Evangelical Church in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Worship Service:   Sunday 10:00 a.m. 

Agape Christian Fellowship

Loving God & Loving People

Ponder A Little (Blog)

A blog that ponders the questions of Christianity, Christ and God's love for mankind.

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TEMPTED TO BE DISCOURAGED

Posted on February 2, 2019 at 1:05 AM

None of us are immune to times of discouragement.  It’s a common poison that quickly weakens our faith in God.   It is perhaps Satan’s favourite tool because even mature Christians can easily succumb to its temptation.  Well known pastors even admit to struggling with discouragement when their idealism and enthusiasm is not shared by the church leaders and members around them.


Our Bibles tell us of great men of God who became discouraged.  Job, Elijah, Peter and Jeremiah each became discouraged with people, life’s circumstances, themselves and even God.  And these men did what each of us tend to do.  They gave in to their feelings and for a time felt sorry for themselves.


But God does not want us to give in.   Instead, God commands us, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled, Believe in God, Believe in Me” (John 14:1).  God wants us to fight back with faith.   Discouragement can have a positive outcome if we allow it to strengthen our faith.

 

Here are some helpful steps:

     1. Honestly and fully express your hurt feelings to God in prayer.

     2. Examine your thoughts because it is always our thoughts that lead to our feelings and sometimes what we tell ourselves is not true.   Both         Elijah and Jeremiah were discouraged by faulty thinking (1Kings 19, Lam. 3).

     3. Seek God’s eternal perspective for your discouraging situation.  Believe that He has a plan and knows what He is doing.  Job had no idea what was going on between God and Satan in regards to his circumstances.   And sometimes we will never know either.  But God expects us to still trust Him and believe in His eternal goodness.  This is where the fire truly refines us and makes our faith strong and mature.

     4. Soothe your soul with the Word of God.   Meditate on and claim God’s promises.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

     5. Keep serving God.  When we get discouraged we tend to withdraw.  But there is healing in service.  When we give we are blessed.  Elijah was told by God to get back to work and ministry soon after asking God to let him die (1 Kings 19).


Life is not always fair or fun!   But we are not alone!  Jesus is walking beside us and He has experienced every hardship and discouragement we have ever known (Heb. 4:14-16).  1 Peter 5:7 says to, “Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you”.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!   I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).


When you are down, look up and see Jesus!



NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS

Posted on January 1, 2019 at 11:20 AM



The top 3 New Year's Resolutions are to eat healthier, exercise more and lose weight.   There is certainly nothing wrong with these resolutions.   I have even made them myself.


So what does God have to say about them?   Read 1 Timothy 4:8 which says, "Training your body helps you in some ways but serving God helps you in every way by bringing you blessings in this life and in the future life too."


I am frequently reminded that the Bible, which is God's very own words to us, has something to teach us on a vast number of topics - even New Year's Resolutions.   After all, the Bible is the #1 best seller of all time and has survived 2000 years, despite the efforts of many to wipe it out of existence.


God knows that eating healthier, exercising more and losing excess weight are all good things.   But God is quick to point out what is most important in life... serving Him!   And how do we do that?  By serving others!  Jesus taught a parable saying, "I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me". (Matthew 25:40)


So perhaps we should make our New Year's Resolutions about doing good things for the people around us?   Perhaps we should work hard this year at learning the heart of Jesus!   He came to earth, "not to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many". (Matthew 20:28)


The world likes to repeatedly teach us that life and happiness is all about putting ourselves first.   This is the exact opposite of the teachings of Jesus.


Let's start the year 2019 with resolutions that put other people first as we keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities to serve one another.



THE SAD SEASON OF CHRISTMAS

Posted on December 12, 2018 at 8:40 AM

For many, Christmas is a much-anticipated season of celebration and festivities.  But for some it is a dreaded season of loneliness and despair.


Suicide rates are highest over the Christmas season.   Why?   Because many are alone for Christmas.   Or are missing the loved one that died recently.   Or are struggling financially and are unable to afford the typical Christmas traditions.


We sing Christmas carols about good cheer and good will towards all men.   Those words can sting in the hearts of those who are sad at Christmas.


But we can bring hope and love to those who are struggling through the Christmas Season.  First we have to find them.   If we each keep our eyes and ears open and pray that God give us an opportunity to brighten someone’s heart this Christmas, we can make a difference.


A simple way to help, is to give financially to charities that deliver smiles every Christmas.   They are easy to find in our communities and even online.


But even better is a personal touch.  Visit a family in need just before Christmas with a large gift basket.   Or invite someone who is alone to your Christmas dinner.   Go Christmas carolling at a Senior’s home or hospital.   Dress up as Santa for kids at an orphanage.  The ideas are endless.  And the blessings for them, and even you, will go into eternity.


Christmas – good cheer and good will toward all men!



THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS

Posted on December 6, 2018 at 1:30 PM


Most people celebrating Christmas do not celebrate the Christ of Christmas.


Christmas has become a very secular holiday full of commercialism and traditions that have nothing to do with Jesus. There is nothing wrong with the gift giving, Santa Claus and family celebrations.


But for Christians, it is a day to primarily celebrate the best gift ever given… The baby Jesus. God incarnate. Emmanuel, meaning God with us!


God in His immense love, took on human flesh with a plan to pay the penalty for our sins so that we can be reconciled with Him and have eternal life. Christmas is the beginning of a true story of amazing love. The love of God for all mankind. Including YOU!

 

Most people will celebrate Christmas without giving Jesus a single thought. But at Christmas, believers ponder the enormity of that gift, celebrate it and give thanks!


What will you do with the Christ of Christmas this year? Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour? Have you personally accepted the best gift ever given? If you would like to, then please email us at info@agapesancarlos.com. Your life will never be the same!

 

Merry Christmas!



LIVING IN THE LIGHT OF ETERNITY

Posted on November 27, 2018 at 1:35 AM

Rick Warren has said, “When you live in the light of eternity, trouble just doesn’t bother you as much anymore!”


The Bible clearly teaches that we will face many trials. God knows that it is in trials that our faith and character grow.

 

The trials of life are inevitable but discouragement with the trials is not. How we respond to trials is solely up to us. It is our perspective on trials that is crucial. This involves having an understanding of their purpose and viewing them in the light of eternity.


We need to have a heavenly perspective, to live in the light of eternity.


A heavenly perspective is a mind-focus. We are told in Colossians 3, to keep our mind and spirit focused on our eternal home with Jesus. The benefit is more peace and less stress. More joy and less despair.


Col. 3:1-2  says, "Since you were raised from the dead with Christ, aim at what is in heaven, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Think only about the things in heaven, not the things on earth."


A heavenly perspective involves reflection. When the troubles of this world cause discouragement and despair, it is time to ponder the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. There we will find hope.


Heb. 12:2 says, " Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne."


A heavenly perspective requires faith. Faith is fundamental in our relationship with Jesus. It is a faith that is rewarded with an eternity in heaven. And it is a faith that gives us peace and courage to persevere while here on earth.


2 Cor. 4:18 says, " We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever."


Only when we focus on the Prize – eternal life with Jesus – are we living in the light of eternity!




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