At the breaking of the dawn

 

dawn

 

At the breaking of the dawn

Are Your new mercies;

At the breaking of the dawn

Your love is new again;

At the breaking of the dawn,

Your faithfulness has come again;

As Your Word says,

Your mercies are new every morning.

At the breaking of the dawn,

Darkness flees away

And fears are gone

My strength is renewed

At the breaking of the dawn

Fears fly away

At the breaking of the dawn.

Thank You Lord Jesus that Your love is here

At the breaking of the dawn;

I praise You Lord Jesus that You are here with me

Always at the breaking of the dawn.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassion never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Rejoice!

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The Garden Tomb, Jerusalem

 

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice!

For the Lord is risen

He is risen indeed!

Death has no more dominion

Death and sin have lost its power

Because the Lord has overcome.

Rejoice!

People of God rejoice!

The battle has been won!

Christ has won the victor’s crown

Rejoice for the Lord Jesus has overcome!

Rejoice for the Lord is risen

He has risen indeed!

Rejoice!

For the battle has been won

Rejoice!

For Christ is coming back soon!

Rejoice,

For the Lord will be here soon!

– Matthew 28:9

Jesus has overcome!

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Title : Jesus has overcome!

Reading: John 16:25-33 // Romans 8:37

v.33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Jesus was encouraging His disciples on the night of their last meal together before His death on the cross. Jesus loved them and wanted to prepare them for what was ahead when He no longer would be physically with them.

Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his [e]own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” v.32

Jesus knew that even though His disciples loved Him and were committed to follow Him, yet there would be times of weakness when they might turn away. However, the love of Jesus still held them. Jesus foreknew His disciples would abandon Him in a moment of weakness, but Jesus still loved them and did not condemn them. He spoke words of encouragement to them.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you [f]will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” V.33

Jesus already knew that times of hardship, persecution, and tribulations were coming. But He told them, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”.  It is a comfort to know that Jesus has already won the battle. As Jesus encouraged His disciples then, He gives the same encouragement to His followers now. As we see distress, persecution, trials and difficulties in this world because of the enemy and the evil one, it is a comfort to know the words of Jesus, that He has already overcome. Jesus has already won the battle. His plan of salvation and victory for the souls of men was already accomplished and finished at the cross.

Through His death on the cross, we His followers receive the gift of eternal life. In His resurrection, we have overcome the evil one. As the Apostle Paul wrote,

 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

The love of Christ has prevailed and won the battle against the evil one.

Reflection:

Jesus already knew that His followers would suffer trials, challenges, and tribulation. However, as His follower, it is a comfort and encouragement to know that Jesus has already overcome the world. His death and resurrection have already won the battle. Whatever difficulties we face now, Jesus has already overcome!

Prayer:

Thank You Lord Jesus for your Word. Whatever challenges I go through, and whatever distress I see in the world, You have already overcome!

Rebirth in Jesus!

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Photo by Irina Murza on Unsplash

Title: Rebirth in Jesus

Reading: The Gospel of John 3:1-15

Key verse: John 3:3

 “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly I say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’”.

John, the writer of this Gospel, wrote about Nicodemus who came to Jesus one evening. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who was seeking for the truth. He wanted to know Jesus and the truth of His teachings personally. He wanted to hear and understand for himself as he heard Jesus speak and teach the crowd.  Even though Jesus was rejected by some of the Pharisees, Jesus did not turn down Nicodemus. Jesus knew the heart of Nicodemus, that he was sincerely seeking the Kingdom of God (v.2).

Thus, Jesus revealed to Nicodemus an important spiritual truth. Jesus showed Nicodemus the way to God.

Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit…You must be born again!”   (v.5-7)

Nicodemus wanted to understand more, “How can these things be?

So, Jesus further explained;

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (v.13-15)

Jesus gave a clear explanation to Nicodemus of the truth and showed him the way to God, which was to believe in Him, the Son of God. Jesus made Himself known to those who were sincerely seeking and searching for the truth and the kingdom of God.

