Monday, 19 February 2018

An Invitation That Transcends All Boundaries

You host a party. Who would be in your invite list?

Family. Obviously!
Friends. Oh. They are the must. Else, what’s the fun?
VIPs. Of course, they add to the nobility of the party.
Neighbours. Why not?

Strangers. Why would you? Random people for no reason! Definitely not. They don’t deserve your invite.

But if there’s one invite that transcends all boundaries, be it ethnicity, religion or socio-economic status, it is the invite from the Man on the Cross.

The Lent Days reminds us of this Great Invitation.

Invitation to the troubled and the weary world (Matt 11:28).
Invitation to approach the throne of God boldly, through His work on the cross (Heb 4:16).
Invitation that washes away our sins and offers us a new life in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).
Invitation that gives us joy and peace (John 14:27).
Invitation that promises us ‘exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think’ (Eph 3:20)
Invitation that offers us rest (Mat 11:28).

What a glorious invitation! But an often forgotten one - in our busy lives. 
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28)

Isa 55 is a foreshadow of this great invitation.

If you are thirsty, come to the waters.
If you are in need, come, buy and eat, without price.
If you find no satisfaction, listen to Him and your soul will delight in abundance.

If you accept this invite from our Lord Jesus Christ, you are freed of Adam’s curse on mankind. Instead of thorns and brier, you will see cypress and myrtles (Isa 55:13).

An invitation to ‘all’ and to ‘anyone’. Let's extend this invitation to people around us! 

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Love at First Sight

When his tiny fingers gently moved around her hands, her heart melted. It was love at first sight.

She knew he was one of the abandoned babies. She knew he was destined to die as per the law of the land. She knew he was not of her status, and definitely not an Egyptian.

But she couldn’t resist herself. She carefully lifted the tiny being, and brought him home!

She raised him up as her own son.

Wow! What an expected favour from God. What a sudden turn of events!

The baby who would’ve otherwise been to the grave is now in the palace – growing up as a son of the Pharaoh.

For a mother watching her son to die in the waters, isn’t it a miracle to see him not just alive, but thrive in the palace?

When thousand other Hebrew male babies were abandoned and killed, this one, Moses, survived, thanks to the unexpected favour from God.

God’s favour will come to you from unexpected corners.

God’s favour is able to lift you from the pit, however deep, and place you on the rock (1 Sam 16).

His favour will turn your circumstance upside down. It will reverse your situation by 180 degrees (Gen 41:41).

When his favour is upon you, you will reap a hundred-fold even during the drought (Gen 26:12).

Lev 26:9 – For I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you. 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Trust God, though you can't trace His ways

A party time!

The eldest brother throws a big party. All his brothers and sisters are invited.

Everyone is having a good time together. Lots of cheers, plenty of fun and, of course, a great feast. But this did not last long. Suddenly, all their faces turn pale with fear.

No meteorological forecast had predicted this. No warning signs. No time to escape. A great and destructive wind killed them all. All ten children died in a moment.

The news reaches Job’s ears. But, this isn’t the first bad news for the day.

The Sabeans raided his oxen and his donkeys.
The fire burnt his sheep.
The Chaldeans raided the camels.
Most of his servants are killed.

Wait a moment! Did the children have to party the same day when animals are being raided? How come the great wind did nothing to the Sabeans and the Chaldeans? Fire at one place and a gusty wind at another?

And all this in a moment. Is this a planned attack or a coincidence?

And in a little while, painful boils from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head.

What’s happening?  

God, why is this happening to me?
Why would God allow this?
If only I hadn’t met him/her.
I wish I never woke up to see that horrific day!
Why this terrible sickness?
Should life be this unfair?

“But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” Job 23:10
What a statement by Job ‑- in the midst of loss, sickness and neglect.

There are two things in this profound statement by Job.

One, He knows the way I take. God knows what you’re going through. Things that happen in your life aren’t a surprise to God. Probably to you, but not to Him. He knows you in and out. He knows the emotions you’re going through. He sees your tears.

Two, when you pass your test, you’re sure to shine. As gold!

That’s what happened to Job. He did not drown in his sickness. He did not sink in his pain. There was a way out - a way that God had planned for him.

