The humble beginnings of the Good News.
When Luke sat down to write his account, the Gospel of Mark and probably even Matthew’s Gospel already existed. Then why did he decide to write another book on the life of Christ?
In the final section of the book of Acts, Luke records the last years of Paul’s ministry. Luke leaves us without closure and we do not know what happens to Paul. Either he was executed or Luke’s narration had led up to the present day and even Luke does not know what will happen next. However, Luke gives an extensive account of the works of the Holy Spirit which was the purpose of writing the book.
The incident with the fig tree which is recorded by Mark leaves the readers in total confusion as it subverts the magnificent power of Jesus Christ in three ways…
Paul’s final Missionary Journey to spread the Jesus movement.
We desire to get the latest phones for the minor upgrades that they offer, upgrades that we may never even need in our lives. How often do we upgrade our walk with Christ?
God has knitted every organ of our body and made us a living being. These organs are sensitive to any foreign body. They do not easily get accustomed to a new environment but strongly raise an alarm against a foreign object, such as pain and nausea. In the same manner every sorrow and grief coming against our soul should raise alarming signal against disobedience to the word of God and should lead us to repentance.
Paul set off in his second missionary Journey across Europe and makes new companions along the way.
Often believers long for the gifts of the Holy Spirit without laying down the foundation of knowledge, wisdom and faith.
An age old tradition threatens to derail the Jesus movement.
The start of the Missionary journeys to spread the Gospel to all the Gentiles.
Peter visits an all night ‘Prayer’ group.
Cornelius was a centurion in the Italian Regiment and was stationed at Caesarea which was located about 33 miles to the north of Joppa. It was the capital of the Roman occupied Judea. Since it was a major seaport and fell on the main caravan route from Tyre to Egypt, it had a vast and diverse demography….
The Encounter that led Saul to the Jesus way.
The Church scatters and the Word is spread to the ends of the earth.
When we come across sickness and other problems we assume that the reason for our sickness is our sins. Likewise, we too judge others when they suffer. We read in Romans that the wages of sin is death and we think that every sickness and sufferings leads us towards death. If that is true, what is the meaning of the death of Christ in our lives?
The Killing of Stephen and the spread of the Jesus Movement.
The Church gets an admin wing.
The members of the first church start bringing their offerings to support the Jesus movement, some with good intentions and some with not so so good…
At the place where Jesus was almost stoned and amongst the people who crucified him, Peter and John, led by the Spirit, take a bold stand for the sake of the Gospel.
The festival of weeks or more commonly know as Pentecost is celebrated 7 weeks after Passover. On this day Jews from all over the globe would come to the Holy city of Jerusalem to be part of the festivities.
Most of us feel lost when we miss even a single Sunday Service. Is it due to a change in our routine or did we truly miss the word? Many people do not even know the very purpose for which they attend church.
Luke starts his second book to Theophilus with a brief summary of the forty days that Jesus spent with his disciples.
About forty days after God opened up the skies proclaiming that Jesus is His Son, Satan placed Jesus in the same platform and challenged Him to prove his sonship to God.
We are a couple of months into the new year and by now, for some of us, the resolutions we made are a distant memory. Often times, upon hearing a powerful message or perhaps receiving the answers to our longtime prayers, we make a resolution with God but soon forget about it. At the beginning of the book of Samuel, we find the story of humble beginnings for a small family, living in the hill country of Ephraim and their resolutions with God that changed Israel’s political landscape.
Jesus tells us not to fear people who can only destroy us physically and cannot do anything to our soul. While on the one hand we realize the sovereign power of the Almighty who has authority over our physical body and soul, but on the other hand it ignites frequent doubts about martyrs among many of us and we respond exactly opposite to what Jesus calls us to do.
We are couple of weeks into the New Year and have seen God satisfying our needs and repeatedly experience it in our lives. However, the blessings of the years passed have limited our relationship with God. For this reason, as a new year begins, anxiety engulfs us and we forget God’s enormous power.
