Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Grain of Wheat

The Grain of Wheat

“I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.  Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life.”  (John 12: 24 -25)

A grain of wheat must die before it can yield a rich harvest.  We take this law of nature for granted.  But when Jesus says that the same law of nature applies to me in the spiritual realm, I kick.  I kick because I understand what he means.  Dying is painful.  Dying to my old self means abandoning totally my old world ideas on key areas of my life:  family, health, money, job, tools, and food.  Then I replace these ideas with Christ’s ideas.  The Christ-centered new ideas will influence a new way of seeing things and a new way of behaving.  

The process of dying and every kind of dying is very painful.  “Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life.”  

Lord Jesus, thank you for your message.  Help me to die to my old self.  Show me how to do this in all things, big and small.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Precious Ointment

The Precious Ointment

“Leave her alone; she had to keep this scent for the day of my burial.  You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.”  (John 12: 7 – 8)

Jesus accepts an act of kindness from Mary.  We note Mary’s generosity.  She did not count the cost of the ointment.  We know that it was a very expensive brand.  Mary thinks simply that her Master and love merits it.  Jesus shows his appreciation.

We too are called to a life of friendship and companionship with Jesus.  Are you generous to Jesus?  How do you show your generosity?

The first thing in friendship is time.  Do you provide enough time to nourish your relationship with Jesus?  True friendship offers everything:  time, talent and treasure.  Even life.  “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  (John 15: 13)

Thursday, February 16, 2006



This sickness will end not in death but in God’s glory and through it the Son of God will be glorified.”  (John 11:4)

“I am the resurrection.  If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”  (John 11: 26)

“Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”  (John 11: 40)

“Unbind him, let him go free.”  (John 11: 44)

The raising of Lazarus to life presents us with so many lessons.  Jesus wanted to use the occasion to reveal so many things about himself:
  1. He has the power to raise to life and to maintain in life.

  2. He has the power to raise to spiritual life from the deadness of sin.

  3. Firm belief in Jesus triggers miracles.

But not everyone was happy at the raising of Lazarus to life.  For the enemies of Jesus, it was one further provocation to seek his quick elimination.  Bear this lesson in mind in spiritual warfare.  Do not be intimidated by the potential hostility of the enemy.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Divine Filiation

Divine Filiation

“Is it not written in your Law:  I said, you are gods?  So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of god is addressed, and scripture cannot be rejected.”  (John 10; 34)

Two messages strike me in the above scripture:
  • Our divine filiation

  • The authority and power of sacred scripture.

God created man in his image and likeness.  He addresses man by his word an adopts him as his son.  What does it mean to be a son of God?  From Jesus we know the following about God the Father:

  • Our Father knows all that we need.

  • Our Father cares for every detail of our life, even for a single hair.

  • The compassion and mercy of the father of the prodigal son reflects that of God the Father.

  • Father answers all our prayers.

What does it mean to be a son?  From Jesus’ relationship to his Father, we can deduce the following:

  • The Son trusts the Father completely.

  • The Son is obedient to his Father.

  • The Son is simple and humble.

  • The Son is like a ‘mere child’ to his Father.

Finally, Jesus strengthens our faith in scripture in John 10: 34 when he says, “Scripture cannot be rejected.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Sheep that listens

The Sheep that listens

“The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.  I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me.  The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone and no one can steal from the Father.  The Father and I are one.”  (John 10: 27 – 30)

Jesus describes the devil as a liar and a thief.  The devil steals souls.  What do I know about thieves?  Their operations are covert and secretive and they survey their target with great care.  The devil may be very clever but he cannot steal anyone that belongs to Jesus.  Jesus promises that those who belong to him “will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me.”   What a message of hope.  I belong to Jesus and I listen to him.  If I truly listen to him and follow, I will never be lost.  

February 14 is the feast day of Saints Cyril and Methodius, two brothers who listened and followed Jesus into missionary work.  They evangelized parts of Europe in the 9th century.  Pope John Paul II proclaimed them patron saints of Europe, along with St. Benedict, the abbot.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Eternal Life

Eternal Life

“I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”  (John 10: 10)

In the face of anything that threatens life, we instinctively cling to it tightly.  Every human being desires life and all of us would like to have it to the full.  But when we look around, we see that this is not the case.  Our house of clay makes it impossible for us to have this life to the full.  Disease, poverty, ignorance and other physical limitations are the conditions of house of clay.

In the face of this reality, Jesus Christ promises:  “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”  (John 10: 10)  What does he mean by this seemingly incredible promise?

What is eternal life?
Why do we need eternal life?
Who gives eternal life?
How is eternal life given?
When is eternal life given?
Where is eternal life given?

We are made in the image and likeness of God, which means that we are essentially spiritual in nature.  Eternal life is the proper life of the spirit.  This is the life that enables me to live as a son of God in his image and likeness.  

Jesus Christ gives eternal life.  Through his death and resurrection, he was able to achieve this for us.  Christ also gives us his Body and Blood which is the source of eternal life.  The Holy Spirit living in the heart of every Christian assures us of the presence of this eternal life in us.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Yes I believe!

Yes, I believe!

“Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  (John 9: 36)

Jesus asked the blind man whose sight he had restored this point blank question.  Today, he asks me too this question.  Many times a year he asks me this same question in this form:  “Who do you say that I am?”

My answer is:  “You are Jesus Christ, the Son of God and son of Mary.  You are my Savior and Redeemer; you are my Lord and my God; you are my King and my Boss.  You are my best Friend.”

The blind man in today’s scripture had a personal encounter with Jesus that made him believe in him and worship him.  Have I got a personal experience of Jesus as my Savior and Redeemer, my best Friend and Companion?  Jesus’ intervention in the life of the blind man gave birth to faith in him.  What are the interventions of Jesus in my life that touched my faith?

In 1980, Jesus made a way for me to study in London when humanly speaking it was impossible.
In 1986, I was sent by Unilever to work in Paris.  It was the Lord’s doing.
In 1991, I got a big promotion within Unilever and I recognized it at once as God’s work.
In 1995, the Lord touched me so deeply with the experience of the Holy Spirit.

The above experiences are just a few examples of faith experiences through which the Lord had touched me.  God intervenes in our lives to save us from sin and evil.  He intervenes also to strengthen our faith.  Watch out for God’s intervention in your life everyday.