Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Fruitfulness ∞ Obedience

9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.---John 15; 9-17

Don’t read this article.
This one is about obedience. If you are still reading this, you have just disobeyed. Disobedience displays the inbuilt nature of sin in us. A 3 year old kid disobeys at ease. Nobody teaches but it is inbuilt. In the 15th chapter of john we see Jesus telling his disciples to remain in His Love. How to remain in His Love? Jesus gives us the answer: If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. Not only by reading His commandments but by doing what it says. Obeying to God’s word will make you remain in His love. Then the next question becomes what is His commandments. Jesus answers this too: My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. So when you obey god’s command and love each other as He loves us you remain in Him. When you remain in Him, you bear much fruit. So, obedience is directly proportional to the fruit you bear. In order to increase your fruitfulness, increase your obedience. You have disobeyed and read this article thus far and see how God can even use your disobedience and teach you about obedience :)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Attached or Detached!!

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.----John 15; 1-8

Though I am not a farmer and am not even interested in farming, I would like to suggest a few tips for growing “fruit-bearing” trees.
Step1: Identify the branch that needs to give much fruit.
Step 2: Cut the branch (Don’t stare at me…It works J)
Step 3: Put the branch in a box and keep the box in a warm place
Step 4: At the right season, open the box and find the branch filled with fruits….
I can see you smile. …You ask… well how can a branch give fruits unless its joined with the tree…That’s exactly my point.. Sorry Jesus’s point..look at what he says.. “For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me”. Do you want to live fruitful life, a life that’s a blessing to others. There is only one way: To remain in HIM.
Secondly, Jesus says: For apart from ME (Jesus) you can do NOTHING. He does not say apart from ME you can do something or apart from me you do a few things. He says nothing. Yes we are so dependent on Jesus as a branch is completely dependent on the Vine. Join the Vine and let your life Shine. When you produce much fruit, you are His true disciples. This brings great glory to Our Father.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

He is Still working on me...

I was thinking about my own weaknesses, when i remembered this song that was written by Joel Hemphill...He is Still working on me....(Jer 18; 1-6)

CHORUS:
He's still working on me
to make me what I ought to be.I
t took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me.

1. There really ought to be a sign upon the heart,
Don't judge her yet, there's an unfinished part.
But I'll be perfect just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master's loving hands.

CHORUS:

2. In the mirror of His Word
reflections that I see
Make me wonder why He never gave up on me.
He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He's the Potter, I'm the clay.
CHORUS:

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Home and Helper

In the 14th chapter of John, Jesus says twice; Do not let you heart be troubled. It is actually a command. Jesus knew that dark days were awaiting him and his disciples, but still says “Do not let your heart be troubled”. So I understand that am in control of my emotions. I can choose to happy or troubled. To achieve this there are two major promise that Jesus gives them.

Last week I travelled to Madurai. I didn’t panic during my travel. I was enjoying the travel inspite of the difficulties I faced during my travel. Bad roads, irritating neighbors, boring movie, congested seats, and ups and downs in the road didn’t really trouble me. Why? Because I knew tomorrow morning I would be at home. That confidence made me enjoy the travel. Also, I had my wife at my side. She always wants to help me. She assists me in all that I do. I share how I feel and she understands. She encourages. She is a good helper. Confidence of my home and Comfort of my helper made my journey joyful and kept me on course.

These are the same two promises that Jesus gives His disciples.
“2-3;In my Father's house are many rooms…..I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” It’s a promise about heaven or eternal home.
16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor or Helper to be with you forever—. And here is the promise of an eternal Helper, the Holy Spirit.

Confidence about your home (In Heaven) and Comfort and guidance of your Helper (The Holy Spirit) will make your journey joyful and keep you on course. So next time you are troubled, here is the remedy- Home (heaven) and Helper (the Holy Spirit).

