Posts tagged ‘God’

Depravity and Trial!

There are many Christians who feel that having great faith is to be supercharged and praise God, something like where they increase before God. However of whom the Bible speaks of great faith, such are rarely noticed by people like these.

Matthew 8
5 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him,
6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.”
7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.
9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.

Matthew 15
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.”
23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”
26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

John 3
26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.”
27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.
28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’
29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

You can see from the above, the more a person recognizes his total depravity, the more he realizes his Salvation coming from Christ. There are essentially three steps in a Christian’s life, the first is Atonement- which was worked out by Christ on the Cross over 2000 years ago, the second is Justification- which is the point when Christ begins to take root in a person’s heart and the third is Regeneration/Sanctification- where the Christian is continually transformed into Christ’ likeness through trial.

Take the instance of the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Mat 22:1-14, it is seen in verse 11 and that in whom the Spirit does not work the Regeneration (Phil 2:12-13), that person has not been chosen for eternal life in union with Christ.

Now think about this, trial by fire (1Pet 1:7)– if God were to truly reprove you unto repentance (Rev 3:19), how much scope would there be for you to go through that trial with your head held high in pride? If you are able to go through the reproach of God with your head held high (Psalms 50:16-17) then the question is: was His reproach not that of a Father unto a son (2Sam 7:14)? It is therefore seen for certain that Regeneration takes place through trial, for trials call for greater obedience, which one can only adhere to by the power of His Spirit (Psalms 94:12).

Psalms 94:12
12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law,

The thing is, in the life of a Christian, his trials will make him small and make his God big. Throughout his life, he will know of his depravity, which in actual is him prostrating truly before his Almighty, Everlasting and Sovereign God.

There are many teachers out there, who in claiming to teach from the Bible, teach a doctrine of material blessing in obedience to God. Such teachers are well described in Mat 23:24, who teach strict obedience to certain values but have themselves given way to disobedience in submitting to their flesh when justice, mercy and faithfulness is required of them.

Mat 23:24
24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

Such is the faith taught by teachers like these. However James 2 teaches that faith goes beyond lip service, which is a call that makes the believer feel the pinch of Regeneration, where he thinks nothing of himself in serving Christ through his brother (Mat 25:40).

James 2
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

There is a good book I recommend to you, called Stonewall Jackson’s Verse, which is a true story of an old Confederate Army General, whose life even during trial had Romans 8:28 as its center.

Romans 8
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

So to close this, all I would like to say is, if you feel small before God especially during your trial then consider that as a blessing of good faith (Job 5:17). For faith can be imputed only through repentance and all a person feels in repentance is small.

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Armour of God!

Though this world may seem to move from bad to worse, I know that God is as much as in control now as He ever was and as He will be forever. For as much as He is glorified in being a creator over creation, he is glorified is being a redeemer over His vessels of mercy and also glorified in His anger over His vessels of wrath. It is not for God or the Christian to worry as to what the world is coming to because God is Sovereign but it would be of much help to the Christian to wear the full armor that God has given him, to withstand days of peril.

Eph 6:13-17
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

The “belt of truth” in verse 14 is something that fastens the armor of God upon the believer. Let’s read Rom 1:18.

Romans 1:18
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Just as if I were to say that my glass is only filled half way or that my glass is still half empty would both be true, hence from Romans 1:18 we can also say “God’s mercy has been made known from heaven touching godliness and righteousness of men, who by their righteousness stands firm in the truth.” We therefore see that the breastplate of righteousness that is held-fast to us by truth protects our bosom so that our hearts entertain nothing else (Proverbs 6:24-27) other than God (Deut 6:5 and Jer 31:33). This, my friend is the mark of a people and belong to God.

From Eph 6:14, we see that the believer is called to have readiness to preach the Gospel as Jesus says in Matthew 28:18-20 that All Power has been given unto Him and we are therefore commanded to go into the nations and bring in the good news of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of peace! That the people may adhere to the One God in the Father, Son and Spirit, as He promised to remain with His people till the end of age.

