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Prayer (Part 2)

In this second post on Prayer, I want to shift our attention towards the Prayer of Hannah. Most of us, know how the story goes but for those who are not familiar with the story of Hannah I will try to narrate it briefly. If you are familiar with the story please move on to the next Paragraph. In First Samuel Chapter 1, we see a man named Elkanah who had two wives Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had children but Hannah was barren. This was a cause for great concern and worry for Hannah. Moreover, she was always ridiculed and irritated by Peninnah. In the eyes of the World Hannah was fruitless,useless and good for nothing, but not in the eyes of her Heavenly Father and her loving husband. But the kind words of her husband was not enough to console her, it only made more desperate to have a child. The Bible says Elkanah would take his two wives and children to Shiloh every year to offer sacrifice. When they were in the Temple Peninnah used to irritate Hannah until she wept and refused to eat. On one such occasion Hannah decided it was time to pray and receive what God wanted her to have. She stood up and prayed to God her only source of help. She also made a vow that she would offer her son for the needs of the Temple if she was given a son.

The Story of Hannah is a wonderful story which teaches us an awful lot about Prayer and how it works. Today morning, I wondered what really made God move to answer this humble woman's prayer. Then, God revealed to me these three points which I would love to share with you today.

  • Seek Help from God and Nowhere else - When Eli mistook her for a drunkard she did not retaliate with harsh words even though she was irritated and discouraged. Better than that, she did not tell him all her needs and why she was praying. All that she said was. " I am a woman who is deeply troubled". Hannah said that much because that's all Eli needed to know. If it was me in Hannah's place I would have told Eli all that I wanted and would have asked him to pray with me. No, there is no need for that if you are praying for your personal need its enough for you to pray. Only then will God be able to Honor your faith. If you ask for prayer from others, there is a chance that your prayer partner may not have the same Faith as you. Think about it.
  • Her face was no longer downcast - Read this: "1 Samuel 1:18 - May your servant find favor in your eyes. Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast." Oh, I feel like standing up and applauding this young woman's faith. How I wish I had that much Faith. See, God cares about what you say, what you do after you pray more than he cares about what you do or say when you pray. In my last post on prayer, I made it clear that God knows what you are going to ask for even before you ask for it. The problem with most Christians today is that they worry, pray and then worry again. Is that not foolishness of the highest order. Let us all learn a lesson from Hannah today. From today onwards let us pray and be happy even if we do not see any instantaneous results.
  • The Vow - The third point that I want to make is also the most important point. Here, we see Hannah making a vow before God . We modern Christians seldom do so. All we do is pray and receive. As a child, I always wanted to have a soccer ball, I pestered my Dad until I got it. When he finally bought it for me he told me that the ball should in no way affect my studies. When I think about it, he always made me promise that I would not get addicted to the toys he bought me. God is looking for a vow from you. A vow which you should keep. Next time you pray about something make a vow to God stating how you will use the answer to your prayer to glorify His name. Do not forget your vow when your need is fulfilled. Enjoy the results.


The Kingdom of God

I ts funny How the Lord can lead you some days. Today Morning I sat down to learn more about Prayer, but I ended up learning about The Kingdom of God. For Some time now, I have been learning about a lot of virtues I want to have and keep in my life in the coming year. I went through Humility, Faith, Prayer and now finally Seeking the Kingdom of God. My New Year's resolution is to be a man of Prayer,faith and desire for God. So, lets jump into today's topic without beating around the bush.


Seek his Kingdom and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid,little flock for your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For whee your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- Luke 12:31-34


Now to know the context of every verse is crucial, so let us do a little background check. Jesus was talking about the futility of worrying in the preceding verses and ends up with the promise that whoever seeks the Kingdom of God will given all these things. The words "these things" refers to food, clothes etc. It seems like we have no need to worry about our existence if we are seeking the Kingdom of God. Now, what exactly is this Kingdom of God. In Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus describes the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven through 5 parables. Some of these parables deal with the end of the age (which is when the kingdom of God will be established). But, the others like the Parable of the mustard seed, Yeast and the hidden treasure of the pearl teach us the value of the Kingdom of God. Even after going through all these verses, I was not able to clearly define the Kingdom of God. Does it mean heaven or is there something more to it. Let's have a look at Luke 17:20-22.

Once having been asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come Jesus replied, "The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation nor will people say, Here it is or there it is because the Kingdom of God is within you.

So, when Jesus said, "Seek the Kingdom of God" he meant to live so as to enter heaven and to store up treasures in Heaven and not on Earth. For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. A rich man will have many treasures on Earth and therefore there is a big chance that his eyes and his heart will be set on his earthly possessions. This is why Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God."If you are hard pressed for money this holiday season, do not pray for surplus money but seek the Kingdom of God and then God will fulfill His Promise and give you all the things that you need. (I did not say, all that you want).

Coming Up

I n the coming days we will be looking at Prayer again in the upcoming post Prayer (Part 2). Then, we will be moving on into end time studies by focusing mainly on the Life and book of Daniel. I am having a great time in my life even though some things are yet unclear about my future. But, as I turn back and look at my life I have had many experiences and through all the bad ones God has shown me the way out. Please continue praying for me as we move on into a new year. I want to live a life that God will be happy of, and I know that time is not on my side.. Brothers and Sisters the end is nearer than ever before, let us show Haste and urgency in getting God's work done. Keep praying for all the missionary works in different areas of the World especially for countries like India where the Christians are being persecuted. Let us also pray for World Peace, but we should bear in mind that what God said will take place should take place. Let us remember the Words of the Lord that we should not be alarmed when we hear of wars and rumors of wars. In the coming year, I pray that all of us Christians in the Blog world and outside, grow closer to God and be filled in the Holy Spirit for in the last days He will pour out his Spirit on "all" flesh. God be with you all..

Prayer (Part 1)

B efore we go deeper into the topic of Prayer, it is critical to know and understand what Jesus taught about Prayer. In Matt 5:5-14, Jesus talks about how to pray. He stresses on 3 important points of Prayer.

  • Do not Pray to show others, or to make yourself look religious.Do not even tell others when and how much you Pray. It is yours and the Father's business alone. This instruction comes with a promise, That the Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you in public.
  • Prayer does not depend on the number of words we use or the quality of the words we use. The Father knows before we ask, but he wants to give it to us only after we spend time in His presence. Sometimes, prayer can be a sigh, sometimes it can last for 2 hours. Prayer should always be led by the Spirit. Do not be in a rush when you pray, take your time and relax in God's presence. Now, for a closer look at the Lord's Prayer.
  • Note How the prayer begins - It begins with worship and blessing the Father in heaven. Many of us start praying by just rushing into our needs. That is not advisable. Then, Jesus prays that our will be joined into God's will and that God's will be done. The third part is asking God to provide for us everything we need for the day. This part of the Lord's prayer is clear evidence that God wants us to pray daily. This is where we need to ask God for our needs and believe that it is already done. Then, we should end the prayer by asking forgiveness for all our sins, but note how Jesus puts it into words.
"Forgive us our debts (sins, shortcomings) as we also have forgiven our debtors".
This implies that we can ask for forgiveness only after we forgive everyone for everything. The point is before we start praying we need to ask ourselves if all our relationships are in a good state. If it is not in a good state, we need to make amends before we pray. Same thing happens when you worship, if you have not forgiven someone, or not made amends in a broken relationship God will not accept your worship. So, whether we forgive or not decides whether or not God will accept our worship and whether or not God will accept our worship and whether or not he will forgive us our sins.

Ask yourself if you forgive others when they harm you, or are you quick to condemn them. This might be what is blocking your miracle.