In the coastal city of Joppa which was about eleven miles northwest from Lydda , resided Tabitha (Dorcas in Greek) who was on her death bed. Tabitha Dorcas was a tailor and a follower of the ‘Way’. The origins of her faith are not mentioned in the Bible…
Christmas is a well-known festival all over the world, having different perceptions be it commercial, traditional, spiritual and so on. In the Gospel of Luke we see that Joseph and Mary did not get a room for an overnight stay….
Prayer is the breath of every Christian, but how many Christians are actually praying.
In continuation to the post ‘Christian ideologies and God’s Promises’, we are going to see how ignorant we are regarding the grace of God.
Our christian lives are sometimes influenced by the people around us. There are so many theological schools of thought that we sometimes find it hard to know what we believe.
There are some misinterpretations of Christian ideologies which paves way for disbelief and even many followers of Christ have become victim to these misinterpretations and fail to claim the promises of God.
Scripture says that Jesus did not allow the evil spirits to speak and the reason behind it is an eye opener to all of us. Jesus does not want people to identify him through someone else but he wants each one of us to experience him personally.
As Jesus was entering Capernaum, a Centurion approached Him asking for his servant’s healing….
Why does a man fear the commandments and not God? He looks at God as a stringent high school principal with rules stating do and dont’s and fails to understand God’s love.
During one of the gatherings where Jesus was teaching, a Lawyer asks Him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”. Jesus asks the Lawyer that in his opinion what does the law say in regards to obtaining eternal life. To which he promptly answers Love the Lord your God with all your heart and…
About two millennia ago Jesus died on the cross not just for the Jews but for every sinner in the world. At the cross, when enduring such excruciating pain, Jesus prays for forgiveness for the ones who put him there.
The phrase `Do not be afraid’ is recorded in the Bible more than 80 times. No doubt, even today Jesus is convincing each believer with this phrase. The author of the book of Hebrews reassures us of the promises of God saying that He will not forsake us but encourages us to say the following verse,
In the land of Aram (Syria in Greek) there lived a valiant soldier highly regarded by the king and was the commander of his forces. The lord had brought victory to Aram through this man. His name was Naaman. He had a perfect life, respected in his community and feared amongst his enemies. However with his great wealth he also had an incurable disease – Leprosy, the disease which caused one to be shunned from society and live as an outcast.
We fairly understand the love of God but at the same time are unable to understand the eradication of condemnation. Because of this lack of understanding many are still under the clutches of guilt and keep asking for pardon for their sins without knowing the truth, that God has already pardoned all our sins through His son’s sacrificial death on the Cross.
On his way to Galilee Jesus passed through the small town of Sychar inhabited by Samaritans. It was mid-day and the journey and the heat took a toll on Him and Jesus sat by the well. Along came this Samaritan woman to draw water from that well.
Jesus says that Judas betraying him is “To fulfill the scripture”, (John 18:1) as foretold by the Psalmist. It is written that as soon as Judas took the bread Satan entered into him. So was Judas chosen beforehand to betray Jesus?
God has promised us to fulfil our desires according to his gracious plan. In spite of this great promise, we wonder why our desires are not fulfilled. Some of us are waiting years together for God to work in our lives. We think that Satan is hindering in our lives in fulfilling our desires according to God’s plan. But the fact is that it is not Satan, it is we ourselves who are hindering God’s plan for our lives.
Jesus was in the district of Judea answering the ensnaring questions of the Pharisees when a young man came to see HIm. In the Gospel of Luke this man is described as a rich young ruler (Luke – 18:18). He had great wealth and power yet when he came before Jesus he fell on his knees. (Mark – 10:17). He presented himself with great humbleness and asked Jesus, “Good teacher what must I do to receive eternal life?”
Almost 2000 years have passed since Jesus Christ had shed His precious Holy blood on the Cross for cleansing the sins of mankind. Although the existence of God is even before the creation of the universe but still mankind is not able to recognise the presence of God. Why is it so?
