Tuesday, September 29, 2020
One day as I was finishing my work at my Clinic in Kerala, my assistant informed me that someone from the vigilance department of the police wanted to see me urgently. I wondered what the cause was and asked my assistant to usher him in. After saying “Hello”, I asked him what the reason for his coming was. He was reluctant to say much and proceeded to show me a letter that had been received by the vigilance department. I asked him what the letter was about and again hesitantly he stated that someone had sent a written complaint that I was ‘a quack’ and did not have the required qualifications for practicing Medicine.
This made me smile and I told him amusedly that this was the 5th year that I was practicing after my post-graduation in Medicine. He said that he had been enquiring the matter and knew that there was foul play involved but they couldn’t really pinpoint the culprit behind this. Anyway as this was considered as a serious offence, the Superintendent of Police had sent me a notice to appear before him on a set date with all my records. After he left me, I wondered who could have played such a trick on me, because I did not have any overt enemies in that place and never was any animosity shown towards me by any one in that place.
That night I prayed to the Lord and asked for His guidance regarding the matter, all the while wondering who could have played such a trick. As I slept, I saw a dream. In the dream I am in an elevator with a man who works in a coffee shop near the Clinic. As we ride the elevator, this man smiles at me and says, “The police will never know that I wrote that letter.” Waking up at night after the dream, I praised God for His faithfulness and asked the Lord why that man did so? In reply the Lord said that the man didn’t like the Gospel work that I did at the Clinic-distributing tracts and books and it was a sort of harassment that he had planned. I knew this man very well but did not go to confront him regarding the thing leaving the matter into the Lord’s hands.
A few days later, early one morning, I traveled with my wife to the SP’s office to show him my records. It so happened that the SP was sick that day and as soon as I entered his office, he asked me to prescribe some medicine for his illness. He just glanced through my records and told me that he was sorry for the trouble, but he was just following regulations. I asked him whether they were able to catch the culprit but he just shook his head and said, “It’s not so easy.” I felt like telling him that it would be easy if he could ask the Lord for some help, but just kept quiet knowing that he wouldn’t probably understand or appreciate what I said. As I said “Good Bye”, he smiled and wished me the best.
To end the story, I do not know for sure whether it was God’s way of avenging for what the fellow had done, but in a drunken brawl that week itself this man was stabbed and was hospitalized for quite some time.
God is faithful in all His ways and He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
And His Word exhorts us in this manner,
Repay no one evil for evil. Respect what is honorable in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men. Don’t seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:17-19)
Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right. (Psalm 106:3)
Is there anyone who constantly does what is right other than the Lord? I doubt. Maintaining justice and constantly doing right is no easy thing. Many people think that what they do is right, but unfortunately in the Lord's eyes it proves to be different.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. (John 8:3-9)
Jesus is full of compassion. It's not that he was siding the person who was sinning. He wanted to give her a chance to change her life. Not only that, He wanted to show her accusers that they were no better. Thirdly, He also wanted to show that " Mercy triumphs over judgement"
As James writes,
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! (James 2:12, 13)
Hope we too can find wisdom in that.
Monday, September 28, 2020
Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many. (Isaiah 51:1, 2)
"When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many."
The call came to Abraham and he set out from the midst of idol-worshipers to a land that God was going to show him. When God called him, He gave him a set of promises which He fulfilled eventually.
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:1-3)
With Abraham set out many others and they too were blessed. Abraham was a man of worship and wherever he went he set up an altar to the Lord and worshiped him there. Because of his obedience and faith in God, God blessed him in all things.
And the promise is for us too. The Bible says,
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring - not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. (Romans 4:16)
God has called you through Jesus Christ to be a part of His kingdom here on earth as well as in eternity and there is no greater blessing than that.
One morning as I traveled to my clinic, I was thinking about a certain servant of God who had died a couple of days back and that day his funeral was to taking place. As I approached the place where the cremation was to take place there was such a big queue for the last time view of the servant of God. There was a mammoth crowd and people were thronging around the place.
Certain thoughts regarding the event came to my mind and I was making my own conclusions-Certainly this man deserved this kind of a last minute send off, if one could call it that. He had labored for Christ for so many years that such a heavy crowd had turned out for his funeral. Surely any one so great will naturally have many admirers and it was logical that people had to wait in large queues to get a last glimpse.
Quite unexpectedly Lord spoke to me and very clearly said something unique. He said, “There was no one around when I buried Moses.”
