Saturday, June 15, 2013

A New Creation in Christ

"So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come."  (2 Corinthians 5: 17)

There are many words and concepts in the New Testament that can be verified to authenticate the claims of Christ and the Christ event.  2 Corinthians 5: 17 is one such scripture.

Any person who claims to have accepted Jesus as Lord must show evidence of being a new person.  New in thoughts and desires and therefore new in words and deeds.  The new desires, thoughts, words and deeds produce a new character.  The new character becomes evidence of a new destiny.  This metamorphosis is evident to everyone and the before the change and after the change can be verified.

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." (John 13: 17)
Change happens not because of what you know but because of what you do daily.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Let your Holy Spirit fix me

"Do everything without grumbling or questioning,
that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world,"  (Philippians 2: 14 - 15)

Your word O Lord is mirror of my soul.  I look at my soul in the light of your word above and I do not like what I see.  Lord, I do not know how to fix me.  I don't have the courage to fix me.  But I know your Holy Spirit is resident in me.  He inspires me to call God, Abba - my Father.  Lord, please ask your gentle comforting Spirit to fix me.  Help me to submit trustingly to His surgery.

"Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.  He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like."  (James 1: 22-24)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

God calls to the ministry

"Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us, we are not discouraged."  (2 Corinthians 4:1)

The very fact that the call to ministry comes from the Father of mercies and God of all consolations is a tremendous cause for confidence.  Knowing too that the call is not based on any personal merit adds to the confidence.

The call to ministry comes out of God's merciful heart and also out of His mysterious providential plan.

"I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry."  (1 Timothy 1: 12)

Jesus calls.  Jesus gives the strength to serve.

"Do not fear: I am with you;
do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."  (Isaiah 41: 10)

Jesus gives assurance of His presence.  It is His presence that drives out fears,worries and doubts.

"It is the LORD who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed."  (Deuteronomy 31: )

Again, God's presence in the Journey/Ministry is guaranteed.  Why fear? Why worry? Why doubt?

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. "  (1 Corinthians 15: 10)

Thank you Jesus.  Your grace to me will not be ineffective.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Don't Mess with the Ten Commandments

"Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven."  (Matthew 5: 19)

Today, there is a grave temptation to redefine and reinterpret the Ten Commandments.  Jesus instructs us in Matthew 5: 19:  Do not mess with the Commandments.

Lord Jesus,save me from the temptation of diluting your word in order to make it acceptable.  May your Holy Spirit lead me to the fullness of truth and maintain me there.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Barnabas saw the grace of God in action

"When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,"  (Acts 11:23)

When Barnabas arrived in Antioch, scripture reported that he "saw the grace of God."  What exactly did Barnabas see?  He saw the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit in action. The Church of Antioch was a Spirit-filled Church.  What are the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit?

"1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.

Let your good spirit lead me on a level path.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ."  (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1831)

"1832 The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: "charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity."  (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1832)

Members of a Spirit-filled Church manifest the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit as a way of life.  This is what Barnabas experienced when he arrived in Antioch.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Father of Mercies and God of all Comforts

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God."  (2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 4)

Our Father is the source of all mercies.  God our Father is Mercy Himself.
What do I do with all the mercies that the Father shows me everyday?
I thank God for His mercies.  I ask Him for a merciful heart so that I can show mercy to everybody I encounter this day.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

The Lord Himself will build my house

"Unless the LORD build the house,
they labor in vain who build.
Unless the LORD guard the city,
in vain does the guard keep watch."  (Psalm 127: 1)

Lord, I trust in your word.  I thank you for this promise.  Yes, I look up to you to build my house.

"So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God."  (Acts 5 : 38 - 39)

This endeavor or this activity is not of human origin.  It is of God.

"The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?"  (Psalm 27: 1)

Since the Lord is with me, I shall not fear.  His Presence drives out fear.  Thank you Jesus.