Saturday, December 12, 2015

Psalm 150- A Simple Study

Psalm 150 — Hallelujah
[1] Hallelujah.
Praise God in his holy place.
Praise him in the sky, his stronghold.
[2] Praise him for his deeds of power.
Praise him for his boundless greatness.

[3] Praise him with blast of horn;
praise him with harp and lyre.
[4] Praise him with timbrel and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe.
[5] Praise him with resounding cymbals,
praise him with clashing cymbals.
[6] Let all that has breath praise the Lord .


Answers to the 5 "W's"

Whom to praise- Almighty God.
Where to praise- In his holy place, in the sky, his stronghold.
Why to praise- For his deeds of power and for his boundless greatness.
Wherewith to praise- With all kinds of musical instruments.
Who must praise- All that has breath.

Dr. Johnson Cherian

365 Nuggets Of Gold- 25

Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him; even they who pierced Him and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)

The day draws nigh when Jesus Christ will return to the earth to judge the rebellious. The final showdown between Jesus and (the Antichrist and Satan) is not far away. The Bible says, 
"The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Revelation 20:10)
At the great White Throne judgment.....
Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)

Is your name in the Book of Life?
Blessed are you if it is so; if not, take a decision this day to accept God's offer of salvation through his son, Jesus Christ.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 136

Matthew Chapter 20- Part 3

Zebedee's wife (mother of James & John) and her desire- Read (Matthew 20:20-28)(Mark 10:35-45)
Zebedee's wife (Salome)came to Jesus with her sons, James & John and worshiped him and told him that he should fulfill a desire of hers. Mark, the Gospel writer, writes that it was James and John who came to Jesus with the request. On inquiring of what the request was, she replied, "Grant that these two sons of mine, may sit, one on your right hand, and the other on the left, in your kingdom." Jesus answered, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink of the cup that I am going to drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am going to be baptized with?" They said to him, "We are able." He said, "You will indeed drink of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it is for them for whom it is prepared by my Father. When the ten disciples heard this, they were displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him, and said, "You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great, exercise authority on them. But it shall not be so among you; whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; for the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." 

There's no doubt that James and John harbored ambitions of power and according to Matthew, they let their mother Salome approach Jesus with the matter (Mark differs in this). It's surprising that they could dwell on such a topic when Jesus had just spoken of what he was going to suffer shortly. Perhaps they had misinterpreted Jesus statement of "the twelve sitting on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the regeneration" and were still thinking of a temporal kingdom of Jesus and so the desire to occupy prominent positions.

The cup that Jesus was going to drink and the baptism that he was going to be baptized with were the brutal sufferings that he would endure before he gave up his life on the cross after crucifixion. On asking whether they would be able to follow in the same path, the brothers replied in the affirmative, perhaps not realizing what they were saying. On seeing that a rift was developing between his disciples regarding the matter of prominent positions, Jesus pointed out to them that power and authority were desired by them who lusted after worldly things, but he had called them to minister to others and be servants rather than masters and he ended by giving his own example: "...the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
According to tradition, James was the first of the twelve apostles to be martyred for his faith. John, on the other hand, though he suffered much for his faith in Christ, including being exiled to the island of Patmos for a period of time, was the only one of the remaining disciples not to die a martyr's death. Judas, of course committed suicide.

Start Your Day Right-41

Start Your Day Right-42

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-55

365 Blessings- Devotional 55

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-55

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 135

Matthew Chapter 20- Part 2

Jesus prophesies his death a third time- Read (Matthew 20:17-19) (Mark 10:32-34) (Luke 18:31-33)
The first time that Jesus prophesied about his death is read in Matthew 16:21-28, where Peter rebuked him for saying so. The second time Jesus prophesied about his death is read in Matthew Chapter 17:22, 23. Here, Jesus prophesies about his death a third time.

Jesus while going to Jerusalem, walked ahead of them. Mark writes that the disciples were amazed and they were afraid. Twice he had told them about his death and they were grieved. They were amazed because he was walking boldly towards his death. They were afraid thinking of what harsh treatment awaited them. All 3 synoptic Gospel authors write about Jesus speaking to his disciples of betrayal, condemnation, spiteful treatment, death and resurrection. Matthew writes of Jesus speaking of his crucifixion.

