Saturday, August 26, 2017

You are Jesus the Christ. You are Peter the Pontiff.

 “But what about you?” [Jesus] asked. “Who do you say I am?”  (Matthew 16: 15).

"Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  (Matthew 16: 16).

Abba Father revealed to Peter the identity of His Son Jesus the Christ.
What is a revelation? A revelation is the spontaneous flash of truth in the mind.  Some examples:

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better."  (Ephesians 1: 17).

"When I saw that man/woman, I knew immediately that was he/she."
We all enjoy revelation from time to time.

And Jesus said to Peter: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."  (Matthew 16: 18).

God gives us knowledge of Himself and His works that we may come to know Him, love Him and serve Him so that we can enjoy eternity with Him forever.

Friday, August 25, 2017

I live among you as a servant.

"The greatest among you must be your servant."  (Matthew 23: 11).

The tale of two Lords.
Jesus is Lord. Caesar is Lord.
One Lord rides into cities on chariots driven by soldiers with whips used to control the crowd. The other Lord rides into the city on a humble donkey.  One Lord waits to be served by numerous servants.  The other Lord says:  "But I am among you as one who serves." (Luke 22: 27).

One Lord dies, is buried and eaten by worms in his grave. The other Lord dies on the cross and after three days rose from the dead as predicted.
After death, one Lord is forgotten by history while the other Lord is Lord of history and continues to live and reign forever.

"Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."  (Matthew 23: 12).

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Where you go, I will go.

"But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried." (Ruth 1: 16 - 17).

These are the immortal words of Ruth to her mother-in-law Naomi.  I say immortal because these words have been read over the years with great emotion and consolation. Who would not like to have the like of Ruth as a daughter-in-law?

Be that as it may, St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits had similar ideals in his relationship with Jesus. He stated his objectives as follows:
#1.  To know the Heart of Jesus intimately.
#2. To love Him passionately.
#3.  To follow Him everywhere.

Ruth lived out her ideals and became the great grandmother of King David, and in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.  St Ignatius lived out his ideals and became the founder of the Society of Jesus, an Order that continues to have impact in the Church and in the world.

Here are other idealists:
St Francis Xavier opened India, Japan and China for Christ.
Billy Graham (still alive) preached to some 215 million people in 185 countries.
Mother St Teresa of Kolkata impacted the world with her service of the poor and the rejected.
Martin Luther King gave his life for the cause of racial harmony.

Someone said that great desire or great ideal make great people.

What are your desires? What are your ideals?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Can anything good come from Nazareth?

“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”  (John 1:  46).

When Nathaniel heard from Philip that he believed that Jesus is the Messiah, Nathaniel quipped: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” 

We all suffer from prejudice. We profile human beings all the time. We discriminate based on the outcome of our profiling. Scripture says that Jesus Christ experienced all the vicissitudes of the human condition except sin.  (Hebrews 4: 15).

We wonder at times:
Can anything good come from suffering?
Can anything good come from delays, disappointments, obstacles?
Can anything good come from profiling and discrimination?

God says Yes to all the above. You may call this:  the Mystery of Divine Providence. 

Jean Pierre de Caussade, an 18th century French spiritual writer teaches:
#1. Accept all that has happened.
#2.  Accept everything that is happening.
#3.  Cooperate with everything except what is sinful.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Lord is a generous Employer

"Why have you been standing here idle all day? You go into my vineyard too.”  (Matthew 20: 6 – 7).

In the vineyard, there is much work to be done. The owner of the vineyard pays fair wages to all the workers. The Lord Jesus is a generous employer.

"The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.”  The Church is the vineyard of the Lord. (Isaiah 5: 7).

There is always and everywhere abundant work in the Lord’s Company.

"As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him."  (Matthew 9:9 NLT).

Monday, August 21, 2017

Many who are first will be last.

"Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” 

After the rich young who was possessed by his wealth walked away in utter sadness from Jesus, Jesus seized the opportunity to warn His disciples of the dangers of excessive love of money, pleasure and leisure.

Answering Peter's question, Jesus said:  "And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life."  (Matthew 19: 29).

I have seen this promise fulfilled in the lives of so many people. Do you believe in this promise?

"Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”  (Luke 1:  45).

I believe Lord Jesus.  Strengthen our faith.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The rich young man went away sad.

Jesus answered a young man who kept all the commandments and wanted to know what more he could do to become an intimate friend of God:

"Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions."  (Matthew 19: 21 - 22).

Are your possessions about to possess you? I looked into the open garage of my neighbor and was surprised by how it was packed with stuff. I wondered what would be in the storage at the back of the home.  Is this the American dream I wondered.

"But only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, and it will not be taken away from her."  (Luke 10: 42), Jesus said to Martha.

Strive to choose the more perfect part of all the gifts of God.