The Power of the LORD Will Shadow You


There are times in our lives when a death, a tragedy, or a sudden turn of events eclipses everything else. 

It happened to Mary, an unmarried young woman who was told that she would become the mother of the promised Messiah, God’s Son (Luke 1:26-33). 

When she asked how this could happen, the angel Gabriel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you." —Luke 1:35

Mary's response leaves us in awe: “Let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).

This Christmas season, as we consider the birth of Jesus into our world, it is worth pondering the word "overshadowed." 

It speaks so powerfully of the Lord’s presence in our hearts and His ability to outshine our darkest moments. 


To Know and Love God


There is a special relationship between love and knowledge.

When we love something, we want to know everything about it.
When we love a place, we want to explore every inch of it.
When we love a person, we want to know every detail of his or her life.

But some of us want to be loved without allowing ourselves to be known. 
We are afraid that we won’t be loved if we are truly known.

We don’t have to worry about that with God. 

God's love is far superior to ours. He loves us in spite of our imperfections:  “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” —Rom. 5:8.

Furthermore, God continues to make Himself known to us. Through creation, Scripture, and Christ, God reveals His character and His love. 

With God, we need not fear being known. God loves us and He wants to know all about us.

We can tell Him everything. We can safely confess our faults to Him. 

To know God is to love Him. 


And The Truth Shall Make You Free


Apostle John recorded a debate between Jesus and a group of people who believed He was making false claims about Himself (John 8).

Jesus told them, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32)."

But they told Him that they had never been in bondage to anyone. They said to Him, “How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” (John 8:33).

That same debate goes on today.

Those who oppose Jesus seek to discredit His statements and twist them into lies.

But Jesus says, “I am telling you the truth,” and promises to give us a freedom we can find nowhere else.

Are you slaves to your sins? Or are you truly free to serve God?

Jesus is the Mediator between God and man; only Him has the truth to make us free.

How Receptive is the Soil


Different soil produces different results.

Good soil yields good crop; some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matt. 13:8).

How receptive we are to the Word of God determines the condition of our hearts, our spiritual growth and progress.

Some Christians grow fast and are fruitful; some very slow with no visible growth.

But the truth is Christians always grow, either visibly or invisibly.

The apostle James challenged us to prove the genuineness of our faith by what we do. (James 2: 18)

So “What kind of soil are you?”

Christian Beauty


Christians should be different!

No matter what they look like on the outside, within them there should be a beauty that reveals God’s love and work in their lives.

In their inner being, Christians delight in God's law. (Romans 7:22)

In their Spirit-controlled mind, Christians enjoy life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

At the ripe time, Christians will produce the fruit of the Spirit, a beautiful array of qualities such as love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. (Galatians 5:22)

Christians delight in the Scriptures. And the Holy Spirit works in their heart to make them look good on the inside.

Christian beauty comes from the inside.

Comforting Presence


In times of distress, familiar faces offer strength beyond description. They provide comfort for the deep feelings of loneliness setting in from the loss.

Martha and Mary were surrounded by friends and mourners who comforted them when their brother Lazarus died (John 11:19). Then the One they most longed to see, Jesus, came and wept with them.

In loss of any kind, Jesus always gives His comforting presence. We must do the same.

Often the best comfort is just being there.

Our Foolishnesss


There is no limit to the foolishness we can get ourselves into. And there is no limit to the damage we can create by our foolishness and the choices it fosters.

David poured out his struggle and complaint to God in Psalm 38. He recounted his own failings and the painful consequences he was enduring because of those failings. He made an insightful comment: “My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness” (Psalm 38:5).

The answer for such destructive foolishness is to embrace the wisdom of God. In Psalm 38:15 David said, “In You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.”

Proverbs 9:10 reminds us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Only by allowing God to transform us can we overcome the foolish decisions that cause so much trouble. And with His loving guidance, we can follow the pathway of godly wisdom. 

We need God’s wisdom to overcome our foolishness. And we humbly ask God for it.

Today is the Day


“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

Today is a very special day.

Today is the day God gives us a new opportunity to praise Him.

Today is the day God provides for our needs and wants.

