llamado posterior, consideremos el contraste que Pablo establece a medida que su carta pasa al capítulo tres. Es posible que desee tomar una Biblia y seguirla.

El contraste

Al final de Colosenses 2, Pablo establece un contraste, señalando que aquellos de nosotros que hemos muerto con Cristo también hemos muerto a la idea de establecer regulaciones o vivir ascéticamente para llegar a Dios. Los cristianos han muerto a un estilo de vida basado en las obras, y ahora viven vidas impulsadas por el evangelio. Pablo dice que los cristianos reconocen que nunca pueden llegar a Dios y luchan por descansar en su poder en lugar del suyo. Pero, ¿qué significa vivir una vida impulsada por el evangelio? Entra en el capítulo tres.

Nuestra condición

Pablo quiere decirnos cómo es una vida impulsada por el evangelio, pero primero, quiere recordarnos nuestra condición en Cristo. “Si entonces has resucitado con Cristo …”, comienza (énfasis mío). Pablo no nos dice qué debemos hacer para ser resucitados con Cristo; nos dice qué hacer porque hemos sido criados con Cristo. Él está señalando que nuestra condición impulsa nuestro llamado, y para fortalecer el punto, encierra esta sección al decirnos quiénes somos en Cristo dos veces. “Porque has muerto y tu vida está escondida con Cristo en Dios”, dice Colosenses 3: 3 (énfasis mío). Guardemos nuestras listas de verificación, porque no se trata de cómo debemos hacernos justos ante Dios; de hecho, no podemos. Sin embargo, tenemos un llamado. ¿Qué debemos hacer a la luz de quiénes somos? Más precisamente, ¿cómo son las vidas que están escondidas en Cristo?

Nuestra llamada

Debido a que hemos sido resucitados con Cristo, dice Pablo, debemos “poner nuestras mentes en las cosas de arriba”. ¿Pero, qué significa eso?

John Piper tiene una palabra útil sobre esta pregunta en su artículo titulado, Poner nuestras mentes en las cosas de arriba en verano: Pensamientos sobre Colosenses 3: 1-2:

“[Las cosas de la tierra son todas a] preludio del verdadero drama del cielo. Es un anticipo del verdadero banquete. Es una vista previa en video de la realidad de cómo será el verano eterno cuando “la ciudad no necesita el sol o la luna para brillar sobre ella, porque la gloria de Dios es su luz y su lámpara es el Cordero” (Apocalipsis 21:23) “.

Piper dice que Jesús está en los detalles de nuestra vida diaria. Las “cosas de arriba” son cosas que pertenecen a la belleza de Jesús. Colosenses 3: 1-3, entonces, nos llama a vivir de tal manera que Cristo pueda ser visto en nosotros, y lo adoraríamos en los detalles de nuestras vidas. Es un llamado a no atesorar en última instancia las cosas de la tierra, sino, como continúa diciendo Piper, a “ver la Luz más allá de la fogata”. Reconocer que todo existe para la gloria de Dios, y así, glorificarlo en todo lo que hacemos.

Debido a que ya hemos sido criados con Cristo, creyentes, este llamado es alcanzable. Debido a que nuestras vidas están ocultas con Cristo, “quién es nuestra vida”, ya se nos considera justos incluso cuando luchamos diariamente para obedecer la exhortación de Pablo. Debido a que estamos sentados con Jesús en los lugares celestiales, se nos ha dado acceso a la fuente de la cual debemos sacar nuestras fuerzas para vivir la carga de Pablo: Dios mismo. Lo mejor de todo, nuestra unión con Cristo garantiza que nunca podremos desconectarnos de esta fuente de poder.

Solo necesitamos preguntar, y Dios nuevamente nos dará vida impulsada por el evangelio, por medio de su Espíritu Santo, que nos capacitará para poner nuestras mentes en las cosas de arriba.

Pregunta a considerar: qué palabra o frase se destaca para usted. ¿Qué podría decirte Dios?)

¿Te encuentras olvidando quién eres en Cristo? ¿Cómo se manifiesta eso en tu vida? ¿Cómo puedes mantener la vanguardia del evangelio en los “detalles” de tu vida?
¿De qué maneras estás tentado a confiar en ti mismo en lugar de todo lo que Dios es para ti en Cristo? ¿Cómo puedes luchar contra estas tentaciones?
¿Qué cosas ocupan actualmente tu tiempo? ¿Cómo podrías ver más allá de esas cosas a “cosas de arriba”?

Oración: Concluir con el silencio (5 minutos)

El Padre Nuestro (reza lentamente esto)

Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre. Venga tu reino, Hágase tu voluntad en la tierra, como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día. Y perdona nuestras ofensas, como perdonamos a los que nos ofenden. Y no nos dejes caer en la tentación, sino líbranos del maligno. Para ti es el reino, el poder y la gloria para siempre, Amén.

