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?

NOVEMBER: Know God, Know Peace

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

Through all of the chaos and calamities and disasters and crimes and wars, the prevailing message is: “It’s a scary world.”

But if we would listen more closely, there is one voice that pierces through the noise, saying, “Fear not.”

Fear not, because He is sovereign enough to calm the storms and quell the waves. Fear not, because He is powerful enough to protect and deliver us from evil. Fear not, because He is loving enough to hold our hand and stand beside us through it all.

Fear not, because God is. Sovereign. Powerful. Loving. He is peace.

Know God, know Faithfulness

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

For every opportunity that came our way, every sickness we were cured from, every catastrophe we evaded, and every struggle we overcame, we know for sure that God has been faithful—having been our Provider, Healer, Fortress, and Miracle Worker.

But what about those wasted opportunities, aggravating sicknesses, destructive catastrophes, overwhelming struggles, and insuperable impossibilities? We also know that God IS faithful because—

– every wasted opportunity highlights that ours is a God who gives countless of chances

– every aggravating sickness highlights that ours is a God who Himself was beaten and hammered and crucified just so we could be healed of our deepest malady: spiritual destitution

– every destructive catastrophe highlights that ours is a God who, despite our irresponsible stewardship of His creation, still has allowed us to live in and enjoy this world

– every overwhelming struggle highlights that ours is a God who not only rescues us but, more so, remains on our side

So, for all the things that were and, also, for all the things that will be, we say, “God has been and will always be faithful.”

Know God, know Compassion

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. (Matthew 8:3a)

When the man with leprosy came to Jesus and asked for healing, Jesus did not just heal him; He touched him. A man considered an outcast, considered unclean, considered untouchable by society, touched by Jesus. This same Jesus talked to a Samaritan woman, invited Himself into the house of a tax collector, and received the offering of a prostitute.

Why? Because that was the very reason why He came. For the sick, the weak, the lost.

For you and me. For all of humanity.

So, as Jesus did, let us show love to everyone, especially to those who feel that they are outcasts: sick people, old people, persons with disability, persons of color, out-of-school youths, repeaters, nerds, illegitimate children, teenage parents, sex slaves, addicts, ex-convicts, convicts, and many other labels. Let us refuse to use any and all labels and consider all people our equals… fellow human beings… brothers and sisters.

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Know God, know Sacrifice

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

What is the most fitting response to the God who forsook the glory and majesty of heaven for the filth and grime of earth? What do we give to the God who, despite His being the Eternal, Uncontainable One, chose to be confined in human flesh, in the form of a helpless baby? What can we do for the God who allowed Himself to be beaten, bruised, whipped, even crucified, just so we could be pardoned from our sins and saved from eternal punishment?

We forsake everything for Him; we give up our lives to Him; we allow our lives to be ruled by Him. Now and forever, until our very last breath. This is the only way.

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Know God, know Joy

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

Heart-wrenching, soul-crushing circumstances come to us–all of us. Failing grade, failing career, failing business, failing health, failing relationship, failing hope, failing life–all of which cause us to feel downhearted and sorrowful.

The answer? God. God whose power never fails, whose peace never fails, whose wisdom never fails, whose mercy never fails, whose love never fails. HE never fails.

So, like Habakkuk, despite the many reasons to be dejected, let us rejoice… IN the Lord. In His power, in His wisdom, in His mercy, in His love. In who He is.

Know God, know Strength

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

The human body was created to sleep, even craves for it, especially after a long, action-filled day. Why? Because sleep is the body’s way of restoring our muscles, tissues, and cells. Deprived of it, our mood fluctuates, our memory falters, and our energy fails. But what if what we need is more than just sleep? What if the many concerns of life have left us exhausted—not just physically but, more so, mentally and emotionally? What if we have gotten tired with life? Tired to live? The answer is found in Jesus. He has promised not just to sustain us but, also, to refresh and renew us. What is more, He has promised not just to strengthen us but, also, to be our Strength.

Know God, know Light.

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)

Light was first of God’s creations, showing that from the very beginning, He never meant for us to live in darkness.

So when we succumbed into the dark pit of sin, God again came into action. But this time, He did not just speak it. He sent it. He sent His one and only Son to be the light of the world. To be the light of our worlds.

So if you feel that all there is in your life is darkness–sins, failures, disappointments, hurts, or anger that may be blinding you–turn to Jesus, who said: “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12)