“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” – Revelation 3: 19
What a beautiful thing it is – Jesus rebukes and disciplines those He loves! It is a privilege to be loved by the king of kings and the lord of lords. And what a great opportunity it is to correct and refine ourselves through Him who bought us with His blood!
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” – 20
Yes, Jesus wants to have a meal with His loved ones. What a joy!
“To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” – 21
Now here’s a promise – If we overcome the temptations of this world and do what is right in His sight, we will sit by our Heavenly Father just like Jesus! Being victorious is being sincere in following His word.
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10
What a beautiful word – we are called out of darkness into God’s wonderful light. Once we had not received mercy, but now we have received mercy! It’s so special and precious.
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. – 1 Peter 2:1
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:4-5
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. – 1 Peter 2:7-8
Faith has no meaning unless it’s backed by obedience. Those who believe must also obey, in order to work out their salvation and be a holy priesthood of God.
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. – James 1: 21
In today’s time and age, it’s a personal choice of most people to be immoral. But, the word of God clearly instructs us to get rid of all moral filth and the evil that’s so prevalent – trends that are acceptable by the world, but detestable in God’s sight. Then it asks to ‘humbly accept the word planted in you’ – the command to live a holy life.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – 22
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. – 25
Our obedience pleases God and He rewards us in whatever we do. It says that the ‘perfect law’ gives freedom, and not bondage as some perceive. The laws and commands of our God are not burdensome – they are not meant to steal our happiness. They are meant to set us free from the bondage of sins – they are meant to give us eternal peace and joy.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. – 27
WHAT IS RELIGION FOR GOD?
– To look after orphans and widows in their distress, which pretty much means taking care of anyone in need.
– To keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Now what do you understand by this? How to keep yourself from being polluted by the world? By obeying the word of God.
For this reason he (Jesus) had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. – Hebrews 2: 17-18
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. – Hebrews 3: 1
JESUS was tempted and He suffered just like us, because He was fully human in every way! This is something to mull over – If God had come on His own to save the world, it would have been difficult for us to relate to Him – We could have never managed to come close to His splendor and power. Therefore, He sent His Son, Jesus in human form, so that we could relate to Him and follow His Holy ways.
Since our sins are now forgiven, all we need to do is ‘fix our thoughts on Jesus’ – His sacrifice, His wounds, His blood, His love and His Holiness.
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily,as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. – Hebrews 3: 12-13
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7
Jesus made a promise that if we remain in Him and His words remain in us, we can ask Him anything in His name and the Father will give it to us.
How to claim that promise?
– Obey His commands.
You are my friends if you do what I command. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. – 14 & 12
Jesus made another promise that we are His friends if we follow His command.
How to claim that promise?
– Love one another just as Jesus has loved us.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.- 16
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. – Proverbs 3: 13-15
WISDOM is given more value than silver or gold in the Bible. God wants His children to ‘seek’ understanding, discretion and sound judgment. And, here are the benefits of living a life of Godly wisdom –
– Long life is in her right hand.
– In her left hand are riches and honor.
– Her ways are pleasant ways.
– And all her paths are peace.
– She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her.
– Those who hold her fast will be blessed.
My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. – Proverbs 3: 21-23
This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9-13
Perhaps everyone knows the Lord’s Prayer by heart. But, do we really know the meaning behind it? Jesus taught us to pray in a certain manner. But, He didn’t simply imply that we should rattle off His words and continue to blabber without really implementing it in our day-to-day lives.
Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done… The Lord’s prayer teaches us to surrender to God’s will first, and then seek our own good. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors… We should have forgiven those who have sinned against us even before we ask for forgiveness for our own sins and misdoings.
The Lord’s prayer is the foundation of our prayers. We don’t really need to say it word by word, but we need to understand its meaning and pray in the same manner and shape our characters and lives by it. – Amen.