The betrayer walked with them; the disciples knew it not, but he knew it all. Yet, he walked towards what his Father had sent him to earth for, death on the cross. Not only that, he was  going to accomplish something that no one had ever accomplished. The writer of Hebrews, puts it in this manner......that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14, 15)

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 134

Matthew Chapter 20- Part 1

The parable of the laborers in the vineyard- Matthew Chapter 20:1-16

Jesus spoke a parable, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny/denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. He went out about the third hour (9 a.m.), and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them; You too go and work in my vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will pay you. They accepted and started working. Again he went out about the sixth (12 p.m.) and ninth hour (3 p.m.), and did likewise. About the eleventh hour (5 p.m.)he went out, and found others standing idle, and said to them, Why have you been standing here idle all day? They said, "Because no one hired us." He said to them, Go into my vineyard; and whatsoever is right, I will pay you. When it was evening, the Lord of the vineyard told his steward, "Call the labourers, and give them their pay, beginning from the last to the first." When those who were hired at the eleventh hour (5 p.m.) came, they received a penny/denarius. When those who were hired first in the morning came, they thought they would receive more; but each one was given a penny/denarius. When they had received it, they murmured against the landowner, saying, "These last have just worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us; we, who have borne the burden and heat of the day." But he answered one of them, and said, "Friend, I did you no wrong: did you not agree to work for me for a penny/denarius? Take that which is yours and go your way: I will give to this last, even as I have given you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own things? Is your eye evil, because I am good?"
Jesus ended the parable by saying, " So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."

The period of service in the vineyard was not considered important here by the landowner. He paid the laborers what he felt was right, because he was the owner of all. Only the laborers hired first were told that they would be given a penny; all the others were told that the landowner would give them what he felt was right. All the laborers received the same wages, a penny, though some came in late and worked for shorter durations. When called in to the service for God and his kingdom, some labor for longer durations and some shorter; the rewards may seem unjust because it is done with human calculations and often with jealousy and envy, but since God is the giver of grace to do anything that we do, it's finally up to him to decide whom to reward in what way. Having the mind of Christ, integrity and faithfulness are what God focuses upon more than the duration of service. The one who has worked for shorter duration may receive the same reward as the one who labored longer. The last becomes the first and the first last, so as to say.

The Jews (called first) had the covenant blessings of God, but most of them rejected Jesus through whom grace came. The Gentiles who were called eventually and they who accepted the offer of salvation through Jesus, were rewarded with the same promise of eternal life as was first presented to God's chosen people. They who were last became first, and the first became last.

The Gospel call goes out to all who hear through all generations. Yet, the chosen ones are the ones who would accept the offer of eternal life by grace through faith and then live for their Lord and Savior and remain faithful to him, working diligently for him, till their call to go to their eternal home comes. Many are called, but few are chosen.

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-54

365 Blessings- Devotional 54

Start Your Day Right-40

Start Your Day Right-39

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-54

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Check Points-1

This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John, who testified to God's word, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw. (Revelation 1:1, 2)

The Apostle John was faithful to God in what he was entrusted with.
He testified to God's word and made known his testimony of Jesus Christ. How about you? How's your testimony?
Evaluate yourself today. Be a faithful witness of the Lord.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 133

Matthew Chapter 19- Part 3C

A rich young man, the rich and salvation, temporal and eternal rewards- Read (Matthew 19:16-29) (Mark 10:17-30) (Luke 18:18-30)

To Peter's question as to what would be their (disciples) gains for having left everything and followed him, Jesus spoke about eternal and temporal rewards. Jesus promised his disciples that when God restores the order of all things (as we read in Revelation 21), they would be given prominent positions; they would he highly honored and respected. The twelve tribes of Israel could mean "all of God's redeemed people." "Judging" would not mean literal judging, but being esteemed among the redeemed. The word "regeneration" here means "new birth" or "renewal" or "restoration".

For those who have left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for Jesus' sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will receive one hundred times (manifold) now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, (Mark adds "with persecutions"). By this Jesus meant, that the loss of personal relationship with family members would be compensated by God giving the sacrificing believer many more spiritual relationships. In earthly terms, persecutions would not be counted as a reward, but Jesus said, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:10)

Finally, Jesus ended by saying, "But many who are first will be last ; and those that are last will be first." In this context, where Jesus is dealing with "the rich who trust in their riches", it means that the rich of the world, who are considered first by the world, had yet to get on the path to eternal life, because of their love for riches (they became last), while the disciples who are poor and considered of no worth or last by the world, had gained access to heaven and were well on their way to inherit eternal life (they became first).

