I Am with You, Declares the Lord (Haggai 1:13)

Haggai 1:13 says, "Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: ‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord." This reassurance was given to the Israelites who had returned from exile and were tasked with rebuilding the temple. They were discouraged and overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, but God, through Haggai, reminded them that He was with them, providing the strength and encouragement they needed to continue their work. Today, this verse is a powerful reminder that God’s presence is always with us, especially when we face daunting challenges. Just as the Israelites felt overwhelmed by the task of rebuilding, we too often encounter situations that seem beyond our abilities. Whether it is a demanding job, family responsibilities, or personal struggles, we can feel discouraged and unsure of how to move forward. In these moments, God’s declaration, "I am with you," offers us the comfort and strength we need to persevere. Making this re

Fortieth Day of Lenten Reflection: "It is finished"

On this fortieth and final day of Lenten reflection, we meditate on the momentous words of Jesus Christ on the cross: "It is finished" (John 19:30). These three words, spoken in a moment of profound agony and triumph, encapsulate the culmination of Jesus' earthly mission and the fulfillment of God's redemptive plan for humanity.

The phrase "It is finished" signifies the completion of a great work. For Jesus, it meant the fulfillment of His purpose on earth - to offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. This declaration was not a cry of defeat, but a proclamation of victory. In saying "It is finished," Jesus announced the completion of the task for which He was sent: the defeat of sin and death and the restoration of our broken relationship with God.

As we reflect on these words during Lent, we are reminded of the enormity of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. His sacrifice was the ultimate act of love and obedience, a gift of grace that we could never earn or repay. "It is finished" is a declaration that there is nothing more to be done for our salvation; Jesus has done it all.

Moreover, this reflection invites us to respond to Jesus' completed work. We are called to accept this gift of salvation with gratitude and faith, to live in the freedom and victory that it provides. "It is finished" means that we are no longer bound by the power of sin; we have been set free to live a new life in Christ.

As Lent draws to a close and we turn our eyes towards Easter, "It is finished" also fills us with hope. It reminds us that Jesus’ death was not the end, but the precursor to His resurrection. The victory Jesus declared on the cross is made complete in His resurrection, assuring us of eternal life and the promise of a restored relationship with God.

On this final day of Lenten reflection, let us deeply contemplate the significance of "It is finished." May these words encourage us to trust fully in the completed work of Christ, to live in the freedom He has won for us, and to joyfully anticipate the celebration of His resurrection. In the victory of Christ, we find our hope, our peace, and our salvation.

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