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August 2017

 
 

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August 2017

 

August 6

 


The Savior was close to completing His mission on earth when He made the famous statement: "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."(Luke 22:15-16) The phrase "With fervent desire I have desired..." is written only once in the Bible, in Luke 22:15. What did He desire that much? He longed to eat the Supper with the disciples, and thus to establish an act of worship by which Christians may remember Him while practicing it regularly until He returns to take His Church in heaven. He longed to fulfill every part of the will of God. He longed to glorify the Father. He longed to save sinful men from eternal damnation, assuming their guilt when facing the divine justice. He longed for the kingdom of God to grow and encompass all the earth. He longed to heal and deliver the people possessed by the power of Satan. He longed for people to believe, to repent, and to be saved. He longed for those who were saved to grow in their new spiritual nature, to be full of the Spirit of glory, to manifest the power "from above" for the fulfillment of God's interests on earth. He longed for those who were born again to wait and hasten the coming of God's day, by going to the ends of the earth, preaching the gospel, and making disciples of all men. He longed for the sons of the kingdom to deny themselves, to devote themselves entirely to heavenly things, to hate sin and be overwhelmed by passion for God's ministry.

He did not want a horse instead of the donkey He borrowed from someone in Betfaghe. He did not want a house, not the best camel, nor luxury, servants, fun, comfort, a relaxed life, not even the absence of suffering at all costs, wealth, public recognition, the friendship of important people...

What do we want? Theoretically, we want heaven, but in fact we are tempted to desire the earth with its glory, to desire luxury, even extravagance. Theoretically, we want heaven, but in fact we are tempted to want the wealth and glory of people, the pleasures of the world, the comfort and the fun. We sing about heaven, we talk about the Lord, but our priorities talk about us. He longed for us to remember Him, while we are tempted to mention ourselves, our achievements, our ideas, our success, our intelligence and our abilities. It is hard to want what He longed for, although theoretically many of us carry this dream in our hearts. The attraction of the world is strong, losing focus is common, the source of power is far away, the thought is divided... Yet He longed for this. He longed for us. This is the truth. He longed for us a lot. What do we long for? We long for Him. That should be the truth.

 

 

  

When a man comes to God through faith and repentance, he goes beyond the ordinary of life, experimenting with the divine presence. That's what happened to the eunuch, the Ethiopian finance minister. He is the man whose needs are met by God.
I. The need for worship
This need motivated him to go to the Temple, the House of God in Jerusalem. The eunuch knew that God, like everyone else, may be found at home. Being finance minister in Ethiopia, the eunuch was a very busy man. The distance to the House of God was long and the risks involved by such a journey were very high. All this was overcome with joy by his need for worship in the House of God. There are people who think that they love God but are indifferent to His House, therefore their need for worship will not be fulfilled. David said, "I am glad when I`m told, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).
II. The need for knowledge
This need motivated him to turn to the Bible, the Book of God. The eunuch knew that you can know God when you know His Word. He knew God keeps His word, so he wanted to know what God said. The Psalmist said, "I gather your word in my heart, lest I sin against you." (Psalm 119: 11) There are people who think they love God but neglect His Word, therefore their need for knowledge will never be fulfilled. As the eunuch, no man has any way to know about God except through the Bible, the Word of God. The Psalmist states his priorities, saying, "I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches" (Psalm 119:14).
III. The need for guidance
This need motivated him to accept Philip, the man of God. The eunuch believed that the man of God would speak of God, of His Word. Surely Philip had many experiences with God, he did many missions, experienced many fellowships, had many dreams, but when God sent him to preach, he preached from the Word. "Then Philip took the Word, began from this Scripture, and preached Jesus" (Acts 8:35). There are people who think they love God, but despise the people of God, therefore their need for guidance will not be fulfilled. Fellowship with the people of God inspires, motivates, corrects, and blesses, because "where there are two or three gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20).
The Ethiopian eunuch worships God by obeying the Word, he gets baptized, and joyfully returns home with the problems solved. The deepest needs of our spiritual life are the need for worship in the House of God, the need for knowledge from the Word of God, the need for guidance through the people of God, and the need to fulfill the will of God.

 

  August 27

 

The family is associated with life, with happiness, with joy and with inner peace. The family is the place where children are born and raised; but the Christian education parents offer their kids is met with the competition of the world’s influence. When a child begins kindergarten/school, the child’s nourishment and influence become toxic. In this educational process, parents need to handle the materialism of the family, the conservatism or liberalism of the church, the atheism in schools, the paganism in society and the sensuality displayed in the mass-media. Looking at the example of the family in the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”, we observe the competition of the various nourishing environments, their qualities and their motivations.
I. THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY
1. The decent life – “‘my father’s hired servants have food to spare”
2. Material abundance – “give me my share of the estate”
3. Mercy – “his father was filled with compassion for him”
4. Acceptance in love – “he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him”
5. Needs are met – “Bring the best robe, a ring, sandals, the fattened calf, let’s eat”
6. Joy and Celebration – “let’s have a feast and celebrate”
This method of nourishment is constructive, harmonious and filled with love. Children are educated through teaching and corrected through discipline.
II. THE INFLUENCE OF THE PAGAN WORLD
1. Isolation from the family – “ he set off for a distant country”
2. Sin – “wild living”
3. Failure – “squandered his wealth”
4. Poverty – “ after he had spent everything”
5. Crisis – “he began to be in need”
6. Insult – “sent him to his fields to feed his pigs”
7. Humiliation – “he longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating”
The world’s method of nourishing ignores God, presenting a life without religion, without morals, without eternity. Children are manipulated, and on the foundation of innocence, naivety, and the lack of experience, children become the victims of a pagan system. This system gives more rights to children than parents, discouraging the patriachial- type family. It presents the parental generation and religious people as out of style and fundamentalist. It tries to influence children through manipulation towards a life lacking in moral values, separating them from parents and Judeo-Christian values.
There is a fierce battle for our children’s souls, a battle for their future and their eternity. The children that God gave us may become slaves, slaves forever. The 4-6 years that children spend within the family before they go to school are the only chance parents have to guide their children toward heaven, by putting heaven in their little hearts.