My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Imagine carrying a 50-kilo sack on your shoulders. It would have been impossible. But then a man of colossal size and gargantuan biceps takes the other end of the sack. The burden is eased, because the man, far stronger than you are, carries most of the weight.

Such is the case when Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We are not alone in carrying our burdens. Jesus is with us, carrying our burdens with us.

Let your light shine before others.

In the dark, light will—no, is meant to—twinkle, glow, shine. Its purpose is to guide, to make people see through the darkness.

In the same way, we, Christians, are little lights in this dark world—lights that should point people to the Source, the Light of the world, Jesus Christ.

This month, therefore, coinciding with our anniversary, let us join our little lights and show the world that Jesus IS Lord!

In my Father’s house has many rooms… I am going there to prepare a place for you.

What awaits us after this life? Be it a literal or a figurative house, we know it to be a place where the Father is, and with Him is the best place we could ever be. Therefore, this month, as we remember our departed loved ones, may we be comforted by the truth that they are in the best place they could ever be and that, one day, we would be with them, forever.

I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full

Just like any good shepherd who loves the sheep he owns, Jesus Christ demonstrated His love for us, His sheep, when He came down from heaven and dwelt among us—yes, He was even born amongst (actual, literal) sheep and other beasts!

The reason? That we may have life—and not just any kind of life, but life to the full. A life of full of His grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, peace, joy, blessings, and much, much more.

So, amidst all the shopping, gift giving, and partying this season, let us not forget the reason behind it all: the Good Shepherd came for His sheep. In other words: Christmas is, because Christ came.

Know God, know Courage

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)

There is courage in the defiant shouts of simple men decrying the invasion of foreign colonizers. There is courage in their engagement in combats and battles, with only their tabaks. There is courage in their deaths, willingly faced for the freedom of our land. That is why we remember these heroes this month.

But we also acknowledge those unlikely heroes we meet every day, for there also is courage in the stillness. Courageous is he who is being battered and pounded by the storms of life, but still keeps his ground, still stands up. Courageous is he who does not know how to face tomorrow, but nevertheless smiles and inspires others. Courageous is he who comes at the end of himself and realizes things are no longer in his hands and there, there surrenders everything to God.

Some circumstances in life would require a courage that dares. In others, a courage that persists. In either case, we know that God is with us. This is our ultimate courage.

As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.

Jesus’ ministry did not end in His resurrection, not even in His ascension. It continued—no, continues up to this day. Because there were men and women who took on the commission, men and women who said, “Yes, Lord, send us.”

Today, hear those same words they answered to; hear Jesus saying, “I am sending you.” Would you resist or would you respond?

Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours

Shocked. Such was Peter’s reaction when he saw that the fig tree Jesus cursed has actually withered—as if it were the most impossible thing to happen. After witnessing the blind see and the lame walk and the leprous made clean, Peter was still shocked.

But, aren’t we like Peter sometimes? Even after receiving countless answered prayers from God, we still jump at our feet in amazement when the promotion we’ve been praying for is granted or when the medical test result we’ve been fasting for goes negative—as if we never expected God to answer our prayers; as if we never thought God can answer our prayers.

This month, let us not forget that our God spoke the world into existence—and because He is such a God, of course, that which we have been praying for will be answered; of course we will experience new beginnings. If only we will believe that we have already received it, it will be ours.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind

L-O-V-E. These four letters echo around us: in the heart decors that adorn almost every shop, in the songs being played in radio stations, and in the eyes of couples eating in restaurants.

As love overtakes our hearts this month, may we not forget that other kind of love—that which is the first, the greatest: loving God. For, has not God told the Pharisees that it is the hinge from which all other loves spring?

This love month, therefore, let us offer to God not just heart decors, love songs, or, even, our longing stares. Let us offer to Him our heart, our soul, our mind—our all. This is what it means to be united in Christ.

Take heart! I have overcome the world

As He was about to return to the Father’s side and leave the disciples behind, Jesus left them with a two-word advice: take heart. Take heart, for there will be sufferings and persecutions. Take heart, for your faith will be tested. Take heart, for, despite all these, you will overcome. Because I have overcome the world.

The same advice He gives us as we face this new year: take heart. The future may be uncertain—it may even be batted with struggles and challenges—but we can be assured: we WILL experience the new. New blessings, new promotions, new miracles, new breakthroughs, new beginnings. Because with Jesus Christ on our side, we will not lose, only overcome. Just as He had.

Declaring His SELF-EMPTYING PASSION, exalting Jesus

In the beginning, God was there. Before light filled the darkness; before the sun, moon, and stars filled the skies; before trees filled the land and creatures filled the seas—before any and everything ever was—God was already there, seated on His throne.

Then He, who in the beginning was there, came here.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14a)

Jesus Christ—the Alpha and Omega, the Mighty One, the King of kings, the Ruler of all—left all of heaven’s comforts, majesty, and glory; emptied Himself and made Himself nothing. Meaning:

He took the likeness of a man. Imagine the power of a God whose mere words shake the nations; imagine the vastness of a God for whom the earth is but a footstool; imagine the boundlessness of a God who is always present, who is everywhere. Imagine such a God… in the body of a baby: a little, helpless baby. He who is God became man; He who is invincible became subject to hunger and tiredness and pain. For what reason? That through Him, we, human beings, would have a way to the Father; that we, mere human beings, would become children of God (John 1:12)

He lived the life of a servant. It would be easy to think of the incarnate Jesus Christ in kingly robes, with a throng of slaves following His every move. After all, He was doing the Father and all of humankind a favor. Yet, when Jesus came, He came in all humility and lowliness: in a bed of straw, among cows and their dungs; lived a simple life, even among the poor and sick and outcast. Why? Because He came, not just to become man, but to be the servant of men (Mark 10:45).

He walked the way of the Cross. In His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ blessed the needy, healed the sick, and touched the lepers. But the height of His service can be seen when He received the insults, scorn, and judgment of the very people He was saving; when He surrendered His body to the cruel whips and lashes and blows of Roman soldiers; and when He trod each step to the atrocities of the Cross, to His death. Think about that, the Giver of Life—Life Himself—died, so that all of us, humans, might have life (John 10:10).

In sum, God’s self-emptying is this: Jesus Christ forsook His deity, His kingship, His life—all because He, in His great love, could not forsake us.