Monthly Archives: September 2013

9 tips to rise up early and pray

While studying the example of Jesus, one thing I’ve noticed about his prayer style. For now I want to speak about his rising early in the morning to pray and do God will. For instance:

-And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Mark 1:35)

-And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him. (Luke 21:38)

-And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. (John 8:2)

We are called to imitate the Lord. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children (Ephesians 5:1).  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:8).

Rising up fairly early does help with health, stops laziness and saves a lot of time for the day too.  If Jesus got up in the morning early why not we?  You can achieve a lot. You say you don’t have time for God but if you cut down on the extra sleep you’ll get more time for him.

-My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. (Psalms 5:3)

-But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. (Psalms 59:16)

-O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (Psalms 63:1)

-But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. (Psalms 88:13)

-With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9)

Excess sleep is harmful. People go late to school, college and work all because they got up late. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (Proverbs 6:9-11)

“Okay, but how do we get the time to get up early?”. I’d suppose this is a big question.  Just a few tips to help:

1.Don’t eat heavily for dinner.

2.Drink sufficient water during the day.

3.A loud alarm. But keep it in such a way that you have to stand up or walk about to get it turned off.

4.If you’re on medication as in sick don’t sleep late like 1am instead try to sleep much early 10pm or  10.30pm.

5.Don’t sleep late even if your health is very normal.

6.Avoid watching late night TV or late night calls.

7.No late night outings or partying indiscriminately or frequently.

8.Avoid sleeping with anger, bitterness or unforgiveness.

9.Pray to God for this and he’ll give you the desire of your heart.

 

Avoiding anxiety through prayer

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Anxiety is not a good thing to have in life. It has been linked to clinical depression as well. Avoiding anxiety through prayer is a very important. There are those who waste a lot of time and energy by being anxious.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. (Proverbs 12:25)

I’d say to them fight back anxiety through prayer. Better still avoid anxiety through prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 says that, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Jesus has given us his wisdom about dealing with anxiety. He spoke in Matthew 6:25-34:

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …

Doesn’t that tell a lot about anxiety? The Lord himself had to speak on this because he knew what was troubling men, women and children over the ages. He gave us the Gospel which gives hope and part of this hope is to have true peace and not anxiety in this life.

Don’t live in fear of terrorists or murderers and not even the Devil. Cast your anxiety over to the Lord instead.  Here a few scriptures that you can reflect over so that you can tackle anxiety:

1 Peter 5:7 says, Casting all your anxieties on him [Christ], because he cares for you.

Psalm 34:4 says that, I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 55:22-23 says that, Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. But you, O God, will cast them down into the pit of destruction; men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days. But I will trust in you.

Psalm 27:1-14 says that,  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. …

Keep reflecting on these scriptures and then pray to the Lord Jesus to take away your anxiety. Pray in faith and keep praying till the anxiety goes away!

The best form of worship in Christianity

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The best form of worship in Christianity is …

OBEDIENCE!

That’s right. Many might wonder why I have not put the Lord’s supper nor long hours of prayer as the best form of worship. Because you won’t always be able to pull long hours of prayer unless you really have a good plan in mind to do so every day without fail.  And about the Lord’s supper, well you can’t keep celebrating it unto eternity. Surprised?  Well the Bible is clear on this.

Lets read  1 Corinthians 11:23-26 which says:
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for[a] you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

The last part “until he comes” proves that once Jesus comes the second time there is no more need to proclaim his death through the Lord’s Supper. Till then the Lord’s Supper can and must be partaken of! Because partaking of the Lord’s Supper is obedience to the words of Christ.

Now obedience to God is forever.  I mean its from eternity to eternity. God dwells in eternity.  The Holy Angels worship and obey him for all eternity.

Obedience to God is the true indicator of your love for him.  Jesus in John 14:15 says that, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”

In the Old Testament too, the Bible is very clear on what is true worship. In those times sacrificing animals was considered a very high form of worship. However King Saul didn’t give true honor by performing the sacrifice which Samuel was actually supposed to do.

So later he was rebuked by Samuel the prophet who spoke highly of obeying the Lord.  1 Samuel 15:22 goes like this; And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

Obedience to God shows that you want God to abide in you. 1 John 3:24 says that, Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

Though obedience outwardly looks like action it is still a form of worship. To understand this, lets read Romans 12: 1 which says that, I plead with you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present all your faculties to Him as a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to Him. This with you will be an act of reasonable worship.

So I’d say keep obedience to Christ till the end of time and you’d be considered worshiping him to the end of time.

Parable of the wheat

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There is a parable by Jesus which is the Parable of the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). You can read it below:

 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

This parable is really enlightening. We live in a world where both the good and the wicked live side by side. The good need to concentrate on growing in their good works while the wicked need to repent. For there will come a time when both the good and wicked will manifest so clearly in their full grown state that there won’t be any gray area. So both will be easily identified at the Final Judgement.

