Pastor's Blog Archives - Grace Church San Antonio

Idolatry to Death, Christ to Life

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“…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” The New King James Version. (1982). (Ro 1:21–23). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

How many of us call ourselves servants of Jesus, yet serve other gods? How many Christians turn to hobbies, significant others or another relationship, or even artificial relationships such as pornography or some celebrity-personality type from TV that we hold as god in our life? When life gets tough, what do you run to? Who do you run to? We should be running to Christ in any time of need. When we run to something else to make us feel better it’s idolatry. Even things that God created for our pleasure, if we run to those things in place of God, it’s idolatry. In the Old Testament, idolatry meant worshipping carved or created images of things such as animals, that were worshipped as gods. Nowadays we don’t get on our knees and bow before our created gods, our worship is much more subtle, but it is worship just the same. When we are hurt or frustrated, and run to a glass of wine or to binge watch our favorite show to make us feel better, instead of running to the LORD, we are saying to God that His comfort is not as good as the comfort of this [insert your idol here].

God is the god of healing, power, and love. In our sinful nature, it is so easy to run to something else instead of God with the pain that can so easily come from day-to-day living. I believe when it all comes down to it, every sin that is committed is at its most basic elements a form of idolatry. When we sin, we are in a way choosing the desires of our flesh over the loving God of the universe. This is why God HATES sin in our lives.

The Gospel of Matthew puts it this way:

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other…” The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 6:24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

And the apostle Paul says this:

“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Ti 3:2–4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

You cannot serve two masters, and you cannot love two lovers. Since God is perfect he can settle for nothing less than perfection. So, in His relationship with us he cannot settle for less than perfect, he cannot and will not settle for us trying to love something on earth (an idol) and also the LORD. This is not TRUE love and it is not love to the fullest and therefore, less than perfect. The Old testament is the story of God creating people, then creating a specific people, out of His love for His Glory. In this story we see, as Christians, our family history. Our inability to serve only the true Lord. The Israelites constantly were blessed in service to the lord and then cursed in their idolatries. Again, our sin nature got in the way and we couldn’t help ourselves. WE couldn’t help ourselves. God saw that we couldn’t help ourselves, and in His love, he sent His son to die in our place. The penalty was paid so that we could have a relationship with Him. WE couldn’t help ourselves, but God could help us, and he did. As a result of receiving the gift of salvation through Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit. Now, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can overcome. We can overcome the grips of sin and death.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” The New King James Version. (1982). (Ro 8:2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Now that we have received from Christ we can be “free” from these other idols. When we are hurting, we need no longer run to these worldly things or relationships. For these idols in our lives, whatever they may be, if they do not lead to Christ (and they don’t, so don’t try to make a case for why your idol helps people or that it’s somehow “good” for you or others), they lead to death. Seek Christ in all things, He comforts us in our need. Acts tells us that the early Christians were comforted in the Holy Spirit and as a result the gospel was being spread.

“Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.” The New King James Version. (1982). (Ac 9:31). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

If we proclaim Christ as king with our mouth and run to worldly things in time of hurt or frustration, what kind of example do we set to the world? Doesn’t this tell the world that we have a God that we like to talk about but he’s not powerful enough to comfort or heal us? This message to unbelievers is not inviting in the least. In their minds, we are no better off because of the gospel when they see this example. They are bound to the same worldly things already so what do they stand to gain?

So where does this leave us? I believe I can sum it up for you very briefly. As believers in Christ we are to run to the Lord for our comfort, and trust that He will comfort us. I will conclude with the promise Jesus gave us in His sermon on the mount:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 5:3–4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Living A Kingdom Lifestyle

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You can’t have a full, meaningful life without walking with God by His Word. God wants His people to live well in every area of life. He wants us to live well in our spirits, our souls and our bodies. He wants us to live every day in the fullness of His blessings. Because living in the natural is always insufficient and disappointing. God wants us whole, complete, undamaged and intact in our spirits, our minds, our bodies, our finances. He wants us to live our lives separated unto Him, and He wants us well in every area.

