On May 17th midnight, I was rushed to the emergency ward yet again and was admitted in the ICU for nearly four days. As I was in the bed, due to the mercies of the LORD, I had a chance to observe the ICU where I spent a week in 2016.
Throughout my stay this time, the nurses were efficient and they did their duty. No complaints there. But something was very off from the first time I stayed there. Initially I could not find anything wrong, but even my wife who is taking care of me, and the few visitors who came to see me, pointed out that the atmosphere at the ICU was different. Then I realized that.
You could see the sense of duty this time around; but in 2016, it was a service; not duty to be performed. For example, the night shift ends at 8 AM. So the nurses have to clean us up, give us the injections to be given, take blood samples for daily analysis and then make sure we have our breakfast before they leave.
In 2016, the nurses would finish all their writing summary and various official things in the night and would start the cleaning up process by 5 AM. By 7:45 AM, they would finish everything and get ready to leave by 8 AM.
This time around, getting ready to leave was the priority. So, we were woken up at 3:30 AM for cleaning, 4 AM for brushing our teeth and the blood samples were taken at 4:30 AM. It did not matter how tired we were. We would start sleeping and then one nurse would come to wake us up for one thing or another. Then by 5 AM, they would sit and start writing their summary. During that time, you ask for anything, you are just wasting your time. One day, I was thirsty and asked for water, and I got it after 45 minutes. Because they have to finish their jobs, you see.
Also in 2016, I was in a worse condition than I was this time. Yet the nurses would comfort me saying that I would be okay, that they would take care of me, and whatever they did, they did with a reassuring smile. This time, there is no assurance of anything, no smile nothing. If there is a question, ask the doctor why are you asking me – was the kind of attitude.
In 2016, the night shift nurses would not even talk aloud, because most of the patients would be sleeping. But this time, it did not matter what the time was… they shouted at each other, their friends would drop in suddenly for a chit chat and they would laugh aloud. An 87-year old grandma was hungry and asked for food – she was next to me, and the nurses were laughing at how with such a thin frame, she could talk so loud.
So, what was the difference? In 2016, almost 90% of the nurses working in the ICU were Christians. This time not one of them was a Christian.
But there was no gospel preaching in 2016. No one tried to convert any of us. No one asked us to believe only in Jesus. But whatever they did, they did with a smile. They did their duty too, but it was more like service. You could sense that there was a sense of sweetness in the atmosphere… the fragrance of Christ.
Yes, dear friend, if Christ fills us up, we do not have to open our mouths and shout from the roof top, that we are Christians. Everyone around us will feel the fragrance of Christ by the way we live. Are we emanating the fragrance of Christ or are we just doing our duties?
The student in the lower grades who is always idly dreaming of the time when he will be a senior, and thus neglects his present studies, will never be prepared to take his place with any distinction in his senior year. If we scholars in the larger school of life are so fascinated by revelations of the unseen world that we lose interest in the present one, we will never be prepared for its highest enjoyment.
Live a faithful, overcoming Christian life in this world today, and you will be ready for the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!
“I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).
I went to America some years ago with the captain of a steamer, who was a very devoted Christian. When off the coast of Newfoundland he said to me, “The last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, something happened which revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. We had George Mueller of Bristol on board. I had been on the bridge twenty-four hours and never left it. George Mueller came to me, and said, “Captain I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec Saturday afternoon.” “It is impossible,” I said. “Very well, if your ship cannot take me, God will find some other way. I have never broken an engagement for fifty-seven years. Let us go down into the chart-room and pray.”
I looked at that man of God, and thought to myself, what lunatic asylum can that man have come from? I never heard of such a thing as this. “Mr. Mueller,” I said, “do you know how dense this fog is?” “No,” he replied, “my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.”
He knelt down and prayed one of the most simple prayers, and when he had finished I was going to pray; but he put his hand on my shoulder, and told me not to pray. “First, you do not believe He will answer; and second I BELIEVE HE HAS, and there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.”
I looked at him, and he said, “Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog gone.” I got up, and the fog was indeed gone. On Saturday afternoon, George Mueller was in Quebec for his engagement.
