Monthly Archives: February 2014

Guard your heart

guard

One must always guard one’s own heart because once your heart it influenced you will surely start acting out as per your own intentions. It is silly to blame only the devil for all the bad things that happen in the world. People also sin because they choose to do from their own heart.

A serial killer, allows thoughts of murder in his heart on a great level, which then lead him to commit murder. He had a choice to not allow murderous thoughts but he let it be otherwise. No wonder his sin is upon him.

No adulterer can say that they had absolutely no lustful thoughts before getting into the vile sin of adultery. As much as they were aware of their marriage vows so also in that measure were they aware that thoughts of lust and immorality are entering their heart. They had their choice to say no but simply bypassed that. That is why they are in sin.

Christian martyrs (God bless them) chose to let only thoughts of faithfulness to Jesus be in them. That is why even in the face of imminent death they chose to keep their faith in Jesus and die for him rather than reject him. That is why they are worthy disciples of Jesus.

Do have good and holy thoughts that lead you to all actions that glorify God. The more you allow thoughts that are worthy, the better will your walk of faith be in Jesus. Avoid giving your heart to silly and vulgar jokes, immoral forms of entertainment, worthless books and novels, hate promoting songs, this list could go on and on but I do hope that you got my point.

Here are a few scriptures that you could reflect on:

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Matthew 12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Matthew 15:18-19 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Mark 7:21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come–sexual immorality, theft, murder,

Luke 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

2 Kings 10:31 Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.

Proverbs 23:19 Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path:

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life: but teach them to your sons, and your sons’ sons;

Mark 14:38 Watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

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Confused on what to pray? Then do this..

When you are confused to pray about your situation or need then ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you. The Holy Spirit will the plead you cause like no human on earth can, ever. He will pray the right words when you are at a loss for words.

Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will.

If you can pray in tongues then use it so that the Holy Spirit pleads your cause. If you can’t pray in tongues, then ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to speak in tongues. You find it beneficial to get someone who already can pray in tongues, to pray along with you so that you receive this gift. Nevertheless you can simply say that ‘Dear Holy Spirit, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I don’t know what to say or pray to God in my situation right now. But I ask that you intercede for me and my cause so that I overcome everything so that God is glorified. Amen’

If you believe in Christ Jesus, then you must pray that you receive the Holy Spirit. Did you know that after the death of Jesus, his disciples lived in fear and confusion? That changed when Jesus sent them the Holy Spirit. When Jesus came back from the dead he promised to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples after he ascended to heaven and they would receive power there after. One of the manifestation of this power is that they spoke in tongues.

Acts 2:1-5 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.

Though the purpose of this post is to encourage you to let the Holy Spirit intercede for you in times of trouble, there is one thing I’d like to conclude with; the Holy Spirit will give you courage to speak the right things. He will help you speak the word of God with boldness.

Acts 4:31 – And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

 

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Take measured challenges

To increase your faith sometimes you need challenge your limits. Discover what the Lord says to you and then try to apply it in your life. No need to take undue risks, like putting the Lord to the test as it’s a sin to do so. Instead take measured challenges for this.

When you hear about any injustice in the news, pray that justice is soon delivered against the criminals while the innocent get relief.

When you are called to pray for someone, come in faith for the needy instead of waiting for the situation to become worse.

Never put the Lord to the test. Like deliberately putting yourself in the dangerous situations just because there are Bible verses stating that God will protect you.

Simply understand that there are Bible verses that also stress that you be wise whether you are a friend or a servant of God, so that you live only for his glory.

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Taking time out to be alone with the Lord

Taking time out to be alone with the Lord can be a great help in your walk with Christ. This can help you increase your faith in him. You can develop the habit of listening better from the Lord God this way.

signretreatJesus in his earthly ministry found to pray alone at various times. We must too.

Matthew 14:23  After Jesus had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.