Today is the day God wants to speak to us through His Word.

Today is the day God desires to renew our inner person.

Today is the day God seeks to bless us.

Today is the day God will do us good!

With God as our guide, every day can be a special day.

Every new day gives us new reasons to praise the Lord.

And today is the day!

Glorifying God


Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You. (John 17:1)

1. Jesus' death is according to God's plan of salvation.

2. Jesus has glorified His Father with His life.

3. Jesus is asking God His Father to glorify Him in His death.

4. Jesus desires to glorify God His Father with His death.

5. The apostle Paul in Philippians 1: 21 said, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

6. Christian should seek to glorify Jesus Christ with his life and death.


Serving God Faithfully


The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160)

  • Scriptures are God’s Word. All Scriptures are God breathed. All Scriptures are inspired of God. We must never take God's Word lightly. Every Christian should hold God's Word in high regard and regularly spend time reading and meditating on it in order to become more Christ-like.

  • All God's Word is truth. Don't choose some scriptures to follow and some to disregard. We should hold all Scriptures with the same respect. We must believe God's Word in its entirety. We must read the whole Bible and not just dip in and read what we feel like reading.

  • God's judgments are righteous. God is just; He rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked. God is fair; He judges each man's work impartially. God is love; He forgives us if we repent and believe in the righteousness of His beloved Son. Christ died for sinners, and won salvation for them!

  • God’s judgments endure forever. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-caring. God is faithful to His covenants. God is true to His Word. God is faithful even when we are faithless. It is better to serve God and let Him bless us richly. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the House of the Lord than be anywhere else.

Enter Into God's Presence


This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:19-20)

  • This life isn’t smooth sailing. There are times of uncertainties and difficulties. There are times when conditions are tough and pressure is unbearable. There are times when we feel restless and tired, hopeless and helpless, and not knowing what else to do.

  • But as Christians, we are called to rest in hope. We are to rest in God’s provision and grace. We are to hope in God’s steadfast love. God loves us and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

  • And we are to enter into God's Presence. We are to enter into God’s Presence with praise and adoration, with humility and gratitude, with thanksgiving and a worshipful heart, with a sense of awe and reverence….

  • And we are to enter into God’s Presence through Christ our Mediator. We are to believe in Jesus and His work on the cross. We are to believe that He is God's Son and He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.

  • Our soul is anchored in a sure and steadfast hope. Our hope is anchored in the promise of God and the work of Jesus Christ. Our hope is securely fastened in Jesus Christ who redeemed us once for all when He died, rose again, and ascended to heaven. Our anchor is in Jesus Christ, keeping us safe evermore.

Vision of God


Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. (Psalm 119:18)

  • Sin clouds and blurs our vision to what God is doing. Sin blinds us against God and His Word. Sin distorts our vision, confusing the way we see God, ourselves, and our world. Sin blocks our vision of the image of God, so that we forget who we are in Christ and how we are to be like Christ. Sin obscures our vision of the person of the sinner, so that when we see them, we see not the person, but the sin. Sin darkens our vision of Who God is and what He is really like. Sin leads to idolatry.

  • Purity clears our vision to see God. Purity brings us nearer to God. Purity keeps us in tune with God, and makes us feel the Divine Consciousness and His essential, immortal and blissful nature.

  • Sin separates us from God. It keeps us out of heaven, and prevents us from having a relationship with God, robbing us of joy and contentment.

  • But Jesus bore our sins on the Cross. He paid the eternal penalty for our sins. The righteousness of Christ had reconciled us to God and redeemed us from sin. We are brought to see God in the light of glory!

  • Oh Lord, restore our vision to see You in all of life; improve our vision to see better at all distance; and broadens our vision to recognize how we can participate and help. Oh Lord, focus our vision to seek Your Face, to praise You, to celebrate Your Grace, Your Compassion and Your Mercy, to worship You, to honor You, to magnify and glorify Your Name, to proclaim Your Truth and Justice, to preach Your Word and rightly teach Your People, to share Your love and to live strong in Your love.…

  • Oh Lord, open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from Your law.