Romans 10:13-15
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

About the shield of faith in Eph 6:15 that extinguishes the fiery dart of Satan. We know God Himself promised to shield Abraham (Gen 15:1) and it was because Abraham believed that it was credited to him as righteousness (Gal 3:6). The Bible also tell us in 1John 5:5 that it is in believing in Jesus in which we have the shield of faith that quenches the fiery darts of the enemy (1Peter 5:8-9).

Also, you are not fully sheltered if your head is not protected. For in this battle that happens for the time that God has decreed, a blow to head can prove to be fatal and if God has called you to receive His helmet of salvation (Psalms 140:7) then it implicitly implies that He will give you His full armor, which is a privilege the world has not seen.

Habakkuk 3:13
You went out for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed. You crushed the head of the house of the wicked, laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah.

Finally, you also need a device of attack and what we have been given is the sword of Spirit i.e. the Word of God – The Bible, which is a weapon given to us by His Spirit in His wisdom.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

I kept this for last; Brother/Sister now that you have seen the splendid Armor presented to you, here is its purpose:

Ephesians 6:11-12
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

If you think the opposition is big then this should console you: God controls the opposition! Do you know how some vaccines are made in the field of medicine? The actual virus is taken, made handicapped and injected into the body. The virus cannot really do much harm but what happens is that the body starts producing antibodies, which builds up the immune system against that disease and this is probably how God Sovereignly uses Satan and all his dominions to build God’s people.

The Right Pride

“Pride” in today’s world is misunderstood. The Bible however does bring clarity into this topic as it does completely (1Cor 4:6) with everything else. Many godly people resent the very word “pride” but frankly zero pride only means zero respect. Let us take a look into a few scriptures that show us the type of pride that God resents.

Psalms 10:4
The wicked do not care about the LORD; in their pride they think that God doesn’t matter.

Isaiah 13:19
Babylonia is the most beautiful kingdom of all; it is the pride of its people. But I, the LORD, will overthrow Babylon as I did Sodom and Gomorrah!

Jeremiah 50:29
“Tell the archers to attack Babylon. Send out everyone who knows how to use the bow and arrow. Surround the city and don’t let anyone escape. Pay it back for all it has done, and treat it as it has treated others, because it acted with pride against me, the Holy One of Israel.

Obadiah 1:2-4
The LORD says to Edom, “I will make you weak; everyone will despise you.
Your pride has deceived you. Your capital is a fortress of solid rock; your home is high in the mountains, and so you say to yourself, ‘Who can ever pull me down?’
Even though you make your home as high as an eagle’s nest, so that it seems to be among the stars, yet I will pull you down

Do you notice here that the pride that God despises is the pride a man takes in himself and the work of his own hands? This was the very reason for which that mighty angel (Satan) was condemned (1Timothy 3:6).

So what do you think? Should the people of God totally do away with pride? I don’t think so because the Bible says so. Tell me, would you have cough syrup anytime other than when you have a cough? If you did, that would be a perversion of the medicine’s purpose to suit you for whatever reason….mostly probably to get high but we see so much of that in the world today. Another instance of such a case can be seen in the beggars of my city, who actually hire doctors to amputate their healthy limbs or have their eyes scooped out, so that their pitiful state will get them more money; which here is clearly a perversion of charity. The funny thing is what the world considers a new trick to pervert the ways of God is not new at all (Jeremiah 4:22). After all how far can a man go when everything he does centers around himself?

Habakkuk 1:7
They spread fear and terror, and in their pride they are a law to themselves.

Coming back to the topic of pride, if you say pride is to be fully rejected in view of God and his Law then I would like to ask you: Is it wrong for a father to be proud of his son (Proverbs 23:24)? Or is it wrong for a spouse to be proud of their faithful partner (Proverbs 12:4)? Are you now beginning to see the right application of pride and not the perversion of it?

There is a difference between being puffed with conceit and being filled with godly pride but here is the punch line: The best use to which a person can put their boasting is taking pride in knowing and exalting God. Allow me support my statement with scripture.

Jeremiah 9:23-24
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,
but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”

Have you be ever been blessed with this kind of righteous pride? Let me tell you then that this blessing is a gift from God this is not the work of your own head and heart. For Jesus says that only His people hear his voice (John 10:27) and only they will confess Him before men (Mat 10:32) i.e. take pride in Him. At the end of it all: man should exalt only God and be humble concerning everything else, including himself.

