MATTHEW 1 : 24 & 25
Joseph accepted Mary as his wife and did not know her
till she had brought forth her firstborn!.
This means, Joseph abstained himself from the sexual
pleasure nearly for a year!
To ensure the holy birth of Jesus!
To ensure proper delivery!
Accepting Mary as his wife itself was a big challenge but,
in addition, abstaining from marital sex would have been
a tough challenge!
Even the old testament Joseph abstained himself from
the illegitimate sex; but the new testament Joseph went
an extra step by abstaining even from the legitimate sex!.
Think about that!
In a generation, where all kinds of sex are getting legalized,
where the pursuit of pleasure is projected as the only worthy
aim, where visual sex and virtual sex are the norms of the day,
and where premarital sex and extra marital sex are considered
as fashion, sacrificing even his legitimate pleasure for a period
for CHRIST’s sake is certainly a challenge to all of us!
Are we entrapped in the comfort zone mania because of our
pursuit of pleasure?
Do we justify the ‘convenio’ we are enjoying by declaring ” I
deserve it” arguments?
Do we erase the Christian principles of simplicity and sacrifice
from our vocabulary to accommodate comfort and prosperity?
Do we still believe the proper delivery of the WORD and the
pursuit of pleasure can coexist?
Wish to have an impact for CHRIST’s sake?
Don’t just get satisfied with abstaining from the wrong things;
Go ahead and learn to sacrifice even the right things!.
Sacrificing extra one or two hours of sleep so that to pray a
little extra, skipping one or two meals so that to meditate the
WORD a little extra, postponing some costly purchases so
that to support missions a little extra, Oh!
Nobody will tell you that these are mandatory, but the fine line
between the achievers and the orators in GOD’s kingdom is
drawn only with these little extras!
Live a life worthy of your calling!
MY SONS, DO NOT BE NEGLIGENT NOW, FOR THE LORD
HAS CHOSEN YOU TO STAND BEFORE HIM, TO SERVE
HIM, AND THAT YOU SHOULD MINISTER TO HIM AND BURN
INCENSE. ( II CHRONICLES 29 : 11 ).
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
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
Why not check the status of all our relationships?
Who is first, GOD or someone else?
YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL
YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH
ALL YOUR MIGHT. ( DEUTERONOMY 6 : 5 ).
GOD tested Abraham!
Abraham was to offer Isaac as a burnt offering.
Tough test. Almost impossible to obey.
But Abraham decided to obey!
We all are challenged by his faith and commitment.
But there is a doubt !
Why did GOD ask him to offer Isaac in a place which was
three days journey away from Abraham’s place instead of
in the same place?. Why that ‘extra’ time?.
In fact, Abraham, the one who was going to sacrifice, was
allowed to spend more time with Isaac, the one who was
to be sacrificed!. For the next three days, Abraham might
have tempted to review and reconsider his original decision
to offer Isaac.
On the third day, in the journey uphill, even the servants were
not allowed, only Abraham and Isaac!
When spending more time with a thing or a person, the
thought of ‘going to sacrifice that’ will be more painful!
Was it not difficult for Abraham to overcome his emotions?
Every step towards Moriah was actually becoming an altar
Isaac was on the altar for few minutes but Abraham was on
the altar for three days!
Every second Abraham might have faced death inside!
Isaac was to be sacrificed but Abraham was becoming a
Making a decision to surrender and sacrifice something is
relatively easy but being steadfast in that commitment is
Just because you are allowed to spend little extra time with
the things to be sacrificed should not disturb us to review
and to reconsider our commitment!
In other words, embracing death for Christ is relatively much
easier than embedding cross in our life to live for Christ!
Most of us ready to die for Christ, but the real question
is ‘how many of us are willing to have crucified life?‘
HAS THE LORD AS GREAT DELIGHT IN BURNT
OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES, AS IN OBEYING
THE VOICE OF THE LORD?. BEHOLD, TO OBEY
IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, AND TO HEED THAN
THE FAT OF RAMS.( I SAMUEL 15 : 22 )
GOD tested Abraham’s faith and obedience!
But, think about Isaac’s attitude!
He was not just a small kid; a young man who had the
strength to take up a three days journey and to carry
the wood for burnt offering on his shoulders!
How was it possible for him to obey his father like that?
How come he didn’t murmur to carry the wood to the
place of sacrifice, even when the servants were available?
And above all, how could have Abraham tied and placed
Isaac, a young man with so much strength, on the altar?
Whether Isaac tried or cried to escape from that position?
Was it possible for Abraham to do all the required things
without Isaac’s active cooperation and perfect submission?
How did Isaac empty himself of his rights and privileges
on the Mount Moriah because of his trust on his father?
Come to another mountain, Calvary!
The Father and The Son!
The Son voluntarily emptied Himself, obediently humbled
Himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on the cross!
On Mount Moriah, upto the last minute, Isaac was not clear
about his father’s plan;
But, JESUS knew the plan of HIS FATHER from ‘the beginning’!
On Mount Moriah, the son was replaced by a lamb on the altar;
But on Calvary, The SON, JESUS became the Lamb on the cross!
On Mount Moriah, the father got his son back because of the lamb;
But on Calvary, The Father opened a new way, through the LAMB,
to us to become HIS children!
Yes, we all GOT FATHER because of the perfection of The LAMB!
