bringing THE HOPE OF JESUS
Questions to think about:
When did you start being interested in spiritual things?
What place would you like God to have in your life?
Have you ever had a spiritual experience?
To understand that God loves us individually just as we are, and has a purpose for each one of us.
At the end of this lesson we will be sure that God loves us and we will start loving Him and have a relationship with Him.
Is there a God? Faith is to our inner person, what the senses are to our bodies. Not having eyes is to be blind. Not having faith is to be spiritually blind. How can one explain the red color to a blind person? So it’s impossible to explain God to a person who has no faith. Faith are the eyes of the inner being.
Faith is a gift from God. We cannot fabricate it. It’s very sad to live without faith. But the fact you are here, means that God had already given you the gift of Faith. It awakes when we hear the Word of God, Romans 10:17. When you receive faith you see God in every flower, virtue, in human and animal conception and everywhere, even in your own life.
We are used to communicating with each other with our senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. We communicate with God, who is an invisible spirit that we can’t hear, smell, touch or taste, through our faith. What is faith? “It is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. The only way to communicate with Him is by faith. Faith is the spiritual sight, the eyes of the inner being and it’s a gift from God. One either has it or not. If you have faith, you are privileged, because you have received or discovered the wonderful gift from God.
It’s very sad to live without faith, not to be able to see the wonderful works of God nor perceive His presence everywhere. Not having faith is like being spiritually blind. If we don’t have faith we don’t have hope nor the strength to live a moral life, we’re negative, pessimists, we don’t know where to go for help when we face challenges and have no hope when we’re sick or facing death. Those of us, who have received the gift of faith, love God and have hope. If you are reading this online it’s because God has given you the gift of faith. We will help you to use it and your life will be enriched.
How is God? For some, God is too holy, too strict and intolerant with sinners, therefore we’re all condemned and lost. For others, God is far away…in heaven, and doesn’t care about us living on planet earth, so why should we care about Him. Others think that God is like a servant, that He has to give us everything we request to Him. How is God?
God is omnipresent, He’s everywhere. God is bigger than the Universe. He’s around all the galaxies that exist and fills them and everything. Because He is spirit He is invisible and trespasses and permeates everything as the cell phones, radios, satellites, radars, wifi, the internet and microwaves do. Not only he trespasses the walls, planets and stars, he also trespasses and permeates our own beings. Therefore He knows what we think and because he is omniscient, He knows us since eternity Romans 8:28-29. He’s in each one of our trillions of cells. That’s why He said that He’s conscientious of each one of our hairs that falls from our heads and of each little bird that dies. That is why we can communicate with Him instantly without making any effort to concentrate; we can talk to Him wherever we are because he is in us, and He always listens.
How could such a Mysterious Being communicate to our human senses? He became flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and lived among us for 33 years. Jesus was God incarnated, Jesus said: “Who has seen Me, has seen the Father” St. John 14:9-10“The Father and I are one” St. John 10:30. To know the character of God, we only need to look at Jesus in the Gospel. Observing Jesus we get to know what God thinks about the poor, the sick, the sinner, the children, the good people and the bad people. Christianity is the only religion whose God came to earth, lived among us and communicated what He thought about us. Jesus Christ is God.
What is the Holy Trinity? The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, are of the same God manifested in three different persons however, inseparables, indivisibles. That is why even though they are three different personalities, they are called: the One and Only God. He’s not a religion, He’s the Creator of everything that exists, He unfolded himself in three persons called: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
1. God is love, He wanted a big family with more children like His Son Jesus. That is why He made us “to His image and likeness” Genesis 1:27, Romans 8:29.
2. The church is a family, not a religion. God is our Father, Jesus Christ our Brother and the Holy Spirit our Tutor. The relationship among us is a relationship of love. We’re brothers and sisters, all children of God.
1. Because of the beauty, valuable and immense of creation. He made for us the prairies the animals and gave us the authority to farm his land. He gave us the jungles, lungs of the world with an immense wealth in woods, fruits and medical herbs. He made for us the deserts with abundant wealth of oil and minerals, the oceans that purify the waists of the world, providing the evaporation to produce clouds and rain and all sorts of fishes. He made for us the mountains, rivers, streams that bring beauty and color to our wonderful planet. The sun, the moon and stars, everything was created for us. Not only did He create all these but He also maintains it, cleans it, irrigates it, renews it and maintains the ecological balance. God authorized us to use everything that exists; He made the universe for our sustenance and adventure.
2. We see His love in our marvelous personality. He gave us a marvelous mind, memory and intelligence to use the resources of this earth, the animals, plants and minerals. He proves His love towards us giving us nutrition and energy. We were not made to walk on a battery or gasoline, but with an incredible variety of foods with different tastes, colors, smells and shapes; this is love! We can also perceive the perfumes, sounds, colors, touch to feel and perceive what we love, God made us with an incredible love!