Now this was something extraordinary. I could never have brought up this thought by myself. It’s just the way that the Lord speaks to us. “Out of the blue” on certain occasions. He didn’t say another word but just what He had already said, but that itself was worth a day’s thinking.
Moses was a great servant of God. The Bible does vouch for that.
So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the LORD’s word. He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth Peor, but no man knows where his tomb is to this day. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eye was not dim, nor his strength gone. The children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the days of weeping in the mourning for Moses were ended. Since then, there has not arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all the mighty hand, and in all the awesome deeds, which Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
(Deuteronomy 34:5-8, 10-12)
Wonderful, isn’t it?....All the things that are written about this great servant of God. Perhaps some critics may argue that He deserved a better burial but there couldn’t have been a better burial for Him. God Himself set the time and place and conducted the funeral rites.
Of course before the actual burial took place there was a fight for his dead body as we read in the book of Jude.
“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 9)
I often wonder why devil contended for the body of Moses. Perhaps he was trying to establish the view point that Moses disobeyed God regarding speaking to the rock instead of hitting it. Well, the devil has all sorts of tricks up his sleeve. But he got the right reply from the archangel Michael who said that his accusations against Moses and his contending for his body deserved a rebuke from the Lord.
The Bible says that the Lord knows them who are his and He knows them who are truly faithful to Him even though the devil may bring all sorts of allegations and accusations against them.
Praise the Lord for He is always just in all His ways.
Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations. (Revelation 15:3)
Saturday, September 26, 2020
On the night of March 17th 2006, I saw a dream. In the dream I happen to be walking along a road and there are a few others walking beside me. After a while 3-4 vicious looking guys come from the opposite direction and they have several fierce looking dogs with them. As they come near me, the guys command the dogs to attack me and the whole pack rushes at me barking and snarling. In the dream I am at a loss of what to do but as the dogs are about to pounce on me I rebuke the dogs in the mighty Name of Jesus and pray to Jesus to cover me with His precious blood.
As soon as I do that, the dogs just stop in their tracks as if they are hit by something violent and they seemed to be weak and helpless. Soon they recede and disappear.
This was a warning from the Holy Spirit that a satanic attack was about to take place in my life, but if I trusted in the Name and Blood of Jesus, victory would be mine.
The next day morning, I experienced shortness of breath and chest discomfort. I remembered the warning that the Holy Spirit had given me and rebuked the evil forces that had brought that upon me. The difficulty persisted till evening, but God delivered me as I placed my trust in the Name and Blood of Jesus.
The songwriter says,
There is power, power, wonder working power in the blood of the Lamb. There is power, power, wonder working power in the precious blood of the Lamb. How true.
The Blood of Jesus is our protection. Each day, every believer must cover himself/herself, their family, finances, homes and whatever they have been given by God with the Blood of Jesus. The Blood of Jesus not only cleanses us from all sin but also protects us from our enemy-the devil who is out to kill, steal & destroy. Praise God for the Blood of Jesus.
They overcame him because of the Lamb’s blood, and because of the word of their testimony...(Revelation 12:11)
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she
said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she
stopped having children. (Genesis 29:35)
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.
The Psalmist sang: I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the LORD - in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD. (Psalm 116:17-19)
Will you sacrifice a thank offering? Will you praise him? It will give you peace of mind.
Friday, September 25, 2020
Spiritual lows are frequent in the lives of believers and it’s nothing different for me as a teacher and preacher of the Word. One night as I sat to pray, I could think of nothing else than all the problems in my life. One thought piled on another as I started thinking and it seemed to be like a huge mountain in the end.
So I started complaining to the Lord about all the problems and the causes of the problems and the persons involved.
It must have been quite a while that I kept on and when I finally did end, I dozed off a bit and in the semi-sleep stage, the Lord startled me with His unmistakable voice and said, “Son, have I ever done you any wrong?”
That question not only made me awake again, but also brought tears to my eyes and I replied to the Lord, “No, Lord, you have never ever done me any wrong, only good.”
Yes, Our God is the God of all compassion. He says,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
No matter what the problem in our lives, He is always there to help and heal, save and deliver. And when the problems pile up, he’s even closer. Praise God for such a Savior.
