Acts 21-28 – The Homestretch

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.

Pain – A Ladder to Perfection

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.

Deliverance is from 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.

Fear of God is the Hatred of Sin

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.

Love Thy Neighbour

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…

God is Longing for our Love

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.

The Living Water

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.

Is God Unjust?

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?

The Rich Young Ruler

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?”

Heritage of Christ

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.

Glorifying God

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.

There is Only One God

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’.

Prayers and Answers

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.

Vocal Band – At The Cross

[In] the autumn of 1850…revival meetings were being held in the Thirtieth Street Methodist Church. Some of us went down every evening; and, on two occasions, I sought peace at the altar, but did not find the joy I craved, until one evening, November 20, 1850, it seemed to me that the light must indeed come then or never; and so I arose and went to the altar alone. After a prayer was offered, they began to sing the grand old consecration hymn,

Alas, and did my Saviour bleed, and did my Sovereign die?

A Traditional Christmas

Christmas is celebrated in numerous ways all over the world. Every culture has added its own flavour to the holiday. Whether it be the Puritina of Guatemala, Las Posadas of Mexico, Holy supper in Ukraine, Parols of the Philippines or the more common traditions such as Carols, Christmas tree, Nativity plays, Christmas Cakes, attending the…

Abigail – A Discerning Woman

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 ..

If There Was No Easter…

“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….

Life Eternal

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….

The Prodigal Sons

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…

True Forgiveness

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….

Jesus make me whole

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 – Man of God

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?

Trust God

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 – The Penultimate Judge of Israel

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,…

Adam – The Genesis of Sin

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…

Jonah – The Reluctant Prophet

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….

Seek the Lord and You will be Blessed

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

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…

The Vineyard and it’s Master

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 prays for Daniel

  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,…

Our Freedom in Christ

The Psalmist says in psalms 32 that “Blessed are the forgiven”.  This he had written with his own personal experience. Christian life is a personal experience of God‘s mercy and love. He had differentiated his sinful unconfessed life with one of confessed and forgiven life. What a relief he had experienced.

The Ultimate Commandment

On a cold morning along the shores of Tiberius, Peter and the other disciples enjoyed one last fellowship with Jesus. After they had finished eating their supper, Jesus reinstated Peter and gives the final commandment to peter and the other disciples ‘Feed My Sheep’. What did Jesus meant when he said these words?

The Gift Goes on

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. “

Lord Help Our Unbelief

We all struggle with our faith and in our darkest hour question the very faith that has carried us thus far in our lives. None more so than Thomas who said “…Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

God calls Anyone

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…

God Creates New things for us

History tells us the past; our life explores the present and we analytically forecast future basing the past and the present. But beyond this one more is there, that is, things which are not existing at all. But Bible says our Lord calls the things that are not, as though they were. Our God is the Creator. Other than God no one is Creator. All others can only invent. `Necessity is the mother of Invention’. Whenever man realised a need, he explored with the existing things as base, and came with an Invention.

Give It Time

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 [1] 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…

Fret not thyself because of evil-doers

Main Reading: Psalm 73. It is obvious that evil doers are flourishing day by day in this world.  On this, we may have hundreds of questions in our mind.  We can see this elaborately in Psalm 73.  It is quite common to compare the increase of wealth of evil doers with righteous people.  Many confront or…

Patience

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 ….

Be a Lamp on a Stand

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…

Let Go

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.

……….If only we believe!!

….. 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…

Seizing The Opportunity

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.

God or Material possession

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.

Faith Should Draw Many

Is your faith fetching people to Jesus or driving people away from Jesus? Are you discouraged by the spiritual trait of some people? Here is an encouraging truth from the Bible – especially for you!

Give Wholeheartedly

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…

Vocal Band – The Love of God

“The Love of God,” a hymn Frederick Lehman wrote in 1917. In 2012, nearly a hundred years after the hymn was composed, our planet has perhaps never been more hungry to hear about that Love “so rich and pure … so measureless and strong…” The GVB’s pure and simple version of this masterfully written song begins simply with one voice (Wes Hampton), then another (Mark Lowry). As the melody and harmony flow together effortlessly, there is not a single distraction from the truth the lyric packs. As the other three voices (Bill Gaither, Michael English and David Phelps) join in, the song continues with unexpected restraint, yet it never lacks the sense of awe this hymn evokes. It is breathtaking. – Homecoming Magazine

Hillsong – Scandal of Grace

Jesus’ message was scandalous from day one, that’s why He ended up on the Cross. To this day, the message of grace is scandalous because it rages against conventional wisdom. We live in a culture where you do the crime, you do the time. The message of Jesus is you do the crime, and He pays the ultimate price so that we can live a life not only set free from our sin, but enabled by His grace to play a part in His incredible plan and purpose and bring His Kingdom to earth, here and now. – Joel Houston

Matthew West – Do Something

I will never forget meeting Andrea. If I were judging a book by its cover, I’d say she looked like a college girl, maybe in a sorority or something, lots of friends, bound to be successful someday. And in a way, that would be a correct assessment. But that is not the whole story. Andrea, a former University of Colorado student had chosen to spend a semester abroad learning micro-financing in Uganda. While there, she happened upon an orphanage in critical condition. The children were being badly neglected and even abused. Her heart broke for these orphans who had no advocate. That’s when this college student decided to do something. She called her parents and said, “I’m not coming home.” She refused to leave these children until something was done to improve the conditions.

