Thursday, March 29, 2012

Like the wind

John 3:8 - "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." "

One of the sounds that I most appreciate in this world is the sound that is produced by the wind in its strength. The wind, in its power that is invisible to human eyes, is one of the most powerful forces of nature. Nothing can stop it, nobody can understand it in its fullness. The meteorologists, though sometimes able to get it right in their forecasts, are constantly astonished.

The text we read above compares the Christian born of the Spirit with the wind. Note that the word wind in the original text, also represents spirit. The Holy Spirit is like the wind. He blows where he wills. We can hear him. We are not able to understand his greatness and his movement.

Again, in Acts, the Holy Spirit is compared to the wind, a mighty wind.

Acts 2:2-4 - "Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. "

Let me propose an illustration. Let's imagine that you and I are like small sailboats; like little boats in the waters of this world. Those who are born of the Spirit are those who hoist the sails and get carried away by the wind. Those who are not born of the Spirit are those who fight against the wind. While we stand, while we keep low the sails, we are unable to move with strength. We can try to row against the wind, but this only represents a lot of effort and fatigue with no results.

See that the attitude that allows the boat to move with strength is completely hoist the sails and surrender to the impetuous movement of the wind. The Holy Spirit blows where he wills. We can hear his voice, but we can not look into the depth of God's thought; not without the Holy Spirit. He, however, can and wants to take us with Him, if we let Him.

This day let's surrender to Him. Let's give up the oars. Let's turn off the engines. Let's stop fighting with the wind. Let's dare to surrender the control of our ways. Let's hoist the sails and see where He leads us.

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

An appeal to the young people

Paul Washer shares in this video an appeal to the young people ... make sure to watch!

Be in the peace of Jesus Christ!

Friday, March 23, 2012

To love with the greater love

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
John 15:13

Jesus teaches us what is the "greater love". To love with the "greater love" is not hugging, kissing, staying together, having relationship, etc.

To love with the "greater love" is to lay down the life. The love that the text speaks about is the agape, i.e., a love that is not produced by man, but by the Spirit of God.

The life that the text speaks about is not the life on the body, but the psyche, which is the soul. The soul represents one's intellect, emotions, desires, etc.

When I lay down my life for a brother of mine, I demonstrate that the love of God is in me.

When I don't lay down my life for my brother, when my soul well-being is more important than someone's life, I demonstrate that the love of God is not in me. When my comfort and finances are more important than someone's salvation, I demonstrate that the love of God is not in me. My attitudes demonstrate if the greater love is in me. Even my prayers demonstrate if the love of God is in me or not. When my rest, my sleep, my possessions, my stuff, my feelings, and etc., that is, my life, my psyche has the first place, the greater love is not manifested in me.

Love, with agape, is an expression of the Spirit of God, it is fruit of the Spirit, and only can be produced by Him. Our role is to surrender and to allow Him to love. Let us lay down our lives, our psyche, for the one's next to us; let us take our eyes off of ourselves, let us take our souls out of the throne of our lives, let us pray and cry for the ones that suffer, let us surrender and allow the love of God to reach those.

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Martha, Mary and Lazarus

"When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
"Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied.
Jesus wept. "
João 11:32-35 (NVI)

This episode tells us about three brothers: Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Taking them by figure, I would like to bring a teaching.

Lazarus - the brother who was dead.

Martha - is the one that said: Lord, it's been four days and it has a bad odor already . She did not believe that Jesus could do something for her brother.

Mary - instead of expressing any word, was willing to cry.

Many times we look to the situation of the lost (the dead) around us, and say: It smells bad, there's no way to save them. The attitude that moved Jesus and set him in motion to bring life to that young man who was dead, was the attitude of Mary.

Mary fell down at his feet and wept; when he saw her, Jesus was moved by the Spirit, and moved toward the grave to call Lazarus out. Most of the apparitions of Mary in the Bible is prostrate down at his feet: attentively listening to Jesus once, again breaking the vase of ointment, and again in this text.

In this episode, a crowd followed Mary and found Jesus, and many came to believe in him. The work that produces result is to prostrate. The work that produces result is weep before him in favor of someone. Thus, He moves, He acts, He calls, He resurrects the one who was dead!

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I know nothing, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified

1 Corinthians 2:1-5. “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power..

Preaching the Gospel has nothing to do with personality. Preaching the Gospel has nothing to do with methods. Preaching the Gospel has nothing to do with individual talents. Preaching the Gospel has to do with only one thing: Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Paul, one of the greatest evangelists of all time, didn't use any evangelization method of those we consider the fundamental ones. Paul didn't mask the message with emotional appeals. Paul did preach the one thing that was scandal: Christ, and him crucified. Paul experienced the cross, and about that cross he spoke; crucified with Christ, he allowed the life of Jesus to flow through him.

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!

Saulo Oliveira Santos.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The blood of Abel cries out...

"If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it." Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground."
(NIV) Genesis 4:7-10

Adam, the first man, whose name translation from Hebrew means literally "man", had at first two children, Cain and Abel. Adam typifies the humanity, but the humanity apart from God, the fallen humanity.

Adam had two male children. Adam had two first fruits of his manhood. See that the first fruit of the generation of Adam, on the other hand, has become a murderer. Cain killed Abel for being envious that God accepted his brother's offer but not his own. Abel, in turn, also a fruit of Adam, wanted to please the Lord, and sought to offer God the best part. The act of Cain turned him into a wanderer drifter on the earth.

This two sons of Adam, typifies, by what I can see, all the other sons of Adam. Inside our human nature, there is the wanting to know and please God. But inside our human nature, there is also the wanting to produce evil.

Paul has spoke about that in the letter to the Romans, when he said:

"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?"
(NIV) Romans 7:21-24

Cain and Abel, this human nature, still fight inside of us, the men, and Cain is inside of us, and he is always killing Abel. But the blood of Abel always cries out before God. The mankind longs for the presence of God a for the justice of God.

But Paul follows:

"Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,"
(NVI) Romans 7:25, 8:1-3

This battle ends in Jesus Christ. The blood of Abel finds rest. Its crying is heard. We don't need any longer to live this battle inside us, because Jesus Christ with His blood redeemed all the sin, and condemned all flesh in the cross, but when he rose, he rose to give us life, and a full and abundant life. We don't need to walk in this earth as a drifter, like Cain had. Though we can move in the heavenly places, in Jesus Christ, and experience that the joy of the Lord is our strength.

We can confess before God those things that belong to the nature of Cain; those things that lead us into and open the door so that our old nature be feed and manifested. Though, in our heart, we know we need to be close to God. The blood of Abel cries out, but Jesus want to give us deliverance today.

God wants us to live the full life, the abundant life in Him, in a way that we don't need any longer to cry, to mourn and to walk as drifters on this earth. We can, instead, be salt, light, and walk accordingly to the purpose of God.

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!
Saulo Oliveira Santos.

The church is the cure

"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?"
Proverbs 24:11-12 (NIV)

The church is the cure that God provides to the sickness of the world. We are the only ones that can truly avoid eternal death and condemnation. Let the light of God shine through us today.

Stay in the peace of Jesus Christ!
Saulo Oliveira Santos.