Reflection on Ephesians 3:1-12

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Scripture

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Observation

Paul, now a prisoner for Christ, received a revelation of the mystery of God’s grace. This mystery was not made known to previous generations and is now only being revealed to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through Christ Gentiles and Israel are being made members of one body.

Paul became a servant of this gospel and received a grace to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. God’s intent is that through this church comprising both Gentile and Jewish believers in Christ, God’s wisdom will be revealed to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.

Application

God’s plan before the creation of the world was that all who believe in the Lord Jesus would be of one faith, one heart, one mind. God has torn down the divisions between Jew and Gentile, because in Christ all may be redeemed.

My salvation is no longer dependent on where I was born or whether I can fulfil a life of obedience to the law of God.

We live in a time of grace. God’s love is poured out on the world so that whoever believes in Christ may come confidently to the Father and receive eternal life.

Prayer

Thank you Lord for dying to pay the price for my sin. Amen.

Reflection on Isaiah 60:1-6

Scripture
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. ”

Observation
The Lord says to arise and shine for our light has come, the glory of the Lord is upon us.  Darkness is over the whole earth, but the light of God is over His people.

The nations are drawn to the light. We lift up our eyes and see sons and daughters coming from afar. Then we will look and our hearts will be filled with joy.

Application
Jesus has come. He is the light of the world and He shines in the darkness that covers the world.

Our job as believers is to let out the light that is in us. We are to rise and shine.

There is no doubt that the world is trapped in the darkness of sin. As believers we must shine the light of Jesus into the darkness.

We can do this by loving the unlovely, caring for the lost and sharing the grace of God wherever we go.

Prayer
Lord, you are my light and my salvation. Help me to shine your light in the darkness. Amen.

Reflection on Hebrews 10:5-10

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Scripture

It is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ once for all.

Observation

When he came into the world, Christ said, “You do not require sacrifices and offerings.” In saying this, He abolished the Law with all its requirements.

Christ replaced these with something simple, “I have come to do your will.” It is God’s will to make us holy through Christ’s sacrifice.

Application

Nobody could be holy through the Old Testament Law. All the law did was tell us what to do and prescribe a sacrifice when we fail to do it. It did not deal with the root issue of sin which is our heart.

Christ came and fulfilled the Law for all people forever. He became the perfect sacrifice that takes away the sin of the world.

But He does more than this. When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes into us and starts the process of making us holy.

The Law changes people on the outside. Christ changes us on the inside so that we are enabled to live a holy life dedicated to the Lord.

Prayer

Thank you Lord for abolishing the old Law. Please come and change me to make me more and more like you. Amen.

Reflection on Luke 3:7-18

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Scripture

John answered them, “I baptise you with water, but one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptise you with Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Observation

John’s message of repentance was very strong, but it was necessary to break through religious self-righteousness The people are to produce fruits of repentance in changed lives. It is no longer enough to claim to be children of Abraham.

People ask what they are to do. Those with spare clothes should give to those who have none. Tax collectors are to take only what is due to them. Soldiers must be content with their pay.

The Messiah is coming and He will baptise with Holy Spirit and with fire. Judgement is coming, and they need to get ready.

Application

We don’t like thinking about sin and judgement, but both are real.

We need to be realistic about our relationship with the Lord.

Everyone sins and so everyone is at the risk of judgement. We need to be saved from the harvest of our own wrong doing.

Like a man thrown overboard in the middle of the ocean, we cannot save ourselves.

But Jesus reaches down and brings the promise of forgiveness, if only we will accept the gift. Then our lives are changed and our salvation assured.

Prayer

Thank you Father for the gift of salvation. I could not rescue myself, but in Jesus you reached down and rescued me. Amen.

Reflection on Philippians 4:1-7

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Scripture

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Observation

Paul calls the Philippians his joy and crown. He pleads with Euodia and Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.

His command is to rejoice in the Lord always. We must not be anxious about anything, but take everything to the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving. Then the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ.

Application

We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord always. This is not possible in human strength alone. We face all kinds of problems- work, relationships, family, finances and health. At times it seems that anxiety and fear can make joy impossible,

The key to joy is to hand over everything to God in prayer. Trusting in the mighty power of God to overcome every problem leads to peace. With peace in our hearts, we can then rejoice in Him.

The main point is to keep our focus on Christ- we rejoice in the Lord.

Prayer

Lord I lay all my worries at your feet. Help me to trust you and rejoice in you. Amen.

Reflection on Zephaniah 3:14-20

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Scripture

The Lord your God is with you

He is mighty to save

He will take great delight in you

He will quiet you with His love

He will rejoice over you with singing.

Observation

The people of Israel are to rejoice for God has taken away their punishment. The Lord is King of Israel and He will not let the people come to harm.

The Lord is mighty to save and He rejoices over His people with singing. He will reverse all oppression, so that those who are scattered will be gathered and God’s people will be honoured throughout the earth.

Application

The Lord is mighty to save. He will save all those who trust in Jesus. We were headed for hell but now He has put us on the road to heaven. It’s all because of Jesus.

It is awesome to think that the Lord rejoices over me with singing. I am such a sinner! But He loves me and rejoices over me. It is hard to comprehend that the God who created the universe rejoices over me. I choose to believe in His awesome love and affection and receive His affirmation and joy.

Prayer

Lord I thank you for your awesome love. I thank you that you rejoice over me with singing. Amen.