Tuesday, December 30, 2008

God's Will Is Always The Best

"If I will that he tarries till I come, what is that to you. You follow me." [John 21:22]When Jesus revealed about his end, Peter asked ' what about him' [referring to John] Jesus' answer was 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.' Peter was told not to be concerned about God's will for others.

Often we tend to compare ourselves with others,whether to rationalize our own level of devotion to Christ or to question God's justice. Jesus tells us also the same thing: 'You follow me'
My concern should be, am I doing God's will and am I following Jesus the way He wants me to follow Him.

God has a plan and purpose for each one of us Each one is different in nature. But all of us are expected to come to the knowledge of the love of Christ and reach out to conform to His character. Perfect in holiness.That is the expected standard.Perfection comes to each one at different levels in different areas. Like a building, we are all under construction. We ought to just follow His leading.That is God's will for you and me.

Prayer is essential to attain this.As We too should pray as David prayed: [Psalms.143:10] 'Teach me to do your will, for you are God. Your spirit is good. Lead me into the land of righteousness.'

Doing God's will or desiring and asking God to show His will, will establish a divine relationship.Jesus said' For whoever will do the will of my father which is in heaven, the same is my my brother, sister and mother'[Mt.12:50]
Christ is the perfect example of doing God's will: Just before the betrayal He prayed,'O my father if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, Thy will be done'.What a surrender of his own will to the will of his father's!

I prayed: Lord I pray like you. I do not know what the out come of all these things that are taking place. It is scary. I step out depending on you.I know acting according to your will , will bring peace and joy. Your wisdom is the best for me. There is no one else greater than you Lord. You are able to see me through in any situation.Your wisdom is the best for me.

I decided and wrote the letter as the Holy spirit prompted me to write and went on reading God's word.

Doing God's will tends to spiritual knowledge. " If any man will do his will he shall know the doctrine whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself' Jesus said
Doing God's will should not be with eye service as pleasing men. It should as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.'[ Eph 6:6]
When we take one step to do His will, He works in us to make us the kind of people who will please Him. He equips us to do the kind of work that will please Him.
Doing God's will should be the rule of everyday life. James 4:15 says 'For that you ought to say If the Lord will , we shall live and do this or that.'

It gave me much hope and joy when I read 2nd John2:17' The world and it's desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever.
A prayer rose from me: Lord help me to desire and always do what ever is your will for me.

The Lord gave me this on the 28th December 2008 at5AM. As I surrendered my will to the Lord and wrote the letter that the Lord prompted me to write, a joy that I am pleasing the Lord filled me. I praise God for it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Birhday Boy Is missing

People are preparing for a grand Christmas celebration. Though buying of gifts, organizing parties and dinners, the time and energy spent, and the expense involved, wear them out, they some how look forward to the excitement that is awaiting them. The thought of feasting and dancing with friends spur them up despite the difficulties they face today.

I am reminded of a story I heard: It was a fabulous birthday party. It was well organized . Any one could see that much money and time had been devoted to make it so grand. The choice invitees were from the rich and famous class. Compliments were being given lavishly to the hostess. Greetings and laughter thrilled the every one.

Suddenly one of the guests asked, 'Where is the birthday boy? I saw him as a baby. I can't believe he is one year old today.'
'Oh we left him with the baby sitter. Can we have a good time if he is here?'
'Quite true.' Her friend agreed. " You did a wise thing." Both of them emptied their wine glasses and went to get a stronger drink, little realizing that the baby's birthday was the reason for that grand party!.

Our Christmas celebrations should not be like this party. Let us have Jesus in the midst of our celebrations. It will prevent us from including things that He does not approve of in our parties.

It is a good opportunity to introduce Jesus Christ to our friends.

Let us remember to include Jesus, who is the reason for the season in all that we do during these festive days this year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Instruction For The Youth

I read Proverbs 7th Chapter this morning. I thought of the Young men and women of today. Most of them go with the flow of the culture, where sexual sins are accepted. It says, there are no absolutes. Every one does whatever pleases oneself. It is sad that they fail to realize how they lose their purity of life and eternal life by following this kind of culture.

The word of God says, " Keep my words and store up my commands and you will live" [Pro.7:1]
Some of the verses reminded me of our youth: " I saw among the youth a young men who lacked wisdom.[Pro.7:7] Then the author talks of how a woman seduces this young man ." all at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into the noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost his life."[Pro.7:22-23] How sad!

A person who has no purpose in life is simple minded like this young man. Easily swayed. An empty life with out God, is unstable and vulnerable to many temptations.

