2018-12-19

The Purpose of Christmas - Salvation for Good Work

What is the purpose of Christmas? Many will reply it is the for the salvation of mankind by Jesus Christ. But there is more to that. Titus 2:11-14 tells us more.
Titus 2:11-14 ESV:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

The Grace of God is for:
  • bringing salvation for all people,-----Salvation is just the first step. Born-again with a new life and identity in Christ.
  • training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and
    --- We move away from ungodliness and worldly passion
    --- and go after:
  • to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 
  • waiting for our blessed hope=the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ ----We look towards the coming of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul emphasizes again...

Jesus gave Himself for:
  • to redeem us from all lawlessness and 
  • to purify for himself a people for his own possession 
  • who are zealous for good works.
His own people who are purified from lawlessness and zealous for good works.

We are Saved for Good Work

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

Let's us, therefore, live out the new life that Jesus Christ has saved us for. God's glory is revealed through us.

Matthew 5:16 NIV In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Lim Liat(c) 19 Dec 2018

2018-12-17

Top Priority - Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

What is top priority? How does it work? Learn from the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price in Matthew 13:45-46.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.— Matthew 13:45-46, King James Version

The Kingdom Principle of Top Priority - It takes all to get it

The Parable shows us what a top priority is or what does one mean by most valuable?  Top priority means you give all to achieve the one thing that is most valuable.  The principle is "sold all that he had, and bought it."

Jesus said it in John 15:13 NIV Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.

It is so valuable that it costs our lives. People are willing to die for a worthy cause. Dying for a cause should be the last resort to give for the cause. The more practical means is the meantime is to give one's time, efforts and talents for the cause. This is shown by Paul in Philippians 3:8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. 

The Pearl of Great Price - Christ

For Paul, the pearl of great price is Jesus Christ. He counted his past successes, learning, position, achievements as rubbish when compared to the knowledge of Christ. He was willing to suffer persecutions and many hardships just to spread the gospel of Christ. He eventually gave his life for Christ. We can learn from Paul in giving our time, effort, and talents to follow the calling of God for our lives, living out the Christ in us to bring glory to Him.

The Pearl of Great Price - Man

In the eyes of Jesus, we are the pearl of great price. He gave of Himself, setting aside His status of God and came to us, born of a virgin, and then died on the cross to pay for sins. He gave His all just to gain us. 

Application: Living Out Christmas through Our Years

In response to Jesus seeing us as His pearl, can we be like Paul who sees Jesus as his pearl and seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33)?  Can we live our lives with gratefulness and contentment? Can we see wealth, honor, sufferings, disappointments, losses, persecutions, troubles etc in the new light and count them as nothing compared to what we already are in Jesus Christ.  That is the way to have Christmas all the years and the true meaning of Christmas.

Lim Liat (c) 17 Dec 2018

2018-12-10

He has chosen and called you - Your Life Has Meaning

Our lives are meaningful. We are not an accident. Why? Because God has chosen us, adopted us, and give a purpose and meaning for our lives, that God's glory may be given and shone through our lives.
The Mindmap:



God has Chosen Us:

There is a great difference between natural and adopted children. Children had no say to choose whose their parents will be. But adopted children are specially chosen by the adopting parents. While adopting parents may have certain conditions to choose their adopted children, God's love and grace are without conditions. We don't deserve nor could we work at it. It is all of God's initiative.

Paul's Version:
    1Th 1:4 ... brothers loved by God, that
  • He has chosen you,
    • Not that we have done anything to deserve that. In fact, it was opposite - we reject, rebel, against God.
    • But Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
    • 1Th 2:12  we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
Jesus' Version:
  • John15:16 You did not choose me,

    • but I chose youBy Love & Grace
    • & appointed youA Purpose & Meaningful Task for us

  • that you should
    • go and bear fruit andwork of faith, the labor of love, steadfastness of hope
    • your fruit should abide
Our fruit can abide, and last eternally as rewards in heavens, by us asking God's first for His will and empowerment to do works that please Him.
    • so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
    • God empowers us to His work through us.
      • 1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

      • Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

      • Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
Peter's Version:

Peter tells us more about what we are chosen for and are. What a wonderful list:
  • 1Pet 2:9 But you are
    • a chosen race,
    • a royal priesthood,
    • a holy nation,
    • a people for his own possession,
Our Purpose:
  • that you may
    • proclaim the excellencies of Him Jesus as Our Savior & Lord
      • who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
        The Gospel - from death & bondage into Life & Freedom in Him
        • The Gospel is not to make people good but to make dead people alive.

        • Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.

Our Reflections and Applications:
Do you know who you are?
Do you know what and how to live out this meaningful life that God has chosen you for?

May God bless you.

2Th 1:11  To this end we always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling and
may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,

2Th 1:12  so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Lim Liat (c) 10 Dec 18