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January 2020

 
 

paSTOR`S PAGE

January 2020

January 5

 

 

 January 12

There have been various uprisings and riots in history – of slaves, peasants, subjugated nations – but never in history had there ever been a phenomenon of a revolution on the basis of generational criteria until the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s-1970s. This Cultural Revolution left behind influences that forever changed the face of the world and the lives of people, generating many losses among young people:
1. The loss of innocence through the appearance of television
2. The loss of authority through the negation of it in television programs
3. The loss of love through a massive increase in divorce due to the vulgarity and sensuality propagated by television
4. The loss of hope through the hiding or misunderstanding of the future
The television then, the mass media and internet today, bring “the world” into our homes and into the hearts of our children. The consequences are dramatic, and the generations of preachers in the last seventy years “upset” us by warning us about the hidden risks of television:
1. Suicide rates among children ages 10 to 14 have risen 120% in the last 12 years.
2. One in three American adolescents have contemplated suicide and one in seven have attempted suicide.
3. The suicide rate among 14 to 17-year-olds has risen 165% in the last 10 years.
4. Marijuana consumption has doubled in the last 2 years.
5. Alcohol consumption among minors was described by a medical professional as “out of control”.
6. 78% of children who die in the USA die a violent death: murdered in urban areas or killing themselves in the suburbs.
There are adults that caution us to not publish these statistics because they scare parents. Do you not think it is time to scare them? Do you not think it is time for us to be scared? By exposing, contesting, and condemning this phenomenon, will we not raise awareness and fight against it, saving our children? Doesn’t information and disclosure bring awareness?
Today’s society is the vast market where the souls of our children are priceless, and parents, being too busy, do not have time to be scared of this phenomenon. We must fight against the current to return to the lost preoccupation of good manners and common sense. We need to cultivate and develop more education than entertainment. We need to influence children with the Bible, not with the mass-media. The Bible is the Book that presents God, that introduced the Savior, that generated Christianity, that influenced history, produced saints, consolidated the Church…
How will our children manage to respect God if they won’t respect their parents, peers, authority? How will we show that we love Jesus if we do not do everything possible to take as many people as possible with us to heaven? Man has an ideal period in which he can successfully be educated: childhood, early childhood. The Bible says, “train up a child when he is young”.

 January 19

 


The Bible speaks of perseverance, insistence, tenacity… as a state of effort to accomplish something or to achieve a goal. “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 13:1) “… stand firm in the will of God” (Colossians 4:12)
Perseverance is evidence of conviction, commitment, dedication, to reach an objective. Christ taught people to believe in God and to repent of their sin in order to be saved (Mark 1:15). Then He continued to teach them to insistently pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God in the perspective of ministry (Acts 1:8). The spiritual power that the filling of the Holy Spirit gives is manifested through capacities, gifts, works, talents, and personal holiness, strong motivation, courage, passion, sacrifice and a great desire for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. Before the insistent prayer to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the believer needs to go through some preliminary steps:
1. He needs to be born again. He needs to have an authentic and personal relationship with God, through His Son Jesus Christ.
2. He needs to know the will of God (1 Corinthians 2:11-12). This is one of the main reasons that God gave us His Word.
3. He must be holy. There should not be a known sin in his life, because this means infidelity to God. Therefore, every sin must be confessed and forsaken.
Zealous and insistent prayer is characterized by several factors that explain the meaning of this action:
1. Importance is the strong conviction that something must be done at any cost. The importance is expressed through priorities and is always directly proportional to the interest; that is, a person will have an interest in the things he or she considers important (Luke 11:5-13).
2. Insistence is the unambiguous repetition of an opinion or attitude for the accomplishment of a desire of a purpose. Insistence is expressed through repetition and is always directly proportional to desire; that is, a person will insist on repeating something as long as he or she desires it (Luke 18:1-8).
3. Steadfastness is the intentional attitude, disciplined to constantly do what is important, resisting the exterior factors that cause abandonment. Steadfastness is expressed through firmness and is always directly proportional with spiritual discipline; in other words a person will continue to do the same things simply because they are important (Genesis 18:23-33).
Salvation is the interior work that sanctifies our lives. Ministry is the exterior work that sanctifies those around us. Being saved, God calls us to serve Him with effort and dedication. To do this, we need to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Now is the time for us to earnestly pray to receive this power. This is God’s purpose for us.

 

 January 26


Every born-again Christian feels the need for a spiritual awakening, but the goal of the awakening is not actually to awaken, but spiritual reformation. Waking up from sleep is not a goal in itself, but no one can go to school or work unless they wake up first. Spiritual awakening presupposes awareness, personal responsibility and always happens to someone who has fallen asleep or is in slumber. Spiritual awakening means seeking the truth, not just experimenting with an emotional state that makes us feel good. Usually, spiritual awakening is not a mystical experience but an awareness of reality in relation to Scriptural truth. Spiritual awakening is a profound experience at the emotional-cognitive level (Habakkuk 3:2, Ephesians 5:14). Spiritual reform, however, is a manifestation of awakening, it is a life change from the spiritual and moral point of view (Ephesians 4:20 – 32). Unfortunately, many people experience spiritual awakening but never reach spiritual reform of their lives. They realize the reality at the rational level, feel a strong fire of God’s presence in their souls, but nothing changes in their spiritual life, their morals, priorities, behaviors, and attitudes.
God’s goal is spiritual reform, a change in character and way of life, practical sanctification, living in purity. The Bible talks about faith and then about the works done through faith. The works of faith confirm faith, they bring it to light, they authenticate it, they bring evidence for it. In the same way, awakening leads to reform, to real sanctification of life. This is God’s goal.
Who truly produces this change in a man’s life? Who motivates, produces and energizes the two stages of this complex and profound process? The Holy Spirit of God. This is why the Bible says “be filled with the Spirit”.
Why did the Lord’s apostles have the need for the filling of the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of His gifts and we no longer have this need? What more did they need to do that we no longer need to do to demonstrate that they had this need and we no longer have this need? They, and we, need to believe, to repent, to convert, to be born again, to be baptized in water, to be sanctified, to consecrate our lives to God and to worship the Lord with all we are and with all we have; we need to serve the Lord according to our calling and the endowments and gifts that He has given us…If their spiritual responsibilities are the same as our spiritual responsibilities, then our needs are the same as their needs. And God, who fulfilled their needs, will fulfill ours too. That is why Luke, urged by the Spirit, wrote, “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39). The New Testament shows the fact that the filling of the Holy Spirit has a missionary role, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…” (Acts 1:8). It also has a charismatic role, “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2). We will never be too filled with the Holy Spirit, but we can always be too lacking, too empty, too cold and dry, and the fruit of this state are starting to be seen.