If Isaac wished to thank the lamb for its substitutionary death,
it was not possible because that lamb was no more;
JESUS, The LAMB of GOD, was not just allowed to die on
Calvary, but GOD raised Him up to the heights of heaven and
gave Him a name that is above every other name!
But we rarely thank HIM or The FATHER!
Yes, we, those who believed on the all sufficient death and
resurrection of The LAMB, GOT FATHER; but the question
is whether our life is a life of gratitude?
Perfect SON, Perfect submission, Perfect sacrifice, Perfect
atonement, Perfect substitution and Perfect resurrection to
make the imperfect, like me, also perfect by His Grace!
CHRIST DIED ONLY ONCE AS A SACRIFICE
TO TAKE AWAY THE SINS OF MANY PEOPLE.
HE WILL COME AGAIN BUT NOT TO DEAL
WITH OUR SINS AGAIN. BUT THIS TIME HE
WILL BRING SALVATION TO ALL THOSE WHO
ARE EAGERLY WAITING FOR HIM (HEBREWS 9 : 28)
GENESIS 7 : 2 & GENESIS 8 : 16 – 22.
NOAH; A man who found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
When Noah finished the ark building, GOD gave him
a clear instruction to take with him seven pairs of
each clean animals, one pair of each unclean animal
and seven pairs of each birds to keep the species
alive on the face of all the earth.
To keep the species alive, if one pair of each unclean
animals are sufficient, why seven pair each of the clean
animals in the ark?
In case of birds, why seven pair each, clean or unclean?
Why extra ‘luggage’ in the ark?
GOD never explained; Simply said;
Noah never asked; Simply obeyed;
When the earth was dried, again GOD gave him clear
instruction to bring out every living thing out of the
ark; No numbers mentioned; Nearly after one year of
stay inside the ark, surely the numbers underwent
changes just by natural reproduction!
When all the living things came out of the ark,
Noah again started building, not an ark but an altar!
Check the Scripture carefully;
GOD did not mention any thing about the offerings!
But, Noah voluntarily offered the burnt offerings!
Not in a casual manner, but very carefully;
Only the clean animals and clean birds!
Think about the possible excuses!
The earth is so vast and the number of animals
and birds is so less and hence the life of every animal
and bird is so important to keep the species alive;
Why take risk by offering some?
May be after some time, the numbers will increase;
Is it not better to offer then than now?
When GOD is not specifically asking, why ‘waste’ the
But, Noah offered the burnt offerings;
And GOD smelled the soothing aroma!
The Result: The Noahic Covenant (GENESIS 8 : 21&22).
When was the last time you obeyed, like Noah, even if
the instructions were not clearly explained?
When was the last time you voluntarily offered your
scarce resources as a soothing aroma to GOD?
Some final questions?
The concepts of burnt offering, clean and unclean
animals and birds were explained only during Moses’
time. But how Noah grasped these things?
Is it true that any one who found grace in the sight of
the LORD and who is willing to obey GOD unreservedly
will be having an extra dose of wisdom to perceive things
much in advance?
I don’t know, but we all found grace in the sight of the
LORD because of the finished work of CHRIST;
If in addition, if we obey GOD sincerely,
Who knows, what kind of insights we all can have?
GOD IS THE LORD, AND HE HAS GIVEN US LIGHT;
BIND THE SACRIFICE WITH CORDS TO THE HORNS
OF THE ALTAR. (PSALM 118 : 27 )
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!
Your surrender and sacrifice should be also like that;
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?
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!
LUKE 15 : 11 – 32
A well known parable; Father and the lost son!
We know it, accepted it; enjoyed it; we all were like the lost son;
When we come to the second part of the parable, we usually hate the attitude of the elder son; His actions and attitude are so natural, so common in an ordinary family of this world.
But, in the DIVINE family?.
Compare the parable and the reality.
1. PARABLE: The younger son took the initiative to come back.
( verse 18).
REALITY:THE FATHER took the initiative to bring us all back.
2. PARABLE: The older son was in the field, when the reunion of father and the lost son happened. (verse 25).
REALITY: The only SON was on the cross, when we all got the right to call GOD as our FATHER!.
3. PARABLE: As the father received the younger son safe and sound, he killed the fatted calf.( verse 27).
REALITY: To receive us safe and sound, THE FATHER allowed the killing of THE UNBLEMISHED LAMB!
4. PARABLE: The older son felt unhappy to share the inheritance with his brother.(verse 30)
REALITY:THE SON, by HIS sacrificial death, made us all co-heirs with HIM! Not ashamed to call us HIS brothers!
5. PARABLE: The older son was not able to accept his brother coming near to his father.(verse 28).
REALITY: THE SON opened a new way, by HIS flesh, for all of us to come boldly to THE FATHER’s presence.
6. PARABLE: The older son was not willing to sacrifice even a calf (verse 30)
REALITY:THE SON poured out even HIS soul unto death voluntarily.
7. PARABLE: The older son was not interested to share his father’s house with his brother.(verse 28)
REALITY: THE SON, after HIS death and resurrection, started preparing a place for the adopted sons, us, in HIS FATHER’s mansion.
8. The older son argued with his father by explaining his brother’s failures in detail.( verse 30).
REALITY:THE SON is interceding for us, even now, by covering our transgressions by HIS blood.
Do you really know the meaning of The Cross and The Grace?
…..HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE IF WE NEGLECT
SO GREAT SALVATION?( HEBREWS 2 : 3 ).
Note: I didn’t give the Bible references for all the above REALITY points; Can you please spend little extra time in Scriptures to find the suitable references?