Weekend Worship- September 13, 2020 / Culto de fin de semana- 13 de septiembre de 2020

Scripture Reading/Lectura bíblica: Matthew 18:15-20/ Mateo 18:15-20

15 “If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”


15 »Si tu hermano peca contra ti,[a] ve a solas con él y hazle ver su falta. Si te hace caso, has ganado a tu hermano. 16 Pero, si no, lleva contigo a uno o dos más, para que “todo asunto se resuelva mediante el testimonio de dos o tres testigos”.[b] 17 Si se niega a hacerles caso a ellos, díselo a la iglesia; y, si incluso a la iglesia no le hace caso, trátalo como si fuera un incrédulo o un renegado.[c]

18 »Les aseguro que todo lo que ustedes aten en la tierra quedará atado en el cielo, y todo lo que desaten en la tierra quedará desatado en el cielo.

19 »Además les digo que, si dos de ustedes en la tierra se ponen de acuerdo sobre cualquier cosa que pidan, les será concedida por mi Padre que está en el cielo. 20 Porque donde dos o tres se reúnen en mi nombre, allí estoy yo en medio de ellos».

 

 

Confession/Confesión:

O God, we think we love You well on many occasions, but the truth is our love for You is diluted and weak. Our hearts are divided, and our passion for Your Kingdom half-hearted. Our trust in You seems pure only for brief moments. Our affections are drawn away too quickly, and our devotion to You dies far too easily. Forgive us. In Your deep mercy, rekindle our love for You as we see anew Jesus’ love for us. In His name we pray. Amen.

Oh Dios, pensamos que te amamos bien en muchas ocasiones, pero la verdad es que nuestro amor por Ti está diluido y débil. Nuestros corazones están divididos y nuestra pasión por Tu Reino es poco entusiasta. Nuestra confianza en ti parece pura solo por breves momentos. Nuestros afectos se alejan demasiado rápido y nuestra devoción por Ti muere con demasiada facilidad. Perdónanos. En tu profunda misericordia, reaviva nuestro amor por ti al ver de nuevo el amor de Jesús por nosotros. En su nombre oramos. 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.

Sacred Spaces – September 10, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.—1 Timothy 6:6-7

This verse refers to the love of money being the root of all kinds of evil. At the heart of wanting and loving money more than God is unbelief. There is no godliness with contentment in this world apart from the saving sacrifice of Christ and obedience to the teaching that accords with godliness.

Matthew Henry comments: “Money of itself answers nothing; it will neither feed nor clothe; but, as it is the instrument of commerce, it answers all the occasions of this present life. What is to be had maybe had for money. But it answers nothing to the soul; it will not procure the pardon of sin, the favor of God, the peace of conscience; the soul, as it is not redeemed, so it is not maintained, with corruptible things as silver and gold.”

The Bible says: “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:2b-3). While our souls are regenerate, our flesh is not. Therefore, my desires are sin-tainted. Jesus alone accomplished a life of pure desire and motive: the will of His Father.

Imagine what life in this day would be like if there was absolute trust in the Lord for everything needed and all our heart longings were according to His perfect will and commands? One day “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:27) will be everlasting and without fleshly struggle. That promise gives hope and assurance of what will be when we are with our Lord face to face.

For now, true godliness with contentment is only possible when we seek God with our whole heart, mind, and soul and love Him above all else. Let’s pray to flee from sin and the love of money, cling to Jesus and the Word, trust the Holy Spirit to counsel, and be content with our lot in life. Let’s encourage one another with grateful hearts to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12: 1). Let’s heed the wise words of Paul to his young charge, Timothy, and remember that “naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return” (Job 1:21).

May we use and enjoy the spiritual and material gifts we have been given to further the Kingdom work of our Father who is the great provider of all things.

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

1. What is the “great gain” referred to in this text?
2. What do I treasure and what attitudes need to change?
3. Am I willing to memorize and burn this message into my heart?

