Tag Archive | Church

PERFECT CHURCH

LUKE 2 : 36 – 38

Anna, daughter of Phanuel, never left the temple but stayed
there day and night, worshipping GOD with fasting and prayer!

Think about her age, eighty four years!
But she went to the synagogue to pray and worship!

Think about her loneliness!
Only seven years of married life; a widow and aged!
But she went to the synagogue to pray and worship!

Think about the political situation!
The nation was governed by foreigners; no freedom!
But she went to the synagogue to pray and worship!

Think about the religious situation!
Pharisees and Sadducees; hypocrisy and manipulation were
at the peek; Priests behaved like politicians!
But she went to the synagogue to worship and pray!

Think about the spiritual condition!
Nearly four hundred years of spiritual darkness; No WORD!
But she went to the synagogue to worship and pray!

Think about the economical confusion!
Even in the synagogue, the nexus of businessmen and
priests dictated everything including the offerings!
But she went to the synagogue to worship and pray!

Dear friend,
Waiting for a perfect church?
Expecting a favorable condition?
Trying to list out the reasons for avoiding church?
Justifying your lack of interest to worship?

Just think about the eighty four years old Anna!
She had every reason to avoid the temple and
worship, but she went and worshipped!

You know the reward!
She was given the privilege to see Jesus!
She met JESUS, not in a perfect place but, in that corrupted
synagogue!
In fact, she was the first person to preach about Jesus(verse 38 ).

Finding fault with every church?
Making hasty judgments against this and that?
Blaming the corrupt servants as the reason for your decision?

Better be careful!
Who knows how many personal encounters with JESUS you lost
because of your attitude about your church?
If your church is not up to the level, you are also a reason for that!
If there is no doctrinal deviation, you have no excuse for avoiding
your fellowship!

Go there! Be there! Pray and Worship!
Today you may have a Divine encounter, like that old widow!


FOR A DAY IN YOUR COURT IS BETTER THAN A THOUSAND
OUTSIDE. i WOULD RATHER STAND AT THE THRESHOLD OF
THE HOUSE OF MY GOD THAN DWELL IN THE TENTS OF
WICKEDNESS. ( PSALMS 84 : 10 ).

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STUPID STIGMA

NEHEMIAH 3 : 2

The men of Jericho built a portion of the Jerusalem wall!
Men of Jericho?
What they know about building a wall?
Was not the city of Jericho without a wall from Joshua’s time?
Was not there a curse pronounced against Jericho wall?
What kind of experience the men of Jericho were having in
building a wall?
Coming from a city of broken wall but involved in building the
wall of Jerusalem?
Coming from a cursed place but joining in a blessed work?

Dear friend,
Are not all the above questions just stupid?
Is there any logic in connecting the present generation to
some thing happened long long ago?
It is true that the city of Jericho was known for its broken wall,
but attaching that stigma to all the people of Jericho was an
act of utter foolishness. To be precise, after the destruction
of the wall, Jericho was occupied by Israelites only.

Whether any comment was passed or not on that day we don’t
know, but when we move around the church we can hear these
kind of comments against this or that kind of groups.

We link something happened in a particular place to all the
people from that place and avoid them from our mission.
We label some castes, some cities and even some nations as
‘cursed’ because of something happened against the church
there long long ago.
Traditionally, we keep some people away from our inner circle
because of some hearsay about their forefathers.
We try to maintain the holiness of HIS body, the Church, by
setting aside some parts of the body because of some, not so
logical, stigmas.

But Praise the LORD, the men of Jericho were allowed to build!
In fact, the men of Jericho were the first people group, next to
the High priest, to do the construction of Jerusalem wall!

Remember,
Even Jesus Christ, our LORD and SAVIOR, started His earthly
life with a visit to Egypt, the land against which there were clear
and enough warnings in the Old Testament!

In CHRIST, if we are all new creations, why consider and avoid
anyone by labeling them in an anti-Christian way?
Even if you secretly have these kind of stigmas against any
people group, it simply means that you are yet to grasp the
‘body principle’ of the Church!

Repent and come out of that immature idiocy!


ABSTAIN FROM EVERY FORM OF EVIL
( I THESSALONIANS 5 : 22 ).