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-53

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-53

365 Blessings- Devotional 53

Start Your Day Right-37

Start Your Day Right-38

Saturday, September 26, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 132

Matthew Chapter 19- Part 3B

A rich young man, the rich and salvation, temporal and eternal rewards- Read (Matthew 19:16-29) (Mark 10:17-30) (Luke 18:18-30)

Jesus here tells the man who called him "Good teacher", that there is a great difference between man's standard of goodness and God's standard of goodness and from his view point when comparing humans with God, God alone is good, for all goodness flows from God to his creation.
The rich man drew Jesus in to a conversation and Jesus told him what the Law required for one to gain eternal life and he answered that he had complied with all that since long. He persisted in questioning Jesus as to what he lacked even though he was keeping all the commandments, implying that he still did not believe that he would inherit eternal life because of all that he was doing. So Jesus told him what it was that hindered him from being sure of his salvation. It was his love for his riches. That exceeded his love for God and it had to be put away. Jesus said, "One thing you lack; If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross." But when the young man heard that, he went away sad, for he had great possessions. Sadly this is true in every generation; people love the one true God and desire to follow him, but cannot give up their love for riches and some hoard it to a great extent, living with fear and insecurity.

Jesus did not say that the rich would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven; what he said was, "It is hard for those who trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God." Jesus spoke a proverb here to express an impossibility. The Talmud (a central text of Rabbinic Judaism) gives the parallel phrase of an elephant passing through a needle’s eye. In some Syrian cities, the narrow gate for foot-passengers, at the side of the larger gate by which wagons, camels and other beasts of burden enter is known as the “needle’s eye,” and if a camel had to go through the needle's eye gate, it had to bend it's neck low and it's body as well, which would become a difficult and often impossible task for the animal.

When the disciples heard that it was hard for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God, they were astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus replied, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Salvation is a gift of God. We can work towards the salvation of a person, but it's the work of the Holy Spirit of God that accomplishes the task.

To be next lesson


Once when I lived in a rented house, though the owners were kind to me, the person who was looking after the house when the owners had gone abroad was always seeking an opportunity to make us leave the place because of vested interests.

I happened to know this because the Lord would show me a dream regarding this each time the fellow planned evil against us. Every time I would pray to the Lord not to allow his tricks to work.

When the Lord started showing me several dreams regarding his plans, I developed a dislike for the man and I changed my prayers. I started praying that the Lord should instead send that fellow away from that place. Some sort of hatred developed inside of me because outwardly he pretended to be kind but was scheming secretly.

Finally when the Lord had been repeatedly showed me these dreams, I asked the Lord, "I have been praying all along about this, why you don’t do something?"

The Holy Spirit spoke to me at that moment and said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you".

I understood that my attitude as a Christian towards this man was wrong. So I confessed my sin to God and decided to do something good for this man for all the wrong that he was doing. I had a brand new shaving set with me and I decided to present him that. That same day when I met him, I presented that set to him. He looked surprised and thanked me. Because of the act, I found great peace in my heart. I was happy that I had obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord was pleased too and I know it for sure because in 2 days, he sent the fellow away from that place, no more to trouble us.

The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. (Psalm 11:4)

From my book 

Dreams, Visions, The Still Small Voice & Miracles

Friday, September 25, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 131

Matthew Chapter 19- Part 3A
A rich young man, the rich and salvation, temporal and eternal rewards- Read (Matthew 19:16-29) (Mark 10:17-30) (Luke 18:18-30)
A young man (Luke writes a certain ruler) came to Jesus, kneeled and said, "Good teacher, what good thing must I do, that I may have eternal life?" Jesus said, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." He asked, "Which ones?" and Jesus said, "You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not offer false testimony. Honor your father and mother and you shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man replied, "All these things I have observed from my youth. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him (Mark writes Jesus looking at him loved him), "One thing you lack; If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross." But when the young man heard that, he went away sad, for he had great possessions. 
Jesus said to his disciples, "Most assuredly I say to you, it is difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."When the disciples heard it, they were astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus replied, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." 
Then Peter said, "We have left everything, and followed you. What then will we have?" Jesus said, "Most assuredly I tell you, that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  Everyone who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the gospel's sake, will receive one hundred times now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last ; and those that are last will be first.
To be next lesson

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-52

Start Your Day Right-36

Start Your Day Right-35

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-52

365 Blessings- Devotional 52

Monday, September 14, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 130

Matthew Chapter 19- Part 2

Jesus blesses little children- Read (Matthew 19:13-15) (Mark 10:13-16) (Luke 18:15-17)

Little children (infants/babes) were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them and pray for them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. When Jesus saw it, he was displeased and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Mark and Luke add Jesus saying, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter it."