Jesus was telling Nicodemus about life in the flesh and life in the spirit. Life in the flesh is merely living in the physical realm – with body, mind, and soul. However, there is more to life than just the physical life, there is life in the Spirit, which is only found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, we people are all born on earth with physical life – the body, mind, and soul (emotions). However, because of the sin nature, we are born on earth with no spiritual life. We are dead in the spirit, which means separated from God.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

But through Jesus Christ we can be born again. Being born-again is to receive a new life in Christ. As Jesus told Nicodemus, “…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (v.15)

Reflection:

To be born-again is to have a new life in Christ. Believing Jesus is to receive a new life – a life in the Spirit of God, and eternal life in Christ.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving me a new life in the Spirit and for bringing me into Your Kingdom.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”

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Photo by Ben den Engelsen on Unsplash

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” v.46

Readings: Matthew 27:27-47; Isaiah 53:1-12 (NKJV Bible Gateway)

Jesus was scourged and beaten severely by the Roman soldiers. They mocked Him and ridiculed Him.  The soldiers demanded that He walk from the Governor’s headquarters to Golgota carrying a big piece of a wooden cross.  His beaten body, bruised and scourged, could barely walk, much less carrying a heavy piece of wood.  The soldiers saw a man passing by, Simon of Cyrene, and compelled him to help Jesus carry the big piece of wood. (Matthew 27:27-32). Then they crucified Him along with the other criminals. (Matthew 27:35-38)

The people of Israel, the religious leaders, and the Roman soldiers all saw Jesus hanging on the cross and mocked Him.  They spoke unkind and insulting words. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save…” (Matthew 27:39-44).

Jesus did not say a word against them. He did not call out for His angels to consume them. He did not use His power to call for lightning from heaven to strike those who insulted Him. But instead He took it all upon Himself – the shame, the humiliation, the insults, the mocking, and the beatings. Jesus chose love, instead of defending Himself. The pain was too much for His earthly body. And Jesus cried out to His Father:

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” v.46

That was the cry of pain and agony. Did God forsake His only Son? Lord Jesus, why did you say these things?

The prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament said,

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord [n]has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)

For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. (Isaiah 53:8)

Reflection:

Jesus carried our sins. All the sins of men were imputed to Him. He took all the punishment for our sins, so we do not have to its eternal consequences. All the sin of the world was laid upon Him. The ultimate penalty of sin is death – or separation from God. For that moment, God had to turn away from His Son because Jesus became a bearer of sin. God and sin cannot be together. God our Father in heaven is holy and pure. Jesus took all the sin and the punishment of sin, so I do not have to carry and suffer the penalty of sin, which is death, eternal death. Jesus paid it all.

 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for choosing to give Yourself for us, and for dying on the cross for my sins.  Thank You that You took my sin, and the punishment of sin, so I could be reconciled with our Heavenly Father and live with You for eternity.

Your Reflection:

 

Your Prayer:

Choose Jesus, Choose life!(Jesus or Barabbas?)

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Photo by Joel Mott on Unsplash

Choose Jesus, choose life! (Jesus or Barabbas?)

Reading: Matthew 27: 1-26; Luke 23:1-25

  Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  – Matthew 27:17

Jesus was ordered to be arrested by the chief priests. The chief priests incited some people to bring false accusations against Jesus. (Matthew 27:1-2) Then Jesus was brought to Pilate. And the governor asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, ‘It is as you say’. Matthew 27:11

After examining Jesus and talking with Him, Pilate did not find any fault against Jesus.

“And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him;  no, neither did Herod, for sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.” (Luke 23:13-15)

At the time of Jesus’ arrest, it was also the feast of the governor.

 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy, (Matthew 27:15-17).

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. (Matthew 27:.20)

Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”

But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”  (Matthew 27:23)

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.