Prayer:  Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

The smile of the Father shines on me – I am approved of; [i]

I have the mind of Christ – I have important things to say; [ii]

Upon me is the anointing of the Holy Spirit – I am empowered. [iii]

 

Jesus is my Lord and Savior and I dwell in his Kingdom of the Heavens; [iv]

He is my Teacher and I am his beloved apprentice – [v]

I urge people to join me and be with Jesus to become like him. [vi]

 

The Word of God is alive and active and it dwells richly in me [vii]

And the Holy Spirit reminds me of Jesus’ words of truth and grace – [viii]

So I can minister the Word of life to others and it will not return void. [ix]

 

The Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in me [x]

So I do not speak with human wisdom or worldly excitement [xi]

Or rely on my own strength – I count on the power of Almighty God.[xii]

 

As I teach I listen to the voice of God and invite others to listen too; [xiii]

As I serve I join the intercessions of the Holy Spirit, [xiv]

Praying that we all cry out with the Spirit, “Abba Father!  Jesus is Lord!” [xv]

 

The Lord is glorious in all things and captivates me continually;

So I do not draw attention to myself, but to Jesus Christ alone;

Nor do I base my identity on what people say about me.

 

I am Christ’s Ambassador; [xvi]

My citizenship is in heaven’s kingdom; [xvii]

My message is simply: “Follow me as I follow Christ!” [xviii]

 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 – September 9, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. 6The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? 7The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 8It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
—Psalm 118:5-8

Enemies. Hate. Persecution. Distress . . . tempters at the door, laying siege to hope and joy. What do you do when you are treated unfairly? Where do you run when faced with injustice? Do you fight or despair? Get angry or afraid? Maybe you sink into the slough of despond or valiantly resolve to never be a pushover again.
“Out of my distress, I called on the LORD and he answered me and set me free.”

Psalm 118, a messianic psalm, possibly authored by Moses, points us to the Lord who has conquered every temptation. There is a secret in this psalm that conquers the temptation to respond sinfully to persecution – it is the LORD, our refuge. Run to Him. He is sovereign. His steadfast, covenant love endures forever. We can’t fight this battle alone. He is Savior and will help us. “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”
The Lord is on our side. Man, by his very nature, breaks trust, but the Lord is trustworthy. He never breaks trust! His name is “Faithful and True” (Revelation 19:11)–turn to Him, take refuge in Him–He will set us free from every destructive scheme of our enemies.

We have earthly enemies–Jesus said the world would hate us because we belong to Him. But He has disarmed our earthly enemies through the cross and has stripped them of any eternal power over us. He Himself has become our refuge of protection from the firestorm of hate in this world.
“The LORD is on my side, I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”

And with the courage He provides us (He has gone before us), He has told us what to do;
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44).

The treasure trove of God’s love through Jesus Christ is infinitely deeper and more powerful than hate. He has set us free to respond to our enemies as He responded. We can engage our enemies, love our enemies, and pray for their blessing because our trust is in the Lord who has triumphed through the cross. I once read a story of a little boy who would go hungry at school because his lunch money was daily stolen by the class bully. The boy turned to God, prayed and read his Bible looking for a way to win his enemy. One day, his eyes settled on “if your enemy is hungry, feed him” (Romans 12:20). He showed the Bible verse to his mother and the next day she baked chocolate chip cookies for her son to offer in the name of Jesus to the bully. The bully could not resist the cookies, grabbed a handful and ate them – but he still stole the lunch money. In the days that followed, the bully was given a variety of things to eat from the boy, always with acknowledgement of Jesus, and was eventually won over. He became a friend of the boy, a friend of Jesus, and never stole from anyone at school again.

We also have supernatural enemies–rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over this present darkness, spiritual forces in heavenly places (Ephesians 6). The enemies of the LORD abound, but He intends we rely on His help (“I will ask the Father and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive.” John 14:16-17) – We are in a war not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers and authorities. Our help comes through God’s provision of the indwelling Holy Spirit who is working in us to equip us through God’s Word to win every battle, defeat every devious speculation raised up against Him, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
“The LORD is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.”

Every Christian was an enemy of God, but now we have been washed, sanctified, justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:11). We have been made friends through Christ’s victory at the cross. He triumphed over every enemy, including death.

“This [the record of debt, the legal demands against us] he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:14-15).

“But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet” (Hebrews 10:12-13).

Whether a person loves or hates the cross of Christ, everyone is ultimately conquered by it, though the culmination of that reality is yet to be revealed. He has told us in His Word about that day – “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Christ’s victory is for all those who will seek refuge in Him. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 118:1

 

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

1. Read through Psalm 118 looking for evidence of the trinity. Write down what you find.
2. What identifies a person as an enemy of God?
3. Are you praying for your enemies? Make a list of those you are tempted to hate and start praying for them today.
4. Ask God to give you tangible ways to bless someone who persecutes you for the sake of Christ.