Faith

"N
ow Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" - Hebrews 11:1. This gem of a verse is by far the best definition of Faith I have heard before. It is so simple, yet the verse needs a lot of reflection to perfect our understanding of our faith. It says that faith is not mere hope, nor is it any false hope, but it is the act of being sure that through God what we hope will be ours. Yesterday night as I was reading the word of God to prepare for this post, God told me that trying to explain Faith completely is an impossible task. Therefore, I am not trying to explain faith completely... Faith can only be explained to ourselves by us. We can only understand the concept of Faith by using it in our daily lives. This is the reason why even Paul tried to explain what Faith is by referring to a large number of Saints. Note that each saint of God, did different things with Faith. Here are some truths about Faith that we as believers should always keep in our hearts:

  1. Faith is a requisite to please God. Without Faith no one can please God.
  2. Faith is the opposite of fear. Whoever has faith will fear nothing.
  3. Faith can be exercised daily in our lives. Just as muscles grow in our body according to how much we use it, Faith also grows within us. If we decide to be worried about every other thing in this world it will harm our faith but as we make a conscious effort to trust in God, our situations will change for the better and our faith will be increased.
  4. Is believing and faith the same thing?. The answer is definitely "No". As a child I used to think that it was easier for the children of Israel to believe and trust in God than it is for me because they saw the splendor of God. The case of the Israelite is evidence that believing and faith is not the same thing. They believed that God existed, they acknowledged what He did for them in the past, but when it came to being hopeful of the future they failed miserably. Remember, Faith is about the future, not the past.
  5. We are justified by how much Faith we have.
  6. Faith is trusting the promise of God even when everything is not perfect.
  7. Faith is not a gift, it is a duty..Long time ago, I used to think that some people are blessed with faith. That is not the case, we are the ones who decide how much faith we have. It is our duty to trust in God.
  8. Lack of Faith hurts God. Have you ever heard someone else say to you, " You do not trust me do You". Have you looked carefully into the eyes of a person who says so, all I can see there is hurt. God gets hurt when we do not trust in Him, just like a husband will get hurt if his wife does not trust in him.
  9. Faith is the key that opens the lock to God's blessings.
  10. Faith and works work hand in hand. (James 2:19).
I want you to see this video so that you can understand what faith is... watch how the little girl holds her Dad's hands when she is afraid. Now, that is Faith.


Humility is the Key



Have you ever wondered what kind of character pleases God the most, I Have.. Is it the most energetic person, the most intelligent person, the most talkative person, the orator, the artist. Well, I have great joy to tell you that it is none of these, because I am none of the above. God delights in the Humble person a lot more than he does in the proud talented person. I am not saying that he hates talent, I am saying that he hates the proud and loves the Humble. If we would stop running after things that try to project us as something that we are not and focus on being humble in His sight, He would raise us up in due time. Every one of us in this world wants to be significant, everyone wants power but as Christians its high time we decide to follow Christ's humble way of self denial. I have not heard a single sermon about Humility and how to practice it, but I have heard scores of messages about seed faith. Are we ignoring those so called "little things" for the "big things". Humility is not a little thing, It is a big thing in the eyes of God. It is the escalator to success for many people. For it is God's promise that He will raise up the Humble that wait on Him.

Time to dig deeper into the issue of Humility. First of all, I would like to say that we can act Humble in many occasions and not be really humble at heart. There are many people I know who are very humble and decent when they are in public but stupid and tyrannic when they are behind closed doors. Note that this is not the humility we are dealing with here. The true Humility that moves God has many characteristics out of which these are the main ones:

  • Humility is fearing God
  • Humility is agreeing to be led by God
  • A Humble person recognizes and acknowledges his/her weaknesses
  • Humble people consider others better than themselves
  • Humble people are obedient people (ready to do whatever is good)

Are you obedient, do you fear God ( Fear does not mean fear as in fearing a dictator, it means awe and respect) Do you recognize and acknowledge your weaknesses, do you consider others better (This is not inferiority complex, it is respecting others and it is God's way of checking pride from growing), Are you obedient to your elders and all those who tell you to do things that are good. If your answer for at least one of these questions is "No", it is time to act. It is time to humble yourselves in the eyes of God. Let me remind you of the benefits of being humble before I end this post. Read carefully the following scriptures:

  1. Matt 23:12 - "Whoever humbles himself will be exalted"
  2. Pro 11:2 - "When pride comes, then comes disgrace but with humility comes wisdom"
  3. Pro 15:33 - " The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom and humility"
  4. Pro 3:34 - "He mocks proud mockers, but gives grace to the Humble.
  5. Isa 66:2 - "This is the one I esteem: He who is humble and contrite in spirit"
I love that last verse. Have a great day and God bless you.

As You Sow so shall you reap

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal Life." - Galatians 6:7,8

When God created this World as we see today, He created a set of Principles or core truths that He cannot change. One of the many principles of God, is shown in the above verse. Let us dig a little deeper into this verse for some time.

The Bible says that all human beings have a sinful nature inside. Every person who is born into this world is born with sin in their hearts. Yes, even the little cute child you know has a sinful nature residing in it. This happened due to the fall of Man. Now, there is a second nature that can inhabit our body, that is the Spiritual nature. The Spiritual nature enters our beings only when we accept Jesus into our hearts as our personal Savior. Does that mean that our sinful nature is completely replaced by a new Spiritual nature. No, far from it, As Christians we have both our sinful nature and our Spiritual nature residing inside in us. But, here's the problem only one of this both natures can rule us or can control us. This fight for control my brethren is the fight of our lives. We can either try and put our Spiritual nature or the Holy Spirit in us on the throne of our life, or we can put our Sinful nature on the throne of our lives. This choice is not a one time choice we make when we accept God into our hearts, it is a daily moment by moment choice we all have to make. This is where the verse we looked at comes in.

If we sow to please our sinful nature, we will reap destruction. Sow to please our sinful nature?. What does that mean?. Sowing refers to our actions.. When we harbor sinful thoughts like anger and hurt towards somebody we are sowing seeds for our sinful nature to take over. I guarantee you if we all keep that anger towards someone burning in our inner being, its only a matter of time until we will reap destruction by acting out at the person. In the same way if we sow seeds of love so as to please the Holy Spirit we will reap eternal life. Besides, reaping eternal life we will also reap happiness, peace and joy. How do you actually sow to please the Spirit, its by continually depending on God's grace. We all have to learn this once and for all, that our deeds are not going to get us into heaven. Its our daily dependence on God's grace that will take us through to the other side.

Let me explain, we have a less than perfect body(not shape, I am talking about the flesh and the sinful desires), a less than perfect soul(our thoughts, our actions,our attitudes are all less than perfect. Hope you agree)........ But Glory Be to God we have a perfect Spirit in us (The Spirit of God is in us, there is nothing more perfect than that). If we let ourselves be controlled by this Spirit we will have a great time on Earth and a better time in Heaven. To keep the Spirit in control we need to depend on God's grace daily, because as I said it is a daily decision we make whether to put the sinful nature on the throne of our lives or the Spiritual Nature on the throne of our Lives. Its time to look at ourselves one more time, who is controlling us?. Is it the Sinful nature with all its desires, or the Spiritual Nature with all that God wants you to have. Ask yourself.


