Blog Archives

Denying Christ

One of the things that always confused me when I read the Bible was Peter denying the Lord. I mean, it is not like Peter did not know that he was going to deny Jesus. The Lord Himself told Peter that he would be denying Him before the rooster crows that night. In the Gospel according to Mark, there is an additional detail, wherein Jesus says that Peter would deny Him before the rooster crows TWICE. I mean, just once I understand. I did not have a chance to stop and think about what I was doing. But, you hear a rooster crowing, you would think for a second what the Savior told and not deny Him once more. Yet, Peter went ahead and denied Him.

I had been, like every fledgling Christian, thought that I would never deny the Lord. But as I grew more and more in a life being led by the Holy Spirit, He pointed out those times when I had denied our Lord, knowingly I might add. However, I alleviated my shame of denying the Lord, by telling myself, “Peter was with the Lord and he should have known better. If I have had the same kind of intimacy he shared with our Redeemer, I would not have done so.” So, imagine my surprise when the Spirit of God convicted me today of denying Christ and the shame with which I am writing this blog.

From Monday (July 31st, 2017) till yesterday (August 02nd. 2017), I was suffering from a severe shortness of breathing. I could not even get out of my bed without breathing so heavily. I could not walk more than few steps without stopping to reduce the pain in my chest while breathing. I could only eat breakfast, as in the morning, it was relatively easier for me to breath. But as the day progressed, it was hard and just to eat a little of rice, I had to spend nearly one hour, with so much suffering. By yesterday evening, I was too tired and when I came upstairs, it was an ordeal to climb those stairs. I was totally disheartened, but then the Lord spoke to me through two devotions, which I blogged them yesterday: These are His mountains and Whence does it come? After reading those two devotions, I felt much better and I spent sometime praising and worshipping the Lord. Though I still could not eat much for supper, at least my heavy breathing had subsided, and I did sleep well.

Before going to sleep, my wife was talking about the availability of sea weed capsules in our town and was reading from a website that the sea weed has lots of potassium in it. Then I suddenly remembered that I was advised to take a potassium supplement, as the edema causes a loss of potassium levels in my blood. One of the symptoms would be heaviness of breathing. I told my wife that we need to get some bananas and also one other source of potassium.

When I woke up this morning, I did not have any breathing problem. I ate my breakfast normally and was actually a little active compared to the last few weeks. Then after noon, a believer got me some bananas and also the sea weed capsules. By then I was breathing normally, yet I ate two bananas and also took a capsule.

The lunch also went smoothly. Though I still could not eat much, at least I did not have to huff and puff for one hour. Then my wife made this remark: “Thank God for this deliverance. Once you read those devotions and praised the Lord, you have been doing pretty good.” And my answer should have been, “Yes, praise the Lord”, or “Hallelujah” or at least an “Amen”. But what I said was: “No, it is not that. It is because I ate those bananas and the sea weed capsules.”

As soon as those words came out of my mouth, the Holy Spirit pointed out that I had just denied the Lord. I had just ascertained the reason of my deliverance to something I did, not ascribing to Jesus. And there were no priests waiting to kill me for my association with Jesus; there were no maid servants accusing me of being with Jesus. I was in no danger at all. No one was accusing. The only person who was there was my loving wife, and she was also praising the Lord. Yet, I had to open my mouth and deny the Lord, and say those words.

As I was filled with shame, I am also glad that the Lord broke me yet again, to point out one more thing that was hiding deep inside me – the rational mind. I also know that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and ever. So, the LORD Who forgave Peter has forgiven me too. And all I can tell Him is this:

“LORD, You know all things. You know that I would betray You, that I would deny You. Yet, You love me so much, so much that You gave Your life to save this wretched sinner. And all I could tell is, Jesus, with all my shortcomings, You know that I love You. Yes, Lord, I love You.”

Denying Christ

Advertisements

There is no other way

When Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:29-30).

Peter had a little faith in the midst of his doubts, says Bunyan; and so with crying and coming he was brought to Christ.

But here you see that sight was a hindrance; the waves were none of his business when once he had set out; all Peter had any concern with, was the pathway of light that came gleaming across the darkness from where Christ stood. If it was tenfold Egypt beyond that, Peter had no call to look and see.