Jesus then took the little children up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
It was a custom of Jewish mothers to carry their little ones to eminent Rabbis for their blessing and thus they brought them to Jesus, who had been teaching them as one with authority telling them great truths of the Kingdom of Heaven and healing their sicknesses and demonic afflictions. The disciples rebuked the parents for the same. Perhaps, on the spur of the moment, they decided to have exclusive rights to approaching their Master. Right before this happened, Jesus spoke on how some live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and this might have suddenly changed the way they thought about their Master, elevating him to an unapproachable level, though he himself remained with a servant attitude. Another cause must be that the disciples considered bringing little children to Jesus as a trivial intrusion, when great things were happening.

Jesus was displeased with the attitude of the disciples and opened the way for the parents to bring their children to him and he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them, reminding all that, they had to be like little children in their receiving the kingdom of God, if they desired to enter it. Innocence, simple acceptance, clinging trust are qualities that define little children.

365 Blessings- Devotional 50

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-50

Start Your Day Right-32

Start Your Day Right-31

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-50

Thursday, September 10, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 129

Matthew Chapter 19- Part 1

Jesus' Teaching on Divorce- Read (Matthew 19:3-12) (Mark 10:1-12)

When Jesus came to Judea, the Pharisees came to test him and asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?" Jesus answered quoting Genesis 1:27, "Have you not read that he who made them at the beginning, made them male and female" and also Genesis 2:24, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"; so then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. The Pharisees again asked, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so." Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced, commits adultery." His disciples said, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." Jesus answered, "All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born so from their mother's womb, there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."

There were 2 schools of thought regarding the interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 which spoke of divorce. The Shammai school interpreted Deut. 24:1 (something indecent) as sexual immorality to be the cause for divorce, while the Hillel school taught that a man could divorce his wife if she did anything that was not pleasing to him. Jesus pointed to God's original plan and then affirmed the Shammai teaching on the matter.

The disciples then presented Jesus with a radical solution to the matter...."If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." Jesus answered that, that was not an acceptable solution for all. He spoke of exceptions though....them who are born as eunuchs, others who undergo castration for any reason and finally those who choose to live as eunuchs or practice celibacy, so that they can give themselves completely to God's work.

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-49

Start Your Day Right-30

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-49

Start Your Day Right-29

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 128

Matthew Chapter 18- Part 7

Jesus teaches about forgiveness- Read Matthew 18:21-35

Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and he paid it all. The servant fell down before him and said, "Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all." The master was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, "Pay me what you owe!" His fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, "Have patience with me, and I will pay you all." But he went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had happened. When his master had summoned the servant whom he had forgiven his debt, he said to him, "You wicked servant! I forgave you all your debt because you implored me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?" Then his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he paid all that was due to him. So my heavenly Father will also do to each of you, if from your heart, you do not forgive your brother his trespasses."

Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a compassionate king who forgave a great debt of one of his servants. A fellow servant of this servant who owed a small sum to this servant was treated very harshly and when the king knew about the matter, he punished the wicked servant for not being kind and forgiving. He was delivered to the torturers. Jesus ended his teaching on forgiveness by saying, "So my heavenly Father will also do to each of you, if from your heart, you do not forgive your brother his trespasses." This would mean that those who harbour unforgiveness in their hearts would have to suffer punishment from the Father and that is a reality in the lives of many.

God the Father has forgiven our great debt of sin, through the atoning sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ. He expects the forgiven, to forgive others, the smaller debts of sin done against them.

Start Your Day Right-28

Start Your Day Right-27

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-48

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-48

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Free Christian Wallpaper

Free Christian Wallpaper

New Testament- Lesson 127

Matthew Chapter 18- Part 6

Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.(Matthew 18:20)

Is it not possible for a person to pray or worship or meditate on God's Word alone and feel God's presence? Yes, definitely; yet here, Jesus says that "where two or three are gathered together in his name, he is there in the midst of them." Perhaps, he was pointing to a notion prevalent  among the Jews that at least 10 were to be gathered to be a congregation. Not needed, Jesus seemed to imply by his statement.

Ubi tres, ibi Ecclesia (“Where three are, there is a church”) is a well known patristic axiom- (Patristic means-of or relating to the church fathers or their writings; axiom  means established or accepted statement)

At any moment of time, any place in the world, where two or three are gathered in Jesus' name, he is in their midst. Christ's omnipresence and omniscience is so very evident in his statement and it provides great comfort to those who believe.
Jesus' promise stays true through the centuries, despite major changes in culture, technology, politics and other factors that tend to change over time.

365 Blessings- Devotional 49

Start Your Day Right-26

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-47

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-47

Sunday, September 6, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 126

Matthew Chapter 18- Part 5

Agreeing in Prayer-
"If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:19)

Praying alone, praying in two's and praying as a congregation are all effective and brings answers from heaven. Yet, Jesus, who himself often detached temporarily from his disciples and prayed alone to the Father, here proclaims that...If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. So what's the mystery?

