Renewing the Love of God in Our Generation
Aug 12, 2019
“The Capital of the World” is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway. He was an American journalist, novelist, short-story writer and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. In “The Capital of the World”, Ernest Hemingway grasps some of the difficulties that characterizes the relationships between fathers and sons.
The story revolves around a father and his teenage son called Paco, set in Spain. In the story, the relationship had become somewhat tense, and the teenager ran away from his home and from his father’s control. Problems between parents and children are common all over the world. The source of the conflict between parent and child could be because we as parents wants to hold our child close, to protect them and keep them safe. But every child wants to break away from their parents hold, going into the world to explore. The problem is not bad in essence but can become a conflict if we don’t know how to deal with it. That maybe happened with Paco and his father.
Paco runs away to the capital of Spain, Madrid. His father, desperate to reconcile with his son, follows him to Madrid. He spends days looking for him in many places and doesn’t find him. Desperate and longing for his son, he puts an ad in a local newspaper with a simple phrase: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the Madrid newspaper office tomorrow at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your dad”. Hemingway then writes: “The next day at noon in front of the newspaper office there were 800 “Paco’s, all seeking forgiveness”. They were all seeking for the love of their father.
We live in a generation of Pacos, people who have been injured. They are suffering and they need love. Our world has a love deficit. Rich or poor, humanity longs for genuine love and acceptance. Mother Teresa once said: “There is more hunger in the world for love and acceptance than for bread.” The world is full of people seeking for love. Love of their father. Love of their children. Love of their partners. Love of their friends. Love of someone.
Maybe, without knowing, people are seeking for the love of God. Only God’s love, that is unconditional, can satisfy the deepest longing in the human heart. "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3:16–17).
God loves you unconditionally! He loves you in spite of your situation or circumstances. His love is incomparable to any other human love on earth. His love is like a rock, never moving, never shaken and always present. Nothing can stop God from loving you. He loves you beyond measure and nothing can separate you from his love.
People need to experience the love of God. The only hope for healing a land and renewing the love of God in this generation is found when people turn to God. And we, as Christians, have the responsibility to be agents of blessings and instruments by which people renew their love for God. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 ).
In this verse we find principles to renew the love of God in our generation
- PRINCIPLE: HUMBLE THEMSELVES means to recognize our faults and sin.
We are always trying to transfer the guilt to others. We pass days, months and years blaming the circumstances. But at least, we are responsible for our lives. As long as we don’t take responsibility and look inside ourselves, we will never experience the renewal of the love of God. Let us humbly recognize that if the passion and the love of God has burned out, it’s because of our failure. Let us ask for God´s forgiveness. Let us ask for God’s fire to come down from His throne to rekindle the passion and the love for Jesus in our hearts.
- PRINCIPLE: PRAY AND SEEK MY FACE We must pray and seek God's face constantly.
God wants (it’s his desire) to have friendship with us and an intimate relationship. But unfortunately, our time with God is getting less and worse. Once I read: “God cannot be known rapidly. He does not grant his blessings to those who come to Him from time to time. The secret of getting to know God is to spend a lot of time alone with Him.” We must have a hunger and a passion to know God. Many people just seek God's hands (his blessings, what he can do for them). We must seek God's face, his knowledge, character and will. Only if we pray and seek constantly God's face will we be an agent that will promote the renewal of the love of God in our generation.
- PRINCIPLE: TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS We need to change the course of our paths
Just because God never changes doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Changes are hard and painful in any time of our life because we get very accustomed to doing things always the same way. But if we want to honor God and please him we must abandon some of our paths.
Change is only possible with God’s intervention. In John 3:5-6 Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” Each one of us has to be convinced and decide to leave the old way of life and to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. It’s necessary for the person to experience a conversion in his life. It’s a dramatic turning away from one path in order to pursue an entirely new one. At conversion, Christ becomes the center of our universe, the source, the purpose, the goal, and the motivation of all that we are and do. Conversion is a supernatural and miraculous work where God changes the very heart of the person.
Pastor Norberto Obermann
The Power of the Holy Spirit in Our Lives
June 17, 2019
People want power! Car power and computer power. Also, organizations and countries want power! Political, economic and military power. Power is defined as the ability to act or produce effectively. The capacity to control, direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. These definitions truly describe the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said in Acts 1:8 “… but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
Acts chapter 2 tells us that the first believers receive a mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. There is no doubt that these men and women were impregnated with the power of the Holy Spirit. A supernatural power in order to fulfill the mission Jesus entrusted them. This power guided the early Christians to carry out inexplicable things, to live a life that did not make sense to the culture that surrounded them and to spread the story of grace throughout the world.
Is this power available for us today? Jesus promise of the Spirit out-poured was not only for the first century believers, but also for every believer in every age. Acts 2:39 “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, for all whom the Lord our God will call.” So, when we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the Power of the Almighty God dwells in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 “And now you have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.”
THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Through the Holy Spirit we receive the spirit of adoption as children. Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” That leads us to an intimate relationship with God instead of a relationship based on fear and slavery. Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OURSELVES
The heart of this person wins the battle against the envy, jealousy, bitterness and resentment. This person enjoys the peace of God and it’s always moved with his love. The power of the Holy Spirit delivers us from the internal conflict between our will and the will of God. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” The power of the Holy Spirit brings an end to our striving for prominence, possessions and position. We are no longer driven by our own will, but by the will of God.
THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMS OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS
The power of the Holy Spirit liberates us from the barriers that cause disunity and conflict. Galatians 3:28 “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Releases us from the bondage of individualism. Fills us with love for others and with the spirit of acceptance and service that characterized Jesus.
THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMS US TO TESTIFY AND TO SERVE
In the midst of terrible persecution and hardship, these early believers were able to stay focused on God instead of their own situation. As a result, regardless of their personal circumstances, they were able to live with joy. The early Christians didn’t attend church, they WERE the Church; an active and energized body of believers equipped to change the world. Acts 4:33 “God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.”
The power of the Holy Spirit, who was working in those men and women, is in us, and can do the same through us. The power of the Holy Spirit works in us, moves us, equips us and empowers us, so we can communicate God's love to the world.
Pastor Norberto Obermann
The Family On Trial
May 15, 2019
Is an expression that is used in the legal area and means: “to be as a defendant...being tried by a judge or jury”. This expression is usually used when it refers to something that is being criticized. “The family on trial” means that the family institution is being tried. The family is the first human organization ordained by God. It’s the bedrock upon which society rests. Someone has said, “…as the family goes, so goes the nation.” We have heard an expression that seems to be more and more normal: “The family is a bankrupt institution”. There are many voices saying that the family has ended, that it’s no longer relevant, that it’s outdated, it’s a thing of the past. It’s out of fashion. It’s no longer needed. The family is not over! It’s only weakened, and needs be stronger.
What happened? Where have we failed? Why so many problems? The answer is that we have turned away from God and His commandments. Many men have never learned how to be devoted husbands and fathers. Many women are fleeing from God-given roles. Many parents have no idea how to educate and prepare their children for the future. Others simply give up their duty, leaving their children without any preparation or provision. Building solid families does not happen by sheer luck. Psalm 127: 1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Only by returning to the divine standard can we begin to understand the great blessings God has prepared for us. We need to rescue the meaning that God, our Creator and sustainer, had when he created the FAMILY.
UNDERSTANDING THE PURPOSE OF THE FAMILY
What do people want to find when they marry and want to form a family? Most couples will answer: HAPPINESS! Many seek marriage as a source of happiness. Yet, this target is the biggest cause of conflict, tensions and even breakdown in many relationships. Why? Because when we enter in a relationship believing, desiring and expecting that the other one will make me happy, we are setting an inverse pattern. We should have and desire happiness, but this is not the target nor the goal for a marriage and a family. Happiness should be the consequence generated by the right goal. And what is the right goal? According to the Word of God, the right goal is our MATURITY.
Genesis 1:27 (NIRV) “So, God created human beings in his own likeness. He created them to be like himself. He created them as male and female”. Two essential elements of family — marriage and parenthood — reveal God's character like nothing else in Creation. The love between a husband and wife provides a glimpse of Christ's devotion to us. In the same way, the ups and downs of parenthood offer a picture of God's tenderness and patience toward us as His children. To have healthy relationships, especially our marital and family relationships, we need to mature and to emphasis on the other and less on ourselves. Like said in Romans 12:10 “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.”
Pastor Norberto Obermann
The Eyes of Jesus are Upon You
April 16, 2019
In many traditions, the eyes represent “The Window of the Soul”; because they reflect our emotions, fears and our deepest emotive shades. Our eyes transmit much more than we perceive and feel. They can transmit mercy, fear, distrust, loves, sadness, etc. We can even express who we are and what we feel through our eyes. Depending on the type of relationship we have with someone, it’s possible to communicate with the eyes.
At the trial of Jesus, when he was being judged, something happens with Peter, one of his disciples. Luke 22:60-62 Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.
Jesus looks at Peter, and in that look, we find something significant. It’s not condemnation nor recrimination. It’s not complaint neither sadness. Through Jesus’ eyes Peter, and we too, can get help and salvation.
The eyes of Jesus are upon our failure and weaknesses to make us strong.
