Christmas Perspectives :: Promised Son for the Prodigal

Christmas is the occasion when the Promised Son of God (Genesis 3:15) willingly chooses to go away from his Father’s eternal home in heaven, to come to a temporary home on earth, so that we, the prodigal sons and daughters can leave our temporary home on earth, to go to our eternal home in heaven with Father God.

Points to ponder:
Have you believed in the Promised Son of God, so that you can inherit the place that he has gone to prepare for all those who believe in him and who have received him, in the home, whose builder and architect is God himself?

Philippians 2:6-8 (KJV)
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

John 14:1-3 (KJV)
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Christmas Perspectives :: Condescension for Ascension

On Christmas, Jesus Christ did not condescend leaving his eternal glory and treasures in heaven, to live amongst us, but condescended to live AS us, as a Son of man, so that we may be able to ascend, leaving the ephemeral glory and pleasures of this earth, to live with God as sons and daughters of God.

Points to ponder:
Have you accepted and believed in Jesus Christ, the God who condescended, for when you do, he brings you into glory.

Hebrews 2:9-10 (KJV)
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Christmas Perspectives :: The gift of our life

The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, were given to Jesus, who was born in a dirty manger, to signify that when Jesus is born in our dirty (sinful) lives, we must offer the gift of our life.

We must offer
– our life purified as gold, in the refiner’s fire, to the King of kings,
– our life as a living sacrifice whose incense rises to the One High Priest,
– our life as perfumes of myrrh, that adorns the flesh (body) that is to be dead.

Points to ponder:
Is your life and mine in a presentable state? Can it be said of us that we give the gift of our life as gold, frankincense and myrrh, to the King of all kings, Jesus Christ.

Matthew 2:11 (KJV)
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Christmas Perspectives :: The wise seek to worship

The wise men asked, “Where is he that is born, the King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2).

Points to ponder:
Do we like the wise men seek Jesus Christ, who is not just the king of the Jews, but also the King of kings and Lord of lords and do we seek to find him, to worship him?  Am I wise? Are you wise? The wise seek to worship God!

Matthew 2:2 (KJV)
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Christmas Perspectives :: God’s will towards all men

On Christmas, the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth and good will to all men” to tell us all, that God’s will that can bring a peace that passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7) can now be ours.

Points to ponder:
Do you have the peace of God which is a peace that passeth all understanding and which comes only when the Prince of Peace (Jesus Christ – Isaiah 9:6) is born in our lives? This is God’s will towards all men.

Luke 2:14 (KJV)
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Philippians 4:7 (KJV)
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Christmas Perspectives :: God With(in) Us

It was the will of God and it pleased him to send forth his Son, who was to be called Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, “God with us.” (John 1:13; Isaiah 53:10; Matthew 1:23).

Points to ponder:
Many today are happy as long as God is just with us and not necessarily within us. What is needful is not just God with us, but God within us, for it is God who worketh [with]in us, both to will and do his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Is God with you and me? More importantly, Is God within you and me?

Matthew 1:23 (KJV)
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Philippians 2:13 (KJV)
13 For it is God which worketh [with]in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.


Christmas Perspectives :: No Fear; Only Faith

God breaks his silence by telling his handmaid (Mary) “Fear not, for thou hast found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30)
After, Jesus calmed the storm, he questioned his disciples, “Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40) According to this text, the opposite of fear is not courage but faith.
When we have faith and we believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Salvation is conceived in us  i.e., we accept the Lord Jesus, and there is nothing to fear, for we find favor with God.

Points to ponder:
Is there anything you are afraid of? Accept Christ Jesus within and fear not, says the Lord, for you are highly favored when the Lord is with you, and with God, by faith, nothing shall be impossible.

Luke 1:30-37 (KJV)
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Fingerprint of God in our lives

One of the genre of shows I like to watch is the detective series such as criminal minds, crime scene investigation, etc. As detectives aim to determine the perpetuator of the crime they are investigating, they try to find a fingerprint and determine as to whom that fingerprint belongs to.