Being Cool

Are you those people who are labeled cool by your society or the college in which you study?. Unfortunately, I was not cool and I hope I will never be. Don't be mistaken by my strong stand now, but there was a time when I really wanted to be cool. I wanted to be just like every other cool dude in college. In my attempt to be cool, I chose friends who were cool, I dressed to be cool and even talked to be cool. Have you noticed how cool sometimes borders sin and hell, when I noticed that, I gave up being cool. I saw that some of my friends expected me to listen to Satanic music, see super horror movies, see porn every day and also drink alcohol. What did I do?. Well, I chickened out and as a result I was labeled mama's boy and many other names I dare not mention. I took the lonely road out, the road of insult, but I thank God for helping me to take that decision. I know a lot of college students who were Christians, before they actually joined college. Once they joined college, they used their freedom and ruined their lives. I know people who started using drugs, smoking and every other thing after college. They seldom understand that those little decisions they make during college years will stick with them till they die. Are you one of those people who will do anything to impress your friends. If you are, I am sorry for you because you are going to be disappointed in the end. Real friends do not need you to impress them daily, they will be there till the end no matter what. I've had only one true friend in my entire life. Every one else wanted me to be their little puppet doing the things they wanted me to do. They do not know how to disagree.. So, stop pleasing others, hold on to biblical principles tightly and don't worry if people hate you for that. They hated Jesus, is it a surprise that they will hate you?. I have come to terms with my life and I have promised myself that I will be what God intended me to be and not what my so called friends intend me to be. Will you make the same decision?. I will tell you, its worth it.


8 Reasons Why I don't Share My faith

You know what, Holidays can be very boring. When we have school, we wait and wait for the Holidays to arrive. when it is here, we forget about all the plans we have. I am in such a situation now, the " I don't have much to do state". But, if we look closer in our lives there is a lot we can do. So, I decided that I am going to get some things done each day... One and the most important thing I have decided to do is to give God my undivided attention. Then, there are lots of things I can do around the Home... so let me get to it without wasting much time.

Loving Heavenly Father,

Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts. May Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake.

In Thy Name We Pray,
Amen


R.L Stevenson







Yesterday night was a very different night in my life. Although I confess to be a Christian I feel the need to get closer to God many times in my life. Most of the time, my prayers are just requests... "God give me that... God heal him... God do that... God do this". So, yesterday I wanted God to have me... every bit of me. I waited and prayed for some time yesterday night hoping he would touch me in some way but all He told me at the end was this.... "Ben, you are still in a rush, why?". He said " You have waited in lines to meet prominent people, sometimes you have waited in line just to pay some bills...You have waited at the traffic signal. But, when you pray, why are you so impatient... like something more important is waiting to be done ..All I need is you... I know your needs, I want my heart to beat inside your heart. I am the Vine and you are the Branch, if the Branch is separated from the Vine it will die. Don't be in a hurry, Be still and know that I am God. Once I started doing it, I felt like time faded away.. Under my table lamp on a cold night I can most truly say that I talked and walked with my God. My hands in His. But, its not enough to give God some time on your schedule. Every breath that we take, every little thing that we do should be through God. Let me end by asking you this question.

How many time in a day do you even think about God?
As you answer that question also consider this verse from the book of Psalms.

"He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep".

Is God too simple for Man?

I
have noticed far too many times that the problem most people have with Christianity is its Simplicity. Lots of people set their hearts on finding God, they become seekers of the truth.The question why most of them overlook the God of the Bible and turn to mere idols of this world always baffles me. When I was in India, I remember seeing many people from the West coming to our State in search of the true God. Many of them claim they have found God in following some prominent Gurus. These people, mostly Americans and British have actually overlooked Christianity in their country to follow the utter foolishness practiced in my Country. I could not understand why people accept some other cult instead of accepting Christ. Then God revealed it to me, the first and foremost reason as to which why a person may go to a pagan god or a cult is pride.Why do I say that?.. I will tell you why. See, in all the pagan religions of this world, Satan has twisted the truth into an idea of "Do Good and Receive Good". The Hindu religion teaches Karma. The Buddhist religion teaches almost the same thing. What I am trying to say is that people want to say at the end of the day that they "attained" salvation by what they did. They want to feel good about themselves, they want to be proud. They want to achieve salvation like everything else. Once they become proud of attaining salvation, they believe they have seen God. This is Pride.Nothing else. Christianity which is the Truth teaches that it is God's grace which saves us and not our works. The Gospel is all about the Grace of God. If there is a word that the world will never understand it is Grace. By grace we are saved, not by our deeds. Our deeds mean nothing but filthy rags to God. The Bible talks about a man who found it difficult to accept the simple advice from God.

In second Kings 5, we see a man named Naaman.

2 Kings 5:1 says, " Now Naaaman, captain of the army of the King of Aram, was a great man with his master, and highly respected, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant warrior, but he was a leper.

He was not a Hebrew man, but note how God gave him victory. The verse starts out pointing out everything good about Namaan, but comes to a screeching halt and says he was a leper. Being a leper in Aram, he could still hold a decent job as the Geberal of the King.

We go on to see that Namaan becomes desperate about curing himself from this disease. He is then advised by the most unlikeliest of sources... let us read on

"Now the Arameans had gone out in bands and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "I wish my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria". 2 Kings 5:2-3

The little girl was referring to Elisha, the prophet. Naaman decided to heed the words of this servant girl and went on to see Elisha. Note how much Naaman wanted to be healed, he would have given anything a try just to be healed. Now, let us look at the preparations Namaan made for his journey.

" He departed and took with Him ten talents of silver and six thousand shekels of gold and ten changes of clothes".

Sometimes I wonder at the sheer detail of the Bible. Nevertheless, Namaan took a lot of stuff, he falsely imagined Elisha to be some shamaan who would heal him and ask for money in return. Oh my, was he in for a surprise. Next up, let us look at the meeting between the leper and the healer.

"So Namaan came with his horses and his chariots and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying. "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean." 2 Kings 5:9-10

I am sure Namaan might have dropped his jaw at what the messenger had to say,but he did not force his way and see Elisha. He was angry, but why??. He expected a big 4 hour long healing ceremony but all he got was an order to go take bath in some river. He wanted to go back and die, that is how frustrated he was. Thanks to his servants he made the right choice.

"Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, " My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?. How much more then, when he says to you, "Wash, and be clean". 2 Kings 5:13

I love the question asked by the servants.. what happened next is history. But my point is that Namaan came very close to throwing away healing just because it did not seem too complicated for him. This is what is happening in the world today. Everyone thinks they know what Christianity is, because they think it is too simple. This explains why people are turning to Pagan gods, the occult and even Satan worship for salvation.


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. - Isaiah 55:8




Must Watch this video.. I have never seen anything like this in my life before. The guy as gone through a lot as President and this latest incident sums up his time in office. I Hope and pray that our new President as a better time in the white House.

I can almost see Home


This post is dedicated to all those Christian friends who are in grief or depression for some reason. I want to start off by saying that I don't know why your sad and I cannot know. But, God knows and he does not want you to see sad anymore.. He Loves you. In our families, have you noticed that the whole family goes cold and sad, when one of us is sad. That happens because family members are connected heart to heart. When one feels down,everyone feels down. Its the same with God. He is sad to see you sad.. You might ask me if that is true why God does not come and take your sadness away. God's word says cast your burdens on Him and that he will carry it for you. We seldom carry our burdens to God in prayer, some of us go to God with the burden and take the burden back with us after praying. So, My beloved Brother/Sister are you willing to put some burdens down today. God will take care of it, please put it down.. I pray that all the negative thoughts in your mind be gone in Jesus name. Replace all those thoughts with Hope. Not the false hope that this world gives, but with the Hope from above, The hope of that wonderful future, you are going to have in eternity.


My beloved Brother/Sister, one of these days we will be walking the Streets of gold. One of these days we will kiss the face that was bruised for us.. Your pain will go away, every tear from your eye will be wiped away. The pain in your heart will go away, the pain in your body will fade away. I know that Home is near, there is not much to go now just a bit. When we reach there, we will have transformed bodies, the body we have now will be removed, in a twinkle of the eye we will be transformed. But, when you reach heaven and when everything is perfect there will still be One with bruises on his hands. Your bridegroom will show you where the nail pierced that day, he will show you forever how much it meant to Him to take you there to this beautiful place. The place where there is no darkness, where the Lamb is the Light, the place meant for you and I.... The place I call Home. It will be Home sweet Home and I can almost see Home, can You?

