So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them [Gen 1:27, NLT]
The fact that we are made in the Image of God marks us out from all other living creatures. It distinguishes us from all other living creatures on the one hand and indicates our family resemblance to our heavenly Father on the other. But what does it mean to be made in the Image of God? Read more
I pray that you “…may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18 NIV)
The idea of “fullness” comes up several times in the books of Ephesians and Colossians. At the start of Colossians, Paul says that all the fullness of God dwelt in Jesus when He walked our planet. Jesus lived an incredible, selfless, pure life. He really lived life to the full, and when He died on the cross and rose again, He won that fullness of life for us. The key to finding fullness of life is in following our Savior: in sacrifice. He gave up his life so that we might find life. In turn, when we sacrifice all that we are for Him, we gain life in abundance. In this exchange, we give Him everything, but it really costs us nothing because of all that we gain.
So what do we gain? Here are just a few things found in Ephesians 1-3 and Colossians 1-2: When we lay down our lives for God, we receive: an inheritance, adoption, every spiritual blessing, redemption and forgiveness of sins… even the power that raised Christ from the dead! Take a look for yourself, you’ll be amazed!
- Holding a new born baby for the first time.
- Seeing the first flower/fruit on your plant
- Your first trip to a sea beach… seeing huge waves crash onto the rocks
- Amazing colours splashed across the sky as the sun sets
- A puppy trying to take its first steps
A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness [John 10:10, NCV]
Jesus said in John 10:10 that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but he has come to give us life and “life in all its fullness”. We focus our biblical reflection this year on this theme as we try to understand what it means to experience “life in all its fullness”. Read more
Children are important to God. Children are important to Jesus. Children are important to the Church. It is today’s children who will take the love of Jesus and His Word to the next generation. Every child is ‘Heaven’s Treasure and should be our Delight.’
At our Kingdom Kids class held every Sunday between 9:30 to 11:15 am the children have been learning about The Five Crowns, also known as the Five Heavenly Crowns, this is a concept in theology that pertains to the five crowns that individuals can receive in Heaven after the last judgement. These are the Crown of Righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8), the Incorruptible Crown (1 Corinthians 9:24-25), the Crown of Rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19), the Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:4), and the Crown of Life. (Revelation 2:10)
The Greek word for “crown” is stephanos which means “a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally.” Used during the ancient Greek games, it referred to a wreath or garland of leaves placed on a victor’s head as a reward for winning an athletic contest. As such, this word is used figuratively in the New Testament of the rewards of heaven God promises those who are faithful.
Apostle Paul best defines for us how these crowns are awarded in
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 …“You know that in a race all the runners run. But only one gets the prize. So run like that. Run to win! All those who compete in the games use strict training. They do this so that they can win a crown. That crown is an earthly thing that lasts only a short time. But our crown will continue forever.”
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn [Luke 2:7]
The real Christmas was nothing like the Christmas as we know it today. It does not look anything like the manger scenes and illustrated books of our childhood. The original Advent is a disturbing scene of sad and desperate homelessness – more like a scene we might find under a Kolkata fly-over or basti than what we depict under our Christmas tree. The only detail Luke’s Spirit-inspired writing gives us about the actual birth of Jesus is that Mary had to lay him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. We have known this truth in our heads all our lives, but when you pause to consider what it was like…
A young peasant girl, asleep on the ground, bits of straw in her hair, wrapped in dirty cloaks and a blanket. Beside her a small, crude and dirty feeding trough in which lies a sleeping newborn, wrapped in unsanitary, blood-smeared cloths. Mary is not well-dressed or rested – she’s bone weary. No divine, heavenly glow emanates from her or the child. In fact, there is nothing about this child that points to his unique identity as the image of the invisible God, the one and only Son through whom all things were created [Col 1:15; John 1:3,18]. John states the tragedy of the very first Christmas: He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him [John 1:10].
There was no room for them in the inn…the incredible irony – when the Creator of the universe decides to arrive on planet earth, the best lodging place we can offer him is a dirty feeding trough! Let this serve as a reality check for us in the midst of our Christmas celebrations today. Bustling and bursting Bethlehem had no room for the advent of Jesus. In the midst of the Christmas lists, shopping for gifts, baking goodies, decorations and partying…will we make room? Let every heart prepare him room…and heav’n and nature sing!
The Lord has made his salvation known…He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God [Psa 98:2-3]
It is impossible to truly experience the love of God and not love others. His love has this incredible ability to heal us and empower us at the same time. We can love like Jesus because his Spirit seeks to produce the fruit of love within us. God wants to use you and me to reveal to a broken and searching world the unfathomable riches of his love – he longs to love people through us. Read more
Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. [Heb 1:1-2]
Our God is not a silent God – he is a God who speaks. During the month of Advent we focus on the one moment when God spoke with searing, blazing, blinding clarity through his final, ultimate Word, Jesus – the Word made flesh. But God is a God who is constantly speaking to us. The problem is that we fail to listen… Read more
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28) .
Regardless of what we face in our lives, this above verse places a deep assurance inside us that God is working out everything for His beautiful plans in our lives. Well-known author, Max Lucado gives a brief description on this verse which illustrates how we can be absolutely happy daily because of 4 unchanging facts: Read more