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October 2017

 
 

paSTOR`S PAGE

October 2017

 

October 1

 

The Bible teaches that the Holy Communion is the act of worship commissioned by the Savior Jesus Christ for His Church. Understanding the Holy Communion is necessary in order to treate it with responsibility. Being a spiritual act, it can be understood only by the born again and the spiritual people.

1. Remembering the Lord. Forgetting is a natural phenomenon, creating memory space for fresh information. The old, unrenewed information is passed, independently of our will, by a memory function in the subconscious or even unconscious department. Remembering it periodically has a role of updating and maintaining it in the conscious realm, thus giving it value, honor, and respect. It is remarkable that the Savior personally asked us to "remember Him" by practicing the Holy Communion (1 Corinthians 11:25) Whenever we take part in the Communion, we remember the reality of His death by using the two elements that symbolize His death: "the broken bread" for His body and the "fruit of the vine" for His blood. Therefore, practicing the Holy Communion carelessly, without the passion of remembering His death, thinking of anything else, is a blasphemy. The Holy Communion is like the crumbling feeling of a son going to his mother's grave, a place where his memories are pounding, where he laments, where the past unfolds in front of his eyes in a few moments. The Holy Communion is the monument of love for Love, it is the spark of memory, of gratitude, of humble and conscious kneeling before the Majesty. The character of the Lord's memory is not given by the external physical act of the believer who takes the Communion, but by the inner attitude of the heart which hosts feelings and memories that only heaven can understand. It is a great honor to takke part in the Communion, to remember Him, to feel His undeserved breath on the cheek of your soul.

II.Personalsanctification. The Holy Communion is the act of worship, which, if practiced with unconfessed sins, makes the believer responsible for the death of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:27). The solution is not postponement of communion for the next month - nowhere in the Bible is this method suggested to us. On the contrary, taking the communion is a commandment. The solution is that "each one should examine himself and so take part" (v.28). The Holy Communion binds to personal sanctification. The lack of maturity and knowledge of the Scriptures exposes the believers to embracing unbiblical customs and traditions, under the pretext that, "we keep what we have received". This is exactly what the unbelievers say when we call them to repentance: "We will keep what we have received." What did they receive? Traditions, religious customs... Only spiritual pride makes people not allow themselves to be touched by the gospel, displaying a false attitude of Scriptural stability and spiritual performance.  

III. The fellowship of believers. "Since it is one bread, we who are many are one flesh; for we are all part of the same bread." (1 Corinthians 10:17) Few other things in the realm of spiritual worship make brotherly fellowship reach the level they reach during the Holy Communion. Believers who do not take part in it or who do it systematically in others churches do not have spiritual fellowship; they are not in the unity of the Spirit with the local church. For this reason a believer who has an unresolved conflict with another believer cannot take part in the communion. It is once again the Lord's Supper. How do you remember the Lord by taking part in the communion? How do you accomplish personal sanctification by confessing and leaving sin? How do you strengthen and support the unity of the local church in which you are a member?

 

  October 8

 

   This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther, on October 31, 1517, published the 95 Theses through which he criticized Papal abuses and the sale of indulgences. Alongside the Edict of Milan from 313 AD and the Great Schism of 1054 AD, the Reformation was the third great event in the history of Christianity, with significant political and social implications.
   Faith is the key for entrance to heaven; it is the basis of a relationship with God, the only path to salvation and eternal life. Martin Luther testified, “Faith is not that human illusion and dream that some people think it is. Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God. It kills the old Adam, makes us completely different people in heart, mind, senses, and all our powers. Faith comes from reading the Bible; it implicates a power that irresistibly pushes us toward God. Faith doesn't ask whether good works are to be done, but, before it is asked, it has done them.”
   D.L Moody testified, “I prayed for faith and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. I then opened up my Bible and began to read regularly. I found that ‘Faith comes through hearing by the Word of God’. Since I have been studying, my faith has been growing.”
   Faith is not against rational thought, but is beyond its limits, it is the continuation of it. What we believe about God is the most important thing about ourselves, because it models our existence. What we believe determines how we behave, and both of these determine what we become and where we spend our eternity – in heaven or in hell, with God or with the Devil in the inferno. If the faith that someone has did not have the power to change his life, it is the best evidence that he should have the power to change that faith because it is inefficient and untrue. True faith deifies, changes lives, and brings man to the heart of God, and God into the heart of man. The true faith in God transforms and is seen at first sight. A faith that is easy to hide is also easy to lose.
   Faith in God sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible as a reward. A small faith can take you to heaven, while a great faith can bring heaven to you, so that you can share it with your family or other people. It is the joy of God to give; it is our need and duty to receive through faith and in receiving to gain.
   Many people are convinced that they can move mountains through faith if they could just find someone to move aside the hills that stand in the way. We are inclined to believe not what is true, but what is easy and costs us nothing, what we like the most. We are tempted to choose churches that are more liberal, so that we have worldly freedom, but to deceive ourselves with the hope that we are saved. Without works, faith is not only dead, but it also smells bad.
   True faith preoccupies itself with what God said, not with what wise people said, because, in all circumstances, faith is necessary and sufficient. You need to never doubt, even in the dark, what God said when there was light. The eternal destiny of people is realized through faith. Money and the works of the earth have nothing to do with it.
   Dear friends, we lovingly invite you to Bethany so that we can meditate upon what we believe, who we are, and especially on what we want to be through our faith in Christ Jesus, the Son of God!

