¡Animando y fortaleciendo a otros, adorando en el Día del Señor! – Hechos 20:1-17

En esta sección, Pablo volverá a visitar Macedonia y Acaya (Corinto) con un doble propósito. Una era animar y fortalecer a los creyentes en las iglesias que había plantado. Una segunda razón fue llevar una ofrenda a Jerusalén, la iglesia madre. (Ver Romanos 15:25-27; 1 Corintios 16:1-9; 2 Corintios 8-9).

Este capítulo también comienza una unidad literaria (Hechos 20:1-21:17), en la que hay tres escenas de la vida comunitaria cristiana (las reuniones en Troas [Hechos 20:7-12], Mileto [Hechos 20:17-38] y Cesarea [Hechos 21:8-14]), alternando con cuatro informes de viaje (Hechos 20:1-6; 20:13-16; 21:1-7; 21:15-17).

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Book Review: Tim Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation

Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual FormationTimothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation by Collin Hansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Who would have known that the year this book was published would be Keller’s last on this Earth and make his passage into the land of the Emmanuel our King. Just finished the last two chapters today, just a couple days after we read this news.
This book is not a biography proper, a full chronology of his life but it does offer a sequence of four periods of time in the life of Tim Keller and the different people that influenced his thinking, his theology and his ministry. Keller was a man with a keen intellect and a capacity to synthesize what he read to inform his personal life and ministry. This led him to plant a church in New York City that not only would impact the city but would be become the hub for a global church planting movement. Since the very first book that I read by Keller, The Reason for God, I was impressed by his intellectual capacity and his spiritual life. I find his writing intellectually engaging and in particular, impressed by the way he is able to pull from diverse sources to support his ideas. As a reader, this was fascinating and led me to others sources to learn more of the topics he wrote about. Keller became one of my favorite writers (only once did I see part of a video teaching which I did not find as engaging as his writings). Hence, I was interested in reading this book about what formed and shaped Keller intellectually and spiritually. Hansen has done a good job in what he sought to do. I have learned much more about Keller that I did not know that influenced him, some that I am was already familiar.

Keller’s influence through his writings will continue to be helpful for those interested in engaging the culture with the Gospel. But more importantly, the people he led to Christ will continue to be a testament of his love for Him which will certainly be rewarded by our King.

“Only if our highest love is God himself can we love and serve all people, families, classes, races, and only God’s saving grace can bring us to the place where we are loving and serving God for himself alone and so for what he can give us,” Keller explained.” pp. 98-99

“For Keller, this meant training leaders not to see church as an escape from the hated city but a place to learn how to meet the city’s needs, both spiritual and physical. It meant forsaking “church growth” mod els that use the city and instead deploying the church in a “city growth” model that helps everyone flourish.” p. 156

“Churches that live for themselves die by themselves…. If our evangelism is to be effective, the church must be concerned to meet the surrounding need.” p. 158

“Just as the single most formative experience in our lives is our membership in a nuclear family, so the main way we grow in grace and holiness is through deep involvement in the family of God. Christian community is more than just a supportive fellowship; it is an alternate society. And it is through this alternate human society that God shapes us into who and what we are…. The real secret of fruitful and effective mission in the world is the quality of our community.” p. 215

View all my reviews

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All I want is to know you and worship you

I woke up this morning repeating a song in Spanish that says,

“I long to know you more, to live in holiness in intimacy.

I always want to be with you. Your glory to behold for eternity.”[1]

The chorus says,

“All I want is to worship you.

All I want is to worship you.

I come to your feet to give my heart.

All I want is to please you.

All I want is to please you.

I will forever sing of your love.”

It is a song that expresses the desire to know God more, intimacy that leads to our holiness. These words express the longing that every believer should have as his primary focus. As I sang it this morning, that’s what I was expressing to the Lord. My desire is to know Him, to be intimate with Him, and eventually to behold His glory for eternity.

This was St. Paul’s life focus.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ…I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” Philippians 3:8, 10

Paul literally left everything to know Christ. He considered everything lost and trash to gain Christ. He wanted to know him, “the power of his resurrection, and partake of his sufferings” so that he would be as much as he was even in his death and partake of his resurrection.

The process of knowing Christ is lifelong and must keep growing. This month marks forty years of knowing Christ for me. Like every believer, I have experienced ups and downs in the Christian life, arid times that led me to drift away from God. Suffering, doubts, discouragement and everything that is part of our daily lives. But over the years my focus has been on knowing my Lord. This desire has continued to grow, “I long to know you more, to live in holiness in intimacy.” Our world with its desires and its culture seems less attractive to me. My desire to behold his glory for eternity is more evident.

