Monthly Archives: March 2013

Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.–1 Cor. 2:2 (NASB)

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The Name above all names. JESUS CHRIST. But He is also, Jesus Christ, Him crucified.

There are instances in our life. We have failed miserably, everyone thought we are out, the very thoughts of those failures make our hearts bitter. But, we did not remain a failure. By the grace of our LORD, we rose again. From those failures, you and I have emerged victorious. The LORD did not let us remain ashamed before the eyes of others. Yet…

There is a mechanism in all of us. A mechanism that blocks those miserable moments out of our memory. We avoid talking about those instances as those memories make our life bitter. We try not to meet people who are associated with those failures. How many times it has happened to us? We are happy with the new life we have, content with the success we are enjoying, yet a mere mention of the place where you had tasted that failure, just an email from someone who knew those failures, something like these that would trigger those memories. Memories that would make all the happiness become painful. Memories that would reopen those hurtful wounds. We try our best not to associate with failures.

But Jesus Christ associated Himself with the Cross. Where He died the most abject death. Where He was ridiculed and taunted. Where even a thief who was dying on another cross made fun of Him. Where Jesus Christ felt so much loneliness in His life.

Yet, Jesus Christ associated Himself with the Cross again and again. Why? Because Jesus Christ wants to remind us again and again few things.pointing-finger

  • There are so many things in this world which keeps reminding us of our sins, failures, trespasses and mistakes. When something goes wrong, there are people who are ready to point a finger at us and blame it on those mistakes that we had done long back. But Jesus Christ, Him crucified, is there to remind us that HE has carried all our sins away, that He has taken the punishment for those sins and that He has suffered all the blames for those trespasses.
  • Flesh. Temptations. Sins. The world today is filled with all these around us. It keeps reminding us how fragile our “holiness” is, how deep down in our hearts, we are all just sinners. But, the LORD Jesus Christ, Him crucified, keeps telling us that He came to redeem us, sinners and He was crucified so that we become righteous in the eyes of the LORD and are saved. Yes, it is a constant remainder that we are saved and have become righteous – because of Jesus Christ, Him crucified.sinner
  • Curses. Not those cuss words. I am talking about how many people have cursed us, wished that we fail and some have actually prayed earnestly that we don’t succeed. Yet, here we are. As the Psalmist said, “Though they may curse me, You will bless.” (Psa. 109:28) How many times, my dear friend, you were hurt when you heard that others had wished you failure? Remember how many times you were shattered when people close to you have cursed you? But, the LORD still has blessed you. Because of Jesus Christ, Him crucified. Because Jesus Christ became a curse for us, carrying all our curses, and giving us only the blessings. Yes, no matter how much others curse us, you and I will be blessed and we will be a blessing unto others, because of Jesus Christ, Him crucified.CHRIST-BECAME-A-CURSE-FOR-US.
  • Devil. Satan. Hell. Demons. Black magic. Evil powers. There are so many powers against you and me, the believers. And, there are times when we feel as we are surrounded by impregnable darkness and nothing else. It feels as if all these powers are overpowering us. We feel as if we are completely powerless against those powers. And in those moments, look up and see Him – Jesus Christ, Him crucified. And when you look up at Him, you will see something else too: that, beneath that Cross, the head of the devil is crushed. Yes, dear child of God, whenever you look at Jesus Christ, Him crucified, you also know that He has crushed the devil under His feet. And, even death has been swallowed up in victory.

Yes, the Name of our LORD the Savior is Jesus Christ, Him crucified… may that Name bring all the blessings, peace and victory to us. And may all praise, honor, glory be to His Name, Jesus Christ, Him crucified. Amen.

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Isaiah 53:3-4“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem. Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted.”

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May I never boast except in the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ … Gal. 6:14 (NET)

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When I was a young kid, I used to read a lot. Lots of mythology, fantasy stories, etc. But I had not read the Bible and I did not know much about being a Christian. There is this Catholic church in our town and there used to be this huge crucifix on the side of the road. I was twelve when one of my classmates asked me why was Jesus hanging from the Cross. And I had no ideaSick smile. My mom got furious that I knew so much about other religions, but I had no idea why Jesus was hanging from the Cross. She made me read the New Testament.
As I was reading the Gospel according to Matthew, I was confused confused. This God is not like any other gods I have read in the mythology. To be honest, I was actually bored Sleepy smile. But for a young impressionable kid, who was looking for a super-hero, the worst thing happened when I turned to Chapter 27 of the Gospel. In verses 40 and 42, Jesus who had been already crucified, was being taunted by two groups.