3. He gave us the capacity to have faith to make possible the impossible, enter into the unknown and create, invent, as the wheel, carts, cars, planes, interplanetary skyrockets, computers, internet, air conditioning, running water, medicines, vitamins and many more things. To create things from things that didn’t exist before. He made us the kings of the planet much more able than the most intelligent animal. Neither monkeys nor any other animals had the capacity to invent the air conditioning to cool themselves.
4. God made us with the capacity to have a relationship with Him. Only the human beings can have faith, pray, worship, praise God conscientiously, perceive His presence, go to church and communicate with Him.
1. Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love”. He loved us even before He created us. Actually His love forced him to create us. The desire to have a conscious family made Him to create us. He loved us from eternity! “Therefore, I prolonged my mercy”, which means that He has always reserved grace for us. He knew in advance, how we were going to behave, just as we know in advance that our children will misbehave! No child is perfect, but we patents love them anyway because they are our children. We are God’s children. His love, grace and mercy is unconditional and eternal.
2. Luke 6: 35-36. “He is kind to ungrateful and evil men”. He is a father, not a policeman. “Your Father is merciful”, just as a normal father is merciful with his children.
3. John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He came to earth to save us. He came for you and me.
1. Because they have a wrong image of God. We usually have a hard time understanding that God is a loving Father. We believe that he’s like a policeman, a judge or a dictator, angry at us because we have failed him. That is not the case! God loves us because He is our Father, just as normal parents love their children. That is why Jesus taught us to pray: “Our Father who are in heaven…”
2. Because of superstition. There are people involved in witchcraft that use images of virgins, saints and even cross to make “evil” to people. This mixture of the holy and the satanic brings disrepute to religion. Neither God, nor the virgin or the saints would ever want do evil to anyone.
3. Because of having a bad relationship with our earthly parents. Some parents are alcoholics, violent, womanizers, mistreat their spouse and children; so that is the image of father that they have. With this kind of experience it’s very difficult to understand a father’s love. But God is different! He is a good Father, Psalm 27:10.
4. Low self-esteem. Sometimes we feel that we do not deserve the love of God and that He cannot forgive us anymore. God does not forgive us because we deserve it, He forgives us because He’s our father and loves us! Our children sometimes disobey and give us a lot of work, but we love them because they are our children. The word “deserve” doesn’t apply to the relationship with our children. Let’s understand that God loves us as we are and forgives us every time as we do our children; then we will start to forgive, love, accept and respect ourselves.
1. Let us read Romans 5:6-8. Jesus died for us even before we were born. He died for the “weak”, for the “impious” and for the “sinners”.
2. Isaiah 54:10. “My loving-kindness will not be removed from you, and my promise of peace will not be shaken”. God will never forsake us even if we reject His love.
3. Ephesians 2:4-5. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved”. We are not perfect, but God’s love is perfect. He hurts when he sees we’re hurting ourselves, but He’s always there, waiting for us, ready to receive us and forgive us without reproach and motivate us to continue forward, just as the Father did with the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32. There’s nothing you can do to get God love you more than He loves you right now, and nothing to make Him love you less. He is our Father!
1. We cannot be indifferent to God’s love. Let’s return to Him, let’s ask forgiveness for not responding to His love before, let’s reconcile with Him and restore the friendship of a son with his Dad.
2. Let’s talk with Him and let’s repeat together:
Our Father, my father, you are great, loving and good. Forgive my past indifference. Today I understand that you love me. I will love you too for the rest of my life. Today I turn around and come back to you and to your church which is my family. Help me to become what you created me to be. Thank you, Father, Amen.
Let’s proclaim together: GOD LOVES ME JUST AS I AM, AND HAS A PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE.
1. Today I have started a new relationship with my Father God, therefore, every day, as I get up and go to bed I will speak at least a few minutes with my Him in a normal and spontaneous way, not something repeated by heart, just a normal talk with Him. I will also thank God for His provision of food, housing and all I have.
2. I will memorize St. John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life”.
3. I will gather my family and share this experience with them and will also tell my friends. I will invite them to do also the prayers that I did and we will pray for each other’s needs. God will be honored in my family and friendships. In this way the family will be more united, the problems will start disappearing and God will be the center of our home.
1. Why do we say that not having faith is being spiritually blind?
2. What is the Holy Trinity?
3. Why did God create us?
4. How do we know that God created us with love?
5. Please recite John 3:16
6. Why is it that some people have a hard time understanding the love of God?
7. What difference makes to our life to know that God loves us?
8. Which is the phrase we had to memorize?
Prayer: Lord we thank you for creating us. We thank you for loving us unconditionally. We thank you for salvation and we thank you for sending us the Holy Spirit. Please help us to live each day honoring you, worshiping you and sharing you with others. Thank you for the gift of Jesus, in His name we pray, AMEN!