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 see many miracles happening. But sometimes when it comes to our personal needs we are unable to experience the blessing 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.
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.
“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” John 5:6 Are you suffering from chronic disease? Or are you suffering from prolonged dispute? Or are you unable to come out of your lifetime sins? The greatest assurance…
Give a thought to do what is honourable in the sight of all. This is not about pleasing people but about acquiring peace amidst backstabbing people. God does not want us to compromise with truth to have a cordial relation with fellow men.
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?
Faith comes from Jesus, the author of it. It helps the mankind to obtain salvation. Whatever was foretold about Jesus Christ has been fulfilled by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection on the third day. If one believes this, as a child the faith increases. This pleases God. Paul reminds this in his…
This verse from the book of Proverbs reflects God’s gift of “Free Will” to mankind. Our journey with Jesus starts with a simple confession that Jesus Christ died for our transgressions as our substitute. Paul writes to the Romans that this opportunity lies very near to each individual in their heart and mouth (Rom 10:8)….
In our daily routine we constantly face the challenge of standing up to evil and evil doers. The psalmist brings out our helpless condition in his prayer – “Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted!” (Ps 140:8). Jesus taught us a different prayer…
“We live and die; Christ died and lived!” ~ John Stott Every year we are reminded to look at Easter not as an occasion for chocolate eggs or to buy new clothes but remember what Easter is all about. But let us try to picture what it would be like not to have an Easter at all….
In the cool of the day two men from Emmaus were returning from Jerusalem. They had a seven mile journey ahead of them and plenty to talk about. Unrest was at an all-time high amongst the believers. Rumors were being spread, seeds of doubt and confusion were sprouting and fear of the unknown was overwhelming…
Rivalry among brothers is quite common even in the Bible. Brotherly rivalries such as Joseph and his brothers, Jacob and Esau, Solomon and Adonijah and so on, all in some way related to their inheritance share. In the parable of the Prodigal son Jesus illustrates a similar rivalry so that…
Main Reading – (Mark 8:22-26) Some people brought a blind man to Jesus believing that He can give him sight. The first thing Jesus did was, ‘He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village’ – a place where he had spent his life. This doesn’t mean that He could not perform…
Quite often we are unable to understand God’s plans. Chronic diseases, fatal accidents, sudden demise of our dear ones and financial crisis keep us in dark from understanding His ways. When we do not understand His ways. Fear hovers over our lives, sorrow fills our hearts and peace eludes us. This shows that our strength is small.
According to the book of Genesis Adam was created by God out of the soil of the earth and He breathed into his nostrils. Adam became a living person. God created the world and all that is in it by His word and when He found everything was good He created man giving him all…
This verse directs us to seek God for obtaining good things adequately. We seek God for various reasons. Among the many who seek God there are two sect of people who seek God. One sect comprises of those who have received blessings in some form be it good education, a lucrative job offer, family, house or…
Temptation and being tempted is something we human’s face in our day to day life. But God will not put us in a state where the temptation will become overbearing. Paul in his letter to the Church in Corinth says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and…
Isaiah (5:1-7) Depicts a picture of a vineyard in a fertile hillside, without stones, with choicest vines, watch tower and a winepress, to reflect God’s provision and care for nation. Failure of nation to live up to His expectations was brought out in this portion. In spite of all the provisions the people of God…
The Psalmist says in psalms 32 that “Blessed are the forgiven”. This he had written with his own personal experience. Christian life is a personal experience of God‘s mercy and love. He had differentiated his sinful unconfessed life with one of confessed and forgiven life. What a relief he had experienced.
History tells us the past; our life explores the present and we analytically forecast future basing the past and the present. But beyond this one more is there, that is, things which are not existing at all. But Bible says our Lord calls the things that are not, as though they were. Our God is the Creator. Other than God no one is Creator. All others can only invent. `Necessity is the mother of Invention’. Whenever man realised a need, he explored with the existing things as base, and came with an Invention.
Main Reading: Psalm 73. It is obvious that evil doers are flourishing day by day in this world. On this, we may have hundreds of questions in our mind. We can see this elaborately in Psalm 73. It is quite common to compare the increase of wealth of evil doers with righteous people. Many confront or…
Main Reading Acts: 3: 1-11 Peter and John were on their way to the temple. And a certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was carried and laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;. At this stage the deed…
It was a typical day in the life of Peter and John as they went up to the temple to offer prayers. At the gates of the temple a crippled beggar asked for alms from them. “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” As soon Peter spoke these words the beggar jumped to his feet and walked. Now the onlookers were amazed at what they saw as they had seen the crippled beggar every day. Seeing their amazement Peter wasted no time in telling them about The Good News.
Main Reading – Mark 12: 42-44 The reading talks about a poor widow and her humble offering of two small coins contrasting it with the rich lot boasting and casting much more into the treasury. It was a very small amount what the widow had offered but Jesus was satisfied with that because she gave that out…