From the Courts to the Cross – Mark 15

named,Perhaps the fastest trial in the history of the Roman government, as the unprecedented nature of events left the Jewish rulthe Roman government and the followers of Jesus in utter disbelief. Early in the morning, the entire body of the Sanhedrin gathered and made plans to kill Jesus. They bound Him up and took Him…

A Lacuna We Never Realize

None of us can say that we have received answers to all our prayers and solutions for all our problems. When our difficulties persist, sicknesses linger and people come against us, our faith shatters. We often think as the Psalmist, that I have kept my heart pure in vain and washed my hands in innocence…

An Unceasing Prayer

People prefer to watch television for hours together and are reluctant to spend time on prayer. While watching the television, even the thoughts about the inevitable pending jobs do not disrupt us. At the same time, we allow our thoughts to disrupt our prayers. Thoughts like, did we close the windows of our car, switched…

Quicksand

Quicksand is common and found most often where freshwater meets saltwater. It is a fluid made of sand mixed with water or air. It changes its viscosity in response to stress or vibration, making it easier to sink but harder to escape. The ground looks solid, but if we walk on it, the sand begins…

A Fact Check

There is a common belief among the believers of Jesus that following Jesus’ teaching is a difficult task. Many people accept difficulties as part of a believer’s life and think that the more they suffer in this world, the greater will their reward be in heaven. Many elders teach others that following or serving Jesus…

Fool, Foil and Follies – 1 Samuel 25

Sandwiched between the two assassination opportunities of Saul that were presented to David, his encounter with Nabal and Abigail shows us a different side of him. Samuel was the one true ally that David had by his side as it was he who had anointed him as the king of Israel. After his death, David…

From Evildoers Come Evil Deeds – 1 Samuel 23 & 24

David and his men were hiding in Judah when word came to them that the Philistines were raiding the threshing floors of Keilah. Even though strategically Keilah was part of Judah, its close proximity to Philistine territory made it a frequent target for looters who would raid the town during the harvest season. When David…

A Not So Holy Mission – 1 Samuel 21 & 22

David was now officially on the run as Saul had placed an open bounty on his head. He went to Nob, a town just a few miles northeast of Jerusalem to meet Ahimelek, the priest. After the destruction of Shiloh, the town of Nob had taken its place as the religious capital of Israel, housing…

A Sworn Friendship – 1 Samuel 20

After evading Saul and his men at Naioth, David returned to Jerusalem to meet Jonathan. He narrated all that he had been through over the last few days and how Saul tried to kill him. While Samuel believed David when he told him the same account, Jonathan found it hard to believe that his father…

The Plot to Kill David – 1 Samuel 18 & 19

The tales of David’s conquest of the giant spread throughout the land, garnering the love and respect of all the people of Israel. Even the soldiers in Saul’s army respected David as he led them in countless battles, and with God by his side, they would always come out victorious. The admiration for David was…

The Stone Is Mightier Than The Sword – 1 Samuel 17

One of the most popular narratives in the Bible, the battle between David and Goliath has made its way into pop culture and is often referred to in sports when an underdog beats the defending champion. But what the world does not realize, something that Goliath and the Philistines learned the hard way, David was…

Time To Move On – 1 Samuel 16

After the fallout with Saul, Samuel had shut himself in his hometown of Ramah and spent his days mourning for the king of Israel. Though their relationship was going through a rocky patch, Samuel had played an important part in Saul’s life and in the transformation of his heart. Saul even started prophesying soon after…

Obedience Over Offerings – 1 Samuel 15

The failure to follow instructions had already put Saul in hot water as God did not respond to him either through the prophet or through the Urim and the Thummim. Saul was also on the outs with Samuel but after some time had passed, Samuel came to Saul with a message from the Lord. This…

Panic Sent By God – 1 Samuel 14

Now that the relationship between Saul and Samuel had deteriorated beyond repair, he appointed himself a priest from the family line of Eli. Ahijah was the priest who had accompanied Saul’s army in their pursuit of the Philistines and was wearing the ephod that housed the Urim and the Thummim. Saul needed a man of…

Blessed Are The Meek

The terminologies used in the Bible mostly appear to be the same as defined in the dictionary. But in the real sense, the scripture conveys an idea just opposite to the perceptions of this world. Despite Jesus telling us that “blessed are the meek,” we still believe that the people who have influence, wealth, muscle…

To the Ends of the Earth

“You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth,” Jesus told these words to a group of people who knew nothing about geography, as most of them were fishermen who depended for their livelihood on the nearby sea. They were uneducated and did not know how to articulate their thoughts clearly. Moreover, they…

