Monthly Archives: June 2014

The road less travelled

narrow path

The narrow path

The road less travelled is the road to God. Many like others roads. Their goal is the happiness and hedonism. Pleasure is their false treasure. They sacrifice a lot towards this end. Some risk their eternal salvation when doing this while the rest don’t even realize the need for salvation.

Other roads are very easy and politically correct. So convenient indeed to please all God haters and drug lovers. Feels really good to let sinners say that their way is correct. This false ‘convenience’ looks very compelling until the time to die arrives. For after death those who didn’t continue on the path to God end up in Hell. In that evil place all human glory is lost.

There is no love in hell but only suffering. The devil is a cunning person, he won’t mind if the unbeliever enjoys his/her time on earth as long as that person is not in Christ. Therefore that person will continue to live in sin till the day of death. When that person dies all happiness or rather the illusion of it is turned to ashes. For in hell the grace of God is not available nor there is the Gospel there to save.

That is why when a person is still alive on earth the Gospel must be preached to them so that they repent and believe in the Gospel. God is just and merciful at the same time. Just in allowing the eternal punishment for sin and merciful by allowing Jesus to die on behalf of sinners on the cross. So no one can blame God for not being just nor merciful.

Walking the road less travelled is not easy but it’s never impossible either. Jesus helps those who desire to continue walk with him. A person may have an addiction to smoking or gambling but if he keeps coming to Jesus and admitting that he sinned, there is hope for him. There is no hope for those who continue in sins and don’t come back to God. Coming back to the Lord is not supposed to be a ‘small prayer of commitment to Jesus and then let’s forget about it’ rather it’s about continuing in your relationship with Christ till the very end of time.

A few verses to reflect on:

  • Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path (Proverbs 23:19)
  • And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. (Isaiah 35:8)
  • Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
  • Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. (Luke 13:24)
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God’s favor through Jesus

favour

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46–47)

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12)

To be blessed with God’s favor, you don’t need to climb hills or resort to ardent fasting. You need to believe in the Lord Jesus. You need to believe that Jesus is able to do great things for you. Stuff that the world yearns for but can’t receive because they reject the cross of Christ. For Jesus by his sacrifice of his body and blood on the cross, has bridged the gap between you and God. Your faith in the Gospel attracts the favor of God. For those who confess Jesus in their life on earth, Jesus is not ashamed of them in heaven in front of God’s angels in heaven.

Jesus intercedes for you at the right hand of God. He doesn’t get tired nor fed up of interceding for you. It’s his delight to come before his Father for your needs. Happy are those who depend on Jesus for their true and lasting happiness.

Take the machinery out of the church

The farther away from God you get, the more rules and regulations you’ll come up with in an effort to maintain what you once had. And what was once living will soon become mechanical and artificial. (Take the machinery out of the church.)

Beware of the yoke of men. Man’s yoke looks good, but it will only slow you down in the climb, and will make you less fruitful. The Lord’s yoke is light, it lifts you up, but man’s will weigh you down.

Zealous Christians can sometimes fall into the deception that they can earn God’s Love, and that His love is based on their performance. (I personally fell to this deception.)  Be sure to love God for who He Is, not for what He can give you.  The Love of God is not so cheap that it can be earned by the work of your hand or the sweat of your brow.

The above quotes are by Robert Brownell (of divinerevelations.info) and exhort us to follow God freely in spirit. Sometimes people act legalistic while they may not be aware of their behavior. However, these people are aware of how others follow God freely and so don’t have an excuse. God wants his people to love him with all of their heart, mind and strength. Acting like a machine won’t help you at all. Machines don’t have have a heart nor a mind.

You need to receive the Lord Jesus who gives true grace and truth. So hold Jesus close to your heart. Love Jesus not out of compulsion but out of free will.  God knows the thoughts of your heart, so don’t do good works to get a certificate of right conduct from a preacher. Maybe you need that certificate for church formalities etc. However, be true to the will of God. The will of God is not something clouded by intellectual smoke. God’s will is that you believe in the Lord Jesus and live a holy life unto God.5f01a6e19afafff5ef5f554514107cc4

Do works of charity not for fame but for the glory of God. Good works don’t get you salvation as you can never earn your way into heaven. Salvation is given freely by Jesus Christ to those believe in him and the Gospel of Christ.  Salvation is not a ‘one-time-prayer-and-forget-about-it’, it’s about continuing in your relation with Jesus. For salvation outside of Jesus Christ does not exist, so keep within Jesus always.