The LORD of Armies is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. (Psalm 46:7)
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my
salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will
exalt him. (Exodus 15:2)
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, that is, the problem that you face. 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.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Water Baptism by itself does not guarantee a place for the believer in heaven. In other words, one does not take water baptism to go to heaven. The Bible says,. ..for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
But that doesn’t mean one should not take water Baptism. Water Baptism is taken by the believer after one accepts Jesus Christ as Savior for the following reasons:
1) It is the Lord’s command (Mathew 28:18-20)
2) It is an act of being obedient to God (Mark 16:16)
3) It is an Apostolic Doctrine for the New Testament Church (Acts 2:36-38, 41)
4) It is a pledge of a good conscience (1 Peter 3:18 -22)
5) It is a public profession of faith in Jesus &His victory over Satan (Romans 6:3-5)
6) It fulfills all righteousness (Acts 10:44-48) (Mathew 3 13-17)
7) It is an act of faith (Colossians 2:11-12)
Some say, “Let God speak to me directly, then I’ll submit to this. He has spoken about it clearly in His Word. Perhaps He has been speaking but they are not listening and obeying.
Let me give you an example.
One day as I traveled to my clinic in my car, I heard the still small voice of God telling me, “Sir has not taken Water Baptism yet.” Very unusual I thought because I hadn’t been thinking about that man or praying for him. God was referring to a man who left his vocation in teaching and administration to serve God as a minister of the Gospel. He is a good believer working for the Lord in his capacity; often I had been telling him for the past 2 years that Water Baptism is important and that he should take it. And now the still small voice tells me “Sir has not taken water baptism yet”
I parked my car and walked to the clinic; got busy with seeing my patients. After I had seen a few, guess who walked in? “Sir & his wife.” After exchanging pleasantries I asked him why he had come. And he said, “Doctor, did you forget? You told me to come here today.” I was surprised. I asked him. “When did I ask you to come?” Yesterday Night” he said.
“But I didn’t meet you yesterday night.” I replied smiling. “Well, I called you at 8.00 p. m. and you told me that I can come and meet you today at 10.00 a. m. today.” More surprised now, I said, “It couldn’t have been. I was preaching at another place yesterday at 8.00 p. m.” “But that’s impossible! He said, “I called you at home and you gave me an appointment today.”
“Sir! I came home at around 10.00 p. m. yesterday and there were no phone calls after I had left home according to the servant of whom I enquired when I came back. “Look! He said; Isn’t this your number? You gave it to me three months back when I saw you last. When I saw the number, I immediately knew what this was all about. The number that he showed was of my phone which I had already cancelled and given back to the exchange. This was an astounding miracle that God had done just to bring this man once again to me so that I tell him to get water baptized. Sure, he must have dialed the number that he had. But perhaps God or his angel answered him on the phone and said “Come tomorrow, 10.00 a.m. “I laughed and told him the thing that God had spoken to me while I travelled to the clinic that morning. God’s voice being very clear “Sir has not taken Water Baptism yet”
He and his wife listened very intently as I once again spoke to them about Water Baptism; they left after a while astounded at what had happened. But the tragedy of it all……………..
I met this man after about 3 months and while conversing I asked him, “Sir, so did you finally take baptism?”
“No he said, God has yet to speak to me about it”.
Jesus once said,
In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says, ‘By hearing you will hear, and will in no way understand; Seeing you will see, and will in no way perceive.. (Matthew 13:14)
Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the
Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. He
said, "Praise be to the Lord, who rescued you from the hand of the
Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the
Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did
this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly." Then Jethro, Moses'
father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron
came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law in
the presence of God. (Exodus 18: 9-12)
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.
That would be a sign of gratitude on our part for what Jesus did for us on the cross. In the Old Testament, we read of the Psalmist decision for God’s awesome work in his life.
“How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. (Psalm 116:12-14)
Not all may respond positively to our witnessing 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.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
20. WHY ONE NEEDS A GOOD FELLOWSHIP
Some of the dreams that I dream are like short movies and this was one
of them. I saw this dream long back, when I was a new believer and not yet in
In this dream, I was being chased by a villain with a revolver. He’s shooting at me and some of the bullets just graze my body. I run through alleys and through the streets as fast as I can and escape his attack narrowly.
As I heave a sigh of relief, he’s back again, now chasing me with another dangerous weapon. He almost gets near me and tries to knock me down with the weapon in his hand, but I escape and run away from him. While running I pray to the Lord and say, “Lord, I don’t think I’ll survive another such attack, so help me.”
Before I finish praying, I see the enemy approaching me with a machine gun, laughing viciously, telling me that there’s no escape now.