With Swords and Clubs – Mark 14

After finishing their meal, Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn and left for a place called Gethsemane. Jesus had come to the earth to accomplish the will of the Father and His ministry of more than three years was culminating to this very day. His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow as the hour of…

From Caterpillar To Butterfly

Seeing a bunch of caterpillars crawling on the ground, I often used to wonder how does this ugly creature transform into an eye-catching colourful butterfly. People love catching the beautiful winged insect and try to keep them in the palm of their hands but no one wants to touch a caterpillar. God cleanses us by…

The Last Supper – Mark 14

The proximity of the Passover festival temporarily halted the plans of the chief priests and the teachers of the law from scheming and how to secretly arrest and kill Jesus. They were afraid that the capture of Jesus during the time when Jerusalem was already flooded with tourists from the surrounding states, would only diminish…

Give In, Not Give Up

The world quotes Jesus word’s for turning the other cheek when facing an enemy or persecutor but no one wants to adopt it. Resistance and retaliation appear to be defensive weapons but did not help in defending but ended up avenging ourselves and others. Jesus teaches us not to resist the evil person, which means…

From The Author’s Desk – Psalm 21

The author captures the responses to the prayers that people had lifted up in the previous Psalm for their King. Are we aware of the changes that God made in the lives of the people for whom we prayed? Often, we do not even remember what we prayed and for whom we prayed. Even if…

The Temple – Mark 13

Having established how the teachers of the law devoured the house of the widows but enjoyed the adoration from the elite (Mark 12:39-40), Jesus presented them with an example of what is God looking for in His people. While in the temple, Jesus was observing the crowds putting money into the collection boxes. The wealthy…

Evidence Gathering – Mark 12

After Jesus had cleared the temple of the various merchants, He called out the Jewish leaders for turning the house of the Lord into a den of robbers. This did not sit well with the chief priests and the teachers of the law, as they started looking for ways to kill Him. They questioned the…

A Grand Entrance – Mark 11

As Jesus and His disciples approached Jerusalem for their final trip to the hill city, they came to the familiar town of Bethany on the Mount of Olives. This was a regular halt point for the group as it was home to many of Jesus’ close followers. While preparing to head for Jerusalem, Jesus asked…

Seizing the Opportunity – Mark 10

Jesus was teaching in the region of Judea as the Pharisees were looking for an opportunity to trap Jesus. They knew about Jesus’ closeness with John the Baptist, who was killed for speaking out against the extramarital affairs of king Herod. They wanted to use this opportunity to try and get Jesus to speak against…

The Transfiguration – Mark 9

Almost a week later, Jesus took Peter, James and John and went up to a high mountain. When they were all alone, His appearance transfigured before their very eyes. His clothes became the brightest shade of white, unattainable by any of our earthly dyes. Definitely nothing close to what the disciples could have imagined as…

Children Of God

According to the Gospel of John, by receiving the Son of God, whom the Father had sent, we have become the children of God. The Gospel explains this further, as children born not of natural descent, a human decision, or a husband’s will, but born of God (John 1:13). Even the children of natural descendants…

The Contentment – Psalm 16

This idiom, “a contented mind is a perpetual feast”, tells us the benefit of contentment. King Solomon recorded a similar theme in a different way saying that the cheerful heart has a continual feast (Proverbs 15:15). The cheerfulness of our heart depends on the fulfilment of our heart’s desires. If our cheerfulness is the outcome…

Who Holds our Future

We all know that our future lays in the hands of our Sovereign God. The psalmist even wrote that “My times are in your hands” (Psalms 31:15), and Paul brought out the fact that God has marked out His people’s appointed times in history along with the boundaries of their lands (Acts 17:26). Our God…

The Survival – Psalm 15

While reading this Psalm, we should go back to the Old Testament times where people were afraid of God, and they did not even pronounce the word Yahweh, but only wrote it down to express His name. When the chief priests entered into the inner room with the blood he offered for himself and for…

The Night is Coming….

In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light amidst the darkness. From where did this darkness come? Does it exist on its own or is there any other power than God has that has birthed it? The Gospel of John explains the role of our Sovereign God in creating all…

The Beginning – John 1

The Gospel of John does not share any similarities with the other Synoptic Gospels, but this unique account of the life of Christ has a completely different purpose. Written by most probably John, the disciple, during the latter half of the first century to a predominantly Gentile audience of the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, its…

The One After John – John 1

The conversation between the other John and the Jewish leaders where he denied comparisons to three of the most famous Old Testament figures.

The Lamb of God – John 1

The ministry of Jesus spread through people sharing their personal experiences of their encounter with the Messiah. Even today, in a world filled with countless religions and distractions, the work of God continues through the personal testimonies of people who have experienced Christ in their lives.