Prayer:  Conclude with Silence (5 Minutes)

The smile of the Father shines on me – I am approved of; [i]

I have the mind of Christ – I have important things to say; [ii]

Upon me is the anointing of the Holy Spirit – I am empowered. [iii]

 

Jesus is my Lord and Savior and I dwell in his Kingdom of the Heavens; [iv]

He is my Teacher and I am his beloved apprentice – [v]

I urge people to join me and be with Jesus to become like him. [vi]

 

The Word of God is alive and active and it dwells richly in me [vii]

And the Holy Spirit reminds me of Jesus’ words of truth and grace – [viii]

So I can minister the Word of life to others and it will not return void. [ix]

 

The Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in me [x]

So I do not speak with human wisdom or worldly excitement [xi]

Or rely on my own strength – I count on the power of Almighty God.[xii]

 

As I teach I listen to the voice of God and invite others to listen too; [xiii]

As I serve I join the intercessions of the Holy Spirit, [xiv]

Praying that we all cry out with the Spirit, “Abba Father!  Jesus is Lord!” [xv]

 

The Lord is glorious in all things and captivates me continually;

So I do not draw attention to myself, but to Jesus Christ alone;

Nor do I base my identity on what people say about me.

 

I am Christ’s Ambassador; [xvi]

My citizenship is in heaven’s kingdom; [xvii]

My message is simply: “Follow me as I follow Christ!” [xviii]

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 – September 8, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? 14You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.
—Psalm 77:13-14

Our Fighter Verse this week is found in a psalm of lament where the psalmist is crying to God in his time of trouble. We aren’t told what the nature of his trouble is, but we do see that he is so troubled that he refuses to be comforted (v 2) and cannot speak (v 4). Clearly, he is under great duress!

We would do well, then, to see how he works through his sadness. Asking himself if the Lord will spurn him forever, the psalmist begins to meditate upon God and His amazing works (v 12) as a means of turning his sadness into hope and his sorrow into joy.

Acknowledging God’s perfect holiness, the psalmist asks if there is a god like our God (v 13). Not needing to answer that question, he begins to describe God as one who works wonders, who has made His might known among the peoples (v 14). For the balance of the chapter, then, he recounts what God has faithfully done in the past for His people.

Today, in our times of sadness and despair, in order to renew our hope in God, we would do well to look back at what God has done. Unlike the psalmist, we have the single greatest event in all of redemptive history that we can look back upon—the cross! God’s might was most manifest in the power of Jesus Christ and His atoning death and resurrection. Jesus completed the culminating work in all of redemptive history and we have been given the privilege of living in a time when we can look back on that has already been done.

Therefore, like the psalmist before us, may we look to what our wonder-working God has done through Christ in saving a people for His glory and for their joy. May our hope and confidence in God be like that of Abraham, whose faith grew strong as he was convinced that God was able to do what He had promised (Rom 4:21).

It is instructive to note that at the end of this psalm of lament there is no resolution. For those who are followers of Jesus Christ, we do know what the ultimate resolution will be. Regardless of the plight that God may have ordained for us while on earth, we know that one day we will all be in the presence of the fullness of joy where there are pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11). Until that day comes, may we all continue to look back upon the mighty and wonderful works of our holy God!

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

  1. How do you think meditating on God having lead His people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron (v. 20) comforted the psalmist?
  2. How does meditating on what God has done in the past serve to comfort us for the future?
  3. Are you experiencing sadness or lack of hope that meditating on God’s faithful works can help with?
  4. What works of God from the past most encourage 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.

Weekend Worship- September 6, 2020 / Culto de fin de semana- 6 de septiembre de 2020

Scripture Reading/Lectura bíblica: 2 Timothy 1:8-1213-18

Sacred Spaces- September 4, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. —2 Corinthians 8:9

Before getting to the fighter verse (2 Cor. 8:9), back up a few verses to 2 Cor. 8:2. Paul puts together two seemingly opposed descriptions. The believers in Macedonia live in “extreme poverty” and yet have an abundance of joy. Their pockets and houses might be empty but their hearts are overflowing.

