Have you called the Lord God as your Father? You are the handiwork of the Lord and he has called you by your name. A good father knows the names of his sons and daughters. God goes beyond that as your name is carved on the palm of his hand. So knowing all this value your life in Christ. It’s been given to you by the Lord your Father.
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11)
Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
Some fear the word father even though they are now adults themselves. It may sound strange but some people dislike the word father. Because either they were insulted and abused by their earthly fathers. While for some, their father’s were never there for them. As a result they don’t really feel the love, courage and respect associated with the word father. I’ve seen and met people who are nice to talk to but when you mention their father they don’t know how to react. The Lord is unlike any such bad fathers. He is the perfect father anyone could ever get.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:28-29)
The Lord is compassionate towards those who fear him. This fear is not about being a coward. This fear is about being brave enough to respect the Lord in one’s own thought, words and actions no matter how much the world convinces you to not respect the Lord in any way.
Never ever be a fatherless Christian. Don’t submit to worthless traditions that keep you away from calling God your father. No other person can claim to the right of being your Father in heaven except for the Lord God.
And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. (Matthew 23:9)
All those who try to keep you from God our Father in Jesus Christ, will have to answer for their sins at the Final Judgement to God himself. Even Jesus won’t be defending such vile and unrepentant individuals who seduce, bribe, threaten or speak lies to take the people away from the Lord God our Father. Personally, I dislike all tempters and mischief makers who put walls between relationships of married couples, families and most importantly all believers and God.
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. (Mark 9:42)
Every child has a right to ask his or her father good things. I’ve noticed that even the mob ensures that their young ones are well fed and well dressed. Obviously no good father will give his child foolish thing. The Lord God being your father is able to provide all good things to those who believe in him. Ask with pure motives and see heavens bounty open in favor to you.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-10)
The relationship between you and the Lord must be of love and honor. God is faithful and just, so he never will fail in his part of the relationship. It’s your side of the relationship that you must be diligent upon. A common mistake that people make is that they claim to love the Lord whom they don’t see but hate those at home and church. Your love for God is not just how you feel towards the Lord but also how you love one another. Let God himself direct you in all right conduct.
Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3: 11-13)
The Lord God is your Father to love, serve and live for now and forever!
- Do not lose hope if you’re a habitual sinner (Part 1) (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- Will power, discipline and legalism in doing the works of God (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- A reminder of God’s love for those who believe in Christ (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- In prosperity be humble before God (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
Someone reading this might be having an issue with habitual sin. I mean, one knows that a particular sin is bad for him and so he’s on guard against it but in a few days he again commits that sin. Now such a person wants to get out of this sin habit but keeps going back to it. I do not come to judge any habitual sinner but rather to encourage him or her to do what is right for his or her soul.
To any such person I’d say, ” Don’t lose hope if you’re a habitual sinner but keep trying to live up for the Lord”. I have a few principles from the Bible which you can use with enough faith and perseverance you could no longer be slaves to bad desires.
Be willing to leave your sins
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
Acknowledge and confess your sins to the Lord
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:5)
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)
Exercise your choice to choose life and blessings
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live (Deuteronomy 30:19)
In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death. (Proverbs 12:28)
Be sad for your sins that you repent well
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
You need to believe in Christ for your justification
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 10:10-11)
Open your heart to Jesus once again
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)
Love God more that you follow him better
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5: 1-5)
Desire to be a slave no more as Christ wants you to be free
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
Even if it’s the Nth time you sinned you still crucify the flesh
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24)
All praise unto the Lord God and to Christ Jesus his son. O Lord, you are indeed the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You have fulfilled your promises to Abraham and given him a heritage by which many are being blessed today and evermore in the future. Fill us with hope and generosity towards the poor and needy. Teach by your Holy Spirit to find opportunities to serve in your Kingdom and be a blessing to your servants and friends. Amen.
The instance of the generosity of Abraham at Mamre in mentioned in Genesis 18:1-16 as mentioned below:
18 And the Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way.
The above verses have lots of implications with regards to how it affected the course of destiny for Abraham. For now let’s look at this from the perspective of being generous.
Abraham had great respect for the Lord God and believed in him. So he sought to be generous towards God and did all this for the Lord out of freewill. He was not expecting to get anything out of that but simply wanted to respect the Lord God by his deeds. However, the Lord God too wanted to be generous towards Abraham and confirmed his promise that Sarah would bear a child. Now Sarah was not sure about this as looked her old age. Yet, the Lord God knew her thoughts and corrected her about that though she was afraid about even admitting that she laughed about it. God was faithful to his promise to Abraham and blessed him abundantly despite his wife’s initial wonderment.