Steadfast Hope


And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. (2 Corinthians 1:7)

  • Paul and his companions had steadfast hope in the future of the Corinthian Christians. They had a firm and unshaken faith that the Corinthian Christians would be saved for eternal life with God.

  • The Corinthian Christians had suffered for the Gospel. They had spent their health, wealth, wisdom and time for the gospel. They had been exposed to persecution and opposition. They had stood in trials, spent times in prison, stoned, whipped, beaten, and endured all.

  • They would be comforted and blessed by the Holy Spirit. They would be strengthened and encouraged in their faith. They would triumph and waited in expectation for their deliverance. They would see God and be raised up by Him one day. They would be rewarded and compensated accordingly. They would be consoled by God.

  • As believers, we are called to remain steadfast in our faith and hope. We must have an unshakeable faith, a faith that cannot be affected by circumstances. Our hope is not tethered to some earthly thing, to some possession, or even some person, which are all passing and temporal. Our hope is tethered and anchored in the eternal Creator, and His Son Jesus who showed His love toward mankind when He hung upon a cross.

Working Together


Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:14)

  • The body of Christ must work together for the good of the Church.

  • When they work together, they can better understand the will of God. They may want to pursue together more of His wisdom, His blessings, His grace, His mercy. They may desire more of His purposes, His will, His kingdom, His heart. They may yearn more of His presence, His glory, His love, His holiness.

  • When Christians work together, they may accomplish more what they can never do individually. They may also fix their eyes more on the things of God, and less on their personal interests.

  • When Christians stick together and work hard, they are safe and strong, and can carry out more the will of God on earth.

Grow in Wisdom


If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)

  • Wisdom is the beauty of holiness.

  • True wisdom is moral. It is a humble submission to the truth of God in love.

  • True wisdom is pure. It recognizes that holiness is essential to happiness, to securing the highest good.

  • True wisdom is peaceable. It is the absence of selfishness in the absence of strife.

  • True wisdom is reasonable. It pursues the right end with the most appropriate means. It is fair, equitable, gentle, approachable, compliant, moderate and forbearing.

  • True wisdom is full of mercy and good fruits. It recognizes the worth of the person and seeks to do him good, to pardon, and to extend practical aid and assistance.

  • True wisdom is unwavering. It fixes on great and eternal values. It is endurance in a perfect work.

  • True wisdom is without hypocrisy. It is not deluded by an exaggerated sense of self-importance. It does not pretend to be what it is not.

  • It is useful from time to time to ask ourselves if we are growing in wisdom. Are we growing sweeter and wiser as the days go by? Or are we becoming more bitter and foolish with every passing moment?

  • It is never too late to grow in wisdom. We need only to ask God. God can deliver us from our foolishness if we yield ourselves to Him. It may hurt a little, and it may take a while. But God will give everything for our transformation and perfection. James said, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him”. True wisdom begins and ends with God, and it is given only through the Spirit of God. This is why it is important to pray for God's Spirit to bless us with His wisdom and understanding. Not only is it good for our soul, it will bless us with a distinct, refined, radiance. Seek wisdom, and you will understand the fear of the LORD.

The Fear of the LORD is My Strength


The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)

  • Wisdom calls to us to gain an understanding heart and to find life and obtain favor from the Lord. The alternative is to go through life with a superior attitude while dying inside in the process.

  • Pride is a sword that cuts in two directions. It wounds the person who uses it along with those against whom it is used. Pride kills relationships.

  • Arrogance is an absorbing sense of one's own greatness. It is a feeling of one's superiority over others. Arrogance causes unnecessary violence to self, to others, and to creation. Arrogance robs us of all God longs to give us. Arrogance causes others to feel inferior, to suffer, to withhold reaction, or to retaliate. Arrogance only brings trouble.

  • The good way will respect the free will of others, the evil way will not. The lust for power and dominance is one of the principal causes of the brokenness of our world.

  • The perverse mouth has a wicked heart. He sows discord and evil among men, and causes much damage to peace and happiness.

  • Only by humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life. Pride brings shame. Humility brings wisdom. It is only through humility and love can we hope to live a life that reflects the beauty and goodness of truth. God is truth, and He wants us to live in truth. And the Truth will set us free, save us, and lead us to God's eternal kingdom.

