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May 2017

 
 

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May 2017

 

May 21

 

 

 

 

For most people, youth is a period of time that entails realizing worldly pleasures and dreams. During this time, people are tempted to think the least about God and eternal life. Solomon, the son of David, lived in such a way and then when he was older he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, whose message is a pessimistic testimony of a disappointed soul that failed in it’s quest for happiness. Because he excluded God from his plans, because he lived ONLY at the level of “under the sun” – an expression mentioned 28 times in the book – neglecting the divine and the eternal dimension, the writer comes to the end of his life “with an empty hand”. Even though he was one of the richest kings, one of the most wise people on the planet, and had 1000 wives and abundant luxury, in old age he says that “everything is meaningless” – an expression repeated 25 times in the book.
The Hebrew tradition tells us that Solomon wrote Song of Songs in his youth, wrote Proverbs as an adult, and Ecclesiastes in old age. In the face of this tremendous confession, we ask ourselves, “then what is the meaning of life, if not parties, joy, worldly pleasures, and sin?”
I. LIFE HAS NO MEANING IN THE ABSENCE OF GOD
Even though he began his life serving God, Solomon reached old age dragged into idolatry by his 1000 idolatrous wives. His heart was influenced by them, accepting to worship the idols of their religions. This is what happens with the husband who marries a woman whose non-values bring his own down and destroy him. Solomon reached old age overwhelmed by bitter regrets for the years he lived far from God, in worldly pleasures, pleasures that now had no value but had consequences. He confesses in the book that the he sought happiness and knowledge in philosophy, in the sensual world of pleasure, in parties, in music, in materialism, in riches, in women, in religion, in morality …. but everything is “meaningless”. In the first 7 chapters of the book, he presents his intention of finding happiness in the pleasures of the sinful world, but in the following 5 chapters he offers suggestions to readers in regards to the way in which they should seek happiness. Solomon says happiness and the meaning of life are found in God.
II. LIFE HAS NO MEANING IN HIS ABSENCE TODAY
Yesterday and tomorrow are not solutions for a happy life. Solomon says that God should not be sought neither in yesterday nor in tomorrow, but in TODAY: “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). He says that when man, because of his old age is powerless, without his loved ones, without resources, without health, without… he is no longer willing to seek God and he will die unsaved. The humility that his hands and feet are trembling, that his teeth are falling, that his memory is leaving, that he is fearful of any challenge, is painful. For these reasons, he will close himself up, he will be isolated from others, he will become a mourner, left with only the spiritual torment that he did not know and serve his Maker in his youth. God must be received in the heart today.
III. LIFE HAS NO MEANING IN THE ABSENCE OF REPENTANCE
Happiness is not a goal in it of itself, but a spiritual state that accompanies an attitude of repentance that man manifests toward God. The fear of God and the shame towards others – this is the meaning of life. In this way, youth and old age will be beautiful and safe.

 

 

 May 28

 

The Savior came to earth to bring forgiveness of sin, healing of sickness and the resurrection of the dead. The gospels speak of many people who have died, but they also talk about three people who have been resurrected.

I. Looking at the deaths mentioned in the Gospels, we determine a few truths:
1. EVERY HUMAN BEING DIES: Sooner or later, for one reason or another, everyone dies. Death is just as normal as birth, but the purpose and the consequences are very different.
2. SOMEONE ALWAYS WEEPS: Death is a time of mourning, of separation, of tears.

II. When looking at the three resurrections presented in the Gospels, we determine a few truths:
The presence and implication of the Savior in the resurrection of the three youth suggest, on one hand, the fact that the Lord takes part in man’s suffering, but on the other hand, speaks of the fact that he is sovereign over death.
1. JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER: Jesus Christ told them “do not weep” (Luke 8:52). Through this attitude, the Lord teaches us that it is our duty to do everything we can to alleviate the suffering of those confronting the pain of separation.
2. THE SON OF THE WIDOW FROM NAIN: Christ tells this mom in pain: “do not weep” (Luke 7:13). Through this attitude the Lord teaches us that in every circumstance, the person who has passed was important to someone.
3. LAZAR OF BETHANY: John mentions: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
Through this attitude the Lord teaches us that it is not inappropriate to weep for a loved one when they pass away. The Savior was not unfaithful or unbalanced emotionally; he was a friend in pain who manifested his pain of separation by weeping. Crying is the way in which human beings manifest their extreme emotions, especially pain, helplessness, and despair. Crying is a biological capacity placed in man by the Creator, in order to release the emotional pressure that may be too great in one’s spirit. The man that was resurrected by Jesus was introduced by John, “a man from Bethany was sick” (John 11:1). The man that Jesus restored was described as “Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead” (1 Kings 17). Christ has power to command those living and dead: a) The Lord told those who were with him at Lazarus’ grave, “Cast aside the stone”. b) The Lord tells Lazarus, who had been dead for four days, “Lazarus come out”.

III. God’s solution for death is life: In order for forgiveness of sins to occur,
Christ had to die. In order to save the sinner, Christ had to be resurrected. The three youth who were resurrected according to the Gospels actually returned to their normal lives and a few years later died like all others. Christ’s resurrection is not a return to life, but rather the beginning of a new life, a new eternal life. More glorious than someone’s return from the dead back to a prolonged normal life, is the resurrection that will take place when Christ returns on the clouds.
God’s solution for sin will be the resurrection only when man’s solution for sin will be repentance and sanctification. The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in the Lord will be the defeat of the devil. Death, which is the power of the devil, will be defeated. Sin, the power of death, will be defeated. The Law, which is the power of sin, will be fulfilled. The earthly flesh that is the power of the Law will be crucified. Desire, that is the power of the earthly flesh must be annihilated forever.