Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yesterday- 31/01/2012


Yesterday, the Lord reminded me again that his coming is very near and that I have to be ready to meet him. One of the first dreams that I saw after I was filled with the Holy Spirit, was about the Rapture and I can still remember so very clearly what I had seen. Of course, there are many who do not believe that such an event will take place, but that's not the issue here. The issue is "being ready" at all times to meet the Saviour.

So many exhortations and in so many New Testament books.

So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:44)

Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back - whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. (Mark 13:35)

Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning...It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. (Luke 12:35, 38)

You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Luke 12:40)
Here's an exhortation for all of us from the Apostle Peter...
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. (2 Peter 3:13, 14)

It's been 17 years since I saw the dream and I believe it will be fulfilled in my lifetime. I must be ready and so must you.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Yesterday- 30/01/2012


Yesterday, the road in front of the clinic that I work in, was being newly tarred. The roads had been dug up around a month back and work had progressed slowly. Now the recovery process was almost complete. The patients were inconvenienced no end as they had to take tortuous paths to reach the backside of the clinic. Doctors in the clinic were troubled too because the patient flow to the clinic was suffering. Neither the doctors or the patients were the cause for the trial that had ensued because the local authorities had decided to renovate the roads. Some things are not really under our control so as to say. But we do learn from our experiences. Sometimes in life, we feel shaken because of certain circumstances that we have landed in, without us really having wanted to. To be precise, "you want out, but you cannot"...is the situation that you are in.

So what's to be done? Did it happen without the Lord's knowing? No, of course not. He knows every bit of it. In fact, he's totally involved, though we usually do not observe his subtle moves to redeem us from the situation. He's always working for the good of those who cry out to him for mercy.

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly......(Luke 18:7, 8a)

For those of us who are wanting out from troublesome situations that we have landed in, here's an exhortation from the psalmist....
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yesterday- 29/01/2012


Yesterday, I read an article that inspired me much. In 1775, a young preacher named Augustus M. Toplady, was caught in a sudden storm, which forced him to take shelter in a cleft of a huge rock. As he waited for the storm to pass, he thought about how God had been a shelter for him in his life's storms. He found a playing card on the floor of his newly found shelter and wrote the words of the wonderful hymn, “Rock of Ages.” A hymn which has been a source of comfort to countless souls.

The ending stanza says....While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see thee on thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.

Toplady died in 1778. Would he ever have imagined that a couple of centuries later, his hymn would still be sung in homes, churches and conferences. What an awesome blessing; something that no material gift can match.

Our testimony (written, spoken or sung) of the goodness of God is significant; it can do many things....refresh a weary soul, draw someone lost to the Saviour, encourage a depressed believer, challenge a Christian soldier and so much more.

If you ask Christians who Augustus M. Toplady is, not many will tell you. But to the question whether they have sung or heard "Rock of Ages" many will nod affirmatively.

Our testimony will probably outlive us, if the Saviour's return is delayed, and it will be a blessing to many; so let us do the Saviour's bidding while we can.....Remember the Master's words.....
As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yesterday- 28/01/2012


Yesterday, the Lord put a new song in my mouth. It was not during worship or my quiet time; no, just while I was doing some cleaning work at home. Most of the more than 100 songs that I have written are in my mother tongue Malayalam. A language which is the local dialect of Kerala, a state in South India. Since I was born and brought up in Mumbai, I could not read or write the language though I conversed in it at home with family. When I was 28 years old, the Lord brought me to Kerala; I had no idea that he was going to call me into Christian ministry though I was well versed in the Bible. 2 years later, I started preaching in English, but since I needed a translator each time I preached, there were difficulties. So I started learning to read in Malayalam and it was through constant reading of the Malayalam Bible, that I started preaching in Malayalam too. The beginnings were really difficult, there were mistakes, but the Lord strengthened me and then he gave me songs. I did not have to write them with my knowledge; he gave me the songs with the tunes. Great are the ways of God. I still do not know how to write in Malayalam, but there's no actual need for that. If there was, he would have made me learn....