Mind Your Words


Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

  • Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. There are ways of speaking to people that can honor, build up, encourage, and love them. There are also poisoned tongues that seek to attack, divide, discourage and destroy people.

  • How can we escape our inclination to use words to hurt others? By recognizing that the ultimate Hearer of our words is God, who longs for us to live life at its highest and best.

  • The psalmist said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord”.

  • When we seek to please God with our conversations about others, we honor Him. With His help, we can glorify Him through what we talk about.

  • Forgive me, Father, for the times my speech crosses the line of that which is appropriate. Help me to understand the power of words, and give me the wisdom to use them well.

  • It is better to bite our tongues than to make biting remarks.

Some Protective Warning


Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)

  • The Word of God contains many warnings to protect us from destruction. We must take heed lest we fall. We must pay the most careful attention. We must watch and pray without ceasing. We must not allow trials and temptations to overwhelm us and take us, or there will be terrible consequences!

  • All temptations are attractive and beautiful at first glance. They appeal to the flesh where we are most vulnerable. But the ends are terrible; we grieve God and give Satan cause to celebrate; and we hurt ourselves and others.

  • True believers will not fall away from the faith. But they can grieve God through rebellion and indifference toward Him, His Word, His Holy Spirit, His Church, and His people.

  • Hebrews 3:12-13 provides cautions about perils to the soul. We are to exhort one another to resist the hardening of our hearts that comes with sin.

  • Warning signs are given to us for our safety. Let us praise God that He has given us protective warnings in His Word because of His great love for us.

  • Oh Lord, thank You for the warnings in Your Word that are intended to protect and preserve our lives. Help us to heed Your reproofs and instruction that we may live a life that is pleasing to You.

Christ is the Rock


Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

  • We can’t change the direction things are going, if we are on the bank of the river.

  • We have to step into the stream of life and stand there to divert the flow.

  • That is what Jesus did.

  • The Bible refers to salvation as a rock.

  • Christ is that Rock.

  • God placed Jesus in the stream of history to change its course.

  • When we remain steadfast in Christ, abounding in the work of the Lord, God uses us to change the course of history through acts of obedience that turn others to Him.

  • Abraham Lincoln said, “Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” 

Come To the Living Water



On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37)

  • Water is vital to maintaining our well-being.
     
  • Jesus’ invitation: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink”.
     
  • His announcement was dramatic, in terms of the timing.
     
  • It was the last day of the great feast, the annual festival commemorating the wandering of the Jews in the wilderness, which climaxed with a ceremonial pouring of water down the temple steps to recall God’s provision of water for the thirsty wanderers.
     
  • It was at that point that Jesus rose and proclaimed that He is the water we all desperately need.
     
  • Living like we really need Jesus, talking to Him and depending on His wisdom, is vital to our spiritual well-being.
     
  • Let us stay connected to Jesus, for He alone can satisfy our thirsty soul!
     
  • Dear Lord, forgive us for thinking that we can do life without the water of Your presence, advice, counsel, comfort, and conviction. Thank You that You are indeed the living water that we so desperately need.
     
  •  Let us come to Jesus for the refreshing power of His living water.


Start Over


All of us must learn to cope with defeat and self-condemnation following a collapse or a failure.

We must recover from our disappointments and start over again.

Let us learn to forgive ourselves.

Let us seek pardon from God and one another.

Instead of living in the shadows of yesterday, let us walk in the light of today and the hope of tomorrow.

Failure is not the end.

It is a chance to start over.


Self-Denial


Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)


  • In whatever a man does without God, he must fail miserably, or he will succeed more miserably.

  • The Bible said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

  • Self-denial is more than merely trying to suppress our natural desires.

  • True self-denial means we must see things as Christ saw them, regard them as He regarded them.
     
  • We must take the will of God as the very life of our being. We are no more to think, “What should I like to do?” but “What would the Living One have me do?”

  • Getting only what we want is succeeding miserably. True success is found in losing our lives for Jesus’ sake and finding them again full and free in His will.

  • True self-denial means we must live and grow more like the Master, and show more of His love to others.

