Saturday, August 18, 2018

Proverbs 13:5, 6, 9 Video





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Devotional

I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! (Deuteronomy 32:3) 

That’s one of the great decisions that a person can take in his/her life. One of the meanings of the word proclaim is “to announce officially and publicly” and if that’s a decision that we have taken regarding our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it will surely bring glory to the Lord. Some may ask, “Will it do any good?” It will surely. 

So when was it that you announced publically what the Lord has done for you? Of course, some may tend to see only the bad things that have happened to them and ask, “How can I when so many adverse situations plague my life?” That’s understandable and the Lord understands too, but praising him in adversity and proclaiming his name in adversity can bring great peace into our lives- the peace that passeth all understanding. 

David sang to the Lord in his time of adversity saying, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. (Psalm 34:1). This he sang when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left. 

Here’s a passage from the gospel of Luke of how the Lord values our praises. 
“When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:37-40) 
If we keep quiet, as the Lord said, “the stones will cry out”. So shall we proclaim the name of the Lord day in and day out, for surely he is worthy of all the praise that we can give him.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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Proverbs 13:7,8,11 Video




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Devotional

He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised. (Deuteronomy 26:19) 

We read a couple of declarations in Deuteronomy 26 as the chapter ends. The Israelites made a declaration and so did the Lord Almighty. God declared that he was going to set them in praise, fame and honor because of a declaration that the Israelites made. The Israelites had declared that the Lord was their God and that they would walk in his ways, and that they would keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that they would obey him. (Based on Deuteronomy 26:17) 

They declared a lot but couldn’t fulfill what they declared. Of course, the Lord was their God, but they ran after idols too. Very soon they would no longer be keeping his decrees, commands and laws. They were disobedient and that is how they landed up serving their enemies. The book of judges is a fine example of how they suffered because of their disobedience. For long years they were afflicted by several enemy kingdoms, but when they repented and cried to the Lord, God raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of their enemies. The book of Judges ends on a sad note. It says, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. (Judges 21:25)” 

If we start living as we see fit, we walk away from God’s divine protection over our lives and make ourselves easy prey for the devil. The Bible says, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear, hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.(Jude1: 20-23) 

The Holy Spirit is able to keep us from falling and present us before God’s glorious presence without fault and with great joy, but for that we must be obedient to God’s Word as long as we live. He will then finally set us in praise, fame and honor forever and ever. Praise the Lord.


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Monday, August 13, 2018

Proverbs 13:10,13, 14




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Devotional

He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. (Deuteronomy 10:21) 

Moses tells the Israelites that God is their praise and reminds them of the awesome wonders of which they were eye witnesses in Egypt and in the wilderness. 

Often we tend to forget the great deliverances that the Lord has wrought in our lives. Maybe we are forgetful or the present problems cloud out the works of the Lord in our not so distant past. If we kept a diary and jot down at the end of each day all that the Lord has done for us that day, there will be much to testify at the watch night service on Dec.31st. Of course there may not be any spectacular event every day, but being able to breathe freely and being able to enjoy the food that we eat each day are itself great things. 

Ask the Asthmatic who is on oxygen in the ICU and he will tell you the value of a breath, because he is often short of it. Ask the one who suffers from Gastric Ulcer and Reflux and he will tell you the value of a good alimentary system for he can rarely enjoy the food that he eats. 

Have a bed to lie on? Thank Jesus, for there are many who sleep on the streets and outside closed shops. Have a bed and can sleep well? —that’s even a greater blessing for there are many who hardly sleep because of fears. 

Jesus is our praise. Let’s look back often and remember the goodness, kindness and compassion that the Lord has had on us and our families. 

Small or great! Many are his works in our lives. So let’s praise him all the more.


