Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Christian Life Series-12- Vasanti

O Lord my God, I cried out to you, and you healed me. (Psalm 30:2)

Vasanti was bitten by poisonous snakes twice in a year's time, as she worked in a rubber plantation. Her limbs ached continually and they often became so numb that she could not feel any sensation in them. She had tried different kinds of medicines for the same, but the condition seemed to relapse after a short period of relief. She was not from a Christian family, but one evening, a friend of hers invited her to attend a Christian prayer meeting. There the preacher spoke about salvation through Jesus Christ and his power to heal sicknesses. As she heard the preacher speak about Jesus, she believed that she could be healed of her debilitating sickness and that very evening, she received her healing, when she prayed to God for forgiveness of her sins and for healing. Jesus revealed himself to her as Savior and healer and since then she has been living to bring glory to his name, worshiping him in spirit and in truth.

All around us, there are many who are languishing in their sins, suffering from various ailments and there are many who are in satanic bondage. We need to tell them the good news that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all who would believe in his sin atoning sacrifice on the cross and that he still heals and delivers from satanic bondage. The Psalmist exhorts us in this manner...Declare his glory among the nations, his wonders among all peoples. (Psalm 96:3)
Let's take up the challenge.

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. (Psalm 118:17)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Christian Life Series- 11- Paul

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:27)

Paul had been preaching the Gospel for around 25 years. 55 years old, he had a loving wife and a flourishing church. The only sorrow that he had in his life was that he had no child. He had prayed for many childless couples and God had answered his prayer for them, giving them one or more children. He did not understand why God had not answered his prayer for a child. His wife would comfort him, telling him that perhaps it was not God's will that they had a child. They had stopped praying for the past 5 years. Then one day, Paul's wife had to be taken to the hospital for repeated vomits and the doctors found that she was pregnant. It was a difficulty pregnancy, but after 9 months and much praying, a son was born to Paul and his wife. Their joy knew no bounds. They had stopped praying for a child, but God had remembered them in his mercy and gifted them a son.

Sometimes we may get frustrated and stop praying for matters that we have prayed for long periods of time, but for which we have not seen any answers from God. But God remembers all our prayers regarding a matter from the first to the last.
We serve a merciful God, who hears and answers our prayers in his time. Jesus exhorted his disciples to keep praying and not give up on their requests to God.
Have you ceased praying for that which you prayed for and did not see a result? Do not be disheartened. Keep praying. Trust in God. He will answer you in his time, like only he can.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage; all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Christian Life Series- 10- Toby

Even today my complaint is bitter; My hand is listless because of my groaning. (Job 23:2)

Toby felt God was unfair to him. His wife was suffering from depression and had altered mental behavior which troubled him much. His children had moved out and he had to deal with his wife's problems alone. There were relatives who helped him, but he felt lonely. Though he prayed and attended Church, he felt that God did not love him. As he aged, he was diagnosed to be suffering from brain cancer. It was in an advanced stage and he had very little time left to live. 

One of those days, as he heard a minister speak to him about the great love that God had for him and that life did not end with death on earth, he repented of his grudges against God and accepted Jesus as Savior. Now, he believed that a new life with God in eternity awaited him and that gave him renewed hope despite his sufferings and knowledge that he was to die soon.
Sometimes we hold grudges against God and others. We may justify it saying that it is because of all the sufferings that we have endured or are enduring in our lives. God understands us, but he doesn't want us to be bitter, because that will hinder our relationship with him.
If you have been holding grudges against God for the pains you have endured in your life or for the pains you are enduring now, it is time to confess them and restore your broken relationship with God. He loves you and desires that you stay in close fellowship with him. He promises never to leave you nor forsake you. He is faithful.
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and he shall stand at last on the earth; after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.. (Job 19:25, 26)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Christian Life Series- 9- Wendy

When I cried out to you, you answered me and made me bold, with strength in my soul. (Psalm 138:3)

