Monthly Archives: April 2013

I will uphold you… Isa. 41:10

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YHWH Shammah. The LORD is with us. So, let us not fear. Let us be not dismayed by our situations. The LORD will strengthen us and will help us. And most importantly,

             The LORD will uphold us with His righteous right hand.

Making us stand straight. Is that important? Of course, it is. We cannot stand straight under few circumstances.

  • When we are weak: Yes, whenever we feel weak, we don’t stand straight. There is a hump on our back to reduce the pain on our backbone. But, the LORD says, I will uphold you. Dear child of God, are you suffering from infirmities of the human body? The LORD is with you. When you feel His presence, when you walk before Him, the LORD will strengthen you just as He strengthened His servant, Moses, who was not weak even when he was 120 years old. Yes, the LORD will strengthen you.
  • When we are ashamed: When we are guilty of something, our shoulders stoop automatically. When we have done something shameful, something we are not proud of. But, when we confess our sins, the LORD is faithful and will forgive our sins. And in His eternal grace, the LORD will uphold us again.
  • When we are helpless: When situations arise, where there is nothing that we can do about those situations, when others depend on us and we cannot do anything to help them, our own helplessness will pull us down. But the LORD says, dear child, I am Your Helper. Don’t worry, I will uphold you. I will make you stand straight.

But how will the LORD uphold us? By His Righteous Right Hand – Jesus Christ. Our Savior who is seated at the Right Hand of the Father.

Jesus Christ, our LORD bore all our sins on the Cross; He became our weakness so that we can be strong. And, Jesus Christ still lives, at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.

Just hold on, for the LORD Himself is holding your hands during these troubled times. And, He will make you stand straight before your enemies, with your head held high.

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Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

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Humpback whales singing…

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According to research conducted by the National Geographic Society, the 40-ton creation of God – the humpback whale – has a fascinating singing ability. Recordings have been made of the humpback whale singing in various pitches in solos, duets, trios, and choruses of dozens of interweaving voices lasting from six to thirty minutes.

What an experience it is to hear, over one’s own stereo system, songs from the ocean depths-sung by 40-ton whales!

The passage of Psalm 148:7 comes to mind:

“Praise Him down here on earth you creatures of the ocean depths.”

Have you praised the LORD today???

Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

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Voice of praise and thanksgiving…

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April 29th, 2004. The day we got married. On the 9th wedding anniversary, LORD, all I can tell You is the same vow that Jonah made.

“LORD, I will sacrifice to You with the voice of praise and thanksgiving.”

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Job 19:25 “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end, He will stand on the earth.”

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Today is the day…

During the early days of the ministry of Dwight L. Moody, the great evangelist launched a series of meetings in Chicago with promise of the largest crowds that he had ever addressed up to that time.

He was speaking of the life of Christ, and on the first Sunday night, October 8, 1871, he took as his topic the trial before Pilate. As he came to the end of his message, he turned to Mat. 27:22, “What shall I do then with Jesus, who is called Christ?” He concluded, “I wish you would take this text home with you and turn it over in your minds during the week, and next Sabbath we will come to Calvary and the cross, and we will decide what to do with Jesus of Nazareth.”

It may have been an artistic device. But speaking of it in later years, Moody called that conclusion to his morning’s address the greatest mistake of his life. Even while Mr. Sankey was singing the final hymn:

Today the Savior calls;
For refuge fly;
The storm of justice falls,
And death is nigh-

the fire engines began to sound on the street on their way to their first contact with the great Chicago fire in which Moody’s hall was laid in ashes, and in which it is estimated that over a thousand persons lost their lives. Moody never saw that congregation again, and some of those to whom he spoke on that night doubtlessly died.

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. – 2 Cor. 6:2(NIV)

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Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”

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Going too fast…

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A number of years ago, a Navy jet fighter plane shot itself down over the deserts of Nevada while testing a new cannon mounted on its wing. An enquiry followed to find out who shot the fighter plane down – is it the Russians, or some terrorists organizations? They could not find any other enemy presence near. And, finally they found the answer which was startling.

The plane was flying at supersonic speeds, but the cannon shells were subsonic. What happened was crucial. The fighter actually ran into the shells it had fired seconds before. The jet was traveling too fast and it shot itself down.

Sometimes we travel too fast for our own spiritual good. God speaks and we are going too fast to hear Him. Don’t be guilty of traveling so fast with your life that you run past the sound of the Word of God. Be in the center of His will.

Colossians 1:27-28“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the Hope of glory. He is the One we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”

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I will help you…–Isa.41:10

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When things go wrong, we wonder what now. When disastrous events shake our faith, we question everything. When things happen exactly opposite to what the LORD has promised, we get fed up with God. And, there are times in our life, where we have to wear a smile on our face while our hearts are bleeding. And, we wonder what will God do now. And, my dear friend, God, YHWH Shammah, the LORD who is with us, says this:

“Fear not, for I AM with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I AM your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes…

I WILL HELP YOU.” – Isa. 41:10 (AMP)

Yes, not only will the LORD strengthen us, but He promises to help us.

