Voices

The ear is one of the most interesting parts of the body whose function comes in steps. In order for it to function properly:

  1. Sound is transmitted through the air as sound waves from the environment. The sound waves are gathered by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum.
  2. The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, which sets the three tiny bones in the middle ear into motion.
  3. The motion of the three bones causes the fluid in the inner ear, or cochlea, to move.
  4. The movement of the fluid in the inner ear causes the hair cells in the cochlea to bend. The hair cells change the movement into electrical impulses.
  5. These electrical impulses are transmitted to the auditory nerve and up to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.

Our ears, at least for most of us, will work normally, but we have the option to decide what we want to hear and how we hear it. Jesus said watch out how you hear (Lk8:18), because the voices we choose to hear or listen too will decide what comes or leaves our lives.  Voices that are uttered and recorded in our brains and are played back depending on the circumstances.  Paul writes that there are many voices in the world, but they all articulate a distinct tone and meaning (1Cor14:10) of which can affect us in the intended way. We can decipher how a person says things, if whether that person is sad, happy, troubled etc…, and the meaning of what he is saying. 

Luke 3:4-6

As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

John was the last of the old testament prophets and the usher of the Messiah. His voice had a message that prepared the way to the Savior of the world; Jesus Christ. His voice commanded that every valley to be filled, mountains to be brought low and roads to be made straight and smooth and for all flesh to see God’s salvation. A powerful message carried his message even though he was in the desert.  The people apparently had heard a voice; a voice for repentance, for they had come to be baptized of John (Lk3:7). Your tone of voice can have the sound of fear, failure, defeat, helplessness or victory (Is40:9) and it depends on the voice they hear; it is how the character and intentions of your communication comes. In the parable of the sower there are four ways people responds to the voice of the gospel (Lk8:11-15).  Some hear the word but the Devil takes it away, and others it is taken away because they cannot endure the trails, yet others the word is choked because of pleasures and riches; and on those in good ground the voice gives good fruit. 

Verse 1

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.

 verse 2

Luke 8:18
18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

verse 3

1 Corinthians  14:10 

10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.

verse 4

Luke 3:7

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

You who bring good news to Zion,  go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem,a]
lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”

Espanol

 

Your heart

The heart is one of the most protected organs in the body. It is the organ that keeps the entire body running. It is also in its figurative form the most important. It is the define as; “the centre and seat of spiritual life; the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours” BLB. The heart is the “home of the personal life,” and hence a man is designated, according to his heart. It is where all the wisdom is stored as noted in Solomon’s case( 1Kg3:12), it where a man’s state of being either good or bad resides (Lk8:15) and it is where the thoughts reside sometimes accusing or defending him (Ro2:15). The scriptures say that as a man thinks that’s how he is (Prv23:7).

Acts 8:20-23

20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

Simon’s precondition of his heart with the thought of monetary power revealed his unchanged heart. Because this power was given by the laying of hands from the apostles; man, the thought that Peter and John might need money lured him to offer it in exchange for the power. But, the power of God has a priceless tag that no amount of money can buy, and that is why it is free. Peter and John ran across this lame man by which the free gift of God healed with no purchase necessary (Acts3:6). Before the gift of God can be received there needs to be a regenerated heart, and it can not be hardened (Ez36:26). Simon’s heart was like stone that it repelled everything that came to it. Like as in the Pharisees whose hearts were filled with evil thoughts (Mt9:4), so were Simon’s. Even though Simon was baptized and was following the preaching of the gospel through Phillip, there was one thing that needed to change and that was his heart. The Psalmist prays and says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (ps51:10).  

Verse 1

1Kings 3:12

12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

 verse 2

Luke 8:15
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

verse 3

Romans 2:15

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another

verse 4

Proverbs 23:7

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Acts 3:6

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Ezekiel 36:26

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Matthew 9:4

And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

 

joy of the lord

One of the things that Christians should be known for is for their fruits; their works that is associated to Christ. Though there are many religions and humanitarian organizations that helping those in need, but Christians are asked to bear much fruit; or more fruit. The expectation for the follower of Christ is greater than that for the rest of humanity. God expects more out of his children. Our godly attitude has to surpass everything else in our lives.  In 1 Peter and in Leviticus God speaks to his people saying be holy for I am holy (1pt1:16& lev19:2). The type of fruit that is expected from the true believer is at a higher standard than that of others.  God tells the prophet Isaiah to lift up a standard for his people (Is62:10), and this standard figuratively identifies us apart from everyone else. Bearing much fruit meets God’s standard which qualifies us to ask anything that we desire from him and we should receive it. 