Isaiah 2:17
Human pride will be ended, and human arrogance will be destroyed. Idols will completely disappear, and the LORD alone will be exalted on that day.

To conclude I would like to quote what the greatest man of God (Luke 7:28): “John the Baptist” said about Jesus Christ in John 3.

John 3:27-30
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.
You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.
He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Quietness and Trust

Hi, how are you guys doing? Hope you all are fine. Today I would like to write on a topic that is very challenging at its heart, which is trusting in God in our quietness.

Isaiah 30:15
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,

Let me first give you a little information on Israel. The Bible says that Israel was the apple of His eye. They were a people chosen not because of their own brilliance in any way but because they were the smallest of people. Almost whole of the Old Testament is about the love of God in action over Israel. They are a people who are dear to Him and it is to them the Messiah came. The Bible has a lot of history of the world hating the people of God, that however is more out of subconscious envy than anything else because the world does not see a brilliant Israel but still wonders how they can be the apple of His eye. The truth is that it is not about a brilliant people but rather about a brilliant God. It is like “the fox and the grapes”, what the fox couldn’t have, he made believe they were sour and that is same with the world and Israel, what the world knows they can never be a part of, they write-off.

May God bless Israel as a people and also as a nation!

Coming back to Isaiah 30:15; we see that the returning and rest refers to repentance and patiently waiting for God’s deliverance. God and His redemption came in the human form of Jesus Christ centuries after and it was not on their own strength but in quietness and trust that the strength of God was granted unto them. This is the same applied to us now, sometimes we go so far ahead in action on what we think is a one way street. Our repentance then is in a 180° turn, that being a U turn on that road of life and then moving ahead in a direction that will set you against the flow of this world. If you ask me from where am I to expect that this will work then the answer is in the quietness and trust that shall be given your strength.

Ecclesiastes 4:6
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

How many of you have witnessed God’s deliverance in a situation. Is it not like an Oasis feeling in the desert where on a road of hardship and thorns you can find soothing relief? When such deliverance has come your way, how much of your effort was counted then to that credit? It is the same with the Salvation that came through Christ (2Timothy 1:9), the oasis of God’s goodness set against the backdrop of man’s damnation. There is no condition to which the subject is applied in order for the deliverance of God to come forth. The deliverance of God comes not because of what man does or who the man is but because God chooses. In fact the storms in our lives are purposefully set there by God (Psalms 107:25-28), because the relationship between God and His people can be likened to that of a parent and child. The parent sends the child for sports and the child is rigorously trained and in that comes the time when the child ask the parent for the equipment he needs, the parent provides and therein lies the two way relationship. So when the deliverance of God comes it is like plentiful rain falling on a scorched dry region. The God we have is such that the needs he places in our lives are enough to swallow us a hundred times over but then when He acts in deliverance that need is the filled to the extent that it wipes away our tears (Rev 21:4) for that is the Lord’s calling upon those who call to Him for redemption (Joel 2:32).

So the next time you have a situation where the more you act towards it only worsens the scene, may you then aptly remember and apply Isaiah 30:15.

Freedom in God!

Hello people, how are you? Hope you are all doing well. It’s been quite sometime since I have been able to come home to Mumbai and so I spared sometime to write something for you wonderful people. I will be writing on freedom today as Indian Republic Day is just round the corner.

So what is freedom and what really is the essence of being called a free people? Allow me to give you an idea, when you are doing something out of your free will and not because you have to or you must that is called being free. My country India has lost many dedicated lives for her freedom and yet the most prominent freedom fighter of them all is Mahatma Gandhi, who was inspired by the teachings of Christ in regards to winning the freedom struggle using the fundamentals of Non-Violence.

If you look at the concept of God that the religions of the world are pursuing, it seems a free people are seeking bondage to some polytheistic gods or a monotheistic god. Somehow people find bondage good, it seems being caged up creates an outlook that you are abstaining from things created out of religious requirement. Religiosity dictates quite a list of things to people among these a few are dietary regulation, attire and personal appearance, prayer schedules, fasting regimes, pilgrimages etc.