TEAM JUDAS

JOHN 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17

John 13: JESUS washed the disciples’ feet and shared the 
last supper with the disciples; Judas was there! 

John 14 : JESUS clarified the doubts of some disciples! 
But Judas was not there; he left already! .

John 15 & 16 : One of the longest recorded sermons of JESUS;
Beautifully explaining the relationship of believers with JESUS,
with other believers and with the world!
But Judas was not there; he didn’t even come back to listen!

John 17: JESUS prayed; first for HIMSELF, then for the disciples 
and finally for all the other believers!
But Judas was not there; he didn’t come back at all!

Washing the feet, breaking the bread, sermon and prayer;
Judas participated in some activities and left! 

Dear friend, 
Even now we can see ‘Team Judas’ in our churches!

Coming to church service, sitting there for a while and then 
disappearing!

At least about Judas, it is written that Satan entered him and 
so his absence may be considered as a consequence of that!

We claim that we are led by the HOLY SPIRIT and spend as 
minimum time as possible in the worship services; we attend

few parts and leave the church even before the final prayer!
And we have and give thousands of excuses for not attending 
the ‘full service’; 

We blame the choir, we blame the music, we blame the elder
and we blame the preacher and leave that place!
Even though we know the promise of JESUS’ presence in any 
place where two or three gathered in HIS name, we act as if 
our visit to the church is the toughest assignment in the world!

Remember, 
It is because of HIS grace we all got the privilege to enter HIS 
sanctuary!

Go to church on time, participate actively in all the sessions 
and honor HIS presence by your presence!.

Don’t be a member of ‘Team Judas’!



FOR A DAY IN YOUR COURTS IS BETTER THAN A 
THOUSAND, I WOULD RATHER BE A DOORKEEPER 
IN THE HOUSE OF MY GOD THAN DWELL IN THE 
TENTS OF WICKEDNESS. ( PSALM 84 : 10 ).

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

ACTS 9 : 10 – 19

Ananias, a disciple at Damascus; yes, just a disciple;
not even mentioned as an elder or leader in the local assembly;
but see his characters;

1. Listening to GOD’s voice ( Acts 9 : 10 )
When GOD spoke to him through a vision, he did not have
even the slightest doubt about that vision and he responded
immediately. Do you think this kind of familiarity and assurance
is possible without spending enough time in HIS presence?
Just a disciple!

2 Information about the suffering church ( Acts 9 : 13 ).
He was in Damascus but the persecutions happened in
Jerusalem and the person behind that persecution were
known to Ananias! Remember, there were no electronic
gadgets or printed statistics!
Just a disciple!

3. Involvement in the local church ( Acts 9 : 14 ).
He was having a clear picture about the enemy’s next
move and the consequent threat to the local church!
His database was getting updated regularly and so no
surprise attacks from enemy.
Just a disciple!

4. Ready to exhibit and exercise grace ( Acts 9 : 17 ).
Even though Paul persecuted the disciples, once Ananias
heard about GOD’s acceptance of Paul, Ananias was quick
enough to accept Paul by calling him ‘Brother Saul’!.
Accepting a persecutor as a brother just by trusting GOD’s
word, even though Ananias was yet to see the changed life of
Saul! The awakening of grace!
Incidentally ‘Ananias’ means ‘ GOD has been gracious’!.
Just a disciple!

Dear friend,
We have many definitions for the word disciple, but shall we
take the above four points as the minimum requirements to
check whether we are true disciples?

  • I AM THE WINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. HE WHO
    ABIDES IN ME, AND I IN HIM, BEARS MUCH FRUIT; FOR
    WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING ( JOHN 15 : 5 )

SINKING SINGING

I SAMUEL 18 : 1 – 9

David killed Goliath; Israel defeated Philistines;
Saul took David that day and would not let David
go home and Jonathan, Saul’s son, became a
close friend of David; Further, David was accepted
in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of
Saul’s servants!
What else a young man needs?
Every thing seemed so peaceful and promising!

But alas,
One victory song sung by the women changed the peaceful
life of David upside down!
You know the song;
“Saul has slain thousands,
And David his ten thousands.”

