Tag Archive | Love

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 ).

REVISED EDITION

GENESIS 22

Have you noticed?

In Genesis 22 : 2, when GOD asked Abraham to sacrifice
Isaac, Isaac was mentioned as ‘ your son, your only son,
whom you love’.

But in Genesis 22 : 12, when the Angel of the LORD asked
Abraham not to kill Isaac, Isaac was mentioned as ‘your
son, your only son’ .
The third part ‘whom you love’ was not mentioned!.

Again in Genesis 22 : 16, when the Angel of the LORD gave
the promise of blessing to Abraham, Isaac was mentioned
only as ‘your son, your only son’ and ‘whom you love’ was
not mentioned!

Similarly, in Genesis 22 : 6, when Abraham and Isaac went
to Moriah, it is mentioned ‘they went together’.
Again in Genesis 22 : 8, it is mentioned ‘they went together’.

But when they came back, in Genesis 22 : 19, it is mentioned
‘Abraham returned to his young men”!.
Why they didn’t come back together?
When did Isaac come back?
Or even if he came back with his father, did the relationship
between them get revised and purified?

Is it a coincidence or some thing more?
What happened on Mount Moriah?
We know that a lamb was sacrificed in the place of Isaac, but
in Hebrews 11 : 17, it is mentioned ‘by faith Abraham, when
tested, offered up Isaac’!

Combining all the verses, shall we say that Abraham didn’t
sacrifice his son Isaac or his only son Isaac but sacrificed
Isaac whom he loved?.
Or in other words, In Mount Moriah, did the way Abraham
love Isaac got transformed?.

In the revised edition of Isaac, Abraham’s love of Isaac got
purified and Abraham proved that he loved GOD more than
Isaac!

Why not check the status of all our relationships?
Who is first, GOD or someone else?
Offer up!
Be blessed!

Jehovah-Jireh!


YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL
YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH
ALL YOUR MIGHT. ( DEUTERONOMY 6 : 5 ).

RADICAL RELATIONSHIP

RUTH 1 : 6 – 18

 Mother-in-law!
 Generation after generation, may be throughout the world,
 the word mother-in-law seems to be the most hated word by
 most of the young women!
 It is almost impossible to see a healthy relationship between
 the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law.
 But our Bible silently challenges us all about this!
 Even though the Book of Ruth seems to deal with the
 redemption story, in its lines, subtly and silently, Ruth and
 Naomi exhibits the victory of power of love over love of
 power in their relationship.
 In fact, the entire book of Ruth may be treated as a manual!.

 You know the story!
 Even if every thing is peaceful , having a healthy relationship
 is so difficult, but here we see, even in the most adverse circumstances Naomi and Ruth breaking our traditional view
 about tough relationships!
 Even if the husband is alive, many a young woman prefer not
 to spend much time with the mother-in-law, but even after her husband’s death Ruth was so stubborn in her decision to go
 to an unknown land with her mother-in-law!
 Daughter-in-law or daughter-in-love?

 Is it possible?

 Not just Ruth, but even Naomi, with all her loss and suffering,
 was so meticulous and relentless in her attempt to bring Ruth
 and Boaz closer!
 In fact one of the point that moved Boaz was the news he
 heard about the relationship between Ruth and Naomi!
 Even after the marriage, Naomi didn’t just disappear from the
 scene but active in taking care of their children!
 Mother-in-law or mother-in-love?

 Is it possible?
 It looks like a fairy tale, is it not so?

 Dear friend,
 I am not just writing about the in-laws relationship; we all know
 that we all are having one or other challenging person in our
 life loving whom is almost impossible!

 Christian master torturing servant;
 Senior pastor silencing juniors;
 Rich Christians ignoring poor;
 Color and caste biased disciples;
 Matured saints and new converts;
 The list of unhealthy relationships, we traditionally accepted
 as normal, seems endless;
We simply ignore the Biblical truth
 about love and carefully hide under the shelter of fellowship
 of like-minded people!

 We ‘label’ and ‘set aside’ some people without realizing the
 way the HOLY GOD opened the WAY for the unworthy
 sinners like us!
 We preach grace but seldom exhibit grace!

 The battle between power of love and the love of power is the ultimate test to prove a person as a disciple!
 Power of love overcoming love of power is almost impossible!
 But, nothing is impossible to GOD!


