Thursday, October 11, 2018
Psalms 89:50-51 (WEB) Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the mighty peoples, With which your enemies have mocked, Yahweh, with which they have mocked the footsteps of your anointed one.
Ethan the Ezrahite sings of how God's anointed king David bore in his heart the taunts of mighty people. They mocked him every step of the way. In many Psalms, David himself cries out in anguish because of the taunts of his enemies. Yet we see him repeatedly strengthening himself in God Almighty.
Christian ministry is tough. It's not a cakewalk. It's not for the faint-hearted. As Paul the Apostle writes...
Ephesians 6:13 (WEB) Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.
One must continually lean on the Lord and move in his strength to overcome frustrations and to avoid burn out.
Praise God that he doesn't let his anointed ones fall to the traps of the enemy and even if they fall, he restores them.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 (WEB) But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you, and guard you from the evil one.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Genesis 16:1-16 (WEB) Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. Sarai said to Abram, “See now, Yahweh has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my handmaid. It may be that I will obtain children by her.” Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife. He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. Sarai said to Abram, “This wrong is your fault. I gave my handmaid into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you.” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your hand. Do to her whatever is good in your eyes.” Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face. The angel of Yahweh found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. He said, “Hagar, Sarai's handmaid, where did you come from? Where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai.” The angel of Yahweh said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands.”
The angel of Yahweh said to her, “I will greatly multiply your seed, that they will not be numbered for multitude.”
The angel of Yahweh said to her, “Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction. He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him. He will live opposite all of his brothers.” She called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees,” for she said, “Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?”
Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. Hagar bore a son for Abram. Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
The angel of God who dealt with Hagar, Sarai's maid had 4 messages for her....
1. Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands....... Best for her as she was pregnant and the wilderness could soon turn in to a death trap. Yes, God knew what was best for her.
2. I will greatly multiply your seed, that they will not be numbered for multitude..... She must not have expected such a blessed future for she was just a maid. Yes, God would do the impossible for her.
3. Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction....A son named Ishmael would be born to her. Ishmael which meant "God listens." Yes, God listened when she called out to him.
4. He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him. He will live opposite all of his brothers.... A son who would be mighty and a warrior. Yes, God knew Ishmael's end from the beginning.
Facts for us to realize...
God knows what is best for us.
God can do the impossible for us.
God listens when we call out to him.
God knows our end from the beginning.
Angelic Interventions happen all the time for God's chosen ones. Praise God.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Saturday, October 6, 2018
"A sower went out to sow his seed and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.Some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold." (Luke 8:5-8)
Explaining the parable that he had just spoken of, Jesus started by saying...."The seed is the word of God."
The Apostle Peter writes that this seed is imperishable.
Every believer in Jesus Christ should be a sower of this imperishabe seed in this generation that Jesus called 'wicked and adulterous'. At least that is what God expects from each of us.
While sowing, some seed may fall along the wayside, some on rocks and some among thorns giving no harvest at all. Only the seed that falls on good ground will yield a good harvest.
The fear of failure hinders many from sowing. Some sowers look at other sowers who have reaped a hundredfold and soon have an inferiority complex and they stop sowing. Some are always in search of the right time and right place to sow and seasons pass by with them doing nothing. Other sowers have been waylaid by sowers who have made sowing a business and are building their own kingdoms rather than the kingdom of God.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, as a sower, what is your status? Think about it for a moment. Have you been faithful to your Savior in this matter?
God is in search of faithful selfless sowers in these end days. Will you take a decision regarding this matter today? A rich harvest of souls will eventually come to you.
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying precious seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
(Psalm 126:5, 6)
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Monday, October 1, 2018
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Sunday, September 23, 2018
God gave Solomon wisdom and great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. (1 Kings 4:29,30,32)
It's sad that a man this blessed by God should fall in disfavor with God later on in life. And this was the reason...
"Now king Solomon loved many foreign women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning which God said to the children of Israel, “You shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon joined to these in love.
He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.
For it happened, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did that which was evil in the sight of God, and didn't go fully after God, as did David his father.
Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the mountain that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon. So did he for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods. God was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned away from the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he didn't keep that which God commanded. Therefore God said to Solomon, “Because this is done by you, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. (1 Kings 11:1-11)
We must never take for granted, the blessings that God has given us because he is rich in love and mercy. It is only God's grace that keeps us from falling and we must always be grateful to him for that.
The Apostle Paul writes to the believers at Corinth,
"Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn't fall."