Surveillance – Psalm 14

This Psalm focuses on the unceasing surveillance of God on each one of us, whoever we may be or wherever we are. In public places, we often find stickers informing us that we are under surveillance. Surveillance cameras are used to deter people from anti-social elements such as shoplifting or attempting to escape from prison….

The New Wine – John 2

Two days after gathering His disciples, Jesus arrived at a wedding in a place called Cana in the region of Galilee. During the festivities, Jesus’s mother brought a matter of concern to Him saying that the wedding party had run out of wine. Of all the requests brought before Jesus, this would have been the most trivial of the lot.

The New Temple – John 2

Jesus did not answer their demands by giving them a sign immediately but foretold about His own death and resurrection that will be the ultimate sign of His authority given to everyone.

The Light – John 3

Everyone knows John 3:16 by heart but the next verse is equally important, for Jesus did not come to condemn us but save us. If he wanted to condemn us for our wrongdoings, He would have brought the day of judgment upon us but rather He came with the sole intention to be an atonement for our sins.

The Living Water – John 4

The living water represents His Spirit in us who gives us the joy that comes from knowing that our sins are forgiven. The joy in our hearts that gives us a new life, a new beginning with the knowledge that the slate has been wiped clean. That is what Jesus has to offer.

The Savior of the World – John 4

Quite ironical that the Jews , through whom the salvation was to come rejected the Messiah but the ‘pagan’ Samaritans were the first to proclaim Jesus as the Savior of the world. Jesus revealed His true identity in this Samaritan town, something that He would not do in the Jewish towns.

The Healer – John 5

During one of Jesus’ trips to Jerusalem, He encounters a man sitting by the poolside at Bethesda waiting for healing when the Healer himself came to him.

The Son of God – John 5

Once again Jesus had riled up the Jewish leaders simply by giving a man the ability to pick up his mat and walk as they started questioning His authority.

The Bread of Life – John 6

Just like satan blinded the eyes of those disciples who abandoned Jesus that day, he is doing the same even today for the believers who are satisfied with eating the symbolic bread and wine and will never desire to taste the Bread of Life.

The Son of David – John 7

Jesus came alone to Jerusalem and stood out in the crowd, He did not wait for the consensus to be formed about Him before He spoke out against the leaders. By the power of God, He took a stand against the leaders who had diluted the Gospel and made it a religion. Are we waiting for a consensus in our lives or are willing to stand out for God?

The Great I Am – John 8

Jesus saved the adulterous woman from being stoned and did not condemn her. But now the crowds had picked up the stones once again, this time, to kill Jesus.

The Man They Call Jesus – John 9

While the Pharisees were focused on their quest to crucify the Messiah, Jesus continued to walk on the path that God had set before Him, touching yet another life on His way to Calvary. As Jesus and His disciples were walking the streets of Jerusalem, they saw a man who had been blind from birth. The disciples could not help but pass judgement and wanted Jesus to weigh in on who is responsible for this man’s condition, his parents or he himself.

The Good Shepherd – John 10

Jesus deemed the pharisees guilty of sin as they were not blind but refused to change their ways. Another argument between Jesus and the pharisees ensued ending up with Jesus revealing another aspect of His identity by comparing himself to a shepherd.

The Resurrection and the Life – John 11

The raising of Lazarus would be a precursor to His own resurrection from the grave on the third day. We have read that He had raised at least two people from the dead but they had not been in the grave for four days. The disciples and the Jews gathered around this tragedy, would soon be the witnesses to Jesus’ big reveal, that He indeed is the Resurrection and the Life.

The Intimate Friend – John 12

The festival of Passover was approaching and the hill city of Jerusalem would soon see an influx of pilgrims to the holy land and its neighbouring towns. Jesus also made the trip to Judea one last time, just six days before His crucifixion. On His way to Jerusalem, He visited His followers in the nearby town of Bethany where He had raised Lazarus back to life.

The King of Israel – John 12

Jesus did not have a large following in Jerusalem but His followers were those who had seen him in their own hometowns and were in the city just for the festivities. It is very easy to get swept by the atmosphere of our surroundings and people started joining in the chants even though many of them would have only known hearsay about Christ and not realized His true purpose.

The Servant King – John 13

Jesus has one last meal with His disciples before His arrest, followed by a lightning-fast trial that would lead Him to the cross the very next day. But His work among His disciples was not done, as He continued to enlighten them with His teachings during what is now known as His Last Supper.

The Betrayed – John 13

In rejecting Jesus as the Messianic King, the Jewish leaders proved that they did not understand the very scriptures they were reading and teaching others. Satan had blinded their eyes in the name of religion and in their efforts to hold on to their traditions, they failed to accept the greatest Gift from God. Jesus wanted to highlight His rejection to prepare the disciples for the persecution that was coming their way.

