Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Commitment

We are on the beginning of the year, and it is time to start to break some "New year resolutions", or at least that is exactly what will happen to the vast majority of people.

However, we decide to start the year, we should not forget that it is also time to check how our spiritual lives are.

We can start to live a life of friendship with Jesus as He is really real.

There are two prayers that always impact me when I think about making a commitment to the Lord. The first prayer is from A.W. Tozer and the second from John Wesley:

AW Tozer Prayer of Commitment
I come to you today, O Lord, To give up my rights,
To lay down my life,
To offer my future,

To give my devotion, my skills, my energies.
I shall not waste time
Deploring my weaknesses
Nor my unfittedness for the work.
I acknowledge your choice with my life To make Christ attractive and intelligible To those around me.

I come to you for spiritual preparation. Put your hand upon me,
Anoint me with the oil of the One With Good News.

Save me from compromise,
Heal my soul from small ambitions,
Deliver me from the itch to always be right, Save me from wasting time.

I accept hard work, I ask for no easy place,
Help me not to judge others who walk a smoother path. Show me those things that diminish spiritual power in a soul.

I now consecrate my days to you,
Make your will more precious than anybody or anything. Fill me with your power
And when at the end of life’s journeyI see you face to face
May I hear those undeserving words:
“Well done my good and faithful servant”
I ask this not for myself
But for the glory of the name of your Son. Amen!


The covenant Prayer - John WesleyI am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you,
exalted for you, or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Are you teachable?


Proverbs 12.15

Have you ever tried to teach something to someone that presumed knows everything? How was the feeling?



Are you a teachable person? According to this verse in Proverbs, you can get more return on investment from a wise person in a single gentle conversation than you can gain from talking to a fool a hundred times. Which are you?
A teachable person will listen when God speaks and change direction accordingly. I believe God can sometimes speak through supernatural ways, but in most times, His voice comes through other people. We will probably receive critics throughout our lives by those who love us enough to say, “There’s something you need to change.” And as God speaks through His Word, His Spirit, and other people, we are always faced with a choice: will we be foolish or wise? If you are not sure there are 5 points to ponder about if you are being teachable or not!

1) When you listen.
When people feel free to give you a word of improvement, it’s a good sign that you’re teachable, doesn’t mean that you have to do what people are saying (or allow emotional vampires to control and criticize your life), but means that you will listen carefully. 
Nobody wants to risk a friendship giving feedback to a person that cannot receive a difficult word. As in, “Don’t try to tell him he’s not headed in the right direction because he’ll bite your head off.” A fool is always deeply persuaded that what he is doing is right. A teachable person knows how to listen.

2) When you see measurable growth and character development in yourself.
If you’re changing for the better, there is a great chance that you’re teachable. If you’re not the same person you were last year at this time, godly instruction has produced results in your life and you have grown because of it. A teachable person is open to change.

3) When you don’t have to answer critics with a defence.
It’s so refreshing to sit down with a person who can hear a difficult word with an open heart and without defensiveness. Those who are receptive to criticism, flourish.

4) When you don’t have to criticize back or talk behind peoples' back.. 
The classic symptom of an unteachable person is that they will listen to what you say, all the while framing their comeback, “Now let me tell you something . . .” Can you keep your defences down and pride in check? Then you’re probably a teachable person.

5) When you’re learning new ways to grow. 
If people have been telling you the same things for years, you’re not teachable. If you’ve grown out of those old issues and are now on to new lessons, you’re on the right track. A teachable person will always improve.

Conclusion: Even if you recognize you’ve been a fool, you don’t have to stay that way. The answer to foolishness is wisdom. 
It’s available—in God’s book, through His Spirit, and often communicated through His people. It’s applicable—it has to do with your life right now. It will help you make a decision, stay the course, and grow your faith.

Proverbs 8:11 tells us, “Wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.” 


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Beyond a story II

 Text: Genesis 7.1-7


What do you think about the story of Noah’s ark? What is your favourite part of this story?



Last week we saw the first 6 ideas that we could learn with the Noah’s ark story, and today we will see 5 more points that help us to have a better life.

1) For safety sake, travel in pairs.
We were not made to be alone! God reveals himself in community and relationship (on the trinity) and He made us to be a fruit of a family. The fact is that if we try to live as an “oyster” we will never be fulfilled,
The bible shares:
A) the importance to share with one another in order or be healed (James 5.16).
B) How powerful is to pray with other people (Mat 18.19).
C) The importance to meet in a group to seek Him (Mat 18.20). Would you like to have a safe and less stressful journey in life? So don’t despise people that the Lord put to walk with you! Remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

2) Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
We live in a society where speed becomes not just a skill, but also a needed quality. Many areas of our society are more concern with quantity and speed than quality. Even without realizing that, we absorb this “fast everything” to us and become more and more spread and without quality in our lives. Sometimes this will even affect our relationship with our families and with God. Remember that quality is more important than speed in many areas of our lives. Would you like to have more quality in your relationships?

3) When you’re stressed, float for a while.
In Brazil, we say: “Are you stressed, go fishing”. 
The fact is that in the middle of our desert we must create some “oasis” or “refuges”. Jesus had in His prayer time as an oasis in the middle of the chaos of His ministry. When you are tired or stressed, what do you do? How do you react? Learning to float is a need! 
God wants to help us, would you like His help?

4) Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the titanic by professionals.
One of the marks of the 21st century is the specialization; we love this word and will seek it when we need something important. There is nothing wrong with that, but the problem begins when people prefer to listen to the “professionals” instead to listen to the Lord.
God wants to be part of your life, and remember that He is never wrong. Would you like to listen to Him?

5) No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting…
Are you in the middle of a storm in your life today? Are things getting worse? Do you need some help to get out of the storm? With God, the best is yet to come! Would you like His help in your life? He is inviting you to know Him better today. Would you like that?

CONCLUSION:  Jesus doesn’t want you to miss the boat or anything else that He has for you. Your part is to accept Him and to be willing to have more of Him. Would you like to know and have more of God today? Let’s pray.

Commitment We are on the beginning of the year, and it is time to start to break some "New year resolutions", or at least that i...