This song made me think of eternity. In eternity we will behold his glory. As we behold his glory our response will be one of worship. This is the worship happening right now around the throne of God. Heavenly beings worship Him day and night saying,

“Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty,’

who was, and is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:8)

In doing so, the twenty-four elders representing believers of all ages unite in worship,

” he twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they were created

and have their being.” (Rev. 4:10-11)

God’s glory and holiness lead heavenly beings and believers to worship God. This worship will be perpetual and universal (Psalm Psalm 39:5; 86:9; Jer. 16:19; Apoc. 15:4). What will this be like? I personally believe that the worship of God is a result produced by the glory and holiness of God. No one can stand before the Lord without worshiping Him. It is obvious that our state will be perfect, and that our worship will be perfect. This perpetual worship will be easy to carry out because we will know the glory and holiness of the Lord as we have never known it before. This worship will be as natural as singing a song constantly as I have been doing this morning. Songs are expressions of our heart to God for who He is in His character, for what He has done for us, and for what He will do. I think each of us will also worship God in a unique way and God will welcome it.

Why is God pleased with our worship? Because God created us to worship Him (Ephesians 1:6). This is the main reason for our existence. Worshipping God should come most naturally to us. But we know that even as believers we lack perfection in our worship of Him. But it should not be an excuse. We must continue to know Him (even in His sufferings) and as we spend more time with Him in intimacy, the more we will yearn for Him, the more we will worship Him, and the less we will desire from this world with His desires. We will be holier. Psalm 29:2 invites us to worship Him:

” Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.”

You can do this with a song, praying to Him, spending time in His Word, and acknowledging Him in everything you do today.

[1] Lo Único que Quiero. Lyrics & Music By: Israel Chaparro & Esteban Alvarado

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Lo único que quiero es conocerte y adorarte

Desperté esta mañana repitiendo un canto que dice,

“Anhelo conocerte más, vivir en santidad en intimidad.

Contigo siempre quiero estar. Tu gloria contemplar por la eternidad.”[1]

El coro dice,

“Lo único que quiero es adorarte.

Lo único que quiero es adorarte.

Vengo a tus pies para entregar mi corazón.

Lo único que quiero es agradarte.

Lo único que quiero es agradarte.

Por siempre cantaré de tu amor.”

Es un canto que expresa el deseo de conocer más a Dios, intimidad que lleva a nuestra santidad. Estas palabras expresan el anhelo que todo creyente debe tener como su enfoque principal. Al cantarlo esta mañana eso es lo que expresaba al Señor. Mi deseo es conocerle, tener intimidad con Él y eventualmente contemplar su gloria por la eternidad.

Este era el enfoque del apóstol san Pablo.

“Considero como pérdida todas las cosas, en comparación con lo incomparable que es conocer a Cristo Jesús mi Señor. Por su causa lo he perdido todo y lo tengo por basura a fin de ganar a Cristo… Anhelo conocerlo a él y el poder de su resurrección, y participar en sus padecimientos, para ser semejante a él en su muerte;” Filipenses 3:8, 10

Pablo dejó literalmente todo para conocer a Cristo. Todo lo consideraba perdido y como basura para ganar a Cristo. Quería conocerle a él, “el poder de su resurrección, y participar de sus padecimientos” de tal manera que fuera tanto como Él aun en su muerte y participar de su resurrección.

El proceso de conocer a Cristo es de toda la vida y debe ir aumentando. Este mes cumplo cuarenta años de conocer a Cristo. Como todo creyente, he experimentado subes y bajas en la vida cristiana, tiempos áridos que llevaron a alejarme de Dios. Sufrimientos, dudas, desánimo y todo lo que es parte de nuestra vida diaria. Pero al pasar los años mi enfoque ha sido conocer a mi Señor. Este deseo ha seguido creciendo, “Anhelo conocerte más, vivir en santidad en intimidad”. El mundo nuestro con sus deseos y su cultura me parece menos atractivo. Mi deseo de contemplar su gloria por la eternidad es más patente.

