We Love As God Loves Us.

“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” (1 John 3:22).

The major religions of the world claim to teach about love, yet do not believe in a loving God who dispenses mercy and unconditional grace to undeserving people. Almost every religion other than Christianity centers on the performance of good works or the attainment of inner purity or self-awareness by means of good deeds or meditation. Thus most religions teach that the good works of men, the righteous acts mankind performs will make them righteous and holy and one with God, or as in case of some such as Buddhists, make us one with the universe or universal spirit. Christianity teaches that such a thing is impossible for all men are sinners and incapable of pleasing God on their own. No human is inherently righteous or holy. No human can perfectly perform good acts and deeds with consistently pure motives. At best even the most altruistic of human deeds is performed with mixed motives.

God gives righteousness and holiness to those men and women who have faith in Him. And whom does God choose to grant His favor to? To those who are noble and do good things or appear righteous, religious, rich or famous? No, He grants His favor to sinners, to the weak, the despised and the humble for only they realize their need for God. And why does He grant His favor to anyone at all? Because He loves us.

Jesus calls us to follow in His footsteps. He calls us to love Him by loving our brethren in thought, word and deeds. In Jesus, God has shown His love for all mankind. He gave Himself up for us. We ought to do the same for Him, not out of obligation, or guilt or the desire to be liked or to do enough good to make it to heaven, but out of thankfulness for all He has one for us.



The meek and lowly exalted.

“‘For nothing will be impossible with God.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:37-38)

The angel of the Lord who appeared to Mary to tell her that she was to give birth was the same who had appeared to her kinsman, Zacharias a priest. But Mary was a simple and humble country girl who in some way knew the scriptures. She knew the Lord and had faith in Him. She knew He was capable of mighty deeds, yet the message the angel Gabriel gave her made no sense since the supernatural conception of a child by the Holy Spirit was something never heard of before. Mary understood that the Lord was finally fulfilling His age old promise of Messiah and was glad of it. She was willing to do what the Lord commanded even if she did not fully comprehend how it was to happen. In addition, she did think about the affect this would have on here life or the consequences to her reputation and social status. All she thought was the Lord commanded and she had to obey without hesitation.

Mary is a good example for us to emulate. She had faith in the Lord. She knew that God always fulfills His promises. She knew that the Lord exalted the lowly. He called the least likely people to accomplish His work, not the rich, famous and mighty. The Lord God delights to extend mercy. His ways and His will confound humans because He does things contrary to what the world thinks best. He favors and blesses the lowly, the humble, the insignificant, and uses them to accomplish His greatest works. He still does this through us His Church.

Merry Christmas to all!


You Can’t Take It With you.

You Can’t Take it With You.

Truth Despite the Consequences

“Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you.” (Jeremiah26:12-13)
The message of coming judgement that Jeremiah taught was quite unpopular with the people of Judah. When he preached that same message in the Temple courts he provoked the anger of the priests and the prophets because they were the religious authorities of the nation. Jeremiah’s message contradicted theirs and offended them. They claimed at he was a false prophet who should be punished accordingly. Yet the civil magistrates vindicated him by citing 2 cases of other situations in which true prophets had preached an unpopular message. It was best to let Jeremiah go and see what happened but his message was ignored.
The reactions of those religious officials shows us the depravity of the human mind. Those who are think they are religious or spiritual gurus because they have a degree or position or title often claim to know God, to be intimate with Him. Academia and the media both hail them as authorities when they need someone to speak about God or religion. However, the things they say reveal that few of them know Jesus. What they often proclaim is the truth as they see it. They refrain from talking about sin, sinful lifestyles, idolatry and false religions. Like the priests and prophets of Judah they do not want to disturb the status quo by antagonizing people or making them feel guilt, poor self-esteem or the need for repentance. But we who have faith in Christ are called to speak the truth like Jeremiah did despite the opposition and the consequences.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Jesus calls His disciples to seek to promote the needs and agenda of His Kingdom first over all our own needs. This is because when we look at people in the world who are prospering we are often tempted to compromise with the ideology of the world and compromise with sin, to seek our own agenda over God’s. This is easy if we buy into the lie that the media loudly proclaims that we are missing out on the important issues of life if we do not have this house or take that vacation or are not enjoying our life with food, feasting and fun!

Jesus reminds us that the life to which He calls us is the most important issue of existence, not money, fame or pleasure. He tells us that we should not worry about anything not even the things we need. He is telling us, His people, that our worries and concerns in this life are unrealistic. As long as we trust Him, we should not worry or fret because He will supply us with everything we need, not all the extras that we think we cannot live without. As we face the future it is easy to lose faith, to forget that Christ is going to return. Yet when we face the future with hope and expectation that He will, we will begin to realize that all the injustices we see will be righted and all the suffering we endure now will vanish. Therefore we should always be mindful that since we have been called into God’s kingdom we must then carry out the work He has given us with gladness and peace. The entire resources of His kingdom are at our disposal. We are to use those resources, not to glorify ourselves or increase our personal prosperity or prestige but build His kingdom, not ours. Then we will have all that we need and will be blessed with the peace of God.