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

So that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:21)

Hold on to the Lord

Hold on to the Lord in good times and bad,
seek him whether you’re happy or sad.
Hold the hand of Jesus all life long,
sing unto him a new song.

When in danger grasp God’s hand,
with him you can take a bold stand.
When faced with condemnation and oppression,
remember Jesus the high priest of our confession.

Hold on to the Lord from breath to breath,
be faithful in life and in death.
Hold on to God’s word with all your might,
for it gives you the Gospel and light.

 

Give me wisdom

Give me wisdom O Lord I pray,
so that I use it everyday.
Teach me by your Word’s light,
so I speak what is right.

Remind me O Jesus to be strong,
even when I see others do wrong.
Guide my actions, be by my side,
at tempting times in you do I hide.

Speak to me your blessings again,
that I help and bless those in pain.
Reveal to me the fullness of your love,
on earth daily from heaven above.

How to pray all-night, all by yourself

Praying is central to Christian living as much as believing. Since the grace of God is available at all times of the day, it’s helpful to know that if you feel like getting up in the middle of the night and pray for something, you can most certainly pray at that time. You may not be able to pray all night every time but there are those moments in life when you know that you know that you must pray at night. Once you know that you need to pray on a certain nigh, then just understand how to pray at night and proceed for the glory of God.

daily meditation

urlLuke 6:12: And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all-night in prayer to God.

Jesus is our example. If he prays all-night sometimes, we should too. It however takes a high level of cooperation between your spirit soul and body to get the job done. You don’t want the words of Jesus: “the spirit is wiling but the flesh is weak” to refer to you (Matthew 26:41).

Spirit

Are you ready for this high involvement of your spirit, because that is what an all-night of prayer means? I don’t know how to teach you to pray all-night without you being equipped already with the spiritual component called speaking in tongues.

Your laptop is equipped to run a lot of software but will only run the ones installed. You need to have installed in you the…

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Christians are not called to be solo players

Christians are not called to be solo players. This means that a Christian can’t just accept Jesus and then choose not to pray nor interact along with other Christians. Not every Christian may be as talented as you nor they may be as wise as you. However this is not a reason to avoid caring for each other.

loner

The following scripture tells us how being more than a single person can help tackle tough situations much more better:

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

There are Christians who avoid church services at the local church due to the abundance of hypocrites they encounter. This is not a good situation to be in but you can’t just give up on your gathering in the church just because of that. For example, if you say that you won’t board a train unless you have all the “hypocrites” removed would the train driver even agree to you? However, I do agree that if you don’t need to partake of their sins. So if you go to church and realize that certain church members are into drugs, then pray in church, listen to the preacher but don’t waste time with those drug addicts. If they approach you just remind them that God desires holiness in his children so they need to focus on God rather than any worldly thing. Don’t get into a debate but be firm that you won’t sin even if they have many reasons to do so.

It’s not going to be possible that you make friends with each and everyone at church. This could be because of differences in culture, languages, political ideologies, money etc. In certain circles of Christianity speaking to a person of the opposite sex is frowned upon very often, so if you are in this type of place better that you don’t push too hard though you may have noticed a lot of freedom of speech in other churches. Here you can at most say ‘bless you sister’ or ‘bless you brother’ which should be fine enough.

To avoid being a loner at church, try to identify like-minded Christians who agree with you on most doctrinal points of the Bible. You can then reach out to them and find if you are going to be friends. This way you can have common ground to pray on. Also ensure that the other person and yourself are a team for the glory of God and not for mutual benefits. The main focus must be the Lord Jesus and the preaching of the Gospel. Apart from this provided that whatever you do always is in line with the wisdom of the Gospel, you can help each other.