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Friday, August 10, 2018

Proverbs 13:12 Video




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Devotional

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. (Deuteronomy 8:10) 

The word Deuteronomy means "repetition of the law". Moses and the Israelites were in the territory of Moab and as his final act at this important time of transferring leadership to Joshua, Moses delivered his farewell addresses which were were actually a covenant renewal to prepare the people for their entrance into Canaan. Here Moses exhorts the Israelites to praise the Lord Almighty for the good land that he has given them. 

When blessings start flowing into the lives of believers, some often tend to think that it is because of their own goodness or holiness or ability or strength that they are getting these blessings. In the verses that follow the above verse, the Israelites are plainly given a warning. We read in Deuteronomy 8:12-18 
"Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today." 

Whatever we are today or whatever we have is all because of the Lord. The Bible says, 
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich."(2 Corinthians 8:9) 

So shouldn't we "Through Jesus, therefore, continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name."(Hebrews 13:15) 
That would be appropriate I guess. God bless.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Proverbs 13:15-17




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Devotional

"When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19: 23-25) 

This was one of the laws that were given by God to the Israelites to obey in the Old Testament. Imagine planting a fruit tree and then waiting for 5 years to eat its fruit. That would surely test our patience. The first three years the fruit was to be considered forbidden. Then in the fourth year the fruit became holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. Finally the fruit was ready to be eaten in the fifth year. A tedious process, but one that God planned for blessing them. For he said, “In this way your harvest will be increased.” He would be checking their obedience. 

If believers today were called to obey the laws given to Moses and the Israelites, there would be few to run the race. Thanks be to Jesus that he came and fulfilled the law for us, setting us free and giving us freedom. But should we use this freedom to sin? No, never. Instead we should be always grateful and thankful to God that he has set us apart for himself, paying a heavy price wherein his only begotten son had to cry out to his father, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” 

The Bible says, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”(Galatians 5:13) 

It also says, “You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”(1 Corinthians 6:20) 

May the Holy Spirit help us all to be obedient and faithful to God and his Word. God bless.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Devotional

Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. He said, "Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly." Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law in the presence of God. (Exodus 18: 9-12)

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law or Zipporah’s father praises the Almighty God for his mighty acts in saving Moses and the Israelites from Pharaoh and his army. He has come to a realization here that Moses’ God is greater than all other gods. This happened because of Moses giving his testimony to Jethro. In v. 8 of the same chapter, we read, “Moses told his father-in-law about everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel's sake and about all the hardships they had met along the way and how the Lord had saved them.”

Our testimony can work wonders in the lives of people who are yet to know the Lord as we have known. A few words of how the Lord has taken charge of our lives after we have given ourselves to him can sow a seed of the gospel in the hearts of many. Not all may respond positively but we are all called to sow the seed and God will work in his own way in his own time to work out his purposes in that person. Maybe we are the 1st or 15th or 50th person to sow the seed in a person’s heart regarding the agape love of Jesus but it is all very important for God to work in that person’s life. So let’s not shrink back in testifying regarding the wondrous acts of God in our life and let many more praise God and accept Jesus as Savior when they realize the great works of God in our lives. God bless.

Proverbs 13:20-22 Video


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Monday, August 6, 2018

Proverbs 13:24 Video




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Devotional

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2) 

After witnessing great miracles (the parting of the red sea, the Israelites walking through the sea on dry ground and Pharaoh and his armies being drowned in the sea while pursuing the Israelites) , Moses here exalts the Lord saying that God is his strength and his song and that God has become his salvation. 

Has God become your song?? 
Young men and women often tend to sing about their love, when in love. Where do they find the words? Where do they find the praise? It just flows out of their heart. 

When you delight in someone, words come flowing from the depths of the heart. 
Moses, here is rejoicing because he and the Israelites had come out victorious from a seemingly impossible situation. The Red sea in front of them and Pharaoh and his armies behind. 

God can do the impossible even when all doors seem closed. He’s the one who opened a way in the sea; a way which none of them (the Israelites) saw until it was in front of their eyes. A way in which they were already walking before they realized it. A way that closed as soon as they (the Israelites) had crossed over. 
A way that was opened only for them. 