The Lord expects his people to be generous and promises to pay back them. Like Abraham we too are encouraged to be generous towards God. We can express this by being kind and generous to the poor, to the servants of God and to his people in need.
You can refer to the below verses:
- Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. (Ecclesiastes 11:1)
- And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
- Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19: 17)
- God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10)
So what I mean is that God rewards those who are generous towards him. He will remember what you’ve given to him and pay you back in just measure. This is not about someone asking you for money always. Now at time’s money is needed but there’s other things too. You can invest time with the needy, give some water, say a kind word etc.
Of course you can even be a blessing to people who are outside the faith. There is no limit to generosity in the name of the Lord God as long as you are not compromising on the teachings of the Gospel.
Be generous to those who want good counsel. Encourage someone who is trying to quit smoking etc. This way you help that person have a healthy lifestyle. Be kind to waiters at the restaurants. Watch out for unattended children’s safety at parks, malls etc. Seriously, there is no limit to goodwill if you do it right and for the glory of God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s good to pray to God in desperate times. And it’s even better to remain prayerful in good times as well. Do not forget the Lord Jesus who gives you salvation and grace.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2-5)
The Israelites of the times of Moses, were in clear terms told not to forget the Lord God who saved them from slavery from the Egyptians and were later going to receive prosperity for themselves. It was desired that they continue to give honor and praise to Lord God and not to any false god.
“And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 6:10-15)
Yet the people of Israel were so engrossed in material prosperity that most of them gave up on their prayers to the Lord God and didn’t worship him in truth. Rather they went on to worship false gods instead. This then provoked God so greatly, especially since they rejected his prophets and sometimes even killed them, that he allowed various nations to overcome the Jews in battle and cause great devastation. The damage was profoundly grave, as lots of Israelites lost their lives, the survivors were put into captivity in foreign lands and only the poorest of the poor were left in Israel.
Do not fall into such sin. Or let in other words don’t make a golden calf of your blessings. The Israelites made Aaron prepare for themselves a golden calf false god with the gold which the Lord God had provided for them on their way out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Instead of giving credit to the Lord God, they gave credit to a worthless idol. This provoked God so greatly that unless Moses the prophet and leader of Jews made intercession for them, they wouldn’t go unpunished as a nation. (On a side note, how many of us ask God to have mercy on our own nation or do we just want fire fall down from heaven?)
You can express your gratitude to Christ in times of prosperity by praying and thanking him for all the benefits that you have received through him. Praise him freely and with deep respect.
Thank him for your salvation, the forgiveness of your sin, your reconciliation with God the Father. In truth even in the worst of times, there’s always these spiritual blessings that you can be ever thankful to God. So in better times, you have all the more reason to pray to God.
Do not limit your pray to God to only thankfulness but even desire to remain in God’s will. Ask him to lead you and guide you by the Holy Spirit in righteousness and truth. Never get deceived by the sight of riches and luxury that you forget the counsel of God and then go on to sin. Instead pray that you are sanctified by the grace of God, in your body, soul and spirit.
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:6-11)
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)
You can also bring to your mind especially in good times, that there are lots of people in the world who don’t have their basic needs met. Be generous to the poor and needy. Also, pray for the those who are born into slavery in various parts of the part. It might seem odd but slavery is still rampant in certain nations of the world. Pray that the captives be set free. It’s good that you pray for people so that they repent from their sins and believe in the Gospel. Pray that those in life who are suffering from various diseases, family problems and financial problems receive respite from trouble and be delivered from their sorrows. By all this make good use of your prosperity to pray to God so that he is glorified in your praise and that people receive hope in life.
Lets read 1 Peter 5:6-11 which speaks of restoration in Christ:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
This year 2014 has had times of suffering, anxieties and temptations in various forms. Consider yourself fortunate to be alive and in one piece for many have suffered persecution and martyrdom for Christ our Lord, this year. They will surely be rewarded in heaven for their faithfulness. For they were faithful to their last breath, so God will reward their faith with everlasting comfort in heaven.
As the new year which is the year 2015, is approaching us steadily and surely, take your time to reflect on the wisdom of the Lord in 1 Peter 5:10 (you might as well consider the few verses before and after it). All across the world, our brothers and sisters in the Christian faith have suffered various kinds of discrimination and hatred for standing up for the Gospel and at times even for just believing in it. There is no reason to fear the Devil though. This is because Christ has conquered Death, sin and the grave. You are encouraged to cast your cares and anxieties unto God. Be humble unto God, knowing that he is mighty to save. Because you love God you must resist the Evil one in every area of your life. Let nothing of the kingdom of darkness lay claim over you.