A believer recently came to our church and was complaining to the ministers of God, how the devil has been sabotaging his business; whatever he earns is lost because the devil is creating one loss after another. How his family members have become sick one after another and hence could not take care of the business and all these are because the devil is working against him. And the ministers of God also prayed, rebuking the devil in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, I have suffered enough due to many demonic attacks, and moreover, our ministry itself is deliverance ministries. So, I am not going to say that devil cannot do anything to saved Christian, who obeys the will of God. If Satan could hinder the plans of Apostle Paul (1 Thessalonians 2:18), then he could certainly hinder our plans. But there comes a point where we blame everything on the devil, instead of taking responsibility for our actions. There are times what we reap is what we sow. The same Apostle Paul tells in no uncertain terms in his Epistle to Galatians.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. – Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)
Now, this believer is known for his avarice. He already has few lands, but when he got a chance to buy one more land next to his home, he borrowed money from many and bought it. Some people may say that it is the right thing to do. But there are couple of problems.
Before this, he borrowed money from two women in our church. One is a widow and the other one suffers from marital problems because she has become a Christian. Both are tender hearted and when he asked them for money, they gave him happily; the second lady even lent him some of her jewels, with the assurance that he would return them within 6 months. Since her husband is against her going to church in the first place, if he comes to know that she has given her jewels to some believer as a loan, she would be in serious trouble. The widow is also in a poor situation as she has two daughters who are going to college now. She also gave the money, again hoping to get her money back within 6 months. Now, it has been 3 years since that, and he does not even talk about the money he owes to these poor women. Yet, he went ahead and borrowed more money from others to buy a land, and still had the temerity to stand in the church and witness that the Lord has blessed him with a land, while these two innocuous women watching him helplessly. The ministers of God have told him repeatedly to pay back those hapless women, but he does not care.
Then two years back, he bought a pickup truck for his business purpose – this time, he managed to get a loan from the bank and he needs to repay it in instalments; that debt will be cleared in another 2 years. Even then, some people pointed out that it was a costly venture and he would trouble making the payments; but he assured them that with his two sons and his wife working hard with him, he would be able to pay all those instalments easily.
But then last year, he went ahead and bought another pickup truck, again in a loan from another bank and again, it is going to take him 4 years to pay back that debt. His reasoning is if he has two trucks, he and his sons would be working around the clock and would be rich sooner and will be able to pay back all the debts within a year or two.
Then he became terribly sick and the doctors have advised him not to work hard. His wife became too weak from years of hard work and not eating properly. One of his sons met with an accident and is incapacitated for few weeks from driving a vehicle. The other son, who is a good student, got an apprentice from the Government of India and left.
Now he is having trouble to make the payments. Whatever they earn, they have to spend for the health of one or the other person in the family. Since he loves to take shortcuts to make a profit, he did not get the Fitness Certificate (FC) for his trucks; now a honest officer has been transferred to our area and is fining any vehicles which do not have a current FC. Since the FCs for this believer’s trucks have expired 5 months back, he has to pay a huge amount as fine now.
So, it is the devil that is making so many losses in his life. He wants to give to the ministries and support the church, but the devil is trying his best to stop this believer from doing that.
Yes, we can blame everything on the devil. But the LORD knows the truth. God cannot be mocked. We reap what we sow. It is time believers take responsibility for their actions. Our father Adam and mother Eve tried blaming others for their sins; but the Lord saw through their “blaming others” tactics. What makes us think we can fool the Omniscient God now?
“Thou art my King, O God: Command deliverance (victories, margin) for Jacob”
(Psalm 44:4 RV).
Here is no foe to your growth in grace, no enemy in your Christian work, which was not included in your Savior’s conquests.
You need not be afraid of them. When you touch them, they will flee before you. God has promised to deliver them up before you. Only be strong and very courageous! Fear not, nor be dismayed! The Lord is with you, O mighty men of valor– mighty because one with the Mightiest. Claim victory!
Whenever your enemies close in upon you, claim victory! Whenever heart and flesh fail, look up and claim VICTORY!
Be sure that you have a share in that triumph which Jesus won, not for Himself alone, but for us all; remember that you were in Him when He won it, and claim victory!
Reckon that it is yours, and gather spoil. Neither the Anakim nor fenced cities need daunt or abash you. You are one of the conquering legion. Claim your share in the Savior’s victory.
– Joshua, by Meyer
“In fierce storms,” said an old seaman, “we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.”
This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way.
Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there.
You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may– winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers– no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God’s faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus. — Richard Fuller
As I was admitted to the ICU, the nurses there had a “big” problem – literally. Due to the severity of edema, I was really huge. So, it was very difficult for them to do their regular duties as far as I was concerned. Especially, they had a problem finding one of my veins to draw blood for the various tests the physicians had ordered.
