Thursday, 30 December 2010

Solving Bigger Problems!!!

As we come to the end of 2010, there may be too many unanswered prayers this year. What I have learnt this year regarding unanswered prayers is that God is SOLVING MUCH BIGGER PROBLEMS.
Let’s look at one of Jesus’s request that was not granted. (Yes you read it right) Jesus was about to enter is final hours of his life. He was about to be crucified on the cross. Here, Jesus prays that he will be saved from the cross. But the answer he got was NO. Why? The Father gave a negative reply to Jesus because He was solving a bigger problem. He was solving the problem of SINs of the World. May be some of the negative answers that you have received are because God is seeing the bigger picture and he is solving the bigger problem.
Moses wanted to save one Hebrew but God wanted to save the entire nation. Joseph’s cry for help was not answered but God used him to save a nation. David could have prayed for more sheep and a well settled life but God wanted him to lead a nation. Ruth wanted food and wanted to live but God included her in the Greatest Family of Jesus. Hannah prayed for a son but God gave her a prophet to lead a nation. Elizabeth wanted a child but God took his own time and gave a predecessor for Jesus. Paul wanted his weakness removed but God knew better. Peter didn’t want Jesus to die but God knew better. Jesus wanted to escape cross but God was solving a bigger problem. All the bible and history God was always seeing the BIG PICTURE and He was solving the BIG PROBLEMS.
May be your prayers are unanswered today and your problems are not being solved. Take courage. God is solving a much bigger problem. Trust him God knows better. He knows what’s best. As we come to a close of this year, let us trust God for all our unanswered prayers. Wishing you and your family a very meaningful and satisfying year ahead.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Using the "Right Words"..

Recently, I had a discussion among a group of friends. They were discussing about how we should pray. To be more precise, they wanted to use the right words in prayer. It was a very “theological” discussion. To some extend I was even trapped. They even told me, I didn’t pray the “Right way” with the “Right words”.
While I was returning home that day, I was almost floating over a flood of thoughts. I had questions that I never had on prayer. I was wondering if ever I could pray the right way. I thought over what was discussed and I felt more terrible. I was trying to count the times when I used the right words. Is there a right way to pray? Are there some right words to pray? With these questions, I opened the door to enter my home. I didn’t know I was opening a door of answers for these questions.
As I opened the door, my two boys crawled towards me in Joy. One stopped half way through and started clapping. Another started to shout in joy. Then they were lifting their hands towards me wanting me to carry them. After that one of them began to cry wanting my touch. The other started holding my leg. Though these are normal things that happen every day, that day it was normal for me.
My imagination took off. What if I didn’t respond to them because they didn’t use the right words? Yes, they smiled, crawled, clapped, shouted, lifted their hands, cried, and held my leg, but they didn’t use the “right words”. I could have argued. I didn’t. Because I knew, this is not about using the right words but it’s just coming to the father. I knew that they sincerely seek me. And that is enough for me.
It began to dawn on me that this same illustration can be applied to prayer too. God is not waiting for us to use the right words, but he just wants us to come to Him. Come to Him, just doing whatever we know. Smiling, crying, clapping, shouting, lifting our hands, and babbling. He understands our language. Our heavenly father answers us because we sincerely seek him and not because we use the right words. If you are praying, you are already using the right way to seek God!!

Monday, 15 November 2010

"The Gospel According to Jesus: A Faith that Restores All Things" - Chris Seay's – Book Review

"The Gospel According to Jesus: A Faith that Restores All Things" - Chris Seay's – Book Review
I had Just finished reading Chris Seay's book "The Gospel According to Jesus: A Faith that Restores All Things" today. It took some time to think about what the author says in total. The book starts with the quote of M.Ghandi “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”
"The Gospel According to Jesus" really revolves around one Word “Righteousness”. The author adds surveys that indicate that 84 percent of Christians have a misunderstanding of the true meaning of the word righteousness. That’s how this book starts and the stats given were really interesting.
There are some very interesting interviews with great persons that keep the book lively. This book was not an easy read for me as I had to pause and think on many issues that the author writes. Though I don’t completely agree with whatever is written, it really made me to think about my personal walk with Jesus. The title of the book I would say gave me a completely different picture but when actually I read the book, I feel the title didn’t convey the theme of the book. The author doesn’t completely answer the questions he asks the reader. More details are required when he says the church has misunderstood Major biblical themes. But I really liked the part “Ten Commandments of Shalom”.
Overall I would recommend this book just to stimulate you to think and you have to continue to build on that.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, 29 October 2010

Why Write??



