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.
Archive for October 2008
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.
The Scripture passages for today are Luke 9:57-62,14:33 and Matthew 16:24. All these verses have their central point in Jesus's words "Deny Yourself". How exactly do we deny ourselves. Man, as we know is characterized by greed. He first sets his sights on surviving, then slowly moves on to thriving. Man is never satisfied. Jesus commands his disciples to shed this character by denying themselves and taking up their crosses. The cross signifies shame and sorrow,(The other side of the Cross is victory). Every true believer may have to go through some of these feelings for following Jesus. I once heard someone say, "The believer is present only when Jesus feeds 5000,but the disciple climbs the mountain with the Master". We have to be all weather Christians not only when everything is going well for us. To become an all weather christian is to become a disciple and to become a disciple is to deny our self. I do not want to dilute what Jesus meant when He said "Deny Yourself". To illustrate the process of denying oneself, lets take the example of a Christian Youth. The young disciple will be tormented by sexual temptations in this vile world we live in. In fact, he has every right to be tempted (but not to sin,don't get me wrong). Here, only a disciple who has denied his sexual needs until marriage can follow Jesus. everyone else will find it difficult (I say impossible to meet God's standards). Moving on, Why should we deny Ourselves anyway? a very wise man once said that, " The wise learn from other people's mistakes". Look at the world for just one second. Look at the wars,murder,abortion rates,envy,crookedness,blasphemy,immorality. But ask yourself did the people of the world want all this. Certainly not, all they did was long for personal wealth, peace, happiness..etc. Look at what they got instead. Yup, the exact opposite. Our Lord says, " Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it". How true that is brothers and sisters. Losing your life doesn't mean dying. It means disregarding all your former priorities. Many a time Christians back away from denying themselves because they think its a big risk. But let me tell you if you deny yourself, God will take care of you more than you can take car of yourselves. Is there anything that is obstructing you today from denying yourself and taking up the cross. What is it that you don't want to let go yet?..Let go brother,Let go sister His hands will carry you all the way only if you did. I end this post with the Lord's words : "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?. Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?."
The scripture passages for today are John 7:24, 1 Cor 5:12-6:8.
Both John 7:24 and 1 Cor 5:12-6:8 deal with Judging. So, what is this judging?. Is it a bad thing?. No, certainly not, but you can judge in the right or wrong manner. In John 7:24, Jesus says,"stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment". If Judging was entirely wrong, then Jesus would never had made that statement. Jesus, on the other hand explains to us the way to judge people (not by appearance, but by their fruit). So, one thing is sure judging people is not wrong. Now, let us see what Paul says about this in 1 Corinthians. He says, " What business is it of mine to judge outside the church, Are you not to judge those inside". Here, we get a clear idea, about who to judge and who not to judge. we are clearly instructed not to judge people outside the church. But, isn't that what we do all the time. This is wrong. The world does not need any judgment because God will Judge at the right time. The world needs the love of Jesus. Give the world the love of Jesus and the world will change,nothing else can change the heart of man. By now, we know who not to judge. so, the next question is obviously who should we judge?. Let us see the example in 1 Cor chapter 5. Here, we find a 'brother' who is caught in the most shameful sin. If judging was wrong the church should have kept silent when this man's sin was revealed. What do we see here though, we find that the immoral brother is expelled from church. A single rotten apple can destroy a whole basket of apples. Are we to expel all guilty people from church then??. No, then the pews would be empty and yes the pulpit too. We should give them chances, then isolation and then the final act is handing over to Satan or expelling. This last act too is done with a desire to see the person return back. This is not condemnation, its just punishment.
Today's scripture reading is from Matt 5:10-16, Luke 6:26 and Luke 11:23.
In Matthew 5:10-16 we find that Jesus talks about the value of christians to the world, and how blessed they are when they are persecuted for His Name. Jesus says," You are the salt of the earth". Not so long ago, I heard a preacher saying that in Jesus' time, people were paid in salt. That is how the word salary came into being. Salt was so important in the ancient time because it was the only preservative known to man. We believers therefore are preservatives of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by spreading it through our life. But, once salt loses its saltiness it is good for nothing. Our faith is our worth(not our good works, for our good works are like filthy rags to God,the exact translation would be stinking clothes used to clean pus from sores). Faith is when you humbly come to God even after you sinned trusting in his righteous nature that He will forgive you and make ou whole each day. So are good works completely useless? Certainly not. Good works are the ligh that shines from us onto unbelievers which leads them to praise God, not essentially with their mouth but in their thoughts. Luke 6:26 says " woe to you when others speak well of you, for that is what the fathers did to the false prophets". Now, let us see Jesus as to say in Matt 5:11--"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of me. What do we understand from these two astonishing verses. Well, in short we need to realize that people's opinions should not matter much to us. Look for God's commendation instead of the world's commendation. Now looking at the last scripture verse we read today, "He who is not with me, is against me, He who does not gather with me scatters"--Luke 11:23. The verse completely takes away the prospect of a buffer zone. In God's eyes, there are only two kinds of things always: The holy and unholy. Holy and Unholy people, Holy and Unholy habits, Holy and Unholy talk. So, if you are sitting aroung doing no gathering know today that you are not inactive or affecting anything. Because if you do not do the will of God, you are automatically doing the will of the devil. God blees You.