It is a common phenomenon to expect bad things to happen to our enemies. We expect evil people to pass away from the world, we want good citizen; good governance. We are unable to tolerate people who …
Jesus left Galilee and headed north some 35 miles to the gentile occupied port cities of Tyre and Sidon. The purpose of Jesus’ short visit to these cities is not clear. He was not preaching in this region nor was he performing any miracles. Then why did Jesus take his disciples and travel such a long distance to Tyre and Sidon?
Though his name says Baptist and he even baptized with water but John The Baptist was definitely more than a baptizer. Born in a priestly family and chosen even before birth for the role he had to play as a witness to the Light, though short lived, lived to its full as a lamp that burned and gave light. Jesus himself certified about him that he is more than a prophet (Matthew 11:8-10). Named even before his birth as John (Meaning Yahweh is gracious), his ministry was to testify about the one who is full of grace and truth.
There may be so many unanswered questions in the heart of believers regarding long suffering. End to our prolonged suffering depends on the transformation of our hearts. Psalmist had captured the transformation that took place in the life of believers as they passed through the valley of Baca which is figuratively a valley of suffering or weeping. We are always impressed by the end result but fail to concentrate on the transformation.
Jesus was amongst the crowd preaching when someone told him that his mother and brothers (and possibly sisters) were standing outside and wanted to speak to Him. I have always wondered why did they not come in? Or why did Jesus not go out to meet them but used them to talk about who all constitute as the family of Christ. But when we read the same incident in Mark we get to know the context of the situation.
At the outset, John in his book introduces the ‘word’ as God Himself. John 1:14 says that God became flesh and dwelt among us. As we are celebrating Christmas, we need to understand why God became flesh. The author of Hebrews explains the reason in Hebrews 2:14-15
John 1: 12 clearly tell us who are the children of Jesus Christ. There are numerous verses which remind us of this fact. On the authority of word we claim ourselves as children of God. If we are children, we are His legal heirs too. If we are the legal heirs, then our prayers need not be a petition or plead but a simple asking or intimation.
We are called to bear witness for Christ Jesus but many believers misunderstand this in their lives and struggle to bear witness. Most of the time we expect miracles to happen in our lives to bear testimony. It is easy to do so when miracles happen but if nothing works out then bearing testimony to Christ Jesus seems difficult.
At once after feeding five thousand men, Jesus asked his disciples to go to the other side. Probably Jesus did not want his disciples to get carried away by the applause of the beneficiaries of the miracle. Jesus decided to spend some quiet time with His Father and went up the mountainside. Shortly before dawn He decided to join his disciples who were sailing. While they saw Jesus walking on the water they took Him for a ghost. But Jesus comforted them by saying “It is I” and asked them not to be afraid. This signifies the level of faith of his disciples.
Jesus was going to Jerusalem via Jericho and huge crowds had gathered all around Him wanting to hear what He had to say. As they entered Jericho, a blind man named Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside. On hearing the commotion, he asked the people around him as to what was going on, to which he was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. We do not know to what extent he knew Jesus…
All believe in one God, but the environment refers to so many Gods and Goddesses where people believe that each of them has some specific task to perform. Likewise, idols are made by men as an object to concentrate on, as they are unable to concentrate on the `unseen’ or `unknown God’. Hence, people believed on all these as various means or ways to reach the `One God’.
Jesus said this to the Pharisees who were unable to see Him and accept His work due to their limited knowledge of the scripture. Scripture is a written law that should be implemented in our day to day life. This is being implemented by two sources, one is with human mind and discipline, the other with God’s mind and discipline. Human mind has laid down some punitive elements to implement the law but God implements His law through unconditional love. Human mind uses a law to accuse but God uses the same law to rescue.
When King Herod had killed James the brother of John, he understood that it had pleased the Jews. This is the strategy that Satan uses even today. No one has any reason to hate Jesus but the persecutions are in order to please the majority. In Acts 12:5 we read that in order to please the Jews, Peter was put in prison but this brought displeasure to the church, the body of Christ. The church was praying for the protection of the life of Peter and his release. Church ought to pray for the protection of the servants of God and for their boldness to preach the Gospel without distorting its truth to please people.