“Come down from the Cross, if You are the Son of God” – Matthew 27:40 (NIV)

“Let Him come down now from the Cross, and we will believe in Him.” – Matthew 27:42 (NIV)

I was really expecting that Jesus would come down from the Cross and prove that He is the Son of God to those who were mocking Him. To say that I was disappointed that He did not do that would be an understatement. But not only HE did not come down from the Cross, He did something that none of the superheroes had done – HE cried aloud, saying, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” and He died. I felt very let down. I closed the Bible, sat there wondering how my favorite heroes would have fought and beaten the hell out of everyone who tried to crucify them.

That was a long time ago. Now, as I read the same passages again and again, I am just grateful that the LORD Jesus Christ in His infinite grace has chosen that 12 year old disappointed kid to be saved from the schemes of devil and the gates of hell by His great sacrifice on Calvary that day. Now, I understand why Jesus had to die on the Cross that day. Now it makes sense why He did not come down from the Cross when his enemies were taunting Him. Now, there is a prayer in my heart and all I can say to God our Father is this:

“May I never boast about anything except the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ.” – Gal. 6:14 (NLT) angel

Yes, as I meditate more on the Cross and what happened that day at Calvary when our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ was crucified, all I want are two things: 1. may I boast only about the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ and 2. may I never boast about anything else.

I boast about the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ because

  1. of the love of Jesus Christ who suffered there for you and me
  2. of the love of the God our Father who gave His only Son for you and me
  3. innocent blood was shed there so that our sins could be forgiven
  4. Jesus Christ bore all our sins so that we could become righteous in the eyes of the Most Holy God
  5. Jesus Christ became a curse for us, so that we could receive the Abrahamic blessings and be blessed
  6. of His stripes, we are healed
  7. the punishment for our peace fell upon Him at the Cross
  8. the dominion of sin came to an end in our life
  9. we became dead to the world and are made alive to God and
  10. He shared our sufferings, sorrows, loneliness and everything else, and showed us how to emerge victorious.

There are many more reasons why I boast about the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ. But of all those things, first and foremost the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ means to me is:

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Yes, the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ means the celebration of love our God has for us. The Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ explains how much Jesus Christ loves us. The Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ means, above everything else, that He loves us abundantly. And filled with the abundance of love that the Cross of our LORD Jesus Christ brings, I will proclaim wholeheartedly, with apostle Paul…

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Isaiah 53:3-4“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a Man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like One from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem. Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted.”

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O LORD, my Strength!!!

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My LORD, my Strength!!!

Take one minute. Turn back and look at your life. The perils that you had faced. The dangers that were lurking at every turn of your life. The heart breaks you had to suffer. The betrayals that broke you apart. The diseases that threatened your dear life. The failures that almost ruined you. The disappointments that destroyed your self-confidence. The pain that accompanied every turn of your life. Take all these together into consideration. One thing that should strike you is how on earth did you overcome all these by yourself?

But, dear child of God, you did not overcome all these by your own strength. And, you know that too. The insurmountable odds that you overcame will tell you that your strength is totally insufficient to survive even the smallest of the obstacles that came against you. But not only you survived, you also emerged victorious before the eyes of your enemies. So many people were waiting to see your downfall, instead the LORD raised you before their eyes. They were eager to see your shame, instead they had to hide their faces in shame when God crowned your face with His glory. How many situations arose against you to write the last chapter of your life, but every “The End” situation became a new beginning and a great blessing to you.

How did all these happen? Where did you get that strength to live through that night when you wanted the night to suffocate you to death? How did you rise again, like a phoenix, from the ashes? Not by your strength, not by your will power, not by your might.

My LORD, my Strength. The LORD has been the Strength of your life. The LORD strengthened those feeble hands. The LORD strengthened those stumbling knees. The LORD has been your Strength, He strengthened you against all enemies. The LORD did not let your enemies overpower you. The LORD Jesus Christ did not put you to shame.

And, dear friend, what does He ask in return? Just one thing. And, David knew what the LORD, who strengthened him and delivered him from all his enemies, wanted from him: the LORD wants our love. David knew this and said, “I will love You, O LORD, my Strength.” Yes, that’s all Jesus Christ wants from you. The LORD who became your Strength, the LORD who strengthened you, the LORD who carried your sins and sorrows, the LORD who did not let you be ashamed, Jesus Christ who gave you success against all odds, wants only one thing from you: to love Him. As we are in the Holy Week, are you ready to love the LORD who is your Strength?

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1 Timothy 2:5-6“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.”

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The LORD who lifts me up from the gates of death

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One of the Names given to our LORD in the Bible is “The LORD who lifts me up from the gates of death.”