The Comforter – John 14

In rejecting Jesus as the Messianic King, the Jewish leaders proved that they did not understand the very scriptures they were reading and teaching others. Satan had blinded their eyes in the name of religion and in their efforts to hold on to their traditions, they failed to accept the greatest Gift from God. Jesus wanted to highlight His rejection to prepare the disciples for the persecution that was coming their way.

The Vine – John 15 & 16

After answering the questions and doubts that the disciples had brought forward, Jesus uses the illustration of a vine and its branches to help the disciples understand how they are connected to the Father through Him. Throughout the Old Testament, illustrations involving vine usually denoted the Israelites and their failure to comply with God’s instructions….

The Glorified – John 17

While the other Gospel writers have focused on the events that took place in the Garden, John takes a step back and tells us the events before they reached the Garden. Jesus’ longest recorded prayer came just moments before His capture as He prays for Himself, for His disciples and for everyone who will ever…

The Arrested – John 18

After finishing His prayer, Jesus left with His disciples and crossed the Kidron valley. Here, there was a garden where Jesus would often meet with His disciples. Judas, who knew about this place, brought with him the chief priests and Pharisees, along with a detachment of soldiers to the garden where Jesus and the disciples…

The Sin Bearer – John 19

Pilate made one last attempt to convince the Jews as he found no basis for a charge against Jesus. But the Jewish leaders insisted that Jesus had broken their laws by claiming to be the Son of God. Pilate who did not know what to make of this case was even more afraid now and…

The Messiah – John 20

Often we are reduced to our basic understanding of who Christ is. We are not able to fathom the extent of His power when we experience His wondrous works in our lives. Some even try to rationalise His supernatural intervention using medical sciences, their good fortunes and even their wit that gave them a way out of their problems. Mary and the other women who witnessed the empty tomb would have often heard Jesus talk about this day, but when the day finally arrived they were puzzled.

The Epilogue – John 21

Peter and John were the two disciples who experienced Jesus’ trial up close and were also the first of the disciples to reach the tomb of Jesus only to find it empty. Perhaps this is why we are given a short epilogue at the end of John’s account to tie up the loose ends with…

The Bread and the Yeast – Mark 8

During His time in the gentle region, there was another large gathering which caused Jesus to have compassion over the people. Again due to the remoteness of the place, there was no way to feed everyone who had gathered. Jesus asked His disciples to gather up all the bread and fish that they could find…

Holiday Cleaning

We deep clean our homes usually before the holiday season because we want to keep our dwelling place cosy and comfortable. This type of deep cleaning can only be done by us than any hired help, as we know the usual hangout spots of dust bunnies and clutter in our homes. We are keen on…

The Institution of Marriage

From its very inception, the institution of Marriage was supposed to unite two individuals to serve God as one body. Over the years, mankind, especially the forefathers and other leaders have had a hand in corrupting this sacred union. Marriage became a means to bear offspring and not a way for its members to unite…

The Defiled Are Welcome – Mark 7

Jesus’ popularity had garnered so many admirers that the pharisees in Jerusalem simply could not ignore Him anymore. The scribes and the teachers of the law were sent to the region to keep a close watch on this new man of God that seemingly had the whole northern country of Galilee buzzing with excitement. They…

Flawless Word – Psalm 12

Can we say that our words are flawless? Flawless not with respect to our grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, or even correct usage but about what is in our hearts. Our mouth speaks what we have in our heart, and that is why Bible says that for a fool, it is better not to open his mouth,…

Restoration

In the Old Testament, we see many occasions of restorations such as restoration of hope, of families, and even of kingdoms. We need hope for restoring the things we have lost, especially hope in God. Once, David had lost his family and the families of his warriors, which resulted in hostility from his supporters. Even…

Prophet Without Honor – Mark 6

Having raised the daughter of a prominent synagogue leader, Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth and was given a chance to speak in His own synagogue. Those who had gathered were amazed at His teaching and were beginning to question His origins. Where had He learned everything? Isn’t he the son of the carpenter?…

The Restorer – Mark 5

After the ordeal that the disciples faced in the lake, Jesus brought them to the other side, to a place that they perhaps had never visited ever before in their lives. That day they were about to witness three completely different but equally astonishing miracles in the lives of ordinary people like them. Ordinary by…

Our Lord’s Prayer

When we learn our multiplication tables by heart during our formative years, we would recite them from start to end in order to arrive at the product of two numbers. In due course, we understood the concept of multiplication, and without reciting the entire table, were capable of solving the multiplication problem instantly. We all…

The Sermon on the Boat – Mark 4

After His confrontation with the Pharisees, Jesus once again went to the lakeside to reveal the secrets of heaven. He got into the boat and narrated a string of parables focusing on the word of God. There is even a practical application of His teachings as at the end of this sermon on the boat, Jesus asked His disciples to go out to the sea where they faced storms like they had never faced before and their faith in Jesus is tested.