Love a Child

Are you looking for an organization to make donations..?? I came across this missionary organization on the Daystar television Network. Its Called Love a Child, the ministry is run by a Christian couple who have moved to Haiti to focus on feeding the poor and to attend to the medical needs of the people there. For more information check out their website. The television program was a real eye opener for me to the extent of suffering many people go through in the World we live in. I want to encourage you to give to this ministry, it will be a great blessing to the people in Haiti. Moreover, God will bless you too. If you cannot make up your mind to give or not let me guide you to this verse in Job:

"If I have withheld the poor from their desire or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;or have eaten my morsel of bread myself alone, and the fatherless have not eaten thereof,then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade and mine arm be broken from the bone."

I guess I don't have to say much more now. For those who have a desire to give, and don't have much money, you can always offer your prayers for them. I humbly ask you to pray for the poor and needy throughout the world every day. Your prayers will support the many missionaries in the battle field to stay strong in the face of challenges. God Bless You.

Sexual Warfare Part 2

In the first part of this post, we saw how dangerous the weapon of sex can be when used by the Devil . We saw how Jesus put the level of adultery from doing the act to even thinking about the act. He basically said, if you are thinking of it, you are doing it in your heart. So, the question is what will you do if you are neck high in thinking of sex all the time. What happens if you have an enormous drive to sex. I am here to help any person who is going through the struggle with sex. I am here to tell you that you can come out of it no matter what. All you need is a desire and some perseverance. Desire is not wishing you come out of the addiction, it is wanting to come out of the addiction. Let me point out the difference between desiring and wishing. A person who wishes for something, does not want to do anything about it.. He/she wants everything delivered to their doorstep. I got news for you that ain't gonna happen. A person who wants something will do anything, absolutely anything to get it. I also want to say that no one out there can help you come out of the addiction to sex, if you really do not desire to come out of it. I am asking you to make a decision now, once and for all.... do you want to take sex God's way or man's way. The choice is yours. I want you to think. You know the guilt that attacks you every time you yield to the temptation. You also know the enjoyment yielding to sex gives. If you read the first part of this post you know exactly what Jesus told about adultery. If you have not chosen to take God's way stop reading now. I cannot help you.


But if you have decided to take God's way of sacred sex and not safe sex, I want you to congratulate you for what you have done. Its a challenge to even take up a challenge. Its going to be tough but we are going to come out of this mess.... Its time to look at the word of God again.

"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" - Matthew 5:28

Young men of God, take this as it is... You cannot lust after women, you just cannot. You have to stop and you have to stop now. How???. Let's read further.

"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell"

No, I am not telling you to pluck out your eyes and I am pretty sure that is not what the Lord means by that. What Jesus wants to imply here is that we have to find out the root cause of our sin. We have to ask ourselves.... when do we sin?. Some lust when they go on the internet, some when they watch movies, some at their jobs when that sexy secretary walks by. If television is stopping you from going to heaven.....THROW IT AWAY. If its internet cancel the internet.. tell the people to come and take the modem away. You don't need it if you don't know how to use it. Let's look at scripture once again.

"Your eye is the lamp of your body. when your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light"- John 11:34

That verse does not need any explanation. Do not mess with sex, look at what 17 year old Joseph did when his own master's wife made a move on him. How many young people in the church today would resist such an offer. I shudder to think about that question. He fled from the situation because he knew that if he gave it another thought, he would end up in bed with her.. Do the same in your lives too, don't wrestle with your thoughts flee from it. Let's get practical, when you know that something or someone is tempting you,,,,,,, you should abandon the thought. One way of doing this, is telling yourself strongly at that moment about your decision. You can tell yourself something like this.

"No way, No No No No No No....... I am not doing it ........... God help me. Thank you God, I will resist and the devil will flee, that's your word, God, and I believe it to be true"

Then, gain your composure back again and move on. Before ending this post I would like to point out that Christian women ought to dress modestly. Let not young men lust after you because you are showing a little too much, if you are drop dead gorgeous there is nothing you can do about it, but when you try so hard to be drop dead gorgeous, you are committing adultery with the guy who is lusting after you.

Its Snowing in Houston

I always dreamed about seeing snow. When I came to the United states, I was sad that it would not snow in Houston. But, I was wrong.. It does snow in Houston. Its snowing outside, as I am typing this. Its a dream come true. I played a lot in the snow along with my cousins, We rolled down the retention pond. We made a snow man. You name it we did it. We had illegal amount of fun... I can only thank God for all the experiences he is giving in my life. We witnessed a hurricane for the first time earlier this year and now snow. It cannot get better than this. For those of you wh live in the North, I might sound crazy but try to understand my excitement. In the midst of all my excitement, a Bible verse came into my mind.

"Though your sins are red as scarlet, I will make them white as snow". I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for cleansing me of my sin and making me white as snow. Hope all of you out there are having as much fun as I am doing. God be with y'all.

The Final Push

I had a very hard semester because of Ike. The teachers had to go through stuff they usually cover in 6 weeks. We had to study all that in 4 weeks.. It makes a difference. I am nearly at the end of the semester. I have one more online course I need to complete from the comfort of my home. But, its still hard work. Yesterday, my grade for History 1 was posted by the teacher. It almost gave me a heart attack when I saw the final grade. It read 89.6%... If only I had 0.4% more I would have got an A. I know that God wants to teach me a lesson through it. There are kids out there who try to get a C and then end up with a D.. I should be happy about what God gave me. How great it would be if all of us started appreciating the things he does for us, instead of being greedy like me. If God thinks its best for you to have a B grade instead of an A grade stop whining about it and move on. This is what I am trying to teach myself. Part of me is still disappointed, but the stronger half of me(My inner man) is driving me on.

As for now, I cannot wait to get this final course done and get into the Holiday mood. Hope everyone is having a great time out there. If not, its just a way of looking at things... try to find the good in every situation and be the change you want to see in this world. Bye.

Sexual Warfare Part 1

"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell". - Matthew 5:28-29


The first time I read these lines in my Bible, I was filled with a sense of discomfort. I still remember how I felt, I felt like this time God put the standards way too high for me even to try let alone reaching it. I wonder if I am the only single male who was disturbed inside when he read this part of the scripture. I want to put to words all that went through my head the first time I read this. By now, you might have understood that I have come to terms with what the Lord said. Initially, my argument went something like this, "God is the one who gave me the attraction towards the other sex when I hit puberty, How can Jesus say such a thing?", Its way over the top and I wish he never said it".

But years later, I know that Jesus made complete sense. Even if he did make sense is it possible for a young hormone- raging man to live a life without committing adultery in his heart?. History tells us that many people including the Pharisees went to great lengths to stop lustful thoughts from entering their minds. We also know how the Islamic people force their women to wear dresses revealing nothing. The Pharisees covered their heads with cloth and walked looking downwards so that they would not be tempted. This tells us two things, one, the Hebrew women were very beautiful, two, the Pharisees tried their best to keep the law. But, yet Jesus hated them. That is a totally different topic and I would not go there now.

"The LORD God said, " It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him"
Genesis 2:18

It seems like some of the helpers are not helping, they are bringing down men all over the world. Ladies, I am not generalizing that statement because there are many great women out there who I respect greatly. But, there are more so called celebrities who are being used by the devil to torment and seduce the youth of the church. Let me drive home the fact again. When Jesus said what he said in Matthew 5:28-29 he was sane and he meant exactly what he said. Please do not dilute the Word of God to what you want it to be. So, here's the question can you live a life where you don not lust after woman in your thoughts. A life where you look but you do not lust. Its like going back to childhood again some people say. Guess what Jesus said about going to heaven.