Good advice for all believers in Jesus Christ.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Saturday, September 22, 2018
The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, “Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God's Son may be glorified by it.” (John 11:1-4)
Mary and Martha must have heaved a sigh of relief when they heard Jesus say, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God's Son may be glorified by it.”
But then very soon they were disappointed, dejected and dismayed because their brother died contrary to Jesus' prophecy. Was Jesus really their friend? must have been a thought that troubled the sisters those days. The same thought troubles believers when they pass through problems of many kinds. If he is truly a friend who cares, why does he seem aloof sometimes? If he is indeed Savior, where is he when I need him desperately?
The thoughts can range from sorrow to anger depending on the severity of the trial.
When Jesus finally came to Bethany where Mary and Martha lived, Lazarus had already died and been kept in the tomb for 4 days. Everyone around was mourning.
Martha and Mary expressed their deep anguish by telling Jesus that if he had been there at the appropriate time, their brother would not have died.
John the Apostle writes,
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. (John 11:33-35)
Yes... Jesus is very compassionate. He weeps with you when you weep. He is troubled when you are troubled.
He is always interceding for you in the presence of our heavenly Father.
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. He turned the mourning of Mary and Martha in to dancing. They were clothed with joy from on high. This day and every day that we live on earth, we have hope because Jesus lives to intercede for us.
He will turn your mourning in to dancing. He will remove your sackcloth and clothe you with joy. Praise God.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Friday, September 21, 2018
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
(1 Corinthians 5:6-8)
Are we glorying about the right things these days?
The Apostle Paul writing to the church in Corinth, tells them... "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD."
(1 Corinthians 1:31)
He actually quotes Jeremiah the prophet who had earlier
prophesied....The LORD says, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom. Let not the mighty man glory in his might. Let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth; for I delight in these things”. (Jeremiah 9:23,24)
Sometimes it's the worldly wisdom, might and riches that speak through believers rather than the new creation that they are to be in Christ.
Humbling oneself is a difficult process which even the 12 disciples that Jesus chose found hard to live by. They were with Jesus for more than three years, yet they failed to understand how their teacher wanted them to be.
This season, let us again look to our Savior and be more like him. Let's purge out the leaven of malice and wickedness from our lives and live with sincerity and truth. That would truly be pleasing to our Savior and Lord.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Saturday, September 15, 2018
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, "Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!" But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. (Genesis 19:14)
Despite seeing all the catastrophic happenings around, there are still many who think that the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is some kind of a joke.
When God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, he sent his angels to warn Lot and his family. As we read above, Lot spoke to his sons-in-law of the coming calamity, but they thought that Lot was joking.
Preachers who preach that the end is near and the second coming of Jesus Christ is imminent are often ridiculed. Many Christians are still fed with the warm fuzzy gospel of health, wealth and materialism and most are content with it.
When Noah was building the ark, I guess many would have ridiculed him too. At age 500+, they must have thought that the old man had lost his marbles, but he knew exactly what he was doing and when the floods came, only he and his family of eight were saved.
Jesus, in his Olivet discourse said,
"As the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they didn`t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left; two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left. Watch therefore, for you don`t know in what hour your Lord comes." (Matthew 24:37-42)
A reminder for all of us dear friends....
..You also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:44)
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Thursday, September 13, 2018
For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” (Hebrews 10:37, 38)
There is coming a time in the life of every believer in Jesus Christ when he/she will experience total freedom. There wouldn't be any deadlines to be met at work, no targets to be achieved at the job, no assignments to be completed. No plans needed to please the bosses at work. No waking up daily to cook three or four meals for the family. No waking up to yet another day of pain, weakness or sickness. They will be things of the past.
Jesus Christ is coming to take away his own to a place of peace and quiet and everlasting joy, 'Heaven' as it is named. The wily serpent will no longer be there to trouble.
Long back God promised his people deliverance from slavery in Egypt and life in a land flowing with milk and honey and despite myriad hindrances, he made sure that they reached there (though not the disobedient). If he kept his promise then, he will fulfil his promise now of taking us to a better rest, in fact the best.
But till that happens, each of us who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior must press on, taking up the challenges and overcoming temptations gaining victory over them by the power of the Holy Spirit. We must not shrink back, but walk by faith, till God says it's time for us to enter the heavenly rest.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. (Psalm 9:18)
David, who sang this psalm, went through innumerable troubles before he became king. Even after becoming king, he battled several enemies who plotted against him.
