Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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A few thoughts from today's Bible reading

(Bible text below thoughts)

More than 20 years had passed since Joseph had been sold by his brothers to Ishmaelite merchants and now in God's divine turnaround of circumstances, they stood before the very brother they had persecuted, calling themselves honest men.

"Joseph's brothers came, and bowed themselves down to him with their faces to the earth." This they would do four times in the coming months. God's divine justice put Joseph's brothers in a vulnerable position, requesting their brother for food. Long back when Joseph had gone to check how they were doing, they had sat down to eat after throwing him in a pit. They decided to kill his dreams by killing him, but he narrowly escaped because of the intervention of Judah. Now here was Joseph standing tall because the dreams that he saw 20 years back were not of his own imagination; they were God's plans for him.

If you have a God given dream of blessing, treasure it. It will come true in God's time. No power in the universe can kill God's good plans for his chosen ones. He reigns supreme. Praise God. 

[Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, "Why do you look at one another?" He said, "Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy for us from there, so that we may live, and not die." Joseph's ten brothers went down to buy grain from
Egypt. But Jacob didn't send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with his brothers; for he said, "Lest perhaps 
harm happen to him." The sons of Israel came to buy among those who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan. Joseph was the governor over the land. It was he who sold to all the people 
of the land. Joseph's brothers came, and bowed themselves down to him with their faces to the 
earth. Joseph saw his brothers, and he recognized them, but acted like a stranger to them, and 
spoke roughly with them. He said to them, "Where did you come from?" They said, "From the land 
of Canaan to buy food." Joseph recognized his brothers, but they didn't recognize him. 
Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed about them, and said to them, "You 
are spies! You have come to see the nakedness 
of the land."  They said to him, "No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. We are all 
one man's sons; we are honest men. Your servants are not spies." He said to them, "No, but you 
have come to see the nakedness of the land!" They said, "We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the 
sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is today with our father, and 
one is no more." (Genesis 42:1-13)]

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Monday, October 22, 2018

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Final Word

Since you have been precious and honoured in my sight,
and I have loved you, therefore I will give people in your place, and nations instead of your life. (Isaiah 43:4)        

The love that God has for you is great if you are his child. In the title verse is a great promise that God gave his chosen people, the Israelites. They were precious and honoured in his sight. He would give people in their place; what's more, he would give nations instead of their life.

When the destroying angel went over the land of Egypt, it was the blood of the lamb applied to the door posts and lintels of the Israelite homes that gave them protection. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and are living a life in obedience to God's Word, the blood of Jesus Christ protects you from the destroying power of the devil.

The thief (the devil) only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. JESUS came so that we may have life, and may have it abundantly. He is the good shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep. Praise God.

Dr. Johnson Cherian

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

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A few thoughts from today's Bible reading

Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. In the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. He gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, he laid up in the same. Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number. To Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house." The name of the second, he called Ephraim: "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction." The seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt, came to an end. The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do." The famine was over all the surface of the earth. Joseph opened all the store-houses, and sold to the Egyptians. The famine was severe in the land of Egypt. All countries came into Egypt, to Joseph, to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all the earth. (Genesis 41:46-57)

It's amazing how things can change for the good in a person's life so fast. Joseph would have said, "It's the Lord's doing and it's marvelous in our eyes."
13 years after he had left home and having gone through persecution by his own brothers, God had elevated him to a high position in a foreign land. He had spent 2 years in prison and at the end of it, he was honored by Pharaoh, king of Egypt, because he had interpreted Pharaoh's dreams. He was put in charge of a land that he was a foreigner in; he must never have prayed for that position but that was God's plan for him. It was God's reward for all the tribulations he had gone through. What's more, God gave him a family, and when 2 sons were born to him, he named the firstborn Manasseh which meant "God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house" and the second one he named Ephraim which meant "God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
We have hope because as believers in Jesus Christ, we serve the same unchanging God. He is in charge of our lives, restoring us and blessing us with wonderful blessings.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A few thoughts from today’s Bible Reading

Matthew 25:13-30 (WEB) 

Watch therefore, for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
'For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them.
To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey.
Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
In the same way, he also who got the two gained another two.
But he who received the one went away and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
'Now after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reconciled accounts with them.
He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.”
'His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
'He also who got the two talents came and said, “Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two talents besides them.”
'His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
'He also who had received the one talent came and said, “Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter.
I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.”
'But his lord answered him, “You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn't sow, and gather where I didn't scatter.
You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest.
Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.
For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away.
Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

God has entrusted much in the hands of his children (believers in Jesus Christ), whether it be talents or gifts or even finances. A time will come when he asks us to give an account of what we have done with the same; whether we have been diligent enough to use whatever he has given us graciously for the building of God’s kingdom here on earth or whether we have been slothful, accusing God to be unjust. The diligent and faithful will be rewarded bountifully but the slothful will be disgraced. The unprofitable servant is one who is unfaithful to his master. This day, we need to ask ourselves of where we stand in regards to faithfulness to God with whatever gifts, talents and finances that God has entrusted us with. Are we profitable or unprofitable servants?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ministry Challenges-1

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

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Angelic Interventions - 1

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

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Final Word

"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

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