Christmas Perspectives :: Prince to Pauper


Christmas is the occasion when Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7), willfully left all the glories of heaven (Philippians 2:6-7) and came to the world of man, where he became a pauper in a worldly monetary and material sense, so much so that he advised that one cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24), and advised the rich young man to sell all the possessions to be perfect (Matthew 19:21) as he was and go follow him, and even his tomb was borrowed (Isaiah 53:9).

Points to ponder:
Though Jesus is a Prince, the Prince of Peace, he became a pauper so that we who are really paupers, storing up our treasures here on earth, must be willing to relinquish all the glories of this world and go follow him, as princes and princesses of heaven. To all who believe and receive Jesus, he gave them the privilege to be called the children of God, which is other words, is that he made us princes and princesses of heaven if we believe in him.  This Christmas season, don’t let this question go unanswered – Are you a pauper or a prince / princess?

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.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (KJV)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

John 1:12 (KJV)
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Advertisements

Christmas Perspectives :: Heaven to Homeless


Christmas is the occasion when Jesus Christ, the God of heaven, willfully left his home (Philippians 2:6-7) and came to the world of man, where he became homeless (Matthew 8:20) for there was no place for him in even an inn. He did this so that man who was truly homeless (without a home in heaven) could find a home in heaven, by being accepted and adopted into God’s family (John 1:12), if we believe in Jesus as our Lord, and Savior and King.

Points to ponder:
Jesus said, he is going to prepare a place (home) for us in heaven, so that where he is, we may be also (John 14:3). In other words, at Christmas, Jesus became homeless so that we no longer need to be homeless. Are you homeless? If so, believe in the Lord Jesus, today (wait no longer), and be adopted into God’s family, so that you can call heaven your home. Are you homeless?

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.

Matthew 8:20 (KJV)
20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

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 :: 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.

One small step for a man/woman; one giant leap for God


It is leap year and I wondered what I could write about the word “leap” and the very famous line of Neil Armstrong, that was spoken on July 20, 1969, 10:56 p.m. EDT, came to mind. Neil Armstrong uttered the following words, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”, when he became the first human to step onto the moon.
But then it got me thinking, a far greater and gigantic step was taken by the maker of mankind and the moon itself; by the creator God, himself, Jesus Christ, when he left the riches of heaven and the glory of God to be born of a virgin, in a manger, making himself of no reputation, so that he could reconcile man to God by his life, death and resurrection.

Points to ponder:
Christmas that we celebrate is indeed, “One giant leap for God” which mandates “one small step for each man/woman” to take and that is to believe in Jesus Christ. Have you taken that small step. Remember, God took a giant leap for you.

Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
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.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

High to Low so Low to High


In a world where one aspires to reach the highest echelons, the following one liner is a sobering reminder of where our position is and where it ought to have been.
The God Most High (Psalm 83:18) became God most low (Philippains 2:7) so that man most low (made from dust; Genesis 3:19) can become man most high (as heirs with Christ Jesus; Romans 8:17)

Why? Love; God’s love. Behold what manner of love the Father (God) has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God (1 John 3:1). Think about it.

Psalm 83:18 (KJV)
18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

Philippians 2:7 (KJV)
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Genesis 3:19 (KJV)
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Romans 8:14-17 (KJV)
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Jesus’ Prayer :: Selfish?


The first five verses of what is referred to as Jesus’ Great Prayer or the High Priestly Prayer, that is recorded in John 17, goes on as follows and is unique because it publicly records what Jesus prayed for himself. He prays that God glorifies him now.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

While on the surface this may seem to be kind of selfish, and seeking self-glorification, close scrutiny of this prayer, reveals certain hidden treasures; treasures of knowledge that reflect, in essence, who Jesus is.

Jesus started his prayer by looking up to the heaven, and addressing God as Father, stating the time had come. To his earthly mother, Jesus had stated that his time had not yet come (John 2:4), but now to His heavenly Father, Jesus is stating that his time had come. He then goes on to express, that it was God’s time to glorify Him, by saying “glorify thy Son that your Son may glorify you.” (John 17:1). Here Jesus expresses the fact that he is indeed the Only begotten beloved Son of God, in whom God was well pleased because his glory was to be a reflection of God’s glory.

Then Jesus states the power that had been granted unto him, by God the Father, who had sent him; power to save and deliver all who know God the Father and Him. Here he defines eternal life by saying that “Knowing God the Father as the one true God and knowing Jesus Christ” is eternal life. What does it mean to know God? The Bible says, whoever loves, knows God and is born of God (1 John 4:7-8) and he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. Jesus summed up the law of the prophets in Loving God and Loving Man. Eternal life comes by loving God (i.e., hating sin) above all else and it comes only by Him for there is no other name, under heaven among men, by which one can be saved (Acts 4:12). Here Jesus expresses the fact that He is not only the Son of God, but also the Savior of the world (John 17:3).

Then Jesus states that He had glorified God the Father, and finished the work (of Salvation) that had been entrusted unto him (John 17:4), and reasserts that God the Father now glorifies Him with God’s own glory, which He had with God, before the world began. By using the phrase, “glory which I had with thee before the world began” (John 17:5), Jesus expresses his Sovereignty making himself equal to God, which He rightfully was. Jesus had made himself of no reputation, considering equality with God, as a robbery before he had finished the work, that He had been entrusted to fulfill (Philippians 2:6-7). Now that the time had come, it was time for Jesus to be restored into his heavenly glory and hence his prayer.

Points to ponder:
Do you know Jesus Christ as the Son of God?
Is Jesus Christ your Savior?
Is Jesus Christ your Sovereign King?

John 17:1-5 (KJV)
1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Proverbial Relationships with Kings :: Humility


Proverbs 25:1-7 gives counsel on how one must behave before kings. Often in our day to day lives, we seek to position ourselves to be in the best spot, especially before those with authority like our managers (i.e., rulers or kings), seeking recognition, prominence and preeminence, for the next promotion or pay raise.

The Bible is however very clear and explicit on how to behave in front of people with authority (i.e., managers, rulers, kings, etc). It should be with a humble heart and mind, lest we are abased and brought to shame.  Contextual to relationship with kings and rulers and people of prominence, the Bible unequivocally states that whoever humbles himself shall be exalted but whoever exalts himself shall be abased (Luke 14: 11).

Jesus, who deserves to be in the best spot, before God the Father, and the King of kings, did not seek recognition, prominence or preeminence. Instead, he made himself of no reputation (Philippians 2:7-8) and humbled Himself, from being God to man, to in fact being a dead man; so God, promoted Him to be a ruler over all, exalting Him over all and gave Him a Name that is above all names (Philippians 2:9).

Point(s) to ponder:
1. What is your/mine attitude before our rulers? Is it one that is reflective of a humble Spirit, like that of Jesus Christ, who made himself of no reputation?

Proverbs 25:6-7 (KJV)
6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:
7 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.