Saturday, March 11, 2017

This is My beloved Son, listen to Him.

"Beloved:  bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God."  (2 Timothy 1: 8 RM)

On Day 12 of 40 of Lent 2017, St Paul urged the young Timothy and us in his 2nd Letter to Timothy to be ready at all times to accept our share of the sufferings of witnessing to Jesus and His Gospel.  Jesus had infinite power to resolve every problem on earth before He ascended into Heaven.  Why did He not do it? To give us opportunity to earn glorify.

Without Jesus we can do nothing. (John 15: 5). We need Jesus to live the Christian life.  We need Jesus to start these 40 Days of Lent. We need Jesus to finish the Journey.

Fix your gaze therefore on Jesus and you will finish the race set before you.  (Hebrews 12: 1-2)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pray for your enemies and those who persecute you.

"Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you."  (Matthew 5: 44 RM)

How do you love those who persecute you? By praying for them. Every day. Prayer is the greatest gift one friend can give to another. 

Once upon a time, I got a subsidized loan from the company I worked for to build a home.  I had no experience with contractors. The contractor disappeared with the money I gave him to build the house.  What must I do? Find him and lock him up? Sue him? A tiny voice said to me:  "Pray for him. Forget him. I will help you."   I finished the house on time.

I experienced these blessings for obeying the spiritual law of praying for the contractor who caused me immense pain:
1.  Money flowed to me from unexpected sources.
2.  I got a better and more experienced contractor.
3.  I had peace and learned a great lesson which served me well in the future.

Three years after I finished the house, three senior managers colluded against me and got me fired.  When this happened, I had the home but was penniless because I invested every penny in the house.  Again temptation:  Sue the men, sue the company.  I remembered the lesson from the contractor.  I prayed for the men by name every day for five years before the pain went away. I added this lesson to the previous lesson.

On Day 11 of 40 of Lent 2017, the word of God says to us: "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."  (Matthew 5: 48)

Glory to You Lord Jesus Christ, Wisdom of God the Father.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

You shall live because of the virtues you have practiced.

"But if the wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live. He shall not die!"  (Ezekiel 18: 21 NABRE)

On Day 10 of 40 of Lent 2017, the Scripture for today calls for Conversion. At the beginning of Lent, we saw that Lent provides a unique opportunity for continuous Conversion because of the immense outpouring of grace and mercy that God promises in this Season.  We have now done 1/4th of the Journey. How do you assess your progress?

In verse 22 of the same chapter 18 of Ezekiel, God says that he who accepts the grace of Conversion "shall live because of the virtue he has practiced."

Some of these virtues are called Corporal Works of Mercy:
1. Feed the hungry
2. Give drink to the thirsty
3. Clothe the naked
4. Shelter the homeless
5. Visit the sick
6. Visit the imprisoned
7. Bury the dead

Friday in the First Week of Lent:
Stations of the Cross.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Everyone who asks receives.

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to  you.   For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."  (Matthew 7: 7 - 8 NABRE)

On Day 9 of 40 of Lent 2017, it is all about Prayer. The Holy Spirit, Lord and Master of Prayer takes us through a powerful course on Prayer. The word from the Book of Esther  (Esther C: 12, 14-16, 23 - 25) gives us a great template on Prayer:  Posture for Prayer, Time for Prayer, Duration for radical and warrior- type Prayer, words for Prayer and so on.

In the Gospel, Matthew 7: 7 - 12, Jesus promises the certainty of answer to Prayers. This is a great encouragement for us in Lent where Prayer, Almsgiving and Fasting form the three pillars of Lent and the Christian life.

The way to experience the pure joy of answered prayer is to ask and keep asking.  God who knows exactly what you need hears  every word of your prayer.  If your request is not in accordance with His superior plan for you, He will do the best thing for you.  Pray with persistence and never give up hope. (Cf Luke 18: 1)

"Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread,  or a snake when he asks for a fish?  If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him."  (Matthew 7: 7 - 12 NABRE)

How perfect are you as a father or mother?  If you do not give your son a poisonous snake when he asks for a toy, what do you take God for? A wicked monster?

I believe in prayer.
I believe in the word of God.
I believe in miracle.
I leave the rest to God.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The word of God came to Jonah a second time.

"When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out."  (Jonah 3: 10 NABRE)

In the Day 8 of 40 of Lent 2017, we see from the story of Jonah that our God is the God of a second chance. Actually, I am enjoying this second chance.  But the main lesson today is that God saw from their actions that they are ready to convert.

What type of actions is God seeking from us today?
Consider some Spiritual Works of Mercy:

1. Instruct the ignorant
2. Counsel the doubtful
3. Admonish sinners
4. Bear wrongs patiently
5. Forgive offences willingly
6. Comfort the afflicted
7. Pray for the living and the dead

"My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn."  (Psalm 51: 19)

Monday, March 06, 2017

The word has its time for fulfilment.

"Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
"And do not return there till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it."  (Isaiah 55: 10 - 11 RM)

On the 7th Day of Lent 2017, the Holy Spirit releases to the Church one of the great Scriptures on the power of the word of God.

"For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword."  (Hebrews 4: 12 NLT)

God's word accomplishes its purpose.  It succeeds utterly in its mission.  If you need to wait for it, wait with courage for its time of fulfilment is near.  19 years ago, God gave me the following word:
"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."  (Matthew 6 : 33 NLT)
Although the second part of this Covenant is still work in progress, I am already seeing rich fruits from this word of prophecy.

Abba Father, may your word accomplish its effects in our lives.
Glory to You, LORD Jesus Christ, Wisdom of God the Father!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Behold, now is a very acceptable time.

"The LORD said to Moses“  Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them" :
“You shall not steal.
You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another.
You shall not swear falsely by my name, thus profaning the name of your God. I am the the LORD."  (Leviticus 19: 1, 11- 12)

On Day 6th of Lent 2017, the word of God reminds us of His laws and gives us excellent reasons for obeying them.
"The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul."  (Psalm 19: 8)

“You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove him, do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”  (Leviticus 19:16 - 17)

"The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart."  (Psalm 19: 9)