John 15:8-11

By this my Father is glorified, that you  bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9  As the Father has loved me,  so have I loved youAbide in my love. 10  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as  I have kept  my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you,  that my joy may be in you, and that  your joy may be full.

People know what kind of Christians we are by how much fruit we bear. They can tell who we by how God answers to us when we call. Jesus said that we abide in him and his words abide in us whatever we ask it shall be ours (Jn15:7), but it requires bearing much fruit. So, we can ask ourselves how much does God answer us, when was the last time he answered my prayer request. Agape is that brotherly love that separates us from every other religion, organization or faction, and it is expected to be met as God’s standard. But, to get there Jesus said that we have to abide in his word(v10), loving people; the brothers, enemies, and man kind, is not easy especially in these troubling times. We can get wrapped up in seeking justice that we forget to love. 

It pleases God when we love one another and in turn it brings satisfaction to us when we do. That satisfaction is the joy of the Lord, and it becomes our strength (Neh8:10). Ezra the priest stood before the people of God in a moment when conviction pricked their hearts for not treating their fellow man correctly, and encourage them to go and practice agape. The joy of the Lord comes when we practice good things to others. The Psalmist says let us make a joyful noise unto the rock of our salvation (ps95:1), he says that they are blessed because they know the sound of joy (ps89:15). Today we hear a want for joy. There is more stress and friction then that of joy. In order for there to be a fullness of joy we need to abide in Christ (v11).

 

Verse 1

1 Peter 1:16

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 verse 2

 

Isaiah 62:10

10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.

 

verse 3

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

verse 4-6

10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

95 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

 

Awake God

Memories of God’s goodness are good to ponder upon all the time, they keep our expectations of his redeeming power alive in us. Not just our redeeming moments should we think about, but friends, family and others whom God; through his wonder saving power, saved and gave the victory. The scriptures tell us that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Ro8:37). In fact, Paul tells us that God gives us the victory through his Son Jesus (1Cor15:57). Our victory is there or yet to come and no one can take it away, it is a promise of God. Jesus said that in this world we are going to have tribulation, but that we should not be afraid because he already has over come it (Jh16:33). Whether you have your victory now or not, stirring up those memories of redemption should be a practice throughout our daily life; in prayer or going about the day.  

Psalms 44:4-8

You are my King and my God, who decreesc] victories for Jacob.Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes.I put no trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.d]

The Psalmist writes this gospel type of psalm reminding us that God has not ceased giving his children victory in whatever battle they fight. He reminds us that the no matter the war we engage in that it is not won by the type of sword we use or the size of our army, but through God. But, there comes a time when digging into our memory banks to remind us of God’s victories is needed. It seems that through this time in the Psalmist life no victory was in sight. In fact, he felt like the enemy was on the verge of winning this battle and retreat was the only way out. God said to Zerubbabel it is not by might nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord (Zec4:6). 

The Psalmist felt like God was no longer there with him (Ps.44:9-10), he felt like if God had left him and his people alone, when the Psalmist writes that “You gave us up to be devoured like sheep” (Ps44:11). It is that very feeling that we either we now have or will have during these difficult times. The battle against reproach is upon us, and the prophetic aspect of this psalm is going to be revealed (Ps44:15-16). The earnest desire for God to get back on the psalmist side is long for and expressed when he says “Awake Lord!, Why do you sleep (ps44:23)?” The same as, was with the disciples when they were on a boat and the storm arose and Jesus was asleep and they woke him up (Mk4:38).  

Verse 1

Romans 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

verse 3

John 16:33
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”

verse 4

Psalms 44:9-11

But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies.10 You made us retreat before the enemy,
and our adversaries have plundered us.11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations.

Psalms 44:15-16

I live in disgrace all day long, and my face is covered with shame 16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.

Mark 4:38

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

 

REscued

 

Anytime we are in danger we can freely call upon God and he will save us; he will rescue us at whatever cost. And, though our salvation comes to us freely, but someone; God, has to give something up. The bible says that God gave his Son so that anyone who believes could be saved (Jh3:16), so God rescued us from eternal death with his son. In a rescue mission several factors have to be taken into account, like costs and availability.  Like in the parable of the good Samaritan who saw the injured man on the road and without thinking took him and cared for him (Lk10:34-35). In bible history each king that requested to be saved from another needed to pay a price in gold, or other valuable such as land. 

Isaiah 43:1-4

3. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom,Cusha] and Seba in your stead. 4. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.