There are definite steps one can take to avoid sexual sins:
(1) Guard your mind. Don't read books, look at pictures or movies, or encourage fantasies that stimulate wrong desires.
(2) Keep away from settings and friends that tempt you to sin.
(3)Don't think only of the moment; focus on the future. Remember, today's thrill may lead to tomorrow's ruin.
Paul gave a sound advise to young Timothy." flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."2nd Tim. 2:22] He clearly says, what to avoid and whom to associate with and what to seek after earnestly.

I was reminded how in my young days I tried to keep myself. 'These are not those days', is the argument of the youth of today. They forget, it is the same devil of those days that is lureing them and it is the same unchanging Holy God who is warning them, and it is He who is able to keep them. The eternity is the same for people of any age!

I was sad to think of the way the devil has blinded the eyes of our children. It is high time we pray for their eyes to be opened to reality and truth.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Celebration Is Good

" Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to all the Jews, -----near and far to have them celebrate the 14th and 15th days of the month of Adar, the time when the Jews got their relief from their enemies, when their sorrows were turned into joy and their moaning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.' [Esther9:20-22]

Thus the celebration of Purim stared among the Jews. Any one who has read the book of Esther will know how Haman plotted to exterminate the Jews and how through the courageous intervention of Esther, they were saved and the enemy was destroyed. It is a fascinating story.

The deliverance was so wonderful that the Jews had a great celebration. Mordecai, [Esther's uncle who was encouraging Esther] wanted the people to celebrate this event annually. Even today it is being celebrated. Mordecai put down the reason for the celebration, so that the people will celebrate it meaningfully. He knew that people tend to have short memories when it comes to God's faithfulness! Then the celebrations become hollow and meaningless and the blessing is lost.

The Christmas celebration has so much in common to Purim . Today the whole world is celebrating Christmas, to remember the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.[ Although the date 25th of December is not exact, it is a historical fact the Jesus was born during that time] Some do not even know the reason for the celebrations. Christ is sometimes not even in the scene. The Santa, the rain deer, the Christmas tree, gifts, food, cakes, lights and decorations are given much prominence that the spiritual significance is completely lost.

Yet the fact remains that, it is the birth of Jesus Christ, who is able to set us free from sin and it's consequences, free us from all burdens and give us eternal life and joy.
The story is recorded in the gospels by Christ's disciples. It is good for us to read it to refresh our memories of this wonderful birth of our Lord and savior. If we celebrate this Christmas meaningfully, then Christ will be born in our hearts, so that the joy of Christmas will continue through out our life even to eternity.

Like Mordecai, let us remind every one the reason for our celebration!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grace, The Source Of power

"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus"[2nd Timothy2:1]

It is sad that there are so many weak Christians in the body of Christ today . They are offended over something or other and hurt. what we need is the grace of Jesus Christ.

Grace is such a beautiful word. It means unmerited favor. It also means being able to bear up or go through situations which are normally unbearable and difficult. Grace comes only from God.

What is the grace that is in Jesus Christ? God's love towards humanity made Christ Jesus, give up Heaven, come down to Earth as a man, take all the punishment of the sinful humans upon Himself and die the cruel death on the cross, just to bring salvation to us. By this He reconciled the sinful humanity to the Holy God. All this He did for us, not because we deserved it. We were yet sinners, unwilling to to live the way the holy God's laws said. He need not have done that. That love and willingness to suffer for no wrong of His, just to set us free from the clutches of the enemy, who made us sin against God and others , is Christ's grace toward us.
He had to humble Himself. He was selfless.

It is because of the grace that He showed to you and me, today we are saved . We have the assurance that we will spend eternity with this savior in heaven. It is freely granted to any and every one who comes to Him believing in his sacrifice of grace. God tells us, 'I will remember your sins no more,' when we repent and ask forgiveness. It is because of what Christ Jesus did to reconcile us to the holy God!

To be strong in the grace of Christ Jesus, we should be able to show the same grace to those who wrong us, offend or hurt us. Forgive them unconditionally just as Christ forgave. It calls for humility and unselfishness. Forgiveness and grace say to the offender,' I forgive you with out demanding back anything.' Hurt says, 'you hurt me I am going to somehow punish you for it.'
Being unable to bear up or forgive the wrongs of others makes us weak. It gives the enemy a chance to enter into our lives.[2nd Cor.2:10-11] The result will be hardheartedness leading to sin and deception.