"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" - Matthew 19:14

Yes, my brothers out there, who go through the struggle that I go through, we will have to be like children in some aspects of our lives. That is what Paul meant when he said "Be innocent of all evil". Only children can be innocent. In my next post, I will go through how young single men can lead a pure sexual life and the reward for doing so. I have very less time as my finals are drawing near, otherwise I would have wrote it in one go.

God bless you.






Christmas Cards for Atheists???



I have heard a lot of crazy things in my life, but this story I heard yesterday makes it up there with the best. The first card shows evolution and how evolution ends in Santa Claus. The second card shows Charles Darwin dressed as Santa Claus. Did you know that 15% of people in the USA claim to be atheists but about 95% actually celebrate Christmas. What an irony!!

Christmas to 'X'mas


Change is in the Air ... Well we heard that a lot during the election. Change is coming, change is days away, and finally we heard change is here. There is something with change that draws people to it.. Change is good, some believe. But, we should always count the pro's and cons of a change. Talking about change, the most annoying change I have ever seen is the change of the word Christmas to Xmas. Where the heck did Xmas come from??? Who took Christ out of Christmas?? I will tell you who did it.... THE DEVIL. That's right, he did it and he is very successful too. X is sometimes used as a word where we don't know what to name something... hence X-ray, X-box etc. Its official, the west has taken Christ out of Christmas and brought in Santa Claus (the sweet old man who never grows old, who gives gifts, who puts children on the lap and kisses them.... eeewwwww). For a second, just see how crooked the devil is, he actually substituted Jesus with a sweet old man. This reminds me of what the Jews did when they rejected Jesus and brought in Barabas.

I don't want to wreck your happy Christmas,but I want to remind you that Christmas is about Christ. If you take Christ out, there is no Christmas. Celebrate Christmas the way it should be celebrated. Don't forget to tell your kids that there is no Santa, (but there is Satan) and there is a Jesus who he is the reason we celebrate Christmas.

There goes Thanksgiving

How fast the week ended. Tomorrow we go back to our ordinary lives filled with deadlines and busy schedules. How I wish I could rewind to the beginning of the week and enjoy it all over again, but sadly we do not enjoy that luxury. Time and tide waits for no man. It was a great week for us as a family. We had so many hours of prayer and thanksgiving this week that I will look back to this week as one of the best I ever had. What a blessed thing it is to have all your family under one roof and praying to an Almighty God who loves us so much. Today, was another day of happiness and joy. I was able to lead the worship along with our youth in our small church. I kinda feel sad that its all over.. But that's when God reminds me its a new day everyday. We ought to take it a day at a time. Every day can be a great day if we just let go and let God. His plans are higher than ours.. His ways are higher than ours. So, when Thanksgiving is over there will be Christmas and when Christmas is over we will have Easter. And finally when everything is over we will Go Home to be with the Lord. So, I urge you my beloved brothers and sisters to take life as a celebration of God's love for us and before we close our eyes to be with Lord let us do something for Him. Find out what you can do for God. There should be something, and pray about it... God will open up ways. I used to be an addict to sports. I watched all the games, all the analysis and sports had greater importance than God did in my life, but as soon as I started reading the Word of God, I started feeling that everything else is foolishness. If there is anything that you should get addicted to in this world it is the Word of God.

Be happy for your names are written in Heaven. I know this post is kind of unorganized but that's how I feel today. God bless and keep you.

Note to self

Ben,

You are not just another face in the crowd
You are unique and there is no one in this whole world like you.

You are not alone
You are the apple of my eye and I keeps you safe day after day.

You are not what people tell you are
You are what I(God) tell you are, because I am your Father.

You are not an accident
You are a well planned incident.

You are not a failure
You are more than a conqueror.

You are not useless
You are a part of the body of Christ.

If I could remember all these things on a daily basis, I will not fall into depression again in my whole life. I am ashamed to say that I slipped into a period of dejection for some days of this week. I do not wish to express the reason, but really there is no reason to be depressed when you are in the Family of God. Everyone of you my christian brothers and sisters out there, remember that you are princes and princesses. You are the children of the King who rules the entire universe. Is it not a shame to fall into depression then?. Is it not foolish to think that you are worthless when God numbers the hairs on your head(He updates the count after every shower and nap in my case). Do you feel that you are not loved?. Do you feel like there are no real friends for you in this world?. If there is anyone in this universe who should feel that he is not loved enough, it is God Himself. Jesus did not have any friends on the cross, did He?. God counts the hair on your head and we don't even mind to spend some minutes with him daily. He sent his only Son to save us.. and we make Him to be a genie who grants us our every wish. Please, don't make God a genie or a magic lamp. He wants to have a relationship with you. If you have a relationship with Him, you will never feel lonely again.

Oh, Taste and see that the Lord is Good.

Whoa!! That's another day and its another day where God kept me safe and sound. But, the nation where I was born was victim to a terrorist attack. The city of Mumbai as many of you know is the commercial capital of India and a terrorist attack as left many wounded and dead. Once again terror as lifted its ugly head in India. I am not here to tell you the news, but I am here to ask anybody who reads this to spend some time praying for India. You can read all about the attack and the latest developments here. Also pray for my cousin who lives in Mumbai and for all others who have lost dear ones. God be with you all.

Be Encouragers

Have you tried encouraging anyone lately..Have you been commended for something you did?? If you have you probably know the wonderful feeling you have when someone you respect encourages you or commends you for something you did. Some days ago my history teacher sent me this email.

"glad your enjoying history. Every time I read your discussion board postings I want to give you extra credit. I really appreciate your devotion to answering other student's questions with such accuracy."

She was referring to the online discussion board we have for our course.. But, the point is, Do you know how much times I read that e-mail over and over again. You have no idea how I felt when I read that mail for the first time. I was so motivated to do better and better. Part of this feelings is because I admire my teacher so much. Its interesting to note that it took only less than a minute to make my day. I want to encourage you to encourage someone this thanksgiving week. Don't just go out there and flatter someone, you get the idea right. Give someone a pat on the shoulder and tell them that you appreciate what they are doing. Give thanks for the different people you have around you. Let's not complain anymore, because there are two things that will take people away from you..... Bad breath and Constant Complaining.

Refuse to be worried

Are you the kind of person who gets bogged down with the worries of this world. If you are, you are not alone.. I am just like that. Worry is sometimes inevitable, but most of the time it is a self induced thing which we use to hurt ourselves. There is one thing you need to ask yourself, what is the use of worrying?. It will bring your health down too. So, make a decision with me never to hurt yourselves by worrying needlessly. Take everything to God. It doesn't stop there, take it, give it to him, and don't bring it back. That is what Cast your Burdens on me means. You don't put your burdens on Him, and then take it back.Most of us, worry then pray and worry again. Once you pray it is already taken care of. Why, would worry about something God is taking care of. You cast it on Him and walk back without worry. Whatever you do today refuse to be worried.. God is still on the throne and you are his privileged son/daughter. He whose eyes are on the sparrow will never let you down.

Have a great "worry free" day.

Have you ever had a urge to organize your life. I am going through the same thing for some time now.. Let me be honest with you, its not the first time I made up my mind to be organized. One week later I guarantee everything will be back to "normal". Its funny in a way but there is no reason to stop trying.. I might get the hang of it this time, like they say,... "you never know". LOL, I'm good at motivating myself, you see. So to organize myself I either have to go with the time table method, that is, I have to allot separate times for separate things to be done in my life. But, I thought that was very mechanical and would lead to lack of spontaneity and boredom over time. I came up with the daily requirements scheme according to which I will not let myself go to sleep without doing certain things every day along with the special requirements for the day. The scheme will be employed from today onwards on an experimental basis, till New Years' Eve (Man, I like talking like Govt officials).. Here are the daily requirements I came up with.