Our culture tells us to highlight our strengths and minimize or hide our weaknesses. Failures and weaknesses: Who doesn’t have one? James 3: 2 "We all fail a lot"… “We all stumble in many ways”. We all mess up, make mistakes, sin. Nobody is perfect. The “good news” is that God has provided a way for us. Jesus Christ came to be our bridge to God. We must understand that we all fail, and if we have failed still it’s not the end. We are tempted to exaggerate failure. But we must treat failure as a moment and not a monument, because you'll learn more in a single failure than in a lifetime of success. God does not consider you a failure, despite all your faults and your weaknesses. Because God has not created failures. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
The eyes of Jesus are upon your tears to console you.
When Peter realized he had denied Jesus 3 times the same night he went and cried, cried and cried. Those tears were a demonstration of Peter's pain because of his failure. The tears Peter sheds initiated the process of repentance and restoration, and those tears Jesus saw, and his heart was moved. Life hurts and hits. Even when we have surrendered our lives to Jesus, we don’t receive immunity against the wounds of life.
Perhaps you are crying, and nobody knows. You're hiding your crying in the bathroom while you're showering or on the pillow. You are hiding because you think no one will understand you or defend you. Those wounds don’t need to destroy you. Jesus wants to help us overcome those pains. Jesus sees your tears and his heart is moved with compassion and love. Psalm 56: 8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
Tears touch the heart of our God. He isn't aloof and cold. Jesus wants to console you. But you must surrender your tears, sadness and problems to him. Psalm 34:17-18 “When the righteous cry, the Lord hears and rescues them from all their distress and troubles. The Lord is near to the heartbroken…” Jesus wants to dry your tears, but you must want his divine protection. 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Have you been betrayed by friends or family? Jesus understands and he sees your tears. Have you been treated unjustly by co-workers? Jesus understands and he sees your tears. Have you lost loved ones through terrible diseases? Jesus understands and he sees your tears. Have you suffered poverty and hunger, or experienced emotional distress and physical pain? Jesus understands and he sees your tears. Tears are not a sign of weakness; they are a sign of humanity.
Jesus doesn’t look to condemn us but to save and bless us.
The eyes of Jesus are always with love, mercy and grace. The eyes of Jesus are upon your heart and want to recovery the joy in your live and give peace to you and to your relationships. Open your heart to Jesus right now. If you have failed, Jesus wants to give you another chance. If your heart is frustrated and hurt, Jesus sees and wants to restore you.
THE EYES OF JESUS ARE UPON YOUR LIFE AND HE WANT TO GIVE YOU NEW DAYS.
Pastor Norberto Obermann
The Church of My Dream
March 25, 2019
I dream of a church where worship is vibrant: the passionate, heart-felt expression of praise, thanksgiving, reverence and adoration.
I dream of a church that is filled with people who determine what they should do for others based upon what Jesus Christ has done for them.
I dream of a church that meets needs, not just budgets; that repairs lives, not just buildings.
I dream of a church that meets people where they are and equips them to become what they were created to be.
I dream of a church that believes what Jesus believed, teaches what Jesus taught, and lives how Jesus lived.
I dream of a church where the people are intentionally encouraging those who are steps behind them in their journey.
I dream of a church whose love for God is expressed and experienced through their love for one another.
I dream of a church that is so selfless, so loving, and so united that it can be felt and experienced by all who walk through the doors.
I dream of a church where friends are found, bonds are formed, and promises are kept.
I dream of a church that puts the needs of the lost ahead of the preferences of the found.
I dream of a church that is always changing its methods and never changing its message.
I dream of a church whose people both “go” and “bring”, “invade” and “invite” so that others may hear and know the Good News.— Author Unknown
When Dreams are Delayed
March 11, 2019
Edmund Hillary was born in 1919. He grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, and always had interest in climbing mountains. After climbing several mountains in New Zealand, he went to the Himalaya Mountains, where he climbed 11 different mountains above 20,000 feet. In 1951, Edmund Hillary joined a British Team who was trying to climb the Mt. Everest, but they failed. After a time, Edmund Hillary came to the USA to give a conference at a university. When he entered through the main hall of the university building, to his surprise, there was a large picture of Mt. Everest painted on the wall. He stood in front of the picture for a while. And then he said: "You have already grown everything you could grow… I still have a lot to grow." Six months later he reached the top of Mt. Everest — the highest point on earth. His dream had come true.
Many have left their dreams behind. They have become nightmares. Many have made a funeral service of their dreams. The dreams we are talking about are more than illusions or fantasies. The dreams we are talking about are inspired by God and his purpose for our lives. These dreams bring meaning to life because they take us further than we can even think or imagine. These dreams motivate us to continue even in the face of difficult.
Perhaps you have dreamed, and difficult circumstances have fought against you, trying to make you give up. Dreams are sometimes postponed or delayed because God has a more important dream to fulfill in our lives. So, be still and stay calm. Believe God is using this time of delay to work his dream in you.