Este canto me hizo pensar en la eternidad. En la eternidad contemplaremos su gloria. Al contemplar su gloria nuestra respuesta será de adoración. Esta es la adoración que sucede en este momento alrededor del trono de Dios. Seres celestiales le adoran de día y de noche diciendo, dicen,

“¡Santo, Santo, Santo es el Señor Dios Todopoderoso, que era y que es y que ha de venir!” (Apoc. 4:8)

Al hacerlo, los veinticuatro ancianos que representan los creyentes de todas las edades se unen en la adoración,

“se postran delante del que está sentado en el trono y adoran[e] al que vive por los siglos de los siglos; y echan[ sus coronas delante del trono, diciendo:

11 “Digno eres tú,

oh Señor y Dios nuestro,

de recibir la gloria,

la honra y el poder;

porque tú has creado

todas las cosas,

y por tu voluntad tienen ser

y fueron creadas”. (Apoc. 4:10-11)

La gloria y la santidad de Dios llevan a los seres celestiales y a los creyentes a adorar a Dios. Esta adoración será perpetua y universal (Salmo Salmo 39:5; 86:9; Jer. 16:19; Apoc. 15:4). ¿Cómo será esto? Personalmente creo que la adoración a Dios es un resultado producido por la gloria y santidad de Dios. Nadie podrá estar delante del Señor sin adorarle. Es obvio que nuestro estado será perfecto, y que nuestra adoración será perfecta. Esta adoración perpetua será fácil de llevarla a cabo porque conoceremos la gloria y santidad del Señor como nunca antes la hemos conocido. Esta adoración será tan natural como cantar un canto constantemente como lo he estado haciendo esta mañana. Los cantos son expresiones de nuestro corazón a Dios por lo que Él es en su carácter, por lo que ha hecho por nosotros, y por lo que hará. Pienso que cada uno de nosotros también adorará a Dios de una manera única y Dios la recibirá con agrado.

¿Por qué le agrada a Dios nuestra adoración? Porque Dios nos creó para adorarle a Él (Efesios 1:6). Esta es la razón principal de nuestro existir. La adoración a Dios debería ser lo más natural para nosotros. Pero sabemos que aun como creyentes carecemos de perfección en nuestra adoración a Él. Pero no debe ser excusa. Debemos seguir conociéndole (aun en sus sufrimientos) y a menudo que pasamos más tiempo con Él en intimidad, más le anhelaremos, más le adoraremos y menos desearemos de este mundo con sus deseos. Seremos más santos. El Salmo 29:2 nos invita a adorarle:

“Den al SEÑOR la gloria debida a su nombre. Adoren al SEÑOR en la hermosura de la santidad.”

Puedes hacerlo con un canto hoy día, orando a Él, pasando tiempo en su Palabra, y reconociéndole a Él en todo lo que hagas hoy.

[1] Lo Único Que Quiero. Letra & Música Por: Israel Chaparro & Esteban Alvarado

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Cómo Dios usa a sus siervos – Hechos 19:1-20

Aquí vemos a Pablo usado por el Señor de varias maneras. Estos sirven de ejemplo para nosotros hoy.



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Jesus asks, “Do you love me?”

One of the most amazing passages for me is John 21:1-25. The scene involves Jesus days after his resurrection with several of his disciples including Peter.  I can imagine Peter a bit discouraged. He knew Jesus was alive but was leaving soon. It is possible he hadn’t heard from him in a few days (Jesus remained 40 days after his resurrection according to Acts 1:4). Peter decides to go fishing and some follow him. They spend all night fishing, and they don’t catch anything. Morning comes and Jesus comes to shore. He asks them if they have food and they answered no without knowing it was him (it could have been dark). Jesus gives them instructions to cast the net on the right side and assures them that’s where there are fish. At this point, they should become suspicious that it is Jesus. After all, their first experience with him was when they were fishing, and they catch a lot of fish. So much that Peter is marveled and falls at Jesus’s feet to worship him. As soon as they throw the net, fish start appearing, one hundred and fifty-three to be exact (but who is counting?). At this point, John gets it and yells, “It is the Lord!”. When Peter hears this, he can’t wait, puts on his outer garment and jumps in the water to go see Jesus. As soon as he gets there and the rest as well, they find Jesus has prepared breakfast for them. He puts more fish on the coals and tells them, “Come and eat breakfast”. None of them say anything. There’s nothing to say. They are happy. Jesus takes bread, breaks it, and passes it to them. I can imagine that their minds went back the many times he has done this, especially the Passover when he tells them the bread is his body. They begin eating. Everyone is quiet, enjoying this moment. But then Jesus breaks the silence and directs himself to Peter.