  • Prayer ( No time limit, you can pray a whole day or 5 minutes but make sure it comes from the heart)
  • Abdominal exercise ( Since, I no longer play soccer on a daily basis, I'm getting Flabulous)
  • College Work( Keep on getting A's)
  • Blog post( Post something everyday for the sake of creativity and fun)
  • Listen to a sermon ( Faith comes from hearing says the bible. This activity is only for free days)
That's all for now, let's see How I will do for the next few days and then I can think of adding to the list. Have a great day.

Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives - Saul

Today we are going to look at the Life of Israel's first King and the worst in more than one way. Saul is a character in the Bible who had brilliant beginnings but ended up as a miserable man. He is said to be the most handsome person in Israel at the time he was chosen to be King, he stood taller than everyone in the land. He can be compared to a film star of today. He had everything but he threw it away. We will be closely following the events in his life which led to his downfall.
Saul comes to the fore when Israel decides that it needs a king like all the other nations of the world. Before that, theocracy prevailed in Israel meaning that God was the king of the whole nation. He commanded the whole kingdom and they acted accordingly. God talked to the general public through his prophets out of which Samuel was an important one. People overtime became bored of this theocracy and they voted in Monarchy. Its really funny, we are daily struggling with democracy. Think about electing a monarchy. What were the Israelites thinking. These are the words the Israelites used before Samuel had to go look for a King.

"Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations"

Another reason as to why the people needed a king was that the sons of Samuel who were supposed to take up the reins from their father did not know the Lord. Few days ago, we looked at how Eli failed to train up his kids in the right way and now the Scripture shows us that Samuel did not do a better job either. Samuel was not happy when he heard the people's new need. But, God like a good parent allowed his children to choose for themselves a king. Saul was then made king.. During his inauguration he was so modest that he hid without showing himself to the people. This modesty would soon give way to arrogance and pride. Saul, then became a hero in his own right with victories over the Ammonites taking his popularity to a whole new level. However, things were going to change and it all started at Gilgal.

Arrogance at Gilgal

Saul provoked the Philistines to war. This was not wrong because the Philistines were a constant thorn in the flesh for Israel. So, he stationed his troops at Gilgal. His orders from God through Samuel were simple:

"And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come and show you what you should do."

This was another sign to Saul that God was still and will always be in charge of the Nation of Israel. Saul just could not grasp that simple fact. Samuel was to arrive after seven days at Gilgal to offer the sacrifices. God commanded Saul not to attack till then. But, seven days passed and most of the army had deserted Saul by then because they were afraid of the strong Philistine army. Saul then committed a great sin when he himself burnt the offerings to God. This was more like a pagan ritual than a true Hebrew offering.He had no right to burn the offerings because it was a job given to the priests and the prophets. Saul was so impatient that he wanted to get it done fast. He was so obsessed with winning that he gave winning more importance than God's commands.


Saul's insubordination at Amelek

The settings were more or less the same. Israel was again involved in war and it was the turn to wage war against the Amalekites. Here, once again God gives the instructions to Saul about what to do and how to go about doing it. Once again, it seems like Saul was not paying attention to Samuel. The instructions went like this.

"Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey".

That was as clear as clear could get. Go and destroy everything you see. Do not spare anything or simply put Show no mercy. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs and all that was good. They won the war, but failed to obey God's commands again. This time Samuel was filled with anger and let Saul know that his time as king was coming to an end and that God has already found a replacement in David. Saul, instead of admitting his mistake tried to rationalize again by pointing out that all the sheep and other animals were intended for sacrifice. This event marked the beginning of the end for Israel's celebrity king.

There are two important things we can learn from this story.

  1. Obedience is Necessary
  2. Be quick to admit your mistakes
  3. Anyone can be replaced.
God be with you.

New Week New Challenges

Another week is coming our way. Lots of work is to be done and lots of commitment is needed. Let's all try to be the best in whatever we do this week. It does not matter what you do over the week, you can be a rocket scientist or a homemaker but what matters to God is the amount of time and devotion you put to your work. Let's be sincere in what we do, Let's do everything as if we are doing it for the Lord and not for our boss. Let's be the change we want to see in this world. Let's bring a smile to every face. Let our actions speak louder than our words. To do all this we need some serious preparation. We need to prepare our minds for the challenges ahead. Maybe, there will be a few things which will go wrong next week but let's prepare to face it and deal with it. Will you take some time and prepare for the next week or at least the next day. Saul was chosen by God because he stood for what he believed.. He was absolutely sure that Christians were spreading a heresy with their Jesus stuff. So, he acted with so much devotion to his work to get rid of every Christian in the area. After his transformation he gave his all to do the work of the Lord. Let's be like him, let's give our all to every little thing we do. May God bless you all. Have a great week.

Teenage Affluenza

Please watch this video.. And if you have a teenager at home watch it with them. Truly awesome video.

It was one very busy week with lots of college work to do. I was working full swing and let me admit I did not give much time to God and when you don't give time to God you find yourself very busy running around doing YOUR stuff. Lord forgive me for my utter selfishness.. I honestly pray today that God helps me to practise what he taught me a few days ago. If you want more time to do your stuff, try spending some of the time you have with God, I don't know how it works but you will get enough time, enough sleep and enough peace.OK, let's head back to our on going study.. Today we are going to look at the story of Samuel, one of Israel's greatest prophets. We will be closely looking at his mentor Eli too.. I don't know why Chuck Swindoll named this chapter as Samuel because it deals mostly with Eli. We all know the story of how Samuel heard the Lord's voice during the night three times. But, we often forget what God actually told him. We get so caught up in the surroundings and the circumstances that we don't give much attention to what God is saying.. Isn't that true about most of us. So, let's see what God actually said to a very young and very sleepy Samuel

"Behold,I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from the beginning to the end. For I have told him that I am about to judge his house for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. Therefore I have sworn to the House of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever".

Well that's not a great thing you would like to tell your mentor. The Bible says that young Samuel went back to sleep and woke in the morning just to hear Eli ask him about what God had said. Samuel would have been terribly afraid to tell everything but note how Eli demands to know everything about it. Seems like he already knows what it is. The response from Eli absolutely baffles me

"It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him."

What??? For those of you who do not know what God is so angry for.. I will explain the circumstances briefly. The sons of Eli were really wicked and they ate of the offerings from the people. They even gave it to their father and Surprise Eli ate it. You want evidence check this out:

"Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than me,{{to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people??}}

Now, you know why God is really angry. Eli would not punish his children. His sons were so wicked that they had illicit relations with women who came to the tabernacle. They did this without shame and all the people of Israel knew it. Remember that Eli was the judge and if he said it was alright it was indeed alright. He always allowed his sons to get by whatever they did. After all this why does Eli respond in a very careless manner so as to provoke God even more.Why did he not just get out and do what is to be done. Why??

In many of our families the same thing is going on. Parents are not rebuking their children for their wrongs and before they know it the kids become as tall as they are and guess what it often leads to public shame. Parents out there... Please don't stay in denial. One more thing worth noticing is that how could the sons of the most prominent religious leader in Israel "not know the LORD". Well, once again the blame goes to one Mr Eli who was very busy doing stuff for the LORD. Maybe, he thought God will understand because I am always doing his duties. No God did not understand that because it is utter foolishness to be so busy that you don't train up your child. Parents, are you too busy that you don't have time to spend with your children. Are you too busy that you don't take time to explain the Word of God to them... No Sunday School is not a substitute for the teaching you have to do. Children are from the Lord, and they are his more than they are yours. Train the child in the way he should go and he won't depart from it even when he grows old.

AMEN!!
Have a great worship day tomorrow.

Work, work and more work

Wow!!.. I haven't been busy as this in months. I don't have time to post anything worthwhile.. but will get back to normal "Business" tomorrow.