Now for the prayer points which you can confess for yourself and others:
- We pray for those who haven’t yet heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That God sends more preachers and missionaries to meet more unreached people across the world and give them the Gospel. Also, that these people on hearing the Gospel truly adore Christ as their Lord and Savior. Amen.
- We pray for complete restoration in relationships, finances and health and anything else which was lost. That all the years of losses are overcome. Also that oneself is fully healed emotionally no matter what is the cause of suffering. Let the grace to overcome be given by Christ. Amen.
- We pray that God is glorified in those who profess Jesus Christ as their Messiah. That those to profess faith, hope and love in Jesus also walk their talk. That more and more Christians get out of the traps of hypocrisy which the Evil One has thrown towards them. Also, that we are set free from all presumption that leads to sin. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
- We pray that more Christian youth take the worship of the Lord God seriously and take delight in adoring him. Let even the little one loves to praise the Lord even more.
- We pray that those who are harmed in any way due to terrorism, injustice, calamity etc are helped to recover. Cause the workers of mercy and justice to come forth and strive for the peace and restoration of those who lost out on their secure living.
- We pray that the Jewish people desire to glorify the Lord God by not depending on vain traditions of men but go by the words of the prophets. That they realize the need to accept the Messiah and most importantly they recognize their One True Messiah in Jesus Christ.
- We pray for the all those in the body of Christ which is the Church. That all receive encouragement to worship and adore the Lord God without any fear and hesitation but with a mind open to the will of God. That people become more creative in the worship of Christ. That all who call upon the Lord are encouraged to praise him more in Spirit and in truth. Amen.
- We pray that those who are engaged in whatsoever capacity to preach or promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ receive all the grace they need to carry on. May they overcome all those who ignore, ridicule and even persecute them. We pray that those who preach the Gospel therefore are refreshed and renewed within. We pray for their security so that the Gospel is preached to all the ends of the Earth. Amen.
- We pray that the name of Lord Jesus is glorified in the good works that all those who believe in him are called out to do. That all those who are given the grace to bring healing to others, continue to do for the glory of God. Also, that all those who do various forms of ministry do so with a strong and renewed desire to see the Lord God glorified in all that they do. Amen.
- Finally, we also pray that the good work that Christ began in us be brought to completion in Him. That God’s works in us are protected by God himself along with his holy angels. Deliver us from all evil and workers of iniquity and demons and give us peace O Lord God. In the name of Jesus we pray and believe. Amen.
The abundant grace of God does no where in the Bible ever permit abundant stupidity nor abundant heresy. Any teaching that shows the grace of God as merely ‘say a prayer and get your ticket to heaven’ without being clear on all the points of the Gospel is surely out of sync with God’s will. Do not listen to teachers of falsehood who corrupt the Gospel’s true meaning. The Gospel is about being in a relationship with God through Christ Jesus. The Gospel is about loving God and your neighbor. And you are not going to be able to live the Gospel right if you exclude genuine repentance from your sins. You cannot earn your salvation but people can surely give it up by their faithlessness to God and this faithlessness is visible even by their actions.
Let’s read the following verses from the Holy Scripture:
These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved. For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire. (2 Peter 2:17-22)
It is vanity of vanities to come to unto the throne of grace only to turn and head back to your pit of immorality. It’s vain to preach the Gospel to others and then not follow what it teaches. O lovers of God, be faithful unto the very end. Let Christ be your hope. Let the Gospel be ever in your heart and mind.
Let your walking and talking never deviate from God’s will. May all your work be holy and acceptable in the eyes of God. This is possible by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now it may have chanced that you could have sinned after coming to Christ. Do not fear as our Lord is the patient with us. He bears up with our faults. That being said, knowing that he is merciful do not hesitate to repent of your sin. The world might say ‘O look a person who claims to believe in Christ and yet sins’ but you can make the world’s logic look stupid if and if you truly repent. Your aim here is not to take revenge against the world. The world is full of sin and when they condemn you, O lover of God, they will simply generate more judgement for themselves by the Lord Jesus himself. Instead, your aim should be to value your relationship with God by honoring Jesus’ death and resurrection for your salvation. Respond to his love by being truly repentant of every sin and living for Christ alone.
Christ be with you!
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:1-6)
I know that it’s not yet December and still I feel inspired to share 25 tips to prepare spiritually for Christmas. A head start in preparation should be of good help for you.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus our Lord. Do remember that almost everyone has celebrated their own birthday at some time or the other. Many love to celebrate the birthday of their friend and loved ones. It’s a way to express their love for the gift of life their own have received. And here we have someone even more greater, the giver of life, Christ himself. How much more are we to value his birth and his coming to save us from sin and death?
