Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Life as it is....12/01/2022- Dr. Johnson Cherian

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 
(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.

Life as it is.... 11/01/2022- Dr. Johnson Cherian

"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)

Life as it is... 10/01/2022- Dr. Johnson Cherian

14 years back, when I had to endure a severe trial in my life, I questioned or perhaps satan made me question my faith in Jesus Christ. That was because I prayed and prayed but saw no deliverance. Evil people were troubling me no end and we as a family were in distress. For a while, I prayed and worshipped mechanically, going through the motions day in and day out. 

John the Baptist, the one who initially proclaimed to all that Jesus was the lamb of God who took away the sins of the world later had doubts regarding Jesus being the Savior because he had been put in prison by King Herod and Jesus was doing nothing about it.

Perhaps you are going through something similar...nothing seems to be working.....many doubts have crept in to your mind regarding your Christian faith....satan is having a gala time pestering you with troubling thoughts.......but consider this....

The fact that you are still holding on to your faith in Jesus Christ, despite the struggles, failures and disappointments in your life points to your genuine love for your Savior and your hope and belief in eternal life in heaven at the end of your life or when the Lord returns.

The Apostle Paul writes,
Who/What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:35,38,39)

So, hang in there brother/sister.....Things will work out.... because He lives....Yes Jesus lives and all authority in heaven and on earth is with him.

14 years back, after a season of passing through the bad trial, one fine day, the Lord wrought deliverance for me and my family. 

You then dear Christian....stay true to Jesus, till deliverance comes.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Life as it is... 09/01/2022 - Dr. Johnson Cherian

While travelling by taxi or autorickshaw in India, I rarely tell the person who is driving that I am a Physician, because then (going by the trend for the last 30 years), they would usually give me details of all the sicknesses they have suffered in their lives and also get a free consultation and prescription for their present illnesses. Moreover some would overcharge me thinking that the Physician's pockets are overflowing. Anonymity is good to a certain extent...

Sitting by Jacob's well in Sychar (John Ch.4), Jesus, the anonymous stranger started some small talk with a woman who had multiple life partners. When she came to a realization that the man could possibly do miracles because he claimed he could give her water that would be the ultimate thirst quencher, she pleaded...“Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4:15)

She must have thought that this would be the answer (a quick fix) to the troubling whispers that she had to endure each day as she went to draw water, (being part of the SIC-Sychar Immoral Club). But as she dreamed of a miracle, the stranger nonchalantly told her to go call her husband. She had an answer ready to the stranger's question, perhaps one that she had told many in the past....“I have no husband”. What Jesus said next must have pierced her innards, a statement delivered with surgical precision......“You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband." The spiritual dialogue continued till the stranger revealed himself to her as the Messiah and she believed in him. Not only her, many others in the town believed. 

Jesus may not be the anonymous stranger to us anymore, but he knows precisely where we are erring and speaks to us repeatedly to get rid of our moral filth, whatever it be.

James, the Lord's brother states it aptly,
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (James 1:21)

(Are you looking for a quick fix for your sin?
By the way, the definition of Quick Fix easy remedy or solution, especially a temporary one which fails to address underlying problems.)

Life as it is…..08/01/2022- Dr. Johnson Cherian

Over the past many years, people from various countries write to me about their dreams for interpretation (through email or WhatsApp). This is after my book on dreams and visions was published and brought out as an App. One such email came in today.

The sender wrote….. Sir, I admire your book titled dreams and all its interpretation, please can you help me with this dream. Often time I dream and find myself in a place filled with filth or everywhere littered with it, and as much as I try for it not to touch me, it rubs on me and at time's I might be the one stretching my hands and touching the filth. I don't know what this means.

This is a simple dream to interpret and it relates to most of us believers. We as believers in Jesus Christ, as we live in this world, are surrounded by filth (lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life) and as the person writes, “as much as I try for it not to touch me, it rubs on me”, meaning we all are tempted in one way or the other by these lusts and sometimes we fall to temptations and sin.