And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”—  who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder. (Luke 23:18-19)

Pilate felt he was powerless over the cry of the people of Israel, so he gave in to their demand. “Let Him be crucified!”. It was not Pilate’s wish or plan to execute Jesus, but Pilate did not want an uprising over the life of one person. Sad to say, it was the religious leaders of Israel who instigated the penalty for Jesus because of jealousy and envy.  (Matthew 27:18)

Sad to say when Pilate asked the people whom to release, the people chose Barabbas, a rebel and a murderer.

Reflection:

The people of Israel chose Barabbas over Jesus. They chose a murderer over a sinless man, similar to the people of today’s generation. Sad to say even today, it seems some people choose a life of rebellion against God. Thus, they choose death instead of life. Some people end up dead-physically and spiritually. They choose rebellion, a life away from God, therefore they make a choice of death over a life with Jesus. Jesus died so that we could have eternal life. If we choose Jesus, we choose life.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, it is our sin that crucified You on the cross. Lord forgive us, help us choose You, help us choose life and not death.

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

 

 

 

Because of Jesus, I am a child of God!

 

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. John 1:12 (NKJV)

Reading: John 1:1-12

(Galatians 3.26; Ephesians 3:6, Romans 8:16)

Title: Because of Jesus, I am a child of God.

The apostle John wrote his testimony about knowing Jesus who was there from the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2). John also testified that all life on earth was made through Jesus. (John 1.3). Jesus was life and the light of men (v.5). John further testified that another man, also named John, was a witness to the deity of Jesus.

“He was not that light but was sent to bear witness of that light”, (John 1:6).

The apostle John was referring to John the Baptist.

The apostle John further explained, Jesus was sent by God into the world, but the world did not receive Him. (v.11)

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1.12

What a great truth and blessing to be called ‘children of God’, because by nature, we, the people of the world are all born with sin.  (Psalm 51:5).

Ephesians 2:3 says we are by nature children of wrath.  And because of Jesus we are now called children of God.

The apostle Paul wrote, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”. (Galatians 3:26)

 He also wrote in Romans 8:16-17

 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God… heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”.

Reflection:

Through the Lord Jesus Christ we are adopted into the family of God and become part of His Kingdom.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, because of You, I am now a child of God, and a fellow heir with You. I am forever grateful to You!

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

John 1.12 PDF copy

Jesus triumphed over temptation!

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Day 11

Title: Jesus triumphed over temptation!

Reading:    Matthew 4: 5-7

v. 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again,‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

Jesus was in the wilderness praying and fasting.  His earthly body was tired and hungry.  The devil took the opportunity to tempt Him. (Matthew 4:1-2) The devil tempted Jesus to use His power to prove Himself as the Son of God. The devil knew Jesus had the power to turn the stones into bread since He needed food for His body’s nourishment, (v.4). The devil also tempted Jesus to test God’s ability to protect Him. The devil knew Jesus could call on His angels if He was in danger or needed protection (v.5-7).

Jesus once again answered the devil with the Word of God.

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” (v.7)

Jesus first of all knew who He was. He was the Son of God. The devil knew that too. But the devil wanted to try and tempt Jesus to use His power as the Son of God. When Jesus was still on the earth, though He was fully God, He was fully human too. He chose to limit Himself to live like other men. Like any other person, He needed food and water to nourish His body. Jesus needed shelter and protection from the elements. Jesus, though He was fully man, was also secure in His identity and His relationship with the Father.

Jesus knew He could use His power to turn the stones into bread.  Jesus knew He had the power to ask God to send His angels if He needed help, protection or  safety. However, Jesus did not take advantage of the power He had. Jesus knew who He was, the Son of God.  Jesus knew His Father God loved Him very much and would always be there to help Him when He called upon Him. However, He also knew the written Word of God as He quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 in the Old Testament:

16 “You shall not [d]tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah. 

