What happened to meeting with God?

Am I a religious person or am I seeking a relationship with God?

The author A.W. Tozer wrote, “From man’s standpoint the most tragic loss suffered in the Fall was the vacating of this inner sanctum (man’s spirit) by the Spirit of God.” When Adam and Eve disobey God in the Garden of Eden, something regrettable took place. Eloquently Tozer wrote, “At the far-in hidden center of man’s being is a bush fitted to be the dwelling place of the Triune God. There God planned to rest and glow with moral and spiritual privilege and must now dwell there alone. For so intimately private is the place that no creature can intrude; no one can enter but Christ, and He will enter only by the invitation of faith.”

The Good News is that it is still possible to restore our lost relationship with God. Jesus Himself said “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). When a person “open the door” to Christ, He is invited into someone inner sanctum, the far-in hidden center of man’s being; then a miracle takes place, it is called the <new birth>. How does the new birth take place? It is operative by the Holy Spirit; the “divine nature” enters the deep-in core of the believer’s heart and establishes residence there. The apostle Paul add, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” for “the Spirit itself witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:9, 16). Such a one is a true Christian, and only such.

What happened to meeting with God? Did you take the time this morning to meet with God? “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Breakfast will feed your body, but what about your far-in hidden center? Don’t be content by reading a little devotional, instead take time to meet with God!

Pilgrimage

A pilgrim is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. Usually, this is a physical journeying (often on foot) to some place of special meaning to the believer of a particular religious belief system. The great Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca (now in Saudi Arabia), is obligatory for every able Muslim. In the spiritual literature of Christianity, the concept of pilgrim and pilgrimage may refer to the experience of life in the world (considered as a period of exile).  Wesley Granberg- Michaeson describe it well, “Pilgrimage is as much about the journey as the destination. The point is not simply to get somewhere, but to expect that the process itself will reveal unexpected discoveries (serendipity), test and nurture spiritual strength, build new relationship along the way, and strengthen our exercise of faith. The pilgrimage of Christianity in the world today requires attentiveness to whom we meet,  openness to new understandings, unwavering trust that the Holy Spirit continues to prepare the way, guiding us into all truth.”[1]


[1] From Time Squares to Timbuktu, Wesley Granberg- Michaelson, Ed. Eerdmans, 2013. P.6

 

 

 

What is “Café Gospel Ministry”?

Cup of coffeewww.Cafégosple.me

What is “Café Gospel Ministry”?

The idea of “Café Gospel” begins during my first mission trip to Costa Rica in 2013. We were living at El Jardin in the beautiful Central Valley. One evening, as I was writing in my daily Journal, the idea crossed my mind to start a Blog relating to this trip. But what name should I give that new blog? Honestly, I had no idea. So I asked God to help me and He did. Right away two words came to mind “Café” and “Gospel”. Let me explain, the main industry in the location where we were living consists in growing coffee, and the main focus of my ministry in Costa Rica was presenting the gospel. That’s how “cafégospel.me” was born.

What is the goal of “Café Gospel ministry?”

The goal of “Café Gospel” ministry is rather simple; it consists of inspiring believers to enjoy God’s presence daily. Like two friends sipping together a coffee appreciating each other.

Description of “Café Gospel Ministry”

The Bible teaches that when a person puts his faith in the person and finished work of Jesus, that individual becomes a new person. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, ⌊he is⌋ a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

But one question is raised: how does a person live that new life in Christ? The new creation is like a new born baby, he has everything to learn. Here’s where “Café Gospel Ministry” comes along to help; it is to encourage the new believer to feed himself daily with the milk of God’s Word. “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it.” 1 Corinthians 3:2)

As a new born Christian feeds on the milk (basic doctrines) of the Word of God, he learns to cultivate a relationship with God himself. God has the same quality that a human being has; He enjoys having relations with people. Before the fall of Adam and Eve, God delighted in having special time each day with them (Gen 3:8). Likewise, God desires to have special time with each one of His children on a daily basis.  We see a great visual picture in Revelation 3:20 of Jesus knocking at the door expecting that someone will hear, open, and invite him to share a meal. God wants to cultivate a relationship with each one of his children, old or new believers. After a meal, friends frequently enjoy a good cup of coffee together. I personally believe that coffee is not meant to drink alone, coffee is a social drink. Friends like to get together at a café to catch up. God also likes to catch up with his children. That’s why we need that time alone. God has ample things to share with us. In John 16:12-13 Jesus foretold what role the Holy Spirit would have, “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now”. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” What takes place during those times alone with God? He uses those precious minutes to guide his children. He helps them understand what the purpose of life is and how to live a life agreeing to His will.

A touching story from the New Testament serves as an illustration. One day Jesus was walking through the town of Jericho. In that town was a man that really wanted to see what Jesus looked like. Because of his small height, he decided to climb up a tree to have a better view. When Jesus walked near the tree, he looked up at the man and called him by his name. “Zacchaeus! Quick, come down! For I must be a guest in your home today.”  That man could have given many excuses to decline Jesus’s self-invitation; but instead he rapidly came down the tree and brought Jesus into his house. Rather than half-heartedly obeying, he took Jesus into his house in great excitement and joy (Luke 19:5, 6). In Rev. 3:20, John was writing to a church that had the reputation of being lukewarm. The Laodicea church was a backsliding congregation that in many aspects represent today’s church also. The question is how can a new believer survive and grow in a lukewarm church? The answer is found in that verse. Jesus stands today at the door of an unspiritual church, knocking and hoping that some believers will invite Him for a time of closeness. “If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal (and coffee) as friends” (Re. 3: 20). A lukewarm church is more interested in entertainment than having memorable time with Jesus. He is calling you and me now to enjoy his presence; like friends partaking of a good coffee together, delighting in each other.

“Café Gospel Ministry” is a gift from God to help Christians enjoying God’s presence at a new level of intimacy. As Zacchaeus responded to Jesus invitation by opening his house (heart), in a similar way you are invited to deepen your relationship with Jesus.  You will never regret it. At whatever time Jesus comes to the side of your bed, telling you that the coffee is ready, get up and go to Him.  Remember, after that initial encounter with Jesus, Zacchaeus never was the same man. From being a stingy, he became a generous man. Instead of living a lonely life, he lived a happy one. Why not start tomorrow morning, have coffee time with a True Friend. Let it become your number ONE priority in life.  I promise you will never be the same. Jesus will tell you things in your heart that will blow your mind. You will learn to know God like never before. You will learn how God works today! Then you will start focusing your interests in life to match His interests. Things will start to make sense and work.