  • The spirit of humility and self-denial precedes a deeper and closer walk with God.

Respect the Government


Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Romans 13:1)

  • Sometimes we grumble about government.
     
  • We complained about the officials on duty.
     
  • But a proper respect for authority honors God.
     
  • “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities,” Paul said (Romans 13:1).
     
  • We must have a healthy attitude toward the government.
     
  • It is for our good.
     
  • It is for the testimony of our faith.
     
  • And most of all, it is for God’s honor.
     
  • Let us thank God for people who are willing to serve in our local, state, and national governments.
     
  • Let us pray that they will seek righteousness and justice for the people.
     
  • And let us learn to respect those God has placed over us.
     
  • There is no authority except from God.
     
  • And the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
     
  • Our respect for the authorities will bring glory to God.

God Our Defender


But the LORD has been my defense, And my God the rock of my refuge. (Psalm 94:22)

  • “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.”
     
  • Those words express what we want when we encounter people with evil intentions, people characterized by pride, cruelty, and a lack of regard for God.
     
  • When we are the target of someone’s wrongdoing, let us remember the testimony of the psalmist: “The Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge”.
     
  • As our rock, God is dependable and strong.
     
  • As our refuge, He can provide safety until problems pass.
     
  • The psalmist reminds us: “Under His wings you shall take refuge”.
     
  • With God as our defender, we don’t have to fear what others will do.
     
  • We can trust that God will support us when trouble comes.
     
  • Let us thank God for His stable and unchanging nature.
     
  • Let us thank Him for helping us to hide ourselves in Him when trouble comes our way.
     
  • We don’t have to fight our own battles.
     
  • Refuge can be found in the Rock of Ages.


God's Grace Through Faith


For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)

  • Christians, living in a sinful world, is not a blind leap of faith.
     
  • We have a pair of protections that can secure us in even the darkest times of life.
     
  • In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul wrote these words, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
     
  • It is in God’s grace and faith in the finished work of Jesus that our relationship with God safely rests.
     
  • In the strength of these provisions, salvation is not a risky leap into the void.
     
  • It is an exercise of confidence in God’s Word and His unfailing love and protection.
     
  • We can expect God’s peace when we accept God’s grace.


How to Master Temptation


I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. (1 John 2:12)

  • We all have plenty of temptations.
     
  • When facing them, the most important thing is to keep on.
     
  • We must not to be discouraged however often we yield to the temptation.
     
  • We must always pick ourselves up again and ask forgiveness.
     
  • The apostle John was filled with encouragement to persevere in the face of temptation.
     
  • He said, “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one”.
     
  • Whatever our age or experience, we are in a spiritual battle together.
     
  • The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
     
  • Let us cling to God and keep on!
     
  • We may get discouraged when we have given in again to one of Satan’s schemes.
     
  • But we must be thankful to God that Christ had paid for that sin on the cross.
     
  • What we must do is to confess it.
     
  • We must keep on relying on God for our spiritual growth.
     
  • To master temptation, let Christ master you.

Abide in Christ


Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4)

  • How is behavior altered?
     
  • Both reason and will are important in making moral decisions and exercising self-control.
     
  • But neither of them has proven very effective in changing behavior.
     
  • In other words, information alone is not powerful enough to transform behavior.
     
  • As Jesus’ followers, we want to grow and change spiritually.
     
  • Many years ago, the Lord Jesus told His disciples how that could happen.
     
  • He said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me”.
     
  • Jesus is the Vine and we, His followers, are the branches.
     
  • We are utterly helpless and spiritually ineffective apart from Him.
     
  • Jesus transforms us spiritually and reproduces His life in us, as we abide in Him.
     
  • A change in behavior always begins with Jesus changing our heart.

Pray for Brethren in Need


Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you. (2 Thessalonians 3:1)

  • Missionaries need prayer.
     
  • The apostle Paul experienced danger and hardship as a missionary.
     
  • He was imprisoned, shipwrecked, and beaten.
     
  • It was no surprise that his letters contained pleas for prayer.
     
  • He asked the believers in Thessalonica to pray for success in spreading the gospel.
     
  • He prayed that God’s Word would run swiftly and be glorified.
     
