Calvary Chapel Eastvale

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Pastor's Corner: The Cross

Pastor's Corner: The Cross

“Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still…”


Luke 7:14

By Pastor Dennis Morales

There is no arguing that one of the most painful occurrences in life is losing a loved one.  Jesus came upon a widow who had just lost her only son.  .  According to old Jewish custom, the women would precede a funeral procession because women were believed to have brought death into the world in the line of Eve.  This widow would be the first person He would see and He looked at her with compassion (Luke 7:13).  It was custom for family members and friends to come and touch the coffin, which would halt the procession, and say a few words of comfort to the survived. Then the procession would continue.  According to custom, Jesus stood at the procession and touched the coffin.  Jesus tells the woman “do not weep.”  He then tells the young man in the coffin to “get up.”  “So that he who was dead sat up and began to speak” (Luke 7:15).  What Jesus did was unprecedented.   Under normal circumstances the funeral procession would have continued.  But when Jesus stopped the funeral procession, and it never continued!  Jesus essentially stopped death in its tracks.  This is what Jesus has done for all mankind through the Cross.  He has halted the effect of sin and eternal death upon all those who believe in Him (Jn 3:16).  Jesus’ death on the Cross defeated sin and He further punctuates this by His Rising from the dead.  In this is the Easter message.  (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 55-57) 

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A Unique Love

By Pastor Dennis Morales

Throughout his administration, Abraham Lincoln was a president under fire, especially during the scarring years of the Civil War. And though he knew he would make errors of office, he resolved never to compromise his integrity. So strong was this resolve that he once said, “I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.”  Proverbs says that a “friend loves at all times” (proverbs 17:17).    True friendship has a tremendous effect in life.  Research says that having strong and stable friendships can help us to manage stress, which can have a dramatically impact on our physical health. If you know that you’ll have people by your side in times of worry, it can make a huge difference when trying to manage the situation.  Jesus spoke highly of both love and friendship.  Jesus said loving one another is a mark of knowing Him.  “Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (Jn 13:35).  As you read the famous 1 Corinthians 13 love chapter, we see words in our language that qualify as descriptors or adjectives.  In the original Greek language, these words are action words.  John 15:13 says “greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  God, with love in action, sent His Son.  His Son actively loved by sacrificing His life for all mankind (John 3:16), so that we can have the hope of Heaven. 

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Tax Time

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth…” Luke 2:1-5

I ran across a quote that read “IRS auditor to taxpayer, as nurse prepares a syringe: “She is going to numb the area around your wallet.”  In most cases, when we hear the word tax, our minds do go to our wallets.   It was no accident that Dr. Luke mentioned the name of Caesar Augustus. This man signed a tax bill that the whole world (of that day) be taxed. He needed money to raise an army to control his vast empire and to live in luxury himself. 

It was prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem of the house and lineage of King David (Micah 5:2) 700 years before.  Mary and Joseph resided in Nazareth.  At the very time for Mary to give birth, all were summoned to the house of their ancestry for the census (Luke 2:1-5).  All who were of the lineage of David were to visit Bethlehem.  Both Mary and Joseph are of the lineage of David, so both had to go to Bethlehem.

Precisely according to Bible prophecy, and God’s sovereignty, Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem (Matthew 1:21-23, Isaiah 7:14 prophesied 800 years before). Such an event rooted deeply in prophesy and is proven that man could not orchestrate something of this magnitude. 

Joy came to the world in miraculous fashion.  This was a taxation time in history where we look back at the and its forever linked to our hearts, not our wallet.  God orchestrated when the Messiah, Jesus, was to be born into this world to save mankind from sin and instill hope forever into all who believe.  He did this for you.   

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Pastor’s Corner: Things That Matter

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, Ihave kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Paul the Apostle is nearing the end of his life.  He is contemplating the things God had called him to accomplish.  This is his swansong.  I am immediately impressed with the confidence with which he is able to say “I finished.”  It’s been said that “a wasted life is really nothing more than a collection of wasted days. As God gives us life, each one of us starts the new year with the same number of opportunities—365—that we can choose to either use and invest in eternal things or allow to drift by without taking advantage of the gift we have been given.”  I was walking through a cemetery after afuneral service and my eye caught a headstone that read “a life stillunfinished.”  We would naturally say thatabout anyone that had passed from this world at a young age, but this wassomeone who passed at 78!  I don’t wantto come to the end and think of all the things I should have done or the ways Ishould have stepped out in faith.  Paulcalls life a “race.”  My favorite racesin the Olympics are the sprints.  Theseraces are literally over in seconds, but I am always impressed with the amazingspeed of the athletes.  The race referredto by Paul is likened to a “long distance” run. A long distance run takes faith, endurance, and focus.  Jesus “for the joy that was set before Himendured the cross, despising the shame.” (Hebrews 12:2).  God calls us to focus and invest in thingsthat matter so that we might finish well. 

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Growing

By Dennis Morales

1 Corinthians 3:1 “I couldn’t talk to you as…spiritual people…”

 

My two boys have just moved up another grade in school.  It’s really hard to assimilate sometimes in my parental cortex, but they are growing.  I couldn’t be happier that they are growing and healthy.  Paul spoke to an audience dealing with stunted growth, not in a physical sense, but a spiritual sense.  People had told us prior to our sons being born; don’t talk baby talk, because it will affect their maturity and speech.  When Paul spoke to the Corinthian church, he said that he couldn’t speak in spiritual terms because they were still spiritual babies.  They should have grown or progressed, but they were immature.  They should have passed up the milk and gone on toward food that requires you to sink your teeth into it.  Paul says that immaturity was evident because of the things that were happening among them like strife, divisiveness, immorality, and envy (1Corinthians 3:3).  Their behavior didn’t change, and they weren’t maturing.   Unfortunately, many people have never grown up spiritually. They made an initial commitment to follow Christ but have never really understood what it means to be committed in following Jesus.  Saying a prayer of commitment to Jesus is not all a Christian life is.  Jesus becomes Lord and you begin to understand what it means for Him to lead your life.  Spiritual growth should not just be Christian radio listening to sermons or music but cutting into your own food.  We need to learn how to feed ourselves the spiritual food.  Your foundation starts with your Bible.  The Bible is likened to bread (Matthew 4:4), meat (Hebrews 5:11-14), and even Honey (Ps 119:103).  As we take steps closer to God, we experience His goodness, grace and glory in our lives in new ways.  

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