Wendy became a born again believer in Jesus Christ soon after she married James who worked as an engineer in a construction firm. She attended worship regularly and was faithful in serving the Lord. James was an alcoholic and verbally abused her and sometimes beat her when intoxicated. He hated Pastors coming to his house for praying and often mocked them. Wendy would cry out to God for deliverance for her husband from alcoholism, his ungodly behavior and for his salvation. She spent 21 years in prayer before she saw a change in her husband's life. But when God's deliverance came, it was fast and genuine. One day as the Pastor from the church that Wendy attended, spoke to James about the love of God for sinners, the Holy Spirit touched his heart and he repented of his sins accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. He turned a new leaf in his life, giving up alcoholism and soon joined his wife in worshiping God in spirit and in truth. In Christ, James was a new creation.

Deliverance from God for a problem that we have been praying for, can come at any time. Jesus said, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." (John 5:17)
Sooner or later, we will see God's hand at work. Blessed are those who continue in prayer and wait  for him to answer.

I will praise you, for you have answered me and have become my salvation. (Psalm 118:21)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Apostle Paul- Life & Ministry- Part 1- Dr. Johnson Cherian

The Christian Life Series- 8- Peter & Rose

And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. (Psalm 39:7)

Peter and Rose are into their late thirties. They are yet to have a child after 12 years of marriage. They have been praying for several years now. Many trusted friends and ministers have been interceding for them. There have been many prophesies that they will have children, but it has not been fulfilled as yet. They work among the youth in their Church. They believe that God will answers their prayers for a child. They testify that the God who blessed Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebecca, Jacob & Rachel and Zechariah & Elizabeth with children, is their God too. These couples from the Bible experienced what they are experiencing now, but God blessed them with children in his time. Their hope is renewed by the Holy Spirit of God, during these seasons of waiting.

Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7, 8)

God who has called us in to fellowship with his son Jesus Christ can be trusted. He is unchanging.

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. (Psalm 62:5)

Monday, March 21, 2016

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The Christian Life Series- 7 - Dr. Vincent

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Dr. Vincent had very little savings when he started his own medical clinic. Whatever he had, went in to buying furniture and medical equipment for the clinic. The first year saw very few patients come in, each day and by the end of each month, he had very little cash left for himself, because almost all the earnings would be exhausted on paying the staff and there were expenses for the laboratory. But he believed that God was his provider and that he would sustain him and his family and meet all his needs. Dr. Vincent kept his charges low and would often share the Gospel with his patients. Every month there was just enough money to meet most of his expenses and this continued for 3 years. Those 3 years were trying times and he and his wife spent a lot of time in prayer. Things changed for the good after those initial years of difficulties and slowly but surely the clinic started flourishing. In the coming years, God poured out his blessings on Dr. Vincent and his family. Faith and patience were rewarded.

Despite adverse circumstances, if we wait patiently and work hard, trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, he will reward us.

The Bible says,
Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to him must believe that he lives and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Words Of Jesus Devotionals-64, Devotionals From Ecclesiastes-64, 365 Blessings- Devotional 64, Start Your Day Right-64

The Christian Life Series- 6- Lilly

My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

Lilly has been a widow for around 25 years. A childless couple, her husband died of a heart ailment. She considers her nieces and nephews as her children and they love her too. An operated heart lesion, a thyroid problem, high blood pressure, joint pains and dizziness debilitate her, yet she moves on trusting in Jesus, with the help of her loved ones. Her hopes are pinned on Jesus and she believes there will be a heavenly reunion with her husband one day. She is confident that God will not fail her.

Our resurrected bodies will be perfect, but while we live in this world, we may have to go through several bodily infirmities, some of which are healed, some which last for seasons and some which last a life time. The Apostle Paul writes, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:53, 54)

As we have borne the image of the man of dust (Adam), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly man (Jesus Christ). (1 Corinthians 15:49)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Christian Life Series- 5 - Matt

I will open rivers in desolate heights and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land springs of water. (Isaiah 41:18)

Matt went to Dubai with hopes of working hard and supporting his family back home in Cameroon. Things did not work out as he expected and he had issues with his work permit. He had to leave the country after a while, not having earned as much as he had expected or dreamed. His Christian friends prayed and supported him as best as they could. Though he had to go back to his home country, God opened a new way for him. He got a job in a security firm in another gulf country. He supports his family with his earnings now. He now strengthens other believers who are in dire straits by testifying that God is able to open new doors for those who trust in him. 

