Quarantine Day 16 This can be your Bet-el

It is the 16th day of the quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Puerto Rico, where I reside.

Many find the new reality that has become our way of life difficult.

All the plans, trips, appointments, concerts, seminars and work conventions, Easter campaigns in churches, and many other entries on our agendas have been postponed or canceled.

Our life changed from one day to another, and it makes us feel powerless when we cannot control our plans. A very small virus altered the entire political, social system, the world of sports and cinema.

But what are many people doing in the face of this new way of living, in the face of this new uncertainty? They show that they resist change and want to live in an egocentric way, where they try to accommodate the way they like to live within a mold that does not allow individualism. The consequence: a pandemic that seems to have no end.

But have you ever thought that this is not something so unusual?

The person who has been diagnosed with cancer has had to change his lifestyle from one day to the next, where his priorities have been changed and his plans have been canceled.

Those who have gone through a divorce have received a halt to their way of life and their family composition, their income, and even their residence have been changed.

He who has been fired from a job that represented his stability for many years has now had to adapt to a new reality where his plans are also postponed or canceled.

There are many other situations in life that reveal to us the reality that we cannot see in our lives on the agenda: we are not in full control of our lives.

But God is our rescuer, our savior and the one who has already won the victory for us. Our lives are in your hands. Every experience that stops us along the way we can use and see as a blessing.

We can surrender to the Lord and each high in life use it to name a blessing or a new attribute of God that we have now experienced closely. This can be your Bet-el. This is your moment
place a new rock in the path that will be part of your testimony about God’s faithfulness in your life.

If I am going to stop later, I can look back and see all the rocks I have left behind that have led me to where I am today. It is about understanding and living the moment we are in, giving glory to God and enjoying ourselves on the rocks we have left on the road knowing that we will continue to leave rocks that tell the glory of God.

Pray to the Lord asking him to search us and reveal our teaching at this time so that we can give glory and be a witness to others.

Quarantine Day 13-Missing…

We are in Puerto Rico on the thirteenth day of the quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic.

I already see on social networks many statuses describing that they miss going out for coffee like a normal day. Others miss going out on a weekend. Some miss a day at the beach or a day in the park. Many miss their routine visits to the beauty salon. Others already want to celebrate their birthdays with hugs and not by a virtual greeting.

And is that when we do not have something we took for granted, we miss it. This time will mark us all, not only on the island of enchantment but everywhere on the planet.

We can see time as a loss right now, but there are many others whose losses will have first and last names.

We are so intertwined with the world! But the Scriptures call us pilgrims and foreigners on this earth. Our eternal abode is in heaven where Jesus went to prepare a place.

We don’t know when we meet again in our building that we call the church. We took the word preached every Sunday for granted and several arrived with 20 minutes to go.

We took the call for souls for granted and it was more important to get out in time to eat.

We took worship time together for granted and used it as a time to get up later.

We took prayer services for granted, whereas a church we could cry out to the Lord together because we already go to other activities throughout the week.

We took it for granted that working hands were needed for every ministry and special activity, and we were only going to be served.

We took our family for granted thinking that when we finished the long hours of work, they would still be there.

We dampened our provision, thinking that our effort was what brought bread to our table and not the providence of God.

As Paul was separated to God, so too are we his children. Paul wrote letters while in prison, which today are part of our Bible.

This time where we are apart from society may be the time that changes your life. You have the time to appreciate what truly matters and remains.

God is giving us an opportunity to stop and reflect and allow it to change us. This experience is going to produce changes in the whole world, let’s hope that your changes are those that transcend.

Make your time count, so that when we can hug each other again, we do it with all our soul, and not out of habit.

Let us pray to the Lord presenting our lives and that he helps us to reflect at this time, in prayer, in the study of the Scriptures and we can make changes for the benefit of our life, our family and the kingdom of God.

Quarantine Day 11- Seeking protection

Since we are born we seek assurance. We have a need to feel safe.

It begins with the security that our parents must give us and as we begin our journey through this world we are looking for assurance in the different offerings that stop us on the road.

“Study so you have a good future and are safe.” So we dedicate ourselves to study to have part of our assured future.

“Marry a man who protects you or if you are a man, a woman who maintains stability in your home and takes care of you.” And so we walk through life looking for that complement that will give us stability and security in our lives, especially in the emotional part.