David wrote in Psalm 27:13-14 “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.” God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go! So, take a deep breath, enjoy the journey, and know that God will get you there when you’re ready to get there. Don’t give up! Continue to DREAM! Be bold in your dreams trusting in God, and in His timing.
Pastor Norberto Obermann
Boldness to Dream Again
February 15, 2019
Dreams often are whispers of God's voice. It's a creative way He uses to have relationship and to communicate with us. Dreams from God are an expression of His heart. When we were young, we believed we could be anyone… and we were: explorers, athletes, movie actors, etc. whatever we could imagine. We weren’t afraid to dream. We were full of wonder and life, but something happened; we stop dreaming.
When we stop dreaming something dies, we stop living. When we begin to dream again it seems that life returns, and we have a new chapter in the book of our life. God give us the ability to dream, not a nostalgic or unrealistic dream, but a real and exciting DREAM. God’s dreams give direction to our life. God’s dreams help us to focus and choose correctly. God’s dreams give us hope and revives the energy within our being. God wants to write on our hearts the plans he has for us; so why not dream again and believe again? It is never too late. Dale Turner said, “Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities and new beauty waiting to be born.”
We don’t put our trust in circumstances or people. Our trust remains in the Lord. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think. So, don’t let anything hold you back. Don’t let anyone keep you from dreaming. The dreams God has given you are treasures worth living for. Have faith in God. Believe in Him and listen to his voice. Be boldness to dream again!!!
Pastor Norberto Obermann
The Most Important Task
January 22, 2019
It’s not the expensive school located in Cambridge, Massachusetts called “The Massachusetts Institute of Technology”. MIT stands for “Most Important Task”. It’ s a concept that challenges you to think and to define each day what is the task you most want or need to get done that day. The idea is that no matter what else you that day must do this task will have priority and must be accomplished.
But I don’t want to challenge you to think only what your MIT are for one day. I want to challenge you think and define what is “The Most Important Task of your life”. What it´s the MIT for all of us as Christian in a world that is against our values and beliefs? What it´s the MIT for each of us as a child of God, who wants to obey and please God? What should be our MIT as disciples of Jesus who want to share His love with all the people who do not know Him?
Let me suggest three tasks:
- Listen to the voice of God — Can we really hear the voice of God?
God spoke the creation into existence (Genesis 1) and sustains all life by his words (Hebrews 1:3). Today he is still speaking to our hearts in “gentle whispers” (1 Kings 19:12) that create and renew life in us and around us. Jesus says in John 10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me”. To hear the voice of Jesus we must first be his sheep and belong to his flock. We must be close to Him and know Him as a friend. But God is inviting us to know more than just his voice. He is inviting you to know Him. He is inviting you to enter in a relationship based on love, trust, and confidence. If you want to hear God's voice, you need to seek him. Be honest. Ask him to give you ears to hear and eyes to see the ways he is speaking to you. Read your Bible. Be quiet and focused on what He is saying.
- Discern the voice of God —What does it mean?
It's no use just listening. You need to understand, to process. Putting it in other words, you must meditate. Psalm 1:2 says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Meditation prepares us to understand what God has said, helps us to focus, understand, remember, worship, and make an application of it into our lives. Dr. Bruce Demarest writes “A quieted heart is our best preparation for all this work of God. Meditation refocuses us from ourselves and from the world so that we reflect on God’s Word, His nature, His abilities, and His works.” Meditation is not a confined life in a monastery, it’s learning to think of and hear from God in the busyness of real life.
- Obey the voice of God —What will I do with that?
In order to listen to God and receive His instruction, we must want to do His will. David says in Psalm 40:8, "I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." God honors the heart that is fully surrendered to Him. If we want to hear God´s voice, first we must be ready to obey. When you listen to God and obey Him, you will discover a life that is full and rich with purpose. And you will be confident that you are following the master’s plan. For that reason, be ready to listen to His message, and be quick to obey Him.
Pastor Norberto Obermann
I'm Doing New Things
January 1, 2019
“See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:19)
Thanks to Christmas, we all end the year with new things—new toys for the kids, new clothes (not always the right color or size, but still new), and new pounds on our bodies. We start the year off with new things too—a new calendar on the wall, new bills to pay, and new resolutions for the days ahead. New is great. New sounds like potential and opportunity.
Everybody likes new things, including God
He says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
At this New Year our heavenly Father wants to do new things in our lives. He desires to teach us new truths about Himself, provide new opportunities for ministering to others, take us to higher levels of worship and deeper levels of trust.
God is a God of new things and is always moving us forward
His track record is incredible. He never starts something He can't finish. He never moves without purpose. He never fails. He is faithful. As this New Year begins, we challenge you to committing yourselves to God. He offers renewed mercy with each day. He promises good plans for his people, plans that include a hopeful future. There will be new blessings, new trials, new failures, and new victories, but His goodness will guard us.
Pastor Norberto Obermann