April President’s Message

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As we sit and reflect, I’m wondering what God might have taught you about yourself these past couple years. What lessons about hope and faith has He instilled within you? How do you find yourself coping during these troublesome times? In short, what is God’s perspective on these mounting political, social and cultural issues defining us today? As Christ followers, where do/should we derive our identity? How quickly evil seems to have accelerated, even in America, in the past couple of years. Are you away these difficulties are discussed throughout the bible? End-time prophecies (comprising about a third of scripture) cast a long shadow. One such series of prophecy is spoken by our Lord (the Olivet Discourse). Jesus forewarned evil would happen; as a matter of fact, it would be inevitable. He told us we can expect more false preachers and prophets deceiving many; wars and rumors of wars, nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven as we grow closer and closer to the end of the age. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. Our Lord proclaims such things must happen; these events are the beginning of birth pains. In retrospect we have all suffered to some extent and in one way or another particularly since the onset of the global pandemic. But what has God taught you about yourself or about other people during these stressful times? How are you doing with your attitude? You know, your attitude – that part of you that controls all of you. So much of our attitude is shaped by our own narrow perspectives. We find we can easily become mired in fear and self-pity which form a deadly tandem turning us inwards towards ourselves and render us less caring about our neighbor. Let’s turn to the Word and see if we can’t better understand God’s perspective on these times. We read in Matthew’s gospel: “Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest.

Christ clarifies the meaning of the parable later in the chapter. The field is the Kingdom of God and Heaven. The seeds are God’s righteousness imparted to us through Christ. The weeds are evil sown in the field, under the cover of darkness by our enemy Satan. The kingdom of heaven begins with a seed. God has not yet released His Full Glory upon man in a manner consistent with the way the earliest disciples mistakenly thought He would. Just as a seed begins a growth process, everything God does begins and ends as a process. We need to first understand God’s character if we are to understand or navigate through the world around us. We must continually work towards a sustaining faith that God is always in control. We learn from our reading of this parable that Jesus plants good seed in His Kingdom to grow alongside the weeds/seeds sown by the enemy, Satan. This is God’s perspective on the matter of good and evil in the world and therefore in our own lives and the lives of others. Good and evil are to grow side by side until the harvest where the sheep will be separated from the goats. At the end of the age of the Church both righteousness and evil will reach full maturity. Perhaps this helps better understand the growing evil. Considering the good seed, there has not been greater growth in the Kingdom of God than witnessed all throughout the 20th century. So, praise God for this! Tres Dias formed in 1972; this is our year of Jubilee! But we also have witness through this period of history many forms of evil. The Holocaust comes directly to mind. Today, in the twenty-first century, unfolding before us a greater deepening of darkness. These are the weeds sown by the enemy of our souls and they are growing alongside the wheat planted by Christ and within the Kingdom of God. Therefore, both continue growing in the midst of birth pains, and will reach full maturity together in the end. Jesus tells us this to be inevitable. We can partner with God in his glorious Plan of Salvation. You see beloved, in closing this message we must step into the heart of God’s perspective; His perspective is always loftier than our own. He says: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”. By allowing the weeds to grow alongside the good seed, God has set up to reveal mankind’s fallen nature as a witness to all nations when Jesus returns to separate the sheep from the goats. Through Christ’s work on the cross, God will vindicate His Goodness and His Holiness. There will be no more denial. No confusion as to The Truth. Sin will be wiped away. Glory, glory Hallelujah! Let me conclude this lengthy message with the Lord’s words found in Luke’s gospel: “People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken…. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Man’s work will be shaken (destroyed) and God’s Work will remain. Does this bring any comfort to you? It does for me. God will reveal ALL, for ALL to see. We are to stay strong, finish the race and keep lifting our heads to see our redemption in Christ. We must quit our bad habits, looking at things from only “down here”. Instead, we need to raise our eyes to understand God’s perspective and to allow it to shape our attitudes. We will get through these times. We will enter better times if we stay true to God’s perspective and recognize the co-habitation of good and evil as all part of God’s Plan of Salvation. Rest in Him. “Hope is the ability to hear the music of the future. Faith is the ability to dance to that music now”.

‘De Colores, Mark

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