Light of the world

21 December 2014

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Truly Jesus Christ is the light of the world and the light for each of us. He was born at night when darkness covered the land. A reminder of the spiritual darkness here on earth. And on that night, a star of light pointed many to where Jesus lay. Many travelled days, weeks, maybe even months to reach the Messiah. Today, Jesus Christ is made available to each of us upon the utterance of his name in faith. He will be our guiding star, the light which pierces through the spiritual darkness that veils our thoughts and desires. The faithful one who has overcome the darkness, for scripture says:

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5

Lord Jesus Christ, you are my light and guiding star. May i see and follow your light and your leading. Show me the way and illuminate the path before me so that i know how i should walk. Thank you for coming for me and for each of us Lord.

20 December 2014

It is true that having faith in God and obedience to him prospers us. We can see in the Old Testament how God rewards those who seek him and obey him. But we should also remember that God also judges and punishes the faithless and disobedient.

Our minds easily slip into processing how to avoid the judgement and punishment of God and how to receive the greatest blessing from God. If we are not careful, that becomes our religion. That to believe means to prosper in God, to be blessed and rewarded, to live a good life.

Whilst that may be the case for some, it is not the point of faith. Jesus Christ said, “Follow me”. He was a servant of God and of man. When his disciples asked to sit on his left and right hand, they were rebuked because they misunderstood the faith. But later the disciples lived out their faith in service and dedication to the Lord. We have been called to do likewise. To search for a way to serve like Jesus Christ. Not to search for a better way of life. But i admit that i do more of the latter than the former.

Lord, may i focus more on how to serve like you rather than how to be served. The world causes us to dream of ways to be served, to enjoy life, to get rich. That is completely anti-faith. I rebuke these thoughts and desires. I pray that as you help me focus more on how to serve you and others, i focus less on serving myself and my selfish desires.

19 December 2014

“Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:53-54

Yes indeed Jesus could have called upon the multitude of angels to save himself from the torture and death on the cross. But the King of kings did not demonstrate his power or authority as how the world expected him to. People mocked and taunted Jesus to save himself if he was the King of the Jews. In all the times that Jesus performed miracles, healed the sick and even raised the dead – he chose this time to show his divinity through restraint.

I do not think there is any other extreme example of restraint than through the life and death of Jesus. In this, God’s restraint and mercy to us is shown. In this, the world’s foolishness is also demonstrated.

Lord Jesus, thank you for showing mercy on us, on my foolishness. Thank you for restraining your wrath and your judgement to allow me to have a second chance in you. I love you.

18 December 2014

We sometimes view people as successful as if it is a state of being they have obtained and that will last forever or be maintained effortlessly from then on. But success is only a momentary victory or accomplishment. There will always be a higher mountain to climb, another goal to achieve, something else not quite right or a feeling of us being “not quite there yet”.

So what is success in God’s eyes?

When king David’s life drew to a close, he said these words to his son and successor – Solomon:

I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’” 1 Kings 2:2-4

No matter where we are in life, we have the ability and choice to be successful in God’s eyes daily and continuously as long as we walk in obedience. After all, if success in a worldly sense is in a constant state of flux, what matters most and how success is measured is in how we live moment by moment.

Lord Jesus, help me to be successful in your eyes. Help me to live moment by moment in obedience to you. To walk faithfully and humbly before you, with all of my heart and soul.

17 December 2014

I admit that i sometimes feel distant from God because i put work and other things as a priority over him. There are constantly other things competing for my attention. I know i need to put him first and that requires an intentional and active step to seek him first in all the small moments that make up my day. From the time i wake up, my first thought should be “Good morning God”. If i am flustered at work, i should be praying and seeking his assurance. If i am worried or anxious, i should present this to him.

Lord help me to fill my waking moments with you. Fill my moments with short conversations with you, bringing you to the forefront of my mind every now and then before i embark on the next thing. Help me to set my priorities straight by setting you first as you will set everything else into its proper place after that.

16 December 2014

Gratitude is something we see less and less as the world progresses on. Those who have far more than their parents did may not be as grateful as they should. A heart a gratitude is an attitude and an intentional choice to view our circumstances. More often than not, there is something to be grateful for, and we know that all good things come from God.

Why is it that the church is always full of worship songs and people praise God in song and in words? It must be very confusing and odd for a non-believer to step into a church where everyone seems to be praising God for this and that.

But perhaps this is to remind us and to help us develop and exercise gratitude. In a spiritual sense, gratitude is one of our weapons against the lies of the enemy. The enemy comes to steal and destroy us – he is the father of lies. Gratitude unveils many of his lies and kills off the spiritual darkness that surrounds us when we are ungrateful.