“Save enough, earn enough money to have a secure future.” And so we work incessantly to accumulate money and material possessions.

“You must be recognized and have a good reputation to have stability and social security where you live and move.” For this, social networks help us today where we publish what we know others will admire and follow, to perpetuate our legacy.

The problem with all these sources of “security” is that a simple virus arrives, which you can only see through a good microscope and destroys the security source that you have built with so much effort.

What remains for us to act wisely is to put our security in what remains forever, for eternity, in what never changes or can fade, in what has infinite power and control of all things and the only option available to save your soul. The only answer that applies is in God.

Jesus gave his life for you, without your asking, without your deserving and gives you eternal life through his sacrifice on the cross. Your safety gives us peace and hope. I put everything in my hands that I have achieved on earth to use for his glory and the spread of his gospel. My studies, my relationships, my work, my savings, I put everything in your hands, where my life will really be safe.

As Christians, sometimes, even having the great treasure that we have received, we put our trust and security in the things that we acquire in this world. Let us not be like the Israelites who returned to Egypt seeking their safety. Let us leave the past behind and lavish on the goal of the supreme calling in Christ Jesus.

Quarantine-Day 9 Let’s Write!

We have many ways to communicate, and writing is one of them.

What I really like about writing is that we can not only write to others, but to ourselves. What we put in writing certainly transcends time.

That is why we make the contracts in writing, sales, what we want to remember later, and what we want to let out.

This time of quarantine provides us with a great opportunity to be able to carry out new tasks and deepen our spiritual life.

It is helpful to write what the Lord is revealing to us through Scripture study and prayer. Those notes that we leave printed can serve as a balm for other moments in our future.

For me, the fact that God wanted to give us the Bible is a wonderful thing. The Bible contains in writing, available at any time, everything we should know about God and his glory. And I can see how all my life fits into that plan of love that God traced from before the foundation of the world to the redemption in Jesus Christ where we will see him reigning in glory and majesty.

They say that the words “are blown away by the wind”, but we can share with the next generations our acquired teachings, our life experiences and still provide advice. What we write transcends for better or for worse. We have a great responsibility since these days, probably the most we write we capture on social networks and others try to read who we are through what we leave printed in our letters.

It is time to take notes and write what you truly want to transcend generations. Use this time to dedicate yourself to writing, even if it is only for you, and then you can sit down to read how much you have grown and how long you have traveled sustained by the hand of God.

Let us pray to the Lord giving thanks for His Word embodied in the Bible and the great blessing of being able to read and treasure it at any time. May what we write transcend to give glory to God and minister to others.

Quarantine- Day 8

Waiting doesn’t cost us anything but it causes us a lot of anxiety.

When we have to wait for something we feel out of control and it even gives us a lot of time to create a lot of expectations or make “little movies” as I call our ideas of what could happen in the future.

However, faith is “the certainty of what is expected.” If we live confident that our God, who is Almighty and all love, is the one who has all things under the control of his hands, we can experience his peace.

There are many circumstances in our lives in which we have had to wait, not only this quarantine that can bring us concern. We wait almost ten months to be born, we wait to be adults, we wait for payday, we wait for that special person with whom we want to share the rest of our lives, we wait for graduation and we wait for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Waiting is not bad, the important thing is what do you do while you wait?

As I wait to grow, are we learning from our parents and teachers to be successful adults?

While I wait to graduate, do I take advantage of my time studying?

While I wait for that special person, do I worry about being healthy in my heart myself to be ready for a relationship?

While I wait for my Lord, do I enjoy his presence in my life and carry his plan of salvation to others?

In this period of globally required quarantine, am I being responsible as a citizen of my country and bear witness to integrity?

Waiting on God does not bring uncertainty or anxiety. Waiting on God gives me peace and calm. I can be of help to others by showing them how it is better to wait.

Let us pray to our God by giving up any anxiety we may feel and ask him to help us reaffirm our faith in these difficult times so that we can show others the best hope in the world, our redemption.

Quarantine-Day 6

We have been used to a lifetime of religious freedom, where we have a local church, gathered in a very specific place, with a diverse menu of options for our spiritual growth and delight.

We have a prayer service available, various Bible classes, preaching or sermons, but complemented by meetings of ladies and gentlemen, youth, retreats, dinners and fellowships.