The final sentence that he writes about is how we wilfully stretch our hands to touch the filth. Though we know that something that we are going to say, see or do is unrighteous or sinful in God’s eyes, we do it anyway, just to please our flesh.

There’s always a war going on in our beings, Spirit against the flesh and it will be a war that will last till we step in to eternity (eternal life, if we are in Jesus Christ).

Regarding this, the Apostle Paul writes to the churches in Galatia…”I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law. Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." (Galatians 5:16-25)

Crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires and walking in the Spirit- It’s definitely a difficult task that we have on our hands, but we are all called to do it, for only that will please our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ our Savior.


Friday, January 7, 2022

Life as it is -07/01/2022 - Dr. Johnson Cherian

But Elijah 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 Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. (1 Kings 19:4)

The prophet Elijah, who the day before had prayed for fire to come down from heaven and had succeeded, today was requesting God to kill him. He who had killed 450 prophets of Baal and probably another 400 false prophets with the sword 24-48 hours back, was now in miserable condition. Acute depression had set in, all because queen Jezebel had threatened to kill him. Anyway God did not say "YES" to his request of taking his life away. God had other plans. He thought an angelic intervention might do some good to the downcast prophet. So he sent an angel with some food and water; nothing extravagant, just a cake and some water. Angelic intervention must have been common to Elijah (not like we would respond), so he just ate and drank and went back to sleep. The angel came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too great for you." So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. He was not a MAN ON A MISSION, he was clueless as to what was happening and needed a fresh revelation from God. 

Sometimes believers in Jesus Christ also get fed up of life's problems and request God to kill them. But believe me, God has no intentions of answering such prayers. Perhaps he may send you an angel with some food and water or just lift the burden that is overwhelming by the power of his Holy Spirit.

While Elijah was contemplating dying, God had major plans for him...
God said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. Anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Israel; and anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah to be prophet in your place.
(1 Kings 19:15, 16) 

While some of you are contemplating quitting, God has some major plans lined up for you this year. So, "Be still and know that God is God."

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Life as it is…..06/01/2022- Dr. Johnson Cherian

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 dress rehearsal.  

In 2 dreams, spaced 16 years apart, the Lord has shown me, my readiness to be caught up in Rapture and being “not so ready”. In 1994, I dreamt of being caught up in Rapture with a friend of mine. It was a glorious experience. In 2010, I dreamt of the Rapture again, this time however, I was only seeing others being caught up with the Lord, not me. 

So, how ready are we, as of today?

With the pandemic being around for more than 2 years now, has any change come in our lives, pertaining to the imminent return of our Savior? 

Frankly, we are caught up with so many things, that we may miss being “caught up” with our Savior when he returns. That would sound quite harsh, but that is true of many believers. Are we really looking forward to that glorious day? 

The Apostle Peter writes in his epistle regarding the second coming of our Lord…. 

……what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness….

…… looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God…….

…… looking forward to these things, being diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless……. 

The day (or night) is not far when what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Thessalonica and Corinth will come true. 

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) 

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52) 

We need to be ready for Rapture at all times, saying “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and living self-controlled, upright and godly lives. “Easier said than done”, one may say. But that’s the only way we can be sure of being caught up with our Savior when he comes back. Praise the Lord.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Life as it is…..05/01/2022 - Dr. Johnson Cherian

Once I was conducting an afternoon prayer meeting in my wife’s house. There were around 20 people and we started off with worship and prayers. While the prayers were going on, I saw a man in his twenties come in and sit with the others. I had never seen him before, all the others were regular attendees. The scripture portion that God had laid on my heart the previous night while I spent time in prayer was from Ezekiel Chapter 18 and verses 1-4…. The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? “As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine; the soul who sins shall die.

After a couple of believers had prayed, I preached on this topic. I had never preached on these verses before and in the time that led to the meeting, I had wondered why God had given me those scriptures.

There are verses in the book of Exodus where God Almighty tells Moses….