Devotion to God.


“And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.’ And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’”

What Jesus did by staying behind in the Temple may seem to be quite irresponsible for it seems to show an apparent disrespect for his parents. But we know that is an incorrect assumption for it would be entirely inconsistent with His sinless nature. Mary and Joseph had assumed that Jesus was with their group of fellow travelers from Nazareth, so they went a whole day without feeling the need to check on him. This shows how much they trusted Jesus who could be trusted to always do the right thing and exercise good judgment.

Jesus was not irresponsible: he had a good reason for staying behind. Luke tells us that this incident occurred when Jesus was 12. In Jewish tradition, the 12th year is the final year of theological training for a boy before he enters full participation in the religious life of the community and becomes a man. Up until that time his parents, especially his father, teach him the law. At the end of the 12th year the boy formally becomes a bar mitzvah or “son of the commandment.” When Jesus chose to stay behind in the temple, He was demonstrating His intense devotion to the Law as he began that year of preparation. He wanted to show the leaders of the Jews and His parents that He was not like any other boy, to demonstrate that His relationship to God was the essence of His being.

There is a lesson for us here about the cost of discipleship. If we are disciples of Jesus, then He has a claim on our life one which conflicts with human desires not only our own but those of others especially our families. Such desires include social acceptance, loyalty to family, economic prosperity and other worthy ideals. The hardest decisions we have to make call for us to choose between such options. However, if we are honest, most choices concern superficial and trivial things that center on our own fleshly desires, things we pursue with more zeal and energy than the things of God.

The example of Jesus teaches us that faith in God should affect every area of our lives in a profound and fundamental way. The Christian faith is not just a part of our life, not just a matter of appealing to God when we get into trouble or need something. It is more than just a matter of fulfilling prescribed religious obligations. Like Jesus, we are called to do our Father’s work, to subordinate all other priorities to God’s call and purpose. This will mean we have to give up our agenda, surrender our plans and goals to the Father to do His will and to accomplish the goals of the kingdom of God.

Working for God’s Kingdom.


 “And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.’ And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’” (Luke 2:48-49,ESV)

As the Christmas season draws to a close, I feel relieved. I am tired of all the consumerism and materialism that the media has been bombarding us with. I am tired of being told what I need to buy, what I need to have. I am tired of hearing of rude crowds of people who claim the holiday season is a time of peace and joy but treat their fellow human beings with barbarity and disrespect. I’m tired of hearing about people giving to those who already have too much, while forgetting the poor and needy. The season is supposed to be about Jesus who came to give joy and peace to people who do not deserve anything, not about making money or amassing kudos.

As the season passes, we are faced with a question “After Christmas, then what?” Well, after Christmas a lot of people are going to crash and burnout. They ignored Jesus while putting a lot of energy into shopping, cooking, eating, decorating, partying and entertaining relatives and friends. They who are either did not consider Jesus at all or put Him on the side while they went off and did their own thing.

Without the help of God, the strength He gives, the strength that comes from living in humble obedience to His will, it is quite common for people to feel exhausted, depressed and sad. What makes things worse is New Year’s Day. Many people celebrate by partying. Many claim that they party because they are happy to be facing a new year with hope and promise. But many face the year with only a superficial hope that things will always improve or at least continue as before. They think God or the gods or fate will continue to bless them no matter what they do, or how they live.

But deep down many harbor feelings of fear, uncertainty and doubt. They try to make themselves feel better, by counteracting those troublesome feelings of dread and anxiety with partying. Once they sober up and the year begins, they will continue to suppress these feelings and thoughts by numbing themselves with alcohol, drugs, work, exercise, music, video games or the internet. After Christmas, then, for most people, it’s business as usual.

A lot of us Christians do the same thing. A lot of us fall into the pattern of the world’s ways of thinking and acting. We forget to rely on God. We forget to ask Him how we should be spending our Christmas holiday season. We forget to ask Him what we should be doing with our lives. We continue to do what we want to do without considering that God may have other plans. Failure to consider what God wants from us is often the reason why we feel so exhausted, why we fall so easily into sin and compromise, why we neglect to be kind to others and forgive those who offend us. We are too busy building our kingdom rather than the kingdom of God

The question about what happens, what we need to do after Christmas is answered by Jesus in the passage from Luke. I must be in my father’s house doing my father’s business.