Matthew 26:36-46 Then Jesus brought them to a garden grove, Gethsemane, and told them to sit down and wait while he went on ahead to pray.

Mark 1:35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Luke 6:12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

To be alone with God its good be in a place that gives you privacy. The timing can be a time of convenience so that you can concentrate well in prayer. In fact Jesus told his disciples to pray not seeking praise from others but rather to reach out to his Father in heaven.

Matthew 6:5-6 And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

When is the time one must try to be alone with the Lord?

Every time you get free time and need strength from God. Every time you are faced with temptations or distractions from living a holy life. You can also do this in times of peace when everything is going well as an act of thanksgiving. The best time you must try to be alone with the Lord is when you want him to purify your thoughts and intentions.

Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. (though this verse doesn’t speak on praying alone, it does talk about keep away from trouble)

Proverbs 22:3 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Acts 9:40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

Do spend your time alone with God and increase your faith. God bless!

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Is correcting and judging others a sin?

jns4jns13Matthew 7:1-5 1You shall not judge, lest you be judged. 2For with the judgment that you judge, you will be judged, and with the measure that you measure, it will be measured to you. 3Why do you notice a chip that is in your brother’s eye, and you do not observe the plank that is in your own eye? 4Or how do you say to your brother, ‘Let me cast out the chip from your eye’, and behold, a plank is in your eye? 5Hypocrite! First cast out the plank from your eye, and then you will see to cast out the chip from your brother’s eye.

These verses from the Bible are indeed good. They tell you to use the right measure when judging others and first being correct yourself before correcting others. Even atheists like to quote these verses though they reject the Gospel. There are some who use these verses to save a corrupt secular or religious leader. However what is more bad is how some believers interpret these verses. They hold that you are to totally refrain from judging any one, as you will be judged the same so just KEEP QUIET about anything wrong in anyone’s behavior.There are scriptures on correcting others which you will get you read further.

In the mean while, I can prove that at some point of time, you WILL judge someone invariably. Let me ask you a quick question. Is Satan a bad person?

If you said yes he is a bad person, then my friend you have JUDGED Satan but you are correct with that. If you said no, then unfortunately you still used judgement are HIGHLY wrong and need a reality check ASAP. If you refrained from saying yes or no, then you have DENIED the Gospel and judged it because the Lord Jesus called Satan the Evil One. Matthew 5:37 But let your word ‘yes be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.

Now what is my point in all this.

My stand is that if you have the light of the Gospel in your belief and actions, then help others who are in their sins to get back to God and for that you are going to need to tell them they are WRONG in their ways. Now you can do that CALMLY without getting irate. If they accept correction wisely then its good for their souls. But if people do not change after hearing you, it will still benefit others.

1 Timothy 5:20  As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.

Stop thinking that people seeing your good behavior will then leave their wicked ways so you have an excuse to be quiet. Jesus before he started his public ministry on earth, lived a 100% holy life but tell me how many people saw the good in him and started trying to live holy lives? None at all. Why so? I answer using the below verse.

2 Corinthians 4:4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

However, when Jesus PREACHED the Gospel, it was then that lots of people who were sinners repented of theirs sins and chose to live holy. That is why its important that you preach the Gospel to unbelievers and remind others to hold on to the words of the Gospel.

With that said, this is a not an excuse to go on a correction spree especially with your kids and spouse! What matters is that the correction is timely (not years later to pick up a quarrel) and that it is done without hate.

We need to be right in our approach. For this we need to be aware of the scriptures regarding this and act as per that.

Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

2 Thessalonians 3:15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

1 Timothy 5:19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

Titus 1:9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

2 John 1:7-11 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

James 5:19-20 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

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Blessing in the Book of Revelation of Jesus

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

The Book of Revelation of Jesus is the last book in the Bible written by St. John the Apostle. St. John was the only one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus who wasn’t martyred unlike the rest of the 12.