Sometimes it’s just so discouraging to know that there is only one or two who read your blog. So at times I have thought to quit writing. Recently I was encouraged through the character of Dr.Luke. He is one of the writers of the bible. He has written a couple of books in bible. Luke and Acts. And what stuck me was he wrote both these books not thinking that it must get in to the Bible or the Best Seller List. He just wrote to one person, Theophilus. And to write to one person, he didn’t just give a rough scribbling. He took pains to write and also did research before he wrote. Look at what he says “since I(Luke) myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus”. He put all of his mind, soul and heart to write to just one person. And Luke, of all the gospel writers gives more details about each incident. The timings, the dates are so specific in his writings. He could have said, why do I have to take such pains when only one is going to read my book. But he didn’t say it. Thank God he didn’t say it and we have got two beautiful books. But any work that is sincerely done, God honors. God used his two books to be a part of His great BOOK. Today it’s read by millions through all centuries. So my word to any blogger or writer: Let us keep writing putting our heart and soul. God will use them in ways we don’t understand and imagine. It may be a letter or a small write-up or an article for the church magazine. So Write and Let God Use Them.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Commendable Faith

As I was reading a incident that is recorded in Mathew 15th chapter, 4 things that just stood out for me.
1. V21 says “And (Jesus) going away from there”. Where was Jesus going away from? This really made me curious to find what turned Jesus away from a particular place. So I read the previous verses. By doing so, I found out that Jesus was going away from the hypocritical Pharisees. They thought they knew everything and they were not teachable and were puffed up with pride. Jesus doesn’t linger with those folks longer.
2. The 2nd thing that I noticed was Jesus’s unJesus response to a wailing parent. That woman was really crying out and begging Jesus to heal her daughter. But Jesus, the one who answers before we call and the one who hears us while we are yet speaking, did not answer her V23. This act was so non Jesus. Sometimes in life we wail and cry and beg only to hear the loudest silence from God as His reply. And parents would definitely understand how that woman would have felt. No mother can see her child suffering. This mom was no exception. She came to the right person, Jesus. But Jesus did not answer her. Parent, are you in such a phase? You have prayed to God about your son/daughter. You have fasted. You have begged to God to heal your child. And the only response you got from God was Silence. Is that you? Then, hold on as we move further.
3. The third thing is the response of the disciples. They said “Send her away”. I thought a recommendation to Jesus would have been apt. But they just wanted to “send her away”. At least they could have said “Heal her daughter Lord”. The reason: She is bothering us. Many disciples of Jesus today do the same. When somebody is in need, we just want them to go away. Don’t bother us is our reply or at least our unuttered thought.
4. Finally, I wanted to title this passage as “Persistence Prayer”. But then Jesus doesn’t commend her for her persistence prayer but her faith. Her persistent prayer was the result of her Faith in Jesus that He was able and will heal her daughter. Jesus told her, “Great is Your faith”. Her Great faith made her to endure phases like “Silence of Jesus, Send her away’s of disciples and humbling talk from Jesus”. Do you have Great Faith in our Great Gracious God?? Hold on. Never Give Up. Jesus Sees You Faith. He will respond.

Monday, 25 October 2010

All Knowing God!!

God is omniscient. He is all knowing. Nothing can be hidden from his eyes. He knows our thought and he knows the word before it comes to our tongue. Now, having such a God, I sometimes wonder do I have to tell him all that’s happening in my life. Doesn’t he already know it? Do I have to confess my sins? Has he not already seen what I did? So what it is the point in confessing to God. Does it increase His knowledge about us? No. But it does increase our knowledge about ourselves. When we confess we really see our real self as God sees. Only by God’s help we can confess. As we confess we start to see our sins and weakness and claim that we are helpless and also that we need God’s help. So Confession I must confess is mainly for us to realize us than to letting an all knowing God to know about ourselves.
Any Confession about your Confessions lately?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

(In)Dependence!!

Recently my sons started sitting all by themselves. So we as parents became so proud of them. We called their grandparents (Our Parents) to tell them that the little boys don’t depend on us for sitting anymore. We were filled with joy and with pride. There will be more and more such moments in our lives when our sons will start doing things on their own. They will start to stand, walk, run, learn, eat, and do so many other things on their own, becoming less dependent on us. We call is growth. As children grow, parents expect them to more independent. Most of the parents are proud like us.
But spiritually the process is reversed. Spiritual growth is measured on how much we depend on the Heavenly Father. As soon as we are born again, we learn to depend on God and as days goes by we learn more and more to depend on God. A person who had walked with the Lord for 40 years depends on God more than a person who has walked with the Lord for 4 years. We call this spiritual growth.
Jesus was the most spiritually mature person the world has ever seen. He was completely dependent on His Father and his each and every move and his words were from God. The more we depend the more we grow. The more we grow the more we depend.
Is it easy to depend on God in this society where dependence is seen as weakness most of the time?

Monday, 27 September 2010

Worship!!

