“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”
God saved us according to His mercy and not by our own works of righteousness. Our salvation is of Him, accomplished by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
Lord, thank You that my salvation is entirely of You and what You have done for me. Thank You that it doesn’t depend on me and my works. You are a merciful God. Thank You, Lord.
Chinese New Year is just around the corner – exactly one month away to be exact! This year’s Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 16. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be writing a series of posts to help introduce this great holiday.
We are fast approaching a fascinating time of year in China – Spring Festival, otherwise known as Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is the largest festival (holiday) on the Chinese calendar. Schools let out, businesses close, and everyone returns to their hometown to celebrate the festival with family.
The few weeks and even months leading up to Chinese New Year can be a busy time in China as Chinese see the festival as a time for everything to be “new”. New clothes are bought, houses are cleaned (this is akin to “spring cleaning” in America), haircuts are gotten, final exams are taken, and business deals are brought to a close – all before the new year.
As the festival draws closer, streets become full to overflowing with the color red, which is a symbol of good luck and fortune. Red lanterns, red banners, red signs, and other red trappings line the streets. Houses are decorated red as well. Red paper with blessings written on them outlines the thresholds of homes and come complete with a red emblem of the character 福，meaning “blessing”, posted on the centers of doors – all to invite blessings to visit their homes for the upcoming year.
I cannot overstate just how HUGE this festival is in the lives of Chinese people. Their year hinges on it, similar to how our year hinges on Christmas and New Year’s Day. It is a time for the people to reset, reflect on the previous year, and look with anticipation at the coming year to see what it has in store.
It’s not until the eve of the New Year finally arrives, however, that the real festivities begin…
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
Paul charges Timothy to preach the word. He tells him to be ready at any time, whether it is popular or not. Timothy is charged to patiently teach the word so as to reprove, rebuke, and exhort.
Lord, thank You for Your word. Thank You for calling me to preach Your word to others. Please make me diligent to preach when it is out of season. Give me boldness to faithfully preach the gospel so that many can come to know you and be saved.