When I look back at life, I lose count of times when I was at the gates of death. How many accidents that could have easily taken my life out? I still remember January 22nd, 2008 when I was riding a motorbike with my brother-in-law. He was having trouble with the wind, so I gave him my helmet. He was having problem breathing with the heavy wind and he really needed to cover his face. But he refused my offer and within five minutes, I got into a major accident. As I was going down, I could see my face going to hit the ground, and I was thinking, “This is it. The end.” My legs got stuck under the motorbike and it went sliding for a while. When people came to pick me up, they thought either my face would have gone or at least my legs would have been broken. Though the palms of both my hands were severely hurt (I could not use either of them for nearly 2 months and after all these years, the wound in my right palm has not completely closed) and I had a huge laceration on my left hand which has left a huge scar like it was burnt, I had very minor injuries to my legs and nothing to my face. Even today, when I think of that accident, I can see how fast my face went down to hit the ground. If only my brother-in-law had accepted my offer, it would have been five years since my obituary was written. But the LORD lifted me up from the gates of death that day.

It is just one of the incidents. I can tell many more such accidents. But I didn’t face the gates of death only through accidents or the schemes of devil. How many times, I had wished that death come my way? How many times, in depression, I have thought of committing suicide? How many times, I have wondered, will anyone miss me if I am gone… or at least, will someone notice that I am gone? But every single time, the LORD lifted me up from the gates of death.

August 10th 2002. It was my birthday and by then, I had managed to lose all my friends. And no one wished me on that day. I sat all day, checking my emails and answering machine. Nothing. In the middle of the night, I started walking around in heavy rain. I was completely drenched and finally decided to go back to my apartment to end my miserable life. As I was getting closer to my apartment, in the middle of that night, in that heavy downpour, a beggar approached me, asking for some change. I don’t think he could see my tears as the rain was really heavy. And, I took my wallet to give him some money and to my despair, I realized that I didn’t carry any cash on me. I felt very guilty for making that beggar wait in that rain. I apologized profusely to him that I don’t have any cash on him. He smiled at me and said, “Why are you feeling lonely? Go home. The LORD is waiting for you.” Then he turned around and walked back.

I went home and though I have had my ups and downs, that encounter changed my life forever. I took my Bible after a long time and started reading it. The presence of the LORD engulfed me and I told Him all my sufferings and sorrows. The presence of our Savior Jesus Christ completely filled me and though I was alone in my apartment, I never felt alone after that.

The next morning, I went to that place where I met the beggar, hoping to find him, thank him and give him some money. And, everyone there said that there was never a beggar around in that place. I explained to them that I did meet someone the night before and they almost laughed, because the rain that night was one of the heaviest rainfall they had ever received. If there was no beggar during regular times, how can they believe that there was this one beggar that night?

I believe that there are angels among us, who the LORD sends on our way, when the hours are the darkest. Because, the LORD knows how lonely and depressing when the darkest hours come our way. For HE suffered the darkest night ever possible in the loneliness of the Gethsemane before He was crucified. Though HE is the Son of God, He Himself needed to be strengthened by an angel. So, HE knows that no matter how much we believe, how strong we are in our faith, there are times when we all need an angel to strengthen us. And the LORD does send angels our ways to strengthen our ways, to tell us that HE, indeed, is the LORD who has lifted us from the gates of death.

Romans 6:23“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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Egg or Chicken???

A young skeptic said to an elderly lady, “I once believed there was a God, but now, since studying philosophy and mathematics, I am convinced that God is but an empty word.” “Well,” said the lady, “I have not studied such things, but since you have, can you tell me where this egg comes from?”

“Why, of course, from a hen,” was the reply. “And where does the hen come from?” “Why, from an egg.” Then the lady inquired, “Which existed first, the hen or the egg?” “The hen, of course,” rejoined the young man.

“Oh, then a hen must have existed without having come from an egg?” asked the lady. “Oh, no, I mean that one egg existed without having come from a hen.” The young man hesitated: “Well, you see-that is-of course, well, the hen was first!” “Very well,” said she, “who made that first hen from which all succeeding eggs and hens have come?”

“What do you mean by all this?” he asked. “Simply this: I say that He who created the first hen or egg is He who created the world. You can’t explain the existence even of a hen or an egg without God, and yet you wish me to believe that you can explain the existence of the whole world without Him!” Thus the old lady’s common sense sent the young man’s philosophy packing.

Everything finite must have had a beginning. But the important issue is, what is behind every finite beginning? Is it self-begun, or is there an infinite and eternal mind, a personality, behind it, the same personality which is behind every finite beginning? This personality John chooses to call ho Logos, “the Word.”