The Apostle Paul exhorts young Timothy....
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:5,6)

He continues by saying,
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Yes, all of us who have received forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, have been given, not the spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, so we must use our God given talents and gifts to glorify him.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yesterday- 27/01/2012


Yesterday, I met a middle aged believer with Chronic kidney disease; he was on dialysis thrice a week. If I had not been told before hand by another friend of mine about his condition, I would never have guessed. He was cheerful while conversing about family, business, spiritual truths and life in general. Perhaps one would wonder where he could muster this kind of strength while going through this painful illness. For him, the verse, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)" seemed fitting.

God's strength is truly manifest in our weaknesses. This was what God told Paul, the Apostle;
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9a)
And Paul's response to that was that he would all the more gladly boast about his weaknesses, so that Christ's power would rest on him.

It would be wise to conclude then, that it's "all grace". And so we must give him praise who says, "I am who I am".... (Exodus 3:14) and who proclaims, "I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.........(Isaiah 45:5)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yesterday- 26/01/2012


Yesterday was truly a forgettable day with trouble brewing from morning. It continued through the day though I had started the day, on a right note, according to my thinking, namely with worship, prayer and meditation of the Word. The cold weather bit hard as I walked to pay some bills, early morning, before leaving to the clinic. My consulting room was unusually cold as the heater was non-existent and an irritating cough left a tightness in my chest. One of my patients was in a nasty mood, a few patients of mine were accidentally sent to another doctor and the evening chilly winds left me shivering.

Why are some days better than others? is a question that plagues many believers. We may do everything by the book, but still things turn out sour. Of course, the answers don't come easily, even to them who are real close to God.

The Apostle Paul calls these troubles that we face "light and momentary"; though the problems that he encountered were not trivial ones; some of them were truly crushing. Yet he wrote,
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

A good exhortation for all of us.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yesterday- 25/01/2012


Yesterday, I received an e-mail from an evangelist, who is working in remote places in North Bengal, India.
He ekes out his living by being a musician and a recordist and is a missionary among several tribes near the Indo-Bhutan border. Long back, he was a member of a hard rock group, then washed clean by the precious blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, now a precious witness of the saving grace of God among tea- estate workers and tribals.

In his own words, " Sir, I am a pastor of four fellowships in North Bengal region, border to the kingdom of Bhutan. I am from a hindu background, but having a Christian name because my father is a catholic and my mother, a hindu. Born and brought up in Kerala. I left Kerala when God saved me from the sinful life of rock bands. I stayed and shared Gospel in many states..... Srinagar, Pulwama of Kashmir for around six years and now more than six years here in this border region. From our home to Bhutan is 20 minutes, Bangladesh is less than two hours. Nepal and China are also not so far. We are serving the Lord independently till today. Of course, there are difficulties....."

He ended the mail with...."Please don't misunderstand that I send this mail seeking financial help. God bless you. Happy New Year 2012."

Once God asked Isaiah a question....."Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And he responded, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)
Praise God that even now there are Isaiah's who respond wholeheartedly when God asks them the question...."Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"

Yesterday- 24/01/2012


Yesterday, we were invited to a dinner hosted to celebrate 25 yrs. in service of an unique charitable organisation from Kerala, India. A middle aged couple who take care and are involved in the upbringing of children of prisoners gave their testimonies about their work amidst these needy children. It was an eye opener to many of us. Their passion to work among these truly downtrodden and helpless children was amazing. Sending money to orphanages for the running of such institutions are done by many and is indeed a noble deed, but sharing the griefs and pains and troubles of the children involved, day in and day out is something far noble. They are taking care of 65 such children and every day is a new challenge. In fact, there are several challenges, which they overcome, by trusting in their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I remembered Jesus' word's when I heard them speak.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
A challenge to me as well.