Monthly Archives: February 2016
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
When I read the Epistle to the Romans for the first time, I was very confused. The language was very exhaustive and, except the famous 8th chapter, the other chapters, I just breezed through. But the more I read about Augustine, Martin Luther and other saints, I was surprised to see that the Epistle to Romans kept popping up all the time. So, I went back to reading the epistle, with my own knowledge and again was completely baffled.
Finally, when I was struggling with certain recurring sins, I was reading the 7th chapter of Romans and it hit me. I won’t say that I have understood the deep spirituality hidden in this great epistle. But just that verse: “Wretched man that I am!” hit a raw nerve. And the next verse changed my gloom into joy – “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe.
When the LORD finally revealed Himself to me, in His grace, I had one small problem. I didn’t have a Bible based church that I could attend. After being an altar boy in the Catholic church, I was very scared to attend another church which has its own doctrines rather than the Bible as its base. And honestly, during that time, in the places where I had to live, there were only 2-3 churches and they were also more traditionalistic than Scriptural. So, I was scared of getting into another quagmire and did not know where to turn to. It was then that the Lord gave me this verse.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe. – Proverbs 18:10.
Then I came across the book, “Lord, I want to know You” by Kay Arthur. It is a devotional based on the Names of the LORD and suddenly, there was a revival in my soul. Years have passed, but till to this day, the Name of the LORD is my Strong Tower. I don’t know if you have noticed, but that is the title of this blog site. And, for the last 9 years, this is the verse I have been using to lead the worship in our congregation on Sundays. Every month, we meditate on one name of the LORD and along with various attributes of the Name and then we worship. The Name of the LORD is a strong tower. Amen.
The LORD will fulfil His purpose for me.
In my initial days in faith, I was like a child. I trusted our Lord completely and I laid all my burdens on my feet. I was always joyous and would be singing. Okay, that would not be singing in normal traditional sense. It would be braying with no scale or rhythm, but, hey, if it is acceptable to God, I have no problems.
But then as the life started throwing few problems, when I started facing failures and my faith was tested, I started to panic. I ended up carrying the burdens in my heart. I started doing things on my own, hoping one of those things would help in fulfilling the Lord’s purpose for me. Met with more disappointments and mediocrity, I went back to our Lord and He gave me this verse. The LORD chose me, He gave me a promise and a purpose and HE will fulfil His purpose for me.
When I went to a church in the USA for the first time, I was confused. Because I went to that building thinking it was a snacks bar and I was hungry, but then it was a church. I was confused because of the signs and how the people were behaving. And there was this huge sign there and they took pride in that.
I am sure you know what it means already. We have free Wi-Fi and coffee available. It was not just coffee, it had assortments of snacks. The worship was inside and on the veranda, it was a snacks bar. While the worship was going on, people come out casually, take some snacks, chit chat and then go in. Some even took a load of snacks inside and were eating while the worship was on.
During the worship, a slide was shown often, telling us that we…
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In one of the previous blogs, I had mentioned that the servant of Elijah was the first one to see the cloud that was to bring rains to the drought-hit Israel. And the first reason why he was the carrier of the good news was that he chose to follow God.
But following God is not simply worshipping the loving God on Sundays, proclaiming that you are a Christian and not worshipping the false gods. It involves a little more than that.
After the great victory at Mt. Carmel, the Israelites who were gathered there went back to their places. They had been hit by a severe famine that lasted for 3-1/2 years. The sun was burning hot and there was no water. And on that eventful day, they had been standing outside, under the sun, for the entire day without any food. Now the evening had come, they had chosen to worship the Lord and they were tired. So, everyone went home – except one person. The servant of Elijah.
He chose not to follow the crowd. He chose to follow the man of God. He climbed to the top of Mt. Carmel, along with Elijah. It was because of this, he became the herald of the blessed times to come.
Dear friend, in this world, at present, it is very difficult to be alone with Jesus Christ. It is easy to go with the flow, following the crowd. Especially when you are tired after a gruelling day of your life. Considering how long you have been praying for the showers of blessing and it feels as if your prayers are not heard. Are you ready to climb with your Saviour? It may exhausting. It may look so stupid. But are you ready to be with Jesus Christ, Him that is crucified?
In this world, it is becoming more and more difficult to be a witness to the Lord. We need to be politically correct. We can’t agree to disagree with anyone anymore. You need to tow the lines with others. You can’t even wish “Merry Christmas” during CHRISTMAS season without hurting someone’s feelings. So, what are you going to do? Are you going to follow the crowd, or are you ready to be alone with your Lord Jesus Christ? If you choose to follow Him, you will be the harbinger of the great blessings that the LORD will bestow on you, on your family and on your nation. For HE has promised:
If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there also My servant shall be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him. – John 12:26
Thus says the LORD, “I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothals, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.”