We pray for a new spiritual awakening or revival for our land. But have we done it with the right heart? Do we want a special intervention from God to make our work of evangelizing easier? Or do we really long for the glory of God to be manifested and for every man to perceive and worship him? Do we long for our lives to be disrupted by the will of God?

Times are changing and we perceive new airs around us. God’s prophecies will be fulfilled and his will is always working.

It is up to us now, in these times of social distancing, not only to use the already prepared food, it is up to us to go fishing, prepare, take our time and serve others.

We can stay connected to our local church through social media and invite others, and that’s a good thing! But, it is time to bring home worship, prayer, and spend time listening to God’s voice for our lives through scripture study.

This time of estrangement will pass, but it serves as a test for when we no longer enjoy the religious freedom that we have today. Let’s put into practice everything we have been learning.

We hope that our lives are ministered to and transformed by the Holy Spirit and that we offer ourselves to serve others in various ways and not just live to be served.

May this time of scarcity to enjoy what our local churches offer us to lead us to be part of the ministries and participate in their activities and services when we can re-integrate into society as children of God in the midst of a world of darkness, spreading His light.

Let us pray to the Lord giving thanks for so many blessings that we have received and the spiritual growth that the local church has helped us obtain. May we feel part of this body and long to work and live together, bearing witness to His presence in our lives.

Quarantine-Day 5

New day, same situation, new challenges.

Our humanity does not provide us with peace. We may find our intelligence and abilities as amazing, and of course! God created them, God endowed us with them. But we do not have the innate ability to supply us with peace.

So we seek Peace in the things we see around us. We seek peace in a new loving relationship, in friendly relationships, in a successful job, in being popular where we move or achieving fame beyond our environment.

We also seek peace in material goods, and comforts, in being respected or reaching positions of recognition and power in society. And all these things seem to provide us with the peace we seek, but it is only temporary.

When problems arise in our lives, such as broken relationships, that we see ourselves alone and with a wounded heart, being alone, makes each wound so obvious within us like they are screaming out loud. If our interior is not at peace, we cannot experience it.

So we have already achieved the goals we set for ourselves, and now what? There we did not find our peace there either.

We have bought all possible comforts and traveled to remote destinations, but alone, in our room, we do not find peace.

There come days like these where our greatest distractions, such as going out to work, and social hanging out, meetings, cannot occur, so anxiety arrives. The peace that we thought we had found is gone.

Christ bought our peace at the price of his bloodshed on Calvary’s cross. It is in that eternal life, which begins from the moment we are born in Him, still here in this world, that we can begin to experience true peace.

It is possible to have peace in the middle of a war, or a pandemic. Jesus warned us of the woes of this world and leads us to live one day at a time, supported by his hand, and guided by his Holy Spirit.

And it is possible, even for Christians, to experience anxiety. But peace it’s always there, it’s always available. God does not move from His place, we move away from Him, but He always waits for us, in love, to turn around and run to Him.

Let us pray to the Lord giving everything that causes us anxiety or fear. May we remember that He is our peace, and His plans help well.

Quarantine-Day 4 #Iminfectingmygratitude

Just open your eyes to see all the blessings around you. The problem is that many times we prefer to walk like blind people and lose sight of ourselves not appreciating what we have in the background.

God is good every day. He brings out the sun and pours rain on good and bad. Like his children, we live every day under his grace. No circumstance changes this reality.

This world leads us to focus on the things that showcase pleasures and material goods as it offers us. Our point of comparison is the advertising that comes to our minds through television, the internet, and other media.

But if we compare with spiritual truth we know that we are not worthy of anything except eternal punishment, far from God.

Let’s use these days to look with faith and gratitude at all the riches we have. These quarantine days can teach us to treasure the things that truly matter and transcend into eternity.

I have a challenge for you: I challenge you to share daily, for the days of quarantine that remain, a daily blessing for which you thank God in the midst of this. Let us proclaim the wonders of God at a time when bad news fills all the media. Identify them with the #Iminfectingmygratitude.

I am grateful for the blessing of having a family to spend all this time with. I am thankful that God is my hope. I am grateful that my Father is stronger than everything. I am thankful that I am loved.

I could go on giving thanks all day, but let’s witness the joy that is real even in the midst of quarantine. All glory to God!

Let us pray to be grateful and be his witnesses to infect others with his joy.