See that song; when it appreciated David, even though he
deserved that, on the other side it humiliated Saul!
The song of victory, in a subtle way, became the song of
comparison!
Was it necessary?
Instead of proclaiming the victory of Israel, the song sowed
the seeds of jealousy and anger in Saul’s mind!

The wandering life of David and the hunting life of Saul
got initiated just after this song!
In fact, till Saul’s death, Saul was not able to come closer
to David!
Two great warriors of Israel were not able to stand together
just because of one song. The song became so famous and
it crossed boundaries and even reached the land of philistines!
In the last battle of Saul, when David tried to accompany the
Philistine king, the lords and leaders of Philistine stopped
David by quoting this song (I Samuel 29 : 5 )!
The presence of David in the battle field could have changed
the outcome of that battle, but poor Saul and Jonathan lost
their lives!
Just one song!

Dear friend,
How many times we sow these kind of seeds of division in
our families, boards, organisations and churches?
Under the cover of appreciation and thanksgiving, are we
subtly insulting or humiliating one group?
Does our manipulating words disturbs the unity among
brethren?
Appreciating and acknowledging the talents and gifts of
people is good, but even that should be done with care
and utmost dependence on GOD!


BEHOLD, HOW GOOD AND HOW
PLEASANT IT IS FOR BRETHREN
TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY!
( PSALM 133 : 1 )

MENTOR AND VENDOR

ACTS 24

The most excellent Governor Felix;
Governor at Caesarea and having a Jewish wife, Drusilla;
As a Governor, he met so many prisoners, inquired and
set them free or punished them.
This Felix got an, once in a blue moon, opportunity to
meet Paul;
Watch the conversation and inquiry that unfolded in
front of Felix!
In fact, Paul, under the cover of defending himself,
preached almost all the major doctrines to Felix!

He preached about the Way and what was written in
the Law and the Prophets!( ACTS 24 : 14 ).
Preached about Hope and Resurrection( ACTS 24 : 15 ).
Preached about clear Conscience( ACTS 24 : 16 ).
Preached about Faith in Christ ( ACTS 24 : 24).
Preached about Righteousness, Self control and
Judgement to come ( ACTS 24 : 25 ).

Even though Paul was imprisoned and his life was at risk,
He answered in a cheerful way!.

The attitude of a MENTOR!

But think about Felix! (Incidentally Felix means ‘happy’!!!)
He, knew not just what Paul preached but, also had more
accurate knowledge of the Way. ( ACTS 24 : 22 ).
Further, his wife Drusilla was a Jew!
With all these inputs and opportunities for more than two
years, Felix left that city without embracing the Way or
even without set Paul free! ( ACTS 24 : 27 ).

Alas, what a loss!
Do you know the reason?
Yes, whenever he met Paul, Felix had only one thought
to control him ‘ expecting money from Paul, as bribe, to
set him free!( ACTS 24 : 26 ).

The attitude of a VENDOR!.

Even after two thousand years this problem is still
plaguing the Church!
Listening to great preachers for years, making all kinds
of pious connections and having accurate knowledge of
the Way, but mind obsessed with the manipulating tools
and threats to approach the Way as an ATM!

Money! Money ! Money!.
The attitude of a VENDOR!

The most excellent Felix lost the opportunity to embrace
The most excellent TRUTH!

Are you a mentor or a vendor?


BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS
SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU. ( MATTHEW 6 : 33)

PROPHET PROFILE

Prophets everywhere!
But who is a prophet? Difficult to decide in today’s world.
When every prophet claims that he is a specialist in a
particular thing, our clarity about prophets get confused.
But let us check the profile of a prophet, Elisha (II KINGS).