On the very first day, for nearly two hours, two nurses exerted themselves to the point of exhaustion, just pressing down my arms to find a vein. Finally in my left arm, they were able to find something to draw blood from – but it was not a vein, it was an artery. Inserting a needle and drawing blood from an artery is a painful thing even in ordinary circumstances. To hold my arm in such a strong grip and then to draw blood from the artery – it really was painful. Anyway, I was just happy that the pain was over. But then I was so wrong.
Everyday they had to withdraw blood 5-6 times, especially twice in the early mornings. Once the other nurses found out that it was so difficult to find a vein in my arms, they all went with this artery that was “discovered”. So, the needle was stuck at the same place again and again. In the early morning, it would be cold and the pain was become a little too intense for me. By the fourth day, my left arm was so sore, when one of the believers who visited me, took hold of my arm to comfort me and I cried out in pain – it was really severe and intense.
By fifth day, the pain had become intolerable, and I was scared to go to sleep, because I knew that in the morning, I would wake up in pain. On sixth morning, it was a trainee who came to collect the blood and she had trouble finding the artery. So, she held my sore arm very tight and inserted the needle thrice to get the artery, and the pain was excruciating. I winced in severe pain, and was seeking the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. There was a Christian nurse there, who called me “Anna” which means “Elder brother” in our language. She saw that I was in real pain and told the trainee that she would take my blood. However, even she had trouble locating my artery and I had to close my mouth with my right arm, to avoid screaming in pain. So, she stopped trying to take the blood and went to ask the staff nurse, if she had any other suggestions to take blood in a less painful manner. The staff nurse bluntly told her that she had to do what she had to do, and should not be worried about the reactions of the patient.
On hearing this, I prayed a small prayer, seeking the strength of our Lord and as my wont, started to meditate on Calvary. After receiving the grace of our Lord, I asked the nurse to take blood from me. She was still skeptical, but realizing that I was ready, she came to take the blood. As I winced in pain yet again when she touched my arm, she offered a little prayer. She said, “God, may this be the last time, the blood has to be taken from my brother. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.” The staff nurse who overheard the prayer, laughed out, saying that they had scheduled to take my blood two more times in the next 6 hours, and hence the Christian nurse should not be wasting her prayer on things that God Himself won’t be changing. Of course, the staff nurse was not a believer. The Christian nurse said, “Sister, you have no idea what our God can do.” With that, she took blood from me.
Yes, the staff nurse was right as there was an order to withdraw my blood two more times before noon. But the Christian nurse was more right, as no one knows what a Living God, Who hears the prayers of His children can do. Within an hour, the staff nurse was given instructions that no more blood samples were needed from me, and that I be transferred to general ward from ICU. Praise the LORD! HE heard my voice and the Christian sister’s voice during my distress and He delivered me.
Yes, dear friend, when we call on Him in our distress, we will be surprised to find that He is never far away from us; but right there next to you, waiting to deliver you. May this Christmas season be filled with the joy of knowing that our Lord Jesus Christ is Emmanuel – God is with us. Amen.
Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. – Psalm 118:5 (RSV)
The voice of a stranger distracts us from the path in which our Good Shepherd is leading us. There are few things that the voice of a stranger tells us.
It tries to boost our egos. It says, come this way and you can kill a lion with your bare hands, because you are strong, you are mighty and you can do these things. You are empowered. We get tempted by this, because the Christian life is a life of absolute surrender. But when we go a little further, not very much, just a little, we can gain glory – just like Samson did.
It condemns us. It reminds us of our past sins and how worthless we are for this higher calling by the Holy God. It keeps telling us that these sins will catch up with us, no matter what and we will fall short of our goal anyway. So, give up your futile way of life, it keeps telling us.
It talks about being wise versus having faith. It tells us about all those people who have lost so much despite putting their faith in our LORD. It keeps telling us that we will also fail just like they did. So, why make a fool of yourself, it asks so lovingly.
It talks about tradition. For so many years, this is how this is done, do you think you can change everything? Do you really believe that you can make a difference, it keeps asking us.
It talks about understanding the world. Didn’t Jesus say understand everyone? Didn’t Jesus sit with the sinners? So how can you condemn sin? How can you be so intolerant? It keeps shooting at us till we give in.
It talks about social stigma. It tells that God has given us wisdom to avoid social stigma. It is not cool to be a Christian. It is not cool to believe in the Bible. It is not cool to disagree with what the world believes in as a part of evolution. It is not cool to question stupid assertions by scientists who always know better than us.
