Gospel: Luke 3:15-16.21-22.
The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.
After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
Last Friday, I became so inspired upon hearing an audio clip of Joseph Prince preaching. It was entitled Boast of the Lord’s Love for You, Not Your Love for the Lord. Just as God loved His son Jesus, he loves each one of us immensely. That’s the truth. Joseph Prince said that we must believe in this truth so that we may be able to practice God’s love for us.
Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to know that we are loved? It is even more wonderful knowing we are loved by the one who created the world, our Almighty Father. God’s love for us is perfect. It never fails. God’s love isn’t affected with how successful we are in life or how we are doing in school. Even when we sin, ask for forgiveness and yet continue to sin, He still loves us. But if we just continue to sin, are we worthy of that love?
Joseph Prince pointed out that after Jesus came out of the water and God proclaimed “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, Jesus went into life, fought, conquered, and won. Jesus had the sense of being loved by the Father. If every day, we have that sense we are God’s beloved, our self-esteem will never be shaken, anger and despair will have no room in our hearts, and temptation would not cause us to sin.
After Jesus came out of the water, He went to the wilderness and was tempted by the devil. When the devil came to Jesus he said “If you are the son of God…” According to Joseph Prince the reason the devil dropped the word beloved was because temptation cannot be successful when we have that sense that we are God’s beloved. We are God’s beloved. Let us abide in His love.