When a person prays alone, most often his/her prayers are directed towards his/her needs. Some of such prayers tend to border on the selfish. But an immediate change comes when two different persons get together in prayer. The needs then are addressed regarding the other person in the presence of the Father. Each one praying for the other brings about encouragement and edification too. Burdens are lightened by the thought that there is someone to pray to the Father on one's behalf. This effect is multiplied when a whole congregation prays together for a needy soul. Also, sometimes, one may be so distressed, so as not being able to pray and in such situations, when another prays a fervent prayer, the burdens are lightened immediately. The fruit of the Spirit is increased too as we pray for and with another, as we are loosing the great virtues of love, compassion and mercy in to the lives of others. James writes in his epistle, "Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed...(James 5:16)

Encouragement, edification, healing, effective burden bearing, fruit bearing, miracles; all these result from prayers prayed together in unity and with humility.
3 important things need to be addressed here, regarding Jesus' statement- "If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven"
1. Now this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)- Asking should be according to the Father's will.
2. Whatever we ask, we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:22)- A Scripture directed living is needed.
3. The answer can be immediate or after a while- It's God's time.

Finally, the context in which Jesus speaks this is the disciplining of an erring member of Church and if taken in that context, it says that, the Father in heaven will answer prayers concerning this issue when two agree regarding the matter.

365 Blessings- Devotional 48

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-46

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-46

Start Your Day Right-25

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 124 & 125

Matthew Chapter 18- Part 4

How to deal with "brother sinning against brother" in a Church setting-

Jesus taught,  "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that "by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' and if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. If he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 18:15-18)

When Jesus taught this precept, there was no Church as yet, but there was the Jewish community and also Jesus' group of 12 disciples and other disciples who followed him regularly. Here was a simple yet definitive plan given by Jesus to deal with a brother (or sister) who is sinning against another brother (or sister) in a Church setting. Sinning here, may be with regard to words or deeds. "Gained your brother" means having saved your relationship with your brother or sister. Often this plan is overlooked by many due to ignorance of the Word of God or due to disregard and many problems ensue. Some seek revenge; some keep a grudge against the offender and breed bitterness; others skip the 1st and 2nd steps and openly spread the harm done by the brother or sister to the Church from the start and more harm is done than good.

The third step is a public announcement of the offence to the Church after the first and second steps have been exercised and have failed. Should the sinning brother/sister persist in his sin, the Church could then excommunicate him as the final step. It would do great harm to a Church to keep a unrepentant, willfully sinning brother or sister.

As time passed and different denominations came in to existence, those leading the Churches often kept the congregation in the dark regarding offences occurring in the Church and the 4 step plan of Jesus was sidelined. Peter the Apostle writes (1 Peter 5:1-3) that leaders are not to be Lords over those entrusted to them, but shepherd the flock of God, being examples to them.

How to deal with "brother sinning against brother" in a Church setting- Continued from last lesson.
Jesus taught,  "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that "by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' and if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. If he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 18:15-18)

Jesus ended his 4 step strategy of dealing with a sinning member in a Church by stating- "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven"..... which meant that whatever decision taken justly by the Church was binding on the person (unrepentant member) concerned. It would be agreed upon in heaven too.
But there's more to the statement- Binding and loosing in a Church setup could have major implications if looked at from the Savior's point of view. If the fruit of the Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5:22, 23 (love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) was kept bound by Church members, the Church would suffer greatly with dullness and dreariness setting in sooner or later despite worship, prayer and the Word being preached. On the other hand, if these qualities were loosed in to the Church by it's members, it would result in a vibrant, joyous,  Spirit filled and abundant fruit bearing Church.

365 Blessings- Devotional 47

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-45

Start Your Day Right-24

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-45

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 123

Matthew Chapter 18- Part 3

The Parable of the Lost Sheep- Read (Matthew 18:11-14)(Luke 15:1-7)

Once the tax collectors and the sinners came to Jesus to hear him. When the Pharisees and scribes saw this, they complained, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." Jesus then spoke a parable: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains (Luke writes wilderness), and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices and when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost! I say to you, likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Matthew writes of Jesus saying, "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. " and also, "Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."

Combining the writings of Matthew and Luke we can decipher that Jesus came, not only to save sinners who were lost (without God), but also to bring back to the fold, them who had gone astray after being in the flock. This parable shows the Shepherd character of God who cares for his sheep and in John Chapter 10, we read Jesus' emphatic statement, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep"(John 10:11). Jesus accomplished this, when he laid down his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of all humanity.