Luke narrates this incident by introducing Martha who welcomed Jesus into her house. Even John in his book tells that Martha was the one who first met Jesus when she had lost her brother Lazarus. This shows evidently that she is a dominating person among her family members and seems to be a laudable …
Christ died for us 2000yrs ago. Every year we meditate on the seven verses Christ said on the cross. Jesus tries to portray the Love of Christ through this act of crucifixion. Today let us recall the basic reason behind His crucifixion and resurrection.
…the people who lived during the time of Jesus had the law as their deterrent without understanding its importance of implying it in their life. The law acted as a parameter to levy punishment rather than people adhering to it. By the same law Jesus was convicted for blasphemy.
Why did Jesus curse the Fig tree? Mark, in his account of the incident clearly states that it wasn’t the season for figs. This makes this incident even more puzzling and therefore it is often misinterpreted by many. Did Jesus curse the fig tree because he was famished ?
David says in Psalm 31: 21-22 that he became fearful and was afraid that he had gone far from Him. Similarly we also face this fear many times in our lives and become worrisome and don’t get justice hence, all our work gets spoiled. David says that he was not of any use but still God showed His mercy and gave him victory. God, whether we believe in Him or not, whether we love Him or go far from Him, will be with us and never leave us alone.
“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” John 5:6 Are you suffering from chronic disease? Or are you suffering from prolonged dispute? Or are you unable to come out of your lifetime sins? The greatest assurance…
Give a thought to do what is honourable in the sight of all. This is not about pleasing people but about acquiring peace amidst backstabbing people. God does not want us to compromise with truth to have a cordial relation with fellow men.
The Psalmist in Ps 121 took his eyes unto Lord for help and explained the reason that why he did so. We do seek God but cannot explain why we do so, because we do not even understand why we should look to Lord. We always look to God for our needs to be fulfilled and when it is fulfilled we some time take it as a coincidence.
In the book of Genesis, the serpent played the role of tantalizing Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.I Chronicles 21:1 ” ….Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.” Isaiah (14:12) gives a glimpse of Satan’s origin. In I Samuel (28:7), Saul, a King anointed by God, felt helpless while seeing his enemies…
Jesus was on his way to Galilee through Samaria. In Samaria, He was near a well that was given by Jacob to his son, Joseph. Jesus sat by the well as He had a tiring journey and just then a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus asked her for a drink and the Samaritan woman became a little puzzled as Jews would have no dealings with Samaritans. Just at that moment Jesus revealed to this woman about Himself as the ‘living water’. The woman did not understand what exactly Jesus meant. She probably just knew about Jacob and believed Jacob was a great man and not knowing the source of Jacob’s being a great man.
One whole day Jesus preached about God’s Kingdom. On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” The word of God is given in order to lead us ashore, a heavenly aboard, with abundance of life! But the word is considered by many only for……
Deborah is the only female judge of Israel mentioned in the Bible (Judges 4:5). She was a prophetess and the wife of Lapidoth who judged Israel when the they were being oppressed by Jabin, king of Canaan (Judges 4:4).
Ophrah was a small town in Manasseh and was the native place of Joash the Abiezrite. His sons had been put to death on Mount Tabor by the Midianites. His only remaining son, Gideon, was threshing wheat in the winepress for he feared the Midianites. Hardly the great warrior that the Israelites needed to redeem themselves of their oppressors. Gideon found it hard to believe when the Angel of the Lord told him of what God was going to do through him. Little did he know that he would be the greatest Judge that led Israel.
John recorded the turning of water into wine at the Canaan wedding as Jesus’ first miracle. It has an indication of Jesus’ purpose for coming in to this world and shows that Jesus is keen on family relations and the institution of marriage.
Due of lack of prayer, we are unable to conduit the miraculous power of Jesus to people across the world. People dogmatically argue that miraculous deeds of Jesus had ceased after the death of His disciples. Dr. Grant R. Jeffrey in his book “Unveiling Mysteries of the Bible” dealt with the topic “The Mysteries of When Miracles and Healing Ceased” and he has brought out the fact….