Today we look at Luke 16:10 and 2 Tim 2:2.Luke 16 deals with Being wise and using adversity to stimulate you instead of destroying you. 2 Tim deals with doing the best for God. Paul advises Timothy and all christians to do their best for God. Quote: "If we die with Him, we will Livw with Him.
If we stick it out with Him, we will rule with Him.
If we Turn our backs on Him, He will turn our backs on us.
If we give up on Him, He does not give up on us for there is no way He can be false to Himself.
Luke 16 also contains the story of a crooked manager of a rich landlord. This manager is seen to survive in adversity by using his wits. Jesus wants us to use our wits given to us by God when we live in this crooked and perverse generation. This chapter contains another parable. It is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Th parable should remind us all of being humble in this life. As I heard this week, humility is the escalator God uses to take people to the top. Here we see the image of a poor man and a rich man who spent most of his money on the leisures of the world. The end of both these men are diametrically opposite. God warns us that riches will drive many people to hell. So make sure your savings are in Heaven where there is no moth who can eat away your wealth. and where the wealth of man is, there also will be his heart. Let your hearts be set on God.
The scripture passages for today are Luke 10:1-3 and Luke 17-20. The context of both these verses is Jesus sending out the seventy to spread the Good news that the kingdom of God is at hand. The tone of Jesus is one of "Don't worry". Children of God, it is not only wrong to worry when you say you are christian it is also utter foolishness. I heard a sermon yesterday where the Pastor spent so much time explaining the wonderful Universe in which we live. God made all this by his words and the stars by his Breath says the word of God. Why then should we worry about anything, God may not answer all the prayers, but atleast we should know that there is a purpose for anything and everything God does. God created the ozone layer to protect us from U-V rays. God sends rain to all, both the righteous and the wicked. There are 50 cells being replaced in your body every 3 seconds,who does all this? God does, Why? Because He cares for you. So don't worry about anything. Be immune to worry. Back to our verse we are dealing with for the day. Jesus instructs the disciples not to take any extra stuff wth them like sandals, toothpaste(LOL) anything. God will provide. With these words I end today's devotion
This is one of the most exciting parts of the New Testament. The Gospel is based on one truth and that truth will never change. It is simply that "Jesus is alive". The devil cannot do anything about it. This passage also contains what is called as the Great Commission which refers to the duty of all Christians to spread the Gospel to all parts of the world.
In this passage, Jesus says , "Tell my Brethren....".This word brethren means that Jesus now considers us as brothers and sisters. I need to start living a life which is similar to Christ's life otherwise I am not His Brethren.
"All authority in Heaven and earth is given to me"- I should not worry about anything in my Life, because God is in control.
The main purpose of Life should be to spread the Gospel.
"I will be with you till the end of time"- Isn't this enough for all of us to Live a fearless and faithful life to the Lord.Jesus is near and here all the time throughout all we go Through. We need to take heart from that.
Rejoice - I should frequently remind myself of the victory at the cross. This should be a source of Joy.
Praise The Lord
I did my Chemistry Test well, I just can't wait to get my results on Friday.
1 Cor 13:4-7
The Main thought of this passage is "LOVE". In this world,where the word 'Love' has been used in various contexts, this passage still is the best definition for Love.
Love suffers Long - Many Times I don't suffer for long, I do what most people do, I retaliate. But, the word of God says I should suffer long if I am a christian. This attitude is not to be shown to specific people but to all.Why? Because we need to love "all", what else does "LOve your enemies" mean?. God will retaliate for you.
Love Does not envy - If there is love there will be no envy. I have been jealous towards some of my friends and I know that whenever there is envy, the love grows cold. An enviable attitude also shows that the person is not happy. But, if God is foremost in our Life, you will have no reason to envy anyone.
Love does not seek its own - Some people are very special in our lives. Sometimes, we sacrifice many things for them. For example, if we know that someone we love likes a special food, we try to keep some for them by eating less. God wants us to have that attitude towards all people. This is connected to when Jesus says "Do to others what you want them to do to you". Count yourself lower than all. You will have great relationships in Life.
Praise The Lord
God gave me a 96% result in my History Test on 13th October 2008.The class average was only 64.25%.Thank you Lord.