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-44

365 Blessings- Devotional 46

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-44

Start Your Day Right-23

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 122

Matthew Chapter 18- Part 2

Judgment on those who cause believers to sin, How to deal with sin & Guardian angels- Read (Matthew 18:6-10)(Matthew 5:29, 30)(Mark 9:42-48)

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses, for offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes. "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 18:6-10)

Christ affectionately calls his disciples "little ones" and he denounces people who would lead such astray by teaching to sin or belittling living in holiness or minimizing the evilness of sin. Not all believers are strong and some tend to fall easily when they see evil being portrayed in their presence. Jesus condemned such evil doers who lead believers astray and said that, "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Such a capital punishment was not practiced among the Jews but was seen among the Greeks, Syrians & Romans. Millstone here, was that which was pulled by an ass for grinding purposes.
The radical treatment of the eye, hand and foot which sinned was spoken by Jesus, not literally advocating it, but he pointed to his disciples how sin should be dealt with. Sin had/has to be dealt with drastically, with total dependence on the Savior for deliverance and by practicing self-discipline. Believers are not to take sin lightly, for as James says, "It will eventually lead to death when fully grown."

Jesus spoke of guardian angels for believers who have constant access to the Father. This is also mentioned in Psalm 34:7, Psalm 91:11 and Hebrews 1:14.

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-43

Start Your Day Right-22

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-43

365 Blessings- Devotional 45

Monday, August 31, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 121

Matthew Chapter 18- Part 1

Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven- Read (Matthew 18:1-5) (Mark 9:36, 37) (Luke 9:46-48)

Matthew writes....The disciples came to Jesus and asked him "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus called a little child to him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Luke writes......A dispute arose among the disciples as to which of them would be greatest.  Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child, set him in their midst, and said to them, "Whoever receives this little child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all will be great."

Jesus advocated a child like attitude (conversion) for entry in to the kingdom of Heaven. Humble, trusting, not disputing or seeking prominence, power or privilege; receiving others as receiving Christ and considering oneself as of no importance. The one humbling himself as a little child would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and the one who truly considered himself least would be great.

365 Blessings- Devotional 44

Start Your Day Right-21

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-42

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-42

Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 120

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 5

Miracle in the mouth of a fish- (Matthew 17:24-27)

When Jesus and his disciples had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?" He said, "Yes." When he had come into the house, Jesus knowing all, asked Peter, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?" Peter said to him, "From strangers." Jesus replied, "Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for me and you."

Temple tax was a tax that was used for the upkeep of the Jewish Temple.......
This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary. The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord. (Exodus 30:13)
Special tax collectors were assigned to collect the tax because some did not care to pay it.
The tax was a half shekel (two drachmas) and Jesus miraculously provided a four drachma coin to pay for Peter and for himself.

Interestingly, Jesus remarked that the sons are free from paying the tax, implying that he being the son of the Most High God did not have to pay tax for the upkeep of the temple that belonged to his Father.
Matthew doesn't write that Peter did what Jesus asked him to, but that is a certainity.
Though the name of the fish is not mentioned here, Tilapia is sometimes called St. Peter's fish.

365 Blessings- Devotional 43

Start Your Day Right-20

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-41

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-41

Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 119

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 4

Unbelief, prayer & fasting- Read (Matthew 17:19-21)(Mark 9:28, 29)

When Jesus was on the mount where he was transfigured, a man had brought his demon afflicted epileptic son to Jesus' disciples, but they could not cast out the demon. Later after Jesus had cast out the demon and set the boy free, his disciples came to him privately and asked, "Why could we not cast out the demon?" Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

Jesus stressed on 3 important aspects of the Christian faith here- Unbelief, solid faith and fasting as a vital addition to prayer.

Perhaps the gravity of the situation gripped the disciples with unbelief. When they saw the boy convulsing and being hurtled around by the satanic power, they must have questioned themselves whether they could command a deliverance. Jesus addressed their unbelief by telling them that if they could muster faith as a mustard seed, which is packed to it's maximum capacity with substance, indicating total faith with no space for unbelief, then it would have been possible for them to effect the deliverance; nothing would be impossible for them. There was the matter of being stronger than the enemy too and Jesus said that adding fasting to prayer would bolster their faith and make them overcome their unbelief and then victory over the enemy would become a reality.