When the Lord shall call to you over the waters, “Come,” step gladly forth. Look not for a moment away from Him.

Not by measuring the waves can you prevail; not by gauging the wind will you grow strong; to scan the danger may be to fall before it; to pause at the difficulties, is to have them break above your head. Lift up your eyes unto the hills, and go forward– there is no other way.

“Dost thou fear to launch away?
Faith lets go to swim!
Never will He let thee go;
’tis by trusting thou shalt know
Fellowship with Him.”

No other way

3. Voice of Love

When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” – John 19:26-27

Final Words behold

The third of the seven utterances of our Saviour from the Cross. Isn’t it amazing that when being nailed to the Cross, Jesus fulfilled His responsibility as a Son to His mother. Then, dear friend, imagine how much He will take care of you today as He is seated at the Right Hand of our Father, as a High Priest interceding for us.

But isn’t it amazing that the apostle John came back, to be at the Calvary, after deserting our Lord at the Garden of Gethsemane? It is the love for Jesus Christ that had compelled him to come back. If I had been in John’s place, I would have expected the Lord to give one of two things.

  1. Make me the chief of the Apostles, instead of Peter, who deserted You and thrice said that he does not know You. But here I am. Yes, I also left You, Lord, but see I have come back because Your love has compelled me. So, I deserve to be the chief of Your disciples.
  2. Or, Lord, give me a double-portion anointing, like Elisha received when he saw Elijah being taken away. Here I am, as You are in the last moments. And give me the anointing, double-portion.

And Jesus did give him a responsibility. It was not a promotion or an anointing, but taking care of an old woman, who had just witnessed her Son being crucified before her eyes and hence suffered so much.

Isn’t it odd that when Peter proclaims his love for our Saviour later, again he was given another responsibility – Feed my sheep. (John 21:17)

Dear friend, do you love Jesus Christ? Then here is the Voice of Love from Calvary. Asking you to take responsibility. Not a double-portion anointing, not a promotion in the church leadership. But to do ordinary menial tasks, taking care of the sheep, taking care of people who need your help, people who may not deserve your time… responsibilities that may not make your name prominent, but if you love Jesus, the Lord Who was crucified for you, He is asking you this day… Will you feed My sheep? Will you tend My sheep? Will you take care of those who are weak?

What will be your answer? It says about John – from that hour, he took Mary to his own home. From that hour. What will be your answer in the next hour?

Feed

Bitter Marah

Jesus Christ is the Same yesterday, and today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

I have to admit that running to Jesus Christ, as soon as the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin, is tougher at times, because of the nature of the sin I had committed. There are certain sins that are abhorred even by the gentiles and when the Spirit of God points out that such sins are present within me, it is very difficult to run to Jesus Christ, the Holy God Who loves me so much. I am worried what if He does not accept me this time; what if He does not forgive me completely this time. What if I am an abomination in His eyes. So, I had tried in the past to rectify my mistakes on my own and every time, it led only to disaster.

When Peter denied Jesus Christ, all it took was one look from our Saviour and the Bible says, Peter went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:62)

Peter crying

I have felt that bitterness many times in my heart. At that time, it was not easy to bear that bitterness and it had made me weep inconsolably. But that bitterness has always led to joy of salvation that is in Jesus Christ. For His mercies are great.

That is why David says, “Let us fall now into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great.” (2 Samuel 24:14)

Yes, when we have sinned, let us come back to Jesus Christ. It may cause bitterness of soul for a moment, just like the bitter waters of Marah (Exodus 15:23), but in the bitterness, we will realize that He is YHWH Rapha, the LORD that heals us. (Exodus 15:26)

YHWH Rapha

El Roi – God Who saw Hagar

Gen 16:13  Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

Hagar was Sarah’s maid and she never became anything else. Moreover, she despised Sarah and was dealt harshly because of that. To make things worse, Hagar ran away from her mistress.

It was a grave error during those times, to run away from your master or mistress. Yet, it did not stop Hagar from running away.

Yet the LORD’s eyes saw her. Saw Hagar, who was a maid, a slave who despised her mistress and was running away from Sarah. Yet the LORD saw her. He saw her during the worst time in her life.