Many of the psalms are his testimonies of how God, in whom he put his trust, took care of his life.
If we look back on our own lives, we can see that the good hand of the Lord has been with us too. No doubt, we must have despaired on many occasions, but God saved us finally.
David realized that even as king and with all the power and authority that he had, he still needed to depend on God Almighty for matters small and great. Overconfidence brought him troubles on several occasions.
Often in need, often afflicted, and experiencing God's mighty deliverance, the shepherd king, acknowledged the goodness of God by singing...God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
Let's then depend on our Savior Jesus Christ continually, for his mercies are unending and his faithfulness is everlasting.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Monday, September 10, 2018
Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, `So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I don`t make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time!` When he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day`s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, `It is enough. Now, O Yahweh, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.` (1 Kings 19:1-4)
Even the best of God's servants go through times of despair and desperation. Here, Elijah, one of the great prophets of God, through whom God had done great miracles, is running for his life, fearing the threat of the evil queen Jezebel.
Just recently he had prayed to God and God had sent fire from heaven to accept his sacrifice. He had destroyed 850 false prophets all by himself, but now he was depressed and cried out God to take away his life.
As believers and ministers, we need God's presence at all times. When he is with us, are souls can be at peace. His presence gives us the rest and comfort we need.
If you feel restless and desperate this day, pray for God's divine presence to be with you as Moses prayed once...
God answered him and said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." (Exodus 33:14)
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Sunday, September 9, 2018
Not one of all the Lord's good promises to you Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. (Joshua 21:45)
You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not even one has failed. (Joshua 23:14)
Praise be to the Lord, who has given peace to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. (1 Kings 8:56)
All three verses make it clear that God does not fail in keeping his promises. Every promise that God gives his people, he fulfills in his time.
There's nothing impossible with God.
He who didn`t spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
Also...Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? (Luke 18:7)
God loves us. God is for us. Let's wait expectantly for him to fulfill his promises to us.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away. (Nahum 1:13)
Nahum chapter 1 speaks of how God let the Assyrians torment his people, the Israelites, for several years, that is, until they cried out to him, repenting of their sins and rebellion. When they did so, God gave them the promise that we read in the title verse here. God promised to break the yoke from their neck and tear their shackles away, meaning destroying their enemies who were tormenting them.
The Psalmist sings...
Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron, because they rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore he brought down their heart with labor. They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried to God in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bonds in sunder. Let them praise God for his loving kindness, for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalms 107:10-15)
Sin and rebellion against God and his Word can delay our deliverance. Confession and repentance can make God look on us with favor again.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Thursday, September 6, 2018
`One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter`s brother, said to Jesus,`There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these among so many?` (John 6:8,9)
What we think of as little, can be multiplied quickly by God Almighty!
Jesus wanted his disciples to feed a large multitude but all they could find was five loaves of bread and two fish and Andrew believed it was totally insufficient.
Faith is believing in the supernatural and Andrew was not yet there. So also the other disciples.
Philip, another disciple said, `Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may receive a little.`
Jesus was testing his disciples to see whether they really believed in the supernatural power of God when he asked them to feed a large multitude in a remote place, but they failed miserably, even after seeing Jesus do many great miracles. All they had to say was..."You can do it Master", but they did not.
Then Jesus did the impossible. He fed the 5000+ multitude with the five loaves and two fish. When he had given thanks to the Father for the food available at hand, it multiplied to such an extent that everyone ate to their hearts content and the disciples could pick up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. Praise God!
Whatever difficult situation you are in today, believe in the supernatural power of God to give you deliverance and victory.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
The Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)
If there was a trial run of Rapture, we as believers could have known how many of us are really ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds. Sadly, there is not going to be a rehearsal.
As Paul the Apostle writes to the church at Corinth, it will all happen in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye....at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52)
Thus, we need to be ready at all times, saying “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and living self-controlled, upright and godly lives. Easier said than done, some may say... But it has to be done, for being raptured to join Jesus in the clouds and life in Heaven doesn't come cheap.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Since the Lord had closed Hannah's womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. (1 Samuel 1:6)
Why God had closed Hannah's womb will remain a mystery until the Almighty reveals it to us. Perhaps he did it to bring glory to himself after opening it later and Hannah finally gave birth to six children; perhaps it was to make Hannah a woman of prayer or perhaps he was checking whether her husband Elkanah would love her even though she was barren. The reasons could be many..