The world is so busy doing what it is doing, that it sometime does a few things that makes a statement of a total absence of mind. What the world knows of God is what death knows about life, absolute ignorance from which comes absolute religion. The enlightenment that comes from God is missing in the world, the world is dead (Matthew 8:22), dead but free. Sometimes however people get inculcated with a notion that there is something far superior to them and this is probably where people get the notion of UFOs, super-beings and advanced alien technology. Well I do agree that creation has a Supreme Being but unlike most of world, I feel that if coming to Him is a good thing then I shouldn’t be going from the freedom of world into the bondage of this god. When unfortunate people have such religious encounters they don’t go from being dead in their being to being alive, they go from being dead and free to being dead and in bondage. Do I need to tell you which is better?

Religion does not really solve problems be it monotheistic or polytheistic. It is created with an intention to make society seem better but a religious solution brings its own set of problems into the picture to which religious people seem to turn a blind eye. What religion does is that it suppresses freedom of the people from doing quite a lot of what is actually a part of life, which makes the religious followers feel like they are doing quite a lot but the truth is they are only doing quite a lot of NOTHING. This suppressed freedom is vented out by these same religious people into true wickedness and the funny thing is that these religious people feel totally justified to act wicked because they have given up their freedom to act that way.

Religion and God are like oil and water, they don’t mix. Belief in God is about taking hold of the hope that He offers you and you don’t see this in religion, which is more of people being made subject to regulations; power hungry politics if you ask me. There was never a hope in bondage and the sooner the world comes to terms with this the better because hope in God is far from bondage in religion.

So my friend do you know where to find this hope? The answer is in letting a relationship in God take root within you, then you will go from being dead and free in the world to being alive and free in God. However the freedom of the world is subject to external factors which in turn are subject to God. So the freedom that is in God is far superior to the freedom of the world, in fact it makes the freedom of the world seem like bondage. I hope you are seeing how advanced this line of thinking is. Do you want to know where this comes from? It comes from the teachings of Christ.

Romans 3:24
But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.

Knowing Jesus is knowing you are a sinner and accepting Jesus is accepting that He took upon Himself this inequity of your being. If you say you know Jesus Christ and that you don’t need Him because you think you are doing OK by yourself or you feel you have an alternative then my friend you ought to know that the only reason you are doing ok by yourself is because he is enabling you to do so and you seem like a person who just knows he ought to fuel his car and run it, Christ’ workings in the life of this person is as oblivious to this person as is the engine running his car. As for the alternative, that alternative would only be hell, would Christ sacrifice His Life if there were ever an alternative. Is life so cheap, even if that were the life of just a man? For those who deny Jesus died and rose again, they may not admit it but in their hearts they have turned into the enemy that is against the Salvation offered by God the Father and worked out through God the Son. God has already spoken to people like these, it is like God saying he is going to pour out His wrath on them at His set time and in the mean time these people are free to act on their own. And this is precisely what the religions of the world teach, self empowered action to save yourself; this is also what Atheist Ideology is about. One can clearly see that the Atheist and the Religious see themselves as different as leopards with different spots. They may identify themselves uniquely but in essence they are the same rebellious being against God.

This is a rebellion which pushes away in bitterness the Salvation worked out by God because the Spirit of God has not stirred them. There is a Latin idiom “Stagnant water can poison you”and so these people who are not stirred by God the Holy Spirit turn contagious and ravage the world. This rebellion is made so dull in their thinking that their work to save themselves is unknowingly a work to seek to save themselves from God. But who or what can save a person from God? This is precisely what God is to them: a God of wrath not a God who saves because separated from deliverance that is in Christ, this is the message of Judgement that has been made known by God Himself unto them.

John 3:16
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

You can see from the above scripture that there is no self empowered gate crashing into eternal life with God. It is on the basis of invite for those who believe in Christ, that is how it is because that is how He wants it to be. After-all a person ought to know that this Heavenly House belongs an Entity that calls the shots in everything that exists.

Cheers!!

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