Month: December 2014

WHAT DO I DO WITH JESUS?

Mat 2:1-2  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Human beings generally do a good job of celebrating milestones and major events in their lives. We celebrate new jobs and do a housewarming party when we move into a new house. We have naming ceremonies for new babies, a set of funeral events when we lose a loved one and graduation ceremonies at the end of an education program. Marriages, anniversaries, birthdays and promotions all get some mention and celebrations to go along with them. And of course, celebrations vary from the most obscure to the most elaborate. We generally enjoy the celebrations and associated parties but always eventually get to find out that the real deal is not planning the parties but handling the object or cause of whatever we are celebrating. For example, a newly wedded couple gets to find out that handling the marriage is a bigger task than the wedding ceremony; the guy who has a big housewarming party gets to know that taking care of that mansion he has just built is no mean feat.

At this period we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. We are celebrating a major event in the course of man’s existence. Like every other event, what we do with Jesus is more important than how we celebrate His birth. Now that He has come into our lives, what happens next? Do we put a picture of Him in the corner of our room to keep Him in remembrance since we cannot see Him physically now? Or do we try to ensure that we say a prayer to Him daily and read a verse of the scriptures as often as we can? Another option is to accessorize with something that has the name Jesus on it. This is a nice idea too. There are several ways people try to stay linked to Jesus but here are some important things I believe we must do with Jesus.

Keep worshipping Him. Our Lord Jesus is thrilled that we celebrate His birthday and sing wonderful hymns about His birth and mission on earth. But His joy is that we worship Him all the days of our lives with every bit of our strength, mind, heart and soul. He wants to be the focal point in our hearts, the pivot of our lives and the centre of our joy. Let Him be involved in your decision making, let Him be the deciding factor when you have to make choices and let Him have the highest priority among all things in your heart. This is what makes our melodious singing and dancing true worship. Remember, we are urged to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, for this is our reasonable service of worship (Romans 12:1).

Obey His words. Jesus Christ left instructions for us to follow while we remain on earth. By His infiniteness and omniscience, he has everything about our past, present and future covered. And He has assured that if we can trust Him and follow Him closely, we would live the highest quality of life possible. It might be challenging sometimes but a sincere desire to follow the commandments and leadings of the Lord Jesus Christ has never been a bad idea. John the beloved admonished us in 1 John 5:3 that we keep the commands of God. And His commands are not burdensome.

Prepare for His return and tell others about Him. Jesus is going to come back again for His own. He asked if He would find faith on earth when He returns (Luke 18:8). In other words, would there be people who have looked forward to His return and prepared themselves to meet Him? This requires that we live holy lives and tell others about Jesus so that they have the opportunity to know the truth. The world is getting more evil and darker and the times are more challenging for those who trust in Jesus. But He has said He is coming back and we must hold on to this truth and tell others He is coming back again with His reward in His Hand (Rev. 22:12).

As we celebrate His birth, let’s think about what we would do with the Saviour whose Spirit lives in us. What we do determines how much we enjoy from our relationship with Jesus. He came that we may have life and have it in abundance. He is always willing to make sure this is a reality in our lives.

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ALWAYS THANKFUL

Traditionally, we are in the season of thanksgiving. It is relatively easy to thank God for the blessings we see around us. We can easily say, ‘Thank God’ for good health or ‘Thank God’ for the new job. We can thank God that we didn’t lose any family member within a certain period. Well, sometimes, that depends on how much of the family tree you consider. So while some folks are counting the blessings, someone is still in the hospital battling with a life-threatening situation, another one just lost a job and somebody else is nursing the wounds of a broken relationship. Someone might have plotted a line graph of his goals and accomplishments for the year to chart his progress and discovered that the line remained parallel to the x-axis. In fact he probably would have had a fair share of south-bound dips along the line. In summary, like we used to say in our Physics class, no work was done!

In spite of whatever, everyone’s got to give thanks. The one counting his or her trophies should give thanks. The one wishing the woes of the past year were a bad dream should give thanks. The one whose story has been that of a plain-vanilla year should give thanks too. Because if our giving of thanks is only based on the things we can easily recognize as blessings or benefits, we would be left stammering or grumbling when we can’t find any of those. So I want to give you three reasons why you must give thanks at all times.

Give thanks because God is good. Psalm 106: 1 – Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. It is only a good God that would allow the sun to shine on the righteous and the unrighteous. Imagine if God gets so angry each time we abuse or curse another creature of His that he stops our heart or gives a choke hold for a few minutes. What if he penalized you for every single act of sin you commit? It is because of His goodness that He keeps forgiving and forgiving us each time we mess up and repent. No matter what happens to us or around us, God is still good. His goodness can be seen in our triumphs and trying moments if we would think and look hard enough.

Give thanks because giving thanks is a good thing. Psalm 92:1 – It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High. We can never be wrong when we give thanks. We can’t get charged or convicted in the court of heaven for giving thanks. Thanksgiving is apt for every moment of life. When we get a brand new car, it is a good thing to shout ‘Praise the Lord’. If that car gets scratched on a mad traffic day, it is equally a cool moment to scream ‘Hallelujah’. Give thanks when the sun shines and when the rain falls. It is always a good thing to give thanks and there are no wrong moments to say ‘Thank you God’.

Give thanks because it is God’s will for us. I Thess 5:18 – In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Reading this gives me the feeling that God is very content with us when we give Him thanks. He considers us a fulfilled lot when we praise Him. He says this is His will concerning us. So if you were still searching for your purpose in life, I just found one for you! Start giving God thanks and you would be living out His will and purpose for your life. And really, there is nothing better than living a fulfilled life.

Think about this: For the one who is immensely grateful for the blessings received during the course of the year, would the intensity of gratitude diminish if the blessings were taken away? For the one who feels the year has been flat and uneventful, does his or her evaluation diminish the goodness of God in any way? I don’t think so. There would always be reasons to be grateful to God. Search for them, even if it appears more difficult than searching for treasures on Treasure Hunt Island. God has been good and deserves our gratitude.

I am just thankful!