Few years back, when I had reached the nadir of my spiritual decline, I came to the Lord. The Lord, in His mercy and grace, accepted me back with His arms wide open. Yet, I had no courage in my heart to start praying to God. Though I wanted to tell Him that I love Him so much, I felt unsure if He would accept love from someone like me. It was then that the LORD spoke to me through this verse. It broke my heart and made me confess my love, though not perfect, for Him.
Christ in you, the hope of glory.
My teenage life was a little complicated. My father abandoned me and got married to someone else when I was too young to remember. My mother had and still is in a live-in relationship with a man from another religion. Today it may not be a big issue, but when I was a teenager, it was something that no one would accept. I would not talk about my family that much because of this. Especially in an Indian society, it would have been very difficult for any family to give their daughter to me, when both my parents were in an adulterous relation.
To make matters worse, Glory’s parents (Glory is my wife) live and minister in the same street where my mother lives. And they are very orthodox Pentecostal Christians who try to avoid even a shadow of controversy in their life. So, the few friends we had in common were very sure that I would not be able to marry Glory. In between, there were few believers who had a beef with me, spread so many rumours about my family to Glory’s parents, Glory lost all her hopes that we would ever get married.
Not knowing how to comfort her, one night I prayed and this verse spoke to me. It may look very childish today, but for a teenager who carried a huge stigma, it was a blessing. Christ in you, the hope of glory. I took the glory here as Glory and I confessed that as long as Christ is in me, there is hope of Glory in me. And years went by, things have not changed but we are happily married and it was God’s deed. From the day we got engaged to the day we got married, there were so many problems and troubles, but the Hope of glory, Jesus Christ is in us, we overcame every obstacle on the way. And, now, I know that the Hope of glory does not stop with our marriage, for the Lord has greater things for us. Christ in us, the Hope of glory.
May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times and bless you as He has promised! (NIV)
Once I was not sure of how much the Lord would bless me, a sinner and a betrayer. After seeking the forgiveness of our Lord, all I could ask Him was for some blessing, just a little blessing. Like the prodigal son said, I was not worthy of His blessings, but just if He could consider me as His servant… that would be enough. But the LORD gave me this verse. The He will make me increase thousand times and bless me as He has promised. What a wonderful God we serve!
Who can find a woman of virtue? For her value is far above rubies. – Proverbs 31:10 (NKJV)
February 24. Happy Birthday, my dear wife.
A good spouse is always with you, in your ups and downs, people say. Unfortunately I cannot say that with my wife, because with me, she has not seen any ups. Only downs, disappointments and failures. But she is always there for me. There were times when she would be completely broken, but when she sees that I am sad, miraculously there would be a transformation.
People say that men are stronger. Probably physically and in brute force, it may be true. But the amount of work a wife does, it is amazing. There were times when she would be so exhausted with all the work, but the moment she realizes that I am hungry or tired, the energy with which she whips up something to refresh me is unbelievable.
Above everything, she is a glue that holds our family together. Whether it is our kids or our parents or our siblings, they all confide in my wife. Who can find a woman of virtue? I could not, but the Lord provided me one. Thank You, Lord.
In this path of wilderness, I don’t have any friends with who I can share my pain. But I don’t need one, for my wife is also my best friend. Anyone who sees us for the first time would easily mistake us for two best friends and not as husband and wife. Because the camaraderie we share is beautiful. And, she can laugh. She can really laugh at anything, in any situation.
I pray that in this new year, the Lord may give her the reward she has earned and may her works bring her praise at the city gate. – Proverbs 31:31 (NIV)
I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. (NKJV)
When I joined college, I was surprised to find that I was not alone there. Almost everyone of us had joined for Bachelors in Chemistry, because we could not get into any professional courses. Soon, we all flocked together, depression and fatalism became the trend among us. Then we started to experiment on meditations and various other things. One of the things that captured our minds was “how we could become a millionaire” just by thinking positively. It looked a great idea and hey, who does not want to be a millionaire! So, I jumped the bandwagon and soon, lost my interest. All the books made me feel good for a while, but none of them transformed me and I am still waiting for that million to arrive.
But during this time, I came across another book and I was bored. But thought I would read at least one chapter before throwing it away. The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. The very first chapter talks about so many insecurities I had, but concluded with this Biblical verse. The very first verse I ever memorized. I finished the book in one sitting and I was amazed that the Bible had so many promises. It was then I started studying the Bible and that transformation I craved for, the Lord gave me through His Word. Yes, I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.