With this being said, you must remember the words of Jesus on what to do if another believer sins against you:

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17)

Also keep in mind what Jesus said next in the same chapter (Matthew 18)

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:19-20)

This means that you can also pray to the Lord for any of your petitions together with another Christian who agrees to it in prayer. Also this means that when people come in the name of Jesus he is there with them, not in the physical sense but surely in spirit.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

You can learn a lot from other faithful believers of Christ. I myself was good in preaching publicly but not in singing. So then Christian youth group I was part of, kept on encouraging me to sing with them. Sometimes they sang with me even if I went off tune. Then in due course of time I was able to sing all praise and worship hymns in public, be it at church or seminars etc. I had my doubts on praying for physical healing of people of other religions but when I noticed my friends praying for them, I too started praying in faith.

Like always, it’s great to hear from missionaries of their experiences in hostile areas, especially how they managed to preach and yet survived. This can dramatically increase your faith and courage in the Lord. Your faith can also increase when you hear people speak how they left a life of lust and realize the importance of trusting in Christ instead. You then become aware of the traps that these people fell into, so that you don’t fall prey to sin.

Many of these benefits won’t come to you if you are only a solo player. You need to pray to the Lord Jesus for wisdom on this and then reach out to other Christians to team up with. Do this for the glory of God.

 

Can salvation be lost?

You salvation which comes from Jesus is highly valuable. This will keep you from going to hell when you die and away from eternal judgement at the Final Judgement.  With salvation they joys and security of eternal life in Christ are promised. We must take care that we always have our salvation from God. So here’s a question that pertains to this; can salvation be lost?

A quick and direct answer to this is that salvation can be lost if you give up on Jesus and the Gospel. One can also say that if a person was a Christian but renounced the faith later and then became an atheist then he will automatically lose his salvation. It’s that simple. Now, I know that for a question like this, it’s important to know why salvation can be lost. Also some may wonder what does it mean by ‘give up’ in this case. I’d suggest that you read the following as objectively as you can to understand why a person may lose his/her salvation.Jesus and Nicodemus

An uneasy question indeed!

This question that makes people very uneasy in church, office and school. The fear of eternal damnation is so compelling that people try to avoid this topic when at dinner at home or at a church picnic. They prefer if the preacher is preaching about dangers of being in sin to a general audience instead of smaller groups or one on one.

If you don’t ignore physical safety then why ignore spiritual security?

When it comes to your physical safety, you know there are rules and principles to be followed. You don’t fiddle with the law of gravity but take due precautions when going in an aircraft. Small babies by instinct scream when they see a vicious snake around and so alert their parents. If you see a landmine its unwise to step on it even if your captain says to tap it, you’d rather choose to disobey him and throw a stone on it from (real) far away to show him that is dangerous.  So if we take care of our physical safety how much more must be aware of everything related to our spiritual security in this life and the life to come?

Beware of the bandwagon effect

Then as usual you have the denominational bandwagon effect in which legalistic people are of the opinion that if you follow all their rules you are saved but if you do not, then you’re not going to heaven. Also, there is the permissive crowd which has a feeling that everybody will go to heaven if they say the sinners prayer no matter how they behave later. It’s not wise to depend on someone’s feelings or opinions when it comes to salvation. You need to have the facts which prove themselves true in every situation and every time. This is a case of reality and not wishful thinking. No wonder you need to know that the Bible says about salvation and losing salvation.

To understand salvation lets read the below scripture verses. I’ve put an explanation in italics, where necessary.

  • For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
  • Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24) (‘my word’ means the Gospel which also includes repentance of sins)
  • Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
  • and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31)
  • For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
  • If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)
  • Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) (It’s Jesus who saves us and not our good works)

To get a clear picture of how a person can lose salvation you can refer to the following scripture verses. Lots of verses here, so you may like to slow down a bit, when reading them:

  • Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:18)
  • “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46)
  • Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
  • For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)
  • He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Romans 2:6-8) (here ‘patience in well-doing’ means to continue to believe in Jesus’ work of salvation for them)
  • Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
  • But the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book. (Exodus 32:33)
  • And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:19)
  • The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:11-12)
  • For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. (Hebrews 10:26-28)
  • And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:3-4)
  • But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. (Ezekiel 18:24-26) (in context of the Gospel, this would indicate any person who turns away from the Gospel is deemed a sinner)

And finally please consider:

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)

So by this we must have great regard of the salvation which comes to us from Jesus and never take it lightly. If you have sinned, there is hope. Simply repent of your sins and unbelief and choose to follow Jesus again.