He aims at me to fire, but before that, suddenly out of nowhere, I see the members of the fellowship that I worship with, come around me and join hands to form a cordon around me. The enemy starts firing furiously, but the bullets just bounce off the cordon of the believers around me.
After firing for some time, the enemy gets tired and feels insulted that he’s not able to even cause a minor bruise and walks away dejected.
Through this dream, the Holy Spirit was indicating that all believers need corporate prayer and the prayer support of believers who worship in spirit and in truth to ward off the attacks of the enemy.
A “spiritual wall of prayer” is essential for every believer to escape the attacks of the enemy. It is God’s will that each of us have “corporate prayer support” from believers who worship in spirit and truth.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And his ears open to their prayer; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. (1 Peter 3:12)
"When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit
tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it
forbidden; it must not be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy,
an offering of praise to the Lord. But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit.
In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus
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.
We read in the book of Proverbs:
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first
fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and
your vats will brim over with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9, 10)
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.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
In 1996, for 3 months I suffered greatly from a chest ailment. It all started with an allergy to petrol fumes which made me breathless with a feeling of tightness in the chest. This increased rapidly with allergy to other smells too and day in and day out I used to feel breathless. To add to this I had a problem of acidity in my stomach. I did not have peace of mind and had very little sleep. I could not work properly at the clinic and could hardly preach. The suffering was terrible.
I got some relief from my chest problem on having medicines but the medicines increased the problem in my stomach. This made me quit taking medicines. I prayed and fasted but to no avail. The problem persisted and increased.
After one month of suffering thus, one night as I prayed, the Lord spoke to me saying, “You will suffer from these sicknesses for 3 months. After that I will heal and deliver you totally.”
Another 2 months of suffering! I became dejected, but there seemed to be a glimmer of hope. I waited expectantly for the next two months to get over.
The sickness had started on September 16. I kept praying and reminding God often, “Lord remember your promise, you must heal me on December 16th”
The next two months were difficult to get through. It was by sheer grace that I made it to December 16th.
Here was the day that I waited for so anxiously. December 16th came and went but I did not receive the healing.
On 17th I was at my wits end. Anger and grief flooded me.
I told the Lord, “Look Jesus, you said 3 months and now my condition is just the same!”
That night as I sat to pray, I heard the still small voice of the Lord say, “You have forgotten to praise me all the time that you were sick”. It was around 11.00 p. m. that I heard the Lord say that. I started praising him, one by one for everything and everyone that my mind focused on. I kept praising him till late at night and went to sleep praising Him.
In the morning when I woke up, God had worked another great miracle in my life.
Healed and Delivered from 3 months of bodily suffering and mental agony. All gone, when praise ascended to heaven. Praise the Lord!
He is an unchanging God
His love for you is great. He wants you to be healed and living a healthy life. So trust in Him and His promises. And do not forget to praise Him every day of your life.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord
your God for the good land he has given you. (Deuteronomy 8:10)
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.
Monday, September 21, 2020
Behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, “I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. I will give the land you lie on to you and to your offspring. (Genesis 28:13)
It was a time of fresh spiritual lows in my life. Many distressing situations coming one after the other. One night I just woke up and instead of praying or praising God, I just sat on my bed, thinking of all the problems in my life. I just sat brooding, feeling sad, contemplating the situations. It must have been quite a while, but then I heard the unmistakable voice of my Savior Jesus speaking clearly to me saying, “I am the God of Abraham.” It startled me and I sat upright thinking that there was more to come from the Lord, as He often speaks to me; but this night, it was just those few words, “I am the God of Abraham”
That set me thinking. Surely and truly, Jesus was involved in all my problems, as He was with Abraham’s. Abraham had quite a few spiritual lows in his life (not fully trusting God and taking Hagar as wife and all the ensuing problems, telling Pharaoh in Egypt and Abimelech in Gerar that Sarah was his sister to escape death at their hands, being left with a desert land when Lot chose the plain of Jordan[to name a few])
Yet God was with him through all things, never leaving him nor forsaking him. By telling me that He is the God of Abraham, God was affirming the truth to me once again that “as He was with Abraham, so He was with me.”
And you who read this, be assured that you are not alone in your daily struggles; your Lord Jesus is with you.
The LORD appeared of old to me, saying, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)
He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you
those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. (Deuteronomy 10:21)
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.
