March 29, 2007
“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
True wisdom comes from God. Plain and simple. People can try all they want to find it elsewhere, but it cannot be found anywhere else or in anyone else. The Lord alone gives wisdom.
So where can we find this wisdom? Both of these passages are talking about the message found in the Bible. If you look to the Bible you will find the very Word of God. There you will find the answers to the deep questions of life, meaning, salvation and eternity.
But don’t expect everyone to accept the wisdom of God. Indeed the world sees the message of salvation as foolishness. It is the Spirit of God who draws a person and reveals the Lord, the King of glory, and the message of the gospel. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).
March 28, 2007
In today’s pluralistic society, why is there an imbalance when it comes to tolerance? Society demands tolerance and openness to all views under the sun. People make the demand, “Take me as I am.” They advocate absolute freedom at all costs. Freedom of expression, freedom of choice, freedom of speech. I am not saying that freedom is a bad thing in and of itself. The imbalance comes when a single view is targeted as unacceptable while every other view remains alright. The view I am referring to is Christianity.
Case in point: Recently in San Francisco, probably the most tolerant and liberal city in the United States, there was a Battlecry youth rally. And of all places, this group was told they were not wanted in the city. How could the Mecca of tolerance be so intolerant of one group?
I am fully aware of the reasons why people in San Francisco would not want a Christian group meeting there. This intolerance of Christianity is certainly not an isolated incident – it is happening all over America. What I’m saying is that if they and everyone else expects total tolerance for their lifestyles and views, they should reciprocate. If society cannot or will not live out absolutely the same tolerance they demand, then they have no right to expect tolerance themselves. Take the plank out of your own eye, and then you can point out the speck in your neighbor’s.
March 27, 2007
1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds victory in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
13 who leave the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
14 who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
15 whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.
16 It will save you also from the adulteress,
from the wayward wife with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God. [a]
18 For her house leads down to death
and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return
or attain the paths of life.
20 Thus you will walk in the ways of good men
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21 For the upright will live in the land,
and the blameless will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the unfaithful will be torn from it.
March 26, 2007
In today’s society, the Lord Jesus Christ has become a Christ of convenience, bearing little if any resemblance to the Christ of the Bible.
Followers of this false view of Christ tend to fit loosely into two categories: those who are professing Christians and those who are not. In the case of those who claim to be Christians, I like to call it paint-by-number Christianity. Paint-by-number Christianity is when someone professes to be a Christian but only takes the parts of Christianity and the Bible that they are comfortable with to apply to their lives. They leave out the uncomfortable parts – the commands of holiness and perfection, the pain of taking up the cross, the Great Commission to preach the gospel, and the rejection, scorn and persecution that comes with boldly standing up for the gospel. What they do accept are the comfortable parts, such as the promise of heaven, or completely made-up or distorted false teachings such as universalism or the prosperity gospel. These people only go to Christ when they want something, as if he is a genie in a bottle to be summoned and who is obedience to their every command. Or they go to Christ when the have a need, which there is nothing wrong with in and of itself, except that they forget all about him when things are good. The Christ these people worship is only a cardboard cutout of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of glory. Their Christianity has no challenge, no discomfort, and no faith.
For those who are not professing to be Christians, their Christ tends to be a distorted picture of God in heaven. He is seen as a Father who doesn’t really care what his children do. And everyone is his child. There is no wrath or justice or holiness, only love and unconditional acceptance. Again, they end up with a picture of God that little resembles the God of the Bible. They use arguments like, “An all-loving God would never send someone to hell,” and “I can do what I want in this life, and God will forgive me later.” This Christ becomes whatever they want him to be, and is made in man’s image. I call this paint-by-number religion.
The Christ of reality is nothing less than the Savior of the world, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords of the universe. The Lord Jesus Christ does not exist to do our bidding and give us whatever we want. He is not here to make our life comfortable and give us all the worldly things we desire. On the contrary, he came to take us out of the world. He calls us to be born again and forsake the world for his sake. He is our mediator in the heavenly realm, and this has eternal significance. The temporal has nothing to do with it.
What does your Christ look like? And can he save you?
March 25, 2007
We would like to take a moment to make an exciting announcement. The Dominguez family has grown as we welcomed our first child, Jane Gloria Dominguez, on March 21, 2007 at 6:12pm. She weighed in at 7lbs 4.7ozs and measured 19.5 inches. We are overjoyed with this blessing from the Lord being poured out on our family and praise His Holy Name.
We would also like to thank you all for reading Minds 2 Mentes, as well as Acts 20:24 Ministries. We pray that our blogs have brought light and understanding to you. We’re back on schedule now, and we hope that you continue to read and be challenged by this ministry.
Dios te bendiga
1 Then Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
2 “There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
3 “Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the LORD is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.
4 “The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry hunger no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.
6 “The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
8 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
“For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s;
upon them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
“It is not by strength that one prevails;
10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
1 Samuel 2:1-10
March 20, 2007
“Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:21-24).
Throughout the Old Testament, righteousness before God is seen as an act, something that someone does. Why should we expect for the definition to change in the New Testament? The attribute of righteousness has been as misunderstood as the attribute of holiness. As we have explored in previous posts, holiness is something that we are commanded to live out. Holiness is not just a trite thing that we inherit, but something that is actually lived out consciously in the life of the believer.
Righteousness is likewise something that we not only receive by faith but live out daily by that same faith. We are told in Scripture that we are to put off the old self and take on the new self which was made to be like God in righteousness. The new self is radically different from the old, no longer in the Adam nature but in Christ Jesus. And becoming righteous like God is an act of this new nature. Like holiness, righteousness is not something trite we merely inherit, but something we must live out. This is possible only because the believer is in Christ.
If you are clinging onto the old self, you cannot be made new in Christ. If you are clinging to unrighteousness you cannot be made righteous like God is righteous. “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:15-16). What are you a slave to? Are you a slave to sin or a slave to true righteousness?
March 19, 2007
Many of us are familiar with Verse 12 of Hebrews 4, but have never read it in the context of the whole chapter. As a Christian, rest is not restricted to a certain day, but can be found everyday because it is Today. The Christian’s rest is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, the living Word, the Logos. And we may rest in Christ by going to the words of Scriptures. It is here we find who God is and what is plan is for our lives. It is here we find the guide for our daily conduct so that we may walk not in disobedience but in obedience. And walking in obedience allows us to rest in Christ Jesus. Let me encourage you to read the Word, and rest in the Word who is Jesus Christ.
1Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
6It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.” 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.