 

Enter the Temple of the Lord God

The Old Testament often mentions the Temple of the Lord God in Jerusalem where the presence of God was manifest. This is where the Jews worshiped the Living God whom we Christians also know as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now this temple is in ruins today but the people of Israel yearn to rebuild the Temple again. I know they will succeed in their task that they hold dear to their heart. Here’s a video documentary that shows what this Temple looked like and how it relates to Christ and those who believe in him. I could not help but be in awesome reverence for Jesus who is our eternal high priest with God after watching this.

Praying to the Holy Spirit for physical healing

The Holy Spirit is not another god in the Christian faith. He is as much the Lord as is Jesus Christ. God is indeed One but he is composed of three persons; God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. You cannot just pray to the Father and the Son but you can also pray to the Holy Spirit for he is God.Spirit of God

Jesus when giving the Great Commission said, “Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)

Let’s read the below verses which prove that the Holy Spirit is God and is to be worshiped.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

In the Old Testament times, the Jews worshiped the Lord God in their temple for him, which was in Jerusalem. God was praised and glorified in that temple. Nowadays, there is no temple over there and at most you may see ruins of it. However, today there is still a temple where God can be worshiped which is very close to you. This temple, O believer in Christ, is your body in which the Holy Spirit dwells in you. He is the spirit of love, freedom, wisdom and most importantly the Spirit of the Living God.

God expects holiness in his temple and he also cares for his temple. So if you are physically not well, you have a right to pray to the Holy Spirit to restore you to good health. The Holy Spirit will work in you as per the will of the Father. He was sent by Jesus so that you don’t live an orphaned life. You are not alone.

In John 14:26 Jesus himself speaks of the Holy Spirit, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you”

When Jesus was on earth he cared for the salvation of the whole world including sinners who were not even Jews. He didn’t stop at that, he healed people physically as well. All of his healing power was manifest only after he was baptized and received the Holy Spirit. By the Holy Spirit did Jesus heal people of sicknesses and bodily afflictions.the Holy Spirit

Even today Jesus still works on earth through the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit encourages the lonely, gives strength to weary, casts out demons and heals people. He does it through those who believe in Christ and reach out to others for the glory of God. Now, though the Holy Spirit may not be visible in the physical sense, he is always close to those who call on the name of Jesus. Happy are those to whom the Holy Spirit leads into the true hope that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A hope that lasts from age to age and which does not end.

And if the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from the dead is dwelling in you, He who raised up Christ from the dead will give Life also to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11)

Praying to the Holy Spirit can be for about anything that you need. I want to focus now on praying to him for physical healing. Just as Christ loves you, so does the Holy Spirit love you. He seeks your welfare both in this life and in the afterlife. He works out good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. All you need is to believe in the Gospel and believe in Jesus Christ who was sent from God above. Be open to the Holy Spirit for he won’t force you to accept the grace of God for physical healing but will give you a free choice to be made whole. Today if the Holy Spirit speaks to you, make note of what he says and don’t let his words go in vain.

If you have need to be healed or have someone in mind who needs to be healed, then pray to the Holy Spirit who by the merits of Jesus’ finished work on the cross will appeal to the Father for your healing.

Prayer : O Lord dear Holy Spirit, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Thank you for Jesus Christ the Son of God who came down from heaven to earth to take away my sins and reconcile me to His Father in heaven. I believe that by the stripes of Jesus I’m healed. And by His death on the cross and by His glorious resurrection from the dead, I am truly free from the grasp of sin and the Devil. My prayer and appeal to you at this time of need is that you heal me/N (N-anyone whom you want healed, example friend, teacher etc) of the physical affliction which is N (N- any disease, example AIDS, Cancer etc). I know that you will heal me if I believe in you, for nothing is impossible with God. So bring your healing power O Holy Spirit by the virtues of Jesus on the cross. In the name of Jesus I declare complete healing of my/N’s (N-anyone you want healed) body, for the glory of God the Father by the Holy Spirit. Amen and Amen.

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