Music has almost become a synonym to worship now a days. When people say we will worship our Lord, they always have music in their mind. There are so many worship services where music plays a major part. But worship is not about filling up for the silence. Your sincere silence could become a sacred worship before God. The art of worshiping God silently is vanishing. We now a days dance, shout, jump, make noise and we worship (or Do We?).
I was reading about a woman in the bible who came to Jesus and worshiped Him without a word. She used tears, kisses, breaking a costly perfume. She worshipped Jesus with her Works rather than her words. She reverently kissed the feet of the Lord. Did you notice the paradox here? Reverently kissed. Reverently feared and reverently stood at a distance, may make sense. But reverently kissed?
Well the word used for worship in the Old Testament is Barak and in the New Testament is Proskuneo.
Baw-rak - To kneel or to bow. To give reverence to God as an act of adoration.
Proskuneo-To kiss in adoration.
Worship involves both. Being reverent before the king at the same time kissing the father intimately. These two are like the tow sides of the coin. The coin is not complete without either one.
Let us learn to worship God with reverence, with kisses and also in silence. God acknowledged the worship of that woman. So let us follow her example.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Kissed Or Kicked!!

Recently I heard a story about a son who returned home after living a wayward life. And the reaction of the Father made my heart sink. His father kicked him out of his home again.
As I heard this story, my heart immediately remembered the parable of the prodigal son. Thanks to Dr. Luke, who is the only gospel writer to pen down this famous parable of Jesus.
Two fathers. Same situation. Different reaction.

One father KICKED his wayward son away. Another father KISSED his wayward son and brought him home. And I thank God that I have a Father in heaven who kissed me when I came back home.

We have all had wayward times in our lives. But then we have a Father, a perfect Father who is ready to RUN to us and Kiss us and not Kick us out. Aren’t you glad that we have a Loving Father?

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Too Familiar

Recently I was diagnosed with a disease by the Great Physician. You may also be familiar with it. The disease – Familiarity. We tend to become too familiar of the things and people around us. The result, life becomes very boring. You don’t learn anything new because you think you already know it. “Familiarity breeds contempt” is a familiar saying. When, you are too familiar with something, you tend to stop appreciating it. The sense of awe fades away. That too when you are familiarity is with Jesus, it’s a great problem. This was the problem of the people who lived in Nazareth. They had this disease of familiarity. They thought they knew Jesus very well. When the news about Jesus was spreading fast “is he not the carpenter?” is what they said. “He made our table and chairs” said one. “He made a beautiful door for us” said another. “He is just a carpenter. We know Jesus very well” was their claim. But they didn’t know him. For them he was just a maker of table and chairs. But in reality he was the Maker of heaven and earth. That’s what familiarity can do to you. It will make you to miss the greatest miracle the World has ever seen – God walking on earth. And because of this familiarity, Jesus couldn’t do great work and reveal himself more to these people. They saw him only as the one who mad e doors and missed that he was door to God. Oh don’t become too familiar with Jesus. Allow him to surprise you. He always surprised his disciples.

When they thought he was a carpenter, He gave them fishing tips.
When they thought they would send the people away, He wanted to feed them.
When they thought he was didn’t care for them in the storm, He commanded the winds and waves to save them.
When they thought he was a rabbi, He ate with sinners.
When they thought he would become their king, he died.
When they thought he was dead, He came back alive.

Jesus always surprised his disciples. And he still does. Our view of Jesus must grow everyday. Let us not settle in. Let him become bigger and greater in your view day by day. Go through the gospels and look for Jesus in a different way. Let your familiarity on Jesus pass away. May you always be fascinated by Jesus.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Face - Down Before God!!

Today has been one of those incredibly lonely days. It has been a day of being misunderstood and misrepresented, a day when those I loved the most seem the farthest away. The other reason today has been so difficult and lonely is that I have also failed my friends and family. I have misunderstood and misrepresented them and in that I am certainly not like Jesus. So God forgive me and make me more like Jesus. These days don’t come often but when it comes it’s a bit tough to get through.

But I wanted to see how Jesus handled his lonely days and moments in life.

I read about Jesus’ lonely battle in Gethsemane. He was afraid. He was confused. He was lonely. He didn’t want to do what he was about to do. His friends were snoring while his sweat was turning into blood. If you were there, you could hear is deep sigh. His voice was shaky. He was lying face down. But face down before God. There he received strength for the cross. His situation and loneliness got worse but he became stronger. So I stopped my reading. Do you know where I went? Yes I went face down before God. I need strength to move on. I am learning from Jesus to lean on Jesus. When Gethsemane’s come and when you start your lonely battle, do what Jesus did. Go to the Father face down because Jesus understands. He will lift you up.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Don't Worry

I was reading Mathew 6th chapter, the last few verses. Jesus was teaching his disciples not to worry. He said worry accomplishes nothing. Three words popped out and said a hello to me from these passages. Faith, Father, and First. Let’s try to understand these Words.