3 John 2 – “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

God is concerned for both your body and your soul. As a responsible Christian, you should neither neglect nor indulge yourself but care for your physical needs and discipline your body so that you are at your best for God’s service. The point is, while we as believers may need a miracle of God in our lives from time to time, we should endeavor to reach the point where we become so developed in our faith walk that we live each day in all the blessings of heaven—in all the blessings that have been provided for us in our covenant with God through Jesus Christ.


Pastor Robert.

Faith In Action

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James 2:21-23 NKJV

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.

Faith and actions are inseparably linked. In James 2:21-23, the believer is reminded that Abraham was told by God to go to the land that I will show you. He had to perform an action. His final test of faith was when God asked him to offer on the altar his only son Isaac. The book of James is patterned after the call to holiness.

‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭19:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

The book of James, as well as Leviticus 19, describes how to live a holy life based in faith. Trust and obedience in every walk of life are also always linked. Therefore Abraham, the example of Faith and trust, glorified the name of the Lord by being obedient in offering his son. It was Abraham’s faith in God that led to the righteous actions, and by the actions the faith was made complete. It is for this reason James 2:24 NIV reads: “You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.” Faith leading to action, has always been the mode by which an individual proves and strengthens their faith.

Pastor Robert

The Virtuous Women

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Proverbs 31:13-26 NIV “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

‭The woman described in this chapter has outstanding abilities.They are a result of her reverence for God. In our society, where physical appearance is emphasized so much, it’s surprising to realize that her appearance is never mentioned. Her attractiveness comes completely from her character and actions. Do not see her as a someone to imitate in every detail; See her instead as an inspiration to be all you can be.

I want you to see that this woman has four main characteristics about her:

  1. She is a good women
  2. She is a good wife
  3. She is a good mother
  4. She is a good neighbor

She is a good woman because she works diligently, plans with ingenuity prudently, and behaves uprightly.  She’s is a good wife because she seeks her husband’s good, she keeps his confidence, and she aids his prosperity. She is a good mother because she clothes her family wisely, feeds her family well, and she shops sensibly. She is a good neighbor because she helps the poor, uplifts the needy and speaks graciously.

The high standard for womanhood, apparently drawn not by some romantic male, but by one who was herself a virtuous woman, presents an inspiring goal.  



Pastor Robert

Limitless Forgiveness

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Matthew 18:21-22 NKJV “Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

Forgive is a big word. It’s huge. Just seven letters but it’s something that takes years to learn how to do well. And more than learning how to do it, it takes grace from God.

The Lord is telling us that we need to forgive 490 times a day, this is limitless forgiveness.  To forgive means one genuinely loves. Love always prefers the other person, so we who walk in God’s love will always forgive.   When we truly forgive someone, we forget the hurt they may have caused, and is for ever forgotten.  

Hebrews 10:17 NLT “Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”

God desires to bless your life with his abundant grace and mercy and desires that you live a blessed life. Part of this blessed life is to be forgiven and to become a forgiver. We must take on the characteristics of our Heavenly Father and forgive and forget.  If we choose not to forgive bitterness will set in.  We are advised to sustain a forgiving heart toward all other people.  

Quote by Johnny Hunt:

“Forgiveness is the act of setting someone free from an obligation to you that is a result of a wrong done against you. All of us, at one time or another, have been forgiven, or granted forgiveness. (I’ve owed and I’ve been owed.) However, there is a temptation to bear injury in your life and, as a result, hold a grudge, allow bitterness to set in, and to become unforgiving.”

Unforgiveness is a bondage that stifles our ability to love and accept those that we know in our hearts most deserve our love. It is a bondage that chokes out the abundant life Christ promised to those who would believe.



Pastor Robert

The Beginning of Knowledge

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Proverbs 1:2-7 NLT “Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

As you have just read the book of proverbs purpose statement it indicates the desire to ascertain and impart wisdom.  It’s unifying theme is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.  The word fear used in this passage means: reverence, awe, an object of respect.  This reference and awe is the principal part of knowledge.

Wisdom is explained through diversity of examples, as follows: Wisdom is the ability to judge and act according to God’s directives is the most valuable of assets.  Wisdom is available to anyone.  Wisdom originates in God, not self, and comes by attention to instructions.  Wisdom and righteousness go together. It is good to be wise, and it is wise to be good.