When we touch something, we leave our fingerprints on the object that we touch. In like manner, if God has touched our lives with his love, grace and forgiveness, when we come under the investigative scrutiny of the world around us, will they find the fingerprint of God (characterized by his love, grace and forgiveness) in our lives.

Points to ponder:
Whose fingerprints will people find in our life? Do people see the fingerprint of God in your life and mine? In other words, would they find love, grace and forgiveness in our lives? Let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of The Lord, casting all our care upon him, for he cares for us (1 Peter 5:6-7)

1 Peter 5:6-7(KJV)
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Do you love me?

Jesus asked his disciple Peter, not once, but thrice – “Do you love me?” (John 21:15,16,17). Peter responded by saying “You know Lord. You know all things.”

If God was to ask you and me today, “Do you love me?”, what would our response be? Renowned pastor, preacher, and author, A. W. Tozer, once said “The final test of love is obedience.” which goes hand in hand with the teachings of Jesus, for Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey (keep) my commandments.” (John 14:15) The whole duty of man is to fear God and keep (obey) his commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13), no matter whatever is the cost of obeying them.

Points to ponder:
When Abraham obeyed God and offered the sacrifice of his son who he loved, as God wanted, God affirmed that Abraham truly loved (feared) him for just as God so loved that world that he gave his Son, Jesus Christ, Abraham so loved God, that he gave his only son.  God who knows all things, is asking you and me, “Do you love me?” In other words, he is asking whether we are keeping (obeying) his commandments. What is our response? Can it be said of us, “<Put your name here> so loves God that he/she obeys all that God commands, including the willingness to give up what he/she loves most.” Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me? — asks God.

John 21:15-17 (KJV)
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

John 14:15 (KJV)
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Possession, Profession, Practice

Those who believe in the Jesus Christ as their Savior are given his Holy Spirit to indwell in them. In other words, a believer is possessed by the Holy Spirit of God (Romans 8:9). John 12:42-43 states that there were some chief rulers in the day of Jesus who believed in him (possessed him), but abstained from confessing (professing their faith in) him, because they feared that the people in power (Pharisees) and feared that their position in the synagogues would be lost. They sought the praise of men over the praise of God. To possess the Lord Jesus Christ (or should I say, let the Lord possess us) and not profess him is an expression of timidity.

On that same note however, when we profess the Name of Jesus Christ, let us also practice what we preach. For faith (possession) without works (practice) is dead and professing without practicing is hypocrisy and in essence a denial of the Lord (Titus 1:16). This is one of the main reasons, that the world has a problem with those who claim to be followers of Christ but act as if they weren’t. One of my good friends, once told me, “It is not Christ (Jesus) that I have a problem with; but it is the Christians.” Preaching the love of Christ and not loving our enemies or praying for those who persecute us (and I must admit, it is hard to do those without the Power of the Holy Spirit) is hypocrisy. So when we profess with our lips, let us make sure that we practice, lest we profane the Name of God by our lives.

Points to ponder:
Believers, when we are asked to shut up (and not profess) the name of Jesus Christ, let us recognize that we are to be God pleasers and not men pleasers (Ephesians 6:6; Galatians 1:10) and that Jesus promised to be with us, even unto the ends of the world. We are not given a spirit of timidity, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Let us not be afraid of the people in power or of losing our position. Let us seek the praise of God and not of men.

And in pleasing God as we profess the Love and Name of Jesus Christ, let us not merely render lip service to God but a life service, in which we practice what we preach.

Do you possess the Lord Jesus Christ? In other words, have you believed and received him?
If we do possess Jesus Christ, are we professing him without fear, in faith?
If we are professing him, are we also practicing what we profess of Jesus Christ?

Possession without Profession is Timidity.
Profession without Practice is Hypocrisy.
So when we Possess (the Lord Jesus Christ), we must Profess (the Lord Jesus Christ) AND Practice what we Profess.

Romans 8:9 (KJV)
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

John 12:42-43 (KJV)
42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Titus 1:16 (KJV)
16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Galatians 1:10 (KJV)
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.