Peace, Love, & Joy | Complete Index

It has been a matter of great joy for me, to have been able to write and finish this devotional series. I thank and praise God for that. I hope it has been fruitful for people who have read it, as for me, it had been a blessed learning experience. I hope where my words have been inadequate, the Holy Spirit would have granted the needed understanding. I am grateful to all of you who has encouraged me by reading along.

I wish to add here a complete index for the ease of navigation; if in case, me or anyone else wishes to revisit these writings again.

Gratitude.


Peace, Love, & Joy | Complete Index | Christmas Special | Devotional Series | 2019

(i) Introduction: What Christ wants this Christmas (ii) December 1: Prepare the Way (iii) December 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (iv) December 3: The Confidence of Redeeming Hope (v) December 4: A Big God for Little People (vi) December 5: What He Willed to do (vii) December 6: Peace to those with whom He is pleased (viii) December 7: Messiah of all (ix) December 8: Christ is Central in Christmas (x) December 9: Two Kinds of Oppositions (xi) December 10: Our Treasure (xii) December 11: Why Jesus came (xiii) December 12: Replacing the Shadows (xiv) December 13: Christ, the Real Thing, the Perfect Priest (xv) December 14: Making Transformation Real (xvi) December 15: Abundant Life (xvii) December 16: An Unlikely Route to Victory (xviii) December 17: Freedom & Joy Secured in Him (xix) December 18: Pass Me Not (xx) December 19: Overcoming the Power of Death (xxi) December 20: Salvation Unites Us (xxii) December 21: LOGOS (xxiii) December 22: The Importance of Awe (xxiv) December 23: Secured from False Preachers (xxv) December 24: Why the Son Appeared (xxvi) December 25: God with us (xxxvii) Conclusion: Persisting in Peace, Love, & Joy

Peace, Love, & Joy | Conclusion | Christmas Special | Devotional Series | Part 27 of 27 | December 26, 2019

On Christmas every year, we meditate on scriptures that particularly focuses on the birth of Christ. And when the season is over, we seldom re-visit those scriptures again. But truth be told, the birth of Christ is the basic reality that should govern our everyday life. If we believe, Christ was born for us, we ought to live that believe for the rest of our lives – irrespective of date, year, and season. In other period of the year, we often focus on ‘Christian living’ without investing much thought on why we should live as a Christian – one who follows Christ. Isn’t it because He came on earth to die for our sins? If that is so, it should reflect on our everyday life as well.

If we believe, Christ came to secure peace, love, and joy. We should also believe that post-Christmas, that peace, love, and joy should persist in us. We should make sure, that which is true during a season, should remain true throughout our lives. Else, it only means, we do not consider it as true.

As the celebration ends this year, and as we move towards a new year: let us focus on bearing good fruits. Let us remind ourselves, ‘Am I living in peace with God?’ Let us remind ourselves, ‘Am I loving God above all else?’ Let us remind ourselves, ‘Am I rejoicing in divine fellowship with Christ?’ As this season ends, and as we move towards a new year, let us focus on bearing the Fruit of the Spirit. Let us live like blessed people. Let us live the new life, not because we can – but because we believe in Him, who enables us towards godliness.    


Read previous entries in this Series:

(i) Introduction: What Christ wants this Christmas (ii) December 1: Prepare the Way (iii) December 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (iv) December 3: The Confidence of Redeeming Hope (v) December 4: A Big God for Little People (vi) December 5: What He Willed to do (vii) December 6: Peace to those with whom He is pleased (viii) December 7: Messiah of all (ix) December 8: Christ is Central in Christmas(x) December 9: Two Kinds of Oppositions (xi) December 10: Our Treasure (xii) December 11: Why Jesus came (xiii) December 12: Replacing the Shadows (xiv) December 13: Christ, the Real Thing, the Perfect Priest (xv) December 14: Making Transformation Real (xvi) December 15: Abundant Life (xvii) December 16: An Unlikely Route to Victory (xviii) December 17: Freedom & Joy Secured in Him (xix) December 18: Pass Me Not (xx) December 19: Overcoming the Power of Death (xxi) December 20: Salvation Unites Us (xxii) December 21: LOGOS (xxiii) December 22: The Importance of Awe (xxiv) December 23: Secured from False Preachers (xxv) December 24: Why the Son Appeared (xxvi) December 25: God with us

Peace, Love, & Joy | Why the Son Appeared | Christmas Special | Devotional Series | Part 25 of 27 | December 24, 2019

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.” (1Jn 3:4, ESV) It is funny how passionate YHWH is in the scriptures, to inform us of our lawlessness. It is because, YHWH makes it a point that we understand – Christ came to free us from the slavery of sin. And I suppose, the next verse makes this very clear. “You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” (v5) And rightfully so, to the ones who are guilty of their lawless – these words will be honey. But to the ones who holds no such conviction of their sins – these words will be sour. So, in one sense it might seem funny or perhaps even overbearing, when we find the scripture repeatedly telling us of our sins. But if Christ is truly whom you desire this season, these words will remain sweet.

Further down the verse, the Apostle John mince no words. He makes sure he makes no mistake, that his readers may not make any mistake, in understanding their spiritual status. I quote: “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” (v6) If we believe we are of Christ, it is impossible that we can still persist in old sins. In other words, there are no habitual sins that a Christian relishes in. Why? John rationalizes: “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.” (v9) But then again, isn’t that all of us? Or perhaps, most of us? I have reason to believe so. Because the scripture says, we are born in sin. And that is our natural condition. But the good news is this. In that same passage, John states: “(but) The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (v8)

Piper notes: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin… (in other words) Jesus came into the world to help us stop sinning.” (pg. 50) To further paraphrase, (Piper’s paraphrase of the said scripture is this): the purpose of Christ’s birth was/is to put us out of the business of sinning. And perhaps, in short – that is the purpose of Christmas. Christ came, to save us not just from our old sin, but (also) from the present and the future sin. (1Jn 2:1) I know, old habits die hard. But we shouldn’t forget what Christ said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Mt 19:26, ESV) 


Note: All of Piper’s quotations are from “Good News of Great Joy”


Read previous entries in this Series:

(i) Introduction: What Christ wants this Christmas (ii) December 1: Prepare the Way (iii) December 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (iv) December 3: The Confidence of Redeeming Hope (v) December 4: A Big God for Little People (vi) December 5: What He Willed to do (vii) December 6: Peace to those with whom He is pleased (viii) December 7: Messiah of all (ix) December 8: Christ is Central in Christmas(x) December 9: Two Kinds of Oppositions (xi) December 10: Our Treasure (xii) December 11: Why Jesus came (xiii) December 12: Replacing the Shadows (xiv) December 13: Christ, the Real Thing, the Perfect Priest (xv) December 14: Making Transformation Real (xvi) December 15: Abundant Life (xvii) December 16: An Unlikely Route to Victory (xviii) December 17: Freedom & Joy Secured in Him (xix) December 18: Pass Me Not (xx) December 19: Overcoming the Power of Death (xxi) December 20: Salvation Unites Us (xxii) December 21: LOGOS (xxiii) December 22: The Importance of Awe (xxiv) December 23: Secured from False Preachers