Ephesians 6:10-11“[The Armor of God] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

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Get some rest …

But many people were coming and going. So they (the disciples) did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said to His apostles, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place. You need to get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a quiet place. – Mark 6: 31-32 (NIRV)

When we are kids, they keep us busy telling that if we study hard when we are young, then college life will be a breeze. Then we enter college life and suddenly realize that life is more competitive than we ever thought it would be. Then everyone tells us that if we study well in our college life, then we will get a good job and life will be easy. Then we get a good job, they tell us to work harder so that our married life will be a bliss. Once we get married, now we have to work harder because we have responsibilities now. Oh, you can take all the rest you want once you retire – they say now. Really? That’s not rest, that is retirement.

Whenever I read the Bible, one thing that amazes me is how much importance the LORD has given for rest. I remember when I got baptized, one sincere (albeit ill-informed) Christian told me how I would be having tough times in my life from now on so that I could enter the Rest – which of course means life after death. Man, I was terrified. Imagine a life without any rest and the only rest you could get is when you die. Surprised smile

As much as the LORD knows the importance of work, HE also knows the importance of rest. HE gave one day in every seven days for us to rest. And in this Bible verse, we see something very interesting. The disciples were working for the LORD. They were doing the job for which Jesus Christ had called them personally. And the LORD knew He was going to be with them for only a short time – another year. HE could have easily said, “Work harder, and once I ascend to Heaven, you can take some rest.” No, not our LORD. More than our bodies, more than our minds, HE knows when we need rest. As they were working hard, the LORD tells, “Come with Me” – NOW. Not tomorrow, not later during the weekend. You need rest now.

Unfortunately we live in such a busy life, we forgot the art of taking rest. Today, rest means spending time with family or doing household chores. Today, rest has become synonymous with catching up with things that you could not attend to. No, dear child of God, no. Rest means, just that – rest. Nothing else. No catching up, nothing. Just rest. You need that and you know that.

But the LORD gives one condition for that rest – “Come with Me”. Yes, to get true rest, where your body, mind and soul are rejuvenated, that rest has to include Jesus Christ. Without Him, there is no true rest. And, Jesus, our LORD, really knows how to take rest.

We all know how Jesus slept in the boat during a storm. Many times, we have read this passage (Mark 4:37-39) and we focus on the unbelief of the disciples. But there is something more, much more, important lesson here. Have you been in a boat? Not a ship, just a small fishing boat. First of all, it stinks. Second, how big do you think the boat would be? Quite small. But, Jesus did not worry about that. Stretching Himself, holding on to a cushion (like a pillow), He was fast asleep.

Now, imagine this, you are sleeping and say, someone is sprinkling some water on your face. Will you be able to sleep? No way. Here the boat was being filled with water and Jesus slept in that. The waves would have crashed on the boat and surely water was everywhere. But Jesus still slept.

Most importantly, this is the part that makes me laugh every single time I think of it, He was holding on to His pillow. Every night, I go to sleep in a bed, in a place where there are no earthquakes, the floor is steady and all that. Still in the morning when I get up, my pillow is in some other place Crying face. Here, the boat was rocked by huge waves, a great storm was upon Him, yet Jesus held on to His pillow and slept. Yes, my LORD knows how to take rest.

When was the last time you slept like that? Like a baby? Not worrying about anything, not thinking about your responsibilities? Not having nightmares? When was the last time when you woke up, you really felt that you have had the rest that you richly deserve? Have you been working hard and are weary and burdened? Jesus is calling you: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Jeremiah 17:7-8““But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.””Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

Psalm 22:3

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But You are holy, O You Who dwell in the praises of Israel. – Psalm 22:3.

This is a verse that I had not noticed for years, though I had read this Psalm so many times. Psalm 22 has a special place in the hearts of all Christians, especially as we approach the Pass Over, the Passion of our LORD and His Resurrection. When our LORD the Savior was undergoing the last minutes of His earthly ministry in Calvary, in His agony, He cried out the first verse of this Psalm.

When growing up, I had no idea about how much our Savior had suffered on the Cross. I mean, if I do some small mistake and someone keeps pointing out that mistake 3-4 times, that’s it. Angry smile. But to be innocent and sinless, yet carry all the sins of the world and the punishment for those sins… it is just impossible to understand how much our LORD had suffered. But of all the things, the one thing that resonates more with me is this cry of Jesus: My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

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The Bible tells that God our Father is so holy, that He cannot look at evil. (Hab.1:13) And whenever there is evil in me, in my actions, in my deeds, in my words, in my thoughts, the LORD cannot look at me. But HE has also promised that HE would never leave me nor forsake me. (Jos. 1:5) So, God our Father made Jesus to carry all my sins and evil, so that HE does not have to leave me or forsake me. Jesus Christ was forsaken on the Cross, so that I could never be. And, when Jesus cried those words, every time I come across those words, I realize that it was supposed to be my cry. Every single time I have trespassed, this was supposed to be my cry. But, LORD in His infinite grace, made Jesus to suffer on the Cross, so that I am redeemed. And what does the LORD expect back from me?