Start Your Day Right-19

365 Blessings- Devotional 42

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-40

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-40

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 118

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 3

Deliverance for a demon possessed epileptic child- Read (Matthew 17:14-18)(Mark 9:17-27)(Luke 9:37-42)

The Gospel writer Mark is the one who describes this miracle in detail. When Jesus came down from the mountain where he was transfigured, a great multitude had gathered and a man cried out to him, saying, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him." Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to me." When the boy saw Jesus, immediately the evil spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" and he said, "From childhood often he has been thrown both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, saying to it, "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" Then the spirit cried out, convulsed the boy greatly, and came out of him. The boy lay on the ground as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose and he gave him back to his father.

A desperate father had brought his ailing son to Jesus' disciples, hoping for a deliverance, but they could not help him any. He must have been relieved to see Jesus and gaining an oppurtunity cried out to him. Jesus' statement to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes", must have perplexed him, but he confessed his unbelief immediately and saw his son being delivered from a demon that had oppressed him for long.

Jesus' power over demonic forces was clearly evident throughout his ministry. He has bestowed the same power to his disciples then and now. As he said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes".

Start Your Day Right-18

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-39

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-39

365 Blessings- Devotional 41

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 117

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 2

Questions after the transfiguration- Read (Matthew 17:9-13)(Mark 9:9-13)

As they came down from the mountain where Jesus was transfigured, Jesus told Peter, James & John "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead." So they kept their experience to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. Later they asked him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus answered, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands." The disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist.

The disciples knew that their questions and doubts would find answers with their Teacher and when alone with Jesus they asked him the same. Here they asked him about the prophecy of Malachi which spoke of the coming of Elijah before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (ref. Malachi 4:5). Jesus answered and told them that it was true and it had happened, but the scribes had not realized it, indirectly speaking of John the Baptist and how he was dealt with. Jesus ended by saying that he himself was to suffer likewise.

Start Your Day Right-17

365 Blessings- Devotional 40

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-38

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-38

Saturday, August 22, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 116

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 1

Jesus is transfigured- Read (Matthew 17:1-8) (Mark 9:2-8)(Luke 9:28-36)

The synoptic gospel authors write about the transfiguration of Jesus which was witnessed by Peter, James and John; three disciples of Jesus. Peter mentions him being an eyewitness of this in his second epistle...(2 Peter 1:16-18)

Jesus took his disciples, Peter, James, and John with him on a high mountain by themselves and he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus and spoke of his death which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. As they were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, let us make three tabernacles here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!" And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Even when Jesus was baptized, there was a voice from heaven which said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) Here another statement is made by the Father, which is "Listen to Him" signifying Jesus to be the mouth piece or representative of the Father. Moses represented the Law and Elijah the Prophets and both, the Law and the Prophets found fulfillment in Jesus. Peter blurted out what came to his mind on the spur of the moment and the heavenly voice brought great fear to the disciples, but they were reassured by Jesus.

The transfiguration signifies God exalting and honoring Jesus above all creation; his holiness and sanctity being shown forth by his body and even clothes becoming radiant with the glory of God.
Some have identified Mount Tabor as the site of the transfiguration, but there is no evidence suggesting that. Mount Tabor has long been a place of Christian pilgrimage and is the site of the Church of the Transfiguration.

365 Blessings- Devotional 39

Start Your Day Right-16

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-37

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-37

Thursday, August 20, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 115

Matthew Chapter 16- Part 3 

Jesus reveals his coming sufferings and speaks of true discipleship-Read (Matthew 16:21-28)(Mark 8:31-37, Mark 9:1)(Luke 9:22-27)

Jesus told his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised on the third day. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "No Lord, this shall not happen to You!" But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked him for speaking of his death. He was their king and shouldn't/coudn't die. He was to be with them forever as their leader and teacher. Jesus on the other hand, had only one goal in mind i.e. to fulfill the Father's will and he wouldn't let anyone stand as hindrance to that. He knew that Satan would bring hindrances to God's divine plan and he rebuked Satan for being an offense. True discipleship had costs involved and Jesus spoke precisely of what it meant for someone to be his disciple..Denial and picking up one's cross were of paramount importance if someone decided to follow him.

Luke adds a few important words here.....If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:26)

Unlike Matthew and Mark, Luke adds the word "daily" regarding picking up the cross. So true, for believers do sometimes forget that they have to continually live a life "dead to sin" to be "alive in Christ". Jesus affirmed that having all material gains in this world and not having salvation of one's soul was worthless. A disciple should never be ashamed to testify to others regarding his/her salvation that God the Father has provided him/her through his son Jesus Christ.
Jesus ended this teaching session with his disciples by saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." He was speaking of his resurrection here and it proved true. His disciples and several others were witnesses, except some who died, including Judas, his betrayer.