Sacred Spaces – August 6, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

 

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him… —2 Chronicles 16:9

This passage presents one of the most comforting truths revealed in the Word; the Mighty One always helps the weak who take refuge in Him. Those who cry out “from the ends of the earth I call to you, when my heart faints. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been a refuge, a strong tower against the enemy” (Psalm 61:2-3).

But while many benefit from this truth, others learn by suffering from not resting in the God who saves without the need of a sword or a spear (1 Samuel 17:47), or by forgetting it at the time of the test. And this is the story behind this glorious statement.

The king of Israel had a great strategy to defeat Judah. Israel was corrupted and all their kings turned their backs on God. But it was not like that with Judah. There were kings who honored God, so Judah prevailed longer than the northern kingdom. In fact, Asa is presented as a man of God (2 Chronicles 15:17). However, here he is frightened by the strength of his enemies and it only occurs to him to seek help in the arm of man (Syria) to defeat them. Jehovah reminds him that when they trusted in His arm, He delivered them from the Ethiopians and Libyans, who were very powerful. God says that Asa acted “madly.” And it is what we do when the strong storms of affliction make us look away from the great I Am.

Shouldn’t have Asa cried “Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you… O great and mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts” (Jeremiah 32:17-18)?

Oh, son of God! He has been provision, salvation and protection for you. Recognize him on the day of affliction and He will show you His fidelity. On the other hand, if you do not honor Him and seek help outside Him, remember that He is jealous and He does not share His glory. The punishment came over Asa on that occasion, yet even after this he did not learn the lesson.

But you, rest in Him and comfort yourself in these words: “that His eyes are attentive to you at all times to strengthen you.”

 

Question to consider: Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)

  1. Who or what do you go to first for help when there is no apparent way out?
  2. Is prayer your last resort or is it your great advantage against the strategy of the evil one?
  3. Are you willing for God to act, and to rest in Him?

Prayer:  Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

ESPACIOS SAGRADOS – 5 DE AGOSTO DE 2020

Silencio, quietud y centrado ante Dios (2 minutos)

Lectura bíblica y devocional:

    sus oídos están abiertos a sus gritos de auxilio.
16 Pero el Señor aparta su rostro de los que hacen lo malo;
    borrará todo recuerdo de ellos de la faz de la tierra.

En estos versículos se muestran dos de los atributos de Dios que tienen un impacto directo en la vida de todos: la misericordia de Dios y su justicia. Puede que no parezca obvio, pero ambos deberían ser reconfortantes para quienes confían en Cristo. Dios está atento a los justos cuando claman a Él en su angustia (Salmo 86: 5-7, 3: 4, 34:17, 57: 2, 50:15, 59: 1-2, 120: 1, Lamentaciones 3: 55-57, Miqueas 7: 7-9).

¿Quiénes son los justos? La Biblia nos dice que “no hay justo” (Romanos 3: 10-12). Así que aquí debemos entender que “los justos” son aquellos que por fe confían en Dios para salvación y santificación, la justicia provista por Dios en Cristo Jesús (Habacuc 2: 4b). Estos son los que miran a Dios, buscan su rostro y claman a él (Deuteronomio 4:29, Isaías 55: 6, Salmo 27: 4, 34: 15,1 Crónicas 16:11, Salmo 77: 1-2 , 2 Crónicas 7:14, Sofonías 2: 3).

En contraste, los malvados, los que hacen el mal, recibirán la justicia de Dios (Salmo 60:12, Miqueas 3: 4, Sofonías 3: 5). Dios aparta su rostro de ellos y “cortará” incluso el recuerdo de ellos. Los que confían en Dios se regocijarán en su cuidado por ellos, no solo en su misericordia, sino también en su justicia. Él se muestra a sí mismo como soberano y como nuestro Padre en la forma en que se preocupa por nosotros (Salmo 9: 9-10, Salmo 121, Miqueas 7: 18-20). Es confiable y justo. Él es nuestro protector y vindicador. Podemos confiar en que su justicia prevalecerá.

Por lo tanto, el pueblo de Dios se apresurará a agradecerle por su atención a sus gritos (Salmo 107) y lo glorificará dejándole venganza en sus manos (Romanos 12: 17-21, 1 Tesalonicenses 5:15). Es para todos los que aman a Dios que también tengan esperanza en Él, recordando las nuevas misericordias que experimentamos todos los días (Lamentaciones 3: 21-23). Dios es fiel tanto para escucharnos como para proporcionar lo que necesitamos (Salmo 34: 8-10, 17, 19). Podemos confiar en que Él lidiará con las heridas e injusticias que enfrentamos en este mundo (Salmo 32: 4, 43, Habacuc 3: 16b-19).