There are times in my life, where my behaviour was not at its best. When was supposed to be grateful, I behaved as if they were destined to help me out. And I had been to my shares of wilderness and loneliness. And, unfortunately, I had been preached that the LORD covers His face from sinners like me.

But at the worst times in my life, I have seen the presence of the LORD. I have seen His face, just like Peter saw the face of the LORD after denying Him three times (Luke 22:61-62)

Why would the LORD look at me during those times? Unworthy as I am, it was hard for me to understand till I realized, I am His child. It was not by who I am, but because of His Son and my LORD Jesus Christ. And I now know that the LORD Who saw a maid in the wilderness is gracious and merciful and He will surely sees all His children.

Yes, dear friend, the  LORD sees you. Probably you are struggling with sin at this moment, but the LORD sees you. You may be struggling with people who are dealing harshly with you – and it may be even your fault, but El Roi is seeing with compassion at this very moment.

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15) So cry out to Him. Let us cry out to our Abba, to our Father. Now. At this moment. For our Father, our Abba is El Roi – God Who sees us. With compassion and love.
https://i2.wp.com/i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad135/marissalee19/Bible%20Verses/romans815.jpg

Ashes – Repentance

In Biblical times, when someone had realized that they had committed a sin, they would show their repentance by sitting on a heap of ashes. Yes, ashes represent repentance for sin.

Dear friend, are these your ashes today? Are you repenting for certain sins that you have committed and not sure whether our Lord Jesus Christ will accept you again?

Peter. One of the closest disciples of our LORD. Followed our Lord readily. Even walked on water based on the little faith he had. Partaker in every single miracle that Jesus did. One of the witnesses to our LORD’s glorious transfiguration.

Yet, Jesus told him, “Before the cock crows twice, you shall deny Me three times.” – Mark 14:30. Though Peter vehemently opposed any such denial would happen, we see that by the early morning next day, not only Peter denied our LORD, Mark says that Peter swore and cursed our LORD. (Mark 14:71) And that too because he was afraid of a maid servant.

peter-denies-jesus

There are so many sins that we can commit today. The modern world has opened us many new ways in which we can commit a sin. But of all the sins that we can commit, the one that hurts our LORD the most is when we deny that we don’t know Him.

Probably we may say that we would never ever deny knowing our LORD. But, let us not haste in declaring that. Am I sure I am not denying our LORD by my inactions? I may not expressly say that I do not know Him… but whenever I remain silent when I have to declare my Savior, I am actually denying Him in my life.

When it is Christmas season, it is okay to talk about Santa, but I don’t want to offend others, so let us not talk about Christ – I am denying Him. When I cut out references to Jesus Christ on a song, Silent Night, that talks beautifully about His birth, I am denying Him. When people are ready to cut out Christian references from everything a CHRISTIAN says so that it does not offend others, and I remain a silent spectator, I deny Him. Now, how many of us can tell that we have not denied Him at all?

But, it does not matter… dear friend, come to Jesus. Come to Jesus with your ashes. When we have committed a sin, when we realize what we have done, our nature is to run away from the LORD. But the Bible says something about Peter. When he denied our LORD, it says,

“The LORD turned and looked on Peter… and Peter went out and wept bitterly.” – Luke 22:61-62.

Peter wept bitterly, realizing what he had done. First and foremost, true repentance should bring bitter tears from within us. But after all that, Peter went and stayed with other disciples. I don’t know if he had told others what he had done, probably he did not say a word… but he stayed with the disciples.

Dear friend, when you realize that you had committed a sin, the devil will ask you to stay away from the LORD and His disciples. Satan will ask you to stay away from the church, from other believers… The devil will say, “But they won’t understand you, they will judge you, they will condemn you. Jesus will not accept you again. Run away. No one will have to know this.” Don’t listen to the devil’s words, dear friend. Come to Jesus, with your ashes, with the tears of your repentance. Jesus will never cast out anyone who comes to Him.

