Mar 31, 2017

Strength of a Disciple of Jesus

Psalm 20:7-8 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

Christian faith demands that we put our trust, not in the human might and power, not in the things which are valued according to this world system, But in the might and strength of our Lord Jesus. As the Word of God says, we walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7)

Often, in our faith walk, we come across people who (bless their souls) are constantly scheming, planning, whose trust is in their own strength and might or the might of money or weapons or their influence or their heritage. This verse reminds us that such a person shall surely be brought down and they shall fall - Because the source of their power is earthly and corrupt. But for the child of God who trusts in the Lord, the promise of the Lord is that he shall raise and stand upright. Friends, our trust is in the name of our Lord and surely, that divine source of powerwill keep our feet planted on the rock of Christ Jesus. Our Faith rests in the power of God - not in the wisdom of men (1 Cor 2:5). 

What rest we enjoy when we trust the Lord and His name. Mountains may shake, but such faith shall not be shaken, for our rest is in the power of our God. Jer 17:1 says: Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and Him alone. He shall be fruitful ! Dear friend, are you leaning on the crutch of this world? Those who lean on the world (i.e. trust in chariots and horses) shall experience the frailty of that crutch and they shall be brought down and fail. But they that know the Lord shall be strong and they shall do mighty works. (Dan 11:32)

Zech 4:6-7 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.  "What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground.

When you're faced with a mighty mountain, don't despair. It's not by our puny strength or power that we will conquer it, but by the Spirit of God, and the strength of the Lord of Hosts. Our Lord will fight our battles for us and He shall make the mighty mountain that's standing in His path to be converted into level ground. In our weakness, our Lord's strength is made manifest. 

As the Christian song goes, Strength will rise as we wait upon the lord!

God Bless you! 

Mar 28, 2017

Seek The Lord

Isa 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Amidst the busy times that we live it, seeking the lord becomes a boring & irregular chore that we would rather skip. But dear friend, the power that is given in this privilege of seeking the Lord is just awesome. It's not like the Lord to hide himself - But He delights in revealing himself to the ones who diligently and earnestly seek Him. Seeking the Lord refers to the time that we spend reading & meditating on His Word, in prayer and listening to His voice. In the beginning of the year, I felt that this year the focus is on us to seek the Lord's face and I blogged about it. Today, the word for us is - To Seek Him - While He may be found and to call on Him while He is near! It's an exhortation to prioritize this above all other tasks, however important they seem.
Mat 6:33 - Seek First the Kingdom of God. Remember the promise of the Lord to seek first the Kingdom & His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. Provision is promised to the ones who shall seek the Lord & his kingdom first. When we seek Him first, all our worries about today and tomorrow shall melt away only to be replaced by a peace that He shall grant us the grace and provision that we need daily.
Psalm 63:1 - Seek the Lord early. As David was in the desert of Judah and when he was on the run from Saul, every day brought new challenges and adversities. What can you do if the king of the land commands his choicest army chiefs to pursue and destroy you? David, at that time, sought the Lord early. Not just early in the day, but early on in his life. Before the problem became a crisis, he sought the Lord early. What comfort it is to face our day of adversity after we've sought the Lord and met Him early on! This is the battle strategy of the saints of God.
1 Chronicles 16:11 - Seek the Lord always. Let our attitude of seeking the Lord & prayer be like breathing. Let it be something that we do often & always. Let it be something that we do even without others noticing it. Realize that it is as essential for our spiritual life as breathing is for our physical life.
Ezra 7:10 - Seek the Lord with a prepared heart. God honors our consecration and a consecrated and prepared heart is capable of receiving and retaining God's grace much more than a vile and untidy heart.
My prayer is that we will become as a generation of those who seek the Lord and who are satisfied with nothing less than His fullness. As the Word reminds us (Psalm 34:10), The young lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

God bless!

Mar 25, 2017

Rejoice in the LORD always

Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
What an amazing and seemingly impossible command from the Lord!  We have no problem obeying this command when "the Lark's on the wing and the snail's on the thorn and all's right with the world". Natural joy bubbles up inside us and we're good. But it's so difficult when we're going through the trials of our life and when we face much distress and opposition and we can but see darkness all about.

Christian life is not always smooth sailing. There are storms of our life which we have to face. There are rough waters. But the promise of the Lord is that He is always with us. We can face the challenges in partnership with our Lord.
The same passage reminds us:
(Phil 4:6-7 ) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In Rom 14:17, we understand that the real fruit or characteristic of the Kingdom of God is the values of Righteousness, Peace & Joy in the Holy Spirit. When we are part of this kingdom, these values become part of our very being. These values represent the Lord himself. And the Lord wants us to be as He is.

Now, What happens when we come before the Lord with a sad and dejected face? When we appear before the Lord with a sad face? He takes it personally. Let's see the example of a man (Nehemiah) who appeared before the King Artaxerxes with a sad face. Neh 2:1 says: Nehemiah was the wine bearer for the king and had never appeared before him with a sad face but now he comes before the King and he notices the sadness of his face.
Neh 2:2 And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid.
Nehemiah was afraid, because, to be sad before a king implies that you are sad to be in His kingdom. You are disgruntled to be his subject. But as Nehemiah explained his burden to the king, we see the king passing a favorable edict which led to the will of God being done for Jerusalem's walls.
If that was the state of an earthly kingdom, how much more careful should we be as we are in the Kingdom of our dear Lord! Friends, the Lord is not asking us to fake it! He just wants us to be full of trust in Him and be fully aware that He has a plan for us, and that peace and that assurance has to translate into the fruit of the Spirit of Joy in our lives. (i.e. when we are able to be joyful with the help of the holy spirit even in the adverse circumstances).

The key, dear friends, is to let your heart cry be known to the Lord. Cast your burden on the Lord for He cares for you. Let your prayers and petitions be known to the Lord - don't take the anxiety. The Lord has heard your case. As it says in Ruth 3:18 , Wait, dear child, till you learn how the matter turns out. For the Lord will not rest, till He settles the matter today!
God bless you!

Mar 22, 2017

Pray for Kings

1Tim 2:1-3 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior

Dear friends, I thank God for the freedom that we enjoy in many nations in this world to worship Jesus in spirit and truth and to proclaim our faith freely. But not every place has this privilege. Always, everywhere, the "spirit of the world" is opposed to the proclaiming of the truth! In the apostolic times, we see the men of God much taunted and persecuted for their passionate preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In such a context, Paul exhorts the church to pray for all people, especially to those who are in authority & the kings especially.

Why should we do this ? Because it's pleasing in God's sight. Because, this prayer will help the authorities to change their mind concerning our faith and will cause us to lead our lives in a quiet & peaceful manner with the precious fruits of godliness & honesty.

These people may even come to the faith!! Verse 4 says: It's God's will that all men are saved and that they should come to the knowledge of Truth. Dear child of God, the Lord has uniquely positioned you to minister the gospel to certain people who may be your friends, relatives and colleagues. No other evangelist may reach them, but the Lord has given them into your hands to lead them to a knowledge of Truth.

A verse in Phil 4:22 is a great encouragement for me. It says: All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household. Someone in those times had the anointing and calling to go into the Caesar's palace to proclaim the gospel to them, and as a result many were saved there.

I thank God for all the blessed missionaries who are taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the un-reached nations and people groups. But that leaves a lot of people within our reach - Whom we can reach with the message of God's love, if only we are filled with God's love for them, and boldness for declaring the gospel to them. Like Paul says: we need to come to the stage where we say: I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the power of God to salvation!

Pray for all people without ceasing! Pray for Kings & rulers & governments! Pray for nations! Pray for your near & dear! Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send His chosen ones into the fields. Ask the Lord to show you the people whom you should be reaching with the Gospel. As we pray faithfully, we will see the hand of the Lord moving in our nations and turning the hearts of even the rulers towards the Lord Jesus.

God bless you !

Mar 19, 2017

Receiving Spiritual Blessings

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places

This is one of the most profound truths and promises in the New Testament. This reminds us that if we are a real disciple of Jesus, who has been obedient to the commandments of Jesus according to the New Testament pattern, we HAVE already been blessed with ALL spiritual blessings in the heavenly places. Note: 

1-     We are not blessed with some blessings – We are blessed with it all! The full salvation package is ours. Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places is ours to claim and to enjoy !

2-     We are blessed with Spiritual blessings! It’s very easy for a believer to misunderstand that salvation package covers every desire of ours (whether it be spiritual or carnal). But this is not biblical.
3- We are blessed with these spiritual blessings already ! We don't have to wait till we reach heaven for these. 

In Gen 24:10, Eleazar had the full resources of his master as he went out to seek a bride for his master’s son. Abraham is an emblem (or type) of Father God, Isaac is a type of Jesus Christ and Eleazar is a type of the Holy Spirit. Rebekah is the emblem of the bride. The Holy spirit is sent out to prepare a bride for the Lord Jesus and He brings along ALL the blessings that the father God wants us to enjoy. As we are being prepared as the bride of Christ, we need all blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Such huge spiritual blessings are needed for us to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust as the word reminds us in 2 Pet 1:4.

We have abundant spiritual blessings accrued to us in our heavenly bank account. Yet, there is a huge difference between having a million dollars in your bank and being able to use portions of that money as each need comes. In the word of God, we can see some reasons why most of the believers of Christ don’t enjoy the level of spiritual riches that the Lord wants us to enjoy.

Hindrances to Prayer

1.      You do not ask God James 4:2 This may seem very obvious, but millions of Christians don’t enjoy certain spiritual blessings simply because they don’t ask the Lord. You have to ask because you are conscious of the spiritual need. The word of God says: Blessed are the poor in spirit. It’s the contrite and poor in spirit who shall receive their answers to prayer.

2.      You ask with wrong motives – James 4:3 The Lord looks into our heart and one of the main reasons why He will not answer our prayers is that we have wrong motives hidden in our heart. Often, these are so well hidden that we ourselves don’t face these motives as wrong or evil. You ask with the motives of satisfying your own desires (and especially the desires of a worldly kind – as the Lord in the very next verse condemns the worldliness in a Christian – Friendship with the world is enmity with God).

3.      You are double minded and without Faith James 1:6 If we are without faith, if we continue to doubt our God, the word says: we are unstable, double-minded and we shall not receive anything from the Lord. If you see the gospel accounts of Jesus’ healing and deliverance works, often the person receiving the healing had a clear idea as to what they wanted. It's impossible to please God without Faith. Believe in Him and what mighty works He can do for you !

As we correct these above 3 hindrances to prayer, I am sure we would enjoy more of the spiritual blessings that the Lord desires to fill us in our lives.
Ask God ! Ask with a pure heart and motive ! Ask with Faith !

Dear friends, the world has never been as evil as it is now. We need the real power of our Lord in order to survive the earthly life without being defiled. May the Lord grant us a renewed prayer life and a life of greater intimacy with Him in order to appropriate ALL the spiritual blessings of Our Lord in the heavenly places!

God Bless !

Mar 17, 2017

Shine as Beacons of Light

Phil 2:15-16 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Jesus Christ says: You are the Light of the World - A city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. The world lies today, in the dominion of the wicked one. The prince of this world has darkened the minds and hearts of the people who do not believe in Christ & His word and overall, the darkness pervades the entire world. The daily news tells us that Mankind has never been so advanced in technology, but never more depraved morally & spiritually.

Into this gross darkness comes the precious Light that the Lord sends forth. This verse above reminds us that WE need to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, in the midst of the evil & perverse & wicked generation which surrounds us. When we eschew evil and when we are blameless, we become the bright lights or beacons which shall lead the world around us to the good news of Jesus. As Paul says: We are the letters that God is writing to the men around us. The world is so in need of a Godly example in the midst of all the immorality and permissive standards. Some may not hear the gospel, but seeing the transformation in us & our holy walk, they shall become desirous of knowing our Lord personally. We cannot sequester ourselves into an ivory tower of righteous living. The gospel has been given to us so that others can see the fruit it produces in us. This fruit comes at a cost.

What is the cost that we should pay ?

1) Hold forth the word of Life - Phil 2:16 – If we don’t have the word of life, we don’t have the real light that the Lord wants us to spread. This is the torch that we hold forth. When we do that, our lives first come under the scrutiny of the word of God. In that light, we are transformed because we are able to see ourselves and the world as the Lord sees it. This means investing time in the word of God and allowing ourselves to be changed by it.

2) Adopt a different attitude towards the world - Jas 4:4 - reminds us that friendship with the evil world is enmity with God. A changed disciple of Jesus can only see the world system in this light. Our value system (which comes from the word of God) is diametrically opposite the world system’s values. Reach out to the world to save them – but don’t be part of the world system and adopt its values.

3) Be innocent of Evil - Rom 16:19 - A rose flower grows up from soil that is full of manure. Yet, it's fragrance is not tainted with the smell of the soil in which it grew. We can't blame the world for the evil works that we do. The Lord wants us to produce the fragrance of the Word of God through us. He wants our lives to be untainted by the stench of the world around us.

4) Live righteously, soberly & in a godly manner - Tit 2:13 - The grace of God is given to us to live in such a manner, denying ourselves the opportunity to give way to ungodly & worldly lusts. It’s this kind of life that makes us prepared for the coming of the Lord. And this is the witness that the lord finally desires through us.

Through such a set of people, the God is still able to turn the world upside down as He did through a band of dedicated disciples in 1st century AD. May the Lord provoke your heart to submit joyfully to this light & easy yoke of being His disciple.
God bless you !

Mar 13, 2017

Jesus - Name above every name

Phil 2:9-11 (2:9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place ​and gave him the name that is above every name, (2:10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, ​in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (2:11) and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, ​to the glory of God the Father.
Everything about Christian faith begins and comes to perfection in the Person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He consumes all our thought, our worship and without Him, we lose the fountainhead of our most blessed faith. In fact, the easiest way to check if an assembly or a worship or a church is "Christian" in spirit, is to see if Jesus Christ is exalted & given the pre-eminence. May He be the No.1 in our lives always!
 This verse above reminds us that because Jesus lowered Himself to be the sacrifice on the cross on our behalf and paved way for our salvation, God has highly exalted Christ and given him a name which is above every other name. How privileged are we to know & follow our Lord. The word says: that Exalted Name is given to Him that, every knee in heaven , on earth & under the earth (i.e. all of creation) shall bow before Him and submit to His Lordship and confess that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord.
 There are people on this earth who currently submit to the Lordship of Jesus - Those are His disciples. They love the Lord & walk obediently in the path that His Word shows us. Yet, There are many people of varied radical faith who hate the person of Christ & the way of the Christian. But the word reminds us - that even these people will, at the point of judgment, have to confess Jesus as Lord. But that will be too late. The word of God reminds us to make the decision today so that we can be among the ones who are saved by Christ and not the ones who shall be judged unto damnation by Him. Behold today is the accepted time & the day of salvation!
 The Word of God shows me my sin ; Holy spirit reminds me to seek Christ and turn to Him - the need for a savior; The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross provides for that one perfect sacrifice for my sins on the cross – So that I may come near to God and be born-again as a child of God and live the life of constant reliance on Him, pleasing Him. This, dear friend is the simple plan of salvation that God has kept for us.
 Isa 45:22-24  says: (45:22) "Turn to me and be saved, ​all you ends of the earth; ​for I am God, and there is no other. (45:23) By myself I have sworn, ​my mouth has uttered in all integrity ​a word that will not be revoked: ​Before me every knee will bow; ​by me every tongue will swear. (45:24) They will say of me, 'In the LORD alone ​are righteousness and strength.' " ​All who have raged against him ​will come to him and be put to shame.

Dear friend, Salvation belongs to Christ and we need to confess our sins to Him, repent of our ways and turn to the Lord, that we may live with Jesus & reign with Him forever.

May the Lord's name be exalted in our lives!

Mar 10, 2017

Truth will set you Free

John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

It's so important for the disciple of Christ to abide in (remain continuously in obedience to) the word of God. The real evidence of a new relation with Jesus is the thirst that a person has for the bible and the eternal truths in it. The bible is THE truth and it sheds light on every topic it touches.

Truth about Man's state & Sin

All of us bear the root of sin inside of us. The word of God says: Rom 3:23 - All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. We are like sheep which has gone astray and every man has turned to his own way. If you shine the light of God's word into our heart, you will be amazed to discover much evil within. This evil often manifests itself as sin of thoughts, words & actions in our life. Isa 64:4 says: We are all as an unclean thing and in God's eyes, our so-called righteous works are as filthy rags and totally unacceptable. Recognizing that we have sinned is a first stage to salvation

Truth about God's anger

God looks at our sin and calls it evil (because He is a Holy God). Because he is a just God, He wants to punish sin. Rom 6:23 says: The wages of sin is death. The wrath of God abides in the sinner.

Truth about God's love

Despite His anger at Sin, He is filled with love for mankind (which He has made as His creation). And He knows man's utter inability to save himself from his sin. So God send himself (i.e. His only Son) to come into the world to bear our sin (John 3:16), to die for us and to save us from our sin (Mat 1:21) if we believe in Him & His perfect sacrifice on the cross (John 1:12). He is not just interested in giving us a position in heaven; He wants to save us completely (to the uttermost) Heb 7:25. Rom 6:23 says the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our lord. Dear friends, this is where we are set free.

Truth about Eternity

We spend much of our lives worrying about our present lives without being mindful of eternity. Use your time wisely to store up riches & life for all of eternity. Accept Jesus as your savior so that you may receive Eternal life. Live the narrow way so that you may live & reign with Jesus forever. (Dan 7:18) This is God's calling for our lives.

Know the truth through the Word of God and be set free from your bondages in your life. When you respect the Word of God, you shall not be ashamed (Psa 119:6). When you hide the Word in your heart, you shall not sin (Psa 119:11). It shall become your joy & it shall counsel you in your life (Psa 119:24). It shall make you alive & fill you with Hope (Psa 119:25,49). It is better than much gold & silver (Psa 119:72) They make me wiser than all around me (Psa 119:98-100). It shows the the way ahead of me and my spiritual direction (Psa 119:105)

Dear friends, let's pray that the Lord will order our steps in His word - that Sin will not have dominion over us , and for His favor to be on us. God bless you.

Mar 8, 2017

Touch of Faith

Luke 8:43-48
(8:43) And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, (8:44) Came behind [him], and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. (8:45) And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press [thee], and sayest thou, Who touched me? (8:46) And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. (8:47) And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. (8:48) And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

Meet Jesus at the point of your need

Dear Child of God, We all have various needs in our lives. This portion from the scripture tells us a blessed account of a woman with an issue of blood who received a complete healing at the hands of our Lord. The lesson for us from this person's healing, is the need for Faith in our life. Without faith it is impossible to please God and he that comes to God must believe that He can and will reward your faith. (Heb 11:6) This can be applicable to the physical realm or to the spiritual realm where you can exercise your faith in submission to God to meet the desperate need in your life. Faith is not the end of the Christian journey - For the Word says: you are called not just to believe in Him but to also suffer for His sake (Phil 1:29). But it's the place to start our journey with Jesus.

An outcast - losing life - slowly but steadily

Can you imagine the plight of a person who has a perpetual bleeding for 12 years ? She is a social outcast and cannot be in the presence of others. She cannot marry or fellowship. One with such an illness has to walk about saying "Unclean! Unclean!" in those times to avoid coming into contact with others and defiling others. She is struggling to keep herself alive - there is life in the blood and when the blood is lost, your life is ebbing away. On top of it, here's a person who has been consulting doctors and has lost all the money that she had. (Luk 8:43)

The touch of Faith

When you are at the point of desperation, you're not constrained by social laws of propriety. When this woman saw Jesus, she KNEW that He could heal her and she had faith that she would receive the healing if only she could just touch the hem of His garment. She didn't just stay with that knowledge, but she ACTED on that knowledge and went forth and touched Him - even pressing through the crowds which separated her from the Lord. She closed the gap between herself and God.

There were multitudes about them touching Jesus. But this touch was different. This was a touch that released the power of God into her situation. All the others who thronged Jesus didn't experience the power - only this woman did ! What was different about this touch ? The Lord said (Luk 8:46) that the virtue or power had gone from him. The greek word used there is "δύναμις or Dunamis" - which means power - and this is the source of the words like dynamo/dynamite, etc. The woman's faith had conducted the power of God from the source of that power (Jesus) to produce the healing that she needed !

Faith as a "good conductor" of God's power

Let me illustrate with an example. Let's say I have a power socket (a plug point). And I have a toaster which needs to be connected to the power socket. To connect this , I need to have a wire to plug the toaster to the socket. If I use a rubber string to connect the socket and the toaster, will the toaster switch on ? Surely Not ! Because rubber is a poor conductor of the electric power. But if I use a copper wire which came along with the toaster, the power will surely flow into the toaster and enable it to perform the task it was designed to do. Dear child of God, you have situations which need the power of God in your life. The person of Jesus Christ is the supply of God's power. But this doesn't guarantee that His power will come into your need. You need to have an active faith to allow God to act on your behalf. That faith is the good conductor that conducts God's power into your life needs.

Full healing for the person

At this point (Luk 8:44), the woman received the healing , but it doesn't stop there. Then Jesus asks her to come forward by demanding who touched him. She comes trembling. You see, physical healing that she received at the Lord's hands was not enough for the 12 years of stigma to be removed from her life. She is still cowering and trembling. But the Lord causes her to receive compassion & grace, He calls her a daughter and says: be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. This is how the lord wants us to be in our Life. Not just to be healed - but to be saved. Not just to receive the answers for our prayers by faith - but to be of good comfort, to receive His sonship, to be made whole (complete) & to go away in peace.

Dear friend, Cry out to the Lord for your needs and Touch Him by Faith & see the heavens move in your favor.