No amount of rebuking the devil can open something that God has closed. Sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint the cause of suffering in a believer's life. But prayers and tears work miracles as we see in Hannah's case. Never give up praying or crying out to God. As a father has compassion on his children, so God has compassion on those who fear him.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Monday, September 3, 2018
Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them, though they were tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed their fruit above and their roots below. (Amos 2:9)
Though your enemies (principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places) be powerful, Jesus your Savior is Almighty and he has already disarmed these satanic powers and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. As God destroyed the fruit and roots of the Amorites and set his people free from their oppression, he will certainly grant you victory over your enemies. Trust in Jesus, your loving Savior.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. (Exodus 15:13)
God redeems...God leads....God guides...in his unfailing love and in his strength.
How very blessed is every person who has been redeemed by God through his precious son Jesus Christ.
The final destination for such is God's holy dwelling....Heaven...where earthly woes and fears no longer trouble and are replaced with everlasting peace and joy.
No more disappointments or worries or death or sorrow or sickness or pain. The old order of things would have passed away.
Let's look forward to that glorious day.
Dr. Johnson Cherian
Monday, August 20, 2018
The question is: “Do we offer ourselves willingly to the Lord or do we submit reluctantly?”
Some believers give themselves wholly to the Lord and allow the Lord to run their lives while others though they say they have submitted their lives into the Lord’s hands still run their own lives.
When we try to run our own lives without obeying the Word or taking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, things start going awry. A little allowance here and a little allowance there in regards to walking the ways of the flesh and the world ruins our relationship with the Lord.
Only each of us and the Lord Jesus knows how much of our lives is submitted to the Lord. Our thoughts, looks, words & actions often betray our proclamation that we are the Lord’s.
Often we are reluctant to even do the work of the Lord giving excuses like some tribes of Israel did when they were called by Barak & Deborah to join the army to fight against the enemy.
Regarding Reuben, Dan & Asher, Deborah and Barak sang, “Why did you stay among the campfires to hear the whistling for the flocks? In the districts of Reuben there was much searching of heart. Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan. And Dan, why did he linger by the ships? Asher remained on the coast and stayed in his coves.” (Judges 5:16, 17)
But good things were sung about Isaachar, Zebulun & Naphtali. “The princes of Issachar were with Deborah; yes, Issachar was with Barak, rushing after him into the valley. The people of Zebulun risked their very lives; so did Naphtali on the heights of the field.” (Judges 5:15, 18)
Are we among the ones who offer themselves willingly to the Lord or are we among the ones who shrink back and take the back seat? Good if each one of us could evaluate ourselves. Praise the Lord.
Saturday, August 18, 2018
That’s one of the great decisions that a person can take in his/her life. One of the meanings of the word proclaim is “to announce officially and publicly” and if that’s a decision that we have taken regarding our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it will surely bring glory to the Lord. Some may ask, “Will it do any good?” It will surely.
So when was it that you announced publically what the Lord has done for you? Of course, some may tend to see only the bad things that have happened to them and ask, “How can I when so many adverse situations plague my life?” That’s understandable and the Lord understands too, but praising him in adversity and proclaiming his name in adversity can bring great peace into our lives- the peace that passeth all understanding.
David sang to the Lord in his time of adversity saying, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. (Psalm 34:1). This he sang when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.
Here’s a passage from the gospel of Luke of how the Lord values our praises.
“When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:37-40)
If we keep quiet, as the Lord said, “the stones will cry out”. So shall we proclaim the name of the Lord day in and day out, for surely he is worthy of all the praise that we can give him.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
We read a couple of declarations in Deuteronomy 26 as the chapter ends. The Israelites made a declaration and so did the Lord Almighty. God declared that he was going to set them in praise, fame and honor because of a declaration that the Israelites made. The Israelites had declared that the Lord was their God and that they would walk in his ways, and that they would keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that they would obey him. (Based on Deuteronomy 26:17)
They declared a lot but couldn’t fulfill what they declared. Of course, the Lord was their God, but they ran after idols too. Very soon they would no longer be keeping his decrees, commands and laws. They were disobedient and that is how they landed up serving their enemies. The book of judges is a fine example of how they suffered because of their disobedience. For long years they were afflicted by several enemy kingdoms, but when they repented and cried to the Lord, God raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of their enemies. The book of Judges ends on a sad note. It says, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. (Judges 21:25)”
If we start living as we see fit, we walk away from God’s divine protection over our lives and make ourselves easy prey for the devil. The Bible says, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear, hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.(Jude1: 20-23)
The Holy Spirit is able to keep us from falling and present us before God’s glorious presence without fault and with great joy, but for that we must be obedient to God’s Word as long as we live. He will then finally set us in praise, fame and honor forever and ever. Praise the Lord.