  • He prayed that God would deliver him from unreasonable and wicked men (2 Thessalonians 3:2).
     
  • Paul knew he would need to open his mouth boldly and declare the gospel.
     
  • Do we know people who need supernatural help as they spread the good news of Christ?
     
  • Let us remember Paul’s appeal, and pray for our brethren in need.
     
  • Let us intercede for them before the throne of our powerful God.
     
  • Let us intercede for others in our prayers.
     
  • God’s throne is always accessible.


True Sacrifice


Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. (John 15:13)

  • Those words express one’s commitment to his duty.
     
  • It is a real-life display of the heart of true sacrifice.
     
  • Jesus Christ lived out those powerful words within hours of stating them.
     
  • The upper room event was followed by communion with the Father at Gethsemane, a series of illegal trials, and then crucifixion before a mocking crowd.
     
  • As the Son of God, Jesus could have avoided the suffering, torture, and cruelty.
     
  • He was utterly without sin.
     
  • He did not deserve to die.
     
  • But love, the fuel that drives true sacrifice, drove Him to the cross.
     
  • As a result, we are forgiven if we will accept His sacrifice and resurrection by faith.
     
  • Have we trusted the One who laid down His life for us?
     
  • Only Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, can declare guilty people perfect.


God Will Never Abandon Us


Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:15-16)

  • It is an overwhelming feeling that no one cares anything about you.
     
  • It is a real and excruciatingly painful feeling.
     
  • But even though people may abandon us, God’s love and presence is assured.
     
  • The Lord promises that He will never leave us (Deut. 31:8).
     
  • He will be with us wherever we go, always, even to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20).
     
  • The Lord will never falter in His commitment to His children.
     
  • Even if we have been abandoned by others, we can find confidence in God's promise that nothing will ever separate us from His love (Rom. 8:35-39).
     
  • Let us thank our Heavenly Father for His never-failing presence in every aspect of our lives.
     
  • We can count on His promise never to abandon us.
     
  • Confidence in God’s presence is our comfort.

Growing Up In A Small Town


And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52)

  • Some of us grew up in a small town.
     
  • There was no famous people there, and no busy streets.
     
  • But we should be thankful for our quiet and uncomplicated upbringing.
     
  • The Lord Jesus also grew up in a small town: Nazareth.
     
  • A man named Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46).
     
  • The Lord Jesus proved that the answer is yes.
     
  • Even though He grew up in an insignificant place, He was the most significant person in all of history.
     
  • Experience and Scriptures tell us what matters is not where we grow up but how we grow up.
     
  • Sometimes we feel insignificant compared to sophisticated people from prominent places.
     
  • But we are significant to God, and God can make us strong in spirit and filled us with His wisdom.
     
  • What we become is more important than where we are from.

Mediatate On God's Wondrous Works


I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. (Psalm 145:5)

  • Creation displays God’s wondrous works.
     
  • When we stop to meditate on those works, we can’t help but be awed.
     
  • Our minds and spirits are moved to reflect on the character of the God who created them.
     
  • Creation tells us the creative genius of our mighty God.
     
  • Sometimes, in the most unexpected moments, in the out-of-the-way places, the Lord shines His glory in this world in order to reveal Himself to us.
     
  • Those serendipitous moments are great opportunities to meditate on His wondrous works.
     
  • Our God is good and He always does good.
     
  • May the goodness of our Creator fill our lives with love and peace.

Making Himself Equal With God


John 5:16-23

When the Jews discovered that it was the Lord Jesus who had healed the man, they were determined to kill Him because He had done these things on the Sabbath.

The opposition to the Lord Jesus became more intense after this incident, especially when He spoke of working in partnership with God the Father, as an equal.

The Jews understood clearly that the Lord Jesus did indeed claim to be God but they refused to believe Him.

They sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

The Lord Jesus answered His enemies by explaining His equality with the Father :-
  • That He has the authority to do all that He sees the Father do.
  • That the Father loves Him and shows Him all that He does (this refers to the work of the Father in His plan of redemption).
  • That they would see greater works (than the healing of the man at the pool), which would cause them to marvel when He raised the dead.
  • That the Father has committed all judgment to the Son who is the Judge of mankind.
  • That all should honor Him just as they honor the Father.