In one of his worst times, David cries unto the LORD with the same words: My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? David was still suffering, he had just cried out to his LORD, but he knows two things: one, that the LORD has heard his prayers and delivered him from evil and two, that the LORD is holy and HE dwells among the praises of Israel.

Yes, when Jesus Christ carried my sins and evil, so that the LORD who is Holy, Holy, Holy can look at me, my Savior made me realize that He wants only two things. One, that I acknowledge that the LORD is Holy and two, that He wants to dwell within me. And the only way the Most Holy God can dwell within me is if I praise Him continually.

Oh, our Father in Heaven, You are gracious and merciful, slow to anger. In Your eternal mercies, You forgave my sins through the blood of Your Son and my Savior Jesus Christ. And, LORD, I will praise You all my life so that You, the LORD Most High, who is Holy, Holy, Holy, may dwell within me. This I ask in the Name of Your Son and my Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Galatians 5:22-23“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

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Listen and comfort…

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The Bible devotes an entire book to the turmoil that Job faced in his life. His three friends, who really cared for him so much that they spent seven days fasting, come to him to comfort him. When you read that account, there is something there that confuses people. Those friends who came to comfort him, end up blaming him, calling him names and finally the LORD Himself rebukes them. How did this happen?

They really wanted to comfort Job, there was no question about it. One of them (Eliphaz)depends on his own observation in life to comfort him. The next one (Bildad) depends on the tradition of this world to comfort him. The last one (Zophar) depends on the assumptions of orthodox beliefs to comfort him.

But, dear friend, there are times, when none of our experiences, the traditions of this world or the orthodox beliefs we have cannot comfort us. There are times, when all we need to do to comfort the other person is listen to them carefully. They may be totally wrong, but that is okay. They have suffered a lot. It would be easy for us to sit and analyze, but if the tables are turned, if we are undergoing the same situation, how would we react? What would we want the most?

Everyone who is suffering there out wants one thing above everything else. Someone to listen to them. Someone to listen without interrupting. Someone to listen without judging them. Someone to listen without trying to given an explanation. But, dear friend, they don’t need our explanations. They are not waiting for our justifications. They don’t like when interrupted. At such times, all you need to comfort them is listen to them. Just listen to them. Let them vent their anger, their rage, their helplessness, their worries, their sorrows and their pain. Let them. Just listen. That is the biggest comfort you can give unto them.

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Romans 15:13“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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அவர் செய்த சகல உபகாரங்களையும்…

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என் ஆத்துமாவே, நீ கர்த்தரை ஸ்தோத்தரிப்பதும் அல்லாமல், அவர் செய்த சகல உபகாரங்களையும் நீ மறந்து விடாதே. ஏன் என் ஆத்துமா ஆண்டவர் செய்த உபகாரங்களை மறக்காமல் நினைக்கவேண்டும்? மூன்று காரணங்கள் உண்டு.

1. உபகாரங்கள்: இந்த வார்த்தைக்கு, நன்மையான செயல்கள் என்று அர்த்தம். ஆனால் சங்கீத்க்காரன் பயன்படுத்தும் வார்த்தைக்கு அர்த்தம் இதுவல்ல. எபிரேய மொழியில் அவன் பயன்படுத்தும் வார்த்தையின் சரியான மொழிபெயர்ப்பு: செயல்கள், காரியங்கள், அவைகள் நல்லதாயிருந்தாலும் சரி, கெட்டதாயிருந்தாலும் சரி. ஆம், சங்கீதக்காரன் சொல்கிறான், கர்த்தர் நம் வாழ்க்கையிலே செய்த காரியங்கள், அவை நமக்கு நல்லதோ, கெட்டதோ, அவைகளை மறவாமல் நன்றி சொல்.

இது எளிதான காரியமே இல்லை. நம் வாழ்க்கையில் ஏன் இப்படிப்பட்ட காரியங்களைக் கர்த்தர் அனுமதித்தார் என்று நாம் குழம்பி நின்ற வேளைகள் உண்டு. சில கசப்பான அனுபவங்களை இனி வாழ்க்கையில் நினைக்கவே கூடாது என்று நாம் தீர்மானித்திருக்கிறோம். அவைகளை நினைத்து, அவைகளுக்காக எப்படி நாம் நன்றி சொல்லமுடியும்?