Monday, August 13, 2018
Moses tells the Israelites that God is their praise and reminds them of the awesome wonders of which they were eye witnesses in Egypt and in the wilderness.
Often we tend to forget the great deliverances that the Lord has wrought in our lives. Maybe we are forgetful or the present problems cloud out the works of the Lord in our not so distant past. If we kept a diary and jot down at the end of each day all that the Lord has done for us that day, there will be much to testify at the watch night service on Dec.31st. Of course there may not be any spectacular event every day, but being able to breathe freely and being able to enjoy the food that we eat each day are itself great things.
Ask the Asthmatic who is on oxygen in the ICU and he will tell you the value of a breath, because he is often short of it. Ask the one who suffers from Gastric Ulcer and Reflux and he will tell you the value of a good alimentary system for he can rarely enjoy the food that he eats.
Have a bed to lie on? Thank Jesus, for there are many who sleep on the streets and outside closed shops. Have a bed and can sleep well? —that’s even a greater blessing for there are many who hardly sleep because of fears.
Jesus is our praise. Let’s look back often and remember the goodness, kindness and compassion that the Lord has had on us and our families.
Small or great! Many are his works in our lives. So let’s praise him all the more.
Friday, August 10, 2018
The word Deuteronomy means "repetition of the law". Moses and the Israelites were in the territory of Moab and as his final act at this important time of transferring leadership to Joshua, Moses delivered his farewell addresses which were were actually a covenant renewal to prepare the people for their entrance into Canaan. Here Moses exhorts the Israelites to praise the Lord Almighty for the good land that he has given them.
When blessings start flowing into the lives of believers, some often tend to think that it is because of their own goodness or holiness or ability or strength that they are getting these blessings. In the verses that follow the above verse, the Israelites are plainly given a warning. We read in Deuteronomy 8:12-18
"Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today."
Whatever we are today or whatever we have is all because of the Lord. The Bible says,
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich."(2 Corinthians 8:9)
So shouldn't we "Through Jesus, therefore, continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name."(Hebrews 13:15)
That would be appropriate I guess. God bless.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
This was one of the laws that were given by God to the Israelites to obey in the Old Testament. Imagine planting a fruit tree and then waiting for 5 years to eat its fruit. That would surely test our patience. The first three years the fruit was to be considered forbidden. Then in the fourth year the fruit became holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. Finally the fruit was ready to be eaten in the fifth year. A tedious process, but one that God planned for blessing them. For he said, “In this way your harvest will be increased.” He would be checking their obedience.
If believers today were called to obey the laws given to Moses and the Israelites, there would be few to run the race. Thanks be to Jesus that he came and fulfilled the law for us, setting us free and giving us freedom. But should we use this freedom to sin? No, never. Instead we should be always grateful and thankful to God that he has set us apart for himself, paying a heavy price wherein his only begotten son had to cry out to his father, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.”
The Bible says, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”(Galatians 5:13)
It also says, “You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”(1 Corinthians 6:20)
May the Holy Spirit help us all to be obedient and faithful to God and his Word. God bless.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law or Zipporah’s father praises the Almighty God for his mighty acts in saving Moses and the Israelites from Pharaoh and his army. He has come to a realization here that Moses’ God is greater than all other gods. This happened because of Moses giving his testimony to Jethro. In v. 8 of the same chapter, we read, “Moses told his father-in-law about everything the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel's sake and about all the hardships they had met along the way and how the Lord had saved them.”
Our testimony can work wonders in the lives of people who are yet to know the Lord as we have known. A few words of how the Lord has taken charge of our lives after we have given ourselves to him can sow a seed of the gospel in the hearts of many. Not all may respond positively but we are all called to sow the seed and God will work in his own way in his own time to work out his purposes in that person. Maybe we are the 1st or 15th or 50th person to sow the seed in a person’s heart regarding the agape love of Jesus but it is all very important for God to work in that person’s life. So let’s not shrink back in testifying regarding the wondrous acts of God in our life and let many more praise God and accept Jesus as Savior when they realize the great works of God in our lives. God bless.
