Tag Archive | Challenges

THE FIRST MISSIONARY

MATTHEW 2 : 13 – 15
Happily lived ever after!
The dream of having a secure and settled life after marriage!
What was the dream of Joseph?
What was his plan about his married life?
The Divine intervention changed his dreams upside down!
Immediately after his engagement, his dreams distanced
themselves from reality and so he tried to distance himself
from Mary!
He was a just man but he was just a man!
His plan to break the engagement quietly was not approved by
GOD and he set aside his dreams because of the dream!
He obeyed, he sacrificed and he cared.
His obedience brought any immediate blessing?, No!
Again he got a dream, a warning, a command to flee to Egypt!
Reason?
To protect JESUS from Herod!
See the command, was it not peculiar?
A man who obeyed so much was not allowed even to stay in
that place!
He was not even asked to go but flee! That too in the night!
Why not some other option?
Why not instant removal of Herod so that the obedient Joseph
could have lived in the comfort zone?
Because, it was a fulfillment of Scripture!( MATTHEW 2 : 15 ).
But Joseph obeyed!
See, Joseph got up and fled to Egypt with Mary and JESUS,
not to protect himself or his dear wife but to protect JESUS!
The calling of a missionary!
The attitude of keeping JESUS, the WORD, as the reason
for all the moves and stops!
He didn’t even send but went! For Jesus sake!
The first missionary!
Dear friend,
Come out of your comfort zone!
Listen to the High calling!
Let the WORD decide your moves and stops!
If any of your move, vertical or horizontal, is going to hurt the
WORD, then you are not in his perfect will!
If necessary, let us suffer but not the WORD!


I REFLECT AT NIGHT ON WHO YOU ARE, O LORD, AND
OBEY YOUR LAW BECAUSE OF THIS. ( PSALM 119 : 55 )

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SHOWCASE SOLDIERS

I SAMUEL 17 : 16

Goliath presented himself forty days, morning and evening;
This means he challenged Saul’s army eighty times!
Was it not too much?

Even though Saul and all his soldiers heard the words of
Goliath again and again, they didn’t do anything constructive
to manage the situation!

Just think about the Israel’s army!
To the people of Israel, they all looked brave men;
The way they dressed, the weapons they carried, the place
they stayed and their position in the army all impressed the
common people so much and they all believed that the army
was doing something great in the battlefield; That is why even David’s father sent David to that place with some extra items!

But what was the truth?
Not even one person acted like a true soldier!
If they were not ready to accept the challenge, why they were
simply sitting there for forty days?
Even if the challenge was so difficult, why they didn’t bother
about any other alternate strategy?
How was it possible to be so passive when the enemy was
humiliating them?
Showcase soldiers?

Dear friend,
Is not true about our fellowships too?
Some times we also behave like the showcase soldiers!

Some of the secret sins entrap and mock at us, but we simply
respond by labeling them as minor weakness; we never bother
about the way they ruin our effectiveness and hence instead of
finding a solution to that problem, we move passively here and
there.

Some times, even though we hear the challenges of the enemy
again and again, because of fear we sit quietly in a corner but
projecting ourselves as warriors in our own circles!

The WORD we carry, the place we assemble, the company we
keep and the name we have force other believers to consider
us as super saints but what we do in the battle field for a long
time is so pathetic!

Do you know that the army of Israel was so settled in their
passive state that they tried their best to discourage even the
courageous David?

Is it the reason for our not so enthusiastic Christian life?
We know our problems but instead of challenging them, we
somehow simply accept them as unsolvable.
We see it regularly, hear its threatening and mocking but
not trying or planning any constructive strategy!

Remember,
We are changed to challenge the world
and challenged to change the world!

Don’t wait for a David; we all are Davids!
Be a warrior! Get HIS strength and be an over-comer!


FOR YOU HAVE ARMED ME WITH STRENGTH FOR THE
BATTLE; YOU HAVE SUBDUED UNDER ME THOSE WHO
ROSE UP AGAINST ME. ( PSALM 18 : 39 )

FINAL ROUND

LUKE 19 : 11 – 27

Well known parable of the ten minas!
But note the following points:

1. There were ten servants, not just three, who received
the minas to do business. ( verse 13 ), but the result analysis
was only for the three; that means this was a final round only
for the three and not for the remaining seven; The remaining
seven, but not all, might have got another opportunity!

2. When the proposal was given the owner was just a nobleman
but when he came back he was a powerful king (verses 12 &15).
Believing in his return with all authority would certainly be a
motivating factor in facing everyday challenges!

3. The owner just asked them to do business, but he didn’t
mention anything about the actual reward.( verse 17 & 19 ).
His intention of finding good servants to rule over the fifteen
cities was kept secret!.

4. The servants were asked to do business in a hostile
situation; As many of the citizens were against that nobleman,
doing any business as his servants was challenging and risky.
( verse 14 ).

5. The servants were asked to do business in the absence of
their owner; that means they were expected to use the
opportunity in a no-supervisor region ( verse 12 ).

6. There were so many uncertainties:
When will the boss come back?;
Whether he will come back?; Will he get the kingdom? ;
Will the enemies stop him from receiving the kingdom?;
Will the enemies oppose the servants’ business? (verse 14 ).