Lord Jesus, my i exercise gratitude in my daily walk with you. I thank you for my health, my family, my work, my home and for giving above and beyond what i need. Thank you that your blessings have flown from your throne of mercy and grace into my life. I love you Lord.

15 December 2014

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1

When we hope for things here on earth we do so with the understanding that such things hoped for may or may not happen. There is no assurance that what we hope to be or have through our striving and hard work now will eventually pay off in a material or tangible way on earth.

But the hope in our ultimate home with God can be something we can take full assurance in when we put our faith in Jesus Christ. In this hope we can strive and work hard toward that goal because that is the promise we have in Jesus and if we do well, the rewards are eternal.

Lord may you continually remind me and ingrain in me the eternal perspective of heaven. That all things here and now will eventually pass away and all that is left after stripping away what is temporary, will be you and your kingdom. May i share in your kingdom and have my place with you.

14 December 2014

We are fascinated and drawn toward new things. We talk about what is in fashion and what is not. What is in trend and what is out of date. We look forward not backwards. But some of us may still have fragments of our lives stuck in the past. Although time keeps moving on, our past does not vanish into the air. People speak about moving on and not dwelling on he past. But the only true way of dealing with our past is to bring it to God.

For God is the same today, yesterday and forever. If we need a redeemer, he has provided an answer – Jesus Christ. The one who takes all of our past and strips away the mistakes, the pain, the anger and the regrets, then replaces it with a past which is redeemed. No one else can do that except our Lord and Savior. Every other way of dealing with our past is temporary and does not last.

Jesus not only forgives our past but sets us on a new trajectory to restore the things of God and redeem the brokenness in this world. We now have a new identity, a new mission and a new end game.

Lord Jesus, thank you for what you have done for me. Thank you for forgiving my past, keeping me on the right track and instilling your heart and mind in me. I ask that you continue to fill me in your presence, so that I know your thoughts and know your will. You are my Shepherd.  

13 December 2014

The Lord commands us to “Be holy because I am holy.” This requires us to set ourselves aside for sacred use. Our time can be spent doing things which are good and useful or for things that create more strife, worldly desires, insecurities or pride. Time set aside for God doesn’t necessarily have to be quiet time in prayer or in reading scripture. When we serve others as a form of worship, it is holy. When we do the tasks we ought to do, it is holy. When we care for one another, it is holy. Being careful with how we spend our time is a good way to live a holy life.

Father, my i make the best use of the time you have given me. For you have said, “make the best use of time, for the days are evil”. May you help me make the best use of my time each day. 

12 December 2014

The Lord calls us to live by faith and not by sight. But our instincts and our experience calls us to live the opposite way. I think that we are constantly trying to assess and re-assess our environment. We are constantly trying to figure out how things work in order that we can control or somehow understand how to make things work out for us in the best way.

Through science and medicine we have reached a point where almost everything can be explained. But what if that is only the tip of an iceberg? What if there are mysteries of God so deep that we will not be able to fathom them? We once thought the world was flat, but what a difference it made to our understanding and ability when we discovered it was in fact round? One fact could change everything. And yet there could be such a vast number of facts and truths beyond our comprehension now. Any one of these could change everything about what we believe and the reason why we do things.

The Lord knows such knowledge may be too much for us and so he calls us instead to simply live by faith and not by sight. He has given us sufficient resources and intelligence for the day to day things, but there are certain decisions and motivations that he calls us to live by faith and not by sight.

Lord Jesus, you know my thoughts and you know my motivations. They are not always grounded in faith because i have the tendency to live by sight. I ask you to help me believe that you are already working to take care of the future for me and that i have the freedom to choose what is right and godly over the worldly things. May i strive to live by faith and not by sight.

11 December 2014

The Lord is the Creator and it is his delight to see us co-create with him. Just as God created the earth and us, he has given us the gift of creativity that has allowed us to rise above every other living thing on earth. He has given us the ability to dream and plan and go further than any other living organism on earth. He has done this because i believe he wants us to share his joy of creation.

But because of sin and because we give in to evil thoughts as well, some of the created things we have today can also be used as a tool for destruction. The internet, weapons, technology and biological advancement have both the power for good and to protect and the power to destroy us.

I believe the Lord calls us to pour out our hearts and desires onto him in order that he may infuse us with his light and his plans. Because they are plans for good and for prosperity. May we not lend our plans and creativity to evil and may we co-create with our Creator.

Lord God, thank you for giving me to ability to dream, to plan and to create. I ask for your blessing in this area of my life. May I co-create with you and not with evil. May i give you my hopes and dreams, and may you cause your light to shine upon me so that i will create a reality in your plan – for only your plan will prevail in the end.