Angel believed the lies the world told her. She felt worthless and ugly. Her life became a swirling mess of men, booze, and drugs until one day she cried out to God, “Kill me or save me. But don’t …
Who do you say Jesus is?
It is important that Christians know who Jesus is. It’s not enough or acceptable for us to learn to walk in His footsteps. We must try to establish a personal relationship with Him. Because only then we’ll get to know Him and the power of His might.
The disciples were His brethren for a long time; they saw the miracles. But when Jesus challenged the group to see if it knew who He was, everybody failed except Peter.
The Bible says Jesus went to the territory near the town of Caesarea Philippi. While there, He asked his disciples. “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
“Some say John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say, Elijah, while others say Jeremiah or some other prophet.”
“What about you?” He asked them. “Who do you think I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
That exchange tells me that up to that moment, those men were still skeptical about Jesus. They were just going through the motion for the benefits.
What benefits? You might ask. There are a lot of advantages to gain from embracing Christ. Politicians do it to attract a certain voting block. Business people do it to enhance their status.
But embracing Jesus for vain reasons is a recipe for disaster. It’s like building a house on sand. When the wind of tribulation blows, we need a good solid foundation to withstand the test of time. That’s why it is so important that we seek to know the Lord better. And strengthen our relationship with Him.
Twenty-sixteen was a challenging year for many, including myself. But I will not dwell on the past. Instead, my mindset will be like that of the beloved apostle Paul, when he declared. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Like Paul, I compare the Christian life to a race; a marathon. You never know what’s coming up next. Some days it’s like a piece of cake, other days the obstacles are more than you can handle. And as long as you continue to press on you will never be comfortable. The enemy is your competitor, and he is much smarter and trickier than you are.
Some Christians will tell you that their troubles ended when they accepted Christ. But that’s so contrary to what Jesus and the apostles taught us. As Christians, we are vulnerable to the schemes of the enemy, and we will fail sometimes, but we must not quit. If anything, we must continue to press on toward the goal to win the prize.
So, my friends, as we usher in the new year, let’s not become complacent, conceited or self-righteous. Rather, let us be humble at heart as the beloved apostle was when he wrote. “Brothers and sisters, I don’t consider that I have taken hold of it yet, (the prize). But here is the one thing I do. I forget what is behind me. I push hard toward what is ahead of me. So, I push myself forward toward the goal to win the prize. God has appointed me to win it. The heavenly prize is Christ Jesus himself.” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Happy New Year!
The Wise Men were religious people who tend to sheep for a living. They studied Scripture and were more than familiar with Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah. So, when a bright rear star appears in the Eastern skies, joy filled their hearts. Because they knew that was a sign that our Saviour had been born.
The men gathered gifts and embarked on a journey that would end in a stable in Bethlehem in Judea. There they saw the child lying in a manger with his mother, Mary and father Joseph. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their gifts. They gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh. Merry Christmas!
Christian history reveals quite a bit of controversy over the actual date of Jesus’ birth, raising the question, why do we celebrate Christmas at all?