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ஆனால் அப்போஸ்தலனாகிய பவுல் சொல்கிறார்: தேவனில் அன்புகூரும் நமக்கோ சகலமும் நன்மைக்கு ஏதுவாகவே நடக்கிறது. (ரோமர் 8:28) ஒரு வேளை நாம் சில கசப்பான அனுபவங்களைப் பார்க்கும்போது, சில தோல்விகளின் பாடுகளை நினைத்துப் பார்க்கும்போது, இதனால் என் வாழ்க்கையில் என்ன நன்மை வந்தது என்ற கேள்வி கண்டிப்பாக வரும். ஆனால், கிறிஸ்துவுக்கு பிரியமானவர்களே, ஒரு நாள், உங்களை அழிக்கும்படி வந்த ஒரு சூழ்நிலை உங்களை இன்னும் உறுதியாய் மாற்றி இருப்பதை நீங்கள் உணருவீர்கள். உங்கள் வாழ்க்கையைத் தவிடுபொடியாக்கும்படி வந்த சில பிரச்சினைகள், மிகப்பெரும் சவால்களை நீங்கள் சந்திக்க உங்களை திடப்படுத்தி இருப்பதை புரிந்துக் கொள்வீர்கள். உங்கள் வாழ்க்கையின் போக்கையே மாற்றின சில தோல்விகள், நீங்கள் அறிந்தே இராத வெற்றியின் பாதையில் உங்களை நடத்தி செல்லும்.

2. சகல உபகாரங்கள்: கர்த்தர் உங்களுக்கு செய்த நன்மைகள் என்ன என்று கேட்டால், நாம் எல்லாரும் கர்த்தர் நமக்கு செய்த பெரிய நன்மைகளை மாத்திரமே சொல்வோம். ஆனால், சங்கீதக்காரன் கர்த்தர் செய்த சகல உபகாரங்கள், பெரியது, சிறியது, என்று எல்லா உபகாரங்களையும் நினைத்துப் பார்த்து, நன்றி சொல்ல தன் ஆத்துமாவுக்கு சொல்கிறான். ஏன்? பெரிய காரியங்களுக்கு நன்றி உள்ளவர்களாய் இருந்தால், போதாதோ? போதாது. இரண்டு காரணங்களுக்காக.

முதலாவது: நம்முடைய பார்வையிலே சில காரியங்கள் எளிதானவைகள். சில காரியங்களோ கடினமான காரியங்கள். ஆனால், தேவாதி தேவனுடைய பார்வையிலே, இவை எல்லாம் எப்படிப்பட்டவை? அவர் சர்வ வல்லமையுடையவர். இயேசு கிறிஸ்துவால் கூடாத அதிசயமான காரியம் என்று ஒன்றுமேயில்லை. சிருஷ்டி கர்த்தராகிய அவருடைய பார்வையிலே, பெரியது, சிறியது என்று ஒன்றுமே இல்லை. ஆகவே, அவர் நம்முடைய வாழ்க்கையிலே செய்த ஒவ்வொரு காரியமும், பெரியது, சிறியது, முக்கியமானது, முக்கியமில்லாதது என்று எதுவுமே அவர் செய்தது, அவர் நம்மேல் வைத்த அன்பினால் மாத்திரமே. நம்மை அவர் விசாரிக்கிறவராய், கர்த்தர் நம்மில் நினைவாய் இருக்கிறபடியால்.

இரண்டாவது: எனக்கு ஒரு அருமையான தம்பதியைத் தெரியும். பொருத்தமான ஜோடி. ஆனால் சமீபத்தில் நான் அவர்களை சந்தித்தபோது, அவர்களுக்குள் கொஞ்சம் பிரச்னை என்பது புரிந்தது. என்ன பிரச்னை என்று விசாரித்தபோது, அநேக திருமண வாழ்க்கையிலே இருக்கிற பிரச்னைகள்தான் என்று புரிந்துகொள்ள முடிந்தது. கணவன் சொன்னது: நல்லா வித விதமா சமைக்கிறா; ஆனா, எனக்கு பிடிச்சதை எப்போதாவது தான் செய்றா. மனைவியின் பதில்: சாதாரணமான ஐட்டம்ஸா நான் செய்யறேன்? எப்படியெல்லாம் செய்யறேன், இவர் என்னடான்னா, சாதாரண ஐட்டம்ஸ் செய்யலனு புலம்பறாரே. சரி, மனைவியின் பிரச்னை: எல்லாம் கேட்ட உடனே வாங்கி தந்திடறார். ஆனா, அவரா ஆசையா, சின்னதா எதுவுமே வாங்கித் தரமாட்டார். கணவனின் பதில்: அவளுக்கு என்ன வேணும்னு சொன்னா போதும், நான் வாங்கித் தர ரெடி, அப்புறம் என்ன வேணும்? அவர்கள் இருவரும் எதிர்பார்க்கிற காரியம் ஒன்றே: சின்ன சின்ன வழிகளில், தங்கள் மீதுள்ள அன்பை வெளிப்படுத்த வேண்டும் என்று எதிர்பார்க்கிறார்கள். எனக்கருமையான தேவப்பிள்ளையே, ஏன் உன் சின்ன ஆசைகளை கூட தேவன் நிறைவேற்றுகிறார்?  அவர் உன்மேல் வைத்திருக்கிற அன்பை, உன்மேல் இருக்கிற கரிசனையை வெளிப்படுத்தும்படி. எனவேதான், அந்த சின்ன சின்ன உபகாரங்களை கூட நாம் நினைத்து நன்றி சொல்லும்போது, அவருடைய அன்பினாலே நம்முடைய இருதயம் நிரம்பி வழியும்.