Yes, Jesus knew He was the Son of God and God loved Him. Jesus knew God would help Him anytime He asked and called upon Him. However, Jesus knew also that He did not need to put Himself in a dangerous situation like jumping off the pinnacle of the temple and expecting the angels to rescue Him as the devil had tempted Him to do. (v.5-6)

Reflection:

Jesus knew He was the Son of God. As a follower of Jesus, I am also a child of God. God and Jesus love me and are taking care of me. I know I can always call upon the Lord Jesus when I need help. However, I should not put myself into a dangerous situation, expecting God to help me.  The Lord God gives us wisdom and the Holy Spirit gives us power not to put ourselves into situations where we can be tempted or be vulnerable to sin and temptation.  The Lord God gave us His written Word to resist the devil.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, please help me to be strong in the spirit and to have Your wisdom to resist the temptations of the evil one.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

Devotion in PDF

Bible reading from Bible Gateway

 

Jesus and the Word

Reading: Matthew 4:1-7 (NKJV)

v.4 – But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

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Jesus submitted Himself to be baptized by John the Baptist to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). Then Jesus felt led to fast and pray for 40 days in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-2). His human flesh was tired and hungry.

“Now the tempter came to Him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread’”(v3).

Jesus replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’”.

Jesus was hungry. He had not eaten for 40 days. He was tired and very hungry in the middle of the wilderness. There was no food at all nearby. The devil tempted Him to make stones into bread. The devil knew Jesus had the capability and the power to do whatever He needed. Jesus knew His power, too, and what He could do. Perhaps, He could ask God to send food from heaven. The devil wanted Jesus to use His power to prove Himself. The devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God…”

But Jesus knew who He was. He did not need to prove Himself. He was secure in who He was. He knew He was the Son of God. Jesus knew His power and what He could do, but He did not use that power just to prove who HE was.

Jesus was tempted by the devil at His weakest point. However, even when His body was weak, His spirit was strong.

Jesus used the power of the written Word of God to resist the devil. Thus, He declared:

 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of God’”.

Jesus knew the written Word of God and how to use the power of the Word of God to resist the devil and his lures.  

Reflection:

The Word of God is as important as human food. The Word of God is food for the soul and nourishment for the spirit. Like Jesus, it is important for us to know the written Word of God to resist the devil, his lures and temptations.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your written Word. Please help me to know Your Word and to learn Your Word. Help me be strong in Your Word to resist the devil and his schemes. In Jesus name, Amen!

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayers:

 

Day 10_ Matthew 4.4 PDF study

Jesus showed respect and honor to John the Baptist!

 Jesus is humble. Day 9_Mat3.21 in PDF

Reading: Matthew 3:1- 17 (NKJV)

v.15 “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

The life of baby Jesus who was born in the manger was protected as His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary, obeyed the leading of God through the angel. (Matthew 2:13-23) From Bethlehem to Egypt and then back to Israel, Joseph and Mary brought up the baby Jesus. And Jesus grew up in Nazareth in the region of Galilee.  V.23 “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He was called a Nazarene”.

As Jesus grew up as a young man, his cousin John also grew up as a man of God.

Matthew 3:1 “In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”.

John lived a pure life, fully dedicated to the Lord as his parents were instructed by God. “Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.”

John may have looked different in physical appearance compared to the people of his generation and culture, yet many respected his message. Many people from Jerusalem, Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him. (v.5)

Jesus, too, was aware of the ministry of John and respected him for his message.  “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.” V.13

John was surprised to see Jesus coming to him. John’s message was primarily to call sinners to repent and return to God. So, John tried to prevent Jesus and said,

“I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

But Jesus answered, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness”.  Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (v.15-17)

Jesus showed humility and respect for John by allowing John to baptize Him. Even though Jesus was fully God, and did not need to repent of sins because He was sinless, He still submitted Himself to the baptism of John to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus was still fully human when He was on earth. Thus, He wanted to set an example for those who make a commitment to turn away from sin and follow God fully.

Jesus also honored the ministry of John by allowing Himself to be baptized by John, showing submission and humility. Thus, the Heavenly Father affirmed His love and pleasure for His Son Jesus.

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!”

Reflection:

Jesus my Lord showed humility and submission by allowing John to baptize Him. As His follower, I too would like to be humble and submit to the servants of God.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for your humility and respect for the ministry of John. Help me also to be humble and show respect to the ministry of Your servants.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer: