Thursday, February 28, 2008

Many Waters Cannot Quench the Thirst

"As the deer pants for the water so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with Him."
Psalms 42:1,2

This was king David's longing! Is yours and mine the same?
Wealth, popularity, positions and fame are some common cravings of today. These insatiable thirsts drive some to do dishonorable things, resulting in distress and depression. Their actual thirst is for peace and joy. Only God can satisfy it, because He placed that desire.

David compares the desire for God to the thirst of a deer for the vital water in the dry desert. They run seeking for water, panting in the scorching sun. Mirages often deceive them. Yet they go on till they come to a real spring of water. This is how our soul should be seeking for God. He is our
"spring of living water". Only He can give us the lasting peace and joy we are seeking in this world.

Have you met Him? "Seek and you shall find"...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

When the Actors Leave the Stage...

"Let me die the death of the righteous and the last end be like theirs."
Numbers 23:10 [ Balaam said referring to Israel]

How often do we give thought to the hour of death? It is the only sure experience that every one has, with out an exception. One day the drama of life will be over. I, one of the actors will have to exit the stage. How I do it and what happens after that, are vital questions to consider.

The death of the righteous will be fearless [Ps.23:4]; precious [Ps116:15]; hopeful [Pr.14:22] and triumphant [Lk.16:22]. If we are sure of our final destination, we will look forward to it! Whom we trust and how we live, decides where we go.

The biblical span of life is seventy or eighty years [Ps. 90:10]. Due to the advancement of medical science and nourishing food, people now live even up to hundred and twenty years! Yet death is sure. Death comes unannounced to the young and old. We've got to be prepared at all times.

The Bible gives a clear picture of life after death. It is called eternity. Two places to be in that eternity: heaven or hell. If our sins are forgiven, washed by the blood of Jesus Christ and we lead a clean and righteous life, we go to heaven, where the holy God is. If we surrender ourselves to Jesus, He will make us fit to live or die and to be with Him.

As we go though the day, let us give some thought to this inevitable event of our lives...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Time Management and Choices

Jesus said: "I must be about my father's business" [Luke 2:49] "I must do the works of Him that sent me while it is day. The night is coming when no one can work" [John 9:4]

"No time. Busy"
, is something we often say and hear. "Busy doing what?", is a good question to ask.

Jesus' time on this earth was only thirty three years and we know how much He accomplished! The reason: From his childhood, he knew the purpose of his life. That became his passion. He geared his life towards that goal. He did not fail in his duties and responsibilities towards his earthly family; He had task of training his disciples; Crowds were thronging to him to be healed and hear his teachings. He found time to do all these things because he took time to equip himself with strength from heaven. He took time to fellowship with father God.

Needless to say, He would have set aside many worthless things. His call and purpose was to bring redemption to the lost mankind by his cruel death and glorious resurrection. He wanted to finish it perfectly with out any flaw. He succeeded because He managed His limited time by making the right choices.

We are called to follow Jesus. We are called to be Holy and to be saints. Sure there are other specific fields we are called to be employed in. If we do not forget our main call, it will be easy to avoid unwanted, worthless things that rob our time and purity. We could concentrate on things that will keep us holy, in order to enjoy eternity with Christ who paved the way to heaven.

Monday, February 25, 2008

What a Competition for our Time!

"You are careful and worried about many things. But one thing is needful: Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her"
Luke 10:41-42

This is what Jesus said to Martha. Limited time and unlimited things to be done! So many things competing to to take our time! The solution? The right choice.

Mary and Martha were hosts of Jesus. Heaps of things to be done. Preparation to be the best host was competing with enjoying the company of Jesus, the guest of honor. Both were essential, profitable and enjoyable, but both could not be done at the same time. Mary made the wise choice to listen to the one who could give her eternal life. Martha, the perfect hostess murmured and complained. She was full of the cares of this passing world! Jesus commended Mary's choice.

We are crowded with several duties: social, cultural, physical, emotional and moral which have to be seen to within the 24 hours of the day and we need to rest too! "Seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness first and all these things shall be added to you" is a good verse to remember when making a choice among these. May God help us to get our priorities right.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Call to Decide

"Choose this day whom you will serve"
Joshua 24:15

The challenging words of Joshua compelled the Israelites to make up their minds to serve the Lord God who brought them out of slavery. They had experienced great miracles in the desert, yet they had grumbled and complained against God. They had mingled with other nations and followed their way of worship, yet the Lord brought them to the promised land.

In order to enjoy the full blessing of God they had to make a decision. God is not pleased with compromise. They had to decide whether they would obey the Lord who had proved his faithfulness or the local gods which were only man-made idols. They made the right choice. They decided to serve the holy God and obey him.

In our journey too, a time comes when we have to choose who or what will control us. The is for us to decide. Will it be the almighty faithful God or any other imperfect substitute? So many things want to control us. What we give into, maybe our own limited personality or stubborn self, will become our idol.

Once we make the right choice like the Israelites, we have to reaffirm it every day lest we go astray. May God strengthen us too, on our way!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

No Guilt Found!