365 Blessings- Devotional 38

Start Your Day Right-15

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-36

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-36

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 114

Matthew Chapter 16- Part 2

True identity of the Savior and new revelation of kingdom power- Read (Matthew 16:13-19)(Mark 8:27-29)(Luke 9:18-20)

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that I, the Son of Man, am?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, son of the living God." Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Revelation comes to a fisherman turned fisher of men (Peter) and he gives the precise answer to Jesus' question when all others kept quiet. Jesus' acceptance of Peter's answer that he indeed is Christ, "the anointed one" and also the "son of the living God" clearly established his identity among his followers, when the general impression regarding him among the multitudes were varied. Many are averse to the fact that God is one who deals personally and gives revelation to those whom he chooses, like here he did in Peter's life. A question can then be asked why God the Father revealed this only to Peter and not to the others. The answer is that God is sovereign and he reveals that which he wishes to those whom he chooses, in ways that he chooses.

Jesus had more to say to Peter (mentioned only by Matthew)...."you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it." There are varied interpretations regarding this, with some even looking at the comma after Peter and interpreting it as Jesus speaking of himself as the "on this rock". But with authority being bestowed upon Peter in the next verse, one can conclude that Peter was being chosen as a pillar of the coming new church after Pentecost. The "binding and loosing" is again mentioned in Matthew 18 in a totally different context. Here, with Jesus laying emphasis that "the gates of hades shall not prevail against the Church that was to be built", the "binding and loosing" means having authority over satanic powers if one exercised faith and used the name and power that comes from the name of the one who mattered i.e. "Christ, the son of the living God".

Start Your Day Right-14

365 Blessings- Devotional 37

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-35

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-35

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 113

Matthew Chapter 16- Part 1

Pharisees & Sadducees try to test Jesus; Jesus warns his disciples - Read (Matthew 16:1-12, Mark 8:11-21)

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus and asked him to show them a sign from heaven. Calling them hypocrites, he told them that they were clever enough to predict the weather looking at the sky, but they could not discern the signs of the times. Calling them a wicked and adulterous generation, he told them that no sign shall be given to them except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (Matthew doesn't detail the sign here, because he did it in Chapter 12:38-40). Jesus then left them and departed.

Later Jesus warned his disciples, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." They reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread." Jesus, being aware of their discussion, said to them, "O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread, but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-34

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-34

365 Blessings- Devotional 36

Start Your Day Right-13

Monday, August 17, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 112

Matthew Chapter 15- Part 4

4000+ fed miraculously by Jesus- (Matthew 15:32-38) (Mark 8:1-9)

Jesus had healed many who were sick and made many whole; people were engrossed in his teachings and in the wondrous healings they had seen; it was three days now since they had been with Jesus. Jesus had compassion on them and did not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way, because some of them had come from far off places. On expressing his desire to his disciples for providing them food, the disciples replied, "Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to feed such a great multitude?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven, and a few little fish." So he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground and he took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to his disciples and the disciples gave to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.

The presence of Jesus, his words and the power of the kingdom of God had captivated the multitude so much, that they did not think of time or home or hunger. Yet, the reality of the needs of the human body was realized by their Teacher and he asked his disciples for a solution but they faltered easily despite the fact that their own hands had distributed loaves and fish to a greater multitude sometime back; 5000+ being fed by their Master after giving thanks for 5 loaves and 2 fish. Their unbelief was unjustified; yet their Lord did another great miracle with seven loaves and a few fish and fed the 4000+ people. The disciples seemed to have forgotten the 12 baskets of fragments that they carried after the 5000+ were fed; now the Master had 7 large baskets of fragments for them. A miracle that teaches us that we serve an Unchanging God and he can provide us all through our lives as we serve him. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Start Your Day Right-12

365 Blessings- Devotional 35

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-33

Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-33

Blessed are they- Sermon By Dr. Johnson Cherian

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Free Christian Wallpaper

New Testament- Lesson 111

Matthew Chapter 15- Part 3

Great Healings - Read (Matthew 15:29-31) (Mark 7:31-37)

Departing from Tyre and Sidon, Jesus went to the region of the Sea of Galilee and went up on a mountain and sat down there. Matthew writes about multitudes of sick people (the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute...)coming to him and being healed. Mark writes of a specific healing...People brought to him one who was deaf and had a problem in his speech, and they begged Jesus to put his hand on him. Jesus took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers in his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, he said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. Whether with this miracle or the mutliple healings as Matthew writes, the people marvelled and glorified God. Jesus commanded them that they should tell no one of what they had witnessed; but the more he commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.