There are certain promises that are part of God’s rescue scheme, like stability that is you will not be swept away. Also, God assures us that he will be with us, that though we walk through the fire it will not harm us. But, like every rescue mission it comes at a price, God has to decide you over someone else. The bible teaches us that we were purchased at a price, and that our body’s are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor6:19-20). The rescue mission of your soul pertain only to God, no one can save your soul (Mk8:36-37). God had a mission to save the people of Judah and he promised that he would restore them as before he had left them (Zech10:6). When God rescues someone there is a total restoration, that is what Job’s friend said that he would restore them for full well being. 

Verse 1

Luke 10:34-35

34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denariie] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

 verse 2

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

verse 3

  Mark 8:36-37

36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

verse 4

Zechariah 10:6

“I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph.I will restore them because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.

 

The art of making feel people guilty has been used since the beginning of time. Throughout history we have read and heard of stories of people made to do things using this art of guilt. Guilt is the feeling of wrong doing that a person realizes after it is done. It is an innate feeling placed there by God when we are being packed into an embryo. In the spiritual battles we face, Satan uses the false guilt, which is the feeling of wrong doing even after we have repented and have been forgiven, to continue to make us feel unworthy. But, the bible tells us that our sins though they are red as scarlet they will be made white as snow(Is1:18). It tells us that God takes our sins and casts them to the deep of the sea (Mic7:19). The feeling of guilt is ever present in us, but it is up to us to listen to it. We can become callous to it, which is what is happening in today’s day and age.

Matthew 13:12-15

12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;   you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;    they hardly hear with their ears,
 and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]

Now, God knows that this mechanism of guilt is in us and that we have become masterful in tuning it out, so he set some ordinances for sacrifices towards it. But, before anyone could offer sacrifices they had to ad heed to their conscience’s guilt(Lev4;27-28). Sometimes we sin or make mistakes unconsciously and we offend, and it is not until we recognize and accept that we have done wrong that the blessing will return. These people whom Jesus spoke about intentionally covered their ears and closed their eyes against their guilt. The purpose of guilt is to draw us unto God for healing and that of the conscience (He10:22). Once the conscience is healed then the rest the of the body receives healing.

As Christians we cannot live without each other. Surrounding ourselves with people of faith is vital to the survival of our faith. In order to maintain a healthy relationship with God we need to have a growing relationship with those of the faith. The bible teaches us that we are members of the same family and that of God (Eph2:19). The relationship we are to carry out with those of the same faith needs to be the same as with our biological family. Jesus displayed this same type of relationship with his brothers when his brothers and mother were inquiring of him as in Matthew 12:46-50 and he told the listeners that those who do the will of the Father are his siblings and parent. Being part of the family of God is highly regarded by God. In fact, the psalmist says that God sets the lonely in family and that of great families (ps68:6, 107:41).

Luke22:Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”

“Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.

10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”

13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

The time of Jesus’ ministry was coming to an end and he was going to go the way the scriptures had prophesied. Isaiah said that he (Jesus) would not have any form and that he was going to be reject and despised filled with sorrows; and it pleased the Lord to bruise him (Is53:5 &10). The last supper initiated the hardest thing Christ was going to go through to save man kind. Jesus sent two of his disciples to prepare the place for the supper. The owner of the building was some how forewarned that his facility was going to serve a purpose for the Messiah and so the time was now. Jesus was going to leave his disciples physically forever, but still was going to be with them. So, he told his two disciples to follow the man with the jar of water, and go where he would go; to the upper room. That jar of water was for the washing of the disciples feet it was an act of Christ that the disciples needed to practice in remembrance of him (Jhn13:14). Jesus was going leave his disciples, but he was going to leave to actions to which going to freshen their memories of the Lord. The washing of the feet is a symbol that reminds us Christ in you (1Cor1:21-22). Each time the disciples would wash each others feet they would see Christ in them.

The idea that things can become a strong hold and a place of comfort is part of everyone’s life. As we go through life we learn to confide on things and people and trust them. And, some of those things or people help us to become who we are. Jesus met this guy who was rich. He was a very moral person; good in every aspect, kind of like many Christians today. He knew the basics of the bible (Mk10:18-23), but something was missing; he did not feel complete. But, when he was confronted with the price he needed to pay in order to be complete, he could not do it. This state of being is called calloused. Jesus warns of this state of callousness in Matthew 13:15 when he said For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them”.