Chris Tomlin – I Lift My Hands

When we say “I Lift My Hands,” it is a beautiful expression. It’s a human expression, not just Christians. We see people lift their hands about all kinds of things that excite them, like football games. It signals victory and it is natural to lift our hands. Or it’s a time of surrender. Hopefully you never get caught by the police and need to do that, but they say “put your hands up.” It’s one thing to lift our hands in worship and celebration, but this song is about lifting up our hands in surrender to God. The song is about reaching out to God for help.

Tenth Avenue North – Love Is Here

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost” – Isaiah 55:1

Casting Crowns – Jesus, Friend of Sinners

“Jesus, Friend of Sinners” is a song by American Christian rock band Casting Crowns, written by Mark Hall and Matthew West. The song has been regarded musically as a “pop hymn” and lyrically “admonishes the church to show compassion”.

Hillsong – Relentless

Written for their latest Studio Album Zion “Relentless” talks about the relentless love of God.
You carry us
When the world gives way
You cover us
With Your endless grace
Your love is relentless

David Phelps – He’s Alive

The inspiration for this song came from a different one that Don Francisco was playing in concert at the time, about Jesus’ crucifixion. In the liner notes for Don Francisco: The Early Works he explained: “I sat down with the intention of trying to write about the Resurrection, because, let’s face it, the Crucifixion is just half the story, and the worst half by far.” – SongFacts

Glorious Freedom – Vocal Band

The Hymn was originally written by Haldor Lillenas in 1917. Here’s the Gaither Vocal Band performing a modern rendition of the classic Hymn

“Glorious freedom, wonderful freedom,
No more in chains of sin I repine!
Jesus the glorious Emancipator,
Now and forever He shall be mine.”

Chris Tomlin – Awake My Soul

“Then He said to me Prophesy to these bones and say to them Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones I will make breath enter you And you will come to life So I prophesied as I was commanded As I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound And the bones came together, bone to bone And I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them And skin covered them, but there was no breath in them Then He said to me Prophesy to the breath Prophesy, son of man, and say to it Conjure the four winds of breath and breathe” – Extracts from Ezekiel Chapter 37

Matthew West – Hello, My Name Is

‘Hello, My Name Is’ is a three minute reminder that we are not our failures. We are not even our successes. Of all the names that try to define us, the only title that truly matters is the one given to us by our Creator; children of God. We are children of the one true King!”
Courtesy – Christian Music News

I Need A Miracle – Third Day

Influenced by the Southern rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd and other artists such as U2 and Rich Mullins, Third Day were originally formed by vocalist Mac Powell and acoustic guitarist Mark Lee. The Song ‘I need a miracle’ is inspired by those people who had lost all hope but their lives changed upon hearing the band’s songs on the radio.
Courtesy – Billboard

Matt Redman – Bless The Lord

Redman wrote the song with a Swedish friend of his, Jonas Myrin, with whom he’s collaborated with on a number of other occasions. Redman recalled the writing of the song to Worship Leader Magazine. “He played me an idea for some of the chorus melody, and I found it immediately inspiring. In fact, it felt like a perfect fit for a song based on the opening of Psalm 103.”
Courtesy – Songfacts®

Hillsong – Man of Sorrow

Man of Sorrows is a single released by Hillsong Live in preparation for the release of their 2013 live album, Glorious Ruins. The song was written by Matt Crocker and Brooke Ligertwood the days before Good Friday 2012. Matt and Brooke shared the song to the team during a creative service in Hillsong Chapel. Cass Langton from Hillsong Creative describes the moment when the song was heard for the first time as “one of those moments when time seemed to stop… Our team worshipped … Arms raised in surrender…”
Courtesy – hillsongcollected

Whom Shall I Fear – Chris Tomlin

At the heart of the song is the story in 2 Kings 6 of Elijah and his servant. The latter, after seeing an army camped around his village, is petrified. Elijah reassures him that the surrounding hill is filled with numerous angels, and he has nothing to fear, “because those who are with us are far more than they who are with them.” After the prophet prays that the servant’s eyes will be opened to these spiritual beings, he sees the hill filled with chariots of fire and angel armies camped around.
Courtesy – Songfacts®

Keep Making Me – Sidewalk Prophets

“I think we all can agree that one of the most important things in life is love. It’s what life is all about. Often it’s a scary thought, to be open with someone and to truly love them. But I think it’s gets to the core of what Jesus is all about. I think we need to pray scary prayers that are so vulnerable that they leave us open for being broken and changing our bad habits. It’s not an easy thing, but I think it’s beautiful thing. To love is to be vulnerable. To let God enter in and say ‘break me.’ We all need love, and true love only comes from Christ.” – David Frey (Lead Singer – Sidewalk Prophets)