1. Elisha ministered to rich Shunamite woman (II KINGS 4: 17)
as well as to a poor widow ( II KINGS 4 : 1 – 7).
2. Elisha ministered to a high ranked commander Naaman
(II KINGS 5: 14) as well as to an ordinary servant(II KINGS 6:7).
3. Elisha ministered to Kings(II KINGS 6: 12) as well as to the
ordinary people(II KINGS 7 :16).
4. Elisha ministered in strategic war (II KINGS 7:6) as well as in daily bread (II KINGS 4: 43).
5.Elisha ministered in the process (II KINGS 4: 3-6) as well as in the product(II KINGS 4: 43).
6. Elisha ministered when requested(II KINGS 4:28) as well as when required(II KINGS 4:16).
7. Elisha ministered with clear revelation(II KINGS 3:16) as well as in faith when not having revelation(II KINGS 4:27).
8.Elisha ministered to the enemy(Syria) as well as to his own
land Israel.
9. Elisha knew when to spend time to take rest in the Shunamite’s house (II KINGS 4:10) and when to move to MOUNT CARMEL to
take rest in GOD’s presence(II KINGS 4:25).
10.Elisha readily rebuked the sinning servant( II KINGS 5:26) but
readily helped and encouraged a failed servant( II KINGS 6: 6&7).
11.Elisha was bold when his life was in danger(II KINGS 6:16) but
cried when his people’s life was in danger( II KINGS 8:11).

I can write some more points, but I looked around to find some
prophets matching at least few points from the above list, but
I couldn’t find one. If you find one, kindly inform me!


THE PROPHETS PROPHESY FALSELY,
AND THE PRIESTS RULE BY THEIR OWN POWER;
AND MY PEOPLE LOVE TO HAVE IT SO.
BUT WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THE END?
(JEREMIAH 5 : 31)

BRIDE AND PREJUDICE

 

1. GENESIS 19 : 15 – 26

GOD destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah;
Only four people, Lot, his wife and his two daughters
escaped the brimstone and fire rain on those cities;
But, Lot’s wife, even though she received clear instructions
and angelic guidance, looked back and became a pillar of salt.

Prejudice about separation?

 

2. II SAMUEL 6 : 20 – 23

David danced before the LORD with all his might and
worshiped. But Micahl, his wife, did not even come out
of her house; she looked through the window and despised
him in her heart. Instead of humbling herself and worshiping,
she despised and mocked David’s way of worship;
Consequently Michal had no children to the day of her death!

Prejudice about worship?

 

3. JOB 2 : 8 – 10

Job’s wife, who enjoyed the prosperity for so many years,
was not able to handle adversity and prolonged sufferings;
In fact, in the first round of sufferings and pains, somehow
she withstood along with Job; but when his health also got
affected, she lost patience and asked Job to curse GOD and
die. Even though she did not receive any punishment or
curse, in the last chapter of Job we notice, only Job , and not
his wife, got commended by GOD for his way of speech, even
though she also went through a season of suffering!

Prejudice about adversity?

 

Dear friend, don’t think this is a meditation against women;
No, certainly not, but it is about another bride, the Church!

Even now, the bride of Christ is having problem and prejudice
in the above three areas;
Some churches are not willing to separate themselves from
GOD dishonoring methods and people and became like a
pillar of salt; Huge structures but so static!

Some other churches waste their time in despising other
ways of worship and service instead of worshiping the
living GOD in spirit and in truth and became barren churches!
No new souls; No church growth; So rigid and so legalistic!

The third category of churches always consider blessing and
prosperity as an idol and any temporary setback or adversity
will make them doubting and murmuring churches. Instead
of patiently enduring and encouraging each other, they confuse
and disturb others and consequently even their efforts and hard works will be of no use to get the rewards from the MASTER!


WHO CAN FIND A VIRTUOUS WIFE?
FOR HER WORTH IS FAR ABOVE RUBIES.
………………. ……………. …………. …………
SHE DOES HIM GOOD AND NOT EVIL ALL THE
DAYS OF HER LIFE ( PROVERBS 31 : 10 – 12 )

BOGUS FOCUS

II CHRONICLES 24 : 2

Joash was just seven years old when he became king;
When all his brothers were murdered by Athaliah, the
priest Jehoida and his wife stole Joash away, hid him
for six years in the House of the LORD and in the seventh
year Jehoida anointed him as the king of Judah!

Think about Joash’s childhood; Six years in the House of
the Lord; protected by the priest’s family; even when Joash
became king, the influence and instructions of Jehoida were
guiding Joash. No one can have such a spiritual start!