3. சகல உபகாரங்களையும் மறவாதே: ஏன் மறவாமல், நினைத்து நினைத்து பார்க்கவேண்டும்? மனம்சோர்ந்து போன நேரத்தில், 77-ஆம் சங்கீதத்தில் சங்கீதக்காரன் இப்படி கேட்கிறான்.

“ஆண்டவர் நித்தியகாலமாய்த் தள்ளிவிடுவாரோ? இனி ஒருபோதும் தயை செய்யாதிருப்பாரோ? அவருடைய கிருபை முற்றிலும் அற்றுப்போயிற்றோ? வாக்குத்தத்தமானது தலைமுறை தலைமுறைக்கும் ஒழிந்துபோயிற்றோ? தேவன் இரக்கம் செய்ய மறந்தாரோ? கோபத்தினாலே தமது உருக்கமான இரக்கங்களை அடைத்துக்கொண்டாரோ?” – சங். 77: 7-9.

இப்படிப்பட்ட கேள்விகள் எனக்குள் வந்ததுண்டு. ஆனால், இந்த மனச்சோர்விலிருந்து எப்படி வெளியே வருவது? அதற்கும் அதே சங்கீதத்தில் சங்கீதக்காரனே பதில் சொல்கிறான்.

கர்த்தருடைய செயல்களை நினைவு கூருவேன், உம்முடைய பூர்வகாலத்து அதிசயங்களையே நினைவுகூருவேன். – சங். 77:10

ஆம், கர்த்தர் செய்த எல்லா உபகாரங்களை எல்லாம் நாம் நினைத்துப் பார்க்கும்போது, அவருடைய அன்பினாலே நாம் தேற்றப்படுவோம். நம்முடைய கர்த்தராகிய இயேசு கிறிஸ்துவினால் நாம் எவ்வளவாய் நேசிக்கப்படுகிறோம் என்பதை உணருவோம். அவர் நமக்கு செய்த ஒவ்வொரு உபகாரத்திலும், கர்த்தர் ஒன்றே ஒன்றை நமக்கு சொல்கிறார் என்பதை நாம் புரிந்துக்கொள்வோம் – தேவாதி தேவனாகிய கர்த்தர் நம்முடைய பட்சத்தில் இருக்கிறார். அதை நாம் புரிந்துக்கொண்டால், நாம் விசுவாசத்தோடு சொல்லமுடியும்:

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Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.–Psalm 103 : 2 (Webster)

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Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. – Psalm 103 : 2 (Webster)

Not only will I bless my LORD with my soul, but I will also constantly remind my soul of one thing: forget not all His benefits. Why should I do that? There are three reasons why I keep reminding my soul not to forget all His benefits.

1. Benefits: The word “benefit” comes from the Latin “benefactum”. The root “bene” means good and “factum” is for deed. So, by definition, the word “benefit” means “good deed”. So, when the psalmist says forget not all His benefits, is he saying that don’t forget all the good things that the LORD has done in your life? Surprisingly the answer is “NO”. The Hebrew word used here properly means, “an act, a work, a deed, whether it is good or bad”. The psalmist says do not forget all the deeds the LORD has done in your life, whether the deeds were good or bad for you.