Let’s read the following scriptures:
- For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:7)
- She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21)
- And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:8-11)
So now here are 25 tips to prepare spiritually for Christmas:
- Read the scriptures about Jesus, especially the reason why Jesus had to come as a man on earth. Read as much as you can. (A little head start, please read 1 Peter 1:20, Hebrews 9:26, Acts 2:23-25)
- Meditate on the scriptures pertaining to the birth of Christ. (Please read Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah 7:14, Jeremiah 23:5, Micah 5:2, Luke 1:39-45, John 1:9-14)
- Pray by yourself alone in God’s presence even more. (read Matthew 6:6 which says But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.)
- Don’t neglect to pray in groups as well, especially with your family (read Matthew 18:20 in which Jesus said; For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them)
- Learn to sing praises to the Lord. If you are good at singing already you might as well sing with your family and Christian friends. If not, then do try by yourself first.
- Eat well but in proportion. Do not overeat no matter how nice the pie looks like. This is not a time to gain weight but rather to seek God.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in God’s will. Try to realize what the Spirit wants you to do this Christmas.
- Repent of all sins that you are still stuck in. Our Holy God is best praised by a holy worshiper. So truly repent with your heart and ask for pardon and mercy from Christ.
- Feed the poor and needy, the widows and orphans in need. You may not be able to feed all of them in your city but surely you can feed at least one. Some churches around this season have a feed the poor program, so you might like to check out with them if they need some help from you.
- Tell others about Jesus Christ to non-Christians. Again, you may not be able to reach out to the whole area that you live but you can always speak a little bit here and there to your non-Christian friends who might be curious about the Christian faith. Why not invite them to a Church service that preaches Christ as the Savior of the world.
- Speak about Jesus Christ at home with your family. Even if all know Christ, it’s still good that you as a family reaffirm your faith and unity in Christ.
- Send out greeting cards (or emails for those in the fast lane) to all your friends and dear ones away from home. Let them know that Christ came into the world for them and cares for them.
- Reach to your family especially your parents or anyone whom you have not been in contact for a long time. Speak kindness and encouragement to them. If there are differences see to the best that you can to reconcile in good faith with them. (This point was not what I intended to write today but feel inspired to write anyway. Maybe it’s God’s message for some people who will be reading this)
- Write poems unto the Lord. I’m not talking about publishing them. Rather its about penning your good thoughts about Jesus back to him. It might be your first time but I’m sure the Lord will appreciate your heart into expressing your love to him in poems. (There is no compulsion to do this but do it as you feel inspired by the Holy Spirit to do so. Maybe the Lord wants you do some other art form)
- Refrain from worldly passions which distract you from the will of God. Do not get entangled in unseemly entertainment, hobbies etc.
- Manage your time. I mean schedule your leaves and work or study timings to spend quality time in prayer, Bible reading and praising God.
- Submit your plans to God. As the year is coming to a close and a new year will begin, think of all the things you want to do in the future. Don’t be a in a hurry nor anxious but do it with an open mind ready to accept the grace of God.
- Pray for the persecuted Christians. Not every land on earth is free from violent bigots. A lot of Christians suffer persecution and injustice just because of their faith in Christ. Pray that they come out of prison, pray for their dignity, pray for their peace and safety.
- Do not overspend. Christmas is not a time of splurging and getting into debt. So do not waste money on unnecessary expenses. Keep yourself out of the grasp of materialism. Jesus is going to look at your heart instead of how richly you spend, so don’t worry if you can’t afford a lavish Christmas.
- Be free of legalism. Jesus came to set you free. Do not get into the trap of anything falsely called tradition but only makes you go into a guilt trip to do things to earn the grace of God. If the grace of God can be earned, then it’s not grace at all.
- Rest in God. An often neglected teaching but one must find one’s true rest in Christ Jesus. It’s that you must believe unto God to give you rest. Take time to receive his rest.
- Don’t get too busy in the things that one does to generally prepare for Christmas such as the tree lights, decorations etc. These are just external ways to celebrate and can be a distraction from the true meaning of Christmas if you are too focused on it.
- Avoid undue fights in relationships. Whether its home or church do not waste your time getting into foolish arguments on petty issues like the choice of food and drinks, Christmas carols, clothes etc.
- Be safe. Though it may seem a physical tip it’s much related to your spirit as your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Avoid any contaminated food or drink. Don’t try dangerous stunts just for a camera shot that you want to share with others. Hope you get the idea.