The Case Against Jesus – Mark 3

When watching a nature documentary we realise that even though big cats like lions and tigers are ferocious killing machines, their hunts are usually covert operations. A tiger uses its skin pigmentation to hides among the tall grasses and patiently waits for its hunt. Watching a pack of deers enter its field of vision, would be a mouth-watering prospect for sure, but it still waits for the deer to be separated from its group. Only when the deer is alone perhaps drinking water with its back turned does the tiger pounces on its prey. For an animal who is starving for the flesh, it still knows how to pick the opportune moment. Similarly, satan who is desperate for our soul knows when to stay silent and when to attack. When we feel disconnected from God, satan takes advantage of our situation and tries to separate us from God. He does not have to do much but uses the compassion of our father to sow seeds of doubt in our minds. The same compassion that has sustained us for all our lives, he seeks to use against us. The Pharisees had Jesus cornered and had home-field advantage. All they had to do was just remain silent till Jesus showed His compassionate heart. Then they would pounce on him with a flurry of accusations that will sow seeds of doubts in the hearts of His followers, leaving Jesus vulnerable and be caught by them.

The God of Sinners – Mark 2

Faith can work wonders and bring us even the unexpected. The men had brought their friend to Jesus to make his life on earth easier but by forgiving his sins, Jesus made his eternity better. Jesus knows the heart and he knew what was in the paralyzed man’s heart. When someone around us gets blessed, we try to equate their past actions and try to justify their path to their blessing not knowing anything about their relationship with God. People would have written off the paralysed man as a sinner but Jesus forgave his sins as He looks at the heart. Do we realise that Jesus knows the ins and outs of our hearts, or is our spirit paralysed to not even feel the presence of the Creator in our lives?

Meeting Together

The past year has pushed everyone to experience a different lifestyle of working from home, leaving aside the hassles of getting ready on time and travelling a long way in traffic. Initially, people found it difficult because of their lifelong habit of coming to the office.

The Good News – Mark 1

Although the other Gospel writers, place the arrest of John the Baptist much later, Mark starts his account of Jesus’s ministry after John had been put in prison. On hearing about the arrest of John, Jesus proclaims to His followers that the time has come. The political leaders of Israel were cognizant of the role that the chief priests, Rabbis and even prophets played in keeping the peace. Throughout the Gospel, we read how the Pharisees wanted to prevent an uprising, the very reason they gave to put Jesus on the cross. But the imprisonment of John, a prominent prophet who had a lot of followers from the Judean countryside meant that the government officials were ready to capture and execute the previously protected group of the Jewish leaders. According to them Jesus also fell into that group and coupled with the fact that He was traveling with anarchists within His disciples, made it easier for them to execute Him. This would still happen a couple of years later but Jesus knowing all this told His disciples beforehand.

The Greatest Teacher

In 1994, UNESCO earmarked 5th October as World Teachers’ Day to garner attention on the profession and the welfare of those who have dedicated their lives to the teaching profession. The main motive of these celebrations is promoting the idea of “Education for All.” Similarly, every child of God is responsible for spreading the Good…

The Greatest Hits Gospel – Mark (Prologue)

While the accounts of Luke and Matthew tried to capture the early years of Jesus, Mark jumps starts his version from the start of Jesus’s ministry. Since Mark only knew what he heard in the sermons of Peter, Paul and the other apostles, his account seems like a fast-tracked version of Jesus’s ministry. His Gospel often does not match with the chronology followed by the other writers and focuses only on revealing the identity of Jesus as the Messiah and not so much on the minor details that are included in other accounts. Amidst the impending persecution of the Roman churches, Mark’s theme for the Gospel seems to be that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah who did not come to overturn the Roman government but to restore the bridge between humanity and God, by humble dying on the cross.

Never Settle

The modern world runs on the philosophy which states that we should never settle for anything less than what we deserve. That’s the motto of every tech company as well as what they higlight when launching their ‘new and improved’ version of the same device, hoping to make an impression on their potential consumers. In the corporate world, attaining a level of satisfaction is labelled as complacency.

Prayer for the Oppressed – Psalm 10

While we pray for our protection and blessings, we often forget to pray for the oppressed in our society. While we are ignorant of other’s sufferings, our suffering appears as a big mountain. We might be thinking that people who do not have any problem can only address the issues found in another’s life. For…

Thank You Lord – Psalm 9

Thanking each other is the best etiquette in our society, and it encourages a person to give their best. It is an act of showing the person who helped us that we have identified or realized their kindness.