    God will not give His glory to anyone else.

    The implications of this verse are clear!

The Holy Spirit inspired the apostle John to write his gospel so that we would know who the Lord Jesus is, and that believing, we might have life in His name.

If we honour God the Father, then we must also honour His Son, because He is God!

Living Water


John 4:1-14

The ministry of Jesus was having a great impact in Judea.

The reason He left for Galilee may have been to avoid further conflict with the Pharisees. This was to come later, according to God's timetable.

The Lord Jesus needed to go through Samaria.

The most direct route to Galilee from Judea was through Samaria.

But the Lord Jesus had another reason for going through Samaria. There were people in that city to bring to faith in Himself.

Most Jews despised Samaritans who were a mixed race of Jew and Gentile. Their religion was mixed too, though they acknowledged the first five books of the Bible and they also looked for the Messiah.

We tend to complain that people are very unresponsive to the gospel. They are completely indifferent to our good news. We soon become discouraged and remain silent. We excused ourselves that personal witnessing is not our ministry.

Let us never lose sight of the fact that the Lord often works in wonderful and surprising ways. Who would have imagined that this immoral Samaritan woman would respond to the gospel?

We often struggle to open up a conversation so that we can share the gospel with sinners, but Jesus was so natural. Resting from His journey, the Lord asked the woman for a drink of water. This surprised the woman, for no Jew would drink from a container used by Gentiles. Jesus then aroused her curiosity by speaking about the gift of God and of living water (which the woman took to mean fresh spring water). She wondered how He could obtain such living water from such a deep well. Could this stranger be greater than Jacob?

Jesus told the woman that the water from the well could only satisfy for a time. But whoever drinks of the water that He shall give him will never thirst.

There can be no lasting satisfaction in this restless world apart from that given by Christ. And with it, He gives everlasting life!

But Jesus Did Not Commit Himself to Them


John 2:13-25

Jerusalem was crowded at Passover time with Jews.

Every male Jew from the age of twelve was expected to attend the feast which was celebrated to remember God's great deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.

A lamb was sacrificed and eaten in the evening. Poor people sacrificed two doves.

The seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread followed.

Those selling sacrificial animals in the court of the temple were rogues who charged outrageous prices.

The cheating moneychangers also enjoyed a thriving trade because Roman coins were not accepted to pay the temple tax which had to be paid in Jewish currency.

The Lord Jesus was angry at such wicked practices taking place in the name of religion. He drove the animals from the temple and turned over the tables of the moneychangers.

This incident which occurred at the beginning of His ministry should not be confused with the cleansing of the temple at the close of His ministry.

When challenged to give a sign that He had the authority to take such drastic action, the Lord Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

The Jews thought that He was referring to Herod's temple which had taken 46 years to build. But He was speaking about His resurrection. Some of the Jews recalled this saying of Jesus after His death.

Jesus was challenged to give a sign and He did work miracles that Passover week.

Many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.

But the Lord Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men. The Lord Jesus knew that the faith of those who believed in Him at this Passover was not genuine. The greatest faith does not come through observing miracles or other sensational happenings.

True faith is seen in those who recognize their need for forgiveness and who trust in Christ alone to save them. They then forsake their sin and follow the Lord Jesus in glad obedience to His Word.

Does this describe us?

The True Light


The true Light which gives light to every man.
- John 1:6-11-

The Lord Jesus is described as the Light.

God sent John the Baptist to bear witness of the Light.

John came to announce the arrival of the promised Messiah that all through him might believe.

John the Baptist had a great ministry. But he was not that Light. He was sent to bear witness of that Light.

There is no inner light in us to clear away the fog of ignorance and sin within the human heart. Enlightenment comes from Someone outside of ourselves.

Enlightenment comes from the Lord Jesus who is the true Light which gives light to every man.

The Lord Jesus gives light to all types of people from all nations as they hear the gospel.

The Lord Jesus came into the world that He had made. But He was not recognized.

His own Jewish nation did not receive Him.