Now, that’s something most of us would rather not do. There are times in your life where you were left wondering why did God allow such things to happen in your life. There are few bitter experiences in your life that you would rather forget than remember on an everyday basis. But in the epistle to Romans, Apostle Paul says that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Probably even today when you turn back and look at those things that made your life bitter, meditate on those failures that hurt you so badly, you cannot see exactly what good came out of it. But, trust me, my friend, one day you will realize that certain things that were supposed to be devastating has actually made you stronger; few events that shattered you has galvanized you to face bigger challenges; the failures that changed the way of your life have led you in the path of success you have never dreamt of; the bitterness you have faced due to the betrayal of others has wised you up in your future dealings. Recently I heard this song by Garth Brooks by the title “Unanswered Prayers” and all I could do was smile for it applies to so many unanswered prayers in my life. (Okay, that does not mean I had prayed for Surprised smile so many girls in my life; just clarifying Thinking smile)

Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks


Just the other night a hometown football game
My wife and I ran into my old high school flame
And as I introduced them, the past came back to me
And I couldn’t help but think of the way things used to be
She was the one that I’d wanted for all times
And each night I’d spend prayin’ that God would make her mine
And if He’d only grant me this wish I wished back then
I’d never ask for anything again
[Chorus]
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the Man upstairs
That just because He doesn’t answer doesn’t mean He don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

She wasn’t quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me
In her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days
There wasn’t much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what He’s doin’ after all
And as she walked away and I looked at my wife
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life
[Chorus]
Some of God’s greatest gifts are all too often unanswered…
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers


2. Forget not all His benefits: If someone asks you what are the blessings that the LORD has given you, I am sure most of us would list all the great blessings we have received. It may be success in your life, the promotion that you received, the child who was born after so many years of praying, and so on. But the psalmist reminds us not to forget any thing. Not even the smallest things. Does it matter? Is it not okay to be grateful for the big things?

No, it is not. For two reasons. In our life, certain things are small and easy for us. Few things are really big and is just unimaginable and can happen in our life only through a miracle. But, what about the same things in the eyes of the LORD? Now, that is a question to think about. For Jesus Christ, the LORD Almighty, there are no such things as too wonderful. There is nothing that is impossible for Him. Whether great or small things, all those things are the same in the eyes of the Creator. So,whatever He did in our life, whether it is big or small, great or unimportant, the LORD did only because HE loves us; because HE cares for us and because He is thinking of us. So when we remember the small and big things He has done for us, we remember His love and that will make our hearts happy. And, that’s where the second thing comes.
I know this wonderful couple. They are just made for each other. But once when I visited them recently, I saw that they were having few misunderstandings. So, I talked with them and what complaints they had against their spouses may sound laughable, but I have come across such complaints many times, so I know this is a widespread malady in many a marriage. The husband complained that she is really a good cook and whatever she cooks, is so delicious; but, she does not remember to cook those small things that are his favorites. The wife argued that she cooks all these great food that taste so well, so what is he complaining about? Then the house wife complained that her husband gets her everything she needs, but he does not surprise her with small gifts. The husband argued back telling that if she needs something, all she has to ask. So why does she need small gifts from him when he is ready to give everything? Have you come across a situation like this? Most probably you have either seen this situation or been in one. It took a while for me to make them understand that they both indeed need the same thing: that small element of surprise, those small things in our life that constantly remind us that we are loved and appreciated. And, my dear friend, why do you think God does all those small things in your life? How many times you have made a small prayer in your heart and surprised to see it answered? It shows that the LORD God loves you and appreciates you. And, when you remember that, when you remember that the LORD Almighty loves you and takes time from His very busy schedule to fulfill even the smallest of your desires, it will fill your heart with divine love; strengthened in His love, you will be able to face any struggle that the devil can bring against you.

3. And, finally, there is one reason why you need to remember all the things that the LORD has done in your life, both great and small. In Psalm 77, the psalmist is struggling with depression and has lost all his hopes. There are times I have felt the same questions in my life and probably, at certain times in your life, you have felt that too.


Will the LORD reject me for all time? Will He ever accept me again? Has His mercy come to an end forever? Has His promise been canceled throughout every generation? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has He locked up His compassion because of His anger? – Psalm 77: 7-9 (GW)


There are so many times in my life, I have had asked these questions. And it had made me depressed in innumerable occasions. But finally I read past these verses and saw that the psalmist actually has found a way to overcome those depressing moments in our life. He says in verse 11 that he would do one thing to overcome all those depressing thoughts:

“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” – Psalm 77:11 (NIV)

Yes, meditating on the great and small things that the LORD has done in our life will infuse a new strength in our life. It will provide confidence to our soul. It will make us realize how much we are loved by our LORD Jesus Christ. And, my friend, when we do that, we will realize that by all the things that the LORD has done for us, both great and small, He is telling only one thing – that HE, the LORD Almighty, the Most Sovereign God, the True Living God is for us. So, we can say, with confidence:

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