Follow Me

Peter and Andrew left their nets and followed Jesus to fulfil the desire of His Father. However, these followers depended on what they saw and failed to visualize the unseen God, who had sent Jesus to this world.

The Glory of God – Psalm 8

Nature reveals the wondrous work of God, but unfortunately, we do not have the time to admire His creations. The wise of the earth are known for their inventions and their masterpieces, while the creator of heaven and earth is an unsung hero.

Our Refuge – Psalm 7

Taking refuge in God is a unique experience. In a worldly context, taking refuge is about staying in the refugee camps or a rehabilitation centre. People staying at a rehabilitation centre do not need to carry a shield, but the people at the battlefield need to have a shield.

Ananias and Sapphira – ‘Til Death…

In our day-to-day activities with our local church, do we compete with someone? Without understanding their commitment and relationship with God, do we ever force ourselves and our family members to imitate their attitudes? If we continue to do such things, we may face dire consequences like Ananias and Sapphira.

Do Not Rebuke Me – Psalm 6

We instinctively look for the approval of others but do not like their disapproval or corrections. Criticisms, though intended to be constructive, often discourages us and even pushes us to the extreme of withdrawing from our missions. Till the time we do not realize our mistakes, we won’t be ready for corrections.

Shelter to Shadow – Psalm 91

People live in vanity, and they want to show off things that they do not have and do not want to disclose the things they have. A poor person tries to present himself as a rich person, whereas a rich one does not care for such a presentation. A coward speaks much of his imaginary brave acts, while the brave keep quiet. A self-righteous person behaves like a righteous one, while the righteous do not reveal their spiritual standard. People build up false images and hide behind these lies to make a convent with death.

Do You Want to Be Redeemed?

At the pool of Bethesda, Jesus met an invalid man and asked if he wanted to be healed. A weird question to ask someone who had been patiently waiting for thirty-eight years to receive his healing. But Jesus’ words always have a purpose and putting it in the right context helps us understand its true meaning.

Listen to my Words – Psalm 5

The opening words of this Psalm highlights the confidence that David has in his relationship with God. To attract the attention of a person who is listening to many, we say “Listen to me.” Children use the technique of crying to attract their parent’s attention. The opening words of this Psalm also resemble the action of an adamant grown-up child persistently irritating his parent by repeatedly asking them to grant permission.

Parables and Paraphrases

The creations reveal the existence of the Creator and the way they function projects the knowledge of the sovereign God. Somehow, many do not reach out to this ultimate truth, but they restrict themselves from this understanding by focusing only on the creations.

Saul’s Haste – 1 Samuel 13

The Philistines had all their soldiers and chariots, “numerous as the sands of the seashore”, and the Israelites were running scared and running out of places to hide. Somehow Saul managed to muster up his troops who were still quaking in fear. He patiently waited seven days for Samuel to arrive and perform his priestly obligations, but after waiting for so long in fear, he finally gave up on waiting for Samuel and performed the offertory ceremony himself. I’ve often asked myself, why was Samuel late and why does Saul after having waited for seven days couldn’t wait a few more hours for Samuel to arrive?

Answer Me When I Call – Psalm 4

In today’s context, this Psalm reminds me of a telephonic conversation with our friends and relatives. After changing our phone numbers, many would not recognize us, as the number does not appear on their phone-book.

A King is Crowned – 1 Samuel 11&12

In his farewell speech Samuel recounted all the good that God had done for His people and how they had always reciprocated His grace on them with betrayal at every corner. He warned them not to test the anger of the Lord and reminded them of all the destruction that came upon them when they walked away from God and held on to their precious idols.

The Hunt for a King – 1 Samuel 9-10

Israel’s desire to be like other nations led them to reject God and have a mortal human ascend the throne. Samuel was handed the task of finding Israel a new king, one that would lead them to battles. Among the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin was one of the smallest with a history of seditious revolt against the other eleven tribes. However, God’s ways are unfathomable to us, as no one would have expected the first king of Israel to come from the tribe of Benjamin.

Israel Rejects God – 1 Samuel 6-8

The Israelites put away all their gods and gave their loyalty to Yahweh, but a plot to overthrow their eternal king was soon to enter their minds.

Deliver me, my God! – Psalm 3

In the Bible we see people like Cain, Jacob and Martha getting diverted by their family members. People who are close to our heart can hurt us more than strangers. We won’t remember the abusive language used against us in yesterday’s traffic jam but we won’t be able to forget a simple statement given against us by our kith. Satan knows how to use the people around us to dishearten us.

