Know God, know Mercy

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. (Titus 3:5a)

Punishment. Condemnation. Death. These should be our judgment, stained by sin as we all are. But instead of throwing us into the dump, God threw Himself at us: He discarded His robe of glory, left heaven, and made His way among us. He even took our likeness and became man!

So never should we think that we are beyond rescue. We may have fallen into sin—we may even be drowning in sin—but we must know that ours is a God whose mercy endures forever. Yes, we will have to face the consequences of our sins, but we will never have to face rejection from God. He always accepts those whose hearts are repentant and whose spirits are contrite. So don’t hesitate. Just come.

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?

Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.

She came at a most unusual time, when she knew there would be no one to see her, judge her, condemn her. It must have surprised her to find a man there—and not just any man, but a man who knew her past (she has had five husbands) and her present (she is having a relationship with someone she is not wedded to). A man who, despite knowing this, did not laugh at her, did not insult her. Instead, He offered her a drink that would satisfy all her heart’s desires!

If you are in a situation similar to that woman—escaping a painful past, a disintegrating relationship, or an impossible situation—do not be surprised if you find Jesus. He’s been waiting for you, waiting for you to allow Him to quench all your thirst, longing, and ache away, waiting for you to accept the new beginning He has since been offering to you. The question now is, ‘Would you drink it?

With God all things are possible.

That Jesus compared being saved to getting through the eye of a needle had the disciples asking, “Who could be saved?”

By our own efforts, we could never attain salvation, but because Jesus went through the eye of the needle—left heaven and came down to earth stripped of all majesty—salvation is possible. Everything is possible. Because there is nothing Jesus would not do, especially if it is for us.

In this season of new beginnings, claim it. That victory, that healing, that miracle is yours… through Christ.