The problem of course is, we have no idea how the LORD is going to help us. We look at our problems. These are insurmountable odds. I mean, there is no way out of these problems. It is simply impossible to achieve victory. It is a gone case.

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Sure, it looks that way. The disappointments you have faced are too many to count. The failures you have to face, especially after a successful start, is heart crunching. There are times when you look at the sufferings you have faced, you wonder how did you even survive all these… and now, when the Word of God comes to you, that He will help you, it leaves you wondering… HOW?

We have preconceived notions about what help means. We want the LORD to help us in ways that we think are the most beneficial, most rewarding… but the truth is in such situations, our emotions are raging inside us. And most of the time, when we are emotional, almost everything – our decisions, our prayers, everything will be wrong.

For example, imagine that you are wronged by someone you trusted so much. It could be by your spouse, your employer, your children… at that moment, the one thing that will be stand correct in your eyes is retribution. Your heart says that the one thing that can make you really happy, the one thing that you desire the most at this time, is something really really bad happens to those who have betrayed you. Hey, it is a reasonable thing. After all, they have betrayed you, they have hurt you when you don’t deserve it and when your heart calls out for justice, it is not wrong. But, the LORD does not strike them out with lightning. There is no tsunami that targets just that one person.

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But the LORD works in mysterious ways. HE helps you in such a way that your enemies are ashamed. Yeah, that’s good, but why can’t the LORD strike them down a little – your heart asks. Trust me, my heart has asked me that question so many times… Because the LORD is righteous and He loves justice.

Imagine what would happen if the LORD does strike someone down because they have done some injustice to you. Your heart will be happy. But sooner or later, people will start talking behind you. They will be afraid to cross you. Hey, isn’t that a good thing? No, because they will think not to cross you because they are afraid that you would curse them and it would happen. They would think that you have devil as your support. But, dear child of God, at this moment of trouble, it may be really hard to believe, but there is one reason why the LORD has chosen you – HE did not chose you to bring curses on others. He chose you to bless you, so that you become a blessing unto others.

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Yes, the LORD will bless you and bring your enemies to shame. You may not like the slow process, but have you seen an entry by a huge star when there are so many people waiting to see him? He walks slowly, the light focuses on him, so that everyone gets a chance to see him. And, that’s what the LORD is doing to you, dear friend. The LORD brings His justice slowly so that all who betrayed you can see you in limelight, where thousands and thousands are cherishing your presence. And, the LORD will help you during these darkest times and your darkness will become a light unto so many who need your help in overcoming their troubled times.

Colossians 1:27-28“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the One we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”

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Let us focus…

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Most probably, you are familiar with the above painting: one of the most famous paintings ever done by any artist: The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, that classic portrayal of Christ and the twelve apostles at the table.

Many students of art history believe that the painting, when first created, was somewhat different from the version which we now see. There was initially, it is believed, an exquisite lace border on the tablecloth. When, immediately upon completion, da Vinci invited a group of art students to view his masterpiece, they were immensely impressed by the delicate design of that lacework. They studied it intensely and praised it highly.

Upon seeing the reaction of these young men, the artist took up a brush, dipped it, and made a few long strokes across the canvas, obliterating the lace. Then, with uncontrollable feeling, he shouted, “Now, you fools, look at the face of Christ!”

There are times in our lives when we see everything else, but the only thing that is most needed is to look towards Jesus – the Author and Finisher of our Faith. Just look towards Him.

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1 Peter 1:18-19“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a Lamb without blemish or defect.”

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A truly grateful heart

One day, Johann Tauler of Strosbourg met a peasant.
“God give you a good day, my friend,” he greeted him. The peasant answered briskly, “I thank God I never have a bad day.”
Tauler, astonished, kept silent for a moment. Tauler then added, “God give you a happy life, my friend.” The peasant replied composedly, “I thank God I am never unhappy.”
“Never unhappy!” cried Tauler bewildered, “What do you mean?”
“Well,” came the reply, “when it is sunshine-I thank God, when it rains-I thank God, when I have plenty-I thank God, when I am hungry-I thank God; and since God’s will is my will, and whatever pleases God pleases me, why should I say that I am unhappy when I am not?”
Tauler looked upon him with awe. “Who are you,” he asked. “I am a king,” said the peasant.
“A king?” Tauler asked, “Where is your kingdom?” The peasant smiled and whispered softly, “In my heart.”

John 10:28-30“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.””