Quarantine-Day 3

I am blessed to be at home with my family, even if it is for undesirable circumstances. God has blessed me with a husband, a daughter who is already 18 years old and a son who is 16.

They did not always hear my words about the Bible and my love for the Lord, but I thank God that while they were still small, with His bonds of love, my relationship with Him was reconciled and I have served Him ever since by His grace.

I am aware many people say that they are very disappointed in God, when in fact they are disappointed in the church. God is faithful and his nature does not change, even though we are sinners.

We are the visible image that many will see of God, and unconsciously by identifying ourselves as Christians, all our behavior will be related to who God is.

As a church, we are not perfect even as long as we live in this earthly body, although we must see a progressive growth towards becoming more and more like the figure of Christ. Even if we make mistakes or sin, humility and love for our neighbor show us as Sons of God.

Great disappointment begins in our family nucleus. We can speak a thousand words a day about God and quote the Bible, but it is our family or those who live with us who see our true way of being. Wearing impeccable behavior when we are close to the brethren, but having other behavior clothing when no one outside sees us, causes a deep confusion about how God is.

We have a great responsibility, not only when we leave the house or the place where we congregate, but we have a greater responsibility with ours.

These quarantine days are enough to show how we really are without the excuses that our time is compromised by our work outside the home, or at home because the children study. If we talk that we love the Lord, our children or our relatives must be the first to see him in our lives. It is not our words that will bear the greatest witness that God is in us, but what they observe.

This time can show whether visiting the church is just another commitment or obligation. This time can show that we really love God and are totally dependent on Him.

God has given us a precious opportunity to sow seeds of life in our family. Will you take advantage of it?

Let us pray to the Lord giving thanks for the blessing of having family or friends with whom we can live. Let us give thanks to the neighbors who are often like family and a blessing to our lives. May we be an instrument so that seeds of life are sown at this time and bear fruit later.

Quarantine-Day 2

This morning I made coffee for breakfast. We are coffee lovers at home and that drink gives us a moment of enjoyment while helping us to wake up completely.

The process of the coffee is curious, seeing how everything is concentrated in the dark brown grounded beans and hot water extracts all that aroma and flavor that reaches each cup.

It is something new for this generation, in this part of the world, where we have religious freedom, to continue being Christians without congregating for several weeks.

It is a mandate to gather together and it is a blessing when each different gift that our brothers and sisters have in faith works in a coordinated way and in perfect harmony for the edification of the body and the reach of souls that need to hear the gospel of Jesus.

However, we have become accustomed and comfortable living to a Christianity that depends on what is done in the temple and we can frequently forget that we are the church. Every person who has opened his eyes to the reality of his sin and has come to Jesus’ feet repentant, recognizing that only in Him is there salvation and gives him his life, now living under his Lordship, is a Son of God, is part of that body called the church.

I am very struck by how the apostle Paul wrote letters helping to spread the gospel and supporting new brethren in faith, the new church that was forming and growing.

Physically transportation was not as accessible and fast as we have it today. All this without thinking about the times that Pablo was imprisoned, flogged and retained of the plans he had outlined. Failing to physically arrive did not stop him, and we see the anointing of God through his Holy Spirit reflected in Paul’s letters or epistles.

We are almost worldwide in a state of quarantine, where social distancing and our mobility are restricted. We cannot for a time attend our temples to meet as we would like. But we are still the church.

Our ministries do not cease or stop when we are not in the temple or in the structure we call church. The church is us wherever we are.

We have more media today than Pablo. We can write on social networks, texts, emails, send voice messages, make calls, write letters, and many other ways. Our voice is not going to be quiet.

It is in these uncertain times that we must shine the most with the light of Christ.

Draw up an action plan to be a missionary from home. Pray for the Lord to show you new ways to serve Him from your home. I am sure that being God’s will, He will show you what to do.

You can pray and intercede for what you always wanted to do and did not have time. Study the Word in detail, because you have the time. There are still ways to help your neighbor.

You are still steward of your gifts and your time, with a great commission ahead. What will you answer to the Lord? Your letters and your voice can go where you cannot.

Let us pray to the Lord presenting ourselves as workers before his work, asking that he show us the way forward and that we have the blessing of serving him from where we are.

Thought for the day: A church that continues to work and prepare individually will have great power in unity when they gather together.