Led By The Spirit

As soon as Jesus was baptized, the Spirit of God led him to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The primary temptations are that the devil wants us to prove to him that we are the children of God. This precious relationship is personal between us and our God. Repeatedly. the devil asked Jesus to prove his relationship with His Father, but Jesus firmly denied to prove it to the devil.

Eli Rejected, Samuel Accepted – 1 Samuel 2-3

Eli was a Levite from the priestly clan of Israel and was used by God to lead Israel for forty years. But along the way something happened in his life that He had started taking the Lord for granted and not payed heed to His warnings.

Humble Beginnings – 1 Samuel 1

For all the accounts of great wars and conquests recorded in the book of Samuel, it still starts with the story of humble beginnings from a lowly town in the hill country of Ephraim.

Kiss the Son – Psalm 2

The Psalmist asks the offenders to take refuge in God and says that if the rulers of the earth will turn faithful to the incredible love of God, then righteousness will come upon them from heaven.

The Wicked And The Righteous – Psalms 1

Our society has both wicked and righteous people. Both of them share the same arena to earn their livelihood. The wicked will always be with us in the form of our neighbours, colleagues, friends and relatives who distort us from fulfilling the purpose of God in our lives.

The True Empathizer

God teaches us to show sympathy towards others, and sometimes He allows us to go through pain to understand other’s pain so that we may sympathetically pray for their remedy. At the same time, we should expect God to show His compassion to us rather than expecting pity from others.

The True Meaning of Christmas

Christ came to save us from our own sins but did not come to start a religion to help us save ourselves. The world around us has done its best to try and subvert the true meaning of Christmas from us.

Christmas Celebrations

While there are different opinions about the time of the birth of Jesus, we should also know the origins of Christmas. When people gathered in great numbers to celebrate the birth of Jesus, this was named Christmas during the late twelfth century, with its literal meaning being Christ’s Mass. With the coining of the name Christmas, the noble theme of God’s love has been distorted with some fictional characters of fantasies.

Bless And Be Blessed

Amidst criticism, Prosperity Gospel still survives because there are people who need that kind of gospel. All of us love to be blessed, and we speculate and await our turn. Various schemes are devised to derive blessings, such as blessings through prayers, blessings through partnership or membership, blessings through donations or offerings, and blessings through anointed oil, handkerchiefs and servants of God.

Peter – The Fisher of Men

The Bible portrays Peter, James, and John as the close associates of Jesus. Out of these three disciples, Peter’s inconsistent spiritual growth is a source of encouragement for all of us, as we are also inconsistent in our spiritual walks but the spiritual journey of Peter started when he was only an illiterate fisherman.

The Cross Made Lighter

The purpose for our lives is to worship God with all our mind, soul and body at all times. Worship means submitting our freedom in God’s hand by using the freedom that Jesus gave us. In order to move forward in the tasks assigned to us by God, we should have a clear mind to discern the things that discourage us. We often fail to remove the beam from our own eyes but continue to peck at our neighbour’s eyes in search of specks and injure them in the process.

Perseverance

Perseverance Or Forbearance Many a time the meaning of the word “perseverance” is misunderstood for forbearance and tolerance. People also have a wrong notion of bearing with wickedness and treachery of our fellow believers as perseverance. Tolerating friends who continue to betray our trust and us being aware of it can hinder us from coming…

The Absolute & Incontestable Truth

People are in search of God in their own way, and many have lost their hope in this pursuit. Moreover, when the path is not known, it kindles anger and frustration creating chaos, like our trips we used to take back when GPS was not readily available on our phones.

Faith That Draws

Is your faith fetching people to Jesus or is it rather driving them away from Him? Are you discouraged by the spiritual trait of some people? Here is an encouraging truth from the Bible, come near to Jesus and don’t see the crowd around Him.

Lay Your Burdens Down

Holding On A shrewd person once withdrew a large sum of cash from his bank and carried it in a dirty old bag in a crowded train. While everyone else placed their luggage on the shelf above, this person was standing amidst the crowd, tightly holding his bag with one hand and holding the roof…

Grace Makes our Hurdles Lighter

The grace of our Lord makes all our hurdles lighter so that we can push them away and move forward with the task that God has assigned us.

God Creates New Things

The nature acquaints us with the creative power of God, and when we keenly observe those creations, we will understand the immeasurable power of God that pursues us to believe in His existence. In our present day scenario, because of the upcoming technologies, the current generation is unable to reach God even while utilizing all…

Nehemiah – The Impulsive Man

Nehemiah led with his heart rather than listening to the voice of God and always expected God to reward him for the sacrifice he was making in trying to rebuild Jerusalem, both physically and spiritually.

Love Made Complete

The saying, “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are” is true and practical, because friendship builds on a common goal. When our thoughts are the same, our attitude will also be in line with each other.