 BUT IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT AS HE IS IN
 THE LIGHT, WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH
 ONE ANOTHER AND THE BLOOD OF
 JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSES US
 FROM ALL SIN ( I JOHN 1 : 7 )

 

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 )

ONE!…TWO!!…THREE!!!

LUKE 15

Three parables to illustrate repentance;
But have you noticed a subtle variation in the contents?

ONE: Luke 15 : 4 – 7. Lost sheep.
One in hundred;
How it got lost? – It does not matter!
Responsibility of searching lies with the owner;
He goes after it until he finds it.
Response of the sheep: It can not come back on its own
but can respond to the searching voice of the master!
Active response to the owner’s initiative!

TWO: Luke 15 : 8 – 10. Lost coin.
One in ten;
How it got lost? – It does not matter !
Responsibility of searching lies with the owner;
She seeks diligently until she finds it.
Response of the coin: It can not come back on its own
and it can not help, the owner in searching!.
Passive response to the owner’s initiative!

THREE: Luke 15 : 11 – 24.
One in two:
How he got lost? – Premeditated, willful rebellion!
Responsibility of searching becomes responsibility
of accepting provided the failed son takes the first
step of remembering the Father’s attributes and
returning back! Till that happens Father patiently waiting!
Response of the son: Accepting the unconditional acceptance!
Active response of the Father to the son’s initiative!

Dear friend, we all fail, we all fall; but we only know what
kind of failure we met;
In some cases, like the sheep, we have to wait for HIS voice
and respond;
In some other cases, like the coin, we can not move on our
own and we have to wait for HIS searching light and seeking
hands!
But in most of the cases, like the son, we have to remember
HIS love for us and HIS attributes and worth, and repent!

May GOD give you the discernment to know your state and
to respond in the right way in the right time!


I SAY TO YOU, THERE IS JOY IN THE
PRESENCE OF THE ANGELS OF GOD
OVER ONE SINNER WHO REPENTS.
( LUKE 15 : 10 )

OVER TIME WORKERS

SONG OF SONGS 5 : 6 – 8

In the night, all alone, she was seeking her beloved;
Not able to find, but she didn’t give up;
She raised her voice and called him, all alone, in the street;
No response, but she didn’t give up;
She continued her search and she was struck and wounded
by the watchmen, but she didn’t give up;
Wounded but she continued her work, and the keepers of the
wall took away her veil, but she didn’t give up;
Humiliated but she approached the daughters of Jerusalem
and begged their help to find her beloved;

Night time; all alone; wounds; humility; suffering;
But sincere and focused hard work;
Just for love, yes, she was lovesick!

We wish to appreciate this kind of lovesick workers for
their over time work for the beloved!
The wounds, the humility, sufferings and sacrifices;
Oh, we wish to put them in the ‘heroes of faith’ list!

But,
If you read few more verses, (song of songs 5: 2&3),
the real color of the over time work will be exposed!

Yes, read the verses carefully;
The beloved came to her house and assigned her some
simple works, like taking care of His head and hair, but
she failed to open her house by giving some fuzzy excuses!

Just to cover up her failure inside the house, she becomes
active outside the house!

Note the points!
Her beloved never asked her to come out of her house.
He assigned work which can be done within her house.
His work can be done by her in his presence.
His assigned work will help her to come closer to him.
The real work is within the boundary and the world need not
see it; only the fruit of that labor will be visible to the world!

Unnecessary travel, unexpected wounds, unwanted
humiliation, unanswered seeking and calling and
unacknowledged extra work are actually not in the
agenda of the beloved.

Stay within the boundary;
Listen and obey;
Accept the assignments;
Enjoy HIS presence;
HIS yoke will not be heavy at all!


 

BUT ONE THING IS NEEDED, AND MARY HAS
CHOSEN THAT GOOD PART, WHICH WILL NOT
BE TAKEN AWAY FROM HER ( LUKE 10 : 42 )

CHAINS AND CORDS

1 . JUDE  6
Angels; created by GOD; some of them sinned;
crossed their boundary; rebelled.
Follow up action?
GOD has reserved them in everlasting chains under
darkness for the judgment of the great day!.
Sinned angels chained.