"In those days, at that time declares the Lord, search will be made for Israel's guilt, but there will be none and for the sins of Judah but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare."
Jeremiah 50:20

How good if the Lord could say the above about you and me! It is not that Israel and Judah never sinned. All that they did is recorded in the Bible! However, they humbled themselves before God and they were pardoned. When God forgives, He does not remember any sins committed by anyone!

We, who live on this side of the cross, have the blood of Christ to cleanse us of our sins. How easy for us to get such a good testimony from the Holy God! Jesus said: "For this is My blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins." [Mt. 26:28]. Again, there is a promise given: "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" [1 Jn. 1:9]

Won't it be great to get that clearance certificate saying "No Guilt Found!" on the day when we stand before the King of Kings?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Answers to Prayer

Jesus was encouraging his disciples to pray before He was crucified:

"And in that day you shall ask me nothing Verily verily I say unto you,what so ever you shall ask the father in my name, he shall give it to you. Hither to you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full."

John 16:23-24

When Jesus himself has given such a promise why should we not boldly come to His presence and pray? God is interested in making us happy. He has given us the authority to use his powerful name in prayer. His name has so much power.

We may wonder why sometimes we do not get an answer to our prayer. God does hear us. What we asked may not be good for us at that time. He always answers. It may be yes, no, or wait.
Instead of looking for the answer, if we look to God when we pray,we will not be disappointed.

"Am I devoted to my desire or to God?", is a good question to consider. Your heavenly father knows what you are in need of even before you ask him. The purpose of asking is to know God better and to develop a relationship with him.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jesus Warned Us!

John 16 is an amazing chapter revealing God's divine care and concern for His followers. Like a loving responsible parent, Jesus warns his disciples of the things that would happen to them after he was gone.

He knew that there is an enemy waiting to foil every thing for them. [Jn. 16:5-12]
He told them that though there would be suffering, the comforter, the holy ghost would be sent. He would guide them into all truth [Jn. 16:13-16]. He encouraged them by saying that the period of sorrow would be followed by joy [Jn. 16:20-22] and He advised them to pray.

Whatever Jesus predicted came to pass. Jesus died on the cross , rose again and is now seated in heaven at the right hand of the father. The Holy spirit was poured down on his followers and is still working with us and among us.

Christians are suffering in various ways since the world's values often oppose God's values. Christians are made to feel like misfits in this world. In some countries Christians are going through real persecution.
This is a call for us to pray for one another. Lets pray for strength, courage and comfort.

Jesus said:
"I have told you these things so that you may have peace.
In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Secure Position

"I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved [shaken]"
Psalm 16:8

What a strong, positive affirmation! Setting the Lord "before me" is focusing on Him or seeking His face or help, approval or affirmation in every situation.

It is human nature to focus on the problem, the person who caused it or to concentrate on the solution. Believers and unbelievers experience pain, trouble and failure. At times those who do not know God tend to have a sense of hopelessness about life and confusion about their purpose on earth. If God is put first in everything, we will be able to see the situation from His point of view. His values will prevail in our decisions. The conviction of the "holy, impartial, perfect God who always wants the best for me" will keep us from doubts.

We could move ahead confidently with what we know is right because we know that God will keep us from being moved off from His chosen plan or shaken. God's plan is always the best. So remember to set the Lord ALWAYS before you!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

God's Divine Presence Brings Success

"Solomon the son of David established himself firmly over his kingdom for the Lord God was with him."
2 Chronicles1:1

Solomon's kingdom was established despite the severe rivalry not because of his wisdom or might. His success was due to the presence of God in his life!
This is true for us too.

In our daily journey we need the presence of God with us to succeed in this age where the Survival of the fittest seems to be the norm.

There are so many promises for us to hold on to to have the divine presence with us:
"My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest"[Ex. 33:14] "When you go to battle be not afraid of them for your Lord God is with you which brought you out of Egypt" [De. 20:1] God's presence will give us rest and victory; He is a promise keeping God.

His presence is always there as He said "Lo I am with you even to the end of the world." We should enter into His presence and see that nothing blocks out his presence from us. "Seek and you shall find.", it is said.
It is to our benefit to seek the Lord's divine presence by prayer and reading His word. We could block out His presence by, seeking things that displeases the Holy God and disobedience.

The later years of Solomon's reign show the decline of his kingdom and disillusionment in his mind. This shows how easy it is to lose God's blessings. To know what is right and yet, not do it will lead to the loss of the presence of God which will lead to defeat and downfall.

Thus, seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. Then, we are sure to succeed!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hearing from God

We sometimes wonder if God ever speaks to us! Yes, He does in various ways. The simplest and surest way is from the word of God. If we pray and go to the Bible we will find guidance, comfort, encouragement and strength according to our needs. That is why we should make it a habit to go to God's word daily.

Early in the morning, before our ears get filled with many other voices, if God's word gets into us, it will prevent fear and worries caused by alarming news or dissatisfaction created by various advertisements that come out every second on the news.

The word of God is an antidote to many emotional ailments.

What we hear in the morning could be shared with others so that they too benefit from it as well. Isn't it better than sharing gossip or spreading news that breeds insecurity and alarm?

May the Holy spirit help us in our endeavor to hear from God daily.