My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
Tis the season to be jolly. Even though it’s the most wonderful time of the year people are busy, stressed out, in a hurry and not always as polite as they can be. As Christians, don’t forget what the season is really about and let’s try to set an example of how to treat others. For some, the holidays can be a very stressful time. Lack of time, money worries, gift-giving pressure, anxiety and depression are often experienced even more during the holidays. This year things will be a little different with all the Covid-19 precautions. As we are out and about, we need to wear masks, stay 6 feet apart, and some stores may only let a few people in at a time, let’s remember to be patient, kind and slow to anger to everyone we come across. Christmas is meant to be joyful and it doesn’t cost anything to be kind. If you feel yourself getting stressed out or angry, take a deep breath, say a little prayer and try to focus on the Lord and the real reason for the season.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
It’s not always easy being a Christian in the current condition and culture of this world. Sin is running rampant and people are trying to take God out of everything. But we who believe need to stand firm and hold on to the Word of God. Even when it seems hard to be strong in our faith and it feels like we are constantly fighting to survive we need to continue to be faithful because our sufferings are only for a moment but our glory and reward will be eternal. Nothing we go through here in this lifetime can compare in the least to how wonderful heaven will be. We know that in heaven there will no more death, mourning, crying or pain and it will all be worth it when we are in the presence of God all mighty.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus was not only concerned for the souls of the multitudes who followed Him, but also for their physical needs. We are called to be Christlike – gentle, caring and compassionate. There is a homeless epidemic in this country, many people are living in poverty and people are going hungry every day. The Coronavirus pandemic is making a complex problem even worse with many people losing their jobs, their homes and ultimately their lives. Everywhere you look there are people who desperately need help and more importantly, they need Jesus. People are hurting and it’s up to us as Christians to find a way to do what we can to help them by sharing the love and compassion of God and to bring souls to the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. If not us, then who?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The fruit of the Spirit starts to develop in you as you leave sin behind and begin to seek the Lord with all your heart. As your maturity and knowledge in Christ grows, so too will love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Although will power helps, it has its limits and you must truly come to depend on God’s power to change you. It doesn’t just happen overnight. God is constantly working on you to become more Christlike. It takes a lifetime of dedication and obedience to God and His Word as you are led by the Holy Spirit. Fruit grows where roots are deep. Be rooted in Christ and let Him be the foundation of your life and you will see more abundantly good fruit to the praise and glory of God.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
It’s easy to see that the devil is busy stirring up evil all over the world. As a Christian, you need to resist him and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) Keep vigilant and put on the whole armor of God. Don’t repay evil for evil, instead love your enemies and pray for them. Keep doing good deeds and don’t let evil weaken you. Be strong and courageous in your faith, be an overcomer.
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
God has given you the precious gift of life and He wants you to be happy and enjoy it. Enjoy all of God’s blessings with a thankful heart. Enjoy yourself in the things of the Lord. Spend time doing things that make you happy with the people you love. Whenever have the opportunity to do good for others, do it. Life is short and God doesn’t want you to go through it sad or discouraged. Be happy, keep life simple, love God and love people.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
We are living in troubled times and it’s so easy to go astray from God’s ways. We need to live our lives conscientiously and with purpose. Jesus is your example of how to live a righteous and honorable life. Be diligent and wise in your decisions, making the most of every opportunity, always keeping your eyes focused on the Lord. Ask God to give you the wisdom you need to make the right decisions in your daily life and He will gladly give it to you.
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
It’s not enough just to hear the Word of God, you must also obey it. You must embrace it and put it into practice in your daily life. Let the Word of God settle into and transform your heart, mind and soul. Hear the Word, study the Word, obey the Word and it will be a blessing and a light unto your path.
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
God’s Word is like a seed that you plant everywhere you go by sharing it with others and by being an example in the way you live for Christ. Not everyone will accept God’s Word, some seeds will land on the path, some on rocky ground and others among the thorns. Not every seed will take root and produce. You never know whose heart the seed will take root in, but the more seeds you plant, the bigger the harvest.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
The Christian life is not always easy. Jesus said we will have troubles but we can have peace because He overcame the world (John 16:33). We can be joyful in the hope we have in Jesus Christ because we have salvation and the hope of being with the Lord forever in heaven. We can be patient during troubled times because we know our faith is being made stronger while we rely fully on God for healing, comfort, provisions and peace. Be faithful in your prayer life regardless of what is happening in the world and especially in times of tribulation. Don’t be discouraged by what is happening around you instead take every concern, every fear and every doubt straight to the throne of God.