This can happen only when our heart’s happiness isn’t gauged by our assets in this world but by our blessings in Christ. Paul used the Macedonians as an example of how any personal lack is eclipsed by God’s provision. As he continues down this line of thought, he leads us into an even greater argument in 8:9. What the church in Corinth possesses can’t be seen merely by physical eyes but must be grasped through the eyes of faith. The eternal Son of God who is the pride and joy of heaven, who reigns and rules all things here below, and who owns and oversees every resource in both realms is at once their treasure and the Lord overseeing their resources.

We are helped by drinking deeply of a theological diet rich in the glory of Jesus as King and equally rich in the grace that drove him to give up such glory to rescue us. We must fill our minds with lofty biblical thoughts of Jesus as the Son of God from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things. And then we must fill our minds with equally amazing thoughts of Jesus as the God-man who loves his people enough to not only take on their flesh but to take on their sin. We must follow Paul’s example in directing our attention to what belongs to us in Christ.

When we remember Jesus is ours and we are his, then we have a more secure hope than our bank account and well thought out plans. If Jesus is an endless storehouse for all wisdom, love, and grace then there has to be more rest in him than in vacations and weekends off. When we tally our treasures not by earthly resources but by the presence and promises of God to us, we will then be caught up in joy. That is how believers can be in “extreme poverty” and yet overflow with joy (8:2). It’s how we are made rich in him who became poor (8:9). When confronted by the things we are weak in or lack in this world, it is these kinds of thoughts that will remind us that in Christ we lack nothing. Trust God today when he tells you that if you’re united with his Son then you have everything you need and will need in and through Christ.

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

  1. What in your life right now seems missing, needed, or empty?
  2. What do you have in Christ that will supply or supersede what’s lacking?
  3. How has God faithfully provided through his presence or provision throughout your life?
  4. If you have Christ, what is something you have to rejoice in today?

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- September 3, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. —James 1:19-20

There is so much in the world to be angry about. And quite frankly, if you are a follower of Jesus, you should be angry and hate evil:

Psalm 97:10: O you who love the LORD, hate evil!

You should be angry about abortion, sex trafficking, exploitation of the poor, racism, sexual immorality, gossip, slander, murder, lying, stealing, and all the belittling of the glory of God. But more than that, you should be most angry about your own sin – like your own sinful anger.

Anger becomes sinful anytime it causes you to fail to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength and when you fail to love your neighbor as yourself. If your anger causes you to disobey God in any way, then it is sinful – it does not produce the righteousness God requires.

The harsh, unloving word against your husband or wife is sinful.

Disciplining your children from a heart filled with rage and impatience is sinful.

Tearing down your coworkers or roommates with your words, words that have the power of death and life in them (Proverbs 18:21), is sinful. There is such wisdom in the Holy Spirit’s command: “Be quick to hear, slow to speak.”

Being angry more about the sin of others than your own sin may reveal pride and hypocrisy in your heart. Ask God to reveal to you the root of your anger.

How do we fight sinful anger?

First, know the utter wickedness of sinful anger:

Jesus equates anger with murder: Matthew 5:21-22: You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment

Your anger shows you are a murderer at heart and only deserve hell. Repent, grieve, and plead with God to forgive you and free you from it.

Second, know that you have a great Savior who got very angry and never sinned. Jesus got so angry that He even made a whip once and drove everyone out of the temple (John 2:13-25).

Know that your anger sent the perfect, sinless Savior to the cross. Know that He loved you while you were yet a murderer at heart. Know that He died to save you from God’s wrath. Know that He was raised and is alive forevermore to dwell in your heart and free you from all your sinful anger forever as He makes you more and more like Himself! What a Savior! What a Gospel!

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

1. What makes you most angry and why? Seek the Lord to show you the deep roots of your anger.
2. In what ways does your anger cause you to sin?
3. Are there people you have sinned against out of anger that you need to reconcile with?
4. How can you better rest in the finished work of Christ in order to be set free from anger?

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- September 2, 2020

Silencio, quietud y centrado ante Dios (2 minutos)

Lectura bíblica y devocional:

fija la vista en lo que está frente a ti.
26 Endereza las sendas por donde andas;
allana todos tus caminos.
27 No te desvíes ni a diestra ni a siniestra;
apártate de la maldad.

¡Era una perdición inminente! Lo sabía, pero no podía detenerme. Mi primer día en un vehículo de dos ruedas y estaba completamente concentrado en el suelo delante de mí cuando escuché a mi papá gritar: “¡Cuidado con el árbol!” Sacudí la cabeza hacia arriba y, ahí estaba, justo delante de mí. Por supuesto, quería NO GOLPEAR contra el árbol, así que sabía que tenía que girar el manubrio … pero seguí mirando el árbol que no debería golpear, ¡y mi bicicleta iría donde mis ojos llevaban! Efectivamente, la bicicleta y el árbol chocaron y me enviaron de cara a la corteza. Aprendí algo de esto, pero realmente no lo entendí hasta que lo relacioné con lo que aprendí más tarde del béisbol. Papá me estaba enseñando a golpear una pelota; desde el margen gritaba: “¡No pierdas de vista la pelota! Mantén los ojos en la bola.” Así que lo hice … y aprendí a hacer estallar una pelota con entusiasmo y precisión. Mi gran lección de esos primeros días es: “¡Si quieres golpear algo, mantén tus ojos en ello y no pierdas la concentración!”

¡Mi papá podría haber escrito la primera línea de nuestros versos para esta semana! “Deja que tus ojos miren directamente hacia adelante y tu mirada directamente al frente”. Nuestro Fighter Verse dice: “¡Mantén tus ojos en la pelota! ¡No se desvíe! ” Pero, ¿sobre qué, o sobre quién, deberíamos fijar una mirada tan inquebrantable? Sabemos la respuesta, ¿no es así?

El escritor de Hebreos dice que deberíamos estar “¡Mirando a Jesús, el Fundador y Perfeccionador de nuestra fe!” Y Jesús nos dice en Juan 8:12, “Yo soy la luz del mundo. El que me sigue no andará en tinieblas, sino que tendrá la luz de la vida “. ¡Así que es Jesús en quien debemos enfocarnos y a quien seguiremos!

Esta caminata requiere compromiso y concentración. ¿Qué podría desviar nuestra atención o impedir que lo sigamos? Ciertamente todas las cosas que son malas … ¡NO DEJE que la mentira, ni la blasfemia, ni las bromas obscenas, ni el adulterio, ni el robo, ni el asesinato, ni la estafa, ni el chisme sean nombrados una sola vez entre nosotros! Debemos apartar nuestros pies del mal (así como nuestros ojos, nuestros oídos y nuestro corazón). Queremos ser santos, porque nuestro gran Señor Jesús es santo.

¿Pero desviarse a la derecha y a la izquierda? ¿Sobre qué nos advierte el autor de este pasaje? Quizás las cosas que no son pecado en sí mismas podrían hacernos desviarnos; quizás las diversiones … las diversiones … podrían robar nuestro afecto por las cosas espirituales. Hay innumerables opciones de juego y placer disponibles para nosotros en esta generación … si llenamos nuestros días con muchas de ellas, ya no se convertirán en distracciones, sino en disipación. Porque si ponemos nuestros ojos en ellos, sabemos muy bien que podemos seguirlos hasta que capten nuestra atención, nuestro tiempo, nuestro dinero y nuestros deseos. Necesitamos reflexionar sobre nuestros caminos aquí … ¿gastamos más dinero y tiempo en actividades temporales que en nuestro estudio y memorización bíblica, nuestra oración o en preocupaciones por misiones y misericordia para los necesitados? 2 Corintios 5:14 y 15 nos recuerda: “Porque el amor de Cristo nos domina … Él murió por todos, para que los que viven, ya no vivan para sí mismos, sino para Aquel que por ellos murió y resucitó”.

¡La Palabra nos instruye que mantengamos nuestros ojos en Jesús! Síguelo con firmeza … ¡y Él hará que todos tus caminos sean seguros y rectos!
Desafío a cada creyente a elegir a Cristo diariamente. ¡Ignora los cantos de sirena del placer! ¡Pasemos nuestro tiempo haciendo las buenas obras que Él nos ha ordenado que hagamos y buscando el rostro de nuestro Dios!

“Vuelve tus ojos a Jesús,
Mire de lleno su maravilloso rostro.
Y las cosas de la tierra se oscurecerán extrañamente,
¡A la luz de Su gloria y gracia! ”
Por Helen H. Lemmel

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

PARA AYUDARNOS A ENFOCARSE HACIA ADELANTE Y SEGUIR A CRISTO …
A primera hora de la mañana:
1. ¿A través de la oración, busca la presencia de Dios y ayuda con cada evento, cada encuentro, cada decisión que te llegará?

A lo largo del día, ¿podrá:
2. ¿Orar pidiendo gracia para elegir actividades y relaciones que deleiten el corazón de Dios y edifiquen Su reino?

Lo último de la noche:
3. ¿Alabará a Dios por su ayuda constante, su amor constante y su guía a lo largo del día?

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- September 2, 2020

Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)

Scripture Reading & Devotional:

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. 27Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. –Proverbs 4:25-27

It was impending doom! I knew it, but couldn’t stop. My first day on a 2-wheeler, and I was concentrating completely on the ground ahead of me when I heard my Dad call out, “Look out for the tree!” I jerked my head up and – there it was – straight ahead of me. Of course, I wanted to NOT HIT the tree so I knew I had to turn the handle bars…but I kept looking at the tree I shouldn’t hit, and my bicycle would go where my eyes led! Sure enough, the bike and tree collided and sent me face first into the bark. I learned something from this, but didn’t really get it until I connected it with what I learned later from baseball. Dad was coaching me on how to hit a ball; from the sidelines he would yell, “Keep your eye on the ball! Keep your eye on the ball.” So I did…and learned how to pop a ball with gusto and accuracy. My big lesson from those early days is, ‘If you want to hit something, keep your eyes on it, and don’t lose your focus!’

My Dad could have written the first line of our verses for this week! “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze straight before you.” Our Fighter Verse is saying, “Keep your eyes on the ball! Don’t be diverted!” But on what – or on whom – should we set such an unflinching gaze? We know the answer, don’t we?!

The writer of Hebrews says we should be “Looking to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith!”  And Jesus tells us in John 8:12, “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  So it is Jesus who is the One on whom we must focus and who we will follow!

This walk requires commitment and concentration. What might divert our attention or prevent us from following Him? Certainly all things that are evil…LET NOT lying, nor blasphemous talk, nor filthy joking, nor adultery, nor theft, nor murder, nor cheating, nor gossip be named once among us! We must turn our feet from evil (as well as our eyes, our ears and our hearts). We want to be holy, for our great Lord Jesus is holy.

But swerving to the right and left? What is the author of this passage cautioning us about? Perhaps things that are not sin in themselves could cause us to swerve; perhaps amusements…diversions…could steal our affections from things spiritual. There are countless options for play and pleasure available to us in this generation…if we fill our days with many of them, they will become no longer diversions, but dissipation. For if we do set our eyes on them, we know we very well may follow them until they capture our attentions, our time, our money and our desires. We need to ponder our paths here…do we spend more money and time on temporal pursuits than we do on our Bible study and memorization, our prayer, or in concerns for missions and mercy to the needy? 2 Corinthians 5:14 & 15 reminds us, “For the love of Christ controls us…He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.

The Word instructs us to keep our eyes on Jesus! Follow hard after Him…and He will make all your paths sure and straight!
I challenge every believer, to choose Christ daily. Ignore the siren songs of pleasure! Let’s spend our time doing the good works He has ordained for us to do and in seeking the face of our God! – Devo By Joyce Heinrich


Question to consider:
Which word or phrase stands out to you. What might God be saying to you?)“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace!”
By Helen H. Lemmel

TO HELP US FOCUS FORWARD AND FOLLOW CHRIST…
First thing in the morning, will you:
1. Through prayer, seek God’s presence and help with every event, every encounter, every decision that will come to you?

Throughout the day, will you:
2.  Pray for grace to choose activities and relationships that will delight God’s  heart and build His kingdom?

Last thing at night:
3.  Will you give praise to God for His constant help, His abiding love, and  His leading you forward throughout the day?

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 – 1 de septiembre de 2020

Silencio, quietud y centrado ante Dios (2 minutos)

Lectura bíblica y devocional:

    porque de él mana la vida.
24 Aleja de tu boca la perversidad;
    aparta de tus labios las palabras corruptas.

 

El consejo paternal es tan antiguo como Adán. Un blog que leí recientemente preguntaba: “¿Sigue habiendo consejos paternos o se ha convertido en una práctica de crianza del pasado? ¿Cuál es el mejor consejo que recibió de su padre? ” La página se inundó de respuestas.

Una persona mencionó un consejo que recibió de su abuelo: “Pregúntese, antes de hacer eso, si desea que sus hijos se enteren de esto en el futuro”. Otro escribe: “Mi padre siempre decía: ‘El sol siempre sale y se pone de nuevo mañana’. Siempre me indicaba la esperanza en el nuevo día”. Otro padre le dio a su hijo un consejo realmente maravilloso: “Nunca salgas con alguien con quien no puedas casarte”.

Las palabras de Proverbios 4: 23-24 son parte de una súplica del corazón de un padre a su amado hijo. Papá ha dado la vuelta a la cuadra varias veces y ha aprendido algunas cosas. Quiere desesperadamente salvar a su hijo de algunas de las trampas que el mundo tiene para los jóvenes que encuentran su camino. Le ruega a su hijo que escuche atentamente sus sabias palabras, que las tome en serio, que las aprenda y las ponga en práctica en aras de su bienestar.

El padre ofrece cuatro amonestaciones a su hijo en los versículos 23-27. “Mantén tu corazón con toda vigilancia”, escribe. “Apártate de ti hablar torcido;” “Deje que sus ojos miren directamente hacia adelante”; “Reflexiona sobre el camino de tus pies”. El énfasis del padre no parece estar tanto en lo que el hijo podría hacer en una situación dada como en quién será el hijo como persona en cada situación. ¿El consejo de este padre a su hijo? Sea un hombre de afecto cauteloso, comunicación honesta, determinación decidida, comprometido con la fidelidad y todo le irá bien.

¿Pero por qué? ¿Por qué el amor obliga a un padre a hacer estas exhortaciones y no otras? ¿Qué hay en el mundo que mueve a un padre a advertir a su hijo que cuide diligentemente su corazón, que renuncie a las mentiras, que evite las distracciones que tan fácilmente atraen a los ojos y que considere tanto los lugares como las opciones de vida que conducen a los lugares a donde nos llevan los pies?

Creo que la respuesta a “¿por qué?” es inherente a cada advertencia. ¿Por qué mantener tu corazón con toda vigilancia? ¿Por qué esforzarse por estar constantemente atento a las actitudes y deseos que se forman en lo más íntimo de su ser? Porque el mundo en el que vivimos, espiritualmente oscuro y caído de la gracia, está lleno de trampas, peligros, amenazas, riesgos y distracciones; algunos deslumbrantemente obvios y otros engañosamente sutiles, pero todos preñados de intención de sabotear la fe y la fidelidad. Si el corazón queda atrapado y falla, todo lo que depende del corazón, toda la vida, sigue y flaquea cuando el corazón falla. Así que mantén tu corazón alerta.

¿Por qué dejar de lado las palabras torcidas, la mentira y el engaño? Porque sucumbir a las tácticas del Enemigo y adoptar esas tácticas como propias, aumenta los enemigos, tanto de nosotros mismos como de la fe. Una lengua mentirosa engendra mentiras e invita a la desconfianza y al rechazo. ¿Por qué dejar que sus ojos miren directamente hacia adelante? Porque, querido cristiano, estamos rodeados de distracciones que son tentaciones, que atraen a los ojos antes que a cualquier otro de nuestros sentidos, incluido el sentido común. La fruta se veía bien para Eva, agradable a la vista, pero la bondad se desvaneció al primer bocado. ¿Por qué meditas sobre las sendas de tus pies? Debido a que sus pies generalmente siguen a sus ojos, y si está pensando hacia dónde van sus pies, probablemente prestará atención a dónde miran sus ojos y hacia dónde se dirige su corazón.

Todos estos son buenos consejos de un padre al hijo que ama. Considerar cuidadosamente:

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

¿Cuidas su corazón con vigilancia o simplemente asume que no está en riesgo y deja sus afectos y deseos vulnerables a la explotación?
¿Crees que la mentira ocasional o la verdad a medias es suficiente en algunas situaciones?
¿Dejas que tus ojos divaguen donde sabes que tu corazón no debería ir?
¿Te encuentras tomando decisiones de vida que te llevan de Dios en lugar de a Dios?

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.