Job sees God in the midst of his pain. What a glorious moment it would’ve been! Wow, isn’t there a reason to thank God for the problems that He allows in your life? “Now my eye sees You” - Job 42:5

Job learnt the power of forgiveness. His three friends came to comfort him but ended up blaming him, criticising him, condemning him and finding wrong in him. But Job could now forgive them and pray for them.

Job got back all that he lost. And a double-fold!

Not just material restoration, there was restoration of relationships. All his brothers, all his sisters and all his acquaintances came to him.

His remaining years were blessed by the Almighty.

He lived until he was old and full of days, seeing his children and grandchildren - for four generations.

Trust Him, though you cannot trace what He is up to. His ways are amazing and beyond your comprehension.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

A Festival With a Difference

It’s a Jewish festival. We’re not sure what the festival is. Probably, the feast of Tabernacle or the festival of Purim. Doesn’t matter! It’s a festival. And hence, a celebration.

On the top of it, it is Sabbath. The Holy Day for the Jews.

In Jerusalem, by the Sheep gate, you find a pool. All you see around the pool are people with disability or disease. People waiting for a miracle. People waiting for a great number of years, just for one miracle, that could change their life.

But no one seems to be bothered about this crowd of people.

Everyone else is busy in their own festive mood. Celebrating years of togetherness, meeting age-old friends, exchanging hugs and love – everyone else is busy. Busy in their own world!

Here, this lot of people – the blind, the lame, the paralyzed, are waiting for the pool to be stirred. Apparently, the first person to get into the pool, once the pool is stirred, probably by an angel, receives instant healing.

A man, invalid for the last 38 years, never got the chance to get into the pool first, simply because there was no one to lift him and drop him in.

Here comes someone, Lord Jesus!

He shuns meaningless festivity. He is not to be seen among the religious Jews. He is not beside the altar.

He is among the sick. And the diseased.
He is among people who are helpless.
He is among those who are looking for someone to help them.
He is among those neglected by the society.
He is among those who are longing for an acceptance.

Still today, He is among those who need love, acceptance, forgiveness or healing.

It took Him just a moment to heal the man, who was invalid for 38 years. He is the same unchanging God yesterday, today and forever.

It will take Him just a moment to do a miracle in your life.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Math in the Desert

One of the biggest math-miracles is centered around Moses and the Israelites.

In the desert, the Israelites had to get food and how do you feed 3.5 million people? 

According to the quartermaster General of the American army, Moses needed 1500 ton of food daily. A 6-km long freight train would be needed to transport the food.

The food had to be cooked with firewood and you must remember: they were in the desert. 4000 ton of wood would be needed per day and again a few freight trains, each approximately 2-km long, to transport the wood.

Something to think about: they moved through the desert for 40 years.

What about water? Just enough to drink and wash-up a little, they would need 50 million litre each day and a freight train with tankers, approximately 19-km long, would be needed to bring the water. 

There were only a few waterholes in the desert. How did they get enough water?

Another thing!

They had to pass through the Red Sea in one night! If they had a footpath where they walked two-two at a time, the line would be 1280-km long and it would take them 35 days and nights to pass through. 

So, there must have been a path through the Red Sea of about 5-km wide for 5000 people to be able to walk beside each other in go.

Another problem: they had to camp each night. A camping sight of 1200 square meter was needed, that is 40-km wide and 48-km long.

Do you think Moses had it all worked out to the finest detail before the big move?

No, he was only an ordinary man with a unwavering faith in GOD! GOD would take care of everything! Come, take courage, you with all your problems.

Guess what?  ... We serve the same GOD!!!

HE has never changed, and if HE could resolve all Moses' problems, HE will also resolve your problems!
All we need is an unwavering faith in GOD!

*Taken from an anonymous source.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

You are a divine appointment

Taking the center stage, in the midst of philosophers and Athenians and other foreigners, Paul begins his speech - one of the best speeches ever delivered.

In this beautiful passage recorded in Acts 17, Paul talks about the sovereignty of God.

Acts 17:26 - From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

God has marked out your appointed time in history. Your birth wasn’t an accident, neither your death will be. Your period on earth is a divine appointment.