The song ‘Oceans’, is a reminiscence of Peter walking on water. After feeding the 5000 Jesus sent his disciples ahead of him to reach Gennesaret by boat while he dispersed the crowds and went up into the mountain to pray. When evening fell the boat the disciples had sailed about three and half miles into the Sea of Galilee. Jesus saw the disciples in the boat distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary
Often we are unable to realise the ways of God, as we expect God to do things in a human way. Even after God had divided the Red Sea and provided the Israelites the food of the angels it was still hard for Moses to believe that God was going to provide meat for Israelites. Was Moses aware of God’s sketch to divide the Red Sea? …
The baptism of Cornelius is an important event in the history of the Early Church. The gates of the Church, within which thus far only those who were circumcised and observed the Law of Moses had been admitted, were now thrown open to the uncircumcised Gentiles without the obligation of submitting to the Jewish ceremonial laws.- Florentine Bechtel
Humility is a source to learn life’s valuable things and it is God’s way of teaching His loved ones.The power of the word of God is revealed only when one starts realising the fact that we do not live because of worldly things alone but also by a divine grace. Unfortunately, this realisation comes only through humility. God humbles us so that we may see Him. Ira Stanphil’s song, “He washed My eyes with tears that I might see” is a testament to this fact. Do we humble ourselves when God intends to humble us?
Faith comes from Jesus, the author of it. It helps the mankind to obtain salvation. Whatever was foretold about Jesus Christ has been fulfilled by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection on the third day. If one believes this, as a child the faith increases. This pleases God. Paul reminds this in his…
This verse from the book of Proverbs reflects God’s gift of “Free Will” to mankind. Our journey with Jesus starts with a simple confession that Jesus Christ died for our transgressions as our substitute. Paul writes to the Romans that this opportunity lies very near to each individual in their heart and mouth (Rom 10:8)….
Abigail was a woman, beautiful and with understanding (1 Samuel 25: 3), She was the wife of Nabal who was a rich man and who sheared his sheep at Carmel (1 Samuel 25: 3). Knowing that Nabal was shearing his sheep, David sent some young men to talk to Nabal and tell him how well his shepherds were treated when they were with him and that now when they have come on a feast day and be given ..
“We live and die; Christ died and lived!” ~ John Stott Every year we are reminded to look at Easter not as an occasion for chocolate eggs or to buy new clothes but remember what Easter is all about. But let us try to picture what it would be like not to have an Easter at all….
People need precedents for everything, without seeing they do not believe and without being done so by someone else earlier, they won’t do.
Jesus brought back three dead people to life and through that, people got the notion that a dead person can get back to life….
In the cool of the day two men from Emmaus were returning from Jerusalem. They had a seven mile journey ahead of them and plenty to talk about. Unrest was at an all-time high amongst the believers. Rumors were being spread, seeds of doubt and confusion were sprouting and fear of the unknown was overwhelming…
Rivalry among brothers is quite common even in the Bible. Brotherly rivalries such as Joseph and his brothers, Jacob and Esau, Solomon and Adonijah and so on, all in some way related to their inheritance share. In the parable of the Prodigal son Jesus illustrates a similar rivalry so that…
The power of resurrection paves way for us to receive forgiveness from God and in turn molds us to forgive each other. On the cross, Jesus Christ announced forgiveness in an exceptional way. But most of us attribute this forgiveness only to those soldiers who crucified Him, forgetting that our sins nailed….
Main Reading – (Mark 8:22-26) Some people brought a blind man to Jesus believing that He can give him sight. The first thing Jesus did was, ‘He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village’ – a place where he had spent his life. This doesn’t mean that He could not perform…
Elijah lived in difficult times when Israel was in spiritual deterioration.The secret of his success was prayer. Elijah was used to turning the hearts of the people back to the Lord (I Kings 18:37). But what was so special about him?
Quite often we are unable to understand God’s plans. Chronic diseases, fatal accidents, sudden demise of our dear ones and financial crisis keep us in dark from understanding His ways. When we do not understand His ways. Fear hovers over our lives, sorrow fills our hearts and peace eludes us. This shows that our strength is small.