Tradition tells us that John was taken to Rome for persecution and thrown into boiling oil but emerged unhurt. He was then banished to the island of Patmos. He came back from his exile and the lived at Ephesus till his dying of old age at Ephesus, about 98 A.D

The Angel Appears to John. The book of Revelat...

The Angel Appears to John. The book of Revelation. 13th century manuscript. British Library, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people incorrectly call the Book of Revelation of Jesus as the Book of Revelations. The correct thing that the whole book is a revelation as a whole, so next time when anyone says ‘Revelations’ say that the whole book was one whole revelation of Jesus.

This book of the Bible in the very first chapter Revelation 1:3 pronounces a blessing on those who read aloud, hear and keep this prophecy. You wouldn’t like to miss out on that by not being interested in this book.

There are many churches and preachers who don’t reflect much on this book. They says it’s too complex to be understood and try to avoid this teaching. I dislike this spread of ignorance especially so when many prophecies of this book are getting fulfilled in this era. They can quote me on this; that when the Anti Christ persecutes them they won’t be ready because they were ignorant of this book.

It is a Satanic lie from hell that this book can’t be understood. I read this book when I just about 9 years with great relish and could understand it very easily. This caused me to HAVE great spiritual growth over and above those of the same age and even those elder to me. My prayer life dramatically improved and my faith increased by leaps and bounds.

That’s why when I hear so and so church leaders say that it can’t be understood I just laugh at them in my mind because I know it’s not the truth. They are not open to anyone saying that they should even try to understand it. At the same time, I realize that they have got tricked by the Evil One into not preaching about this book to the people but that is NOT a reason to continue in that deception.

Now you might ask that why is this book so useful? I answer that.

The Book of Revelation is useful in so many ways but I will mention just 12, such as:

  1. It encourages us to live a holy life.
  2. It exhorts us to accept martyrdom instead of giving up on Christ.
  3. Prophecy about various disasters due to hate against God.
  4. Warnings about pending judgements against unbelievers, the great mystery Babylon, Death, Satan, the Anti Christ and the False prophet. It highlights the Final Judgement.
  5. Warns about receiving the mark of the Beast.
  6. Prophecy about the future of Jerusalem and the Jews.
  7. Admonitions to the 7 Churches which you can apply for yourself too.
  8. Prophecy to be ready for the Return of Lord Jesus Christ to earth.
  9. Reminds us of the level of worship in heaven.
  10. Tells us about the rewards Christ has planned for those who believe in Him.
  11. Warns that even the elect may end up forsaking the faith.
  12. Talks of the rapture of believers.

I would encourage every Christian alive to read the Book of Revelation of Jesus. It will give you GREAT wisdom to be holy and faithful to the one true Savior Jesus the Lord. Leave all your doubts away when reading this book to experience the blessing of this book. Amen.

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Jesus and Zacchaeus

Jesus and ZacchaeusLet us read Luke 19:-10 below:-

1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Zacchaeus was a Jew and one of the descendents of Abraham. He was also a great sinner. Tax collectors were hated in those days very greatly because they misused their authority. These tax collectors worked not for the Jews but for the Romans who had conquered Israel. They cheated both the people and the government and kept huge sums of money for themselves. While the poor kept getting poor they kept getting rich.

Jesus the Son of God was aware that Zacchaeus was looking for a way out. Zacchaeus was fed up of sinning and needed salvation. He was aware that collecting so much money was not going to get him to a good place after he dies. Now Jesus preached the Gospel where ever he went. So somehow Jesus’ message must have reached Zacchaeus and he sought the way to meet the Lord Jesus.

Due to his short height Zacchaeus tried to see Jesus in Jericho on a tree. Yes, he needed a better vantage point. Sometimes to look at the Lord Jesus you need to stop letting others obstruct your view in their way of life. It was the nature of the people to be taller that Zacchaeus and it was his nature to not let that come in the way of seeing Jesus.