The Grass is Never Greener

It is obvious that even evil doers are flourishing every day on this earth and that might sprout up hundreds of doubts in our mind.

Relentless

Sometimes in our lives, we face problems after problems, like waves of the sea, leaving us to stumble.

Our Freedom in Christ

Are we misusing our freedom, forgetting who gave us that freedom. Remember that our freedom is in Christ and not on the things of this world. Let us not continue to misuse our freedom and come to Him with anxious hearts to experience our Father’s love.

God’s Purpose Will Be Fulfilled

We do not get to choose our parents neither can we opt for any colour, race or religion, yet we were born of our Father’s will. The only thing that is guaranteed is that God will accomplish His Purpose in our lives.

A New Life

I remember the days of 8-bit games when having only three lives in a game was the norm. There were no cloud syncs and no chance for any do-overs. We had to play a game from start to finish in one sitting. Nowadays we can restart our campaign from the exact point where we left-off…

Good And Evil

A common perception of people about evil is that it is a force against God’s will to do good. It may be a force against man’s will to perform good things but not for God. Because no power in heaven and earth is greater than that of God’s (1 John 4:4) as He is the creator of both good and evil.

Bridging the Social Gaps

In the entire history of civilization, the importance of removing the social disparities that have widened due to status, colour and race are strongly felt. Human rights are being valued highly and people have become conscious about equality. However, all these endeavours have failed in removing the social disparities and the differences have become wider, resulting in endless debates and social unrest.

The Secret of Healing

We see many miracles happening. But sometimes when it comes to our personal needs we are unable to experience the blessings that we have seen in the life of others. Most of the time we strive hard to experience it but in the process we lose our hope and often even leads to frustration.

Repentance and Forgiveness

We are constantly discouraged by satan, when he reminds us of our sins and makes us feel guilty. He will try to end our lives before we get rid of our guilt. He often deceives us by telling that we are not worthy of asking God forgiveness and motivates us to sin while at the same time, he appears before God and accuses us day and night.

Rise Again

One of the reason for our spiritual immaturity is that we are consider our body to be worth more than our soul. Often we do not realize that we do have a soul. We fear people who can only harm our body or hurt our emotions and do not fear God who has redeemed our soul from eternal death.

The Stage is Ours

While we are striving hard, not to conform to the pattern of this world, do we conform to the Word of God or do we struggle to not desire the things of this world?

An Undesired Journey Towards Idealism

No doubt that these liturgies contain meaningful statements while the hymns are someone’s inspiration and experience. The question here is not about the spiritual richness of the liturgies and hymns but how it is being sung by the believers.

Will we Recognize His Voice?

We may recall the Government officials hiring Judas Iscariot to identify the Messiah, as they were unable to recognize Jesus on their own, as they did not have the Spirit of God. Whereas the ten lepers who were staying away from their village, were able to recognize Jesus in a remote place.

Genesis 41 – A New Robe

This earth will only be able to give us robes (Honor) made by human hands but God wants to give us a New Robe. He wants to replace our worn out prison clothes with His heavenly robe and His seal of approval.

Where Two or Three Gather – Matthew 18:20

While reading this verse in isolation, some understand this verse as the presence of God is possibly drawn only if two or more people gather in a place. With this misconception, people use this verse to invite God’s presence while they come together. The whole endeavor for coming together in His presence may go in vain as it exposes the lack of knowledge of the word of God in them.

Genesis 40 – Remember Me

Often times we want humans to remember us. We seek the favor of our fellowmen and women and long for their affection, especially during our present state. But the one who is within us, who is constantly seeking us, who always remembers us and has carved us in the palm of his hands, we treat indifferently or maybe take Him for granted.

Genesis 39 – It’s Joseph’s Cloak Again

Once again Joseph’s cloak became an integral part of someone’s lie and Potiphar was fooled by his wife. Joseph was sent to prison but the Lord’s hand was still with him as the change in scenery did not stop Joseph from rising among the ranks even when he was in the prison.

God is in Control

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.

God Sent His Son

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….

Why Should We Pray

Prayer is the breath of every Christian, but how many Christians are actually praying.

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.

 The Leap of Faith

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.

The Sacrifice of Christ

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?

Vengeance

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 …

Your Sorrows Will Turn Into Joy

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.

The Word Became Flesh

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

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.

Faith an Integral Part of Our Life

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.

Ask And You Shall Recieve

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…

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’.

Seeing the Unseen

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.

Overcome Evil With Good

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 Christmas Message

Joseph and Mary were the first people to receive the message of Christmas. When it was told both of them were not in a state of understanding neither the depth of its truth nor about the fulfillment of Isaiah’s Prophecy. But both decided to be quite till the time they understood the truth behind the message.