Monday, January 29, 2018

A Strong Base

And a voice from heaven said, ”This is my Son, whom I love: with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17 NIV

Before Jesus started on his public ministry, he was baptized by John. After Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit, as a dove, alighted on him and God, the Father, spoke.  First, he affirmed that Jesus was his son, a relationship which fundamentally bound the Father and Son together.  Next, he professed his love for his Son.  Love is the most important and strongest attachment that people can have. Finally, the Father said that he was pleased with his Son.  Even before Jesus called his disciples, even before he went to the cross, the Father said that he was pleased with him.

As a base for any interactions I may have with other people, I need to remember that I am God’s child, that he loves me and that he is pleased with me, not  because of my actions, but because of my willingness to be his follower. If I am ministering out of a sense of obligation or fear, I won’t be able to share the Good News of God’s love, grace and mercy in a way that resonates with others. I need to meditate on the close binding love that God has for me, and that he is pleased with me because of my faith in him.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  Matthew 3:17 NIV

Right at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he is baptized by John, the Baptist. When John is hesitant to baptize Jesus, Jesus tells him that it is necessary to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus begins his ministry in humility and affirming his connection with his human brothers and sisters.  This is possible because Jesus is secure in his Father’s love. The audible declaration of love by the Father is a public stamp of approval of Jesus for the witnesses at the baptism.

As we go out to minister in God’s name, we need to feel sure of the Father’s love for us. If I doubt his love, I need to examine why I do and need to resolve this issue. It is only on this foundation of love that we can also be channels of love. Only when we grasp the depth of God’s love can we begin to understand how He could forgive us and want to have full fellowship with us. Jesus began his ministry bound to the Father in love, and willing to humble himself to be a servant to the people he met.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Be Strong and Courageous

Be strong and courageous...The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:6, 9 NIV

Moses had died and Joshua was now tasked with leading the Hebrews. What a responsibility! In the first nine verses of Joshua 1, God exhorts Joshua three times to be strong and courageous. God knew that Joshua would be confronted with many challenges and He wanted Joshua to keep his focus. Joshua was instructed to follow the teachings of the law, and to remember that God had promised to protect  and prosper the Hebrews, but only if they walked in God’s path.

It takes strength of character to not float down the river of least resistance by giving in to our natural greed and pride.  It takes courage to stand up for God’s commandments. As a new year begins, I’m asking God to give me the strength and courage I need to walk a godly life that is worthy of his name. I will need to remember God’s promise that He is with me every step of the way. And that his way is the way of perfect love.