The wisdom contained in the book of Proverbs is as meaningful today as in the day it was written.  This is not a how to succeed handbook in the worldly sense. It tells how to order our values, which leads to character, which leads to wholeness, which leads to satisfaction.  It also warns us of the pitfalls along the way as we live, and declares folly of not developing the fear of the Lord.

Since my excellence of the free give of salvation have read this book as a daily devotion, one for each day of the month.  I have found that this book contains so much that it’s worth daily meditation and is relevant for us today and any era.



Pastor Robert

The Measure Of Success

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Jeremiah 9:23-24 NKJV “Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.”
‭By the world’s standards, success is usually measured by three criteria: wisdom, power, and wealth.  The “successful” communicate insights that influence others (wisdom), gain strategic advantage over others (power), accumulate and control resources (wealth).  Yet God asserts here that these attainments hold no weight with Him and that true success is measured by our knowledge of Him (v. 24).

Delight means: to take pleasure in, to cherish, to love and desire. Both to understand and know contain the idea of ascertaining something through the process of seeing.  To know God is to encounter Him and to receive revelation from Him though the scriptures, He implants His thoughts into our minds.  His character begins to engulfs us with the holy wonder of a God who passionately desires intimate friendship with those whom He has created.  

We should seek Him daily in prayer and the word every single day, then we begin to take on His characteristics and we in the eyes of the Lord become successful.



Pastor Robert

To Know Him

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Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:8-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

These passage sums up Paul’s primary pursuit in life: to know Christ. Paul’s knowledge of Christ involves not merely an intellectual apprehension, but rather an exceptional knowledge resulting from his personal communion with Christ. In contrast to the life he now has, his former way of life is rubbish. His former way of life are the things he trusted to make him successful.

Paul’s desire to know Christ sprang from no other motive but to enjoy Him. He wanted Christ for who He.  He was a lover of God, not a user of God.  It didn’t if he moved in Christ resurrection power or stretched to his last ounce of endurance, it mattered little.  For Paul, it was all a part of the most fulfilling journey of all: truly knowing God.  For us to experience Christ we should have daily communion with Him, it is a lifestyle of communing and spending time with Him.


Pastor Robert

Spirit Conscious

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1 Thessalonians 5:23  “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“The spirit, soul, and body refer not so much to the distinct parts of a person as to the entire being of a person. This expression is Paul’s way of saying that God must be involved in every aspect of life. It is wrong to think that we can separate the spiritual life from everything else, obeying God only in some ethereal sense or living for him only one day each week. Christ must control all of us, not just a “religious” part.”
(Excerpt From:“Life Application Study Bible NIV.”)

In this scriptural passage, Paul begins with the inside, the innermost part of man, the heart of his being, which is his spirit, and comes to the outside.  Most people have a tendency to misquote this verse.  They reverse it and say body, soul, and spirit.  Why do they put the body first? Because most people are more body conscious than spirit conscious. Natural things mean more to them than spiritual things. So they put physical things first.

We need to be spirit conscious. When we become more spirit conscious, spiritual things will become more real to us.  If we are going to be led by the Spirit of God, we need to become more spirit conscious, or we’ll miss out on the whole thing, all that God has for us.  God’s Spirit leads us through our spirits.  I challenge you to become more spirit conscious, more conscious of the inward man.  Realize that you are a spirit being and that you become a new creation re-created by God in Christ Jesus.



Pastor Robert.

The Lamp of the Lord

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Proverbs‬ ‭20:27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being.”

As children of God we can expect to be led by the Spirit of God. What this means is God will enlighten us, He will guide us through our spirits.  Many times we seek guidance by means other than the way God said. When we seek other ways we get into trouble.

We sometimes judge how God is leading by what our physical senses tell us.  But nowhere does God say that He will guide us through our physical senses.  Too often we look at things from a mental standpoint and endeavor to reason things out. But nowhere does it say God will guide us through our mentality.  

The Bible does not say that the body nor the mind is the candle of the Lord. It says that the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.  God will guide us and enlighten us through our spirits.  Now before we can understand how God does lead us and guide us through our spirits, we have to understand the nature of man.  We need to understand that man is a spirit, that he has a soul, and he lives in a body.


Pastor Robert

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