Here are two articles written by Emily Guevara ( Twitter: @TMTEmily) on our background and on Grace Español . Tyler Morning Telegraph...
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Sunday, June 22, 2014
Saturday, June 14, 2014
As imperfect my love is for them, I strive to be like my Father in Heaven. I am a long way from that, but He gives me His grace. Abundant grace.
The Love of The Father to The Son
I have been thinking about the love God has given us as fathers toward our sons, how it relates to Him and the Lord Jesus Christ and to us as his children. Now that you have been away for almost eight months, and even though we have seen you almost every two or three months, your presence is conspicuous. But more than this I have realize how great is my love for you. I find myself praying for you every morning as I go to work and then when I am on my daily runs. I thank God for giving us a great son like you. My understanding of the love of a father has become more deep and personal. It is something very hard to explain until you have a son. Some day, Lord willing, you will have a son.You will understand how great is the love that one can have for a son. It is beyond explanation and sentiment. It is also especially meaningful when you know that your son is so much like you, like you are, for better or worse. Undeniably, you are my son. My first-born. As I continue to see you grow and mature as a man, I am so thankful for having you and for the profound love that I have for you. So I asked myself, “Where does this come from?” The obvious answer is that it is from God. God is love the Bible says. He created us, not out of necessity but out of love. When he created us he gave us apart of himself that we call the image of God (Imago Dei). The ability to love is a characteristic of God. That bond that exists between father and son, you and me, was given by Him. It is inexpressible and incomprehensible. But as I continue to ponder upon it I think of the love of God towards his Son Jesus Christ. Given that this relationship is also quite incomprehensible (because it is part of the Trinity) and hard to understand Ican only glimpse the surface. I think of what God felt when he released his son to us. It is no wonder the very first words uttered by God when Jesus is publicly presented as Messiah are “This is my son, in whom I am very well pleased.” This shows the great love of God towards his son. God loved The Son more than we can comprehend. Yet, their relationship was interrupted by our own sins. When Jesus was hanging on the cross he called out, “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani,”“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” (Matthew 27:45-46) Jesus experienced a separation from God. I can’t quite explain what it means but I am certain it hurt The Father even more. Nothing hurts us fathers than to see our sons suffer. I hope I never have to experience this. The separation that I now experience from youis nothing compared to what Jesus and God experienced at the cross. But thiswas necessary for us. He loved us. His love is beyond all measure. God’s love for us is even greater than the love we have for our sons. Not only does God love us but our Lord Jesus Christ loves us with the same love. Isn’t this amazing?
Yet, I am forever grateful to God for allowing me to experience and to comprehend what it means to have the love of a father. I can never come close to loving you the way The Father loves but I share a part of Him. Some day you might also experience this as well. But even while you are growing and becoming a man on your own, you not only know of my love for you, but also of the love of The Father towards you. It is an amazing love.
The Love of God
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the oceandry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
- Frederick Lehman, 1917
I love you my son,
Sunday, June 01, 2014
The book of Exodus in Hebrew begins with "And these are the names." "And" here is important because it connects the ending of the book of Genesis with it. It connects God's story of redemption. God had promised Abraham that he would make him a great Nation and bless all nations through Him (Genesis 13:15; 15:5-6; 17:5-8; 22:17-18) but he also told him that his people would be slaves for four hundred years. (Genesis 15:13). Now the story continues in Exodus.
Chapters 1-18 record the redemption of the people of God, Israel, from the Egyptian slavery (1875-1445 B.C.) Chapters 19-40 take approximately ten months and they cover the instructions God gave his people whom he delivered.
In this post I'd like to share from Exodus 1. We see here the need of redemption (which is a word I prefer rather than "rescue." Redemption has the idea of someone paying for another to "redeem" or buy back) for the people of God.
We see three important things concerning the need of redemption.
First, we see how God's people were multiplying (Exodus 1:6-7 ). They had grown from 70 people to about three million. This was no accident. God was blessing His people. They could not be in Egypt any longer. God had a plan for them, but it didn't come easy for them but they had to trust Him.
Second, we see that people of God were oppressed and had become enslaved (Exodus 1:8-14). The new Pharaoh (18th Dynasty, Thutmose I) sees the Hebrews as a threat. Since they have grown so much, he feared them taking over Egypt. He decided to take action and began treating them as slaves. But it didn't seem to work. The more he oppressed them, the more God blessed them. How ironic. God blessed His people in the midst of suffering. As much as they hated it, suffering and oppression was part of God's plan. He was listening to them. He had a plan to deliver them with great power. The same happens in our lives. Suffering is part of being a Christian. Suffering is to be expected. But God isn't absent, He is present in our suffering. He blesses us in our suffering.
Third, we see that God's people were threatened with extinction (Exodus 1:15-22). Pharaoh not only enslaved God's people but he wanted to eliminate them. He decided to stop them from procreating by killing all the boys. If there were no boys, then the Hebrew women would have to intermarry with the Egyptian men who were of lowest social-economic level and thus Pharaoh would control them. He told the head midwives to help him accomplish this. But these women who were witnesses of the birth of the children had more sense than Pharaoh and realized that God was with the Hebrew women. They were strong and had no problems giving birth. So they decided not to follow through Pharaoh's order (partly because the Hebrew women gave birth before they ever got to them). Here is a case where obeying God is first above any man in power. As a result of these midwives' actions, they were blessed by God. God blessed these women who were Hebrew for their obedience to Him. Of course, Pharaoh then gave order to have all boys under 3 years old eliminated and commanded that all Hebrews throw their babies into the Nile River. But as we know, this didn't work either. God is sovereign. He will save a baby out of the water (the meaning of "Moses") and will use Pharaoh's own daughter to raise him. How ironic again! God uses even those who opposed his plan. This baby will become the leader of the people of God.
The people of God will always be threatened. The Gospel is unstoppable and yet persecution is evident in those places where is thriving (another site here). God is sovereign and will establish his church and not even the gates of Hell will stand in His way. Don't fear when you are threatened or intimated because of who you are as a believer. They can't defeat you because God is with you. He hears your prayers and sees your suffering, literally. Even if they kill most of us, we know they can only kill the body! We need to fear Him who can "destroy" our souls in Hell (see Matthew 10:28). He is our great shepherd and will lead us through the valley of Death into his everlasting presence (Psalm 23).
In just this chapter alone we find the three principles I mentioned in the related post. These serve as an encouragement to us.