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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On the first Easter morn, the disciples were all terrified as they were hearing mixed news about their leader whom the Roman officials had killed just a couple of days ago. A narrative unique to the gospel of Luke, lets us know about two followers of Christ who were traveling back to the nearby town…
Jesus entered the holy places carrying His blood to secure our eternal redemption. The blood of Jesus shed on the cross sanctifies our conscience from dead works so that we may serve the Living Lord forever and ever as our eternal redemption is secured.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just as the women were hurrying from the tomb filled with mixed emotions of fear and joy, they came face to face with the one they were looking for. Jesus Himself was standing in front of them and they fell at His feet and began to worship Him.
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 chief priest and the elders started making plans to have Jesus executed. They bound Him and handed him over to the Roman governor Pilate, as executions were under Roman jurisdiction.
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?
We are certainly all-in when we can see Jesus working miracles in our lives. But our faith gets shaken when we cannot see His works and start doubting even the existence of God. If our faith is based on the works of God in our lives then we will not go far with Him but like a drug addict keep coming back to Him only when we run out of money/blessings. Peter was still immature and did not understand what his response should be when Jesus foretold his denial.
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 chief priests and the elders were assembling in the palace of the high priest, Caiaphas, and were trying to figure out the best way to dispose of Jesus. They were looking for a way to secretly kill Jesus without riling up His followers. When they were perplexed and could not find a way to dispose of with the Jesus problem, satan presented them with an opportunity that they quickly grabbed on to.
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.
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.
For many of us have been given lamps but only few are wise enough to carry the extra oil that is needed to keep our flame alive.
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.
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.
As the fig tree can let us know if summer is nigh, similarly the signs of the end of days would let us know that Christ’s coming is near.
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.
After stumping the Pharisees with His question, Jesus proceeded to call them out on all their wrongdoings.
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.
Let us learn from the bitter experience of Paul and his fellowship with the Corinthians that we should not depend on human beings for love and compassion but on God for His grace and mercy.
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.
Jesus came with the purpose of introducing or reintroducing God to everyone, those who loved Him and even those who hated Him. The questioning session that the Pharisees and the Sadducees had been using to unmask Jesus before His followers, turned into Jesus revealing the identity as the Messiah.
Depending on our fellow believers will only get us so far and might even lead us away from God. The only way to defeat death is to depend on the heavenly man and follow His path.
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.
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.
Jesus came down to extend the invitation of His Father’s banquet to everyone as Israel had rejected and rebelled against God by prostituting themselves to the pagan cultures that surrounded them.
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 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.
The fallout from the temple clearing incident perhaps did not sit well with the chief priests and the elders as surely that would have opened the eyes of the people to the corruption that had infiltrated the walls of the temple.
The conversation between the other John and the Jewish leaders where he denied comparisons to three of the most famous Old Testament figures.
Kings would usually come back from wars to triumphant welcome by their countrymen. These lavish parades would have the valuables plundered in their latest victory along with the procession of the prisoners of the war who were going to be humiliated and tortured by the locals. The kings would always choose a warhorse or a prized camel, to make their grand entrance back to their palace rather than riding on a colt and that too of a donkey.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Based on our positions, we rank ourselves highly and feel proud of ourselves. When a problem occurs, irrespective of its severity, we always look at it as a gigantic figure. Our pride locks us within a small world, and we do not understand that the problems are everywhere and with everyone.
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 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.
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…
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.
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.
The first recorded Martyr to die for the Jesus movement.
Sometimes in our lives, we face problems after problems, like waves of the sea, leaving us to stumble.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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 events of that Famous Easter day and the confusion and disbelief that followed.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
By sending His Son into this world, God has shown His unconditional love towards us. It is difficult for mankind to understand God’s love, as the world looks at love in an entirely different perspective.
Hope is an optimistic attitude of expecting something good to happen in our future. When such expected things don’t happen, it sometimes causes agony and depression in some of our lives.
In the present Pandemic situation, people frequently ask “Why is God punishing this world?” Some people think that the wrath of God is upon the earth and some take this as a sign for the second coming of Jesus as a Judge.
Fifteen years after the work on the temple had been halted due to numerous oppositions that the exiles faced, God sent his word to the people of Israel. First through the prophet Haggai (Haggai 1) and then two months later through the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 1), God spoke to the people commanding them to restart the work on the temple.
While the returning exiles continued work on the temple, the natives took notice of their new neighbors’ plans and offered help to Zerubbabel and Co.
Who does not want joy in this world? Irrespective of their faith, people will take a chance to grab any joy offered in this manner.
According to this world, victory and prosperity are dovetailed notions. Whereas, for the followers of Christ, victory and prosperity do not conform to each other. Not being able to discern the difference between victory and prosperity, leads many believers to become prey to the concept of suffering and end up losing their victorious life.
When we reconcile with our brethren, we receive a temporary peace, our peace of mind. But what Jesus offers us is much more. It is the ultimate peace in our hearts, knowing that our broken relationship with The Father has been fixed by His death on the cross.
Jesus uses the temple tax as an example, just like he used the fig tree and little children, to teach his disciples important lessons.