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Unconditional Love

18"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.' 19"I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. 20I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." 21After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me." 22His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means." 25Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" 26Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, 28but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. John 13:18-30

Two things I learned from this passage;
In the 21st verse, I read Jesus was troubled in spirit. Yes you read it right. He was TROUBLED IN SPIRIT. Jesus bold in his spirit, I agree. Jesus confident in spirit, I agree. Jesus joyful in spirit I agree. But Jesus troubled in spirit, troubles my spirit. How can Jesus be troubled. He is God. Yes He is God. But He was also 100 % man. So whenever I say to him Lord, am troubled in my heart, He understands. He says What you are going through, I have already been through. Hence he is ready and able to help us.
Secondly, I want you look at the way Jesus treated Judas. He was completely aware that Judas would hurt him. But He treated Judas as Jews usually treat a special guest. He dipped a piece of bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. Dipping a piece of bread and giving it to a person is usually done to honor a person. Jesus honored Judas knowing that he will hurt Him. What great love does God shower upon us? Though we were enemies to Him He still loves us. After accepting the bread or after accepting God’s love, Judas went out. Many times we go out of His presence after tasting his love. What happens when go out of his presence? John writes “And it was night”. Yes when you leave the Light of the world, your life becomes dark.

Tell HIM...

I got a call. I was disturbed. I didn’t know what to do about the situation about which I was informed. Then I did what I usually do.
I took a cup of coffee, went to the recreation hall in my office and sat down.
Then I looked towards heaven. I said, Jesus I am scared. I don’t know what to do about this one. I need strength and I need grace. Let your peace rule my heart. I cast my burdens on you. I know you care for me. As I said these, my eyes were filled with tears.
Heaven was silent. God’s silence is much sweeter than man’s words. My heart was warm. My strength regained. I got was I asked for. Grace and Peace to move on. Now I realize why St. Paul’s letters start with Grace and Peace. I do this many times during a day. I tell HIM about what’s happening. He listens. Tell HIM…..He listens…

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Be a Model

12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13; 12-17

Am so proud of myself as I write my third consecutive article about humility. With such pride in my heart, I sit down to learn about humbleness!!! J (God save Me)
We ll just look into two Verses from this passage. 15 and 17.
15-I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 17-Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Jesus does not preach a long sermon on humbleness. He just sets us an example. People don’t need Messages. They need Models. Set them examples. Don’t preach. This is what Jesus did. He says: I have set you an example. Example of what? Humility, Love, Services. Will you Stop Talking and Start Doing. Be doers of the Word. What happens when we obey His teachings? We will be blessed or happy. Jesus says: Now that you know these things, you will be blessed or Happy if you do them. Want a principle to be happy. Take that. Obey His Word and be happy.
Set an example for others by obeying his example and be blessed.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Allow me to work on you--God

6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" 7Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." 8"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." 9"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!" 10Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.—John 13;6-11

I was reading this passage yesterday. One verse that really stood out of the Passage is the seventh verse. Jesus said to peter: You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. How many times I tried to avoid what Jesus was doing in my life due to lack of understanding. It even appeared harmful to me. But the lord encouraged me yesterday saying you may not understand all that I am doing in your life. But just trust me. Because unless I do what I have to do in you, you have no part with me.
Lord, help me to allow you to work on me. Though I don’t understand, I trust you.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Know and Show

1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13; 1-5

This passage is found in the 13th chapter of John. Though this passage is filled with so many valuable insights, I would like to highlight only two words for you to chew on.
The final teachings of Jesus start in this chapter.

1. Before his final teachings came his final action- the washing of their feet. And these final actions speak a lot. Most of the times we speak a lot without any action. But Jesus not only said to them that He loved them but also SHOWED them the full extent of His Love. We need to follow his foot steps.

2. Secondly, why did Jesus act like that? The word KNEW explains that to us. In this passage we read the word Jesus Knew, couple of times. This knowledge about His Father and his heavenly timing made him act differently. Jesus knew what his disciple didn’t know. And this knowledge is what caused him his action that is to Show them. He was always heavenly minded. He saw things in eternal perspective. But his disciple could not look beyond earth. When we see things from heavenly perspectives, we can be calm before any storm and even wash the feet of the person who would betray us.

So today I would like to place two words before you. Know and Show.

Know God’s Plan.
Show God’s Love.

Come, let’s follow his footsteps…