Yes, our God is Almighty. We can trust him to open new doors for us, when one that was open until now shuts. He is the God who can make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Praise be to his holy name.

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Christian Life Series- 4- Trudy

Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause your anger toward us to cease. (Psalm 85:4)

Trudy was proud because she was wealthy, successful and loved by all. She taught budding pilots in an aeronautical college. One morning she woke up and saw that one side of her face was paralyzed. She could not close one eye and could not chew her food properly. Saliva drooled from one side of her mouth. Her doctor told her that she had Bell's palsy. She was horrified that this had happened to her. She feared facing her colleagues, students and friends. Even though her doctor assured her that her sickness would heal in a month or two, she feared that the paralysis would spread to her body too. She prayed fervently and called upon many servants of God to pray for her. 

During her illness, she felt that it was her pride that had caused this sickness. She repented of it and cried out to God to heal her. God was merciful and her face was restored to it's former state in a few weeks time. She turned a new leaf in her life and was never proud of her wealth or success again, knowing now that there were some situations in life where only God could help.

Sometimes sicknesses can come to us because of certain sins in our lives. It may be pride, selfishness, anger, stubbornness or any other sin. But God restores us when we cry out to him with repentance. God is loving and compassionate; he is a merciful Father to us who have trusted in his son Jesus to be our Savior.

Restore us, O God; Cause Your face to shine and we shall be saved! (Psalm 80:3)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Christian Life Series- 3 - Wilfred

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

Wilfred was 28 years old when diagnosed with End stage kidney disease. A member of the Assemblies of God Church, he believed that God would heal him of his sickness. He had to undergo dialysis thrice a week to keep his kidney functions within acceptable limits. He was transfused blood on several occasions to keep his hemoglobin at least half of what a normal person of his age should have. Over the years, he testified again and again in many churches of how God had kept him alive despite his ailment which doctors said was terminal. This gave hope to many believers in their suffering. Here was someone who could have shut himself up or sulked because such a catastrophe had befallen him.

With high blood urea and creatinine levels and with very low hemoglobin, he looked like a walking corpse often, yet he had a smile on his face when he stood before congregations and spoke of Jesus Christ and the salvation offered freely by God through Jesus. He was not healed totally of his sickness, but God gave him enough strength to stay alive several years and testify of his love for all.
We too need to be faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ. He will strengthen us despite our bodily ailments and weaknesses. His grace is sufficient for us.

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Christian Life Series- 2- Martha

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Martha suffers from Diabetes. Her blood sugar keeps fluctuating and she is often frustrated that she cannot eat the foods that she loves. She suffers from hair loss too and it is embarrassing when people comment about it. She has tried various remedies for her hair loss, but nothing has worked as yet. She finds peace and solace when she prays to her Savior Jesus Christ. His promise to never leave her nor forsake her gives her strength to endure her troubles. She believes that when she is weak, she is strong because Jesus is her strength. How about you? Is Jesus your strength? If he is, you can be strong, even when your body is weak. Jesus will give strength to his people; Jesus will bless his people with peace.

My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

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The Christian Life Series- 1

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Trevor has been CEO of a Media Company since many years. He is a born again Christian, a worship leader in a interdenominational Church. He suffers from Bronchial Asthma and every winter he has severe breathing problems. He trusts in God and is praying that God heals him of the sickness. Despite his troubles, he has never stopped leading worship and glorifies God for his goodness. A good testimony that we should not give up amidst the troubles that we face in our lives but keep worshiping God till we have breath.

I will sing to my Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. (Psalm 104:33)