The Final Judgement is going to be more simple than most people think. It will be judgement on those are sinful and mercy on those who are still faithful to Christ. Then there will be rewards and punishments as per the intensity and nature of works done by each individual.

It’s not enough to have faith in Christ, you need to be faithful to him to the very end. Faith is not say a prayer to Christ and get your ticket to heaven. You need to continue to believe in the Lord Jesus till the end of time.

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matthew 24:13

 

 

Christians are not called to be neutral

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

― Dante Alighieri, Inferno

Those who believe in Christ are not called to be neutral at all.  There are some Christians who don’t do bad things but they don’t do the good things either. Like they do not kill or steal but at the same time they do not help the poor either. And they have a ready made excuse for that as well.

The Bible is very clear on such types of Christians, lets read Revelation 3:14-22:

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

This speaks of direct rejection of all such Christians who are lukewarm (read neutral) in their faith by the Lord Jesus himself. Whatever you do therefore, just avoid being a neutral participant in the walk of faith. Do good, talk good and help out people in need. Defend the oppressed when its in your power to do so and if you can’t directly intervene at least pray about it and contact others who do have the power to do so.

Don’t be neutral on sin. Never keep silent about sin. You can guide the sinner back to Christ in a pure way. I don’t mean that you condone any sort of sin but you can’t be so rough that you drive the person away from Christ. You need to be balanced, just tell them the facts of the Gospel about sin and not some opinions.

When hearing music or seeing videos or news that are morally degrading don’t be neutral. Think for yourself, you are not a sponge which absorbs all that it comes in contact with. Try to find out what the Bible says about such things. Don’t blindly accept any religious teaching or any worldly teaching at school, college or office. You need to make the effort to discern if that is true or not. Its your soul at stake and so its your responsibility to stop being neutral about what information is given to you and then act wisely on that.

 

Getting true rest

Hi everyone,

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

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Many people go on through life burdened and weary due to many things like the economy, wars, work and what not. Some are burdened by their lifestyles of sin and know their time’s up and very soon the line will end.

The good news is that Christ gives you true rest in the midst of all of life’s turmoils if you come to him in faith. He wants us to take his yoke and learn from him for he is gentle and humble.

Rest for one’s soul is very important. Let me make it clear, have all the latest comforts that are physically available but when the time to die comes all these become irrelevant, all you will need to be concerned is whether you will get rest for your soul. You don’t need to wait to come to death bed to start thinking about rest for one’s soul. You can do it today.

The rest that I speak of comes from God alone, for it is written in Psalm 127:  1-2 “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.”

There are people who are extremely wealthy but equally anxious because they have reduced themselves to machines devoted to making money but at the end of the day they feel insecure due to robbers and fraudsters who want to steal their money.  That’s why its vital that you get true rest for God which He himself takes care of you.

It takes courage to say that you need help, help from God I mean. It’s not something that can be earned by your works, you need to leave your achievements at the doorstep and simply pray unto Christ.

Philippians 4: 6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with  thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which  surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ  Jesus.”

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Christ speaks in the Gospel “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27. This is relevant even today. Its all yours to claim if you believe.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus I come to you as I am. Take away all darkness and sin from my life. Give me your rest and protection. Guide me and lead me. Be around me as I walk, sit, play and work through life. Even though the world is not at peace, I pray that you give me your peace both in the physical and eternal sense. Reveal to me more of your grace so that I keep living in the true rest that comes from you alone. Amen.

Keep to the basics of the faith

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When you come to faith in Christ you need to continue in it so that you are truly victorious. Therefore its essential that you keep to the basics of the faith.

The basics are simple; repent and believe in the Gospel, follow the Ten Commandments, partake of the Lord’s Supper, don’t be part of the world, instead be part of the Kingdom of God and wait for the Second coming of Jesus. Of course there are other things to the faith like miracles and helping the poor. However the basics are the heart of Christianity without which there is hardly a difference between a Child of God and a normal person who is an atheist though both of them are helping the underprivileged sections of society.

Its keeping to the basics that defines a true believer in Christ. No person who calls himself a Christian will ever go to heaven if he worships false gods. One cannot sell drugs on the weekend and spend that money on AIDS victims and call himself a true believer even though he helped sick people. Bottom line for them is that they didn’t keep to the basics of the faith so they are actually on their way to hell unless they repent of their sinful ways.

Keeping to the roots of the faith ensures that you are spiritually nourished by Christ himself.  As you mediate on Him and the Bible you will realize that you are growing in the Lord and will continue to get his wisdom and grace to carry your daily walk with the Lord. Be sure that those who keep to the rules will be rewarded by Jesus himself in the world to come. In Revelation 22:12  Jesus says, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be”

God bless you and keep you!

Christ gives me strength

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Just edited a picture that would help you remember Christ can help you do all things that are good and worth doing. He can help you at work and at play. He can help you in studies too.

When facing a tough issue, ask Christ the grace to overcome it. He will give you the ability. All you need to do is ask!

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