2. HOSEA 11 : 4
Human beings; created by GOD; all have sinned;
fallen short of the glory of GOD; rebelled.
Follow up action?
GOD sent HIS own SON to the CROSS as their
substitute and drew them with gentle cords, with
bands of love towards HIM.
Sinned humans can get cleansed; cords; bands of love.

To sinned angels, everlasting chains; no second chance!
To the sinners, cords of love; how many chances!

Why ? In what way we are, special, better than angels?
In fact, we are little lower than the angels.(Psalm 8 : 5)
But, HE does not give aid to angels; HE does give aid to
the seed of Abraham.(HEBREWS 2 : 16 ).

Why? No one can explain!
One thing is sure; we all found favor in HIS sight!
If it can be explained, it won’t be a favor;
But, we can thank HIM; Are we doing that?


WHAT SHALL I RENDER TO THE LORD
FOR ALL HIS BENEFITS TOWARD ME?
I WILL TAKE UP THE CUP OF SALVATION,
AND CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD.
( PSALM 116 : 12 & 13 )

BOARD MEETING

JOHN 19 : 19 – 22

Golgotha; Jesus on the cross;
But, in the city there was a meeting;
The chief priests of the Jews met Pilate, the Governor!
Agenda?
The board put on the cross by Pilate!
The content of the board was the point of discussion!
The Board Meeting!

What kind of heart they had?
When Jesus was bleeding and dying, thirsty and naked,
rejected and abandoned, the title became an important
issue for them!
See the irony!
They ignored JESUS but worrying about HIS title!

The Roman and the Jew were arguing against each other;
The MAN was on the cross!
The Politics and the Religion were fighting against each other;
The HISTORY was on the cross!
The Governor and the Priest were trying to show their superiority;
The SAVIOR was on the cross!
The Ego and the Jealousy were ascertaining their claim;
The LOVE was on the cross!
The Authority and the Apologetic were busy in fault finding;
The TRUTH was on the cross!
The Wolf and the Serpent were manipulating;
The LAMB was on the cross!
The Will of throne and the Will of altar were clashing;
The WILL of GOD was on the cross!

Hey! One minute!
The above lines are not about that board meeting but about
our board meetings!

Yes, even after two thousand years, the way we conduct our
board meetings still remains the same!
Ignoring JESUS and worrying about HIS title!
Ignoring HIS WORD but worrying about HIS work!

For us the size of the hall and the color of the wall are more
important than stopping the culture of the mall in our churches!
For us the height of the tower and the style of the hour are
more important than the depth of HIS POWER!

At least Pilate and the priests did not claim themselves as
disciples of JESUS!
But we claim that we love CHRIST and boast about our faith!

You know, Pilate and the priests failed to see just one feet
below the board; the thorn crowned face of JESUS!
Yes friend, if we all see that face regularly, or at least a second
before seeing our agenda, surely in our board meetings, not just
in our churches and organisations but even in our families, the
decision making will be a sweet exercise!


THE OX KNOWS ITS OWNER AND
THE DONKEY ITS MASTER’S CRIB;
BUT ISRAEL DOES NOT KNOW,
MY PEOPLE DO NOT CONSIDER.
( ISAIAH 1 : 3).

LOAVES WITH LOVE

Five loaves and two fishes;
From the hands of the lad to the hands of THE LORD:
Jesus blessed and asked the disciples to serve;
Twelve baskets remained; A miracle!
But what about the lad?

A special seat near JESUS?
Thank you note personally signed by JESUS?
Remaining twelve baskets sent to the lad’s house?
A ‘golden fish’ sent as a remembrance gift?
Got a all paid scholarship to study catering miraculously?

We don’t know; My Bible is silent;
Even his name and identity not revealed!
Even his place of residence not written!

Dear friend,
Your surrender and sacrifice should be also like that;
Check yourselves;
Are you craving for a special seat, special honor,
name and fame after your “big’ sacrifice?
Lusting for special attention and limelight?
Getting irritated if nobody appreciate your sacrifice?
Going house to house to share the ‘great news’ of your
sacrifice and surrender?
Be warned!
No sacrifice can even be compared with the
GREAT and GENUINE SACRIFICE of THE LAMB!
Remember, your ability to give itself is a grace;
Don’t make it cheap;
Don’t attach and attract strings with it;

Before giving, pray, plan, discern and give;
After giving, please, don’t even remember that;
Give and it shall be given, true!
But more than that,
Every genuine giving indicates genuine transformation;
And every genuine giving results in genuine transformation!