Por lo tanto, le insto a que lo busque, investigue su Palabra y conozca más su carácter. Invoca a Él, confía en Él en todas las circunstancias (1 Tesalonicenses 5: 16-18). Como lo expresó Andrew Murray: “Mi padre ve, mi padre escucha, mi padre sabe”, ¡y mi padre se preocupa!

Pregunta a considerar: qué palabra o frase se destaca para usted. ¿Qué podría decirte Dios?)

¿Qué atributo de Dios podría necesitar estudiar en la Palabra de Dios para obtener una imagen más completa de Dios?
¿Qué nuevas misericordias puedo agradecer a Dios por hoy?
¿Qué injusticias veo que puedo echarle encima y confiarle (1 Pedro 5: 7)?

Oración: Concluir con el silencio (5 minutos)

El Padre Nuestro (reza lentamente esto)

Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre. Venga tu reino, Hágase tu voluntad en la tierra, como en el cielo. Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día. Y perdona nuestras ofensas, como perdonamos a los que nos ofenden. Y no nos dejes caer en la tentación, sino líbranos del maligno. Para ti es el reino, el poder y la gloria para siempre, Amén.

Sacred Spaces – August 5, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. 16The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

–Psalm 34:15-16

Two of God’s attributes are on display in these verses that have a direct impact on the lives of everyone: God’s mercy and His justice. It might not seem obvious, but both of these should be comforting to those who trust in Christ. God is attentive to the righteous when they cry out to Him in their distress (Psalm 86:5-7, 3:4, 34:17, 57:2, 50:15, 59:1-2, 120:1, Lamentations 3:55-57, Micah 7:7-9).

Who are the righteous? The Bible tells us “there is none righteous” (Romans 3:10-12). So here we must understand that “the righteous” are those who by faith are trusting in God for salvation and sanctification, the righteousness provided by God in Christ Jesus (Habakkuk 2:4b). These are the ones who look to God, seek His face, and cry out to Him (Deuteronomy 4:29, Isaiah 55:6, Psalm 27:4, 34:15,1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalm 77:1-2, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Zephaniah 2:3).

In contrast, the wicked, those who do evil, will receive God’s justice (Psalm 60:12, Micah 3:4, Zephaniah 3:5). God turns His face away from them and He will “cut off” even the memory of them. Those who trust in God will rejoice in His care for them, not only in His mercy, but also in His justice. He shows Himself both as sovereign and as our Father in the way He cares for us (Psalm 9:9-10, Psalm 121, Micah 7:18-20). He is trustworthy and just. He is our protector and vindicator. We can trust that His justice will prevail.

Therefore, God’s people will be quick to thank Him for His attention to their cries (Psalm 107) and will glorify Him by leaving revenge in His hands (Romans 12:17-21, 1 Thessalonians 5:15). It is for everyone who loves God to also hope in Him, calling to mind new mercies we experience every day (Lamentations 3:21-23). God is faithful to both hear us and provide what we need (Psalm 34:8-10, 17, 19). We can trust Him to deal with the hurts and injustices we face in this world (Psalm 32:4, 43, Habakkuk 3:16b-19).

So, I urge you to seek Him, look into His Word, and get to know His character more. Call on Him, trust Him in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). As Andrew Murray put it, “My Father sees, my Father hears, my Father knows,” and my Father cares!

Question to consider: Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What attribute of God might I need to study in God’s Word to gain a fuller picture of God?
  2. What new mercies can I thank God for today?
  3. What injustices do I see that I can cast on Him and entrust to Him (1 Peter 5:7)?

Prayer:  Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

 

SACRED SPACES – AUGUST 4, 2020

 

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. – Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.  Revelation 2:2, 4-5

Remember when you first came to Christ? You were aware of your need. You were humbled by His love, appreciative of His sacrifice for you. You wanted to help everyone else know Him. What happened? How did we allow our intimate relationship with Christ to become a ritual? When did we trade our freedom? When did we forsake our joy? Have we traded our relationship with Christ for a religion? Have we given up grace for rules and regulations? Have we traded the mission of the church for membership in a country club? Paul wrote the church in Colossians, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” He asked them to continue to live in Christ just like they did the first day they tasted of salvation. The first day the Spirit of God was born in their heart, the first time the tears from God’s forgiveness stained their cheeks. John warned the church in Ephesus that even though they worked hard and persevered, they had lost their first love. He admonished them to repent and return to doing the things that they did at first. Oh, that we would never forget the wonder that God loves us. Today, examine your heart. Do you feel far from God? Who moved? Go back to the place you met Christ. Rededicate your heart to Him. Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him.

Father, take me back to the time I first knew You. Renew the joy in my soul. Reignite the fire that burned in my heart. Help me to remember and to live this day in the fresh awareness of Your love and forgiveness. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

Question to consider: Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)

Prayer:  Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.