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I will strengthen you… Isa.41:10 (NIV)

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YHWH Shammah – the LORD is there with us. The LORD is with us. So fear not. The LORD will be with us wherever we go. The LORD will watch over us. The LORD will be with us till He has done everything that He has promised us. The LORD will exalt us before the eyes of everyone so that they know that the LORD is with us. The LORD is with us, He has not rejected us, so let us not be dismayed. And, now the LORD who is with us says…

                                               I will strengthen you.

Many think that strength means muscular strength. But some of the strongest people I have met in my life are people who have never been to a gym and have no intention of doing that in anytime soon, people who have never done an exercise in their life and will never. When we carefully look at the experiences in our life, we will realize that inner strength is more important than muscles and washboard abs (though, I so wish I can have them too….Sarcastic smile)

People derive their strength from various sources. It may be our upright life, our education, intelligence, success in our endeavors, money, political clout… but one thing we all know is that at times, none of these strength would mean nothing. During those times, when none of inner strength, none of the resources that we depended on, is of no use to us, one thing flood into our mind: fear.

And the LORD says, “Fear not, I AM with you and I will strengthen you.” One of the translations says, “ I will strengthen you and harden you to difficulties” (AMP). Yes, the LORD will strengthen us in such a way, we well be hardened so much that difficulties will not affect us in any way.

Once a Christian friend of mine told me how sensitive he and some of his other Christian friends and how easily they are offended by others. He was actually proud of this quality and he thought it was a virtue. But he realized that he was getting more and more hurt. So he asked me what he should do from getting hurt. I said, “Become an erumai maadu” which literally means “Become an Indian buffalo.”

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Indian buffaloes are fascinating creatures. You will be going in your car in a hurry and suddenly the traffic is not moving at all, because these buffaloes are crossing the road. And, they are never in a hurry. They will move slowly, and when we honk the horn, they will stop in the middle of road and turn to you in slow motion to see what is your problem, stare at you for few seconds, then with a dismissive attitude, they start their slow walk. They don’t care about anything, they just mind their own business. To be honest, I really miss that dismissive look they give you – you have to see to believe how insulting it really is.

So, when I told that guy to become like an Indian buffalo, he thought I was insulting him and being so sensitive, he was hurt and left without speaking to me. After few days, again he was hurt by the words someone said and came back to me for help. I said again, “Become an erumai maadu”. He was confused and he asked me why I am hurting him. I told him, I am not insulting him and that I really meant what I said. I don’t think it helped him much when I said that I really meant it. His expression was priceless Open-mouthed smile. Then I explained that Christians have to be a ‘pachyderm’ – thick skinned. Yes, the LORD strengthens us in such a way that we are not only able to withstand any difficulty, but we will be hardened so much that those hardships do not even make a scratch on us. Yes, dear child of God, our LORD, YHWH Shammah, is with us, strengthening us so much that these things that are hurting you so much today will not mean anything soon. Remember the words of Balaam:

“God has brought him (that is, us) out of Egypt, whose strength is like to the rhinoceros.” – Num. 23:22 (DRB)

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John 10:28-30“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.””

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Be not dismayed…

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YHWH Shammah. The LORD is here with us. Because He has not rejected us. So, we do not have to be afraid. And the LORD tells us one more thing:

DO NOT BE DISMAYED

The word “dismay” means “fear resulting from the awareness of danger lurking around.” Remember that feeling deep inside that tells us something is wrong, that something really horrible is about to happen? Remember that sensation we have when people are so polite and nice to us, yet… there is something wrong with all that façade, that we can feel, but not explain why to others… DISMAY.

The Hebrew word rendered “dismay” in the Bible actually means “to look around in fear”. There are times in our life when looking around to make sure everything is fine may sound like the most sensible thing to do. Yes, it may be. But there will be times in our life, when looking around may be the worst thing we can do.

Peter was walking on water – a feat no man has achieved before and no man has replicated ever since. Because his eyes were on Jesus Christ. Yes, the waves were roaring around him, his dress was drenched wet by them, the wind was causing him to lose his balance – but nothing mattered as long as his eyes were on Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. But then the Bible says,

“But when he (Peter) saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out…” – Mat. 14:30 (NIV)

It was not like Peter did not know that there was a huge storm around him. He was a fisherman and he would have known what he was facing. As long as his eyes were focused on the LORD, none of these mattered. But when he took his eyes off Jesus Christ and saw the things around, when he looked around, he was DISMAYED. He was scared and he lost it – notice that, though he was a fisherman and the Bible does mention few times about how Peter swam, here he was not able to swim at all. Fear has clipped his natural instincts. Yes, fear has that ability to do.

So, dear child of God, the LORD, YHWH Shammah, is here with you. To save you. To exalt you. So, don’t be afraid. But also, never take your eyes off of Him. As long as your eyes are on Him, you will not be dismayed. As long as your eyes are on Him, you are safe. As long as your eyes are on Him, you will walk on water.

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1 Corinthians 1:18“[Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom] For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

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