 October 15

 

 

The book of Jonah presents the history of a man whom God called to serve, of a man who refused to serve, of a man who only served when under constraint. Jonah was born in Amittai, approximately 5 km from the Nazareth of Galilee, and was one of the disciples of Elisha, contemporary to the time of Nahum. Jonah lived in the North Kingdom and prophesied about the prosperity that Israel enjoyed during the days of Jeroboam (2 Kings 14:25). The book of Jonah was written around the year 730 AD, and the prophet Jonah served in the time of Jeroboam the second. The four chapters of Jonah are composed of 48 verses and present the 4 stages of Jonah’s discipline process: 1) Jonah’s experience with the storm. 2) Jonah’s experience with the whale. 3) Jonah’s experience with the city of Nineveh. 4) Jonah’s experience with God.
The book of Jonah is the biggest revelation of the Old Testament in regard to God’s Grace which saves the sinners, even among the gentiles. In this book there are many practical lessons:
1) The first is that we see the decline of humanity and the greatness of patience, love and divine restoration.
2) When we are disobedient to God, we try to run away from Him (Jonah 1:3)
3) As a consequence to the inevitable sin, man loses his peace (Jonah 1:4)
4) This state of guilt, frustration, and rebellion affects all people everywhere (Jonah 1:5)
5) It is strange that the man who provoked the misery (in Jonah’s case, the storm), is uncaring and irresponsible for what he’s done. (Jonah 1:5)
6) God’s justice confronts the guilty man (Jonah 1:8). Jonah is constrained by the experiences God implicates him in so that he can admit his guilt, and accept his sentence (Jonah 1:9)
7) The lesson of the prophet Jonah’s experience was that the devil will expose him publicly, after encouraging him to sin, promising that no one would know (Jonah 1:10)
8) What is impressive in Jonah’s experience is the fact that God can gain people for salvation even through the ministry of unworthy messengers (Jonah 1:16)
God sends Jonah in ministry to Nineveh, but he chooses Tarshish instead, disobeying God. Jonah no longer sees himself a servant who needs to obey, but rather a lord who has a choice.
1) Why didn’t Jonah want to go to Nineveh? a) Loss of comfort; b) Confrontation with Assyrian enemies; c) Great risks; d) The loss of the opportunity for revenge
2) Why did Jonah choose to go to Tarshish?
a. Pride, power, praise: “The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled); for every ship of Tarshish and every stately vessel. The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled (Isaiah 2: 12, 16-17).
b. Business, riches, relations: “The ships of Tarshish serve as carriers for your wares. When your merchandise went out on the seas, you satisfied many nations; with your great wealth and your wares you enriched the kings of the earth. Now you are shattered by the sea in the depths of the waters; your wares and all your company have gone down with you (Ezekiel 27: 25, 33-34)
For us, Nineveh is in the family, at work, in ministry, it is in hospital visits, it is in worship, it is in giving, it is anywhere God sends us. Tarshish is the great alternative, it is the great temptation, it is our great choice, it is the liberty we have to depart from God, our pockets lined with arguments. On Sunday, Nineveh is at Church, Tarshish is…. somewhere else, anywhere else. What direction are you headed in right now?

 

  October 22

 

The love toward a wife and respect toward a husband are some of God’s primary commandments for spouses. The greatest need a husband has is to be respected, and a wife’s greatest need is to be loved. The husband desires to be respected more than he desires to be loved, but the wife desires to be loved more than respected. The love given by a husband and the respect given by a wife are commanded in the Bible and they need to be unconditional. A husband’s love and a wife’s respect should not be reactions based on their life partner’s merits. When a husband acts without love, the wife behaves disrespectfully, becoming critical, nagging, reproachful, contemptuous, ungrateful… Men do not know how to handle contempt, challenge, adversity, and so they will react in one of two ways: silence or battle.
What are reasons for a wife to feel unloved?
1. Her husband does not understand her. He does not consider the fact that his wife is a very different being than a man: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives” (1 Peter 3:7a)
2. The husband does not give her attention. Attention is manifested only through intimate relationships, something that causes the wife to feel manipulated: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner” (1 Peter 3:7a)
3. He is not devoted to his wife. Sometimes the husband pays more attention to his job or sports: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7)
For these reasons the Bible asks husbands to love unconditionally, to love by manifesting action, not manifesting reaction. Love is the key that motivates a wife, and is the most useful investment a husband can make in his family life. When the wife behaves without respect, the husband reacts without love, becoming indifferent, uncaring, irresponsible, and uncommunicative.
Women do not know how to deal with loneliness, silence, and so they will react by criticizing, reproaching, generalizing, bringing up past mistakes and even becoming rebellious. What are the motives that make a man feel disrespected?
1. His wife doesn’t trust him. She treats him as if she were his mother rather than his wife.
2. She does not appreciate him, she is always ungrateful. She usually only remarks on the negative, as if nothing her husband does is positive.
3. She generalizes and nags. The wife may be right, but if her tone of voice is wrong, her attitude is perceived as a lack of respect for her husband, constituting a provocation for him.
The secret to happiness in the family depends on fulfilling the two great commandments given to spouses by God: love towards the wife and respect towards the husband.