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February 2007


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February 2007

February 25, 2007

The Church of God is the place where the differences among people, so evident in the world, disappear. This reality puts people in brotherly fellowship and makes them brothers and sisters in Christ. The Church is compared to the army (2 Timothy 2:4-5), and the Christians are compared to the warriors. The Church is also compared to a sports team and the Christians to an athlete (1 Cor. 9:24-27). The team of Christ, because of its coach, is ideal and its destiny is eternal. For each believer in the Church of God, the responsibility of living among the team is a true calling. The life in the team implicates benefits as well as enormous responsibilities. Every team has a coach, and a set of rules that need to be respected. These rules fix the rights, obligations, responsibilities, and relationships of the members of the team. For the success of a team, there are a few universally accepted rules:

1. Trust is earned- Trust among members of the team and between them and the leader is earned. Any suspicion, lack of relationship, gossip… negatively affects the trust of the members in the team for each other. There is no brotherly relationship or service without trust and without knowledge of one another.

2. The relationship must be maintained- The relationships among team members is much easier to make than to keep; in other words an event is much easier to tolerate than a process is. The lack of a telephone call, the absence of a visit, the absence of interest for big and small problems, discourages and weakens the relationship.

3. The strength of a team is determined by the weakest link- A very strong chain with a link made of plastic in the middle becomes a weak chain; a strong sports team with a weak goalie is a weak team. In conclusion, it is not the strong links that determine the resistance of a chain, but the weakest one, because there, it will fall at the first pressure put upon it.

4. Authority is equal to responsibility in a team- No member of a team will have more authority than the responsibility that he chooses to accept, and you cannot make him responsible for the things over which he never had authority. These two complement each other and exclude each other.

5. A team does not have important members and unimportant members- The importance of the members in the team of Christ is equal- their responsibilities and efficiencies are different. If one of the members of the team does a task better than another, he is more efficient, not more important. Importance is given according to the quality of the member, but efficiency is given by the quality of the work he does in the team.

6. Each member of the team must give an account- In the moment that a person becomes a member of the team of Christ, he loses the right to do what he wants. The benefit of being a member in a team, creates the automatic obligation to give an account to the other members of the team, because no one can be above a team when he is in it.

7. Success or failure belongs to the entire team- In a true team, everything is divided in a brotherly way- loss and gain. In a team, no one is independent, each belongs to another and everything belongs to everyone. When a member of a team loses or wins, the entire team loses or wins.

Christ’s team is the Church, and he is the Coach. The trophy is heaven, and each one of us are members in the team. We need to listen to the coach, and respect the members of the team. The coach is expecting from each of us to bring honor to His team, doing our best in everything for Him.

February 18, 2007

For many Christians, the spiritual life is the means through which they receive success, protection, and happiness from God, while this attitude is the very evidence of the drought in their spiritual life. When comparing the spiritual life with a battle in which you are either victorious or defeated, we understand the frustrations of many sincere Christians who were defeated despite their good intentions. The apostle Paul, in chapter three of the first letter he write to Church of Corinth, identifies three spiritual categories in people: mature Christians, worldly Christians, and religious unbelievers.

1. The mature Christian, after experiencing being saved, dedicates himself completely to God and the rest of his life is a time of spiritual maturization. On his list of priorities, God is first, and he is second; he loves life, but hates the world and gives all things to the interest of the spiritual world that drives his existence. He has a strong relationship with God, he drives his life and his family according to His principles, and gives his children a spiritual education, that leads to God, the Bible, the Church... He gives priority to spiritual things and the interests and callings of God.

2. The worldly Christian, after experiencing being saved, limits himself to the intellectual knowledge of God, he does not grow spiritually, and his life is characterized by compromise. Although he is present in church, rarely does he pray or read the Bible; he does not fully trust in God, saying that the Bible is relative and some things are not contemporary in it; he accepts the extravagant and liberalism in a large measure and everything he does for God is out of obligation. On his priority list, he is first and God is second. For him, the limits between the spiritual and the worldly are very confusing and relative. He has a relationship with the church, not with God; he drives his existence according to experience, not principles, and his family life is limited to the material aspect. He tries to give his children a Christian education, not a spiritual one, while leading them toward success, sports, comfort... he gives priority to the material things, pleasures and comfort, fame, power, and position.

3. The religious unbeliever does not have the experience of salvation, although perhaps he was raised in a christian family or is present in a church. He is in conflict with God and he has never responded to Him with repentance. He is the only one on his priority list; he loves the world and feeds himself from it. He does not believe in a family life, and if he has children, he allows them to find happiness in pleasures, motivated that here he is in both heaven and hell. He does not accept the authority of the Church, does not believe in his eternal destiny, and has an attitude of superiority. He gives priority to sinful things and the purpose of his life is pleasure and living far away from God.

WHICH ONE OF THESE THREE IS YOUR CHOICE? Look at the difference: - the mature Christian knows God, the worldly one knows about God, while the unbeliever doesn't know God at all.

-The mature Christian has a spiritual relationship with God; the worldly with the church, and the unbeliever has a relationship with the world.
-The The mature Christian experiences the works of God; the worldly sees His works, and the unbeliever does not believe in His works.
-The mature Christian lives according to the Bible; the worldly has respect for the Bible, and the unbeliever simply has a Bible.
-The mature Christian has a strong faith; the worldly has a faith that depends on circumstances, and the unbeliever has no faith.

The only choice that all humans have access to is God, so you have no excuse!