Blessed

Blessed

November 30, 2018

Psalms 32:1-2 “A Psalm of David. A Contemplation. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”

Sometimes I sense that we as Christians don’t really realize how blessed we are.

I’ve been reading through the book of Romans and I came across this passage from Psalm 32 quoted by Paul in Romans 4:7-8 as one of Paul’s Old Testament examples of someone who was saved by simple faith. The salvation of David meant that his transgressions of murder, adultery, and so much more – were forgiven, his sin was covered, his iniquities were cancelled and not counted against him. That’s amazing! but not only were David’s sins forgiven, David had all the beautiful, wonderful, perfect and absolute righteousness of Christ imputed (transferred) to his own personal account.

In God’s sight, David was no longer in the hole, he was flawlessly holy.

Wow!

You would figure that Paul would stick with people like Job, or Joseph, Jeremiah, or Daniel – but David? David had a good heart (most of the time) but what he did to Uriah and Bathsheba – murder and adultery (see 2 Samuel 11) – how could he do that after all God had given him? David was so accountable as the king of Israel, a Bible writer to the world, the spiritual leader of the land, but then that fall – he fell so hard, so far!

How could he be a poster child for the church?

Here’s how…we’ve all sinned – and not just against Uriah or Bathsheba, but against God, and I know this is a hard one to swallow (get ready) – – – but we’re all guilty of murder and adultery (please see Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28; James 2:10-11).

We were all just as guilty as David, but now we’re just as innocent and righteous as the Son of David, the Lord Jesus Himself. Christians are blessed because we’re forgiven and given the righteousness of Christ. I hope you know that my beloved friend, just keep believing in Jesus – keep the faith, bask in the blessings and may His amazing grace and everlasting love help you walk in the newness of life.

Your brother in Christ,
– Manny

 

Grace

Grace

WHEN WE TRULY BELIEVE IN THE LIFE, DEATH, AND RESURRECTION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WE GET SPECIAL GRACE! God graciously forgives and saves us from all our sin; He opens the windows of heaven and lavishes us with His goodness, even though we’re ALL always 100% unworthy!

Some people struggle with the message of grace. They think we’re violating the holiness of God, that we’re making it too easy for people to get saved, or that we’re giving people a license to sin…but we’re not. Simply put, this is God’s Word to mankind, this is how we’re saved and sanctified – from start to finish. Not a single day will ever go by when we don’t use it, I just pray we’d never abuse it (Romans 6:1-2).

It’s God’s unmerited favor, it’s G-R-A-C-E = God’s Reward At Christ’s Expense

Do you need grace today? Whoever you are, I pray you’d know, the Lord sees you, knows you, and loves you, just look to Jesus. He’s ready and willing to forgive those who come to Him with a broken and contrite heart. He’s ready to give you a new start in life. (John 8:11; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Timothy 2:1)

Israel 2018

Just returned from another absolutely amazing trip to Israel. I’m still blown away that we were able to take 35 people from Calvary Chapel El Monte!  I am so blessed that we have a body who loves Israel and whose heart is set on pilgrimage (Psalm 84:5).

Some people wonder why we go to Israel. Let me give you six reasons off the top of my head.

1. It adds another dimension to your Bible. You will now read about cities, mountains, valleys, and places that you’ve actually seen with your own eyes, touched with your own hands, walked with you own feet, and even kissed with your own lips (I couldn’t help but kiss the southern steps where Jesus walked and taught). When you actually walk where Jesus walked, you read those portions of Scripture with a deeper dimension, a connection to the illumination, that you can only have by having been there. Have you ever heard that saying, “You had to be there?” It’s true!

2. The fellowship with others on the same pilgrimage is indescribable! Discovering it together, seeing the looks on people’s faces when they see Jerusalem for the first time. The Sea of Galilee, Joppa Port, the Dead Sea, the rock at Caesarea Philippi, or the cave they believed that led to Hell, as well as the caves of En Gedi. The Garden of Gethsemane, the view from the Mount of Olives, Calvary, and the Garden Tomb (it’s still empty). Experiencing all this with other believers creates the bond of a lifetime. There’s an inherent fun and fellowship you cannot find, literally, anywhere else in the world.

3. We learn so much about Israel and Judaism. We’re always blessed with excellent tour guides who teach us all along the way. If you think about it, in one sense, Christianity is building upon the foundation of Judaism. It’s the fulfillment of the promises, it’s the substance of the shadows, it’s the completion of the covenant. It really is beneficial to our Christian lives to know as much as we can about Jewish life. The Tanach, the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Mizveh, the Phylacteries, the teachings of the Rabbis provide a wealth of symbolism that benefits our walk as Christians when we take the time to discover them. I believe that in one sense, God still speaks to us through the Jews.

4. We learn about history. As we visit ancient buildings, ruins, excavations, and engage in discussions we will be blessed and challenged by the rich history we have as a church and even the bigger picture of the history of mankind.

5. There’s something about those tangible expressions of faith. Or perhaps a better way to say it is that sometimes “touching it” brings out our faith. In my corresponding picture I’m at the Western Wall. Every time I touch the wall God touches me – and the tears begin to flow followed by prayers that seem to come from the heart in ways that I can’t express anywhere else. Oftentimes in the Bible we see people “touching” in order to stimulate their faith (Matthew 9:20-21; 14:36; Mark 6:56) for Christians today, a trip to Israel embodies that “touch.”

6. God blesses those who bless His people (Genesis 12:3). A pilgrimage to Israel is one way of supporting the Jews, and God’s promise is true, He will bless those who take the time and invest their resources to bless Israel.

Pray about coming with us next time. As Pastor Chuck Smith used to say, “A trip to Israel is the equivalent to two years of seminary.” Amen! Papa Chuck was so right!

Psalm 48:8 (NLT) “We had heard of the city’s glory, but now we have seen it ourselves— the city of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. It is the city of our God; He will make it safe forever.”

Your brother in Christ,

  • Manny

Nehemiah

Nehemiah 1

Nehemiah 2:1-10

Nehemiah 2:11-20

Nehemiah 3

Nehemiah 4:1-9

Nehemiah 4:10-23

Nehemiah 5

Nehemiah 6

Nehemiah 7

Nehemiah 8:1-12

Nehemiah 8:13-18

Nehemiah 9:16-38

Nehemiah 10

Nehemiah 11

Nehemiah 12

Nehemiah 13

Esther

Esther 1

Esther 2

Esther 3

Esther 4

Esther 5-7

Esther 8-10

I want to know Christ more, and make Him known…