Mark 10:18-23

18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”[a]20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Selling everything was a heart breaking blow of which this young man could not bare doing it was one of the things he was lacking; giving till it hurts. Most of us are willing to give as long as it does not hurt our pocket, our relationships or our material values. Jesus makes mention of this poor widow who gave till it hurt her (Mt.12:42-45) unlike the rich who gave of their riches. Jesus’ disciples were profoundly affected with this idea of giving till it hurts (Mt10:23-27). Jesus said that it was harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then for a rich person to enter into heaven. But, having riches was not what Jesus was referring too when he mentions the rich entering into heaven, he was referring of those who trust in their riches. Our trust develops in the Lord when we choose to take up our cross and follow him. The bible tells us that we need to trust in the Lord (ps.4:5, ps.9:10), because God does not forsake those that trust in him. The fact is that when we trust in the Lord mercy is abundant in our lives (ps.32:10).

 

Life is about the things we put into it, it can be satisfying or not. It is dependent on the seeds we sow; life, whether the seed is a good or bad one its effect will in due time give its fruit. Now, we are not the only ones that sow seed into our lives and of those near us, but others do too. In fact, there are so many ways and destinations by which seeds are sown that we might not have much control for the type of seed that comes. The problem that we face with seeds is that once it is sown it will bear fruit and we will have to deal with it when it is time (gal. 6:7). Being alert can limit the growth of many of the seeds sown. The bible tells us that we need to be alert because the devil our enemy is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Pt5:8) and the way he devour starts with sowing seeds. He spreads seeds of division, discontent, anger, hate and many other seeds to prepare us for dinner.

Matthew 13:24-2924 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

Every head of their home has the responsibility to watch over their families. The head of the family on our passage sowed a seed but went to sleep and during his rest an enemy also sowed a seed that was not good. Every seed that does is not God breath causes harm, and so is the seed that the enemy sows, because the enemy; the devil came to kill, steal and destroy (Jhn 10:10). So, we need to be watchful else we will be surprised for the outcome of the seed sown. Paul exhorts us to be watchful and not sleep (1The. 5:6). When we sleep we give way to the enemy to sow bad seeds and his seed always leads to leaving one in want (Pro. 6:4).  And, when we sleep we are at our most vulnerable state, we become easily bound because we are defenseless like a parable Jesus shared about how to take the goods of a strong mans house in Matthew 12:29. The religious people in Jesus’ time tested his vulnerability when they asked him about paying taxes in Mark 12, but Jesus perceives their deceptive seed and destroys their scheme (Mk12:13-15). In today’s generation there many causes by which sleepiness comes such as the cares of life, drunkenness and over indulging or glutton (Lk. 21:34).  So, how do we deal with the tares, those bad fruits that appear when we sleep? What can we do with those bad seeds? As Jesus explains we must grow with it, we cannot temper and try to take out the bad fruit else the good will be weed out and that’s not good.

 

Though we are but a small population and a shrinking one in this world, we are not without strength or power. For the power within us is enough to over take hundreds. In the time of Elijah the king of Syria and his army came to take captive the prophet. And, in one night Elijah’s servant woke up and saw through the window a massive army surrounding the castle where they were, the prophet prayed and noticed another army greater unseen to the naked eye (2Kg.6:17). Whether we look to see or not if God’s protection is with us, it is ever present. Our victory is not based on the number that may be with us or against us, but on God’s perfect will. Gideon experienced the “Fear not, Little flock” when again the Syrian army came against God’s people and God used he along three hundred choice men to obtain the victory (Jdg 6). But, one thing that creeps upon all of us from time to time is fear, and it puts into question God’s favoring protection on our behalf.

Luke 12:32-39King James Version (KJV)

32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Fear is one of those mechanisms within us that will betray us. It will cause us to at times limit God’s work through us. But, we are God’s little flock and it pleases him to enrich us with the fullness of his kingdom. When we at one time were despised and rejected; outcasts and alone, God passed by us and saw us (Ez. 16:5-6) like he did with the city of Jerusalem. There was a time when this city was abandoned and rejected, and God happened to come by her; he picked her up, cleaned her and restored her. God is always going around and picking up little flock; those forgotten and broken. It is like the shepherd that had one hundred sheep and one left (Lk. 15:4), he leaves the ninety nine and goes after the lost one. Every sheep matters to God, they all have purpose. Solomon the king understood this idea when he wrote this proverb about a little old wise man (Ecc. 9:14-15) who thr0ugh his wisdom saved this small village that was sieged by a great king. The kingdom of God is for the little flock and it is important that we start storing up riches in that kingdom.