Jesus rewarded his faith by asking that he be a guest at Zacchaeus’ house. This didn’t go well with others who despised Zaccheaus and grumbled. They didn’t see the point of Jesus going to his house.

Now Jesus the Lord was not considered as the Lord by the scribes and the Pharisees of the Jewish faith. They didn’t acknowledge him as the Son of God who would come to save not just the Jews but also the Gentiles from their sins. Though it was mentioned in the prophecies about Jesus, they willfully chose to ignore it. However, when Jesus came to Jericho, that day there was one man who did call him Lord no matter what the religious elite felt.

Zacchaeus called Jesus as the Lord. He realized his need to repent of his sins and accept the Lord as his savior. He recognized that Jesus is the Lamb of God who comes to take the sins of the world and happy was he to receive him under his roof. Though all he had to do was to accept Jesus as the Son of God, he went to declare he will make good all the losses to those whom he had cheated.

Jesus went to say that salvation came to this man’s house and reminded people of his ministry which to seek and save the lost. Christ even today seeks and save the lost. He still through his disciples on earth tries to reach out to those who yearn for salvation. He accepts even the worst of sinners in to the Kingdom of God. Those who are ‘public’ sinners like drug sellers, racists and even terrorists too can receive salvation from Jesus if they turn away from their sinful ways and accept Jesus as the true Lord.

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Confidence in your walk of faith

confidenceWhen walking in faith with Christ Jesus, we are called to be confident.  Be brave and strong in your faith. Keep it true and real. Sometimes you may face challenges but that doesn’t mean you need to be scared. You need to hold on to Christ the King of Glory who is the author and finisher of your faith.

Don’t be fearful of society when you say you believe in Jesus in front of them. Be happy that you are a witness for Christ in front of people. Be confident of your ability to do good which comes from Jesus above.

Never think that you don’t achieve much. When you trust Christ you are actually living your life for the greatest cause. It is that you glorify the name of the Lord God in your life. No higher cause than that, ever!

Hebrews 10:35-36 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Psalms 27:1-2 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.

Psalms 3:6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.

Psalms 18:29 For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall.

Psalms 20:7 Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.

Being confident is NOT having pride in your own thing. In the walk of faith, your source of confidence is not yourself.  It needs to come from Christ our Lord divine. Be confident that your faith has come to you from Christ himself in the Gospel. Jesus will see your faith go places; all you need to do is be with him.

Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Pray to Jesus for you can approach him without fear so that you get his grace in your desperate hour. He is all merciful and mighty to save.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

So I finally add this, that to be confident in your walk of faith you need to simply trust the Lord Jesus and he will see you through, all blessed and fruitful.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

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Honor the Lord – Psalm 29

You can honor the Lord by understanding his nature and then acknowledging it. You need to believe in the nature of God. For this you will need to have a resource of goodness. No better place than the Bible for that. Here’s a Psalm that gives us a revelation of his nature.

Psalm 29 – A psalm of David.

1 Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
2 Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

3 The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.
The God of glory thunders.
The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;
he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with bolts of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks
and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”

10 The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
The Lord reigns as king forever.
11 The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.

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Quick tip to spiritually warm up

Here’s a quick to tip to spiritually warm up whenever you feel the need to do so or when faced with an unexpected challenge or situation.

To get warmed up spiritually try to remember that one time in the past that God has helped you or blessed you greatly. After this just thank the Lord Jesus for that time. One doing so you will realize that your faith in Christ and love for God has become afresh and you can face anything that is tough, much better. I’ve tried this on many occasions and it worked for me every time.

Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits

When I think of something one those lines, I think of how Christ gave me hope when I had none. If you find it difficult to think of something, just remember the time Jesus accepted the cross to die and shed his blood for you so that you be saved.

Please do try the quick tip and see the benefits for yourself. On an end note, I will be posting a more detailed article on how to spiritually warm up, very soon.

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