And when you come to Him, with your sins, your tears and your ashes, the LORD is willing to change those ashes into a crown of beauty for you. The LORD will make a point so that you know you are forgiven, that you are loved and that His plans for you have not been forsaken. Yes, dear friend, that is why when the angel commanded Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of James and Salome, to tell the disciples about the resurrection of our LORD, two words were added additionally:

“Go tell His disciples and Peter…” – Mark 16:7

Come to Jesus today. Your ashes will become crown of beauty. Your repentance and mourning shall become dances of joy. For the LORD has a special message just for you, my dear friend. Let us come to Jesus with our ashes, let us receive beauty instead. Amen.

beauty-for-ashes

Luke 2:6-7“While they were there, the time came for the Baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a Son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

One Reason for Trouble – Our Attitude

Proverbs 10_22

The blessing of the LORD brings wealth and He adds no trouble to it. – Proverbs 10:22 (NIV)

This is one of the promises that the LORD has given to us. When the LORD blesses us, it makes us prosperous and wealthy. And the LORD does not bring any trouble, or sorrow or grief along with that wealth. But, there are so many times, we have waited for the LORD’s blessings, and wealth comes with His blessings… and yet, there are times His blessings has brought us grief, loss or trouble. Why? Does the LORD change? No, He does not. Then what happened? Let us look at someone who was blessed by the LORD, who became prosperous but at the very moment, had to face trouble because of the blessings.

And having done this, they caught a great number of fish, but their net began breaking. – Luke 5:6 (ALT)

Now, what happened here? All night, Peter and his band of fishermen were toiling hard and could not catch even one single fish. In the morning, they were tired and disheartened and as they come to the shore, hoping to get some rest, but there was Jesus Christ, who needed the boat of Simon Peter to preach. Imagine how would you feel… after a long exhausting disappointing night, all you want is some rest, but there the LORD is speaking and you have no choice but to listen… that could be really testing. I am sure we all have had experiences in that. I don't know smile

Think about how Peter would be feeling when after all these, Jesus says to cast nets to catch fish. It was daytime and not the right time to catch fish. For all the preaching, Jesus Christ was just a carpenter, not a seasoned fisherman like Peter, who knew that you could catch fish easily only in the nights.

How many times have we felt the same? There are certain areas in our life where we know better than anyone. We have enough experience in those areas. And when someone suggests that we do otherwise, we have a problem. Especially someone who has no experience in that particular area.

While Peter had every reason to be offended by the suggestion of our LORD, he did obey and almost all the time, it is considered to be something of a virtue that he listened to the Word of the LORD against all odds. But, if you ask me, IMHO, I consider it to be rather condescending towards the LORD. Why? Let us read those verses again carefully. Let us see what the LORD told Peter.

HE (Jesus) said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch”. – Luke 5:4 (ALT)

Note that the LORD was telling Peter to let down the NETS for a catch. Note that the LORD was using a plural here… the LORD knows that there is a lot to catch. So He commands to let down the NETS. But what does Peter do?

Simon said to Him, “Master, having labored through the whole night we caught nothing, but at Your Word, I will let down the net.” – Luke 5:5 (ALT)

Note that Peter says that he will let down the NET – singular. Most of the English translations have ‘nets’ – but that is not right. The original manuscripts and most of the literal translations have ‘net’.

The LORD is saying, “Let down your nets for a catch” and Peter is telling, in effect, “Master, we are experienced fishermen. We toiled all night, the best time to catch fish, but still we could not manage to catch anything. Though You may be a great Preacher, I don’t think You have as much experience. So, letting down all the nets will be a waste of time and effort. If I let down all the nets, You will be embarrassed in front of everyone when the nets come back empty. So, I will just let one net down to save Your face.

We all do that all the time to our LORD. When the LORD is ready to bless us abundantly, we restrict Him because we think we know our circumstances better than the LORD. We don’t want to do the things that the LORD has asked, not because we don’t believe in the LORD, it is just that we don’t want to embarrass the LORD before the eyes of others.

Now, when Peter let down the net, he was in for a surprise. The blessings of the LORD brought him riches, but because of his attitude, it also brought him grief. Not only the net was getting damaged, when others came to help, even those boats started to sink.

miraculous-catch of Fish

Today, when we look at our situations, it may sound hopeless. When the LORD speaks to us, it will be difficult to put all our trust in Him. But, at least, let us not be condescending in our attitude towards Him. Because, soon, very soon, the blessings of the LORD is going to make us rich and He will not add any sorrow unto it. Just make sure that you don’t add any trouble by your attitude.

Ecclesiastes 11:5“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.