“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
The foretelling of Jesus’ birth to Mary holds deep theological significance within our faith. The name ‘Jesus,’ originating from the Hebrew “Yeshua” or “Yehoshua,” captures a message within its very essence. Its meaning, “Yahweh/Jehovah saves” or “God is salvation,” forms the core foundation of the divine mission entrusted to Messiah.
The Old Testament prophesied the coming of a Messiah—a chosen one who would bring salvation and redemption to God’s people. This anticipation of a messiah within the Jewish faith, carries with it the hopes and expectations of deliverance from oppression and the restoration of divine favour. Within the Christian faith, the annunciation of Jesus’s birth to Mary, delivered by the angel Gabriel, marks the point in history when the divine plan for humanity’s redemption begins to unfold. Mary, a young woman of deep faith and humility, receives this extraordinary news with awe and reverence. Her role as the mother of Jesus helps us have a better understanding of the divine intervention and the miraculous nature of our Lord’s birth. Continue reading
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Psalm 73:26)
In this Psalm, David is acknowledging human frailty and vulnerability. In our frailty, as humans we can experience physical weaknesses, emotional struggles, or even spiritual doubts and challenges. Despite the limitations and weaknesses of the human condition, we find our strength and support in God. Spiritual strength, encouragement, and comfort comes when we put our trust in the Lord.
That very Source of strength is not temporary; the Lord is Eternal. Our Lord is a permanent and enduring Source of provision, guidance, and comfort throughout life and into eternity.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
Living in the Spirit signifies a close relationship with the Lord and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us. When this relationship is properly maintained, it causes a transformed and renewed life in alignment with God’s will.
“Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
In our journey of faith, we often encounter choices and crossroads that shape the direction of our lives. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus presents us with a profound truth: there are only two roads of choice for a Christian. One is wide and easy, leading to destruction, while the other is narrow and challenging, leading to life. These two paths represent the contrasting choices we face as followers of Christ. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the significance of these roads and their implications for our daily walk with God.
“Watch therefore: for ye know not on what day your Lord cometh. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken through. Therefore be ye also ready; for in an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:42-44)
In these verses, Jesus speaks to His disciples about the importance of vigilance and readiness in anticipation of His return. He urges us to watch and be prepared, placing emphasis on the fact that the Son of Man will come at an unexpected hour. These words carry a ageless message that resonates with us today, calling us, as disciples of Christ, to examine our lives and ensure that we are living in readiness for the glorious return of our Lord.
“Giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)
As disciples of Christ, we are part of something much greater than ourselves. We are part of the Body of Christ, a diverse and beautiful worldwide community of individuals, each uniquely gifted and called to serve God’s Kingdom. Yet, in the midst of our diversity, there is a call for unity—a call to come together as one, reflecting the love and character of our Saviour. In the letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul reminds us of the importance of striving for unity. He emphasizes that unity is not something we passively stumble upon, but rather something we actively pursue. It requires effort and a deliberate attitude to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalm 90:2)
This passage is a part of a prayer attributed to Moses, the great leader and prophet of ancient Israel. In this verse, Moses is expressing praise and acknowledgment of the eternal nature of Almighty God.
Moses speaks of the timeless and eternal nature of the Lord, stating that God has existed before the creation of the world and will continue to exist for all eternity. It reflects on the greatness and majesty of our God as the Eternal Being, unbounded by time and space.
Today we share that same song with Moses, when we proclaim that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yea and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8; cf. Malachi 3:6)
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:1-2, ASVBT)
In this passage, the Apostle Paul is explaining that for those who are in a relationship with Jesus Christ and live according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there is no condemnation. “Condemnation” refers to the judgment and punishment for sin that humanity deserves according to God’s law. Therefore, repentant sinners would not be condemned. Those who remain “in Christ Jesus” and who follow the leading of the Holy Ghost are free from this condemnation. This means that through their faith in Jesus and their submission to the Spirit’s guidance, they are no longer held guilty for their sins and do not face eternal punishment.
One of the most challenging aspects for many believers is learning to patiently wait for God’s timing. We live in a world that demands instant results and immediate gratification. We want everything to happen according to our own schedules and preferences. However, God’s ways are not always the same as our own, and His timing is often different from what we expect.
Throughout the pages of the Bible, we find numerous examples of individuals who had to wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Abraham waited for years for the birth of his promised son, Isaac. Joseph endured the darkness of a prison cell before rising to become a ruler in Egypt. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years before entering the Promised Land. These Bible accounts remind us that waiting is an essential part of our sojourning on this earth.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7)
In this verse, Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure, indicating that He will be leaving them. He tells them that although His physical presence will no longer be with them, it is advantageous or beneficial for them that He goes away. He explains that if He does not go away, the Comforter, also known as the Holy Spirit, will not come to them. However, if He departs, He promises to send the Comforter to them.
In this verse, Jesus is referring to His approaching death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. He is assuring His disciples that His departure will bring about the coming of the Holy Spirit, who will provide guidance, comfort, and support to them in His absence.