Showing the same grace that Christ Jesus showed us will make us soft righteous and pleasing to God which will destroy the power of the enemy over us.
There is strength in Forgiveness and grace.
Hate, unforgiveness and revenge are the enemy's strongholds. Kindness, love and forgiveness will bring them down. God reconciled us to him through Jesus Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. [2nd Cor.5:18] It is essential to have the grace of Jesus Christ to do this ministry.
It is not easy to develop this nature by ourselves. God has given us the holy Spirit to help us out. By the Holy spirit God's love is shed into our hearts. When we are filled with God's love we can love and show mecy and grace even to our enemies.

' Lord help us to be like Jesus, full of grace to forgive, to set others free and for us to be free.' I pray.

Are You Strong In The Lord?

" Finally, be Strong in the Lord and in His mighty power" [ Ephesians.6:10 NkJ] This is a sound advise to us, the Christians, to keep the enemy, the devil, away from us.

Paul begins the verse with the word, ' finally' after teaching about how the children, the parents , the employers and the employees should behave to be pleasing to the Lord by obeying God's commands to them. [Eph.6:1-9] Being diligent to obey what ever the Lord says, is an essential requirement to have victory over the enemy.

There are times we feel distort and weak spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It is just the right time for the enemy to attack and defeat us. I had such a moment yesterday. I went to the Lord and He strengthened me with His word.

He said,' Be strong in the lord and in the power of His might' I searched the scriptures for more 'food' to strengthen me. The following scriptures helped me much:
'Be strong therefore and let not your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.' [11chron.15:1] There are so many scriptures like this to strengthen us.

I meditated on our God's power and strength too. Psalms 62:11 says, ' God has spoken and twice have I heard that power belongs unto the Lord.'

I came to the conclusion, when I have such an a mighty God as my friend and savior, I can face anything with boldness. I was happy to read what Paul wrote to the Ephesians, 'I pray, that out of His glorious riches, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being. What a prayer! I said, ' Amen!', to it.

I wonder if you know this God who strengthens us when we are weak? Have you experienced the Holy Spirit who revives and refreshes us when we feel dry. If you have that experience, I praise God with you.
If not , I wish to tell you that, you can have it just by asking God sincerely for it, in the name of Jesus. He will gladly lead you into it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who Is Your Friend?

Despite the many avenues to keep oneself occupied and not feel lonely, the humans crave for companionship and friendship.We were not created to be loners. The internet, the television and the movies cannot supply the affection, compassion, or the human touch that people naturally long for. We need friends. The word of God gives us guide lines as to with whom to associate.

King David, whom many would have befriended said, 'I am a friend to all who fear you and all who follow your precepts.'[Psalms.119:63] This gives us a sound guide as to the choice of friends.

A friend is some one to whom you run for counsel or comfort. In times of adversity or prosperity a true friend is with you. Hours of leisure and entertainment become enjoyable when shared with friends. No wonder David desired to have some one who honored God, His words and laws as his friends. He did not want his friends to be of the world . Such friends would lead him away from God. He cherished his relationship with God.

Paul writing to the Corinthians said, 'I have written in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.'He did not mean the people of this world, who are immoral or greedy, and swindlers or idolaters. In that case you will have to leave the world. He adds,' But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with any one who calls himself a BROTHER but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler, with such a man do not even eat.'[1stCor.5:9-11] What strong words of advice!

Here Paul makes it clear that we should not disassociate with unbelievers. How are we to show Christ and His light to them and bring them to Christ if we keep away from them? We are to distance our selves from those who claim to be Christians yet indulge in sins which are clearly forbidden in the scripture and rationalize their actions. Such are deceived. By rationalizing they not only harm others for whom Christ died but also dim the image of God in themselves.

Associating with such is forbidden because it defiles us and may reduce the desire we have for holiness. Even the church where they are is in peril: Their conduct will distort the picture of Christ that the Church is expected to present to the world. It the duty of the Church leaders to correct or deal with them in love Our duty is not to have friendly fellowship with them but to pray for them in love.

May the Lord help us to be prudent in the choice of our associates and friends.

The Rescue Of The Godly

" The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment." [2nd Peter2:9 NKV]

Many do not want to talk of judgment or punishment. How can a loving God punish, they say.

Others who try to lead a life pleasing to God, believe that there is chastisement and later a day of judgment, fear how they will fare on that day.

When the word of God says something, it is always absolutely true.

Apostle Peter quotes some instances from the past to prove this.: " If God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
If He did not spare the ancient world, when He brought the floods on the ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
If He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example to what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men- [for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard]

- If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. This is specially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority." [2nd Peter2;10

It is good for us to live in such a way to escape the judgment of God and to trust God to make a way of escape from all that comes upon the unrighteous ones.

Our God is holy, good and righteous. He is merciful and just. So Let us trust Him and run the race with his guidance.