- Be thankful to God. Christmas is the time to thank God for sending Jesus Christ his Son on earth as a man to save us. So do express your gratitude to God.
- Jesus Christ Immanuel God is with us (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- What is the meaning of the Incarnation of Christ? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Rest In All Thy Goings !!!!!! (levithetford.com)
- A reminder of God’s love for those who believe in Christ (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
Let read Psalm 67 which is a call to all people to praise God. Here we go:
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah 2 that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee! 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for thou dost judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
5 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee! 6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. 7 God has blessed us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
When reading the above Psalm you must have seen the word ‘Selah’ and then wondered what does that mean. It’s not an English word so it’s hardly used when talking in general. It’s a Hebrew word which in the context of the Psalm means to pause and praise. There are things in life which we must not skim over and let it go. These are things to be valued and cherished. Though there are many ways to do appreciate things, one of the ways is to pause for a moment and think of it.
In the same way when you think of the things of God like his grace, blessings and saving power you just don’t do a blink and a miss on it. You take time to relish the Lord’s goodness towards us. So that is why you must pause and praise God for his revelation of love for us.
People love their blessings from God and want to be blessed even more. Who wouldn’t want their families to be prosperous in all aspects of life? However, that’s not where it ends. One of the reasons God blesses us is that the people of the earth are made aware of his saving power. Let’s therefore, not ask to be blessed only to keep it within our loved ones but also so that God’s gracious nature is manifested through us to a world of people who live in despair.
The Lord is the God of justice. Many a times people try to take revenge, sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don’t. Yet true justice eludes them. There are the oppressed poor who have no one to speak for them. Very few care about their existence. It’s true that, we live in a fallen world and evil things do happen. The Lord God, time and again raises up men and women who strive for justice and peace for the poor and oppressed, even though not all of them know Jesus as their savior. These agents of justice have their season on earth and then pass away into eternity. The work of justice still goes on even as more people are called by God to help others. Besides, the Lord God himself executes judgement against the powers of darkness and those who love it, so that there is justice done. May the people of the world realize this truth and turn their hearts towards the Lord.
Our Lord God is not limited to judgement alone. He is the God of true and lasting blessing. He blesses his people on earth. He rewards their good deeds in this life and in the next. Even our ability to good works ultimately comes from the Lord. No doubt a person must be willing for it, and surely he or she shall be rewarded, yet we must realize that it’s mostly God’s grace in the midst of it all.
By our own works and merits we do not deserve his grace. It’s only by faith in his Son our Lord Jesus Christ, can we approach his throne of grace in times of need (see Hebrews 4:16). God’s loves those who love Christ. But he has a heart for sinners too. He also cares for the lost sheep who are still in the darkness. No wonder though they are not seated in heavenly places like us who believe in Jesus, he still let’s it rain on them too (see Matthew 5:43-45).
The harvest of the earth though has human effort and wisdom applied but it is the Lord God who protects it from dangers when we are least aware. He is the one who prevents the workers of the Evil One from doing their vile deeds against you. It is the Lord who blesses the farmer with good health, so that there is an abundant harvest. No wonder in this light of the revelation of his grace and love towards us, we must praise and thank God for his mercy and for his blessings towards us. Give thanks to Christ Jesus for the salvation that you have received from him.
A few scriptures to reflect on:
- I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. (Ecclesiastes 3:17)
- Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:17)
- For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:4)
- Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable. Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor. (Proverbs 31:8-10)
- Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)
- Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.(James 1:17-18)
- And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Cor 9:8)
- Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3)
In your walk with God sometimes you may face temptations, sometimes you might be rejected by those who reject Christ our Lord and sometimes you might flying high above the opposition. What will sustain you and keep you from losing faith? It is none than your relationship with God. Christianity is ultimately is about being in a relationship with God in Christ Jesus. A relationship has emotions involved. God does express his emotions.
For those who believe in Christ the most prominent emotion by God is love. God loves you a lot. You cannot earn God’s love. There is no good deed that can cause him to love you more. All you need to do is to receive his love. Don’t block yourself out of the love of God by depending on worthless human tradition, self-abasement and worldly philosophies. Receive his love through his Son Jesus Christ. Christ’s love for us exceeds anything and everything. No one could possibly love you more. You sin is atoned for by Jesus Christ. Live no longer for the sinful world nor for any sin. Receive the freedom that Christ gives you through his redeeming sacrifice and shedding of his blood for you. Overcome because you believe in Jesus the overcomer of the world. Be holy therefore as the Lord your God is holy.
Trust in the Lord your God with your heart. Believe in his love for he is near to all who call on his name, in faith.
Christ be with you!