Jesus says that when you worry it’s an indication that your faith level is low. When you don’t trust God, you start to worry. So what do we do to increase our faith? Try these two things.

1. Pray as a father who came to Jesus prayed “Lord, ..help my unbelief! Mark 9:24.

2. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Read more of His Word. As you intake more of His Words, your faith begins to increase and you begin to trust him more.

The second word that Jesus uses, is the “Father”. “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them”. He reminds us that we have a Father in Heaven. Our Father is full of love to care for us, full of Wisdom to guide us and full of power to save us. We have a very strong, loving, wise Father in heaven. Whenever you start to worry, remind yourself of our Father.

Thirdly, He uses another word, First. Jesus encourages us to seek First his kingdom. He wants us to put God First in our life. When God is your first in your life, you need not worry.

Rick warren puts it this way. Put God first in your

Finances

Interests

Relationships

Schedule or Time

Troubles

So here is the remedy for worry as Jesus puts it. Three Words, Faith, Father and First. When you have faith in your father, then put Him first in your life and worry will be out of your vocabulary.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Whatever He Does Prospers!!

Whatever He Does Prospers

--Ps 1:3

What a promise. As I was reading this sentence the word “Whatever” hit me strongly. What if some one promises you that “whatever” you do from today you will prosper? Won’t you leap with joy? Whatever seems like an unconditional promise. But this “Whatever” is not for “Whoever”. It’s for the “He”. Who does this He refer to? He refers to the person who mediates the Word of God day and night. He delights in the law of the Lord. Mediating and Delighting go hand in hand. When you don’t delight in something, you don’t mediate it. When you don’t mediate, you won’t delight.

Have a look these examples from David.

Psalms 119

15 I meditate on your precepts

and consider your ways.

16 I delight in your decrees;

I will not neglect your word

23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,

your servant will meditate on your decrees.

24 Your statutes are my delight;

they are my counselors.

47 for I delight in your commands

because I love them.

48 I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love,

and I meditate on your decrees.

77 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,

for your law is my delight.

78 May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause;

but I will meditate on your precepts.

Did you see that? The words “Delight” and “Meditate” go hand in hand.

Not only he meditates but he “Does” something. I mean “He” is the doer of the word. Once you start to meditate you start to do since the word of God calls us to action. Word of God is not passive but an active one. The Words of Jesus always call us to action. While he walked on earth, didn’t you hear him say these words of action. Follow me, Come, Take up the cross, Roll away the stone, Fill the jars with water, Give them something to eat and the list goes on. A man who really mediates will really be a man who does things. “He” is a doer.

Whatever He does prospers. Though the 1st (Whatever) and last (Prospers) words in the sentence makes our eyes pop out, the words “He” and “Does” challenges us and calls us to action. Let us “Delight”, “Meditate” and “Do” so that we will “Prosper” in “Whatever” we do.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Grace!!!

Here are some verses for you to ponder..

Romans 3:22
justified freely by his Grace

Romans 5:2
Grace in which we now stand

2 Corinthians 8:9
His Grace makes us rich

Ephesians 2;8
For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith

2 Thess 2:16
by his Grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope

James 4:16
But he gives us more Grace. ..... gives Grace to the humble

1 Tim 1;14
The Grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly

Titus 2;11
For the Grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

Grace and Grace Alone!!!

My Mom...

Nails

Lets look at some of the objects around the Cross and try to gain some understanding.

Nails

Jesus was nailed to the cross.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. Colo 2:13,14

So what does this teach us? God nailed the written code that was against us on the cross.
So the next time you remember your past sins, remember the nails. Your long list of iniquity and sins has been nailed to the cross and washed by the blood of Jesus. Nail this point down to your heart, so that you will be free from guilt.

Next time, when the devil comes with to make you guilty, show the nails and nail him down. :)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A Reply to "Been Thinnking" Post

This is one of the reply that i got for the "Been Thinking" Post.
Found it useful..

You prayed to stop the rain. Someone else ( like a farmer or an agriculturist) prayed wanting the rain. Two conflicting prayer requests to God. God has all the power and authority to make His decision to whom He would answer.
Praying with authority is good. But the motives also play a part I believe. You got stuck in the rain. You wanted to go. It was for "you". When Jesus stopped the winds, it was for "Others" ( the disciples who were afraid). Whenever he commanded the spirit or the sickness to leave the prayer was for "others". But when he prayed in the Gethsemane to remove the bitter vessel (Cross) it was for "him". And God DID NOT ANSWER even Jesus' prayer in a positive way.
Praying for others; Living for others. That is God's plan for his disciples. Only few know that. Among them only few try to follow that to a certain extent. Otherwise we all live for ourselves. "Egocentric" !

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Lent

Its Lent Again and Time to remember our Lords Passion once again...