What follows, is for me, one of the sweetest parts of Jesus and his disciples, in particular with Peter. In fact, as I was reading it, I was tearing up.

In a family relationship, the children usually feel that they need to hear they are loved by the parents. Parents don’t usually ask their children. But here Jesus asks Peter a question that not only requires him to affirm his love but brings forth a hurtful past, a failure. Peter had denied the Lord three times. Now Jesus asks him, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”. Peter answers, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love you.” The Lords asks him a second time and Peter answers the same way. Jesus asks a third time. After this third time Peter is hurt. His memory flashes back to his failure. He answers again, but this time he adds a word, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Reading into this, Peter was saying, “This time I do really love you Lord. You know I failed but I repented. I truly love you.”

Each time the Lord asks Peter if he loves him, he gives him a command, “Feed my sheep.” The Lord is saying, “Peter, since you love me, do what I called you to do. Be a fisher of men.” At this point Jesus also gives a prophetic word for Peter that isn’t given to anyone else. Jesus says that Peter when he is old will be led by someone else where he does not want to go. John, the writer of this, says that this meant that Peter would die for Jesus and “glorify God” through it. If there was a time for Peter to back out of following Jesus, it would be here. But Jesus knew that Peter loved him.

We know from history that Peter died as Jesus said he would. It is said that Peter was crucified by Nero the Roman Emperor around 64 AD. Peter loved the Lord so much that he considered it unworthy to die in the same manner as he did. He asked to be crucified upside down.

I can imagine Peter entering heaven and telling Jesus, “I love you Lord,” and Jesus saying, “I knew you did Peter and I love you!”

What if we were told how hard our lives would be as a follower of Jesus and eventually it would cost us giving our lives as a martyr of our faith? Would we still love him and follow him? Maybe we don’t need to be so drastic. But the question still remains, “Do we love Jesus more than anyone or anything else?”

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Sigue hablando, no te quedes callado – Hechos 18:1-17

En este pasaje miramos como Pablo sigue hablando, sigue compartiendo el evangelio en diferentes maneras y formas. El Señor le usa para plantar una nueva iglesia la cual en un corto periodo de tiempo. Esta iglesia sería a la que Pablo escribió dos cartas (i.e. 1, 2 Corintios).Aprendemos varias cosas de Pablo que aplican a nosotros hoy día.



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Dios Existe, Es y Espera Algo de Ti – Hechos 17:16-34

En el pasaje que estudiaremos hoy, Pablo comparte el evangelio a un grupo totalmente diferente de los que ha compartido a este momento. A diferencia de los de Tesalónica, Berea, donde les compartió la Escritura, estos hombres son politeístas, filósofos religiosos que no tienen trasfondo de los judíos religiosos. Similar a José en la historia en que seguían una religión. Una religión que les deja vacíos. Pablo les habla de un Dios que existe, es y espera algo de ellos.

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Cristo el Perfecto Sacrificio de Dios – Hebreos 10:1-18

Este pasaje nos muestra como el Antiguo sistema de sacrificio en el Antiguo Testamento, que los judíos creían que les aceptaba delante De Dios era un sistema que no era suficiente para salvarles de sus pecados y acercarles a Dios. El perfecto sacrificio es Cristo. Él se ofreció como sacrificio por los pecados nuestros. Pero a diferencia, de los sacrificios ofrecidos en el Antiguo Testamento, su sacrificio fue hecho una vez por todas, ya que resucitó de entre los muertos. Es por su resurrección que podemos ser perdonados por Dios y restaurados para tener una relación con Él. La vida que vivimos, la vivimos en nuestro Señor resucitado. En otras palabras, porque Él vive nosotros vivimos. Vivimos en Él y para Él.

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Presentando el Evangelio a un Mundo Al Revés – Hechos 17:1-15

En el pasaje de hoy aprendemos dos efectos de presentar el evangelio. Si tú no has creído en Cristo como tu Señor y Salvador, y no le has rendido tu vida, escucha lo que Dios quiere que hagas. Esto es lo que el evangelio te dice.

Si ya eres creyentes, a medida que vas escuchando piensa en cómo la gente que conoces responde cuando le compartes. Si no estás compartiendo con nadie piensa en la urgencia de compartirlo. Pon atención como Pablo y Silas lo hacen. Tienes la ayuda que otros necesitan y debes saber cómo darla.

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