Its an odd time to be doing a Bible study but as they say, You got to do what you got to do, right??. So, I am just gonna knock myself out of the weekend party mode and do some studying.. How boring. some might say ..... Man, it makes me laugh. Most people just label reading and studying the Bible boring without even trying. Let's not go there and waste our time. Ok, so we have seen(at least I have LOL) Esau, Cain and Abraham. So who's up tonight. Its none other than Achan. Who?
That's right Achan. For those of you who do not remember this guy, let me do some storytelling. Well, gone were the days of the Red Sea splitting and gone were the people who witnessed it. Here was this new generation Of Israelites under the command of Joshua. The new generation had come a long way but they lacked any supernatural victories from God and little did they know that the walls of Jericho standing majestically before them would be their version of the Split red sea. Finally, it would be something they can tell their kids other than the old stories of the drowning Pharaoh and the 10 plagues. The LORD had ordered the people to march around the city for seven days after which He would give the city to Israel. He also commanded the people not to take anything from the city. Just as planned, the City was taken on the 7th day. The Bible says the Israelites severely destroyed the city leaving nothing except Rahab the Harlot untouched. Here is where the character under the spotlight - Achan comes to view. He took some of the merchandise from the city with him disregarding God's prior command not to lay their hands on anything. Achan kept his sin a secret, and hid the stolen stuff in a hole he dug under his tent. The next city in the Path of Israel was Ai. Like every other city that opposed God's people, it was also destined to fall. It was a comparatively weak city so Joshua decided to send only a few of his soldiers to capture the city. But, they were in for the mother of all shocks. The citizens of Ai defended their city well and had Joshua's people on the run. The news of defeat greatly depressed Joshua. But, look at how he handled it.
Joshua 7:6-9 says Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the LORD until the evening. Its easy for us to skim past the Bible like its a newspaper. We have to search it like miners do in a quarry. So, let's read that slowly once again. If you did you will see that Joshua spent the whole day before God after defeat. Let us remember to do the same when unexplainable defeat comes in our life. God spoke to Joshua and revealed that there was sin in the camp. We can predict what happened.. Yep the whole camp was searched and finally Achan was brought forward as the culprit. He was then burned to death along with all that he had and all his people. What a sad story this is. How many of us would do the same if we were living in that time. All Achan took was some Gold, some silver and a wardrobe. Most of us would have taken more than that. How wonderful it is to live in the Grace period.. right?.
The Moral of this story is that One man's sin led to the defeat of all his people. 36 men died at the hands Of the people of Ai. Why? Just because of Achan's sin. Many times we are forced to believe that our personal sin may only affect us, but it does affect a whole lot of people. Is there anything you are hiding. If there is repent so that you and your family will be blessed. Maybe you know of an Achan in your life. Get to him/her and ask the person graciously to repent.
May the Lord bless you with these words. And Have a Great weekend.

Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives - Esau

Esau is the next life we are going to look at. Please understand that these are not my ideas, but the ideas of Chuck Swindoll. I just want to share it with you. Esau is described as the son who could not win. When I think of Esau I feel sad just like Swindoll does. He was destined to serve the younger, but his actions made it worse for him than it would originally be.
His destiny ordained by God was that he would serve his younger brother. Like it or not, that was what was to happen. Rebekah knew this from the LORD even before they were born. She surely conveyed this to Issac. But here's where the Parental Favoritism comes to play and makes the plan of God look unfair. Let's look at it this way. God already said that the covenant would be with Jacob and not with Esau. What would have happened if Issac and Rebekah said this to their children. They should have told Jacob," You are the chosen One". and to Esau, "We love you just as much as we love Jacob but God for some reason as selected Jacob before you. So you should always be a good brother to partake in his blessings". Issac and Rebekah instead loved one child more than they did the other. This is evident from

Genesis 25:28
Now Issac loved Esau, because he had a great taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob"

This does not mean that Issac hated Jacob, because the word Love is used in a comparative manner. This is why Jacob had to steal the blessing from his father. Think about it, what was Issac thinking when he decided to bless Esau. Did he forget about what God said concerning who the covenant would go to. Seems like he did. Its another classic case of not listening when your wife is talking. This is why Jacob had to be the cheat. Rebekah helped her son craftily take his blessings. Such an intriguing Story.

Lets look at Esau, he is the one in focus by the way. He was a rugged man. He lived by impulse. He gave away his birthright to Jacob just for a bowl of soup. Do you know what he threw away.He threw away half of his father's wealth. Maybe this is why God let Issac be cheated by Jacob. Esau acted foolishly, he married Canaanite women. He had no interest in the Covenant of God. I am pretty sure that the parents did not inform the twins that one is going to serve the other. In that case, Esau should have tried to please God in every way and get the Covenant. He did not do it. he made the wrong choices time and again.

This story has many morals:
1. Parents should not show favoritism in any manner - It would have been much better if Issac and Rebekah told God's plan to both their children.

2.Do not make quick instant gratification choices - Think first, and ask the counsel of God and people who love you, Unlike Esau.

3.The injustice done to Jacob is almost always overlooked and more importance is given to the fact that he tricked his dad. Issac was going against the will of God, (according to which Jacob was to be blessed) he was getting ready to Bless Esau. You know what, that is just not fair. Jacob had to be there instead of Esau and guess what, he was.

God bless You all.

Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives - Abraham

The Fascinating Life we are going to look at today from Chuck Swindoll's book is Abraham. He is the father of the Faith and a man who is considered as a superhero of the Bible with possible challenges only from Moses or Jesus himself. Let us look at what God saw that was worthy of making Abram into Abraham..In Abraham we see a man who put nothing in front of God. He was completely surrendered to God's will and He would not sway a bit to the left or the right.

Don't Hold on too tight

We should not hold anything too tightly that God will have to engage in a tug of war to get top priority in your life. Sometimes in our life the top priority goes to our houses, family, sports and even movies. We have to release these from our grip and trust in God to be our everything. Yes, everything.. Our entertainment should be God. Please do not imagine God doing a drama for you. When I mean He will be our entertainment I refer to the Psalmist who says Your commands are my delight. Read the Bible, and get addicted to it as many of us are addicted to the things of the world. Saturate your life with the things of God like the world is saturated with sin. Let everything you do have a connection with God. When you work, do it as if God were watching you all the time. Then you will know the fallacy of putting things were God is to be. Here's what A.W Tozer said about this:

Before the Lord made man upon the earth He first prepared for him by creating a world of useful and pleasant things for his sustenance and delight. In the Genesis account of the creation these are called simply "things". They were made for man's uses,but they were meant to be subservient to him. In the deep Heart of Man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come. Our woes began when God was forced out of His central shrine and things were allowed to enter. Within the human heart "things" have taken over.

Abraham's test was to see whether things had occupied the central Shrine meant only for God. He released his most prized Possession as he climbed Mount Moriah. His heart was filled with anguish the night before and I am pretty sure that he did not sleep that night. Yet, He was so quick to understand God's will and nothing inside him had the power to hold him back. Sometimes, we as Christians always like to use Common sense a little too much. Abraham only had faith, he knew that Issac was the center of all that God had promised and that there was no way God would take him away from him. He might have thought God would bring him back to life after the sacrifice. Look at his calm assuring words to the people who accompanied him - "We will worship and then we will come back to you". He says "we" will come back. What would you and I have said.... maybe something like this -"I am not sure why God is doing this. But, anyway I am going to do it and I will come back to mourn with all of you". Abraham showed clearly in his words, that although he was troubled he still believed in all God's promises to him.

Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives - CAIN

Well at first when I saw his name listed among the "forgotten Lives", I felt like what??? No one as forgotten that guy. The Bible's original bad guy is not forgotten but often overlooked by the swift reader who just wants to get through Genesis. When we read this book of the bible we mostly read it with a mindset of "Oh I've heard about that". The study on Cain here makes us look a bit deeper into the life of the first murderer. The chapter on Cain starts with an astonishing list of statistics regarding murder in the U.S alone. Here are some of the many listed:

  • Sept 6th 1949, Howard Unruh kills 13 people in only 12 minutes. After arrest he commented, "I would have killed a 1000 if I had just enough Bullets"
  • Aug 1st 1966, Charles Whitman climbed to the top of a tower on the University of Texas campus and killed 16 people before he had to be shot fatally.
  • Dec 7 1994, Colin Ferguson methodically shot 21 people abroad a Long Island train, killing 6 of them. He had to stop and reload twice.
  • March 24 1998, two boys,aged 13 and 11 shot 16 people in Jonesbro, Arkansas, killing 4 girls and a teacher.
The FBI claims that during the 1980's alone roughly 35 serial murderers were active. If you had a doubt about which country records the most number of murders, Let me erase it... It is our own USA.
It was fascinating to think that murder started in the second generation itself. It would have been normal if Man lost innocence slowly from petty sins to bigger ones. That was not the case,in Gen 3 we see innocence and as soon as Gen 4 we see sin in the form of murder and that too brethren killing each other. Why exactly did God command Moses to write about this murder in detail?? Swindoll believes that it is to teach us some very important facts about sin(not only murder). Cain couldn't learn anything from this even if God tried to teach him, When God asked him about the whereabouts of his brother there was not even an iota of remorse in Cain's reply.

The author lists these following thins we can learn from Cain's tragic life

OBEDIENCE IS NOT NEGOTIABLE
Cain murdered Abel because of jealousy. He was jealous that God delighted in the sacrifice of Abel more than his sacrifice. He didn't ask why God didn't enjoy his sacrifice.. He was just outright angry at Abel. Jealousy often makes us direct our Anger at someone who is innocent. Cain did not obey God's commands which was to give blood offering of animals. Instead he chose to sacrifice the crops that he cultivated. He did not sacrifice the right thing and he did it in the wrong mindset. If only Cain obeyed his life would have been remembered for the right reasons. Here are the words spoken by the LORD to Cain even after displeased at his sacrifice
"Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast? Is it not true that if you do what is right,you will be fine? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. It desires to dominate you, but you must suppress it."


OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AFFECTS EVERYTHING
This is very true.. haven't you noticed that once you are not right with God you get angry at everyone else. Maybe many of us don't know why we can't be happy with all people. Its because we are not right with God. When we are right with God all our relationships will be fine. Cain was not happy with God.. he hated God in a way because God did not delight in his sacrifice. This hatred resulted in murder. Maybe we wouldn't murder anyone but if our relationship with God is good we can remain friends with many people for a long long time.

UNRESOLVED SIN CORRUPTS EVERYTHING
Leaving a sin unresolved makes us more vulnerable to more sin. Look at how God advises Adam after he gets angry. The LORD says, "But if you do not do what is right sin is crouching at the door". It is possible for us to ignore the sin in our lives but it is impossible to ignore the effects of sin in our lives. Sin is waiting for a chance to devour us. It can take dominion over us if we do not do what is to be done. When we repent of our sins and acknowledge the sin, it can no longer do that. Cain did not do that instead he held revenge and anger in his life which finally brought about his own destruction.

UNRESOLVED SIN HARDENS THE HEART
When we leave sin unresolved it not only corrupts our life but it hardens our heart. It makes us less sensitive to sin in our life. It leaves us feeling sorry for some time but if we do not resolve to shed our sinful ways it grows in the heart making it easier and easier to sin. So Take control of your life by first taking control of your sin.

It is in our hands to decide what we do when we sin... Cain did not accept the offer the grace shown by God. When the LORD asked Where Abel was.. He gave Cain a chance to repent. Cain did not take the chance and he suffered. Let's learn a lesson from this. Please take away any anger that is in your life. It might be purely understandable that you are angry against someone or something but from my experience I know that it brings great freedom when we forgive. we will be looking at our next character tomorrow. Till then God be with you and Be happy.


Will be Back

The Blog remained inactive for a while due to some obstacles that came up.However, I am glad to say that the Blog will be up and running from tomorrow. We will be going through the book, "Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives". The book deals with the easily forgotten or overlooked characters of the Bible. The Book is authored by well known author and Pastor Charles R. Swindoll. See you tomorrow.

The Struggling Saint


Romans 7:15 - 25 is arguably the best piece of literary genius by Paul. It is written in the most intriguing manner that sometimes we are forced to read it again and again. Paul honestly describes the personal struggle he has to go through, to do the good he wants to do. Here are his word - "For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do". every Christian can relate to what Paul is describing. We make decisions only to see ourselves break it within days. We then get disappointed. The life of most Christians is therefore one roller coaster ride. The devil does not care about these Christians. If you are a roller coaster christian there are a few things you need to know.
There is a sinful nature residing in us. As long as we live, it will be there in us. And as long as it is there, we will sin. So, what is the way out of this vicious cycle you ask?. We have to daily acknowledge our sins to the Lord to maintain a good relationship with God. See, God hates it when you sin but even more than that he hates with when you try to hide it from Him. When I first heard this theory of acknowledging our sins daily I asked myself, "Doesn't God get tired of forgiving the same sin over and over again". Well, let that trick from the devil never hold you captive brother/sister. Do you want to know why God never gets tired of forgiving you for the same sin again and again. Because, the day you accepted Jesus into your life, the forgiveness for sin was yours. Every sin you could possibly commit is already forgiven. Romans 8:1 says "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". Whoa!!!, isn't that good news. Yes it is and this is the gospel. But there is something funny in it right? You may ask If we are already forgiven why should you acknowledge the sin every day of your life. Have you noticed that once you commit a sin, every time you want to pray the devil reminds of you of your sin. This is the classic trick used by the Devil for ages. But, when you tell God what you did and when you are really sorry. God looks on the Cross and says "All" your sins have been blotted out. If we can understand this little concept of Grace we will have a victorious christian life. I pray that every reader will be delivered from the trap of the devil who points fingers at you. Jesus Loves You.

Perfect Obedience

There is something with the word obedience that makes every person feel irritated. Obedience is something parents demand from their children. Quotes like, "Do it because I said so" are commonly used in families worldwide. God considers obedience to Him as better than any sacrifice that we can possibly make. But, lets face it its difficult to obey all the time because 1. we have our own interests, we need to fulfill them and 2. Sometimes obedience to God is disobedience to man and vice versa. This is exactly what happens to Peter in our passages for today. Let's turn our bibles to Acts 4:19. The context of this verse should be understood well in order to truly appreciate these strong men of God. We know that Peter and co were just warned by the pharisees not to preach in the name of Jesus anymore. Guess what, Peter didn't heed their warning and went about "Fishing". In this circumstance the Pharisees were mad and wanted to imprison the disciples. Let us see what keeps them from doing so. The fact that the Pharisees most dreaded to think of, is how these former fishermen were healing the sick when they who are born religious leaders couldn't heal a common cold. So, if they decided to imprison the apostles the crowd would turn on them and they feared that-"Everyone in Jerusalem knows that they have done outstanding miracles andd we cannot deny it". Therefore thay decided to warn them again, they caught hold of Peter and warned him 'again'. This is where Peter replies to them "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's eyes to obey you rather than God"(verse 19). It takes courage and a will that is one with God's will to say that. Let us ask ourselves today if we are obedient to God? Are we just obeying what we want to obey and ignoring the rest sometimes sayin that "God won't tell me to do that, it must be the devil". Remember that throughout the bible we see God commanding things that looked like foolishness to man but it was all his divine plan. Look at Abraham leaving his home for the Promised Land. Again, God commanded the Israelites to march shouting praises to God until Jericho fell down. Isn't that foolishness. Sure, it is but only to man. Whoever obeyed God as been blessed. May God help us all to obey him in our lives.

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