Eli was a priest, chosen from the priestly clan, who judged Israel for forty years (1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 2:28; 1 Samuel 4:18). He had two sons named Hophni and Phinehas who did not know God and sinned against Him, they treated Lord’s offering with contempt (1 Samuel 1: 4; 1 Samuel 2: 12,…
According to the book of Genesis Adam was created by God out of the soil of the earth and He breathed into his nostrils. Adam became a living person. God created the world and all that is in it by His word and when He found everything was good He created man giving him all…
Nineveh is a mere 500 miles from Jonah’s hometown of Gath-hepher but he choose the journey to Tarshish which was about 2500 miles from Joppa. This showed how reluctant he was to go to Nineveh. Nineveh drew comparisons from Sodom and Gomorrah….
This verse directs us to seek God for obtaining good things adequately. We seek God for various reasons. Among the many who seek God there are two sect of people who seek God. One sect comprises of those who have received blessings in some form be it good education, a lucrative job offer, family, house or…
Temptation and being tempted is something we human’s face in our day to day life. But God will not put us in a state where the temptation will become overbearing. Paul in his letter to the Church in Corinth says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and…
Isaiah (5:1-7) Depicts a picture of a vineyard in a fertile hillside, without stones, with choicest vines, watch tower and a winepress, to reflect God’s provision and care for nation. Failure of nation to live up to His expectations was brought out in this portion. In spite of all the provisions the people of God…
Darius the Mede emerged as the king of Babylon after slaying Belshazzar at the age of sixty-two. He appointed three officials to govern Babylon one of whom was Daniel. Daniel distinguished himself from the rest as “an excellent spirit was in him” and Darius planned for Daniel to govern his entire kingdom. Seeing this, the…
The most admirable and simple definition By Paul about Christmas is as below:- “II Cor 8:9 – For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, Yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. “
Main Reading: Genesis 41 In this given passage we read about the dream that Pharaoh dreamt of and how Joseph interprets it. Pharaoh gets really troubled in his spirit after seeing the dream and calls for the magicians and wise men but none could interpret it. Then the chief butler remembers how Joseph had interpreted the…
Main Reading Luke 5: 33-39 How often do we find ourselves much like the Pharisees, criticizing others regarding their spiritual activities rather than focusing on our own? The Pharisees  questioned Christ as to why his disciples don’t fast while they fasted. The disciples were all common men with common occupations whom Christ chose to carry…
One of the most confusing passage and yet it has been cited as the beginning of the end of Saul’s reign, due to his ‘Impatience’. The Philistines had all their soldiers and chariots, “numerous as the sands of the seashore”, and the Israelites were running scared ….
Main Reading Acts: 3: 1-11 Peter and John were on their way to the temple. And a certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was carried and laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;. At this stage the deed…
How many times have we been in the situation described in the above mentioned reading? God calls us and we find it hard to part with the earthly things and ask God to wait for us.
….. there is nothing too hard for the Lord (Jer 32:17) Main reading Genesis 18: 9-15 The three mysterious visitors came to Abraham on a hot summer’s day to convey to Abraham the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 16 onwards) and that Sarah would bear Abraham a son. The reaction of Sarah was quite contrasting from…
It was a typical day in the life of Peter and John as they went up to the temple to offer prayers. At the gates of the temple a crippled beggar asked for alms from them. “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” As soon Peter spoke these words the beggar jumped to his feet and walked. Now the onlookers were amazed at what they saw as they had seen the crippled beggar every day. Seeing their amazement Peter wasted no time in telling them about The Good News.
Matthew 6:24 tells us that no one can serve two masters, either we would love one and hate the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. We cannot serve both God and money. This verse is in extension to the passage which tells us to lay our treasures in heaven.
Main Reading – Mark 12: 42-44 The reading talks about a poor widow and her humble offering of two small coins contrasting it with the rich lot boasting and casting much more into the treasury. It was a very small amount what the widow had offered but Jesus was satisfied with that because she gave that out…