7. The noblemen knew who were against his reign but took
action against them only at the end ( verse 27 ).

8. The nobleman was against the persons who used fear of him
as an excuse for not taking risk ( verse 21 & 22 ).

9. Exponential growth was possible for the servant who used his
talents in the hostile circumstances, even when there was no
one to supervise, even when there were so many uncertainties,
to bring profit to the owner. ( verses 17 & 24 ).

!0. Whether the servants liked it or not, his return in power and
his day of judgment could not be avoided!

Dear friend,
How you accomplish your assignments in a hostile situation,
when there is no supervision, but are so many uncertainties,
is not just a test to decide your skill and faithfulness; It may
be the final round of assessment to give you your promotion!

Be alert and faithful!


DO YOU SEE A MAN WHO EXCELS IN HIS WORK?
HE WILL STAND BEFORE KINGS,
HE WILL NOT STAND BEFORE UNKNOWN MEN.
( PROVERBS 22 : 29 ).

GIANT-VIEW

I SAMUEL 17 : 1 – 11

The Philistines gathered their armies together
to battle against Saul and the men of Israel;
Battles were not new to Saul or the men of Israel.
They were ready to fight;
But, suddenly the confidence and courage became
doubt and despair!
The reason?
The Giant Goliath!
This one giant was sufficient enough to mock the
entire army of Israel;The size and the challenge!
Even though men of Israel were warriors, they were
not having any strategy to challenge Goliath;
In fact, they were dismayed and greatly afraid!

Dear friends,
Even in our life, some times GOD permits the giant to
challenge us; we get confused; fear grips our heart;
Like the Israelites, we become passive; our courage
and confidence vanish; thousands of questions assail
us; pseudo-guilt and inferiority complex embrace us;
slowly we try to join the group of ‘hurt and retired’.

Our past achievements, accomplishments and victories 
does not give us any clue to handle this giant;
In despair we cry ‘ why LORD, why?’.
We give up, surrender ourselves to the enemy and quit!

But, come to the other side and view the scene!
At least three truths emerge from that scenario!

1. The challenge of the giant helps us to identify our
hidden talent;

See, David used slingshots to kill animals but never
tried that on giants. The appearance of the giant
gave David an opportunity to ‘ test drive’ his skill
on the giant.

2. The challenge of the giant exposes and advertises
your uniqueness to your friends and enemies;

See, the uniqueness of David got noticed by his
people and by the philistines on that day!

3. The challenge of the giant indirectly helps us to gain
victory without any damage or loss to our side;

See, in any battle there will be some deaths and injuries;
but, in the above mentioned battle, Israel won without
losing even a single soldier, thanks to the giant!

Or in other words, whenever GOD wants to give
victory without even a slightest damage to us, HE
will permit the giant to challenge us!

Facing a giant? Perplexed? ready to quit?
Wait Please!
Have a giant-view!
Humble yourself in the sight of the LORD and ask HIM
to reveal your hidden talent and uniqueness!
Remember, you are the apple of HIS eye;
Do you think that HE will permit a giant to challenge
you just to crush you?
No, HE wants us to have victory; no loss or damage!
Come on, Take your sling and stones!


IF YOU HAVE RUN WITH THE FOOTMEN,
AND THEY HAVE WEARIED YOU, THEN
HOW CAN YOU CONTEND WITH HORSES?
( JEREMIAH 12 : 5 )

GLITTERING GREETINGS

PHILIPPIANS 4 : 22  

Paul’s one more prison epistle; usual way of greeting his 
readers; but here some thing unusual!
Greetings not just from Paul and his co workers,
but also from the saints who are of Caesar’s household!

Saints in Caesar’s household?
See the situations;
Claudius Caesar banished Jews from Rome( Acts 18 : 2 );
After him came Nero Caesar, whose hatred against Jews 
and Christians was so sharp and strong; 
In these averse situation, how in that Caesar’s household
a group of saints?
When and how they came to Lord?
Who was instrumental in their Truth discovery?

They are of Caesar’s household, but they are bold enough 
to have fellowship with Paul; 
Actively involved in Paul’s epistle ministry!

Now think about Paul; 
In Roman prison because of his faith(Philippians 1 : 13 );
Facing envy and strife from some Christians( Philippians 1:15);
Uncertainty about his life (Philippians 1 : 22 & 23 );
Under prolonged affliction (Philippians 1 : 30 );
Feeling forsaken by all (Philippians 2 : 20 );
Grieved by the sickness of his partner(Philippians 2 : 27 ); 
Full of tears because of strange teachers (Philippians 3 : 18 );
Depending on others for his financial needs (Philippians 4:14);

And with all these pressures and challenges, 
Paul was able to have a healthy prison fellowship;
That also for the Caesar’s household!

Dear friend, almost all the genuine works for God got roots 
and flourished from these kinds of uncertainties, pressures, challenges, backstabbing, financial insecurity, misunderstandings, health constraints and loneliness!

Waiting for the ‘right time’? Right place?
Expecting red carpet welcome? peaceful circumstances?
Complete deliverance? Financial security?
Good; GOD can and will give these all;

But, to start the work, to exercise your gift, 
The right time is always ‘now’.
Start your work subject to ‘conditions from Above ‘.

Remember Paul; Remember the household of Caesar;
Remember their ‘GLITTERING GREETINGS’ to saints!
Pray; Discern; Use the opportunity!

HE WHO OBSERVES THE WIND WILL NOT SOW,
AND HE WHO REGARDS THE CLOUDS WILL NOT
REAP. ( ECCLESIASTES 11 : 4 ).

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