Search the Red Sea and you wouldn’t find the path the Israelites trod on, because it was just for them. And so it will be for you. A path through the sea (your problem) in front of you. Please expect the unexpected to happen (for your good) because your God is the one who does not change and rejoice like Moses and the Israelites did when you experience the deliverance you longed for so long. Give your God praise. God bless you.



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Friday, August 3, 2018

Devotional

She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children. (Genesis 29:35) 

Every time that Leah bore a son on the previous three occasions, she had a great expectation that at least then her husband would love her. When she bore the first child to Jacob she named him Reuben saying, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” When she gave birth to a son again, she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too and she named him Simeon.” When she gave birth to yet another son, her expectations were very high. She said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me because I have borne him three sons. So he was named Levi. 

But things did not work out for Leah as she expected. Though Jacob had bodily union with Leah, he did not love her or perhaps his love for Rachel was greater and it was evident to all including Leah. 

She finally seems to have accepted her (unloved by husband) situation and so when the fourth son was born, she did not expect Jacob to love her any more than he actually was loving her, but she took a decision to praise the Lord instead. 

If some situations in your life are seemingly impossible, it is better to concentrate on the Lord and focus upon his goodness and blessings and praise him rather than grumble/worry unduly about things that have not yet worked out. God can do the impossible, but sometimes we have to wait.


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Proverbs14:2,11,14


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3 Dreams- Unanswered questions

This dream concerned a relative of mine, a woman in her early forties, a person whom I had known since her birth. In her childhood days, I had often been with her at an uncle's house, a place I visited almost everyday, because they were very close. As a child, she was cheerful and jovial. After my initial college years, I had to move away to another state in India for my M.B.B.S studies and later had very less interaction with her. Marriage and my clinical practice took me to Kerala later on and I visited her only once after her marriage around 10 years back. She was settled in life after marriage, was working and had 2 children. Her parents were close to me in my childhood days and we occasionally kept in touch.


Around 1 month before she fell ill, I saw a dream in which someone had died in her house and a corpse was being carried out. I prayed for the matter that God may avert any calamities coming to their household. It was after a month that I received messages from this relative of mine that she was ill and admitted to a hospital for check up. She and her family requested prayers and I prayed regularly for her for a healing. What seemed to be a mild disease at first was diagnosed to be life threatening one and the prognosis was very bad. Only a bone marrow transplant could save her was the bottom line. While her treatment continued, I and hundreds of others prayed for her. She used to message me the progress of her illness and I kept encouraging her with the Word and with prayers.

After several weeks of her illness, I saw another dream concerning her and in the dream, her condition had worsened and she seemed to be just clinging on to life. I increased my prayers for her after I had seen the troubling dream, seeking God's mercy. Nothing seemed to be changing, yet all hope was not lost. The transplant date was set and prayers of the faithful continued.

The third dream was unsettling, because in it, I saw an aged aunt of mine who lives in Kerala, rush to Mumbai where my relative was admitted for her transplant.

The worst of fears of her parents, husband and close ones happened soon. A few days after her transplant, she passed away from this world. I believe she is safe in the arms of Jesus now, away from pain, sorrow and sickness. The sorrow of her loved ones, whom she left behind is great and words can bring little comfort. All they can do is lean on the Savior Jesus for comfort and peace.

For me, several questions remain unanswered. If she was to die, why the many dreams to pray, with the first dream almost a month before she fell ill?
In the past, on many occasions, when the Lord has shown me dreams of illness/accidents/death coming to people, I have prayed and the Lord has averted calamities and death coming in their lives. Why not her?
Perhaps she was not yet ready for eternal life in heaven before she fell ill and the Lord was preparing her. Only God knows. To receive answers to some questions, we may have to wait till we enter heaven.

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