Let your giving also have a genuine conversion!

SUFFOCATING SUBMISSIONS

GENESIS 16: 9.

Hagar: A slave from Egypt; a maidservant of Sarah;
No great expectations; No pride and prejudice; But
Because of the momentary decision taken by the frustrated Sarah,
Hagar’s life and Sarah’s frustrations gained momentum!.
You know, decisions taken at frustrated moments will surely beget more frustrations; Enter His rest before making decisions!

Sarah suffered, felt inferior; not willing to accept even her own expectations about her family’s future;
Late revelations: Abraham’s baby is not my baby!;
Sarah went to the next extreme; dealt harshly with Hagar and she fled;
Abraham? So silent; father of faith had a black spot of doubt?
Silently accepted Sarah’s suggestion; Silently enjoyed Hagar’s embrace;
Silently supported Sarah’s madness; Silently watched Hagar’s escape!

But Poor Hagar,
What was her mistake?! Why she had to suffer for their foolishness?
She was used, misused and abused; treated like a wooden toy;
No respect for her personality, her feelings and emotions;
Better to quit; resign; escape; Her decision to run away justified!
But God? Is He watching? Why He allowed this?
GOD, who was silent up to that moment, sent an angel;
To acknowledge her decision? To console her?; No!
To send her back to her mistress; to submit herself under her hand!

Is it not cruel? Is this visitation and the message from GOD’s angel?
Is it logical? Will they accept? Even if they accept, how will they treat?
Will they punish, the punishment for a runaway slave?

See Hagar, no questions asked; no ifs and buts; simply obeyed!
The secret: The assurance she got ‘ YOU ARE THE GOD WHO SEES’.
Submitting to Sarah may become suffocating, but it does not matter!
If we have the assurance ‘ EL ROI’, no submission will be suffocating!

Hagar didn’t think about the wisdom in that command, like most of us.
But see the consequences and the rewards!.( Genesis 16 & 17 ).
1. Abraham’s house, even if Sarah was fuming, was the safest place for the delivery.
2. Her son was acknowledged as Abraham’s son; in the wilderness,
nobody would have accepted that as a legitimate child!
3. Abraham named the child Ishmael, meaning GOD hears; even the name
selected by GOD.
4. Because of the intervention of GOD, through the angelic visitation,
her status got changed; from just a slave to mother of ‘GOD hears’.
5. Her son Ishmael got circumcised as a mark of a covenant with GOD.
6. At least thirteen more years of peaceful dwelling in the land; no more
torture mentioned in the Word.
7. Specific blessings to Ishmael were uttered to Abraham by the angel.
8. Silent Abraham becoming struggling Abraham, struggling to send her away when Sarah revolted the second time. A bond created. Oh! the assurance of being loved( Genesis 21 : 11).
A name, a bond, a place, a status, a covenant, a blessing, a prophecy,
an assurance and much more; just because of single act of blind obedience; ignoring the temporal suffering by reckoning the great truth;
‘ EL ROI- GOD SEES and ISHMAEL – GOD HEARS’.
Praise the Lord, Hagar obeyed!

Tell me friends; Which costs more, obedience or disobedience?
No one to understand your sufferings?, no one to wipe away your tears?,
Feeling just used and thrown away? frustrated by passive Abraham?
Tortured by selfish Sarah? Bewildered by GOD’s silence?
GOD is silent, but not blind and deaf;
HE SEES, not just you, even your future!
HE HEARS, not just your voice, even your afflictions!
HE KNOWS, and HE wants to protect and bless you!
Don’t doubt GOD’s wisdom and instructions!. Just obey!.
You may not understand The INFINITE’s plan with your finite mind;
But, one day you will surely testify: EL ROI!;
Man’s manipulations and Satan’s subtleties won’t touch you,
If you dwell in the secret place of the MOST HIGH!
You know, the surrendered life is always a successful life!
Be prosperous!

FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE ON THE RIGHTEOUS,
AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO THEIR PRAYERS…(I PETER 3 : 12)

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