Jesus is Lord over my VICTORIES

Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. (Psalm 115:1)

Clever, strong, and skilled. If we would look at the medals we have collected in school, the trophies we have earned in competitions, the promotions we have obtained at work, the wealth we have amassed in our business ventures, the accolades we have received from people, even the badges we have won in life’s battles, we are clever. Strong. Skilled.

But not in and of ourselves. Our intelligences, our abilities, our talents—even our time and our life—are gifts. Loans. If God had not given us fully-functioning brains or resilient bodies, if He had not designed us with those specific skills, if He had not deemed us worthy of another day, even hour, we wouldn’t have accomplished anything. We only use what God has loaned us.

So, like the psalmist, let us say: “Not to us, Lord, but to your name be the glory!”

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Jesus is Lord over my HEALTH

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

It is never easy to be afflicted with a health condition, be it a simple cough or a terminal disease. Nor is it any easier to witness the discomforts and distresses of a sick loved one. If we just could, we hope to never be sick.

But even if sicknesses come, we need not fret. There is a balm that could cure any sickness or disease there is. A balm that is free—for us, at least—because it has caused Jesus much. “By His wounds, we are healed.” The many gashes and lacerations on His back… the punctures from the crown of thorns… the piercings on His hands and feet as He was nailed on the Cross—all these, that we may be healed.

Are you suffering from a disease right now? Have you been taking medications for days, with no sign of relief? Have you been in and out of the hospital? Are you in need of an operation? Has the doctor started to count your remaining days here on earth? Or maybe, just maybe, your wounds lie deep within. Wounds no one can see: a bruised heart, bruised ego, bruised reputation… a lifeless future, lifeless home, lifeless soul. Whatever your condition is, believe. “By His wounds, we are healed.” Physically, emotionally, and spiritually healed.

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Jesus is Lord over my NATION

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Go look at that boy with matted hair, tattered clothes, and grimy feet. Then look at his house, near the road, and you’ll see a fusion of plywood and tarpaulin and tires, with no electricity and no bathroom.

Next: look at that woman wailing in front of her husband, who has three stabs in his chest, bloodied. He was on his way home when two robbers took everything from him—money, gadgets, life.

Now look at those robbers, running freely around the streets and reveling in their loot. They aren’t afraid; they’ve given the police a share in their booty.

Lastly, look at those people in position, who promised that no boy would have to live that way, no woman would have to lose her husband to crime, and no criminal would have to go unpunished. How are they faring?

These are just some vignettes of what is happening in our nation. Do we, who call ourselves people of God, just look? Poverty, crime, and injustice will not end if we will just look. We have to do something. We have to humble ourselves before the Lord, pray, seek His face, and turn from our evil ways. We have to spread acts of kindness and be examples of change. As we do, God will bring healing to our land, resulting in other vignettes–better, brighter, and far more beautiful.

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Jesus is Lord over my NEIGHBORS

King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Every day poses a challenge on how we would treat the people around us. Take for example that driver who overtakes you, that officemate who spreads rumors about you, or that classmate who bullies you. How do you feel about them? Annoyance? Resentment? Anger? How about that old man walking alone under the scorching heat of the sun, that skinny boy selling sampaguita, or that mother asking for alms? Did you even bother to look at them? Think about that person you made fun of or cursed. Have you considered how they would feel?

As we encounter these people, may we pause and see past their appearance, personality, or attitude. May we not see them as enemies, as disturbances to our routine, or as people to be reproached. Instead, may we see in them the fingerprints of God, created in His own image. May we see them as people who are broken and in need, just like us. May we see them as people for whom Christ also died. Then, having seen, may we treat everyone we encounter with love, respect, and dignity.

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Jesus is Lord over my FUTURE

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

What lies ahead of you?

When the road ahead seems bright and promising, say, “Jesus is Lord.” Because it is He who has paved the way, has removed every roadblock, and has brought you to this new path.

When the road seems cold and daunting, say, “Jesus is Lord.” Because it is He who will walk with you, keep you company, and carry you through the entire journey.

Whatever you see before you, say, “Jesus is Lord.” Then add, “So the end point will surely astound me.”

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Jesus is Lord over my FAMILY

But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15b)

We come from different families. Some are together, others are far apart, even falling apart. Some are blissful and blessed, others are battling a problem, even battling each other. Big or small, closely knit or not, in joy or in pain—whatever the condition of our family is—we can be sure of this: the God who holds our family is the same God who was able to bless all of Abraham’s family and all of his descendants (see Joshua 24:1-13). If He did it before, He can do so again, now. He can send blessings and favors to our family. He can bring peace and joy and love in our home. He can heal and save our relationships.

But like Joshua’s decision after recounting the many great things God has done, may we be also found saying, “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

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Jesus is Lord over my LIFE

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10b)

For the new year, we all want to be full: full of health and vigor, full of blessings and favors, full of achievements and breakthroughs, full of joy and peace. So we set goals, we make plans, we even write them down and pin them on our walls. While these are all good–even musts–let us not forget: the full life we want can only be found in Jesus, He who came down and forsook heaven just so we could have the best life here and in the hereafter.

The question now, then, is: Have you offered your goals to Jesus? Have you given Him control over your 2019? Have you surrendered your life to Him? Make Him Lord over your life and you’ll have life to the full.

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Know God, Know Life

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)

When God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, into this world, He sent more than a baby. He sent us forgiveness, grace, and love. He sent us salvation for our souls, from the damnations of hell. He sent us the Way by which we can be reconciled to Him and the Door through which we could enter heaven. He sent us life. Life that is free and life that is full.

So this Christmas season, if you know God and have received His Son into your heart, you have received life. Is there a better gift?