Monday, August 6, 2018
After witnessing great miracles (the parting of the red sea, the Israelites walking through the sea on dry ground and Pharaoh and his armies being drowned in the sea while pursuing the Israelites) , Moses here exalts the Lord saying that God is his strength and his song and that God has become his salvation.
Has God become your song??
Young men and women often tend to sing about their love, when in love. Where do they find the words? Where do they find the praise? It just flows out of their heart.
When you delight in someone, words come flowing from the depths of the heart.
Moses, here is rejoicing because he and the Israelites had come out victorious from a seemingly impossible situation. The Red sea in front of them and Pharaoh and his armies behind.
God can do the impossible even when all doors seem closed. He’s the one who opened a way in the sea; a way which none of them (the Israelites) saw until it was in front of their eyes. A way in which they were already walking before they realized it. A way that closed as soon as they (the Israelites) had crossed over.
A way that was opened only for them.
Search the Red Sea and you wouldn’t find the path the Israelites trod on, because it was just for them. And so it will be for you. A path through the sea (your problem) in front of you. Please expect the unexpected to happen (for your good) because your God is the one who does not change and rejoice like Moses and the Israelites did when you experience the deliverance you longed for so long. Give your God praise. God bless you.
Friday, August 3, 2018
Every time that Leah bore a son on the previous three occasions, she had a great expectation that at least then her husband would love her. When she bore the first child to Jacob she named him Reuben saying, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” When she gave birth to a son again, she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too and she named him Simeon.” When she gave birth to yet another son, her expectations were very high. She said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me because I have borne him three sons. So he was named Levi.
But things did not work out for Leah as she expected. Though Jacob had bodily union with Leah, he did not love her or perhaps his love for Rachel was greater and it was evident to all including Leah.
She finally seems to have accepted her (unloved by husband) situation and so when the fourth son was born, she did not expect Jacob to love her any more than he actually was loving her, but she took a decision to praise the Lord instead.
If some situations in your life are seemingly impossible, it is better to concentrate on the Lord and focus upon his goodness and blessings and praise him rather than grumble/worry unduly about things that have not yet worked out. God can do the impossible, but sometimes we have to wait.
This dream concerned a relative of mine, a woman in her early forties, a person whom I had known since her birth. In her childhood days, I had often been with her at an uncle's house, a place I visited almost everyday, because they were very close. As a child, she was cheerful and jovial. After my initial college years, I had to move away to another state in India for my M.B.B.S studies and later had very less interaction with her. Marriage and my clinical practice took me to Kerala later on and I visited her only once after her marriage around 10 years back. She was settled in life after marriage, was working and had 2 children. Her parents were close to me in my childhood days and we occasionally kept in touch.
Around 1 month before she fell ill, I saw a dream in which someone had died in her house and a corpse was being carried out. I prayed for the matter that God may avert any calamities coming to their household. It was after a month that I received messages from this relative of mine that she was ill and admitted to a hospital for check up. She and her family requested prayers and I prayed regularly for her for a healing. What seemed to be a mild disease at first was diagnosed to be life threatening one and the prognosis was very bad. Only a bone marrow transplant could save her was the bottom line. While her treatment continued, I and hundreds of others prayed for her. She used to message me the progress of her illness and I kept encouraging her with the Word and with prayers.
After several weeks of her illness, I saw another dream concerning her and in the dream, her condition had worsened and she seemed to be just clinging on to life. I increased my prayers for her after I had seen the troubling dream, seeking God's mercy. Nothing seemed to be changing, yet all hope was not lost. The transplant date was set and prayers of the faithful continued.
The third dream was unsettling, because in it, I saw an aged aunt of mine who lives in Kerala, rush to Mumbai where my relative was admitted for her transplant.
The worst of fears of her parents, husband and close ones happened soon. A few days after her transplant, she passed away from this world. I believe she is safe in the arms of Jesus now, away from pain, sorrow and sickness. The sorrow of her loved ones, whom she left behind is great and words can bring little comfort. All they can do is lean on the Savior Jesus for comfort and peace.
For me, several questions remain unanswered. If she was to die, why the many dreams to pray, with the first dream almost a month before she fell ill?
In the past, on many occasions, when the Lord has shown me dreams of illness/accidents/death coming to people, I have prayed and the Lord has averted calamities and death coming in their lives. Why not her?
Perhaps she was not yet ready for eternal life in heaven before she fell ill and the Lord was preparing her. Only God knows. To receive answers to some questions, we may have to wait till we enter heaven.
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