Jesus

Amazing Faith and Courage

Mary, a virgin, had just been visited by an angel and learned she would give birth to the Messiah, Son of the Most High. She was only 14 or 15 years old (Luke 1:26-38). Here is how she responded to this news:

“And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; And sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever.”” (Luke 1:46-55)

Take a moment to re-read her response and consider these questions:

  • What do you admire about Mary’s response?
  • What do you learn about God from her response?
  • How does her response give you hope?

Maranatha (Come Lord!)

Overcome Shame

Text: Psalm 139:11-12

Key verse: I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night.

We are introduced to a world full of darkness in Genesis. But God separated it from light. In his wisdom he created lesser lights and stars to rule the night.

No matter the time of day or night, God is in charge.

When bad things happen, we begin to analyze it, playing it over and over in our minds. Sometimes we come up with regret that produces shame. Shame is feeling bad about who you are.

The feeling of shame makes you want to hide from people, and run into darkness. People will often refuse to open their windows to let the light in and when its dark inside, they avoid turning on the lights.

“But even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day.”

God sees you and knows what you are feeling. A.W. Tozer once said about the Lord Jesus, “He knows the worst about you and is the one who loves you the most.”

Quit running from God!

Maybe why you are uncomfortable still in darkness is because you are still not free from guilt. Guilt is feeling bad about what you did. Well, God has made provision for times when we willfully sin against others, ourselves and God, It is called repentance. Don’t just feel guilty, but go to those you hurt by your action and apologize.

Acknowledge you have done wrong, and regret your action. God will show mercy when we repent. Sometimes, people might take a while to accept our apology, but the repentance frees you up, and brings the whole episode to light. Jesus said, The truth will set you free.

“Darkness and light are the same to you.”

God’s love for you is the same, even when you have failed. You are still his child, in spite of what happened. Take a journey back home, to the loving embrace of a heavenly father, he will restore your relationship, giving you a ring, he will remove the garment of guilt and shame and clothe you with beauty and glory. Then, he will put on your feet new sandals that will keep you safe from harm.

God is here for you! Today.

Blessings,

Ada Babajide

Lagos, Nigeria

God with US

What a wonder it is for God who is from eternity entered history, and embraced the limits of being human to be with and for us. The divine is revealed in weakness of being human to live with and love us.

God has come down to serve the little people in the little places. He has shown that true success is in service. To be great is not going up competitively to the top to be looked up to. True greatness is the way of going down below to live with the weak and love them sacrificially.

God’s coming in His Son Jesus Christ is not just an event to remember but an experience to renew our lives. God keeps coming. He keeps visiting to deliver His people from trouble and tragedy they struggle with in this broken world. God always finds His way to walk with us.

With God with us, we are not alone. We are encouraged and empowered to keep on the difficult journey ahead. Suffering will always be around but the One who is ever present will save us.

Despite the Covid vaccine that is already on the way, Covid-19 will still stay for a while or even longer. Our confidence is in God who comes alongside us. The assurance of God’s presence is what empowers us to sing in the midst of sorrow, feel confident to face the uncertainty, and sleep in peace in the midst of a troubled world. With this perspective of Advent we can truly say: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Herman Moldez

Manila, Philippines

My Refuge

For a number of days I have been pondering Psalm 62 in light of our current political and and cultural difficulties. Here are a few verses that stand out to me.

“My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Ps. 62:1-2)

“My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Ps. 62:5-8)

Take a minute to reflect on these verses and consider these questions:

1. What am I depending on?
2. Where is my hope?
3. Where does the Lord fit into my answers?

May you find refuge in the One who was, is and is to come.

Maranatha