“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6, 7)

…… visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation! (Even many well-meaning Christians quote this)

But when we come to the book of Ezekiel, God says….no longer shall this be true. It is the soul that sins who will die. The gist of Ezekiel Chapter 18 is that, if the son lives righteously despite his father being wicked, he would not suffer for his father’s sins.

After the meeting was over, I met and talked to the guy who had come to the meeting for the first time. He was a non-Christian, knowing nothing about the Bible, but was going around with a great burden in his heart regarding the grievous sins his parents and his forefathers had committed and always wondering whether he could find salvation, since he was taught from childhood that he would have to suffer for the sins of his parents and forefathers. He told me that, it was God speaking to him. I shared the Gospel with him that day and he left with a remarkable sense of relief and peace was evident on his face.

Isn’t it true that God works in mysterious ways? It was not an advertised meeting, just a few people gathering for prayer and the young man had wandered in to the right place; to be precise, God had guided his steps. And one sermon, just for the soul that was in despair and felt that it was lost. Praise God for his agape love.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Life as it is…..04/01/2022- Dr. Johnson Cherian

He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap. (Ecclesiastes 11:4)

If you are considering doing quality work for the kingdom of God, there's no better season than the present one. Jesus once said, "I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work." (John 9:4)

The night is almost here... So we must urgently do what we have been called to do by our Savior Jesus Christ for the kingdom of God.

Believers respond in different ways to God's call for doing his work. It's like when Deborah issued a call to the 12 tribes to fight against Canaanites. The response was varied as we read in Judges Ch. 5...

The princes of Issachar were with Deborah. As was Issachar, so was Barak. They rushed into the valley at his feet. By the watercourses of Reuben, there were great resolves of heart. Why did you sit among the sheepfolds to hear the whistling for the flocks? At the watercourses of Reuben there were great searching’s of heart. Gilead lived beyond the Jordan. Why did Dan remain in ships? Asher sat still at the haven of the sea, and lived by his creeks. Zebulun was a people that jeopardized their lives to the deaths; Naphtali also, on the high places of the field.

(Judges 5:15-18)

You can be like the princes of Issachar, promptly setting out on hearing the call. Zebulun and Napthali were willing to go even further; they jeopardized their lives to the deaths. But look at Reuben, Dan and Asher. Reuben spent time thinking and more thinking, Dan liked to relax in his ships and Asher..well Asher was in love with the beaches. 

Some waste time in trivial pursuits, fighting over Bible versions/doctrines and criticizing others who are doing at least something for the Lord. Some follow in the footsteps of Reuben looking at the winds and clouds, neither sowing nor reaping. Some are in love with ships and beaches; in love with the world, so as to say. 

Here's a reminder from Jesus to all believers in these end days... 

Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. (John 4:35, 36)

Monday, January 3, 2022

Life as it is…..03/01/2022- Dr. Johnson Cherian

To the church at Ephesus (in the 2nd chapter of the book of Revelation), Jesus had many good things to say. It had plentiful works, arduous labor, patient endurance, it did not tolerate evil men and discerned false apostles and dealt with them appropriately. What more could Jesus ask from a church or believers, one could ask! But there you are. Jesus says something so strikingly painful, that whoever in the church, especially the leaders when they heard it, they would shake their heads and say, “What more can we do?” Jesus had said, “Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place. (Revelation 2:4, 5)

We are speaking here of a Church which earlier had great leaders like Timothy and John, the Apostle. Was the sin so glaring that Jesus warns them that the Church would cease to exist if it did not repent? And cease to exist it did, because they did not repent.

Jesus spoke about the Ephesian Church to have left its first love. 30 years back then, the Apostle Paul had written to the same church, saying, “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ sincerely. (Ephesians 6:24)

So the question arises for believers and Churches in our present time. Have we left out first love?

We may be doing everything that a believer or Church is supposed to do. Worship, prayer, meditation of God’s Word, evangelism…..yet, without any intimacy with Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Has all that we do, become a routine or a burden, without any love for Jesus?

The question is are we enjoying our relationship with Jesus? “Delighting” would be the right word, as we read of in several scriptures in the Word of God.