They had been waiting for the promised Messiah for centuries. John the Baptist had pointed them to Him. They had witnessed His mighty miracles. They had heard His wonderful teaching.

But their understanding was darkened. They despised the Light of the world. They rejected Him and killed him.

How about us? Are we rebelling against the light that God has made known to us through His holy Word or do we gladly own Jesus as our Savior and Lord?

The Light Within Us


"God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness."
- Genesis 1:4 -

The light was good.

God divided it from the darkness.

The light was special to God.

God saw the light. He looked at it with complacency, gazed upon it with pleasure, and saw that it was good.

If the Lord has given us light, He looks on that light with peculiar interest.

The light was not only His own handiwork, but it is like Himself, for He is light.

God's eye tenderly observes the work of grace which He has begun.

He never loses sight of the treasure which He has placed in our earthen vessels.

Sometimes we cannot see the light.

But God always sees the light, and He sees it much better than our seeing it.

It is very comfortable for us to know that we are God's people.

We may not know it.

But the Lord knows it.

We are safe.

The Lord knows those who are His.

We may be sighing and groaning because of inbred sin, and mourning over our darkness.

But the Lord sees light in our heart, for He has put it there.

All the cloudiness and gloom of our soul cannot conceal our light from His gracious eye.

We may have sunk low in despondency, and even despair.

But God sees the light.

He not only sees it, but He also preserves it in us.

The light is preserved by His grace, He will one day develop it into fulness of glory.

The light within us is the dawn of the eternal day.

We Rejoice and Delight in You


"We rejoice and delight in you;
we will praise your love more than wine."
- Song of Solomon 1:4 -

We rejoice and delight in you.

O come, let us sing unto the Lord.

Let us make a joyful noise unto the rock of our salvation.

We, the called and faithful and chosen, we will drive away our griefs.

We will set up our banners of confidence in the name of God.

We, with joy, will magnify the Lord.

We will never cease from adoring and blessing the name of Jesus.

The Lord Jesus must have the crown of our heart's delight.

We will not dishonor our Bridegroom by mourning in His presence.

We rejoice and delight in Him.

The Lord Jesus is the present portion of His people.

Let us be glad and rejoice in Him.

I Am With You Always


"... and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:20 -

The Lord Jesus Christ is in the midst of His church.

His promise is, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

This is a blessed truth, for where Jesus is, love becomes inflamed.

The presence of Jesus sets the heart burning!

A glimpse of Him will overcome us.

A moment's leaning of the head upon His gracious bosom, and a reception of His divine love into our poor cold hearts, and we are cold no longer, and are capable of every suffering.

If we know that Jesus is with us, every power will be developed, and every grace will be strengthened.

We will cast ourselves into the Lord's service with heart, and soul, and strength.

The presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be desired above all things.

His presence will be most realized by those who are most like Him.

If we desire to see Jesus, we must grow in conformity to Him.

Let us bring ourselves, by the power of the Spirit, into union with Jesus' desires, and motives, and plans of action, and we are likely to be favored with His company.

Jesus delights to be with us.

If he does not come, it is because we hinder Him by our indifference.

He will reveal Himself to our earnest prayers.

He can be detained by our entreaties, and by our tears.

Children Of God


They are corrupt and not his children;
to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.
- Deuteronomy 32:5 -

Christian believers are the children of God.

If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart, you are a child of God.

If you have believed on Jesus Christ's name, that is, simply from your heart trust yourself with the crucified, but now exalted, Redeemer, you are a member of the family of the Most High.

We have the privilege to become a child of God.

Our Lord Jesus puts it in another shape.

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."

Christ appears as a shepherd to His own sheep, not to others.

As soon as He appears, His own sheep perceive Him.

They trust Him. They are prepared to follow Him.

He knows them, and they know Him.

There is a mutual knowledge.

There is a constant connection between them.

Thus the one mark, the sure mark, the infallible mark of regeneration and adoption is a hearty faith in the appointed Redeemer.

Are you in doubt, are you uncertain whether you bear the secret mark of God's children?

Then let not an hour pass till you have said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart."

Let us not trifle about our soul, our never-dying soul and its eternal destinies. 
 
Le us be in earnest, and make sure work for eternity.