The Psalmists sing about God’s wondrous works in this manner:
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. (Psalm 40:5)
Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:8)
We will not hide them from their children; we
will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power,
and the wonders he has done. (Psalm 78:4)
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.
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Once when we lived in a certain place, there was a person living in another house close by who showed that he was very friendly, but the Lord showed me his true nature one night in a dream.
In the dream, this person comes to visit me and he talks with me for a while; then when I go into another room to get something, he takes hold of our pet dog and strangles it, laughing slyly. That was all that the Lord showed me. It was a message from the Lord to beware of him because he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
I prayed about the matter that the Lord may not allow him to do any harm to us. Since he was in close proximity to us and dealt always with us, there seemed no way to avoid him. I kept praying about the matter that the Lord may provide a proper solution to this problem. Then another night, as I slept, the Lord showed me another dream.
In the dream, I see this person on the path leading to his house and I tell him that God is going to open a way for him to go abroad. As soon as I say this, his attitude changes and he is overjoyed and does a jig. That was all I saw. A couple of days later, I saw him in the same spot as I saw in the dream. I told him what I had told him in the dream. He was very happy and went away merrily. From that day his attitude towards us changed. He started being genuinely helpful and respected me. Indirectly, through his wife, he asked for our prayers and was a changed man altogether.
I often marvel about the wonderful things that our Lord can achieve through small things. A few right words to this man changed his attitude towards us. What I told him about his going abroad was also fulfilled in due time. Praise the Lord.
When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)
He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and
honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy
to the Lord your God, as he promised. (Deuteronomy 26:19)
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.
Saturday, September 19, 2020
The nights were very cold that December. It was natural, my flesh thought, to snuggle under those covers and snore away 6-7 hours.
“Hello! It’s time to pray”, the Holy Spirit would gently nudge me in the middle of the night.
Literally, I would drag myself out of bed and pray the classic 45 seconds prayer. The first 15 seconds kneeling on the ground, the next 15 seconds semi reclining and the final 15 seconds would be spent in the ongoing process of dragging me back to bed and onto delightful slumber.
This went on, I guess, for quite a few days and then the Holy Spirit thought it wise to instruct me a bit more firmly than the usual nudge at night.
I woke up one morning seeing an unusual dream. In the dream, I saw myself hugging a dog and holding my face against one side of its velvety body. I seemed to be enjoying this when suddenly; the other side of the dog came into vision. This side was rotten, covered with wounds and stinking. Instantly; I backed off, pushing the dog away. I realized the Holy Spirit was speaking to me regarding my fondness for sleep. He seemed to be saying,” One side of sleep is good. It gives rest to your tired body and mind. But sleep has another stinking, rotten side which must be kept away from, by the believer. It takes away valuable time of prayer and fellowship with the Lord and the results can be disastrous.
The great preacher Solomon says,” A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”(Proverbs 6:10, 11)
How true. Many invaluable blessings maybe lost in that extra nap that we often tend to take.
Don’t love sleep, lest you come to poverty. Open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread. (Proverbs 20:13)
I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the
greatness of our God! (Deuteronomy 32:3)
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 publicly 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 passes 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.
Friday, September 18, 2020
One night, a couple of years back, the Lord showed me a dream of this demon that afflicts millions of people worldwide. Lying on a couch, was a huge ugly naked demon gyrating and making lustful sounds. It had such a great force of attraction though it was ugly that it could draw many to it and there were many who fell to its evil power.
This is one demon that many believers fall prey to, not to speak of unbelievers. With the advent of Internet and television, there is no escaping involvement with this demon because of the amount of time people spend browsing the web and watching TV.
Many believers go through the cycle of lust, fulfillment, repentance, lust, fulfillment, repentance over and over again. Most of them pray when they come to Church that the Lord may not tell anyone of their lustful desires and so the Lord does not make it public. Yet, this sin distances them from God.
The only way to get rid of this sin is to be severe with it. If the internet or television is the cause, cut it off; have no involvement with it. Might seem very drastic, but Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount said the same.
Dealing with lust (Matthew 5:29, 30) – A passage that some think is controversial for Jesus speaks of plucking out the eye that causes to sin and cutting of the hand that causes to sin. Jesus, in fact was teaching his followers that sin like lust or any other must not be dealt with a lackadaisical approach but in a way that one does not commit or repeat it. That does not mean harsh treatment of the body, but gaining control over fleshly desires with the help of the Holy Spirit. As Paul the Apostle writes,
Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)