…..his (Jehoshaphat’s) heart took delight in the ways of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 17:6)…

But his delight is in the law of the Lord…. (Psalm 1:2)

Delight yourself in the Lord…. (Psalm 37:4)

I delight to do your will….. (Psalm 40:8)

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments…. (Psalm 112:1)

Many believers delight in serving Jesus initially in their walk with him, but as time goes by, their first love wanes and then they just do things because they have to. If we have left our first love, this is the time and season to repent and love Jesus from our hearts and delight in serving him.

As the return of our Savior looms on the horizon, some of us need to do a diligent heart search and love our Savior in sincerity, as Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Life as it is…..02/01/2022- Dr. Johnson Cherian

For over a year now, I have been closely watching the birds that come to eat the rice grains that I leave outside my kitchen window and often I am reminded of the words of Jesus to his disciples who were worried about their next meal or food provision in general….. Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26)

Look at the birds – well, we hardly have time for that, for we are mostly looking at our mobile devices or binge watching TV (God save the believer).

Jesus said, “Birds neither sow nor reap or gather into barns”….he didn’t mean we are to sit idle, not working for our food. Many believers in the Church at Thessalonica did just that. The Apostles including Paul preached to them that Jesus was coming back soon, so many of them stopped working. Paul had to then admonish them, saying, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Jesus, here, was stressing the fact that our dependence should not be on what we reap, gather or store, but on the Father in Heaven who sustains his children each and every day.

Jesus was also pointing out to his disciples the very important fact that we, as God’s children are so valuable to him that he would provide for our daily needs, if we were to first seek his kingdom and his righteousness.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

What Jesus meant here was that, we must put God’s interests first in our life, then God will take care of our necessities of life, at present and in the future. If we are to be devoted to the accumulation of financial reserves, we could be never sure we have saved enough because there is always the danger of market collapse, inflation, calamities, prolonged illness and paralyzing accident.

As a child of God, you and me, we are very valuable to God. Much more valuable than birds which the Heavenly father feeds daily.

Whether it be food, clothes or any other genuine need of yours, your Heavenly Father will provide. Trust in him. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Life as it is…..01/01/2022- Dr. Johnson Cherian

So here we are in 2022. It was great to enter the New Year (with prayers, worship & meditation of God’s Word) with my family and my brothers and sisters in Christ from my Church in Kerala, not in person though, only via zoom. And what an unexpected blessing Zoom has turned out to be since the pandemic began. Will 2022 bring many more unexpected blessings? Only time will tell.

Midnight in India, 21.30 hrs. in Qatar and surprisingly as I started my new year message, there was lightning, thunder, gusty winds and heavy rain. Wow.

I spoke using the Bible text from Matthew 22:23

 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

We serve a God who not only blesses us because we love and live for him, but also blesses the generations to come from us. He not only blessed Abraham, but also Isaac, Jacob and the generations after them.

Interestingly, God wants to establish a relationship with all his children; not many get close to him though, for various reasons like fear, disinterest, ignorance and so on and so forth. Check how he was there, dealing with problems that all these three faced and the phrase that is to be noted when he spoke to them was, “Do not fear”

To Abraham he said, “Do not fear, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)- Abraham’s fear was that he was childless and his servant would inherit all that he had. God was there to remove those fears and bless him and make him a great nation.

To Isaac he said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for my servant Abraham’s sake.” (Genesis 26:24)- Isaac’s fear was that his enemies would steal his blessings. God would not allow that.

To Jacob he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there.” (Genesis 46:3)- Jacob was 130 years old and he had to travel to Egypt to see his long lost son Joseph. God allayed those age and travel fears.

God Almighty who has called you in to fellowship with his son Jesus Christ is faithful. He desires not only to bless you because you faithfully serve him, but also the generations after you. So be strengthened this 1st day of 2022. He says, “Do not fear”. If you remain childless, he has plans for your life too. Know his plan and fulfil it. Only that would give you lasting satisfaction.