Just as the kings of the earth do not tax their own children but only their subjects, Jesus’ followers should not have to pay a religious tax to their heavenly King and Father.
The present freedom is a provision of grace that has to be received by faith. This freedom is available exclusively when people realise the gravity of their situation when they were slaves to sin, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in penitence and self examination. Self righteousness does not allow people to cherish this freedom in fullness.
Jesus continues his teaching on the mountain. In this chapter He focuses on five topics.
Jesus goes on to say that what is the point of loving only those whom we like and that even the pagans do that. We have seen the love of God, the unconditional love that God has shown us.
Soon after Jesus was baptized, he was led by the Spirit to the wilderness where he spent forty days and nights fasting.
Whenever we are in a difficult situation financially, the first place we look to cut back is our offerings. And when we are in a difficult situation emotionally, the first place we look to cut back is our fellowship with God.
Thomas was with Jesus for more than three years, he had seen all the miracles that Jesus had performed, how He raised the dead and would have been present for his countless teachings but still Thomas was unable to grasp the supernatural aspect of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Today we are looking at chapters 13 & 14 and in particular the relationship between Abram and Lot. We know very little about Lot up to this point. We know he accompanied Abram to Egypt and came back but apart from that the author of genesis has not revealed anything about Lot. Lot did not have a father and Abram did not have a son so it’s safe to say that Lot saw Abram as a father figure given that he also left his hometown to follow Abram. And Abram would have seen lot as his son and his presumed heir.
“Just imagine if you had been with Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane?” This question like a sales pitch for a travel agent’s call for a pilgrimage tour. While Peter, James and John, failed to cope with their master’s mission, Jesus is expecting a different response from us. On that fateful night, nothing was clear regarding His redemption plan but now everything has come to light. But now that we know better are we still finding it hard to stay awake?
The tax collectors and sinners and others who were shunned by the temple, were gathering around Jesus to hear his words. This bothered the Pharisees as they were the ones who had made them an outcast. Jesus heard their grumblings and proceeded with three parables of finding something that was lost. The Parable of the…
Many TV Evangelists preach, what can only be described as the Gospel of Fear. They survey the current events from all over the globe and interpret them to their audience as punishment from God. Similarly the Jews thought themselves as righteous and labelled the Galileans who died at the hands of Pilate as sinners deserving death.
It takes no time for Yeast to quickly make its way through the dough and in the same way, hypocrisy penetrates our fellowships if we let it. The Pharisees were masters of hypocrisies with a set of rules for them and a different set of rules for their followers. Perhaps this is why Luke devotes half of the chapter recording Jesus’ warnings regarding the pharisees.
The last book of the Old Testament ends with letting the people of Israel know, that before the coming of our Lord, there will be another prophet like Elijah who will warn the nation to turn from their evil ways….
The inglorious Birth of the Glorious One.
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.
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.
Mentioned only in the Gospel according to John, Jesus’ late night meeting with Nicodemus gave us the most influential verse and the summary of the entire Gospel in John 3:16.
The start of the Missionary journeys to spread the Gospel to all the Gentiles.
The Encounter that led Saul to the Jesus way.
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 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…
This song tells a timeless story — it helps us remember it anew and reflect on it in a different way. It’s the story of the Cross, of His resurrection, of the greatest love story in history. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This song is a story of the Cross, a story of love, and of rebirth. Anástasis, Jesus’ resurrection that leads us to respond to His great love for us! – Hillsong Worship
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.
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.
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.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth – Philippians 2:9-11
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.
“You Make Me Brave”., written and performed by songwriter, Amanda Cook, this compelling song carries passion, boldness, and a tangible anointing for connecting worshipers to the loving heart of Father God. From this intimate connection is where we are strengthened, encouraged, and filled with confidence to bravely influence the world around us. – Worshipu
As Jesus was entering Capernaum, a Centurion approached Him asking for his servant’s healing….
“The initial melody and lyric of this song came from my guitar player, Daniel Carson. He is constantly writing and recording ideas, and from time to time I wander over to his world and listen. Among several demos, was this melody and lyric idea for a chorus that jumped out at me. At the same time, I was looking to use the name ‘Messiah’ in a song. The two ideas seemed to fit perfectly. Messiah is such a strong name for Jesus. For when you use that name, you are truly saying that He is the name above all names–that He is the Christ, the Son of God, the Chosen One, the Savior of the world. That’s why you will notice that every lyric in this song amplifies this idea of Jesus being the Messiah.” – Chris Tomlin
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 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.
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?”
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 …
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 …
…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.
Are you suffering from chronic disease? Or are you suffering from a prolonged dispute? Or are you unable to come out of your lifetime sins? The greatest assurance is that Jesus knows your problems! The one who knows your problems is greater than your problems. The soothing promise is that we have our Jesus who really cares for us.
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.
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…
One morning on the national news, there was a story about a young African-American police officer whose associates at the department met him one morning on duty dressed in the hooded garb of the Ku Klux Klan. Even women on the office staff and other department employees joined to taunt and frighten him. The prank went on a long time before they told him it was a joke and had him pose for pictures with them all in their costumes of discrimination….
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.
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….
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? …
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?