But then there is the Voice of our Savior. Amidst all the chaos in this world, His gentle voice tells us just one thing:
Are you ready to have some rest? Then come to Jesus. HE will carry your burdens. HE will give you rest, the rest you need, the rest you deserve.
|1 John 1:7“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”
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For last few months, I have been following the American news and to be honest, I was appalled. To be honest, I was thinking that gun control would be the most important issue, considering how many kids have lost their lives. But apparently, gay marriage seems to be more important than kids losing their lives because of gun violence. If that is not enough, I have seen Christianity being attacked by those who support gay marriage. I even read a blog by someone who is a “practicing” Christian who was initially opposed to gay marriage, but now supporting gay marriage, because, some of her friends turned to be gays and hence if you are a true Christian, you also should be supporting gay marriage.
Now, some of you actually may not like me after this blog and I understand that. But I can approach this problem in two ways – from the religious point of view and from the point of view of the society.
From Christianity point of view:
Genesis 1:27 clearly says how the LORD intended a family to be:
So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God, He created him; male and female He created them. (AMP)
And our LORD Jesus Christ, when talking about the sanctity of marriage, refers to the same verse:
He (Jesus) replied, Have you never read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female (Gen.1:27), and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? (Gen.2:24) – Matthew 19:4-5 (Amplified Bible)
So, when the Bible is clear about this, how come those who call themselves Christians support gay marriage and blast those who do not support gay marriage? Like that “practicing” Christian lady – she had a change of heart because those who are closer to her are gays. So??? Does that change the Word of God? A true Christian’s life begins with the Bible and ends with the Bible. For the Word of God is the Name of our LORD Jesus Christ.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Rev. 19:13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God.
Either I accept the Word of God or I do not accept. Either I accept the LORD Jesus Christ as my Savior or I don’t. There is no two ways about it. Of course, there are “Christians” who take pride with themselves for changing with the world – how there are things in the Bible that do not conform to today’s world and it needs changing… Really?
Heb. 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Yes, the LORD does not change. Yesterday, today and forever, Jesus Christ is the same. And the Word of God is also same.
But today’s Christians have different ideas. If we do not support gay marriages, we are orthodox Christians, who are idiots; those who support gay marriages are liberals and they are intellectuals. You ask me who I am… I am neither Orthodox nor Liberal. I AM A CHRISTIAN. I strive to live by what the Bible says. So, do you label me as Orthodox? So be it. Do you think I am an idiot? Would you call me foolish? That’s fine. For the LORD has written about me in the Bible:
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. – 1 Cor. 1:27-29 (NIV)
So, if you call me names, I am okay with that. I understand. But, don’t tell me that you are a “practicing” Christian and that I should see your point of view and support gay marriages. And, for you, my dear “practicing” Christian, there is something written about you, too.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! – Rev. 3:15 (NIV)
And, there are some other Christians who say this: But didn’t Christ Jesus teach us to love sinners? That’s absolutely right. For them, my answer is again the Word of our LORD:
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. – Matthew 12: 37 (NIV)
By saying that Jesus taught us to love sinners, you are indeed saying that gays are sinners. And it is by those words, you will be condemned. Because, Jesus did teach us to love sinners, but He never asked to accept their sinful ways.
There is another group that says, okay, forget that you are a Christian. Just as a human being, can’t you support gay marriage? I have made clear that I am a human being only because of the grace of my LORD Jesus Christ. If not for His grace, I would have been a nightmare of a being.
From Society’s point of view:
But, then I really wanted to be clear about one thing: so, I went through a bunch of dictionaries to see what the ACCEPTED definition of marriage is.
Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary:
a legally accepted relationship between a woman and a man in which they live as husband and wife, or the official ceremony which results in this.
New Oxford American Dictionary:
The formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary: It has changed the definition of marriage recently. Made many people happy, but I don’t think they read it correctly.
the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage.
Read the underlined words. Though it changed its definition to include gay marriage, it also worded clearly that gay marriage is not marriage in the traditional sense.
Now, what does that tell us? By tradition, our society has accepted that marriage is a legal union between man and woman. The weird part with the so called liberals is that they always complain that the other side does not agree to disagree… but anyone who disagrees with them are retarded. Wow, that tells you who you are.
I am not anti-gay, but I am pro-marriage. And if that means, I am anti-gay marriage, yes, I am proud to say that. And I am very very proud to tell: I AM A CHRISTIAN.
|Luke 9:23-24“Then He said to them all: “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will save it.”
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