And, He determines the boundaries of your dwellings. Bible says, He has literally marked them out for you. What an awesome God we serve!

He is a Sovereign God—He’s in charge! He has no beginning and no end. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is not limited by time and space. He shuts doors that no one can open and He opens doors that no one can shut. Nothing enters your life without His permission. He rules this universe.

If your loved one is going through sickness, God is in control. When you are financially broke, God is in control. When you are facing an unpleasant situation, God is in control. When you feel cheated, when you feel rejected, God is in control. When nation goes through persecution, God is in control.

Isn’t it comforting to know that the God you worship is the ruler of everything? The calm assurance that your Father has everything in His control?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

God's ways are higher - always!

It is very human to expect miracle to happen in the usual way. You think of something exciting and hope things would happen the way you planned.

But remember miracles are miracles because they do not happen the usual way. Otherwise there is no miracle at all, if it happens in the ordinary manner. 

Miracles are miracles because they happen God's way. That is why Bible says in Isa 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Israelites were wandering through the wilderness and as always they murmured against God. If you read Numbers 11, the people craved to eat meat and they murmured against the servant of God. They did not cry to God but against God. When Moses brought this cry to God, God promised Moses that he would perform a miracle.
Numbers 11:18-20
18 Then you shall say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20 but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the Lord who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?”’”

And since God said it, it would happen, no matter what. It really isn't Moses’ job to figure out how this would happen. That's God problem. But Moses takes it upon himself. He begins making a mental calculation of how God could do something like this. Many times in our life we end up doing the same. We begin to make our guesses, sometimes we make plans on our own and some brilliant people would even start suggesting to God. ‘God, may be you can do this. Or else, try this.’ That's His problem. He is wiser than you. He knows more than what you know or could ever think or imagine.

Moses begins to think. First he counts the number of people. Vs 21 - The people whom I am among are six hundred thousand men on foot. So God has to provide meat for so much people. And then he calculates the number of days. Same verse continues yet You have said, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat for a whole month.

Yet, you have said. Moses thinks God has made a wrong calculation. He is saying, God, don’t you know there are so many men. And Yet how could you say, you are going to provide meat not just for a day or two but for a whole month.

Moses thinks God did some foolishness by over-promising and he gets worried. How is God going to do this? How can God do this?

He thinks next of the resources available with them for God to perform the miracle. He looks around. What do they have with them? They have with them flocks of sheep and may be herds of cattle and probably there may some fish in the sea. But he realises even all this is just not enough for all that God has overpromised them. So Moses asks the next question to God.
Vs 22 - Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to provide enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to provide enough for them?”

Moses might seem stupid. But many times in our life, we act just like him. Like Moses, we also see only the obvious. We calculate based on what the requirement is, what are the resources available, what are the means available and we begin to make our suggestions to God.

We see only what we can with our limited vision and think of ways that a miracle could happen. But a miracle is beyond that. A miracle requires faith. And what is faith? Bible says in Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

Remember faith is not the evidence of things that are seen but rather it is evidence of things that are not seen. How wonderful!

You can never see or imagine what God has in mind for you. Look at God's reply to Moses. Just amazing. God doesn't say to Moses. ‘No, my son. You are doing a wrong calculation. But this is my plan and this is the way I’m going to perform the miracle.’

God doesn’t say that. Are you waiting for a miracle in your life? Don’t expect God to tell you, my child, this is the way I am going to perform a miracle. He might never tell. You’ll have to wait and watch.

God’s reply to Moses was.. Is the Lord's arm shortened?

Numbers 11:23 - And the Lord said to Moses, “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.”

If God said it, it will happen. Come what may! Numbers 23:19 - God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

You need great faith because you have a great God who will do things in a great way - beyond what your little brains and minds can think.

I am sure Moses would have been spellbound when he saw the miracle happen.

Numb 11:31,32
31 Now a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground. 32 And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp.

Miracles need your faith.

An Invitation That Transcends All Boundaries

You host a party. Who would be in your invite list? Family. Obviously! Friends. Oh. They are the must. Else, what’s the fun? V...