Remember, Jehoida was not just an ordinary priest, but a
priest with a holy zeal for the LORD: He was instrumental
in the fall of devilish Athaliah, in the destruction of temple
of Baal, in restoration of LORD’s house ceremonies and
in the renewal and revival of faith and worship;

Jehoida’s mentoring influence on Joash was so strong that
even Joash became so determined to repair and restore
the LORD’s house.

But Jehoida’s death revealed the true nature of Joash;
All these years of pious walk of Joash had an abrupt end;
He started worshiping idols, ignored LORD’s house and
commands and failed to listen to GOD’s prophets!

Reason: His focus was always on Jehoida and not on
Jehoida’s GOD; so many years of spiritual atmosphere
had no impact in his heart; his scriptural obedience and
spiritual zeal were not from his heart but just because of
his mentor and the priest, Jehoida!

In fact, when crisis came to his kingdom from Syria, he
went to the extreme of giving the treasures of the temple,
which he so zealously restored, to Syrians to please them.
Further, he even killed the priest Zechariah, son of his own
mentor Jehoida, in the House of the LORD, where Joash
spent so many years as a child!

How could a person, who had all kinds of spiritual inputs,
witnessed revival, had zeal for the house of the LORD and
mentored by such a priest, go away from the LORD?

The Bogus Focus!

Dear friend,
Is your zeal for the church, ministry and revival genuine?
Is it because of your focus on ‘THE LORD’?
Or is it because of your attachment to and admiration of
some preacher or group or organisation?

Good to have a focused life but better to check your focus
thoroughly and regularly!


….. LET US RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE THAT IS
SET BEFORE US , LOOKING UNTO JESUS, THE AUTHOR
AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH, …. (HEBREWS 12:1 & 2)

DREAM TEAM

MARK 2 : 5

JESUS saw their faith and healed the paralytic brought by
them. Is it not strange?
The paralytic got forgiveness and healing because of a team!
Who are they? Their name or native place?
Their relationship with the paralytic?
Who took the initiative and lead?
When obstacles came who encouraged them to ‘press on’?
Who gave the idea of uncovering the roof?
Was it not difficult to carry the paralytic to the rooftop?
How did they manage to remove tiles without disturbing
the meeting?
Did they know that JESUS knew about their faith?

So many unanswered questions, but about the team
we know some things;
1. They had a burden for the healing of that paralytic.
2. They got the information about ‘the move of GOD’.
3. They had unwavering faith on JESUS.
4. They were sharp enough to use the opportunity.
5. They were ready to carry the extra burden because
of their vision.
6. The closed paths were not strong enough to disturb
their unity and their faith.
7. They considered the closed paths as the reminders
to them to look up.
8. They knew that ‘out of the box thinking’ is also a tool
in the ‘inbox of faith’.
9. They knew how to balance their vision and themselves
even on the rooftop.
10.They were careful enough to carry the vision up to
their upper bound and then wise enough to let it
down at JESUS’ feet.

Don’t search the textbooks to know the definition of
” DREAM TEAM “.
Just observe these four men; their faith and perseverance!

See how GOD honored their faith!
Their vision: healing for one man;
GOD’s plan : forgiving and healing that person and using this situation to teach the most important truth to the mankind
‘THE SON OF MAN HAS POWER ON EARTH TO FORGIVE SINS’.

Dear friend, the Church history may have well known heroes
again and again but the unknown DREAM TEAMs are actually
keeping the flame burning and the light signing vibrantly by
their dedication, devotion, diligence and determination!

Do you think your vision, of bringing only one paralytic close
to JESUS, is not worth?
Do you compare your team and your vision with that of the
‘spiritual superstars’?
Remember, JESUS saw their faith!
JESUS knows your strength, desire, vision and faith.
Cheer up, He knows how to make it big!

RESPECT YOUR VISION!
RESPECT YOUR TEAM!
THE REST WILL BE HIS STORY AND HISTORY!


FOR AS WE HAVE MANY MEMBERS IN ONE BODY, BUT ALL
THE MEMBERS DO NOT HAVE THE SAME FUNCTION,SO WE,
BEING MANY, ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST, AND INDIVIDUALLY MEMBERS OF ONE ANOTHER. (ROMANS 12 : 3 & 4 )

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